UPDATE: After looking back at the original 5,000-word post, I've decided to break the chapter into several individual pieces in an effort to make it slightly more manageable for those first opening the thread.
Author's note: Thank you for taking the time to read this chapter. The Feedback thread is located here and all comments/suggestions will be taken to heart (even if it's "TLDR").
SYNOPSIS: Harry Potter has just come to Hogwarts and his arrival sets in motion a chain of events for young Olivia Troy. With the secrets of her family’s past pushing rapidly to the forefront of her life, will Olivia be able to make sense of her visions in time to stop the death of those she loves?
DISCLAIMER: The following stories are based on situations and characters from the Harry Potter books which are created and owned by J. K. Rowling, and various other publishers, including, but not limited to Warner Bros., Inc., Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books, and Raincoat Books. No use other than entertainment is intended and no financial gain is being made. No trademark or copyright infringement is intended.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~"Potter, Harry!" Professor McGonagall's voice rang through the Great Hall. Whispers broke out all around; students at each of the tables were turning excitedly to each other and craning their necks to get a glimpse of the small boy now making his way towards the staff table. Olivia Troy let her eyes graze over the sea of faces until they came to rest on a boy with messy black hair standing next to the Sorting Hat. There was a tug on her sleeve. Olivia turned to her left to find Cho Chang, one of her roommates, with a wild look on her face.
Celtic knot image used from here.
CHAPTER ONE: SOMETHING NEW
Without ever taking her eyes from the front of the hall, Cho leaned in close and whispered, "Do you know who that is? That's Harry Potter! The Harry Potter... I just can't believe he's here, at Hogwarts! I hope he's in Ravenclaw, wouldn't that be great?"
"Yeah, that really would..." Olivia trailed off as Professor McGonagall placed the Sorting Hat on top of Harry's head. The hat promptly fell to cover his eyes. As though someone had turned off the volume, an intense silence filled the room. The quiet began to press on her ears and Olivia let her eyes wander past the small boy up to the long, rectangular table where the Headmaster was seated. The table itself was made of a rich walnut that seemed to flaunt its age with every dent. It was draped in a thin cloth runner that covered the full length of the surface, depicting each of the four houses and their respective mascots.
Behind the great table, high on the back wall, was a large cathedral style window with the Hogwart's crest emblazoned in the center. Colored glass sparkled throughout the symbol in bold blues, reds, greens, and yellows dancing in the setting sun, which was still barely hanging over the hills outside. Slowly, Olivia’s gaze continued towards the vaulted ceiling. As she passed the candles floating effortlessly in the air, she closed her eyes and thought back to the day in which she had been sorted.
She remembered the darkness from inside the Sorting Hat, the sound of her heart pounding in her ears and the miniscule bumps on her arms and legs brought on by nervousness. It had only been one year before, but she still felt the warmth of the weathered hat on her head as if it had been happening at that very moment. She could still feel the wooden stool beneath her as her hands clenched the edges. After waiting for what felt like an eternity, she heard the hat's bold, reassuring voice in her ear.
Olivia jumped slightly in her seat as the Great Hall erupted. Harry Potter had just been sorted into Gryffindor and was making the way towards his new house table. Turning her eyes again to Harry, Olivia could see the relief in his face. After a moment he disappeared behind two ginger-haired twins who had thrown their hands in the air screaming, "We got Potter! We got Potter!" Olivia smiled and clapped with the rest of the crowd, her own experience pushed once again to the back of her mind.
When the students managed to settle, Dean Thomas was called up, judged by the hat, and accepted by another roar from the Gryffindors. "Turpin, Lisa!" was next, and this time it was Olivia's chance to cheer.
"RAVENCLAW!" The hat called, and Olivia gave a little whistle and started clapping her hands again. She had been so scared that first night, the only thing that gave her any comfort was the cheering from the Ravenclaw table when she was sorted.
Olivia started mulling again over the happenings of that first night at Hogwarts. She remembered coming in on the boats and eventually being led into the Great Hall where the rest of the school was already seated. The worry and anticipation that was gripping her was almost too much, but it all faded when she heard the hat shout "RAVENCLAW!" to the listening crowd. The walk down to the table was fuzzy in her memory, but she recalled sitting next to a girl with long black hair. This was the first time she had ever met Cho. They quietly introduced themselves at the start of dinner and became quick friends. It still didn't make sense to Olivia, not even to this day, because the two girls had very little in common.
Suddenly, her stomach growled and Olivia’s focus returned to her empty plate. Soon enough, the Sorting Ceremony would be over and dinner would begin. The first night’s feast was always the most extravagant of the school year and Olivia had been looking forward to it since her own sorting.
Professor McGonagall seemed pleased that the crowd of first years had thinned to just two remaining boys. "Weasley, Ronald!" she called and waited as the small freckled boy made his way to the hat. After being seated for no more than a few seconds, he was quickly sent on his way to the Gryffindor table to join what appeared to be his brothers. Olivia guessed this as they all had thick red hair on the top of their heads and were beaming with pride.
Finally, the last student, Blaise Zabini, was sorted into Slytherin. As he walked down to his table at the far end of the room opposite Olivia, the Great Hall breathed a sigh of relief. Olivia's stomach growled in agreement.
Last edited by Inigo Imago; May 3rd, 2012 at 8:43 am. Reason: Synopsis added, Author's note changed, Chapter split.
Chapter One: Part 2
Albus Dumbledore stood at the center of the High Table with a childish grin on his face. "Welcome," he said. "Welcome to a new year at Hogwarts! Before we begin our banquet, I would like to say a few words." Excited murmurs sprang up all among all the students. Even a few of the faculty looked unusually cheerful. "Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak! Thank you!" He took his seat once more to the cheering and clapping of the students.
The tables had magically filled themselves with the most wonderful feast anyone could have imagined. Olivia immediately started grabbing for everything she could reach. As she piled pieces of chicken and slices of roast beef onto her plate, she noticed Cho and Marietta Edgecomb, another girl in her dormitory, giving her odd and slightly disgusted looks. Olivia chose to not pay attention to them. Instead, she shoveled a spoonful of potatoes into her mouth and gave them a goofy grin, making a couple of first years seated by Marietta giggle.
After some of the clanking noise had died down, the hall was alight with the sound of three-hundred students greeting the newest house members and catching up with old friends. Some students were getting out of their seats and running to the other tables. The entire room was so filled with life and happiness that some students didn’t even notice the tables emptying themselves of all the dinner plates and replacing the chicken dishes and roast beef with ice cream, various tarts, doughnuts, éclairs, pies, fruits and puddings. Olivia had tried her best to save some room for dessert, but she was now too full to enjoy any of it.
Olivia slumped in her seat. Next to her, Cho was going on about Medea Bradshaw and Bridget Dunstan, both second year Slytherins who had apparently been in a fight with some third year Gryffindor girls on the train. "The nerve of her, just walking up and looking for trouble!"
"I heard Medea made fun of Angelina's braids." Marietta chimed in. "Why can't she learn to just leave well enough alone?" There was a pause. "Olivia, wasn’t your compartment near Medea’s? Did you hear anything?"
At the sound of her name, Olivia pushed away the onset of a food coma and turned to Cho, "Nope, not that I can recall.” Cho and Marietta both gave a little half-smile back before turning to each other again to continue gossiping.
Olivia was tired, but that wasn't the reason her attention wavered from the apparently juicy gossip. Cedric Diggory, a fourth year Hufflepuff, was sitting one table over with his back to her. She couldn't help but stare; she'd had an odd fascination with him since she first met him last year. It was something she could never quite understand; she just knew there was something different about him.
The first time Olivia had ever met Cedric was outside of Transfiguration class the prior October. She was leaving the transfiguration classroom, her eyes focused on an essay Professor McGonagall had handed back during the period, and accidentally slammed into something solid. Her book bag slid off her shoulder and every one of her parchments, quills, inks, charts and textbooks spilled out onto the stone floor. She looked up to see what obstruction had knocked her down and realized it was a blonde-haired Hufflepuff boy. Her usually pale face turned a bright red and she quickly kneeled to pick up her dropped things.
"I'm terribly sorry about that," the boy kneeled down with her and started reaching for the loose quills that were rolling away. "I didn't even see you leaving the classroom. Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine," Olivia curved her mouth into a fake smile. She was, in fact, not 'okay.' One of her quills had broken and there was a large ink stain making its way up the essay she had been holding. She was about to make a smart remark, but it was at this moment she looked up and saw his face for the first time. She paused. It took her a moment to focus, but she locked into his chestnut-brown eyes and found comfort. There was something so familiar about him, as if she had known him for years. "Do I... know you from somewhere?" She asked quietly.
"Um, I don't believe we've ever formally met," he chuckled. "I’m a reserve for the Hufflepuff Quidditch team, perhaps you've seen me practicing. Or..." he paused, "you could have seen me in the hallways before."
"Perhaps,” Olivia let the word drift off. She wasn’t convinced, she was certain she had seen him somewhere else outside of the school. Olivia looked at his tan face for a moment longer then decided to cut off the conversation. She was going to be late for her next class if she didn't get the rest of her things together quickly. "Well, thank you for helping me with my bag; I'm sorry if I hurt you." She smiled at him curtly and turned to walk away.
"Wait," he called out, "What's your name?"
She turned back around, clutching her book bag in her arms in an attempt to hold everything inside. With a slight smile she replied, "Olivia."
"Well, Olivia, I'm Cedric. It was nice meeting you, even under the circumstances." He gave a small nod of the head in a pretend bow. "Perhaps we can run into each other again," he gave one last smile then turned and disappeared into the classroom. Olivia couldn't help but smile; it had been such an interesting encounter. She turned to walk towards the dormitory but the hallway had disappeared.
"Ahem," Dumbledore's voice echoed through the room. Olivia opened her eyes again and looked out into the Great Hall.
"Ahem," Dumbledore said again, rising from his seat, "just a few more words now that we are all fed and watered. I have a few start-of-term notices to give you.
"First years should note that the forest on the grounds is forbidden to all pupils. And a few of our older students would do well to remember that as well." Olivia noticed his eyes flicker towards the Gryffindor table. "I have also been asked by Mr. Filch, the caretaker, to remind you that no magic should be used between classes in the corridors.
"Quidditch trials will be held in the second week of the term. Anyone interested in playing for their house teams should contact Madam Hooch.
"And finally, I must tell you that this year, the third-floor corridor on the right-hand side is out of bounds to anyone who does not wish to die a very painful death." Only a few chuckles could be heard throughout the hall, most were silent, almost stunned.
"And now, before we go to bed, let us sing the school song! Everyone pick their favorite tune, and off we go!" Dumbledore waved his wand and formed beautiful golden letters in the air, spelling out the school song. Once the words were fully formed above his head, he turned back to the great hall and began conducting the students with his wand. Hundreds of different tunes and voices rang out. Olivia managed to mouth a few lines before becoming entranced with a girl one bench over singing at the top of her lungs to the tune of "O, Christmas Tree."
Last edited by Inigo Imago; May 3rd, 2012 at 8:44 am.
After everyone had finished his or her version of the song, including the Weasley twins who were dramatically belting out the words to the tune of a funeral march, Dumbledore stood once more and added, "Ah, music, a magic beyond all we do here! And now, bedtime. Off you trot!"
With Dumbledore's last words, students began bustling to get to the door. Olivia heard the new fifth year Prefects calling the first years towards different corners of the Great Hall. She chose to wait until the crowd thinned before making her way up to the dorm.
Ready for sleep, Olivia began looking around for Cho. She saw her socialite friend near the Gryffindor table talking animatedly with Jack Sloper and Jason Dorny. As Olivia watched Cho say goodbye with a few giggles, she leaned against a cold stone column near the entrance doors. Cho made her way over to Olivia with a mischievous smile on her face. "Guess what I've got planned for tonight," Cho said with excitement.
"What?" Olivia asked. Cho paused and urged Olivia to guess. Rolling her eyes, Olivia made a simple shrug of her shoulders in response and said, "I really don't know. Remember, we have Herbology right after breakfast, so please don't make it anything too late." She had learned a long time ago that if Cho had her mind set on doing something, there was no stopping her.
"No, it's nothing bad, I promise," Cho replied, an even larger smile spreading across her face. "Come on, let's get to the room, I want to get ready." She turned to leave and Olivia reluctantly followed her. Racing up the steps and pushing past the other tired students wandering in various directions, the two girls made their way up to the fourth floor where they stood facing the library doors.
The large carved mahogany entrance stood before them like a giant. Cho hastily pushed her way through without a second thought for the intricate engravings on the door and headed straight for the western side of the library. After weaving through the Potions and Herbology sections, Cho stopped in front of an old painting.
"Here he is," Cho whispered loudly to Olivia.
Olivia pushed her fingers to her lips in a motion of silence. The oversized portrait of Pierre Bonaccord was perched on the wall directly behind Cho. While he was one of the kinder portraits in the castle, he was also a bit more talkative than the girls needed at this moment. After pausing to make sure the former Supreme Mugwump was still snoozing in his frame, Olivia directed Cho by pointing to the left side of the painting and gesturing with her wand.
Cho nodded in agreement with a swish of her wand and a hushed "Lumos!" before moving to the far side of the expansive painting. It was an odd sort of place for such a large piece of artwork. The girls were standing deep within the library, hidden by rows and rows of dusty, unused books and the last window was at least 20 feet back towards the entrance. This particular section had virtually no artificial lighting and very little in the way of room to move. As the girls shifted next to each other, running their fingers up and down the exterior of the frame, Olivia thought back again to her first year at the school. She and Cho had stumbled upon Monsieur Bonaccord during one of their Herbology study sessions and, being the quite the social figure that he was, he quickly shared with them the secret that was hidden behind his own likeness.
Cho stood up quickly with a motion that indicated she had found exactly what she was looking for. There was a slight click and the canvas swung quickly to the right on a hinge. Olivia sidestepped to the left in an attempt to avoid being hit by the large painting that was wider than she was tall and was rapidly arching in her direction. Apparently, she wasn't quick enough. The portrait grazed her shoulder and, with a loud snort, Pierre awoke from his slumber. In his surprise, he began speaking in rapid, slurred French that Olivia couldn't understand.
Pursing her finger again to her lips in a movement to keep Cho from saying a word, Olivia pushed towards the narrow passageway that had been revealed behind the canvas. Once they were both safely inside, Cho grabbed the loose backing of the painting and pulled it towards her, closing off the entrance once again with another click.
Olivia began feeling her way along the stone wall of the small enclosure. There was a narrow wooden door, approximately two feet wide, ten feet behind the painting itself. The door opened to reveal a spiral staircase carved out of stone. It was only wide enough for one person to pass at a time and it appeared to go up for several floors. The girls quietly began their ascent. Even though the climb seemed daunting, it took no more than a few short minutes to reach the top. It was here that the girls found another small landing with no visible exit.
Cho stepped to the far end of the small chamber and placed her hand on a ladder that was concealed in the wall. The ladder led to another door on the ceiling, a stone square no bigger than two feet wide on each side. The soft torch light from the hallway above was seeping through the cracks as Cho started to climb the steps. She had gone no further than a few feet before a loud, hollow "thump" rang through the room. "Ouch!" Cho moaned, "Bloody lock!" Lifting her hand, she twisted open the carved handle that was sticking out of the outlet.
With a gentle push, light flooded into the dark room, illuminating both girls and making them blink for a moment before proceeding into the seventh floor corridor. The ladder's exit was hidden behind a large, man-sized vase at one end of the hall. They managed to pull themselves out and reseal the doorway with a light 'thump' as the wooden door closed back, hiding itself in the stone once more. With a quick glance to make sure no one was watching, they slipped out from behind the vase and continued walking to the western side of the castle. They had reached the entrance to Ravenclaw Tower faster than the other students by at least five minutes. Both girls smiled as they walked towards the stairs leading to the common room.
Last edited by Inigo Imago; May 3rd, 2012 at 8:44 am.
Olivia and Cho stepped into the second year's dormitory where they noticed with comfort that all of their belongings were already in a familiar place. Olivia flung herself on to the four-poster bed she had claimed last year. It looked as inviting as it had when she left it early in the summer. She loved the feeling of the feather-light blanket and found herself sinking deep into the mattress, warm and relaxed, when the door burst open and a ruffled-looking Marietta came stumbling into the room with the other two Ravenclaw girls in Olivia’s year: Niobe Dunn, a kind-hearted, level-headed, and wildly intelligent African girl; and Sophia Fawcett, a red-head with a penchant for getting into things she ought not.
The three girls plopped on their beds, looking exhausted. Apparently, from the patched story Olivia could understand, Peeves had been causing quite a stir with the first years all around the castle. Entire groups of students had to be rerouted just to avoid the chaos being caused by the pesky poltergeist.
After each of the girls had a chance to catch her breath and finish divulging the details of the not-so-exciting adventure, Sophia pointed to the chest sitting at the base of Olivia's bed and asked, "What's that?"
Perched on the top of the brown leather trunk with the letters "O.H.T." was a small package. It appeared to have been through quite a journey. The paper was torn in places, likely due to the overzealous talons of a mail owl hired for a quick delivery. Olivia reached her finger into one of the holes in the paper and gave it a tug. There was a ripping sound and the paper gave way.
Olivia held in her hand a small wooden cube. There was a small carving on the top, apparently Celtic in origin, and Olivia let her eyes follow the twisting lines for a moment before noticing the thin cut around the middle of the box where it opened.
Olivia held the box gently and gave a little tug to one of the sides. There was a quiet 'pop' and the lid of the cube released itself from the base. A small, folded piece of paper fell out and tumbled to the ground. Sophia knelt down to pick it up, revealing an even smaller piece of paper inside of a hand-written note. The smaller of the two was actually a photograph depicting a smiling woman and her child, dancing around together in circles.
The woman's dark brown hair flowed around her body as she turned. She was dancing, a baby held tightly in her arms. Both mother and child were laughing happily without a care in the world. Cho, Marietta, Niobe and Sophia all looked at Olivia hoping for some answers or a clue to the identity of the mystery woman.
However, Olivia wasn't looking at the picture. She was holding the note in her hands and reading it carefully.
Olivia stared at the letter and read through it one more time. At the same time she reached back for the box, which had been set on the bed, and noticed something sparkle inside as she moved it to her lap. Tucked behind a scrap of cloth, Olivia found the item to which her father's letter referred. The pendant was silver, just like the chain, and had been freshly polished. The design had three major points, all an equal distance from each other like a triangle. From the points, two lines extended out of each corner and twisted up and over the remaining lines. Olivia sat mesmerized by it before Cho broke the silence.
"Who is she, Olivia?" Cho had a sympathetic look on her face, "Is that your mother? Is that you?"
"I... I'm not sure if that's me or not. It could be my sister, Jeanette..." Olivia stammered, still staring at the delicate silver in her hands, "...but yes, that's our mother." The chain had been wound loosely around Olivia's fingers. It was sparkling even in the dim light of the dormitory room.
After setting the picture and note carefully on the nightstand, Olivia slipped the necklace back into the box and began gathering a small pile of clothes. She remembered Cho had wanted to do something tonight, something that most likely involved sneaking around the castle with the Gryffindor boys from earlier. As much as Olivia didn't feel like doing anything daring, she still grabbed some normal clothes and slipped them into the pile with her bed robes and toiletries. She grabbed the small box last and placed it gently on the top of the stack she was now cradling in her arms.
Cho was chattering about something hilarious Jason Dorny had said at dinner when the girls entered the spacious lavatory. Olivia placed her belongings on one of the benches to the right of the doorway, popped open the box, and gently removed the necklace. "Do me the honor," she requested, holding the necklace up to Cho.
Cho took the chain and released the clasp. She lifted both arms above Olivia's head and brought the necklace back down so that the pendant was sitting at the base of Olivia's neck before locking it back together.
Olivia stared at her reflection in the mirror. The necklace glinted and made her feel like she was playing dress up. The only things missing were her mother's wedding dress and oversized high-heeled shoes. Olivia pictured her short brown hair up in a bun and a bouquet of roses in her hands; the imagery brought a small smile to the corner of her mouth.
The smile faded quickly when she realized the pendant was becoming abnormally warm. It was as if someone had placed a heating charm on it, only the temperature was still increasing. At first she thought she was imagining things but the heat was growing more intense every moment.
Scared, Olivia reached her hand up to pull the hot metal away from her chest. The moment her finger touched the silver, she felt a searing pain rush through her fingertip. She tried to pull her hand away but she was frozen in place. She pictured the flesh burning on her chest and felt her heart begin to race.
Panic began to set in. Olivia was frozen in place and her eyes were fixed on her own indifferent expression that was now staring back at her from the mirror. The frame around the glass started to fade and Olivia's face began to elongate, with fresh wrinkles creasing next to her eyes and mouth. Her skin began to sag and age spots sprung up on her normally smooth complexion. Her short hair grew out over her shoulders, streaks of muted gray growing with it, turning the once soft layering into a peppered, tangled mess. The older reflection looked back at Olivia now and then after a few moments had passed, the mouth opened and Olivia heard something she thought she would never hear again. It reverberated in the blackened room where she now found herself.
"I know full well the consequences of my actions," a woman's voice bellowed out.
Mom... Olivia said in her own mind, mouth still unable to break free of the trance controlling her. That voice. She had longed so desperately to hear her mother speak again, to hear her softness and security, the two things that were now absent from the harsh tone seeping through the lips of the woman standing before her.
Another voice behind Olivia made her mind race even more. Afraid and unable to turn around to see where it was coming from, Olivia listened carefully.
"If you thought that by killing her, you were able to save her from your fate..." The voice paused and there was a quiet, sickening chuckle. Olivia felt a shiver run down her spine as the voice continued, "You were wrong."
Instead of recoiling, as Olivia strongly desired to do, Alethea Troy began to smile. There was new brightness in her eyes, as though she just found something she had been missing for years. "You underestim..."
A whisper came from behind Olivia and a flash of vile green light filled the room. Alethea's sentence remained unfinished as her face relaxed into a dead stare. Her body crumpled to the floor in a heap.
There was no way for Olivia to react to the scene that had just unfolded before her. She tried to scream but her lips wouldn't move. She tried to close her eyes, but the lids remained where they were, practically glued in place. The panic she felt before was nothing compared to this. Olivia stood a captive of her own body, forced to watch her own mother's corpse in front of her. She wanted to run, scream, cry, faint, anything! She wanted to do anything but just stand there. She began to lose control over her thoughts, the only remaining thing to which she had been able to cling. She sought desperately for a way to pull herself out of this nightmare before her eyes glimpsed something she had not been expecting.
Behind her mother's crumpled form lay a second body. The victim's back was to Olivia and the head was tucked in. There was no way to see if the corpse was male or female from the positioning, but Olivia could only assume that it was the woman the voice had mentioned. Her mother had killed this person, and someone else had returned the favor.
Suddenly, warmth surrounded Olivia and the lights in the room blazed. She was staring at her own reflection again, Cho's cheerful voice in her ear. Olivia looked exactly as she did before the room had faded, her finger still touching the pendant on her neck and her eyes staring blankly into the mirror. It was as though not a single moment had passed.
The blood quickly drained from Olivia's face and she felt her legs weaken. Every ounce of strength left her body and her knees gave way to the gravity pulling her towards the cold stone floor. The room was spinning, Olivia could feel her arm moving automatically to her neck to yank the silver pendant away from her chest, which was now cold as ice, but her arm was twenty times heavier than it should have been. She could hear a distant cry for help, one that sounded miles away; she could only assume it was Cho. Olivia tried to move her lips, to warn her friend about the necklace but the darkness that was slowly creeping into the edges of her vision became overwhelming. She gave in and let herself slip away.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
End of Chapter One
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