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Author Topic: Ghost of Time Warp Past | Newton  (Read 81 times)

* Bridgit Wilkinson

    (08/07/2017 at 23:44)
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Continued from these prompts: 1 2



Newton MacDonald. Newton MacDonald. The vowels and consonants shouldn't even piece together because that name, well that name wasn't one Anne was even supposed to know. Maybe that's why there was such a buzzing in her ears. It was the equivalent to a curse which made being stunned a completely normal side effect.

Though that didn't last.

"You're-" When had her hands become damp? Anne didn't sweat, didn't get nervous. She had perfected a cool exterior but now her palms wiped against the slick fabric of her traditional cut wizarding robes to disperse the excess moisture.

"You're supposed to be dead." There was no stuttering the second time as shock passed through to a growing anger. Her cheeks flushed, the curse of a redhead to display every emotion, and her fingers curled in tight. "That's the only way it's fair, the only way it makes sense..."

An aching sense of betrayal was desperately clawing to the surface. Anne swore for a second she could even smell the exact overly sweet grape that had been the hallmark of her little sister's shampoo. Her jaw was clenched tight against the burning in her eyes. Today was supposed to be simple. Why couldn't it have stayed that way?

Newton MacDonald

    (08/08/2017 at 00:19)
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Time seemed to stand still- not much of a change for Newt.  He practically lived in this state much of the time.  He could read a book in this space.  For example:

This woman before him- Sarah Anne, according to the letter all those years ago.  But she preferred Anne, it seemed.  She had sweaty palms, and a fierceness held back by... fear?  She'd taken her mother's foibles and exaggerated them.  Held them in caricature, with her fiery red hair and pink, emotive skin; no more able to hide them than hide the moon.

That was a trait from her father.

No, he flinched, that isn't fair to her.  To any of us.  He may have donated his genetics, but he was no father.  While it was amusing that the girl hadn't decked him yet, despite her urges to do so (Bridgit would have)- it also marked something of her upbringing.  Calm in the storm. 

That was her mother's trait.

"You're supposed to be dead.  That's the only way it's fair, the only way it makes sense..."

So, she knew about him.  He had tested the waters with his name- it meant his mother had told her about him.  Warned her, more like, he thought darkly.  One fine mess of a life spilled over into messy lives.  His sloppiness was her suffering.  He wondered, suddenly, if she was studying him the way he was her- if she was aware like him.  She was Ravenclaw, after all.  Perhaps she could be reasoned with.

He smiled weakly,  "Maybe I am dead."  A long pause, his eyes never wavering, "Perhaps I died years ago, miles away, hopeless and helpless.  It would explain things..."

* Bridgit Wilkinson

    (08/08/2017 at 02:37)
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There was a tremble to her lips as she listened to her father speak. If he had only stayed... Her mother never would have married a muggle, had a muggle daughter. There would have been no family for Anne to lose. If he had only stayed she would've had a fully wizarding childhood - an honest claim to being halfblood, at the very least.

If only he had stayed there might not have been secrets lurking in the corners.

She might not be in a candleshop, desperately looking for a birthday gift for her mother's dinner that evening.

Blue eyes drifted and darted, taking in every sight. Finally there was a source for her red hair, an explanation for her freckles. There was even a reason, she could see as he talked, for the small gap between her upper teeth.

"There aren't enough explanations in the world," she replied curtly. Her life had been devoid of big explanations for longer than she could remember. Her face, her name, her magic. Everything she'd gained and everything she'd lost was beyond her own explanation because her parents held the keys. A thumb swiped under her eye, escaping surprisingly dry.

A dull peal echoed outside as the Crystal Clocktower marked the time. Anne tore her eyes away from Newt to race over a clock. Her lunch hour was almost up and her task was incomplete and magnitudes more complicated. She didn't know if this was an opportune escape or dreadful interruption.

"I-" didn't know what to say, what to call him. Brutal honesty would be best. "I don't know if I can do this." Blue eyes flashed back to meet his gaze. It was never easy to rewrite twenty plus years of understanding.

Newton MacDonald

    (08/08/2017 at 07:48)
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"There aren't enough explanations in the world,"

There were two types of questions in this world, as Newton understood them: questions to which the asker already knows the answer (a test); and questions to which the asker knows it not (an inquiry, and in it's own way, a different kind of test).  There were questions hanging in the air today- they were as clear as if plastered to the wall, or trailing behind her like lace.

But which kind were they?

This woman before him- his daughter, he kept reminding himself- was hurt.  Confused.  Betrayed.  And in her eyes Newton saw what he'd seen so many years before.  His sister, through the magic of the dagger he had possessed- that same hurt.  The same confusion and betrayal.  In his dogged (but ultimately fruitless) pursuit to save her, he had damned her.  Twice, by the look of this woman, her doppelganger, before him.

"I- I don't know if I can do this."  The Clock had struck the hour, marking time.  Relentless, mocking time.

It suddenly dawned on him the date- the significance.  Three scenarios built themselves in his mind, and he chose to act on one, because they all stemmed from the same action- he took two steps backward, reached for a lower shelf, and drew a pair of candles in a box without even looking.  They were scented: nutty, a little spicy, and reminiscent of the little Café from so long ago; it wasn't even an option not to give them to her.

"Then don't.  Tell her nothing.  Let ghosts be ghosts, Miss Meadows."  It broke his heart- or what was left of it- to be so calm, so dismissive.  It was like losing her all over again.  The both of them.  The three of them, really.

He gestured her the door, "Don't be late," the irony twinged in his throat, "You'll never get that time back."
Mad?  Really?  I might be a little upset, but my sanity is not to be questioned.

It doesn't like it.

* Bridgit Wilkinson

    (08/09/2017 at 02:03)
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The candles were heavy in her hands, the box edges digging into her fingers. It was funny how these moments seemed to stretch out and speed past. This was a meeting Anne had spent a decade imagining. Sometimes she daydreamed about having a complete family again. Other times she squashed it with guilt. She wanted to know if her weakness for charms came from him or if it was hers entirely.

She'd never thought it would actually happen. She never thought it would go off the rails. She didn't realize he'd already know about her. Or perhaps she was always scared that he would and that he'd never looked.

Anne took his direction and moved past Newton, past her father, towards the door. She turned at the last moment, her back leaning against the frame. "I won't. Tell her that is." Her right hand idly toyed with the edge of the box. "Aunt Jessica blamed you. Mum didn't. I wasn't supposed to know." Blue eyes flashed up to meet his gaze.

"I guess she doesn't need to know this." Anne ducked out of the shop, knowing she'd be back.



It took two weeks to bundle up the courage to cross that threshold again. She used that time to research - the MacDonald name, the history of the Chandlemancery, anything she could find. And she was never more grateful to have her own flat where she could hide it all from her mother.

It hadn't been as much as she wanted. It seemed the only answers were back in the shop, which explained how she once again stepped over Newton's doorstep. This time it was a Saturday morning and there was no pressing obligation she had to race off to. Anne's sleek work attire, all dark colors and pulled back hair, was swapped for earth tones and an untamed stream of red hair.

"She liked the candles," Anne greeted her father. The words felt cumbersome and awkward, wrong and inevitable. She still wasn't sure how to speak to this man.

Newton MacDonald

    (08/09/2017 at 06:57)
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The words had been weighing on him for weeks now.  The conversations had gone to the thousands, what with all the variables and unknowns; what she might say, what he might reply.  The logic-path had become dizzying to maneuver.  He was beginning to think she'd taken the second path- the 'sod off and never look back' route.

Bridgit didn't blame him?  It was cold comfort- he was more in-line with Jessica on this one.  If he hadn't left, he'd have known about Anne.  He was positive that was the secret Bridgit had for him all those years ago.  Would it have changed things?  If he hadn't left, he would have lost Heather anyway.  And he would have never known where she went, what happened to her- it would have haunted him for the rest of his life.

But is this any better? he thought, tormented.  Instead, everyone was tormented.  She suffered because he wasn't there for her.  Heather died alone and afraid, despite his intentions to save her.  And he'd left Bridgit- and Anne- alone and afraid, too.  It was... selfish of him... to have wanted to spare himself a little torment.

But he had done so, and nobody benefited.
She came into his shoppe a little past the hour, and once he recognized her (and her face- or the one it resembled- was the most recognizable thing in existence), the sign behind her changed from 'Now Open' to 'Out of Office, Come Back After Lunch'.  It was surprisingly unceremonious- she came in without much ado, just a simple, "She liked the candles,"

Newt gave a little pause before responding, "I'm glad."  It meant that some things didn't change.  That she was still Bridgit.  Bent, perhaps.  Bruised.  But not broken.  He pulled out a chair- not magicked, not move-on-its-own, but reached out with two hands and offered a chair to her from one of the small tables in the corner.  The corners of his eyes were pleading, but he spoke as a gentleman, "Please, will you sit?"  It was the seat closest to the door, if that meant anything to her.  Easy exit, should she require it.

On the table, centerpieced next to a teapot and two empty cups, was a Portrait.  It was a black and white 5x7 of the moving sort, faded some from neglect or sun-damage.  The wind seemed a bit overzealous in the frame, whipping hair and making the woman depicted squint; but she was smiling.  It was definitely not a professional job.

But it looked just like her.

* Bridgit Wilkinson

    (08/10/2017 at 02:40)
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It was with hesitation that Anne crossed the shop, tacitly agreeing to follow this through. She couldn't say that she desired to follow the rabbit hole to its end but it had been made clear that she couldn't walk away either. Two weeks of constant wondering had taken its toll.

Oddly her mother's response to the gift had tilted the scale in Newton's favor. It had proven that there was far more to be known. Anne was terrible at shopping for her mother, thus her prior procrastination, and now sought to learn more of this man who could pick out the right gift in moments without having seen the woman in decades.

Now eyed the chair and it's partner, weighing the costs. Her chin tilted up and Anne made sure to meet his gaze as she pulled the opposite chair out and took a seat. Her courage faltered there, not sure how much reaction she wished to see, and instead blue eyes fell to take in the table. Anne froze at sighting the picture. One hand reached partway out before retreating back.

"I never- what is this?" Distrust was creeping back in.

Newton MacDonald

    (08/10/2017 at 05:56)
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When their gaze met, he knew she would go her own way.   He knew she would not just accept him.  It was a good thing to note, a good thing to see- too much trust was a liability.  If she had just accepted him, it would have been a sign of naivete.  Of weakness.

She pulled out her own chair and took it in defiance, disregarding the strategic advantage it provided.  Unshaken, he pulled the open chair around the table a bit more and sat down quietly, making sure to leave the path to the door open.  He wanted to make sure she understood- she was free to go whenever she desired.

The picture- strategically placed- did exactly as was intended.

"I never- what is this?"

He was quick to reply, "Heather Aisla MacDonald, age 12.  It was taken in... well, a good long while ago."  At the same time, he struck a match and lit a candle, placing it under the quaint teapot.  Instantly, the two cups filled with a steaming hot black tea blend.  "Your aunt, I suppose.  My sister."

He looked towards the photo, then to the woman before him.  It was astonishing, how much they looked alike.  He tapped his wand, adding a bit of cream to the mix.  "She was the youngest of us.  Eight in all.  Aside from myself, the only one with any trace of magic."  He pointed his wand at the other cup, "Cream?"

* Bridgit Wilkinson

    (08/10/2017 at 21:32)
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Memories floated to the surface, so obscure at the time that Anne was surprised her brain held on to them.

"You look like your aunt," her mum has whispered one night when Anne was nearly asleep. There was a funny sound to her voice and Anne dozed off wondering how she possibly looked like Aunt Jessica. Her dreams that night were decidedly odd. Anne tried to hold on to them, feeling it important, but the pieces had slipped away to nothingness.

"My aunt," she whispered as a hand reached back out to the frame. This time fingertips grazed the surface before growing bolder and pulling the picture close. Eight children seemed hard to fathom. She had grown up with a few cousins, a sister, and grandparents. And that had felt large! Especially once it was all lost. Anne theorized that perhaps everything seemed large against a family of two.

"Cream?" His voice - her father's voice - broke through again.

"Hm? Oh," she glanced between the tea cups, "Erm, yes." Anne begrudgingly set the frame aside to take up her tea instead. "You're muggleborn too? Just like Mu- I mean, you too? And your sister? I-"

A deep breath seemed to steady her again. How was one supposed to stay standing when the world kept shifting? Anne had not wanted to bring her mother into the conversation and she reached for something else, anything else. Leap before looking if it changed the topic.

"She doesn't live in London, does she? I feel like I'd remember seeing her, even on the street." A quick glance back at the picture and a small bite of her lower lip. "Yeah, I'd remember seeing her."

Newton MacDonald

    (08/11/2017 at 00:01)
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"You're muggleborn too? Just like Mu- I mean, you too? And your sister? I-"

He smiled, hearing words unspoken.  "My Mum was an American witch- Salem-born.  She gave up all things magical when she met my Da'.  Would have lived the rest of her life as a muggle if I hadn't gotten 'the gift'  And then, later, Heather got it too."

He went on to explain that it had been in WWII- the first time through- and a bomb had been dropped on their home, because his Da' had failed to put out the fire of his forge completely, and it had shone through in the dark.  When the bomb dropped into Newt's living room, it failed to go off- because Newton willed it not to- a raw, unplanned, emotional spurt of magic.  Thinking fast, his Mum had then magicked it away and exposed herself as a witch- not even her husband had known.

This story might perhaps strike a nerve in her- hadn't her mother done essentially the same thing?

"She doesn't live in London, does she? I feel like I'd remember seeing her, even on the street.  Yeah, I'd remember seeing her."

That struck a nerve in him.  Had been taking a sip of his tea, he would have choked.  As it was,he just paused- did his best to remain calm.  There was so much she didn't know...

"No, Miss Meadows.  She... doesn't."  He was torn- should he tell her of his failures?  Of the terrible mistakes he had made that had led them all to this?  Would it make any difference if she knew?  He gave her a long look.  So much like Heather...  She was a big girl.  An adult.  He decided that she must know.

His voice cracked a little, "In December of her Third year at Hogwarts, my sister was kidnapped as she left the train.  By a man jealous of your mother and I."  His best friend, though he wasn't about to supply that information at this time.  It cut to the bone.

Newt had confided in him that he was going to propose to Bridgit.  Shown Reg Lark the ring, even.  He'd seemed happy for him- for them both.  But something snapped in him that day.  Bridgit had spurned him once- and nobody did that to Reginald Lark and got away with it.

That Reg had done it- kidnapped Newt's sister not to hurt Newt but Bridgit- was another part of the story he decided to omit.  That would sound like he blamed her in some way.  It had taken him a long time of sitting in cage in the jungle to realize it.  Reg was Newton's friend and coworker.  He never meant to hurt Newton- just use him to hurt Bridgit.  Heather was collateral damage.

This wasn't about him, though.  This was about her.  She needed answers.  "When the Aurors stopped looking, I started.  I left- to try to find my sister."

* Bridgit Wilkinson

    (08/15/2017 at 03:14)
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To hear that her grandmother had been a witch, and possibly the generations prior to that, eased a hurt inside Anne that she'd carried around so long she'd forgotten its name. From the day she first wore a blood badge Anne wanted more than one measly generation to back up her right to the magical world. She'd wanted a legitimacy that being an almost-orphan failed to provide.

And she simply could not fathom how generations of women kept returning to the muggle world. Her mother. Her grandmother. Was it a curse? Newton's story wove in and around her thoughts. Anne picked up small details but would struggle later to recount the whole endeavor. The sound of her name snapped her attention back.

"No, Miss Meadows," and it wasn't right that her name seemed to shrivel on his tongue. Instead she heard echoes of her first year, endless classes when no amount of protest could convince the teachers that Miss MacDonald didn't suit her.

"Just Anne," she murmured between his sentences. She couldn't bear to make the comparison.

His second story captured her attention far more effectively. After all, he mentioned her mother. Anne still didn't know how the two met, what they were, but now it seemed at least she'd know how they ended. How, perhaps, more than just the two of them had ended.

"When the Aurors stopped looking, I started.  I left- to try to find my sister."

It could also be supposed that Anne thought of what she might've done, given the chance, for her own baby sister. She'd certainly never intended to have so much in common with a man who was always supposed to be a stranger.

She took a sip of tea in silence, trying to choose among the things that all fought to be expressed. The moment stretched out, the edges tense and brittle, a surprisingly heavy weight between them. Eventually Anne eased herself away from the landmine, not ready to face all the boggarts in her closet.

"Not London, then," and if her words implied a lack of understanding, her tone overruled. There were enough of them when the warp hit to band together - to speak around things without ever actually speaking of things. There would always be grievances that only hurt worse when exposed to open air.

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