The Parents' Letter

Stephen was glad for a letter, yet he did wonder how the owl came into possession of it. Or why the owl was further out to sea than any owl had business being. The letter had a strange seal, quite fancy, and an uncannily accurate address: Dr. S. Maturin, The Surgeon's Cabin, HMS Implacable, The Sea.

It started, This is a letter of explanation with regards to your daughter, Miss Brigid Maturin...and the rest he could scarcely believe.

Jack asked him about the news the letter brought. Stephen replied, "I believe Brigid may be more unique than I thought."


Apparent Magic

Stephen could now recall the strange incidents involving Brigid he'd seen and heard about over the years. However, that wasn't what made him believe.

What made him believe was the owls.

They arrived every few months, looking tired but not otherwise worse for wear. They landed discreetly in his cabin with Brigid's letters, rested, and flew off with his. And while dispatches sunk or had their letters damaged, the owls never failed to arrive, the letters intact and perfectly legible.

Stephen wished others on board were as lucky as he was, to have so strong a lifeline to his daughter.



By her 12th birthday, Brigid had made her peace with her Catholic beliefs and the witchcraft she practiced. Unfortunatly, many of her schoolmates hadn't.

Three of them cornered her one day. One ripped off the cross she wore, another snatched her books away, the third disarmed her of her wand when she drew it out. They taunted her, threatened her, accused her of terrible things, then fled at the approach of the groundskeeper, dropping her things which she gathered up crying.

With him as a witness, Brigid tried to get them punished, but all three denied it, and were believed.


Fellow Christians

After the incident, Brigid caught many of her schoolmates looking at her, especially Anne Dashwood, the only other Christian in the dormitory. All the following evening she looked like she wanted to talk to Brigid, but when Brigid took out her rosary before bed, she saw Anne looked hastily away, before Brigid drew the curtain.

The following morning, Anne seemed to find her courage, and over breakfast she said to Brigid, "Sometimes I feel we should have more sympathy together, but you might object to my being an Anglican..."

"They don't see the difference," said Brigid warmly. "Why should we?"



After Padeen had brought her into the world, Brigid hadn't been afraid of much. Anne, on the other hand, was afraid of everything.

Even after being harrassed, Brigid loved to roam, to explore the reaches of the castle and grounds, to feel the wind on her cheeks and at her back. But Anne hid in Gryffindor Tower, where she studied a great deal; she was smarter than Brigid. When Brigid sat with her, her light hair and rosy complexion contrasted sharply with Anne's severe looks.

Brigid knew Anne had courage. She wondered how she could get it out of her.


Dangerous Weather

The weather was so rough when Herbology ended they stayed in the greenhouse. Fortunatly Brigid had a letter.

"When the wind broke the stern cabin windows," she read aloud, as the wind broke the greenhouse windows, "Killick forced us into the sleeping cabin. There we could hear a surprising moan in the wind." Then the wind started to moan in a surprising manner.

"Um, Brigid," said Anne. "One of those storms. Please stop reading."

"Don't worry, the rest of the letter is about the giant squid the storm washed onto the deck."

"No, don't mention giant-"



"Too late."

(Note:The Pope talked about here is Pius VII, who died in 1823 after nearly two months of illness brought on by a broken leg.)

Post Mortem

There were other Catholics at Hogwarts. They learned together of the Pope's death, and kept each other company in the weeks after. They all had known about his illness, and Brigid realized she was lucky to have had Padeen's company; several of the others had been completely alone in their prayers.

Still, it was Anne who was the greatest comfort to her. She had little to say, at least at first, but she listened quietly, sympathetically, and after some time she did comment, "It sounds like he was in considerable pain. If nothing else, it is better that he isn't now."



Brigid liked being in the dungeons only when the Potions Master dimmed the candles, and they checked their potions were exactly the right colour, and hers was. That was a beautiful sight.

This potion should be green. It was yellow.

"Not enough leeches," Anne guessed. She threw in a handful. The potion turned gold. "Closer. I'll try salt water." Ever since her father started sending Brigid flasks of oceans, that had been their solution to many things.

"But," started Brigid, "if you mix salt water with demiguise-"

That was when the potion exploded.

Though the scarlet colour looked magnificent.


Scarlet Smoke

"Well, Miss Maturin, Miss Dashwood, you have managed to produce some interesting smoke."

Brigid thought the Potions Master was right. The smoke was scarlet, like the exploding potion had been, and smelt of the salt water which had caused the explosion.

"We're very sorry, sir." Anne said. Brigid didn't feel sorry. She liked the smell of the smoke too much. She breathed in deeply. "Burnt cauldron."

"Oh dear. Good for you to hold your breath, Miss Dashwood. Escort Miss Maturin to the matron."

Anne pulled Brigid up, and the latter protested, "Stop that bee near my ear. I'll bump into it."



"Miss Maturin, tell me something significant!"

Brigid was talking with the Ravenclaw only because many of her classmates were still hostile. "That is all there is, Miss Bagshot. If Padeen's deed doesn't impress you, we might as well end this."

"Surely you saw things before he...."brought you"? Oh, say you did! Please, if I can write you into a book, that will be immortality! Time never destroying you!"

What memories Brigid had of that, she realized, she could not be compelled to discuss with *her* for any cause. "Let time destroy me. I care not." She rose and fled.


Like Father, Like Daughter

Brigid endured the insults for years, but at 15, she'd had enough. She and Anne began practicing hexes and jinxes, and she waited. Yet she waited some time, feeling she was not ready, that she couldn't do this, even that she shouldn't.

Until she passed the Slytherin table and one of the three Slytherins who had cornered her at 12 turned and yelled, "Off, you Irish Mudblood!"

It wasn't even a conscious decision, to grab the nearest goblet to throw its contents into the shocked girl's face. But when she turned to Anne, she saw support. "I'll act for you."



Brigid supposed she shouldn't have challenged Miss Bulstrode so publicly. But surely someone could have put a stop to things before they let themselves be found in the Entrance Hall at midnight, covered in curses?

Now four girls stood in the Headmaster's office, and he was angry. "I don't care who was first at fault, such brazenness from both of you! Such heedlessness of propriety! And Miss Dashwood, Miss Herron! Encouraging these girls!"

He took an large step towards Anne; she looked absolutely terrified.

Brigid stepped between her friend and the headmaster. "Please. Don't punish her because of my pride."


Home Again

Between his being at sea and her being at school, they hadn't seen each other for six years when Brigid came home, her magical schooling done, and he having all but retired along with Admiral Aubrey.

When her old father first saw her at the gates of Woolcombe, his eyes fell on her black robes. So did everyone else's eyes. Brigid wished she had changed back into Muggles clothes. She felt impossibly out of place here.

"Father?" she finally managed.

When he walked over, she was stunned to discover she was taller than him. He observed this, but smiled. "You've grown."