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Chapter 1 : Broken: Rose POV
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I repeat the words over and over as I lay on my bed, staring at the ceiling. They help me get through the panic attack. I hadn’t had one in a while, but it was no less intense - especially since it was early morning. Those are always the worst.
There is a moment when you realize things have gone too far. The trouble is, as always, recognizing that moment. Too many of us don’t see it until it is too late. And far too many people don’t ever see it. I almost, almost missed that moment. I did miss it, in fact; I missed many moments while I was sucked up in my deep, dark hole. And I sure as hell wasn’t going to see it during one of the panic attacks. No, the entire almost-moment-missing incident occurred much later that day.
As it is when you are sucked up in a dark, deep hole; you don’t even realize you are in it until you are not anymore. Although other people can see it, you usually can’t even hear them, above the deafening, suffocating sound of the silence that surrounds you and screams in your face every moment that you even try to open your eyes.
You are left with numbness and nothingness, because that is your mind’s only defense against the alternative.
I have been numb for two years.
After it happened, I was mostly in shock. Then denial. Perhaps denial isn’t an accurate word, but rather just convincing myself that it never took place. When the panic attacks began, I couldn’t do that any longer and I began to try to assure myself that, although it had happened, it wasn’t a big deal. I would just muddle through it and I didn’t need any help. I did muddle through it – slowly, very slowly, the panic attacks faded to less severe and less frequent. It didn’t, however, stop my mind from playing it over and over in my head. I could have fought harder… I should have been clever enough to escape…
I had done a rather fantastic job of convincing my friends and family that nothing was wrong. On the outside, you would never know that anything was different with Rose Weasley. I was the top student in my Healer courses at St. Mungo’s (just as I had been at Hogwarts) and still friendly and personable on the outside.
I swung my legs over the side of the bed and sucked in a lungful of air, opening my eyes. They landed on one of the photos on my nightstand. The one taken the day I graduated Hogwarts. It pictured the four Ravenclaws: Albus, Scorpius, my best friend Selenia and me. I don’t know why I kept that photo so near to me because, about ten minutes after it was taken, it happened. Maybe I needed that picture to remind me of who I used to be. It is the last actual documented image of the old Rose.
My stomach lurched as I felt sucked into the photo – a virtual portkey. I could feel his hands, grabbing me from behind across my shoulders and his wand pointed at my temple. It feels so fresh, like it just occurred. The grogginess fading from waking was similar to the grogginess fading from whatever he used to drug me and I suddenly knew what was coming next.
The nausea poured over me so quickly that I just barely made it to the loo. I have learned how to brace myself with one arm and twist my long hair back with the other. After the heaving, my body started shaking violently. I sat back on the bathroom floor and put my head between my knees and wrapped my arms around. All I could do was wait for the shaking to pass.
Get up, wash, get dressed, class, rounds, study. I repeated this over and over in my head. Having a focus would make it pass with less intensity. Sometimes I would repeat magical maladies and their cures. Sometimes, I would recite the directions for making a potion. I would do just about anything to distract myself and keep my mind from travelling back to the time at the cabin, where Stannous held me captive for six days.
Get up, wash, get dressed, class, rounds, study. I squeezed my eyes shut and made the words scream into my head.
Bang. Bang. Bang! “Hey, beautiful!” Dom’s voice shouted from the other side of the door she was currently pounding upon. “You know, you have two other flat-mates that also need to get ready for training in the morning!”
Leave it to my cousin Dominique to bring me back to reality. I was actually grateful. This way, I couldn’t wallow in my self-hate. Although she is part Veela (and has the flowing blonde hair and delicate features to prove it), she definitely has more of the Weasley take-no-crap disposition. It has served her well. Her cool head and quick reflexes are what make her a great Auror trainee – and in just about a year, a great Auror. She is near the top of her class.
Me on the other hand… I inherited my Dad’s red hair, freckles and blue eyes, but that was about it. I did not come by the quick wit or quick temper or quick anything that would have helped me out at the cabin. I was too compassionate and way too trusting for my own good.
Get up. I stood and started the shower.
Wash. A pang of guilt stabbed at me knowing that Dom and Selenia, both my flat mates, were waiting outside for me to finish. I took a quick shower and finished my other bathroom needs.
Get dressed. I apologized to the two of them on my way out of the bathroom and back to my room. Dom glared at me, but Selenia offered a small smile. She was always so good natured. I have never actually seen her lose her temper. She was the perfect match for Albus, who, although looked exactly like Uncle Harry, had the exact disposition of Aunt Ginny. Selenia and Al had been together since fourth year. She was basically a member of the Potter family already.
Back in my room, I caught a glimpse of the photo again. This time, my head was less fuzzy and when I looked at it I even grinned a little at the unlikely quartet of friends. I will never forget the night we were all sorted into Ravenclaw.
I had met Selenia Coombes on the train. She shared a compartment with Al, Dom and I and she was so incredibly nervous, what with being muggle born and all. She asked anxious question after question about the wizarding world and Hogwarts. Her long, straight black hair made her look very serious, but I could tell she was really excited to enter the wizarding world by the shine in her bright blue eyes. Al and I were content to answer all her questions and not have her gawk at us like the kids from wizarding families who knew all the stories about the golden trio. We told her about the sorting ceremony and the four houses, figuring we would both be sorted into Gryffindor – as were our parents.
She was the first to get sorted, because of her last name and Al and I clapped loudly for her as the hat shouted “Ravenclaw!”
The biggest surprise of the night came when Scorpius – a Malfoy – got sorted into Ravenclaw. Headmistress McGonagall actually fell out of her chair and Hagrid had to help her up.
At that point I knew all bets were off. Albus was positively white a few minutes later, when it was his turn to be sorted. He later confided in me that he was afraid that he would be sorted into Slytherin, but was so surprised that the hat shouted ‘Ravenclaw!’ that he stood up and didn’t move for several minutes. He looked like someone had put a full body-bind curse on him, except he didn’t fall over. Not knowing which way to go, a Ravenclaw prefect finally came over and got him.
Several minutes later, Dominique was the next one from our family to get sorted and she was put into Gryffindor, with my cousin James and her sister, Victoire. I had no idea what to expect when it was my turn, and it didn’t take the hat long to say ‘Ravenclaw!’ even louder than it had for anyone else that night. I was stunned (although not as stunned as Al had been), but I looked over at the table and saw Selenia’s face beaming brightly. I walked directly over, sat down next to her, and our friendship was sealed for life.
James still insists to this day, that the hat was gattered. He maintains that it was obvious from its song. “You could hear it in the way it slurred all the words and didn’t even rhyme. Orin Wood swears it saw the hat covering up a bottle of firewhiskey at the beginning of the ceremony. That is the only explanation,” he explained at our first holidays home after going to Hogwarts; to which Aunt Ginny promptly smacked him over the head.
Get dressed. I was shaken back to reality. Now I was on a roll. The rest of the day would be relatively easy. Class. Rounds. Study. If I allowed myself a moment to consider it, I would have found it ironic that the hardest part for me to accomplish was the ‘get up’ part. But I never allowed myself the moment to consider it. That was way too dangerous.
A/N: Soooo.... this is my very first fanfic. Please let me know what you think.
I'm slowly updating all of the chapters becase I now have a beta for this story. Many thanks to the awesome crestwood for all of the help!
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