Harry Potter Mugs
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Kelpie 11 oz. White Ceramic Mug
Beware of the Kelpie that will lure you down to the bottom of the mug. The Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Kelpie 11 oz. White Ceramic Mug makes a great gift for fans of JK Rowling's Wizarding World. Do not microwave. Hand wash only. Not dishwasher safe.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Fantasic Book 11 oz. White Ceramic Mug
Hey, Mr. English Guy! I think your mug is hatc.... Drink from this Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Fantasic Book 11 oz. White Ceramic Mug while enjoying the book or movie. Do not microwave. Hand wash only. Not dishwasher safe.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Baby Nifflers 11 oz. White Ceramic Mug
The baby Nifflers might be cute but I bet losing all your valuables isn't. At least they won't steal your favorite beverage from the Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Baby Nifflers 11 oz. White Ceramic Mug. Do not microwave. Hand wash only. Not dishwasher safe.
Harry Potter Pocket Pop! Advent Calendar
Countdown to Christmas with a line of Harry Potter-themed pocket Pop! mini-figures. Featuring the Wizarding World's favorite witches, wizards, beasts, ghosts, and house elves, this Harry Potter Pocket Pop! Advent Calendar promises a very jolly holiday indeed, especially when paired with treacle tart and a mug of hot Butterbeer. Includes 24x Pocket Pop! Mini-Figures.
Harry Potter Sirius Black MightyPrint Wall Art Print
Celebrate Sirius Black's miraculous escape from Azkaban Prison with this Harry Potter Sirius Black MightyPrint Wall Art Print. The print features the mug shot of the rogue wizard, along with a stern warning from the Ministry of Magic. This beautiful art print measures about 24-inches tall x 17-inches wide. What makes MightyPrint wall art so unique? MightyPrints are made to last. Due to the prints' high quality and durability, you won't have the typical difficulties of tearing, fading, or warping. They're vibrant in color, making them a welcome addition to any collection. In addition, MightyPrints are made to diffuse light, bringing the colors to a new level when back lighting is present. Place yours in front of a window or in an LED illuminated light box (sold separately) and be amazed! Ages 13 and up.
Harry Potter Yellow Hufflepuff Crest 12 oz. Mug and Coaster Set
Harry Potter fans can show off their fandom and enjoy a cup of their favorite beverage with this Harry Potter Yellow Hufflepuff Crest 12 oz. Mug and Coaster Set. This set makes a great gift for fans of JK Rowling's Wizarding World! Hand wash only. Not dishwasher safe. Do not microwave.
Harry Potter Green Slytherin Crest 12 oz. Mug and Coaster Set
Harry Potter fans can show off their fandom and enjoy a cup of their favorite beverage with this Harry Potter Green Slytherin Crest 12 oz. Mug and Coaster Set. This set makes a great gift for fans of JK Rowling's Wizarding World! Hand wash only. Not dishwasher safe. Do not microwave.
Fantastic Beasts Niffler Heat Change Mug
Pour in your favorite hot beverage and find out what this super-cute Niffler has got its hands on. This Fantastic Beasts Niffler Heat Change Mug features an all black design, with the official Fantastic Beasts logo at the top, and once warm a Niffler appears holding a shiny pocket watch! A wonderful gift for lovers of J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World. This ceramic mug with heat changing decal is the perfect accompaniment to your next tea break. Hand wash only. Not dishwasher safe. Do not microwave.
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Joined: 28 December 2006
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Posted: Sunday 19 July 2009 11 07 10 am Post subject: Re: In Moonlight's Shadow in topic:In Moonlight's Shadow
Joined: 28 December 2006
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Posted: Sunday 15 March 2009 04 14 51 pm Post subject: Re: In Moonlight's Shadow in topic:In Moonlight's Shadow
Thanks Obladi and hprocks!
Chapter 38: Memories
The next week passed quickly. Too quickly in my opinion. My remaining time in Australia was flying by and I didn't like it one bit. I spent most of my time brewing potions and wandering around the bush. Norlam came to the house for Matt's therapy session on Monday and it passed in the same fashion the previous two had. The only difference was this time Matt spent the whole time watching us, instead of spending the first half hour with his head buried in Mum's shoulder. Norlam said that was a great improvement. Friday's session proved to be pointless, though. Matt seemed to have regressed and clung to Mum the whole hour. Norlam wasn't surprised since it was two days before the full moon. He actually spent the hour talking to Dad about the full moon. Sterling had sent along a packet of instructions for Dad about what to do right before and right after this particular full moon. Sterling was quite worried about it, despite the fact that Matt's ankle was mostly healed. He had stopped using the crutches on Thursday. I jokingly suggested that we give them to Mari and Maddie and earned a groan from Mum because of it.
Since Mum was on speaking terms with Cinda again, she Apparated with me to her house on Saturday. The full moon was Sunday. Mum seemed very anxious, as did Dad. Hell, I was anxious as well. Dad's plan to keep Lubar out of the house wasn't foolproof. In fact, it was far from it. But it was the best they could do. And it was the last Australian full moon. After this, we wouldn't have to worry about Lubar again.
I called Kenzie as soon as Mum left after dropping me off. To Kenzie, this was my last visit to my grandparents' house. At least until we visited, that is. My parents had explained that I would be spending the July full moon at Richard and Cinda's, much to my dislike. I had thought that maybe they would just let me stay home after we moved, but no. The July one was so close to the estate sale that I was just going to go to Australia with Dad for that and he'd pick me up after the full moon. I had no idea what I was doing for the August one.
However, my parents had told me that I wasn't allowed to tell Kenzie that I would be there. It would look extremely suspicious to her and her family. They would think that I'd fly to Australia while Matt was getting treatment for whatever Muggle disease they thought he had. I hated to have to pretend not to be there, but it was necessary.
Kenzie came over to Richard and Cinda's five minutes after I called her. She was going to sleep over at my grandparents' house for the last time. Mum and Dad didn't want her staying there the actual night of the full moon just in case something happened at home and I had to leave immediately. I actually didn't mind that since I didn't think I'd be able to hide my fear from her anyway.
We ate dinner with Richard and Cinda and then went up to my room.
"I still can't believe this is our last sleepover," Kenzie sighed as she flopped down onto my bed.
"Me either," I laid down next to her.
"Are you scared?" she asked quietly.
"About moving? Yeah, a little," I replied. More than a little, I thought.
"I wish I could tell you you'll be fine. But I've never moved, so I have no idea."
"It's just that we're moving so far away," I said, "Everything is going to be different."
"Well, look on the bright side. At least you're moving somewhere where they speak English," Kenzie shrugged.
"Yeah, I suppose you're right," I laughed.
"Is your new school like your old one?" Kenzie asked.
"Pretty much," I shrugged. Except it's in a castle. But I didn't mention that since Muggle schools weren't normally in castles.
"And does your dad have the same top-secret job in England now?"
"Equivalent department, different job," I replied.
"So, it's like your whole life is just being transferred to a different country."
"Pretty much. But our new house is totally different."
"I think you'll survive in a smaller house," Kenzie laughed.
"I know," I shrugged, "But I like my house."
"Yeah. I know I'd hate to leave mine. Although I definitely wouldn't mind having my own room."
The rest of my time with Kenzie passed way too quickly. We spent most of it talking and just hanging out. Richard and Cinda seemed to sense that we wanted to be alone and didn't bother us the whole time.
"I'm going to miss you so much," Kenzie sniffled as she grasped me in a tight hug. It was late Sunday afternoon and the full moon was going rise soon.
"Me, too," I cried, "I don't want to go!"
"I don't want you to!" Kenzie replied, "But you'll be back to visit."
"I know," I stammered, "But I don't know when that will be!"
"Can't you come stay at my house tonight? Please?"
I shook my head. "Richard and Cinda want to spend time with me."
"Ok, well, I guess I'll call you soon," Kenzie said, "Your mum gave my mum her mobile number."
I nodded, "Yeah, call me. I'll write you as soon as we move, too. I'll let you know everything."
"And I'll tell you everything that's going on here," Kenzie said.
We hugged for a few more minutes and silently cried into each other's hair. I reluctantly let go and we looked at each other for a few moments.
"I guess this is goodbye for real now," Kenzie said as she grabbed her bag.
"I guess," I said with tears running down my cheeks, "Bye, Kenzie. But we will see each other again."
"Of course," Kenzie agreed, "But until then, good luck with everything."
I nodded, "Thanks."
"Bye, Amy," Kenzie said softly as she opened the door. She turned around as she walked outside and I waved.
I stood in the doorway and watched her go until long after she disappeared behind the trees. I let the tears roll down my face and blur my vision. This was it. Kenzie and I wouldn't see each other for months. She was one of my best friends and now she was gone. I was leaving and she was staying. I was being forced to leave my two best friends in the whole world. Olivia and I were already drifting apart and now I wouldn't see Kenzie for months. Well, at least I'd see Kenzie again. I didn't think I'd ever see Olivia again. I let a sob escape at the thought of never seeing Olivia again.
With the release of that first sob, the rest of them came hard and fast. My whole body shook as I cried almost as hard as I had when Matt was in the hospital. I couldn't see anything as the tears flooded my eyes. I was hardly aware of the fact that Cinda put her arm around me and led me back into the house and onto a couch in the living room. I laid down on it and let myself cry for ages. Both of my friends were gone. I didn't know when or if I'd see them again.
I wasn't sure how long I laid on the couch crying, but eventually, my eyes ran dry and I slowly sat up. Cinda was sitting in one of the armchairs and was looking at me. I rubbed my eyes and took a deep breath.
"Are you ok, Amy?" Cinda asked quietly.
I nodded. "I guess."
"I know this is hard," Cinda said, "It's hard to move away from your friends. My best friend, Helen, moved away when I was around your age. But we stayed in touch. We still call each other on occasion and even meet for coffee."
"But I'm moving to another country," I muttered, "It was hard enough to keep all the lies straight with Kenzie living here, but it'll be even harder now. Lies and living across the world. I'm just sick of it."
Cinda nodded. "Well, I won't pretend that I know what it's like to keep so many secrets from your friends. Helen and I told each other everything."
"I can't tell anyone everything," I replied.
"I know and it is hard on you. But you're strong. You're such a good big sister, you know that, right?"
I nodded. "Yeah, but I just hate the whole thing sometimes."
"We all do, Amy, we all do," Cinda said.
I glanced out the window. It was getting increasingly darker. The moon would rise soon. "I'm going upstairs," I muttered.
Cinda nodded. "It's going to be ok, Amy."
I bit my lip and didn't say anything as I left. I wished I could just believe Cinda. But I couldn't. Everything was so up in the air. There was no way to know things would be ok.
I went upstairs and crawled into my bed. I hadn't even eaten dinner, but I wasn't hungry. I laid completely still under the covers, staring out the window. I didn't do anything. I just laid there. Thinking about nothing and everything at the same time. Thinking about school, moving, Kenzie, Olivia, Matt, my grandparents, my parents, and everything in between. Yet, my mind was empty at the same time. It was strange, but it was the best way to describe it. Everything and nothing at the same time.
I tossed and turned much of the night, but must have fallen asleep at some point because the next thing I knew I was opening my eyes to the bright sun that was shining through the window. I groggily sat up and yawned.
Then it hit me. Night had passed. The moon had set once again. The sun was up. The last full moon in Australia was over! I jumped out of bed and quickly changed clothes. I ran downstairs as my heart thudded in my chest.
I had no idea when Mum or Dad would tell me what happened. I assumed nothing too horrible had happened since neither of them showed up the night before, but I still wanted to know. I poured myself a bowl of cereal, but wound up just pacing the kitchen while the Lucky Charms grew mushy in my bowl.
Cinda and Richard stumbled downstairs a little while later. Cinda sat down at the table while Richard poured them both mugs of coffee. I couldn't tell if they had been up all night or if they just needed their coffee.
"Amy, don't you want your cereal?" Cinda asked.
"No, not really," I replied as I continued pacing across the floor.
"I think things went ok last night," Cinda said quietly, "They would have contacted us sooner if they hadn't."
"I know," I said, "But I still need to know."
"Amy," Richard said as he set down the coffee mugs, "Stop pacing. Sit down and eat something."
I nodded and sat down. I picked up the spoon from my cereal and started stirring my cereal, but not eating it. Richard took it away and gave me a withered look. I didn't say a word as Richard began to cook eggs. Richard was cooking eggs. I couldn't remember the last time Richard cooked brekkie.
I ate the eggs even though I wasn't exactly hungry. It had been a nice gesture on Richard's part. My mind wasn't on the food, though, it was on my brother.
I was just getting up from the table when I heard a loud crack coming from the living room. I immediately ran out of the kitchen and into the living room. Mum was standing there looking exhausted, but not sad, which I took as a good sign.
"Mum!" I exclaimed, "What happened?"
"He's fine, Amy," Mum replied.
"Is everything ok, Julie?" Richard asked. I turned around and saw him and Cinda standing in the doorway.
"Everything is fine," Mum said, "Lubar did show up last night. But he had to Apparate into the bush and then come to our door the hard way. To say he wasn't happy about our wards and disconnection from the Floo Network would be an understatement, but there's nothing he could do about it. By the time he got to the house, the moon was about to rise. Matt was already in the basement. Walter was able to hold him off just by arguing with him. He was quite angry when he realized that the moon had risen before he got Matt, though. Walter told him to get out and slammed the door in his face. And that, hopefully, was the last time we saw Ralph Lubar."
I breathed a sigh of relief. "That's good," I smiled.
"Glad to hear it," Richard said.
"What about Matt?" Cinda asked, "Is he ok?"
Mum gave Cinda a weird look, but then shook her head and it was gone. I guess Mum wasn't used to Cinda asking about Matt, since they had that huge row.
"As good as can be expected," Mum replied, "He had been unconscious for about an hour, but that's normal. He's got the usual injuries, and he re-injured his ankle. Depending on how fast it heals, he might have to go see Healer Sterling again. But after last month, this one has been a relief."
Cinda winced at the sound of Matt's injury. "Well, I can't say I've heard anyone say a re-injured ankle is a relief, but I'm glad it wasn't anything worse."
I was, too. I hadn't even realized how worried I had been until I found out that Matt was ok. Sure, I had been pacing around the kitchen, but I hadn't thought I'd been that worried.
"When can I come home?" I asked quietly.
Mum sighed. "I guess you can come home now. But you'll have to stay out of Matt's room. He needs to rest."
I nodded and smiled as I went to get my stuff. I couldn't believe how much less strict Mum had become in the past few months. Six months ago, she never would have let me go home the morning after the full moon.
The next week flew by even faster than the previous one had. Mum and Dad were preoccupied with moving logistics and spent most of their time talking about packing and decorating and other sorts of stuff. With the last full moon in Australia behind them, they were both becoming increasingly excited about the move. I think Dad was excited about working again as well. He routinely talked about his new job and I got the feeling he was very enthusiastic about it.
Matt seemed indifferent about moving. He spent the week resting and lounging around the house while his ankle healed. Dad brought out the crutches again and Matt hobbled around the house on them. Mum said he needed to go to St. Mungo's, but Dad wanted to just wait until after we moved and see if it healed on its own with the usual potions. Mum reluctantly agreed. He had two more therapy sessions and Norlam was very pleased with the progress he'd made. During the most recent one, he had migrated from the couch onto the floor and watched Norlam and I play Gobstones. He didn't say anything or play with us, but it was progress nonetheless.
"Amy, did you clean up your room yet?" Mum shouted from the kitchen.
"It's almost done!" I groaned and got up from the couch.
"You need to finish it soon! The Magical Movers are coming early tomorrow morning and your room needs to be ready to be packed!"
Mum had been nagging me about cleaning my room all day. She and Dad were frantically running around the house making sure everything was ready. Matt and I had mostly been watching them. Mum of course got his room ready for him, but I had to do mine myself. Plus my Potions room, which I had done that morning.
I didn't want to get my room ready. I didn't want to see it bare and empty. Once it was empty, it wouldn't be mine anymore. It would be Clarence's, and who knows what he'd do with it. I still hated the thought of someone else moving into the house. Although, part of me thought Clarence was just going to own it in name only and let it sit empty just to spite Dad and Uncle Jack.
No amount of thinking about it could have possibly prepared me for packing up my room. I slowly ascended the stairs and stood in the doorway for a moment before sitting down and starting to clean. There was no feeling in the world quite like packing up your whole life and moving it to another country. I had only moved once in my life and I had been so young that I didn't remember it. This house was basically the one I had spent my life in. Even before we actually moved in, when Granny and Gramps were still alive, we spent every holiday in this house. Granny, Gramps, Mum, Dad, me, and occasionally Clarence and Gregory. We visited other times of the year, too. My memories of this house were some of the first ones I'd had.
Christmas morning when I was three. Ripping open the biggest box under the tree to find my very first toy broom. I flew it around the house the entire day, until I crashed into the refrigerator and Mum declared it an outside toy.
My fourth birthday. One of the only memories I had of Granny and Gramps. My last memory of them. All our family at the house eating a huge chocolate cake. My Little Hippogriffs, a toy owl, a stuffed animal dragon that breathed fake fire, and a copy of [i]The Tales of Beedle the Bard[/i] for presents. But what I remember most is walking through the bush and seeing a family of kangaroos. That had been my first walk through that bush, and I fell in love.
Moving in. It had been a few months after Granny and Gramps had died. Dad couldn't bring himself to move in before that. I don't remember much about the accident, but I do remember being excited about moving. Mum carried me up the stairs and showed me my new room. I was thrilled and made a beeline for the balcony. It had been locked and it remained that way for years.
I was five and I first discovered the joys of climbing the wall into the bush. Mum completely freaked out and told me never to do it again. I was out there the next day when Mum was cleaning. I promptly fell off, skinned my knee, and ran crying inside to Mum. I tried again the next day and succeeded.
A few months later Mum was shrieking with joy and holding a white stick in her hand. I kept asking her what it was, but she wouldn't tell me. A few hours after Dad came home, they sat me down and told me I was going to have a new brother or sister. I was filled with mixed feelings about it, but what I remember most is wanting a sister.
Six years old and peering down at Matt, who was sleeping in his crib. I remember thinking how tiny he was. Mum and Dad asked me if I wanted to hold him and I said yes. I sat down in the rocking chair and Mum placed him in my lap. I looked down at his tiny red face and wondered how on earth a baby could have been growing in Mum.
Sitting in the kitchen staring at the owl that was coming closer and closer to the house. I had been eleven and spent days waiting for my Australian School of Sorcery letter to arrive. I let the owl in and couldn't get the letter open fast enough. My hands shook as I opened it and shrieked with joy when I read it. I ran all around the entire house waving it above my head. Four-year-old Matt stared at me with a mixed look of confusion and awe on his face. He immediately asked me how long it would be until he got his letter.
Almost exactly a year later, laying on my bed thinking about how everything changed in a matter of minutes. It had been a few days after Matt got bitten and Dad and I came home from the hospital to get some sleep. Mum stayed with Matt. I was scared. Scared and upset. I didn't know what it meant. I didn't know what would happen to Matt. To me. To my whole family.
Christmas, just six short months ago. Finally getting the twelve foot tree I had always wanted. With no way to know that it would be the one and only time we'd have a tree that tall in the house. With no way of knowing that it was our last Christmas in the house. My house. My home.
Memories. I knew deep down that I'd always have the memories of my house, even if we didn't own it anymore. I knew it was the people I shared those memories with were what really mattered. But I couldn't help but feel like I was being forced to leave my childhood behind. No matter how much I reassured myself things would be ok, I knew I'd be leaving a part of myself in Australia with the house.
I shook myself out of my reminiscing and stared at my room. I had no idea where to begin. Cleaning up my Potions room had been easy. Everything had a place in there. All I had to do was put everything in its place and I was done. My bedroom was different. It had never really been organized.
I sighed and began by picking up all the dirty clothes and throwing them in the hamper. It was a start. But it was only a start. My room was still a mess when I finished that. I kept going and finished picking up everything else that was on the floor. I worked methodically, trying not to think about what the cleaning really meant. I knew if I sank back into reminiscing, I'd never get anything accomplished.
Then came my closet. I didn't think I had ever cleaned my closet. It was packed with the detritus of my childhood. I sat down in front of it and began to pull things out. Text books from previous years, broken displays of the solar system from Astronomy, broken quills, random bits of parchment. It was like cleaning out a big school trunk. I tossed most of it into the bin. I made a pile of stuff I wanted to keep and threw the books onto it.
It was like an archaeological dig. There were layers of my life piled into that closet. As I worked through the stuff, I worked farther back into the years. I found my first set of school robes, which were much too short. I couldn't bear to throw them away, though. They would remind me of Australia. A box of letters from Olivia joined them in the 'keeping' pile.
Next was the stuff from before I ever went to school. Well, magical school, that is. I found my My Little Hippogriffs. I threw away the broken ones and kept the ones that were still intact. Wendy Witch dolls, toy dragons, hippogriffs, unicorns, and just about every other magical creature in the world. Dad began teaching me about magical creatures before I could talk. My toy broomstick, which had seen better days. I put it in the 'keeping' pile. Old clothes that I hadn't seen in years went into the giveaway pile. Childhood books went into the 'keeping' pile.
Eventually the entire contents of my closet had been organized into three piles. The 'keeping' pile was considerably larger than the others. That didn't matter. Mum had said I could keep whatever I wanted. I grabbed a few of the boxes Mum had given me and piled everything I wanted to keep into it. The trash pile went in the bin and the giveaway stuff went in another box.
I tackled my dresser and desk next. Most of that stuff I packed into boxes to be moved to England. There wasn't much I wanted to get rid of. I left my bedding on the bed since we still had one more night.
By the time I finished, my room looked depressingly empty. It didn't even really look like my room anymore. It was an empty shell, a place where I had lived almost my entire life and was now just a room. I didn't like it. Not one bit. I sank down onto my bed and stared at the boxes. The boxes that contained my life.
Joined: 28 December 2006
Location: Going through LeakyCon withdrawal
Posted: Sunday 22 February 2009 12 25 11 pm Post subject: Re: In Moonlight's Shadow in topic:In Moonlight's Shadow
Thanks hprocks and Obladi!
Chapter 35: Back Home
The next few days droned on much like the past few had. Matt continued to get better, although he was still having problems with his ankle. Besides that, he was almost completely physically better.
He was still having nightmares, so the nurses kept giving him dreamless sleep. He flat out refused to go to sleep without it. Norlam had worked out a therapy schedule that would start the following Monday.
Healer Sterling decided that Matt would be ready to be discharged on Saturday, which was two weeks after the full moon. It was hard to believe it had been that long since I had been home. It was even harder to believe that we only had three more weeks in Australia.
"Ready to go home, Matt?" Sterling said as he entered the room Saturday morning.
Matt nodded. "Yup. It's boring here."
Sterling laughed. "That's good to hear." He pulled out his wand and began to perform various spells on Matt.
"Everything look good?" Dad asked once Sterling put his wand away.
"For the most part. His ankle isn't completely healed, so he'll have to use crutches for a couple weeks, but otherwise he's fine. I expect his ankle will be better by the next full moon, but he could possibly reinjure it that night."
Dad nodded. "All right."
"There are a few potions he'll have to take for a couple days to help with the healing. Plus the dreamless sleep, which he'll take until Norlam decides he's ready to stop.
"I'd like to see him as soon as you move here. Sooner if something happens during the next full moon."
"That's fine," Dad replied, "We'll let you know how he's doing."
"Thanks," Sterling said, "We've set up a portkey for you. The last thing Matt needs is to have to travel twenty hours on a Muggle airplane."
"Thank you," Mum looked at him gratefully.
"It's in my study. There are some forms you'll need to fill out at the nurse's station, and then you can take the portkey from my study. Jack, I've set you up a portkey back to New York as well."
"Wow, thanks," Uncle Jack said.
"I'll meet you at the nurse's station," Sterling picked up the chart that was sitting on the bedside table and left the room.
"Ready to go, Matt?" Dad went over to the bed and lifted Matt up. He nodded and put his arms around Dad's neck.
Uncle Jack grabbed the crutches and Mum grabbed Matt's overnight bag. I collected the various books I had acquired over the past two weeks and followed them out of the room. I was so relieved to finally be going home. I was sick of the hospital. Matt was mostly better, which I was very happy about. But ever since he had started to get better, I had been thinking more about the move. We only had three weeks left in Australia. And then we'd be in England permanently. The weird part was, it sort of felt like we already lived there.
Dad signed the discharge papers at the nurse's station and we said goodbye to the nurses that were working that day. We knew pretty much all of them by then and they were happy that Matt was finally better to go home. I'd found that the nurses were much friendlier towards him in England than in Australia.
We went to Sterling's study after Dad finished signing the papers. There was an old broken Muggle telephone and a cracked plastic mixing bowl sitting on his desk, which I assumed were the portkeys.
"I'll see you in a few weeks," Sterling shook Dad's hand, "I wish you luck with the move."
"Thanks," Dad replied.
"Thank you for everything," Mum said.
"You're welcome," Sterling smiled, "The telephone goes to Australia and the mixing bowl will go to New York."
Dad nodded and turned to Uncle Jack. "Well, Jack, I really appreciate you spending all this time here with us."
"I wanted to, Walt," Uncle Jack replied, "I'll try to visit once you've moved here."
"Ok, we'll see you then. Goodbye," Dad said.
"Bye, Walt," Uncle Jack clapped him on the shoulder and then turned to Matt, "Bye, kid. I'm glad you're feeling better. See you in a few weeks, ok?"
Matt nodded and held out his arms. Uncle Jack gave him a hug and ruffled his hair. Then he turned to me.
"See you in a couple weeks, Amy," he gave me a hug.
"Bye, Uncle Jack," I smiled.
"See you soon, Julie," he said to Mum.
"Thanks, Jack," Mum smiled gratefully at him, "We'll see you soon."
Uncle Jack handed her Matt's crutches and then picked the mixing bowl up off the table. Sterling tapped it with his wand and Uncle Jack disappeared.
Dad picked the telephone up and held it out. Mum and I each placed a hand on it. Sterling tapped it with his wand and I felt the familiar jerk behind my navel as England disappeared in front of me.
We landed in the kitchen a little while later. Mum and Dad both landed on their feet, but I landed on my arse as usual. I shakily stood up and gazed around the kitchen. It looked exactly the same. I smiled as I realized how happy I was to be home.
"Well, here we are. Home again," Dad said.
I dropped my bag on the floor and tried to figure out what time it was in Australia. It had been just after ten o'clock when we left England and it was dark in Australia. So, what time would that make it here? The time conversion thing was even more confusing when you traveled by portkey than Muggle airplanes.
I sat down at the table and saw the clock out of the corner of my eye. Duh, the clock, I thought. Why hadn't I just looked at it first? Probably because I was incredibly tired. It was after nine o'clock at night.
"Dad, I'm tired," Matt mumbled. He had still been sleeping more than normal. Plus, he woke up a few times every night when the dreamless sleep wore off.
"We all are," Dad replied, "But it's night here, so that's a good thing. Let's go upstairs and go to bed."
Mum and I followed them upstairs. We met Ellie halfway up the stairs and she was thrilled that we were back and that Matt was doing better.
Dad gently tucked Matt into his bed and gave him the dreamless sleep while Mum and I stood next to his bed. We all said good night to him and started to leave the room.
"Mummy?" Matt whispered.
"What is it, honey?" Mum asked, turning around.
"Can I sleep in your bed?" he asked quietly.
Mum and Dad glanced at each other. "What's wrong, honey?" Mum asked.
"I'm scared," he mumbled almost incoherently.
"Oh, Matt, no one is going to do anything to you here. There's nothing to be afraid of."
"Wh-what about L-lubar?" Matt croaked, "H-he m-might floo h-here."
"I'm getting us disconnected from the floo network," Dad muttered, "Tomorrow, first thing. And I'll put up some anti-apparition wards on the entire property."
"He won't come here again," Mum assured him, "You're safe here."
"I st-still w-want to s-sleep in your b-bed," Matt cried.
"Ok, that's fine," Mum said. She picked him up and he rested his head on her shoulder.
I followed my parents and Matt out of the room and watched them go into their bedroom. It looked like Matt fell asleep in Mum's arms a few moments later. The dreamless sleep must have kicked in.
I walked slowly back to my room and shut the door behind me. I dropped my bag on the floor and didn't bother emptying it. I gazed around my room and sighed. It felt good to be back, but I really didn't want to get used to it. In a few short weeks we'd be in England for good.
Before I went to bed, I scribbled out a quick letter to Olivia. I hadn't written to her in over two weeks. Our letters were becoming more and more infrequent, which kind of bothered me. She also talked more about the other girls in our year. I kind of thought she was becoming friends with them. I knew it was selfish of me to not want her to befriend them, but for the past three years it had always been the two of us against those other girls. But I couldn't really expect Olivia not to make new friends, could I?
I crawled into bed once I was done. Despite the fact that I was accustomed to England time, I was tired. I hadn't really had a good night's sleep the entire time we were there. The first few nights I was plagued with nightmares. Then when they stopped, I couldn't sleep because Mum or Dad (whoever was staying at the Leaky Cauldron that night) would toss and turn the whole night.
I woke up early the next morning. Earlier than I usually do. I squinted at the clock and saw that it was five in the morning. However, I was wide awake and starving so I got dressed and left the room. I paused by Matt's room on my way down the corridor, but he wasn't in there. He must've spent the entire night in my parents' room. It didn't surprise me in the least. He slept in there for a few months following the night he was bitten.
My parents' bedroom door was closed, so I guessed I was the only one up. It reminded me of school holidays when I'd get up early and hurry downstairs to get a bowl of Lucky Charms. It all seemed so trivial now. Just a few months ago, I hardly had a care in the world. My worries consisted of whether I'd pass the next Transfiguration test and what Olivia and I would spend Friday night doing. I suppose it was possible that once I adjusted to Hogwarts, life might return to a semblance of that, but I kind of doubted it. When I went to school in Australia, I paid zero attention to the outside world. The matters of the government didn't concern me in the slightest. I couldn't imagine going back to that. Now, I wanted to know what was going on. The past few months had taught me to find out the news for myself, not wait for my parents to tell me what was going on weeks after it actually happened.
Walking through the quiet house at that hour, I could almost pretend the past few months hadn't happened. Almost. The lack of furniture in a lot of the rooms and the empty places on the walls where the portraits had been told me otherwise. The past few months had happened. How many more times would I walk through the house at this hour?
The quiet was replaced by hushed whispers. I stepped as quietly as I could down the stairs and paused to hear where they were coming from. Kitchen, I thought. I tiptoed down the corridor and peeked into the kitchen. Mum and Dad were both sitting at the counter hunched over steaming mugs of coffee. I pulled my head back and leaned against the wall, listening in on what they were saying.
"I just can't stand it," Dad muttered, "He got away with it. There's nothing we can do. Absolutely nothing!"
"It's awful," Mum agreed and took a sip of her mug.
"I can't sit here and do nothing," Dad continued, "It's all I can do from stopping myself from going down to the Ministry and dueling him, Muggle style."
"That won't accomplish anything," Mum replied.
"I know. But when we were in England all I could concentrate on was getting Matt better. Now we're back in Australia and he is mostly better. I could be at the Ministry in two seconds. Hell, I'm going to the Ministry today to have them disconnect us from the Floo network!"
"Walt, it's Sunday. You'll have to wait until tomorrow," Mum sighed, "And you can't duel Lubar. He'll press charges and we'll be stuck here while you go on trial!"
"That's what's driving me mad! He kidnapped our son, harmed him, and we can't do a thing about it! There's something seriously wrong with that."
"I hate it as much as you do, Walt, but we have to put it behind us. Matt's better now. We just have to move on."
"But he's not entirely better. Who knows how long he'll be traumatized from this? That's what really gets me. Matt is the one who suffered from this. I know Lubar could care less about Matt. He did this to get me. To get me back for getting promoted before he did. Why couldn't he just duel me like a normal wizard? Or pull a few office pranks? Why did he have to get to me through my son?" Dad sighed and put his head in his hands.
"Because he knew it would hurt you more to see Matt hurt than to actually be hurt yourself," Mum replied, "I've told you that."
"I know," Dad groaned, "But he hasn't stopped. He just keeps going. There's nothing he won't do."
"He's not going to stop," Mum said quietly, "But we only have one more full moon here. Then we'll be gone. He can't get to us in England."
"But it's this one last full moon that worries me," Dad said darkly, "He does something worse each month. First it was that place of transformation law. Then it was just the threats and the fines. But last month, last month he went too far. I can't even think of anything worse he could do, save for kidnapping him again. I don't doubt that he'll try that again, too. The law hasn't changed."
"We'll just won't let him," Mum replied.
Dad let out another loud sigh. "Which is why this is just driving me mad. I could have stopped him last month. It was my fault. I shouldn't have left him alone."
"He wasn't alone. We were both in the house. No one should have to feel that they're not safe in their own house. We could not have expected that, Walter. You have to come to terms with that."
"That may be," Dad muttered, "But this month, I'm not leaving his side until the moon rises."
"Me, too," Mum agreed.
I wish I could do that, I thought. But I knew I'd be going to Richard and Cinda's again. The only good thing about that was that I'd get to see Kenzie, and this was the last time I'd get to see her for quite a while. Kenzie! I suddenly remembered that I'd told her we'd go to her house for that barbecue. When was that supposed to be? I racked my brain and remembered that it was this coming Saturday. I still hadn't even told my parents about it. It had completely escaped my brain.
Dad slammed his hands on the counter and shook his head. "I just hate that I can't protect him anymore!"
Mum put her arm around Dad and leaned her head on his shoulder. "I know. I hate it too. We just have to do all we can to protect him the other twenty-seven days of the month."
"But it's that one other day that he really needs protecting," Dad muttered.
"And we're doing all we can to make sure that one day is as good as it can be," Mum pointed out, "That's why we're moving, Walt."
"We should've moved sooner."
"No one could have predicted this. We have to remember that."
"A father should be able to stand up for and protect his children, Julie," Dad said quietly. "I can't do that anymore. I haven't been able to for the past two and a half years."
"But you do protect him, Walter. For the past two years you have been stopping the legislation that would ruin his life. That's protecting him."
"Until I got fired."
"You were fired because you were protecting him," Mum pointed out, "There's only so much we can do. He has an illness. Parents can't protect their children from chronic diseases."
"If I had been protecting him that night, he never would have been bitten," Dad whispered.
"We did all we could save for putting a charm on the tent to keep him from leaving it in the middle of the night."
"Maybe we should have done that. Or we shouldn't have gone camping that night. I knew it was going to be a full moon. I knew the dangers. But we still went. If I could just go back in time and change one thing, that would be it."
"You and me both," Mum sighed, "But we can't."
I watched them sit there leaning their heads on each other's shoulders. Every once in a while they would have this same conversation, but it had never before included Dad wanting to curse someone. I could understand it, though. I bet if I saw Lubar ever again I'd have a hard time keeping myself from hexing him.
When it became clear that neither of them were going to say anything else, I casually walked into the room pretending I hadn't heard a word they just said.
"Morning," I yawned as I opened one of the cabinets. I pulled out a box of Lucky Charms and then rummaged around for a bowl.
"Hi, Amy," Dad said wearily.
"Morning," Mum replied, "Did you sleep better?"
"Much," I said. I poured a bowl of cereal and sat down next to Mum. I ate half the bowl and neither of my parents had anything else. I decided it was a good a time as any to bring up the barbecue at Kenzie's house.
"Hey, Mum, Dad?" I asked in between bites.
"What is it, Amy?" Mum sighed.
"When I was at Richard and Cinda's, Kenzie said her mum invited us to their house for a barbecue this Saturday. I told her we could go and I'd let her know if we couldn't. But that was, you know, before the full moon, so...." I let my voice trail off. I wasn't really sure if Mum and Dad would want to go to Kenzie's house. I knew I wanted to, but doubted I had any say in the matter.
Mum looked at Dad before replying. "Just us? Or is this a party type thing?"
"Just us," I answered.
"I suppose we could go," Mum said slowly, "That's an entire week before the full moon."
"His ankle won't be healed by then, at least Sterling doesn't think so," Dad reminded her. "And what about the fact that he's afraid of everyone?"
"The Dawes aren't strangers. He knows them. But we'll see what he thinks about it to be sure. As far as his ankle goes, Muggles sprain their ankles all the time. They won't think a thing of it. It'll be nice to do something fun for a change," Mum replied. "We'll just have to Apparate and tell them we parked our car at my parents' house and then walk to theirs."
I hadn't really thought of that. It would seem kind of suspicious if we appeared at Kenzie's doorstep without a car parked in the street.
"That'll work," Dad said, "We can tell them your parents had other plans, as they're surely to invite them if we mention parking our car at their house."
Mum nodded. "Good point. Did Kenzie mention that we should bring anything?"
"Nope," I said.
"Well, I'll bring a desert or something," Mum decided.
I smiled as I ate the rest of my Lucky Charms. It would be nice to see Kenzie when it wasn't the full moon. When I didn't have to spend the night at Richard and Cinda's. Plus, I thought it would be good for my family to get out of the house. We hadn't really done anything like that since Richard and Cinda's 'going away' party. We hadn't done anything fun like that in who knows how long.
Mum and Dad continued drinking their coffee as I finished up my cereal. Judging by the lack of used dishes in the sink, neither of them had had any actual brekkie. Just coffee. Both of looked extremely exhausted as well.
I got up from the table and went to dump my own dirty dishes in the sink. A loud scream broke the silence and I dropped my bowl in surprise. I jumped as my heart started beating a mile a minute.
Mum and Dad jumped up from their seats and completely ignored my dropped dish. I quickly picked it up (luckily it was plastic and had not broken), tossed in the sink, and followed my parents out of the room.
The screaming got louder as we raced up the stairs and into my parents' room. Dad grabbed the doorknob and threw the door open. Mum and I followed him in.
Matt was sitting in the middle of their bed with tears running down his face. He was shaking uncontrollably and looked scared out of his mind. Mum practically flew over to the bed and put her arms around my brother, pulling him into her lap.
"It was just a dream," she soothed, "Mummy's here."
Dad sat down next to them and put his arm around the both of them. I sat down on the edge of the bed, not sure whether to stay or leave. Matt began to calm down after twenty minutes of my parents soothing him and eventually stopped crying all together. I had a feeling that this was going to become an everyday thing. I was beginning to doubt that Healer Norlam would be able to do anything about Matt's nightmares. They seemed so horrible.
"Are you hungry?" Mum asked after Matt had been quiet for a few minutes.
He nodded. Dad picked him up off of Mum's lap and carried him out of the room. Mum and I followed and the four of us went down to the kitchen. Ellie was there had started cooking eggs and toast. Dad set Matt down on one of the kitchen chairs and sat down next to him. Mum began helping Ellie with the cooking. I sat down and stared at the flowery tablecloth covering the table. Nobody said anything as we waited for the food to be ready.
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