It was July 23rd 1991. At the edge of a small town named Bickleston stood Mudfield Orphanage. It was a particularly petit and quaint building, but it was terribly rich and each child had their own individual room, though there weren’t many children who resided there.
Sage, a young dark haired girl, was their longest resident. She had been an orphan since birth. Left at the doorstep of Mudfield with nothing of a note or any indication of who might’ve dropped her there.
The thought of who her parents were was always on her mind. She tried to picture what they looked like, if they had long thick black hair like her, if their eyes were coloured uniquely silver like hers were. But her imaginations always left her alone, knowing that whoever they are they didn’t want her.
Eleven years she had been at the orphanage. Anytime a lonely couple would come to seek a child, they never chose to meet Sage. The little girl would've loved to have a family come and choose her, but as the years went by and all the children disappeared and were replaced with new ones, she grew bitter. Her growing speculations were that they didn’t have a liking for her shining silver eyes, or perhaps Sage held an uninviting expression. But what most likely put couples off was the way the other children acted around her. They all seemed frightened by her, and would always avoid her. She didn’t mind, though, she enjoyed keeping to herself.
Sage sat in her small room at her dark brown desk with her fingers swiping quickly along the pages of an old book. Her silver eyes darted along the words like they were racing each other. Her dark curly hair tumbled at either side of her face and sprawled onto the desk. Her sharp brows arched down in intense concentration forcing her eyes to stay on the book.
The mild sunlight of the youthful summer fell in through her window lighting up the pages. Her room had a rich scent of birch and dust as it was quite an old building. All that was in her room was a small metal bed, a dusty bookshelf, a desk and a window that looked over acres of green fields.
After many pages of adventure, she decided to look up at the time. The old clock on her wall read quarter to nine. She was five minutes late to her last lesson of the year.
Since the orphanage was so small, only holding around 30 children, they were able to have a classroom inside the building. Half of the children did attend a normal school further into the town, but Sage chose to remain at Mudfields with the rest. She had enough trouble with the children here she had no intentions of meeting new ones.
Sage had been late to almost every lesson in her lifetime. It wouldn’t of mattered anyway; she could learn and understand information quickly even from a young age, so the effort to try was lost from her.
A small huff left her lips as she slammed her book closed leaving it on her desk and trudging over to collect her school bag. Her feet creaked across the old wooden floor as her hand reached the rattling golden doorknob and pulled it open.
Hastily, she trotted down the many winding stairs until she reached the bottom floor. The classroom was down the main hall, which was dimly lit, opposite the dining area. The faint voices of people travelled through the gap in the doorway and tempted Sages ears. Quickly she opened the door and stepped into the room.
The eyes of fifteen orphans fell onto her, as they always would. Sage just stared darkly back at them, not caring for their judgment.
“Sage!” A stern voice spoke. Sages eyes lifted to see Mrs Hickories disapproving glare. Mrs Hickories ran the orphanage. She was a particularly old lady who wore an old Victorian blouse that was tinged a light purple as well as a long deep purple skirt not suited for the 90s. Her greying hair was pulled tightly back into a neat bun, as though she was trying to stretch out her face. Compared to all the young children, she appeared toweringly tall. Her face held soft wrinkles, but you could tell that she used to be quiet beautiful in her youth. “What would your tiresome excuse for your lateness be this time?”
Sage declined to answer, instead kept Mrs Hickories stare while discreetly rubbing her thumb inside of her fist.
“Sit.” The old woman gestured over to Sages usual seat in the back.
Moodily, Sage stepped through the rows of desks with her eyes set on the empty one in the back. She like her seat there as there was always another empty one beside her so no one would bother her. However today a blonde haired boy occupied that empty seat. Sages expression sharpened at the sight of him.
She recognised him slightly. He was a new orphan to come to Mudfield, but she wasn’t completely aware of why. She attempted to search her thoughts for his name. It may have been Hudson.... Hudson Crane! Yes, Hudson Crane.
When she reached her seat, her body was tense with annoyance, but she stopped herself from looking his way desperately hoping he’d avoided talking to her.
“All right, children, now that all of you are here we can return to our lesson on Mathematics...” Mrs Hickories began to write on the black board with her scratching white chalk.
Sage, with complete lack of enthusiasm, pulled out her book and her pen, pencil and snapped ruler.
She followed along to Mrs Hickories words, every once in a while, day dreaming about when she could go back upstairs and return to her wonderful adventure books, and that was when she felt something small hit her cheek. Her face jolted back with mild shock as her eyes darted down to what hit her. On her book sat a small crumbled bit of paper the size of a pea. As she was about to look up to find the culprit another piece of paper hit her again, right in the forehead.
With anger she looked to her side at where it had came from to see Hudson grinning with far too much pleasure.
Mittie Ganders, a light puffy haired, freckled girl who sat near by, saw this happen and her eyes filled with nervousness, and a little squeak left her mouth.
Sage glared at the blonde haired boy, ensuring that he stopped. He pulled his head back in defence at her menacing eyes, the smile never leaving his lips.
Satisfied that he had stopped, Sage went back to her work.
Mrs Hickories words returned to her ears before a harsh whisper from her right issued her to blink with shock.
“Oi!” Hudson whisper-shouted. Frustratedly, Sage turned her head to see him staring expectantly back at her. “Do you like me throwing paper at you, Freak?” He jeered with a devilish smile.
Mittie Ganders was biting her nails worriedly watching for Sages reaction. Sage was clenching her fists, desperately trying to suppress her rage. She didn’t answer and instead looked at him with an intense glare.
“I heard you’re a witch.” His voice rose slightly, and the hairs on Sage’s neck stood on end. By now, along with Mittie, a few of the other students had turned their attention from Mrs Hickories and onto Sage and Hudson. “Are you going to put a spell on me if I don’t stop?”
His words sent her a bit too far.
Sages silver eyes beamed and glinted mystically, as though someone had switched their light on. Then Hudson’s chair began to vibrate slightly beneath him, before it toppled over completely and he fell to the ground, causing a loud thud to echo through the room.
All the children, who hadn’t already been looking, turned their heads and began to laugh. A wicked smirk formed on Sages face, glad that she had shut him up. However, hidden worry made her bite her lip as concerns that people will think it was her surfaced.
“Mr Crane your first day of my class should have displayed your academic success, not your incapability to sit on a chair.” Mrs Hickories observed Hudson as he stood back up with red flushing his cheeks. “Are you alright?” He nodded with embarrassment.
Sage’s eyes looked around the room and was comforted to see that no one was paying her any attention and were all still giggling at Hudson, apart from Mittie who still held her skittish expression, but didn’t dare to meet Sages silver eyes. Because the fact is what Hudson said wasn’t untrue.... Sage was a witch, even if she didn’t know it herself. Rumours of her gifts had travelled through the orphanage due to the fact that once, a few years ago, Sage had accidentally caused a silver light to hover in her palm in the presence of Mittie. After that Mittie had told all the gullible children what she had done, and that was it.
It wasn’t just that incidence - though that was the one that confirmed the theories - Sage had always had a dangerously supernatural sense about her. Whether it was making things flip over when she was angry or issuing a room to darken when she was sad.
The children made it their priority to keep a distance and they never uttered a word to her. They were frightened by her.
Of course Mrs Hickories didn’t believe anything the children said, but did feel sympathy for Sage because of it. But she didn’t mind. Sage learnt to be independent.
Once the school day had ended it was the beginning long summer term, which, in Sage’s mind, meant doing the same thing she had done everyday. Reading.
Sage trailed behind all the excited orphans as some ran upstairs to their rooms and most ran outside to the field. Without thought, she found her way back to her own meagre room.
Dumping her bag down at the end of her bed, she directed herself back to her book. She slumped herself on her slightly uncomfortable wooden chair and began to divulge in her story.
After about ten minutes of reading, lost in the world of words, a quick tapping noise came from her window in front. Her head snapped up to see a small red breasted robin pecking on the glass of her window. It’s large brown eyes forced a sweet smile and softened Sage’s previously sharp features. Leaning over her book, her hand reached up and gently opened the window, cautious to avoid frightening the bird.
To her delightful surprise, the robin hopped in and onto her desk. Her hands retreated back as she watch it slowly. It fluttered its wings and twitched its head, before hoping onto her book.
“Hello.” She kindly spoke. Obviously it didn’t respond, but instead began to peck at her pages and even ripped a small part off. “Are you hungry?” She questioned, before smoothly gliding off her chair and toward her bed where her bag was. She pulled out a half eaten ham and cheese sandwich and ripped off part of the crust. Stepping back over, she lowered her crust filled hand to the bird and waited for it to eat.
The robin cocked his head curiously, before hopping over and quickly pecking down at the crust. With its beak filled, it took off, diving out of her open window. On impulse she leaped up and leaned across her desk to watch it fly swiftly away gliding over the green field.
Down below the loud boisterous laughs couldn’t be ignored. She looked down to see all the children running about happily, playing joyous games and knowing that if she went down there the fun would immediately stop.
It was if she had been confined to her own room by no rule, just a silent agreement among the children. Though Mrs Hickories always encouraged Sage to go and make friends, she knew it was pointless.
A sigh of slight despair left her lips, as she looked upon the children running under the sun. That was until she noticed the letter perched neatly upon her windowsill. Cocking her head with confusion, she plucked the letter from its home and came back into her room.
Sitting slowly on her chair, she read what it said on the front.
At the edge of Bickleston
A letter? To me? She thought to herself. Sage had never gotten a letter before. She couldn’t think of anyone who would want to write to her.
In bewilderment and peaking interest, she turned the letter over to see a bright scarlet wax stamp sealing the letter closed and above it was a logo in the shape of a shield. The shield was sectioned in quarters. In the top left quarter was a strong lion on its hind legs. In the top right was a smooth snake that almost appeared to be hissing. In the bottom left was a sweet looking badger and in the bottom right was a sharp, wise eagle. Above the shield in a banner was the word...
Hogwarts? She thought. What an odd word.
Another banner hung loosely at the bottom of the shield. Observing it closely, Sage read the foreign words out loud.
“Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus?” She quirked her eyebrow up.
After a moment of observing the strangeness of the exterior, she dug her finger in the open part of the letter and sliced under the wax seal. Slowly she pulled the letter inside out, feeling the fresh paper between her fingers. It almost felt unworldly and like she shouldn’t be touching it. Pushing her book away, she laid the letter open on the desk.
‘Dear Miss Sage,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.
Term begins on September 1. We await your owl by no longer than July 31.
Minerva McGonagall Deputy Headmistress’
What on Earth? Is this a joke? Who sent me this? Were all the questions that filled her mind. She could’ve easily of just brushed it off, but this note was far to complex not to dwell upon.
Still staring with furrowed eyebrows at the letter she picked it up and began to head downstairs.
Never looking up from the strange words, she reached Mrs Hickories office and knocked on the door.
“Come in.” The old ladies voice called from the other side of the door rickety door.
“Miss,” Sage began still looking at the piece of paper in her hand “I’ve just had the strangest-“
“Ah, Sage, just who I was going to look for!” Mrs Hickories beamed. It was only then that Sage had realised they weren’t alone in the room. A man stood at the front of Mrs Hickories desk. He had long, pale blonde hair that was tied neatly into a braid. His face was slightly old (though not as old as Mrs Hickories) and had hard blunt features. Upon seeing Sage, his mouth turned into an unpleasant smile. “Sage, this is Mr Yaxley. He’s here to adopt you!”
At these words Sages stomach dropped.
The man nodded down to her, with his smile quickly moulding into an accidental sneer.
Sage thought this would never happen. Always longing for the day when it would. So why did she feel no such excitement?
“Hello.” He greeted without any feeling of warmth. He held a rough Scottish tongue. Sage didn’t speak. Her dark hair smothered her face, covering it, as she dipped her head down with nervousness.
“Well don’t be impolite, Sage, say hello.” Mrs Hickories encouraged.
Sage lifted her head, now with a surge of confident curiosity. She shouldn’t act shy in front of the man who could be her new father, but she did remain sceptical.
“Hello.” She said without changing her expressionless face. The man raised his eyebrows as if he was unimpressed.
Mrs Hickories and Mr Yaxley spoke for about half an hour, whilst Sage waited in the chair silently. Still with her fist clinging onto the mysterious letter.
Feeling extreme boredom at a time when it should have been most exciting should have been her first concern. Trying to think of things to do whilst their adult voices missed her ears, she folded the letter with deeply pressed fingers and tucked into her pocket.
“Well,” Mr Yaxley clapped his hands together “if we just collect her things, I’m sure I’ve filled out all the paper work, I can take her home today.” He grinned, as did Mrs Hickories. Something about his crooked smirk told Sage that it was completely fake, like some sort of spectral sense.
“Wonderful!” Mrs Hickories beamed, straightening out her lavender top as she stood to shake the mans hand. “Do you hear that, Sage? Aren’t you excited?”
To copy Mr Yaxley’s attitude, and to hide her unknown feeling towards the situation, she smiled faintly and nodded her head. But overall she really didn’t want to go with him. She didn’t know him at all. The only thing she did know about him was that she didn’t like him.
In no more than fifteen minutes, all of Sage’s items had been packed and she was standing at the entrance door along with Mrs Hickories and Mr Yaxley.
A few of the other children had heard what was going on and Sage saw them peer their nosy heads around to see if it was true. Sage could already sense their anxiousness at her departure. Feeling a last second surge of control over their nervous intrusive stares, Sage, whilst the adults looked away, gave the children a fake smile and a mystical wave of her hand, saying goodbye. In fright, they all ran away.
“Well, Sage,” Mrs Hickories barely leaned down given her age “we will all miss you here at Mudfields.”
No you won’t.
“And you be good for Mr Yaxley.” Gently she patted Sages head, and in a blink they walked out of the door.
—————————————————————————————Disclaimer: I do not own any characters or plot lines in Harry Potter (they belong to J.K.Rowling), only my own OC’s and my own original plot lines.
If you’re not into reading all the backstory and want to get into Hogwarts and character interactions skip to chapter 8.