Tomorrow is going to be a busy day. I'm meeting mum in the morning, we're going to visit Da's grave. And then there's the thing at Hogwarts.
It's been seven years since I was back there. Of course, I've only been back here in Hogsmeade for the last two months so it's not like I've had time to just walk up the road to visit. To much to do getting the restaurant up and running.
At least, that's what I like to tell myself.
If I'm busy it's easy to pretend everything is fine. That the older woman at table four isn't one of the women who spit on my mother when she had to pawn the last heirloom the Ministry let her keep in order to buy burial robes for Da. That the world has always been a happy shiny place.
Listen to me, if I'm not careful I'm going to be a bitter old woman before my time. Normally I'm not like this, you know that. It's only near the anniversary...
Normally I'm always the first to forgive. To drop a few galleons in the orphan's fund cup. To give a friendly smile to every stranger. That's my nature.
I thought I was going to die when I got up this morning... afternoon, whatever. The point is that I stupidly let Michelle talk me into going out for my birthday last night, some sort of Muggle custom involving getting ripping drunk and going from pub to bar to pub until you either can't stand up on your own or end up going home with the first fairly attractive bloke who doesn't make you want to vomit or giggle with his pick-up line.
Oh gods, I don't know what possessed me but last night - I did it. I slept with a man. And it was bloody brilliant. ( Collapse )
Happy Birthday to Me, a Very Happy Birthday February 15th, 2001 ~*~ Evening
Daphne wasn't even sure where they were anymore, her friends had insisted on dressing her up and taking her out for a "night on the town" for her twenty-first birthday. This had to have been the third or fourth bar for the evening. Their party had started out seven strong and was now down to four. One girl, from her pastry class on Mondays and Wednesdays, had pleaded the need for an early night. The other two had met some men they knew and had left with them, with Daphne's blessing of course. The less of her well meaning friends urging her to drink more and make goo goo eyes at some strange man in a bar, the better. They were even urging her to... well, Daphne just didn't think she was the one night stand type. She didn't really know what type she was.
I knew I should have never told Michelle I was still a virgin, she thought with a mental groan as the other woman pointed out yet another attractive man at the bar. "What about him, Daph? He looks good enough to eat, doesn't he? If you don't want him, maybe he'd like to taste my creamy filling."
Even Daphne couldn't keep from laughing at that one, a full honeyed sound. That was one of the great things about having friends who were all attending the same culinary academy, all the crude food jokes. She looked at the man in question and had to agree that he was rather nice looking. And when he looked in their direction she made eye contact for barely a second before turning back to her drink, suddenly too warm. She didn't even notice when Michelle announced she was going to the little girls room and left the table.
The first time in my life someone pays attention to me and it's because I was in "that House" and because my father was "one of Them". Mum has it worse. While they're too... something to speak to my face, those gossip mongers have no problem trying to sharpen their dull wits on my mother.
It's not enough that we've lost a father and husband to the war, that the Ministry seized almost everything we owned - even my great-grandmother's jewelry - that we're destitute with no hope of getting a job because we're tainted... now they have to make my mother cry because she fell in love with the wrong man.
It had been months since They came to visit Da. I had hoped that meant his involvement in that... group was over.
Not so lucky, I'm afraid.
At least this time they didn't drag him off to get hurt again. This time they came to ask him all sorts of questions about his old job working in the libraries. Which got him started about the Muggle-born that had replaced him, which just progressed to the same old litany. I was hard pressed not to roll my eyes as I served the men ale and sandwiches.
Why should they care about archival procedures and protection spells for manuscripts and old books?
I knew one of the men who was killed. He was a friend of Da's. A friend. Not an associate, not one of those creepy men in the robes who use my father as a servant with promises of a better world when it's over.
Da wasn't chosen to go on the St. Mungo's fiasco, and for that I thank the gods. Since the accident where he hurt his leg, he's had a limp. It slows him down enough that he's not as "useful" as he once was, not to Them, at least.
I'm glad he's home more, but it's taking his toll. He's trying even harder when he is allowed to attend meetings, pushing himself harder. I'm scared that he's going to do something he'll regret and get hurt worse.
I hate this. I hate the war, I hate that there has to be sides, I just want this to all be over, but I don't dare say anything to Da. I can't even say it out loud in case someone overhears.
Mum is beside herself with worry. She was up all night, sitting at the window. Waiting.
Da hasn't come home yet.
Those men came back yesterday and my father went with them, he took his robes and mask. I hate those things. Their very presence in the house makes me feel ill.
Mum won't tell me where he went or what they were going to do. She just looked at me with tired eyes and asked if I understood why he supported the Dark Lord. "Because someone has to fight for the Pure, because the taint of the Muggles has spread and families such as ours have suffered for it, because we deserve better" - the expected answer flowed from my mouth by rote.
I didn't know what was happening until it was all over.
Even now I'm still not sure of the details. All I really remember from that night is my Head of House, Professor Snape, bursting into the common room and telling us all to remain inside until someone told us it was safe to come out. Someone - I don't know who - asked what was happening and the Professor just... looked at each of us for a moment and then disappeared.