Chapter 11: The Final Difference
After this, it's over. I, for one, and very happy about this. I hope you enjoy it!
"I just want you close
Where you can stay forever
You can be sure
That it will only get better
You and me together
Through the days and nights
I don't worry 'cause
Everything's going to be alright
People keep talking they can say what they like
But all I know is everything's going to be alright
...When the rain is pouring down
And my heart is hurting
You will always be around
This I know for certain
...Everything's going to be alright
...I know some people search the world
To find something like what we have
I know people will try, try to divide, something so real
So till the end of time I'm telling you there ain't no one
No one, no one
Can get in the way of what I'm feeling"
-No One by Alicia Keys
Nothing had really changed. Everyone around me seemed the same. But I felt completely different. Thoughts haunted me, and there was a certain greyness to the sky. Of course, Bellatrix had never gotten a hold of me, but she was still out there, and I understood that she wouldn't rest until she had some sort of revenge to thrive off of. My papa held me, tears in his eyes, telling me I would have the same luck, and friends, and love that he had. I would make it through, he told me, and that filthy woman would never get her hands on me. No matter how much he told me these things, I always thought to myself This is almost nothing like what he went through. Voldemort must have been scary, but he had a secret side to him that eventually became my dad, and renounced old ways to enjoy life with my papa. Bellatrix was evil to the bone, without any secret side to her that would ever be revealed. Her complete insanity kept her from being reasoned with, and she had the most vicious pack of equally blood-thirsty people backing her up. It was black and white.
I still cry at night, but not for the same reasons. I cared little for the mistakes of past parents, no matter how large and awful. Now all I saw were the horrid black eyes that once stood before me, demanding my surrender and help kill my own dads, and pale hands holding a knife covered in the blood of half-bloods I didn't know, but who had counted on me, spilt on the hope of a peaceful world once more, and a soul darker than space entering my mind and speaking in lovely rhymes, like a lullaby, telling me to give up all hope and give in to what cannot be overcome. The voice continued to echo in my head, no matter what I tried to drown it out with.
Ah, little boy with eyes of sweet sight
Do not be fearful of Blood and its spill
Who you should fear is disguised in light
He who once had such lust to kill
And He who once had such a foe
Child, be there nothing but your health
I ask only for aid in mind to flow
And in return I shall provide you wealth
Give in to the master of all
Let the Dark be your other twin
Let not your heart suffer such fall
Together, my dear child, we will win
A tear fell down my cheek, and I came back to reality. Her eyes, those evil black holes that sucked in everything, bore into my soul. My papa was talking to me, but I couldn't hear him; I was too far gone in the past. I knew he would blame himself, but what was there to be done? Bellatrix had escaped, and at any moment could slit my throat without my realization.
But I was alive. And so were they. Everyone I love made it through, and I lost nothing except what I never had. Nothing was different now than it was before all this started, but it was another dimension to me, and it always will be. There is no normal after trying to be killed; only another day of life, and another reason for worry.
Give in to the master of all
Let the Dark be your other twin
I felt so cold. Was it cold in the room? I couldn't tell. Where was I? It wasn't where I was just standing, wrapped in the loving arms of my dads. It was dark, with bare trees surrounding us, so familiar, yet so foreign.
Together, my dear child, we will win
The voice rang through the silent air, smooth and velvet, but so terribly awful. I fell to my knees at the mercy of the song. I wanted my home back. I wanted my dads, and my grandpa, and my friends, my hills, and instruments.
A fearful whistle ran through the trees. I grabbed my arms across me and lowered my head as a twig cracked some ways away. A tear fell to the ground, and a raindrop hit the back of neck.
Together, my dear child…
I jerked up and spread my arms. I wasn't going to let the voice finish. The wind whipped around me in a spiraling tornado, absorbing the rest of its lyrics into its mouth. Leave me alone! I won't let you get my dads! Leaves and dirt merged into the storm, joined by broken pieces of the bare trees that once surrounded me. From behind me, a ghost of fear crept past my wind shields and whispered into my ear.
We will win.
I returned to the present, and my wind storm followed me, destroying the house I had lived in since I was five. My dad was screaming my name through the whooshing of the air. I calmed the winds, no longer needing their protection. After they vanished, I saw the damage done to the once magnificent sitting room. The paintings were torn and strewn randomly about the room, the couch was upside down in the corner of the room, and the window had large cracks in it. Tears came into my eyes, as I loved this room, more than my own.
My papa emerged from behind the couch cautiously, next to where my dad was standing. His glasses were skewed, and his hair messy (more than normal). He looked around the destroyed room, and I feared that he would yell at me, and send me to my room to think about what I had done. A few more tears fell down my cheeks. I only wanted my life to be happy, and I had already done more than enough to ruin it.
Papa looked to Dad, and a smile came onto his face, and he started laughing. My papa stepped out from behind the couch and crouched down next to me. I was beyond confused. "What's so funny?" I asked him.
He finished off his laughs, and finally answered with a smile. "This poor room just can't get a break, can it?" He looked to Dad, and sighed.
"What are you talking about?"
My dad walked over to us and sat so that we were in a sort of triangle. "Once, when your papa was younger, before he even graduated school, he set fire to this very room."
What? Why would he do such a thing? My papa continued on, "Not on purpose, of course. I loved this room as much as you do. But I was taking a nap in here, and for some odd reason, I had an awful dream about a large fire. I don't remember why, but I do know that fireplace over there," he pointed to the fireplace, "has a special charm on it. All you have to do is think of a fire, and one pops up." Right on cue, a fire started in the fireplace. He smiled. "Of course, matched with my dream, I ended up setting the whole room on fire, and even burning myself."
"I had to get the paintings repainted, and used several spells to rid of all the burns on the walls and couch," my dad said. "It depressed him so, but it was an accident, of course. I was more concerned about him." He smirked to Papa.
"This poor room has been through hell, almost literally." Papa chuckled. He ruffled my hair with his hand. "It's alright. We'll fix it. At least you didn't hurt yourself. I don't think I could live with taking you to St. Mungo's again…"
My dad huffed. "Oh, that nurse there was just awful. We told her you had probably broken a bone, but she said we had to wait patiently like 'everybody else'. I do not understand as to why, since it was the emergency sector. It was such horrible service. They must be hiring anyone these days…"
My papa let go a small chuckle, but the bright green eyes that met mine were somber. After a moment of silence he asked, "What happened?"
Despite the fire's heat, I shivered. "I had a day-mare."
He sighed. "I used to have those, too."
I shook my head. "You don't get it."
His eyebrows knit, and his head turned just a bit in his confusion. My dad's eyebrows just raised, and waited my explanation.
"I may have an enemy, as you did, but they are almost nothing alike. My enemy doesn't want me to die, she wants me to kill the ones I love, and then use me to spread fear as she pleases like some sort of sick pet. The friends and family who stand in the way are the ones she wants to kill, not shields to the real prize. I have this god-awful power that I never asked for, that I can't always control, and that hurts more than helps. I want to create, and learn, but that's not what I was made for. I'm not a brave Gryffindor who's prepared for any battle thrown in my way. I didn't even bother to participate in defending Hogwarts when she attacked. I let her have access to the ones she really wants. I let her get into my mind and now she won't get out. She's crazy enough to do what it takes to get you both. There is nothing else to her other than evil."
My dads were silent. There was nothing else to say, as that was the pure truth. I brought my knees to my chest and hugged them tightly. I wanted to curl into a ball and cry, but I wouldn't let myself. The silence was so intense I heard a ringing in my ears. Nothing made a sound; I couldn't even hear myself breathe. But I suppose nothing is better than the Voice.
My papa hugged me. I felt his warmth, and it warmed the chill of the past. 'I know,' he whispered. 'She's your opposite. That's what makes her so scary. That's what makes them all scary.'
"Was Voldemort your opposite?"
My papa let me go. "In some ways. He was rational, and cold-hearted, with minions instead of friends. But what made him so awful to me was that he was so similar."
My dad spoke up. "If I may correct you, Harry, you and Voldemort had nothing in common. Voldemort was far from a man, and therefore cannot be compared to one. It was you and I who had so much in common. It was the fact that I had turned to be him, that you feared you would be the same."
Papa nodded. "But, Nanda, you are not like her in the least. You have a smart mind, and a family, and friends. We love you, so much. And I would never let her get you, no matter if she truly wanted me or not." He smiled. "And I think you're underestimating your dads just a bit. If you were unaware, we are the most powerful wizards in the whole Wizarding world. It would take more than Bellatrix and her group of crazies to finish us off."
"There is no need to worry, my pup. Bellatrix will be caught and sent to Azkaban. She will never be able to do anything to you there."
I could finally feel the warmth from the fire behind me, sending lovely waves of heat through my back. There was nothing more to say now. I got up and hugged both of my dads, letting the action speak for me.
Of course, I suddenly remembered it was Sunday, and I had a paper due tomorrow for Transfiguration (just because I knew the teacher well doesn't mean she was giving me any less homework, or any other sort of special treatment. If anything else, she expected more from me). I pulled back and straightened. "If you'll excuse me, I just remembered I have a paper due tomorrow."
As I left the room, I could hear my papa laughing behind me. Something like "such a Ravenclaw". Even if my problems weren't finished, I knew there was nothing she could do but scare me, and only I could let her scare me. Needless to say, I wouldn't let her do that anymore. I was ready to try and make it through the remainder of my first year (and by make it, I mean get an E or higher in every possible subject and continue practicing changing into my Animagus. Just because I got it a few times doesn't mean I can do it every time, and I really want to be the youngest person to master one). I grinned to myself and decided to try and become my special singing bird again. I could just imagine my molecules changing, granting me slate grey wings, and a vicious beak that looked as if it shouldn't belong to such a small creature. I shrunk to the floor, my little bird legs hopping a bit to balance. As soon as I was steady, I spread my wings and let them lift me into the air, down the hall, into the large dining room, and out the owl window into the fresh air.
My paper can wait, I told myself. I'm sure it will be easier to write than the last one.
I soared over green hills, around the manor to the edge of a small forest that was overlooked by a now cracked window. I landed in a tree and (more or less) vomited up some lovely chirps that my music had to offer. They must have been lovely, because other birds nearby joined in, making a lovely bird choir unlike anything imaginable.
I took off once more. Past hills, and rivers, and valleys, and forests. All of them beautiful, but not quite the destination I was looking for. To be honest, the human part of my brain had no idea where I was headed. I just knew the way of the skies. I flew until I saw a large building coming into view. It was so very old-looking, but majestic in so many ways. The closer I got, the more details it revealed, and I suddenly realized how awfully wealthy the owner of the manor would have to be. I flew around it to the courtyard in the back, with lovely gardens filled with charmed flowers, and a table that said "Hello there! I'm so much more important than you are!" I circled around a bit overhead, trying to spot something, but couldn't find it. I perched myself atop a bush and looked about, chirping to myself. "Hello? Where could you be? You must be somewhere." As lovely as the garden was, I did not want to explore it without my partner in crime.
I jumped down to the grass and whistled a little tune with lyrics like "I'm a little bird looking for my friend. I would like him to show up soon, please. We have many good times for leather" (or something like that. I'm still a little sketchy on translating my bird chirps to English). I turned around, hopping to see if my friend was in the bush, when someone stepped outside.
"Oh, what a marvelous looking bird," a formally dressed lady said. "Such a lovely little song it sings. I've never seen it here before." She turned back to the door. "Scorpius isn't out here, Draco."
A voice from inside the door spoke up. "That blasted child. Does he not understand we have an important dinner with someone? We have a reputation as Malfoys to upkeep and he repeatedly…"
The woman sighed and stepped back inside, a little blonde bunny sneaking by her feet before she closed the door. "Friend! Oh, my friend, I've found shoe!" I whistled. The bunny's ears stood straight up, and he began to hop his way over to me. Scorpius the Bunny sniffed at me, which tickled my feathers a bit. "Oh wonderful friend, what smell we do?"
Scorpius the Bunny looked over to a rather large hedge in the corner of the courtyard, his nose twitching as if to say "That way."
I lifted off that direction, Scorpius the Bunny hopping on the ground beneath me. I whistled something like "Off to the hedge we go, only as friends should know, lots of fun, and adventure a ton, off to the hedge we potato" (so that one may be a little more off than most of the other translations, but I can promise that's what it sounded like). Nothing is possibly more fun than exploring a huge hedge with your bunny friend.
The day was so much different from how it started, but that is how life always is; nothing is ever the same as the beginning. Life ahead would be a challenge, but I was ready, mind and body, to take it on, as long as I would have my friends and family. There was nothing to do now, of course, but sing a little tune, and follow the blonde bunny into his secret bunny hole underneath the hedge and continue on with the adventure.
That was it. :) I hope you liked it.