**Disclaimer: This post has little to do with Wizard101, and with all of my wizards at a form of standstill (they're quite literally completed everything I can think of!), there won't be many Wizard101-centric posts unless the updates kick in soon. I'm busy with school outside of that, so I apologize for the lack of posts!
In an effort to up my posting here (and as a little personal challenge), I've decided to start posting the Harry Potter fanfiction I mentioned a while ago. I'm somewhat of a novice when it comes to writing, and I do all the writing/editing myself, so I apologize in advance for any grammatical and spelling errors that are bound to happen. :)
A bit of background information about Star Spangled Spells:
This story is about a wizard from the United States who attends school at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. When not in school, he stays at the Salem Witches' Institution. These events take place after the death of Albus Dumbledore to the fall of Lord Voldemort, and some events will run parallel with the canon (original) plot. I will try my best to keep with the details that J.K. Rowling has established in her amazing series, but where I need to I will make it up or smudge some lines. I do pretty extensive reading on the things I post about, so if something doesn't quite match up, please let me know so I can correct it for later chapters. As it is now, I have 5 "chapters" written, and a sixth in progress. They are kinda long--or at least seem that way--but I do try to keep it all "family friendly." Details about everything will be posted later.
And so I present to you, Chapter 1 of Star Spangled Spells--The Beginning:
Professor Dumbledore's funeral was touching, to say the least. He looked magnificent, Jason Crowe thought, even in death. It was the events that caused his untimely death that seemed to shake everybody up the way it did, besides the fact that the one wizard that could hold Voldemort at bay was now dead.
Jason took a slow look around at his fellow students. Many had left; parents pulled them away in the dark of night. Many parents had arrived only to attend the funeral, and then were off, only to see their children again when the Hogwarts Express dropped them off at Kings' Cross Station. Jason's parents had died years and years ago; a fellow instructor at the Salem Witches' Institute, who doubled as the only American Death Eater, had gone after his Muggle-born mother and Squib sister when he was only three months old. His father, who had the Inner Eye had Seen something terrible coming and relocated the infant Jason to his grandmother's.
But Jason wasn't looking for Grandmother Matilda, either. No, another twist of events had relocated him into the care of the Headmistress of the Institute's care, Madam Vivian Moxie. She was American Spirit wrapped into a very petite woman with a very fiery attitude, which had gotten her into some trouble with the English Ministry of Magic a fair few times; Jason would have been fairly surprised if she did manage to attend the short notice service.
When he hadn't spotted her before the funeral began he decided to sit next to his Head of House, Professor Flitwick. Between (rather dull and boring) speeches, Jason had looked across the Lake and seen a silvery wolf standing on the motionless water; Moxie's Patronus. When Jason's eyes met the Patronus wolf's, it gave a curt nod and sped off in the opposite direction. She would be there, though he couldn't be sure when, but he knew it would be soon.
The silence was only broken by silent sobs and sniffles as the white marble tomb was lowered into the lake at Hogwarts. When all was said and done, students who were staying the extra few hours to ride the train home were hurried back to the Castle to collect their things. Most however, as Jason noticed, were hooked by their parents and guardians and whisked off to Hogsmead so that they could Disapparate home.
Knowing he was not riding the train home, and that he could not Disapparate all the way back to Salem from Hogsmead, Jason took his time walking back to the Castle. He saw the "Golden Trio" whispering fervently and waved his goodbye. Jason knew, just as they did, that they would not be back to Hogwarts for their final year, and he wished them the best of luck on whatever they were going to do. They were, though only Hermione probably had the slightest of knowing, his closest friends.
He could not help but wonder what next year would be like. N.E.W.T testing, and the chance at being Head Boy. A new Transfiguration teacher, seeing as Professor McGonagall would take up the Headmistress role, and another new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. Jason humored himself with thoughts of Severus Snape trying to step onto the grounds, only to be jinxed seven ways to Sunday by all of the angry students and teachers. Jason shook his head; Professor Snape had definitely slithered back to his true master, Lord Voldemort.
But Jason didn't want to bother himself with such devastating thoughts at this time. He wanted to get back to Salem and enjoy the summer months at the Institution. But first, he would need to make sure everybody in the Ravenclaw Tower got their stuff together, so he picked up his pace. Jogging slightly, his robes billowed behind him in the breezy morning air. Several students with their parents waved goodbye and he tried his best to flash them a friendly smile.
The school's huge wooden doors were wide open, allowing students and family to quickly and easily come and go. No sooner had Jason walked inside and put his foot on the first great marble step than a teacher had called his name, "Mister Crowe!"
Jason turned and was greeted with the solemn face of Professor McGonagall. Several quick strides later she was looking at him with a look of concern; she was a tall woman and Jason only had her by a couple of inches, "I trust you have gotten word from Madam Moxie?"
Jason shook his head, "She should be here, same as always. That should be okay, Professor?"
"Oh, of course!" Professor McGonagall said quickly, her brow easing slightly, "I just wonder how you will be getting back, seeing as you are in no longer in possesion of a wand?" She gingerly pulled the almond wood and unicorn hair wand out of her robe and handed it to Jason, "I'm afraid with Mister Ollivander missing, there is little I could think to do with it.."
Jason looked down at the broken wood in his palm, frowning. "I completely understand Professor," Jason sighed, "Truth be told, it wasn't really my wand. It was my mother's, and well, I suppose it was about time I got my own."
Professor McGonagall was familiar with Jason's history after the last night's events. A Death Eater by the name of Harley Charleston had tried to personally finish his business with the Crowe family by targeting Jason. By some odd chance of luck, Jason had come out unscathed, though his wand (not protected by the effects of Felix Felicis the few members of Dumbledore's Army had taken before the battle) had been smashed under a wayward rock, which luckily had missed Jason's head by a few inches. She placed a hand on Jason's shoulder and squeezed encouragingly, "Moxie will help you sort it all out, Jason."
It was a weird feeling, seeing Professor McGonagall be so personal, coupled with the use of his first name. He gave another quick nod and stowed the wand fragments in his robe pocket. Jason turned and made it halfway up the staircase before being interrupted again, "Crowe, I will be accompanying you to the gates in an hour. Sharp!"
Jason smiled weakly, and nodded again to Professor McGonagall. She would not lose her composure for anyone for more than five minutes. He hurried quickly to the Ravenclaw Tower, passing many of the pupils in his House on the way. Jason smiled and waved goodbye to most, except for the Padma Patil, who had developed a crush on him, hated his guts, and was now comfortably friendly with him. "Goodbye!" she said in a sing-song voice as he passed.
He trucked up the long spiral staircase to the Tower and was greeted by the bronze eagle knocker looking blankly into the distance. Jason cleared his throat, the knocker shaking itself into life. "Door's open, go on in!" it said with a ting of annoyance in it's voice.
"Oh, one more, for good time's sake," said Jason, winking at the bronze eagle, "Make it a tough one." He knew that it had to keep most of the riddles simple; several times it had kept out students because the answers were so blatantly absurd.
It's head swiveled from side to side, as if checking for safety, "Oh, all right. But don't blame me if you can't get in afterward!" It bobbed for a few moments, obviously trying to think of a good one to stump the Prefect, "Ah, how about this: You are having a conversation with a Mermaid over a cup of tea about recent trash deposits in the lower Pacific ocean. What language makes a suitable go between if neither of you are willing to speak the others native tongue?"
This one was not all that hard. Jason figured the knocker probably needed a nice summer vacation to gather its wits and create a few that were of proper quality. "Well, I would say that since we are having a cup of tea, this Mermaid is not underwater (tea can't stay in a cup underwater, after all), meaning it can not speak at all. But to give you the benefit of the doubt, I would think French would be a great alternative. My reasoning? Well, I've always wanted to learn French," Jason said confidently. The bronze eagle would give it to him because of the logical breaking of the question, he knew.
"How did I miss that? Very well, welcome in!" there was a clattering and the door flew open, and Jason stepped inside. The common room was airy, the large windows swung open allowing a breeze to flutter the numerous bronze and blue tapestries. Jason stepped quickly down the stairs and rounded for his dormatory. His roommates had been picked up earlier by their parents, so he had used their beds to organize his things. With no wand, he quickly realized that he did not miss doing things the "old fashioned" way.
He checked his watch; half an hour until he had to meet Professor McGonagall again. Deciding that there was no reason to sit and day dream, he quickly shoved his robes into his trunk. He did his best to fit his text books on top of the heap, only barely closing the lid. He did not keep a familiar; he had invented a Charm he could use on various birds that allowed them to write letters for him once they arrived at their destination.
He gave his dorm and common room one last sweeping look before leaving the Ravenclaw Tower and dragging his heavy trunk down the stairs. The other students had seemingly all disappeared, and in the Great Hall Professor McGonagall was standing in the open doorway, looking expectantly up at the marble stairs. Her face was not the tight lipped scowl she usually wore, but much more relaxed, her square glasses hardly hanging on the end of her nose.
"Ready when you are, Professor," Jason said with a sigh of content. He gave his trunk a swing and it stood stationary in front of him.
"Locomotor Trunk!" McGonagall said calmly. Jason's trunk floated a few inches off the ground and followed them as they strode down the great steps and across the grounds. They walked for a few minutes in silence, Professor McGonagall finally breaking the silence, "So what are your plans for next year, Jason?"
"Well," Jason had given the year a considerable amount of thought, but now that he was asked, could not come up with any definite answer, "I guess I haven't thought much about it. Definitely the highest levels of Charms and Transfiguration; I've heard that students in the past have dedicated their entire years to N.E.W.T study of just certain subjects. I think I'd like that, if I can arrange it." He could see Professor McGonagall smiling out of the corner of his eye.
"I don't think I have had a single student study in years," Professor McGonagall said absentmindedly, rolling her wand between her fingers, "Professor Flitwick would enjoy it, definitely. I think it would be a relief not having to assign so much bookwork; he used to be a dueling champion, you know?"
Jason did know. He would never admit it, but he had done extensive research on his favorite teachers during his summer vacations. He knew Professor McGonagall had worked for the Ministry quite some years ago and that Professor Flitwick had a form of "doctorate" in magic.
"Here we are," Professor McGonagall said happily, tapping the iron gates with her wand. The great metal bars melted away in a doorway shape, allowing them to walk straight through, and quickly reformed after they had passed. "Remind me, what is Moxie's calling again? She's changed it since the last time I've done this, I'm sure," Professor McGonagall muttered, reaching into her robe pockets for something.
"Lumos, I believe, and then you write Salem in the air," Jason guessed. Though Moxie did change her calling often, she usually always changed it back to the easiest once term ended at Hogwarts.
Professor McGonagall rose her wand, tip alight, and wrote out Salem. The word sustained itself as wisps of smokey bright light. Once she had finished the "m", she raked her hand through it, the light scattering itself in all different directions. There was a breeze from the west and a loud crack a few seconds later.
A petite woman in navy blue robes stood, back facing them, with her hands on her hips, a wand held tightly in the left. Jason stepped toward her, blocked by Professor McGonagall's outstretched arm, "The distinguishing mark of my Animagus?"
"Your square glasses, which you really should upgrade dear," the woman replied with a small laugh, "The number of times I've been wanted by the Ministry of Magic?"
"Seventeen, not counting the unofficial announcements only seen in the Prophet," McGonagall said affectionately, lowering her arm and wand. "You realize that your question was unnecessary?"
"Oh, I know," Madam Moxie turned to face them, her face wide with a grin, "But I like to make sure I haven't lost count." She gave her old friend a hug and turned to Jason, placing a white gloved hand on his cheek, "Everything went well this year? Caused enough trouble, I hope?"
"Smashingly," Jason said in a mock English accent. Moxie scowled and laughed, it had been a running joke between them. Professor McGonagall shot him a stern look over her glasses. "And when I say smashingly," Jason returned to his American drawl, "I mean Mom's wand's been smashed." He pulled the segments from his robe pocket and handed them to Moxie.
A flash of disgust crossed her face, which she quickly covered with a somewhat forced smile, "Then the first thing we do is get you a wand once we're back in the States. But for now.." She levitated the segments with her own wand, hovering it between the three present. With a flick of her wrist the wand burst into purple flames, devouring the wood in a matter of seconds. She pointed her wand, again, at the pile of ashes on the ground, "Evanesco!"
Jason felt a pang of sadness as he watched the wand he knew and loved Vanish into nothing. But he knew, deep down, that a wand that was specifically his would only make his life easier and his spells much, much more powerful. Moxie held out her arm, looking at Jason expectantly, "We'd best be off. I told the Diggles I'd be back before somebody realized I'd linked our Floo networks.."
Jason gave Professor McGonagall a nod of goodbye. She smiled warmly and returned the favor, handing Jason his trunk. He gripped Moxie's gloved hand tightly and felt the familiar sickening sensation of Side-Along Apparation.