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