Sylvi gave a pleased smile when she saw the letter held in the beak of an owl, depicting the Hogwart's crest. She gently pried the letter from its beak and then fished out a treat from the jar by the window and gave it to the animal. The owl having been taken care of, she broke the wax seal on the letter and began to read the contents.

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 Ms. Forstrom,

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

Yours sincerely,

Minerva McGonagall

Deputy Headmistress

HOGWARTS SCHOOL of WITCHCRAFT and WIZARDRY

UNIFORM

First-year students will require:

1. Three sets of plain work robes (black

2. One plain pointed hat (black) for day wear

3. One pair of protective gloves (dragon hide or similar)

4. One winter cloak (black, wither silver fastenings)

Please note that all pupil's clothes should carry name tags.

COURSE BOOKS

All students should have a copy of each of the following:

The Standard Book of Spells (Grade 1) by Miranda Goshawk

A History of Magic by Bathilda Bagshot

Magical Theory by Adalbert Waffling

A Beginner's Guide to Transfiguration by Emeric Switch

One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi by Phyllida Spore

Magical Drafts and Potions by Arsenius Jigger

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander

The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection by Quentin Trimble

OTHER EQUIPMENT

1 wand

1 cauldron (pewter, standard size 2)

1 set glass or crystal phials

1 telescope

1 set brass scales

Students may also bring, if they desire, an owl OR a cat OR a toad.

PARENTS ARE REMINDED THAT FIRST YEARS

ARE NOT ALLOWED THEIR OWN BROOMSTICK

Yours sincerely,

Lucinda Thomsonicle-Pocus

Chief Attendant of Witchcraft Provisions

She felt a jolt of excitement go through her, a genuine smile lighting her face. She had heard so much about Hogwarts that she had always wanted to go. Her parents had gone to Durmstrang, but her grandmother Forstrom had gone to Hogwarts and she often reminisced of her old school days.

Sylvi glanced up from the letter to see her mother walking into the sitting room with a pile of books in her arms. Elise Forstrom's blonde hair was braided into a plait that fell down her back, presumably to keep her hair out of her eyes. Her blue eyes glanced at her daughter as she placed the books on a nearby table and began putting them back onto their respective shelves on the mahogany bookcase. They had house-elves and servants to do these kinds of tasks, but her mother always liked to do them herself. "I find it a meditative task," was the answer Sylvi received when she asked why.

She waited patiently for her mother to finish and was rewarded when her mother dusted off her hands and turned to her. "What's that you have there, dear?" It was likely her mother already knew, but that didn't stop her from humoring her daughter.

"My Hogwarts acceptance letter." She handed the letter over to her mother, who took it and began scanning through the pages.

Elise's cheeks dimpled, making the corners of her eyes wrinkle as she looked up from the parchment, "We'll have to take a trip to Diagon Alley this week then, won't we? I will talk to your father about it tonight and we will figure out a day, but for now, why don't you help me with putting the books away that are in drawing room?"

"Okay."

Elise stood, holding out the letter, which Sylvi took and folded back up and placed on the table. Then she followed her mother out of the room.


Later that night, Sylvi could hear her parents talking to each other across the library. They didn't know she was there – she was generally so quiet that it was hard to notice her, and she often used that to her advantage. At the moment, she could only hear snippets, but as she silently moved forward, more of their conversation could be heard.

"-send her to Durmstrang. I know they don't accept students from Scotland, but she was born in Norway and if we send her to live with her grandparents –"

Her mother cut her father off. "Sylvi has been wanting to go to Hogwarts ever since Anette told her about it. She would be heartbroken if we sent her to Durmstrang." Anette was her grandmother, whom she saw about once a week when she came over to have tea with her mother. The old woman doted on her, as she was her only grandchild.

"You know it's only a matter of time until the Dark Lord returns and when he does…" Sylvi blinked. The Dark Lord? Wasn't he gone, though? That Potter boy defeated him years ago. Yet her parents were talking about him like – like he was coming back.

"The Forstroms were neutral in the last war, Alexander. We shall stay neutral for this one." Elise caressed her husband's face to take away the bite from her words.

"And if she chooses a side? What are we to do then?"

"He recruited from Durmstrang as well. The only other option aside from moving to America would be Beauxbatons and I will not be sending her there. Whether it be Durmstrang or Hogwarts, she will be at risk. In any case, I believe our daughter has the foresight to choose wisely." Her father sighed, and Sylvi knew that her mother had won. Her parents sat there for a few minutes in silence and she was about to walk away when her father spoke again.

"She reminds me of my grandmother, truth be told." Alexander pulled his wife into his lap, and she leaned into his chest.

"Which one?" Elise closed her eyes and smiled as he began stroking her hair.

"You actually never met her; she died when I was a boy. At least, you've never met her in person. However, you have met her portrait." Elise hummed at him, acknowledging his statement. "Ophelia Forstrom was an extremely intelligent woman. She was also cunning, clever, and could be ruthless if she wanted to. Did you know she was a Seer?" Her great-grandma Ophelia was a Seer? Why had no one told her this?

Elise pulled back, staring into her husband's handsome face. "A Seer? Xander, do you think…?" She trailed off, afraid to put the question into a sentence for fear of it being true.

Alexander shrugged and pulled her back to him again. "Ophelia came into her power early – around Sylvi's age, actually. I suppose time will only tell whether or not she has been similarly gifted."

"Will he not wish to cultivate her?" Elise was frowning.

"Perhaps, perhaps not. If she turns out to have inherited our family's legacy, I will have her speak to Ophelia's portrait. She will teach her the necessary skills to master it as well as hide it from those who would abuse it."

"I suppose that will have to do." Elise sighed. "When will we take her to Diagon Alley?"

"School doesn't start for another two months, but I wish for her to be adequately prepared, so we can go sometime this week."

"She's more than adequately prepared." Her mother sounded amused. "She's read just about every book in the main library. If she does well this year, and has shown the proper maturity, I do believe that you should allow her to read from your private library." Sylvi blinked. His private library? She had never been allowed in there – not even when she was with her parents. She knew that her father kept books in there that shouldn't be outside of the Ministry, books that had been outlawed for centuries.

"Elise, there are books there that –"

"I understand that. Not those books – at least not until she's a bit older. It's just that… well, if he is going to be returning, I want her to be as prepared as possible."

"That would be acceptable. But she does not leave the house with them."

"Sweet Merlin, no; the Ministry would have a heyday."

He kissed her. "Then we are in agreement." She hummed and returned the gesture, and it was a few moments before Sylvi recognized that they were done with their conversation and had started moving onto other things. She turned with a grimace and quietly left the library, intent on going up to her room.

She learned a few things while eavesdropping. The first was that her parents truly believed that the Dark Lord would be back. Her father had good instincts, and so she trusted his belief. However, how anyone could come back from a rebounded Killing Curse was beyond her, but she made a mental note to research it. The second was that her great-grandmother was a Seer, and that she needed to make a visit to her portrait.

For several months now, around the time she had turned eleven, she had flashes of future events or knowings. It could be simple things, such as some dish falling in the kitchen or someone saying something. Or it could be more difficult things, like when she had known beforehand when one of the servants had slipped and fallen down the stairs. She hadn't really understood what it was, so merely thought it to be a dream of some sort, although how she could dream while awake had been an interesting thought. Much to her surprise, later that week, a servant did indeed lose their footing on the stairwell. She had felt guilty after that, because she had told no one about it and could have prevented it, maybe, or at least lessened the damage. The servant hadn't died, but had broken their leg and collar bone.

But that was all she could get - flashes. She had no control over how long they lasted or when they happened, they just sort of came and went. The prospect of being able to control them, of the ability to properly interpret them, excited her.

She reached her bedroom and stepped inside, closing the door behind her. It had a cozy atmosphere, with colors of brown, cream, and green all around. Her four poster bed sat in the middle and a nightstand stood on either side of it. A large chest sat at the end of her bed, facing the fireplace. A tall dresser stood at one end of her room, with a full length mirror beside it. There was also a desk, a chair, and several bookshelves. Several enchanted lanterns illuminated the room with the help of the fireplace.

As she dressed for bed, her mind went back to her parent's conversation. If the Dark Lord were truly to return, what side would she even pick – if any? As her family had been neutral in the last war, they would not receive any repercussions should he rise again. She shook her head. No, she'd heard what had been going on during the first war, she would not sit idly by and let it happen. She would have to come up with a plan. To go toe to toe with a Dark Lord… she would have to do some serious research and training. As she slipped into her covers for the night, she said the key word that would dim the enchanted lanterns around her room. Tomorrow she would go see her great-grandmother's portrait.