Chapter 1 : One
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I added more and more elements to my houses, trying to outdo myself with each picture that I drew. The basis for the houses was the same each time, however. I wanted large rooms with high ceilings and big windows that would let lots of sunshine in. My garden would have every kind of flower imaginable, and there would be a big fountain right on the middle. It would sit at the top of a tall mountain where I could look down at the view stretched out below me. And the houses were always purple. Whatever I was drawing with, be it chalk, or paint, or pencils, I always ran out of purple first from drawing house after house after house.
By the time I turned eleven, I had drawn enough purple houses to fill up the chest that sat at the foot of my bed. I didn't want to throw any of them away, but Nanny insisted we keep the room clean, because Mother and Father liked it that way. I never gave them any of my drawings. Even from a young age I somehow knew that they wouldn't understand how important those pictures were. So I showed them to Nanny, who smiled and told me how nice they were, before carefully tucking them away where I could always pull them out if I wanted to see them again.
Then it was time for me to go to Hogwarts. I remember the day I left. It was warm, even for September. My father told me goodbye before I left, because he had to go to work. Mother and Nanny were the ones who came to the station with me. I remember thinking it was funny to see Nanny when she wasn't wearing an apron, because she always had one on when she was around the house. When we got to Platform 9 3/4, Mother smoothed down my hair.
"Be a good girl while you're at school, Sybill," she had said. "Your father and I will miss you very much."
I told her that I would listen to my professors and would remember to write. I hugged Nanny before getting my trunk and climbing onto the Hogwarts Express.
My first year at Hogwarts was nothing different from what I'd expected it to be. I arrived at the castle with the other first years after we crossed the lake in wooden boats. I patiently waited my turn while the others walked up to the stool where we sat to be sorted. I was placed in Ravenclaw, and took my seat as the clapped for me.
Just like I had promised my mother, I did my homework and wrote her a letter every week. She wrote back and always signed my father's name beside hers, but I knew he was getting all of my news through my mother, which meant he only heard half of what she said while he was buried behind a copy of The Daily Prophet.
I kept drawing purple houses whenever I could, and would fold them carefully before placing them at the bottom of my trunk, ready to be put in my chest at home as soon as I went back. I made a few friends, all of whom were just as shy as I was, so we didn't really talk to each other much. I didn't mind being on my own. I was used to entertaining myself and was happy to curl up in a corner of the Ravenclaw Common Room with my books.
When I reached my third year, I took Divination for the first time. As soon as I bought my textbook from Flourish and Blott's, I knew that I had found my favorite subject. My parents had always boasted that my family was descended from Cassandra Trelawney, who had been a very famous Seer, and they told people that her gifts had been passed down through our family whenever they wanted to impress them. I had never paid much attention to their stories until I started to learn about reading tea leaves and looking into crystal balls. I was fascinated.
Studying Divination began to take up more and more of my time. I would often be found in the library, surrounded by stacks of books on interpreting everything from fire to playing cards. On more than one occasion I missed dinner because I had stayed behind in the Divination classroom to pepper my professor with questions. I read anything I could find of Cassandra Trelawney, and started to feel an overwhelming sense of pride at the thought that she and I were family.
When I went home for the summer at the end of my third year, I knew I had passed my Divination exam, and that I had probably gotten a perfect score. I was too preoccupied to realize that as I unpacked my trunk, there were only a handful of purple houses to add to my collection.
By the time I was old enough to take my O.W.L.s, Divination had taken priority over all of my other classes. I stayed up late poring over star charts and dream diaries. I was consistently receiving top marks, and was at the top of my class. When I took my O.W.L. at the end of the year, I got an Outstanding, but hadn't drawn a single purple house that year. It took me weeks after I'd gotten home to realize it.
When I was seventeen, I got the highest score out of anyone in my year on our Divination N.E.W.T. I was at the top of the world when I got my scores, and thought that Cassandra's gifts had most certainly been passed onto me. I remember running downstairs to tell Mother and Father the good news, and finding Mother sitting by the window in the drawing room. She told me that she had gotten news that Nanny had died.
Even though I hadn't seen her in years, since I had gotten too old to need a nanny and she had gone to look after other children, I started to cry. I had loved Nanny as much as, and sometimes even more than, my own mother, and Nanny had basically raised me. I forgot about the test scores in my hand, and went back to my room, locking the door even though I knew that Mother would leave me alone to cry. I couldn't sleep that night, so I tried to draw, but couldn't get my purple houses to look like they used to.
I was angry that I hadn't been able to predict what was coming, angry that Cassandra's gifts had failed me. It was then that I decided I would work to hone my skills and would try and return to Hogwarts. If anyone could pass on the allure that Divination held to younger witches and wizards, it was me. I was descended from a Seer. I had the Second Sight and I intended to share it.
Over the next few days I tried and tried to interpret my dreams and the stars and the dregs at the bottom of my teacups, but none of my predictions were coming out right. I cried over Nanny and did all I could to focus on my gifts so I could take the aching feeling in my chest away, but nothing worked. I started to drink so I could numb the pain. I was young and foolish, but I couldn't stop myself. I left my Mother and Father and was living in London on my own.
After an interview that was rudely interrupted by Severus Snape, Dumbledore gave me a teaching position at Hogwarts, and I moved my things to the North Tower. The only thing I had taken from my childhood home was my chest of drawings. It sat in a corner, next to my bed, gathering dust as it remained unopened.
I didn't open that chest for the next nineteen years. Somehow it survived the war unharmed, and one year after He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named was defeated, after the castle had been restored, I opened my window to let in the sunshine, wiped off the dust, and opened the chest, pulling out my pictures one purple house at a time.
When I was young, I used to sit on my bed and draw pictures for hours on end. I always drew houses. Nothing but hundreds of houses. Each time I drew a house, I would run up to Nanny and hold it up, proudly announcing that this was the house I would live in one day.
Author's Note: Hello everyone! I hope you enjoyed this one-shot! I have no idea where it came from, I just suddenly had the idea for it and sat down to write, and this is what I came up with! I'd really like your thoughts, so if you could leave a review I would really appreciate it!
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