Remembering a scene from life in boarding school.

I had this conversation with an especially perceptive batchmate of mine, he had posted an Owl City lyric quote (which I love) in his WhatsApp story and what followed was a brief exchange which reinstated my faith in good conversation:

So we spoke of nostalgia and I remember saying how I:

…never delete old music, I have everything people think are “trashy” now and whenever I listen to them, I remember how I used to be, who I listened to those songs with, how they smiled when “our” song came up and all of it, and I realize that I liked myself, I was satiated, content, I didn’t have demands and most of the good memories are from boarding so all of it, our farewell bonfire parties, end of school year November chill in the air, the night sky like an endless inky blue sea placid in its starry brightness and I’ve never seen so many stars in my life, I remember stargazing with my best friends, desperately looking for Draco and it was so quiet, no one would speak, we would wait and listen to the wild come alive, and I can’t do justice describing how unreal the night was, the crisp smell of winter air, crackling fire and us sitting away in the dark, overcoats up to our ears, rubbing our palms, huddled together, watching our backs after exchanging ghost stories, warily glancing at the outline the trees made against the sky, distinguishing it from the mountains’, pretending to hear a wolf howl, really hearing one! Bats, the wind, the trees swaying as coming alive, the hills descending with the darkness of the night broken only by the few stars that were peeping from the clouds, then the clouds overcasting the sky, the first drop of an occasional winter spray. And we’re all running inside, current failure, running up to dormitories, candles and fireplaces lit up. Sitting around for dinner, elated about getting home with the pinch of not seeing each other for 3 long, long months. It was magic

Because:

[7/28, 21:17] Ayana: No experience can be disregarded. I’ve been to seven schools and I die to know how it would’ve been to have belonged to one place for 14 years [7/28, 21:34] Ayana: It’s so complicated now. Everything, complicated, convoluted and ill-meaning and self serving all the time. It’s a small piece of paradise to be able to reconnect with memories of innocence. Really, that’s all I have to keep me going. Whenever I’m upset, I close my eyes and go away to kurseong, to those nights, years and years surrounded by perfect quiet with only the sounds of nature and good natured banter

And of course: his extremely valid point:

See, that’s why you ought not to question nostalgia 😛 Yeah, I would say, in other words, that life, Ayana, is simply waiting to see the present in retrospect. Nostalgia is our only way of time travel, by which the human mind uses it’s marvellous faculty of imagination to turn back the very laws of physics-we live at that moment of past, more powerfully than we live in our present, because we acutely try to feel and somewhat succeed in replicating the original emotion again and again. We live powerfully in those moments as our own ghosts. Perhaps the ability to visit our past, our past as we know it, is the best gift humanity has ever had.

I agreed:

[7/28, 22:11] Ayana: I don’t question it simply because I want to keep some things to myself, because it’s necessary to believe in the magic of old times, otherwise there isn’t much to live for, nothing except memories. [7/28, 22:12] Ayana: But I’m also aware that it’s not sacrosanct and it’s painful. But its always better to keep it out from dissection, because, really, bitterness of the soul/mind is directly proportional to time.

And still nodding my agreement to this statement he made:

Yeah. We need to keep certain things out of dissection. Dissect the body, not life.

Do you think agree with me? Tell me what you think.

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Twenty-Five

She was twenty-five and he was seven
when she told him a secret
that wasn’t a secret at all.

‘You are a wizard, Tom Riddle.’

Nothingness carried her away before
his very eyes, inches at a time, dust
taken by a breeze.

***

She was twenty-five and he was
fourteen when she told him an answer
to the secret question he hid from
everyone.

‘I can tell you about immortality, if
you just wait.’

Like smoke, she swirled into nothing
and was gone.

***

She was twenty-five and he was sixteen
when she asked if he had killed anyone.

‘Not yet,’ he said.

Her sad, amber gaze was the last to disappear.

***

She was twenty-five and he was twenty-one
when she appeared during office hours
and she would only stay for seven minutes
— he had counted the time before and
the time before that — seven and no more.

‘This is the Ministry of Magic,’ she said with surprise.

He nearly asked where she expected
him to be before he was alone again.

***

She was twenty-five, just like him,
when she saw him reading about
Horcruxes in his half-empty flat.

‘Tell me,’ he said from where
he watched her on the floor,
cross-legged and shirtless.
‘Tell me how to live forever.’

Pointing to the book he held as her own
fingers faded, she said, ‘Not like that.’

***

She was twenty-five and he was twenty-eight
when she found him at the New Year’s Eve Ball,
surreptitiously smoking cigarettes in the crisp night.

‘Not all of us have as much as time as you do,’
he whispered in her ear.

A shiver ran through her just as a laugh did
and then she was gone from the balcony of Malfoy Manor.

***

She was twenty-five and he was thirty-four,
numbers that weren’t divisible by
seven — but still added up that way —
when she straddled him in bed.

Between breaths and kisses, his heart
drumming from a curious panic and the
new, delicious vulnerability of his
naked body against hers, he asked,
‘How do I live forever?’

‘Oh, Tom,’ she said as something cool
and sharp slid between his ribs. Her
voice was nearly kind. ‘You don’t.’

***

Instinct

” It is not what we are but the choices that we make that defines us” – Albus Dumbledore

__________________________________________________________________

“Killing, it is the very definition of instinct. Everyone is born with the instinct to kill, but society and morals subdue it. War coaxes it out of the shell we force it into. War unleashes the instinct to kill.”
He stared at her with big, round eyes, his mouth slightly agape, “But where is the line between a murderer and soldier?”

“Survival. If I don’t kill them, they’ll kill me.”

She noticed the way he visibly tensed, a soft smile graced her lips, sighing quietly she squeezed his shoulder in a gesture of comfort, “In war you only have two choices, to become a corpse or to kill”

He looked up, “What about Law…what about honour?”

She smiled broader at his beguiling innocence, a part of her broke at the thought of how this very nature would altogether disintegrate, soon.

Too soon.

“There is no law, anymore”

He looked to be deep in thought before the grip over his weapon tightened, “I suppose not…”

Beyond the parapet, the vile cacophony of the bloody chaos could be heard once again

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