An experiment. No real main characters, no real structure. Built as a series of random ideas based on the quote: I have grown up in the sound of guns like the child of a siege, from Stoppard.
Disclaimer: Harry Potter is Rowling's. The good quotes are all from Tom Stoppard, T.S. Eliot and Adrienne Rich. Proper notes are at the end.
Feedback very welcome.
MUD, BLOOD & THE SOUND OF GUNS
That corpse you planted last year in your garden,
Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?
T.S. Eliot – The Waste Land.
I have grown up in the sound of guns like the child of a siege.
Tom Stoppard – Arcadia.
"He started this!" Harry spits. "They want him to defend us from an enemy he created!"
"No." Hermione looks down at her clothes – Muggle clothes. This is her last night with them. "We started this. We've stolen their memories and erased their lives to keep ourselves secret. Voldemort just blew it all up in our faces."
we who were living are now dying
In Leeds: fifty nine people murdered for suspected witchcraft. Stabbed, strangled, shot. In Birmingham: twenty seven. In York: ninety three. In Newcastle, in Edinburgh, in Cardiff, in London: a body a day. There are strangers narrowing their eyes in suspicion as you buy birthday candles from the supermarket.
The Muggles are hunting witches because the witches are hunting Muggles and, say what you like about the fucking Inquisition but at least they got trials.
(I know it hurts to burn)
Nineteen Muggles killed in magical crossfire and in retaliation sixteen more Muggles are bashed to death because they were seen picking rosemary for their tea. Eventually:
Reports are emerging of a large-scale military offensive against the wizarding enclave 'Hogsmeade', in the Scottish lowlands. The attack took place early this morning, at approximately 2am. Precise casualty numbers have not yet been confirmed, although it has been reported that nearly half of the village's population were killed in the attack.
There are some things that even magic is no defence against and one of those things is being woken up after midnight by a twenty-something man firing his semi-automatic into your wife's chest. At Order headquarters, Lupin and Harry sit silently before the fire, both numb with shock and disbelief. Neither knows which enemy is the more dangerous now.
The scene: A kitchen. A Wizarding family, half-blood, eat their dinner with one eye on the doors and the other on their wands sitting within easy reach.
The boy, fourteen, asks, Which side is which, now?
the ministry wants to kill the death eaters who want to kill the muggles who want to kill us.
Uneasy silence as the family chews on the obvious.
The father this time: Death Eaters killed eleven wizards this week. The Muggles have killed eighty.
What happens first is negligible. A routine Obliviation fails to remove every scrap of memory. The Muggle woman wakes up screaming from a nightmare where she came home to find her husband and sons dead in the living room. The walls were painted in blood.
Her husband and sons have never existed because a man in Ministry robes erased them from history with a flick of his wand and the incantation that may as well have been: I'm your God tonight. She still remembers, though, and there's a tan line where her wedding ring never was.
It continues. And eventually the Muggle Prime Minister can't take the deaths anymore.
THERE ARE WITCHES IN BRITAIN: PM
PM ALLEGES RECENT UNGERGROUND ATTACKS THE WORK OF WIZARDS
EXCLUSIVE: THEY'RE RIGHT UNDER OUR NOSES!
'MUGGLEBORNS' TELL ALL!
Secrets have a way of unfolding.
Did you see the Sun? They can erase our minds!
The Muggle woman wakes up and, fleetingly, the phantom pain of childbirth makes her gasp. The memory of blood-soaked carpet and staring eyes.
A Ministry official played God that night. Twelve years of her life have been scrubbed from memory like mud-tracks from gleaming kitchen tiles. Her past becomes a blur in the corner of her eye.
Here's a joke to brighten up those eyes of yours.
A Minister and a Death Eater walk into a bar and sit down to talk over a pint. A waitress brings the next round over. "A Firewhisky for the Minister and a Scotch for the Death Eater," she says as she sets the drinks down in front of the two men. After she has left, the Minister looks down at his glass. "She's given me your Scotch again, sir," he says.
The waitress spends the entire evening trying to tell them apart.
"Would your Lord be amenable to an agreement?" Scrimgeour asks.
Malfoy smiles, all steel and sharp edges. "My Lord wants what is best for the wizarding world, Minister. He regrets, as I do, that the Ministry has taken so long to see the danger. The people want more than an agreement. They want effective leadership."
"If you're suggesting that the Ministry can't handle the situation - "
"You called this meeting, not me," Lucius tells him, shrugging. He finishes his Scotch and makes to stand up. "So far, I've found it an appalling waste of time. If there's nothing else - "
"Tell me what he wants," Scrimgeour interrupts, giving in. "Fucking hell, they're ready to riot over the Hogsmeade massacre – we have to give them something. My senior staff are proud to tell me that their kids have joined you now. What the fuck does he want?"
Malfoy signals the waitress. "Another round," he tells her and in his voice Scrimgeour can already hear the coming demands.
the rattle of bones and chuckle spread from ear to ear
Previously, 'us' and 'them' were the 'Light' and the 'Dark' and the Muggles didn't fit into the equation at all.
Now, however, the options are wizards or Muggles. And, on the 21st August 2001, the Ministry handed over control of the war effort to the Dark Lord. Wizards under Voldemort or Muggles under…well, Ron doesn't really know.
He does know that Charlie was killed by Death Eaters and Bill was scarred by one. He does know that Emmeline Vance was one of the Hogsmeade casualties and that Seamus Finnegan was stabbed to death by Muggles last week. Ron looks down at his wrists, seeing the thin blue scroll of veins under the freckled skin. His is the blood the Muggles want.
Hermione sits on the couch in her parents' house and stares at her reflection in the TV screen as the news shows carnage in Wales.
Voldemort presents the ultimatum. Us or them. Choose. Now. Hermione reads the article in the Prophet and cold dread washes over her. They use the word 'Mudblood' now.
She thinks that, maybe, the Order will be safe for the time being. He won't go after them yet – he wants it to look like we're all united against the Muggles. Draw attention away from the Death Eaters' victims, keep them quiet.
Harry…Harry's irrelevant now. The battle lines have been redrawn and the people want a saviour who'll defend them against bullets and mustard gas. The Order itself has been left in the cold.
Hermione, though. She doesn't have time.
Are you laughing yet?
In a war, the colour is grey and the sound is of gunfire. In the world I have grown up in, the gunfire is the ostinato below the lyrics.
Avada Kedavra, chants the child in the garden. Avada Kedavra, again again again.
knowledge of the oppressor
this is the oppressor's language
When it starts to rain, her mother calls her back inside. She watches afternoon cartoons while the radio in the kitchen reports an attack on a Sussex primary school. Tomorrow morning, her mother will keep her at home.
Avada Kedavra: it's like a talisman now. They're only words, they can only be words, and why can't we have them too?
In a war the blood runs through mud and water until there's nothing left. The magic spreads further and thinner and a Muggle child is practising Unforgiveables in the back garden.
Are you laughing yet?
- we who were living are now dying & the rattle of bones and chuckle spread from ear to ear
T.S. Eliot – The Waste Land.
- I know it hurts to burn & knowledge of the oppressor. this is the oppressor's language
Adrienne Rich – The Burning of Paper Instead of Children.
- Her past becomes a blur in the corner of her eye.
Adapted from 'all your life you live so close to the truth that it becomes a permanent blur in the corner of your eye'. Tom Stoppard – Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead.