|Chapter One: The Sapphire Locket
From the moment I first laid eyes on her, I knew for a fact she was strange. She walked swiftly and promptly; looking as through ready to take off running at any moment. She spoke to people without even looking at them, but looking through them. Her cautious gold eyes darted from one place to another, as if expecting something to pop out at her and attack her. Her unnaturally silver hair glistened with a light that seemed to come from inside it. It was all so very strange.
She just started school, and I could tell right away this girl wasn't one for conversation. She ignored pretty much everyone who came up to her. Believe me; I've tried to be friendly. But all my efforts seemed to be in vain. Like I said...she is just...well...odd.
I first met her on a sunny July evening. I was strolling along the pebbled pathways when I spotted her walking towards Rainbow Bridge. It wasn’t hard to spot her. Her silver hair stood out like a thorn among roses. She was walking very fast and I had to run to catch up with her.
"Hi! Your name is Tara, right?" I gasped, once I reached her. "Tara Rainsong?" The girl looked at me like I had no business talking to her. I ignored her look and forced a friendly smile. "My name is Evanna Nightwinter. Welcome to Wizard City!"
For a few agonizing seconds, Tara gave no reply. She studied me with those
hawk-like eyes, and I thought she was just going to walk away and leave me in the dust. I continued to smile, even as I felt so awkward.
"What are you, the Welcome Wagon?" Tara finally snorted. "I know exactly where I am, thank you. I don't need children, like you, telling me things I all ready know."
My smile disintegrated immediately. Her words stung. The way she called me a "child" cut me in a deep place.
"I'm sorry. I...I'm just trying to be nice," I sputtered. "I'm sorry if I offended you."
Now I felt like the insecure, stammering child I have tried to hide so often.
"Offend me? Oh please," Tara rolled her eyes and began to walk away.
"W...w...wait!" I tried to keep up with her quick pace. "Maybe we began on the wrong foot. Umm...what school are you in? Do you like it here?"
Tara spun around and glared at me. "Listen, can you stop following me around, please? Your questions are really starting to annoy me."
"I'm only trying to be friendly..."
"Well stop!" Tara said. "If there is one thing I don't need right now, that's friends. Especially friendly people who are only trying to be friendly."
Tara cut me off.
"Thank you so much for showing me to my dorm, Evanna Nightwinter," Tara said slowly through gritted teeth. "Now leave me alone. Goodbye."
With that, the door to the Girl's Dormitories slammed shut in my face. I stared at the large oaken door in front of me, breathing hard. What was her problem? All I was trying to do was to be nice, and she treats me like I'm not even worth looking at. I'm not use to being treated like that. In Ravenwood, I'm everybody's friend. Everyone knows me, and I know everyone. What did I do wrong? Silently, I slid to the ground and placed my head in my hands. Are all my efforts really useless after all?
Suddenly, something silver caught my attention from the corner of my eye. I looked down on the pebbled sidewalk beside me. Glinting in the shining sun was a tiny chain. Carefully, I picked up the chain to study it closer. There was a small circle-shaped locket at the end of it. On the front of the locket was a midnight blue sapphire in the shape of a tear drop. It really was beautiful.
“I think this belongs to Tara,” I thought out loud. She must have dropped it when she slammed the Dormitory door. Taking it in my hands, I carefully tried to open the locket. It was as if someone glued it, no...welded it, together. I tried to open it three more times, and still, the locket wouldn’t budge. The tips of my fingers were turning pink from trying to force the locket open. Finally, I gave up. I slid the locket into my school cloak pocket and stood up.
“Strange,” I said, “strange just like her.”
I tried to decide whether or not I should return the locket to Tara. There must be something really important inside the locket for it to be sealed like that. Magic. It had to be sealed by magic. But then again, the necklace belongs to Tara. I shouldn't be looking at it, let alone touching it. And If I can’t open the locket, obviously it’s not my business. I should just give it back to her. But…what if…?
My curiosity won out. I had to figure out what was inside that locket. I thought to myself, "Once I get a look…maybe even a harmless little peek, I’ll give it back to her." Nodding to myself, I began to walk towards the library. Harold Argleston, the librarian, might know how to open it. He was very well read on magical charms and such. If there is absolutely no way to open the locket, I’ll give it back to Tara without any second thoughts. But for now…this locket is in my safe keeping. I am going to find out what’s inside, and that’s that.
Besides Tara being strange, I also knew one other thing about her: Tara Rainsong is going to have one long conversation with me tomorrow, whether she likes it, or not.
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