Chapter 1 : If There Were Magic
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If There Were Magic
“Molly, do you see this gadget? It’s the latest invention. It might look like a plug to you but it’s not. Look.” Arthur Weasley held the weird looking gadget above his wife’s closed eyes. “See? It’s beautiful, isn’t it? What? You want to know how it works? Well, I will tell you. It supplies electricity. You don’t need a switch for that. You just keep it in a safe place in your house and voila! There will be no electricity turn-offs. Unless, of course, it’s some major problem or unless this gadget gets old and doesn’t work…”
He kept on rambling about the latest invention to his sleeping wife until he was asked to leave by the hospital nurse. “Visiting hours are over, Mr. Weasley,” the young nurse said and Arthur looked up at her with pleading eyes.
“Please,” he mumbled, sitting firmly on his chair. “Let me sit by her all night. I promise I won’t make too much noise and I will sleep in this chair. I assure you, I am very comfortable.” When the nurse still shook her head, Arthur pursed his lips, fighting the huge lump that was slowly forming in his throat. “She…I need her. Don’t you see, she wants me to stay!”
The nurse’s chin trembled. “Please, sir,” she pleaded, hardly believing that she had to go through this. She clearly didn’t want to be the one to tell him off everyday but at the same time, it was so sad to watch him struggle to stay with his wife. Nurse Woods had always been a softie and situations like this always had her all emotional throughout the day. “Please, sir, you have to leave. I might get fired for this,” she said. Tears stung her eyes as the old man nodded and stood up, grabbing his stick which was resting against the wall and saying a soft goodbye to his wife.
Arthur ran his wrinkled hand through his wife’s grayish-white hair and smiled at her. “Yes, I promise I will be back tomorrow,” he replied to an unasked question. Then, shot one last glance at Nurse Woods before walking out, leaning heavily on his walking stick.
It had been like this since the past ten years; exactly after Lord Voldemort was vanquished by Harry Potter. But Harry himself did not survive the final battle. He died along with Voldemort and that left everyone in the wizarding world heart-broken. However, this did not make Harry Potter immortal. In all reality, his story was lost in the sands of time, buried somewhere deep within the ancient books of history.
People never forgot about him, though. Not all of them knew what had happened in the final battle between Harry and Voldemort but they had the gist. They knew that, being powerful wizards, both of them had drawn their magic from places wizards seldom used. The connection between the two had been so outstanding that together they created a powerful spell that had caused all traces of magic to disappear from the earth.
Now, every witch and wizard was a muggle. They had been living like muggles for ten long years. A lot of them had died, for not being able to adjust in their surroundings. They had been so dependant on their magic that doing things on their own was more than a little difficult task for them. Some people, like Arthur Weasley, still had their wands, hidden somewhere deep inside their storage boxes, secretly hoping that one day everything would be as it was before. But nothing of this sort happened. Each day, they lived a life without magic, a life without any meaning, a life…without joy.
Thinking vaguely along the same lines, Arthur Weasley walked slowly towards his house. It was no different than the Burrow since it was very small but it never gave that homey feeling that the Burrow gave off. Hobbling across the stone path, Arthur fumbled in his pockets for his key and then inserted it in the key hole, opening the door with his hand a moment later.
Everything was in darkness, as he had left it. A sad smile crept up his face and he limped inside. The second war had left him crippled and his wife in a bad coma. If magic still existed, they both would have been cured by now. But sadly, it didn’t and Arthur would have to lean on his walking stick for the rest of his miserable life. At least his sons were alive and safe.
All seven of his children had miraculously survived the battle and they all lived nearby. But no one ever came to visit Arthur. They didn’t even get to see a lot of themselves. All the Weasleys were very much caught up in their own busy lives, struggling each day to live without magic. None of them had married, except Bill, Charlie and George. Their little Ginny had become a successful reporter and Arthur felt proud whenever he saw her on television.
The lights suddenly switched on and before Arthur knew, he was surrounded by all his children, wishing him a Happy Birthday. A single tear rolled down his cheek as everyone smothered him in a large group hug. So they had remembered. Remembered that today was their father’s 60th birthday. At that moment, no one could feel happier than Arthur Weasley.
“Thank you, my children,” he said, suddenly feeling very shy. He knew that he was not suitably dressed for the occasion and his white hair was messy and uncombed. Arthur couldn’t even remember when he had last combed it. “I will be back in fifteen minutes,” he said, deciding he should change out of his baggy clothes. What would his children think of him?
“Its fine, dad,” Ginny smiled, coming forward and stopping him. “You look just fine.” She could still read his mind, even after so many years. Arthur smiled and nodded. He sat on his rocking chair and his children settled down on the floor around him.
“We are sorry we haven’t been around lately, father,” Percy said quietly, fiddling with his thumbs. His eyes were lowered.
“We haven’t been ignoring you. We have just been busy,” continued Ron. He was a car mechanic in a garage. Life had been hard on him. No one could tell that he was the youngest of his brothers because he looked older than his years. His hair was almost brown rather than signature red and his fingers always black. The grease spots never left his skin; just like memories of Hermione never left his mind.
Arthur listened as they each gave their explanations, trying to tell him that they still loved him. “I understand,” he said in his hoarse voice. “You don’t need to explain yourselves, children.”
“But we really feel ashamed to leave you like this, dad,” Ginny spoke up, her voice trembling. Arthur could tell that she couldn’t bear to see him like this. But it was nature. Everybody had to grow old; every flower had to wither eventually. Take his wife, for example. She was a beauty in her younger years but now…Now she lay motionless in some muggle hospital, barely knowing what was going on around her. It wouldn’t even make a difference to her if Arthur died the next day.
“Come and stay with us, dad.” Bill’s voice brought him back to the present. Arthur smiled, but shook his head gently.
“I can live my life alone. I have been doing so for ten years. I won’t depend on any of you,” he said, and before anyone could protest, he continued, “Besides, you are all busy people. I am sure you won’t have the time to baby-sit an old man, who is probably a guest of life for a few more days.”
“Daddy,” cried Ginny, tears rolling down her cheeks. “Please. Please, don’t say that. I…I tell you, I know that you are going to live till the ripe age of hundred.”
Arthur could only watch as Charlie took Ginny in his arms as she silently sobbed. This wasn’t how he had expected to celebrate his birthday. He badly wished he could cast cheering charms on his children.
“Father, please. Come stay with me. I am sure Romina wouldn’t mind,” stated Charlie, but Arthur knew that there was no way his daughter-in-law would accept him into her house with welcome arms. She hadn’t even bothered to accompany Charlie to his surprise party. But it wasn’t her fault. Who would want to take responsibility of a crippled old man?
“I take it her teaching is going well?” asked Arthur, ignoring the part where Charlie asked to stay with him. When Charlie merely nodded, everyone felt silent again. Arthur looked around at his children’s distressed faces and sighed. “I wish your mother was here,” he said before he could stop himself. The others looked up at him. “But you all know how busy she is,” he continued calmly while his children looked at him in alarm. “I told her about that new invention, Fred-George. Really nice. She was very impressed and asked me if I could leave one of those at the hospital as electricity usually goes off there.”
“I said, of course! But sadly, I only had one, so I left that one with the hospital clerk. He said he would keep it in Molly’s room, by her bed. Isn’t it wonderful?”
“She asked me to tell you that she misses you all very much and would appreciate it if sometimes you could go and visit her.”
“DAD, STOP IT!” Ginny screamed, jumping violently to her feet. Her eyes were red and moist and her expression showed total devastation. “Mum’s in a coma. Don’t you get it? She might not even wake up! Why do you…” At this, Charlie tugged at Ginny’s hand, motioning for her to calm down but Ginny pulled her hand out of her brother’s grasp and continued. “Why do you keep pretending that she talks to you?!”
Arthur stared at his daughter, not knowing what to say. Was she mad? What was she talking about? “Of course, she is not in coma,” he said. “Who told you such ridiculous lies, Ginny? She is just sleeping because she is tired. Molly is going to be really amused when I tell her.”
“Dad,” George began weakly but Fred stopped him. It was obvious what was happening with Arthur Weasley. Slowly but surely, he was loosing his mental balance.
I wish there was magic…
Everything could have been easily solved.
Perhaps our situation wouldn’t be so tragic
If magic was still around.
Arthur limped along the long dreary corridors of the hospital, his walking stick making a loud clinking noise in the otherwise silent surroundings. Ginny’s words rang in his ears. Two months had passed since his birthday and he could still remember it as vividly as if it were only yesterday. Arthur felt ridiculous for even considering her words. Of course, Molly wasn’t in coma. What a rude thing to say! Perhaps his children had lost their mind. It wasn’t uncommon in their kind. With no magic around, to run their lives, the former magical folk generally fell victims to these kinds of mind diseases. Arthur truly felt sorry for his children. They had always been weak in their perspectives.
He let out a raspy cough, feeling tired and drained from walking so much. In all reality, it was just two blocks from his house, but it still felt a thousand miles to him. Anything for his Molly, though. She would be waiting for him, with her eyes closed pretending to be asleep just to annoy him.
“I am sorry, sir, but you cannot go in there,” a male nurse came running to stand in front of Arthur, blocking his way into Molly’s room.
Arthur frowned. “Why not?”
“Because the woman in there is dead.”
Arthur stared at the nurse in disbelief. “What are you talking about?” he snorted. “Just yesterday I talked to Molly and she said she was absolutely fine.”
“Right. Now if you please, you have some papers to – SIR!” The nurse shouted when Arthur pushed him aside and hobbled quickly into the room.
There were only two nurses in the room and they were standing beside Molly’s bed. Her whole body was covered with a white cloth. A string of panic rose up Arthur’s stomach. “Why have you covered up my wife’s face?” he screamed angrily, hurrying towards them as fast as his limp legs could carry him. “It must be suffocating her!” He made to pull the fabric off Molly’s face but one of the nurses caught his hand.
It was Nurse Woods.
“She…I…,” she stammered. When Arthur glared at her and pulled his hand back, she continued, “We are sorry, Mr. Weasley. Your wife’s dead.”
“What? But what are you saying? She was fine yesterday…” What were these people talking about? Arthur wondered. His stomach was in knots and he had a very bad feeling about all this.
I wish magic were real…
Everything could have been easily solved.
“Really sorry, Mr. Weasley.” Nurse Woods put a gentle hand on his shoulder but Arthur jerked back, not caring about the tears rolling down her cheeks. The nurse stiffened. “Your wife has been in a coma for ten years. You know that.” She paused significantly. “She died half an hour ago due to sudden decrease in her pulse rate.”
Arthur stumbled. He was suddenly very dizzy and felt himself loosing his balance. In a swift motion, he fell backwards but the male nurse, who was standing behind him, caught him and sat him down on a chair. The old Weasley stared at Nurse Woods for nearly five minutes before actual words could form in his brain. “Ginny knew…” His voice was vague and dreamy. “They all knew.” Their words rang in his ears. After some time, it was so loud that it was unbearable. “Stop! Make it stop!” he pleaded in a desperate voice, pressing his palms tightly over his ears.
“Mr. Weasley…?” Nurse Woods’ soft voice was like a melody to his ears. “Are you alright? We will be taking her body to the morgue now.”
“Morgue? Molly wouldn’t like it there…” Arthur said, suddenly looking up. His eyes were glazed and it seemed like he barely had any idea what he was talking about. The two nurses glanced worriedly at each other. “She has always been afraid of closed spaces. I still seem to remember that she never used the elevator whenever she came to visit me at the Ministry of Magic. You know, I was the Head of Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office,” he went on cheerfully. “So I can also repair your toilets if they have spazzed out or I can find your keys for you. Let me tell you a secret…you haven’t lost them, they have just been resized to be very small…” And he laughed, as if really amused by what he was saying.
And I wish there was magic,
That it was still real.
Surely, the world would be a better place
If problems could easily heal.
A year later…
Mrs. Boslicki was very tired. It had been a busy afternoon for her, and she was exhausted from all the cleaning and dusting she had done all day. Holding her plump waist and stretching a little, she sighed. She had just changed the curtains of the whole asylum, which was a difficult task because the patients kept annoying her.
“I’m going home, Gabbie,” she told her fellow cleaner, who didn’t even bother to look up, she merely nodded. Just then, Mrs. Boslicki saw seven familiar faces enter the asylum. She had seen them before a couple of times. They came in every month. “Who are these redheads, Gabbie?” she asked the older woman, who had been at the asylum for more than a year.
“Oh, they are the children of the old man Weasley. They visit the mad guy regularly every month. Pretty sweet, ain’t it?”
And maybe, just maybe, our situation wouldn’t be so tragic
If magic were still around…
A/N. Thanks for reading. Don't forget to review. Constructive criticism is always appreciated :)