Like a lie, the first few seconds of his song were fleeting, the notes themselves resembled elusive angels. No one paid too much attention to it. They just went around talking to each other in a slightly lower voice.
Soon, however, the ghosts one by one stopped what they were doing and focused on the source of the music. They heard the soft, almost ghostly sounds coming from the piano, and strained their ears in order to hear it better. However the sound still eluded their minds as it usually did.
It was an addictive drug that was given out in small amounts, they wanted more, yet they only could receive a few notes before realizing that they had to concentrate again. They couldn't lose themselves in the music.
Then, the music gradually got louder. It was no longer the elusive snake but a singing bird. One that was happy and content. All of the ghosts couldn't help but feel as if they were also happy. They had this urge to dance around with each other. The music was influencing their minds, yet they didn't care.
But as quickly as it had come, the song switched tempo, now it was a raging lion. The sound was at its loudest, piercing the heavens and soaking the floor. Perhaps even the people in the great hall could hear it.
It was faster, louder, and deeper. More radical.
The feeling of happiness disappeared immediately and filled with rage and anger. The ghosts felt like throwing the tables over and tearing at each others' throat.
Some ghosts, especially the bloody baron, closed their eyes and trembled.
The song grew louder and louder until... it stopped.
It was ten seconds before the song continued with another chime of another key. The song had become quiet and slow again. But it was a different silent. A quiet and depressed quiet. A man who had lost his everything.
Arth continued to play, his eyes still closed. His face etched with sorrow and pain. He just let out his feeling and emotions. For music was like that.
His finger rose and fell gracefully, the keys did not feel like mechanical objects, but heavenly instruments. He was not playing a song, but playing a story.
The tempo went on for another five minutes, but no one complained of the repetition. In fact they wanted more. They wanted to relive the pains they had, Remember the pains of living, something that they had forgotten in a long time.
The song now ever so slightly switched, maybe a key or two, however the effect was enormous.
From silent acceptance of life, to the joy of fulfillment, to rage of anger, and to depression and sadness. All the way to melancholy.
Everyone took a deep breath and trembled when it happened.
Arth began to cry.
Tears slowly dropped down his face, one by one in an albeit slow manner. However, with the tears came a change in quality.
The song was no longer a song, nor a story, but the actual existence of a man's life. A man's sorrow.
One by one, the ghosts joined Arth with the crying, for tears couldn't help but drop. Ghostly tears of sadness dropped towards the floor and disappeared as if they were seeking warmth in the core of the world.
The ghosts now regretted listening to the song. They wanted to stop. They wanted to forget. But each note was another addictive drug that they could not escape.
The song ever so slightly changed four times before falling into a repetition of the same line four times. Each repetition was quieter than the last.
A mother's cry. A whimper of a baby's. The sigh of an old man. The final breath of a man.
And then silence. The death of the man.
Everyone held their breaths as Arth sat there, in front of the piano in a paralyzed state, letting his tears drop down from his face.
Even when he stood up, no one dared to move.
Arth opened his eyes for the first time and everyone could still see the sadness and melancholy that existed within his eyes.
"I... I call this song, The Man."
Arth gave a bow before leaving the floor and going into the crowd. There was a soft applause, one filled with respect and a lingering sadness.
Hermione ran towards Arth and gave him a hug.
"Are... are you alright?" She asked with a quivering voice and a face still dripping with tears.
Arth gave a wry smile before wiping the tears off her face.
"It's ok. it's just that the song got to me. Emotions are what brings life to a song."
Hermione but her lip as if she did not believe him before grabbing his hand and leading him towards the tables filled with food.
"... lets god Nick is about to give his speech."
Hermione dragged Arth along towards the table and sat down.
Nick came over with a slightly glassy look in his eyes.
"... my friend.... that was an amazing piece. A work of art."
"Thank you Nick. I'm glad you enjoyed it. When are we going to start the speech?"
It's nearly time for my speech-"
They, and everyone else in the
dungeon, fell silent, looking around in excitement, as a hunting horn sounded.
"Oh, here we go," said Nearly Headless Nick bitterly.
Through the dungeon wall burst a dozen ghost horses, each ridden by a headless horseman. The assembly clapped wildly like Fangirl's at a concert. The horses galloped into the middle of the dance floor and halted, rearing and plunging. At the front of the pack was a large ghost who held his bearded head under his arm, from which position he was blowing the horn. The ghost leapt down, lifted his head high in the air so he could see over the crowd (everyone laughed), and strode over to Nearly Headless Nick, squashing his head back onto his neck.
"Nick!" he roared. "How are you? Head still hanging in there?"
He gave a hearty guffaw and clapped Nearly Headless Nick on the shoulder.
"Welcome, Patrick," said Nick stiffly.
"Live 'uns!" said Sir Patrick, spotting Arth and Hermione and giving a huge, fake jump of astonishment, so that his head fell off again.
"Very amusing," said Nearly Headless Nick darkly.
"Don't mind Nick!" shouted Sir Patrick's head from the floor. "Still upset we won't let him join the Hunt! But I mean to say — look at the fellow —"
Nick trembled furiously and grabbed his head. Seeing this, Sir Patrick laughed.
"What are you going to do Nick, dangle your head to my death-"
A flying object interrupted his speech with a great amount of force. The object caused Sir Patrick to go flying back into the wall from which he had come from.
The ball was Nick's head.