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Chapter 7 : Chapter 7: Holidays
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We arrived in Diagon Alley at around 9:00. Dad wanted to get to Gringotts right as they opened so we wouldn’t have to waste half our day waiting in line at the bank. I’m impressed with myself that I actually remembered to get both Galleons and Pounds this trip, and was ready to shop. Of the entire family, I think Lily took the longest. I swear she wanted to get gifts for half of the students at Hogwarts. I never realized she had so many friends. I was glad Mum finally talked some sense into her so we could finally leave Gringotts.
Other than my family, I really didn’t have anyone to buy a gift for in the past. Rose is my best friend but also my cousin, so she’s already on the shopping list. This year, however, I decided to get something for my new friend Ary. The problem is…I have no idea what she likes. I hope that I can find something simple that she’ll like.
Dad tells us all to meet at Uncle George’s shop at noon so we can all go into Muggle London for lunch together. The first I go into is Quality Quidditch Supplies. I buy some new Special Edition Chaser gloves for James and Dominique and Broom Servicing Kits for Freddie, Lily, and Hugo. After paying, I head over to the Apothecary to get some potion ingredients for Molly and Lucy. I know they both really like making and creating potions, so I look for some of the rarer ones and manage to find a few that have a price which fits in my budget. For Teddy and Victoire, I buy a gift certificate to Bugaboo Baby Emporium. We just found out that they’re going to have a baby sometime this summer. My final destination in Diagon Alley is Flourish and Blotts, where I find a couple new books and puzzles for Rose and Louis.
For the rest of my family, I prefer to shop in Muggle London. I plan to get gift certificates to dinner and some new Muggle clothes for them. Since the Weasley side of the family is pure-blooded, their experience with blending in to the Muggle world leaves something to be desired. Every year I try to help supplement their Muggle wardrobe a little so they don’t stick out like sore thumbs, as much anyway.
I walk into Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes at 11:40 and figure I might as well see if Uncle George has anything new in there since I have 20 minutes to kill. I’m hoping that something will catch my eye that would be a good gift for Ary. I wish she wasn’t just as quiet as me because I don’t really know that much about her. I do know that I feel somewhat comfortable around her, yet I can’t help feeling apprehensive at times. It’s like I’m just waiting for that to change and to have her be just like everyone else.
I wish I could be more outgoing like my siblings, but then again, they haven’t been used as much as I have in the past. Plus, they seem to like any attention they get, whereas I just like to be left alone or in the company of select people. I wish I could get past my fear, but how? Every time I thought I made a new friend, it always ends up the same. It’s because I’m Harry Potter’s kid and I look almost exactly like him.
I’m brought out of my thoughts by a smack to the back of the head by James.
“Oi! What was that for?”
“C’mon Al. We’re going to lunch now. You can daydream another time when I’m not starving.”
Thinking that I’ll just have to come back another time to find a gift for Ary, I just roll my eyes at him and follow my family out of Diagon Alley, through the Leaky Cauldron, and out into Muggle London.
After staying up way too late last night, it feels so good to sleep in and not have any school work hanging over my head. The only thing I really need to do this weekend is buy gifts for Mum and my friends. It’s such a strange feeling to actually have friends that I want to buy gifts for, but I like it. It makes me feel happy.
By the time I finally roll out of bed it’s noon. I jump in the shower, get dressed, pull my hair into a ponytail and put on a baseball cap, pulling the ponytail through the back of the cap. Since I’ll be going out in public I go ahead and use my hearing spell, but not to the levels I use for school. I figure anyone that I really want to hear I will be talking directly to and in a close proximity with, so there’s no need for extra amplification.
I go downstairs and find a note from Mum on the table stating that she had to go to the studio for a few hours but she’ll be home before dinner and that it’s my choice of food for dinner tonight. Well, that’ll be one more thing for me to think about while I’m shopping. I sit down and have a bowl of cereal and try to figure out where I want to shop.
I know I’m definitely doing my shopping in downtown Muggle London, since that’s where we live. I personally would rather live out in the country where there are less people, but being in the heart of the city is easier for Mum. We live about 2 miles from the studio and many of the people she works with live close by. So, I will have to enjoy the remoteness of Hogwarts for the next few years and hopefully live somewhere peaceful after I graduate.
For now, however, I have a shopping list to complete. Let’s see... I’m definitely getting something for Rose, Al, and Mum. I should probably get something for Rose’s parents to thank them for their willingness to have me stay with them for just over a week. I figure I’ll have to look around and just hope something jumps out at me as “the perfect gift” for everyone except Mum, since I have no idea what they will definitely like.
Most of the better places to shop in downtown London are actually near The Leaky Cauldron, which ironically is only about two blocks away from our flat. It’s funny to me how I never noticed that the Wizard bar was there until after I was introduced to the Wizarding world, but I guess that’s the whole idea. If I didn’t have to ride all those hours on the Hogwarts Express to get to and from school, I could just walk to the Leaky Cauldron and be magically transported somehow to Hogwarts much quicker. Ah well…the train ride isn’t so bad now that I have someone to spend it with. Oh, and speaking of my friends, I need to stop daydreaming and get going if I’m going to get my shopping done and get home before Mum.
Today, I plan to pretend I’m a Muggle, except I’m going to carry my wand with me just in case of emergency. It should be fun. I finish my breakfast and head out on my shopping spree.
The streets are not quite as crowded as I expected them to be since it’s so close to Christmas. In addition to the usual department stores and such, there are also quite a few street vendors out selling their wares for the holiday season. I decide to actually make it to the store first, and then check out the other vendors on my way back home. The first place I stop into is one of my favorite restaurants, which also happens to be right across the street from the Leaky Cauldron. This is where I will get the gift for Rose’s parents. I don’t think I can go wrong with a gift certificate for some great food at a nice restaurant. As I’m waiting for the cashier, I also decide that this is where Mum and I will come tonight for dinner since she is letting me choose.
With dinner decided and one gift down, I head over to the department store nearby. I have no idea what to get Al, but I think I know what Rose might like. I head up to the fourth floor where all the books, magazines, and basically everything you could ever need for writing were. On this floor I buy a package of really cute automatic pencils with “Rose” printed on them, three large spiral notebooks, a package of ball-point pens with inks of different colors, and a supply of refills for both the pencils and pens. Now I just need to get something for Mum and Al.
It doesn’t take me very long to find Mum’s gift, an exquisite necklace with a matching pair of earrings, in the Jewelry department on the Sixth floor. I look at my watch and see that it is only 3:00 and all I need now is a gift for Al. I wish I had thought to ask Rose what Al likes before we left Hogwarts, but I don’t know if he’s planning to get me anything or not and at the time I didn’t want him to feel like he had to or anything. I find a seat on a nearby bench and think about what little I do know about Al Potter…
He seems to be very quiet; likes to read; likes flying and Quidditch; hangs out with a very small group of people; has an older brother James and a younger sister Lily; doesn’t ever talk about his family; doesn’t really seem to trust anyone except Rose…yep, that’s about all I truly know. I keep wondering if Rose and Al are dating because they seem really close, but on the other hand, it never seems romantic. It’s all very confusing to me and I hope it will make sense eventually. I’ve thought about asking Rose many times, but I just figure it’s none of my business and if she wants me to know anything, she’ll tell me on her own.
I’m going to assume that Al comes from and entirely Wizard family, mainly because he had no clue who my Mum was when we first met. My reasons behind this are because he didn’t tell me how much I look like her, which is usually what people say when they first meet me. I guess this means that any Muggle gift I get him will be okay. I just hope he doesn’t think it’s stupid. I have no father or brother and I’ve never had a boyfriend, so this is my first time ever buying a gift for a guy. Since I know he likes to read, I go back to the same floor I found Rose’s gifts on and browse the books.
I find a logic puzzle book and two novels, plus a notebook and pencils for the logic puzzles. It was hard to decide which novels to get for him, but I ended up deciding on one by Mark Twain and one by Charles Dickens. I just hope he likes them. Now that my shopping is complete, I head for home.
I walk in the door to find that Mum isn’t home yet, so I take my packages upstairs to my room so I can wrap them later. I lay down on my bed and a few minutes later I hear a tapping at my window. I look up and see Galahad with a reply from Rose.
Mum says that 9:30 on the 27th is fine. It will just be Mum and I coming since Dad has to work, but you’ll meet him later that day. They are both really looking forward to meeting you. I’m so excited! I’ve only been home a day and Hugo is already driving me bonkers!
Oh, and Mum also wanted me to remind you to pack something nice to wear to the New Year’s Eve Party. Other than that, pack whatever you think you’ll need or want. Mum can shrink your stuff before we apparate so it doesn’t matter how much it is.
I’m still practicing the signs you taught me. I hope I do them right for your Mum!
See you Friday! Happy Christmas!!
Just reading that note made me smile. I really am looking forward to spending time with a friend before going back to school. When I’m here with Mum, I’m either alone or pretending to be someone I’m not. But, I love my Mum and want to be there for her as much as I can. Ah, the trials of a famous person’s kid. I head downstairs to wait for Mum to come home.
The week flew by with all the holiday parties and celebrating Christmas with Mum. Before I know it, it’s Thursday night. I have been packing and repacking my stuff all week, convinced I’m forgetting something. I wake up way too early on Friday, eat a light breakfast, and wait for Rose and her Mum to appear at our house. I had given Rose the address a few days ago.
I hear a ‘pop’ outside followed by our doorbell ringing (well lights flashing). I open the door and am enveloped into a hug by Rose. She then introduces me to her Mum, Hermione, and then I introduce them both to Mum who was very impressed with Rose’s signing of ‘My name is Rose…Nice to meet you.’ As I’m introducing Mum, I notice that Hermione has a look of recognition on her face, which she quickly subdues. I don’t even think Mum noticed. I suppress a fear that I can’t be ‘just me’ at Rose’s house now…not if Hermione recognizes my Mum. I didn’t even think to ask Rose if either of her parents were Muggleborn. Oh well, I guess it doesn’t matter now.
After about 40 minutes of chatting (well, them chatting and me signing responses for Mum), it is time for Mum to leave for the airport. After another thank you to Hermione and stating how nice it is to meet her and Rose and how lucky I am to have them in my life, I sign their responses back to her. She gives me a big hug, tells me to behave myself, and leaves quickly. After the car pulls away, we all head up to my room so Hermione can shrink my stuff before we go.
“Do you have everything you need Ary?”
“Please….call me Hermione. Ma’am makes me sound like I’m as old as Ron’s Aunt Muriel.”
“Okay….Hermione. I’m pretty sure I have everything.”
“Well, if you did forget anything, we can always hop back here and get it before you go back to Hogwarts. I assume you have a way to get in the house after we leave?”
“Yes. I always have my key with me and I know all the alarm codes.”
“Good girl! Okay then…let’s go!”
I lock up the house and set the alarms. Then, Hermione asks me to grab her arm as Rose grabs that same arm. She asks if we are ready and then seconds later I am being squeezed through a tube into nothingness.
After what seems like an eternity, but was probably only a few seconds, we land just outside what I assume to be Rose’s house. It is a modest sized house with a lot of tall trees surrounding a huge field in the back. Now I know what Rose meant about being able to fly at her house. Also, there were no neighboring houses anywhere close. I could feel the magic emanating from what I assumed were magical wards around the property. It actually felt more like home to me than my own home did.
I follow Rose up to the house and to the guest room where I’ll be staying. The house is much larger on the inside than it appears to be on the outside, which I assume must have some kind of magic behind it. My room has a full-sized bed with red and gold pillows and a Gryffindor comforter, a nightstand with an electric lamp, a dresser, and a rather roomy closet. Well, at least I know I won’t have any trouble fitting my stuff in here. Rose says she’ll wait for me in her room so I can have some time to unpack.
After Hermione enlarges my luggage, I thank her again and unpack a few things, including my dress for the party. I figure I can unpack things as I need to, so I decide to just go to Rose’s room.
Rose’s room is right next to the guest room. I walk in and see her sitting on her bed.
“Hey Ary! That was quick. You’re unpacked already?”
“Not entirely. I just figured I’d unpack as I need to. I did make sure to put my dress for the party in the closet though. I don’t want it to get any more wrinkled than necessary.”
“I wouldn’t worry too much about that. If need be, Mum can work her magic and get the wrinkles out. She’s really good with that kind of stuff because she always has to do it for my Dad and Hugo. I can’t understand why boys don’t seem to care what their clothes look like?”
“All the boys I’ve seen are usually dressed to impress, although that is usually what they are trying to do so I guess that doesn’t count.”
Rose chuckled, “It must be so neat to be able to go to parties with a bunch of famous people. You must know lots of movie stars.”
“It’s okay sometimes. I used to enjoy them a lot more when I was little. Now it just seems like a “phony fest” most of the time. The other stars bring their kids who want to be famous too, so they spend the whole time sucking up to whichever famous person is there in the hopes that they’ll get noticed. I try to get along with them to please my Mum, but there are times when I’d rather not be there.”
“Wow…I had no idea. Is that why you got a little upset with the girls on your first night in the dorm?”
“Yeah, a bit. When I found out I was a witch and was introduced to the Wizarding world, I saw it as a kind of escape from the ‘movie star’ world I grew up in. However, when I went to Diagon Alley to get my school supplies, I heard people calling my Mum’s name and following me. Until that moment, it never occurred to me that there would be other students who had Muggle parents and who might actually know who my Mum was.”
“Oh my gosh…Mum’s muggleborn! I didn’t even think about that. I wonder if she recognized your Mum.”
“She did. I could tell by the look on her face right before I introduced you to her. It’s not a big deal though. Your Mum covered it very well. Mum likes you, I can tell. You made an awesome first impression with her, especially with your signing!”
“Thanks! I practiced everything you taught me this past week. Can you teach me more signs while you’re here? It’s actually a fun language to learn. Plus, think of all the extra benefits if I can learn it well enough.”
“Like being able to talk to each other across a room and such?”
“That and being able to communicate in class when we’re not allowed to talk, or just being free to talk about whatever and knowing that no one else will know what we’re saying.”
“That would be excellent, but you have many more signs to learn before we can accomplish that.”
“Fortunately I’m a pretty quick study. Plus, you’re a very good teacher.”
“Thanks. I think I take it for granted sometimes. I have been signing pretty much my whole life. I’m just thankful that Mum can speak as well. Otherwise, I’m not sure who would’ve taught me to talk.”
Just then we hear Rose’s Mum calling us down for lunch.
For Albus, the break from school had been pretty uneventful. Christmas Eve at the Burrow and Christmas Day at home were per the norm. Everyone liked the gifts he’d bought for them and he’d ended up with a pretty decent haul himself. Among his gifts were a Nimbus 3000, top-of-the-line Seeker goggles, and a gift card to a Muggle bookstore. He was excited to actually be able to own some of the great Muggle books that he’d seen in the library, and decided to wait until summer break to actually use it, since he’d have more time to shop then.
He’d been over to see Rose twice before Christmas, but since he knew she would have a friend staying with her from the 27th until they went back to Hogwarts he didn’t want to bother her. He figured if she desired his company, she would call him. He hoped he would see her on New Year’s Eve at the party, but since her friend was staying he wasn’t sure. Just then Ginny happened to walk by his bedroom, and he knew he could get his answer.
“Hey Mum! Do you know if Rose is coming to our party tomorrow night?”
“The whole family is coming as far as I know, dear. Hermione hasn’t told me any different. Why do you ask?”
“I know that Rose has a friend staying with her until we go back to school, so I wasn’t sure if their plans had changed or not.”
“Oh that. Hermione called me a few days ago and asked if it would be alright if Rose’s friend came along. Of course I said that would be perfectly fine. I’m looking forward to meeting her. I think Hermione said her name was Ary or something like that. Do you know her?”
“Um, yeah I do. She’s in Gryffindor and we have Ancient Runes together. She’s also pretty quiet so I don’t know much about her though.”
“Well, maybe you’ll get to know her a little better at the party. Speaking of which, I need to go do a little last minute shopping for the party. James and Lily are both staying at a friend’s house tonight, and your Dad should be home in about an hour or so. Will you be okay till your Dad gets home?”
I looked at her and rolled my eyes. “Yes Mum. I’m 13 not 6. I’m positive I’ll be okay.”
Mum chuckled. “Okay then. See you soon.”
This is the first time I’ve had the house all to myself since break started. Now was my chance to do something I’ve wanted to do, but only when nobody else was home. I definitely don’t want to get caught.
Once I’m sure Mum is gone, I slip into their bedroom. I know that Dad has a box in his dresser that contains items from his childhood. I open the drawer and carefully take out the box. I open the box and find what I’m looking for…an old pair of glasses from back when Dad was in school. I carefully pull them out and walk over to the mirror. I am curious about two things; what I look like with them on and how bad Dad’s eyesight was back then. I haven’t cast my vision correction spell today because I haven’t needed to, so it’ll be an interesting test.
I place Dad’s glasses on my face and am surprised at how strong the prescription is. I can barely tell what I look like and am beginning to get a headache trying to focus through the lenses. I quickly take them off and place them back in the box. I then put the box carefully into the drawer and leave the room.
Now I’m curious about how bad Lily’s eyesight is, so I go into her room and find her glasses on top of her dresser. She just got a new pair about a week ago, and seems to about once a year. I pick up her glasses and put them on. I can at least see through her glasses, but it seems that they are a bit more correction than I must need. I take them off and put them back on the dresser exactly as I found them. I have no desire to see what I look like with girl’s glasses on.
I go downstairs to fix myself a snack and watch some TV. I’m thankful that we have a big screen television because I can actually watch it from across the room without squinting too much. Of course it isn’t clear like it would be if I use my spell, but it’s nice to be able to take a break from it once in a while. It’s hard sometimes trying to decide when to use the spell so that it doesn’t wear off at the wrong time. Waking up to a slightly blurry world is one thing, but having everything go from clear to blurry in a short period of time is quite unnerving, especially when you’re trying to keep it a secret.
I went to the library a couple days after I got home to see if the flyer with the eye chart on it was still there. Unfortunately, it wasn’t so I couldn’t check to see how much my eyes had changed since the summer. I know what the spell book says, but I just needed to know what the chart says as well.
I suddenly had an idea and was kicking myself for not thinking of it before now. I remembered that Mum had a few Muggle healing books in the library along with the magical ones. Maybe one of them has an eye chart in it that I can use. I figure it’s worth a try anyway. I turn off the TV, go put my dishes in the sink, and head up to the library.
To my surprise, it was a lot easier than I thought to find what I was looking for. I found not only an eye chart on the wall, but a few other papers on a table close by with what I assume were different eye tests printed on them. I guess Mum must have been checking Lily out before taking her to the ocular specialist, just to make sure she really needed to go now instead of waiting until summer break.
I notice the line on the floor and stand behind it, just as I did at the library this summer. I cover each eye and read the smallest line. Then I walk up to the chart to see if anything has changed. To my dismay, it has. The smallest line I can read now is the 20/50 line. While still correctable with my spell, my vision is indeed worsening little by little. I really didn’t expect a change in just four months.
I pick up one of the other papers on the table. It seems to be a test for up close vision. My near vision is really good and I can easily read the smallest paragraph. I put the paper down and go back over to the eye chart on the wall. I look at it with both eyes open and still can only read the 20/50 line. I can definitely read the 20/40 line and almost make out the 20/30 line if I squint really hard though. ‘I need to have a copy of this in my room so I can check myself as needed,’ I thought. I cast a quick duplicating spell and take my copy of the eye chart up to my room and place it in my trunk for safe keeping.
I have had more fun in the last few days than I think I’ve had in my whole life. Rose and I have been going nonstop doing one thing after another. The makeshift Quidditch pitch they have in their backyard is amazing. Rose and I have been out there every day.
She needed to practice, so I told her I’d try to play Keeper for her, although I didn’t make any promises. I’m getting the hang of it though, and I’m finding I actually like playing Keeper. Rose seems to think I should consider trying out for the house team next year. I’ll just have to see what happens, but at least I know I wouldn’t make a complete fool out of myself if I did.
Today is New Year’s Eve. We slept in a little later than normal because of how late we’ll be up tonight. We decided not to try to play and Quidditch today since we have to get ready for the party.
“Okay Ary, the shower’s all yours!”
“Thanks Rose. I’ll just be a few minutes.”
“Take your time. It’s only 3:00 and we aren’t leaving for Uncle Harry’s and Aunt Ginny’s house until 6:00.”
“Okay. See you in a bit.”
I come out of the bathroom to find Rose standing in her bathrobe staring at her closet.
“Ary, can you help me figure out what to wear to the party tonight?”
“Um…sure…is someone going to be there that you’re trying to impress?”
“Maybe…you never know who is going to be at one of Uncle Harry’s parties and I want to look good just in case.”
“Is Al going to be at the party by chance?” I ask.
Rose turns around and looks at me strangely. “Of course he’ll be there. My whole family will be there and he is my cousin after all. Why do you want to…oh wait a minute…you think Al and I are dating, don’t you?”
“To be honest, I wasn’t sure until now. All I knew was that you two seemed very close.”
“Al and I are very close. We always have been. I am very protective of him as well. He has been hurt by many people over the years. Until you started hanging out with us it was always just me and him. Personally, I like having another girl to hang out with. I just hope Al doesn’t feel left out.”
“Okay c’mon really? Al is good looking, a great Quidditch player, and really smart. I can’t believe he doesn’t have other friends to hang out with if we’re doing girl stuff.”
“No no…you don’t understand. Well, then again maybe you would since your Mum is a movie star and all.”
“What it’s like to have a famous parent. You see…my parents and Al’s parents are quite famous in the Wizarding world. They aren’t movie stars or anything like that, but they were the ones who defeated Voldemort and ended his evil reign over 20 years ago.”
“I’ve never heard of a Wizard war before, and who is Voldemort?”
“Voldemort, otherwise known as Tom Riddle, was a very dark Wizard who had many followers and performed all kinds of dark magic. He also believed that anyone who wasn’t a pure-blooded witch or wizard didn’t deserve to exist. The war actually started back when my Dad’s parents and Uncle Harry’s parents were at Hogwarts. Uncle Harry’s parent’s were killed by Voldemort when he was only a little over a year old, and he tried to kill Uncle Harry that same night.”
“He tried to kill a baby? Why?”
“Because there was a prophecy that had old Voldy convinced that Uncle Harry would be the one who could destroy him. Here, rather than me trying to explain it all to you, read this.”
Rose hands me a copy of ‘Hogwarts, A History’. It is opened to near the end of the book. I read the chapter on Voldemort and the great Wizarding War. After reading, I sit back and look at her.
“Wow Rose…I can’t believe I’ve never heard anything about your family before now. It’s no wonder you put those snooty ones in our dorm in their place last year. You must know what it’s like to be hounded because of your parents’ fame. Well, you guys have no worries with me then since I definitely know what it’s like to have a famous parent. I am definitely not star-struck, I promise.”
Rose giggles then looks at the clock. “Hey Ary, we really need to start getting ready. We only have a little over an hour until we leave.”
“I didn’t realize we’d been talking for so long. You’re right, we better get ready.”
We come downstairs a few minutes before it’s time to go. Rose is wearing a deep blue dress and I am wearing a hunter green dress. We had so much fun doing each other’s hair, although I can’t really describe the hairdos we came up with. All I know is that we look great and our hair isn’t in our faces. We also have our brooms and a set of comfortable clothes to sleep in and to wear the next day. I guess it’s a tradition for Rose’s family to spend the night at her uncle’s house. Then on New Year’s Day, they play a family Quidditch match after having a big family breakfast. I admit I am looking forward to seeing what it’s like to celebrate a holiday with a big family.
Rose’s Mum and Dad apparate us to Godric’s Hollow at 6:00 for the party. We land just outside the gate which leads to the front lawn. Rose’s Dad pushes the button on the gate and a few seconds later we hear, “Hey Ron! Come on in!” He then opens the gate, motions for us to all go through the gate, and closes the gate behind him.
As soon as I walk in the house I know this will be something I will always remember.
A/N: I was going to try to put the party in this chapter as well, but decided it would be too long if I did. Chapter 8 should be submitted soon after this one is posted. Thanks again to all who are reading and enjoying my story. Please take the time to review. It means a lot to me.
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