Chapter 2 : The Jewelry Box
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He felt his heart drop into his stomach and he gasped and almost fell against the wall. He was in his house, his home at Godric's Hollow. That was the reason that there was so little left to the house, the reason for the broken pictures and furniture. How had he come here?
He looked down at the ring that he still held in his grip and examined it more closely. There was nothing special or phenomenal about it in any way. He looked around the house and was filled with a terrible sadness. This is where it had happened, where they had been murdered. He looked over to what he assumed was once the front door and could almost hear his father fighting valiantly and losing all the same.
And there he stood on the stairs, the very stairs Voldemort had stormed up to attack his mother. Silent tears began to flood down his face and he felt as though he were being stabbed in the heart. Why had he come here?
Looking around he noticed more of the downstairs had been left intact from Voldemort's attack. Most of the damage looked to be the residual effect of nature and exposure to the elements. The upstairs was a different story. He could see wide beams of light flooding the upstairs hallway from where he stood and he walked over to the bottom of the stairs for a better view. That's when he first noticed the photographs.
His parents, their parents, the Marauders... He saw a picture of Peter and scowled. The pictures ran the length of the staircase and he found himself going up them without really thinking about what he was doing. He was absorbed in the photographs, they seemed to watch his footfall and their eyes seemed to travel with him as he came to the top of the stairs. Some of them he had seen before, but many were new and his eyes drank them in hungrily. There was one of James and Sirius beating each other with broomsticks and clearly howling with laughter and he felt fresh tears welling up in his eyes.
The integrity of the structure of the house was certainly questionable, and Harry moved carefully around an overturned piece of wooden furniture he couldn't even identify. As he neared the top of the stairs a rotted board gave way beneath him and he only just barely caught himself on the handrail. The photographs continued to smile out at him, oblivious to his peril.
The sweet melody of what he was certain was a music box continued to ring throughout the hallway as he approached the room he was certain it was in. The door was hanging on its hinges and the sky hung brightly above from a gaping hole in the roof.
He walked in and was almost engulfed in emotion. Their bed was still made, or at least what he could see of it. A huge section of the roof had caved in over it and much of the room was covered in rubble.
He carefully neared the singing music box and was a bit surprised to see that it was not open. He reached his hand out to it and the instant it made contact with the box, the song stopped.
As he opened it, he discovered that it was a jewelry box, but that there was no jewelry in it that he could see, only a stack of letters. He took the topmost one in his hand and it was still sealed, and oddly enough, was addressed to his Aunt Petunia... he slowly tore it open and read.
We haven't spoken much these last few years. I miss you so much. Did you get the ring I sent you? I charmed it so that whenever you put it on, you would appear in my living room, as you would know if you got my last letter, and I charmed my jewelry box that you gave me when we were girls to sing so that I would know when you came. Maybe you've just been too busy, I can understand that. I hear that you're going to have a baby! I am too, I found out not too long ago. I don't know what else to say to you Petunia, other than I want so badly to be your friend and sister again. Please don't send this letter back, you mean the world to me.
Harry scowled at the letter in his hand. His aunt had probably sent the letter back, and thrown the ring his mother had given her on the floor years ago and forgotten about it. He hated his aunt so much at that moment. She had always been more humane than his uncle, but she was foul, every last bit of her...
He grasped the ring firmly in his hand and felt a bit delighted that he held something of his mother's. He had several possessions from his father, the Marauder's Map and the Invisibility Cloak, but nothing of his mother's: until just then. He looked back at the jewelry box and saw a set of pictures with moving figures in them and grasped at them hungrily. He had viewed the photo album Hagrid had given him in his first year so many times that the cover had worn down, and any new pictures of them would be a treasure.
The first one made him smile, but he had already seen it. It was an image of the two of them, dancing in front of a huge fountain, looking too delightfully in love for their own good. It was one of Harry's favorites; he even had it in a frame on his bedside table in his room at Privet Drive.
The others were new to him. There was a picture of his mother holding a cat that looked remarkably like Crookshanks, another of his father and mother together on a broom, his father grinning hugely and his mother looking absolutely terrified, another of the two of them along with Sirius and a woman Harry didn't know around a huge feasting table with their glasses raised in a toast to something, and the last one was of James with his mother on his shoulders as she picked a flower from a high tree branch. They were so beautiful...
After the emotional high of seeing new photos of his parents had worn off, his eyes were again drawn to the little jewelry box.
There were more letters in it, but they were not in envelopes, they were just folded up bits of parchment like one would pass during a class or leave on the downstairs table for whoever came down in the morning to see...
He picked up the one on top and opened it.
I there's something I need to say-
There was a jolt behind his navel and Harry began to feel himself being pulled into the letter like another portkey, off to a destination in the past...
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