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Catalyst by CharlieDay
Chapter 1 : A Perfect Universe
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 4


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Catalyst.

And the people hurried fast, real fast
And no-one ever smiled
-Regina Spektor


I


She sees them from the window of the café, and she doesn’t pity them. They stole magic, and they deserve to keep it. As she mops up tables and tends to customers, she does not consider helping them. They are nothing, they are filth. Her brother is helping get rid of them, and she is proud of him. After all, they don’t mean anything, and now, everything would be better. For so long, they have been protected by the ridiculous, the week, and now good would prevail. Now, they would get their just deserts. Their deaths are just the catalyst to a universe where everything is right.

II


She has noticed that the sky has begun to seem a little darker. The people seem a little more afraid as they walk down the street, huddled together and hunched against the dark. Even those who support him, support what is right, even their eyes flit back and forth as they order drinks. Everyone is afraid, and no one seems happy any more.

There is a price to be paid for what is right, and she knows that. This is the price. A little fear does no harm; not if it is the catalyst to a universe where everything is right.

III


She hears it when he laughs, it is a bitter laugh. Not the light, merry laugh of their school days. Now he has been forced to grow up, her baby brother. When he first joined the crusade he used to wear the mark proudly, but now he covers it up with shirts and jumpers. She worries for him; she knows his uncertainty is dangerous, and it is all too clear that he no longer seems so sure of himself.

She is still sure of herself, because she understands. The hardship is a catalyst to a universe where everything is right.

IV


He is dead, and she knows it must be. He had tried to run, he had told her he thought it was wrong, that they were people and that he’d killed and that he couldn’t do it any more. She had shaken her head and got him a cup of tea and not said anything, but her knuckles had whitened as she held on to the cup. It had been him who had explained to her how they were not people, how it was fine if they died, because they did not deserve to live in this world.

She glanced out at the street and saw them, and for the first time they began to look like people again. But she kept repeating the words in her mind, because she knew that she was in deadly danger, that everyone was in deadly danger- they are just a catalyst to a universe was everything was right. Of course, she wasn’t sure if she believed that any more. What was right about the universe that her brother would rather die than keep on fighting for?

No, she would not end up like her brother. She knew that it was best simply to wait, simply to keep quiet, and tell herself that they were just a catalyst to a universe where everything was right.

V


It changes when the girl arrives, the girl who she recognises from her school days. The girl was quiet and good at potions, and she never knew the girl was one of them. Still she keeps on working, cleaning and serving. Still she smiles when someone talks of the universe she had once dreamed of, but everything is tarnished, everything is cruel and everything is dangerous.

She sees the fear in the girl. The girl’s eyes are just so full of fear; even from such a distance, she sees the girl’s eyes are just so full of fear. She doesn’t want to pity the girl for she knows it isn’t right, but she can’t help it. Perhaps they are people, because otherwise how could they ever be so afraid.

These days she has to constantly remind herself that what is happening is right, and that what is happening is simply a catalyst to a universe where everything is right.

VI


Winter closes in and she sees the way the girl shivers, wrapped only in that ragged cloak. She tries so hard to ignore her, to tell herself that the girl is not a person anyway. She hears the others laugh, the others talk about how the girl is getting her just deserts, but she can’t say anything any more. She knows that if she opens her mouth it will all slip out. These days, it is dangerous to even look at them, and she cannot let her pity slip.

She watches the girl each night as she clears up, and she sees that the fear is gone. Now the girl’s eyes are filled with a strange kind of nothingness, a desolation and acceptance of fate. Perhaps their torment is not the catalyst to a universe where everything is right.

VII


Snow has begun to fall and she cannot bear it any longer- she knows the girl will die. Some of them have crawled away, slipped back into their own world, but she knows that even more of them have been killed; killed by her friends, killed by her relatives, killed in cold blood. She understands now, she knows that it isn’t right. She sees the girl and she feels a searing pain inside of her. It is wrong. What they are doing is wrong, and she cannot let it go on.

What her friends are doing is not the catalyst to a universe where everything is right.

VIII


It is twilight, and she has closed up already. She knows it is the safest time to act, for everyone who is afraid has gone home, and those who bring the terror still prefer darkness. She slips out with all she the supplies she can find, food and water and a set of warm clothes. But she knows that her sacrifice must be greater, she must give the girl her wand. The girl would not escape without magic, and this was the only way. It was hard, but she had to do it. She had to fight for what she knew in her heart of hearts was right.

She abhorred herself for once thinking that their death and pain was the catalyst to a universe where everything was right.

IX


She is surprised that they wait until the next day to take her. She knew the moment the girl escaped that they were being watched, she heard the maligned laugh, and she stood there for a full ten minutes before going home. There, she set fire to all the pamphlets which she had once been taken in by, all the books which had told her that they were nothing, because she knew now that thinking that they were nothing made her nothing, just a stupid girl taken in by the lies which had been told by a crazed old man.

And when they’d taken her away to the house of some Death Eater, she had just laughed. She knew they thought just what she once had, that they wrongly believed that she had helped destroy the catalyst to a universe where everything was right.

X


She laughed even as the pain ripped through her body. They had said they wouldn’t kill her, and that they didn’t want to spill good blood, and she had laughed. She had whispered that they spilt good blood every day, and the pain ripped through her again. The woman hissed something at her but she could hardly hear, for the pain was stronger than anything. She could not beg for mercy, and she didn’t want to. She knew that she was doing what was right, and she said so. She forced her mouth to open, to shape the words. ‘They are not nothing; if you think they are nothing, then you are nothing.’

She understood the words that the woman spoke then, for they were the ones which she had once feared. Now she knew that she was the catalyst to a universe where everything was right, for they had asked her where the girl had gone. She had saved a life; she had been a catalyst to somebody’s universe where everything was right.




This chapter was written really quickly, and is yet to be beta’d, so please excuse any mistakes. Also it’s dedicated to Jenni because I’m lazy and I probably wouldn’t have done it if she hadn’t entered the same challenge and then asked me whether I was actually gonna do it idk but Jenni you’re the coolest. Leave me a review, lovelies ♥ ♥ ♥




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