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June, otter


Write the Thing

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More of the Potter
June, otter
 What happened after that? Nothing spectacular, I’m sure. I would get up, study languages (I had finished German by then, I remember, and had moved on to the first dialect of Norwegian) then practice magic, manage to eat lunch sometime during the day. Every other day or so, I would go to visit Ignotus. I would read through the charter, and look at the records of the branches of magic each ancestor had contributed to the family, and began going deeper into the studies I knew. I would read books that came from the great Potter compound library, though usually through my ghost book. I would meditate. Toward the end of the day, Dad or you would remind me about dinner, then about bath and sleep.

I’m not sure if I can recount everything I learned in those months, Cloudy. Short though they were, the more that I read and understood, the easier it was for me to learn things. I built up good foundations for the subjects we would be learning in school, and even a few more. I began looking up healing spells, mind arts, warding, curse breaking; I read through obscure books on charms and different types of potions to brew (Charlotte had many as they were her specialty. I began brewing my own body care potions based on her recipes for them). I laid foundations for understanding all kinds of magic. I do remember, after the third year set, I stopped reading Dad and Lily’s school books, though, just to leave some mystery in what they might teach us.

Then the day arrived. I remember it was who woke me by stroking my hair and humming to me softly. The first thing he said to me after I opened my eyes was,

“I’ve got a very special letter for you.” I actually squealed I think as I reached for it. Of course, Dad kept it out of my reach and then a tickle war started, and Dad finally cried out, “Mercy! Mercy!” once I had managed to get on top of him and run my fingers down his sides.

“And what do you two think you’re doing?” We looked up to see Lily standing in the door way.

“Just a little bit of play, Lily,” Dad said. “I was teasing Harriet with her letter.”

“Well, give it to her and let her get dressed. The elves are already putting breakfast on the table and I want to get to Diagon Alley before the rush.” I always thought that to be a little impossible, considering that Diagon Alley served most of Wizarding Britain, and it was already school supplies season. John and I had late birthdays, so we were probably some of the last to get ours in our year. No matter what time of day we went, there would probably be a rush at Diagon Alley. Still, Dad got off of my bed, and handed me the letter which I gratefully accepted.

When dressed I hurried down the stairs to see that breakfast had already begun, and in my place was only a piece of toast and a boiled egg. “Could someone pass me the bacon, please?” I asked, taking my seat. John moved to pass the platter, but Lily lay her hand on his.

“No, John, dear. Harriet, I’ve noticed you tend to eat a lot, and it’s not polite for a lady to do so,” she said. “Just the egg and some toast for this morning.”

“But I’m hungry and we’re going to be out all day,” I said. “We probably won’t get back until suppertime.”

“I’m only having an egg and toast,” she retorted. “It shall suffice for you as well.”

“John gets more food,” I pointed out.

“John’s a growing boy,” Lily said.

“I’m a growing girl,” I retorted. “I’m probably going to grow sooner than him, it’s a biological fact.”

“Lily give her some bacon, it’s not right for us to withhold food from her,” Dad said, reaching for the plate. Lily smacked his hand.

“She’ll do fine on the egg and toast James. I’m telling you that it was what I had to eat every day for breakfast growing up, and I came out fine.” I wanted to tell her that Gnarls had once fed me brains for breakfast, but that would have given away that I was partly goblin raised. Instead I stared very hard at my egg as dad went back to eating his porridge. “Young lady we are leaving in five minutes, regardless of if you have finished your breakfast or not. So I suggest you hurry up and eat.”

Using my table knife, I cut the egg straight in half and had scooped one half out before they even thought to realize what I was doing. Yolk dribbled over the plate of toast I had cut it open on as I started on the second half, cutting around the soft flesh of the egg to pull it away from the shell. “What do you think you are doing?” Lily screeched.

“Harriet, you could hurt yourself if you use the knife like that,” Dad said. “Use a spoon to scoop it out instead.”

“She shouldn’t be doing that at all!” Lily exclaimed. “She should be eating it properly from the shell!”

“I don’t like eating it like that,” I said. “I really don’t even like boiled eggs much at all. I prefer them poached.”

“Go upstairs!” Lily screamed pointing toward the stairs. “Get to your room, if you insist upon disrespecting me!”

“How is cutting an egg in half disrespecting you?” I asked.

“Mum, Harriet didn’t even do anything wrong,” John pointed out.

“Calm down, Lily,” Dad added.

“Well, then, if everyone insists on ganging up on me then perhaps we won’t go to Diagon Alley today after all. I suppose it would have been crowded anyway.” Lily let her silverware clatter against the China and left us to stalk upstairs. Even two stories up, we hear the door slam and all three of us winced at it.

“I’m sorry Dad,” I said. “I didn’t mean to make her mad. I just got upset.”

“No, no, poppet it wasn’t your fault,” Dad said, with his head in his hands. “Listen I’m going to go talk to your Mum, and you kids finish your breakfast.” He placed his large bowl of porridge in front of me and kissed my temple. “Finish this off for me, would you? And John, pass your sister the bacon.” Dad leaned down and kissed him on the head too, before John passed me the bacon.

“I wonder why Mum got so mad,” John said once Dad had jogged upstairs. “It’s just breakfast.”

I told him I didn’t know either, but I had the sneaking suspicion that Lily did not like me much.