autumn stories: 1981 – (azkaban years), weeding Proserpine’s garden, short

Rating: PG for language
Summary: April is not the cruellest month.
A/N: For scarvesnhats Day 10 prompt, “Time of No Reply” (Nick Drake), for which no light fluff could possibly be writ.


Fuck April being the cruellest month, he thought, weeding the garden ruthlessly. April, April was fine, the vessel of no memories or desires, tabula rasa. It was April’s opposite that was cruel, her dark-haired brother October, mellow and fruitful, wasn’t that it, ready, poised on the lip of the world. He thought it was cultural, something to do with the beginning of the school year: that sense of excitement, of potential; reuniting with friends after a long absence.

He would never be reunited with his friends again, that was just how it was. He had been bypassed, left behind, hollowed out. He did not believe in ghosts, but sometimes he felt as if he had become one. When the mood was upon him he went down to the garden and assassinated the aspirations of weeds, brutalized the pests and disturbed the weavings of spiders.

Sometime in the late afternoon he would come to himself, sick with himself, and he would sit back on the lawn and let the desire and need free of its cage. Please, he would think, wordless and desperate and weary of hours and days spent starving for a reply that never would come. But October’s fruits were passing strange, a kaleidoscopic horror show; he wondered which would be worse, to ask and get no answer, or to ask and to receive.

Cruel and crueller and cruellest month, October, leaving him shaking and spent in the ever-shortening days, the too-long nights. He never had been one to feel the cold; now it tenanted his skeleton and he drank tea in vain. He would have liked to say good-bye, that’s all, he thought, that’s all.

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