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Being Different

The Letter

A week or so later Anne was sitting on her bed reading a book, it was still early, so she had a few more minutes before breakfast. Anne had woken up at five-thirty, she always woke up early as she found it difficult to sleep. Anne noticed that her necklace had broken, she had had it for seven years so she wasn’t surprised but it was still a shame. It was now half-past six.

Her brother came charging into the room, Harry had only been awake ten minutes but always seemed to be full of endless energy!

“What are you doing Anne?”

“Reading,” she answered absentmindedly indicating her book. To her, that had seemed like a fairly obvious question as she nearly always had her head stuck in a book.

“Oh,” said Harry disappointed as if he wished his sister were doing something more exciting. “Not that again!” he protested.
Anne had started re-reading Anne of Green Gables that morning and was planning on working her way through the whole set. Anne looked up reluctantly from her book, “I find that I have a certain affinity with the characters,” she answered simply. It was true, the characters in the book had vivid imaginations like Anne, the main character in particular.

This was at least the eleventh time she was reading through the set of books. Harry didn’t see the point in re-reading books, it’s not that he didn’t like reading, but it was just there were more exciting things to be doing, climbing trees or playing in the river or even flying!

Anne, on the other hand, got all the adventure and excitement she needed from books. Battling fierce dragons and evil wizards in the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings books, romance, and mystery in Jane Eyre. Books were safe, in books everyone always got the ending they deserved, and the good characters always had happy endings.

Sirius had come into the bedroom, “Breakfast time!” he called.

Harry jumped off his sister’s bed, half dragging half pulling his sister with him. Anne reached the kitchen where Remus was finishing making a pot of tea. He looked very tired, the night before had been a full moon, Anne knew that once breakfast was over Uncle Remus would spend the rest of the day in bed.

Sirius had made a huge breakfast for everyone, bacon, sausages, mushrooms, hashed browns, scrambled eggs, and toast. Sirius helped Remus to an extra-large portion of everything and Remus started to eat ravenously. Harry also had a fairly large portion of everything and wolfed down his breakfast.

As Harry ate half a sausage in one bite, Anne wondered where her brother put it all, it wasn’t that he was underweight or skinny like Anne, but he wasn’t big either. Where did he put it all? He always seemed to be hungry. She supposed that he must work it all off flying and running around with Ron.

Sirius had made Anne her regular bowl of fresh fruit for breakfast. She never felt like eating much in the mornings, so she usually only had a bowl of fruit and the occasional piece of toast. This morning she had a bowl of mixed berries; strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries, she even had a few grapes.

Everyone was happily eating their breakfast and Remus was starting to get some color back into him having finished his first plate of food. Remus was just starting to help himself to extra sausages and hash browns and another cup of tea when Anne looked up curiously.

There were two owls approaching the house, she went over to the window and opened it. Two brown owls came flying in through the open window and each dropped a letter on the table, before flying straight back out the window.

Both letters had the Hogwart’s crest on them and one was addressed to Harry and the other to Anne. On the envelope was written in emerald-green ink,

Miss Anne Potter,
Elm Grove, The Pink Bedroom,
Ottery St. Catchpole, Devon

Harry and Anne knew what was in those letters, they had been expecting them, these were their acceptance letters from Hogwarts. Harry and Anne looked up at their uncles as if waiting for permission.

“Well go on then, open them they’re not going to bite you!” Sirius laughed. Remus smiled tiredly as he took another sip of tea.

Anne opened her letter, and it told her that she had been accepted to Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry and that she would need to catch the train from Platform Nine and Three Quarters at Kings Cross on the First of September.

The letter also included her letter for the train and her booklist. She would need three sets of black robes and a matching winter cloak and hat as well as a pair of dragon hide gloves. She would also need a cauldron and other potions equipment, a telescope for astronomy, and of course a wand.

The part that Anne was most interested in though was the booklist. She would need The Standard Book of Spells- Grade 1, A History of Magic, Magical Theory, A Beginners Guide to Transfiguration, One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi, Magical Drafts and Potions, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection.

Anne took another look over her list of books she was so excited, she had already been doing some magic on her, levitating over books turning on and off lights without having to move. But now she was going to learn how to use it properly! She suddenly forgot all her worries about whether she made friends or not, what did it matter if she had friends or not, she was going to learn magic!

Harry was groaning next to her about how the First Years weren’t allowed their own brooms. Sirius chuckled at him and said he would try and help him smuggle one in, and that it was only one year anyway.

Remus was peering over Anne’s shoulder at the booklist. “All seems fairly straightforward. We’ll have to organize a trip to Flourish and Blotts then won’t we?” Remus said quietly. Anne beamed, she wasn’t too keen on Diagon Alley, it was very crowded there were too many people, and the crowds were always fawning over Harry. She wished people would just leave her alone! But she loved Flourish and Blotts, there was shelf after endless shelf of books to get lost in.

Anne loved all bookshops muggle and magical, but her favorite was Flourish and Blotts, there were books on all sorts of strange and interesting subjects; the mind magic of Occlumency, books on transfiguration, histories on famous witches and wizards from Morgana and Paracelsus to Grindlewald. The thought of a visit to this wonderful shop made Anne less worried about visiting Diagon Alley.

After reading through the list another few times Remus gave a huge yawn which he tried to cover up. “Remus bed!” Sirius ordered, “you need to get your strength back, you had a long night Moony.” Remus nodded and struggled his way upstairs where he half collapsed onto his bed.

“Uncle Padfoot! Can I have Ron round today!” Harry begged.

“Only if you two are quiet, you know that Remus needs his sleep after his transformation.”

“Oh yeah,” said Harry remembering. “Can I go round to the Burrow instead then?” Harry offered.

Sirius nodded, it was easier to let Harry have his own way rather than argue with him. “Make sure you’re back in time for dinner!” Sirius called as Harry rushed off to get his broomstick. He couldn’t be sure if Harry had heard him but at least he had tried!

“Uncle Sirius?” Anne asked as she helped Sirius clear the breakfast things. “Could I go round to the Lovegood’s today please, I want to show Luna my letter.”

Sirius was surprised, Anne was actually asking to do something sociable. She wasn’t being forced or been prompted. “Of course, dear, make sure you’re back in time for dinner” he answered. Sirius was looking forward to a quiet day on his own, he might do some work on his motorbike.

Anne rushed upstairs and pulled on a purple t-shirt she had been given by her Granny along with a pair of jeans. She left Athene sleeping peacefully on top of her bed “Goodbye Athene, I’m going to go visit Luna, I’ll be back this afternoon”. She kissed Athene on the top of the head as she skipped out of the house and down the road to the Lovegood house.

It was only a few miles to the Lovegood’s house, she always enjoyed visiting there. At home and amongst the Weasleys she always felt a bit out of place, but the Lovegood house was so crazy and there was always something weird going on. Xenophilius and Pandora Lovegood didn’t just accept diversity they embraced it and Anne was always welcome there.

Unfortunately, Pandora had died just over a year ago. Pandora had always been like a mother to Anne, teaching her to embrace her creativity and imagination rather than holding it in. She had always known just what to say when Anne was upset or scared. It was the same with Mr. Lovegood but she still missed Pandora.

Luna was Anne’s best friend they truly were kindred spirits. They would go hunting for plimpies or nargles together. Anne didn’t really believe in them, but as she had no proof that the nargles didn’t exist and she had a good imagination she didn’t see any reason why they might not be real. Luna and Anne would rush around the countryside talking to the garden gnomes or chasing butterflies. One day they had spent the whole afternoon wading through brooks and running up hills trying to catch a Crumple Horned Snorcack. They had come back to the Lovegood that evening both soaking wet and very tired, only for Mr. Lovegood to tell them that they had been searching in the wrong place!

The Lovegood’s had always encouraged Anne’s reading and had a huge library on all sorts of obscure subjects. Sometimes if it was rainy then Luna and Anne would research divination or find out about different creatures. Sometimes, Mr. Lovegood even let Anne and Luna help him with his research for the quibbler. They would organize his notes or help him with the predictions for the astrological signs.

“Luna!” Anne called as she opened the gate, she carefully avoided the dirigible plums as she walked up to the Lovegood’s door.

“Hello, Anne!” Luna said dreamily. “I was expecting you to come today, my tea leaves at breakfast said to expect a visitor, and Daddys said that a friend would receive good news”

“Well, you were both right!” Anne laughed softly. “I just got my Hogwarts letter!” Anne showed her letter to Luna.

“Is that Anne I hear out there?” asked Mr. Lovegood his head popping out from the printing room.

“Yes Daddy, your tea leaves were right Anne has received some very good news!” Luna excitedly.

“I just got my Hogwarts acceptance letter!” continued Anne.

Mr. Lovegood came out from the printing room and showed great interest in the letter. “Congratulations Anne!” said Mr. Lovegood warmly as he hugged her, “I’m sure you’ll be in Ravenclaw!” he said proudly “It’s the best house you know for a mind like yours, creativity and academically inclined!”

“You’ve said that before Daddy!” Luna pointed out “many times!”

“Oh yes so I have,” said Xenophilius distractedly as he was perusing the reading list “it’s a shame you can’t take divination or care of magical creatures till the third year, wonderful subjects!” he muttered.

“Well,” said Mr. Lovegood after a while, “how would you two like to help me with some crystal ball reading and astronomy charts? I’m trying to get the new edition of the Quibbler ready?” Mr. Lovegood asked fondly.

They took it in turns to look into the crystal ball, whilst another one looked up the meaning in the book and someone else wrote down the meaning in a notebook. They then used the astronomy charts that Mr. Lovegood had drawn the night before, to calculate the predictions for the different astrological signs for the coming month.

Anne’s star sign was Leo, she apparently had a month of excitement and adventure coming up. This was hardly surprising as the next month was August and her and Luna were planning to make the most of their last month together before Anne went off to Hogwarts.

After spending the morning doing the complicated calculations and predictions for the coming month and having double-checked them, they had lunch. After lunch, Mr. Lovegood had to do some more work in the printing room so Anne and Luna went exploring.

Anne and Luna spent an afternoon rushing through the countryside their long hair flowing behind them in the wind as they ran and laughed. They went wading in the brook and fishing for plimpies which they put in little jars with string attached. Anne was carrying a basket and she placed the jars in the basket to take home later.

When they came back to the Lovegood’s in the late afternoon they had enough plimpies for Mr. Lovegood to make soup and they had also gathered some wildflowers. Both girls had garlands of wildflowers in their hair, and Luna also had twigs in her hair. Luna had tried to climb a tree to reach a bird’s nest but she had fallen out. As Luna bounced however rather than getting hurt, the girls had just laughed!

When Anne came at six o’clock that evening, she was very happy, having just spent a perfect day with her friends. Sirius had made pizza for dinner; Remus had just woken up from his sleep and was looking much better.

“How was your day at the Lovegood’s?” asked Remus.

“Very good thank you, we helped Mr. Lovegood with the predictions for the Quibbler, and then we went fishing!” said Anne excitedly. “Are you feeling any better now Uncle Remus?”

“I’m feeling much better thank you, Anne. I’m glad you had such a nice day!”

Harry had just come charging in from the garden followed by Ron. “Can Ron stay for dinner?” Harry begged.

“Yes,” said Sirius who had made extra dinner just in case, “but he can’t stay the night, it’s your birthday tomorrow!”

In all the excitement of the day Anne had forgotten it was her birthday tomorrow! Sirius brought the pizzas to the table. He had made Anne a pizza with chicken, peppers, and cheese which he knew was her favorite.

Everyone picked up slices, but Ron and Harry were staring at Anne as they always did when she ate pizza. She picked the toppings off of her pizza and ate those, then she scraped off the cheese and sauce and ate that, and only then did she eat the pizza base. Anne was used to her brother and Ron looking at her strangely as she ate pizza, but she had always eaten it like that, she liked to enjoy the elements of the pizza separately.

After dinner, Remus shooed Anne upstairs to take a bath. Anne had been rushing through the countryside all afternoon with Luna and had been wading in the river as well. She was absolutely filthy. Anne carefully pulled the garland of flowers out of her hair and placed it on her bedside table before she washed her hair.

After a long relaxing bath, Anne changed into her pajamas and tied her long red hair into two loose plaits. She got into bed to read a few chapters of her book before bed. She had just reached the point in the book when Anne met Diana, Luna, and were kindred spirits just like Anne and Diana in the book.

Anne knew that even if they were separated for one year they would still be close friends, they could write and they would see each other for the holidays. After all, a year wasn’t that long and Luna would come to Hogwarts next year too.

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