I was only 10 years old when strange things started to happen to me. I couldn't understand what it was, or why it happened, but after that first time, I was involved in something that I had no explanation for.
It was Christmas' eve, my favorite night of the year. My parents and I were gathered in the living room, sitting by the Christmas' tree, opening our gifts. The clock marked midnight, classical music was playing in the background, the champagne was bubbling in my parent's glasses, and the room was pleasantly warm by the small fireplace burning.
"Well, open it, sweety." My mother handed me a gift.
I rolled my eyes. "I can't believe aunt Mary gave me another pair of socks. With Mickey Mouse pattern. Uh, I'm not a little baby anymore!" I protested and my parents' expressions turned into angry ones.
"Ana! I can't believe you saw your Christmas' presents!"
"I'm joking! But she really gave another pair of socks? With Mickey Mouse on them?" I unwrapped my aunt's present and there they were, just as I imagined them. I looked at my parents with a confused expression on my face. "I swear I didn't see it!"
"Ana, don't lie." My mother tried to talk calmly, but my dad was already red with anger. They're usually like this: my mother always tries to take care of things calmly and my dad would always be the deranged one. But he's not a bad father, he's just... too nervous about everything. I think it's because of his job, he's a very important businessman in his company.
"I'm lying. I swear... I just... Guessed it!"
"Ok, honey. It's ok." My mother answered.
My father got up quickly, pushing all the gifts he received off of his lap and to the floor. My mother closed her eyes and took a deep breath as my father started grumbling.
"She's going to be a spoiled kid if you keep on believing on everything she says! She's a liar and you're just feeding her insolence."
They kept on arguing with each other as I slowly was taken away from the real world, to my own world, where my thoughts are alive and I can get away from the unsafe and saddening reality of our lives. Then, much to my parents' surprise, I got up from the floor, as if some unseen force was controlling me and picked up the phone.
"What do you think you're doing?" My father yelled.
"And why is that?" He asked, already snapping the phone out of my hand.
"Because of the accident outside."
My parents froze staring at me in a mix of shock and confusion. They didn't hear anything - well, probably because they were arguing in the middle of Christmas' eve - so they both opened the front door to check outside. It was calm as it would be expected. No one was on the streets and there was no sign of an accident. When my father turned to me to yell and even lifted a hand to hit me, we all jumped back, startled with the big explosion coming from the house on the other side of the street.
My parents looked at me in horror.
When I was a few years older, the future wasn't the only thing I was able to see. I started looking to the past too, which scared my parents the most. I started with small things, like things that happened to my parents hours or days before. Then it was random things, about random people. But then I was able to see the more distant past. Like past diseases and which members of my family died with those conditions, or things about the life of random people that lived hundreds of years ago.
It was infuriating how my parents have gotten into several fights over the years because of my condition, or ability. I would lock myself in my room at night after dinner hearing them arguing, but then I would escape through the window and would always go to the same place, over and over again. The coffee shop in King's Cross' station.
"Another fight, uh?" Melanie asked when she served me some hot chocolate.
"Yes, another stupid fight about me and I didn't even do anything this time."
"I hate when parents do this to their own families. Anyway, you can always come here, you know that. And if anything happens, I'm here for you." She smiled and approached an old man sitting on another table reading his newspaper.
Melanie was 25, 5 years older than me and since I was there every time my parents fought (which were a lot) she made conversation with me over the years and we are something resembling best friends.
I was reading my book about Norse Mythology when my eyes scanned the old man in front of me. Something about his newspaper caught my eye. It's not that I don't think that I'm not crazy - I mean, I see shit that happened and that will happen, that is crazy - but I swear I saw a picture moving.
The man sensed my eyes and put the paper down just enough to look at me and smile. It was a kind smile, warm even.
I smiled back and turned my attention back to the book. I love reading about the audacious Loki and how he's always in the middle of trouble. It always makes me laugh in the hardest moments like I was going through that night.
"Nice choice for a book. You seem a very young girl to even like to read a book." An old man's voice was heard, and it made me look up to find a pair of shiny blue eyes staring at me with a lovely look.
"I like fantasies and legends. And I also like Loki." I answered.
The man laughed. "Oh, the God of Mischief and Lies. One must ask you not to follow his teachings."
"Oh, no. I don't like to lie. I don't even remember lying to anyone." I laughed but then became serious. "Maybe that's my problem."
The old man furrowed his brows. "Lying is never the answer to anything, little one. Sometimes it is just the simplest way, but never the answer." I glanced at him with a bewildered look and he chuckled.
After that conversation, whenever I went to that coffee shop, Albus Dumbledore was there, reading his peculiar newspaper. I never once asked him what was that paper that he reads so much about, I think he would never answer me. Our conversations became deeper every time we met. I tell him about my parent's discussions about my life, my dreams, and expectations and he always has sweet words to say to me, intriguing sometimes, but sweet anyway. He was becoming a friendly figure, something resembling a grandparent that you can always run to whenever you need help or feel hopeless.
On my 18th birthday, I sneaked after dinner to the King's Cross Station to find Albus. I wanted to celebrate my birthday with him and Melanie. But on my way there, something strange happened.
It was like I was sleeping; like I was dreaming. I felt my body lighter - like I was floating in the air -, and then I started to fall fast to the ground, only to stop abruptly in a dark alley. In front of me was a man, trembling, crying, and begging for mercy. It felt like I was not in my own body, nor my own mind. It felt like I was in somebody's mind.
"Please, my Lord, have mercy on me." The man pleaded.
My vision glanced to the night sky, filled with stars and illuminated by the full moon. Then I closed them and looked back to the man. Someone's voice could be heard from within me. It was a male's voice. Harsh, hoarse, and vixenish.
"I had mercy on you already. But not after failing on me as you did, my friend Samuel."
The men widened his teary eyes and opened his mouth to speak, but after two words being pronounced and someone waved some kind of stick or wand in the air, a green light stole his life away and he fell limp on the floor.
I wanted to scream or to cry, but my throat wasn't mine, my body wasn't mine, and I was stuck there, watching that lifeless body in front of me.
By some divine action, I was back to myself like I fell from the sky again. I touched my body and my face to confirm I was in my own body and I sighed in relief. For a second I thought I was crazy, but then I looked up at the clear sky and the full moon illuminating the night, and I ran to King's Cross Station the faster I could.
"What the hell is wrong with me?" I asked myself out loud while I walked through the empty streets of London, where only a few people were walking at that time of night, totally unaware of my situation.
Before I knew it, another vision overwhelmed me, and the trance state took over me, taking me to another place. This time, I was on the floor, like I was crawling in an s-line. It was a little stranger this time (as if this kind of visions weren't strange already), I felt like I wasn't human. And for a moment, the direction of my vision changed as I looked up after hearing the same evil voice as before.
"Nagini," the voice said, and I saw his face. It was like I saw death itself. Pale, vicious blue eyes, no nose, no hair and wrinkles all over his face. "Go to the dungeons and eat."
And as if by magic, in a snap of a finger, I was in a dark room, where a beaten man was lying on the floor, almost lifeless. I crawled toward him, creating a cleaner path as I slid through the dusty stones of the floor. On my left side, I saw rusty metal bars, as if it was a prison cell, a dark prison cell; there was also a mattress on the floor, serving as a bed, and a bowl with rotting food, feeding some lucky flies and bugs. The man in front of me was shaking, but his body wasn't moving like he was paralyzed, and his eyes were widened as I slowly approached him; on my right side I saw something that made my heart race like it never did before: a mirror and its reflection. My reflection. A horrifying snake, large and long, with two killing and hungry eyes, ready for its feast.
The last thing I saw and heard before feeling my real body hitting against something was the man's screams as I launched my body quickly towards him.
"Watch where you're going." A deep, sultry growl came from a man in front of me.
My eyes started processing the images of the real world, and I finally arrived at my destiny: King's Cross Station.
I bumped against a tall man dressed in black robes that dragged through the floor but were inexplicably clean. His face was stern as if he was upset with me, but his dark brown eyes were shiny and mystic as if they held too many secrets. His hair was sleek and dark as a raven, falling on his shoulder in a wavy way.
He looked at me from above, waiting for an apology, and even though I was too troubled with my new freaky moments, I was still able to be polite.
"I'm truly sorry, Sir." Then, I clean out of the way to let him pass through. He looked at me with a haughty look and started walking towards the Coffee Shop.
"Insolent Muggles." He whined and since I was still in a strange state I demurred, making him turn around shocked and speechless.
"I apologized, there's no need to be rude!" Then I passed by him and entered the shop, seeing Albus sitting on his usual spot.
He smiled and waved at me, and I relaxed for a while, walking to his table. Once I sat on the red cushioned seat, Melanie poured me some coffee.
"Happy birthday, Ana." She kissed me on the head and offered me a little cake, leaving me alone with Albus.
"Harry birthday, little one," Albus said, smiling warmly behind his long beard. I never really asked him why he never shaves his beard, nor why he dresses so funny, but after seeing that black raven just outside the coffee shop, I never going to find his clothes unusual. Albus furrowed his brows in suspicion, even though I faked a smile. "What it's wrong? You seem troubled."
I was about to answer when the man with black robes stood just by our side. I looked at him and rolled my eyes.
"What now?" I asked, "I already apologized, Jeez!"
Albus looked at me and to Severus and ignored my comment.
"Severus, my friend, please, join us."
I looked at Albus with confusion and the man named Severus sat by my side hesitantly.
"Ana, this is Severus Snape, a trustworthy friend of mine," he then turned to Severus, "Ana here is a dear friend of mine, I'm sure you remember her from our conversations. Today it's her 18th birthday, a very special date for her."
I faked a smile, fumbled and ashamed for my previous aggressive behavior and said a shyly hi. Severus just nodded and ignored me, looking at Albus as he started talking.
"So, Ana you were trying to tell me something. You seemed troubled when you walked in here."
"Oh, yeah, yeah... It has been a very... strange day." I stared outside, remembering every detail of my visions. I had told Albus about my abilities before. He insisted with me one time when I walked by him with tearful eyes.
"You would think I'm crazy or worse , a liar ," I told him after he made me sit on a bench , next to the trains ' line . We stood there in silence , watching as people got in and out of the trains , focused on their own lives .
"If you lived as long as I have, or knew as much as I know, nothing would surprise you by now. Every person has a different reality in their lives . They suffer their own pains , they live their own stories, and when something goes out of the ordinary , they get scared . Only because they are afraid of the unknown . But just because there's something that other people can't perceive , it doesn't mean you're the one who's insane ."
That evening I told him everything about my... abilities . Like I can see the past or predict the future. About my crazy nightmares and the out of body occurrences that I've been experiencing .
He said nothing, just entered in a contemplative mode , as if he was lost in his own thoughts .
Then, every time something out of the ordinary happened , I told him and he would help me understand it. Together we even translated dreams into rational explanations and stopped several accidents from happening .
"You can talk. Severus is also an understandable man as I am."
I rolled my eyes. "Yeah, right."
Severus looked at me with a lifted brow and, hesitantly, I looked him in the eyes. For a fraction of second, I was lost in his dark eyes like I was leaving my body again, but this time I was in the same spot. I was interrupted by Albus.
"Tell me what happened."
I sighed and started telling everything since the beginning of my journey to King's Cross. I even told them that I was still walking to my destiny, even though my mind was far away. That's why I bumped to Severus and was snapped out of my trance.
Once I was finished, Albus was looking at me with his usual kind eyes, but there was something else there. Something resembling contentment. Severus, on the other hand, stopped in time, as if he had seen a ghost.
"So, Severus, what do you think?" Albus asked, interrupting the man's thoughts.
Without taking his eyes off of me, Severus started asking questions.
"Do you know the man's name? The one that killed the first man of your visions?"
"No, as you can imagine, there was not a lot of talking. It was something quick. But he said two words before the man died." Severus waited for an answer, his eyes burning deep in mine. "I think it was ava.. avada kedrava?"
Severus gasped but continued asking questions.
"And on the second vision? Describe the snake you saw."
I furrowed a brow, but never took my eyes off him. Albus, on the other side of the table, watched the two of us attentively, with a smiling and playful expression on his face.
"I told you. It was dark, you couldn't see properly. But it was long and fat, I think. Light Brown and dark green, with dark patterns." I tried to remember something else and it felt like something important occurred in my mind. "AH!!! There was something else. It's' name. Nagini."
Severus gasped again and remained silent, watching me while I continued my conversation with Albus. He was intrigued by me. A non-magical being with powers beyond the limits of his own abilities. Someone who can see the past, predict the future and even see what's happening through someone else's eyes. It was like Legitimacy. But better. More powerful.
He noticed that I wasn't afraid of that ability. He noticed that even though I was surprised with my visions, I embraced them and actually tried to understand them. Something that the common Muggle wouldn't do. The ones he knew (including his own father) were despicable, puny and repellent. But he noticed that he didn't feel any of that coming from me.
And as he heard me talking with Albus, he wondered what else could I be able to do. What more fascinating characteristic could I have.