Chapter One: Letters and Loss
"Mildred Hubble! How many years have you been at this Academy?" The voice of Miss Constance Hardbroom, Deputy Headmistress of Miss Cackle's Academy for Witches, thundered when the girl made another mistake.
"It's the start of the fourth year." Replied Mildred timidly.
"Really, Mildred! I'm surprised at you! By now, you should be closer to mastering more advanced Spells and Potions." Constance said, her dark eyes meeting the girl's gaze. The fifteen year old seemed to shrink back and Constance inwardly felt sympathy for Mildred. At times, Mildred reacted much like Constance herself had reacted when Mistress Broomhead, Constance's Grandmother Hecketty and former Personal Tutor, had been tormenting her.
Constance thought for a moment, wondering if she should tell Mildred of her relations to Mildred's mother, but decided against it for the moment. She sighed, knowing the potential that Mildred had. She could be clumsy at times , but she had that drawing talent , shown at the end of the third year, and she was Head Girl, and Jadu Wali was Head Girl. Constance wondered how she could channel that ability, and help Mildred realize she had the potential to be a powerful witch.
"Are you all right, Miss?" Millie asked, making Constance snap back to reality.
"I'm perfectly all right, Mildred." Constance replied. "Just be more careful and mind what you are doing."
"Yes, Miss Hardbroom." Replied Milie meekly
Constance sighed again. She watched Mildred exit the Potions Lab and make her way towards the dormitories. Constance left and retreated to the Staffroom where Amelia Cackle, Headmistress of Miss Cackle's Academy for Witches, and the others sat at the table. Davina was her usual flighty self. Amelia was looking over letters. Her brows knitted together as she picked up two of them.
"Whatever is the matter, Headmistress?" asked Constance.
"There has been a tragedy with one of our pupils." answered Amelia.
"What sort of tragedy?" Constance inquired.
"A death in the family." Amelia replied.
"Who is the pupil in question?" Constance wondered.
"Mildred Hubble." Amelia looked gravely at Constance.
Constance inhaled. 'Please don't let it be Persephone.' She thought of her sister. Persephone Lynn Hardbroom-Hubble was Mildred's mother as well as Constance's sister. Persephone had been so happy when she married Arthur Hubble and Mildred was born.
"The details are rather grisly." Said Amelia. Constance hoped that it was a relative on Mildred's father's side and not her sister. "I'm going to give the first letter to Mildred . Read the second one , Constance. It's addressed to the both of you."
Constance picked up the letter and began to read.
"My Beautiful Millie,
There are things you must know about your family. You have an Aunt, my sister. I do believe you know her quite well. She is a teacher at Cackle's Academy. She is none other than Constance Katherine Hardbroom. Our mother is Samantha Circe Broomhead Hardbroom. Yes, her mother is Mistress \hecketty Broomhead. She was born with the name Hecketty Broomhead but went by the name Wilhelmina Wormwood in Witch Academy. She didn't want anyone to know of her true bloodline and how powerful it was .
I know how badly she treated my sister. Grandmother Hecketty has always been a devious woman. I wish to have nothing to do with her and I want you to do the same. I don't want her corrupting you or harming a single hair on your head, Mildred. You, Mildred Isolt Hardbroom-Hubble, are very precious to your Dad and I. Your father and I being a wizard and witch are the real reason you were accepted at Cackle's Academy.. I want you to know that Constance will have custody of you if anything ever happens to us. I love you, my Milie. Never ever forget that.
Constance, if you are reading this, I love you very much. I know that I haven't been able to say when you left for Witch Training College, but I do. You are my older sister. If anything ever happens to me, I want you to raise Mildred as your own. You see, I have written my will I case of emergency because Arthur and I want to make sure that our only daughter is well taken care of. I love you and Millie both.
Constance was stunned that Persephone had decided to write up a will. She heard a tormented cry a moment later and knew that it was Mildred Hubble. She got up and dematerialized, appearing where Mildred was.
"Mildred…" She began, "I don't know whom you have lost, but I can tell you that I do know what it is like to have lost someone very special."
"I just lost BOTH of my parents!" Mildred cried. "In a car crash!"
Constance immediately was frozen to the spot. Mildred saw her flinch and was about to say something, but was overcome with nausea. She was soon running to the lavatory and was violently ill. A moment later, Constance heard a thud as Mildred hit the floor. Constance rushed to the lavatory and found Mildred curled up in the fetal position, trembling like a leaf.
"Constance helped her to a sitting position and wordlessly put a tentative arm around her, shocked to the core. Persephone was dead. Her sister was dead…
"Shhh…shhhh." Constance soothed, trying it out. She wasn't one to be soft normally, but the girl had just lost her parents.
"C-Come with m-me, M-Mildred." She said as her voice began to quaver. She helped Mildred to her feet and cleared up the mess. She brought Mildred up to her room. Morgana was sitting on her cat-bed, sensing that the two humans in the room were upset.
"I have something very important to tell you. My Grandmother is Mistress Hecketty Broomhead… Her daugfhter is my mother. I have one sister, Persephone…She is…she is your mother…which makes me your Aunt." Constance told Mildred, who stared at her in disbelief.
"That's impossible…I don't believe you!" Mildred cried.
"You may think it is impossible…but it is the truth." Replied Constance. "Here is a letter from your mother. It will tell you what you know."
Mildred took the letter with trembling fingers and started to read it. She soon came to the realization that Constance was right. She began to shudder as she grieved for her parents. Constance was trying to stay strong but even she began to cry softly.
"D-Don't cry, Miss." Mildred said through her tears. "M-May…May I…stay with you?"
"Yes, you may, Mildred." Constance replied softly.
"Whoever's going to want me now? I have nobody." Mildred squeaked.
"You …You have me, Mildred Hubble. You and I have each other now…" Constance told her.
Mildred sniffed and laid down on Constance's large bed.
"Sleep, Mildred…" She heard her Form Mistress and Aunt murmur softly.
"You need to sleep to, Miss Hardbroom…." Mildred told Constacne.
"I am quite all right, Mildred." Constance replied.
"I know you use Wide-Awake Potion. Could you try to sleep?" asked Mildred.
" I am more concerned about you… The news has thoroughly drained you… You need to sleep." Constance retorted.
"Please…just try, Miss." Mildred coaxed.
"Oh, all right." Constance gave in. She soon found out that she too was emotionally drained and was beginning to get sleepy. Mildred was right.