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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Rivers

The Stairs

Professor Weasly stood in front of the group of Gryffindor first years in the Gryffindor common room. All of the new witches and wizards listening intently on the House rules and about the great history of Gryffindor house. Well mostly.

“I can’t believe this is really happening” Alex thinks as he thinks back over the past few months. First getting his letter to Hogwarts. Going to Diagon Alley. Learning about the magical world and about Hogwarts. “At least they can accept this” He thought as his attention was brought back to the professor speaking.

“Well, that should be everything you need to know.” The professor says as she looks back over the parchment she was carrying with her.  “As I said in the orientation, all of your belongings and pets have already been brought to your dormitories and are already waiting for you.”

The professor pulls out a pocket watch and examines it for a moment. “It is now a quarter past 8, curfew is at 10PM, breakfast starts at 7:30 in the morning and classes at 9. Don’t be late.” The professor then dismisses them and they begin filing up to their dormitories to see where they will be living for the next 9 months.

Alex lags behind the rest of the boys that were heading up to the dormitories by looking at the various moving paintings that filled the walls of the common room. “I already feel like the outcast of the first year Gryffindor boys” Alex thought. “I can just imagine what they might say when they find out I brought my cat instead of an owl. I may as well get it over with.” Alex resolved as he made his way up the stairs to the dormitory.

As Alex gets to the top of the stairs leading to the boys’ dormitories he realized that he was not at the top of the stairs, but entering the common room. 

With a confused looked he thought to himself “Am I really that distracted that I could turn myself around on the stairs? So much has happened today alone that it could have happened.”

Not wanting anyone to notice, he turned and began to head up the stairs again. he didn’t want to be the last one to unpack and become even more outcast than he already felt. But again this time as he reached the top of the stairs, at a brisk pace, he walks directly into the common room.

Panicked, he tries to play off how shocked he is to be in the common room. Alex then with feigned determination he walks over to the study area and begins to act like he is checking what books are on the shelves.

Alex felt as though every single pair of eyes were glued to him. He wished that he was anywhere else other than where he was right now. The forbidden forest would be preferable to the humiliation he was currently in.

In reality, there was only a single pair of eyes on the young wizard. They were the eyes of Professor Weasly. 

As tears begin to swell in Alex’s eyes he feels a hand on his shoulder and is startled.

Professor Weasly quietly crossed the common room and had been standing next to Alex for nearly 15 seconds before she spoke. “Are you alright Alexander?” 

“Oh, uhm yes, yes… uh, Alex.  I was just seeing what collection of books were in the common room study. I was only able to buy a few history books at Flourish and Blotts before I came to Hogwarts. ” Alex says as he tries to compose herself. 

“Ah yes, there is quite a nice selection here. I made sure of that myself.” Professor Weasly beamed with pride. “We have had the best study of all four houses since I became Head of Gryffindor house. Even better than Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw’s …” She cut herself as she realized she had gotten sidetracked from her original intent.

They just stood there looking at the wall of books. Neither reading the titles and authors’ names, but just to have somewhere to set your gaze.

“The stairs,” Alex says in hardly a whisper “They won’t let me go to the dorms. I don’t understand why.”

“You don’t?” the professor said with a curious look on her face as if she knew a great secret. “Were you not paying attention during Gryffindor orientation?”

Alex turns to Professor Weasly with a confused look on her face. She didn’t think he had missed a thing.

Seeing the confusion in Alex’s face Professor Weasly turns back to the wall of books and asks “What happens when a boy tries to enter the girl’s dormitory?”

Still confused, Alex responds “Well, he ends up right back in the common room.”

“And if a girl tries to enter the boy’s common room?”

“The same.”

“And so…”

Flabbergasted Alex can hardly find the words to say.

“But, but, but…how did the stairs know?”

“The magic in these halls is old and works deeper than most. It works not on the appearance of who you are and who you truly believe yourself to be. “

Alex still in disbelief, “How is that possible? I didn’t read about any of this in Hogwarts: A History"

“Ah yes…” the professor’s slight smile had turned to a stern expression. “When Voldemort first came to power, he was very much against using magic to change what he thought was ‘defined at birth’ and ‘based on blood’. He saw it as an afront to magic. If people could change their gender they could trick ‘pure blood’ witches and wizards and he couldn’t allow that.”

“Voldemort destroyed any reference to these spells and even once Voldemort was no longer in power, much of the history of transgender magic users was lost forever, and much of the progress we had made was lost. I’ve been spending much of my research time attempting to recover the histories.”

“Unfortunately, there are still some historians who intentionally write their books omitting Voldemort’s actions to erase us from history.” she takes a deep and heavy sigh “And some who attempt to rewrite more recent events to fit their views...” her face showing the hurtful memories that were running through her head.

Alex didn’t quite know what to say but knew to wait for Professor Weasly to continue.

“Of course, for the time being, it can be overridden until you are ready, but if you would like, Madame Pomphrey can talk to you about magical options.”

“Magical options? You don’t mean…” Alex shocked that something, anything, could actually be done.

“Yes, I do. There are several magical options that you can discuss with Madame Pomphrey, but the long and short of it is, you can start living your life as a witch if you would like.”

“But my parents...” 

“All spells are completely reversible if necessary and safe. You can be who you want to be here and until you are ready to tell your parents, we can temporarily reverse the spells while you return home. They will not know of what goes on in this place. Any of it.”

Tears swell up in the young Gryffindors eyes. Because not only was she being told she can be a witch, but for the first time, she was being told she could be a girl which was all she ever wanted. 

Alex hugs Professor Weasly as tears of happiness run down her face. “Thank you”

“You’re welcome”

As she turned towards the exit of the common room she stops and turns around “How did you know?”

“Hermione wasn’t always my name. This was why I wanted to become a professor here because I knew I wouldn’t be the only one.” She smiles.

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