A/N I understand how annoying it is to have an authors note before/after stories. I just wanted to point out that that is the first fanfiction I've begun writing since I was fifteen. (I'm now 20.) I've been working on/with this idea for a while, and I know this chapter seems to be a bit tedious, but it's just so everyones caught up on the situation and characters. :)
... AND THATS WHEN THE BLUDGER WENT THROUGH MY WINDOW
In a strewn of clothes, books, and newspapers, a few letters lay on my bed. In my hurry to begin packing for my forthcoming trip, I'd forgotten about them. But there they lay, perfectly inscribed with my name on each.
The first had a curly sort of writing, which I recognized to be from my best friend, Isabelle Corowsky. She wrote me frequently, always under the assumption that even the tiniest bit of gossip was something I must know about, asap. I shoved this letter aside, regarding it as the least important of the three.
The second had a handsome writing, only saying 'Lils', instead of my whole first name. This was from Able Lynwood. He wasn't my boyfriend, but he was definitely quite keen to be. Although full of potential (Prefect for Ravenclaw, and Keeper on the house quidditch team), I could quite grasp being with him. I knew this letter would be interesting, and sweet at the very least. But the third letter was the one I was most excited for.
The third letter was a bit more un-interpretative. The only thing I could make out, from its' very formal addressing, and stamped seal on the back, was that it was from the ministry of magic. If this was what I thought it was, I'd been waiting for it for weeks. During winter break I had applied for an internship at the ministry. I tore the envelope open, wondering how I'd ever forgotten about it.
We appreciate your interest in our summer internship program very much. Your credentials are quite impressive, but unfortunately we will need to conduct a face to face interview before deciding who our future intern will be. More information will be listed on a second parchment.
Secretary to the Minister of Magic.
A second sheet of parchment included the room number at the ministry for my second interview, and also a date and time. Room 435, July 28th, 4pm.
I stuffed these letters back into my envelope, a bit resentful that it would take so long for me to find out if I'd been awarded the month-long internship or not. I placed the envelope into my suitcase.
I opened the second letter, the one from Able, next.
In the few short days I've been home, I've thought of you often. I miss your laugh most. It's been exciting here, Tanner was sent his hogwarts letter the day I got home, and he couldn't be more excited. On multiple occasions, he's tried to snatch my wand from me, and won't stop bothering mum to take him to Ollivanders to get his own. He's already borrowed my old school books and has taken to reading them whenever his favorite radio show isn't on. Looks like we've got another prefect in the making! I hope all is well at your Aunt's place. Can I visit sometime? Now that we can both apparate, it shouldn't be hard! I hope to see you plenty over the holiday. Maybe we can go on a muggle date, sometime. To the cinema, or whatever it is they do. After all, we did meet in muggle studies!
I really do hope to see you soon, Lils. Please write back as soon as possible.
I placed this letter on my nightstand, and grabbed the last one from Isabelle.
I saw Sirius Black yesterday! I went to Diagon Alley with my sister to get some ice cream, and there he was, staring into the quidditch supply store with James Potter. They stopped and said hi. James asked about you. I told him we hadn't spoken yet since summer started, and that made me miss you dearly. James wants you to write to him sometime. You really should, Lily! He can be really very nice. Sirius wants to meet up sometime over the summer. I think he's going to write me. Or should I write him? Ugh! But anyway, how's Able? Have you talked to him? Keep me updated, and don't destroy yourself at your aunt's house! Come see me if you must!
I rolled my eyes at this letter, and grabbed my own piece of parchment.
Under no circumstances to I plan on involving James Potter in my summer in any way, shape, or form.
Able is well. His brother got his Hogwarts letter, so his whole family seems to be in celebration mode. I've only received one letter from him, no real correspondence yet. Don't worry, Belle. Take a deep breath. I'll keep you updated. Anyway, this is going to be awful, but could you keep Ginger for a few weeks while I stay at my aunts? She will not take kindly to having an owl in her house. And I promise to see you soon. I'll try not to kill myself.
I jotted her name on the back of the letter, and attached it to my owl, Ginger's leg. I told her goodbye, and gave her a treat before she took off.
I glanced back at the letter on my nightstand. Able's handsome and clean handwriting stood out to me. After a few moments thought, I placed it in my suitcase next to the ministries.
My bed was a disaster. Clothes and old copies of the daily profit scattered every inch of it. I picked up a blue t-shirt, and underneath stood a moving picture of the minister of magic. He appeared to be making a speech, and waving at a cheering audience. The headline read "MINISTER DECLARES TO DO 'ANYTHING POSSIBLE' TO PREVENT WAR"
Prevent War? I laughed to myself as I folded the shirt. The war was already happening. And what were his tactics? I'd read this article a few days before, and all it mentioned was that the minister 'insured the safety of our people'. But how? He didn't seem to mention any plan of action. Just how did they intend to stop Lord Voldemort? From what I understood, he was extremely powerful, and a master at concealing himself. And just what safety did he ensure? Countless mothers, fathers and siblings of my fellow students were already hurt, or worse, killed because of the war that the ministry didn't seem to want to admit was already brewing.
I shoved the newspaper in the trash. I wasn't even sure why I bothered to save these. Of course I didn't know for sure, but I had a hunch they never reported the truth. I folded the rest of my clothes, placing the ones I wanted with me for the summer in my suitcase, and zipped it shut.
My Aunt would be here in a few hours to pick me up. My Mother, Father and Petunia had gone to France this summer where my sister was doing a summer school program. I'd opted not to go, mostly because of the possibility of receiving the summer internship at the ministry. Instead I was being shipped to my aunt Roses house. Apparently I couldn't be trusted alone at the age of 17. At least I was now legally allowed to do magic outside of school. That, alone, would get me through the next few weeks.
I went over my mental checklist of things I needed for my trip. I'd already arranged for my daily profit to come in the very early morning, as not to alert my Aunt. I'd carefully concealed my school books, again, so the content if she found one wouldn't alarm her. She knew nothing of my wizardry, and my family intended to keep in that way.
Aunt Rose was nice enough. She was my mother's sister. Her older sister. She reminded me a bit of Petunia, in a way. Very… normal. Her husband, Victor, had passed away a few years previous, but I had the impression that Aunt Rose pretended that never happened. She was always talking like he was still around, maybe just at work, or out for a stroll. No one in my family ever brought this up.
I started a pot of tea on the stove – Aunt Rose always demanded a cup of tea, whether she was staying for 5 minutes, or 5 days, there always had to be tea available. I placed the kettle on the burner and looked around my perfectly quaint house.
It was much different from Hogwarts. Smaller, of course, but also much quieter, and much more still. The family portrait hanging in the sitting room didn't move. Petunia and I were both very young when it was done; Petunias face was still bony, and a bit horse-ish, but also childish and filled with joy. We were hugging, in the portrait. Smiling wide. We were still friends, then. These days, Petunia didn't acknowledge my existent. Quite the opposite of Aunt Rose, Petunia liked to pretend I never existed.
The kettle began to steam and hiss just as the doorbell rang. I quickly lifted it off the burner, poured two cups, and dashed to the door. I fixed my hair as I reached for the handle.
"Aunt Rose, You're early!" I smiled.
Aunt Rose stood before me, her curly hair under a cover from the light rain, and her pointed face smiling at me.
"Just a bit." She replied, placing her light pink jacket on the coat rack, and walking towards the kitchen. "Ahh, you've got tea ready!"
We sat and drank for a few moments. I told her about my school year, making a story about how I attend a boarding school in the far north for incredibly gifted children. She told me about her newest cat, Tibalt, or Tibby for short.
We left soon enough, and after struggling to carry my suitcase out the door and into her trunk. ("Why is it so heavy?" she asked. "My clothes weigh a lot, I suppose" I lied.) I watched out the window, most of the way. I watched my average sized house disappear into a strewn of trees, and busy city streets, and then back to trees and into the country side of which Aunt Rose lives. We listened to jazz music the whole way.
We pulled up in front of her cottage like house, and dust from the dirt road blew around us. The fields to the sides were blowing from the light breeze, and birds sat on her picket fence. Aunt rose shouted at them to shoo – god forbid they leave their droppings on her fence.
Inside, the house smelled heavily of cigars. Uncle Victor was a smoker, and in the years since he passed, it seemed Aunt Rose hadn't even attempted to diminish the smell. The house opened with a sitting room. Two flowered couches in the front with a few vanity cases filled with my Aunts knick-knacks. Adjacent to the room was a handsome door, which I knew to lead to my Uncles study. I wondered if my Aunt had bothered to do anything with it since his passing. On the other side of the room was an L-shaped staircase, and straight through the kitchen could be seen. Aunt Rose recommended I drag my suitcase to the spare room upstairs.
The room was just as I remembered. Aunt Rose had always wanted kids, but she later found out she was unable. However, they still had the extra room for Petunia and I to visit. The walls were light purple, with oak furniture. A dresser, a vanity, and two nightstands. I lunged my suitcase onto my bed and sat down next to it, only to find a small black and white kitten curled up next to the pillows.
"You must be Tibby." I said quietly, petting his head. He purred immediately. I took in a deep breath and looked out the large window, while Tibby sat by my side, purring and rubbing his head against my arm. I suppose this summer won't be too terrible. I'd spend a lot of time reading, and catching up on my school work, and ... and thats when the bludger went through my window.
June 28th 2010