That face. Everything else is dim but he can still see that face. Heart shaped, and curls of ebony, and eyes like chocolate. Small and fragile, and a tiny hand outstretched towards him which he desperately wants to grasp and never let go.
Is that his voice? It’s feels like a long time since he spoke aloud. He’s unsure what he sounds like.
“You should be.”
And who is that? Not the face. There’s anger in that voice, and anger is an emotion that has yet to cross that face. Who could it be?
“I am sorry.”
No answer. He wishes he could remember. Looking around, he sees people passing by, so many people. Maybe one of them will know that face, but how can he ask? He inhales and realises he stinks. Who would want to talk to him?
How long has he been in this doorway? He’s not sure. It feels like years but time passes slowly when you’re sitting in a doorway, so maybe its less than that. After all, how long can you sit in doorways before someone wants to get in or out?
There’s a door, he remembers suddenly. A door he’s walking towards with a very heavy heart. Then he hears the scream. For a moment he panics, runs, fears the worst, arrives on the threshold to be confronted with that face, scrunched up as it bawls and bawls and bawls. It? No, that face belongs to a he. His he. He has a son? A beautiful son. So maybe that voice, full of anger, is the mother?
And suddenly there she is, swimming in his minds eye. Bushy, frizzy dark brown hair, wide lips that he has kissed so many times and longs to kiss again, and dark chocolate eyes that are identical to that of her son. Their son.
What is he doing, in this doorway, rather than that one?
But he can’t even remember where he lives. Where they live. Maybe she wanted him to go. But in that shard of a memory its him leaving. Why?
He stands up. He’s unsteady on his feet, pins and needles shooting up his thigh, and he stumbles, catching on the doorknob for support. He doesn’t know how to begin. His pockets. Yes, maybe in his pockets they’ll be something that will tell him who he is.
He pulls out pieces of paper, receipts, chocolate wrappers with frogs dancing across them. A photo. But its not of either face, but someone else. Is that him?
He peers at the doorknob, and even in that grotesque reflection, realises the photo is not him. A relative perhaps? They have the same dark skin, same bold features, same bushy eyebrows. The man in the photo smiles and winks, but won’t say who he is. He turns the photo around, to see scribbled on the back: Kingsley.
His brother. A brother named Kingsley. He wonders if that’s his writing, or Kinglsey’s, and digs deeper in his pocket for a pen. He doesn’t find a pen, but instead a long stick. Holding it in one hand, he stares at it.
He’s a tramp in a doorway staring at a twig. No-one disturbs him.
It feels warm. Why should it feel warm? He grips it and suddenly a memory, faded and vague, returns of him holding this wand, pointing it at himself and saying something. But what? Obliviate.
What the hell does that mean? And when did he realise this was a wand?
Of course its a wand, he thinks. You’re a wizard. So why did you choose to forget?
Suddenly fear grips him. He must have done something horrific. His wife or girlfriend, or whatever she was, someone he loved certainly, and his son, were they all right? What if--No. He could never hurt them. He sighed with relief, confident in that and his love for them, if nothing else.
He puts the wand and photo away and begins to walk. He finds himself in a park. There, when no-one is around, he experiments with his wand, finding more spells coming back to him. Maybe he’ll remember. Does he want to remember?
Suddenly his wand flies from his hand. He turns around and sees three people in black cloaks, standing in front of him. They’re wearing skull masks. They should look silly, but something about them makes his blood run cold.
“Dean Shacklebolt,” one of them says. “We didn’t expect to see you cowering here.”
He doesn’t say anything. He’s not that stupid. And then, suddenly, he doesn’t have to say anything ever again. There’s a flash of green light, but before it hits him, he remembers that face, scrunched up in a smile, as he holds it in his arms.