Chapter 6 : Chapter 6: Exams and Going Home
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By the time Gryffindor’s first match came along in mid-October, she felt pretty comfortable with her knowledge of the game. Rose didn’t play that game, but Albus looked amazing and right on point with what he needed to do, and snatched up the snitch in a mere 30 minutes, winning the match for Gryffindor after they had gotten off to a rough start and were down 30-60 against the Hufflepuffs. After dinner that evening there was a huge celebration in the Gryffindor common room, which Ary attended this time. She hung out with Rose and Al for a while and drank a couple butterbeers before retiring to her bed.
Halloween had been pretty eventful as well. There was a huge feast followed by a party of sorts for the entire castle. The teachers and students alike were encouraged to come dressed up in costume, but it was not required. Ary thought it would be fun to come as something else, but couldn’t decide on what to be. She ended up throwing a sheet over her head and going in a Muggle ghost costume. The funniest part for her was that no one could figure out what her costume was supposed to be, except a few muggleborns, that is, and it was very easy to keep her anonymity unless she really wanted the person to know who she was. She didn’t even tell Rose or Al what her costume was going to be. She wanted to be totally incognito for the evening.
One of the games for the party was to try to guess who everyone was. The person who guessed the most people correctly won the prize. Ary ended up winning that game due to the fact that no one could figure out who she was. She also won the prize for “Most Original Costume” since she was the only one who didn’t use any magic for it. The prizes she won were a gift certificate to Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes and a Nimbus 3000 broom. Ary had never owned her own broom before and she loved to fly, so she was very excited and couldn’t wait to try it out.
Ary didn’t have to wait long to try out her new broom since Halloween was on a Thursday. As soon as her classes were over on Friday she made it a point to get as much of her work done as possible so she could spend some quality time on her broom on Saturday, and maybe Sunday. She planned to get up before breakfast on Saturday so that she could do some flying before the Quidditch match as long as the weather was okay.
Waking up in the morning was no longer a problem either. After a week of experimenting with new alarm spells, Ary finally came up with one that would consistently work for her whether she could hear at all or not. Instead of a loud noise to wake her up, she now had a bright flashing light accompanied by a strong vibration pulse on her bed. She also charmed her hangings so that the flashing light wouldn’t wake her roommates. She really enjoyed not being dependent on other people to make sure she wasn’t late for class, even though she knew Rose didn’t mind waking her when she overslept.
I wake up to my “Shock-N-Awe” alarm (as I call it) at about 7:00 ready to eat some breakfast and check out my new broom. I had already waited a whole day and don’t want to wait any longer than necessary. I take a quick shower, dress, throw my hair up in a ponytail, and head to the Great Hall.
I am one of about 10 people up and ready for breakfast, although I know the Quidditch team members will probably be down soon since they are required to eat something for breakfast on the day of a game so they don’t pass out due to hunger and fall off their brooms.
As I’m eating my breakfast, I notice my mum’s owl bringing me a letter. I had given my mum an owl for her birthday this past summer so that it would be easier for her to stay in touch with me while I’m at school. She named it Lancelot, probably because I named my owl Galahad and I guess she wanted to stick with the whole “Knights of the Round Table” theme or something. Lancelot dropped the letter next to my plate and I fed him a piece of sausage while I opened my letter.
My Dearest Aryela,
I hope you are having a good year so far and your studies are going well. The shooting for my latest film is going as expected, without too many delays. As it looks right now, we should be all done shooting by December 20th, which means I won’t have to work while you’re home for Christmas. However, I was informed yesterday that I have to travel to the United States on December 27th to do a promo for the film and I will be in the U.S. for about two weeks. I know that you are not required to return to school until January 5th, but you may have to return early since I will not be here and cannot take you with me. I am sorry, honey. I had no idea this was going to happen. I hope you aren’t too disappointed about having to return to school before your break ends. Please let me know if I need to do anything to ensure you can return early.
Have you made any new friends this year? You didn’t seem to last year, although I know you were really busy trying to catch up with your studies. I know you generally prefer to be by yourself, but I hope you are at least making an effort to talk to people and involve yourself in this new world you live in.
Well, I need to wrap this up so I can send it off with Lancelot. He’s such a good owl. I’m so happy you chose him for my birthday present!
Have a great time and I’ll see you in a little over a month!
With much love,
I wish I could say I’m surprised, but I’m not. I will admit I’m disappointed though. I was hoping my Mum would actually have two weeks to spend with me while I was home, but I think deep down I knew that was unlikely. Ah well, such is the life of a movie star’s kid I guess. I sigh and fold up the letter, while making a mental note to ask Professor Longbottom what the procedure is for students who have to return from break early. I then turn my attention back to my food, although I am not as hungry as I was before. I didn’t even notice that other people, including Rose, had joined me at the table.
My disappointment must have shown on my face, because the first thing she asked me was, “What’s wrong?”
“Oh, I just got a letter from my Mum with news I wasn’t expecting is all. I’ll be okay.”
“Is it bad news?”
“No…not really. It’s actually good news for her. She has to go to the U.S. to promote the movie she’s filming right now, and unfortunately, she has to leave on December 27th. So now I have to find out what to do since I have to come back to school early and spend the end of my break here.”
“Wow Ary…I’m sorry to hear that…Hey wait! What if you didn’t have to come back to school?”
“Well, I can’t stay home by myself and there is no one else to look after me when my Mum leaves so I don’t think I have a choice in the matter.”
“Yes, but what if you stayed somewhere else during that time? Say, for instance, at my house?”
“Wow…I’d like that! I don’t think my Mum would have a problem with it either, but are you sure it would be okay?”
“I don’t see why not! We have lots of room and we have people over all the time. My family’s motto is “The More the Merrier” after all. I’ll owl my Mum and Dad today and ask if it’s okay. I’ll let you know what they say, okay?”
“Okay. I’ll wait to ask Professor Longbottom anything until I hear from you first.”
“Awesome!! I’m sure it’ll be okay and we’ll have so much fun! We can go flying and maybe you can help me practice some of my chaser stuff. We have a makeshift Quidditch pitch in our backyard and sometimes my cousins come over and we play a pick-up game or just mess around. Either way it’s a lot of fun. Plus, my uncle always throws a huge party on New Year’s Eve which I’m sure you’ll love! I’ll go owl Mum and Dad right now!!”
And she gets up and practically runs out of the Great Hall heading for the owlry while I just sit here dumbfounded. Maybe my break won’t be so bad after all…IF her parents say ‘yes’ that is. I finish my breakfast and head outside to ride my new broom.
Ary missed the start of the Quidditch match due to having so much fun on her broom that she completely lost track of time. Realizing her mistake, she ended up landing, sprinting to the dorms to drop the broom off, and sprinting back down to the pitch. She managed to get there a few minutes after it started, she thought, because the score was only 20-20.
I can’t believe I almost missed this match! Although, my broom is pretty spectacular, I was really enjoying myself as Gryffindor and Slytherin played an outstanding game. The teams were pretty even, though I thought we definitely had a better Seeker. Al looked amazing once again! I was completely mesmerized by his talent on a broom. The rest of the team was pretty awesome as well, but since Al was the only one I actually knew, I pretty much focused on him.
When Al wasn’t really doing anything, though, I tended to watch the Keepers. It seems to me that it would be hard enough to protect one hoop, let alone three. Yet, each Keeper had an uncanny ability to know which hoop to protect for the most part. It was almost like they were focused, yet unfocused at the same time. Oh how I wish I’d known about this sport sooner. I know if I had paid more attention to things other than my studies last year, I would not be caught up to my class, so I don’t regret my decision. Besides, I’m only a third year, so I have four more years after this one to enjoy this “new world” of mine, as my Mum puts it. That is exactly what I plan to do. I just hope that my ‘secret’ doesn’t get in the way of enjoying my new friends and my time at Hogwarts. I really like being just Ary, witch and student at Hogwarts.
I cheer along with everyone else in our side of the stands as Gryffindor finally wins the match after about three hours of playing. When Al grabs the snitch, making the final score 600-430, I think the stadium is going to explode. My ears actually hurt because it’s so loud, and that’s saying something. At that point I almost cancel my hearing spell, but I decide not to because then I would be without it until morning since I can only cast it once a day.
Not long after the end of the match, I decide to beat the crowd out of the stadium and head back to the dorm for a quick shower before dinner, since I didn’t have a chance to clean up beforehand. I manage to finish in the loo and get dressed before any of the other girls enter the room. I wait for Rose and we go to dinner. Hanging out with Rose and sometimes Al has pretty much become my norm. I am anxious to see if Rose’s parents will actually allow me to spend the last week of my holidays with them. That will be something new for me. I’m trying to not get my hopes up though so I won’t be disappointed if they say no.
It wasn’t until Monday morning that Rose’s owl swooped in during breakfast with the reply from her parents. As soon as she read the letter, I could tell from the big smile on her face that it was a positive reply even before she looked at me and said, “They said YES!! So, you’ll come over to my house on the 27th when your Mum leaves. Mum says she looks forward to meeting you and your Mum and that we’ll discuss the details of transportation and such later, but the important thing is they said yes!! We’re gonna have so much fun!”
I feel just as excited as Rose. Now I can owl my Mum to let her know of my plans and make sure it’s okay with her that I go to Rose’s house instead of going back to Hogwarts. I know that she’ll want to meet Rose and her parents as well. The idea of them meeting makes me feel a little apprehensive. I know that both of Rose’s parents are magical, so I’m hopeful that they won’t recognize my Mum and be ‘star struck’ by her. I’m pretty sure I mentioned to Rose that my Mum’s deaf, but I can’t remember for sure. I hope that her being deaf doesn’t bother them. Fortunately I will be there to translate her signing so it shouldn’t be too awkward. I decide to send my Mum a letter after dinner this evening.
I get Mum’s reply a few days later. She seems to be really happy for me that I have a close enough friend who would invite me to stay at her house so I don’t have to be alone at school. She also says that she looks forward to meeting Rose and her parents and hopes that I haven’t let my signing abilities slip while I’ve been at school because I’m going to need them to interpret for her when they meet. I chuckle at this a bit, because even my Mum has no idea just how bad my hearing has gotten and that I will eventually be completely deaf just like her.
Just as I finish reading the letter, Rose taps me on the shoulder and says, “Well? What did she say?”
“She says that it’s okay with her and she looks forward to meeting you and your parents.”
“YAY!! I’m so excited! Now we can start making plans for the week you’ll be with us!”
“I’m excited too. Hey Rose, by the way, did I ever mention to you that my Mum is deaf?
“Hmm…you might have last year maybe, but I don’t remember. Why?”
“I just didn’t want it to take you by surprise when you meet her, that’s all.”
“Oh, okay. Will you need to talk to my parents for her then, like an interpreter?”
“No, she can talk for herself. She didn’t go deaf until she was an adult, so she knows how to speak. Plus, as an actress she plays many different roles so she speaks all the time. I’ll just need to interpret what your parents are saying into sign so she doesn’t have to try to read their lips. It’ll be easier for her that way. I hope that won’t make your parents uncomfortable.”
“I don’t think it will. Shall I give them a heads-up so they aren’t surprised?”
“Probably, but we can worry about that later. It’s not like they’ll have to do anything different. My Mum went deaf before I was born so I have been signing as long as I can remember. In fact, it’s weird sometimes not signing while I talk. I started to do it out of habit.”
“Can you show me some stuff in sign language?”
“Sure. I will teach you the alphabet and some simple words first. I think my Mum would get a kick out of it if you greeted her in sign.”
“Ooh…I’d love that! When can we start?”
“Let’s start this weekend.”
“Okay, sounds great. I always enjoy learning new things!”
“Me too, but right now we’d better get to class before we’re late.”
Albus had been having a pretty awesome term thus far. After making the Quidditch team, he began hanging around with the other players once in a while, although he still preferred spending time with Rose. He also spent some time getting to know Ary a bit while doing Runes homework together or while hanging with her and Rose. He still couldn’t shake the fear of people taking advantage of him because of who he looked like however. Rose was still his only true confidant.
When Rose informed him that Ary would be joining them for dinner the night after tryouts, he was a little disappointed at first. He knew that with Ary along, he would have to be careful what he talked about, although Ary still hadn’t made any mention of his father even after she learned his last name. This really confused Albus because pretty much everyone had at least heard of his Dad. He was famous in the Wizarding world and his triumph over Tom Riddle was included in the latest edition of their History of Magic book.
As time went on, however, he realized that, in addition to being intelligent, Ary actually was a very interesting person. The two of them excelled in Ancient Runes and complemented each other well in that class. Personally, she didn’t talk about herself, which Al could understand because he didn’t either. Still, he thought it was in a girl’s DNA to just naturally talk a lot in general, which Ary didn’t do much of either. She never even told him her last name, which made him curious.
He asked Rose once if she knew what it was and all she said was that she did but was not at liberty to say. If he wanted to know, he was going to have to ask Ary himself.
Al had to admit to himself that he was a little jealous of Ary though. The broom that she won at the Halloween party was totally awesome. She let him fly around on it for a bit on Sunday and it was so much nicer than his old Firebolt. He also noticed that it seemed several people in school took notice of her frequently, although she either wasn’t aware or was ignoring it. Either that or he was passing off his own insecurities onto her, which was more likely, so he never said anything. He was also jealous of all the free time she had to study, read, or whatever.
Al had no idea just how time consuming being on the Quidditch team was between practices and games. That plus homework and studying left Al very little time for leisurely reading, which is what he loved doing most. He was really looking forward to the Holiday break in a few weeks because he would finally have some time to himself.
“I am so ready to have a couple weeks off. All this homework and studying for exams is giving me a headache.” I sigh, closing my Charms book.
“Agreed. I can’t understand why all the professors insist on giving us so much homework in addition to studying for exams.” Ary replies.
Rose looks up at us with tired eyes. “Even as much as I love school I can’t help but agree with how exhausting this is.”
I decide I’ve had enough for the evening. “Well, I’m so tired I can’t see straight. I’m going to bed. See you tomorrow.”
“Good night Al.”
Before I know it, exams are upon me. With all the studying I did with Rose and Ary over the last few weeks, I feel pretty confident that I’ll do okay on them, especially in Runes. Ary is a whiz in that class. It’s almost like she prefers to interpret pictures than deal with words. I hope someday I can feel as comfortable with Runes as she seems to, but for now I’m just happy to understand enough to get through the exam.
I do reciprocate the favor in Defense against the Dark Arts class however. Since my Dad is an Auror and fully believes in protecting his family (probably due to what happened to him as a child); he began teaching James, Lily, and me defensive spells as soon as we got our wands. Rose is the whiz in Charms and Transfiguration; and the three of us are pretty equal in Potions, History of Magic, and Care of Magical Creatures.
Professor Longbottom handed us our exam schedules a few days ago at breakfast. After looking at mine I was pretty happy about it. My exam week begins with History of Magic and Potions. I am so happy to get History out of the way. It is so boring!! I remember my parents and James telling me about Professor Binns, the ghost who teaches the class, but I never really understood just how bad it was until I stepped into my first class with him. It was pretty much nap time for me during class, so I was very thankful that I love to read and mad sure to read the textbook thoroughly so I wouldn’t fail the class. I am thankful that I only have to take it for 5 years, until my O.W.L. and never again.
I really like Potions so it isn’t hard for me to learn that material. Hopefully today should go well. Tomorrow I have DADA and Charms; Wednesday I have Transfiguration and Care of Magical Creatures; and Thursday all I have is Ancient Runes. I am quite excited that I have no exams on Friday. It’ll be nice to have a whole day to myself before leaving Hogwarts for two weeks for the holiday break.
Right now, however, I need to finish my breakfast and head to my History exam. I finish eating and look up to see that Rose and Ary have finished eating and are waiting for me so we can walk to the classroom together. They are whispering to each other, probably about girl nonsense. They stop when I get up from my seat and we leave the Great Hall heading toward Professor Binn’s classroom.
Ary and Rose had spent the last two weeks either studying or making plans for the second half of the holiday break. The first thing they had to figure out was how Ary was getting to their house. Rose’s Mum volunteered to come to our house and side-along apparate me, which sounded very interesting and a bit scary as well. It is the easiest way to have her meet my Mum though, since she is a Muggle. When Rose informed her Mum about the fact my Mum can’t hear it didn’t faze her at all since she’d been around deaf people before.
Once they figured out the whole transportation thing, then it was on to planning the week Ary was at Rose’s house. They had quite a few places they could go nearby, both Muggle and Magical, plus Rose promised to bring Ary by to meet her Grandmum Weasley sometime before her Uncle Harry’s big New Year’s Eve Party so that she could get to know her properly. Rose didn’t have very many friends and those she did have were treated like family by Grandmum Weasley.
“The only thing we really have left to figure out is what time to come pick you up on the 27th now.” Rose said, looking at the plans the girls had written on a piece of parchment. “Do you know what time your Mum has to leave on that day? We want to be sure we allow enough time for parent talk and such.”
“She didn’t say anything to me in her last letter, so I’m guessing she didn’t know then. I’ll be sure to ask her first thing when I get home and owl you as soon as I know.”
“It’s too bad you aren’t hooked up to the floo network or you could floo call me. That would be a lot faster.”
“You know….in the fireplace. The floo network is the Wizard way of calling people and one method of transporting yourself or items to another’s home or business.” Rose explains.
I look at her, slightly confused. “You mean you stick your head in a fireplace and talk to someone else who also has their head stuck in a fireplace? Is there a fire going at the same time as well?”
“Yep, but there’s a special powder we use called floo powder. It turns the flames green and you don’t get burned in them. I’ll have to show you when you’re at my house. It’s actually pretty cool!”
“I guess I’ll have to take your word for that.”
“You’ll see. Come on, it looks like Al’s finally done eating. Let’s get this History exam over with.” Rose says, pulling me up from my seat.
I laugh, “Yeah, the sooner the better.”
Exam week flew by, and before we knew it we were back on the Hogwarts Express heading home for two weeks. This time my ride is not as boring. I am sharing a compartment with Rose and Al (when he’s actually in the compartment).
Throughout the ride a few people poke their heads in our doorway either to say ‘hi’ or because they are looking for someone. I am guessing that the ones I don’t recognize must also be related to Rose because they all have very similar fiery red hair and they are all pretty much ignoring me, as though I’m not here. I’m used to that though, since I’m a naturally quiet person and I had been reading and not drawing attention to myself.
In addition to that, I decided when I woke up this morning to not use my hearing spell as fully as I do for school. I didn’t really need it to be that strong and, if the train was noisy, I’d just end up with a splitting headache by the time I got home. Since I can’t hear as well because of that, there isn’t really enough noise to pull my attention from my book. After about an hour of reading, I decide to take a nap so I’m fairly well rested when I get home.
I wake to Rose tapping me on the leg. “What is it?”
“We are about 30 minutes from London and I figured you’d want to be awake for a bit before we arrived.”
“Thanks! I can’t believe I slept for so long. I hope you weren’t bored. This is the first time I’ve actually shared a compartment with anyone.”
“Nah, I’m fine. I actually slept for a couple hours myself, once my family stopped bothering me.” My alarm went off about 45 minutes ago. I’m surprised you didn’t hear it. My brother says it could wake the dead.”
“Well, I’m a very sound sleeper. You should know that. How many times did you have to wake me up this term?”
“Okay, point taken.”
Rose and I packed up the few things we had out in the compartment and waited for the train to arrive at King’s Cross station. My Mum stated in her last letter that she would be waiting for me in the car out in the parking lot, close to the place she dropped me off. I can’t wait to see her. I have so much to tell her this time, unlike all of last year.
We get off the Express and head to the platform. I say ‘good-bye’ to Rose and head quickly toward the magical barrier. My Mum doesn’t like to be kept waiting because it makes her worry, and it’s not like she can just go in and ask if the Hogwarts Express has arrived on platform 9¾ yet, because people would think she has lost her mind. I want to meet Rose’s parents, but that can wait until the 27th. After hurrying through King’s Cross and out the door, I finally find my Mum’s car in the parking lot, about 4 spaces from where she dropped me off.
‘Wow…she’s good’, I think, and I head to the car to go home.
By the time I get back to the compartment where I stored my stuff, the girls are already gone. I lift my trunk and leave the train looking for Mum and Dad. I see them standing next to Uncle Ron, Aunt Hermione, and Rose. I wave to them and walk over, being grabbed up in a huge hug from Mum as soon as I arrive, immediately followed by a barrage of questions from her.
“Al! How are you? Did you have a good term? How do you like the Quidditch team? How were your exams?”
I feel quite smothered and fortunately Dad comes to my rescue.
“Gin, let the boy catch his breath, will you? You have two whole weeks to bombard him with as many questions as come to mind. For now, let’s get out of here and go home.” Dad says mussing my hair. Then, he gives me a one-arm hug, and we all leave platform 9¾.
I don’t think Lily stopped talking the entire ride home. I know this is her first year at Hogwarts but it still took me by surprise. I don’t remember her being that talkative at school but, then again, it’s not like I hang out with my little sister either. That would just be weird for both of us, I think. Finally when we are just about home, Lily actually pauses in her ramblings to breathe and we get a few minutes of peace in the Potter car.
“Okay kids, go unpack and relax tonight. I know it’s been a long week for you and you deserve some time off. Tomorrow we will be going Christmas shopping, so be sure to have your lists ready so you don’t forget anyone.”
“Okay Dad. Are we only going to Wizard stores or Muggle ones too?” I ask.
“We’re going back to London, so we can do both, Al. We’ll be flooing to the Leaky Cauldron for lunch and going from there. I figure we’ll probably be in London most of the day and can eat at a nice Muggle restaurant before we come home. Will any of you need to go to Gringotts before the shopping commences?”
All three of us nodded our heads.
“Alright then, we’ll shop in Diagon Alley first and then head out to Muggle London. Mum and I will be up in about an hour or so to say good night.”
“Okay Dad,” we all chorus and head up to our rooms.
My room has never felt so wonderful. Even though I am trying to do better at hanging around with people, I still really enjoy my privacy. The only privacy I can get at school is if I pull the hangings on my bed shut and spell them to keep others out. At home, I have my entire room to myself and it feels so refreshing! I quickly unpack my trunk and lie on my bed just enjoying the fact that I’m home.
I also plan to visit the Muggle library at least once while I’m home on break. I’m ready to read something non-magical for awhile.
I also don’t really need to use my “special” spell as much while I’m home. The only days I’ll really need to use it are tomorrow, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and possibly New Year’s Eve. Those are the only days that involve being around a lot of family for a long time, and they’d be the first ones to notice if anything seemed out of the ordinary with me.
It’s funny…when I first took that eye test back in the summer, I really didn’t think my eyes were that bad. Then, when I started using the spell, it was amazing. It would also last for at least 12 hours, which came in handy during the longer days of the term. However, I have started to notice that it doesn’t seem to be lasting as long as it first did. Now it only lasts about 8-10 hours instead of 12 or more. I first noticed the change during exam time though, so maybe it’s just because I was overworking myself and it made my eyes tired quicker. I don’t remember if there was anything mentioned in the book about how long the spell should last. I admit that I was so determined to find a spell that would help me all those months ago that all I really checked the book for back then was to see if it was safe or not and how to cast it.
I rummage in my trunk and pull out the book. I have the page marked for easy access. After finding the page, I begin to read a little more in depth about the spell I treasure so much, hoping I’m not doing something wrong. Then about ¾ of the way down the page, I see what I’m looking for…
“...As your eyesight begins to change, you may notice that the spell doesn’t seem to work as long or as well. This is perfectly normal. Your eyes are not being damaged, merely changing slowly. It is similar to what happens each time a person gets a new pair of glasses or contacts to correct their vision. As time goes on, their eyesight changes (whether it’s a little or a lot) and they will require a new set of lenses for their glasses in order to see clearly. If you notice that your eyesight becomes blurry after 6 hours or less, it is probably time to have your eyes checked again so you can adjust the spell accordingly.
NOTE: Remember: this spell will only work for people who have a visual acuity of 20/60 or better. If your eyesight is worse than 20/60, the spell will not work and you must have your vision corrected with glasses or contacts.”
After reading the page a few times, I realize this is both good news and bad news for me. The good news is that my spell still lasts 8-10 hours, meaning my eyes haven’t changed much in the last 4 months. The bad news is that they are changing at all, and I don’t have far to go before they are beyond the 20/60 mark. Plus, given my Dad’s visual acuity of “legally blind without correction” and the fact that I have his eyes, I know that eventually my vision will progress past the abilities of the spell to correct it. The main question is: how long do I have until that happens?
I close the book and place it back in my trunk. I then head to the bathroom to take a shower and get ready for bed, knowing Mum and Dad will be upstairs in about 30 minutes to kiss us good night.
As soon as I arrive home Mum and I sit and finally talk about school. The ride home was quiet, of course because it wasn’t like my Mum could read my signs and drive at the same time, nor did I want to tempt her to do so, so before we left I said I would tell her everything after we got home.
I start by telling her about my classes and teachers, Quidditch, then about Rose and Al. She seems excited to meet Rose and her parents and is so happy that I actually have someone to hang out with at school. I know she feels badly about the “British Hollywood” environment I was forced to grow up in. I never knew my Dad since he left before I was born, and I had to go with Mum wherever she was making her movies. It was okay I guess, except most of the kids I hung out with there were either stuck-up actors or kids of my Mum’s co-workers. Since my Mum was so famous, said “friends” of mine were usually just trying to get their toe in the door of the acting world and wanted to get in Mum’s good graces. As a result, they “liked” me when it was beneficial to them. The older I got, the more I began to see the falsehoods with my so-called “friends,” but there was nothing I could do about it except grin and bear it. I think hearing about the friends I have at Hogwarts allows Mum to relax a bit and not worry so much about me.
I shudder to think how much she’d worry if she knew I was losing my hearing as well. I know it would just make her worry more because she would want me closer to her while I adjust to a life without sound, but I can save that for later when it’s actually gone. For right now, my “special” spell still works for me and I plan to keep using it until it fails to work. I am looking forward to not having to use the spell as much while I’m home. It’s not like my Mum will notice and we live in a house that’s modified for deafness, so I don’t really have to hear anything. My first week home will be very quiet and restful indeed.
I make sure to ask Mum what time she needs to leave on the 27th so I know when to tell the Weasleys to be here. She tells me she needs to leave by 10:30 so she can be at the airport by 11:00. We decide that, if the Weasleys are here by 9:30, we should have plenty of time to talk a bit before she needs to depart. We spend the next three hours signing away; me telling her everything I can think of that’s happened in the last four months and her telling me how the movie shoot went and her upcoming trip to America. After four months with very little signing practice, my arms are quite sore. Kissing Mum good night, I head up to my room to write a quick note to Rose and send it off with Galahad before getting ready for bed. I am so ready for a good night’s sleep.
A/N: Many thanks to all who have read and reviewed my story. I hope you continue to enjoy it! A big thanks as well to J.K.R. for creating such an awesome universe to play in!! :)
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