When Disparity Converges
Chapter One: Safety Measures
Kendra Montgomery was a slayer, and in her veins the blood of thousands of slayers born before her time pulsed. Born with a power to fight the vampires and their spread of evil, made her a prime target for those that sought her destruction, of for those that were merely interested in using her abilities for their own selfish gain. When she was just a babe, she had been handed over to an entrusted council that was to be responsible for her upbringing. Though she knew nothing of her own heritage, growing up she always knew that she was different from other children her age. It began with the children in her classes in primary school. In Jamaica, it was customary for children to attend primary schools which were usually on the mainlands of the surrounding islands. This usually meant being ferried over, which meant as she walked, with her hand held in her watcher Mr. Zabuto’s hand, she was ogled by the less fortunate students that couldn’t afford to be shipped off each day. Kendra knew she was blessed in that way, but she never asked any of her other caretakers about the strange moments when she could feel everyone’s eyes on her. It was then that she knew she was truly abnormal.
When she was five she learned she could move things with her mind. She tried telling Mr. Zabuto about it, but he always scoffed, mumbling something incoherent. One time, when she had misplaced her prized Japanese fighting bo, it had mysteriously reappeared in her hands, just seconds later. Kendra had been scared at first, but secretly awed at the fact that she possessed such abilities. Stranger things continued to happen as she grew older, but the strangest memory she had was when she accidentally blew up the birthday cake given to her by her nannies. She hadn’t meant to, but she hated carrot cake, and had adamantly refused to eat such a disgusting meal. Kendra wasn’t punished but she did receive strange looks from her caretakers. The next few years went by quickly, and each year her strength, vision, speed, and dexterity were sharpened. It took them nearly eleven years to finally tell her that she was a slayer, and that was why she was so powerful. Two weeks after her eleventh birthday, Kendra received a letter that had been delivered by an owl, no less. Before she could even read its contents, the letter was taken away from her and burned in front of her very eyes. She cried s she saw the letters sent to her being burned. Mr. Zabuto had given her something that would make her feel better, but Kendra knew better. Pretending to swallow the pill, she spat it back out when he walked away.
Now five years later, she wondered what all the secrecy about her existence was for. Most of her former trainers had left, and now she alone, except for Mr. Zabuto. Aside from learning all styles of fighting that were necessary for a person like herself, he also taught her witchcraft. On the island voodoo and shamanistic rituals were commonplace, but Kendra thought most of it was a farce. What Mr. Zabuto showed her was done with what he called ‘real magic’. They would brew potions for various uses, and he taught her how to use plants and herbs to make remedies. After her sixteenth birthday, he had begun to act strangely. He made her research her family’s history. Kendra knew she had no living relatives, but did as asked anyway. After numerous dead ends in her research, she finally found the first traces of where her magical ancestry began. She could trace her ancestral line to the early 1500’s. She knew that she descended from a long line of shamans, jujus, and witches. Though she had never met her parents, she had researched her bloodline, for ‘future reference’. She could trace her ancestry all the way to the black slave Tituba accused of being a witch, which caused her death. She was unfortunately murdered because of that, beginning the Salem Witch trials. Her ancestors had fled to tropics and have lived there ever since. Kendra sometimes wondered if she would ever meet her parents’ murderer. She wanted revenge for their deaths, but most of all she wanted to know why they had been killed.
Kendra sighed softly, bringing herself out of a contemplative reverie. Tonight Kendra was going on her night watch, without Mr. Zabuto’s supervision. He had finally agreed that she was now old enough to slay alone. Kendra, excited with the opportunity of having no control was ecstatic. Now she could go to all the places kids her age went to without having him around. It was hard to fit in and be a regular teen when her watcher was always on her back. Kendra walked the beat with her usual alertness. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary tonight. She hadn’t killed anything in the past month. There were a few demons here and there, but she hadn’t slayed a vampire in over three months. Had they all gone to some Vampire convention or something? She walked through the streets of her neighborhood in silence, listening for any signs of danger, but she heard nothing. She had patrolled for about an hour now, and she was just about ready to go home.
As she headed home, she noticed a sudden change in the air around her. Her slayer instincts immediately activated to the sudden change. Kendra looked up at the sky, where the strange power seemed to be coming from. She saw the most beautiful bird she had ever seen in her life swoop down, carrying something in its talons. She ducked as it swooped down to her, turning to land at her feet. Kendra stepped back, unsure of how to react to the bird’s strange behavior. It trilled beautifully, and she felt as if she should not be afraid. It sang to her, and she felt herself lulling with calm. She took the proffered letter from its beak, and read the letter carefully. The letter was very fancy, printed on very fancy parchment. On the back the letter was sealed with wax, and a thick letter ‘H’ was printed on the front. Kendra looked at the bird with a quirked eyebrow, but sat down at the nearest bench to read.
When she had finished she was indeed flabbergasted. Was of all it true? Was she really more than just a slayer? True, her ancestors had been witches, but they never had attended any schools. What did this mean? Why hadn’t Mr. Zabuto said anything to her about it? Did he even know? Kendra looked at the phoenix as if questioning what was happening to her. Never had she felt so unsure of herself. Why would he lie about her heritage? Was this some kind of joke? Kendra frowned, biting her lip gently. Whoever this person was, she wouldn’t fall for such silly games. Kendra reached for a pen deep in her pockets, before scribbling a reply back. She handed the letter to the waiting bird, almost afraid to touch the fragile looking creature. It flew off, and Kendra watched with fascination as a cloud of glimmering mist appeared as it weaved through the wind. She stood, beginning her trek back home after a night of fruitless night watching.
She arrived home shortly, pulling out of her battle clothes, and stepping into a hot shower. When she stepped out of the bathroom, she hadn’t expected to see three strangely dressed people gawking at her in her own home! Her instincts kicked in, and she immediately reached for her stake. She grabbed quicker than their eyes could see, but unlike most, they showed no surprise at her abilities. She glared at them suspiciously. The three of them, two men and a women didn’t look to ferocious. The old one even reminded her of a harmless old man. Kendra stood before them defensively, wearing nothing but a set of pajamas and a robe to cover her finely taut body.
“Who de hell are you?”
She asked with her thick Jamaican accent. The shortest one, a middle aged woman with dark brown hair that was graying opened her mouth to speak, but the older man raised his hand to silence her. Her jaw snapped shut, but she looked at Kendra with disapproval. She heard the other man; the youngest among them give a derisive snort. She narrowed her eyes at him. She already didn’t like him very much. The older man reached for something in his robes, but before he could pull it out, Kendra had lifted him in the air, holding him by his throat. His comrades were going to assist him, but he shook his head. Holding his hands out in a conciliatory manner, Kendra released him. He rubbed his neck, but the twinkle had yet to leave his eye.
“I apologize about that my dear girl. I was just reaching for my wand. I am Albus Dumbledore, the current Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. These are my associates, Deputy Headmistress, Head of the Gryffindor House Minerva McGonagall, and Severus Snape head of the Slytherin House.”
Kendra looked at the three of the wearily. Was this old man on about? Hogwarts? Wasn’t that the name of the school in her letter? Kendra rolled her eyes at his introduction. She wasn’t so sure that they were too much of a threat to her. She sat of the bed, offering them a place to sit. Amazingly, the old man took out what looked liked a very nicely kept baton, and waved it around. Chairs appeared out of nowhere, with four seats. He gestured for them to sit down, and Kendra acquiesced a bit nervously.
“I suppose you’re wondering why we have come to visit you. I’m assuming you read the letter Fawkes delivered?”
Kendra nodded eager for him to continue.
“You have been accepted in our school.”
She gathered that from the note she received. Couldn’t he just get to the point already?
“What do you wan’ wit me?”
The man who had yet to speak or do much of anything other than sneer finally spoke.
“You have been accepted into one of the most prestigious schools of magic there is, if not the most prestigious. You should be honored to have such an opportunity given to you.”
“I’ll question whoever I wan’, when I wan’. Dis is still my house, an’ I wan’ ta know why you’ve come for me. Now are you gon’ answer me question or am I gon’ have ta get angry?”
“You are in danger. We are only trying to help you. Someone is after you child, and you must come back with us before it’s too late.”
The woman said seriously. Kendra frowned, upset with her words.
“I can protect myself jus’ fine. I don’ need no magic mumbo jumbo ta help me. ‘Sides, ah been fighting de forces of evil all me life. What makes ya t’ink I’d jus’ follow you anyway?“
Dumbledore sighed softly. Things were going worse than he anticipated. This girl had been alone all her life, except for her watcher, and a few trainers. Her Watcher did not have the resources to protect her, assuming he was still alive. As soon as she had gone out for the night watch, he had disappeared. The Death Eaters had probably gotten to him. Even she would soon be caught by Voldemort’s forces if actions weren’t taken. This child was only sixteen, and already had been forced to grow up too quickly, without a proper magical upbringing. Her watcher should have done a better job protecting her. This was no place for a young girl.
“That may be so Kendra, but can you face a group of fully trained wizards alone? You need to learn to defend yourself magically. Although being the slayer is an added advantage, it also makes you vulnerable. The Dark Lord, also known as Voldemort is a wizard that would love nothing more than to have a slayer who is invincible against some the most evil and strongest of magic. Your watcher is in danger if you continue to live under his care.”
Kendra chewed her lip thoughtfully. No, she wouldn’t want Mr. Zabuto to be hurt in any way. Though he was tough on her, he was her watcher, and he had trained her. He taught her everything she knew about defenses and such. She couldn’t let him die just because he was associated with her. She looked at them unsure of what she should do. She wished she had an older sibling or someone that she could talk to. She needed to speak with him.
“If I do go to dis school, won’t I be behind all de other children? Or would I be learnin’ everythin’ from de beginnin’?”
Kendra asked thoughtfully. Snape smirked at her in silence. Apparently the brat had already made the decision to attend.
“You would be able to learn everything you needed this summer before the start of the next term. Do you accept our offer? There is very little time left. We must act quickly, and leave this island before anymore danger comes.”
“Will I get to say goodbye to my watcher?”
The three gave each other grave looks. How were they going to break it to the young slayer that she couldn’t see her beloved watcher again? As if speaking unanimously for the group McGonagall answered.
“I am afraid you can’t see him again. He is missing presently, and is presumed dead. He might have been kidnapped. If you wish to see him again, your best bet is to come with us.”
Kendra swallowed deeply at the news. Was he dead? No, it wasn’t possible. All this was just some sick joke, or better yet, just a bad dream.
“You are a target of a very dangerous person. We will have to erase his memory of you, assuming we find him alive. If he were to be found and interrogated, he might give away sensitive information about you. It is imperative that he not remember you. This is the only way to save his life. “
The woman said with sharp eyes. Kendra got a feeling that she would take no disrespect from anyone. Her no nonsense attitude was amusing if anything. She reminded Kendra of the primary teachers she used to have when she was in school. Instead of having a no-nonsense attitude towards everything, Kendra had developed a more rebel like quality. She cherished freedom, but she still remained fiercely loyal to those she cared about.
“Can I bring my weapons with me? I need them to keep in shape. In case de vampires and demons decide to migrate.”
Dumbledore smiled pleasantly, and Kendra had a feeling she was doing the right thing. She just hoped her instincts once again managed to prove her right. They answered the few questions she had politely. After explaining to her that once she arrived at Hogwarts her slayer identity was to remain a secret she was given a port key. Kendra stood in awe at the beautiful castle that stood before her. She smiled at the three adults nervously. Dumbledore chuckled, gesturing towards the castle.
“Welcome to Hogwarts Kendra. I’m sure you’ll love it.”
Kendra certainly hoped so. She gripped her bags tightly as they made the trek up to the castle. She had a feeling things were going to be changing drastically in her life. Perhaps this was providence. Maybe being here could help her in some way. Maybe she was destined to do something here. Feeling a little better, Kendra walked up the steps with renewed zeal.