Today has got to be the worst day of summer so far and, every year, it always is. This day. August 31st means that summer is officially over. No more laying in the garden under the (semi) hot sun – I mean, we do live in England, summer is almost a faint concept – or rendezvous with various muggles from whatever bar/club lets us in without ID. The summer of 2020 has been an almost rollercoaster, spanning from the most boring days of my life to exciting, exhilarating flashes of spontaneous plans in the attempt to find something, anything new and fresh. Cali – the only person on this Earth who actually cares if I bang on and on about why Freddie Weasley won’t stop calling me ‘little squirrel’ in front of the whole damn school or, if I cry over a broken nail when I just got them done or even when I kick off about a tear in a dress I paid 5 galleons for. Of course, she was my best friend and she and I were on a hunt to forget the past year, all its intense lies, drama and shenanigans and “live our best fucking lives, god dammit,” as Cali furiously put it.

So, something I do every summer before returning to Hogwarts - usually the day before because it’s the ‘worst day of summer’ so what else is there to do? - is reflect upon and identify three things I have learnt from the past year, and how I will use those lessons to better the upcoming year. This is a practice my mother has instilled in me since I was a little girl, “Alia, the best thing you can do in life is learn from your mistakes,” she used to say to me again and again. Even though she doesn’t prompt me anymore, I continue it as a sort of personal development exercise (call me a geek but I’m sure people pay professionals to do this sort of thing). There is a common consensus that; the older you get, the more you experience and the more “drama” you endure. So, to be very predictable, 5th year had been the most turbulent, dramatic and emotional year yet meaning I had a lot, and I mean a lot, to reflect on. Which suited me fine, because what else is there to do on the dull days of summer. Without any more rambling…here are my final three lessons I have learnt;

1. BOYS COME AND GO: literally, at 16, how important can a boy be? Why let his actions and thoughts dictate your entire life? And by his, I mean Lance Greanmann. The boy. My absolute first heartbreak, the boy who ruined everything. Well, for the most part…maybe they’re more important once you turn 17?

2. GO WITH THE FLOW: it’s probably the easiest thing in the world to over think. It’s my specialty, honestly if I opened a restaurant it would be renowned for overthinking; the only option on the menu. I mean, there’s just no need for me to stay up at night thinking about why Jamila Hassid gave me a weird look after Potions that one time, or that Scorpius didn’t answer my question straight away but took a sip of his coffee first, or maybe the most important one of all, why oh why hasn’t Lance owled me all summer?

3. APPRECIATION: this was my biggest revelation. It hit me like a ton of bricks on the Express home after 5th year ended. How has it been five years already. I need to appreciate all the time I have at Hogwarts now, do all the things I haven’t done already, really experience it, you know? Appreciate everything and everyone. My friends, the teachers, the parties, the boys – even though this kind of contradicts the first point but still. I’m a teenage girl, I’m not meant to make sense.

Once I wrote my three lessons out onto a piece of parchment, I grabbed my leather jacket and bounded out the door. Being back in London after an excruciatingly long fortnight at my grandparent’s country house in Cornwall was absolute bliss. The hustle and bustle of backstreet London was music to my ears, I loved the urgency and the twinkle in everyone’s eyes. There was always something to do, somewhere to go, something to look forward to.


It was only a little while later, as I sat opposite my best friend at a small tikki bar in Clapham, that the second point on my lessons list was being tested. Cali was not herself today, I knew her too well for her to hide her moods from me. I’ve shared a dorm with her since we both started Hogwarts together, I mean, how much closer could you get? She was drinking quicker than usual, her deeply striking green eyes trained on her drink as her slim fingers extracted the straw from the glass and gulped the contents straight from the glass.

“Come on, Cali I know somethings up,” I persisted, looking up at my best friend whilst using my stiped pink and white straw to swirl my cocktail.

She giggled, “oh for god’s sake. You’re turning into your mum every day, Alia,” effortlessly flicking her pin straight, honey blonde hair behind her shoulders and signaling the bartender for two more of “whatever the fuck will get us shit drunk before Hogwarts tomorrow,” as she so eloquently put it when we initially sat down at the bar.

I rolled my eyes. This is such typical behavior from Cali, honestly, I expected this subtly defensive reaction from her. It’s almost as if she doesn’t realise that I’ve known her for five years now, been best friends with her for five years, been joint at the hip with her for five years.

“Okay...” I began slowly, “so, what were you doing today that’s made you all distant and edgy?”

“I’m not.” She shot me a look then mumbled “distant or edgy.”

I knew that look very well. Nobody ever wanted to be on the receiving end of that look. It was a warning sign; any further and you were going to unleash a side to Cassandra Bates that could rival the Hungarian horntail.

I watched as she downed her fourth drink and said, “look I’m sorry, my parents are legit stressing me right now with everything going on in the muggle papers and my- it’s all just so messy…”

“God, Cali. I should’ve guessed,” I breathed, kicking myself internally for not putting two and two together earlier but usually Cali laughs off muggle media attention, we make of mockery out of it all the time.

“It’s fine, we’re used to it. The muggle media are obsessed with footballers lives and will write anything scandalous about them…it’s just this is too far, the worst it’s ever been,” she looked at me and sighed.

I extended my arm and touched her hand, “listen, you have me Cali. If you need anything, I’m here and I know you and your family will pull through.”

She smiled weakly, “just imagine what Hogwarts will be like tomorrow with this happening.” She rolled her eyes and resumed an upright position almost oozing confidence as she picked up her drink, arching her perfectly shaped left eyebrow. And that ladies and gentlemen, means Cali’s five seconds of vulnerability is over and its back to her usual stance. As she says, “the world is my catwalk and admiration is my wealth,” whatever that means, if it makes sense to anyone out there...please owl me at Hogwarts Owlery, Scotland, Unknown.

“Forget my dad and the stupid media,” said Cali, suddenly pulling me from my thoughts, “they’re worse than Witch Weekly, honestly.”

She chuckled to herself sourly, gripping her glass desperately, looking into the remains.

“People get bored easily, remember that. A new scandal will emerge and all of this will be forgotten,” I said slowly then, “hey how about we send in a tip to these daily mail twats and see if they take the bait.”

“Oh god Alia,” her real laugh resonates and she beams at me, “unfortunately muggle media doesn’t work like ‘Fedilius’ on the end of the Hogwarts Focus but I really wish it did sometimes.”

“Unbelievable, I bet whoever the ‘secret-keeper- is will end up working for the daily mail, perfect fit,” I said, snickering. The school newspaper, the 'Hogwarts Focus' has a segment called Fidelius and is written by an anonymous individual who signs off every article as ‘The Secret-Keeper’ and it almost directly fits in line with all these gossip columns that seem to be taking over the world.

“Forget it, they’ll go to Azkaban soon considering how many people will try to sue when we finally figure out their identity.”

“People don’t go to Azkaban for exposing teenage discrepancies and gossip,” I said, rolling my eyes.

“I know people who have gone for much less, let me tell you that,” she slurred, winking slightly.

Giggling, we both signaled at the same time for another two cocktails and accidentally bumped hands making us dissolve into another giggling fit. Its official, cocktails are Voldemort’s creation. But we still got two more, and then another two and two more after that.

“…I mean, its not hard is it? Just look at Olivia and Tyrell,” Cali gushed, her fist under her chin to support the weight of her head as she sipped her cocktail in between every sentence of her monologue about ‘why love is biased.”

“Its just like, helloooo God, do you want to send ME a knight in shining armor?” she continued, “all He has ever sent me is immature little fuckboys who don’t know the meaning of commitment, loyalty or Valentino…”

“Lance has no concept of any of those,” I joined in.

“Had,” Cali corrected, pointing her finger at me, “he’s in the past, remember, and we hate him, don’t you remember, everybody hates Lance Greanmann.”

“I know, I know, but how do you expect me to shake him from my mind?” I asked stubbornly.

“Easily, look. Let’s do a lis-“ and what exactly Cali’s master plan was going to be was rudely interrupted by the bar manager firmly letting us know that it is “five minutes until closing so can we please leave?”


We had only been stumbling down the road two minutes when Cali cried “I forgot my jacket, how did I forget my jacket,” whilst frantically turning around resulting in her almost falling face first into the curbside.

I stabilised her quickly by linking arms - which helped me just as much as her - as we walked back towards the bar, “I’ll wait here,” I said as we approached the door, “you quickly go in and get it.”

I blinked several times to readjust my blurry vision but everything was spinning slightly – left right left right left right left right. I need to get home right now.

That’s when I heard the voices, at first, I thought they were in my head - I was definitely going crazy. I told Cali that rum affects my brain more than any other alcohol and now look, I’m two minutes away from being whizzed away in a straight-jacket.

But…I recognized these voices.

“Fred- Freddie!” A voice hissed urgently from across the road, emerging from a narrow side street “just give it to me if you’re going to walk like that.”

Turning around so quickly I almost gave myself whip-lash, I saw two tall, built figures rounding a corner, slowly yet as fast as they could whilst bickering, holding what seemed to be a delicate package. I shot down behind a car and watched them through the small gap between a Ford fiesta and Fiat-500.

Freddie Weasley and James Potter.

The door behind opened and closed with a tinkle, but neither of the boys noticed as they continued to bicker between themselves, “what in the fresh hell are you doi–“ I cut Cali’s loud drunk confusion off by dragging her to the ground next to me and holding a finger to my mouth with urgency “shut up.”

After pointing aggressively across the road, Cali clearly got the message and whispered “Don’t worry I got this, I always wanted to be a powerpuff girl.”

Cali and I watched as the boys engaged in the most mysterious conversation that just added on to the already alarmingly long list of questions we needed to ask them about their lives.

“…Give it now.” Said James, bored.

“Don’t touch it. I’m the one who had the connections to even land us this in the first place.” Freddie clutched onto the long package like a child who did not want to share his toys.

“You’re going to destroy it,” James said flatly, “I don’t care if you knew Bradley or not, there’s no point in all of this if we can’t get it to-” he looked around and lowered his tone “school in one piece.”

I looked at Cali…”Hogwarts?” Her eyes were wide, “what are they even doing here?”

A common correspondence between Cali and I; repling to a question with another question.

“Let’s go say hi,” Cali suddenly joked, half getting up but in her non-sober state, her balance failed her and she collapsed straight onto me resulting in us bursting into a fit of giggles, shh’ing each other and attempting to resume our previous positions but failing miserably – which only made us laugh more.

"Wait – can you hear that?” I heard James’ voice stop and I knew the two boys were looking around for the source of the weird sounds.

We both halted immediately, hardly daring to breathe. If they found us like this, especially since we're not on the best terms right now, they would never let us live it down. Besides, we were being secret agents and spying on them.

“Oh come on,” after a minute or two, “this is weird. Let’s go before someone sees us,” said Freddie.

We waited until the sound of their hushed voices and shadows had faded away before looking at each other.

“And what the hell was that about?”

A/N Hi, everyone. This is my first attempt at a fanfiction so lets hope it goes well, i've got an idea of where I want to go with this story so please let me know what you think of this first chapter!

Obviously do not own anything you recognise - all J K Rowling - Valentino - Powerpuff girls (The Cartoon Network) - the daily mail

Squirrel xxx

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