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HP stories following Canon but PRE-OotP >> A Light in the Attic by Luna26

Simple Text - To view MORE chapters use the chapter jump box to the right.
A/N: hey guys, this is a new idea I was toying with... please, any criticism (constructive, that is) is welcomed whole-heartedly. This is just an idea as for now. Let me know what you think! -Luna

I breathe in and out, deeply, heavily, and find myself choking on the dust up here. The gabled roof is barely holding up against the pounding rain. What a dreary Tuesday. My hair is frizzy with humidity and beads of sweat are gathering on my cheeks and nose due to the sweltering heat of this stuffy attic.

Once again, I find myself locked in here, sitting on an old chest of drawers, staring out of the tiny window into the gray clouds that cover the sky. It’s miserable in here. There’s barely any light, and since I’m not yet seventeen and can’t use my wand, I desperately hope someone lets me out before it gets dark; this little room is even spookier in darkness. I glance around at the gray-drenched contents of the room; old, broken toys are piled high in one corner, and an even older wooden wardrobe with a cracked mirror lays propped against an adjacent wall. Other than that, the room is bare, an expanse of empty rough wood, save for me and this empty set of drawers, and dust, endless dust.

I slide off easily, careful not to kick up too much dust, move across the room, and by the light from the window, seat myself and begin to sift through old toys.

“This was mine,” I say aloud, although I am alone. The eerie silence that follows sends shivers up my spine. I grip the little wooden doll in my hand tightly and breathe deeply again. To keep my fears at bay, I half-hum, half-sing a little tune to myself, barely recalling the words, but feeling comforted by it at the same time. I stare into the faded paint that was the face of the doll. All of her wool hair is missing, replaced by empty holes that once held the strands in place. Her left arm is missing. I cradle her gently and hold her to the light.

“Andie,” Bella barked, imposing even as a nine year old, “you really ought to give me back that doll. Mama said it’s for good children only.” I, as a seven year old in my memory, shook my head furiously at my older sister, gripping the doll tightly.

“No,” I retorted “It’s mine!” It was, it was my favorite doll, I remember vaguely. Bella smirked, her face so like mine, even then, yet at the same time, so different.

“Andie, Mama
did say that only good children could have toys,” Cissy cut in superiorly. She was two years my inferior, but never acted it. I refused to answer the blond and held fast to… Molly. Her name was Molly; my doll, that is. Bella leaned forward and, angered now, savagely ripped it from me, leaving me with merely the arm. I erupted into sobs of rage, dropping the arm.

“What’s happening?!” my mother demanded, coming from the parlor to our playroom and surveying the scene before her. Before I could rein myself into to even utter a word, Bella had spoken.

“Andie is blaming me for breaking her doll!” she exclaimed, her gray eyes steely and cold. My mother raised an eyebrow dangerously at me, then glanced expectantly at Cissy. My younger sister sat, glancing between Bella and I contemplatively, then seemed to resolve. Pushing her stark blond mane from her face, she looked my mother squarely in the eye, something that I could not, to this day, ever do.

“Bella’s lying. She tried to take Andie’s doll, and it’s arm popped off,” she answered blankly. Bella raged silently at her, while I thanked my lucky stars. “Andie wasn’t supposed to be playing with toys anyways,” she added tonelessly, and returned to flipping through some magazine absently. My mother glared at me furiously.

“I thought I warned you; children who play with muggles are not permitted toys of any kind!” she shrieked at me, the vein in her forehead throbbing, her eyes identical to Bella’s. She was referring to the incident the day before, I recall, where I was caught playing hopscotch with a few of my muggle friends in town. Obviously, my mother was still furious. My older sister stood beside her, her face smug and vicious, a spitting image of my father, but like my mother in almost every other way.

“Yes, Andromeda… children who play with Muggles are not permitted toys of any kind!” she echoed, her voice dripping with satisfaction.

“Shut up,” my mother growled sidelong, then grabbed my arm and yanked me up the stairs, and for the first time, locked me in this very attic.

The memory ends abruptly and here I am, kneeling in on a dusty wooden floor, holding Molly. My stockings are now covered in a thin layer of dust, as is my skirt, and most likely my blouse and brown curls. The light’s fading quickly now, and a cold panic makes me shiver even in the impossibly hot July evening. It’s so dreary; fitting that it would be today that Bella gets married. A dreary day for a dreary wedding.

A dreary day for a seventeenth birthday.

I realize suddenly that it is, indeed, my seventeenth birthday. And that tonight is, indeed the night. The cold fear drops back into its lair in my stomach and remains unseen. I stand suddenly, whipping out my wand from my pocket and lighting the tip, feeling a little stupid for not realizing this before hand. I was filled with purpose suddenly, and I cross the rectangular space to the window, throwing it open and leaning out expectantly when I reach it. It’s stopped raining now, but heavy dark clouds cover the blue sky. I search the gray expanse thoroughly. They should be here soon… I muse silently. I throw both legs over the window sill and prop myself up there, waiting. My mind wanders to all that is coming, the approaching final year at Hogwarts, my sister’s marriage, Narcissa’s sure-to-be engagement to that awful Malfoy, and finally, how this all started.

I reflect on the drastic contrasts and dramatic changes of the past month or so. This idea, this expectation that preoccupied me so, had begun here, in the room I was now standing in hopefully for the last time, the dusty penitentiary that was the attic of the Black Manor. I breathe in the deep summer dusk, and through the clouds, I see a shaft of sunset break through, just for a moment, but its rays hit me. I close my eyes for a moment and my mind wanders back to June…

A/N: TY to all who had read this far... please leave a review and tell me your thoughts! Thanks!

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