'Hullo,' Draco greeted the other boy, 'Hogwarts too?'
'Yes,' the small boy answered.
Draco started going on about his parents, brooms and Quidditch. Nalani could tell the other boy had no idea what Draco was going on about. And then, when Draco said something about a gigantic man standing at the window, the boy got slightly upset. Before she could hear the boy's reply, the lady who was fitting her robes was done and moved on to the boy. Not wanting to leave her brother alone too long, she hurried back to the front of the shop. Her brother was sitting patiently by the window, humming a tune and kicking his legs in the air.
'Well, I'm impressed,' she told him, 'you didn't ruin the place.'
'I was thinking about this place,' he said seriously.
'What about it?' Nalani asked as she sat next to him.
'All the things and the people are like stuck in an old time… um, like in those movers from here.'
'Yeah, I think that's why dad decided to stay in a… moggy… mugguh… non-magical community.' Nalani said thoughtfully.
The raven-haired boy came out of fitting and gave Nalani a short nod.
'Hey, are you okay? You looked a bit upset in there,' she asked him.
'Yeah, I'm fine. Thanks,' the boy answered with a small smile.
'If it makes you feel better, Hogwarts is pretty new for me too.' Nalani told him grinning encouragingly.
'Both of you?' he asked her.
'I can't go yet, I have to wait all the way till next year,' Kiran said.
'My name's Nalani by the way!' Nalani told the boy.
'Harry,' The boy replied with a smile.
'And I'm Kiran,' the younger boy said, 'Why are your clothes too big? And they're normal too, you're not wearing old robes like everyone else.'
'Oh, are you from a muggle family too?' Harry asked them, ignoring the boy's first question.
'No, we're not even from England. We're from a place called the Fire Nation, but only wizards know about it here.' Nalani answered.
The giant in the window was waving ice cream cones to Harry.
'I think that's your cue,' Nalani said, 'They're probably enhanced not to melt, but still.'
'Yeah, it was nice meeting you, Nalani,' Harry said with a smile, 'I guess I'll see you in Hogwarts. Bye, Kiran.' And with that he left, Kiran and Nalani waving him goodbye.
'There's something...' Kiran said, staring after Harry in the window. Nalani gave him an inquisitive look, but Kiran only shook his head.
He leant back in his seat and said, 'This segregation stuff is complicated for no good reason. Both worlds would benefit so much from each other, how can they not see that?'
Nalani looked at Draco in the back of the store thoughtfully.
'Well, remember Amon?' she asked Kiran.
'Oh,' Kiran said, looking towards the floor sadly.
'Events like this can make segregation look like a good idea to a lot of people. Maybe the same thing would have happened to the Elemental Territories if Fire Lord Zuko and Avatar Aang hadn't founded Republic City.'
Before they could continue, Draco, who was done with his fitting, came over to join the pair.
'Have you seen the clothes that kid was wearing? He must be some poor boy living in one of those muggle orphanages.'
Kiran and Nalani just stared at Draco. The latter, who was obviously used to more vocal reactions, either positive or negative, waited a bit longer for a reply from the two, but when none came, he snapped, 'What is it? Cat got your tongue?'
'Oh we're sorry,' Kiran said, 'Did you want a reaction? We thought you were just having verbal diarrhoea, or a stroke, we weren't sure.'
'What?' was all the pale boy could reply.
'Tell me Draco,' Nalani said, with a strange doll-like smile on her lips, a smile that didn't reach her eyes, 'How would you feel if tomorrow, both your parents died, somehow, and everything was taken away from you. Your house, your money, everything.'
'That would never happen,' Draco scoffed.
'Oh, don't underestimate the universe's ability to crap all over you.' Nalani said, her smile getting a bit wider, but still not reaching her eyes.
'You don't understand, my parents aren't just rich. They've got pl-' Draco started, but Nalani cut him off abruptly.
'Use your imagination. You've got some of that, right? Just imagine for a moment that this could happen…' she trailed off as Draco's expression started changing slightly. While his face tried to hide it, a hint of horror, sadness and hopelessness were visible, especially in his eyes.
'Before you open your mouth to speak of others, this is what you should do. Imagine yourself in someone else's situation and how it would feel. That ability is what makes you human,' Nalani finished. Then she got up and left the shop. Her brother got up as well and stopped in front Draco, who was now sneering, but just now realising he was sweating a little.
'We know a lot of people like you, Draco. So don't think you're anything special. Our circle includes people way richer than your cute, little, white-haired family could ever dream to be. Fire Nation out!' and with that, Kiran followed his sister out of the shop. Once he reached her, he whispered in her ear: 'You had your crazy eyes again sis!'
Draco came out of the shop as well, and the three children walked to the teashop next door to join with the adults. Draco was now cold with the siblings, although he remained polite. Snape bid his farewells to Lucius as he had to meet back with the children's parents.
The children were eating ice-cream as Professor Snape spoke with their parents in private. Yue Qi and Huhana assured Snape that he had nothing to worry about and that they would deal with Nalani's temper accordingly. The family quickly gathered the rest of what they needed for school that day and, after thanking professor Snape for his help, they headed back home through the floo network. When they arrived home, Huhana took Nalani aside.
'Today is your day sweetie,' she said calmly, though the worry in her smile was apparent. 'We'll talk about what happened tomorrow. For now, just enjoy your party.'
Nalani knew better than to argue. She nodded and joined her brother heading towards the living room, while Yue Qi put the supplies away. As they entered, they saw a group of people talking jovially. A tall man, who looked almost exactly like Yue Qi was standing in the middle of the living room, speaking with a lot of gesturing. He was also dressed in a fancy red and orange outfit made of rich silk. He looked like a younger version of Yue Qi, with curly hair that was held up in a bun.
'Wow, Uncle Shen! Aunt Song Dee!' Nalani shouted, jumping into the tall man's arms. 'Glad you could make it.'
'I wouldn't miss your birthday for the world, Little Flame!' Shen answered, kissing her on the top of her head. Kiran was hugging his uncle fiercely. 'Now, now will you let me breathe a bit, Little Dynamite?' he asked, trying to loosen the boy's arms around his waist.
Kiran let go of his uncle and went to hug his aunt Song Dee, who was sitting in an armchair, her beautiful wine coloured silk dress, with mustard yellow accents, falling gracefully around her. She was a tall woman with beautiful silky black hair and slanted light brown eyes.
Sitting on the sofa, there was a tall boy with wavy, black hair and hazel eyes, his mother who had long, straight, black hair and light brown eyes, and his father with loose, dark brown curls and hazel eyes. They were all wearing traditional Fire Nation clothing as well, made with rich, but light, fabric. The family, who had gotten up when Yue Qi and Huhana had entered the room, bowed low in front of the Royal family, but Yue Qi took the father by the shoulders and hugged him.
'Don't be ridiculous Lu. We're all equals now,' Yue Qi said, looking his friend in the eyes.
'That'll take a lot of getting used to,' Lu answered with a chuckle.
Yue Qi moved to hug his brother, Shen, tightly, while his wife greeted everyone.
'Hi, Kuzon,' said Nalani, waving shyly at the boy.
'Happy birthday! I see you got my necklace,' Kuzon said pointing at her neck.
Nalani turned red and looked away. At that moment, the doorbell rang. As Yue Qi went to answer it, Huhana turned towards the others, 'Don't forget, no Bending and no magic.'
'Looks like we arrived just in time' Yue Qi said to Huhana before opening the door.
At the door stood the Onenga's immediate neighbours and their child.
A short balding man entered, carrying a big package wrapped in colourful paper. A little girl closely followed him. She looked about Nalani's age but was one or two inches shorter. She had brown silky hair and square glasses. Behind them, a woman with short brown hair was waving enthusiastically.
'Oh, fantastic! I am so glad to see you, Huhana. Yue Qi how have you been doing?' she said as soon as the door was open. 'Oh, I love what you're wearing. Is it from your country? What's it called again? I keep forgetting. It's gorgeous, so exotic!' She hugged both Huhana and Yue Qi, who hugged her back, then turned towards Nalani and embraced her tightly. 'Happy birthday Sweetie. So how old are you now?'
'I'm eleven, Mrs Atwater,' Nalani answered, once Mrs Atwater let her go.
'My, my! Only eleven years old? Look at you! We could swear you just turned thirteen or fourteen,' Mrs Atwater exclaimed. She looked at Kiran who stood close to his mother. 'Gosh your children are so tall,' she praised as Kiran politely shook her hand, before quickly running over to his sister's side.
'Hi Em!' she and Kiran gave an enthusiastic wave to Emily Atwater, who walked up to the siblings and they introduced her to Kuzon.
'My! Will you just look at this place,' Mrs Atwater continued in a loud voice, looking at her surroundings. 'I swear, Paul, it looks much bigger than our house. I keep telling you!'
Mrs Atwater nudges her husband, who only shakes his head with an amused smile.
'It's only the way we've furnished the place, Bridget,' Yue Qi said politely.
'Paul, Bridget… I'd like you to meet Shen, my brother in law, and his wife Song Dee,' Huhana said, waving an arm in the couple's direction.
'Well I can definit'ly guess he's your brother, Yu'Qi,' Mr Atwater said, 'He looks the spit o' you, he does.'
Mr and Mrs Atwater offered their hands, as Shen and Song Dee gave a small bow.
'Oh, how fun; you do that little bow thing as well?' Mrs Atwater said, before bowing back at the family.
Shen looked in his brother's direction with a raised eyebrow. The latter simply gave an amused shrug and introduced the Zhou family.
'Loo Jew? What a peculiar name—' Mrs Atwater started, but she was cut short by the door bell.
This time, two families were standing in front of the house. A smiling, blond lady, with two gift bags in her hand, was standing between two red-headed boys and a tiny strawberry blonde girl. One of the boys was Nalani's age, while the other was Kiran's age. The little girl was around six years old. Next to them was an Indian family of four. Both parents were carrying packages. Their older child was a fourteen-year-old boy, and the younger was a thirteen-year-old girl.
'Come in, come in,' Huhana said, moving aside to let all of them in, greeting each of them in the process.
Yue Qi gestured them to the living room where they all sat, while the children all greeted each other excitedly, and Nalani introduced Kuzon as an old family friend.
'Oh! It's so big in here,' the blond lady exclaimed.
'You see, Paul? I'm not the only one to think so,' Mrs Atwater nudged her husband. 'So Dimitra, how is Keith doing these days?' she asked the blond lady.
'Why don't we send the children in the backyard while we wait for everyone else to arrive?' Huhana proposed.
The children were sent to the magically enlarged backyard, where a swing set, a small playhouse and other small toys were waiting for them.
***Hey everyone, I was meant to post this in august, but there was a few more this to go over and rewrite in this chapter, so, sorry about the delay. Introduction to a few muggle characters in this chapter, if you're a bit confused with them, don't worry, the next chapter will be a little more detailed.
Edit (2017-01-25): Tweaked a teeny little detail in this chapter. Bonus points if you spot it :3. chapter 5 is halfway done btw.
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