Unable to contain my curiosity any longer a rip open my letter to read it and find out who it is from. It reads:
of WITCHCRAFT and WIZARDRY
Headmaster: Albus Dumbledore
(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warnock,
Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards)
Dear Miss Brooke,
We are pleased this inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.
Term begins on September 1. We await your owl by no later than July 31.
Is this some sort of joke? Does my dad know about it? Father already registered me for the City of London School. And this Hogwarts sounds like a bunch of rubbish. Surely there isn't such a place.
I place the parchment on the table and barely notice that I eat my sandwich. Lost in thought I wander back to my room, letter in hand. Maybe this is a dream and I just need to wake up, I think. But, more likely I just need more sleep so I climb into bed silently and slip under the covers. I close my eyes for a nap but my head is too full of possibilities to rest.
Instead I read my letter over and over again hoping to catch something I missed the first time. School of magic, got that. They are waiting for an owl, don't get that.
There! I read aloud, "Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment!" Quick as a rabbit I search for a list in the envelope. Once I find it I say, "Dont know how I missed it before! Let's see, I'll need: Three plain black robes, a black pointed hat, dragon hide gloves!, a winter cloak (black with silver fastenings)," I stop and silently read the rest. It reads:
All students should have a copy of each of the following:
The Standard Book of Spells (Grade 1) by Miranda Goshawk
A History of Magic by Bathilda Bagshot
Magical Theory by Adalbert Waffling
A Beginners' Guide to Transfiguration by Emeric Switch
One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi by Phyllida Spore
Magical Drafts and Potions by Arsenius Jiggger
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newton Scamander
The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection by Quentin Trimble
1 cauldron (pewter, standard size 2)
1 set of glass or crystal phials
1 set of brass scales
Students may also bring an owl OR a cat OR a toad
PARENTS ARE REMINDED THAT FIRST YEARS ARE NOT ALLOWED THEIR OWN BROOMSTICKS
I finish reading and exclaim in exasperation, "Yes, but where do I find all of this?"
"Lydia, are you alright?" Father is home. I look at the clock on my nightstand. It is five-thirty, Father is early. My eyes widen and my lips spread into a large grin. In a split second I have stuffed the parchment under my pillow and raced down the stairs to envelope my dad in a big hug.
"You're home early, Father! Is everything alright?"
He looks down at me lovingly. "Perfect actually! I asked Mr. Johnson if I could come home early today to see my little princess. How could he refuse to let me come home and see the most special girl in the world?"
My cheeks flush but I keep smiling. "I am eleven now, Father! So I'm not so little anymore."
"That's right! Today is your birthday, isn't it? Sweetie, I was going to buy you a present but, er... I realized that you are too big for presents now aren't you? How about I take my little- er just princess shopping another day so you can pick out what you get?"
My smile falters a little. I had been looking forward to a gift but I said, "That's great! What a wonderful idea. Could we do it today?"
I plead with my eyes but Father says that he has a lot of work to do. I say that I understand and go into the kitchen to boil spaghetti for dinner. Father sits at the table and reads through the mail until I bring the food.
While we sit, eating in silence I consider telling him about my letter. But he looks stressed and I know that leaving work wasn't as easy as he said it was.
When we finished eating I cleared the table and hand washed the dishes. Father went to the study to work. I wish I could help him. As much as I would like to see him more I know that he has to work. If I could help with have s paperwork I'm sure he'd have more spare time but he refuses to let me help. He says that it is his job to take care of me, not the other way around. Father so rarely talks about work that I don't even know what he does.
Using lilac scented soap I wash my hands and prepare to go to bed early. I am tired and it has been a longer than usual day. Before heading up stairs I pause at the door to the left. It is slightly ajar and I can see Father bent over a stack of paper. I am beginning to see more gray in his brown hair even though he is only thirty five. His eyebrows are creased together the way they always are when he is concentrating hard. Square glasses sit on the bridge of his nose creating a glare over his blue eyes.
Looking at my dad I feel guilty for not telling him about the letter. Wouldn't he back able to help make sense of it all? And doesn't he deserve to know what is going on in my life? I look back at my dad and take in the scene again. His desk is maculated with paperwork and there are circles under his eyes from the lack of sleep.
I open the door just enough for him to see me. "Er... Goodnight, Father. I love you."
He beams at me and says, "I love you too, my little princess."