Minerva had never been able to imagine the blue sky of folklore – of a time before danger hung around every corner and learning to handle a weapon at the age of five was the norm – that was described almost dismissively in many of the books she had read.
The books themselves were yellowed with age and had remarkably been part of the lucky few that had survived the mass burnings her grandfather had told her about. The books had been of more use helping them start fires and keep warm than a source of information – for most people, but her grandmother had much preferred looking longer for wood than destroying their remaining knowledge.
The sky was a bloody red now, just like their rivers and streets. Candles and torches was the only source of light in the darkness. The Muggles had something called 'electricity' that had lit up the night, before. Her grandfather had described the colourful torches that illuminated the buildings and streets, and Minerva tried to imagine the letters on some of the buildings lit up, but she couldn't. She couldn't imagine them being bright enough to illuminate anything.
Nor could she imagine the thousand torch-bright sun that had always managed to bring a touch of awe into her grandfather's voice. Minerva wished she could have even one memory of that glorious mass of fire, but all she had was memories of descriptions and the drawing of an orange-yellow blob drawn onto the back of a book.
She wanted to see it – to find that brilliant orb of light. If it was there before, Minerva was sure there must be somewhere she would be able to see it. A mountain, perhaps? The books had said that it seemed like the entire world was visible from a mountain.
Her mother had always shaken her head in amusement whenever Minerva had proclaimed her goal, patting her head with a mild 'Of course, dear' that told Minerva that even her mother didn't believe it to be possible.
At twenty-one years old, an age her parents still considered far too young, she was leaving to find this sun and brilliant blue sky. Minerva wanted to be enchanted by the real thing, instead of the descriptions – so maybe the descriptions could be her own. She wanted to see something more than the fading signs and broken windows that provided the backdrop of every one of her memories.
Minerva knowledge of magic was limited to the quick lessons her mother had offered whenever Minerva's father was out of the house, but that still gave her an advantage over the few Muggle travellers who had passed through their village. They had survived, so she could too, actively figuring out the limits of her magic along the way.
She wouldn't need to hide it unless there were lots of Muggles around. Her mother had whispered stories of all-magical communities, where magic wasn't hidden. Minerva knew that was what her mother was hoping she would find and settle for – but her childhood dream was not going to take second place to anything.
So when Minerva left, she left with a light step and heavy bag that was filled with everything her mother thought she would need. It would probably take her months to lighten the load from the food alone.
Despite complaining at first, it took her less than a week to be grateful. Minerva hadn't realised how much she usually ate, nor how quickly the medical supplies could be used up if she was not careful (and she hadn't been careful). Not knowing when the journey would end also meant that Minerva couldn't just buy stuff whenever she felt she needed it, because there would always be worse days when she needed it for a reason far more grave than her current one. There wasn't going to be anyone to come along and save her – no one even knew where she was or where she was going to. The letters Minerva posted to her mother would take weeks, or even months, to reach home, and she never stayed more than a week in any of the communities and villages she passed.
Minerva had wished for her parents more times than she'd dare admit, but her magic had never responded to her tired complaints and bitter anger. Fear was a good motivator for magic, Minerva had learnt after the third close call with a group of bandits.
In the end, she didn't find the blue sky – not one that was visible at the top of a mountain anyway. Instead, she found the enchantment that was still fixed to the ceiling of a crumbling castle Minerva had been forced to take shelter in. Had it been whole, she was sure the castle would have been the grandest thing she had ever seen.
But she had met the twinkling stars that speckled the darkened blue as she lay on the floor at night, and woke to a blinding white orb and a cornflower blue ceiling.
It had taken Minerva a long moment to realise that she was looking at the sun, and the brilliantly blue sky. She didn't know how accurate the enchantment was, but it was the most brilliant thing Minerva had ever seen – everything her grandfather had described.
Minerva allowed herself the awe of imagining people living under a sky so beautiful; of having to do nothing more than step outside to watch the day turn into night and back into day as a flaming fireball moved across the sky.
She wished she could stay there forever, gazing at the ceiling, but she would have to continue moving. There would be night and day, and Minerva knew that she couldn't remain in day all the time. If she did, Minerva knew that she would eventually take it for granted – and forget the red sky that was her own, for something that would never be hers.
For all she knew, her sky might change colours tomorrow, and people would gripe at how she wasted such a beautiful sky searching for another.
A little bit of explanation, Hogwarts never really took off into the grand school is it in canon. So after a couple of centuries of rapidly declining student numbers, Hogwarts was abandoned.
In the Muggle world, I had something like a solar flare occur, which disabled much of the technology created, pushing them back into the pre-technological age but without the means to use electricity again.
Media Studies - The Lord of the Rings: Write about going on a quest.
The Golden Snitch [Biloko, Uagadou]
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Through the Universe: Terminator – [AU] DystopianMuggleFuture!AU