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mirabella ([personal profile] mirabella) wrote in [community profile] mirabellafic2013-02-01 05:57 pm
Entry tags:

Missa. HP, G.

Missa. Vignettes, post-War, G.

Taedet animum meam: Harry

For some reason Harry always thinks it should be hardest in the fall, when the air is full of dying leaves and the ash from wood fires, because then he should think of endings, and having to say goodbye; but it isn't.

Or it should be hardest in winter, when the trees stand stark against the sky and even a fire like a furnace can't take the chill from a bed that should have been warm with laughter and desire and never was, and nothing grows in all the world; but it isn't.

Or it should be hardest in the spring, when the rain falls gently again and everywhere he looks the earth is coming back to life, because there is not enough rain in the world to bring back what lives now only in old school pictures; but it isn't.

It's hardest in the summer, when the sky is wide open and endless blue; and when Harry flies, the earth beneath him is silver and green.

Introitus: Remus

There was a time when he might have loved this house.

They might, the two of them, have finished cleaning it. They might have gotten rid of all the dusty detritus of dark arts and old blood, found a way to pry the portrait of Sirius' mother from the wall, given Kreacher clothes. They might have cleaned and opened the windows, replaced the heavy velvet curtains with lighter ones made from cool cotton that smelled like the fresh air over fields. They might have buffed and polished the heavy oak banisters until they glowed, washed the chandelier into bright still glimmering, replaced the dark stained glass with windows that would draw in the morning sun. There could have been life here again, in this house; it could have been filled with the sound of children laughing, calling to each other over the banisters and between the kitchen and the yard, not moving quietly from room to room in a grave quiet beyond their years. It was a beautiful house once; and no matter how poisoned at the core the Blacks were, they were human, and once upon a time there must have been love and hope.

There is a boggart in the attic. Remus cannot face it, though he tells himself he will soon.

Sirius used to joke that the house needed not a cleaning service but an exorcist. Standing in the kitchen in the first light of morning, a cup of coffee untasted and forgotten in his hands, Remus thinks that Sirius might have been right.

Kyrie: Molly

Molly remembers what faith was like.

It was a homely thing, like a warm fire when it was cold outside, like the sounds of her loud, cheerful family gathered around the table. It was like her mother rocking beside the hearth, knitting by hand when she could have used magic; like her grandmother singing in the kitchen while the smell of bread drifted through the house. It was as if some small part of her had remained a little girl, knowing that however high she was tossed into the air, her father's strong arms and laughter would be waiting to catch her when she fell.

She remembers what faith was like. She remembers feeling guilty and ungrateful when she doubted, when she worried, when she wondered if everything might come to ruin no matter how hard she held tight to those dear to her and folded them under her wings against the storm. She remembers when the doubt passed and faith returned like her mother's voice in the morning; she remembers telling herself she was being silly, and believing it.

Faith went into the ground with Arthur, and Molly no longer believes that a Spring will come that will bring it back.

Graduale: Fred

Sometimes, if he's tired enough, if he half-closes his eyes and lets his mind drift, he can convince himself that the hand on his shoulder is George's.

It isn't as if there's much to tell between them, his hand and George's. George's hand had a small scar just under the left thumb, on the back, where a garden gnome once bit him a bit too deeply; Fred's hand has a tiny dent in the ring finger from an accident with an experiment in exploding snap decks. Their nails were the same, their knuckles, the light dusting of red-blond hair on the back; they used to hold their hands up palm to palm, to make sure that neither was growing faster than the other. Their hands always matched, fingerprint to fingerprint.

Sometimes when he catches the mirror in just the right mood, he can get it to say "Hello, Fred," in George's voice, which is also his own voice. Then he lifts his hand to the glass and watches George's hand lift with it - but he stops just before he touches the cold glass, just the moment before he would touch George's hand and find that it was not George at all. Sometimes he looks up at the image in the mirror and finds that it is weeping, when Fred himself is not.

He sits up against the wall in the darkness, slipping a hand onto his shoulder where the shadows will hide his thumb and ring finger, and the hand on his skin is warm and gentle.

Fred has heard that the happiest man in the world would look into the Mirror of Erised and see only himself. He finds it funny, in a way, that anyone who could watch him look in that mirror and see what he saw would mistake him for happy. He would laugh at the thought, but he is too tired. Instead he leans his cheek against the hand on his shoulder, and tells himself that George doesn't mind.

Offertorium: Ron

He pretends every day that it isn't too late.

Most mornings, he wakes up already halfway into an argument with her. She doesn't roll her eyes and brush him off, in these arguments; she listens, she realizes that he's right, she acknowledges for once in her life that maybe, just maybe, she doesn't know everything. And then it's all right and he doesn't have to be furious with her anymore, because her stupid stubbornness won't have cost him something that he didn't learn how to value until it was beyond his reach. Not that he isn't furious with her anyway, sometimes; and he rails at her to see what she's done, to look what she's done to Harry, Harry who never smiles anymore, who dresses as if mourning were the color of his eyes.

Ron doesn't know how to reach him anymore. He thinks that, if he could only reach Hermione, maybe that would come round right again too. So he argues with the silence and tries to convince himself that she hears, that he can make it all right again, that one day he will wake up and find that this has all been a dream and it isn't too late after all.

The year turns and the snow falls, and Ron pretends that she can find her way back.

Sanctus, Benedictus: Snape

Rosemary is for remembrance, a potent ingredient in any potion that affects the memory. Fresh, it enhances recall to hallucinatory clarity; dried, it covers memory in a gentle fog of distance and time. Dried rosemary has become very popular since the War ended - Snape grows the plant in his garden now, the garden Lucius Malfoy always found so amusing, as if Snape were growing poppies and pennyroyal like a village hedge-witch.

It is the Purebloods, mostly, who come to him for memory potions. The others don't understand, not really. It is too easy for them to see the end of the War as a triumph over some faceless evil; the Purebloods know better that every celebration is also a wake, that the wizarding world, so small already, has lost more than it could afford to lose. How fragile their world must have been, that a handful of madmen could cause so much devastation; how fragile, and no one saw until it was too late.

Easy for the Muggle-born to say Death Eater and mean vermin; harder for the Purebloods, to whom the phrase also means cousin, friend, sibling, parent, child, lover. Harder still for Snape and the very few people like him, who knew that the Death Eaters were not all cut from the same cloth: Bellatrix Lestrange was burning small animals alive in wicker men when she was ten years old, but Lucius was gentler in the dark where no one could see, told his lovers that they were beautiful and meant every word. Starling learned from the Muggles how much devastation could be wreaked on the human body, and considered himself an adept at the art; Goyle pretended not to know any curse but Avada Kedavra, and came back from every foray in such a filthy temper that even Starling steered clear.

Even among the Death Eaters there were small moments of grace, and Lucius, in whose eyes so much was beautiful, taught Snape to see them. Maybe he could have taught everyone, given time. Snape wonders if it would make a difference, now that all the Death Eaters are dead, if the wizarding world were allowed to see them too.

But though he is perfectly happy to keep the fact hidden forever from all other eyes, Snape, though he is never kindly, can occasionally be kind; and so he keeps those memories of the Death Eaters to himself, and grows rosemary in his garden.

Agnus Dei: Lockhart

Gilderoy Lockhart is happy, though sometimes he has the uncomfortable feeling that he shouldn't be.

Sometimes when people come to ask him for his autograph - how famous he must have been, how wonderful and charming! - they are weeping, or have been weeping, and Gilderoy wonders why but doesn't like to ask. Sometimes he listens carefully to the ward nurses and feels that he is on the very verge of figuring it out, of remembering - Gilderoy is not stupid, not really, though from the way other people treat him it seems to him that it must once have served him to have everyone think he was stupid. He listens to the ward nurses, and tries; but when he writes things down he forgets where he puts them, and words that he knows should be important flow away toward the sea and are lost.

He knows this should upset him. He knows that he should be fighting for his old life, his identity, to be part of whatever it is that darkens the world just outside the hospital windows. But the nurses are fond of him and like to bring him treats; and when he can either devote his attention to the dim understanding of something terrible or to the discovery (made possibly for the first, tenth, or hundredth time) that treacle tart is surely the food of the gods... well, treacle goes bad if one leaves it long enough but terrible things will still be terrible after dinner.

Sometimes, though, Gilderoy hears a name and some part of him thinks Oh, no. Oh, no. Sometimes there will be some fleeting quality attached to that feeling: so pretty, so handsome, such a promising student, such lovely manners. And sometimes Gilderoy finds himself crying by the window, looking out at the rain, knowing only that something precious has been lost.

When the nurses ask him why he is crying, he cannot tell them. It is all so vague, children and death, shame and grief; so instead he tells them a story, about a handsome prince who through no fault of his own slew the dragon too late to save the maiden.

The nurses bring him treacle tarts and stroke his hair as if he were a child himself; and sometimes he wonders why they are weeping, but he doesn't like to ask.

Versa est in luctum: Neville

Neville has an imaginary garden filled with sweet-blooming jessamine and graves.

He tends it as carefully as he would any real garden, weeding and planting, keeping the headstones clear of grass and climbing vines. It began with only two graves - his parents, who died in his seventh year - but there are more now, marble stones and mourning angels growing like climbing roses among the plants that Neville loves best. He prefers this graveyard to the real ones because it is his; it keeps his dead close to him, sheltered where he can care for them, and in the caskets beneath the stones are not decaying corpses but lives, souls, evergreen. It is beautiful here, and his dead deserve beauty.

He talks to them as he tends the garden. He tells Hermione about his herbology studies, tells his parents about his friends, tells his grandmother about the award his luminescent water-lilies won in a gardening show, tells Draco that he and Goyle went to the gardens at Kew. He has things to tell them all, and the most important thing he has to tell them is: Wait.

There is infinite room in his garden; and with infinite patience Neville keeps it from growing wild. There will be more gravestones before the end, and Neville has room and time for all of them.

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