He remembered it vividly. Maman had tucked him in, kissed his forehead and whispered in his ear. He’d clutched the sheet with bone-cold fingers and dragged it high until only his eyes were visible.
He’d always hated nighttime at Shell Cottage. Where Dominique was easily lulled to sleep by waves gently lapping outside, he had always feared that a wave would rise up, roll in, and take everything he loved with it. He’d seen how terrible the sea could be when he’d built sandcastles on the shore. Once he’d helped Teddy construct Gringotts (not quite, but his mind imagined it as that), and he’d sat back and watched the grainy building with as much pride as a three-year-old could muster. But it was gone in an instant as the water crept further in, and he’d cried at the ruin. For a week after, Maman couldn’t get him into the tub.
He was five when Molly was taken by the water. Molly with hair as red as a newly shined apple, and freckles that he could play connect-the-dots with, speckling her arms. She had been out with friends, had swam out too far, and no one had been able to save her. Grindylows, Auntie Audrey had told Dad, her voice cracked and tears dripping onto an already damp collar. He missed Molly; she used to sneak him cookies under the dinner table when he wouldn’t eat his potatoes.
The water took Molly. Louis hated the water.
His eyelids were heavy, but he forced them to stay open. Head tilted to the side, he stared out the window at the impossibly dark sky. No moon, no stars. Mamie said that Molly was one of those stars, and he liked to think that the first one that appeared just outside his window was her.
Molly didn’t wink at him tonight.
The tip of his tongue bathed a cracked lower lip as a wave crashed against the cliff. A pitter patter crescendoed as rain fell, and he thought that he’d like to be with Dominique that night.
Sheet lowered, he swung his legs over the side of the bed and wiggled downward. Maman would not be happy to find him out of bed, so he’d best be quiet. He crept along on his toes, slowly creaked open the door, and inched along the hallway. Niq’s room was on the other end, and he had to pass the staircase to get to it.
He paused near the stairs, strained to hear if anyone was ascending. The light was still on, and he knew that Maman would remain in the living room until late because she was anxious to receive Dad’s letter. It was four days overdue.
Halfway past the stairs he heard it; a loud, persistent knocking on the door that followed a rumble of thunder. Though he hurried to the wall, he remained close, curiosity getting the best of him. No one called that late, and especially not in this weather.
The door slammed shut, blocking out a flash of lightning.
“Did something ‘appen to Bill?”
Another rumble, so loud that it made him jump.
“...I’m sorry, Fleur.”
A choked sob preceded a chorus of wails, and he found himself creeping down the steps. When near the base, he spotted Victoire. She was on her knees as the terrible sound found release from her lips. Maman was a statue next to her, her hair the liveliest part of her being as wind found passage through the partially cracked window and stirred errant strands. Louis had never seen her so still.
But she seemed to sense him there, for she turned as he paused with one foot still on the lowest step. Those dark blue eyes that always seemed to twinkle were dull as she stared right through him.
He was six when his world changed.
- Disclaimer: J.K. Rowling owns the Harry Potter universe and everything in it. That goes for Louis. Original characters are mine however.
A/N: He'll have advanced by five years by the next chapter.
Now. This is the first story I've written in third person and past tense. Any feedback would be great, because I'm bound to make mistakes (:.