Disclaimer 1: This is fanfic. That means I do not own any of it. I just borrow it to play with for a little while and let people see the pathetic results if they really want to.

Disclaimer 2: I'm not making any money from it. It's just for fun.

Disclaimer 3: What isn't borrowed is all made up. None of this is real or most likely at all realistic. Please don't trust any of the information in here. Most likely you know more about whatever I'm writing about than I do.

Disclaimer 4: Attitudes, views and opinions expressed by the characters or in the story are not necessarily those of the author. Even when writing Science Fiction or Fantasy I do not tend to attempt to create perfect/better worlds in which everybody gets a happy end ... or whatever is best for them. Please accept that some characters will have a bad ending or be unhappy.

Disclaimer 5: I intend no insult to anyone. If I offend anyone I'm very sorry. Please understand that it was an accident as I tend to be very clumsy in these things.



"Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry?" Mr. Bagus looked at his wife significantly.

"Well, yes," Mrs Bagus admitted. "You will remember that I told you that my first husband was ... unconventional. He did warn me our children would most likely inherit ... the ability. But when this letter never arrived for Cordelia, I hoped ..."

"You realise that my parish must under no circumstances find out about this," the reverend said. "And yet. ... I cannot, I will not suffer our son to return to that school."

He still shuddered at the memory of the scars his stepson's overly flogg-happy headmaster had left on the boy's tender skin. He'd boarded some of the worst troublemakers of the local college over the years and never seen anything this bad. And yet, by all reports, John was considered an unusually quiet and obedient boy at his school. This description also matched his own observations. No, he could not suffer a child in his care to attend that school.

"A scholarship from another school would be a godsend right now," he allowed. "If only John had done a little better in the exam."

He just couldn't afford Winchester college's tuition fees, but it would not look good to send his son to another school while continuing to take in Winchester boarders.

"And a school for magic at that! Not to mention that witchcraft implies that they teach girls in the same school!"

"Surely they do not!" Mrs Bagus exclaimed. "They will be separate buildings in close vicinity that are sponsored by the same charity. I cannot imagine my first husband's parents allowing their children to attend there otherwise."

"You are right. I should have thought of this. Perhaps, if we allow it to become known that we cannot afford Winchester college, everyone will assume that John will continue at Christ's Hospital. That would not be a lie. You are absolutely sure that that school had no adverse effect on Mr. Colborne's immortal soul and gentlemanly conduct?"

"Am I still intended for the church then, Sir?" John Colborne asked calmly when his father informed him of the change in his educational arrangements.

His father! It still seemed almost unbelievable that he finally had a father. That had been his biggest wish ever since his original father had died when he'd been only six years old. And this one was even better than the first. He took time to talk with him and had taken him fishing and sometimes even played chess with him!

"We shall see," Mr. Bagus allowed. "I am not quite sure whether it would be appropriate yet."

"I ... would not mind the army, Sir," Colborne dared to suggest.

Mr. Bagus hummed and hemmed a little. "You are of an age when boys dream of daring deeds and adventure," ha said finally. "But it may not seem as desirable once you are a man. Besides we should not forget that we have no connections in that profession. Without interest or money you would not have much of a career. I doubt that my sister would wish to engage the interest of her husband's distant connections in your favour. In any case we should also consider the law if it comes to that."

"Yes, Sir," John agreed placidly, hiding his disappointment.

"But let us assume that you are still intended to follow in my footsteps for the time being," Mr. Bagus continued. "That would be the most pleasing solution to both myself and your mother."

"Oh yes, Sir!" Colborne exclaimed. It was certainly preferable to the law as far as he was concerned. "I never meant to imply that I wouldn't be best pleased serving the Lord. I only meant to let you know, that, if it is inappropriate, I would not mind the army as an alternative."

He was a little disappointed, but Colborne was used to things not going his way and he'd had several strokes of extremely good luck lately. Becoming a soldier and getting to live in walking distance from his mother until he did would have been simply too good to be true. He'd settle for escaping from the hated school in London he'd had to attend ever since he'd been seven years old. Only a year ago he wouldn't have dared to dream of that.

As for learning magic, Colborne wasn't quite sure what he thought of it, but then one had to take things as they came and make the best of them. Most likely knowing magic was useful in any case.