a day in the life of jonathan nyte

by renegadekarma

Tomorrow, he’d have to do it again. Put his armor back on. Plaster a smile back onto his face. Step out into the world.


 

Jonathan Nyte’s day had been going pretty great until his latest invention had blown a hole in the kitchen.

He apprehensively stared at the gaping hole left above the fridge, through which he could still see the smoldering remains of the catapult that he’d fashioned out of a few pieces of silverware and a quick charm.

Verona, it appeared, while being his hometown, wasn’t exactly the source of his creative urges; no, in fact, since he’d moved to the cramped apartment in Italy, it appeared that his inventions had a higher probability of blowing up. He still had the burn mark on his thumb to prove the existence of last week’s fiasco.

With a sigh, the man reached forward into the hole, pulling out the smoking catapult, now burned and twisted beyond recognition, along with something dark brown that scurried up the side of it.

At one point, the sight of cockroaches had disgusted him. Returning to the heat and lively lifestyle of Italy, however, had reaffirmed his natural instincts, and he merely shook it off into the sink, fussing over his broken machine instead.

If Kitty had been there, he knew, he would’ve received a proper scolding for leaving another hole in the kitchen. He could almost hear her voice right now, chiding him; but then a blast of warm air burst from the hole and the illusion was gone, leaving him a man standing with a broken invention again.

Jonathan wearily placed it down on the counter top, lifting his wand to cast a quick spell at the wall. The fallen pieces of plaster realigned themselves with the gaping hole, a few odds and ends sticking out.

It wasn’t perfect, but it was functional. And Jonathan Nyte knew the difference between the two terms better than anyone else.

His stomach rumbled, and he glanced at the time. It was just around when he’d have dinner time back at home — his real home, in the house on Hengist Way, or the one in Godric’s Hollow — though Italians ate later. It was a habit he’d been forced to break once he had been in Hogwarts and had to go along with the schedule, but he no longer was able to re-acquire it. The man ate his dinner at precisely 6:30 in the evening every day, even here and now.

He numbly thumbed through the sparse contents of the pantry, already knowing what he’d find; a dry loaf of bread, a few crackers, and a can of soup. He looked at the last item for a moment longer than the others before reaching forward and plucking it off the shelf. With a quick tearing motion, he’d ripped off the silvery lid and dumped the thick contents into a bowl.

He felt no motivation to use his stove to heat his meager meal, even though his mother had taken special precautions to ensure that he at least knew how to cook the simplest of meals. He stuck a spoon in the thick concoction and carried it to the table with one hand, the other grabbing hold of the newspaper that he’d bought on his way to work at the Italian joke shop earlier that day but hadn’t had the chance to read.

Sitting down, he flipped pages with one hand and ate with the other, skimming the headlines and articles with as much interest as someone watching paint dry. He glanced at his bowl only when the spoon scraped the ceramic inside, and without another word, he stood and dumped it in the sink, already overflowing with dirty dishes. Once more, he could hear his wife’s words reprimanding him for letting his work pile up, and with a barely audible sigh, he flicked his wand at the sink and set the dishes to scrubbing and drying themselves.

Folding up the newspaper and stuffing it under his broken catapult (which had now taken to dripping black fluid, though the man had no idea where it had come from), he stepped out onto the balcony.

A warm wind ruffled up his naturally messy blond hair, and the man reached into his pocket, fingers closing around the cigarette. Smoking was a habit he’d taken up after moving to Italy, for no particular reason at all. It drew some criticism from both his parents and children alike, along with concerns about his health, but Jonathan had merely waved them off apathetically.

Now he lit the cigarette, rolling the white paper between his fingers as he drew it up to his lips and then back down. Jonathan leaned forward, his elbows on the balcony railing, blue eyes taking in the sun setting slowly over the city skyline. The dusky red glow bathed the buildings in a soft light, giving them an almost angelic appeal.

The city of lovers. What bitter irony.

He’d taken Kitty here several times, Jonathan remembered, to meet his parents and then merely to show her sights. He remembered pointing out buildings, throwing in a little humorous quip about the history to be rewarded by that winning smile of hers. From here, he had a fantastic view of every sight in Verona. They’d eaten gelato near that church; they’d held hands as they’d strolled together on that bridge, they’d-

Jonathan cut off this train of thought abruptly as he tossed down the cigarette, snuffing it out by grinding his heel into it. He kicked the butt off the balcony, not bothering to watch the flicker of white disappear down the several stories.

The man turned and headed back inside, greeted by the sight of the clean and dry dishes stacked on the counter. He proceeded to the interior of the house to take a shower. Even stripping away his armor brought him no relief, and as he proceeded into the bedroom, rubbing at his damp hair with a towel, he felt only a bone-numbing sense of weariness. It wasn’t the first time he’d felt this way, and he knew for sure that it wouldn’t be the last.

He lay down heavily on the bed, staring at the ceiling before he absentmindedly remarked, “Good night, love.” It was something he did every night without thinking, a ritual that for him, had never lost its meaning. Rolling to his side, Jonathan placed his wand on the bedside table, leaning it against the family photo.

He studied it for a minute, taking in the features of the four figures. It was a very old photo; the rosiness of Felicia’s cheeks and the missing tooth in Zach’s wide grin confirmed that. He spared a moment for them now, wondering how they were faring. His daughter, he was sure, was probably getting ready for dinner with her wife. He made a mental note to write to her tomorrow. His son, on the other hand, was probably somewhere with his girlfriend, or napping. Jonathan hadn’t received a reply for the letter he’d sent to his son the day before, but that mattered little.

He wanted the last thing that he saw each night to be their faces, and a small smile curved up his lips without his realization. His gaze lingered for a moment longer on the woman with the bright red hair as he took in the familiar smile he’d just thought about. Jonathan didn’t so much at glance at himself in the picture before he reached over and turned off the lamp.

He curled up on the left side of the bed, a side that in the last seven years he’d claimed for himself. The pillow cover, after being washed countless times, no longer smelled like her, but somehow he wasn’t able to part with it. He closed his eyes, allowing himself to succumb to sleep, for tomorrow, he’d have to do it again. Put his armor back on. Plaster a smile back onto his face. Step out into the world.

Just another day in the life of Jonathan Nyte.

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