Summary: Post DH. Pre-Epilogue. Sequel to Butterfly Kisses. Newlyweds Ron and Hermione Weasley spend their honeymoon on a cruise across the Atlantic Ocean, then visit one of the most famous towns in the United States. What adventures will the newlywed couple find in a town with a large history of witch-hunting? Ships: Ron/Hermione, Harry/Ginny, etc. Multi-PoV.
Author's Note: This first chapter has nothing to do with Ron and Hermione. But it will set up the story quite nicely.
Deep in the Salem Woods, two miles south of the small town of Salem, Massachussets, was a wizarding school known as the Salem Witches Institute. It was hidden from Muggles, and had been around since the early 1600s. Whenever Muggles would approach the area near the Institute, they would usually remember an appointment they needed to attend to. Though it was called Salem "Witches", there were also many wizards in the school as well. It was one of the more known wizarding schools in the United States, though not very popular, given the rich, but terrifying history surrounding Salem, Massachussets.
In the 1690s, the village, then very small, of Salem, Massachussets had almost been responsible for the reveal of the wizarding world. The Salem Witch Trials had started because of a small group of reckless, irresponsible witches, who decided to have a little fun after getting drunk on firewhiskey. Legend says that these hoodlums were showing off their magical spells to a couple of young Muggle men, whom they had reportedly put under a trance, that would later be referred to as the Imperius Curse. Because of the sloppiness and incoherence of the young witches, the Muggles snapped out of their trance just in time to see the witches brewing a Love Potion. Drunk on their own stupidity, the witches were to helpless to catch the Muggles, and the two men ran away and reported that there had been witchcraft witnessed in the area.
Back in the late 1600s, superstition was on the rise, and the fear of witchcraft ran rampant. The small village of Salem, Massachussets then started the trials that would lead to the deaths of many Muggles and quite a few witches as well, though it was never proven that they were truly witches.
The wizarding world was in a state of fear after the Salem Witch Trials. Witches and wizards had never been in so much risk of exposure to the Muggle world. The International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy, which had only been signed three years prior to the start of the Salem Witch Trials, had been made officially when word got around of the event in Salem. It was the first and only time the Statute of Secrecy had ever been put in serious risk.
Salem had been deemed quarantined by the wizarding world for almost two centuries. No witches or wizards were allowed to go to the small village while the Muggles still feared the stories of witchcraft. The Salem Witches Institute had been shut down for two-hundred years. Then in the early 1900s, it was thought that such fear had dissipated and the quarantine had been lifted. The Institute re-opened, and witches and wizards came back to Salem, though they were careful not to repeat the mistakes of the past.
The arrival of May meant that Salem, Massachussets would be celebrating its Mid-Summer Festival in the coming weeks. Although it was late spring now, back in the 1600s when the town was founded, the time around the month of May had been referred to as Mid-Summer. So the tradition stayed around the small village, and the Mid-Summer Festival had now been going on in May for three-hundred-plus years now.
The town's officials had big plans for the festival this year since it was the start of a new millennium. It was going to be a very big event for everyone.
The Ministry of Magic, Eastern United States Branch, had a few of its highest officials come to stay in the Salem Witch's Institute for this festival to make sure that that the Statute of Secrecy would not be in risk.
On the second day of May, students were preparing for their exams that would be taking place at the end of the month. In the Food Hall of the grand institute, students could be seen flipping through parchment when they were meant to be enjoying dinner.
The Headmistress, Madam Rosario, also the Professor of Defense Against the Dark Arts, was a strict witch. She narrowed her eyes at the students, ready to scold them for studying on such an occasion. She believed that mealtime was a joyous occasion, and that the food they were served should be enjoyed and not taken for granted. Studying and learning was meant to take place in class or in Common Rooms and Dormitories.
"Headmistress," Professor Willows said, sitting to Madam Rosario's right at the Head Table, "I can see what you are about to do."
"I thought you were the Potions Mistress, Professor Willows," Madam Rosario said, "And not the Divination Professor. I thought that job was for Professor Sequin to do."
"It is not future-telling I'm doing, Madam Rosario!" Willows said, chuckling, "Anyone could see what you are wanting to do. You should let the students study. This is going to be a busy month for them. What with the Mid-Summer Festival and their final exams."
"Hmmph," Madam Rosario said, "The festival. Do not remind me."
"We've already given the students with the best behavior privileges to attend the festival," Willows said, "You know this. They are at the lowest risk to cross the Statute of Secrecy, and will be on their best behavior. They've been looking forward to this for weeks now!"
"They seem to be enjoying their studies," Madam Rosario said, "I'm sure they wouldn't mind their exams taking place during the festival."
"How could you suggest such a thing?" Willows asked, in a shocked tone.
"It is my job as Headmistress of this school, is it not?" Madam Rosario asked, "I have the right to -"
"You have the right, yes," Willows said, "But to do such a thing. It would break their hearts."
"Hmmph," Madam Rosario said, "All right, all right. I'll allow it. But if one student steps one toe out of line -"
"Of course they won't step a toe out of line," Willows said, "You know this."
"Let us ask our resident psychic then," Madam Rosario said, with a grin, looking to her right to Professor Sequin. "Josephine? What do you see for the festival? Any risks?"
"You are aware of the Inner-Eye and its limits, Headmistress," Professor Sequin said, her voice deep and mysterious.
Madam Rosario snorted and raised an eyebrow.
"Oh, but of course!" Professor Sequin said, waving a dismissive hand, "You always thought my subject was wooly!"
"If I thought it was wooly, my dear Josephine," Madam Rosario said, "do you think you'd work here?"
"You give me privilege to work here," Professor Sequin said, "because my family has been a part of this Institution for over two centuries now. My grandmother fought to keep this school open. But of course you know this. You remind me on a weekly basis how my grandmother had more wit than I ever could!"
"Well, I'm glad you do listen to me," Madam Rosario said.
Professor Sequin narrowed her eyes and looked away. Madam Rosario smiled and looked around at the students. She picked up her fork and lightly tapped it against her glass. The resulting high-pitched ding resonated throughout the Hall. A few of the students looked up, but most of them had their noses in their books. Madam Rosario shook her head, disgusted, and cleared her throat loudly. At once, every student looked up toward her.
"Thank you," Madam Rosario said, sweetly. "As you know, our Muggle friends in the town of Salem will be holding the Mid-Summer's Festival next week. I'm sure some of you are aware that you have the privilege to attend this Festival."
A few of the students around the Hall cheered.
"But!" Madam Rosario said, loudly, over the cheering, which silenced immediately, "I expect you to honor the rules of this privilege. Now, to make sure this goes off without any miscues, we have a few guests with us for the next couple of weeks."
She directed their attention to the end of the Head Table, where a group of witches and wizards sat, all dressed in official-looking robes and attire.
"These are our friends from the Eastern Branch of our country's Ministry of Magic," Madam Rosario said, "Please welcome them kindly."
A polite applause rang out around the Hall and the Ministry officials bowed their heads in greeting.
"They have come to make sure," Madam Rosario said, her voice deepening, "that none of you risk the exposure of our world. Everyone in this room knows the consequences. I don't think any of you want to be responsible for the next round of Witch Trials, do you?"
The students all looked at each other, gravely, and shook their heads.
"I thought not," Madam Rosario said.
Suddenly, the candles flickered and shivered around the room. Some students gave frightened whispers and gasps. Madam Rosario narrowed her eyes. What was going on? One of the officials at the end of the table rose. Madam Rosario chuckled and shook her head at them.
"A prank!" she said, chuckling, "Just a prank to welcome in our new guests! How thoughtful!"
"Evil!" Professor Sequin's voice muttered beside Madam Rosario.
Madam Rosario looked over at Professor Sequin.
"Did you say something dear?" she asked.
The flames in the candles all over the hall blew out. Professor Sequin's eyes flickered and rolled back in her head. She started to shake and her head went back and forth.
"Evil!" Professor Sequin rasped, "Evil will take flight on Mid-Summer's Night, when the moon is highest in the sky. A curse will be brought back onto this town and vengeance will be paid to those responsible to those who brought pain down on them once before. A dark circle will appear over this land. Thirteen souls will rise up and take back what was once theirs. Beware the Thirteen Souls. Make haste the Magical Trinity!"
The last syllable was drawn out for quite a few seconds. Professor Sequin's head flopped around and then fell into her plate of stew. The flames in the candles reignited. Students and Professors alike were staring at Professor Sequin, their mouths hung open. The Ministry officials were the first to snap out of their reverie, and were whispering amongst each other. Madam Rosario looked up from the Divination Professor and looked around at everyone. She then grinned and chuckled.
"Quite a show!" she said, laughing nervously, "Thank you – er – Professor Sequin."
Professor Sequin moaned in her stew and sat up. She looked around at the students staring at her.
"I-I'm sorry," she said, "Dozed off! Please continue, Headmistress, you were saying?"
"Are – are you okay, Josephine?" Professor Willows said.
"Of course!" Professor Sequin said, "A little tired – bit of a rough day – but I'm fine!"
"I think you better go to the Hospital Wing, Josephine," Madam Rosario said.
Madam Rosario looked up at the end of the hall where the old witch caretaker, Miss Sonya, was standing. She snapped at her, and Miss Sonya came running forward.
"Can you please escort Professor Sequin to the Hospital Wing?" Madam Rosario asked.
"Yes, Headmistress," Miss Sonya said, "Come along, Josephine."
"But I-I'm fine," Professor Sequin said.
"Go please," Madam Rosario said.
"Er, if you say so, Madam Rosario," Professor Sequin said.
She walked around the Head Table and out of the hall. The students who were watching her leave, all looked around at Madam Rosario.
"Back to your studies – er – your meals," Madam Rosario said, "Make haste!"
The students looked around at their peers and started whispering.
"Madam Rosario?" Professor Willows said, "That – that was a -"
"Quite a show, Professor Willows," Madam Rosario said, "Yes."
"It was a prophecy!" Willows whispered, "You know it!"
The other Professors turned their heads and looked at Madam Rosario. She cleared her throat.
"Just a show," she said to them, then narrowed her eyes at Professor Willows.
"Returning evil?" Willows said, "Mid-Summer's night. High Moon? I don't think I need to tell you about the legend of the thirteen souls and the Magical Trinity, Madam Rosario! This dates – well it dates back to –"
"History of Magic is not your thing, Professor Willows," Madam Rosario said, "And I ask that you do not bring it up."
"But the prophecy!" Willows whispered.
"Let me tell you this," Madam Rosario said, "Josephine Sequin does not make prophecies. There has been only one witch in this institution who has ever made a real, genuine Prophecy."
"Josephine's grandmother!" Willows said, "And you know what they say about this power skipping generations!"
"My dear," Madam Rosario said, chuckling, then narrowing her eyes once again "The day Josephine Sequin has the Eye, I'll quit my job. I don't want to hear any more about this."
She harrumphed and looked around at the students. Madam Rosario's mind buzzed with thoughts. She had never seen a real prophecy performed before. She wondered, no matter how much she had denied it, if she had seen one that evening.
Yes, she knew what Professor Willows spoke of. She knew of the legend of the thirteen souls and of the Magical Trinity. She just hoped she wouldn't have to hear about it again. Because, if this legend returned, the small town of Salem, Massachussets would be in very real danger once again.
Well, this first chapter was short just to give an introduction to this story! Future chapters will be quite a bit longer! Ron and Hermione comes into the story next!