The seat of the swing set creaked as the wind blew it back and forth. The trees made a rustling sound and the birds chirped as the sun rose above from behind the houses.
Grace had been sitting on the highest branch of the tallest tree watching the sun slowly come up, just like she had done for as long as she could remember on her other birthdays. But just like every other year, she didn't see it as her birthday; she just saw it as a number that changed every 365 days. What was the point in her having a birthday if she had no one to celebrate it with?
The orphanage didn't celebrate birthdays, the children usually don't remember celebrations of birthdays at such a young age and by the time they were old enough to remember, they had already been adopted and were able to celebrate it with their family. Grace was the oldest by far compared to the other orphans. Families would come and go to see her but wouldn't adopt her because she was at an age where she was too old to be adopted. Parents wanted to see their child grow up, not be already grown.
Eleven; The number she was turning today. Grace scoffed as she thought about the fact that she'll be here until she becomes of age. No one wanted her when she arrived at the orphanage at the age of six and they certainly didn’t want her now.
Her thoughts were interrupted as she noticed a black owl was flying towards her at a great speed. Thinking it was going to attack her, she put her arms above her head for protection. But after a while, she noticed she hadn't been attacked. Withdrawing her arms and looking around with caution she spotted nothing until she jumped with fright when seeing the owl sitting beside her hooting happily with what looked like an envelope in its mouth. The owl then carefully placed the envelope into her lap and flew away into the distance. Grace picked up the envelope and turned it over to read the front. It was certainly address to her but in the corner was a crest that she did not recognise. She couldn't believe her eyes when the crest read 'Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry' and the letter inside it revealing she had been accepted into this school known as 'Hogwarts' having been registered at birth automatically.
Was what she was reading real? Was she actually a witch? She knew that she was different . . . but a witch?
Grace pondered over this. If she was accepted into what she called a boarding school then she no longer had to stay at the orphanage. She no longer had to live day by day cooped up in a small room that she shared with 6 other kids that were under the age of 4. She finally had some clarity in her life. She was no longer Grace Harris, orphan. She was Grace Harris. . . Witch.
That was the happiest thing that had ever happened to Grace. Six years ago she was blessed to become a witch. As soon as she arrived at Hogwarts, walked into the Great Hall, sat upon the stool with a hat placed upon her head and was sorted into Gryffindor; she knew she was finally home.
She had made many friends over the years but nothing could compare to Hermione Granger. They had met in fifth year when they both served detention for Professor Umbridge for apparently being ‘too smart’. Of course they had met when they shared a dorm back in first year but Grace saw herself a more of a studious type to make friends and besides, Hermione had attached herself to that red haired Ron Weasley kid and the Boy-Who-Lived, Harry Potter. After detention, Hermione had then invited her to join ‘Dumbledore’s Army’ and Grace accepted even though she didn’t really need it considering she was the top of her class for every year she had been at Hogwarts but it was the thought that counted. Since then they have done everything together and Grace had also warmed up to Ron and Harry during that time. What had scared her the most that year was going to the Department of Mysteries and fighting Death Eaters to protect Harry and a prophecy that got smashed anyway. Harry had told Grace the whole story one night in the common about third year and how Sirius Black, the mass murderer, was actually innocent and Harry’s godfather. The only time Grace had saw him was that night before he fell into the veil but he did look familiar somehow.
Now Grace, Hermione, Ron and Harry are starting their sixth year not knowing what the future will bring, because when you are friends with the ‘Golden Trio’, anything can happen.
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