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Chapter 2 : "Your daughter is a witch, Mrs. Bathory."
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A/N: Thanks to everyone who reviewed, feedback really means a lot. :) I like this chapter better than the other one, for some reason. :D I'd love to hear your opinion. Well, read on :)
I’m a witch. A witch. With power. I can do anything. I can make myself prettier. I can make my boobs bigger and my hair thicker. I can create as much money as I want. Hell, I don’t even need money – I’m a witch! I can make raspberries appear out of thin air and turn them sky blue and make them dance Macarena on flying tea cups circling around my head if I like.
“So what does this mean?” I asked.
“This means, Miss Bathory, that you have been accepted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.”
“But I never applied for such a school,” I noticed, choosing to ignore the title for now. The McGonagall person frowned, probably thinking I was an ungrateful little brat and wondering why on Earth did they accept me to their school in the first place.
“No witch or wizard has ever needed to apply for Hogwarts. If a child is born magical, then it is simply – accepted.”
“Oh okay,” I said. I better play nice, it could be that there was still a possibility that they refused me. I haven’t really asked for any of this, though, but if all it were true, I didn’t want to miss out.
“Of course, possession of magical powers comes with certain responsibilities, such as…”
…some thing and some stuff and some thing, that’s all I registered. Little blue raspberries were dancing can-can in my mind. In pretty little red dresses.
Wait a minute. This can’t be true. It’s too good. I’m probably having one of those dreams in which you’re completely aware of your surroundings and convinced that it’s all real, and it sucks when you wake up and realize that you can’t in fact fly or eat a frog made of chocolate or turn a glass into a bird with your magic wand.
I concentrated on growing little green fairy wings from my back. Well, if this is a lucid dream, I might as well have some fun.
“This might be a lot for you to take, dear,” I heard Medusa say gently. I took a quick look at him. He was smiling at me with reassurance, and his eyes were sincere. I glanced at my mum then. She was frowning in doubt.
This is so confusing. How can I be a witch? I was always nothing more than just… me. Ada. Myself. No more. Just a little black dot trying to find her way in this world. If this all is for real, then who am I now?
I shook my head. “This must be some kind of a mistake. It just can’t be true-”
“You are the direct descendants of Countess Elizabeth Bathory, correct?” McGonagall inquired of my mum.
“We could never determine that for sure,” my mum said. “Scripts, and old family trees were found, though none of them actually pointed out the direct line to her. Thankfully.”
“That means,I presume – that you are not even aware of the fact that your ancestor was one of the darkest sorceresses of the time?” McGonagall asked in a somewhat uncertain tone, as if it was just some common knowledge my family should be aware of. My mum shook her head to reassure her, horrified disbelief plain on her face.
This is so creepy. And exciting.
“Explaining this is going to be more difficult than I thought,” I heard Minerva McGonagall mutter. Professor Medusa laughed and gave her shoulder a friendly pat.
“Don’t worry yourself, Minnie! I’m sure that this young lady and her mother are eager to hear us out and are open-minded about the situation.”
“I never said-” the woman started in exasperation, then seemed to think better of it and rolled her eyes, muttering something under her breath. Medusa just laughed and clasped her shoulder with seemingly quite unrequited affection.
Hey wait – the way she rolled her eyes – it was just like the…
“You’re the cat!” I blurted. McGonagall’s head snapped in my direction – she had been facing to my mum the whole time so far – and I’m not sure, but I think I saw a glint of amused approval appear in her eyes.
So I’m slow and unaware of my supernatural ancestry. At least I'm observant!
“It’s a complicated form of transfiguration – the subject I teach at Hogwarts – but yes, I do have the ability to change my form into that of a cat. It’s called being an animagus,” she explained.
“Wow…” I whispered. “So if I enroll to your school, I’m going to learn how to turn myself into an animal?” I asked fervently. If I could turn myself into a fish or a dolphin, I could spend as much time as I wish in the beautiful, blue ocean – I only needed to get to the ocean first and then I could-
“No,” McGonagall replied sharply. A small part of my excitement just died. Not that I still didn’t have plenty. “Becoming an animagus is complicated beyond the grasp of a school student – and not a thing to be taken lightly. And to put it this way – there’s no ‘if’, Miss Bathory. You have lived the past sixteen years with no magical education whatsoever, which you do sorely require. That is not in question.”
“Oh,” I just said. Something told me that I didn’t want to get myself in McGonagall’s bad graces.
A silence was up, though I barely noticed it, emerged in my own thoughts. A witch?… Is this even possible?
“Well, now that we got that out of the way,” Medusa started in his cheerful way, “I suggest that we-”
“Wait a second,” my mum interrupted. Snuff’s head snapped in her direction. Whenever somebody changed their tone of voice from pleasant to reserved and somewhat cold, he turned to listen attentively. As if thinking, ‘it’s gonna be trouble and I sure as hell ain’t gonna miss it’. “This must be some kind of a joke, or a mistake – it just can’t be possible.”
Finally, somebody is voicing my thoughts, seeing as I was obviously unable to. Go mum! Just don’t spoil everything, please.
“And why can’t it, Mrs. Bathory?” Professor Medusa asked with a respectful smile. My mum took a deep breath.
“Because, sir, to me – witches and magic are things that function in supernatural themed movies and fantasy fiction, and in minds of psychopathic maniacs. And right now there’s two persons sitting on our sofa trying to convince us that my daughter is a witch? Forgive me if I’m a little skeptic.”
Did my mum just call Professor and McGonagall psychopathic maniacs?
“I am aware of how this might sound to you, Mrs. Bathory,” McGonagall said, frowning, “however-”
“Leave this to me, Minerva,” Professor said seriously. McGonagall complied, which surprised me a little – I didn’t think she’d conform with him so calmly. There was something about this guy that just beamed with positive energy – like everything would work out if only he took matters into his own hands, every problem would be solved by some wacky, unconventional way and everything would simply be alright. He gazed at my mum. “Mrs. Bathory, let me ask you a question – do you believe in magic?”
My mum glanced at me unsurely. “Well – I suppose I- no, I don’t,” she stammered.
“You don’t believe in magic of your daughter’s love when she hugs you when you feel depressed? In magic of your puppy’s delight when he rushes to greet you from the door? In magic of a cup of tea that will warm you in a chilly winter’s eve? In magic of a fresh, sunny Saturday morning – and that of a simple smile?” he said, demonstrating his last point.
Well, this was a mistake. My mum hates tea, winter and all that mushy stuff.
“I can’t stand tea,” she said with disgust. “And… those other things you mentioned…” She sighed. “I just meant that I don’t believe in magic that comes out by waving a wand or something.”
“Oh… you mean like this?” He whipped out a wooden stick from the pocket of his t-shirt and waved it in a complicated manner. Pink sparks flew. A cup of dark liquid appeared on the table in front of him. “Ah, I believe this is was what I had in mind.” He reached for the cup and took a sip. “Hmm. Too cold,” he mused chipperly.
This guy actually created a cup of dip brew coffee for himself, using a magic wand. That is so cool. If this is a dream, I never want to wake up.
My mum was staring at him in shock, her mouth hanging open. I saw the words ‘oh my God’ silently form on her lips. Even Snuff stared, his gaze never leaving this peculiar two individuals currently occupying the soft yellow sofa in the center of the room. Everything was still. Only my eyes were darting across the area, from McGonagall over Professor and his cup of coffee to my mum and the old-fashioned yellow clock on the wall above her. Why was everything in our living room yellow? I hated yellow.
Professor took his wand once again and pointed it at the bottom of the cup, mumbling a word I didn’t quite catch. The coffee began to steam.
Why am I even thinking about the excess of the color yellow in our living room when someone was warming his coffee with a mumbled word right in front of my face? What concerned me somewhat was that I didn’t find all this more strange.
“But… how?” my mum asked, her voice muffled with amazement.
“Magic,” Professor simply said. He took another sip of coffee. This time it appeared to be more to his liking, as he made a satisfied noise and leaned back on the sofa, enjoying himself. There was a silence.
“This is beyond my grasp. I just can’t comprehend the whole concept,” my mum finally spoke, shaking her head. “It’s too incredible.”
“We just saw it with our own eyes, mum,” I said quietly. Everyone turned their attention to me. The two professors smiled.
“I know I did, it’s just…” She sighed again. “And you’re telling me that Ada is going to obtain some sort of magical education starting this September?”
“No,” McGonagall said. “We are going to start on Monday. She already missed out the first five school years, and it is required that she is tutored in at least the basics of the subjects she will be taking with the other students.”
But that’s… that’s the day after tomorrow.
And tomorrow’s my birthday.
Oh my God.
“Tomorrow we will be taking her to London to buy the supplies she needs,” McGonagall said. It annoyed me slightly that she only spoke about me in third person, but I guess that’s just how people of her type do – don’t bother talking to a teenager because they won’t say anything important, clever or mature anyway.
I was going to prove her wrong. Some day.
“London? Can’t they be bought elsewhere, maybe a little closer to here?” my mum asked.
“They can, but it’s always the best possible stuff that’s found in Diagon Alley,” Professor Medusa explained. “Quite a birthday this is going to be, huh?” he added with quiet enthusiasm, winking at me.
“Diagon Alley… but… this is…” my mum began, but finished with another sigh and a shake of her head. “And how are we going to get to London? I don’t have money for the ticket, and I don’t intend to let my daughter fly a broomstick or whatever it is that you folks use for long distances,” she said with a sort of resigned desperation. She was accepting this better than I first thought, actually.
“No, nothing of the sort, Mrs. Bathory,” Professor Medusa said, putting the cup of coffee back on the table – he had taken another sip while my mum was talking. “We are going to use a Portkey.”
“Portkey? What’s that?” I said, feeling dumb.
“A Portkey is an object that has been enchanted to transport a person to a previously designed location,” McGonagall said. “It’s the most convenient form of transportation, seeing as you don’t have a chimney and can’t fly a broom yet-”
“And we really don’t think you’d thank us if we Apparated you there,” the Professor said with slight revulsion. I decided not to ask this time. The questions were just too numerous.
“So when will we go?” I asked. Well, one more wasn’t a big deal.
“Tomorrow at noon,” McGonagall replied. Tomorrow at noon?! What am I supposed to do until tomorrow at noon, die of curiosity?
I glanced at the Professor anxiously, and saw that he was rummaging through his bag. “We’ll just leave you this book, so you’d have something to entertain yourself with,” he said with a wink. I swear this guy reads my thoughts. I reached up to take the book. ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Wizarding World’, the title said. The words ‘Don’t Panic’ were printed in the bottom right corner of the cover in large, friendly letters. "Consider it an early birthday gift,” he said with a wink.
“Thanks,” I said, grinning. The next thing I wanted was just for them to leave so I could go upstairs to read the book without seeming rude. Or I could ask them more questions. But where to begin?
“Well, we should be off, shouldn’t we Minnie? There’s business to be taken care of,” the Professor said. My grin widened.
“Thank you,” I repeated, meaning to thank him for the book once again, but when I heard the words leave my mouth I realized I'd sounded so awe-struck. I blushed. The Professor just chuckled and eased himself from the sofa.
Snuff ran over to pester him. I might’ve guessed. He jumped up and down, his tongue lolling out from his toothy, smiling mouth. Professor Medusa was happy to bend down to play with him. I might’ve guessed that also.
“Snuff, come over here,” my mum said after a few seconds. He paid no attention.
“Snuff!” This time his head snapped up from playful attempts to bite Professor's hands and he walked up to my mum, wagging his tail reluctantly. She gave his head a stroke.
“I doubt that he’s fond of cats, am I right?” McGonagall asked, eyeing him suspiciously.
I gave a short laugh. “Not really,” I admitted. “He just tries to play with them. The cats usually aren’t thrilled by that though.”
“Oh,” she said, nodding. “Well, I won’t risk it.” Too bad. I kind of wanted to see her turn into a cat, as I missed the actual process the first time she transformed. Well, no matter – some day, I’ll be able to turn myself into an animal. I don’t care how hard it is.
“Well, have a nice day,” Professor said.
“You too,” my mum replied somewhat absentmindedly. McGonagall just nodded.
I showed them to the door. “Well, until tomorrow,” I said. They both smiled at me. And then I closed the door.
And then it might have all been only a dream, too good to be true. For a second, my heart pounded harder at the thought – but then I realized I was still holding the book in my hands.
‘Don’t Panic,’ it said.
I turned to lock the door.
“So…” my mum started.
I did both the top and the bottom lock. Twice.
“So,” I agreed, turning back to her. She had a hesitant smile on her face, which matched my own.
“What have we gotten ourselves into?”
A/N: Well, there it is! :) I hope I didn’t make McGonagall too stuck up, I really love her as a character. Also, do you think this is going too slow? I didn’t wanna rush things but maybe I’m dragging it out a bit too much. I also didn’t wanna make it begin at the Platform where everyone’s waiting for the train just like most Marauder/OFC stories do – not that there’s anything wrong with those stories, I just thought I’d try something a bit more elaborate this time.
The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy belongs to the wonderful Douglas Adams, of course.
Please review and let me know what you think so far :)
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