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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9. Exams

Early Friday morning, I was awakened by Jasmine poking me in the ribs and telling me if I didn't want to miss my M.A.P. test - "whatever that is" - I had better get out of bed. Thanking her for waking me, I pulled on my robes and collected my pens and my wand, eating a chocolate frog she had handed me as I went. At seven o'clock I jogged into the Great Hall, ready to take my exam. 

One table stood in the center of the Great Hall, and at it said several professors and a horde of first year M.A.P. students. I recognized several of them - Isaiah Mock, a Hufflepuff; Paul O'Malley, a Gryffindor; another Gryffindor, Dana Roach; and Olivia Pennet, the Ravenclaw. I seemed to be the only Slytherin enrolled in M.A.P.

"Take your seats, take your seats!" commanded Professor McGonogall, who stood at the head of the table. "First will be your written exam. You will have one-hundred-eighty minutes to complete it. Then will come the practical portion of the exams, in which you will perform several of the simplest spells, as well as preparing an Antidote for Common Poisons. These practical tasks will take one-hundred-fifty minutes." With a flick of her wand, exam papers appeared in a pile on the table in front of us. "Take one, and then choose a desk in which to complete it. You may begin." Desks suddenly appeared around the perimeter of the Great Hall, and I took one near the front. 

The written exam wasn't difficult at all. I blew through it, sure I would do well. (I had to admit, many of the questions were about History of Magic; the class wasn't useless after all.) When time was up to complete the papers, the headmaster produced a whistling sound from her wand. 

"Time is up! Go to your head of house to take your practical portion!" McGonogall announced.

I wandered over to Professor Callahan, Slytherin's head of house - and the potions master. He nodded at me, straight faced as usual, but with an approving look on his face. He directed me to perform three spells: accio, expelliarmus, and wingardium leviosa. The first one I was unable to work, since it had been taught while I was knocked out in the hospital wing. But the other two gave me no trouble, and I was proud of myself.

Then Professor Callahan made a cauldron appear. "Antidote to Common Poisons," he demanded simply. I nodded, and began to collect ingredients from labeled bins near the center table. In just a few minutes, I was done with the basic potion. Callahan inspected it and, apparently deeming it satisfactory, waved me over to the center table. I sat down near several other students who had finished, waiting for the exams to officially end. 

As I sat at the table, wondering when we would get our exam results and what exactly was going on with me and Malfoy and how the rest of the school year would be if I was allowed to stay, I stared absently out the window. At first, all I saw was the warm blue sky and the lazy ripples in the lake. But then I noticed two people standing on the far side of the grass. 

It was Hazel and Professor Protero. They were hunched over, as if plotting in secret. I wondered how no one saw them, since they were hidden by nothing. Then I realized that they were both looking directly at me, from all the way across the great lawn. When Hazel realized that I noticed them, a crooked smile began to creep across her face. Her hip-length black hair began to twist around her, as if blown by some nonexistent wind. Protero noticed me, too, and continued to stare at me with a blank face. But all I really saw was Hazel, the malicious smile still straining her face and dressed in black velvet robes. She took several steps towards the school, and then began to float closer and closer, picking up speed as she went. She came right up to the window, close enough that I could see her eyes flash crimson - and then vanished, leaving behind nothing but a whisp of jet black smoke. Professor Protero was gone, too, leaving behind no clue as to where they had gone to or come from.

I didn't understand what it all meant, but I could tell it wasn't good. And somehow, I was clearly involved. 

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