Chapter 1 : Only the Beginning
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lovely CI by Prometheus at TDA!
1992. Hogwarts Hospital Wing.
Madame Pomfrey scurried about the hospital wing. She carried a bone-growing potion towards the bed of a young Harry Potter who looked like he was ready to throw up at any time from his jelly like arm. She handed him the potion, which he drank, but instantly gagged at the horrifying taste, “That stuff is disgusting.
“It’ll grow those bones back in a jiffy, Mr. Potter,” Madame Pomfrey stated quickly, taking the bottle back.
She noticed he was reading something and spotted the picture of a werewolf on the cover. Instantly, her heart sped up at the remembrance of forgotten memories. Harry noticed her strange look, almost like she was in a daze, “Madame Pomfrey, are you alright?”
Instantly, she was brought back to reality, “Yes, of course I am, why wouldn’t I be?”
“You looked rather pale for a moment,” Harry stated, confused as to why the fit as a fiddle healer suddenly looked rather ill.
She shook her head, chastising him, “I’m fine. Now turn out that light in a few minutes to get some rest, Mr. Potter.”
He nodded, “Will do.”
Madame Pomfrey hurried back to her desk, feeling a sudden urge to sit down, but only for a moment to recollect her composure. Leaning back in a creaky old wooden chair, she noticed the moon was full tonight. Her blood ran cold and her fingers trembled as she reached in the drawer for her calming potion. Once she brought the glass vial to her lips, she tasted the bittersweet recollection of those fateful years from long ago. The screams haunted through the night whenever a full moon would occur. Fifty-two years later, and she still recalled the warmth of his touch, the velvety sound of his voice when he spoke her name, and the chilling moment when she was forced to leave. Her tired gray eyes looked towards the full moon that glowed against a dark sky, and she clasped her fingers around the crescent moon shaped charm on a silver chain around her neck before softly whispering to the night air, “I’m sorry, Garrett.”
Late August. 1940. Hodder Valley, Lancashire.
The warm August air blew through the trees as the sun started to fade away under a mask of grayish colored clouds looming overhead of a small village in the English countryside. Within seconds, raindrops began descending from above, gently at first, but then pouring in buckets, ravaging the dirt roads into puddles of mud. A lone figure ran across the way through the downpour, dashing from one small building’s porch to the next, not caring about the hemline of her skirts dragging through the muck and filth.
Upon coming to the last little house, she hastily knocked on the door, clutching a precious envelope in her hands against her wrinkled gray blouse. The door opened, and an elderly woman appeared, aghast at the young lady’s ruddy appearance with her brown locks askew and her skirts drenched with the hemline nearly tearing apart. She spoke, confused, “Poppy, whatever is the matter?”
Poppy could barely contain her excitement and spoke quickly, thrusting the torn envelope into the lady’s thin hands, “I’ve got an interview, Mrs. Mason! I’m going to London!”
“An interview, what on earth for, dear?” Mrs. Mason inquired, examining the envelope before taking out the note.
Poppy smiled proudly, “I’m to be a proper healer, that’s what, or at least I hope I will be.”
Mrs. Mason scanned the note, adjusting her glasses ever so slightly as she tried to make out the scrawled handwriting, “Seems valid enough I suppose. What about your dream to be the town healer? I’m retiring in a few years time you know.”
Poppy shook her head, persistent to make this newly found dream come true, “I’m not going to just settle to heal paper cuts and cure a stomach virus. I want to do more, Mrs. Mason. You said yourself that I was the best student you ever had.”
“I know I did, dear, but-” Mrs. Mason started to object.
The young girl paid no mind to her former teacher’s tone of protest, “Then give me your blessing to go to London.”
“My dear girl, you have never been to the city before. You will be lost in a sea of ruffians and hooligans trying to trick you-” Mrs. Mason spoke sternly.
Poppy smiled a little, “I will be fine.”
“If your parents were alive, they would surely object-” Mrs. Mason sighed, handing Poppy the letter.
Poppy hugged her former teacher and said before dashing back into the rain, “I’m twenty years old, Mrs. Mason. I need to stop living on the generosity of others. I’m going to prove you wrong! Wait and see!”
Mrs. Mason only shook her head, heading back into her living room to finish a cup of herbal tea, “Poor girl has not a clue.”
Early September. 1940. London.
The thrill and bustle of the city of London was far more than Poppy ever expected. Gazing out the window of her cab, she was in awe at the magnificent architecture surrounding the city streets filled with people and traffic. The cab driver asked as he sped through the lanes, “Where to, miss?”
“654 Rosling Lane,” She smiled, looking at the address on the note for the hundredth time, as if she wanted to make sure she was getting it right and none of this was a dream.
The driver seemed a bit confused, but continued nonetheless until they reached a lonely lane with few houses and an abandoned building. Poppy grabbed her handbag, adjusted her hair and grey hat for a final time, before getting out of the cab, paying the driver and lugging her carpetbag full of clothes to the side of the street. She glanced around, hopelessly confused, “This cannot be correct. There is nothing here.”
Then a well-dressed man appeared, walking down the steps from the brick building that looked like no one had been there for years. He adjusted his coat, put on a hat over his gray locks, and nodded at her, “Good day, miss.”
She stopped him before he could take more than three steps onto the road, “Excuse me, I’m looking for a Mr. Hacksby about an interview. I was told to come to 654 Rosling Lane.”
The gentleman quickly peeked around and then looked at her with curiosity for a moment, before speaking quietly, even though no one was around, “Are you applying for a healer position, miss?”
Poppy nodded, “Yes, I am.”
“Ah well, just step inside the building then, miss,” The man added, gesturing towards the old looking building before them.
Poppy thanked him, and she carefully walked up the steps, wondering what she was getting into. But she was determined to make it in this new world and prove everyone that she was worthy of a proper job despite her parentless childhood and penniless upbringing. She opened the door, finding the disarray of the outer shell of the building was a polar opposite to the inside. The richly decorated walls with luxurious paintings, polished floors covered in scarlet rugs and expensive furniture practically put the crumbling red brick and peeling paint of the doorway to shame. Trying to not appear too eager, Poppy stood in the entrance, awaiting any instruction, when a lady at a desk greeted her, “Morning, miss. Might I help you?”
Poppy walked over, “Yes, I am here to see Mr. Hacksby about a job interview.”
The receptionist finished typing on her typewriter before glancing at a posted schedule on the cabinet, “Ah yes, Poppy Pomfrey?”
Poppy nodded, “Yes.”
The woman instructed, “First door on the right down the hall to your left. Knock before entering.”
Poppy thanked her before heading down the hallway and knocking on the nearest door to her right. A gentleman dressed in a fine suit and drinking a glass of water opened the door, “Yes?”
“Sir, you answered my reply about an interview and instructed for me to come here,” Poppy politely spoke, secretly hoping he would not turn her away at the sight of her plain village attire.
Mr. Hacksby coughed, setting his glass down on his desk that was covered in stacks of papers and books, “Yes, do come in.”
Poppy sat on a chair across from his, holding onto her bags. He glanced at some papers before looking at her curiously. He bit his lip, “You have a good reference from a Mrs. Mason, however, I am inclined to say that the position for a healer at St. Mungo’s was filled an hour ago.”
His words took a moment to sink into Poppy’s mind. Filled? She tried to hide her disappointment, only speaking with persistence, “Sir, I would have come earlier, but I could not acquire the money in time for my train ticket.”
“I’m sorry my dear girl,” Mr. Hacksby sighed, going back to his paperwork.
“There must be something. I could not come all this way for nothing!” Poppy pleaded with him, desperate for any job she could acquire until another opening would happen at the hospital.
The man looked astonished at her determination and stubbornness. He turned, grabbing a file from a cabinet drawer, “Well there is a job opening at the Lord of Greydale’s hospital. I am afraid it will not pay much, but it will be a start.”
“I’ll take it,” Poppy nodded, knowing she had to start somewhere.
“Very well, I’ll contact Lord Caldwell. His eldest son Garrett Caldwell will meet you at the station in Greydale. Can you manage the fare?” Mr. Hacksby nodded, scribbling something on a note before attaching it to an owl who sat patiently on the windowsill.
The owl flew off, and Poppy smiled in satisfaction, “I can manage, thank you, Mr. Hacksby.”
Early September. 1940. Greydale Train Station
Poppy smiled in content as she sat in her train car, thrilled with her new prospects. The people next to her jabbered on. Some lady mentioned, “Did you hear about that nasty attack a young lad had over in the lake district?”
“Werewolf, wasn’t it?” One man questioned as he flipped through his newspaper.
“Appears to be,” the lady nodded, “Poor boy too, his father had hopes for him to attend some of the best schools. He’ll never be able to now.”
The talk alerted Poppy only a little, but as they started into playing a game of exploding snap, she paid no more mind to them. Werewolf stories were not her main concern at the moment. She was far to excited and nervous for her first job. She leaned back against the worn leather fabric, gazing out the window at the lush green meadows and spying a village in the distance. This village was already three times the size of her own in Hodder Valley from what she could see. The train came to a halt, nearly lurching Poppy forward out of her seat. She grabbed her bags, following the people ahead of her down the aisle until a man helped her down from the car.
Clutching her possessions, Poppy looked around in search of whoever might be Garrett Caldwell. Mr. Hacksby had not given a description to her misfortune. She would have to guess, and hope for the best. Families rushed around her, greeting each other with warm hugs and kisses, and the train whistle blew as it was leaving the station with new passengers. Poppy bit her lip, looking for a lone man, but found only couples or people gathered in groups.
Then a rich velvety voice of a young man seemed to rise above the bustling crowd, “Are you Miss Pomfrey?”
Turning around, Poppy felt her stomach lurch to her throat upon meeting a pair of ice blue eyes belonging to a young man dressed in a fine suit with his blonde hair covered by a bowler hat. She nodded, at a loss for words. The man gave a smile, “I am Garrett Caldwell.”
She managed a weak smile, “Pleasure to meet you.”
He took no time in taking the carpetbag from her hands, “My car is just around front.”
Poppy nodded, following him, wondering why on earth he would drive a muggle contraption if they could just as easily floo or apparate as this was a wizard and witch based town. Garrett led her to a brand new black Rolls Royce. He added, placing her bag in the back, “I only drive for fun and to annoy Father. He hates muggle things, but I find them quite fascinating.”
Poppy could only smile at his comment before getting into the car. He started the engine, and he glanced at her for a moment, “I hope you will like it here.”
“I think I will,” Poppy smiled warmly, before he began to drive down the lane.
She had no idea this was only the beginning.
a/n: so I'm trying something new: writing in 3rd person.... i've rarely written in that point of view so this will be a bit challenging. This is an idea that's been brewing in my head for a while now. Let me know what you think and I am open to suggestions. :)