(1941-12-04) Letters from the Arcade
Details for Letters from the Arcade
Summary: Phoenicia has a bit of fun exploring Hogwarts in the wee hours of the morning, then writes up letters to Kieran and Victor.
Date: December 4, 1941
Location: The Arcade
Related: Three Broomsticks, a Butterbeer, and You

It was a cold December morning; on a staid and stately marble staircase, faint blue light streamed out from the windows, a meager precursor to dawn as the winter solstice ever neared. Fine renaissance paintings of long-forgotten figures held silent court up and down seven flights of stairs, uninterrupted by the quick or the dead.


A redheaded young woman, clad in scarlet-and-gold edged black robes, walked through the seventh story door with a bronze pocketwatch in hand and a brown satchel at her side. A scarlet badge emblazoned with a silver 'P' sat on the left lapel of her robe, marking her as a Gryffindor prefect. She bit on her lower lip, in a vain attempt to curtail the smile creeping along it. Curfew was technically over, as was her morning patrol, but she seemed to have gotten here first nonetheless. Good. She slipped the watch into the satchel and gave a quick stretch of the legs. Then she took a deep breath, fought back some excited giggles, and dashed headlong down the stairs.

Her robes billowed and flowed behind her as she descended like a madwoman; the quick breaths she had to take kept her from holding back her jubilant laughter any longer, but also robbed her of the air to make them more than shallow and fitful. A roar sounded out behind her on the seventh floor, but she paid it no mind, jumping onto the bannister to slide down past the sixth floor, disembarking with a quiet whoop before she hit the fifth floor finial, sprinting down past the fourth and third story doorways and finally to the second floor — where she whirled about on the balls of her feet, pulled a wand from inside of her robes, and chanted "Alohomora!" before twirling into the open door and pulling it shut behind her.

For a second, all was silent beside her out-of-breath panting and then… she heard the muffled moans and creaks and groans of the grand moving staircase coming to life through the door behind her.

Phoenicia couldn't resist a little fist pump. She'd made it down just before the grand moving staircase had woken up! She reached up with her right hand and brushed both hair and sweat away from her brow, taking a moment to breathe — and to enjoy the sight before her.

In contrast to the pallid illumination of a winter morning twilight as with the grand staircase, the hall before her was rich with a summer's bright dawn. Golden light streamed in through great vaulted windows on either side of the hallway, shining upon a thick red carpet and a scattered few plush chairs and mahogany bookcases. The arcade was probably Phee's favorite place to be in Hogwarts — aside from her own bed, at any rate.

She gulped down two more lungfuls of air, then straightened out her robes and her posture, in that order. Calmer now, she took a few measured steps towards one of the clusters of chairs and slid into one's cushioned embrace. She wanted to write a few letters in peace and quiet, and knew there would not be any of either in the dormitory or common room shortly.

Phee reached into her satchel and withdrew a leatherbound folder, opening it at the same time; on the right side, the ruddy brown material covered a wood backing to make it suitable to write upon, and the left side's fold contained parchment with which to write. She slid one sheet over to the right then withdrew a quill and inkwell from the satchel, wetting the former with a dip in the latter.

Dearest Kieran,

she started in florid script, thinking fondly on the older witch who'd become something of a big sister to her.

I have finally made it down the Grand Staircase to the Arcade before the stairs could have the wits to move! I discovered for myself a pleasant and quiet moment before dawn on the weekend, when neither the Professors, the staff, nor the students have much reason to meander about that area. Even the portraits were quiet, mayhaps not having had time to react to me. I do not believe I could ever really get bored of living in a castle, even one without magic, as they have so much to explore in them — the magic only makes it twice as much of an adventure.

Phee looked up at the sunlight streaming in all around her and shook her head.

Mayhaps thrice.

I trust you are well. Have you had occasion to see my Aunt Mary of late? She says she is fine, and that I should not worry after her health, but she always tells me she is fine and that I should not worry after her health. She had a bad cough last I saw her. The Germans could decide to start dropping bombs upon the Isle of Skye and she would hide it from me if they did! I would like very much for her to see a healer, if that can be arranged somehow.

Beyond that, I

Phoenicia's hand paused and she blinked as she considered her next words. A smile darted across her face.

I have met someone which I fancy and I fancy believing that she fancies me too, as she fancied telling me her fancy! It is all very new and interesting to me and also frightening. You have assured me that the Wizarding World thinks very well of us Twimblettes, but thanks to you I have passed so well that I have not had occasion to test the truthfulness of this statement… Your advice would be grand.

I will be returning to London via the Hogwarts Express for winter holiday, and then to Portree; for the second leg of the trip, I am undecided whether I will chance the Knight Bus — someone may wish to advise the Ministry that the Muggles have competency examinations for motoring and that we find it a very good idea — or the Floo Network, with which I have had a creeping discomfort ever since you first introduced me to it. Will you be able to meet me on the 21st for a spot of tea either at Diagon Alley, the Mysticked District, or Portree? I would be fond of time to catch up with you once more.


The young witch looked over her letter twice to be certain she was satisfied with it, then placed it aside for her to give to Lugh in an hour or so. She licked one finger for traction and peeled away a second sheet of parchment. This one would require more thought. She had a few weeks to work on it, but better to start early than late.

Dear Sir,

No, no, far too formal and distant. She crossed that out. This sheet would have to be scratch paper.

Dearest Vic,

A frown crossed her smooth brow. That sounded like she fancied him! Or thought him a relative. Neither was true, she'd never even been asked to use his nickname. She scratched that one out too.

Mr. Victor Proudmore,

Her face scrunched up. It felt a little odd with how the former prefect had presented himself, but it would have to do.

When we met last month, you kindly suggested that I apply for an apprenticeship with the Department for the Regulation and Care of Magical Creatures. I write to you now hoping for a bit of advice in how to approach the request…

And also, she silently added, to make certain you truly meant it.

She tapped her quill against the page. There was a lot to cover…

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