Back to school

The Church Mice writers’ group has carried on by Zoom over lockdown, but today we managed to meet for a socially-distanced scribble in a garden (despite the rain!)  One of the prompts was going back to school – ‘going back to Hogwarts’ specifically, but we’re a fickle lot and took our writing in many different directions!  Here’s my effort – introducing the gang to the idea of fan fiction:

The rain battered against the windows continuously, obscuring the view as the train sped through countryside.  Countryside, Tash imagined, that very probably looked much like it had for all her 25 years on earth but which, she now knew, wasn’t all that it seemed.  It was something she’d have to adjust to, though she still found it hard to comprehend.

If she hadn’t applied for the obscure little job that’d popped up on LinkedIn – as if by magic, it seemed – she’d never have known anything about it.  The post was a perfect blend of her qualifications and experience, located in a part of the country she’d been wanting to live in for as long as she could remember and, most importantly, included a number of hours of teaching each week – something she’d wanted to do for some time.  She’d applied with a ‘what harm can it do?’ attitude, only to be pleasantly surprised to be called for interview and completely gobsmacked to learn she’d got the job – well, gobsmacked about that and the multitude of other things she’d been trying to get her head round ever since.

So here she was, on her way to Hogwarts, the school’s new social media specialist, with a remit to publicise its existence and build bridges with the wider, non-wizarding world.  Soon, she’d be creating posts about potions, quips about Quidditch and teaching young witches and wizards about social media and its importance to non-magical folk.

Non-magical folk – her eyes widened at the thought of that phrase.  Until the day of the interview she’d not known that magical folk were a thing.  And now here she was, a regular young woman from Birmingham – a muggle, apparently – on her way to a castle in remotest Scotland, about to experience goodness knows what.

Alison Mott


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