Elliot Phippen

Oct. 5, 2019, 4:47 p.m.

Thrice as nice

Elliot loved everything about coming back to RMI. He loved digging his Magyckal Tomes™ out of his closet to dump into his suitcase, and he loved pulling his silver robes on over his jorts and short-sleeved black button-up patterned with tiny yellow bananas, and he even loved wrestling his Aquila-grey dreamcatcher back from Ariana and holding it above his head so she couldn’t reach. (He’d shot up a couple inches over the summer, and Keep-Away was now Super Effective against eight-year-old sisters. No way could Ari accidentally tag along.)

But there was only one thing on his mind as he portkeyed into the Diner and made his way to the bonfire this year: when could he hit Pearl Street?

Living at RMI was amazing but it was also the opposite of living in New York City. Not enough lights! Not enough sound! Not enough people! The school came equipped with a pool and slide, a Quidditch Pitch, and an outdoor forest, and there was fun to be had, but outside of classes Elliot would take his NYC neighborhood over underground hallways, rats and all. But now that he was a third year he could go topside. There’d be tons more things to do. Maybe that was why they didn’t let students go to Pearl Street until third year: so they’d really appreciate it. Elliot was terrible at the delayed-gratification thing but hey, the wait was pretty much over.

As always, Elliot listened to Toby’s speech. Wizard Headmaster’s Opening Speech was the kind of situation that would set you up for the main quest, or at least give you a lot of exposition. Nothing really new this year, except that Kit Kendrick wasn’t a prefect, which, duh and thank Merlin. Elliot turned his attention to his next objective: eating lots of food. He’d had lunch a few hours earlier—per his request, Dad and Mama had gotten them sushi, because RMI still didn’t quite have a handle on sushi—but the fullness from the spicy tuna roll and the volcano roll had worn off an hour ago.

Elliot got a bowl of chicken curry over rice (rice was great when you were really hungry and wanted to eat a thousand of something) and then looked around for someone to talk to. He couldn’t just sit and eat and not do anything else at the same time. At home he was used to eating while watching a video on his phone, or with the TV on in the background, or listening to Dad talk about his latest game. “Hey,” he said, after swallowing down a spicy mouthful of curry. “Do you know anything about what’s on Pearl Street? Tomorrow’s the first day I can go so I wanna, like, speedrun it. Hit all the highlights.”

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