Our Hearts Beat as One- A Harry Potter FanFiction
Set in 1979, when Voldemort is at the height of his power. This is only going to be two chapters long. I meant it to last one chapter, but got carried away. :P
"...You-Know-Who and his followers sent the Dark Mark into the air whenever they killed. The terror it inspired...you have no idea, you’re too young. Just picture coming home and finding the Dark Mark hovering over your house, and knowing what you’re about to find inside... Everyone’s worst fear...the very worst."
“Hello there.” She said softly, as she reached for the newspaper that it carried. The owl fixed its eyes on hers, glaring at her soundlessly. Mara’s smile faltered, and she dropped the owl’s pay into its leather pouch without another word. When this was done, it ruffled its feathers, as though preparing itself for the cold, and spreading its wings, soared through the open window into the swirling grey clouds that shrouded the sky. Mara turned away from the window and sat back down at the table where she had been waiting moments before. She spread the Daily Prophet out in front of her, and scanned the front page. It was the same as always: Ministry officials in a panic, reports of deaths and torture, and chaos and destruction written off as natural disaster in order to please the muggle population.
Mara turned the page and allowed her eyes to drift across the words, not really taking anything in. It seemed as though every day, someone she knew went missing, or was revealed to have been handing over information to the Death Eaters. She wondered vaguely which of her friends would be the next to lose someone they held dear. As her mind wandered, the room seemed to grow colder. Not until a breeze caused the newspaper to tumble out of her hands did she realise with a shock that she had left the window wide open. Fear tightened her muscles and, as though in a frenzied trance, she rushed to the window and slammed it shut before she even realised she had done so. Instantly, the temperature in the room rose by a few degrees. She felt a strong urge to draw the blinds shut, as an added precaution, but dismissed the thought. She let out a nervous laugh. It was silly, really. If anyone was coming for her, a window was hardly going to stop them. That reminded her, she really ought to reinforce the protective charms around the house. Not that it would help. Not that anything could help her against-
She cut the thought off there. No one was coming for her. She was no one special, why should anyone try to hurt her? No, the charms were only to ensure the safety of her children. If it hadn’t been for them, she really wouldn’t have bothered with them at all. No one was coming to kill her. She was safe.
A dark thought crossed Mara’s mind. She hadn’t seen her children yet this morning, nor had she heard so much as a whisper from them. Shouldn’t they be awake by now? Shouldn’t they be with her?
But before she could begin to panic, she heard a familiar creaking of stairs from the next room. A wave of relief washed over her as she turned to see her daughter climbing down the stairs, her shoulders slouched.
“Morning Eliza.” Mara said, forcing her voice to seem casual.
“Hi Mum.” Her daughter replied, before stifling a yawn.
“How did you sleep?” Mara asked, in what she hoped was a pleasant tone. Eliza stopped suddenly at the foot of the stairs, and her eyes reached Mara’s own. She seemed to stare at her, with a gaze that was unsettlingly similar to that of the post owl’s, and her eyes, which were red and lined with dark shadows, seemed to say “How can you possibly ask me that? Don’t you know? Aren’t you haunted by the same terrifying nightmares as I am each night?” Mara could not hold her daughter’s gaze. She lowered her eyes, the feeling the beginnings of shame bubbling in the pit of her stomach. Eliza slouched her way across the room and slumped in front of the fireplace. It was a large, Victorian-style fireplace that looked distinctly out of place in what was otherwise a very ordinary house. In fact, it was a relatively new instalment. The house had been built for muggles, after all, and so there had been no need for anything other than an electric fireplace until Mara had married the house’s sole occupant, a muggle named Tim Barkham, and moved in.
Mara took a seat in front on the fireplace, facing Eliza. Her eyes hesitated briefly over her daughter’s sharp features, which were turned resolutely towards the crackling fire, before landing on the carpet at her feet. Mara waited for a moment, and the silence seemed to thicken. Then, she said, “Is your brother awake yet?”
For a few moments, Eliza did not respond. Mara shifted uncomfortably in her seat while she waited for an answer. The fire crackled quietly, but somehow seemed to give off only a tiny amount of heat. Finally, Eliza muttered, “He’s not my brother.”
Mara blinked, taken aback for only a moment. Then she sighed. It was true, of course, that Charlie was only Eliza’s half-brother, but she wished Eliza would open up her heart and be able to think of Charlie as a brother, nonetheless.
“Is Charlie awake yet?” She said, calmly, as though their previous exchange had not taken place at all. Once again, Eliza did not answer at once, nor did she remove her gaze from the flames that danced before her eyes. The silence seemed to stretch on for an eternity, and when Eliza opened her mouth, Mara feared for a moment that she would say something spiteful; but instead she only said, “He’ll be here soon.”
Sure enough, almost as soon as Eliza had spoken there came the sound of footsteps on the stairs, and a blond-haired boy emerged, looking far more cheerful that his half-sister.
“Morning.” He called happily, to no one in particular, and trotted energetically across the room. Mara stood as he approached her, and made to wrap her arms around him, but he pulled a sour face and dodged her playfully. Mara forced a laugh, and sat down again. Charlie joined Eliza on the floor before the fire, much to Eliza’s displeasure. Mara bit her lip, looking at her hands, which were folded neatly in her lap, in an attempt to avoid meeting her son’s eyes. Although she would never admit it to anyone, her son’s actions had caused a dull stab of pain in her chest. She sometimes forgot that he was no longer an infant, but a ten year old boy; a boy who was growing up far too quickly. Mara wondered dully if he would ever let her hold him in her arms like the child that she would always believe him to be again, and how long it would be before she became nothing more than something old-fashioned and embarrassing, a nuisance to be hidden from his friends, and those that he loved. Those that he loved, that were not her.
The words tumbled out of her mouth before she could stop them. “You know I love you.” She said. “Both of you, and I’ll always love you, no matter what.”
“I know, Mum.” Charlie said, gazing at her curiously. Beside him, Eliza stiffened slightly. She said nothing, but bowed her head slightly in acknowledgement. Mara gazed at her daughter despairingly. What had she done wrong? Why did her daughter find it so hard merely to look at her? Questions tumbled through her mind, each of them tugging a little harder than the last or her heartstrings, but no answers came to her. Over the past six months, her daughter’s mind had become like the bottom of the ocean: something unfathomable, and impossible to penetrate or understand. Mara yearned to look into her daughter’s heart and find the thing that could make her love again, but day by day, Eliza had been distancing herself from her family, spending more and more time away from home, or locked in her bedroom. Mara understood the depths of her daughter’s mind no more than she understood the darkness that lay beneath a dementor’s hood.
She felt tears stinging her eyes, and immediately pushed such thoughts of her daughter out of her mind. She was determined, at least, to seem strong in front of her family. Mara turned her gaze instead to Charlie, who was still watching her with a mixture of concern and curiosity. She offered him a weak smile, which he gave a vain attempt at returning. He had inherited all of his father’s optimism, as well as his caring nature, and not to mention, his appearance. Charlie’s father was a tall, heavily built man, with a strong jaw and large eyes that always seemed to see that you were upset. For almost eleven years now, Mara had been married to him, and he had long since proven to be loyal and reliable. Eliza’s father, on the other hand, could not have been more different. Alex had been thin and lanky, with a slightly pinched face and sharp, fiery eyes that would bore right into your soul if you dared look into them for too long. He had never been very reliable, and his often-reckless behaviour had more than once lead to accusations of carelessness, but the fiery and passionate nature that was reflected in his eyes had drawn Mara to him, as it had drawn countless hopeful girls before her.
Although she disliked admitting it, Mara had become pregnant before she had been engaged to Alex. Their marriage had been rushed, and was more for the sake of the baby than for love. They had, inevitably, been divorced only two years later, but that had not stopped Eliza from forming an unbreakable bond with her father. She had made regular visits to him on weekends, and when she had become older, had often went to see him by herself during the week. They shared a certain energy and love of life that made them utterly inseparable. Mara had always known that Eliza loved Alex far more than she loved her, and although her daughter did her best to hide it, it was clear that she resented her mother for marrying again. Alex had never been married in the fourteen years that they had been apart, and Eliza seemed to take this as a sign of respect for the relationship they had once had.
It had been six months now since Alex had been killed, only a few days after Eliza’s sixteenth birthday, Mara could vividly remember reading the news for the first time. He had been caught in a large attack on a muggle town. What he had been doing there, Mara could not guess, but his life had been swept aside as carelessly as that of an insect. All of his passion, his fire, his laughter and rage, had been extinguished in the space of a heartbeat. Eliza had rejected the news when Mara had first delivered it to her, refused to believe it, and tried desperately to find a way around his death, but when the news had finally sunken in, something inside of her broke. As readily as her father’s life had been snuffed out, her own passion and energy seemed to disappear. At first, Mara had resolved that all her daughter needed was space and time to be alone. However, six months later Eliza was still receding further and further into the recesses of her own mind. While she had once been social and confident, she now chose to spend more and more time locked away in her bedroom, or walking the streets of London, trapped in her own world of misery an solitude. Piece by piece, Eliza was building a wall that was cutting her off from the rest of humanity, and Mara could find no way to save her.
A.N) If anyone could help me out with alternative names for the title, I'd really appreciate it. I don't feel like the one I have now relates enough the the story, and I feel like it might give the impression the story's a romance...which it isn't. :3
Haha, anyway, thanks for reading so far. The second and final part witll be uploaded within a few days. :)