that's the price she'll pay I took a knife and cut out her eye I took it home and watched it wither and die Well, she's lucky that I didn't slip her a smile That's why she sleeps with one eye open That's the price she'll pay I said, hey, girl with one eye Get your filthy fingers out of my pie I said, hey, girl with one eye I'll cut your little heart out cause you made me cry I slipped my hand under her skirt I said don't worry, it's not gonna hurt Oh, my reputation's kinda clouded with dirt That's why you sleep with one eye open But that's the price you pay I said, hey, girl with one eye Get your filthy fingers out of my pie I said, hey, girl with one eye I'll cut your little heart out cause you made me cry
So that was all of it, then. The "culprit" expelled, the dark mark dismissed as nothing more than a practical joke, and Morpheus remaining. The staff had been sent to their rooms, they left quietly, one by one, Celia the last. She hesitated, lingering in the doorway. Her right foot hovered above the first step down, and then with a sigh, she turned back to Aurae, and in a voice stinging, and tinged with desperation, asked, "What are you doing?"
Exhaustion was etched into the lines around Aurae's eyes as she met Celia's gaze. "Celia, I ordered the portraits and the ghosts to search the castle for any signs of evidence. Don't worry, I doubt Morpheus had anything to do with this..." No, and it confused Celia. Nothing had happened, the symbol raised into the sky signifying nothing. She had spent most of her life taking refuge in the belief that a symbol could mean anything at all, and now it terrified her that this symbol seemed to mean nothing at all. Her eyes were strange, as though the world she looked upon was unfamiliar and frightening, as though she were not looking at a trusted friend, but at a stranger.
"That's not what I mean. Rae, you know what the Dark Mark means." For it meant something Someone has died here in the name of Lord Voldemort. It was not cast lightly, only in the unmentionable name of the Dark Lord, in the name of death. But in this farce it was taken to mean nothing. Cosette claimed it was nothing but a prank, and Rae believed her, and Morpheus had spoken every careful word of disapproval, and the matter dismissed as nothing, meaningless. An empty signifier in the void. White noise. But why would anyone allow themselves to be expelled for a meaningless joke? "And you know that Cosette would never confess without a deeper reason."
"Yes I know what it means Celia..." Aurae's voice was unnervingly quiet, and the exhausted calm of her response only made Celia more desperate, and, somehow angry. "But we have to do things calmly, we can't point fingers when there isn't any solid evidence. Cosette Morgan admitted she casted the Dark Mark, and her wand is the evidence of that. Besides, casting a Dark Mark at a party like this doesn't sound like something Morpheus Black would do...."
"I'm not talking about Morpheus, Rae!" Celia snapped. It wasn't all about Morpheus, at least. Something was happening, some dark presence beyond her vision, and she wanted to know it, and was terrified of seeking it out. "I'm talking about the Dark Mark over Hogwarts, and God-Knows-What that could have been happening in the dark, and you were reading letters!" Reading letters. A letter from the Ministry, she had said. And letters from parents. But, by God, the moment before she had disappeared, they had been seeking blood in the dark, beneath the terrible green light, and Morpheus had been missing, and Celia had told her. She had told her that something was wrong.
"Nothing happened Celia, no one was hurt... I made sure of that." Aurae replied, but Celia had been afraid in her heart that Aurae might be lost somewhere in the dark, devoured... "I did not read any of the owls except the one from the Ministry..." she insisted, pulling an opened envelope from her purse. "You are talking like we are living the Wizarding War all over again. Get a good night rest Celia, and try to put it out of your mind for now..."
All over again... Celia wondered if she had ever left the War. It felt as though it had never left her. Rubbing her hand against her forehead, she tried to begin, "You really don't..." Don't what? Understand? Believe? Don't see the choking darkness ever moving in the corner of the eye. She replaced her hand at her side, and looked at her old friend, this time her eyes coldly cynical. "Do you think that I lied to you, or that I'm just crazy?"
"I'm not saying that, and I know you would never lie about something so crucial..." The warmth in Dulane's voice fell hollowly in Celia's ears. Of course, she wasn't saying that. It was the unspoken insinuation in the vast chasm that Celia had only now seen. Now seeing, she could not comprehend the blindness that had been. "As a friend I admire you greatly," Admire, and that was it, not a bridge of trust, nothing that could be acted upon. "But as Hogwarts's Headmistress I need to take this one step at a time. At the moment there is no evidence that Morpheus is behind this particular incident, and-"
"For God's sake," Celia interjected angrily, and for the first time thought that the muggle curse must fall emptily on the ears of the muggle enthusiast before her. "I never said that he was, but Rae, that man is evil. What proof do you want from me? Do you want my memories, Rae? Will that be enough? Or are you waiting for someone in the school to die before you believe me?" A, by now familiar, tone of desperation was pouring from her, but there was fury in her eyes. Victoire. Dominique. Faces in newspaper articles, and it was all of it something to do with Morpheus. The links her mind had drawn she could not even begin to explain, but she had never felt more certain about anything in her life: the next student to leave the school would leave without a heartbeat.
"Celia, calm down..." Rae told her, desperately, "The walls have ears..." "The walls have ears?" Celia repeated breathlessly and furiously, an empty sound. It was not the walls. The walls were deaf, the portraits blind, the ghosts incorporeally nonchalant. It was him that had ears, and if Rae wanted to warn her of that now, then she wanted to laugh at the farce, wanted to scream at Aurae, "Have you not been listening to me?!"
Aurae leaned back in her chair, and explained, "I do not know Morpheus Black personally, but even if he is as malicious as you say he is it does not prove that he is a Death Eater. I do believe your story wholeheartedly, but this man's resume contradicts the possibility of him being associated with Death Eaters. I reasearched his past myself, and there is no trace Celia..." Celia's story... But that was something unsaid. A fragmented conversation, further shattered by the terrifying Mark. The story had never been told, of venom and violence, and the murderous unseeing eyes.
"You believe my story?" Celia asked incredulously. "I haven't even given you a story... You haven't given me the chance." She turned towards the door, unable to keep looking at the blue eyes - a symbol whose meaning had proven false a second time. "Go on, then, Morning Star." She pronounced the title with the careful loathing that she had hitherto reserved for the blind professor. "Tell the parents that their children are safe and that the world will be golden tomorrow." Golden tomorrow... Wasn't that what everyone seemed to want? A Golden Tomorrow. Even she held such a dream, but had forever found that the promised Golden Tomorrow held no place for her tainted blood.
"Celia..." Aurae called her back with an exhausted sigh. "I'm... going to the Ministry tommorrow morning to sort this out... I'll make sure Hogwarts gets extra protection, but I want you to understand that I cannot dismiss anyone without any evidence that they are a threat to the school, especially someone who was recommended by the Minsitry... There will be an uproar." Celia turned her head back to Aurae, the smile on her face one of tea-time conversations and idle days. "Recommended by the ministry, was he?" It was true - he had been, and she knew it. Her heart could not sink further, but in her mind the reminder suggested darker possibilities than she could presently fathom.
Her smile broke a little, her face flooding with exhaustion. Let the Headmistress call for protection. Let them reinforce the walls, and bar the doors, let them lock themselves away, destroy the key. The castle could be made impervious at the mere snap of Aurae's fingers, was that what Rae thought? Even then, it would not matter. The place would be corrupted from within.
"I know what I have dreamed, and I know what has been said to me, and I hope to the heavens that I'm going mad, because if I'm not then I might just live to see these walls crumble. Or perhaps I wont even live to see that." She finally let her foot drop that first step, and the second followed, forward and down. Forward and down, and down, and down, each step impossible and inevitable - as inconceivable as the descent into the abyss.
Oh the river oh the river it's running free And I'll join in the joy it brings to me But I know it'll have to drown me Before I can breathe easy And I've seen it in the flights of birds I've seen it in you in The entrails of the animals the blood running through But in order to get to the heart I think sometimes you have to cut through But you can Odyssey on odyssey and land over land Creeping and crawling like the sea over sand Still I follow the heartlines on your hand This fantasy this fallacy this tumbling stone Echoes of a city that's long overgrown Your heart is the only place that I call home I cannot be returned What a thing to do What a thing to choose but know In some way I'm there with you up against the wall, on a Wednesday afternoon just keep following