Chapter 1

Intro to the Screwed Up Mess That is My Life

If you're looking for a story where the hero defeats the odds and saves the day, rescuing a swooning damsel in distress, why the hell did you pick this story? There's nothing but depression and misery, tragedy and deep, aching, unrequited love. Well, not quite, but I'm sure you get the picture. Just as a disclaimer, this story is definitely not pretty, so I don't blame you if you want to leave. It does get better in some places, though, so if you think you can stomach it, then stick around.

When I was born, I was totally unwanted. My mother resented me and fuck knows who my father was. My mom was a slut you see; she entertained so many guys in her life, that I never knew which one was which. And I had to live through that day after day. Maybe that's why I'm so screwed up now …

Anyway, the point is; I had no one to love me. I know, I know, that is such a cliché right? But it's true. Every goddamned word is true. I had no one; no one at all, who would hold me, safe and warm, and tell me everything was going to be alright. All I got was a slap across the face and told I was a mistake.

Nothing changed when I started school. I was still messed up, and my mom still slept with any guy that crossed her path. I never even had any friends to talk to.

I suppose that was because I was weird. Seriously, I kept making things happen without meaning to.

For example; I was so pissed off at one of my teachers that I wished she was dead – or at least grievously injured – I glared so hard at the glass of water on her desk that it shattered and a shard of glass flew into the air, hitting the teacher somewhere on her face. She almost died.

You've probably heard about something like that in the kid's film; 'Matilda' or something, but it's true. I hurt that teacher just by wishing it. I've lived with that guilt for years now, and though it does diminish somewhat, you never truly forget it.

After that, I was regarded a freak by the kids in my class and totally ignored by my teachers. They gave me work to do in the lessons, of course, but they never talked to me unless they had to.

And you know something? I loved it. I loved the power I had over them; that just by staring at them I could make any one of them flinch and let me off the hook.

Around my seventh birthday, my mom began to drink a hell of a lot more than she used to. She had a job; working in a diner, but eventually, she had so many hangovers that she stopped going in for her shifts, so they fired her ass and we were left with no money to buy food or pay the bills. My mom spent the little money we may have had on drink, so I relied on my grandma. She was the only person who didn't hate me.

By the time I reached ten years old, my mom was so screwed up with alcohol poisoning, it was a wonder she'd lasted as long she did.

When she died, I didn't cry. Why would I? After all, I'd never loved her much. I only went to the funeral because my grandmother said it would look bad if I didn't.

As I sat there in the front pew of the tiny church, pretending to cry because I was getting weird looks from my distant relatives, it hit me. I was free. There was no more parental figure to hurt me anymore than she already had done. No more nights of trying to sober my mom up for her shift at the diner.

I was free.

When I eventually went up to the coffin, for the last glimpse of my mom, I couldn't help but think she was still so pretty. The morgue had evidently done a good job. My mom looked so beautiful, laid on the white satin pillows, golden hair streaming outwards, lips tinged with a purplish hue, marble-white skin without the flush of red that indicated life. Even in death, my mom's appearance was deceiving everyone, I thought cynically. The twisted irony of it didn't escape me at all.

Outside, where the coffin was going to be buried, I stood, holding onto my grandma's hand, watching as they lowered the coffin into the muddy hole. I threw a soft white rose – my mom's favourite flower – onto it. I can remember thinking that I had finally escaped the pain my mother had inflicted on me, but I managed to squeeze out a few tears for everyone's benefit.

After the funeral and the dinner party in honour of my mom, I packed up the few belongings I had and went to live at my grandma's.

Finally, I felt like I was home. I had never been so comfortable in my life; I had enough to eat, as many clothes as possible and I had all the freedom in the world.

My grandma often told me that she loved me more than anything, and looking back, I realise why she did it. It was because she felt she needed to compensate for all the hate and suffering I'd been through at the hands of my mother.

Little did I know, that my time at my grandmother's was to be cut short.

A few weeks after my eleventh birthday, I received a letter. It was written on parchment and in green ink, with a wax seal on the back. I tore it open, wondering if it was a late birthday card, and found more parchment saying:

HOGWARTS SCOOL OF WITCHCRAFT AND WIZARDRY

Headmaster: Albus Dumbledore

(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock,

Supreme Mugwump, International Confed., of Wizards)

Dear Miss Zabini

We are pleased to inform you that you have a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment. Term begins on 1st September. We await your owl by no later than the 31st July.

Yours Sincerely,

Minerva McGonagall

Deputy Headmistress.

I stared, completely dumbstruck, at the piece of parchment in my hands. I didn't fully understand what was going on, but I showed the letter to my grandma.

When she saw it, I was so totally not expecting the reaction she gave me.

"Oh, Blaise!" she shrieked. "Blaise, do you know what this means!"

"Not really," I shrugged. "Someone's playing a joke?" I guessed.

"Oh bless you," she laughed, but I couldn't see what was so funny. "You've been accepted by Hogwarts, darling!"

Seeing my blank look, she sat down next to me and looked me straight in the eye.

"I'm going to be honest with you, Blaise," she said seriously. "Your mother, when she was younger, met a man named Nelson. He was a liar and a cheat, but your mother loved him, and eventually they had a baby girl. Nelson lied to Sarah, your mother, and said he wanted to marry her and she accepted. The night before their wedding, he left her. The last we heard of him was in a letter he left for Sarah. I can't remember exactly what it said, but one reason why he left your mother was because he was a wizard.

"Now when I read that," my grandmother went on, a scornful look on her face, "I thought he was crazy, insane and I was glad he'd gone. But then the child he left behind kept showing signs of unnatural power. So I tried contacting Nelson again, and it worked; I asked him if it was true, was he really a wizard? He told me that I wasn't supposed to know, but yes, he was. Then I asked him if his daughter might also be magical, and he said she might be. And the more I thought about it, the more I realised that you must be a witch."

"Me!" I cried. "I'm the kid you were talking about!"

My grandma nodded, smiling at me kindly. "Yes Blaise," she said, softly.

I thought it over and realised; all those times I'd made things happen without meaning to, they happened because I was a witch.

I looked up to find my grandma watching my reaction, and for the first time in a long time, I smiled, genuinely and happily. Just the thought of Hogwarts felt like home, strange as it may seem.

"There's just one thing," my grandma said hesitantly. "This school; it's in England, and I don't know how you're going to get there and when." She bit her lip and looked at the letter again. "Of course, you might not want to go," she said slowly. "Do you?"

I didn't know whether to nod or shake my head; on the one hand I could start a new life, go to a school where people didn't flinch at the sight of me. On the other, I'd be leaving my grandma behind and, stupid as it sounds, I'd miss her so much.

Then I noticed she was smiling slightly, and I knew it was only a joke; she wanted me to go to Hogwarts. It made my decision a hell of a lot easier, so I nodded.

"It's settled then," she said folding the letter and putting it back in the envelope. "You're going. I don't know when, but we'll make some arrangements for you to go over to England."

"Grandma," I said slowly, "are you sure you want me to go?"

"I want you to be happy," she said finally, after a few minute's pause, "because Lord knows you've had no happiness in your life. So, yes, I want you to go. But not for me, for you."

And so that day I decided my life was going to be a damn sight different from now on.