The Diary of a Magical Muggleborn

I was minding my own business one day at home, sipping my favorite lemon tea, when the strangest thing happened. An owl flew in through the open window and dropped a piece of parchment onto the couch beside me. Startled, I broke the red seal on the envelope and read - what? I was reading a letter from Hogwarts. And I had been accepted. It was time to say goodbye to my boring muggle life and say hello to the life of a witch! But there was one catch - I only had a week to show that I was capable of magic. Because this was part of a new experiment - an experiment to see if there really is magic in each and every one of us, muggle or wizard.

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2. Arrival

After what seemed like endless hours of eating chocolate frogs, talking with Rose, and watching anxiously out the window for any sign of the castle, the Hogwarts Express finally jolted to a stop. 

"This is where I leave you, " said Rose excitedly. "You and the other first years cross the lake to get up to the school. I'll see you at dinner!" She hurried away, getting lost in a crowd of returning students. 

Now alone, I wandered over to another girl who stood all by herself and introduced myself. She looked up at my shyly and told me that her name was Eva Longbottom. She had long, almost white hair and inquisitive brown eyes. She was very pretty, and very strange looking at the same time. She had pointed ears and a pointed chin that gave her the appearance of being a pixie, and her long eyelashes resembled the antennae of a butterfly. I introduced myself to her, and she laughed in a sort of out-of-this-world way, as if some creature that I couldn't see or hear had told her a joke. 

"There are tons of little gnargles floating around your head," she giggled, swatting at the air around me. "My mother would know how to be rid of them. I forget what she uses, though. I believe it's a mix that includes radishes." I just stared at her, not understanding a word of what she said. But she seemed nice enough, so I decided to stay with her. We climbed into a boat together with some other new arrivals and set off toward the looming gray castle on the cliff beyond the lake. 

The ride was smooth at first, the mysterious blue water staying placid and untouched by anything but the oars of the many small boats. No one spoke much except to give instructions on steering the boats or to share newcomers' rumors about the school itself. But just as we were getting near enough to see the individual lights in the great castle's windows, a loud splash came from a boat somewhere to my left. 

"Arghhhhh!" came the yell from a small first year boy who had tumbled out of his boat. At first, we all laughed, thinking he had just tipped over as he tried to get a closer peek at Hogwarts. But then, an entire boat near the front of the fleet tipped over, sending four or five students into the chilly lake.The next thing I knew, I was looking straight into the eyes of Scorpious Malfoy as he tried to overturn the boat in front of mine. 

He and his gang were behind the hole thing. They were swimming underneath the water, going from boat to boat and causing whatever havoc they possibly could. I watched as confused students swam back to their overturned boats, holding on in fear because they hadn't seen the Slytherin second years and were unsure of the commotion's cause. Apparently, I was the only one who had seen Scorpious. So I searched for the ripple he made in the water as he swam, and when I found it I leaped onto it. He turned over and tried to push me off, but he couldn't do it. So I tugged on the thin white shirt he wore, pulling his head out of the water just enough for everyone who was looking to see who he was. He growled at me and spit water at my face, but I still held his head just above water. Anger in his eyes, a great hairy giant of a man came bobbing over to us through the water. 

"Wha' do we 'ave here?" asked the man, grabbing Scorpious by the back of his short blonde hair and shaking him a little. Scorpious folded his arms in mid air and glared down at me.

"It was just a stupid prank," he sneered. 

"We'll see 'ow Headmaster feels about your l'l prank," responded the man, tossing Scorpious into a nearby boat and climbing in himself. I scrambled into the boat beside Scorpious, who now sat in a soaking wet rage with arms folded and eyes fuming.

"You just made a huge mistake in making an enemy of me," he whispered in my ear. I just glared at him, unafraid. After all, he had no real power over me. He was jut a bully.

Within a few silent, tension-filled minutes, the entire fleet of us - including Scorpious and Linus, the only two who had actually carried out the prank - had reached the end of the lake. We filed out onto the wide expanse of grass that lay before the school, and we were directed into neat, formal lines and marched forward into a small room behind the Great Hall. There, Hagrid (as the large hairy man introduced himself) gave us our instructions on the Sorting Hat and the ceremony ahead of us. I listened as name after name was called. Finally, my name rang out among the cheering within the Great Hall - 

"Gallagher, Valerie!" 

I walked, acting as composed as I could, out to the wooden stool that rested before the long table of professors and in front of the entire student body. An old, raggedy hat sat on it, it's tip bent and ton and it's rim dusty and rotting a bit at the edges. I must have stared at it awkwardly for quite a long time, because eventually it said, "I believe I am to be inspecting you, and not the other way around!" 

The crowd laughed, and I half smiled. At least this hat had a good sense of humor. So I placed it on top of my head and sat on the stool, looking up at the faded bottom of the Sorting Hat's rim.

"Hmmm, I see great bravery in you!" the hat whispered. "A thirst for knowledge, too. And a need to be on top, a need to win. Perhaps a thirst for power, eh?" I wasn't sure about that one, but I closed my eyes tight and waited for the hat's decision. "You're crafty and clever, too. But quiet. You could use a push to pride and power," whispered the Sorting Hat. With that, the hat stood a bit straighter on my head and announced - 

"For this one I think.... SLYTHERIN!" 

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