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The girl

Rory’s pale face was framed with dark wind swept hair and studded with a pair of emerald eyes flecked with crystals of grey. 

The thin smile that always played her lips was now expanding and relaxing as she kept flashing it to the sea of children swimming across the dark corridor to reach their classes. 

Nonetheless, they intently ignored her but she’d long since gotten used to it. To them, she was just a distant shadow slinking along the dust webbed walls.

In fact, Rory often wondered if anybody in her school actually knew her name. 

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The school bell was slightly dysfunctional and had always been so. It rang in a weak tinkling manner like that of a wind chime dancing in the breeze. Students usually plunged into the classrooms at the onset of the low ringing sound but Rory would already be seated in a forlorn corner of her classroom, all set for her class. And today it was for geography.

The clean white walls of the room glistened as the light spilled out from the casement windows facing them. Children were soon infesting the seats of the classroom with noise and laughter. But nobody remembered Rory. 

It was if she had faded into the atmosphere. And if they did happen see her, they didn’t bother to talk to her. She was just like an actor playing a passerby on the street. Not eminent enough to be acknowledged.

The door creaked open to let a middle aged man in. He was clad in a neat tweed suit and his hair was streaked with grey. And he was Mr Landman of geography.

Silence blanketed the children but it curled around Rory and it remained there as it always did.

Life can’t be completely be soundless, however hard you make it to be. So Rory was silent like death.

‘Good Morning my dear children,’ replied Mr Landman heartily to the dull monotone greetings that was delivered a moment before by the students.

He then rapidly strolled towards the chalkboard and stood alongside with it, a triumphant look on his face.

‘So,’ he started with a glint in his eye,‘Today it’s the great geography quiz day!’

A much audible groan emerged from the class at that but Mr Landman took it all in maliciously. Picking on students was his favourite pastime.

‘Now, now,’ he croaked evilly. ‘Today it’s going to be a little different. I’m not going to pick on the usual dumb heads but instead I’m going to check the name list!’

Gigantic gasps echoed through the classroom like a thousand snakes hissing all at once but more in fear.

Mr. Landman quickly fished out a crumpled piece paper from his pocket and waved it in a depressingly slow fashion at the gaping class.

Rory fidgeted a little in her seat for no particular reason whatsoever.

He then cleared his throat and started murmuring to himself and everyone. His gleaming eyes skimmed over the names in the sheet. ‘…hmm who should I pick? Hmm I need someone rare.. someone..’ He paused and frowned at a name.

The children leaned forward to listen.

‘ there an….Aurora in this class?’ He hesitated, an uncertain crease attacking his forehead.

While the blanket of silence struck the class again, Rory let out a tiny gasp of her own. It was the first time anyone had ever uttered her name in the school.

Mr. Landman blinked into the shadows where Rory was seated. ‘Um..Aurora?’

Rory stood up, her hand automatically adjusting an invisible strand of dark hair behind her ear.

A line of whispers toured the class. ‘who is she?’ ‘Was she here before?’ ‘Now, where had she come from?’

‘Come forward, Aurora. You know the rituals’, said Mr. Landman with an uneasy smile crossing his face.

She strained a smile back at him, her legs shaking a bit as she ventured into a step. Everyone was staring at her and she was so not used to it.

Suddenly, a deafening crash blared through the classroom as the chalkboard which had been safety fastened to the wall, slammed into the floor, its frame cracked like crevices in a rock.

Mr. Landman let out a high pitched scream as he darted away from it horrified and the children stared, speechless with shock.

A cloud of dust erupted from it mixing into the air. 

After a moment of processing, a little racket broke out.

Children were strewed all over the room with voices, confusion and sneezes wafting through in the air.

But Rory stood still as a statue, her face masking her surprise and dread.

She had felt it.

She glanced down to eye her fingers and with dismay observed the sparks flowing from them. She quenched them with her shirt nervously.

Mr. Landman’s face was now ghostly white with little beads of sweat trickling down to his neck. ‘Quiet, children, Quiet!’ His voice was almost a whisper.

He cleared his throat. ‘Now, It’s just a little accident. We’ll get someone to fix this,’ he said, straightening his suit awkwardly and the children listened, suddenly expectant.

‘And well, since that’ll take some time, you children might as well go home. We’ll finish it off for today.,’ he declared, his tone sounding very dull and dismal.

Contrastingly, the children cheered and whooped and grabbed their bags and some of them rushed out of the door at once.

In the midst of this joyous scene, Rory heaved a quiet sigh of relief.

She was soon strolling across her driveway to the thick oak door of her house, contemplating on the ways to explain her sudden advent to her mother. 

The raging wind was ruffling up her hair, blowing into her face. A shrill hooting arose from a bird perched on one of the pine trees that lined her way.

But Rory’s eyes fixated on the foot of her front door, discerning the shape of a letter planted under the crack. She edged foreword and stooped down, plucking the letter from the floor and to her excitement, found it pristinely addressed to her. Her hands trembled as she tore out the purple seal, unveiling the letter and she began gobbling up its contents. A happy smile lighted up her face.

She had finally gotten into Hogwarts.

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