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Reflections by Margravine

Format: One-shot
Chapters: 1
Word Count: 2,287

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Violence, Scenes of a Mild Sexual Nature, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme

Genres: Horror/Dark, Romance, Action/Adventure
Characters: Ravenclaw, OC, OtherCanon
Pairings: Other Pairing

First Published: 02/10/2010
Last Chapter: 03/01/2010
Last Updated: 03/01/2010

divine banner by Alora@tda! 3rd place in Madam Marauder's Unconventional Couple Challenge!

The life, death and times of Sir Nicholas De-Mimsy Porpington.

Nearly Headless Nick/Rowena Ravenclaw

Chapter 1: Gryffindor
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October 31, 1492

You were just another lost boy. Another love starved, big eyed waif adrift in fast flowing currents. Your mother was dead, but you did not cry. That was one of the first things your father taught you: men do not cry. Your father was a good man, or at least a good knight, and a stiff upper lip was essential to his code of chivalry. There are other teachings he passed onto you; serve your country, serve your king, love your queen.

You must honor and protect all women, but your heart must be given foremost to the queen. You are a knight; you must be ready to die in her service without hesitation.

You loved your queen with a pure passion any Launcelot would envy and any Arthur cherish. Now you will die for her.

You step up to the block and meet the eyes of the hooded executioner calmly. You chose your fate. You could not choose anything else, for you were hers from the first moment you laid eyes on her. Her liegeman, her devoted servant, her knight; you loved her before all else. To the death.


You were young once. It was not so long ago. You were a scruffy little rogue with tousled curls and apple red cheeks. You clambered through trees, you were only allowed to fence with wooden practice blades. When you were eleven, everything changed. You were set apart, forced to leave your father’s castle and be smuggled to another, a tall sandstone building overlooking a still black lake. 

Back then, you wanted nothing more than to be a knight, and if you were bitterly disappointed by the new direction your powers forced you in, you were resolved to someday live your dream. You were an innocent, foolish child to think you could be knight, wizard and man, but you always were a dreamer. If not, you never would have found her.

It was an accident, chance, fate that you took a wrong turn one night and found yourself in an unfamiliar hall. It was more than instinct, it was destiny that prompted you to open the door at the very end of the hall rather than turn and walk away to lifetime of the mundane. You opened the last door, you walked up the mirror in the centre of the room and you gave up your heart and soul to the woman trapped in the glass mirror.

At first, you thought she was your mother, for your mother had been beautiful, or so they said. But she looked nothing like the painted ivory miniature you kept tucked in your doublet. You realized with the certainty of an eleven year old; that clear sighted conviction able to move mountains, that she was a beautiful princess. She was trapped in the mirror for all of time, until you were sent to this room to save her.

You were not a knight then, not yet, and you did not know if you ever would be, or if you would continue to be the hidden shame of the family, the freakish child with devil powers, sent away for the safety of the fief, spoken of in hushed whispers. But the urge to save damsels was instilled in you even then. It is the heart of chivalry, and chivalry; then, now, always, is all you have ever lived for.


Your devotion to the beautiful princess trapped in the mirror was strong, and you had spent your page years trying in vain to break her free. You had tried every spell imaginable, pored over every manuscript and scroll you could uncover, and the only change you could produce was the appearance of the words erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi .If your Latin was as excellent as your jousting, you would have had some warning, but whether you would have heeded it is another matter.

As you grew older, you did not forget her; you still visited her daily, but other loves crowded your life with colour, other events pushed her from the focus of your mind, if she stayed always in the innermost sanctums of your heart.

Your father told you he was proud of you, for your journey to knighthood was something he can grasp with his meaty hand; roll around in his strong jaw. It allowed him to overlook your other, unnatural gifts, which he still cursed your mother for. You made your first friend, the only other lad mad, or brave enough to take the duel apprenticeships of knight and wizard, and together you slog towards your birthright. 

You fell in love for the first time, with a living breathing damsel of golden locks and heart. Vivienne was the sweetest maid there ever was. Her skin was roses and cream, her lips cherries, her eyes wide and star like. Despite all this, she was not the fairest in all the land, but any who looked on her face, heard her gentle voice or felt her healing hands on their fevered face forgot this. You strove to make yourself worthy of her. To be a good knight. There were many who loved her, and you were content for once to worship from afar. As well as a lady, Vivienne was a healer of the mind and body, and her simple conversation bought you a temporary reprieve. Perhaps if you had met her earlier, it would have all turned out differently. Perhaps then Vivienne would have been your Guinevere.


It is only as a full grown man graduated from Hogwarts and knighted by the muggle king that you understood the real magic of the lady in the mirror. Your Latin was fluent, chivalry was your life breath, and your glorious quest began to unfurl before you.

She was not your mother, she had never been a damsel awaiting your rescue, but she was a queen demanding your service. You had been sent to Hogwarts for a reason, it was written in the stars that one day a man would be born who would be both knight and wizard, and only he could be a true champion and lover of the witch queen.

The mirror reflected your heart, for a knight’s heart must be devoted entirely to his queen. There was no doubt that she was a queen, majesty as well as wisdom shone from her brow, and there was no doubt as to why you were drawn to her, why you loved her.

She was your Guinevere.

In her service, your honour was impeachable, your duty clear. You pressed your nose to the cold glass of the Mirror of Erised, but you no longer needed to open your eyes. Your vision was painted on the backs of your eyes, branded into your skin. You did not need the waking world, or the magic of the mirror, for it to be before you.

It was always before you, whether you woke or slept. 

And one night, when you were wandering the halls of Hogwarts to make your pilgrimage, you caught a ghost spying on you and learnt the truth. You caught a glimpse of the Grey Lady and were struck by the resemblance. You ran after her, though she vanished through the walls. Though she fled, you pursued her endlessly, and one night she relented.
“Why do you follow?” she asked you, turning the full force of her gaze on you. You did not flinch. “To serve,” you told her simply. 

She laughed then, a bitter hollow clash of broken crystal chimes, and for the first time you felt the prickles of unease. As she told you her story, they became searing swords of pain. You at last knew the truth. You at last knew who your queen really was. You were faced with how much you loved her, how far you were willing to go. You finally knew what you had to do. You finally had a purpose, a tangible way to serve your queen.


You step up to the block and meet the eyes of the hooded executioner calmly. You chose your fate. You could not choose anything else, for you were hers from the first moment you laid eyes on her. Her liegeman, her devoted servant, her knight; you loved her before all else. To the death. Death is what is required of you, for in death you can best serve your queen.

It is a pity you have to die to take Helena’s message to her mother, but there is no other way. Only the dead share their secrets. You are happy to spend eternities with Rowena, she has been the only constant passion in your life. You do wish that you could have found an easier death. You wish you could have simply fallen on your sword, or stepped in front of a carriage, but you know Vivienne’s powers all too well, and could not take a chance on this. 

Vivienne. No, you will not think of her. Not now.

You do not look at your father, though you know he is there in the jeering crowd. You do not need to look to know that he is expressionless, as if it is not his only son denounced on the podium for witchcraft. As if this was not the bad end he had predicted for years. You doubt however, that he suspected that your end would have been so steeped in black humour, though you doubt further he can appreciate any sort of humour. You smile to yourself. If you had not been your father's son they would have burned you, for though witchcraft is considered treason, it is only commoners that burn. Lady Grieve will ignore that she sought your rumoured wizardry - for that it what it is, not witchcraft - out, and Lady Grieve will have her vengeance. No one will ever know that you botched the spell on her teeth so magnificently on purpose. No one will ever know all you have done, for love. To bring you to this end.

You blink, and some strange moisture streaks your cheeks. Despite yourself, you cannot help but look through the crowd for a tell tale head of burnished gold. She is there, and as you meet her reddened eyes you wish, you wish so desperately, that there had been another way.

You kneel before the block and place your head on it. People are yelling, screaming, crying, but everything has faded before you except for Rowena’s face, and Rowena’s sad smile. It soothes you, and you take a deep breath, which you know will be your last. You hear the executioner grunt as he lifts the axe, and you hear it whistle through the air towards you, and then –


You should be dead. You hope that you are, but the simple act of opening your eyes reveals it is not so. You are alive, and the executioner curses. He tries again. And again. And you wonder why you are not dead, for you should be, and you want to be, and you open your eyes and you meet those of a golden haired girl and you know.

At the first ten strokes of the axe you are livid. The blows of the axe are an irritating itch, and you are furious the chit has used her powers to interfere with your freedom, to prevent your from your destiny.

At the second ten strokes of the axe you are impatient. The blows of the axe have begun to bruise, and you want an end. No more waiting for you, either oblivion or glory awaits!

At the third ten strokes your neck is bloody and you can think of nothing but the pain.

After the axe has tried to stroke you forty times all feeling has gone and you are quiet. You realize despite your fierce denial the true significance of the spell that has kept you alive. Vivienne, the famour healer, the golden girl you have watched from afar loves you. Vivienne loves you as you do her, and it is her spells alone that keep you safe from death. 

And that knowledge sets you free. It is as if a veil that had clouded your vision for so long you no longer noticed it was ripped off, and you saw the world clearly for the first time. You see walks in the orchids, dances at feasts, jousts in which you carry her favour. You see kisses at Beltane as you jump over fires together, you see an exchange of rings before an altar, the promise of cherry red lips and a lifetime of twisting your fingers through golden locks. You see children with golden hair and apple cheeks clambering through trees and into your lap. 

You understand what you should have realised long ago: It is Vivienne, not Rowena, who you truly love.

You have found a new queen, a living, breathing goddess. A real woman, not an impossible dream. It has all been a mistake, the most foolish one you have ever made, but it is not too late - you have survived this long!

You no longer want to die. You want to live.

That is your last thought as a living man.

So that was written for the Unconventional Couple Challenge with Nick/Rowena and the Mirror of Erised. I think it was STRANGE. I am deeply disturbed by my own muses.  Bear with me, I had to bridge the 400 year gap somehow.

And I (disclaimer) own nothing and in no way wish to glorify suicide: while Nick had a death wish, he was tried for witchcraft and I hope his regret for his foolhardiness was clear.

Thoughts? Was it believable or too far fetched?