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Three


Rose was named after our great-great-grandmother. She was a historian and loved adventure. She was never tied down to one place, preferring to move around and explore. I guess mom always knew that once she named Rose after her great-grandmother, that her daughter would be as carefree. Then, sometimes, I think she didn’t.

It wasn’t like Rose showed the world what she got up to. I didn’t even know the full extent, only snippets here and there.

Then, you have my name. Hugo, just plain Hugo. Mum was reading the Hunchback of Notre Dame’ by Victor Hugo when she was pregnant with me, and I guess the name always stuck. Typical mum though, finding my name in a book. She tells me it means heart or spirit, which I don’t think suits me. I’m nothing like my name. I’m just plain and simple.

Unlike all the Weasley children (minus Albus Potter and Victorie) I have blond hair. Rose may have changed her hair to blond because it suited her (and made her disobey our mum’s order), but she wasn’t born with it. She was born with the typical red hair that is found in our family.

I am different. The only thing I have in common with father is the freckles on my face; I look nothing like him and I act nothing like him. I am my mother’s son through and through. She was big on academics and so am I. I guess that is why my ambition is to become a professor at Hogwarts when I am older.

But Rose, she was different from everyone. If you had to compare her to someone, she would be most like Uncle George: carefree, headstrong and free. She was beautiful, wild and far too busy to let anything brush her. Whereas I loved books, she never had time to even read one page. Yet, you couldn’t hate her. Once she broke my toy broomstick, but one look at her eyes, and I knew she was sorry. She was so sweet about everything and had such enthusiasm; you could never hold a grudge against her.

”You can’t let little things like books keep you from living. Just get out of here and live it!” she would say before sneaking out of my French doors and down the oak tree. I would sit there, just staring after her, my book laying forgotten on my lap.

I was nothing like Rose, but it didn’t bother me.

“Hugo?” my mum calls from just outside my bedroom. She never comes in; I think she’s afraid of what she might find. “Are you sure you don’t want us to come to the station with you? I’m sure your friends wouldn’t mind.”

I pull my bedroom door open and smile at my mother. She looks worn and is worried, I can tell. The last year has caused many strains on her. “No, I’ll be fine.”

She gives me a sad smile, before heading down the stairs. I catch a glimpse of her turning around before she walks out the front door, locking all three dead bolts. This is the way we live now: always afraid of what is around the corner. We are cautious, nearly entering paranoid.

We lock the house, always checking and re-checking. She locked the door, even though I will be leaving in less than five minutes.

I guess that after everything happened, you could expect my parents to be cautious. Mum had decided to take a sabbatical to stay home and look after me. I think that my parents blamed themselves for everything that happened; for not watching Rose more closely. They both worked hard and had successful careers and I guess that they thought they didn’t have enough (in the words of Made Eye-Moody) constant vigilance as they should have.

It took over an hour last night for my mum to agree to let me go out with my friends today. There was only a week before school started and I needed supplies. It was the start of a new year, and my parents decided it was time I returned to school. Over the last year and a half, I had done my schooling via correspondence. I guess after Rose’s death, they decided they needed me near them, to keep an eye on me.

It wasn’t like I was going out alone today. My cousin Lily and my other cousin Louis lived down the street, so it wasn’t like I had to go too far. Lily lived two houses down, in a house larger than our own. I guess Uncle Harry wanted the best for his kids, seeing as he never had anything like they have.

Then, all Lily and I had to do was walk down to the corner and Louis would be there waiting.

For a couple of months after what happened, I felt like a prisoner in my own house. I couldn’t go anywhere without my parents being there. At first, I thought it would be nice to spend more time with my parents, but there is only so much “happy” stuff you can take. It was fake and it was forced.

Before I would ever leave the house, even to walk a few hundred steps to the Potter’s, I was required to explain: where I was going, how I was getting there, why I was going there and who was going to be there. Then I would have to tell them how long I would be gone and when I would be home. I know they love me, but to go through this every time to just see Lily or Louis was a nightmare.

I wasn’t alone during this. Lily and Louis were there, as well as the rest of my cousins (minus Uncle Percy’s princesses), but they didn’t come over as much as they use to. I mostly think that my Uncles’ and Aunties’ might have told them to give us some space; to grieve.

Then, I also think that they don’t know how to act around us anymore. Rose was their family too, but they didn’t share a house with her. It’s like when someone dies, you don’t know what to say or how to act around the family. They give you looks of sympathy when they think you aren’t looking. It was as if the once cheerful feeling that was felt at our house, was now dark and dreary.

All last year, while my friends were at school, I was pretty much alone.

Mum spent most of her days in her bedroom, in old clothes, crying her eyes out. Occasionally she ventured out, to only sit in front of the TV, switching mindlessly from channel to channel. Then there was my father. He stayed at work later and later every night, only making it home after my bedtime. On the occasional night, he came home early. I guess these were the nights Uncle Harry worked late.

It was even worse on the weekends. Mum couldn’t stay in the bedroom and my father couldn’t go to work. That’s when they argued.

I always hear stories of their childhood, when they argued nearly every day.

This, however, was worse. I was forced to sit in my bedroom, listening to them hurling accusations back and forth at each other.

They each blamed the other for what happened to Rose. I was always told that tragedy brought people closer to each other. I guess my family just doesn't deserve to be happy. My family is being ripped apart and I can’t stop it.

Then, my father left. In the dead of the night, he just packed up and left. Not a word to me.

I was forced from that moment on, to spend one week at my mum’s and the next at my father’s. It was worse than when they were fighting.

Almost a month after he left, my mum began to take her “happy pills”, which was able to get her out of her bedroom, leave the tears behind and return to work. This caused the tension when my father picked me up, even worse. There was a forced politeness and formality whenever they met. It was as if they had just met on vacation.

Although life began to improve on the surface, there was still the reality that my parents had split up, my father still “worked” late even when it was my week to be with him and my mum’s eyes were as vacant as ever.

And as much as I love and miss Rose, as much as I wish she could be alive again, there are times when I really hate her too. She left me with a broken family, where her large hole will never be filled in our hearts. I am left with two hollowed-out shells that call themselves my parents and a world that seems like it will never stop spiralling out of control.

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