a / n ;; Written for the E.E. Cummings challenge over on the HPFC forum. It was wicked fun. Oh, and I should probably mention that I speculated a lot as to Em's age.
edited;; May 3, 2010 at 12:49 p.m. (because ff can't refrain from jacking up my section breaks)

color me breathless

cross the threshold have no dread.

When you were six, you watched your father bury your sister's rabbit in a shallow grave-- earth and leaves and maggots writhing in the sunlight.

And you couldn't quite grasp the finality of the muddy spade and shadowed garden, but years from then you still awoke with the taste of earth in your mouth and the feeling of insects under your eyelids.

And you'd shake and stutter and speak to the walls, "not yet, not yet," because even if it was an inevitability it could wait just another moment longer.

When you were thirteen, you tasted death in the suffocating heat of the divination classroom-- like bitter tea and damp earth and metal between your teeth.

"My dear, you have a most unfortunate future."

You laughed and smiled and shrugged it off, but Mary stops and stares at the sudden stop of your cut off life line.

When you were nineteen, you watched as your father stained the carpet scarlet and your sister shrieked and shrieked and with a burst of green like mold and dying leaves--


Then they turned to you and sneered and it was almost really happening, but you thought you'd choke on the taste of mud and maggots, and you turned on your heel and disappeared.

You could never look Dumbledore in the eye after that.

When you were twenty-one, you had already watched the earth rise up to swallow your friends and family, but not you, not yet. And you could maybe stave if off a little while longer because the Dark Lord is gone, but even so you were still running.

When you were thirty-seven, the Death Eaters come for you, (the last time, and you don't doubt this for a moment) and you pick up your wand and face them and--


And when the spell comes, you let it.

You've been too long running.