Shadows Of The Past
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any of the characters they belong to JK Rowling and Warner Bros Studio.
She sighed as she shut the bar door behind her, keeping out the bitterly cold winter wind. She wiped her feet on the doormat roughly, shaking the snow from her boots. The woman looked around nervously wrapping the scarf further around her face in fear of being recognised. After a few frantic moments of searching the woman was pleased to see that the bar was all but deserted and she did not notice anyone that she knew so she pulled the scarf from her face.
The woman smiled slightly as she moved further into the bar. It gave her more time to think about what she planned to say as she knew that there would be many questions that she would have to answer. She stared around the bar and was pleased to see that the leaky cauldron remained unchanged. The warmth of the fires in the room began to warm her frozen limbs.
She spotted an empty booth and slid into it quickly not wanting to stand out too long in the open. It pleased her that the booth also happened to be nearest the bar door in case she needed to make a swift exit. The woman pulled off the satchel that she was carrying and set it down beside her. She rested her head gently against the back of the booth and closed her eyes deciding to rest for the moment and clear her head.
It had been a risk coming back here she knew that but when she had received the invite after some deliberation she knew that she could not refuse and that she had no choice but to return. The pull that she had felt had simply been strong to fight. She sighed and opened her eyes; she felt no better, her mind now more preoccupied than before. She reached over and opened her satchel.
After some rummaging and cursing she finally found the items that she was looking for and she quickly pulled them out and set them on the table one by one. The woman looked at each of the items and slowly she picked up the first item and opened it. It was only a single piece of parchment and she reread the contents fairly quickly just to make sure that she had not overlooked anything in her hasty departure from her last place of lodgings.
She smiled happy now that she decided to change into her outfit before coming here, she had hoped that it would save her time and it had. It was a dress that she had acquired the first year after she had left here and it had been a gift from her new friend. He had been speechless when he had first seen her in it so she thought that it was a fitting choice.
She knew that the minute she entered the Great Hall that everyone would be talking about her so she thought that she might as well give them all something to talk about. Folding the parchment back up, she set it down on the table once more. Turning her attention to the second item, she gently put her hands on the cover of the book and stroked it, removing the long gathered dust from the front cover.
The woman sighed, picking up the book that she had not touched in over two years. She gently opened the book and touched the inscription which appeared suddenly before her eyes on the first page. Reading the words that she still knew off by heart, she felt the tears begin to form in her dark brown eyes. The woman cursed herself and quickly turned the page of the book.
She gazed down at the first photo which was a picture of the whole gang together sitting in the quid ditch stands. The moving faces of three young girls and guys smiled up at her happily, each of them clad in red robes. She instantly remembered when this photo was taken, it was after their final quidditch practice and the Weasley twins had suggested they take a photo as a souvenir of their time together. The group had all eagerly agreed knowing that it would be the final time that they would all play together as a team and it was Oliver's final game as quidditch captain.
The memories immediately came flooding back as she gazed further at the moving photo. She gently touched his face and the tears she had held onto for so long finally began to stream down her face. The young woman wiped the tears from her face and placed the photograph book down on the table.
Closing her eyes, she gently shut the book, trying to shut the memories from her mind but it was a pointless effort as they flooded forth flicking from one to the other like pages in a book. The first memory that came to her was just after the first photo in the book was taken. The rest of the group had trudged off towards the locker room but he had held her back.
She had been puzzled at first as too why he had held her back from the others until she had seen the smile on his face, she had instantly smiled back as he had gripped her hand and led her away, he had not stopped until they had walked far from the quidditch pitch and they had ended up by the lake under what she had called their tree.
His next actions had took her entirely be surprised as she had thought that he had wanted to simply talk to her about something but then he had taken her face in his hands then suddenly he was kissing her. It had been softly at first but then the kiss had deepened which caused her to lean against the trunk of their tree as she had wrapped her arms around his neck.
They had stayed like that for some time but they had finally broken apart from each other in need of air. The two of them had been silent not wanting to ruin the moment with words, they had simply smiled at each other knowing in that moment, the thing they had both wanted for so long had happened and their lives altered. It had been their first and last happy moment as a couple.
She shook her head refusing to relive the next memories that would surely grip her. They were simply too painful for her to revisit especially now. It had took her so long to build herself back up and she knew revisiting those memories would shatter her once more and revert her back to the mess she had been three years ago. No she refused to go back, she had to shut them off she leaned back and rested her head back on the booth, fighting to clear her mind of all her thought and regain her calm composure.
The young woman reached over and gripped the third item in her hand and flicked it open. The ticking of the clock soothed her slightly. It had been her final gift from her friend before she had left. She had left without telling him, not wanting to say goodbye so she got up the next morning and left without a word. She knew that he would be angry when he discovered that she had got but she had too or else she never would have left. She just hoped that he did not follow her.
Someone to the side of her cleared their throat loudly which jerked her out of her thoughts. She felt a shiver of fear go down her spine; slipping her hand into her heavy overcoat she found her wand. She gripped it tightly; slowly she turned her head to confront the person ready to whip out her wand if needed. She thought the Leaky Cauldron would be a nice place to stop and she could not resist the temptation of visiting one of her past haunts.
In the past she had been happy here and it held many memories for her of shared moments with her old friends. She knew that it was silly for her to feel so afraid as she would have to face everyone eventually but she could not help how she felt. Relief washed over her when she realised that the man in front of her was simply the bartender and she did not know him.
He smiled at her and she returned his smile with a small one of her.
"What can I get you miss" he asked her. She knew what she wanted without having to think about it. It was one of the reasons that the pull to come back here had been so strong.
"I would love a butterbeer please" she said cheerfully. The man nodded then turned to walk away and she turned her attention back to the table.
She did not hear his footsteps walking away from her which puzzled her and she turned her gaze back to him to find he was standing in the same position.
"You better make that two butterbeers" a voice said clearly.
The woman suddenly tensed up when she heard the voice and she slowly closed her eyes dreading this forthcoming encounter. She cursed herself for her own stupidity.
The barman frowned as he looked between the man in front of him and the woman sitting in the booth, she did not look happy to see this man. He thought for a minute about intervening between them but he thought better of it. Shrugging his shoulders slightly he sidestepped the man and walked over in the direction of the bar. He could not afford any trouble, he needed this job and it was really none of his business.
The man walked the barman walk away before he quickly slid into the other side of the booth. He gazed at the woman and saw her eyes were closed. He gently drummed his fingers on the table and waited patiently until she opened her eyes. After a few seconds she knew that it was not a figment of her imagination as she heard the gentle tapping on the table. No he was definitely here; he had followed her after all. She opened her eyes and saw him sitting across from her. Instantly he smiled at her.
"Hello Katie" he said calmly, clearly amused at her reaction.
Author note: This is the first chapter of my multichapter fic. It was written for the multichapter competition on the hpfc forum. The prompt for the first round was a character picking up or carrying a book. I hope you have enjoyed this chapter, please read and review.