Author: mosylu PM
A survivor remembers . . .Rated: Fiction K - English - Angst - Words: 970 - Reviews: 68 - Favs: 28 - Follows: 2 - Published: 08-09-01 - Status: Complete - id: 373342
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
At the knock on my office door, I called out, "Come in," without taking my eyes off the papers I was grading.
The door creaked a little, and I thought for the fifteenth time that I should really perform an Anti-Rust Charm. It would really only take a second, I couldn't think why I kept forgetting about it--
At the voice, my head snapped up, all thoughts of Anti-Rust charms shattering. That voice . . .
Every time I heard him speak, be it in answer to a classroom question or a casual hello in the halls of Hogwarts, my heart twisted inside me. The voice was so much his father's--the intonation and the rhythm, the way he chose and put together his words, the far-too-innocent-to-be-real edge that let you know he was joking . . . it was as if his father had pushed aside the earth that covered his grave for just long enough to speak.
He stood before me, shifting a little from foot to foot. His hair was in his eyes, and he brushed it away with an absent flick of his fingers--another eerie echo of his father, who had pretty well given up on his hair by the time I met him. His glasses were a little crooked, just as his father's had always been. No charm in the world was enough to save those glasses from the wear and tear he'd inflicted daily on them.
The boy in front of me was full of those echoes. It was there in the way he held his quill, awkward to anyone else but perfectly comfortable to him. It was there when he leapt on a broomstick to soar, just as his father had, the talent practically instinctive. It was there in his slightly crooked smile, the sideways whispers to his friends as his father had once whispered to me. The way his mouth went flat when he was unhappy, and the way his jaw set when he was determined. The way he ducked his head when he was uncertain about something, and the way he would look up, with a hopeful half-smile glimmering more in his eyes then on his mouth when that uncertainty was relieved.
His eyes, now--his eyes were his mother's. The cruelest shock of all, to see those bright eyes in his father's face. I never expected to see them--even after three months of teaching him, I expected another color altogether when he looked up. His eyes were a sharp, stinging reminder that my beloved friends were both gone, and all that remained of them was this boy-child.
It was not that I was so very close to him, that I noticed all these things. I didn't want to be close to him, not as a teacher and certainly not as the godparent-creature I might have been under other circumstances. It hurt too much. Perhaps after a few years of having him in class, I would grow used to the pain, or it would dull, and I would be able to make that first step. But not now, when every sight of him brought the shock of his parents' death to full, throbbing life, reminding me over and over that they were gone.
Gone . . . dead and gone.
Although it was irrational, I blamed myself. They had needed me, and I had not been there. What could I have done? my sensible side asked, but my heart said, I could have been there, if only to die at their side. But I wasn't.
Could I have possibly saved them? Probably not. Voldemort had, after all, killed far greater wizards then I. My learning only goes so far, much as I hate to admit that.
But the betrayal . . . the betrayal by one we all trusted beyond reason. That hurt me especially, for reasons I could not even put into words. Once again, it was a case of hindsight being twenty-twenty. I should have known . . . should have seen the signs . . . but I trusted him so . . .
"Professor? Are you all right?"
I reined in my hurt and sorrow. I couldn't show them before the boy. "Yes. Yes, I'm fine." Trying to clear my head with the motion, I ran my fingers through my hair. There was grey in it, although I was less then thirty-five. "Did you need to speak with me about something?"
He looked up at me, his bright brown eyes filled with a kind of desperate hunger. "Professor, I--that is--" he ducked his head. "Headmistress McGonagall said you knew my mum and dad when they were here. That you were--friends."
I sighed, deeply. It was the question I had been dreading. "Yes, I did."
He lifted his head again, his mother's eyes staring at me out of his father's face. "Can--can you tell me about them, Professor Granger?"
Suddenly, I realized how very selfish I had been. Here I had been hiding from him, curling up alone with my hurt and loss, when his loss was so much greater. I'd had Harry and Ginny for twelve years more then he, and he didn't even remember what time he had been given with them.
Loss shared is loss lessened, my mum whisperd in my ear.
"Yes, Arthur, I can."
Well, was that evil or what??? Please don't ask for the backstory--it would depress me entirely too much. This was just a what-if moment gone incredibly wild. Blame the end of "The Sixth Sense", if you must blame something . . . I was watching it and wrote this with the same mindset. BTW, ten points if you can guess the identity of the betrayer . . .