The Sugar Quill
Author: Corvidae  Story: Ballad of Lost Souls  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.

This story was originally just a little something for my morbid fascination with Harry’s tortured psyche

 

 

Ballad of lost souls

 

The moon was a sugary orb, sprinkling grains of light across the wide expanse of the Hogwarts grounds.

 

One hundred miles in the other direction, a Phoenix perched on an empty ledge of a massive canyon, filling it with an eerie tune. The melody echoed in the moonlight and bounced from wall to rock-strewn wall, till it escaped from the crevice and flowed across the countryside lulling creatures to sleep and enchanting wakeful idealists.

 

In a tower window, a light flickered and a boy stirred. He had been dreaming of painful memories and could no longer find comfort in the fuzzy darkness of his mind. He willed himself from his bed and made his way over to the window where he allowed his head to lean on his arms, and his eyes to gaze restlessly out into the shadows.

 

“How,” he thought, “how am I not… messed up by now from everything I’ve had to choke down?” He thought gloomily about his life thus far, about his friends, about his enemies. His mental anguish was welling up inside him like a rising flood.

Sleep rarely found its way into his four-poster bed, and this midnight stargazing had become almost habitual for him. He didn’t like to be so introspective, it made him come to terms with things he wished he didn’t have to, and it was times like these that Harry fancied the idea of owning his own Pensieve.

 

 Upon thinking this he suddenly felt very sorry for professor Dumbledore. How many dark times had befallen him? How much unwanted wisdom must he possess?  How had he managed to stay sane for so long with so much baggage? Harry now understood why Professor Dumbledore looked so old sometimes and why he was inclined to think a bit differently than most people. Harry tried to imagine himself at that age; it brought up two mental images: Himself with a very long white beard like Dumbledore’s, and a headstone in a nice plot of land, reading, “Harry Potter: The boy who lived.” And then died, he thought.

 

The irony of that one made him laugh sullenly, but apparently not as quietly as he’d intended. For Ron, who had assumedly been asleep up until that moment, rolled over, opened his eyes and when he saw Harry, sat up; “Again, Harry?”

~*~

Many a night had he awoken to this scene. It was one that greatly disturbed him too. It filled Ronald Weasley with resentment towards whoever had made his friend suffer so when no one was watching. And it saddened him to an extent he could never let Harry know, though he would try sometimes. To him, it seemed impossible that one small being should have to carry so much--impossible and cruel.

~*~

Harry didn’t say anything; he just smiled weakly in response. “Oh come on then,” Ron said as he climbed down to stand beside his best friend. For a while they just stood there, not saying anything.

 

“Harry…” Ron began cautiously.

 

 “I know.” Harry cut him off before he could finish. Ron was a good friend, and Harry knew he was trying to console him, trying to cope with him. But one thing he didn’t seem to understand, was that Harry felt bad for making him want to try and cope too--if that made any sense. He felt the same sorrow for making his friends worry about him that they felt while worrying about him. It was something he would never be able to forgive himself for.  Ever.

 

“I know.”

~*~

Ron grimaced. No matter how many times he was reassured that Harry knew that they were there for him, he didn’t think he quite understood his devotion fully.  And though that fact bothered him, Ron decided to look at it as a future opportunity to demonstrate. 

~*~

They continued to stare out into the darkness, putting their separate thoughts aside and focusing on that. It took them a minute to realize that the melancholy tune that had sound-tracked both their thoughts was not only in their heads.

 

“Do you hear music?” Ron broke the silence.

 

 Harry looked at him in surprise, “…yes.”

 

They stood there for a minute moment letting the ethereal music fully impact itself. Then they turned and smiled at each other, and almost felt like laughing, but then the stillness of the evening impressed itself upon their smiles and they only made eye contact while turning to look up at the moon again. It was now uncovering itself from an assembly of dark blue clouds, and for a little while at least, all was right with the world as they knew it. Now they were focusing on the music.  The same song in both their ears, and the same darkness ahead.

 

 

 

 

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