I had never been scared of spiders. Never been scared of bugs in general, really. Somehow in between their creepy-crawly-ness, they’d seemed strangely human. Flies beating against the windows, when there was escape just next door, well I felt like I saw that every day. And spiders, weaving webs as delicate as you like, well I didn’t see what was so bad about that. I thought that their black, shiny shells were somehow beautiful. I wished I could be cocooned like that, that my hair could cover my body in some hard amour, because I felt so exposed.

There, on the edge of Platform 9 and ¾, I was alone. Everyone who knew what had happened to me was sneaking glances, to me and then back again, as though their eyes were made of honey and they had to drag slowly through space.

I was Lucy Weasley, just as I’d always been, just as I always would be. Before, I was Lucy Weasley who had a horribly ill mother, now I was Lucy Weasley with a tragically dead mother, and perhaps one day I would be Lucy Weasley with a mother who everybody had forgotten. But for now I was supposed to be delicate, like a new-born lamb all covered in gunk, or the Murano Glass fish in my sitting room.

I was waiting. It was 10:13. I was supposed to be meeting friends, friends unnamed because I couldn’t remember whose letter I had hastily replied to. I sat perched on my trunk, absent-mindedly cracking my knuckles. I looked at my watch again, wanting to waste time.

It was strange how I actually wanted to waste time, like I had all the time in the world. If anyone should have known that time was finite, it should’ve been me. I’d seen my mother’s time run out, heard her lungs scrape as she breathed, and yet I still lit a cigarette as soon as I got home from her funeral, I’d still lain in the bath staring at the ceiling and ignored my father’s shouts and not tried to help my sister through her tears.

I suppose that made me a bad person.


“Are you sure you’re okay, Luce?” Maisie looked at me intently as she munched on a chocolate frog. Her long, pale legs were splayed across the compartment, and her head was resting on Tilda’s shoulder.

“Yeah, I’m sure.” I was sitting in the corner, looking out the window. I had never really bothered to watch the journey before- for some reason I’d always put socialising first. Why observe the outside world when you could try (and fail) to dye your hair blue?

“You know that we were worried about you, right? You didn’t write back to us. You could’ve at least told us to piss off.” Minutes had passed before Davina had decided to speak. She’d been lost in an essay, some holiday piece that she’d forgotten to do, or so I’d thought. I was momentarily annoyed. I didn’t want them to piss off. I’d wanted to reply, but I hadn’t known what to say.

What do you say to your friends when they write to you asking how you are, about your mother, about how she’s dead? Their mothers probably stood behind them as they wrote the letter, probably nagged them to write it, to make sure I was okay. I could just imagine Tilda’s mum correcting Tilda’s grammar, bemoaning her little Gryffindor daughter, but at the same time making sure Tilda wished me and my dad all the best.

I hadn’t replied. I’d placed all the letters in a neat little pile at the corner of my desk and ignored them. We’re thinking of you. I’m thinking of you. Mum says she’s thinking of you. All these well-wishes but all I could do was laugh- I’d have trouble writing a letter to someone if I wasn’t thinking of them. What else would they be thinking about? Ice-cream? Frogs?

“Yeah. I’m sorry, I just had stuff on my mind, you know?”


“Now, as I mentioned last year, Charms Prac exams take an extremely regular form. You will be asked to perform five charms, and for each charm you will be asked to have a short discussion with the examiner about its definition, its nature, its use and its origins. It will fit into one of the seven categories listed before you, and will be one of seventy spells. Now that sounds a lot, but I can assure you that…” Flitwick had never been duller. The last of the oppressive summer heat filled the room, and a cough-inducing zephyr lifted the flakes of dust that had settled over the holiday.

My head throbbed in a way it had neglected to do since the future. In, out. Pump, pump. I could imagine the EKG in my mind going up and down in regular mountains, and myself trying to climb each peak. Instead of beeping the machine used Flitwick's voice. As my heart rate fell charms came out of his mouth ‘accio, accio.’ Up again, and I felt as though I was going to vomit.

It was all so pointless, so arbitrary. As I sat in that stuffy room, nihilism had never seemed more attractive. My mother had had a PhD. She had studied and studied and she’d died in early summer on a day when more people were born and had not been particularly remembered. I was not broken like Molly had been, so I suppose I couldn’t begin to be fixed, but her death- the circumstance of her death, it fascinated me. Academically, at a distance, it was mesmerizing.

She had been magnificent. A genius of political theory. Beautiful, too. Bilingual, 5 A Levels, a first and a PhD and two daughters and a powerful husband. And she had died in the least dignified manner I could imagine. She was about as significant as the definition of the levitating charm. I closed my eyes, breathed in. Squares of breath like my mother had taught me ten years ago when I was a screaming, frightened child.

“Lucy? Lucy, it’s time for lunch!” Maisie led me out into the cool air of the corridor and I forced myself to move my morbid fantasies to the back of my mind.

ehh i'm not sure how much I like this, and it's still pretty short. It's quite similar in theme to the last chapter but I think we'll move things forward a little in the next- I felt like going to Hogwarts was enough change for one chapter. Also I hope you all don't hate Lucy! Don't forget there's a lil review box down there! Say what you feel in your heart!

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