A word to the wise, and those who just don't know, let me just say (or
type, as the case may be) this; I have simply cornered off part of J.K.
Rowling's Potter-verse sand-box with police tape to see what kind of castle
I could build. All American characters are mine, as are fictional American
places.let's face it, this is the only place where I actually own land. Yay
me! Moreover, if J.K. wrote it, J.K owns it. Hopefully that satisfies the
Fan Fiction Gods, bless them, and now on with the show!
Chapter One: An abundance of owls and a shopping trip gone awry.
Ariane was woken by the incessant tapping of an owl at her window. She
hated when they didn't use the kitchen window, now she would have to open
hers, letting out all of the wonderful cold air. Sighing, she got up and
stumbled over to where the barn owl was hooting in distress while trying to
balance itself on a one-inch ledge. Once inside, it flew across the room to
the perch in the corner, dropping the letter it carried along the way. It
hooted indignantly, as if the window ledge was her fault, and nibbled on a
few treats. Just as it settled in, however, another owl almost collided
into the window. When let in, this one dropped a newspaper on its way to
the perch. The two owls hooted and pushed at each other and struggled for
dominance on the perch before settling down to rest a few minutes.
Ariane gave them both a heavy dose of the 'evil eye' before tossing the
letter and paper on the dresser and launching herself back into bed.it was
still inhumanely early, and she wanted to get every precious moment of
sleep she possibly could. She unfortunately dozed for no more than thirty
seconds before her mother opened the door, turned on the light and
announced that it was time to get up. This was accompanied by a groan and
yet more hooting.
After showering the owls were let out (downstairs) and a new owl was let
in. It fluttered over to a chair and stuck its leg out like a child who
learned a new trick. Opening the letter, Ariane recognized (barely) the
usually perfected script of one Theodora Winchester Paine. iI'll have to
save this onei she thought, iTheo didn't even bother to close her a's
and d's. No introduction, she'd freak if she saw this. she even used
exclamation marks! i
Ariane, you'd better be out of bed when this reaches you. Have
you read the Wizarding Gazette yet? Of course not, or I wouldn't be
writing now, would I? Well, if you haven't, do it now! First page,
International section, you'll know it when you see it. Don't read on
until you've seen it. i
Well, that was that. When Theodora told someone to do something they did
so, and it was usually for a good reason. When Ariane found the
International section her eyes fell immediately onto a moving photograph of
a boy with messy black hair and glasses; he looked very tired and kept
shying away from the photographer. The Article was titled 'Potter claims
You-Know-Who Returned!' Her first thought was, of course, 'No, I don't know
iBritain's 'Boy-Who-Lived' reported to the British Ministry of Magic
that the dark wizard commonly referred to as 'You-Know-Who' alias Tom
Riddle, alias Voldemort, was in fact still alive and gaining power.
Potter supposedly saw Voldemort, and witnessed the death of a fellow
Hogwarts student, during the final event of the Tri-Wizards
Championships late last month. The Ministry of Magic denies the
validity of these claims. i
This would be a rather random article to read if Ariane herself, as well as
a decent number of others weren't planning to attend the Hogwarts School of
Witchcraft and Wizardry themselves this upcoming year.She returned to
Theodora's hastily written letter;
iNow, look at the letter the Academy sent out this morning. i
The letter was addressed
iMiss Ariane Conkling
The Unperchable window
15 Dunbar's Way
Cedar Hill, New Jerseyi
iDear Miss Conkling
We regret to inform you, that, in light of recent events the
International Goodwill Student Exchange Program you have been involved
in, between Benjamin Franklin School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, has been postponed,
indefinitely. However, you have been re-accepted at Benjamin Franklin
Academy. You will find enclosed a list of necessary supplies that
shall be needed for your grade this year. We shall be awaiting your
response by no later than 15, August. The semester begins 4,
Ariane had to re-read this. And then re-read it again. iIn light of
recent events?i Now did that mean Voldy-thingy's return (because the
Ministry denied that) or the death of the Hogwarts student? Sometimes she
wished people would be more specific then picked up Theodora's hastily
written letter and read it as she walked down to breakfast.
i Can you believe they had the gall to cancel the program! After we
spent a month taking special classes just to make sure we were up to
snuff when we got there! Udney is infuriated! He won't admit it, but
he's moping. He was so looking forward to learning about British
Wizarding society first hand, as were we all. Still, he rarely gets
this excited over anything. Well, I must go; I still have Mikail to
write.Jessica already knows. Shall we get together at Universe Alley
when we buy our school supplies?
Theodora Winchester Painei
"That girl knows more than anyone ought to." Ariane started. Her mother
looked up from her coffee.
"What's that dear?"
"'It' is Theo, she's showing off again.It's times like these when I'm
amazed she doesn't tell me what to have on my bagel, and speaking of which,
jelly or cream cheese?"
"Theo? She's the Boston girl who likes to color her hair? Udney's twin?"
Ariane gave her mother an incredulous look "You can't remember Theo.but you
remember Udey? When they're practically one and the same except for the
Emmaline Conkling smiled at her daughter; "Truth is that he's much more
handsome than his sister." Anything else she might have said, and anything
Ariane would have responded with, was cut short when Lundy, Ariane's
younger brother, came in with two more owls.
"They're both for you Ari," he said, "why are you so popular today?"
"The exchange program's been canceled, sorry I sit corrected, 'postponed
The first owl had another, shorter, and more calmly written note from Theo
and simply read:
iTry the jelly, it's devine! i
"She's showing off again!"
The next letter was from Mikail, whom, it had turned out, actually bought
and read Hogwarts: A History. He basically ranted and raved before giving
up and saying that life was a horrible injustice. Ariane sent her replies;
to Mikail, informing him that life, or lack thereof, was an injustice to
the deceased Hogwarts student as well; And to Theodora, telling her that
Wednesday next would be perfect to go to Universe Alley. After sending
those letters she spent a relatively owl-free day finishing her summer
* * *
Universe Alley was one of the roughly half a dozen magical shopping areas
in the BFA Schooling district. However, it was the largest and had
practically everything a witch or wizard could think to look for and then
some. The Red River Inn was one of the places people could meet to dine,
have a drink, or simply stay the night. The owner, Edith Pavlenko, was a
maternal sort, often spoiling the younger guests as well as those who made
the mistake of coming in alone. It was this very inn that Ariane and her
friends would be meeting at nine o'clock in the morning. When she stepped
into the in she barely had time for her eyes to adjust before she found
herself engulfed in a big hug by her old friend, Jessica Rossetti.
"Ooh! You're early, save me!" exclaimed the lanky girl from Yonkers. "I've
been so bored all morning. Mrs. Pavlenko is nice, but I can only take so
much of 'How you doin' babe? Can I get you anything?'" She did a wonderful
impersonation of the woman, causing Ariane to laugh.
"That sounds about right," she said, "But where are your parents?"
"They had to take my grandmother to a doctor appointment, so they
dropped me off and ran."
"Hence the attention from Mrs. Pavlenko."
They sat together in a corner booth chatting and watching the
customers go by. It was about fifteen minutes before the rest of the group,
consisting of Theodora Udney and Mikail, walked through the door. They
waved the three over, and once they settled down (and the parental units
settled elsewhere) they ordered breakfast. When their orders came all five
dug in, Mikail more greedily than usual.
"This is better than the stroganoff we had last night. My grandfather
makes the best stroganoff."
"Then how can this be better?" Udney asked, eyeing the flapjacks on
"Because my grandmother cooked last night." With that everyone turned
their attention towards their food.
* * *
After breakfast it was time to hunt for supplies. Mrs. Conkling took
Lundy to get his first wand, as he would be beginning his first year at BFA
at the end of summer break, and the twins' parents left after procuring a
room at the inn for their children, which left the five to themselves for
the afternoon. The first stop was Porthoy's Book Shop, where the three
girls picked up copies of An Introduction to Enchanted Song: The Power of
Lyrical Spells, and everyone bought Potions for the Experienced
Next Theodora insisted they go to Lytteltons Cloathes for All Seasons.
"I need a new pair of breeches," she explained.
"She's getting to big for hers," Udney put in, but Theodora ignored
"And my petticoat is getting a bit short."
After stopping there, and a few other places, they walked back to the
Inn for lunch. On the way they found Lundy waiting on a corner, without his
mother. His sister automatically confronted him.
"What's the matter kiddo, did you get lost again?
"No," he said defensively, "Mom told me to wait here."
"And where did she go then?"
"In there," he pointed to a side street. Ariane eyed the side alley
suspiciously, and then gave the same look to her brother. Lundy started to
squirm. "There was this man," he blurted.
"What man? Who is he?"
"He talked funny, and dressed weird, and he kept calling mama
That didn't help much; since the Conkling family was so large that
there were a lot of people she could call cousin, even the obscurest of
"Why did they go down that alley?" she prodded.
"I dunno, I wasn't paying attention.Ari? What does 'mudblood mean?"
Ariane and Mikail winced, while Udney groaned and Theodora gasped.
Jessica looked blissfully unaware, and then confused.
"What's wrong?" She asked. Mikail motioned for the little group to
huddle before launching into an explanation.
"The term 'mudblood'," he said quietly, "Is a foul slur applied to
witches and wizards of non-magical heritage. It's usually used by
purebloods." Everyone looked at Ariane and her brother.
"Whoa!" Ariane put her hands up defensively, "Don't look at me! Lundy
never even heard the word until today."
Mikail continued, ".but since the whole politically correct movement
started up it's sort of been phased out over the last few decades. Those
who still use it will do so only in private, like my grandmother." He made
a face, "But using it in public is almost unheard of, at least in this
country." Udney interrupted.
"Ok, so what we have so far is that he talks funny, you're so helpful
there kid," he looked at Lundy, " dresses weird, and uses really foul
"Sounds like a foreigner to me." Theodora finished. When everyone
looked at her strangely she added, "Except for the bad language part that
Ariane spoke up, "Jess, you and Mikail wait here."
"Why me?" Mikail protested.
"Because Lundy likes you." With that she turned and walked into the
little alley. Udney and Theodora looked at Mikail and Jessica, and then at
each other, before bounding after her into the dimness.
* * *
They didn't have far to go down the side street; Emmaline Conkling
was visible as soon as they turned the corner. The man she was talking to
was definitely foreign, Ariane could tell by the clothes he wore; American
witches and wizards tended to dress in the traditional 18th century
clothing. This man wasn't even wearing pants.at least that she could see
anyway, but instead wore robes reminiscent of the middle ages. He had a
pointed face beneath a mane of pale blonde hair, and as she drew nearer she
could hear his drawling accent. Mrs. Conkling gazed coldly at him, and
spoke even more coldly. Just behind him was a boy about her age who looked
to be a younger, smaller, carbon copy of the older man.
Ariane didn't know it, but Theodora and Udney had immediately hidden behind
stacks of boxes on either side of the street. A rat scurried across the
alleyway causing her to jump and give a startled squeal, which in turn
caused all three to look over at her. She felt herself blush, embarrassed
by the sudden attention, and felt it appropriate to end the awkward moment
by speaking up.
"Mom, what's going on?"
Everyone's posture relaxed, and the foreign man smiled with false warmth.
"Cousin Emmaline," he spoke with as much false warmth as his smile held.
"Why don't you introduce me to your lovely daughter."
End Chapter One
All right now you, and you know who you are, first I give you an apology: I
don't quite understand the whole html thing, such as italics (as I'm sure
you can see!) or double spacing etc., so if this is difficult to read I'm
sorry. Also, if I've made any catastrophic errors in spelling, grammar, or
continuity please let me know. I'll try to fix it as soon as I figure out
how.so wish me luck.