S01_E01: PilotBlack Gold [discontinued]
On a warm autumn day, a young witch finds herself in an expensive palace, on a shrouded island, off the coast of Jeju. The school is nested atop the White Mountains, surrounded by lush oak forests, and cloaked in an enchanted layer of mist to shield the place from the muggle world. It’s not quite as large as her old school, but her new academy is still young in wizarding world. Inside the meticulously decorated red and green walls, beneath the black tiled roofs, Jessica Jung finds herself in the headmistresses’ office.
In the dark room, only dimly lit by a white, crystal cube, Jessica presses her palm against the crystal’s smooth, cool surface. Nervous, the young 19-year-old witch waits for the decision to come.
“Hmm,” the cube finally speaks in a low, foreboding voice as it ponders its choices. “Your ambition is clearly evident. I see little other colors that suit you and you seem to have a clear idea of what you want.”
Jessica Jung holds her breath, closes her eyes, and prays for green.
If that crystal cube could smile, Jessica thinks she can hear it in its voice when it declares, “I know just what to do with you! To Slytherin!”
The young transfer student smiles broadly as the adults in the office give her a polite applause.
“Well,” the headmistress says, from her desk, “I guess I’m not surprised given the gifted witch that you are, Miss Jung. Now that you’ve been sorted, let me be the first to congratulate you on your official admission. Welcome to SKY, Miss Jung.”
“Th-thank you, Headmistress Li,” Jessica replies, nervous about the older woman’s poise and elegance.
“We look forward to your work in our program here,” the headmistress tells her. “This is the head of the Slytherin house. She’ll take you to your living quarters,” she tells Jessica, gesturing to the back of the room.
A woman cloaked in green and black steps forward and congratulates the new girl. “Welcome to the best house, Jessica.” The woman is much younger than the headmistress, in fact, Jessica blinks in surprise when she thinks they might even be similar in age. “I’m Professor Boa Kwon. I’ll show you to your dorm. Please come with me.”
Shy, Jessica doesn’t say much as the woman leads her down a complicated labyrinth of corridors and she just clutches tightly onto her suitcase. As she gawks at the palace-like high ceilings, supported by red pillars with gold decorations, the professor helps fill in the awkward gaps of silence.
“SKY Academy is still a very young school in the wizarding world. It’s not often that we permit transfer students, especially ones entering our post-secondary programs. Most our SKY students have been with us since they were young, but we’ve heard about your impressive records at Mahoutokoro. We’re honored to have such a gifted witch join us. I hope you’re excited to be here.”
“Y-yes! Of course. I’ve heard wonderful things about SKY. Who wouldn’t be excited to join Hogwarts’ sister school?”
Boa gives a small scoff at the huge shadow their school lives in. “Well, it’s just the Hogwarts housing system that we’ve adopted. We found that students develop better when they live with peers that share the same values and ideas. So, that sorting crystal you were using possess similar magic in their sorting hat.”
Jessica frowns when she thinks about Hogwarts. “So that whole housing thing, we’re not expected to do intramurals for some house cup, are we?” She’s come here to become the best witch possible, not waste her time with trivial grade school ice breaking games. She crinkles her nose at the thought.
The older woman laughs as they leave the expansive foyer and exit out of the building, over a wooden bridge that connects to the residential pavilions. “You’re nineteen, you still are a kid. Living with peers that share your values should be beneficial to your success. Besides, what’s wrong with a little house spirit?” Boa chuckles with an amused smile, all too used to overly zealous students in her Slytherin house.
Jessica shivers from the chilly autumn air. “I’m not ten,” Jessica remarks coldly. “I’m here to study, not compete for some house cup.”
The professor chuckles at the older girl’s attitude. “Don’t worry. You’ll be living with the other post-secondary students, so don’t worry about living the life of your juniors. You don’t need to worry about ‘kid stuff’,” Boa teases.
Jessica huffs, hating that she’s being mocked by the adult. She tries to change subjects. “So, why just girls?”
“If this is one of the best post-secondary schools in the wizarding world, why isn’t co-ed? Why a girls boarding school?”
Boa groans as they enter a hallway, covered in beautiful, barely touched, walnut-colored hardwood. “You’ve seen the muggle world. It’s not a nice place for females, especially in Asia. Founder and headmistress Li thought it was only fair that girls should be offered a chance to catch up to their male peers.” A slight grin takes Boa’s lips. “Maybe even exceed normal expectations too. This is the twenty-first century after all, Miss Jung. Wouldn’t you agree with this notion?”
“Yes, ma’am.” Jessica smiles, thinking she likes this school—and the headmistress behind it—more than she already read about in the pamphlet.
Past tens of doors, Boa finally stops in front of black, wooden doors, decorated in flourishes of jade green. “Ah, here we are,” the professor declares, “room 22B.” Materializing a gold key from her cloak, Boa unlocks the doors and slides them open. “I do believe your roommate it out for the evening. The quidditch captain is probably out for the pep rally tonight, but she should be back to show you around on the first day of school tomorrow.”
Jessica stares at the sleek, black granite floors, charmed with a green and silver rug that matches the surprisingly modern, square-cut furniture well. Her new school certainly is a strange blend of modern and traditional, but she feels the corner of her lip tug up when she’s finally more excited than nervous about her new home.
“If you keep going down the hallway and climb the stairs, you will find my chambers and office there, should you ever need me. I’ll let you get settled in, Jessica,” the kind professor tells the girl, handing over the key to her room. “Good night, Miss Jung.”
“Thank you, Professor Kwon. Good night.”
Once the professor exits and slides the doors closed behind her, Jessica leaves her suitcase in the middle of the room as she makes her way over to the bed. Desperately wanting to do nothing but sleep, she lets her back hit the mattress and head sink into the pillow. For the first time in her life, she stares up at an unfamiliar ceiling and she frowns when she already misses home.
“Don’t be such a baby,” she whispers to herself, letting her eyes close. She hopes that sleeping won’t be as difficult as adjusting to her new life.
Anxious, Jessica uncharacteristically wakes up before her alarm the next morning. After yawning and stretching out, she’s surprised to find herself alone in the dorm room and she wonders if her roommate came back, at all, last evening. After she looks around the room for a bit, she abandons her curiosity about her quidditch-captain roommate and hurries to get ready, instead.
It’s only her first day, but Jessica hates that she already feels homesick. It’s her first time living outside the comfort of her loving parents and sister and, even though she’s excited about school, she can’t help the hollow feeling in her belly as she readies herself for class. Normally, it takes her far too long to ready herself in the morning with her sloth-like behavior, but anxiety keeps her on her toes this morning. In half an hour, Jessica’s flying out the sliding doors and hastily making her way out of the residential pavilion.
Confused with the labyrinth of hallways and multiple pavilions, Jessica groans once she realizes she’s lost. In fact, she hasn’t even seen another student in the halls, so she’s either way too early, late as hell, or not at all in the right vicinity.
“Aish.” Feeling nervous flutters in her tummy, Jessica tugs at her sleeves, still not used to her black and green robes. Back in Mahoutokoro, a robe was given to her when she was 7-years-old, baby pink in color. As she grew, the robe slowly changed into a beautiful gold, fueled by her academic success. So, as Jessica stares at ebony and emerald, she feels little sad for giving up her golden threads, the mark of all her immense success.
But that was grade school. This…this is the next step—the next challenge.
Instead of fretting over making her first class on time, Jessica tries to focus on her natural ambition that pumps strong in her veins.
Turning the corner on quick feet, Jessica screeches to a halt when another student comes sprinting from around the corner, barreling towards her. Instinctually, she slams her eyes shut, shrieks, and drops her books. Luckily, the other student miraculously pivots out of the way and manages not to kill the transfer student on her first day of college classes.
“Sorry! I’m so sorry!”
Heart racing, Jessica finally opens her eyes and sees a Gryffindor girl helping her pick up her books and papers from the floor. “Here,” the girl offers, standing back up to hand the fallen items back to Jessica.
Finally getting a good look, Jessica notes that the raven-haired girl is sloppy. Her necktie is loosened down to the center of her sternum and her white blouse isn’t even tucked into the waistband of her skirt. What really surprises Jessica though is that, for a girl that’s so darn disheveled, she’s quite pretty.
“Sorry,” the stranger apologizes briskly, still offering the fallen book back to Jessica. “Are you okay?”
“F-fine.” Jessica doesn’t know why her hand is slow and shaky when she reaches for her book.
Amused, the raven-haired girl grins at Jessica’s visible nerves and ends up shoving the book into the girl’s hand. However, she takes a lengthy moment to study Jessica’s face.
Aware of her lingering gaze, Jessica shrinks back, feeling shy and uncomfortable. “I-is there something on my face?”
“Oh,” the other girl chuckles, “no, that’s not it, it’s just—are you new here? I don’t recognize you.”
“Yeah, it’s my first day.”
“Oh!” The Gryffindor girl’s eyes pop open in surprise. “You must be the transfer student from Mahoutokoro?”
Shocked, Jessica just stammers, “h-how did you know?”
“We don’t have a lot of students,” the other girl chuckles, well aware of the handful of students in the post-secondary program. “Word travels fast around here and most of us in SKY grew up together. I’m pretty sure I know everybody in the college ward. Welcome to SKY, Japan.”
“Thanks,” Jessica shyly replies. “I’m Jessica, by the way.”
“Jessica,” the other girl echoes. The Gryffindor girl looks at Jessica’s schedule that she had picked off the floor. “‘Botany 100’. You lookin’ for Professor Song’s classroom?”
The new girl nods.
“Oh. That's in the west tower. You wanna exit out here and keep going straight till you see a red building. It’s in there and all the rooms are all labeled, so her class isn't hard to find.”
“Oh my gosh, thank you! I don't know what I would've done without you.”
The Gryffindor girl chuckles. “No problem, Japan.”
“I know,” the other girl tells her, smirking, before moving past her, brushing her shoulder against Jessica’s. “See you