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Chapter 1 : Chapter one
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“Charlotte, dinner's ready! ...Charlotte!” my auntie yelled for the umpteenth time, while continuing her journey to the spare room at the end of the hall, where I was residing.
“Charlotte, will you ever put them books down,” she said as she walked into the room.
“Hmmm,” I replied, unaware to whatever she was rambling about. She made her way over to the bed where I was comfortably enjoying my “alone” time.
“You can't live off books, you know,” she said. I beg to differ. “Now, come down and have some dinner. Now, Charlotte!” she added, as I didn't move an inch.
“Agrrhh!” As I was attempting to take the book with me, it flew straight out of my hands and straight into the bejewelled ones of my auntie.
“Oh no you don't,” she said while waving her wand towards me in a way that was supposed to appear threatening. “We're having a family dinner... you know, with all the family, for once! Which includes you, missy!”
“Oh... great,” I whispered sarcastically to myself, as my auntie walked back to the kitchen. While her back was turned I snatched up a novel, small enough to fit into the pocket of my robes, and started towards the dreaded “family dinner”.
Okay, maybe I was being a little overdramatic about the whole family dinner. The dinner wasn't too bad - and by dinner, I mean the food. The actual gathering itself was dreadful. (I can safely say that I underestimated my family's abilities to annoy me.) All right, my family is okay in small doses (but, might I add, really small doses), but anything larger than the occasional dinner or outing is just, well... torture! Oh - and did I mention I'm here for the entire school holidays? I will curse my parents for this, I assure you. Their excuse for leaving me in this god-forsaken place is, and I quote: "We have special 'business' to attend to, and there is nothing we can do to get out of it.” Honestly, they make their 'work' sound like it's similar to going on a "Workplace Health and Safe Spells" convention for the Ministry of Magic's Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes. Their work is why I'm here - and why my house is always filled with men in black robes and pointy hats.
“Charlotte deary, it's auntie Jane,” trilled a voice from behind the door to my room. Oh, fantastic.
“May I come in?” she asked, as she began opening the door; she didn't need a reply, she knew I wasn't going to answer. That's one thing I loved about Jane - she didn't make me talk, she's the one that did all the talking. It worked out perfectly that way.
“Just thought I'd pop by and say hello,” she called gaily, coming into the room. That was one thing I didn't like - her thinking we were best friends.
“How are you, hun?” I cringed but didn't reply. “I really think you should get up and do something for a change, instead of hibernating up here in your room all day long!” she said, and sat down on the edge of my bed. And then she began clicking her fingers like she had an idea... Oh no. Ideas and Auntie Jane do not - and I repeat, do not - go well together... Well not for my sake, or my sanity, for that matter!
I closed my eyes, preparing for the worst.
“We should go to the hairdresser's!” I opened my eyes in horror. Crap! I knew it would be bad, but not this bad.
“Oh, and we can get our make up and nails done... not to mention clothes!” she said, squealing like a little girl and bouncing on the bed. I looked disbelievingly at my aunt. I can't believe this is happening. Don't get me wrong, I don't exactly hate shopping or anything, but it's just the idea of going out in public to get all glammed up for nothing seems ridiculous!
Calming down, she added “It's my shout, Charlotte! Come on, it'll be fun, now...” Clapping her hands at me, she got off the bed.
“Get dressed missy, and look presentable. I'll meet you in 30 minutes downstairs.” She left, practically jumping up and down, and hurriedly rushed out of the room, most likely to apply a new layer of make-up. Sighing, I got up from the bed.
You're probably thinking, why I didn't retort? Yeah... I was thinking the exact same thing.
I walked into the spare room's bathroom, to the right of the bed. Walking up to the mirror I stopped, gaping in awe at the monstrosity. I really need some sun... But in England? Ha! Yeah right, Charlotte. Nonetheless, I was pale. I have always been pale, really pale... but this is pale to the point that I resembled a corpse. I figure, maybe a shower might brighten up my face a tad.
Stepping in, the hot water burned my hands and feet, and when it subsided I relished in the warm running water. But all good things must come to an end... After the relaxing, but short-lived, shower, I got out, walking over to the mirror once again. I picked up my wand that lay on the sink below and cast a drying spell over myself and hair. I actually looked fresh and lively again.
I Summoned my black robes from the bedroom... oh the joy of having a magic license, laziness was a given! Putting the robes over my head, I looked into the mirror; the robes clung to my slim yet curvy frame in all the right places. My black hair, now dry, fell in loose wavy curls from the middle part at the top of my head to just above my belly bottom, framing my heart-shaped face and emphasising my prominent cheek bones. The shower put a little a colour back into my cheeks, and freshened up my clear, pale skin. Looking at myself in the mirror through gray eyes, I smirked with my pouty lips and then realisation hit... "What have I gotten myself into?”
(This created an inner mental monologue, which ultimately ended in a pretty nasty argument with myself, questioning my cognitive abilities.)
One last look in the mirror and I was satisfied with the results – I left for the daunting experience ahead.
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