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#1 Sofie Clement

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Posted 15 September 2016 - 11:01 PM

Diagon Alley felt so different now. Sofie and Schuyler had come here plenty growing up, with their parents, their cousins, their nanny. They lived here in London, not far away at all, so spending an hour window shopping to pass the time was a regular occurrence. But now she was older. Now they were there for her. No more watching her older cousins buy school supplies and leave for four months at a time. No more picking up supplies and gifts for one of her father's events while she stared through store fronts, people watching.

They'd already collected most of the supplies she and Sky would need for school but Sofie had insisted she be allowed to pick out a notebook for Pre-Hogwarts Primary and that it was time she receive a new journal. She'd be learning all kinds of things at the summer program and would need to take adequate notes so a notebook would be necessary. And while she didn't exactly need a new journal, she'd pulled the whole 'starting a new phase in her life' bit and convinced her teary eyed mum it was a stepping stone to adulthood and it required a new journal.

After they'd finished picking up her things, Schuyler helped himself to ice cream and began explaining to their nanny why golf was just so incredibly interesting, while Sofie had elected to wander. No one was surprised.

There weren't too many shops the brunette hadn't explored before, but that wasn't what caught her eye today. She had never possessed too much in the way of self preservation when it came to exploring and trying to discover new things, and so when she approached a shady area near the back of the Alley that looked less than pleasant, there were no gut instincts telling her to turn back around. At least, none she planned to listened to.

This had to be Knockturn Alley. She'd heard of it, of course. She'd just never been allowed to get this close to it before. It didn't look all that scary once you got up close, Sofie decided. What could possibly go on down there that was so bad? Maybe everyone just saw how dark and dingy it looked and jumped to conclusions? That was surely it.

While Sofie had originally planned to just head on in by herself and explore, in the back of her mind she heard her mum telling her not to wander too far by herself. That was usually easy for her. When you had a twin, you never needed to worry about finding someone to do things with. The problem was Schuyler was with nanny, and if she went to get him, she'd have to bring them both and then Sofie wouldn't be allowed back here.

She needed to find someone else. Luckily, she was good at introducing herself to strangers. She just wasn't too certain she'd find someone who wanted to join her on this particular adventure. Turning back towards the crowded street, Sofie scanned the crowd, looking for someone close to her own age who may want to help her. There had to be someone who wanted to see what Knockturn Alley was all about, right?

Approaching a small group of kids who looked to be around her age, Sofie quickly worked her way into their circle. "Hey," she greeted with a smile, "Have any of you ever been to Knockturn Alley? I heard it's pretty cool?" When they all looked at her like she was an idiot and scoffed, walking away, she realized it may be harder than she'd originally thought. Sighing, Sofie realized she may just have to go in alone after all, if she didn't want to pass up this chance to check it out.



#2 Juan Garcia

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Posted 25 September 2016 - 08:28 AM

After their first visit to Diagon Alley, the Garcia boys had thought it would definitely be a good idea to sneak out of their aunt's house and take a nice two-hour trip to London. They'd be back before it got dark anyway. That was the plan. Unfortunately, Juan had not expected them to get stuck at the wall behind the Leaky Cauldron. For roughly an hour after they arrived, the just stood near the wall, waiting for a witch or wizard to come by and let them in.

 

No one came until Tony had started drifting off into sleep, and Rodrigo shook him awake. The witch that had let the three of them in had chuckled, and while their eldest brother tried flirting with her, Tony and Juan had snuck off. The fact that their brother was legally an adult gave them permission to ditch him whenever, okay?

 

Tony was quick to ditch Juan, too, though, when he found a shop that sold all kinds of gadgets. One of those things was apparently called a sneak-o-scope, which made little to no sense to him, but hey, if it got his brother busy for a while. It meant he'd be able to do exploring on his own.

 

Accidentally getting caught up in a crowd of kids talking about racing brooms, he looked up when he heard a semi-familiar voice. Knockturn Alley? "Is that like Diagon Alley?" he asked, pushing away from the rest of the kids as they walked away. He didn't have much to offer to that conversation anyways.

 

"If it's pretty cool, I would've heard of it," he boasted, knowing deep in the recesses of his mind that he probably wouldn't have known anything. His parents weren't magic, so of course he wasn't going to know about anything magical like Knockturn Alley.

 

Juan eyed her, "Is this your way of saying you're looking for a fellow explorer? You've found him, if you are. Name's Juan. Juan Garcia. And you are?"



#3 Sofie Clement

Sofie Clement

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 12:45 AM

Just about to give up her hope of finding someone to check out Knockturn Alley with her, Sofie perked up when someone actually replied to her instead of simply rolling their eyes and walking off. It was a boy she recognized from Pre-Hogwarts Primary. They'd barely interacted yet, but she wasn't going to shy away from someone willing to talk to her. Scratch that, willing to explore with her! Even better!

 

"Um, it's kind of like Diagon Alley? But my dad calls it 'shady'," Sofie didn't really understand what that meant. Diagon Alley had plenty of shade too? But he'd always used it like it was a bad word. "From what I've learned," which wasn't much, "it's not exactly 'age appropriate'. But I wanted to check it out for myself." Because she needed to check everything out for herself.

 

He introduced himself and Sofie grinned at him, "I'm Sofie. We go to PHP together. And I'm definitely looking for someone to explore with me. I never get to explore anything, and how am I supposed to learn anything if I can't go out and see it all myself?" It made perfect sense to her and she was eleven.

 

"It's right over here," she announced, and headed in that direction. He would follow, right? They couldn't explore anything if he didn't go there with her. Sofie stopped when they reached the entrance to Knockturn Alley. Turning toward Juan, she wondered, "Who are you here with? Your parents?" Because the last thing she needed were parents to come and ruin her day. She had her own to worry about, thanks. And they weren't there right now, so she was safe. For the moment.



#4 Juan Garcia

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 01:48 AM

Shady? That was what his parents had once called L.A. Well, the part of L.A. they'd been in at least. Juan shrugged, trying to duck behind the crowd to avoid his brothers if they came around. Odds were, if he was going to do something dangerous, they'd want to get in on it too. And at this point, Juan was pretty sure the muggles would fare less well than he would. He was just keeping them safe, alright?

 

At her explanation, Juan jumped up, "Not age appropriate?!" That was his favourite phrase. Like when they'd gone dirt-biking in Neerim, or snuck into a concert in Budapest. That last one had definitely... been something he'd forever remember.

 

Sofie... He beamed at her, her reasoning for wanting to explore a shady place already quite funny. He understood the desire to go see things just to go see them, to explore for the sake of exploring, for the simple thrill of being able to get caught. At least, that was why he explored. She just seemed too curious.

 

"Sure, why not? What's the worst that could happen? We die?" he laughed, only then realising he was nowhere near a wooden surface to knock on. Oh well. If they died, they died. It wasn't like they could do anything about that.

 

He followed her, pushing through the throngs of people and trying to keep an eye on her mop of brown hair. It was so poofy. How could he get his hair like that?

 

And then he paused. "I snuck out of my aunt's house with my brothers. I honestly don't know where they are," he laughed, pushing an older witch out of the way, "You? I'm assuming you didn't bring your parents if you're exploring."



#5 Sofie Clement

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Posted 28 September 2016 - 11:08 PM

It was hard not to smile at someone who clearly didn't care about the 'not age appropriate' thing. This was someone Sofie would need to be friends with. Anyone who was willing to investigate and explore with her definitely seemed like friend material. And it was pretty lucky that they went to PHP together. She could seek him out there as well. There was still probably plenty to see there that she hadn't yet. 

 

Stopping short when Juan suggested the worst that could happen was they die, Sofie stared at him a moment. Was that supposed to be funny? Probably? But she sometimes struggled with humor. She was used to her brother, who rarely took anything seriously. Other people were often harder to read. "I don't- I don't think we could die..." she trailed off, and finally took a couple steps into Knockturn Alley. 

 

This was so big! And she thought maybe she understood what her dad meant by 'shady' now. Everything was dark, dirty, a bit smelly. And no one looked particularly happy. Sofie was perpetually cheerful, so it was all very foreign to the eleven year old. 

 

"You have brothers? How many? I have just one. He goes to PHP too, actually. I came here with him and our nanny, but they're getting ice cream. I decided I'd rather wander about." Sofie didn't have a self conscious bone in her body, and never really thought too much about the information she shared, or had considered that some people may find it strange for two kids as old as the twins would still have a nanny.

 

Rushing ahead, she spotted a shop and needed to get closer. "Borgin & Burkes? Oh, look at that!" she exclaimed in a very loud whisper. 

 

"We have to go in. Do you think we can go in?"



#6 Juan Garcia

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 05:10 AM

The way she stumbled on her words at the thought of death had him chuckling. He probably shouldn't find that funny, given that it seemed to be a real concern, but Juan had never paid much attention to things being right or wrong. After all, what was acceptable in one place wasn't always okay in another. He'd learned this the hard way.

 

Knockturn Alley was dingy and basically screamed unsafe, kind of like that hand he'd tried to grab onto in that apothecary place where he'd been accused of being a bad wizard. He wasn't a bad wizard! Hell, he wasn't even a good wizard, or a wizard at all yet. Yet! Soon, he would know all the things! And then he'd have something to brag about like all of his siblings did.

 

Juan piqued up at the question, "Two brothers, two sisters. I'm the youngest one, though." When she continued on, talking about her brother, he frowned, "I didn't know magic stayed with more than one person in a family. None of my siblings are magic."

 

He froze when she whispered loudly, thinking they'd already gotten in trouble, gotten caught by her nanny or something. Instead, she was just pointing out a store. Juan looked at the store's windows, trying to figure out exactly what they sold there. It looked terrifying, which meant HELLS YEAH THEY WERE GONNA GO IN!

 

"Of course we can! Come on!" he yelped, grabbing onto her wrist and running towards the store before he knocked into a tall wizard and fell to the floor, pulling Sofie with him, "Sorry!"



#7 Sofie Clement

Sofie Clement

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 01:18 AM

Juan started to laugh a bit and Sofie was sure then that he hadn't actually been worried about dying. Which was good, because dying wasn't something she'd even considered until he brought it up. And if Knockturn Alley was really that dangerous, shouldn't they have made it harder for small children to enter? So it couldn't be that bad, right?

 

"Your family is so big!" Sofie exclaimed, admitting to herself that she was a bit jealous. She loved her family but she had always thought it might be nice to have older or younger siblings. Just some other kids for the twins to hang out with would have been nice.

 

"I'm the oldest," she announced, but quickly added, "by four minutes. And not always? My whole family has magic, but sometimes even if your family is magic, you're not. Or your whole family doesn't have magic, and you do." She shrugged at Juan. "It's magic. I don't think there's always a good explanation." Which could be pretty infuriating for an eleven year old who wanted an explanation for everything.

 

Juan seemed just as intrigued by the shop they'd found as she was, but Sofie wasn't at all sure how to react when he took her wrist in his hand and started for the door. She looked down at his hand as she was pulled along, not quite sure how to react. Sofie didn't touch people, and assumed everyone else would reciprocate. Before she could give it much more thought, he'd slammed into someone and dragged her to the floor with him when he fell over. "Ouch."

 

Oh no, he'd run straight into an adult! Adults were completely anti-funTM and Sofie was sure this guy would ruin everything. "We're so sorry!" she started rambling, hoping that would scare off the older wizard. "We were just on our way in to see our parents, they went in there, excuse us, thank you so much!" Now it was her turn to do the pulling. She grabbed Juan's hand to help him up and headed for the door like her life depended on it. Because what if it did? "What's the worst that could happen?" She asked him, repeating his question from earlier, once the door was firmly closed behind them. 

 



#8 Juan Garcia

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Posted 30 October 2016 - 09:32 PM

He shrugged and nodded along. Yeah, his family was pretty big in comparison to some people he'd met. Juan had to admit that he'd always found it weird when people admitted to having less than three siblings. Or, gasp, the dreaded only child. How boring did that get? True, his sisters didn't really play or explore much, especially Helena since she had kids, but his nephews always tagged along and that was fun sometimes.

 

Oldest by four minutes. "You're a twin?" he asked, eyes wide. His cousins were twins. Man, he really wanted a twin now. As she elaborated on the whole concept of magic and families, Juan frowned. "How does magic in only one person happen?" he asked, a little shaky about the topic now. What if there was something wrong with him? Then how was he supposed to be better or equal to any of his siblings?

 

Recovering from the crash, he was yanked by Sofie as they bolted towards one of the store doors. He laughed as soon as the door closed, "Our parents? Really? I'm pretty, pretty sure in no world would anyone believe that someone would just let their kids wander into Knockturn Alley by themselves."

 

And then he hushed as soon as he started looking around the store, bringing his finger to tell her to shush as well, "Don't ever say that. That's just tempting fate. Odds are we actually will die now. I hope you know who you're giving your PlayStation when you're dead."

 

The store was eerie, now that he looked around, and he could've sworn a few of those eyeballs in the jar were looking at-- "HOLY CRAP THAT ONE JUST MOVED!" he yelled, bolting out of the store, leaving Sofie behind.



#9 Sofie Clement

Sofie Clement

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Posted 23 December 2016 - 04:42 AM

Sofie wasn't sure why Juan was so curious about how magic worked in families, but assumed he was just like her: naturally curious about everything. Unfortunately for them both, she didn't have any answers for him. "I'm not really sure. There is probably a reason for it, but I've no idea what the reason is. Sorry." She shrugged. Was it really that important to him? He had magic, wasn't that cool enough? 

 

Nodding at his next question, Sofie launched right into proud-twin mode. "Yup! His name's Schuyler and he's a lot like me." She paused for a moment. "Well, he's a bit like me. He's much smarter than me, and he likes muggle things like comic books and movies, and he's not really interested in traveling like I am, but besides all that, he's just like me." She nodded again. Though it was probably hard to explain Sky to anyone who hadn't met him yet.

 

When Juan laughed at her lame excuse about their parents, Sofie found herself shrugging again. "Who knows? We could have, like, really awful parents? They don't know?" She found herself laughing as well. She had to admit, it was more than a little ridiculous. Oh well. When he got all serious suddenly, she laughed again. There wasn't much that scared Sofie and that certainly wasn't going to change now. "What's a playstation?" she wondered. She'd never heard of that before, and now she needed to know. It sounded interesting.

 

But suddenly Juan was running out of the shop, leaving her behind on her own. Sofie drew closer to exam the jar of eyeballs that had him running away. When one moved to look her dead in the eye, her eyes widened and a grin split across her face. "That's wicked," she whispered, picking up the glass jar and shaking it a bit. More of the eyes turned to look at her. Laughing at it, Sofie placed it back down on the shelf and left the store, scanning the Alley for Juan again.

 

When she finally spotted him, she grinned. "Those eyeballs? Wicked." She looked around at the shops nearby. "Where to next? Unless you're done exploring for today?" The moving eyeballs had seemed to scare him a bit, after all. He might want to call it quits. 



#10 Juan Garcia

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 11:55 PM

So he'd never actually get to find out if magic had just skipped over his mum and his siblings, or if it was genetics, or what. Well, at least that was good to know now, and next time he went to see his abue he'd be the one to help her with the magical chores. A few of his uncles had managed to be magic, he'd heard, but it wasn't exactly something they heavily advertised in their little pueblo.

 

For one, his abue had always said she didn't want to be doing anybody favours for free, but Juan knew what they'd be regarded as if word got out.

 

"Schuyler," he repeated, trying to come up with an image of what this guy looked like, just from the description of his hobbies.

 

He got bookish and nerdy, and kinda cool to talk to. Like one of those nerds in movies that collects comic books but is also in with like the Movie Club, so people tried to make friends with him to be in movies or something.

 

"He sounds cool. Can't say I know much about comics, but if he likes Star Wars, I'm sure we'll get along fine," Juan added on, basically already claiming Sofie's brother as a friend.

 

Juan's eyes widened when she asked what a PlayStation was, and he mocked hurt, complete with a slap to his heart, "Sofie! It's the most amazing thing ever! You've got to come over at some point to play. My brother's got one too so we can play co-op on like most games. There's not much variet-- YOU HAVE TO PLAY ASSASSIN'S CREED!! YOU'LL LOOOOOOOOVE IT."

 

Conversation now outside, he shrugged, "I have no idea. You were the one that wanted to come here, so you can lead. I already ditched my brothers anyways, so odds are they won't come looking for me until it's dark. If at all."

 

He laughed half-heartedly at the thought, knowing all too well it was a possibility that they just left him in Diagon Alley to his own devices. He could probably get home now. He had ~magic~.



#11 Sofie Clement

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 12:01 AM

Sofie was very proud of her brother and beamed when Juan said he 'sounds cool'. Then it was like he was speaking a foreign language again. Sofie didn't pay much attention to the muggle things Sky was interested in, and she certainly hadn't heard of the things Juan was on about.

 

"That sounds interesting? I don't know where I'd play, though." She did like to try new things, but if what he was talking about was anything like what Sky liked, Sofie wouldn't be too into it. She would give it a chance of course, because you had to try things to figure out if you enjoyed them or not. And Juan did seem very enthusiastic about it, so maybe it would be cool.

 

Her mouth dropped open when he told her he'd ditched his brothers and that they probably wouldn't bother looking for him till it was dark. While yes, she'd ditched her brother as well, Schuyler hadn't wanted to go exploring with her. And Polly would certainly have gone looking for her as soon as she realized she wasn't in the shop like she said she'd be, but Sky was covering for her like a good brother. Juan didn't seem too surprised or upset about it though.

 

"Well, I could help you look for them? If you like?" Looking at the time, Sofie realized just how long they'd been in Knockturn Alley and thought now might be a good time to make their way back to Diagon Alley anyway. "We should probably head back now, d'you think? Polly'll start looking for me soon."

 

This had been so much fun though. She needed to make sure Juan planned on being her friend, because she certainly planned on being his. "We could explore a bit in Crystal Fountain Park sometime? I still haven't found anything particularly interesting but there has to be something." Because there were interesting things everywhere if you really looked hard enough.



#12 Juan Garcia

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 06:27 PM

Where would she play it? Oh right. From the sounds of it, she was more from one of those super wizarding families. He'd gotten the best of both worlds, it seemed, but not many others got that opportunity. Juan shrugged, "If you wanted, you could come over and play on mine. We've already got all the games anyways. We'd just have to wrangle the TV from my nephews."

 

The fact that she was so innately surprised by the fact that he'd ditched his brothers made Juan want to laugh. Really? She was suddenly so concerned? "Well, it's always like this whenever we visit someplace. My parents would always let us go off on our own. Normally we have money if things go wrong, but I've got my phone if anything. I can call like... a cab or something."

 

He nodded in agreement at the thought of leaving Knockturn Alley. The place honestly was a bit off-putting and he couldn't exactly explain why this entire place spooked him. "Sure. Who's Polly?" he asked, not really expecting an answer as they made their way away from the creepy store and the really weird grownups.

 

When she suggested exploring Crystal Fountain Park, Juan nodded enthusiastically, "I haven't actually gotten to see a lot of it because I was trying to make friends with Pancake. The pig. But I'm always up for adventures of any kind."

 

Juan walked towards Flourish & Blotts, the last place he'd seen Rudy and gave a sigh of relief when he noticed one of his brothers just nonchalantly leaning on the wall, reading a book with moving pictures.

 

"I hope he bought that," Juan groaned, moving slowly further and further away from Sofie, "Well, I had fun. Thanks for... running into me, I guess. I'll see you at PHP though! We definitely have to explore the park."

 

He waved goodbye and walked over to Tony, eyeing him as if to question how the book had been acquired. "Rudy got it. Chill," his brother responded, reading his mind. Juan rolled his eyes, only now noticing his other brother was inside the book store, paying for yet another book. Well, at least it was all very legal this time around.

~ Fin ~







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