Third Person P. O. V.
A grumpy Elena shielded her eyes from the bright light that filled her room. She was having a very nice dream about Hogwarts when she was interrupted by her mother's voice.
Enter, stranger, but take heed,
"Get up! Don't you want to go to Diagon Alley? We'll never get there if you're asleep!" Diagon Alley! Today Elena would get a glimpse of the wizarding world for herself! She couldn't wait to go shopping. It was August 1st - only one more month until she got to go to Platform 9 and 3/4!
Elena hurriedly dressed in a floral skirt and a white top, and she finished off the look with her favorite brown boots that had shiny buckles on them. She didn't really know what wizards wore. She flashed a smile in the mirror, revealing a dazzling set of white teeth and kind, pink lips. Her freckles were showing today, and she had rosy cheeks. She even put a dash of mascara on. She wanted to look perfect, as usual. Who knew? Maybe she'd meet a few witches her own age.
She ran downstairs and her father told her to hold onto his arm, which she did. Then they Apparated to Diagon Alley. Because it was her first side Apparition, Elena felt very dizzy and stumbled once they landed at their destination. Her father bought her a butterbeer to help her regain her balance. It was warm and tasted like caramel and - well - butter, and she loved the way it slid down her throat.
Once Elena finished the strange drink, she looked up at the scene in front of her. Her mouth immediately dropped open and she was in awe. The sight in front of her was absolutely amazing!
There were shops of all kinds with strange displays inside and out. To her right was a cauldron shop, and outside of it was a large stack of cauldrons of all colors and sizes. To her left was a shop with a low hanging sign that read, "Eeylops Owl Emporium," which housed all kinds of owls. A soft hooting emitted from the shop, and Elena thought that she could almost understand it. They were sad, lonely hoots. Unfortunately, Elena wasn't allowed to buy one because her family already had an owl: Elf.
There were shops selling robes, telescopes, wands, brooms, and all other kinds of wizarding items. Windows were filled with books, parchment, quills, potion bottles and ingredients, and moving plants. Elena had to crane her neck to get a good look at everything and everyone. She wished she had about eight more eyes just so she could see it all!
"Welcome," Mother and Father said, "to Diagon Alley!"
"It's beautiful!" Elena whispered to herself, amazed.
"Our first errand is to make a money exchange at Gringotts Bank." They reached a snowy white building that towered over all the other shops. Standing besides its burnished bronze doors, in a uniform of silver and gold, was a...
"That's a goblin," Mother explained as they ascended the steps towards him. "They're very clever creatures, although not the nicest ones."
He was about a foot shorter than Elena, and he had a swarthy, intelligent face; a pointed beard; and very long fingers and feet. He bowed as they entered. This time they were met with a pair of silver doors with writing engraved on them.
Of what awaits the sin of greed,
For those who take but do not earn,
Must pay dearly in their turn,
So if you seek beneath our floors,
A treasure that was never yours,
Thief, you have been warned, beware,
Of finding more than treasure there.
Elena never intended to steal anything, so she wasn't afraid. They walked into a vast marble hall. About a hundred more goblins were sitting on high stools behind a long counter, scribbling in large ledgers, weighing coins in brass scales, examining precious stones through eyeglasses, and talking to customers. The small family made for the center of the counter.
"Hello. We've come to take some money out of the Callen safe," Father greeted, handing the creature a tiny golden key. The goblin inspected it closely.
"That seems to be in order. Griphook!" he called. Griphook was yet another goblin. He held open a set of doors, and Elena was surprised to not see more marble. They were in a narrow stone passageway lit with flaming torches. It sloped steeply downwards, and little railroad tracks were imprinted on the floor. Griphook whistled and a small cart came hurtling towards them on the tracks. They all climbed in and were off.
The cart flew through a maze of twisting passages. Elena tried to remember them all: left, left, right, left, right, right, middle fork, right - but it was impossible. The rattling cart seemed to know its own way, for the goblin wasn't steering.
Elena's eyes stung as the cold air rushed past them, but she kept them wide open, not wanting to miss a second. Once, she saw a burst of bright fire, and she whirled around to confirm her suspicions of it coming from a dragon, but it was too late. The cart was moving too fast. They plunged even deeper and even passed an underground lake where stalactites and stalagmites were growing. The cart stopped at last besides a small door in the passage wall. Griphook unlocked it with the key. A lot of green smoke came billowing out, and when it cleared, Elena gasped. Inside lay mounds of gold, silver, and bronze coins.
"We must be a lot richer than you originally let on, Father. There is a fortune belonging to us, buried deep under London!" Elena commented. He chuckled as he piled some of it into a bag.
"The gold ones are Galleons, the silver are Sickles, and the bronze ones are called Knuts. Seventeen silver sickles to a Galleon, and twenty nine little Knuts to a Sickle. It's easy enough to remember," he explained the currency in detail. Elena nodded as he mentioned this, making sure not to forget the valuable information.
One wild cart ride later, they stood in the blinking sunlight outside Gringotts.
"Alright, time to get your school supplies, Sweetie," Mother said cheerily. Her daughter clapped in appreciation. Finally, she would be able to witness a whole other world in depth; a world she knew practically nothing about, yet was a part of.
The walkway was crowded with witches and wizards of all ages, talking happily or complaining about something. Multiple kids looked to be about the same age as Elena, and she was delighted by this fact.
First, her mother took her to a store stacked to the ceiling with books called "Flourish and Blotts" where they purchased all of Elena's school books - and a few others that Elena begged her parents for, such Hogwarts: A History and Quidditch Through The Ages. She loved reading and devoured all the knowledge that came with it. She read all the titles off the shelves, longing to read them all. Her parents had to literally drag her away from the books.
After that, the family traveled down the narrow lane, passing a myriad of shops that Elena begged to view from the inside. She was a very energetic and extremely curious girl, especially since discovering that magic was real.
They then entered the cauldron shop, where they (much to Elena's dismay) bought a shiny new pewter cauldron (she wanted a gold one). Elena thought it was funny that witches actually brewed potions in these. It was like it was from a fairy tale from the muggle world. Elena also acquired a scale for measuring ingredients, basic potion ingredients, a few quills and ink bottles, lots of parchment, a brass telescope, and some dragon skinned gloves. Then, finally, Elena was told it was time to buy a wand!
Her parents allowed her to do this on her own while they went shopping and caught up with some old friends.
It was a dark and narrow shop, and her shoes echoed on the wooden floor. A bell clanged to let the owner know that someone had entered. The sign out front had peeling gold letters that stated that this shop was called Ollivanders and was opened in 382 B.C. There was a single wand that lay collecting dust on a small, purple cushion on the display outside. There was no one behind the counter, so Elena busied herself by studying the thousands of wands that laid neatly stacked around the walls.
"Good afternoon, Ms. Callen," a soft voice greeted her from somewhere among the rows of wands.
"H-Hello?" Elena stammered, awkwardly. A very old man with a pale face and wide, moonlike eyes stood on a stepladder, scanning the shelves for something of importance.
"It seems like only yesterday your mother was here buying her first wand. 13 and a quarter inch, made of oak and unicorn hair. Your father, too, had purchased a wand from me. 14 inch, made of hawthorn and dragon heartstring. Such a lovely couple they made. I am Mr. Ollivander. Now, let's see..." He drawled on and on about different wands, and Elena tried to look interested in what he had to say. She was really interested in the measuring tape that was measuring - by itself - around her waist, arms, armpits, head, and even between her nostrils! "Which wand will work? Ah, yes. Lets try this one," he said, handing her a wand. "Put it in your wand arm - yes, very good. Now give it a wave." Elena did as she was told. A pile of thin wand boxes flew in all different directions, almost hitting them in their faces. Mr. Ollivander snatched the wand out of her hand and handed her a different one. That one broke a vase that was stored in the corner when Elena waved it. She tried a few more wands, and she began to grow frustrated.
"Why aren't these wands working?" Elena sighed, expressing her thoughts out loud.
"Why of course they work, Ms. Callen - just not for you. You see, it's the wand that chooses the wizard," Ollivander replied immediately. Elena was perplexed. Did wands have minds of their own?
As she pondered this, Mr. Ollivander was flitting about the shelves. He suddenly gave a sigh of relief and handed yet another wand to Elena. "Ash wood, 14 inches, dragon heartstring. Pliable and good for charm work. Powerful, too, I would think, when handled correctly. Go on, give it a wave!" Elena flicked her wrist at the desk in front of her, and all of the sudden, a gust of wind blew at her hair and the wand seemed to glow. The wand was pretty light and slightly bent. It had an intricate pattern of swirls that was carved into the wood that reminded her of vines, and the wand seemed to radiate power. Elena fell in love with it at once.
"Very good, Ms. Callen! Yes, this is the wand for you. It chose you. Congratulations." She was so happy. She had her very own wand, at last! Ollivander reminded her not to use magic outside of Hogwarts and that having a wand was a great responsibility which should only be used for good. Elena promised to remember all of this, and Mr. Ollivander dismissed her with a wave of his hand. He gave her the wand free of charge. Elena skipped out of the shop with glee.
Next, the Callens traveled to a robe shop to get Elena fitted into her uniforms. They were greeted by Madam Malkin. (The store was, after all, Madam Malkin's Robes For All Occasions).
"Hello. Hogwarts, too, then?" The stout witch eyed the young girl. "Come into the back here, I've got another young lady being measured as well."
A girl about Elena's age was standing on a footstool while a second witch pinned her long, black robes. She had a bossy aura about her and very frizzy brown hair. She smiled, revealing buck teeth, and waved. Elena returned the action with a kind smile.
"I'm Elena Callen. Is this going to be your first year at Hogwarts?" Elena said.
"Oh yes," replied the girl, enthusiastically. "I'm Hermione. Muggle born, but I hope you don't mind. I'm so glad I met someone the same age as me."
Madam Malkin ushered Elena to stand on a similar stool next to her, slipped a long robe over her head, and began to pin it to the right length.
"I don't mind. I'm a pureblood, but I didn't even know magic existed until a few days ago! Anyways, I hope that we can become friends! Maybe even sorted into the same house!" Hermione nodded, accepting her request, and from the look on Hermione's face, Elena could tell that she was smart and knew about the wizarding world as well as how it worked.
"Where do you live?" Elena questioned.
"On the outskirts of London."
"My family lives in the outskirts, too! Oh, I do hope that we live close by!" The girls squealed after figuring this out.
"What are you most excited about Hogwarts?" Hermione asked.
"Oh, the classes, definitely. I love to learn - with a passion! I especially wish to be taught how to perform real magic!"
"Why, yes! Isn't it a dream come true?" Hermione gushed.
The girls chatted for a few more minutes until their parents came to get them. The waved goodbye, and Elena held on tight to her parents' arms as they Apparated home. Elena stumbled, her head suddenly heavy.
She showed her parents her wand. They congratulated her and told her she could do great things with this wand.
"Mother, are you sure that I'll thrive at Hogwarts?" Elena braved asking the question, shrinking back in case she was slapped again.
"Oh, absolutely. Lots of students do who don't know two things about magic, even if they're pureblood. You won't be far behind, and with such a brilliant mind like yours, it'll be easy to shoot ahead," she assured her daughter.
"Thanks, Mum," Elena said gratefully. "Where's my Hogwarts ticket? I want to look at it."
On it was all the information. The train left for Scotland at eleven o'clock in the morning - from King's Cross Station, Platform Nine and Three Quarters, to be exact. Elena became extremely confused, but she decided to wait and see how this was possible. Perhaps her parents already informed her of this, and she just forgot it. The wizarding world was full of surprises and tricks. She wanted to discover all of them.
The first of September couldn't come fast enough.