Ten Years Later: A Role Fulfilled
The English countryside swiftly flew by. The train had been delayed by four hours and was now trying to make up time. Suddenly the surroundings went black. Two hollow eyes stared out from the darkness. The eyes belonged to a very pale and sickly thin girl. Her light brown hair had finally grown past her ears. The tunnel came to an end, and Ellie resumed watching the panoramic scenery pass by.
Ten years ago, Ellie woke up with dried tears crusted on her cheeks. Ten years ago, Ellie spent an entire month asking Dudley if he ever had a cousin named Harry, and every time the answer was no. For the past ten Christmases, Ellie has sat across from her cousin Nicole at the dinner table. Her uncle Simon was no longer treated as an outcast, but as far as her family was concerned, he never was one. And for the past ten years, not one day had gone by when Ellie didn't think of the magic world and the role she was given.
Ellie never told a soul about the magic world, in fear that she would be laughed at or locked up. After all, it is plain impossible to prove a magical society existed when you don't have a shred of proof except for your memories. It was the role Ellie had to fulfill that baffled her the most. How does one go about bringing a magic world back to life?
Ellie spent years trying to find the answer to that very question. Unfortunately, life had gotten in the way.
After high school, Ellie went to Manchester University. It was the perfect distance away from home. Far enough to be independent, and close enough to still go home once in a while. Ellie enrolled in the Earth Sciences program, which was an odd choice according to her friends and family. Of course they didn't understand. After witnessing one world vanish, Ellie thought it best if she learned how to prevent her world from a similar fate.
However, in her fourth and final year at university, Ellie became tremendously ill. The numerous tests and doctors appointments severely interfered with her class schedule, leaving her no choice but to drop out of the masters program. Ellie didn't know what was worse; not graduating, or being diagnosed with cancer.
Over the past four and a half years, Ellie had gone through two operations and one round of chemotherapy, but none of them did any good.
Now, on a train ride back from Manchester, Ellie was facing her greatest fear; the magic world dying with her.
"Ellie, are you alright?" A voice from the seat across from her asked.
"Yeah, I'm fine." Ellie replied, snapping out of her daze.
Jo gave her an unconvinced glare before returning to her book.
Ellie had long become immune to Jo's many glares. Jo was always asking Ellie if she was alright, and Ellie would always answer that she was fine, whether it was true or not. Jo always had her way of knowing if Ellie was lying, and at the moment she was definitely lying.
Ellie was scheduled to start another chemotherapy treatment next month, but she was having great doubts if she would even live to see that day. Although the doctors had great confidence that she had several months left in her, Ellie could feel deep down inside that her time was coming to an end.
Actually, this was the very reason why Ellie accompanied Jo to Manchester. Ellie went to visit her school friends for what she figured to be her last time, while Jo went to search for an apartment with her boyfriend.
Ellie had had a great time in Manchester, but all her friends told her the same thing; "don't worry, you'll pull through".
Ellie resumed staring forlornly out the window. Her mind was set on the same thought that had plagued her for ten years; how do I fulfill my role?
She had such little time left and still no idea on where to begin. Suddenly Ellie was stricken with the devastating realization that she had failed.
"What did you say?" Jo asked out of the blue.
"I didn't say anything." Ellie replied, taken off guard.
"I thought I just heard you say that you failed."
"Oh." Ellie said quietly.
"What did you fail at?" Jo asked firmly.
Ellie really didn't want to answer the question, but judging by the expression on Jo's face, there was no way for her to get out of it. She let out a deep sigh before speaking.
"I've failed at my purpose in life."
"What are you talking about?" Jo asked in bafflement.
"Everyone has a role to play…a destiny to fulfill. I don't have enough time to fulfill my role." Ellie said meekly.
"Ellie, you have plenty of time." Jo said in a dismissive tone.
"No, I don't!"
"You're not listening. Nobody ever listens. I'm not well, and I'm not getting better. No amounts of chemotherapy or operations are going to help. I'm just tired of fighting a losing battle, and everyone is just going to have to get use to it."
Jo said nothing in return and resentfully returned to her book. Ellie was done with the topic of conversation and sat bitterly in her seat. She assumed that after four and a half years everyone would have grown accustomed to her cancer, but it wasn't so.
What she really needed was to figure out a way to bring the magic world back to life, and now. Her mind began to race, but just as in the past ten years, Ellie couldn't come up with any solutions.
Random flashes of memories from the magic world appeared before her. Bumping in to Mrs. Weasley in Diagon Alley; meeting Harry in the Three Broomsticks; getting stuck in the tricky step; seeing a real unicorn; Hermione's chipper alarm clock. Over all the memories Ellie could hear Dumbledore's voice saying "...ensure that the magic world never dies" repeated over and over.
Ellie emerged out of her trance, realizing that the entire time she had been staring at Jo's book without really looking at it. Ellie continued to gaze at the book when she was hit by the most incredible revelation. She didn't have to create a new magic world; she just had to make sure that the old one didn't die. It was so obvious. Why didn't she see it before?
She now knew what her role was. Ellie took a moment to watch Jo peacefully read her book.
"Everybody has a certain role to fulfill…each role is important, no matter how big or small…" The memory replayed Dumbledore's words.
"I'm just the messenger." Ellie thought to herself. "I know what I have to do!"
Ellie felt the butterflies in her stomach awaken, and the hairs on the back of her neck stand up.
"What is with you?" Jo blurted out.
"What?" Ellie asked in confusion.
"One moment you're having one of your 'I'm at death's door' tantrums, and now you're smiling…which is something you haven't done in four and a half years." Jo said incredulously.
"I know what I have to do now." Ellie said, her smile growing bigger.
"That's good." Jo said not sure if it was the right response.
It dawned on Ellie that this was the perfect moment; it had to happen now.
"Jo, I need to tell you something." Ellie said in a very serious tone.
"What is it?" Jo asked with concern.
Ellie suddenly realized what she was about to say, and why she hadn't told anyone before.
"Everything that I'm about to tell you is true. Promise me that you'll believe every word I say. Swear it!"
Jo placed her right hand over her heart and raised her left hand, palm forward.
"I, Joanne Kathleen Rowling, solemnly swear that I will believe every word that comes out of your mouth."
Ellie couldn't help but chuckle at her best friend's over dramatics.
"Alright, I'll tell you." Ellie began, gaining her composure. "It all started the day I met Harry Potter…"
A/N: I just wanted to thank you all for your wonderful comments and support. If I ever start another fanfic, or anyother story for that matter, I'll let you know. Until next time... ;)