Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. I make no profit from this work of fiction.
Author's note: This is a flashfic (definition is 1,000 words or less) for each chapter.
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I hated the picture.
My hair was mussed, my eyes held just a touch too much begging, and the pose was horrible. I could handle having an image of me out there in a strait jacket, but it should reflect who I really am. The distaste with which one of the healers compared me to the Lovegood family – whoever they are – was very unappealing. The conversation that ensued was incredibly unflattering, and I resented the implication that I had lost my grip on reality.
Yes, I realize people think I'm crazy, but I'm really not insane. I may not know who I am, according to them – after all, that was why they thought it would be incredibly hilarious to publish that book under my name with that horrid picture.
But I really think they mean who I was. Otherwise, we wouldn't need to have these meetings every other day in this office that's far too bright and sterile. Where the healer sits in a chair with a clipboard and a pen, his legs crossed pristinely and his back as straight as a rod for the first twenty minutes of the "session". That's what they call these moments when they feel I need to be away from my room. They take me from the dull-white walls and fluffy white carpet to bring me to this chamber where the light allowed in by the unbreakable panes of the overly-tall window glares off of the metal tiles underneath my feet.
The tiles shine and sparkle, and every so often there's a flash of gold that almost triggers a memory. A brilliant white-gold light that catches the corner of my eye, but seems to run away when I turn to find it. Something told me that it was very important to try to see that light, to find it. And since I couldn't find it with my eyes open, I closed my eyes to try to find it.
Instead of the white-gold light, all I could see was the red of my blood as it flowed through the tiny veins in my eyelids. Grunting in frustration, I tilted my head towards the brilliant shine emanating from the windows. The flood of light almost turned my vision completely white, and for a brief moment, I could see it. I could see that moment in the cavern. The one that got me into this place, the reason I was considered a menace to myself. A brief brilliant second of clarity overwhelmed my senses, abruptly halted by the healer in the room deciding it was time to interrupt my musings.
"So, Mister Lockhart, have you been able to recall any more of your past?"
I was certain that when I opened my eyes they reflected the anger I felt at having that sliver of memory stolen away again just as I was about to grasp it. The healer seemed to back away inwardly, quickly looking down at his clipboard. I refused to answer him. He didn't really care anyway. He only wanted something to write on that slip of paper.
After thirty more minutes of silence, they returned me to my room. The light wasn't as bright, and it was more difficult to find just the right angle, but once I did, I was finally able to see that fateful moment.
To be honest, it frightened me. My own face staring back at me, twisted with hateful triumph. The worst part was over whom I had allegedly triumphed. Two young boys stared back at me, one with anger and a fire I would not have though present in one so young. His hair was nearly as mussed as mine had been in the picture. I'm not sure my clucked disapproval was audible or if it was only in my head, but the important thing was that it didn't interrupt the moment.
The boy with red hair stared at me with terror in his eyes. Words I didn't really understand fell from my lips in the following moments, and then the bright flash.
My eyes opened at the same time as I heard the keys jangling on the other side of the door. Healers rushed in, and finding me sitting on the floor, they assumed the worst. And while they strapped me in on my bed, hands buckled down to my sides so I couldn't write this down immediately, I could still see those terrified blue eyes.
Even the sound of the straps being locked into place, and finally the heavy metal door clanging shut – the key turning in the lock – none of it was able to jar that image from my mind. For the first time since coming here, and all the years of the healers trying to get me to remember something from my time before, I realized that I didn't want to recall those things.
In that one single memory, I had seen just what kind of a life I had led.
And it had been a terrible sight indeed.
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