(A/N Hiya, everyone! This is my first published fanfic, so if I slaughter anything, PLEASE DON'T KILL ME. I know that many of you will not have read Coville's Unicorn Chronicles, but just roll with it, okay? You're the best.

Disclaimer: I do not own, or claim to own, anything in this fanfiction. So, have fun, guys!)

Every kid knows their family history, to some extent. I've always known that I was a half-blood: my mother a witch and my father a Muggle. I saw my mother's side of the family often, but I knew next to nothing about Dad's; just that he had been raised by his mother and had a half-sister I had never met.

I got my letter to Hogwarts when I was eleven. Mum, never one for displaying heaps of emotions, was pleased, but Dad, her opposite, was ecstatic.

"I'm so proud of you!" he whispered in my ear.

"You can't be surprised that I got in," I chided in disbelief, pulling away from his fierce hug.

"I am, a little bit," he admitted.

"Thanks a lot," I muttered, my face flushed with embarrassment. Dad shook his head. "Don't misunderstand me, sweetheart. It's just that . . .when I fell in love with your mother, I had no idea that she belonged to a whole other world. I've always liked tales like the ones that my mother used to tell me, but to find out that magic actually exists, and that your mother loves me enough to take me into her world, is mind-blowing. I suppose that I was afraid that I would ruin your chances of fitting in a world I can only watch."

I surveyed him for a moment, then said in a mock-serious tone, "This, from the man that I managed to levitate at the age of six?"

He burst into laughter and pulled me back into the hug. "You'll be a fabulous witch," he murmured. I grinned.

"Aw, don't worry, Dad," I said, teasing. "I'll always remember my Muggle father."

The Sorting Hat was taking its sweet time.

When McGonagall had cried, "Morris, Clarissa!" I had walked to the front of the room nervously. Now, sitting on a stool in front of the whole school, the famous Hat down past my eyes, I was waiting for the ground to open up and swallow me.

"Now, now, don't be impatient," it chided. "You wouldn't want to end up in the wrong House, now would you?"

No, I thought fiercely, knowing it could hear me, but I don't want people to stare at me, either.

"Ah, self-conscious, are we?" it whispered.

Do you always have lengthy conversations with the people you Sort? I thought scathingly.

"No, not always; but having no room for brains I must muse out loud. You see, some people are easy to Sort; they have clear characteristics that define them and set them apart. With you, not so much, hmm? You're intelligent, with a good memory; you could be in Ravenclaw if you wished. Gryffindor's a definite possibility; so is Hufflepuff. You would even get along quite well with the Slytherins. So what to do with you, eh?"

You're surprisingly chatty for an enchanted object, I griped. Can't you hurry? People are staring.

"Yes, I think I've made my decision, unless you object, hmm?" It whispered its choice in my head, and I nodded vigorously. At this point I might have agreed to jump off of a bridge just to stop the staring.

"GRYFFINDOR!" the hat bellowed.

(A/N I know, I know. Everyone puts their fanfiction characters in Gryffindor. But Clary really is brave; that'll show up later.)

Thank you, I thought, and slipped the Hat off my head. The whole school was applauding, Gryffindor table the loudest, and I felt myself blush from my hairline to my chin, so deep that I felt woozy for a second.

I made it across the room. The other Gryffindors made space for me, and I smiled shyly at them. I recognized several other first years that I had seen on the train, including a girl in simple dark robes and blonde hair who smiled encouragingly at me.

"Hi there," she said. "My name's Amy Dickinson, what's yours?" She held out her hand for me to shake, and, slightly surprised, I did so.

"Clarissa Morris," I said, "but people call me Clary. I thought the whole Hall heard my name."

She grinned. "They did, the ones that aren't bored out of their skulls waiting for the feast, I'll wager. And the rest, like me, never remember names.

"I can't believe I'm here," she continued. "All my life I thought I was some sort of freak, and here I find out that I'm a witch, that there's a whole other world that I belong to. My parents are Muggles, you see," she confided.

I was startled at how much her words reminded me of my father's.

"I've heard that people born in Muggle families are looked down on," Amy continued. "No one here has made any comment, though . . .except for some of those stupid Slytherins." She made a face. "Well, if they do, I'll just have to prove them wrong, won't I?" she almost snarled, as if I was the one challenging her.

"Yes, I suppose you will," I said, surprised by the vehemence in her tone.

She smiled apologetically. "Sorry. It's just . . . I'm the youngest out of four children. I'm used to having to fight for my right for anything. Out of all of them, I'm the only one going to Hogwarts. My two brothers won't stop teasing me about it."

"I'm an only child at home," I told her. "My mother is a witch, and my father is a Muggle. He's the best dad anyone could ask for, though." I was suddenly homesick.

"My parents were so surprised," Amy confided, leaning in. "They said they were fine with it, but I know for a fact that they were more shocked than they were letting on."

We continued talking all through the start-of-term feast, while we were led to our dormitories, and when we chose beds next to each other. It surprised me, how quickly and easily I had made a friend.

(A/N I know, I know, the ending was horrible. Review, please! Constructive critism is welcome, and I don't bite, I swear. I have a three-headed dog for that. [Here, Fluffy!] :) Also, I'm not British. I'm American and I've never even been to Britain. I've tried to sound . . . ah, British-y, for lack of a better term, but if I slip up, that's why.

Love you all, sparklingdisaster)