Okay so this idea has been driving me nuts for months so I've decided to give in and just write the bloody thing. For any one who is concerned, this story will run concurrently with my other fic Black Madness which is definitely not going to be stopped as I have invested far too much time and effort to just give it up.
So here we go. This one will be much closer to canon and a lot less fun to write I suspect but I need to get it out of my head. Usual rules apply. It's going to be femslash pairing eventually and I still have issues with my language but I'm going to try and make this a T rating.
I still don't own Harry Potter otherwise I'd be writing all day instead of working to pay the bills.
Updates will be sporadic. I'm warning you now.
Dylan the Rabbit. xx
The Silent World of Cassandra Evans.
1. Welcome to my World
The girl awoke in the chilly August pre dawn to the sound of a truck unloading it's goods. She fumbled for her much repaired glasses and as her world came in to focus she looked at the cheap childs watch that sat on the over turned milk crate that served as her night stand. Five in the morning. Great. There were obviously downsides to using an abandoned warehouse as a makeshift hostel. She didn't mind the cold, she was well used to it by now as she was used to the wildlife that had the same idea as her and shared the dilapidated, cavernous two storey building with her. The beetles, the spiders even the rats didn't bother her, they had become her surrogate friends and an effective early warning system for the approach of any strange or official persons, so she was happy to share her meagre rations with them. No what really annoyed her was the constant stream of vehicles loading and unloading at the docking bay in the factory a hundred yards further down the industrial estate. Noisy buggers. Sleep thoroughly interrupted the girl decided to get up and get on with the business of the day.
First things first she thought a liitle bit of a tidy up before she headed into town. There were many things that the girl had learned in her time sleeping rough and one of the most important was that you never left anything where you slept that you either minded getting stolen or that could be traced back to you. All personal items went into her large shoulder bag that had once been used to deliver the morning papers in a suburb of Carmarthen that is until she had liberated it and repurposed it for her own uses. Not that she had much in the way of personal items. A few faded photographs of a red haired woman with sparking green eyes, a worn toothbrush and an old journal with a lion's head embossed into the cover that was blank other than an inscription on the fly leaf in what she assumed was her mother's hand saying it was the property of Lily Evans and a stark warning to not attempt to read it which confused her a little. Next was was things that would stay here to await her probable return tonight. The blanket was bundled up and stuffed inside the milk crate then it and the candles and matches hidden under some leaves in a dark corner of the upper floor. Lastly she strapped on the wristwatch and put her switchblade knife in her back pocket. She struggled into her boots, shrugged on her thick black hoodie and slung the bag and headed down the rickety stairs to cautiously look around before stepping in to dull grey light of another misty day in South Wales.
When she was about half way into the town a sign loomed up in front of her and the girl frowned and read it as she had done every day for the last three and a half weeks. She was nothing if not a creature of habit. Good habits kept you safe and out of the hands of Child Services.
City and County of
Dinas a Sir
As a native Welsh girl it had always irked her that their nation had to pander to those too lazy or too stupid to learn their own language and culture. As a small child she had done so very early on reading everything that she could lay her hands on in both Welsh and English understanding that she would need both to be able to communicate effectively with those around her. Of course not being able to speak didn't help with her communication issues which is why she had also learned how to read lips and sign in both languages as well.
The girl had been mute since her third year of life when her Uncle Vernon, seemingly tired of her crying after a beating for dropping a saucer on the kitchen floor had taken steps to silence her by cutting out the toddler's voice box out with a pair of dressmaking scissors. It seemed harsh but she couldn't blame him really. Noisy children had always set her teeth on edge as well. She had probably deserved it and, after all, it was the appearance of the stumbling blood soaked child on the quiet Street in Aberystwyth where they had lived that had got her removed from the Dursley's and put into protective care. Protective care. There was a mis-nomer if there ever was one. Her time growing up in the hands of the South and West Wales child services department had been anything but protective or particularly carefull for that matter. Teachers, doctors, policemen and guardians at the shared homes. They were as blind to her bullying as she was mute.
She had managed five years, seven months and twelve days in the system before she had decided that enough was enough and one day went out to the library as usual and had simply never gone back. It had taken another eleven months, many mistakes and two re-captures and subsequent escapes but finally, at not quite ten years old, she had perfected the art living on the outskirts of society. Now just over a year later the girl was a hardened, cunning and wily street survivor stealing when it was safe begging when it was necessary and sleeping when and where she could. It was a hard and dangerous life and she was well aware of the perils of her existance having too many times watched from the safety of the shadows as girls and boys like her were robbed, beaten, raped and once even murdered for the change in their pocket or the clothes on their back or just because the animals that did it could. It had never happened to her. Not once in all her time living rough travelling the roads and by-ways between Haverfordwest and Cardiff and then back again. She knew it wasn't luck. She knew it was more than that.
The first time it happened had been shortly after she had first gone 'on the run'. She was being chased by a couple of coppers through a shopping mall having been caught stealing a box of power bars from a supermarket and she was coming to the end of the range of her short legs and out of breath the girl had thought to herself; I need to get away, I need a place to hide. And then it had happened. One minute she was running for her freedom through a food court and the next she was standing in an open air carpark at the top of the mall. To say it scared her would be rather a large understatement. The girl had been utterley terrified and so shaken that she had not managed to utilise this strange occurence to continue her escape and so ended up back in the 'care' of the social services. After some time to come to terms with her miraculous teleporting incident the girl had taken every opportunity to try to recreate the circumstances and after a few false starts it had happened again. Since then she had begun to practise and perfect and hone her abilities and to try out other things as well.
The girl had realised very quickly that it was all about her will. If she wanted something badly enough it would happen for her. Trial and error had revealed to her that as well as teleporting herself she coud make things come to her from quite a good distance away and that, very usefully, she could hide herself to the point of being effectively invisible. Now she knew full well that this wasn't normal but she also knew that it was far too good a thing to pass up especially given her living arrangements so she simply accepted it as a useful tool to help her and moved on. What was more disturbing to her, however was the thing happened at Tenby zoo a year ago to the day.
It had been a halfway between a fleeting whim and the necessity of spending a rainy day under cover without attracting too much adult attention that had guided her feet to the Wildlife Park. The security on the gate had been laughable and she had simply slipped her small body through the bars and into the zoo and headed sraight for the closest building to the entrance. The reptile house. Once inside she had stopped and gazed about her in awe and decided that she was going to stay put in here for the rest of the day. The place was lovely and warm and dry, that was true, but that wasn't why she was staying. She was staying for the dozens of beautiful, colourful, wonderful snakes that dominated her eyes and, most importantly, her ears. She heard them all and she understood them all and now she knew why her tongue had that tiny little forked tip, because she could 'speak' to them all. For someone who had never been able to speak to another human being this ability to talk to another creature was absolutely the the most wonderfully powerful experience of her young life and she stayed hidden in that reptile house for four long days and nights indulging herself fully. When she almost got caught and finally had to move on the girl had cried with the loss that had hit her like a ton of bricks the moment she was back on the road.
She had never forgotten the experience of conversing with those fabulous creatures and it was why she was now here risking capture in a petshop in Swansea spending twenty of her ill gotten and extremely hard to come by ten pound notes on a juvenile Borneo short tailed python. The shopkeeper had been rightly suspicious of her and she had barely got out of the door before she chanced a look back to see him pick up the phone and dial a very short number. The girl ran.
Out of breath and covered in sweat she reached her hideaway in the run down warehouse and held her beatiful new friend close and started cooing and chattering in the strange hissing language that was the only kind that she would ever be able to speak.
"I suppose I should learn a bit more about you if I'm going to take care of you shouldn't I Shortcake."
"What is 'Shortcake' speaker?"
"You are silly. It's your name. Don't you like it?"
"Shortcake. It is ... acceptable."
"Super. Now what do you like to eat?"
Their conversation was cut short by a crash of glass and the screech of a very indignant sounding large tawny owl. The feathered beast seemed less than impressed by it's surroundings and by it's dramatic arrival through one the less broken windows in the building and fluffed and preened a little before dropping a yellow envelope in front of a very surprised girl and her snake. She reached down for the envelope and once it was in her hand the owl blinked at her slowly and took flight again in a flurry of dust and leaves. Written on the envelope in green cursive script was her name.
Cassandra Evans, The Abandoned Warehouse, Llantiroch Industrial Estate, Swansea, Wales.
Her head snapped up and she was immediately suspicious and looking for the authorities. Who the hell could possibly know that she was here. She had done everything perfectly, followed every proceedure, every self imposed rule, every small habit but still someone had found her. Someone knew she was here. She scooped up her belongings and ran once again.
Two days and thirty miles to the east in large stretch of woodland the girl huddled under her small shelter beneath an oak tree and fiddled with the yellow envelope. Now she felt safer and she was ready. She pulled out her swichblade and thumbed the release button and blade snapped out, five inches of gleaming, wicked steel. It slid through the paper like material like it was simply not there and the packet of documents fell out on to her lap. As she read the top sheet she realised that it was one of the few times in her life that even if she had suddenly been able to speak she would still be lost for words.
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Headmaster: Albus Dumbledore (Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards)
Dear Miss Evans
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at 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 later than July 31.
Her companion was not quite so lost for words.
"What does it say speaker?"
"It says we've been invited to go to a school for witches."
"Do you tust it it?"
"You don't trust anything." If a snake could snigger that's exactly what this one was doing.
"Am I wrong?"
"In this case? Possibly. This is an opportunity for us speaker. We should go."
The girl looked very hard at the all of a sudden insightful young python coiled around her forearm and gave the matter some thought as she perused the other pages in the welcome pack. She had no idea how to get to this Diagon Alley to get her school things, not that it mattered as she didn't have any money left to buy them with, and she even couldn't owl her response as she didn't have an owl. Would any of that matter? Oh well only one way to find out she supposed. She sighed. They had best gather supplies and get some rest. Kings Cross was a very long way.
Cassandra Evans was going to Hogwarts.
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Good? Bad? Leave your thoughts although you can always PM me with ideas, suggestions, comments if you want. Dylan the Rabbit. xx