Chapter 12 : Love Means Letting Go
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“She has had it since she was an infant, I’m sorry, but I'm afraid there is nothing we can do now.”
She looked at her little girl’s face, the face that once lit up her day. Her small hand was cold in her own, but she could still feel the steady pulse of a heart that accepted even the worst of people.
Hermione couldn’t help but feel a horrid nagging sensation deep inside her, telling her all of this was her fault.
The Weasley’s had come by already, but the healers thought it would be best if they left, so with sad eyes, they departed.
Ron sat on the couch, rubbing his temples. He looked to Hermione and Keely, a very sad sight to see. Hermione's eyes were lined with dark circles and her pale tear stained face indicated the pain she was in. Ron's eyes roamed to Keely. His heart fell. She lay against the white sheets, her skin blending in with them.
Ron realized then as his heart ached that his love for Keely had always been inside him, and finally today it had been let loose.
Hermione looked to Ron, who was watching the two of them. With her glance, Ron walked to her. She looked to him, her honey eyes welled with tears. He picked her up and held her close. Being so close to him felt so good, but she wouldn't let herself enjoy him. She buried her face into his shoulder and sobbed as he held her tighter.
Keely had already been in the hospital for 2 weeks now. But Keely... she hadn’t changed one bit.
She still laughed at jokes she thought were funny, she still smiled at her mum and dad, who were now her two most favourite people in the whole world, and she still pulled funny faces, especially funny faces.
Hermione bought her a camera so she could take pictures. Keely's eyes swelled at the sight of the camera, just having it in her hands made her giggle.
The day Hermione gave her the camera, Hermione and Keely went walking in the hospitals park.
Keely took pictures of everything, flowers, bugs, the hospital, the sun, the clouds, the trees; she even tried to capture the wind.
“Look Mummy!” Keely laughed as she took pictures of the green ground below her. “I think that’s a four leaf clover!” she exclaimed happily. She got down on all fours and Hermione could hear the repeated flashes and clicks of the camera, in Keely's desperate attempt to get the bloody four leaf clover in a picture.
But those days strolling with Keely always ended. She always had to go back to her room and lie in the bed, and take the medication they gave her, and it was the one thing Keely hated most, knowing what was coming everyday, and living such a routine life.
Keely twiddled with Ron's fingers as she was lying beneath the white sheets.
"Aunt Ginny and Uncle Harry came to see me today while you were with Grandpa," she said smiling to Ron. Her eyes glistened, they were like pools, if only Ron could swim in them forever.
"He's not your uncle" Ron said to her, laughing.
Keely's eyes twinkled in their depths. "Oh well," She said sweetly. Her voice was was unbelievably light and airy. "I'm bored Daddy," she said to him.
"I know Keely," Ron squeezed her hand. "I'm sorry." But just then the door to Keely's room opened.
The Weasley's bustled into the room. Fred and George exclaimed "KEELY!" and Keely squirmed out of the sheets and stumbled to them. The twins engulfed her in a huge hug. Mr. & Mrs. Weasley handed Keely a gift bag. She smiled and plopped back down on the bed with a sigh and a slight sway.
"But it's not my birthday yet," Keely said with disappointment.
"Oh, Well... let's pretend it is," Mrs. Weasley said with a smile. Keely sat the bag down and stood shakily upon her bed. She walked to Mrs. Weasley and laced her arms around her neck and held her tight. "I love you Gran," Keely said in her ear. Then she turned to a teary eyed Mr. Weasley. "You know I love you too," she smiled and did her best to make it to him as fast as she could.
Inside the bag, was a diary. Though it wasn't in perfect condition, as it had been in Mrs. Weasley's closet for years, Keely still found it utterly amazing. Every day she scribbled in it and jotted down the words she knew, and made everyone sign it. Even Mr. Harper next door signed it, who past away the day after he shakily scribbled his name upon one of the pages.
This thought and the sickening realization that Mr. Harper indeed had the same disease Keely had, made Hermione want to vomit. She remembered very clearly the day Mr. Harper was wheeled into Keely's own little room.
"I will never forget you, Mr. Harper," Keely had said to him after he signed her diary. "For you have the most amazingly white hair I've ever seen."
Mr. Harper's raspy chuckle pasted a grin on Keely's face.
Hermione was thrown out of her thoughts at the sound of Keely's voice. “It’s the greatest invention mummy,” Keely said as she flipped through all her pages she’d already written in. “I mean, it’s like a book you can write in, and it can be about absolutely nothings or lots of something’s,” Keely said, scribbling in her diary yet again.
"Keely," came the sing-song voice of no one other than Damien. His head popped in from the hallway.
"Damien!" Keely exclaimed. She couldn't get up though. Damien rushed to her with open arms. "My baby girl," he said happily. Keely didn't seem to want to let go of Damien's warm embrace.
"How are you?" he asked her after Ron pulled him up a chair. Hermione was sitting beside her smiling, Ron at his normal couch that was already starting to take the form of his bum.
"I'm alright," Keely said taking Damien's hand. "I've been better," Keely laughed. Damien laughed as well, and ruffled her hair.
"Guess what," he said with wide eyes.
"What?" Keely asked excitedly.
"I brought you some things."
Out of a black bag Damien was holding, he pulled out some color changing rubber bands. "These are for your hair!" He said, and instantly used them to French braid her curly red locks. Keely watched when he was done as the rubber bands changed from color to color. Pink, Purple, Blue, Green.
"And another thing," Damien said looking to Keely. Hermione could tell from the look on his face whatever Damien was about to give Keely was of importance to him.
"It's called a Kenstella," Damien said pulling a small glass box out of the bag. "My mother gave it to me when I was a tyke," He said laughing.
With Damien's touch the small glass box was a misty orange color, floating around and swirling with darker oranges. "If you just open the top," he said twisting a tiny knob and opening the lid, revealing a liquidy mist inside. "and drop one of your hairs inside it will reveal to you your most cherished memories, memories you never wish to foget."
Keely's eyes were full of undeniable love for Damien then. It seemed to be spilling out of her.
"You would give me something so sweet?" she asked him after staring at him in utter bewilderment.
" 'Course I would baby girl," Damien said.
Keely slowly took the small box from him, careful not to spill any of the misty liquid inside the box. Instantly, when Keely's small fingers gripped the glass it turned a deep sapphire blue, twirling and swirling beautifully, telling a story, a story of a young girl's life.
Keely plucked a long strand of red hair from her head and let it drop into the Kenstella. She closed the top and twisted the knob and the blue faded away and on one of the thin glass walls came a crystal clear image. It was Damien saying "And another thing, It's called a Kenstella." He pulled the Kenstella out of his bag.
Damien's heart swelled.
Later that day, Fred and George brought Keely some Bertie Botts every flavor beans that she inhaled. She ‘tricked’ Ron into eating a Bogey flavored one.
“HAHAHAHA!” she laughed hardily. “I tricked you Daddy! HAHAHA! Look at your face!” and Keely then pulled out her pink mirror from underneath her pillow and shoved it in front of Ron.
He couldn’t help but to explode with laughter at the grimace he was making, the whole room laughed.
The fifth week she was in the hospital was Keely’s sixth birthday.
They celebrated by bringing her a huge cake. Topped with chocolate icing, and on the top was a wax number six that would erupt with pink sparks every times Keely stuck her finger in the icing. In the end, Keely ate as much as Ron did.
"I don't feel any older Daddy," Keely said as she sat on his lap. "I'm six, but I still feel five."
"Well Keely," he said. "Nothing inside you changes really, it's a bit confusing."
"Hmmm, how peculiar," Keely said, some what distantly.
"It is peculiar, isn't it."
"No, not that," Keely laughed. "It's peculiar that the healers, they tell me every day you're getting better Keely," she said mimicking their voices. "Yet, I over heard Healer Bertha telling Mummy it wouldn't be long," Keely looked up to Ron now. Her face was erased of any emotion, but her eyes spoke millions of words.
"Keely," Ron said, he cleared his throat when it came out in a squeak. "That's not what Mummy and Healer Bertha were talking about."
Keely's soft smile jabbed Ron's heart, absolutely crushed it. It felt as if a gaping hole was burning him inside and he was forced to pretend it wasn't there, making it even harder to cope with the pain it was causing him. Ron coughed to save himself from tears.
Healer Bertha walked in then, with a huge grin and rosy cheeks. She was a plump woman, her graying black hair pulled back in a loose bun, with soft green eyes.
"Keely!" she exclaimed happily. All the healers came to check on Keely it seemed, they loved her to pieces.
"Healer Bertha!" Keely stepped down from Ron's lap, swayed from side to side and fell to the ground. Ron jumped up and Healer Bertha rushed over to Keely.
"No," Keely said firmly to the both of them. She pushed herself up and sighed. Then as if it never happened she said. "Hi Bertha."
Bertha sighed and smiled weakly. "Hello Keely, I've brought your medicine."
Keely smiled and with a sideways glance looked to her father, then took the medicine from Bertha and swallowed it down.
"Thank you Bertha," she said and crawled into her bed, "I'll see you tomorrow," she said and within minutes, she had fallen asleep.
The next day Keely got a letter from Professor McGonagall it read:
I do hope you get better.
Keep your hopes high darling and dream big.
Happy Belated Birthday!
At the bottom of the letter was a picture of Mrs. Norris prancing around and meowing. Keely put the picture in her folder; along with her 79 other moving photos.
Then a few days later Keely opened her eyes. Hermione was by her bed again, holding her hand, just like she was the first night. The way her mother's hand felt linked with her own felt so right. It reminded Keely of two puzzle pieces, made flawlessly to entwine perfectly together.
Keely's eyes would hardly stay open though, as she gazed with droopy lids at their hands. Her eyes wouldn't stay open, and she didn't like the way it felt, though it had settled in Keely's heart, and she accepted it.
A tear slid down Keely's cheek.
“Mum?” She whispered hoarsely after wiping away the tear with a shaky hand.
Hermione woke with a start. "Keely?" She asked squeezing her hand tighter. Hermione brushed the hair out of Keely's eyes that was damp with sweat.
“I’ve been thinking a lot lately, and I’ve come to a conclusion…” she could barely talk now. “And it’s true…” she smiled. Keely could feel a feeling deep inside her, a feeling she'd never felt before. It was as if the liquid inside the Kenstella was flowing through her veins.
“Love means letting go.” The words escaped Keely's lips with certainty and an eagerness for Hermione to accept what she'd just spoken.
Hermione opened her mouth to protest, somehow, to what Keely was inquiring but Keely's eyes were starting to roll to the back of her head. Hermione could feel her beating heart in her ears, and eyes, and fingers, and lips, and in every corner of her mind feverishly.
It almost felt as if Hermione's heart was beating double time because a heart so close wasn't.
"Keely?" Hermione whispered frantically.
"Mummy," she spoke so softly it was nearly inaudible. "Just look at Daddy."
And with those words, the grip Keely had on Hermione's hand had vanished and when her head lolled on the pillow, a long strand of red hair fell across her closed eyelid.
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