Unwanted, abandoned, alone. The words often filled Talen’s head throughout his dreams. Dreams of the boy he used to be, sleeping rough on the ground in the forest. The thought still haunted his dreams although the events happened more than three years ago. He thrashed around on his mattress, trying to forget, to not make him remember those times. He stilled for a moment and there he lay, still restless, until the rise of the morning sun.
‘Talen get up now!’ The shrill voice of an elderly woman seeped through the cracks in Talon’s door. He groaned and pulled back his thin blanket. As he got up he avoided the various needles scattered across the filthy floor. He had to bend down to attempt to make his bed look more presentable. He pulled off the blanket and attempted to shake off the dirt in vain like every morning. Defeated, he placed the blanket back over his sheet less mattress which was situated in on the cold damp floor in the middle of the seemingly unlit room.
He slipped on a pair of old, shabby shoes, with holes where his big toe should go. He cursed as one of the needles pricked him in the foot. It didn’t faze him much though as this was a practically daily occurrence. The battered door creaked as he opened it. Tentatively checking to see if anything was on the floor outside.
Light flooded his eyes as he peered round the door, his windowless bedroom now illuminated showing a dusty mirror on the wall and a broken stool on the floor covered in a browny/black substance which strangely looked like blood. The creak of the door had awakened and shocked some of the inhabitents of the house, a woman bolting out of her door with a knife before looking at Talen, giving him a smile and then retreating back to her own room.
Talen started walking down the corridor, paying particular attention not to tread on the splinters which stuck up out of the wooden floor. He heard the woman’s voice that had woken him up as he approached the end of the corridor. The house was more alive when he heard her singing; a smile appeared on Talen’s face, the usual early morning eeriness of the house gone.
There were two people in the kitchen when Talon walked through the doorway. An elderly woman, around seventy, her clothes of equal shabbiness to Talens, and another small boy, around three, sitting up on the counter eating what looked to be an apple picked from the gnarled tree outside.
The old woman warmly acknowledged Talen as he sat on the floor. He didn’t look too out of place, Talen was as dirty and as shabby as the floor. The little boy soon joined him, his mouth still eating the apple contained between his dirty fingers. The woman came beside them and stooped down to offer Talen a tiny scrap of bread.
‘I’m sorry Talen, I know it’s not a lot, but I have to put Jakeel first, he’s younger’ Talen gave her a smile, almost offended by the way the woman looked at him apologetically.
‘Marguerite, it’s enough, thank you’ he took the piece of bread thankful that he had any food at all. He hadn’t eaten well in the last three years but at least Marguerite took care of him, well took care of everyone really. Talen’s stomach rumbled as he wished the piece of bread had been bigger or at least lasted longer. The apple in Jakeel’s hand suddenly became hot, causing him to drop it to the floor. The apple rolled away from him, suddenly stopping at Talen’s feet before exploding and leaving six apples in its place.
The old woman immediately rushed over, ready to shout at either of the boys if they’d woken up any other residents of the house. She caught sight of the food as soon as she approached. Her mouth dropped open.
‘Where did all this food come from?’ Both the boys shrugged ‘Oh thank you Lord’
In contrast to the woman’s elation Talen quickly grew angry and rose from the floor. He scurried up the corridor trying to make as little noise as possible before running into his room and slamming the door shut.
Although the room was pitched black, Talen knew the layout and quickly made a beeline for the broken stool. He picked it up and threw it at the nearest wall shattering the mirror in the process. Talen’s anger increased when he again got stabbed by one of the needles left lying on the floor. The drugs that made him forget long, gone through his system.
He rushed over to his mattress and looked under it, hoping to find more drugs, he didn’t want to remember. Not now. He didn’t want to think about why the food appeared. The mattress revealed not drugs but the one thing Talen didn’t want to see right now. A picture of his ‘family’.
Unable to stop himself, Talen reached for the picture. If he couldn’t forget, he had to remember for a while anyway. The picture had several people in, all of his family except for him. It had been taken the day his younger sister, Tarita, had been born. He touched the picture where his mother and father were, a tear slipping from his eye. Remembering that no matter what he still loved them.
Talen remembered how the cellar was the only place he was allowed to be. Where he had to sleep, eat and play. A dark dinghy cellar. How his mother and father never saw him unless to bring him food. How his brother and sisters shunned him because he wasn’t the pureblood child they’d wanted.
He’d never really known love, only from the family’s house elf. His memories of her were vague but she always brought him extra food whenever she could and tried to entertain him. She told him of his family, how they were purebloods and supported the dark lord. She told him of why he was in there, segregated from the wizarding community. How a seer had told his parents that he’d be a Hufflepuff rather than a respectable Slytherin, when he was just three days old. After that they’d just shunted him. He lived in the cellar, alone.
The house elf had even brought him a newspaper once which told of his family. It mentioned everyone except him. He’d been hidden for not being their perfect son. He loved his family no matter what, and although he’d never met his younger sister he hoped to one day.
Talen remembered the relief he had when a letter from Hogwarts came. The house elf had brought it to him and he had dreamed of this magical place where he could get out of the cellar, see the world and meet new people. When his parents didn’t come for him on the 1st September he remembered the pain of his dreams being crushed. He thought that the respectable house of Mallington didn’t want to share their magical secrets with him.
The house elf had saved him. By this point of remembering the story Talen had tears streaming down his face. The house elf took him to a wood, not far away from this house. Talen felt relieved. He’d slept rough but then found Marguerite and felt safe again. He felt loved by the old woman, who’d taken in many young people and cared for them. He remembered feeling for the first time in his life relieved.
His anger had subsided by the time he’d finished reminiscing about the past. He just wished that he had of gone to Hogwarts, he could have helped these people eat and have a better life. He resented his parents for taking that away from him. He couldn’t do anything. Technically he didn’t even exist. His family denyed all knowledge of having a baby, and since he’d been born at home, like many wizarding children, there was no reason to question it. He dried his tears and picked up the remains of the broken stool, vowing to sort out the mess of the mirror later.
He managed to find his way to the edge of the room opening the door and letting the light blind his eyes again. He carried on his day as normal, trying to find food, and trying to forget about his past but in his dreams, it was evident that his feelings towards himself hadn’t subsided because they swam round in his mind. Talen still felt unwanted, abandoned and alone.
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