The LetterKendra Dimble was a single mother, but not just any single mother. She was the mother of both Poppie and Dean Dimble, who happened to be a Witch and a Wizard. They had inherited their magical abilities from Kendra. In fact, every ancestor that could be traced from their family was a wizard. They were one of the few completely pureblood families left.
Dean was a handsome young man, with sandy blond hair and dazzling sapphire eyes- his mother often described them as a beautiful ocean, but he never allowed her to do so in public. So many times had these entrancing eyes lead him out of trouble; they were his mother’s particular soft spot. As for his build, he was rather tall and quite bulky. In short, he was not someone you would pick a fight with. However, despite his naturally intimidating first look, Dean was not short tempered. He would often wind up his little sister a lot though, for she fell for it so easily it seemed a waste of his wit not to take advantage! Wit was something Dean had a lot of, but as for intelligence… not so much. Arrogance, perhaps, but he reserved that for the people that taunted it out of him. Although he hardly admitted it, Dean Dimble loved herbology. If the people at school knew how many books he had at home on mandrakes and the likes, he was sure he would not be as popular as he was. Indeed, people were often quick to take to him, especially students. Teachers usually did not… he was quite the trouble maker! At Hogwarts, he was sorted into Slytherin, and he was not ashamed.
On the other hand, his little sister Poppie was what people generally described as an angel… before they saw her ‘other side’. From a young age, Poppie Dimble had discovered she could change her appearance at will, but the only thing she ever changed about herself was her hair colour. Everything else she thought should stay the same. This was quite an intelligent way to use this unusual power; after all, Poppie was an extremely bright girl, she really could have made out to look like almost anything she desired. Anyway, at that time, the young girl had taken to colouring her hair a vivid purple, and she rarely changed the style. Almost always she could be seen sporting her beautiful, waist-length wavy hair flowing freely like a waterfall down her back. However, she usually took her fringe and twisted a complicated braid into it, before pulling it right round the back of her head. Her eyes remained as they always had; a deep shade of emerald green, sparkling with fresh ideas and powered by curiosity. Unlike her brother, she was small and rather skinny, but also not to be messed with. Her attention span was long, and she could keep words, phrases and new information in her brain for quite some time. Poppie Dimble was someone who rarely forgot things. She also had a habit of getting rather overexcited at hearing good things, or welcoming new changes to her life. Most times, she would be lovely and gentle, but Poppie’s ‘other side’ mainly emerged when something or someone was being mistreat or, when her brother Dean annoyed her. One thing that separated her from the rest of her family was that she yearned to always be on a journey, or a quest, to always be moving towards a goal. No one knew why, but Poppie would always stay true to herself once she set herself one of these ‘missions’. Indeed, she was a brilliant secret keeper and found ways to conceal things that no one else could’ve dreamed of. In short, she was the most intelligent girl most people had ever met.
Their mother, Kendra Dimble, was just as good looking as her children. She had the same colour hair as her son- a lovely, shining blonde, but its style wavered more towards her daughters. Although it was only shoulder length, Kendra’s hair was still quite as wavy as Poppie’s. She was tall and slim, with similar eyes to Dean, but they leaned more towards the grey-ish colour than blue. In her day, she had been a member of the Hufflepuff house, sharing Dean’s like for herbology, but also her daughter’s knack for keeping things safe. In fact, she kept most things secrets as she aged on; she began to run out of reasons (or indeed people) to tell things.
Poppie squealed with excitement when she saw a recognisable Hogwarts tawny owl come swooping over the horizon. ‘It’s here, Mum! It’s here!’ She called out to her mother, Kendra. Dean, her brother, appeared to have heard, too.
‘What, you mean the owl?’ he yelled, apparently tired by the sound of it, as Kendra came creaking down the stairs. At the sight of the bird, her mouth widened into a smile and she said softly;
‘At last! I thought it would never come.’ Then, raising her voice, she summoned her son, ‘Dean! Down here!’ A few moments later, thirteen year old Dean, who would be entering his third year at Hogwarts that September, traipsed after his mother. Scrambling with anxiety and excitement at the same time, Poppie tripped over several tables before she reached the tawny owl, perched on the windowsill ruffling its wings importantly. The young girl frantically made a beeline for the letter attached to the bird’s leg, but her mother had to come and untie the string that bound the animal and the paper as Poppie’s hands were trembling far too much. Immediately after being freed from the extra weight, the owl appreciatively nipped Kendra’s finger and took flight into the sapphire sky.
Nearly bursting with excitement, Poppie tore open the ivory envelope, breaking the red wax seal that bore the letter ‘H’. Kendra grinned as her daughter began to read it out, clearly remembering when she had received a similar letter. ‘…pleased to inform you…Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry…’ The mother only caught snippets, because it was being read out so quickly. However, once she reached the supply list, Poppie seemed to slow down, marvelling over the weird and wonderful things she would have to acquire, including books by authors she’d never heard of. For example, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ by Newt Scamander took her eye.
‘Fantastic beasts? What can they possibly mean by that?’ And before any of her family could reply, a look of horror struck Poppie’s face. ‘Mummy, there aren’t… beasts… at Hogwarts- are there?’ she managed to squeak, her usually pretty features looking horrible disfigured, most certainly wondering what kind of ‘beasts’ she might run into at her new school.
‘Well, it’s not my fault you never told me about half of the things at Hogwarts!’ Poppie shot him a disgraceful look that most people would’ve thought impossible for such a beautiful, sweet-tempered and intelligent girl. Kendra sighed, with both of them now attending the same school again, she could expect much more of this pointless bickering.
‘Dean! Would you stop doing that offensive and insulting imitation of your sister?!’ And despite the special ring to her voice that she reserved for telling off, she added in an undertone, ‘though it was quite impressive and fairly accurate!’ Kendra chuckled to herself. Then she turned to Poppie, ‘And you, don’t give people such harsh glares.’ For good measure and fairness, she leant close to her daughter and whispered, ‘but I quite agree, your brother has never said much about Hogwarts to you.’ Another small laugh followed.
‘Right. So now, we go to Diagon Alley, again?’ Dean yawned, apparently boring of his sister’s acceptance into her new school already.
‘Yes, Dean. We go to Diagon Alley, again. I quite enjoy it there; I suppose you would have appreciated it more before it was rebuilt…’ Kendra seemed to be lost in her thoughts, evidently remembering the old wizarding shops. She was brought back to her senses by Poppie speaking.
‘I enjoy it there, mother! I can’t wait- this time I’ll get to buy my school supplies!’ Her face was positively aglow at the thought of buying all this new equipment, especially now, when she could do it for herself.
‘Yep. About that- you’ll soon tire of it. I’ve only had two years of it, (this to be my third) and I’m seeing it as being as close to a chore as possible.’ Dean seemed amused by his sister’s excitement at going somewhere she had been so many times before- and just because she got to buy lousy old books and cauldrons for herself. It seemed quite bizarre; he could never remember being this jumpy at the thought of finally going to Hogwarts.
Then her face turned to being excited to in awe, ‘Oh, I’ve just remembered. My wand! I’ll get a wand!’ She whispered, softly. Suddenly, all the brilliant prospects of her new school shone out at her, like glistening white diamonds against boring old coal. ‘And being sorted! I’ll be in a house! Ooh I do hope I’ll be in Ravenclaw, you know- I’ve heard they’re meant to be the most intelligent!’
For the next few days, Poppie danced around the house with a smile that never faltered stretched from ear to ear. Kendra couldn’t help grinning, either, when she heard her daughter skipping by, singing about Charms and Transfiguration. However, Dean always muttered at her as she passed, but she was so enticed in her own world that she often never heard him, or if she did, she totally ignored it.
It was only a week into the summer holidays when Kendra announced that they would be visiting Diagon Alley for the children’s supplies the next day. Dean had groaned and moaned his disapproval at the news.
‘But muuuum, we’ve still got ages left! Term doesn’t start until September 1st!’ Poppie, on the other hand, was even more hyperactive that night than usual.
‘I can read all the books before I go, mum! I’ll have a really good head start!’
‘Yes, of course dear,’ Kendra muttered; she wasn’t really listening, although she murmured occasional words of encouragement and agreement whilst she stroked her daughters purple hair. Meanwhile, Dean was still grumbling;
‘But mum, I reaaally don’t want to go tomorrow…’ he frowned.
‘Mum? You said tomorrow.’ Poppie tried to sound innocent and give her mother a twinkling smile, but she just couldn’t bring herself to it.
Kendra thought for a moment and then said, ‘How about me and you go tomorrow, Poppie, and I’ll take Dean another time?’ Both the children loved this idea.
‘Yay, no Dean to moan and whinge all the way round!’ Poppie smiled.
‘Woohoo! I think I’ll go sometime near the end of August.’
‘Okay, Dean, but don’t leave it too late, will you? We’ll be busy towards that time. Anyway, so what’re you going to do when we go tomorrow?’ Kendra had only just realised that her plan may mean that her son would have to stay at home on his own, and that worried her too much.
‘Um, I’m not sure.’
‘Well why don’t I ring up one of your friends parents and ask if they could take you?’ Kendra would feel a bit cheeky at doing this, but Dean needed to be safe!
‘Er… Isn’t that a bit-?’ He frowned, looking for the right word, but obviously not approving of the idea.
‘Hm, yes I suppose…’ Kendra thought for another moment, and then said, ‘You can go next door. Mr and Mrs White enjoy some extra company, you know.’
Dean usually did not take offers to go next door as spending his day with two elderly people wasn’t his first choice, but at this point he could see no other option. He reluctantly agreed, ‘Fine. Make sure you’re back early though!’