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.’

***

Apolectus

Stood tall the tower of her confinement
far far away from mortal reach

The patch of vivid blue from her window
was forever clear, so vibrant, so distant.

Her tower stood in the heart
of a forest forbidden,
where dwelt the creatures of magic
and creepers and trees that breathed
of treachery.

She longed for an escape
and escape that would hold her up
like a man’s strong arms that held his daughter
or that his lover is lifted by,
up to touch the distant patch
of forget-me-not blue
or lay her down,
down in the dew kissed meadow below
where a soul, laid on the
lush green ecstasy would soothe.

But desires don’t materialize into gallant princes,
princes that will come galloping, to give in
to her whims and fancies then
galloping on horses to whisk her away

For passing of time she used to sit
by the lone window and does so still
immersed in thoughts of unfathomable depths
swirling images in her keep

A silver paintbrush in her hand
drawing miracles on her walls of confinement,
An unconfined spirit,
A high waterfall, exuberant freedom
A blazing sun, righteous anger
A sole ship sailing on high seas,
Tides in her heart
A woman on horseback
an escape, her escape.

Midst sighs of defeat, exclaims of bliss
She planned it, in careful wit.

Then the dark head with endless tresses
like rippling waters of a black river,
unending, winding, unwinding, looked up.
The plan was drawn – fully bloomed
’twas reflected in the spring of her dark eyes
in the summer of the dusky skin
in the flush of her cheek
and in the tremble of her lips

That night by her window
not in contemplationbut in disquiet fervour she sat
holding her brush and hair
she let her breath upon
her bosom splay, her head bent
o’er the casement’s ledge
anticipation writ large
across her poignant face

A trembling palm enclose
the shaft of the silver brush
A stroking move, an intense flash,
A blaze of red hot light
The enchantment had not broken.

A hundred silver fragments lay
in the open of her palms
The gleam of the moon
in the northern sky failed
to camouflage her tears
that now pooled.

Mother Gothel’s enchantment had worked well;
keeping her in this wicked confinement
for eternities to come.
bent double, she curled up in desolateness
and the warmth of the moon seemed cold.

One white landscape away
She was sitting on her ledge
knitting time away
in strands of brilliant rainbow

When came a call of her name
A call that seared through her wintry heart
to touch the softness that still flamed
and thus in secret, she let down her hair.

He was up inside her tower
beside her, spreading his warmth
She was compelled under his tempting touch.
Her lamp ebbed so did her coldness
The darkness grew but only outside
within her there was only light.
The year long frost had melted away

Now she sat in the darkness
The night still young.
Awaiting his arrival.
waiting for his touch to
drive away the coldness
waiting for his kiss to
make the world disappear
waiting to lay in the heat of her bed
a space where only they belonged
a place which held secrets
secrets that made her blush scarlet.

She waited a long while, no call came.
Her lamp was ebbing away
She held her breath
A soft murmur reached her ears

Picking up the slight sound
she ventured into Mother Gothel’s
The key space showed her, two figures
Two figures entwined in intense familiarity
Two figures she knew well. Perfectly well.

The light was out of her by the time
she reached her door, into a tower cold.
no heat to warm her the slightest.

Summer had gone away too soon.
The fire that once blazed in the hearth
had been doused forevermore.

The tears of sorrow never came,
nor the excruciating pain she had expected.

Her entirety had been replaced by an emptiness
A gaping hollow she felt pleased to have.
The fire breathing dragon beneath her tower
had taken her heart, never to return again.

It was then she knew what to do
it was then the key to the lock was secured
it was then she knew what she had to make
it was then she knew she only had to make a Choice.

Apolectus! Apolectus! she cried in bittersweetness

Then she slashed at her mortal bindings
tore away the ropes of immortality
freed herself to fly away or to sink
to oblivion or to eternal bliss
that I cannot tell for sure,
for, it was Always her choice.