Disclaimer: Anything recognisable from other sources does not belong to me.
1 Do You Believe In Magic?
The auburn haired man bent over the steaming beaker, taking care that his long red beard did not trail in whatever liquid the beaker held. In his hand he held a pair of metal tongs, which he snapped together impatiently as he peered into the beaker with twinkling blue eyes.
After some time, the twinkling reached a crescendo. "Aha!" He snapped the tongs rapidly several times and then dipped them into the beaker. The steam was cold, ice cold, and it chilled his skin, which prickled with excitement. He peered closely at the object he removed. The ruby red stone sat snugly in the tongs, too cold to be held. It was a beautiful specimen, and shone as if some light existed within the ruby prism.
"Nicholas," he declared, "I do believe we are getting close! What say you?"
A man sitting at the table looked up from his note-taking. "I quite agree, Albus," replied the brown haired man with an equally long beard and equal enthusiasm.
Albus gave a pleased nod and walked around the wooden work table to a smaller silver table that sat under a window. It was quite elegant, spindly and silver with intricate engravings. Atop the table sat a dozen more red stones, differing in brightness and shape. Beside the last one, Albus deposited the ice cold one, and paused to gaze proudly at the array. Suddenly, he dropped the tongs, which clattered on the stone floor.
"Oh my!" he gasped, looking wildly about him, bending over to peer beneath the spindly silver table.
"Albus? What is it?" asked Nicholas, hurrying over.
"One of our stones is missing! Have you taken it to examine?"
Nicholas paled at the words. "No! Good gracious, where can it be?!"
"We must search the castle at once! If it has been stolen, perhaps the thief is not away yet!"
"Good Merlin, do you really think...." Nicholas trailed off, and ran after Albus to begin their search of the castle.
A search which both Albus Dumbledore and Nicholas Flamel had the terrible feeling was going to be futile.
Many Years Later, In The Middle Of The Night
A tall pale man stood in a dark chamber, his robes folded around him as he surveyed the contents of the room. Treasures occupied the places along the wall; not so many, but what was there held testament to the greatness and station his family had once held.
Much of the family's monetary wealth had been squandered over the preceding generations, and their reputation lost with it. The man sneered at the thought. He would not be one to carry on the tradition of weak wizards and second class citizens that had sprung up in his family's recent history. No, he would not.
Already, he was well on his way to greatness. Eventually, all he sought would be his, and his family's name would once again be awed. Before him, all would bow.
The man's thoughts halted when right before his eyes a statue disappeared with a pop. Pop pop pop! He spun, aghast, as every item in the chamber disappeared.
He leapt forward in an attempt to save at least one treasure, one family heirloom, but his cold, claw like fingers clutched on thin air.
Even More Years Later
Connall sniffed sulkily as the child services officer handed him over to the orphanage attendant.
"This is Connall Grubb. Michael, this is Connall."
Connall looked up at the man. He looked to be in about his mid thirties, with straggly brown hair and an unpleasant expression on his hard face.
"Well, come on then Connall. Let's get ye off to bed. It's late already."
Connall nodded and followed the man inside, looking gloomily over his shoulder as the heavy door swung shut behind them, leaving them in darkness.
He was led to a small bedroom, a brass number seven nailed to the wooden door. The room was empty save for an old wooden bed, and Connall collapsed miserably onto it when Greg shut the door.
It didn't take him long to fall asleep, but when he did, it was not for long. He was woken by something he would never forget.
The sheets twisted around him, tightening, loosening again, throwing him in the air, spinning him around. A wind whipped around the room, but the window, even though it rattled loudly in its frame, was closed.
Frightened out of his wits, he screamed. "Help! Help me!"
He was still yelling and trying to battle his way out of the sheets when a minute later and much to his relief, the door was flung open to reveal Greg, looking entirely put out and not a bit surprised. The moment Greg appeared, the room fell ominously silent, the sheets dropping lifelessly upon him.
"Not again!" growled Greg. "Get on, boy. Follow me. Ye'll sleep somewhere else."
Connall struggled out of the bed and gladly followed after Greg, not daring to look over his shoulder.
Some Time Later, In London
O... M... R... I... Elizabeth slowly traced the familiar letters on the old brick wall above the wooden headboard of her bed. Some child, long ago had traced his name into the wall. Perhaps then the headboard below it had not been old and cracking, not filling with rot. Perhaps then it had been new and strong. Now, however, like everything else in this hole of a children's home, it was falling apart, and no one cared to replace it.
"Liz! Lizzie!" She sat up at the call of her name, just as a young boy came bursting into the room. "Lizzie, come quick! Fight in the yard!"
Elizabeth rolled her eyes at Jonno's enthusiasm, but raced after him out to the yard. After all, a fight in the yard was bound to be the most exciting thing that happened today.
A small crowd of grotty and indecently skinny children had formed around two boys who were tumbling around in the dirt, fist swinging blindly in an attempt to hit the other. Elizabeth recognised the two; they were older boys, Seth Morton and Matty Cole. They were always fighting over something or other, and their fights were usually half hearted.
Today, however, they were obviously quite angry. Pained yells and angry growls came from the dust as children cheered on the two boys, not really caring who won.
"What happened this time?" Elizabeth yelled over the screaming children to Jonno.
"Dunno! Don' care, neither!" He laughed and watched with unbridled enthusiasm, punching the air and yelling 'Get 'em!' and 'Ooh, nice' on occasion.
Suddenly a terrifying roar filled the air. "Orright, you lot! Inside, NOW!" It was Greg, the main caretaker in the orphanage. The kids scattered at once, Seth and Matty included. No one wanted to be in the way of Greg's short temper. Lizzie and Jonno ran madly back to the building, hiding in a side room and giggling quietly.
A few minutes later when they thought the coast to be clear, they left the room and started down the hallway. Ahead of them, Seth and Matty appeared, still grappling, and Liz exchanged a grin with Jonno. "Fight fight fight!" yelled Jonno.
All of a sudden, Seth pushed Matty against the wall. Unfortunately, in front of the wall was a low table, upon which sat a small vase. The table rattled, and as the four of them watched, the vase fell to the floor, smashing into a hundred pieces.
They ran, all in different directions. Unfortunately for Lizzie, she ran the wrong way, right into Greg. "You, girl! What's the meaning of this nonsense! Smashing vases indeed!" He grabbed her arm angrily and pulled her along. "It's in the cupboard for you. A few hours there'll teach ye to break Margot's things, won' it now?"
"Greg, please, it wasn't me!" She knew it wouldn't work, but she begged him anyway. How she hated Greg's usual punishment, to be locked in that dark cupboard under the stairs, behind that heavy door with the padlock.
"Ye'll do what ye'r told, girl! I'll not have ye mischief! Now get in!" She was sent sprawling when Greg pushed her roughly in to the cramped space, banging her knee quite hard and knowing it would bruise.
Suddenly, shouts erupted from behind Greg, and he spun angrily, towering over Seth and Matty who were now having a stick fight in the hallway. She moved back to the wall of the cupboard while he yelled at them, knowing it would do no good to run.
It was then that she noticed scratchy writing on the wall. She spun to face it, scrawled on the low, slanted ceiling. It was hard to make out in the dim light. "Just.... say...." she squinted, trying to make out the last word. "Lonuh? Lomuh... no..." She stood up on her knees to peer closer. L...u....m... o....s. She raised her eyebrows. What kind of word was that? Not a word at all. How ridiculous.
At that instant the door slammed and she was engulfed in darkness.
A tear slipped down her face. How she hated Greg, and Margot, and the orphanage, and her whole life really. It was miserable at Saint Patrick's Orphanage, and the only respite she had from it was school and the park, when she could escape to it for a few hours now and then.
She pouted. Why even put a vase like that in the walkway anyway!? It was ridiculous. Anyone with a speck of intelligence could see the hall was too narrow, even if it weren't a house of a hundred wild and orphaned children. And she hated the absolute blackness of the cupboard. It wasn't that she was scared of the dark, not at all in fact. It was simply the fact that she couldn't see anything at all that annoyed her. It angered her. Suddenly she was angry at the nonsensical writing on the ceiling of the cupboard. Absolutely stupid, it was. Just say lumos. What is that even supposed to mean, she thought grumpily. "Just say lumos," she muttered in a sarcastic voice, and then louder, "Just say lumos!" She snorted, wiping away a tear. "Lumos, lumos, lumos!" she shouted.
All at once, the small cupboard lighted up, a brilliant light after the impenetrable blackness of before. She squinted, opening her eyes gradually as they grew used to the light. "What on Earth..." she murmured, getting on her knees again.
It was impossible – there was no light bulb in the cupboard, she could see that quite clearly. The door was also clearly still closed, and there were no windows, no gaps, and yet the space was lit quite brightly.
How is it possibly light in here? She shook her head. It was amazing. She had read about some kinds of mould that glowed in the dark, and the damp cupboard was certainly capable of growing mould, but she had never imagined it could shine this brightly. Besides, it had been quite sudden, and mould did not turn on like a light.
She peered around the cupboard. She had never looked at it in detail before. Every other time she had been in here, it had been quite dark, and any other time she had no desire to look. After all, it was just a cupboard. Now however, she realised it was quite an interesting cupboard. The walls were covered in writing and drawings of fantastic things. A dragon breathed fire on one wall, and a great castle with many turrets stood grandly on another. It was a magnificent castle, and Elizabeth thought that whoever had knifed it into the walls must have spent a great deal of time in here indeed, especially if they had done the other pictures, and the writing as well.
Just then, she spotted a glint where the floor met the wall. Frowning curiously, she knelt down close. Something metal was stuck in a crack, and she reached a finger in at one end. "Ouch!" She withdrew her hand quickly, and looked appalled at her finger. Whatever was in there was sharp, and it had cut her, though not deeply. Clicking her tongue, she tried the other end and drew the knife out easily. It was shiny metal, a strange design, and looked brand new, though she had no idea who it could possibly belong to.
Deciding to think about it another time, she took the knife and etched her name in to the wall. It took a while, but really, what else had she to do?
When she was finished that, she turned with interest to the walls. The magnificent pictures were extremely detailed, and held her interest quite well. The dragon, the castle, towering mountains, a giant squid, a skull of some sort. Eventually however, her eyes fell upon some of the words. They will pay. Hate hate hate. I want to go home. Stupid old man. Stupid twinkling eyes. I'll kill them all. Her eyes widened at the angry words, and she leaned forward to read more. Just then however, the door opened and she was unceremoniously dragged from the cupboard. As soon as the door had opened, the mysterious light had disappeared.
"Up ye get girl, and go to bed. No dinner for ye tonigh', and let that be a lesson to ye."
Scowling, Elizabeth dashed away to her bedroom, still holding the silver knife. She had use for it yet. Once she got to her room, she shut the door. The lights were off, but light from a street lamp shone through the window. Usually it annoyed her, keeping her from sleep for hours, but tonight she was glad of it. She perched at the head of her bed and put the knife to the wall, to once again spell her name out.
She refused to include her middle name, for it was her mother's middle name, and she hated her mother. She scratched away with the knife until her name was fully visible beneath the first.
There. Now I, too, will be thought of, even if it is by someone many years in the future. Now someone will care to wonder who I was, she thought bitterly, though she smiled in satisfaction at the deep etching of her name. It was not as sharp as the name above it, but it was readable.
She read the names over again. Tom Riddle. Elizabeth Bishop. She wondered who the boy had been, and if he still was.
A Few Months Later
Elizabeth lay on her bed, idling the day away. It was the summer holidays, and she had nothing to do that she hadn't done a hundred times before. If it wasn't that hot, she would risk Greg's wrath and sneak out to the park for a while. But, it was that hot, and she felt too lazy to bother. Anyway, there was a scheduled outing set for tomorrow, and they would all go as a group, which would be more fun anyway.
Sighing, she rolled over on to her back and stared up at the ceiling.
How odd, she thought. What on Earth is that owl doing out and about in the daytime? And coming into the room, too! Just then, she noticed another odd thing. Tied around the owls leg was a roll of paper. "What's that you've got there, owl? Is that a letter?!" She moved closer, cautious of the owl's beak, but as she got closer, it did not bite her. Rather it stuck out the leg which held the message, and she moved forward eagerly. How exciting this is! she thought. To be getting a letter from an owl is most exciting, even if it is not for me! For there was no one who would be sending her a letter, unless perhaps it was a joke on the boys' part, but she knew that none of them could possibly get an owl, let alone get one to hold still long enough to tie a note to its leg and then make it fly to her.
As soon as she had untied the message, the owl hooted (in a friendly sort of way, she thought), and flew off through the open window.
It turned out to be an envelope, sealed with thick red wax which bore some sort of crest. There was no sender address and she shook her head. Honestly, don't people know how to address an envelope?! Even I do, and I've not sent a letter in my life!
Elizabeth gasped in surprise when she turned the letter over, for it was addressed to her. Written in emerald green ink and an elegant script was her name, Elizabeth Bishop.
Looking around suspiciously as if expecting someone to jump out and yell that it was a joke, she stuck her finger under the flap and ripped it open. It was reasonably thick, and she wondered excitedly at the contents. Unfolding, she began to read, and her disbelief grew with each word.
It is with great pleasure that I write to inform you of your acceptance to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the most illustrious school of magic in all of Europe. Please find enclosed a list of all you will need for the school year, which begins on September 1st, and your train ticket. The Hogwarts express departs from Kings Cross Station, platform nine and three quarters on the specified date. We look forward to welcoming you to Hogwarts and being instrumental in your magical education.
Yours sincerely, Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Upon finishing the letter, Elizabeth raised an eyebrow in scepticism. Uh huh. Magic. It just so happened that Elizabeth was eleven. Far too old to still believe in magic. Plus, she was a very adept student, and was a firm believer in science, and as far as far as she was concerned, magic and science were two mutually exclusive concepts. Having proof that science was factual and real, Elizabeth concluded that magic was not real and this was some kind of joke.
But who was the prankster? Looking for clues, she pulled out another piece of parchment. It read:
Miss Bishop, due to your circumstances, a teacher from the school will, be calling upon you shortly (within the next few days) to answer any questions you may have about the wizarding world and to assist you in collecting your school things.
Regards, Minerva McGonagall.
Elizabeth frowned. This certainly was a complicated prank, and it really didn't seem to have a punch line, at least not that she could see at this point. All in all, she was quite thoroughly annoyed. It was quite obviously a prank, and not a very good one at that. Anyone who knew her must know that she would never believe such nonsense. Honestly! She huffed quietly, and threw the letter and envelope onto the chest of drawers next to her bed. She spent the rest of the day lying on her bed.
Though she question he circle of friends thoroughly, all of them denied any and all knowledge of the owl and the letter. Jonno, Matty, James and Callum were all quite certain that it had been none of them, and they all agreed that it was a rather silly prank.
This was why, when a visitor called for her not two days later, that Elizabeth was most surprised.
She was eating lunch with her friends when Greg approached their table. "Get up girl, ye've a visita' in the fron' hall. Right posh lady, so don' keep 'er waitin."
Elizabeth shrugged at her friends and stood up, making her way to the front room. Waiting for her was a tall stern woman, her hair pulled back in a bun and thin glassed perched on her nose. All that was fine, but Elizabeth couldn't help but smirk at the woman's attire. She was dressed in long robes, dark blue ones which covered her all the way up to the neck. How she could wear such clothes in the summer Elizabeth had no idea.
"Miss Bishop?" asked the woman, her thin lips curling upwards in a polite smile.
"Yes," she replied, trying her best to appear proper and fearing that she failed appallingly.
"Very good. I am Professor McGonagall of Hogwarts School. I trust you received a letter a few days ago?"
Elizabeth's mouth dropped open. "What?"
The tall woman sighed. "Of course, these things are all done with a magi-quill, so sometimes a student doesn't get a letter, or perhaps the owl got lost. Well, I shall explain it all to you, if we could go and sit somewhere."
"Wait just a minute! Do you mean to say that it was you who sent that odd letter about magic and this Hogwarts place?"
"Oh, so you did get it. Excellent. Still, I imagine there is much for me to explain. I'm sure it must have been quite a surprise for you to find out that magic is real."
"What utter rubbish!" She stamped her foot and shook her head, glowering up at this ridiculous woman who was trying to convince her that magic was real. Well, Elizabeth was much too smart for that!
"I beg your pardon!" The woman looked highly affronted, and Elizabeth found herself pleased.
"Well it is. It's a ridiculous prank, and if you knew me at all, you'd know I would never believe it."
The woman's lips thinned impossibly, but her voice remained calm. "Well, you certainly are a fiery little thing, aren't you? I suppose I shall have to prove it to you, then."
Elizabeth watched sceptically as the woman put her hand into a deep pocket, and almost laughed when she pulled out a long thin piece of wood.
"I suppose you expect me to believe that is a wand, do you?"
The woman smiled down at her, seemingly amused. "I do indeed, Miss Bishop."
"Well, show me some magic, then."
The woman's smile grew and she gave a flick of the stick. All of a sudden, Elizabeth found herself floating several inches above the floor, and her eyes widened. She twisted and turned in the air, trying to see how the woman could possibly be doing this, but there were no ropes of any sort, and she could feel nothing touching her. She turned her wide eyes on the Professor. "Is this real?" she whispered, quite amazed.
"As real as can be," the woman replied, as Elizabeth floated back to the ground.
"So you're a – a witch?"
Professor McGonagall smiled and nodded. "That I am."
Elizabeth narrowed her eyes. "That was quite a good trick, if that's what it was. I don't easily believe things if I can't see some sort of proof. You might have had that set up somehow."
"Well, perhaps I could show you something else?"
"Alright, but I get to choose. Otherwise, it might just be something you've set up beforehand."
"Very well," replied the witch, smiling indulgently.
Elizabeth hummed and looked around the room, spotting a pot plant that lay beside the door. She pointed. "Turn that into... a cat!"
The witch beamed. "How strange that you should ask me to do that. It is one of my specialties."
With a flick of her wand,
This really impressed Elizabeth, for she had seen the plant transform before her eyes, and that couldn't possibly have been prearranged, could it?
"You're a suspicious child, aren't you? Perhaps Slytherin will be your house, or Ravenclaw, as you do seem clever, too."
"Slytherin and Ravenclaw?"
"Yes, they along with Gryffindor and Hufflepuff are the houses of Hogwarts."
And so for the rest of the day, Elizabeth listened as Professor McGonagall told her all about Hogwarts and the Wizarding world. The same day, the witch took her to a place called Diagon Alley, where they bought all the things Elizabeth would need for school. The cost came out of a fund for needy students, and while she may not have as much as the other students, she would have all she needed.
Hoggy Warty Hogwarts
Early in the morning of September 1st found Elizabeth packing to leave for King's Cross. She had said goodbye to her friends the night before, and couldn't wait to see Hogwarts. She opened the old bag she had found to put all her things in and opened her drawer. She only had two drawers of belongings, mostly clothes and a few things she had been left by her mother.
She picked up a necklace which lay at the bottom of the top drawer and fingered the ruby red stone that was set in what looked to be gold. She was surprised it was still in her possession, given the jewellery's obvious value. After all, this was an orphanage, and if Greg or Margot didn't see fit to take anything of value, then one of the other children probably would. Even so, she still had it and so considered herself simply lucky, even if it was the only thing she was lucky for.
She had never worn the necklace, and doubted she ever would, for it had belonged to her mother, and her mother had gone and left her in Saint Patrick's the week Elizabeth had been born. Given that, the necklace had no sentimental value, really, for she was sure her mother must have hated her. Many of the other children at the orphanage were here because their parents had died, though there were a few like her, who were simply unwanted. She knew she was one of these as her mother had been kind enough (and Elizabeth used the word kind quite loosely), to leave a note detailing her reasons for leaving her daughter in the London Orphanage. The letter, which Elizabeth longed to burn, but for some reason had not, explained that her mother could simply not stand to care for a child when her marriage to Elizabeth's father had failed as miserably as her first. Elizabeth's mother it seemed, had been so besotted with Elizabeth's father that when he left, her mother could not bear to care for the reminder of their love.
That was where the sane part of the letter ended and the nonsensical rambling began. Elizabeth had concluded at a young age that her mother must have been quite mad, or at least very strange, for the rest of the letter made no sense to Elizabeth whatsoever. Her mother went on to say that she feared Elizabeth would turn out bad, and had wanted to 'spare her that life' but had been unable to do it out of 'maternal instinct.' Elizabeth always shuddered at the first part and snorted in disbelief at the second part. After that, her mother wrote that in the end, she thought it best to curse Elizabeth, and hope the curse would run its course soon enough. The letter didn't give specifics, but Elizabeth didn't believe it. She might be incredibly unlucky, but she was surely not cursed, not by her crazy mother.
The second and only other thing her mother had left her was a thick book, but strangely enough, Elizabeth had never been able to open it. It had a deep green cover made of some odd, bumpy material, and it was as if the whole book was glued together. The gilded pages could not be opened.
Shaking her head, she pulled out the drawer and emptied its meagre contents into the old bag. The clothes in the second drawer followed, along with the carefully folded black robes that had been bought for her.
Her wand she stowed in the waistband of her pants. It was yew and dragon heartstring, a combination she found most interesting, mostly because of the fact that dragons must actually be real.
Then, before many others had even risen, she was out the door and walking through the streets to King's Cross.
She arrived just in time, and entered the station. Professor McGonagall had told her how to get to the platform, and she had no trouble finding the place to get through to Platform 9 ¾ . As she was approaching it, a boy about her age caught her eye. He looked as scruffy as she was sure she herself did, with his oversized clothing and uncut hair, and she felt a strange likeness to him. She watched as he approached a family of redheads, and then as they all disappeared through the barrier, following shortly after them. She quickly found an empty compartment on the train. Not a minute after she had settled, the scraggly boy she had seen earlier entered the compartment. "Er...sorry, do you mind if I sit here?"
"Not at all."
Two red heads followed behind him and helped him put his trunk up. She tuned out their conversation and watched people bustling about outside the train. When the door closed, she turned and inspected the boy, who sat opposite her. He was small and thin, with unruly black hair and green eyes that were hidden behind black framed glasses. He caught her staring and she looked away.
She looked back and smiled. "Elizabeth. This is my first year. Is it yours too?"
The boy nodded eagerly. "I'm so glad to be going!"
"I know! Did you know, I never even believed in magic until one of the professors came to where I live and showed me some." She giggled. "I didn't even read all of my letter, because I didn't believe it!"
He laughed with her. "Don't worry, I didn't know about magic either. My aunt and uncle knew about it, but they never told me. They don't like it at all, that I'm going to Hogwarts."
"You live with your aunt and uncle?"
He nodded. "My parents are dead."
The boy looked sad for a moment, and Elizabeth felt a stab of sympathy. "Oh, I'm sorry."
"That's okay, I don't really remember them."
"Well, I don't remember my parents either, though I'm not sorry they're gone. My father left my mother, and then she dumped me in an orphanage, so I'm all alone too."
Just then, the door opened again and a different red-head appeared. "Mind if I sit here? It's just that everywhere else is full."
Elizabeth and Harry nodded, and introduced themselves to the boy, Ron.
He looked eagerly at Harry. "Is it true then? Do you really have... you know?"
"You know... the scar!" whispered Ron, and Elizabeth looked on, confused, as Harry lifted his hair to reveal a thin lightning bolt shaped scar.
"How'd you get that?" she asked.
Ron mouthed soundlessly at her, and she raised an eyebrow at him. "What?"
"Er, well," said Harry, and she turned to him, "Apparently I'm kind of famous. I didn't know about it myself until Hagrid came to give me my letter, but apparently an evil wizard Voldemort tried to kill me as a baby, but it didn't work, and I got left with this scar. That's how my parents died, he murdered them."
Ron was dumbfounded that neither of them had ever heard about magic, but he didn't really seem to think badly of them, and talk turned to what house they would be in.
Ron was sure he would be in Gryffindor, but Harry had no idea.
"When Professor McGonagall came to see me, she said I'll probably be in Slytherin, and then she said maybe Ravenclaw," said Elizabeth.
"Ugh!" said Ron. "Let's hope you don't end up in Slytherin. They're all bad."
The rest of the train ride was spent in conversation, interrupted three times; once by the lunch trolley, once by a girl called Hermione, who was helping her friend Neville search for his toad, and once by a boy called Draco Malfoy and two of his friends. The last lot reinforced Ron's opinion the Slytherin's being not very nice.
When they finally got to Hogwarts, Elizabeth could not take her eyes of its beauty. The boat ride across the lake was breathtaking, with the castle towering over them and the moon rising behind it. She couldn't believe this would be her home for most of the year.
Unfortunately, halfway across the lake, something large overturned their boat. They thrashed about in their long robes, which weighed them down, and they had to be rescued by students in the nearest boats. Elizabeth put it down to her bad luck.
Once they got to the castle, they waited in the Entrance Hall before being bustled in to the Great Hall to be sorted. She was called after only a few names, and sat upon the stool, smiling weakly at Professor McGonagall, who placed the hat on her head. It was far too large, and the brim was nearly on her shoulders.
She was stunned when the hat began to talk to her.
Interesting, very interesting indeed. A cunning mind, I see. Perhaps Slytherin is for you.
No! Not Slytherin! I'm muggleborn! I won't fit in there!
Muggleborn, you say? I wouldn't be so sure about that if I were you, young one.
Oh yes, you have your father's intellect! If not Slytherin, then you must be RAVENCLAW!
The last word was called aloud, and she pulled the hat off, handing it to Professor McGonagall. She walked on shaky legs to the Ravenclaw table amidst polite applause.
That night as she lay in bed, Elizabeth thought deeply. That hat had said she wasn't muggleborn! Did that mean one of her parents had been magical? It had said she had her father's intellect. Had he been a student here? Or had he just seen it in her mind? But that can't be right, she thought. I've never known my father, to know if he was smart or not.
And what of her mother? All that nonsense rambling about curses. Shat sat bolt upright. What if she really was cursed?! What if that was why she always had so many accidents!
Breathing shakily, she laid back down and tried to sleep, determined to read her mother's letter again in the morning.
She did as she had said she would, and read the letter. It left her feeling quite scared, now that she believed in magic. She would have to ask someone, perhaps Professor McGonagall.
She did so after a lesson, waiting behind after transfiguration with a boy in her year, Terry. She asked if there were curses that could cause someone bad luck all their lives. McGonagall said there was, but didn't ask why she wanted to know.
Terry however, was curious. "What do you want to know about curses like that for? You aren't thinking of cursing someone, are you, because of you are then you should know that those sorts of curses are usually dark magic, and illegal."
She rolled her eyes. "Of course I'm not going to curse anyone. I was just wondering, that's all."
All of a sudden, the old bag she had found at the orphanage slit open, spilling her books everywhere. Her ink bottle rolled out on top, and for a split second she thanked her lucky stars that it hadn't shattered.
She had thought too soon however, when she realised the bottle had not stopped rolling. It fell off the pile of books and started rolling down the stairs, shattering on the fourth one down and leaving a pool of black ink that dribbled to the stair below.
Elizabeth sighed in frustration. Terry raised an inquisitive eyebrow and said jokingly, "Are you sure you aren't cursed with bad luck?"
She feigned a laugh and punched him playfully. "Don't be silly! Now help me pick all this up."
Luckily for Elizabeth, Terry came from a magical family and already knew several useful household spells. He fixed her bag with a quick 'reparo', and she stuffed her books back into it, and they set off for Charms.
Charms was turning out to be one of Elizabeth's favourite subjects, mostly because she found it the easiest, and so there was no pressure. Professor Flitwick was her head of house, and he was especially friendly to students of his house.
"Today we will be learning a charm which produces light. Accomplished witches and wizards can control where the light goes, but at your level, the light will appear at the ends of your wands," squeaked the tiny man.
Everyone was standing in their own space, and all the desks had been cleared off to the sides of the room.
Elizabeth took out her wand, sharing a look of anticipation with Terry.
Flitwick's squeaky voice sounded from the front of the room. "This is a relatively simple spell; the wand movement is simply to hold your wands out in front of you, keeping a firm grip... go on then..."
He waited a few moments until everyone had done it, peering at them all to make sure they had done it right. "Excellent, now – the incantation is... lumos!"
Elizabeth gasped with the rest of the class as Flitwick's own wand ignited with a brightly glowing light, though for a different reason to the rest of the students.
Just say lumos...
The words flitted through her mind like a whisper.
"Liz... Liz?.... E-Liz-A-Beth???"
She shook her head distractedly, glancing over at Terry. "Huh?"
"Well!? Arent' you going to try it yourself? Come on!"
"Oh, right... yeah." She positioned her wand in front of her, and spoke the incantation. "Lumos."
It was no more than a murmur, but a brilliant ball of light erupted at the end of her wand instantly.
"Oh! See here, everyone. Miss Bishop has done it! Wonderful, wonderful!" Everyone clapped politely after Flitwick's exultation, and Elizabeth blushed.
After that, she sat to the side, with the pretence of watching Terry practice. What she really wanted to do however, was think. What had happened in the cupboard at the orphanage had been magic after all, a spell! She was excited at the thought that there had been a magic person at the orphanage before her, and she wondered if they had been to Hogwarts as well.
The year progressed, and as it did she found herself settling in to life at Hogwarts easily. She did well in her classes, as did her dorm mates. After all, Ravenclaws were known for their intelligence. She made good friends with them, particularly Terry. She found he reminded her of Jonno, with his quick wit and sense of humour. She also had friends in Hufflepuff, and in Gryffindor. Hermione Granger was just as smart as any of the Ravenclaws, and Elizabeth found they got on well.
When Hermione became friends with Ron and Harry, Elizabeth re-established the friendship that had started on the train. She found Ron a bit obtuse, but he had a good sense of humour. Harry she got on very well with, and she thought this was mostly because they had similar upbringings. They would meet regularly in the library or at the lake. As much as Elizabeth loved Hogwarts, she missed her friends, thought not the orphanage. She wrote to them regularly, using school owls. They thought it strange at first, but they soon got used to it.
There was however, one reason that she wanted to get back to the orphanage. She wanted to find her birth certificate. She knew it must be buried in the basement with all the other records, which went back to the very opening of the orphanage. Since the hat had told her about her father, she was desperate to discover more about him. She had never really cared to find out his name before, but now she had a reason to, and she could not wait.
She knew her mother's full married name, but not her maiden name, and she had searched through old school records in the hope that she would find the first two names, but in the past sixty years there was no one with the same names.
The end of the year brought much excitement. She went to see Harry Ron and Hermione in the hospital wing. They had been involved in something, and while they weren't allowed to talk about it, Harry had told her that the rumours were mostly true, throwing in a few extra hints here and there when Ron and Hermione weren't listening.
From what she had heard and what Harry told her, she gathered that something called a Philosopher's Stone had been hidden in the castle, and that Voldemort had returned, and been trying to steal it. She shuddered to think of someone as evil as the whispered stories she had heard about him; she simply could not comprehend it.
At the end of June, she said goodbye to her new friends at King's Cross and walked back to the orphanage. By the time she got back, night had fallen and it was quiet in the orphanage, but she was not tired. Leaning her bag unpacked on her bed, she made her way quietly down to the basement.
She pushed open the door, and stared in dismay at the towers of dusty boxes. Somewhere in there was the secret of her parent's identities, and she was going to find them.
In the end, it didn't take her as long as she thought. The files were ordered by year, and the most recent were in the boxes closest to the door. Once she realised this, it only took her ten minutes to find the correct box, and then another few to find her own file.
She nervously blew dust off the ratty piece of paper that was her birth certificate. There, right below her birth date, was her father's name. Thom Bishop.
Unfortunately, her mother's maiden name was not there, though Elizabeth really didn't care too much that she didn't know. At least now, when she got back to school, she would have a name to search the records for, and she could find out if she was in fact the daughter of a wizard.
The next morning, Elizabeth woke late and dressed before making her way to the food hall for lunch. As she approached the stairs, she heard Greg's angry voice. She rounded the corner to see Greg storming off and young Petey walking back towards her, his bottom lip stuck out.
"Hey little man, what's the matter?"
Petey looked up tearfully at her. "Greg'ry lockded me in de cubbad," he said sulkily. Elizabeth glared in the direction Greg had gone. "Don't worry sweetie. You're out now. Just try not to get on his bad side in the future, hey?"
"Mm," grumbled the boy.
Elizabeth sighed, and then had an idea. She pulled open the door to the cupboard and stuck her head in, looking for the words. "Come here Petey."
The little boy stuck his head in under hers and looked around. "Hey! Drawings! I neva sawed them bafore!"
"Yeah, and look here." She pointed to the carving she wanted him to read. Petey scrunched up face, trying to read the words. "Just... say... l-lum...lumos?"
"Yup, that's it – lumos."
"'Snot a word. Wot's it mean?"
"Well, why don't we see. You go in the cupboard, and then you have to say the word. Try to think really hard about trying to see all those pretty pictures on the wall when you say it."
Petey looked doubtfully in to the dim space. "Go back in there?"
"Don't worry honey. I'll just close the door, but we won't lock it, okay?"
He gave her a curious look before crawling all the way in to the cupboard and pulling the door closed behind him. As she waited, a thought struck her. What if it didn't work for Petey? What if it only worked if you were magic!?
Suddenly, the door flew open, and Petey threw himself into her lap. "Lizbef! 'S like magic!"
She grinned at him "Yeah, it is, hey?"
"Magic is real?" The little boy looked awed. "Can I do magic?!" He was excited now, looking up at her expectantly.
She smoothed his hair down. "No honey. It's just the cupboard that's magic. Maybe magic is just something there to help you when you need it."
"Oh." But he didn't look too disappointed, and he ran off to play with his friends, now sporting a smile.
For the hundredth time, Elizabeth wondered who had done the magical drawings. Who was the wizard who had spent so much time in the cupboard?
Well, this is the first part of my new story. For those reading my other story The Pendant of Slytherin – Don't Worry! I'll still be writing that one at the same time. If you haven't read it, I reckon you should. I've got most of this story planned out. It won't be anywhere near as long as PoS, maybe 15 chapters long.
If anyone was wondering, the title of this chapter comes from a song of the same name by The Lovin' Spoonful.
Reviews would be great. Let me know if you want me to continue this story, or if you have any questions, comments or constructive criticism. : )