Tamsin Sauvigni

Nothing good to report

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Tami headed up the staircase leading to the owlry, the folded parchment held in her hand.  Now that she had arrived at Hogwarts, she wanted to send a letter home to let her family and especially her younger sister know how she was getting along. She wanted to say that everything was wonderful, that she was making loads of new friends and that she had been welcomed into Gryffindor house.

 

The truth was though, she didn't know if any of those were true. She didn't feel she had made any friends yet, the first night in Gryffindor tower had been a little unpleasant as some of her fellow housemates had even decided against her. She really wasn't happy with the situation at all, and if truth were told she was feeling a little isolated.

 

Perhaps she could have done things a little differently, maybe she shouldn't have sped off on that broom like she did during the tour but her love of quidditch  had fed her desire to fly and she had taken off even before she had considered whether or not that was the right choice.  Her primary concern should have been to bond with her fellows, and she hadn't done much of that .As a matter of fact she seemed to have made a right pig's ear of things.

 

Maybe she could talk to a few people later and try a little harder to get along. Her fellow Gryffindor girls, many of them seemed really nice and she would hope they might become friends at some point, but for now she had no idea when that would be or even if it was possible.

 

So it was, the letter she carried up to the owlery was not one of good cheer, but rather of Tami feeling sorry for herself.

 

She was normally such a confident girl, but that confidence had been assaulted on all sides. If only she could scrub these  last couple of days over and start with a clean slate, but she knew that wasn't going to be an option.

 

Clearly she had one heck of a mountain to climb.

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Juan had given up on sending letters to his family after last year. Two years in a row, they’d receive his letters but never send anything back and sometimes Juan wondered if that was just because they typically weren’t in the house or if they just really liked avoiding him. His brother, Rudy, had at least promised this year to start sending him mail too, even though the two had never even exchanged actual snail mail before.

 

So with this in mind, he’d already written to his brother on all the crazy things that had happened in the first few weeks. He’d gotten very confused when it came to Margaret. They were friends and then she was suddenly treating him like he’d peed in her sock, and then she was okay with him, and then it was… Weird. And the Sera situation hadn’t blown over yet, either, so there was also that… having to see her in the chamber all the time… It was kinda heart-breaking. There was also… the multitude of fights he’d gotten into just in the first week. But hey, at least he was doing some good. Right?

 

An absurdly long letter regarding all these terrible and messy situations was being sent home and Juan desperately hoped Rudy would follow through on his promises. He really needed someone to talk to right now. And he didn’t feel like he could go to anyone at Hogwarts because everyone he talked to regularly and confided in was somehow involved in this messy ordeal. Except maybe Kieran. Kieran was cool. Kieran was ICE cool.

 

Juan made his way to the owlery and stared wide-eyed as a small Gryffindor was headed up there too. Did she know which owls to avoid?

 

“Hey!” he called out, rushing to catch up with her, “You sending a letter? There’s some school owls you’re better off avoiding because they are N-A-S… Nasty. They’re evil and you should just avoid them forever.”

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Tami was close to the door of the owlry when she heard a boy calling to her. She turned back a moment and noticed that the boy was an older Slytherin. Although Tami was both a pureblood and a Gryffindor, she did not feel any animosity towards Slytherin house but rather preferred to consider people based on their own merits. The way the boy was offering her advice, he seemed friendly enough.

 

"Yes, I was about to write home to my younger sister" she pointed out, indiciating the parchment letter she had already written. He offfered to show her which school owls to avoid, and Tami offered him in return a gentle half-smile. She wasn't feeling her usual, cheerful self at the moment but she was not going to be unpleasant because of it.

 

"I was going to see if my own owl, Cecil was up to the task" she explained, but she wasn't about to turn down his offer either "but thanks for offering to show me which school owls to avoid. There are times when Cecil might be asleep, or already out on a delivery, and a school owl may be my only choice." She had an owl of he own, but she wasn't going to assume that he would post all of her letters.

 

She felt that it might be a good idea to introduce herself, especially if the two of them were going to be spending any time together. "I'm Tamsin by the way" she explained.

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She seemed either shy or just really wary of him. He didn’t know. She mentioned writing home to her younger sister and Juan’s smile spread, “No kidding. I’ve got a letter to my older brother.” He waved the little letter in the air and stepped through into the owlery. Long ago, he’d been really hesitant about stepping anywhere in this place because of all the owl poop… Now, it was whatever.

 

 Oh. She had her own owl. Juan nibbled on his lower lip and gave her an awkward smile. He just assumed everyone was like him and didn’t have any pets. He’d brought up the idea of an owl to his parents, so they could send letters whenever they wanted instead of having to wait for him to send them something. But the idea didn’t sit very well with them. An owl? What would the neighbours think?

 

“You’ve got your own owl. That’s pretty cool. Is it kinda hard to take care of him and stuff?” he asked. As he listened to the girl relay how her owl wasn’t always at her beck and call. For some reason, he’d always thought having an owl meant it would always be available for him. But he supposed that made sense. They were creatures with their own needs and thoughts. So weird to consider, though.

 

“Well… yeah,” he merely agreed, already ready and eager to point out which were the evil owls that she should avoid.

 

Tamsin. He looked over at her and beamed, “Juan Garcia. Third year Slytherin.” He wondered if listing off his accomplishments at Hogwarts would be gaudy or something along those lines. Probably. Instead, he decided on focusing on the worst part of his Hogwarts career.

 

“Banned from flying my first year. Now I’m helping in the class, so… Are you a first year?” he asked, trying to remember if he’d seen her around before. He wasn’t very good with faces anymore. Not when he was no longer the youngest and the younger students weren’t all just automatically first years.

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So he had an older brother, as Tami had a young sister. "Has your brother graduated already?" she queried "or does he not come to Hogwarts?" The implication was that the brother may not be magical, a muggle perhaps She wasn't sure how the boy would take the word if she sit it out right, but she didn't feel she needed to take that risk. "I'm hoping when I get to third year, Elewyn will be joining me" she gave her sister's name.

 

He asked if owls were hard to take care of but Tami shook her head "Not really, just keep the cage clean, give him fresh food and water every day and let him out on a night." Those were the only requirements really, that and of course showing your bird affection. Surely demonstrating to your per that you cared for him went without saying though."There is one thing I wish he wouldn't do" she admitted "some mornings he brings the half-eaten remains of a mouse or a vole back with him." Owls like cats in that regard, it was like they wanted to bring some of their dinner home so they could have a midday snack.

 

By now she had followed him through the entrance into the owlry itself. She could see the mess on the floor, but having an owl herself she was careful to watch where she was standing. He gave his name at last, so finally she had something she could call him. She had guessed he was a third year, he looked about that age.

 

It wasn't great news that he was banned from flying, but out of respect she didn't enquire as to why. "That must be a real blow. I am hoping to be picked for the Gryffindor team. Being banned from flying would be a disaster." Tami vowed to herself that whatever else happened, she must make sure she was not also banned. She couldn't think of a worse fate but she couldn't think of anything she was likely to do to befall it. "Yes, I am a first year" she nodded "and I just now that flying will be one of my greatest loves, second only to quidditch itself." Tami adored quidditch, she didn't think any better game had ever been invented.

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Had his brother graduated… Juan stammered momentarily until Tamsin quickly amended the question by asking whether he even came to Hogwarts or not. “Um… My brother… I’m the only one of my siblings with magic. They’re all…” he paused, thinking of the word. It sounded like… squid… “Squibs! My family, my mamá’s family is all magic, but not her, and not my brothers. I think I’m just really lucky as to how that turned out because my abuela’s been teaching me all sorts of things she could never teach my brothers and sisters,” he explained with a smile.

 

Elewyn and Tamsin. “I’m guessing you’re… Welsh, is it?” he asked. Third year. Wow… That was a nice little age gap. Meanwhile his older sisters already had kids and careers while he was still in school. At least Tony was somewhat close to him in age.

 

Huh. “Doesn’t sound that hard then,” he mused, thinking that over. Could he convince his parents to give him an owl? That’d be so cool! But… “Half-eaten… Um. That’s weird. Is that just your owl or all owls?” Now he was a little more uncertain. His parents would probably not be okay with that. He’d never even had a fish. Or a pet rock! He’d never heard of animals bringing dead things.

 

A real blow? “Not really… Still got on the Quidditch team because I’m awesome!” he laughed, “But it definitely made the learning curve hella steep. Just make sure not to tick off Maesson and you should be fine.”

 

A first year with a dedication to flying! “Well, I’m gonna be honest, kinda sad you’re not a Slytherin, then. We could use someone else that loves flying as much as an owl,” he said, turning and walking backward towards the owls, “Alright so… This one… I don’t actually know their names so I gave them my own names. This one here is Toto, because he is missing a toe. He is the sweetest and gentlest thing ever. Just give him lots of love and he’ll love you and send all your letters. But… Which one is yours? Cecil, right?”

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"Ah, squibs" Tami nodded "it is unfortunate but it does happen sometimes." Tami's tone was sympathetic, it is a blow to discover that some of your family are non-magical when you live around magic but at least squibs knew about the magical world whilst the muggles would be totally ignorant of what was really going on around them. You could explain things to a squib of course, but having no skill of their own they themselves would not be able to actually perform the magic. At least Juan had been able to take something positive from the experience and not view it as a total disaster as some pureblood families did.

 

From her name, and her sister's he had guessed that they were Welsh. Tami shook her head. "No, but you aren't a million miles away, we live on The Wirral." It was close to the right ocean at least, only a little higher up.

 

He didn't think that owning an owl wouldn't be all that hard, until Tami pointed out the souvenirs that Cecil occasionally brought home. "Well, I can't speak for all owls but I would suspect that it is fairly common" she admitted "cats do the same thing." That was true, cats often brought mice and small animals home for their owners, although there was a suspicion amongst cat owners that their pets were trying to teach their owners to hunt since many of the gifts they carried were still alive.

 

"Oh, I think I can manage to stay on the right side of the professor" Tami admitted "especially if offending him might scupper my chances, or make it more difficult." She vowed to herself that she would make it a personal goal of hers to treat Professor Measson as respectfully as possible.

 

He said he was sorry she wasn't a Slytherin, but Tami knew that she didn't belong there. "I'd say the sorting hat made the right choice in my case" she admitted "I was probably what Godric had in mind when he founded the house." Juan actually seemed quite pleasant and helpful, Tami started to wonder why the sorting hat had placed him with the snakes.

 

Juan started to point out one of the owls, which he apparently chose his own names for. Tami noticed that the owl he called Toto was clearly missing one of his toes. After greeting the owl, Juan asked which was hers. Tami held out her right hand and gave a soft whistle, and an owl flew down out of the rafters and perched on her.

 

"This is Cecil" Tami explained, stroking his feathers and offering him a treat "isn't he delightful?"

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Unfortunate. Juan shrugged, “When my sister didn’t end up with magic, and then my other sister ended up with no magic, my parents just told us that we weren’t gonna be magic. So I grew up thinking I wasn’t but then I was, so like… I dunno. I like that they’re all squibs because they’ve all got what they like and I’ve got magic. I think it works out.”

 

Granted, this didn’t mean Juan stood out at all when it came to anything in his life. His family thought his magic was commonplace because of their family, and his friends were fascinated by his family because they lived like muggles. He had nothing to be deemed extraordinary by anyone, which was probably the reason he tried to be extraordinary so hard.

 

Oh. The Wirral. He nodded, totally knowledgeable of where that was. “That’s… north. Right?” Despite being around maps so often, Juan had a miserable sense of direction. This was probably why he always ended up lost.

 

What? Cats… brought dead things? Juan’s eyes widened in disgust, mouth agape, “That’s… ew. What? Like they just bring you dead things??” Clearly, Juan had never owned a cat. Or an owl. Or any kinda animal that did hunt. Or any animal, really. Okay, so… maybe no owl. This was okay. He liked being able to just pet the school ones anyways.

 

“You’d think it was that easy, but it’s really not. He’s a bit of a jerk,” Juan laughed, “But he’s not that bad I guess. Mainly just… don’t yell at him or the assistants. Or contradict him. Or break into the broom shed. Or punch a kid in class… Yeah don’t do that and you should be fine.”

 

He smiled at her energy and positivity that she had been sorted into the right house. Juan was still trying to figure out where it was he belonged, and somehow in Slytherin, the house where nearly everyone seemed to hate him, he didn’t really fit in. But these thoughts were soon abandoned when Tamsin introduced him to Cecil.

 

“Cute!” he squeaked, reaching out to pet the owl, “He’s so cute nd fluffy and I just wanna… squeeze him in a hug. Does he bite?” Juan tentatively reached out to stroke the bird’s feathers.

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Tami pondered what Juan was saying. "Well, if they are happy, I guess nobody can ask for more than that" she mused "and they have each other, it is not like a single squib in a magical household." That was when it could truly be called unfortunate perhaps;; that was when the squib in the family could feel like they were missing out on something.

 

He iasked if the Wirral was North and Tami cocked her head to the side slightly as she considered her response. They were currently in Hogwarts, and you didn't get much further now the the UK than Scotland. Did Juan have a different point of reference. When taking the UK as a whole, the most accurate response was to take the midlands as a reference; Birmingham was fairly central for determining what was considered North or South, but then there were Londoners who thought that anything above their city on a map was considered Northern. "It is on the North West coast" she pointed out "above Liverpool yet south of Cumbria. It takes in parts of Merseyside and Cheshire." If he had any concept of UK Geography, that should help to explain, she thought.

 

Juan clearly knew as little about cats as he did owls. "Sometimes, yes" Tami nodded "and sometimes they they aren't dead." That was a difference between owls and cats. There was one thing having to dispose of the remains of some dead animal, it was quite another to suddenly be chasing a live mouse around your living room. "A lot of cat owners believe that this is an instinctive behaviour in cats, they are trying to teach their owners how to hunt like they do with their own kittens. It is not uncommon for cat owners to have to free an unfortunate mouse, bat or small bird."

 

Juan reeled off a list of things not to do with the flying instructor and Tami's eyes widened slightly. "I take it you have done all of the above?" she queried. She was not likely to get into an argument with a professor, or mess around in his lesson. She was also not a violent girl; she was not in the habit of hitting people, but she would if the occasion demanded it.

 

The boy quickly took to her owl, and that made her smile broadly. "No, he is not vicious at all" she pointed out "but he won't take kindly to tight hugs or squeezes. Pet his head and stroke his back feathers, that is what he likes best." She took the bag of owl treats out of her pocket. "You are welcome to give him one of these" she offered. That was the best way to make friends with an owl.

 

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