I gasped as I read the letter. How could this be? It was impossible. "Wait. I have two sisters who don't like me. They probably did this." I snatched up the letter and walked up to Piper's door. "Piper! Open up!" I yelled and pounded on the door. The music that had been playing shut off and the door opened.
"What's up, Phoebe?" she asked innocently.
I scowled and held up the letter. "This. Why'd you do this?"
"Trick me into thinking I had been accepted at Hogwarts! Grams and mom both know I could never get in. You just wanted to torture me, didn't you?"
"I didn't! You're my sister, and I'd never trick you. You really did get in."
"Yeah, right. It was probably Prue. Prue!" I moved onto my other sister.
She popped her head out from her room. "What's wrong?"
"You tried to trick me with this fake letter from Hogwarts. This really hurts me, Prue. I know they'd never accept me."
"Sis, I would never try to hurt you. Did you ever think that it's the real thing? After all, Piper and I do go there."
"I'm not the kind of person they want there!"
"They did accept Lucius," Prue pointed out.
"But... I... they... this can't be happening."
"Go talk to mom and Grams. I'm sure they'll love to hear about this." She ruffled my hair.
I started to smile, hardly daring to believe. I then ran downstairs crying out, "I got into Hogwarts!"
I had been so excited about Hogwarts. From the way Piper and Prue had described it, it sounded like heaven. That had been a big misconception. Hogwarts turned out to be like any other school. It was dull and unchallenging, so I got skipped ahead a year. I still did well. In my boredom, I turnedto my bad side. I broke all the rules constantly and was threatened with expulsion on several occasions. Professor Dumbledore, however, defended me each time. I didn't understand why he believed in me. Whenever I asked, he would just smile knowingly. Sometimes I considered changing for him. Yet I never could. It just wasn't me.
"Phoebe, hurry up. We're going to be late," the voice of Piper called.
I rolled my eyes. Piper was a prefect of Ravenclaw and Prue was Head Girl. She was also in Ravenclaw. They were way too good for my tastes. "I'm coming, I'm coming," I muttered and dragged my stuff out to the car. Settling in the car, I noticed how overjoyed my sisters looked. They adored Hogwarts.
"Platform nine and three quarters, here we come!" Prue squealed.
"Big deal," I said. "Every year is exactly the same."
"Don't be so pessimistic, dear," mom said.
Mom started up the car. It wasn't a usual car, though, so when it started, we were transported to a safe place in England. From there, we continued to the station.
"Here we are," Piper sighed once we had passed through.
"I see my friends. Bye!"
"Not so fast, little sister. You're saying goodbye to mom properly," Prue reprimanded and dragged me back.
I begrudgingly hugged mom. Piper, as usual, cried, and Prue promised to keep me in line. Mom wished us good luck, and we were off.
On the train, I complained to my friends about the summer. "Victor stopped by. I called him a jerk and stayed with a muggle friend while he stayed at the house. I wanted to curse him, but Prue wouldn't let me. I can't wait until I can use magic all the time."
"I think you should curse Prue. You could use that bad girl spell you wrote," my closest friend, Melissa, suggested.
"I loved how you used that on Piper. Does she still have the tattoo?" Brad asked and lit a cigarette.
"No. The headmaster made me take it off. Piper didn't even do anything to get back at me. She just took points away from Gryffindor. I can't believe I'm related to her."
"You three do look alike, though," Jake pointed out.
I threw a pen at him. "Don't even say that!"
"I think you do," Natalie said.
"Ugh. I wish I could belong to another family. Grams is always lecturing me about the duties of the Halliwells." I shook my head. "Like I'll ever worry about other people."
"So what are we going to do this year?" Melissa questioned.
"We'll focus on form-changing spells for the teachers, a mix of homemade curses for the prefects, and some heavy curses for those damn Marauders. How dare they compete with us for superiority."
"We are going to get them."
The feast was as dull as last year's. The headmaster droned on about boring things, my friends and I launched things at the Marauders, who returned the favor, and the professors yelled at us. Same stuff, different day. When everyone went up to the dorms, I wandered the halls. Peeves greeted me by throwing various objects at my head, which I deflected skillfully. "Peeves, I have a favor to ask of you."
"Why should I help you?"
"Because I have a certain spell which will cause a person to become a ghost and a ghost to become a person for one day," I replied.
Now he was interested. "No restrictions?"
"No restrictions at all." I held up a piece of paper. "But you have to do something for me to get it."
"I need you to concentrate your mischievous efforts on the Marauders," I said. "Torture them for at least a week. Do we have a deal?"
"Yes." He seized the paper and flew off laughing.
Now it was time to plan the first prank of the school year. I grinned and read the spell. Locate your target and concentrate. Speak these words: for (person's name) to know and not speak, take away her/his voice for one week. The person will be unable to communicate for one week or until the countercurse is spoken.
"I do believe the Marauders have something to look forward to tomorrow."
The sun was just rising when I awoke. I didn't have to be up for another three hours, but I was too excited to sleep. I carefully dressed in my uniform and observed my reflection. "Fabulous." To pass the time, I read through my textbooks. I had already read each one of them over the summer, but I still loved each and every page.
The other girls began to rise a while later. They weren't surprised to see me up and ready. I knew what they thought of me. They all thought I was a suck-up and that I was pathetic. I didn't have any friends, but I tried not to care. I had more time for studies. I'd be very successful someday. Still, sometimes it hurt to be alone.
My first class of the day was muggle studies. It was an easy A. Even though my mother was a witch, my father was a muggle. He couldn't handle the magical world, so my mother had settled for a muggle home. After he left, she decided to just stay where we were. She said it was easier. I knew she stayed because she wanted to stay close to him somehow.
I was hoping that this year was going to be easier than the previous year, but I knew that Phoebe was going to cause all the trouble she could. I thought that she wouldn't bother with mischief until at least the end of the first breakfast. However, Phoebe apparently wanted to get an early start.
As I was munching on my breakfast, I heard Phoebe's voice. I instantly knew that there was going to be trouble.
"Hey, Marauders." Phoebe pulled out her wand. "For James, Remus, Sirius, and Peter to know and not speak, take away their voices for one week." They were rendered speechless... literally. They silently yelled at Phoebe and pointed their wands, but nothing happened. The scene amused her greatly.
"Phoebe! Ten points from Gryffindor. Take off the spell," I ordered.
She casually filed her nails. "Can't."
"Burned up the countercurse." Phoebe shoved a pile of ashes into my hands.
"Phoebe! Do you really want to have detention the first week?"
"You can't give me detention."
"Maybe so, but Professor Stanton will," I said. "Come with me."
Phoebe smirked. "Piper, do you think I care about detention?"she asked.
"You should. Professor Stanton, Phoebe has put a silencing curse on James Potter, Peter Pettigrew, Sirius Black, and Remus Lupin. She won't tell me the curse she used and she burned the countercurse."
Professor Stanton wearily eyed Phoebe. "Phoebe, do you have to be such a trouble maker? You do well in school and you could have a great future if you stopped cursing people."
Phoebe locked eyes with her. "I never said I wouldn't tell you the curse I used."
"Detention, Miss Halliwell, with me tonight. Piper, I think you will be able to take the curse off easily after classes."
"What will the young men do for now?" I asked.
Professor Stanton summoned four writing boards. Phoebe snickered.
"This is no laughing matter," Professor Stanton said.
"I think it is," said Phoebe.
"Would you like another detention?"
"Then I suggest you learn to control your tongue," Professor Stanton said. "That is all for now."
I took the boards over to James, Sirius, Remus, and Peter. James immediately wrote a message.
"When will the curse wear off?"
"I'm going to take the curse off after classes," I told him.
"What punishment did Phoebe receive?" Sirius wrote.
"Not that it's any of your business, but she's getting detention. And please do not begin another war with her. You remember last year."
"But she can't do this to us!" James wrote.
"This isn't very severe," I said. "Unless you plan on detention with me or one of the teachers, you should accept it and move on."
"The Marauders never give up!" James wrote.
"Fine. I'll just keep taking away points from Gryffindor. I'm sure it'll be a very busy year."
"You'd better believe it!"
Potions class was my least favorite class, not because of the subject, but because of the people. Lucius Malfoy and his cronies were there, and they caused me constant problems. Sometimes I considered taking away a major chunk of points away just because I didn't like them. I never did. I liked the rules.
Malfoy threw a nasty look at me. I ignored him, trying to keep myself from saying anything. Hopefully, he wouldn't insult me. I knew that wasn't going to happen. I dove into my work, wishing that the bell would never ring. I knew a spell that could delay it. Perhaps I could... RING. It was too late. I hurried out. Malfoy and his cronies followed me.
"Mudblood!" Malfoy called. "You don't deserve to practice magic!"
Tears threatened to spill from my eyes. "Leave me alone," I mumbled, keeping my head tucked down.
"What was that, mudblood?"
"I said, leave me alone," I said, raising my head slightly. I shouldn't have, for now he could see my tear-filled eyes.
"Oh, look, Miss Prefect mudblood is crying," Snape joined in.
"Don't call me that," I said. I had a little more strength in my voice.
"What will you do to stop us?" Malfoy sneered.
I looked down, wishing I were Phoebe. She would never take this.
"Yes, do keep your head down. In fact," Malfoy smiled and took out his wand, "get on your knees." He spoke a spell and I was forced to my knees.
"Hey! Get away from my sister! Iacere!"
They were all thrown against the wall as Phoebe came along. They got up and scurried away.
"You'd better run!" She came over to me and helped me up. "Piper, why do you let them torture you? You could've sent them to Iceland!"
"I don't like to break the rules."
Phoebe shook her head. "Sometimes the rules have to be broken. That's one lesson you still haven't learned." She took out a piece of paper and slipped it into my hand. "If they bother you again, use this spell." She started to walk away.
"Phoebe." She turned. "Thanks."
"It was nothing."