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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4. Flying

The next day was similar to the first - I woke up and groggily prepared myself for the day, listened to the history of the Dark Arts, attempted to make a feather float in Charms, fell asleep too the lullaby of Professor Binns' voice, and refused to take my eyes of my cauldron during Potions. Dinner was just as delicious as it had been the evening before, except not one dish was the same.  For the most part, life at Hogwarts was turning out to be even better than I had anticipated. Except for my House. It had been nagging at me that I had been placed in Slytherin; so far I had heard almost nothing good about the House or the students in it. I didn't consider myself power hungry or arrogant or anything of the sort, and even more than that I was a muggleborn. I hadn't made any friends within Slytherin yet, and I honestly hoped I wouldn't. I hoped there was some way I could switch houses, or at least blend in with a group of friends from outside of Slytherin. 

As I climbed into bed that night and shut the silken green drapes around me, I decided to speak with the headmaster the next day. After all, it would be Saturday in the morning and I had no classes to attend or many friends to visit. So I promised myself that I would ask Professor McGonogall about my House predicament first thing in the morning. 

My meeting with the headmaster did not occur the next morning as planned, because at about two in the morning I awoke to the sound of voices calling my name. At first, I thought the sound came from the common room, and decided to go back to sleep - I didn't want to be the victim of another of Scorpious's pranks. But the calls got louder and closer, and I realized they were coming from outside the common room in the dungeons. Confused, I pulled myself into a pair of loose jeans and a sweater and tip toed out into the common room. Students weren't supposed to be out in the halls at this hour, and I wondered who was calling me. My curiosity taking hold of me, I opened the common room door. To my surprise, Rose Weasley and a tall, black-haired boy of about fourteen or fifteen stood before me. 

"Hi there!" said Rose, smiling. "I figured you wouldn't have many friends in Slytherin, since you aren't very...Slytherin-ish. So I wanted to introduce you to James. James Potter, meet Valerie Gallagher." The boy and I shook hands, and I stared at him for a moment. I recognized him as the son of Harry Potter, and apparently he noticed that I did. 

"Yeah, I'm a Potter. No, I will not autograph anything," James said, his face straight. Unsure of how to respond, I just looked at him. To my surpise, he turned to Rose and laughed. 

"I guess she's a little shy, huh?" he asked. Then he turned back to me, saying, "It's alright, kid, I'm only joking. It's nice to meet a semi-humane Slytherin for once." 

"Thanks, I suppose," I laughed, realizing how silly I must have looked staring in awe at him. "So, why did you come at this hour?" I wondered.

"We wanted to show you something really fun," whispered Rose excitedly. "Follow me!" She turned and rushed, quickly but quietly, down the dungeon hallway. James followed her into a little niche in the wall. In the niche stood a little statue of what looked like a mix of an eagle and a horse. Rose pushed the beak of the creature a bit to the left, causing a large tunnel to open up behind the statue.

"It's a secret tunnel," whispered James in my ear. "We think we're the only ones that know about this one. Come on, we have cool stuff in here." I followed him into the dark tunnel, holding on to the sides to direct myself and ducking under the low dirt ceiling. A few moments later, I tripped over what looked like a broomstick. 

Rose picked up the item I had tripped over, as well as two other broomsticks standing against the wall next to it. "Sorry," she said. "I never stand mine against the wall. It's too tall to fit well." She handed one broomstick to me and another to James. 

"What exactly are we doing?" I wondered aloud. 

"Teaching you how to fly!" winked James, mounting his broomstick and pretending to ride it like a pony out into the dungeons again. Rose did the same, and I followed them out with the broomstick still in my hand. We snuck out onto a small stretch of grass near the greenhouses, where James remounted his broomstick and took off into the night air.

"How does he do that?" said Rose, awed. "I've never seen someone fly as well as him. Except maybe his father, of course. But James refuses to be a Seeker; he's a Beater instead." Rose, noticing that I had no clue what she was talking about, laughed. "Quidditch things," she explained. "I'm sure Madame Hooch will tell you lots about it when you have your first official flying lesson. Besides what we're about to show you, of course." 

James came back down onto the grass beside us, grinning. "Your turn, kid." He grabbed my broomstick from me and held it directly before my face. 

"See this?" he began. "This is a broomstick. You can ride it. That's how we fly around when we play Quidditch. Or, if you don't play Quidditch, it's just pure fun." He twirled the broomstick, and then handed it back to me. "So, you mount it, kind of like it was a horse or something. You straddle it. Then you kick off, and if you're good, you fly. If you're not so good, you fall." He winked at me, laughing. I must have looked extremely scared, because he patted me on the back and said, "You'll be good, don't worry. And if you aren't, we're here to catch you." With those not so comforting words, I mounted the broomstick like he had before, and kicked off. I got a few feet into the air, then came crashing down again. Determined, I got back on the broomstick and took off again, only to fall right back down. I tried about six more times before getting angry and throwing my broomstick to the grass.

"Okay, okay," said Rose. "Get on the back of my broomstick and we'll go for a ride." I mounted the broomstick behind her, and we took off with James beside us. The night was beautiful, and flying was amazing. We flew over the lake, over the castle itself, and over the Dark Forest. Rose gave me a kind of private tour of the castle grounds, throwing in random little facts about herself and James. I learned that the two of them were Gryffindors. They had been good friends since they were little, since their parents were the best of friends. They were practically family. I also learned all kinds of things about the Dark Forest and the Dark Lord, some of which gave me chills. 

After a long time zooming through the sky, the three of us came back to the grass, laughing and smiling as if we had all known each other forever - only to be met by a very angry looking Madame Hooch. 

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