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The train ride home is uneventful, probably due to the fact that I slept most of the way trying to get rid of the nasty headache I woke up with. By the time we arrive at King’s Cross Station, it has finally subsided. I am very excited to be going home to my solitude for a few months. I spend most of the car ride home listening to James tell Lily all about his adventures during the past few months.


When we arrive home, Mum and Dad ask me if I'm okay because I was very quiet in the car. I tell them I'm fine, just tired. Of course that's a total lie because I slept almost the entire way to London. I just don’t feel up to a lengthy ‘how was school?’ talk at the moment. Luckily for me they believe it and I am excused to go up to my room.
 

The next day I wake up nice and early. I can’t wait to head down the street to the library and begin my reading quests for the summer. Mom and Dad are both eating breakfast when I come down, so I indulge them in a bit of conversation.


“Morning Mum…morning Dad.”
 

“Morning Al. I take it you slept well? I’ll bet it felt good to be back in your own bed, huh?”


“It definitely did, Dad.”


Mom looked at me, surprised that I was up before noon. “Where are you off to so early?”


“I am going to the muggle library down the street. I’m ready to read something enjoyable and non-magical for a change.”


Mum nodded and then chuckled a bit, “I suppose I should’ve figured that’s where you would be going. I know you look forward to that every summer. Well, please be sure to come home for lunch, okay?”


I nod, give both Mum and Dad a hug and eagerly leave the house heading for the library. It's a bright, sunny day out, forcing me to squint and shade my eyes with my hand. I wish I had my sunglasses but don’t feel like going back in the house to get them. Besides, the library's not far and I have no intentions of being outside other than while walking there and back home.
 

When I arrive at the library, I am greeted by the cheerful older woman at the front desk. Smiling, I greet her in return and make my way back to my favorite comfy chair next to the “Self Help” section. Most people who come to the library simply check the books out and take them home. Those who do stay to read usually gather in the “Romance” or “Fiction” sections, leaving the spot I like peaceful and quiet for the most part.


When I first started coming to the library a few years ago, I asked how to get a library card so I could take books home. However, once I found out I needed an address and phone number to get one I gave up on the idea since we don’t have a phone and our house is invisible to muggles. At first, I was a little disappointed, but now I find that it’s better staying at the library anyway. It’s a place where I can escape reality for awhile.


I find a book about the Ancient Egyptians that looks interesting and spend my morning lost in their world. For me, this is vacation. At about noon I put the book back on the shelf and head home for lunch, do a couple chores Mum asks me to do, and then return to the library to enjoy my next literary adventure. I head home around 5:00 for dinner, play some wizard chess with Dad, and go to bed fairly early so I can get an early start tomorrow as well. After all, there are so many books in the library and only so many days of summer break. My goal for the summer is to read as many of them as I can, and maybe even learn something while I do.
 

I follow the same routine for the first month of my break. One day in the middle of June, I notice that new poster has been hung right by where I normally sit. My curiosity gets the best of me, so I stop to read it. The poster is an advertisement for a new muggle clinic in town. On the poster are several rows of 4 letters. The top row letters are the biggest and each row gradually gets smaller. Beside each row is a number. The clinic is an optometry clinic and the poster is a warning for parents about the problems that children can have if they can’t see properly. I then figured out that the letter chart is a sample muggle eye test that parents can use to see if their child’s vision is normal or if further medical treatment is needed.


The directions on the poster are pretty easy to follow:
 

Stand 10 feet away, cover one eye, read the lowest line you can (without squinting), then cover the other eye and do the same. When both eyes are done, look at the number to the side of the smallest line you read. If the line your child read is not the line that has 20/20 next to it, they probably need to go get their eyes examined because they are not seeing properly and should be examined by a professional.


After reading the directions I decide to take the test. ‘Why not?’ I think to myself. ‘It looks interesting and I’ve never tried anything like this before. Besides, the muggles do it so it can’t be that difficult or painful or anything. Here goes nothing!’
 

I notice a line made of tape on the floor at what looked to be 10 feet from the poster, step behind it, and follow the instructions. The top rows were really easy to read, but then it got harder the further down I read until I got to a line that was blurry, but I could figure it out. The lines below that just looked like smears to me. I read the same last line with both eyes, so at least the line number will be the same for both.
 

After finishing, I walk up to the poster to see what my number is. It is not what I expect to see. The number next to the smallest line I can read with each eye is the 20/40 line, not 20/20. ‘This is not good,’ I say to myself. After reading more information on the poster, I now know what 20/40 means and that if my parents ever found out, I would have to go have my eyes examined and be told by the doctor that I need glasses. That is the last thing I want right now, so I decide not to tell anyone about this. The longer I can keep this a secret and not have to look exactly like my Dad the better.


As I’m walking home, I begin to wonder if there’s a spell that can fix your vision, even if it’s only a small amount. In the past I never really thought much about spells that could aid a person with minor deficiencies that no spell or potion could just make disappear. I decide that I’m going to spend a little more time in our library at home searching through some of my Mum’s healing books and see for myself. Anything that can help postpone the inevitable for as long as possible is okay with me.


Reading in our library at home is certainly not as quiet as the library. I’m constantly being interrupted by somebody wanting to know what I’m reading, do I want to go play, am I looking for anything specific, do I need any help finding it, etc. I’m not about to just say ‘I’m looking for a way to not have to look any more like dad than I already do, and the poster at the library says I should probably get glasses.’ Somehow, I figure that wouldn’t go over very well, plus I will also end up in the healer’s office quicker than I’d like. Mum’s usually a big help in giving me as much peace and quiet as she can, and I always make sure I do as much as I can to help her out during the day to show her how appreciative I am for her effort.


Finally after over a month of searching, I think I have found what I am looking for. In one of the books on the very back shelf, I find a chapter that contains spells to act in place of muggle “aids” such as glasses, hearing aids, etc. The spell I need to learn is called “Lensus Correctum.” It is a spell designed to help reshape the lens of the eye allowing the person to see clearly without glasses. The only problem is that the spell will only work for correcting vision that is 20/60 or better. Well, now I understand why Dad doesn’t just use a spell; his eyesight has to be at least 20/300 (or whatever the actual number is for “can’t see more than a foot away without them”).


I realize that the solution I’ve found is temporary, but I think that when the time comes that I will need to finally wear glasses, I will be ready to accept it. I’m hoping this spell will help me get used to the change gradually instead of being an immediate one. I really don’t want to go back to Hogwarts in a couple weeks as “Harry Potter’s Clone.” Who knows? Maybe I’ll be lucky enough that my eyesight won’t worsen beyond the spell’s capability to work until after I graduate. Only time will tell…


For now, I need to learn how to perform the spell without blinding myself.
 

It takes me about two weeks, but I think I’ve finally mastered the spell. I notice after casting it that things actually look different to me. I never noticed before how much I was actually missing because some of it was starting to blend together as the lines blurred. I see nothing blurry now…everything is very clear. Just to be sure, I decide to confirm the result with the eye test poster in the library, so to the library I go. Sure enough, this time when I read the letters I can read all the way to the bottom!

Needless to say, I am overjoyed, both in my spell work and the fact that I don’t have to tell anyone the truth yet. It is a great day! The cool part about the spell is that the effects last for 12 hours, meaning I really only have to cast it every morning. Since I can do that in the privacy of my 4-poster while at school, no one needs to know what I’m doing! My secret is safe for now!!


I waste no time putting my new spell to the test by brushing up on my seeking skills (much to my Dad’s and James’s liking. I haven’t really practiced all summer) by chasing the snitch around our yard for hours each day. We go back to school in two weeks, and I can’t wait for Quidditch tryouts! Gryffindor has an opening for seeker this year and I’d really like to make the team. I wasn’t going to try out because I could never seem to find the snitch before Lily or James did, and now I know why! I wasn’t able to see the snitch this well before! But now I think to myself, ‘Look out! Albus is on fire!!’ as I catch the snitch for probably the 50th time today.
 

As I’m packing my trunk for my 3rd year at Hogwarts, I have a good feeling that this summer was only the beginning of changes that were going to take place in my life. I just hope that most, if not all of the changes are positive ones. I throw the book containing my “secret” spell into my trunk. I don’t think anyone at home will miss it, and I want to see what other types of interesting spells are in there. I am also excited that I will be taking a new class that no one from Gryffindor house is in as far as I know. I think this is the first time I am not so apprehensive and dreading going back to school!
 
 
 

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