Chapter 1 : Plain Jane
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When I got my letter from Hogwarts at age eleven, I was completely petrified to leave my all Muggle family for a school surely full of much more accomplished witches and wizards than I would be. Going into my sixth year, I had to admit that I was still, frankly, petrified. A basilisk couldn't have done a better job on me. It wasn't the classes that scared me, as I was able to achieve eight O's and two E's on my O.W.L.s last year. No, classes are the easiest part of Hogwarts; it's the people I'm scared of.
Why, you may ask, am I terrified of the people at Hogwarts? Though my fellow sixth year Ravenclaw's might have been able to point me out in a crowd, I was almost 100% sure nobody else in the castle would know my name, much less that I existed. All you have to do is avoid eye contact, keep out of the way, and speak as little as possible. My cat--kneazle, actually--and I had a very close relationship, however. She's always been great at non-verbals. So, my fear hasn't been based on fear of getting made fun of or attacked; I've never drawn enough attention for any of it to be negative. I was more worried what would happen if anybody actually tried to talk to me.
The girls I lived with--Bridget Gray, Fifi LaFolle, Ali Bashir and Veronica Smethly--were the only people who had tried to talk to me first year. They'd mostly given up when I proved to be verbally challenged. Bridget, the prefect with flowing curls of auburn and the wardrobe (and manner) of a nun, still made an effort every now and then; I'd overheard the others talking about how weird they thought I was in the library once. You win some, you lose some. I mostly lose.
I did win in third year when I made friends with Octavius Pepper, the odd one out of the five Ravenclaw boys. He had hair so red you'd think he was related to the Prewett's, bright blue eyes, and an affinity for a muggle TV show called Battlestar Galactica, though his family was entirely magical. His greatest asset was that he didn't seem to mind that I mostly communicated through hand gestures and facial expressions--though I was convinced that if it wasn't for him, I'd have lost the ability to use my vocal chords completely by now. He was the only person I'd ever really had a conversation with aside from my parents and my older sister.
Jo and Allen Montague, the two wonderful people who brought my quirky little self into the universe, were both non-magical. They'd also produced my sister, Ann, who had been in fourth year while I was in first at Hogwarts. Ironically enough, they had decided to name me Jane, as in nothing-special-about-you-you're-completely-normal, plain Jane--so of course the average level of strange each of my parents contained had combined in me, making me the complete weirdo of the family.
I had long, dark brown hair that fell to the small of my back and my light blue eyes sometimes changed to the even more exciting color of grey. My square-framed horn-rimmed glasses were slightly too large for my face. I wouldn't really say I'm tall, but I wouldn't really say I'm short, nor would I say I'm the belle of the ball; admittedly, I didn't think I was quite a Moaning Myrtle either. I mostly wore what was comfortable--jeans, sweatshirts, and the like. I'd taken a great liking to socks around second year, so my patterned feet were usually the craziest thing about my outfit, not that anyone could ever see my feet what with school robes and all.
My mom knocked softly on my door and opened it, holding a pile of neatly folded, freshly laundered robes the day before I'd leave for my sixth year at Hogwarts.
"Thanks, mom," I took them from her and set them on the corner of my bed.
"Need any help in here?"
"No, I've got everything sorted out, I've just got to pack it in now," I picked up a stack of books to put in the bottom of my freshly cleaned out trunk. She sunk into my desk chair before I'd even said no, knowing perfectly well it would only upset me if she put anything out of order. Organization was a hobby of mine.
"I'm gonna miss you, little girl," my mum sighed.
"You know I'll write to you every week, like always," I assured her, "and I'm not little!"
"You'll always be little," she pulled me onto her lap and kissed me as I reached past her to get my quills and ink.
"Mom," I giggled, then sat suddenly upright, "is something burning?"
"Bullocks!" she sprang up, causing me to almost fall over, "the laundry made me forget about the casserole!"
She bustled out of my room and I could hear her clanging around the kitchen as I continued packing. Going back to school was always bittersweet--I missed my family terribly, but Octavius did his best to fill the void. What really made me excited to return would be classes, and the ability to use magic again after a dry summer.
"Vixen, are you finished packing your toys?" I looked over to my bed as I stowed the last of my potion ingredients away.
My kneazle opened one eye and cocked a huge ear towards me, but otherwise stayed curled up in a furry little ball.
"Great help you are," I huffed, sitting on top of my freshly packed trunk.
A/N: Welcome to my story! I do hope you have enjoyed the first chapter, but I should warn you this is my first attempt at writing fan fiction. Your feedback is welcomed and appreciated!
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