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The Burning One by Elenia
Chapter 1 : Prologue
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 18

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Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or anything else that you might recognize.

The gorgeous image of Sera by atellam <3


She didn’t lift her glance from her knit work, she was concentrating hard on the slow movement of her needles and I doubted that she had heard me. I still waited for her to answer as I moved closer to her, but all I could hear was the familiar nursery rhyme she was humming. She didn’t even notice me when I stopped right in front of her.
“Maman,” I tried again, kneeling down and placing my hands on her knees.
This time it worked and her blue eyes found me, a small frown appearing on her forehead as she laid her work down on her lap and stared at me like it was the first time we met. I stared back, trying to get her to recognize me, but also to memorize every single thing on her face so I could last for the next few months I was away from her.
The years hadn’t been kind to my mother, her long and once beautiful blonde hair had already turned grey, making her look older than she really was. The wrinkles around her face suggested the same; time was slipping away from her too fast.
“Hello?” she replied a bit carefully, examining my features as she tried to think why she should identify me. I could feel the small stab in my heart, but I quickly pushed it aside – this was familiar already, I should be used to it by now.
“It’s me, Maman, Sera,” I told her and prayed with everything I had in me that today was a good day. I wasn’t sure if I could deal with the disappointment now.
Apparently I had done something right as my prayers were answered and I watched her puzzled expression soften into a smile. “Of course, sweetheart, how silly of me. How are you feeling?” she asked, patting my cheek softly.
I chuckled at her question; it always warmed my heart to see her worry about me when it had been the other way around for so long. “I’m fine, Maman. I’m going back to school today, did you remember that?”
“Well, of course, darling. What kind of mother would I be if I didn’t? My little girl’s already grown so big. Starting your third year already, I can’t believe how fast the time has passed,” she said to me, brushing some of my long brown hair behind my ear with her bony fingers.
“Seventh, Maman,” I corrected her with a sad smile.
A small bubbly laughter filled the room. “Oh nonsense, I think I remember how old my own daughter is,” she said, looking quite amused.
“Sure thing, Maman,” I nodded, knowing it would be pointless to argue. “Will you be okay?”
“Always, darling, you don’t have to worry about me. I have your father for company,” she responded, picking up her knitting again. The stabbing in my heart returned at the thought of my dad, who had been dead for two years already.
I stood up again and watched her work for a while, unable to tear my eyes away from her tiny figure. How much I wished for her to get better, for things to be different so I could hear that sparkling laughter of hers on daily basis. But I knew that was a lot to hope for; it was more likely that she wouldn’t remember me the next time I saw her.
“Sera?” a voice called from the doorway, making me turn around to see the brown-haired young man standing there. “It’s time to go, you’ll be late soon,” he added.
“I know,” I nodded to him, then turning back to look at my mother one more time. The goodbyes were always so hard for me, I hated it that I was not able to stay here and look after her.
She had stopped knitting again and she was watching me curiously now. “Are you the new Nanny?” she questioned, trying to remember if she had seen me before.
“No, Maman, it’s me, Sera,” I reminded her, keeping my tone patient and kind regardless of the frustration it always caused in me when the conversation started all over again.
“Don’t be ridiculous,” my mother said, rolling her eyes at me like I had just told her a joke. “My Sera is only five years old. Could you please go check what she’s doing and send her here? I feel like I haven’t seen her in a long time.”
“I –” I started, but could feel Jonathan placing his hand on my shoulder. “Sure thing, I’ll send her right over.”
But she wasn’t listening anymore, she was knitting again and humming the old nursery rhyme. I knew it by heart – it was the same she used to sing me when I was little. I could feel the tears fighting their way into my eyes. Fortunately Jonathan was there to lead me out of her room because I don’t think I could’ve managed to do it myself.
I burst into tears as he closed the door and he immediately wrapped his arms around my waist, pulling me into a comforting hug. “Please don’t cry, sweetie,” he said to me, squeezing me tightly. “You know there’s nothing you can do to help her now, just be patient and hope for the better days, okay?”
“I know,” I sobbed against his chest and let him console me.
Jonathan was the closest thing to family I had after my mother, even though we weren’t related. He was our next door neighbour and I had known him forever. Our families had always lived along the same little street in Southampton.
“Come on, I’ll take you to the station. You don’t want to miss that scarlet train, do you?” he said, giving me a quick peck on my forehead and brushing the tearstains away from my cheeks.
I frowned; it would be torture trying once again to get used to school life after two months of taking care of my mother. Studying felt like a waste of time when there were other things I could be doing.
“What about Maman?” I questioned, realising that there wouldn’t be anyone here to look after her if Jonathan was to take me to London.
“She’ll be fine, my mum is here to watch after her while I’m away,” he reassured, wrapping his hand around my shoulders. “You don’t have to worry about a thing.”
“Okay…” I pressed my head against his shoulder as he started to guide me towards the hall. I should’ve realised immediately that he wouldn’t leave Maman alone. It was, after all, his job to look after her. Although he would’ve been just as thorough about it even if it wasn’t – Jonathan loved my mother like she was family.
I knew he was examining me with his dark chocolate eyes, a concerned look on his features. He always worried too much about me. “I’ll be fine,” I assured him. “It’s just hard every time I have to leave.”
“I’m sure it is. But hey, it’s your last year at Hogwarts and then you don’t have to leave her for such long periods. You get to live at home when you study at the Healing Academy.”
I knew he was right, he always was. Only one more year and then I would be able to look after Maman better. And two years after that I wouldn’t need to hire anyone for the job anymore, since I’d be able to do it myself. But it still felt like a waste of time. I already knew it all – every healing spell and potion recipe were corroded in my mind and I could recite them even in my sleep. I really didn’t need the occupation, but they wouldn’t let me take care of Maman without it.
I knew there was nothing I could do to hasten my progress, just hope that the days went by fast.
“Let’s go get your luggage,” Jonathan continued as he let go of my shoulder and interlaced his fingers with mine.
A small sigh escaped my lips as I nodded. One more year, I thought, and then it would get easier.
But little did I know.

A/N: What's this? A new story? I'm just as surprised as you are (x

I'd be forever grateful if you took the time and let me know what you think about this little prologue and if you're interested to read more.

Huge thanks to CambAngst for being my awesome beta and to atellam for all the gorgeous graphics and the superb support and encouragement. Love you both <3

Until next time ^^


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