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Story Notes:
July 12th is always a somber day at home. Susan doesn’t understand why until she’s older. As a younger child, she is confused when she catches Father sitting in his study with a bottle of amber liquid with a photograph and tears on his face. Father never cries, not even when Mother dropped that heavy trunk on his foot when they moved last year. Then, he just smiled and laughed before teasing Mother. To see him with tears on his face worries her, so she goes to ask Mother what’s wrong.

For years, Mother tells her that he just needs some time alone then suggests taking a walk or making biscuits, which easily distracts Susan. It’s not until she’s fifteen and Cedric Diggory (handsome, smart, charming) is dead, allegedly killed by He Who Must Not Be Named, that she finally understands.

That summer, she hears her parents and aunt Amelia talking behind half-closed doors and starts to look at old family photographs of the uncle she never knew. Uncle Edgar died during war, she’s always been told, and she doesn’t ask more because Father doesn’t want to talk about his older brother. When she lets her curiosity lead her to asking aunt Amelia outright, she listens in growing horror as she’s told (very briefly) that Edgar and his family were attacked and murdered (in ways that make her strong, brave aunt pale even as she doesn’t specify) by He Who Must Not Be Named.

On July 12th that year, she watches Father go to his study and sit with a bottle of Firewhisky, drinking quietly while remembering his fallen brother. She thinks of Cedric, beautiful Cedric with the quick smile and a friendly word for everyone, and is soon wiping tears from her face. With a determined set of her shoulders, she gets a butterbeer from the refrigerator and joins her father.

Cedric didn’t die on July 12th, but it seems as good a time as any to remember her own fallen brother.