A minor burn causes no harm, and an extra-tough Metamorphagus can withstand some pretty bad burns and suffer no permanent damage. But if you get burned badly enough, you lose the ability to change. You automatically revert to the form you were born as, and stay that way. Itís a general rule that the original form of a Metamorphagus is very plain. Iím no exception to any of that.
But Iíve never had any physical burns that had any hope of causing that damage. I know better then to handle an open flame unless I have to, and when I do, I concentrate hard enough that I donít have any accidents. I can mess up anything else, but when it comes to fire, I do what it takes to keep myself safe. Death Eaters have tried to use it as a weapon against me, but Iíve had ways of making sure they didnít succeed.
Instead Iíve learned that the fatal burn doesnít have to be physical, nor does the reversion into a dull mass.
Maybe if Iíd realized that my heart could be burned the same way, I wouldnít have been so reckless with it. Old Mad-Eye Moody definitely qualified as reckless. He was called ďMadĒ for a reason, in fact, a good number of them that made the seventy-year age difference the least of the reasons why he wasnít a good idea. Also led him to give up on ever getting laid again, as he told me shortly before he did after all, thanks to yours truly.
If excuses can be excuses, I didnít realize at the time what I was getting into. Alastor had a certain image: paranoia, sense of his own humour, no sense of anyone elseís, and passionate about nothing except combating dark magic. When I mentioned once to Hestia that we were banging, she expressed a question on how I didnít get injured from his skin, which had hardened by countless curses, but then I reminded her I could harden my skin right back. I though itíd be just plain sex, with some affection, but nothing serious.
You prudes can call me a slut now, but it wasnít quite like that. Itís rather hard to explain. I think it was basically that I thought it a good idea for both of us. I guess I was wrong there.
Because at some point, we unlocked something, in him, in me, or in both of us, I donít know. Passion doesnít describe it adequately, it was more a power that seized both of us and took our relationship careening in a direction that neither of us had ever intended to go. Something beyound anything either of us imagined we could ever have felt.
Donít ask me what caused it. Some word one of us said, some look we shared, at some point, that made it all go spinning. No one knows how people fall in love, which is perhaps why itís such a hazard.
It had its good points, I suppose. Had it stayed on a casual level, we would have been perfect together. Heís a bit bizarre, but Iíve always liked bizarre. And if you could deal with all the quirks, heís a great companion. He does have a sense of humour that extends to others; you just have to know how to find it, and I always could. In fact, I might have kept him from *really* going mad. The run-in with Crouch, jr and the year spent in the trunk hurt his mental state more then most people realize. Most people thought he was already crazy enough that a year in a trunk couldnít do any more damage.
I still shudder deliciously when I remember what it was like to make love to him. To give in so completely to him, he who wanted me so, and to have him back. Much of my life had blurred now, but there are certain things Iíll always remember. His hands touching my shoulders, running down, making my skin tingle. His breathing in my ear, turning into groans that reverberated through my spine when we came together. His skin beneath my hands, which I explored until I could tell you from memory the exact texture of every inch of him. The way we moved together, him always on top, because being on the bottom brought back too many memories of curses for him; feeling him between my legs, so hard and fast against me until he drove me over the edge. He always made me scream.
I think, if there had been time, the passion would have cooled harmlessly. If we had both lived, we would have been all right, and however much I burned, it wouldnít have hurt me.
But that was the big problem. We were both devoted to the Order of the Phoenix, willing to lay down our lives at a secondís notice, regardless of whatever we felt. And from the start of our affair, before it got out of hand, we agreed that the Order had to come first, whatever happened. And we managed to actually stick to that, to the bitter end.
Still, Iím very glad I wasnít on that final mission, when Alastor sacrificed himself to save Harry, who almost immediately went on to kill the Dark Lord. Had I been there, I honestly donít know if I could have stood by and let him do it.
He was killed by an Avada Kedavra curse from Draco Malfoy, who escaped charges, and my fury combined with my already overwhelming grief to consume me even more then my love for him. I burned with a fire that had a sick quality to it, one that at a less potent amount I am sure would have had the same eventual effect on me.
I got young Malfoy convicted, though it took me two years to do it, by which time my heart had turned to ashes. I watched him be dragged off to Azkaban, and no longer had even the ability to be satisfied.
And then, I married Remus.
Remus had been burnt the same way, of course. His love affair with Sirius Black had a rough start even in his school years, and he told me once how he had found himself unable to stop loving Sirius even when he believed him to have betrayed them. But thirteen years had made reconciliation hard. They had finally come back together, only for Remus to lose him a year later. After such an emotional roller coaster, anyone would be burnt out for a very long time.
The funny thing is, everyone thinks us the perfect couple. No one realized just how serious things were between me and Alastor, and even after my relentless prosecution of Draco, they still donít seem to have guessed. What was going on between Remus and Sirius is a bit more well known, but it had been five years by the time we were married; plenty of time in most peopleís eyes to mourn and move on. Everyone talks about how adorable we are, how lucky we are to have each other.
I donít really call anyone lucky if theyíre married to someone they donít love, or doesnít love them, or both. Remus likes me a lot, but he could never love me in that way. I donít know if heís even capable of loving a woman like that, and Iíve never seen the point in asking.
As for me, sometimes I find it hard to believe that Iím done with romantic love when Iím not even 30 yet, but I donít want to go through what Iíve gone through with Alastor again.
Noone knows why a fierce burn keeps a Metamorphagus from shaping again, but I sometimes wonder if itís because the skin is afraid of being burnt again.