The Sugar Quill
Author: Connor Coyne (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Sestina for Ginny  Chapter: Default
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He didn't want to speak of love

He didn't want to speak of love.


He'd once approached the word, delicately, tentatively, but finding its dimensions too many, its shape unfamiliar, its movements strange and haphazard, he'd shrunk away.


Already too much to worry about, he'd thought, dejected, on the train.


He'd had opportunities to notice.  He felt apprehensive about noticing.  Noticing carried too many risks and responsibilities.  He felt encumbered, already, by friendships and anxieties, compounding dreams, nightmares of obligations imposed by prophesies.


He understood the risk his friendship and love could impart...


So, naturally, while he loved his friends and his teachers, "love" was a  word he avoided at all costs, in his mind as well as his speech.


When Harry arrived back in Surrey, and had freed himself from Uncle Vernon's hostile frown and Dudley's frightened whining, he lay on his bed, studying the bleak ceiling once again.


He'd had opportunities to notice, and he finally had to admit it to himself, but he wouldn't let the words take direct shape in his brain.


But then the clouds came; daydreams of anticipated nightmares filled the empty air above him.


Every summer I lie here with my eyes

fixed on this horrible ceiling, while fire

flashes in my mind.  I always promise

myself, 'next year will be sane,' but monsters

disrupt my dreams, and when I wake, a smoke

seems to hang in my thoughts.  I'm all alone. 


All alone, and they're hunters.  So alone

I lie, my eyes locked on this ceiling, eyes

fixed in fear, unblinking, waiting for smoke

to clear, make room for empty skies, starfire. 

I'm not afraid.  I'm lonely.  The monsters

know what I need, know my mind, promise


me horrible things.  The hunter's promise

to his prey: 'We will kill you cold alone. 

Never doubt the promises of monsters.' 

That's how Cedric fell with a breath, his eyes

exhaled and extinguished.  Sirius, fire

alight in his eyes, fell, vanished like smoke. 


I just stood both times, numb, fleeting as smoke,

as weak as a breath.  I cannot promise

my friends they won't die because of me.  Fire

surrounds me, it seems, burns.  I alone

am not hurt, but all that I touch dies.  My eyes...

My eyes.  My eyes have witnessed the monsters


as they hunt and prey: 'Crucio!' the monsters

scream.  I hear this every night.  Dark as smoke

their dark sentiments storm, darken my eyes. 

I hate them.  If I... If I could promise...

if I could promise... that you're not alone.

Do I stare at a ceiling, or fire? 


Every time I see you I think of fire,

lately, I mean, sometimes, when the monsters

crowd my head, I think of you.  You're alone,

but you're shining like a fire through the smoke.                          

And if I could protect you, could promise

that no hunters or monsters fill our eyes...


My mind's filled with smoke.  Your hair shines like fire,

light burning monsters.  And if I promise

we won't be alone... You.  I miss your eyes.


He caught his thought.


He held it for a moment.


He carefully stowed it away.

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