And Rock Me Asleep

Prologue

I have wondered many times whether my story is or ever will be one to be told- whether it is not the sort of story which deserves to be kept a secret, hidden deep inside of the dark depths of that bizarre thing which we call "the human mind". And in a way, I want to keep it a secret. I know it is a form of cowardice, of course, and I am ashamed, but I also know that it is only logical.

It is he, it is the only man who ever had any influence over me, who convinced me to write it all down in the end. So in the end, he indeed has proven to be my superior in bravery, just as he has proven to be my superior in many things during the course of our long, shared lives. It is Albus who has made me do this.

And you who walk by, I beg you not to judge me.

First hear my story.

-o-

My life started on October 4th, 1920. I was an only child, born when my mother had passed the age of seventy already, and thus in my own way a miracle- or so my parents told me. Later on, I learnt that I was nothing uncommon, that children had been born to much older women than my mother, and yet I always fostered that thought of having been born a miracle. It was the only little bit of arrogance which I permitted myself, and it helped me through many complicated and even downright perilous situations during my long life. My mother was happy and proud when I first opened my mouth and cried, and so, I heard, was my father. He was even older than she was, but, having quite a few muggle ancestors, he had apparently thought it his duty to fight in that so-called Great War of theirs. My mother apparently thought him an idiot- I have had the pleasure to inherit her temper- but after yelling and throwing things at him, when in the end even her crying and begging didn't work, she allowed him to go. She always told me she'd never expected him to return, and yet he did. My father did return from Flanders, where he'd fought in the trenches of the frontline of Ypres for four full years.

When, in 1918, two years before my birth, he returned, he brought many souvenirs home. His left leg was not one of them. I have never known my father to be anything else than, as he himself put it, "a cripple"- I did not even know other children's daddies had two legs up till about my fourth birthday. It was something I accepted.

So then I was born, and my father, embittered by what he'd seen during the war, started living again. I was a daddy's girl in every single way- just as Scottish as he was. My mother, Lydia, was half an Englishwoman, but, as Father often, affectionately, remarked, thank God for Mother's temper. Then again I do believe that he gave up on that opinion even long before I started my seven-year long student career at Hogwarts. He, who'd never known so much as one grey hair during his long life, was totally and utterly grey-haired before my second birthday.

Yes, I do suppose I was a spoilt child, in my way. I was not demanding, not loud and not aggressive or even excessively rude- but I knew what I wanted and I cannot remember ever resting before I had got it, too. I read before my fourth birthday and cared about not much more than books during my early childhood. I learnt quickly and easily.

And yet the main influence on my childhood was not the various books I consumed. It was not the few friends I, always somewhat not as self-confident as I looked, had made. It was not even my dearly beloved father- or the early funeral of my mother when I was merely nine years of age.

I do believe it was something else.

It was her face.