Potterphile; a person who loves the Harry Potter books and films.
I came down to breakfast, feeling like my brain was still in bed. Sitting at the table, I pulled the box of cereal over to me, grunting a reply back to mum who had just said, ‘good morning,’ to me.
Opening the box, I poured some cornflakes into the already waiting bowl. Placing the box back again, I glanced over at my little sister. All I could see was her violent red hair over the top of a thick book.
I wonder for a moment what she was reading. She was a total bookworm and hardly had her face out of a book. I lost count of how much she had read and most of the time I only half recognised some of the titles from school.
I splashed some milk on top of the bowl and started eating. I wasn’t even hungry but the wrath of mum wasn’t worth it. I glanced up at her as she put some toast down and fussed over a few things. Mum buttered the toast and nibbled on a slice. She looked tried and frustrated. Her hair which was the same color as my sister’s, was super fizzy as if it had been electrocuted.
If I could manged the words, I’d ask her how work last night was. She’d told us things were tough at the nursing home at the moment. Most of the old people had flu and they were dropping like flies. For the past two weeks, someone had died every second or third night. There seemed to be no end in sight for it clearing up.
I couldn’t get everything out of my mouth just yet, so I shoveled in some more wet cornflakes. Then I drank some orange juice, hoping that would wake me up. I felt like a zombie with a headache who was hungover.
‘Time for school,’ mum cut in.
She hurried up from the table and began clearing away. She was eager to go to bed and get some sleep. I wished I could do the same. Instead though, my day was going to be full of boring lessons and detention for not doing my science project.
I abandoned the rest of my breakfast and went to get my things. Behind me, I heard mum telling my sister to put Harry Potter down and get her stuff. Ah, that’s what she was reading! Shaking my head, I finished off getting ready then went downstairs again.
‘Here’s you lunch,’ mum said, handing me my plastic lunch box.
She reached up and tried to flatten down my hair which was doing it’s normal just out of bed sticking up everywhere look. I had red hair too, only it was much lighter then theirs, which I was thankfully for.
‘Thanks,’ I muttered and tried to shove the box into my bag whilst attempting to avoid her hands.
‘Lily! Come on!’ mum called upstairs.
My sister appeared, school bag on her back and that huge book hugged to her chest.
‘Lunch,’ mum said and handed her a pink fabric bag with a unicorn flying over a rainbow on it.
‘Did you put the fairy cakes in?’ Lily asked.
‘No, you know the school doesn’t like unhealthy food. You can eat them when you get back. Have a good day,’ mum added.
She kissed Lily’s forehead, opened the door and pushed us both out. The door rattled shut behind us. We started walking, it was a strangely bright sunny day and it felt like spring had finally arrived. In the front gardens of neighbors, flowers were starting to grow.
Lily fell behind and I reached the bus stop first. There were a few other people waiting there; two younger girls from my high school, a postman, a man in a high visibility vest and an harassed like young mum with three kids one of whom was in a pushchair. I glanced back for Lily and saw her walking slowly over, her face buried in her book.
There was no point in telling her to put it down. She was into nearly all books but there was something about the Harry Potter ones that really made her addicted. She must have read each one a hundred times and watched the movies just as much.
Lily came to a stop close to me, the book totally blocking out her face. Her fingers were wrapped so tightly around the thick spine that her knuckles were turning white. It must be hurting her little hands to carry something so big like that. I saw the page turn.
‘Which one’s that?’ I asked her.
‘The fifth,’ she spoke, ‘The Order Of The Phoenix.’
I pulled a face as if trying to remember which one that was. Lily had dragged mum and I to all of the movies and she must have made me watch each one a few times at home too.
‘Where you up to?’ I uttered.
Lily was quiet for a few seconds then she said, ‘they are at the starting feast.’
‘Here’s the bus. Stop reading whilst you get on,’ I added.
Lily had a habit of tripping up and down stairs and over things whilst she walked with her head in some fictional world. With a sigh and a nudge from me, she lowered the book and got on the bus behind everyone else.
The bus was packed as normal and I pushed Lily into a seat before the young mum could get one of her kids into it. I lent against the plastic panel leading up to the stairs, looming over Lily like an evil step-brother. Lily pulled up the book again and turned to her marked page.
‘What is about those books?’ I spoke loud without meaning too.
Lily glanced at me, ‘they are good,’ she replied.
‘So are many others,’ I put in.
She shot me a dirty look, ‘and what would you know? You hate books.’
The lady next to Lily throw me a disgruntled look then stare down at her Kindle again. Another woman behind her peered at me in horror before turning to the window. A few other people had raised their eyes too and I felt like Lily had just said a swear word.
‘I don’t’ I muttered.
Lily shot me a smug look then put Harry Potter between us. I pressed my lips together before turning away from her. The rest of the bus drive felt like it took forever but finally we made it to the stop outside of the high school and we got off in a crowd of people.
I had to drop Lily off at her primary school around the corner first. I took her arm, not caring that she cried out and almost drop her book.
‘We’re late!’ I snapped and broke into a jog, dragging her behind me.
‘Let go!’ Lily shouted.
She tried to wiggle free but I was too strong and was able to force her onwards. Only when we got to the gates and I pushed her inside, did I let go. She looked disheveled and grumpy.
I turned to go then remembered. I grabbed her shoulder, spinning her towards me then lowered my face to her’s and whispered, ‘wait for me in the library, okay?’
Her eyes got wide, ‘you got detention again?’ she asked then giggled.
‘Just do it,’ I growled and stalked off.
I was late to home room and the excuse of having to drop Lily off wasn’t working anymore. School was as dull as I thought it was going to be. Time seemed to have slowed too and the droning of the teacher’s voices remind me of bees buzzing in the summer heat.
At lunchtime after I had eaten, I crept off to one of my favorite hiding places; the English teachers’ stockroom. There in a back corner, hidden behind all the towering shelves filled with fiction and text books, I sat down. From the bottom shelf next to me I pulled out one of books; Harry Potter and The Order Of The Phoenix.
Smiling, I turned to the page I’d marked last time. I was far ahead of Lily. But I wasn’t about to tell her or anyone else that.