Nev and I counted the days until we could return to Hogwarts. Some days were longer than others. While Nev and I were used to being in each others company, (we were twins for Merlin’s sake! We were even together in the womb) we missed our friends at Hogwarts. I’ve been owling Hermione the most. I haven’t heard from her in a few weeks though, because she went on holiday with her parents. I remember she said that they were Muggle dentists, I think? I don’t understand why they would want to dent things, but I guess it was a muggle thing. I even Ron sent a couple letters. The last one I got yesterday was a bit upsetting though. Apparently we weren’t the only one’s that haven’t gotten a response from Harry. It was quite disconcerting. It would be slightly different if Gazi came back with the letters, which would mean that for some reason Harry hasn’t gotten them; but every time Gazi returns empty handed means that someone got it. Was he in trouble and not allowed to write back? Ron was worried too. Apparently Ron and the twins were coming up with a way to find Harry in case he was in trouble. I told them to ask if they needed help with their plan in my reply, but didn’t think it would come to that since Fred and George were already on the case.
Another letter we were looking forward to was our Hogwarts letters. Although Professors Quirrell and Snape were my least favorite teachers, since they were completely evil and a huge git, respectively; DADA and potions were my favorite subjects. Neville’s best and favorite subject was obviously Herbology. We discovered a loophole in the Statute that says that underage wizards can’t preform any spells during the holidays. Herbology and Potions were excluded because they were the two classes where wands weren’t necessary. So Nev and I made a deal, I would help him with potions and he would let me help him expand his windowsill garden into the backyard. Nan was just happy that we were so into our studies. She just wanted us to live up to our potential. Blah, blah, blah. It was hard to ignore the pressure that Gran put on us growing up, especially for Nev. While I did want to help Nev with his potions, I think his real problem was his nerves. We reviewed some of the potions we did last year and he did a lot better without Snape hovering over his shoulder. Making a garden in the backyard, while it was tough work, was also a lot more fun than I thought it would be. I would be lying if I said that there weren’t any mud or water fights though.
When we finally got out Hogwarts letters it said that second year students would require The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 2 by Miranda Goshawk and Break with a Banshee, Gadding with Ghouls, Holidays with Hags, Travel with Trolls, Voyages with Vampires, Wanderings with Werewolves and Year with the Yeti, all by Gilderoy Lockhart.
Obviously our next bogus Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor is a Gilderoy Lockhart fan. Although this didn’t seem to be much of an improvement, at least they won’t be hiding Voldemort on the back of their head. Hopefully they don’t have Gilderoy Lockhart stashed there either. Some of the ladies in Gran’s Gobstones Club like him, not that I understand why. I don’t know if it’s the way he tilts his head or what but something tells me that Gilderoy Lockhart is as fake as that Witch Weekly’s Most Charming Smile of his.
Hogwarts letters meant school supplies which meant Diagon Alley. I wrote to Ron and Hermione asking when they were going to Diagon Alley so that we could get our school supplies together. I added a footnote on Ron’s letter wondering how Operation Save Harry went. I spent the rest of the day flying in the backyard until the sun set.
It was finally the day we were going to Diagon Alley. Gran had other errands to run to she gave us enough for our supplies with a little extra and told us to meet her at Flourish and Blotts at three o’clock. We found Harry, Ron and Hermione as they were about to enter Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour. We caught up on each others summer over a delicious ice cream cone, double chocolate fudge for me. Hermione was sporting a bit of a tan and had learned how to start taming the frizz that came with curly hair. Ron looked relatively the same as he loudly slurped his strawberry sorbet ice cream. Harry looked a bit skinny and pale. Maybe he had a cold? Apparently I thought wrong as Harry told Hermione, Nev, and I about his summer. How could they keep cute little Hedwig cooped up all summer? And putting bars on his window? Muggles were weird, no offense Hermione.
After we finished our ice creams Hermione dragged us to Scribbulus Writing Instruments to get ink and parchment. I also got a leather bound sketchbook, since I had gotten into drawing on random bits of parchment this summer, and some art supplies. I was excited to draw the Black Lake once I got back to Hogwarts. I put everything in the cauldron we got before we met Harry, Ron, and Hermione because Nev burned a hole through the bottom of ours, both of ours. Then we went to Magical Menagerie to get pet food for our respective pets. We found Fred, George, and Lee Jordan in Gambol and Japes Wizarding Joke Shop stocking up on Dr. Filibuster’s Fabulous Wet-Start, No-Heat Fireworks. I hoped I would see the fall out of whatever prank they had in mind for those fireworks.
There was a large crowd outside the doors of Flourish and Blotts once we made our way to the bookshop. The signs in the window said that it was due to a book signing of Magical Me by Gilderoy Lockhart from twelve-thirty to four-thirty. Great. “We can actually meet him! I mean, he’s written almost the entire booklist!” Oh, Hermione. We managed to squeeze our way inside. A long line wound right to the back of the shop, where Gilderoy Lockhart was signing his books.
We all grabbed a copy of The Standard Book Of Spells, Grade 2 and sneaked up to the middle of the line where the rest of the Weasley’s were standing with a couple that I was guessing were Hermione’s parents. I saw Gran talking to Mr. Weasley. “Oh, there you are, good,” Mrs. Weasley said breathlessly as she patted her hair. “We’ll be able to see him in a minute...Oh! Hello Callie, Neville, how are you?”
I could tell when Gilderoy Lockhart came out from the backroom. The bookstore became a bit louder and Mrs. Weasley started patting her hair again. “Mum fancies him.” Ron said. By how red his sister Ginny’s face was getting, I’m guessing that she fancies him too. Mrs. Weasley hit Ron on the shoulder, but forgot about it a moment later when Gilderoy Lockhart flashed a smile her way … and to every woman behind her. The crowd burst into applause. Someone pushed me out of the way as they tried to get closer. “Out of the way, there,” the extremely rude man snarled as he moved to get a better shot. “This is for the Daily Prophet-” I rubbed my foot where the photographer had stepped on it. “Big deal.” I snapped back at him, but on deaf ears. Git. Apparently someone did hear me. Gilderoy Lockhart looked up. He heard me. He saw me. Then he saw Harry. Then he stared at Harry. “It can’t be, Harry Potter?” Harry’s eyes widened as everyone started to look at him, whispering. The extremely rude photographer yelled, “Harry Potter?” before grabbing him by his coat and dragging him to Lockhart, tripping over my foot, again. Just because it doesn’t hurt, doesn’t mean it’s not annoying.
“Nice big smile, Harry,” Lockhart said through his sparkling white teeth. “Together, you and I are worth the front page.” The extremely rude photographer clicked away madly, wafting thick purple smoke into my face with every blinding flash. “Ladies and gentlemen,” Lockhart said loudly, “What an extraordinary moment this is! The perfect moment for me to make a little announcement I’ve been sitting on for some time!
“When young Harry here stepped into Flourish and Blotts today, he only wanted to buy my autobiography-which I shall be happy to present to him now, free of charge-” The crowd applauded again. “He had no idea,” Lockhart continued, giving Harry a little shake that made his glasses slip to the end of his nose, “that he would shortly be getting much, much more than my book, Magical Me. He and his schoolmates will, in fact, be getting the real magical me. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have the great pleasure and pride in announcing that this September, I will be taking up the post of Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry!” Seriously? The crowd cheered and clapped. Harry was presented with the entire works of Gilderoy Lockhart. Staggering slightly under their weight, Harry made his way back over to us. “You have these. I’ll buy my own,” Harry mumbled to Ginny, tipping the books into her cauldron.
“Everyone, give me your books, I’ll get them signed. Go wait outside.” Nev and I gave our books to Gran, who had made her way over here with Mr. Weasley sometime during Lockhart’s announcement. Ginny stayed in line with Mrs. Weasley to meet Gilderoy Lockhart. The rest of us tried to make our way out to the front of the store, but it was a bit difficult. Customers kept pushing us back as they tried to squeeze forward. They could just let us pass and it would be easier for them to push forward once we were out of their way, but did any of them get that? Of course not, that would be too simple. Eventually the crowd spat us out at the bottom of the stairs that led to the second floor of the bookshop, and guess who just so happened to be descending the staircase at that exact moment. Draco Bloody Malfoy.
“Bet you loved that, didn’t you, Potter? Famous Harry Potter, can’t even go into a bookshop without making the front page.” Malfoy sneered. “If you could take your head far enough out of your arse, you would have been able to see that the only one who was loving all the attention was Lockhart.” I snapped, still feeling a bit annoyed at the extremely rude photographer. “Is she your girlfriend now? Got to have Daisy fight your battles for you?”
A tall man with long blond hair and holding a cane, who could only be Malfoy’s father, came up behind him. He tapped his shoulder with the cane, “Now, now, Draco. Play nicely.” He chided. “Ah, Mr. Potter. Lucius Malfoy. We meet at last.” He shook Harry’s hand and brought him closer. “Forgive me, your scar is legend. As is the wizard who gave it to you, of course.” Harry glared at him. “Voldemort killed my parents. He was nothing more than a murderer.”
“Hmm. You must be very brave to mention His name, or very foolish.” Mr. Malfoy said ominously. “Fear of a name only increases fear of the thing itself.” I said. He turned to me, a bit surprised that I actually said something to him. “And you must be, Miss Granger?” he asked. “No, although she probably would have said something similar.” He grabbed my sketchbook from my cauldron. “Hmm, well this looks relatively new, so you can’t be a Weasley.” Ron tensed behind me. “Ron! What are you doing? It’s too crowded in here, let’s go outside.” Mr. Weasley said as he tried to make his way over. “Well, well, well - Arthur Weasley.” Mr. Weasley took a short, deep breath. “Lucius.”
“Busy time at the Ministry, I hear. All those extra raids...I hope they’re paying you overtime?” He glanced over Ron and the twins. “Obviously not. Dear me, what’s the use of being a disgrace to the name of wizard if they don’t even pay you well for it?” Mr. Weasley became as red as his hair. “We have a very different idea of what disgraces the name of wizard, Malfoy,” he said. “Clearly,” Mr. Malfoy said as he glanced over to where Mrs. Weasley was with Hermione and her parents. “The company you keep, Weasley...and I thought your family could sink no lower,” he sighed quietly. “I’ll see you at work. Mr. Potter. Miss Longbottom.” He dropped my sketchbook back into my cauldron. He gave a final nod before he stalked out of the bookshop. Draco said, “See you at school” just wanting to have the last word. He raised his eyebrows once and followed after his father. So the apple doesn’t stray very far from the tree.
Needless to say, the energy was much more subdued after that. The residue of anger was still in the air long after the Malfoy’s left. We said our good-byes at the Leaky Cauldron. The next time we’d see each other was September 1st. Harry was leaving with the rest of the Weasley’s. The Granger’s left the pub for the Muggle street on the other side.
Once we were home I wished that when I woke up the next morning it would be time to go to Kings Cross. If only one could apparate in time…