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The Thestrals Nursery Rhyme (Everybody Had Their Chance)

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Fiddle-dee, Fiddle-dee, Fiddle-dee-dee,
How many Thestrals can you see?

Sirius was the one who greeted him the day he was born.
Stumbling on his own feet, he grabbed the crib with his little hands, curious, and smiled, seeing him for the first time.

When Regulus was eleven, Sirius was the one who greeted him, secretly hoping that, like himself, Regulus would be sorted into Gryffindor.
When he wasn't, Sirius' smile died on his lips.

When the war was it worst, Sirius did everything to try to save him, bring him to their side, dreaming about the day he'd greet Regulus with opened arms in the Order's headquarters.

In the end, when Sirius died, Regulus was there to welcome him home.

His name, his honour was everything for him.
Bartemius Senior battled all his life to be seen as someone who could be trusted, someone worthy of being elected minister, someone real.

When his good name fell from grace at the hands of his only son, he didn't back off.
Bartemius Senior kept working, kept being the same, serious, noble, even when hiding his murderous son in plain view.

In the end, Barty thinks, smiling, looking at the fallen body of his father, all he worked for his entire life, meant nothing.
The good name, the good conduct, the man, nothing more than a bone, now, only good for dogs to eat.

The news of her death came followed by celebrations, a new generation of heroes joining the ranks in the history books.

But Andromeda doesn't want to join.
The story hasn't ended for her and it never will.
All she wants is to be able to forgive her, to be able to look back into their past, fondly.
Her and her sister's childhoods as one, undivided.
She wants to be able to tell herself stories of what they once were.
Without sorrow.
Without regret.
All Andromeda wants is to be able to miss Bellatrix once more.

If she thinks of it, in the end, she should have been the one killing Bellatrix.

Seven men waited for her, each one of them paid by one of the seven mourning mothers.
The seven mercenaries delivered their curse one at the time, like a macabre greeting, a kiss on the hand of a lady. Waiting in line, clean and precise.
How can one possibly know which curse was the killing one? The first? The fifth? The last?
Which one was the first, which one the last?

It's almost poetic, Blaise thinks, among those who came to hug him, those who shake their heads, looking crushed, that the end came to his mother by the hands of those who once gave life to the ones she killed.

He was just a little boy; they were his idols. Little Billy, they would call him.
That Christmas was going to be special: The first Christmas after he started Hogwarts. He'd be the one coming home that Christmas. He'd be the one telling his uncles stories, for the first time.
Not so little, anymore.

But they were not waiting for them at King Cross, like they said they would. Just father, with no smile playing on his lips.
That Christmas, Bill didn't tell any story as he'd expected. Instead he heard another one, a new one, one he would never forget: about how brave Gideon and Fabian were in the end.

Curiosity. It's just curiosity, Dudley tells himself. After all he was raised thinking Lily was killed in a car crash, that she was not be talked about, not to be remembered. Because there was nothing about his aunt to be remembered, nothing worthy of his time.
But then the big man came, and Dudley learned about a house falling by the power of a monster, crumbling down to ashes. About magic. About things he can't understand.

Curiosity. After all she was his aunt. After all it's his family, his life.
Because, in the end, Dudley is the one who throws away his toys.
No one had ever done that for him.

Draco never thought much about her.
Truth to be told, he never knew much about her, save for what Narcissa said the few times she mentioned her existence.
Still, the truth was that, deep down and despite her father being a mudblood, she was as much a Black as he was. A powerful one, since there aren't that many metamorphmagi in the world.
Together with her, they were the last ones to a family long lost, even if they no longer carried the name.

But because she was probably foolish, she is dead now, and Draco is the last one standing.
In the end, it's just something else on his shoulders.

His son was beautiful.
Amos remembers the day he walked with him to King's Cross for the last time.
It was Cedric's last year at Hogwarts. He had become a man, his son, and in a few months his life was going to start. Maybe he'd work with his father, maybe he'd be something else. But Amos knew Cedric could be anything he wanted.

He remembers what Cedric had for breakfast that day, he remembers everything: How happy he was that there wasn't going to be any more Hogwarts. He'd be near, now. Forever.

In the end, all what Amos wishes now, is that they could walk into King's Cross again.

When she was born, Marvolo didn't care.
She was a female, fit to carry a new generation in her womb, but not his name, not the name of his family.
When she grew up, Marvolo knew she wasn't meant to be anything: ugly as sin and a Squib, a waste.
He kept her around, used her like the House Elf he, a true Slytherin, should have.
Until the fool left, using the last remains of magic she managed to have in her blood to steal away what she wanted.
It was fitting, it was perfect, Marvolo thinks, that, in the end, it was the fruit of her loins that killed Merope.

The war brings out what is real in you.
It doesn't bring out the bad, nor the good. Just what's real, what makes you, you.
It's not what makes you human, but what makes you a breathing, living being.
Kill or be killed, and nothing you've learned, nothing you were raised to believe in matters then.
For Harry it comes with an added bonus: Kill or be killed and let the entire Wizarding world suffer under the will of a mad man.
When he was growing up they forgot to mention that, but Harry's ready now. It's all up to him, and yet he's ready.
Because, in the end, everybody dies alone.

Fiddle-dee, Fiddle-dee, Fiddle-dee-dee,
How many Thestrals can you see?
All of this grief sends you mad, my friend;
You slit your own throat, and that’s the end.