Summer has been fun so far. I was right about Draco being upset about missing my birthday. I still refused to tell him when it actually is and just said to send me a present in July if it really bothers him that much.
He sent me a broom, Nimbus two thousand and one. He also sent a charmed water breathing chain for Briar. Nice to see he isn't all talk and can actually keep his word.
Briar and I never get each other birthday presents, unless it is food or some promise for the future.
Grandfather got us a new potions kit each. Not just the copper cauldron kits either but the ones with silver cauldrons. We can't use them at school since not enough students have them, but we got to use them as much as we wanted this summer.
Briar started using his right away to brew tea. He does it in such a way that he enhances the properties of the plants used and then casts a spell to solidify the tea into a type of candy.
We did it once with accidental magic when we were younger and Briar decided to master doing it deliberately since then. You can usually see him with a plant book as he memorizes new effects and combinations.
I think he could sell the candies and get rich, but Briar doesn't want to. We are a secretive family, why share what we can keep for ourselves and ours.
This summer Grandfather also decided to teach us a charm that changes our hair to blonde and our eyes to blue. I think it also makes the softer features of our faces more angular and pointy as well.
Briar says it is a perfect charm since he wants to drag me into crowded shopping centers in both wizarding and muggle London in order to help me learn to control my ability better.
We also spent some time practicing spells from the shield book Draco got me. It helps me to pretend to know the spell if I ever need to cast a shield quickly.
I know we were sent letters home asking us not to practice magic outside of school but Grandfather has a teaching license apparently so as long as he is near we are fine. Grandfather also says that the ministry cannot detect our abilities. Briar and I hadn't even considered the possibility that they could. We assumed it was like speaking parseltongue or veela charm, the magic is there but so ingrained in our genetics it can't be measured.
So, as I said it was a fun summer, Briar is now better at shields, I am better at blocking out emotions, Briar has candies to last us until at least Christmas and my barriers seem stronger than before. We decided that Christmas break will be used to practice Briar's abilities.
We just received our new book lists and reading it we saw a bunch of Gildroy Lockheart's books. I decided I need to find a way to skip every Defense class possible, Briar laughed and said it should be a good bit of fiction. Grandfather stated he refuses to touch such drivel and we shall have to get our own books.
It is a good chance to test our appearance changing charm around people we know anyway.
Being able to shop together in public was nice. We were able to divide and conquer to get everything done twice as fast. Neither of us can carry 2 sets of school books alone though so I grabbed new robes while Briar grabbed the potion ingredients before we met up at Flourish & Blotts.
We had the worst possible luck. Lockheart himself was doing a book signing and the place was packed. It also turns out that he is to be our new defense teacher.
After watching Lockheart's obsession with 'Famous Potter', Briar was actually helping me plan ways for us to skip the class together. It wasn't all bad, we did manage to use the distraction Potter was causing in order to purchase our books without getting them signed.
A large crowd came in as we were trying to leave and we had to sneak upstairs to wait for enough room to clear so we could escape. From there we were able to witness some weird not-a-fight between the Weasley and Malfoy families before just enough space cleared for us to make a nice escape with our shrunken books.
No, we didn't shrink them ourselves. A nice wizard took pity on us and did it for us. I honestly think it is part of Briar's ability. He gives off a pollen or scent that attracts just the type of person we need for the occasion.
Briar denied it at first but then he was hungry and I refused to hand the money over to him just to see what happened. A witch came within moments and said we reminded her of her departed grandchildren and asked if she could treat us to lunch.
This explains why Briar always seems to be so lucky, and yes, his scent did change ever so slightly. I told him that mother and father should have name him Rose instead but he threatened to withhold calming candies.
We shall continue experimenting with Briar's extended ability come Christmas. When we told Grandfather he just laughed and said "How fun." I think he already knew somehow.