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“Are you quite certain that Lord Tubbington is not an animagus?” Luna asked, hefting the giant cat into the air.
Brittany sat on her bed, painting her toenails a vibrant red and shook her head. “I’m pretty sure he’s a cat. Like Garfield or Satan.”
“Your mother seems to think he’s part-kneazle,” Luna commented, putting him back on the floor where he flattened himself out, not bothering to stand, “but I think it’s very possible he’s an animagus.”
“Is that the one that turns into a dragon and eats your soul for breakfast?” Brittany asked, terror crossing her face.
“No, no I believe that’s a Schrondugger. They don’t look a thing like sweet Lord Tubbington, so unless he’s been enchanted…”
“Can you check? I like my soul…”
“You know I’m not supposed to do magic outside of Hogwarts, Brittany,” Luna reminded her, biting her lip. “But you certainly can’t perform the spell yourself, and I’m sure no one will notice a little magic in a house like your parents’, especially since Daddy and I are visiting.” Luna whipped out her wand, pointed it at Lord Tubbington, who began to hiss, and shouted, “specialis revelio!”. Sparks flew from her wand towards Lord Tubbington, who sat up quickly to bat them. “Homenum revelio!” she shouted, issuing brighter, louder sparks and scaring the cat enough that he ran under Brittany’s bed.
“No, he seems to be hiding no secret Schrondugger tendencies.”
“Good,” Brittany sighed in relief, bottling her nail polish and throwing her arms around Luna’s neck for a hug. “You’re the best cousin ever.”
“I’m certain you have friends who would do the same, Brittany. People seem to actually like you almost all of the time.”
“That’s because I’m awesome,” Brittany agreed. “But my friends are all muggles ‘cause I go to muggle school. Except Santana; I think she’s a witch. She can make me feel things that I didn’t feel on purpose, plus she doesn’t want anybody to know she can do that.”
Luna nodded, then bent down on the floor to try and find Lord Tubbington. “I think you’re right. Many witches and wizards have no idea they’re magic for their entire childhood, and if you were to simply eat the letter from Hogwarts or Salem Academy, they would have almost no way of knowing of your continued ignorance. Or perhaps if her memory was obliviated after reading the letter.”
“I’m too cool for Salem Academy to invite me to go to school,” Brittany said, admiring her firey toes. “And they don’t have cheerleaders, anyway. Or Santanas.”
“Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they did have a Santana? Or at least a witch that was very much like her? If part of Santana’s reasoning for staying in the muggle world was because she had a counterpart already taking her classes for her at Salem? Or at Hogwarts, and I simply haven’t met her yet? She would doubtlessly be in Slytherin.”
“So like, a Santana clone?”
“Or a duplicate. I think there’s a duplicate of the smart girl Hermione Granger. Two years ago in school, I think I even saw both of them at the same time. But she doesn’t like me, so I don’t think I’ll ever find out.”
“Maybe,” Brittany offered, getting down on the floor next to her cousin, “Santana didn’t go to Salem because she knew they didn’t want a squib there.” Her last words were almost a whisper, and she avoided Luna’s piercing gaze to look at her cat for herself. “And she knew that we have to be together, or else we’ll explode or something. Because even when we don’t do sweet lady kisses, she’s my best friend. And if you best friend goes away for all the year, you could probably explode.”
“Is that what it feels like to have a best friend?” Luna asked, honestly. “That must be nice. Except for the exploding; I can’t imagine that would be pleasant at all.”
“We’re kind of like best friends,” Brittany offered, holding Luna’s hand and beaming at her. “Except only in the summer, when you’re not at Hogwarts. Which is good, because the summer is my favorite month anyway. I don’t have to remember which way my coat goes on or what day Saturday is. I went to school a lot of Saturdays last year.”
Luna nodded, sadly. “Wrackspurts can be difficult like that.”
“I think I’m going to collect them this year and sell them for juice.”
“I’ve never considered what Wrackspurt juice must be like,” Luna wondered aloud, “but you certainly do have to deal with them quite often. Best make something useful out of it, you know?”
“Or maybe I’ll make pajamas out of them.”
“I’m not so sure you could manage to transform them into fabric without magic, Brittany. Though I’d be willing to help if that’s what you would like to do!”
“Okay,” Brittany smiled. “Hey Luna, if we find a Crumple-horned Snorkack this summer, can we interview it on Fondue for Two?”
She grinned, nodding furiously. “I’ll give you the exclusive. And then we can interview you for The Quibbler, as co-discoverer!”
Brittany nodded. “That will be very good for your submarines.”
“I think you mean subscriptions.”
“No, those are medicines.”
Luna blinked thoughtfully, finally agreeing, “I suppose you may be right. Let’s get Lord Tubbington to help us search your backyard.”
“No, he’s grounded. I caught him reading my diary while smoking one of San’s cigars before you came yesterday.”
“That’s a shame,” Luna sighed. She bent over, instructing the bright cat eyes staring back at her, “You really should watch your health, Lord Tubbington. It isn’t becoming of a Kneazle to get hooked on muggle vices.”