This is the first fic I've posted. Please please review .

This was written for a contest at the hideaway. Thanks to Miss Mcgonagle and OSUSprinks, for reading and not slating it too badly.

So… goes.

It was a phantom…. It had to be. He was dead…..wasn't he?

She glanced up to the enchanted ceiling. Nebulous clouds rolled overhead, casting a gloomy light over the Great Hall. She looked again to the empty chair at the staff table…..a trick of the light.

Perhaps a mirage, a fata morgana. The rational professor in her knew it couldn't be real. An atmospheric phenomenon, layers of hot and cold air causing refraction and distortion of an image. The woman in her, the heartbroken, grief stricken woman yearned for it to be real.

Slowly she dropped to her knees covering her face with shaking hands. Silent sobs wracked her slight frame as she cried for her lost love. She cried for the long years spent dancing around each other, both afraid to reveal their feelings. She cried for the few months of pure joy they had experienced in the arms of their one true lover. She cried for the agony of enduring years of pain and loneliness once more.

The mournful, haunting melody of a phoenix song drew her from her reverie. She peered through slim fingers to the empty chair.

No…….it was only a phantom.