A/N: This was a contest entry for the Hideaway, written at the eleventh hour, of course. Choose an HP character an write about them having something stolen from them. Must include: a photograph. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: This is not owned by me.
I don't like to think about it even now. Even though it happened so long ago, and I know I should be over it by now, it's just so horrible I can't help but cry. Everything seems to remind me of it. Especially that photograph.
That photograph, oddly enough, still hangs in my private rooms, so every time I enter my bedroom I burst into tears. But I can't bear to let it go. It's the only thing left to remind me of her.
In case you were wondering, 'her' is my daughter. My little Lucy. My beautiful, intelligent, wonderful daughter, ruthlessly murdered. The photo of her that still graces my walls was taken three days before it happened; the last happy time she had. She looks lovely in the picture. Her auburn ringlets are pulled back with a fancy bow, and she's wearing one of my old dresses to play in. It was my deep blue one, with the silver sparkles all over the front. She's spinning around in the frame, wearing my old green hat, twirling around and smiling like there's no tomorrow. And for her, there wasn't.
I can clearly remember the day she... she died. The entire morning and afternoon had gone completely normal, and to this day that scares me. That a day can go on in it's regular fashion, with no hint that something terrible was going to occur. Shouldn't fate at least give you a sign, or some sort of clue to get out of the house? To leave before you get attacked or blown up, or... murdered?
It was around eight o' clock in the evening, and I was sitting with Lucy in her bed, reading a book about dragons. She had always loved dragons. When she was older, she told me she wanted to be like Mr. Hagrid and have a dragon. She never got a chance.
As I finished the last sentence of the book, I closed it softly. Lucy's breathing had become calm and peaceful, and her eyelids fluttered closed. Kissing her forehead gently, I rose from the cool blue sheets and tucked her in. The image of her lying so quiet and small in her bed is something I will never forget. The last safe moment of her life. I like to think that after she died, it was like she was in an eternal dream. She had always loved her dreams so, telling me in the mornings about the one she had last night. Thinking of her in such a happy world made me happy too.
I had blown out the candles illuminating her small bedroom and was tiptoeing down the hall way toward my room. Collapsing on the bed, I realized now that was my fatal mistake. Had I not heard my husband warning me one hundred times? "Minerva, you must always lock the windows. Always." The doors, I had remembered to lock them. It was just, a villain seemed much more likely to blow open the door than sneak through the window. And if he had blown open the door, I would have had time to lift the anti-apparition charms or grab Lucy and the Portkey. But some villains are smarter than others.
I know I fell asleep because I remember waking to a soft thudding. Still drowsy, I had, out of reflex, glanced at the muggle alarm clock adorning my side table. It was just past twelve. Suddenly, my sleepiness vanished as the thudding became louder and closer. Heart pounding, I grabbed my wand from underneath my bed- the newest and safest hiding place. I stood, and just as I did, a shadow flickered around my door. Just a shadow, but enough to let me know that an unwelcome visitor was creeping around in the dead of night. Using all the Gryfinddor courage I could muster, I stepped forward, declaring, "Show yourself!" Using the innate hearing gifted to me from years of being an Animagi, I heard a short intake of breath outside my door. Deciding it was now or never, I flung open the door, feeling more frightened than I ever had in my life.
Crouching before me was a man. Even on the floor below me, it was obvious that he was quite tall, and quite a lot larger than my small frame. His black hair was matted on top of a pale face, wild and curling. He wore black robes, black gloves, and a pair of brown boots. As he peered up at me, I saw the most horrifying sight. His eyes were a deep, dark blue, and ringed around the edges with a most peculiar orange colour. Far down in the pupils came a glint that portrayed terribly evil intentions.
The man stood as I became rooted to my spot, still holding my wand in front of my face. And, as suddenly as he had come, he went, tearing down the dark hallway. At that moment, there was only one thing in the world that mattered to me: Lucy. He could not see her, he could not find her. Without a moment's hesitation, I was running down the hall after him, not a thought to anyone or anything except my beloved daughter. As I ran, I tried to console myself. I would reach her in time, I would lift the anti-apparition wards, and we would leave before any damage was done. How wrong I was.
As the mysterious man turned the corner and kicked open a door, my heart sank even lower than it already was- that was Lucy's room. The room in which she lay innocently in sleep, not expecting any terrors. I entered the room not three seconds after him, to find Lucy looking at him with the most horrified look on her young face. He stood over her, leering, his wand stretched out and pointing to her heart.
A strangled cry escaped my lips, and the man turned. As he did so, I took my chance. I dived toward my baby, scooping her into my arms and listening to the heart-wrenching sound of her sobbing against my chest. The man swore and spat, looking at us with disdain in his eyes. Raising my wand even higher, I said to him,
"Leave us, now, before I call the Ministry." He didn't even appear to listen, but continued staring at us with blank eyes. I tried desperately to remember where I had left the Portkey, and cringed- it was inside Lucy's dresser, which was behind our attacker. Cursing my inability to do nonverbal spells, I tried muttering quietly to myself to charm to undo that anti-apparition wards. And in that one moment, in that one second, everything changed.
The man struck me hard with a blinding curse, and I fell as soon as it hit me I realized it was a Crucio. The pain was nearly unbearable alone, but what sent me over the edge was the realization that my Lucy was sitting there watching her mummy scream in agony. Finally, after what felt like hours, the pain stopped, and I was panting on the floor, not sure how I had gotten there. As the flashing lights in front of my eyes subsided, another realization hit me- I was bound. Petrificus Totalus. I couldn't move.
And he had Lucy.
She was crying silently while he held her by the hand, smiling gruesomely at me. Then he shoved her hard, landing her on the ground. Oh, how I longed to help her, to move! I tried desperately, moving not an inch. He knew I was trying, however, and laughed roughly before kicking me. As lights flashed in front of my face, I heard the most horrible thing in the world. It sent chills down my spine, and haunts me to this day.
I don't remember exact events after that. The Healers told me that I was found sobbing over the body of a dead girl. I don't have any recollection of it. The only thing I remember is a cold, evil feeling seeping inside my bones, covering me in grief and despair. I'd let my baby down, I'd let her die, so young, so innocent. I can never forgive that man, the man who stole my baby.
I visit her grave every day. I always bring a flower, a daisy, she loved them so. And I read the inscribed tombstone dedicated to her:
"Here lies a young girl, taken without reason, remembered with love.
Here lies a daughter, a niece, a friend.
Here lies Lucillia Katherine Dumbledore.
May she rest in peace."