Usually, when I write fan fiction, it’s a sort of writing exercise for me. I would never imagine publishing it, and as such, this is an excerpt of a very rough draft of a Harry Potter fan fiction I wrote. All of my fan fictions have a lack of formality, and good, descriptive words. Just to warn you ahead of time.
Sunlight filtered through the filmy curtains, and I woke with the feeling of anxious dread filling the pit of my stomach. Today was the day, if it was going to happen at all. That was why, as I shuffled toward the door and gave my puffskein a hasty pat, my heart fluttered and my insides twisted in knots. Moving down the hallway, I crept past my siblings’ doorways as quietly as possible. If they heard that I was up, they would come and pester me about the letter. I reached the bottom of the steps, and found my parents sitting at the kitchen table, eating scrambled eggs and bacon. On the stove, a skillet was making French toast.
“Happy birthday, Arlenis,” my mother said with a beaming smile.
I gave a weak smile. “Thanks,” I managed to say.
“There haven’t been any owls yet,” my father added, answering the question burning inside of me. “Except for the Daily Prophet.”
I nodded, and sat at the table with the others. “Are Jena and York still asleep?” Mother inquired.
I shrugged. “I think so.”
I heard a faint bumping on the stairs, and I turned, expecting to see one of my siblings. Instead, I glimpsed the tiny puff of pink fur that was my pet. I rushed over and scooped it up. “I should probably feed him,” I said mechanically, and I carried him on my shoulder to the pantry.
“I’ll get it, dear,” Mother said, waving her wand and causing the puffskein food to fly toward a bowl and dump out a copious amount. Ernest hopped from my shoulder and began nibbling at the food.
At that moment, there was a thunderous rush of footsteps and my brother and sister arrived in the kitchen. My younger sister had copious amounts of frizzy blond hair, just like my mother, with wide brown eyes. The youngest member of the family, my brother York, was the only one in the family with dark hair. My sheet of red-blond hair fell neatly to my shoulder blades.
“Have there been any owls?” the two of them asked, nearly simultaneously.
“I bet there haven’t,” York added.
“Then she’d be a Squib,” Jena pointed out. “That doesn’t happen much.”
“Arlenis is not a Squib,” Father said. “Think about the time she set the fairies on you two.”
“Or when she somehow got on the roof,” Jena considered.
“I guess,” York shrugged. “I want to see the letter!”
“It’ll come,” Mother said patiently.
I twisted my hands in my lap, not touching the French toast in front of me. It was normally my favorite, but the custard soaked toast didn’t seem appealing at the moment. I kept glancing out of the window, searching the blue sky for a speck that signified a school barn owl. The school always sent barn owls.
“I’m going out in the yard,” I said suddenly, standing up. My wooden chair scraped against the floor, and the screen door banged behind me. None of my family members followed, much to my relief. I really just wanted some air, alone. My family was sometimes rather overstimulating.
I waded through the wild tangle of perfumed flowers in our front yard. The green farmland stretched out before me, the mountains outlined purple on the horizon. I sat amidst the flowers, breathing in the familiar scent and trying to relax myself. A scissor-tailed flycatcher sang in a nearby tree that broke the wooden fence that lined our property.
On a sudden impulse, I stood up and rushed to the shed. I grabbed out the neatest of the brooms, mine obviously, and mounted. Kicking off from the ground, I zoomed upward into the sky, leaving the ground and my nerves behind. I soared over the wild countryside, my house becoming a distant speck very rapidly. I raced a screeching hawk, not quite able to outstrip it with the newest Comet model.
I heard a distant call from the house, and I stopped dead. Yes, there was no doubt about it. “Arlenis!”
I raced back to the farm, shooting toward the ground in a steep dive. I touched down and hopped off, stumbling slightly as I hit the dirt. “Arlenis, I’ve told you not to dive that steeply!” Mothe chided, coming out of the house. “You’re going to crash badly one of these days.”
“Or she’ll become an excellent Quidditch player,” Father suggested.
“No, I’m not really into Quidditch,” I replied. “I do like the Falcons, though.”
“Puddlemere United is the best,” York piped up, coming outside.
“Why did you call me?” I asked, trying to get at the itching feeling inside me.
“Just to tell you that your puffskein is throwing an absolute fit,” Mother sighed. “He really can’t stand it when you’re not around.”
“I’ve got him,” Jena chirped in a sing-song voice. Ernest was making static noises as Jena squashed him in her hands.
“Careful, you’ll hurt him,” I warned, taking Ernest and smoothing his fur. He made a content humming noise. I felt that sort of sinking feeling that most are familiar with when they experience disappointment.
Father and York went back inside, but Mother pointed up at the sky. “Is that an owl?” she asked.
I whipped around, and sure enough, there was a tawny speck growing larger. I gave a kind of incomprehensible squeak, and I trembled. Jena laughed, running toward the gate. She picked her way through the weedy garden, and before I could even think about moving, the barn owl had alighted on the fence and stuck out its leg.
Then, I rushed forward and grabbed the letter from Jena’s hand. “It’s my letter, Jena!” I said with gritted teeth, trying to yank the envelope out of her clenched fingers. Finally, I succeeded in wrenching the letter away. The barn owl, its feathers quite ruffled from the slight scuffle, fluttered away into the distance.
Sure enough, the crimson seal bore the unmistakable crest of Hogwarts, with the griffin, eagle, badger, and serpent encircling the large red H. The crumpled, square letter could still be read.
Room in the Attic
Jena tried to look over my shoulder as I pulled out the letter with shaking hands. That green ink on smooth paper, the neatly printed words. All of it made my heart beat faster and my hands tremble.
I read through the letter at least twenty times over the next several hours. I couldn’t wait to go to Diagon Alley, though my other family members were enthusiastic as well. Jena and York had never been to the wizarding shops before, and neither had they travelled by Floo Powder. I had gone by Floo Powder to my father’s workplace once. It wasn’t an experience I would call enjoyable. Nevertheless, I found myself greatly anticipating minute I would find myself transported to the fireplace in the Leaky Cauldron. I grabbed a handful of powder, readjusted Ernest on my shoulder, and threw the substance into the flame. It turned vibrantly green, and I stepped inside. “Diagon Alley!” I proclaimed, and before I knew it, I was spinning rapidly like a top through fireplaces. I tucked my elbows in as they banged against brick, and I caught a few flashes of other rooms on my way to my destination.
Then, I arrived. Coughing slightly from the ash, I stepped onto the hearth of a dirty grey stone. The pub was buzzing with noise, and I saw my father and Jena waiting for me. Father smiled widely, and Jena made an impatient noise. I brushed a few pieces of ash from Ernest’s fluff.
When the other two had arrived, we stepped out into the alleyway behind the Leaky Cauldron. Mother tapped a few of the bricks on the grungy wall, and they sunk in and opened up. York breathed in sharply, and we stepped into the alley.
Our first stop was to Twilfit and Tatting’s dress shop. I was fitted for several pairs of black robes by the elderly woman that worked there. Then, I travelled to Potage’s Cauldron Shop, Flourish and Blotts, and Wisacre’s Wizarding Supplies. I only had two stops left after that: Ollivander’s and Eyelop’s Owl Emporium. I entered Ollivander’s first, the bell tinkling faintly in the dusty atmosphere. Ollivander, the slightly mad-looking man that had given people their wands for as long as anyone could remember, was already helping a boy at the counter. He was tall for his age, with dark hair and pale skin. He was dressed in plain grey, but something about his aura struck me as interestingly different. He picked up a wand from the counter and waved it. A jet of silver sparks shot from it like stars. The boy’s sharp features were revealed in the brief glimmer of sparks, his eyes gleaming darkly. Ollivander watched with a vaguely interested expression, his wide grey eyes protruding to give him that look of an owl. “Curious,” he muttered. “Thirteen inches, yew, phoenix feather core. Fairly flexible.”
The boy did not appear to hear him. Instead, he had turned his gaze upon me and my family. He did not speak for several long moments, and instead placed a few coins on the counter. As he left the shop, I felt a strange cold prickling that had nothing to do with the sudden breeze that had entered the shop.
Ollivander turned to me. “Ah,” he said. “I see. Your parents had fairly interesting wands. Ingrid: twelve inches, birch, unicorn hair core. It was pliable and springy. Richard: thirteen and a half inches, maple, dragon heartstring core. Rather stiff and unyielding.”
I wasn’t sure how to reply to that particular comment. “Hold out your wand arm,” Ollivander instructed. I held out my left hand, and a tape measurer spinning around it. Ollivander nodded and scuttled off like a spider in search of a certain insect. He strode up and down rows, climbed up and down ladders. He pulled out several wands along the way, and they floated over to the dusty counters and lined themselves up neatly side by side. Then, the wand-maker returned, and he beckoned me to the table. I came hesitantly, glancing back at my parents. They were smiling reminiscently, and for the first time, my siblings were completely silent. I took the first wand rather gingerly, but absolutely nothing happened. So, I placed it back on the table and took up another. Down the line was a stubby, light-colored wand, a dark, intricately decorated wand, and several others. When the next did nothing, I reached for the stubby wand. However, my fingers curled around the black one instead. The runes etched on its surface glowed faintly, and sparks shot from the end. “How very…interesting,” Ollivander remarked. I looked up, the wood under my fingers quite warm.
“What is it made of?” I inquired, speaking up for the first time.
“That’s just it,” the wand-maker replied. “That wand in your hand was not made by me. I do not know what it is made of, even though I have tested it many times to determine just that.”
I stared at the thin wand in my hand. It glinted innocently in the light. “Then maybe I shouldn’t-”
“Nonsense,” Ollivander said. “The wand chooses the wizard.”
I tried to make this a more ‘canon fan fiction’, which basically means that it is as in accordance to the original work as possible.