The story of how Tiergan met Helga. Professor Binns does not approve.
How is this place different from home? Tiergan wondered tiredly as the carriage rocked gently along the dirt road. His mother had Apparated them both to the town closest to his grandparents’ home, but from there they had to continue without magic – the wards Grandma set up were too strong.
Same green lawns, same trees, same sky, Tiergan carried on with his inner monologue, staring absently out of the carriage window. He would’ve much preferred staying at home, where his books and diagrams were. He was allowed to take some of them along, but the more precious tomes were to stay in the safety of their house, father had said.
What good that would do anyone, Tiergan didn’t know. He was the only one to ever bother opening them, and he had left.
They reached the end of their journey. The house of his grandparents was a small neat cottage made of grey stone, half hidden in greenery. There was a well on the right side of it and a stream bubbled happily where they had stopped. Tiergan stumbled as he was exiting the carriage. Although he didn’t like to think about it, the dragon pox really did take out a lot out of him.
Tiergan’s grandmother was the first to welcome them. She was a tiny thing with a firmly set face that was hard to read – a complete opposite of Tiergan’s grandfather whose height and bright smile were surely his trademarks.
Tiergan’s mother stayed only as long as she needed to – again – explain everything about the nature of her little boy’s illness and expected recovery, what he was and wasn’t allowed to eat, how much should he sleep and whether physical exercise was a good idea. Tiergan stopped listening quickly and, from the look on his face, so did his grandfather. They smirked conspiratorily at each other.
Maybe Tiergan would enjoy his stay after all.
After two months of doing nothing but wondering around the house and eating what his grandmother cooked, Tiergan felt like the dragon pox had never happened and he wanted to start exploring the place. His grandmother was strictly against and his grandfather was all for it, so Tiergan just snuck out while they were arguing.
It felt immeasurably amazing to leave the premises. Tiergan could feel happiness bubbling inside him when the sun came out and shone through the leaves, bathing the world in soft green light, and he laughed out loud, breaking into a run.
He had to stop after forty seconds because his body wasn’t used to such an activity anymore, but it was worth it.
He walked and walked and the skies got darker, fat with rain. Tiergan was contemplating going back when a lightning flashed on the horizon, closely followed by a rolling thunder that shook the ground. First water drops hit the ground and soon, Tiergan was standing in the middle of a downpour. Seeing a stone building not so far to his left, he quickly approached, hiding below the roof.
To his great surprise, he wasn’t the only one there. A girl with streaks of red in her hair huddled by the wall, hands pressed to her ears.
“Hello?” Tiergan said, but his voice was drowned in an another boom of thunder. “Miss?” he tried again, but she couldn’t hear him through her hands. He walked closer, laying a tentative touch on her shoulder. She reacted so quickly Tiergan stumbled, and was holding a wand in her hand even before her eyes were properly focused on him.
“Who are you?” she demanded, holding herself in a duelling stance so perfect Mage Erudit would weep in happiness at the sight of it.
“The name is Tiergan,” Tiergan said carefully, “Tiergan Odd. I am staying with my grandparents, not far from here.”
“What are you doing here?” she demanded again, the tip of her wand not lowering an inch.
Tiergan looked at the sea that was falling from the skies outside and back to her. She nodded. And then took a step back to press herself against the wall as the world flashed with lightning once more. When the thunder resonated through the walls, she slid back down to her spot on the ground, trembling slightly.
Tiergan stepped closer and sat next to her.
“What’s your name?” he asked.
“Helga,” she whispered and it almost got lost in the sound of heavy rain.
“Nice to meet you, Helga,” Tiergan held out his hand and when she put hers into his, he pressed a kiss into the back of it like a proper young man should. She smiled faintly.
“You must be an exceptional witch if you are allowed a wand already,” Tiergan said, putting his sole focus on Helga.
Helga shook her head. “I’m good, our Mage says. But this one is not mine. I borrowed it from my mum.” Her eyes widened. “I hope she doesn’t notice it’s gone before I get back.”
“Just don’t lose it,” Tiergan said, remembering someone else who had borrowed his mother’s wand. “You know, there was this boy once…”
They talked and laughed and forgot about the storm and when it was over, Helga thanked Tiergan and went home, just like Tiergan did once she disappeared into the trees. His grandmother ushered him into bed the moment he stepped through the door, muttering reprimands under her breath. Tiergan hadn’t seen Helga again. That is, until the time of Hogwarts.