June 18, 2017 by J L Wells
The overflowing bookshelves of the Jeweles bookshop felt strange and distant. Ever since Karline found out that she was a witch and after that night when she overheard her mother and his man named Dumbledore, whom she later found out what the Headmaster as Hogwarts, she felt like she had been lied to her whole life. She should feel fortunate that she was a witch but the fact that her mother kept it secret from her until she received the letter the next day made her angry.
Her mother told Karline the reason why she kept it a secret for so long, “I wanted to protect you. Your…your father was killed by followers of this dark wizard, and I hoped that if I didn’t tell you anything that maybe, just maybe I could keep you out of that world for good.” That was all her mother said. Karline never told her mother about the conversation she had overheard with Dumbledore and she felt that it was wise not to say anything…yet. Maybe she would try to talk with Dumbledore herself and figure out what is going on.
Today was the day. Leaving for a place she had never heard of until only about 4 months ago. When she turned eleven years old and her mother had given her the acceptance letter from Hogwarts, School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Though being angry about being left in the dark, she was curious about this world. Magic sounded fun, but she didn’t know what she could even do. She has no previous knowledge of how to use it. Would they make her do a test before going in to prove she can do it? Would they have her recite a spell in front of the whole school? She was nervous, scared, and a little excited.
Despite still being upset with her mother still, she was going to miss her. They had never been apart for longer than maybe a day and now she was leaving until Christmas break. 3 and a half months without her mother terrified her but she knew she had to be strong. She also hadn’t been outside of the London area either – well, except for that time where she was born, but was immediately brought to London just a few days later. Karline doesn’t know where she was born because her mother doens’t seem to want to tell her. Either out of embarrassment, fear, or who knows.
They had arrived at Platform 9 3/4 with 30 minutes to spare. Her mother helped her get on the train, find a spot to sit and sat with her until 10 minutes before the train left. It was quiet for a moment and they both knew that once her mother left the train, it was going to be difficult for the both of them to hold back any emotions. She didn’t want to seem weak in front of the other students, but they had no one else while she was growing up.
“Karline, I want to give you something. To remind you, while you’re at school, how much I love you and how much I am here for you. I know that I’ve kept secrets from you, but I didn’t intend for them to hurt you,” Her mother reached around and dug her hand in her bag and pulled out a small black box. She handed it over to Karline.
Karline looked over the box for a moment before opening it. It was a necklace that was in the shape of a heart. She opened the heart and inside were 4 little pictures – 1 of her as a baby, 1 one of her mother, 1 of her father, and 1 of the three of them when she was a baby. She had seem her father before in other pictures but had never seem this one before. “When was this taken?” She pointed to the picture of the three of them.
“That was the day you were born. Your father had just returned home from being away for work and he was given permission to come back for one day to see you. And when he left the next day…” Her mother trailed off and Karline didn’t have to ask to know what happened. Her father was killed. Karline never asked her mother on how he died. It was up to her mother to know the right time to tell her because it’s a very sensitive and difficult thing to speak about. Having a child then the next day your husband is killed. Karline couldn’t imagine the pain her mother felt and is probably still going through.
“Thank you, mom. I really enjoy it. I’ll never take it off,” She said as she hugged her mother. Once she pulled away the train horn sounded off and Karline felt her heart drop.
“I should get going. I’m sure other students need some seats. I love you and will write to you often. Keep me updated on your classes and any new friends you make!” Her mother kissed her and gave her a warm, gentle, yet strong embrace before letting go and leaving the train.
The train filled up quickly as parents said their goodbyes and the kids piled in. Karline stood by a window and her mother stayed by the window, both trying to not cry. They smiled at each other, and talked quickly about how Karline will write to her that night about her first evening there. Then the train sounded off again and the train started slowly moving. Karline swallowed hard and her mother walked with the train, and kept up until she couldn’t go any further, waving and eventually crying.