Disclaimer- I don't own Harry Potter
The next few days went by quickly. Matt continued to sleep at night so Mum never had to go buy Dreamless Sleep.
Richard took Dad golfing, which apparently turned out interesting. Dad has only been golfing a handful of times, so he's not very good at it. The Muggles who were behind them got kind of angry that Dad was taking so long, so Richard let a whole bunch of Muggles ahead of them. It took all afternoon, but they had fun.
Kenzie and two of her sisters came over to swim while Dad and Richard were gone. Mari and Maddie played with Matt while I told Kenzie all about school. Well, I made it sound like a Muggle school. I mostly talked about the other kids in my year.
Kenzie's dad barbecued at their house for New Year's Eve. Even Richard and Cinda went, which is kind of funny. It's not that they don't get along, they're just really different. Kenzie's parents have always been more of friends with my parents than my grandparents.
"Did Morgan get a mobile phone?" I asked Kenzie as she and I sat in a tree in her backyard. Morgan was walking around the yard jabbering away into a tiny phone. One thing I learned from Vivienne, Breanne, and their lot was that mobile phones are very important to girls like them.
"Oh, no," Kenzie laughed, "Mum would never get her one. That's Mum's. I don't even have one. Mum'll probably take it away soon, since Morgan's been on it since this morning."
"No offense," I said, "But Morgan is just like Breanne and those other girls I don't like."
"None taken," Kenzie replied, "I know she is and I have no idea where she got it from. I seriously think she'd love to go live with your grandparents." She gestured to Cinda, who was talking on her own mobile phone.
"I'm sure Cinda would love it, too," I said, "Someone to buy expensive clothes for."
"Morgan would love to have someone buy them for her."
"Your other sisters aren't like that," I said as I watched Mari and Maddie play football with Matt.
The term 'playing football' was used loosely, though. Mostly Mari was kicking the ball around the yard and if by some small chance she lost hold of it, Matt would dribble it for a few seconds before Mari took it away again. Maddie mostly chased the other two.
"I can't ever see Mari being anything like that," Kenzie said, "She's so sporty. She's better than half the boys her age in football. It's kind of funny. She plays on a co-ed team and she's the star player."
"Well, she's got no competition in Matt," I laughed, "He's lucky he doesn't trip over the ball."
"Mari!" Kenzie's mum shouted, "Let Matt have a turn with it!"
"We're playing a game, Mum, it's not my problem he's loosing!" Mari shouted.
"It's too soon to tell with Maddie," Kenzie went on, "She mainly copies the rest of us. When Mari play soccer, Maddie wants to play. When Morgan straightens her hair and puts on make-up, Maddie wants to. When I draw or design stuff on the computer, Maddie wants to."
"And Michael?" I asked.
Kenzie laughed, "Michael likes to annoy the cat."
Both Cinda and Morgan got off their phones when dinner was served. Well, Kenzie's mum took her phone back, much to Morgan's disgust. Morgan spent all of dinner sulking and we pretty much ignored her.
Mari wanted to organize a big football match after dinner. Everyone participated except Cinda (because she wasn't wearing the right shoes), Morgan (because she was still sulking), and Michael (for obvious reasons).
The teams were Richard, Mrs. Dawe, Mari, me, and Kenzie versus Dad, Mr. Dawe, Mum, Matt, and Maddie. Cinda agreed to be the referee, but she didn't pay much attention.
The match was really fun. I hadn't ever played such a huge game of football before. In fact, the extent of my football playing had been kicking the ball around with Matt and Dad in our backyard. So I wasn't very good. Mari was easily the best player, but Mr. Dawe, Mum, Dad, and Kenzie were good as well, so the teams were evenly matched.
I even managed to score a few goals against Mum, who was the goalie. Mostly I just passed the ball to Mari since she got the ball past Mum every time.
Mari was going to be the star of her school's football team when she got older. She was faster than me and even the adults. I hadn't ever seen a nine-year-old run that fast.
However, Mrs. Dawe was not impressed when Mari plowed Maddie over on her way to the goal. It seemed to happen more and more often as it got darker, which didn't surprise me. It was hard to see and the porch lights didn't reach the entire yard.
The match was declared over when Mari managed to run into Matt on her way down the yard. She knocked him flat onto his back, which must have been hard to do since he's only a head shorter than her. He didn't get right back up afterwards like Maddie did either. I think he was mostly just shocked that he was knocked over by her.
Mum picked him up and took him over to the picnic table while Mrs. Dawe gave Mari a stern lecture about looking where she was going. Our team won due to Mari's scoring abilities.
We went inside after that. Dad, Richard, and Mr. Dawe sat in the living room drinking beer and talking about golf, the weather, and who knows what else. Mum and Mrs. Dawe (once she put Michael to bed) talked with each other in the den. Matt laid down on the couch next to Mum and I doubted he'd stay up until midnight. Cinda gave Morgan a manicure while they talked about clothes and fashion. Mari and Maddie played video games. Kenzie and I just talked.
It was so peaceful to spend New Year's Eve at Kenzie's house. So much better than New Year's Eve the previous year. New Year's at Kenzie's house was like what I always imagined holidays would be like if I had a big family with a lot of cousins. Fun, relaxing, and a little chaotic. Kenzie's family was really the closest thing we had to an extended family besides Uncle Jack, Richard, and Cinda. It was almost nice that we couldn't share the fact that we were wizards with them. We could just leave that part of our lives behind and forget about everything for the evening.
The remaining hours until midnight went by fast. Matt and Maddie fell asleep on the couch and even Mari had run out of energy and was reading a book in between them. Morgan had received a full makeover from Cinda and was glowing (not from the make-up, either).
Dad, Richard, and Mr. Dawe came into the room shortly before midnight. Mrs. Dawe passed around noisemakers and woke up Matt and Maddie. I got a noisemaker and jumped up and down with Kenzie while we counted down the seconds until midnight.
"Happy New Year!" I shouted along with anyone else. Kenzie and I hugged each other and then hugged everyone else. This was the way to spend New Year's. Surrounded by your friends, not your grandmother's rich acquaintances.
We said goodbye a little while later. All of the little kids were cranky, especially Maddie. She was having a screaming fit as we left. I had no idea when I'd see Kenzie again, but I wasn't sad as we said goodbye. It had been such a happy night.
I didn't realize how tired I was until we got back to Richard and Cinda's house. I fell asleep as soon as I got into bed.
Mum and Dad woke me up an hour before we had to leave for the airport. Dad had to go back to work in a few days and my holiday from school was nearly over. The flight was uneventful, which I was grateful for.
It was strange to be back in England. It had been easy enough to forget about Hogwarts and homework and England while we were in Australia, but as soon as I walked into our house, it all came back.
There was an unfamiliar barn owl sitting on the kitchen table. I had no idea how it managed to get into the house since we shut all the windows. Some sort of magic, no doubt.
"What's this?" Mum asked as she took the letter from the owl. She opened it and began to read silently, her lips turning down in a frown.
"What is it?" Dad asked.
"It's from Kendrick," Mum said quietly, "He's requested a meeting. About Amy."
I gaped at her. What had I done? I was quiet, I ignored most of the other students, I never made trouble.
"Amy?" Dad turned to look at me, "Well, I suppose we could go up there tomorrow. I think we'd all like to sleep today."
Mum nodded and took a quill and a pot of ink out of the nearest drawer. She scrawled something on the back of the parchment and sent it off with the barn owl.
Much to my surprise, Mum and Dad didn't say a word about the letter. Dad merely told me to go do my homework and I was all too willing to cooperate.
What did Kendrick want anyway? Judging by Mum's face, it wasn't anything good. The only thing I could think of was that it had to do with my grades. I knew I wasn't doing very well in about half my subjects.
I tried to do my homework, but I couldn't concentrate. It was kind of ironic. Kendrick wanted to meet with my parents because of my grades (at least I thought) and that fact was keeping me from doing my homework which would help me raise my grades.
Mum and Dad didn't bring up the letter the entire night. They were quiet during dinner and I had a feeling they talked about it by themselves, but they weren't bringing it up around me.
I tossed and turned the entire night and got up long before anyone else. I had no idea what time we were going to Hogwarts. Mum never told me. I didn't want to go. There were still two days of holiday left and I had no motivation to go back early. It was only a short meeting, but still.
Mum and Dad came downstairs shortly after I finished eating. They sat down on the opposite side of the table from me and Dad folded his hands on the table.
"Amy," he began, "Do you know what Professor Kendrick wants to talk about?"
"Didn't the letter tell you?" I asked.
"No," Dad shook his head.
I stared down at the milk remaining in my bowl. "It's probably my marks."
"Your marks?" Mum asked curiously, "You've never had a problem with classes before. I know you've always struggled with Defense and Transfiguration, but nothing else."
"I think I might be failing everything except Potions, Astronomy, Care of Magical Creatures, and Herbology," I muttered as I moved my spoon around in my bowl.
"Amy, that means you're failing half your classes," Dad said quietly.
"I know, ok?" I said as I got up, "I just don't want to talk about it!"
"No, I don't want to talk about it!" I said as I ran out of the room.
"We're going to see Professor Kendrick at one!" Mum shouted after me.
I ran up to my room and slammed the door behind me. Mum shouted something else, probably telling me not to be so loud, but I ignored her. They just didn't get it. They didn't understand how hard it was to switch schools in the middle of your education. They didn't get that classes were different, that I'm behind in half my classes and ahead in the other half.
Nor did they understand how hard it was to spend three and a half months in a school without any friends. Or to have a roommate who hates your guts and would hate your brother even more than you if she knew what he was. Or to have a Slytherin competing with you in every potion you brew.
I managed to finish most of my homework by the time Mum came upstairs and told me to come downstairs and have lunch before going to Hogwarts.
Neither of my parents mentioned anything else about my grades during lunch, which I was grateful for. In fact, they were silent during lunch. So was Matt, but I think that was a combination of the time change and the fact that the full moon was two days away.
One o'clock came and we Apparated to Hogsmeade. Luckily it wasn't snowing, but it was bitterly cold since we were walking into the wind. I was shivering before we even reached the grounds.
Professor Kendrick met us in the Entrance Hall. The castle was so quiet and empty it was almost spooky. It reminded me of when we visited over the summer, but since I had gotten used to it being chaotic and busy, it was strange to see it empty.
Kendrick led us up to his study, which thankfully had a roaring fire in the fireplace. The corridors were nearly as cold as outside. Four armchairs sat in front of his wooden desk and we all sat down. I waited nervously for Kendrick to start talking. I noticed both Professors Dumbledore and Snape were in their portraits.
"How was your holiday?" Kendrick asked.
"It was nice," Mum answered, "We visited my parents in Australia. How was yours?"
"Relaxing," Kendrick said, "However, the term is about to start, so it's back to work. I'm sure you're both wondering why I asked you to meet with me."
"Yes, your letter was not clear," Dad replied.
"I thought it would be better if I just told you in person," Kendrick said and then turned to me, "Amy, how are you liking Hogwarts?"
I shrugged. "It's ok."
"Your marks this term were drastically lower than your marks in Australia," Kendrick told me, "Are the classes too hard?"
"I don't know," I muttered, "It's just that they're so different. Like History of Magic. It's all completely new and Professor Binns doesn't pause to let people take notes."
Kendrick smiled. "I had Professor Binns in school. I highly suggest just reading the textbook and studying with that rather than trying to take notes in his class."
"Oh," I said. It would have been nice if someone told me that earlier.
"What I would like to know is how you're adjusting to Hogwarts. Sometimes grades fall when you're homesick or not adjusting well," Kendrick said quietly.
I bit my lip. Not adjusting well. That was putting it lightly. I hoped Kendrick wouldn't keep pushing this or I was going to start crying in his study.
"She hasn't mentioned anything like that," Mum said.
Because I didn't want to mention it, I thought. I could feel the tears forming. I squeezed my eyes shut.
"Amy?" Mum asked, "Are you having a hard time adjusting?"
"I don't know," I sniffed, "It's just that everyone already has friends. I just miss Australia."
"Oh, I had no idea," Mum put her arm around me, "Why didn't you say something when you came home?"
"You guys are so happy here," I sobbed, "Dad likes his job and Matt will be able to go to school and we don't have to worry about Lubar and his bloody laws."
"Amy, we want to know if you're unhappy. Maybe we can help," Mum said.
"What are you going to do, make people be friends with me?" I asked. If people didn't want to be friends with me, I was out of luck. There wasn't anything anyone could do.
"Perhaps you just need someone to talk to while you're at school," Kendrick suggested, "It's not good to keep all that bottled up."
"I don't know," I muttered, "I talk to Madam Pomfrey."
"That's good," Kendrick smiled, "Although she can be quite busy at times."
Mum and Dad shared one of those parental looks and I knew they had already thought of something
"We've actually decided that Amy should meet with a psychologist once a week," Dad said.
Me? See a psychologist like Matt did? I hadn't been through any trauma. Why couldn't I just keep talking to Madam Pomfrey?
"Excellent idea," Kendrick replied, "Do you have someone in mind?"
Dad nodded. "Healer Norlam. Matt saw him for a few months and now Julie and I are meeting with him once a week as well."
"Let me know which day will work for him," Kendrick said, "And we'll set it up."
Weren't they going to ask my opinion of this? I didn't appear to get a say in what was going to happen. I didn't see how talking to Norlam was going to help my grades anyway.
"I'll send you an owl to let you know when the first session will be," Kendrick told me, "It will be in the hospital wing."
"Ok," I nodded.
"Well," Kendrick folded his hands together, "I think we'll try this for a month and then reassess."
"That's fine," Dad said.
"Then I'll see you on Monday, Amy," Kendrick smiled, "Enjoy your last day of holiday."
I was dreading going back to school too much to enjoy the last bit of holiday. Plus I had so much homework to do.
The remainder of the holiday was rather boring. Dad had to work on Sunday since he was taking Monday and Tuesday off for the full moon. Mum spent the day cleaning with Ellie and doing some shopping in Diagon Alley. Matt slept much of the day and read when he wasn't sleeping. I read as well.
I really did not want to go back to school. Partly because I liked being at home so much more and partly because Matt was starting Sterling's study. He wasn't getting any potion for the first two years, but he still had to get observed and Sterling wanted him to transform at St. Mungo's again. He would transform at home for all the following months, though. My parents promised to owl me of course, but it wasn't the same.
Monday came too fast and I was soon on my way back to Hogwarts. Just Dad had dropped me off since Matt had been sleeping when we left. He didn't even wake up when I said goodbye. I hadn't expected him to, but I wished he had.
It was snowing when the Hogwarts Express pulled into Hogsmeade station and the ride up to the school was freezing. I shared a carriage with three older Ravenclaws who ignored me.
The moon had risen by the time dinner started. I was too focused on that to eat much. All I wanted to do was go up to my dormitory, curl up in my bed, and try to fall asleep.
When I was finally able to do that, all my roommates stayed up late talking about their holidays. I heard all about Samantha's getting to meet the Holyhead Harpies, Alyssa's trip to France, Seren's boring holiday at home, Monica's New Year's party in which she kissed two blokes at midnight, and Victoire's hectic Christmas at her grandparents' house. Victoire asked me how my holiday was and I told her I went to Australia and that it was fun.
I fell asleep long after they went to bed, which meant I must not have fallen asleep until really late.
I spent the next day in a sort of distracted trance. No letter arrived from my parents at brekkie or lunch. I knew I should have paid better attention in my classes, but I kept looking at the windows, waiting for Jasper to show up.
He finally appeared in the common room window after classes were over. I practically leaped over two first years in order to get the letter before someone else did. The common room was packed. It was no place to read a letter about my brother.
Much to my dismay, Monica was in the dormitory with a few of her fifth year friends so I couldn't read the letter there. I shoved it in my robes and ran out of Gryffindor Tower and towards the Hospital Wing.
I groaned inwardly when I reached the ward. It was as nearly as packed as the common room. I squeezed my way inside and realized there was no way I'd get any privacy there.
"Come to join the party, Amy?" Willinson appeared at my side.
I jumped aside and glared at him. "No. Why's it so crowded here?"
"Someone put Everlasting Itch Cream into the pipes in the Slytherin common room," Willinson muttered, "Now whoever uses the sinks or showers gets doused in itch cream."
Looking around, I noticed that everyone in the ward was a Slytherin and most of them were rather twitchy and scratching themselves. If I hadn't been so worried about what the letter said, I would have thought it was rather funny.
I muttered a quick goodbye to Willinson and ran out of the ward. Where was I going to read the letter? Was there no place in the entire castle where I could be alone? The Astronomy tower would be too cold since it was snowing.
I walked back up to the seventh floor and began pacing. Pacing always helped me come up with ideas. Anything outside was out of the question for the same reasons the Astronomy Tower was. I'd get in trouble if I used an empty classroom. The Great Hall would be crowded.
I stopped pacing and glanced around the the corridor. It was completely empty. Maybe if I just went in an empty classroom for a few minutes nobody would know.
I turned around and grabbed the handle of the nearest door. I looked once more down the corridor and opened it.
The room was very small. It didn't look like a classroom at all. There weren't any desks or a blackboard. All it contained was a comfortable looking couch, a table, and a fireplace with a crackling fire. It looked like the perfect place to read a letter.
Hogwarts just kept getting stranger and stranger, I thought as I sat down on the couch. I ripped the letter open and read it.
I hope you first day back went well.
The full moon wasn't any worse than
usual. We stayed at St. Mungo's
until early afternoon and then
went back home. Matt is ok, but
he'll need to rest for a few days
Keep us updated on everything. We
want to know how you are doing at
school. You should be having your
first appointment with Healer Norlam
soon. Let us know how that goes.
Mum and Dad
I breathed a sigh of relief and put the letter back in my robes. Was this what every full moon was going to be like now? Would I get this worried about all of them? I was rarely this worried while we still lived in Australia. It was probably because of that month he had to transform in the Ministry center.
I was going to have to remember that room for the next time I had a letter about Matt. As I left the room, I noticed there was a portrait of Barnabas the Barmy teaching trolls to dance ballet. That was certainly memorable. I wouldn't forget where the room was.
There was no doubt in my mind that Teddy had been behind the prank in the Slytherin common room. This was confirmed when I returned to the Gryffindor common room and saw a very large group of Gryffindors surrounding Teddy, who was bragging about the prank. It amazed me that he could get away with all these pranks but Professor Kendrick owled my parents for a meeting. A/N: Thanks to my beta, Dancer_of_Starlight! Thanks as well to Meg, lunahermione181, Liana, Moonylupin, ngayonatkailanman, Jen, and phoenixy_friend for their reviews!
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