i’m already gone
Where Violet had been ice, Selene had always been the fire.
Violet was sick of work. She yanked a quill from her hair, the brunette locks tumbling down around it in a dark cascade as she quickly scribbled out something in the report she was writing. For someone who spent a lot of time in the field, she seemed to spend just as much in her office, stuck writing reports for all the cases she was finished.
Honestly, she wondered sometimes why she’d taken this job at the Ministry; her hatred for werewolves had been incentive at first, for she’d wanted to do something about them, but now, several years later, she’d trained herself not to feel anything. She was numb, her emotions muted; there was no longer any fire in her heart or pure ice in her blue eyes. She was robotic, mechanical; she did what she needed to do now, and that was all there was to it.
Stacking the last report on top of the file, she pushed the entire stack to the corner of her desk and stood. “I’m heading out,” she murmured as she passed her boss with a quick wave before exiting the building, her heels beating a steady staccato down the pavement as she marched to her own beat.
The woman was barely a few steps from the front of the Ministry building when she was approached by another employee; someone on level four, she was vaguely aware, but she couldn’t for the life of her remember the woman’s name, for she hadn’t bothered to recognize her before. “Are you Swayfield?” the woman asked hesitantly.
Violet shot her the briefest of looks, dismissive as usual. “Yes,” she replied shortly. Haines, she remembered suddenly, was the other woman’s surname.
“Have you read the Prophet?” the other employee asked, her voice still timid.
“Not since yesterday,” the brunette returned breezily, still continuing to walk down the street without looking at the woman, her daily routine interrupted in a way that was beginning to displease her; any more social interaction than she got had a tendency to turn her expression sour.
“You might want to pick up today’s,” Haines murmured, and it was only then that Violet stopped and turned, her tall figure towering over the shorter woman who was cautiously holding out a newspaper. Pausing for a moment, she then snatched it up, scanning the headline.
“I’m taking this,” Violet announced, turning on her heel and heading down the street away from the woman, who made no move to stop her.
She twisted on the spot, returning home. Kicking her heels off by the front door, she picked up and carried them upstairs, her bag thudding against her side as she dropped the entire load by the door and sat down against it, flattening out the paper.
It didn’t take long for the witch to read, but she already knew what she’d find. She wasn’t disappointed. Her aunt had been missing for several years now; they’d all assumed that she was either dead or in hiding. Considering Selene Swayfield’s personality, they had ruled out the latter, but now that it was confirmed, she couldn’t do anything but stare at the paper in her hands.
To have not just an uncle, but an aunt as well, ripped from her was horrifying. But Violet Swayfield was no longer the fourteen year old girl who’d run from the Great Hall and cried next to the lake like she’d been when she’d heard her godfather had died. She was in her late twenties now, hell in high heels, but numb to her whole existence. Her heart was encased in an ice that even a thousand suns couldn’t thaw; but before she’d shut it off from the world, she’d let only a minor few enter, and her aunt was one of them.
It was funny, she thought. People had always told her that she was more like her uncle than her aunt. Appearance wise, it was quite obvious where Violet and Selene differed, but their personalities did as well. While Violet had supported the Cadena, Selene had abhorred them. Where Violet saw fit to attack, Selene had seen fit to heal. And where Violet had been ice, Selene had always been the fire.
So she couldn’t muster up much emotion for her aunt’s death, not anymore. Briefly, her thoughts lingered on Jason and Bellona, receiving the news around now as well. She spared another few moments thinking about Mason, who was now officially orphaned. And now she thought of her own father, who had just lost the one last link he had.
And to whom?
The Cadena. Jason had always argued that they’d killed Aiden and not the Ministry, but Violet had always vehemently denied it. And now they – the group that Violet had blindly supported for years – had gone and killed her aunt. Selene had had it coming, the brunette tried to reassure herself half-heartedly, but the only emotion that followed was one of pure disillusionment.
She made up her mind swiftly.
Abandoning the Prophet copy on the floor, she moved to her dresser. With a flick of her wand, her bag was on the ground, and with another, she’d extended it before she began moving her clothes into the bag as quickly as she possibly could. Once that was emptied, she moved to her shoes, then the things in her dresser, until everything had been shrunk and stuffed in her bag.
She heaved it onto her shoulder before scooping a stack of gold from her purse and laying it on her bed; next month’s rent, already paid. Violet had never been a woman to owe anyone anything, and she refused to do so now.
Pulling on her favorite black boots, the witch tromped outside, bag on her shoulder and wand in her pocket. She grabbed Felix’s cage on the way out, the old owl hooting sleepily on the inside. Once she’d exited the house, she opened the cage, but the owl didn’t move.
“Go,” Violet ordered. Felix stayed put. “I can’t bring you with me, bird. Get out.” Her constant companion gave her a brief look of irritation, which the brunette returned, and then he took a hop from his cage and with a hoot, had soared off into the distance. She watched the brown feathers disappear, a look of longing shaping her features before she sobered again.
Apparently, wizarding mail moved more quickly than she’d thought. Just as soon as Felix left, another owl arrived; her aunt had left her something in her will. Leaving the country would have to wait. She heaved a laborious sigh and apparated to the post office before making her way inside.
Once she’d received her package, she moved to a bench on the street and opened it quickly, taking in the note through piercing blue eyes.
To Violet Swayfield I leave my jewelry, including Helios’s locket, in hopes that she realizes that the world is a glittering place and love is nothing to fear.
Violet almost snorted out loud before she continued further, opening the package itself. Selene Swayfield had never been the type to accrue something so trivial as jewelry, and the collection was meager. She tried to appreciate it, but found that glittering things no longer interested her. Very little did.
On top was the cream of the crop; the heart-shaped locket that Selene had always called ‘Helios’s’. Violet had no idea who the hell he was or why her aunt had kept such fierce possession of it for so long, but she cupped it in her hand anyway. The clasp was stuck, but she pried it open with some force to find the two windows occupied. One was of her aunt, clearly in her early days of Hogwarts with her bright red hair and toothy grin, and the other was of Mason; two years old, curly-haired, blissfully ignorant of the pain that would followed as he stretched his arms out and laughed at whoever had taken the picture.
Having this felt wrong.
She’d never believed in love; not really, anyway. Maybe for some people, but it was so flawed that as a perfectionist, she could never want it for herself. Violet Swayfield would never fall in love. She would never inflict that upon herself, and this gift suddenly felt alien in her hands. She dropped it back into the pile with a small clink.
The Being Manager had already made up her mind about leaving England. She was tired of her family, tired of the Cadena and the Ministry, tired of the monotony and of feeling numb. More than anything, she wanted to jumpstart her heart, to feel something, anything again. So she was off to America, she decided on the spot. And she wasn’t coming back. Not for a while, at least, and if she did, it would be as a changed woman.
Quickly, she drew out her wand. “Expecto Patronum,” she murmured, and the wolf leaped from the tip of her wand, circling her gracefully. Violet leaned in. “Jase, Bells, this is for you. It’s Vi. I’m leaving England, and I don’t know when I’ll be back. Take care of yourselves, and of my niece and nephew. I’ll miss you.” I love you, but the words died on her lips, and the silver wolf, cocking his head, suddenly disappeared in the direction she knew her brother’s house was.
Considering she was outside a post office, it wasn’t hard for her to use two owls to send off another two messages, loose ends she needed to close up before she left.
Her looped scrawl in violet ink was quickly scribbled over a scrap of parchment she’d found in her pocket. To Alec – find a new adventure; just know that I’m looking for my own now. Thanks for the memories. It was signed with only her name, simply. Violet didn’t love Alec; she could never give him her heart, but she could give him the rare gift of her gratitude, and she trusted he’d appreciate it. Her lips curved up only slightly as the owl flew off.
And then it came Mason. She paused, fingers twitching, before writing again. This was your Mum’s. I think it’s more fitting that you have it. She signed it quickly and pulled out an envelope and stuck in the paper before pulling Helios’s chain out again. Pressing the cool metal to her lips, she vaguely could sense the familiar scent of her aunt’s cinnamon lotion on it. She closed her eyes for a moment, collected herself, and dropped the locket in, sending it off with the owl.
The rest of the jewelry was now kept in her bag. Violet wasn’t sentimental; she’d sell it all when she got to America. It would earn her something before she could find a job. Maybe she’d be a reporter, or a freelance photographer now. The possibilities were endless now that she was escaping.
The brunette took a few steps down the street and turned back at the city she’d once called home, where she’d been born and raised, where she’d mended and numbed herself, and where she was finally turning her back on. So she blinked, icy blue eyes filled for a moment with the passion that had once shone bright in them before she turned and took another step, twisting and apparating on the spot.
And Violet Swayfield never looked back.