Author's note: Hello, readers! For those of you have already read this story, you will have noticed that there have been a few changes made. The reason for this is that this being my first piece of long-length writing and everything, I have since found a few errors here and there. So, after finishing writing the story, I have gone back and re-edited parts of it, such as fixing grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. The overall plot line has not changed though. For any new readers and those returning, I hope you enjoy reading my tale and feel free to leave reviews :) From: Little Gertrude
Chapter I: Brother and Sister
"Sophie, come on! At the speed you're moving at we're going to miss the train! And I know you don't want to be late on your first day of Hogwarts!" Sophie's brother Jesse called out to her as he stood waiting in the hallway, his hand resting on the handle of his suitcase.
Sophie came down dragging her luggage along, slightly out of breath with her hands full of new text books piled on top of each other like Jenga blocks.
Her glasses with massive lenses had slipped down onto one side of her face so that it now sat lop-sided.
"Well aren't you a bit of a sight" Jesse said, chuckling affectionately at his baby sister as he took the books from her and tapped her lightly on her small nose.
Sophie shook her arms in relief from the weight and fixed her glasses before grinning up at Jesse.
"How many houses did you say there were in Hogwarts?"
"Four – Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Slytherin."
"I want to be in your house - Ravenclaw!" Sophie exclaimed with determination after thinking for a while and her brother laughed.
"The Sorting Hat will place you in the house that best suits you," he replied before closing the front door behind them.
The siblings almost did miss the Hogwarts express but they managed to get on just in the nick of time (which involved a whole lot of sprinting and bumping into people). While Jesse went to meet up with the other prefects, Sophie sat in her seat by the window and stared outside the window of the train. With the sound of two hoots from the whistle, the Hogwarts express began its long journey to Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Magic.
Sophie liked listening the rhythmic sound the wheels of the train made as it sped down the railway to the Wizarding School she had only heard about from Jesse. Would she fit in? Would she make any new friends? What if she wasn't good at using magic? All these thoughts swam around Sophie's mind as she closed her eyes and fell into a blissful nap.
Jesse and Sophie Burns were, as you would have already guessed, brother and sister. However unless someone told you, you would never thought that they were related when you saw them for they were so different in both looks and character.
Jesse was the older brother and the fairer one, with soft brown curls and calming turquoise colored eyes. He was smart (never missing out on any marks for his O.W.L's – a true Ravenclaw he was), funny and easily the most popular young wizard pupil of his year in Hogwarts. Sophie on the other hand was a bit of an introvert. While she did enjoy being around others and the odd company here and there, she was shy and preferred staying at home with Jesse. Unlike her brother, she had missed out on inheriting their muggle mother's beautiful opal eyes. Instead her eyes had a grey shade to them and Sophie wore thick rimmed glasses with the largest lens for she did not have good eyesight. Her hair was thick and so curly that even after being combed, they stuck out a bit like she had just gotten out of bed. And whereas Jesse was tall and well-built, Sophie was quite short with a petite frame.
However despite these differences Jesse and Sophie got on well with each other better than any other sibling. The siblings had never known their father, and their mother had sadly passed on when Sophie was only eight years old. But Sophie was never unhappy since she still had Jesse who to Sophie, encompassed everything to do with family and love. When she thought of her brother, Sophie had many fond memories. Such as the time Jesse bought her all her favorite treats from Ambrosius Flume's Honeydukes when she was sick in bed, or the time he had stayed up all night to master the Avis charm just to see Sophie laugh when the flock of birds flew out of the tip of his wand.
For as long as Sophie could remember, Jesse had always been there to look out for her.
"…Hufflepuff!" The Sorting Hat announced as Professor McGonagall placed it on top of Sophie's head.
Her fellow students applauded her as she jumped down from the stool. As she walked down towards the yellow banded Hufflepuff table, Sophie could see the Ravenclaw head boy amidst the sea of students grinning at her with such brotherly pride in his eyes. She returned the smile before sitting down in an empty seat, where she remained until the end of the sorting ceremony.
The first three years of Hogwarts went past like a blur for Sophie. She made new friends despite her initial fear, some who she grew to be very close with. Sophie did not get full marks in most of her subjects unlike Jesse, except for potions. It was only in potions class that Sophie truly flourished – even grumpy Professor Snape occasionally threw her small praises for her potion brewing skills, especially when she successfully brewed her first batch of Burning Bitterroot Balm in only her first attempt.
"Yeah well, who actually believes that divinations is a real subject?!" Sophie remembered Jesse saying once as he comforted her after she got her O.W.L's results back and found that she had not passed Professor Trelawney's divinations course.
Sophie sighed. Sometimes she wished she had half as much confidence in herself as Jesse.
It was a chilly October afternoon when Sophie, now a third year student, was sitting at a bench by herself near the Quidditch arena. The last of the autumn leaves were falling off the branches of the trees, flooding the ground with shades of orange and yellow.
All her classes for the morning were finished and Sophie had stopped for a moment whilst on her way back to her dormitory. Defense against the dark arts class had not turned out too great for Sophie - she could not block any of the hits her professor shot towards her no matter how quickly she tried to conjure up the defense spells. Quite frankly, her self-esteem level was lying somewhere around zero.
"Why, Ms. Burns! Are you not cold sitting out here all by yourself?" Sophie swiveled her head around in surprise at the voice, to see the headmaster standing in front of her.
"I just wanted to be somewhere quiet by myself for a while, Professor Dumbledore. Just to clear my thoughts a bit."
"Yes, we all need peace to ourselves every now and then. I see we are both outside of Hogwarts's walls for the same reason then," the headmaster said chirpily as he sat himself next to Sophie on the bench.
The two figures shared a moment of comfortable silence together. Sophie clapped her feet together quietly as she felt the breeze blow through her cloak.
"Well I hear you are quite a potions master. Potions is not an easy study Ms. Burns. You should be proud of yourself," Professor Dumbledore inquired after a moment with a warm smile.
"Umm I guess I'm alright at it…but I'm pretty much hopeless at everything else" Sophie replied unintelligently, not sure where the conversation was heading.
"That is not true." The headmaster simply replied before pausing to allow Sophie to think over what he had just said.
Professor Dumbledore continued to speak as Sophie shifted awkwardly on the bench.
"The grand Quidditch match will be taking place soon. If I am correct your brother used to play when he was at school?"
"Yes, he was the catcher on the Ravenclaw team and also the captain. But since he has graduated, he's now training to become an Auror" Sophie answered proudly.
"Well, that sounds like an exciting prospect to look forward to," the headmaster replied with a kind chuckle.
"Do you do much flying, Ms. Burns?" He asked after a pause and Sophie shook her head.
"I'm afraid I'm not very well coordinated, Professor. My brother has the skills, not me," she answered in embarrassment.
Professor Dumbledore stared at the wallflower sitting beside him, with thoughtful eyes. He knew Sophie could not yet see her own value when it was definitely present beneath her shy shell. She needed only the confidence to see it.
The Headmaster eventually nodded as a friendly gesture as he stood up from the bench to leave. He had important matters to deal with, regarding issues of Professor Moody and the Triwizard Tournament taking place in the school grounds. Before he turned away though, he looked down at Sophie with a small glint in his eyes.
"Ms. Burns, you may think that you are not as a strong wizard as your brother is but believe me when I say this: You have a different kind of strength inside you, the kind natured Hufflepuff loyalty and heartedness. One that is different from the Ravenclaw intelligence, the Gryffindor courage, or the Slytherin cunningness, but equally as important. You cannot see this strength inside yourself yet, but your capacity for love and kindness will soon change your fate and you will do great things. Just give yourself time."
With that, Professor Dumbledore gave a confused Sophie a wink before walking away to his office, humming a tune to a song which she could not recognize.