Hi! Welcome to The Phoenix! Now, before you get started, I have to mention, please don't judge the bad writing here - I do get better I promise! When I have time, I will be going back over and editing the earlier chapters to make them somewhat decent, but for now, you'll just have to grin and bare them!
The X-men and Potter seems like a obscure choice for a cross over but I assure you, I have lots of ideas and plan to take this story up until the end of the first wizarding war - possibly further, so this will be a longgggggg story. So buckle up, rest your feet and relax!
DISCLAIMER - Anything recognisable isn't mine!
Stood in the centre of the circular room, Eleanor Douglas couldn't help but stare. Not even at one area, just the entirety of it. The walls were huge and covered in art. Tapestries hung down creating a temporary partition from the hind area. A cabinet filled with potions stood to her right. A huge phoenix perched on a stand was to her left. The subjects of the paintings on the walls moved around as they pleased. The whole room just screamed 'magic'. Although, she thought, it was to be expected seeing as though it was the office of the headmaster of a school for witches and wizards. The man himself sat in front of her. His long grey hair blended into his beard, almost reaching the floor. His tall hat bent over at the end, too long to stand straight. Eleanor watched as his lilac robes ruffled slightly, his eyes glancing up at her; full of kindness. At once she could tell that this man demanded respect, whether intentionally or not she wasn't sure yet. It was incredibly intimidating standing before him. Her only life line was that she wasn't alone. The man who had become almost a father figure was beside her – the difference being that he was a damned sight more comfortable. She tore her eyes from the décor to look at him.
He sat tall in his wheelchair, deep in conversation with the other man. Eleanor would miss him. He had become her family. He had kept her safe from those who would like to do her harm – and kept her from harming others by teaching her control. Growing up, she had never realised that anything about her was abnormal. She had thought it completely average to be able to hear others thoughts, everyone could do that right? Her parents had just laughed off all of the 'coincidences' when she had answered unspoken words, however when she began to move things without touching them, they were forced to consider that all was not as it seemed. Telekinesis was a bit harder to ignore.
"Eleanor," A voice in her mind snapped her attention back to the room. Her eyes focused back on the two professors. Professor Charles Xavier, her professor, smiled at her gently. She knew he had heard her internal nostalgia – having a teacher who could read your mind certainly took some getting used too.
"Sorry Professor," She smiled at the older man sat across the desk from her, suddenly realising she had been spoken too.
"That's quite ok my dear," Professor Dumbledore chuckled slightly, "It does take some getting used too I suppose." He gestured to the art on the walls, wrongly assuming that was what had grabbed her attention. Every piece included a person, who was seemingly alive and talking away to other painted people. They all seemed thrilled to have a student in the headmaster's office, clearly expecting some form of punishment to occur. "I was just saying that perhaps instead of joining the first years later this evening, you might prefer to be sorted into your house in here? Having a student begin their journey at Hogwarts in their fourth year is most unusual so unfortunately we have no protocol for this situation."
"Oh, ok then," Relieved, Eleanor agreed; she wasn't looking forward to being the shiny new toy, it was difficult enough leaving her entire world behind to enter a new one without being gawked at by hundreds of her peers.
Dumbledore clapped his hands, "Brilliant."
As he got up and headed to a hat stand near the door of his office, Eleanor looked over to her security blanket. He smiled up at her. "You will be fine, El. I know it's a big change but we both know you can do this." A soft smile played on her lips. Sure, she was ok now, but what about when Professor Xavier left and went back to America? She would be alone with everything she knew thousands of miles away on the other side of the world. Taking a deep breath she attempted to brush the worries from her mind and plastered a grin on her face. The professor clearly wasn't convinced but he, thankfully, didn't say anything.
"Now then," Dumbledore turned back to them, a large brown hat in his hands, "All you have to do is place the hat on your head and it will tell you your house." She had been told about the houses of Hogwarts briefly by Professor Xavier on the flight over. Hufflepuff, Slytherin, Ravenclaw and Gryffindor were their names but to Eleanor they were just funny words. Since meeting with Dumbledore he had explained to her the importance of her house and how they would 'become her family' apparently. The four 'funny words' were actually the surnames of the creators of Hogwarts. Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw and Salazar Slytherin. Apparently alliteration was big back then.
As the old rag was placed on top of her blonde hair, her mind suddenly exploded with a voice.
"Ooo, you're a new kind. I've never sorted one like you before. This should be a treat!" Eleanor felt her mind being invaded as the old hat spoke, "Lots of kindness in here, you'd do well in Hufflepuff, but what about these brains? Ravenclaw would definitely help you to expand your mind. Not that you need too," The hat chuckled to itself, "You have ambition for Slytherin that's for certain but also the bravery for Gryffindor. Hm, what shall I do with you?" Eleanor's eyes met Professor Xavier's, she could see his face twinkle with amusement as he listen to the internal conversation. Another deep breath. Her nerves were trying to creep back in. She would be ok. She could do this. "I think I'll go with…" The hat finished the sentence out loud, "Gryffindor!"
It was slightly anticlimactic. Eleanor looked at the headmaster for some inclination on what that meant as he reached up to remove the hat from her.
Placing the hat back upon the stand, Dumbledore turned back to her, "Well my dear, it seems you are a Gryffindor. 'Where dwell the brave at heart' or so the saying goes." He smirked in amusement.
Eleanor was confused; was that supposed to be a compliment or…? She could see Professor Xavier smiling as they turned back to the desk. "If you have any questions, either a teacher or the Gryffindor prefects will be able to answer them. However, I have a feeling you will do just fine."
Knowing eyes looked down at her. She smiled and nodded at him. "Now, in a few moments, the other students will arrive and the sorting feast will begin in the Great Hall. If you would like to say your goodbyes, we can go and get seated before the chaos begins," His laugh was far from Eleanor's mind as she faced her professor, her old professor, she corrected herself. She saw his lips twitch downwards as he heard her.
"I know you'll do us all proud Eleanor," His voice was sad, "You never do anything else." He pushed himself forward and reached for her hand, "You've done this before, and you can do it again. I know you can." His belief in her had never wavered in the four years she had known him. Even before she developed control over her powers she could feel how certain he was that she could succeed. "I might just use Cerebro on Saturday if you should happen to be listening." He added inside her mind. She smiled at that. A few years back, Professor Xavier had created, with help, a machine that amplified his already incredible powers of telepathy tenfold. It enabled him to find other mutants like himself, like Eleanor, all across the world. In fact, the machine was how he did find Cerebro, Eleanor would be able to keep in touch with the Professor with ease.
She looked to Dumbledore who was stood at the exit, door wide open, waiting patiently.
"Goodbye Professor," She leant down and hugged her surrogate father quickly before striding out the office. The finality of the situation wasn't lost on her. She knew that the mutant world was dangerous, what if she never saw him again? She shook her head, clearing it of silly thoughts. Don't be stupid El, you're just being dramatic, she told herself. Out of the corner of her eye she could see Professor Xavier rolling out of the archway, a smile playing on his lips.
A woman with dark green robes and a stereotypical witches hat came around the corner, "Oh good, perfect timing Professor." She said to Dumbledore, "Is this our new student?"
"She is indeed, Professor McGonagall. This is Eleanor Douglas and Professor Charles Xavier."
"Pleasure to meet you Professor, and you too Eleanor." The witch had an aura similar to Dumbledore's - in other words, you do not mess with her. Eleanor began to wonder if all teachers at this school were so intimidating.
"Lovely to meet you too." Professor Xavier nodded to her.
"Minerva, could you please escort our newest Gryffindor to the Great Hall?" He gestured to Eleanor, "Professor McGonagall is your head of house Miss Douglas."
Professor McGonagall agreed and turned to her new student, "If you'd like to follow me."
Eleanor took one more look at Professor Xavier before nodding, mostly to herself, and setting off after the teacher.
It was difficult to keep up. Not because Professor McGonagall walked particularly fast, but for the fact that Eleanor kept getting distracted by the school. Every part of the building was incredibly impressive.
"As I'm sure Professor Dumbledore explained to you," Professor McGonagall spoke after a while, "all staff are aware of your… abilities," She fumbled around for the right word, "So if you find yourself having troubles, don't hesitate to contact one of us." Eleanor mumbled a thank you, letting the conversation die so she could once again admire the beauty of her new school.
The great hall was still empty, save for a few teachers who sat at the long table at the head of the hall, when they reached it. Eleanor gasped as she entered the large doors. The ceiling was replaced with a starry night sky, candles floated in the air, lighting up the giant room, huge glass windows covered most of the walls, dissolving into the sky above. In the centre of the teachers table was a huge, throne-like chair. Professor McGonagall led her up to the top of the hall, past the four long, wooden tables that she assumed were for students.
"This is the Gryffindor table," She said pointing to one in particular. The sudden sound of excited voices stole both of their attention, "If you'd like to take a seat, the other students will be joining us shortly." With that she left.
"Ok," Eleanor said to herself taking a deep breath as she swung her leg over the stool. Her nerves had made another unwanted appearance. The voices of the students outside was becoming louder as the butterflies in her tummy flew harder. A few deep breaths calmed her slightly but the knowledge of the impending stampede of students was still very much at the forefront of her mind.
The large doors at the bottom of the hall groaned as they were opened up. Glancing up at the professors table, Eleanor saw that Dumbledore had somehow appeared and was smiling down at the hundreds of students currently teaming into the hall. She dared herself to look down towards the doors and almost immediately regretted it. What felt like every pair of eyes, but was realistically probably only the Gryffindor's, was on her, obviously wondering what this strange fourth year was doing sitting at their table.
Nervously smiling at a few of them, Eleanor looked around the room for a familiar face. Dumbledore was engaged in what looked like an intense conversation with another professor she didn't know yet and McGonagall was talking to a redhead student who looked around her own age. She slowly turned back towards the students who had started to sit around her. They looked to be all different ages, obviously year groups weren't separated here. Everyone within a ten foot radius was staring at her, all while trying to not make it obvious – no one was succeeding. Eleanor opened her mouth to introduce herself to a couple of girls who sat opposite her but before she even got the words out they diverted their eyes, pretending to be in deep conversation with one another. She let out a sharp breath, looking down at the table in front of her to stop the blush that was crawling up her cheeks becoming obvious.
"Hi," A voice from beside her said, "I'm Lily Evans, you're new here right?" Eleanor looked up and saw the girl who Professor McGonagall had been talking to folding her legs over the seat to sit next to her.
"Yeah, I'm Eleanor," She took the hand that had been extended to her and shook it gently, "Nice to meet you."
Lily smiled back at her, "Nice to meet you too! This is Alice and Mary," She gestured to two girls who made themselves comfortable next to her, "Guys, this is Eleanor, she's new this year, she's our new dorm mate," Whatever inclining Eleanor had that McGonagall had sent Lily over to introduce herself was just confirmed in her eyes, obviously Professor McGonagall had told this girl about her. Alice and Mary smiled and both sent a small wave her way.
"Where did you transfer from?" Mary asked, "Beauxbatons?" Now this is a situation you should've thought about, Eleanor thought to herself, What are you going to say? No, actually, I went to Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. No, it's not a wizarding school, it's actually a school for mutants, which I am, a mutant, y'know, not human. But anyway, it's really nice to meet you. She shook her head slightly to clear away the condescension from her inner monologue. Thankfully she was saved from explaining further as Dumbledore stood and raised his hands. Eleanor couldn't help but be in awe of the way he captivated the entire room without a word, he reminded her of Professor Xavier. As he spoke she looked around the room at her fellow students, by the looks of things, she was the only one not looking up at the headmaster – well, her and four boys who sat further down the Gryffindor table looking at something one of them hid in his hands. They were in quiet hysterics and Eleanor could see them trying to keep from bursting out laughing in the otherwise silent hall.
"…The sorting of a student is one of the most important events that will take place over the school year. It sets each and every one of you on to different paths with different people. Now, Professor McGonagall will call your name and you will come forwards to be sorted," He spoke to the first years, gesturing to a stool that was holding a familiar hat, "After that you will go and sit with your house, and then, we shall all enjoy a magnificent start of year feast!" He clapped his hands together as he finished talking; Professor McGonagall took this as her cue and started calling names.
In the end, Gryffindor received only 6 new students, including Eleanor, Hufflepuff received 7, Ravenclaw received 9 and Slytherin received 7. Most of the small first years looked terrified to be where they were; Eleanor sympathised completely.
"Well now that that's taken care of, just a couple of short announcements. Most of you will know by now but I must implore upon you to avoid the Forbidden Forest at all costs – it is aptly named and anyone found there will face severe consequences. And secondly, Mr Filch has asked me to remind you that the list of banned objects hangs outside his office; this list includes, but is not limited to, dungbombs, fizzing wizbees and fanged Frisbees." Behind her, Eleanor could hear sniggering coming from the four boys down the table, she turned and saw Lily looking at them in disgust.
Lily caught her eye and smiled, "Don't worry about them, they just think they're funny," She whispered quietly.
"If there are no objections from anyone, I believe it is time we ate! Let the feast begin!" Dumbledore once again clapped his hands together as he finished talking, however this time Eleanor struggled to contain her gasp. The table in front of her was filled with food. Any and every kind, from puddings to roasts to salads.
"Wow, ok," Eleanor breathed.
Lily laughed beside her, "Oh, I forgot! It takes some getting used too that's for sure,"
"You could say that again. I don't think I've seen this much food in my entire life!" She looked up and down the long table taking in the sheer size of everything. Hogwarts doesn't do anything by halves, she thought to herself. Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters was well funded, by Professor Xavier himself, but even they didn't eat like this. Students left, right and centre were filling their plates with so much food that Eleanor doubted whether they would be able to eat it all. Her musings were stopped short by loud banging. She, like everyone else, looked up to see fireworks bursting through the 'night sky'. Colours exploded and filled the hall as they trickled down to the ground. Smiling as she watched more fireworks erupt, she first thought that this was meant to happen, maybe a start of year feast included fireworks? What did she know? It was her first day. One look at Lily's face though told her a different story.
"Those idiots, that could've gone really wrong," Following Lily's eye line, Eleanor found the four boys from earlier high fiving each other, "How childish can they be?" Lily tutted and looked back at Eleanor, "Honestly, those four boys are the biggest imbeciles in the entire school, it starts with fireworks but then the next thing you know, someone has their trousers pulled down to their ankles and are being held up in the air by their leg," Obviously reading Eleanor's facial expression Lily quickly added, "I mean, they just play pranks a lot, against the other houses mostly." Eleanor smiled at her and turned back to her food; in her peripheral vision she saw Lily wince slightly before digging in herself.
The rest of the feast passed uneventfully and Eleanor was very quickly stuffed. It seemed as though Lily, Alice and Mary had unanimously decided to take her under their wing; though whether it was their decision or Professor McGonagall's, Eleanor wasn't sure. Either way, she was extremely grateful that someone was helping her through what felt like a surreal experience.
When the meal was over, Dumbledore stood and told the prefects to lead their houses back to the dormitories.
"There are a couple other girls in our room," Lily started as they followed the crowd of Gryffindors, "Oh, watch your step! That one's a trick step, see? Anyway, their names are Dorcas and Elsie, they're pretty cool," Eleanor nodded along, trying to inconspicuously calm herself as she watched in wonder as the stair cases above them moved as they liked, "Oh yeah, that happens," Lily finished off lamely as she followed her eyes, "I should really make a list of things for you to watch out for around here.
Eleanor looked up and saw Lily tapping her finger against her lips, "It's fine," She laughed, "I imagine it's just going to take a bit of getting used to."
The crowd of people suddenly stopped at the top of the staircase and were informed that this was the entrance to the Gryffindor common room; a painting called 'The Fat Lady'. After telling the students the password, the prefect, whose name Eleanor still didn't know, lead them all inside.
The common room was a large circular room, it almost reminded her of Dumbledore's office. Red and gold screamed out at her with lions dancing around the walls. In the centre sat four red sofas that faced a large fire pit, which was already roaring. Older students dispersed through different archways whilst the prefect stood talking to the first years.
"Our room is up here El," Lily pointed to where the other girls were headed, "It's ok if I call you El right?"
Eleanor laughed, following her up the stairs, "Sure."
Half way up to their room, laughter was heard coming from the common room and Lily turned to look in that direction sighing, "Looks like the Marauders are here,"
"Oh, the Marauders. These four boys in our year who think they are god's gift. The guys who set the fireworks off at the feast? Yeah, that's them," Lily looked like she was going to continue her little rant but Alice interjected.
"Yes, yes Lily we know, the Marauders are arrogant little toerags, purposely put on this earth to annoy you," She laughed waving her hand in Lily's face before turning to Eleanor, "In case you hadn't noticed, Lily doesn't like them very much,"
"Yeah, I can see that," She replied, trying her hide her smile.
"It's not that I don't like them, I just don't appreciate bullies," Lily sighed, arguing her case as she pushed open the door to their room. It was a large room that held six, four poster beds, each draped in red curtains. At the end of each bed was an ottoman. "All your clothes and things will already be up here. This must be your bed," Lily pointed to a bed as she sat on the one next to it. Eleanor looked up to see Alice and Mary heading to the two beds on the other side of the room.
Sitting down on the side of the bed, she looked around the room. Everything seemed to so big and overwhelming. She could feel her mind trying to stretch; desperate to expand and invade those around her. It had been one of the biggest problems she had when she first met Professor Xavier. In fact it had taken most of her first year there to build up the wall she had created. This wall was there to prevent the inner voices of those around her assaulting her mind. She still had trouble with her ability to control the wall, if she focused, she could easily burst through and be enveloped by the voices, it was building it back up that she struggled with. But to her, essentially sacrificing her telepathy was worth it for the peace and quiet she got in return.
The door to the room opened and in walked two girls who she assumed were Dorcas and Elsie. They jumped over to Alice, Mary and Lily, grasping them in tight hugs. Excited squeals were heard before they pulled back and noticed Eleanor.
"Oh hey, I heard we had a new girl! This is so cool!" The blonde came over to her, "I'm Dorcas!" Grabbing her shoulders, Eleanor was pulled into a hug, "This is Elsie," She gestured to the brunette stood next to her who waved gently.
"Hi, I'm Eleanor," She choked out when Dorcas released her.
"It's so nice to meet you! We're going to have so much fun this year! It's fourth year girls! Last year before the hard work starts and damn if we're not going to make the most of it! So where are you from?" Dorcas turned her excitable gaze back to Eleanor, "What school did you go to? How're you liking Hogwarts so far? I remember I was so amazed when we first started back in first year, although I guess it's different starting in fourth year. If you need any help or anything, I'm here, and so is Elsie, and Lily, and Mary, and Alice-"
"Ok Dor, take a breather," Mary laughed, "You're going to frighten the poor girl to death!"
"Oh no! I'm sorry! I didn't mean to overwhelm you! It's just so exciting having someone new!"
Eleanor laughed slightly at her worried expression, "It's fine, honest,"
Dorcas seemed happy as she turned back to her bed and flung herself on to it, squealing, "It's a new year girls! And I have a feeling that this year is going to be the best one yet!"
The evening wore on and the girls were getting settled in their room. Eleanor was pleasantly surprised at how included she felt; she wasn't a pessimistic sort but 13 year old girls didn't have the greatest stereotype. They were all sprawled across Alice and Mary's beds chattering away as if she had known them years instead of hours. She could see Lily glancing in her direction every now and then, her mothering instinct shouting out loud and clear. It was sweet of her to worry but she didn't need too. Eleanor was thoroughly enjoying her first evening at Hogwarts – granted classes hadn't started yet, but it had only been several hours and she already felt confident in her friend making abilities.
"So Lily, has James spoke to you yet?" Elsie grinned at Lily as she groaned.
"Don't start Els, I've had enough of Potter for the entire year and we haven't even started yet,"
"Who is this?" Eleanor laughed.
"James Potter, Marauder, quidditch player and self-proclaimed king of Hogwarts," Dorcas answered as Lily groaned again, "He's fancied Lily since the first day of first year, and I'm not sure if you can see by our dear Lily's reaction, but she doesn't like him much,"
"Marauder? So he's one of those four guys who set the fire works off right?" Eleanor smiled to which they all, except Lily who was still hiding her face in her hands, nodded, "Wait a second, what's quidditch?" Five faces gawped back at her, "What?"
"Seriously where did you come from? I thought everyone in the wizarding world had heard of quidditch?!"
"You must be a muggleborn right?"
"Still, even muggleborns know what quidditch is!"
"Are you joking?"
"It's only the best sport ever!"
Voices spoke over the top of each other. So it's a sport apparently. Eleanor thought to herself. Little did she know she had just opened a huge can of worms. Turned out that Elsie was a quidditch player herself and was completely mortified that anyone could have possibly not heard of it.
An hour and a half later, Eleanor's mind was filled of all things quidditch. She did think it a bit funny that they flew on broomsticks because, hello irony? But the intensity on Elsie's face prevented her from joking about it.
"Are you done yet Els?" Lily joked, coming back over to where the two girls were sitting. The dorm mates had dispersed when Elsie began her rampage on the "incredibleness" off quidditch, clearly bored of her latest rant.
"These things are important I'll have you know Lil," Elsie snapped playfully, "Every self-respecting witch or wizard should know at least the basics of quidditch,"
"Ok well we're all going to do to bed now if you could wrap up the lecture?" Lily winked.
Elsie raised her hands in surrender, "Fine, fine. You get the gist of the game though right?" She turned to Eleanor.
"I get it don't worry." It was difficult not to smile at the sheer passion in Elsie's eyes.
Eleanor and Lily walked back over to their side of the room and crawled into their own beds. As soon as they were under the covers, Eleanor gasped as the curtains around the bed magically shut themselves. Smiling to herself she wiggled around to get comfortable. Her mind ran in circles as she ran through the events of the day. It was strange to be back in the UK, and it was even stranger to be in a different bed than the one she had grown accustomed to over the last four years at Xavier's. Not for the first time that day she had a growing sensation of déjà vu, it wasn't the first time she'd received news that she had some mystic powers and had to go to a special school in order to learn to control them. But the differences in the schools stood out like a sore thumb; Xavier's was like stepping into the future with the sciences taking centre stage in the curriculum, every part of the school was modern and revolutionary. Hogwarts on the other hand was like taking a trip into the past. Old stone walls, hand painted art, quill and ink for crying out loud! The whiplash of the situation made her head hurt.
"Hey," A voice whispered from her right. She peeked her head through the curtains to see Lily doing the same, "I just wanted to make sure you're ok. I can't imagine how overwhelming this all must be,"
Eleanor smiled, once more grateful for the girls' kindness, "I think I'm good thanks. You guys have really helped make me feel more comfortable. I was so nervous this morning but right now I feel so much better,"
"I'm glad. Obviously tomorrow morning will be a bit hectic with the first day of classes and all, but it settles down pretty quickly once you get into the routine of it all," Lily looked down to the floor, it was clear she wanted to say more.
"What is it?"
"Homesickness gets us all at some point, so don't feel embarrassed or anything if you struggle a bit. I mean I don't know about your school before here…" She trailed off, clearly wanting Eleanor to fill in some blanks, but she didn't quite know what to say yet so just stayed silent. Lily seemed to take this as a sign to continue, "But if you need to talk, I'm here, anytime. Goodnight." With one last smile she disappeared back behind the curtains.
Eleanor did the same and laid back against her pillows, falling asleep with a smile on her lips.
So what do you think?