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Floundering in Magical Waters

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     Hank’s job was pretty straightforward: go to some of the homes of the new muggleborns, explain that their eleven-year old has magical powers, invite them to Hogwarts, explain Diagon Alley, go shopping with them, and all that other annoying crap that Fowler loved to shove onto him. Least this year wasn’t so bad. He just had to visit two houses, which would be a breeze.

     He was wrong.

     His past experiences had never included a woman named Amanda Stern, which is how Hank found himself in the pristine living room of the Stern household, awkwardly sipping green tea across from Amanda and Connor. If he didn’t know Amanda was a muggle, he would have instantly said she were a Slytherin. She hadn’t stopped scrutinizing him since the moment he entered, and she looked like she was about to fire him for incompetence. The boy didn’t act like any eleven-year old he’d met either. He’d never say it out loud, but the poor kid seemed as mechanical as a robot, and dressed in a proper button-up to boot.

     “So, Connor,” he started, as Connor directed his attention to him. “Has anything supernatural happened to you while growing up? For instance, items changing color, or disappearing, floating, weird stuff like that.” Connor blinked, before turning his head towards his mother, as though he was asking permission to speak. Amanda nodded, and Connor faced Hank again.

     “Yes. On occasion, coins have levitated from the ground to my hand. I also turned some rose petals blue one time, on accident,” he stated, matter-of-factly. “There was also an incident where a plate seemingly repaired itself after it shattered.”

     “Yeah, that was your magic at work,” Hank explained, still put-off by both family members. “Lots of people have magic, just like you,” he continued his standard speech. “There’s this school called Hogwarts, where they teach you how to use your magic. It’s like boarding school, with different subjects and extracurriculars.” Hank slowly pulled out his wand from his coat. “For example, in your first year, you’ll learn this spell,” he demonstrated, as he cast Lumos. As a bright light emitted from the tip of his wand, he looked over to Connor, whose eyes were wide. Finally, a reaction. Amanda, on the other hand, looked unimpressed. He cancelled the spell, and put his wand away.

     “Tell me about the curriculum,” Amanda spoke up. “What classes would Connor be taking in his first year?”

     “Well, he’d be taking Charms, Potions, History of Magic, Flying, Transfiguration, Herbology, and Defense against the Dark Arts,” Hank listed, before he raised a hand. “And think of Defense against the Dark Arts as magical self-defense. Also, I teach that class,” he elaborated, trying to not scare them with the words ‘dark arts,’ as he watched both sets of eyes narrow at him.

     “Well, Connor?” Amanda looked down to him, who was deep in thought. Hank could see the gears turning in his head. “How does that sound?”

     “That all sounds,” Connor paused. “Intriguing,” he finished, in an emotionless tone. Hank inwardly frowned. He’d never gotten that reaction from a kid before, geez.

     “So do you want to go?” Hank inquired, unsure how to proceed with such a non-answer. Connor and Amanda both looked at each other.

     “It’s your decision to make, Connor,” Amanda advised, as Connor looked between the two adults.

     “I want to go to Hogwarts,” Connor finished, and smiled a little at Hank, who let out a breath of relief.

     “Nice choice, kid,” he smiled back, before going into the next part of his explanation. “So school starts in September, and we need to get your magical supplies and books and all that. I’ll tell you where to meet me, and we can all go shopping together, with another family who are also new to this,” he glanced at Amanda, who seemed alright with the plan. “And don’t worry about bringing cash or anything, cause the magical world uses a different set of currency, and the school has a fund going towards this kind of thing.”

     “That sounds excellent,” Amanda put her arm around Connor. “It’ll be good for Connor to get to know someone else his age.”

     “By the way, do you have a pencil and paper so I can write the address and time?” Hank looked around, not seeing anything nearby. Amanda pulled a pad of post-it-notes and a fountain pen from a pocket somewhere, and handed it to him. He wrote down all the information, and handed it back to Amanda. “That should be all,” Hank stood up from the couch, and headed towards the door. “It was nice meeting you two,” he smiled at Connor, who was gathering the tea cups, and then at Amanda, who opened the door for him.

     “Professor Hank Anderson,” Amanda said, looking him straight in the eyes. “Watch over Connor. I don’t want him getting into any trouble.”

     Now if Hank hadn’t been a retired auror, he probably would have turned pale at the cold, venomous look in her eyes that promised death. Death by poison, probably. “Of course ma’am,” he said curtly, and headed out.

     Sheesh, he’d never been in that kind of environment before. Amanda Stern lived up to her name, apparently. Hank sighed as he pulled out the details of the other family he had to visit. If names were anything to go by, the Williams would be far easier to talk to than the Sterns had been.

     And for fucks sake, he was wrong again.