He found the blackened relic on the floor beside her bed. Ignoring the grey ash that streaked his robes, he knelt by the thing, rescuing it from the smothering layers. He turned the curse-scorched, time-worn object slowly in his hands. How many times had he seen her with it, toting it around like a mature version of a teddy bear? And in all these years, she'd never tired of it. It had been her defining emblem, her symbol of what she fought for, believed in and loved. His fingers brushed away the debris, disclosing the gold-embossed words: Hogwarts: A History.
AN: The title comes from a line of the Egyptian fairy-tale The Shipwrecked Sailor: 'I shall cause you to know yourself as ashes.' (In relatively modern English, 'I shall burn you into cinders.')
originally scribed 4/16/07