Chapter 1 : In Which Cassie Turns Herself Into a Jelly Baby
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Dedicated to the amazing Cassie, who wanted this so much. Happy (early) Birthday!
The setting was the classroom 1B, or the Transfiguration classroom, on the ground floor of Hogwarts Castle, somewhere in Scotland, in the United Kingdom, in the Northern Hemisphere, the world, the universe, and so on and so forth. The weather outside was nice enough, at least by the standards of the students and teachers of Hogwarts - it was rare that they got a solid good day in mid-November, though more than a few of them desperately wished for one.
Cassandra Barrow – or Cassie, as she preferred - was among those who were desperately wishing for the summer to roll around again. Cassie was even more desperate to be able to escape the stuffy classroom that belonged to McGonagall, and sit outside with the sun on her back. With a solemn look out the window, she turned her attention back to the Transfiguration professor – or, at least, as much of her attention as she could possibly manage to give.
Cassie had only been at Hogwarts since September that year, yet she already found herself bored of all of her classes, something that had practically had her older sister, Sarah, in tears when Cassie had told her. It’s probably needless to say, but Sarah, who was currently in her third year, enjoyed her classes a lot more. Then again, in third year students had the chance to pick up Care of Magical Creatures, Divination, or Muggle Studies, all of which sounded like amazing classes to Cassie; at least, compared to the ones she was forced to take.
Herbology was the only class she actually enjoyed. The plants they had studied so far were interesting and exotic, things that Cassie had never seen before, and so were able to capture her attention for much longer than mixing ingredients together or turning a match into a needle. Some might have found it impossible to believe that someone could be terrible at Potions, Transfiguration, and Charms, all at the same time, but those people had yet to meet Cassie. She’d already ruined her brand-new cauldron, lost a hedgehog before she even had the chance to change it into a water goblet, and used up more feathers trying to learn to levitate them than her entire class put together.
Cassie shook her head slightly, willing herself out of her daydream just in time for McGonagall to finish her lecture.
“Now, today we will be turning mice into snuffboxes - please come and collect your mice from the front of the room.”
A girl somewhere in front of Cassie groaned, and McGonagall shot her a sharp look. “Touching a mouse for once in your life, Miss Hanson, will not kill you. Now hurry along.” The girl sighed, pushing in front of Cassie to pull a mouse out by its tail and scrunch her nose up at it.
“That old bat has lost it, making us touch rats! They’re so disgusting.” Her friends nodded in response, all pitching in their opinions – which, of course, were all the same. Cassie watched with a frown, picking her own mouse up and heading back to her table at the back of the room. She placed the mouse on the table, hoping that it wouldn’t disappear like the hedgehog had the previous week.
With a deep breath, she pointed her wand at the mouse and repeated the spell as clearly as she possibly could. Nothing. She tried again: Still nothing. She frowned, picking up the mouse and giving it a once-over to see if anything, even the tiniest detail, had changed. Everything looked the same.
Exasperated, Cassie let the mouse back onto her desk and practically threw her wand down with it; it bounced slightly. She barely got the time to realise what was happening before a bright yellow spark flew out of the end of her wand and hit her straight in the chest.
“Miss Barrow!” Professor McGonagall screeched from the other side of the classroom. Cassie blinked a few times in response as she watched the Transfiguration teacher run at her with incredible speed. “What have you done to yourself?” It was then that the rest of the class - made up of Hufflepuffs and Gryffindors, had noticed Cassie’s predicament. Some had started to laugh, while others whispered and sent apologetic looks towards Cassie, who was oblivious to what was going on.
“How did you manage to Transfigure yourself with such a simple spell?” McGonagall waved her wand crazily at the girl, but, like Cassie’s attempt with the mouse, nothing happened.
“What do you mean, Transfigured? Professor, I’m perfectly fine.” This caused another outburst of giggles from the rest of the class. McGonagall turned around and silenced them with a single glance.
“Miss Barrow, you’ve Transfigured yourself into a jelly baby!”
It was hours later, and Cassie was sitting patiently - though she wasn’t entirely sure jelly babies really could sit - when her parents finally arrived at St Mungo’s. Her sister Sarah has been pulled out of class straight after the incident; it’d taken Sarah another hour before she could manage to look at Cassie without bursting into laughter. Unfortunately, when Cassie thought about walking away, she found that she couldn’t move an inch, and this had only set Sarah off again.
“My poor baby,” her mother cooed as she finally caught sight of Cassie. She rushed to her side before awkwardly realising her child was, in fact, a jelly baby. She sent a nervous look at her husband before patting her daughter on the shoulder with a solemn look.
“I told you that you were a powerful witch!” her father responded with a fake grin. He chuckled slightly before sitting down next to Sarah.
“Powerful doesn’t usually include turning yourself into a jelly baby, Dad,” Sarah cut back, raising her eyebrows at her father before turning back to Cassie and giggling again.
“Sarah, be nice,” their mother replied, fixing her eldest daughter with a sharp look. “Besides, the Healers will be quick to Transfigure Cass back, and she’ll be as good as new.”
“And she’ll also be forever remembered as the first-year girl who turned herself into a red jelly baby,” Sarah added with another giggle; her father sent her wink that was caught by her mother, and she sent them both fierce glares.
“I wonder what flavour I am?” Cassie asked out of blue, breaking the silence she’d been in since arriving at St Mungo’s - silence from Cassie was a rarity in itself.
“Sorry?” her mother asked, as Sarah and her father burst into fresh laughter. “Honestly, you two - shut up. This situation is very difficult for Cass, and we all should be supportive of her!” she huffed, closing her grip on Cassie’s shoulder.
“Darling, she turned herself into a jelly baby - she’s not dying,” their father responded with a calm look over at his wife. He leant around his two daughters and placed his head on her shoulder soothingly. “Unless she eats herself, of course.”
“Matthew!” their mother screamed shrilly, brushing off her husband’s arm before standing up. She sent a disgusted look to him and Sarah, who was giggling again, before storming off down the corridor.
“Well, we’re in a bit of a sticky situation,” their father said, raising his eyebrows teasingly at his two daughters. Sarah laughed, while Cassie continued to stare blankly in return. “Well, come on then, baby. Looks like we have some Healing to do.”
Authors Note: Cassie, I hope you enjoyed this and that you’ll enjoy the other half of your present too! Thank you so much for letting me create and write about Cassie Barrow and all of her crazy adventures and for supporting me the entire way though. So thank you (and you Keziah) for being so amazing! Happy Birthday again Cass.