Harry Potter Scarf including Gryffindor and Hogwarts Scarves
All-american Ads Of The 90s
From the Los Angeles riots to the Columbine High School massacre, Americans witnessed events and purchased items that reflected the best and worst of the decade. Bill Clinton''s presidency was in jeopardy, the digital age had erupted, and Silicon Valley was affecting everyone on the planet. Meanwhile nudity and sex ruled the pages of magazines, selling everything from haute couture to fragrances and microwave ovens. Nirvana entertained Generation X while the "Greatest Generation" considered purchasing a Probe and something called a Hummer. Super Soakers and the game consoles Game Boy and PlayStation were the new toys, as Super Mario World, Gran Turismo, and Sonic the Hedgehog were warping the minds of young people everywhere. Luxury brands were in demand: shoppers coveted a Gucci bag, a Louis Vuitton tote, a Hermes scarf, or a Prada frock. TWA and Continental Airlines still flew the airways and Volkswagen reimagined the Beetle. It was a decade that seemed safely benign, but was jammed with events and consumption on a grand scale, setting the stage for the 21st century. Featuring six chapters that cover a range of advertising, from food and fashion to entertainment and cars, a Desert Storm''s worth of advertising highlights makes All-American Ads of the ''90s a must-have compendium for every Beanie Babies-collecting, Simpsons-watching, pog-hoarding, and Harry Potter-loving citizen of 1990s consumerism. Price 55.00 CAD
From the Los Angeles riots to the Columbine High School massacre, Americans witnessed events and purchased items that reflected the best and worst of the decade. Bill Clinton''s presidency was in jeopardy, the digital age had erupted, and Silicon Valley was affecting everyone on the planet. Meanwhile nudity and sex ruled the pages of magazines, selling everything from haute couture to fragrances and microwave ovens. Nirvana entertained Generation X while the "Greatest Generation" considered purchasing a Probe and something called a Hummer.
Super Soakers and the game consoles Game Boy and PlayStation were the new toys, as Super Mario World, Gran Turismo, and Sonic the Hedgehog were warping the minds of young people everywhere. Luxury brands were in demand: shoppers coveted a Gucci bag, a Louis Vuitton tote, a Hermes scarf, or a Prada frock. TWA and Continental Airlines still flew the airways and Volkswagen reimagined the Beetle. It was a decade that seemed safely benign, but was jammed with events and consumption on a grand scale, setting the stage for the 21st century.
Featuring six chapters that cover a range of advertising, from food and fashion to entertainment and cars, a Desert Storm''s worth of advertising highlights makes All-American Ads of the ''90s a must-have compendium for every Beanie Babies-collecting, Simpsons-watching, pog-hoarding, and Harry Potter-loving citizen of 1990s consumerism.
Price 55.00 CAD
Harry Potter Hufflepuff Deluxe Scarf
Valuing loyalty as you do, you'll want to display your House allegiance by wearing this Harry Potter Hufflepuff Deluxe Scarf every chance you get. And in spite of how much you admire patience, you'll probably be happy to hear that we'll ship yours out as soon as we can after you place your order! Ages 6 and up.
Harry Potter Hogwarts Infinity Scarf
Inspired by the fierce loyalty of Hogwarts students, this Harry Potter Hogwarts Infinity Scarf bears a fully detailed coat of arms representing all four house. Measuring approximately 81-inches long and connected into an easy to wear loop, the scarf will fit just about any Harry Potter fan. Made of high quality black polyester and striped with maroon and gold. Ages 14 and up.
Harry Potter Slytherin Deluxe Scarf
If you're a member of the House of Slytherin, you're probably not accustomed to advertising that fact in public or telegraphing your intentions or actions. You'd prefer to be a bit more covert and cunning. That said, you might enjoy wearing this Harry Potter Slytherin Deluxe Scarf, at least among your fellows. What do you say? Ages 6 and up.
Harry Potter Gryffindor Viscose Scarf
If you are a wizard of chivalry and bravery, Gryffindor is the house for you! Show support for your house with this Harry Potter Gryffindor Viscose Scarf. Featuring the Gryffindor house crest in a repeating pattern, the design of this scarf is perfect for members and admirers of this famous Hogwarts house. made of 100% polyester, it measures approximately 70-inches long x 34 1/4-inches wide. Ages 13 and up.
|Harry Potter Gryffindor Deluxe Scarf|
HARRY POTTER Ultimate Year One Portrait Figure With 6 Sculpted Accessories
HARRY POTTER Ultimate Year One Portrait Figure With Sculpted Accessories - He's the most famous young wizard of his time, a fearless fighter and a loyal friend. Now, join him in a magical adventure like no other with this officially licensed HARRY POTTER™ Ultimate Year One Portrait Figure, exclusively from The Ashton-Drake Galleries. This HARRY POTTER™ collectible is a must-have for devoted fans of the books and movies.This exciting sculpted portrait figure is enchantingly detailed. Handcrafted in artist's resin, it is meticulously hand-painted; look closely and you'll even see the trademark scar beneath his bangs. He's dressed in his HOGWARTS™ uniform with the colors of GRYFFINDOR™ house under a removable fabric cloak and scarf. Best of all, he arrives with five fully sculpted accessories, including his powerful wand, HEDWIG™, a stack of textbooks, his broom and even the Sorting Hat! Strong demand is expected, so don't wait. Order now!
Rubies 278587 Halloween The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Ravenclaw Deluxe Scarf - One Size
Nobody can match our selection when it comes to Halloween and party merchandise. You have a variety to choose from the costume to its matching accessories and coordinating party supplies. Make your party time memorable this season with our range of products. $22.89
Nobody can match our selection when it comes to Halloween and party merchandise. You have a variety to choose from the costume to its matching accessories and coordinating party supplies. Make your party time memorable this season with our range of products.<b>Specifications</b><ul><li><b>Size:</b> One Size</li><li><b>Celebration:</b> Halloween</li><li><b>Material:</b> 100% Polyester</li><li><b>Dimension:</b> 3.65" H x 7" W x 8.4" L</li><li><b>Weight:</b> 0.37 lbs</li></ul>
Rubies 278584 Halloween The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Gryffindor Deluxe Scarf - One Size
Nobody can match our selection when it comes to Halloween and party merchandise. You have a variety to choose from the costume to its matching accessories and coordinating party supplies. Make your party time memorable this season with our range of products. $22.89
Rubies 278585 Halloween The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Slytherin Deluxe Scarf - One Size
Rubies 278586 Halloween The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hufflepuff Deluxe Scarf - One Size
Discuss and review the magical the books and movies in our amicable Harry Potter Forum, like these recent posts:
Joined: 13 January 2008
Location: In role play game of course!
Posted: Wednesday 4 November 2009 03 07 13 am Post subject: Re: The Sorting Hat in topic:The Sorting Hat
*makes an appearance at the sorting hat thread*
"Whyyyyyyyy does everyone always either want to be in Gryffindor or Slytherin? Sounds a bit like me in the beginning until I realised the perfect place for me was in HUFFLEPUFF! Now, who wants to buy my Gryffindor uniform, my 2 Gryffindor scarves, my Gryffindor emblem for my shirt, my Gryffindor socks, my I love Gryffindor Poster, and whatever else Gryfindor I might have so I can go out and buy myself something Hufflepuff!"
*moves eyes from the screen to stare at her collection of HP collectables that are far too Gold and red*
Joined: 28 December 2006
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Posted: Friday 24 July 2009 12 21 20 pm Post subject: Re: In Moonlight's Shadow in topic:In Moonlight's Shadow
Thanks Fawkes, hprocks, and Obladi! Here's an early update since I'm going on vacation tomorrow.
Chapter 55: Christmas in Australia
Healer Norlam was still at the house when we returned. Mum told me to go up to my room and stay there until she said I could leave. This didn't surprise me in the slightest.
What did surprise me was the amount of time I had to stay up there. An hour passed and Mum still hadn't told me I could come out. I was beginning to think they just forgot. How long could it possibly take for Mum to talk with Norlam?
I was contemplating using the Extendable Ear and finding out what they were talking about, when Mum knocked on my door. I told her to come in and she walked inside, looking much more worn out than she had earlier.
"Dad and I have decided to see Healer Norlam on a regular basis," Mum said as she sat down on my bed.
I sat down next to her. "What do you mean? Like what Matt did over the summer?"
"Sort of," Mum said, "We have some issues to work through and we think Norlam can help."
"Wait, you're not having marriage issues, are you?" I asked anxiously. I had seen sitcoms on the television at Kenzie's house and married couples who were thinking of divorce went to see psychologists.
"No, nothing like that," she assured me, "Don't worry. Dad and I are perfectly happy together. Mainly, we want to work on our parenting techniques."
"Oh," I breathed a sigh of relief. This was about what they talked about the previous night. But they weren't to know that I knew about that.
"We just wanted you to know," Mum said as she stood up, "And if you could pack for the trip soon, I'd appreciate it."
I nodded as she left. Mum and Dad in therapy. I wasn't sure what I thought about that. What sort of parenting techniques were they going to learn? Were they just going to change the way they parented Matt, or would it affect me too?
The remainder of the day was very quiet. We ate dinner in silence and it was hard to tell whether Matt was still mad at Mum and Dad. Although, I'm not sure mad was the right term. Matt just sort of sat in a stunned silence throughout the meal. He methodically at his food, but never said a word or moved much. In fact, it reminded me of what he was like after Lubar kidnapped him.
I didn't get much sleep that night. I tossed and turned the whole night, no longer that excited about going to Australia. It was almost like Matt's fear was haunting me. I couldn't muster an ounce of excitement after seeing how scared he still was.
The next morning was just a duplicate of the previous night. Silence, fatigue, and going through the motions. I wondered how long it would go on. I had been expecting the Christmas holiday to be exciting and a nice break from school, but so far it hadn't been that.
We got to the airport with plenty of time to spare before our flight left. Going through security had become so much of a habit that it no longer fazed me. It just took a very long time. Mum and Dad whispered to each other the whole time and Matt clung to Mum like she was going to side-along Apparate with him at any moment.
It was almost a relief to get on the plane. Matt refused to sit anywhere besides next to Mum, so I sat with Dad behind them. He let me have the aisle seat.
"Are Richard and Cinda picking us up?" Dad leaned forward and asked Mum.
"Yes," Mum said.
That was the only amount of discussion between them throughout the entire flight. It didn't seem like they were mad at each other, more like they were worried. I couldn't really blame them. Matt had yet to say anything the entire day.
I slept most of the flight. Luckily it was a very smooth trip without much turbulence. We arrived in Australia only a half hour later than scheduled.
It was very strange to be back in Australia. I got this weird feeling in my stomach as soon as we left the plane that had nothing to do with the flight. Nearly six months had passed since I was last in Australia. I swallowed hard as we went through security. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea. I wasn't going to want to leave.
"Julie!" Cinda, dressed in a sky blue pants suit, ran as fast as her spiky heels could carry her towards us, "You're here!"
"We're here," Mum smiled wearily. Cinda threw her arms around her in a very un-Cinda like manner. This looked kind of awkward since Mum was carrying Matt.
"Walter," Richard stuck out his hand.
"Richard," Dad shook it.
"It was all right," Dad replied.
"Amy!" Cinda let go of Mum and flung her arms around me, "How is your new school? How are the kids there?"
"School's all right," I shrugged.
The one good thing about Cinda's personality was that short, ambiguous answers satisfied her. She asked nothing else about school and began to fill Mum in on all the gossip as we walked to the car. It was like nothing had changed since we moved. If I tried really hard, I could pretend we hadn't even moved in the first place and were just returning from a long holiday.
"I just couldn't believe it!" Cinda exclaimed as we drove back to their house, "Pregnant! At her age!"
"How are Breanne and Carmine taking it?" Mum asked.
Cinda had just explained that Breanne's mum was pregnant. I was surprised, but didn't really care. Breanne's mum wasn't that nice of a person.
"They don't care," Cinda replied, "Apparently when she told them about it, Breanne just asked if the new baby would get her own nanny or if Carmine's nanny would take care of the baby."
Classic Breanne, I thought. I just hoped I wouldn't have to see her while I was in Australia.
The gossip continued until we reached the house. It may have went on longer than that, but I escaped to my pink bedroom.
It looked exactly the same as it had before I left. I doubted Richard and Cinda had even gone in it. I was sure they would leave it that way forever, since they had so many other rooms. Matt's room probably looked the same, too, although I had my doubts as to whether he would use it while we were there.
Cinda informed me that Kenzie was spending Christmas at her grandparents' house and wouldn't be back until after. I didn't dare bring up the possibility of visiting Olivia. Maybe over the summer, if my parents had worked through their parenting issues by then.
The Christmas holiday at Richard and Cinda's wasn't much different than it had been at home. The only difference was that Cinda filled in the silence with gossip and the occasional question about England.
Matt hardly ever left Mum's side. It seemed that being in Australia wasn't doing anything to ebb his fears. I would have thought that after two days of being there would give him a bit of reassurance that nothing was going to happen, but it didn't.
Christmas Eve came and I realized that we hadn't even gotten a Christmas tree. Everyone seemed to have forgotten about it.
"Where are we getting the tree from?" I asked at lunch.
"Er, I'm not sure," Dad glanced at Richard.
"There's a tree farm a few miles away," Richard told him, "We always used to get trees there when Julie was little."
"A tree farm?" I sighed. That wasn't nearly as fun as going into the bush and cutting one down yourself.
"They have cut your own trees," Richard said, "It's like a bush, only the trees are all in rows and were planted by people."
"All right," I said resignedly. It was better than nothing.
"We'll go as soon as we're done eating. It'll be fun," Richard said.
"I don't want to go," Matt mumbled. He had been picking at his food and not really eating. It was strange since he could usually eat a hippogriff when it wasn't around the full moon.
"You'll be safe," Mum assured him, "It's a Muggle place. Nobody will know you."
"No, I don't feel good," he said.
Mum immediately put her hand on his forehead. "You don't feel warm."
"He's probably just overly tired," Dad said quietly, "I don't think he's slept more than ten hours since we got here."
"You're right," Mum sighed.
"Can't you just give him that potion that makes you fall asleep?" Cinda asked.
"Couldn't bring it on the plane," Mum explained, "Couldn't transfigure it into something normal either. Transfiguration of potions changes their effectiveness."
"We're going to have to go buy some," Dad said.
"No place is open on Christmas Eve," Mum pointed out, "You guys just go get the tree. I'll stay here with him."
A little while later, Richard, Dad, and I were riding in Richard's huge SUV to go get the tree. Cinda had decided to stay home in order to spend 'quality time with her daughter and grandson', but everyone knew she just didn't want to go to the tree farm. She had never liked getting Christmas trees.
The tree farm was really crowded. Richard had to circle the parking lot twice just to find a spot. Then we walked up a small dirt road until we reached the farthest spot of the farm, which was relatively empty.
"A year ago we were doing this in the bush behind your old house," Richard said as we began looking at trees, "Things sure do change."
"That they do," Dad mused, "But change is good."
"Is Matt ok?" Richard asked, "He hasn't seemed well over the past few days. Has something happened?"
"He's afraid to be here," Dad sighed, "Because of what happened before we moved. The psychologist we've been seeing thought it would be a good idea for him to confront the fear, but so far all its done is made him sleep deprived."
"I'm surprised Julie allowed that."
"She's the one who originally suggested it," Dad told him, "But the psychologist agreed and here we are."
"That's possibly the most surprising thing I've heard since you told me you were moving. Julie has babied that boy ever since he was born."
"We both have," Dad said a bit louder, "It's part of the problem and it's taken us nearly nine years to realize it. We're not doing it anymore. We've stopped giving in to everything. We've spoiled him."
"I've been telling you that since he was three," Richard chuckled, "I tell you, the best thing for a boy is to fall down and get a few bumps and bruises. Then he picks himself up and gets on with life."
"Believe me, he's had more bumps and bruises than the average kid. And half the time he can't just pick himself up and get on with life. I guess that's the issue. Julie and I have to learn when he really needs us and when he doesn't."
"You'll figure it out. And you know how I know that?" Richard put his arm around me and smiled, "Because you did something right with this one."
I couldn't help but grin. Richard was usually very quiet. He rarely said more than a sentence or two within a fifteen minute time frame. People said he had to be like that in order to be married to Cinda, the queen of talking. Richard never commented on how my parents raised me. He said plenty about how they raised Matt, but never me. I guess that was a good thing.
Mum always said I took after Cinda, but I liked Richard more. Cinda's constant jabbering was irritating and she always tried to get what she wanted. Whenever I complained to Mum about her, she just smiled and laughed and said I didn't like Cinda because I was so much like her.
"You'd think we would have gotten better with the second one, not worse," Dad muttered.
"Don't think too much about it now. It's Christmas," Richard said, "And we've got a tree to find."
We wound up finding a tree that was about half the size of one we had last year. Richard refused to get a twelve-foot tree since he was sure Cinda would have a hippogriff if he did so. Well, he used the term, 'have a cow'. It was funny to watch Dad help him tie it to the roof of the car, though. Dad had obviously never done such a thing before and he muttered something about how much easier it would be to just use a sticking charm.
Getting the tree off the car once we drove back to Richard and Cinda's house was much easier. Dad just used magic since no one else was around. He levitated it through the double doors in the back of the house and stood it up in the corner of the living room.
Cinda and Mum were talking on the couch in the living room. Well, Cinda was talking and Mum was nodding and muttering 'mm-hmm' every so often. I doubted she was really listening. One of her hands was holding an open book and the other was rubbing Matt's back, who was lying next to her.
"Have fun?" Mum set down her book.
Dad nodded. "When should we decorate?"
Decorate. I suddenly realized that we left all our decorations at home. "Er, we don't have any decorations."
Richard laughed. "Yes we do. Haven't used them in years, but we've got them. Your mum made some of them."
"Oh, right," I said. Of course they had decorations.
"Let's do it after dinner," Cinda said as she stood up, "There's a lovely lasagna in the oven."
"Had it delivered while we were gone?" Richard smirked.
"Yes," Cinda grinned.
"What is this supposed to be?" I asked as I pulled a misshapen piece of wood with a string attached out of the box of ornaments.
"It's a dog," Mum laughed, "I made it when I was five."
I turned the dog around in my hand and squinted. "Erm, I sort of see it."
It was actually really fun to use Richard and Cinda's ornaments. There was a story behind every single one. The crystal husband and wife one that they had gotten at their wedding, the little set of golf clubs Richard had had since he was a teenager, the witch's hat and broom Mum had gotten after she found out she was a witch, and of course all the homemade ornaments.
Even Matt seemed to perk up as we looked through the ornaments. He loved Mum's homemade ornaments. It even seemed like he wasn't sleep deprived.
Mum, Dad, Richard, and Cinda sat on the couch and let us decorate the tree. They told stories about the ornaments, but the decorating was up to us. Matt decorated the bottom half and I decorated the top. I had to use a ladder for the very top and Mum forbade Matt from getting on it.
Eventually we got the tree completely decorated. My parents and grandparents loved it and Richard took a bunch of pictures. Even though the tree had no theme whatsoever, I liked it. It was different, but nothing about this holiday was normal, so it fit well.
I fell asleep quickly that night since I had gotten used to Australian time. I had also gotten used to my pink bedroom again. In fact, I slept late and didn't wake up until nearly ten o'clock. It marked the second year in a row that Matt hadn't woken me up on Christmas.
The sun was shining into my window, but I didn't pay much attention to it. It was almost ten and nobody else seemed to be up. I ran out of my room and down the corridor to my parents'.
They were sitting up in bed whispering to each other, but stopped as soon as I walked in.
"Happy Christmas," Mum smiled.
"Happy Christmas," I said as I sat down on the bed, "Is anyone else up?"
"I don't think so," Dad replied, "We're going to wait for presents until Matt's up. He's been sound asleep since three in the morning."
I looked down and saw that Matt was sound asleep in the middle of the bed. I sighed. It would be a while until he got up. He'd probably sleep until dinner time. At least he finally fell asleep, though.
It was strange not to open presents right away. I went downstairs and saw that Ellie must have Apparated to the house at some point because she was making brekkie in Richard and Cinda's kitchen.
Richard and Cinda woke up a little while later and we all ate brekkie while Matt slept. No one really knew what to do after that since Christmas morning was usually spent opening and admiring gifts.
I sat in the living room staring at the presents while Richard read the paper and Mum and Cinda talked. There was one huge present that was addressed to me and I really wanted to open it.
After a few more hours of boredom, Matt finally walked sleepily into the room. He looked like he could use another day's worth of sleep, but I was glad he got up.
"Can we open presents now?" I asked as he climbed onto Mum's lap.
"Yes," Mum grinned, "You can go first."
I leaped off the chair and grabbed the big present I had been gazing at. It was from Mum and Dad and weighed a ton. Did they get me a box of bricks or something?
I ripped the paper off and tore open the plain brown box that was underneath. There was a bunch of crumpled up newspaper in the box and I threw it all over the room as I dug around in the box.
When all the newspaper was finally on the floor and not in the box, I pulled out a silver cauldron that was slightly bigger than the one I already had.
"You've already got one of those," Matt announced.
"This one's self-stirring," I grinned as I noticed the self-stirring symbol etched onto the side. I set it down and ran over to Mum and Dad, giving them each a huge hug. "Thank you so much!"
Self-stirring cauldrons open up a wealth of brewing opportunities. Some potions require constant stirring, which makes it difficult to prepare ingredients as you brew. Some ingredients had to be prepared right before you added them. So you either needed another person or a self-stirring cauldron.
I was surprised they got me another silver cauldron. They had been reluctant enough to get me the first one. It was a good sign; they were trusting me more.
Matt went next and he picked the present from me. His eyes got huge when he saw the box of chocolate frogs and Mum laughed. Then he held up the Chudley Cannons jersey and Cinda's eyes got huge with disgust. I giggled. She probably wouldn't have let me bring that into the house if she had known about it. She claims orange looks good on nobody.
"What is that?" she asked.
"A Quidditch jersey!" Matt said excitedly, "Chudley Cannons? Who are they?"
"A team in the British league," I explained, "The store in Hogsmeade didn't have any Australian jerseys, so I picked another team. Apparently they're not very good, but they need support."
"I like it," Matt said as he pulled it on. It went reached halfway down his thighs and was wide enough to fit three of him into it, but he had a big grin on his face.
The present opening continued for the rest of the afternoon. Mum and Dad both loved what I got them. I think Dad wished I had gotten him a Gryffindor scarf as well, though. Hell, Matt seemed to want one, too. I could get him one for his birthday.
Cinda got me a bag, which I thought was kind of funny since Mum got her one, too. This one was tiny and pink with silver dangly things attached to the zipper. It was something I would never use. I had no use for girly bags. Pockets worked just as well for holding stuff and I carried my school bag around Hogwarts. Not even one book would fit in this pink bag.
Cinda liked her bag much more than I liked mine. She said she had about ten different outfits to go with it and I was sure all of them were pants suits. Richard was thrilled with his golf club and said he'd have to go golfing soon.
Mum and Ellie prepared dinner afterwards. Cinda sat in the kitchen with them, but didn't help with the cooking. It was just as well since the only thing she could do was heat stuff up in the microwave.
Dad and Richard talked quietly in the den and I wanted to listen in on what they were saying, but Matt kept me occupied playing with his new Quidditch game with him in the living room. It was a model game that you could tell the players where to fly to, sort of like Wizard's Chess.
Matt seemed completely different than he had been the previous day. I mentioned this to Mum and she told me that a good night's sleep could do wonders. Maybe the sleep helped him realize that nothing would happen to him in Australia anymore.
Dinner was delicious and fun. Mum and Dad seemed so much happier now that Matt wasn't as scared. I think we were all relieved about that. Nobody said a word about anything related to Lubar or the Australian Ministry or wizarding Australia in general.
Ellie Apparated back to England after we finished dessert. She had to take my cauldron back to our house, since there would be no explaining that to airport security. Come to think of it, she had probably brought it that morning. Mum also wanted it in my potions room as soon as possible. She may be trusting me more, but she was still worried about Matt being around it.
I was really glad we had gone to Australia for Christmas. It had been a really good day. I don't think it would have been all that enjoyable if Matt hadn't gotten any sleep, but he did so it turned out well. Having Christmas in England would have just been too strange. I hoped we'd go to Australia for every Christmas.
Joined: 28 December 2006
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Posted: Sunday 19 July 2009 11 07 10 am Post subject: Re: In Moonlight's Shadow in topic:In Moonlight's Shadow
Joined: 28 December 2006
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Posted: Sunday 12 July 2009 08 59 52 pm Post subject: Re: In Moonlight's Shadow in topic:In Moonlight's Shadow
Chapter 53: The Chudley Cannons
I failed the charms test. Miserably. Even though I spent most of the weekend studying, the test was like a foreign language. I knew I failed it even before we got the marks back the next class. The large, red 'P' written over my pathetic answers was only a reminder.
Charms has never been my best subject, but I always managed to squeeze by in Australia. Olivia and I would study for hours before the exam and then get passing marks.
Charms at Hogwarts was a different story. Professor Washburn was relentless and the way he stared at you during class made you too nervous to do anything properly. He breathed down your neck during exams as well. It was enough to make anyone too nervous to do well.
This failed exam was only one of many I had failed so far that year. I was about ready to just give up. No amount of studying seemed to help.
Studying paid off for most of my other classes, though. I spent most of my time studying since I really had nothing else to do. On any given night I was either in my dormitory studying or in the common room studying, depending on where Monica was.
The night of the full moon came around sooner than I would have liked. My parents sent me a letter the day of, telling me that they were going to St. Mungo's. Just reading that letter made my heart speed up. I got the letter at dinner, so the moon was going to rise in a little over an hour.
Doing homework was pointless after I got that letter. There would be no way I could concentrate while I was worrying about Matt. Instead, I wandered around the castle until I wound up at the Astronomy Tower.
The tower was completely deserted. Quiet, empty, with only the telescopes for company. Just the way I like it.
I sighed and sat down on the ground. The moon was nearly risen. I could see the faint light of it slowly rising above the horizon.
No matter how hard I tried, I could never imagine what it would be like to turn into a werewolf. Matt had never described it to us, so I had to use my imagination along with what I read. All I knew was that it was extremely painful.
I stayed on the Astronomy Tower until the moon rose. I stared at it for a while before realizing that it was extremely cold and I was shivering.
The castle was warm, but I didn't know where to go. The Astronomy Tower had been the perfect place, but it was too cold out to spend the night.
A few minutes later I found myself in front of the hospital wing. I suppose that was where I had been heading the whole time, but just hadn't realized it.
Luckily the place was empty. Madam Pomfrey was bottling potions at a table, which reminded me a lot of when Matt had been at St. Mungo's a few months ago. She looked up when I came in the room.
"Amy," she said as she set down a flask, "Are you all right? You look kind of pale."
"Well, it's the full moon," I whispered.
Madam Pomfrey walked out from behind the table and looked at me sympathetically. "You're shivering."
"I was watching the moon rise," I began, "On the Astronomy Tower."
"The Astronomy Tower?" Madam Pomfrey exclaimed, "For Merlin's sake, it's below freezing out there!"
She ushered me over to the nearest bed and made me lie down in it. I could not believe my luck. All I had to do was spend a half hour outside in freezing temperatures and I could avoid sleeping in my dormitory on the worst night of the month.
Madam Pomfrey gave me a potion that immediately warmed me. Then she sat down on the bed and smoothed her robes.
"Amy," she began, "Is this going to be a usual full moon occurrence?"
I bit my bottom lip and looked down at the sheets. There was a loose thread on the blanket and I began to mess with it. It wasn't that I was consciously going to the hospital wing for every full moon. It just sort of happened.
"I don't know," I muttered, "It's just that tonight- Um, have you heard about Healer Sterling's Wolfsbane study?"
"I have," she nodded.
"My brother's in that study," I told her, "He's transforming at St. Mungo's tonight. The full moons are always worse when he transforms in new places."
"Ah," Madam Pomfrey replied, "You're worried about him."
"Yeah," I said, "I am, but it's worse tonight."
"I am sure he will be fine," she patted my leg and stood up.
I nodded and laid down on the pillow. Madam Pomfrey went back to her potions and I watched as she worked. But I wasn't tired in the slightest.
"What potions are you bottling?" I asked.
"Dreamless sleep, fever reducer, and pain potion," she answered, "The most commonly used potions."
Those were the three my parents always had on hand. "I'm going to brew those someday."
"Are you interested in potions?"
I sat up. "Yeah. I brew potions at home all the time. I make up my own stuff. It's fun."
"That is wonderful," she said, "A lot of students seem to have an extreme dislike for the subject."
"I've always liked potions," I mused as I got up and walked over to Madam Pomfrey, "They're just so interesting. The affects they have on people and stuff."
"That is a very intriguing topic," Madam Pomfrey agreed, "Would you like to help me bottle some of these?"
"Really?" I grinned, "Definitely.
"Of course," Madam Pomfrey smiled and handed me a jug of bluish potion, "That's the-"
"Pain potion," I said.
"You certainly know your potions," Madam Pomfrey remarked.
"I bottled potions with the nurses at St. Mungo's while Matt was there a few months ago."
"You've got experience, then," she said, "What other subjects do you enjoy?"
"Astronomy," I said immediately, "That's pretty much it. Transfiguration is fun, too, but not as fun as Astronomy and Potions."
"Astronomy and Potions," the nurse mused, "Interesting combination."
I stopped pouring and looked up at her. She had a knowing smile on her face. That was the same exact thing Healer Norlam had said, but I still had no clue what he meant by it. Now Madam Pomfrey was saying the same thing.
The conversation slowly stopped and we bottled in silence. A first year came in after accidentally stabbing himself with a quill, but other than that the ward remained empty. It was relaxing and reminded me a lot of helping the nurses at St. Mungo's.
Eventually we ran out of potions to bottle and Madam Pomfrey decided to call it a night. She let me stay overnight, despite the fact that I was clearly not ill. Somehow I managed to fall asleep and I didn't wake up until morning.
"He fell off his broom!" someone shouted, "I think his arm's broken!"
I snapped my eyes open and saw two boys standing in the doorway. One was holding his left arm and was clearly in pain. Madam Pomfrey was ushering him to the bed across from mine.
"What were you doing playing Quidditch at seven in the morning?" she demanded.
"We were bored," the uninjured boy shrugged.
"Next time you're bored, study something," the nurse muttered.
There was no point in going back to sleep, so I got out of bed and said goodbye to Madam Pomfrey before leaving. I ran up to my dormitory and collected my books, then headed down to the Great Hall for brekkie.
I waited for Jasper or Pollux to show up with a letter from my parents all day. All throughout my classes I looked at the windows and willed one of the owls to materialize. Even during potions I was distracted, which Quinton Willinson was all too quick to point out. He was thrilled that he was able to tell me that I was stirring my potion in the wrong direction. I had a feeling he would lord that over me for the remainder of the year.
If someone asked me what Binns talked about during History of Magic, the most specific topic I'd be able to tell them was history. Everything he said just went in one ear and out the other. It was worse than usual. My eyes focused on the window to my right rather than his ghostly form.
Herbology was just as bad since the greenhouses are obviously all windows. Luckily, Laney Hall was oblivious to my distractedness and kept chattering on and on about something I didn't even remember.
By the time I was done with classes, I was about ready to break into one of the teachers' studies to floo to St. Mungo's. I was sure Matt was still there. Why else would my parents not send me a letter?
I was putting my books away in my dormitory and contemplating how I could sneak into someone's study when Jasper finally showed up. He flew into the room and I snatched the letter from his leg a little more aggressively than I should have. Jasper hooted his dislike and flew off again before I could give him an owl treat.
Sorry for the late letter. Hope
you weren't too worried. We've
been occupied with the tests
Sterling has been doing on Matt.
We'll explain more about the tests
when you come home for Christmas.
It's a bit much to put into a letter.
Matt is doing all right. The
transformation was a bit rough, as was
expected. But after a few days' rest,
he'll be fine.
We left the hospital around noon and
are back home now.
Let us know how your classes are going
and everything else about life at
Mum, Dad, Matt, and Ellie
I breathed a sigh of relief as I put the letter in my pocket. They were just preoccupied with the tests, that was all. Matt wasn't much worse than usual.
He only had one more transformation until the study began. I wasn't sure exactly what was going to happen with that. Hopefully my parents would tell me once I went home.
I collapsed onto my bed. Another full moon was gone. We survived one more. I was finally beginning to understand what my parents went through each month. I may never completely understand what Matt goes through, but I was beginning to understand my parents' worry. How could they stand it each month?
How much longer would we have to go through it? Would Matt have to go through it? Sterling's study would have to help. People were working on new forms of Wolfsbane and on cures, weren't they? Someone would find something eventually. Then maybe I wouldn't be waiting anxiously for a letter from my parents each month.
November turned into December with the same monotony that the past few months had brought. I studied, argued with Willinson, avoided Monica, and failed another Charms exam.
The only real difference between November and December was the amount of snow that covered the grounds. The grounds began to resemble those of the Adirondack Academy of Magic during the time we visited. Only now it was never ending. I wasn't just visiting the snowy place, I lived there.
It was just so strange to have snow in December. In Australia, December is one of the warmest months and it never ever snows. Christmas is spent going swimming and holding outdoor celebrations. Those days were long over for me. Christmas would now be spent inside with a crackling fire.
I do like snow. It's fun to play in and very beautiful. But I really didn't see the point in holding classes outside during a raging blizzard. Why couldn't Hagrid just get a classroom so we wouldn't have to freeze our arses off? I was so cold during Care of Magical Creatures that I couldn't focus at all on what we were learning. And judging by the other students' reactions, holding Care of Magical Creatures during snow storms was a normal occurrence.
Much to my relief, the snow seemed to let up for the December Hogsmeade visit. Not that I was as excited about it as the rest of the students, since I had no one to go with, but I did want to get my Christmas shopping done.
I left the castle before the rest of my roommates were even awake. Well, I had heard Victoire moving around in her bed, so she was probably awake, but the rest of them were sound asleep.
The walk to Hogsmeade was relaxing. The snow crunching beneath my feet was the only noise. A very small amount of snow was falling; enough to be noticeable, but not so much that the walk would be unbearable.
I had finally learned how to bundle up properly for the cold weather, so I was comfortable. Although I had a feeling that after I had walked around Hogsmeade for a half hour or so, I'd be ready for a Butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks. Or the Hog's Head.
My first stop was Honeyduke's, which was mostly filled with third years and a few students my age. I guessed that most of the older students were still sleeping.
I bought an assortment of chocolates and other sweets for Matt and a few for myself as well before leaving the shop. Chocolate was always the best way to go when buying presents for Matt. Or me for that matter. I figured I'd get him something at the Quidditch shop as well. He's always liked Quidditch.
My parents were a different story, especially Mum. Every year I went through the same ritual. Looking through every store, trying to find the perfect gift. Nothing ever seemed right, although I knew my parents would like whatever I got them.
Dad's present was the first one I found. It was a name block for his desk. His old one said 'Head of the Department for the Control and Regulation of Magical Creatures' on it, so it was useless for his new job. I didn't think Mum had boughten him a new one yet, so I got one at Scrivenshaft's.
Mum was more difficult, but I decided on a scarf. She only had one and it wasn't the most fashionable of things. She wasn't big on fashion, but I thought a red and gold scarf was nicer than the boring grey one she had. Plus, it was Gryffindor colored.
I decided to have a Butterbeer before going to the Quidditch shop, but the Three Broomsticks was yet again so crowded that there was barely room to move. Two minutes after I entered, I left and went to the Hog's Head.
"You again," the barkeep grunted as I walked in the door.
"Yeah," I said as I sat down at the bar and set my bags down on the floor.
"Something wrong with Rosmerta's place?"
"Too crowded," I muttered.
"Tends to happen during Hogsmeade visits," he said as he handed me a Butterbeer.
"Thanks," I replied.
I sipped my Butterbeer in silence as I watched the barkeep putter around with a goat following him. The whole 'goat in the bar' thing still puzzled me, but the last thing I wanted to do was ask him about it.
Two cloaked men eyed me suspiciously as they sat down a few stools away and I took that as my cue to leave. I paid for my drink and the barkeep muttered goodbye as I left.
The Quidditch shop was a little ways down the road. I had never been to it before. There were a few brooms in the window and a large sign above it said 'The Quaffle Shop'. I certainly hoped the place sold more than brooms and Quaffles.
It was filled with students talking about Quidditch and I hardly understood any of it. I began to browse around, not really knowing what I was looking for. They certainly didn't have any Australian team products.
"Amy?" someone said to the left of me.
I turned to see Samantha Meyers looking at me curiously. "Oh, hi Samantha."
"I had no idea you liked Quidditch," she said, "Didn't you say you weren't a Quidditch person?"
"Erm, I'm actually here to get my little brother a Christmas present," I told her.
"What sort of present are you looking for?" she asked.
"I don't know," I sighed.
"Does he play Quidditch?"
I had to stifle my laughter at that. Matt was lucky if he could walk without tripping over his own feet, let alone fly a broom. Not to mention the fact that my parents were so strict with 'dangerous' things anyway.
"No, he just likes to watch matches."
"What team does he support?"
"Australia," I said, "But there obviously isn't any of that stuff here."
"Right," Samantha grinned, "So he needs a new team to support. Puddlemere United is a good team. So are the Ballycastle Bats. I personally support the Holyhead Harpies."
"How about this team?" I gestured to a very bright orange jersey that said 'The Chudley Cannons' in big black letters.
Samantha burst out laughing. "The Cannons? They're a joke. Haven't won a match in years. Their motto is 'let's just cross our fingers and hope for the best'. That pretty much sums them up."
"So it's a team full of uncoordinated Quidditch players?" I asked.
"Yeah," Samantha giggled, "That's pretty much it."
"That's perfect," I grinned. A team consisting of Quidditch players who were like Matt.
Samantha stared at me like I had three heads. "All right. If you say so." She raised her eyebrows at me and then wandered away towards the Holyhead Harpies merchandise.
I grabbed the jersey in the smallest size they had, which I think was still too big for Matt and bought it. I really had no idea if he would actually like it, but it was worth a try. He did need a British team to support. And if what Samantha said was true, the Cannons needed all the support they could get.
The snow had picked up and my face was blasted with tiny crystals of ice after I left the Quaffle Shop, so I decided to just head back to Hogwarts. I had done everything I needed to do in Hogsmeade anyway.
Despite the storm, a lot of students were outside on the grounds. Most were having snowball fights, but a few were building snow wizards.
The dormitory was empty when I got there so I quickly stowed my gifts in my trunk and grabbed my books. Studying never seemed to end.
"Amy!" Slughorn shouted as I went to leave the Potions classroom the following week. I turned around and went back to his desk. Willinson was standing in front of it as well.
"I'm holding a Christmas party," Slughorn said excitedly, "This Friday. I know you've been too busy to attend the most recent Slug Club meeting, but I do hope you can make it to the party."
"You should come," Willinson drawled, "Perhaps I can show you how to properly stir a potion."
I rolled my eyes. He wasn't ever going to let that go. "I'll think about it."
"Harry Potter himself will be there!" Slughorn continued.
I nodded and left as quickly as I could. The party sounded interesting, but I had been trying to avoid the Slug Club since Willinson attended.
The more I thought about the party, the more I sort of wanted to go. I kind of wanted to meet Harry Potter and I had nothing else to do that night.
I wound up going, since Monica was holding a party of her own in our dormitory. She and Victoire had quite the fight about it. Monica wanted Victoire to attend her party, but Victoire wanted to go to the Slug Club party since her entire family was going. Monica had not been invited.
I arrived later than the party started not because Cinda had taught me to be fashionably late, but because I wanted to slip in unnoticed. The more time I could spend avoiding Willinson, the better.
The dungeon the party was held in was packed. I hardly recognized anyone and there weren't only students there. A fair amount of adults were there along with little kids. A good portion of them had red hair, which I took to mean they were related to Victoire.
I squeezed my way through the crowd and eventually made it to the food table. I avoided the pheasant and went with the chicken and potatoes. Then I maneuvered to the back wall and watched everyone else as I ate.
Teddy was entertaining a bunch of red-haired kids by changing his hair and face. I almost snorted pumpkin juice out my nose when he turned his nose into a duck beak.
Slughorn was talking with Professor Kendrick and a very old strict looking witch. She looked very familiar and then I realized that she looked just like the picture of the witch who wrote The Rise and Fall of Lord Voldemort. She was Minerva McGonagall.
"You came," a voice said to the right of me.
It was Willinson. I groaned inwardly. "I did."
"The Christmas parties are always good," Willinson said, "Better than the regular meetings. All sorts of famous people come. My father is here."
"Really," I said flatly. I couldn't care less if Willinson's father was famous enough to attend the Slug Club Christmas party or not.
"Yes, he works for the Ministry," Willinson went on.
"Good for him," I muttered.
"What are you getting for Christmas?" Willinson asked, "My father is getting me a larger gold cauldron. The one I have now is far too small."
"My parents prefer to surprise me on Christmas," I said.
Willinson continued talking about what he was getting for Christmas, but I paid no attention. I had just spotted Harry Potter. But what surprised me even more was the witch he was talking with. She was the same witch who we had seen at the Auror office. The one with the three little kids.
The kids were there as well. The two boys were throwing pieces of biscuit at each other and the little girl was trying to catch the biscuits.
Harry picked up the little girl and gave him one of his own biscuits. He put his free arm around the witch. She must be his wife. The boys ran off and joined the group of kids surrounding Teddy.
"What did you get on the last Potions exam?" Willinson asked.
"Me, too," he said.
I managed to shake Willinson by telling him I had to use the toilet, but instead disappeared into the crowd. I didn't really know what to do. The only people I actually knew were Teddy, Landon, and Victoire, but I didn't know them well enough to hang out with. They were busy anyway. Victoire was talking with a Ravenclaw from our year and Landon was with Teddy and the little kids.
Nor did I have the nerve to go meet Harry Potter. What was I going to say? 'I just read all about your life and it turns out I saw your wife and kids at the Auror office and your daughter had no idea what my brother's crutches were?' That would be kind of awkward.
Eventually I just decided to leave. There wasn't anything else to do. I had eaten my fill and didn't want to risk running into Willinson again.
Monica was still holding her party in our dormitory, so I read in the common room while watching the younger students goof around. I was looking forward to the end of term, when I could go home and feel free to go wherever I pleased in my house.
Joined: 28 December 2006
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Posted: Friday 31 October 2008 03 20 24 pm Post subject: Re: In Moonlight's Shadow in topic:In Moonlight's Shadow
Questions, comments, and general reviews always appreciated!
Special thanks to Fawkes who came up with the name for the real estate agent.
Chapter 18: House Hunting
We wound up having lunch at The Mooning Dragon and Nat was delighted to have us there. Oliander told us that he regretted not being able to eat with us, but he had other business to attend to at the school.
Mum, Dad, and Uncle Jack talked about a whole range of topics including the school, Uncle Jack's job, and the weather. I didn't really pay much attention. I mainly just sat there and picked at my food. I wasn't really that hungry and my stomach was a bit queasy. Seeing all the students at the school just hit me hard. Knowing that I might be amongst them next year. It just seemed so weird to see a school that I might go to. A school that's not the Australian School of Sorcery. Could I really do this? Could I fit myself into a group of kids that have known each other since they were eleven?
I sighed and glanced up from my food. My parents were laughing with Uncle Jack and Nat. They looked truly happy. Mum's face was lit up like I hadn't seen it in months. Even Dad looked happy. Maybe we did belong in New York. If we moved here, would my parents be happy like this all the time? Or were they just happy now because they hadn't seen Uncle Jack in so long and because Dad hadn't worked in a few days?
Was I the only one that was going to miss Australia? I felt kind of sick just thinking about it. No one else in my family cared. They would probably move today if they could. They wouldn't care. Surely Mum would miss her parents, wouldn't she? Well, maybe not after Cinda threw that going away party.
I nibbled on a roll and watched my brother's eyes slowly close. He wasn't cheery and happy like my parents were. He looked utterly exhausted, which is exactly how I felt. The jet lag certainly wasn't helping my mood.
"What did you think of the Adirondack Academy of Magic?" Nat asked as she refilled Dad's water glass.
"It was nice," I smiled. What else could I say?
"I'm very glad," Nat replied and then turned to Matt, "And what about you, dear?"
"Huh?" his eyes snapped open and he glanced around confusedly.
"Are you all right, dear?" Nat asked with a look of concern on his face.
"Just tired," Matt replied.
"Oh, right. I keep forgetting you just flew in yesterday," Nat said, "I hope you liked the school."
"Yeah, it was good," Matt told her and then leaned his head onto his hand.
When lunch was finally over, all I wanted to do was go back to Uncle Jack's house and go to sleep. Mum and Dad wouldn't let me, though. They said the best thing to do was just wait until night to sleep and then my body would adjust to New York time. I was less than enthused about this, especially when Mum told me we were going house hunting.
"We'll have to Apparate there," Uncle Jack announced once we finished lunch. "The Real Estate office I'm going to show you specializes in both Muggle and wizard houses, so we can't Floo. We'll Apparate to the closest Apparition center and walk from there."
Mum grimaced. I knew the last thing she'd want to do is walk in this storm.
"It's not near here," Uncle Jack grinned, "So it might not be snowing there. It's actually closer to my house."
I reluctantly followed my family out of the pub and into the street. I didn't really think it was fair that Mum was letting Matt sleep in Uncle Jack's arms but she wouldn't let me go back to his house to take a nap. But Mum always let Matt sleep when he was tired, so I didn't complain about it. I wordlessly went into Dad's arms and we Apparated to the place Uncle Jack described.
We wound up in a small room with a few chairs and a desk. Behind the desk was a very bored looking witch who didn't look much older than me. She was flipping through a magazine and eating French fries. She glanced up as we appeared, but didn't say anything.
"This way," Uncle Jack muttered and we followed him out onto the street. "It's not far from here."
It wasn't currently snowing on this street, but there were high snowbanks alongside the road, so it must have snowed recently. It was also ice cold. I wrapped my scarf tighter around my face and tilted my head down as we walked straight into the wind.
Luckily Uncle Jack was right and we didn't have to walk far. Only a few minutes after we stepped outside the Apparition center, Uncle Jack led us into a building that looked in dire need of a paint job.
The inside was much nicer than the outside. There was a sitting area with green chairs and a television that was tuned into a news station. Nearby that was a desk with a secretary typing onto a computer and talking into a headset. Beyond that was a corridor which seemed to lead to a few offices.
I stood behind my parents as they waited for the secretary to be done with her conversation.
"May I help you?" she asked after a minute or so.
"Yes," Uncle Jack replied, "My brother and sister-in-law have an appointment with Miss Josephina Hawkings."
Dad turned to look at Uncle Jack with a raised eyebrow.
Uncle Jack grinned, "Made the appointment this morning."
"She'll be with you shortly," the secretary gestured to the waiting area.
We all sat down in the chairs and waited for the agent to call us in. The adults talked quietly about houses and I stared at the Muggle news. There wasn't anything interesting on it. Right now they were discussing the snow storm that was supposed to arrive the next day.
Matt was still asleep on Uncle Jack's lap and I was incredibly jealous. I was dreading this house hunting and it appeared that Matt would just sleep through the whole thing. I wanted to sleep through the whole thing. I doubted my parents would let me have much say in the whole thing anyway.
"Walter and Julie Eckerton?" a voice from behind me said.
I looked up and saw a very tall woman with dark brown hair pulled in a tight bun. She had a long face with a pointy chin and a rather prominent nose. She wore glasses on the very tip of her nose. She also seemed to have the same fashion sense as Cinda, based on the peach colored pants suit she was wearing.
We all stood up and the agent stuck out her hand, "Josephina Hawkings."
Dad shook it, "Walt Eckerton, my wife Julie, and our kids Amy and Matt. I believe you know my brother."
"Yes, I helped him find his plot of land," Josephina Hawkings replied.
We followed her down the corridor and into a tiny room that was her office. It was quite cramped with all five of us, plus Josephina in it. There were only three chairs in the room. Josephina took the one behind her desk, while my parents took the others. I stood behind them with Uncle Jack, who was still carrying Matt.
"So, you're looking to buy a house," Josephina said.
"Yes," Dad replied.
"What area of the state?" Josephina asked.
Dad looked at Mum and shrugged, "Well, perhaps somewhere near Jack, but we're not too picky."
"Could you tell me a bit about your current house to help me get some ideas?" she asked.
"Well," Dad began, "It's rather large. Ten bedrooms, six baths, completely walled in-"
Josephina's eyes lit up, "Ah! You live on an estate now! This gives me so many more opportunities! Let's see, there are a few houses like that up for sale. Let me see here..." she rifled through the papers on her desk.
"Wait," Dad said after exchanging a glance with Mum, "We were actually looking for something a bit smaller."
"Nonsense!" Josephina laughed, "Just wait until you see these houses."
"Really, we're only four people, we don't need that much space," Mum told her.
"But your house now is so large," Josephina said.
"It was my parents' house," Dad sighed, "I inherited it, so we moved in. It's not like we would have set out to buy something so grand."
Josephina looked a bit disappointed, "Well, if you're sure...."
"We're sure," Mum said.
"All right," Josephina sighed, "What size were you looking for?"
"Anywhere from three to five bedrooms would be fine," Dad replied.
"And would you be interested in a Muggle or wizarding house?"
"Either is fine," Dad said.
Josephina nodded and pulled out a binder. "Well, the best way is to just see the houses. I've got portkeys for all of them. Does that sound good?"
Dad nodded, "Yes, that will be fine."
"All right then," Josephina pulled out a keyring that had a variety of different colored keys on them. They were all rather large. "Each key is a portkey. I've got a great house for sale only a couple miles from Jack."
Josephina held out the key and we all placed a finger on it. She tapped the key with her wand and I felt myself being transported to some unknown house.
I landed with a thud onto the snow covered lawn of the house. I got up and tried to brush the snow off my pants, but it was already melting into them. Great, now I was going to have wet pants the whole time.
The house looked nice from the outside. It was in the middle of an open field, with hardly any trees. It was painted dark brown and had blue shutters on the windows.
"Four bedrooms, two baths," Josephina said as we started up the path to the front door, "About fifteen years old. The wizards that lived here moved about a week ago. Been on the market for about two months."
Josephina opened the door and we all stepped inside. The outside of the house was much nicer than the inside. The carpet was ripped up in places and had mysterious stains in others. There was no furniture anywhere. The walls had a few holes in them. Not to mention the smell. There was a very odd smell in the entire place.
I followed my parents into the house and we started looking around the living room. Mum had a look of shock on her face and Dad was peering into one of the holes. Uncle Jack was walking slowly into the kitchen.
"Well, what do you think?" Josephina asked excitedly.
Mum stared at her, "Well, it's not in the greatest shape, is it?"
"It's a fixer upper, I'll give you that," Josephina said, "But now you can fix it up however you'd like."
Mum and Dad exchanged glances, "I think we'd prefer something with a bit less 'fixing up' involved," Dad said.
"Oh, gross!" Uncle Jack called from the kitchen. "There's an old cauldron with a fermenting potion in it in here."
Josephina's cheeks turned red, "I guess I'll have to clean the place up a bit."
"We're leaving," Mum announced. "On to the next house."
"Don't you want to see the upstairs?"
"No way," Mum said.
Uncle Jack returned from the kitchen and Matt was awake now, yawning and rubbing his eyes. "It's nasty in there," Uncle Jack muttered.
"It stinks," Matt said flatly, "I don't like this house."
"None of us do, sweetie," Mum smiled at him. "We're going to go look at another one."
Josephina led us out the door and then she pulled out another key. We wordlessly took it and portkeyed to another house.
The entire afternoon was spent looking at houses. I was completely knackered by the time we finally finished. I personally thought the whole afternoon was pointless because we didn't find a single house we liked. They were either too small, too big, too much fixing up involved, or in a bad location. The only nice one we found was a Muggle house, but it was in a neighborhood with the next house only meters away. That wasn't going to work with Matt's transformations.
"I guess we'll just build a house," Dad said as we all sat around the dinner table.
"I think that would be a good idea," Mum agreed.
"So we're moving here?" I asked.
"Nothing's final yet, Amy," Dad told me, "We still have a few places to visit."
I nodded and continued eating my food. I was a bit hungrier now, but still not as much as usual. I was kind of glad we didn't find a decent house, though. Now my parents could just build one and decide for themselves what it looked like.
I went to bed early that night since I was so exhausted. Matt was already asleep when I slipped underneath the covers. I fell asleep quickly, despite my worries about the new school and new house.
The next day I finally got to play in the snow. Dad had to visit the New York ministry and see if there were any sort of jobs available that were anything like the job he had in Australia. The rest of us just stayed at Uncle Jack's house all day.
The snow was completely awesome. I built an entire snow family, complete with a pet dog. Mum, Uncle Jack, and Matt helped as well. Then we all went sledding on a nearby hill. I don't think I've ever enjoyed anything as much as sailing down a snowy hill on a piece of plastic. The wind was bitingly cold, but I didn't care.
We didn't stop until we couldn't feel our fingers and toes. Well, Mum went inside after only two hours, but the rest of us stayed out much longer. Mum had soup and hot chocolate waiting for us when we finally got too cold to stay outside.
Dad returned home late in the day, but unfortunately the New York ministry had no openings in their version of the Department for the Control and Regulation of Magical Creatures. He said he would just have to do something different if we chose to move there. It wasn't really something he wanted to do, but he would if it was necessary.
Maybe we weren't definitely going to move to New York. I was sure that if another country had an opening in a place Dad wanted to work, we'd probably move there instead. I had kind of been hoping we'd just move to New York, if we had to move at all. But if Dad couldn't get a job, there's no way we could move there.
Joined: 28 December 2006
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Posted: Wednesday 22 October 2008 08 33 48 pm Post subject: Re: Albus Potter and the Tracks They Left Behind in topic:Albus Potter and the Tracks They Left Behind
Thanks, Obladi! I love that line, too.
Special thanks to Obladi for coming up with the riddle that's in this chapter! I'm horrible with riddles, so the help was greatly appreciated!
Questions, comments, and general reviews are always appreciated!
Chapter 29: Light Saber Conquers All
"Willinson is acting civil," Albus commented as they were running up a flight of stairs.
"Yeah," Matt agreed, "Kind of surprising. Either he really wants to win or he's not as confident without Malfoy."
"Probably both," Albus said, "Whatever the reason, we lucked out."
Everyone stared as Albus and Matt ran into the common room completely out of breath. "Scavenger hunt," Albus muttered to his cousins Ben and Cedric as he ran by.
"Excellent," Ben grinned, "Can't wait until our turn next Saturday."
Bilius was also in their dormitory collecting items when Albus and Matt entered. They nodded to each other, but didn't say anything.
Albus wrenched open his trunk and started rifling through it. He found a bag of Bertie Botts Beans, a Dumbledore chocolate frog card, his copy of [i]Hogwarts, A History[/i], one Extendable Ear, and the photo album he found in the attic of his house. The graduation picture in the back would work for the Hogwarts graduation picture.
"What have you got?" he asked Matt once he emerged from his trunk.
"My wand's holly, a muggle pen, band aids, Chudley Cannon jersey, and a Nintendo DS, although I'm not sure why I still bother to bring it since it doesn't work here."
"Excellent," Albus grinned, "Let's get back to the Great Hall."
When Albus and Matt got back to the Hufflepuff table, Willinson and Rodner had already returned. There was a pile of stuff on the table between them. Albus looked through it and saw that they now had a copy of The Hobbit, color changing ink, a beater's bat, Muggle playing cards, and a sneakoscope.
"All right, we've got a good start," Albus said as he added his and Matt's stuff to the pile. "I guess we'll have to ask the older students to borrow the rest.
"Rodner," Albus began, "You see if you can get a light saber, a Quaffle signed by Oliver Wood, a Shooting Star broomstick, drum sticks, a receipt from Madam Malkin's, foe glass, and a Beatles CD."
"Sure," Rodner said and took off out of the room.
"Willinson," Albus turned to the Slytherin, "Go down to the kitchens and see if you can get a silver goblet, tortilla chips, a tea cozy, the names of five House Elves, and a Hershey bar."
"Why should I?" Willinson grumbled, "Who put you in charge?"
"Someone's got to do it," Albus told him.
"Make Eckerton do it."
"Him and I are getting the rest," Albus replied, "If you want to win, you'll get the stuff."
"Fine," Willinson muttered and left the Great Hall.
"Ok, that leaves the shoe laces, empty green potions bottle, purple gloves, a My Little Hippogriff, a toad, purple parchment, a rubber duck, two batteries, and five more Extendable Ears. Oh, and Filch's autograph."
"We'll do that one last," Matt shuddered. "We can probably just go back to the common room and ask if anyone's got this stuff."
"Good idea," Albus agreed.
The two boys set off at a run back to their common room. Luckily it was still packed with students and some of them grinned as Albus and Matt entered.
"How's it going?" Ben asked.
"Good," Albus grinned back, "But we've got a bunch of stuff to find. Listen up everyone!" he shouted.
The entire common room quieted and turned to Albus. Albus was momentarily shocked that everyone actually stopped what they were doing to pay attention to him.
"Er, we're doing the scavenger hunt and need some stuff. Has anyone got a My Little Hippogriff, purple gloves, a toad, purple parchment, a rubber duck, batteries, or Extandable Ears? Also, we need twenty shoe laces. I promise we'll return it all once we're done."
About half the students got up and went up to their dormitories. A few minutes later they came back down with various items for Albus. He managed to borrow a rubber duck, purple parchment, and a few Extendable Ears. Plus he got at least twenty shoe laces.
"That worked well," Albus said as he and Matt left the room.
"I'd say so," Matt agreed, "Now Filch's autograph. This ought to be fun."
Albus smacked his hand to his forehead, "I should have grabbed the map!"
Albus groaned and ran back to the common room. Everyone laughed as he ran up to his dormitory and back down to the common room. Albus ignored them and pointed his wand to the map. A few seconds later he saw that Filch was lurking near the library.
Albus and Matt took off for the library and spotted Filch a few yards away from the door.
"How are we supposed to ask him?" Albus whispered.
"No idea," Matt said back.
Albus's heart sped up as he got closer to the old caretaker. "Er, Mr. Filch?" he asked.
Filch startled and turned around. He saw Albus and smirked. "Potter. Up to no good again? In need of another detention, perhaps?"
"Uh, no," Albus replied, "Actually, I was just, er, well, we're doing this scavenger hunt. Maybe Kendrick told you about it. It's to promote Inter House Unity and we have to find all this stuff throughout the castle and-"
"We need your autograph," Matt interrupted, holding a piece of parchment and the Muggle pen in his outstretched hand.
Filch stared at them and then started muttering to himself. "Don't see why I should bother... Students never do anything for me..."
Nevertheless, Filch took the pen and scribbled his name onto the purple parchment. He thrust it wordlessly back into Matt's hand and shuffled off down the corridor.
"That went better than expected," Matt said.
"Yeah, thanks. I couldn't really figure out how to ask him."
"I figured," Matt grinned, "Anyway, we still need a few things. Hey, Kendrick never mentioned anything about the Room. Do you think we could just ask it for the rest of this?"
Albus wondered why he hadn't thought of that. It almost seemed like cheating, but Kendrick never said anything. "That's brilliant!"
The two of them set off for the Room, but when they got there, there was a Hufflepuff prefect milling around right in front of the Room. Albus slowly walked back and forth in front of it, keeping an eye on the prefect.
He was about to make his third pass, when the prefect stopped him. "Sorry," he said, "You can't go in there if you're in the scavenger hunt. Kendrick's rule."
Albus sighed, "All right."
"Of course," Matt muttered as they left, "Kendrick couldn't announce that rule because then everyone would find out about the Room. Oh, well. What have we got left?"
Albus handed Matt the list and he looked it over for a few seconds. "Hey, I know Madam Pomfrey's got green potion bottles."
"Let's go," Albus said, "We'd better hurry, there's only fifteen minutes left."
They made it to the Hospital Wing in record time. Albus pushed the door open and walked in, followed by Matt.
"I've got patients to tend to!" Madam Pomfrey was shouting at a Ravenclaw first year, "I haven't got time for this scavenger hunt nonsense! You're the fifth person I've had come in here looking for potions bottles and band aids! I haven't got any!"
The girl nodded and ran quickly out of the room, completely ignoring Albus and Matt as she went.
"Er, she says she hasn't got any," Albus whispered.
"I know she does," Matt whispered back, "Let me just ask her."
Albus shrugged and followed Matt over to the nurse, who was bent over one of the beds.
"Hello, Madam Pomfrey," Matt greeted her.
Madam Pomfrey turned around and her irritated face softened immediately when she saw Matt.
"Hello, Matt, dear. Are you all right? You look a bit flushed," Madam Pomfrey said and put her hand to his forehead.
"I'm fine," Matt assured her, "I've just been running around working on the scavenger hunt."
"Not you, too," Madam Pomfrey sighed and then noticed Albus, "Oh and Albus as well."
"Yeah," Matt said, "We were just wondering if you might have an empty green potions bottle."
The nurse sighed and walked over to her potions cabinet. "I suppose. Just be sure to return it."
Albus watched in shock as she returned with the exact item they were looking for. Matt grinned at Albus and took the bottle.
"Thanks," Matt smiled.
Madam Pomfrey shook her head, "No problem. Have fun, boys."
"We will," Matt said as he turned to leave the room.
Albus followed him out the door, still in shock that the nurse had actually given them the bottle when she had yelled at that first year only minutes ago.
"You're certainly on her good side," Albus muttered after they left the room.
"One of the few perks of being there once a month," Matt said dryly.
"We'd better get back to the Great Hall," Albus said as he looked at his watch.
Albus and Matt ran as fast as they could back to where their team was. The rest of the team was working hard to finish the remaining trivia. Rachel herself was dressed up as Godric Gryffindor, complete with a fake beard. Rodner was dressed up as Helga Hufflepuff.
However, neither was as funny as what Willinson was wearing. He was decked out in Gryffindor finest, with robes, a scarf, and a 'Loyal Gryffindor' hat. Albus could hardly stifle his laughter.
"Don't say a word, Potter," Willinson growled.
"Albus!" Rachel shouted, "You've got to dress up as a Slytherin! The robes I've got are too big for Matt and Abby." Rachel pointed to the other Gryffindor on the team.
Albus groaned and Willinson burst out laughing. Albus reluctantly put on the Slytherin robes, scarf, and 'Slytherins Are Best' hat. It would only be for a few minutes and if it helped them win....
Albus did feel a bit strange in the Slytherin robes. He couldn't help but remember back to his sorting and how the hat had wanted to put him in Slytherin at first. If it had, he would be wearing these robes all the time. He might have even been more friendly with Malfoy at first. He probably wouldn't have really befriended John, Matt, or Amanda if he'd been in Slytherin. Albus shook the thought from his head and concentrated on the fact that he was just wearing the robes to help his team win.
Rachel took stock of the items on the list as Matt tied all the shoelaces together. It turns out that the only things they were missing were the light saber, Quaffle signed by Oliver Wood, Shooting Star broomstick, foe glass, Hershey's bar, toad, and one battery. Rachel thought that was pretty good.
The other Ravenclaw returned a minute later and told everyone that he had finished the riddle quest and had managed to get the bonus points.
"Time is up!" Kendrick announced, "The professors will be around soon to check your lists. They will also collect your trivia sheets which will be marked later today. The winner will be announced at dinner tonight."
Patil came over to Albus's team a few moments later and looked over their list. She took a picture of the four people who were dressed up, much to Albus's dismay. Now there would be permanent evidence of his Slytherin moment. As soon as the picture was taken, Albus took off the robes and he noticed Willinson doing the same.
"Ok," Patil announced as she gathered up the pieces of parchment, "You can leave. Please return anything you borrowed."
Albus and Matt gathered up their stuff as well as everything they'd borrowed from various Gryffindors. They stopped by the Hospital Wing to return the bottle and then headed back to their common room.
The two of them passed out everyone's stuff and then went to sit down at their usual table. Rose, John, Amanda, and Kaden joined them shortly.
"That was fun," Rose said as she sat down.
"Yeah," Albus agreed, "Even though we were with Slytherins. Willinson wasn't too bad."
"That's good," John said, "I caught a glimpse of him in the Gryffindor robes. Priceless."
"Yeah, I thought so. Until I had to put on the Slytherin ones," Albus replied.
John burst out laughing, "I wish I'd seen that!"
"You'll be able to," Albus told him, "Patil took a picture."
"Didn't any of you lot have to dress up?" Albus asked.
"I was Helga Hufflepuff," John said.
"And I was Godric Gryffindor," Amanda added.
"How did everyone do on the list of stuff to find?" Matt asked.
"I'm pretty sure my team was the only one with a light saber!" Kaden said excitedly, "I'm so glad I decided to bring it."
"We did all right," Rose shrugged, "Missed a lot of stuff, but I think we did well in the trivia."
"Of course you did," John grinned. "Hey, did anyone manage to find the potions bottle? Slughorn didn't have any green ones and Madam Pomfrey looked ready to hex me when I asked her. It's not really fair that Kendrick put something on there that was impossible to get."
Albus grinned at Matt, who grinned back.
"What?" John asked.
"We got it," Matt told him.
"How?" Kaden asked, "Madam Pomfrey was downright scary when I asked her. May have been because she was busy fixing someone's broken arm, but still...."
"Matt asked her and she gave him one," Albus explained.
Matt shrugged, "Simple, really."
John sighed, "Well, you're probably the only one in the school who could get it. She'd probably give you whatever you asked for."
"Why?" Kaden asked curiously.
"Sorry, not telling," John replied.
Kaden sighed, "Oh, part of that whole secret I can't know about?"
"Yeah," John said and then changed the subject, "Hey, did any of you do the riddle thing?"
"I did," Rose said, "Want to hear it?"
"Of course," John said.
"Ok, I'll see if you can get it. I thought it was a bit simple, really," Rose said. She pulled a piece of parchment out of her robes and read off of it. "
'In an event known by wizards worldwide
Where good and evil are forced to collide
A terrible force can now no longer reside.
A place where just one part of Voldemort died.'"
Albus looked at John, Matt, and Amanda and shrugged. He didn't think it was simple, but Rose was good at those sorts of things.
"No idea," John announced.
"Dunno," Matt shrugged.
"Hmm," Amanda muttered.
"Don't look at me," Kaden said.
"The Great Hall?" Albus asked, thinking of the place where Voldemort died.
"Nope," Rose grinned, "That was the trick part. It's actually that monument outside, where Professor Longbottom killed Voldemort's snake."
"Oh," Albus groaned, "Of course! Didn't even think of that."
"How long did it take you to figure it out?" Matt asked.
"Not long," Rose smiled, "But then I had to follow the clues to find the bit of information to give Professor Kendrick."
"And where was that?" Amanda asked.
"Library," Rose grinned, "Herbology section."
"Wonder how many teams got it," Albus thought aloud.
"Well, my team did, obviously," Rose said, "And you said your team did, Albus. What about you two?"
"We didn't," John sighed and Amanda shook her head.
"We did," Kaden put in.
"Guess we'll find out tonight how everyone did," Albus said.
"Yeah," Rose agreed, "But I'm not going to think about it now. Might as well get some homework done."
Albus managed to get half an essay done before dinner. Rose wrote an entire essay and did a set of homework questions. Matt helped Amanda with her Astronomy and still got his Herbology done. John and Kaden on the other hand, spent he rest of the afternoon goofing off and playing chess.
The excitement was running high in the Great Hall during dinner that evening. Everyone was comparing what they managed to find during the Scavenger Hunt. Albus kept glancing up to the staff table to see when Kendrick would make the announcement, but he seemed to be waiting until the last minute to do so.
After what seemed like forever, Kendrick got to his feet. "Good evening, everyone. I hope all the first and second years enjoyed the Scavenger Hunt. It was certainly a success and I'm sure the older students will look forward to their turns.
"And, without any further waiting, I shall announce the results. The first, second, and third place teams will all be awarded medals.
"In third place, with 572 points, Team Two!" Kendrick announced, "Will the members of Team Two please come up here."
"Yes!" Albus shouted and jumped up, "Third place, that's not bad!"
"Yeah, I'd say that's pretty good," Matt grinned and followed Albus up to the staff table.
Albus and Matt joined the rest of their team in front of the staff table. Kendrick put a bronze medal over each of their necks and pulled out a camera. He took a few pictures and then told them to return to their seats.
Rose, Amanda, John, and Kaden congratulated Albus and Matt as they sat back down. A few of Albus's cousins patted him on the back and told him good job.
"Excellent, Albus," James grinned, "But my team will get first place next week."
"I'll believe it when I see it," Albus rolled his eyes.
"And in second place, with 580 points, is Team Seven!" Kendrick announced.
The members of Team Seven ran up to the staff table to get their silver medals and have their picture taken.
"And in first place, with 673 points, is Team Six!" Kendrick shouted. "Congratulations to the winning team!"
"Woohoo!" Kaden stood up and started jumping up and down as he ran up to the staff table, "Yes!"
"Wow, who would've thought that," Rose grinned, "Kaden's team won."
"Well, he does have a very large amount of random stuff in his dormitory," Albus commented.
"I'll bet it was the light saber that put his team over the edge," John shook his head, "I mean, I think his team was the only one to get it."
"Probably," Albus shrugged.
"I can't believe I won!" Kaden shouted as he sat back down with his big gold medal a few minutes later.
"Congratulations," Albus grinned, "At least one of us got first place."
"We were so close to second," Matt groaned, "Eight measly points!"
"Well, third's good," John muttered, "Better than not getting a medal at all."
"Oh, John, it's just a game," Amanda said, "The point is that we all had fun."
"Congratulations to our winning teams and everyone else that participated," Kendrick said, "I will be looking forward to the next round, third and fourth years, a week from today!"
Albus hung his bronze medal from his bed post before he went to bed that night. He crawled beneath the covers feeling very content with third place. He hadn't really been expecting to win at all. The Scavenger Hunt had been a lot of fun, and Albus hoped Kendrick would hold it again sometime. It had been so much fun, that Albus hadn't even thought about the new map the entire day. He made a mental note to ask Rose about the Sileo Altus charm the next day. They would have to tell Kaden about everything soon if they wanted to make anymore progress on the map. Plus, they'd have to research more about how to prove to the map that they really were like the Marauders.
Joined: 28 December 2006
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Posted: Friday 3 October 2008 12 47 58 pm Post subject: Re: In Moonlight's Shadow in topic:In Moonlight's Shadow
I'm going to try and post twice a week on this one, because there's certain chapters that have to be posted before I can start posting the sequel to Albus Potter and the Tracks They Left Behind.
Just a note about this chapter and the next one- Amy and her family are flying on Muggle airplanes. I haven't flown since I was 5, which was 15 years ago. I hardly remember it. Since then, I've only been to 1 airport, the one near my house which is very very small. So, for these chapters I kind of made up what goes on when you fly, as well as what the Sydney and New York airports look like. Sorry if it's totally inaccurate. But, this takes place in 2014, so I suppose I could just say that everything changed.
Chapter 14: Off to New York
Dad continued to spend long hours at work the next couple of weeks. I wasn't at all surprised by this and was happy that I finally knew why he was spending more time there. This didn't make me worry any less, though. Dad still came home exhausted and stressed.
Mum spent more time in Dad's study and I was really curious as to what she was doing. I tried to listen in, but she was either making no noise in there or was putting up charms to prevent me from hearing anything. However, she did come out every couple hours and check on Matt and I and make us lunch. She also started helping Ellie with the cleaning again, which I was happy about. I didn't really think it was fair to make Ellie do it all.
"How is your homework coming, Amy?" Mum asked at lunch on Friday.
"Er," I looked up from my soup, "Well, I've got most of it done."
I hadn't done any of my homework after I finished the Potions and Astronomy. I really didn't feel like doing the rest and Mum hadn't mentioned it again until now.
"Can you have it all done by the end of the month?" Mum asked.
I shrugged, "I suppose."
"Good," Mum said, "I'll look it over when you're done and we'll see what else you can do."
"Great," I rolled my eyes, "I'll look forward to it."
"Oh, Amy, you know you've got to keep up your studies," Mum replied.
I rolled my eyes again and continued eating my lunch. I wondered what kind of homework Mum would give me. She'd probably just give me a few new text books and make me read them. Then she'd ask me questions about it.
There was a tapping on the window and I looked up. A large, dark brown owl was hovering in front of the window. I didn't recognize it. It wasn't Olivia's owl.
"Hmm, I wonder who that's from," Mum said as she got up from the table. She opened the window and the owl flew into the room, landing on the table.
"He's a nice owl," Matt commented as he stroked the owl's back. The owl dipped his beak into Matt's cup of milk. "He's thirsty."
"I see that," Mum smiled and picked up the letter that the owl had dropped on the table.
I leaned over Mum's shoulder and tried to read the letter, but she pulled it closer to her chest and gave me a stern look. I retreated with a sheepish look.
"I'll tell you if it's relevant to you," Mum said.
I watched Mum as she opened the envelope and started to read the letter. Her brows were furrowed and her eyes moved side to side. As she continued reading, her face lit up and her mouth cracked into a smile. Finally, she set the parchment down and grinned at Matt and I.
"Well?" I asked, raising one eyebrow.
"It looks like we'll be visiting New York," Mum smiled.
"To see Uncle Jack?" Matt shouted, "Yes!"
"Who's that from?" I asked, "Uncle Jack? That didn't look like his owl."
"No," Mum replied, "It's from the Adirondack Academy of Magic. They've agreed that Matt can attend, given certain precautions. They want to meet with us."
"Really?" I said, "That's great."
"Isn't it?" Mum grinned, "I guess we'd better start planning. The school wants to meet with us sometime this month. They want us to send a reply owl telling them what dates we'll be there."
"Are we going to visit Uncle Jack?" Matt asked.
"Of course," Mum told him, "I'll send him an owl once we're sure of our plans."
"What are we going to do there?" I asked, "Are we just visiting the school?"
"Well, we'll probably look at houses, too," Mum explained, "I don't want to fly over there twice."
I nodded. Looking at houses. I couldn't imagine living anywhere besides here, but we'd obviously need a new house if we were to live in New York. "So are we definitely moving to New York?"
"No," Mum replied, "We'll check out the school and look at houses. I want to visit a couple schools if it's possible so we can pick the best one."
"Oh, all right," I shrugged. "I think I'll go send a letter to Olivia and Kenzie."
I spent the rest of the afternoon in my room. It didn't take me long to send off the letters to my friends, but I really didn't have anything else to do. I worked on homework for a little while and managed to complete my Transfiguration.
Mainly I just thought about visiting New York. It had been so long since we visited Uncle Jack, over two years. I wanted to see him, but I wasn't sure about visiting the school and looking at houses. Going to New York would make this whole thing seem so permanent. It was kind of hard to believe that we were actually going to move when we were still in Australia, just waiting for letters from various schools. Now, with a trip to New York in the works, the whole thing seemed incredibly real.
Dad came home around 7:30, and as soon as he Flooed home, Mum told him the news. He was excited too, and the two of them holed up in Dad's study for a while. Matt and I stayed in the living room and played Gobstones and his Nintendo DS. He was becoming kind of addicted to that thing.
When Mum and Dad came out of the study, they had the entire trip to New York planned. We would fly to the United States, just like we had the last time we visited New York, since international Apparition and Flooing weren't allowed. Dad got plane tickets from Sydney to New York City for the following Wednesday, which was the soonest day he could get them for. He told us we were going to Apparate to Richard and Cinda's and then they would drive us to the airport. Once we got to New York City, Uncle Jack would meet us there, and we'd floo to his house. Then we'd stay at his house until we went home. Dad said we would fly home on Monday.
"Why are we staying so long?" I asked. Almost a week seemed like a long time to visit one school and a few houses.
"Well, we'll need about a day to recover from the jet lag," Mum pointed out.
Oh, yeah. Jet lag. I'd forgotten about that. The last time we visited Uncle Jack, I wound up sleeping all day and then staying up all night for two days.
"And we're leaving some time open to visit other schools in the United States if any of them reply between now and then. I'd like it if we could visit a couple more while we're there," Dad added. "I'd rather minimize the flights."
I nodded. That made sense. I wasn't a huge fan of flying myself. First, I didn't like heights. Not at all. Second, the jet lag was awful when we flew to New York the last time. It wasn't something I was looking forward to. Third, it was just so incredibly boring. It took practically a whole day to fly to New York and that didn't include the time spent in security. Muggles were certainly strict with their airport security. Fourth, airplane food was nasty and they didn't let you bring your own food on the plane. I was always incredibly hungry, bored, and tired when I flew to New York. Not a good combination.
The next week flew by in a whirlwind of packing and preparation for going to New York. Luckily our passports hadn't expired yet, although it did take Mum a whole day to locate them in Dad's study. 'This is why I organize things,' she muttered after she found them. Next we had to pack up enough clothes to last almost an entire week, which was an interesting endeavor in itself.
We hadn't been to New York in almost three years, and it had been summer there when we last went. In fact, we had not once gone to New York during their winter. Matt and I had never even seen snow. This time, however, we were going to New York in the middle of March, which Uncle Jack informed us was one of the coldest times of the year. None of my family actually had any real cold weather clothes. Sure, we each had a couple jumpers and a light weight jacket, but we didn't need anything beyond that for winter in Brisbane or Sydney.
For winter in New York, we were going to need a lot more. Numerous jumpers, heavy down jackets, scarves, hats, gloves, and warm socks, Dad told us. So, one day shortly before we left, Mum took Matt and I to a Muggle shop in Brisbane that specialized in cold weather clothing. How it could possibly stay in business was beyond me. I suppose there were a lot of Muggles who traveled to colder climates. Mum bought us all a large amount of clothing that I thought would be appropriate to wear to Antarctica, not New York.
"How many jumpers do you expect us to wear?" I asked as we got back to the house after the shopping trip.
"As many as you need," Mum replied, "It's going to be quite cold there. Colder than you've ever experienced."
"Still seems like a lot," I said as I dumped my shopping bags on the kitchen table. In them were six jumpers, a hoodie, four pairs of jeans, a puffy jacket, two sets of gloves, two scarves, and two hats. Mum bought the same thing for herself, Matt, and my dad.
"Well, you'll be warm," Mum said and put the rest of the bags down next to mine.
"There's a couple owls out there," I pointed to the door that opened to the deck. There were two owls pecking at the door. One was small and pale brown and the other was large, mostly brown, and speckled with white.
"Go let them in, Matt," Mum said as she started to pull clothing out of the bags. "I hope they're from the other schools...."
So far we hadn't received anymore responses from other schools, and Mum and Dad were starting to get stressed about it since we were leaving for New York in three days. They had really been hoping to visit multiple schools while we were there.
Matt returned with two letters. "Here you go, Mum," he said as he handed her the letters.
Mum wordlessly took them and sat down in one of the chairs. I watched her carefully as she opened the first one. She read it and a frown appeared on her face. It quickly turned to anger and she crumpled up the letter, throwing it onto the table.
"We won't be visiting Pennsylvania," she said angrily and picked up the next letter.
I nodded but didn't ask her to elaborate on what the letter said. Based on her reaction, I guessed it was a lot like the letter from Professor Killigan.
Mum opened the next letter and after a few moments a smile appeared on her face. "Well, looks like we'll be able to arrange a trip to Massachusetts."
"More flying?" I raised an eyebrow.
"I don't think so. We should be able to just floo to the school there," Mum answered.
"Good," I breathed a sigh of relief. "What's the school there called?"
"The Salem Witch Institute," Mum answered.
"An all girls school?" I stared at her. No way did I want to go to an all girls school.
"Oh, no. They teach boys there, too."
"Then why not call it the Salem Witch and Wizard Institute?"
"I don't know. You an ask when we go there," Mum told me. "I'm glad they responded. We should have plenty to do while we're over there now. We'll need to look at houses in Massachusetts, too."
"Right," I muttered. I had never been to Massachusetts before. Sure, I'd heard about it and everything, but had never been there. The only part of the Sates I'd ever been to was New York. And honestly, that was the only part I would put up with living in. What would be the point of living in the States if we weren't anywhere near Uncle Jack?
"I'm going to go floo your father," Mum said as she got up from the table, "We'll need to make arrangements with The Salem Witch Institute as soon as possible. Why don't you and your brother get started packing?"
"Sure," I replied, although I wasn't exactly sure how we'd be able to fit all those clothes into our suitcases.
Somehow, we managed to fit all of the clothes and other stuff we needed to take into four suitcases and four carry-on bags, which was all we were allowed on the plane without paying extra fees. Well, it wasn't that difficult since Mum and Dad just used magic to make the stuff Matt and I couldn't get in fit.
One other school from the United States wound up sending us a letter the day before we left. That school would not allow Matt to attend, but my parents weren't too disappointed since we were already visiting two. Mum said we wouldn't have had time to visit another one anyway.
On Wednesday, we got up incredibly early (even for me) in order to arrive hours before our flight actually took off. Dad told me it was because the security and baggage check could sometimes take hours. Sometimes, the things Muggles did just made me laugh so much. They told us our flight was to leave at 10:50 in the morning, yet they also told us to arrive at the airport at 8 in the morning. It seemed to me that there could be a more efficient way of doing security and all that stuff, but whatever. Then Dad told me that the flight would probably be delayed anyway. Flying on Muggle airplanes was a right pain in the arse.
We said goodbye to Ellie and Apparated with all our luggage to Richard and Cinda's.
Richard and Cinda were actually awake when we arrived. I was kind of surprised since I hadn't seen the two of them up before eight o'clock in years.
"Ready for your adventure?" Richard yawned as he let us into the house.
"Ready as we'll ever be," Dad replied.
"I still can't believe you might move to the States," Cinda shook her head. "You'll be so far away. How long is the flight?"
"Twenty-one hours to New York City," Dad answered, "So an entire day, pretty much."
"Still seems odd that you can't do that disappearing and reappearing thing," Richard muttered.
"You can't Apparate that long of a distance," Mum reminded him, "Plus, the government has rules against foreign wizards just Apparating into the country."
"Guess that makes sense," Richard replied.
"I wanted to fly at night so we could just sleep," Dad explained, "But there weren't any tickets available at this short notice."
"Yeah, jet lag's going to be awful," Richard commented.
"Sure will," Dad agreed, "It'll be about four in the afternoon, today, when we arrive in New York."
"That's mad," I said. "So, if we're up for half the flight to New York, then we sleep the other half, we'll be nice and awake right in time for night in New York."
"Pretty much," Dad laughed.
"I hate flying," I muttered.
"So do I," Dad said, "But we've got to do it."
"Ready to go?" Richard asked.
"Yes," Mum replied, "And thanks for driving us. It's impossible to Apparate into the middle of a busy Muggle airport."
"No problem," Richard said and led the way out the door and to the garage.
Richard unlocked his fancy new Cadillac SUV and opened the back hatch. Richard rarely ever drove this car, only when we were all going someplace together. I hadn't even ridden in it yet, since he just got it a few weeks ago. Usually he preferred to drive his smaller convertible sedan, but we wouldn't all fit in that or in Cinda's car.
Dad loaded all of our bags and suitcases into the back of the SUV and then climbed in with Mum. The two of them were sitting in the middle seats, so Matt and I had to climb into the back.
I wasn't a big fan of cars either. I guess I just didn't like Muggle transportation. Matt, on the other hand, always loved riding in Richard and Cinda's cars.
"What's this do?" Matt pointed to a button on the ceiling of the car.
"Dunno," I shrugged.
Mum turned around in her seat and looked up at the button. "That adjusts the air conditioning. It'll make the car cooler if you're too hot."
"Oh," Matt replied, "Like a cooling charm?"
Mum laughed, "Yes, like a cooling charm."
"What about this button?" Matt pointed to the one next to it.
"That one opens the moon roof," Mum answered.
"Moon roof?" Matt eyed the button suspiciously.
"Not the real moon," Mum explained, "Don't worry. It's what that window up on the ceiling is called."
"That's a weird name for it," Matt said, "So if I push that button the window will open?"
"Yes," Mum said.
"Brilliant!" Matt grinned and pushed his hand onto the button. The moon roof slid back into the main part of the roof and sunlight flooded into the dark car. "Wow, that's like magic!" Matt shouted.
"It's electricity," Mum told him, "I suppose you could say that Muggles use it instead of magic."
"Like Muggle magic," Matt said.
"Yes, like Muggle magic," Mum laughed.
Mum seemed to have loosened up in the past week. She was laughing more and even spending less time in Dad's study. Dad still seemed stressed and exhausted, but Mum seemed so much happier. Probably because two schools had decided to let Matt attend. Either that or she just needed a holiday. We hadn't gone on holiday since the last time we visited Uncle Jack. My parents did travel a lot after Matt got bit in order to try and find cures, but that couldn't really be considered a holiday. Especially since they didn't let me go. I had to stay with Richard and Cinda. This was the longest we had ever gone without going on holiday. Or she was just happy that she was making progress with this whole moving thing. Maybe she was excited about it. Maybe she actually wanted to leave Australia. Even Dad seemed a bit happier that morning. Maybe he wanted to leave too. I guess I was the only one who really wanted to stay. Matt didn't seem to care one way or the other, but why should he? He hadn't started school or made any real friends. He was probably excited about moving as well since he couldn't go to school in Australia.
The ride to the airport seemed to take forever, although I knew that it was nothing compared to the plane trip to New York. Richard and Cinda dropped us off in the front and said goodbye.
We stepped through the doors and into the airport and I realized how much busier the place was than I had remembered. The Sydney airport was absolutely huge and overflowing with people. It amazed me that there could be so many people in the airport and the city of Sydney itself still filled with people.
I stood next to Dad while he and Mum stared around at the huge building. People were still rushing through the doors, muttering apologies as they bumped into us. Mum grabbed Matt's hand as Dad reached into his pocket and pulled out a map. I glanced over his shoulder and saw that it was a map of the airport. A map of the airport? It amazed me that Muggles would build such a big airport that a map would be required to navigate it.
"All right," Dad shouted over the noise after a few minutes of looking at the map, "We need to go to security first, then get our passports looked at, and then we'll be able to go to Terminal 16, which is where our flight should take off from. Oh, and first we've got to go collect our tickets."
I didn't have the slightest idea as to where we would do any of that. All I could see from where we were standing was a huge staircase that led up to what appeared to be a shopping mall. I guessed it was for people who had forgotten things and needed to buy new ones. Either that or buy something to eat if their plane got delayed. Beyond the staircase was a lounge area, where people were reading, sleeping, eating, or chasing little kids around.
There were also mobs of people to the left and right of us. So many people that I couldn't even see what was beyond them.
"This way," Dad shouted and headed to the left. I squeezed through the people and followed Mum, who was dragging Matt through the crowds. I was vaguely reminded of the time we visited Uncle Jack when I was only four. Matt hadn't even been born yet. Mum had bought this Muggle thing that was basically a leash for your kid. She put it on me when we were walking through the airport, but I hated it. So I decided to crawl around on all fours and bark like a dog. Mum's face turned beetroot red and she never put it on me again. She never tried it with Matt either. Although I was beginning to see why she had done it in the first place, seeing how crowded the airport was that day.
I weaved through the crowd, following Dad, Mum, and Matt, until we finally stopped at the end of a monstrously long line in front of a counter. I assumed that was where we were supposed to pick up our tickets.
The line seemed to be moving backwards. We must have been waiting in it for at least a half hour before we finally made it to the counter. I was about ready to scream out of boredom and Matt had been complaining for the past fifteen minutes.
A bored looking man, who looked to be in his middle or late twenties was standing behind the counter. "Name?" he asked monotonously.
"Walter Eckerton," Dad replied.
"Four tickets to New York? Three adults, one child? 10:50 am flight today?"
"Yes," Dad confirmed.
"Flight's delayed," the man replied, "Should leave around 11:30."
"Fine," Dad replied.
The man handed Dad a piece of paper and a pen. "Sign here, initial here, here, and here. Then sign here."
Dad did as he was told, paid for the tickets, and finally the man gave Dad four skinny pieces of paper that I recognized as plane tickets.
"Finally," Dad muttered as we stepped aside from the counter.
"I'm hungry," Matt whined.
"We'll get something to eat after we've been through security and the passport check," Dad replied, "Come on, follow me."
Joined: 28 December 2006
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Posted: Monday 21 July 2008 09 31 58 pm Post subject: Re: Chapter 7 - The Sorting Hat in topic:Chapter 7 - The Sorting Hat
Ah, a charm to make calories disappear. That would be awesome!
I much prefer Gryffindor, and also have a scarf and a beret. I'm usually sorted into Gryffindor with tests online. But I do get Hufflepuff as well as the occasional Ravenclaw. The only time I've gotten Slytherin is with Warner Brother's test and with theirs, the answers don't seem to matter in what results you get.
So much I want to say that I can't due to the fact that this thread is solely for PS/SS. *sighs*
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