"First years! Follow me!" A pretty Hufflepuff girl with auburn hair called to her table, and Ellie stood with the others in her house and followed the girl out of the great hall and down a flight of stairs.
"First years! This way!" The girl called and directed them past a portrait of a bowl of fruit.
"That's the kitchens." A girl with short brown hair and glasses explained, "If you tickle the pear, a handle appears and you can get in. I'm Emma by the way, Emma Nicholes."
"Ellie, Ellie Jones." Emma and Ellie shook hands and the group stopped before a group of barrels.
"Alright, so to get into the common room, and your beds, you have to tap a barrel to the rhythm of 'Helga Hufflepuff.' You can tell you have the right barrel because on the side it's got a badger paw print on it. Heads up, that's only there the first week of school." The girl from earlier said and led them all through the barrel and into a low ceilinged circular room with round windows high on the wall.
"Alright, I won't keep you any longer. Girls, only door on the right. Boys, same on your left." The girl pointed to a narrow, shallow hallway off to one side of the yellow and black common room.
"Come on, I'll help you unpack." Emma accompanied Ellie through the door and into the section of the room labeled for first years. Ellie opened her trunk and started moving her cloths to the dresser next to her bed.
"Hey, what's this?" Emma gently lifted the large mirror Regina had given her.
"My Aunt gave me that. I think she said it's enchanted, but I'm not sure what for." Ellie shrugged and lifted the original mirror off the wall and replaced it with the magic one.
"Cool! We should figure out what it does." Emma said and handed Ellie the books out of her trunk.
"I can write to her tomorrow and ask her about it." Ellie shrugged and set the books on the dresser. The girls finished unpacking in relative silence.
"Hey Ells." Emma said, looking over at her mirror.
"Yeah Em?" Ellie looked up from the Emma's trunk.
"Your mirror's mad." She pointed and Ellie saw that her mirror was pulsing purple around the edges.
"Um, ah, er. I'll get that." She stuttered and ran over, crawling across her bed and swiping a finger across the bottom on the mirror. The surface swirled with purple smoke and solidified into a view of Regina's vault, Regina, Emma, Killian, Snow and Charming all smiling back at her.
"Hi, you guys called. Early." Ellie said, awkwardly.
"We're not early. You still have your lessons. These dorks insisted on seeing you." Regina said, gesturing to the other four.
"Hi, Princess! How's Hogwarts?" Killian asked and Ellie shrugged.
"Good. I'm helping some of the girls in my dorm unpack." Ellie said.
"So you're fine and settled and not coming home?" Emma asked, and Ellie laughed.
"I'm fine, and no, I'm not coming home early. I like it here so far, and I don't think I'll get too home sick with you guys calling every night."
"Ells, who are you talking to?" Em asked, walking around the bed Ellie had curtained on her way over.
"Um, Em, meet my family. Family, meet Em." Ellie said, showing her friend her mirror and the view of her family.
"Hi, I'm Emma." Em waved to Ellie's family.
"This is going to get both confusing and annoying." Regina grumbled.
"I'm Killian, Ellie's father. This is Emma, my wife, and Mary Margret and David, her grandparents." Killian said and pointed at them with his hook.
"Who's the pant suit lady?" Em asked and Regina turned back angrily.
"That's my Aunt Regina." Ellie said.
"And I don't have all night. I don't have time for introductions and homecoming parties." She said and pushed the other four out of her vault.
"Em, could you excuse us?" Ellie asked and Emma nodded, going back to finish unpacking, "How do you switch the call?" Ellie asked and Regina glared. "To the small mirror."
"You don't. Here's the stone. Same as always." Regina said and placed the lid over the all too familiar stone.
"I couldn't move that thing when it was a foot in front of me! How am I supposed to do it when it's halfway around the world?!" Ellie grumbled.
"Just do it." Regina said and Ellie held out her hand and the stone appeared in a puff of golden yellow smoke.
"See, and now send it back." Regina instructed and Ellie did, still shocked it had worked for once.
"Good. Now we can work on something else. Try it with something you don't know the location of. You left your favorite sweater here by the way." Regina said.
"What!?" Ellie shrieked.
"Your favorite sweater is still here. Would you like to me to send it over, and it'll get there in a few weeks, or you could practice that magic you've been blessed with." Regina asked and Ellie held out her hands and imagined the sweater appearing there. It did.
"I did it!" Ellie said excitedly and Regina nodded.
"That sweater was that extra pocket on your suitcase." Regina said and Ellie glowered at her aunt, "Hey, it worked didn't it?" Ellie nodded and shrugged.
"That's true." Ellie muttered.
"As much as I would like to make you practice with a few more items, it is late. Even here. I'll let you get some sleep before your mother has my head." Regina said and the image in the mirror disappeared.