A/N: Written for the Reviews Lounge, Too Humble Beginnings Collaboration. A bit hastily written, but here it is!
"It looked as though it had once been a large stone pigpen, but extra rooms had been added here and there until it was several stories high and so crooked it looked as though it were held up by magic…. Four or five chimneys were perched on top of the red roof. A lopsided sign stuck in the ground near the entrance read, THE BURROW. Around the front door lay a jumble of rubber boots and a very rusty cauldron."
You started out so hopeful and so promising. Oh, the possibilities of your final creation! You would often lie there at night, waiting for the construction work to resume, daydreaming of your future. Maybe you would be a manor house for a noble Lord and his family; maybe you would be a castle for the King of the land. Wouldn't it be wonderful to feel clothed in tapestries on every wall, to hear the secrets of the family around you? Oh, you would hear so many splendid and important whispers – of wars and weddings, of peasants and princes. Destined for great things, you decided, and so you waited. How ignorant you were back then.
Your craftsman laid your stones carefully, smoothing the mortar delicately like a baker ices his prize winning cake; every rock managed to weave together, and suddenly you were more than just a foundation – you were a building. No longer did you exist solely as poorly-scrawled plans on a rudimentary blueprint. You were whole.
As the craftsman brushed the dirt off his hands, you began to take inventory. You felt so small, with no windows and a simple thatched roof. Your floor was dirt – dirt! – and you had no door. Where were the sprawling ballrooms? Where was the kitchen, the Lord's bedroom, and the nursery? Surely he wasn't finished; surely this was just the base room. There was more he needed to build - there had to be more.
As you sat, waiting, watching other, grander buildings develop around you, you began to let your ideals slip. You didn't need to be a Lord's mansion. Weren't castles really rather drafty, anyway? You wouldn't mind being a simple farmhouse, because anything had to be better than a windowless shack. You wanted lights; you wanted life. You wanted a purpose.
But you were never meant to house a noble family, and you didn't even get that farmer you began compromising for. You were the lowest of the low – a pigpen. The beasts appeared seemingly overnight, and oh, how your tenants smelled! They ruined your perfectly clean walls; the shiny, smooth stones became covered in dung and mud, slowly beginning to erode away to dust. You were never destined for greatness: your fate lay in the dirty scrounges of the beast.
Years (decades? centuries? time began to lose all meaning) later, your vile tenants left as suddenly as they appeared, and you were alone again; but beast and bout left their respective marks, and you resembled nothing of that blithe and benighted structure you once were. Stones lay strewn across the ground, knocked from their deliberated places. You were crumbling to the ground, and your world was tumbling around you in shambles. You were shambles, and as time left you behind, so did the human race. You begin to tune out the earth around you, no longer caring to notice your surroundings. Houses aren't meant to last forever, and you're only waiting for Mother Nature to take her course and destroy you once and for all.
"It's…it's perfect, Arthur," you hear one day, but you neglect to notice just who has the audacity to utter such a phrase. You are far from perfect – you are a disaster, one that should be eradicated, just like the others from your time. (Isn't it perfectly ironic how those grand manor houses fail to exist to this day, and yet a fiend like you manages to cling to the life you don't want?) People have inspected you before, but they never stay. Why would they? You are nothing but ruins; even in your glory days, you were too lowly for any type of family, never mind the grand sort.
"It's home, Molly-wobbles. We've found our home."
Despite your cynicism, magical construction starts, and the humans stay. That kitchen you were reckoning on appears, and then the master bedroom and even a single nursery. You can resist all you want, but it is all for naught. You have found your rebirth.
"'It's not much,' said Ron.
'It's wonderful,' said Harry happily…."
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, J.K. Rowling; Pg. 32, American Scholastic Press Edition, 1999