Chapter 1 : Alone
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If something irked you, like déjà vu, what would you do? See, I am having that problem. Something very familiar has been driving me crazy lately. Being a detective and all it’s my job do find out what that is. But where to begin?
You see, it feels as though my life is running on a closed circuit, the same thing day after day. Which is odd for my occupation, because I should be getting new and interesting cases. But no, lately it has been the same case everyday, the same facts and leads with no ends. If this doesn’t change soon I might get worried.
I’m not entirely sure when this started or how long it’s been going on; but it is only a matter of time until I crack the case. What I know is that every day I have been waking up in my bright bedroom, I don’t remember it always being so bright, though I guess living in the middle of a city things can tend to be bright. When I get up I dress in my plain detective robes and leave to talk to the Healers at the hospital that I have been investigating; I don’t need much just myself, and my notebook, I have no great use for a wand. They tell me the same things they did the day before, and I write it down again.
There is only an infinitesimal amount of times I can needlessly re-write something with out beginning to catch on. I’ve been in the Psych ward at Mungo’s, better known as the Janus Thickey ward. My charge is a young boy, kept in a safe room. He doesn’t come out, and no one goes in. I’ve been told he had been here since the age of 7 and it has been four years now. Imagine what that could do to a young mind.
He’s been in there alone for so long because he is too dangerous to be around anyone unqualified. At the young age of 5 his magic began showing itself in an alarming destructive fashion; scaring away friends, fickle family, and driving him into his own protective world, and eventually once things had hit a breaking point his own white padded room covered in safety charms for himself and everyone in the hospital. He is here 24/7, watched by Healer to afraid to try and make a connection with him.
It is sad and all, but it is really just an open and shut case. I should be solving homicides or theft. Not making sure that he isn’t a danger to society, which he clearly isn’t, locked away in his little room; just like how I am stuck at this hospital unable to leave and explore more opportunities.
Instead, I am here day after day watching over this kid. I’ve never even seen his face; he sits in his little room facing away from the window sitting on his little bed writing away in a notebook as usual. He gets one notebook and pen a week and uses them up before the week is out. I can’t imagine what he could be writing about. It seems that all he would know would be the Healers, me, his room, and maybe his life before.
The Healers think he is writing stories, about what he wishes his life could be. If they were brave enough to read his large collection of books then maybe they could help him. They have taken to calling him by his middle name, Arthur, because it sounded like author which as best as they could tell he was rather fond of. Sometimes I can hear him speak aloud what he writes, and it just sounds like a lot of confusion to me.
Today, I think I am going to get myself out of this rut. I’ll just go in and talk to the boy, by now he is probably more in control of his magic than the Healers give him credit for. If they had thought of giving him a wand he could have been taught to channel his power through. He doesn’t need to be a nuisance to these nice people here, he could even be given the chance to try and learn to live a normal life. I just have to wait until his main Healers have gone on their lunch to sneak into his room.
Not to long later, the Healers had left following their aching stomachs to find food. I moved from my post beside the door, and quietly slipped through the door to ‘Arthur’s room. I shut the door slowly behind myself so as to not startle Arthur.
“Afternoon, Arthur.” I say cautiously, ready to jot down any necessary facts.
Arthur sits calmly on his bed not facing me. He is wearing the hospital issued child sized scrubs, which are growing small on him. They don’t treat him as well as they should. Even criminals are afforded better privileges while in prison, (well not the ones in Azkaban, but they don’t deserve good treatment). His hair was rather like mine, quite shaggy and almost covering the ears. Honestly, he did sort of look like an awkward preteen.
I walk closer to his bed, until I am at a safe distance of a few meters. He turns and puts his feet solidly on the floor notebook splayed out on his lap, I can see a profile of his face but the features are still obscured by the length of his hair as he looks down at the notebook.
“Arthur.” I repeat calmly.
“That is not my name.” He mumbles in a cracking voice, writing as he spoke.
“I’m sorry, it is the only thing I know to call you.”
“You know what my name is.”
I know, I know his first name but it escapes me. But not that I should write down this new information. He writes as he speaks, very possibly he writes what he speaks. If it weren’t a suicidal notion I would try to take the notebook from him to read, it could be great insight into what is going in his mind these days.
“Oh Hugo, all you have to do is ask.” Arthur replied as if reading my thoughts.
“Excuse me?” I asked, wanting to confirm my suspicion.
I could almost feel the unseen grin on his face as he spoke, and wrote at the same time. “You need to read my book. Everyone does, it is really very interesting, full of mystery.”
“I would like to read it. I think that it could help me figure out why we, er you are still here. In the state you have been in for years.” I replied taking a step closer, and crouching down to try to see his face.
There was certainly a smirk on his face. A very disturbing smirk that I don’t think I like the look of. Arthur held the book out for me to take, the page was covered in dark, harsh scrawl.
“You and I both know why we are here. Think about it Hugo.” He said looking up at me as I began to read his most recent writing.
Hugo slipped quietly into the room, hoping not to alert anyone his charge included, to his presence. He shut the door behind himself, unsure of what this encounter would lead to, but knowing that he was helplessly drawn to what was always fated to happen.
“Afternoon, Arthur.” He said cautiously.
The boy fails to reply, continuing to look away refusing to acknowledge the mistaken name. He knew that Hugo was analyzing him as a detective should do. He knew that Hugo was recognizing the similar features between them, causing his mind to work double-time to make sense of it.
Hugo courageously took several steps forward and the boy turned suit. He looks over the boys profile as the boy looked down at his writing.
“Arthur.” Hugo said again.
“That is not my name.” The boy mumbled, trying not to let his full voice show writing his story.
“I’m sorry, that is the only thing I know to call you.” Hugo lied. He knew very well what the boy’s name was, only not letting him admit it to himself to save his sanity.
“You know what my name is.” The boy replied.
I couldn’t continue reading. Things are becoming weirder, yet in some way I think I might just know what is going on. Looking up at Arthur, the illusion began to melt. Suddenly, I could see my blue eyes, my wide mouth and large amount of freckles.
There is a deep knowing, but also fatigued look in our eyes. He has been writing my, or our story for these past few years. I’m not sure whether it is only his method of coping, or if it was some how a way of predicting his future. Merlin knows how old I am supposed to be, but the 11 year old has imagined a great life for himself. If only he knew what it was like outside the hospital, it makes sense that I, that we have been stuck here for so long.
We look at each other and he smiles, holding his hand out for me to shake.
“You turned out just as good as I expected. Care go on to bigger things?” He asked shaking my hand.
“Of course,” I reply returning a smile, and returning to his pages of mystery and adventure.
A/N: So yeah. If you feel confused and are scratching your head I'm totally with you. This was a weird monster to write, I had a sort of idea in my head, and had to try and translate that into writing. I think it is somewhere along the lines of an illusion finding out that it is an illusion? Im not sure. This was written for ~InTheShadowsIDwell's One Challenge To Rule Them All!~ Booya! (I added that last bit) I wanted to somehow reference LOTR cuz its my favorite, but I couldn't fit it. Anyway, I hope you like it! There will likely be some changes to it, but this is pretty much it. Please review if you had any sort of brainwave about it! Thanks for reading! :D <3