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Chapter 10: For One of Your Kids
Disclaimer- I don't own Harry Potter or Fruit Loops.
The day I was supposed to depart for school was quickly upon me. I had spent the past two weeks avoiding contact with my family by staying in my room or my Potions room. Neither of my parents seemed to care or even notice. They were both being highly secretive about something that I could only guess was researching schools for me to transfer to. Whatever it was, it seemed to take up all of Dad's time when he was home. The two of them would hole up in Dad's study for hours on end. I tried to listen in on what they were saying, but one of them must have put up a silencing charm since I couldn't hear a thing.
I wandered down to the kitchen a few hours after I woke up and found Mum sitting at the table with the usual large mug of coffee and piece of parchment she didn't want me to see. This had become a habit of hers, although I'm sure the parchment was a different one each day.
"Morning," I said as I grabbed my box of Fruit Loops.
Mum jumped and then stared at me, raising one eyebrow. Probably due to the fact that I hadn't said good morning to her in a few weeks. "Hello, Amy."
"So," I began as I poured my cereal, "Know what today is?"
Mum sighed, "January 25th? Two days before the full moon?"
"Anything else happening today?" I inquired.
Mum set down her parchment. "Not that I can think of. Just tell me what it is. I'm not in the mood to play guessing games."
"I can't believe you forgot," I huffed and sat down in front of her. "It's the day I should be returning to school!"
"Oh, well, I see," Mum muttered.
"Olivia's probably getting ready to leave for the train," I commented in between bites of cereal. "Sure wish I was going...."
"Amy, you're not going to guilt me into changing my mind about this. Don't even bother trying."
"I'm just letting you know everything I'm missing," I smiled sweetly.
"That actually does remind me, though. We'll have to get started with your homeschooling."
I groaned inwardly. I really didn't feel like having Mum teach me. Sure, she'd do all right with some stuff like Charms and Transfiguration, but what about Potions? Mum was dreadful at Potions. I'd be better off just learning by myself.
"Have you been doing your homework that your teachers assigned last month?"
I stared at her. "Are you mad? I'm not going back, why would I bother with the homework?"
"Well, that's a good place to start then. Complete the homework and then bring it to me. We'll see where to go from there."
"No buts. Your professors know more about this than I do. You'll learn a great deal just by doing the homework they assigned. Then we'll start with the homeschooling. I won't be doing much, basically just keeping your skills up until the autumn when you'll enter school again."
"That's not fair, though," I whined, "I don't want to just practice what I've already done. Why bother? I'm not going to forget anything."
"I will not have you not keeping up with your studies for six months," Mum said.
"It's your fault," I huffed, "I should be going back to school today."
"I'm not discussing that right now, Amy," Mum said sternly. "I want you to start your homework after you're done eating. We're going over to Richard and Cinda's after lunch. Your father and I have to tell them about our new plans, especially since you'll be going over there in two days."
"But Dad's at work," I pointed out.
"He's going to sneak out for a couple hours."
"Whatever," I muttered. This was just wonderful, I thought. Now I'll be spending every full moon for who knows how long at my grandparents' house. At least I'd get to see Kenzie, but I had no idea what I'd tell her when she asked me why I wasn't in school.
I finished my soggy cereal while Mum continued reading her piece of parchment. I dumped my empty bowl in the sink and went back up to my room. I opened my trunk and pulled out my Astronomy book. I knew better than to not start my homework. Mum would be riding me about this for weeks, so I'd better actually do it. Of course, I'd save the worst for last, like the two rolls of parchment Transfiguration essay.
I sat down on my bed and gazed out the window, my book laying unopened in front of me. It was a sunny day, the kind that was perfect for wandering through the bush. Well, I could read my book while I wandered through the bush, I thought. It certainly didn't look like I'd get much reading done in my room.
Mum was still in the kitchen as I walked past it. She looked up when she saw me.
"Don't go gallivanting through that bush today," she warned. "There's not enough time before we leave."
Yeah, right. We weren't going to leave for a few hours. But I knew she would watch me as I went outside to make sure I didn't go into the bush.
I nodded but didn't say anything and opened the door to the deck. I decided to just lay on the wall next to the bush and read there. I ran over to the wall and tossed my book up onto it.
"Amy!" a voice shouted from behind me. I turned around and saw that it was Mum sticking her head out the window. "Don't go into the bush!"
"I'm not! I'm just sitting on the wall!"
Mum shook her head, but walked away from the window. I climbed the wall and settled down to read my book. Astronomy has always been one of my favorite subjects and I was soon fully immersed in the chapter I was reading. Astronomy and Potions text books are the only ones I can read without being extremely bored. Transfiguration and History of Magic are the worst. They'd put me to sleep in less than five minutes. Charms, Herbology, and Defense Against the Dark Arts aren't that bad, but I'm not very good at DADA. I also take Ancient Runes and Care of Magical Creatures. I wish I had taken Arithmancy instead of Ancient Runes, though. Olivia says it's fascinating and I can't stand Ancient Runes. Care of Magical Creatures isn't that bad, but I'm not very interested in it. Dad wanted me to take that one, since it's pretty much what he built his whole career on.
I was almost done with the chapter I was on when I heard footsteps approaching. Probably Mum telling me lunch was ready or something. Why she actually bothered to come outside and not just yell out the window, I had no idea. Maybe Matt was asleep or something.
"Amy?" a quiet voice asked. I jumped and my book fell off the wall as I heard the voice. It wasn't Mum, it was Matt.
"What?" I asked in an annoyed tone.
"Um, sorry for scaring you."
"You didn't scare me. I just thought you were Mum."
"Oh," he bent down and picked up my book.
I took it and looked at him, "Well, what do you want?"
"Will you play with me? Mum won't let me go swimming."
Probably because she's too busy inside, doing whatever it was that she had been preoccupied with lately. "I'm doing homework, so no."
Matt sighed, "Can I sit up there with you, then?"
"Are you mad?" I stared at him, "Mum would kill me. You're not supposed to be up here. Hell, I'm not supposed to be up here."
"Why are you, then?"
"Because I really don't care what Mum thinks," I said as I sat up and dangled my legs over the edge of the wall.
"I don't either," Matt grabbed the wall with his hands and started trying to climb it.
"Hey, stop!" I shouted, "She's not even going to yell at you if you get up here. She'll yell at me."
"No she won't. She's busy." He wedged his feet onto the wall and got about a foot off the ground.
"I'm serious, Matt. Stop. Get off the wall," I seethed.
"No. It's not fair. You come up here all the time."
"And I get yelled at for it. Plus, life's not fair," I said bitterly and crossed my arms. My life was just about as unfair as it got right now.
"I know that," Matt snapped, "Otherwise I'd get to go to your school." He continued trying to climb up the wall.
"Otherwise I'd get to go to my school!" I groaned, "Now get off the wall!"
"No!" he shouted.
I sighed. He always got so stubborn around the full moon. Any other time of the month and he probably would have listened to me. I glanced up to the house, hoping that Mum wasn't anywhere near the window. I couldn't see her, but she might walk by a window soon. Then I'd be in for it.
Matt was already halfway up the wall now. "Get down, now," I glared at him.
"NO!" he shouted. He reached up for the top of the wall, but his hand slipped. "Amy!" he said in a panicked tone. "Help!"
"This why you shouldn't have done this!" I yelled. I laid back down and tried to grab his hand, but his foot had already slipped and he landed on the ground, flat on his back.
"Ow!" he screeched and started crying loudly.
I jumped off the wall, my heart beating fast. I was in trouble now. I hoped he hadn't gotten hurt badly. "What hurts?" I asked as I bent down.
"My back," he cried.
I looked back to the house, but Mum wasn't anywhere in sight. That was strange. She usually had a sixth sense about these kinds of things and was by Matt's side within seconds of him getting hurt.
"C'mon, let's go inside," I picked him up and he started crying even more. I ran as fast as I could to the house.
I laid him down gently on the couch in the living room and then tried to find Mum. "Mum!" I shouted into the kitchen. She wasn't there. I wandered into the hall. "MUM!" I shouted even louder.
The door to Dad's study burst open and Mum appeared in the doorway with her wand. "What's wrong?" she asked anxiously.
"Um," I said nervously, "Matt got hurt outside. He's in the living room now."
Mum pushed past me and ran into the living room. "What happened?" she asked on the way.
"He tried to climb the wall," I said quietly.
Mum turned around and looked at me. "Really? Did you tell him to?"
"No! I swear I didn't! I tried to stop him but he wouldn't. And then when he was halfway up he fell off it."
"Amy..." Mum groaned and went into the living room.
I followed her over to where my brother was laying. She gently pulled him up and comforted him. She asked him what was wrong and looked at his back once he told her. I snuck a quick glance at it when she was looking and saw that he had a huge cut that was already bruising.
Mum wordlessly left the room and returned a minute later with two potions. She gave Matt one of them to drink and cleaned the cut with the other. Then she tapped it with her wand and the blood disappeared. Mum is pretty good with healing spells, but she can't heal cuts all the way. Matt's back was still bruised and the cut was still noticeable.
"Amy, you know I don't want you on that wall," Mum said as she held my brother in her lap.
"Why? Just because of him?"
"Yes, because he likes to copy you."
"That's not fair! Every part of my life revolves around him!" I shout and run from the room.
I spent the remainder of the morning in my room, reading more of my Astronomy book. The last thing I really feel like doing is going over to Richard and Cinda's house, but I was sure my parents wouldn't let me stay home.
I glanced at the clock. It was almost noon. Olivia was still on the train to get to school. The train always left at ten o'clock sharp. I almost missed it my first year because Mum was busy taking pictures of me at home and lost track of time. I wondered who Olivia was sitting with. The two of us sat together on the train in our second and third years and nobody else sat in our compartment. She's probably sitting with the other girls in our year. Or maybe not, since neither of us really like those girls. I'll probably never see them again.
"Amy! Come down for lunch!" I heard Mum shout.
My stomach was growling so I decided to go down and eat lunch even though I didn't want to be in the company of my family.
Mum had made sandwiches and sliced up apples. I sat down in my usual chair and started to eat without saying anything. Mum was only picking at her food and she looked anxious. Matt seemed to have gotten over his fall from the wall and was eating all his food.
Mum glanced up at the sound of someone Flooing into the house and a minute later, Dad walked into the room. He looked preoccupied and tense as he sat down at the table and grabbed a sandwich.
"Did you get away ok?" Mum asks.
"Best as could be expected. Nobody was happy that I was leaving, but since I'm Head, nobody could really stop me."
I snorted into my milk and tried to stifle my laughter. Mum and Dad both gave me stern looks. "Sorry," I muttered. Hey, I thought it was funny.
"Your daughter spent the morning on that wall in front of the bush," Mum announced. It was never good when she said 'your daughter' to Dad.
"What happened?" Dad asked without looking up from his food.
"Matt tried to copy her and fell on his back," Mum explained. "He's all right now, but he's got a large bruise."
Dad sighed and shook his head. "Well, there's nothing we can do about that now. You're all right now, right Matt?"
Matt nodded, "Yup. Mum gave me a potion."
"Good," Dad said and then turned to me, "Amy, we've told you a million times not to climb that wall."
I shrugged, "I know. I told him not to follow me."
"Just be more careful in the future," Dad said distractedly.
We all finished our sandwiches in silence. Ellie came in partway through the meal and ate her sandwich. Once we were all done, she cleaned up and wished us luck at Richard and Cinda's.
"Ready?" Dad asked.
"Yeah," Mum nodded.
Mum picked up Matt while Dad wrapped me in a bear hug, and the four of us Apparated out of the kitchen. We appeared moments later in a secluded area of bush near Richard and Cinda's. I followed my family to the bottom of the driveway. Mum pushed the button and muttered something into the speaker. A few seconds later the gates opened and we started up the long driveway.
Cinda was waiting for us at the door with a worried look on her face. She ushered us into the house and we settled in the living room. Richard came out of the kitchen with a plate of biscuits.
"What's wrong, Julie?" Cinda asked once everyone had sat down, "You sounded so tense on the phone."
Mum nodded, "We have to tell you something. It's pretty serious."
"What is it?" Richard asked anxiously, "You're not sick or anything, are you?"
"Oh, no, we're all fine," Mum assured him. "It's nothing like that."
I grabbed a biscuit and started eating it. Matt and I were the only ones who were eating them.
"Walter and I sent a letter to Amy's school a few weeks ago," Mum began. "Remember when I told you that well, werewolves aren't always treated very nicely in our world?" She glanced at Matt, but he hadn't seemed to notice what she said. He was busy eating his third biscuit.
"Yes," Richard said. Cinda nodded.
"Well, because of that we weren't sure if he would be accepted into the Australian School of Sorcery, so we sent the headmaster a letter."
"Is it the same headmaster that was there when you were?" Richard asked.
"No. Now Professor Killigan is the Headmaster. He taught Defense Against the Dark Arts while we were there," Mum confirmed. "Anyway, we got a letter back. Professor Killigan basically said that Matt would not be welcome at his school."
"He was downright rude and discriminatory," Dad muttered.
"That doesn't seem right," Richard said, "What about the right to an education? Doesn't your world have that?"
"Yes, but it doesn't apply to werewolves," Dad explained. His voice was stern and his face hard. "I have tried multiple times to change that, but nobody else seems on board."
"That's horrible," Richard replied and slammed his fist on his chair.
"What are you going to do?" Cinda asked, "Can you fight it?"
Mum shook her head, "The law is on Killigan's side, and as Walter said, he can't change the law by himself. The majority of the department has to agree and then the Minister would have to approve it. The majority of the department doesn't agree."
"That's just not fair," Cinda sighed.
"No, it's not," Mum agreed, "Walter and I did some serious thinking after receiving that letter and have decided not to let Amy go back to that place. Not with Killigan there."
"I don't blame you," Richard said.
"But where is she going to go to school? I thought that there was only one wizard school in the country," Cinda asked.
Mum took a deep breath, "Yes, and that's what we've got to talk to you about. We are looking for another school. One that will let Matt attend. Once we find a decent one, Amy will enroll there. We are going to move."
"What?!" Richard and Cinda shouted at the same time. "You're kidding!" Cinda added.
"We're completely serious," Dad said.
"Where are you planning to move to?" Richard asked. "New Zealand?"
Dad shook his head, "We sent them a letter the same time we sent one to Professor Killigan, as a back-up plan. They won't let Matt attend either. We're sending letters to schools in New York, Massachusetts, Canada, and Scotland so far. There are a couple other schools in the States that we might look into as well. We're hoping for the school in New York, though, since my brother lives there."
"New York?" Cinda stared at Dad, "That's on the other side of the world."
Dad nods, "I know, but we're willing to do it."
"You're mad," Cinda shook her head, "Can't you just homeschool them?"
Mum and Dad glanced at each other. One of those parental exchanges of information that don't require speech, I thought. I hated when they did that. I never understand what they're communicating about.
"We could," Mum began, "But we don't want to. There are experiences in school that they can't get at home."
"When are you leaving?" Cinda asked.
"Not sure," Mum said, "Before September, hopefully, since that's when the year starts at all of these schools."
Cinda sighed and shook her head, "I can't believe you'd move out of the country. We're not going to be able to see each other as often."
"I know, Mum," Mum said quietly, "But this is something we have to do, for our kids."
For one of your kids, I thought. I would be perfectly fine staying here and going to the Australian School of Sorcery. I didn't need to move across the world to go to school. Just Matt did.
"Since Amy is going to be home from school until we move," Mum said, "Can she stay here during the full moons? The next one is on Sunday."
"Of course," Cinda nods, "Will you bring her over tomorrow?"
"Yeah," Mum said, "That would be best."
"We'll be here," Cinda said, "We've got a dinner to attend next Sunday, but we're not doing anything this one."
They would have probably just dragged me along to their dinner if it had been this Sunday. I was glad it wasn't this Sunday. I have been to a couple dinners with my grandparents and they are incredibly boring. The food is always exotic and strange, too.
Mum stood up, "Well, we'll see you tomorrow, then."
"Can't you stay for dinner?" Cinda asked.
"I've got to get back to work," Dad told her.
"All right," Cinda said. She got up and gave Mum a long hug. "I can't believe my baby is going to move across the world."
"I can't believe it either, Mum," Mum said, "But we're not moving yet."
"Good, because I'll have to throw you a goodbye party."
"Oh, Mum, no. We don't want anything like that."
I'll say. A goodbye party thrown by my grandmother would just be a repeat of the New Year's party. Plus, we'd have to come up with an excuse as to why we're moving.
"Nonsense, I have to throw my own daughter a goodbye party. People would wonder why I didn't."
"Let them wonder," Mum said, "I'll see you tomorrow. Bye, Dad."
Richard got up and gave Mum a hug as well, "Bye, Jule."
Dad got up and said goodbye to my grandparents. Then Richard and Cinda said goodbye to Matt and I. The two of them hardly said anything to the two of us during the time we were there. I guess they were too focused on the fact that we were moving.
The four of us Apparated back home and Dad immediately Flooed back to work. Matt wanted to go swimming and Mum decided to actually let him. I had thought she would go back to whatever she had been doing earlier. I guess she wanted to keep an eye on him after what happened that morning.
I went up to my room and decided to start my Astronomy essay. I managed to write the introductory paragraph before getting distracted by thoughts of school. The train was probably almost to school by now. Soon everyone would be getting off and going inside to the feast. Killigan would make his start of term speech and announce any new teachers. There would be a new Transfiguration teacher this year since the other one retired. About time, too. He was ancient, and not very nice either. I hoped for Olivia's sake that the new one was nicer. Then, everybody would go to their dormitories and decorate them for the year. I always loved doing that. Olivia and I are best friends, but our tastes in decorations are so different that each of our sides of the room looked drastically different. Olivia would get to decorate the entire room herself this year.
I closed my Astronomy book and stared up at my ceiling. How long would it take the other students in my year to notice that I wasn't there? What would Olivia tell them? Would they really even care since I wasn't friends with them? The teachers would definitely wonder where I was. Killigan would surely tell them why I wasn't back. Or maybe he wouldn't. I didn't really know. I was going to miss most of my teachers, especially Professor Maratta, my Potions teacher. She was really nice and always let me experiment in my spare time. I hoped whoever my new Potions teacher was would let me do that.
A/N: Thanks to my sister and beta, Dancer_of_Starlight. Thanks also to XDNLxtlz99 and teddysxxgirl for their reviews!