I am on the train to London. I may never see Dougal again—or worse, and more likely, I’ll see him every time I visit my family.
I keep thinking of his face, when I said I could not marry him. I knocked on his door and I could tell he knew, the minute he saw me, but I still had to say it, I still had to take the ring off my finger, and I still had to put the ring into his hand because he would not take it from mine.
Before I walked to his father’s farm I wanted to put a charm on the ring, so that he would always stay safe. Then I thought I should put a love charm on the ring, so that whomever he marries will love him as much as I do. But Professor Dumbledore taught us that love charms always fail; love is something bigger than magic, and cannot be controlled by it.
But I gave up love for magic.
The hardest part is that I could not tell him why I had changed my mind. He said “I knew you didn’t really want to, I always knew,” and I wanted to tell him that I was doing this so I did not have to keep the truth of who I was a secret, but of course I could not tell him because I have to keep the truth of who I am a secret.
It’s a snake eating its own tail, and here’s its twin: if I told Dougal that I was going to work for the Ministry of Magic, I’d lose my job at the Ministry of Magic. So instead I let him think that I was fickle and callous and then I left for London early. I did not tell anyone beside my family I was going, but I have no doubt that when I arrive, someone from the Ministry will be there to meet me. They know everything. They may already know about Dougal and the ring. It will be a relief if I never have to tell them.
Now I must begin my new life, and treat it like the life I always wanted. Which would have been true, before this summer. Which still is true—even though it breaks my heart to think of it.
I hope Dougal will think of me fondly, once his own heartbreak has healed.