A/N: Scenery can be inspiring.
Disclaimer: I own nothing… especially not Harry Potter
I appeared in a swirling of my traveling cloak to find I did not know where I was. This was not unexpected, as when I was focusing on "destination" as the old man used to say in apparition lessons I had merely thought "anywhere but here". However, a marina was not exactly the place I had in mind. I didn't care, really, and since no Muggles were around I didn't change my location.
Unwelcome and unpleasant thoughts were running through my mind, painting ugly pictures and making me feel sick. I had received notice that Father had died this morning in a Ministry raid. Mother had been devastated; she'd collapsed to the floor, sobbing uncontrollably while I stood there, helpless and dumbstruck. I still don't know what to think. So, to keep myself from thinking, I squared my shoulders, stuffed my hands into my trouser pockets and began walking.
Docks stood in rows along a wooden walkway with boats tied to them. I ignored the crafts, too wound up in my thoughts. I let my legs carry me away from the boats and down the path made by wooden planks.
So my father was dead. I was not exactly surprised, as being a Death Eater often came with death as part of the job, but I found I wasn't exactly crying about it, either. I couldn't help but wonder what I could have become had I been raised by solely my mother. My father had taught me how to talk the talk, how to be proud and strong. And yet, he had also taught me how to hate and how to scoff, traits I did not mind until I found myself walking the walk on the Astronomy Tower.
I passed gnarled trees, twisted together with age and the force of the wind. I walked on away from the marina towards the direction of the beach, from which I could hear waves crashing onto the shore. My thoughts darkened and I scowled as I saw a Muggle mother and her son walk by, sparing me a smile as we passed. I did nothing in return.
Stupid, happy, carefree Muggles. How I hate them.
I could not get my mind off the deeds I had done and everything that had gone wrong on my behalf. Upon catching my reflection in a nearby puddle, I was overwhelmed to see how much I'd aged; it was as if, in the last few hours, I had matured a decade. My pointed features were darkened by the events bestowed on my life, and my misdeeds were staring right back through my cold gray eyes.
What have I become?
I stomped moodily through the puddle to obscure my reflection, soaking my trainers in the process. I passed by the outdoor showers. They were vacant and the white curtains fluttered in the sea breeze, whispering eerily and making me rethink my decision to come to this place. Maybe I should go home…
I continued walking until I reached the beach. White sand stretched for miles in every direction and the ocean slammed down on the shore like an angry fist. I pulled off my cloak and slung it over my shoulder, took off my shoes, and began walking. I wondered if father ever liked the beach, if he could stop being spiteful long enough to appreciate the rippling waves and the smell of the sea. I wondered what life had been like for him before the Dark Lord and before everything. In all actuality, I figured that he had been raised like me; a proud pureblood with everything he could possibly want: money, a good social status, and women. I had enjoyed the whole lot of it until just recently, when I had begun to question my life's purpose and the path I was on.
I liked the feeling of sand underneath my feet and the cool rivulets of the water running around my ankles. I paused from my reverie and looked out across the ocean and into the unknown. What was done was done now, and I had to move on. A forceful breeze blew past, ruffling my white-blonde hair and giving me a sense of both foreboding and security. Bending over I picked up a smooth stone that lay in the sand and skipped it across the waves. One, two, three, four, five, six times it skipped before sinking. I watched it disappear and felt it take away some of my desperation. I straightened my back and took a deep breath to make myself feel stronger.
"Goodbye, Father," I said, and continued my walk down the shore.
I still had a lot of thinking to do.