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The Road Home by Harry_Potter_Mom
Chapter 5 : A Destiny Revealed
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 38

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~fantastic image by chiQs09~

Chapter 5 - A Destiny Revealed 

Four days had passed since Nyah’s ‘punishment’. She had been kept from school, as the bruises and cuts, especially on her face, could not be easily explained away.

Anna brought school work for Nyah, and Mrs. Cleary had continued to minister to Nyah’s wounds. Each day, Nyah felt markedly better, much to Mother’s dismay.

Nyah was thankful for Mrs. Cleary, as she had been able to soothe Nyah’s back pain with a simple touch. But the wounds on Nyah’s face refused to heal as well, so today, when Mrs. Cleary came in, she frowned at the remaining wounds.

“Nyah, dear,” Mrs. Cleary said, “I’m going to ask you to close your eyes while I tend to your face today.”

Mrs. Cleary had never asked her to close her eyes before, and while very curious, she did as the kind woman had asked. Nyah heard the tinkling of bottles, and then heard the mutterings Mrs. Cleary always made when she tended to Nyah’s back. Nyah felt Mrs. Cleary gently brush her face and smelled the potent medicine used. Nyah wanted to look; but instead, she squinted her eyes closed even more.

“Nyah, if you don’t let me put the medicine on, that bruise might never heal,” Mrs. Cleary gently scolded as she had misunderstood why Nyah’s eyes were closed tightly.

Just then, a loud noise could be heard downstairs … Father’s voice boomed through the house announcing his arrival home and seeking out his family. Nyah’s eyes popped open in shock and excitement. She had forgotten her promise to keep her eyes closed … and there was Mrs. Cleary … holding a curious-looking stick pointed at Nyah’s face.

“What’s that?” Nyah asked reaching out to touch the old stick as Mrs. Cleary quickly pulled it away. “Is that what you’re putting the medicine on with … a stick? Why did I need to close my eyes for that?”

Mrs. Cleary was clearly shocked and she nearly dropped everything in her hands. “Nyah, dear, why don’t you go and see your father … we’ll finish this up later.” she said, smiling, as she scooped up all of her things, including the stick, which she promptly stuck in her hair holding up her bun. Nyah had seen it a hundred times … that stick, old and grey, stuck in the housekeeper’s hair … and thought it was only there to hold up her hair.

With a shrug, Nyah got up from the bed, and opened the door to her room. She was surprised to see Alexander standing on the other side. “Mother sent me to give you a message, Scar Face.” he mocked, “You’re not to leave your room tonight. Mother will be watching.” And with that, he shoved his little sister back into her room.

“You, out!” he spat, pointing to the housekeeper. Mrs. Cleary took a last look at Nyah and walked out of the room.

At nearly 13, Alexander thought himself to be extremely important. He and Mother were so much alike, it made Nyah shudder at the tone of his voice. But once Mrs. Cleary was out of sight, Nyah got the courage to yell at her brother. “You let her be, Alexander, and don’t talk to her like that!” she said pointing a finger at him.

Alexander sneered at Nyah and took a step forward. “And what are you going to do about it?” he said, egging her on.

Nyah could feel the anger building, but Alexander wasn’t looking at her … he was peering around the little dusty room. “Filthy little pig … why don’t you go back to wherever you came from?” hardly noticing the fire in the young girl's eyes.

“Shut it, Alexander, and don’t you call me a pig, you ... you … jackass!” Nyah yelled, stomping her right foot to the floor while her fists were clenched at her sides. The pain sweeping through her body was matched only by the rage and power that was building.

Alexander opened his mouth to speak, finally looking directly at his little sister, and only managed to scream as he felt large, brown ears shoot up from the top of his head, followed by a short hairy tail poking out his backside. Then, to Alexander’s horror, his scream turned to a bray … he was in fact … a jackass.

Mrs. Cleary had not gotten far when she heard Alexander scream. She turned promptly and headed back up the steps, hoping she could get there in time. Yells from the main floor told her that Mr. & Mrs. Stewart had heard the commotion as well and were headed this way.

Mrs. Cleary rounded the bend of the last flight of steps just in time to see the tail ripping through Alexander’s pants. She barely stifled a laugh, but her humor turned to serious dismay as she heard Mrs. Stewart calling to her son. Alexander turned in horror and tried to call for his mother, but again, a bray was all that came from his mouth.

Mrs. Clearly knew there was only a moment to react. With a small flourish, she pulled her wand from her hair, pointing it at the boy, and whispered a counter-curse to Nyah’s spell. She had just enough time to stuff the wand in her apron pocket before Mr. and Mrs. Stewart came into sight. Alexander was frantic, grabbing his head and his backside, and talking ‘foolishness’ and ‘nonsense’ and pointing between Nyah and Mrs. Cleary as his mother checked him over not understanding what he was trying to tell her.

In all the confusion and chaos, no one noticed as Nyah slumped to the floor in pain.

Nyah’s eyes felt groggy. She had been dreaming again, but this time, it was a little different. The song … the song the woman sang in her dream … it was a silly, odd song “… Hoggy Warty Hogwarts, teach us something please …” and the man was laughing, a warm and wonderful laugh, begging her to sing something different. And hair … she could see hair … the woman … she had beautiful red hair. Then, the screaming and a loud THUD … that’s the way it always ended … with screaming.

Willing herself to wake up, Nyah realized she didn’t even remember going to bed, and judging from the absent sun from the sky, she knew it was very late. She started to move, when she sensed someone watching her. Nyah tried to calm her breathing, hoping that whoever was there might think she was sleeping. Tense moments passed and Nyah strained to hear something … anything.

“Nyah.” was spoke in the dark.

Nyah sat straight up looking at the source of the voice. “Mrs. Cleary … is that you?” Nyah asked reaching for her light.

“Nyah, you and I need to have a talk,” Mrs. Cleary said. She was sitting on a chair near Nyah’s window. “I know what you did to Alexander today.”

Nyah hung her head and felt her face burn in embarrassment. Mrs. Cleary went on, not looking yet at Nyah, “I just want you to know that I understand, and I can help you. But, you need to promise me that you won’t turn your brother into a donkey anymore.” She turned and looked at the young girl with a twinkle in her eye and a small smile on her face.

Nyah smiled and agreed. “What’s wrong with me?” Nyah tentatively asked. “I can feel this … this … stuff inside me, but as big as that feeling is … the pain is so much worse.”

The housekeeper’s face fell at Nyah’s statement. “Magic shouldn’t be painful, Nyah.” she whispered.

“Magic … magic … did she just say magic?” Nyah thought to herself. “Mrs. Cleary … what do you mean … magic?” With that spoken word, Nyah felt her heart give a lurch … like it was waking up from a really long sleep.

Mrs. Cleary walked over to the little bed and sat down next to Nyah. For the next few hours, Mrs. Cleary told Nyah all about witches, wizards, muggles, wands, squibs, and rules. Nyah was captivated all the way … up to the rules part. She rolled her eyes and let out an audible sigh. She wasn’t exactly good with rules. Mrs. Cleary chuckled at the young girl.

“So … I’m a witch?” Nyah asked, hopeful.

“Yes, and I think someday, you’re going to be a very good one,” Mrs. Cleary replied.

“And you’re a witch, too,” Nyah stated. “That’s how you were able to mend me, right?”

“Yes,” Mrs. Cleary simply said.

Nyah’s head was spinning with everything she had learned; it all made sense. Everything ‘odd’ in her life really wasn’t ‘odd’ after all … it was magic!

The sun was starting to peek above the horizon, and Nyah felt alive with her newfound knowledge. She was bursting to tell someone … anyone …

“So do all witches work in homes as housekeepers?” she asked Mrs. Cleary.

The woman’s eyes danced with laughter. She explained to Nyah that while some witches and wizards choose to work in the muggle world, most choose to work in the wizarding world; in banks, stores, and homes … just like here … only they don’t have to hide their magic there. They get married, have children, and go to school there.

Mrs. Cleary got up and headed towards Nyah’s door. She turned and looked at the girl. “No one can know … not about you … and not about me. Do you understand?” she asked Nyah.

“What about Anna?” Nyah begged, “She wouldn’t tell anyone!”

Mrs. Cleary shook her head, “No one. Not yet. And remember, try to not use any magic, especially if it causes you pain.”

“I need to look into that … that isn’t a normal reaction.” she said absentmindedly.

Nyah felt a pang of worry … ‘not normal’ … even in a world of witches and wizards Nyah wasn’t normal.

Nyah puttered around her room for the remainder of the day, her only release from her ‘grounding’ was time to run to the bathroom when Mrs. Cleary brought up her meals under Mother’s supervision.

Mother had insisted on locking Nyah’s door after what happened with Alexander. Even though he was fine, Mother blamed her for his ‘altered mental status’ (meaning he kept grabbing his head and backside if anyone looked in his direction) so Mother extended her isolation. Little did Mother realize … Nyah was far from alone. Anna visited her for hours at a time, sneaking in through the hole in the wall. Nyah even went through one night to sneak down to the kitchen to grab a snack. She was very nearly caught by Mr. Whittaker and decided that the chocolate pudding wasn’t worth another ‘punishment’.

Luckily, the upcoming birthday party had given Mother the distraction she needed. She was very busy overseeing all of the final preparations and since Nyah was locked in the attic, she didn’t even have to worry about the ‘brat’ getting in the way. Often, she would catch Nyah looking out the attic window and couldn’t help but wave and walk away, laughing.

Father was away again on a business trip, but promised to be home for the twins’ birthday party. This was his busiest time of the year, and he was gone a lot. Mother had made him promise to be home this weekend, and Nyah was anxious to see him. Father had come to her room while she was sleeping, telling her goodbye, but with Mother standing watch in the doorway, Nyah could do nothing more than give him a hug and tell him to hurry home.

Mother loved that Nyah was locked in the attic, as if she was controlling the young girl, but that was far from the truth. Mrs. Cleary continued to tell Nyah stories of the wizarding world whenever they had a free moment. Nyah was full of questions, and Mrs. Cleary answered them as best she could.

Nyah turned from the attic window, setting her mind to keeping busy for the entire weekend. Anna had brought her some more paper, but she wasn’t in the mood to draw.

With Mother outside, it might be a good opportunity to get out of her little room for a while. Alexander would be trailing after Mother, not wanting to be in the house alone; worried that he might sprout horns or something. That only left the groundskeeper, Mr. Whittaker, but the chance of him being inside while all of the preparations were going on outside, was very slim. So, with a mischievous smile, Nyah set for the hole in the wall.

Nyah made her way through the dark and dusty east room. Having memorized the path, she didn’t need the light any more. She reached the little door that would lead her to a spare bedroom when she heard footsteps … she was sure … Nyah froze.

If they turned towards the spare room, it meant Anna was on her way. Mrs. Cleary was out for the day running errands for Mother, so it couldn’t be her … 3, 2, 1 … top of the steps … “Turn right, turn right!” silently begged Nyah, unable to move.

Click, click, click … HEELS! Nyah turned and ran as quickly and as quietly as her feet could move her. She pushed the board aside as she heard the key enter the lock. Nyah threw herself through the hole in the wall and out the other side. The doorknob was turning. Nyah was closing the board when the board gave way in her hands, ripping from the wall with a thud. “Oh no!” Nyah gasped.

There was no way to hide this … it was a dead giveaway! If Mother found out, this small beacon of hope would be gone … stripped from her … just like her lost freedom. “Come on … think, think…” she muttered. My robe!” Nyah said, reaching out her hand. On command, her robe flew from the corner of her bed straight into her hand. Pain shot through her head, but Nyah kept moving, nearly unfazed at the magic she had just performed. She quickly hung her robe on the nail in the wall that had once held the board. As Nyah turned around … there she stood … staring with her cold, steel eyes … Mother.

“Well, well … what do we have here?” Mother asked stepping gingerly into the little room, “Tidying up just for me?”

She stared at Nyah, her eyes falling to slits.

Nyah stood rooted to her spot. Perhaps if she didn’t move, Mother wouldn’t notice the missing board.

“I received a most interesting post today,” Mother said, waving a letter in front of Nyah. “It’s not odd to get post on Thursday’s, but this was hand-delivered by a messenger. And what’s even more curious is that it’s from school officials. Now, would you like to tell me what you’ve done to warrant a visit … here … from school officials?”

She threw the letter at Nyah, who opened her hand allowing the letter to gently come to rest on her palm. Nyah managed a small smile – that little bit of magic didn’t hurt at all. Mother was completely unaware, and had continued her ranting.

“Do they have any idea how busy I am right now? I don’t have time to meet with school officials about you today!” she screamed at Nyah. With just a couple of steps, she was to the door. Grabbing the door handle, she turned to Nyah, scowling “Whatever it is, it will have to be dealt with between you and the school officials. I will not be bothered with it today! Do what you have to in order to get rid of them and you’ll say nothing about the little ‘punishment’ … do I make myself clear?”

“Yes Mother,” Nyah simply replied.

Nyah stared at the letter in her hand as she heard Mother lock the door. The letter was addressed directly to her:
          Miss Pricilla Diane Stewart 
          Little Attic Room
          15 Summerhouse Way
          Abbots Langley

          {Please refrain from opening until the school officials arrive this afternoon ~ Thank you}

Nyah made her way to her bed, her hands shaking, wondering what the letter was about. “I sent all of my work with Anna … but I haven’t been there for a few days …” Nyah voiced out loud to her room. As she walked past the little mirror on her dresser, she caught a glimpse of herself; her hair was sticking out in all directions and her face was spattered with dust from her near-escape not long ago.

Nyah decided that a good impression would be necessary, so she set about gathering her things for a quick shower. She made her way through the hole, leaving her robe hanging on the nail to disguise the broken board. She had just gone through, when she lost her balance and stumbled to the floor. Hoping no one was in the room below, she started to get up and realized her brush was missing. With a sigh, Nyah knelt down, feeling around on the floor. She caught a glimpse of the handle, and moving a few boxes out of the way, she grabbed the handle. Out of the corner of her eye, clear in the back of the room, was a box that was covered in tape. What could possibly be interesting about another dusty box? Well … this one had her name on it … 

Author's Note -- I'd love to hear from you!  Please leave a review and let me know what you think of the story so far.  Thanks!

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