A/N: This story describes how Albus, Matt, Amanda, John, and Rose get their Hogwarts letters. Each chapter contians lyrics from a song by Jared Campbell. Each chapter's name is a lyric from the same song. The story is named after his song, Life Is Good.
Disclaimer- I don't own Harry Potter or any of Jared Campbell's songs.
Cause fate, it's in my way
and I don't have the patience to put life on hold,
I think I'm holding out for something more.
~Fate, Jared Campbell
Eleven-year-old Albus Severus Potter was standing in front of the window in the drawing room of his London house, Grimmauld Place. He had been standing perfectly still for the past two minutes, watching as a dot in the sky got larger and larger until it was recognizable as an owl.
The owl was close now and it looked like it was heading straight for Grimmauld Place. It was close enough for Albus to notice its ruffled brown feathers and the letters wrapped around its legs. Albus gulped and he rubbed his sweaty hands on his pants.
Watching for the morning post had become a routine for Albus over the past few days. As soon as he woke up, he would stand by the window waiting for the owl that he knew would arrive soon. The owl from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry that would bring him his acceptance letter. Albus's older brother, James, had received his letter a year ago, in mid-July, and Albus was sure his would arrive at roughly the same time.
Albus wrenched open the window and the owl soared inside. It stuck out its leg and Albus quickly detached the letters. The owl gave a loud hoot and then soared out the window. Albus shut it as he rifled through the letters. One was addressed to James. But the other, the other was addressed to Albus.
Albus sat down on the couch and slowly turned the letter over in his hands. He swallowed hard and began to open it with shaking hands. He pulled it out of the envelop and read it.
Albus closed the letter, grinning to himself. It had finally arrived. Albus had been kind of anxious about it the entire summer. He knew it would arrive, but after days of no owls from Hogwarts, he had gotten a bit worried.
Albus stood up and ran to the stairs. He had to wake James up. James had been teasing Albus ever since he returned from Hogwarts, telling him he wouldn't get his letter. Albus knew James liked to joke, but it had gotten a bit irritating by the third week.
James's bedroom door was closed, but that didn't stop Albus. After all, James always barged into Albus's room. Albus banged open the door and peered down at James, who was curled up on his bed. He looked rather innocent when he was sleeping, but if anyone could make trouble even while sleeping, it was James.
Albus glanced around the room, trying to think of a creative way to wake him up. He wished he had a wand and could spout water in James's face.
Albus decided to just go with the old standby of staring at James until he woke up. It usually worked. Albus peered down until he was only inches from James and waited.
All of a sudden, James's eyes shot open and he jumped back. He hit his head on the wall behind his bed and winced.
"What the hell, Al?" James shouted as he rubbed his head, "Do you realize what time it is?"
"Nine in the morning," Albus said, "Sorry about your head."
"It's ok," James muttered, "I'll get you back eventually. But why in the name of Merlin did you wake me up so early?"
Albus pulled his letter out of his envelop and proudly shoved it in James's face. James grabbed it and scanned it. He gave it back to Albus and grinned.
"See, you got it," James said.
"I know," Albus said, "But you're the one who said I wouldn't."
"I was only joking," James shrugged, "It's what brothers do. Now you get to do it with Lily."
Albus shrugged. He sort of doubted Lily would believe him if he told her she wasn't going to Hogwarts. She'd been waiting impatiently for her Hogwarts letter since she was five or so. Now she was nine and she still had two years to go.
"Oh, you got your book list, too," Albus handed James the letter addressed to him.
"Excellent," James grinned as he ripped it open, "Maybe Mum and Dad will get me a broom as an early birthday present. Then I can try out for Seeker this year and not have to use one of those school brooms."
James was entering his second year and was determined to become Gryffindor's new Seeker. He had been practicing all summer on one of their mum's old brooms. James's birthday was in November and he had been giving their parents not so subtle hints about a new broom ever since he returned home from school.
"Well, I'm going to go see if we can go to Diagon Alley today," Albus said.
"Then I can get my broom," James replied and laid back down.
Albus looked back at James as he left, and noticed that he already had his eyes closed.
Albus ran back downstairs and to the kitchen. Both of his parents were sitting at the table eating eggs and toast.
"It came!" Albus said proudly as he set his letter down in between his parents.
"Congratulations, Al," Harry grinned and ruffled Ablus's hair, "Told you you just had to be patient."
"That's wonderful, Albus," Ginny got up and kissed the top of his head, "We can go shopping today, if you'd like."
"Definitely," Albus grinned, "James wants to go, too. He wants his new broom."
Ginny rolled her eyes as she put her plate in the sink. "We'll see about that."
"Mummy!!!!" Lily came shrieking down the stairs.
Albus turned around and saw that she had a hair brush stuck in her hair and her eyes were welling up with tears.
"Mummy!" Lily cried, "It's stuck!"
Ginny sighed and picked up her wand. "Lily, what were you doing?"
"I was just trying to make my hair curly like Rosie's," Lily pouted as Ginny started to extricate the brush from her hair.
"Lily, what have I told you about wrapping your hair around your brush?" Ginny asked.
"Not to do it," Lily muttered.
"Exactly," Ginny said, "Albus got his Hogwart's letter."
"Really?" Lily shrieked and ran away from Ginny just as she got the brush free, "Where is it? I want to see!"
Albus grabbed his letter off the table and held it in front of Lily. Lily stared wide eyed at it and tried to grab it away from Albus. Albus held it up above her head.
"I wanna hold it!" Lily shouted.
"No," Albus shook his head.
"Mum!" Lily shouted, "He won't let me see it!"
"It's his letter, Lils," Harry replied.
Lily crossed her arms across her chest. "Fine. I want to go to Hogwarts, too."
"You're not old enough. You just have to be patient, Lily," Ginny told her.
Harry snorted into his juice. "I seem to remember someone else who was impatient about going to Hogwarts."
Ginny smacked Harry playfully on the head with that morning's copy of the Prophet. "Oh, shut it, Harry."
Albus poured himself a bowl of cereal and sat down just as the fireplace lit up with green flames. It cleared a few seconds later and out stepped a boy in his late teens who had turquoise colored hair.
"Teddy!" Albus shouted and jumped up from the table, "I got my letter just now!" Albus handed Teddy his letter.
"Brilliant," Teddy grinned and scanned Albus's letter, "Merlin, I wish I still had another year there."
"That's only because then you could put off deciding what you want to do with your life," Ginny laughed.
"No, so I could be there when Albus is there," Teddy groaned, "But I suppose you're right, too."
"Of course I am," Ginny said.
"Anyway, I just stopped by to say hi on my way to work," Teddy said as he grabbed a piece of toast off Harry's plate.
"And to steal my food," Harry muttered.
"That, too," Teddy grinned, "I'm working at the Diagon Alley store today, so will I see you lot there later?"
"Yep," Harry nodded, "We'll be there. I'm going to see if Ron and Hermione want to go as well. Rose probably got her letter today."
"Sounds good," Teddy said as he stepped back into the fireplace and disappeared in green flames.
A few hours later (after James had woken up), the Potter family found themselves in Diagon Alley. The street was filled with returning Hogwarts students and their families.
Albus had been to Diagon Alley numerous times before, but there was something very exciting about going there to buy supplies for Hogwarts. He was getting to do everything James had done the previous year. Albus was especially excited about going to Olivander's and getting his wand.
They met Ron and Hermione Weasley, as well as their two kids, Rose and Hugo, in front of Gringott's. Rose was a couple months younger than Albus, but would be turning eleven in August and would be going to Hogwarts as well. Hugo was Lily's age.
"Where to first?" Harry asked.
"Olivander's!" Albus announced.
"Flourish and Blotts!" Rose said excitedly.
Albus stared at her like she had three heads. How could his cousin want to go to the book store before she got her wand?
"You're mental, Rose," James laughed, "I say we go to Quality Quidditch Supplies!"
"Eyelops!" Lily shouted.
"You're not even going to Hogwarts," Albus pointed out.
"I don't care," Lily huffed.
"Weasley's Wizard Wheezes," Hugo suggested.
"Then it's settled," Harry grinned, "We're going to the Apothecary first."
Everybody groaned, but followed Harry down the street anyway. Albus sighed to himself. That was always how his dad settled arguments. He'd pick what nobody had suggested.
The trip to the Apothecary was quick. Nobody really wanted to linger in there. Albus didn't particularly enjoy the place. It had an odd smell to it and there were cauldrons full of things that looked like they were decaying.
After the Apothecary, they went to Madam Malkin's, which was boring as well. Albus just didn't find buying robes very exciting. It seemed like his dad was doing the most boring shopping first.
Finally, after a long trip to Flourish and Blotts, Harry announced that Olivander's was next on the list. Albus and Rose ran ahead of the rest of the group and arrived a few minutes before anyone else.
"Ah, Albus and Rose," Olivander turned around and greeted them with a wispy voice.
"Hello, Mr. Olivander. We're getting our wands today," Albus grinned.
"I thought so," Olivander smiled and walked slowly to the rows of wands that were behind him.
Olivander took measurements and then walked to the back of the shop. He returned with a few wands just as the rest of the Potter and Weasley families entered the shop. Olivander greeted them and then handed Albus and Rose each a wand.
Albus smiled as he held the wand in his hand. It was an unbelievable feeling; holding a wand that could be his. He waved it and the window behind him exploded.
James burst out in laughter as Albus's face turned bright red. He set the wand on Olivander's desk and looked sheepishly at his family. Harry grinned and repaired Olivander's window with a wave of his own wand.
"Perhaps this one," Olivander handed Albus another wand, "Eleven and a quarter inches, Ash, phoenix feather."
Albus took the wand and all of a sudden a warm feeling enveloped him. If he didn't know any better, he'd say the wand actually glowed in his hand for a split second. He could feel that it was the right one even before he waved it. He gave it a wave and gold sparks erupted from it.
"Excellent," Olivander grinned.
A little while later, Rose had her wand as well and the group left the shop. Albus was carrying his wand with the utmost care and staring more at the box than what was in front of him.
The adults decided that it would be best to visit Eyelops last since both Albus and Rose were getting owls. They didn't want to have to carry the owls around all day.
James was asking to go to Quality Quidditch Supplies every five minutes or so, but Harry led the way into Weasley's Wizard Wheezes first.
"Ron, Ginny!" George greeted them as they entered, "And Harry and Hermione! You've got everyone with you today."
"Hogwarts shopping," Harry grinned, "Al and Rosie just got their wands."
Albus proudly opened the box and showed his Uncle George his new wand. Rose did the same.
"Brilliant, both of you!" George said, "And now I shall get you both ready for Hogwarts in the prank department...."
Albus followed George into the depths of the shop. He was not at all surprised that his uncle was assisting him with pranks. George was the owner of Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes and was legendary at Hogwarts as one of the most mischievous students ever to attend.
"Now, every student needs a Skiving Snackbox or two," George said as he handed Albus and Rose each a colorful box, "After all, I can't imagine you'll want to sit through History of Magic very often."
Albus grinned as he took the box of sweets to make one ill. He had heard many a story from his parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and James about how boring Professor Binns' classes were.
"And then you'll need some dung bombs," George said as he led them to a different display.
"Last time I checked, those were still forbidden at Hogwarts," Hermione said sternly.
"Oh, I'm sure they are," George winked, "But so long as Filch doesn't find out it was these two who set them off, it doesn't matter."
"George Weasley!" Hermione scolded, "You should be setting a better example for these two! No wonder Fred was in detention every week last year!"
Albus laughed as he took a pack of dung bombs off the shelf. His cousin Fred was George's son and just finished his third year at Hogwarts. Fred had taken after his father as far as pranking went.
"Lighten up, Hermione," Ron laughed, "Let them have their fun."
"Ronald!" Hermione shouted, "You're even worse!"
"Harry!" Teddy burst out of the back room and joined the group, "Getting Al all the pranking products he'll need this year?"
"Sure am," Harry grinned, "Although I don't think Hermione is too happy about it."
"I am not buying this stuff for Rose," Hermione stated.
After a few more minutes of arguing, Hermione gave up and both Albus and Rose had bagfuls of Weasleys' products. James had replenished his stash as well and Albus had a feeling he'd use everything up within a month.
George closed the shop so he and Teddy could get something to eat and everyone went to the Leaky Cauldron for dinner. Albus mainly listened to the conversation but was very content. Going to Hogwarts was something he had been looking forward to for years and now it was finally happening.
James finally got to go to Quality Quidditch Supplies after dinner and got his early birthday present. Albus was slightly jealous about this, but knew that he couldn't have his own broom at Hogwarts anyway. He was determined to make it onto the Quidditch team eventually, though.
The last stop of the day was Eyelops Owl Emporium, which was a place Albus was almost as excited about as he had been about Olivander's. His parents had told him he'd be able to get an owl when he went to Hogwarts.
"I want an owl," Lily whined as they entered the shop.
"In two years," Harry replied.
"That's so far away," Lily groaned.
"I know," Harry said as he picked her up, "But it'll go by faster than you think."
Albus began looking around at all the owls. He didn't really have any ideas about what kind of owl he wanted; he just thought he'd look around and see what owl liked him.
There were owls of all sizes and colors. White ones, black ones, and speckled ones. Small ones, large ones, and medium sized ones. Albus walked slowly through the shop and looked at each owl. His eyes rested on an owl with gleaming topaz eyes and dark brown feathers. The owl had a few flecks of white on its head and it was staring directly at Albus.
Albus walked over to the owl and gave the owl a pat on its head. The owl gave a soft hoot and Albus knew it was the one for him. The owl flew onto his shoulder and Albus walked back to his parents.
"I've got my owl," he grinned.
"What's his name?" Harry asked.
"Dunno," Albus shrugged, "Haven't thought of one yet."
"Name him Salazar," James smirked, "Because you'll be in Slytherin."
"What?" Albus stared at his brother, "I'm not going to be in Slytherin."
"You never know," James said, "There's a 25 percent chance that you might."
Albus was stunned. It was so obvious. There was a 25 percent chance that he'd be in Slytherin. After all, there were four houses. But the thought of being in Slytherin had never crossed his mind. He always thought he'd be in Gryffindor, where everyone in his whole family had been. It was possible for him to be in Slytherin, though. Or Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff. Neither of those would be that bad, but Albus wanted to be in Gryffindor.
"Ready to go, Al?" Harry asked, "Rose just found her owl."
"Oh, yeah," Albus said quietly, "I'm ready. And I'm naming my owl Godric."
Albus followed his family out of the owl shop and to the Leaky Cauldron. In two months, he'd be at Hogwarts. The place where his parents went and most of the rest of his family. The place he had been impatiently waiting to go to for years. He couldn't think of a time in his life where he had been more excited. All he hoped was that he would wind up in Gryffindor and maybe, just maybe, he would be able to make a name for himself.