alt_sirius: (Sincere)
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Greetings, British Wizarding World!

The Daily Prophet has made much in the last week of my recent escape from MLE.

I admit, there's only one reason you have read about how I evaded them, rather than about my death by Bellatrix Lestrange's wand. That reason is a young woman named Ellie Summer.

Ellie was born to Michael and Jean Summer in 1977. We think her birthday was in April, because she remembered it being some time around Easter. When she was five, she was separated from her parents and put into one of the Muggleborn compounds in Stoke-on-Trent. At approximately seven years of age, she was given to Madam Leona Dimmock of Ollerton. Her principal duties were to serve at the witch's social parties, mixing drinks and so on. She was treated as something between a house elf and a pet - until, that is, Ellie grew too old for Madam Dimmock's tastes. She was too tall, too spotty and 'no longer elfin' and so the old woman sent her back to the camps.

Ellie never talked to us much about what life was like there, over the next four or five years. I can only imagine that it's a time she would have preferred to forget. It's not hard to guess what she endured: a young girl, growing to womanhood, alone, with no idea how to survive. The best she could say about her mistress was that under her yoke, she did not know hunger, was not physically abused and knew, when she laid her head to rest, that she would not be robbed or murdered in her sleep. No such guarantee in the camps, where too often it's every one for herself, where the gaolers are more dangerous than the inmates. But nothing prepared her to go back, either.

When she came to us, Ellie was concerned about the rules. Things a free person would never worry about: How and where to stand, what to say or not say, what would happen if she failed to meet expectation. The first time she broke a glass, she almost cut herself trying to clean up with her bare hands, sobbing the whole time, she was that frightened of disapproval. She didn't know she could trust us and had no reason not to fear the consequences of failing to please. But from the beginning, she had a way with the customers, particularly the other Muggleborn who would shop for the households they served, or some of the older witches and wizards who would drop in more for the conversation and company than anything on the shelves. Eventually, she grew to understand that her new 'masters' were not going to treat her as a slave. They were interested in her as a person.

In time, Ellie came to be more than a servant - she became a trusted friend. She practically ran the shop by herself and customers often came to see her, even when there was nothing they wanted to buy. She was clever, funny, observant, kind and - above all - decent to everyone who crossed her path.

Ellie also talked with us about the change we desired for England, restoring a government that valued equality, condemning the cruel treatment of muggles for no crime other than being in the majority population, recognising that anyone born capable of magic has the right to hold a wand and freeing all of Britain once more, reconnecting it to the rest of the world. We made sure she had a wand and taught her to use it. Her appetite for learning spells was insatiable. She was always interested in tales about how things were before, as well as stories about our ongoing struggle against Voldemort. She was always willing to help in any effort that would further the Order's goals for freedom.

Ellie wanted to see Paris, Rome, New York City. She dreamed of having her own children. But she was also fierce, and practical, and knew that we had to fight to win those privileges which in other countries are rights.

Ellie Summer was killed last Sunday, 26th October. She leapt in front of a Killing Curse, one that would have killed me if she had not acted with outright bravery. She died to give me, and others, a chance to escape, to keep fighting. She died in service to the Order of the Phoenix. She was twenty years old.

Ellie was never given the opportunity to be Sorted, but if she had come to Hogwarts, I believe she would have been a Gryffindor. I believe she would have brought honour to our House. I am proud to have called her a friend. The Grim Truth is that I can never repay her sacrifice - but I can make sure she is remembered.

Since you will not read her obituary in any account the Prophet might provide, I thought it would be fitting to share it here.
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July 2015

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