The rights to Harry Potter belong to J. K. Rowling and her publishers, and the movies are copyrighted by Warner Brothers.
The rights to the Bewitched! television series are, as best I know, owned by Ashmont Productions and Screen Gems, Inc.
No copyright infringements are intended. This is a non-commercial fan fiction story, and no rights to the characters or settings of either series are claimed by the author.
September 1st, 1994
Today is the day. As you know from my previous entries, I earned two doctorates, the first in magical archeology and the second in magical anthropology, and have participated in several digs at sites around the middle east. Up until now, I've been mainly focused on the past. That's about to change. I'm going to write my first magical anthropology thesis on current educational practices of wizarding Britain. For that purpose, I've gotten the president of the Salem Witches' Institute to arrange a bogus "student exchange program" between our junior high branch and Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Well, it's not so bogus as all that - if I judge my experience there as being of potential benefit to our children, we may make it a formal program for real. For now, though, it's just an excuse for me to go there so I can do my research.
If I allow someone who isn't my kind of witch to read this, you may not know how I, a twenty-nine year old, can pose as a student at a school that teaches students from eleven to seventeen years of age. That's because my people age differently than mortals. Simply put, the older we get, the slower we age physically. When I was a toddler, my physical development mirrored that of mortals. By the time I was school age, I began to lag behind the development of my peers, and by the time I was eight, I looked too young for my real age and could not attend mortal schools any longer. That's when my mother transferred me to Salem. Salem has two campuses. One is designed for the needs of mortal wizards and witches, and the other, smaller side is designed for the needs of our folk.
I'm kind of drifting off subject, aren't I? To finish up, what it all means is that while I'm chronologically twenty-nine, my physical development is equal to that of a fourteen year old mortal. I won't look like I'm fully adult until I'm well over two hundred. That's the secret of our supposed immortality. It takes thousands of years before we even begin to look or feel old, and if a witch or warlock has ever died of old age, I haven't heard of it. Usually if one of us dies, it's because something killed us. My grandmother once told me that we'll never know if we are immortal, because that means we'd have to live forever, and since forever never ends, we won't ever get there to find out if we live that long. Interesting conundrum, eh?
I'm going to pop into the ladies' room at King's Cross Railway Station to begin my little adventure. We'll see what happens next.
Tabitha Stephens hummed softly to herself as she pushed her luggage cart down the main concourse of London's King's Cross Railroad Station, threading her way through the crowded concourse. She was thoroughly enjoying the experience of being in a foreign city, and was amused by the little differences between London and her hometown of Westport, Connecticut. One such was the cart she was pushing along being called a "trolley" by the locals, when back home, a trolley was an electric streetcar. She was also admiring the station itself, with its two long arched skylights supported by metal struts for a ceiling and the many stone arches which lent the old building an airy atmosphere. The heavy rain drumming against the glass of the high ceiling made it even more of an event for her, and added an extra level of sound to the already noisy environment.
'Let's see, according to the information booklet, I'm looking for platform nine and three quarters, which is a magical gateway in the support column between platforms nine and ten...' Reaching up to lightly twitch her nose with a forefinger, she willed herself to see what was hidden. 'Ah, there it is.'
Just as she was about to step toward the hidden entrance to the platform, a large, dripping wet group passed in front of her which consisted of a boy with wild, dark colored hair and eyeglasses, a girl with what would be bushy brown hair had it not been soaked from the rain, and more soggy redheads than she had ever wanted to see at one time. All were dressed in a collection of clothing styles that ranged from the ordinary to the outrageous, and were being herded along by a matron with equally vivid locks and two young men who had been stamped from the same mold, although one had distinguished himself with long hair and an earring that appeared to be a tooth of some kind. Equally difficult to miss were the angry red streaks of severe scratches on the arms and hands of one of the red haired boys, and the boy and girl with more common hair coloring. The source of abuse wasn't hard to find either, judging by the disgruntled appearances of what looked to be a large, tawny Persian cat and an equally large white owl with black speckled markings on its wings, both of whom looked equally disgusted by their waterlogged condition. The amazing thing was that this group, who should have drawn the attention of everyone in the station, were almost being ignored.
'Ha. No mistaking the use of magic there. I do believe I'm being graced with my first sight of a British wizarding family.'
She watched them closely as a few of the younger ones sidled up to the column between the platforms, obviously trying to keep their activity low-key. The matron, however, was more observant and noted Tabitha's attention. She walked over to her with a slightly suspicious air. "Hello, dear. Are you here to catch the train too?" asked the plump woman.
"Um... yes. I was told that this was where I should go find the train to Hogwarts."
The woman relaxed and smiled. "Yes, this is the right place. I've never seen you here before. Is it your first time?"
Tabitha nodded. "I'm a foreign exchange student from the Salem Witches' Institute. I'm part of a pilot program the schools are conducting to see if it would be a good idea to have regular exchanges in the future. My name is Tabitha Stephens."
The woman sniffed. "Well, I doubt that any of my children will ever need to go abroad for their education. Hogwarts is the best school in the world, as I'm sure you'll agree after you've been there for awhile. Still, let me be the first to welcome you to Britain. I'm Molly Weasley."
"Um, thank you, ma'am," said Tabitha, who was taken aback by the blatantly parochial attitude of the woman.
After being given a signal by Molly, the first group of children trundled their carts through the barrier, and another batch prepared to do the same. "Since this is your first time with the barrier to the platform, I recommend taking it at a run. Good luck, young lady," Molly called as she rejoined the rest of her family.
'Well. I wonder if all British magicals are so thoroughly convinced that their school is the best there is?' Tabitha wondered.
After the last of the Red Horde had vanished through the magical barrier, Tabitha calmly wheeled her cart after them. Since she could clearly see the outlines of the spell used to conceal the passage, she felt no need to rush through as the Weasley woman had advised.
'The Weasleys - I must remember that name. Since they are a large wizarding family, they may make a good control group. Also, that boy with dark hair could have been Harry Potter - he certainly looks like the boy I saw in the wizarding newspapers I read as research. He may be a good observational subject too, since it might be useful to see how a famous person is educated in wizarding society. I'll be able to find out if the other students receive as good an education, or if VIPs get special treatment.'
At that moment, she emerged into bedlam. There were hundreds of people bustling about despite the deluge of rain. Parents were huddled under umbrella spells or in places where there were roofs over their heads, intent on saying their goodbyes, and children were trying to carry their belongings onto the old-fashioned steam train waiting on the tracks without slipping in puddles. Tabitha couldn't help but compare the chaos to her college in Salem, and marveled at how inefficient it seemed. 'We all arrive by our own means at the beginning of the term, and have time to settle in before classes. These children all have to gather here and ride a train up to the boarding school, and all arrive simultaneously. And London is almost the opposite end of the island from the school. That means that children from the north of England and Scotland have to travel all the way down here just to ride this train all the way back. Whoever thought this up, and why did they think it was a good idea? That's something else to research.'
Then again, she reminded herself to slap down her tendency to prejudge the wizards and the way they did things. She had to keep her objectivity if she were to do the project right. It was just that the more she learned about wizards and their society, the more backward they appeared. Her own family's tradition was to take the best of whatever society they lived among and use their magic to make it even better. Her aunt Serena was a classic example of that - she lived an almost sybaritic lifestyle by the standards of whatever culture and place she chose to be. The wizards had, it seemed, closed off their society and rejected anything more modern than gas lamps and steam engines. It just all felt so wasteful to her.
'Enough. I need to get aboard the train before it leaves. It wouldn't do to blow my cover by popping aboard the train while it's moving.'
With that thought in mind, she muscled the antique looking trunk she'd purchased into her grip and splashed her way on board the train that would take her to her new life of deception, posing as a fourteen year old mortal witch in what was looking to be the land that time forgot.
'I just had to choose modern wizarding eduction as the subject for my post-doctoral thesis in magical anthropology. What the hell was I thinking?'
Staggering down the narrow passageway of the train carriage, Tabitha struggled to keep from bouncing her trunk against the wall as she searched for a compartment that had space for her. 'Enclosed compartments, gaslights, bench seats facing each other... I half expect Charley Chaplin or Humphrey Bogart to come walking past. Ah, there. This compartment only has one person in it.' Standing at the door of the compartment, she addressed the girl seated within. "Hello! May I join you?"
The girl, a blonde with long, straight hair, jerked with startlement as she'd been absorbed with reading a wizarding newspaper. Tabitha found her eyebrows raising when she saw that the paper was upside down. The tiny radishes being worn as earrings and the bottle-cap necklace only added to the oddness of the girl's appearance.
"Oh, by all means. I don't usually have much company on the train, so there's plenty of space."
"Thank you. I'm Tabitha."
"Luna Lovegood, third year." Luna studied Tabitha's face for a moment, and then her eyes widened comically. "OH! Oh dear... I never expected to meet a Methuselan on this train!"
"A Methuselan. You are immortal, aren't you?"
Tabitha could feel the blood draining from her face. The idea that her cover would be blown before she'd even reached the school had never occurred to her. 'Oh my god! What to do? Should I erase her memory?'
The blonde seemed to follow her thoughts. "Oh, don't mind me. I won't tell anyone else if you don't want me to. No one really listens to me anyway. I'm just 'Loony' Lovegood, after all."
Tabitha took a moment to gather her wits and sank into the cushions across from the younger girl. "How... How did you know?"
Luna smiled with the corner of her mouth. "Mother told me that we are distantly related to the Methuselans, many generations back in our line. I just felt like you resonated with that part of me, and I pay attention to my feelings. Your reaction confirmed my guess."
"Well, you certainly gave me a shock. If I weren't immortal, I'd say you knocked ten years off my life!"
Luna looked at her with a puzzled expression.
"Never mind," sighed Tabitha. "It's just a corny family joke. I'm not sure what to do, so I'm babbling. Can I really trust you with my secret?"
"Yes," replied Luna seriously. "I'll swear on my magic if you wish."
"Please. I know that it's a dangerous thing for you to do, but if my family found out that someone here had discovered our secret, it could be even more dangerous for you."
Luna jumped to her feet and pulled her wand out from behind her right ear, where it had been mostly concealed by her hair. "I, Luna Lovegood, hereby swear upon my magic that I will not reveal anything Tabitha... Oh, what's your family name?"
"...Tabitha Stephens tells me is a secret unless she releases me from my vow." A small flash of light at the tip of her wand marked the vow as sealed. Luna plopped back down on her seat and slid her wand back into place behind her ear.
Feeling relieved, Tabitha asked, "Do you have to use a wand? If you are related to my people, I'd think it wouldn't be necessary. Mine is just a copy of one we had at our school that I made myself and tuned so that it reacts like one of the ones wizards have."
Luna shook her head no. "My family's relationship is too distant, I think. We just live a normal lifespan, and we can't do magic the way I've heard you can. Is it true that you have to strip naked and dance in the moonlight to use magic?"
Tabitha was saved from what was looking to be a rather awkward conversation when a boy leaned into the compartment, one of the Weasleys Tabitha had met at the barrier. "Hey, Loony. Can we join you? Everywhere else is getting pretty much full now."
"Hello, Ronald. I have no objections if my companion doesn't."
Tabitha merely nodded her assent, and then watched as the newly identified Ronald entered, followed by the boy she'd guessed was Harry Potter and the bushy-haired girl, complete with menagerie. After they'd stored their trunks and settled their pets, the girl immediately took charge. Opening her trunk, she sorted through the contents until she found some towels, two of which she passed to her companions. After drying her hair as best she could, she turned to Tabitha. "Hello. I'm Hermione Granger, and these two louts are Ron Weasley and Harry Potter. Nice to meet you."
"Tabitha Stephens of the USA."
Ron, towel still draped over his head, whistled in awe. "Wicked. You're a long way from home. Why are you going to Hogwarts?"
Hermione punched him in the arm. "Ron! It's impolite to start interrogating a person you just met!"
Tabitha tried to settle her down. "It's okay, really. I was expecting to have to answer that a lot. The short version is that my school decided it might be a good idea to start an exchange student program and got permission from your school's board of directors to send me over as a test case. I'll be here for the year, and then I'll go back home for the rest of my education."
"Really? That sounds fascinating. I'd love to have a chance to study in another country like that. It must open up so many possibilities, and there must be so much a person could learn."
Ron snorted. "Trust Hermione to be excited about going thousands of miles for more schoolwork. I'd rather just stay home where I know the food is good."
As Ron was speaking, their car lurched forward as load from the couplings of the adjoining cars was applied, signaling the start of the journey to a new year at Hogwarts.
As the train chuffed its way north, the passengers were disappointed to find that they could see nothing of the passing scenery. The rain was so heavy that the windows only showed a blurry wash of indistinct colors. Tabitha in particular had been looking forward to the ride, but the storm front was so wide that she was beginning to despair of seeing anything at all but the interior of the compartment.
"So, anyone got a clue about what Mom and my brothers were on about at the station?" Ron asked to break the silence they'd all fallen into.
"No," replied Hermione. "There was nothing in the papers about this year being different. I wonder why they were being so secretive."
For the first time in Tabitha's hearing, Harry finally spoke. "Whatever it could be, it sounded like they were expecting something big to happen."
With her attention drawn to the boy, Tabitha got a clear look into his eyes. His... big... deep... intense... green...
She'd grown up with stories from her mother about how when she'd met Darrin, it only took her one glance to know that there would be more than one casual date between them. Tabitha hadn't really understood what that meant before. Now she did. She also understood the expressions about "toe-curling" intensity and that they might be literal.
She spent the rest of the journey wondering yet again if maybe she was in for more than she'd bargained when she took on the research project.
September 1st, 1994 (continued)
I'm writing this before I go to sleep in my dormitory at Hogwarts Castle. It seems I've found a friend already. Her name is Luna Lovegood, and she's in her third year of schooling, while I'm in the fourth. That means we won't be in the same classes, but since she knows what I am, I plan to use her as a sounding board when I have questions about her society that I can't answer on my own.
I had a rather shocking experience on the train to the school. I met a boy who... Okay, I know it sounds trite and clichéd, but he rocked my world in a very unexpected way. I wrote a letter to my mother before I started this entry, telling her about my experiences so far, and about Harry. That's his name - Harry James Potter. He's famous in wizarding Europe as the only person to ever survive the Killing Curse, and I read about him in several publications I was using to get a feel for how to dress and act to fit in. When I first saw him, I wondered if there was a "grunge" look fashion trend in wizarding Europe that I missed in the magazines. He was dressed in clothing that was too big for him, and his shoes looked like they were being held together with tape.
He didn't act like a celebrity, though. He shared the train compartment I was in, and was very quiet and reserved. Here's the shocking part: I happened to get a direct look into his eyes once, and it was like I'd touched an electrical outlet. Have you ever heard of people having an instant connection to someone else? Love at first sight? I think it was like that for me, although he didn't seem to notice. I just know that there's something there I want to investigate more.
When we got to the Hogsmeade, the little town near the castle, I didn't know if I should go with the first years or not. There was this absolutely huge man who was calling for them, so I asked him.
Children were pouring off the train and streaming off toward the road, while the youngest milled about, uncertain of where they should go. Tabitha was in the same state, as her information packet had neglected to mention what she was to do on arrival. She'd assumed that teachers would be present to direct the students, but she saw none. That is, until the largest and shaggiest man she'd ever seen came tromping up to the station platform and called "Firs' Years! Firs' Years over here!"
Since he was the closest thing to an authority figure to be found, Tabitha approached him to ask what she should do.
"Hello! Can you help me?"
The big man turned to her "'Ullo, what's this then? You're not someone I remember bein' here before. Are you the new student from America th' 'eadmaster is expectin'?"
"Yes, I am. Tabitha Stephens. I'm supposed to be in fourth year. Should I go with the first years, since I've never been here before?"
"Naw, this is just a tradition for the younges'. Follow the res' to the carriages, and you'll get to where you need t' be. Perfessor McGonagall will see t' you when you get t' th' castle."
"Okay. Thank you," said Tabitha gratefully. She scurried off in the direction she'd seen the older children heading, and found that they were climbing into a line of coaches that were hitched to animals she recognized as Thestrals. More were already jingling up the road that must have led to the school.
"Tabitha? Where are you?" came a voice from near the road. Tabitha saw Luna standing next to one of the last carriages, where she'd evidently been waiting for her.
"I'm here. Shall we go?"
When the castle came into view, Tabitha was impressed in spite of herself. She commented to Luna, "Wow. We have nothing like that in the United States. It's very imposing." 'And impossible. That's got to be the most eclectic and random jumble of towers and battlements I've ever heard of, much less seen. If it weren't a magical building, I doubt that it could stand under its own weight!'
Luna nodded in agreement. "It's rare even in this country for a fortress that old to be in such good condition. The first year students have a rite of passage where they are brought over Black Lake in small boats for the most impressive view. It's thought that it gives them the right attitude to begin their lives here."
After arriving at the main doors to the building, Tabitha followed Luna into the corridor leading to the great hall. Emerging into the room, Tabitha was greeted with the kind of hubbub only a collecting of over six hundred children of various ages can produce. The children were seated or finding places on the benches at four extraordinarily long tables that ran nearly the entire length of the hall. They reminded her of the trestle tables found in picnic grounds in the United States, except for the higher quality of wood of which they were constructed. As Luna walked off to one of the tables, Tabitha was approached by an older woman with her hair tied up into a severe looking bun.
"Are you Tabitha Stephens?" asked the woman.
"Yes, ma'am, I am."
"I am Professor McGonagall, the deputy headmistress. When all the children have arrived and settled down, I'll be leading the new students into the room to be sorted into the houses. You are familiar with our house system?"
"Yes, that was covered by the information packet I received."
"Good. After the first years have been sorted, I'll call you up for the same. Until then, find a spot at this end of one of the tables to sit. It won't matter which until you've been placed."
With a nod of her head, the professor walked off at a firm pace to one of the side doors to the hall. Tabitha found a place at the end of the table Luna had chosen and prepared to wait for her signal.
It wasn't very long before Professor McGonagall returned from wherever she'd gone. She waved at an old man dressed in very colorful robes, who was seated in an elaborate, throne-like chair centered behind a table on a dais at the opposite end of the hall from Tabitha. While Tabitha had been waiting, he and a number of other adults had arrived, although the others had lesser chairs to either side of the throne. Tabitha presumed that she was seeing the school's headmaster, Albus Dumbledore. He then rose to his feet and tapped his wand against a goblet on the table before him. The "ping" was easily audible throughout the hall, even over the clamor of so many children talking at once.
"Welcome back to another year at Hogwarts, all. With no further ado, let the sorting begin."
The professor ducked back through the door, and moments later emerged followed by the first year students, who were led along the wall toward the head table. After indicating where they were to stop, McGonagall stepped through another door at the head end of the hall. When she returned from there, she was carrying a stool with an old, battered pointed-crown hat settled on it. Tabitha recognized it as the Sorting Hat, which had been briefly covered in her introductory packet.
After McGonagall set down the stool in front of the staff table, what seemed to be a horizontal tear just above the brim of the hat opened, and the hat began to sing a ditty. Tabitha didn't catch very much of it, but it sounded like a history of the founding of the school. After many stanzas, the hat finished his song.
"...Now slip me snug about your ears,
I've never yet been wrong,
I'll have a look inside your mind
And tell where you belong!"
After a brief round of applause from the staff and seated students, Professor McGonagall began calling a roll of the new students, and as she called each name, the youngster sat on the stool and the hat called which of the four houses the student was to join. Since to Tabitha, they were just names whose families she did not know, the whole process was of little interest, although she did take mental notes about the process in general for her report. After the last was sent on their way, it was finally her turn.
The headmaster stood up and announced, "We have wonderful news this year to announce. For the very first time in all the centuries Hogwarts has stood in service to the youth of our nation, we are being joined by a foreign student who is here as an experiment in education. For the entire year, she will be living among you as a regular student, and will be sorted into one of the houses like everyone else has been. If this experiment is successful, she will be but the first of a foreign exchange program. Other students from her school, the Salem Witches' Institute, will be joining us for a year, and Hogwarts students will have the opportunity to study overseas at the Institute in their turn. Let's give a warm Hogwarts welcome to Miss Tabitha Stephens!"
Taking that as her cue, Tabitha walked down the center isle of the hall to take her place on the sorting stool. As the hat settled on her head, she heard its raspy voice as clearly as if it were speaking aloud. "So, what have we here? It's not often that I'm called upon to sort an older student. But wait, you're even older than I was led to expect. Instead of fourteen, you're... twenty-nine? And already have advanced educational degrees? Ah, I see. You're here to study our society for a treatise you intend to write. Well, I'll keep your secret. My enchantments require me to hold these consultations in confidence. Now, to business. Where to sort you? You are quite ambitious, but it's aimed toward increasing your knowledge rather than your status. You are brave enough, but that's because you are powerful enough not to be frightened by much. You are decent and hardworking, but your loyalty is only for your own kind. Very well. It has to be-"
(Dairy entry continued)
After the sorting, we had dinner and I got acquainted with some of my housemates. I was welcomed by several members of the house, but the most enthusiastic welcome came from Luna. She seemed delighted that I'd be in the same house as she.
After dinner, the headmaster had several announcements to make. The one that had the most telling effect on everybody was that Quidditch, which seems to be the only sports program in the school, was canceled for the year because they are hosting the Triwizard Tournament. I'll have to look that up when I get the chance, as it's a complete surprise to me. The headmaster went on to say that two other European wizarding schools are sending contingents here to participate and to stay the year. I'm not sure whether to be disappointed or not. On the one hand, it means that I'm not going to experience a typical school year here, so my thesis will be skewed by not having data from a normal year. On the other, I'll have students from more wizarding schools to observe and interview discreetly. I don't know if that will help or hinder my efforts.
After all was said and done, Luna led me off to the west side of the castle, to Ravenclaw Tower. In my introductory packet, it had said that the house dormitories had passwords, but contrary to that, Ravenclaw access is granted by answering a riddle. That seems a little silly when you get right down to it. What if the other houses have members who are intelligent enough to guess the answer? Could they just walk in?
The doorway opens into a common room, which takes up an entire floor of the tower. Since the tower is round, so is the room. The main features of the common room are comfortable, overstuffed armchairs arranged in groups, a nice fireplace, and a life-sized sculpture of Hogwarts founder Rowena Ravenclaw standing near the wall. The walls are covered by blue tapestries, probably to cut down on echoes and help make the place feel warmer, since they probably help insulate the room from the cold stones of the tower walls. The common room ceiling is a dome painted with stars like a planetarium. I wonder if the patterns change to reflect the season?
Luna took me upstairs to find my room, where I found my belongings had been unpacked and arranged for me. The rooms are in smaller secondary towers attached on the outside the main one, and are circular like the common room. In the middle is a heater that looks like it must be oil fired, with a metal chimney pipe stretching up to through the ceiling. Beds are arranged with their heads against the wall in a starburst pattern, leaving a walkway around the heater. The beds are canopied with heavy curtains that can be drawn for privacy, and each has a wardrobe and dressing table next to it. All in all, it's not the most uncomfortable arrangement I've ever had to endure.
Luna and I sat on my bed, and I drew the curtains. After I cast a spell to ensure that our conversation would not be overheard, I asked Luna a question that had been on my mind ever since we met.
"Luna, that word you called me when I met you..."
"Yes, that one. Why did you call me that?"
"Isn't that the name of your people?"
"No, I've never heard it before. Where did you?"
"It was in one of the articles my father wrote in the Quibbler a few years ago. Wait a moment." Luna sprang from the bed and ran from the room to the stairs. After a short while, she returned in triumph, carrying a scrapbook. She rejoined Tabitha in her bed and drew the curtains. "I clip my favorite articles and keep them in this book. I am especially fond of the one about Methuselans because I wanted to know more about my ancestry.
"See? It tells quite a lot about your people. Stuff like performing your magic "sky clad" - that means naked, you know - and the rituals that you have to perform on the solstices and equinoxes, and all the rules you have to follow. He even wrote all about things like the magic circles and candles and everything. I always thought it would be very liberating to perform magic naked and not need a wand for everything."
Tabitha wasn't sure how to break the news, but knew she had to disabuse the poor girl. "Luna, I'm sorry to be the one to disappoint you, but that article doesn't get anything right. We don't do any of that. Magic for us is very natural. For simple things, we just will it to happen and make a 'release' gesture, and it does. If we need a more powerful effect, we chant a verbal command in a poetic style, with more elaborate gestures. We do have some rituals and potions, but those are reserved for only the most complex magic. We don't even have a name for our race - we just call ourselves witches and warlocks, and our 'government', if you want to call it that, is an informal witches' council that we convene at need."
"Are you sure? My daddy's never wrong about things he writes in the Quibbler."
Tabitha could see that although Luna's words were calm enough, there were signs that she was upset about her father being contradicted. "Luna, I'm certain about my own people, but I don't think your father is wrong either. It sounds like your father found all the stories about wiccans that are floating around and accidentally ascribed them to us. What he wrote is true about wiccan practices. Maybe one of his sources mislead him."
Luna wasn't any more eager than Tabitha to get into a fight, especially with a person she desperately hoped would be joining her very small circle of friends. She accepted the compromise gratefully. "That could very well be. When Daddy was first investigating the Rotfang Conspiracy, he was hampered by any number of people lying about it. I'll let him know that these wiccan people are trying to throw him off the trail, so that he can look into it properly."
Tabitha smiled at her willfully naive companion, and decided that she was tired enough for sleep. "I'm ready to go to bed now, Luna. Good night, and I'll see you in the morning."
"Good night, Tabitha!" called the younger girl as she bounced off toward the stairs to her own floor.
Thanks to tumshie & pazed for pointing out a rather embarrassing mistake I made by naming Cedric Diggory as Ravenclaw Prefect, when had I taken the time to think about it, I would have remembered that he's in Hufflepuff. Since I can't find a definitive list of Hogwarts prefects, I've just removed the reference entirely.
Many thanks go out to all the people who have posted comments. When I published this chapter here, it was late at night and I thought it'd go pretty much unnoticed. You can only imagine my utter surprise when I woke up the following morning and my inbox was filled with notices about favorites, story alerts, and comments. When I published, I was wondering if I'd get as many as three or four comments from a link notice I'd posted in the CaerAzkaban Yahoo Group.
Preemptively, it occurs to me that people who are familiar with Bewitched may wonder if Adam Stephens, Tabitha's younger brother, will appear in this story. The answer is no, although I may mention him at some point. That's because they will have grown apart over the years. It's canon that Adam did not inherit magic or immortality from his mother. His genetics took almost entirely after Darrin for some reason. There are two ways he could have gone: either he'd become bitter and revengeful because of his lack, or he could have forged his own path and kept contact with his family to a minimum so that he could build a fulfilling life as a mortal. I choose to have him follow the latter path, although the former could make for one heck of a tale.
Here are some specific replies:
dennisud: I've been pretty foreshadowing that Tabitha is falling in love with Harry, and not being subtle about it at all. However, there's no guarantee that he'll return it. While I had that intention when I first started writing scene snippets, the story is evolving differently than that. I think any fan author can tell you that sometimes the characters take over and the poor author finds things flowing from his or her fingers that wasn't part of the plan. For now, it's looking like Tabitha is going to stay on the outside of the events in the canon story looking in, and that's actually not a bad thing. There are any number of fan fiction stories that retell the events of GoF from Harry's point of view. There aren't so many that tell how a third party might have seen them. She might take a direct hand in influencing the story from time to time, but right now when and how will be a revelation as much to me as anyone.
Clell65619: Inasmuch as this was directly inspired by your HP/Bewitched crossover, I can and will say the same back. If you keep writing your version, I'll try to stay on this one.
pazed: I don't have a prereader for this, and when I was posting on CaerAzkaban, I only got a few comments to help me along. When I posted the link to this chapter there, I mentioned that it's rough. I know full well that it needs polishing, but the only way I have to do that now is to move on, let it sit for awhile, and then come back later to look at it with fresh eyes. For now, I'm too close to the initial writing to spot the mistakes I know are there.
sparky40sw : I appreciate your concerns. As for the age difference, it does require you to know a little about Bewitched. First off, Tabitha is the daughter of a man who was in his late twenties or early thirties and a woman who was probably over three hundred years old, according to semi-canon sources. Her mother married a mortal man who was at the same stage of his life that she was in hers, so to Tabitha, the fifteen year age difference would barely register on the radar. She and Harry are both at the same stage of physical development, and at twenty-nine, she's still pretty much considered a baby by her society. In the first scene I wrote for this idea, which actually takes place later in the story, Tabitha talks with her mother Samantha, and finds out that she's against the idea of her taking up with Harry not because of the age difference, but because Harry will die of old age before Tabitha will even be considered fully adult by their people. That's one of the things I was hinting at in Tabitha's first diary entry.
NuitTombee: Yes, you are right about the potential pitfalls of a relationship between Tabitha and Harry, but it's only for those who know the truth. At the moment, that's only Luna and Samantha, and Luna only knows that Tabitha is immortal, not her real age or that she's interested in Harry. If (when?) Harry ever does learn that she's interested and her real age, it might become an issue then. For now, I honestly don't know if she'll ever tell him. In the scene I wrote before I started the first chapter, Samantha cautions Tabitha about being in a relationship with a mortal, and I hinted that Tabitha would try to find out if there was a way to bridge the gap between mortal wizards and immortal warlocks so that Harry could become one. At the moment, I'm leaning toward her not making a move on him unless she can solve that issue.
Rorschach's Blot: Thanks! Right now, I'm not sure how much Tabitha will intervene. She wants to be low-key and not stand out, but I tentatively plan to have her step in here and there. Whether or not she'll be able to extend Harry's life? Who knows? At this point, I'm as much in the dark about that as anyone. This story is already deviating from my original plot ideas. As for Darrin Stephen, his fate is not a secret. In the first scene I wrote for this, which takes place in the future, I mentioned that he died of a stroke shortly after the canon series' end. That's why Samantha has been converted to Endora's view that witches should not marry mortals. Her marriage only lasted eight years, and her son is a squib who will die after what will seem to her to be a heart-breakingly short time.