4/7: Second preferences

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“Dear Hannah,

These past few days could have been really bad. They could have been worse than those freak tornadoes those pixies rucked up last autumn to steal all our turnips. I wish I could jinx those moments away as we did those blue pests. I am okay though. I decided to stop and see Ernie along the way. He seemed chirpy, until I told him about the entire talk with Greogory Clarke. He promised he would stop drinking now, although I saw him sneak a few drops of whiskey with his night’s tea, before owling the Daily Prophet. Still looking to grab the money it seemed.

You must have got to know all about it from the papers, and I’m sorry, but from Gran as well. I guess she must have been really upset. I got a nasty owl from St Mungo’s informing that she was cursing anything and anyone she saw. They had to jinx Gran to stop her from ruining the staircase. Frankly, I don’t even know what the talk is all about. I did feel upset at the beginning. Who wouldn’t? Learning that one was so close to death is enough to make anyone distraught. I admit I was completely taken aback. The chair at Clarke’s office almost took a tumble as I sat down. I ordered a hot chocolate at a Muggle bar that stank of cat. I ate roasted tomatoes from a cherry tree at dinner. They were delicious, proving that some of these plants could work.

I spent all night at Ernie’s place thinking about what could have been different. How Voldemort could have been informed by Bellatrix Lestrange instead. And how she could have learnt about me, about my parents – even though she had crippled our lives already. It was a matter of chance. I turned over and over in bed that night, so much so that Quintus in the adjoining room put a muffling spell over his ears to ease the bed squeaks.

I woke this morning to the brightest skies I had seen in days. London was draped in a glorious sunshine. Every window facing the east sparkled like a thousand mirrors. I could see the Thames in the distance, meandering its way across the city. I couldn’t but help feel positive. I am grateful for everything that has happened and that didn’t. It has brought us to where we are right now, everything authored exactly how it should be.

I sent Harry an owl before boarding the Hogwarts Express. I know he must have been caught up in those nastly swamps in Florida. That missing British wizard case was just above Rita Skeeter’s column on me, ‘Longing-Bottom.’ Sounded more like a bathroom emergency. I addressed the owl to Ginny instead. She must surely be thinking James is up to no good on his first day at school. I’ll tell you all about it later tomorrow when I see you and Amelia at Hogsmeade. Aberforth sent an owl inviting me after school. He said he of all people knew about keeping secrets.

I have accepted that nothing is going to change what happened. And I don’t hold anything against Harry for not telling. He suffered enough, more than all of us. I at least had the chance to kiss my parents goodbye, to bury them. Harry didn’t even know who his parents were until he grew up.

Hope this media fiasco dies down soon. Hundreds of owls have been preying me all day. Merlin knows I’ll be glad to be back at my office in school. The students must have literally been having a field day with Herbology out of the window. I grabbed myself some chocolate frogs and jelly beans from the trolley. It’s been a while since I had some of them. I was lucky. My first bean turned out to be strawberry. I have a good feeling about this term.That’s all for now. See you real quick. Lots of love.

Your somewhat confused husband,

Neville.”

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