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The table they were eating at was too big for them. Four seats were placed but only two were taken. Aurora put the last piece of carrot cake in her mouth whilst also attempting to frown angrily at her mother. This apparently didn't work because Natalie had to stop herself from laughing. That only made Aurora frown harder.
"Not funny" she said as the carrot cake slid down her throat "I don't like carrot cake"
"But you just ate it all" she said, defiant. Aurora knew her mother knew she actually liked carrot cake. Yet, her mother had promised chocolate cake for today and that betrayal of trust was what truly angered her.
"Okay, mum, I'll forgive for now only if you promise to make chocolate cake tomorrow. And don't lie this time!" Aurora said. Natalie smiled lovingly like was seeing the most beautiful creature to ever exist, and in her eyes she was. The perfect child, she was. Even without the help of a father she knew Aurora was perfect, her perfect creation. She put one of her golden locks behind her ears.
"I promise" but Aurora was not satisfied.
"Do you super swear promise?" she remarked as she expanded her pinky finger. Again, Natalie hid a laugh between her cheeks and she too extended her pinky.
"I super swear promise" she intertwined their fingers together. With that Aurora smiled once again and it made Natalie's heart fill with joy "I think it's time for bed now, isn't it?" and just like that the radiant smile became a pout again. But before Aurora had any time to complain, they heard a knock at the door.
Natalie stood suddenly from her chair. Their apartment complex usually gathered some drunken teenagers outside the halls, and at this hour, Natalie could only imagined they were just having a laugh. She had a small feeling though. One that she didn't want to explore much, that maybe this was him. Maybe he came back for her, for them, and now her chest was beating fast. Aurora just pushed her eyebrows together as she watched her mother walk to the door. She took a couple of steps before she realized the small window in the door revealed a silhouette. It seemed, at least from that shadow, like a woman was standing in the other side. She relaxed a bit, but not a lot. She opened the door, and her suspicions were met with reality. An old woman stood at their door. One neither Natalie nor Aurora had ever seen before. She was dressed quite particularly. For a second Natalie thought they had missed Halloween. This lady was wearing a long deep green robe with long sleeves that went down to the floor. Her hair was hidden under a hat, that could only be described as a stereotypical witches hat. She smiled quite fondly at her while her piercing blue eyes met Natalie's.
"Good evening. Is this the house of one Aurora Emiliè Axton?" the lady said with a velvet sweet voice yet full of determination.
"Ah- Y-yes. It is. I'm her mother. What is the matter?" she said completely bamboozled. Was this a plan of his? To try to get her? To confuse her with an old lady dressed as a witch?
"I'm coming here in the behalf of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Your daughter has been accepted into our school" she said, unbothered by the face of utter confusion Natalie was wearing.
"I did not sign her up to any school with that- sorry did you say witchcraft?" she couldn't have. She surely made a mistake.
"Oh yes, indeed. Your daughter is a witch" she said lastly and Natalie closed the door quickly on her face. This must be a joke. This lady must be insane, or confused or just- high. Natalie tried to shake the interaction off as she walked away from the door. She is just an insane lady, just an insane lady, she kept telling herself.
"Who was it mum?" Aurora asked. Natalie didn't get to answered though, because with a loud noise the lady was suddenly there, in their living room. She screamed, and like that Aurora had realized and she was screaming as well.
"Oh, do not scream! Please, I mean no harm! Let me explain!" said the lady who had lost all her previous composure. They stopped. Natalie could not believe her eyes. She had been just there, at the door, seconds ago. Impossible, it was, that she was now there, standing next to their old red couch and the TV.
"What do you want? Please, get out of my house!" Natalie screamed. The lady didn't comply, however, she just sat on the couch and took a deep breath. They just watched her, perplexed.
"Has your daughter ever done some incredible things? Some things no one can explain? No doctor, no scientist?" she said, newly calmed. Natalie turned to look at her. Aurora was petrified in her chair.
Natalie remembered that time. Aurora was eight and she called her from her room, in a desperate scream. Natalie ran upstairs. When she arrived to her, a shoe was levitating in front of her. "I'm doing it. Mum, what's happening?" she had said in a shock, her face pale as sheet. Natalie was horrified.They had promised to each other not to talk about it ever again. But sometimes, while Aurora was reading she noticed that her hands were not touching the book. Sometimes the book just floated millimeters away from her hands. Sometimes a flash of unexplained light came out of her room while she was sleeping. Natalie had ignored all of it, maybe because she didn't know what she was supposed to do.
"I know you have. You must have, Aurora" now she spoke to the girl, who was glued to the chair, but her face was not longer of fear. Now, she was curious.
"Sometimes if I want something to come to me, it will. Alone" Aurora said. Her voice, though shaky, was convinced.
"Exactly, Aurora. You are special" the lady said, she had stood again and now she was moving towards the table were Aurora sat.
"Do you mean, that she is, an actual witch?" Natalie said, while trying to review what was just said "That is impossible!"
"Yet I just appeared in your living while seconds before I stood outside" she said with certain smugness. Finally, she sat next to Aurora on the seat that had been Natalie's just minutes before.
"My name is Minerva McGonagall, but you will know me as Professor McGonagall. I am a teacher at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. And Aurora, it is your birthright to attend our school. There, you will be taught everything you need to know to control the magic inside of you. You will be able to do wonderful things, things you can only imagine now and you will become an impeccable witch" she said, now talking to Aurora exclusively. The girl's eyes lit up, the promise of every kid's dream at the palm of her hands. Finally she would understand all the weird things she could do.
"I don't understand. I never knew, I never dreamed people like you existed. How come she is magical?" Natalie asked, putting her thoughts together.
"Well, you are a muggle - non magical, her father too, I'm assuming. But there must be, somewhere in her family tree someone who was like us. That witch's or wizard's power was now hengerited by Aurora. There are many cases like yours, growing every year, actually"
Natalie was still in shock, unable to move from the floor. Aurora, though, now wore a smile on her face.
"So, I can do magic?" Aurora said, finally truly understanding. McGonagall simply nodded, her lips pursed into a smile.
"It will get much better when you get your wand" she said and Aurora released a happy shriek.
"A wand! Amazing!" Aurora jumped. Now, Natalie felt was at the Christmas party again, while her daughter opened her new presents.
"We- I mean, I cannot...afford this. I can't send her to school yet, I don't have a job and I- I still don't understand how-"
"Mrs. Axton, please. Money is not a problem at Hogwarts, we will provide everything she needs for the year" she said finally. Natalie looked astonished "Well, I will be back with the others in a week or two to head to Diagon Alley to get your supplies, allright?" she said and as she stood up she took something from the inside of her robe. She left a the rectangular envelope with a red seal on the table "This will help you understand some more. Unfortunately, I've got to leave. I need to visit eight more muggle houses before midnight, so good night, ladies"
And just like that, just like she had come, she left through their door. Aurora was left with a radiant white smile as she took the letter and examined it. Natalie ran to the window behind their couch. Like this she had a perfect view of the outside building door. She was expecting her to come out, maybe pick up a broom and fly away. Or maybe she was expecting her to pull out a mask and reveal a mischievous teenager that had played them a prank. Instead, all that came out of their building that night was a jet black cat.