Mary was born to Paul Ohara and Alice Thomas in a small apartment in Melbourne, shortly followed by her brother Mattie and his fluffy mutt. The 1990s went on fairly uneventfully, or so she recalled. Most of that decade seemed to have been passed on the living room floor playing with Mattie, ruining dinner in the kitchen with grandma Emi, and being told off at school for a lot of weird things that just had the habit of happening around Mary. Because Mary was a sort of weird thing as well, no one gave it much thought until the Summer of 2000.
Even then, it seemed that Mary being a witch wasn't reason enough to stop and take a look around. After all, the Oharas had definitely seen better days. Paul Ohara had recently lost his office job and talked a lot about finding something more fulfilling to do with his life. For the time being, it was apparent that he wanted nothing more than being a stay-at-home-dad. Alice Thomas failed to see the greatness of any of it, being the only sustainer of her husband, her husband's mother, and two young children. So even when it was announced to the family that Mary had proper magical abilities and that she had a place at a proper magical school, it was only Mary and Mattie who had time to react. And they did, with unending vows of smuggling the little boy into the school, quickly forgotten promises of bringing him magical pets and enchanted books, and a thoroughly honest - if sometimes forgotten - guarantee that Mary would never love anyone or anything even a tiny bit more than she loved Mattie. Not even a cotton ball more. Not even a hair. Not even an atom.
She probably didn't, but seven years is a very long time to be worlds apart. While Mary discovered Tallygarunga and the people of Tallygarunga - those witches and wizards that were so different from everyone she had ever known -, Mattie grew up surrounded by things Mary didn't understand so well anymore either. Unlike the two children, things at home didn't seem to change - they just seemed to get more crowded. Mary took too much space in Mattie's room as she studied days and worked nights through university, Grandma Emi cooked less and less and bickered more and more, Paul seemed to have carved a place for himself on the couch and find himself back there every couple of years, and Alice, as always, was unamused.
She dragged her stay at her parents' for a couple of years after she left VMU, working in a local secondary school with an eye out for Tallygarunga's job openings. She hid her wand and Frank-the-keychain away and learned facebook with muggle teenagers. She helped keep the house acceptable and discussed the news with Grandma Emi. As he emerged out of adolescence, Mattie and Mary had conversations longer than five sentences. And so, when what Mary had always really wanted happened and she was accepted at Tallgarunga - only a couple of hours away - she left with a bittersweet taste in her mouth and hundreds of envelopes in her bag.