Chapter 1 : Refract
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Secondly, I neither own nor claim to own anything affiliated with Harry Potter. I just play with the world a bit. So, without further ado....
It was a lonely glass. It sparkled. The bright sun shone on it through a curtained window. Seated firmly upon a nearby end table, it reflected the room around it. Fragmented visions of furniture: half-formed chair legs, a hint of the soft rug. A ring was forming slightly underneath the heavy bottom.
She itched to pick it up.
There was condensation on the lower section, where the last drops had lolled before she drank them. Three indented lines, and three protruding ones, led to the thin rim and light lip marks from mint flavoured lip balm. The lip balm she had received for her thirteenth birthday and fallen in love with.
She could almost feel the table being soiled, but only stared thoughtlessly at the glass. Its mates had all broken; this was the last one.
She remembered the first time she had been allowed to drink out of a glass cup. She had yearned to for years, wishing for the one true mark of a big kid. When her mother granted it to her, her brothers teased. They had been allowed glass for aeons. Her father congratulated her seriously and shook her hand. She had blushed and cautiously grabbed the glass with both hands, remembering last year’s Christmas meal, where she had broken the first in this set. She felt the cool glass and cooler water within it as she slowly tilted it to her lips. The water tasted much better in glass than it had in the plastic cups.
The shadow it cast stretched long, lanky and marbled with light on the table, dropping into nothing over the edge. Her first kiss had been in the lengthening shadows of the evening. It lacked any other romantic qualities. She had come back into the house crying hot tears, feeling the oppressive heat of summer. Silently, her mother poured her a glass of soothingly cold pumpkin juice.
Was it in this same glass? Yes, there was that slight chip on the bottom, where base met cup. It had cracked as she dropped it carelessly into the sink.
Light danced on the lip of the glass as she turned her head slowly. She had danced with Harry in her old living room, pausing only to sip the water a glass had provided. He had to learn to dance. When he had felt confident enough to twirl her, he misjudged the distance between them and the glass resting on the floor, and it had cracked neatly into three or four pieces.
On the bottom of the remaining glass that had turned merciless refractor, a few drops of water remained, though too few to be worth drinking. She knew that picking up the glass, trying to drink those drops, would be futile. They would simply roll uselessly onto her tongue, their liquid trails falling back into the depths to tempt her once more. On the bottom of this glass, the one her mother saved from her destruction, she had painstakingly, secretly, engraved her initials: GMW. They were awkwardly formed; her handwriting had still been immature and the tools for the job far from ideal.
She waved her fingers lethargically in front of the streaming light heading for the precious, mundane glass. Two sets of fingers waved back at her. This was the glass she had drunk from as her youngest older brother received his Hogwarts letter, just two years or so after her first drink from glass. It was pumpkin juice then, too. By the time he had said goodbye (he and her mother were going to Diagon Alley), all that was left was a slightly crusted film encircling the sides.
There was a slight fingerprint, smudging the crystalline perfection. The sun had changed colours, becoming an auburn hue. It shone into the glass, turning slight angles orange. Orange: autumn. Things happened in autumn. The seventh in the set had broken then, again by her hands. This time, it was not an accident. Harry had a small scar on his cheek—she had impeccable aim.
Pieces of dust floated and flitted on an invisible current, along, around and in the cup. It had been much more clear and shining when it had come out of its box for the first time. It was her earliest memory, watching her mother pull out the glasses they had bought after Percy broke the last one in the old, crusty set with another of his intellectual experiments.
This was the glass she was drinking from when the news came of Charlie’s death. It had almost broken then, as her fingers first clenched, and then lost all feeling. Instead of shattering as it smashed dreadfully onto the unforgiving floor, Bill had pointed his wand at it and floated it gently to the counter.
A cloud passed over the sun, and it was only a glass again. She picked it up, wiped the table with a dry cloth, and brought it to the kitchen to wash.