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Chapter 1 : Prologue: August 2001
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The trying times of war are over. They’re left behind in the dust, in the rocks, in the broken castle that has since been fixed.
But is it really gone? Is the war really over?
We may have stopped burying the dead; we may have grieved ourselves into what we call contentment; and we may have cleaned up the mess and continued living. But the war isn’t over. You can call it over. You can say it ended over three and a half years ago. You can say whatever the hell you want. But the war is still here, is still being fought today.
By who, you may wish to know. By who?
See that mom, cuddling her baby close to her chest as she hurries towards the Leaky Cauldron to get to Muggle London? See that man scurry from the entrance of Knockturn Alley to the great doors of Gringotts Bank? See that eleven year old, brown hair, brown eyed girl dragging her mum towards Ollivanders Wand shop to get her wand for her first year at Hogwarts?
Every single one of them is still fighting this war. We all are.
We’re all fighting a war that has crossed boundaries, that has ended in the physical sense of war, but has continued to torment our dreams, our day to day lives, and our minds. We’re mentally and emotionally dealing with the war still. We’re struggling to pull ourselves together and go on living. And maybe that’s not the case for all of us…maybe not all of us have discovered it yet, but it is true.
Believe me, I found it hard to believe at first too. But the facts are there. They’re there, and they burn, just as if someone had sprinkled salt into a freshly received wound. It’s not the greatest feeling, because it seems to sizzle. It seems to knock out your concentration and send you away, howling in pain to lick your wound, to try to heal yourself.
But as time tells, you can’t heal these wounds on your own. You can’t walk away from mankind because everything seems to be falling apart. You have to pick yourself up and push on. Find your place and go.
And that’s what I was left to do, all those months ago. I was left to care for my sister, Daphne, as she slowly lost all sense of herself in St. Mungos. I was left on my own to make a career out of selling books at a bookstore in Diagon Alley because my parents believed me to be a traitor.
I was dragged into helping out in a Grief Counseling group that started about eight months ago today. I was dragged into helping a man in that group find himself again. I was responsible for holding his confidence, for pulling him through, no matter how much I hated him; no matter how much I didn’t want to get caught up in his dysfunctional family.
And through that process? I ended up finding the truth about war…I learned lessons about what healing really means…And I found that loving, and loving unconditionally, is the best cure of all.
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