Those who passed by Maeve Lorne on the street would say that she was completely normal, just the same as any other young girl her age. Maeve, on the other hand, would disagree.
She lived in a small suburb of London with her family. On the outside, she had a seemingly normal life; but if you asked her, she would tell you that “normal” had nothing no place in her life. Her family was really great; her mother Ruth and her father Stephen were both loving, caring parents and her siblings Gwen and Tommy were some of her best friends. Maeve loved her name because of its uniqueness. Nearly everyone that knew her called her Mae except for her father, who always called her by her full name. Her large, tortoiseshell cat, Rory, was her closest friend that she had owned for as long as she could remember.
Speaking of memories, Maeve had none.
Not none exactly, more like a gap in her mind that left out most of her childhood. Her earliest memory was the day of her eighth birthday, when she had first got Rory. He was just a tiny kitten, peeking his furry ears through the giftwrapped box that her parents had presented to her. As soon as she held his colorful little body in her hands, she knew that that cat would be her best friend. Another thing she remembered from that day was the weather. It was one of those stormy autumn days that forced everyone to stay inside, wrapped in blankets by the fire. But Maeve didn’t. She had run outside, giggling and dancing in the storm as if it were some newfound happiness that needed to be discovered. Ruth and Stephen had gone out after her, but to no avail. Maeve had merely sat down in the muddy grass, crossed her small arms, and refused to go inside. With resigned expressions, her parents had gone back inside, hoping she would follow. After a couple hours, Maeve had wandered in shivering and blue. Despite her protests, Mrs. Lorne managed to get a Pepperup potion down Maeve’s throat to keep her from getting sick.
Even though it seemed like Maeve was being stubborn just for the sake of being stubborn, she was not. In fact, she actually really wanted to obey her parents, but nature had such a strong pull on her. The weather, no matter what it was, had to be experienced. Even if it was cold enough to freeze your fingers, Maeve would be outside. Rory, however, strongly disagreed. If there was even a hint of rain, he would slink off to his place behind the couch in the sitting room.
Whenever she thought of it, the fact that she knew nothing of part of her own life bothered Maeve deeply. The question of her memories came up often when she was younger, but Maeve learned to stop asking. The troubled looks that her parents shared whenever the question came up disturbed Maeve almost as much as the question itself. Once, Mae wanted answers so badly that he cornered both of her parents and demanded answers, but they only shook their heads sadly and told her they didn’t know anything. Not knowing scared her, but whatever her parents were so worried about that they wouldn’t answer scared her even more.
Even though they were keeping something from her, Maeve still loved her family. Her mother, Ruth, was a healer at St. Mungos in the Spell Damage department, while her father was a shopkeeper in Diagon Alley. Both of them were extremely kind, selfless, and hardworking. Maeve’s sister, Gwen, was a year younger than Maeve and her brother Thomas was a year older. All three of them got along just as well as any other siblings; loving with the occasional quarrel over something pointless that they would forget in a few days. Maeve loved them both, but always had a… feeling
that something was different. That she
was different. Everything with her family almost came too easy that it felt wrong, like she wasn’t supposed to be there. The feeling usually ebbed away after a while, but never completely left. Doubt. The feeling was doubt.
Every once in a while Maeve would sit down with Rory and just think. Think about her family, her memories, doubt. As she thought, Maeve would be struck with the idea that the Lornes weren’t her family, that it explained her forgotten childhood. Then, she would realize how crazy the thought was and expel it from her mind. How could they not be my family?
When Maeve was nine, she went to Diagon Alley with her family to get Tommy’s things for his first year at Hogwarts. Maeve and Gwen were both disappointed that they wouldn’t be going to Hogwarts that year, but they enjoyed looking thorough all of the different shops. Gwen’s favorite was the bookstore, while Maeve loved looking at the apothecary full of interesting potion ingredients. After a couple hours of shopping, everything on Tommy’s school list had been checked off except for a pet. Of course, it wasn’t required to have one, but Tommy really wanted an owl.
The whole family walked in to the shop that held many different types of animals for Tommy to pick out an owl. While walking in, Maeve noticed that there were only a couple other people in the shop; a mother and daughter, an old man looking at the three headed turtles, and a rather peculiar woman. This woman looked to be in her late fifties, but Maeve couldn’t be for sure. There was a large purple veil covering all of her upper body except her face and a strange necklace that seemed to be made of a large moonstone draped around her neck. The woman peered at the family as soon as they entered; specifically at Maeve. The young girl gave a start when she noticed the woman’s eyes. One was a silvery green and the other was as black as night. Not noticing where she was walking, Maeve stumbled over the corner of a cage that held a strange creature that mostly resembled a wild cat. The store owner hurried over to see if she had been hurt, but Maeve brushed him off quickly, still curious about the strange woman. But she had gone; nowhere to be seen.
While Tommy continued to look for an owl, Maeve bean to wander off to the farthest corners of the shop, still searching for the woman with the strange eyes. After searching through what seemed to be every hiding place, Maeve finally resolved that the woman had gone. She waited for her family on a small chair on one side of the shop, watching. After a few more minutes, Tommy finally rushed up to her with a joyful look on his face and a large owl cage clutched in his arms.
“Mae, look at my owl! Her name is Talia,” he said proudly and slightly out of breath. He held up the cage of a tawny barn owl with large amber eyes. “Isn’t she beautiful?”
“Yeah, Tommy, she’s brilliant,” Maeve said with a small smile to her brother. She was still distracted with the thought of that strange woman. Who was she and why was she looking at me like that?
Once Talia was paid for, the family left the shop and went to their last stop: ice cream. It was an unspoken family tradition that whenever the Lornes went to Diagon Alley, they would get ice cream. They walked happily over to the small, yet popular, shop that sold many different types of ice cream, even peppermint. Gwen picked out her usual, banana, while Maeve decided to get the one she had always wanted to try, cherry chocolate.
As Maeve walked along with Gwen, Tommy, and her parents back to the entrance, she felt a chill run down her spine that had nothing to do with the ice cream. On a whim, she turned around and looked behind her. About a hundred yards away, she spotted the woman from the animal shop. She gave a small gasp and muttered to her sister something about going to the bathroom, and then walked swiftly to the woman. With the strongest voice the nine year old could muster, she asked the woman, “Why were you looking at me like that in the store? Who are you? What’s wrong with your eyes?” The questions came out faster and more numerous than Maeve had planned and she began to nervously wring her hands. The woman gave a small chuckle and looked at her with those eyes that both intrigued and frustrated Maeve.
“My name is Doreatha. I can’t tell you who I am, but I will tell you that you are right. All of those thoughts that you have about your life did not appear in your mind for no reason. Someone put them there, and someone also took something away from you. I can’t tell you any more than that or I would put you in terrible danger. All you must know is that you are being watched.”
Doreatha gave her a stern look, eyebrows knitted together and lips pursed, but Maeve was still extremely confused. She was about to ask more questions, but the woman merely gave her a small, sad nod, and disapparated.
“But-watched by who?” Maeve shouted, but it was no use. Both Doreatha and her answers had just disappeared right before her eyes.