Memories were fickle things, changing, evolving, and even fading over time. Years from now when my hair has turned grey, and lines fill the slopes and crevices on my face, I doubt I'll remember the conversations I had with Rose, just that we had them. One day I won't be able to recall the look in James' eyes just before he kissed me, but I would know the kiss. I wouldn't soon forget the comfort I felt in Freddie's arms, the comfort of someone else knowing, but there was a very real possibility I'd forget it had been Fred.
I knew magic could prevent the deterioration of my memory, with a pensive to preserve them, with a spell to slow the process, or a potion perhaps. But when the time came, I knew I would forgo that path. I'd intervened enough with the natural course of my life.
Forgetting the most important parts of me felt like half a blessing, half a curse. The things I'd been through, the things I've done. It almost felt like I would have to loose such vital pieces of my mind to find peace and redemption in myself.
Christmas wasn't a holiday I had ever really cared for. Even before my mother left it hadn't been an exciting event. It was simply another day before I left for Hogwarts. Then, of course I met Scorp. He'd shown me the pure joy of the day. It still wasn't something I'd ever truly looked forward to though, the late December days I'd spent with the Malfoy family were always marred with the knowledge that I would be going back home.
My time with the Weasley's and the Potter's was something sufficiently different though. Scorp wasn't speaking with me, Rose was angry for some unknown, very Rose-like assumption I'm sure. Fred knew my secret, as did Vivian Valley, James was blissfully unaware as usual, and it was possibly the best holiday I'd ever had.
Nana Molly, as she insisted I call her, knitted me the sweater, plum in colour with a large cream coloured “L” on the front. Rose had giggled silently to herself, and James' had declared it horrendous, but I thought it to be beautiful. Rose had given me a dairy of sorts, that opened only by my wand, I thanked her quite graciously. Harry and Ginny had given me an everlasting peacock feather quill that wrote in the prettiest of inks. Ron and Hermione offered Honeydukes finest chocolate. Fred had given me a gift certificate to Curl and Dye in Hogsmead. I had quirked an eyebrow at him, inquiring if he was trying to seen me a message. He's laughed boldly and told me no, but that perhaps it was time for a change. I'd nodded my head, understanding the words he truly meant.
James' gift had been the best of all however, it was a soft kiss on the lips, and a beautiful goblin crafted silver pendent. I'd tried to give it back, but he'd waved his hands away, telling me to take it humbly or he'd leave it in the snow. His eyes were bright and full of unmistakable love, behind his cute glasses. My heart broke to know he gave everything of himself to me, and I even if I gave all I could, I knew it would never be enough.
I hadn't received a gift from Scorp.
It had been my best Christmas, and I still wished to forget it.
It was just by chance that my best Christmas was ruined. Such a slight chance, although to most it would have made their holiday even more perfect. It just made me want to forget it even more.
James , Al, and their dad had left the very crowded and very warm sitting room, with the excuse of getting everyone a fresh butterbeer. Everyone who was still awake anyway. Hugo and Lily lay comfortably in front of the fire, fast asleep, and had been for quite some time. away Roxanne sat her back against her mother's feet, hands curled around a beautiful scarf. Fred and his father sat in the darkest corner, their soft deceiving undertones blending in with music Nana Weasley was softly humming to. Hermione had her nose buried in a book, and Rose mimicked her mother quite easily.
After what felt like an eternity, although I'm sure had been merely minutes, I quietly excused myself to the loo. I pressed myself to the wall of the stairwell, in pure instinct when I heard voices pass by.
“Stop! Dad, James take one of these bottles, please.” I smiled, Al's voice sounded stained.
I heard two sets of footsteps stop, and one continue down the hall.
“James wait, on your brother.” Harry sounded impatient. The third set stopped and I heard another voice, a voice that could only increase my hidden smile.
“Dad. It's not my fault that he thought he could carry that many bottles by himself! I warned him!” James sounded irritated.
“Oh shut up you prat! You bet me that I couldn't carry more, you didn't warn me!” The middle Potter child huffed.
“I warned you that you couldn't beat me, so therefore I warned you about it.”
I rolled my eyes, just as Harry spoke, his voice now clearly impatient. A smug James was certainly cause for annoyance.
“Boys, that's enough. James don't or I'll tell your mum you're making bets against your siblings again. Al, don't call your brother a prat, yes, even if he is one.”
I could only imagine the look on James' face. “Dad, can we just go? I promised Lena I’d only be a moment, and I’ve been gone at least five minutes!”
My eyes widened at the sound of my name, perhaps now it was time to continue on the way to the loo. They wouldn't see me, I doubt they'd even hear me. It was rude to eavesdrop, no matter how easy it seemed.
“You know, she was MY friend before she was your bloody girlfriend.”
“Hmm, is Albus jealous?” James mocked.
“Al go on ahead, don't look at me like that, carry those bottles yourself. You said you would, now do it. Tell Uncle George that I have his firewhiskey and tell Fred that no, he can't have one this year. James and I will be in there in a moment.”
I heard a set of footsteps stomp of towards the sitting room. I took a step up, hoping to leave the two Potter men behind, when I heard my name again.
“Dad, did you even hear me? I want to get back to Lena...”
“Stop for a moment, I actually wanted to ask you about her.”
One of the Potter's sighed, and I was frozen to the spot.
“Okay dad,” James relented, “What about her?”
“I just wanted to say, I'm proud of you, she's lovely, and your mum loves her, everyone seems to. But I wanted to know about you, how do you feel about her?”
I sank to my knees at his next words, and my heart soared into my throat.
“I love her.”
“But you said the same thing about Viv.”
“And? Can't I love more than once in my pathetic existence?” Love more than one person? Did that mean he still loved her? My heart fell somewhere near my navel.
“James,” Harry sounded put out.
“Look, dad. I thought I loved those other girls. Whatever I felt for them, and defiantly whatever I felt for that slag, are nothing compared to Lena. Now, can we get back...?”
“I saw the necklace you gave her, I'm still proud.”
Their voices moved with their feet, away from me. Away from the stairwell, away from the turmoil I now felt.
I put my face in my hands and sobbed. I knew it had been heading in this direction for months now. I could see it in his eyes, but hearing him say it aloud set it in a hard unbreakable stone. He couldn't love me. I couldn't be that important to him. My life was an endless maze of utter and complete madness, I couldn't be loved. Loving me would ruin him. Knowing me, would ruin him. Just like Scorp. It didn't matter if I loved him back. It didn't matter if I was in love with him.
Maybe though, just maybe he could save me from myself. Maybe if I let him love me...I wouldn't allow myself to finish the thought.
I stood, moments later, and made my way to the loo. I cleaned my face, and placed my mask back upon my face. I wanted to forget more than anything.
I was shaken awake on boxing day, quite roughly, by two slender hands. I frowned in my disrupted sleep. It felt like I'd only just fallen asleep.
“Lena! Sorry to wake you, love, but you have an owl, and Rose asked me to come and get you.”
An owl? I thanked what looked vaguely like Lily, but I'm sure was Molly, to my sleep deprived vision. Who would owl me? Scorp was my first, and only guess. But we weren't speaking, it wouldn't have made sense. I had sent him his gift, knowing him he wouldn't have sent it back. Maybe though, just maybe it was a reply from him.
I stumbled down the stairs and into the Weasley's quaint cottage like kitchen. Ron stood at the stove, and smell of bacon hit my nostrils instantly waking up the rest of my mind.
“That smells wonderful, Mr. Weasley.”
He sighed heavily, flipping the bacon, but when he turned around to face me, he wore a smile. “I've told you again, and again, my name is Ron.”
I gave him a cheeky grin, as I nicked a piece of bacon from the plate beside the stove. “Sorry Ron.”
He laughed, “Did you girls have fun last night? 'Mione and I had to place a silencing charm around the attic at round midnight.”
I frowned around my bacon. No, we hadn't had fun. Well, I hadn't had fun, and I was fairly certain Rose hadn't either. I was still reeling from what I've overheard the night before. Trying in vain to make some sort of sense of my hectic emotions. It had been hard to say the least to gather my thoughts. I hadn't known the Weasley/Potter sleepover would be quite so loud. It was apparently a common occurrence that I wasn't informed of until they were all following us home from the Burrow. Dom and Victorie were the only two to decline the invitation. Molly, Lucy, Lily, and Roxanne had stayed up all night, laughing and giggling with each other. Rose had looked on with wise eyes until she'd excused herself for bed. The girls had moaned and groaned until they'd forgotten her, and I'm sure the very same had occurred with me.
“Er. It was great.” Ron chuckled to himself. “A bit loud though.”
“Tell me about it, those silencing charms aren't a new invention though, thank Merlin.”
“So Molly sent me down here for an owl?”
“You mean Lucy?” I blushed at my mistake. “Don't worry, they're piratically identical. Anyway, I won't bore you any longer, your owl is in the sitting room, I think Rosie is in there too.” I smiled in return, unsure of what to say. I waved and left the kitchen.
I found Rose sitting in what I'd soon discovered to be her favourite chair, a book sitting closed on her lap. Her eyes instead were locked on the large picture window at the front of the room, I could see the Potter's house in the distance. An unfamiliar owl stood on the delivery perch, proper and large, I knew immediately it wasn't an owl from Scrop, or Draco or Astoria, but still I hoped. It clicked it's peak impatiently
“That's not a Malfoy owl.” Rose finally spoke, stating the obvious. “Or Fred's owl. Your father is a muggle so it isn't from him now is it? And the school owls aren't nearly as rude.” She spoke not in an unkind fashion, but one with a hint of maliciousness in her undertones.
“No,” I agreed, slightly disheartened, I had been unrealistic with hope. Of course it wasn't a Malfoy owl. “It isn't.”
Rose hadn't moved her eyes from the cordial looking bird. “Aren't you going to go get it?”
I nodded and walked towards the perch. The owl stuck it's leg out impatiently as I untied the scroll attached, and flew off into the morning dawn. My name was scribbled on the outside in an elegant script. My full name. It made my skin crawl in an unpleasant way.
Rose's gaze was now fixed on me. “Open it.” She nearly commanded.
“I think it's from St. Mungo's.” I said calmly.
“Open it.” She repeated.
Dread filled me in an instant. She knew. She knew something.
“No. I don't think I will.” My voice shook.
She stood, and her book hit the floor with a thud.
I backed up, but it wasn't enough, she came closer. “Lena, I know you're hiding something, and I want to know what.”
Tears pooled in my eyes. “I can't tell you.”
“Fine. Don't expect me to care when you can tell me.” No. No. No. I'd already lost Scorp. I couldn't loose Rose.
“Please.” A tear rolled down my cheek.
I obliged. Written in the same elegant script were words that made my blood run cold, I could feel the single piece of bacon I'd ingested earlier coming up.
I thought I meant for us to keep in touch. Again, wrong move. I told you again and again to break up with James, and instead you took yourself home with him. How indecent of you! I do wish you had listened dear. I hope you know James will hate you. I'll make sure of it. Scor does too. He told me so, funny isn't it? You stole James from me, so I stole Scor from you. Vivian Malfoy, I don't know, I still like Mrs.Vivian Potter best. Don't fret dearie, everyone will know soon enough. The entire school will know, and they'll believe me, won't they? This is why your mummie left isn't it? Oh yes, I know all about her. Disowned, shunned, shacking with a muggle. How common. His hate for you will know no bounds, again I'll ensure it. I hope you are well, for now.
No. No. No. No. Merlin no. I couldn't loose James. He'd become my anchor to this world. Without him, I wouldn't have a reason to feel, and if I didn't have a reason to feel, my dream would come true. I'd make damn sure of it. No, he said he loved me. NO. He couldn't hate me. Scorp couldn't hate me. No, Scorp used to love me too. Now he hates me. Merlin, no. There was some part of me that didn't want to believe he hated me, but I knew it was true. Everything I touched turned against me. I fucked up everything by just trying to survive. I didn't deserve to try anymore. He'd be better off if he hated me.
“Give it to me.” Rose didn't demand this time. She tore the letter from my hands before I'd even been given the chance to consider not telling her.
Her eyes widened as she scanned the page, again and again. The minutes ticked by one second gone after the next.
“What does this mean, Lena?” She asked quietly. Gone were the her harsh tones and suspicious glances.
I stayed silent, mute, numb. I was making up my mind.
“Lena. This is blackmail. How could she be blackmailing you? Lena! How does she even know about your mum? Merlin you won't even tell me about her.”
My mind was made up. I'd decided.
“Lena. Answer me!”
She took a step back. “What?”
“No. I won't tell you. Go to Fred. He knows. I don't care. I just don't care....”
I ran past her, colliding hard with her shoulder. I ran past Ron and a very sleepy looking Hermione. Rose yelled after me, but I didn't give a damn. I didn't give a damn about anything anymore. My bare feet hit the cold snow and I felt free. I held my wand in my right hand, and even if I wanted I couldn't have shouted back. My voice was gone, along with my will to live.
I couldn't wait fifty years for my memory to fail. I couldn't wait that long to forget all of this. I had to make them forget me first.