Chapter 3 : Or Tell The World To Turn Away
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I closed my eyes and inhaled the familiar scents around me, cinnamon, vanilla and caramel. These scents reminded me of home, a place that was once the safest place for my heart and soul, where no-one there wanted to hurt me. I would have given anything just for a hand to hold, someone to wipe away the tears that fell silently from my open eyes. I felt as if I was falling, falling hard and fast, with no-one there to catch me.
I stood up out the bath tub and covered my body in my mum's favourite peach coloured towel with stale tears lining my make up free face. Yet again I curled myself up in a ball and sat down in the corner of the small bathroom and let tears fall. I could taste the salt on my lips and the tears just didn't seem to end. My thoughts strayed to the medicine cabinet above the sink but I knew deep down that that was not an option for me. I forced myself up and out of the bathroom to my bedroom where I grabbed the first clothes I could find.
I then wandered from room to room, inhaling each individual smell and taking it all in. My bedroom smelt of parchment, new books and caramel, my father's study was like a shrine to the flavour peppermint, the kitchen smelt of vanilla and cinnamon, the laundry of lavender detergent and my parents bedroom was something different all together. If there was ever a smell that someone could describe as 'love' then that is what their bedroom smelt like. It was something indescribable yet so familiar and distinct. This house was my home and in two days time I would be leaving it to return to Hogwarts for the last time and after everything I had been through there it was almost like the end of an era.
After grabbing a book from my bedroom I decided to head back to the living room to read. I contemplated sitting in my father's chair but I couldn't bring myself to do it. A glimmer caught my eye just before I sat down and that's when I saw it. A box of beautiful black roses, mourning roses, sat upon my mother's coffee table. I picked up the note next to them, not recognizing the delicate handwriting upon the parchment.
'For all the tears that have streamed down your face,
When you've tried your best and didn't succeed,
When you got what you wanted but not what you needed,
When you've felt so tired but couldn't sleep,
When you've lost something you couldn't replace
And when you've loved someone and it's gone to waste,
I promise you I've learnt from my mistakes"
It wasn't signed but the wording seemed vaguely familiar. I read it twice more before it clicked in my mind. They were muggle lyrics! Although slightly changed they belonged to the song 'Fix You' by the British band Coldplay, my favourite muggle band. I flipped the parchment over to see if there was any other indication of where the roses had come from but I found none. A sticker from the bottom of the vase that contained the roses showed that they had been bought at a shop on Regent Street in London. They looked expensive by the way that they shone in the small amount of sunlight that was coming through the window. I pulled them out of the vase to fill the bottom with water to make them last longer only to find another note attached to the bottom.
No water required, specially charmed to last a thousand days as to never be forgotten.
The roses slid from my hand back into the vase and my brain was working in overload. The roses were charmed, so they were from a witch or wizard or anyone in contact with the wizarding world yet the card was so identifiable with muggles it was not funny. If anything, the revelation that the second note brought me was that I honestly had no idea who possibly would have sent me the roses. After taking in their beauty once final time, I turned away from them returning my attention to my new textbooks that I had ordered in from Flourish and Blotts the day after I had accepted at Hogwarts for my final year.
3 hours later
Even my Arithmancy text book could not distract me from the puzzle of the roses that were sitting on my dining room table now. I counted the flowers twice before concluding that there were thirteen in total, an odd number or haunted for those who are superstitious but I was not. It happened to be my lucky number also, a mere coincidence though, my logical brain argued with my war intensified conscience and on mere impulse I apparated to Regent Street, London. I had only been there once before on my own and barely knew my way around. My honed senses tingled but I ignored them as they were always on alert ever since the year of hunting for Horcruxes, I knew I was safe until the hairs pricked up on the back of my neck. It was slightly annoying but I had grown used to it, the street was crowded with muggles and I didn’t know exactly what I was looking for. A florist, somewhere along an overcrowded street, I had no idea where to start. I started walking out of the alley I’d apparated into, trying to look inconspicuous as I joined the throngs of people wandering around.
‘Hermione, this is just stupid’ I thought to myself after wandering down the street for half an hour, looking constantly for a florist that looked somewhat magically inclined. ‘You’ve never given up before’ part of my brain whispered back at me and I sighed out loud. I stuck my hands in the front pockets of my jeans and kept walking. I’d reached the end of Regent Street and I was about to find somewhere to apparated home when I saw the little shop on the corner. All the muggles seemed to be ignoring the shop and I personally didn’t blame them, it’d looked a bit grubby to be on Regent Street. I quickly ran across the road to get to the shop, it was getting late and I’d spent too much time looking for the shop to not get there before closing time. I pushed the door open as gently as I could but it started squeaking the slower I pushed so I decided to just get in the door as fast as I could. No sooner had I got in the door, a female voice reached my ears, its tone melodious and calm.
‘Ah, Hermione Granger, I’ve been expecting you.’
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