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Chapter 1 : The Peculiar Childhood: A Prologue
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After the first five times, my parents simply had me use paper cups and drink my milk in our backyard. I was four years old.
When I was five, my pale, brown hair had the tendency to act like snakes whenever I fell into a tantrum. My parents quickly learnt that, unlike snakes, my hair did not possess the ability to do any harm at all, but since then, I’ve kept it short.
As a child of two muggle scientists, you might have expected me to be doomed to a life of being experimented on, dissected, my body tested for special enzymes, genetic sequence analysed for any abnormalities. Maybe even searched for an organism of unknown origin living inside me in some odd, but mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship. This organism would be isolated, replicated, and then used to create an army or what not. Perhaps by my own parents. . .
But what sort of parents even just marginally right in the head would do such things to their own child?
As a child of two muggle scientists, curiosity may have well been inherent, although you could argue that environmental factors also play a big role in the development of my curiosity, and you wouldn’t be wrong to do so, but I digress.
We realised that I had “special abilities” for some unfathomable reason. So in an attempt to gain a better understanding, I explored—and was encouraged to explore—my abilities every chance I could. All outside the setting of a laboratory.
My education, for the sake of improving it and my “special abilities”, was taken over by my parents. I homeschooled. I have never been inside the walls of a legitimate school and I was never keen to do so. I prefered the solitude that homeschooling gave me.
Naturally, scientific subjects were the subjects held above all others—not that I minded. I love science. In a retrospective comparison of the education my parents gave me and the education school teachers would have given me, I realise I would have died of boredom with the latter.
This is how I came to be on par with university-level biology and chemistry by the time I was 10. My parents were the best teachers I could ever have. I used to take many field trips to the research company they both work for and simply observe and learn. Then when we got home, I would ask questions about what I had witnessed, my parents would answer them, and we’d discuss the results of the experiment.
When they didn’t take me to work, I would be reading in the backyard or participating in mixed martial arts lessons because, obviously, the vessel that carries my amazing brain must be fit enough to protect it. It was one of my many hobbies. This is where I interacted with peers, in case you were worried about my lack of social life, given that I didn’t have much of one regardless. I felt sufficiently social by my standards: at least 5 interactions with a peer per week, observe, and mentally record results. Participate, but never initiate. I didn't care to start an interaction when I could never completely understand the strange English language I heard in England or the odd Bregenz dialect in Vorarlberg. I learnt more through observation. In any case, I hated conversing with my peers. I didn't see any use in it.
If you interpret my words with a grave tone, I ought to inform you that I’m just exaggerating––for the most part, at least. Or ‘LOLZ JK,’ as Dahlia and Daisy would put it) I still haven't the slightest idea what they meant by that.
I met Dahlia and Daisy when I started playing tennis after I moved from the Bregenz district of Vorarlberg, Austria to middle-of-nowhere, Devon, England. I was 10.
My parents were transferred to aid in the expansion of the Devon branch of their research company. Additionally, my mother was working with some other molecular biologists on this long-term project. Our new place had a forest beyond the backyard and we demolished the separate guest house to build a little laboratory.
I still continued my martial arts classes, my education, the exploration of my “special abilities” alongside tennis with Dahlia and Daisy. Like martial arts, tennis was an individual sport. . . the way I like it. After two weeks of comical reservations about my very distinct accent and very Austrian-German features and mannerisms, we were kind of friends. We didn’t meet outside of the tennis club, but when we were there, we talked, however infrequently. Their enthusiasm was so abundant that it scares me into actually making my presence known to them sometimes. If they didn't notice me, I didn't say anything.
Sometime during the summer when I was eleven, coming home from martial arts practice, I received a letter. . . in the mail. . . addressed to me. . . it had my name on it.
It’s not that I do not engage in correspondence—I wrote letters to my grandparents all the time, it’s that this one was obviously not from them. It looked different.
Upon reading its contents, I found that it was a letter (made of parchment paper) of acceptance to a peculiarly named school I had neither heard of nor even applied to: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
There was a highly-detailed booklist that indicated magical education. A supply list was included: robes, a pointed hat, a wand, a cauldron, and a reminder that, for some unfathomable reason, first years are not allowed their own broomsticks. Broomsticks, wands, pointed hats, and cauldrons?
Either I was being thoroughly pranked or I was simply astounded that there was a school for people with “special” abilities. My parents were also bamboozled. It crossed all our minds that it might have something to do with my “special abilities,” but as soon as the hypothesis was vocalised, it was dismissed. We stressed how important it was that no one should see me exercising my abilities. We were absolutely certain that nobody saw anything out of the ordinary.
We let the matter go for two weeks, not knowing if it was just a joke or, if it wasn’t, where to get such supplies.
After those two weeks, an oddly dressed, black haired fellow appeared on our doorstep. One moment I was sitting outside working on my personal encyclopedia of plants and their anatomies and special properties all alone and in the next moment, he appeared with a loud snap. Right on the doorstep of my home. I didn't see him pass me.
Being a fully self-sustainable home renovated by my father, it was a rather odd-looking place compared to our neighbours who did comment on it numerous times. Did we care? No. Not when it's efficiency was unparalleled and when it was optimised to suit our way of living. It had beauty in its own right.
In the morning, the glass walls and curved roof let in an amazing amount of natural light in. At night, the roof could still use the light from the stars and moon using a complex system of more glass and mirrors. If the sky was too dark, then lights would be powered by the solar energy captured during the day time.
Our front lawn, where I sat as I observed the strange man, was where we planted our own fruits and vegetables.
After adjusting his tie, he knocked on the door.
Part-amused, part-wary, and part-curious, I quietly told him that my parents weren’t home. He was startled, noticing me for the first time. As he gave a surprised jump, his hair turned a brilliant shade of red.
“Can I help you. . . Mr. . . Lupin?” I asked him reading his badge:
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Alumni Muggle Welcome Committee Member
How much work was put into this prank? I was genuinely impressed.
“You’ve heard of me?” he asked beaming, eyebrows climbing up, hair slowly changing to pink.
How was it doing that?
“No, am I supposed to? Are you famous?” I pointed at his badge. The more I speak, the more profound my accent gets.
His nose wrinkled, as he tilted his head left and right, then left again. The palm of his right hand tilting the same way. “Mehh."
“How?” I asked him with more than just a little skepticism. It was not in my nature to believe everything without a thorough questioning first.
So for two hours we sat on the front lawn talking about Harry Potter and how he defeated a Dark Lord. The name, Harry Potter, sounded like a long forgotten memory.
He then explained magic to me, turning one of my pencils into a flower I recognised to be in the Lupinus Genus. I remember a thousand theories running through my mind, but only one prevailed above all others. . . the genuine existence of magic.
By this time my parents got home and using their natural ability to intimidate, introduced themselves.
“Emilie Hertz-Kluge,” my mother said sharply, looking at him with a critical eyes. Although intimidating, she still managed to look kind.
“Wolfgang Kluge,” my father rumbled, his eyes were hard under his strong brow. His very angular jaw line was stiff.
As quickly as he could, Teddy explained the situation and how he was only here to help me get my “magical” school supplies, which apparently couldn’t just be bought from the local stationary shop.
After much convincing and more explaining, he took me to Diagon Alley and back home within two hours. Some of the things I saw there were beyond my comprehension: broomsticks that were meant to fly, a hominid banker whose phylogenetic history I am still pondering, a furry textbook I had to subdue to prevent it from harming me, and a bright pink, bloated, rodent of sorts that Teddy called a ‘Pygmy Puff,’ and my own magical stick that causes random events to happen when I wave it.
All of a sudden, I was set to go to this strange school. It happened so quickly. I was shoved into a world I didn't know that existed before that day. My mind slowly started to analyse the situation.
I’d be alone.
Without my parents.
Around so many people I don't know. . .
So many people.
This prospect was nothing short of absolutely terrifying.
Thank you for reading the first chapter of this story. I kindly ask for reviews to improve upon this story. I want to know what you want. :)
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