Chapter 3 : An Unlikely Friend
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Before I ran away I couldn’t spend a moment without thinking; thinking about my self destructive mother, my impressionable younger siblings, My worrisome parents, about how I was letting them down, about how I couldn’t save them, any of them.
If all people reverted back to my way of living, living for the sole purpose of survival, life wouldn’t be as hard as we make it. We humans philosophies and over analyze everything. If we all just lived by instinct and survival, we’d be blissfully ignorant of all our so-called problems. I suppose some would say it’s a pointless way of living. There really is no point to living if all there is to live for is survival. The thing is, when your staring death in the face you don’t think ‘why don’t I just give up now, ’ you think, ‘Shit, I‘m about to bloody die!’
My life was simple eat, sleep, and keep moving. The old sneakers I had left home with had the soles taped on. Once a month I used a quick repairo charm to fix them. I walked from one place to the next, that was my life.
One day I was doing just that in, what appeared to be, the slums of London. That was the day I met Scruffy.
He lay on his side down in the depths of an empty alley way. There was blood, lot’s of it, I happened to note. He was clinging on to life with short shallow breaths. I stopped short at the sight of it, and dropped my old rucksack on to the street, before rushing to his side. I knelt beside the large dark beast and as I did so he stared up at me with startling gray eyes. He mustered up a low growl and barred his teeth.
“Shh, Shh,” I placed a pale hand upon his crown and stroked gently in an attempt to sooth. “I’m not going to hurt you.” My head swerved every which way, making sure their were no onlookers, and then I pulled out my wand.
“I’m Coraline, by the way. You know, just in case you were wondering. I thought this seemed like the right time for a proper introduction.”
I was talking to a dog, I realized in the far corner of my mind where logic and sanity still ruled. Still, Derrick was off on a letter run, so the dog was, for now, my only companion.
“Do you have a name ?”
The Dog just stared at me with his stormy eyes.
“No I suppose not then. Let’s see…”
I stroked his matted fur and looked, really looked, at this mangled mutt lying in front of me. He was not, by any means, what you might call handsome. He was, well, scruffy looking.
“How’ bout Scruffy?”
A cold growl was released in protest.
I smiled in response. A genuine, honest to god, smile; and, it felt…great! It started off small and then grew as I let the warmth radiating from this small occurrence spread through out my whole. Before I knew it I was laughing uncontrollably like it had been bottled up all that time I’d gone without smiling. The cap had finally broke and now there was an explosion.
Scruffy looked at me as if I were crazy, which; given the circumstances, I probably was.
Things are well here, well sort of anyway, but would be much better if you were here. I’ve made the football team and have good marks in school. Turns out I’m magic, too, just like you. I got my Hogwarts letter a few months ago. Though, we aren’t sure how to get their as Mummy can neither flu nor apparate me to London. Speaking of Mummy; She is distraught without you here. She has a new boyfriend. His Name is Greg. Oh, and, before I forget, our baby sister shall be two soon, it would be nice if you sent her a card or something. I don’t like Greg, Coraline. He hurts Mummy . He’s mean to me, too, and yesterday he shook Lila and gave her a bump on the head. I’m worried Coraline, please come home.
I stared at the letter in my hands; reading and re-reading it again. I folded the parchment so that only the beginning was visible. My brother was doing well. I repeated over again in my head.
Scruffy came and laid his head on my lap reassuringly.
It had been a week since I rescued the dog. I was unaware as to how he had gotten into his predicament, but it didn’t matter now that he was safe. Derrick had found an empty factory building near the alley, and we were staying their until Scruffy recovered.
A card. I suppose it was only fair to the sister I’d never even met, but where would I come up with the money to procure a card?
I could steal it, as I sometimes did with food, but this was different. This was a gift. It felt wrong to give something that was not rightfully yours to begin with. I suppose I could condure one up, but our poor mother hated magic.
Magic to Mum was like a big flashing sign, reminding her of everything that went wrong in her life. I knew little of my mother’s past, only the tidbits I could catch out of emotional breakdowns. The gist of it was that she had come from a very powerful and rich Wizarding family. She had been born a squib and so was an immediate threat to the family’s stature. The really fucked up thing happened when she was around sixteen, my current age. A powerful and rich family friend, don't ask me who, had done something along the lines of rape or molestation to her, and when she spoke out against him her mother disowned her. That meant my mother was cast off on to the streets at sixteen, where she met my father.
He was a normal young muggle boy looking for a good time, which he just so happened to find in a troubled “runaway” girl. The two “fell in love” and somewhere along the lines had me, then of course decided to break it off. This left my father time to find himself and my mother on an endless rampage of crappy men.
A cold wind blew through our poorly insulated housing, ruffling my parchment and snapping everything back to the present. There was only one solution, I decided. I would get a job.
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