The next morning was absolutely chaotic. Somewhere between me trying to neaten my trunk last night and Archie coming in to look for the missing first year Potions book, my room had been turned upside down. I was running around trying to find a pair of stockings and my sweater from beneath the commotion of books and robes, silently cursing Mama for refusing to use the Accio spell to help me. She had said that I needed to learn how to live neatly, and apparently the only way to do that is for me to forage through my jungle of a room while Archie and Peter were yelling for me to hurry up. Adding to my bad luck, Pandora refused to budge from in front of my wardrobe, hissing and clawing at me when I tried to remove her stubborn cat body. Finally I managed to find my stockings beneath my pile of library books and located my sweater from inside my witch’s hat. Pulling the emerald green sweater over my head, I hopped over a pile of robes to the dresser and pulled a comb through my black curls. After turning this way and that in front of the mirror and fixing up my clothes, I deemed myself neat enough to walk out of my room for breakfast.
Peter was waiting right outside my door, his blond curls already combed neatly on top of his head. He was pulling at his perfectly starched shirt, trying to undo the top button. Archie had gone downstairs, fed up of waiting for me to come out. After giving Pete a morning hug, I hurried downstairs with him right on my heels. It was 6:45 and we were late to breakfast.
“What took you so long, Minnie? Your eggs are on the verge of frozen now,” Ma said, pushing two plates of eggs and sausages in front of me and Peter.
“Shouldn’t you know since you refused to Accio my stockings and sweater to me?” I said, letting my annoyance take the better of me.
“Young lady, don’t you talk to your mother that way,” Pa scolded me, although the effects of his stern words were worn off by his half-smile.
“Sorry Ma,” I said, not feeling at all sorry, “I’ll be neater next time.”
“Thank you. Now eat before we’re all late to Diagon Alley,” she said, her stern face breaking into a smile.
I had the urge to gulp down my eggs and drank my orange juice in one go, just like how Archie was doing it across the table from me, but refrained because I knew that was not how young ladies were supposed to act. Cutting the sausages into bite size, I gracefully popped each piece into my mouth and chewed silently. They were good, salty and still nice and warm. I bet Ma had heated them up with her wand just before I came downstairs. Smiling my thanks in her direction, I quickly eat up the rest of my breakfast and helped to clear the dishes. Archie was washing up today, and Pete was drying. I grabbed a cloth and mopped down the table.
“Ok, we’re done,” Archie and Pete announced simultaneously, each drying his own hands on a tea towel.
“I’m done too,” I said, “And it’s just past seven, so we’re not too far off schedule yet.”
“Children! Dry your hands and come into the living room,” Pa called out.
We left, arriving in the living room just in time to see Pa taking out a small tin. FLOO POWDER, screamed the label in massive capitals. A flurry of silvery dust flew out as Pa popped open the lid. Ma gathered us all next to the fireplace, and explained to us the convention of travelling with Floo powder. It was my first time travelling by Floo, since last year we arrived at Diagon Alley through the brick wall in the yard of the Leaky Cauldron. I listened intently as she told us to say “Diagon Alley” in the clearest voice possible to ensure we don’t end up somewhere else, and to keep our arms by our sides. Peter was eyeing the powder with eyes full of wonder from next to me, and I could feel his excitement vibrating through the air.
“You all remember what you need to do?” Ma asked.
“Yes,” we recited, “Take a handful and toss it into the fireplace, then say “Diagon Alley” in a clear voice and step into the fire. Don’t forget to keep arms by our sides.”
“Good,” Ma smiled, “Right, I’ll go through first and wait for you all on the other side.”
“Then Minnie will go, then Archie, then Pete and I’ll be last,” Pa added, “Ready, Di?”
Ma nodded and stepped forward to take a handful of powder from the tin. She tossed it into the fire and said “Diagon Alley” in a loud, commanding voice. Our eyes popped as we watched the roaring crimson flame turned a deep emerald green, and I inadvertently sucked in my breath as Ma walked straight into the heart of the fire. She disappeared. Pa turned to me, his hand holding the tin invitingly. I walked up and took a handful. Mimicking what Ma did, I called out “Diagon Alley” and gulped as I walked into the flame. There was no burning sensation. Actually it was rather nice. I got sucked along the Floor Network, my arms glued to my sides. It was better than a thrill ride at an amusement park. The trip ended all too soon, and reluctantly I stepped out of the fireplace in Diagon Alley. Brushing the charcoal flakes off my Mary-Janes, I waited with Ma for my brothers and Pa to arrive. We were finally here at last!