Chapter 1 : I Wish
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Also, I don't mean to offend anyone through the use of the names Helen, Ash, Emily and Stella. I picked them at random, and believe each is special and unique in its own way.
I always wanted to be a Healer. Pretty ironical then, isn't it, that I turned into what I am? Because I don't heal, I hurt. I don't save lives, I ruin, or, in some cases, end them.
I wish I had got what I wanted.
He walked out of the entrance of the Tutshill Tornadoes training stadium I had been watching for a couple of hours, from an alleyway across the street. Albus Severus Potter. My assignment. For a split second, he lifted his face from his mobile's screen, and glanced right in my direction. Next moment, a bus came speeding along the road separating us, and when it passed, I was gone. All he ever saw was a nondescript blonde girl in a black raincoat. I bet he forgot me as soon as he looked away.
I wish he had, for his own sake, paid me more heed.
I Apparated back straight to my apartment, and picked up the file marked .'A.S. Potter'. In it was every little thing, every fact, however big or small, about Albus Potter. I had been tailing him for weeks, studying him, understanding him. At this point of time, I could even tell you at what time every night was his sleep the deepest.(2.45 am) I knew him better than the back of my hand.
I wish I didn't scare me, how... how intimately I knew him.
I Disapparated again, this time arriving at the office of my father. My muggle father, who was also my boss. A large, brutual looking grey-haired man, who benefited extensively from the use of my magic powers as a witch in his "assignments". To him, I was a wonderful, most useful asset.
I wish I meant more to him than a fucking emotionless robot, a minion to do his dirty work.
“Ah, you're here,” he said, barely looking up from the screen of his state-of-the-art PC. “Well, you have the details, you know your job. Kill Albus Potter.” He paused, and glanced up at me. “Just make sure it isn't like the Finnegan case. The Aurors almost got us then.” His words were a dismissal. And as I walked away, I remembered how he'd started. Small time pickpocket. Then bigger crimes. Burglaries, frauds, contract murders... Soon, most wanted criminal. Met my witch mother(now desceased), who introduced him to the wizarding world. Went on the become the greatest assassin in the muggle, as well as the wizarding world. And I, his daughter, was a born criminal, born murderess. Born antagonist.
I wish my father had never met my mum. That way, I wouldn't have been born.
I didn't know who paid to have him killed. I didn't know who wanted the son of Harry Potter assassinated. All I knew was, I was the one chosen to do the job, because I was the best in the business. They were willing to pay any price. And my father didn't give a shit about my soul. So in the end, I had to be Albus Potter's assassin.
I wish I had a choice.
Our meeting was the typical 'cute-and-cliché bump into each other accidentally' meeting. Except that it was completely fake. I deliberately banged into him right as he was crossing into the threshold of Flourish and Blotts, sending the heavy books in my arms tumbling down. Being the idiotic chivalrous Gryffindor that he is, he immediately started apologising profusely and stooped down to help me. Thus met Albus Severus Potter and I.
I wish it had been real, our 'cute-and-cliché bump into each other accidentally' meeting.
“Hi,” he said, extending his hand after handing me back half of my fallen books, balancing the other half himself, “I'm Albus Potter.”
“Pleasure.” I replied with my best runway model smile, “I'm Ash.”
"Ash". The powdery, light residue left after matter burns. The insubstantial leftovers of a hungry fire. Father says its unique, not a common name like Helen or Emily or Stella. I feel it just reminds that I'll never be anything but the remainder of destruction, the grey something that gets blow away into nothingness.
I wish I had a common name, something like Helen or Emily or Stella.
We met again, completely co-incedentally (not). He just happened to be in Quality Quidditch Supplies, when I walked in. I just happened to be in his favourite café when he bumped into me again (literally). Soon enough, we started meeting for lunch after his practices. Once or twice, I met his sister, Lily, and cousin, Rose. We talked more and more often. We enjoyed being in the other's company.
We became great friends. We were inseparable. He made me smile.
We often walked with our hands brushing. Or intertwined. He made me blush.
Then, somehow, someway, a month after I first met him, Albus Potter asked me to be his girlfriend. I said yes.
I wish it didn't frighten me, the way he knew me so well, despite the fact that all that I'd ever told him about myself was a lie.
I wish my innards hadn't fluttered the way they did, when he said, nervously messing up his jet black hair, “Ash, would you like to go out with me? Like, dating and stuff? As a girlfriend?”
I wish I had never said yes.
I wish I had never met him.
I wish I didn't have to kill him.
Our first date. My first date ever. He took me out for a movie, followed by a dinner, followed by a long drive. I honestly swear I had never had so much in my whole life as I did that evening. (But I guess it's kind of given.) He insisted on dropping me to my apartment. As we made our way up the stairs, he talked about this particular scene in the movie, that had been not-quite-so-funny. But still we laughed. Our laughter was incontrollable, slightly insane, endless. We didn't know why we were laughing; we were laughing at nothing, and still, tears of mirth ran down our cheeks.
I wish it wasn't so pathetic, that I'd never before in my life laughed so much, so hard, so freely.
He stopped suddenly. I finished a second later, breathless from my reckless, racous laughter. He was so close, he was staring into my eyes.
My eyes, which I'd always imagined as blue-grey chips of cold, hard ice. The tips of dangerous icebergs.
His eyes, on the other hand, were a kaleidoscope of the various shades and tints of green. From the colour of dewy grass, to the shade of a flawless Columbian emerald, to the dark, almost black hue of an Amazonian rainforest. His eyes were nothing but brilliant and splendid and perfect.
I wish my eyes were as beautiful as his.
He leaned down slowly, tentatively, until he captured my lips in his, in a kiss so perfect, so passionate, lingering and long, that I forgot everything, except my first kiss...
My first kiss...was my first assignment. I had been assisting my father, the target had been a muggle tycoon's spoilt brat of a teenage son. I had been required to distract him while my father took aim. So I did the first thing that came into my mind. I snogged him. I was sixteen, beautiful and initiating it, so he responded enthusiastically. Then I heard the shot. His hands dropped from my waist, eyes flew open in shock, and lips went rigid. I was afraid to let go, though. Afraid of what I'd see when I opened my eyes and pushed him away, until it dawned on me that I was kissing a dead body.
My first kiss had been a corpse.
I wish Albus had been my first kiss.
This is not right. This as wrong as it could get.
Because with every smile, every kiss, every twinkle in his eyes, Albus Potter is pushing me closer and closer to the edge of the cliff. I'm just dancing on the brink of the percipice...
I wish I could, for once, let go of my inhibitions, and fall.
Today was the day Albus Potter had to die. I remembered father's words from earlier in the day. “You have gained his trust. Now is the time to kill him. Do it well, and our clients will pay you $ 3 million, after which you can lie low in Switzerland.” I failed to understand why I needed to gain my victims' trust before ending their lives. Wasn't it bad enough that I was killing them in the first place? But apparently, that was our trademark. “Betraying them so thoroughly that their faith in humanity dies with them.”
I wish my mum hadn't betrayed him. That way, he wouldn't have turned into such a bitter, sick human.
Another perfect outing, which I would have undoubtedly enjoyed more if I wasn't faced with the prospect of murdering my date. The icy fingers of dread stroked my spine as we neared my apartment. The gun in my pocket felt heavy and stone-cold. Death-cold. He stopped at the top of the stairs, and turned to me. I still marvelled at his perfect eyes. He said nothing, just stepped forward and locked me in a close embrace. I couldn't escape. I didn't want to.
I wish I could stay there forever.
“Ash,” he mumbled, “I'm in love with you.”
I couldn't stop the tears that stung my eyes at his words from rolling down. “Albus, please don't love me.”
I backed away, with my gun pointed at his heart. “Kill him the muggle way, not with your wand. That way the Aurors will take longer to investigate,” father had said.
“Ash..what?” He spluttered. I stood stalk still, unmoving, the weapon weighing a million tonnes in my hands. “I can't do this. I don't want to,” my heart screamed in my ears. “But I have to,” my mind replied back, albeit shakily. His eyes were widened. Not in anger, not in fear, not in shock. In disbelief.
I guess, in the end, that's what made me point the gun at myself. His disbelief. He couldn't believe I would do it. He still had faith in me. Still trusted me.
I wish my father was here to see this now.
“I'm sorry Al, but I can't live with the guilt of killing you. Or even trying to.”
There was only one way to do this. Quickly. I squeezed my eyes shut, at the same time pulling the trigger hard. The sound of the shot was almost drowned out by his shout of “No!”
Pain blinded me, as my knees hit the floor. My blood was seeping through my clothes, I could tell. He knelt down at my side, cradling my head to his chest and cluthing my hand, desperately begging me to stay, to be with him. Once again, I saw his perfect eyes, with my face reflected in them. My face, which held love, alongwith the pain.
I realised that I had already tumbled off the edge of the cliff, without even realising it.
I wish I had had a last chance to tell Albus I loved him.
His face was very close to mine, so close, infact, that I could count his every eyelash. (He really was the best thing I had ever seen.)
I finally had my chance.
“Al-Albus...” He looked up, watching me speak. “I-I'm in...l-love with y-you too...” I gasped in one last breath.
And in the end, it seemed like every single one of my wishes came true.
A/N: So, my first ever one-shot. Infact, my first completed story.
I'd just like to thank Alexa/Miss Incendio, Laura/sour_grapes_snape, Ellie/PygmyPuffGirl, Saval/dream_BIG, Carolyn/dobbyismyhero, and the other amazing authors on this site, whose story I have ever read. Thanks to all of you, I completed and published this. You are all amazing people, my inspiration, and prolific, extremely fantastic writers.
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