Chapter 1 : Redemption
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Such a stark contrast to my own eyes, cold and blue, just like my lips were as I stood outside in the cold. This was how it was now, there was nothing I could do. They were warm and happy on the inside, and I was on the outside looking in. I was cold.
I was dead.
He didn’t know yet, and I wondered if he’d even care when he did know. I’d said no to him, after all. I’d turned him down. He had no reason to still love me, and here he was, smiling at another woman, proof that I was irrelevant to him.
I hadn’t stayed to watch the Aurors discover my body. I was a ghost now, but I couldn’t watch them do that. They’d start to investigate my death, and I couldn’t deal with that, not yet. I was still clinging to my life, I wasn’t ready to delve into my death.
I hadn’t seen my killer. He’d taken me from behind, and the last thing I’d seen had not been his face, it hadn’t been anything at all useful.
No, instead I saw the face of the man I’d be married to now if I wasn’t such a coward.
Cowardice was a flaw of mine. It was a flaw that had gotten me killed. I was a witness to a murder, a crime just like my death. They’d killed her, and I’d watched. I’d sat frozen behind the wall, unable to see their faces, but perfectly able to see hers. She’d stood up to them, defiant in the face of death. They’d wanted information and access to the Ministry, something she’d has as the Junior Undersecretary. They didn’t need her alive for that, however. They could kill her, assume her identity. It was easy to do, and that’s what they did.
I’d watched them rejoice, staring at them in horror. Like the coward I was, I didn’t stand up to them. They couldn’t have seen me when they were killing her, I had the opportunity to step up and stop them. Instead, I didn’t move until it was too late.
I turned to run, and they hit me in the back. Killing the witness.
I don’t think they expected me to come back as a ghost. They hadn’t seen me, they’d been gone when I’d appeared. I’d left straight away, something pulling me to this house, to him. Ghost, they say, remain on this earth because they have a strong tie to it, unfinished business, things like that. Apparently, my unfinished business was him.
At the age of 21, I hadn’t been sure that I wanted to marry. I certainly hadn’t wanted to settle down. When he’d bent down on one knee and offered me that ring, I’d balked. I turned him down, and fled London for a few months. When I came back, I was a shadow. I watched, I worked. I avoided him at all costs. He’d moved on, but I hadn’t.
I stood now, the snow whirling past me and through me, and I was a part of the landscape. I wouldn’t grow, I wouldn’t change. He would. He’d move further and further from my grasp, and it was my own fault.
I’d been a coward, and I’d died a coward’s death.
I watched now as two Aurors appeared on the doorstep. I recognized them, they were family. Uncle Ron and Uncle Harry, and I could see the pain in their faces. They must have already told my parents.
My heart, my still heart, hurt at the thought of them . My sister, my brother, my mother, my father. They’d be devastated. They’d think I died a hero, trying to get help for the poor girl who’s name I couldn’t remember.
If they saw me now, a ghost, they’d know that was wrong. I didn’t know if I could face them. I was dead, yes, but I was still here. Surely they’d want to see me.
I almost stepped forward, or glided, whatever the appropriate term was now, but Harry and Ron had rung the bell.
“Teddy?” Harry said as the door opened, and I could hear the pain in his voice clearly, even from here.
Teddy hadn’t seen me, he was gazing at the two men. I watched as his face changed, as the news was delivered. He crumpled.
I’d been so sure he felt nothing for me. This proved me wrong. He must have felt something. Not love, but a lingering emotion.
Somehow, he still felt something for me. Victoire the coward.
He was a Gryffindor, courageous. I’d been in Ravenclaw, and somehow, that meant I was smart. The events of this day seemed to disprove that.
It was too late for me to do anything about him. He would move on. I could, however, avenge my death. That was the only way I could not be a coward. A part of me wanted to prove myself, prove myself to him. If I went to the Aurors, told them what I’d seen, they could, hopefully, solve two murders.
I could still see my family, see them grow up, see them live. I wasn’t truly a part of that now, I was living an existence that never ended, but never changed.
Oh no, he couldn’t love me now, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t love myself. I’d died, but I was still here, a ghost. This was the last second chance I’d ever get.
I’d let that girl die. I couldn’t bring her back, but I could help.
With that in mind, I moved forward, calling out.
“Uncle Ron,” I said, not loudly, not softly.
The three of them turned to me, speechless. Teddy’s eyes widened, and I saw a brief glimmer of hope, before he realised, and sadness took over. Harry and Ron look at me in disbelief, but I could see Harry’s mind working. He’d figured out why I was here.
“I can help,” I said, and with those three words, I smiled.
This was the right thing to do. I was stuck here forever now, but that didn’t mean I had to be the same person I was whilst I was alive.