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Chapter 1 : The Scientist
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East Berlin, 1962. A nineteen year old girl sat at the top of the highest building she could find. Her green eyes stared up at the sky, waiting impatiently for something for arrive. She could make out a small grey speck that took the shape of an owl as it came closer. It came to rest on her shoulder and dropped a letter in her palm. She smiled when she read who it was from.
Nicholas Doge, West Berlin.
The Ministry of Magic had forbidden apparition from East Berlin to West Berlin once the outbreak of the Cold War had been officially announced. Broomsticks were too dangerous, anything else was far too conspicuous. Hence they were reduced to sending letters through owl post every dawn, when the smoke and fog made the post nearly invisible. She would wait with bated breath for his letter, her reply clasped in her hand. She had been doing this routine for the past two years.
They had been friends for years. Much before the war, much before Berlin was divided. Their childhood was a wonderful memory they shared, so full of laughter and joy. They had not a care in the world except for what they should play that day.
Nick was the overly curious seven year old who questioned everything about the world. He loved science as a result, with its constant discoveries.
She was the six year old writer with an ocean of imagination. Nick was the only one she would show her writing, although he urged her to let the world see it. ‘Emi, it’s like happiness on a page,’ he would always say.
They graduated from Hogwarts with hopes of a bright future ahead of them. Then the war broke and magic was limited to extreme cases and only as means of self defence. The two of them were forced to return to their families and their lives changed from ones they had planned in their heads.
Emi became a nurse at the St. Mungo’s branch in East Berlin. Nick worked as a cheap labourer during the day and an astronomer at night. Most of his letters were filled with his new findings. Planets, stars, nebulas and supernovas, things that she had to sneak into the old public library at night to read more about. Emi liked to think of them as different worlds that could accommodate the two of them. Worlds were they could be together.
They missed each other’s company. His frustration about the situation was etched deeply into every letter he wrote. She noticed how the ink seeped into the page indicating how hard he had pressed his quill into the parchment. There were so many things that he wanted to show her and she was just across the wall.
You’d love it here, Emi, he wrote one day. So many things to do, so much freedom. Right now, we’re trying to see whether it will be possible for a man to land on the moon. Imagine walking on a place outside the Earth!
How she wished she could be there to experience his excitement! She could almost picture his blue eyes lighting up, his easy grin. She forced him to send a picture of himself, which he did in his last letter. The picture was always the last thing she saw before she went to bed and the first when she woke up.
Her mind shifted to their last night together. Their last night at Hogwarts when they stood on the frosty grounds wrapped in each other’s arms. They had just heard the news that Berlin was to be split and their hearts were numb with shock. His fingers were intwined in her dark curls and her fingers pressed against his chest. Their foreheads touched and, with tears pouring down their cheeks, they promised to write every single day. Just before they parted, Nick had leaned down and gently pressed his lips to hers. I will always love you, he had whispered.
Emi wondered if he had forgotten all about that night, for the three words he had told her were never written in his letter. He never really talked about anything other than astronomy and the things he wanted to show her, but that was how Nick had always been. All about questioning everything but the matters of the heart. Perhaps Nick had never really meant those words, it was just the right thing to say at the time. Besides, he had a new world in West Berlin. New friends, new surroundings, maybe a girlfriend. Maybe Emi was trapped in the world he left behind. The thought made her want to curl up and die. Nick with someone else? It was too unbearable. They never really talked about their love life and hers was pretty nonexistent anyway. Was his?
So one brave morning, after a particularly strong mug of coffee, she decided to ask him. In her last letter, she confessed her feelings that he was all she thought about, that she loved him with all her heart. She asked him whether he felt the same. The answer was now in the letter she held and she didn’t want to open it. What if he accused her of being a hormonal teenager? What if the idea frightened him? What if he no longer wanted to write to her?
With trembling hands, she slit the letter open. The letter was terribly short and she felt her heart drop a notch. Then she began to read:
All my questions of science, science and progress, could not speak as loud my heart. I love you and nothing, not even the end of the world, can change that.
Her stomach filled with butterflies-big, colourful ones that fluttered at the speed of light. At that instant, Emi knew that their love was stronger than the wall that divided them. Their love would last until the Berlin Wall came crashing down.
Author's Note: For those of you who may not know, the Berlin Wall was constructed in 1961 by the German Democratic Republic. It was finally pulled down in 1989. Hope you liked this story! Anything that you recognize does not belong to me and the quote at the end is from Coldplay's song The Scientist.
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