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I forget the time when I'm with you. It's dark, and the rain beats against the window panes as if it were begging to be let in, but I forget how long it's been, how long we've got left. Time is incomprehensible here, unnecessary. Or maybe that's just me, lost in the dizzying taste of your lips and scent of your hair, in the sensation of strong fingers on my hips and the tender brush of eyelashes on my chest.

They're soft, unlike your rough hands. They breeze across my skin so delicately I wonder how I'm able to perceive them, when you dig fingers into my skin so hard I know it'll bruise, when your teeth on my lips are so sharp they make me bleed. But I do. And I love you for that, for your eyelashes brushing against me in soft, gentle butterfly kisses.

You're not kind. You never are, and I never expect otherwise. Why would I? Kindness does not become you, not here. Not like this. You can be gentle, and calm. You can smile and politely lead a conversation and dance around awkward insinuations but you're never kind. Not even to me. But the difference is that you don't wear the masks around me. You show me how cruel you can be, how caring and considerate and not kind, never kind. And I love you for that too. For the honesty. I didn't fall in love with a Prince, dear. I know my limits.

You know them too. You must, for you near them and trace along the line and taste the breeze from the other side but never cross, never make me feel unsafe or hurt. It is quite the accomplishment - especially for someone who claims not to care. I know you do, love. You can't lie to me.

The dark feels like a shield, though you describe it like a cloak. It's hiding us, you say. As if we were wrong. As if we were sinning.

We are.

I don't really care. I love you, and I love you even when your teeth leave marks for days and when I can't walk straight for longer than that. I love you when you glare at me across the classroom but worry about the amount I eat, or when you run your hands along my body to check me over for anything sharp. I love you because I can feel you then, later, when there's a wand to my head and I tell myself there's still something to delay it for, something to look forward to tomorrow.

Maybe that's selfish. Maybe my love is supposed to be pure and untainted by Amy worldly reasons. If you didn't save me over and over, would I still love you? I don't know. May I would,  maybe not. It doesn't change anything. The stories that talk about romance don't apply to us, dearest. They never did.

It was never supposed to be like this. I wasn't supposed to be like this. I wonder why I am, why I hurt constantly. What excuse do I have, a bad childhood? Trauma? Neglect? You've had all three, maybe, and a dark Lord in your home and in your parents and laced through the cold memories of your childhood. You still hold up better than me. I probably love you for that too.

There are a lot of reasons I love you, sweetheart. Many, and I'd wager they'd take a while to list too. They're probably not eternal though, not like the movies. I'm not that imaginative. I wonder how many reasons you'd think up, and how many of those would be true. I wonder if there even are any, though I know you'd insist differently.

It is nearly always cold up here, when I stand so high in the middle of the night - and at such an ungodly hour too. Does that mean the hour is cursed? Do demons rise when the clock strikes, draping themselves over my shoulders and running hands along my skin like so many lovers? Or perhaps they soak into my very bones, like a sea of sin. I doubt it makes much difference anyway, when you fuck me there against the railings, or when you force me away from the edge once again and down the stairs. You don't like it cold, I know. You're remarkably sensitive for someone so poised.

I'm not sure what I want to accomplish here. There is no goal in mind, no role I'm playing. No one specific role, anyway. Does any of this matter when we lie together in front of the fire, when we breathe each other in? Does it matter why I love you, so long as I do? I don't ask you for your reasons, and I never will. I doubt you know them in any case.

I tell you these things sometimes, though not in as much detail. Do you remember what you say? "Don't be so ridiculous, Harry," with the sneer on your face and concern in your grey eyes. As if my thoughts were passing fancy. As if you were truly afraid for me.

Don't be. I told you, you make me want to be here. To breathe and smile and see the sun one more time. Isn't that enough? You smirk when I ask you this, but I'm serious. Isn't it? Or is there something more you want from me?

You always seem so strong. "I pretend," you tell me when I wonder how, but it doesn't seem like it. It seems genuine, like you feel weak but your heart is strong, and I wonder how you're more Gryffindor than me, who had a father more Gryffindor than them all. But then again what does the father matter, in the matter of the son? We are neither of us anything like our fathers, and in your case it is your saving grace. What is it in mine? Nothing good, certainly, when everywhere I look they tell me how wonderful he was, what a hero, him and his beautiful wife who lived and fought and died for me. But I don't know them, and I just know that, if they were alive, they really wouldn't want to know me either.

You hate it when I say these things to you. You tell me to stop being stupid, to get over myself. You tell me I'm whining. That you can't stand all that self pity. It's true, all of it, but you still sit there and hold my hands in yours - and they're warmer than mine, too, Mr. Slytherin Ice Prince. How's that for irony. You hold me and sit in front of me and tell me to stop, and your eyes are sweet and worried. This is not altruistic - perhaps saving me gives you hope of saving yourself. I don't mind, I've told you that so many times. I don't mind, because you wouldn't be you without the selfishness, without the hate and anger and vicious sense of justice. I love all of you, and by that I don't mean the good parts and the flaws, because you don't have flaws. You just are, and I? I am helpless to adore it all.

I know you wonder why I'm like this - broken and actually really useless. I am not alone - I'm told this quite often. I have friends, people who care and love and want too look after me. I have you. I tell myself this too, but it doesn't always work. It doesn't help that I feel alone, and oh so weak. You, and all the rest of them, you're trying to fix me, to heal me, but I'm not even sure there's anything broken. Maybe this is just me, and I'm just messed up. It would explain a lot. Why else would I be thinking about bruises where you touch me, and hurting where you are gentle? That's not normal, not healthy. Not okay.

I don't think it matters though. Maybe it's bad for me, and maybe I want to die, but does it really matter? I won't, if only because I have a duty, even if it is to kill someone. If only because I could never leave you hopeless in a world of dark lords and death eaters. But I don't think I'll live, and I think you know it too. I think that's why you hold me so tight - tight enough to make my skin bloom with blue and black and purple flowers, when you get that glazed look in your eyes and refuse to tell me what's wrong. I told you, you can't hide from me. Not you. Not anymore.

I said this once, you'd remember. I'm sure of it, if only because you got so angry that I was struck dumb. I said, "you know I'll probably not live through this war, right?" I just wanted you to know, to not get your hopes up or to make you stop expecting it, I don't know. But you, your eyes burned like little spitting fires and your grip tightened on my wrist and you hissed at me, so angry it almost sounded like Parseltongue, and you told me to shut the fuck up, like it was so horrible you couldn't even tell me what was wrong.

I've never said it again, but you know I think it all the time. And you think it too, when you think I'm not looking and you watch me with that desolate look in your eye. Don't be sad, love. If it wasn't for this war I'd probably have ended myself some other way, long before today. People like me aren't meant for long, happy lives, don't you know? They expire early, either because they put themselves into a stupidly dangerous situation or because they couldn't find it in themselves to be bothered anymore.

For what it's worth, I'm sorry. You don't want to hear it, I know, but I needed to say it anyway. Selfish, but who are you to begrudge me that? You say you love me and as much as I want to deny it, I know it's true. I'm sorry that you do, that you'll hurt when I leave you, even though you know I'll only ever drag you down with me.

But fate is absolute, and it can't be changed, can't be denied. And there's a part of me, the largest part that is so hopelessly in love with you it withers every time we aren't touching, but even if you were meant for me, I was never meant for you. Not forever. And it's okay, because I'm happy with this little piece of happiness I have, and it's okay because no matter what you think now, I know you don't really need me. Not as much as you think you do.

You'll manage. I know you'll manage.

And maybe in a few years you'll look back and curse my name or smile fondly - I hope you smile fondly - and you'll move on with your happier life, a hopeful life, and it'll be okay, because that's just the way it was meant to be.

And I love you; so, so much, so why won't you understand that this is inevitable? Boys like me aren't meant for long, happy lives. We live in the moments we are needed, when someone needs a warrior or a sacrifice, and then we are discarded to the side, unwanted reminders of everything that was unpleasant.

And boys like you, they're meant for success and big names and long, peaceful days surrounded by those you love, for families and summers on holiday somewhere exotic. They're not meant to interact with people like me, and if they do? Then the world is quick to remedy that.

It all seems too hopeless now, with your name being dragged through the mud and your wealth kept from you, but it won't always be that way, trust me. And when I go out there - because go I must - it'll be you I think about, and you I fight for, so please, whatever happens don't let it go to waste. Show them all who you are, what you are, your power and your strength, your beauty and your skill. You're a piece of art, darling, and you were always meant to show off.

Oh, how I love you.

And I know, and it's okay, that you won't always love me the same. That you don't even now. Not because I forgive you, because there is nothing to forgive. It is just you, all of you, and the way you desire me and touch me and make me hazy with pleasure, and I love you for that. For loving me as much as you are able to love someone like me. For losing yourself in the little intricacies of my moods, for caring so much it hurts you when I hurt.

It hurts me when you hurt too.

And now this, when the world is burning and I know, I know this is the end of the line. You know too, and there is fear in your eyes when you look at me and ask me to come away with you, 'you don't need to do this'.

But I do.

And this is it, when you look at me like I've betrayed you, and perhaps I have. But you knew this, knew me, and you didn't really expect anything else. You're getting angry now, shouting at me, 'don't you care about me?' and 'what have they ever done for you?' and I love you so, so much and it kills me, to see this pain in you. But it'll all be over soon, I promise.

And you'll be angry. God, you'll be so incredibly angry. You'll want to cry, you'll want to hate me and maybe manage, I don't know. But you'll heal, and it'll all be done, and that, Draco, is the important part.

That, my dear, is why I must.