Prologue: Turn my World upside Down

Sarah Williams watched her friends depart through the mirror with a confused turmoil of thoughts in her head. She sat down on her bed, that didn't seem as snug, warm and comfy as she had remembered it back at the Junkyard in the Labyrinth and sighed, her brows furrowed. She absentmindedly pressed a hand against her chest, feeling that... that thing moving inside her, that surge of power, of life... of warmth that had settled within her at the Escher Room, after having appeared and disappeared inside her a couple of times inside the Labyrinth. It was as if her blood was buzzing with something that tickled the tips of her left hand and went up her arm, straight into her head and heart. It felt odd, but strangely right, as if it was how she had been supposed to feel all of her life. As if something inside her, which had formed part of her had been awakened at last. But there was also another little feeling, one of emptiness, as if she was missing something, something that had much to do with what she had gained...

"I'm babbling nonsense!" she sighed finally, letting her body drop to the mattress with a soft, muffled thud. She hid her face in her hands, feeling the emptiness tug at her heart, making her sad and horribly depressed, as if yearning for something that she needed to be happy again. Exasperated with herself for all that rubbish roaming inside her head she changed her dirty, grimy clothes for her nightgown and then snuggled under the sheets, not realizing that if she had just stared at her vanity mirror she would have noticed that the colour of her eyes had changed from a pale green to a misty silver, the colour of liquid mercury. But she was very busy trying to be rid of thoughts of things gained, things lost and things that were missing.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ Dream Sequence *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

She was bathed in silvery light, as if she shone from within, and everything around her was obscured by a veil of darkness that was soothing, as if the veil enveloped her in a protective way, making her feel relaxed and at ease. But she knew she was not along, she could sense a presence, a kindred spirit looming in the shadows, waiting for the opportune moment to come out and reveal itself to her. She knew that spirit, she knew that essence. She had fought against it and she had won, fair and square.

"Labyrinth?" she asked tentatively, kindly even, as she motioned it to approach "I know you are there. Come out, please"

A silvery orb of liquid light appeared before her then, shinning exactly the way she was, floating gently in front of Sarah. It gave away a feeling of ancestry, of long-ago born power, of old magic...

"Magic?" Sarah said aloud, puzzled, staggering back as realization hit her. That silvery glow, that damnable feeling... It was magic, coursing though her veins, calling out for the Labyrinth after having been awakened by her adventure in the Underground... It felt horrible but it wall started to make sense, in a twisted out-of-the-bloody-ordinary kind of way that made you think you were loosing it big time. However, she shook her head and lifted her chin, deciding that she was going to act sensible and deal with whatever was happening, accepting it as a child would: without questions, only with faith.

"Why have you summoned me, Labyrinth?" Sarah said calmly, sitting down with her legs crossed, looking patiently at the sphere looming now above her head, a few inches away, as if waiting for some kind of approval before going anyway nearer her.

"I've brought you here, Little One, for what must be done after the ordeal you went through" a voice resounded in the vastness of the obscurity, the voice deep and old, yet neither male nor female "For many years I've waited for my kindred spirit, for the person to bond with. King Jareth was kind enough to let me lean on him, but, though he is my most respected master, he is not my kin, being him fiery whereas I am calm. But in you, in the serenity that hides beneath that stubbornness and that hot temper, I've found my match. You are the mixture of will and tranquillity, of defiance and gentleness that I have been searching for"

The girl listened patiently, titling her head to a side. She had to admit she was usually a quiet girl, but the last weeks had been oddly filled with rage and tantrums she was not used to making. She usually just let her stepmother get away with anything, but somehow she had snapped. However even then she had kept her cool demeanour, till the day when she called upon the goblins. Her blood had run hot in her veins for the first time in her life. It had been Jareth; he had enraged her so... He had woken such passionate, dormant feelings inside her that he had actually left her quite tired of feeling so strongly, so deeply, so forcefully, so against her nature. She nodded towards the orb, acknowledging her words to be true

"We ask of you to bond with us, to accept us as your kin, to form part of us. Having been able to make your way through our twisting passageways is the proof we are of the same soul. Join us. We will not take you from your home, or from your life, we will merely be connected, and we will lend you our power and reside within you. You heart has a place already emptied for us. We ask you to be our Keeper, for Master we already have, and that will never change" the Labyrinth whispered, its voice almost a hiss, revealing no feelings, and Sarah got the distinct impression that, as a structure more than a being, the Labyrinth had trouble feeling things at all. She eyed the orb with a thoughtful look in her face, thinking deeply about her options and the consequences they both would carry and that she couldn't deny. She knew that what was being proposed was the right thing to be done but there were doubts, thousands of them, stabbing at her heart, begging her to reconsider.

"Will..." she asked finally, her mind set "Will it hurt?"

The question seemed to hang in thin air for a while, creating an invisible gap between that ancient power and the dainty little girl, as if were the last bridge to cross. Sarah's gaze didn't even waver though and she guessed the answer to her own question within seconds. She nodded her head then, her movements slow but resolute.

"Do what you must. I accept you" she said simply, extending her arms with confidence towards the power. The sphere dissolved itself into a river of silver and sparks, wrapping itself around her right arm, bringing a scorching every time the magic touched her skin. Sarah hissed in pain and bit her lower lip till it bled, but dared not complain. The blazing sensation in her arm, after a couple of minutes, reduced itself to a warm tingly feeling and it was then when the girl opened her eyes, realizing she had closed them, and peered at her right arm with curiosity. It was encased in a black glove that went past her elbow a few inches. It was made out of silk, soft and cool to the touch, and it ended in the tip of her middle finger, forming a ring around it, like a sort of fingerless glove that didn't cover her palm either. In the palm of her hand something stood out, however: it was half a crystal sphere, one she had seen the Goblin King twirl in his hands one-too-many-times, incrusted in her hand, and visible only because there was a hole in the glove. At first she though the crystal was actually part of the glove, but after tugging at it she realized painfully that it was attached to her skin, flesh, veins and bones. The glove managed to wrap itself around her palm, that felt somewhat numb, buzzing with something.

"Why the glove?" she asked after she was sure her voice wouldn't falter. Her eyes kept roaming through her arm, settling on the crystal orb, which was translucent at one time, but it started to glow the same colour as her eyes and something inside it stirred, as if she had trapped some kind of silvery liquid or mist inside it. Then, with the blink of an eye, the liquid was gone. She recall absentmindedly that Jareth had also worn gloves every time they met, though he was always dressed in different clothes.

"To prevent power from flowing from your arm when you don't want it, the glove has been made from a special kind of silk that will ensure that you don't use the magic we now share without you wanting to in some level. But your magic is yours to command and yours to get out of control, and it will flow through your left arm, so both magics don't clash" the Labyrinth explained, its voice echoing all around her, as if the structure was surrounding her.

"How thoughtful" Sarah's mouth twitched, revealing her slight amusement. She felt somewhat happy, fulfilled in some strange sort of way. She laid back in the darkness that enveloped her, safe and secure; her eyelids suddenly heavy and a wave of drowsiness crushing over her. She closed her eyes slowly, knowing she was never to be alone again and smiled in the darkness, her body as well as the crystal in her hand shinning in the mist of the obscurity...

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ Ed of Dream Sequence *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

She woke up with the sound of someone knocking... no, take that back, rather banging on her door. Dumbfounded Sarah struggled out of her bed, almost tripping after realizing she had entangled her legs in the sheets, and then stood up, brushing a few locks of her hair away from her face as she blinked the sleep out of her eyes. She realized that the shrill voice accompanying the banging was that of her stepmother's.

"There is no room in this house for lazy people Sarah" she admonished from her place at the other side of the door "So get up right now and start with the cleaning, young lady!"

Sarah winced upon hearing such a high-pitched scream first thing in the morning, but put on her dressing gown nevertheless and approached the door, turning the key so as to open it. She recalled the dream at that point and, glancing quickly at her right hand she managed to cover the glove and crystal ball thanks to the fact that her nightgown was way too big for her.

"I'm up, I'm up!" she said after unlocking the door and flinging it open so Karen could see she was wide awake, up and about. The blond-haired woman frowned upon seeing her not already dressed. She was clad in a business suit herself, very modern and of a pale lilac colour, which indicated Sarah she wasn't about to clean up with her.

"I've got an important lunch with some friends from High School, Sarah" she informed her teenage slave with an unfriendly voice "So I expect you to clean the house, feed Toby and keep an eye on things while I am not here. Get dressed; fix yourself some breakfast and get over with your chores"

Without so much as a wave or a goodbye Karen Williams left her there, in the middle of the hallway, still half-asleep, her mind a little confused. Just as she shook her head to get rid of the lethargy another sound caught her attention: the sound of claws scratching against glass. She froze, momentarily remembering the last time she had heard that noise, last night after she had wished her brother away, but then thought she would be able to sense Jareth somehow and that he didn't even have a reason to be there so she turned, glad and a little perplexed to find a brownish owl scrapping at her window, caring something with its talons. Sarah opened the window and let the bird in. The owl looked at her and extended the envelope to her. She caught it in her hands deftly, turning it to see it was addressed to her in brilliant emerald characters. The envelope itself was strange, of a yellowish colour as the colour of aged paper and unnaturally heavy. She broke the seal of the missive, another odd touch, and took out a piece of parchment and read it intently: it said something about having been accepted to a School called Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry but a few lines caught her attention.

Unfortunately for some unknown reason your name didn't come up in the admission books till last night, and you have already passed the age of first years students, which is eleven years old. That can be arranged with a spell or a potion, but it would require your and your parent's full consent, so a representative of the school will visit you tonight to discuss that possibility and, if you agree, to perform the necessary magic to solve this inconvenience. We hope everything will work out for the best in the end...

Sarah's mouth didn't fall open. She didn't gasp or shake or wondered, she was way past that with magic. It all made freaking sense after all: her own magic had awoken after her adventure in the Underground so of course someone had sensed it. She hadn't been aware that other wizards and witches existed, but it seemed obvious that she would be called if there were. She sat down in her bed, to let it all sink in, and then groaned.

"Aw, Karen is going to freak out! She is going to either kill me or agree to whatever they want to do me to be rid of me" she muttered under her breath, glancing at the letter a second time. It was signed by someone called Minerva McGonagall with a severe handwriting. She sighed and decided to hope for the best. Toby started crying from somewhere in the room and Sarah dropped the parchment to go to him, humming softly in a soothing way in an effort to calm the infant.

The doorbell rung in the William's home. Robert Williams was too much wrapped up in some article of the newspaper to hear it, and Sarah had her hands busy changing Toby's diaper, so she asked Karen, who was talking to someone over the phone downstairs to go see who it was.

"Can't you go yourself?" Karen shouted back, not at all pleased to be interrupted in the middle of a very enjoyable chat. Sarah explained her situation and Karen finally hung up, muttering something about the selfishness of teenagers under her breath. She flung the front door open with a scowl in her face and was surprised to encounter a rather tall, thin woman with black hair pulled back severely in a bun, square spectacles and dark green robes with golden decorations and a tartan shawl wrapped around her shoulders. She carried a bag with her and had an expression of polite indifference.

"Mrs. Williams?" she enquired courteously, smiling an icy smile as she extended her hand "I am Minerva McGonagall, Deputy Headmistress of Hogwarts. I am here to talk to you about you step-daughter, Sarah"

The blond woman stared blankly at the witch for several seconds, not taking the outstretched hand and then she motioned her to come in and make herself comfortable, though no words left her mouth. Professor McGonagall frowned at that but made no comment as she was directed to a green velvet armchair, where she sat opposite to Karen Williams, who was still apparently confused. Robert looked away from his newspaper and then his eyes grew wide when they registered the teacher. An understanding look took over then and he folded the damned paper and went to join the two ladies.

"Good evening, Mr. Williams" greeted the witch with another little smile "My name is Minerva McGonagall and I am Deputy Headmistress of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I am here to discuss the possible admission of your oldest daughter, Sarah Aithne Rhiannon Williams" she informed him simply "We sent a letter to her this very day, I don't know if she has informed you about the fact..."

Her voice trailed off as Robert called for her daughter, Karen shocked to discover that Sarah had, in fact, quite an extensive and rather eccentric name. At that precise moment the object of her musings came down the stairs, wearing black trousers and a forest-green shirt with rather long sleeves that went past her wrists and covered almost up to her fingertips. She smiled unsurely at the stranger and then rested her gaze on her father, her eyebrows arched in a silent question.

"Sit down, dear" he said, gesturing towards an armchair near the witch "This woman says you received a letter telling she was coming. Is it true?"

His voice was calm and somewhat eager at the same time. Sarah sat down and looked at her hands entwined in her lap for a couple of seconds before nodding.

"I'm sorry I didn't tell you dad, but it just slipped my mind and I was so busy when you came that I thought I would tell you after I finished all my chores but then Toby started crying and... Well, I forgot" she said apologetically, glancing then at the Professor "I am very sorry, Ma'am"

Minerva McGonagall smiled her first genuine smile and made a gesture as if to dismiss the subject.

"There is nothing to apologize for, my dear. You were taking care of your little brother and that is understandable" she assured the teen, assessing her and then nodding approvingly "Now to the task at hand"

She reached for something inside her bag and pulled out a rather worn-out, yet impressive copy of a book called 'Hogwarts: a History' and placed it on the coffee table. The same crest that had adorned the wax seal of the letter Sarah had gotten earlier that morning graced the cover of the book.

"The book explains all there is to know about Hogwarts, but I suppose that, being a Williams, she should know about it. After all, though it has been lacking wizards and witches for a very long time, more than a century if I recall correctly, the Williams family is quite respected in the wizardry circle" Minerva said slowly, glancing at Robert, clearly expecting him to say something. He blushed a little actually and looked a little sheepish.

"The truth is that, even if I have some relatives involved in magic, I haven't been a part of it. I knew I had third or fourth cousins related to some funny things but I never really got to know them, so I thought it wouldn't matter whether Sarah knew or not. The only time they acknowledged her presence was when the Head of the clan or something, an old lady I think, sent me a letter in which she told me to name Sarah whatever I wanted but to include the names Aithne and Rhiannon because they were family names" he replied and Sarah's jaw dropped open, in spite of herself. Magic she could take but family secrets were another entirely different thing....

"Oh, I see" Professor McGonagall said in a noncommittal voice, pursing her lips as the only sign of disapproval "But I am quite sure Sarah here understands, for she doesn't seem perplexed. Can you recall any abnormal incident that could be magic-related?" she questioned then, moving her stern gaze from Mr. Williams to his daughter, that fidgeted in her seat for a couple of minutes before answering cautiously:

"I feel something buzzing inside me and I feel really odd but it feels right... I don't know if it makes any sense at all what I am saying..."

The witch silenced her again with an authoritative gesture of her hand.

"It makes perfect sense, Miss Williams" she said in a sharp, though slightly gentle voice. She then explained all there was to know about what she would be getting into if she decided to go to Hogwarts, including the little thing about her age.

"The Headmaster has though long and hard about taking this step but he considered it was the best thing to do. He thinks it is crucial that Miss Williams should learn how to master her powers, and so it is very important for her to attend to a Wizardry school for that. So he has decided to offer a potion he made himself to make her an eleven-year-old girl again.

"The potion is not a simple Shrinking Potion for it s effects are permanent. It is called Reincarna and it would enable her to remember all what she did up till this point but go back to being an eleven-year-old with the same characteristics she had when she reached that age the first time. It is a concoction quite difficult to prepare, due to the amount of power the wizard must possess to make it work right, but Professor Dumbledore took great care to prepare it along with the resident Potions Master of the School so there is no danger of it failing" she said in a mater-of-fact way "The issue here is if you are all willing to take that course of action. This side of the Williams's wizardry name ends here, if I'm not mistaken, and the thing is that the Williams seem to be able to breed witches, but not wizards. They pass their magic to the females of the family, and the last two centuries were plagued with males of the family, so that is one more reason for which we decided to offer this opportunity. Are you willing, Mr. Williams, to let you daughter go through this? Take your time; consult it with your wife and with your daughter if you want. In a week's time an owl will arrive and all you have to do is attach your answer to its leg. If you decide to go through this the potion will be send, together with the things Miss Williams would need for her first year and a ticket for the Hogwarts Express"

With few other words the Professor stood and shook Robert and Karen's hand and then she turned to face Sarah again.

"I have a very good feeling about you, Miss Williams. I sincerely hope to see you this year at Hogwarts" the Transfiguration Teacher told her nonchalantly, with that severe voice of hers. Sarah smiled a little and then the witch was off, and she was faced with two awestruck adults with absolutely no ability of speech whatsoever at the present moment. Ten days later she faced a mirror, holding a crystal vial containing a turquoise liquid.

"For a new life" she muttered, raising the potion in solitary toast "Cheers"