Anger, fear, and regret, those are just a small smattering of feelings that are rushing through my body as I slide down the too white hallway wall. I could feel the buildup of tears threatening to escape and roll down my flushed cheeks, and I couldn’t keep them held back for long. Once that first tear had been able to fall, the floods came. Wracking sobs took over my body and I flinched at even the softest touch from my mum, even though I knew that she needed the comfort too after the news we had been given, but for just this instant, I couldn’t help but think that I deserved to be a little bit selfish. I knew without having to look up at my parents that the very tears that took over my body were consuming theirs as well.
The doctor continued to talk to my parents about options, options that could hopefully help keep me alive, but I couldn’t concentrate. For once in my life, I didn’t want to learn any new information, especially not about this, not about cancer. It’s such a harsh word, so serious in its meaning, and could very well be my down fall. I know I’ve always said that fear of the name only increases fear of the thing itself* but for something that’s so final it was hard not to be afraid. No words spell or otherwise, would be able to help me. This happened to be one of the few areas of health that both muggles and wizards had no advantage. It wouldn’t matter how many potions or spells I used, or if I used homeopathic therapy methods, or chemotherapy methods, my prognosis and chances of surviving would still be the same. Surviving, that’s something that no seventeen year old should have to worry about, but yet here I am, unsure of how much time I will have left here.
Tears continue to free fall down my face and all I could think about was what am I going to do now? What is one supposed to do when they find out that they have cancer? Am I expected to continue on like nothing ever happened here today and not dwell on the fact that there is a disease running rampant through my body, a disease that is slowly eating away at my very being? How am I going to face all the Weasley’s tomorrow? Even more important, how was I going to take away my parents memory of me at a time when I needed them the most? At least this way, my parents would have no recollection of me and if I were to die from this disease or the war, they wouldn’t have to suffer.
Even though I was completely broken inside, one thought kept coming back to me. After all these years, how had Harry been able to come to terms with the fact that there was someone out there trying to kill him? He had never known the Wizarding world before his letter or the real reason his parents had died, but yet somehow he had come to terms with it all, he was able to keep going and living his life. How does one get to that point when the thought of death was so close that reality seemed like a dream?
I was disgusted with myself for how many times I had used the word “I” since finding out the news, but I couldn’t seem to think about what this had to be doing to my parents. I knew that they were aching and hurting inside but beyond that, there was nothing. They weren’t the ones with the ticking time bomb inside of them, just waiting for it to go off. They weren’t the ones who would never be able to forget this, because as of tomorrow, they will never know that they had a daughter, a daughter who loves them and needs them but knows that keeping them here would mean their own death. As of tomorrow, they would be Wendell and Monica Wilkins with the lifelong dream of moving to Australia which they had finally saved enough money to do so.
That evening, sleep seemed to evade me, my mind was unable to wind down from the trying events of the day and the thoughts of all to come tomorrow, if tomorrow came for me. When midnight came, I celebrated that I had at least made it into the next day, knowing now that each hour, each minute, each second I lived was a blessing. It was a blessing that few others ever thought about unless they were like me and knew that death would soon be knocking on their door. After fitful tossing and turning, I decided a cold glass of water would work wonders for my restless body and began the trek downstairs to the kitchen, making sure to be careful for the squeaking floor as I went past my parents’ bedroom. It wasn’t until I walked by with the cold glass of water in my hand that I heard a sound escape from their bedroom. I paused in my tracks, and leaned closer to the door, almost pressing my ear against it.
What I heard shattered my heart. Inside the room, my mum was crying and the soft shaky words of my father floated to my ears as he tried to calm her, though you could tell from the shake in his voice that he was holding back his own tears. Just like that, my own began to fall and all of my previous thoughts came rushing back. Our family was torn apart, ripped at its very seems, and it seemed that none of us knew how to move forward from here. How could one six letter word be capable of doing this to a family? I brought my empty hand up to my throat and lightly pushed on it, trying to eliminate some of the pain that it felt from sobbing so much in one day. My glass nearly slipped from my hand as I stood outside their door and decided to head back to my room before my parents realize that I was standing there.
If I thought that it had been hard earlier trying to fall asleep, it was even more so now. All I could think about was my parents tucked away in their bedroom with their hearts aching and their tears pouring from their eyes. Maybe it was a good thing I was leaving tomorrow, if it would at least relieve them from this horrible pain that they were feeling. They had been able to take with great stride my magical abilities, saying that they always knew that there was something special about me, never once thinking their daughter was a freak, or treating me any differently. But now I was glass and they were treating me as such, not wanting me to fully see how much they were hurting, afraid that I wouldn’t be able to handle it, and maybe they were right, but I hated being treated differently.
As the first rays of sunlight began to appear in the sky, I slipped out of bed and began preparing myself for the day. I crept around my room, trying not to make too much noise and disturb my parents sleep, as I packed my belongings to go to the Burrow. It took a while to get everything packed, even though I had been prepping for this for weeks, and my energy had been drained from the rather rigorous work and I knew that I was in no physical shape to be performing the memory charm at the moment so instead, I sat down with the book and read it over multiple times. When I knew I had it down, I began to look through the thick tome to see if there were any spells to help me with keeping my cancer at bay. As it turned out, there was one spell in the book which would at least help me with some of the side effects but nothing on the actual cancer itself. My best bet was going to be an actual healthcare spell book, and I had figured as much, but also knew that it didn’t hurt to try, especially in my case.
I had spent a good portion of my day in my bedroom, making sure to do as little as possible and soaking up the last few hours I would be able to call this place my home. It wasn’t until midafternoon, when my mother called me down for tea, that my plan was put in motion. Gathering my bag and my courage, I began making my way downstairs to do the one thing that I really didn’t want to do, but I knew that for their safety I had to. Quietly, I swept up behind them and with a shaky hand drew out my wand.
I waited until my hand was steady and with a whisper I said the one word that would take all this pain from them, “Obliviate.”
All around me, the pictures began to change, reflecting their loss of memory and as the last picture began to change, one of my favorites of my father and myself, I could feel the tears begin to sting my eyes. It was hard to walk out the door but I did it for them, and quickly made my way to a quiet alley to apparate to the Burrow. With the sound of a crack, the brown gravel of the alleyway began to blur and slowly morphed into greener colors, reflecting the field I would soon be standing in, and as my feet hit solid ground once more, a single tear rolled down my cheek. I gave myself a small moment to collect myself and dry my eyes before walking the short distance to the magically enhanced house and to the chaos of the large family that lived inside.
*taken from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone pg. 298 US paperback.
AN: thank you to ScarletEye158 for issuing the Rascal Flatts song challenge and giving me the song Skin (Sarabeth) for which this story is inspired by! I'm currently looking for a beta for this story so I'm sorry for any spelling mistakes or grammar/punctuation mistakes. I hope that you enjoyed the first chapter. Check out And Now A Word From Our Sponsors by TenthWeasley for a wonderful Rose/Scorpius novella! Please leave a review, even a simple liked it does wonders!