It was a tradition Selma had kept for years, but this year she felt odd and childish, even while writing the letter. Selma had no solid religious beliefs, so she wasn’t sure if there was a heaven or a hell, or if people were re-incarnated when they died or if they just disappeared from everything, forever. She liked to think it wasn’t the latter. But, when she was six years old and a red balloon slipped from the grip of her tight, tiny fists, and the odd old woman sitting on the bus bench a few feet away from her family watched the balloon go up and whispered “There it goes, to the angels”, Selma wasn’t terrified of the stranger, like she might’ve been in any other scenario, but more comforted by the thought that the balloon wouldn’t be floating in the sky, alone, forever, but it would perhaps come to a new owner.
Selma’s belief in angels, and that her mother probably was one, carried her through the majority of her childhood. Selma occasionally sent letters on red balloons when she was lonely, on birthdays, or sometimes just to say “hello”. One year, in fifth grade, Selma’s class was assigned a fiction-writing assignment, and Selma, after finishing her story, sent it up on a balloon to her mum.
As Selma got older, and her life started filling with school, and friends, and “teenage girl problems” she found less and less time to write to her mum, and, eventually, Selma found herself writing to her mother only twice a year: once on Prue’s birthday, and once on the anniversary of her death. In addition to this, Selma so avoided the subject of her mother’s death that she subconsciously started to doubt the existence of angels.
On February 7th, 1978, she found herself staring at a blank piece of parchment, asking herself why she was writing a letter that she would then send up on a balloon, and realized that she wasn’t sure that the answer was “so it will get to the angels”, even though it had been for the past ten years. The answer was, “I don’t know Selma, I don’t know why you are doing this. This balloon will probably end up at most half a mile away from Hogwarts, stuck on a tree branch or around some poor birds neck, and would most definitely be considered littering.” Still, Selma was unwilling to completely deny the existence of angels to her self, especially during a time where there was so little hope around her, and, what with the state of her sister, she decided that writing to her mother was still the best thing, even if it was just to organize her own thoughts.
Hesitantly putting her quill to the parchment, she wrote:
We miss you a lot, of course.
I don’t really know what to write here anymore.
Before it’s just been childish, worriless notes, but I guess I’m no longer that age.
Mouse has seemed different, lately. Not just February different. She’s been acting different for a few months, now. I think she’s kind of down about something, or everything. Maybe this is just a part of growing up, or something, but if there’s anything you can do, anything, at all, if you even get these, just, she needs something right now, and I know it can’t really be you, so I’m trying to have it be me, but I’m not really sure how to do that, but I’m trying, we’re trying, we’re figuring it out, but still, if you can, something small, please. Anything that you can do. Anything that’s in your power.
talking to you writing to you like you’re some sort of deity. I know you’re not. I meant more like motherly love power. But, please, if you can do anything at all for Mouse, even if it’s just thinking about her. Assuming you do get these, just think of her. Think about how you love her and how you know she can do it, because everyone has.
If it’s even possible, please.
I’m going to write to dad, now.
We miss you so much.
I love you.
And then, to lighten the grim mood of the letter:
P.S. Alan is only 147 centimeters tall, but he’ll probably start growing more in a year or two.
Selma folded up the letter, and tied it to the end of an old, red balloon that she had coincidentally received from Nora on her birthday a few months back. Then, after slipping outside Hogwarts with the letter and the pathetic, old, recently-refilled-not-by-helium-but-air-from-Selma’s-lungs balloon, she placed a levitation charm on the balloon, and watched it float up into the gloomy, fittingly grim February sky, hoping that the charm wouldn’t wear off in five minutes.