Chapter 11 : Life Goes On At School
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I was still tired when I got up the next morning, probably because I spent half the night looking through my telescope. The house was quiet like usual as I went to the kitchen to find something to eat. Even Mum was no where to be seen, but I noticed that the door to Dad's study was closed, which meant she was probably in there. I was starting to get vaguely curious about what she and Dad were doing when they were by themselves in there. I couldn't really tell if Dad was in there with her or not. It was Saturday, which meant that Dad shouldn't be at work, but he had been working the past few Saturdays.
After I ate brekkie, I spent the remainder of the morning working on various potions. There was no way I would get behind in Potions, whether Mum actually taught me anything or not. How she expected to teach me when she was cooped up in Dad's study all the time was beyond me, not that I really cared. The only schooling I wanted was schooling from the Australian School of Sorcery anyway.
Olivia's owl was sitting on my balcony when I forced myself to stop brewing and start packing for my stay at Richard and Cinda's. All thoughts of packing flew out of my head when I saw the owl. I retrieved the letter, gave the owl a piece of a biscuit that I had on my desk, and sat down on my bed to read the letter.
I still can't believe that you're not here.
It totally sucks. The train ride was dead
boring without you there. I wound up sitting
with a couple of first years. One of them
kept picking his nose the whole ride. Ew.
The feast was just like it always is. The
food was great and Killigan's speech was
boring. We've got a new Transfiguration
teacher. He looks nicer than the old one,
but I won't really know until I've been to
one of his classes.
The dormitory is so quiet without you here.
I hate it. It's kind of sad, really. I
only decorated my half, because it felt
really weird to take over the whole room.
That way if your parents change their minds,
you'll have your half back. Thank Merlin
they didn't stick some first year in with me.
I think I would have just left if they did.
Everyone is wondering where you are. Well, ok,
not everyone. The rest of our year kept asking
me if I knew where you were. I told them that
your parents had a row with Killigan and you
weren't coming back. They were all surprised
and wanted to know what the row was about. I
told them I didn't know, which is the truth anyway.
Carmen is jealous of my room now. She wants
her own room and has been whining all evening
that it's not fair how I've got my own now. I
told her to just stuff it and have been ignoring
her ever since. She's such a bitch. Doesn't
even care that you're not going to come back.
The other girls haven't been that bad. Izzy is
even kind of sympathetic.
I wish you were here. Write back soon about
all the new stuff about your move! I want to
know everything as soon as it happens. I'll
keep you updated about everything here at
school. Good luck with all the moving stuff.
I bit back tears as I folded the letter. Reading it just made me miss school even more. Merlin, I was even starting to miss Carmen and her bitchiness. She and I have disliked each other ever since first year. Olivia can't stand her either. She's just very snotty and thinks that just because her parents are rich she can do whatever she wants. I guess she kind of thought we'd be friends, since my parents are rich too, but I couldn't stand being around her. She wasn't too happy about that.
Olivia wasn't even going to use the entire dormitory; that was so sweet. She's really the best friend I could ever have. I wished she didn't have to deal with everyone asking questions about me. I felt guilty that I couldn't even tell her the truth. She was such a good friend to me and I had to lie to her and keep secrets from her. It just wasn't fair.
I put the letter in my desk and pulled my overnight bag out from my closet. That thing would be getting a lot of use the next few months. I tossed a bunch of Muggle clothes haphazardly into it and realized that I wouldn't be wearing robes very much for the next few months.
A few hours later, which I spent writing my Astronomy essay, it was time for me to go to Richard and Cinda's. I still hadn't seen much of Mum, Dad, or Matt, but found them all in the living room when it was time for me to leave. Matt was laying on the couch with her head on Mum's lap while Mum leafed through a pamphlet of some kind. Dad was in his work robes and was sitting in an armchair reading a piece of parchment while rubbing his temple.
"Did you go to work today, Dad?" I asked as I entered the room.
"Yeah," Dad said absentmindedly, "Loads of work to do right now."
"Are you going back later?" Mum asked, looking up from her pamphlet.
Dad nodded, "I've got to. I'll be back later this evening. I should have all of tomorrow off, though."
"Good," Mum said and then turned to me, "Bye, Amy. I'll see you in a few days, ok?"
I nodded and bent down to give her a hug. "Bye, Mum."
"I love you, Amy," Mum hugged me back.
"Love you, too," I replied and stood up again. "See ya, Matt."
"Bye," Matt mumbled sleepily.
Dad and I Apparated a few moments later and reappeared in the same bit of secluded bush. We walked to the gate, got buzzed in, and walked to the house. Richard and Cinda greeted us and Dad left shortly after. I went to my room and dropped off my bag in my horribly ugly and flowery room.
Richard and Cinda were both sitting in the living room when I entered a few moments later.
"Anything you want to do today, Amy?" Cinda asked.
I raised my eyebrow at her. That was odd. Usually when I went over there, my grandparents just continued about their business and I did whatever I wanted. Maybe they felt bad that I wasn't going back to school and wanted to be extra nice or something.
"Er, I thought maybe I'd just call Kenzie and see if she was home. I've got to tell her that I'm not going back to school."
"That's fine. If you two want to go into town and do anything, just let me know," Cinda replied.
"Um, thanks," I said, "I'll just go call Kenzie."
To say Kenzie was shocked that I was at my grandparents' house was an understatement. She shrieked so loudly that Richard could hear it in the other room. She immediately demanded to know what I was doing there, but I told her I'd rather tell her face to face. I suggested she come to Richard and Cinda's, where we could talk in private. I loved Kenzie's siblings and her chaotic house, but it was impossible to talk without interruptions there.
I buzzed Kenzie in a little while later and met her at the door. She was completely out of breath and drenched with sweat.
"I...ran...all the way...here," she panted.
"Do you want something to drink?" I asked as she stepped in.
I grabbed a couple lemonades from the fridge and we went up to my room. Kenzie downed her entire lemonade and collapsed onto the floor. I sat down next to her and leaned up against my bed.
"Ok, tell me what's up. Why are you here? I thought your school started again this weekend."
I toyed with the top to my lemonade, "Yeah, it did."
"Then why aren't you there?"
"I'm not going back to that school," I said quietly.
Kenzie sat up and stared at me, "What? Why?"
I sighed. Here it goes, more lying. "My parents got into a big row with the principal."
"Are you serious?"
"Yeah. Apparently they have very different views about certain things."
Things you don't even know about, I thought. "No idea. They won't tell me."
Kenzie laid back down, "Well that's stupid. They should at least tell you."
"I know. And my parents have lost all respect for the principal." So have I, but it's not like I really interacted with him at school. "They can't stand him. They won't let me go back to school because of it."
Kenzie rolled over and stared at me with wide eyes. "Wow. What do you think about it?"
"It sucks," I replied, "It's not fair. I loved that school, and now I can't go back just because of my parents." And my brother, I thought.
"What school are you going to go to now? Maybe you could transfer to mine?" Kenzie asked hopefully.
I shook my head, "I don't think so. I've got to go to another school like the other one."
When I first started attending the Australian School of Sorcery, I told Kenzie that it was a school for people who like to live really simple lives without many electronics. It was kind of true since with magic, we have no need for electricity.
"Oh, right," Kenzie said, "Where is the new school?"
I took a deep breath and stared at the ceiling, "That's the other thing I've got to tell you. I've got no idea where the new school is because my parents haven't decided on one yet. But the thing is, there aren't any other schools like mine in Australia."
Kenzie sat bolt upright and put her hands on my shoulders, "What do you mean?"
"I mean," my voice cracked, "That we're moving."
"What?!" Kenzie shouted, "You can't move!"
"I know, it totally sucks!" I agreed, "But I've got no say in the matter!"
Kenzie sat down next to me, "Any idea where you're moving to? How many of these weird schools are there?"
"I don't really know. There's usually one school per country, except the States has a bunch since there's so many people there. China must have a bunch, too.
"My parents said they're looking at schools in the States, Canada, and Scotland."
"Are they insane? Those are on an opposite hemisphere! What about New Zealand?"
"Nope. They said that the New Zealand principal has the same opinions as the one at my school," I sighed.
"Oh, Amy," Kenzie frowned, "This is awful. You can't move across the world."
"I think I'm going to have to," I whispered, "My parents want to go to New York if possible, around where my uncle lives."
"New York," Kenzie repeated, "Like the City? I can't see you in a city."
"No. I'm sure we'd move somewhere else in the state. Maybe near my uncle. He lives in this town called Horseheads."
"That's a strange name," Kenzie giggled.
"I know. But I don't want to live there, despite it's odd name."
Kenzie laughed, "You've been there, right?"
I nodded, "It was all right, but I wouldn't want to move there."
"When are you moving?"
"No idea. Mum's plan is to move sometime before September so I can start as a fourth year at the beginning of term. The school years up there start in September."
"So it could be anytime between now and then?"
"I guess. I assume we'll move as soon as Mum finds a school for me," I bit my lip, "And...and...we find a house."
"Oh, right," Kenzie said, "I hadn't thought about that."
"I don't want to move. I don't want someone else living in my house. I think my parents are going to sell it, Kenzie."
"Maybe you'll find a nice house in New York or wherever you move," Kenzie replied.
"I doubt it'll be as nice as the one we've got now. I've lived there practically my whole life. I can't imagine living anywhere else."
"I know what you mean. I've lived in mine my whole life. I wouldn't want to move either."
I nodded, "It's just going to be strange."
"You'll come back and visit, right?"
"Yeah, since my grandparents will still be here. I'll still see you, just probably not as often."
"We already hardly see each other," Kenzie sighed, "Since you, er, used to go to a boarding school."
"Well, I'll be here once a month until we move."
"We'll just have to spend every moment you're here together," Kenzie decided. "Hey, what are you going to do while your brother's getting treatment if you move? You can't fly back here every month."
Why hadn't I thought about that? What were my parents going to do about that? I couldn't possibly come back to Australia during every full moon. Of course, I'd be in school for most of them, but still. Maybe they would actually let me stay home. I doubted it, though. They would surely figure something out that would keep me out of the house for a couple days before, during, and after the full moon.
I shrugged, "I'm not really sure. I hadn't even thought about it. I'm sure they'll figure something out."
"I just can't believe you're going to move," Kenzie said quietly.
"Me either," I agreed.
Kenzie stood up. "Let's go do something. We should make the most of the time we've got before you move."
"What do you want to do?"
"Let's go swimming in your grandparents' pool. That thing is freaking huge!"
"Sure, why not?" I smiled and stood up. Kenzie always knew how to cheer me up. Merlin, I was going to miss that.
Kenzie and I spent the rest of the day with each other in my grandparents' backyard. Richard even decided to barbecue. I actually had a really good time and it kept my mind off moving.
"I wish you could sleep over," I said to Kenzie as we laid on lounge chairs next to the pool. We had just finished dinner and were watching the sunset. The two of us had begged Kenzie's parents to let her sleep over, but they said no since Kenzie's first day of school was the next day.
"Me too," Kenzie sighed, "I wish I didn't have school tomorrow."
"I kind of wish I did," I confessed, "Who knows when I'll next go to school."
"Just don't think about that right now. Think about all you can do with six months off. You can sleep-in everyday, stay in your pajamas all day, and stay up all night."
"I never sleep-in, you know that. I'm always up early. And Mum is making me do the homework I got at the end of last term."
"Really? That sucks," Kenzie replied.
"Yeah, she's going to home school me so I don't forget anything," I rolled my eyes.
"Ugh," Kenzie agreed, "What a way to ruin six months of freedom."
"But it's not like I would've been free anyway. You're in school and so is Olivia. My house has been so quiet lately it's driving me mad. My mum and dad are hardly ever around. Dad's always at work and when he isn't, he and Mum are shut up in his study doing who knows what. Even when Dad isn't at home, Mum spends all her time in there.
"I've just been hanging around by myself. Or with Matt when he feels the need to follow me around."
"Sounds boring," Kenzie commented.
"How long are you staying this time?" Kenzie asked.
"Erm, not sure," I shrugged. My parents never really told me how long I would spend at my grandparents'. It always depended on Matt. "At least until Tuesday."
"Oh, then I won't get to sleep over this time."
"There's always next month," I replied, although I wasn't sure what day of the week the full moon fell on the following month.
I turned around and saw Cinda waving at us from the deck. "What?" I shouted back.
"Kenzie's mum just called! She's got to go home now."
"Crap," Kenzie said and got up from the lounge chair.
"Good luck at school tomorrow," I said and walked with her into the house.
"Thanks," Kenzie replied and grabbed her stuff from the kitchen. "I'll come over as soon as school's out, ok?"
"Sure. I'll be here," I said.
Kenzie smiled at me, "Don't worry. You're going to get through this."
I nodded, "I know. I just don't want to do it."
"I wouldn't either," Kenzie said, "But it's not the end of the world. We'll still see each other every once in a while. And we can write."
"Yeah, we'll write," I agreed. "Well, I'll see you tomorrow."
"Bye!" I shouted as Kenzie walked down the driveway.
I sighed and shut the door. It was strange, I was going to be seeing Kenzie a whole lot more now that I wasn't in school. Well, in the next six months that is. But I couldn't help but feel that we were being pulled apart. How often would we really see each other after I moved? Once a year, maybe. I would only get to see her when we visited Richard and Cinda and I wasn't sure how often we would do that.
I wandered into the living room and found Richard and Cinda talking quietly to each other. They stopped as soon as I walked in. No doubt they were talking about me.
"Hi Amy, darling," Cinda greeted me and set down her drink. "Kenzie leave?"
I nodded and sat down across from my grandparents. "She's coming back tomorrow after school, though."
"That's fine," Cinda replied. "I'd like to talk to you about something."
"What?" I asked.
"I really would like to throw you a goodbye party," Cinda said.
I raised my eyebrows, "That's probably not a good idea, Cinda. Mum said she didn't want one."
"Nonsense. She probably just doesn't want to be involved with planning it since she's got so much on her plate."
I groaned inwardly, "I'm pretty sure she just doesn't want one."
"Would you like to help plan it, Amy?"
I stared at her with my eyes wide open. Was she insane? Me helping with the party would be a one-way ticket to Mum's bad side for the remainder of time. "Are. You. Mad?"
"Of course not! It would be fun. We can plan it when you're here during the full moon next month. Of course it would be helpful to know exactly when you're leaving. You haven't the slightest clue, do you?"
"Uh, no. Mum and Dad really aren't telling me much."
"I'll just plan for April or so. You won't have left by then."
"I really don't think this is a good idea," I warned her. "Mum doesn't want a party."
"Lacinda," Richard interjected, "I think you ought to listen to Amy."
"I'm throwing them a party, Richard."
At that point I knew it was a lost cause. When Cinda got something into her head, there was no stopping her. She was going to throw us a party. I just had to make sure to make myself scarce whenever she asked for help in planning it. That and make sure Mum knew I had nothing to do with it.
I was incredibly bored the next day. I got up early as usual and Richard and Cinda had not yet woken up. I wandered around the house and finally decided to read my Potions book in the living room. Richard and Cinda got up when I was half-way through with the chapter and both of them offered to hang out with me. They were really trying to be extra nice to me in the wake of the news of us moving. I declined both offers and decided to write my Potions essay. I really didn't feel like doing anything with my grandparents anyway. I wanted to do something with Kenzie, but unfortunately, she was at school.
Kenzie came over as soon as she was done in school. We spent the afternoon and evening lounging in the pool again. The next day was pretty much the same, with Kenzie coming over after school.
"Are you leaving tomorrow?" Kenzie asked as we collected our stuff from a table by the pool.
"Yeah," I replied. Mum had sent an owl earlier in the day to let me know that Dad would be coming to get me early the next morning, before he had to go to work. "Really early, though. Seven in the morning."
"I guess I'll see you next month, then," Kenzie said as we walked back through the house.
"Yeah, I'll be back," I replied.
Kenzie gave me a hug. "Write me if you find out where you're moving or anything like that."
"I will," I replied and hugged her back, "See you then."
"See ya," Kenzie said and left the house.
I quietly shut the door behind her and went up to my room. With Kenzie gone, my mind immediately returned to thoughts of moving. If I saw Kenzie once a month until July, or so, I would get to see her six more times. Six, that was it. After that, who knew how often I'd see her. Of course, I really didn't see her that often now since I was usually in school all the time. Six times in six months was actually quite a few times compared to the past three years. I guess it was just because I knew that after those six or so times, we'd rarely see each other. Even though I didn't see her that often the past three years, it wasn't that bad since I always knew we'd see each other the next school holiday.
Even though I was sure we'd visit Richard and Cinda after we moved, that wouldn't necessarily mean I'd get to spend a whole lot of time with Kenzie. We'd surely visit my grandparents during school holidays and school holidays in New York might not be the same as Kenzie's. Despite our different schools in Australia, the holidays usually coincided.
I fell asleep before I even had a chance to stargaze, but I was up bright and early the next day. Good thing, too, since Dad was coming to get me so early. I got out of bed, packed my bag, and went down to the kitchen. Cinda had bought Fruit Loops a couple days ago and I poured myself a bowl. Cinda never bought Fruit Loops and I mean never. I couldn't remember a time when I'd had them at her house. Probably more of her sympathy about moving, I thought as I munched on the colorful marshmallows.
Richard and Cinda were still sleeping when I finished my brekkie. I tip-toed up to their bedroom and slowly pushed the door open. Richard was laying on his back and was snoring. I had no idea how Cinda could possibly sleep through it, but she was.
"Cinda," I whispered after I crept over to her side of the bed. "Wake up."
Cinda rolled over and opened her eyes. "What is it?" she groaned.
She looked about ten years older without her make-up on. Her hair was disheveled and kind of resembled the hair that witches that Muggles come up with have. It was a bit strange since I rarely ever see her without her make-up and hair done. I kind of thought she looked more grandmotherly without her make-up, but that was the exact reason she chose to wear it. If I told her what she looked like right now, she would make an appointment for more Botox.
"It's almost seven," I told her, "Dad will be here anytime to get me."
"Oh, right," Cinda said and sat up. "I'll be right down."
I nodded and left the room. Dad rang the intercom when I was half-way down the stairs. I ran into the kitchen and buzzed him in. A few minutes later, he was at the door.
I opened it and he walked inside, looking extremely tired. The lines on his face seemed more pronounced and there were purplish bags under his eyes. I wondered when the last time he got a decent night's sleep was. He still wore his usual tense look and I was starting to get used to the fact that he and Mum were constantly stressed nowadays.
"Hey, Dad," I said.
"Hi Amy," he replied. "Are you all ready?"
"Yes. I just woke Cinda up, she said she'd be down soon."
"Um, are you ok, Dad?" I asked tentatively, "You look kind of tired."
"I am. Nothing for you to worry about, though. Just work stuff."
Right. I turned away from him and rolled my eyes. It was always work stuff. Always something he couldn't share with me. I was beginning to wonder if he wasn't just using work as an excuse. There was something else going on and I had a feeling it probably had to do with the move.
"Hello, Walter," Cinda strolled down the stairs and smiled at my dad. "How are you?"
Cinda was looking much better now. She had put on a bit of make-up and brushed her hair. She wasn't dressed in a trademark pants suite yet, though. She had donned a fancy pale pink robe. The buttons on the thing looked like they were real silver. It was utterly excessive in my opinion.
"Hanging in there," Dad replied, "You?"
"I'm fine," Cinda said and then turned to me, "I'll see you next month, then. If not earlier."
"Earlier," Dad interjected, "Matt's birthday is next week."
"Oh, how could I have forgotten!" Cinda exclaimed.
"No parties," Dad said flatly.
"Don't worry," Cinda said, "I couldn't throw a party in a week anyway."
She probably could, I thought, but she just didn't want to throw my family two unwanted parties.
"We'll see you in a week, then, Cinda," Dad said, "Thanks for everything."
"No problem. Bye, Amy. I hope you had fun."
I smiled at her. I actually had fun this time, although it was mainly due to spending time with Kenzie. "I did. See you next week."
I picked up my bag and Dad wrapped his arms around me. A few seconds later we Apparated back to our house. Back to the only place I could call home, but would be forced to leave in only a few short months.
A/N: Thanks to my sister and beta, Dancer_of_Starlight! Also thanks to XDNLxtlz99 for the review!
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