Chapter 7 A Break for the Books
December 20th 1971 Letters and Lovin'
I am finally in America! Father and I had to take a boat over from GB in order to go through customs correctly in New York, but now we are home with my mother. I haven't seen her in so long (almost 4 whole months) and my aunt and uncle in even longer (something like a year now).
I received your letter just yesterday, but you sent it nearly a month ago, so I do apologize for the delay. I hope that you enjoy your Christmas Break. Please tell me more about your school mates and all.
As I've said before, my father's work is some real secret stuff sometimes, and I do wish I could tell you everything- but I can't. We met some amazing creatures whom I can also now call my friends as they have agreed to join us in our journey to relocate a whole heard of centaurs to a reservation, off the coast of some Russian mountains. They really enjoy the cold, and they're a real serious group. My father has allowed me to oversee catalogingthis whole experience, through individual inspections and interviews of each centaur. There's about 15 of them, ranging from many ages. One is actually a small child and she's really sweet. Her name is Seleneand she would be at the age equivalent to a 5 year old. Very fun to run around with.
I'm so sorry that my letter is not long but I need to go help with the chores before dinner. I will write to you frequently as it should only take 2 days for our owls to reach other… that is if you don't mind me writing you more. Enjoy your break Emilia.
The term ended all right. As I told you before I haven't many friends at Hogwarts. Remus tries to include me in with his Gryffindor friends, and they're really nice when we're together but it doesn't seem like they really want to have me in with them. It's not that they don't want me to spend time with them- we all get on and study well together- but they don't actually seek out my company and it really hurts. My other housemate Severus (that I mentioned once before) is really close friends with a Gryffindor girl named Lily, so he doesn't really like to spend a lot of time with me either as he has his group of Slytherin friends also.
My roommates are in the same boat too. They're all nice enough when it's just us, but some of the stuff I hear them talking about is just so cruel. One of them had a house elf killed the other day because she ripped her new dress when she delivered it from her parents before the start of break. How could somebody just kill a house elf for that?
Maybe I'm just complaining and ignoring all the times that people do spend with me, and all the nice things that my housemates do say (because yes there are great moments, and nice things said occasionally) but school is just hard. It feels like I'm just going through some type of motions and I'm not having any fun, or really being a kid. I spend my weekends reading from my family library collection, and all I really enjoy doing is learning about magical concepts. Recently I've gotten into Magical history, and its only as updated as the day is, so I've been able to almost catch up to the 18th century. I suppose next I'll move on to magical creatures. Perhaps we'll have more in common when I do.
Enjoy your time with your family, I'm sure excited to be seeing mine this break too.
After a rather a long look at the sealed envelope before her, Emilia rose from desk and begun to grab her coat, boots and book to head over to Remus' house. He had Ava with him currently as he had been conversing with the Potters and all his other friends for the past 4 days since they had been home. Pulling on her long and tattered black coat, and lacing up her brown boots at the door, Emilia shouted out a quick "headed to Rems" before leaving.
Jumping off the front porch and into the snow bank, she quickly ran through their yards and passed the small section of woods that divided their houses. In only a few minutes she was at his door, barely out of breath. Knocking quietly but in three quick successions she waited for the door to open.
"Hey, Em my family is out on the town right now!"
Before Emilia had time to answer, Remus was pulling her inside and to the fireplace in his sitting room. The corners of her mouth lifted slightly to a small smile. Emilia approached Ava, gave her the letter and some treats, before sending her out the front door that they came from.
"Another letter to your mysterious friend that I've never met?" Remus playfully rolled his eyes and threw a maroon colored throw pillow at Emilia who was now seated on the couch.
"Yes, it's to Nicholas. He's apparently in America now you know."
"How would I have known that, if that was in the letter you just got."
"You should just know things."
"Well I know that you're a bum, can you toss me that that blanket?"
After Emilia had gotten thoroughly situated in front of the fire, she pulled out her History of the Wizarding Ages book and leaned against Remus while he too had a book in his lap.
"That's a huge book."
Emilia nodded her head at Remus before responding with a mischievous grin on her face and a teasing tone.
"Didn't know you stated the obvious all the time now. It's it your Gryffindor friends that have caused you to lose your quick wit?" Teasing him as they always used to do, Remus in return gave Emilia a soft shove with his shoulder.
"Not all of us can be as bright as Avery."
Scrunching up her nose Emilia gave a snort. "You know I don't waste my time with that lot."
"You're right, I actually see you spending it more with Severus."
Remus wasn't looking up from his book as he had been becoming one with the couch, slouching even more into the comfort of the cloud like cushion. However, Emilia was startled by the fact that Remus had taken notice to the company that she was keeping. Although it wasn't much company, it was still a detail that she would have thought have gone over his head. It also didn't help that his Gryffindor friends seemed to enjoy teasing Severus mercilessly.
"Didn't know you knew his name. He's very smart." Emilia was almost biting her lip off as to not say 'well he's kind of a prick who ignores me for his other friends, but we get on well enough because he's all I really have at school.'
"Av' noticed Em. At least I know his real name, the other guys aren't too keen on remembering it." Snorting at his own joke- and in his mind fond memories of the group- Remus, didn't notice that the scrunching of Emilia's forehead and concerned look had returned from before.
When Emilia didn't respond, Remus just continued to read a few more lines in his book before speaking again.
"You excited to go to James' next week?"
Avoiding his eyes Emilia shrugged. "I don't know Rem, I think I'm just going to stay and spend some time with my family. Lisa missed me and she wants to hang out as much as we can before I go back."
"Oh, okay. I'll let James know in our next letter I guess."
And from here conversation ceased to exist. The two sat side by side for a few hours reading quietly, every once and a while Emilia would jot down some notes in a small notebook before continuing reading.
While the two had become quite accustomed to days where they spoke barely at all, Emilia suddenly felt quite uncomfortable with the silence between them. What if he doesn't want to be my friend anymore? Forcing the invading thoughts from her mind she shook her head. Quite silly to be questioning the friendship of her longest one, but regardless doubt still filled her mind and her heart begun to feel heavy.
"Do you-" stopping quite suddenly Emilia couldn't bring herself to ask him. She gave a short laugh before continuing.
"I'm being ridiculous, I know, but do you still want to be my friend? It's just we don't see each other much and you have so many Gryffindor friends now I just wanted to make sure."
Still not looking up from his book Remus gave a 'what are you, stupid' kind of smirk before answering.
"Yea you are pretty ridiculous. Maybe I don't want to be your friend anymore because you're ridiculous... Why wouldn't I want to be friends with you Emily are you going crazy? Those Slytherin snakes whispering ridiculous things into your ears?" Each time he said ridiculous, Remus emphasized the word, drawing it out ever so slightly.
"Point taken. Just wanted to make sure."
"Just read your book. You to the third Goblin war yet? I thought that was a real thriller."
Silence continued. This time Emilia felt comfortable.
December 25th, 1971 Christmas at the Fiddo's
Soft snow was falling from the sky and collecting in small mounds on the frozen ground. It was quiet in the Fiddo household, only an orange cat was prowling around, scratching at its side every so often before continuing its trek to the fire place in the living room. The house was abandoned as its inhabitants had gone out for the evening to ice skate at the park as usual. While Remus had left that morning for the Potter's home, Emilia enjoyed the rest of the day with her family and sister.
"Em have you forgotten how to skate?" Shouting incredulously, Lisa Fiddo ran circles around Emilia who was struggling to stand up from the ice that she had just slipped on. This had been going on for the whole past hour and the two seemed to enjoy the patronizing loop of commenting on her lack of skill, every time this occurred.
"Oh hush you, I just haven't skated in a while." Finally managing to stand, on her way up Emilia grabbed a handful of snow and threw it at her sister. The snow landed in a cloud of white sparkles on her sisters purple knitted scarf- just below her shoulder.
"You're going to regret that!"
Giggling as the two girls skated around the pond after one another, Lisa conjured up a snow ball out of the falling snow. Using what little accidental magic she had learned to control, she hurled it at the back of her sister's head. In quick successions three snow balls lightly pelted the back of the elder sister's hat, before exploding in to a mound of dust.
"You be lucky that you're not in school yet. You'd be expelled for that sort of thing ya know."
"Well I'm just a wittle child" emphasizing child with the most patronizing voice she could muster Lisa came to a stop at the tree near where the two girls could exit the pond.
"Suppose we go in for supper now, Lisa? I think mum and dad headed back home already."
The two girls waded out of the pond and through the snow bank up to where they left their boots. Trying to use each other for support they did a funny little dance trying to wiggle out of their skates and put on their boots without getting snow in them. They both failed miserably but neither seemed to mind as they giggled and threw snow at each other the whole way down the street to their home.
By the time they had made it to the Fiddo home, their cheeks were even more rosie then before, their noses were thoroughly runny and their laughs came out in labored "huffing" noises. They were very happy and upon their arrival their mother had dinner almost ready and welcomed the children with a quick shout.
"Go throw your stuff in the downstairs bathroom to dry. Your father will give you a warming spell real quick. Dinner will be ready in 5!"
Racing to the bathroom and pushing each other around, the girls lightly complained about the rush. Nobody gave it much thought though and, in a flash, the two were dried off by their father and at the dinner table begging for their dinner.
After the family had enjoyed their special pot roast and all of the delicious sides that came with it (Emilia particularly loved the sweet potatoes), as well as their apple pie dessert, everyone chose to retreat to the living room to relax. Soft Christmas music was playing in the back ground, and Emilia grabbed her new quill and parchment set she had gotten that morning as her gift.
"You writing another letter to your friend?" Michael Fiddo peered over his paper at his daughter with a kind smile and knowing eyes.
"Yes, dad. He sent me a bunch of enchanted pins he got in different places for a gift and I forgot to send him that hat I had knit in our last letter and I don't want him thinking I forgot his Christmas present. Actually, can you shrink the hat so I can just put it in the envelope with the letter? His father is also smart and would probably know how to undo it." Laying out all her materials before her, Emilia quickly decided on the red ink. It seemed festive enough she thought, as she began to write out her letter.
"Sure thing sweets, just let me know when. I'll write down the counter spell just incase he wants to do it himself."
When she had felt sufficiently done with her letter, she signed off and left a P.S about the hat and how to make it bigger. [BR2] Though she knew that the older boy was able to cast lots of magical spells on his own as he was studying abroad, and she was curious to know if he already knew the spell. She added that to the letter as well. Her father shrunk the hat and wrote down "engorgio" on the letter where she instructed him. She then called for her owl and grabbed her some treats before sending her on her way with another letter for Remus and the other boys, wishing them a good holiday, as well as Nicholas' letter.
As the night was nearing its end, and the fire had begun to dwindle, the girls soon parted for bed. While the day wasn't terribly eventful, Emilia's heart was full. Soon, Emilia had begun to drift off into a rather content sleep, only once that night thinking about how she wished she could have shared her Christmas with Remus.
Happy New Year (1972)
It was 10pm on New Years Eve where Emilia found herself playing Go Fish with her younger sister, who despite how much her words had begun to slur and her eyes began to droop, insisted that she could make it to the new year without falling asleep. The two went back and forth trading off cards before Emilia chose to pause for a particularly long time, pretending to choose her card. She waited just a few moments more before her sisters' eyes had closed and her breathing had steadied, before grabbing the blanket from the Lupin's couch and placing it over her sister who was slumped over the arm rest.
"You going to try to stick it out to the new year Em?" Emilia smiled, and nodded at Hope who had quietly snuck around the corner.
"Yea I think it's exciting. I can't believe it's already the new year." Emilia followed Hope into the kitchen who had begun to gather about a pot and some mugs. Emilia's smile widened when she realized what the women before her was cooking up.
"How have you been Emilia, I feel like I barely get to see you anymore. You haven't been over much this break." Stirring absent mindedly at the milk and chocolate which were combine in a pot over the stove, Hope looked expectantly to the younger girl.
"Well, I've been quite busy getting a head on reading and homework at such. The professors actually assigned some work to be done and I want to make sure I'm ready for finals, so they can't kick me out or anything. I've been keeping pretty busy." Plus, Remus has been gone nearly the entire break, so I suppose my coming over didn't seem warranted. Emilia almost wanted to add that last bit but bit her tongue as Hope nodded understandingly.
"Yea, Hogwarts I'm sure is a lot. I'm not sure how I'd be able to handle all that If I had gone. Do they teach you regular arithmetic's and literature while you're there too? In addition to magics I mean?"
Swiveling on the stool top, by the kitchen counter Emilia's legs swung around slowly. She thought for a moment before responding.
"I've actually thought about that a lot. They don't teach us any maths out right, but it shows up in potions and some of the upper level classes a lot, so I suppose that's how we learn it. I read a lot though, so I don't know how the other students are learning literature. It seems like in History of Magic, where we need to read the most, everyone is just sleeping anyways." Giggling at the memory of some of her housemates being spooked by the ghost professor in the first week of classes, for being asleep nearly the whole time, was fun to reminisce.
"Ah I see. Do you want any cinnamon in your hot chocolate dear? Also, do you think it's worth waking Lisa for a cup?" Emilia nodded before hopping off of the stool to go retrieve her sister- who only groaned and flopped over to retreat into the cushions of the couch.
"No use, she won't wake until morning. I swear the girl has the worst time with mornings." Shaking her head and accepting the sweet drink before her, Emilia took a few small sips (as the cup was still quite hot).
"How are your friends at school? Remus talks about his quite a lot, but you don't seem to mention yours all to much. You're in the Slytherin house, and I don't know what it's like over there, but the lot seems interesting." Hope was sincere in her question, and while she was a muggle who only wished to understand more, Emilia winced slightly.
"My friends are nice" tolerable, when they aren't mean and saying horrid things "and I really like my house." Hope merely continued to sip her drink, waiting for the young girl to continue.
"There's a boy named Severus in my house whom I partner with frequently" because nobody else will be my partner "and he's really bright and clever. He's good in most of our classes and we get top marks in Potions class together. Also, I have a few girls who I room with in the Dorms who are nice as well" when they're not saying racial slurs and trying to insinuate my blood status "they're swell to spend time with. I really love Hogwarts and my friends are cool."
"You didn't mention that boy you always write to, does he not go to Hogwarts?" Hope slid a second mug of hot cholate towards Emilia, who gladly accepted before continuing.
"Oh that's Nicholas. I met him at the Tea Time Fair a couple years ago. He studies abroad with his father and sometimes mother. I haven't seen him since the summer of 70. We write a lot though because he's very friendly and interesting." And is the only person outside my and Remus' family who knows my secret. Wow today sure was the day of internal monologue.
"I see. Your mother was telling me about him the other day. Seems odd that nobody has yet to meet him, but if he travels a lot I suppose that makes sense. Do be careful Emilia dear, boys can weird." Smiling at the young girl, she sat down at the table. A few minuets went by as the two continue to drink the sweet, chocolaty serum before a soft tapping could be heard on the kitchen window. Emilia jumped up from her stool, and quickly slid the window up. Ava hooted softly before entering the warm room. Shaking the snow from her feathers into the sink below her she nuzzled the hand of Emilia.
"I'll go grab her some treats from the hall cupboard Emilia if you want to warm her up with that towel." Hurrying from the room to retrieve some of the special treats they kept around Emilia patted at Ava until it seemed the bird was sufficiently dry. Ava, stuck out her leg which had two letters, one looking rather thick.
Once the bird had retreated to her cage, with the food and treats she particularly favored, Emilia sat down at the table once again. Hope sat quietly across from her, reading the previous day's post that she never got at.
Opening the smaller letter, Emilia smiled at a short and sweet letter from the Potter Manor. With an enchanted moving picture, she saw the four boys wearing the red and gold knit hats she had created for them all. One second, they were all smiling at the camera and for the following next few seconds, they were throwing snow at each other and jumping around the lawn. The cycle would repeat, and it took Emilia a few moments to tear her eyes away from the picture to read the letter. She slid it across the table to share with Hope, who "awhed" and thought it was the sweetest thing.
The guys wanted to thank you for the brilliant hats. I was wondering when I'd get mine, after my other one had been in that transfiguration accident we had a few weeks ago. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I'll be home on the first, early in the morning, as our family engagement is that night and all. See you soon.
Emilia knew what he meant by "family engagement." Not wanting to think about the oncoming transformation, she quickly opened the larger letter, who's hand writing she immediately recognized.
It took Emilia nearly 10 minuets to read through the ramblings of Nicholas Scamander, who for whatever reason felt that this letter was the time to go into vast detail of both his family and what he had done for the holidays, as well as the newest job his father and him had been assigned. They were going to be in Great Britain starting tomorrow, and then would be heading to Egypt for the year.
Emilia, I know it is awfully last minute, but I was curious as to if my father and I could visit you on the 1st? I know it is the night of a transformation, but we could be there relatively early, sometime around 10am and just stay for tea if that's alright? I do truly miss you and would like to see you before we embark for Egypt for the next 9 months. If this is not possible I understand. We are already in Britain so I'll receive your response fairly quickly when you write back. I hope you've truly had a great winter break and new year and I wish you the best.
Emilia frowned. Going to retrieve her bag she had packed with some parchment and a quill she quickly drafted a letter explaining that he couldn't come over because she was already becoming sick and the day of the transformation is usually quite bad. She apologized multiple times before wishing him luck on his travels and asking if they would be able to write while he is in Egypt. Closing the letter, Emilia approached Ava, who stuck her leg out, and accepted her treats. Seeming to be well rested she exited through the same window she had come.
Emilia glanced at the clock and saw that it was 11:58. She had almost missed the new year. Quickly glancing out the east window, which faced towards town, she waited the last two minuets before she saw fire works going off in the distance marking the new year.
"Hope I'll return with Remus in a few minutes. The Fiddo's should also be round soon to pick up the girls." Lyall Lupin had just entered the kitchen with his boots and jacket and was walking to the fire place where their floo system was hooked up.
"Safe travels love." Hope followed him to the living room and opted to wake Lisa so that she could grab her items and be ready for departure when their parents returned from their party. Emilia also begun to pack up her items. As she sat at the foot of the couch with her grumpy sister, the fire place lit up green before her both Remus and his father exited.
"Happy New Year Rem!" jumping forward to hug her friend whom she hadn't seen for nearly all of break, she only broke away when there was a knock at the door. Her parents had apparated from the ministry party and were walking in to escort the two girls' home.
Their transformation the following day (or night, depending on how you think about it), went just about as it always does. Emilia's back was completely thrown out and it took her a few extra hours to heal. The two were feeling much better after a few days, and were forced to pack as quickly as possible, to be ready for the train that afternoon back to Hogwarts. Remus was awfully excited to rejoin his friends whom he had been separated from, for the past few days, but Emilia was rather sad to leave the comfort of her home.
In what seemed all too quick, Emilia found herself in the usual compartment, watching the train station disappear, as the snow flurries swirled past the window. While the compartment was rather quiet, Emilia sighed.
"So you guys do the winter homework?" completely not joking, Emilia wasn't too surprised as the boy all gasped and began to frantically scramble around for their books and quills to finish the assignments. Well, all the boys but Remus, who had found the time in the past few days to get it done.
"Well I'm going to go find some of my housemates. I'll see you all in classes, good luck. The Transfiguration homework took me ages to do."
Closing the compartment behind her, Emilia wandered down the hall in search of her housemate and one red head, whom she was sure to be together. It didn't take long to find them, and as the compartment was considerably emptier then the previous one that she was in, she was thankful to be invited in to sit. Emilia talked freely with Lily Evans, as they discussed what they did over break. All too soon, the train had come to a stop and they were once again back at Hogwarts, ready to finish the year.
A/N I don't know what possessed me to want to update but here we are. I didn't edit this, hope you enjoyed, sorry for the bumpy ride. I do have this entire piece planned out but writing has to come to me.