Title: Reflections of London
Characters included: Petra, Desi, Loretta
Summary: Petra reflects on her arrival in London as the three talk about their study group.
“Now for a name” said Desi thoughfully
“A name?” Petra asked cautiously, looking from Desi to Loretta.
“For our study society,” Desi replied simply. “A society must have a name, must it not?”
Petra nodded but said nothing. She was simply happy to have already made some friends, friends that seemed willing to accept her without judgment.
She thought back to her first night in Britain, at a hostel in Dover. It was raining as she fetched her bag and left the ship. She had shown the papers Christian had sent her to a gentleman with the government and he had gruffly directed her off the pier. She blended back into the crowd of passengers moving away from the ship. No one paid her much mind, which was just as well.
The lady running the hostel had been kind and welcoming as she entered, shook the rain from her hair and stripped off her soaked overcoat. Petra had smiled in return and politely asked for a room.
“Where you be from, Missy?” the woman had asked, her tenor having changed from cheery to suspicious with alarming alacrity.
Petra had been taken aback by the sudden change. “Linz, miss, in Austria,” she had replied nervously. The woman had eyed her carefully before nodding and helping her with her bag.
“If’n that be the case, then Missy, I think we may ‘ave some room for the one night.”
And so the night had passed quietly. The next morning Petra had packed her bag, taken her ticket and had made her to the station, asking for directions only as necessary.
Christian’s parents had been nice enough. They had welcomed her like a second daughter, even though she was of no relation. Christian’s father had helped her with her arrangements to travel to England and felt grateful to him enough for that. He worked for the British Ministry of Magic. A few days after arriving, Christian’s mother reported that she had been to a place called Diagon Alley and gotten all the school supplies that Petra and Christian would need for the year. Petra had wondered how she would ever repay this family for their selfless gifts to her.
“But do we really need a name?”
Petra blinked, coming out of her day dream.
“I mean it’s just a study group, Desi, “ Loretta said briskly.
Desi frowned. “It is not a simple study group,” she stated pointedly. “After all, we have already made a pledge to each other, have we not.”
Loretta wasn’t convinced. “Do you name your study groups in Austria, Petra?”
Petra took a moment to collect her thoughts and focus back to the conversation about society names. “I was not in many study clubs back,” she paused a moment, “home.” She looked down at her lap a little embarrassed. It was true, she had few friends to study with in her old school, as they had either turned away from her or simply left school.
“And besides,” Loretta was talking again, “we need to find people who can help out with our other classes. As I said, I know I can carry us in Herbology and most definetly in Care of Maggical Creatures.” She looked at Petra. “Do you really think you can help us through Astronomy?”
Petra smiled and nodded. “I should be able to.” She hesitated. “I am good at my numbers too. You know, algebra.”
The two girls looked at her. “You must mean Arithmancy,” said Desi finally.
Petra flushed. “Yes, that is what I meant.” She looked at the door of the compartment for a moment, her mind racing as she tried to remember the structure of classes Christian had told her about. She had her notes on all the classes and houses and teachers handy in her shoulder bag, but did not feel right referring to it now. She silently resolved not to talk again about her old school without the benefit of her notes.
Loretta spoke up. “Or do you mean ancient runes? I understand they do a great deal with mathematics in that class as well, though no where near as much Arithmancy.”
Petra shook her head and avoided Loretta’s eyes. “No, no. I did speak wrong. I meant arithmancy.”
Desi grinned. “Well I suppose can count on Christian to help us, can we not? What is he good at again?”
“He is very good at all magic, I think,” Petra shared, sounding very impressed with him. Loretta caught this easily and raised an eyebrow.
“You are his cousin?” she asked.
Petra paused. “We are not related,” she admitted. “But his family helped me come to my aunt’s, and he has been much like a brother.” She added, “I have no family but my aunt now.”
“I am quite sorry to hear that,” Desi said sympathetically.
Outside the compartment, Christian Peters watched the girls chatting, and smiled lightly. He had feared that Petra would have a tough time, with the large number of muggle born classmates who might not welcome a new girl who spoke German before she learned English. He turned and headed back towards the front of the train, looking forward to a chance to talk to Minerva without worrying about how Petra was doing on her own.