This week for the GBE2 we were challenged to pick a line from a book and write from there. The following story is purely fictional. The line I chose was taken from one of my favorite books and favorite series, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” written by J.K. Rowling.
“Can we buy all this in London?” Harry wondered aloud. “If you know where to go.” said Hagrid.
Having never been to London before, I was more than a little in awe of my surroundings. Harry and I struggled to keep up as Hagrid led the way onto London’s underground where we rode to the West End and finally disembarked near Piccadilly Circus and walked towards Leicester Square and Charring Cross Road. Without Hagrid, I am sure Harry and I would be lost. We both struggled to keep up. We turned down a small alley way that was littered with a few shops. With purpose, Hagrid headed straight for a door that had a broken sign hanging over top which read “The Leaky Cauldron”. To look at the place from the outside, I would have guessed it had been closed long ago and that no life occupied it now.
He opened the door to reveal a dark, dusty pub filled with several people enjoying their lunch. It was obvious Hagrid was a regular, because the bartender greeted him by name and offered him his usual. Everyone stopped in mid sentence and stared in our direction. All of a sudden, people rushed forward to greet Harry. “Bless my soul, if it isn’t Harry Potter!” “Not today, I am just taking Harry and Kathy to buy their school supplies, lots to do.” Hagrid quickly brushed them off as he led us to the back of the pub.
We went out the back door and Hagrid quickly pulled out his magical umbrella and tapped the bricks in front of us. The way opened up to reveal a street beyond thriving with activity and filled with witches, wizards, and their children scurrying about their arms laden with their many purchases. I felt as if I had entered a dream, where everything was not as it seemed. There was so much to see, I honestly didn’t know where to look first. One thing was certain, it seemed only Harry and I was astounded by our bustling surroundings.
Even more wondrous was the shop windows filled with things I had never imagined before like shiny brooms, colorful robes, books of every size, cauldrons, and everything one may need to be a proper wizard or witch. I still couldn’t believe I had been invited to attend a place called Hogwarts and all those amazing curious things that had happened in my past could be credited to unbridled magic!
Without money, Harry and I wouldn’t be even able to make a dent in our school supply list so the first stop on the agenda was the tall, imposing Gringott’s Bank at the end of the street run by strange little creatures that Hagrid called goblins. I had heard of goblins around Halloween, but never fancied myself meeting one. Hagrid told the goblin in charge that we were there to make a withdrawal out of our vaults. “I have a vault too?” I asked Hagrid in disbelief. “Of course you do, Kathy! Your aunt has taken care of everything!” My aunt, which aunt? Holy crap, I have an aunt who was a witch and I never knew or guessed? We were led to a small cart, and I immediately started to freak out.
The cart looked foreboding and a little to much like a roller coaster ride for my tastes. I did not want to get on the blasted thing but had little choice. Feeling scared, I boarded the small cart and it took off like a bat out of hell with me screaming my happy a$$ off in my fright. No one had prepared me for this!! I held on for dear life alternating between praying and cussing like a sailor. Thankfully, the cart soon skidded to a halt before a vault and the goblin jumped off to open a little door which revealed a cave filled with gold. My jaw dropped. Hagrid stepped out, gathered up enough gold to make my purchases, and just as quick we were off again winding around curves and plummeting down hills with me screaming like a banshee. I felt my stomach roll and my lunch rush back up in my throat as I shut my eyes tight. Quickly I swallowed it back down, and was grateful to have survived the experience when the cart finally came to a stop.
We left Gringott’s Bank to discover Diagon Alley bathed in sunshine. We visited Flourish and Blott’s for our spell books, Madam Malkin’s for our robes, and the best place yet, Ollivander’s for our magic wands where after several unsuccessful explosions a wand chose me. Next we proceeded onto the Magical Menagerie where Hagrid assured us that owls were loyal, useful creatures and a wonderful choice. Even though I gazed longingly at the cats, in the end I carried away a lovely owl in a shiny, golden cage. Harry and I were both beaming by day’s end and armed with everything we would need for a successful year at Hogwarts from owls to wands to spell books.
After escorting us to the train station, Hagrid disappeared leaving Harry and I to find Platform 9 ¾ on our own. We discovered a kind wizarding family who happily explained how to get on the platform, and before long I was facing a brick wall and running hell bent for election straight towards it with my trolley certain I would end up sprawled in a heap covered in cuts and bruises. I made it to the other side and discovered the Hogwarts Express waiting for me. The train whistle sounded, startling me from dreamland. I suddenly woke and sat up in bed. The Harry Potter book I had been reading fell to the floor with a thud. My heart raced, and my mind struggled to grasp what seemed so real could only have been a dream until next time when I give you another glimpse into the life of a trucker’s wife.