As it is. That's what Snape said to me in his Potions class one day during my first year in Hogwarts. He was berating me and saying if he was in charge, he'd make sure I'd be a Squib. As it is.
As it is. Those words forced me to work harder and harder in all aspects of my life. Especially in what I've always wanted to do: Smithing.
If only Snape could see my Forge I built myself. If only he could see my specialized smithing equipment and custom enchanting supplies. If only he could feel the craftsmanship in every single one of my creations, from a normal axe to an exquisite diamond necklace. If only he could feel the heat in my Forge and my spirit, he would take back those words. Not verbally, of course. That would be too much.
Alas, he is dead, as are many of my friends in the final battle against Voldemort and his ultimate defeat. It came at too high a cost, I'm afraid. I lost my best friend, Lavender Brown, to Freya Greyback's vile teeth as I saw her feasting on her still-warm flesh before I cleaved her in two.
I've done things I'm not proud of. I think all of us have at some point, so disconnected from each other yet so intertwined with at the same time through the interdependent web of life. But I regret none of it. Those moments, those memories, those mistakes... They have made me who I am. And I'm happy for that. Truly.
But I've rambled long enough; you wish to know how I came to be known throughout the Magical World as the Battlemage Blacksmith, as they called me after Voldemort's end. Well, I must start at the beginning, since all good stories have a beginning. It was when, when I was sitting on the front steps of my adoptive home where Ambassador Vittoria gave me an offer I couldn't refuse. Perhaps it was because it was a cold Sunday night in the snow of winter that I accepted, but I did and that's where this story begins...
One thing Lotus hated about where he lived was that when it snowed, it got REALLY COLD. Like the kind of cold where if you breathed in, it was like breathing in fumes from a freezer.
Rubbing his hands together, he breathed into them and then pulled his wand, a 14" cedar wand with a dragon heartstring reinforced by a stainless steel mesh he specifically forged over it to make it near impossible to break. The steel gave off an onyx sheen as the light from the front porch lamp hit it.
Lotus smiled. He was always good at things like that. Smithing and magic seemed to go hand in hand with the boy. He was a prodigy in that; a genius that hasn't existed since Merlin himself gave Excalibur to King Arthur. The ones who forged Excalibur... Their blood, unbeknownst to Lotus, ran strong in him, as his mother was one of the ancient magic-smith lines that had died out when Voldemort first came to power. Not one lent the Eaters use their services, so their lives and forges were destroyed in retaliation for the insult.
It was actually the Eaters that had killed his whole family. Bellatrix Lestrange had led them but for some reason, left 1-year-old Lotus alive. According to a scan done, she had blood-rited him: A scary thing indeed.
Lotus, however, knew not what a blood-rite was or that he even WAS blood-rited to begin with. He just sighed as he sat in the cold, alone.
A warm, comforting hand was on his shoulder. "You should be inside with us, Lotus," came Mr. Vittoria's voice.
Lotus sighed again, seeing his breath crystallize. "I don't know. I don't feel like I belong there."
Mr. Vittoria just squeezed his broad shoulder and sat next to him. "I knew your parents; they made me your godfather, of course. They would be so proud of you. You're a straight-A student; the top tier in the Duelist Club and you even decided to train in martial arts. And you're doing what your grandfather on your mother's side did: Smithing."
Lotus looked up at the kind man that was his godfather. "Jim. You think I'm just wasting my time?"
"No! No. You're not wasting your time with smithing. It's an art long-forgotten to the Magical World and needs to be reforged, forgive the pun-"
"Pretty bad pun."
"-And seeing as how the proud lines of magic-smiths nearly died out during the first war against the Eaters, you'll be doing something worth more than yourself."
Mr. Vittoria looked at him. "How's this sound: If I give you a loan and rent out a place, will you pay me back by making your own smith shop?"
Lotus' blue-hazel orbs widened at the offer. "I couldn't-"
"I won't hear a word of it. The art of magic-smithing needs to be reborn. It's time."
Lotus simply nodded. "Thank you," was all he could say.
"Don't thank me yet." At that, Mr. Vittoria handed Lotus an old book. Lotus looked at it and asked, "What is it?"
"Everything you'll need to know before you start doing this is in this book," explained Mr. Vittoria as they both got up, brushing themselves off from sitting in the snow, "that has been passed down from generation to generation in your mother's family. First thing you need to do is build your own Forge and this book will teach you how."
"But can't I just rent one?" Lotus asked, not noticing his godsister Eliza standing in the doorway, her mermaid-length hair covering a part of her face and her chocolate brown eyes looking at the exchange between her father and idiot godbrother.
Mr. Vittoria shook his head. "Every Forge that a master magic-smith has had was made by themselves and enchanted with their own special enchantments to make the Forge THEIR Forge. Read the book and study it. At the end of this year, you'll be spending the summer doing what it says."
Lotus nodded and hugged the man. "Thanks Jim."
"Of course. Now I think it's time for cake, as my daughter is out here looking at us both; how much did you hear?"
"Of course you did. Training to become the next Arbiter, after all, to replace your uncle."
"Get out of the cold, you two." With that she went back inside.
Lotus shrugged. "Never understood her."
Mr. Vittoria laughed. "Your father in this situation would say, 'Don't, it makes life easier.'" Chuckling, he ushered Lotus in, who looked at his heritage in a book and thought:
This is my time.