(Hab das Spezial Kapitel vergessen. Lol.)
The parents' sins
Mr. Granger POV
"Good god, this child! It will drive me mad one day!", my wife, visibly upset, ran her hand through her hair and looked at me desperately.
"Please, Helen, she is our daughter," I called out, worried at her awareness, and stroked myself with a harsh gesture over my burning eyes. Why must our life be so hard?
"I know..." I sighed that ailingly, so much so that it almost physically hurt, but to my chagrin, I could understand her feelings all too well, and I didn't feel that guilty towards our daughter.
She was a burden from the day she was born, and as much as I feel sorry, I needed to admit it!
"What do you mean by that? She'll always be our daughter, it's Hermione," I whispered with a broken voice.
This strife in my family has laid heavy in my stomach for years. Because it was true, it might be exhausting, but she will always be our own flesh and blood. She'd always get what she wanted, what I was able to give her, as long as we could cope in one way or the other to keep our life on a halfway normal path.
Since we welcomed Hermione on the day she was born, we pushed huge and heavy problems in front of us.
Whereby, that wasn't entirely true!
When did it begin? When did it start to be so utterly complicated?
I don't quite know anymore. When I really think about it, I know for sure, that it started too early to be quite creepy.
Did it start when she began to crawl? Or with her first, awkward attempts to walk? Or was it her blowups, when she didn't get the toys she wanted, while she was imprisoned in her cot, as the creepy signs began?
There was the problem, as Hermione tried to make the impossible possible, it made our life for the last 10 years hell.
Apart from the fact that Hermione was, as a child, pure joy: curious, intelligent and smart. Our child has shown us from the very beginning that she outstripped her contemporaries by far and has been obviously ahead of their development. All parents would've been blissful at first to call a child like that their own, if there wouldn't have been these inexplicable outbursts, which put fear and terror into us. Her inexplicability brought us horrible compunctions and spurred us into a negative fantasy.
"I beg your pardon, - wizards? Witches? That's mischief!" gave my wife with a slight hysterical pitch, regarding the fact that our daughter had brought us our next shock of our life, on her accord.
I impatiently hit the tabletop and grimaced, as my wife still tried to adjust to everything by suppressing it. Usually she was so rational, but when it came to our daughter's outbursts, she always became slightly hysterical.
Slowly and sadly I then shook my head, because I could see toys flying around wildly through the room in my memories, objects which stood in the way disappearing, or items weighing like tons easily shifting on their own, out of the blue.
The first outburst left me beyond desperate and shocked. My wife and I cried ourselves to sleep that night. We felt like we'd been in the wrong movie. Since when could this be real?
What did we do, that Hermione could do something like that?
Maybe we could've learned to deal with it and the floating objects wouldn't have been the worst, but when Hermione attacked Helen with a broken shard of the bottles and glasses she had tossed down the table, as she got one of her tantrums and hurt Helen on the cheek, I snapped.
I did something unforgivable and hit my daughter, my child. I assumed, that she was too young to remember, but I did it on this day. It has strained me since then with guilty feelings. Afterwards a world broke apart for me and even for Helen. The revelation of how the inexplicable talent of my child could force me to do such a thing was terrifying and that a toddler could hurt her own mother, daunting.
Over the years my wife and I despaired, as Hermione frequently did new, terrifying things, which never gave us rest. To now receive this information, that everything happened because of magic, was illuminating.
Magic was immediately an adequate explanation for me, of which I was ready to accept, as it provided me a profound escape, which didn't let me doubt my sanity, whilst my wife drowned in doubts. I clutched the parchment which provided the explanation of magic as hard and as desperately as my wife was hopeless.
"The owl, she did it and we didn't imagine it," I dared to interpose with feigned confidence.
Eventually the particularities around my daughter reached the climax, when this morning on the patio we became flabbergasted, for a huge bird had landed, plummeting onto our table and holding out a letter to Hermione.
"Tush, owls are like carrier pigeons," my wife claimed vehemently and I grinned, although this time didn't feel like grinning. I assumed that she would try everything to deny this other world.
"They are?," I asked, scoffing tenderly.
"Stop it, take me seriously," my wife riled back.
"I do take you seriously. An owl has landed here with a letter and one can blame Hermione for many things, but a vivid imagination does not belong to her, darling! She didn't write it, nor did she find an owl," I defended her. I realised my peculiar wish: that it was really true and I would finally have an explanation to what was wrong with her.
"I would trust her to do everything. This child does enough mischief! This ominous letter will just make everything worse, or do you believe it?" her big, brown eyes looked hopefully at me and at the same time desperately intense.
"What? That this world is real?" I wanted to hear it and nervously played with the handle of my tea cup.
"Yes, don't you think that this is just nonsense and a crazy idea?" Helen whispered, really unhappy, and stroked a curly strand with a trembling hand harshly away from her forehead. "Hermione is a strange and odd child."
"Oh please, who in my family is not odd?" I scaled it down playfully, because I didn't like it when my wife showed me that she distanced herself emotionally more and more from Hermione and I didn't like it either, when she labeled her as just a child.
Our relationship to our daughter was tense and shaped with a certain chill, albeit I appreciated it, when she still got everything she needed to train her keen mind. But even I as well as my wife, couldn't provide her with great love, since we lost this great, intoxicating feeling towards her years ago.
This tragic confession caused my heart to burn past belief. I never wanted to become such an incredibly bad person. Was this the reason why I was a bad person? Was I a bad father?
Thoughts like that haunted me every second. They demoralized me and cost me many sleepless nights. They made my life miserable and from time to time my family was such a burden to me that I almost couldn't bare it anymore.
"What do you mean by that?" she immediately whispered back, exhausted, as she could sense the reproach in my voice. By all means we had an unpleasant argument together every now and then, as we rarely agreed with each other on how we would get around Hermione and what we would do to make sure that no one would know what was wrong with our daughter.
We lived a secret and hidden life which strained us, because it wasn't easy for us to prevent that family, acquaintances, friends and the school noticed that Hermione was just not normal. It was more than difficult because she just was different than other children. Thus I reacted to my wife's indignation with just a disparaging shrug.
"That's what I say, all members of your family have always been highly talented... you too" I repelled.
Every child who is bright will have a difficult life in school, wherefore inevitably, sometime the disillusionment follows after the happiness to have such a "special" child, though in our case the happiness has never been there, as Hermione's exceeding talents has been too unusual that anyone would've faced us with incomprehension and distrust and we would've aroused unwanted attention.
I briefly put my hand over my forehead as if I had a headache. I never wished for much in my life. We lived a good life. We had a house, had enough money, a job which satisfied us and a child, who was successful in school, and despite her intellectual giftedness, she got on there, admittedly in her own way, but better than many others. Why did everything else, apart from this, have to be so difficult?
But how must it be for Hermione? Who, as I knew very well, had no friends, due to either her intellectual giftedness or her outbursts. How must it be, when one suddenly skipped classes and got praised, because one was so smart? Yet, one won't ever get friends like that, when one does inscrutable and uncanny things - it was spectacularly difficult to be a child!
I felt awfully sorry for my daughter. But how I could adequately change something for her? I didn't know then, but now the chance had come up to me to help her at least partially, as the isolation based on her intellectual giftedness was still there. I needed to support her to bring about her life and so I could maybe relieve the wrong I committed towards my child.
"You can't explain Hermione's 'otherness' with this - that I or my family have always been very precocious or just even very talented," Helen retorted, extremely offended. She sniffed, the tears reflecting in her eyes.
She didn't like it when I compared her with Hermione and disregarded my own family. We shoved the blame back and forth for years about who was responsible over Hermione being just different.
There were many ugly moments in our marriage because of our daughter!
"Touche, my love," showing myself as very approachable and leaning back with a sigh, at the same time ignoring the delicate topic of guilt. In quiet moments, I blamed myself and just myself, but Helen too was at odds with herself over who the blame should be laid upon.
It was an eternal circle, which we could just barely break, as we couldn't get to an outcome. My wife recognized the purpose behind the recrimination. She briefly fell quiet, whilst I, lost in thought, smoothed down the owl's letter, still in front of me.
"I'm still unhappy, as I don't know how to act towards her. Since the day when objects flew through the air..." Helen ceased talking. Her hand twitched to the small, fine scar which ran over her cheek and which she always covered with make-up carefully. She looked at me with tear-veiled eyes. "...since then I'm scared of her," she shudderingly admitted, quietly sobbing. My heart contracted with this confession.
This confession, that one was scared of one's own flesh and blood, was terrible and a parent should never need to admit it.
But I could understand her so terribly well, as I felt the same, even knowing that Hermione for sure didn't hurt Helen on purpose. But it was the knowledge of what she could do with her skills that made it very painful.
What kind of parents did that make us?
I tried to pull myself together and confessed to myself that I too had handled Hermione with kid gloves after my act of violence, since I knew that anything unpleasant could drive her back into an outburst and put me on the edge of self-control.
"Understandable, me too," I confessed reluctantly but sincerely, which made Helen give an unhappy but resigned smile. "But now we have slowly but surely an explanation," I hopefully looked at the lines in front of me again, whereupon Helen grimaced, downcast.
"Which pleases me even less. I beg you, magic? Wizardry? Have we landed in Hollywood?," my very rational wife shook her curly head. "It's so unbelievable."
"My love, can I be blunt? It is better for me to hear such things than anything else! Imagine if we were told that she is possessed by demons, like in The Exorcist. Would you rather hear that? I'm happier that my daughter is a witch," I pushed myself to think of the lesser evil and suppressed the chills who wanted to assault me when I expressed my deepest concerns. I had already considered every possibility as well as impossibility.
"You’re impossible, that you always distort everything like that, Or even find a justification!" came sharply from her, causing me to give her a depressed look.
"Do I do that? I thought I'd rather see the positive side of the thing," I sniffed plainly, for her tone did not please me.
"Call it however you want I say, you say beautiful things, but they do no good here and now," she replied and folded her arms tightly in front of her chest.
Meanwhile her eyes told me that she was struggling with herself and simply did not know what she should believe. She did not want to believe in this letter, for if the magic as an explanation, too, would turn out to be a failure, she would only fall deeper. She did not want to give herself any false hope. "Do you see it like this?" I asked quietly.
The painful knot in my stomach increased. Had already so much been broken in our family that she did not realize that this letter could help Hermione find the place she belonged to?
Did she not see that, this time, the hope to help Hermione seemed to be justified? For some time, I was plagued by the sorrows of puberty. The question of how to overcome this, for Hermione's own insecurity, was very noticeable to me. My smart girl knew that she was completely different from other girls, and that made her everyday life, with others in her own age, twice as hard.
I found we had to support our daughter unconditionally and even if a more than obtuse way out opened up, I would follow it for her! I owed that to my daughter after I was not able to help her. I was now ready to consider every possibility as long as it helped Hermione.
"What do you mean by that again?" My wife bawled.
"That our daughter could find her place in life through this letter and I do not want to stand in the way," I insisted eagerly and put all my hopes into the thought that everything would perhaps really improve through this letter.
"Oh," was Helen's speechless comment.
"Yes, oh! She never had it easy in the past eleven years. Now that something like this comes along - that there really is this other world - who am I to put myself in her way? Perhaps that makes everything easier for us too," I said with deep confidence that I carried within me.
Would we still be able to be a normal family?
Was there hope for us to be normal?
I was optimistic, because here was written that this school was a boarding school. From the beginning, it was clear to us that this would be out of the question for Hermione because of the outbursts. And I knew that Helen and Hermione would do well when they got distanced from each other. We had to use this opportunity for both mother and daughter and for me, because our togetherness and marriage had suffered badly during the last years.
"What do you mean by that? Easier?" she now pushed her teacup uneasily across the table and licked her lips uncertainly.
"She would be gone, far away," I spoke fervently, though inside I whispered out my hopes - that this would be all right - and yet I still felt like a miserable father.
"Yes ..." Helen breathed sadly, but also hopefully.
It did not sound nice, but I knew which two hearts were just beating in her b***. That of the mother, who had always felt guilty because she did not love her child as much as she should, and that of the wife, who also longed for ease and peace in her everyday life and her marriage.
"Yes, the distance would do us all good," I said sincerely, showing my despicable thoughts, which caused something to sparkle in the eyes of my wife. She slowly understood what it would mean if we were to let Hermione go, and I thought the same way, even if I was in conflict with myself.
"You're absolutely right, she really would. Do you think she would learn to curb herself? She would do well, too?" My wife suddenly straightened up much more determinedly and suddenly sounded hopeful, which indicated that when it was for Hermione's best interests, she would not have any feelings of guilt over her actions.
"I suppose, why else should there be a school for witchcraft and wizardry?" I agreed, slowly nodding.
"That sounds so tremendous and... Oh, I don't know..." she put her hand on her mouth, as if she were forbidden to speak, but I could clearly see the flared up confidence in her eyes.
"Exciting and unbelievable?" I asked, but since we had our daughter, we were accustomed to experience the like.
For a few seconds we looked at each other silently, and then speechlessly we each decided for ourselves that we would dare to do it.
"A world not of our own, that scares me," she whispered finally, almost suffocated by her hand, and swallowed uncomfortably. The goose bumps that were appearing on her body were not to be overlooked, and I nodded unhappily. The depths were so deep - it was difficult to think about this monstrosity.
"I know, me too. Were we blind?" My eyes twitched from the letter to Helen and back. Would this really be the right thing, pulling her into this unknown world?
"And yet we let her go?" My wife's question sounded more like a rhetorical question than a real one.
"Yes," I said decisively. Fate had decided for us a long time ago.
End of Mr. Grangers POV
HOGWARTS SCHOOL FOR WITCHCRAFT AND WIZARDRY
Headmaster: Albus Dumbledore
(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock,
Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards)
Dear Miss Granger,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.
Term begins on September 1. We await your owl by no later than July 31.
of WITCHCRAFT and WIZARDRY
First-year students will require:
Three sets of plain work robes (black)
One plain pointed hat (black) for day wear
One pair of protective gloves (dragon hide or similar)
One winter cloak (black, with silver fastenings)
Please note that all pupils' clothes should carry name tags.
All students should have a copy of each of the following:
- The Standard Book of Spells (Grade 1)
by Miranda Goshawk
- A History of Magic by Bathilda Bagshot
- Magical Theory by Adalbert Waffling
- A Beginner's Guide to Transfiguration by Emeric Switch
- One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi
by Phyllida Spore
- Magical Drafts and Potions by Arsenius Jigger
-Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
by Newt Scamander
- The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection
by Quentin Trimble
1 cauldron (pewter, standard size 2)
1 set glass or crystal phials
1 set brass scales
Students may also bring and owl OR a cat OR a toad.
PARENTS ARE REMINDED THAT FIRST YEARS ARE NOT ALLOWED THEIR OWN BROOMSTICKS
I stared at the letter like a hypnotist. Well, first at the owl, then at the letter and again and again a word sprang into my head: witchcraft!
Was I a witch?
Hope rose in me, infinite hope - I might finally get an explanation.
At the same time, however, the fear and the uncertainty that I had too much hope and then I would be fooled.
This letter was incredibly wonderful. It was incredible but also too good to be true.
"Hermione, would you please go into your room?" demanded my Mum, stiffly. I found her to be over-reacting.
Mum did not sound questioning, and even though I was terribly nervous and upset since the arrival of the strange letter, I had learned to obey this blaming voice bravely.
She generally promised nothing good, suggesting that I had done something wrong and that there were some odd, unintelligible things to cover up.
How I hated my life!
It was corrosive to constantly have to submit to the dictation of my parents. I kept doing something wrong, did not behave inconspicuously enough, or left my emotions too free.
I groaned miserably and threw a longing look, with the fervent desire that this should be the solution to all my problems, to the parchment. I wanted so much that it was true as I slowly went to retire, like the obedient daughter I was.
The biggest problem with the whole thing was I would not be myself if I had not quickly slid into my secret place to listen over the terrace, for when was the last time I was good?
Should it have affected me, what I had heard?
Sure, because it wasn't nice to hear how my parents talked about me so badly, but I was used to my suffering to keep track of the doubts, fears and worries of my parents because of me!
It hurt me unspeakably deeply that they said that they feared me, but I did not understand why.
For years, I worked on myself and suppressed my emotions, restrained them. When everyone around me were either terribly stupid or slow, I did not get instantly angry because I had learned that most people were not as fast as I was. My last outburst lay long back.
Well, I should be honest, the last outbreak that Mum and Dad knew about lay long back. I had learned to cover it up when I did something forbidden. After all, I was a terribly fast learner.
I bit my tongue and rigorously suppressed the tears that tickled me in the corner of my eyes. Until recently, I had been so happy to read this letter and now I heard this!
Of course, they would never talk so openly if they knew I could hear every word, but I have known for a long time how my parents saw me, though I hoped they would not steal my opportunity to be who I truly was: a witch!
Before my eyes, the book list appeared, and while Mum expressed her fear of me, I dreamed of becoming a notoriously enchanted sorceress who made the world out of breath.
That would be so cool!
I wanted to get away, away from the rules of my parents, away from their misunderstanding and I did not want to disturb them any longer.
Maybe they would be happier without me and maybe I could finally live freely and learn to exorcise my demons.
Yes, I wanted to dare it. I wanted this adventure. I wanted to get to know this new world for myself and of course I was hurt, but I bravely blinked away the sad tears, for I heard my dad say frankly that he was ready to let me go. Victoriously, I clenched my hands in fists and stretched them in the air, for soon I would be free!
In the course of the same day there came a strange lady, and after her visit I lay with a happy smile in my bed. It could not have been better. Someone had appeared to bring us closer to this new world. The Muggle professor Charity Burbage had brought us to the Diagon Alley, and had also been talking with my parents before and had shown them that there was real magic.
Since then, I was over the moon and even Mum and Dad seemed happier than they had for years!
This street was the absolute hit, so ancient, medieval and somehow retrograde to the modern Muggle world and then again totally different, so mystical and mysterious.
Everything was impressive- the funny and oddly dressed people, the animals, the extraordinary stores, the incredibly impressive bank with the ugly goblins. I felt as special as Dorothy in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, or Sarah in Labyrinth.
They filled my every wish, and I couldn't believe that everything was falling into place. The three of us were like small, curious children who were traveling in a leisure park. We often went into this magical street to relieve my reading needs. Even my parents got some of the books every now and then on the subject of magic and studied it attentively. It was a beautiful and exciting time for me to discover and conquer this new world!
The first time I held my wand at Ollivander's in my hand and felt the magic trickle through me, it was like awakening from a long deep sleep. I felt indescribably alive when the bright radiant light burst from the wand and everything re-ordered itself. In the background, I noticed my parents holding their breath and watching me behave like a magician, while I had an unexpected uplift. This was a gift, an unimaginable gift, and I was sure I was destined for something greater!
Even my parents were more active with themselves and with me. A hitherto unknown lightness reigned from the day the letter had arrived. We were filled with hope that everything would be all right.
Then I read like a madman to learn about this magical world and had to realize that it would be possible for me to use the wand only at Hogwarts. An annoying aspect, but it did not change the fact that I did obey. I memorized the spells by heart and practiced the movements. I was addicted to feeling this magic flow through me again and again and wished to start at school as soon as possible.
I had the magic, I was close to sorcery, the knowledge of the books flew to me, even more than the material of the "normal" school. I had found my vocation, I wanted to grow up in magic.
Although I still had to accept the fact that I was not a "normal" person - I was not a muggle, as the wizards said. With great interest, I read the statements in the books, and during these days I watched my parents closely and tried to see what the difference between us was.
Was it apparent that we were different? Except for the magic, did one recognize it, see it?
Why was only I magical, but my parents weren't?
All these questions I was unfortunately unable to answer, because I could not find any differing characteristics that I was magical and different from my parents who were non-magical muggles.
We remained the same. If I did no magic, I was like them!
That made me feel tremendous, and I was anxious to see how different the magical kids would be from real wizards. Would they be more like me? Would they be as gifted as me? Have they been noticed in the normal school as well?
I hoped to finally find peers who were like me!
So I went very joyfully and with the hope that I would now also experience understanding and acceptance, as I had been denied so far, to the train. On to Hogwarts, on to my new, better life!
The platform was rampant and as we traversed the wall to track 9 3/4, I left my old life behind forever as we rediscovered this new world within our old world.
"Impressive," muttered my father, rubbing his gray-mottled hair.
"It's frightening that it's right next to us, undetected," Mum whispered, looking speechless. I didn't blame her. How did they manage to lock this world away from me?
My head turned back and forth, this was just too great, so many people!
"Ouch," Mum suddenly exclaimed and staggered.
"Careful," said a large man snobbishly.
Mum, like all of us, was distracted by this other world and stumbled into a truly impressive man. I stared at him like the impressive appearance he was.
"I ... I ... excuse me," came my mother, who was visibly uncomfortable and pushed her hair out of her face. "I wasn't looking where I was going."
"Yes, my wife is fascinated by all of this," Dad waved it away hastily, pointing to the old locomotive that was standing in front of us.
"If my eyes do not deceive me… a Muggle," the man in front of us sneered, drawing up his spine in a domineering posture.
I could not take my eyes off his almost white long hair. The first man with the long hair had behaved like an actor from the old, historical films that my mum so loved.
This sight captivated me, especially because I inevitably imagined my father with long hair. I almost laughed, a bit hysterical. But while my father seemed ridiculous to me, the man in front of me looked like a king, walking as confidently as he did.
The way he held himself was so self-confident, with a cloak and walking-stick, but he didn't look silly. He radiated an almost aristocratic and stately sublimity, which drew a reverential retreat.
"Lucius, there's Mr. and Mrs. Parkinson in front," a melodic voice sounded next to him, and my parents' eyes went to the radiant, but also arrogant, woman in a very chic, noble costume that emphasized her flawless figure. She immediately looked at Mum skeptically.
Mum didn't have a particular expression on her face, but I knew that she put a lot of thought into her weight and was just now trying to figure out who looked better, herself or this strange lady.
"You're a wizard?" Dad asked innocently, and two very bright eyes twitched visibly, while an ice-cold smile spread over the striking features of the man.
"Take care," his words sounding almost like a threat in my suspicious ears.
Then he turned away on his heel with a flowing coat, and made a very unique departure, and as he divided the crowd like Moses the Red Sea, they withdrew before his sovereign form.
"What a man," Mum whispered so softly that Dad didn't hear her and I looked skeptically after him. Mum sometimes has a very special taste.
"Girls! Where are you? The train will leave without Hermione!" Dad shouted excitedly in the crowd, and it seemed to me that it would be the worst thing for him if the train really left without me.
"So, my girl is now a young woman! Make us proud and show everyone how clever and gifted you are," my father said as a goodbye. I was already standing on the footboard, looking down at my parents and nodding eagerly.
"I'll make you proud, I promise," I countered, and Mum gave me a deep smile that I rarely got from her.
"Take care, Hermione, and have a happy year at school," she said, looking confident and cheerful.
"Take care," I waved, hopping happily into the train.
So I conquered the train for myself, and on that day, I realized at once that I was different in the world of magic.
What a bitter disappointment this realization was. Children seemed to remain children, whether magical or not!
They had the same interests as muggle children and so I could not do anything with them at all.
They were nasty little beasts!
They did not appreciate brilliance, readiness and geniality, and were only interested, like Muggle children, in trivial games and fun. How sobering this was right at the beginning for me.
I met the girls of my year's class and only saw stupid giggles and stories from the guys who gave them the best. So I withdrew behind my book and almost immediately fell back into my distant, better-knowing manner, to protect myself from the evil children, who, like the beacons, realized that I was just different.
Quieter than them, like a small, overgrown adult. It did not really make me more sympathetic, although one had to hold that their senseless and brainless behavior did not really appeal to me.
A tricky situation that was infinitely sobering, and it also made me deeply sad that for me, at first sight, nothing would change in the inter-human realm. Even in this new world, I was and would remain strange and would probably find no acceptance, as no one here liked reading books and certainly no one liked reading school books.
When I listened to a conversation in the train of the older children, I also had to learn that I would have a double life in this world.
I felt as if a house of cards collapsed over me, which I had imagined in my wildest dreams in the past few weeks, but truth and reality always came very quickly. I realized so suddenly that I was not part of either world.
I was only tolerated here as a so-called Muggle-born, while I was feared in the Muggle world. It was not an easy thing to realize that as an 11, almost 12-year-old, one did not really belong anywhere.
Confused, I heard the words pure blood, half-blood, and Muggle-born. So far I had not read anything about it, but I decided to do some research at Hogwarts. When I discovered the enchanting library the next morning and captured their secrets for me, I realized that these words were poignantly bad.
It was even worse than I expected. I groaned when I realized for myself what these words would mean for me and my future. I would have to be twice as good and three times better than anyone else to get rid of my "inferior" birth!
Great. I swallowed hard.
This revelation became one of my best kept secrets, especially from my parents, who would never know what problems I was exposed to in this new world. They were glad I was there, where I belonged because of my magical abilities. They didn't see everyone like that in the magical world, so I would let them have their faith.
Not a pretty insight for a little girl, but the train ride was endless and couldn't handle dealing with the girls my age, so I focused elsewhere.
Immediately, I learned rejection and contempt on the train, and if I had not been as strong as life had made me at a young age, I would probably have burst into tears. I resolutely distracted myself from my isolation and helped a visibly nervous and uncertain boy, who was looking for his toad. This way how I got to know the great Harry Potter.
Harry Potter, a legend in the magical world, was a pure disappointment, for nothing was special about him.
Though I obviously knew more about him than he knew about himself, which was strange, but not my problem!
Especially since I was not welcome in the compartment because his companion did not really welcome me. The fact that I was able to successfully use my wand in front of the audience for the first time raised my mood immensely.
Spells were easy for me, charms were simple and endlessly charming, and helped me to ignore the fact that this train ride had not brought any friends.
I escaped from the compartment to give myself this great moment alone. It meant a lot to me that I had managed to cast a spell without really practicing before!
No matter what I had heard, I knew I was good, and that made me feel better. During the rest of the train journey, I was worried and wondered if that was all right, if my situation didn't change. I would still be alone, but when I saw the great, impressive castle in front of the dark night sky in front of me, I knew this was the place of my destiny.
I had arrived home!
I was overwhelmed and humbled by this building that would be my home from now on. All of my companions were also speechless from the mystical and magical beauty of this place.
The boat trip passed as if in a rage. I was so captivated that I did not really register the arrival and when I entered the Great Hall with firm and determined steps, I did not want to let myself know that I was a little intimidated myself and fought my uncertainty and nervousness with my knowledge of Hogwarts. Again, a point that was made obvious was how different I was from my comrades. I had read all the books and knew everything there was to know about Hogwarts from books, especially "Hogwarts: A History". I wondered how these pure-blooded, magical children could have no idea of these things!
It also revealed how different we were in our behavior.
I found them ignorant, they surely thought me a know-it-all, but nothing could dampen my euphoria. I was exuberantly enthusiastic and from the moment it became clear what my peers thought of me, I knew I wanted to be the best witch in the world!
Being here was a miracle and I would make it my own personal miracle!
The impressions flooded me right then and there. There was the enchanted ceiling, which I had already read about, but what was really beautiful and overwhelming, was a hat that had suddenly begun to speak, and I listened with pricked ears.
Oh you may not think I'm pretty,
But don't judge on what you see,
I'll eat myself if you can find
A smarter hat than me.
You can keep your bowlers black,
Your top hats sleek and tall,
For I'm the Hogwarts Sorting Hat
And I can cap them all.
There's nothing hidden in your head
The Sorting Hat can't see,
So try me on and I will tell you
Where you ought to be.
You might belong in Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve, and chivalry
Set Gryffindors apart;
You might belong in Hufflepuff,
Where they are just and loyal,
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true
And unafraid of toil;
Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,
if you've a ready mind,
Where those of wit and learning,
Will always find their kind;
Or perhaps in Slytherin
You'll make your real friends,
Those cunning folks use any means
To achieve their ends.
So put me on! Don't be afraid!
And don't get in a flap!
You're in safe hands (though I have none)
For I'm a Thinking Cap!
(Quote from Volume 1 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Chapter 7)
Gradually, the students sat down and were sorted into the houses. I was terribly nervous for when my turn would finally come. The division into the houses this evening would be decisive for our future.
In the meantime, I switched my gaze to a teacher, an old man with a long, white beard, and tried to push away the feeling that his good-natured countenance was merely a spectacle. He seemed so innocent with his mild smile that my feelings felt absurd.
The rest of the staff did not really captivate me. The lady, who had brought us in, appeared to me to be strict but possessing integrity, so I could handle it. The giant at the end of the table attracted my attention because of his size. I saw Professor Burbage, who had introduced me into the magical world, and a very gloomy man, who seemed to be quite young, and yet sink completely into blackness.
His face was unreadable, but he seemed incredibly competent in his self-assured and yet repulsive appearance. Only the call of my name made me start out of my contemplation.
"Mmm, very difficult," the squeaky voice said in my ear as the hat slipped over my eyes. "Difficult, I see a lot of courage. A brilliant head, I must say. There is more than talent... here is geniality, my goodness, yes, and how... and a strong thirst to prove itself, now that is interesting, so young and so clever... where am I going to put you, young lady? So much trickery..."
"Please... I have no idea!" I thought, overwhelmed, and was once again, quite to my astonishment, the hat spoke to me. These new worlds made me look forward to the challenges, but how did this work?
"So irresolute! Oh, and yet so inquisitive! Not to worry, you would be a good Hufflepuff, only the rest of the Hufflepuffs would not be for you," the hat replied doubtfully, and I frowned. This was definitely not a compliment.
"Uh," I said, eloquently, but the hat did not allow me to finish.
"Exciting... to my astonishment, you would make yourself great in Slytherin. It's all there in your head and the friends you would find there, really… only your blood does not satisfy the founder enough... a shame, if only you were a half-blood... a pity...
a shame..." said the hat. Apparently I was being judged for something I could not control. "Even Ravenclaw would be fit for your knowledge-minded spirit, but not a challenge..." the hat gradually broke up and it made me uneasy. Where would I spend the next few years if he rejected every house?
"Is there no house for me?" I asked cautiously.
"Of course, everyone has his place, then simply... Gryffindor!" He shouted only the last word loudly into the hall and the elderly lady pulled my hat off my head. I jumped up without hesitation and hurried happily towards the table of my House and to my uncertain future too.
I was full of good things, despite the negative facets of the magical world that I had already experienced today!