Friday, Saturday, and Sunday went by slowly. Father worked late and I stayed home alone. I never did mention my letter and honestly I don't think I ever will. I have decided that it was just some prank and soon enough I will forget about it. Besides there is no point in bothering Father with silly problems.
Today I am getting ready to go to the library. It is within walking distance and I am eager to read something new. I pull on my blue and white sneakers and slip my arm into my thin gray jacket. I lock the door behind me using my key I grabbed off a peg in the living room.
I turn around with my eyes closed and inhale deeply, taking in the morning London air. The rush of wind on my face makes me open my eyes. An owl is sitting on the ground in front of me. It just sits there staring at me sort of... expectantly.
A little unnerved I walk past it a few yards and then another owl lands by me. I cautiously walk around it and keep going. All the way to the library, every couple yards this happens. Occasionally it is an owl I've seen before and sometimes more than one lands near me and stares, unblinking at me. I shiver and hurry up the concrete library steps to get away from these strange birds. But despite all the time I took picking out three novels the owls awaited and accompanied me on my trip back.
Back at my house I run upstairs and flop onto my mattress to read. I hear a crunch of paper as I doo so and pull out my letter that was still under my pillow. Just glancing at it I see the words: We await your owl no later than July 31. Today is the twenty-ninth. Owl. I get it now!
Faster than I've ever gone before I run down the stairs and steal a piece of paper from the study. Quickly I etch a note that reads:
Dear Minerva McGonagall,
I received your letter. Thanks, but is this a joke? If not then please help me, I have no idea where this school is or where to get my books and equipment.
Many thanks, Lydia Brooke
I glance out the window and find my yard speckled with owls. I go outside and slowly approach one, a large brown one and handed it my note.
"Er... take this to Minerva McGonagall please," I barely had the words out of my mouth before the owl took off followed by the others in a giant wave of wings and feathers. My mouth gapes open-probably not very wise in this situation- as I gaze after them in awe.
I return inside and sit and read my letter for the rest of the day. Maybe this isn't a joke. Maybe this is really happening!
Before my eyes flutter shut I think, But what about Father?
Tap tap tap!
I wake up to the brown owl pecking at my window. In its talons is a small envelope. Quickly I open the window and let it in. It comes swooping in and lands on my nightstand. With its other foot it lifts up a cup that I had set there and begins gulping at the water. While it does this I run downstairs (after shutting the window and closing my door) to get a piece of bread for the tired animal. When I get back to my room the owl is asleep so I put the bread next to it. The letter is now on my bed so I quietly open it. It reads:
Dear Miss Brooke,
I am pleased to hear that you have received your letter. Allow me to assure you that this is not a joke. You will be able to buy your supplies at Diagon Alley. Jerrold will lead you there when you are ready. Bring regular money, it can be traded out for the appropriate coin needed. Then, you will find you Hogwarts Express ticket enclosed with your acceptance letter. You will need to be at Kings Cross by eleven o'clock to board the Platform 9 3/4.
I expect to see you soon, Minerva McGonagall
Now I am no genius but I have never heard of Platform 9 3/4. Clearly this has to be a joke! It is impossible to even get to the school. Besides, I don't have enough money to buy the needed equipment. Hogwarts will just have to go on without me.
"I do wish though..." I whisper to myself. "Perhaps if I told Father he could give the money. He could give me my birthday money and the money he would've used for the City of London School," I falter as the next fact strikes me back to reality. "Father wouldn't let me go. He would be too worried to send me on my own and would insist I stay home. Unless..."
My mind is reeling now. Ideas gather and plans merge. Soon I have realized just what I have to do.
I walk into my dad's bedroom and reach into his bottom drawer. I pull out a stack of emergency bills. I turn and nod for Jerrold to lead the way to Diagon Alley.