Chapter 1 - Fantasy
"...probably a Ravenclaw with your head always in books, but then again there is more of your father in you than you know. Perhaps a Gryffindor?"
"Yeah mum, definitely." Skye nodded encouragingly, picking at the birthday cake that celebrated her 11th birthday. Her mother beamed at her agreement and Skye couldn't help but return it.
"I knew it! It's that stubborn headed-ness of yours. Your father would call it his 'determination'." Her mother scoffed, lost in her thoughts. As she reminisced the room grew silent. Suddenly, she jumped as if startled and began rummaging under the sofa, her brown hair forming a curtain to obscure her face. "I almost forgot," she muttered, arising to shove a squishy package into her daughter's hands.
Handing it over her eyes grew expectantly as Skye let out a brief laugh at the wrapping. It was a mess, sticking out at angles she didn't think were possible for paper. Then there was the sellotape, guarding every possible entry point into the package.
"It's almost like you don't want me to know what's inside," Skye teased, clawing at potential weaknesses. Despite her hands flushing red with the effort, the package finally revealed a red and gold interior. Freeing it from its wrapping, Skye revealed a scarf.
"It was your father's" her mother breathed, causing Skye's grip to tighten on the material. Immediately her mother moved to prise the scarf from her daughter's hands and wrap it around her neck. "Perfect, my little lion".
"Rawr," Skye growled, causing her mother's smile to widen.
"It's time to go, Skye" Helen commanded from her space of so-called distance. Skye barely had the time to utter out a 'but' before she was given 'the look'. It was all Helen needed to reign Skye in. She wasn't much of a rebel.
"Well, goodbye mum. I'll see you next week okay? And the gift was brilliant, thank you." Skye rushed her words, feeling like there was so much to say in a small amount of time.
"You'll look out for the owl, won't you dear?" She almost pleaded.
"Of course I will! I…"
"Goodbye, Mrs Knight," Helen finished.
Skye felt as if she was dragged from her mother's presence, only managing a final 'love you' before exiting the care home.
"Really, Skye? Do you have to encourage such fantasies?" Helen scolded.
"But it makes her so happy to talk about it all and you have to admit it sounds brilliant. I'd rather go to Hogwarts to learn magic than St George's to study science," she frowned.
"You like science," Helen scoffed. "Anyway that's not the point. How can she get better with you spouting the likes of endless teapots?!"
"I'm telling you! I must have had about twenty cups of tea and it was still full!" Skye squawked. The corners of Helen's mouth twitched ever so slightly as if amused by the girl's vast imagination. The girl smirked in response, but immediately regretted the action.
"Skye Harriet Knight, you may live with your nose in a book, but it's time you realise that's where your musings must remain in your mother's presence. It's not healthy where she is concerned." Helen's voice was pointed, but there was a softness underneath. It was refreshing to see a child in her care full of life and imagination. She deserved to keep that with her for as long as possible, but it was feeding a poisoned mind.
"I knooow," she whined in response. "I just think that she deserves to be happy. The truth hurts." Helen looked in sympathy at the child beside her.
"But it is the truth," she responded.