A/N: This idea behind this story came from me wanting to delve into the world of Muggle!AU. Unfortunately, no idea came to me. This is what I am going to call a post-Hogwarts-sort-of-Muggle!AU. This first chapter starts off a bit slow, just to give the idea of what this particular world is like, but I promise you that it will pick up very very soon. Please leave me a review at the end if you'd like for me to continue. I'd also love to hear any thoughts you have on this and to see if anyone is interested.
Muchas gracias to Sam (MissingMommy) for being my ever-reliable beta!
The sun hadn't yet risen, but despite that, she could still feel and smell the impending sunrise. For most this would be pleasant, but for her it was another thing else entirely. The sights and scents and feelings that nature inspired were something of a bittersweet symphony.
The summer was built on the smells of her past, of distant memories long since forgotten, of her home that she could no longer remember. There was very little that she could recall of her childhood – homemade bread being baked in the oven, the clean scent of cut grass, and fresh air – but the all around feeling of summer was what stuck out to her the most.
But for reasons she could never quite understand, her childhood was somewhat of a mystery. Occasionally, something happening around her would signal a feeling – a flash of a memory that seemed impeccably clear for just that one moment – but the things she saw could not possibly have happened in real life. Brilliant flashes of light being emitted from a thin piece of intricately carved wood, floating high over a grassy field on a broomstick, and mythological creatures that seemed to be half horse and half eagle could not have existed, but those were things her mind would frequently wander to.
A voice in the distance immediately pulled her from her thoughts. A man was approaching her, and when she saw him, she smiled.
"Good morning," she said, kissing her husband soundly on the lips as he sat beside her on the grassy knoll. "I didn't wake you, did I?"
"No. It was that bloody rooster that did it."
She smiled again as she pulled her long red hair away from her face and over her left shoulder, revealing her lightly tanned and freckled skin. "Well, we do need the rooster, don't we? How else will we be sure when to wake up for work?"
"Can't we muzzle it on Sundays at least?"
"Don't be silly. It's nice to wake up like this and watch the dawn with you."
"I suppose," he conceded with an exaggerated roll of his eyes.
As she breathed deeply, the scent of the sunrise sent her back to her happy place, those brief moments where she could allow her silent reverie to overtake her. So badly, she wished to be able to recall her childhood, to be able to remember how she and her obviously British husband had would up owning a modest farm in the middle of Iowa. It wasn't that she didn't enjoy her life as it was, but no matter how hard she tried to let go of her past, she just couldn't. She wanted to know about herself.
"Something is bothering you, love," her husband said. It wasn't a question, but a statement. He knew everything about her – the meaning behind her every expression, the implication behind her every remote glance into the distance. She couldn't let go of anything, and the fact that she could barely remember her life before the age of nineteen was upsetting to her far more than she would have ever let on. But he knew with a single look what was on her mind.
Of course, his memory had similarly waned. He could vaguely recall a large castle in the heart of Scotland that he would visit frequently, the colors green and silver being proudly stitched onto clothing, and a frightening man with red eyes and dark slits where his nose should have been. But they didn't discuss these things too often, for it was quite obviously pointless. At least in his opinion. He had too many things to do, too many responsibilities as an adult and as a husband, and in the wee hours of the morning, frustrating himself over the things he could not change seemed quite the unappealing alternative to sleeping in just a few minutes longer.
"You know, I think I grew up on a farm," Gwen said. "I remember running through the grass in my bare feet. I know there was a lot of it where I came from." She picked at the tall blades around her. "I wonder if we grew corn wherever it was that I came from."
He shrugged. An idle "maybe" was all he managed to come up with in reply.
Gwen let her head fall against his shoulder, breathing in the scent of him – soap and summer, he smelled like. She kissed him behind the ear, tucking back his white blond hair. "You know that I love you, don't you, Drew?" she asked, her voice rising ever so slightly with the vaguest sense of uncertainty.
His smile was sincere. "I know you do."
It wasn't long after that that the sun finally did break through the pink and gold sky, birthing shades of purple as the blue expanse above attempted to peak through. It was time to begin their day of work.
"I'd better go wake up the children," she decided as she got to her feet and stretched her arms high over her head, her white tank top moving upwards just enough to reveal her freckled stomach.
He grabbed her hips and pulled her against him, kissing the newly exposed flesh and smiling against her as she laughed out loud. His lips trailed upwards over her arms and shoulders to her neck and lips.
With a breathless gasp, she fell against him, allowing him to kiss her thoroughly, allowing his hands and hers to caress each other in a way that they would never do in front of their son and daughter. But they were passionately in love, even if when they had first married there was little more than fondness between them. Their love had grown with the birth of their children, but it had blossomed even further as time wore on.
They broke apart just as their little girl bolted from the house, their older tow-headed son following closely behind.
Gwen opened her arms as her daughter – who was a spitting image of her mother aside from the clear grey eyes that she had obviously inherited from her father – leaped into the air, landing safely within her warm embrace.
"I was just coming to wake you, Jill," she said as she set the little girl gently onto her feet. "But I suppose you've saved me the trip, haven't you?"
Drew patted his son on the shoulder before pulling him close for a one-armed hug. "We'll start working after breakfast, Jeremy," he told the boy.
The boy – who looked just as much like his father as the girl did her mother – nodded stoically. Though neither Drew nor Gwen particularly liked their nine-year-old to work in the corn fields, Jeremy had never once complained about having to do so, and their fields definitely made use of the extra set of hands.
"Does school really start tomorrow, Mummy?" Jill asked excitedly, tugging on her mother's hand. "Do I really get to go?"
"Yes!" Gwen said with a grin. "Tomorrow you start kindergarten and you brother will go to fourth grade, but you will still be at the same school." She kissed her daughter's copper head and her son's impossibly blond one. "After supper, we'll all go into town to buy you some new clothes."
Jeremy smiled as Jill continued to jump around animatedly. Going shopping in town was most definitely a treat for them.
"Go wash up for breakfast," Drew ordered. "Your mother and I will be right there."
As the kids scampered down the hill and into the house, Drew turned to his wife with a smirk plastered across his lips, making him appear far more calculating than he actually was. "Tomorrow," he said, emphasizing every syllable, "will be the first time in almost ten years that we will have the house all to ourselves. Did you know that?"
She returned the expression, nibbling at her bottom lip suggestively. "I think maybe we could afford to get a late start, don't you think?"
"I think we could just take the whole day and spend it in bed."
"Mmm." She moaned against his lips as he pulled her in for yet another kiss. "I like the sound of that."