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Disclaimer: Everything you recognize belongs to JK Rowling.
A great barn owl dropped a shoe-box sized package on Luna Lovegood’s plate Monday morning at breakfast. The purple wrapping paper was crudely ripped open already, having been inspected by Mr. Filch before it could enter the castle. Having no sympathy for the aesthetics of Luna’s gift, he’d sent it along to her with the pretty purple paper torn up and the yellow bow yanked off. Still, Luna smiled as she tucked the package under her arm and left the Great Hall with a sudden spring in her step.
Up in Ravenclaw Tower, Luna unpacked her gift with great delicacy. The box contained ten plain brown quills with dull ends that she had to sharpen herself. There was no ink included with these new quills, but Luna eyed them with an excited gleam. She pulled the thick blue curtains up around her bed and hastily grabbed her wand from inside her black stocking. She mumbled the spell quickly under her breath and then watched as blue light bathed her bed.
Ernie Macmillian gave Luna a cheeky little smile as she handed him a light brown quill with white flecks across the top half. It was one of her weekly gifts to the students – this week a quill, the week before a single black sock, before that, a pot of black ink. They were always like that – plain, mundane, nothing to get in a frenzy about at all, but Ernie’s smile stretched ear to ear as carefully tucked the quill inside his book bag and hurried back to the Hufflepuff common room after dinner.
Susan Bones was perched on an armchair there already, flipping through her transfiguration textbook, but not taking in a single word of it. She had a tired look about her, her shoulders drooped a little and her eyelids seemed too heavy. But when she saw Ernie enter the common room, the brown quill in his hand, she immediately perked up. With a quick peek around the mostly empty Hufflepuff common room, Susan dropped her textbook on the chair and scurried after Ernie up to his dormitory. They shut themselves up behind his warm mustard bed curtains and laid the quill down on the bed, both of them staring eagerly at it.
Ernie pulled out his wand from his back pocket and mumbled a spell under his breath. Blue light filled their cozy cavern.
One week after Luna received her prettily wrapped purple package of ten quills, Xenophilius Lovegood placed ten pairs of plain cotton gloves inside a shoebox wrapped in yellow foil. He folded each pair into little squares and lined them up painstakingly inside the box. He covered the top with a layer of sparkly red tissue paper and then placed the yellow foil lid on top of the gift. Although he knew his pretty gifts to his daughter were all ripped apart by Mr. Filch first, Xenophilius still took the care to tie a shiny blue ribbon around the box and address it to Luna in careful calligraphy on a silver gift tag.
He gave the gift to the family owl, Clio, to be sent off without any letter attached. The brown barn owl had been named for the muse of history more than twelve years ago by his late wife Pandora. She’d always loved the subject, reminding Xenophilius that events gone by should never be forgotten. The past informed the present would inform the future, she always said. Xenophilius tried to keep his wife’s words in mind always as he went about his days that were all too reminiscent of a time that was supposed to be gone by.
Author's Note: So I thought I'd write a little something about Hogwarts during that one terrible year. I've this idea brewing in my head for a while, so hurruh! Please let me know what you think of this first chapter in the review box below! I love to hear your thoughts and opinions.
My title, 'Areopagitica,' is the title of John Milton's anti-censorship pamphlet in 1644 against the new licensing laws in England.
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