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A/N: So yeaaaahh... this Chapter is literally just focusing on Elle and her battle with getting help or not. I really hope I've done this justice, and that you're not all mad at me for leaving this story for so long without an update. And I promise that James will be back in full-force in the next chapter that, believe it or not, I have already half-written as I've been writing this one. 


(P.S. after this chapter, there will be two chapters left and then that's the story finished! After two years, I think, it'll be finally finished! That's kinda scary! I don't know what I'm going to do after this story is finished!)


Disclaimer: I only own my OCs and the plot but everything you recognise from the Harry Potter world does not belong to me but the talented J.K. Rowling.





My eyes slowly peeled open as I stared around the still slightly dark room. All I knew was that I went to bed earlier than usual last night and I wondered whether or not it was still the middle of the night. One look at the clock on my bedside table proved me wrong though as it read twenty-five past five in the morning. I thought about going back to sleep but my brain decided it was wide awake all of a sudden so as much as I tried to fall back asleep, I just couldn’t. Nobody was moving around the house when I climbed out of bed and subconsciously pulled my hair into a ponytail as I tip-toed quietly into the kitchen to make myself some really early breakfast.



There wasn’t much I could make that would make as little sound as possible so I settled on making a couple of slices of toast and a banana to fill me up. There wasn’t really much on TV when I switched it on so I ended up watching a weird car dealer show. I had no idea what they were talking about most of the time but it kept me distracted for a couple of hours. Finally, at around seven, I heard Dad’s footsteps walking around in his bedroom probably getting ready for work. When he emerged, the shock was evident on his face that he hadn’t expected me to be up at this time.


“Good morning.” I said quietly, standing up to make him breakfast but he stopped me.


“It’s okay, I usually get something on the way.”


“Oh…” I sat back down on the couch before getting back up to wash the plate that had had my breakfast on it. We scooted round each other in silence, not really sure what to say to each other and not really having anything to say.


“Well… I’ll probably see you at one and then we can go see Norah.” He stated monotonously, shrugging on his high-vis jacket as he headed towards the front door.


“Okay, see you later.” I nodded, my attention back on the screen when the door had clicked shut. After a couple of hours of binge-watching whatever took my fancy on TV, I had had enough and stood up to stretch my legs a little. It wasn’t even half-past nine when I decided to finally look at those leaflets, determined never to put anything off again for the rest of my life.



Maybe I needed a change.



The first one was for a Rehabilitation Centre in Ireland that only ran for a couple of weeks but mainly focussed on the therapy side of treatment. The more I read about it, the more I was becoming enticed by the idea of doing it. But it would be the cost of travelling to Ireland and the programme itself that would stump me as I figured out when I roughly tried to calculate it in my head. Plus, I didn’t like the idea of being that far away from my family for a couple of weeks on end.



The majority of the other leaflets were basically describing the same type of treatment but going increasingly further away from home, which I really didn’t like the thought of. And the prices seemed to be increasing as well. Until the last one caught my eye up in The Lake District to the North of England. Rather than only running for a couple of weeks, the programme lasted for as long as was necessary for the individual and each patient was given the same therapist/staff for the whole period of the stay. It did seem much nicer than the others, especially when I read that they offered complementary therapies like horse-riding, painting classes, fitness classes, and more.


“That sounds good…” I muttered to myself and nearly jumping out of my skin when my phone buzzed. I sighed in relief when I saw that it was only Molly.

 

‘I swear to God if you don’t answer the phone, I will come round to Charity’s and give you a good slap!xxx’
(sent a few seconds ago)

 

I chuckled a little at her dramatic nature before finally replying,

 

‘Hi Molls, I’m okay. And I’m staying at my Dad’s for the time being… it’s a long story xxx’
(sent a few seconds ago)

 

‘Bloody hell! It’s a miracle! I know it’s a blooming long story, which is why I need you to explain what the hell is happening?!xx’
(sent a few seconds ago)

 

‘I’ll give you a call tomorrow, Moll. I really can’t explain it now xx’
(sent a few seconds ago)

 

‘Why not? Do you want me to come round?xx’
(sent a few seconds ago)

 

‘Not today. I need to be on my own for a while, plus I’m visiting Norah this afternoon xxx’
(sent a few seconds ago)

 

‘Okay but if you don’t call me tomorrow… I will hunt you down!xxx’
(sent a few seconds ago)

 

‘Okay. I’ll speak to you tomorrow xxx’
(sent a few seconds ago)

 

I put my phone down on the side table, continuing to read through that particular Rehab leaflet whilst sat on my bed for the rest of the morning. My head was all over the place as I was debating it seriously because on the one hand I had just enough money to pay for it but on the other, it meant I had to start from scratch saving up for the Healer course again. It all boiled down to whether or not I was willing to give up my dream of the course for however long it takes to do this. And I wasn’t sure whether I was willing to give it up. It was something I’d worked so hard to save up for and if I did this, it felt like I was throwing away all that hard work. By the time lunch had come around, and Dad had come home, I had thrown all the other leaflet in the bin except for the one advertising in The Lakes.


“You ready to go?” Dad popped his head in the door as I was brushing my hair properly.


“Yeah, just need to put my shoes on and then I’m done,” I nodded, pulling my hair up into a high ponytail so that I was out of the way of my face. He was in the middle of pulling his jacket on when I exited and slipped on a pair of black ankle boots that I hadn’t worn in forever, “Are we apparating in or do you want to drive?” I asked nervously because I had never really used my magic in front of my Dad before because he himself wasn’t a wizard. Plus, he seemed a little uncomfortable any time it was brought up. And I half-wanted him to disagree with taking his car because the idea of it still made my palms sweaty.


“Whichever ones quicker.” He grumbled, standing next to me but leaving a small gap.


“We could apparate into St Mungo’s?” I suggested and he just shrugged, looping his arm around mine when I extended it. It took a while for me to calm myself down enough to concentrate properly on the destination in my head whilst trying to remember that my Dad was there too so also trying not to splinch him. When I opened my eyes, the apparating room lay before me instead of the front of our house and I breathed a sigh of relief when I looked over at my Dad and he was still in one piece. As soon as we stepped away from the apparating zone, the hustle and bustle as well as the noise of the hospital hit us all at once.


“Do you know which floor she’s on?” I asked him, walking towards the reception area with my head lowered.


“She should be on the fourth floor in the… the,” he paused as we stepped through the double doors into the reception area. Two men in uniforms stepped forward, asking to check through our bags and make sure we didn’t have anything on us before letting us go past them, “I can’t remember the name of the ward now.” He finished and I looked up at the board that listed what each floor was after getting momentarily distracted as a young boy with a kettle for a hand walked past us.


“Is it the Janus Thickey Ward? That’s the one on the fourth floor.” I asked, turning around to face my Dad and almost bursting into laughter at his face. He’d obviously never been in the reception area during the day before and judging by the fact he looked very disturbed, I figured it would be a good idea to get him out of the area quickly. He seemed to come out once we were climbing the second flight of stairs especially as we were past all of the crazy injuries that the patients had.


“Yeah… I think that’s the name of it…” he responded monotonously. We lapsed into silence as we climbed the last two flights of stairs and reached the locked doors of the Janus Thickey Ward, waiting for a Healer to let us in.


“May I help you?” A young man asked as he walked towards us. Both Dad and I spun around at the same time to look at him.


“We’re here to see my daughter, Norah Underwood.” Dad said, pointing over his shoulder through into the ward. The young man nodded his head quickly, checking through a clipboard hanging to the right of the doors.


“Ah yes,” he said more to himself, “She’s in room fifteen. Follow me and I’ll take you through,” he smiled kindly before unlocking the door, allowing us to go through and then locking it behind him. It was a little bit scary knowing that the patients in this ward had to be locked away it was that bad, “She’s just in here.” He opened the door marked fifteen, letting us go past him before disappearing back down the way he had led us. I didn’t even have any time to prepare myself for coming to see her so my heart was threatening to beat out of my chest as I turned round to look at her. She was sat up in her bed, obviously having been reading a couple of magazines because they were all sprawled all over her bed.


“How are you doing?” Dad asked with a huge smile on his face that looked weird to me because I hadn’t seen it in so long.


“I’m okay… just really bored.” She huffed, closing the magazine she had just been reading and looking between the both of us, resting her eyes on me.


“Hi.” I whispered awkwardly, hovering near the doorway.


“Hey!” she smiled happily, extending her arms out and I hesitated for a moment before walking forward to embrace her, “How are you?” She whispered into my ear.


“I could be better,” I shrugged, letting go of her and sitting down in an armchair close to the bed, “You?” Dad was watching our exchange silently but still with that smile on his face.


“I could be better too.” She replied with a sad sort of smile and I hung my head.


“I’m sorry about that…” I said sheepishly, avoiding looking at both of them in the eyes. I was pretty sure the smile that was on Dad’s face had just been wiped off by the direction of this conversation and I wanted nothing more than to be back at home, hidden under my pink blanket with nothing but the TV to keep me distracted.


“Don’t apologise,” she reprimanded me and I glanced up at her to see she was halfway through rolling her eyes at me, “Charity said you’d do that… but you don’t have to because you didn’t do anything wrong.” She said it slowly as if she was trying to ingrain it into my head.


“B-but I did… if I hadn’t have moved the wheel…” I started but she interrupted me.


“Then we would have crashed into the car in front and I’m pretty sure we still would have ended up in exactly the same situation now,” she carried on confidently even though Dad was in the room and probably didn’t believe a word she was saying. Neither did I to be honest, “You need to stop blaming yourself, Elle. I may be going through treatment to help recover more of my memories but even I know that it wasn’t your fault.” The room fell into tense silence as I couldn’t say anything more that wouldn’t annoy Norah and Dad was still sat in the room and I was pretty sure he didn’t really want to be talking about his wife’s death like this.


“So how’s recovery going?” Dad finally chirped up, changing the subject in an effort to forget about the last few minutes.


“It’s going okay. Teddy’s been wonderful, helping ease me into everything… I just wanted to say sorry for how I was the first couple of days when you were explaining everything to me…” It was her turn to look sheepish and her cheeks burned bright red as she avoided looking at Dad.


“I understand,” he said gently and I thought again about how foreign this whole situation was to me, “You don’t have to apologise… it’s normal for you to react the way you did after finding out about everything.” He reassured her with a small smile and she returned it, her face still bright red.


“Still, it was a little harsh,” she paused, letting Dad give her a hug, “I’m sorry.” She repeated and he gave a soft chuckle.


“Let’s stop with all the apologising today, okay?” he reached out, using one hand to hold Norah’s and extending the other to me, “I don’t want to hear another ‘I’m sorry’, okay?” His eyes met mine and my heart skipped a beat as my eyes glanced between his face and hand before I slowly and gingerly placed mine in his. Norah, taking Dad’s lead, extended her other hand to me and without missing a second, I grabbed onto it immediately. It was a lovely little moment as we all sat there, not speaking and holding hands. Soon though, words started pouring out as we spoke about anything and everything and I couldn’t help but feel like the past four years hadn’t happened. I don’t know how much time had passed as we just talked about everything before Dad eventually decided to go and get a drink from the shop on the fifth floor, leaving the two of us alone for the first time.


“Charity told me about the wedding…” Norah started and I felt the blood drain to the bottom of my feet, “How are you really doing?” I hesitated, not wanting to unload everything onto her when she was the one who needed to unload the most, “And don’t think about changing the subject either.” She warned after I stayed quiet for a good few minutes.


“I’m… I’m,” I started and then stopped, “I don’t know.”


“You don’t know?” She urged.


“I don’t want to be talking about my problems when you obviously need it more than I do, Norah,” I replied and the words seemed to fall out on-by-one, “It doesn’t matter that guy I’m in love with was just using me to get back with his ex literally the day before we were supposed to get married! It doesn’t matter that I’m trying to manage by myself but I’m struggling and I don’t know what to do! It doesn’t matter that I might have to give up my dream of being a Healer for the foreseeable future! It doesn’t matter that every time I think of you in here, or Charity’s pitying glances, or that Dad’s trying so hard to not look at me with disgust every time he sees me, I really want to drink and drink and drink until I don’t remember anything! And it certainly doesn’t matter that I have to apologise to so many people because I’m such a massive fuck-up when I’d rather just disappear off the face of the earth so that I don’t cause anybody any more problems!” I finished with a heavy breath and my face instantly blushed red at everything that I had blurted out because I hadn’t expected all that to come out so suddenly. Especially the drinking part because I thought I’d been doing well at trying to subdue those thoughts but obviously I hadn’t been doing as well as I thought.


“Feels better, doesn’t it?” She smiled after I’d finished my rant.


“How about you?” I looked up at her, so glad to see colour in her cheeks and that she had life in her eyes instead of the still body I saw a couple of days ago.


“I still can’t believe Mum’s gone…” She whispered, her eyes drifting off into space. In that moment I was glad Dad left the room, I don’t think he’d be happy sat here listening to this conversation.


“Me neither.” I stared wordlessly at the bed sheets and we drifted into silence again. It was still so awkward to speak about this when she had been under so long. It was hard for me hearing about it after one month of being in a coma, I couldn’t imagine what she was going through hearing what’s happened after four years. And I couldn’t help feeling guilty again.


“It’s so weird that I’m gonna be twenty-two this year…” she spoke up again however there were no tears in her eyes, “I missed my twenty-first birthday,” I nodded my head silently, still staring at the bedsheets, “I missed your twenty-first birthday.” She added on and I looked up with a small, reassuring smile.


“You didn’t miss much anyway… I didn’t have a twenty-first birthday,” I replied, because I was too off my rocker to even comprehend what day of the week it was, I added as an afterthought. But she didn’t need to know that anyway.


“How come?” she asked and then fell silent as I gave her one long stare, “Oh…? That thing?”


“That thing,” I confirmed, picking away at the skin around my fingers out of nervousness. She didn’t know exactly how bad it had gotten but she knew enough not to question anything because of Charity. We fell back into silence again for another few minutes, until I broke it again, “So, when are you going to be discharged?”


“In a couple of months,” she answered conversationally, “Still got a bunch of tests to run and they’re recommending me for some therapy sessions as well. Get my ‘problems’ sorted before I’m released.” She air-quoted the word ‘problems’ and rolled her eyes to make her point but shrugged all the same. She seemed to be handling all this very well on the outside but I knew she must be struggling on the inside yet putting on a brave face for everyone else. This was what I had been doing ever since the accident, that’s what Charity always does when something bad happens, and it was something Norah had started doing now to make us feel better. I guess it ran in the family.


“It might help you…” I said quietly, “It’d be better to get it addressed straight away rather than putting it off and ending up a mess later on in life,” I added on, my voice shaking as I told her but I wasn’t sure whether I was trying to convince myself or her, “I know that first-hand.”


“Was it really that bad?” She bravely asked and I nodded slowly. It wasn’t something I was proud of and so I didn’t like talking about it a lot, but I suppose maybe speaking about it would help.


“I moved away to Scotland about a month after I came round, just to get away from Dad because I was still living with him at the time,” I explained, watching as she leaned back against her cushions, “There was a cheap flat that was on the market and I just grabbed it, not really thinking it through that much. I didn’t have a job, I had no source of income at all to go towards my rent and all my bills. The only reason the landlord wasn’t kicking me out was because he saw I was desperately trying to get a job to help.”


“Did you find one?”


“Eventually yeah, at a supermarket during the day,” I answered, looking at the stretch of wall behind her head, “But it still wasn’t enough to cover everything… and then I saw an advert on the side of a pub one night after I’d gone out drinking about how you could make five hundred pounds in one night. So I called the number and was hired straight away to start the next night. I didn’t realise at the time that it was a strip club,” she gasped at that and I’m pretty sure Charity had skipped a couple of details to make me seem less pathetic, “So I started the following night, completely sober and it was horrible. I felt cheap, I felt dirty, and I almost quit after the first two nights but a girl, Destiny, she stopped me and she gave me some pills after I told her I was gonna quit. I don’t even know what they were but she they’d help and if I have a couple of drinks before I started work, that’d help too.”


“Were they drugs? The pills she gave you?” She asked, her eyes almost bulging out of her sockets.


“I think so, yeah but not hard-core drugs, but I desperately needed the money. Dad wasn’t speaking to me and I was pretty sure he hated me, and I couldn’t ask Charity for help because she had her own family to take of,” I paused and she gave me a sad look as if she knew where the story was going, “So I took the pills whenever she managed to get them for me. A couple of drinks turned into more, and that turned into even more until eventually I was turning up to work at night completely hammered, out of my mind and turning up to work at the supermarket the next morning severely hungover… sometimes still even drunk,” by this point Norah had reached forward to grab hold of my hand again, “About a month and a half later I lost my job at the supermarket because I was drinking in between shifts and I still had Destiny’s pills on me. Which then led to me getting arrested for possession of drugs… not my finest hour.”


“What happened then? Did you quit? Did Charity come and get you?” She blurted out, her eyes even welling up with tears.


“No, not for another six months,” I answered and she gasped again, “I stayed like that for another six months until Charity called in to see me and by then the damage had been done. Destiny and I had been arrested a couple more times. I would go straight from work to the nearest bar and drink some more, enough to get me passed out at the bar, and then wake up most likely in a pool of my own vomit outside of the street or back in my apartment by some miracle. And then I’d wake up and the cycle would begin again.”


“Elle, I’m so sorry! I had no idea it was that bad!” She pulled me towards her and squeezed me tightly.


“No-one knew it was going to be that bad… I didn’t even know,” I sighed, “I think I just let everything fester inside of me until I felt I had no other choice but to make those stupid decisions. And look how my life turned out.” My voice caught in my throat at the last sentence and she tightened her hold of me.


“At least you’re here though, right? You’re still alive.” She reassured me and I nodded my head.


“Thanks to Charity, I guess,” I whispered, “She’s the one who saw the way I was going. If it wasn’t for her, I’d probably have drunk myself to death. And it makes me feel guilty every time I relapse because it means all the hard work she did for me to keep me alive was for nothing…” Norah didn’t say anything more for however long seemed to pass until we let go of each other and I sat back down on the armchair. Her cheeks were slightly blotchy and there were tear-stains on her hospital gown.


“Don’t tell Dad this but… sometimes I just feel like screaming forever,” Norah admitted finally and a small look of relief passed over her face after saying it, “It still feels weird to me that I’ve been under for four years and all these things have happened in the world, and that I missed some important milestones…” she explained quietly as if she was expecting Dad to walk in any minute, “And knowing that I won’t be able to walk again… it makes me want to scream and kick and punch everybody in the world. Half of me still wants to be in a coma so I don’t have to feel like this and the other half of me wishes that you’d have pulled the plug sooner, you know?” I looked down at the ground, tears filling in my eyes as she admitted all of this to me and I knew that this was how she genuinely felt rather than the ‘I could be better too’ from before, “I just feel so goddamn angry all the time. And the fact I feel angry just frustrates me.”


“I suppose that’s why they want you to get some therapy before you leave so you don’t mix up your feelings and do something stupid.” Like I did, I added in my head.


“I know, I know…” she mumbled, looking down at her hands that were fidgeting on her lap, “That’s what I did when they first started explaining things to me, you know. I didn’t understand properly what was happening so I shouted and yelled at Dad, I threw everything I could get my hands on at anybody that came into my room. It got so bad they had to come in and sedate me.”


“Is that why you apologised to him before?” I asked, feeling like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulder having spoken to Norah about everything and hearing that someone else wasn’t coping either.


“Yeah… I kinda crossed the line a little.” Her cheeks turned a bit red as she gave me a sheepish glance.


“I’m sure everyone’s crossed a line at some point in their lives,” I reassured her and she gave me a quick smile, “I suppose it’s what you do after you’ve crossed the line that shows who you are.”


“What’ve you done?” She looked at me quizzically.


“Well… Charity’s given me a bunch of leaflets for some places,” I spoke up tentatively and she nodded her head, “Her and Dad have been looking at them for me. And I think I might do it, it might be nice to get some help rather than trying to do it myself. I’ve struggled alone for so long, maybe I need to admit to myself that I need help from someone else.”


“Have you read about them yet?” I looked up at her and nodded my head, letting my head fall on top of my knuckles on the armchair.


“Yeah. I read through them this morning,” I let out a tired yawn at having been up so early, “But the majority of them are too far away and I think that would make it worse for me, knowing how isolated I was.”


“Is that why you said you might have to give up your dream of becoming a Healer?” She blurted out after a couple of seconds of silence and I forgot I had shouted that out.
“If I use the money to pay for this, I’ll have to start from scratch saving up for the course again,” I sighed heavily, “I just don’t know what to do. Charity and Dad really want me to do this, I can see it on their faces but… it means giving up everything I’ve worked so hard for over the last year and a half.”


“Make the choice for yourself and not because Charity and Dad want you to,” she inputted wisely, “There’s no point in doing it if you’re doing it for someone else’s benefit. You’ve got to want to do it for yourself.”


“I know, I know,” I repeated her earlier words whilst waving my hand noncommittally at her, “But it’s my dream for so long.”


“Think about it this way, Elle,” she paused and looked at me seriously, “Which one do you think will benefit you in the long run? If you’re choosing the easy one because that’s all you’ve wanted to do… then you’re selfish.” Dad walked back into the room as soon as Norah had finished speaking and he looked between the two of us, noticing the tension. He narrowed his eyes a little when he noticed both of us had been crying but chose not to say anything.


“So… Teddy’s just been telling me you’ve made some good progress?” He started and I avoided looking at Norah so that I didn’t have to see her lie to his face.

 

An hour later…

 

“Visiting hours are over!” A young Healer hung her head in the doorway as she wandered down the corridor, shouting that sentence throughout the ward. Both Dad and I stood up at the same time but I let him say his goodbyes to Norah first, hanging behind the two awkwardly. As Dad let go and went to stand by the door, I stepped forward and wrapped my arms tightly around her back. The tears threatened to appear in my eyes again but I pushed them down, I had had enough of crying recently. I never realised have physically draining it was.


“It was great to see you, Norah.” I whispered, burying my head a little into her shoulder not wanting to let go. A part of me felt like if I let her go then she’d disappear and I’d never see her again.


“You too, Elle,” she whispered back and I could feel the smile on her face, “Don’t be selfish.” She added on even quieter so Dad wouldn’t hear and I pulled back nodded, seeing her give me a stern glance. We both waved at the door before walking along the corridor toward the entrance door we came in with all the other visitors. The door was left open but with two Healers on either side of the door just in case someone tried to escape and they were checking people’s bags as well. The walk back down to the apparition room was quiet and I could see out the corner of my eye that my Dad was trying not to ask what Norah and I had spoken about so I kept quiet. After being checked thoroughly for the third time today, we apparated back to our house and I felt this time went much better due to the fact I knew I had done it successfully before already.


“I’m just going to get some pizza delivered if that’s okay with you?” He said suddenly, startling me as we both shrugged our jackets and shoes off after stepping through the front door.


“Okay.” I responded monotonously.


“What kind do you want?” He asked whilst dialling the number into his phone.
“Whatever you get. I’m not fussed.” I said without looking at him and walking into my bedroom. The first thing that my eyes were drawn to was all the leaflets that were in my bin all piled on top of each other. Then my eyes found the one leaflet that I had left out on my bed for the centre in The Lakes.

 

“If you’re choosing the easy one because that’s all you’ve wanted to do then you’re selfish.”

 

Norah’s words popped into my head and I sat on my bed heavily, opened the leaflet and reading through it all again. Once I’d finished reading all the information that was written, I decided to research the place on the internet just to get a bit more of an idea what it was like. For some reason when I searched the name of the centre, I half-expected reviews to come up like when you’d search for a pizza place and was slightly disappointed when none of that sort of stuff came up. Except for their website. So I clicked on it and sat for God knows how long reading everything that was available on the website to try and help me make up my mind.



And as Dad called me to come and eat, I was slightly more able to come up with a decision and only slightly hate myself for doing it. Dad had laid out both pizza boxes on the table, one pepperoni and one bacon and ham, and was busy pouring him and me a glass of lemonade. I sat down in the same seat as last night and started digging in when he’d sat down too.


“What are your plans for tomorrow?” He asked conversationally and I looked up at him, not really expecting to neither be interested in what I was doing tomorrow nor speak to me during dinner.


“Erm… I was thinking about going to see Ginny and just explain,” I started nervously and he just nodded his head in acknowledgement, “A-and I was going to drop in the café and hand in my resignation…” I added on, steeling glances at him every now and then. His eyebrows rose up on his forehead and he stared at me quizzically.


“Oh…?” Was all he said.


“Because I-I’ve b-been thinking,” I paused and took a huge breath, staring at my pizza instead of him, “A-about a-applying for that Rehab Centre in The Lakes…” My face flushed with colour as I looked up at him finally and his eyebrows seemed to disappear into his receding hairline from shock. He obviously thought I wasn’t going to do that and apply for the Healer course. But what Norah had said really got to me and I realised that I needed to do this for myself otherwise I’d never get better for my own selfish reasons.



Instead of answering me, he stood up and disappeared into his bedroom for a few minutes before coming back out with a thick brown A4 envelope in his hands that looked awfully familiar. He sat back down at the table and we continued eating in silence, my eyes glancing at the envelope every now and again as my brain tried to remember where I’d seen it before.


“I-I’m proud of you, Elle,” he said suddenly and stuttered as if it was hard for him to say anything remotely affectionate to me, “I think you’ve made the right decision… and I hope you think so too,” he continued and I nodded my head, somewhat still unsure about it if I was honest, “When you come back… and when you’re ready, just come back and see me and we’ll get this sent off.” He slid the envelope over to me and I stared back at him with a confused look on my face. He just gestured his head towards it and I tentatively reached for it, slowly opening the top of the envelope as I felt the nervous make is round through my body. My heart dropped into my stomach when I saw my familiar writing and the title of the first sheet.

 

‘Application for The Ministry of Magic Course: Healing’

 

The thing that made the tears fall onto my face was the cheque that fell out onto the table when I pulled out the rest of the application. It was filled out with both Mum and Dad’s signatures and stated the exact amount of money that I needed to pay for it. Without thinking, I stood up from the table and launched myself at him. My arms wound round his neck as I sobbed into his shoulder and my hands scrunched the collar of his shirt into my fists. He didn’t do anything for a few seconds but gingerly wrapped his arms around me and we stayed like that for a few more minutes.


“Thank you,” I croaked out through my sobs, “Thank you for keeping it.” Again, he didn’t say anything and just kept hold of me until I had calmed down enough to let go of him, my face blushing for just pouncing on him with no warning.


“Let’s go and fill out your application, yeah?” He said quietly, leading me into his office/study area and switching on his computer. For the next couple of minutes he sat next to me, helping me fill it all in and I was glad he was there because if he hadn’t… I don’t think I would have ever gone through with this. And in a way, he was pushing me to do this because then I have someone who’s witnessing me do this and now I had no way to back out.

 

‘Application has been successfully submitted.’

 

I stared at the screen, a small smile on my face as my Dad patted my shoulder.

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