Disclaimer:  Anything you recognize belongs to the goddess, JKR.  Dedicated to Mel, primarily because of the ice cream and the hot chocolate.  Mainly a stream of consciousness narrative.

That Sudden Change of Perspective

I remember it well.  Sitting at the tables and eating the delicious food.  If I concentrate hard enough, I can almost taste the roast lamb that I chose as my final meal here.  The smells of the food and the excited conversations of the students…particularly those who would be leaving this place forever.

I remember it well.  Hating the noise and the joyous fanfare.  Wanting to show everyone what lay hidden on my left forearm.  Knowing it would silence the room.  Knowing it would likely lead me to Azkaban but thinking it might be worth it just to cease the idle chatter.  Casting a superior eye on those of less dignified lineage.  My family goes back many centuries with nary a Muggle or Squib to be seen. 

Besides, I had made my choice, hadn't I?  It's not as if I could have turned back then, could I?  Even if I had wanted to erase this mark on my arm, I couldn't very well return to the Dark Lord and tell him I'd had a change of heart.

I remember it well.  Suddenly the noise and the chatter stopped being so bothersome.  I started listening to the conversations.  I know I heard at least two proposals.  I heard everyone talking about the future and all the plans they had.  Everyone seemed so happy.  I was happy, wasn't I?  Didn't happiness entail not having to worry about the future because you were aligned with someone who could give you what you truly wanted?  Knowledge.  Was that not happiness?

I remember it well.  I realized that, when the Dark Lord attacked, most of them would be dead…or tortured or both.  Their dreams would turn to dust and all that would be left would be those in pursuit of the knowledge I was seeking.  There would be no talk of Quidditch matches, no arguments over the results of the latest poll in Witches Weekly and certainly no comments about the latest Muggle accidentally coming into contact with our world.

I remember it well.  That sinking feeling in my stomach.  But wasn't this what I wanted?  A pure world devoted to research and knowledge.  Wasn't purity a noble thing to be sought after?

Wasn't it?

I remember it well.  Realizing that a world without the chatter and the nonsense, without Quidditch and silly magazines and lovesick teenagers would be a world so much the poorer.  It would be sterile and empty of all the bright things…all the colourful things.  It would be a world of power and knowledge but without a soul.

And the world, just like the body, cannot survive properly without its soul.

I remember it well.  Running to his office and offering myself to whatever punishment he saw fit.  Prepared to face dragons, Dementors and Azkaban itself.

I was not prepared for the strongest punishment of all.

His forgiveness and the chance to redeem myself.

Yes, indeed, I remember it far too well.

And, sometimes, when I sit alone in my dungeons and take out the lesson plans to revise for the upcoming school year, I wish I could forget it all.  Make of my past a blank slate upon which I could write anything I wished. 

But, with that wish, I know that there is something more permanent than the memories, which can be so easily altered.  It lies hidden beneath my left sleeve.  Always hidden.

Because, if I hide it…no one can see, can they?

But everyone does, all the same.