A few weeks had gone by and Amie still had not had the time or opportunity to grill her cousin. It was the first day in August and she was enjoying a family breakfast with her mom and dad. Her mother, Justine, was setting a plate of pumpkin pasties on the table when she said, "I imagine you'll receive your Hogwarts letter today, dear."
"Oh, I hope your right mother!" Amie said, bouncing in her seat slightly. "I can't wait to go shopping with Aunt Rowena and Helena! We can spend the whole day in town, and then maybe Helena can come back with us and stay over?"
Justine just stared at her daughter for a moment then finally said, "I don't know where all your enthusiasm comes from! Of course Helena can stay over if Rowena agrees to it. However, we should let the owl arrive before we go making plans." She smiled lovingly at her daughter. She was astounded at how much Amie had grown over the summer. She was no longer the cute little girl in braids, but a young blossoming woman. In fact, as Amie got older, Justine noticed how much she looked like her sister. She had the same beautiful black hair, that was almost blue in the sun, as Rowena. She had deep green eyes and very pale skin. And she was growing into her body magnificently.
Amie sighed, breaking Justine's line of thought. "Oh mother, when have you ever been wrong about anything? Of course it will come today, and as soon as it does can you floo Aunt Rowena and make the plans, please?"
"Of course dear, IF it comes today I will make the plans immediately."
There came a soft and slow chuckle from the other side of the table. "Yes Daddy, is something funny?" Amie asked, slightly amused.
"Why yes, as a matter of fact, I find the two of you very amusing." Darren Darkholmes relied. "As we all know, you are right Amie. There has never been a time that your mother has said something would happen and it not."
"My goodness Darren, you act like I'm a Seer!" Replied Justine, sounding slightly miffed. "I've been wrong plenty of times."
"It's true sweetheart. If you can give me one time that you were wrong, I'll eat my shoe!" Darren shot a knowing look at Amie. She loved watching her parents squabble like this. They had meet as children when Justine was in the village with her parents. From the day they had meet, they were inseparable. They had been best friends for a very long time before Darren had proposed. Justine's parents were not thrilled that their daughter had fallen for a muggle, but after they saw how happy he made her, they welcomed him with open arms. Darren was still astounded at how Justine could know the future. Not like those gypsy fortune tellers, just the way she always knew when something would happen and how it would turn out.
Justine was so busy trying to sift through her memories, looking for one to prove her husband wrong that she didn't notice the large molted brown owl that had just flown through the window and deposited a thick parchment envelope in front of Amie. Her and her father shared a look that said, "Well she won't be able to use today as an example."
Justine was pulled out of her brain searching by the sound of Amie ripping open her Hogwarts letter. "Well it looks like your shoe is safe for the moment." Justine said with a sly smile. "I appear to have other things to do now, I have promised Amie that I would floo Rowena immediately, and that is what I will do."
As Justine was putting her head in the green flames in the fireplace to speak with her sister, Amie was reading her letter and supply list. After making a mental list of what she was going to need she read the extra parchment that explained the OWLs Helena had told her about.
Dear fifth year students,
This year there will be a change in the end of year exams. You will be tested on all you have learned at Hogwarts. These tests will be labeled Ordinary Wizarding Level examinations or OWLs. Your scores on these exams will determine what classes you will take in your sixth and seventh years. They will also help you determine what career path you will be able to pursue after graduation. The grading will be as followed:
E- Exceeds Expectations
You will need at least an A on an exam in order to proceed in that subject. We look forward to seeing you September 1st.
"Oh boy." Amie sighed.
"What is it dear?" Asked her father.
Amie handed him the announcement and said, "It's the new tests Helena was telling me about." She looked at her father solemnly. "It seems so real now that I have an official statement about it."
"Sweetie, there is no reason to worry about them. Just think of them as the normal end of year exams." Darren put his arm around Amie and kissed her head. "If your worried about passing, you've lost your mind. When have you ever gotten poor marks in anything?"
Amie sighed again. She was doing that a lot as of late. "But Daddy, if I mess up just one it can affect me the rest of my life!" She looked at her father with desperation. "What if I get a P in something that is needed for my career choice? Then I'll have to rethink my entire life."
"I have complete faith in that brain of yours! I don't believe you could fail if you tried." He gave her a reassuring smile. "Don't let it get you upset or you won't do your best, and you might end up with just an A."
Amie chuckled in spite of herself. Her father could always make her feel like a million Galleons no matter what. "Thanks Daddy, I know it'll be alright, I'm just a little scared."
At that moment Justine pulled her head back out of the fireplace and said, "Ok, the shopping trip has been planned for this Saturday. We will take the carriage and horses, it is going to be a beautiful day for a ride into town." "Helena will be coming here after for some girl time." She added at the look Amie had given her.
Finally Amie was going to have the time to find out what was going on with Helena. She couldn't wait to unearth the truth.