Normally, you would never think of hearing those words uttered from between Alice Anderson lips. She is one of the brightest witches in her year, a house prefect, has many friends, and most boys think she is pretty. She has everything, except that the one boy she always had feelings for doesn’t know she’s alive. Knowing that she was going into her final year at Hogwarts, she really felt that she missed her chance.
As Alice lay in bed, her mind began washing over the past year’s events.
Last year had been the Triwizard Tournament. She was really excited at the idea of a school dance. She tried to work up the nerve to ask him to the Yule Ball, but her desire to attend was quickly doused when she found out he had asked Angelina. She was asked out by several other boys in her year, and even the seventh year Cedric Diggory, but her heart just wasn’t in it. She figured she would always be waiting in the wings for him.
She also remembered that they had Potions class together. One lesson, he had run out of hellebore for the potion they were supposed to be making. He leaned over to her table and asked if she had any extra she could spare. She froze up at the idea that he was talking to her and simply handed him her extra herb without saying anything. That was the first time he ever talked to her, and she would always remember his angelic voice.
As she lay there daydreaming, she could hear her mother coming up the stairs.
“Alice, are you ever going to get out of bed?” her mother asked. “Today’s the 29th and we need to go to Diagon Alley to buy your new books and school supplies.”
Alice simply groaned and rolled over onto her stomach, pulling the covers over her head in one swift movement. Her mother walked over to her and pulled the covers down and then sat on the edge of her bed. As she sat, stroking her daughter’s hair, she began to contemplate ways to motivate her.
“I suppose we will be staying at the Leaky Cauldron tonight, that way we are closer to the station on the 1st,” she began. “I also figured on the way there we could stop by the mall. We both could use some new clothes. You wouldn’t want to go to Hogsmeade wearing last year’s styles?”
Alice turned part of the way over to look at her mother. She was obviously trying to cheer her up. She sighed and gave in to her mother’s offer.
“Okay, but what about dad?” She asked. Her mother’s face turned solemn.
“He has to cover another doctor, as well as his own shifts this week. But we can stop by the hospital and have lunch with him while we are out,” her mother replied, trying to make light of the situation.
Alice knew that her father was working, because he was always working. She was used to only having one parent at home. Her father works in the emergency trauma ward at muggle hospital and her mother is a healer at St. Mungo’s. This was one of the reasons she enjoyed going to Hogwarts, knowing that there would be a bit more stability there then there was at home.
“We don’t need to bother him at work” Alice finally responded. “Let’s just head out to the mall” she said with a forced smile on her face.
Her mother nodded and headed back down stairs to whip up some breakfast, leaving Alice to finish gathering the last of the things she needed to take with her. She threw the last book into her trunk and closed the lid. Dragging the trunk down the hall, she stopped to look the hallway mirror. She had cut her thick brown hair short over the summer and it was now getting long enough to hang in her eyes.
“While we are at the mall” she started as she walked into the kitchen, “I want to get a hair cut. I like having it short, but it is getting too long now.”
Her mother looked at her, not really sure how to respond. She really liked her hair long. When it grew out it was beautiful and wavy, a trait she had gotten from her father. She knew she was stubborn, so she didn’t bother to argue.
“They have a cutter right there in the mall that does a wonderful job, and we can stop by there,” she replied smiling at her daughter, knowing that by giving in she was making her happy.
The rest of the morning went by rather fast. After they ate breakfast at home, they packed up her trunk and her pet tabby cat, Einstein, in to the LandRover and headed to the mall. When they got there, Alice took Einstein to the animal border’s office for the few hours they were going to be there. Once Alice and her mother started into the mall, they both felt like giddy school girls. They went from shop to shop, checking out what was in fashion and what was on sale.
After a few hours of mother/daughter bonding, they both were heading back out to the car with their hands loaded down with bags from their finds. With Einstein in his cage in the backseat, they turned the car on and started showing each other what they had found; this was the normal process for these sorts of shopping sprees. The deal that Alice had found, that she was most excited about, was the silk burnt orange blouse she found. This was her favorite color to wear, not just because the orange reminded her of him, but the color also looked really good with her light skin complexion and her golden brown eyes.
They pulled out of the mall parking lot and started making their way to the Leaky Cauldron. When they arrived, Alice’s mother headed inside to get a room and some help with the bags. Alice decided to wait in the car. As she waited, she noticed a little red haired boy playing with some friends down the street and her mind began to wonder off again.
She was always enjoyed watching him from afar; when he was goofing off with his brother in the Great Hall or even on the Quidditch pitch. She often caught herself rooting for the Gryffindor team, though she herself is in Ravenclaw. She loved to watch him play, even when she couldn’t always tell if it was him or his brother she was cheering on. After all, the only thing you could really see up that high was their beautiful orange hair.
There was a knocking on her window and Alice jumped in her seat. Her mother had come back out of the pub with Tom, to help with the bags. Alice climbed out of the car and took Einstein’s cage and some of her shopping bags in hand. They all made their way through the nearly empty bar and up the stairway to their room. They set everything down and Alice’s mother tipped Tom on his way out into the hall.
“How did we get so much stuff?” Her mother wondered out loud.
After surveying the bags that they had accumulated over the morning, they decided to go have lunch before doing anything else. Alice grabbed her jacket and they headed down stairs. It wasn’t long after they sat down at a table, that Tom brought them a menu to start looking over. They ordered their lunches and Alice took her Hogwarts letter from her jeans pocket.
“Looks like I am going to need go by Flourish & Blott’s and get the N.E.W.T. level books for Transfiguration, Charms, Potions, Ancient Ruins, Astronomy, Muggle Studies and Defense Against the Dark Arts. This is going to be my toughest year yet.” She sighed.
“We will need to go to Gringotts first and change out some Muggle money for Galleons,” her mother replied.
Just then, Tom came out of the kitchen with their lunch order. As they sat eating their lunch they discussed all of the other supplies that would be needed. They noticed that they had a very busy afternoon ahead of them. As they were finishing up, Alice noticed a woman with orange hair rushing though the pub, heading for the Diagon Alley entrance.