Disclaimer: I am not J. K. Rowling. No, really, I’m not her. As hard as it might be to believe, I’m really not a multi-millionaire British writer posting on a site with fiction written by her fans about her own fantasy series. I don’t own Hogwarts, the Marauders, or anything you might recognize from her books. I don’t even know why I’m writing this as there’s clearly a disclaimer on this site, but oh well, you can never be too safe from a lawsuit :P
I’m Ada. An ordinary girl, of brown hair and brown eyes, an average figure and a mind that brought me a lot of trouble – common life, I suppose, except that it was nothing like that. We’ll see how things turn out in the end.
Well, let me tell you a little about myself. I’m fifteen years old, a cancer, love poetry, hugs, flowers and long walks on the beach in the moonlight – haha, just kidding, I’m not that corny. The fact is that I do in fact love all those things but that’s really not important to this story. Yet.
I’m considered a hopeless optimistic. If a giant meteor was discovered flying directly towards Earth and destroying everything on its path, I’d be the one saying, “Well, it might miss, right?” I wasn’t always like this. I used to be moody and depressed, seeing no light in my life and shadows behind every corner – the paranoia hasn’t worn off though, and I doubt it ever will. But dark thoughts vanished and I was able to see how life really was. Beautiful, full of positive emotion and worth living. Something in me changed – maybe it was because I finally let some things go.
But, this is not a story about my past issues, of which there’s more than enough – it’s a story about me, of how I grew as a person when I didn’t think I could grow anymore, of how I discovered love and freedom, and, I like to think, perhaps made some people’s lives a bit better. Maybe even my own. Maybe I wasn’t even living before all this happened, not truly – but, I’ll stop with the philosophy now and leave that for fate to decide.
My story begins on a sunny Saturday morning with a ring of a bell. Door bell, to be more precise. One long ring, one short, then two longs and five shorts and one long again, which lasted for a bit less than a quarter of eternity, I’d say.
Snuff, my nine months old puppy, started barking like crazy, and it made me think that outside was either one of those annoying little brats this neighborhood was full of, or a deaf person, or a person too eager for their own good, or a person who has never seen or heard a door bell in their life so they just couldn’t help but try out the amazing discovery no less than ten times.
I felt the corners of my lips twitch in an involuntarily wide smile at the thought. I didn’t want the person on the other side of the door to get the impression that I was a nice, polite sort of person, even though I was – don’t know why – so I just took a deep breath and thought of home. Thinking of home always made me feel melancholic, even if it was my desperate urging to move to another country that brought us to Ireland.
Melancholy wasn’t actually a lot better than nice and polite, but I couldn’t come up with sarcastic and derisive at such a short period of time. So, feeling a lot less perky than before, I went to the door and peered through the peephole.
I saw a black mountain peak. Not really, of course, but that’s what I was reminded of. So it was one of the little brats from down the street wearing a funny black hat and under the impression that our door bell’s only purpose of existence was for them to play with it. Great! Why, there’s the sharp smell of cynism starting to fill my brain right there.
I unlocked the top lock and swung the door wide open, ready to tell the kid off – and, to my surprise, saw an indefinitely short and stout man – not a dwarf, though, just very short – grin up at me, lifting his funny hat in greeting.
I stared. He was middle-aged, had a bag, and was dressed in washed out jeans and a t-shirt with little green parrot patterns. He also had a silver cat with him. Snuff froze in his spot and gazed at the cat, baring his barely grown teeth in a squeaky growl. The cat hissed threateningly. I blocked his way with my foot, just in case.
“Um… hello?” I said unsurely. Trust me, when a short weird-looking guy with a cat and a parrot themed t-shirt rings on your door bell – ten times at that – you find yourself just a bit in loss for words.
“Why hello, my dear! Young miss Bathory, I presume?” he said with a large smile, grabbing my hand and shaking it enthusiastically. I laughed a little. This guy was probably the universe’s idea of comic relief. But he said my name the right way – not like the word ‘battery’. At least he had some respect for the name of the sanity-challenged Hungarian Countess with a perverse attraction to blood of young maidens whose descendant he was standing before… right. I’m probably not even close to her on the family tree – maybe a great, great, great, great, great, great, and about twenty times more great grand daughter, or a cousin a few dozens of times removed – who knows? I hope. I sure as hell don’t want to be associated with anything mentally insane, perverse and vampiric – not that there’s anything wrong with that. Of course.
Well, back to present. My first impression of the little parrot guy was that he was an okay person, if maybe a little eccentric – and usually my first impressions of people are pretty accurate. I still wasn’t going to let him in, though – I wasn’t called paranoia queen for no reason.
“Yes… do I know you?” I asked out of sheer politeness – if I had met this man at any point in my life, I would have remembered him.
“No, my dear, but that’s about to change, haha! My name is Gregorius Medusa, but you can call me Professor Medusa,” he said, puffing his chest with obvious pride. I think I saw the cat roll its eyes from the corner of my eye, but I’m not sure. Is it even possible for cats to roll their eyes?
“Why would I want to call you Professor-” I started, and then it dawned on me.
A month ago or so, before we moved to Ireland, I had applied for several high schools. This Gregory Medusa person must be coming to inform me that I’m accepted to one of them. Yay! I wonder which school I got in. And why couldn’t they simply forward me a letter instead of sending me this one? Maybe they felt that I could do a great deal for their school, such as raise their popularity – as I’m definitely going places in life – so they just had to send someone to make me feel significant and desired. Yeah right, and I’m a vampire princess. Though that just might be possible, so who knows?
Okay, time to wake up and smell the dull, moldy smell of reality.
“So you’re a professor from my new school?” I asked, ever the one to point out the obvious. Medusa nodded vigorously and pushed his glasses up to his nose.
“Why yes I am! I am also the deputy headmaster and head of Ravenclaw house. Normally I teach Charms, but this year my duty required of me to fill the empty spot of the Defense against the Dark Arts, seeing as our last professor was tragically killed on his quest for dark wizards in the Pacific – the most heartbreaking incident, to be sure.” His tone went through a sudden change from enthusiastic and keen to grave – even sad, and his eyes were downcast and his expression solemn. But this wasn’t for real, he must’ve been joking – I mean, wizards? Dark arts? Killed? Which school was this, anyway?
“Uhh… I’m really sorry to hear that,” I began warily, “but what school did you say you represented?”
His head twitched upwards, eyes once again shining eagerly. “Why, the only school for our kind in whole United Kingdom-”
“But I we moved to Lisburn-”
“-and Republic of Ireland, my dear – and this is your first lesson – don’t interrupt your professors while they’re trying to explain something to you,” he reprimanded with quiet amusement glinting behind his glasses.
I felt myself blush. “Sorry,” I muttered. “But you still haven’t told me the name of the school.”
“And you still haven’t let me in your house. Trust me, if I meant you harm, I could’ve destroyed you at any point of your fifteen years, eleven months and twenty nine days. Such a short life time, when said that way – don’t you think?”
He cocked his head slightly to the right and gazed at me.
I shuddered. This guy was creepy. On the second thought, I’m not sure if I want to go to that school of yours. Especially with other professors getting themselves – what was it again? – tragically killed in the Pacific, while – searching for dark wizards. I think I’ll try and postpone the insanity a few more years, thank you very much.
“Ehh…” I stammered, thinking of how I should politely shut the door in his face, or just shut the door in his face. There was something in him, though, that awoken my curiosity (which never was an especially heavy sleeper) and I just felt the desire to give in and hear what else he had to say. As if reading my thoughts, the man gave me an encouraging smile.
“That’s right now. Would you let me in for a cup of instant coffee? I’ve been dying to try one ever since I heard about it.”
“Uh-huh,” I said, nodding my head, ever the wordy one. I slowly moved back to let him in. The cat went in first, followed by Professor Medusa and his bag.
“What a nice little house. I take it you are fond of the color yellow? What a lovely shade,” he mused, stroking the appalling wallpaper of the foyer with his middle finger. Because he didn’t have an index finger, I noticed with sudden dread.
“Uhh… you sit on the sofa, make yourself comfortable, I-I’ll just go get that cup of coffee for you,” I said, my voice an octave higher than usual. As he nodded absently, I hurried to the kitchen to bring him the blasted cup – and to calm my freaked out nerves a little. Snuff was glad to follow me – every time someone went to the kitchen made him positive that he was going to get a snack.
This guy doesn’t have an index finger, I pondered while popping a lime-flavored jelly chew in my mouth and getting a coffee pot from the sink. I don’t know why this bothered me so much, but my heart just started beating a little harder than normal at the sight. How the hell does one lose an index finger? Maybe he somehow managed to cut it of while using the lawn mower, or, or a bear bit it off or something of that sort, but something told me that Professor Medusa wasn’t the kind of guy who gets his index finger cut off while using the lawn mower. Or the kind of guy who mows his lawn, for that matter. I bet he had a special way of his own for keeping his lawn tidy.
I glanced down and noticed that the puppy was staring at me intently and had put on his best innocent act. You know, ears down, eyes sad and hopeful, and a look that says, ‘I have never eaten before in my life. Please feed me and I’ll be your best friend forever.’
“You’re not getting anything,” I snapped at him, but reached for the biscuit box anyway. One couldn’t hurt, couldn’t it?
I am so easy to manipulate.
As I was taking the coffee out of the drawer, and Snuff swallowing the chicken-flavored goodness down in two bites, I realized I wasn’t quite sure how to make coffee – yes, that’s right, one day away from being sixteen and I still didn’t know to make coffee. My mum had explained it to me a couple of times in my life, and I had managed to make it up until a few days after – my brain just never saw fit to remember the way for future needs. I guess it just thought there were more important things to remember than how to make coffee.
Boy, I sure wished I knew how to make coffee now.
And speaking of my mum, when the hell was she coming back from the Store? She went like fifteen minutes ago, and the Store was just down the street.
I peered from the kitchen entrance to the living room – the professor has indeed made himself comfortable on the sofa, and was currently rummaging through his bag – while his cat was sitting on a fluffy red pillow, obviously not enjoying itself – its ears were perked up and alert and eyes wide open. I knew an edgy cat when I saw one.
“Uhh, sorry Mr. Medusa but we’re all out of coffee,” I said, and hearing this he nearly shrunk in dismay and an expression of deep sadness and regret appeared on his face. I almost felt sorry for the guy, if the reason for his sudden depression wasn’t deprivation of one measly cup of coffee. “May I offer you some… uhh water instead?”
“No, no,” he said dejectedly, shaking his head, “that’s okay. I really had my eyes set on that cup of coffee – ah well, maybe some other time.”
“Okay then,” I replied, taking a seat on the chair across him. I waited a few seconds for him to speak, but when he just continued to observe the ceiling and the walls and all the other ehh… incredibly interesting things in the house, I just couldn’t take it any longer.
“So, about the school you mentioned-” I began, but at that moment the door swung open (making me realize that I forgot to re-lock them, the idiot. I guess I was just distracted by this guy’s appearance and act, which I’m sure no one would blame me for, but still. Idiot), and revealed my mum standing on the entrance, with approximately six shopping bags in her hands. I noticed the outlines of bananas in one, and my favourite strawberry ice cream in another. The rest weren’t as exciting. Snuff ran to greet her.
“Hey Ada, I’m back – hey, little guy – the Store was closed for inventory so I had to go all the way to the Market. Uhh… who are you?” my mum said, closing the door behind her with her foot. Normally I’d hurry up to lock it, since her hands were full, but I was distracted by a sudden change in air to my left. On the spot where the cat was tensely resting not two moments ago, a woman with stern eyes and graying black hair drawn into a tight bun was sitting in her place, looking at my mum.
“This is Gregorius Medusa, the deputy headmaster, and my name is Minerva McGonagall, Mrs. Bathory. We are here to help with the essential things your daughter will require for the beginning of school year.”
Where the hell did she appear from? His bag?!
“But we applied Ada for different high schools, and… you’re the first one to contact us,” my mum started, “we kind of wanted to consider some other schools that have accepted her before we make the final decision.”
“Oh, my dears, you will not want to choose any other school,” Medusa said dreamily. “For your daughter, this is the best possible school there is, have no fear on that matter. Ada, my child – you don’t even know what awaits you! The adventures, the magic-”
“Your daughter is a witch, Mrs. Bathory,” McGonagall cut off. “There will be no other schools for her except for Hogwarts.”
Your daughter. A witch.
The simple logic of that sentence made my heart skip a beat and my mind cease performing its usual activities to pose a question.
I’m a what?!
A/N: Hi guys! :] Hope you enjoyed reading the first chapter! I’ll try to update as soon as possible.
By the way, this story might not exactly be… well… canon. I’ll try to make it as canon as possible, I guess, but at some points that just won’t be an option, or I won’t want to. :P And trust me, I really don’t care if United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland weren’t called that back way in 70s, or if color is spelled colour in the UK or the other way around (I never got the hang of that :S), or if 16th of July in 1976 wasn’t Saturday or any other insignificant technicality – this is written purely for fun, and it’s supposed to be read for the same reason. If, though, you do spot a blooper and feel that you just won’t be able to sleep tonight if you don’t inform me about it – do so, and I’ll try my best to correct it, unless, of course, I don’t want to or don’t find a way to do it without messing up the storyline. :)
Oh, and something else, before I finish this never-ending story of eternity of an author’s note :P – please, please, please review! It would really mean a lot to me. Other authors know the feeling, so don’t you just want to shower me with compliments and constructive criticism and make my day? ^^ Even if you’re not an author, you still know you want to! ;) C’mon… it’ll make you feel all good inside ;]
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