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100quills #48

November 15th, 2008 (09:42 am)

Title: Just Trying to Help
Fandom: Harry Potter 
Characters: Ariana D, Albus D
Prompt: #48 Pressure
Word Count: 782
Rating: G
Summary: He does everything for her own good.  It's just a pity they don't see eye to eye on what's good.
Table link: http://airelement.livejournal.com/72127.html


"I just want to help you, Ari."

The hated sentence. The coaxing string of words combining cajolement, coaxing and pressure with genuine concern. I know he cares, most of the time at least. But Albus wants me to do things his way, think his way and be the person he thinks I need to be. I know that everything he tries to make me do or be is for my own good, but I don’t want his dream of perfection.

Albus wants me to move on and be able to do magic again. He wants me to let go of childhood and go to Hogwarts and take over the task of caring for myself. I’ve lost count of the number of times he’s tried to explain why I’d be happier that way. But I don’t want greatness or glory. I don’t see the world in the same way that he does. I just want to be Ari forever, and I wish Albus would just let me be, as Aberforth does.

Sometimes, I think Albus hates me. I don’t know whether he realises that I don’t want to change, or whether he just thinks that he’s burdened forever with a damaged sister, but I wish he wouldn’t keep trying to coax me into letting go of this. Although I’m not sure what ‘this’ is, I don’t want to give it up. It’s as much part of me as magic is part of him.

I hate the pressure. I hate the soft words and the words of praise. I hate wearing dark, grown-up dresses and shoes with heels like Mother did. I hate magical stories and I hate it even more when Albus looks hurt and tells me he’s just trying to help me, and that he knows what’s good for me better than I do. I just want to stay this way, a lost little girl holding herself clear of that which I fear. I don’t want to become Albus’ perfect sister and it terrifies me when I please him, because I worry that I might have inadvertently let go.

"Do you hate me, Ari?"

It’s been a long time. I’ve lost count of the number of full moons that have passed in this quiet place that’s the once-busy playground near home. I pass the time on the swings and the climbing frame, hoping that I’ll meet someone I know someday soon.

Albus never climbed up to sit on the railing above the swings before. He looks old, now, and I wonder how long I’ve been waiting for him.

"You left me alone," I accuse him, and watch a spasm of pain cross his face. I don’t know whether I feel bad or not about that. I don’t want to hurt him, but I’m so angry…

"This isn’t somewhere I could follow you," he replies. He sounds old too; tired and weak. I wonder when he aged so much.

"Why?" I demand. "Even your blond friend visited me a few moons ago, before he went off on an adventure somewhere. But you and Aberforth haven’t come to see me once."

"Do you remember me telling you that death is the next great adventure?" Albus asks. It takes a few moments before I realise what he means.

"What happened to you?" I ask.

"I’m an old man, Ari. Death comes to all of us," he says soothingly. I can tell he’s lying, and it makes me angry.

"You’re lying to me, even in death?" I ask him furiously. "You’ve always lied to me. You said I’d be happy if I did things your way. Well, I wasn’t, and you were wrong. You’re not as perfect as you think and you don’t know everything!"

I’ve never said anything like that to him before. I don’t feel bad, although I know I will when the anger wears off. Maybe I should have said it a long time ago when it might have made a difference.

"Do you hate me?" That’s the second time he’s asked me that. It’s odd hearing such a childlike question from Albus. He’s always been the most grown up person I know.

I think seriously about it. I can’t decide whether I love him or hate him.

"I hate what you did to me," I say finally. "I hate that you tried to take my personality away from me. But… I don’t know… you’re my brother and I love you for that. I don’t know."

It’s the most I’ve ever told him. I never wanted to hurt him before. I still don’t, I think. I just don’t know.

"I’m sorry." I never thought I’d hear Albus apologise. Maybe he’s changed. I hope.


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Posted at: October 25th, 2009 05:59 pm (UTC)


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Posted at: April 15th, 2011 05:45 am (UTC)

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