Sunday, September 14, 2014

750 Words Fiction: The Sun Never Sets [HP fanfic]

I decided to go with HP this time. Was thinking about a fairy tale or some such but... This story had to have been written at some point. So here you are. 

There were always questions that Harry was forgetting to ask. It was years before he started thinking about magical schools outside of Britain, and it had taken actually seeing them for that to happen.

He could maybe take Voldemort as an excuse. But really, there were just some times that he failed to think about things. He should have been more like Hermione, less content with whatever it was that he already knew or thought he knew.

He sees that now. Not that it would have done anyone much good.

How far did Britain's reach extend? It was easy to make assumptions. Through all his years at school he had simply figured that it was the same as Muggle Britain. There was some light connection to other countries like a kind of Commonwealth, perhaps even the very same, and there was a shared history with some other countries that had at some point left the fold.

Harry had begun working in the Auror department before he learned that, as far as wizards were concerned, the sun still had yet to set on the British Empire.

The Americans had left, certainly. Their war had gone without a hitch in both the muggle and the wizarding worlds. The boundaries between Imperial and foreign territory differed slightly from Muggle maps, and there were more countries than one in the lands inhabited by the United States, but it was not too shocking to learn of the situation there.

But that had been both the first and the last time, Harry discovered, that the so-called Ministry had allowed itself to be divorced from any of its holdings. Even as shadows fell across the muggles, the Ministry tightened its hold.

But that was alright, wasn't it? If everyone got along (and why wouldn't they?) then it was just a surprising fact, was all.

Harry was good at ignoring facts he didn't want to find out. Harry was good at not piecing things together if he could avoid it. Sometimes you had to be, to survive in the department. There were times when all you could do was learn just enough to know how horrible a situation was, and never enough to actually prove it.

And the Auror department was ultimately a local concern. He did not have to think about anything past the actual, geographical Great Britain if he did not want to, even as he rose higher and higher.

They transferred him to Canada for a year. There was no cause for complaint so far as he could see. Magic was strange there. Twisted. Sometimes he woke up feeling as though he had died again. But the people were alright. They loved the Ministry, or at least they hated the government no more than anyone else Harry had met.

He returned and continued his ascent.

Youngest Seeker in a century, he had been, and at twenty-six he became the youngest to ever head the Auror department. He had always been a voice for reform, and Ron with him. With this last promotion he now had everything he needed to see his ideas all the way through. Justice would be assured at last.

Then the discontent began in India. Harry was sure that the Ministry would approach the matter reasonably. Though he was shocked to learn of some of the things that had happened in India, he was sure this was only because of distance. No administration that remembered Shacklebolt could possibly have endorsed these things.

Harry mentioned this in an offhand kind of way to Ron one day, as they were taking firewhiskeys together. He hadn't expected Ron to look at him as if he'd vomited up a slug. Shacklebolt was confused by Harry too, when he mentioned how he wished Shacklebolt was still minister, because then things would be different.

And that's when Harry realized that he still was blind to some things.

It was easy to overlook how easily the Wizarding World could be compared to, say, South Africa or the United States. It was so easy to say "They killed us in the Middle Ages" and forget why. Or to say "If muggles knew about us then they'd bother us all the time, asking us for help," and not realize that you were letting cancer patients and amputees suffer because the alternative would be just so inconvenient.

Ron was fine with muggleborns. They were wizards, after all. He was even fine with muggles, so long as they kept to their side of the metaphorical fence. The Wizarding World was as good as any at holding prejudices, and they could be about more than whether there were muggles in your family tree.

Hermione understood him. Harry was grateful for it, even if he was sorry for how her and Ron's arguments were becoming more frequent as the war developed.

Harry resigned his position in protest. And people did care, but only enough to call him a traitor.

Teddy disappeared. It was a long time before he would learn why.

His children did not ever go to India, thank Merlin. But it was learned very quickly that no one was to talk about politics in the Potter household.

Rose went off to war, however. Harry did not go to see her before she left. It was too hard to talk with her. She did not revile him, at least, but that was because she thought he was merely... impaired, by his upbringing. She pitied him, saw him as incapable of seeing reason through no fault of his own.

It was amazing to him how two people could see the same facts but interpret them so differently.

Time passed. Teddy came back to them, but not as they remembered him. Harry learned of even deeper secrets, answers to questions even Hermione had failed to ask. Ron died, and the process was so hideous and prolonged that, by the end, Harry could not bear to look at him.

News came from India. All the time, it came. Sometimes Harry could not decide whether the things he was hearing were worse than any he had ever seen.

And as the war wound down after many long years, Harry wondered. He wondered, what other questions had he failed to ask? What other hard surprises lay in wait for him?

Word count: 1045
Time: 3 minutes (prep), 42 minutes (writing)
Prompt: Think back to your childhood, to the stories you remember being told. Was there a particular story you wanted to hear over and over again? This week, try and remember that story, and choose one of the characters from it. Take that character and write an entirely different story centered around new obstacles. For example, if you choose Pippi Longstocking, write a story in which she is raising her own family, or has become the captain of her father's ship after his retirement.

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