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Since the very beginning, I’d known that the bond Cass and I shared was way different than any of the other bonds other mothers and daughters had. We were more than just a mother and a daughter, we were best friends. Even more than that, there was just this unspeakable bond between us that was so strong that it was unbreakable—impossible to destroy.
Cass has always been one of the few strongest, bravest people that I know. She’s an Auror, and she still makes time for me in her life (maybe it’s because Aurors aren’t needed very much now that Lord Voldemort’s gone). But, nevertheless, Cass had a busy schedule and she makes it her top priority to make me number one and just be there for me. I honestly have no idea how the woman does it.
I’ve always admired Cass for her hard work, dedication, and just her as a person. My mother is definitely hero worthy. She’s punctual, she’s courteous (even to those who don’t deserve it), respectful, loving, dedicated, hardworking...amazing. She’s just absolutely amazing.
I used to think she used to let people push her around, but then when Lucius Malfoy gave me some trouble when she took me to the Ministry to work with her when I was nine, she became vicious and protective of me and it was she who walked over him. It was then that I found out that Cass was actually the most well respected person in the wizarding world all together. A single mother raising a daughter all on her own after her family disowned her had become an Auror after being a Hit Wizard for a few short years of her magical law enforcement career.
My mother was the most amazing person ever. People often looked down at me and saw how plain and simple and un-extraordinary I was and wondered where my mother went wrong. How could someone as amazing as Cass have a daughter as boring and un-unique as me? Was I just genetically mutated, or something? I had often wondered myself.
But no, none of that was it. I was just different from Cass. I was quiet and reserved. I had had trust issues ever since I was a child. I kept to myself a lot of the time, so I didn’t really have much of a social life. I spent my time reading books than going out for social activities at school—like clubs or Quidditch. I only had four good friends in my life; Cass, Discordia, Mimi and my cousin Oliver. But I even pushed them away.
I wanted to change—for their sakes and my own—but I couldn’t. My trust issues were too deep to try and solve; my mother’s family had disowned her and left us both alone to survive. Discordia had done nothing to try and help us except send money for my birthday and the holidays for me to save up and use well. Did she really think that had made anything easier on me?
My father had left when I was a baby, leaving Cass and I all alone to fend for ourselves. Cass had defended him constantly, but I honestly saw no reason for me to sympathize. He was gone, he never sent a letter, didn’t want anything to do with us—just like her stupid brothers and sisters. That certainly wasn’t helping with my issues...
Now, standing on the platform in front of the familiar gleaming scarlet train, I could feel the bubble of panic rising within me. Though there were moments when I couldn’t stand Cass, I still loved her. Mothers and daughters fight, and best friends certainly do, but they get over it. The thought of leaving Cass for another year was depressing. What would I do without her by my side?
True, I’d done it three years before, but this was different. My epilepsy attacks were getting worse and it was becoming harder to pull myself out of them. They just happened at the most random of moments and I just couldn’t break myself out of the fits. But Cass insisted I go. At first, she was reluctant, but then she got that creepy letter from the weird owl and she’d been different ever since. She was getting...distant.
“Are you sure you want to go?” Cass said suddenly, pulling me out of my thoughts. I looked at her as if she were crazy—first, she said I could stay home, then, she said I absolutely had to go, and now, she was saying I could stay home? Merlin, I think I’m getting whiplash with all her back and forth decisions! But, looking at Cass, she looked caught between the most important decision of her life—though I don’t really see how me going to Hogwarts is that big of a decision...
“Cass!” I groaned. “Make up your mind! Either you want me here, or you don’t.” I said firmly. Personally, I think it was a little late to turn back and go home now.
She sighed and shook her head. “You’re right, you’re right,” she mumbled, wrapping her arms around my shoulders and hugging me. “But I guess I won’t really have to worry about you...” she said, drifting away and breaking off from whatever she was saying.
I frowned and looked up at her. “What do you mean?” I asked, cocking my head to the side to look at her.
Cass smiled. “You’ll see, I promise.” She said with a wink. Just as the warning whistle blew loudly throughout the platform, someone shouted my name. I looked up, Mimi was standing by the door and waving at me.
“Bye!” I said to Cass before giving her a quick kiss on the cheek and running towards Mimi. She grabbed my hand and pulled me through the door with ease. Stepping away from the door, she pulled me into the corridor and gave me a quick hug, which I gladly returned. I hadn’t seen Mimi in forever! Or, that’s what it felt like to me.
“How’ve you been?” she asked. “I got the Daily Prophet over the summer. There was that attack at the Quidditch World Cup!” she exclaimed. “Are you all right?” she asked.
I nodded. “I got that one too,” I said. “It’s not me you should be asking that. It’s Cass; she’s the one who went. She made me stay home.” I frowned. We’d had tickets for a quality time weekend, but then Cass told me that it was probably better that I stay home. She went alone and the next thing I knew, I got a call from her telling me that there had been an attack by Death Eaters and she had to stay a little longer to help clean up the mess.
Mimi nodded, a solemn look on her face—an expression you ever so rarely saw and my best friend. And then she smiled and became my happy-go-lucky, troublemaking best friend. “Come on, you’ve still got to tell me all about your summer,” she said, grabbing my wrist and undoubtedly pulling me towards the compartment she had found.
The epilepsies are getting worse. I don’t know what I’m going to do now. I almost had a fit while Mimi was off on her search for the lunch trolley (and possibly to hear some good gossip). I’m scared. What if I suddenly burst into a seizure during classes for no apparent reason? They’re coming without warning now, at the most random of times. The tiniest of things can trigger them.
What’s going to happen when people find out that I have seizures? I’ll be labeled a freak; I’ll be worse off than I already was. They’ll all stare at me as if I’m a mutant. I don’t want that. Treatments don’t work; my potions just barely keep everything under control. What if they get worse?
Dearest diary, I am afraid. For both my sake, my family’s sake, and my best friends’ sakes...there’s something wrong with me, but I don’t have the heart to tell any of them. I really shouldn’t have them worry. But I want them to be prepared in case something unspeakable happens. There’s a heavy feeling of dread in my heart, I just know something is going to go wrong with me...
I closed my diary with shaky hands and stared at the leather bound cover of the book that held a lifetime of secrets and stories of all the adventures Mimi, Cass and I had shared. This book with its pale gold parchment pages was the story of my life. It recounted events that I didn’t bother keeping stored in my memory.
Flipping it open to the beginning, I started reading my entries from day one. Every day seemed to be accounted for in this one silly little journal, along with every thought and secret I didn’t even share with Mimi or Cass or Oliver (then again, Oliver probably wouldn’t care)—the three people who meant the most to me.
I was up to about the third or fourth entry (when I say that I wrote about everything, I wrote about everything) when someone knocked on the compartment door. Looking up, I quickly closed the book and stared at an all too familiar shaggy, chestnut haired boy leaned against the doorframe of the compartment, a grin on his face.
“Long time no see, Allie.” He said, flipping his hair out of his eyes to reveal the usual Van Allen trait of blue eyes (but mine were a mix of green and brown and silver--which was odd, seeing as how every Van Allen I've ever known or heard of has blue eyes).
“Ollie!” I cried happily, jumping up from my seat and tossing my diary aside before running to him and hugging him tight.
Oliver was one of my many cousins (I had quite a few). But he wasn’t the only one that actually liked me; there was Nikki, the third year Hufflepuff, Jojo, the second year Gryffindor, Joey, the sixth year Ravenclaw, and Rosie, the third year Gryffindor. So, there were a few that I talked to—Rosie and Jojo—because they were in Gryffindor, but it was Oliver I still somehow managed to talk to the most, and he was a fourth year Ravenclaw.
I pulled him down into the seat beside me, unable to keep myself from grinning. “You’ve got to tell me all about your summer. Don’t lie to me, because I know you went. So what was the Quidditch World Cup like? Keep in mind that I will know if you lie to me.” I said firmly.
He laughed and shook his head, his brown hair flopping all around. “Easy, tiger,” he said, ruffling my hair as if I were a child. I grunted. Just because he was “smarter” than me, doesn’t mean he was older. Sheesh...“The World Cup was pretty interesting. Ireland won. Krum broke his nose...he also caught the snitch.” Oliver said.
I nodded. “What was the whole ordeal with the Death Eaters like? Did you see Cass?” I asked.
“Funny story,” Oliver said with a silly grin on his face. “I was actually running into the woods like everyone else was doing and I literally ran into Cass.” I cringed at the thought of actually hitting Cass. He laughed and nodded. “You have no idea. It was really awkward...at least for me. But she just smiled and ruffled my hair and ran off.”
“Sounds like Cass.” I said with a smile. Cass never liked the awkwardness, but she just put on a smile and pretended everything was peachy because she knew everything would get better in the end. “But is that seriously all you did for the summer? Run away from near death experiences?” I asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Er...there were others.” He said.
“Lemme guess,” I said, rolling my eyes and leaning back in my seat, twisting around so my back was pressed against the window and propped my legs over his, “your mother?” I questioned, crossing my arms over my chest and raising an eyebrow.
“Bingo.” Oliver nodded.
Suddenly, the compartment door burst open and Mimi stood there, a huge pile of sweets and unhealthy junk food piled up high in her arms. “I COME BEARING SUGAR!” she exclaimed loudly and proudly as she trotted happily into the compartment, dropping everything onto the floor.
I gaped at the pile. “How do you manage to get so much money every year?” I demanded. For an orphan, Mimi was filthy rich with wizard money at Gringotts. And her vault just kept increasing every year. It was amazing. But, of course, I was richer than her (not that I’m bragging).
Mimi rolled her eyes and opened her mouth to say something, but her blue eyes landed on Oliver and she was completely shocked into silence—which hardly ever happened with Mimi. She always had something to say.
And then, she squealed with joy and threw herself at Oliver, hugging him so tight that he actually started to turn a little blue from lack of oxygen. “OLLIE!” she cried jovially. “IT’S BEEN SO LONG! What did you do this summer? How are you? Why are you blue?” she asked, looking up at him, still hugging him.
“Mimi, let him go.” I said, grabbing her wrists and carefully prying him off of her and pulling her back. “He was blue because he couldn’t breathe.” I said slowly, as if speaking to a two year old—which was how I usually had to talk around Mimi.
She glared at me before turning back to Oliver, a silly grin on his face. She opened her mouth, but Oliver beat her to the punch.
“The World Cup was pretty good, up until the part where the Death Eaters attacked. I also learned that there is a huge possibility that my mother has it out for me.” Oliver said.
“Did you learn Occlumency too?” Mimi cried, her eyes wide.
Oliver chuckled. “No, I just know you too well.” He replied.
“Let’s talk and eat. I need a sugar rush.” I said, grabbing the first familiar little box I saw. I grinned deviously at Mimi and Oliver. “First one to grab it gets to eat it!” I said. They grinned back. “One...two...THREE!” I cried before letting the chocolate frog loose in our compartment, where it immediately began croaking and bouncing all around while we tried to grab it unsuccessfully, laughing and shrieking as we did so.
It was times like this that I loved having friends so understanding as Oliver and Mimi. I honestly don’t know what I would do without them.
“MIMI!” I screamed as she pushed me out of the carriage. Of course, with my poor balance and coordination skills, I slipped on a rock and fell—face first, might I add—into a huge mud puddle.
You know, sometimes your best friends are awesome and it’s almost impossible to find ways to hate them, but then they do something cruel and pointless (like pushing you out of a horseless drawn carriage and into a puddle of mud) only to make you hate them and make you want to strangle them and come up with crackpot theories about them being Satan in the form of an innocent teenage girl...
But I had the weirdest hunch that Mimi was definitely Satan.
I almost didn’t hear Mimi snickering over the pouring rain splashing against the ground at our feet. “Sorry, darling dearest,” she said as she waved her wand (cleaning off all the mud) before pocketing it and hooking her arm through mine. “But I just couldn’t resist.” She said as we followed our peers through the doors of Hogwarts and stood in the entrance hall, both of us struggling to keep our balance as we stood on the huge puddle that was the floor of said hall.
“I hope you rot in—”
“DUCK!” Oliver shouted, running (or, rather, slipping and sliding and trying not to fall) towards us and knocking us down to the ground just as a water balloon splashed against the spot where Mimi and I had been previously standing.
Peeves, the school’s poltergeist, swore loudly and cursed Oliver before flying around above us and cackling, tossing water balloons here and there at other students.
The three of us pushed ourselves to our feet and Mimi and I wrung out our hair.
“Well...” an all too familiar voice said from behind. “That was quite the sight,” she said.
Like always, people looked past me and started whispering. Some of them were as inconspicuous as to gap, opening and closing their mouths like fish. Mimi and Oliver shared a look with each other before looking at me and then behind me.
Slowly, I turned around, expecting it all to be some kind of dream—or a really sick, twisted prank—only to come face to face with Cass, in all her amazing glory. Her dark hair looked the same as it did this morning, if not a little neater. She had changed clothes and she looked way more business-like than she normally did when she left for work...
She just looked like Cass.
Normally, I would force myself to forget about her until I was in the common room—or hiding out in Moaning Myrtles bathroom—and then I would cry. Cass was one of the few people who were such a huge part of my life; she was my mother. She had been there since the beginning, and I would always need her for something, even if it was just to give me a hug. Call me a baby, but I loved my mummy.
Without a care in the world, I ran towards her—well, slipped and slid—and right into her arms; her warm, motherly embrace was comforting. I felt ten times better already knowing that Cass was here. Why she was here still had yet to hit me. “What are you doing here?” I said, looking up at her.
Cass grinned and winked slyly. “You’ll see,” she said. “Come on, let’s go inside.” She said, wrapping an arm around my shoulders and walking alongside me into the Great Hall. “How was the train ride?” she asked casually as we walked inside. I could hear some of the others whispering behind me, some of them braving it up to follow after us, but I could only focus on Cass. My life was now complete.
“It was long...and somewhat boring.” I admitted with a grin. Cass was here at Hogwarts; she was experiencing it with me. Now how many kids get to say that? Sure, it’s a bit weird going up to someone and saying, “Yeah, well, my mum showed up to Hogwarts on the first night back,” but Cass wasn’t like other mother’s. She was Cass, my best friend.
“Did you play Catch the Chocolate Frog again?” she asked.
“Six times,” I grinned proudly as Mimi and Oliver caught up to us. “I won four times.” I said proudly.
“I won twice!” Mimi added triumphantly, a silly grin on her face.
Cass laughed and hugged me close to her. I smiled and wrapped my arms around her waist, hugging her tight as we continued walking towards the Gryffindor table. Mimi and Oliver departed to head to their own tables, leaving Cass and I alone.
It wasn’t until we were sitting down did I pop the question. “Why are you here?” I honestly hadn’t meant for it to be so blunt and to the point. It just sort of...popped out.
Cass laughed again, the sound melodious and like wind chimes clinging together in the wind. “So blunt, just like your father.” She said, ruffling my hair.
“You’re pretty to the point yourself,” I said.
“I am, aren’t I?” she said, looking rather proud of herself. I rolled my eyes at her, she laughed. “You’ll find out soon enough,” she said as people started sitting themselves down at their proper tables, all of them continuing to cast a glance over at me and Cass. We ignored them and got lost in our own little world.
“Ah, Cassandra,” Dumbledore’s familiar voice called out happily. Cass and I—and everyone else—turned to the entrance of the Great Hall, where Dumbledore was approaching our table.
“Professor Dumbledore!” Cass said brightly, getting to her feet and shaking the headmaster’s hand when he got close enough.
“It’s good to see you again, my dear,” Dumbledore said with a smile, his blue eyes twinkling behind his half moon shaped spectacles. “I trust you’re doing well?” he said, clasping his hands behind his back.
Cass smiled and nodded. “Of course,” she replied. “Thank you so much for having me here.” She said.
Dumbledore nodded. “It is my pleasure,” he said with a courteous bow. “Miss Van Allen, good to see you again,” he said, nodding towards me.
I nodded. “Likewise, Professor,” I replied politely, feeling a little nervous and jittery at all the attention.
Dumbledore smiled and turned back to Cass. “I came over to ask if you would rather prefer to sit here with your following Gryffindors or with the staff at the staff table.” He said.
“I’ll sit here, if that’s all right with you.” Cass replied.
Dumbledore nodded. “It’s quite all right with me,” he replied. “But your mother,” he said quietly, “is a whole other story.” He said before chuckling.
Cass cringed. I gasped. And then all hell broke loose when Discordia came bursting through the Great Hall in all her glory.
A/N: Well, there’s the official first chapter. I kind of rushed near the end, but other than that, I think I did pretty darn well. I hope everyone who reads this liked it and leaves a review. Thanks and have a happy summer!!