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Posted: Feb 17 2017, 03:37 AM
Larissa Hannelore Walker
I am Larissa Hannelore Walker and I am a nobody. I am rather insignificant when it comes to the greater scheme of things. But I do my bit. I don’t think I’m the best or think I’m the worst. I’m in between. To be read between the lines. I came from a boring family. I was born to a single mother, Theia Walker. So yes, I got my mother’s last name, she never never married the man who is my father. I don’t even know my father’s name. We don’t talk about him. There wasn’t ever any point. When I was old enough to understand my mother told me that he abandoned us, before I was born. He just up and left, no explanation, no note. My mother never told me how she coped or felt. That just wasn’t something she talked about. I don’t blame her. I would have been pissed off, actually I was even at that age. But that isn’t important, not at this stage.
My mother was a cleaner at the MACUSA headquarters. See, even she was insignificant- that’s where I get it from. We had a crappy apartment in New York City, but that was where we lived. It was our home. The neighbours helped babysit me when she was busy with her job. It was all boring really. I was a baby and then a toddler. Then I discovered my magic- a most glorious moment, but even that wasn’t significant. All magical babies discovered this. For me I had been happily busying myself away playing with a cardboard box when I accidentally set it on fire. Whoops. But it quickly got extinguished. It had been frightening at the time but my mother reassured me that it was okay, and it was normal. That quickly put me at ease. I was happy that I had gotten my magic. It could only go up from there.
Nothing much happened for a while, the same old routine. Until I was 7 and my mother met a new man. Tobias Quigley. I wasn’t very particular to him, but I tolerated him for my mother, after all everybody deserved happiness, right? He was an unpleasant guy. He worked at a bar, in Jamestown. But unfortunately it was in the bad part of town. He was nice to my mother, and to me but overall he wasn’t what you could consider a ‘good’ guy. A bad influence if you will. Just imagine him; tall, broad shoulders, beard, and lots of tattoo’s- moving ones. There was always this cold glint in his eyes every time he looked at anybody other than us. His voice was harsh, gravelly, quiet. He didn’t need to shout because he just had that sort of demeanour about him. He sounds like a lovely guy, right? Sure…. It didn’t take long before we moved in with him. No longer was I living in a crappy apartment in New York, instead we lived in a slightly nicer house in Jamestown. Somehow this guy managed to make enough money to afford a house, but who were we to complain. Finally I was in a place surrounded by magic. I really liked Jamestown, and I was able to spend time outside. I met some other children and I felt more in my element. It was more freedom. I also spent more time than was appropriate at the bar. But I didn’t mind it. I learned tricks from Tobias and some of the other workers. Those guys aren’t even half bad. I learned how to pickpocket, hide things to avoid it being stolen, but mostly I learned that I liked to help, which I know sounds like an odd thing to learn from a bunch of ‘thugs’. It was a valuable lesson. It would shape the rest of my life.
Years went by before our little family was joined by another human. A baby boy. It was just sometime after my 11th birthday when my baby brother was born. His name was Fabian. For a baby he was cute and I definitely like him better than his father. Of course around this time I got my Ilvermorny letter, which was an exciting day. A great birthday that year was. And before I knew it I was on my way to becoming a member of society; time to be a student. It did mean barely seeing my baby brother, and not really growing up with him, but we did see each other in the holidays. He’s a lovely kid.
I arrived at Ilvermorny with butterflies in my stomach but excitement in my heart. This was my chance to do something, to find out more about the world and make connections. Everybody was nervous, so I at least blended in. I got sorted into Thunderbird, unlike my mother (who had been sorted into Wampus), but she didn’t mind, she knew I was different from her. Thunderbird was apparently where I belonged and I quickly adjusted to it, accepting my fate. I made a small handful of friends during the first few weeks. All of whom became my closest friends. There wasn’t many of them. I wasn’t popular or unpopular either. I was just a girl who you saw in the common room or the classroom and that was it. I was obscured by people’s own shadows. They never saw anything interesting in me. Unless they knew. Unless they knew about the things I could or would do. But I’ll explain that later....
For now let’s focus on classes and what kind of student I was. Some professors described me as ‘bright’ and ‘full of potential’ if only I made more of an effort. I was smart, yes, I understood everything and it came easy. But I hated writing or reading, so I tried to avoid doing it as much as possible. I was a practical learner, the magic came easy to me but the writing component always put me off. There was just something about it that was more boring than I was as a person. Obviously I passed with some reluctance in the written exams. My favourite classes were any of the practical ones- Nature magic, charms, herbology, potions. And all throughout our time at school everybody always talked about what career we were going to be going into. I knew early on that being a healer sounded like a good idea. My mother first planted the idea in my head. Naturally it grew. It helped to have the passion of wanting to help people. It was perfect really, what better way to help people than to heal them, and that’s where I worked towards going. During my time at Ilvermorny I helped people in many different ways, whether that was seen or unseen, in broad daylight or in the shadows.
The first instance I had in which I dealt in the dark was during my third year. There was an essay we needed to do for potions, but it was due around the time when the quodpot match was. A boy, my year, played on the quodpot team and apparently forgot about the potions essay or he just prioritised training over the essay- not that I cared. But this boy, Marcus Bloom, approached me, and he asked me to do it. He wanted me to write the essay for him. I told him no, but he was desperate and begged me to. Again I said no. Until… he offered me something. And it made me pause. A price, now that was worth something. And thus the bargain was struck, I came into some money and he got his essay. It was pleasant, I thought. I had helped him and earned some cold hard cash. Slowly the word got around. Some were afraid to ask for my help, for what reason I couldn’t tell you. But I was starting to gain an underground reputation. The things people wanted me to do didn’t just stop at academic work. Other things were asked of me. Stealing, smuggling, delivering bad news; I even once pretended to date someone so I could get my hands on a very rare item. It had all been worth it. In the secret shadows of the Ilvermorny halls I was infamous. I liked it this way, to be only important in someone’s need of hour, to be important only in the shadows where the spotlight couldn’t reach me. I liked being mostly ignored out in the open, to only be important to my friends. It was better that way. And this was something that stayed with me even after I graduated. The real world needed that side of me.
Now, you may wonder what kind of person I really am. Well you already know that I like to help people- honestly I do care to give people what they want. And you know that I like to stick to being in the middle, making sure not to stick out too much. I like being under the radar, just as I had been my whole life. I was content to spend my life as just a nobody, I didn’t want to be a star.
And that was me in a nutshell, I guess.
Not many things happened at Ilvermorny while I was there. To me or to anybody else. The 7 years went by really fast, and I relatively enjoyed my time there. The people I made friends with will be my friends for life, or at least I hope it stays that way. I graduated with good grades and made it into the healer training course. The moment I found out I was ecstatic, if you can imagine that. My mother was proud and Tobias was happy enough for me. My little brother was 7 but he gave me a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. It was a good day, a lucky day. I celebrated with my friends and my family and we honestly had the best time ever. It was great to celebrate that time of my life, a big wave of goodbye to being a child. It was now time to grow up, to become adults.
A few weeks passed after I graduated when my mother asked me to join her for a walk. Apparently she needed to talk to me because we never went on walks, for any reason other than for a talk. I could tell it was something important. But what? I couldn’t tell you. Now imagine it, a nice summer day and I’m walking beside my mother, out in the park. The sky was blue with only a few clouds in the sky, the weather was warm, a lovely temperature. The grass was green, and the trees were flourishing. We sat on a bench, secluded in a little clearing. There was nobody around but the birds and insects. It was peaceful, but the conversation that was about to happen was anything but peaceful. I had no idea what to expect and for a while we talked about boring things. But then it came, and she paused, her eyes closed, and leaned forward. I asked what she wanted to say, but she didn’t say anything for a while. What she told me shook my whole entire life.
My mother told me a story, about a man she met. A no-maj man. His name was Joshua Hastings. She told me how she fell in love with him, almost too quickly before realising what she felt. She never told anybody, nobody ever knew who the man was that she had fallen in love with. It was all a secret, it was all hidden away in the shadows. My mother truly loved him, that much was clear. I didn’t understand why she would want to love a No-Maj. I didn’t understand why she never told me about it. Law prohibited, and now I was an accomplice in this crime. I was speechless and all I could do was listen to her talking as she explained, not once looking at me. She continued to tell her the story of my father, what had happened between them. They had a relationship for many years before they were blessed with a pregnancy- which was me. Now, I had previously had that explanation about how he abandoned us. But that was a lie. It turns out that instead of abandoning us, he disappeared. No note, no explanation. He was just… gone. And not like magic either. My mother didn’t know what happened, and still doesn’t. There was just no way that she could look for him either, or report him missing. Nobody was able to find him, allowed to find him. She couldn’t, so nobody could. She lied to me to keep me safe, to think that I was a pureblood, rather than have to hide my heritage.
Hearing that story was surprising, and rather sad. I was very confused about it and couldn’t say much to my mother, just got up and walked away. I was a whirlwind of emotions and thoughts. I was a half-blood. It was rare, and it wasn’t a good thing. That new piece of information about me made me rethink a lot of things. One thing I knew for sure was that I wanted to find my father. Even if he was a no-maj. He was my father and he deserved to be found. When I got back home my mother was waiting for me and I told her that I was fine, that she did what she had to do. I didn’t like the fact she had lied, but I understood. I lay awake at night wondering about a lot of things. Somehow I was going to find my father. Even if he was dead. I would find out what happened to him. I needed to know.
And so I started my investigation. I didn’t tell my mother, I knew it would just upset her. I couldn’t do that to her. I had to do all this on the downlow, and as an 18 year old people didn’t take me very seriously. I had to dig deeper, and with my established connection with the shadow world I was able to use that to find information. It led me to helping people out; again it was about stealing or getting information from somebody. But this was the real world, it was dangerous. But I liked it, the danger. I started to gain a reputation, and one day. One day somebody asked me to kill someone. I was briefly conflicted. I was still a healer. How could I take someone’s life when I was saving them? But I liked the call of the darkness, and I agreed. His price was worth it. It was always worth it. I was 20 when this happened, when I poisoned this guy. Thus, a boundary had been crossed. And a balance was made. I was able to save people’s lives and to take them away.
It wasn’t often that people asked me to end someone’s life, to kill them. But when it did I didn’t say no. I just got on with things, and I got them done. It had become a side business, a night business. I was a healer by day and a sort of mercenary- a wand for hire, at night. I enjoyed both aspects of my life, I wouldn’t want to give either up. It gave me a purpose. This was what I was meant to do.
Now I just spend my days doing the same as I had been doing for years now. I continue being who I am and I’m not going to stop now. I live by myself, have a nice little place on the outskirts of Jamestown. It’s peaceful there, and I don’t have to worry about my mother finding my information board. It hangs on the inside of my wardrobe, always at eye level when I open it. It reminds me not to give up on my side mission. It reminds me to keep on going. I like seeing it. The words, pictures and articles, looking at me, giving me hope that one day I would see him, find him. I liked having that physical trail to look at. It was a sign of progress. No matter what happened, this was one of the most important things in my life.
People think life is complicated, but it’s not. It’s about the balance of light and dark. It’s about give and take. I am the balance. I give and I take. I have light and I have dark. It is the core of who I am. It’s as easy as that. Light, dark, give, take. Life, death. What more do you want? It’s as simple as that. Life in all it’s brilliant ways is a journey that we all take, from life to death.
Posted: Feb 20 2017, 01:45 PM
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