Chapter 8 : Chapter 8: A New Year’s Like No Other
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Of all the lavish parties I’ve been to with my Mum through the years (and there have been too many to count) I have never seen a place like the Potter’s house. As soon as we walk in the front door, a house-elf dressed in a white robe with what I assume to be the Potter family crest on it greets us, takes our bags, and then sends them somewhere with a wave of his hand. I have only seen a house-elf one other time, and that was at Hogwarts. I’m not sure what to say to him. Thankfully, Rose saves me a lot of embarrassment.
“Thank you Kreacher. Ary, this is Kreacher. Kreacher, this is Ary. She’s a friend of mine and Al’s.” Rose says, smiling to the elf.
“Kreacher has heard good things about Mistress Ary from Master Albus and Mistress Lily. Welcome to our home.”
“Thank you Kreacher. It’s nice to meet you.” I reply.
“Kreacher, do you know where Al is?” Rose asks.
“Everyone is currently in the main dining hall waiting for all guests to arrive so they may eat.”
“Okay, thank you Kreacher.”
“It’s not a problem Miss. Your bags have been sent to the guest room next to Master Al’s room.”
“Thanks again Kreacher. I’ll show Ary the way there.”
“As you wish Miss…enjoy the party.” Kreacher says and turns to greet Rose’s parents.
As soon as Kreacher turns away, Rose takes my arm and pulls me down the hall. “Come on! I want to show you around! That way you’ll know where the bathrooms are and where our room is.”
We go down a hallway and up the stairs. Rose seems to be in a hurry for some reason. I try to get her to slow down a bit so I can take it all in, but I guess I can look around on the way back to wherever it is we’re going to eat. I just can’t believe how amazing this house is, and I’ve been in some pretty amazing houses in my life. The house looks like it hasn’t just been expanded by magic like Rose’s house, but actually built combining both the Wizarding and Muggle worlds together. Right now I am in awe of everything around me. I come back to my senses when I see Rose pointing at a bathroom.
“And here is the loo that we’ll use. The boys use the other one. And here,” she says pointing to the room next to the bathroom, “is our room.”
I look in and sure enough, I see my bag on one of the two queen sized beds in the room. The walls are a royal blue and the ceiling is decorated to look like stars twinkling in the sky at night. It feels very peaceful here and I’m sure I will have a very restful sleep tonight.
“Okay, now that you know where these two rooms are, we should probably head to the main dining hall.”
“I need to go to the loo first. If you don’t want to wait, it’s okay. You can either just give me directions to the main dining hall or I’ll just stop by the front door and ask Kreacher.”
“The main dining hall is easy to find. Just go back down the stairs and turn right. I’m sure there will be a lot of people in that area waiting to eat. I’ll stay on the edge of the people so you can find me, okay?”
“Okay. I shouldn’t be too long.” I say and head into the loo.
I finish using the loo and go back out into the hallway. There are many paintings and portraits hanging on the walls. Even after being at Hogwarts for so long, I am still fascinated by the fact that magical pictures move and portraits seem to be alive. Some of the portraits introduce themselves to me and welcome me to the Potter mansion. They are very pleasant and it’s hard to pull myself away from them. I know, however, that Rose is waiting for me downstairs.
I bid the portrait of Olivia Potter farewell and hastily turn to head to the stairs. Before I reach the stairs I see a familiar mop of black hair.
“Hey Al!” I call.
The person turns around and looks at me, a little surprised but smiling. “Ah...you must be Ary. I’m Harry, Al’s Dad. Al and Rose are downstairs waiting for you.”
I have never been so embarrassed in my life. As soon as he turns around I know it’s not Al. The man has the same brilliant green eyes and messy black hair. The only real difference I see is that his Dad wears glasses with lenses so thick his eyes look smaller than normal. I didn’t know that Al looks almost exactly like his Dad. Of course, neither Al nor Rose ever told me and I’ve never even seen his Dad’s picture, so there is no way I could know. That fact didn’t help me feel any better though. Suddenly, I realize he just spoke to me and it would be rude not to answer.
“Um…yes Sir…I’m sorry.”
“Sorry for what child? And please call me Harry.”
“For mistaking you for Al. You look just like him from the back.”
“Don’t worry about it sweetie. It’s nice to meet you. I hope you enjoy yourself.”
“Thank you, I will. And it’s nice to meet you too, Sir…I mean Harry.”
I turn and hurry down the hall to the stairs. I’m sure my face is bright red by now, and I try my best to regain my composure while I walk to the main dining hall to find Al and Rose.
As soon as I get to the foot of the stairs, I see Rose walking toward me.
“Is everything alright? I was just coming to look for you. We will be eating shortly.”
“Yeah, I’m fine. I just bumped into Al’s Dad. Why didn’t you ever tell me Al looks just like his Dad? It would’ve saved me some major embarrassment just now.”
“Why? What happened?”
“Oh nothing much…I just thought I saw Al upstairs just now and yelled to him; only to find out that it wasn’t Al after all, but his Dad. He seemed to know who I was too. I wanted to die I was so embarrassed.”
“I’m sure Uncle Harry didn’t think anything of it.”
“Well I did, and you haven’t answered my question. Why didn’t you tell me?”
“It’s kind of a sore subject with Al, so we don’t really talk about it. I’m sorry I didn’t think of it sooner. I keep forgetting there’s a lot you don’t know.”
“I can appreciate you looking out for Al. Why is it such a sore subject? It’s not like his Dad is ugly or anything. In fact, he’s rather good looking, for an older man that is. He has the most gorgeous green eyes too.”
“How would you like it if you looked exactly like the ‘Savior of the Wizarding World’ and people constantly mistook you for him or used you because of his fame?”
I stare at her not believing what I just heard her say to me of all people. “I can’t believe you just asked me that question as though I would have no idea how it feels to be mistaken for someone you look like. You did meet my Mum, right?”
Rose’s eyes went wide with recognition and blushed. “Merlin, Ary…I am so sorry. I mean…of course you of all people would know how Al feels. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before! The problem though, is that Al doesn’t know that you understand, so he is actually dreading you meeting his Dad. He’s afraid that once you notice the resemblance you’ll be just like everyone else.”
“What do you mean just like everyone else?”
“You know…it’s like what you told me about the people you’re forced to hang out with in your Mum’s circle; the ones who are only your ‘friends’ because they want something and not because they truly like you. Al has dealt with that his entire life and it’s to the point now where he only really trusts his family. You are the closest thing to a friend outside the family that he’s even tried to have in years, and I think that had something to do with the fact that you had no idea who Uncle Harry was. Now that you know who Uncle Harry is, however, Al’s going to be even more afraid it will end just like all the others.”
“I know exactly how he feels. You and Al are the first real friends I’ve ever had. It took me awhile to believe that I didn’t have to be by myself, but I’m glad I opened up to you and Al. Hopefully someday he’ll see that I’m not like everyone else and I do understand more than he thinks.”
“I’m sure he will eventually, but for now let’s just have a good time. I’m hungry!”
“Me too….let’s go!”
I don’t think I have ever eaten so much good food at one sitting. Everything on the table tasted wonderful and there was so much of it. Rose and I met up with Al and went to eat in a separate room with the other kids as soon as we filled our plates. I felt a bit awkward at first since I was the only one who wasn’t actually related, but soon I settled into conversations with Rose and others in the Weasley/Potter family, except Al who didn’t say much to anyone. After dinner, I was invited to join in a game of exploding snap with Lily, Hugo, and Louis. It was a lot of fun. In fact, I was having such a good time that I didn’t even notice Rose and Al leave the room.
We finish our game and I notice that I don’t see Rose or Al. Initially I feel a little apprehensive, but I know they are somewhere in the house and I’ll see them later. I decide to go check out the dessert table, now that I finally have room in my stomach for dessert. The desserts are as plentiful as dinner was. There are so many things to choose from I can’t decide. I’m about to grab a piece of pumpkin pie and some treacle pudding when I am tapped on the shoulder. I turn around in surprise to see Rose’s Mum standing there with another woman with long fiery red hair.
“Ary dear, I’m sorry if I startled you. I want you to meet Al’s Mum, Ginny Potter.”
“It’s very nice to meet you Ary. Al has told me a little bit about you, mainly in reference to the class you share with him. How are you enjoying Ancient Runes?”
I stare at her for a minute. So, Al has told his parents that we have Runes together and that’s all? Really? Well, at least I know what kind of impact I’ve made on him so far. It seems he likes to keep secrets as much as I do.
“It’s nice to meet you too Mrs. Potter. Ancient Runes is one of my favorite classes this year. Thank you for asking and for allowing me to come to your party with Rose. Your home is amazing!”
“Why thank you, and please call me Ginny. Harry and I are pleased you could come. We’ve both spent a holiday or two at Hogwarts and know how lonely it can be there, even with your friends. I hope you enjoy yourself tonight. Oh…and did you bring your broom for Quidditch tomorrow?”
“Yes, although the closest I’ve come to playing Quidditch is playing Keeper so Rose can practice.”
“No worries…it’s all good fun. Well, I need to go mingle. Catch up with you later Mione.”
“Okay, see you later Ginny.”
And Ginny walks off leaving me alone with Hermione. After a few awkward minutes, she looks around to be sure we’re alone and then turns to me.
“I hope I didn’t make you feel uncomfortable when we picked you up at your house. I’ve been a fan of your Mum’s movies for years and recognized her instantly. I didn’t realize how much you look like her though, so that caught me a little off guard. I also saw a similar look on your face earlier when you were looking at Harry. Can I ask you a question?”
I remember Rose telling me once that her Mum was very inquisitive and observant. I guess I should’ve seen this coming eventually. “Sure.”
“It’s actually a few questions really. First, did Al ever tell you anything at all about his Dad? It’s obvious to me that you didn’t know they look a lot alike.”
I looked at her wondering how the answer to this question was not obvious. “Al has not told me anything about his family at all. He barely talks to me about anything but school stuff.”
Hermione nodded and then shook her head. “I thought as much, although I was hopeful that I was wrong in my assumption. Now to my next question…have you had many issues with the fact you resemble your mother as much as you do?”
I just stared at her not wanting to answer, but then slowly nodded. “When I was younger it wasn’t so bad, but as I got older I started looking like her more and more. People would constantly call me Mimi, which I hated. And, if that wasn’t bad enough, I then had people wanting to be my ‘friend’ just so they could meet her or get a part in her next movie, stuff like that.”
“I can imagine how awful that must have been for you.”
“It was. Then when I found out I was a witch and would be going to a school far away and living in a completely different world, I was hopeful I’d finally be free of the crap I had dealt with since I was 10 years old.”
“But that didn’t happen?”
“No. My first time in Diagon Alley I was accosted by muggleborn witches who thought I was my Mum. Then three of my roommates started asking me questions about my Mum my first night at Hogwarts. Thankfully Rose stuck up for me that night or I might never have actually gotten any sleep. Then, I was so focused on catching up with my studies that I isolated myself last year. I could hear the gossipy girls talking about me though, so I gave up on things being different here.”
“I’m so sorry that happened to you, but I’m glad you and Rose have become good friends. She never really had anyone to talk to before outside of her family.”
“I’m glad too. I definitely feel a little more like I belong at Hogwarts this year.”
“From what Rose tells me I’d say you definitely belong there. Now, I have one more question to ask you and I hope you’ll be honest with me on this one no matter how hard it is to do so.”
I look at her with questioning eyes. “Um….okay?”
“The condition your mother had that took her hearing…do you have it as well?”
I just looked at her for a moment trying to decide if I should tell her the truth or not. “Why do you ask?”
“I’ve seen you point your wand at your ears and mumble a spell on a couple of occasions, plus I have noticed that, at the end of the day, you tend to be less responsive to verbal attempts to get your attention. It’s as if you can’t hear as well as you should.”
Crap…she’s more observant than I thought. Although I had been a bit lazy with the spell over the break because I didn’t think I needed it. I definitely need to go to see Madame Pomfrey when I get back to see just how much worse my hearing has gotten. Since it’s obvious to me Hermione already knows the answer before I give it to her, I figure I might as well tell her the truth and hope that she can keep my secret.
“Unfortunately, yes I do. Professor McGonagall taught me the Aural Amplifico spell last year so I would be able to hear in all my classes and such as though nothing was wrong. The spell works just fine, although I haven’t been using it to its full capacity during the break except for special occasions like tonight. I get checked by Madame Pomfrey at the end of each school year as well because the condition I have is progressive and nothing can cure it. Eventually I will be completely deaf just like my Mum and no spell will be able to fix it. The only people who know the truth about my condition are Professor McGonagall, Madame Pomfrey, and now you. My Mum doesn’t even know. I know it will come out eventually but I really want to keep this a secret as long as I can. Please don’t tell anyone, not even Rose.” I look at her with pleading eyes while speaking, hoping they will convey just how serious I am about keeping my secret.
“Don’t worry. I promise I will not share your secret with anyone. Believe it or not, I completely understand your need to keep some aspects of your life private, as do Harry and Ron. Ever since the war with Voldemort, we can’t seem to be out of the public eye for very long. Harry has it the worst of all though, as he has been hounded by the press and many others since we were students at Hogwarts.”
“Was it because of what happened when he was a baby? Rose showed me the chapter in ‘Hogwarts, a History’ about him.”
“Yes and poor Harry knew nothing about his past until he was 11 and got his Hogwarts letter. Then, all of a sudden he was famous and had no clue why. He never really liked the attention and just wanted to be a normal kid.”
“I can understand that. I’ve wished for that many times.”
“I know you can, as can Albus. He doesn’t enjoy the recognition and attention like James does or is as outgoing as Lily. He mainly keeps to himself or his family because he has been hurt by others too many times in his short life. I wouldn’t be surprised if the only reason he hangs out with you at all was because you never mention his Dad or how much he looks like him. I have a feeling he’s just waiting for you to be just like all the others who have hurt him in the past, which is probably why he never told you anything about Harry.”
Didn’t Rose and I just have this conversation? Talk about déjà vu…
“Well, rest assured, I am not like everyone else.” I said proudly.
“I know that sweetie, and so does Rose. I’m sure Al will come around in time, don’t you worry. I’ll leave you to your dessert now. Have fun!”
“I will, thanks Hermione.” I wave to her as she disappears in the crowd.
It never occurred to me that Al would be that against me meeting his Dad. Then I realized something…I don’t think I ever told Al my last name. Surely he’s heard a teacher say it though, so he must know it. What if he doesn’t though? I’m no better than he is at revealing personal information about myself. Now I feel kind of bad for feeling slightly put off by his actions. When I find Rose and it’s just the two of us, I will ask her if she knows whether or not Al knows my last name and go from there. For now, I’m going to enjoy my dessert.
Now that I’m finally alone again, I place the pie and pudding on my dessert plate and head in a direction which hopefully will lead me to Rose and Al. After looking in several places, I try our room last. As I approach our room I hear Al and Rose talking in his room, which I suddenly remember is next door to our room. How did I forget that? Well, at least I know where they are now. I place my dessert in our room and slip quietly back into the hallway, not wanting to startle them. I am about to knock on the door when I hear my name. I pause and decide to listen a bit instead, hoping no one comes along and catches me.
“I still can’t believe you brought her here Rose.” Al sounds depressed and a bit angry as he speaks.
“And I still think you’re being ridiculous Al. I can’t believe you’ve been avoiding her most of the evening. Some friend you are!” Rose just sounds mad…oh boy, this should be interesting.
“I’m not being ridiculous! She knows, Rose! Now she knows I look almost exactly like Dad. It’s only a matter of time now…”
“What do you mean…only a matter of time now?”
“You of all people know exactly what I mean. I thought I had finally met someone who truly likes me just for me and not because I am the ‘almost clone’ of “The Savior of the Wizarding World.” I don’t know enough about her yet and now she’s seen Dad! I can’t keep that fact a secret anymore. Now how will I know she isn’t just using me like everyone else has before?”
“Al, can I ask you a question?”
“You know you can.”
“How well do you really know Ary? Have you actually talked to her much, other than about school or Quidditch?”
There’s a moment of silence, and then Rose speaks again. “That’s what I thought. You know, before you jump to all these conclusions about Ary, you might want to get to know her a bit more first.”
I smile, thinking that maybe Rose could be the one to get Al to finally talk to me a bit more. I really hate the fact that he’s avoiding me out of fear, especially because I really do like him, and his Dad has nothing to do with it.
“Now why would I want to go to all that trouble just to get hurt again?”
“Because you might be surprised, that’s why. Now, I’m going to find my friend and spend the evening with her. As always you are welcome to hang with us, but I’m not leaving her alone again. She’s my guest and it’s not fair of you to make me choose between you and her. If you insist on making me choose tonight, I choose Ary. The choice is up to you.”
As soon as I hear Rose say she’s not going to leave me alone again, I tiptoe back to our room, grab my plate, and sit on my bed. The dessert is wonderful! I have just finished my pie and am starting on my treacle tart when Rose walks in.
“Hey! There you are! I’m sorry I disappeared on you. I guarantee it won’t happen again. Are you enjoying yourself?”
“Sure. I had a nice talk with your Mum and I met your Aunt Ginny. She seems really nice as well. Where’d you disappear to anyway?”
She rolled her eyes and said, “Al.”
“Ah…say no more. Is he avoiding me for some reason? I only saw him at dinner and he barely said two words to me. I hope I didn’t do something to make him angry at me.”
“Al is just being Al. Pay him no mind and no, you didn’t do anything. He just freaked when he saw you talking to his Dad.”
“Well, if he had told me that he resembles his Dad as much as I resemble my Mum, I wouldn’t have made a complete fool out of myself by calling his Dad ‘Al’ and acting like I knew him.”
“I know, but I told you…it’s a sore subject with him.”
“Yeah yeah, I know.”
“Ary, I was wondering something. How much does Al know about you? I mean, maybe if he knew about you and your Mum he will see that you aren’t like everyone else.”
“I’ll think about telling him more about me. I’m not sure if he even knows my last name. I don’t think I’ve ever told him because I prefer not to repeat the experience of my first night here with others if I can help it.”
“He doesn’t. And, to be honest, I’m not sure he even knows who your Mum is anyway. He spends most of his time in the Muggle world reading, not watching movies.”
“Yeah. There is a Muggle library down the street from Al’s house. He practically spends all summer there, except when his family forces him to do other things. Sometimes I wonder if he wishes he was a Muggle.”
That makes me chuckle a bit.
Albus sat on his bed and watched Rose leave the room. He knew he was being ridiculous but he’d been burned so many times in the past it was hard to forget. Ary was the first friend he’d actually had, but she didn’t really know anything about him and he didn’t really know anything about her. It was a blissfully ignorant friendship, one with no expectations, disappointments, etc. However, the type of friendship they’d had couldn’t continue now that she knew one of his secrets. For now, he had a choice to make: spend the evening with Rose and Ary, or don’t.
After debating with myself for about an hour, I decide to go back downstairs. I’m not sure exactly what time it is but I know it’s close to midnight. My vision is blurred since my spell wore off about 30 minutes ago, but I can see well enough to not be obvious about it. I don’t plan to stay downstairs much past midnight anyway, since we’ll be playing Quidditch in the morning and I want a good night’s rest. I’m hoping that I can just blend in with the crowd not be noticed. I’m not that lucky though…
“Hey Al! There you are. I was wondering where you went off to.” My Dad says, putting his arm around me.
“Hey Dad! I just went upstairs for a bit, that’s all.”
“I understand. It’s nice to have a few moments to yourself during parties like this. I do it myself sometimes. Well, I’m glad you came down for the midnight toast.”
“I wouldn’t miss it for the world.” I reply sincerely. My Dad’s toasts are the best.
I go to the kitchen to get a glass of butterbeer for the toast and then return to the living room.
At 11:55 pm, my Dad begins his toast. It is eloquent and sincere and is finished just as it is time to start the countdown to midnight. I don’t know how he manages every year to make a toast that lasts exactly four minutes and 30 seconds, giving us plenty of time to swallow our drink and countdown to the New Year. When I’m older I need to be sure to ask him about that.
At about 12:15 am, I say goodnight to everyone and head up to my bedroom for the night. It’s only as I lay in my bed that I realize that I didn’t see Rose or Ary at all, and, although I wasn’t looking for them, I wasn’t avoiding them either. They must not have been looking for me either. Well, maybe it was for the best. Besides, I’ll see them tomorrow anyway. I roll over and go to sleep.
Rose and I rejoin the other kids after talking for a bit. It looks like the games have all ended and everyone is just sitting around talking when we enter the room. Lily looks up at us smiling.
“Hey! The way you just disappeared I wasn’t sure if you were coming back.”
“I didn’t disappear. I went to get dessert and got kind of sidetracked, that’s all.” I reply.
“I was mostly talking about Rose. I saw you disappear with Al. Where is he anyway?”
“I left him in his room a little while ago. Seeing Ary really sent him out of his comfort zone, if you know what I mean.”
Lily rolled her eyes. “Oh yes, I know exactly what you mean. My brother, the self-isolated git. Let me guess…he wanted you to spend your whole night with him.”
“Yep, and I told him no.”
“Good! I’m glad. Someone really needs to talk some sense into him. He really needs to get over his whole ‘I look like Dad’ complex. I look just like Mum and I think it’s great! I would kill to have Dad’s eyes though….they’re such a brilliant green! I got Dad’s eyesight though, so at least I have something in common with him.”
“Lily, you are a beautiful girl who definitely got the best of both her parents.” Rose stated.
“Not as much as you. You are the perfect blend of Uncle Ron and Aunt Hermione, whereas Hugo definitely leans toward Uncle Ron. I think you are quite beautiful too cuz.”
Rose and Lily gather each other in a sisterly hug. Then Lily turns to me and asks, “What about you Ary? Which parent do you resemble most?”
“I look like my Mum. Although, I have never seen my father, so I have no idea what he even looks like.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t know….” Lily says quietly.
“It’s okay, really. It’s been just me and Mum my whole life so it’s all I know.”
“Well, I’m glad you came with Rose tonight and I hope you’ll be like a big sister or at least another cousin to me.”
“I’d like that Lily. Thank you!” I hug Lily and then Rose joins in for a 3-way hug.
Lily looks up at the clock. “Oh wow…we need to get in the living room. Dad’s about to give his New Year’s toast and we don’t want to miss it.” She gets up and runs out of the room with Rose and I close behind.
Mr. Potter’s toast was incredible. He really does seem to be as humble as Hermione described him. He doesn’t seem to act differently around different people. I definitely see myself admiring this man. Overall this night has been incredible and I’m so glad I came. At about 12:10 I am pulled away by Rose and we head up to our room for the night. As I got into bed, I realize that I didn’t see Al since I heard him talking to Rose in his room. I’m not too concerned, even though it’s me he’s avoiding. I figure we’ll eventually have a talk when the time is right and hopefully clear the air a bit. Who knows….maybe someday Al and I might actually become true friends and not just ‘secret friends’ or acquaintances.
We wake up at around 10:00am to wonderful smells coming from the kitchen. After quickly getting dressed and visiting the loo, Rose and I hurry downstairs. We are both quite hungry and the food smells so good. As we enter the dining room, Al’s Mum smiles and greets us.
“Good morning girls. Did you sleep well?”
“Yes Aunt Ginny, thank you. Is anyone else awake yet?”
“Oh yes. James, Fred, Louis, Hugo, and Lily have already eaten and are probably outside getting ready for the Quidditch match. I expect to see the others soon.”
Sure enough, no sooner had she said that when Al, Roxanne, and Al’s Dad enter the room. Al’s Mum gives his Dad a quick kiss and says, “Ron, Hermione, George, Charlie, and Bill will be here soon. We should be able to begin the Quidditch match around noon.”
“Sounds good. That’ll give us time to digest all this wonderful food first.”
As all of us are eating and engaging in small talk, I notice that Al is not saying much. At first I think it’s just me he’s ignoring, but as time goes on, I notice he’s pretty much ignoring everything but his food. I’m not sure if this makes me feel better or wonder more about what’s wrong with him. I put the thought out of my mind for now.
About an hour later, the other Weasleys arrive and they begin discussing teams for Quidditch. The adults decide that Al and Harry, the 2 Seekers, should be the captains. Al chooses James, Rose, and Roxanne as Chasers; Harry chooses Bill, Lily, and Charlie. Al then chooses George and Fred as Beaters; Harry chooses Louis and Hugo. Then it came time to choose the Keeper, and only Rose’s Dad and I remain. I see Rose whispering in Al’s ear. They seem to be arguing. The whispering stops and Al chooses me as Keeper, while Ron goes to Harry’s team. I just stand there confused. I don’t understand why he would choose me over someone who actually knows how to play the game. Plus, why would he pick someone who he’s been avoiding to be on his team. Confused, I walk over to where the rest of my team is.
I look over at Rose. “What were you and Al arguing about?”
“He wanted my Dad to be our Keeper and I told him he should choose you.”
“Why? There’s no way I’m as good as your Dad.”
“Because you have been acting as my Keeper for days now and you know how I shoot. I have a better chance at actually scoring a goal against my Dad rather than you.”
“Well, that explains why he picked me. I hope you know what you’re doing. You know that Al is still avoiding me and I really don’t want to antagonize him and make things worse.”
“I know, but I’m hoping that soon we’ll all be too involved in the game to worry about that.”
“I hope you’re right.”
For my first ever actual Quidditch match, I think I did okay. I managed to block most of the shots that came my way and those that did get past me were very well executed plays. Our team was actually ahead until Harry caught the snitch, just edging out Al for it, which put the final score at 250-200. After landing our brooms, we go inside and have a snack that Ginny and Hermione prepared while we were playing. After we’ve had our fill, Rose and I head up to our room to pack our things since we are heading back to her house today. We want to do some shopping before we head back to school and Hermione mentioned earlier in the week that tomorrow would be a good day to do so. Then we will have Friday to relax and finish packing and Saturday we head back on the train to Hogwarts.
We come downstairs to say good-bye to everyone. However, Al’s parents are the only ones in the room.
“Thank you so much for having me. I had a great time.” I say, giving each of them a hug.
“We’re glad you could come. It was nice to finally meet you, Ary. I hope we’ll see you again soon,” Ginny says smiling.
Then Harry speaks quietly, “You are quite welcome, Ary. Come by anytime and see us. Our door is always open.”
I smile at both of them. At this moment in time I feel the love that surrounds this home. It feels warm and comforting. I don’t know if it has to do with magic, but I know I’ve never felt anything like it before. It’s as though I truly belong. I feel myself beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed, so I turn quickly and follow Rose to the fireplace where we’ll take the floo back to her house. I know she’s going to be concerned and ask if everything’s okay once we’re alone. I’ll just nod and not answer any of her questions. She’ll just have to wonder about it because I have no way to explain it even if I wanted to, which I don’t.
I grab some food off the table and head to my room. I am still replaying the Quidditch match in my head. I’m not disappointed in myself because my Dad beat me to the snitch. He is still quite the master Seeker and I’m constantly learning from him. No, that’s not what’s on my mind at the moment. What’s on my mind is Ary...
I hope she doesn’t think me a complete hypocrite when we get back to school. I know there are things she should know about me, and I’m sure Rose has probably said something to her at least…I know how girls talk. I just hope that when I actually gather up the courage to talk to her she’ll listen and be understanding. More than anything, I hope Rose is right and she isn’t like everyone else. I know she and Rose are getting closer, and I don’t want Rose to have to choose between us due to my paranoia. I guess I always knew she’d eventually find out who my Dad is, but I didn’t think she’d find out so soon. I decide I need to find a time to talk to Ary alone soon after we get back to Hogwarts. Hopefully she’ll listen and still accept me for who I am. Now all I have to figure out is where we should talk and what I’m going to say.
A/N: Well, here it is!! Thanks again to all who are enjoying my story!! Please read and review!! :-)
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