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Ashes Left Behind

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Today is his 25th birthday and he has thought about getting himself a present – a tattoo. In fact he has been thinking about it for some time but has lacked the right motive. But just this morning he had had an epiphany. Not that his ideas were always the best. No, he can remember his 16th birthday quite well when a madman got him a dark mark as present – incredible pain included. With a sad little smile Draco glances at his left arm accustomed to the shape of a faded snake wrapped around an equally faded skull. He made some bad decisions in his life but that was without a doubt the worst.

But this tattoo, yes, this is a good idea. He's sure. It will be a big one but there is enough skin on his back to spare. Draco can see it in his mind; the colours, the shape and its meaning. It should start just above his bum where the dimples of his ass ascend into the muscles of his back. Black and grey ashes should cover the bottom of his spine.
This layer of charcoal should represent the years under Voldemort in the manor, when his mother went nearly mad because of his father's life sentence in Azkaban, and they almost lost the family's estate because they had to pay huge reparations but had no access to their Gringott's vault. Worst of all, his succumbing to fear. Fear of everyone in the Wizarding world, helpless without a wand, unable to protect his mother or himself. But they survived. Involuntarily Draco's hand reaches into his robe feeling for the warmth and comfort of his hawthorn wand.

On top of the ashes at the slimmest part of his back he imagines an egg. Broken, off-white, pale eggshells would surround a hatching fledgling. Only its shoulders, neck and a little head would be visible with most of its body hidden behind the eggshells. Placed slightly left of his spine the bird would look ugly, small and exhausted with his clotted grey feathers. But one could see a glimpse of more... a golden beak and one barely open emerald eye. His mind wanders from his planned tattoo back to the day when everything had changed.

He had spent the months after Voldemort's death and his trial hidden in the manor lost in sorrow. One late Summer's day the Chosen One had stood at the manor's gates, a little rectangular box in his hands. His arch nemesis Harry Potter had paid him a visit, had greeted him politely and, even more wondrous, had given him back his hawthorn wand. Afterwards they had walked through the garden. Harry, no he had still been Potter back then, had talked him into going back to Hogwarts. On behalf of Headmistress McGonagall Potter had argued against every reason he had come up with to decline. In the end Draco had been defeated. He met Potter again at the Hogwarts Express.

On his upper back he wants the fully grown bird, displayed in glowing yellow and red feathers. Its tail should start on his left side near his ribs; the body should cross his vertebrae in an arch, the left wing should spread over his shoulder blade onto his arm and the right wing should reach his armpit at its tip. Like an embrace, Draco thinks and allows a soft smile to spread across his mouth. The head with the golden beak and the shining green eyes should reach up to the right side of his neck. Up to the spot where Harry likes to bury his nose, inhale and nuzzle his neck.

His life took a turn for the better in his 8th school year. He became friends with Harry Potter – as unbelievable as that would have seemed to his younger self. Over that year their friendship had grown, at first a carnal relationship but it had become serious, and now... Harry has become his Phoenix. Harry lifts him up into the sky; with his passion, his laughter, his being a stupid Gryffindor and, yes, his love. Draco smiles, an even happier smile than before. Draco has left the ashes behind and wants to celebrate his second chance and his love for Harry - He wants a tattoo. A Phoenix. On his back. On his birthday.