The Sugar Quill
Author: noodles (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Ashes, Ashes  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

Disclaimer:The world in which this story takes place is not mine.J.K. Rowling created it, and for that I am grateful to her.

 

ďAshes, AshesĒ

 

 

I walked into town today.

 

Itís not something I can do very often anymore.I tire so quickly now.But today the sun broke through the clouds, and the promise of the first fine day in many weeks called me from my home.So I pulled on my traveling cloak and took hold of my walking stick, to support my weakened frame as I walked the path.

 

A solitary life still seems alien to me, after so many years surrounded by students and faculty.The hustle and bustle of life at the school is what I have missed most about teaching.As I walked, I looked forward to meeting the crowds of people who were bound to be in town, called by the same fair weather that had so enticed me.Upon approaching the square, I saw a group of children playing.I drew closer, wishing to witness again the joys of childhood, and smiled, glad to be among young people.Innocence and happiness, so easily lost in adulthood, seemed written plainly on their faces.But then I heard what they were singing.

 

The children have a new game.

 

A Death Eaterís coming, heís climbing up the stair.

Youíd better be careful.Youíd better beware.

Donít bother screaming, youíll be dead before you shout.

You-Know-Who will get you if you donít watch out.

 

The game itself, in truth, is no different from one that has been played since I was a child.The children stand in a circle, with one in the middle, and a ball is passed around the loop.As the ball moves, they chant in unison.For three verses, the ball moves around and around.But as the last word to the last verse is shouted, the ball is thrown high into the air, and the children disperse, running in every direction.The one who had been standing in the middle of the circle must catch the ball, after which he must choose a victim and make chase.Once he succeeds in tagging another child, the victim must stand in the middle of the circle for the next round of the game.

 

So yes, the game is unchanged.But the words . . .

 

The words caught the breath in my throat.

 

A Death Eaterís coming, heís opening the door.

Your friends and your family wonít see you anymore.

ĎCause heíll skin ya if youíre skinny and heíll eat ya if youíre stout.

The Dark Lord will get you if you donít watch out.

 

I am a very old woman.I survived two rises to power of the most dangerous and the most evil wizard that history has ever known.I watched as my friends and my colleagues and my students succumbed to fear of his coming.I watched as these friends and these colleagues and these students died at his will.

 

None of these children were alive then.Their parents were not alive then.They are two generations removed from the horrors that I have known.Their grandparents were there, but children are not affected by the stories of old men and women.Without the first-hand experience of the agonies of fear and of war, the stories become entertainment.History becomes legend.

 

Terror becomes a game.

 

I turned around and walked back to my home.I had lost the heart for my outing.Upon entering my house, I sat in a chair in the kitchen and cried.

 

A Death Eaterís coming, heís standing at your back.

Thereís nowhere to hide.†† Heís going to attack.

The Dark Markís appearing, of that there is no doubt.

VOLDEMORT will get you if you

Donít.

Watch.

OUT!

//
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