Chapter 18 : chapter seventeen: getting late
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"This life keeps moving on, gone away before too long...while you're watching over the moments that make up your life...it's getting late."
Getting Late- Rob Thomas
Cold. That is what I felt.
The frigid winter air whipped around me violently, causing billowing plumes of snow to encase me and the remaining fragments of what once was. My knees had long since become numb. In the recesses of my mind, I remembered and knew that I could use magic to make the surrounding air warmer and melt the snow, but somehow it felt right this way. The icy air and snow matched my environment.
Sweeping the piled snow from the new headstone, I shuddered. My fingers grazed the carved name and inscription, the ice trapped there quickly melting at my touch. I shivered at the implication the inscription proved, and quickly jerked my hands away from the offending words.
I don’t know what I was thinking or hoping to feel by coming here. This is where she was. 6 feet below me in fact, but I couldn’t feel her. I couldn’t sense her here. Her grave was nothing but an empty shell of emotion.
Maybe I thought that by coming here, I’d be able to feel her comforting prescience. I closed my eyes and inhaled; hoping to smell the honeysuckle and cinnamon from her perfume.
I was terribly wrong. All I felt was the stinging realization that this wasn’t just a dream. It wasn’t a nightmare that mum would wake me up from and then make hot cocoa to cheer me up. We wouldn’t talk in the small kitchen in our flat to get my mind off things. Mum wouldn’t reassure me anymore. I suddenly felt like a small child again.
“Hi mum,” I whispered anyways, my voice thick with emotion bringing me to the reality that I was crying. I wiped away tears, surprised.
“I miss you and I wish you were here,” I said again, the feeling of stupidity passing.
“I’m staying with the Potters for Christmas holidays. You remember me talking with James right?” I paused to laugh wryly, smiling slightly. “Well you were right. I do love him, and get this he loves me too.”
I smiled again at the memory.
“He’s going to pissed that I left without telling him personally...or that I’m here on my own. He’s very protective, you would’ve really like him.
“And his family’s great. His little sister Lily is gorgeous and has the biggest heart. She’s adopted me as her older sister. Al is always a riot to have around. He’s so brutally honest. Then there’s Ginny and Harry, James’ parents. They’ve decided that I’m their other daughter.
“Schools going okay too. I’m still top of all my classes for the most part. I still have no idea what I want to do after I graduate. To be perfectly honest, I can see myself married to James and a stay at home mum. I know it’s crazy and goes against all of that feminism stuff that you always taught me, but I like the idea of being taken care of. I love him mum; I can’t see myself with anyone else.
“He’s the first person I’d tell when I heard good news, and the first person whose there when I fall apart. He knows me better than I know myself sometimes,” I trailed off, sighing.
“What I’m trying to say, is that I’ll always love you and I forgive you. I’ll always miss you. I don’t want you to worry. I have a future and people that love me.
“Goodbye mum,” I whispered finally knowing deep down in my heart that I’d never return to the cemetery again. Mum wasn’t here. I’d much rather remember her the way she was, then what she became in the end.
My hands shakily pulled out my wand and I cast a charm on her grave to keep it well kept with fresh flowers.
I stood, shivering, and walked towards a small forest of willow trees. With one, back glance, I apparated away.
“Mr. Derbyshire, I understand your frustration but I am in no way obligated to sign for another lease,” I said evenly as I glared at my landlord from across the small kitchen table in the flat that had been my home for 2 years.
“You haven’t given me any notice Miss Anderson,” he replied.
“You and I both know you’ll be able to rent out this flat a few days after I leave, so don’t even try to pull that with me. I do not want to live here, I don’t need to.”
“I shouldn’t have to bend to your needs Miss Anderson, I’m a business man.”
“Apparently not a very good one. You obviously haven’t read the lease agreement. I can walk whenever I want to. And I want to.”
Mr. Derbyshire’s only response was to huff like a three year old.
“I’ll pack up my personal things, and then you can do whatever you want with everything else. I’ll be out by tonight.”
I stood then and motioned for Mr. Derbyshire to leave.
It was amazing how the most insignificant objects could carry such a significant meaning or memory.
I had spent the last 3 hours packing away the remaining clothes in my closet and various trinkets in my room into boxes. I was now in mum’s room, delicately holding a white gold necklace in my hands. I had long since packed up mum’s clothing and shoes, all of her books and trinkets but remained fascinated by the contents of her jewellery box. Every piece of jewellery had a memory attached to it. Even her antique bottle of perfume. I remembered coming into her room when I was little, sitting in her vanity whilst applying makeup, copious amounts of perfume and drowning myself in her rings, necklaces and bracelets.
Sighing, I put the necklace on- marvelling at the simplicity of the locket and the magic of it. I remembered buying this for her for mother’s day several years before. I bought it in Hogsmeade. Instead of miniature picture, once you opened the locket it’d project memories and large photos if you so desired.
Shakily, I opened the locket. Pictures of my mom in the hospital with me the day I was born faded into memories of me taking my first steps. My first lost tooth, my Hogwarts acceptance letter, me dressed in one of mum’s fancy dresses with makeup on and a mess of jewellery around me were followed by memories of seeing me off to Hogwarts every year. The images froze and morphed into a recent picture of mum and me sitting on her hospital bed together. Mum looked skeletal- wearing a scarf on her head that I deemed “fashionable”. We were embracing had both had laughter in our eyes as if the photographer caught us after we had just stopped laughing.
Despite the pain I felt, I smiled in spite of myself.
I sighed, and placed the Jewellery box into the last of the cardboard boxes I had. I sat down on mum’s bed, fiddling with the locket around my neck feeling exhausted.
Wiping away a few random tears, I took a large breathe and squared my shoulders. I stood, and walked towards the vanity. I wasn’t a little girl anymore.
Bravely, I sprayed some of mum’s cinnamon perfume on my neck and wrists before I began applying makeup. I started to curl my hair into loose and vintage waves. I pinned a few pieces of hair back.
After my hair and makeup was done, I stood and walked towards the several cardboard boxes in the room. I ruffled through the box I knew had most of mum’s dresses and pulled out a dark blue vintage dress. Pulling the folds of fabric to my nose, I inhaled. It still smelt like her. I put it on and found matching heels.
I looked in the mirror for the final time, sighing sadly.
Shrinking the cardboard boxes, I placed them gently in a silver clutch I had found amongst mum’s things along with my wand.
With one final glance at the place that was once my home, I thought of the Burrow and apparated away.
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