Well, here we are. It's been absolute ages since I've written much, and I can't really explain it except I don't seem to have such an urge to write anymore.
I recently re-read a fanfiction story, though, that is absolutely amazing (A Keen Observer by DeepDownSlytherin - I can very, very much recommend it), and as a kind of processing activity I wrote this.
One confession: I initially wrote this thinking Ted Tonks was still alive, but I just read that he died (and seriously, how could I have forgotten? I can only say that, due to A Keen Observer, he's still very much alive to me.), so I changed the story a little bit. I hope it doesn't change the 'flow', but I've written what I needed to write and do not want to go back and write it again.
The words, they didn't come now. People asked her, murmured questions, words that hardly penetrated her as she watched, but saw nothing. People bowed their heads to her, watched her carefully, looking for signs – but for what, she did not know. She would not break down: even after all these years without the Black family, she still could not show emotion openly. She would not cry. And somehow, she felt she was incapable. There were so many emotions inside her that she did not know what to do – she had never before felt such a confusion at herself, not even in her dizzying teenage years. She was proud of her daughter and proud of the man she had married, and then she saw something that remembered her of them – a photo, a flash of lilac, some clothing – and she was angry, angry at the world, angry at the man who was now dead, but whose influence had loomed over her for most of her life, who had rightlessly affected so many people. Friends would notice, would stroke her hair or touch her hand for a moment – they knew that they could not fix this, and so they showed their support distantly. Many of them cried and yelled and that, more than anything, showed their pain. But she, she felt incapable of expressing herself that way. Some understood without asking her, but something had broken inside her.
She'd had time to prepare for a moment such as this, but in the midst of a war, who spared much thought to the dead? She more, certainly, than her daughter's generation; she could still remember youthful energy, the power that lay in living for the moment. But she was not young anymore; she had lived through years of terror in the form of one Dark Lord, and she was tired.
She had not shown many people this; only in the privacy of her bedroom had she admitted this to Ted. She was tired of fighting. She had been at the age of seventeen, hiding her true feelings for her family, living two lives that she could not uphold once the dam broke. She was tired of the news that reached her of her family, deaths, incarcerations, rumours. The people she had once counted among her friends were now on the wrong side: she was fighting her own blood. It was a concept she still could not wrap her head around. How had it come to this?
And now, her daughter was dead, her son-in-law was dead, her husband was dead, and she had lost many friends. It was only a trick of fate that she was still alive, and she had thought, in her more desperate moments, that it was a cruel trick. Her grandson would grow up without parents; and although she had no doubt that he would never lack in anything, the injustice of that thought still wounded her. Good people deserved to live. Good people deserved to have children, see them grow up. It was the cycle of life, and it was brutally broken now.
Her sister had sent her a letter, afterwards. It had been a surprise, but then she supposed that the aftereffects of the war were changing things. The pureblood-policies had, naturally, been lifted, and it seemed like Narcissa, for one, realised that her assumed superiority wouldn't be so much of a given anymore.
They had both suffered; after years of silence, she read the despair in the letter, the sorrow, the unexplained emotions. She had not replied, not yet, because she could not bring herself to forgive anybody who had played a part, no matter how minute, in the destruction of the war. She felt that her sister would understand. There would be years left; years to lick their wounds, to discuss and analyse, to slowly, slowly, let go of the deep pain. But not yet.
There was a soft hand on her shoulder, now, as she looked at the photo. A lifetime of memories were contained in it, and it soothed her to remember. She remembered her childhood, the times that she was happy despite everything that was wrong. She remembered the way Ted had slowly wormed his way into her life, until she couldn't imagine herself without him somewhere near. She remembered the terror, that night she had permanently left the Black home, turning her back on everything that had been a given for so long. She remembered the terror that came with her pregnancy, thousands of little moments which had frightened her.
It was the circle of life. The people who had died had given life to the others, the people like Teddy Lupin who could, for the first time in fifty years, grow up without terror looming at the edges of their existence. It was a noble way to die. And that thought comforted her.
There was nothing to be said. There were no words.
There were only moments.
I kinda feel bad now for forgetting about Ted. Maybe I'll write another one-shot; maybe it'll be a chapter two for this story. For now, please feel free to review :-).