Chapter 1 : Prologue
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October 31st/November 1st, 1981. 3:19 AM.
"Michelle! Children! Wake up!" came my father's voice from the entryway.
I opened my eyes, my small fists rubbing them tiredly. It was early in the morning- still dark in the bedroom I shared with my sister. Why would daddy be waking us up so early?
I heard mama running around her room, and grabbing Lucas from his cot. My sister looked at me with wide eyes, we both got out of bed and followed mama and Lucas downstairs, where our other brother Patrick and my daddy were waiting.
Daddy was beaming, though he looked tired. He rushed to mama and gave her a big hug, then gave one to each of us.
"Christopher, what on Earth is going on with you?" mama asked, looking tired and somewhat mad at him.
"It's over Michelle. He's dead!" daddy cried, swinging mama around after she put Lucas down on one of the chairs.
Mama looked at daddy with a strange look, like she didn't believe him. Instead of cheering or whatever it was daddy wanted her to do, she started laughing at him.
"Chris, that's impossible, he can't be dead. No one can kill him!" mama replied. "Now what is the matter?"
"No, Michelle, he's really dead! Albus just sent us the message. We won Michelle, we really won."
Or so we thought.
"Mummy, what's going on? Where's daddy?" Andrea asked.
It was only a few weeks after the news of the bad man's defeat had reached everyone in the world's ears. Mama had been acting strangely since the man with the long beard left our house. She'd been on the Muggle telephone for hours talking to someone in a different country, and then talking to her parents and siblings. She wouldn't talk to us unless she wanted to make sure we were okay.
And daddy wasn't home yet. It was after eight o'clock; he normally got home from Diagon Alley at six or six-thirty. We were worried, even Lucas knew something was wrong, and he was only three.
Mama blinked and looked at Andrea, as if to be sure she heard my sister right. "Oh, nothing darling. Daddy's just busy right now. He's just tied up at work…"
But we weren't that stupid. We knew something was wrong, and we didn't hesitate to ask our grandparents when they came over when mum left.
Mum's parents are Muggles, and so is mum. They didn't have a full concept of what had been happening in the Wizarding world at the time, but we all assumed mama had told them everything that was wrong.
"Grandmamma, what's wrong with dad?" Patrick asked our grandmother when she settled us down to play a game before bed.
Patrick had been selected to ask grandmamma what was wrong because he was the oldest, and grandmamma would be more willing to tell him than tell Andrea or I. At least, that's what we thought.
"Oh, you know how your father works late sometimes without telling your mother and she rushes off to try and find that Alley," Grandmamma chuckled while patting his head.
Patrick frowned at the woman and shook his head. "I know something is wrong. Why won't you tell us?"
Andrea and I both looked at Patrick with surprised expressions. He was only seven- why was he being so mean to grandmamma?
Our grandmamma sighed and looked at him. "Always the smart-mouth with you isn't it? Patrick, I am not going to tell you what happened."
Sure, she said that. But she didn't mean it. When grandpa put us to bed that night, she let Patrick stay up late.
"Vicky, Vicky wake up!" he whispered in my ear. "I know where mum and dad are!"
Patrick is the only one to get away with calling me 'Vicky'. Everyone else calls me 'Vic' or 'Tori', if not my full name, Victoria.
I opened my eyes quickly and stared at him while he woke Andrea, who climbed onto my bed with me so he could tell us together.
"Dad was hurt by the bad people. He's in the hospital. That's where mum is- she's visiting him."
"Why wouldn't mama tell us that?" I asked.
"Because she didn't want to scare us."
"But it is scary Patrick. What's going to happen to us?"
"We're going to be okay. The Ministry's got the guys who attacked dad."
My father was in St. Mungo's for three weeks, and during that time, my mother came up with a dramatic decision- move to Australia, and tell no one where we were, at least until everything settled down in England. So we did. But it wasn't an easy road getting there.
"I don't want to move to Australia! You promised me I would go to Hogwarts!" Patrick had yelled after mama told us we were leaving England.
Andrea and I weren't too happy either, after all, mama and daddy had promised us the same thing. It was a tradition in daddy's family to go to Hogwarts. Daddy had gone to Hogwarts, and so had his daddy and his siblings. It wasn't fair that we couldn't go.
"Patrick Christopher Caswell! Don't you talk to your mother that way! We are moving to Australia so we are safe!" Daddy replied, giving Patrick the look that we were all fearful of.
Patrick glared at daddy and slumped down in his seat. Mama and daddy turned to Andrea and I.
"What do you girls think?"
What did we think? It didn't matter what we thought did it? Mama and daddy had already sold the house and bought the new one in Australia. It's not like it wasn't going to happen just because Andrea and I didn't like it.
So all we did was cross our arms and glare at our parents. Mama sighed, realizing that no one liked the idea of moving so far away.
"I know it'll be tough, children, but we're going to be safe. You like going on adventures, right?" Mama said, trying to cheer us up. "It's a new start. You will be the first generation to go to the Sydney Harbour School of Magic! You will start a new tradition in this family!"
The thought of having a new tradition sounded interesting, but it just wouldn't be the same. We knew that our uncles and aunts were going to have children if they didn't already, and that those kids would be going to Hogwarts if they turned out to be magical. It just wasn't fair that we had to be the ones to go all the way to Australia because of our Muggle mother. But we didn't have a choice.
The Caswell children were going to the Sydney Harbour School of Magic, whether they wanted to or not.