This story requires a brief warning, which has not been easy to write. It is a story that plays off many concepts that have been used in adult rated stories, but plays them straight and real. There will be no sex in this story for our heroes, though there are references to it occurring to others. Child abuse, physical, mental, and sexual are mentioned, though none of it occurs on screen.
Some of those on the group which I had beta reading this story found it not be for them. If this turns out to be the case for you, I ask that you do not turn to flaming, instead, go on to another story.
I must thank those in the CaerAzkaban group for their help in proof reading this story. For the Prologue, I'd like to particularly thank Riftweave, Justin, Runecutter, Gemm Ethan Whitake, and Ben Gardner for their assistance.
Mandy Brocklehurst heard the crying when she entered the bathroom. She wasn't going to be able to use and disabled the ritual circle, tonight, which was a shame, since it would be the best time of the year. Her mother and two friends had erected it, thirteen years ago. When they'd gotten caught, right after finishing the ritual, violating curfew, they hadn't been able to turn it off, though Mandy's mother had disabled the creature ward.
Mandy felt her body tingle as she crossed the circle to get to the toilets. Having inherited the protection from the ritual performed in the circle, her body always tingled and got a warm feeling crossing the circle. Her mother said that it was because the circle had a connection, and was reenforcing her protection. The first time she'd used this bathroom, she'd been so surprised that she didn't reach the toilets.
As Mandy sat down, she identified the sobbing girl occupying the next stall. Only one girl at Hogwarts carried a muggle backpack stuffed with books. It had to be ruining her posture. It was Hermione Granger, the girl who had to be the first to answer every question in the classes that the two shared. It was the girl who was number one in her year, and a Gryffindor. As a Ravenclaw, Mandy found it wrong that the highest ranked Ravenclaw in her year, her, was fourth in the year.
Mandy wiped and exited the stall to wash her hands. No matter how hard she studied, she could not pass Granger, Bones, or Malfoy, it seemed. It was acceptable that she and Potter kept trading places for fourth, not that he was aware of it. Being beat by the boy-who-lived was acceptable. Being beat by the muggleborn-know-it-all was not. She felt no reason to talk to Granger, or see what was wrong with the girl.
If she couldn't perform the ritual and deactivate the circle, tonight, then Mandy decided, she'd go to the Halloween Feast and enjoy herself. The circle had been up for twelve years with no harm done. It wasn't like it was going to cause a hoard of rampaging mountain trolls to attack the school because she had decided to not do it this Halloween.
Chapter One will follow soon.