I looked around at the sleepy picturesque township that sat nestled into the landscape; the rising sun staining the sky lavender.
A small light bobbed from a distance and I heard an excited “Lucina!” ring out delightfully in the early morning air. Seconds later my Aunt ‘Linda appeared in front of me, a wide smile upon her kind face.
“Hi Aunt ‘Linda” I said gleefully as she pulled me into a hug.
“Hello, Dear! How are you?” she asked resting her chin on my shoulder.
“I’m fantastic. You?” I asked her as I breathed her sweet spicy scent she smelled like freshly baked cinnamon rolls.
“Oh I’m fine dear” she said as she hooked an arm through mine and we began walking back to her house.
My Aunt Belinda was a little younger than my father and lived alone in a small home her family had bought her for when she began working at the British Ministry of Magic as an Oblivator. Her family was reasonably wealthy as her brother, Bertie was a great confectioner and had – accidently- invented an every flavour jelly bean formula; Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans. Though we didn’t have them in New Zealand, she’d sent me a few boxes for my birthday a few years back but after unluckily going for three peppers, soap and dirt flavoured ones I’d given up on them and offered them to Tayla who was lucky enough to pick out flavours like watermelon and candyfloss.
We walked arm in arm through the streets like old friends though I hadn’t actually seen her in over four years. I’d known my aunt for as long as I could remember; my mother had met her while on her OE in a teashop in London and the two had had a strong friendship since.
This place was very different to New Zealand; for one thing it was summer. The houses sat lining the wide streets each adorned with its own front yard and fencing. I admired how diverse the old houses were as their sleepy occupants awoke slowly. Summer flowers began to open lazily, absorbing the misty early sunlight while large ancient trees stretched their tired limbs shaking out their leaves. Godric’s Hollow was a quaint town made up of numerous houses and a small collection of comfortingly familiar stores which sold things like groceries and mended dresses as well as a post-office and pub. A peculiar looking church stood amongst the ghoulish towering headstones of the kissing gated cemetery.
Aunt ‘Linda and I arrived at her street after about five minutes or so, turning onto a cul-de-sac before coming to rest outside her charming home.
Her little two storey home was painted a buttery yellow and decorated with old Edwardian bottle green detailing that wrapped around the corners and edges while billowy white curtains decorated the green framed window panes. A porch overhung the front of the house with comfortable looking white deck chairs resting to the right of the pale front door. The house’s front yard was a collection of lavender and tulips surrounded by miscellaneous jigsaw puzzled rocks which formed a line along either side of the gravel stone pathway all the way from the white picket fence and red letter box to the porch’s front steps. This house was gorgeous and I fell in love with it the moment I saw it.
We walked through the front door and the delightful smell of cinnamon rolls wafted more strongly from the open plan kitchen. I tripped on my trunk that lay waiting near the front door as I wandered toward the living room; Puhi’s cage sat empty beside the couch as she lay idly sprawled across the sofa chair, already at home. I walked over to her and stroked her purring head softly.
“They arrived about five minutes before I came to find you” my aunt said nodding toward my trunk and wandering toward the kitchen.
“Puhi seems comfortable” I noted laughing as I followed her toward the kitchen.
“Yes, very” she said laughing with me as I turned the corner.
The kitchen was a large expanse of white cupboards decorated with diminutive gold handles. Plants hung above the window sill in large pot plants and little jars of herbs littered the windowsill basking in the sunlight streaming in through the large picture window.
Aunt ‘Linda tied a purple apron over her floaty summer dress which covered her towering frame, her light ash brown hair hung in loose curls just below her shoulder framing her rosy cheeked dimpled face. My eyes followed her as she glided around the kitchen pulling things from the fridge and flicking at them with a long stick. Was that...? Is that a...?
“Is that a wand?” I asked my aunt interestedly.
“Hm?” she asked, obviously not listening before turning to face me holding it in her hand.
“Is that a wand?” I asked again, eyeing the pale length of wood.
She looked dumbstruck for a moment before understanding dawned on her.
“Oh right, wandless magic” she murmured before speaking more loudly “Yeah it is, I forget you don’t have them” she chortled as she flicked it expertly and with a flourish finished breakfast, placing a large omelette, toast and juice in front of me as she asked “would you like to see it?”
“Uhh, sure.” I said, taking it from her proffered palm. It was about the length of my forearm and was made of a smooth beige wood. I gave it a small testing flick and promptly shattered one of the large hanging pot plants. Shocked, I quickly placed the wand back onto counter looking wide eyed at my aunt.
“Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. Sorry” I said, as I flicked my fingers over at the mess with a muttered Reparo.
“Don’t worry about it” she said laughing, as the pot plant jumped back immediately to its original perfection.”By the way dear, you aren’t supposed to use magic outside of school” she informed me.
“Oh, sorry.” I said again, dipping my head.
“That’s alright dear, you didn’t know’ (yes I did) ‘We’ll have to have to go to Diagon Alley and get you a wand – amongst other things.” She said. “And by the looks of it, your quite a powerful witch” she added with a smile.
“Uh, sure. Thanks” I muttered, humbled.
I was horrible, absolutely horrible at taking compliments and usually had to stop myself from contradicting whoever was kind enough to compliment me.
I spent the next two hours chatting to my aunt about the huge underground wizarding community here in Britain. I was riveted. She promised to teach me everything once I was of age when I voiced my insecurities about being new to all of this. We went on like this for hours until the sun was well and truly up at about one in the afternoon.
I yawned widely, rubbing my tired eyes.
“You should get some rest, you’ve had a long day” My aunt said in a motherly sort of way.
“No, I’m just running on New Zealand time – it’s one in the morning over there. I’ve just got ... Portkey lag. I’ll have to adjust eventually” I said, yawning again.
“Portkey lag?” she said, chuckling at my made up term. “All the same, go and lie on the couch for a while, I’ll get on to lunch”
She pulled me out of the chair and shoved me toward the couch throwing a blanket over me as I lay down. I could see why Puhi became instantly at ease. The wide couch was like an expanse of plushy marshmallow. Gratefully, I rested my head against a squashy pillow and despite what I’d just said, promptly fell into a deep, comfortable sleep.
* * *
When I woke up again it was utterly dark. I rolled sleepily off the couch and walked around to the kitchen in search of water. The moon shone out at me from inside the picture window colouring the plants a pastel green. I turned and walked to find my trunk; tripping on something hard in the darkness. “Found it.” I muttered into the shadows as I plunged my hands into the many folds of fabric before locating the comforting softness of my sweatpants. I changed out of my short summer skirt I’d been wearing and shoved my sock covered feet into my shoes and slipping out the front door into the moon and streetlight illuminated darkness.
I walked down the pathway cringing at the loud sound of the gravel crunching and the squeaky hinges of the garden gate as I opened it and stared up at my old (almost) round friend. It looked just as it had back in New Zealand; same imperfect craters, same bright glow, same familiar comforting feeling. I wondered if Tayla had looked at it from the cottage, or if Daddy had from home.
I began to stroll down to the end of Aunt ‘Linda’s street when the most enticing sound floated toward me. It rode on the warm summer air, hitching and falling as I turned and floated after it. It was unlike anything I’d ever heard before – a kind of mesmerizing siren song. I rounded a moonlight corner to find a house perched on a hill behind a large front yard littered with trees. Behind the wrought iron gates an oak tree stood tall and proud; in that tree sat a young man.
One of his long legs dangled over the edge of the broad branch he was on while the other was hitched up as he rested his broad, lean torso against the trunk of the oak. His fingers lightly held onto a bamboo pan pipe, expertly sliding it beneath his shadowed face. So this was where that hypnotic melody was coming from. I continued to stare at the striking young man – trying to make out his face that hid beneath shadows. I stepped a little closer and heard my clumsy feet crush a large stick with a noisy snap. The young man leaned forward, whipping his head around. For a moment I saw his eyes; they were the colour of moonlight on the sea – a sort of pearly grey. I gasped and turned, hurriedly moving as quickly as I could away from there and blushing embarrassedly.
It took me a little while to figure out where I was and how to get back but after three wrong turns and four right ones I found my aunt’s house and hurried inside. As I lay back down on the couch and drifted into sleep I let that hypnotic melody carry me along into unconsciousness.
AUTHOR'S NOTE:As always, i do not have the pleasure of possesing JK Rowling's fantastic imagination so i by no means claim this wonderful world. I hope you enjoyed this chapter :) please review , they really help with motivation and ideas :) even just a tiny sentance. THANK YOU FOR READING!
On a little side note ; the next chapter may come a little later than usual as I have exams for the next couple of weeks (blech !). So, in the meantime here is a small snippet of the next chapter just for you lovelies who stay with this story of mine :)
The Scarlett Train :
I turned expectantly toward the compartment door as it rattled with movement, a wide smile plastered on my face ready to greet .. Lily ( i think that's what she said her name was). Instead, a tall stocky boy came in flanked by two cronies. I felt a chill coat the air as his huge frame towered over me.
"Well, if it isn't the exotic mudblood everyone's been talking about"
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