Chapter 1 : Alright, Alright
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He used to tell me of his dreams, you see.
Of a better world: where equality, magic, and Hogwarts thrived. Where we would have a proper ruler, one who knew what the bloody hell he was talking about, rather than that smelly old shoe brush, the Minister. Where magic was might, and we would all live at peace.
Would you like to know, perhaps, the most ridiculous thing of it all?
I believed him.
Merlin, I drank in every word, every syllable, every letter he fed me. I lapped it up like a kitten laps up milk, because of how sweet it was. Would you believe it? Rabastan and I, side by side. Us against the world, to provide a proper home to witches and wizards alike. To all magical folk who were capable of using a wand, where they could live in peace, and not have to hide. Where there was no dark magic, just light and happiness.
Where Rabastan and I could be together, without everyone else around us begging mercilessly not to be. Without my best mate, Lily, telling me that he was no good, and that he was only going to hurt me, and drag me into a life that I didn’t want. Where I couldn’t be her friend, because they wouldn’t approve.
I laughed at her, saying, “Silly Lily. Of course they would love you!”
Because, why wouldn’t they? She was a witch, who was trained highly in magic. She would be a great addition to their team. She could help lead us to a better life, and better world.
Sirius begged me, day after day, repeating story after story of his family to me. About how Regulus betrayed Sirius to his parents, about how his insane cousin Bellatrix was a cold-blooded killer, and that Rabastan looking up to Bella was not a good thing. I shook these warnings off easily, giving Sirius a pat on the shoulder, and telling him that Rabastan was different. Rabastan was special.
And we were going to make a world of our own.
Mary, Marlene, Dorcas, Remus—even Pete, for Merlin’s sake!—all begged me to stop. To leave him, and the life we were plotting ahead for all of us. That it was a manipulation, a dream; it wasn’t real, and Rabastan was filling my head with false lust, false hope.
Once again, I ignored these words, and started to grow angry, upset; confused, even. Why were my friends doing this to me? Why were they so against me and my happiness? What did I do to make them wish a life of hatred, of inequality, upon me? Wouldn’t they just let me be happy?
Because I was, you see.
I was happy. Rab and I, we were on a fast track to changing the world. Everyone wants to change the world, including my friends. I heard them whispering about it, arguing about it. So why were they so against the idea of me changing it by Rabastan’s side? What was so wrong?
I didn’t understand.
I couldn’t understand.
I just wanted a better world.
It was hard to believe when I snapped out of my fantasy, by none other than James Potter’s hand.
Just the night before, James had looked me in the eye, his deep, golden hazel eyes, so beautiful, so warm. They searched my soul, squeezed my heart, and made me cry. He told me, his hazel orbs locked with my brown ones, not letting them go. He told me, he said: “Emmeline. Sweet, sweet Emmeline. Can’t you see? You’re being blinded. Of course you want to change the world; we all do. You want a better life for yourself, for Lily. For all of us. You want a place where Lily could safely walk down the street, without being killed because of who her parents are. But Emmeline, don’t you see? How are you going to get a world like that? It’s impossible. Rabastan doesn’t want a world of equality for anyone below the status of pureblood, and possibly halfblood, if you’re powerful and dangerous enough. And how do you get a world like that? Destruction.
“Emmeline. Sweet, sweet Emmeline. It’s all a coax. A manipulation. He wants you to join sides with those killing the innocent muggles you read of in the Prophet each morning. He wants you to burn down innocent, beautiful towns inhabited by those who don’t necessarily possess magical traits; and if they do, they aren’t pure. Is that not sick, Emmeline? You don’t want to be included in the destruction of something so beautiful. Because muggles are beautiful, Emmeline. Don’t you see?”
And of course I saw. I did see the beauty. I saw the creations of theirs, the amazing contraptions they built with their hands, with their heads. They never had the luxury of magic, yet they created the most fascinating objects on this earth.
But what I didn’t see, was where James was coming from. Rabastan wasn’t affiliated with such destruction, such devastation. I knew Rab, and he would never do something so morbid, so heartless. He was soft, and kind, and endearing. He would never lay a finger on an innocent muggle.
And I told James that. I knew what I was doing, and so did Rabastan. We were not associated with the dark wizards plaguing the news as of late. We would never do something like that.
James, who was never one to stir the cauldron when it came to serious matters, looked at me for a long while before he decided not to argue. He eventually said, “If you feel what you’re doing is right, I suppose I can’t stop you, Emmeline. But, just, think about my words. And then make a decision. Don’t be brash. And know, Emmeline, that we love you. We’ll all be here for you, forever.”
“Promise?” I whispered to him, like a small child. For that was what James oftentimes made me feel like. He was a bright young man, who was incredibly powerful and intimidating. And when he wasn’t being a git, he was intimidating me, and making me feel small. However, I loved James. He was like a father, or an older brother.
James smiled at me when I asked that naïve, silly question, and responded with, “Promise.”
So I mulled his words over. They twisted and turned in my head, knocking on my skull, giving me headaches. I was beginning to doubt myself, to doubt Rabastan.
For he had told me another dream. And in this particular dream, we lived in a castle, where, naturally (or so he had said), only the purest of blood was allowed entrance, and mudbloods waited on our hand and foot. This unnerved me, imagining myself dressed in finery, having Lily fanning me and feeding me grapes, as I imagined the slaves did in Roman times.
So, in response, I chuckled, and said, “How funny, Rabastan.”
But Rab only gave me a confused look. His thick brows furrowed together, and he shook his head slightly, and explained to me that of course mudbloods were to wait on us. They weren’t magical folk, just anomalies; mistakes.
While I was utterly repulsed by this fantasy, this twisted Utopia that Rabastan had dreamt of his entire life, I went with it for a moment, and asked how he would ever accomplish something like that, how he planned to have mudbloods bow before him, for I was acquainted with quite a few who would never give it to something as cruel and sick as this, and there wasn’t a wizard alive powerful enough to cast a strong enough cruciatus curse to contain an entire race of people forever.
Rabastan looked as though I had spouted a second head, which I was sure I hadn’t. He looked at me, and spoke slowly. He explained that, to win a war, you were naturally expected to destroy the enemy. Just as training a pet, he put it. You had to break it for it to learn.
I was horrified. How could he possibly expect me to do something so inhuman, so morbid, to people who had done nothing wrong? Even more so, I was sure I wouldn’t be capable of doing something as twisted as that to a convicted criminal. No one should be able to do something like that. If they were, it deemed them heartless, and soulless.
Because even the coldest heart and the loneliest soul would never do something like that to any person, no matter who they were, what they’ve done, or how they look. It was sick.
“You know, Rabastan,” I told him one day. “You can count me out, if you’re serious about this devastation.”
Because the world will be alright without that. No one needed this, and it will be alright.
He asked me what happened to my motivation, my dream, to change the world? He thought I wanted the same thing he did, to cleanse the world of those who stood in the way of purebloods; no, I wanted quite the opposite. We both wanted equality, but rather different definitions. While he wanted everyone to be pure, I wanted everyone to come to terms with the idea that muggles, and muggleborns, were never going away. They weren’t ever going to leave us, no matter what we did.
I was doing all I could to change the world, but I was so insignificant to the problem, that it didn’t matter. I prayed, to Merlin, God, or anyone who would listen. I voiced my every opinion on the world’s status, and how I felt it needed to change. I eventually took action, joining the Order of the Phoenix.
But I never, ever wished what Rabastan wished.
I told him it was going to be alright. That I was going to leave, and associate with those who felt the same as I did. I told him not to worry, about the world, about himself, about me. Because now, I could see. I could see how he wanted the world to be, and I could see how I wanted something so much more different. And, that it was going to be alright.
Because, in the end, everything has a way of working itself out. I told him it would be alright, because the light would shine through, and he would never, ever get his dreams, because they were too far out of reach, and I wasn’t going to help him achieve them.
It was going to work itself out.
And as I laid there, bleeding out on the cold marble floor of Hogwart’s dungeons from a gash in the side of my head where Rabastan had hit me, eventually found by James and Sirius, who murmured, “Emmeline. Sweet, sweet Emmeline,” in my ears, I knew.
It was going to be alright.
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