Title: Beauty in Death

Author: Hebi R.

Disclaimer: I would love to own Harry Potter, or even just the threstrals, but that is not going to happen.

They are beautiful, you know. The threstrals, I mean. Their black scales have an iridescence in the moonlight, and you would never guess how soft their manes can be if you only take the time to give them a good brushing.

I do not think most people realize how gentle they are. I know that not every creature Dumbledore allowed near the school was entirely safe, but the threstrals have pulled carriages up the hill for hundreds of years without causing more damage than the occasion step-on foot. Threstrals are not predators. The meat they consume comes from creatures that are already dead. A threstral can go its entire life without having to harm another living thing. Humans seem far less capable in that respect.

People just do not understand why threstrals can only be seen by those who have viewed death. It is not because they are evil. It is because only someone who has seen death, felt that kind of pain, can bear to look upon the dark winged horses, death given living form. To appreciate their beauty, though, requires the understanding that death is not always a fearsome thing. Death can be the gift of release from what we cannot endure. I learned that from my mother. Just before she breathed her last, her expression of pain relaxed into one of relief.

My mother used to say that threstals are the only truly living creatures who can cross the veil, and they can carry the dead with them to ease the journey. I hope to live a long life, and raise my daughter so that she will not fear the unknown. But when it is my time, I can think of no better way to say goodbye to this world than from the back of a threstral as it soars.

A/N: Before anyone asks, I am not advocating suicide. Ever. When someone is terminally ill, constantly in pain, and cannot be helped by doctors, death can be a relief. I always thought that threstrals sounded beautiful, and I have a soft spot in my heart for scavengers, who tend to get a bad reputation. And if possible, I want to go to the afterlife on flying horseback, don't' you?