One last time.
One last apology.
One last regret.
Here we go.
Everything hurt, but it in a different sort of way. My heart ached with the opportunities and friends I had thrown away in one thoughtless, selfish act.
I couldn't go. I couldn't. I had to find a way.
And like always, I did. I spent seven hours that night in the library, reading endlessly. Every page that I turned was quickly blotched with tears.
Focus, Aura. You can do this.
My last act at Hogwarts would not be any harm to anyone, not even myself. No. I refuse.
At last, I finally was able to close the book. I was sweating like crazy, but this time I was excited. This could possibly be my last act of magic ever, but it sure was going to the best one.
And so, I pulled out my quill and began to write.
As soon as you opened this letter, the magic began to take effect. Please remain calm as I walk you through this.
You don't remember me, I know, but you must. My name is Laura Portalsman, but you know me by Aura.
And so I walked her through our time at Hogwarts. I told her about how we met early in the year, and instantly connected. I told her how I had saved her from Fenrir Greyback, only to later have her save my own life. In ways she could only imagine. I told her everything, even the fights and the disagreements. I wanted her to know. She had to know.
And so Charlie, I say this all for two purposes. One, to return your memory. Don't ask me how. It's highly illegal, as always. And two, to let you know this.
Charlie, dearest, darlingest Charlie. You are so funny, so kind, so honest.
Saying goodbye kills me, but thanks to you it won't. I promise, sweet girl, that even when I'm gone, I'll still love you. I promise.
Remember that. Someone always loves you. I love you. Sigmund loves you. Especially little Fuzzy; you couldn't fool me with that little boy for the world.
I'm sorry we grew apart this year. I love you. I love you endlessly. Please.
Every ounce of magic I have I poured into this letter. Every ounce of magic, but most importantly, every ounce of love. Because she deserved it. She deserved to be love, and to remember that she is loved.
Your best friend,
p.s. If you ever need me, find Sigmund and tell him it's time. He'll understand.
And now for Sigmund.
Sigmund's letter was quite a bit different. It was awkward, but two weeks in the Hospital wing without seeing him at all had awakened some feelings that weren't there before. I shook as I began to write his.
I love you. I've loved since the very moment you egged me into going into the Forbidden Forest with you.
Why tell you this now? Interesting question. I don't detect a great deal of happiness from you, Sigmund. You never talk about your family or your old friends. And so I decided that you, too, deserved to be loved. To know you're loved, in every way that it is possible to so ardently love someone. You are my best friend and my brother. I wanted more, yes, but I am glad to have had what I had.
The rest of the letter, I filled with every bit of knowledge I had. I gave him everything he couldn't need, and then a little something extra.
I tucked another envelope into his envelope; one addressed to a certain Laura Portalsman.
Sigmund, I know what I did was wrong, and I'm not going to make you use this letter. I think you already know what's inside of it.
Here's the deal: in one year, when you finish school, will you come find me and give me this? Please. At home, I have no one to love me. My father is awful to me, and magic was my only safe haven. Please. I want to know that I was loved to. Just like Charlie. Just like Grace. Just like you.
You know I can't live without you guys. Please don't make me wait too long.
I love you. And I hope for you.
I didn't know what to sign off as. "Your friend" seemed too little. I signed Aura. Because that's who I was. And he could decide what I was to him.
and now, for the last step. I pulled out my wand and whispered a silent spell. And then, I began to sob. A small the teardrops hit the page, I gave them everything. Every last drops of magic. Every last drop of love. Every last drop of hope.
Because I had those things now and they were mine to give.
I stopped outside of the entrance to the Hufflepuff Common Rooms, fingering the edge of my robes. Charlie had taught me the code to get in, but I hesitated to use it. What if she wouldn't see me? What is she was like all the others, and thought I was a danger.
But I knew she wasn't. She was Charlie. My best friend. She loved me, somewhere in there.
I tapped out the code and entered. The immediate response was silence, but I knew it wasn't because I was a Ravenclaw. I smiled weakly at Charlie, who wasn't staring like she had a seen a ghost.
"Charlie," I said in a hoarse tone, barely above a whisper. "Might I have a word?"
She opened her mouth slightly, obviously confused. Eventually, curiousity and sheer politeness got the best of her and she stood. I saw a girl gently touch Charlie's arm. "Be careful," was the whisper among friends. They thought I didn't notice, but man, I did.
We walked in nervous silence to Moaning Myrtle's bathroom, the safest place for a private conversation. No one came here.
"What do yeh need?" Charlie asked ever
so kindly, shuddering slightly in the chill.
I took a deep breath, voice shuddering, "I know you don't remember me, Charlie, but I definitely remember you. We sat together on the way here. We were attacked by a Death Eater named Fenrir Greyback and I used my magic to defeat him. You, Tim, Sigmund, Merida, and some others were trying to start a league of protection all because you were give a book, Harry Potter's book. A book we tried again and again to retrieve." Her eyes were uncomprehending and my voice broke, "Oh, don't you remember?"
She shook her head of red hair, tears welling up in her eyes now. "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I'm trying, j promise. I'm trying teh remember, just give me time."
I let out out a sob, I was in such pain. All I wanted was a hug. "I can't, don't you see?" And for the first time, I allowed my robes to fall back and expose my arms. I watched her take in every scar, and bruise, and I saw the pain in her eyes for me.
I looked to the ground, "I'm being sent home. They're wiping my memories and replacing them with Muggle ones. I won't remember magic, I won't remembers Quidditch. For all I know... I won't remember you.. or Sigmund... or anyone," I completely broke down into sobs and threw my arms around her. I couldn't contain it anymore. She stepped backwards and allowed me to fall. I sat there, dumbfounded and utterly broken.
It didn't last long. She helped me up, like angry hufflepuff and looked me straight in the eyes. Our eyes were so similar, and her eyes contained so much love.
"Look, I don't even know yeh. I don't even know ye're name, I don't know how we met, but I do know, from what you told me, this is all for the best. I know it hurts, but once you forget, it won't hurt anymore, right?"
I nodded, though not agreeing. Even the bad memories were part of me. "My name is Aura Portalsman, and we were really good friends before all of this, but I know you don't recall it. I was just- I don't know what to do. It's so hard and I don't want to leave this place, Hogwarts, my home. I don't want to go to my family. I'm ashamed of what I did to myself and I don't want anyone to look at me any differently because of it!"
"Oh, they won't!" She cried, "They'll take yeh in with login' arms an' do all they can teh help yeh. There's nothin' wrong with yeh, Aura. Ye're just growin' and learnin' and sometimes learnin' leaves a nasty scar. But scars heal just like any other wound. But it'll be alright. Yeh'll see."
Dearest Charlie. So kind. Too wonderful to be fully realized, perhaps. I went in for a hug,
slowly this time, to not alarm her, but she came in quicker and embraced me.
"Thank you, Charlie," I whispered into her shoulder, "I love you some much."
"I love you too," she said, and I know she meant it, even if she didn't remember it.
We pulled away and she leaned forwards, placing a single daisy behind my ear. I closed my eyes and sighed breathily, tears streaming freely. I wanted this to last forever. But it couldn't. The letter.
I pulled it from my pocket and gave it to her, "Normally, I wouldn't say read this when you're ready, but you're ready, Charlie. Please read it a second soon a second possible, but don't tell anyone else."
Charlie's curfew bell rang. I closed my eyes in pain.
"Do you have to go?" I asked. A selfish question perhaps.
She shook her head, "I don't want teh."
I purses my lips and pulled the smaller girl into a hug, "I know, but like you said, it's for the best. Besides, Hufflepuffs aren't supposed to get in trouble, right?" I added in a teasing tone. Old times, I thought.
"Aye, well I wish yeh luck. Ill keep trying for yeh. I'll keep fighting with yer friend, our friends. I won't forget you this time. I promise."
"I know you do," I said sadly, "now go on."
She turned to go and I broke into tears. Another goodbye.
Charlie turned back, "Do you have teh go?"
I shrugged my shoulders helplessly, "I don't have a choice."
She nodded slowly, "Well, like you said, it's for the best."
And then she turned and walked away from me. But I didn't blame her. I had hope this time.
Now for Sigmund.
(Part 2 coming soon)