|posted on 8-Sep-2001 9:47:58 AM|
|Disclaimer: I still own nothing you'd want. Roswell belongs to Melinda Metz, Jason Katims, Fox, UPN, et al. Harry Potter belongs to J K Rowling, Scholastic, Warner Bros, et al.|
The situation is my idea. A million thanks to my Beta, Duchess67. She and Greta are my first fans.
Spoilers/Authors Note: This starts out after Destiny and before Season 2 of Roswell. In the Harry Potter world this takes place after the Goblet of Fire. If you are not familiar with Harry Potter, you will likely be confused at first. They are worth reading if you haven't. Semi-AU.
I LIVE for Feedback, so please R/R. (It makes the next section appear faster.) ;) Thanks. Now on with the show...
Headmaster's Office, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry,
"I agree, Minerva. It is a most unusual situation indeed," said Professor Dumbledore, the aged headmaster.
"It's very unusual, Albus. Why would they suddenly appear on the lists at this age? Both of them and from the same town, too," replied Professor McGonagall who had just brought in the potential students roster.
"I remember that we decided to not contact the girl last year because the school term was already underway when her name appeared. Of course, now our term is nearly complete. You said the boy's name appeared just as suddenly yesterday. I wonder what has changed?" He pondered.
"And what do we do about it? They are obviously older than first years, yet we can assume they know nothing of magic. They are American and have nearly completed their Muggle education. How would we place them?" Minerva seemed greatly perplexed, while she paced in front of the headmasters desk.
Professor Dumbledore suddenly sat straighter in his chair and lights seemed to gleam in his eyes. "Minerva, how would you feel about an accelerated summer program for two American teens from Roswell, New Mexico? Over this summer, we could teach them the basics. Next summer, we'd teach them at intermediate level. And have them attend a full seventh year after that next summer to prepare them for their N.E.W.T.s. Then, whether they wish to continue their education at a Wizarding University or a Muggle University, they will be prepared."
"What a great idea! She exclaimed and appeared to brighten at the suggestion. I do enjoy a challenge. We'd have to work just as hard as the students and it would be very personalized." She paused a moment, "But would the other professors also be willing to work through the next 2 summers?" She asked.
"I believe they would. And I will cover Defense Against the Dark Arts classes at least for this summer."
"What if we send them an owl first, offering the program. One of us could go later as an ambassador to meet with them and their parents, to answer questions and discuss their options. I wonder...should we take the sorting hat and go ahead and find out where they would belong once they get here? Then we can arrange for tutors from their houses."
Dumbledore nodded to himself as he thought of the plan. He then smiled as he looked at Professor McGonagall. "An excellent plan, Minerva!"
Within that hour, owls were sent inviting a Miss Elizabeth Parker and a Mr. Kyle Valenti to attend a special summer session at Hogwart's School in Great Britain.
Roswell, NM, USA. Two days later.
Liz Parker sat on her balcony with her feet up after a long, tough Saturday. It had only been three days since she heard that devastating message from Max's real mother. Only three days since her heart was stomped for trying to follow her dreams. Thus far she had managed to avoid Max, for the most part.
She'd watched Kyle wandering around in a stupor at school. He was shot three days earlier and revived by Max Evans, just as she had been eight months ago. "Maybe I should go and talk to him," she thought. "After all, Max healed us both. We're the only ones, in fact, to experience that and it sets us apart from the others."
If she were honest with herself, she'd examine exactly how different she felt since Max saved her life, but right then she wasn't interested in brutal honesty. If Kyle called, she'd be glad to talk, but she was too tired to call him herself.
"Only one more week of school to get through until summer vacation," She thought, and was comforted by how right that sounded and felt.
In the twilight she heard a sudden flutter of wings as a letter fell into her lap, addressed to her.
Kyle Valenti sat on the couch as he flipped channels and tried to ignore all the strange things that had happened to him just that day. If he thought any further back, he feared his brain would explode. Or at the very least, he'd be carried away in a straight jacket by men in white coats.
The day started ok, even with his father giving him chores to do. He figured it would help him not to dwell too much on the lunacy of the past week. His Dad had asked him to check the gutter on the north side of the house. It had pulled loose over the winter and needed to be hammered back in place. In the meantime he had gone to the grocery store.
Kyle had almost finished reattaching the gutter when he dropped the hammer. "Oh crap! Get back here!" He shouted. As quickly as it had fallen, it returned to his hand! Shocked and scared, he let go of the hammer and muttered more than a few curses at Max Evans.
Forgetting that he was on the ladder, he tried to step back and began to fall himself. "Oh God, this is going to hurt," He cringed. But it hadn't. He bounced twice, as if on a trampoline. Landing on his feet he stared for a moment at them and at his hands, then he ran into the house for a bag to keep from hyperventilating.
Panicked, he picked up the phone to call..."Who do you call when the world goes weird? Max?" He'd asked himself. He decided against calling Max. Instead he tried to call Liz, knowing she would understand, but only got her machine. He decided not to leave a message. "She must be working." He had thought, and grabbed his keys to drive there. Instead he drove to the High School and spent the rest of the afternoon running laps around the track.
Once he returned home he put away the ladder. He pretended not to see the hammer lying there and left it to rust. "I'll buy another one." He thought.
His father had grilled steaks for dinner. They planned to watch the baseball game afterwards, but halfway through dinner Jim, as the local sheriff, was called out to a major accident on the highway. This left Kyle alone with the TV's multiple boring channels and his chaotic thoughts.
A little while later he heard a strange tapping on the glass of the backdoor. He walked to the door and opened it. No one was there. As he turned back into the house, a falling envelope hit him in the head. He glanced back outside and saw nothing, but he heard the muted hoot of an owl nearby.
As he was closing the door, he saw the envelope. It had fallen into the drain tray of the plant by the door, one edge in the water. He pulled it out and saw, through the blurred and running ink, that it was addressed to him.
Liz turned the envelope over in her hands, examining it carefully. There were no postmarks or stamps and it was sealed with wax. The lettering was in green ink and appeared to be written with a calligraphy pen. She opened the envelope to find a letter written on parchment paper also in calligraphy.
Dear Miss Parker,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been
accepted into the accelerated summer program at
Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in Great
This is a special program to which few students
have been accepted and is designed to teach you the
basics. The session will last from June 15th to
August 15th. Your train leaves at 11:00 a.m. June
15th from Kings Cross Station platform nine and three
For your convenience we will be sending an
ambassador to answer questions and assist you with
arranging parental permission. Please expect their
arrival at noon on Sunday. We look forward to your
Professor M. McGonagall
Liz stared at the letter. She wasn't sure if it was the answer to her dreams or her nightmares. She started to pull out a notebook to write all the questions that had sprung up in her mind over the past five minutes, but grabbed her journal instead. She felt the need to keep this list away from prying eyes. "More secrets," she thought. "When did my life get so complicated?"
When she finished, she reviewed the list of questions.
--Witchcraft and Wizardry?
--Why was I chosen?
--How was I chosen?
--How much does it cost?
--Is this why I sometimes get flashes even when Max isn't around?
She realized that if any of this was related to Max, she'd better meet with the ambassador alone first, then her parents.
Dear Mr. Valenti,
We are pleased to inform... ...been accepted...
summer program at Hogwart's School...
in Great Britain....
Kyle sighed in frustration. Water stains had nearly ruined the letter from this Hogwart's School. What did a school in England want with him anyway? He didn't play rugby, his soccer was passable, as were his grades. Besides that, why would he want to spend the summer in school?
He put the letter in his room and started to add it to the list of things to forget. Then, a very pleasant thought crossed his mind. If he went to England for the summer, he would be away from Max Evans and all things alien in Roswell. He grabbed hold of that idea and thought, "I don't care if this is a charm and beauty school, I am going just to get out of Roswell this summer."
Professor McGonagall used a Portkey in the shape of a serving spoon to travel from Hogsmeade to the Roswell bus station. She landed in a ladies room stall that had been marked out of order by a local witch in preparation for her arrival. She surveyed her clothing one last time, to insure that she appeared completely Muggle, before exiting the stall.
Carefully she carried the Portkey wrapped in a scarf to a locker along the wall of the station where she stored it for the return trip. She then left the bus station and headed for the Crashdown Café.
Kyle, unaware of the arrival of the ambassador at all due to the smeared ink, was eating lunch at the counter of the Crashdown Café. He watched Liz wringing her hands and pacing nervously behind the counter. After a few minutes he had had enough. "Liz, would you sit down! You're are giving me heartburn."
At that moment the bell chimed as the door opened. It was exactly noon.
A spry, elderly woman walked in. She scanned the room until her eyes reached the counter. As soon as she saw Liz and Kyle she walked over to them and said, "Ah, So glad both of you are here. Miss Parker, Mr. Valenti, I am Professor Minerva McGonagall from Hogwart's. Is there someplace we could speak privately?"
Liz immediately realized the full weight of the situation and determined that any place they spoke in the Crashdown or in the apartment above would be too public for this particular conversation. She quickly turned to Kyle. "Do you have your car?"
Kyle’s mouth was hanging open in astonishment form the older woman’s words. He closed it quickly and answered, "Yeah."
"Good. You're driving. Let's go."
Now totally confused. "Where are we going?"
"I'll tell you on the way." Liz lead them both out the door and paused only long enough to grab a notebook and to write "on the house/ LP" on the front of Kyle's bill. She flipped it over and wrote, “Be back soon” and placed it back side up under the toothpick dispenser at the register.
Once they were in the car she told Kyle, "Take us to the quarry." They sped off.
Their departure did not go unnoticed. Max Evans watched from the door of the UFO Center across the street.
Once they arrived at the quarry, both Liz and Kyle checked around them to make certain that they were alone.
Professor McGonagall pulled her wand from the pocket of her skirt. She chose three sizable boulders and transfigured them into very comfortable, plush chairs.
Kyle's mouth dropped open again and he looked over at Liz to see if she was as shocked as he felt. Liz had managed to keep her mouth shut, but her eyes were big and she looked pale. The professor finished with the chairs and motioned for them to sit down.
Liz ran her hand along the back of one of the chairs. It felt like the same type of velour upholstery fabric used on most of the living room sets she'd ever seen. She came around the front and gently pushed the cushions. They felt like the normal sort of cushions too. She took a deep breath and sat down. This was the most comfortable chair she'd ever sat in, she thought as she sank back. She sighed and closed her eyes for a moment while a trace of a smile played on her lips. She opened her eyes. The professor was just settling in, but the third chair was empty.
She looked back at where Kyle was watching her. She could see the concern written on his face. She gave him a reassuring smile and a nod. He visibly relaxed and walked to his seat. Yep, I was like that the first week too, she thought.
Professor McGonagall started. "Well you may not know this, but it is very rare for Hogwart's to have a summer program. Then again, you two are most unusual for Hogwart's students."
"What do you mean?" asked Liz.
"Well, most of the time we identify our students several years before they arrive at the school as first years. You never appeared on our potential student list before last year."
"How old are...did you say, 'first years,' normally?" Kyle asked dreading the answer.
"Eleven years old," she stated matter-of-factly. "Also, most of our students are British, or at least from British provinces and territories."
"You said we suddenly appeared on your lists this past year?" asked Liz.
"Yes and no, you appeared last fall shortly after our regular term began. And just last week Mr. Valenti appeared."
Both Liz and Kyle blanched at that remark. "Oh," was all Liz said, while Kyle just looked sick.
He swallowed hard and asked the question that had nagged him since receiving the letter. "What sort of school is Hogwart's?"
"Oh. I thought you knew from your letter. Hogwart's is a school for teaching young witches and wizards."
"Witches and wizards?! What the...?"
"Kyle, language! Ladies present," said Liz in a distinctly warning tone. She stared long and hard at him and forced him to comply by the sheer weight of her gaze.
Kyle shut up for a moment. Then spoke again. "Liz, I'll watch my language, but I have to ask something. Ma'am, what makes you think that we're...um...that we're...?"
"That you're a wizard and that Miss Parker and I are witches?"
"Yes Ma'am. Why would you think that?"
"Because you appeared on our potential students roster and it is never wrong."
"Ok then, how can we know if this is true?"
"Did you ever make something happen that you wanted very badly? Or stop something in the middle of happening that you strongly wished wouldn't happen? Have you fallen great distances without injury, possibly bouncing but definitely not injured? Have you seen things before they happen or received impressions from an object when you've touched it? These are all manifestations of the magic with in you." Professor McGonagall paused to let her words sink in and noticed the looks that passed between the two and realized they knew something about why their magical abilities were awakened suddenly. She allowed them their privacy in spite of her own curiosity. She continued.
"As you are both well over eleven and nearly finished with your Muggle education, we have decided to do an accelerated program over the next two summers and then a full term for the seventh year. It will be hard work, but you will be learning things, which for the most part are unlike anything you will learn in your regular schooling. At Hogwart's we help you to gain experience in most areas of magic and to hone those areas in which you excel. My own strengths are in Transfiguration, which I also teach at the school."
"Is that how you created these chairs?"
"Yes, it is. Because of those skills, I also chose to become an Animagus. That means I can do this...." She promptly transformed herself into a cat.
Liz and Kyle sat motionless in astonishment as she re-turned herself into human.
"Well, are you interested in learning more?" she asked as she settled back into her seat.
Liz pondered for a moment, "Hard work and unlike we'd learn at our school?"
"And away from Roswell?" asked Kyle.
"Oh, yes," Minerva answered. "You'd stay in Britain at the school for the two month term."
"Count me in," They said together.
The professor smiled. "I hoped you'd say that. Now, let's see which dorm you'll be in."
She waved her wand in the air muttering a few words under her breath. An old, patched and battered wizard's hat appeared in her lap.
"At our school there are four houses, each representing different qualities a witch or a wizard may exhibit. Now normally this hat will sing and we'd sort you in a ceremony in front of all the school. But these are special circumstances, so we're going to sort you here, then later we can arrange tutors for you. Hat, no song this time please, we're out in the open and sound carries long distances out here."
The hat appeared to sigh and then nod to the professor.
Handing Liz the hat she requested, "If you would please, Miss Parker, put on the hat."
Liz placed the hat on her head. It's brim slipped down over her eyes and rested near the end of her nose. She heard Kyle stifle a giggle.
After a moment the hat spoke to Liz. "I see many qualities that would make you a good candidate for any house. If I decided, based on intellect alone, it would be Ravenclaw, but you have an extraordinary amount of bravery so...
"Gryffindor!" it shouted.
"Excellent," said Professor McGonagall. Then she looked at Kyle. "Now it's your turn."
Kyle picked up the hat and stared at it for a moment before he placed it on his head. It rested on the bridge of his nose.
The hat spoke to him. "Traditions are strong in your family. So are hard work and glory. But for you, honor and bravery are the strongest. So you also belong to...
"Gryffindor!" it shouted again.
"Very good," said Professor McGonagall. "Now there are books and things you will need for school, but you should wait until you arrive in London to get them. If you will make arrangements to arrive on June 13th, I will have someone meet you and assist you in getting those supplies and delivering you to King's Cross Station to catch your train to Hogwart's.
"Now," she said smiling, "Let's go back and speak with your parents." She began to rise from her seat.
"Professor, wait," Liz hesitated. "I would prefer, when we speak to my parents, that we not tell them that it is such a special school. Just that it is an accelerated program and in Great Britain. To mention the witchcraft and wizardry would cause them to ask too many questions."
"Too many questions?" she asked. "Why would there be questions?"
For a moment Liz considered telling Professor McGonagall the truth, but the events of the previous week were too fresh in her mind. "There just would be," she said finally. "They would never understand anything magic or different, but they would jump at the chance to further my education."
"What about you, Mr. Valenti? Would your family react the same way as Miss Parker's?"
"Well, it's just me and my dad, he could probably handle it." Especially after this week, he thought.
Liz got a bright look on her face. "Kyle, could I speak with you for a moment?" She pulled him a few feet away and they spoke in hushed tones. " Can we tell your dad the truth? Please? Then if my parents ever have a need to know where I actually am, he can break it to them. If not, then we can be two students on an educational student exchange as far as my parents are concerned. Please? I know your dad and he can handle it. There is no way my parents can handle this news. I can never tell them that I'm a witch. Please?" Her voice got smaller, more pleading as she added, "I have to get out of here this summer."
Kyle nodded, completely understanding that. "All right, Liz, we can tell my dad the truth."
"Thank you, Kyle," She said with a small smile of gratitude and relief.
They walked back to the professor.
"We can tell him the truth," Kyle said firmly.
"I would prefer to be absolutely honest with all of the parents, but since you are certain, I will leave out the specific details regarding your abilities. I will also refer to the school simply as Hogwart's. Is that satisfactory?"
"Yes, Professor, that would be best."
"Are there any other questions or requests?"
Kyle thought for a moment, then asked, "What's a Muggle?"
"I'm sorry. I should have explained that before. A Muggle is a person with no magical abilities."
Both Kyle and Liz thought, "What does that make Max?"
Gathering her thoughts quickly Liz asked, "How did your letters get to us?"
"By owl, of course."
"Owl?" Liz shook her head softly. "Does all Hogwart's mail travel that way? How will our parents be able to write to us while we're away?"
"We have a regular postal box in London and a liaison who takes the mail we receive there to the owl post and vice versa."
Liz nodded. "That will work. Now let's go deal with my parents before the dinner rush." And before I lose my nerve, she thought to herself.
The professor turned the chairs back into boulders and they walked back to Kyle's car.
They have a strange and wonderful relationship...He's wonderful and she's strange. (Ernie, Saturday's Warrior)
|posted on 8-Sep-2001 9:55:52 AM|
|Feedback PLEASE!!! |
Kyle walked into Jim's office and handed him a note.
"Hi Dad. Are we having dinner together tonight?" Kyle asked with a pointed look at the note in his father's hand.
"Sure son. Where did you want to eat?" Jim answered while reading the note.
I don't trust your office to be "clean" anymore.
Meet me in an hour at the quarry. I'll bring the food
you want. This is really important.
"Either the Crashdown or Senor Chow's," Kyle offered.
"Yeah, a burger from the Crashdown sounds good. Is an hour from now good for you?"
"That works. See you then," Kyle smiled and nodded to his dad as he left.
Kyle returned to the car where Liz and Professor McGonagall waited. "He'll meet us in a hour. I'll order the food while you talk to your parents, then we'll head to the quarry to talk to Dad."
Liz called her parents up into their living room above the Crashdown. She appeared very nervous when she began to speak, "Mom, Dad, I have something to tell you that you're probably going to have some questions about, but please wait a minute until I explain before you start asking them. OK?" She sees the panic in their eyes. "Don't look so scared. It's about school, not my health."
She suppressed a giggle at the visible signs of relief on her mother's face. "I recently found out that I've been accepted into a special summer program at a school in Great Britain. I'd like to go. I didn't tell you about it right away because they promised to
send someone who could answer all our questions. So I waited until she could be here."
"Congratulations, honey!" her mother exclaimed.
Her father leapt up and hugged her. "That's wonderful! I'm so proud of you."
Relieved and smiling, Liz walked out into the family kitchen and led the Professor back into the living room.
"This is Professor McGonagall from Hogwart's School. She's the ambassador they sent to answer our questions. I've already asked most of mine, but I wanted to let you have an opportunity too."
Mr. Parker stood up and shook hands with the Professor. "Hi, I'm Jeff Parker. This is my wife, Nancy. Welcome to Roswell. Please have a seat." He waited to sit down until she was seated. "So, you'd like our Liz to become a part of your summer program. Tell us something about it."
"Yes, we would love to have her. Like your daughter, all of the children in our school are truly exceptional students. The term lasts for two months, from June 15th to August 15th. After the basic courses, her classes will be personalized to her progress and strengths. We are looking forward to having Liz as a student, but will abide by your
decision, of course," the Professor concluded with a reassuring smile.
Jeff seemed thoughtful for a moment and then looked to his wife. "Well, Nancy, what do you say?" Jeff asked
Nancy looked concerned. "How will this affect her public schooling? Is it going to make her bored with her regular classes after your extensive summer program?"
The professor answered smiling. "We focus on different aspects of science that Liz will not normally gain in her regular classes. We have a more hands on approach to Botany, Chemistry and Zoology. Overall, our program should not adversely effect her attention to her regular schooling, but should expand her opportunities for her secondary education."
Jeff watched his wife. Her expression changed from very concerned, to a slight smile and a nod, as she pondered the things she heard.
Nancy looked back to her husband and answered his original question. "It's something she wants. It's England. She has a scholarship, and it will help her in college. I'm going to miss her, but there's no way I'd hold her back from such a wonderful opportunity." Smiling at Liz. "As far as I'm concerned, she can go."
Liz reached over to her mother and hugged her. Her eyes shining with happiness as she whispered, "Thank you Mom."
Jeff continued to watch his wife and daughter together. Finally, he spoke again. "This program sounds very exciting. But Liz, it's your summer. Is this what you really want to do?"
Liz nodded emphatically.
He then turns to his wife once more for reassurance. Nancy, satisfied with the look of peace and excitement on her daughter's face, nodded back to Jeff. He sighed, his heart already a little heavy at the thought of a quiet summer, "Well, then, let's talk bottom line. How much will this cost?
"Mr. Parker, your daughter has a scholarship that will pay for her schooling, as well as her room and board. The only expenses are for her uniforms, books, supplies and her trip to London.
“We'll have a representative meet her at the airport, to insure her safety and to assist with acquiring said supplies. This representative will also take her to the train, which will transport her straight to the school. We'll do the same for the return trip in August," replied the professor.
They spoke for a few more minutes before Liz and the professor left.
Kyle was waiting for them by the car when they came out. "Perfect timing." he stated. "They just finished Dad's order." The three climbed back into the car and took off.
Across the street, Max Evans was leaving the UFO Center and watched as they drove off. His brows furrowed as his mind again questioned the sight of the former couple together. He started to follow, but remembered he couldn't miss dinner with his family.
His mother had threatened him with death if he did. He sighed and turned his car towards home, determined to figure it out later.
Jim parked his Suburban beside his son's convertible at the quarry.
Walking up to the meeting place, he saw the small group sitting in very comfortable looking, but completely out of place, chairs. One was empty and obviously waiting for him.
He was a little surprised to see Liz there, but was more surprised to see the older woman with them.
Liz took care of an informal introduction. She pointed to Jim and said, "Jim Valenti." She then pointed to the professor and said, "Minerva McGonagall."
"Mr. Valenti." The professor nodded and smiled.
"Ma'am," he acknowledged with a nod as he sat down. He then looked directly at Kyle, who seemed a bit nervous. "Son, what's going on?" The knot of fear, that had begun to form in his stomach earlier, got tighter.
"Well, Dad, you know that whole ordeal last week? Of course you do, how could you forget? Um, Dad, it seems to have awakened something inside me. Something that, I'm not really ready to deal with, but I'm going to have to." Kyle had gotten up and was pacing in front of his chair.
Jim interrupted frantically, "Son, are you sick?!"
Stunned Kyle sharply replied, "No!" He sighed and continued, more calmly, "No Dad, it's not that. It's just...there really is no easy way to say this...Dad, I'm a wizard."
Jim sat stunned for a moment. "You're a what?"
"A wizard," he repeated. He rested his head in his hands. He took a deep breath and raised his head, running his fingers down his face. "Well, OK then. When did this happen?"
"Mr. Valenti, many people have latent abilities to work magic. While it is unusual for these abilities to show up this late in life, it is not unheard of," the professor commented.
Jim snapped at the intrusion, "Ms. McGonagall, ma'am, forgive me for asking, but just who are you and why are you here?"
"I am Professor McGonagall, from Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Your son and Miss Parker have been invited to join our summer program to learn to use their abilities. I am here to answer any questions either of you may have.
"Liz? You too?" Jim asked in shock and amazement.
"Yes. But we didn't tell my parents about my magical abilities. I know they couldn't handle it and they'd ask too many questions. So they only know half the story. They know that it's an educational opportunity over the summer in England. I'd prefer if you didn't tell them anything else unless they absolutely need to know."
"Ok Liz, you know your secret is safe with me. One question though, are you planning to tell the others?"
Liz grimaced at the thought. "No, not for now at least."
Roswell Airport, Two Weeks Later.
Nancy Parker carried her daughter's carry on bag while her husband carried the suitcase to the baggage check. She turned to Liz and asked, "Honey, are you sure you want to spend your summer in that school in England?"
"Mom, I want nothing more," she stated firmly.
Nancy studied Liz's face and saw hope and excitement in her eyes. Satisfied, she hugged her daughter tightly and tried to smile. "You know I'm going to miss you, don't you."
Letting go of her mother she smiled, "Yeah, I know. I'm going to miss you too. But I can't turn down this opportunity. I love you, Mom. Thanks for letting me do this."
"I love you too, Liz," Nancy said quietly trying to hide her tears.
Jeff had rejoined them by then. He also hugged her tightly before they let her go. He slipped $200 in cash into Liz's hand. "For emergencies. Call us to let us know that you're safe as soon as you land. OK? I love you, Honey."
"I love you too, Dad." Liz kissed him on the cheek and smiled as she turned away.
She gathered her carry on bag and walked through the security gates. She turned and called back to them, "Bye Mom, Bye Dad. I love you. I'll see you in August."
As they were leaving Jeff and Nancy passed Jim Valenti.
"Hi Sheriff. Going on a trip?" Jeff asked.
Jim smiled when her recognized his friends. "Not me, Kyle."
"Oh?" Obviously curious.
"Yeah, he's off to football camp for about 2 months," Jim lied.
"Liz is off to a summer school program in England for two months and on her way back she is stopping in to visit my sister in Miami," offered Nancy. She sighed. "They just grow up so fast."
"That they do. That they do," Jim replied with a smile thinking, If you only knew.
Liz found her seat on the plane. She had the seat next to Kyle. "So what story did you guys decide to tell?" she asked him when she sat down.
"We decided the football camp one was best. No one would believe that I earned a scholarship to some British School. Then there's that whole, We used to date factor...It's just better if no one knows we're in the same place," Kyle answered.
"That's probably best," She answered with a smile. Then quietly, almost hesitant and shy she asked, "So, you nervous?"
"Me? Nervous? You better believe it," He said with a laugh.
"Me too," she said.
They settled back for the start their journey.
They changed planes in Albuquerque and Atlanta. After the other passengers around them fell asleep they talked a little bit more.
"So, what did you tell Maria?"
"I told her the basic truth. I am going to summer school in England, and then to my aunt's in Florida. She'd get it from my parents anyway. I asked her not to mention the school to the others. They already think I'm a big geek, no need to prove it. I may tell her the truth some day, but right now I'm not sure I want to. I kind of like having my own secret world that even they aren't aware of, much less a part of," Liz finished with a sparkle of mischief in her eyes.
"I know what you mean. I mean, the rest of the football team thinks that I'm going to camp in St Louis for the whole summer. How am I supposed to explain my lack of conditioning when I get back? And yet I'm going to learn stuff they'll never know or
understand. It's just...mind boggling," Kyle shook his head in amazement.
"How's your dad handling it?"
"He surprised me. He understood my need to get away. He accepts my new "status" in the world. He's been more aware, or at least more vocal, with his thanks and praise. He's just taking it all in stride, which is something I would have never thought he could do. He is the son of "Sergeant Martian" after all." He chuckled then paused. "Liz, can I ask what happened between you and Max, or would you prefer not to discuss that?"
Liz looked up sharply at Kyle, eyebrows furrowed as if to ask, why he’d want to know.
"I'm asking as a friend. Only as a friend. Because I got the feeling from what you said about needing to leave Roswell this summer, that things weren't exactly great." He looked concerned.
Liz sighed heavily and looked at her hands in her lap. "That's kind of the understatement of the year. Look, Kyle, as a friend or not, I'm not sure that I'm ready to talk about it."
"I can understand that, I was the same way after my mom left. I needed to talk about it, but you know the drill, boys don't talk about their feelings or their pain. It affected my grades that year and I spent the next two years trying to catch up and keep up.” Kyle gave her a twisted half smile then said, “and if you repeat that, I'll deny it."
He studied Liz’s face and watched her struggles play across it. He looked away and continued, "I'm only saying, this summer program is going to be fast and you shouldn't have emotional obstacles getting in the way. Just think about it."
"I'll think about it. I'm not promising anything, but I'll think about it." She said, guardedly glancing at his face before returning her gaze to her hands.
Ok, he thought, time to lighten this up. "And if you tell anyone I just sounded like Alex, I'll deny that too." His eyes danced with held in laughter.
Liz busted out laughing. "Like I could Kyle. Who would believe me?"
They shared a laugh and then turned to lighter topics of conversation.
The plane carrying Liz and Kyle landed in London shortly after 10 in the morning. They were exhausted after traveling for almost eighteen hours.
An hour later, they stepped out of customs into the main part of the airport. They noticed the tall, middle aged, red headed gentleman holding a Hogwart's sign. As they walked up to him he reached forward shaking their hands. He said, "Hello. I'm Arthur Weasley. You must be Elizabeth Parker and Kyle Valenti. Professor Dumbledore asked that I meet you and assist you with getting your supplies. How was your trip?”
Kyle covered his mouth with his left hand as he yawned, shaking hands with the other. He replied, "Sorry, long."
Liz nodded with a sleepy smile. "It was that. Call me Liz," she said, also shaking Arthur's hand.
"Then let me help you with your bags and I can take you to where you'll be staying for the next 2 nights. You can get some proper rest there, later. Did you want to use the, um… Pheletone to call your parents before we leave?"
Liz nodded, trying not to giggle, suggested, "Yes we should. Are these ok?" She pointed to a bank of phones along the wall.
When they reached them, Liz pulled out a disposable phone card and called home. A few instruments down, Kyle was doing the same. Arthur stood back and watched the teens using the telephones in fascination.
Even though it was after 3 in the morning in Roswell, both the Parkers and Jim Valenti were glad to hear from their children and slept much better afterwards.
It took over an hour for the taxi to get them to the Leaky Cauldron. The cabby, unable to see the pub, thought it was strange to let teens with their luggage out at a record store. He chalked it up to them being Americans and drove away.
The Leaky Cauldron was busy with the lunchtime crowd. They settled into a booth near the back of the pub for lunch. Arthur seemed to search the room for someone.
Liz scanned the room looking at the different mixture of people gathered there. There were witches in robes, wizards in suits, short greenish men in plaid. "What a strange world." She thought.
Arthur smiled as he caught the attention of a passing man. He introduced the teens to him. "Tom this is Liz Parker and Kyle Valenti. Tom is the innkeeper here. I've made arrangements for you to stay in two of the rooms upstairs. They're very nice and I know you'll be safe for the two nights you’re here. In fact, I stay here often with my family
before taking them to catch the Hogwart's Express," he finished with a smile.
Kyle nodded at Tom and waved, too tired to say anything.
Tom smiled back and said, "Welcome to the Leaky Cauldron. Don't worry. This is not a rowdy pub. In fact by early evening there's rarely anyone here but guests."
"That's a relief," Liz said with a small laugh. Then she remembered her manners. "It's nice to meet you, Tom."
"While you eat, I'll take your bags up to your rooms," Tom offered.
"Thank you," said Liz with a smile.
"Yeah, thanks," Kyle agreed, after being surreptitiously nudged by Liz.
When Tom returned, he handed Liz the key to Room 9 and Kyle the key to Room 11.
After eating lunch they felt more awake. Arthur took charge.
"I know you're tired but there are a few things we need to do before you rest. I need to take you to Gringott's to exchange your money into wizard currency. After that we’ll go to Madam Malkin's so you can get fitted for your robes. Then back here, where you can relax until tomorrow."
They have a strange and wonderful relationship...He's wonderful and she's strange. (Ernie, Saturday's Warrior)
|posted on 15-Sep-2001 8:56:45 AM|
Arthur Weasley led them through the back door of the pub into the alley. He pulled out his wand and reached to tap a brick above the trash bin. "Third brick from the left..." he mumbled.
An archway formed, allowing them access to Diagon Alley. As they started down the cobblestone streets, Liz and Kyle twisted and craned their necks to gawk at the various stores and signs along the way.
Ahead of them was a large white building with columns. Across the top a large round sign that looked like an official seal read, Gringott's.
Arthur walked up the steps followed by Kyle and Liz. They were no more than two steps from the top when Liz noticed Kyle's back stiffen. Then, as he began to relax, she heard him mutter, "Well, at least they aren't glowing green with big black eyes."
Curious, she moved to look around him and saw the oddest thing. Holding the door was a short, pointy-eared, bearded, semi-grotesque man wearing a red and gold uniform. After she closed her mouth she followed the two men through the large bronze door that the creature held open. Once inside, she saw there were hundreds more of the same little men behind the teller windows.
Arthur was lecturing about the bank. "Gringott's is the safest bank in the world. No one would think of trying to break into the vaults here. They are more secure than your American Fort Knox is reported to be. Now if you wish to open an account here, the money or valuables are kept in vaults under London. There are hundreds of miles of tunnels down there. Also, if you do open an account, it might be wise to skip whichever meal you would have eaten beforehand. The carts that carry you to the vaults have but one speed, extremely fast. Today, as you are only exchanging currency, you'll just stay in here." After he finished speaking he led the way to the American currency exchange counter.
"What are they?" Kyle whispered to Liz.
"I have no idea. Ask Mr. Weasley," she replied.
Arthur overhears this and volunteers, "They are goblins. They own and run Gringott's. My oldest son works for them in Egypt," he answered with a bit of fatherly pride.
Uncertain of the costs of books and supplies in the wizarding world, Liz handed the teller $1750.00 to exchange. She kept $250.00 of the money she'd withdrawn from her educational savings account. She received 363 galleons, 14 sickles and 19 knuts according to the receipt.
Kyle only exchanged $1200.00 of his $1500.00 that he'd brought. He decided to save the rest for souvenirs or necessities. He received 249 galleons, 8 sickles and 18 knuts.
They had almost left Gringott's when Kyle reached into the leather pouch and pulled out 3 coins. "Excuse me Mr. Weasley, but could you explain this money to me?" He looked a bit confused.
"Certainly. Let's stop over here at this bench and I'll explain it." He pointed to a bench that was just inside to the right of the large doors that exited the bank.
Once they sat down Kyle held out his hand offering the 3 coins for the explanation. He rolled his eyes as he watched Liz pull a small scratch pad and a pen from her purse to take notes.
Arthur took the coins and shuffled them a bit in his hand. He held up a small bronze coin. "This is a knut. It is the smallest amount of money in the wizarding world."
He shuffled the coins again and held up a silver coin. "This is a sickle. Twenty-nine knuts equal one sickle."
He picked up the last of the coins, a larger golden one. "This is a galleon. It is equal to seventeen sickles. That's it... you now know all the money in the wizarding world."
Kyle's eyes were once again big but this time with confusion.
Liz finished writing everything out on the scratch pad. She checked her exchange receipt then nodded in understanding. She looked up at Kyle with a smile. She pointed to the knut and said, "About a penny." She pointed to the sickle, "A little more than a quarter and the gold one is almost five bucks."
She tried not to laugh at the look of understanding and relief that dominated Kyle's face at her explanation.
Arthur stood up and handed the coins back to Kyle. He straightened his clothing then said, "Well we have one more stop before you can rest. So we'd better get going."
They followed him down the street to Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions. Once they were fitted and assured that the robes would be ready the next morning, they returned to the Leaky Cauldron.
"Eat some supper and rest up," Arthur advised. "I don't recommend venturing into Muggle London on your own, so stay in the pub for tonight. Ask Tom if you need anything, he'll take care of it. You have a lot of shopping to do tomorrow. My wife will be here about 9 in the morning to help you with that. Some of my children will probably be with her too. I'll be back in the evening and would be pleased if you'll join us for supper here tomorrow night."
Their burst of energy from lunch was almost gone. All they could manage was a weak smile and a nod in answer to his question.
"Good. Things are going to be very busy the next couple of days. So sleep well." He stepped back and suddenly disappeared.
Author’s note: I used the Prices listed on the back of Quidditch Through the Ages to figure out the exchange rate. Sorry this part is short.
'Who am I to fight destiny? Who am I to fight this strange and wonderful relationship?'...He's wonderful and she's strange. (Ernie Flinders, Saturday's Warrior)
|posted on 27-Sep-2001 2:09:44 AM|
| Part 7|
Liz and Kyle were eating breakfast in the main room when a woman and her two teenage children stepped through the fireplace covered in soot. They watched the matronly woman attack the soot with her clothing brush until most of it was gone from all three. She also swept the soot from 2 battered trunks that clunked into the room behind them.
Tom walked up to her greeting her warmly. "Mrs. Weasley, right on time. Arthur said you'll be needing rooms tonight. How many rooms are you needing?"
"Hullo Tom. I think three rooms will be enough. Fred and George will be arriving this afternoon. And Arthur will be joining us tonight. May I reserve a private banquet room for all of us for supper?"
"Of course. What time would you like it served?"
"About 5:30 p.m.?"
"It will be ready for you." Tom said with a smile as he hurried off.
Mrs. Weasley glanced around the room and approached the teens. "Are you Liz and Kyle?" she asked.
Liz stood to shake her hand. "Yes, I'm Liz. You must be Mrs. Weasley."
"Yes, yes I'm Molly Weasley. And this is Ron and Ginny," she replied with a smile gesturing to the teens behind her. Both the Weasley teens were tall with red hair and freckles. Ginny's hair was long with curls while Ron's was short and straight, but a bit tussled from the journey.
Kyle finished chewing his pancakes and offered his hand. "Kyle."
"Hi, I'm Ginny. I'm going to be one of your tutors during summer session. This is Ron. He's going to help too." She seemed almost giddy at the prospect.
"We were just finishing breakfast. Have you eaten?" offered Liz.
Mrs. Weasley smiled. Thank you dear we ate before we left. If you don't mind we'll join you while you finish."
As they finished breakfast, Ron finished off Liz's bacon and Ginny ate a piece of toast. When they were done, they went outside and Molly tapped the brick over the trash bin. Returning to the alley, they went first to Mr. Olivander's to get their wands.
Kyle went first. It took thirty minutes to find his sturdy fourteen-inch heart of cedar with unicorn hair core.
Liz took about twenty minutes. Her wand was a very springy nine and three eighths inches willow with a dragon heartstring core.
They then picked up their completed robes, purchased their cauldrons and scales and returned to the pub to drop off everything.
A new store called Flee, Fly, Floo, which specialized in travel means, devices, and gear, was attracting a lot of attention. They headed there next.
They had a special on three-lock trunks. These trunks, which appeared to be ordinary, had three times the amount of space as a regular trunk. Each key determined which compartment opened.
Both Liz and Kyle decided to buy one. Kyle picked a brown one. He decided to use one compartment for clothes, one for school supplies and one for his football gear, for when he returned to the States and spent that week in football camp right before school started again.
Liz bought a green one determining that she could always use the extra compartments for clothes, shoes, and toiletries.
The girls were headed towards the check out when Ginny noticed Ron leading Kyle down the broom aisle. She rolled her eyes and sighed. She caught her mother's attention and said, "They just headed down that aisle and it's going to take forever. I'm going to take Liz to get ice cream while
Molly smiled with understanding and agreed to Ginny's plan.
When they left Flee, Fly, Floo they went to Flourean Fortesceau's Ice Cream Parlor to enjoy a treat and to rest their feet.
Ginny leaned forward with a gleam in her eye. "So tell me about America."
"What do you want to know?" she asked with a smile.
"What's your life like there? What do you study in school? Boys, everything," Ginny giggled.
Liz chuckled and began, "Well, at home I'm a waitress after school in my family's restaurant. I go to West Roswell High School. I'm in the Science Club, I love science." Liz says with a small chuckle. "I'm a pretty good student. We have seven classes a day. As far as boys go, I have one special friend, but he doesn't know about me being a witch. I'm not ready to tell him because I don't think it will last." She sighed resolutely and thought to herself, That's good. Don't mention aliens, gunshot wounds, or destiny and you'll be fine. "What about you Ginny? Are there any special boys in your life?"
"You mean besides my six older brothers?" She laughed, then went on. "Well, there is this one that I've kind of had a crush on for years. He knows that I used to have a crush on him, but I'm not sure he knows that I still do. He's kind of famous and has kind of gotten used everybody noticing him. I'm ready for him to notice me for a change. So tell me, why don't you think yours will last?"
With a sigh, Liz answered, staring at her fingers. "Because we're from different worlds and sometimes they shouldn't mix."
"I can understand that," Ginny nodded. "I think the one I like only thinks of me as Ron's kid sister."
"As in, I love you like a sister or as in Does she have to tag along?"
"The latter." This is said with chagrin.
"Ouch," Liz stated with a grimace. She decided to change the subject. "So, tell me about school."
"It's huge and wonderful. You're going to the best school and you're in the best house in it. How can you not have a great time? Besides, I'm going to be there to help you and so is Hermione. She's the smartest girl in the whole school."
"So you're really giving up your whole summer just to help us out?" Liz looked concerned.
"Partially, yes. But my parents are going to be out a lot this summer and you are saving me from having to spend the next two months with my older brother Percy. I love him dearly, but he acts so pompous all the time. He drives me bonkers."
"It is probably going to be the best time of my life, but I have to admit, I'm very nervous. I've never done magic before," Liz admits.
"You mean you've only recently developed the skills? Wow, and I thought I was a late bloomer, don't worry about it. You'll do fine."
"Thanks for the vote of confidence," Liz said with a sigh of relief.
She looked up and saw Ron and Kyle headed towards them. Kyle was carrying something large. Liz squinted and then looked confused, wondering, What's he up to now? She turned to Ginny and asked, "Is that a broom that he's carrying?"
Ginny's eyes were dancing when she answered. "Oh yeah. Did I mention you get to learn to fly?"
'Who am I to fight destiny? Who am I to fight this strange and wonderful relationship?'...He's wonderful and she's strange. (Ernie Flinders, Saturday's Warrior)
|posted on 21-Dec-2001 11:51:56 PM|
| Part 8|
Kyle joined Ron on an aisle that featured lots of brooms. Ron stood in front of a Firebolt display.
"Look at it," Ron said in awe, "A Firebolt. My friend Harry has one. They are a dream to fly." He sighed as he left the display and studied the rest of the models on the broom aisle.
"Do you mean these really fly?" Kyle asked as he followed Ron down the aisle.
"Of course," said Ron incredulously. "How else would we play quidditch?"
"You don't know quidditch?" cried Ron in a voice that implied a crime had taken place. "It's only the best sport ever played. There are seven players per team using four balls and its played in the air on brooms. The games can last any where from a few minutes to months all depending on when they catch the golden snitch."
"The golden snitch?"
"That is one of the balls and it is the seeker's job to catch it. Harry, the same one who has the Firebolt, is the seeker on our house quidditch team."
"So the seeker catches the golden snitch and the game ends," Kyle repeated then asked, "What about the other player and the other balls, how do they fit?"
"Two of the balls are bludgers which soar around trying to knock players off their brooms. Two players called beaters use clubs to redirect the bludgers towards the other team. My brothers Fred and George are our beaters.
"The last ball is called a quaffle and three players called chasers pass it back and forth and try to score points by throwing it through three gold hoops mounted on posts fifty feet in the air. The keeper tries to prevent that by blocking the quaffle. Each quaffle through a hoop is ten points and the golden snitch is one hundred and fifty points," Ron finished.
"Uh huh," Kyle replied still a bit unsure. "If I understand right, quidditch sounds about like soccer and basketball."
"That's what Dean said,” Ron said but seemed confused by the reference.
"So do you play for team?"
"No, but we have a couple of openings this year and I plan to try out. I can't figure out whether I'd rather be a keeper or a chaser," Ron chuckled as he moved to the next group of brooms.
"It can be dangerous too. Harry fell from his broom when these Dementors came around. And then there were people enchanting his broom or the balls. Once he had his arm shattered by a bludger and it got worse when an incompetent teacher with false credentials tried to heal it. I can't wait to play."
"At home I play football and basketball and nothing that exciting ever happens. Um, will I need a broom?"
"I think it says on your list that you may bring your own since you are doing three years of work this summer. So if you want, you can get one, but if not then you don't have to. I'm bringing mine though," Ron replied in a tone that suggested that only the insane would choose not to have a broom.
"I wouldn't know what to get so what do you suggest. Are they expensive and if so do they have trade-ins?"
"They aren't too expensive. Are you wanting one for sports or just general use?"
"Sports, of course."
"Firebolts are the best but they're expensive, about 200 galleons. The next best are the Nimbus brooms, still expensive though. In the not too expensive and still handles well, category is the Cleansweep Seven. It's around 35 galleons."
Kyle calculated the conversion in his head and realized that at about $175.00 it was roughly half the price of a good mountain bike. He smiled and nodded. "I'm going to get it. Who knows, maybe I can learn to play quidditch too."
"I'll help you, if you want. I'm going to be one of your tutors this summer."
"Come on, let's pay for your trunk and broom. I have a craving for Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans."
Liz took two deep breaths and a gulp before looking up at Ginny. "Fly?!!"
Merriment danced in Ginny's eyes as she said, "It's lovely to fly. You mount the broomstick and kick off. The breeze blows through your hair and you feel like you've left all your troubles on the ground."
"Until a bludger arrives to try and knock you from your broom." A voice behind Ginny said.
Liz looked up and saw a boy about her age wearing glasses. He had ruffled black hair and startling green eyes. She looked at Ginny, whose eyes were even brighter than before as she shouted, "Harry!"
|posted on 21-Dec-2001 11:56:25 PM|
“Harry! It’s good to see you. Have a seat. When did you get here?” Ginny chattered as she tried to regain control for her emotions.
“Thanks” Harry said as he took the offered seat. “I got here about 10 minutes ago. I stowed my stuff in my room at the Leaky Cauldron then decided to see if any of you had arrived. How has your summer been so far?”
“Oh, its been really nice, thanks for asking,” Ginny answered. Then remembering her manners she said, “Harry, let me introduce you to Liz Parker. She’s come over from the United States for the summer program. Liz, this is Harry Potter.”
“Pleased to meet you,” Harry said as he offered her his hand.
“You, too,” Liz answered reaching for his hand. “Glad you could join us.”
“Thank you,” he said with a smile, though it didn’t quite reach his eyes. He looked back at Ginny and asked, “Is Ron off drooling at brooms again?”
“Actually,” Liz offered, “I think he may have talked my friend Kyle into buying one. I saw him walking this way with one a few minutes ago, but I don’t know where they went.”
“Then, knowing Ron, they probably stopped off at Bertie Botts for some Every Flavor Beans,” Harry said with a chuckle.
“Every Flavor Beans?” Liz asked with a small grimace.
“Oh, yes, Every flavor! So be very careful not to just pop it in your mouth completely if you aren’t sure of the flavor,” suggested Ginny, whose blush had finally begun to fade. “You might get strawberry, chocolate or popcorn flavors. But you might get sardine, sawdust or navel lint instead,” she made a face as she suggested the bad flavors, then her eyes popped open a little wider as she remembered something else important. “Oh, a word of warning, if any of my brothers offer you yellow creme candies, DON’T eat them. They are testing their latest batch of Canary Cremes and if you eat any you’ll turn yellow and have feathers and a beak for about an hour.”
“OK,” Liz said hesitantly as she marveled that Ginny could mention something like turning into a bird as if it were something that happened daily.
Ginny noticed the hesitation and explained. “Fred and George are going into the wizard practical joke and novelty business as soon as they finish 7th year.
“Oh, I get it now,” Liz answered sounding relieved. “You had me worried there for a minute.”
Ginny giggled and Harry smiled.
About a minute later Ron and Kyle joined them at the table. Kyle was introduced to Harry.
“So what part of the States is home?” Harry asked.
“Roswell, New Mexico. For both of us actually,” Kyle answered.
“Really. Did you know each other there? Or did you meet on your way over?” Ginny asked.
Kyle said, “Well we used to…”
Liz, afraid of what he was about to reveal, interrupted him, “Yes, we go to the same school and he eats at the Crashdown all the time.”
“What’s the Crashdown?” asked Ron.
“That’s the restaurant that her parents own. She’s a waitress there,” Kyle explained.
“Along with my best friend, Maria and several others. Speaking of Maria, I need to get some of those blue postal air mailers from the regular Postal service if possible. Do they have them available here?” she asked Ginny.
Harry answered, “No, but they should have them in Muggle London. As soon as Hermione gets here we’ll ask her how to get those. She’s more familiar with London than any of the rest of us are.”
Ron perked up but tried to act natural as he asked, “When is she supposed to meet us?”
“In about half an hour,” Harry answered.
Liz looked at all the bags and boxes surrounding her. “I vote for a stop at the Leaky Cauldron to drop this stuff off before shopping anymore,” she suggested.
“Here, here,” Kyle seconded.
“All in favor?” asked Ginny.
The five teenagers walked back toward the entrance to the alley. Along the way the met Mrs. Weasley and explained what was happening.
They met Hermione in the upstairs hallway of the pub. After introductions and explanations, she agreed to take Liz to a post office and to a bank to exchange a few dollars to pounds to pay for them. They took Ginny with them.
Since Liz had agreed to buy a few mailers for Kyle, he and the other boys went back into the alley. They decided to give Kyle a few more lessons in Quidditch by taking him to Quality Quidditch Supplies.
An hour later they all met back at the Apothecary for potions supplies. Liz was fascinated by the variety of different things that could be used in potions. The also purchased their dragon hide gloves, scales and filials before they went next door to purchase their cauldrons.
Liz sent her packages back with Kyle as she, Ginny and Hermione headed back to the bookstore.
“There are some books that are simply necessary to have on hand when doing papers for school. There are others that are just informative that I love to read,” Hermione said helpfully.
“I am definitely interested in getting some extra books. What do you suggest?” Liz asked.
“Well definitely Hogwart’s: A History as well as…”
Liz decided to buy about half of the books that she suggested, narrowing it down by asking, “Have you ever used it to help write a report that the teachers have assigned?”
She also bought a few extra rolls and quills at Hermione’s suggestion. She found a purple parakeet feather “writes any color you ask” quill and a small green leather bound journal. She decided to buy both, thinking, “This one will only be used for my experiences as a witch. Nothing alien for me to write about here and since I left that journal locked away, this one will come in handy.”
When they finished they had about 20 minutes left before they were to meet back with the boys and they decided to stop at a different robe shop just to look, DeAnne’s Divine Dress Robes. They had daily robes, dress robes, and at the back they had clearance racks. Hermione saw summer weight school robes on a special rack. She tried one on and it felt much cooler.
They checked the price and found that they were on sale since school had just let out for the summer. They each bought two of the summer robes, even Ginny. Hermione offered to buy hers as a birthday gift (even though it wasn’t her birthday.)
Ginny declined and explained, “I’ve been helping Fred and George with their Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes orders and they even paid me for it. I have enough for two of these and maybe a new set of dress robes if they are on sale. But I’m not sure that we’ll need them again.”
“If you get some that are classic and elegant it won’t matter when you need them, you’ll have them,” replied Hermione.
They found the perfect set of black velvet robes for Ginny. They were about an inch too long, but they decided to leave it since she was still growing.
While they looked Liz also found dress robes in burgundy velvet “just in case.” She said, “I haven’t grown in two years and I will be here full time in two years so I’m going to have this ready. Of course that’s the same reason I went ahead and bought my winter coat, too. Any excuse to shop is better than none.” She winked at the girls and they all burst into a fit of giggles.
They stopped in front of a display of blue velvet robes. “Those would be perfect for Ron,” said Hermione.
“Yes, the perfect color, but you know how hard headed he is,” Ginny answered and rolled her eyes.
“You’re right,” Hermione sighed. “Maybe I can send back for them at Christmas.”
“That’s the only way he’d take them from you and he’d fuss even then,” Ginny replied.
Suddenly they realized that it was getting late and they only hade a couple of minutes before they had to meet the guys. They paid for the robes and rushed to meet them.
It was around 3 o’clock when Liz, Ginny and Hermione returned to the pub to meet the guys and to leave their packages in their rooms.
Liz checked her finances and discovered that even if she bought a broom she’d have a large amount of galleons and sickles left. She kept out 55 galleons for a broom and other necessary expenses. This left about 250 galleons in the pouch which she decided to use to open an account at Gringott’s.
She heard a commotion in the hall and looked out to see what was the matter. She saw twin redheads who resembled Ron pushing trunks in the room where Ron was staying.
She looked toward the room Ginny and Hermione were sharing and watched as Ginny walked out to help her older brothers. She asked, “Do you think you could make more noise, you stupid gits?”
Liz suppressed a giggle as they waved off Ginny’s help.
Ginny noticed Liz standing there. “Well, Liz, I think we have everything on the list. Do you know of anything else you need or want to check out?
Liz was still holding the money pouch she’d gotten from the exchange counter the day before. She said raising the bag, “I think I’d like to open an account at Gringott’s.”
Fred Weasley was still standing in the doorway behind Ginny. He perked up when he heard this. “Ginny, we’ll take her. We were going anyway.”
“You were going to Gringott’s? Why?” she questioned.
“To start our own account for “Weasley Wheezes.” So that mom doesn’t know about what we’re doing for the business,” he answered.
“You just want to ride the carts,” Ginny stated in a half-mocking tone.
“Well, yeah. Of course we do,” chimed George as he walked out of the room past Fred.
He walked up to Liz. “Hi, George Weasley at your service,” he said as he gave he a mock bow then offered his hand.
She took his hand and shook it. She smiled and shook her head as she said, “Liz Parker.”
“That’s Fred over there,” he said motioning over his shoulder. He continued, “We’re going to Gringott’s now and would be happy to have you join us if you would like to go.”
“OK,” Liz said as she nodded and wondered exactly what she had gotten herself into.
For the second time in two days Liz walked through the bronze and silver doors of Gringott’s.
It didn’t take long for Liz to open her account. She received her key and followed the goblin to the cart. Fred and George had finished at the same time and they all climbed in the same cart.
After the worst roller coaster ride of her life they stopped at her vault. She placed her money inside and shut the door. She barely had her hands back in the cart before it took off again.
A short jaunt later and Fred and George were able to place their large leather pouch in a vault. They then began their return trip.
When they reached the surface Liz stumbled out of the cart and hurried out the doors to the fresh air. She kept praying not to throw up. She was not a big fan or roller coasters to begin with, and after that ride she wanted nothing to do with them for a long, long time. She breathed deep gulps of air for a couple of minutes until the nausea subsided.
George came up beside her. “You never forget your first ride in a Gringott’s cart. But it does get better.”
“Yeah, with lot’s of that Muggle motion sickness medicine dad buys,” agreed Fred. “What’s it called again, Manadrine?”
George saw the confusion on Liz’s face and explained. “There are lots of wizard potions that work as well without feeling sleepy, but they smell awful and taste worse. Now have you got everything you need?”
“Well, I have everything I have to have. But,” she hesitated, taking a deep breath and then continued, “they said I could have a broom. I saved some money out to buy one but I don’t know how to pick one out.”
“We know brooms, but we have a little dilemma of out own. We need to buy dress robes for Ron as a surprise. He had these awful maroon ones last year that went out of style before Grandma Weasley was born. We promised an investor in our novelty business that we would remedy the situation, but we’re not sure the best place to get them. And then there is the colour…”
Fred interrupted George by saying, “So basically, you help us, and we’ll help you. Honestly, George, we can’t stand here all day waiting for you to finish. So, Liz, will you help?”
“I’d love to, and I know just the place,” she smiled as she rose to her feet and brushed herself off. “Come on, this way,” she ordered as she started back to DeAnne’s Divine Dress Robes.
Once there she took them to the display the girls had admired earlier and said, “Hermione and Ginny both agreed that these were the perfect robes for him. They decided to wait for Christmas to get them because ‘he’s so hard headed.’ Their words, not mine.”
Fred laughed at the accurate description of his younger brother. George examined the robes and agreed with the girls.
Within minutes they had paid for the robes and were off to buy Liz a broom.
Everyone met back at the pub for supper. Mr. Weasley joined them there and helped Tom to move the tables together for the meal. He had arranged for a combination of Muggle and Wizard foods for their evening meal, which was at treat for all. Afterwards the teens returned to their rooms to pack with the help of their new friends.
As soon as she reached her room Liz pulled out her battery operated CD player so she could share her favorite music with Hermione and Ginny while they helped her pack. In the clothing compartment they packed the winter coat and the dress robes, which she wouldn't need immediately, on the bottom. Then they packed the three summer weight robes, three regular robes and her regular clothes. When they were finally finished packing her clothes Liz locked that compartment and opened the next, praising the inventor of the three lock trunk as she looked at the new empty compartment.
Meanwhile in Kyle's room:
Kyle listened to Harry and the Weasley boys talk while he packed. They regaled him with house Quidditch matches from previous years. He, in turn, explained a bit of American football and showed them his gear.
He heard the music of Gomez and Sheryl Crow from Liz's room through he wall and felt a slight tug of nostalgia for the previous summer. Hanging out with Liz had been the
highlight of that summer. After everything that had happened in the past year he was really surprised to be spending this summer anywhere near her. Of course if it hadn't been for Max, then neither of them would have seen this summer. But if it hadn't been for Max, then Kyle himself wouldn't have been shot, nor would he have lost Liz to him. Of course, Liz would be dead. He sighed heavily and tried to turn his mind back to the conversation at hand.
"So then Harry had to drink Skel-gro to replace the bones in his arm," Ron concluded.
"He was the most incompetent git we've ever had for a teacher. But at least he wasn't completely evil," Harry admitted.
Kyle felt a little lost due to his wandering mind but he did hear enough to question under his breath, "Do we have to battle evil EVERYWHERE I go?" He sighed again and began to pay closer attention.
Back in Liz's room:
Once they were done they spent an hour enjoying girl talk and getting to know each other a little better before Ginny and Hermione returned to their room.
After they left Liz wrote a letter to Maria.
It's a whole different world here. We got here at around 10 a.m. but after close to 18 hours of traveling, we were beat.
The only thing we did yesterday besides eat and sleep was to get fitted for our uniforms. Our hotel rooms are over a pub but it's clean and quiet. And Tom the innkeeper watches over all the students.
Today we got all the rest of our school supplies. Oh and I bought a trunk to put everything in. It’s much sturdier than the suitcase. We also met our student tutors today. One of them reminds me a lot of myself.
Remember that whole chart system I did last fall for the wait staff at the Crashdown? She did one for a study schedule. If the one I made was half as obnoxious as this one, I'm surprised you didn't kill me. Don't get me wrong, Hermione is the nicest girl, but she reminds me too much of me. It will probably do me good competition wise.
I am having a good time, so don't worry about me this summer. By the way, the mail may run a couple of days later after tomorrow. We catch our train to the school in the morning, so we'll be out in the country.
Well, I'd better get some sleep. Hug Mom for me. (She has one for you, too.)
Love you Chica,
Liz woke early. Between nervous energy and adjusting to the time difference, she wondered how she had slept any at all. She looked at her watch and saw 4:30. "Great. Just great," she thought.
She tried to go back to sleep but the hurtful words, which had taunted her for the last few weeks, were back. "She doesn't belong here," Nacedo's voice echoed. Then Tess' sickening sweet little voice accused, "Sometimes it's easier to do that than to make someone see something that's right in front of her eyes." Max's Mother joined the chorus, "...your young bride." Finally the one she hated hearing the most "Destiny... destiny... destiny..."
The more she tried to ignore them, the more stifled and trapped she felt.
Suddenly it was too much and she jumped out of bed, grabbed her robe and headed for the door. She walked out of her room, down the hall, to the pub's back staircase. The air was definitely cooler there. Sitting on the top step, she leaned against the wall of the stairwell.
Taking deep breaths, Liz tried to vanquish the voices by trying to think of happier times. She remembered when Max reversed the flashes and how special she had felt. Her memories of their first kisses from back in December played across her mind. He'd been so gentle and shy. She laughed softly as she remembered what she'd thought that night. "For a boy who's never kissed before, he sure is a fast learner, thank God." A small wistful smile replaced the laughter.
She was startled out of her memories by a voice behind her in the darkness...
Kyle woke up shortly after four, for no real reason. He lay there trying to will himself back to sleep, but to no avail. A few minutes later her heard a door open and someone going down the hall. Instinctively, he knew it was Liz.
Curious as to why she was up and out of her room, he got up. He put a tee shirt on, then his bathrobe and walked to the door. He softly closed it behind him as he followed Liz’s path to the back stairway, where she sat on the top step.
He hesitated for a moment then walked up behind her. She seemed to be smiling a little bit now, but there were traces of tears on her cheeks.
Kyle decided that maybe he should try again to get her to talk about Max. He steeled his resolve and spoke, startling her. “You couldn’t sleep either?” he asked as he sat down beside of her on the top step.
“Must be the time change,” she suggested, trying to keep the topic neutral.
“Or the nightmares,” he countered.
“What nightmares?” she asked, trying to sound casual.
“I don’t know what your night mares are about,” he started, brushing away the remnants of a tear from her cheek, “but I have a fair bit of experience with my own. You know the run of the mill, semi-boring, unless you are actually in the dream, stuff that nightmares actually are. Naked in class on exam day, falling or football practice without pads, those are the usual ones.
“But the ones that frighten or hurt the most are the ones you actually lived through, then relive over and over again.” Kyle couldn’t keep the bitterness from his voice as he said, “Getting beaten up or shot, finding out that you go to high school with little green men…”
Hermione heard voices in the hall. In fact they were what had awakened her. Quietly, so that Ginny wouldn’t wake up, she got up and went to the door to check out the noise. She opened it just a crack, but froze when she heard Kyle say somewhat loudly, “…go to high school with little green men, sure they saved our lives but I would have never been shot in the first place if it weren’t for them. Or more to the point, him.”
She then heard Liz sigh heavily before spoke. “Kyle you know that good things also came out of that. We’re both here because of him.”
“And you are monumentally unhappy because of him. Look, I don’t know what happened that day, but you have this summer to convince me that he’s not part of some Martian Mob. Especially since I know that agent is dead.”
Hermione gasped then covered her mouth quickly, hoping she hadn’t been heard.
Liz exclaimed in a fierce whisper, glancing around suspiciously, “Kyle! Keep your voice down. Actually NO. We are not having this conversation. Good night Kyle.”
Hermione heard Liz walk back down the hall to her room in a huff. She also heard Kyle sigh and slowly return to his room as he mumbled, “Why couldn’t I have left it alone?”
She let out the breath she’d been holding and shut her door gently. Returning to her bed as quietly as she’d left it, she lay awake concerned by what she’d heard. She asked herself, “Are these Americans evil? How else would you explain killing someone, an ‘agent’?”
She pondered what to do. If anyone else had repeated to her what she’d just heard, straight from their own mouths, she’d never have believed them. They admitted to helping kill someone or at least being involved with them. Maybe this was a sore subject owing to Cedric’s death weeks earlier and the effect it had on Harry. How could they not be evil? But Gryffindors don’t turn evil. Well, Pettigrew excluded. She sighed heavily and decided to keep this to herself for now. But she was also going to investigate this further.
Finally, she drifted back to sleep, just as dawn was touching the morning sky.
Kyle nearly kicked himself when he returned to his room. How could he have put Liz on the defensive like that? She needed a friend and all he’d been was a complication. Well, that and a pain in her…um, rear.
He lay on his bed and tried to rest. After a few minutes he gave up.
Opening the his trunk, he reached into the bag he’d brought for football camp and pulled out a book his longtime friend, Joe Hill, had given him, Buddism for Beginners. Joe had gone to West Roswell until the year before when his parents had divorced and he had been forced to move. He said that he had found help and personal balance in those chaotic times using things that the book had taught.
Kyle lay back down to read, chuckling as he decided that even if the book didn’t help him calm down, it might help him fall asleep. After an hour he put the book down and did just that.
[ edited 1 time(s), last at 21-Dec-2001 11:59:02 PM ]
|posted on 29-Jun-2002 9:42:18 AM|
| Part 13|
The morning was a hectic rush to get to King's Cross Station. Once there, Hermione explained how to get to the magical platform 9¾. "You just sort of push your way through, like it's not even there," she explained.
Liz stared at the wall in front of her, trying to process what she'd just been told. Her mind balked at the suggestion, But that's a solid wall. Walls don't just disappear. It's scientifically impossible.
She told her mind to let go of its preconceived notions. It's time for a new set of rules. After all, if I listened to you, I'd never accept that anything other than a weather balloon crashed in the desert in 1947. And I know better.
Completely ignoring any retort from her mind, Liz took a deep breath and muttered her new mantra, "It was just a weather balloon."
Kyle was close enough to hear what she muttered and began to chuckle.
Liz shot him a look and then began to walk towards the wall, pushing her cart in front of her. Her eyes told her to stop. Her pulse began to race because her heart believed her eyes. And yet, she kept walking a little faster than before. Closer and closer until...just at the point she expected to feel the impact from the wall, she walked on to platform 9¾. She sighed heavily with relief.
Fred and George were waiting on the other side. She stood with them waiting for the rest to cross the barrier.
Once Hermione crossed she exclaimed, "How strange! That's not the Hogwart's Express."
The conductor was passing at that moment and he explained, "No, Miss, that's the Hogsmeade Daily train. The Hogwart's Express only takes over on traditional school transport days. There aren't enough students traveling this time for that to happen. But we have a car on the end just for you students so that you can travel in peace. Follow me, please." And with that he led the way to the end car of the train.
Ginny leaned in conspiratorially and said, "And to keep Fred and George away from the rest of the passengers."
They all were laughing as they boarded the train.
Once the train departed, Liz rode for an hour without speaking at all to Kyle, who was sitting beside her. Fred was lying across several seats, sleeping. And George was seated in front of the Roswell pair.
Kyle grew tired of being ignored and moved to join Ron, Harry and the girls, watching their game of Exploding Snap.
Liz sighed heavily after Kyle left and then tried to pretend to read.
George moved to sit beside her. "What did he do?" he asked with a slight smile.
"He's being stubborn, like always," she replied with a bit too much venom.
"Uh huh. And um...exactly how long did the two of you date?" he asked knowingly.
"Is it that obvious?" she asked with some embarrassment.
"Only to me, as a far as I know. But I tend to watch and study people. Of course I'm usually trying to figure out the best practical joke to play on them, but not today," he answered.
Liz raised one eyebrow and asked, “Is that a promise?”
George laughed softly then nodded. His eyes were completely sincere.
“We did date, for about six months, but that was a while back. Then this whole ‘I’m a witch, he’s a wizard’ thing happened and sort of threw us both for a loop. So we got closer again. I actually thought he was starting to be OK again until last night. I had a nightmare and he got up to check on me, which was kind of sweet actually. But then he started whining and spouting off at the mouth. That really ticked me off,” she shook her head at the memory.
"You already said he was spooked. Couldn't he also have been too tired to realize he was putting his foot in his mouth instead of helping?” George asked.
"Yeah, I guess so," she said hesitantly. "So you think I should get over it and forgive him?"
"I do, at least until you are both more comfortable. Then if he's still a prat, you'll have a good reason to be ticked," he answered.
"OK,” Liz laughed. “I think I can do that."
"Besides, with us lot around, you'll probably be needing your American friend. As an anchor, if for no other reason," he whispered conspiratorially with one eyebrow raised.
"True," she laughed. "In the meantime, slip him one of your famous little yellow crème sweets."
"That I can do," he chuckled as he rose. "I'm headed over to join the Exploding Snap game. Join us?"
"Yeah, I think I will," she smiled standing.
When they arrived at Hogsmeade Station they found two of the horseless carriages waiting to take them to the school. Kyle climbed into one with Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Liz, Ginny, Fred and George took the other one.
Liz practically hung out the window trying to get the best glimpse of the school in the summer twilight.
When the reached the castle the carriages stopped at the stairs to the front entrance of the school, Ginny leaned over and pointed to one of the many turrets, exclaiming, "See that one? That's Gryffindor Tower, our home sweet home, while at school."
"We sleep in a tower?" Liz asked with excitement.
"Yes, we do," Ginny answered with a smile.
"That's great. This place is so huge," Liz exclaimed.
"It is, but you'll get used to it," Fred said to reassure her.
"But how long will that take?" she asked.
"If you want the regular ways around, not long. But if you want the short cuts, ask Fred and George. They're the experts," Ginny answered with a wink.
Professor McGonagall stood at the entranceway, waiting for them to finish their climb.
She spoke up when they reached her, "Welcome to Hogwart's, Mr. Valenti, Miss Parker. I hope you will enjoy your summer with us. It is also good to see the rest of you. I appreciate your efforts here this summer as well. Now, if you will all please follow me."
She led the way to the Great Hall and to the huge feast that awaited Professor Dumbledore's word to appear.
Instead of the long tables that Hermione had described for them, they walked in to just one table set for eight sitting directly in front of the teacher's table. The others were nowhere in sight.
But the enchanted ceiling and the floating candles were incredible. Liz was staring up as she walked and ran into Kyle, who was also staring.
"Oof!" she exclaimed and quietly apologized to him.
They found their seats and waited for whatever was going to happen next.
Once they were seated, Professor Dumbledore stood. "Welcome to Hogwart's. I hope you find this summer as exciting as we will. Just a reminder, the forest is still forbidden. And that is that. Let's eat."
More food than they'd ever be able to eat, teenaged boys included, suddenly appeared in front of them and the feast began.
Once the feast ended, Hermione led them to Gryffindor tower. At the feast, Professor McGonagall gave her a shiny new prefect's badge and asked that she begin her duties that very night.
When they reached the dorms, the girls discovered that they were sharing the room that Hermione normally used during the regular school year. The boys were all using Ron and Harry's regular room.
As soon as the boys reached their room the first thing they unpacked was their broomsticks.
"OK, so show me how this thing works," Kyle said to Ron.
"You just hold your hand over it and say 'Up.' It should start floating, then you'll be able to climb on," he answered.
"Would it be bad to practice the 'Up' part before class?" Kyle asked.
"No. You can do that now, but don't try to fly in here. OK?" Ron suggested.
"OK," Kyle answered. Then placed his hand out like Ron had shown him and said, "Up." The broom rose unwavering into Kyle's hand.
"Looks like we have another natural," exclaimed Fred with a smile.
"How are you at throwing a ball through a hoop?" asked George.
"Better than most, if we are talking about basketball. That hoop is about this big," he indicated with his arms.
A smile spread on the twin's faces as they exchanged glances and raised opposite eyebrows.
"Interesting. Very interesting," George said.
"We may have a job for you at some point," Fred chuckled, as a plan seemed to form in his mind.
Meanwhile back Roswell…
Maria studied Max as he sat at the counter of the Crashdown Café, fidgeting with his straw for his “Blood of Alien Smoothie.” He seemed dejected as he checked his watch again. He periodically glanced towards the employee break room. She knew who he was looking for. She walked over to put him out of his misery.
He sighed heavily as she approached. He barely glanced up as he asked, “Maria, is Liz avoiding me? I’ve been by here at least 20 times the last few days. I have yet to see her. When is her next shift?”
“Max, Liz isn’t working here this summer. She left town three days ago,” she answered gently.
“Left town?!” he nearly screamed. “What do you mean, left town?”
“She’s gone to her aunt’s,” she said, thinking eventually.
“Why didn’t she tell me?” he questioned, as he squeezed the glass.
“I don’t know, Max. You need to calm down though,” she demanded pointing to the now cracked glass.
“Oh. Sorry. Where is her aunt?” he asked quietly, while he repaired the glass.
“Florida,” Maria answered.
“Who goes to Florida for the summer?” he questioned, with total disbelief etched on his face.
“Apparently Liz does,” Maria answered in a slightly sarcastic tone, then walked away from the counter.
Sheriff Valenti walked in and sat at the other end of the counter. Maria brought him a menu and asked, “Dining alone tonight?”
“Tonight and every night for a while. Kyle is out of town for the summer, football camp. He’ll be back just in time for school,” he volunteered.
Maria took his order. “I’ll tell Mom to bring you some pie to cheer you up,” she said winking as she left.
The sheriff blushed slightly as he tried not to laugh.
Max overheard their conversation and thought, How nice that everybody else is leaving town this summer. As he got up to pay the bill, he noticed a group of football players sitting in the rear booths. He frowned and began to wonder why they weren’t at football camp too.
By the time Liz had showered and changed into her pajamas she was exhausted. Her early morning conflict with Kyle, plus the long train ride had drained her to begin with. The full stomach from the delicious meal had only added to that. After climbing the many long staircases to Gryffindor Tower she had only enough energy to shower and collapse into her bed.
After a very restful and (thankfully) dreamless night’s sleep, she rose early. She prepared herself mentally for the new challenges that would face her for the first day of classes.
Liz dressed quietly and packed her backpack. Fortunately, Hermione had given them their schedules the night before, so she only had to pack the books for the three classes she had during the day, Potions, History and Transfiguration. They also had Astronomy at midnight but she saw no reason to lug that book around all day too.
She packed her quill, ink, parchment rolls and schedules all in the front pocket of the backpack. Then she put the books into the back. She grabbed her wand, a summer weight robe, and the bag as she left the dorm.
After a quick stop in the bathroom to brush her teeth and pull her hair into a ponytail, she went down to the common room and began reading the first chapters from her texts.
An hour later the others joined her and they headed down for breakfast. Liz forced herself to eat some oatmeal, hoping it would settle her nervous stomach. While she was eating, she took down the directions to the Potions dungeon from George. As soon as Kyle was done eating they headed quickly down the stairs.
Kyle followed Liz as she led the way down to the dungeons. Upon reaching the classroom, he was amazed by the damp chill that permeated the air. Of course, it is held in a dungeon, he thought. But, still, it is summer. What will this classroom feel like when we spend a winter here? He shuddered at the thought. Of course British summers were hardly the same as those in Roswell. Their differences only served to highlight to Kyle exactly how much his world had changed in less than two months. He was still reflecting on this as the dungeon door slammed and the potion master strode menacingly to the front of the room.
Professor Snape glared down at them for a full minute before he spoke. “So, you two are the ‘oddities’ that I must give up my summer holiday to teach. Am I correct in supposing that you haven’t even a basic knowledge of anything to do with potions? Well at least we are starting from the beginning.”
He strode to the space in front of their worktable. He looked pointedly down his nose at them as he emphasized, “You are both going to have to work exceptionally hard to catch up with the rest of the students your age. I do not think you will have enough time to complete the training that will be necessary for you to pass your O.W.L.s, much less your N.E.W.T.s. Nevertheless, I have committed my time to your training and I expect you to do the same.”
His look suggested that his efforts would be wasted as he returned to his desk. He continued, “I will be covering the lessons quickly and I expect you to keep up. We will have tests on Fridays. Essays will be assigned on Mondays and will be due the following Monday. We will be covering approximately six regular lessons a week. I will be lecturing you while you are mixing potions. I suggest you learn a basic Stenography charm for your quills so that your hands will be free to follow the instructions. You must be very careful and follow the instructions precisely or You. Will. Fail.” The disdain seemed to drip from his voice.
“Today’s lesson is the practical preparations lesson. You must be able to prepare your ingredients properly. First the difference in dicing and cubing…” He began lecturing, never losing his scowl.
As they left Potions class, Liz sighed with relief. She thought, Potions class is exactly what Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer meant when she said, ‘It’s chemistry, only with more newt.’ And I can do chemistry. Only there are a lot more ingredients than there are elements.
At Hermione’s suggestion she’d bought three extra books on just various ingredients and their properties. Another two were actual potion recipes. She could already tell she’d be buying more.
Suddenly she remembered she needed to be getting to class, but she couldn’t remember how. “Um, Kyle? Do you remember which way George said to go to get to the History classroom?” she asked.
“Take the second staircase on your left and climb up three levels. On the third floor turn right and go to the next staircase on your left. Climb the staircase up one more level and the History of Magic classroom will be on your left as you enter the corridor.”
Liz was startled when the portrait of an old woman to her left answered. From the corner of her eye she saw Kyle clutch his chest. “Thank you,” Liz told the portrait as soon as she recovered her wits.
“You are most welcome, dearie. Now you’d better hurry along,” the woman advised.
Kyle and Liz exchanged looks of “Why not,” then took off running for the staircase stifling nervous giggles.
After a long, dry lecture in History of Magic, Liz and Kyle returned to the Great Hall for lunch. The Weasley twins were already there.
After hearing about their first two classes, Fred explained how they had spent their morning. “The rest of us met with Professor McGonagall after breakfast. We divided up exactly which subjects we’d each be helping you with. She assigned Herbology and Transfiguration to Hermione. The Defense Against the Dark Arts coach will be Harry. Ginny is for History of Magic and Charms. Ron has Astronomy. And finally George and I will be assisting with Flying and Potions.
“Of course that doesn’t mean that we can’t help each other out when we need help, but overall those are our assignments. Also in the meantime we get ahead in out studies for the N.E.W.T.s, which you take at the end of seventh year. And Ron, Harry and Hermione will be preparing for their O.W.L.s which are taken at the end of fifth year,” George explained.
“Wow,” Liz exclaimed. “That sounds like a lot of work. Oh, speaking of Ron and the rest, here they come now. I was afraid they were going to miss lunch.”
Fred leaned in and joked, “Bet you a knut that when you ask where they’ve been, Hermione says the library.”
Liz rolled her eyes and said, laughing, “I’ve been here less than 24 hours and I could have told you that. That’s too easy. But, just in case you’re wrong, you’re on.”
As the group reached the table, Kyle piped up, “Hey guys. Where’ve you been?”
“Oh just checking something in the library,” Hermione answered.
Fred snorted with laughter as she answered and Liz searched her robe pocket for a knut. She handed it over and smiled, just shaking her head.
“So, you have Transfiguration next,” Hermione stated. “You’ll enjoy that and I’ll be helping you both with it.”
“That’s what Fred was just saying. When do you think we should start working on this? Tonight or should we wait until the morning when we are more refreshed, since tomorrow is Saturday?” Liz asked.
“Let’s wait until the morning,” she answered.
The Roswell two left the Great Hall a little while later in search of their Transfiguration class. The boys and Ginny headed out to the Quidditch pitch for an impromptu game and Hermione returned to the library.
Hermione headed to the Muggle studies section of the library and pulled several books on America. The conversation she’d overheard the night morning before was haunting her. She searched for articles that mentioned Roswell, New Mexico. After several hours of research she was no closer to finding answers than before. Aside from the occasional humidity spell, New Mexico for the most part wasn’t mentioned.
She was almost ready to give up for the day until she ran across a book entitled Unexplained Phenomena in the Western United States. The book included an article called the “Great UFO Crash of 1947.” As she read the article she came across one sentence that made her blood run cold. While most believe that the crash never happened, others claim to have been attacked by “little green men”…
|posted on 29-Jun-2002 9:46:13 AM|
| Part 15|
Professor McGonagall eagerly awaited the arrival of the two American students for their first Transfiguration class. She wondered if their age or their muggle education would make any difference in how quickly they learned to control their magical abilities. She was still very curious why or how their abilities were suddenly awakened, but for now at least she would not pursue it.
She walked to the desks they would be using and placed a matchstick on each. Matchsticks to needles were always the first lesson. Pebbles to buttons would be the next.
Miss Granger will probably get them started on that this weekend even before we cover it. Severus said that their first potion will be a fairly rudimentary boil relief. That will take up a bit of their weekend, too. I shudder to think what mischief those Weasley twins will teach them for potions, but they do have the most practical knowledge of all of the Hogwart’s students. I’m sure they would be shocked to find out that one of their biggest customers is Albus Dumbledore himself, Minerva thought smothering a smile and moving back to her desk.
Hopefully having a weekend so soon after arrival will help them to get better acclimated. Plus they will have time to get more acquainted with their tutors. I really hope they all get along… Her thoughts were interrupted by the arrival of the new students.
“Ah, welcome to Transfiguration. If you would please take these two seats, we will get started. You will need your wands in this class,” she said, then as they were getting settled she continued.
“Transfiguration is a useful magical art. It helps you to change an item from what you have to what you may need. The stereotypical turning someone into a toad is an example of transfiguration. Though if you did change someone into a toad permanently, you would be cited by the Ministry of Magic and punished. Punishments for misuse of magic can be a fine, or for more severe crimes, breaking the wand or even imprisonment depending on the severity of the offense,” she moved from behind her desk and looked them both sternly in the eyes.
“The most important thing to remember is, Use your common sense. Only transfigure things you need and be mindful of observers. We do try to keep muggles in general in the dark about magic so that they won’t persecute us.”
“Now for the practical part of our lesson…” and so the lesson began.
By the end of class Liz was able to turn the matchstick into a needle but when she changed it back, it still had an eye. Kyle changed the matchstick to metal but the shape remained the same. They were asked to practice over the weekend and to present their work at the beginning of Monday’s class.
Finally, Professor McGonagall dismissed them. Kyle hurried off to Divination while Liz returned to the common room.
Journal entry June 16th, 2000
My name is Liz Parker. Today I write for the first time in my wizarding journal. This journal is even more secret than the one I left at home. At home in Roswell all of my close friends know all of the things that make Roswell “special.” But they don’t know that I am a witch. They don’t know that because I was shot and healed that I now have these abilities that I never had before. They don’t know that I’m different and that I have secrets to keep as well.
Actually that isn’t entirely true. There is one person who knows. He knows because he was shot too, just last month in fact. So now Kyle is a wizard and I am a witch. Does that mean that if Alex were mortally wounded and healed, he would become a wizard too? Or Maria a witch? I really don’t know. It could be something that was passed on to us genetically, and then awakened when we were healed. As it stands, we may never know for sure.
So here I am, attending my first day of classes at Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. If my sense of direction is to be believed, we’re either in or near Scotland, but I’m not sure. We had Potions, and History of Magic this morning, then Transfiguration after lunch. At midnight we have to go to Astronomy class. We are trying to cram 3 years worth of school into two months. I don’t see how we can manage at this pace without forgetting everything by next summer. Maybe we can do some additional classes after school to keep up once we return home. Who knows for sure what will happen?
Oh yeah, Kyle also had Divination class this afternoon. I listened when Hermione said that it is a bunch of rubbish and I’d be better off without it. I am taking Arithmancy instead at her suggestion on Monday afternoon. It really did seem more logical to me when she mentioned it.
Anyway we have six tutors here for the summer, four guys and two girls. I think they were chosen for their various individual strengths. (Either that or their parents were wanting a quiet summer, not entirely certain.) Anyway no one is bored. Most of them seem grateful to be here even though it is summer. I keep hearing the Weasley’s muttering about not having to kill Percy after all. The only one who seems less than happy to be here (and yet somewhat relieved at the same time) is Harry. His eyes have that haunted look that Michael’s have lately. I’m almost afraid to ask about that though. Maybe next week when I’m more settled in and he’s used to me.
George showed us all around the castle tonight. I might figure out my way around here by the time I’m sixty. In the meantime I just try not to be on the staircases when they change or shift. You can end up in places you never meant to go if that happens.
Oh well, time for Astronomy. I’ll try to write more as soon as I can.
The first Saturday at Hogwart’s dawned bright, making it impossible for Liz to sleep late as she’d intended.
After dressing she headed down to the common room where she met the Weasley twins. They were about to leave for breakfast and invited her to walk with them.
“So, how was the first day?” George asked as they walked.
“Not bad. It was a lot of hard work, but nothing that I couldn’t handle. I’m used to studying and I love a challenge,” she answered with a smile.
“Are you up for a little Potions practice this afternoon? Normally we’d wait until Sunday evening but with this being your first sessions you really want to keep up and there is nothing more essential than preparing the ingredients properly,” Fred droned.
Liz glanced at George. He was rolling his eyes at Fred then flushed when he noticed Liz’s gaze. She looked back at Fred and answered, “Sure. Around three good for you guys? I’m going to work on transfiguration this morning and then I will get started on the history essay that is due next Friday.”
“Just don’t let Hermione work you to death, or you be back to “great friends” status with Kyle all over again due to hating the lot of us,” George teased.
“No need to worry about that. I’ve already modified the study schedule she gave us,” Liz answered conspiratorially. “She had absolutely no free time scheduled in. I would occasionally like to eat, bathe or sleep.”
The boys chuckled at that. “That sounds like Hermione,” Fred agreed.
“So you’ve been here a day. Any questions yet?” George asked.
“One, actually. Why doesn’t my CD player work here?”
“Um… what’s a CD?” George asked.
“A plastic disc that has something saved or recorded for later playback, usually music,” she said then noticed the blank look on his face. “You know, there is a big long technical explanation for how it works but I haven’t taken Physics yet so it is difficult to explain. How about I show you sometime up in the common room?”
“That would be fine,” he said with a relieved smile. He then held the door to the great hall open for her.
Saturday passed quickly. By early evening Liz and Kyle were exhausted from transfiguration practice and from the slicing, dicing, chopping, cubing and crumbling for Potions.
After dinner Liz brought down her portable CD player for the twins to look at.
“I really don’t know why it isn’t working. I haven’t dropped it. The batteries are new. And it was working fine on the train. I would really like to be able to use it since music helps me to de-stress. Do you think you can help?” she asked anxiously.
“We can try at least,” George offered with a smile.
If they can’t fix it, I might have to try something drastic like Isabel with her CD’s, she thought. Then said, “I appreciate anything you can do.”
By Sunday evening they were no closer to making it work and Liz was tired of studying for the day so the Weasleys took it on themselves to teach the Roswell teens wizarding chess. Neither one was a genius at the game but their defeats were quite spectacular to watch.
They retired early and were ready to face the first week of lessons.
Monday Professor Snape assigned their first essay, The three most common potion mediums and when to use them and Professor McGonagall had them working on changing pebbles to buttons. And that afternoon Liz had her first Arithmancy lesson.
Tuesday morning Liz’s nerves were back because they were facing new classes again.
A/N: I do not intend to show everyday but who can pass on the first flying lesson… that is your sneak preview for the next part. Please forgive me for the long delay in getting this part out…basketball season struck and my team did well.
Kyle walked down the front steps and across the lawn to the greenhouses. The heat was already rising and the dew was nearly gone despite the early hour.
He could hear Liz following his lead at a slightly slower space. She probably hardly slept at all, he thought remembering back to the beginning of their regular school year.
She had chattered nervously on the phone to him until midnight then hung up and called Maria. By the end of the school day the only thing that had kept her going was the espresso he’d bought her on the way home.
A slight smile crossed his face as he thought back to those days. It was quickly followed by a scowl as he remembered late September and the shooting. That had been the beginning of the end for their relationship and for the normality of their teenage experience. No! he thought. Stop thinking about it. After all, she is spending the summer with you again and not him.
The smile returned to his face as he walked through the greenhouse door. A wave of muggy air hit him in the face and sweat broke out on his brow. Thank God this class is in the morning, he thought. I would hate to see the inside of this building in the heat of the afternoon if it is already this hot in the morning.
The sharp scents of the soil, fertilizer and the humidity were overwhelming at first but faded as he studied the room. Many of the plants were recognizable but the rest were very different. There were plants that moved or shifted of their own accord. There were others that displayed brightly colored leaves and flowers in blues, reds and purples. It was a marvel to behold.
Professor Sprout was a short, round, jovial woman. She greeted them warmly and put them to work immediately.
She started them on soil basics and Kyle was really surprised at the satisfaction he felt while preparing the soil. It was hard work and they got a lot of dirt on their protective aprons, but it was exhilarating to get something right on the first try. The hard work took the edge off his own jitters and helped him to feel the calmest that he’d felt since their arrival in England.
As they finished Herbology and began to cross the lawn to their Flying lesson, Kyle felt ready to take on anything. He smiled remembering how his broom had responded immediately to his voice command that first night in the castle. I am so ready to fly, he thought.
He noticed then that Liz had slowed down again and the heavy sigh he heard from her made him realize she was not looking forward to the next lesson.
Liz tried to shake her nervousness as she approached the broom fro the first time. This wasn’t the Windrider Elite that she’d bought the week before, this was a training broom supplied by the school.
She studied it for a moment. The handle wasn’t as smooth as her broom’s, nor were the straw and twigs of the brush section as uniform and straight. But every student at Hogwarts has learned to fly on these and if I am indeed a witch, then so will I, she thought resolutely.
Deciding that the final proof of her magic would be her ability to fly, she resolved to do well in spite of the millions of butterflies in her stomach.
It took three times of crying, “Up,” before the broom responded but once she was in the air she learned quickly. The broom balanced much like a bicycle and once the nervous twinge from the height passed, she began to understand what Ginny had meant when she’d said, ‘You feel like you’ve left your troubles on the ground.’
Even though the beginning of her lesson had been tumultuous, by the end Liz felt disappointed at the thought of having to land and go back indoors.
For Kyle the school broom had responded just as quickly as his own and he flew like a natural.
Once they were on the ground at the end of the lesson Madam Hooch advised them that since they had both successfully flown and landed several times without harming themselves or the brooms that they were being granted the privilege of using their own brooms for future lessons if they wanted. She said, “It makes sense that you should learn the rest on your own brooms since you get to use them at home. Each broom has subtle differences and nuances and I would prefer to be on hand to shield or buffer you if you need it while you get used to them.”
They then were dismissed and returned to the castle for a shower and lunch before their afternoon classes.
“Charms,” Professor Flitwick chirped, “Is an exact science of wand movement and enunciation. With the proper wand position and pronunciation almost any charm can be performed. I am certain that you will both learn quickly.”
He paced across the top of his desk before continuing. “For this week we will practice Latin pronunciation, especially the vowels, and basic wand movements, the “Swish and Flick” predominantly. Next week, we will practice some basic charms, which can be found in chapters 1 through 4 in your books. Now if you would, please pick up your wands and we will begin.”
Kyle picked up his wand and began to mimic the movement cautiously. He glanced over at Liz and noticed she was chewing her lip in concentration as she practiced too. He stifled the urge to laugh and returned his attention to the diminutive professor.
After about an hour Professor Flitwick stopped the wand practice and began to teach them Latin vocalizations.
Kyle sighed with relief as he began to massage his now sore wrist. From the corner of his eye he noticed that Liz was doing the same but she did seem more relaxed now.
Finally after another hour of mind numbing “Ah, Ay, Ee, Oh, Ou’s” they were dismissed.
Liz stretched in the long corridor as they walked down the hall heading to their next class. “Please promise me that the next class won’t be so long and dull,” she muttered to herself.
Kyle nodded saying, “I completely understand.”
Liz burst into giggles. “I didn’t realize I’d said that out loud. Oh look at that neat gargoyle there,” she said pointing.
“Oh cool!” Kyle agreed, “And it’s right across from our next classroom.”
Good, she thought, I have something to look at if this gets monotonous. She nodded to Kyle and they walked into the classroom.
Almost as soon as they were seated, Professor Dumbledore walked into the classroom and stopped in front of the teens.
“I suspect that most of the instructors have gone through their standard welcoming speeches,” he began then paused as they nodded to confirm his suspicions. “Well, I will introduce you to the course but I’m not normally the Defense Against the Dark Arts instructor. At the moment we are interviewing the likely candidates for next term’s replacement. However, as I feel you should have a basic understanding of how to defend yourself now, I will be your instructor for the summer term.”
He leaned back against the desk and looked them in the eyes before he continued. “You need to know there are dark and terrible times ahead. There are many who would attempt to deceive or control you.”
Liz inhaled sharply and visibly paled at that statement, thinking, I wonder if he knows about Tess?
The Headmaster gave her a gentle look as he reassured them, “I am here to help you learn to protect yourself. You need to learn how to keep your wits about you in a crisis, to defend yourself or to recover quickly in a surprise attack. Defense classes utilize nearly every aspect of the wizarding world and will overlap with your other studies. You will learn protective and truth potions, barrier charms, casting wards, transfiguring shields, creating protective amulets and the study of dangerous creatures and prophetic interpretations.”
He studied their shocked and somewhat overwhelmed expressions and felt the need to lighten the mood. “And we’ll talk about next week’s schedule later, ” he teased with a twinkle in his eyes.
The horrified expressions on the teens made him want to giggle. Instead he winked at them and said, “Actually that is the goal for abilities by the end of your 7th year level. Seriously now, shall we get started?”
Relief flooded across their faces and they turned their attention to the Grindylow in the tank that appeared at the front of the class.
That evening at dinner George asked them, “So, how did your classes go today?”
Liz nodded thoughtfully, then smiled at him saying, “Not bad. Flying was fun after getting used to the height. Herbology was dirty, but fine. Charms was tiring, and Defense Against the Dark Arts was great.”
George looked a little confused and asked, “You had Defense class today? Who taught it?”
“Professor Dumbledore,” she stated calmly.
“What?!” cried their tutors simultaneously.
Liz and Kyle looked at each other in confusion, then at Harry as he clarified the others’ surprise by asking, “Professor Dumbledore? The headmaster? He’s the one teaching your Defense classes?”
“Um, yeah. Is that special?” Kyle asked.
“You’d better believe it is,” stated Hermione. “He’s just about the best who could ever teach it. I would love to learn from him.”
The others nodded in agreement.
“Well, why not ask if you can?” Liz suggested. “After all, I’m sure it would be easier for us to practice if there were more people.”
“Hmm, Good point. Maybe we will,” said Harry returning to his dinner.
|posted on 29-Jun-2002 9:48:55 AM|
Maria served Max his Cherry Coke at the counter. She’d never seen him look worse.
“She just left? No goodbyes? Nothing? I didn’t even know she had an aunt in Florida,” Max moaned.
“Two actually. Her mom is actually from there.” Maria answered distractedly as she watched her mom maneuver her way into the café carrying the pies for the weekend.
“Really, I never knew,” Max returned his eyes to the drink in front of him.
“Hey Maria, could I get a hand here?” Amy DeLuca asked.
She rushed over and took the top four pies out of her mother’s hands and headed towards the kitchen with them.
Max looked up suddenly with concern when she returned, “Have you seen Kyle lately?”
“The Sheriff said he left for football camp for the summer,” she answered, wiping the counter beside him.
Her mom was passing and raised an eyebrow at that as she left with a strange smirk on her face.
“Good, I guess I don’t have to see his scowling face all summer anyways.” Max tried to keep his voice even as he asked, “And when did he leave?”
“June 12th I think is what Jeff said. They saw the Sheriff at the airport when they took Liz,” she answered,
They left the same day, he thought. I wonder if… No… she’d never… but still it is odd considering I saw them together a couple of weeks ago.
“Max, look, she told me not to give you her address. But if you want to include something when I send my letters tomorrow, I’ll be glad to do that for you,” Maria offered.
He perked up a little for the first time in days. “Thanks, maybe I will.”
Jim slowly walked into the house after another long day. Two wrecks and one domestic dispute had made it even more tiring than usual. As he turned on the light he wondered briefly where Kyle was, then he remembered, England.
He fought against the quiet stab of loneliness that hit him as he opened the refrigerator and glanced at the nearly empty shelves. He paused only long enough to grab a soft drink and wished briefly it was the beer that had sat next to it on the shelf. Unfortunately, it was his week to do emergency backup for the station, so no alcohol.
He sighed, shutting the door then grabbed the take out menus from the bar and began to ponder his dinner choices. He had narrowed it down to Thai food or pizza when the doorbell rang.
Amy DeLuca. Jim smiled when he saw the petite “firecracker” through the window of the kitchen door. Opening it, he greeted her, “Amy, what a Surprise!”
“Hi Jim. Maria told me that Kyle was out of town for the summer and I thought you might like some pie to help cheer you up. Please tell me you didn’t have other plans?” she asked nervously.
“No. I didn’t. I was about to order out. Would you care to join me?”
“Oh, I don’t want to impose…”
“It’s no imposition. Please?” he asked sincerely.
“Well, as long as you’re sure, then I’d love to,” her broad grin breaking out across her face as she stepped into the kitchen. “Brought your favorite by the way, boysenberry pie.”
“That sounds wonderful. So have you eaten?”
“Not since lunchtime. What were you planning on ordering?”
“I was debating between pizza and Thai food. Do you have a preference?”
You with ice cream on top, she thought but said, “Pizza. I prefer vegetarian but I’m not really that picky. I’m here for the company most of all.” She smiled and raised an eyebrow at Jim.
Jim brightened and started to smile too. He dialed the number for the pizza place without looking away from her. “Yes, I’d like to place an order for delivery… one large pizza half vegetarian delight and the other half pepperoni… 622 Cardinal Place… 555-6294… About 45 minutes? Perfect… thank you.”
He took the pie box from her hands and set it on the bar.
She led him to the sofa. The air around them was practically crackling from the sparks.
Forty-five minutes later after the third ring of the doorbell, Jim, looking very disheveled, paid for the pizza and as an afterthought grabbed the mail from the box. It contained his first letter from Kyle.
Back at Hogwarts
Classes went on schedule for the rest of the week. Thursday afternoon Liz asked Professor Dumbledore about the other students possibly joining them for their Defense Against the Dark Arts classes. “They said they would love to learn from you too, since you’re the best. I told them I’d ask, so would you allow our tutors to join us for your classes?”
“Of course they may, as long as they understand that the class will go forward at your pace no faster. But I suspect it would be helpful to have them around for demonstrating the practical defensive moves. Please ask Miss Granger to speak with me to receive the guidelines.”
“Thank you Professor. I will,” she said with a smile and left the classroom.
By the end of the week Hermione was out of resources for American unexplained phenomenon both Wizarding and Muggle. Pushing down her disappointment she decided to try a different source for the information, the Muggle world, specifically her parents. She pulled out parchment and started to write.
Dear Mum and Dad,
Things are well here. I am pleased that your anniversary trip went well and that the seas were calm for your journey.
The two American students are progressing swiftly (with lots of support from us.) I am so pleased that they do work hard. Liz requires less of my attention due to her personal study habits and her quick mind. When we reach seventh year and she begins to go to school here full time, I fear that I may not be at the top of my class. (But I do look forward to the challenge.)
She says that the town that she lives in is famous for some “alien ship” crashing in 1947. In fact, her family runs a novelty theme restaurant there called the Crashdown Café. I tried checking the texts here to see what the hubbub was, but the school library is painfully lacking. There are almost no American History texts or newspapers here. Dad, I know that this subject is a bit of a hobby for you. Would you mind terribly finding a few articles on the subject at the London Library?
I would like to learn more about her hometown of Roswell, New Mexico. I really do appreciate your doing this. Take care.
She rushed to the Owlery and sent the letter on its way. As she returned to the main part of the castle she found herself surrounded by Harry and Ron.
“Hermione,” Ron said, “you need to spend some time away from all those books and scrolls. It’s going to be a beautiful weekend, so NO LIBRARY!”
“But…” she tried to protest that she wasn’t planning to spend the weekend in the library but they cut her off.
“We mean it. If you go to the library this weekend, we’ll hex you,” Harry added.
“Oh, all right,” she said huffily allowing them to think they had actually talked her out of it. Then she brightened, saying, “So what shall we do first?”
[ edited 1 time(s), last at 5-Aug-2002 10:46:55 PM ]
|posted on 5-Jul-2002 12:18:05 PM|
Jim opened the letter and stuffed the envelope into his pocket to hide the foreign stamps from Amy. Glancing over it quickly while gathering paper plates and napkins for the pizza, he read Kyle’s first impressions of the school and how the shopping had been an experience as well. He then read his son’s encounter with Liz on the back staircase of the tavern and the silent treatment he got on the train.
He shook his head, marveling at how much his son was like him. He wanted to solve things to make them better, but women liked to talk about things, then solve then on their own without assistance from the men. Unfortunately, it looked like Kyle needed a crash course on dealing with women and attempting to interpret their body language. Or maybe he’d just had one. Regardless, he’d ticked Liz off.
When he looked back up Jim noticed Amy staring intently at the letter. She shook her head a little bit and took the plates from him, carrying them to the coffee table.
He folded the letter back up and shoved it into the same pocket as the envelope. He’d ponder his son’s predicament later. For now there was a “firecracker” waiting for her dinner.
Tess was fuming. It had been a struggle earlier in the day at the Crashdown to remain calm enough to stay invisible while watching Max and Maria. He had been groveling, the king GROVELING., just to find out where his precious Liz was staying this summer.
She had smiled as Maria told him she couldn’t give him that information, but then angry panic set in as she had offered to include a letter from him with the one she was sending tomorrow.
If he thinks he is going to get away with sending her a letter, he’d better think again! Then an idea broke through the anger. She’d write her own letter and make sure it was sent too. She rushed to her desk and wrote several drafts before settling on which one to include. Then she drove to the Evans’ and snuck through his window.
On his desk sat the sealed envelope containing the letter he’d written to Liz. With a wave of her hand she unsealed it and slipped hers in too. She considered destroying his, but nixed that idea in case he decided to include more. She used her powers to tune her letter to the specific physiological signature of Liz. This would make her message appear to be part of Max’s own letter unless Liz was holding it.
She sealed it back and snuck back through the window, thinking evilly, That ought to take care of her.
Granger Residence, England
Mrs. Granger untied the parchment from the leg of the post owl before giving it a piece of the breakfast sausage. She then walked to the foot of the stairs and yelled up them to her husband. “Honey, there’s a letter from Hermione.”
Mr. Granger, who was still getting dressed, yelled back, “I’ll be right down.”
She had returned to the kitchen and taken her seat by the time he came into the room straightening his tie. He kissed her on the check and asked, “How is she doing?”
“She’s fine. But she does have some information that she wants you to send her,” she answered.
“Information, eh? What is it on this time, reptile care? Forestry? Chemistry?” he asked.
“Actually, it seems she is looking for information on Roswell, New Mexico in the United States. Oh, and aliens. It seems the American girl she tutoring this summer is from there. So Hermione is following her natural curiosity and is asking for you to send what ever you can. She has apparently exhausted all the references at the library. Honestly, I think Crookshanks has less curiosity than Hermione.”
“Hmm. Does she give any specifics?” he asked absently.
“Actually, she does. Here, I’ll let you read it,” she said handing over the parchment.
“The Crashdown Café…hmm, I seem to remember something about that,” he said.
He looked up to see the owl, still waiting to carry back their reply, stooped over his plate and scooping up the last of his breakfast. He gave the bird a withering look then pulled letters they had written the evening before out of his pocket.
Taking a pencil from the can on the table he added, Will gather requested info for next week. to the back of the envelope before tying it to the owl’s leg. He then got up and let the bird out, returning a moment later to scavenge food from his wife’s half empty plate.
Journal Entry- Liz Parker
This weekend we’ve worked hard on transfiguration and potions practice, as well as the essay for potions class. I also studied the first three chapters from both the Herbology and Charms texts in case either one of those professors believes in giving pop quizzes.
I felt my first real twinges of homesickness this week when I realized that I wouldn’t be home for the “Independence Day Bash.” I’ve always loved that one. I also miss Alex, Maria, mom and dad. Of course if I’m honest with myself, I miss Max too. I’m not really sure that I did the right thing when I took all his options away that afternoon in the desert, but I can’t back down now just because I feel a little lonely.
Oh cool, Fred and George and the others are taking us out to see a quidditch demo. I can’t wait. It will be interesting to see how high those brooms can go and watch them maneuver. Maybe I’ll learn some new moves.
Hermione seems a little frustrated. Probably because Harry and Ron threatened to hex her if she even thought about the library this weekend. When she was telling Ginny about the conversation in the common room Friday night they chimed in and said, ‘Why do you need to go to the library anyway? You already finished all the summer holiday’s homework about 3 weeks ago. What are you going to do? Rewrite them 50 times?’ So she gave up her quest for library time, for the weekend at least.
Oh I also got my first glimpse of the effects of ‘canary cremes’ today. Kyle forgot to be careful and turned into this big yellow bird. He looked like he belonged on Sesame Street. Then he molted back into himself and started congratulation the twins.
Harry may have gotten some bad news today. He got an owl at breakfast and then turned all quiet and pensive. I hope he’s ok. Ginny said he’s been through a lot lately. Ron and Hermione seem to close up ranks around him in that ‘best friends protect each other’ fashion. After a little while of the quiet, Ron coaxed him into playing chess, which he does only slightly better than Maria
After Harry’s players (which move!) begged for mercy for the second time, the twins came up with the quidditch idea. Harry’s face brightened considerably. So in about ten minutes I’ll see what this ‘madness’ is all about. I’d better go get my broom in case I get to practice flying too. I’ll write more, later.
Kyle watched the demo from the stand sitting beside Ginny Weasley as she explained the various aspects of the game. After a few minutes of watching, he was itching to try it out.
Ginny noticed his hands flexing and subtle shifting and realized he wanted to play too. She suddenly stood up and shouted, “Oi, Fred, I think he’s ready to try.”
Fred flew over and looked at Kyle. “You want to play?” he asked.
Kyle nodded excitedly as he said, “Oh yeah.”
“Well then, grab your broom and come on. Gin, you want to play too?” Fred asked turning back to Ginny, but she wasn’t there. She was already in the air.
Half an hour later, Kyle was playing a chaser like he’d been born on a broom and Fred was wondering how he could get him on the house team for the upcoming school year.
[ edited 1 time(s), last at 5-Aug-2002 10:48:30 PM ]
|posted on 5-Aug-2002 10:50:03 PM|
|Part 19 *unbeta'd*|
Kyle sat on the cold tile floor of the bathroom trying to find a small amount of privacy. The Buddhism book he’d been reading suggested finding a quiet place for meditation. So here I am, he thought, trying to follow its advice while hoping not to look stupid to my new friends.
The book had also suggested burning incense to improve the quality of the meditation. But since I don’t have any and I’m clueless as to what raw or dried plants would be safe to burn in its place, I think I’ll pass on that for now.
He sat cross-legged as he tried to focus his thoughts inward while he focused his eyes on a corner near the door. He tried banishing the disturbing thought of Roswell from his mind, but failed.
He tried a different approach. He started smaller. First he banished Max Evans from his mind. Then the other three aliens. Next was Liz Parker, his dad and finally his mother.
Then he followed the next step of the guidelines, to focus only on that room. What did he hear, see, feel, smell or know?
He heard the water first. The third stall had a trickling leak and ran frequently. He heard the soft rattle of the early morning breeze on the leading of the stained glass window. Then he heard the angry buzzing of a fly caught in a spider web in the far corner of the room.
He shifted to his eyes. He saw the soft glow created by the candlelight and also the fainter glow of the moonlight shining through the stained glass.
Suddenly the door opened and a very sleepy person stumbled in to the first stall. The noise of the door snapped Kyle back into cognizance.
He tried to rise quickly but the cold and the numbness in his legs from sitting so long not to mention the aches from the afternoon’s Quidditch game prevented that.
His hands reached forward to steady himself as he untangled his legs and tried again to rise, successfully this time.
Harry stumbled out of the stall and was headed for the sinks when he noticed Kyle gathering his things. “How long have you been up here?” he asked.
Kyle looked at his watch and answered with a bit of surprise, “A little over an hour.”
“Really? Why?” Harry asked confused.
“Um, well I’ve been meditating actually,” Kyle answered truthfully.
“Why?” Harry repeated.
“It’s supposed to release stress and help you gain perspective,” he answered quoting the book.
“Really? So how is it going?”
As Kyle thought about it he realized that the burdens he’d banished earlier were back but not really as intense as they were before. “Well it actually does seem a little better,” he admitted.
“Good. Maybe I could try that sometime too?” Harry half asked and half suggested.
“Sure. I’d be glad to help,” Kyle said honestly. “But it is late and I should probably get to bed now.”
Harry smiled and nodded sleepily before leading the way back to the dorm.
Late Monday evening Mr. Granger went to the special cabinet in his study and pulled out a small stack of newspapers that would be considered tabloids by most respected journalists. Checks and Balances was an American rag but it tended to cater to science fiction buffs with its fanciful stories and less than circumspect news articles. Another local dentist had sent him a subscription to it as a gag gift for Christmas about 5 years ago. When he found that he liked it very much for its comic value and conspiracy theories he continued the subscription.
He was fairly certain that he’d read about the Crashdown Café in Roswell, New Mexico sometime over the past year but the memory was sort of a blur or a vague recollection of something in the bottom left corner of the page.
After a couple of hours he was tired and stiff and a little cranky. He was about to stop for the night when he saw it on the back page of the October 3, 1999 edition, Roswell Waitress Survives Shooting. A chill ran down his spine as he read the article again. Could this be what Hermione was looking for? He wondered and set the paper aside to copy for Hermione.
Wednesday evening Liz sat at a table in the common room trying over and over again to perfect her Charms homework. After almost an hour she growled in frustration and dropped her wand to the table as her third feather of the night was in a smoldering heap on the floor.
She stretched and turned then swept up the mess. She stopped by the table where Fred and George were still working in her CD player and asked, “So any good news yet.”
“No, nothing yet,” Fred answered.
“That’s ok, take your time. I’m grateful to you for trying,” she said brightly, trying to seem sincere at least while she was screaming internally, Hurry up!!! I want my music.
Then she headed upstairs, feeling desperate enough to try Isabel’s way of playing CD’s. I just hope I don’t send a laser beam through my head, she thought as she picked up her Dave Matthews Band Crash CD.
Ten minutes later, Hermione stumbled in the hallway giving Liz barely enough time to remove the CD from against her ear before her privacy was invaded.
Kyle strangely found himself more and more at home in the grime and steam of the greenhouses. He discovered it was one of the few places he could go to escape the frustrations and disappointments of the outside world. They also seemed to be a place of harmony and balance, which was something the Buddhism book recommended.
Sure he derived a great deal of satisfaction from the job well done, but also because he had found something that he did best. Liz could have her dank Potions dungeon and the complicated Transfiguration tasks, but he preferred the welcome feel of the soil between his fingers.
He finished potting the last of the Ghiradelli Ferns used in medichocolate and brushed the soil from his hands. As he checked his watch, he discovered he would barely have enough time to get back to Gryffindor tower before curfew. He grabbed his backpack and ran for the castle hoping not to be too late.
Two minutes later he made it to the common room with 30 seconds to spare.
A/N: I only know Hollywood's version on Buddhism. I hope not to offend anyone with inaccuracies. The mistakes are all mine.
Hermione sat in a chair away from the fireplace, book open and not reading a thing. Her mind kept wandering to the only Gryffindor not currently in the common room, Kyle Valenti. With his handsome features, broad shoulders and dark wavy “devil may care” hairstyle he was hard to miss. And less than a minute away from detention for being out after curfew, she thought remembering how much she hated that part of being a prefect.
Her reflections were cut short by the commotion of the portrait opening to admit the object of her musings. “Cutting it a little close there weren’t you, Kyle?” she asked as he came sliding into the common room.
Five seconds later the giant clock on the wall chimed the start of curfew, illustrating her point.
Kyle grinned sheepishly at her as he panted. He then shrugged and said, “I only just finished the potting those ferns for Professor Sprout. I ran up the stairs as fast as I could, and here I am.”
Hermione shook her head and muttered something about boys. Say something! she told herself panicking at the silence. She turned back to Kyle and said, “Don’t forget to plan for Transfiguration practice Saturday morning at ten. You’ll need to bring a coin with you.” Brilliant Granger. Bloody brilliant, remind him exactly why he doesn’t notice you behind all those books.
But are you sure you want him to? After all they are still hiding things, her inner voices argued.
“No problem. I plan on getting up at the regular time so I can get more done and play Quidditch on Sunday without feeling guilty,” he replied with a wink.
Hermione blushed furiously but tried to hide it by burying her nose in the book, never realizing the book was upside down.
Friday evening, Staff room, Teacher’s meeting
“I’m not saying they aren’t learning. In fact they are picking things up very quickly, What I am saying is I don’t want to see this time wasted because they lose it all by not using it for ten months. The summer schedule is somewhat like the last minute rush to study before exams, most of the information is lost after the tests are ended. To say the least it is an ineffective way to learn. Since we are giving up our summers for this I would rather not see our time wasted,” Professor McGonagall said vehemently.
“So what do you suggest we do to correct it, Minerva?” Professor Dumbledore asked, his eyes twinkling in anticipation of her solution.
“Could we arrange private, after school classes in Roswell throughout the regular school year? Perhaps just one subject per day with the professor traveling by portkey to teach the class? Would the rest of you be willing to do that if for no other reason than to insure that our summer’s efforts are not wasted,” she asked.
There were several nods amongst the staff. As Minerva scanned the room, she stopped at the scowling visage of Severus Snape. “Severus?” she asked.
He cleared his throat before speaking. “I have several concerns about your plan. First of all, how late in our day would we have to travel in order to reach Roswell at the appropriate time? Second, where would we teach them? Third, what controls would we have over their practices and projects? Or over their access to dangerous materials that are inappropriate for students of their skill level? And finally would we be able to obtain ministry clearance for such activities? Without such clearance any efforts we put forth towards it will be wasted,” he concluded.
The stunned silence in the room was almost deafening.
“Blimey, Severus! That was a whole paragraph. I’m pretty sure that it’s been at least six years since that has happened in a staff meeting,” Madam Hooch teased breaking the silence.
Throughout the room other professors seemed to be choking in suspicious, giggle like tones.
“Indeed,” Severus said glaring stonily at them all before the headmaster began to speak.
“Those are very real and reasonable concerns, Severus. Some of which I am able to address immediately. The rest I will need to research a bit before answering. As far as the portkey times go, generally around 10 pm will be the best time for that depending on the true dismissal time of their Muggle school. We could arrange for the instructor who taught the evening before to not have an early morning class on the morning to follow. As far as the other questions go, I should be able to answer them at next week’s staff meeting,” he said.
“Also we should see if they would be able to accommodate such a schedule,” suggested Professor Flitwick.
“I quite agree,” said Professor Dumbledore. “And I must insist on parental permission for both of them which means no more hiding for Miss Parker.”
He paused then continued, “Well, I guess this is a good time for a progress report. How are they doing in their classes?”
“Very well,” Minerva piped up.
“They are… adequate,” Snape murmured in a voice that suggested otherwise.
“The boy is a natural and she is holding her own,” Madam Hooch stated.
“I agree with that. He’s even been doing extra credit,” Professor Sprout chirped.
“I have some concerns about Miss Parker’s progress, but Mr. Valenti is doing well indeed,” Professor Flitwick said.
“What are your concerns?” Dumbledore asked.
“To be honest, she has some difficulty with the pronunciation due to a slight lisp and overbite. I think perhaps it is causing her lack of progress and her very visible frustration,” the diminutive professor stated.
“You may well be right. Is there any way we can help her?” the headmaster asked looking most concerned.
“Only if she concentrates more on her pronunciation will she improve,” he stated.
“Professor McGonagall, could you subtly suggest pronunciation practice to Miss Weasley?” Professor Dumbledore asked.
“Subtlety? From a Gryffindor?” Snape snorted.
The rest of the staff chuckled.
“On that note, shall we adjourn for the evening? I believe that Professor Sinistra has a class shortly,” the headmaster suggested.
With that the staff dispersed.
If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I’d never have believed it. Kyle Valenti, Mr. Football, Basketball and ‘late blooming’ wizard is an absolute genius at Herbology. When he talks to the plants, they turn towards him. When he feeds them, they seem to thrive. It’s like he’s got Miracle Grow in his veins. I’ve never seen him happier than when he is in the greenhouses. Not the ecstatic “We’ve just won the state championships” type of happy, but the deep, truly satisfied type of happy.
I don’t think I’ve heard him whine in about ten days. Wow! That might be a record. (Just kidding.)
Fred and George are still working on how to get him on the Quidditch team in someone named Alicia Spinnet’s old position as Chaser. They are also still working on my CD player.
Of course I made a little bit of progress on my own in that realm this week. I tried Isabel’s trick of playing the CD in my ear. I can spin the disc at almost the right speed but I’m still working on the bandwidth for the laser light that reads the disc. It’s good practice for control.
Unfortunately, Hermione almost walked in on me a couple of days ago while I was practicing. I know she would probably understand, but I’m not ready to share that yet. Plus she doesn’t exactly exude “confidant.” (Strangely, George does.)
Oh and she and Kyle were FLIRTING last night. What is up with that?
I hope I hear from Maria tomorrow. I really need it.
Oh boy, time flies. Better hurry or I’ll be later for Astronomy.
|posted on 5-Aug-2002 10:52:08 PM|
|Part 21 *unbeta'd*|
Saturday morning dawned with Liz Parker asleep at a table in the common room, where she’d fallen asleep studying after Astronomy. She woke with a start as she heard Kyle bounding down the steps from the boys dormitory. The pain in her neck almost made her cry out as she tried to remember where she was.
Kyle slowed when he saw her. “Liz? How long have you been down here?”
She yawned and tried to stretch but the pain prevented most of that before answering, “I think I fell asleep down here.”
“Why were you up so late?”
“Because I have been trying so hard to catch on to Charms that I haven’t been studying hard enough on everything else and I didn’t want to fall behind.”
“I can understand that but don’t you think your brain is fresher in the morning than at 1 a.m.?”
She grimaced as she realized he was right. “Yeah, I know that. I just kind of forgot that last night when studying seemed like such a good idea.”
“Well, since you are dressed and breakfast isn’t for another two and a half hours, do you want to go raid the kitchens with me for a pre-breakfast snack?”
A growl from her stomach nearly echoed in the large room and she had to smile, “Absolutely.”
Kyle helped her up and led the way towards the kitchens.
Once there, Liz ate only a Danish to take the edge off of her hunger so that she would be able to eat with the others at breakfast.
On their way back to Gyffindor Tower they met Peeves. “Oh look, the new Gryffindors are out early. Trying to find a place to snog? Need a shower to cool off?” he asked.
Before they could begin protest that they weren’t out to snog, they found themselves pelted by water balloons filled with swamp water, followed by chalk dust and ashes. They ran for the portrait of fat lady.
As she ran through the common room trying to get to the showers she stumbled and fell into the table, overturning a bottle of ink over her nearly finished Potions essay due Monday. “Oh No!” she screeched trying not to cry.
Kyle tried to think of a charm or a spell to remove the ink but they hadn’t covered those yet. He then searched his mind for a way to make things easier for her since he couldn’t make it all go away. “Liz, go get your shower. I’ll clean this up. Go on,” he offered.
“Thanks Kyle. I really appreciate it,” she answered trying to be strong in spite of everything.
By the time the others were up. Liz had showered and finished copying her essay to a new parchment. Once the pain in her neck had been eased a bit by the hot water, she was able to move a little better.
After breakfast they practiced Transfiguration with Hermione for an hour. Then it was Potions with Fred and George for the next hour.
Finally! she thought. Today seems to be getting back on track after a rather bumpy start.
But then just as she was putting the last ingredient in the cauldron, five beetle eyes, the top of the shaker on the vial slipped off and about fifty beetle eyes fell in. The potion color turned to a violent purple and began to boil vigorously.
Only Fred’s quick thinking kept the cauldron from melting as he added dragonfly wings to the potion, which cooled it to a gelatin consistency.
“Don’t worry about it, Liz. Accidents do happen. And it is far better to have them happen up here than down in the dungeon,” he said. “Just remember, always check your shaker lids before using them. Your potion was perfect until then.”
“Thank you, Fred. I will definitely remember that,” she answered. Then she went over to Ginny to practice Charms.
“Ginny, where is Kyle?” she asked as she sat beside of Ginny for Charms practice.
“Oh, he already took care of the lesson. While you were cleaning up from Potions, he came over and showed me his Levitation Charm on a feather, an acorn, a book and a burning candle. So I told him to get out of here so you could work without an audience,” Ginny answered.
Would it be easier for you if I held the salt out in my hand? Liz thought grumpily.
Two hours later, after some grueling pronunciation practice, Liz finally levitated a feather. Unfortunately, she was too frustrated and exhausted to succeed with the heavier objects.
“That’s fine,” Ginny said encouragingly. “We can try again tomorrow for the Acorn. Why don’t you take a break the rest of the day? I just heard Fred calling together a Quidditch game. We can go watch.”
A tapping at the window drew their attention. Harry walked over an opened the window and a bedraggled looking old post owl flew in and collapsed on the table in front of Liz.
She took the fat envelope from the poor creature and put a piece of biscuit on the table in front of it. Then she looked at the envelope. Oh thank God! It’s from Maria. If ever I needed a friend, today is the day. She greedily tore into it.
There were two inner envelopes and she started with the one marked, ‘Read me first!’ which turned out to be from Maria.
Don’t be mad at me for sending the letter from Max. He’s looked so lost and miserable since you left that I had to do something to cheer him up. Please don’t kill me for it. Hey, at least I kept my word and didn’t give him your address. Why you wanted to spend your summer in school is beyond me.
Interesting to note that Kyle cleared out of town for the summer too. (Football camp or something.) If you ask me, I think he’s spending the summer with his mom but doesn’t want people to know. Mom was over at the Sheriff’s last night “taking him a pie” (Yeah, right! I haven’t ever seen her makeup smudged so badly, and the woman had hickeys.) Anyway, he got a letter from Kyle while she was there and he apparently wrote something about “ticking her off and now she’s not talking to me. Will I ever learn to keep my mouth shut?” or at least that is what mom could see on the back page. Mom said if Michelle Valenti is as bad as she remembers her, he’s going to have a long summer.
Michael, of course, is pulling that stone wall crap again. But he can’t avoid me forever.
Oh well, I really wish you were here chica. Don’t study too hard.
Liz smiled as she put down the letter. She looked around the room to see the others going through the portrait hole.
George was the last one in line. He turned back as he was about to exit and asked, “We’re going to the Quidditch pitch. Are you coming?”
“Let me finish these and I’ll be down,” she answered with a smile.
“Great. We’ll see you there,” he said as the portrait closed behind him.
She turned her attention to the other letter.
I know it is a shock for you to receive a letter from me in the middle of a bunch from Maria. But since you left orders that your address was not to be given to me, then this was the only way.
Why did you leave? You know I don’t believe in destiny. But you never gave me a chance to prove it. Please come home. Things are all wrong without you. Tess is trying to put pressure on me to do those stupid memory exercises with her.
I am truly in Hell. Please come home. I need you.
To her surprise there was a blank sheet of paper behind it that suddenly shimmered and words appeared.
Thank you so much for leaving town. I appreciate the extra time to make sure he is mine. I am the queen, not you. You are just a pathetic human. How could you ever compare?
Just remember when you get back to keep your hands off my man. You know I’d have no problem taking out anyone who stands in my way. That includes you and even your parents.
Oh and don’t think about showing trying to show this to anyone else. It’s tuned to just you. They won’t see anything but a blank piece of paper.
Good luck in Florida, if that’s where you really are,
She sat stunned staring at the paper, then all the anger and frustration that had been building up burst through. With a scream of fury she ripped the paper to shreds and used her wand to burn them in the air. Then came the great need for air as she felt the room closing in on her.
So she ran, blinded by tears, through the portrait hole, down the stairs and out the door. When she reached the outside she started to turn towards the lake but heard the voices of the others and turned the other way.
Sobs of rage and misery escaped her lips with a feral intensity as she ran trying to find a place with both air and privacy. She remembered the exhortation to keep out of the Forbidden Forest as she took her first steps into it.
She nearly stopped at the memory but emotions overrode logic and she forged ahead.
After about ten minutes she stumbled into a small clearing. Tired from running and overwhelmed by emotions she collapsed to the ground weeping.
She remained there until the rustle of leaves and a snapping twig drew her back to her senses. Before she could rise and turn around she heard a man clear his throat.
|posted on 26-Jan-2003 10:08:46 AM|
| Part 22|
George Weasley watched quietly as Liz appeared to get more and more frustrated with her charms practice. Finally after two grueling hours she had a small victory as the feather finally levitated instead of exploding. She then turned and tried to do the same to a small pebble, but she was exhausted and it only flipped. She threw down her wand in disgust. He sighed thinking, I wish I could…
Fred’s voice broke through his thoughts, “Doesn’t that sound great?”
“Yeah, it does,” George replied having no idea what he’d just agreed to.
Fred had been jabbering away for fifteen minutes on his latest scheme for Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes. To the casual observer, George was giving him is full attention. Instead he’d barely heard anything that Fred had said, using the time to study the cascade of Liz’s hair over her shoulder and across her back. He also studied the arch of her brow and the way she chewed her lip as she tried to correct her pronunciations.
Suddenly Fred was standing, holding his broomstick and walking towards the portrait hole. George felt compelled to follow or be forced to reveal his new favorite pastime, watching Liz Parker. The last thing he saw as he exited the room was Liz opening some letters.
He had just cleared the steps and started across the front lawn towards the Quidditch Pitch when he heard her choked sobs. Her turned to see her running down the steps. She started to turn towards the Pitch also when the loud laughter of the others caused her to pull up short. She hesitated about a second then turned away from their voices and began to run blindly towards the one place at school where she could face serious danger, the forest.
His own hesitation was only a fraction of hers and when it was over he had decided to follow her. He jumped on his broom and flew around the castle twice then a decoy path over the lake and around Hagrid’s cabin. As soon as he was far enough from the castle he flew into the forest and doubled back towards where he’d seen Liz running.
When he found where she’d collapsed in tears he landed as quietly as possible, only breaking one twig when he’d landed.
She turned, surprised to realize that the “man” she’d heard was actually a Weasley according to the unmistakable red hair glowing in the filtered sunlight of the forest. She studied the face to determine which of the twins it was. She stopped at the eyes. George. “Why are you here?” she asked hoarsely.
“I saw you running in here and wanted to be sure you got back safely. It’s better not to take your first trip into the forest alone, much less blinded by tears,” he answered with a comforting smile. “So why all the tears?”
“Home. Ex-boyfriend issues,” she answered quietly.
He fished a clean handkerchief from his pocket and handed it to her as he sat on the ground beside of her. “Is he an ex by your choice or his?”
She hesitated a moment, deciding what she could tell. Then said, “Sort of mine and sort of his mother’s, but not really his.”
“So what is he doing that has upset you?”
“He’s begging me to take him back. I can’t face it. It was too hard to break up with him the first time. And I have so much to learn here that I can’t even deal with the extra pressure from him,” she said trying to hold back the angry tears that threatened to spill over again.
George sat quietly for a moment, his brow furrowed as he pondered her words, then asked, “Is it because, in your heart, you still want to be with him and his mother is getting in the way or was he abusive?”
She paused shaking her head, “No he’s not abusive.”
“Did you really want to break up with him?”
“No,” she whispered.
“So why is his mother involved in this decision?”
“Well, it’s kind of hard to explain all the details but she’s a queen and she kind of betrothed him to another girl before she left him in Roswell for his safety. The girl and his mother have both shown up suddenly in the last four months. So suddenly he has this destiny that doesn’t include me. So I left to let him follow it.”
“But why does he have to follow it?”
“Because he’s destined to be the king of his people and with that comes certain obligations. I can understand that and so no matter how much he wants to get back together I can’t let it happen. I just can’t handle the heartbreak later when he decides his people need him and he has to choose her for that to happen,” she explained.
“And he’s not accepting your reasons?”
“No and the stress is killing me. I guess that is why I jumped at the opportunity to leave home this summer. I would rather face Professor Snape three times a week and practice those darn charms every waking moment, than deal with Max Evans face to face every day this summer. It’s been a really bad year,” Liz confessed.
“Does he know what kind of stress you are under?” George asked gently.
“No. I didn’t tell anyone that I am a witch.”
“So what does he think you are doing here?”
“I guess he’s going with the story I left behind, that I’m in Florida with my Aunt. Only four people know the truth about where I am, my parents, Kyle’s dad and Maria. Actually to be honest, only Kyle’s dad knows that I’m a witch. The other three think I’m at a special scientific program in England for the summer. In fact the letter from Max only got to me because he sent it through Maria. And some how that Bit- …eh, I mean his ‘betrothed’ found out about it and slipped in one from her too. That’s what sent me into histrionics.”
“I can understand that,” George said sympathetically. Then he redirected the conversation again. “So why didn’t you tell your parents that you are a witch?”
“Because I didn’t think that they could handle it. Actually, let me correct that. I couldn’t handle the questions they would ask if they knew, so I didn’t tell them. I wouldn’t allow Professor McGonagall to mention it either.”
“How did you explain Kyle going to Hogwarts too?”
“We didn’t. Sheriff Valenti just told everyone that he had gone to football camp. And since I am going to my aunt’s house in Florida for a couple of days before I go home and Kyle is going to football camp straight from here then technically we aren’t lying completely.”
“True. You mentioned before that it was a really bad year. Is that something you want to talk about?”
“I really do wish I could. Kyle knows about it but his was equally bad and if I try to talk to him about it I’m afraid that he will start whining again. It’s been so pleasant around him these last few days without the whining and moaning, so I just don’t bring it up.”
“I could listen or talk if you need to. I know you want to keep your privacy, but really, who am I going to tell? I know hardly anyone in the Muggle world. Add to that, the only Americans I know are you and Kyle. So again, who would I tell?” he asked.
“That is true,” she chuckled. “But can I think about it anyway?”
“Sure. Listen, it is going to be dark soon. What do you say we find our way out of here and back to the castle safely and without getting caught? If we hurry we won’t be late for dinner,” he suggested. His stomach growled to accent his point.
She laughed at that and agreed, “Yes. That does sound good as long as it isn’t that kidney pie crap that they offered last Tuesday for lunch. Do you know how badly I wanted a Big Mac that day? That was so disgusting.”
“Tell me next time and I will see what I can arrange,” he offered.
“Absolutely. Now how do we get out of the forest without being seen?”
“This way,” he said leading her around the edge of the forest to the side nearest the back of the castle. “Almost no one ever goes this way but it cuts the chances of being caught considerably.”
“I really wasn’t thinking of the consequences when I fled today. Thanks for bailing me out. And thank you for listening to my problems too,” she said and kissed him on the cheek.
“It was my pleasure, fair lady,” he said chivalrously. And nothing compared to the interrogation I am certain to get when Fred and the guys catch up with me later tonight.
George stepped out on to the balcony to keep from openly staring at Liz as she practiced pronunciation with Ginny. They were using a candle and watching the patterns of the flames as she spoke, but all he could see was the glow of her skin and her hair in candlelight.
He stifled a groan while he took a deep breath, trying to refocus his mind. He heard the swish of robes and the clunk of a heel behind him. He turned to see his twin staring at him concerned. Turning back from Fred he looked out over the towers and over towards the pitch. He quietly spoke, “I never thanked you for covering for me yesterday.”
“No problem. It’s obvious to me that you have a crush on her, but not to the other guys. I can’t speak for the girls. So why haven’t you asked her to go with you next weekend to Hogsmeade?” Fred asked.
“Because she has a boyfriend situation that she is trying to sort out and I don’t want to be the rebound guy. But I really would settle for anything, even best guy friend at Hogwarts, if it meant I could spend time with her,” George answered truthfully.
“Cheer up. I think she’s willing to give you at least that title, probably more. You may rank as her best friend at Hogwarts, girl or guy. I could make you a trophy if you want.”
They both laughed and returned to the common room.
Journal Entry- Liz Parker
Things seem to be progressing with my pronunciation practice. I seem to be picking up the rudimentary charms finally and the newer ones only take about half the time to work through. As much as I hate to admit it, that damn candle is helping. Unfortunately, I keep feeling like Eliza Doolittle and want to break in to a chorus of “Just you wait, ‘enry ‘iggins…” Except my version goes Ginny Weasley instead of Henry Higgins but the frustration and the silliness are very much the same.
Speaking of Weasley’s, George presented me with my working CD player last night. I was so happy I kissed him on the cheek. Then I hugged Fred since he worked on it too.
And I actually let Kyle choose some of the music we listened to. Kyle put Dave Matthews on and proceeded to dance with all the girls, including me. He had danced the longest with Hermione (who was blushing bright enough to read by), when Ron cut in. He then proceeded to tread on her toes for the remainder of the dance. Seeing this Kyle took him aside and showed him how to avoid stepping on girl’s feet. Ron may still be pouting, seething or stewing over that one but it might just save Hermione a trip to the hospital wing with a broken foot.
Professor Dumbledore called us in to speak with him this afternoon. They want to have an after school class for us during the school year. He said it wouldn’t be quite as intense as this summer but it would be daily. And I will have to tell my parents that I am a witch. I guess I can do that now. I’m more settled with it and who says I have to say why I’m such a “late bloomer” to the wizarding world. Also there may be monthly weekend visits to study astronomy and for research and tests.
Fred was excited to hear that and is planning to approach the headmaster for permission to recruit Kyle to the Quidditch team. But they will have to work out a practice schedule too.
We have a Hogsmeade visit tomorrow. I’m kind of excited. I hope the girls forgive me. I asked George if I can hang out with them because I’m afraid Hermione will try to turn it into a History lesson and I need some fun. Plus she seems to be looking for an owl all the time and gets a little snappy when they don’t appear.
We are throwing Harry a surprise birthday party next weekend and I need to get a gift. I’m not sure what to get him, so I will be doing a lot of browsing tomorrow.
Oops, Kyle is trying to get my attention. Uh oh, we have class in 10 minutes… got to go.
The dark haired woman paced nervously while awaiting her contact. Her dark green robes were simple but well cut. They were long sleeved and covered the tattoo on her arm which only ached mildly today compared to the when she was being summoned.
She glanced at her watch again before muttering a few expletives and continued her pacing. “Fifteen minutes late. God what a …argh! He’s got two minutes to show up or he can do without.”
A loud knock behind her and two men stepped into the room, their white blonde hair gleaming in the torchlight. With a second glance she realized that one was just a teen, not a man yet and was obviously the son of the other. Malfoy she thought contemptuously.
“You’re late. I was expecting you fifteen minutes ago, she said unable to keep the contempt from her voice.
Lucius Malfoy stared icily at her before stating, “I trust you have what I need.”
“Of course I do. I do what He requests. But everything has its price. This one is 150 galleons,” She answered coolly.
“Would you have me tell Him you charged three times what it’s worth? You’ll get 50. Period,” he stated firmly.
“If the laws of supply and demand were kept in the dark circles of the wizarding world you wouldn’t have a choice but to pay a fair market value. As it is I am forced to accept this pittance that you deem a fair price for my hard work. Next time you can milk the North American Golden for both his blood and his venom,” the hatred in her voice was unmistakable.
“You will take the 50 and accept that the rest is keeping you out of Azkaban. All it would take would be an anonymous owl to the Ministry and they would arrest you for selling illegal goods. Now woman, you try my patience. Where are the vials?” he asked in his chilling voice.
She had no doubt that he meant what he said. She handed him the vials. “The green one is the venom and the brown is the blood.”
He threw the money on the floor in front of her and turned to leave.
She knelt to gather the scattered coins. She never heard him return; only realizing he hadn’t left yet when he kicked her hard in the ribs.
“Draco, this is how we deal with those who would cheat and disrespect us,” he said stepping over her prone form and leading his son out the door.
A few moments later she was finally able to get up and leave the now deserted back alley room and returned to the main street of Hogsmeade.
She walked quickly, eyes down, thinking of how she’d like to flay Malfoy. Actually all I’d like to do is to go back to the states and disappear back into the muggle world. But I can’t. I’m too involved in all this mess. The wizarding black market is going to get me killed one of these days.
She rounded the corner without looking and walked right into the broad chest of a teenaged boy with an “Omph!”
“Excuse me,” he said steadying her. “I’m so sorry, I didn’t…” he stopped visibly paling as he stared at her. “Mom?!!” he choked out.
Her head jerked up in shock. She stared into the face of the son she’d abandoned years before. “Kyle,” she said her voice barely above a whisper.