Chapter 1 : Prologue- The B u r i a l
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Disclaimer: Ahem. Everything recognized belongs to the marvelous Rowling. I, sadly, do not own any harry potter characters or settings, and although, I do claim that this fanfic and its OC characters are derived from my own imagination, I am not benefiting from it in anyway except for my own personal, leisurely gratification. =) *Huge thank you to quichequiche, my marvelous beta.
Chapter 1 - The B u r i a l -
(Astonishing image by sammm at TDA!)
It was a dazzling, sunlit morning on this ominous summer day. The air was still and warm, the sky serenely clear; yet the hills of Redbridge seemed to be filled with an aura of sorrowful silence evident on the lofty features of sixteen-year-old Natalie Doge, who stood awkwardly amid a grim gathering. Her eyes were clouded and her lips set into a deep frown as she watched the old wizards carry her mother’s coffin to its grave.
Mariel Doge, ex-Auror to the wizard ministry, had been killed in a recent Death Eater attack on the Irish Ports. Natalie was Mariel’s only child, but they had grown very close because of the family predicaments they were forced to endure.
Natalie’s father, Edwin, was killed by the Dark Lord when she was only four. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named had requested Edwin as one of his followers, but he refused the invitation and was brutally murdered by Voldemort himself.
The catastrophe had torn Mariel’s heart to pieces, and she slumped into a deep and gloomy misery. The young Natalie didn’t comprehend the significance of her father’s absence, but she couldn’t ignore the tears her mum cried while she was supposed to be asleep at night.
Mariel was so dejected about the incident; she wouldn’t allow Natalie to attend the funeral. Instead, she was taken to their neighbors, the Meadowes, where she stayed until her mum returned later that evening.
Mariel continued her desolation for about a year and then forced herself to move on by training to become an Auror for the Ministry of Magic. Natalie watched as her mom evolved from the tainted witch to the competent self-assured fighter, and marveled at the pleasurable sparkle that had filled her eyes.
The Doge family slowly returned to its normality, and they continued on with their lives in a new light. Everything was beautiful, and they were grateful for the friendships they now possessed.
Every Saturday, Natalie and the Meadowes’ young daughter, Dorcas, would play together in an abandoned shack behind her house. The two girls became very close friends, and their mothers couldn’t help but smile at the definite relationship they had acquired.
Yes, their lives seemed pleasant and content, but there was something disturbing about Natalie that perturbed her mum. She was different. She was special, and it all began after Edwin died.
Natalie would dream of the dead if she fell asleep frightened or nervous. She dreamed about individuals she had never seen before being tortured and murdered in their beds. Mariel’s daughter was only four, and she had already witnessed every detail of a stranger drowning in a lake from one of her previous nightmares. Natalie would wake up screaming and shaking, while Mariel tried to comfort her.
When she turned eleven, Natalie received her official Hogwarts invitation, but Mariel wouldn’t allow her to attend the boarding school. Her dreams were still as present as ever, and she didn’t want her young daughter waking from a nightmare and having no one to comfort her. Let alone all the mocking she would have to endure from the other children for screaming at night.
No, she didn’t want her daughter to have to go through that. Mariel was a highly qualified Auror who felt she was quite capable of training her daughter on her own.
Instead of traveling to Platform Nine and Three-Quarters on September first of 1973, Mariel and Natalie made their way around the musky corridors of the Ministry of Magic, filling out exemption forms and qualification reports that made it legal for Mariel to teach her child at home.
After much deliberation, the officials granted them their request and Natalie set out for Diagon Alley to pick up the necessary supplies.
Mariel trained her daughter diligently for six long years, and Natalie was finally able to master every technique, every curse and every reflex nearly as well as her mum.
Mariel expressed quite often how pleased she was of her daughter for her success, and Natalie usually replied that ‘she had a good teacher’.
The small family was very close and one never really liked to go anywhere without the other, but four days prior to the funeral, Mariel received an emergency order to assist a group of Aurors in Ireland. Natalie hated to see her mum go so abruptly, but she understood. Mariel would never step down when someone needed her help.
The next morning, Natalie awoke to pounding on the front door. Cautiously, she stood to let in the tall and muscular Frederick Abbot, a familiar Auror she recognized from her mum's squad. “Mr. Abbot?” Natalie questioned, startled.
“Natalie,” he nodded his head somberly. “Have you read the Daily Prophet this morning?”
“No,” she raised her brows, shocked. “What happened?” she gulped. The look Auror Abbot gave her was one of complete remorse, and she immediately regretted her words.
“The attack on the Irish Ports was a trap,” he told her warily.
“No,” she breathed in disbelief.
“Your mum didn’t make it,” he grimaced. “None of the others did except for me and a witch from Stratton’s squad.” Natalie felt her heart stop in her chest.
This couldn’t be happening.
“That’s a lie,” she snapped. “It’s all a lie. It can't be true; she's a good auror!”
“She is,” he barked disgruntled. “But she's not invincible! She's dead, alright? They’re all dead, and there’s nothing we can do about it!” he yelled, outraged.
Natalie was thoroughly shocked by his sudden outburst, and she didn’t dare say anything to oppose him. Regretfully, he sighed. “I’m sorry,” he muttered. “I should have been the one to die.” Quickly, he left the house, slamming the door in the process.
Natalie gazed at the back of the wooden door where his body was previously standing and stifled the tears that suddenly sprung to her eyes.
It wasn’t right! She couldn’t be dead! She was just fine yesterday. She was a good Auror!
Natalie sat down onto the sofa. Her eyes were red and swollen, while her body shook uncontrollably. A loud pound rang on the front door, but she didn’t have the sense to get up and open it.
Immediately, the door shot open to reveal the exhausted and worried face of her best friend Dorcas Meadowes, who held a freshly printed copy of the Daily Prophet in her hands. Natalie whimpered and slumped to the floor, trying not to believe what had happened.
Dorcas knelt next to her friend hesitantly and allowed her eyes to sparkle in tears. “I’m so sorry,” she whispered her voice barely audible as she pulled Natalie into a hug.
Back at the funeral services, Natalie hesitantly approached the rigid stone of her mother’s grave and placed a rose tenderly on its surface.
“Bye, Mum,” she whispered. “I love you.” Her voice was strangled as a great sob erupted from her lips.
Dorcas came to stand next to her friend, and she laid a comforting hand on her shoulder.
Natalie tried desperately to hold back the tears that needed to get out. She took a deep breath, inhaling slowly, and reached for a tissue to dry her eyes that were now puffy and red. “I’ll see you again,” she declared firmly, taking one last look at the headstone.
The two girls staggered away just as a dark cloud made its way over the desolate cemetery.