I check off today on the small whiteboard calendar that hangs above my bed and immediately I remember exactly how I would spend my day. Today is July 31st and tomorrow I am leaving for Hogwarts, I will be boarding the Hogwarts Express at Platform 9 and 3/4. Honestly, I am terrified; I will be a first year, a newbie. The warm air drags me out from the chilly fears that have been clouding in me since I got my letter. I rush around my room filling my trunk with my clothes, knowing my parents could always send me something if I happen to forget. Like always I am picky on how I pack my robes. Since I don't have a house yet I just wear black robes, Hogwarts will supply me with anything else should I need it. And so I am rushing around my room gathering my belongings that I need to bring from Chicago, Illinois all the way to England. When I finish packing and tidying my room so it would be clean and fresh until Christmas, when I will be allowed to visit my family. I hear a knock on my bedroom door, "Come in!" I exclaim. My father opens the door. He is wearing a mustard colored sweater with navy blue stripes at the bottom of the shirt, by his waist. Without thinking I run up and hug him. He is momentarily knocked off his feet from the impact of my daughterly love, but he wraps his arms around me, patting my back. Normally I would look up and smile at him, but today I just breath in the smell of his thin sweater. I feel him kiss me on the top of my head.
"I love you Sheri-berry," he says. I smile at the sound of the nickname.
"I love you too Papa." I say. Because my room shares a wall with the stairwell I am able to hear another set of footsteps leading up the stairs. My mother comes and wraps her arms around my dad and me.
"Sheridan, we will miss you so much darling," says my mother. I can hear the sadness in her voice; to me it is almost like a leak of water rapidly dripping into a small container. I feel like my mom is about to start sobbing once that container fills up.
Once I am completely packed and ready to leave for the airport, then to King's Cross Station, we load my trunk and owl cage into my parents' car. Since I am almost sixteen I legally could drive the car, but I choose to sit in the back seat, afraid my eyes would cloud with tears while we drive. Normally riding the car soothes me but today it does just the opposite. The entire fifteen-minute ride to Chicago's airport seems bumpy and oddly, I feel out of control. All I want is for the bumps to stop, but I know they won't because they are phantoms.
When we get to the airport we enter through the wide double doors with my luggage on a cart. My luggage looks far different from everybody else's, but I don't care. As for my owl, he is squawking a ruckus, drawing attention to my parents and me.
"Ma'am. That owl has to be checked into your luggage," a security officer tells me as we hand him our passports and tickets to pass through security.
"But sir…" I say.
"That owl has to go into your checked baggage, it is too noisy!" he says, louder this time.
"Sir. This owl is frightfully sick and we are taking him to a specialist doctor in England. Without his medicine every hour and a half he won't make it," says mother.
"You got to say that next time," the officer looks at my passport, "Sheridan Mayer. Fine, but don't complain about the complained and annoyed passengers!" I slyly roll my eyes at him and move past towards the x-ray thing. There I am told to take my owl out of the cage and hold her on my arm while we are both scanned from top to bottom for any type of weapon or firearm. When we finally boarded our plane I placed my owl cage, with Winfred in it, on the flooring between my legs and drape a small blanket over to shush him. Within minutes he is quiet and asleep. I stuff his treats into the pocket on the back of the seat in front of me, for when he wakes up squawking. We take off and before long land in Britain. To my surprise my owl was quiet for most of the ride, only screeching when he awoke. We get a taxi and go to Kings Cross Station, my parents are dropping me off of Platform 9 and ¾, which doesn't exist, and then are touring England. They think they are getting the better end of the deal, but in all honesty, I am the one who gets to live in a castle for a full year every year, for seven years. My parents never went to Hogwarts, or any other magical school for that matter. I have magical blood. I see Kings Cross Station appear over the bustle of city life. We pay our driver and enter the station. We find Platforms 9 and 10 where the mythical Platform 9 and ¾ should be. But, of course it doesn't exist. I look around, still hoping for at least a sliver of magic to guide me where I am to go. I see a family, two parents and about six or so children running about with carts full of trunks and of course, an owl cage. My heart soars, knowing they are going to Platform 9 and ¾. I carelessly watch as they walk one by one, casually into a brick wall. I smile.
"Mom, Dad, I must go now. My train is awaiting." I say tapping their forearms impatiently. They look at me with red, teary eyes. My father pulls me in for a hard hug. Then I hug my mother. They each give me a kiss, tell me that they love me, and promise that they will write to me. With that I shoo them off to go and tour Great Britain. Without me.