Platform 9¾

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Until Christmas

"Nova, bee-yah dee-geh!" her mother shouted in Persian, motioning for her to come between platforms 9 and 10. Wheeling her cart to where her mother stood, she paused and looked at the pole of pure brick.

"Now, Nova joon, we have to say goodbye here. You packed your books? Clothes? Scarves? You have our address? Dried fruits?" Her mom begun lecturing while Nova nodded her head, trying not to tear up in front of her mother. She felt her father pat her shoulder; he knew how she was feeling. Her mother scooped her up for a big kiss and Nova wrapped her arms tightly around her mother's waist, trying to memorize the smell of her mother's shampoo and perfume. Rose. Smells like rose.

Finally, Nova's mother released her from the hug, then gave her a final kiss and kissed her father. "Good luck, my love, and I will miss you so much," she spoke softly, her voice cracking a little. "Christmas will come in no time!"

And with that, Nova's father gave her a gentle push on the back, and they both ran through the brick pole and came out on the other side where a big train and many, many wizard families stood, waiting to board. Nova wiped her eyes a little, almost wanting to step back to the Muggle platform just to give her mother one last hug, but knew there was no point. She looked up at her father who was smiling down on her.

"You're going to have so much fun, Novie. I know how excited you are to practice your magic," he said with a huge grin. Nova cherished his words, knowing that he personally would've wished her to pursue a Muggle path, like he did, and completely disregard her magical abilities. He rubbed his fingers over her cheek lovingly, then gave her curls a soft pat.

Nova blinked her eyes hard, knowing that she had to look strong and excited to go to Hogwarts, even if she wasn't feeling like that exactly now. She knew all she had to say was "Actually, let's go home," and her father would immediately take her back to Cambridge, allowing her to live a Muggle life in peace. I don't want that, she reminded herself. I am going to learn about my father. I am going to learn about his family. I am going to be a good witch, she repeated to herself in her head.

Just then, Nova's father pulled a big bag from his coat and stuck it into a pocket of her trunk. Her eyes widened. "SWEETS?" she said excitedly, trying to peek in the bag. He shooed her hand away. "For the train, my love. And try to keep some for school nights too. I know from experience that Hogwarts will not have Muggle sweets readily available for you," he said with a wink.

The train horned blowed, and Nova watched as other children kissed their families good-bye and boarded the train. Nova looked up to her father. "I'll be writing to you guys, like, all the time," she said happily, knowing how hard it probably was for him to watch her go. She sighed, "I'm going to miss you so much," her voice cracking a little. She quickly coughed to cover it up, her father just chuckling in response. "We will too, Novie, more than you can imagine." He gave her a final kiss on the head and ushered her towards the train.

Her father helped her carry her trunk up the train steps, and then she walked to find the nearest compartment and sat down. She looked from the window at him, with a hand in his pocket and another wiping a tear from his eye. She blinked hard again, as seeing him cry was starting to make her cry even harder. She gave him a toothy grin and a big wave, and with that, the train began to depart.