Title: A Beast of Two Heads
Fandom: Harry Potter
Characters: Emmeline Vance, mentions of various Order members.
Word Count: 586
Summary: War has a way of splitting you in two.
Author's Notes: Expect a lot of these. I've been writing Emm drabbles for a while.
The Emmeline on the battlefield and the Emmeline on the Quidditch field are two entirely different animals. It scares her.
With a beater’s club in her hand and a broom between her legs she can do anything. She is steady, she is real, and she knows what to do. Everything fits and she’s home. The air beats at her and the vibration for the force of her hit is everything she needs. She’s a drug addict and this is her fix. When she’s in the air she doesn’t have to think about her grandmother’s death, or her grandfather’s leg. The safety of her parents is assured because they’re in the stands (no matter what). The Emm in the air is the Emm her friends knew in school.
She is composed, collected, and thrilled. Ice-queen Emm always takes a back seat when Quidditch presents itself. No matter how cool she may seem they can tell that there’s no where else in the world she’d rather be. She cares for her team and protects them with everything she’s got, always forgetting her crippling fear of healers while she risks herself.
In the Order there is a different Emm.
She is composed, collected, and cold. Ice-queen Emm has never been so pronounced, and even her friends see it. She’s not strong enough, she thinks to herself. She’s not brave enough. She was never a Gryffindor and she doesn’t know if she can bear to lose them all. So she keeps a safe distance and tries to convince herself she’s not half as frightened as she is.
With a wand in her hand and curses flying about her head she can do anything. There is a dull roar in her head and it worries her how easily she grows used to wiping blood off her face. Nothing else matters; everything is protecting the people she has left. Her grandmother’s face linger in the back of her mind and she spends hours making sure not a drop of blood is left on her ring.
She is not brave enough. She knows it. She is not as noble as they are and when Fabian and Gideon are killed no one questions her disappearance. When she returns no one makes any mention of Wilkes’ mysterious death either. It is not bravery that pushes her into the Order and it is not bravery that makes her put herself in the line of fire over and over again. It is an unwillingness to live without those few loved ones. It is selfishness. Or so she tells herself.
It frightens her how good she is with curses. It frightens her how quickly the nightmares stopped (not that she ever got much sleep to start with). It frightens her when she realizes she can’t hold it together forever.
So when they meet at the Weasley’s (somehow it has become their favorite base despite the fact that Molly and Arthur aren’t really part of the Order) and she sits by the window she watches them all. Memorizes them. Remembers what keeps her together. Sirius will wave her over eventually or Lily will drag her over, but she always spends just a moment watching. They are what she fights for. From little Charlie’s cries to Alice and Frank snacking away.
It frightens her how much she wants to have everything they seem to manage and how little chance there is that she will. She’s no fool- she’s a Ravenclaw- she knows they won’t make it out of this intact.