Platform 9¾

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What is Home?  Solo   Finished 


❝I know I'm always like
Telling everybody, "You don't gotta be a victim
Life ain't always fair, but hell is living in resentment
Choose redemption, your happy ending's up to you"❞

While her friends had all stayed back at Hogwarts for the new summer camp it offered, Rhea was forced to go home. Her parents did not see what was so awe-inspiring about summer camp - you'd have to live inside of a shabby old cabin with no access to a toilet; for Pete's sake, you'd have to pee in the woods. The Bishops, who were used to a high quality life style, could not understand the appeal of that.

But Rhea didn't care about all those implications. Not only did she crave to spend more time with her friends, but she also dreaded going back home to her parents. She did not wish to see them - these past ten months without them showed her just how much she needed a break from them. Whenever something happened, the first thing that would pop into her head would be something - anything - relating to her parents. Be it bad, good, neutral - her parents were always the first to run through her head. What they would think of her right now; how they'd react; what they would tell her to do. 

And she was sick of it!

Every child was supposed to love their parents. That's not to say Rhea didn't love hers, because she did, very much. She aspired to be as successful as her father, and as intelligent as her mother. Her parents were her role models, but they did not treat her as their daughter. Instead, they treated her as a project, something that could be worked upon and improved. Not as a child. Rhea, of course, didn't realize this, and kept on idolizing her parents. But the truth always came out; Rhea's eyes would open and she would realize that her parents never wanted what was the best for her, they wanted what was the best for their reputation.

Despite her protests and against her wishes, Rhea found herself boarding the Hogwarts Express right after school let out. Most of her friends had remained at camp, and so had the rest of the student population of Hogwarts. Thus, the scarlet train was mostly empty, and Rhea managed to snag an entire compartment for herself. It was good, too, because Rhea had acquired a lot of things over the course of the school year, and would need a lot of space to hold all her stuff. That might have been the only positive to this entire situation - at least Rhea wouldn't have to compromise her personal space for five or six hours. 

The ride went by quickly, partially because Rhea fell asleep for most of it. The seats were a nice plush material, one that Rhea found herself sinking into. Taking advantage of the fact that there was no one else in the compartment, Rhea turned around to lay down on her stomach and began to draw. She found herself slowly dozing off after about an hour of doodling, and when she woke up, she found a huge ink blot on her page. With a grumble, she tore the page out of her sketchbook (her wizard sketchbook, they exist, I promise) and crumpled it up, dropping it on the floor. She'd been in the midst of drawing a landscape - it was the view that was visible from her bedroom window (that is, if you ignored the large ficus tree blocking it) at sunset. Without colors, the drawing was quite boring - but Rhea had planned to add some watercolor when she got home. Now, her plans were ruined, all because her ink had bled through. 

Not to worry though! There was still a good hour, hour and a half left of the train ride, so she still had some time to re-do her drawing. Learning from the mistakes she'd committed earlier, Rhea adjusted to a sitting position, one where she was not in danger of falling asleep at any given moment. She didn't think that was a problem though - she'd already gotten rid of all the sleep in her system, so she wouldn't be sleeping again any time soon. 

Smiling, Rhea turned her full attention to her drawing. She still had some time before she would arrive at Platform 9 3/4, and she didn't want to spend that time thinking of the dreadful situation that awaited her once she arrived. It was not quite as simple drawing with a quill as it was with a brush; but Rhea did not have a brush with her, therefore she was stuck with using the quill. 

The quill wasn't working. There was no way she could draw with this object. But what she could do... what she could do was practice her calligraphy. Her skills weren't the best at the moment, but she knew that with practice, they could grow to become amazing. Although her parents always insisted she get things right on the first try, Rhea - there she went again, thinking about her parents. What was it that spurred her mind to jump to them, first and foremost? No matter where she went, it seemed as if they were always there with her - in spirit. Were all children this influenced by their parents? 

With some effort, Rhea brought herself to tear her thoughts away from Morgan and Aaron Bishop and instead focus on her art. Although her art with a brush was a force to be reckoned with, she was not too skilled with calligraphy. Writing in a way deemed elegant by most had always been something Rhea had craved to learn, but she had never had enough free time to do so. Therefore, that particular skill was not too developed yet, and whatever she wrote on her parchment as practice looked like a bunch of chicken scratch. Yes, she could write in cursive, but that was not the same as calligraphy, was it? The redhead didn't think it was. 

Everyone who personally knew Rhea - those who she considered her friends, not those who considered as part of the Inner Circle a group - would know how determined the young girl was. Whenever she set her mind to something, she would never rest until she had accomplished it. Thus, Rhea decided to spend the rest of the train ride learning how to write her own name in the most elegant way she could think of. 

With that, the rest of the ride passed by quickly - one would say even faster than the first part. She was so intent on perfecting her art that she lost all track of reality, only focused on her quill and the parchment in front of her. It was really quite a sight to see - a little girl, knees up to her chest, a piece of parchment resting against a textbook, her hair forming a curtain around her, lips bit in concentration, quill being moved ever so carefully. Really, it was almost magical. 

After many mistakes, and many do-overs, Rhea finally felt herself done. What she'd accomplished was beyond anything she'd ever done before, and although it wasn't as good as she'd hoped, there was still proof of improvement. And that was all she hoped. 

Just as she'd wrapped up her piece and was starting to pack her things away, back into her trunk, a voice blared over the entirety of the train, declaring them almost at their final destination. At the driver's words, Rhea's heart was catapulted into a beating mess. No matter how much she ran away from it, the truth was that she cared what her parents thought - more than what was probably healthy, but she did. Whatever she did, she did it for her parent's approval - approval that she never received, however. 

But now, this beating of her heart was for a different reason. Not because she was worried about what her parents would think, but what they would do. She knew the extent of their power - the connections they had, and the power that ran through their blood. If she went about telling them that she had not only been lying, but been sorted into Gryffindor in the wrong way - they could ruin not only her summer, but the rest of her life. With them, one could never know. Rhea even thought that they would disown her, should they really wish. And maybe they would!

The never ending thoughts that ran through her mind were enough to send shivers down her spine and force her breathing to speed up. She didn't want to go back. She wanted to go back to Hogwarts, where she was safe from their sharp words and cutting insults. Where she had friends who cared about her, where she could feel love emanating from the very walls of the castles. 

Everyone had a place they called home. For some it was their house or their current place of living; for some it was the place they were born or raised; for some it was a restaurant, some place that held meaning and history. For Rhea, her home was Hogwarts. She'd lived her entire house at Bishop Manor, but not once had she called it home. It was always 'my house' or 'my mansion, property;' never once had she said 'let's go home.' Not until Hogwarts, when the words 'I'll see back home in September, right?" had slipped out of her when she'd bid good bye to her friends. It was then that she knew that Hogwarts was the place she was destined to be. Not Bishop Manor - Hogwarts.

As the Hogwarts Express pulled into Platform 9 3/4, Rhea managed to calm herself down. Her time along aboard the train had made her realize that her parents - were not worth it. The amount of time she spent worrying about them could have been spent doing something else, such as painting or playing the piano, or any other hobby of hers. So much wasted time, all on those who could not even acknowledge her existence. Rhea doubted that her parents would even notice if she fell out of her bedroom window - or maybe they would, only to play the victims once the press showed up. 

God, how their antics got on her nerves!

The train pulled to a stop. Rhea felt a slight bump and saw her luggage moving, but apart from that, nothing too big happened. On the outside, that is. Inside, Rhea's stomach was turning in somersaults and her heart had jumped up into her throat. Sure, she had managed to maintain a calm exterior, but that meant nothing when she was nervous as hell. She'd long since mastered the art of pretending everything was okay, even if they weren't. This was not new.

Nevertheless, Rhea, in a way, felt confident. She would step out of this train, ready to face her parents - besides, if they ever got too much to handle, she could always Floo over to any of her friends' houses. They had expressly said that if she ever needed a place to relax they could come over - and Rhea guessed that she would need to use that invite a lot over the next two months. 

Although she would have appreciated some help in getting all her luggage out of the train (her sprained ankle certainly didn't help), Rhea managed just fine on her own. There wasn't too much to handle, and besides, Rhea liked this feeling of independency. As she looked around the crowded (yes, most students had resolved to stay at Hogwarts for summer camp, but for those who had returned back home, their families were here to greet them - thus, a crowded platform) for a hijabbed woman, Rhea noticed the love that parents were greeting their children with. Love that Rhea would never experience... not from her parents, anyway. But at least she had Aida-

- Who was rapidly approaching her, the widest smile on her face. The first look she cast on her nanny, all negative thoughts of her parents flew out of Rhea's mind. In that moment, she didn't care about them. She only cared about the middle-aged woman speed-walking towards her, arms thrown wide open and ready for Rhea to jump into them. Aida didn't seem to notice Rhea's ankle, and Rhea didn't want to point it out for fear of ruining the moment. 

And jump into them Rhea did. Dropping everything she was holding on to the ground, Rhea hobble-ran towards Aida and jumped onto her, shakily wrapping her legs around the older woman's waist and her arms around Aida's neck. No words were spoken for a solid minute, the two just embracing each other's presence. Aida would be the only person that Rhea would admit, out loud, to have missed - that proved the extent of which Rhea loved her nanny. Rhea would never admit out loud that she missed someone, for fear of losing her dignity or pride (a twisted way of thinking that her parents had brought about, of course). 

Barely contained tears in her eyes, Rhea asked to be put back down on the ground. When she looked at the Lebanese woman in front of her, she was surprised to see tears rushing down her face. In all her years of knowing the woman, Rhea had never once seen her cry. To see this feat unfolding before her was unnerving, but calming in a way as well. It assured Rhea that someone out there in the world, someone cared enough to cry about her. Once more it was a twisted way of thinking about things, but it was the only way Rhea knew to think. 

"I missed you so much, habibti," Aida managed out, her voice clogged by the tears speeding her face. Seeing the salty droplets travel down Aida's wrinkled face triggered something in the small, redheaded girl, and she found her concealed tears traveling to the surface and making their presence known. Rhea furiously wiped at her face, but soon gave up, understanding that the tears would not stop coming. "But wait, what happened to your ankle?"

"I missed you too. It's a long story, I'll tell you later," Rhea smiled and hugged Aida's torso once more, squeezing tight. She never wanted to let go, but she knew that eventually, she would have to. Even this woman, someone who was well-practiced in the Arts, couldn't protect her against her parents. They would find out the truth, one way or another. 

"Are you ready to go home?" a question that was asked innocently, not knowing the thoughts that Rhea had previously been undergoing. Not knowing that she had just left home, and was already missing it. 

For home is where the heart is, it it not? And her heart was with her friends; with the castle. 

"Not really, but I don't suppose I have a choice, do I?" Rhea replied, a small hint of sarcasm in her voice. If Aida detected it, she did not acknowledge it - we all know she did notice it, of course - and simply let it slide. The woman decided not to reply, instead just taking ahold of Rhea's hand and apparating away. 

Come morning, Rhea would have to face her parents and her lie(s). But for now, as she felt herself speeding through air faster than she could say 'Hogwarts,' Rhea didn't think about that. She only thought of her memories she had made and of the trouble she had caused; of her accomplishments; and everything that was to come. For she had six more years at Hogwarts, and a lot more chaos to induce.

As for her parents? With time, she would learn not to think about them so much. 

❝I think it's time to practice what I preach
Exorcise the demons inside me
Gotta learn to let it go❞


the trouble is, if you don't risk anything -- you risk more.
♕ℛ ♕