A Wizard's Pilgrimage
Her group of friends were a strange and mismatched lot, Lydia thought with a smile as she adjusted her book bag on her shoulder and made a mental list making sure that she had packed everything in her now shrunk trunk before leaving her dorm. She was currently in Hogsmeade awaiting her friends coming from all of Hogwarts' four house to reenact the ancient custom of exploring the world, both magical and muggle, after one's graduation. They had decided to leave as soon as possible, just after their graduation ceremony as they were all extremely excited by the thought of spreading their wings and learning new things hand on instead of in a stuffy classroom like usual. It was going to be a blast, Lydia thought!
Sighing to herself, she decided that buying a better bag for the travel would be good and thus walked to Twillfit & Tattings to browse for a decent and, most importantly, not all beat up, travelling back for her next adventure. She took no time in finding what she was looking for and made her way back to the group's rendezvous point, the Three Broomsticks Inn.
Humming to herself happily, a brilliant smile never left her lips for the whole trip as her lacy casual robes twirled in the evening summer air. A new age was dawning, she could feel it!
Ben sat down in the Three Broomsticks inn, putting his backpack on the ground. He bought it just before his exams to make sure he had some choice. It still wasn't a great one, but it was decent enough. He didn't order yet. His friends would be here soon.
Leaning back he took of his grandpa style cap and put it in the pocket of his coat. On the other side a small head popped up out of his coat. Keira looked around, sniffing up all the smells of the different liquers. With a smile Ben took her out of his pocket before he took of his short dark brown coat. Gently stroking Keira he mumbled "Alright girl, this is it."
Max exited the Hog's Head and started walking towards the Three Broomsticks Inn with his new backpack slung over his shoulder. His parents had made sure that he'd purchased it before leaving on his travels, feeling that it would help him stand out less in the muggle world. Apart from the essentials, Max had also packed two cases of Hog's Head Brew, 48 in total. It may have seemed excessive, but after his parents had gifted him with fifty galleons as a graduation present, he decided that he would be best spent taking a taste of home with him.
Sure, he could have gotten some Butterbeer and saved some galleons, but you could get Butterbeer anywhere in the wizarding world. That, and Max was enjoying being able to buy it now.
There was slight uncertainty in his mind as he made his way to the Inn. He had never really traveled before and there was a lot that could go wrong, a lot that he couldn't anticipate.
His concerns were quickly pushed aside, however, as he caught sight of Lydia Lovett exiting Twillfit & Taffings, the sight of one of his traveling companions distracting him enough that he forgot his concerns.
"Hey, Lydia! Wait up!" He called as he started to jog after the newly graduated Ravenclaw witch.
Nymia grumbled to herself, as she walked toward the Three Broomsticks; it wasn't that far off. She was dressed in a convincing Muggle outfit, in preparation of the journey. A black backpack with Muggle pins and stitched images and words, was swung over her shoulder. She wore a rugged looking traveling cloak, with a pocket sown in for her wand. Her black faded combat boots kicked up a small cloud of dirt, around her black leggings. A baggy short-sleeved tee, which was decorated with the British flag, fell off one of her shoulders. It fluttered with the wind, against a 'hipster' leather belt, which had a few compartments on it.
Hogsmeade wasn't as busy with students, as it usually was on holiday, and she preferred it this way. She was feeling nervous about this Pilgrimage, seeing she was only doing it, because Miss Haworth badgered her about it, for two whole months before her graduation. It wasn't helping, that the strap was now digging into her shoulder, (the consequence of lazy packing) and a shoe was eating at her lower back, through the backpack. She silently scoffed at her stupidity, of not allowing Zuna and Makoons to pack it for her. The contemplation of buying an undetectable extension handbag, seemed beneficial, but she disliked the idea of walking around, with a purse-like object. A sense of nostalgia took over. She knew she would miss their crazy and bubbly personalities. They were more like small friends than house-elfs, and she had even gone to the extent, of playing wizard's chess with them, before her departure. Unlike the other students, she had traveled home to say a farewell to her pet lynx and owl, and to take one last look at a place she hadn't seen for nearly eighteen years. She packed light and smart, with a few books that would give insight, in case of emergencies, and a large sum of money.
She paused in her tracks as her heart began to race. Last she recalled, she knew very little of the students she would be travelling with, and a few of them were Slytherin! Just a glimpsing thought of her past school life, and the taunting names, was enough to make her regret her decision. "This'll be fun." she retorted sarcastically. There were two more Gryffindor’s, but even Amelia Capello and Emma Robinson, who shared similarities, didn't seem to pacify the uncomfortable butterflies. She feared becoming another potential loner.
She slowed her gait, as she caught sight of a young wizard, flagging down a young witch, up ahead. As soon as they disappeared from view, she pulled out a small leather-bound book and a white self-inking dove quill, from her coat pocket. She began writing in her new journal. Reminder. This is the first and last time, I will ever let anyone, annoy me into doing something I don't want to! She slid the journal back into her pocket, before placing her quill behind her ear.
She pulled on the door of the Three Broomsticks Inn and entered. Madam Rosmerta looked up from a half polished glass, and rose a brow at her. "What can I do for you?" She asked, as Nymia quickly made her way to the bar, without having a look around.
"Er... Pumpkin juice?" She nearly whispered, as she lowered her backpack to her feet, and took a seat. "Thanks." She instinctively replied, as the drink touched the counter. A few of her punk bracelets jingled, as she pulled out her bag of money. She quickly snuck a look over her shoulder, to see how many graduates she could pick out. Her throat went dry. After chugging the entire drink in a single gulp, she let out a sigh, re-shouldered her backpack, and made her way toward others. "Here goes."
Grant walked out of the post office. He'd been packing for his trip earlier when he had come across some things he decided were better to leave home. As such he had made a stop on his way to the meeting place to send them home, along with a quick owl to his parents. He stopped just a few steps outside the door to readjust the straps his backpack. His older siblings had helped him find an appropriate bag for travelling. It had a few extension and organziation charms on it, however it held an appearance and weight consistent with a Muggle backpacker's pack. It was a little larger than most might look, but it fit his frame well. The bag had been a bit expensive, but his brother and sisters had helped him out as a graduation present so it set him back about 30 galleons. The pack contained clothes and robes, food, a few travel and phrase books from both Muggle and magical perspective, more books on various magical creatures and plants, and camping and cooking supplies. A deck of playing cards, gobstones, and a football were also in there. Against his family's advice, he'd also packed a broom. Not his prized Nimbus 2100 but his brother's old Nimbus 2010.
He made his way to the Three Broomsticks to meet up with the group. Despite his close friendship with some of the other graduates, he didn't know the others too well. In all honesty he would have preferred to make this trip with his Quidditch teammates, but none of the other member of the team were in his year. Still, he had no complaints about this group and believed it would be a good experience.
He took a quick look at his reflection in the window as he approached the inn. He'd left the castle in Muggle clothing so he wouldn't have to change later. He wore a dark green henley and jeans and sneakers. He was well acquainted with Muggle clothing as most young witches and wizards were so it hadn't been to difficult to pack everything for his trip. He entered the pub and caught sight of the table where one of their group had already sat down. He nodded to him and walked to the bar. He gave his drink order to Rosmerta, giving her his most charming smile. Ogden's Old in hand he walked up to the table.
He removed his backpack setting it with a light thud on the floor. "Ah, Brewer my friend! You ready for this? The cities! The sights! The monuments! The mountains, forests, and caves! The beasts! The women..." With a chuckled, he plopped down in the seat across from Ben. He leaned back, comfortably taking a sip of his drink.
A grin appeared on Ben's face as Grant walked in. He took Keira from the table and dropped her in the left pocket of his grey checkered blouse. his backpack had four compartments. On both sides one normal to make it look like his whole backpack was filled. The main compartment was the biggest, and also the only one that had shrunken stuff in it. The last one was concealed just behind the right compartment of his bag. This one for his wand ofcourse.
Grant sat down as Ben took some galleons out, raising his hand up. "One firewhiskey please!" He said smiling before he looked at Grant. "I'm ready for this, finally out there with some fellow wizards and witches" he said before he quickly walked up to the bar and took his whiskey. The remaining galleons he dropped in a pocket of his cargo pants, before sitting back down. He took a sip, feeling the bitter drink going down. "I even took my broom with me, it's the first time i don't have to train out there." He said smiling.
"But how about you. Have you packed your nimbus 2100? Would be cool seeing you catching up with an airplane."
The young witch was thinking about where she would like to go first in this trip she was about to undertake with her companions when she was interrupted with one of them, Maximilian Moonborn, to be precise. Hearing his cry to slow down, she awaited for the young blond to catch up with her, her delicate left hand on the strap of her new bag as she smiled in greeting to the other, her laced leather boots scrapping on the paved street of the small wizarding village as she did so.
After Max arrived they continued on their way to the Three Broomsticks together, chatting amiably all the while before they entered the inn, soon finding two of their companions on a nearby table.
“Greetings, gentlemen,” said Lydia as she ordered a Butterbeer for herself from Rosemerta, wanting to remember a piece of her childhood before starting on the way to adulthood.
Entering the Inn behind Lydia, Max looked over to the other students she greeted while ordering a Butterbeer. Max would have done the same, but he'd spent his graduation galleons on the Hog's Head Brew.
Oh well, consequences, I guess. He thought to himself.
Max recognised Grant from his Charms classes, but the redheaded boy's name escaped him. Hadn't he seen him in Muggle Studies? Also at the bar, looking around somewhat nervously, was petite young girl with short brown hair whom Max also recognised from Muggle Studies. It seemed the excitement of their impending travels was messing with his memory.
Walking up to the brown haired girl, Max mentioned quietly, "Uh... You've got a pumpkin juice mustache..."
Looking the petite girl up and down, Max realised that he would probably be better changing into muggle clothes, too. The uniform he was wearing right now wasn't exactly conspicuous.
"Hey, sorry to greet and dash, but I just need to change into something more... muggly. I'll be right back!" Max excused himself as he dashed to the restrooms to change.
Grant laughed and shook his head. "I got in enough trouble for that last time" He referred to the the incident over the Christmas holiday of their sixth year when he had done just that with his brand new broom. A few Muggles had sighted him and one had taken a photograph. Of course the Obliviators were dispatched and everything was smoothly covered up as soon as the plane landed. The consequences were mitigated by a friend of his mother's in the Improper Use of Magic Office, but he was still threatened with expulsion and had the broom temporarily confiscated. Of course he'd repeated the storied dozens of times, to the point where he now claimed to have performed dozens of aerial maneuvers to show off for the Muggles. "I brought my brothers old broom though. Still in great shape, an excellent model. I was thinking flying with dragons might be more fun though," he joked.
He caught sight of Lydia, an old friend and waved her down. "Lydia, the witch in charge herself. Everything's ready to go?" he asked, moving over to make room for the slowly arriving group.
Nymia's heart stopped, as soon as one of the group’s member's, Max Moonborn, walked over to her. She was not expecting to get thrown into instant communication, and the look he gave her, made her wish she had not entered the Inn at all. Her face burned hot, as he leaned in to quietly point out, her pumpkin-juice mustache. She felt so stupid and extremely awkward, as he looked her up and down, before instantly disappearing out of sight.
She could see more members arriving, but hesitated to join them. Sitting at the table, was none other than, Grant Dewitt. Although he never gave her trouble, during her years at Hogwarts, she doubted any kind remarks on his behalf. Without another word, she joined the group and picked a seat, as far away from Grant as possible. She plunked down her backpack and sat there, fiddling with the chain of her pocket watch. The minutes seemed to go by slowly, and she hoped with all her might, that no one would bother her with questions. She also wished Amelia and Emma would hurry, even if they weren't that close.