April is the Cruelest Month
DISCLAIMER: Buffy the Vampire Slayer belongs to Joss Whedon, and Harry Potter to J.K. Rowling. I don’t own anything. "April is the Cruelest Month" is a line from The Wasteland by T.S. Eliot.
He was supposed to be her brave little lion. But he didn’t feel very brave today. He was only fifteen. She should not be dead. It just wasn’t fair. Not to him, not to his sisters and especially not to his father. When he was younger, he thought she would never die. After all, everybody told him she had died twice. Maybe he could find the spell his Aunt Willow used and bring her back again. When they were alone again maybe he would ask her. As it was, his Aunt Dawn was holding him tight, crying harder than he was. She couldn’t or wouldn’t stop. Peeking out from her shoulder, Robbie looked around for sisters and father. Locating them, he found them worse for the wear. Sarah was with Father along with Abby. They were trying to hold him together, without much success. The twins, Emily and Eleanor, looked really lost. Both were huddled next to Grandma N’issa.
He hitched his breath to stop from crying, succeeding only for a minute. Looking outside the church, he noticed that the weather wasn’t cooperating with his mood. It was a warm and sunny April day when he needed it to be cold, wet and rainy. He was reminded of the poem Grandpa Giles had given him to read. “April is the cruelest month” he wrote and now he, Robert understood, at least about the pain. It hurt so much, her dieing. So he asks again, why did she have to die? Stupid airplane, if only his mum had been a bit more accepting of magic, she would still be alive right now. A simple portkey, Father offered, but she refused.
Robert had such different dreams at the beginning of the school year. It seemed so long ago, the noisy platform, steam pouring out of the locomotive, searching the area for his two red-haired friends, trying to ignore his mother’s lecture.
“Robbie, you need to watch out for your little sister. Everything is new for her.”
Well that wasn’t quite true but who was he to argue with her. So he rolled his eyes and said “Mum, please. You know how annoying she is.” This brought him an angry glare from Abby and a light tap from his mum.
“She’s your sister and you will look after her.” She repeated. When she put it in that tone of voice, you didn’t argue, you just nod your head in agreement and hope she didn’t break anything. Not that she would ever do anything to one of them, but still he was rather glad he was not a vampire.
“Yes mum.” Robbie replied meekly, submitting to her will. She smiled and rose on tiptoe to kiss him goodbye, since he had grown over the summer and was now taller than she was. He started to squirm a bit as he now saw the two red-headed forms of his friends, Art and Ron. She whispered in his ear as she hugged him.
“No matter how tall you get, you’ll always be my little lion”
His face reddened, but secretly he was glad. He had always liked her nickname for him.
“Robbie.” A voice called to him, a female voice. It called again.
He looked up, it was Mrs. Weasley, Art and Ron’s mum. He could never get in the habit of calling her Aunt Hermione, even though she seemed to support his bookish habits. Maybe it was because she was Daddy’s friend, rather than Mum’s. But she seemed rather stern and put-offish, at least compared to Aunt Willow. Aunt Willow was a vibrant woman, always smiling and bubbly. But there was also an air of danger about her, a certain wildness that touched to the root of her magic.
“Robbie.” The voice was stronger now. He looked up through his tears, his Aunt Dawn gone and he was sitting now alone in the church. Not alone, this woman, Mrs. Weasley, Aunt Hermione, if you will, was there with him.
“Aunt Hermione?” He asked scratchily.
She smiled at him. “Your father and your sisters are waiting for you. It’s time to go back to the house.”
He nodded a bit dumbly. The house. He remembered when he was younger, getting chased by Sarah through the various rooms, sneaking around with Abby to try to spy on Mum’s training. All of Her stuff was still there. He looked up at this woman, who was and was not his Aunt. “What do you think they’ll do with all of her slayer stuff?”
It was then that this strange curly haired woman, mother to his two best friends, his father’s best friend, his aunt/not aunt broke down.
“Oh, Robbie,” She sobbed “it is all my fault. I should have set up a portkey for your mother. Really, it would have been so easy.”
Robbie looked again at this woman, who uncannily thought the same thing that he did. He shook his head, feeling a bit uncomfortable, stood and put his arms around her.
“No, you mustn’t think that. Mum wouldn’t have taken it anyway. She hated magical transport of any kind.”
It was rather awkward holding this woman. It was sending off signals in his body that he really didn’t want to think about right now. She disengaged from him, much to Robbie’s relief. “Come along, Robbie. Arthur and Ronald are waiting in the car for you.”
He nodded and followed, his mind though drifted back to September.