Chapter 5 : Revelations
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A/N - Well I really, really wanted to show you guys what I imagine Kate to look like because I have such a clear picture of her in my head. This is exactly how I see her. Does she look anything like you've imagined her to? Oh and heres chapter five :)
I looked up from my position, sprawled on the ground with the cloak hidden beneath me to see the magnificent man from the feast, peering cheerfully down at me. Behind him were three horrified faces and one expectant one. I wondered why Remus was expectant.
Actually, I should probably be wondering how the hell I was going to explain myself!
A few students who had seen what had happened, paused on their way through the portrait hole and stood watching with anticipation until they met the man’s stare and scurried away. He had that affect on people. Though not stern looking at all, he was intimidating and I got the sense that you wouldn't want to cross him.
I realized he was waiting for an answer but I couldn’t remember his question. Seeming to realize that I was still on the floor, he extended an arm for me.
“I’m sorry, how rude of me,” he said with an apologetic smile.
I took his offered hand, dumbstruck and he pulled me to my feet with a strength that surprised me.
“Um thanks,” I mumbled to him.
“That’s quite alright,” he smiled. “Now would you like to accompany me to my office, Miss Renald?”
I looked around wildly at the Marauders, a little scared to go into an office with a stranger alone, no matter how friendly he was.
“Of course, your friends are welcome as well,” the man continued, noticing my worry.
A little relieved, I nodded and followed him as he strode forwards down a staircase. James and Peter started talking fast and furiously to Remus who appeared to be explaining something and Sirius slung an arm around my shoulder comfortingly and smiled at me. I was a little surprised at the gesture; no one had made any effort to do anything truly friendly towards me before, especially not someone as good-looking and popular as Sirius.
It just made it all the more comforting and I smiled gratefully back at him.
He glanced forwards to make sure the man was out of earshot before turning back to me.
“This is Dumbledore. Don’t worry, you won’t be in too much trouble – he’s a sucker for muggles,” Sirius muttered to me, grinning.
“Thanks,” I mumbled, trying to believe him. I was a bundle of nerves.
Sirius gave me a comforting squeeze.
We kept walking but the corridors and staircases all became a blur as I wondered what would happen when we entered Dumbledore’s office. We hadn’t really gotten far before being caught. I expected us to last at least a night with all of the Marauder’s talk about how awesome they were at pranking and sneaking around. My heart began beating fast when we turned a corner and came to stop at two ancient stone gargoyles.
Dumbledore stepped forward.
“Fizzing Whizbee’s,” he stated clearly and confidently to the gargoyles and they sprang apart, revealing a spiral staircase.
Before I could become too dizzy by this, we stepped onto the bottom step, a little squished as there were so many of us, and it started moving upwards in a spiral motion, almost like an elevator.
When we reached the top, Dumbledore stepped out first, followed by James, Peter, Remus, Sirius and finally me. He sat behind his desk and quickly conjured five red cushiony chairs for us to sit on in front of it.
Positioning myself in the middle one, I looked up at Dumbledore. His expression was thoughtful.
“Well, Miss Renald, I do believe I owe you an explanation.”
“Er …” I said, unsure of what he was getting at. Didn’t I owe him the explanation?
“You see,” Dumbledore continued as lightly as if he were discussing the weather, “Mr Lupin came to see me after the feast and he shared with me a piece of news that was quite unexpected –“ James shot a glare at Remus at this, at which Remus looked at him exasperatedly and nodded his head to Dumbledore, indicating that Dumbledore would explain, “- indeed,” Dumbledore went on, “it was so unexpected that I half believed him to be telling me a lie, but of course Mr Lupin would never do that.” He smiled kindly at the Marauder who smiled back though his face paled slightly and the smile looked a little forced.
“No, what Mr Lupin told me was that a young girl in his year level and who believed herself to be a Muggle, had some how managed to break through the barrier at King Cross Station and hop aboard the Hogwarts Express!” Dumbledore shook his head to himself in increduality. My heart started thumping in my chest at his words, but he continued before I could analyze them too much.
“I was most intrigued by what Mr Lupin had said and I told him that I thought it quite impossible for a Muggle to enter Hogwarts without certain precautions and spells being performed though, of course, I would allow him to show me proof of his tale. But then, Miss Renald, Mr Lupin shared with me another fact, one that intrigued me even further. He told me that at ten, she had attempted to break through the barrier and had failed, not having success until sixteen years of age.”
Dumbledore paused before he continued, speaking more gently that before and staring at me directly in the eye. “Mr Lupin then told me that he believed this young woman to be a witch. I told him that I thought he was quite right.”
I stared at him, uncomprehendingly while on my right, James and Peter were both spluttering and on my left, Sirius was gasping in realization. Remus was smiling at me but I wasn’t smiling back. I couldn’t take in the words Dumbledore was saying because they were impossible. I couldn’t be a witch, not at all! I banished the thoughts away before they could plant themselves in my mind … before I could hope they were true.
My mum had drilled it into me over and over - standing out from the crowd is a big no. Don’t give people a reason to discriminate you or put you down. And that’s what I’ve done, I’ve always hated any feature that made me different from the rest of the world and even when I had a chance to stand out more than I already did, I never took it, though sometimes I kind of wanted to. I knew that no good would come from it and I would end up getting hurt because of people’s judgment.
But being a witch … being magical?
I wanted that. I really really wanted that and I had wanted to be a part of that magic since I was ten years old. And if I was magical here it wouldn’t give people a chance to mock me because that’s what everyone was here. Everyone was magical so by being non-magical I was the stand out.
Having no magical powers made me abnormal.
And that’s what I always was, no matter how hard I might wish I wasn’t. I was abnormal. I was different. I was never as perfect as everyone else and I never would be.
So I didn’t let myself belief Dumbledore because it wasn’t true. If being a witch was now normal, and I was a witch that would make me normal and normal is something I've never been. It couldn’t be true.
“Um sir, I think there must be a mistake. I can’t be a witch,” I confessed to Dumbledore.
He smiled kindly at me. “I understand that it is a difficult concept to grasp – not only have you discovered magic today but you’ve been told by a stranger that you are magical yourself! I am afraid, however, it is nothing but truth. I can prove it to you, if you’d like,” he offered.
I raised my eyebrows a little. How could he prove that I was witch? Then again, this was a magic school.
“Okay,” I challenged him, sounding a little braver than I felt.
Dumbledore drew what I could only label as a wand from within his robes and I flinched automatically, expecting him to curse me or something.
“No need to worry, Miss Renald. The charm I am about to perform is not one designed to harm you,” Dumbledore assured me.
Recovering but still a little worried, I straightened up, preparing myself.
“Ostendito Lamia,” murmured Dumbledore softly, pointing his wand at me.
For a moment nothing happened and I could almost hear my mum’s voice inside me saying,
See? I told you this wasn’t real!
But then I felt a warm tingling that begun in my neck and extended slowly, reaching my head and my forearms. It continued expanding to the tips of my fingers and down my torso, heading for my toes. When it reached them, I looked down and saw that I was glowing. It was a soft, golden glow that seemed to vibrate from within me and I raised my head to gasp at Dumbledore.
His expression was calm and reassuring. I found it impossible to be alarmed with such a comforting face near me. The Marauders were all gaping at me, open mouthed with wonder, except for Remus. He looked a little smug.
I pulled my gaze away from them and looked at Dumbledore again, wondering if this really meant what I thought it did. As if he knew what I was thinking, he inclined his head.
The glowing faded away but the exhilarated feeling that I’d felt since I’d become tingly remained.
I was a witch. I was a witch. Me! The spell had proven it. I felt my heart beat increase with excitement and my stomach start flipping and flopping with nervousness. What if I wasn’t good at it?
And more importantly, what did this mean? Would I live here now? For how long?
I felt another brief panic attack as I wondered if I wasn’t going back. There was a chance I would never see my mother again. Even though we were the furthest thing from close it still made me ache inside to know I wouldn’t live with her for who knows how long.
Dumbledore’s voice brought me back to the present.
“So it seems you are a witch, Miss Renald,” he told me with a little satisfaction.
I stared at him with wide eyes for a few moments before I nodded, unable to talk just yet.
He stood up and began pacing around his office, deep in thought.
“Now there are a few things that we need to straighten out. You’ll need a wand – we’ll have to get Olivander in, and what class to put you in?”
Dumbledore paused in his pacing and a thoughtful expression settled itself on his face. After a few moments, I could almost see an idea forming itself in his head.
He turned back to face me with a wide smile. “Miss Renald, what would you say to taking sixth year classes with a tutor for each subject?”
I didn’t really have much of an idea how I felt about that. I was still getting used to the idea of being a witch for crying out loud!
I nodded because my vocal chords seemed amazingly inactive at this moment.
“What would you say if that tutor was the best student in each class?” Dumbledore went on, raising his eyebrows.
Beside me, Sirius and James seemed to have finally stopped spluttering and I saw them smirk from the corner of my eye.
“None of those best students you spoke of what be us, would they sir?” James asked in a falsely innocent voice, unable to contain his grin. It was clear that he assumed it would be them.
Dumbledore chuckled. “You shall have to wait and see, James.”
Beside him, I sunk slowly and unsteadily into my chair as all that had happened today suddenly crept back upon me in full force. I closed my eyes, feeling dizzy.
“Oh forgive me Miss Renald, how very rude I am,” Dumbledore apologized. “This must all be very overwhelming, would you like a drink to calm you?”
A drink to calm me? Ah, it must be a magic drink.
I nodded with my eyes remaining closed before reluctantly opening them to take the drink Dumbledore passed me. I took a sip and immediately felt less worried and on edge. My exhaustion faded as I drank more.
Dumbledore eyed me with concern. “I think we can continue discussing the necessities at a later date for it is quite late and personally, I would rather enjoy a hot chocolate before bed.”
We all got up out of our comfy chairs, preparing to leave when Dumbledore’s voice came once again.
“Miss Renald, there is one thing that cannot wait for a later date but that I wish to discuss with you alone,” he told me.
I automatically sat back down again. The Marauders froze and Sirius whipped his head around to face me, his expression worried.
“Sir, I’m not sure if – “
“Mr Black, this is rather important,” Dumbledore cut him off gravely.
Stormy eyes met the blue and the owner of the stormy eyes gave in.
“Will you be alright?” Sirius murmured, crouching down to my level with a frown on his face. I saw the rest of the Marauders peering down behind him at me with similar expressions.
Would I be alright?
I suppose I would, I didn’t really have any concerns about Dumbledore hurting me or something, physically at least. I was however, a little worried that this might have all just been a joke. That would be just my luck, wouldn’t it? The Marauders would leave and Dumbledore would go,
Only joking, Kate, you’re not really a witch! But I had you going didn’t I? Just felt like a chuckle!
Oh I’d be mad if he did that.
Feeling like I didn’t really have much of a say in the matter, I nodded to Sirius and the rest of the Marauders, providing them with what I hoped was a reassuring smile. They reluctantly left, leaving me alone with Dumbledore. I turned my head away from the door, where I’d been waving the boys off and took a deep breath before turning back to Dumbledore.
He was watching me with a speculative, yet concerned expression on his wrinkled old face. I guessed him to be in about his late sixties or something but it was hard to tell. In some ways he seemed younger, in some ways he seemed older. I felt a bit exposed in gaze. It felt as though it was penetrating me, seeing through me. It felt a little like being x-rayed when he watched me like that and I can’t say I enjoyed the experience of being seen through.
I coughed, trying not to sound like one of those people that coughs to get someone’s attention or to express their disapproval. I was just trying to break the silence and Dumbledore seemed to realize this as he began speaking.
“Kate,” he began and I was startled by the use of my first name, not just because I’d never told him it. “Kate, there is one thing which needs to be sorted out tonight, before unfortunate things can occur.”
I waited patiently, curious and freaked out a little at whatever he was talking about.
He paused slightly, his electric eyes penetrating me once more. “Kate, do your parents know you’re here?” he asked finally.
My heart sank.
My parents. Plural.
I had no parent s, not in my eyes anyway. I had my mother and that was it. I barely had her at all anyway.
Willing my breathing to return to normal, I answered Dumbledore who was waiting patiently.
“Look, professor that’s … that’s not an issue.”
“I would still like an answer to my question, Kate.”
I took a deep breath. “No,” I answered in a small voice.
His expression did not change but his voice was gentler. “Kate, I understand that for whatever reasons this may be difficult for you, but you must tell your parents that you are magical,” he told me with such understanding that it seemed to make my sudden panic worse. I couldn’t tell my mother that I was magical! Even if it were possible that she believed me, she would be so mad at me for doing this. Of course it would be my fault. I mean, I could’ve absolutely changed what I am.
I stopped my thoughts before they could become too angry.
“Professor, I can’t.” My voice came out as a plead rather than a statement.
He looked at me gravely. “You must.”
I took a big breath in and exhaled it all in a gust to try and release my anger and fear with it. It didn’t really work and when I spoke again, my voice turned sharper.
“Why?” I challenged him.
He raised his eyebrows at my tone. “Because it is only right that they know who their daughter is.”
“I doubt she’s even worried about me, professor,” I admitted bluntly.
He sighed. “Kate, I must insist on this and there’s really not a lot you can say that will change my opinion on the matter.”
I closed my eyes. “Can you tell her?” I asked in little more than a whisper.
Dumbledore was silent for a few moments and I didn’t dare to open my eyes. I didn’t want to see disapproval or judgment on his face for not having the guts to tell my own mother. I’d seen it all before.
“I can,” Dumbledore finally said and I let out a breath of relief.
“But,” he continued, “You must be there with me,” he told me firmly.
I knew there was no way out of it really so I agreed reluctantly.
“Are you ready to go, then?” Dumbledore asked.
My eyes widened. “What?” I demanded, panicking.
He raised his eyebrows, a small smile on his lips. “We must tell her now before she becomes too worried, Kate.”
“But I – you … we can’t … I –“ I spluttered, trying to convey that it was quite impossible that I leave to tell my mother that I’m a witch. I needed at least weeks to prepare myself.
I realized protesting was useless as soon as I met his eyes.
Sighing and my hands shaking, I nodded glumly. “Okay.”
He smiled widely. “Excellent. Now, if you would do me the honor, Kate, hold onto my arm tightly.”
“What are we doing?” I asked fearfully.
His eyes twinkled as he said, “we are going to reach your mothers house in a little transportation method called side-along apparation. I assure you it’s faster than driving.”
A/N - yay, chapter five! I'm incredibly fast, don't you think? I'm proud :) What do you guys think of Dumbledore? Too strange? Too normal? Tell me all about it! And who predicted that Kate would be a witch? Kudos if you did :) The next chapter was my favourite to write so far so I'm pretty pumped to get it up here.
Please review guys, I love you all :)
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