Fourth Aside - Letters Home
Dear Mum and Dad,
You’ll never guess what – I got a part in the Autumn Gala! We’re doing this Muggle play, I don’t know if you’ve heard of it, by some dead playwright called Shakespeare – it’s called ‘Much Ado About Nothing’, and it’s really funny. I mean, I didn’t get all the jokes right away, they’re in an older form of English apparently, but when Remus explained them to me they were hilarious. I’m playing Claudio, and it’s quite a major part. He seems like a bit of an idiot at times though, there’s this whole bit where… actually I’ll not tell you, and then you’ll have to come see me! Any ticket money we raise is going to that new children’s wing at St Mungo’s… funny thing, it was Snape who suggested it. Didn’t know he had it in him.
Everyone got good parts, though I think Frank and Remus would rather they didn’t, and the rehearsals are going quite well, now Sirius has stopped sulking about not getting the main part. Guess who did though! Remus! Every time he thinks about it he goes a bit green, but when he gets into reading it through with everyone he’s really good… he’s got a bit of a thing for the leading lady too, but he’ll kill me if he finds out I told you.
Anyway, it’s not until November – I reckon they’ll send something home about tickets over the summer – but I’d really love it if you could come to see us. It’s a lot more fun than I thought it would be. I think Sirius would appreciate it if you came too… he’s doing alright, but he still gets down sometimes. I think he might also have a bit of a thing for the leading lady, which is a bit problematic, as you can imagine.
Lily’s still the most beautiful, wonderful girlfriend in the whole world – she’s my girlfriend in the play too!
Hope you’re both doing well – and that you’ve caught some more Death Eaters, Dad!
Lots of Love,
P.S. Thanks for the socks!
Dear Mum and Dad,
How are you both? I really missed not coming home for Christmas, though of course we had a really good time up here. James is still being the perfect gentleman – I mean, who knew? It sort of makes me wish I’d given in and gone out with him before, except that I suspect that these recent glimmers of maturity are new. Alice and Eleanor are both well, thank you for asking, they both say to say ‘hello’ and thanks for the toffee.
I have got a bit of news, actually. Do you remember that play I was telling you about for the Autumn Gala next year? I got a part! I didn’t think I would, I mean usually I’d hate being on stage, but it’s so much fun! We’re doing Much Ado About Nothing, I think I told you before Christmas, and I’m Hero! I think I’d be more nervous if James wasn’t Claudio – everyone got really good parts, which makes it easier. It’s really just like relaxing with everyone, though I suspect it will turn into a good deal more hard work next term.
I don’t think they’re doing anything about tickets just yet, but all the money goes to charity – I’d really like it if you’d come and watch. Would you like me to put you down for tickets? Tuney too – she can bring that Vernon boy if she wants, do send her my love, won’t you?
Hope you three are doing well.
All my love,
Dear Mum and Dad,
I’m in a play! We’re doing a comedy by a Muggle called William Shakespeare – Lily was telling me about his life, he sounds really interesting. It’s really funny, and a little bit rude, but I think Sirius makes it ruder than it is – he always manages that somehow. I’m playing Margaret, she’s a servant to the main family in the play and as far as I can tell she’s a little bit of a scarlet woman, if you take my meaning. Eleanor says that she has a heart of gold though, and I think she’s right. She’s playing the lead – and Lily’s Hero, who sort of sets the whole thing off. It’s all very exciting!
I’d love it if you could come to see us – it’s in November, so I expect they’ll send something out about it later – but it really would mean a lot. I mean, how often do we get the opportunity to do something as strange and wonderful as this? Oh, did I say? The money raised from the performance and the feast is going towards a new children’s wing at St Mungo’s – they do such good work. Would you ask Aunty Enid and Uncle Algie too? It’s for a good cause!
Anyway, I can’t write much more, I have rehearsals, but do tell Aunty Enid thanks very much for the shawl, Frank says I look beautiful in it!
All my love,
Thank you very much for the package, the books were very much appreciated. My studies are continuing well, though I will admit there’s a lot more work this year – I suppose they’re preparing us for the NEWTs, though there’s more to it than just homework this year, which is why I’m writing. I’ve been given a part in the school’s Autumn Gala – we’re doing a Muggle play by William Shakespeare. Alice was telling me about his life and he sounds a bit of a rogue – anyway, Lily and Eleanor lent me a few of his other plays and I must say, they are excellent. This particular play is a comedy called ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ and, very loosely, it’s about a group of nobles falling in and out of love.
There’s a brilliant bit where the majority of the cast try to get two of their friends who’ve sworn off love together, it’s really quite funny. I’m playing Leonato, the father of the girl who’s in love right at the start (who’s Lily) and the uncle of the girl who’s sworn off love (who’s Eleanor) – and Severus Snape (you remember, Eileen Prince’s son) is playing my brother Antonio (who’s the uncle of both of them!). It’s all delightfully tangled. Alice’s playing something of a rotten flirt, which she’s not hugely comfortable with, but she’s going to be brilliant!
Anyway, must dash – I have patrol with Algernon Zabini (he’s in the play too!). I hope you are well and not causing too much trouble!
All the best,
P.S. Professor McGonagall asked to be remembered to you, so I’m reminding you!
I am in a ridiculous play with some appalling people. It is in November. You don’t have to attend if you are busy.
My studies continue much as they have, I am excelling in both Potions and Defence Against the Dark Arts as usual, and my standard of work in both Charms and Transfiguration has much improved.
Hope that you are well.
P.S. I think I may have made a friend.
Dear Mum and Dad,
You remember that play I was going on about before Christmas? Well I got a part! I’m Friar Francis! No singing this time, which is a shame, but I get loads of lines – I’m really chuffed! Everyone in our group got parts, which is great because that way no one feels left out. James is this young lord called Claudio, who falls in love with Lily’s character, Hero (which was rather apt, if you ask me), Sirius is playing the bad guy, Don John – I think he’s having a brilliant time being evil – and Remus got the lead, Benedick. He’s best friends with Claudio and is forced to fall in love with Beatrice, Hero’s cousin, who’s being played by Eleanor – we’re having a great time teasing him about that. Frank’s Leonato, Hero’s dad, Alice is playing Margaret, who’s a waiting woman and a bit of a tart (which is funny, because Alice really isn’t), and Claire is Ursula, who’s a much more sensible waiting woman.
By the way, I asked Claire if she wanted to go out with me – as my girlfriend – and she said yes! I can’t even think of the words for how happy I am about that! Eleanor’s been encouraging me, I didn’t think she would say yes, but she did! (Eleanor immediately said ‘I told you so’ too – she’s practically a Marauder now, all the girls are).
It’s on in November, and parents can come watch – all the money we raise is going to charity – so I was wondering if you could take a couple of days off work and come to see us. Dad can get a copy of it out of the library if you want to read it – it’s dead funny.
Anyway, I have to go – Sirius just set fire to the desk, so I should probably help him put it out.
Lots of Love
I got a part in the school play, Much Ado About Nothing! I’m Ursula, she’s a waiting woman to this young lady who falls for a noble lord and is much maligned by him (because he’s really gullible, I mean, he loves her too, he just thinks she’s unfaithful – with some help from Sirius’s evil character), but it all gets sorted out in the end. While all this is going on everyone’s trying to get two people who hate each other to fall in love, which they manage – with a considerable amount of trickery. It’s really complicated, and loads of fun.
Everyone’s parents are coming to see it – even us muggleborns. Do you think you’ll be able to make it? It’s in November, so hopefully you’ll be able to get a couple of days off – I can show you around the school and Hogsmeade. All the money raised is going to charity.
I’ve got some other exciting news too… Peter asked me out – properly – so he’s my boyfriend now. Don’t worry, he’s the perfect gentleman, and all his friends have pretty much absorbed me – which is partly why I’m enjoying the play so much. I’ve never had so much fun at school – they’re all mischievous, but don’t worry, I’m staying out of trouble – three of them are Prefects.
Hope you’re well, and everything’s ok at work.
Lots of Love
Dear Mum and Dad,
How are you doing? Thanks for the cake, Mum, it was delicious – it certainly didn’t last long. I’m doing ok – school’s great, the work’s challenging, but I’m more than mastering it. Professor Flitwick told me that I’d got a hundred and ten percent on my last piece of coursework, so no worries on that front. The boys are just as troublesome as ever, though I promise I’m doing my best to stay out of trouble. Frank says you’re welcome, by the way – I think he enjoys taking the pictures as much as you enjoy seeing them! He’s a devil with that camera, I tell you.
You asked about the new girl in the photographs? That’s Eleanor, she’s in Gryffindor too, and she’s really nice – I get on very well with her. She knows about me – I didn’t tell her, she worked it out – and she doesn’t care. None of them do, I never thought I could have so many good friends. I’m so glad I could come here.
Well, at the minute there is one thing I’d prefer not to have to do, but still. There’s a charity Gala every autumn (you might remember, Mum) and there’s a play. I’ve been given the lead – I don’t know why, everyone knows I hate being the centre of attention, and I’m really not that good. Eleanor says I’ll be great, but I don’t really believe her. I mean there’s only about four scenes I’m not in, for a start – how am I supposed to remember all of that? At least I’m not alone – pretty much everyone has a part, and I’m not on stage on my own for a lot of it. I think Sirius is still a bit miffed at me because he wanted the lead, but I’d gladly swap if I could. Although, since he’s playing the evil character I’d still have a lot to do.
Anyway, I don’t know if you’re interested, but you can come and watch me meet my doom in November if you want – I’m sure there will be a letter about it over the summer.
I’ve put in some more of Franks pictures, as requested. I really don’t look that much of a prat all the time, I’m sure. Hope Dad’s knees are better.
All my love,
Ma chère maman,
How are you? Thanks so much for the chocolate, it was delicious – a real taste of home. The fudge was from Honeydukes, there’s a shop in the village – it has pretty much every kind of sweet I’ve ever heard of. I’ve settled in really well, thanks for asking. It’s a long way from the chalet, and I’m still not entirely comfortable with how many people are around, but I’m getting used to it. I’ve made some brilliant friends, and not all of them from my own house.
I seem to be doing alright in class – some of it I’ve already covered, and the rest is agreeably challenging. There’s loads of support though, if you ask for it – the staff are really friendly, and a few of the students I’ve fallen in with have study groups that they invited me to join. I was wondering if a few of them could come and visit me in the summer.
When I wrote to you before Christmas I told you about the Autumn Gala – and the play, Much Ado About Nothing. Well, we just got the cast lists and I’m going to be playing Beatrice! I can’t wait! I mean, I’m still not thrilled at the idea of everyone looking at me, but it won’t be me they’re looking at, it’ll be a character, so that’s ok. Everyone got really good parts – there’s only three people in the cast that I don’t really get on with and, let me tell you, you’d need the patience of a saint not to strangle them.
We’ve started reading through the script now and we’re all having a really good time – even Remus, who hates being in the limelight. Even the set and costume designs are coming together really well. It’s not until November, but knowing your busy schedule I thought I’d mention it as early as possible. I’ll understand if it’s difficult to arrange, so don’t worry if you can’t come, but I’d really like it if you could. I’ve written to Henrì and Estelle, to see if they’d like to come – it’s all for charity, you see, so we’re trying to get as many people coming as we can.
No further on in the romance department, thanks for asking, but not for lack of trying. I believe I told you that there was a young man I was quite fond of, well that hasn’t changed, and I have reason to believe that he’s rather fond of me too, but there are particular circumstances that make our being together problematic and unlikely. I’m sure you can understand that. It is very frustrating though.
I’ll write again soon, though I’ll have to sign off for now, since Peter is apparently on fire again – at least it’s not my fault this time (long story).
All my love,
Your ‘Jenny Wren’
P.S. I’ve enclosed some photographs taken by my friend Frank, who seems to have made it his mission to immortalise the most embarrassing moments of our teenage lives – he’s the one feeding Alice candy floss on Bonfire Night (Remus stole the camera for ‘vengeance’).
Dear Mr and Mrs Potter,
Thanks again for the socks, they were very much appreciated. I reckon James is writing to you too, so I hope I’m not stealing his thunder, but there’s this play we’re doing next year – the Autumn Gala – and I got a part. I’m playing Don John, who’s this evil, conniving Prince bloke. Pretty much everything bad that happens in the play can be traced back to him. I’m hoping that this isn’t a commentary on how I’m seen by the staff, but to be brutally honest, it probably is. James got a really good part too, but I’ll leave him to tell you about that.
I was wondering if I could ask your advice on something – I don’t really have anyone else to turn to. There’s this girl, you see, and I really like her. In fact I think I’ve fallen in love with her. But I’m a bit of a rogue, you see, and I don’t have the best reputation in the dating department – so much so that people are warned about me before they meet me. I’ve always been the sort that will walk out with anyone, if they smile at me – I never thought I’d ever want to think about something more long term.
I’ve been trying to change that, because she’s great – beautiful, talented, intelligent and has a slightly evil sense of humour – but I’m scared it won’t work. I mean, what if I ask her out and she says no? It’s just never occurred to me before. Or worse, what if I ask her out and then I screw up later on? I really wouldn’t want to hurt her, she’s much too nice for anyone to want that. Maybe she’d be better off if I just left her alone. What do you think?
I hope you don’t mind me writing to you, and I hope you’re both keeping well.