Shell Cottage was beautiful at this time of year. It was isolated, rich in memories and the kind of intoxicating that made you never want to look away, so right for the family of Veela. Dom sat on the cliff top, letting her legs hang loose, never scared of heights, never scared of anything. The tide was far, far out and she could see the little toy figures of her family surfing in the waves, each crowned with a halo of sunbeams, from where it set behind them.
The syrupy sunlight splayed out over the gently foaming, never ending sea, picking out purples and green in the inevitable grey and dancing over each curl, each movement, making the huge expanse of water seem alive. It rippled and reflected off the jet black rocks that lined one side of their cove, and streamed off them as is they were dark, brooding mirrors. Looking out, you could almost taste it, grit and burning salt, saccharine strawberries and honey, like spun gold.
A million things spread through her mind, like a malignant tumor of memories, as she stared to at the wide, sandy beach that stretched out into a crescent, cupping the sea with its beige hands. Sunburn; peeling shoulder blades with delicate curls of skin, like wings. Seawater in tangled hair, heavy and foreign and damp. Sand burn; grazed knees; all her childhood injuries. Like the sorry stings from fat bumblebees lumbering around the heavenly clover; scratching shells, ignored underfoot. She suddenly thanked the tall cliffs that guarded the cove silently. It was their secret, their home.
Her house was a small whitewashed cottage, with a dark thatched roof and the feeling of lonely beauty was present throughout. The whole house seemed to flow like the sea, the rhythms never left you, Dom had saltwater in her blood, she knew when it was high-tide, when it was low-tide. She knew the creatures that lived in the rock pools, the names of the shells that were embedded in the walls of her home. She knew the beach like she knew her sister, she was born knowing it.
This was where she’d lived and learnt, where her mother had taught her flowers and herbs. Where her father had taught her Quidditch and swimming, where her siblings had taught her jealousy and anger. Victorie was the graceful one, the one like Fleur, the pretty one. Victoire was a winner, a quiet, charming winner. She came first, she always came first, in magic, love and family, she was, like her name, victorious.
Louis was the boy. The one who ran and jumped a lot, who hung off his fathers arm, was loud and messy and bright. Dom, she was the middle one, like neither of her parents, she was the sharp one, the angry one, the jealous one who never got her way. She was faceted and difficult, manipulative and stubborn. She grew up into a party girl, a get’s-around girl, a good time girl.
As a child, she was anyone’s, for her father and for Louis, she was a boy, she would run and climb and swing. She would rock pool and surf and ride broomsticks, feisty, capricious and fun. For her mother, she would care about nature. She would be quiet, mature and a pure. They’d pick flowers, watch animals, gather herbs and shells and speak softly about them to one another.
“A rose,” Fleur’d say, “For love.
"Periwinkle, for wealth.
"Anemone, for healing.
"Myrtle, for youth.”
Fleur would take her young daughter’s hand and lead her, into the tangled garden,
“Look, Dominique,” she’d say quietly, and Dom would look and see. She’d see beauty and power, she’d see fertility and protection, she’d surround herself with these hopes, and the safety of her mother, away from her family, where Dom could shine free.
The family would do nothing but grow, Weasleys spread out into every corner, Dom could barely take a step without knocking into a relative. Now, she was older, she noticed it bitterly. Her cousins growing old, her cousins and their children. When would she, the eternal party girl, taste that, taste love? She could taste nothing but the sea, her one constant, the one thing that would never change when she arrived home.
Oh, to be young again, she though wistfully. To not have wasted it like she had. To have passion and fierceness, to feel things. Dom had been numb, brainless and apathetic for years, forever. She whispered the word like a sigh, apathetic, only a tiny vowel away from pathetic. She looked back on her years, as if in a Pensieve. She felt nothing, nothing but shame. Shame and embarrassment.
If her mother, her family could see her like she saw herself she’d kill herself, right then and there. She imagined it, so easy, flinging yourself from a cliff, breaking easily on rock. So dramatic. She wanted to, hell she wanted to, with every fibre of her being, down to her aching core she wished she could be brave like that, she could be a true Gryffindor. She’d never do it, she was spineless.
Flashbacks whirred in her mind, taking her clothes off for strangers, strange old men, stone cold sober. Just for the fun of it, so sweet, so far removed; you’re untouchable, until someone recognizes you and you’re haunted. Drunken declarations, of love and feelings, spilling her heart to the man in her bed.
Next mornings, toothpaste, tangled sheets and long, blistering showers, trying to feel clean, to wash away the taste of gut wrenching regret on her tounge, like perpetual dryness, and the knowledge you’ll do it all again tomorrow. Firewhiskey, burning your throat and stripping away your dignity, you drink to forget but you can’t help remember. A heart quickening wish, that lingers too long, for drugs and prostitution, a stripper, a hooker and poverty. For an excuse.
These memories spilled glittering from her mind, of when she was young, when she was beautiful. Her skin was tight over her poised bones and she had no fears, nothing to lose. Age makes it ugly, an old haggard slag. Now she went unnoticed in clubs, no cat calls on the street. Beauty turned callous and raw, her education wasted, her wand barely used, she was practically a squib. No job, no money, just her childhood home, filled with clean, sharp edged memories that flicker through her tangled mind, that slice her soul like glass.
Dom was a daughter, a niece, a cousin, an aunt, a great cousin, a great aunt. Dom was never a mother. She sat, watching her sister’s family, her brother’s family, older than she remembered, her biological clock had stopped ticking years ago.
The salt laden wind blew in her face, as she looked down on the beauty of her home, sadness and nostalgia echoed through her, what was it about this place that made her so melancholy, what was it about the faces of her family, etched with age? Words flew through her mind like birds, Beauty’s evanescence, reminding us that we ourselves shall die. She closed her eyes as she remembered. Myrtle she thought, for my youth.
The line 'Beauty's evanescene, reminding us that we ourselves shall die' is from I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. Everything else you recognise belongs to JK Rowling and her wonderful family tree! Review please! :)
Write a Review For my Youth: A beautiful home, a beautiful child.