"Ellie. Come on, at least TRY to focus." Aunt Regina said covering the stone and eleven year old Ellie Jones focused on moving the stone from the cushion to her hand.
"I can't get it to work!" Ellie said when she got the lid instead of the stone.
"You're not focusing. You're focusing on the lid instead of on the stone beneath it. We'll come back to this tomorrow. Keep practicing." Aunt Regina said and Ellie stood to go.
"Thanks. Um... Grandma wants to have everyone over for dinner tonight."
"Snow's hosting a dinner party?"
"No, she just said she wanted me to ask you to come to dinner at her place."
"Alright, Henry and I will be there."
"I'll see you tomorrow." Ellie said and left the town hall, heading straight for her apartment.
"Hey, Princess. How was class?" Killian asked his daughter when she opened the door.
"Same as yesterday. Aunt Regina said I need to practice and learn to focus."
"She is coming to dinner, right?" Emma came around the corner. "Grandma's gonna be furious if she's not."
"She said she and Henry would both be there."
"Henry better be there. That woman forgets we share custody." Emma went back to the kitchen, her husband and daughter close behind.
"When does Snow want us all over there?" Killian asked.
"Six, and she wants us to bring a side dish. I was thinking potato salad." Emma said. Ellie sat down at the island.
"What about Jalapeno corn bread?" Ellie suggested.
"That sounds lovely, lass." Killian said.
"Alright, but we're out of jalapenos. You and your father are going to have to go get some."
"We can do that. You want to drive?" Killian asked holding the keys up for Ellie.
"YES!!" "NO!!" Emma and Ellie yelled at the same time. Ellie grabbed the keys from Killian.
"Killian!! She's never used a real car! She's not old enough! I will not have Regina calling me saying she ran over somebody's dog." Emma said.
"Alright. Come on Princess, you heard your mum. Not till you're older." Killian said and Ellie handed him the keys.
"Fine..." Ellie grumbled. "Can we get a pet while we're there?" She asked, brightening up.
"'Course, love." Killian smiled down at her.
"No! Just get the jalapenos!" Emma almost shouted.
"Fine, fine, don't get your boots in a bunch." Killian said, looking a bit nervous.
"How many of these do we need?" Killian asked, shoving ten in a bag.
"I would put a few more in the bag and hope Mom slices thick." Ellie said and handed Killian another handful.
"Alright, Princess." Killian shoved them in the bag.
"Are you sure we can't get a cat? It would take care of the rat problem on the ship!" Ellie bribed.
"You may have a cat...." Ellie perked up and smiled at her father, "When one of two things happen." Ellie's face fell two stories. " One: you move out, or Two: you convince your mother it's a good idea."
"But Daddy!!!" Ellie whined. "Mom will never agree to that."
"And Henry's allergic." Killian agreed.
"Can we have a puppy?"
"And your mother said..."
"Anything that poops and can't do it in a toilet can't live in this house." Ellie quoted Emma.
"And that means..."
"That bear is on sale." Ellie pointed to a giant teddy bear. "And it doesn't poop, shed, or eat."
"Fits the requirements. How much is it?" Killian asked and Ellie ran over to check the tag.
"Thirty dollars." Ellie said.
"Cheaper than these peppers." Killian said and Ellie grabbed the bear bigger than herself.
"What is that?" Emma asked, pulling the corn bread out of the oven.
"Seventeen peppers!" Killian held up the bag.
"Not those. What is she holding!?" Emma pointed at the giant bear.
"It doesn't eat, poop or shed. It fits the requirements." Ellie defended her new toy.
"Fine take it to your room, and HURRY! I need help making the topping." Emma said and Ellie ran upstairs to her room. She tossed the giant bear on her bed and ran back down to help her mother with the muffins.
"Hi! You made it!" Snow said, greeting them at the door.
"Course we did, you'd kill us if we didn't." Emma said. Snow glared at her. "Kidding, kidding, we came because we wanted to."
"And a bit of the first one." Killian added under his breath. Emma elbowed him in the ribs.
"GRANDMA!" Ellie shouted, shoving out from behind her parents.
"Ellie!" Snow exclaimed, pulling her into a hug.
"How are you! I haven't seen you since this morning!!" Ellie said.
"Wonderful! How are you?"
"Five minutes you've been here and I still don't have a hug." David said and Ellie ran over to him, throwing her arms around his neck.
"So, Ellie, how was your lesson with Regina?" David asked.
"Same as the first one." Ellis grumbled.
Regina was about to defend herself from skeptical looks when there was a knock at the door.
"Is someone else coming?" Roland asked.
"Let's see... Gold, Belle, Henry, Regina, David, Killian, Emma, Ellie, Roland, and Leroy. Zelena and Robin aren't here yet." Snow replies. Regina goes stony faced. "Come in!" Snow calls, to try to mask the awkward moment. Zelena walks in, followed closely by Robin.
"Hey Robin." Roland called to his half sister and she walked over, taking a seat next to him.
"You are aware that there's a giant man walking up your porch?" Zelena asked, also taking her seat.
"Um, no, we weren't aware..." Snow said, looking nervous. "Gold, could you...?"
"Yes, yes, I know the drill." Gold sighed, getting to his feet.
"Why don't we get everyone settled while he sorts that out." Belle said and Snow agreed. Together the two of them set the table and got everyone seated.
"Shouldn't we wait for Rumple?" Belle asked when Killian and Leroy started serving themselves.
"No." Killian said curtly, taking one of the muffins.
"Sorry, sister. If we do all the good stuff'll be gone." Leroy explained and continued dishing up the potato salad Zelena and Robin had brought.
"Good enough for me." Regina said and she started grabbing her plate. Soon enough the entire congregation had started eating and talking.
"I hadn't realized that was also an attempt to keep me from the fries." Gold said and everyone looked over at him.
"Sorry?" Snow and Belle squeaked apologetically.
"Ellie, the man wants to speak with you and your parents." Gold said and took his seat next to Belle.
"Um, alright. Now?" Ellie put down her fork.
"No, he wants to talk to you in six years. YES NOW!" Gold said and grabbed the tray of fries.
"Hello. Mr. Gold said you wanted to talk with me?" Ellie asked the giant man standing outside.
"Yes. Are you Miss Elizabeth Jones?" the man asked her, looking down at the envelope in his giant hand.
"Yes, and you are?"
"Hagrid, keeper of keys and grounds at Hogwarts." the man introduced himself, and the two of them shook hands.
"May I ask why you are here?"
"Right, Professor Dumbledore asked me to give this to you, and explain a few things to you and your parents." The man handed her a beige envelope. Ellie opened the letter and read the contents.
"So, what is Hogwarts?"
"Hogwarts is a school of magic. It's slightly different from what we've been doing, but you've been accepted and Gold, Zelena and I think it would be a good idea for you to go." Regina said coming outside.
"You must be Miss Mills, Elizabeth's teacher." Hagrid and Regina shook hands.
"Yes. Gold and I talked with Dumbledore, and he explained about the classes and such. We've just finished explaining things to her parents. They've agreed to let Ellie attend, but the decision is ultimately hers."
"She's welcome to come, but Dumbledore needs to be notified by tomorrow morning. Sorry we were so late getting to her." Hagrid apologized.
"The lateness shouldn't be an issue. We'll get an RSVP to Dumbledore by tomorrow morning." Regina turned to Ellie, "Do you have the pack list?"
Ellie nodded and handed the second sheet of paper to Regina.
"If you don't mind, We can take her to get her supplies, I just need an address for Diagon Alley."
"Dumbledore did say you would be needing tha'. Here you go." Hagrid handed Regina another sheet of paper.
"Thank you. I would invite you in, but I'm not the hostess. There's an inn down the street if you would like to stay though." Regina explained and Ellie slipped back inside.
"Hey, Princess. What do ya think?" Killian asked her when she came back in.
"I think that this school sounds awesome, but it's a boarding school. In Scotland. I'd only be able to visit for certain holidays and the summer." Ellie flopped back into her seat between her parents.
"We know, but it would open up a whole new field of magic for you. Regina, Gold and Zelena all think it would be an excellent idea, and if you're happy and willing, we agree." Emma put an arm around her daughter.
"But what about my magic lessons now, and school and my friends..." Ellie trailed off.
"Princess, you're trying to find reasons NOT to go. Look for reasons to go." Killian urged.
"You'd get to learn a TON of new magic." Robin prodded.
"Yeah, the kind even Rumple doesn't know." Henry put in, earning a glare from the crocodile himself.
"But what about my friends from school? I won't be able to see them during school."
"We'll manage to figure something out. Wizards can obviously send letters, and one of us should be able to poof you letters from here." Emma said.
"I'm not getting out of this am I?" Ellie asked.
"I'll drag you to London myself if I have to." Henry said, Robin and Roland agreeing quickly.
"Does anybody see this place?!" Regina asked, looking angrily around the street.
"What's it called again?" Emma asked.
"The Leaky Cauldron" Regina read the paper Hagrid had given her, "The address says it should be right there." Regina pointed to the place between a bookstore and a pub.
"Makes sense." Ellie went skipping over and disappeared between the two buildings.
"Can I have the shopping list?" Emma asked Regina before following her daughter, leaving Regina alone on the streets of London.
"What?" Regina yelled. Emma poked her head out of the wall.
"Can't you see it?" She asked.
"Do you think I can see it?" Regina snapped. "Why can't I see it?"
"Well," Ellie said, her head now appearing next to her mother's. "Hagrid says that you're a Muggle, which means that you won't be able to see it. I can, since I'm a witch, and Mom can, because she's my mom. You have no wizardingness in you, so you can't see it."
"Watch your mouth, young lady. Who taught you your first piece of magic?" Regina snapped.
"Mom. Anyway, this is like the time that Grandma and Grandpa were in the Enchanted Forest with you, and they teased you with snowbells, and gave you the obvious answers to your stupid questions. And then they walked through the portal door, and you couldn't, because Gold's riddle said, 'through the door, step inside, if pure of heart then she won't hide.' And Grandma and Grandpa could, because they were wearing white, and you couldn't, because you were wearing black."
Regina's expression went blank. "What?"
"Let me put this into simple words for you. You have black heart, they have red and white. Deal with it." Ellie sassed. Regina made angry moves towards Ellie, but she just walked back through the wall. Regina tried to follow, but just met pain and collision. Ellie stuck her head back out.
"I told ya you can't get in. You're a Muggle." Ellie said.
Regina still did not understand fully what the word meant, but she could tell that Ellie was trying to be rude. "Come, Emma. We're going home!" She said, turning around and marching away.
"Okay, now she's gone. Come on, Ellie." Emma said, smirking after Regina. Ellie smiled and ducked back inside the Leaky Cauldron.
"Should we tell her to meet us at home?" Ellie asked and Emma nodded, pulling out her phone and pulling Ellie out of the doorway. Ellie watched as Emma punched something into her phone and the two of them walked over to the bar where a balding man stood polishing glasses.
"Excuse me. Do you know where we could find Tom?" Emma asked.
"At your service ma'am." The man set down his rag and the glass.
"Hagrid said we could ask you to let us into Diagon Alley." Emma explained.
"First time to the Alley?" Tom asked?
"For the both of us." Ellie said and Tom chuckled before leading them out through the back door. He took out his wand and tapped one of the bricks above the trash can. The wall stood still for a minute before the bricks started rearranging themselves to form an archway to the Alley.
"You shouldn't have any problems getting back through, but if it does close, any witch or wizard should be kind enough to let you back through." Tom said and left them.
"This. Is. AWESOME!!" Ellie squealed and started bouncing around, trying to look at everything at once.
"Alright, first: calm down. Second let's go get the money transferred at Gringotts, and then we can start looking for your school supplies." Emma said, looking over the list, before Ellie grabbed her wrist and started dragging her away towards the big marble building in the distance.
Ellie pulled the book off the top of the bag her mother was carrying and started reading it as they left the shop.
"Ellie, put that away, you're going to run into someone." Emma warned but Ellie ignored her, and opened it to the table of contents, skimming them quickly, stopping at a chapter that stood out; Harry Potter: The Boy Who Lived. Ellie flipped to the page and started reading.
"Harry! Look out!" A man's voice called out in front of her and Ellie looked up just in time to have a messy black haired boy run straight into her.
"Oh, sorry, my fault." Ellie and the boy apologized at the same time, "Wait, your fault? No, my fault? What?" They continued in sync.
The boy gave her a cheeky grin before saying, "How about we blame you."
"No, that was totally your fault." Ellie retorted, deciding she liked this boy. Just as she finished speaking, a tall, dark greasy haired man came up behind the boy and Emma caught up to them as well.
"Harry, watch where you're going," the man snapped at the boy.
"Elizabeth! I told you to put that book away before we left the shop! Oh, hello sir." Emma said to the man.
"Mom! Don't call me Elizabeth!" Ellie whined to her mother before turning back to Harry, "It's Ellie."
"Hello, Ellie. My name is Harry Potter." Harry properly introduced himself.
"Really? You're in this book!" Ellie held up the book she had been reading.
"Oh, really?" Harry asked the sidewalk, his face turning a shade of red that would have matched one of Regina's apples. The man standing beside Harry took advantage of his sudden embarrassment.
"What is your name?" He asked Emma.
"I'm Emma Jones, Ellie's mom." The introduced herself, "What's yours?"
"I am professor Severus Snape, potions master at Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry. I am escorting Harry in the buying of his school supplies and to Hogwarts." Snape said and Emma smiled.
"Well, that was a better introduction than mine." Emma began and Ellie cut her off.
"You're a professor?! You teach at Hogwarts?!" Ellie started bouncing on the balls of her feet with excitement.
"Yes." The man sounded completely unexcited.
"So, Ellie, wanna go shopping with us?" Harry asked Ellie.
"Harry, I only signed up for one of you!" Snape said.
"Sure! Mom, can I go with them?" Ellie begged her mother.
"Sure, I'll meet you later. I have to go find Regina." Emma said, looking at her phone.
"Yay!" Ellie said and led Harry a little ways in front of Snape. "So, Harry," Ellie tried to start a conversation, "Is he always this unpleasant?" she gestured at Snape.
"Yep." Harry grinned at looked behind them at Snape.