Born on 31st March, 2074, Dalton Nicholas Fletcher never knew his parents, and his parents never acknowledged him. Within hours of being deemed a healthy baby, he was placed into care in Cumbria, and although this was only supposed to be a temporary fix, it was in care he remained until he started Hogwarts. When his personal Social Worker was offered a job at Stemp House, Dalton was tempted to apply to move, but hoping that he had only a few summers left before University and wanting to stay close to his best friend Aled, he remained where he'd been since the day he was born.
September 2085 was the month Dalton started Hogwarts, with staff at the home telling the others he lived with that he'd been awarded a scholarship to boarding school and would be back over summer. He was sorted into Slytherin, which at the time he didn't care for (probably as he didn't care for anything) but which he's grown to love and feel a sense of belonging to. Through his later years at school, Dalton found a passion for Potions, liking both the physical manual aspect and the intricate detail it required, and during his seventh year he decided to apply to study it further at University.
Emily Rose Fletcher had it all: a perfect school record, amazing parents, insane good looks and a string of worthy admirers, a perfect job interning in America. She had everything, or at least, to the outside world, that’s how it seemed. In fact, the façade her parents strived so hard to build hid the fact that the sixteen year old was spending her ‘perfect break’ interning in the confines of her great-aunt’s guest bedroom, eating twice as much as usual, and crying over her lack of support. It was on the 31st March in 2074 that she was rushed into Carlisle General Hospitals Maternity ward after her waters breaking, and it was on the same night that she refused to hold her baby, refused to even look upon the product of an unloving, unfaithful relationship. She gave the nurse two names, because she refused to even let them tell her the gender, and so it was Dalton Nicholas that stuck.
Early in the hours of the next morning, Emily returned to her aunt’s house to rest before packing her things, and thus her interning break ended, and she resumed the perfect life she’d always known.
At four hours and thirty nine minutes old, Dalton was not so lucky – placed in the hands of a soft faced social worker, he was transferred to a travel cot and moved to the nearest children’s home with a space. Whitehaven was destined to be his home for the next few months, or at least, that was what people assumed. As his designated social worker, Travis Mack thought for sure that a baby as adorable would be fostered immediately. But adorable wasn’t the way prospective parents felt about him: he was…. ‘unusual’. Cagey and restrictive, he didn’t take well to new people and people felt uncomfortable around him, with no explanation. It took him years to loosen up and get along with the people he saw every day, and each change in the daily running of Whitehaven Children’s Home made him uneasy and irritable.
He did, however, manage to make one friend.
Aled Rogers became an orphan at the age of four, when his parents died in a car accident. Due to a lack of rooms and age difference, he also became Dalton’s first ever roommate and friend. It took a long time, but eventually they came to regard each other as brothers – Aled, charming, irresponsible and amusing, brought Dalton somewhat out of his shell, and taught him that not everything in world was there to be hated. By the age of nine, they were practically inseparable.
Nine was around the time that Dalton’s magic began to show properly. Items of his that other people wanted to use gave electric shocks, and his bedroom door had a habit of slamming in the faces of those he didn’t want to speak to. Other people blamed it on the wind and static energy, but Dalton knew something was up, knew that the feeling that ran through him when these events happened was something confusing and nerve racking and bigger than he ever was.
It was on his eleventh birthday that the announcement was made: his primary school teacher had referred him for a scholarship to an esteemed boarding school. At least, this was the story that everyone but himself and Travis were told.
Unsurprisingly, Dalton didn't make any friends. None whatsoever. And it was pretty certain that none of the teachers knew his name, either. He sat alone in lessons, and alone in the Great Hall, and alone in the Common Room.
And he hated every minute of it. He was bored and confused, and quite frankly scared of magic and the idea that everything about his life was changing. It didn't help that when he got back to the care home that summer, the bed across the room from him was no longer occupied by his best friend: Aled had gone, had been fostered by a local family, and now Stephen would sleep opposite him
Of course, he and Aled saw each other a lot, still, but it wasn't the same. If it was possible, Dalton became even more withdrawn.
Dalton's clothes were still too big. His feeble attempts at altering them with charms were futile, and ended up just making them look distressed.
One friend: Timila Kyle.
The year he mastered shortening the arms on his hoodies. The year he developed the biggest crush of the century on his second friend, Kelly. The year he began to get on better with his housemates, particularly Ollie and Colt. The year of his first kiss.
The time has come to lengthen to arms of his hoodies again. Thankfully he didn't manage to alter his trousers, and with a belt they're passable. Aled moved back into the home, and his developing friendships helped to bring the him out of his sullen shell.
He was nice. He fell in love with Potions.
Aled moves out of the home, and although legally Dalton is still obliged to live there, he knows that come summer he'll be sleeping on Aled's couch. The news of Stemp House doesn't do much to help, especially with Travis leaving to go and work there. Anais almost convinces him to apply, but too many things have already changed this year.
Decisions were made to work hard in school. Aled's university application helped push.
And along came Charlotte. Dalton's former definition of annoying. Former. Dalton's current definition of beautiful, funny, happy. His first ever holiday abroad. The semi-success of his OWLs.
The year of the love triangle. The year of dating and presents and the year of his first girlfriend. Charlotte Kettleburn made this year his favourite year at Hogwarts, and he was rarely seen without her, because she was the only person he wanted to spend time with, towards the end of the year at least. The year of starting to decide what he was going to do after Hogwarts.
Aled started studying Medicine at University College London, meaning lots of stressed out owls back and forth. Dalton's best friend still wished he was the magic one, but Dalton was proving to be okay when it came to revising for his NEWTs.
The year of his first love. The year of breaking up. The year of being bitter and spiteful towards Henry Whittebrooke (even though he didn't know him). The year of university applications. The year of university rejections. The year of missing Char.
Surprising himself, and probably most people who knew him (although Aled stated he had complete faith), Dalton's NEWT results weren't a complete disaster, and he was granted a place at WU Edinburgh to study an undergraduate degree in Potions with Alchemy. He got a part time job in the library during his first year, and saved up for a backpacking trip around Europe with Aled the following summer.