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by: Maddie Jamison
There was no way things could be so normal. Looking around Hogsmeade Maddie saw what she would assume to see in any other high traffic wizarding town in the world. There were shop carting every kind of magical good anyone could have wanted. Walking past Dervish and Bangs Maddie could see a brand new sneakoscope being shown in the window alongside several cauldrons and balances for potions ingredients. Meandering down the path a little further Galdrags was showing off a new season of summer robes in bright colors with silk and satin trims. One robe showed multiple colors, switching between blues and reds and purples and pinks- all the bright colors of new life and the new season. A sad smile reached Maddie's lips as she watched the colors- red, orange, pink, yellow.....She had forgotten how much she loved magic. Being away so long in the muggle world even the simplest charm held for her the greatest wonder.

Having been around magic her entire life Maddie had taken it for granted. Growing up with one magical parent and eventually being moved into an atmosphere of complete magic Maddie almost didn't know how to cope without the beauty and wonder of the substance that surrounded her so effortlessly in this neighborhood. The charms in the shop windows, the way children were eating candy that magically induced hiccups or made them spit fire. It was the stuff of story and legend in the world she had been living in for the past year and she missed it so much. It was like feeling a phantom limb after an amputation. People always reported that they could feel things even if their arm had been lopped off- it was like that with magic. Even though she hadn't practiced anything in nearly a year she could feel the itch to cast one spell, but then that would give away too much.

Looking up at the castle a wave of sadness washed over Maddie. The silhouette of the abandoned building that was her home for four years seemed to stare back at her. That had been her life until dark magic had taken it all away. She could still see the dark shadows of the mark above the castle, dancing through the air like a dark specter of doom and destruction. She could still hear the screams. Still see the other students running while she stood there with her wand out absolutely helpless. The tortuous curses flying through the room as she ducked and dove and dodged. She knew what came next. The vision of it had haunted to her since that night.

Maddie shut her eyes tight- so tight it hurt. She held her breath and waited for the pressure starting to make spots in her vision. Anything to keep out the sight of her best friend, her room mate for four years. She could see Aimee's eyes glassing over, feel her skin turning cold, feel the blood coating her hands. Quick as a shot Maddie opened her eyes trying to avoid the whole thing just one more time. She could feel a lump growing in her throat and a sick taste crawling up into her mouth. She couldn't do this again. She had just gotten over the nightmares. Maybe it had been too soon to relive the day dark magic had ruined her lives and now her family.

With a deep breath Maddie forced herself to look away from the castle and down the street, suddenly the magic didn't feel so magical and she felt more like a stranger than at home. Swallowing hard Maddie kicked the dirt at her feet and trudged back to the train. Maybe she would try again another time.
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