[identity profile] flava-page.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] remix_redux
Title: Burn Your Starry Crown (The So Young Remix)
Author: Claire ([livejournal.com profile] tornyourdress)
Summary: You are fifteen, and you don't understand about the war, the Final Battle, or your teachers.
Rating: PG
Fandom: Harry Potter
Original story: Burn Your Starry Crown by Sakura ([livejournal.com profile] thelasteuropean)

You don’t understand about the war, not really. You are fifteen years old and Muggle-born and the first time you heard about Hogwarts was when the letter arrived in the post, shocking your family. Not that you didn’t always suspect there was something different about you, but you told yourself that was foolish, to believe you had certain powers. Child’s play. And now you are at a school where it’s all real, and that captivated you for so long that you missed out on the signs.

There is a tree that weeps, in the grounds; you thought it was a clever wizard variation on the idea of a weeping willow before one of your classmates told you a story, to do with the war and the tears that roll down its trunk. Some of them are from wizarding families but none of you really know anything; you were all too young to be told what was happening. Stories filter down from older siblings, parents, teachers.

Professor Granger, who teaches you Transfiguration, was there for the Final Battle, someone whispered to you in hushed tones on your first day of class, and you knew without understanding what it meant that the capital letters were deserved. She looks old and tired, her thick hair not quite greying but looking worn-out all the time, so it surprises you when you hear that she was a student not so very long ago. That she was barely out of school when the battle took place.

“Snape used to be her teacher,” one of your friends says as you sit out in the grass trying to get your homework done. It is September and you have OWLs this year, but it is still too warm and sunny to even contemplate studying properly, so you sit outside in a group of giggling girls and you talk about your teachers, because that is what you do.

He is your teacher too, you think, and you press your quill so firmly against the parchment that it pierces it. You have never cared for Snape until this year, your fifth year of Potions. It is your best subject despite the way he speaks to you, all of you, sarcastic, cold, cruel. Every girl here has run out of his classroom sobbing at least once in her time here.

It is only lately that you have observed the half-heartedness of the unpleasantness, how there is something mechanical in the harsh way he treats his students. You have taken to watching him in class. Not to learn about the material but to learn about him.

You want to look into his eyes and understand this war and what it has done to him. You do not tell your friends this. What fascinates you all about Granger and Snape is simply that they are together, and that it is in many ways inexplicable. They barely speak to each other, someone says, and you wonder if this is true. You imagine it not to be so. You think they must talk, but only when no one else is around.

You think they must show a great deal of physical affection for each other in private too. You rarely see them together, but it is common knowledge that they live together. You think that the distance between them must dissolve behind closed doors, and you wish you knew what it was like to be Professor Granger.

One day in class you catch a glimpse of scar tissue beneath her robes, and you will yourself not to gasp. You are the only one to notice and for that you feel uniquely privileged in some way; it is some insight into what the war has done. You do not tell your friends about that in the same way that you do not mention the way you think about Snape.

They are not married. You wonder about this, what it means. There is talk of other loves, past loves, dead loves. You heard something in first year, before you knew enough to know what it meant, about her friendship with Potter. You wonder if she loved him, or if it was another boy who broke her heart. There were many dead boys in that war. You looked at the records once, for your own interests rather than for your schoolwork. The war is too fresh and raw to be on any history syllabus, and Professor Binns is one of the few who does not seem to have noticed it happened at all. Some times you find it comforting, the way he drones on about long-ago battles. Those survivors are long dead now. They are at peace.

There is a story about Potter’s mother and Snape which you hear snippets of and do not know whether to believe or not. She married someone else. She couldn’t have loved him that much. You find a picture of her when you hunt through old newspapers; she is still in school at the time, maybe the same age you are now. She smirks at you and shifts restlessly within the boundary of the photograph. You find it hard to reconcile this girl with everything else you know about her, with the image of the devoted mother that you have heard about.

You wonder if he loved her anyway. She is beautiful. Granger is not, but maybe she was when she was younger, before the fighting, before whatever happened that left her bruised and scarred.

When you are all practicing your beauty charms one night, you let your friends turn your hair red, just to see how it looks. In the mirror you are still you, only with a different hair colour. It fades by the time morning comes.

Your best friend is “sort of going out with” a boy from Hufflepuff and you cannot make yourself find the boys in your year attractive. You concentrate on your studies instead. The exams are approaching and you are hoping that to do well will mean something, will earn you some kind of response other than a scowl or a sneer.

After your Potions exam you wander in the grounds and they are sitting underneath the tree, both of them. You have seen her there before, once or twice; people think it’s weird, the way she goes there to sit like a statue or a zombie. You have never seen him there before.

They are sitting there and they are not touching and they are not talking and there is seemingly no registering of the fact that you are nearby, that there are other students nearby, talking and laughing and discussing how the exam went for them.

It is like a vigil, maybe, but you don’t know. They don’t look like two people who are in love but they look like two people who couldn’t possibly be with anyone apart from one another, and you don’t understand how or why. They are not holding hands or gazing into each other’s eyes longingly.

You don’t know if this is about the war or not, or if it is just what happens when you grow up. You cry when you get back to your dormitory without understanding why, or maybe because you can’t understand.

You feel like you are ten years old again, slowly admitting to yourself that you are ordinary.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-27 12:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thelasteuropean.livejournal.com
I just wanted to pop in and say that I've read it and I bloody love it. I shall comment again with more in-depth love when I've a moment that doesn't include my daughter screaming in my ear.

Ta very much, though. I do adore it.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-29 04:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tornyourdress.livejournal.com
Glad you like. I had great material to work with, hee. :D

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-27 01:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] soundingsea.livejournal.com
Wow, I love the change in perspective for this remix. The wonder and longing I hear from this anonymous girl makes my heart break about the war's survivors. Good job.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-04-29 05:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tornyourdress.livejournal.com
Thank you so much. :)


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May 2007

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