Chapter 7: The Chatterbox
I wanted to see Lily’s reaction to my present so I crept out of the house that night and hid in the bushes to the side of Lily’s house.
She was sitting in her room, staring out into the night sky when she saw the owl. She jumped up and came to the window leaning out with eagerness. She saw that the owl was flying towards her and leapt out of the way just in time as it soared into her room, hit the wall opposite the window and fell back onto her bed.
‘Rubor!’ I whispered irritably.
‘Lily! What’s going on in there?’ Petunias voice came from the room next door.
‘Nothing!’ Lily called in reply.
‘I think it is something! What’s going on?’
‘Nothing!’ she insisted.
‘I’ll get mum!’ Petunia yelled threateningly.
Lily grabbed the owl by the legs and placed him gently in her wardrobe. Then she wrenched open the door.
‘See! Nothing’s wrong! You always have to stick your nose into everybody’s business…’ she yelled and the girls started quarrelling and yelling over each other.
‘You’re such a sticky beak –’
‘You never tell me anything!’
‘If you listened – ’
‘Why would I listen – ’
‘ENOUGH!’ yelled a voice from somewhere in the house. The voice’s owner came into view as she stepped into Lily’s bedroom. Lily’s mother displayed a striking resemblance to Lily, with a blazing look in her eyes and long, red hair. ‘Learn to get along you two! I can’t keep running up here to break up your quarrelling I’m busy with work!’
She stomped off down stairs and Petunia followed her mother out of the door, glaring at Lily as she went.
Lily closed the door quietly, grinning as she tip-toed over to the cupboard. She pulled Rubor out and untied the parcel strapped to his leg. She read the card and placed it gently onto her dresser. When she turned to her parcel I saw that she had tears in her eyes but she wiped them away impatiently.
She opened the present and the chatter-box floated into the air. It spat out the piece of paper that tells you what it does. She read the piece of paper and she looked back at the chatter-box still in mid-air.
‘Lily, please forgive me,’ it said with my voice.
‘I do forgive you.’ She said gently. Feeling pleased with myself I grabbed another piece of parchment from Father’s coat and folded it once again into a bird shape and after writing:
… On its wing, I blew on it gently and it took flight, and flapped into her bedroom.
I wandered back home and crawled into bed. Tomorrow, we would get the Hogwarts letters! Then Lily will know that I have been telling the truth all along!
My excitement was overpowered by exhaustion and I fell into an easy sleep with peaceful dreams about Hogwarts.
The next morning, I woke to the sound of the telephone ringing. I jumped out of bed and ran out of my room to answer it but before I got there, Father had already answered it. I felt slightly resentful because it was my job to answer the telephone.
‘Yeah? Okay, you can talk to him,’ Father said into the telephone.
‘Severus! Phone for you!’ Father yelled. I came around the corner.
‘Phone? What’s a phone?’
‘This here, Severus!’ He said waving the telephone in my face. ‘Surely you know what a phone is!’
‘Oh, you mean the telephone!’ I said, realisation dawning. Father rolled his eyes and handed me the phone.
‘Hello? This is Severus speaking.’
‘Hi, it’s Lily.’ She sounded nervous.
‘Hi!’ I said and her shaking voice made me nervous too.
‘I was wondering whether you wanted to hang out today. It’s ok if you don’t want to but… Do you want to?’
‘Yes! That would be fun!’ I sighed in relief.
‘Ok, come around to my place later and we can play with the Chatter-Box!’
‘Ok, I’ll see you then!’
‘Bye!’ I hung up the telephone and raced back to my room. I put on my longest pair of jeans which reached just above my ankle. I pulled my shirt over my head and raced out the front door.
I sprinted across the park and down the street.
I finally arrived at Lily’s house. I stood, panting, leaning on the white picket fence. I caught my breath just as Lily came running out of the house. She dropped to the ground when she reached me and did up her shoe-lace.
‘Hi,’ I said.
‘Hey,’ she replied. ‘Do you want to go to the clearing?’
‘Yes, let’s go!’
We set off chatting about Hogwarts. I told her that we were going to get our letters today and she was so excited that she jumped up and down gripping my arm.
‘Really Severus? Oh my gosh! I can’t wait!’
We finally arrived in our clearing. We sat cross-legged, facing each other. She reached into her pocket and brought out the Chatter-Box. It was a very hot day and it was supposed to be the hottest summer in England in 80 years.
She faced it towards me, grinning. It rose into the air and spoke in Lily’s voice:
‘You’re my best friend, Severus. You’re the best thing that ever happened to me. You changed me from an ordinary school girl into someone magical.’
I blushed at the words but Lily was smiling like she knew what it was going to say. She handed it to me wordlessly, still beaming. I took it from her and turned it to face her, it rose up into the air and said.
‘I really like you.’
I grabbed it from the air blushing uncontrollably. Luckily, Lily wasn’t listening. She had just spotted a car driving up the road.
‘Oooh! That’s my car! Mummy and Petunia have gone out! Come home and we can snoop in Petunia’s room!’
‘Ok!’ I said, grasping at the chance to forget about the Chatter-box.
We walked back to Lily’s house. We walked up the stairs until we stood on a landing in front of a door that read PETUNIA in big 3D letters stuck onto the wood with sticky blue stuff.
‘Muggles!’ I said under my breath.
Lily pushed open the door and tip-toed inside.
‘This is Petunia’s room,’ Lily whispered.
‘You don’t have to whisper,’ I reminded her, laughing. ‘Your mother and Petunia are out remember?’
‘Oh, yeah right,’ she laughed.
After about five minutes of looking around in Petunia’s room, I picked up a pink book with a silver heart on it.
‘What’s this?’ I asked Lily.
Lily gasped, ‘That’s Tuney’s Diary!’
I made to open it but Lily put her hand over my hand and said, ‘No, we can’t! It’s private!’
‘Oh come on!’ I said. ‘We are snooping around remember!’
‘Ok… I guess you’re right.’ But she still sounded uncertain.
I opened the book and began to read, Lily reading over my shoulder.