Grey_Eminence, Trickie Woo, and Black_lust_z for the wondy reviews, as always.
Okay, please don't hate me for what I'm about to do...
Chapter Twenty-Five:The Soul-Search
Mara sat in the back of the staff lounge, tired and strained beyond measure. There was no one inside the lounge but her and the fire, which crackled and popped comfortingly. She traced designs on the arm of her chair, eyes closed, bags prominent underneath them. Her hair was wild across her shoulders and she made no effort to tame it. Her wand lay carelessly on the table next to her and a loud pop from the fire caused her eyes to snap open and her hand dart out for her wand before she remembered that it was just the fire. She sighed and stretched, remembering him and the feel of his hands.
His eyes seemed to burn right through her, as if she were a piece of paper and he were a match held up to her corner. Unbidden, those eyes appeared in the fog of her mind and lingered there, like the smell of sex lingers on Remus. Hermione had confided in her earlier that she couldn't be with Remus after sex very much because her sense of smell had recently become amazingly sensitive. Hermione hadn't even been at breakfast, preferring instead to take it in her rooms. Mara shook her head, amused at the way her thoughts barreled this way and that, like ants that couldn't stay in one place.
Ah, but why do you want to linger on Severus?
Oh, hell. Not you again.
Not happy to see me? I'm wounded.
You are the most annoying inner voice I've ever met.
I'm the ONLY inner voice you've ever met.
Do me a favor and shut up. We've already acknowledged the fact that we want to shag like crazed Kneazles.
Ever thought about joining action with thought?
The potion, stupid. We have to at least try. It may seem pointless and minor now, but not in the eyes of everyone watching us. Remus, especially. It's the thought of hurting Remus that helps me go down there.
That, and the fact that you might get laid.
You know, for an inner voice, you are really twisted.
I'm the side of you you've never decided to show.
You know, that is a very scary thought. I do NOT have a Snape side.
Not like you've ever bothered to find out. Have you ever done some real soul-searching Alexandria?
Well, of course, I -- er... well...
The inner voice seemed to sniff. I thought as much.
The voice fell silent and she thought about what it said. Soul-searching wasn't something to be taken lightly. It was dangerous and the searcher had to have complete concentration. Besides that, no one could interrupt, it had to be done in an enclosed space, and there had to be a good enough reason. She had several, which she didn't feel like enumerating. With great deliberation, she stood up and stood stock-still in front of the fire before heading towards the door, closing it, and locking it with a spell. She checked all the windows and barred the Floo before folding to the floor in an Indian position. She set the back of her wrists against her knees, joining her third finger and thumb.
With a quick intake of breath, she closed her blue eyes and withdrew into herself. She started to rock back and forth slightly, as if she were moving with a very slight breeze. A wind rose inside the room and swirled around her as she started to glow a gold-green. Her lips started to move, forming soft, indistinguishable words. As the wind heightened to a frightening pitch, the words became forceful, more understandable.
"Sangre, alas, poder, maleficios, carne, calor, pelo, varitas, voces, páginas... Abre para mí mis memorias y encuentra el significado interno... Luz de sol, luz de luna, luz de estrella, luz de lámpara, luz de candela... Rojo, verde, azul, negro... Remus, Hermione, Albus, Severus... Rubicon!"
Her eyes snapped open and glazed over, no longer blue but a depth of green so intense they appeared to be black. An image swirled before her mind, showing her the meaning of her entire life.
Mara looked around the bloody field, despair in her blue eyes. She was twenty-two and had been dragged to a field where a Muggle raid by Voldemort had taken place. The horror was too much and she turned around to heave the entire contents of her stomach onto the grass. When she looked up again, Rubicon was sitting on one of the slashed bodies. He hooted ominously and looked upon her with his bright amber eyes.
"Rubicon... it's so much. So much blood, so much death." She crawled over to him, the helpless tears coating her face. Remus stood with an unfamiliar man at the edge of the field, shaking his head, and she noticed that tears were in both their eyes as well. Then, Rubicon flew up, into the sky where the golden sun began to spread its rays.
He spiraled down, white against gold, and he flew three times counterclockwise over the field, the eye of all three living people. Amber eyes burning bright, he looked down at her and hooted loudly, the call echoing across the field. Mara let out an answering wail as the owl swept down like an eagle upon a fish and grabbed something from the mess. He dropped it in front of her and she picked up the Death Eater mask. It lay elegantly in her hands and she stared down at it solemnly. Rubicon landed before her, nipping her knee once.
"Mara!" Remus called as he crossed the field to her. She looked up at him, standing up, and deposited the mask into his hands.
"We are past the point of no return, Remus, if we cannot stop this." She spread her hands out, indicating the mass of bloodied bodies. "We are all past the rubicon. All of us." Haunted eyes looked at the werewolf. "Both sides."
She turned and left the field, Rubicon regally flying up and landing on her arm covered by a hawking glove.
Outside, there was a giggle and an answering rumble, to which came full-blown out laughter. The handle rattled, a whisper, and the door burst open. The magic that resonated within the room came crashing down upon her, sending her flying backwards.
"NO!" she screamed as her world flashed first green, then white, then black.
Slowly, she registered the sounds around her. Muttering voices, the soft rustling of a cloth, the feeling of cold sheets above and beneath her, a tiny breeze caressing her skin... Without opening her eyes, she let her magic race inside her, checking for pain. Any self-respecting, well-trained, elder witch knew how to do this and she felt nothing wrong until she reached her head. A din started near the region of her eyes and she knew what was wrong before she opened them.
She turned away from the darkness of her lids to be met with more darkness. She should have been devastated and she knew that it was just complete detachment that was keeping her from turning into a screaming mass of flesh and bones and blood. Mara pushed herself up from the bed and felt dizzy, the darkness seeming to press down on her brain.
A hand at the back of her head and another pressing against her back sent her into a myriad of emotions before she could reign it in. She sucked in her breath and let it out slowly.
"I can't see," she said flatly. Silence greeted her statement. "I'm blind."
The translation from Spanish to English of the spell is: "Blood, wings, power, hexes, flesh, heat, hair, wands, voice, pages... Open for me my memories and find the inner meaning... Sunlight, moonlight, starlight, lamplight, candlelight... Red, green, blue, black... Remus, Hermione, Albus, Severus... Rubicon!"
While the fury dies down, I'll be proofreading in my closet...