Prologue

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A/N: This was originally on FanFiction.net but got deleted, so I'm posting it here. It's also on Quotev. It follows the HP books starting with the fourth.

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Prologue

My eyes darted back and forth frantically. My breathing came in rapid gasps. Every instinct in my body was protesting. A million thoughts were running through my mind. This wasn't what I wanted. This wasn't what was supposed to happen. I could have stopped this if I had worked harder. What was I doing?

My eyes finally rested on Snape, who was standing in front of the door. He appeared unphased by my apparent panic. I hated him for that. I knew he was not my enemy, but I could not help feeling resentment against him at the moment. I shot him a deadly glare.

"What's going on?!" I cried. "If there's a battle I want to be a part of it!" I instinctively pulled out my wand. My hand shook as I pointed it at him. I needed to feel like I was doing something.

"Put that away," Snape said coldly, yet a bit nonchalantly. He was not taking my threat seriously. I was in no fit state to be using magic, and he knew it. "I promised to protect you, Miss Hansen."

I could feel my resistance hopelessly weakening. I slowly put my wand back. "I'm not the one who needs protecting," I mumbled just loud enough for him to hear. I knew he would know what I meant. There was only one person I was thinking about at the moment.

Snape seemed to almost hesitate. "Stay here," he warned me. With that, he turned and marched out of the office.

I sighed as I watched him leave. Once he was gone, I started pacing back and forth. I was slowly losing my nerve. I was driving myself crazy with "what ifs." I should have talked to him. I should have stopped him. I should have done something.

I felt helpless. Why was I even in this situation? Maybe it would have been better if I had just stayed in Minnesota. But I couldn't regret the last three years of my life. They made me who I am. He had made me who I am. It had all started with a letter...

***

It was just another typical Saturday morning at my house. My mom, my two younger sisters, and I were crowded around the kitchen table stuffing ourselves with pancakes. My dad was strolling over to us with the mail that an owl had just dropped off.

"Anything exciting?" I asked curiously after swallowing. My sister Emily and I were expecting letters from the Twin Cities School of Witchcraft and Wizardry with a list of our school supplies. Yes, we were witches and proud of it. This would Emily's first year at the school and my fourth. I couldn't wait. It was exciting to go off and study magic.

Dad flipped through the envelopes. He stopped when he got to a particularly large one. He blinked in surprise. "It's from Hogwarts," he said in amazement.

The rest of us turned to stare at him silently as he opened the envelope and took the letter out. Hogwarts was an amazing Wizarding school in Great Britain. That was where my father attended, since he was originally from England. Why was he receiving a let from them? Was there a reunion or something?

Dad's eyes suddenly got wide. "Emily's in!" he announced. Emily let out a small gasp. My mouth dropped open. Emily was accepted to Hogwarts? No fair! "The Headmaster agreed to let her in even though she's not a European because I'm an alumnus there." He looked at me. "I tried to get you in your first year, but Headmaster Dumbledore wanted to see how well you'd do at the Twin Cities School before accepting you."

I clung to the word "before." Would I be accepted as well? I didn't think Hogwarts would accept students from the United States. Would they even accept exchange students? I held my breath.

Dad turned to Emily. "Do you want to go?"

Young Emily opened her mouth to say something, but our mom spoke before she could.

"Wait, is Emily just going to leave us?" Mom asked with concern.

Dad shook his head. "Crystal is accepted too. And Lizzie, when she's old enough."

"Really?" I said with an excited grin. This was unbelievable!

"So we're moving?" Lizzie guessed. She was only 9-years-old. She appeared uncertain of her feelings on the situation.

"If we all agree on it," Dad said. "Hogwarts is the best Wizarding school in the world. You'd be getting a great education." He was trying to appear nonchalant, but I could see the excitement in his eyes. He really wanted to move back to Britain; it was his home.

Mom considered this for awhile. At last she let out a small sigh, smiling slightly. "Well, you moved to America for me, so I can move back to Britain for you and the kids," she said, looking thoughtful.

Dad smiled down at her.

"I'm tired of this town," Emily said. "Nothing exciting ever happens. Let's go!"

"It could be a chance for adventure!" Lizzie exclaimed in sudden excitement.

Dad turned to me. "What do you think, Crystal?"

I shrugged. I really desired to jump up and down in excitement, but I didn't show it. I didn't want to seem too eager. I was great at holding my emotions in. "I guess we can go. We've got nothing to lose."

Dad nodded. "Then it looks like we're moving."  

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