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If you said to me; "Hendrix, you can have anything you desire. Anything at all in the world." Top of my list would probably be Hogwarts acceptance letter.

I can't lie, I wouldn't be down with fighting against Voldemort and destroying horcruxes and all that high energy stuff. And I'd probably end up in Slytherin, even though I cheated and did the Pottermore quiz 6 times until I came out a Gryffindor... But since I was a little kid the thing I wanted most was to go to Hogwarts. My 11th birthday was the most disappointing day of my life.

So you would think that a strange golden envelope with my name in spidery writing would elicit some sort of excitement in me.

It's not that I didn't want to pick it up from the communal passageway, it's just that it kinda seemed like too much effort. It was 4 days before I even bothered to carry my mail into my apartment, and even then it was only because Mrs Grisham, my ancient, irritable neighbour, left a note to ask if I'm dead and if not, could I please bother to collect my mail?

I suppose I intended to open it later that day, but I forgot. That day everything else went out of the window because as it happened, that was the day everything changed in my life forever.
That was the day Aunt Elma died.

***

Elma was my great-grandmas sister, the only surviving relative of that generation. If you asked various members of my family to describe her you'd probably hear the word 'difficult' used a lot.
My cousin Joe would use the word evil, but that's only because Elma made him stand on the lawn for a full day with a sign round his neck saying "I abuse women" when he hit Jesy Jones from over the road. He was four years old at the time.

Generally children in our family were not taken to visit Elma, especially round holiday time, as she had a habit of informing small relatives that Santa and the easter bunny weren't real and they should grow up the hell up and give their parents a financial break.

I can't remember what part of my childish brain decided it, but I always insisted on going to Elmas. My interest in her wasn't in any way reciprocated. I wasn't given any special treatment, in fact, up until I was about 8 she always referred to me as 'the gawky one with the big nose'.

I suppose I kept going because she would let me do anything, so long as I kept out of her way. I could sleep over and watch any movie I wanted, but if scared myself I got no sympathy and I'd have to sleep in a creepy room in her old house alone. If I got scared she'd say it was my own stupid fault and to get back to bed.

I never stopped calling round three times a week, even when I was in college and old enough to stop. I suppose it was just habit. She was never pleased to see me. In fact, she usually looked pissed that I'd disturbed her. Still, it kinda amused me to sit next to her on the porch and watched as she shouted abuse at the neighbours and loudly called over embarrassing gossip she'd heard about them for the whole street to hear.

She didn't seem to care if I was there or not, but I suppose I kind of didn't like her being alone. I got a torrent of abuse about my 'fat backside' and 'terrible posture' every time I saw her but it didn't really bother me. To be honest, she usually ignored me. Often she wouldn't speak for the whole visit.
In fact, more than once she told me not to bother coming again. But I always did, I suppose it was just habit.

Elma was one of those humans who seems to live forever, just feeding on bitterness and sour-temper. When she died at the age of 94 it shocked everyone as if she'd been 50 years younger. She just didn't seem like the type who could ever die.

The reading of her will was ridiculous. Distant relatives crawled from the woodwork and crammed in the tiny solicitors office, all trying to outdo each other with a display of grief. She was stinking rich, everyone knew that.

The first part of her will told her family to kiss her ass.

I've never seen anybody try to say these words in an official, solemn way to a room full of people and I actually snorted as the solicitors stuttered over the words, flushing bright red.

The next part left £80,000 to the local cat shelter, with the proviso that they call every single cat they adopted 'Aunt Elma' from now on. She left her house and everything in it to the local homeless shelter, to do with what they wished.

That was when the insanity started. My Aunt Mary began to shout that she would contest the will. That set everyone off. The room was suddenly full of people shouting and fighting.

Most of them hadn't seen her in years. I just laughed. She would have loved a good brawl like this. I decided to slip out and leave it here, certain that Aunt Elma would be enjoying watching,

It was as I was leaving the room that the solicitors thin voice managed to shout over the din.

"Actually there is one final bequeathment..."

The silence was almost immediate and he breathed a sigh of relief before speaking again. I paused, waiting to hear which charity would benefit from her desire to piss off her family one last time. But what came next shocked me more than anyone else.

"... The sum of £100, 000 is left to the deceased's great niece, Hendrix."

*

Dedicated to my gorgeous lil pal kendrarey for just being fab and funny xxx

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