"Acacia! Go brush your teeth before you go to bed!" my mother calls from the next room.
I glance up from where I sit on the bed reading, and stand up with a sigh, heading into the bathroom, pausing to study my reflection in the toothpaste crusted mirror. My green eyes, lined with a dark rim around the edge, stare back at me from my pale face.
Freckles are sprinkled across my large nose. I frown. I hate my nose. It's huge.
Picking up the tooth brush from the cup on the back of the sink, I squirt toothpaste on it and begin to brush my teeth, thinking of my secret.
It's hard to explain, and I never ever talk about it to my parents. Mostly because of the look of fear in mom's eyes when something happens, and the worry in the lines on dad's forehead.
Whenever someone upsets me, whether by making me mad or sad, something happens.
The first time it happened I was seven.
A boy in my class had stuck his gum in my hair on the bus and everyone had started laughing at me. I'd started crying, making them all laugh harder.
Then all of a sudden the bus swerved, plunging headfirst into a ditch. Everyone went flying but me.
The boy who'd put his gum in my hair slammed into a seat head first with such force it was obvious it broke his nose. I saw one girl fall past me, trying to grab the seats to stop her fall but fell onto the hard floor anyway, her head bumping up and down against the floor. A little boy about five was in the seat in front of me and he almost flew out the window but I grabbed onto his backpack.
Horrified I watched it all, bumping around in my seat but not getting injured.
This all lasted for about a second but it felt like an hour. All of a sudden it stoppped. Glancing around me, I realized I'd been the only one who hadn't gotten injured.
Back then I hadn't thought it was me. I thought it was only an accident.
But then when I was nine, my mom found my kitten run over in the road. They wouldn't let me come outside. They were afraid I'd see it.
I'd started crying, and every light in the room busted, bathing us in darkness.
I'd ran for the door and slung it open, running down the steps and onto the road, landing next to the limp form in the road. It blinks up at me and lets out a weak little meow, it's stomach flattened.
I'd started petting it, sobbing.
It began breathing more normally, then it stands up. I stare at it in disbelief, then scoop it up into my arms and head back up towards the house. My mother opens the door to find me on the porch, kitten in my arms, a look of wonder on my face.
I'd realized I'd healed the cat. I have no idea how. This..power..or whatever it is. It used to scare me. Now I'm sort of used to it. Used to the unexplainable things happening when I'm around.
A knock sounds out on the door. I look up sharply, dropping my toothbrush. My mother bustles to the door, oven mitten on one hand, spatula in the other. I can see the door from my position in the bathroom.
It's an old man with the longest beard I've ever seen. He's wearing robes from the 1400's and half-moon glasses, a kind smile on his face as he regards my mother.
"Can I help you?" my mother asks, nervously fidgeting with the oven mitt.
"Yes, I'm aware you have a daughter, Acacia?" he asks, raising his eyebrows ever so slightly.
I step into his view.
He looks down at me, studies my face, and smiles.
"I'm the headmaster of a school in England for children ages eleven through seventeen." he says.
My mother frowns, shooting me a glance. I was about to turn eleven.
"Please come in, " she says, offering him a polite smile.
He comes in and sits down on the couch, looking out of place; like an ancient portrait sitting in the midst of a crummy apartment.
"Is your husband home?" he asks, "I have news that both of you need to hear."
She nods, "John?" she calls. My father steps into the room, glancing around, before going over and shaking hands with the old man.
"Albus Dumbledor," the man says.
My father nods politely, "John Stone. This is my wife, Molly."
Mom smiles politely from her perch in the recliner.
"Now Molly, John. Your daughter is a witch." he says.
They both look at me, then back to him, "What?" my mother asks, standing up.
"Hasn't she ever done anything, when she's been upset?" he asks, "Anthing unusual. That you couldn't explain."
A look passes between them, both remembering things I'd done in the past.
He nods, "I'm the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I'd like Acacia," he glances at me, "To come back to England with me and go to the school. She must learn the art of Magic. She will be a very skilled wizard."
He says this like he's sure of it.
"But that's in a whole other country," my mom says, worrying crossing her features.
"She may come home during the summer and for christmas." Albus says.
I just stare at them all, talking around me like I'm not even there.
But I was relieved. To know there were others like me. That I wasn't just some freak.
But what if I didn't want to go? What if i wanted to stay here in Indiana?
"What if I don't want to go?" I ask, staring at the old man defiantly.
I wanted to go. I wanted to go badly. But I wanted to see what my options were.
He looks at me, surprise crossing his features, "Well, uh-" he stammers.
I smirk, "I'll go," I say, glancing toward my parents to see if it's okay.
They both nod. I knew if I'd stayed, they'd be scared of me. They didn't understand my power. Er, my magic, I guess I should call it.
"We leave tomorrow," he nods at me, smiling, "I'll come by around 8:30. Good bye, Acacia."
He nods at my parents then turns and walks out the door.