Summary: During summer 1968 10-year-old Petunia Evans used magic for the first time and from this day forward she couldn't stay normal anymore.


Prologue

The story of my life started bearly few years ago. I was born in a small town in Midlands of England. I can describe this place in one world: Ordinary. Everything here was normal, common and boring as living other people's dreams. Arrivers were welcomed by an old, brown-painted, white-lettered plywood board 'Welcome to Cokeworth'.

All terraced houses were built from same dim-red brick which was always smelling in a weirdly bitter-brackish way. Each street looked identically, paved with identical, round, flat sett stones of muddy gray-brown color. Hedges undercut painfully evenly were created a wall around exact tiny gardens with no playful shape or fulfillment.

People were identical as well. Passing one elderly lady, after 10 steps one would wonder if he didn't meet her again. Girls from my primary school had bone pale skin and hair combed into polite looking twin braids that were ended by sadly slopping ribbons. Clothes were hanging on dwellers like on corpses and they didn't smell any better. The stench of rot seemed to evaporate from them and creating a white, thick mist that was almost always floating above the town and small dirty river Little Lune. The whole place reeked of putridity.

The only thing that seemed to distinguish in this labyrinth of uniformity was a smokestack of a textile factory complex in the town center. It was standing tall, whitewashed with lime; above identical two-story buildings is it was about to talk in a human voice and say with all its superiority: "I'm better than you all! I'm the tallest one here"! This impression did not improve the plaster that was coming off of its walls and creating a terrifying, mean-spirited sneer.

I was living here for the first years of my life with my parents and little sister. It was instilled in my mind that I'm supposed to be just like others in the city. Clothed in same black school uniform, that looked remarkably like a funeral attirement. Combed into same dolorous brides, watery eyes and unemotional expression plastered on my face. That what was normal. That was appreciated. That how I was supposed to be.

But I wasn't. I tried to be but there was something inside me that stopped me every time. Like an invisible hand grabbing me before I stepped on the line called normality. I felt like a trapped animal. Only wanting to return to natural, correct, right state of belonging in the universe. I think I knew it would happen one way or another. That there would be the day when I would be claimed. That I'm a witch.

It happened during summer 1968. I was ten. The day was grayish, the sun barely shined through milky clouds that were thickly covering the firmament. In Cokeworth it was a rare occurrence to ever see the sky let alone the sun. My little sister and I were on the walk on the meadow that was situated in the suburbs. Walking far enough one could arrive at an old, dark wildwood that wasn't common in England anymore. On the other side of the countryside fence were fields that once belonged to old McFilcher. Now they were sold to the city to build new settlements but for now, there was only a playground with a rusty silver slide, two yellow swings, and concrete pavement.

I liked to come here, where the stink of the city wasn't reaching and I could breathe the fresh air of the forest. We were swinging as high as possible. The metal playground equipment was wheezing loudly while we wanted to fly higher and higher! Reaching the ugly clouds and passing through them to see the sky just like on those photos in schoolbooks. We were laughing loudly imagining that we're flying above the clouds, drowning in heavenly endless blue.

Suddenly my little sister jumped off the swing. I was afraid she'll fall on the concrete pavement and hurt herself but she only hovered in the air and with a grace of circus acrobat landed on the ground.

Normally I'd shout at her. We were supposed to be proper! That was what they told me from the first day of primary school. My little sister still didn't understand it.

Today was different though. I wanted to be different. Unique. Extraordinary. To stop with uniformity. To be myself.

I kicked my legs in the air to speed the swing up and it groaned in protest. I was ready to jump when it snapped.

The loud sound of thwack echoed through the fields as the metal truss of the seat broke away from the construction and flew through the air with a whistling sound. I closed my eyes tightly afraid to see my fall. I knew I would either die or stay disabled till the rest of my life. The time stopped. Maybe it was only a second that changed into an hour before my end or maybe I was already on the other side.

"Tunia!" it was the voice of my sweet little Lily.

I opened my eyes. I was slowly hovering to the ground like in a space capsule and finally, I landed. Lily helped me to get out of deadly metal truss and we backed away.

"I knew it." we heard a boyish voice. It was quiet but in this one moment, it was echoing through the meadow. I turned around and shielded Lily with my own body. What if this person would send us to a mental hospital? I couldn't let that happen. I glared at the boy. I knew him. He was living in Spinner's End. He had greasy, quite long, not fashionable in 60's black hair. His nose was hooked making him look like a crow or a raven. He was wearing shabby jeans and white blouse and black cape making him look at least weird.

Still, I couldn't help but look into his black as night eyes.

"You are witches."


A/N: Please R&R