Chapter 1 : muggle life
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Here's a lovely CI of Alex by LunaLovegood @ TDA. I love it don't you?
"Honey!! Come inside, it's really hot out today."
Alex rolled her eyes at her mother. It's England it was never hot here. She hated the weather in her home country. It was always wet and humid, even now; in the summer you could barely wear shorts and not be cold.
Her mother, on the other hand, was convinced that Alex was going to pass out from the heat. It was one in the afternoon and so supposedly the hottest part of the day. It was late July and Alex was outside in the garden lying in the hammock, murmuring 'Hey Jude' as she rocked herself. It was a song by The Beatles and it came so naturally to her, it was easier that breathing. She sometimes wondered whom they loved more, her or the band? They certainly spent more time fussing over their records and shrines to the four boys, then paying attention to her. They also celebrated every one of their birthdays. But she didn't complain. She grew up with The Beatles and was now almost as obsessed with them as her parents. Life was great.
At school she had lots of friends and was the center of social life. She was charming, smart and pretty and many boys turned their heads when she walked by. She was well aware of her good looks, but never paid them much attention. Alex was more of a tomboy that a real girly girl. She preferred the company of boys and liked running around, instead of discussing the importance of firm nail beds. She was still young, not even 11, why couldn't she enjoy her childhood.
"But now, is it all over?" she thought to herself. Primary school was over and her parents had in rolled her into a private secondary school. She was worried. Will she have to grow up now? She was gonna miss the countless pranks with her best friend Ed. She was also going to miss Ed. He has been her best friend since first grade and they did everything together.
"Alexandra! Will you please come in from the heat!" she heard a cry from the kitchen again. She cringed. She hated that name, Alexandra. It just wasn't her. Alex was better. It was relaxed and happy. Alexandra sounded so stuck up and pretentious.
"Coming," she sighed.
She walked into the kitchen where her mother was preparing lunch.
"Alex, for goodness sake, have a drink of water, you must be parched. The heat out there is unbearable," her mother was fussing over her.
"Mum, I'm fine. It's not even that hot. It's nothing compared to Italy."
A year ago, Alex and her father went on a father-daughter trip to Italy during the summer. Now that was hot. It was the best week of Alex's life and she dreamed of returning there soon.
"Could you cut the cucumbers dear?" her mother asked her.
"Mummy, must I?"
"Yes, you must, otherwise you will have nothing to eat for lunch, how would you like that?"
"Why can't Izzy do it?" she whined again.
"You‘re older so you have more responsibilities."
"How is cutting the cucumbers a responsibility?" she grumbled, but never the less took the knife in her hand.
At that moment a cat came running through the door, Isabelle, Alex's younger sister right on it's tail with a paintbrush in hand. She was chasing him around the kitchen table desperately trying to paint his tail blue, while giggling intensely.
"Izzy, stop that," Mrs. Taylor said kindly. But Isabelle was far too involved in the chase to stop. She almost knocked the knife out of Alex's hand and caused a few pieces of cucumber to go flying across the room.
"Isabelle Lisa Taylor! Stop this behavior immediately!"
Izzy stopped but there was still a hint of a smile on her face.
"Clean this mess up!" Mrs. Taylor ordered and went back to frying the onions. Izzy took a cloth and started wiping the drops of blue paint that were splattered on the floor. Their cat, Audrey-named by the great Audrey Hepburn, stood frozen under the table eyeing everyone with great intensity. Alex finished chopping the cucumbers and put them neatly in a bowl on the counter. At that moment Mr. Taylor came walking through the door.
"Girls, have any of you seen my paintbrush?"
"You cheeky monkey," Mr. Taylor said and walked over to his youngest daughter. He lifted her up into his arms and kissed her on the cheek.
"You cheeky little monkey," he repeated again. "What have you been doing?" he asked her.
"Well I wanted to paint the cat blue!" she said with a big grin on her face.
"Blue? I don't think Audrey would quite like that, would you Audrey?" Mr. Taylor said and looked at the cat that was still frozen from the terror of being blue.
"So, monkey, will you give me back my paintbrush?"
She grinned and handed it to him.
Mr. Taylor was a painter who did mostly portraits. In his free time he liked to work on paintings of his favorite band The Beatles, of course. Right now he was working on a giant portrait of Lennon and spent all his free time in his studio.
The Taylor house consisted of four bedrooms. One for each of the girls, the third for mr. and Mrs. Taylor and the last for Mr. Taylor's art studio.
"Honey, we really must discuss your birthday. Do you want a party?" Mrs. Taylor asked her eldest. Alex's birthday was on the second of August, which meant it was only a week away.
"Mother!? If I want a party? What kind of question is that?"
Mrs. Taylor chuckled "I'll take that as a yes."
They went into detail about the party during which Mrs. Taylor almost burned the lunch.
At three o'clock the whole family sat down for lunch and after that Alex took it upon herself to make the decorations for her upcoming birthday party. She spent the whole afternoon in her room cutting and coloring things together while listening to the radio. She carefully wrote down the addresses of all her friends that were invited to her party. She then took them downstairs and handed them to her mother.
"Oh my, Alex! That's a lot of people!" Mrs. Taylor gasped.
"Well I have a lot of friends," Alex stubbornly said and crossed her arms.
Mrs. Taylor went through all the names.
"And they're mostly boys. They are going to the turn this house upside down. Alex, I really don't know if this is wise."
"Well I'm ten. I'm not supposed to be wise." Alex said. Mrs. Taylor laughed.
"True that. I'll have to talk to your father about this. Now it's past your bedtime. Hurry up and get ready, I'll come and say goodnight in a second.
"Isabelle!!" Alex groaned as the bright morning light pierced her vision. This was their standard routine. Each morning Izzy would come to Alex's room and open the curtains so that Alex would have to wake up at an un humanly hour.
"Alex! Wake up! I wanna play!" Izzy said pulling the covers of Alex.
Alex groaned and put the pillow over her head. All was quiet for a minute and she thought that her sister gave up and left. She should have known better. A piercing shriek cut through the silence and Izzy landed with force on Alex's back.
"AW!!!! That hurts. Ok, I give up! I give up! I'll come and play just get off me!"
Izzy, pleased at her success climbed of the bed and sat on the floor.
"I'll come in a minute. Just let me get ready. And from where did you jump?" Alex asked while rubbing her back.
"From your wardrobe,"
Alex looked. It was a high jump, no wonder she still felt the pain in her back. Finally she got up and put her dressing gown on. She heard a laugh.
"What?" she asked her sister.
"Your hair," Izzy giggled again.
Alex looked in the mirror. Her brown hair was sticking out in every direction. She had a pixy haircut that now looked like she'd been electrocuted. She didn't even care; she was too tired.
"Let's go and play!" Izzy said while jumping up and down excitedly. They went out of the room and just as Izzy was about to set up the dollhouse their mother called them down to breakfast. They ran down the stairs, both of them really hungry and immediately attacked the toast that lay on the table.
"Girls, girls slow down there's plenty for everyone," Mr. Taylor said while reading the daily news and drinking his cup of coffee. Mrs. Taylor had just lay a pot of tea on the table when they heard a 'click' telling them that the post had arrived.
"Alexandra, would you be a dear and go get that?" Mr. Taylor asked.
"Dad! How many times have I asked you to call me Alex?" she said annoyed.
"That's beside the point. Can you get the post please?"
"Why can't Isabelle get it?"
"Izzy, get the post," Mrs. Taylor said.
"I will not. She should get it. You asked her first."
"Will one of you just get the bloody post?!" Mr. Taylor raised his voice.
Alex stood up and went to the front door. She took the post. There were some bills, a post card from her aunt and a thick envelope. It had a funny crest, a badger, a snake, an eagle and a lion, all around the letter H. She thought it must be for her father from one of his little artist clubs. She turned it around. And there it was, written in green ink:
Alexandra Carrie Taylor
44 Maple drive
She couldn't believe it. From whom could it be? She weighed it with her hand. It was heavier than just a normal letter. She made her way back to the dining room, but just before she opened the door a strange feeling came over her. She suddenly decided it's best if she opens the letter on her own. She ran upstairs, put it on her dresser and came back down to the dining room. She gave the other post to her father.
"What took you so long?" her mother asked.
"Sorry, I just read the postcard that auntie Jane sent."
Her father was just reading it now.
"She got bit by a dog," he told them.
"Really?" they all exclaimed including Alex.
"Didn't you just say you read it?" her father asked confused.
"Yeah, I did." she said and quickly began gathering things from the table to avoid further conversation. From the kitchen she went straight up to her room and opened the letter.
Her heart was beating fast when she read it. And when she finished she began re-reading it. Alex couldn't believe it. The letter said she was a witch and that she has a place at Hogwarts a school for witchcraft and wizardry. Then there was a part about an owl that should arrive until the 31 of august, which she didn't quite understand.
"It's probably just Izzy pulling a prank on me," she thought. But somewhere a part of her was saying that what the letter said was true. She really didn't know what to think and decided to not tell anyone about this today and just push it out of her mind.
She went to Ed's house that day and they were making up pranks that they could pull on their friends. But the whole time Alex was distracted and she had a sort of nagging feeling in the back of her mind. Her thoughts just kept going back to the letter no matter what she did.
When it was her bedtime she crawled into bed but stayed awake for a long time after. She didn't fall asleep even when she heard her parents coming up to their bedroom. And just as she finally dosed off, the doorbell rang.