And Thus, our journey begins! (A special 'Hi' goes to everyone who added me to Author Alert and added The Truth Behind a Story to their favourite story list :) I get super excited every time I get an email telling me that I got another one!)
To start, I want to make sure everyone knows that this story runs hand-in-hand with its prequel story Memories. You don't have to read it first, but it gives you quite a bit of the back-story.
As with all my stories, I love to hear what you think, love it or hate it, please comment and let me know what you enjoyed or what you hated so much you couldn't stand it :) I'm always looking for ways to improve. (Remember when I said I get super excited from favourites? I get 10x as excited for comments ;) )
Enough of my nonsense...please enjoy this first chapter! I can't wait to find out what you all think.
Devoney raised her eyes from her book just in time to see the bounding flurry that was her youngest granddaughter. She grinned as Ava Mallory flew into her arms. "Well, isn't this a lovely surprise! Where did you come from?" She tickled her granddaughter and glanced up to see Gailen, her second son, leaning against the door frame grinning like an idiot. Once acknowledged he started to cross the room.
"Sorry about this Mum, Ava wanted to surprise you." He leant down and gave her a kiss on the cheek. "We found something interesting today."
"Did you now?" Devoney replied, casting a smirked up at her son. He ready did look just like his father, with the exception of his hair. He had the solid raven locks of her youth. Devoney turned her full attention back to Ava. "What did you find then?"
Ava, with a full toothy grin, jumped off of Devoney's lap and dashed to the adjoining hall without a word. Devoney couldn't help but laugh. "She still can't sit still for a minute, can she?"
Gailen beamed proudly. "She definitely keeps Elizabeth busy. I think she's just trying to keep up with her brothers and sisters. She hates to be left out just because she's the youngest."
Walking back into the room, Ava carefully toted in an old fashion wooden box nearly half her size. She presented it to her grandmother. "We found this!" Devoney smiled as she took the box.
"Why thank you Lovey. Why don't we see what's in here then..." Ava climbed up onto the arm rest as Devoney opened the box that now took her spot on her grandmother's lap. "Oh…my…." Was all Devoney could seem to get out as she lifted out the first item in the box, an old framed photograph of herself and two very tall red-headed gentlemen. She brought a hand up to her mouth as she felt her eyes well-up. Her other hand gently caressed the faded moving surface. Familiar faces waved to her and then started laughing together over some secret joke. A large leather scrapbook came next. Magically enchanted to never run out of pages, it held on to every memory and shard of Devoney's past.
"Where did you ever find this?" She questioned Gailen. "I thought this all went missing in the move."
He nodded. "And it did. Ava and I found the entire box for sale at a muggle rubbage sale for ten pounds."
Ten pounds? Devoney fumed. Her entire life's history was only worth ten measly pounds?
Sensing his mother's annoyance, Gailen continued. "Apparently, they have no idea where it came from. They couldn't even get it open. Ava over here noticed our family's seal inlayed on the clasp and brought my attention to it."
Ava beamed up at her grandmother proudly. "I remembered it from your old living room Grandmum. Daddy said it would make you happy."
Devoney reached over and gave the little girl a big hug and a kiss. "You've made me so happy, my dear child." She wiped some of the tears welling up in the corners of her eyes. "So very, very happy."
Gailen leaned over from behind the chair. "Ava was hoping you'd tell her the story." Devoney looked up at him in surprise. It had been years since she had last told anyone the story. She had stopped after losing the box.
Ava looked up at Devoney in anticipation, grinning excitedly despite the missing front tooth. Flustered, Devoney looked back and forth between her son and grandchild.
"I…I don't even know if I can! What if I can't remember all the important things? I wouldn't even know where to begin anymore! What to tell, what to show…."
Gailen reached down and flipped the pages of the scrapbook back to the front. "You could always start at the very beginning." Devoney's Hogwarts letter almost seemed to glow as she looked down at it.
She closed her eyes for a moment. Details and memories she had once thought she had lost forever came flooding back. She opened them and turned to face her son and granddaughter. "It's going to take a while."
Gailen moved from behind the chair and look a seat on the floor at her feet, just like he used to when he was young. "We have the time Mum." Devoney smiled at him.
"Wait a moment!" Ava exclaimed as she leapt off the armrest, and skipped over to her father. After she had plopped herself down onto his lap, he wrapped his arms around her. All cozied up, she faced her grandmother. "Okay. I'm ready now."
Devoney smiled. "Me too." She held up the scrapbook as so Ava could see the first page. "To tell this story, we're going to have to go a very long back. Back to when I was only eleven years old and just about to start an adventure that would shape my life….."
The Tales of 1st Year – Chapter 1 :
Paul pushed Devoney's cart onto the main platform, looking from area to area in search of the odd numbered platform. Emily held on tightly to Devoney's hand, as if afraid her daughter would float away. Devoney kept her emerald eyes peeled for 'Platform 9 and ¾' amongst the faint crowds. It wasn't until through the corner of her eye that she saw someone blink out of existence that she realized that it was hidden.
"Look! Look! Did you see that?" She pointed over excitedly at the blank wall that the person had just walked through. "That has to be the way in. Let's go!" She dropped Emily's hand and dashed towards the wall, but Paul stopped her before she had the chance to try running through it herself. She stopped and looked up to see a sight that she never thought she would see. Her mother was silently crying, and her father was slightly misty-eyed as well. Though Paul would put it off, as 'I had something in my eye'. "What's wrong?" She asked, concerned.
Paul smiled and shook his head. "Absolutely nothing Sweetheart. I'm just in awe at how grown up you are now." He reached over and took her hand. "We're going to miss you a lot this year."
Devoney started to fidget, uncomfortable with the conversation she knew was going to happen. "Can't we do this on the platform?" She begged. "It's a little bit embarrassing out here."
Emily shook her head sadly. "Sorry baby, but we can't. We're not allowed on the platform with you."
Right then and there, Devoney had her first pang of fear, nervousness, and doubt. Was this the right thing to do? She asked herself. After all, she would be leaving the only life she had ever known, or at least remembered, for a world of fancy that she still worried that deep down it was all a joke.
Paul was the first to notice her change in attitude. "Now then, none of that!" He clamped a hand down firmly on her shoulder. "No regrets, remember? We Callaghan's are strong!" He looked down at her and smiled. "Just be sure to send your mum lots of letters so she doesn't fret, and we'll be seeing you by Christmas."
Devoney bit down nervously on her lip. "Promise you'll write back and send me pictures of Noah?"
At that point Emily could no longer hold herself together. She nearly collapsed on Devoney as she went to embrace her. "I promise!" Her mother leaned in close and whispered into her ear. "And remember, we love you, and if there is anything you need to talk about, you make sure you ask. Alright?" Devoney nodded her head in acknowledgement. Emily released her, and wiped the tears from her face.
Still kneeling she reached up and tucked a few strands of Devoney's hair behind her ear. "I don't know what you're going to do without me to fix your hair in the mornings." Her eyes welled up ever so slightly. "You've always been so hopeless at it. Here," She motioned for Devoney to turn around. "Let me fix it up one last time. You'll want to look nice for when you get to this new school of yours."
Devoney couldn't refuse her mother's last request, so she obediently turned and waited patiently as Emily fixed her long black hair into a nice high ponytail. As she turned around, she noticed Emily taking out a small box from her bag.
"One last thing," Emily opened the little box and revealed a silver hair pin done up with intricate detailing and inlayed green and clear stones. "My grandmother gave this to me when I went off to boarding school when I was sixteen. I want you to take it with you now. Maybe it'll remind you of home."
Devoney felt her bottom lip start to quiver as Emily fastened the clip above her pony tail. "Alright now," Emily started, with a slightly forced smile. "You'd best be off. You don't want to miss your train now do you?"
Devoney returned the smiled. "No…I don't." She moved slightly away. "Promise you'll write?" She asked again quietly.
Emily laughed as she threw her arms around Devoney and pulled her into another hug. "Promise promise. Now go!" She gently pushed Devoney towards Paul's open arms so he could get in one last hug as well.
Pulling herself out of her father's arms, Devoney nodded affirmatively and turned towards the platform. As an afterthought, she turned for one last look at the two people who had been her life up until this point. "I'll miss you!"
Then, with one last wave, Devoney dashed through the wall, eyes clenched tight. Before she knew it she had left the relatively quiet London side of the train station, and was now in the middle of the hustle and bustle of what was to be her new life.
She brushed her bangs out of her eyes as she scouted the area around the platform. I really should have listened to Mum and had them cut before I left. Devoney fumed as she tried to find a path to the train. Everything was so different from what she had at first imagined.
There was no set path there to guide her lost self on her way. No bright sunny sky and train to usher in her hopefulness. Instead, Devoney got the shear shock of being thrust into an environment of which she had little to no prior exposure to and an overcast sky that threatened to break open and soak the world with rain.
Walking through the crowds, Devoney did her best not to get lost in the masses upon masses of hustling and bustling people that filled the entire platform. Mums were kissing their children good-bye and fathers were staring off into the near distance, pretending to be detached as they kept watch on the younger children, keeping them out from underfoot.
Searching for the easiest way to the train, Devoney held on tightly to her trunk as she was jostled around and pushed this way and that. Devoney felt a ping of panic as she hurried to the train. She had never realized how scary it all would be trying to get around all on your own. The fact that no one cared if she made it on to the train or not was a startling realization, one that brought the welling of tears to her large green eyes.
Somehow, thought she couldn't quite figure out how she had managed it, Devoney made it on to the train. Looking up and down the long corridors, she realized that that had been the easy part. Now she had another task…finding a place to sit.
Devoney slide yet another compartment door shut and took a step back. Not one compartment was empty. Everyone seemed to know someone else. It felt like she was the only person who was alone. It was enough to be the final straw in what had been a day full of hay.
Devoney slid down the closest wall she could find and brought her knees to her chest. She rested her head on her knees and then brought up her arms to hide her tears as she started to cry.
This was a horrible idea. I want to go home. I'm not meant for this place. I never should have come. I have to go home. They made a mistake. I'm not the one they were looking for. I shouldn't be here. I-
Her internal dialogue was cut short when she felt the presence of someone standing in front of her in the narrow hall. It wasn't until Devoney heard whoever it was take a seat beside her that she lifted her head slightly and turned her tear filled eyes to see a pair of the most striking eyes she had ever seen staring back, only inches from her. The shock of it all caused her to fall over as she hurryingly scooted away from this imposing stranger.
There he sat. His long legs folded to fit within the cramped hall, casually leaning against the wall. A shiny gold badge rested on the chest of his school jumper, with the sleeves folded up to his elbows, and his hands on the ground holding up his place against the wall. "You alright, then?" He asked. Genuine concern was in his eyes.
Devoney looked away and shook her head miserably. "I need to get off this train."
Her new mysterious companion grinned as he stood up. "Ah, you're probably never ridden on a train before if this is your first year. Come on then, I'll help you find the water-closet." He reached out his hand to her. Devoney blushed, but only out of shear mortification.
How could he? Here she was, in complete and utter desolation, and he thought she was going to be sick? Devoney remained frozen to the floor as she shot him one of the glares she had perfected over the years of being teased and picked on in her primary school.
His grin turned into a quizzical frown as he crouched back down. "Could it be that you…are you maybe…" His constant pauses and the faint blush that came across his fair cheeks made it obvious that he was uncomfortable with whatever girly problems he believed once again to be going on. "Would you like me to get on of the girl Prefects? Or maybe one of your friends from your compartment?" He nodded to himself. "Yes, that would work. Ok then, which one is yours?"
His automatic belief that she even knew someone here was enough to make her start to cry all over again. It caused him to become flustered once more. "No no…please don't… Please stop crying. Please, tell me what's wrong then, hmm?" He crouched back down and took her hands in his own. At once Devoney was glad that her face turned red when she was crying. This way he couldn't tell that this made her blush a bit. "Now look at me." He waited until Devoney returned his gaze. "Whatever it is, you can tell me. No one should be this sad on the first day of school. What would your friends think if you were out here crying all by yourself?"
Devoney felt her lower lip start to quiver. "They wouldn't care, because they don't exist." She bawled out, and the tears started up yet again.
"Is that what this is all about?" Devoney's new acquaintance laughed. Devoney's tears stopped for a moment, only to be compensated by her dropped jaw. How dare he? She couldn't help but feel outraged. Here she was baring her misery and all he could do was laugh? She had thought he was a nice guy!
Whoever he was sensed her distress and quickly sat down in the middle of the hall, crossing his legs, and reached his hand out to her. "How do you do? My name is Alec. I live in Wicket's End, I am a fifth year, and the Prefect for Gryffindor house. I like duelling and potions. I have one younger brother and two younger sisters, and my parents don't seem quite ready to stop yet. I would so like to be your friend. Would you please tell me what your name is then?"
Wiping away her tears with the back of hand, Devoney timidly reached back and shook his hand with the other. "I'm Devoney. Devoney Callaghan. This is my first time in the magical world."
Alec smiled back fondly at her. "See? That wasn't too hard was it, then? I'm sure there are a lot of people who would love to be your friend too." He stood up and put his hand out to her once more. This time she took it. "Right then, how's about we find you a compartment then?" He picked up her trunk and started to walk down the hall, with Devoney close behind. "I happen to know of one with a most interesting fellow in it."
They walked until Alec apparently found the compartment he was looking for. He slid the door open. "Here we be!" He turned to Devoney with a big smile on his face. "I would like to cordially like to introduce you to my one and only little brother…Emmett."
With a big motion, he swung out his hand, as if presenting his brother. Emmett lifted his head from the book he had been reading and stared as his brother lifted her trunk and put it up in the rack. He then turned his attention back to Devoney.
"Right. Devoney, this is Emmett. Emmett, this is Devoney. He's also starting his first year." Alec nodded his head a few times before clapping his hands together. "Right, then. You two kids have fun and get acquainted. I am off in search of more lost souls!" With that he gave them a salute with his fingers and bounded out of the door.
Devoney took the seat opposite of Emmett. They both stared and sat in silence.
"So…" Emmett started before realizing he had nothing really to say.
Devoney picked up his broken sentence. "Is he…always…like that?"
Emmett gave her a quizzical look. "Like what?" he asked.
Devoney started to fidget. Had she gone too far? Should she have not asked? Oh no, here she was, and she was already going to insult her first friend and her next potential one would never talk to her again. "Well, he just…I don't know. He just used the word 'then' a lot. And I was just wondering-" She knew she was rambling, but when it was Emmett's laughter was that cut her off, she had a feeling it was ok.
"Oh that!" He shook his head as he chuckled. "I guess from living with him I've gotten used to it. I can see why you'd be a bit put off by it."
"Oh! I wasn't put off." Devoney insisted hurriedly. "I was just curious. He-"
Emmett cut her off again with a wave. "It's okay, I swear. Apparently when Alec was younger, him and mum and dad had been walking through a park and there had been a street performer who had been talking like that. Very old style and proper. Used 'then' a lot, called every one Mam and Sur. Alec got all excited and decided that that was how he wanted to talk." Emmett leaned a bit against his seat. "Mum and dad didn't think much about it at the time, I suppose, thought it to be a bit of a phase. But he's stuck with it." Emmett grinned and leaned forward, as if to tell a secret. "But I'll tell you, when my sisters and I started to talk like Alec, it was put to a quick end."
Devoney grinned at Emmett. Maybe this wouldn't be so bad after all. Both Alec and Emmett seemed like really, really nice guys. She leaned forward a bit to examine Emmett for the first time. Though she really couldn't tell because they were both sitting, but she assumed Emmett was going to be quite a bit taller. Even though he had them crossed, she could tell he had his brother's long legs. He had very fine, neat red hair. It was so light that when the lights of the compartment played on it, it looked as though it was on fire. His eyes were so flecked with silver and green that they too looked like they could be caught up in some iridescence storm.
Emmett cast her a funny look. Devoney sat up quickly. She had obviously been staring for too long. To cast off her folly she stuck her arm out across the compartment.
"My name is Devoney Callaghan. You are the second person I've met today. I hope we can be friends." Emmett grinned back and leaned forward to shake her hand.
"My name is Emmett Malfoy. I hope we can be friends too." Emmett moved more forward so he was closer to Devoney. "If I'm only the second person you've met, that must mean you're from the muggle world!"
Devoney smiled and nodded sheepishly. "Is that a bad thing?"
Emmett shook his head feverishly. "No! It's bloody brilliant! Can you tell me about it?"
Devoney gave him an odd look. "What do you mean? Isn't it pretty much the same as here?" She tilted her head to the side. "I mean, other than then the walking through walls, and having to wear a cloak, it doesn't seem all that different so far."
"Oh man! Are you for real?" Emmett clapped his hands gleefully against his legs. "You are in for such a surprise!" He could barely contain his excitement. "The muggle world is so much different from here. My Dad isn't too fond of it, but he's getting better. And Mum has promised that someday we'll all get a trip there." He leaned closer once again. "How much do you actually know about the magical world?"
Devoney bit her lip nervously and shook her head. "Nothing. Should I be scared?"
Emmett grinned. "Ok, there are three things you need to know. Number one," He held up one finger. "Do not, under any and all circumstances take a sweet, a toy, or even a scroll from my cousins. You just never know what might happen. Don't worry though, I'll point out who they are to you. "
Devoney's eyes went wide as Emmett stuck up the second finger. "Number two, never leave your wand at home. Again…you never know what might happen. And lastly, number three." Emmett held up a third finger. "If you ever get into any trouble, call on me or Alec. He'll definitely help you out even if you end up in a different house, and I'll beat up the person who was bothering you." Emmett flexed his right arm for effect.
Devoney laughed and flexed her own right arm. "I think I could take you." She joked as they both compared the size of each of their own scrawny muscles. Devoney lowered her arm. "What are these houses you're talking about?"
Emmett's mouth opened a bit in shock. "You don't even know that?" Devoney shook her head sheepishly, suddenly really wishing she had bought the compendium book about Hogwarts. "Ok, ok." He looked at Devoney. "It is the very first thing that will happen once we get to Hogwarts. The professors will put us all in a line and call us out in alphabetical order. Then they somehow sort us into which of the four houses will belong to."
"How do they sort us?" Devoney interrupted.
Emmett shook his head. "I don't know. Alec refuses to tell me. I'm thinking it might be some sort of test."
"A test?" Devoney's face dropped as Emmett nodded his head. "I don't know anything about magic." She groaned. "They're going to put me in the special needs house."
Emmett looked at her with curious eyes. "What house is that?" He asked earnestly.
"Oh!" Devoney replied feeling rather foolish. She hadn't realized that all of the terms she was used to using, might not mean the same things here. "It the special class for people who are…um…never mind." She brushed it off, changing the topic. "What about these four houses?"
Emmett shrugged his shoulders at the dismissal of the prior topic before carrying on. "Basically there are four houses that you can be put into. Ravenclaw, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, and Gryffindor."
"That's the one you're brother is the Prefect for!" Well, Devoney congratulated herself, at least you've remembered that much.
Emmett nodded his head before breaking out in a grin. "You should have heard Dad when he found out that Alec was going to be in Gryffindor." Emmett opened his mouth in exaggerated in horror.
" 'How could this have happened? A child of mine! Gryffindor? There has to be some sort of mistake!'"
Emmett dropped his act and turned back to Devoney with a huge smile. "You should have been there. It was wicked!" He leaned back against the seat as he explained. "You see, my dad's family has a long history of being in Slytherin, while mum's family has a long history of being in Gryffindor. I guess dad was hoping that Alec would follow in his footsteps."
Devoney nodded in understanding. "Which house do you want to be in?"
Emmett grinned at her. "Definitely in Gryffindor! It would mean I'd get to be with my brother. Plus their house is known for bravery and courage. It was the one my mum was in."
Devoney looked at him oddly. "Each house has a meaning?"
Emmett nodded his head before once more putting on his theatrics. "Gryffindor for the brave! Slytherin for the cunning! Ravenclaw for the smart! And Hufflepuff for the kind!"
Devoney frowned, once again starting to feel discouraged. "I don't think I fit into any of those categories." She commented softly.
Emmett smiled reassuringly at her. "Don't worry. There has never been someone not placed before."
Devoney scowled down at the floor. "Just watch, I'll be the first to not be placed."
"Don't say that. I'm sure however they do it, they'll find some hidden talent of yours that will make you perfect for that house." He grinned at her. "Which one would you like to be in?"
Devoney pondered the question for a moment. "You want to be in Gryffindor, right?" Emmett smiled and nodded. Devoney grinned back. "Then I want to be in Gryffindor too!" She stood up and grabbed Emmett's hands. "I hope we're in the same house! No matter what, we have to ask for the same house!"
Emmett squeezed her hands back and returned her smile with a large grin. "Yes!" He answered happily. The bonds of friendship had already forged between the two of them. "Let's be sure to stick together!"
Releasing his hands and smiling, Devoney took her seat again. "So…what do you do for fun? I was told in my letter that regular electronics won't work at the school."
Emmett grinned at her mischievously. "Do you know how to play Loki?" When Devoney politely shook her head, Emmett grin became almost diabolical as he jumped up and stood up on his seat so he could rummage through his trunk. "Then you're in for a fun next few hours!"
"And how are you two getting along then?" Alec's voice appeared from the doorway as he poked his head in with a grin.
Emmett raised his head from the complicated pile of colourful sticks, mix-matched tiles, and the odd marble that made up the game Loki, and grinned. "Absolutely smashing!" He answered his brother cheerfully while Devoney simply scoffed at the game-set one last time before looking up; she hadn't won at the game even once yet.
Devoney knew it was wrong and inappropriate, but she couldn't help herself. The minute she looked up, she couldn't take her eyes off of Alec. This was the first time she had really looked at Emmett's brother. Sure, she had sat right next to him in the train hall and he had helped her find a compartment, but she been caught up in her own distress that she hadn't really registered any of Alec's traits other than the fact that he was much taller than she was.
Alec had silky looking white-blonde hair with just the faintest tint of red to it. It was longish in length, completely opposite of Emmett's short, neat style. Despite its length, it was neatly done, with the ends completely even in length and just brushing past the collar of his jumper. It was almost pretty in a sense. When he went to brush some of the strands out of his face, Devoney got a good view of his eyes. His striking eyes, which she did remember from her stint with him in the hall, were hard to describe. At first glance she would have called them turquoise, but upon closer inspection she decided that they were in fact pale green. Which, like his brother, were laced with silver to give the effect of constant motion.
Alec nodded and smiled at the pair of them. "Right then, you'd best be getting ready. I've been informed to tell you that we'll be arriving at the castle soon." With a final smile and a wave Alec turned to leave the compartment. "I'll see you at the sorting then!" As the sliding door clicked shut, Devoney turned to Emmett, mouth slightly agape.
One last reminder, this should (I will do my very very best) a weekly updated story. So if you want anything changed or any wonderful insights, please comment away! I'll be sure to read everything (more times then not repeatedly ;) )
Till Next Friday!