Chapter 4 : Chapter Four
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I sighed and looked around at the small group that had assembled. Each face looked confused and curious as they sat on the sofas and armchairs of the dusty Head’s Room.
I turned as people settled down and gazed up at the faces of Head students from the past. A young blond girl smiled politely down at me from her perch next to a dark haired boy. My eyes wandered from picture to picture, and I couldn’t help but chuckle a pair of dark haired partners that were bickering slightly with each other. Yet another boy was smiling down at his red haired partner. They all looked so happy. I couldn’t help but wonder if any of the more recent heads were still living. Probably not.
Where to start, where to start?
“So,” I said, “Who here knows about the Department of Mysteries.” I turned away from the wall and looked around at my listeners. Nearly all of them had raised their hand.
“Who here has been to the Department of mysteries.” I grinned slightly, knowing no one could possibly have ever seen what’s inside those walls. So, it was to my utter astonishment that everyone raised their hands once again. I shook my head, running a hand through my hair as I did so.
“That’s not possible. They never let anyone past that door.” How many years had it been since I tried to bring a friend there, only to have their mind obliderated and been grounded for months.
“Times have changed, Lena.” Molly whispered quietly. Of course, Riddle is dead, a whole realm of possibilities I’d never imagined could have taken place.
“Right. Well then, can you tell me what you remember of the experiments? There were so many there, you had to have seen some of them.” I sat down on the coffee table, crossing my legs as I did so, and looked around at the group. One red haired boy, though there were so many that I couldn’t possibly remember his name, paled and spoke up.
“A brain in a tank tried to suffocate me.” I nearly laughed at that one.
“You touched it? What could have compelled you to do that?” There was laughter behind my words and I seriously hoped he couldn’t hear it.
“I hit my head and was in a daze,” He snapped. Ah, so he had. I shook my head and smiled at him.
“Well, do you guys remember a bird in a jar?” They nodded, focusing on a memory I couldn’t begin to fathom.
“The one that kept living its life over and over again, right?” A red headed girl spoke this time.
“That’s the one.” I nodded and turned my head to look into the fire.
“Not to be rude.” Someone said, “But what does this have to do with what you’re going to tell us?”
“Because,” I said, turning to look a boy with a gnarled face in the eyes, “That is where our story begins.”
“See,” I continued, “When I was a baby, my parents died on their way to a party. I didn’t have any other relatives so I was put in an orphanage. One day, the scientist that created that poor bird, as it was then just a few years older than myself, came to our orphanage looking for a baby. And I fit the bill. Of course, adoption back then wasn’t what it is today. No paperwork, just point to a child, grab their bag, and leave. Well, this scientist already had a happy little family; he wasn’t looking to just adopt a child. He was looking for the perfect victim, I guess you could say, to recreate that bird project.” I paused to let that sink in.
Only the sound of the fire crackling filled the room, until what I said finally made sense to them. Then all mayhem broke out. Gasps and murmuring sounded loudly in the small room. People looked up to me, as if trying to judge whether or not I was pulling their leg. After a few moments, something in my eyes told them I wasn’t lying, and they soon quieted down, ready to hear more.
“He already knew all the incantations and spells, he just needed a baby to try it on. So not soon after I turned one, he brought me to his office in the Department of Mysteries, and set to work. Science back then truly was not what it was today,” I sighed, “Muggles were just beginning to experiment, themselves. There were no laws for right and wrong.” I worked quickly to beat down a sob as memory upon memory assaulted me. A kaleidoscope of birthdays, funerals, graduations, and wars flew before my eyes.
“Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to you!”
“Sing for us, Lena!”
“It’s our pleasure to present, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Beauchamp”
“Run, Lena, run!”
“Anyways,” I sounded breathless as I tried desperately to remain in the present, “After he had completed his task, all there was left to do was wait. I had a relatively normal childhood, despite monthly visits to the Department of Mysteries. I grew up with his wife and two boys as if I truly was a part of the family. For a very long time he thought it hadn’t worked, that his experiment had in fact been a dud. However, he forgot to factor in the life span of humans and birds. When he had finally stopped believing it would happen, I turned twenty-one and he got his answer.” I looked around the room at the awed and horror filled faces, “And now you have yours. I stand before you today, the same as I was the last time I graduated, the same I was when I graduated almost three hundred years ago, because I am the result of curiosity created by that small bird.”
A collective gasp, as if they had hoped the story would end differently, sounded throughout the room. I stared at the ceiling as realization struck and waited for their questions.
“So,” Hermione whispered, “Every time you turn twenty-one, you revert back to a one-year old baby?” I closed my eyes and nodded. “How do you remember everything?”
“Ever since my second life, I guess you could say, my memories have returned to me between the ages of 6 and 11. Usually they start with the memories that my mind has deemed most important and then continue from there.”
“Wow.” People were murmuring now, their whispers filling the room. I tried to tune them out, focusing on the memories of my first childhood, my true life. It was so long ago. I leaned back in an armchair and let out a small sigh; the most important memories. They were filled with fear, happiness, love, and grief. They were also filled with my girls.
“So,” a voice whispered, and I opened my eyes, trying hard to remember that the face I peered into was not that of my best friend, “ You were born sometime around the 1700s? It must be odd to look back on.”
I let out a small chuckle and looked into the eyes of the girl I considered a sister. “You have no idea. Sometimes I wake up thinking it’s the 1800’s and I have to spend half an hour lacing myself into a corset.” Several chuckles sounded from around us, and I finally noticed Hermione and the red haired Weasley children. They finally had a girl, I noticed. Yet, where were the set of twins? Surely I had babysat them enough times to know for a fact that there had been twins.
“But you can make a difference,” One of the older boys said, smiling slightly, “You have the knowledge of all those past mistakes. You know where corrections are needed.” However, I shook my head sadly and lowered my gaze to my hands.
“I can only make a difference if the generation I’m growing up with wants to listen.” Beside me, Harry nodded his head in understanding and leaned back, staring at the ceiling.
“Did my parents want to listen?” He asked so quietly that I barely heard him. I smiled slightly and leaned forward, resting my elbows on my knees.
“You’re parents always listened.” I told him, remembering all the times they grumbled about how it wasn’t fair that I passed all my History of magic tests.
“You only know it because you lived there.” A blond girl grumbled, studying her notes furiously as Professor Binns began to hand out the tests.
“What were they like?”
“Your parents?” He nodded, “They were absolutely brilliant. I’ve never met a bigger bunch of prats than the Marauders, but they were so caring and smart too. The lot of them made for the best big brothers I’ve ever had. Plus it helped that they were all wonderfully handsome and talented. Girl’s constantly begged me to put in a good word. It’s a wonder your mother finally gave James a chance! The way the two of them used to go at it, I can’t believe you ever made it to this world. The rows those two had could have been taught in History of Magic.” Everyone laughed and smiled at the thought, leaning in eagerly to hear more.
“James, he looked just like you, except for a set of hazel eyes, and he was terribly in love with your mum. And Lily, smartest witch to ever walk these halls. She managed to keep up with me in every class, though I had some 270 odd years on her. She was so wonderfully kind too, never raised her voice unless it was to James or her cow of a sister.” I noticed a few of the people in the crowd flinch at the mention of Petunia and could only wonder how they had met her.
“One summer,” I giggled at the memory, looking around at the group, “The girl’s and I decided to go on a road trip. The muggle way. Only we got terribly lost and ended up north instead of south in a town we didn’t even know the name of. When it started raining one night, Lily announced that we were going to dance in the rain, and so there we were, a couple of rain soaked teenagers, dancing god knows where, and suddenly the boys were right there with us. They’d followed us the entire time, only now the were lost too!” Everyone roared with laughter and I brushed a tear from my eye, clutching my sides as I laughed freely.
“Would you like to know more?” I questioned, as the laughter died down. They smiled up at me, all of them nodding eagerly. “Alright then,” I told them, sitting up straight. Where to start?
“Should I start with the year everything came together?” I asked them, looking at Arthur and Molly’s six red haired children, shaking my head. Some of them were actually older than me now.
I looked around, seeing them waiting for me to start and let out a sigh.
“It was our seventh year. We were just about to get on the train, Lily, Alice, Marlene, and I, when…”
Hope you guys enjoyed this. Next chapter I will be starting in on the past!
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