There’s an old Muggle saying, “When a door closes, somewhere a window opens.” This phrase implies that when a way of life comes to an end, whether we want it to or not, a new beginning inevitably presents itself. What they fail to mention, who ever this illusive ‘they’ might be, is if this new beginning is an improvement or not over the past that was left behind. I guess that is largely a matter of opinion.
I can’t help feeling trapped in my new beginning. I sit here day in and day out staring at the same four walls. They’ve given me my own room under the pretense that it is a gift of privacy, but it feels more like a cruel kind of punishment. I miss Sarah. Yes, I know her real name is Hermione, but here in this journal she’s Sarah to me.
They tell me I’m making progress, but truth be told, I still don’t remember anything. Sarah says it’s apparent in the way I speak, how I write, and my overall carriage of being, but I don’t see the changes.
It’s been a month since I first arrived here, I think. It could very well only have been a day ago, or a week. Or maybe it’s been a year. I don’t know anymore.
Draco placed the pen down on the table, and ran his trembling hands though his hair before leaning his head more fully into his palms. He took a deep, ragged breath, and let it out slowly.
Dropping his hands to the cold, hard surface of the table, he looked outside. The rain was falling softly and evenly, and the sky was an uneventful grey. The pane of the window had grown slightly fogged from a chill that had invaded the world outside.
If only he could remember something, anything, then maybe he wouldn’t feel so unsettled and displaced. He was so absorbed in these thoughts that he didn’t hear the click of the door, or the soft shuffle of feet behind him. Suddenly, small hands covered his eyes.
“Sarah!” He jumped slightly.
“Lucky guess. I could have been anyone,” Hermione said dropping her hands, and walking over to an armchair across from him.
“Not likely,” he answered softly.
“Are you ready for our joint session with Healer Brown?” she asked playfully as she plopped herself into the chair.
“I don’t think I’m really up for it today.”
“What?” Her face fell instantly. “My God, what happened? Are you alright?”
“Nothing’s happened. What on earth are you on about?” he asked grumpily focusing his gaze intently on his hands.
“Well, I don’t think I’ve ever heard you turn down a session with Healer Brown before. I mean, it’s my understanding that you find her absolutely Hoootttt!” she said laughing lightly.
“Oh, shove off!” He said trying desperately to sound angry. However, the little smirk edging its way onto his face, and the slight flush creeping up his neck gave him away.
“Better yet, don’t come,” she offered.
He looked at her with obvious confusion.
“She’ll be so upset, and concerned that she’ll come running down here, and bust in the door.”
Hermione sat up and began to play out the actions dramatically.
“She’ll pull her hair from that tight bun of hers, and let her long honey blond hair fall to her shoulders, tossing it this way and that. Then, to make you feel oh so much better, she’ll…”
“Alright Missy, you can just stop right there,” he said cutting her off.
He didn’t really need to silence her because she was already giggling madly in her seat unable to speak.
After a moment, he stood from his chair, and said, “Are you coming or not?”
“Yes, yes…” she gasped finally calming her laughing fit. “Just give me a moment.”
As she stood, the door to Draco’s room opened, and in walked the topic of their most recent conversation.
Draco’s face first paled, then instantly flushed as Hermione pursed her lips tightly together in order not to laugh. Before either had the chance to offer any kind of greeting, Lavender spoke.
“Hermione, I didn’t expect to find you here.”
“I bet you didn’t,” she eked out, and threw a wink to Draco who in turn rolled his eyes, and blushed a deeper crimson.
“I’ll see you two upstairs in a bit. I have to go get… um… something from my room... yah...”
She eyed them both on her way out the door, and managed to contain her tittering until well into the hallway.
The remaining two shifted awkwardly where they stood suffering through the gaping silence.
Hermione skipped a little into her room still chuckling to herself. She had never seen Peter so dead gone over a woman before. It really was a shame Lavender was such a tight ass.
She went to the bed to grab her jumper when she caught a slight movement out of the corner of her eye. She turned abruptly to find a dark figure sitting in the armchair by the window. She let out a low breath, and leaned her weight into her right hip.
“What are you doing here? I told you I didn’t want to talk about this with you,” she said stiffly.
“Well, that’s just too bad because I do!” Ron answered as he stood and moved to stand opposite her with the bed between them.
“There’s nothing to discuss, Ron! These are my memories to deal with. And besides, I haven’t even been able to really sort through them yet.”
“Hasn’t it occurred to you that I just might be able to help you with that. I have known you since you were eleven, you know. I was pretty much there for most of it.”
“I should never have said anything to you in the first place,” she mumbled to herself as she looked down at the jumper clutched in her hands.
“What was that?” He snapped.
She looked back up and pinned him with a fierce glare. “I said, I should never have said anything to you in the first place!”
“Why not?” He countered aggressively.
“Because you’re not exactly unbiased, are you?”
“Well, who else would you have talked to about this?”
“I don’t know. Maybe my therapist considering that is her job,” she spat sarcastically.
“Lavender? You don’t even like her.”
“Alright! Pavarti then… or Harry.”
“You can talk to Harry, but you can’t talk to me?” He growled.
“Harry won’t bite my head off if I tell him something he doesn’t like. He also doesn’t rip my best friend to shreds at every possible opportunity,” she shouted.
“He was a right git to you all through school.”
“That might be true, but he’s not that way to me now.”
“I don’t trust him!” He forced out through clenched teeth.
“Fine! I get that! It’s only taken you saying it every day since we’ve arrived for it to actually sink in,” she said facetiously.
“I’m serious, Hermione! He’s been acting more and more like the old him since you arrived. Snotty, crusty, and surly!”
“Can you blame him?” she screamed. “Your behaviour toward him is downright offensive. What do you expect him to do when you openly insult him? Shake your hand, and give you a ‘howdy do’!”
“I’ve tried! What more do you want from me?”
“No you haven’t! That’s just it. You haven’t tried.”
Sighing heavily, she closed her eyes, dropped the hand holding the jumper down to the bed, and rubbed her temple with her other hand.
“You know what?” She continued. “I really don’t have time for this. I have a joint session scheduled with Draco and Healer Brown in fifteen minutes.”
She started for the door, but turned abruptly for one last barb.
“Do me a favour. Until you can join the rest of us in the adult world, don’t come here!”
Ron took a sharp intake of breath. “Hermione, please…” he begged.
“I’m sorry Ron, but I really don’t know what else to do. You… This…" She made a quick hand gesture between them. "...is not helping me get better.”
She paused to meet and hold his stare, then swallowed hard, and looked away. “You can show yourself out.”
With that, she turned on her heels, and stalked out of the room.
Ron wandered back to the window, sat with a heavy sigh into the armchair, and leaned his head onto his left fist.
‘Stupid, stupid, stupid… with your pushing.’ he thought to himself. He rapped his head lightly against the supporting left hand.
He took another deep breath, and raised his head to look out the window. Rubbing his hand over his mouth as he stared out at nothing, he continued to silently berate himself.
Draco cleared his throat awkwardly, and said, “Is there something you wanted to talk to me about before session today, Lavender?”
Finally remembering herself, she straightened her posture.
“In fact, there is Draco.”
He couldn’t help but feel lightheaded in her company. He loved it when she said that name, his name. The way her mouth shaped the vowels. It was almost enough to make him want to stay cooped up in this place.
Every day, his mind fought a battle with, well, the rest of him that these feelings were useless. ‘She’ll never see me that way. And even if she ever did, she wouldn’t act on them because she’s a therapist, and I’m a… Nutter,’ he reflected darkly.
“Let’s have a seat,” she said interrupting his thoughts.
Joining him at the table, she gripped her hands in front of her, and took a moment to consider her words.
“I wanted to speak to you about a potential treatment.”
She paused to guage his response. When none came, she continued on.
“It’s more aggressive than the current treatment in place, and could greatly accelerate your memory recall. It’s been thoroughly tested, and is ready to be applied on a human subject. I’ve spoken with the Ministry, and they’ve approved its application if you are willing to attempt it.”
“What did Hermione say? Will she be trying it too?”
“No, no…” She waved her hand slightly. “As we discussed in our prior sessions, your memory loss was far more substantial than Hermione’s. She’s progressing nicely, and should have her full memory restored within a year.”
Draco clenched his jaw, and looked down at the table. He knew Sarah was remembering things. This bothered him for several reasons, not the least of which was his jealousy over the fact.
As much as she had tried to hide it from him, he could tell the memories she’d experienced so far weren’t completely positive, especially when they involved him. What made matters worse was that she was lying to him about it. She kept trying to make it seem like everything was fine.
He could see it in her face. There were times she’d flinch when he was near, or pull away suddenly at a slight bit of contact. Like he’d somehow burnt her. In the next moment, he’d see the guilt wash over her, and then she would become excessively outgoing and familiar. This hurt more than anything else because it was in these moments that she no longer was the Sarah he knew.
If Hermione remembered everything by next year and he was still… like this, their relationship would never be the same again. She wouldn’t leave him outright, but he would lose his Sarah, and be left to stare at these four walls alone for the foreseeable future. He could not imagine anything worse. Life would be unbearable. If he could only speed up this process, at least he might be able to get a little more of himself back. He might be able to claim some kind of life of his own on the outside.
He looked up from his ruminations straight into Lavender’s eyes.
“What else can you tell me about this new treatment?”