The Sugar Quill
Author: GryffinMiraur (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Owls Between Friends  Chapter: Angelina, Katie, Harry
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The church bell down the lane clanged the hour as the gentle hum of lawnmowers filled the air of Williston Avenue

Disclaimer: Not mine, but the wonderful J.K. Rowling’s except for Alicia’s little brother who I claim as mine.

 

A/N: Many thanks to my beta reader Zsenya who suggested I add narratives to the letters and fixed my comma errors (I’m working on them.)

 

 

Owls Between Friends

 

The church bell down the lane clanged the hour as the gentle hum of lawnmowers filled the air of Williston Avenue. Alicia Spinnet leaned out of her window, breathed in the grass scent of summer and sneezed. It happened every summer. For the first week after she returned home from Hogwarts, she developed allergies and then, just as suddenly they were gone. Alicia figured it was a combination of psychology and biology. She was homesick for Hogwarts and reacting to the lack of magic in the air. Still, it was always nice to be home especially now. She was surprised that the Muggle world didn’t notice anything, but then, they never did.

“Alicia! I’m going down to the shops. Watch Will, would you?”

“All right, Mum.” Alicia shut the window. So much for the book about the Holyhead Harpies. Will was not exactly what one would call sedentary. As if to prove it, there was a loud crash from downstairs. Alicia rolled her eyes and headed downstairs. Ten-year-old Will was sitting in the middle of the wreckage of a jar full of biscuits.

“Will! Are you all right?”

Will nodded, “I’m fine”

“Well, the biscuits aren’t. Will, you could have asked me”

“I wanted to do it myself” Will said stubbornly.

“Yes, that’s exactly what you said when you fell out of the apple tree last year. Reparo.

“I hate when you do that. Just because you’re a witch . . . ”

Alicia sighed. Being a witch in a family of Muggles was no easy task. She knew her family loved her, but sometimes they didn’t quite know what to make of her.  They had never been sure whether her abilities were a gift or a curse. They almost hadn’t let her attend Hogwarts, but she’d begged and pleaded and promised to do well and they had relented. She was reluctant to tell them about what had taken place that year for fear she wouldn’t be able to come.

“Look, Will, tell you what, I’ll let you borrow my copy of Quidditch Through the Ages, and you let me write a letter in peace”

Will jumped up, “Really?! I’ll be quiet; you can write your letter!”

“Come on,” Alicia led her little brother up the stairs. When they reached her room, she handed him the book, which he took reverently. He sat down on the floor and began to read as Alicia took out quill and parchment.

 

 Tuesday

Dear Angelina,                                                                                      

      It’s so strange to be back in the Muggle world. Everyone is so calm and it feels so wrong for it to be so calm when so much has happened. I still can’t believe Cedric is dead and You Know Who is back. Remember fifth year when we all had crushes on him? And after Harry fell, he wanted a rematch? Why is it always the good people who are killed or have dreadful things happen to them? I don’t think I’ll ever forget the look on Harry’s face. And that’s the worst part. At that time, I was horrified that Cedric was dead but at the same time, all I was saying to myself was Thank God it’s not Harry. It makes me feel so guilty. I guess it’s because even though I don’t know Harry that well, I feel as though he’s an extra little brother. It’s not fair for someone like him to be picked on so much.

And speaking of bad things happening to good people, Angie, please watch out for yourself and if you see Fred don’t let him persuade you to be completely reckless. After all, we can’t have a Best Chaser’s Union with only two and I know how you are sometimes.

                                               Love,

                                                    Alicia

 

Alicia folded the letter and opened Athena’s cage. The brown owl clicked her beak and stuck out her leg for the letter.

“Go on, to Angelina.” Athena gave her an affectionate nip and left through the window that Will had thoughtfully opened.

 

Angelina Johnson was studying the broom models in Which Broomstick. She’d done very well that year and her parents had offered to get her a new broom. She really wanted a Firebolt like Harry’s, but it was much too expensive. The Nimbus line was looking good. Maybe she could get a Nimbus 2000. Yes, that was it. A Nimbus 2000. She circled the Nimbus and shut the magazine.  A Nimbus 2000 though was a reminder of what had happened a few years ago.  In fact, broomsticks in general, only reminded her what had happened at Hogwarts that year. Angelina shook her head. She didn’t want to think about that. She glanced up at the photo on her bookshelf.

The whole team waved wildly at her as Wood held up the Cup. The twins had used their clubs to form a sort of archway over Wood’s head. Harry stood in front of Wood while she, Katie and Alicia kneeled in front holding up two fingers in victory signs.

She grinned back at the photo as something knocked at her window. She glanced up. Alicia’s owl was waiting outside the window. Angelina smiled and opened the window. She eagerly removed the letter and read it through. Oh dear, poor Alicia, but it was nice to know that she wasn’t crazy, or if she was, that both she and Alicia were. She scribbled a reply and sent it off.

 

Thursday      

Dear Alicia,                                                

Reckless things? With Fred? You must be joking.

        I understand why you feel guilty because I feel the same way. I think all of us do. We’re all so glad Harry’s all right. I wonder if it is because we need him in the future. He could be the Boy Who Lived Twice. I know that sounds flippant but sometimes in dark times you really need a sense of humor.

         Mum works for the Ministry and she says Fudge is trying to discredit Harry. She was beginning to believe him but then I told her  that I’d seen Harry after he came out of the maze and if he was making it up, then he was an extremely good actor. Anyone who looked like that must have encountered You Know Who. I’m scared, Lis, I don’t mind telling you that and I know Kit is scared too.  And to think, before I was worrying about whether I’d be Quidditch captain or Head Girl. I don’t care that much about either now. What I care about is friendship and sticking together.

       Oh, and by the way, how is your Weasley pursuit coming along?

                                                                     Love,

                                                                            Angelina

 

As she watched the owl go, it occurred to her that perhaps Fred might appreciate a letter as well. She pulled out a fresh piece of parchment and began to write.

 

 

 

Bell! Get over here!” Mrs. Alvers glared at Katie who had been cleaning the window, “I don’t know what I’m paying you for. Honestly . . .”

            Katie made a face at Mrs. Alvers’ back.  Working and boarding at the tea shop had been her parents’ idea. She had to slow down, they said, and learn some discipline.  Or, Katie amended, be tortured for a while. Mrs. Alvers treated her as a sort of paid Cinderella.  Sometimes it was hard to paste a bright smile on her face when serving a customer because she was just waiting for Mrs. Alvers to reprimand her for neglecting another.  Slowing down was an impossibility. Discipline, on the other hand, well, Katie was keeping a notebook filled with all the things she’d like to say to Mrs. Alvers.  If it hadn’t been for the tea shop’s proximity to Zonko’s and Quality Quidditch Supplies, Katie concluded that she would have long ago been driven insane. She did tend to dawdle by the shop windows when she went out to get supplies.

            Mrs. Alvers’ harsh voice broke into her thoughts, “Bell! You’re supposed to be helping me close the shop!”

            Katie sighed and climbed up to pull down the curtain over the door. Her foot slipped and she fell with a crash onto the floor of the shop as a letter floated in through the window she’d forgotten to close and landed on her chest. She picked it up, read the address and giggled. Boy, did Alicia know her. The address read

                                Katie Bell

                                The Floor

                                Quality Teas

                                Diagon Alley, London

 

Saturday

Dear Kit,                                                                                                                                                                                             

          How are you? I’m still trying to understand everything that’s happened. Angie says right now the most important thing is friendship. I want you to know that I’m here if you ever need to talk especially with your parents being Aurors. 

           I’ve got some nice photos from the Yule Ball. You really were the “Bell” of the Ball if you pardon the expression. Poor Wood, but then again, you gave him a chance, didn’t you?

           It just all seems so unreal to me, you know? Which is why I keep focusing on mundane things. Did you feel at all glad that Harry was alive and Cedric wasn’t? That sounds awful. I mean, did you feel bad that Cedric died but glad that it wasn’t Harry? If you felt that way, don’t worry, so did Angelina and I. I told her if she saw Fred not to let him persuade her into doing anything reckless.  Don’t you do anything reckless either, Katie. I know you.

                                      Love,

                                             Alicia

 

As Katie read her letter, she reflected on how useful it was to be named Katherine. It was a versatile name especially for nicknames. She could be anything depending on her mood and depending on the friend she was talking to. The twins, Lee, Angelina and Alicia all called her Kit.  To Oliver, she’d been Kates, to her family she was Katie except for her Aunt Katherine who, for obvious reasons, addressed her as Katherine. And when she was in a bad mood, she was Kathy.

Alicia did sound awfully worried, but at the same time, Katie was relieved to know that she  was not the only one who had been disturbed by Dumbledore’s statement at the feast at the end of the year. She pondered briefly what to write back and chewed for a moment on her quill before writing.

                                                                                      

Monday

Dearest Mother Alicia,                                                                                                                                                        

             The Bell of the Ball? That’s the worst pun I ever heard. But you have to send me the photos anyway especially that one of you and George. Talk about cute couples. Focusing on mundane things is good; it keeps you from focusing on the morbid.

And I’m so glad that you said that about Cedric and Harry. When I tried to explain it to Mum and Dad, they didn’t understand.  Cedric was, well, Cedric but Harry, Harry is our Harry if that makes any sense. I wish there were some way we could make that clear to him. Maybe we should send him an owl.

         The Daily Prophet is going to make a mess of things as usual. Stupid rag. Why can’t the wizarding world be like the Muggle world and have more than one paper?

You told Angelina not to be reckless if she saw Fred? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. If you saw George, you’d do something reckless in a heartbeat wouldn’t you? Speaking of which, how is your web to trap the Weasley coming, Spinnet?

                                                                                         Love,

                                                                                               Kit

Wednesday

Kit,                                                                                                                             

       You make me sound like a black widow spider.

                                                                   Lis.

 

Friday

Lis,                                                                                                                                                                                               

With a name like Spinnet, how could you not have some arachnid tendencies?

                                                                                Kit.

 

 

 

Harry lay in the flower bed hoping to hear something on the Muggle news, but, as usual, there was nothing. The sun was setting and Harry stood up just as a small brown owl swooped down on him. The owl looked vaguely familiar, he knew he’d seen it at the Gryffindor table before, but he didn’t know whose it was. He didn’t recognize the scripted handwriting on the address either. Curious, Harry opened the letter. It was from his fellow Gryffindor Chasers.

 

Sunday

Dear Harry,                                                                                                                                                                                                      

         We hope your summer is going well (read: not too terrible although from what we’ve heard about the Muggles you live with . . .). We missed Quidditch practice with you this year although from your flying against the Horntail you clearly don’t need any. Next year, we’re definitely going to get the Cup again.

           We know that we’re boring older girls but we want you to know that we don’t just think of you as a teammate or a fellow Gryffindor, you’re our friend too and we missed you this year. Lady Green-eyes says life just wasn’t the same without her Lord.

                                                       Love from,

                                                               Katie, Angelina and Alicia, aka Lady Green-eyes

 

He read the letter several times, hoping that maybe there was something in between the lines that might  tell him something about Voldemort, but, just like the Muggle news, there was nothing. Well, he reflected, it was at least nice of them to write to him and it wasn’t as if they would necessarily know anything. And it would be the polite thing to write back to them.

 

Tuesday

Dear Chasers,                                                                                                                                                                                                  

              Things could be worse, I suppose. But it was nice to get your owl. I didn’t expect to get an owl from you. I hope your summers are going better than mine.

                                                                         Harry

 

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