Disclaimer: I don't own J.K. Rowling's works, kapeesh? If you recognize it, chances are it ain't mine, unless you've been reading the story and recognize Aweina and the other characters I've made up.
Muse responsible: Rrissa!
Aweina's thoughts and "-0o0-"will denote the beginning and end of a dream or flashback.
Hrm. I don't really like the part with Paul. It was awkward to write, and it seems…not good to me, or something. Argh. Oh, well. –shrug-
And this is my last chance to update before Potter 6, so keep in mind this will not follow the book at all! Though I do wonder how I'll finish this...well, I'll just see where it takes me!
The numbing shock that had settled over Aweina lasted into the next day, as she arose to attend the funeral. Her two sets of black robes weren't formal enough for the occasion, so Aweina settled for the blue-green dress robes from Wesley, Kali, and Paul, with a black armband around her left arm-this was common practice among Aurors-and a black scarf around her eyes, which wasn't, unless you were Aweina and had lost your eyes.
The funeral was a rather short service, in respect to Riana, who had never liked long services and had stated in her will that she had wanted a short one. Aweina did not weep, today-the raw emotion had settled, but the shock was still-mercifully-insulating her against it.
She stood at attention by Violet, Andrew's widow, as Aweina's elder brother Allen read a short speech, his voice breaking every few words, and accepted sympathies at the reception in Aquila Manor's great hall with a nod as the wizards and witches walked past her. Aweina felt as if she was viewing the world through her scarf as though from a great distance, and hearing words from leagues away.
Poor Violet, her sister-in-law, who had lost her husband and first child, was on the verge of tears throughout the funeral. Aweina noted dimly when she slipped into a side room with a close friend, presumably to cry as Aweina had done the previous day.
Her suspicions were confirmed when she drifted past the room and looked through the door, closing it tactfully.
Aweina bumped into Allen-literally ran into him, since she had been focused through him-as the reception was winding down. Her taller brother looked like a wreck-much as Aweina imagined she looked, and Allen had no scarf to help hide his expression. Seeing him thawed the shock, a little, bringing the emotions that much closer-and Aweina had to fight down tears again as he put his arms around her, clutching his only sister close to him, as if to protect her.
Which was ridiculous, of course; if anything, Aweina was more likely to protect him, but she returned the embrace, burying her face in her brother's chest, the only part of him she was tall enough to reach, as she released her emotions again.
Alastor was there, along with Remus, Kingsley, Paul, Kali, Wesley, and other Aurors Aweina had trained with, not to mention a few scattered Order members. Tonks was by the refreshments table, knuckles white around the goblet of punch she was holding, her hair a dark, subdued brown today.
As the day wore on and the guests drifted away, leaving only the Aquilas and a few close friends, Alastor drifted over to Aweina and whispered, under the cover of getting some punch-proof of how incredibly distracted he was, since he normally only drank from his hip flask-"Emergency Order meeting, four to five. Hogwarts staff off the hook, if they want to be."
Aweina nodded and Disapparated, glad for something to do at last.
Grimmauld Place was buzzing with activity. Though there were fewer people there than normal, this being an emergency meeting and most people having duties to attend to, the members there were talking in low voices, worriedly and quickly.
Dumbledore came through the entrance, and, as if that were a cue, the Order gravitated towards the kitchen. Soon, they were seated all around the table, most looking intently at Dumbledore, others watching Aweina carefully.
The talking subsided, but as soon as it did, a witch across the table from Aweina jumped up and said, "Albus, how could this happen? I thought You-Know-Who was trying not to draw attention!"
A buzz broke out among the Order, which Dumbledore quieted with a wave of his hand. "Apparently he has chosen to begin striking again," he said, twinkle gone from his eyes and his voice somber.
"Why the Aquilas?" cried the voice of Bill Weasley, far down the table. Aweina bit her lip sharply.
"To unnerve us, I can only presume," said Albus, "The Aquilas are a powerful, old family. If-"
Someone interrupted him; it sounded like Molly Weasley, of all people. "I thought You-Know-Who was concentrated on Muggle-borns again," she said, knuckles white where she was gripping the table.
"You forget, Molly," said Alastor, in his customary growl, "That You-Know-Who targeted so-called 'pure-bloods' in the old days as well. The Bones. The Prewetts. The Potters."
Aweina's head pounded as the other wizards at the table began shouting again, each trying to be heard. Again, Dumbledore quelled them. "Severus?" he said, addressing the man who had just entered and sat, without a word of apology for being late, "What can you tell us?"
As she looked at the former Death Eater, and the spy closest to Voldemort Dumbledore had, something in Aweina snapped. She leapt to her feet, self-control breaking as she shouted, "How could he not know of this? How could he not warn us?"
Aweina's voice wavered, growing higher-pitched as she continued to shriek, "Because of this, my family, my brother, nephew, and my baby niece are dead! Dead! How could he have not heard something of the kind? How could he not?"
The rest of the table looked startled at this outburst. Aweina was quivering with strain, on the very edge of another breakdown such as the previous day. Severus' face was blank with total shock as he stared at her.
Aweina realized she was supporting herself on the table, elbows locked, and knuckles white as she gripped the edge. Her entire body was shaking with stress, and her eyes whirled crazily, making her dizzy. She became aware that her breathing was ragged, on the edge of sobs.
With an effort, she scanned the faces along the table-staring at her, surprised as Severus was, and Aweina tensed defensively-
Alastor stood and went to Aweina, where he bent to whisper in her ear. "Aweina, you're in no condition to be here," he murmured, though his student was painfully aware that everyone in the room could hear them-"Go to Paul's. He's home today. This is an order."
Aweina nodded, once, and Disapparated.
She reappeared in Paul's flat, a third-floor apartment in a Muggle tenement house, several streets away from St. Mungo's. Her training partner looked up at her, surprised, from the coffee table-he was sorting photographs-but upon seeing Aweina's state, upset said table to reach her. Aweina sagged into Paul's arms as he put them around her, already breaking down again.
Paul was one of Aweina's closest friends, and had been in Ravenclaw with her through Hogwarts. They had been Chasers on the Quidditch team together, and Paul had often come to the Aquila manor over the summer holidays. It took a while for Aweina to realize that Paul was red-eyed from crying as well, though he seemed to have stopped for now-Riana had been a second mother to him, and Andrew the only little brother he'd ever known.
After a while-not as long a time she had wept as the day before, yet still at least a half hour-Aweina's sobs slowed. The pain and raw grief had turned to a heaviness that dragged on her heart, yet Aweina slowly stopped crying. It took a moment for her to realize that the continued sounds of soft weeping were coming from Paul, not herself. Swallowing, Aweina said, in a still-thick voice, "We must be a sight. Two full-grown Aurors…"
She trailed off. It really wasn't that funny, yet Paul managed a half-sob, half-chuckle. "I suppose you're right."
They pulled away from one another, slowly. "I suppose the blubbering is a bit undignified," continued Paul.
"I won't tell if you won't," said Aweina, letting her face fall into her hands. "Oh, Merlin, I don't know how I'm going to teach tomorrow…"
"You'll manage," replied Paul, bringing himself back to a semblance of 'normal,' as if his training partners dropped in and bawled on his shoulder every day. "I'm guessing Alastor sent you?"
Aweina nodded. "I wasn't-am not-in any condition to do business, or anything," she said, "I should get back to Hogwarts."
Paul, in answer, lit a fire in the grate.
Dinner at Hogwarts was…uncomfortable, to say the least. Aweina had changed into less-formal robes, in dark blue-Aweina had found that if she wore black, she was often mistaken for a student, since she was rather short-but had left on the black armband and head-scarf. The meal was shepherd's pie, a dish Aweina normally devoured, but tonight…
Aweina turned one eye on her dinner and cut it unenthusiastically with her fork, even going so far as to lift the bite halfway to her mouth. After letting it hover there for a moment, she let her hand fall.
Aweina really didn't feel like eating-the heaviness on her heart was affecting her appetite. She felt as though she wouldn't be able to get anything down, or keep it there if by some off-chance she did.
After two small bites of shepherd's pie and a sip of pumpkin juice, Aweina set her fork down and pushed her plate away, resting her elbows on her table and her head in her hands. She could see the students looking up at her anxiously, a few staring openly.
Aweina refocused her eyes so all she could see was the darkness of the inside of her head and behind her scarf, unable to face the looks even indirectly. She sat there all through dinner, the shepherd's pie growing cold on her plate.
Dinner ended, and Aweina left the table, at last refocusing to look through her scarf. She walked dazedly through the doors of the Great Hall and began her journey up the stairs.
I still have essays to grade, she thought, woodenly, And lessons to plan…
On the second floor, where Aweina detoured to avoid Peeves-whom she had seen rigging a bucket of water to fall on the next to walk up the stairs to the third floor, but didn't really want to do anything about-walking past the library, she paused.
Several Gryffindor sixth-years were in there, including Harry, Hermione, and Ron, but so were some Slytherin sixth-years. Draco, Crabbe, and Goyle stood glaring at Harry and his friends, Draco saying something-Aweina couldn't hear him, but she could see his lips moving-that caused Harry to suddenly draw his wand, green eyes narrowed.
Aweina's eyes darted around the library, but Madam Pince was nowhere to be seen-strangely enough. Sighing heavily, Aweina went into the library, drawing her own wand.
Draco had not actually drawn his, yet, as Aweina drew within earshot, but he was talking in his usual pronounced sneer. The professor only caught the tag end of his sentence-"…your mother."
With a snarl, Harry lunged as Aweina rounded the bookshelf, raising his wand. Draco looked alarmed and jumped back as Hermione cried, "Harry, don't!" and Ron tried to grab at the boy's arm.
Aweina was in no mood to watch Harry curse Draco-though she may have enjoyed it another time. With a flick of her wand, Aweina set up a shield over Draco, and said, in a tired voice, "Expelliarmus."
Harry's wand went flying, landing several feet to the left of Hermione. With another wave of her wand, Aweina's ward dissipated. She folded her arms and began to speak, cutting off the beginning of Harry's sentence. "I don't care what happened here. What I saw was the beginnings of a fight, in which I had to intervene. Mr. Malfoy, ten points from Slytherin for provoking Mr. Potter. Mr. Potter, since you drew your wand and would have hexed Mr. Malfoy had I not intervened, ten points from Gryffindor and detention."
Draco smirked, while the Gryffindor's mouths dropped open. Sensing that Harry was going to protest against this, Aweina held up a hand to forestall talking. The hand still had her wand in it, so the students fell silent instantly. "Malfoy, to your common room. Potter, I see no reason why your detention should not be now. Come with me."
Turning, Aweina led the way out of the library, while inside she babbled with confusion. Now? Why now? I'm barely in any condition to walk, let alone hold a detention-well, it's done, for whatever reason.
The Gryffindors and Slytherins separated just outside the library, and Ron and Hermione soon left when Aweina did not turn around to talk to them. Harry remained silent until they reached Aweina's office, where Aweina broke the ward on her door and went in, stopping at the threshold to conduct her usual check for traps. Once Harry had closed the door and sat down, he burst out, "Professor, why did you give me detention? Did you hear what he said?"
Aweina sat down in her own chair and put her head in her hands again. "No, I didn't hear what he said, and I don't care," she said, in a muffled voice, and held up her hand again to keep Potter from speaking. "Don't start," she added, "I'm not in the mood."
She rolled an eye up to look at Harry. His expression had slowly changed from outrage to concern. "Professor…you look terrible."
Aweina massaged her temples. "I have a mirror, Potter," she said-more waspishly than she'd intended.
They sat there in silence for a few moments, then Harry cleared his throat. "What is my detention, then?" he said.
Aweina sighed. She hadn't thought this far.
One of her eyes landed on the pile of essays on her desk. Picking up the top one, she handed it to Potter, then passed across a quill and a bottle of purple ink. Harry looked at them, then at her. "What?" he said. "These are seventh year essays…I can't correct these."
"Start reading it aloud," said Aweina, head still in her hands, "Reading puts a strain on my eyes at the best of times, and I'm behind."
Uncertainly, Harry began to read. Aweina listened, stopping him occasionally to have him write out a correction, and at last having him write out her comments and the grade at the top of the paper. She pushed her gradebook across the table as well, and had Harry mark the final grade down in there when he had finished.
It went by rather faster than correcting normally did for Aweina, and minus the eyestrain. They finished grading nine essays, Aweina's attention straying more and more, before Harry stopped reading, realizing the Defense professor was no longer listening.
Aweina sat with her head in her hands, eyes spinning slowly, trying not to remember the events of the day. The memorial service and reception had been more draining on her than she liked to admit, and breaking down at the Order meeting hadn't helped.
I suppose I should apologize to Severus, she mused, remembering with some embarrassment that she had all but accused him of being a traitor. It took several repetitions of her name by Harry before she responded.
"Professor Aquila?" said Harry, a third time, tone worried as he looked at his teacher. Aweina started guiltily. "I'm sorry, Potter, it's just…"
Harry nodded, slowly. "I'm sorry," he said, in a quiet tone of voice, glance darting from her scarf to the black armband just below Aweina's left shoulder.
"Merlin, it's too early for Violet to wear the widow's ring," said Aweina, voicing a thought that had been haunting her all day, her tone rising, "Too early!"
She brought down her right fist on the table and bowed her head still further, rubbing her eyebrows with her left hand. The scarf was making it hard to see again, a sure sign that Aweina was on the edge of still another breakdown-
"Widow's ring, Professor?" said Harry, in a puzzled tone of voice.
"Old Aquila tradition," said Aweina, trying to bring her unruly emotions to heel, "When…when someone's wife or husband is killed, the surviving one of the pair wears a ring with a black gem in it instead of their wedding ring…my mother wore one for years, since my father died of a heart attack."
Harry looked sorry he'd asked. "Um…" he said, hesitantly, "This sounds stupid, but…I'm sorry."
"I know, Potter, I know," said Aweina, "You may go."
As soon as Harry left, Aweina warded the door again and went into her bedroom.
It was the work of a few moments to change into her pajamas and take the prescribed amount of potion. Getting into bed, Aweina stared at the ceiling for a moment, rolled over, and cried softly into her pillow until the potion took effect.
She awoke at the right time the next day-Thursday. Aweina looked back at the ceiling with both her eyes, not really wanting to get up.
Have to keep moving, she thought, groggily.
It had been much the same when her father had died. Aweina, who had been very close to her father, hadn't really wanted to eat, or sleep, or do much of anything. What had gotten her through that hard time was caring for her mother-Riana had taken her husband's death hard, and Aweina's hours had been filled steadily by making sure her mother ate and cared for herself.
Now, though, the distraction was gone-no Aquilas went to the school at this time, since Aweina had no children, Andrew and Allen's kids had been murdered-and would have been too young, in any case, and her cousins' children were either too young to attend as well or had already graduated.
Her robes were green, today, but Aweina used one of her black scarves as an armband just below her left shoulder, as she had yesterday, and another black scarf around her eyes.
Pausing in front of the mirror, Aweina looked at her reflection for what seemed the first time in a long while. "I'm not going to break down today," she told the glass, watching her lips move silently on the other side.
Trying to believe this, Aweina went to breakfast. She managed to get two pancakes down, which was an improvement, though normally she could eat at least fourteen in one sitting.
Returning to her classroom, Aweina waited for her first class-either by coincidence or conspiracy, or maybe just the schedule, it was the Gryffindor and Slytherin sixth-years.
To Aweina's bemusement, several of the Gryffindors were wearing black scarves tied around their left arms. They were a bit hard to see against the black robes, but Aweina could see them-and was startled, yet gratified.
Clearing her throat, Aweina was surprised to find her voice steady as she began that day's lesson. Occasionally, she stopped to write on the blackboard, but overall, she lectured.
The class passed smoothly, as did the next, and the next. Occasionally, Aweina saw a few students-usually Ravenclaws, but there were quite a few Gryffindors and Hufflepuffs-wearing the black armband. At long last, the day ended-and Aweina realized, with a start, that she had a DA meeting to teach.
Aweina had planned to go over shields for more than one person today, but she didn't feel up to it. What to do? she wondered as she headed towards the Room of Requirement. I'm not up to doing high-level shields today, but we've reviewed the past few times, and I can't put them through that again-
Suddenly, the idea came to her, and Aweina nodded to herself, firmly. Right. I'll give them the Auror speech and leave it at that.
She closed the door behind her as she entered the Room, and saw the students already there, chatting amongst themselves. Aweina whistled for attention, and received it.
The DA watched her nervously as Aweina strode to stand in front of the group. "Today will not exactly be a lesson," she said, crisply, "First, I am sure there are wild rumors flying about as to what…what exactly happened to my family, and I shall clarify these."
Most of the students blinked as Aweina cast her eyes over them, looking rather surprised. None of them spoke, though-all of them simply watching her. Aweina cleared her throat and took a slow breath. "Two days ago, most of my family went out to lunch. My nephew Evan and my niece Lucia had colds that day, however, and remained home, under the care of my younger brother Andrew and my mother."
Aweina's voice turned cold and distant as she continued to speak. "While they were home, all four were murdered by Death Eaters, who sent the Dark Mark up for the first time in years. Investigators-including myself and several other Aurors-were able to find nothing, though the matter is still being examined."
The DA was completely silent. Aweina changed tacks, dodging away from the topic. "How many of you have seriously considered becoming an Auror? I don't mean, 'It would be cool to become an Auror.' I mean actually considering how you would train yourself, possibly where you would be stationed, and so on."
A few members raised their hands, among them Harry, Ron, Justin Finch-Fletchley, and Katie Bell. Aweina nodded, sharply. "Good. You who raised your hands, stay here. The rest of you may leave."
To confused muttering, those who had not raised their hands left the room. Aweina looked over her prospective Aurors as they filed out, slowly, and something caught her attention-
"Miss Granger, you did not raise your hand. You may leave the room," she said, turning her face towards Hermione and watching her steadily.
Reluctantly, Hermione left the room, face turning red. Aweina closed the door after them with a wave of her wand and looked back at the remaining people-eleven students, total. Not many, but then again, hardly few.
"Have a seat," she said, and the Room instantly provided cushions for the teenagers. They watched Aweina as she took a position in the center in front of them, hands clasped behind her back. Aweina looked over them, remembering the first day of her own training, and the speech Alastor had given…
"What I am about to say is the introductory speech you will be given in Auror training," began Aweina, turning and beginning to slowly pace in front of the group, keeping her face turned towards them, "If you pursue this career, you will hear this speech, or one very similar to it, because each speaker tailors it to their personality, at your first day. So. Aurors."
Reaching the leftmost point, Aweina turned and began her slow walk towards the right of the audience. "Being an Auror is an extremely challenging and dangerous job," she said, "It carries great responsibility, risks, and strength in mind, magic, and body. This career is not one to be chosen lightly, so if at any time you think you may balk at the training, or suffer even the slightest misgivings now, you should leave. For to become an Auror, you must devote every part of your being towards training."
Aweina cast another look at her audience. The students were intent, listening sharply to her as she turned again. "Training is difficult, strenuous-some may even say 'brutal,'" she continued, "You will be drilled hard, in defense and attack, in disguise and strategy, in discovering and following clues in your pursuit of a Dark wizard. You will be taught to work solo, to work in a team in defense and attack, to defend not only yourself, but someone helpless you must keep alive at the same time. You will learn to stand alone and face many attackers, holding them off and winning. Again, this is very hard work, though-" Aweina gave a small smile-"I wouldn't call it 'brutal' unless you trained under Alastor Moody, which I did."
This wry remark brought a few chuckles from the students, and Aweina halted precisely in the center of her "stage" again. "In addition to these responsibilities, there are risks and consequences for you," she said, "You may be wounded, someone you are protecting you may be wounded, or you may be killed. I've been an Auror for longer than most of you have been alive, and I've earned my share of scars."
Aweina bent over and lifted the hem of her robe, rolling up her left pant leg to reveal a faded, round scar on her knee. "I got this when I was eight," she said, with another smile, "I was sliding down the banister and fell."
This received a few chuckles. Aweina straightened and pulled up her right sleeve, revealing a long, straight scar on her forearm. "I was ten, this time," she said, "And I had just gotten my own real broomstick. It was raining, so I was flying in the house-" most students winced-"And I gashed myself on a wrought-iron hearthpiece."
Aweina let her sleeve fall and tapped her right hip. "There's a scar here," she said, "A burn scar, about two inches long. I was practicing dueling when I was fifteen, and didn't dodge quite fast enough."
All the students winced. Aweina held up her left hand-on the back of it was a slightly irregular crescent-shaped scar. "I got this in Auror-training," she continued, "Not from a spell, but I was practicing my dodges. I ran through an open door, but part of the deadbolt was sticking out, and there was a sharp edge."
Aweina didn't look for a response, but straightened her left arm abruptly. Her elbow popped loudly. "That was in a small battle with Dark wizards," she said, her voice turning sober, "I broke the elbow joint, and I didn't get to a mediwizard quite fast enough."
Aweina progressed with one or two more scars, each scenario growing worse as she described them-she pointed to the location of a large one on her back, and showed them a nasty burn scar on her right upper arm-and paused.
The students' faces were sober, now, as Aweina looked over them. "Most of these came because I wasn't quite fast enough at dodging," she said, "Or I didn't see the attack. There are serious consequences for slacking in the dodging department, and a slight mistake can mean a limb-or a life. Half the time, it was sheer, stupid luck I came out of a battle alive. Luck, or sometimes a teammate guarding my back."
Aweina stopped again, groping for the words she wanted. She knew what she wanted to say, she just couldn't quite articulate it-something about the risks, Aweina knew, but what exactly she wanted to say was beyond her.
At last, she said, "There are some who pay the price of the risky life of an Auror with their lives. Clever enemies, however, attack friends and family-I know Aurors who have lost their entire families, and anyone who means anything to them. I have lost friends and family to Dark wizards. The pain of the body cannot ever be compared-is slight, in comparison to the loss of a loved one."
Aweina halted yet again. Damn, I'm getting off-topic. Well, I'll bring it back…somehow.
"But we were speaking of the pain of the body," she said, "We will return to the risks of the mind later. Some believe that the ultimate price is their life, and I agree, to some extent. But…those who die have a surcease from pain, a release from the burdens that wear so hard. Sometimes, it is living with your scars that is the highest price of all. Living with…this."
Aweina had reached up behind herself as she spoke, and had slowly undone the knot of her scarf. With the last word, Aweina let the scarf fall, catching it in one hand. She kept her right eye on the students, though she allowed the left one to continue its lazy journey. The reaction was predictable-gasps of horror, and open staring. "I received these scars in a battle, not that long after I became an Auror," said Aweina, voice steady, "Wesley and Paul, in my team, were down. Lucy and Kali, two of the others, were covering them, but Alastor-our leader-and I had been cut off and surrounded. We were fighting back-to-back when a Death Eater got in under my guard and caught me with a Lashing Curse point-blank."
More gasps, and the looks became ones of pity. Aweina ignored them. "I went down-a Lashing Curse hurts, and it scars very badly-and once apparently wasn't enough for the Death Eater, since he got me five more times before Alastor blasted him."
"He covered me, holding off several Dark wizards at once, until I could be taken care of by mediwizards. I drifted in and out of consciousness for days-maybe weeks-at St. Mungo's, despairingly sure I would never see again."
Aweina paused. Despairingly sure? My, don't I have a taste for the dramatic? she thought, wryly. Her right eye began to ache, holding it in one place for so long, so Aweina let it spin and revolved her left eye to watch the students.
"Alastor made these-" Aweina touched the corner of one eye with her finger-"and gave them to me. After a while longer-I still wasn't completely healed-I returned to my duties. The scars have not faded in ten years, and I will bear them until the day I die."
"Doesn't that bother you?" blurted a Hufflepuff girl Aweina could never remember the name of, "I mean, couldn't you get it patched, or something?"
Aweina turned her left eye on the girl, allowing her right one to revolve as it normally did. The rest of the students there looked rather scandalized and shocked-but Aweina merely raised an eyebrow, knowing the effect the scars would have.
Sure enough, the girl gulped and looked contrite. "S-sorry," she muttered, looking down. Aweina let her eyebrow fall-it pulled at the scar tissue when she did that. "I can't get it 'patched,' as you said," she replied, calmly, "The Lashing Curse scars deeply and badly, so there is no possibility of regenerating normal skin. There's also a lot of technical Healer mumbo-jumbo that I don't understand and don't bother to try. But as for your first question-does it bother me?"
Aweina considered this, choosing her words carefully. "Once, it did," she began, at last, "Physically, that is. While I was blind, I was sure I would never see again. I worried about how I would live my life-horribly disfigured, and unable to see. What use is a blind Auror? After Alastor gave me my eyes, however…"
She slowed, but continued. "I was so happy to regain my sight, I didn't care how other people stared, for a long while. After a time, though…"
Aweina hesitated. How to tell of the horror-stricken looks she had received? The shame at seeing the pity in people's eyes when they stared at her?
She settled for, "I got tired of all the stares. That's why I wear the scarf now."
Aweina settled the scarf around her head again, knotting it once more as her eyes were veiled. "You earn your scars, but it's less important dealing with them as how you would deal with battle," she said, changing the topic smoothly.
"The terror absorbs you, and your blood runs cold. Your only thought is to get out of there alive, and how you're going to do it. I'm not ashamed to admit that I've been scared-so afraid I've considered running away. In the heat of battle, you're surrounded by people who are trying to kill you and hoping to Merlin you won't kill them. They're not bound by scruples about what's legal or not, though, and they'll use Dark or even Unforgivable curses on you if they think it'll subdue you. Yet somehow, you have to keep fighting them-and win."
Aweina stopped short, reviewing her little speech in her head. My word, that was melodramatic, she thought, slightly annoyed with herself, But then again, they're not going to understand how real battle feels without drama-with the exception of a few. Of course, if I go any further, I'll probably only confuse them…best conclude this fast.
Aweina cleared her throat, thought desperately for a few minutes, then seized on the everlasting teacher's fast wrap-up:
Mm. Not entirely happy with that chapter, but oh well. Hope you all liked, and please review!