002: Them

I didn’t dare look across at the funeral. Marie and family had taken care of all of the arrangements, deciding that Kate and Alan were best lain to rest in the same day – and yet it wasn’t in me to even thank them for the trouble. Marie’s comforting words fell either side of me, and I had no words to return for the loss of her son. I had no words for any of them.

They were the problem.

They were the reason Kate was gone.

At least, Alan had been. Determined to the bloody end, he’d insisted things would be fine. Fly up the east coast, he said. Spy out the land they were looking at, the site of what would have been Australia’s first agricultural school for wizards. Forget bloody portkeys and floo. Forget riding a bloody broom, do it properly he said.

Go up in a fucking Cessna. A four seat fucking Cessna. How about we hire some poor bloke he knew from uni to fly the damned thing. The Burdetts’ and their enduring positivity, muttering on about planes being the safest mode of transport. How Trav was such a great bloke, brilliant pilot. Trav wasn’t going to be walking anymore, let alone flying. Some fucking pilot.

Some fucking friend.

I couldn’t mourn him. Only her. The love of my life, the mother of my daughter – a child we’d both sworn to protect from everything that had ever hurt us and at nine she’d already lost her mother. I hated him, and by extension – I hated them. They were all the same.

Hazel screamed as they lowered her into the ground. I couldn’t blame her.

I wanted to scream at them too.

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