Really, really had to get this out. I noticed there weren't many stories in this specific category and the ones that were there are very similar. I thought I'd give it a go myself, I'll continue it if I get plenty or reviews, and please, of course, be kind.
This is the only chapter that will be set at this time, the rest will start at Year Five and continue from then.
On with the story...
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The wings of the Northern Hawk Owl pierced the air, as the majestic creature glided through the scudding white clouds across the crisp blue of the summer sky. The browned envelope tied to its mottled leg was bound for Yorkshire, to the home of one Evangeline Brown. The bird swooped down as it neared its destination, over various rooftops, and eventually to the door of the address on the envelope. With instinctive precision, the owl released the letter, so that it went through the brass letterbox, and landed on the mat below the door.
A girl of eleven heard the snap of brass on brass, and the creak of the springs as a letter was delivered, from her small bedroom upstairs. She knew by now that it was her job to collect the post and give it to her 'Aunt.' Her golden curls bounced as she hurried down the stairs, and she pushed her thick- rimmed glasses absentmindedly onto her nose.
She picked up the letter, which lay on the old doormat, and eyed it carefully. It wasn't like anything she'd seen before, the paper looked old, and felt thicker than a usual letter would. Instead of print on the front, the address was written in black calligraphic ink, and, even more oddly, the letter was addressed to her.
With a frown, she took the letter down the hall and to the kitchen, where her portly guardian sat as usual at the kitchen table, eating the breakfast that Evangeline had prepared, and looking over a newspaper with disdain.
"Aunt Ruth?" She said politely, standing beside the table, her eyes still scrutinizing the envelope.
"What?" She snapped, not lifting her eyes from the newspaper.
"This letter is addressed to me. Shall I open it?" She questioned, knowing better than to do something without permission.
Ruth lifted her eyes slowly from the paper, and to the letter in Evangeline's hand.
She'd been dreading the day when this letter arrived, so with uncharacteristically fast reflexes, she snatched the letter from Evangeline's hand, and promptly tore the letter in half. Evangeline couldn't help but flinch slightly in surprise. What could the letter possibly say that had Aunt Ruth so worried?
"It's none of your concern." She said firmly, standing, and dropping the letter in the bin, before taking her seat again, and returning to the paper.
Aunt Ruth's eyes snapped up to Evangeline's face quickly, her expression hard and sharp. Evangeline gulped and cast her eyes to the floor.
"Did I hear the word 'but' escape your lips?" She harshly asked. Evangeline swallowed, and twisted her hands nervously behind her back.
"I'm sorry, Aunt Ruth." She said in a small voice.
"You will do well to remember your manners girl. Now, to your room." Aunt Ruth noisily rustled the paper in front of her and waved the young girl away. Evangeline nodded and hastily left the room, and returned upstairs.
Aunt Ruth cast a solemn look to the bin where the letter sat. She'd managed to keep that unholy world away herself for ten years; he wasn't going to fail now.
Evangeline sat cross-legged on her bed, head in her hands and elbows on her knees. She couldn't stop thinking about the mysterious letter that her Aunt had been so quick to throw away. She fingered the metal cross that hung around her neck, and let out a long sigh.
Evangeline had never been much of a believer even though that was what she had always been taught for her life. Evangeline was an orphan, and 'Aunt' Ruth wasn't really her Aunt, she was her guardian, and not a particularly willing one. As far as Evangeline was concerned, her mother had died at birth, and her father had killed himself from the depression, what had truly happened was a different story...
During the dark times, the war between the Death Eaters and the rest of the wizarding world, her parents had been two of the many honorable wizards who had fought and died for the good cause, and Evangeline became one of the many orphan children without a home or anywhere to go. There were witches and wizards that had been close to her parents that would've been more than happy to take her in, but, alas, that was impossible...
10 Years Previous
Richard and Christina Brown knew that that night was the night. It had been on the cards for months, it was time. Neither spoke as they drove the Muggle car through the dreary streets of the Yorkshire seaside town, and the only sound that resounded was the rattle in the small fist of the baby in the back, giggling delightedly at the sound, blissfully unaware.
The car slowed down and came to a stop.
"We're here." Richard said flatly, his voice solemn, and laced with sadness. Christina nodded a slow nod, and swallowed the lump in her throat, as she undid her seatbelt. The two opened the car doors and stepped out onto the old cobbles of the road, and Christina stepped round the car to take the baby into her arms, and held her closely to her chest.
The two looked up at the old small building, and the brass cross which rested on the door. The building was the Mother Theresa Orphanage, run by a group of nuns. Christina carefully placed her baby in the pale pink carrier, and covered her with soft white blankets, resting her rattle over her small chest. She couldn't quite bring herself to look at her face yet, as she carried her to the door, Richard's hand on the middle of her back, guiding her gently.
They arrived at the sheltered doorway, and with shaky hands, Christina gently set down the carrier, before kneeling down beside it as her husband watched from above, his eyes glistening.
"We love you darling, please know that we love you." Christina whispered gently, her tears now freely falling. "One day you'll understand why we did this." She looked firmly into the stormy blue eyes of her daughter, and felt her breath catch. She removed an envelope from her pocket, and laid it atop the blankets. "I only- I only wish we could see you grow up to be the great witch you will grow up to be. My beautiful baby." With those final words, Christina lowered her pink lips to her daughter's soft rosy cheek, and allowed them to rest there for a moment, before painfully pulling away, with a strangled sob.
Richard pulled her into his arms, and laid a kiss on the top of her head, whispering the only consoling words he could find to her. "We're saving her life... We're saving her life."
Christina nodded, and with one final look at her beautiful baby, she walked on shaky legs back to the car, allowing her husband his goodbye. He in turn got to his knees:
"My beautiful daughter." Were the only words he could find. "We were lucky to have you, even for a short while." He brought his lips to her forehead, and she let out a sound of delighted approval, shaking her rattle. Richard let out a choked laugh, and tapped her nose with his fingertip. "Goodbye, princess."
Richard stood up straight, and pressed the worn doorbell; when he heard it ring, he walked away and returned to the car. To them, that was the most painful thing that happened that day.
It was six months later that Evangeline was adopted by Ruth Merryweather.
Evangeline waited, lying in her bed with her eyes wide open, until she heard the loud snores from the room next door, and knew that Aunt Ruth was sleeping. With feather-light footsteps, she crossed her bedroom floor barefoot; her nighty swaying around her as she ever so slowly opened her bedroom door. She grimaced at the way it creaked, and frowned angrily at the inanimate object. Aunt Ruth did not seem wake though, so she continued to creep down the hallway until she reached the top of the stairs, where she opted to sit on her bottom and go down each step that way, as it seemed quieter. That seemed to take an age, but she eventually reached the hallway and crept down it, and into the kitchen. It was dark, and so Evangeline was especially careful not to trip over any chairs or table legs. She reached her destination eventually... The bin.
With a glance back to the hallway, she took off the lid, and peered inside. The torn paper sat stop some discarded food and screwed up wrappers, and she picked up both halves carefully, before replacing the lid.
Getting back to her room seemed easier, and once she was safely inside, she let out a long breath, before turning on her bedside lamp. She fettled around in her 'messy' draw, the one that held pens and paper and pencils, until she found a used ream of Scotch tape. She took it out with a triumphant grin, and returned to her bed, where the two halves of the letter lay.
"Here we go..." She whispered to herself.
Evangeline had no sleep that night, especially not after piecing together the letter. She had so many questions; so much she needed to know. She just waited for morning to arrive so that she could maybe have some of them answered.
When Aunt Ruth finally awoke, and Evangeline heard her heavy footsteps descend the stairs, she left her room and followed her to the kitchen.
"Paper." She said expectantly, sitting herself down at the table. Evangeline hastily rushed to the doormat and picked up the newspaper that had been delivered, before rushing back to Aunt Ruth and placing it on the table before her.
She prepared her breakfast of bacon and toast faster than usual, and set it before her, before sitting herself down at the table and waiting impatiently, drumming her fingers on her knees.
"Aunt Ruth..." She said slowly, swinging her feet, which didn't touch the floor.
"Hmm?" She asked distractedly, eyes, as usual, on the paper, and chewing a mouthful.
"What's... What's Hogwarts?" Evangeline looked at her toes, knowing she would be in trouble, but needing to ask.
Ruth stopped mid-chew, and the paper dropped from her hand. Her eyes rose to Evangeline, and she swallowed her mouthful.
"What did you say?" She questioned. Evangeline recognized the anger, she was used to it, but there was something else in Ruth that day... It was almost... Frightened?
"Hogwarts, Aunt Ruth... I- I read the letter."
"How dare you? I strictly told you not to think on that letter." Ruth tried to be her usual brisk self, but found it difficult. The past seemed to be coming back to haunt her.
"I'm sorry Aunt Ruth, but I was just curious, please can you tell me what it is?" Evangeline said pleadingly, her eyes firmly fixed on Ruth's face.
"You know better than to defy me young lady." Ruth stood quickly and Evangeline flinched. She had never hit her before, but she looked like in that moment she could. "Enough of the questions!"
Evangeline began to cry slightly, and stood, showing a rare front of defiance.
"No." She said firmly, although her voice cracked. "Tell me what Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is. Tell me why I need a wand, and a cauldron, and all these strange books!" Evangeline's hands shook a she shouted, she needed to know.
"GO TO BED!" Her Aunt screeched, wary of the child's anger, and the way that the plates on the table shook.
"NO! Has it got something to do with my parents?" She asked, her voice still raised and still crying.
"Of course it hasn't you silly girl!" Aunt Ruth lied, but Evangeline saw the flicker in her eyes, and knew she was being untruthful.
"Don't lie! TELL ME!" Evangeline yelled, the tears streaming down her face.
"Your parents died when you were born. END OF STORY!"
The plate that had been shaking on the table smashed, making Aunt Ruth jump, and the porcelain shards scatter over the table and floor, and bits of toast.
"TELL ME THE TRUTH!"
Aunt Ruth said no more words, fear overtook her, and anger. What was happening under her roof was unholy, it was wrong. She said nothing as she crossed the room to Evangeline, and grabbed her by the collar of her nighty with a meaty hand. Evangeline let out a frightened squeal as she was dragged from the room, and into the hallway.
"You get upstairs, you go to bed! GET OUT OF MY SIGHT!" Ruth pushed Evangeline to the bottom of the staircase, causing her to trip and hit her knee on the wood. "NOW!"
Evangeline scrambled up the stairs, tripping over her own feet on the way, until she finally threw herself into her bedroom, sobbing like the child she was.
Ruth walked on shaky legs back to the living room, and knelt down on the floor before the fireplace. A crucifix rested on the chimney-breast, and Ruth prayed to it fervently. Evangeline made that plate smash; it was obvious. Witchcraft and wizardry... Demonic... Evil... Unholy. Ruth knew she would not allow that world to enter her life again, it was wrong.
When Evangeline was a baby; Ruth was visited by a tall man with a long grey beard and half moon spectacles. Oddly dressed, and softly spoken. He told Ruth of how Evangeline's parents had died, how they had truly died, and told her of the world outside what she knew. A world of magic and wonderment. How Ruth dreaded it. He told her that Evangeline was to be told about the wizarding world when Ruth thought her old enough, and that when she turned eleven, she would receive a letter informing about what she would need for Hogwarts and when she would go.
Ruth told her nothing, and never would.
Evangeline spent the entire night staring at the taped together letter from Hogwarts, trying to understand why it had come to her. She knew it had something to do with her parents, and she knew that Ruth understood what it was, but was keeping the truth from her.
HOGWARTS SCHOOL of WITCHCRAFT and WIZARDRY
Headmaster. ALBUS DUMBLEDORE
(Order of Merlin. First Class. Grand Sorc. Chf. Warlock. Supreme Mugwump. International Confed. of Wizards)
Dear Miss Brown,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Please find enclosed of all necessary books and equipment. (We suggest shopping a Diagon Alley).
Term begins on 1st September.
Evangeline had read he words countless times, as well as the lists of uniform and equipment. It baffled her.
Another thing that she found confusing was the train ticket that had accompanied the letter, for King's Cross Station, Platform 9 and 3/4.
'Platform 9 and ¾, there's no such thing...'
She frowned and rubbed her tired eyes under her glasses, she would have to find out what this was; 1st September was only three months away. If she had to go to King's Cross herself, she would...
One Week Later
"Right, I'm going to church and locking the door behind me! Be good while I'm gone, and stay out of the kitchen!" Aunt Ruth called upstairs to Evangeline. She looked up quickly from her book; this was her moment.
She stood from her bed and waited until she heard the sound of the living room door close outside, and the tires of Ruth's car against the driveway. As soon as she was sure she had gone, Evangeline left her bedroom, and rushed out into the hallway, her bare feet padding against the wood. The only place she thought she could possible find answers in the entire house was the attic, a place she'd always assumed she was forbade from because he beams were unsecure. Now she wasn't so sure that was the reason.
She looked up at the string which tangled from the hallway ceiling, and assessed the height, before going into her bedroom and taking out the chair which she kept by the window, and dragging it out underneath. She stood up on it and pulled down the string to release the ladder. It took a moment, but eventually it came down with a creak and a clunk.
With a pleased smile, Evangeline put her feet on the bottom rungs and climbed up into the dark and dusty room.
All she could make out were the shapes of the breaking old cardboard boxes and the Christmas tree from the year before. She made sure to keep her feet to the wooden beams; it wouldn't look fantastic if Ruth arrived home and her legs were dangling through the ceiling.
She picked up a flashlight that she spotted lying on top of one of the boxes. It worked, luckily for her, so she managed to shine it over the boxes. All of the ones she saw were pretty normal. Christmas decorations, old books, spare pillows.
That was until she saw one in particular which stood out.
It was heavily taped up with brown Scotch tape, and nothing was written on the side apart from, 'KEEP CLOSED' in thick black lettering. The box obviously hadn't been touched often, although it appeared to be old.
Evangeline made her way carefully over to it, and lifted it. It had quite a bit of weight to it, and she carried it over to the ladder. She placed it at the top, and climbed down herself, before standing on the chair and pulling it down after her.
She pushed the ladder back up, which was no easy feat, and took the chair and box back to her bedroom. Before checking out of her bedroom window to ensure that Aunt Ruth wasn't going to arrive back early, she set to work on unpeeling the abundance of tape covering the box.
It accumulated in a sticky pile beside her bed, and, once it was finally off, she lifted the flaps on the box and looked inside.
The first thing that caught her eye rested on the top. It was a long, rectangular box, dark green in colour, and was covered with a thin layer of dust. Evangeline lifted the box carefully, and blew it, before carefully setting it down and taking off the lid.
Inside there was thin red lace, which she moved aside, revealing a rather long, thin wooden stick, resting in cushioned green velvet. With a frown, Evangeline lifted it. It was smooth in her fingers, and had a slight curve to it. She couldn't help but smile at the strangeness of it, and how it reminded her of a witch's wand.
"Abracadabra!" She exclaimed with a laugh, waving the stick carelessly. Within the same second, three books that were sitting on the windowsill flew across the room, colliding with the wall before crashing to the floor.
Evangeline's jaw dropped and she looked at the stick- wand- that rested in her shaking hand. She lifted it again and experimentally waved the wand again; this time, her beside lamp fell to the floor, and the porcelain on it cracked.
"Woah..." She whispered, and carefully set the wand down into the velvet of the case, her mind buzzing.
With shaking breath she peered back into the box and picked up the next thing. This appeared to be a photo album, white and leather bound, and appeared to be thick. She set it down in front of her, and with great care opened the cover of it. What she saw made her drop the jump and scramble back slightly.
The pictures; were moving.
Once she had recovered she peered back at it. It was the image of a wedding, the bride and groom standing outside in some green grounds. Around them, pink blossoms fell from the trees surrounding and the two smiled and waved at the camera, arms around each other.
The woman was nothing short of beautiful, with long blonde hair pulled into an elegant bun, and whose clear white skin resembled porcelain. She wore he most stunning wedding dress Evangeline had ever seen, and she could see the ivory silk move as the woman did. The man beside her had brown hair, tousled looking and slightly mousy, he wore a crisp looking suit, and was as handsome as his bride was beautiful. Evangeline leaned forward and looked closely at his eyes. Her eyes.
"Dad..." She whispered, "Mum..." She touched the moving image, almost thinking they would react. But they did not, they just continued to smile and wave.
The rest of the images in the album appeared to be this way, the happy bride and groom standing together, or dancing, or cutting their cake. The last image in the album looked older and more worn than the others, and was one of the more strange ones.
It was a large collection of people, all of which Evangeline of course didn't recognize, she looked at it closely, seeing if she could make out any familiar faces. She spotted her parents at the back, smiling, happy. She smiled at it. They looked like a great group of friends and their expressions gave a look of pride. Evangeline noticed that the corner of the photograph wasn't completely stuck down, and was folded. She lifted the corner, and read the black ink scrawled on the inside.
Evangeline frowned, this, like everything else, she did not understand.
She closed the album finally, and set it down beside the wand box, now aware that her hands were shaking. She wasn't afraid; she was just confused. But there was something else to the way she felt, somehow she felt that these were things she did know, and that were normal... Like she was remembering something embedded deep in her memory.
She reached into the box once more, and her hand found two things. One of these things was a small metal rattle. The silver had worn somewhat, but it still pleasantly rang, and the handle with smooth beneath her fingers. She couldn't help but smile at it, before setting it to one side. The other thing she had taken out was an envelope, again thicker than normal paper and with a yellowed appearance. Parchment, she thought it was called.
On the front of the letter, in black ink was written in perfect writing the words; 'Dearest Evangeline.'
She swallowed as she read, she knew it would be from her parents, but part of her did not want to read it. She knew it would hurt too much, and part of her thought that with all she had learned in such a short space of time, it would be too difficult to handle finding out why her parents left her, and perhaps how they truly died. So she slipped the letter into the front of the photo album and resolved to read it when she was ready.
She didn't believe anything Ruth said anymore.
As if on cue, the screeching of tires outside informed her that Ruth had returned from church. Evangeline licked her lips and stood, swallowing deeply before making her decision.
Resolutely, and with the pride of someone far beyond her years, she picked up the photo album and rattle and piled them together on her bed. She then walked to her clothes cupboard and took as many of her clothes as she could fit into her arms, before proceeding to pile them together on her bed. She then returned to her cupboard and dug out a fair sized wheeled suitcase that had never been used before, which she stuffed her clothes into, before neatly placing her photo album and rattle on top.
She zipped up the bag and left it on her bed, before eyeing the wand that still sat in the open box. With a long, calming breath, she picked it out of its box and felt the wood in her hand. It seemed to fit.
She headed down stairs with it behind her back, and found Ruth in the kitchen, making herself a cup of tea for a change.
"Aunt Ruth I- I need to know about my parents, and you need to tell me." She said firmly. Ruth turned around quickly, frowning.
"I've warned you about this girl." She pointed at her with a scolding fat finger. It wasn't going to work now; Evangeline had had enough.
"I know about it all you know... Magic, and- and photos that move and wands." She said quickly, feeling slightly giddy with her new found confidence.
She saw the anger on Ruth's face but did not back down, instead looking at her defiantly.
"Rubbish!" Ruth defended, her eyes darting in worry.
"You're a liar, you've lied to me all my life." She said, her eyes brimming with tears she didn't know were there, and her palm clutching the wand sweating.
"How dare you?" Ruth hissed, her voice poison as she stomped forward toward her hand outstretched. Evangeline stepped back slightly and pulled her hand from behind her back, pointing the shaking wand at Ruth, whose eyes immediately widened with fear.
"Don't point that thing at me!" She screeched, visibly backing away.
"Why would you be afraid if magic isn't real?" Evangeline said triumphantly, although still shaking. Ruth didn't reply, she just clutched the kitchen counter like her life depended on it, and eyed the wand in Evangeline's hand as if it were a gun.
"Please." Evangeline said, eyes pleading. "Please just tell me what you know about my parents, about me."
Ruth closed her eyes. "Our father who art in heaven..." She began to monotonously pray, frustrating Evangeline.
"Aunt Ruth please..." She said, almost a sigh.
"HALLOWED BE THY NAME..." Ruth's voice rose.
"Please." She repeated, the frustration now showing in her voice.
"THOU KINGDOM COME THINE WILL BE DONE..."
"RUTH!" Evangeline shouted, her voice like a whip crack. She pointed the wand swiftly at her cup of tea, making it smash.
Ruth screamed and ducked as if there had been an explosion.
"You demon!" She hissed eyes wild, "Monster! Freak! Get out of my sight!" She practically screamed. Evangeline jumped slightly at her words and felt an angry tear fall.
"I'm not the crazy one here! You are!"
It happened so fast neither could have expected it. Ruth slapped Evangeline hard across the cheek, and the sound echoed throughout the house. Both were in silent shock, and Ruth's chest heaved. Evangeline clutched her burning cheek in her free hand, and looked at Ruth for any sign of remorse or apologeticness. There was none.
Evangeline turned and rushed upstairs, her feet clunking loudly on the stairs as she did so. Without hesitation, she picked up her newly packed suitcase, tucked her wand into the front pocket, and fished out her Hogwarts letter and train ticket from underneath the pillow, which she also tucked into the front pocket of her suitcase.
Without looking back, she dragged her suitcase on its two wheels out of the room and down the stairs, without care for how loud she was being. She looked over at the living room, which was where she could see Ruth, on her knees and fervently praying to her cross. Evangeline reached into her collar and took the crucifix in hand, before ripping it from her neck and dropping it on the floor.
Ruth didn't look back, and Evangeline didn't wait to say goodbye, she just left, shutting the door behind her and heading down the quiet street. Where she was going, she didn't know. How she was going to pay for anything, she didn't know that either, but the adrenaline was pumping through her veins and she kept a swift pace, dragging the suitcase along the road.
It had barely registered to her that night had fallen as she walked; her mind was abuzz with all that she had found out that day, and she felt overwhelmed with a sense of tentative fear and giddy anticipation.
She crossed the street, and felt a few specks of rain hit her nose, before they started to fleck her glasses. She ignored it, and continued down the road swiftly, heading toward where she knew the bus station was. She'd slip on with a couple of adults if she had to.
The rain got gradually heavier until it was pouring, beating down on her and soaking her clothes. She broke into a jog, not seeing anyone around as they all retreated the warmth and dryness of their homes. Evangeline knew that Ruth would be expecting her back because of the rain, but that wasn't going to happen. The woman had told her nothing real of her parents, had treated her like a personal maid since she was a child and had struck her and called her a freak... No, Evangeline was never going back.
Her thoughts were interrupted when her foot caught on some uneven payment, and she went flying forward onto her front
Dirty rainwater splashed up into her face as the entire front of her clothes soaked through. She sat herself up onto her backside and inspected her stinging knees. Indeed her tights had completely ripped over them, and her scraped skin bled slightly.
"Oh Lord..." She sighed, with a frown, her eyes watering as she examined her wounds.
She was in way over her head. Eleven years old and she'd run away from home at night in the rain. She didn't know what she was doing, didn't know where to go or how she would pay anything. The adrenaline had somewhat washed away now, leaving her feeling scared, and vulnerable.
Her salvation came in the form of a large, purple, triple decker bus.
"Welcome to the Night Bus, emergency transport for the stranded witch or wizard, my name is Stan Shunpike and I will be your conductor for this evening." The slightly spotty man in the conductor's hat said, reading from a small piece of paper. Evangeline looked up with wide eyes. If she was confused before, it was nothing compared to how she felt now.
"You're short ain't ya?" He said, with a strong London accent once he'd looked at her.
Evangeline found herself unable to reply and she swallowed to wet her dry throat, before getting herself to her feet.
"Well come on then, I'll get ya bag." He said, waving her onto the bus. Evangeline nodded hastily and did so. She didn't have much to lose, and this bus obviously had something to do with magic, he did say 'witch or wizard.'
She walked over to the bus and allowed Stan to follow her with her bag. She looked up with wide eyes at the bus's interior. A chandelier of all things hung from the middle of the ceiling, and all around were comfortable looking beds.
The driver looked ancient, and his glasses massively magnified his eyes, which didn't fill her with much optimism. The next thing that caught her eye was the shrunken head hanging from the wing mirror, which was strange...
"Where to then?" Stan asked, and Evangeline jumped slightly at the sound of his voice. Could she say anywhere in the country? Where was she even going to go?
"Diagon Alley." Came out of her mouth before she'd even engaged her brain. She'd be thinking back to the place mentioned in the letter.
"Can on'y go as far as the Leaky Cauldron I'm afraid." Stan replied. Evangeline obviously had no idea what he was talking about, so just nodded to say it was alright.
"The Leaky Cauldron then Earn'."
"The Leaky Cauldron Earnie!" The shrunken head hanging from the wing mirror spoke with a Jamaican accent. Evangeline's eyes widened in shock. "You look like you've seen a ghost, HA HA HA HAAA!"
The Burrow, Ottery St. Catchpole
"Shh, you're going to wake her up."
"You're going to wake her up by saying I'm going to wake her up."
"Fred, George, you're both going to wake her up."
"You're going to wake her up by saying they're going to wake her up, mum."
Evangeline was faintly aware of hushed voices around her as she slowly stirred awake. Through her disorientation she could feel that she was lying on comfortable surface into which she basically melted.
Slowly, she opened her eyes and looked around her; sitting on various comfortable looking armchairs were people who were obviously in the same family, all with ginger hair and a similar complexion. She knew she should have been scared, but the kindly face of the woman who knelt beside her put her entirely at ease.
"Hello dear." She said gently. "How are you feeling?"
Evangeline slowly sat up, noticing that she was lying on a frayed couch, and covered by a patchwork blanket.
"F-fine thank you." She looked around and saw that all the people around were watching her intently, and she couldn't help but feel a little bit embarrassed at her own disorientation. "Where am I?" She had to ask.
"Oh! I'm sorry dear..." The woman laughed slightly. "We're the Weasley's, I'm Molly, and this is our home... The Minister for Magic sent you here after you fainted on the Night Bus."
Evangeline frowned in confusion.
"We knew your parents very well Evangeline. We only wish we could've brought you here sooner." Molly tucked some of Evangeline's blonde hair behind her ear, and Evangeline couldn't help but enjoy the mothering way in which Molly treated her.
"You knew my parents?" She asked, thoroughly intrigued and heart racing. Molly nodded with a kind smile.
"I think we have a lot to talk about dear... But you've been asleep for a long time, let's get some food in you."
So that's what happened, Molly shooed the family out of the room while Evangeline got her bearings, and proceeded to make her one of the largest breakfasts she'd ever seen, insisting that she eat it while sitting on the couch as she 'needed her rest.' While Evangeline enjoyed her mountain of bacon, beans, sausages, tomatoes and eggs, Molly told her all she could think to tell her about the wizarding world, about Hogwarts and about what it meant to be a witch, and about as much as she thought was appropriate about the past war between good and evil.
"So, my parents were purebloods then?" Evangeline asked, hoping she recalled the word correctly as she sipped the sweet tea Molly had made.
"Yes they were, but that isn't to say that Muggles can't be wizards and witches either." Molly explained. Evangeline nodded slowly in understanding.
"So... why exactly am I here?" She asked, hoping she didn't sound too rude.
"Well your parents always told us that if anything happened to them they'd want you to end up with us you see... But after, that night... None of us knew where you were, and at the point when the war ended you'd been with for that Muggle for a year." Molly paused to ensure that Evangeline understood. "Cornelius Fudge, the Minister for Magic that I mentioned before, has said that you may spend a few days here and decide if you'd like to stay here with us... Or go back to..."
"Ruth." Evangeline said quietly.
"Ruth, yes." Molly smiled.
Evangeline cleared her throat; unable to help the happy warmth she was feeling.
"That's very lovely of you and I'd very much like to... But, isn't it a bit of hassle for you?"
Molly pulled Evangeline into an unexpected hug.
"Evangeline, you could never be a hassle dear." She told her honestly, and Evangeline smiled against her shoulder. Molly eventually pulled away, and straightened out Evangeline's curls. "Now, would you like to meet the family?"
Evangeline nodded hastily, grinning for the first time in a long time. Molly stood and Evangeline followed suit, stretching out her tired limbs. She looked around the house properly for the first time. It was so... Homely. None of the furniture matched and a lot of it looked home made, it emanated an indescribable warmth, and the smell of Molly's cooking seemed to be embedded in the walls.
Molly led Evangeline out of the kitchen door, and outside to where the sun was cast over the large garden, and where the rest of the family were sitting round a large garden table, apart from the two identical twins who were tossing what looked like deformed brown football to one another.
"Everybody!" Molly clapped her hands together and everyone's attention turned to her and "I'd like to properly introduce Evangeline."
Evangeline put her hand up in a small wave, blushing slightly at all the eyes on her, and smiled.
"Nice to meet you." The twins said simultaneously, walking over to her.
"I'm Fred." One of them said.
"And I'm George." The other said.
"Actually, I'm George."
Evangeline chuckled at their antics and Molly looked at them warningly.
"Enough funny business you two." She scolded.
"This is Percy, and this is Ginny," She went on to introduce everyone individually. "And this is Ron, he's the same age as you so you'll both be starting Hogwarts together."
Evangeline smiled at Ron, and he did so back, unable to stop himself from going slightly pink. Evangeline was a very pretty girl and he couldn't help but feel a little bit awkward.
As soon as everyone was introduced, Molly disappeared inside to get started on lunch, and the family and Evangeline sat around the garden table while they all filled her in on anything they could about magic, and in turn Evangeline told them about the Muggle world.
"So the players just... Run around on the floor, kicking the ball?" Fred said incredulously.
Evangeline giggled and nodded at all their expressions of confusion.
"That's mental." Ron said, shaking his head.
"Alright then, what kind of games do wizards play?" She asked.
"Quidditch is the best game there is Evey." George informed her, and Evangeline felt a delighted feeling with in her at the fact she'd already been given a nickname. She'd never had a nickname before.
"Quidditch?" She questioned, eyebrows high.
They all looked at each other.
"Y'know I think we can show you better than we can tell you..."
Evangeline's eyes were wide as she watched the children of the Weasley family fly through the air, on all beaten up broomsticks. They tossed the strange ball... the quaffle- to each other in the air, all the while shouting down to Evangeline and explaining the rules of the game to her.
"Think your ready to have a go Evey?" Ginny called down to her. Evangeline shook her head hastily, looking up at the height they were suspended at.
"Oh come on, you never know if you don't try it." Fred glided down and landed next to her.
Evangeline chewed her lip, and looked at the spare broom on the floor tentatively.
"Ahaha! This is the best!" Evangeline had been up in the air mere minutes before she was flying like a pro, she swooped around the family, amazed at the feeling of the wind through her hair, and the sight of the world below her. The Weasley's were slightly surprised by her quick skill, as she ducked and weaved through them all, a grin plastered on her face in the excitement.
"Is that a lake?" She called, looking over the small field to the glittering expanse of water beyond.
"Yeah, d'you want to have a look?" Ron called back, speaking to her more confidently than before.
"Definitely." She grinned back at him, before accelerating toward the lake, any trepidation about being in the air had completely washed away by now, as she zoomed toward the water.
The Weasley's followed close behind, and joined her in making a graceful landing on the ground by the lake.
She ran a hand through her windswept hair, still smiling.
"That was amazing." She said breathlessly, setting the broom down beside her.
"You're natural Evey." Fred told her.
"It took me ages to get so good on a broom." Ginny said.
Evangeline just smiled modestly, she didn't know why she could do it so easily.
She looked out over the pretty sparkling late, before turning to get a proper look at the Burrow. It was tall and rickety looking, it appeared that it would fall down any minute, and was compiled of all different kinds of wood. Evangeline assumed it was only being held up by magic, and couldn't deny the homely feel that it gave off. Nothing put her off about the house whatsoever though.
"Your house is brilliant." Evangeline said honestly, looking over the greenery surrounding it, and the gorgeous lake.
The Weasley's looked pleased by this, and they visibly grinned at each other at Evangeline's compliment.
From that moment, conversation sparked up again. Evangeline continued to baffle the Weasley's with muggle things, and they continued to baffle her with wizard things. She got less and less shy the more they spoke, it was hard to feel uncomfortable around such kind people. She conceded that Fred and George were the funniest people she had ever met, and knew that she and Ginny would have no problems getting along. They told Evangeline about Charlie and Bill, and Percy, who apparently just stayed in his room working most of the time. They warned her that once their dad returned home, she would surely be bombarded with questions about "elektiky" and "televitons- to which Evangeline couldn't help but laugh.
"Alright you lot, lunchtime!" Molly was crossing the field toward them with her wand in hand, levitating a huge tray filled with sandwiches, pastries, cakes and various glasses of a juice Evangeline had never seen before. Seeing someone use their magic was fantastic for Evangeline, even if it was for something as simple as levitation.
A chorus of 'thanks mum's' came from the group, as she set the tray down on the grass where they sat. Evangeline could tell she would never been hungry at the Burrow.
"Thank you Mrs Weasley." Evangeline said, picking up a jam sandwich.
"Call me Molly, dear." Molly smiled, before turning back to the house. Evangeline enjoyed her lunch as the conversation continued. She couldn't remember the last time she'd eaten home cooked baking, and she couldn't imagine when she'd ever eaten anything as delicious as Molly's treacle tart.
After a considerable hole was made in the food, the conversation between the group started and went on for hours. Evangeline looking out to the lake and listening to them speak, and feeling more comfortable than she ever had in her life. The sun even began to dip in the sky as they talked, casting a beautiful orange hue over the water.
"You turned his teddy bear into a spider?" Evangeline exclaimed through a mouthful of cauldron cake.
"Yeah, they did." Ron said sourly, arms crossed.
"Gave him a right scare." George grinned.
"It was brilliant." Fred said, with an identical grin.
"I wasn't that scared." Ron weakly defended, the tips of his ears going pink.
"Oh no, you weren't scared at all."
Fred and George began to imitate how Ron had reacted to the point that Evangeline and Ginny were on their backs laughing.
"Oh you two are horrible." Ginny said, wiping the tears from her eyes.
"Your dad's home!" Called Molly's voice across the field, to which the Weasley family sprung up.
"Come on Evey, meet our dad." George said, he and Fred each taking one of her hands and running with her across the field, everyone in tow.
The arrived at Molly, breathing slightly heavily, she cast an amused glance over them before leading them inside, to where Mr Weasley was removing his hat and cloak in the kitchen.
"Arthur, this is Evangeline." Molly introduced her, putting an arm around her shoulder. Arthur turned to her quickly.
"Evangeline! Lovely to meet you finally." Arthur walked over and pulled Evangeline into a hug. She couldn't help but smile, she wasn't used to getting such attention in such a parental manner.
"Nice to meet you too Mr Weasley." She replied, once he had released her.
"Arthur, please." He insisted. "Great Scott," He said, eyeing her closely. "You look so like your mother."
Evangeline felt her chest puff out with pride slightly.
"Thank you, M- Arthur."
"Now then." He sat down at the kitchen table. "Have you made up your mind yet?"
Evangeline was confused.
"Come now Arthur, she's only been here a day." Molly said, tapping him on the back. It occurred to Evangeline that he was referring to whether or not she was going to stay with the Weasley's, or go back to Ruth. There was no question in her mind.
She looked up at the expectant smiling faces of the Weasley children, and then the warm, kindly faces of Molly and Arthur. It was amazing that in one day, one family could show her more kindness than she had ever been shown in her life, and could make her feel so welcome, like she'd known them all for years.
No, there was no question.
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So there was the first chapter in what I hope to be a fairly long series. As I say, from now onward the story will be set from the fifth year, and this was just to let you know about the main character's backstory and such.
If you enjoyed this, please review and let me know, so that I can continue.
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