Chapter 1 : The Lady in Green
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There's a little voice inside my head.
Sometimes it tells me right from wrong, and sometimes it sits back and lets me make my own mistakes.
Either way, I often choose to ignore it.
I'm not crazy, not at all. There's nothing wrong with ignoring a conscience. A conscience does nothing more than bring you pain, even if you’ve done nothing wrong to begin with.
I'm not worried about the wellbeing of my soul. I've done everything right, and despite what the little voice says, I know I've never been in the wrong.
I'll tell you my tale, and break the Statute of Secrecy, simply because I know you won't believe me.
You don't have to believe me to make your own judgments.
When I was thirteen and Lily eleven, we were as tight as two peas in a pod. She was my best friend and I was hers.
If you were to ask me about that day, I could tell you that the sunflowers growing in our yard were 3 feet tall, I could tell you that there were exactly five green tomatoes on the tomato vine that had once been a school project, and I could tell you that 15 year old Justin Smith next door was wearing a dark green shirt.
I could not, however, begin to describe the cat which was so precariously perched atop a rather small upturned flower pot. I don’t know the color of its fur, or of its eyes for that matter. I don’t remember how big it was or if it had short or long hair. I don’t even remember Lily’s face when she exclaimed “Oh, look at that kitty!”
All I can remember is an utter dislike of that cat. It was unnatural; the way it sat up so straight, the way it turned it’s head to look at us, the way it seemed to be calculating our every move. I did not like that cat.
Lily rushed to pet it.
“No!” I exclaimed, putting my arm in front of her. “Are you crazy?! It’s probably diseased.”
“Petunia…” Lily started, “Look at it. It seems perfectly healthy to me. Look at its fur; it seems so soft. You know you want to pet it.” She said with a smirk.
“I do not,” I replied heatedly. “It looks disgusting.”
I turned to the cat. “Go on, shoo, no one wants you here. Go away, go on.” The cat’s ears twitched ever so slightly, but it did not stop its unblinking stare. I sighed, went to the garden shed and picked up a broom. I immediately began to make sweeping motions in front of the cat.
“C’mon kitty, this isn’t your house, go beg for your milk elsewhere.” I said, sweeping the broom closer and closer to the flower pot. Finally, the bottom bristles of the broom touched the tip of its tail. I swear it had the most disgusted look on its face as it turned from staring at Lily to me.
The cat stretched out, and with a final annoyed look in my direction, stalked off down the driveway.
“Petunia, you didn’t have to do that! The poor cat wasn’t bothering anyone. It’s not a crime to sit there!” Lily exclaimed, shaking her head.
“It was annoying, and,” I paused as my mind scrambled to find a worthy excuse. “It was standing in front of the door.” I shrugged. “I didn’t want to hit it with the door.” I added, starting to feel slightly uncomfortable.
Lily continued to stare at me with her usual penetrating green eyed stare, which was just as unblinking as the cat’s had been. I shifted from first one foot to the other uncomfortably before breaking down.
I mumbled. “I’ll put a bowl of milk out. Maybe it’ll come back…” Heaving a sigh, I looked back at Lily. She nodded, stepped over the flower pot and went inside to get milk and a small saucer.
After dinner, the family used to always sit in the living room together. We all had our separate activities, but sitting together was all the family time we needed. That evening was no different. Dad was sitting in his chair by the open window, reading the paper and smoking a cigarette, Mum was sitting at the corner table writing a letter to Aunt Betsy, and Lily and I were seated on the couch, poring over that week’s magazine.
I was oblivious to the fact that the events of that night would change my world forever.
At seven-thirty the doorbell rang. None of us got up as we each expected someone else to get the door. The doorbell rang again. We all looked at each other, trying to see if any of the others were going to get up. As it seemed no one else was about to, I muttered something faintly about my lazy family and trudged to the door.
There was a tall thin lady with vaguely familiar square eyeglasses standing on the doorstep. Her hair was bound tightly in a small black knot at the top of her head and she was wearing a long dark green skirt, white blouse, and matching short green jacket. She looked incredibly old fashioned and severe. The woman gave me a sharp glance and her mouth immediately formed into a thin line. For whatever reason, she did not seem to like me much.
“Might I speak to Mr. and Mrs. Evans, please?” she asked dryly.
“Of course,” I nodded slightly, “Won’t you come in for a minute?”
The woman stepped inside. I couldn’t help but notice how her posture was incredibly straight. She seemed to loom over me in the hallway.
“I…” I paused, unable to think properly around her. “Follow me.” As I led her into the living room, my mind struggled to function properly, but something about this woman’s aura prevented me. “Mum, Dad, this is…this is…” The lady cut me off.
“Minerva McGonagall, it’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Evans, Mrs. Evans, and I assume that one of you girls is Lily?” she said, tilting her head in the direction Lily and I were in. Lily seemed to be the only one unfazed by this woman’s…presence.
“I’m Lily,” My sister said, stepping forward with her hand outstretched. “It’s a pleasure to meet you. Won’t you have a seat?” There was an awkward silence as the older woman settled her skirts around her on the sofa. Lily turned to our mother. “Mum, perhaps you could bring out some tea?” she asked uncertainly. My mother gave a vague nod and went into the kitchen. I sank down onto the couch next to Lily.
“I have something for you, Lily.” Ms. McGonagall reached into her jacket and out of nowhere pulled out a letter. She handed it to Lily. As she ripped open the envelope and placed it aside, I couldn’t help but catch a glimpse of the return address. My first impression was that it was some sort of joke. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry? It seemed so far fetched. Apparently my father thought the same.
“You can’t seriously expect us to believe that, can you?” He asked, incredulously.
Ms. McGonagall gave him a sharp look and opened her mouth to retort when Lily responded first. “No Dad,” She started with an awed tone of voice. “I think…” Her fingers traced the long swirling letters on the page. “I think this is the real thing. Ms. McGonagall, where could I ever get these supplies?”
Dad and I looked at each other over Lily’s head. There was no way she could seriously consider that all of this was real.
“What-?” I began, before my mother burst into the room carrying our silver tea set on a tray. She placed it upon the table before looking at Ms. McGonagall with a cordial expression. “So what brings you here, Ms. McGonagall?”
The older woman looked up at her with a dry smile on her face. “I’m here to inform you that your daughter is a witch, and she’s just been accepted to the best wizarding school in Britain.”
My mother looked confused for a minute before fainting right on the spot.
A/N: So what do you all think? Please leave a review, I'd like to know what you all thought of this, or if there's anywhere I could improve. Thanks!
A/N 2: As of today, 1/25/08, I’ve revised chapter one. The story in essentials is the same, but I’ve made a few edits here and there in order to make the story move more fluidly. Please, if you see any mistakes I’ve made, don’t hesitate to leave a review and tell me. The feedback is always greatly appreciated. Thank you!