"Neville, the house must be spotless when I get home. There will not be a single speck of dust on the furniture or a crumb on the floor." Victoria demanded, "Do you understand me, boy?"
"Yes," I nodded staring at the floor
"Good, now, ta-ta. Come along Phoebe, I am taking you to school." Victoria seemed satisfied with my answer
She spun out the door dragging Phoebe behind her like a dangling scarf. I rolled my eyes as Phoebe shut the door behind them. I sighed and got to work, if I got done early I would have time for myself.
I was humming to myself, dusting away when I heard a noise. It sounded to me like it was coming from the window. I ignored it, most likely some neighborhood children who weren't old enough for school yet throwing rocks at the window trying to get a peek at the child servant. Then it came again, I sighed and went to the window throwing it open.
That was a mistake. An owl flew into the room, trying to fly through me. It screeched and hooted at me until I got out of the way. It flew to the table and sat there, staring at me. I looked at the owl's beak, it seemed to have something in its mouth.
I walked up to the owl slowly, I knew not to frighten the bird. I reached out a hand and it screeched dropping what looked like a letter into my hand. I looked at the letter, it had my name on it. My jaw dropped. The letter was for me. That did not make any sense at all. I had never received a letter before.
I knew that Victoria would refuse to let me read it on my own once she got home so I tore into it. The page was filled with curly script that I could barely read. I sat down on the floor, I was not allowed on the furniture, and concentrated.
Dear Neville Longbottom,
I am delighted to report that you have been accepted into Hogwarts, a school of magic. If at all you find you cannot acquire the following items please send an owl describing your situation. As mentioned before, following this letter is a list of the supplies your studies will require.
Professor Albus Dumbledore
I skimmed over the required supplies and at each item my eyes widened even more. This had to be a joke, there was no way this was real. I looked out the window, there were no chuckling neighborhood children, no giggling Phoebe outside. I closed the window and went to my room to think.
The more I thought about it, the less sense I could make of it. I sighed, remembering the time and hid the letter. Standing up, I remembered that if I was not working when Victoria came home I would be punished. So I went back to work, sweeping and dusting, scrubbing and scouring.
When Victoria returned home with Phoebe all of the house was quiet. No one said a word as if we all knew something had happened while they were away. Soon it was time for us all to go to sleep for the night.
As I lay in bed I pondered the letter. None of it was clear, well, I understood the letter, but I did not. It was all so confusing, and who on earth was this Professor Albus Dumbledore? Victoria had never mentioned such a professor and intellectual people were all that she spoke of.
Oh well, I rolled over and closed my eyes. I needed to sleep. I blocked all thoughts of the letter and repeated the word sleep over and over again. It had really helped over the previous years of my life. Soon sleep overcame me and I dreamt of nothing.