Chapter 1 : Don't be Sad
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I’m not convinced this isn’t a dream.
Mum says it’s real but you can never be sure about anything, can you? That’s what everyone says, at least, but I like to be sure and I’m not certain this isn’t all happening in my head. After all, if it were real, she’d be wearing that colour, that god awful colour, but she isn’t. Rather, she’s in some sensible dress robes that I’m sure she would tear to pieces if she could. She adopted Muggle wear after Hogwarts because she believed they were being implicitly prejudiced against and she was taking a stand. What she was taking a stand against, I wasn’t really sure, but she always seemed – no, not past tense – she always seems to be taking a stand against something.
That is reality, not this dress robed version of her. She looks nice, but it screams of me. So no, no, no, this cannot be real. Her features were never pale but rather bursting with colour. Red lips and not this blue as if she had bitten on the wrong of the end of a quill, cheeks permanently flushed because she was always bursting with excitement, and eyes that glowed with fervour of adventure. Not this. Never this. The only times her eyes are closed is when she is sleeping and I know she isn’t sleeping either.
Dreams also have this fuzzy quality to them, like there is this halo of whiteness that sort of tinges the corners. This feels like that and I definitely feel fuzzy inside, like I’m floating on a cloud, high above this whole thing, looking down on it. I can’t fly so again, this can’t be real.
I squeeze my eyes shut, hoping that when I open them again I won’t see all these people around me. It feels wrong, sick even, to see all their sad faces. Sadness. I can feel it but I don’t know why it is there. Like a rock has made a home in my stomach. Can you feel so much in a dream? I don’t know. I don’t usually remember my dreams.
My fingernails dig into my palms and I try to wish away the sight of her face as it lies against that silky cushion. There is something intricately wrong with the picture, something so unbelievable that I know it has to be a delusion. Her light cannot have gone out. It shone too bright. I feel a pressure on my hand and I look over to my right. She is sitting there beside me; her lips look paler than normal and her eyes have lost their bright blue flame but she sits there nonetheless, a sad smile on her face.
“Molly, I’m right here,” she says. She gives my hand a squeeze and I hold onto her like she is my last lifeline.
“I know you are,” I mumble. I hold onto her tighter, knowing that the moment I let go she’ll slip through my fingers. I couldn’t look at her again so I look down at my knees, my eyes entranced by the silky black fabric that spread over them in folds.
“Don’t be sad,” she says, brushing away the hot tears that have somehow managed to fall down my face.
“You’re here, why should I be?” I say, gripping her hand tighter. It feels good to feel her hand, although it is achingly cold. I wonder why everyone else is still crying. Can’t they see that they are all simply deluded? She is right here. Next to me.
“Molly, are you okay?” I jolt at my father’s voice and I look over at him. He wears a concerned look on his face. I nod and turn back to my right but she has gone, leaving the pew to my right barren, except for an older gentlemen who is huddled on the edge.
She probably thinks this whole thing is a joke and will probably come to my flat tonight to take the mick out of these people’s solemn expressions. I’ll make her tea and sit on my chair and we’ll laugh; well, she’ll laugh and I’ll just sort of smile. I’ll be happy that she’s come but tell her she should have stayed with me the whole time. I need her. It isn’t fair that she can come and go as she pleases without Mum and Dad every saying anything. She can do everything. I can only be Molly.
I hear someone speak from the front of the room but my mind can’t make sense of his words. They are garbled and distant, as if he is shouting them across a Quidditch pitch. I wish he’d shut up though. His words will never fill the emptiness that has grown in my stomach like mould. I purse my lips and feel my eyes wander around the small abbey. My eyes drift past the flowers that hang from each window and land on the candles in the air that give the only light, but even they are flickering for their life. They can’t keep out the dank coldness of spring.
I'm not sure how long it lasts or how long I gaze at the floating candles. The next thing I know is Mum's hand on my shoulder and her gently guiding me outside. It has stopped raining and the birds have come out. I wish for rain. I stand dutifully beside my parents but I can’t stop staring down at my hands. People come up to us and I hear them say how sorry they are and how it is such a tragedy. How it shouldn’t have happened. Empty words. So empty. She was right here.
“Molly.” Someone puts pressure on my forearm and I raise my eyes. A young man stands before me. “This can’t be easy,” he says. I try to place his face; he is one of her friends and had come to our place a few times but his name eludes my memory. I shrug my shoulders and look down again, not knowing what I can say. Is there anything to be said? She wouldn’t want it to be this way. In reality, she’d want us to be laughing. But I don’t feel much like laughing. How can this be real then? It isn’t. Not reality. “I’m sorry, she was-” Is, I correct in my head. She is. Is, is, is. I don’t hear what else he has to say and after a while, I notice he has left.
Finally there is just us left in the small courtyard. The wind has blown out the knot Mum had tied so tightly in her hair so that her dark hair blows across her splotchy face. Dad stands next to her, stiff as a board and for a moment, none of us move. The three of us. Such an incomplete number.
“Well-” Mum says quietly, shuffling her feet. The crunching of the pebbles beneath us sounds much louder than normal, as if sadness were able to magnify every other sense in the body. She holds out her hands for us to grab and slowly we reach out. This can’t be real. Lucy can’t be gone; her light is just too bright and I can still see her reflection in my eyes. I close my eyes tightly, trying to forget just how pale she looked in that coffin and I bite back a choked sob. None of this makes sense so no, I'm definitely not convinced this isn’t all a dream.
Note: This is one of my first attempts to write a nextgen story so i'd really appreciate some feedback about your initial thoughts on this. This is a sequel of sorts to my one-shot Perfect Spiral. Or at least, a companion piece. This story is beta'd by PenjuinsWillReignSupreme :P (much thanks to her).
This was written for AndrinaBlack's Nonfiction quote challenge. The quote that this story is based around is : “There were places where things had been put because they had been violently displaced, and then on the contrary places where things found their natural ground and stability.” from “Of Other Spaces” by Michel Foucault (p.22 in the journal Diacritics) I've had some brainstorming help with the summary from the great academica and much thanks to azimuth came up with the title. Chapter image is by bellatrixx@ tda.
The world is JKR's, i'm just playing around in it.