Chapter 1 : The Letter Arrives
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Chapter 1: The Letter Arrives
“Wake up, lazy bones,” said a gleeful voice on a bright sunny day. “It’s your birthday!”
An Irish voice replied, “Muuuuuum, go away.”
“I will not go away until you get up, young man.” There was clear mock annoyance in her voice now.
“Fine, I’m up, I’m up.”
“Great, see you downstairs.” When the footsteps went downstairs, the boy went back to sleep.
After five minutes, and a scene similar to the previous one, the boy’s mother marched the boy all the way downstairs. He was tall for his age, with longish dark brown hair and hazel eyes, and he was still in his pyjamas - but isn’t every boy on his eleventh birthday?
“Come on then, don’t you want to open your presents?” His mother asked, with a sigh and a shake of her head, smiling exasperatedly.
“Yes, of course I do!” The boy’s answer was laced with a slight hint of annoyance, which his mother picked up, before dragging him into a crushing hug.
“Don’t be such a snarky person on your birthday,” his mum said teasingly. “Come on! It’s your birthday, it’s not every day you get to turn eleven now is it?”
The boy sighed and with his bowl of porridge in hand, he went into the living room. Waiting there for him were the usual large amount of presents, wrapped in shining blue wrapping paper with a bright, glowing, sapphire-blue banner above. It read ‘HAPPY 11th BIRTHDAY KAI.’
“Go on, open them.” His mum clapped her hands in rapid succession.
‘She’s getting excited,’ he thought to himself sarcastically. ‘What’s it going to be this year, socks and maybe a top?’ Kai went towards the smallest present, a rectangular blue-and-bronze-wrapped box, but as he went to open it, there was a knock at the door and the boy dropped the box and rushed to get it, his mother closely following.
There was a man there. He was about thirty years old, had light-brown hair and was wearing a long blue cloak, like some kind of magician. The sun was shining brightly, with a July breeze sweeping through the tree in their front garden. The man smiled at them and said, “Hello, my name is Neville Longbottom. I have a letter for Kai here...”
Kai turned to look at his mother in an objecting way. ‘What kind of person has the name Longbottom?’ Surprisingly, his mother looked like a school girl who was trying to figure out a particularly hard maths question. Eventually, she said, “Okay, um... Where is it?”
Neville smiled and said, “Actually, I have to deliver it in the house. It’s rather important, you see.”
‘Oh great,’ Kai thought. ‘What’s it going to be? A dance number, or a ticket to a boring museum that Mum wants to go to?’
But his mother stuttered, “Oh...Okay, come in.” She sounded worried.
As he went, Kai was preparing for the worst, and he sat down as Neville rifled in his pocket. He sensed that his mum was also worried and confused, and he felt her hands gripping his shoulders protectively. Neville pulled out an envelope and handed it to Kai. It was sealed with red wax, which had an odd pattern on it. He ripped the envelope open, before reading the letter contained inside:
HOGWARTS SCHOOL OF WITCHCRAFT AND WIZADRY
Headmistress: Minerva McGonagall
Dear Mr. Kai Jones,
We are pleased to inform you that you have a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.
Term begins on 1 September. We await your owl by no later than 31 July.
Kai looked at his mother, and not able to contain himself, said, “Mum, really? I mean, come on... I know that you want to brighten me up on my birthday, but sending a man with the fakest name ever, and telling him to give me a letter said that I was a wizard?” He was unimpressed with this prank, but his frown faltered as he saw that his mother did not look disappointed, she looked... scared. She jumped up to stand in front of her son.
“Who are you? What do you want? LEAVE NOW OR I AM CALLING THE POLICE!”
Kai looked at his mother, alarmed. “What do you mean?” he asked.
Neville was calm and composed, unaffected even, as he said, “It means I have got to show you something.” He put his hand in his pocket again. Kai’s mother looked faint, more so when he drew out what looked like a small wooden stick. He pointed it to one of my presents, and then the wrapping paper fell off! Kai looked on in shock, whilst his mother collapsed onto the floor, stunned.
“Leave her there,” Neville said quietly. Kai did not find being told to leave his mother on the floor very nice, but he did what he was told; he turned to this mysterious man, “So... so this is a real letter and you’re a real...” He had difficulty finishing the sentence so Neville did for him.
“Wizard, yes. We do exist and we are thriving. We are very much a part of this world, a world to which you now belong.”
Having come over the shock, he asked, “So what type of school is Hogwarts?”
“Well, you know, a school of magical learning, and you stay there over the year. You can choose to go home at Christmas and Easter; you have to come back home during the summer though.”
Kai smiled and replied eagerly “This is fantastic, and what was the stick thing? I’m guessing that was a wand. Where can I get one?”
Neville smiled and replied, “Yes that is a wand and you get one in a shop called Ollivanders. His shop is in a place called Diagon Alley.”
Kai wanted to know every detail. “Excellent, so how do I find that place, and are you a teacher there, and what sort of stuff do we learn?” His questions came out in rapid succession.
Neville replied with, “I am to accompany you, and I am indeed a teacher. You will have to wait and see to find out what you learn at Hogwarts,” he said infuriatingly, before taking another breath and continuing. “You seem a sharp and intelligent person. I wouldn’t be surprised if you were a Ravenclaw, but I do hope you’re a Gryffindor.” For once Kai was lost for words, but Neville picked up on this and elaborated. “Oh I forgot you don’t know what they are... When you go to Hogwarts, you get sorted into one of four houses: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, or Slytherin. Each house has its own qualities; Gryffindor’s are chosen as being the brave, noble and the chivalrous. Ravenclaw are witty and intelligent and don’t find it difficult to learn things; Hufflepuff are honest, trustworthy and hardworking; and Slytherin are cunning, resourceful and ambitious.”
Kai liked this idea and asked, “So when can I go to Diagon Alley? Can I go tomorrow?”
Neville smiled and said, “Yes we can. I will come and collect you at twelve noon tomorrow! Now let’s wake up your Mum.”
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