"Bye bye baby. Time to hit the road to Dreamland."-Shirley Jones
***********************************************************************It had been hidden away, out of eyesight to the everyday onlooker but I can feel its pull; I know it resides somewhere in here, I just can’t pinpoint the exact location. I tear through my grandmother’s house (that I’ve been squatting in for the past decade) in search of the object, a magical extension of myself I hadn’t thought of in years.
Oh, who am I kidding, I think of it all every day. My wasted time and talent, all those years I studied and sought employment in the wizarding world only to end up in a common muggle job. I had it all: awards, recognition, the smarts to rival that know-it-all Granger but the only thing I lacked was motivation. I am nothing more than a pathetic nobody now, couldn’t hack it as a witch and certainly can’t hack it as a lowly researcher in my current timeline. Embarrassed as to my ultimate failure in making something of myself, I cut off ties to all classmates and teachers then parted ways with my family once war broke out in England. Though their Dark Lord fell, one had arisen in the states as Death Eaters fled their country to seek refuge here. I cowardly hid from them all, not having the gall to Obliviate my own family for their protection but instead spent the last several years failing at life. I thought I had done an adequate job of hiding myself amongst the muggle community but apparently finding a fellow classmate on my doorstep a moment ago proved otherwise.
“It is time. We’ve all been called.”
And with that, she vanished, leaving me to figure out just exactly where I’ve been called to when on the horizon I heard it, the telltale signs of a wizard battle. No time to let my stomach bottom out I sprang into action. Leaving my grandmother’s house wide open to attack, I made my way around the first floor debating whether I shrunk my wand to fit inside a pen or disguised it as a sword.
Now with my uncle’s old room thoroughly ransacked I find the pen and immediately start to disassemble it to retrieve my wand though I can’t seem to remember the spell to bring it back to its original size. I spy an odd looking sword as well and grab it out of the leather sheath. Inside I find a wand-not mine but my brother’s-and pocket it as I bound out of the house. I rattle off mumbled spells in hopes to find the one that helps my poor shrunken wand as I head toward the park where other magical folk seem to be gathering before they charge into battle. I hear a loud POP and I turn to find my estranged brother standing on the crest of the hill nearest me. He looks a bit dazed having partaken in side-along apparition with some Irish bloke that scurries off the moment he touches down.
Christopher and I lock eyes and I lob his wand at him. He catches it effortlessly but then blanches at it as if he doesn’t remember what exactly this piece of Birchwood and unicorn hair symbolizes. I haven’t seen him since he left home for Platform 9 ¾ in 1994. He barely returned for holidays while away in Europe and when he did, I made sure to stay at my American wizarding academy. Sure, Salem Witches Institute may not be as widely known as Hogwarts, but I think I deserved a place in the most famous school rather than where I landed. Being resentful didn’t suit my personality; therefore I made it a point to lose contact with the lucky chit. Later on I learned through the grapevine that he met a nice girl in University and decided to stay on in England. It made avoiding him much easier.
He looks at me like he’s seen a ghost and technically, I am. A ghost of a childhood’s past.
“Well go on, give it a whirl. We haven’t got all day,” I say impatiently. I’m not sure how I came to have his wand in my possession anyway but at some point I must have hidden it for a specific reason. Maybe being a coward is genetic since I know for a fact he did not aide Hogwarts in the final battle against Voldemort. We must be in terrible trouble if they’re scraping the bottom of the cauldron in order to find us two dunderheads to fight in this war.
“When do I get a gun?” Christopher asks. I can’t help it but my jaw drops at this.
“We don’t use guns! We use wands!” He stares at me and I continue, “don’t you remember any of your spells from your days at Hogwarts?” I notice the tang of bitterness upon saying his alma mater’s name. “Alohomora? Confundo? Obscuro? Any of these ring a bell?”
He scrunches his brow at this. “I went there for a year and that was it,” he says disgusted. I had no idea my brother ignored his calling as a wizard but before I can even get angry at this notion, I realize we’re short on time as a red spell gone astray whizzes by my head.
“Just use Sectumsempra,” I say in a rush, waving my left arm in the wand motion for it and then turning my attention back towards the approaching doom heading our way.
“What does it do?” he asks curiously, turning over his wand in his hands, completely unsure as to how he got himself into this mess.
“It cuts people like crazy, now go!” I say as I head down the hill to the street yet he still stands there, not making any move to join the fight. “Just keep casting it!” I yell back at him as I crash into the oncoming chaos. I am so preoccupied with the swarm of angry witches and wizards that in my haste I forget to reteach him Protego, a simple shield charm. I just hope he stays on the offense.
With a simple swish and flick, I send a silent Wingardium Leviosa in the direction of a massive magical tank. It lifts off the ground and I fully intend to fling it into oblivion but it wobbles a few feet in the air then crashes back into the street as my spell releases. It’s exhausting to hold fast to that amount of magic and I watch in fear as the tank continues down the avenue, wreaking havoc as muggles scatter for shelter like cockroaches.
This can’t be happening. We can’t possibly win like this. As I try to cast the spell again, a dark figure across the way catches my eye. He knows.
We all know.
If I’m here, if I’m the last resort…chances are things have already gone horribly wrong.