Chapter 1 : Moving on
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Their deaths were quick, almost painless when they’d been dosed up on medication but watching them slip away, second by second, was more painful than I ever could have imagined. They’d been snatched away from me when I was a child by his followers, but even now when the world was free from evil, disease saw it fit to take them from a family who had already suffered so much.
Avada Kedavra would have been a blessing to all of us all those years ago. Crucio only prolonged the pain for their family, an everlasting reminder of their loyalty to the order but just like Crucio had snatched the love and affection from my parents, the disease took all that was left- their life. The life which had been tainted by so much misery, sadness and tears had finally come to an end.
Hannah took my hand and led me to the bedroom, the silence still speaking volumes about the thoughts that were going on inside. I almost felt as if I was on autopilot, not facing reality because facing reality would have meant grief. I’d done grief after the war and I couldn’t do it again. I wasn’t strong enough.
I got into bed, leaning against the headboard as Hannah approached. My eyes centred on the creamy, white vial of liquid she clutched between her fingers- Sleeping draught. I reached out to take it from her. The creamy liquid slid down my throat as I felt Hannah slide in next to me, nestling her head in my chest.
‘I love you.’ She whispered as I felt sleep creeping over me. This time it didn’t help keep the nightmares away.
The gasps of my mother in her dying moments and the strange, croaky sounds of my father as he attempted to speak after all those years filled my nightmares. No pictures, just sounds.
‘Neville!’ I felt myself being shaken awake and jolted from my bed. My whole body was covered in goosebumps and sweat beaded across my brow. I still shook from the haunting sounds as the anxious face of my wife came into view. I’d been thrashing about. I’d frightened her.
‘Sorry.’ I mumbled, wiping my hand across my forehead.
‘Nightmares?’ She asked with more tears in her eyes. I nodded.
‘It’s okay,’ her soothing voice attempted to reassure me as I remembered the sounds. The sounds of the parents I couldn’t save.
I lay back down in bed, Hannah buried into my arms as I tried to forget it and forget the deaths just for one night but it was in vain. Hannah looked up at me, my eyes still blazing with the fear of sleep and the nightmares. I knew she could tell what I was thinking. She knew my pain better than anyone. I felt her wriggling between my arms and as I released her from my grip, she reached over to the bedside table, grasping her wand in her hand.
‘Dormio,’ she said in a clear voice. I thanked her as my eye lids started drooping again. I couldn’t fight the sleeping spell, but neither could my nightmares. My sleep began again, but this time I slept soundly.
When I woke, the sun was blazing. It seemed like nothing had happened, like the world had just moved on from the deaths of so many people.
Looking across the bed, I noticed Hannah must have already gone downstairs. The bed was empty, it felt cold. I could hear the birds sounding in the trees, those sweet little song birds that Gran said my mother loved so much. It made me smile. Their presence was still here, even through my inner turmoil of losing the parents I’d never really known.
I padded down the stairs to find Hannah and Gran sitting at the table. I could tell they’d been there a while, the sleep deprived face of my wife confirmed that. The kitchen was usually a place of laughter, now it seemed like a place of remembrance
Walking over to my gran, she embraced me in one of her rare displays of affection. I knew losing my dad would have affected her but I don’t think she’d ever considered them dying otherwise she’d be prepared for this on-going battle with grief that consumes her.
‘I’m sorry gran,’ I told her, ‘They’re free now, the old Frank and Alice you remember.’ I tried to soothe her but it wouldn’t work. Her only son, his soul snatched away by evil and now his life, snatched away by circumstance.
The lack of quarantine and the lack of clean Dragon blood available to prolong the spread of the illness increased the cruel pointlessness of their deaths. Dragon blood, so freely available, would have cured them both, yet it was off in make up production, potion making, spot remover, even bloody oven cleaner! All of those things people could do without but they couldn’t spare a few vials to save hundreds of life?
‘N-N-Neville,’ my grandmother spluttered, ‘T-th-they s-sent me a-an owl. T-their cabinets n-need emptying. W-w-will you go? I-I’m not sure I can.’ She looked at me, pools of water glazed over her eyes making them appear glassy and showing the grief which she usually kept so inwardly. There was no way I could refuse her request.
‘Of course.’ I told her, giving a look towards Hannah. She knew what this meant for me, it was a chance to find out more about them, a chance that I wish I’d have got whilst they were alive.
‘T-Th-They need doing a-as soon as possible.’ She continued. Tears prickled my eyes. It reminded me of the sun that blazed outside like it didn’t have a care in the world. It meant the world had moved on, people were moving on yet they weren’t even buried yet. All of that time in St Mungos and all that they had left was what? The contents of a cupboard in a hospital?
‘Okay,’ replied, ‘Hannah?’
‘I’ll stay with Augusta.’ I nodded at her, she was giving me the privacy to deal with this alone.
I walked back upstairs thought buzzing around in my head unsure about how I would feel when I got there. How would I feel when I got there and saw the place where both of my parents died, still so young? There was so much uncertainty about this and it unnerved me. I liked security and I liked routine, it was one of the things that kept me sane after the war.
Impatience overtook me as I reached my room. I seized the first items from my wardrobe and picked up my wand from the bedside table.
‘Accio shoes,’ I muttered in haste. They zoomed over towards me from underneath my bed and landed in front of my feet. I shoved them on and hurried downstairs. I needed to get this over with.
Kissing Hannah on the head and giving my gran a second hug, I begged Merlin to help them with their grief, to help them have the strength to carry on through this difficult time. They were the rocks in my life, the people who held me close and kept me solid and it pained me to see so much hurt and grief within them.
Leaving the house, I apparated straight into the St Mungo’s screening zone. Quarantine had finally been set up when they’d realised just how far the illness had spread through the hospital. Too little, too late. This could have saved so many people. I drove away the tears that prickled my eyes and went to the quarantine reception.
The receptionist’s eyes looked over my tired bedraggled face, the distress of losing my parents evident to anyone who had seen me in the past few months. She placed a sensory charm around me which told her I was not a carrier of the disease before directing me to the 4th floor wing which I’d been to so many times before.
As I walked up the stairs, the hospital seemed eerie. There wasn’t the usual buzz of visitors, but then again why would there be, only the bottom two floors were safe from the disease, there were equipped with automatic quarantine to keep dragon pox from spreading from the 1st floor, but a healer was transferred in an emergency without going through the proper cleaning processes.
The usual security placed around the doors on the floor was completely gone; there was no need for it anymore. Anger surged through me. My parents had been taken away for reasons which shouldn’t have happened. Haven’t I… Haven’t we suffered enough?
I pushed open the door, hoping it would be just a dream, hoping that the smiling faces of my parents would be there, but they weren’t. I raced over to their beds and fell down between them, the grief finally hitting my face, tears threatening to spill over and taint the floor with pools of grief. The smell of my parents overpowered my senses; it was like they’d just left the room.
A nurse bustled in and saw my broken state.
‘Are you okay lovvie?’ She asked kindly.
‘Yes,’ I said quietly.
I picked myself up off the floor and quietly moved over to the bedside cabinet of my mothers. I reached for one of the cardboard boxes on top of her bed and opened the cabinet tentatively. There was only a few things in there. I took out some letters and postcards given by well wishers and continued to look through.
There was a picture, a picture showing her in her healers outfit with patients on this ward. She was a healer for long term spell damage? I didn’t know that. She treated patients here yet she became a patient here, treated by friends and colleagues but not knowing who they were?
Tears prickled up as I realised how hard it must have been for them knowing my mum, one day as a bubbly girl, the next as one of their patients who had lost their minds.
I looked further and spotted her wand in a case towards the back. The only reminder that she was a witch, to anyone else she could have been a squib or a muggle, all of her magical abilities gone with her mind. Finally there was a little tuft of pink showing from the back of the cabinet, a bubble gum wrapper. I gave it a watery smile before placing it in my pocket, another to go into my scrapbook of keepsakes.
I love you mum.
Finally I went in her drawer and placed her clothes in her box. They were normal clothes, clothes which held no significance but I couldn’t leave them behind to be destroyed. They smelt of her, they smelt of my mum, they smelt of my childhood, safety, security, love and affection.
I walked around my mums bed, kissing my fingers and placing them on her pillow as an everlasting show of my love for her before turning to the cabinet of my fathers. This time I started with his drawer first, taking his slightly smaller pile of clothes and placing them above mums in the box.
Opening his cabinet I took in a deep breath. I knew there would be more in here than in mum’s box, gran didn’t want to keep all dads memories in the house, it would have hurt her too much. I opened the cabinet, this time to find things spilling out at me. I placed the box in front of the door to stop anything falling out and breaking. A few little things fell out but nothing other than a few toys.
As I looked deeper I saw a spike which reminded me much of the tail of a blast-ended skrewt. I pulled a few things out only to find it was the chewed up tail of a toy salamander. It made me laugh, because I recognised it as one of my toys when I was little.
There was a lot of my father’s auror belongings in there too, Gran must have been so proud of him. I looked at them closely. The sneakoscope looked old, very dated, there was also a foe glass in there, I recognised it from Harry’s study. I looked into it but instead of seeing the people my dad knew, I saw the people I knew. I quickly moved on.
I fetched more things out, some auror books, some photographs of people I didn’t recognise, letters from my gran. I’d go through them all later, I had an eternity. Finally the cabinet was nearly bare, just a letter and a box left to look at.
I already knew what would be in the box before I opened it. My father’s wand. I fingered the long wand between my fingers. Yew, phoenix feather, 13”, inflexible, good for defensive spells. The description was imbedded in my mind; I remember my gran telling me it was the perfect wand for an auror. It reminded me so much of my own, only mine was darker, mahogany instead of yew. I took the wand in the case and placed it in the inside pocket of my robes, next to my heart.
Finally there was a letter, a wax seal with FL on the back made me curious.
31st July 1980
I am writing this as you are looking up at me, my new baby son. We are in a time of great danger yet little miracles are brought to us. Our one flicker of happiness is you.
We might not be here to see your seventeenth birthday or even your first but know that no matter what we will always love you. I know if anything happens you will go to your gran and I know how she can be sometimes, but she does try. Ignore her critique; she did the same between me and my father.
Make us proud and I believe in you
Tears flowed down my face at speeds I didn’t even know were possible. Gran had hidden this from me all this time? Why? To try and save me from the upset? To try to shield me from the fact they knew something was going to happen? I didn’t understand.
I looked at the letter again and something changed within me. All this grief and lamentation over their deaths was pointless, it wouldn’t change anything.
I love you dad
I’m going to make him proud. I’m going to become an auror.
A.N Hey guys, this was obviously written for the first task and I hope you enjoyed it. I know most of you will have spotted most of the prompts in here but they were:
-Features House Champion (Neville)
-Mentions at least 1 unforgivable curse (Avada Kedavra &Crucio)
- Mentions a blast ended skrewt
- Mentions a sleeping draught
-Mentions at least 2 of the following types of magic: transfiguration spell, a sleeping spell, a conjunctivitis curse, a summoning charm. (A sleeping spell and a summoning charm)
- Mentions at least 5 of the 12 uses of dragon blood (curing dragon pox, make-up, potion making, spot remover, oven cleaner)
-Mentions 2 of the following dark detectors: Foe glass, sneakoscope, secrecy sensor, probity probe (Foe glass, Sneakoscope)
- Features a theme of flourishing in the face of adversity
-Mentions details of the champions wand.
This story is exactly 2500 words