Hogwarts, A Future

Sixteen Years After the War has Ended, Two Wizarding Schools Exist. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and Salem Academy
 
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 A Brand New After (closed)

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PostSubject: A Brand New After (closed)   Fri Nov 28, 2014 4:37 am

It had been one week since she turned of age; one week since she could legally use magic outside of school; and 7 days since she woke up to find herself alone. In all honesty, she wasn't too surprised as the days rolled by and there was no sign of her mother, not that she expected the woman to return - the room Cheryl had stayed in had been cleared, and there were two suitcases missing from their attic. It had taken Janique less than a day to adjust, and once she saw that her mother - if she could call her that - had at least left her most of the money, she found no point in trying to track down the witch. As long as Janique had means to survive on her own, there was no need wasting time and resources looking for someone who didn't care for you, and that was something the girl had learnt a long time ago, when pleas for her mother to try and contact her dad were ignored.

Going around the house, Janique spent a couple of days spring cleaning, placing everything and anything she did not want nor need in a huge pile before taking them all to the second hand shop and returning with a few salesmen, who collected those items she could not bring herself - her mother's bed and table were among the first to go, transforming the place to an empty room, with nothing but dust and paint flakes to keep it warm. As the days went by, more and more items were sold, until all that was left were things that Janique herself owned, or needed for survival (such as the pots and pans for cooking).

Every day she faced with a smile, almost as though her mother's leaving was but a reason to celebrate. Not once did Jani cry, maintaining a cheerful attitude, be it at school or home alone. Even when, in the dark corners of the attic, she discovered old photographs of her parents, she did not shed any tears, instead taking pleasure in using the smiling, waving, dancing, kissing, and moving images as starters for the fire she burned every night to keep the place warm as she did her homework in front of the fireplace.

Realizing that her money would not last forever, she took up a modelling job during her spare time, using her veela blood to her advantage yet again; displaying her body for the camera was something that soon became a norm for her. It wasn't till just past two months later that she invited Callum over and, wordlessly showing him around the place, let him into her secret of her situation. They spent the rest of the day discussing things.

That night, at a nearby pub, Janique sat alone - at her insistence - and, in a secluded booth at the back, made a toast. "For you mum and dad," she muttered softly, lifting the glass of butterbeer higher towards the empty seat opposite, "wherever the hell you are." Rolling her eyes and smiling dryly, she finished her drink and, calling over the waiter, ordered another one.

Returning home way past midnight, but not drunk - she made a promise never to do that to herself - she sat on the edge of her bed, and, for the first time in years, slid out the diary her father had bought for her when she was much, much younger. Opening it to a clean page, she gently ran her finger over the tip of the feather of her quill, before dipping it into the bottle of ink and pressing down onto the lined paper.

*
I have not heard from my father in 9 years. I haven't heard from my mother in 9 weeks. The only reason I am still using those terms is because they formed me, they made me. Other than that, Dustin is not my dad, and Cheryl is not my mom. In fact, the day that Dustin decided he wasn't going to be my dad any longer, Cheryl too stopped being my mom.

I've always referred to the time before he left as the 'Before', because it was when things were happy and nothing was wrong. The After, is pretty obvious. But now I think there are two Befores and two Afters - one for Dustin and one for Cheryl.

One Before was good, one Before was bad; one After was bad, the other is good. I'm sure it is obvious which is which. But just in case, if the impossible happens, and one of my parents comes back, then maybe I need to spell it out, because I doubt either of you have the intelligence to make a guess. This is, in that sense, my final letter goodbye. After this, I do not wish to have anything to do with either of you, so if you have come back, and you are reading this, I do not want you to find me. I am happy on my own.

The first Before was when dad was still my dad. When he - you, if it is Dustin who is reading this, - left on my 9th birthday, that became the first After. That first After was bad, because when Dustin - you - left, mom - you - left too. She - you - would drink and come home with different men. You were there in body, but you were not my mother, not the person whom I called 'mom', not the person who comforted me and played silly games with me.

True, that had always been you, dad. So when you left, you took mom with you. I would come home to this stranger that called herself my mother passed out on the couch, or not home at all, bottles everywhere. Or, I'd come home and there would be a new man she would introduce as a 'friend'. Honestly, how stupid do you think I am, Cheryl?

This first After is also the second Before. Before she - you - left, too. On my 17th birthday, when I turned of age. Now I am in the second After, and this After is good. The first After, and the second Before, was not. It's funny how life works, and the irony of it all. I used to think all Befores were good, but now I see that a Before can be both good, and bad. It's the same with After.

I think.. I think I have said all that needs to be said. I do not need to explain myself and my actions to you, and I do not want an explanation from you. This is my After to enjoy, this is my life now. You have chosen not to be a part of it and I do not want to ever see or hear from you again, ever. You both exist only in the Before, and this is Now, this is After. You have no business in this time period. The past is the past, and that is all you are to me.

If by some sheer miracle you come across this, I can say nothing or do nothing but thank the both of you for giving me the best present I have ever received - my freedom. Live your life, and I'll live mine.

*

Neatly tearing out the two pages, she folded them in half and slid them into a plain white envelope. The paper was charmed - that was why it was an expensive notebook - so as not to ever get old and brittle. Placing a seal over the flap of the envelope, she turned it around and wrote 'Dustin and Cheryl' in capital letters, and placed it on her bedside table, under a rock that acted as a paper weight.

Standing up, she grabbed her wand and muttered under her breath, levitating the bags that lay silently by the door of her wardrobe. Walking downstairs with the suitcases floating behind her, following her as she left her room for the last time, she met Callum in the living room.

"Ready?" he asked, and she nodded, not wanting to say anything in that moment.

Together, they left, heading for a new country altogether, to start a new life. Maybe, just maybe, this After would be a happy one for the girl who has known nothing but Befores.
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