IMPORTANT AUTHOR'S NOTE:
Hello and welcome to my story. I decided that I need to write a little something in the very beginning, so that new readers understand something. Firstly, I wrote the first 5 chapters of this story a very long time ago. YEARS AGO, in fact. I left the story and then came back to it and started writing it again. That's why there is such a difference in the story quality from chapter 6 and on. I cringe at some of the sentences and phrases from the early chapters. So, for you first-time-readers out there, please don't judge the story from the beginning. Keep reading until you've gotten past chapter 6 or so. If you still don't like it, well, alright then. Sorry! All I ask is you give it a chance. You might end up liking it :) On with the disclaimers and such~
I do not claim any characters from JK Rowling's Harry Potter. The one's I do claim are one's such as Lucinda and her parents, and Aurora and everyone in her family. There are going to be other characters throughout the story that I have also made up and I claim them completely. Since this story is going to be set in the past, the only characters that won't be claimed are all of the teachers, the caretaker, and the kids in the prologue and ending (yes, both will exist). I guess I'll explain more along the way...
I have rated this story "T", because of language and things that will happen later on in the story. I might end up changing it to "M", as well. Please enjoy reading this and sticking with me through everything that is to come in HaB.
Hearts are Blind
It was Halloween night at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Students had just finished with their feast, down in the Great Hall, and the Gryffindor common room was currently crammed full of filled bellies and happy faces. Everyone was either crowded around the fire, playing games of Exploding Snap, or sitting in comfy chairs, talking about werewolves, trolls, and gruesome things they'd witnessed. It was a hideous night outside and rain pounded against the window glass, causing a few heads to turn in alarm.
Harry, Hermione, and Ron were sitting in a far corner of the room, ignoring the storm raging just beyond the window pane, and discussing what they thought was scary.
"You should've seen the thing!" Ron was saying to Hermione. "It was bigger than me and Harry put together!"
"Oh, you're exaggerating," said Hermione, waving a hand. "It couldn't have been that big."
Ron looked at Harry, "Tell her!"
Harry sighed, "It's true... The thing was monstrous."
"See? I told you. It was..." Ron shuddered. "The most horrific and disgusting spider ever to walk this planet... We were lucky to get out of there alive, damn it!"
"I can't believe you're afraid of spiders," Hermione sniggered.
"Oh, shutup!" Ron yelled. "You wouldn't know scary, even if it stared you in the face!"
"Have you forgotten the troll from our first year, Ron?" asked Harry. "I'm pretty sure she knows scary."
"Oh, yeah..." Ron said, dumbly.
"Actually..." said Hermione, leaning in. "I know of a story that's much scarier and it's true, too."
"My story is true!" Ron protested, but Hermione ignored him and continued.
"It's about Professor Snape," she whispered.
"I'm not surprised," said Harry, bitterly. "Anything about him is scary."
"You can't tell anyone," she continued, seriously. Ron snorted and Hermione threw him a threatening glance, "I'm serious! If anyone found out that I knew about this I-I... I'd probably be hunted down by Snape for the rest of my life!"
They both looked at her wildly.
"...How bad is it?" asked Ron.
Hermione leaned in closer. "Bad," she said, looking a little nervous. "It happened here at Hogwarts... In Professor Snape's first or second year as a teacher." She paused and glanced around the common room to see if anyone was listening. "Something absolutely unbelievable happened..."
Lucinda Morgan grew up knowing all about Hogwarts. Before she even turned eleven, the magical school was all she ever dreamed of going to. She was a fast learner and her parents were very proud of everything she already knew how to do (of course, it wasn't much; just a few things here and there, like being able to shape and move water with mere will power of the mind, but it was remarkable, none the less). When Lucinda finally got her letter, the joy she felt was beyond belief. Her dream was coming true and her life was moving along just as she'd hoped it would. She imagined the new friends she'd make and the new spells she'd learn at her new school. After all, this particular little girl had been able to do magic since she was four.
Lucinda's dreams were suddenly crushed when her parents informed her of a different plan: they would be homeschooling her.
"How do you homeschool a witch?" she screeched. Lucinda couldn't believe it. After everything... All of the hoping and wishing that her Hogwarts letter would come and she wasn't even going. Were her parents mad? She would've been taught by the best Professors a young girl could ever ask for. Why would they suddenly change their minds? Lucinda always thought her parents were just as enthusiastic about her going to Hogwarts as she was. Certainly they couldn't be serious about the homeschooling... but they were.
Lucinda never got on the Hogwarts Express. She never met other young witches like herself, or young wizards for that matter. She never got to enjoy late nights spent studying in her dormitory, while her friends slept snug under their warm covers. She didn't get the chance to introduce herself to the teachers who would have changed her life forever or the Headmaster either... And Lucinda never even got to see the beautifully lit windows of the Castle, as she arrived with her friends on the train.
Years passed and Lucinda never forgot about her first letter from Hogwarts. In fact, she kept it under her pillow every night, as she lay with tears streaming down her face.
"It isn't... f-fair," she whispered to the ceiling, her breath shuddering with silent sobs. It was the middle of August and, when September came, she'd be in her seventh and final year of schooling. It was too late now. It was completely official... She would never see Hogwarts. Maybe I can just visit the school... Just to get a good look at it, she thought hopefully, but Lucinda knew she was just reaching now.
So, here she was in present day: seventeen and miserable.
Lucinda got up the next morning, looking forward to nothing. Perhaps the only good thing about today was the clear sky outside. She looked out her window.
"You're just rubbing it in my face, Sun," she said to the golden mass, coming up over the hill. "I hope you have fun shining on that stupid castle this year, because I won't be there to see it!" The sunshine was actually a relief after all of the rain they'd been getting.
Feeling a little better, Lucinda left her room on the second floor. She then went down the stairs, skipping two at a time (which was a mistake, because she tripped halfway down them and smacked her mouth on the banister).
"Ow-w-w..." she moaned, her lip blue and trembling.
"Oh!" exclaimed her mother on the landing. Lucinda looked up to see her standing there with a basket of socks hovering beside her. "Sweetheart, don't go trampling down the stairs. You'll hurt yourself."
"I know." said Lucinda, holding a hand to her mouth to catch the blood.
Mr. Morgan was in the kitchen, pouring himself coffee at the table, when Lucinda walked in.
"Morning, dear," he said, glancing up from his mug.
"Hmm," she replied through the toast she'd just shoveled into her mouth.
He then turned to a stack of mail in front of him and began opening it. Lucinda swallowed her bite of toast and stared at the rest of it in her hand. It had blood on it, so she threw it in the trash bin. Then she grabbed another piece and spread jam on it.
"Have some sausage with that," her father said, sliding the dish across the table to her; then he started opening a second piece of mail.
Lucinda piled four sausages on her plate.
"Any post for me, Papa?"
"Have you taken your Sucrosulin?"
"I asked you first."
"Yes, you've got a letter."
Lucinda took it in her hands and looked at the large "H" on the front of it. It was from Hogwarts! Inside would be a list of materials she'd need for the upcoming year and of new books she'd need to purchase. Lucinda got a letter from Hogwarts every year. After she didn't show up the first time, she figured they'd stop sending them, but they didn't. It's as if they still had hope...
She turned it over and saw that the seal was broken.
"You've already opened it," she said, a little crest-fallen.
"Well, yes, dear. We had to go get your books, like we always do," he said reasonably.
"I know," said Lucinda, sighing. "I just like opening it... After all," she added, grievously. "I'll never get one of these letters again."
Mr. Morgan looked at his daughter with sympathetic eyes.
"I know," he said lightly. "That's why I got you this." He slid a small, rectangular piece of paper toward her, across the table. Lucinda eyed it suspiciously.
"What is it?" she said slowly.
"Look at it," her father said sternly, but with a smile.
Lucinda did as she was told and flipped the paper over. She stared, unblinkingly, at it for several seconds.
"It's... a..." she said.
Her father nodded. "A train ticket," he said for her.
Lucinda looked at it more carefully.
Platform 9 3/4
"It can't be," her eyes now burning with tears.
"You can come in now, Judi," Mr. Morgan called.
Mrs. Morgan stepped into the kitchen with something long and black draped over her arms.
"Here're your robes, dear," she said to her daughter.
"Mama-" Lucinda's voice broke. Her father smiled at her across the table.
"It looks like you're going to Hogwarts this year."
Lucinda spent the remainder of the summer unable to concentrate on anything. It was all too exciting! She daydreamed about Hogwarts Castle as she absent-mindedly flicked her wand at the dishes she was washing, creating a whirlpool in the soapy water. Lucinda couldn't believe that in her final year of schooling, she'd be attending the school of her dreams. It almost felt completely unreal and Lucinda had to pinch herself hard on the leg to make sure she didn't wake up.
August came to an end and soon it was time to drive to the train station. Lucinda was already in the car and ready to go, while her parents were only just getting to their morning coffee. Lucinda sat and wondered why they didn't just apparate to the station. Then she remembered that her parents liked to do a lot of things only muggles did. They said that it gave them a better understanding of what those kinds of people have to go through, day to day. Lucinda thought it was rubbish. If you've got magic, use it! That was her motto. Although, sometimes she couldn't control her own magic, when her emotions got the better of her.
Lucinda looked in the rearview mirror. Her own face stared back at her; her forehead covered in wisps of dark curls. She brushed them back, away from her eyes and sighed. Why were they taking so long?
"Come on!" Lucinda called out the window, honking the horn loudly. Ten minutes later, they were on their way, bumping along the road to Kings Cross Station. Lucinda could hardly sit still long enough to get there. (These muggle ways of transportation were so slow! How could they ever manage without magic?) Once at the train station, Lucinda ran down the line with her luggage and all the way through the barrier between platforms nine and ten (her parents trying their best to keep up) and almost crashed into a young girl just on the other side. She screeched her trolley to a halt, inches away from the girl and felt her parents bump into her as they, too, came through the barrier.
"Hey, watch it there! You almost ran me over!"
The girl was now staring at Lucinda with incredible annoyance showing on her pale face.
"S-sorry. It's my first time here. I'm going to Hogwarts."
The girl's expression changed drastically. "Oh!" she said, now frowning slightly. "Your first time to Hogwarts? Well, you look nearly too old to be going to school." She had bright, golden eyes that were sparkling with confusion.
"Yes, I know," said Lucinda. "It's my last year- Oh, I'm probably going to get that look a lot... You see, I've been homeschooled for the past six years."
"Have you really? Wow, I didn't know you could homeschool a witch," the girl said, astonished. "Does that mean you're behind? Are you going to have to take special classes to... like... be up there with the rest of us or something?"
Lucinda gave a panicked look and said, "I hope not! I studied extra hard every year, just so I could be at the same level as others my age!"
The girl smiled, "Well, I'm sure you'll be fine- uh- sorry... I didn't catch your name."
"Lucinda Morgan," said Lucinda, and the two of them shook hands.
"The name's Aurora," said the girl with golden eyes. "Aurora Borealis."
Lucinda's dark eyes nearly popped out her head, "Seriously?"
"Yes," said Aurora, shaking her head in shame. "My parents thought it'd be funny. That's them, over there." She pointed to a handsome pair talking to the conductor. Her mother had white, flat-iron, straight hair (identical to Aurora's) and her father was very sharp and young looking, despite his completely bald head.
"Are those your parents?" Aurora asked, looking at a man and a woman now walking toward them, away from the Hogwarts Express. The woman was short and thin, with a cloud of black, curly hair on her head and the man was average height, with brown sideburns and a mop of brown hair to match.
Lucinda sighed, "It's that obvious, is it?"
Aurora nodded, "You look just like your mum."
"Got all your luggage on the train, dear," said Mr. Morgan, arriving at Lucinda's side.
She had only just realized that the trolley she had hold of was completely empty.
"Well, it's almost time to leave," said Aurora. "I better go say goodbye to the 'rents."
They all watched her leave. Then Lucinda turned back to her parents who were looking nervous.
"W-well, she looks nice," said her father, smiling weakly. "Made a new friend already, have you?"
"Joseph," her mother said, giving him a look.
"Right, then," he said nodding.
"U-um..." Mrs. Morgan began. "We wanted to talk to you about something-"
"-The reason we homeschooled you... until now-"
"-Yes, the reason-"
"-Well, see- Judi, why don't you start-?"
"-Oh, I couldn't possibly-"
Lucinda lost her patience, "Why don't you both just tell me, already?"
Her father sighed, "You're right. Sorry, dear... Look, what we're trying to say is that we had a very good reason to keep you from going to Hogwarts- That came out wrong- Um... We just wanted what was best for you and homeschooling was the only option."
"Then, why send me now?" asked Lucinda, her patience completely gone at this point.
"I was getting to that," said Mr. Morgan, a little painfully. "The day you got your Hogwarts letter-"
A loud whistle blew and Lucinda was pulled away from her parents, quite suddenly, by a girl with long, white hair.
"Let's go!" yelled Aurora, over the blow of the train's whistle. "We'll miss it if we don't hurry!"
Together, the girls ran and took a giant leap onto the platform, just as the Hogwarts Express began to pull away. Mr. and Mrs. Morgan jogged beside it, yelling, "We'll send you an owl! Perhaps we can talk later!" and, in the next moment, they curved around a bend and her parents were gone from sight.
Lucinda and Aurora found an empty compartment at the end of the train and sat down across from each other.
"Well, Aurora sighed. "I'm glad to finally sit down and relax." Lucinda nodded in agreement, then stared out the window. The landscape rushed past them in a blur of different shades of greens and golds, and gave her a tiny thrill. She was finally going. She was finally going to see the brightly lit windows of Hogwarts school, as she pulled up on the train. She was now going to meet new friends, new teachers, and learn new magic. Lucinda could finally declare, proudly, that she went to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
"So," said Aurora after a few minutes. "Why'd your 'rents homeschool you in the first place?"
"Oh, um..." Lucinda racked her brain. "Well, they've never actually told me... Actually, they were getting ready to tell me why, right before I got on the train... but I had to go and they never did."
Aurora frowned, "Well, that's a major bummer." Then she smiled, "I'm sure they had a good reason for doing what they did."
Lucinda thought about this. What was their reason? Did they think she wasn't Hogwarts material? No, that couldn't be it. She was great at her magic. She could even apparate, too, with their teachings. Lucinda didn't understand. Then a thought struck her that put her parents out of her mind.
"What House do you think I'll be in?" she exclaimed to Aurora.
Aurora thought. "Well..." she said. "I'm in Gryffindor, and everyone knows that's the best one to be in. But Ravenclaw is just as good. A bit of a snobby crowd, though, if you ask me. They have their reasons, I guess. They're the smartest, after all. Hufflepuff is for cowards- Haha, only joking- and Slytherin is for evil-doers." She finished this last part with a devilish smirk.
"I see," said Lucinda. "I'll most likely be in Ravenclaw, then... I think I'm smart enough for it."
"Do you want to be in Ravenclaw?" said Aurora, a little threateningly.
"Well, not exactly," said Lucinda, looking at her with caution. "I really don't care which House I'm in. I'm just glad to be going, period."
Aurora's look softened and turned mischievous, "That isn't very wise, Lucinda... Keep talking like that and you'll end up in Slytherin."
The next couple of hours spent on the train were productive ones. Lucinda learned that her new friend Aurora had a younger brother, who would be going to Hogwarts the year following her graduation. He was apparently becoming almost unbearable to live with.
"He will never shut up! It's always 'Hogwarts' this and 'Hogwarts' that... I swear, Chortle's driving me crazy!"
Chortle was fated with his name, unmistakably for the same reason Aurora was: Their parents' own amusement.
As the sky grew darker outside, lanterns flickered into life in the compartments on the train. Aurora and Lucinda jumped a foot each when theirs suddenly clicked on, and their door was shoved open with the force of a hurricane, shaking the window pane. They both looked to the doorway where a young man stood, squealing.
Note: Who is this mysterious boy and why is he screeching like a monkey? Find out in the next chapter!