Hello! My name is Tina Susan Epentecoe, but you can just call me Tina. I'm 18 years old and I found out I was a witch at the age of 11. Did I also mention that I'm handicapped?
Yes, you heard me…handicapped! My right leg and foot are twisted to the side and if I put the heels of both of my feet together, it forms a natural ninety-degree angle.
I was born with it and I still walk with an embarrassing limp. That's why I was so excited when I was told I was a witch and had been accepted into Eyescues School of Witchcraft and Wizardry located in Salem, MA; I thought they could fix my deformity and end the sympathetic stares from everyone I meet. But alas, when I hobbled up to the school infirmary they said there was nothing anyone could ever do. So I was stuck labeled as a freak of nature. It was bad enough in the Muggle world when I was just a minority, but in the Wizarding world, no one (who wasn't permanently in a hospital ward) was handicapped.
Finding friends was always difficult; with girls I always managed to find a friend or two but it took a hell of a lot of time…though my real problem was with boys. I've never had a boyfriend and I suppose I never will.
I will admit that I am a fairly attractive girl with ivory skin, powder-blue eyes, long, curly brown hair, and a willowy figure…but that's all I'll admit and I've learned that my looks mean nothing…when a boy finds out.
Boys who've never met me often gaze upon me with longing eyes, but when I start to hobble up to them, they'll either talk to me with an impersonal politeness, or they'll make a rapid retreat. No boy wants a girl who's crippled. As one boy in my Muggle school told me,
"You're no good to a boy…you can't dance with him, you can't play any sports with him, you would look awful taking a romantic walk with him, and you might fall over if try to kiss him!"
I'll never forget those words and I'll never forget the long time I spent in the bathroom crying. Though his last remark may have not been true…he was right about everything else.
When I learned about Quidditch when I arrived at Eyescues, I was overjoyed. Being on broomstick didn't require walking or running and I couldn't be clumsy!
How mistaken I was. I tried out for the team in my second year and I fell off my broom when I got about ten feet in the air. That damn leg threw me off balance. I tried again and again but it was in vain. When I was about to try the seventh time, I heard the Quidditch captain say,
"You would think that she wouldn't be such a klutz on a broom since she's such a klutz on the ground."
I threw the school broom aside and hobbled off in tears. And, yes, the Quidditch captain was a male. It would hurt so much less if it were girls making the mean remarks, but the worst I got from girls was pitying looks. Boys were so cruel. I never even talked or looked at boys anymore. Even if they looked like they might be interested, as soon as they saw me walk, they'd turn away. It didn't matter if I was pretty…I was a cripple.
But even if I thought my case was hopeless, I knew I had to try for a future...so I accepted a scholarship to Hogwarts College of Witchcraft and Wizardry in England and hoped for the best.