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A Tree So Real


As Jennifer's home-life was mostly full of her fathers drunken stupors, angry fights and both physical and mental abuse; she couldn't wait to get back to school. And since this story is meant to be a way of escaping all the nasty sides of real life, I am more than happy to comply as we fast forward past Jennifer's escape of the real world and focus on the journey to the magical one instead.

We arrive quite abruptly to the sweet fair wells and good bye hugs at the platform of 9 and ¾ as Jennifer wave's goodbye to her mum and sister, who at that moment was still too young to venture to Hogwarts with her. In this story Jennifer is 15 so this will be her 5 th year at Hogwarts and she didn't expect anything more than what she had received in the earlier years of bullying and humiliation. 'But still', she thought optimistically, 'as least I can escape home'.

Once her family were securely out of sight, Jennifer gave up her position at the door to find a compartment with her trunk and cage in toe. She realised now that she would be hard pressed to be able to find a compartment that was empty or even one in which the people inside were nice enough to share with her, but she knew she could not spend the whole train journey in hall ways. So she slowly trudged past the many compartments filled with laughter, glancing into each one in turn. 'If all else fails, I could just sit in the changing rooms again', she thought to herself when she had past yet another full compartment. This time however, when she looked in she found the famous trio sitting and talking privately. As she passed this compartment at a slower pace then all the rest, she couldn't help but dream about what it would be like to be in their inner circle; to go on their adventures and to witness what they see. But alas, she knew she had no hope of ever doing such a thing as she was more likely to have Draco Malfoy fall in love with her than to be ever considered a friend by those in which only her imagination helped her be close to.

Nevertheless she continued on and to her surprise found a compartment near the end of the train completely empty, however on entering she soon found the reason why as the air smelled of rotting eggs and mouldy cheese combined. However, not taking her chances lightly, Jennifer quickly performed a simple spell and opened the windows to help vent the musty air as the howling wind outside rushed throughout the compartment making her golden hair cover her face and stick to it like glue.

She spat hair from her mouth and peeled it from the little lip gloss she had dared to put on so as not to draw attention to herself. Eventually she shut the old, crusted window with great effort. She could not win, the compartment still smelled- however I must admit, not as much as it had before- but she could not sit with the window open for fear of being whisked away. And however much that idea appealed to her at the moment, Jennifer heaved her trunk to the rack and placed her caged cat, Fidget, on the seat next to her as she sat down and contemplated the package in front of her.

Before now, Jennifer had not dared to try and hold the exposed book within her grasp for fear of something magical happening in her not so magical neighbourhood, so she had patiently waited for the time in which she knew she would have time and space to discover it's hidden secrets by herself. However, now that the time came she could not help but feel apprehensive. As although the feeling that she had felt only a few days ago had been wonderful and inspirational, it had still scared her, as it had gave an indication of the power it may hold within.

She sat and contemplated the brown paper bag before her quietly. It had been an hour now and yet she had still not dared touch what was held within. She laid her fingers on top of the paper and patted it as she would her cat, hoping it would get used to her touch as a stray animal would get used to your scent. 'Come on, what's the worst that could happen.' Jennifer thought to herself, trying to egg herself on but fruitlessly as she only continued to stare at it, willing the paper to remove itself.

Jennifer sighed and looked to her watch to find how the time had passed already. She couldn't wait any longer; she had to do it now. She had no choice. Jennifer told herself strictly and this time it worked. With a deep breath Jennifer picked up the paper bag and held it at the bottom as she tipped it's contents, namely the black leather bound book, onto her lap softly. She narrowed her eyes and with a look of determination that could rival no one else's, she touched it quickly and left go just as quick as though it was on fire.

"Nothing." Jennifer frowned to herself, feeling utterly confused.

She had felt nothing when she had touched the book. No spark, no intense feeling and certainly, no inspiration to write. 'Absolutely nothing,' Jennifer thought to herself again as she looked at the book closely to make sure it was indeed the same one as before. But there, in the bottom right hand corner laid the inscription that had inspired her so much in the first place, 'As the imagination of the writer flows from the pen on to the paper, no limits will be held as the consequences will be thought of later.'

Jennifer furrowed her brow and this time, with more bravery than before as she deemed it would be a failure, touched the book lightly, feeling the soft black leather beneath her skin. This time however wind whipped through her hair and the familiar pulsing sensation travelled throughout her body making inspiration and imagery run through to her finger tips. Jennifer, although had been certainly surprised that the book had worked this time, enjoyed the feeling and closed her eyes to absorb the energy that was flowing from the book more freely.

As Jennifer closed her eyes, she was not met with darkness as one would usually expect when their eye lids shield their pupils from the light outside, but was instead aware of a whole world inside her mind. It was as if it was real, not just a faded image in the back of her mind, but it was there right in front of her. So clear she could almost touch it. An oak tree that was so large its leaves were bigger than her foot as those that had fallen due to the wind were lying delicately on the floor beside her. Jennifer looked up amazed. She could not see the top as it grew in front of her, only feel the bark beneath her outstretched hand; hard and rough. Jennifer continued to run her hand along the bark of the tree trunk as she circled it, amazed at how wide it all had became. However as she quickened her pace in excitement, the bark turned too rough and scratched a deep gash in the middle of her palm.

Jennifer opened her eyes in shock from the pain. It had felt so real. Everything had been so real; the smell from the sap, the creaking from the branches above and the texture of the bark beneath her fingers. As Jennifer thought about how it had felt, she noticed a small twinge of pain as she moved her fingers slightly. She looked down in surprise to find the same gash that she had received before; seeping crimson with blood. 'Impossible.' Jennifer frowned as she examined the cut with her other hand, making sure it was real. However the pain she felt as she ran her hand across it let her know just how real it was.

"Impossible." She told herself again, however the evidence that was before her left nothing to be doubted. Jennifer turned back to the book that had fallen onto her lap in her surprise and touched it lightly, again feeling that overwhelming feeling of inspiration that came with it. However this time it did not over power her and instead just lingered in the back of her mind, filling her with a comfortable warmth and solitude.

Jennifer opened the book with her unhurt hand to the first page, hoping to find something that would explain what was happening to her. However all she found was the same wording that was on the front, inscribed beautifully in gold on slightly darker and tougher leather than before; obviously unaffected by times progress and the suns gaze. Jennifer sighed in confusion as she traced her fingers over the lettering slowly.

"Why are you so special?" She asked herself and the book but received no answer from either. Instead the lamps fluttered on, signalling that the day was getting late and the train was nearing to Hogwarts. So reluctantly she slipped the book back into the paper bag, with the use of one hand and attempted to get changed for her soon arrival at school.

***

The welcoming feast that came with every start of the New Year was as delicious and satisfying as ever. The chatter was boisterous and the mood light as new students were sorted into their new lives, however Jennifer still sat alone near the end of the table with her thoughts elsewhere. No one had bothered her or wondered why she had been so distant as she faded into the background, only a few small smiles found her in passing in one of the few times she would look up from her plate full of food.

Jennifer was quite relieved when she heard the meal was over from her beloved Head Master- she found he was an extraordinary character to write about- and so she quickly headed back to her dorm in Gryffindor along with the rest of her robust house mates to fetch her things before journeying to her real home.

Now located on the seventh floor, only a short walk away from happy students and lively banter, Jennifer stood outside her favourite room in the whole castle. She was only aware of herself knowing of the location of this remarkable room, as she had found it after a particular bad spout of tormenting and needed desperately a place she could hide and feel safe in. The only negative side was that to get the room to reveal itself she would have to walk back and forth in front of it three times; always with the same image in her head. She had named this room her sanctuary as it depicted just what she needed; a safe heaven for her imagination to develop.

Jennifer walked in once the door had appeared in front of her and found the same picturesque setting that she had seen for the last three years and found it never changed, much to her relief. Right across the room from her stood a grand ornate bay window that at this minute showed the stars shimmering clearly and surprisingly brightly as it seemed the window had a spell upon it to make what ever scene it held within its frame to be twice as beautiful as before. And there, situated before it, stood a large, high backed, cushioned chair, accompanied with a foot stool that had a freshly folded, dark wool blanket laid across it. This however was more for comfort than for warmth as to the right of her stood a large roaring fireplace made of carved stone that matched the window perfectly.

Opposite to it however, was a large Victorian iron bed that she felt was quiet a blessing when she had written herself tired and with not enough energy or care in the world to make herself walk back to her room. And next to that was a simple wooden door that looked exactly like the one she had just entered from, however this time it led to a small bathroom full of everything she would ever need. Jennifer walked in and threw an over night bag onto the bed as she knew it to be more likely than not that she would end up spending the night, especially if the night had half the excitement there had been hours before as the book came to life. She slipped the concealed book out of her cloak pocket, which was still encased inside its bag, and sat in the chair facing the fire but turned to look out of the window instead, preferring the view.

The school grounds were so beautiful at night since the moon's reflection in the lake made it seem twice as bright as it lit its surroundings; the due filled grass and the swaying ever greens looked almost alive as the leaves danced in the wind. She sighed happily as she was very much glad to be back at home where she belonged. Now however there was a more pressing matter that concerned her in the form of a deceiving little book, weighing heavily in her hands; both a blessing and a sin.

Jennifer tore her eyes away from the view long enough to contemplate the book in front of her once again. She was no longer scared of what might happen if she touched the book but still remained apprehensive as anything that had this much power within its pages wasn't something to be taken lightly. So, after she had found the unusual pleasures of the book by once again reading the inscription that somehow worked as a way to activate it, Jennifer now thought about the reason she had bought it in the first place; The story which she was meant to write on these golden pages. She tapped her quill against her chin as she thought hard. She knew how she was going to start it, just not how to word it. After all, the beginning is the most revealing part of the story, as it gives the reader a chance to evaluate the prospects and writing ability of the author, or so she had been told many times by the many books she had read on the subject.

With another glance at the setting around her and a frustrated sigh, Jennifer knew that the best way to get rid of the little writers block she had was to just start writing and hope that the words would just start to flow out of her after a while. However as Jennifer placed her quill point onto the paper to begin she suddenly felt no need to feel nervous or lost as everything she had just been feeling seemed to suddenly disappear and instead she was filled with a calm feeling as she began to write:

Long ago, when magic was still raw and the world was still only young and naive, a heard of centaurs roamed the east on their annual pilgrim; fallowing the stars to their limit and learning of things that still had not past. However as they observed one clear night, all that time ago, a strange alignment had come into affect amongst them. The stars were telling a story, a prophecy of sorts, about a great war in the future. This did not surprise them as they had already read similar things alike, however this time it was different. Instead of being told of a boy-who-lived, this also mentioned a girl of such power that could change the fate of the war forever. Only with her help could good really over come evil, in the second and last war of that century.

The centaurs did not have the means to note this extraordinary discovery but instead passed it amongst their race, along the generations as a tale that had become so familiar to them it was like a fairy tale of the past. No one knew to whom this prophecy talked of, only that they would be born on a magical night when the almighty will fall and the true would be tested…

Jennifer Roués was a popular girl who could not want for anything when it came to her life at Hogwarts of Witchcraft and Wizardry. She was the bell of the ball and the smartest witch of her age who was constantly admired by those around her. 

Jennifer paused as she watched the ink glisten in the moonlight. She wanted perfection in her imaginary life if she was not to have it in her real one, but some how it didn't feel real; it didn't feel like herself. She reread what she had just written and frowned before replacing the tip of the quill and continuing.

But however much fame and glory Jennifer received from her triumphs with the great Harry Potter and her friends, Jennifer still stayed distant to the world that she held in her finger tips. For she knew that her fame, however pleasurable it was to have, came with the greatest consequence there was, as her life was never out of the watchful eyes and daunting dealings of the power hungry wizard they called, Lord Voldemort. He, the darkest of all his kind, held nothing but hate for her which was only surpassed by the loathing he felt for Harry, as he had thrice defied his hand.

And so due to his great burning heart of a revenge, a great war looms closer to unwillingly over power them and destroy the world they strive to keep alive. However no one knew of the imminent arrival of their destiny just yet as they continued with the normal everyday lives they had become accustomed to live. And Jennifer was no different as she too lived out her life within the walls of her beloved school, blissfully unaware of what was to come. 











(A/N: That's it for now, but I will try and post the next chapter as soon as possible. I'd love to know in the mean time however, what you think of it so far. I understand you don't have alot to judge on but are you intrigued enough to want to continue?

I should mention now that, like in this chapter, this story will often have extracts of Jennifer's writing in. But they will be an integral part of the story so please take care to read those as closely as you would the rest. Thank you. )

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