A Witch In Mullingar *Niall Horan Fan Fic*

When love is tangled up in magic, how do you know what's real?
When Anna meets Niall, it's magic. But her hidden powers unleash a spell that sparks a war among everyone else and enslaves Niall's heart. Niall Is Not Famous Yet!

Based on a book by Ruth Warburton. It's an amazing book READ IT!

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1. Chapter 1

The first thing that hit me was the smell - damp and bitter. It was the smell of a place long shut up, of mice, bird droppings a rot.

   "Welcome to Wicker House," Dad said, and flicked a switch. Nothing happened and he groaned.   "Probably been disconnected, I'll go and investigate. Here, have this" He pushed the torch at me. "I'll get another one from the car"

I wrapped my arms around myself, shivering as I swung the torch's thin beam around the shadowy, cobwebbed rafters, The air in the house was even colder than the night outside. "Go on" Dad called from the car. "Don't wait for me; go and explore. Why don't you check out your bedroom - I thought you'd like the one at the top of the stairs. It's got a lovely view"

I didn't want to explore. I wanted to go home - except where was home? Not New York, not any more. Dust motes swirled, silver in the torchlight,as I pushed open a door to my right and peered into the darkness. The narrow circle of the torch's beam glittered back at me from a broken window. I guess this once had been a living room, though it seemed strange to use the word 'living' about a place so dead and unloved.

Something moved in the dark hole of the fireplace. Images of rats, mice and huge spiders ran through my mind. - but when I got the courage to shine the torch I saw only a rustle of ashes as whatever it was fled into the shadows. I thought of my best friend, Lauren, who went bleach-pale at even the idea of a mouse. She'd have been standing on a chair by now, probably screaming. The idea of Lauren's reaction to this place made me feel better, and I reached into my pocket for my phone and started a text.

  Hi Lauren, we've arrived in Winter. The welcome party consists of half a dozen rats and -

I broke off. The was no signal. Well, I'd known this place would be isolated, Dad called that 'part of it's charm'. But even so ... Maybe I could get a signal upstairs.

 The stairs creaked and protested every step, until I reached a landing, with a corridor stretching into darkness, lined with doors. The closest ajar - and I put my hand on it and pushed.

For a minute I was dazzled by the moonlight flooding in. Then as my eyes adjusted, I took in the high, vaulted ceiling and the stone window seat. Through the casement I could see the forest stretching out, mile after mile, and beyond. There were a few people walking along the pathway. It was hearth-breakingly lovely and, in that fleeting instant, I caught a glimmer of what had bought Dad to this place.

   I stood, completely still, listening to the far off sounds of Mulligar. So quite, As I stood there, there was a popping sound, a blinding flash and the light bulb in the corner blazed. I screwed up my eyes, dazzled by the harsh brightness after straining into the darkness. "Hey-hey!" Dad's shout echoed up the stairs. "Turns out the leccy wasn't off - it was just a fuse. Come on down and I'll give you the grand tour!"

  He was waiting in the hall, his face shining with excitement. I tried to rearrange my expression into something approximately his, but it clearly didn't work, because he put his arms around me. "Sorry it's a bit of a nightmare, sweetie. The place hasn't been occupied for years and I should have realize they'd have turned everything off. Not the best homecoming, I have to admit"

 Homecoming. The word had horribly hollow sound. Yup, this place was home now, I'd better get used to it. "Come on." Dad gave me a squeeze. "Let me show you around". As Dad took me around, I tried to find positive things to say. It was pretty hard. Everything was falling apart - Even the plugs and light switches look ancient and would explode if you touch them. "Just look at those beams" he exclaimed in the living room. "Knocks our old Georgian house into a cocked hat, eh? See those marks?" He pointed above our heads to scratches cut deeply into the corded black wood. They looked like slashes: deep, almost savage cuts that formed a series of V's and W's. "Witch marks, according to my book. Set to protect the house from evil spirits and stuff" But I didn't have time to look properly at the scarred wood, because Dad was hurrying me on to his next exhibit. "And how about that fireplace? You could roast an Ox in there! So what do you think? Isn't it great?" When I didn't respond he put his hands on my shoulder and turned me to look at him, begging me in his eyes to like it, share his enthusiasm.

   "I like all the fireplaces," I said evasively. "Well you'll like them even more when winter comes, unless I can get central heating. But is that all you've got to say?"

"It's allot of work dad. How are we going to afford it?" Even as I said it, I suddenly realized I'd never said those words before. We hadn't been rich, but Dad had always earned enough money for what we needed. Dad shrugged. "We got the place pretty cheap, Being a small town in Ireland. No one really wants a run down old house. I'll do most of the work myself, which'll cut down costs."  "Oh God!" I said involuntarily in a horrified voice. Then I caught Dad's eye and began to laugh. Dad can barely change a light bulb, let alone conduct major house renovations. He looked offended for a minute but laughed too.

"Ill get someone in to do the gas and electrics, at least, I promise you that" He put his arms around me. "I have a really good feeling about this place Anna. I know its been a jolt for you, I do, but honestly I think we cant make something of our life here. This place just needs a little TLC" A little TLC?? I thought about the filth and the rats and all the work we are going to have to do to make it a home. "I think" I said then stopped. "Yes?"  "I think ... If anyone can do it, you can dad." I hugged him fiercely then noticed something. "Hey" I coughed to clear my throat "Look" I brushed away the dust that covered the fire surround, and shone my torch closer. Beneath the grime were twining vines and leaves, but that wasn't what I'd noticed. In the center was a carved stone, bearing an ornate W. "W for Witch?"  "Look at that!" Dad said delightedly "Though maybe it's W for Wicker house. Now come on" He dropped a kiss on top of my head. "Let's go see if we can get some tea."

 

Monday was the first day of summer term, but you wouldn't known it from the greyish light that trickled under the curtains. I lay in my bed with the covers to my chin and listened to the wind in the trees. My body felt strange, my veins felt full of some strange liquid, as if my blood had been drained and replaced with carbonated water. It was terrifying starting a new school after 10 years in the same comfortable surrounding. There had been only 40 girls in the Lower Sixth of my old school - in comparison Winter High was massive. And scary.

 Just to add to the stress, there was no uniform in the Sixth Form. Back in New York I went to a 'posh' school which required every student to wear a uniform. My dad knew someone there so I got in for a fare price. Dragging myself out of bed I opened my Ikea wardrobe , which looked strange and out of place in this huge vaulted bedroom. I saw my reflection in the Mirror and groaned. I've never forgiven my dad for bequeathing his hair to me wild, dark and unruly.I suppose the rest, the pale skinny and bluey-greeny eyes must have come from my mother. I wouldn't know but that was certainly not Dad's DNA. I grabbed a brush trying to tame my hair into something people would point and laugh at. My best hope for Mulligar High was not to be noticed. I wasn't planning on making any life-longing friends If I could just get through the next two years then I would be fine. I was only halfway done when dad yelled "Breakfast" from downstairs. "coming" I shouted.  

                                                       ***

It was two miles into town and dad insisted on driving me. As I picked my way across the long grass I saw a cute blond - green eyed boy staring at me. His face expression surprised to see someone new in this town. He gave me a quick smile a turned around "Better get going you don't want to be late for your first day of school. You'll like Mulligar  . I've always thought it was a pretty little place. He turned the key in the ignition. Dad drove steadily through Mulligar until we followed the tide of kids sweeping through the high street until we stopped at a building that looked more like a prison than a school.  Mulligar High. It was huge, Mulligar was a small town but took kids from all other villages. I gulped - then realized dad was waiting for me to reply to some remark he had made. "Sorry dad what did you say?"   "Anything special you'd like for supper to celebrate your survival?" I shook my head food was the least thing on my mind even though I was crazy for it. "Anythings fine, well O.K. I'd better go then" He nodded and kissed me on my cheek. I slided out of the car, my heart beating in my throat. As I fingered the sides of my bag my phone beeped. It was a text from Lauren.

  Hi sweets. don't worry they'll love you. If they don't tell them theres a crew of new york beyatches gonna make their life's hell. Good luck miss you xoxoxo

The reminder of home and all my friends bought a sudden prickle to the back of my eyes but I didn't blink furiously. Starting a new school with tears in my eyes would not be a good idea. I straightened my back and walked through the carved front door.

 

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