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Topics - Elsie Märchen

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Past Workshop Prompts / [prompt 1] blond hair, blue eyes
« on: 12/31/2016 at 04:37 »
September 1st, 1966 -- continuing from this thread
Platform 9 3/4

First year, Elsie had come at the last minute. She had told herself it was a bad idea, too telling and too painful. She thought it would be easier to see the clock tick down his departure to the wonder of the Castle from her own bedroom, but in the end the thought of missing his expression when the train started up and pulled away from the station dragged her from the floor to the station. Just a glance, she had told herself, like his wonder could be experienced in a split second between Apparations and Elsie could take it all in and feel better for it.

Bursting onto the platform one minute before the train left, she caught the lightness of his hair and his carefree laughter. Wild, like his mother’s, and it hurt as much as it lifted her pale blue eyes to search for him. Charles waved goodbye to his father from a window, wiping lipstick (she didn't dare think who's) from his perfect face while Elsie smiled. Their eyes met briefly and he smiled, but he would never know she was here for him. Elsie waved helplessly and left before his father could figure out who he looked at.

It had gotten easier after that. She told herself it had gotten easier. It had to get easier.

It was his fourth year now. A late birthday made him older than a lot of his classmates, and he stood proud and tall midst their bobbing heads. Easy to spot on the platform, surrounded by his friends and someone from his family. Elsie leaned against the old brick wall, out of the way of the mill of students, and the gushing parents. Quiet, like every year. A wordless smile and wave was all she needed before leaving once more. Friend of my father’s, was how she heard him explain to his friends years previous, and she had Apparated there before he could see her crying.

Elsie had told herself to stop coming. That he would question why she appeared every September, but Elsie typically used the excuse of her own large clan to dismiss the inquiry when it came up. Typically one Märchen or another ran around the thin platform, finding friends and deserting parents. That one year he wouldn’t notice her, and wouldn’t that be worse? It wouldn’t, though, because Elsie knew it would be worse to think she had passed up the chance to see him.

To see the Hogwarts Express take her secret child to a Castle bigger than he could imagine to teach him how much bigger the world was. That it wasn’t all vaulted ceilings that Elsie had floated him up to, or the plush beds they had jumped on (and fallen off of), the sweeping staircase she had chased him up, or the long dining hall they shouted down to each other. Everything she couldn’t teach him. Never would teach him.

Hermes had never said anything that first year, perhaps because he understood her burning desire to see their son leave for his first year. He never brought it up the second year either. It made it easier, but if Hermes had asked her, Elsie might had admitted there was nothing more she wanted than to be the one to see him off — but, that would raise too many questions, and they knew it was too risky. It was better he didn’t ask.

Another blonde head made through the crowd, back pin straight and robes of obvious rich design. Elsie couldn’t help but snort slightly as the young mother gathered her child up in her arms - blond like Charles - and tearfully put him on the train. Some gibberish on letter-writing and being careful, the nonsense all mothers spouted (not that she would know, really, and not that she ever listened to her mother). The woman, couldn’t be past thirty-five, retreated to the wall beside Elsie, waving anxiously towards the bubbly boy who hung out the window.

“Is it his first year?” she asked, surprising herself and the woman.

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