Name: Acacia Carter
Ratings/Warnings: Third/Fifth Years, mild substance abuse
Word Count: 436 give or take a few
A/N: Thank you gmariam for the beta
It wasn't proper to hate one's father, Hannah knew, but he was making it so easy.
It wasn't fair. She needed him. He had no right to shut himself away like this. She found herself thinking all sorts of traitorous thoughts: he had lost his wife, but she had lost her mother. It wasn't as though she could get another one of those. And with her mother's death she'd lost a significant link with the magical world; her father had been accepting and involved with her and her mother's lives, but he'd never really understood.
He certainly understood Dreamless Sleep Potions well enough, though. Hannah felt anger curl sourly in her stomach at the thought. Her uncle had meant well when he'd started bringing them, but things were getting absolutely out of hand, and no one would listen to her when she begged them to stop giving her father the tiny cobalt vials. She almost wished he was a drunkard instead; at least then she could be angry at him without feeling guilty over it.
He wouldn't wake until well after noon. Hannah did not know why she was awake so early, except that she couldn't quiet her mind enough to fall back to sleep. The grey edges of morning only made the naked branches of the trees outside more forlorn, and even the neighbour's fairy lights could not banish that clinging feeling of hopelessness that seemed to have gripped every morning since her mother had died.
She knew she should be trying to wake her father up, getting him presentable, going through the motions of looking forward to the Christmas dinner that her uncle hosted every year. But somehow, with her mother gone, Hannah couldn't shake the feeling that she and her father no longer belonged at that gathering. Her connection to that side of the family had been severed, and the thought of seeing them all giving her those pitying looks was like salt in a gaping wound.
No, they'd stay home today. They'd ignore the fairy lights and the smell of evergreen boughs on the air. Her father probably didn't know what day it was, so he wouldn't even realise anything was amiss. Maybe some other year, when the pain wasn't so fresh, they'd be able to decorate a tree and exchange brightly-wrapped parcels and light a candle for her mother to celebrate her favourite holiday.
This year, though, the world was grey and swirled around the enormous hole that had been left in their lives, and neither she nor her father could escape that yawning empty void they carried within their hearts.