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the perks of being sally-anne?

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9th January 1998

8:55am: Home is nice, I suppose. I've got football, and I can watch my programmes on their normal schedules - Steve Coogan is utterly brilliant.

What I've taken to doing recently is going through these old books of ghost stories, something which ironically cheers me right up. After a while, a lot of the local tales sort of blend into this one gigantic boring story with a hazy red mist screaming that it wants either its money or its child back, throwing stones at windows and pissing everyone off.

My personal favourite, though, isn't in any of those books. It's a story that one of my dad's friends told me at a Christmas party back when I was a lot younger.

Supposedly, there was this boy named Raymond O'Brien who tried to scam people out of their money by sending out brochures with fake products and envelopes for money orders; people'd send him Galleons back by the pocketful, and never received a product in return. O'Brien could've become rich off of this - people were stupid enough, apparently, to just send their money to an unknown solicitor without asking questions first, and that didn't seem to be ending anytime soon. There was nothing stopping him.

Except, apparently, for the Letter Aurors.

One day, O'Brien disappeared and was never heard from again. The Letter Aurors are supposed to be some sort of secret society who "uphold the integrity of the owl post," and stop anyone who interfere with that process by any means necessary.

But it's rumoured that if you address a letter to Raymond O'Brien and send it by owl, you'll get a response scrawled in his own blood, begging for you to come find the secret catacombs where the Letter Aurors have him imprisoned with others who have disobeyed the rules of the post.

I think that story was intended to discourage children from sending prank letters, but it only seemed to increase that particular streak in me.

31st December 1997

11:06pm: Owen

This wasn't supposed to happen to US

To the Great Hall, I suppose.

19th December 1997

2:10am: I don't know why everyone's so down on the mistletoe. I mean, I haven't been the victim of its wrath yet, thankfully, but unless you're forced to kiss, like, somebody totally digusting and/or humiliating (and neither Groan Livers nor Neil O'Biley go to this school, so DEAL WITH IT), I fail to see what the huge problem is.

Actually, the only thing that could make the mistletoe greater would be if it were to force people to sing carols instead of kiss strangers. HOW AMAZING WOULD THAT BE? Talk about a Happy Christmas!

Imagine. You're walking down the corridors to class, and you hear a tinny voice off in the distance. After going to investigate, it's TOO LATE. You're helpless. Compelled. FORCED. To sing


That wasn't just to get out of research project homework. Seriously.

13th December 1997

8:56pm: It's sort of like some deranged scavenger hunt or something, eh?

Well, anyway, I've found lots of these little badges marked SPEW scattered in my things, and as charming as it would be to put them all over my bag and pretend it's the name of this brilliant underground band no one's ever heard of but me, it'd be over the instant whoever REALLY owned them realised what they were.


These are some sort of bizarre little present for me? If they are, THANKS LOADS, and MAY I ENQUIRE, why not VOMIT? Or DRY HEAVE? A bit more eloquent sounding than just SPEW, but maybe that's just me.

4th December 1997

4:11am: Okay, well, it's December ALREADY, and while that means Christmas and all that are coming up fast, something else follows quite shortly after that I think I may as well prepare for early. I can't be bothered to find extra parchment right now, so it's going in here, and if you don't like it then I feel rather sorry for you.

-Listen to at least three new bands EXTENSIVELY each month. A broad palette means nothing if you don't continually expand.
-Learn a new sport. Note: Anything BUT Quodpot, which is just stupid and I'm certain any vaguely trained and drugged up gorilla could play. OH-HO WHOOPS NO OFFENCE MEANT TO ANY PLAYERS. If failure to find an interesting sport occurs, make one up!
-Teach myself the opening bits of 'Paperback Writer.' Because, really.
-Take more pictures of EVERYTHING so I won't regret it later when I want to post things on my walls to remind me of my things.
-Realise that it's okay to know different languages if you don't act like a snob, and just use the knowledge to randomly insult people without them knowing it if it's done real clever-like.
-Learn a new craft, like badge-making or finally figuring out how to use magic to properly tie-dye my schoolbag.
-Be a bit more polite (but only to those who really deserve it).

Well, obviously there's always room for more.

Feel free to add your own to my list if you'd like, but if it's something stupid like "oh well er LOSE THOSE TEN POUNDS FINALLY I SWEAR I'LL NEVER EAT ANYTHING BESIDES CABBAGE AGAIN" then I can't promise I won't laugh and point in the corridors. Or during class. Or by the pitch. Or during meals. ESPECIALLY during meals. You get the general idea.

26th November 1997

1:40am: I SUPPOSE what they're doing is really for the best (in their minds, at least), even though it seems like the biggest crock of shite I've seen ever since I last had to take Potions and my Memory Draught congealed in the cauldron and I had loads of points taken off for my troubles. Eurgh.

Dad's pissed about it, I suspect he's sent plenty of anonymous howlers around to the "higher ups" or whoever they are (not so anonymous anymore, then?... sorry, Dad) and of COURSE my grandparents sent me a lovely new letter about how this wouldn't have happened if there were no Muggle-borns at this school (perhaps they should have a fair few of you over for tea sometime? -- you'd probably get along), and OH SALLY-ANNE IF YOU'D ONLY GONE TO BEAUXBATONS LIKE WE'D ASKED and so on until my eyes bleed from reading Grandmum's horrid slanty handwriting.

But that thing about wanting to stop "spreading knowledge"? Muggles have more tact than they realise. But then, maybe they DON'T! Like my mum wanders around the city wearing a badge that says MY HUSBAND'S A WIZARD, ASK ME HOW!, offering to do Quidditch demonstrations every quarter of the hour with her handy-dandy wizard pamphlet kit.

Bollocks bollocks BOLLOCKS.

22nd November 1997

12:37am: You ignore your journal in favour of actually attempting to catch up with schoolwork, and you miss the entire soap opera.

I don't suppose anyone's going to give me an UNBIASED condensed blow-by-blow?

15th November 1997

11:19pm: Hopefully I'm not going to wake up tomorrow and find that my hair's been coloured bronze-and-navy or that my bedposts are attacking me or anything like that. Not to give the Ravenclaws any ideas!

But there are worse ways to go than bronze-and-navy. I've tried fuschia streaks before, once - it was quite nice, actually. Oh, and electric green, although that's horrible with my complexion. So's shocking blue, which is a pity, because the single most beautiful stockboy I've ever seen had his that shade once upon a time.

On that subject, I'm amazed both teams are still standing, limbs fully in-tact and minus any stray tentacles or horns or... thoraxes, or anything. NOT THAT I'M ENCOURAGING THAT SORT OF THING, I'm just saying. You know, scientific interest.

9th November 1997

9:18pm: Shopgirl at Zonko's
+Free samples?
+...employee discount, at very least?
-Eh, health benefits. Damn my rationale.

Animal Healer's aide

Winterising Accessory Consultant
-Money to start it, though.
+Ask Dad?
-Creative juice may run out. WHAT, THEN?

Something dealing with Charms blahblahblah
+Can tie into potential Winterising Accessory Consultant field?

Something dealing with Arithmancy blahbidyblahtripeshite
+OH. CURSEBREAKER. didn't take Runes.
+Ministry? No, no, no.
...get back to this one later.

Taking a gap year (like Mum!)


2nd November 1997

7:22pm: It's hard for me to believe that Hallowe'en is already over - it might sound mad to you, but I value the holiday more highly than even Christmas! It's the best excuse in the world (for those who need one) to act years younger than you really are, dress up as anyone you wish (because where's the fun if you don't?), and score loads of FREE candy.

I, myself, was dressed as one Hercule Poirot. The moustache charm was an excellent bonus. (And if you've no idea to whom I'm referring, triple quadruple quintuple shame on you.) I apparently did such a good job that a confused fifth-year asked if I was in some way related to Professor Slughorn. I never made the connection between the two until now... Hallowe'en is a special sort of night. I doubt anyone else fared as well as I did, either - Dad owled me the largest bag of Levitating Sparkly Special Cinnamon Pumpkin Marshmallow Ghosts That Cause Cavities But Taste Too Good For You To Care that anyone's ever had the right to even set eyes upon.

18th October 1997

11:59pm: I didn't th

Mr. Flume was a really nice man.

6th October 1997

3:09pm: WOW, POTTER. It's sort as if you're stuck in North by Northwest, isn't it? No matter what happens, you're pretty much getting blamed for everything. You'd better hope none of your dormmates tries to suffocate you in your sleep, or it'll probably reach headlines as an attention-seeking suicide!

AND RICHARD, MY LOVE. Your MASK OF CALLOUSNESS is not enough to hide your HEART FULL OF UNBRIDLED LUST. I gladly accept your hand, as I'm sure my fellow students also do. We look forward to you letting loose when strife is finally exonerated from the world.

(And by that you mean the toga party, right?)

3rd October 1997

12:48am: It's an exciting time to be at Hogwarts, isn't it? It's OFFICIALLY fall, which, as we all know, is just about the best season ever. I gladly salute you with the knife which cut my ever-scrumptious slice of pumpkin pie at dinner this evening!

The fun doesn't end there, though! So far we've got SCANDAL IN GRYFFINDOR TOWER (I, quite frankly, am SHOCKED by this behaviour! Good boys and girls get married, then wait for the pink sparkly hippogriff to deliver their newborn infants!), as well as what sounds like preparation for tangoing (and perhaps waltzing?) at the BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL Toga Party that shortly awaits us.

I have only one request for you all.


26th September 1997

1:30am: You know how, sometimes, you'll spill something on your robes that leaves a horrible stain that somehow shows up bright as day even though it's BLACK FABRIC, and after you try to scourgify it, it just sort of gets even BIGGER until it's not even a stain anymore, but a gaping hole in a place that you definitely can't wear unless you artfully add more holes to the rest of the robes in an effort to look like Gideon Crumb but then it just looks sort of stupid and you've ruined a perfectly good set of robes entirely?

Not that I'm speaking from personal experience.

9th September 1997

6:05pm: Really glad I've got this journal here. Yeah, if it weren't for this, I'm fearful I'd be out of the Quidditch practise / meaningless yet wordy drabble / pastry critique loop.

GOAT UPDATES, however, are more than welcome. In fact, I think we should all sing some Rufus Waddiwasi numbers in his honour. Who's got a tambourine to accompany my bass?

6th September 1997

8:24pm: two.
There's nothing I love more than a man of few words. And a name longer than them all. Bet I can compete with him, though.

Love from,
Sally-Anne Elenore Susquehanna Xorblina Brokosky Perks
Junior Senior Junior Officer
Department of Those Generally Not Giving A Damn
Student of Care of Magical Creatures, Herbology, and Whatever Else I'm In This Year
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

1st September 1997

6:10pm: one.
First there's entries complaining about all this, and then there were entries complaining about the COMPLAINING.

Irony. Far out.

Well. I suppose it's up to me to start an interesting conversation so we can all get SOME entertainment out of these. I really wish there was some equivalent of headphones in wizarding technology so I'd be able to hear some good records on long, boring trips such as these. Better than the monotonous sounds of first-years running around like hippogriffs missing their heads, braggarts going off over who had the best summer hols, and the snack trolley rattling back and forth. I could be listening to the Beatles right now - or Janis Joplin, or Bob Dylan, or - damn it, even fast-paced lift music might be better than this.
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