Apr 11, 2021 10:55 PM
can't we please have a quiet school year just once
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Anathema bounces back from all the stresses of second year over the last month of school, as Professor Reynolds returns to work and the entire mess unravels. Things aren't back to normal yet - won't be back to normal until next September, as far as she's concerned, when they can go back to Hogwarts - but they're getting increasingly sure of the Chamber's security and how much of a threat the basilisk is or isn't (not to them unless Anathema decides to violently overthrow Hogwarts' administration). Hagrid's been released from Azkaban and is recovering, though he's still often shaky. The five petrification victims all recover entirely before school lets out - Professor Reynolds most slowly, though she puts on a brave face in front of the students. Their roommate Lisa spends the last month fretting over catching up on everything she missed this year.

Anathema's very, very glad when it's time to go back to their house, though. She spends an entire day curled up in her big comfy bed, petting Scarlet, and another day running amok through the house and the fields and the woods.

And then she joins Ellie in knuckling down to study the Animagus transformation. They've gotten most of the general theory by now, and it's - really nice, sitting with Fay and working intently on this one project. (Minus weekly outings, of course, and Fay's insistence they get out and fly at regular breaks...) Anathema asks to go to the world's nicest zoo for her birthday, so she can squint at all the animals and dream about being them. She also, hesitantly, starts talking to the snakes in the reptile house, at first when no one's looking and then more boldly as it becomes obvious that most muggles just think a young girl hissing at snakes is cute, not weird.

There's other fun things, too - Jurassic Park comes out in July, firmly cementing Anathema's conviction that movies are the coolest thing ever. (Also that Ellie should be a velociraptor.) There's letters and small birthday gifts from their roommates. Lisa and Mandy arrange a trip to an amusement park for their whole group, and Anathema gets herself sick on cotton candy and roller coasters. Their history textbook this year reveals a professor at least decent at thinking through what is or isn't effective learning material.

The most fun thing, though -

They get really, really close to cracking the Animagus transformation. They're not there yet - but Anathema's nearly bouncing in frustration when school time rolls around again, because she can almost taste victory. (She's excited to go back to Hogwarts of course, but, well, Hogwarts isn't turning into a velociraptor-lion-wolf-tiger-falcon-shark-jay-panther-fox-snake, is it? (Anathema's attempts to find an animal she identifies with the most have not particularly narrowed the field.))

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According to Ellie's preliminary projected schedule, they're on track to finish before next summer, accounting for increased demands on their time and lack of opportunity for meditation sessions under observation. Maybe even by winter break, if things go well. (Ellie still feels more like a dragon than any non-magical creature. Maybe an eagle or a hawk, but those are second choices.)

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She laughs.

This winter break might not be a bad time to aim to finish the final month-long step, too - the two weeks off from school will be nice. And Ellie would be the prettiest dragon, definitely.

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Absolutely she would be.

Maybe Anathema will be a chimaera, since she can't decide.

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Maybe she'll be the first person ever to get a variable animagus form.

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That would fit surprisingly well. Even if it is completely theoretically batshit, which also fits surprisingly well.

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Typical of both magic and Anathema!

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Heeee.

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It's good they're so excited - even though not everything leading up to Hogwarts is the most excellent news. There's a very quiet, almost hushed up, breakout from Azkaban that the Ministry swears up and down they'll address. It takes a while for the actual name of who escaped to leak, once the Aurors reluctantly admit they're not finding the man - Sirius Black, a convicted Death Eater.

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Well. That's not good.

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Ugh.

Maybe he'll go bother somewhere else...

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Is one quiet year at school to much to ask? Ellie puts forth that, no, it should not be.

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Giggle.

Well, the nonsense is starting sooner and sooner. Maybe someday it'll be over before the end of summer break.

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That would be nice.

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It'd mean sacrificing some of summer, but there's something to be said for efficiency, there...

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If they could spend the whole school year actually doing school things...

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There'd be no stopping them, given how much they've been getting done even with all these distractions.

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The world would tremble before them.

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Maybe all the nonsense is just a conspiracy to hold them back.

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Orchestrated by rogue enemy time travelers, desperate to hold back their inevitable glory.

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She nearly falls over laughing at that. (Well, clearly since none of their allies are traveling back, their enemies can't do anything but fail.)

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They're not very clever enemies.

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Nah, Ellie and Anathema are just that awesome.

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Suppose that works too.

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Makes for a better story later.

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