The No-Maj's would never have any clue what they were missing out on. Sure, they had some pretty cool gadgets. The radio was definitely great. No-Maj's had surprisingly good music. It was why I went to their entertainment stores so often. Televisions were fantastic! I loved them. My parents loved shouting at me to get to my homework and quit using it to watch stupid shows. But come on! There were shows on where we could watch other people live out their lives. Who wouldn't want that?
Wizards, I suppose. They hated anything that had to do with magic. From what I'd heard, other countries had better relationships with No-Maj's. My parents had told me that England was one of the best with relations to No-Maj's. Here in the United States the Magical Congress of the United States hated the thought of No-Maj's being with witches or wizards. It was why the majority of witches and wizards in the United States were Pureblooded. I was. All of my friends were. There was only one girl I knew that was a Half-Blood. And even she got raked over the coals for it.
There was apparently a neighbor of ours that was a No-Maj-born and they had been treated so terribly that they had moved across the pond. They were evidently living out their life much better there. I was pretty sure that they had finished their schooling at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It was considered one of the best magical schools in the world. Most people believed that. I did not.
Nearly everyone in the United States believed that the best magical school was the one that I currently attending as a summer student. Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It was definitely the best magical school in the world. There were plenty of reasons that it was better than Hogwarts. We didn't have the house prejudiced that they did. Our houses were cooler and we all got along. Plus we were allowed to use electricity! Not only that, but Ilvermorny had a summer exchange program. Starting the summer that a student turned eight they were allowed to come for eight weeks to learn basics of the Wizarding World. It was why American witches and wizards were much smarter than English ones.
Of course maybe I was just prejudiced. I didn't know it at the time, but I would soon realize that while Ilvermorny might have been the home that I'd know, Hogwarts would be the one that I would come to love.
It all started on the most normal of mornings. I was in my second-story bedroom practicing the levitating spell without my wand. I'd been working on it for well over a month. Like everyone other witch and wizard I couldn't get my wand until I was eleven and ready to head to Ilvermorny as a permanent student.
The spell had been going just the way that I'd wanted it too. All I was trying to do was get my bathing suit from my open drawer over to my bed without having to walk over to it. "Wingardium Leviosa," I muttered softly. The cloth rattled slightly before lifting. "Yes!" I hissed. The suit immediately dropped to the ground at my lapse in concentration.
I knitted my eyebrows together and took a deep breath. It was such a simple spell. First years knew it! And I had to know at least a few simple spells when I got to school. I had always been at the top of my classes. Both No-Maj and magical. Not that anyone ever knew that. I was a prankster that constantly got letters and phone-calls home. My parents always asked me why I couldn't get the good grades without melting my eyebrows off. It was just one time...
"Wingardium Leviosa," I whispered again. This time it wasn't the bathing suit that moved. It was the lamp that sat on the edge of my nightstand. Uh-oh. What was the counter-spell? I didn't know. "Uh... Drop! Please?" I muttered to the lamp. It didn't work.
Without warning the lamp swung out towards my head and I shrieked, dropping to the ground. It was not a wise choice. The lamp went flying past my head and smashed into the window behind me. Although it didn't just stop there. The lamp went through the glass window and flew over to my next-door neighbor's house. They were a rather grumpy pair of older No-Maj's. The lamp shattered against their stucco walls and I sank to my carpeted floor as they stuck their heads out of the windows, wondering what had just happened.
"Tara Nox!" I heard a hideously loud shout from down the stair. Despite the feminine British tone of voice I knew that it was my mother. She and my father were both from England. Surrey, I was pretty sure that it was. They'd never told me why they'd made the move to Florida when I was only a year old. It was certainly a large move.
Knowing that hiding in my room would only make it even worse I stood from my floor and walked down the stairs, into the living room. My mother was standing with her arms folded over her chest. My father was clearly trying not to laugh. Despite the fact that they were constantly shouting at me to be better behaved I knew that they loved me. And I loved them. They were the best parents that someone could ask for.
My mother was a Healer at St. Dorrin's. She was rather gifted with Charms. My father was a Chaser on the United States Quidditch team, the Stars. He wasn't the best with classes but he was pretty good with Defense Against the Dark Arts. They had both gone to Hogwarts when they were younger. They swore that I would like Ilvermorny just as much. It used to bother me that I wouldn't be at their alma mater but now I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. My first and second summers at Ilvermorny had made me so much more excited to go there.
They were usually pretty relaxed about everything that I did but now they looked extremely upset. The door to our house was open and I could hear our neighbor's shouting about the pieces of lamp that had somehow ended up across their lawn. My mother whispered a quick spell and I watched as the door slammed shut. "What was that about studying quietly upstairs?" My mother asked me.
Her voice was dangerously soft and I knew that I was going to get it later. "I was studying quietly. Until the stupid lamp broke," I muttered under my breath.
"I thought that you were reading," my mother scolded me. I had told both her and my father that I was going to be reading Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. And it had started out that way. But then I'd wanted to go see if I could find a Grindylow. And thus my attempt at levitating my bathing suit was born. So it had really been innocent.
"Well you see, Mom," I started. The tight-lipped stare she was giving me told me that she was not going to buy whatever story I told her. "I was studying for my summer Care of Magical Creatures Class when I saw that we were going to be going over Grindylow's in the next class. I wanted to get ahead on my classwork and check to see if there were any Grindylow's in the lake. So I went to go get my bathing suit and when I did I accidentally tripped over the cord and it fell. When I tried to catch it I twirled and fell. The lamp flew from my hands and went out the window. I must have dropped it harder than I thought that I did," I told my mother with a smile.
My father was smirking in the background. He always knew when I was lying. But then, so did my mother. She hummed at me and handed me a glass of water. "I'll get that window fixed before you go to bed. Here. Get ready for lunch," my mother told me with a smile.
If I'd had any less control over myself my jaw would have dropped. I never got away with things. Never. Was I seriously about to get away with breaking my lamp and scaring my No-Maj neighbors? I took the glass from my mother and smiled as I walked towards the table. I took a seat in the center of the table, taking a long sip of the water. My parents each sat at the head of the table as my mother passed out the burgers that my father had just been 'cooking'. Which of course meant that he used a heating spell. I wasn't sure what it was yet. My parents didn't seem to trust me with any spells having anything to do with fire. It was probably for the best.
Just as I took the first few bites of my burger I started to feel a funny bubbling in my stomach. What was my problem? It wasn't the burgers. I always loved burgers. Finally I couldn't keep my mouth shut anymore. As I thought that I would throw up it was something else. The truth. "Everything I told you was true up until when I went to get my bathing suit. I didn't want to get up and I wanted to practice wandless magic. So I was using the Levitation spell and I messed it up. The lamp went flying towards me and I ducked. It went through the window and broke it. I'm sorry for lying. Also, I'm the one who ate the last slice of chocolate pie."
A soft blush filled my face as my mother smirked and held up a small vial. "Truth serum," she said with a laugh. I wanted to roll my eyes at myself. Of course. "Cough up all of your schoolbooks to me tonight. And you'll be making me another chocolate pie," she teased.
I laughed softly and went back to my lunch. My father was reading through Quidditch Weekly, mumbling about how he should have been the sponsored athlete of the week. One bark from my mother to put down the magazine later and we were all eating, chatting softly about our days. "Oh we had the worst case of Scrofungulus today! It was this poor younger woman. A No-Maj too. She'd been wandering through the Everglades when she caught it. Dear was nearly dead when they got her in. She had to be treated under the Obliviate spell. She was too frantic to be treated before. She'll be released in the morning. The President was not happy about it," my mother explained.
The thought of someone having Scrofungulus made me want to vomit. It was a rather infectious Wizarding disease. I wasn't really sure what exactly caused it. I was pretty sure that it was from fungus plant. Which would explain exactly why she had gotten it while in the Everglades. It was a fungal infection in someone's neck. I knew that if it was left untreated for long enough it would grow into the airways and cut off oxygen to the brain, suffocating someone. It was not a pretty disease. My mother had to be careful too. Nearly everything that she treated was infectious. But she was one of the best Healers in St. Dorrin's. She knew what she was doing.
"How horrible, dear. Glad to hear that you're alright," my father told my mother. He grabbed her hand and leaned in to give her a quick kiss on the forehead. A small smile crossed over my lips. They were perfect together. Everything that knew our families told me that my parents were one of the best couples they'd ever seen. Perhaps it was because of how different my parents were.
My mother was very much a straight-laced woman. She had never gotten in trouble during her days in Hogwarts. She'd always been at the top of her class. Or close, as she'd told me. Her skin was a soft ivory without a blemish to be found. There was one freckle that she had at her hairline. It somehow matched with her. She was rather tall with a long and lean frame. With her figure you would think that she played Quidditch. But she thought that it was too primitive. That didn't mean that she wasn't a fan though. She just kept it in secret. Her eyes were a brilliant blue, so blue that they looked like crystals. Her hair matched; amber colored hair that hung over her hips in soft waves.
My father was almost the complete opposite. He was the prankster. It was where I had gotten it from. My mother had told me that he was always in trouble with the Headmaster. Him and some of his other friends. He had a deeper tan than my mother. He looked more like someone that actually belonged in Florida. My mother burned too easily. He had a different figure from my mother. While she was thin and tall my father was broad-shouldered and strong. His muscles made sure that no other kids made fun of me. No one wanted to mess with the daughter of a world-famous Chaser. He was just a tad taller than my mother. He had light blonde hair that was chopped short, it was so light that it was almost white. His eyes were amber, like my mother's hair.
Then there was me. Friends of ours said that I was a perfect mix of my parents. I had my mother's grades and my father's sense of humor. Definitely his temper too. It probably came from being on the amateur Quidditch team at Ilvermorny. I couldn't try out for their real teams until I was a first year. My tan matched my father's. His was from spending all of his time working out in the Quidditch Pitch. Mine was from a mix of Quidditch practices with my team and days spent out on the water. There were a few spattered freckles on my face from the frequent sun exposure. Many more than my mother had. I had missed the height gene. I was just over four feet. Three inches shorter than average. My frame was still lean though, muscles exposed from my days trying to match my father as we played Chaser's against each other. My eyes were somewhere in between my parent's. They were a soft brown with little hints of blue. My hair was also in between my parent's. It was a dirty blonde that hung straight down my back, settling at the bottom on my back.
We were quite the little group. My father ate the last piece of his burger and my mother passed him the rest of hers. I picked at the rest of the meat on my plate and pushed the bun off to the side. "You know, Tara," my father started. I turned to look over at him, startled out of my thoughts. "We were practicing today, and Steven's couldn't get any of the moves right." Steven's was one of the alternate Chaser's - the players that wouldn't come in unless one of the mains were injured - that my father had always had issues with. "He couldn't even do the Harlem Shuffle!"
That was when my jaw dropped. The Harlem Shuffle was the signature move of the Stars. It was a complicated move but all American Quidditch fans knew it. First, the main Chaser, my father, would spins it atop his finger, shouting to his fellow Chasers, "Get ready, guys!" He then passes the Quaffle immediately on to the next Chaser, who dribbles it back and forth on his broomsticks for a few moments, then passes to the third Chaser. The third Chaser then plays piggie-in-the-middle with the other team's Chasers, while sliding the Quaffle down their outstretched arms and behind their head. They then throw it to the second Chaser, who throws it to my father, who scores by throwing the Quaffle in from behind the goal post after diving off of his broomstick, while falling. The second Chaser takes it and scores once again, the other team's Keeper diving off their broom, but failing to make the save. It always worked.
"You're kidding!" I shouted to my father.
"Inside voices," my mother chided. I apologized to her softly before turning back to my father.
She picked up my plate as I leaned back in my chair. "You know, Dad, you guys should start hiring aspiring Quidditch players for your alternates. I mean, even I could do the Harlem Shuffle!" I shouted. My mother once more hissed at me to be quieter. "Sorry. But I'm serious. It would be something for me to do until I can start school," I muttered under my breath.
My father grinned at me but when my mother turned back I knew that I had said something wrong. She didn't look happy with me. "And what exactly is it that you are doing when September comes?" My mother asked me with her hands on her hips.
I let out a soft groan. No-Maj school was so boring. It wasn't that I was bad at it. I was actually really good at it. But there was no point for me to be going there. I wasn't going to be a lawyer or police woman or something like that. I wasn't sure what I wanted to be. But it was going to be something like a Magizoologist, or Healer, or Auror, or Quidditch player. Nothing that No-Maj's could do. Nothing where I would need to know how to divide fractions, read poems, or know the history of the No-Maj world.
Even though we lived in it, I was not a No-Maj. I was a witch. I belonged in the Wizarding World. "Come on, Mom! Why should I have to know how to do No-Maj things? They're so boring! Let me help around the house, or teach me yourself, or I could get a job somewhere," I said hopefully.
My mother smiled at me and sighed, leaning down in front of me. She kneeled in between my legs and brushed my long hair out of my face. "Tara Nox, you listen to me. You are such a bright girl. But you are nine years old. You have time to do all of these things. Do you really want to do chores all day? Of course you don't. I don't have time to teach you myself. I have a job. And as for you getting a job yourself, I somehow don't think that anyone is going to want to hire a nine year old," she told me.
I let out a soft sigh. "I know that learning No-Maj things are important to them but what about to us? We have better things to be doing. We have real problems. Learning about the periodic table is not going to help me become an Auror," I argued weakly.
My mother smiled and my father came up to my side. He laid a large and scabbed hand on my shoulder. "So you want to be an Auror?" She asked me. I nodded at her slowly. "That's a noble profession. You want to save the world. You need top marks in those classes."
"I have top marks," I argued proudly.
It wasn't a lie. For most of the early education classes that I took at Ilvermorny, when I wasn't in No-Maj school, I had top marks. We couldn't use wand magic or wandless magic but we did learn practical applications and we read through most books that we would be using in our first year. I knew my marks were some of the best of my age group. Transfiguration was one of my better subjects. I had an O. Charms was another one of my better classes. Another O. Potions was a class that I always had to work had in. I was decent at it. I had been in between an O and E for most of the summer. I'd ended up with an O by the grace of my professor. History of Magic was dreadfully boring. But I did have an E. Defense Against the Dark Arts was my strongest subject. I had an easy O. Astronomy was one of my weaker subjects. I'd always hated it. It was my only A. Herbology was another of my less fascinating subject. My mother was wonderful at it. She was the reason that I had an O.
"I know you have top marks," my mother told me. I saw a hint of pride in the back of her eyes. I knew that she liked saying that her child was one of the brightest students at Ilvermorny. "You also need to be at one of the top-ranked schools to be an Auror," she added.
My eyebrows knitted. Ilvermorny was a good school. It was one of the best magical schools around. It was considered the best school in the United States. "Ilvermorny is the best school in the country," I told her.
This time it was my father that stepped forward. It made me realize that something was going on. They didn't talk to me like this unless they were going to tell me something that they knew I wouldn't like. "But it isn't one of the elite schools," my mother told me. She was right. It wasn't. While Ilvermorny was considered one of the better schools around it wasn't like Durmstrang Institute, Beauxbatons Academy of Magic, or Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. They were the elite three.
My head was spinning as I thought about what they were telling me. I knew that this was not going anywhere that I wanted it to go. "What's this all about?" I asked my parents sternly. As stern as a nine year old could be.
"Tara, you know where you were born, correct?" My father asked me.
I nodded at them. I'd heard this story before. "I was born at St. Mungo's in London, England. We lived in Godric's Hollow, in the West Country of England until I was a year old. And then you moved to the United States because you both got jobs here," I parroted to them the story that they'd told me any time I asked about my childhood.
They both shifted uncomfortably as they handed me a pamphlet. It was for a small neighborhood in a No-Maj community. It was called Little Whinging, Surrey. It was cute. But I didn't like that I was holding a pamphlet for it. Unless we were visiting relatives that I had never known. "Well, your mother and I were thinking about how you would feel if we decided to move back?" My father asked hopefully.
I'd seen it before in the No-Maj movies. The main character gets some sort of life-changing news and they stand there in utter silence, unable to think about anything else. I stood there too. I didn't have a clue of what to think. Ilvermorny, Florida, they were my homes! My parents worked here! I lived here. My friends were here. Everything was here. I might have been born in England but it was not my home.
"Come again?" I asked my parents, praying that I'd heard them wrong.
My mother pushed my father off to the side and helped me to stand from the chair. "Tara, sweetheart. I know that you've been looking forward to going to Ilvermorny since we told you about it but I'm so sorry. We've already made the decision. We need to move back. It's time. We went to school at Hogwarts and you will too. You'll love it there! They don't do a summer program so you'll be ahead. And it's a boarding school, just like Ilvermorny. We even have a home set aside. It's in there," my mother said, pointing down to the pamphlet.
There were only a handful of times that I had ever shouted at my parents. The first time was when I was five. My parents were trying to drag me away from the Quidditch Pitch that my father had taken me too to watch him practice. I hadn't wanted to leave. The second time had been when I was seven. I had told my mother in confidence about a boy that I'd thought was cute. She'd made the mistake of saying it to his mother, who had in turn told him. I'd been mortified when my friends had found out. I hadn't spoken to my mother for a week. The last time had been last year. My parents had refused to get me an owl for my birthday as penance for accidentally throwing away my favorite book.
This would now be the fourth. "How could you do this to me? I was going to start Ilvermorny in two years! I was already sorted into my house! I have Ilvermorny things all over my room. This is my home. My friends are here! This is my house. I want to live here. I don't know anyone in England. I can't go swimming over there. They don't have warm water or beaches! And what about you? What about your jobs?" I asked desperately.
Tears were building in my eyes. "We got jobs in the Ministry of Magic. It's not the jobs that we have here but they're good for us. We need to go back overseas. That's our home. It's yours too. We made a mistake raising you here for so long. We should have brought you back long ago. Before you even started No-Maj school. You'll make new friends. Most people at Hogwarts won't know each other. You aren't going to be alone. And you can keep in contact with your friends here," my mother tried.
"And when are we leaving? Since I clearly don't have a choice," I said sadly.
There was a hint of guilt in both of my parent's eyes. "Tomorrow," my father said. My jaw dropped. They had dropped this bombshell on me the day before we left? I took it back. My parents were awful.
At that point there was nothing left to say to them. My teeth were grinding together as I stomped up the stairs and slammed my door shut. I could hear my parents talking to each other downstairs but I ignored them. All I could think about was how they were taking my life and turning it on its head. I had an entire plan and they were ruining it! The pamphlet was still in my hands and I angrily tossed it to the floor.
This was one of the worst things that could have happened to me! Maybe I was being a tad overly dramatic but they were taking me away from the school that I had gotten so accustomed to. I knew that Hogwarts was one of the best schools in the world but that didn't mean that I hadn't become very faithful to Ilvermorny. Even though I was only a summer exchange student as of now I already had my house picked out for when I would be a first year. I was part of the Thunderbird's. I was going to try out for the Quidditch team as either a Keeper or Chaser. My marks were some of the best of my age. I had a bunch of good friends.
They were half of the reason that I was upset that I was leaving. And we were leaving tomorrow! I wouldn't even get a chance to say goodbye. None of them lived in Florida. They all lived in Tennessee, Massachusetts, California, Nevada, and Ohio. My No-Maj friends too. They wouldn't know what happened to me. No-Maj's used telephone's to communicate but my parents didn't like having one in the house. They preferred the Wizarding World way of communication. Letters. But I couldn't exactly have the family owl drop off a handwritten letter on a piece of parchment about how I was moving to another country without warning. I supposed that my disappearance would always be a mystery.
In reality I knew that I wouldn't keep these friends forever anyways. For the No-Maj's, in two years I would stop going to school with them. As for my other friends, I was only nine. Chances were that we would all grow apart with time anyways. Especially now with me being in another country. I had been a part of a group of six. My two best friends were Ellie Simpson and Morena Lyons. They were from California and Ohio respectively. They were both from Pureblood families and were very much polar opposites. While Ellie was loud and outgoing, Morena was soft spoken and mild mannered. I liked to think that I was in the middle of the two girls. There was also Michael Conner, David Bore, and Justin Hennway. The three of them were just like the three of us. Michael was boisterous, Justin was quiet, and David was in the middle. We were a good group.
I took a few minutes to write a letter to Ellie, telling her what had happened. Not wanting to write duplicate letters I told her to repeat it to everyone else and tell them to owl me later. I told her that I would give her my new address once I was settled in to respond to me with. I walked out of my room and briefly dipped into the library to see Hale on my father's desk. Hale was a five year old Barn Owl. He had a white face with a white and brown speckled body. He was not overly friendly but he got the job done.
"Take this to Ellie. Be back by morning, yeah?" Hale nipped at my finger slightly harder than he needed to before taking off. I hissed in pain and debated on shutting the window to lock him out. As much as I loved owls, Hale was a jerk.
Walking back to my room I looked through the house. It was my home. I didn't remember anything about my life in Godric's Hollow or England. That wasn't my home. This was. It was a craftsman style home, as most in Florida were. Our house was a soft peach color on the outside with white trim and a white door, adding to the beach look. It was two floors, the top floor about three-quarters of the size of the first. You walked into the large kitchen first. All marble and white counter-tops. My mother had told me more than once that I wasn't allowed in the kitchen alone. The living room was next. It had plush brown couches with a No-Maj television set in the far corner. On the first floor there was also a guest bedroom and bathroom.
Then there was the second floor. There were three bedrooms upstairs. My parents' bedroom was the closest from the staircase. Attached to it was a bathroom that they used. A guest bathroom was next to the bedroom and next to that was another bedroom. My parents mostly used that for storage for our magical tools. Just in case we had No-Maj guests. At the very end of the hall was my room. It was the one room in the house that had things scattered all over the place.
From posters of Quidditch players and teams to Ilvermorny decor strung up on my bed, no area of the room was bare. The entire room was painted and decorated in blue and cranberry, the colors of Ilvermorny. My entire wall over my bed was covered in a poster of the Stars Quidditch team. The Ilvermorny shield was on my bedspread. My walls were alternating blue and cranberry. My bookcase was painted with a Thunderbird. My magical schoolbooks were laid out all over the place. The No-Maj books were all stuffed away in my closet. Some Ilvermorny robes were scattered on the floor too, mixed in with No-Maj clothes.
As much as I wanted to pretend that I could avoid leaving forever I knew that there was no way that I was getting out of this one. So begrudgingly I stood and began to pack up my things. My truck was the easiest to pack. There was a bottomless pit spell on it. I could stuff as much into it as I wanted and it wouldn't weigh any more than it normally would. I began to throw my books in, clothes and shoes following. I only left out an outfit for tomorrow. The extra quilt over my bed went in next along with most of my toiletries. I only left out my toothbrush, hairbrush, and deodorant. Once they were packed I threw in the posters that were hung up on my wall.
Nearly an hour after I'd started packing everything was in my truck. There were two other bags. One had my very expensive dress robes that my mother would have a cow over if they were ruined. The other would be where my bedding, extra clothes, and toiletries would go once I was done. It was also where I had put in all of the paperwork that my mother had left out for me. It was called St. Grogory's Primary School. It even sounded awful. At least my No-Maj school was called Palm City Elementary School. There were other papers but I ignored them, wanting to not think about England for as long as humanly possible.
As I laid down for bed that night, after writing letters to my No-Maj friends from school, just in case I decided to send them, I laid down in my bed and brushed tears from my eyes. My bags and trunk sat in the corner and I sighed. This was really happening. It wasn't just a bad dream. The pamphlet my parents had given me was still on the ground. I rolled my eyes and picked it up, wanting to see my new home. Written in my mother's neat script at the bottom was the address of the new house. Number Five, Privet Drive.
The Next Day...
I'd heard my parents calling for me for nearly half an hour but I continued to ignore them. I merely packed up the last of my things in silence and changed into my clothing. I knew that Surrey was cold. It would be in the lower seventies at the absolute warmest. It was a major change from July in Florida; it was already in the upper eighties. By midday it would be in the nineties.
Shaking my head and pushing my shorts and t-shirts back into my trunk I grabbed a pair of jeans and pulled them on. A purple shirt and black jacket went over my torso. A moment later I slid black Chuck Taylor's onto my feet. Once my blonde hair was pulled up into a ponytail I walked down the stairs. It would be up to my parents to grab the trunk since this was their decision. I noticed that my father was standing in the fireplace, clearly using the Floo Powder. But was he leaving before us?
"What's Dad doing?" I asked my mother. She looked somewhat surprised to hear me speaking to her.
She handed me a plate of eggs, which I began to pick at slowly. I wasn't exactly feeling very hungry. "Your father is going to go move some of the larger things into the house first. He's been Apparating the car and furniture all morning." It explained why I had heard some loud cracking noises earlier. "Your stuff, it's upstairs?" She asked me. I nodded and she repeated it back to my father. "Sweetheart, I have to be honest with you about why we're making the move to Surrey," my mother told me.
Before she could say anything else I spoke over her. "Why Surrey? Why not Godric's Hollow? At least I could make real friends there. Magical friends. Everyone in Surrey is going to be a No-Maj," I whined.
"Enough," my mother snapped, letting me know that I had better listen to her. I shut my mouth and nodded. "We aren't moving back to Godric's Hollow because there are lots of... memories back there for us. It isn't a place that we want to return. Tara, we've taught you all about the Wizarding War," my mother said. I nodded slowly. She had told me enough to let me know what a horror it was, but not so much that I would have nightmares. "When your father and I were at Hogwarts we stood with many of our friends in a fight against Voldemort. He started putting out hits against the witches or wizards that dared oppose him. Lily and James Potter. They were our friends. They were some of his targets."
"I know this story," I interrupted my mother. "Everyone knows this story. Voldemort broke into their house in Godric's Hollow in the middle of the night and killed them both. When he tried to kill their kid something happened. The spell backfired on him. We don't know if he's dead or just too weak to do anything. But all we know is that he's gone and the world was better off with it. The boy became the Boy Who Lived. He's the only person in history to survive the Killing Curse," I recited. It was history that all magical people knew.
My mother nodded at me. "But there's more to the story. You were born about nine months before he was. We shared many of the same friends. When you were born it was wonderful. And then Harry came along. You two played together all of the time. Not long after James and Lily were put on Voldemort's hit list. Your father and I were placed on that same list too. We all stayed and fought. He went after James and Lily first. When they were killed we knew that we had to leave. Everyone warned us to go. Voldemort's followers were still all over the place. We wanted to take Harry and raise him as your brother but he wasn't safe with us. Not with the hits still on us. So we left. We came here, as far away as we could think to get. Harry was left with a family of No-Maj's. His aunt and uncle. A cousin his age too."
If my head hadn't been spinning before it was now. Harry Potter, the Harry Potter, was my childhood best friend? I couldn't picture him no matter how hard I tried. "I don't remember him," I admitted.
My mother gave a bitter smile. "I didn't think that you would. It's been a long time. Tara we should have told you this long ago but we never expected you to go to Ilvermorny. Hogwarts is where you belong. England is your home. Harry is your friend. It's why we need to go back. And Harry has been kept from the Wizarding World. Someone needs to be there for him when the time comes to adjust. He doesn't even know who his is. What he did. He needs, more than anything else, a friend."
"So let me get this straight. You're uprooting my entire life to send me for protection for The Boy Who Lived?" I howled at my mother. She sheepishly nodded. "Did anyone bother to ask me if I wanted this? If this was something that I wanted? I'm sure that Harry is a lovely boy but no one asked me if I wanted to be his friend. No one asked me if I wanted this. This isn't even a choice for me," I said, tears threatening to spill over.
"Tara, Harry was your best friend. You'll be happy to be back around him again. Hogwarts is a wonderful school. I used to consider it my home. You'll make more friends. We can get you an owl too." I knew that my mother was grasping at straws to make me happy again.
It seemed like nothing would ever make me happy again. My life was being laid out for me without giving me even a single choice. I had to go to England, go to Hogwarts, and befriend Harry Potter. "Can I ask you something?" I said softer, not wanting to upset my mother any more than she already looked. She nodded at me. "Why do we need to do this now?" I asked.
I could tell that she was grateful that I was at least trying to calm down. "This is imperative that we have you two become friends again. Harry will need a friend as the time comes closer to him finding out who he is. His powers should be starting now. Help him try to control them without telling him what he is. Be there for him. Be his friend. I guarantee that he will be yours. The day will come that something greater than Harry understands comes back to test him. He needs guidance. And that guidance begins with you. His friend. Who knows, he might remember you."
As much as I wanted to say something to her I couldn't find it in myself. My father Apparated back into the living room and I stared at him. He was sweating slightly as he smiled at the two of us. "I've got everything in the house except for my two favorite girls. Are we ready to go?" He asked carefully, his eyes never trailing from my face.
"Of course," my mother chirped happily. I merely nodded.
As we walked back into the fireplace I looked around at my house one last time. All of the walls that had held family pictures were empty and without furniture it looked cold. There didn't seem to be a hint of magic left anywhere. My face fell and I stared down at my shoes before looking back up. I needed just one last look because somewhere in the back of my mind I knew that I would never be coming back here again. "Number Five, Privet Drive!" My father shouted before tossing down the powder.
We were sucked through the fireplace before being spit out into a rather clean living room. I brushed a tiny bit of soot out of my hair as I tried to calm my rattled stomach. Looking around I saw that the place wasn't really half bad. It was actually rather similar to the house that we had back in Florida. The kitchen was at the back of the first floor. It faced the dining room, and beyond that were both the living room and the front door. There was a hallway beyond the kitchen that I assumed led to the front door. On the other side of the wall was a staircase that seemed to lead to the bedrooms and bathrooms. There was a small cupboard underneath the stairs. All of our things were laid out in the middle of the house.
Glancing out the window I saw that the car was already outside. Hale was sitting in his cage in the corner of the living room. He looked about as thrilled with the move as I was. My father clapped his hands together, startling both my mother and I, who had been looking around. "So, shall we get to unpacking?" He asked us.
My mother nodded and went to grab a box. They looked towards me and I shook my head. "I'd like to go for a walk and check out the neighborhood, if you don't mind?" I asked them. I was trying to be as nice as possible. If I was going to have to live here it was probably best not to make enemies out of the only friends that I had right now.
They were probably just happy that I'd spoken to them. My mother nodded at me. "Of course, dear. Be home a little before dinner so that you can unpack, yeah?" She asked me. I nodded and headed to the door, throwing it open and walking outside.
I stopped dead in my tracks at the sight of the houses. Like my own, they were all identical. They had pristine manicured yards that were all the exact same length. It was actually a reasonably pretty house. It was a deep beige color with dark brown accents. The front face was all stone. There were plants and trees all around the entrance and the door was a dark wood. To the right of the door was a small window and rose bush. Beyond that was a garage. On the other side of the door was a large bay window. The second floor had only two sets of large windows that I could see. It was rather unremarkable but it was better than it could have been.
"Go get the post, boy!" I heard a deeply masculine voice call. I was startled from my thoughts about the rather unremarkable house when I saw a very overweight man literally throw a tiny boy from their house. The one right next to mine.
The boy looked like he was nearly drowning in the clothes that he was wearing. An oversized blue checkered button down shirt and jeans that were about three sizes too big. His hair was black and sticking up in all directions. He wore round glasses that were taped together in the middle and I smiled. The eyes behind it were a brilliant green. He was a rather plain-looking boy, save his eyes. He looked nothing like the family that slammed the door in his face. The two men were porky and mean-looking. The woman vaguely resembled a horse.
The boy walked down to the mailbox and caught eyes with me. I blushed, realizing that I had been blatantly staring. "Hello," the boy said. He had a thick British accent.
"Hi," I responded shyly.
His eyes widened and I realized just how green they were. "You're an American, aren't you?" He asked me. I nodded softly and smiled. "Cool! What are you doing in Little Whinging?" He asked me.
It took me a moment to remember that this place was called Little Whinging. "I just moved here from Florida. It's in the United States. I was actually born here. Moved away when I was young." The boy nodded and stuck his hand out for me to shake. After a moment I took it. "That's quite the family you have in there," I mentioned carefully, not wanting to upset my first chance at a new friend.
He looked a little startled. "They aren't my family. I mean they are but they aren't. That's my cousin Dudley Dursley. His parents are my aunt and uncle. Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon. They took me in when I was a baby. My parents were killed in a car crash." My jaw nearly dropped when I realized that I didn't even know this boy's name and here we were talking about his dead parents. "It's okay, it was a long time ago. I don't remember them."
"Well I'm still very sorry to hear that. You seem like you deserve better than Aunt Horse-Face and Uncle Vermin. You'll have to give me time for Dudley," I said teasingly.
The boy laughed loudly and grabbed the mail out of the mailbox. "Oh don't worry about him, I already have a name for him. I curiously cocked an eyebrow. My Ickle Diddykins." I couldn't help it. I lost it. I was glad that I'd gone to the bathroom before leaving the house. The boy laughed for a while longer before smiling at me. "That's what my Aunt Petunia called him once," he explained to me.
I nodded at him with a smile. Behind him I could see his family starting to come to the door. I guessed they thought that he had been taking too long. "Well you could make your own sitcom with them. You could call them the Dynamic Dursley's!" I said jokingly. The boy laughed. He was definitely a No-Maj if he knew what a sitcom was.
The door swung open and Vermin yelled out again, "Boy! Get back here with the post! Who the bloody hell are you?" He asked as his eyes turned to me. They were beady, like Hale's. And his mustache twitched like an animal waiting for a meal.
"Tara! Tara Nox," I called back, waving to the family. "I'm your new neighbor," I said, motioning back to my house. I could hear my parents turning on the music to listen to while they moved in. The Dursley family all welcomed me to the neighborhood. They must not have gotten new people around here that often. They looked far too confused. I turned to leave, knowing that the boy wouldn't be allowed to stay out here much longer, and called out. "What's your name? I didn't catch it."
The boy held out a hand to shake mine once more. "Harry. Harry Potter," he told me with a grin. I had to keep from reacting. As he moved away from me I saw his hair fall back and show off a lightning shaped scar on his forehead. It was from the curse. I smiled at him and nodded. This was why my parents had wanted to move here exactly. My neighbor was The Boy Who Lived.
"Well Harry," I started confidently. Vermin chirped something not too friendly in the background as Horse-Face gave a stern glare and Diddykins stared at me far longer than I liked. "I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship," I told him with a smile.
He laughed at me and turned back to his family. They looked extremely angry that we had made them wait. "I think you're right," Harry told me. We both smiled and waved at each other as he made his way back up the driveway and I turned to head back to my house. "Hey Tara!" Harry called. I turned back to look at him. "Come by any time," he said with a smile. I nodded at him and gave a quick turn back to my house.
As I made the short trip into my foyer I realized that maybe this move wouldn't be so bad. Maybe this was my first chance to have a real friend, someone more than a person to keep me company. Maybe Little Whinging, Hogwarts, and Harry Potter would change my life completely, for the best. It wouldn't be long before I realized how right I was.
A/N: And here I am with another story because I can't just focus on one. I'm terrible, I know. If you're curious the name from this story comes from my character's name. Tara Nox translated literally means Queen of the Night.
This is going to span all seven years of schooling (I'll probably break each year up into a book). As of now it is strictly a friendship kind of story but in the next few years we will see some romance. Not with Harry though! If you're looking for a Harry/OC story this is not the place. It will have a few romances because that's the way that real life works. Maybe Cedric Diggory, Draco Malfoy, Fred Weasley, Seamus Finnegan. Who knows?
So anyways, this is going to mostly follow the books with a few movie elements in. Obviously there will be original content mixed in there as well. So please let me know how you liked the start! Until next time -A