Nine and Three Quarters on Exchange

I didn't believe in magic two weeks ago.I thought it was just a joke- something babies and toddlers were told to get rid of their nightmares at bedtime but now, now its a whole different story. Just a few months ago, mum got a letter in the post from somebody. Just a few months ago that letter was dismissed, taken as a joke. a few weeks ago mum decided to fill in the school annual consent form- giving her consent for for me to attend all school visits. Just 2 weeks ago we discovered where I was going. Albus Dumbledore was taking 10 children from our school to learn about a whole new world- a world of magic. and mum had consented to me being one of them. I, an atheist, a believer of only what I thought was possible was going on a none week exchange trip to Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry.


1. The Emerald Inked Envelope

So I need to fill you in, i guess...

My name is Jess Ryder and I have seen magic. Real magic; not the kind those cheap con artists do on the street, where they decieve you by distracting you and slipping things into their pockets when you don't notice- Real spells and charms performed by real magicians. Its all, truly real. I'm not mad- just let me tell you everything and all will be revealed...

It all started a mere eight weeks ago. On the first day of April, a single brown envelope came through the door. I picked it up as i came downstairs and felt a cold breeze come in through the letter box as it swung shut. Brr- it was cold outside! I turned over the envelope and saw the neatly printed letters emblazoned on the brown in contrasting, emerald green ink:

Jeanne Ryder,

Re: Jess Ryder

5 March Road,

Shepherds hill,


TW34 17Z

the letters practically shone out to me and i felt an odd inclination to open it myself. However, blessed with the self restraint i have, i managed to stoop into my mums room and place it at the end of her bed. She grunted a sleepy acknowledgement and rolled over. Proud of myself, I trudged sleepily downstairs and slouched into the squashy green armchair by the radiator and switched on the telly.


After a good hour or so, Mum came downstairs yawning, the letter in her  left hand practically touching the ceiling as she stretched her long, slender arms to the skies. 'Morning.' I smiled. Mum could always be relied on to wake up later than me. Thinking about it, that's probably why she's unemployed. Of course, I didn't say this to her face but i seriously doubted that any boss of hers wouldn't stand for the constant late mornings. However, she was getting to work now, allright, trying to wrestle open the envelope which was seemingly bound by some very strong superglue or something! Eventually, she succeeded and pulled out a good few sheets of cartridge paper, with- what was that? A piece of aged parchment? stapled to the back. Intrigued, I slid around Mum, still in the doorway, and tried to peek over her shoulder.  Before i got so much as a glimpse of the letter, Mum scoffed and tore the paper in two, muttering ' seriously- who do these idiots think they're kidding.' and 'insulting intelligence' I ddin't quite know what to make of it, so I asked her.

'What was it, Mum? Junk Mail- it didn't look like it?'

'Nah'. she replied evenly, 'just some time- wasters having a laugh.' and for an entire week, I thought nothing of it...


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