Broomsticks And Owls

Harry Potter Forum

All times are UTC [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 137 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 6, 7, 8, 9, 10  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Monday 10 August 2009 6:19:33pm 
Offline
Fully Qualified Wizard
User avatar

Joined: Tuesday 7 October 2008 12:22:35am
Posts: 180
good chapter duckie


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Monday 24 August 2009 2:45:24am 
Offline
Ambassador to the Land of Ducks.
User avatar

Joined: Thursday 28 December 2006 6:45:34pm
Posts: 2538
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Thanks Wratha and hprocks! :grin:

I think I forgot to update last Sunday. Sorry about that!

Chapter 58: Detention

As the weeks progressed, I tried to keep Norlam's theory in mind. However, it was a bit difficult to become better friends with Victoire with Monica around. I soon realized that Victoire and I didn't study together just for the sake of studying. It was really the only time we could spend time with each other without Monica there. Monica seemed to have given up studying and Victoire told me that her grades showed it.

Occasionally Teddy and Landon would join us in the library, but when that happened neither of us got much studying done. Teddy wasn't really the studying type and could rarely study quietly for more than fifteen minutes.

The third Saturday in March was one of those days. All four of us were sitting at a table in the back of the library, surrounded by open books and parchment. Not much studying was being accomplished, though. Teddy had given up his essay a half hour ago and was currently explaining how the Gryffindor Quidditch team could lose their upcoming match against Ravenclaw and still win the Quidditch Cup. Not that we would lose, Teddy assured us, due to his brilliant Seeking skills.

Landon had given up studying as well. He was drawing up Quidditch plays, even though he wasn't actually on the team. I had begun to wonder how he had managed to become a Prefect. He wasn't very studious and he often joined in on the pranks Teddy pulled. The only reason I could think of was that the other fifth year Gryffindor boys were worse than he was. I didn't know them well, but if they were anything like Ted, my theory would be accurate.

Victoire was half-listening to Teddy and half-reading her History of Magic book. We had a test coming up soon in that class. I was also half reading my History of Magic book, but the rest of me was not focused on Teddy's Quidditch speech. The other half of my mind was very much focused on the full moon, which was the following evening.

“See?” Teddy announced, “We could lose the next match by a very wide margin and still win the Cup.”

“Very interesting,” Victoire laughed, “But the day you don't catch that Snitch is the day Professor Binns decides to retire.”

“Let's hope he doesn't catch the Snitch, then,” Landon grinned.

“If it meant Binns would leave, I would let the Ravenclaw Seeker catch the Snitch,” Teddy said.

“Only because we'd still win the Cup,” Landon smirked.

“True,” Teddy agreed, “Not even if it meant Binns would retire would I purposefully lose the Quidditch Cup.”

“Victoire!” someone shouted, earning them a 'shush!' from Madam Pince.

I looked up and groaned inwardly when I saw Monica walking over to the table. She did not look happy.

“Why Monica!” Teddy bowed deeply, “What has caused you to grace the library with your presence? Might I offer you a tour? The place may have changed since you were here last.”

“Very funny, Lupin,” Monica muttered, “I'm here to find Victoire.”

“Well, you found me,” Victoire said.

“Yeah, I did,” Monica replied, “And you're here with Eckerton. What in the name of Merlin possessed you to hang out with her? You know I can't stand her.”

“So what?” Victoire said, “I wanted to study and you never study anymore.”

“I just don't get why you seem to like her,” Monica said.

I was feeling steadily more uncomfortable. I glanced at Teddy and Landon. Landon looked uncomfortable and Teddy was glaring at Monica.

“I don't get why Victoire likes you, Monica,” Teddy chimed in, “I also don't get why you don't like Aussie.”

“I don't like you either, Lupin, and this isn't any of your business,” Monica growled, “And I don't like Eckerton because she thinks she knows everything.”

“I do not,” I glared at her, unable to keep my mouth shut any longer, “There are just certain topics that I know more about than you do.”

“You have all the facts wrong on those topics,” Monica put her hands down on the table and leaned into me.

“No, you do. What you think are facts are just your opinions. If we're talking about straight facts, I'm positive I know more than you,” I stared directly at her, not even afraid of what was going to happen.

“I read them in books, they're facts,” Monica said.

“Not everything you read is true, especially about this topic,” I seethed.

“What topic?” Teddy asked, looking quizzically from Monica to me.

“Werewolves,” Victoire told him, “You know Monica's opinion of them. Amy's is like yours. You can put it together from there.”

“Ah,” Teddy said, “Well, I'm on Aussie's side.”

“Of course you would be, Lupin,” Monica turned her head to glare at him, “You practically are a werewolf.”

“He is not,” Victoire groaned, “And so what if he was?”

“Then I wouldn't even be having this conversation,” Monica said, “Because I wouldn't want to be near him.”

“You know what, Monica?” Victoire said, “I was able to ignore the fact that you were a prejudiced git for nearly four years. But now, I'm not so sure if I can.”

“Fine,” Monica huffed, “All you do is study all the time anyway. You never want to have any fun.”

“That's because your fun involves getting older students to sneak firewhiskey into the castle for you and getting drunk in their dormitories,” Victoire retorted.

“It's called living a little,” Monica said, “Something you obviously never do.”

“I just live differently than you,” Victoire said as she rubbed her head, “Now can you just leave?”

“It's a free library,” Monica smirked.

“She said leave,” Teddy said sternly, using a tone I've never heard come out of his mouth.

“Oh, stay out of it!” Monica shouted, “Nobody asked you!”

“I'm asking him,” Victoire said.

Monica shouted something incomprehensible and pulled out her wand. Teddy had his out moments later and soon Monica hit Teddy with some sort of hex that caused purple pustules to appear on his face.

“What do you think you are doing?!” a very irate Madam Pince shouted as she came over to their table, “This is a library! All of you to your head of house's study now!”

Teddy and Monica immediately stowed their wands and Madam Pince escorted us to Professor Longbottom's study. I couldn't believe it. I hadn't even been dueling. My parents were going to kill me when they found out.

“Are these your students?” Madam Pince said as she burst into Longbottom's study without knocking, “They were shouting and dueling in the library!”

Professor Longbottom nodded and Madam Pince left, slamming the door behind her. I looked around the room. It was a mess and there was no place to sit, so I just stood next to Victoire and waited.

“Dueling in the library,” Longbottom repeated, “All of you?”

“Yes,” Monica said.

“Just Kramer and I,” Teddy replied.

“Mr. Comer?” Longbottom looked to Landon, the one who was supposed to be responsible.

“Just Teddy and Monica,” Landon replied, “But Victoire and Amy were shouting as well.”

“And you?” Longbottom asked.

“I was...involved,” Landon muttered, even though he hadn't really done anything.

“Ten points from Gryffindor for Miss Kramer and Mr. Lupin. Five points for Mr. Comer, Miss Weasley, and Miss Eckerton. Plus detention, tomorrow night,” Longbottom said, “Professor Slughorn needs more Luptaline Plant leaves for his potions cupboard. It can only be harvested on the full moon. Hagrid will accompany you into the forest to harvest it.”

“But-” Monica began.

“No butts,” Longbottom said as he began filling out forms, “You're lucky it's not something worse. I'm very disappointed in all five of you, especially you, Landon. You're a Prefect. I know you're not the most, well, disciplined, of Prefects, but you are supposed to be responsible and set a good example.”

Monica took off in the opposite direction as us as soon as Longbottom let us leave.

“Well, that could have been worse,” Teddy said.

“Worse?” I gaped, “We have to go into the bush at night and we'll probably get owls sent home.”

“Oh, we'll definitely get owls sent home. But going into the forest at night isn't bad. If Filch had been punishing us, we would have had four nights of cleaning various parts of the castle.”

I didn't know why I was sort of afraid of going into the bush. It was something I did all the time. Perhaps it was because it was at night and it was an unfamiliar bush. I didn't know my way around it. But more than that it was probably because of the full moon. My parents had drilled it into my head to not go outside when the full moon was out.

“Why'd you say you were involved, Landon?” I asked.

“It's what we do,” he clapped Teddy on the back, “Neither of us ever gets in trouble without the other. That way detention's never boring. Unless we're in separate detentions, which has happened.”

“The worst thing is that we have to do this with Monica,” Teddy said, “But after that we can ignore her for the rest of our lives. I've been waiting for this day for four years, Victoire. She's a real arse.”

“I know,” Victoire said quietly, “But she was my best friend for four years.”

I ate dinner with Teddy and Landon that night. Victoire disappeared into the dormitory after we returned from Professor Longbottom's study and didn't come out the entire evening. She skipped dinner. I wondered for a few minutes whether she was rekindling her friendship with Monica, but Monica returned to the common room well after curfew with a few of the older Gryffindors.

“Those girls are in my year and are just like Monica,” Teddy said to me as they walked past us, “Well, except for the hating werewolves thing. That's solely a Monica thing.”

******

I was up early the next day even though it was Sunday. Instead of going down to brekkie alone, I waited in the common room for Victoire, Teddy, and Landon. It was strange. I had never done that before, but I felt like I should.

Teddy and Landon came down first and waited with me for Victoire. She came down a little while later and we all went down to eat. Victoire was quiet the entire time.

Teddy announced afterwards that we shouldn't do any homework, but just lounge around and have fun all day since we had detention that night. That arrangement was fine by me because I was too distracted to do homework anyway.

We wound up in the Room of Requirement because the common room was packed. There had been a steady downpour of rain all morning and it hadn't let up, so everyone was stuck in the castle. I only hoped that it would stop by the time our detention began.

“So what's the plan, Ted?” Landon asked as he flopped down on one of the red couches in the room, “Pranks? Sneaking into Hogsmeade?”

“You sneak into Hogsmeade?” I asked.

“All the time,” Teddy grinned, “My godfather has a map that shows all the secret passageways out of the school. He won't let me have it, though.”

“Who's your godfather?” I asked.

“Harry Potter,” Teddy replied, “And his dad made the map along with my dad and two other blokes they were friends with in school.”

“That's pretty cool,” I said, very impressed.

“You gave me an idea,” Teddy said, “Let's play a game. Here's how it works. One of us asks another one of us a random question about them. Then the other two each guess what that person's answer will be. Then the person actually answers the question.”

“That sounds bloody confusing,” I replied, “And you three already know a lot about each other.”

“True, but it'll still be fun,” Teddy shrugged.

“We've got nothing better to do,” Victoire said.

“I guess,” I said.

“I'll start,” Teddy turned to me, “How big is Amy's family?”

“I'll guess that she's an only child but she's got about a million cousins,” Landon replied, which made me laugh.

“Hmm,” Victoire looked up at the ceiling as she thought, “I'll guess that you have a brother, a sister, and six cousins.”

“Neither of you are close to being right,” I smirked, “I've got one younger brother and no cousins.”

“None?” Victoire gaped, “Not even one?”

“Well, my dad's got a cousin, but that's it,” I said.

“Wow,” Victoire let out a low whistle, “I've got, let me count,” Victoire muttered to herself as she counted on her fingers, “Nineteen first cousins.”

“Merlin's pants,” I gasped, amazed that anyone could have that much family, “How do you keep track of them all?”

“We joke that my grandma's got a list of us all,” Victoire laughed.

“You know I don't have any cousins either,” Teddy pointed out.

“My cousins are practically your cousins,” Victoire said, “Do you have any aunts and uncles, Amy?”

“One uncle,” I answered, “My mum didn't have any siblings. Neither did her parents.”

“Wow, I can't even imagine that,” Victoire replied, “Anyway, your turn to ask a question.”

“Er,” I tried to think of a question. What was I supposed to ask them? “Victoire, what's your favorite holiday?”

“That's easy,” Teddy grinned, “Christmas.”

“Well, I won't bother guessing,” Landon laughed.

“Yeah, it's Christmas,” Victoire grinned, “My entire family crams into my grandparents' house and eat and play Quidditch in the snow. It's so much fun.”

“It is,” Teddy agreed, “Your turn, Victoire.”

“Landon,” Victoire smirked, “Why in the name of Merlin did Kendrick make you a Prefect?”

“Someone dared him to,” Teddy laughed.

“Landon paid him ten thousand Galleons,” I suggested.

“Nope,” Landon grinned, “It's because I am the most well behaved Gryffindor fifth year boy.”

“That doesn't bode well for your class,” Victoire said.

“I know,” Landon said, “My turn. Amy, how do you know so much about werewolves?”

I should have known it was coming. I should have just not agreed to play the game.

“She's got a fascination with them,” Landon replied.

“She's just smart,” Victoire said.

“Neither,” I shook my head, “My dad works for Werewolf Support Services.”

“Then you do know more than Monica,” Teddy said.

“Yeah, I kind of do,” I nodded. If only he knew the main reason. “So, Teddy, what do you want to do when you leave Hogwarts?”

“He wants to play professional Quidditch,” Victoire said immediately.

“He's got no idea,” Landon laughed.

“They're both right,” Teddy shrugged.

We continued playing the game for a few minutes, but then it got boring and everyone except Teddy agreed that they should do some homework. Teddy reluctantly agreed, but mostly goofed off while the rest of us worked.

My mind wandered while I worked on my homework and I only accomplished half of what I wanted to. I was nervous about going into the bush and about what my parents were going to say about it. I assumed Longbottom's owl had gotten to them, but they hadn't sent anything to me. They were probably too occupied with Matt, but I was guessing they'd mention something in their after-the-full-moon owl.

******

It was already dark when Victoire, Teddy, Landon, and I made our way down to Hagrid's hut after dinner. None of us had seen Monica, nor did we really care if she actually showed up. I was hoping she wouldn't.

Teddy knocked on Hagrid's door when we got there. Hagrid opened it and greeted us.

“'Ello, isn't there supposed to be five of yeh?” Hagrid asked.

“We have no idea where Kramer is,” Teddy shrugged.

“Well, we'll wait for her,” Hagrid said.

We waited ten minutes before she finally showed up. She completely ignored the rest of us and stood with her hands on her hips while Hagrid gave instructions.

“We're lookin' fer Luptaline Plants,” Hagrid began, “They only flower on the full moon, but it's the leaves that Professor Slughorn wants.”

Hagrid pulled a small plant out of one of the buckets he was holding and held it up. It looked like a small cluster of clover.

“They look just like clover, which is why we 'ave to harvest 'em on the full moon, when they flower,” Hagrid continued, “Now yeh each can take a bucket and harvest as many as yeh can in an hour. And we 'ave to stick together. I don' want any of yeh runnin' off by yerselves.”

That wouldn't be a problem for me. I grabbed a bucket and followed Hagrid into the bush.

It took about two minutes for me to figure out why they called it 'The Forbidden Forrest'. The place was nothing like the bush near my house in Australia or even the one near my house in England. It was dark, menacing, and every little noise sounded scary.

I didn't even think it was because of the fact that it was nighttime or even that there was a full moon. It was just a naturally scary bush. The trees were entwined with each other and their roots were occasionally a foot out of the ground. There were shadows running everywhere and owls hooting and other animals making noises.

We all lit our wands, but the bush seemed to suck up all the light and they barely lit up three feet in front of us. The only thing the wand light was good for was locating the Lupatine Plants.

They were fairly easy to locate because their flowers were the most brilliantly white flower I'd ever seen in my life. In fact, the only thing as brightly white I'd seen was the moon. I supposed that had something to do with why they only flowered during full moons.

“What are these things even used for?” Teddy asked as he pulled a clump of Lupatine out of the ground.

“All sorts of potions,” I replied, “They're in nearly every appearance changing potion, except for ones that give you animal like qualities. They're also in Wolfsbane potion and some other potions.”

“Whoa,” Teddy said, “Are you a potions genius, too?”

“I just like potions,” I shrugged, “And astronomy. But really, I'm not that good at Defense class. Just the dangerous creatures part of it.”

“Dangerous creatures,” Teddy mused as he looked up at the sky. You couldn't see the moon, though. The trees were too dense. “Watch this.”

Teddy set his bucket down on the ground and cupped his hands over his mouth. He turned to Monica, who was a few meters away, and howled.

Monica dropped her bucket and turned around. But Teddy had already bent down and it looked like he was busy harvesting plants.

“What was that?” Monica asked anxiously.

“'S nothin',” Hagrid assured her, “Jus' an animal.”

“Teddy, was that you?” Victoire whispered.

Teddy nodded and Landon had to cover his mouth to keep from laughing.

“I bet I can howl better than you can,” Landon said to Teddy.

“Bet you can't,” Teddy countered, “Howling's in my blood.”

Landon hid behind a tree and let out a low, pitiful howl. Monica jumped again and started looking around. Teddy and Landon could no longer contain their laughter.

“Shut up, both of you!” Monica shouted, which only made them laugh harder.

“Enough,” Hagrid said, “Yer in detention. Now get back to work.”

We worked quietly for a few more minutes. Monica was quite a distance away from us, but we could still see her. Hagrid was wandering around watching us, but not harvesting anything.

My bucket was about half-full when I heard another low howl. This one was much better than Landon's. I turned and looked at Teddy, who grinned back at me. Landon was silently laughing and Victoire was rolling her eyes. Teddy howled again, a little louder this time.

Monica jumped two feet in the air and took off running as if something was chasing her. I think she was trying to run out of the bush, but I had no idea if she was going in the right direction.

“Monica!” Hagrid shouted and then turned to us, “Stay here.”

Hagrid took off after Monica and we all looked at each other.

“I think you went too far,” Victoire said quietly, “She could run into trouble out there.”

“I didn't think she'd actually run away,” Teddy shrugged.

“Yeah, well, once is funny, but you took it too far,” Victoire said.

“You were laughing, too,” Teddy pointed out.

“Not during that last one,” Victoire said.

“She's a git, Victoire,” Teddy muttered.

“You think I don't know that?” Victoire shouted, “She's been nothing but rude to me this entire year, but before that she was my friend.”

“Just don't hang out with her anymore. She seems to like her other friends better anyway,” Teddy pointed out.

“It's not that easy,” Victoire groaned, “I share a dormitory with her.”

The conversation ended right there because Hagrid returned with Monica. It hadn't taken him long to find her, probably due to his ability to walk faster than she could run.

“All righ', tha's it,” Hagrid announced, “Yeh can go back to the castle now.”

We walked silently out of the bush and dropped the Lupatine plants off at Hagrid's hut. He walked us back up to the castle and Monica took off ahead of us as soon as we got inside.

Neither Teddy, Victoire, or Landon said a word as we walked up to Gryffindor Tower, so I didn't either.

“I'm going to the Room of Requirement,” Victoire muttered when we got to the seventh floor.

“Want me to come?” Teddy asked.

“No,” Victoire said, “But you can come, Amy.”

“Er, ok,” I said as I followed her to the Room. Teddy and Landon said goodbye and I heard Teddy mention something about 'girl stuff'.

Why Victoire wanted me of all people to go with her to the Room was beyond me. She'd known Teddy her entire life. Why wouldn't she want him to go? What did she even want to do there?

The Room as Victoire asked for it was simple yet elegant at the same time. It was kind of fancy, but not the showy fancy that Cinda liked. The Room was small and decorated in white and pale pink. Unfortunately, it reminded me of my room at Richard and Cinda's house. There was a pink plushy couch and a few pink chairs with a white table in the middle.

Victoire threw herself face down on the couch as soon as I had shut the door and burst out in tears. I stood awkwardly near the door with absolutely no idea as what to do.

I have never been the kind of person who could comfort someone else. It had been hard enough to comfort my mum over the summer, but comforting someone whom I had lived with for months but didn't really know? Now that was even harder.

“I d-don't know what t-to do,” Victoire sobbed, “She's b-been my b-best friend for three years.”

I sat down in one of the chairs, still unsure of what to do. Even when Olivia had been upset it had been difficult for me to know how to comfort her. Really, the only person I was actually good at comforting was Matt and that had only come about recently. I used to be horrible at comforting him.

Not only did I have no idea how to comfort people, I really didn't know what Victoire was going through. I had never had a huge fight with a friend before. Olivia and I rarely fought and when we did it was over minor stuff. Kenzie and I never fought.

“Well, people change,” I finally decided to say.

“I know,” Victoire wailed, “That's what's so bad! She's become a totally new person.”

“That just proves that it's her fault and not yours,” I shrugged.

“I just don't know what to do now,” Victoire said as she lifted her head up, “We were together all the time. When I think about it, she and Teddy are my only good friends.”

That sounded really familiar. “Well, in Australia, I had two really good friends. Olivia, my roommate. And Kenzie, a Muggle who lives near my grandparents. Now, Olivia rarely owls me and Kenzie's a Muggle, so it's hard to stay in contact with her.”

“Half the reason Monica and I became friends was because neither of us are that into Quidditch,” Victoire went on, “Samantha, Seren, and Alyssa are all obsessed with it. That's the reason Monica and I started hanging out, because the other three just talked about Quidditch. Hanging out with them is like hanging out with Teddy.”

“Olivia and I became friends because of a mutual dislike of the other girls in our year,” I explained. Suddenly, Victoire and I seemed to have a lot in common.

“But she hasn't owled you much?” Victoire asked as she sat up.

“No,” I sighed and moved onto the couch, “I guess it doesn't matter because we'd probably never see each other again anyway.”

“Why?” Victoire asked, “Don't you go back to Australia to visit your grandparents?”

“Yeah,” I said quietly, “But our parents don't get along at all. To the point of them not letting each of us go to each other's houses.”

“Wow,” Victoire gaped at me, “That's not good.”

“No, it's not,” I sighed. By some stroke of luck, Victoire didn't ask me why our parents didn't get along.

“We're sort of in the same boat, then,” Victoire pointed out.

“I guess we are,” I agreed.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Monday 24 August 2009 10:00:57pm 
Offline
Fully Qualified Wizard
User avatar

Joined: Tuesday 7 October 2008 12:22:35am
Posts: 180
good chapter duckie


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tuesday 25 August 2009 5:11:30am 
Offline
Fourth Year

Joined: Monday 3 August 2009 10:41:58am
Posts: 70
Location: New Zealand
Great chapter Duckie, I had a mild panic that you'd given up writing when you skipped last week, :grin:


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sunday 30 August 2009 4:47:40pm 
Offline
Ambassador to the Land of Ducks.
User avatar

Joined: Thursday 28 December 2006 6:45:34pm
Posts: 2538
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Thanks hprocks and Wratha! Nope, not going to stop writing! Well, I have actually finished writing this story, but there's more to post!

Chapter 59: Moaning Myrtle

“Victoire, Victoire, wake up!” I hissed as I nudged her arm.

I had woken up two minutes ago and realized we were still in the Room of Requirement. That and it was nine o'clock, which was when we were supposed to be in double potions.

“What is it?” she yawned.

“It's after nine o'clock,” I told her, “We're late for potions.”

“s**t!” she shouted and jumped off the pink couch.

We ran out of the Room as fast as we could and went back to Gryffindor Tower. It took us five minutes to change and grab our books before running all the way down to the dungeons. We skipped brekkie.

Everyone was already brewing when we slowly pushed open the door to the dungeon. Slughorn was at his desk.

“You two are late,” he announced as we walked in.

“Sorry, sir,” we said at the same time.

“We're brewing in pairs today, so you two can work together,” Slughorn told us, “And five points from Gryffindor for your tardiness.”

Victoire and I set to work at brewing that day's potion. Willinson was nowhere near us, so we didn't have to deal with his comments. It didn't seem to matter that we were late since the potion didn't need the entire two classes to simmer. Slughorn even pronounced it excellent when we handed in our flask at the end of class.

“That's probably the best I've ever done in potions,” Victoire said as we left, “I think I'll brew with you every class.”

“Then you can help me in Transfiguration,” I said.

“Sure,” Victoire said, “I just desperately need to do better in potions next year if I want to become a Healer.”

In the chaos that had been waking up late and nearly missing potions, I had completely forgotten about the full moon. It was the first time that had happened since before Matt was bitten. I was immediately reminded when Jasper showed up at lunch, however.

“Oh, he's a nice owl,” Victoire commented.

“Thanks,” I said, “He's my parents' owl.”

“Is that about the detention?” Victoire gestured to the letter.

“Probably,” I said as I put it in my robes, “I'll open it later.”

“At least you didn't get a howler,” Teddy said as he sat down, “You two missed it this morning. My gran sent it. She sends a mean howler.”

“I've never gotten one,” I said.

“Consider yourself lucky,” Teddy replied, “I get at least two every year. Once I got one from my gran and Victoire's grandma for the same thing.”

“Which is why I'm not depressed that I missed this one,” Victoire smirked, “I'm sure I'll get to see another soon.”

I opened the letter after classes were over. Victoire had to go talk to Slughorn about doing extra credit for potions, so I went to the Room and read the letter in private.

Dear Amy,

How is school? We miss you a lot.
Things are pretty much the same
at home. Nothing unusual happened
during the full moon.

We got a letter from Professor
Longbottom about you being disruptive
in the library. That's not like you.
We'll talk about it over the Easter
holiday.

Speaking of Easter, Uncle Jack was
able to get a few days off work and
he's going to come and visit. Write
soon and we'll see you in a month!

Love,
Mum, Dad, Matt, and Ellie


I grinned as I folded the letter up, despite the fact that my parents wanted to talk about the incident in the library. Uncle Jack was going to visit! He had never seen our house in England. The best part was that he was coming while I was home.

“Are your parents angry about the library thing?” Victoire asked when she returned with her extra credit.

“They want to talk about it over Easter,” I groaned.

“Oh, you're going home for Easter?” Victoire asked.

“Er, yeah,” I said, “Don't most people?”

“No,” Victoire shook her head, “Most of us just stay here and study for our exams.”

“Well, my uncle's coming to visit over the holiday, so I'm definitely coming home. He lives in New York and we don't see him a lot,” I explained.

“That'll be fun, then,” Victoire said.

******

Three months and five days. That was how long it had been since Olivia sent me a letter. Her owl showed up a week after the full moon and I dug through her old letters to find out exactly how long it had been.

I sat on my bed holding the letter in my hands, staring at it. Why had she waited three months to send me a letter? What made her send one now?

The door opened and Victoire walked into the room. “Want to go to the kitchens with me? I'm starved.”

I didn't reply. I had never been to the kitchens and on any other day I may have wanted to go.

“Amy?” Victoire asked, “Are you ok?”

“Olivia sent me a letter,” I said, “After three months of not sending one.”

“Have you opened it?” Victoire asked as she sat down on my bed.

I shook my head.

“Open it,” she said.

I nodded and started ripping the envelope open. I pulled the letter out and read it silently, not even caring if Victoire read it over my shoulder.

Amy,

I'm really sorry I haven't written
you back until now. I guess I just
got busy. Fifth year started a few
months ago. The amount of work is
insane.

How have you been? How is Hogwarts?
Are you still really behind in your
classes? I hope you made some new
friends. How's your brother doing?

I don't know exactly how to tell you
this, so I'm just going to say it.
Lisa is sharing my dorm with me now.
She and Carmen had this huge fight and
she asked for a dorm change this year.
They assigned her to our room.

I was really mad about it at first,
because I didn't want another roommate
ever. But she's honestly not that bad.
I think she was rude to us because of
Carmen.

I'm going to her house for Easter. I'll
try and let you know how it goes, but
I'll apologize in advance if I don't
send letters as often.

You'll always be my friend, but it's
just hard because we never see each
other. Even when you're in Australia
we can't see each other.

Your friend,
Olivia


I set the letter down on my bed and squeezed my eyes shut. Victoire put her hand on my shoulder, which told me that she had read the letter.

I should have known it was coming. How can two people stay best friends when they never see each other? Olivia would see Lisa all the time. They were now roommates like Olivia and I had once been.

Olivia was going to Lisa's house. After they'd been friends for three months. Olivia didn't go to my house until a little over a year ago.

“Do you want to write her back?” Victoire asked quietly.

“I'll do it later,” I stuffed the letter back into the envelope and put it in my trunk, “Show me the kitchens.”

Victoire nodded and we left Gryffindor Tower. She didn't say one word about the letter on our way to the kitchens, which I was grateful for. I didn't want to talk about it.

The kitchens were under the Great Hall, behind a large portrait of a bowl of fruit. All you had to do to get in was tickle the pear and a doorknob would appear.

“How do you know so much about the castle?” I asked.

“That map Teddy was talking about,” Victoire said, “And my aunts and uncles know more about this place than Kendrick probably does.”

I never found the kitchens in Australia, so I was amazed by the kitchens at Hogwarts. It was one very large room filled with tables, ovens, and more food than I had ever seen in my life. There were more House Elves than I had ever seen in my life and five of them ran up to us when we walked in.

“Can we get yous anything?” one of them asked.

“Chocolate cake,” Victoire said immediately and then looked at me.

“Anything I want?” I asked.

“Yep,” Victoire nodded.

“Chocolate ice cream with whipped cream,” I said.

The House Elves left and Victoire and I waited near the door.

“They just get you anything you want whenever you want?” I asked.

“Yeah,” Victoire said, “They love it when students come down here.”

“Is this against the rules?” I asked.

“I'm not even sure,” Victoire shrugged, “Everyone who knows where the kitchens are comes down here.”

One of the House Elves returned a few minutes later with a large slab of chocolate cake and a huge bowl of chocolate ice cream. We went up to the Room of Requirement to eat it and I imagined what Matt was going to think when I told him you could get chocolate cake and ice cream whenever you wanted at Hogwarts.

******

My friendship with Victoire reminded me of a potion that would refuse to boil for a half hour and then all of a sudden it would boil over the top of the cauldron. For months we had hardly said anything to each other and then all of a sudden, we did everything together. I soon learned that we really had a lot in common.

Our family lives couldn't have been anymore different, though. Victoire's family was loud, boisterous, and huge. I soon met all of her cousins that were at Hogwarts, although I'd never remember all of their names. In a way they all reminded me of Kenzie's family. Everyone looked after each other and I almost wished I had that many cousins. Or any first cousins, really.

Despite our familial differences, we really were quite alike. Both of us were very studious, even though we had subjects we were awful at. We could both sit in the library reading for hours without talking to anyone. Neither of us were really into Quidditch, although we both had brothers who loved it yet had no skill at it whatsoever.

I never mentioned Monica and Victoire never mentioned Olivia. I did write Olivia back, but didn't really expect her to write me again anytime soon. For some reason it didn't even bother me. I had been upset when her letter arrived, but it just didn't bother me anymore.

There was still the issue of me keeping secrets from Victoire, though. When the next full moon came, I tried as hard as I could to act normal and not make my worrying too obvious, but I wasn't sure if it worked.

It had been the second full moon in a row that I hadn't spent in the Hospital Wing helping Madam Pomfrey. I spent the evening studying with Victoire, Teddy, and Landon, and realized that I didn't want to go bottle potions.

Jasper turned up at lunch and it was then that I realized how hard it would be to keep Matt's lycanthropy a secret. Victoire and I spent every second of every day with each other, pretty much. I was going to have to sneak off to the toilet to read the letter.

“I'll meet you in Ancient Runes,” I told Victoire as I got up, “I've got to use the toilet.”

Victoire nodded and I left. There wasn't much time before Ancient Runes and I was going to have to use the second floor bathroom, which was closest to the Runes classroom. I hated that bathroom. It was always flooded. Actually, I hadn't actually used it yet because the water leaking out of the bottom of the door put me off from it.

The bathroom was flooded as usual and I shut myself in a stall to open the letter. It was very short. Mum just told me that Matt was ok and she'd see me in a few days when the Easter holiday started.

“Ooo, a letter!” A ghost of a very young girl flew through the stall door.

I shrieked. I shrieked like Monica had when Teddy howled during that detention.

The ghost laughed manically and flew up to the ceiling. She floated down until she was hovering right in front of me.

“Bad news?” she asked excitedly, “From home?”

“Er, no,” I said, my heart still pounding fast, “Very good news, actually.”

“Well, isn't that just lovely!” the ghost burst out in tears, “Everyone gloats about their good news in front of poor Myrtle! Poor Myrtle doesn't get good news! You want to know why? Because she's dead, that's why!”

The ghost (who I presumed was named Myrtle) soared up to the ceiling again and then plunged herself into the toilet.

“Er, well, I've got to get to class, then,” I said awkwardly as I left the stall and then ran out of the bathroom as fast as my soaking wet feet could take me.

Whenever I thought I was finally getting used to Hogwarts, something weird would happen. The ghost in the bathroom was a perfect example. Back to avoiding the place, I guessed. As it turned out, there was a better reason than a flood to avoid it.

“Did you know,” I whispered to Victoire as I slid into the seat next to hers in Ancient Runes, “That there is a mad ghost in the girls' bathroom on the second floor?”

Victoire laughed. “Oh, you mean Moaning Myrtle?”

“That's an understatement,” I rolled my eyes, “She started crying hysterically and plunged herself into the toilet because I told her my letter from home wasn't bad news.”

“That's normal for Myrtle,” Victoire replied, “She's obsessed with death. I mean, even for a ghost, she's obsessed with death. I try to avoid the place.”

“I will, too, from now on,” I said.

******

When Victoire said everyone stayed at Hogwarts over the Easter holidays, she meant it. There were probably around 15 people on the Hogwarts Express that Thursday. About half of them were first years and only two were older than me. None of them were students I recognized.

I got a compartment to myself, which wasn't all that difficult. It would have been harder to locate a compartment that had someone else in it, actually. The trip was relatively boring and I read for part of it and slept the rest.

Dad was the only one waiting for me on the platform when the train arrived in London. He was still wearing his work robes, so I figured he went straight to the station from the Ministry.

“Amy,” he gave me a hug, “I missed you.”

“Missed you, too,” I said and hugged him back. Dad grabbed my trunk and put his other arm around me and we Apparated home.

The house was quiet when we walked through the door. Dad dragged my trunk upstairs while I wandered into the kitchen. Mum and Ellie were cooking dinner and Matt was sitting at the island. He turned around when I came in and jumped off the stool. He ran towards me and threw his arms around me.

“Matt,” I picked him up and hugged him, “I missed you.”

“I'm glad you're back,” he said as I set him down on the stool, “Uncle Jack's coming on Saturday.”

“Oh, is he flying in that day?” I asked Mum.

“Yes,” Mum put down a wooden spoon and gave me a hug, “Welcome home.”

“So, what are we going to do while he's here?” I asked as I sat down next to Matt.

“We're going to a Chudley Cannons match!” Matt said excitedly.

“Seriously?” I raised my eyebrows at Mum. The Quidditch World Cup in Australia had been fun, but that was the World Cup. The Cannons were some random British team that apparently were really bad. Going to one of their matches wasn't exactly my idea of fun.

“Yes, we're all going,” Mum smiled, “Matt's been begging to go to one ever since you got him that jersey for Christmas. We figured we'd wait until you were home.”

“Thanks,” I rolled my eyes. Why had I gotten him that jersey again?

“It'll be fun,” Dad said as he walked into the kitchen, “They're playing some team called Puddlemere United.”

“If what I've heard is true, Puddlemere United is going to kill the Cannons,” I replied, “So don't bet any money on the Cannons winning.”

“No one's betting any money on anything,” Mum said as she set a large bowl of salad on the table.

My parents wanted to hear all about school during dinner, so I told them about Victoire, Teddy, and Landon. They looked very happy that I had managed to find friends, but neither of them mentioned my detention.

Matt and I played Exploding Snap while Mum and Dad cleaned up the kitchen, until Matt's face was covered in so much ash that Mum made him go wash it. Then Dad beat me in a few rounds of wizard's chess while Matt fell asleep on the couch. I guess he was still tired from the full moon.

After Dad carried Matt upstairs to bed, he and Mum sat down on the couch opposite from the chair I was sitting in and I could tell from the looks on their faces that they were going to bring up the detention.

“Amy, what happened?” Dad asked quietly.

“Remember that girl, Monica?” I sighed, “Well, I was studying with Victoire, Teddy, and Landon in the library....”

I told them the entire story. Monica's harsh statements to Victoire, Teddy and Monica's near duel, and the detention itself. Plus, I told them that Victoire and I really hadn't done anything besides yell a bit too loudly in the library. By the time I finished the story, my parents looked relieved.

“Just please try to ignore this Monica girl,” Mum sighed and shook her head.

“I do,” I replied, “And it'll be easier now that Victoire's not friends with her anymore.”

“And don't shout in the library anymore,” Dad said, “You know better than that.”

“I know,” I shrugged, “It's just hard to keep quiet when Monica starts talking. She knows how to get to me.”

Mum and Dad looked at each other. “We understand,” Dad said quietly. I was pretty sure both he and Mum were thinking about Ralph Lubar.

“I'm going to go upstairs,” I said, figuring the conversation was over, “Good night.”

My parents said good night back and I went upstairs to my room. I dug some pajamas out of my trunk and climbed into bed after I changed. It was kind of early to go to bed, so I read for a few hours before falling asleep.

I was asleep very quickly. Even though I was getting along well with most of my roommates, there was something comforting about sleeping in your own bed. Maybe it was the fact that I didn't have to put a silencing charm around it before drifting off to sleep. Or perhaps it was the solitude of being alone in my room. But I think it was more because I knew I was home, surrounded by the people who cared about me.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Monday 31 August 2009 3:44:39am 
Offline
Fully Qualified Wizard
User avatar

Joined: Tuesday 7 October 2008 12:22:35am
Posts: 180
great chapter duckie


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sunday 6 September 2009 6:24:22pm 
Offline
Ambassador to the Land of Ducks.
User avatar

Joined: Thursday 28 December 2006 6:45:34pm
Posts: 2538
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Thanks hprocks!

Chapter 60: Cannons Quidditch

The next day reminded me of the previous summer. Dad was at work and the rest of us spent the day at home, basically being lazy. I brewed potions and then Mum reluctantly let Matt go exploring in the bush with me. She didn't really need to worry. I knew my way around that bush and it was a warm day with hardly a cloud in the sky. Very strange for Britain. It reminded me of Australia.

Uncle Jack flew in very early on Saturday morning. By very early I mean that his plane arrived in London at 5:30. I went with Dad to meet him, but Mum and Matt stayed home. They were both asleep.

Mum was awake by the time we got back home around 6:30. We stopped in Diagon Alley to pick up muffins for brekkie. I had never seen Diagon Alley so empty before. It seemed like the ideal time to go grocery shopping.

“Now this is a house!” Jack announced as soon as he walked inside. He stood in the doorway looking around with a big grin on his face.

“I thought of you as soon as we first saw it,” Dad smirked.

“It's my kind of place,” Jack said as he walked into the living room.

“Jack,” Mum walked into the room, “How was your flight?”

“Same as usual,” Jack replied, “How have you been?”

Mum and Dad updated Jack on their lives as we walked into the kitchen. Dad set the muffins down on the table and we all settled down to eat.

“Are you liking Hogwarts any better now, Amy?” Uncle Jack asked me.

“Yeah,” I shrugged, “It's nothing like Australia, but I'm getting used to it. But I don't think I'll ever get used to watching Quidditch matches in the middle of blizzards. I don't know why Professor Kendrick doesn't just postpone them.”

“Probably because there just aren't enough Saturdays with good weather here during the Quidditch season,” Uncle Jack explained.

“I just hope it's warm when we go to that Cannons match this week,” I said.

We saved a few muffins for Matt and then gave Uncle Jack the grand tour of the house. He absolutely loved my new potions room and the big library upstairs. We stayed in there for a while because Uncle Jack wanted to browse through Dad's books.

“I didn't know you had half of these,” Jack said as he picked up one of the numerous books on lycanthropy.

“Feel free to borrow any of them,” Dad said, “I've read all of them anyway.”

“All of them?” Jack raised his eyebrows.

“All of the ones on lycanthropy,” Dad said quietly.

“You should write a book on lycanthropy,” Jack replied.

“I probably could,” Dad said.

Once we finished giving Uncle Jack the tour of the house, I played chess against him in the living room. He won every single match. That was one thing I liked about Uncle Jack; he never let me win anything. When I was younger, my parents always let me win games. Uncle Jack never did. He never let Matt win anything either.

“Uncle Jack!” Matt came running down the stairs a little while later. He promptly tripped over Uncle Jack's suitcase and landed on top of our chess board, much to the dismay of the chessmen.

“Careful,” Jack said as he pulled Matt onto his lap, “You all right?”

“Fine,” Matt shrugged, “When did you get here?”

“About three hours ago,” Uncle Jack replied.

“You should've woken me up,” Matt said.

“Your parents don't like it when people wake you up,” Uncle Jack told him.

“Want to go explore the bush?” Matt asked him, “Amy, do you want to?”

“Of course,” I grinned.

“You have to eat brekkie first,” Mum told Matt, “There's muffins in the kitchen.”

Matt decided to just eat his muffins as we were walking to the bush. The hours flew by while we were out there and we didn't return home until it began to sprinkle and it was time for lunch. I could've stayed out longer, though.

Uncle Jack is probably my favorite person to go exploring with. He knows so much random stuff about wildlife. Even in England, a place he has only visited and never lived before, he had so much to tell us about the plants and animals we saw.

One thing that I found really interesting was that you could brew a potion to negate the effects of poisonous snake venom with dandelion roots, maple leaves, and bark from a pine tree.

The whole weekend and beginning of the following week passed much like that day had. Matt, Uncle Jack, and I would go exploring everyday. Mum and Dad would occasionally join us. Jack introduced himself to the farmer who lived next door and they talked for quite a while about growing vegetables.

******

Matt was the first one up the day of the Chudley Cannons match. I couldn't remember the last time he had been the first one to wake up in the morning. I guess there was something about the anticipation of seeing Quidditch players clad in orange robes lose spectacularly to another team that caused one to not need a full night's sleep.

“Amy, wake up!”

“Huh?” I blinked and saw Matt, clad in his oversized Cannons jersey, with a big grin on his face. “What time is it?”

“Seven o'clock,” he replied.

“You're up,” I yawned, “Really early.”

“I know.”

“The match isn't until two,” I groaned.

“I know,” he said and then ran out of the room.

Despite the earliness, I was very happy to see him so excited. I honestly couldn't remember the last time I had seen him this excited about something and that was kind of sad. Maybe I didn't like Quidditch that much. Maybe the idea of watching Matt's new favorite team get their arses kicked didn't interest me. But I was going to pretend to be excited for Matt's sake.

Going back to bed was a fruitless effort, so I went downstairs and found that Mum and Dad were awake as well. They were both drinking cups of coffee while Matt rattled off Chudley Cannons statistics.

“And in 1972 they changed their motto to 'Let's just cross our fingers and hope for the best',” Matt said, “It used to be 'We shall conquer', but they hadn't won the league since 1892, and they still haven't.”

“Morning, Amy,” Dad said.

“Morning,” I replied as I dug through the cabinets for some cereal, “Uncle Jack still asleep?”

“Yeah, I couldn't get him up,” Matt shrugged.

“You get your ability to sleep through anything from him,” Dad smirked, “I used to shave off his eyebrows in his sleep when we were kids. He never once woke up while I did it.”

“Did you know that Dragomir Gorgovitch holds the record for most Quaffle drops in one season?” Matt asked, “He used to play for the Cannons.”

“That's not something to be proud of,” Dad laughed.

“I don't think he is,” Matt replied, “But he's famous for it.”

By the time afternoon arrived and it was time for the match, I knew more Chudley Cannons trivia than I ever cared to. Matt was still reading the trivia book out loud as we left the house and walked to the end of our property to Apparate. The only reprieve I got from his trivia reading was during the side-along Apparition. I went with Dad and Matt went with Uncle Jack.

The Quidditch pitch was located in Exmoor National Park, which I had never heard of before we got there. There were a lot of people Apparating nearby the pitch and most of them were clad in blue and gold. A very small, but boisterous, group was wearing bright orange. It appeared that there were far more Puddlemere United fans than Cudley Cannons fans.

There was a wizard taking tickets near the door to the pitch and Dad handed him all of ours. We followed the signs to the top level of stands and located our seats. They were very good. With Quidditch, it's best to be higher up in the stands. Then you don't have to crane your neck to see what's going on.

We were surrounded by Puddlemere United fans. A fair few of them had painted their faces blue and gold and all of them were wearing jerseys. My family looked quite out of place. Matt because of his Cannons jersey and the rest of us because of our lack of jerseys.

“Welcome to the Puddlemere United versus Chudley Cannons match at the Exmoor pitch!” a wizard announced, “The match will commence shortly. Please find your seats.”

Five minutes later, the wizard was back to commentating. “The teams have walked out onto the pitch! Captain Spencer Wilson of Puddlemere United is shaking hands with Captain Francis Piedmont of the Chudley Cannons. The teams mount their brooms, and they're off!”

I watched as all fourteen players flew into the air. One of the Puddlemere players took immediate possession of the Quaffle and scored a goal within two minutes.

The Puddlemere fans sitting near us jumped up and started shouting and high-fiving each other. Puddlemere scored three goals shortly after and they performed the same ritual after each goal.

“Damorofitz of the Cannons is in possession!” the commentator shouted, “Oh, and he dropped it.”

I glanced over at Matt and saw that he was paying rapt attention. He didn't look that disappointed for someone whose team was losing 0-50.

This Quidditch match was unlike any I had seen before. Most of the Quidditch matches I'd been to had been at school. The main difference was that I was pretty sure the Chudley Cannons were worse than any of the teams at Hogwarts or Australia. I had never seen such an awful Quidditch team before. It was kind of weird that any of the players had made it to professional Quidditch, due to their apparent lack of skill.

“Damorofitz has hold of the Quaffle again!” the commentator said, “And he's flying down the pitch. And he's still flying down the pitch! Merlin, he's done it! Damorofitz of the Chudley Cannons has scored their first goal of the match.”

Matt started jumping up and down and cheering. The Puddlemere fans looked at him and smiled. I overheard the one who was sitting next to me say how adorable he was. I could sort of see why. He was the only one in our general vicinity rooting for the Cannons (well, the rest of my family was, but not nearly as vigorously as Matt was) and he was wearing a very oversized jersey. Plus, before the match started, he had asked Uncle Jack to write 'Go Cannons' on his forehead in orange marker.

“If they catch the Snitch, they'll win!” Matt said excitedly.

The Puddlemere fans stifled their laughs and we all got back to watching the match.

“Puddlemere is in possession,” the commentator went on, “They are passing the Quaffle faster than the Cannons can keep up. And, oh! Beater Loyd of the Cannons has somehow managed to hit a Bludger at himself. Seeker Biner has managed to catch him as he fell off his broom. Well, now we know Biner can catch something, even if it's not the Snitch. Medi-wizards have ran onto the field to assist Loyd. Looks like the Cannons will have to bring in a reserve beater.”

It soon became apparent that the Cannons' reserve beater couldn't hit Bludgers at anything, not even himself. Every time he swung his bat, he would nearly fall off his broom.

The Cannons did manage to score a few more goals during the first half hour of the match, bringing the score to 100-30 Puddlemere. Matt cheered loudly every time the Cannons scored, earning him more of those grins adults give children when they're being cute from the Puddlemere fans.

“Seeker Avon of Puddlemere is now flying straight towards the middle of the Cannons goal posts!” the commentator said, “And Seeker Biner did some sort of turn around move, not sure what that was, and is now trying to follow Avon. Ouch! Bludger to the stomach for Biner. That must hurt.”

Avon made it to the goal posts and pulled up with his hand clamped around what must have been the Snitch. All the Puddlemere fans stood up and started cheering. I stood up just to see what was going on. Uncle Jack lifted Matt up to see what was going on.

“Avon has caught the Snitch! Puddlmere wins 260-30!”

Medi-wizards were once again flocking the pitch and I saw them carry Biner away on a stretcher. Two of the Cannons' players had been injured in one match.

“So, you're a Cannons fan?” the witch sitting next to me asked Matt.

“Yeah,” he nodded.

“Well, better luck next time,” she smiled and then went back to cheering with everyone else.

It took us a while to leave the stands, but eventually we found our way back into the park.

“How did you like the match?” Dad asked Matt.

“It was brilliant!” Matt said, “I mean, it's not brilliant that the Cannons lost, but it was still fun. I didn't really expect them to win. They just need some new players. They would've won if their Seeker was better.”

And their Keeper, Beaters, and Chasers, I thought. It was nice that Matt was so optimistic about it. He could have been their spokesperson for their motto. If there was anyone who was crossing his fingers and hoping for the best, it was Matt.

We went to Diagon Alley because my parents needed to do some shopping and then we had dinner at the Leaky Cauldron because Uncle Jack really liked that place. I did, too, and we didn't eat there nearly as often as I would've liked. Hannah Longbottom, makes the best sandwiches I've ever had in my life.

“How much more school do you have?” Matt asked me as he ate his bacon sandwich.

“A little less than two months, I think,” I replied.

“I hope it goes by fast because Mum never lets me go exploring in the bush by myself,” Matt said.

“We can go exploring all the time in the summer,” I told him, “What are we going to do this summer anyway? Can we go on a holiday?”

“Possibly,” Dad shrugged, “We haven't really been on a proper holiday in a few years.”

That was for sure. The only times we had traveled recently was to look at houses.

After we went back home we played a few rounds of Gobstones before Matt went to bed. Then I read in the living room while listening to Mum, Dad, and Uncle Jack's conversation.

“We should go to more Quidditch matches,” Mum said, “I haven't seen Matt that happy in months.”

“It was definitely a success,” Dad agreed, “If we had done that nine months ago, he would've spent the whole time too scared to watch.”

“He's changed so much since I last saw him,” Uncle Jack commented.

“We owe it all to Healer Norlam,” Dad said, “The man can work miracles.”

“It's you two as well,” Jack said, “You never give yourselves enough credit.”

“Perhaps,” Dad mused, “But we really couldn't have done it without Norlam.”

I hadn't really thought about it until my parents brought it up, but Matt really was a lot different. He hadn't been afraid of anyone at that Quidditch match and it had been very crowded.

“He'll never get completely over it, though,” Dad said quietly, “He'll never be the same.”

“Of course not,” Uncle Jack agreed, “People never stay the same. None of us are the same as we were when we were eight. Our experiences change us.”

“He's had experiences I wish he'd never had,” Dad sighed.

“I wish he hadn't, either, but we can't change the past. I'm not entirely convinced horrible experiences are bad for us, either. They make us appreciate the good times. Of course, I'd give anything to change the past so that Matt didn't have to go through all of that.”

“You've always been the optimist,” Dad said, “You see the good in everything.”

“I try,” Uncle Jack shrugged.

The room lapsed into comfortable silence and I got absorbed in my book once again. I went to bed a little while later and dreamt that Matt was the Chudley Cannons Seeker. And that his clumsy self was the best player on the team.

******

The remainder of the holiday went by fast. I brewed potions with Uncle Jack while Matt begged my parents to let him join us. That was one thing they were still very overprotective with, him brewing potions. They refused to let him brew with me before he had potions class at Hogwarts. I was kind of happy about that because as much as I liked spending time with Matt now, I liked being able to brew alone.

Mum, Dad, and Uncle Jack went out to dinner one evening without Matt and I because they needed 'adult time'. That was a sign that Mum thought I was mature because she had never let Matt stay home alone with me in the evenings before.

Uncle Jack flew back to New York on Saturday, the day before I went back to Hogwarts. We all went to the airport to see him off. His visit had gone by fast and I was sad to see him leave. He didn't know when he'd next be able to visit.

Everyone went with me to King's Cross the next day s well. I wasn't really that sad about going back to Hogwarts. I would miss my family, but there was less than two months of school left and I was looking forward to seeing Victoire again.

I spent the entire train ride doing the homework I had neglected to do over the holiday. One thing I wasn't looking forward to about going back to school was the fact that exams were coming up. I had yet to hear anything good about Hogwarts end of the year exams.

It was already dark by the time the train pulled into Hogsmeade. I climbed into one of the four carriages along with three students I didn't know. We arrived at the castle just in time for dinner and I squeezed in between Victoire and Landon at the Gryffindor table.

“How was your holiday?” Victoire asked.

“Fun,” I grinned, “My uncle was there for a week and we went to a Chudley Cannons match.”

Teddy and Landon burst out laughing. Teddy started coughing and turned red as he caught his breath. Then they both looked at each other and laughed some more.

“What?” I asked.

“How badly did they lose?” Teddy smirked.

“50-260,” I replied.

“Not so bad, then,” Teddy said, “50 points in a match, that's not bad for the Cannons. But why in the name of Merlin did you go to one of their matches? Do you support them? I know you're new to British Quidditch and all, but there are so much better teams out there.”

“Matt supports them,” I answered, “I got him a Cannons jersey for Christmas and he's been obsessed with them ever since.”

“Why a Cannons jersey?” Landon asked.

“They're the underdog,” I shrugged, “And my brother's always kind of been an underdog. I thought it was appropriate.”

“Wow, another Cannons fan,” Victoire sighed, “My Uncle Ron will be excited about this. He's the world's biggest Cannons fan.”

The rest of dinner was spent with Teddy and Landon explaining the details of all the British Quidditch teams, which to be honest, was not that interesting. The only interesting bit of information they told me was that one of the Montrose Magpies' current Chasers played for the Cannons for a year before joining the Magpies. Apparently she was the best player the Cannons had had in decades.

Victoire and I stayed up late talking about everything except Quidditch. By the time I crawled into my four-poster bed I was very content. I realized that it was the first time I went to bed completely happy and calm at Hogwarts. And that was a nice feeling.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wednesday 9 September 2009 12:18:58am 
Offline
Fully Qualified Wizard
User avatar

Joined: Tuesday 7 October 2008 12:22:35am
Posts: 180
great chapter duckie


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wednesday 9 September 2009 5:40:26am 
Offline
Fourth Year

Joined: Monday 3 August 2009 10:41:58am
Posts: 70
Location: New Zealand
Nice chapter Duckie :D


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Monday 14 September 2009 1:40:09am 
Offline
Ambassador to the Land of Ducks.
User avatar

Joined: Thursday 28 December 2006 6:45:34pm
Posts: 2538
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Thanks hprocks and Wratha! :grin:

Chapter 61: An Interesting Combination

Once May arrived, the exams seemed so much closer. Victoire and I threw ourselves into our studies. I tutored her in potions and she tutored me in transfiguration. We spent hours upon hours in the library, only leaving to eat and sleep. Teddy and Landon joined us most of the time since they had O.W.L.s to study for. Victoire told me that it was the only time she'd really seen Teddy study.

“Still studying?” Victoire asked Teddy as we sat down at the table he and Landon were at in the common room. We had been at the library for a few hours.

“Nah,” Teddy shook his head, “Took a break in order to figure out what we want to do with our lives.”

“Longbottom's giving us career advice this week,” Landon gestured to a pile of pamphlets that littered the table.

“Oh, and are you going to train security trolls?” Victoire laughed as she pointed to the pamphlet Teddy was holding.

“Anything's a possibility at this point,” Teddy shrugged, “I have no idea what I want to do with my life.”

“What about you, Landon?” Victoire asked.

Landon was holding four pamphlets and trying to read them all at the same time. “No idea.”

“How can they expect us to figure out what we want to do when we're already worried about our O.W.L.s?” Teddy groaned and threw the troll pamphlet on the table.

“You, Theodore Remus Lupin, are worried about a test?” Victoire laughed.

“Possibly,” Teddy muttered.

I picked up a few pamphlets and started looking through them. There were pamphlets for just about every department in the Ministry, including the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts office. Then there was one for wizard lawyers, business, and at the bottom of the stack was one about healing.

The pamphlet was entitled, 'What You Need To Know About Healing'. I opened it up and started reading it.

Do you like helping people? Does blood not make you
queasy? Are you good at potions? If yes, then a
career in healing might be for you!

There are many fields one can get into in healing,
including research. Training involves four years
of study at St. Mungo's, with the last two years
spent in one area of expertise you are interested
in.


There was then a very long list of the O.W.L.s and N.E.W.T.s that were required. I turned to the last page of the pamphlet, which listed a bunch of famous healers. One of the last names on the list hit me like a bludger to the stomach.

Damocles Belby (1949-)- Healer Damocles Belby invented the Wolfsbane Potion in 1989. The potion changed the lives of many werewolves by allowing them to keep their minds while transforming. Belby received the Order of Merlin for his discovery.

I really don't know why it shocked me. Of course it had been a Healer who invented Wolfsbane Potion. Who else would have done it? I hadn't really thought much about it before. It would probably be a Healer who found a variation of it that would work for Matt.

My mind started racing. What if I became a Healer? I hadn't given a second thought to what I wanted to do with my life. Honestly, I had just wanted to get through this first year at Hogwarts. But now that year was almost over.... I would be a fifth year very soon.

Healing made sense. I loved potions. I'd already spent a good portion of my life in various hospitals. What if I could become a Healer? What if... I swallowed hard. What if I could create a new Wolfsbane Potion?

Potions and Astronomy, interesting combination. The words both Healer Norlam and Madam Pomfrey had said months ago hit me. I had had no idea what they meant by it at the time, but now I knew. It was so obvious! If someone was going to create a new version of Wolfsbane, they would need extensive knowledge of both Potions and Astronomy! Plus a good background on werewolves.

“Amy, are you all right?” Victoire asked, “You look like you've been stupefied.”

I jumped at the sound of her voice. I had forgotten that I was in the crowded common room. “I'm fine, I just, I have to go. I'll be back later.”

I ran out of the common room with the pamphlet before Victoire could say anything else. There was only one person in the school I could completely explain this to. I could tell Victoire I had decided to become a Healer, but I couldn't tell her why. The only person I could fully explain it to was Madam Pomfrey.

The Head Girl (a Hufflepuff who thinks rules are the greatest things in the world) yelled at me while I was running to the Hospital Wing, but I ignored her. Luckily she got distracted by a second year who was throwing a Quaffle at another second year and didn't pursue me.

Madam Pomfrey was busy with a student whose hair was growing at an alarming rate when I burst into the ward. I stood impatiently next to one of the beds while the nurse charmed the boy's hair back to normal.

“Are you all right, Amy?” Madam Pomfrey asked once the boy left, “You look a bit flushed.”

“It's because I ran here from Gryffindor Tower,” I explained, “I need to talk to you, in private.”

She nodded and lead me to her study. I started pacing around as soon as she shut the door and sat down in a chair.

“Is something wrong?” she asked concernedly.

“No,” I shook my head, “The fifth years have career advice this week and there were a bunch of pamphlets in the common room and I found this one,” I handed her the Healing pamphlet.

Madam Pomfrey looked at it and then smiled knowingly. “Ah, I never wondered if you would ever come talk to me about this. I wondered when.”

“You knew I would think about becoming a Healer?” I asked.

“Potions and Astronomy is a very interesting combination,” she said.

“It is, and I know what you meant by that now,” I said quietly.

“I've gotten the impression that you're very interested in healing. You always want to help me with potions,” she explained.

“I know and I've been thinking and I know it probably sounds mad and I know I shouldn't plan on doing it, but I really want to try and I think I might be able to,” I took a breath, “I want to find a new version of the Wolfsbane Potion. One that will work for Matt. If Sterling's study doesn't work.”

“That's quite the ambition,” Madam Pomfrey said, “I know I should not get your hopes up for such ambitions, but I do believe you have the right combination of abilities to accomplish it.”

“That's what I thought,” I said quietly, “If anyone's going to do this it's going to be someone who has knowledge in potions, astronomy, and knows a lot about werewolves.”

“It's not only that. You have the drive to do it. You have a reason to work hard at this. You have the right motivations. You would not be doing it for fame or fortune. You would be working at this for very unselfish reasons, and I do believe that is helpful in this sort of thing,” Madam Pomfrey elaborated.

I hadn't even thought about that, but it was true. Fame had never crossed my mind. All I wanted to do was make life easier for my brother and others like him.

“I think what you will be looking to get into with this sort of thing is research,” Madam Pomfrey went on, “However, you can't just be a research Healer from the start. You have to start out working in the hospital or setting up your own practice.”

“I want to work in the Creature-Induced Injury ward,” I said immediately, “Even when I'm researching, I want to work there.”

“As much as I believe you would make an excellent Healer, I want you to remember to keep your options open. You're only fifteen. You do not have to decide this yet,” Madam Pomfrey said.

“I won't change my mind,” I replied.

“I do not doubt that,” Madam Pomfrey said, “I am going to give you a bunch of information on the field of Healing, as well as a few career tests. I think you should take them. I know you have decided on Healing, but I want you to be aware of other options.”

Madam Pomfrey got up and started rummaging around in her filing cabinets. She handed me a very large stack of booklets and papers. They looked much more detailed than the pamphlet I had read in the common room.

“Feel free to ask me any questions,” Madam Pomfrey said.

I nodded. “Thanks.”

I said goodbye and then left the ward with my stack of booklets. I went straight to the Room of Requirement. There was still an hour left until curfew; plenty of time to get through some of the reading.

I turned the Room into my room from my house in Australia, just out of habit. I wasn't really homesick for Australia anymore.

The booklets were really interesting. Apparently there was a lot you could do in the field of Healing. You could be a nurse, a Medi-Wizard, or a Healer. Then there were different types of Healers. Healers who specialized in spell damage, creature-induced injuries, surgery, pediatrics, pregnancy, psychiatry, and psychology.

Then there were research opportunities in all of the different fields. The way it seemed to work was that you would work as a research assistant for a Healer who was already doing research and then either take over their research when they retired or branch out into your own research. It seemed rare that anyone would start out on their own, though.

That was reasonable. I could do that. I would train with Healer Sterling and then work in the Creature-Induced Injury ward at St. Mungo's. I could be his research assistant and then do my own research.

It was strange to plan out my entire life like that. I had never been one for planning. Usually I just took things as they came, never really thinking much about the future. Deciding on a career was pretty much the definition of planning. I was deciding what I wanted to devote my life to. I really couldn't think of anything else I'd rather do than Healing.

I did take Madam Pomfrey's career tests, just to appease her. I got the answer of 'Healer' on every single one. On the ones that were about which type of Healer I should become, I got 'Potions Researcher'. Every time. There was no variation.

I heard the door open and I jumped. How could other people get in the Room while I was there? It was only Victoire, luckily.

“Amy?” Victoire asked, “Have you been in here the whole time?”

“Erm, I went to see Madam Pomfrey first and then came here,” I told her, “How did you get in here?”

“The Room can sense if you want other people to be able to find you. You must have wanted me to be able to get in here,” Victoire explained, “But are you ok? You looked kind of funny in the common room.”

“I, I think I just figured out what I want to do with my life,” I said quietly.

“Really?” Victoire said as she walked over to me, “Teddy and Landon will be jealous. What did you decide?”

“I'm going to become a Healer,” I said, not elaborating on the research part. I didn't think I could explain that without giving away the fact that Matt was a werewolf.

“Really? That's great!” Victoire grinned, “We can train together. What made you decide?”

“I was just looking through the pamphlet about it and then I went to talk to Madam Pomfrey and she gave me all this other stuff,” I gestured to the multitude of booklets, “And I think it's really what I want to do.”

“It's almost curfew,” Victoire told me, “We should go back to the common room. I'm sure Teddy and Landon will want to know about your career decision.”

Teddy and Landon had both made career decisions by the time we got back to the common room. Teddy had decided to become a professional Quidditch player and Landon wanted to be a professional student. I was pretty sure he wanted to do that in order to put off his real career decision, not because he liked studying.

“Amy's got a career announcement to make,” Victoire said after Teddy and Landon told me about their ambitious aspirations.

“I'm going to become a Healer,” I told them.

“Great,” Teddy rolled his eyes, “Both the fourth years know what they want to do but we don't.”

“I think it's great,” Landon said, “Because you'll have two friends who are Healers and they can heal you when you get injured during professional Quidditch matches.”

“Very funny,” Teddy said flatly.

We stayed up a while later talking about Teddy and Landon's careers (or lack thereof) and then went to bed. I laid awake for hours. I just couldn't sleep. It was weird how that one pamphlet had changed the course of my life. Ok, so maybe that was a bit dramatic. Chances are I would have thought of becoming a Healer eventually.

I couldn't shake the feeling that I was going to go places as a Healer. I had heard of other people getting these weird feelings about stuff that they knew was going to happen, and then it really did happen. It wasn't exactly divination, but more like intuition. I had never had that feeling before, but I had it now. My research would lead somewhere. I could do it. I was going to find that new Wolfsbane Potion.

*******

After Double Potions the next day, I went to the Hospital Wing to show Madam Pomfrey my career test results. I waited until she was done giving a potion out to a Ravenclaw and then dropped the pile of results onto her desk.

“Healer,” I said, “All of them said I should be a Healer.”

“All of them?” Madam Pomfrey said as she picked up the stack, “That almost never happens. There's usually some variation...”

“There wasn't,” I said, “Every single one said Healer.”

Madam Pomfrey leafed through the stack of career tests and then looked at me. “All right, then. You can still do other things, though.”

“I don't want to do anything else,” I sighed. I wasn't sure why she kept telling me that. Was it really a bad thing that I knew what I wanted to do with my life?

“I will do whatever I can to help you, then,” Madam Pomfrey replied, “But you'd best be off to lunch before you run out of time.”

“Thanks,” I said. I took my stack of papers and left the Hospital Wing.

Teddy and Landon had their career advice meetings the next day. Victoire and I didn't get a chance to find out how either of them went until after dinner.

“How were your career meetings?” Victoire asked as we settled down for an evening of studying in the common room.

“The only good thing about it was that I got to miss part of History of Magic,” Teddy muttered.

“Same here, only it was Transfiguration that I got to miss,” Landon added.

Victoire and I looked at each other and smirked. “Well, what happened?” Victoire asked.

“Longbottom wasn't impressed with my idea to become a professional Quidditch player,” Teddy explained, “He said that I was a good Seeker, but that I shouldn't plan on actually playing professionally. And then he gave me a bunch of ideas, but I have no idea what I actually want to do.”

“Well, you have a few years to think about it,” I said.

“That's what I keep saying,” Teddy groaned.

“Well, you do have to choose your classes for next year,” Victoire pointed out, “And you're supposed to choose ones that you'll need for whatever career you want.”

“It's too early to figure that out,” Teddy muttered.

“And what about you, Landon?” Victoire asked.

“Longbottom didn't like my idea of being a professional student. So I told him I'd work in the Ministry, even though I don't really know if I want to do that. Then he gave me a bunch of pamphlets about the Ministry,” Landon told them.

“You know, Longbottom's a good teacher and an nice bloke, but he's kind of uptight about careers,” Teddy said, “I don't get it.”

“I think he just doesn't want us to waste our potential,” Victoire shrugged.

“He's going to love you two next year,” Landon rolled his eyes, “You'll just walk in, tell him you want to be Healers, and that'll be it.”

*******

I didn't owl my parents about my career choice. I'm not exactly sure why. It was the sort of thing they'd want to know about and probably be pretty excited about. I guess I just wanted to wait until I was home.

The next full moon came and I snuck away to open the letter from my parents. I didn't go to Moaning Myrtle's bathroom, though. Matt hadn't been anymore injured than usual. There was only one full moon left in the school year.

Before I knew it, exams were upon us. I wasn't exactly sure where the month of May had gone, but it must have disappeared in a whirlwind of studying. Hogwarts had taken a small break from studying for the Quidditch final, which was between Gryffindor and Hufflepuff. Gryffindor won, which provided us with a much needed excuse to not study for a whole evening.

However, that only lasted one evening and then it was back to the books. Studying was only interrupted by Teddy and Landon's complaining about how much they had to re-learn.

Teddy and Landon began their O.W.L.s a week before Victoire and I began our regular exams. Neither of them cared to listen to us complain about our exams since theirs were apparently more grueling.

Exams were over the day of the June full moon. Victoire and I walked around the lake afterwards, enjoying the unusual sunny day.

“I can't believe fourth year is over,” Victoire said.

“Me either,” I agreed, “I was dreading coming here and now I love it.”

“Weird, isn't it? Amazing how one year can change so much,” Victoire mused.

I nodded. A year can change your life. So can one night. “I never thought I'd say this, but I am really glad we moved here.”

“I'm glad you did too,” Victoire agreed.

“Hey, Aussie!” Teddy shouted from behind us, “Victoire!”

We turned around and saw Teddy and Landon running to catch up with us.

“Last O.W.L. is finished! Teddy shouted.

“Congratulations,” Victoire and I said.

We continued walking around the lake until it was time for dinner. We didn't really do anything; just walked around. It was fun. It reminded me a lot of what I did in Australia with Olivia, only somehow different. Not a bad different, either.

I stayed up later that night than I had in weeks. Without anymore exams, we didn't have to worry about sleeping until noon the next day. The entire Gryffindor common room was in a party-like state much like that of the one following the Quidditch final.

I woke up the next morning to Jasper pecking me on the foot. I sat up and took the letter he had attached to his leg and he flew off. The dormitory was very quiet. I listened for a few more seconds and then carefully opened the letter. It looked like I wasn't going to have to sneak off to read this month's letter.

The letter was much like the ones I had been receiving all year. Matt was ok, but it would take a few days for him to be completely better. Last full moon of the school year. I would be home for the next one. I wondered where my parents would ship me off to this summer.

My curtains rustled and I looked up and saw Victoire's head peeking in between them. I quickly shoved the letter into its envelope. Victoire pulled the curtains open a bit more and then sat down on my bed.

“Who's that from?” she asked.

“Er, my parents,” I replied.

Victoire took a deep breath. “Ok, I've been wondering this for a while and I'm just going to ask. Every time you get a letter from your parents, you look all worried and half the time you run off to read it alone. Like the time you went to Myrtle's bathroom. Then after you read it, you're perfectly fine. Why?”

I sighed. I had had such an easier time sneaking off to read letters in Australia. Olivia didn't really suspect anything.

“It's my brother,” I said quietly, “He, er, gets sick a lot. And every time he does, my parents send me a letter to tell me. Usually he gets better pretty quickly, but sometimes he has to go to the hospital.”

“Oh,” Victoire said, “Is that why you want to be a Healer?”

“Yeah, mostly,” I said.

“Erm, is he ok?” Victoire asked.

I nodded. “He'll be fine in a few days.”

“That's good,” Victoire replied, “Want to go get breakfast,” she looked at the clock, “Er, lunch?”

******

“Your exam grades are excellent,” Healer Norlam smiled at me the following week, “I want to congratulate you.”

“Thanks,” I smiled.

Mostly thanks to Victoire's tutoring, I managed to pass everything. I got a perfect score in both Potions and Astronomy, did decently in Herbology, Ancient Runes, Defense Against the Dark Arts, and Care of Magical Creatures, and squeaked by in Transfiguration and History of Magic.

“I'm not only talking about your grades, either,” Norlam went on, “You really seem to have adjusted to Hogwarts well. How do you feel about it?”

“I'm glad we moved here,” I said, “I honestly am now.”

“Which is more than your parents were ever hoping for,” Norlam chuckled, “Have you told them of your career aspirations yet?”

“No,” I shook my head, “I want to tell them after I go home.”

“I think they'll be very proud of you,” Norlam said, “Now I want to talk to you about something. When your parents arranged for you to meet with me, we never discussed whether it would continue after the year was up. What do you think?”

I had never really thought of whether I would see Norlam after the year was over. He was nice and I liked talking to him, but there were other things I wanted to do.

“Well, honestly, I'd rather just spend time with my friends next year...” I said.

Norlam smiled. “And that is how I know I've done my job and we don't have to do this anymore. Unless you want to, of course.”

“I don't think I really need to,” I shrugged, “Do you think my parents will want me to?”

“I've spoken with them and they've agreed to whatever you decide,” Norlam replied.

That was a first. My parents pretty much never agreed to whatever I wanted. They had actually let me decide something of my own life.

“I am sure I will see you again, even if it is not every week,” Norlam said, “I am very glad you like Hogwarts now.”

“Me, too,” I said as I stood up, “And thanks, for everything.”


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Monday 14 September 2009 2:28:06am 
Offline
Fully Qualified Wizard
User avatar

Joined: Tuesday 7 October 2008 12:22:35am
Posts: 180
good chapter duckie


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Monday 14 September 2009 10:45:55pm 
Offline
Fourth Year

Joined: Monday 3 August 2009 10:41:58am
Posts: 70
Location: New Zealand
Another great chapter Duckie :)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sunday 20 September 2009 4:53:16pm 
Offline
Ambassador to the Land of Ducks.
User avatar

Joined: Thursday 28 December 2006 6:45:34pm
Posts: 2538
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Thanks hprocks and Wratha! :grin:

This is the second to last chapter!

Chapter 62: Home

The day before the Hogwarts Express left for London was spent packing. Samantha took down all her Quidditch posters, Victoire neatly folded all her clothes and somehow fit them all into her trunk, Monica threw everything haphazardly into her trunk and then snuck off to Hogsmeade with her friends, Teddy scoured the castle for all the stuff he'd lost over the year, and I watched everyone as I packed my own trunk.

It was times like these that made me realize how alike Hogwarts and the Australian School of Sorcery were. Though they were thousands of miles apart, the routines were the same. The last day of school was spent the same.

As I sat in the common room with Victoire that night, I suddenly realized that I was actually going to miss the place. It was a very shocking realization. I was going to miss the Gryffindor common room, the Room of Requirement, Astronomy classes every Thursday, beating Willinson at Slughorn's potions contests, the rivalry between Gryffindor and Slytherin. I had adjusted to it and come to enjoy it. Hogwarts was my home now, for a good part of the year, and I was going to miss it. The castle had become my home away from home.

“I am going to miss Hogwarts,” I said in awe.

“I miss it every summer,” Victoire said, “Hey, do you want to come visit me this summer?”

“Yeah, sure,” I grinned, “When?”

“Probably in August,” Victoire replied, “I'm going to France to stay with my grandparents for two weeks in July.”

“I'll ask my parents,” I said.

“And I'll owl you with the exact dates,” Victoire said, “But we've got to owl each other all the time before that.”

“Victoire!” Teddy came running into the common room, “Aussie! Might want to get down to the grounds.”

“What did you do this time?” Victoire groaned and stood up.

Victoire and I followed Teddy and Landon down to the grounds, followed by most of the rest of the people who were in the common room. Everyone was wondering aloud as to what the two boys could have done this time.

We heard the fireworks before we saw them. They started going off as we were crossing the Entrance Hall. Everyone broke into a run and we wound up scattered throughout the grounds. The fireworks were the most amazing ones I had ever seen.

Big Snitches, broomsticks, and a variety of magical creatures. They all moved and seemed to last forever. They floated and soared around in the sky. They kept going for about a half hour.

“Wait for it,” Teddy said, “Not quite over yet.”

There was a bang louder than all the rest and I craned my neck to see what it was. As soon as it appeared, there was a lot of shouting and cheering.

The final firework featured a huge Gryffindor lion surrounded by red and gold sparks. The lion had a green snake in its mouth. The lion shook the snake around and then the snake burst apart in a flash of green sparks.

“That was brilliant, Teddy,” Victoire said.

“Courtesy of your uncle,” Teddy grinned, “I set them up a few hours ago and put timers on all of them.”

“Back inside, all of you!” Professor Patil shouted as she walked amongst the students, “It's past curfew!”

Nobody complained about going back inside. Patil made no move to try and find the culprit of the fireworks, which was good for Teddy and Landon. The whole stunt was just a nice way to celebrate the end of the year.

******

The next morning was a chaotic frenzy of last minute packing and shoveling down brekkie before getting into a thestral pulled carriage. I shared a carriage with Victoire, Teddy, and Landon.

“You know, I shared one of these with your sister in the beginning of the year,” I told Victoire, “And one of your cousins, and some other girl.”

“Wow, what a coincidence,” Victoire laughed.

“They were arguing about whether these were really pulled by thestrals or not. Apparently Teddy told them they were, but they weren't sure they believed him,” I said, “I told them that Teddy was right.”

“I'm always right,” Teddy said pompously.

“No, you're not,” Victoire sighed, “If you were, you'd have better grades.”

We found a compartment to ourselves on the train and were only interrupted a few times by various cousins of Victoire. It still amazed me just how many cousins she had.

“What do your grandparents do at Christmas?” I asked her after two more of her cousins left.

“My grandma knits us all jumpers,” Victoire said and Teddy burst out laughing.

“What's so funny?” I asked.

“The jumpers. Everyone wears them on Christmas and we all sort of match. She knits one for me, too. Everyone in the family's got a rather large collection of Weasley jumpers,” Teddy grinned.

“That must take forever, knitting all those jumpers,” I said.

“She spends the whole year on them,” Victoire said.

“Wow,” I said.

“So, Victoire,” Teddy began, “Prefects get chosen for your year this summer. I'd bet my whole Gringott's vault that it'll be you.”

I hadn't even thought about that yet. I agreed with Teddy, though. Victoire would make a good Prefect.

“I don't know, Teddy,” Victoire sighed, “I mean, Samantha would make a good Prefect....”

“You'd make a better one,” Landon said, “You'd make a better Prefect than me.”

“I won't argue with that,” Victoire laughed.

“Wait,” I said, “I just have to ask this. Landon, when I first met you, I thought you were one of those blokes who likes rules because you told me I couldn't sleep in the common room. But you obviously don't care much about rules. Why the bloody hell did you tell me I couldn't sleep in the common room?”

“It was my first week as a Prefect,” Landon shrugged, “I thought I had to do that. But if you did it now, I wouldn't do anything about it.”

“And next year it'll be Victoire who's telling people they can't sleep in the common room,” Teddy said.

“I might not be a Prefect,” Victoire groaned.

The remainder of the trip was spent talking about what we thought would happen next year. Teddy and Landon both took pleasure in the fact that Victoire and I would be doing our O.W.L.s and they wouldn't, until Victoire reminded them that their N.E.W.T. Level classes would be incredibly hard.

Soon, the train pulled into London and everyone scrambled to get their stuff together. I walked through the corridor of the train with Victoire, Teddy, and Landon, and we made our way to the platform. We saw Monica on our way, and she threw us a dirty look. I just turned away and ignored her. One good thing about the year being over was that I wouldn't have to see Monica for months.

“I'll owl you soon,” I said to Victoire on the platform.

“Me, too,” Victoire agreed and gave me a hug, “I'll miss you.”

“Miss you, too,” I replied.

“See you next year, Aussie!” Teddy shouted, “Don't move again!”

“I won't,” I laughed.

“Bye, everyone!” Landon shouted before going to find his parents.

I said goodbye to Victoire and Teddy one more time and then found my dad, who was wearing his work robes.

“Amy,” Dad said as he hugged me, “I missed you. Ready to go home?”

“Yeah,” I replied, “I missed you, too.”

******

Mum, Matt, and Ellie were in the kitchen when we arrived home a little while later. There was a large platter of spaghetti and meatballs on the table and I was immediately taken back to when I got back home after fourth year. It seemed like such a long time ago, even though it had only been a year and a half.

“How did your exams go?” Mum asked once we were all sitting down.

“Good,” I replied, “I passed everything.”

“Glad to hear it,” Mum smiled, “We're so proud of you. I know this past year has been hard, but you've done so well.”

“Thanks,” I said, “I have something to tell you, too.”

“What?” Dad asked in between bites of spaghetti.

“I'm going to become a Healer,” I said quietly, “You know, once I'm done with Hogwarts.”

I had decided not to tell them about my plans on discovering a better version of the Wolfsbane Potion, at least not while Matt was in the room. I didn't want to get his hopes up.

Mum and Dad were quiet for a few moments and they shared one of those parental silent communication glances.

“When did you realize this?” Dad asked.

“Beginning of May,” I replied, “Teddy and Landon had career meetings and there were pamphlets in the common room. I saw the Healer one and it just sort of hit me. Then I talked to Madam Pomfrey and she tried to tell me that I didn't have to make up my mind now, but I have. All the career tests she gave me said I'm suited to be a Healer, and it's what I want to do.”

“I agree with the tests,” Dad smiled, “I think Healing would be an excellent field to get into.”

“I think you would make a great Healer,” Mum agreed, “What field are you interested in.”

I glanced at Matt and then replied, “Erm, creature-induced injuries. And...research.”

“Ah,” Dad smiled knowingly, “It will be a good day for those fields when you become certified.”

“I wouldn't want to be a Healer,” Matt announced, “I hate hospitals. But I think you'd be a good Healer.”

“Thanks,” I smiled.

******

It was strange how you settled back into life at home so easily after life at school. During the last few days of any given year, I would always think about how weird it would be to go back home and be around my family all the time. But when the time came to go back home, it wasn't that strange.

That year was not much different. I settled back into my usual routine of brewing potions, reading, and wandering around the bush. Every few days I would go shopping with Mum in Diagon Alley, usually depending on whether she was going to Gringotts or not. I still hated that place.

There were noticeable differences, though. For one, nobody was that stressed out. It was almost like we were living that carefree life [i]Aussie Magik]/i] had said we once had in that article. Dad came home happy from work and rarely had to stay late. Mum wasn't tense and she didn't yell at me every ten minutes. Matt wasn't scared all the time. And I didn't spend all my time by myself.

My parents and I rarely fought anymore. That was the most noticeable difference. Two weeks after I went home, Mum and I hadn't had more than a small argument over whether my bedroom was clean enough for her liking. That was pretty amazing on our part.

Matt and I seemed to spend most of our time together. The only thing I did without him was brew potions. It didn't really bother me, either. As much as I had liked exploring the bush by myself, having Matt there made it fun as well. There was so much that he didn't know about the bush, mostly due to Mum's overprotectiveness, and it was fun to teach him about the plants.

“What's Hogwarts like?” Matt asked as we tramped through the bush a few weeks after I returned home.

“Do you mean the actual castle? Or the students? Or the classes?” I grinned back at him.

“Everything,” he shrugged, “What about Gryffindor Tower?”

“The common room is round. The dormitories are, too. Everything's scarlet and gold. It's cozy, but kind of cramped,” I explained, “But, you might not be in Gryffindor.”

“I will to!” he shouted as he ran to catch up with me.

“Yeah, you probably will,” I stopped to wait for him, “But there's always a chance you won't.”

“What else?” Matt asked, “What's the rest of the castle like?”

“It's big. So big you'll get lost a lot during your first week. But there's some really cool rooms. Like the kitchens,” I told him as we fell into step beside each other, “Victoire showed them to me. There's more house elves than I've ever seen in my life-”

“More than Jacqueline's got?” Matt asked in awe.

“Way more,” I replied, “They're happier, though. Kendrick treats them well. Anyway, you can get whatever you want to eat there. The house elves will give you anything.”

“Anything?” Matt's eyes opened wide, “An entire chocolate cake?”

“Yep,” I grinned.

“What else?” Matt pressed.

“Well, there's this room...” I paused. I had been toying with the idea of telling Matt about the Room of Requirement ever since I found it. I finally decided just to do it, since it would be useful for him to know about it. “And generations of Hogwarts students, the ones who know about the room that is, probably wouldn't want me to tell you about it since it's pretty much a secret unless you discover it yourself....”

“Can't you tell me?” he begged, putting on that face he uses to get my parents to give him whatever he wants.

“I am,” I sighed, “But only because I think you'll need it while you're at Hogwarts. And you can't tell anyone about it.”

“I won't,” he said quickly, “But what is it?”

“It's a room that will give you whatever you want,” I said.

Matt stopped dead in his tracks and stared at me. “What?”

I laughed. Even for magic, a room that could give you whatever you wanted was kind of remarkable.

“It's across from this portrait of a bloke teaching trolls to dance ballet on the seventh floor. Right down the corridor from the Gryffindor common room. Very convenient, really. You pace in front of it three times, thinking about what you need, and a door appears. When you open it, the room is exactly how you imagined it.”

“That is brilliant!” Matt grinned, “It'll really give you anything?”

“Pretty much. I mean, it won't give you food because of some Transfiguration laws that I forgot what they were called, but it's always been able to give me what I want,” I shrugged.

“What did you turn it into?” Matt asked as we began walking again.

“My room from Australia,” I replied, “And a few other random rooms.”

“It really looked like your room from Australia?” Matt looked skeptical.

“Down to the pair of dirty Australian School of Sorcery robes on the floor,” I nodded.

“I can't wait to try that out,” Matt said, “But why did you want me to know about it?”

“I think it would be a good place for you to go if you're really tired before full moons. If you don't want to go to the hospital wing, that is,” I said quietly, “You can ask the Room not to make itself available to others if you want privacy. If you sleep in your dormitory before full moons, your roommates are going to get suspicious.”

“Oh,” Matt said, and we walked silently for a few minutes. “Amy?” he asked.

“Yeah?”

“Do you think anyone is going to find out?” he said in barely more than a whisper.

I sighed and sat down on a nearby rock. Matt sat down next to me. I said nothing as I thought back to when Teddy told me about the Marauders. How they had guessed that his dad was a werewolf and then became illegal animagi.

“Do you remember how Kendrick said there was a werewolf who went to Hogwarts decades ago?” I asked. Matt nodded. “And you know my friend, Teddy?” Matt nodded agin. “Well,” I continued, “That werewolf was Teddy's dad.”

Matt's mouth fell open. “Really?”

I nodded. “Yes, and Teddy told me about him. He had three really good friends,” I left out the part about Peter Pettigrew betraying James and Lily Potter, “They found out that Teddy's dad was a werewolf, but they didn't care.” I also left out the illegal animagus part.

“So,” I said, “There's a chance that if you make friends who are that smart, they might find out. But, if you make friends like Teddy's dad's friends, they're not going to tell anyone and they're not going to abandon you.”

“But,” Matt said quietly, “But I don't want anyone to find out.”

“That's where the Room of Requirement is going to come in,” I told him, “And I'll still be at Hogwarts during your first year. We'll make it work.”

Matt nodded, but didn't say anything. I could see that the idea of people possibly finding out about his lycanthropy scared the hell out of him and half of me regretted telling him about Teddy's dad. I thought it would have just reassured him, but it obviously hadn't.

Telling him that nobody would find out would have been giving him false hope, though. My parents thought it was going to work, but they didn't know much about life in Gryffindor Tower. Everyone had at least three roommates, more often four or five. Matt was going to have at least 60 full moons at school during his Hogwarts career. That was 60 full moons where he got sick, which would be witnessed by the same four people every month. They were bound to get suspicious and do some research eventually. I would if I were in their position. Unless they were complete dunderheads, but what were the chances that all four would be idiots?

Mum and Dad could believe what they wanted, but I had a feeling someone was going to find out eventually. I had no plans of telling my parents about my suspicions, though. It might scare them enough to homeschool Matt and not let him go to Hogwarts at all, which would be horrible. If there was anything my brother needed, it was to go to Hogwarts. He needed to be around people his age and not have Mum hovering over him every minute of the day.

It wasn't like it didn't scare me, though. The idea of people finding out about Matt's lycanthropy did worry me. After all, when people had found out in Australia, we had to leave the country. If anyone like Monica found out, it could have really bad repercussions.

I glanced at my watch. “We should get back,” I said, “Mum'll start worrying soon.”

Matt nodded and we got up. The walk back through the bush was quiet. So quiet that we could hear our feet crunching sticks, the birds flying over head, and the cows mooing once we emerged from the bush. Half of them were lying down, which Uncle Jack said meant it was going to rain. There weren't many clouds in the sky, though.

“Look, I didn't mean to scare you with the story about Teddy's dad,” I said as we walked through out backyard.

“I know,” Matt said, “I just don't want anyone to find out, whether they're friends or not.”

“I never said they would. I just said there was a chance,” I said, “Plus, Teddy's dad didn't have an older sister to protect him. If anyone starts anything with you, whether they know about the lycanthropy or not, I'll knock them out. Muggle style of course, since I'm rubbish at dueling.”

“I don't think Mum and Dad would be happy with that, since you'd get detention,” Matt said, but smiled anyway.

“There are some things that are worth detention,” I said as I put my arm around him.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sunday 27 September 2009 4:22:15pm 
Offline
Ambassador to the Land of Ducks.
User avatar

Joined: Thursday 28 December 2006 6:45:34pm
Posts: 2538
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Here's the last chapter! I'm working on a sequel, but it'll be a while before I'm able to post it. I hope you guys enjoyed this. Please let me know your opinions of the whole thing!


Chapter 63: Understanding

Three nights before the July full moon I decided that I was not going to put up with being kicked out of the house for it. Having to leave my house once a month for the full moon was something that had been driving me mad for years, but I had been going along with whatever Mum and Dad said because they had so much else to worry about.

Now we had moved and we no longer had to worry about Ralph Lubar and his ridiculous laws. Mum and Dad were happy and as stress-free as two parents with a werewolf child could be. It seemed like the perfect time to suggest that I no longer leave the house for full moons.

I spent an entire afternoon coming up with a list of reasons as to why I should stay home. I knew the answer would be no unless I had good reasons.

Reason number one. I was nearly sixteen. A year after that I would be seventeen and no longer underage. So, I would be of age in one year and three months. That was practically an adult. In some cultures, I would be considered an adult.

Reason number two. I was going to become a Healer. Healers had to deal with this sort of thing all the time. I needed to get used to it.

Reason number three. What else were they going to do? Flying me to Australia to stay with Richard and Cinda every month was going to get expensive, not to mention really inconvenient since they didn't like me flying alone. Getting portkeys through the Ministry was completely out of the question since my parents wanted nothing to do with the Australian Ministry anymore. Getting a room at the Hog's Head wasn't going to happen either, judging by how Mum reacted the last time.

Reason number four was the most convincing, in my opinion. In two years, Matt would be at Hogwarts, without Mum or Dad there with him. I would be there. It would be me going with him the Shrieking Shack before every full moon (well, with Madam Pomfrey as well). Me who would be there when he woke up the next day. Me, the only person at Hogwarts he would know. I had to be completely used to seeing him right before and right after transformations by then if I was going to be able to comfort him. It wouldn't do him any good if I was bawling my eyes out every full moon. I had looked at a calendar and saw that there were about seven or eight full moons that I would be home for before Matt's first year. If I started now, I would be used to them before that.

The night before the full moon, Mum and Dad still hadn't said anything about what I was doing. I waited until Matt had gone to bed (which wasn't a long wait; he went to bed at seven) and grabbed my list and went down to the living room to talk to them.

“Mum, Dad,” I stood in front of the couch they were sitting on. They had been whispering about something, but I didn't care that I interrupted them.

“Amy,” Dad said, “We have something we need to talk to you about.”

“Let me go first,” I said, “I need to talk to you about something.”

Mum and Dad exchanged glances. “All right,” Dad replied.

“I would like to propose that I get to stay home tomorrow night,” I began, “And before you say no, I have a list of reasons why.”

Mum and Dad looked kind of amused, but Dad gestured for me to go on.

“Reason number one,” I continued, “I am nearly of age. I will be of age in one year and three months. I'm practically an adult.”

“Practically being the key word,” Dad sighed.

“Reason number two,” I ignored him, “It will save you a lot of money and time. I can't be flying to Australia every full moon I not at school.”

“We can't put a price on your safety,” Mum pointed out.

“Reason number three,” I said, even though Mum had had a good point, “I am going to become a Healer. I will have to deal with this sort of thing. I need to get used to it.”

“Plenty of witches and wizards become perfectly talented Healers without having lycanthropic brothers,” Dad said.

Another good point, I thought. Now to drop the big one. “Reason number four. In just two years' time, Matt will be at Hogwarts. You will not be, but I will. It'll be me who watches over him around full moons, gets him to the hospital wing in time, and possibly takes him to the Shrieking Shack-”

“Madam Pomfrey-” Dad interrupted.

“He doesn't know Madam Pomfrey well,” I cut him off, “He's going to want me there. You know he will. He'll want me there when he wakes up the next morning. And what good will I do if I'm completely shocked by how injured he is? How will it help him if I'm sitting in the hospital wing bawling my eyes out next to his bed?”

I folded the parchment and put it in my pocket. There was nothing else I could do. I had made my point.

Mum and Dad looked at each other. Mum looked shocked and Dad had that tired look about him that was only brought about by full moons.

“She has a point,” Dad said quietly, “I'm not really sure how we missed this.”

“I don't know either,” Mum sighed, “You know she's going to be there when he wakes up at Hogwarts. She'll be at the Shrieking Shack before Madam Pomfrey, you know she will be.”

“I know,” Dad sighed.

I stood there not knowing what to do. They were talking about me like I wasn't there. Usually this sort of thing drove me mad, but I was happy they hadn't gone to talk about it in private. It was a good sign.

“I guess,” Dad began, “That it's just a matter of whether we want her to be here for the full moon for the first time while we're here with her, or whether we want her to do it alone at Hogwarts.”

“It isn't the same, though,” Mum said, “Matt'll be in the Shrieking Shack while he's transformed and Amy'll be in the castle. Here, they'd be in the same house.”

“I know,” Dad said quietly, “We knew this day was going to come.”

“We did,” Mum agreed.

“I guess, I think we should,” Dad said.

I silently begged Mum to agree. I was over the first hurdle, the shorter one. I knew Dad would give in first.

“All right,” Mum sighed, “If you think it's ok, I agree. But just this one. We're not making promises about future full moons.”

“Thank you,” I said quietly, happy that they agreed, but I was suddenly nervous at the same time.

“But,” Dad said, “I have some conditions that you have to agree to. Number one, you must do anything I tell you. If I say to run out of the house, you run out of the house. No questions. I don't care if it's two in the morning and you're half asleep, if I wake you up and tell you to leave, you leave. You find Ellie and tell her to Apparate you someplace. No waiting for Mum and I. Anything I say, you do. If I tell you to jump up and down while reciting the ingredients for the Polyjuice Potion, you do it. Number two, you stay out of the basement while the moon is full. No potion brewing. Number three, you have your wand on you at all times,” Dad took a deep breath, “And if, something were to happen,” he paused again and lowered his voice, “You use whatever spell comes to mind. Forget the underage magic laws.”

That last one jarred me a little, but I nodded. “Ok, I agree.”

“Good,” Dad softened his voice, “Now I am not really sure you realize how hard this will be. I'm warning you that we don't soundproof the actual safe room. We soundproof the house. I have to listen so we know when he's transformed back and it's safe to go in the room. You'll be hearing it all night. I can put a muffling charm on your room if you'd like.”

“No,” I shook my head, “I don't need one.”

“And,” Dad paused again, “The next morning, it's up to you if you want to see him right after. You don't have to.”

“I have to,” I disagreed, “I just do.”

“All right,” Dad sighed, “I just hope you understand what you're getting into. There are reasons besides physical safety that we don't normally let you stay for full moons.”

******

The closest I had ever come to seeing Matt right after a full moon was seeing him in the hospital after he transformed in that Ministry center, and that wasn't a normal full moon. Never had I seen him directly after a full moon, though.

However, I was nervous. I tried to hide it from Mum and Dad, but I think they could tell. It was strange. All the times I had begged Mum and Dad to let me stay and they had declined, I didn't think I would be nervous about staying. It was only now that it was actually happening that I was nervous.

I wasn't regretting my decision, though. I was determined to do this.

It wasn't that I didn't know what would happen. I knew full well what was going to happen. I had read numerous books on werewolves and their transformations. For the past three and a half years, I had been trying to pretend that maybe Matt's full moons were different. That was stupid, really, since his full moons were obviously bad. But since I hadn't seen one with my own two eyes, I could still try and pretend. I was nervous because I knew there would be no denying it after the following morning.

Mum and Dad told Matt late the morning of the full moon that I would be staying home. He either didn't really comprehend what they were saying (he was pretty tired at the time) or didn't care.

My parents seemed more stressed about this full moon than they had for one in months, and I knew the reason was me. I even felt sort of guilty about it, but quickly shrugged that off. This was something I had to do.

I didn't go out to the bush that day. In fact, I stayed inside the entire day. Somehow it didn't seem right for me to go explore while Matt was laid up on the couch. It was weird how things changed. A year and a half ago, I would have been out in the bush the entire day. Instead, I stayed in the living room, where Matt was, and read while he slept.

Dad went into work for a few hours, but returned hours before the moon was going to rise. Mum stayed in the living room with us, getting up every so often to bring Matt potions or water.

“Do either of you want anything to eat?” Dad asked shortly after he came home. It was dinner time, but I wasn't hungry in the slightest.

“No, thanks,” Mum said and I shook my head.

The remaining hours until the moon rose ticked by. The house was so quiet that I could actually hear every tick of the clock. I set my book down, no longer able to read.

“It's time,” Dad said quietly a few minutes later.

I looked outside and saw that the sky was dark. Night had fallen. The moon would soon rise.

Dad rose from his chair and walked over to where Matt was curled up next to Mum. Mum gently shook Matt awake and he immediately started crying.

“Shush,” Mum soothed, “It's time to go down to the basement.”

“I don't want to,” Matt mumbled in between sobs.

“I know,” Dad said as he picked Matt up.

Mum and Dad started walking towards the basement door. Matt was in Dad's arms, his head on Dad's shoulder. He was awake and I could see the tears rolling down his face. It nearly made me want to cry.

Neither of them said whether I was allowed to go down to the basement with them, so I got up and followed. I half expected them to tell me I had to stay upstairs, but they didn't say a word.

Dad opened the door to the safe room with a wave of his wand. I hadn't seen the place since Dad first put it in. It was slightly smaller than the one in Australia, but other than that it looked the same. Padded walls on every side and no windows.

Dad set Matt down on the floor, but he kept his arms wrapped around Dad's neck.

“We'll see you in the morning,” Dad said as he unwrapped Matt's arms from his neck, “I promise. I love you.”

“We'll be here as soon as the moon sets,” Mum said as she bent down to give Matt a hug, “I love you so much.”

I had been lingering in the doorway, but as soon as Mum let go of Matt, I walked over to him. I bent down and gave him a hug. He was trembling harder than I had ever seen him tremble before. He was really warm, too, like he had a fever.

“I love you,” I whispered and then stood up. I followed Mum out of the room and then waited for Dad.

Dad walked slowly out of the room and shut the door behind him. He pulled out his wand and performed a variety of intricate spells on the door. After he was done, we followed him up the stairs.

“Do you have your wand, Amy?” he asked quietly.

“Yes,” I nodded.

I followed my parents to the kitchen. They sat down at the table and didn't say a word. I did the same.

“Ten minutes,” Dad said.

I counted every second in that ten minutes. 600 seconds went by. Then I glanced out the window and saw the moon peeking out over the horizon.

Then I heard it. A horrible, awful, high-pitched shriek coming from the basement. My heart skipped a beat. It felt like somebody had punched me in the gut. Then came another, and another, until there were no pauses in between the shrieks.

I looked up at my parents. Mum looked like she was ready to cry and Dad's face was hard.

Then the shrieking stopped and there was silence. I breathed slowly to try and stop my racing heart, but then there was a loud howl. And another. And another. Mum and Dad hadn't moved an inch. I sat completely still as well, at a complete loss for words. I understood why Mum and Dad were being so quiet. There was nothing to day.

******

I stared out the window at the moon. The round orb of light that had been one of the only constant things in my life, all our lives, this past year and a half.

I had been fascinated with the moon and stars for as long as I could remember. The night sky was one of my favorite things and I could stargaze for hours. The moon was so beautiful, in every phase, and the twinkling stars just accented that beauty.

Now, as I stood in my kitchen, listening to the howls of my little brother, I did not see that beauty. For the first time in my life, I stared at the moon and hated it. I hated it for everything it did to Matt, everything it had done to my family.

******

There are so many different ways that time passes. The way it seems to fly by when you're doing something fun, the way it seems to go backwards when you're sitting in History of Magic, the way it seems to go by fast when you're dreading something and when that thing comes, it slows down.

As I sat in the kitchen during the full moon, I realized that none of those ways fit this situation. I was certainly not doing anything fun and I wasn't bored either. I wasn't dreading anything; the thing I had been dreading already arrived, Matt's transformation.

The actual transformation had been relatively quick. Five, ten minutes tops. It felt like longer, but the clock told me otherwise. I'm sure to Matt it felt like hours.

Now, time was creeping by. This was possibly due to the fact that I could still hear every second ticking by on the clock. Every second brought us closer to morning, but time seemed to have stopped anyway.

It soon became clear to me that Mum and Dad did not even try to go to bed during full moons. Neither of them made any move to go upstairs. They only left the kitchen to use the toilet or get a drink.

I decided that I wasn't going to bed either. Originally, I had thought I would go up to my room when my parents went up to theirs, but they weren't going to.

“Amy, do you think that you'd like to get some sleep?” Dad asked, breaking the silence for the first time, around two in the morning.

“No,” I said. I wasn't even tired anymore. I had been tired around midnight, but it had gone away. There was no way I would be able to sleep.

Dad didn't bring it up again. The room descended into silence once again, only broken by the occasional howl coming from the basement.

Mum fell asleep slumped over the table around four in the morning. Dad followed suit shortly thereafter. I was still wide awake.

******

I watched the moon set through the den window. I had had to switch rooms to watch it. As the moon set, the howling slowed and then stopped. The house was completely silent.

I walked back into the kitchen. Mum and Dad were still sound asleep. I had no idea what time they normally went to go get Matt, but I thought they went as soon as the moon set.

“Mum,” I whispered, “Dad.”

Mum woke up first. She looked up sleepily and then jumped out of her chair when she saw that the sun was up. Dad quickly followed. Neither of them said a word as they ran out of the kitchen and down to the basement.

My heart started beating faster as I followed them. I really had no idea what Matt was going to look like. I made myself keep walking, though. There was no way I was going to stay upstairs.

Mum and Dad paused in front of the transformation room and listened for a few minutes. It was absolutely silent. Eerily silent.

Dad waved his wand in front of the door and then slowly pushed it open. I took a deep breath and then squeezed under Dad's arm to get into the room first. Mum and Dad didn't stop me.

I stopped two feet into the room. I just couldn't go any further. What I had felt when I first heard Matt screaming the previous night was nothing to what I was feeling now. I didn't think I'd ever breath normally again.

There was one thing that I could compare to what Matt looked like now, and that was what he looked like when he was attacked. If I didn't know any better, I would say he had gotten attacked by another werewolf the previous night.

My brother was sprawled out on the floor looking as limp as a rag doll. His hair was all matted together with blood. But that was nothing compared to everything else. There was so much blood throughout the room that I was amazed he had any blood left in him. His whole body was covered in deep cuts and I was pretty sure his arm was broken.

I was vaguely aware of my parents rushing past me. Both of them bent down next to Matt and started waving their wands around him. Then Dad picked him up and they walked out of the room. I followed.

Matt was completely unconscious. He looked like he did when he was in the coma. What if he was in another one?

Dad laid Matt down on his bed and Mum left the room. She returned a little while later with a bunch of potions. I stood in the doorway while my parents continued performing all the healing spells and gave him potions.

Matt looked a little better once they finished. All the severe cuts were bandaged, as was his arm. But he was still asleep. Or unconscious.

Mum was sitting next to his bed ruffling his hair while looking at him sadly. Dad pocketed his wand and then turned to me.

“Amy,” he said quietly.

I walked over him and he wrapped me in a tight hug. I burst into tears and let Dad comfort me like I was five years old again.

It was just so unfair that Matt had to go through this once a month. I had truly not understood everything until then. I had had to see it for myself.

We had moved in order to give Matt a better life. That was something I had come to terms with months ago, and even came to enjoy. But what I hadn't completely understood was that everything hadn't been solved by moving.

Sure, Matt was going to be able to go to school and hopefully make friends. But he would never live an entirely normal life. His life was still going to revolve around the moon. No matter where we moved, he would still have to transform once a month. Once a month he was still going to get really ill. Unless someone fixed that Wolfsbane potion.

“D-Dad,” I pulled away, “Mum.”

Mum turned away from Matt and looked at me. Neither of them said anything, like they were waiting for me to continue.

“I-I'm going to come up with a new version of Wolfsbane,” I said, “You know, if Sterling doesn't. It's the real reason why I want to be a Healer.”

“Oh, Amy,” Mum got up from her chair and gave me a hug. She let go of me and I could see tears in her eyes. “If there is anyone who could do that, it's you.”

“I'll do it,” I assured her, “He doesn't deserve this.”

“I'm sure you can,” Dad said.

“I can. As soon as I'm done with Healer training, I'm going to start,” I told them.

I sat down in between my parents on the floor in Matt's room. None of us said anything else, but we didn't need to. They hadn't said anything about whether I was going to be allowed to stay home for future full moons, but I had a feeling they would. Something had changed between us. It wasn't anything sudden, either.

It was more like something that had happened over the past year or since we had moved. I just got the feeling that my parents saw me more of an adult now than a child, and staying home during the full moon had seemed to reinforce that idea.

I didn't even have to ask them about it. I just knew. I knew that I would no longer be going to Richard and Cinda's on full moons. I knew that my parents were going to tell me everything about the full moons that happened while I was at school. I knew there were going to be less hushed conversations taking place between them behind closed doors.

The bed gave a slight creak and I looked up. Matt was slowly opening his eyes. He couldn't sit up very easily, but he slightly lifted his head up and looked at us.

“Amy?” he croaked.

I smiled at him despite my teary eyes and got up and sat down on the side of his bed. He wrapped his bandaged arms around me and I gently hugged him back. He didn't say anything else, but leaned his head up against my chest. It felt like foreshadowing of his first year of Hogwarts that was only two years away.

I looked up and saw Mum and Dad. Dad had his arm around Mum and was smiling. Mum was smiling as well and there were silent tears running down her face. They were tears of joy, though. That I could tell.

It was one of those happy family moments that often seemed so distant in my family. I only hoped that within a few decades' time, we could have this type of moment without Matt being sick and injured from a full moon.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sunday 27 September 2009 8:34:30pm 
Offline
President of the Penguins
User avatar

Joined: Sunday 31 December 2006 11:40:47pm
Posts: 3553
Location: No idea, all I know is that there are a LOT of felt-tipped pens...
You've got a typo:

Quote:
Then the shrieking stopped and there was silence. I breathed slowly to try and stop my racing heart, but then there was a loud howl. And another. And another. Mum and Dad hadn't moved an inch. I sat completely still as well, at a complete loss for words. I understood why Mum and Dad were being so quiet. There was nothing to day.


That's supposed to be say, right? Anyways, glad you got it all posted! Fantastic, as usual, but you already knew that.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 137 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 6, 7, 8, 9, 10  Next

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group