Date: 7th August 1988
Harriett Potter climbed out of bed, stretching her arms and glancing out of the window to see what the weather was like. A large German Shepherd bounded into her room and jumped up at her, planting his paws on her chest.
"Good morning Thunder" Harriett laughed, rubbing the dog on his head.
"Harriett! Breakfast!" Her auntie Katherine called from downstairs.
Harriett laughed again as Thunder gave her a very slobbery lick on the face.
"Coming!" She called to aunt, gently pushing the dog off of her shoulders.
Harriett hurriedly pulled on her clothes, and dashed downstairs to the smell of pancakes.
"Pancakes? Why?" She asked Katherine, pouring herself a glass of orange juice.
"Because it's a special day."
Katherine tapped her nose, "wait and see missy. Eat your pancakes and I'll show you."
"Eat." Katherine said sternly.
Harriett could not have eaten her breakfast faster, even if she'd tried. She clattered her knife and fork down on her plate, and took them to the sink. She gulped down her orange juice so fast that half of it dribbled down her front. Katherine laughed, shaking her head fondly. Harriett wiped her t-shirt with a cloth and sat back down at the table, looking expectantly at Katherine.
"Can I help you?" Katherine asked teasingly.
"Oh, Katherine, don't be so horrible!" Harriett whined. "Tell me what is so special."
"I want you to guess. How old are you?"
"No! That's teasing, and it's horrible!" Harriett cried, glaring at Katherine.
"How old are you?" Katherine repeated.
"I'm eleven. Twelve on September the thirteenth. What about it?"
"So, which school are you going to in September?"
"Secondary school." Harriett frowned, "what does this have to do with the special-ness of today?"
"What am I?" Katherine asked, ignoring Harriett.
Katherine smiled smugly. "Yes, so..."
"Am I a witch too?"
Katherine beamed at her, "yes! So you're going to Hogwarts in September!"
"What?" Harriett looked at Katherine blankly.
"This is your surprise, and what makes today special!"
Katherine pulled a letter out from behind her back and handed it to Harriett. Harriett stared at the address for a moment, frowning slightly.
Miss H. Potter
The Medium Sized Bedroom
102 Ashley Gardens
"How do they know exactly where I live?" Harriett asked, just as her uncle Luke came into the kitchen with a towel wrapped around his head.
"They watch you. Always watch you." Luke said, covering his whole face with his towel, except for his eyes.
"Don't be silly Luke!" laughed Harriett.
"It's okay, Harriett, no one really knows how they know. They just do." Katherine pointed at the unopened envelope clutched in Harriett's hand. "Read the rest of your letter then."
Harriett turned the envelope over and admired the red wax seal on the other side. It was imprinted with a symbol of a raven, a badger, a snake and a lion surrounding the letter 'H'. She ran her finger under the flap and peeled it open, she pulled out a heavy piece of parchment and began to read it out loud.
HOGWARTS SCHOOL OF WITCHCRAFT AND WIZARDRY
Headmaster: Albus Dumbledore
(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock,
Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards)
Dear Miss Potter,
We are pleased to inform you that you have a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.
Term begins on 1 September. We await your owl by no later than 31 July.
"What?" Harriett said, a confused look on her face.
"You're going to Hogwarts in September, you're going to learn how to use magic and all sorts of wonderful stuff! Your aunt and I went to Hogwarts ourselves." Luke said, pouring milk onto his cereal.
"Yes, but..." Harriett looked down at the letter again. "Await my owl? What owl? I don't have an owl."
"Oh, yes, I forgot about that. Let me just write one now." Katherine grabbed a piece of parchment, a quill and a bottle of ink from the counter.
She showed Harriett the letter when she had finished scribbling it down.
Dear Professor McGonagall,
Thank you ever so much for your letter, Harriett will accept the place at Hogwarts. I will take her to buy her equipment and we will be waiting at King's Cross on September 1.
"That do?" Katherine asked Harriett, bringing an owl into the kitchen.
"Yeah, fine. Thank you."
Harriett watched with interest as Katherine rolled up the letter and tied it to the owl's leg. She took the owl to the open window and let it out. Harriett continued to watch the owl until it disappeared over the rooftops.
"What now?" Katherine looked down at the list clutched in Harriett's hand, as they left what seemed like the hundredth shop.
"A wand and either a owl, cat or frog." Harriett answered, consulting the letter.
"Right, we'll go and get you a wand then." Katherine strained to look over the crowds. "I wonder where your uncle Luke has got to."
"He's there." Harriett pointed to a black haired head bobbing along near the café.
"Oh yes, so he is. I'll get him to wait at the café with the shopping. You go in, and I'll come in in a minute. It's over there." Katherine answered Harriett's panicked look by pointing at a very dusty shop.
Harriett handed the shopping over to Katherine and headed in the direction of the shop. The paint on the front was cracked and peeling, but it may have been black once. The grimy window displayed only a single wand sat on a red cushion. The door squeaked when she pushed it open, and a bell tinkled from the depths of the store.
"Let's see it then. I need to a new wand, coming to think of it, mine's a little damaged." Luke said when Harriett and Katherine joined him in the café.
He pulled out his own wand and showed it to Harriett. The wood was chipped in several places and there was a long crack down it. A few strands of weird red stuff was poking out one end, and sparks dropped out the other end every few seconds.
"Good Lord, what have you done to it? You'd best take yourself and that wand over there and replace it. That's not safe." Katherine instructed.
"Yes, ma'am." Luke said, mock saluting her.
Harriett giggled, and pointed to the red stuff hanging out the end, "what's that?"
"Dragon heartstring. It's what the core is. Willow with Dragon heartstring. It's a good wand, had it since I was eleven, I treasured this wand." He looked at it with a sad expression before standing up. "I'll be back in a moment."
"Have you got any money?" Katherine called.
Luke turned back and patted his pocket to answer her question. Harriett scanned over the menu, and Katherine got up to order her a drink.
A few moments later, a waitress arrived with three drinks and three pumpkin pasties. Not long after she had set the drinks down, Luke returned clutching two long boxes in his hands.
"Why have you got two?" Katherine asked, stirring her tea.
"He let me keep the old one, and gave me a box to put it in. He said that he understood how people feel when their first wand needs replacing. Good man, Ollivander." Luke replied, gently placing his old wand in a bag by his feet.
"So, what did you get?" asked Katherine.
"Willow and Phoenix feather." Luke answered, twirling the new wand in his hand. "Willow definitely likes me."
"I got a Phoenix feather in mine!" Harriett said, getting out her own wand. "Although mine's made out of Rosewood."
"Interesting. Good combination I think." Luke said thoughtfully.
"That's what Mr Ollivander said." Harriett replied.
"Alright, then, put it away now. I don't want you to lose or damage it." Katherine said sensibly.
Both Harriett and Luke put their wands back in the boxes and returned them to the bags. Katherine smiled, and picked up Harriett's list.
"Have we got everything?" Harriett asked.
"Have a look for yourself." Katherine handed the list over, and sipped on her tea.
Three sets of plain work robes
One plain pointed black hat for day wear
One pair of protective gloves
One winter cloak
Standard Book of Spells by Miranda Goshawk
History of Magic by Bathilda Bagshot
Magical Theory by Adalbert Waffling
A Beginner's Guide to Transfiguration by Emeric Switch
One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi by Phyllida Spore
Magical Drafts and Potions by Arsenius Jigger
Set glass or crystal phials
Owl, cat or toad
NO broomsticks for first years
"Where's Luke going?" Harriett asked, looking up from the list to see Luke walking away.
"Wait and see." Katherine said suspiciously.
"Be right back." Harriett told Katherine, going into the café.
When Harriett returned, a beautiful snowy owl was sat in a cage on her seat.
"Oh! Is that for me?" She asked, gazing at the owl in amazement.
"Of course it is, I just bought it for you." Luke said, beaming at her expression. "Congratulations on your acceptance to Hogwarts."
"Thank you so much!" Harriett went over to hug Luke, then hug Katherine.
"Why're you hugging me?" Katherine asked, a little surprised.
"Because you're the best aunt ever." Harriett smiled, and hugged her again. "And of course, you're the best uncle ever too, Luke." She added, hugging Luke again.
"Alright, come on, let's go." Katherine said, gathering the bags together.
"Come on, Harriett, the train's about to go!" Katherine cried, ushering Harriett towards one of the doors.
"I'm going, I'm going!" Harriett said, hugging Luke for the hundredth time.
"Bye Harriett! Send Hargreave to tell us what house you're in!" Luke shouted through the window that Harriett was hanging out of.
"Bye Luke, bye Katherine! See you at Christmas!" Harriett replied, waving at them.
"Goodbye Harriett. Have fun!" Katherine called, wiping her eyes with a tissue.
Harriett waved until they had disappeared, not really believing that she was leaving them behind.
She collapsed on to the squashy compartment seat, looking forward to a life at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.