The woman standing on the other side of the door looks like something from one of my fantasy novels. She's tall for a woman, and wearing an emerald green cloak, neatly fastened with a lion pin. Her black hair is pulled back into a severe, yet elegant, looking ballet bun, not a single hair out of place. Her face looks strict, but kind, kind of like my favorite English teacher from elementary school.
"Hello? How can I help you?" I ask. Instinctively, I know that this woman will take no crap.
"Miss Dursley? May I speak to your parents?"
"Come in." I say, stepping back to allow the woman entry. I lead her through the front hall and into the living room.
"Makenna?" Mom asks. Ugh; Makenna. I hate my full name. "Who is that?"
The woman stares at my mother with an icy stare before extending her hand to shake my mother's. She doesn't reach for it at first, but eventually shakes the woman's hand, looking like she's going to pick up some nasty disease from touching her. I know this look; Mom used to give it to me when she had to give me an insulin shot. I took over my diabetes care the day I turned eight.
"Hello, Mrs. Dursley, Mr. Dursley. I am Professor Minerva McGonagall. I have come to talk about Makenna's education."
"Dudders, why don't you go play with your friends?" Mom asks, sending Dudley out of the room. I shift awkwardly from foot to foot, waiting to see how this plays out.
"I am the Deputy Headmistress at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the best magical school in Europe." the professor explains. "I assume Makenna has informed you that she was accepted?"
I can feel my parents' glares. "She has not." Dad says, his voice harsh. "And she will not be going to some freak school."
"But, wait. Isn't it impossible for Makenna to be a freak like you lot? She's diabetic." Mom says the word diabetic like some people would say Bubonic Plague. I should be used to it by now, but it still hurts, no matter how much I wish it wouldn't.
Professor McGonagall looks from Mom to Dad and back to me. "While it is rare for witches and wizards to develop any type of diabetes, it is not impossible. Sadly, as of yet, there is no cure in the Wizarding World. Makenna, your cousin is also on the registry, and will receive his letter in two years time." What?
"And neither of them will be going!" Dad shouts. I silently cringe; when Dad gets going, well, it's not pretty. He's almost worse than Dudley on the destructo scale. Almost.
"Ah. But here is where the wizarding law comes into effect. As you have refused to allow Makenna a magical education, the decision now falls to Makenna. Makenna, which school would you prefer to attend?"
Is she kidding? Eleven-year-olds are never asked to make life changing decisions; especially not ones with a family like mine. But it's not a question.
"Hogwarts, Professor." I say quietly.
"Wonderful." Professor McGonagall claps her hands together brusquely.
"I'm not paying for her to go to some school so some old crackpot can teach her magic tricks." Dad sneers. I sigh; clearly he's going to try to fight with someone who's way out of his league. And then he's going to be surprised when he inevitably loses. It's the same song every time.
"We have a fund for Muggle-born students." the professor says. I blink hard. Muggle? What the heck is a Muggle?
"I still have forty bucks saved over from last Christmas and my birthday." I say.
"Then it's settled." Professor McGonagall says. "Why don't you get your money, Makenna, and then we'll go buy your school supplies?"
I nod and make my way up the stairs. I go to my dresser, and open my bottom drawer. I remove all of my clothing and then pry up the false bottom I bought a few years back. Under the piece of wood are my prized possessions and some other stuff, things that I would like to keep safe from Dudley. My money is in here, along with a small stash of candy in case my sugar goes low, a few pictures of my friends from the hospital in America where I was educated about my condition, and my camera. I grab my money and camera, fit the false bottom back into the drawer and throw my clothes back in on top. I then grab my purse and my cell phone, and slip on my shoes.
The professor owns a car. I'm not sure what I expected, but a 2018 Honda Civic is not what I thought she would drive. I watch as the world flies by through my window before turning to face the professor.
"You can call me Kenna, if you want, I mean. How am I going to manage my diabetes at school?" This is the one question that worries me.
I have to put a lot of thought into my diabetes, and how I'll manage it at any given time. Type 1 diabetes, the type I have, is caused by the immune system killing off the cells that produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps you process sugar, and without it, you die. So diabetics have to give themselves injections of insulin (or wear an insulin pump), check their blood sugar regularly, and count the carbs in every meal and snack that they eat so they know how much insulin they need to cover a meal.
Furthermore, diabetics have to essentially be prepared for the apocalypse. We have to be prepared for every situation that may arise. Just in my purse, I carry: a vial of rapid-acting insulin, an extra pump infusion site and cartridge, my glucose meter pricker and strips, alcohol swabs, a logbook, syringes and needles, a spare sensor for my continuous glucose monitor, candy in case my sugar drops, a couple of dollars so I can buy food in case I need it, my glucagon emergency kit (a shot of glycogen, a hormone that causes the liver to release stored glucose; used for low blood glucose. I call it my "red kit" because it comes in a red plastic case.), and a roll of tape to keep my sites in place if they aren't completely ripped off. That's just what I carry for my diabetes, never mind the other stuff a girl has to have at all times.
"Ah, yes. We have a school matron, who will be informed, as will your head of house. We sort students into one of four houses, and each house has a teacher that is in charge of his or her house. We will run through a training day with you on the first weekend of the semester. You will, of course, continue managing your diabetes yourself, as you have successfully been doing so for years now. However, the staff will know what to expect and what to do in case of emergency."
I nod. This sounds much more reasonable than my elementary school, who fought us on every decision we had to make. It was rather frustrating.
"We are here." Professor McGonagall says, pulling into a parking spot. I look around, confused.
"Where are we exactly, Professor?"
"Diagon Alley." she answers, climbing out of the car.