Chapter 5 : Missing you
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I was very pleased to find a brown owl tapping on my window with an official looking letter clamped in its beak. I had waited for this day my whole life but something was missing…
Oh yeah. Hermione.
I let the owl in and it flew to my study table. I took the letter and opened it with shaking hands. Upon reading it, my heart soared like an airplane. I felt as if I could fly. I was going to Hogwarts! I was going to learn magic!
But then I felt a sinking feeling in my stomach. I wondered if Hermione had gotten a letter like this. I prayed to Merlin that she had. I missed her, a lot. I knew she was alright but I wanted to see her again, to play the red ball she owned and to just have a friend.
Knowing full well that my parents were downstairs, I paid the owl a few knuts, soothed its feathers and ran downstairs at full speed, the Hogwarts letter in my hands.
“Mother! Father!” I called and found them in the dining room, talking mildly. I showed them my letter and they beamed like the sun. Father took my letter and read it with a proud look on his face and Mother wiped some tears away from her eyes.
“Excellent, excellent,” Father said and he conjured up a quill and parchment with his hand. He then began scribbling the reply for the school. He whistled and an eagle owl flew by through the window from the owlery outside. Father folded the letter and tied it to the owl’s leg.
“Hogwarts,” he told it and soon, I was watching it fly away in the bright blue sky until it was only a dark speck in the clouds. My parents both turned to me with smug faces.
“We shall buy your stuff on, let’s say, July 31,” Mother said softly. I nodded eagerly.
“Good,” I said with a huge smile but it faltered slightly. Father didn’t notice but Mother did. She gave me a look full of concern and I looked away.
“Are you heading to the Ministry again?” I mumbled loud enough for them to hear.
“Yes, Draco, business as usual,” Father said and he stood up, swinging his dark cloak over himself. He gave me a cold smile which I returned.
Mother followed Father but she gave me a worried sideways glance. I didn’t meet her gaze for my eyes lingered on the Hogwarts letter Father had left on the dining table. Sighing, I picked it up and shoved it to my pocket. Then I ate breakfast alone, as usual.
I was stunned. Shocked. Completely taken by surprise. I was in my living room with my parents and we were watching stupidly as a man in weird funny clothes that looked awfully like dresses to me (that reminded me of Draco) conjured up a dozen flowers using a long slender stick. He gave us all fleeting smiles before handing the flowers to my mother who blushed. My father growled.
“My name is Dedalus Diggle,” said the man with a slight bow, “I am a wizard.”
My father chuckled, “Don’t you mean ‘magician’?”
Dedalus gave him an icy cold glare but it faded.
“No, I am a wizard. Definitely. I am here in your house to say that your daughter is one as well,” he said and turned to look at me, smiling. He was very tiny, I noticed. My parents gasped and I opened my mouth to say something but couldn’t form the words.
“Yes, yes, I get that a lot,” said Dedalus, waving his hand dismissively. He clapped his hands together, “Now! I have a lot to explain. Why don’t we get some tea?”
He waved his long slender stick and four cups came zooming from the kitchen and landed on the coffee table in front of us. A teapot did the same. We watched transfixed as the teapot poured itself on the four cups. Dedalus took one and sipped.
“Good, very good,” he told himself then turned to me, “Now, young girl, have you ever done something so extraordinary, you thought you were going mad?”
I racked my brain then nodded slowly. Dedalus smiled gleefully.
“That’s proof you are a witch,” he said, “Let’s see. Long ago, in the time of Merlin, there were witches and wizards out in the open. Right? Good. The Muggles—non magical people—thought that we died out, became extinct. But no, we just hid ourselves. And now that it is in the modern time, I beg you not to go around, yelling that you are a witch. That would cause disarray in the Muggle world and you’ll be punished.”
He looked at me severely. I nodded and whimpered.
“There is a Ministry of Magic,” he continued, “You see, the Ministry’s job is to make sure that Muggles don’t start to realize that there are wizards and witches everywhere. Now, magic is very complex. It has to be controlled and that is why you, young girl, have been invited to Hogwarts. The best school in England! You will be taught how to properly harness your abilities, how to make sure that you don’t lose control and how to not abuse the power you have.”
He paused and sipped his tea. My parents and I didn’t touch ours.
“But I know what you’re thinking, ‘Where is this school?’ ‘Where can I buy my materials?’ You see, that is why I’m here. I will help you to find the right place and to find the money. Wizard money and Muggle money are very different, alright? Good. Do we understand each other?”
He smiled kindly at my parents. I nodded.
“I will come back on July 31,” he stood up, rummaged around in his pockets and pulled out a letter. He gave it to me and I stared at it. A crest of four animals was in the front: lion, snake, eagle and badger surrounding an H.
I looked up at Dedalus again who was finishing his tea.
“Is this real?” I asked; he chuckled.
“Of course, young girl,” he answered then walked out of the living room and outside. I ran to the window to watch him go but he was already gone as if he had vanished into thin air.
I turned to my parents who were still sitting on the couch, mouth ajar and eyes wide. I thought that they were ashamed to have a freak like me but instead, they yelled and cheered so suddenly I thought I was about to jump from my skin.
“Our daughter! A witch!” my mother cried.
“I’m so proud!” my father said.
I smiled slowly as my parents continued to celebrate. It was nice having cool parents around.
I was in my room, sitting on my bed. I didn’t want to go back to that olive tree. It was too painful to just sit there like a nobody and Draco Malfoy was not a nobody. A book called Purity to the Finest was propped open in my lap but I didn’t want to read it. Hermione had always told me she liked books a lot. This reminded me of her.
It was July 30 already. A day before I would go to Diagon Alley. I always wanted to go there, to buy all the stuff I want but I didn’t want to go anymore. I didn’t want any more stuff; I would just break them anyway. All I wanted was Hermione again.
“Master Draco?” I heard someone squeak and I turned around to see Dobby standing in the doorway, his small little hands in bandages. I wondered why he ironed them.
“Lunch is ready, sir,” he said. I nodded solemnly and looked out the window. The tree looked so beautiful and tempting but my heart clenched at the thought. I just wanted to see Hermione again, to hear her beautiful voice and to play with her.
“I’ll be downstairs in a minute,” I said; I heard Dobby’s ears flapping and I knew that he was nodding furiously. I sighed and heard the usual crack that told me that Dobby had Apparated.
I slid from my bed, pulled on my shoes and robes then went downstairs to eat lunch.
I hated this; I hated being alone.
When I got to the dining room and saw treacle tart and pork chops, I felt my mouth water. I sat down and began to eat while Dobby cleaned everything around. He shouldn't, everything was already shiny and sparkly. Even though the Manor was clean and neat, it felt like a haunted house as if somebody had died.
Maybe it was me. Maybe I was a ghost because I sure felt like it.
There was a knock knock on the front door. I knew it was Dedalus Diggle. It was, after all, July 31 already. My parents and I were prepared already, in our finest clothes as my mother opened the door. Dedalus stood there, so tiny that my father towered over him and I was an inch taller than his head. He was bouncing on the balls of his feet as he smiled at us.
“Good day, good day. Ready to go?” he asked us; we nodded excitedly. Then he turned to look at me. “Do you have your letter, young girl?”
I pulled it out of my pocket and gave it to him. He opened it and nodded.
“Alright, let’s go! Do you know how to drive, Mister?” he asked my father who nodded politely. “Good, we shall be taking the car.”
We went outside and filed in our family car. I had to sit with Dedalus in the back. As we drove towards London (Dedalus instructed as to do so), Mother did all the talking. She asked where this school was and how long I’ll be studying there. Dedalus replied politely.
Then when we were driving around London for half an hour, Dedalus told my father to stop in front of a shop with the Leaky Cauldron sign hanging in the front door.
“This is the entrance to Diagon Alley,” said Dedalus as he opened the car and got outside. We followed.
“This place?” my father said with contempt.
Dedalus chuckled, “Muggles. This is a very famous place, the Leaky Cauldron. In your eyes, it’s designed to look like a rundown shop but for wizards and witches…”
He opened the door and went inside. We hesitated for a fraction of a second before following him. Inside was a pub with dozen chairs and tables. And it was dark and shabby and had little customers inside. The old bald bartender greeted Dedalus as he passed by,
“How you doin’, Dedalus?” he asked, “How’s the Ministry?”
“Busy as ever, Tom,” said Dedalus, chuckling as he went to the back of the shop in a small courtyard where a brick wall stood. We gaped at it stupidly. Dedalus pulled out his long slender stick. He muttered to himself but I couldn’t hear what he was saying. He chose one brick above the trashcan and tapped it three times with the tip of the stick.
The brick wall quivered and wriggled until an archway was made onto a cobbled street that twisted and turned and twisted. It looked amazing with people in dresses walking around. Owls and cats made noises from far away. It was loud and rowdy and had a lot of peculiar looking shops. One shop sold broomsticks!
“Welcome to Diagon Alley,” said Dedalus.