Chapter 1

Rapunzel's Letter

Rapunzel, a small, well tempered little girl, woke from

her peaceful slumbers one golden morning. She peeked out

at the sun from under her warm blankets. She closed her eyes

once more before they fluttered open again as she remembered

that she had chores to do.

Just a few months before, Rapunzel's mother would have

been the one making breakfast and cleaning the tower that they

lived in, but ever since Rapunzel had turned eleven her mother

had started leaving on long trips with her daughter left all alone

in their big empty tower.

The first time Rapunzel had felt very big and important

having to do all the things that grown-ups do, but now, after

many weeks of this, she had become very lonely and bored.

She briskly hopped out of bed and hurried her cold feet

into a pair of slippers. They were her mother's slippers, but

Rapunzel enjoyed wearing them so much that she would sneak

them out of her mother's room when she could.

Rapunzel set to work on sweeping the floor of the living

room and them mopping it, the large wooden handles almost

slipping out of her grasp from time to time.

Rapunzel had just finished with the floors and was about

to start on washing the laundry when her mother woke up.

"Good morning, mother. Did you sleep well?" Rapunzel

asked this, but already knew the answer. By the looks of her

messy black hair and the great big bags under her half-open

eyes, Rapunzel guessed that she had not slept well at all.

"Fine, dear," her mother said absentmindedly as she

walked over to the kitchen.

Rapunzel bit her lip. She wanted to ask her mother if she

could stay home with her today so that they could play together

like they used to, but she was afraid that it wasn't the right time.

However, excitement took her by surprise and she blurted out,

"Mother? Do you suppose you could stay home today?"

Rapunzel's mother froze and looked up at her. Her eyes

still looked tired, but there was a subtle hint of panic hiding in

them too.

"No, dear," she replied finally.

"Why not?" Rapunzel whined.

"I have errands to run, food to buy, and people to see. I

just don't have time to stay home and play,"

Rapunzel's face fell. "Okay," she said quietly.

"But before I go, would you please sing for me?"

Rapunzel's face lightened a bit as she made her way over

to her small, green stool that sat right next to her mother's armchair.

She sat down just as her mother came back with a hair brush. She

sat down as well and Rapunzel began to sing while her mother

brushed her long golden hair.

"Flower gleam and glow, let your

power shine, make the clock reverse,

bring back what once was mine,"

As she sang, Rapunzel's hair began to glow a brilliant gold.

When she did this, she had the ability to heal the sick and injured.

Her mother said that she had been born with this power and that there

were greedy,selfish people out in the world who would want to take

that gift from her or use it for their own personal gain. That was why they

lived in a tower out in the middle of the woods, so that no one would ever

find Rapunzel.

When she had finished her song, Rapunzel and her mother both

stood up to say their goodbyes.

"Goodbye, dear. I love you very much," her mother said kindly.

"I love you more,"

"I love you most."

They walked over to the large windowsill that looked out across

the hidden mountain glen where their tower resided. Rapunzel

gathered her hair immensely long hair that trailed behind her and

wrapped one end of it to a large wooden hook, letting the rest of her

hair flow freely in the air outside. This was how Rapunzel's mother got

in and out of the tower. She would use her long hair like a rope and

climb up. Or in this case, be lowered down. Rapunzel supposed that

the reason her mother went on these errands now was because she was

able too now that Rapunzel's hair was just long enough.

In a short moment it seemed, all that has just been explained came

to pass and little Rapunzel was once again left alone in the cavernous

tower.

With nothing else to do, she continued with her chores. She

washed the laundry, dusted a bit, though she did it more of as a pass

time for not many things needed dusting, then she tried polishing

a few things, but ended up making more mess for her to clean up.

Once all of these tedious chores were completed, she sat down

and breathed in the warm summer air blowing in from the open

windows. It seemed like so much work for just one eleven-year-old

to do in just one morning, and yet day after day she did it without

complaint.

She scooped up the book sitting beside her on the chair side

table and began to read. She had read this book several times before,

but still found joy in reading the small, black words on the yellow-

stained paged. She really did wish she had more books to read,

but the last time she had asked for more her mother had refused.

Rapunzel just couldn't figure out why. Didn't everyone like reading?

It seemed like only a few moments before she had finished reading

the book. She sat up and looked around for something else to do.

Rapunzel went from arts and crafts to dancing, to baking, to

playing dress up. But they never kept her entertained for long.

She had just finished eating lunch and was painting in her

bedroom when she heard a rather odd sort of sound.

WHO! it sounded like.

She stood up and looked around, her

paintbrush still in mid-stroke. Had she simply imagined it?

The sound came again, this time louder.

WHO! it repeated.

Rapunzel put her paintbrush down and looked around her bedroom.

There was nothing in there that made any noise, really. So where

was it coming from?

WHO!

She looked out her bedroom door and down the stairs that lead to

the living room.

WHO WHO! it said again. It was coming from out here.

Rapunzel slowly made her way down the old wooden steps

that lead to the rest of the tower, cautiously hiding behind the support

beams of the banister all the way down.

When she reached the bottom, she peeked out from behind the

last post. There was no one in the living room that she could see, and

no one in the kitchen either.

WHO! it continued, its hollow sound bouncing off the cold stone

walls and then hitting Rapunzel's ears. She had the most unsettling

feeling that someone was watching her.

She turned her blonde head toward the window that sat not but

a few feet away and that's when she saw it. A great big owl was sitting

on the windowsill staring at her with two bulbous yellow eyes. But what

was even more astonishing was the lady sitting next to to it. She was tall,

skinny and very beautiful with short brown hair and freckles on her face.

She wore the strangest clothes that Rapunzel had ever seen. There was

an emerald green cloak that hung loosely from her shoulders, a big

pointy hat upon her head, and a pair of long, black boots. Rapunzel

stood stalk still, her hands held at her chest, willing her heart to

stop beating so wildly.

"Hello there," the lady said. "I'm Pricilla Periwinkle,"

Rapunzel had no idea how to respond to this. The only other

person she had ever known or talked to was her mother. How did

this woman even find her?

"I realize that this must be very strange for you," she went on,

"So let me explain. You are a witch,"

Rapunzel was very taken aback by this. She must have made

a face because then the lady said, "Don't worry! You're not that kind

of witch. You're the good kind, like me. The kind that has magical

powers that you need to learn how to use and I know exactly the place

where you can do just that." She handed Rapunzel a small envelope

sealed with red wax and a strange letter seal.

She held it in her hands for a while occasionally turning it over.

On the front it read, 'Miss Rapunzel, Tallest Tower in the Forest,

Corona,'

"Go ahead, open it," Pricilla said kindly.

With a cautious glance at the strange lady, Rapunzel peeled

open the flap of the envelope and took out the letter inside. She

unfolded the parchment and began to read:

'Headmaster Albus Dumbledore

Order of Merlin, First Class Sorc., Chf. Warlock, Supreme Mugwump,

International Confed. of Wizards.'

Rapunzel was very confused by this, but read on.

'Dear Miss Rapunzel,

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 1st. We await your owl by no later than July 31st.

Yours Sincerely,

Minerva McGonagall

Deputy Headmistress'

Rapunzel looked up. "A-a school? For magic?" she asked.

"Like I said, you're a witch," Pricilla said simply. "Now, where are

your parents? I need to speak with them."

"Um... she's not here," Rapunzel replied shyly.

"I see," Pricilla thought for a moment. "Well when your mum

gets back, give her this," She handed Rapunzel a pamphlet of some

sort. "And here is the list of all the books and equipment you'll need

to get for school."

Rapunzel fumbled with all the paper in her hands, starring in

bewilderment at what was happening.

"But miss Periwinkle, I-" Rapunzel started but it was too late.

Pricilla had jumped down from the tower. Rapunzel dropped all

that she carried and leaned over the edge of the windowsill to see

what she was doing, scaring away the owl in the process.

She got there just in time to see Pricilla flying away on a broomstick,

the owl flying beside her.

"I'll return in two days time to show you how to get to Diagon Alley!"

she called back.

"But I'm not a witch!" Rapunzel objected.

"Your hair begs to differ!" Pricilla called.

That was true. She did have magic hair. Perhaps she had more

magic in her than she thought.

She finally decided that she would wait for her mother to come home.

She would know what to do.

So she set the letter, the note for her mother, and the list down on

the armchair and went back to painting in her bedroom, but found that

that she just couldn't focus enough. Her mind kept wandering back

to that ever present memory of Pricilla and her owl and then the letter.

She kept thinking kept thinking about Hogwarts. It sounded very intriguing

indeed.

Finally she gave in up painting and went back to the letter. She read

it over and over again until she had it memorized.

Rapunzel then turned to the long list of thing she would need

to buy for this school. Her own thoughts scared her and excited her, for

after reading so much about all this magic stuff she started to believe

that she was actually going to attend. She couldn't wait to tell her

mother.

For the remainder of the day she read all the rest of the papers

Pricilla had given her and pretending that she was using magic.

Rapunzel nearly broke into a happy dance when she saw the sun

start to set. That meant that her mother would be home any minute.

"Rapunzel! Let down your hair!" Rapunzel grinned and clapped

her hands together as she raced toward the window and saw her mother

standing far below.

"Hello, Rapunzel," her mother said once she was up in the tower.

"How was your day?"

"Well, it was, uh, exciting, to say the least," Rapunzel mumbled.

"Darling, please don't mumble. You know how I feel about the

mumbling," her mother said.

"Sorry," Rapunzel hurried on, "So, earlier today a letter came

for me,"

"A letter?" her mother looked very intrigued now. Rapunzel might

have even gone as far as to say that she looked scared.

"Yes. An acceptance letter to a magic school,"

"What?" she looked more intrigued now than worried.

"All the stuff about it is right over there," Rapunzel pointed to the

pile of papers sitting on the floor.

Her mother walked over to it slowly and then read, quietly mumbling

through her red lips as she sifted through the sea of paper and ink.

"And I was wondering," Rapunzel continued, "If I could go?"

For a long moment her mother said nothing. She wondered if her

mother was going to let her go.

Then her head came up and she turned around.

"Oh, Rapunzel, you want to go outside?" she asked.

"Well, I suppose," Rapunzel answered. She hand't really thought

about it much.

"You know why we stay up in this tower. To keep you safe from

the outside world. It's full of awful things and awful people who will

take advantage of you,"

"I know, but-"

"Look, Rapunzel, I'm doing this for your own good. The bottom

line is, you are not leaving this tower. End of discussion."

Rapunzel sighed. "Yes, mother," she said sadly as she watched

her mother take the letter away to her bedroom.

"Now, won't you help me make dinner?" her mother asked

when she returned.

"Okay,"

The next day came and the morning routine proceeded as usual.

By midday, Rapunzel's mother was gone and the chores were finished.

Rapunzel sat alone in the empty living room. She couldn't

think of anything to do. Her mind was set on one thing: The Hogwarts letter.

She thought about going into her mother's bedroom and stealing it

back many times, but she never had the courage to disobey her.

She was just about to reconsider stealing the letter when she heard

a strange sort of noise coming from outside.

THUNK! THUNK! THUNK! it went.

Rapunzel peered out the window and saw someone climbing the

tower. She nearly screamed, but stopped herself just in time. What was she

going to do?

Her eyes were drawn to the cast iron frying pan sitting on the stove. She

grabbed it as fast she could and hid behind the wooden support beam that

stood just beside the window. She waited.

It wasn't long before she could hear the grunts of the person climbing

the tower and soon she saw him lift himself over the windowsill and into the

tower. He seemed exhausted.

Remembering why she had grabbed the frying pan in the first place

she inched forward and then swung the pan as hard as she could. It hit

his head with a loud CLANG! and he fell to the floor. Rapunzel squealed

and ran over to hide behind her stool. She peeked out at him, waiting for him

to wake up, but he didn't stir.

Slowly, Rapunzel made her way over to him, watching him carefully all

the while.

He was a boy about her age with dark brown hair that fell over his eyes.

She stood over him and watched, with curiosity, the strange concept of

masculinity for Rapunzel had never seen a boy before today.

Suddenly, a moaning sound escaped his lips and Rapunzel reacted

the only way she knew how. She closed her eyes and smacked him in the

head with her frying pan again.

"What do I do? What do I do?" Rapunzel said out loud as she paced

the floor. What was she to do? What are you supposed to do with an

unconscious boy?

She finally came to this conclusion:

"Okay I can handle this. First I have to find out how he found me. I'll

have to wait until he wakes, but what if he tries to hurt me or escape? I tie

him up? But with what?... I know! My hair! I've got plenty of it."

Rapunzel set to work. Her first plan was to tie him up in a chair, but found

that he was to heavy and she was strong enough to lift him. So instead she tied

him up on the floor, propping him up against the wall.

She waited for him to wake up once she finished tying him up but she

waited for quite some time and he didn't move.

Very carefully, she came toward him and slapped him in the face.

"Agh!" he cried as his limp body suddenly came to life and Rapunzel

jumped back. He looked around for a moment, clearly confused. He struggled

for a bit before noticing he was tied up.

"What's going on?" he asked.

"Struggling..." Rapunzel began, but she couldn't find the strength to finish

on the first try,"Struggling is pointless."

"What?"

She approached him slowly so that he could see her.

"Who are you? A-and how did you find me?" Rapunzel asked him.

"What?" he asked again.

"Who are you and how did you find me?"

"Why should I tell you?"

Rapunzel held up her frying pan to his face.

"I think this is why," Rapunzel replied, more forcefully than she had intended.

"Okay, alright! My name is Eugene Fitzherbert."

"Now how did you find me?"

"Completely by accident, I swear! I didn't even know if someone lived here!"

he cried. "Look, I was being chased through the forest, I found your tower and

climbed it to hide. End of story."

"So, you didn't come here to steal my hair?" Rapunzel asked.

"Why in the wide, wide world would I ever want your crazy locks?"

"Because it-" she stopped herself before she said too much. If he was telling

the truth, then she couldn't risk telling him about her hair now.

"So, if you could just untie me I'll be on my way," Eugene said.

But she didn't respond. She was having an epiphany. If her mother wouldn't

let her go to Hogwarts, maybe this boy could take her.

"Do you know how to get to Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry?" she

asked.

"Hogwarts?" He seemed stunned. "You're a witch?" Rapunzel slowly nodded.

"Why do you want to know? Can't your parents take you?"

Rapunzel's face fell. "W-well I..."

"I see. You don't have any parents, right?" Eugene said understandingly.

Rapunzel was going to correct him but she felt that if he thought that

she just didn't have any parents he might be more willing to take her.

"Yeah, I know how to get there. I've gone there before, you see. This

will be my second year," Eugene explained.

"So you're a wizard?" Rapunzel asked. He nodded.

Very cautiously, she moved toward him and untied him.

"Thanks," he said. "So I take it that this year is your first year?"

"Yes,"

"So that means you have none of the supplies you need? Like

a wand or a cauldron?" Rapunzel shook her head and Eugene sighed. "So

that means we need to make a stop at Diagon Alley."

"Where?"

"Diagon Alley. It's where they sell all the stuff you need for school at

Hogwarts,"

"Oh. So you mean we're going shopping?"

"Ugh, fine! Yes, I suppose you could call it that."

Rapunzel nearly squealed. She had always wanted to go shopping

with her mother, but of course, she would never let her.

"It'll take us a while to get there, so we'd best start now, miss...?"

Rapunzel suddenly realized that he was asking for her name.

"Rapunzel," she said. "My name is Rapunzel."