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The day of the first of September was a dull one. It was meant to be sunny, but as usual, on the happy days, it rains.

I know that as I make my way downstairs, mum will be crying, but pretending not to. She will have breakfast set out, making it seem like everything is normal, even though it is far from it. Then there will be the normal politeness she will present, so that I don’t know that she is upset about having to say goodbye.

Even when our family was whole, she acted this way.

But when I entered the room, I was surprised to see my father sitting at the table, eating breakfast. It wasn’t my week to be with him, so it wasn’t like he was picking me up. And when I had asked him if he was coming with me to Platform 9 ¾, he told me he wasn’t. ”I’m giving your mother her space.

So this is space?

I see my father smile at me as I sit down at the table, the normal spread laid upon the table. It wasn’t a forced smile, but it wasn’t happy either. I could see the sadness behind it.

I just hope they hadn’t seen past my plan.

A few weeks ago, I received my letter from Hogwarts, telling me the normal stuff I need to know about Hogwarts. In the letter I received, as usual, the form to visit Hogsmeade. I know mum would never let me go; she barely lets me out the back to fly my broom. So, it only left dad. As usual, mum dropped me off in the car, staying long enough to say bye, before lifting the clutch and driving off. Knowing my father so well, the only way to get him to sign my form was to butter him up.

“Hey Hu.” He wrapped his arms around me, holding on just a little too long as usual. “How you been?”

It was the normal formal welcoming I received at my father’s run down place. It was about thirty minutes away from mum in the car, around an hour by walking. I knew he lived here, because it didn’t remind him of mum. I’m sure that if he had ever been good at decorating (or had a sense of style) he could have fixed the place up.

Instead of replying, I pulled the form out of my pocket. “Can you sign this? Mum says I can’t go.”

Dad looked at it for a minute, before waving his wand. His signature appeared at the bottom. Trust my father to always do the opposite of my mother.

“Hugo, honey, eat up.”

My mother’s voice is sweet, but I know differently. She doesn’t want my father to think she isn’t feeding me properly.

As I tuck into the food laid out in front of me, I catch glimpse of my parents trying to look at each other. They love each other, I know they do, but both are far too stubborn to admit it. I just wish Rose could be here; none of this would have gone so wrong. I wouldn’t have been worried about returning to Hogwarts after being away so long. My friends would know how to act around me and I wouldn’t have to pretend their happy lives don’t affect me.

“Hugo, son. We have to talk to you.”

This time, it is my father’s voice. His was forced into politeness, as if my mother had told him exactly what to say.

“Your mother and I have been talking and...”

I watch, just waiting. I don’t dare hope that he is about to say they are getting back together. It is an uncomfortable few minutes before it becomes too much.


Dad takes a deep breath. I can see the tears welling behind his eyes. “Your mother and I have decided to get a divorce.”

If it hadn’t already happened, I think my world would have shattered. Living apart for a while was bad enough, but divorce. Divorce was a whole other world. It wasn’t meant to happen to my family; nothing that has happened to my family should have happened.

“As you know, your father and myself haven’t been getting along lately...”

Your father. Your mother. Was this what we had been brought to? Instead of names, they are now calling themselves my mother or father.

“Does it matter?! You love each other! I know you do!”

I don’t wait around for them to reply. I can’t stand to be in the same room with them. I take off out the door, leaving my trunk and my parents behind.

I need to get out of there and I don’t care where I head.

But before I am even halfway down the street, a car pulls up next to me. I know it’s not my parents; it is Uncle Harry.

“Hugo, get in the car. You don’t need to go home; your parents understand. If you want, I’ll take you to the station. Just get in the car and I’ll take you back to our place. You and Lily can just hang out for awhile.”

He opens the car door and I climb in. I don’t really want to go back, but I know Uncle Harry can find ways to get me back. He did, after all, kill Lord Voldemort when he was seventeen.

“I’m sorry.”

I know what he means. He’s always the one to say sorry. He said it the day he came over with the news of Rose.

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