Chapter 3 : Grounded
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Dear Mr. Dumb-bladder,
My name is Petunia Evans and I am 13 years old. My sister got a letter to go to your school Hog Blemish. I think you accidentally forgot to send my letter. Or it got lost in the mail. Please respond.
Your waiting future student,
There. I was finished. I set my pencil down on my bed and shook my hand vigorously. Even though my letter was quite short, it had taken awhile, because I'd used my neatest script.
I folded the letter smartly, with even creases, then placed it in a crisp white envelope.
Then a thought occurred to me. How in the world was I going to send this thing? I couldn't use an owl. If I mailed it, how would I get Hog Blemish's address? Then it came to me. I could Google it. After all, sice Father was into technology, we got all of the new stuff. The computer had been added a few weeks ago. It was dead slow, but it worked.
I flung open my door and practically flew downstairs.
“I need to use the computer!” I bellowed, still running. I crashed into something heavy. It was Lily. “AAAHHHHH!” she shrieked. “Sorry Lil, didn't mean to-”
“Petunia,” Dad called from the kitchen. “Come here, please,” “I need to go on the computer!” I whine-called back. The computer sat tantalizingly close, seeming to leer at me, it's black face blank and shiny.
“NOW!” Dad yelled.
Ack! I scurried into the kitchen.
Over my shoulder I saw Lily, looking guilty for some reason. She timidly ran into her bedroom and slammed the door shut. We were doing a lot of that lately.
Dad and Mom were sitting at the table. When they saw me, Mom gestured to a chair. I nervously sat down.
“Tunes, today has been an emotional roller coaster for us all,” Dad began. “Lily, as you obviously know by now, is a witch. This is very special.”
I winced. Wasn't I special too? I was magic, just like my little sister! Probably.
“We all need to adjust to this,” Dad continued. “And we all need to accept this. Lily will be gone soon. She is going to school on the first of September, and will come visit during holidays and the summer.
So please, Petty, don't be cruel to her. She could turn you into fruit bat soon, if she wanted!” he chuckled. I didn't laugh. Neither did Mom.
“But Pets,” Dad said. “You've been very cold to Lily, not just today, but for over a month. This is unacceptable. Just because you are thirteen, don't go being all snooty and above us,” I rolled my eyes, just a teensy bit. I don't think he noticed, thank goodness.
But maybe he did. The smile crinkles around his eyes rippled out, leaving my father looking like a statue.
“So you're grounded for two weeks,” he finished.
What? I felt tears spring to my eyes. Mom looked sympathetically at me. “I'm sorry sweetheart, but you've gotta stop this,” she whispered. “Can I go to my room?” I whimpered. “Yes,” Dad said stonily.
For what seemed like the billionth time, I fled to my room and slammed the door.
I stared out the window, and sat in the same position for what seemed like days, thinking of absolutely nothing. I made the mistake of glancing around the my room.
I looked at the blank wall, the solid bed, the plain bedsheets. I looked at the letter on my bed, and all of the afternoon's events fell into my mind like rain outside, each cold splatter as unpleasant as the next.
Distantly, the familiar chorus of 'Happy Birthday' rang through the quiet, neat house. Startled, I looked at my watch. Seven? Already? And they started birthday celebrations? Without me?
I scuttled downstairs as quickly as I could, and arrived just as Mom and Dad sang,
Happy Birthday, dear Lily,
Happy Birthday to –
“You,” I finished from the shadows.
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