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Heart and Home

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You were five. Warm cheeks, bright eyes, and smiles against dark rooms. You were the joy of your parents, their first child, someone to carry on the honor of the family name. You were buttercups growing under trees in spring, warm breezes over soft, tall grass that would give way to the stillness hot summers. Dressed in petticoats, white and mint-green lace that served as a distant acknowledgement your family’s heritage. Your blood was pure and fresh and young, like the wind that curled and blew your hair while you played in the grass with him.

You were seven. You were pleases, thank you’s, and polite inquiries. A little mistress, already being tasked with the burdens of home, like the books on your head to make you stand straight. You were combed hair and small smiles and mischievous eyes behind the serious ones your parents put on your face. You were like him - laughing behind corners and sticking your little fingers into whatever you could find. You were muddy feet on weekdays and breathless laughter in between, and he was the reason. You didn’t know that yet.

You were nine. You were grimaces behind closed doors and eye rolls when mother wasn’t looking. You were red, complementary to green in theory, not practice. It’s green blood in your veins, they explained, pure and potent and superior, but you didn’t believe it for a second - even if he was convinced. You were still full of laughter, but the wintry kind, that dwindled into sadness after a long exhalation. You were restless, rebellious, a firebrand, and he adored it. The wind against your faces on the back of his broom and scrapes on your knees. You were earning your scars together, making memories, wincing more from the shouts than the cuts and bruises. Too early. Far too early.

You were eleven. You were tears on your not-green Hogwarts pillow and crumpled letters on your hand - disowned. You were an outcast, a misfit, only now it was official, but your parents couldn’t bear the scandal. The Sirius Black of your era, the Slytherins whispered - all except for him. He was shared glances across the tables and notes passed in class, talks in the library when you had a chance. Different colored uniforms, and different blood, too. You were friends with a broken string, not quite attached at the hip anymore, not walking your own separate ways either.

You were twelve. You were increasingly bold and more rebellious, determined to make life worth the while. You were the leaves falling against your window while you read and the breeze sweeping through the open frame, reminding you of the same wind on his back. Because he was the polished prize of green and silver, seeker of the quidditch team, already a prince - and you a pauper. You became late nights past curfew and pranks around corridors. Trash talk against teachers and fights in the halls. You were bitter like cold sleet in springtime, raining down, jealous and angry. You were the knowledge that they didn’t care- not him, not your family. No one.

You were thirteen. You were undone ties and untucked shirts, hair loose and skirt short. You were snide remarks and skepticisms at his un-gelled hair from across the tables, wondering ironically if it was a rebellious phase. You wondered if the two of you were more attached than you’d thought, perhaps not the hip, but the elbow. Because that’s what it was - bumping elbows in Potions class, wearing identical faces during boring lessons, making mischief with much worse than muddy feet. You were the only one in your house staying for holidays, frustrated but slightly acceptant, glad at least to escape the frivolous parties your families constantly put on. You wished he were with you so you both could mock them. He wished you were with him for the same reason.

You were fourteen. You were feathered quills behind your ear and ink splatters over your fingers, avoiding the stress of the Tournament by acknowledging the stress of schoolwork. You were the notes written in the margins of books, still ignorant of rules, but determined to succeed. He was the one who picked up the books to read your notes afterwards. You were anxiety and distress and hugs between friends, murmured “be careful’s” and jolts awake from nightmares you couldn’t remember. You were hands behind your head and staring at your exams while his eyes were fixed on you. You were strings a thread away from breaking, and he wanted to catch you when you fell. The space beside your hip felt emptier than ever, as did the gnawing in his own chest.

You were fifteen. You were unkempt hair, sallow skin and quieter than ever, the unanswered letters from mother spilling over your desk and onto the carpet. You were night terrors and midnight walks to the astronomy tower, exhausted and terrified at being beckoned to the other side of a brooding war. He was the constellation in the northern sky, shining down on your sleepless form. He was the hand on the small of your back that sent a shiver down your spine, the whispered “how are you?” from soft, gentle lips. You thought, though maybe it was only the stars, that he had never looked more beautiful. The same thought crossed his mind. You were whispered confessions against the stone parapets, cold fingers pointing at the shooting stars, and stitches slowly being sewn back together. You were the Order and he was the Inquisitor, passing ludicrous secrets and laughing at the absurdity of it all. He was dry, dry and desperate for the love of his father, and you were the same, desperate for love from him. You were a black mass, growing from the heart outward and threatening to consume him, afraid he would run. You were reassurances in your head, consolations to yourself as he smiled at you in the hallway, that the two of you wouldn’t change. But you knew he was a coward.

You were sixteen. You were fingers tapping nervously on desks and hair hanging forward to avoid confrontation. You were isolated, your fingernails chipped and night terrors gripping you in broad daylight, the threat of war looming over you like the hangman’s hand. You were his escape, his solace from tears and attacks of anxiety that threatened to overwhelm you both. You were a hollow stone, trying your best to hide him from the world, about to implode. He was hollow eyes, pale skin and a black suit that hung on his bones, the green and silver tie a noose on his neck. You were thankful, for once, that you didn’t wear it. You were murmurs against his shoulder and chaste kisses on his lips, empty assurances. He was bearer of a mission too gruesome to tell you about, the silent sufferer who came to you at night without an explanation why. And you were mortified, socks wet and heart beating out of your chest, to see blood red stains on his alabaster chest. You were dripping tears and breaking vocal chords, pleading to the person you realized you loved. He was cornered in the dark. He couldn’t see you, he couldn’t see you, there was no light, he just couldn’t see in the caverns of his fear.

That’s what you told yourself. That’s why he left, you thought. There were scars on the outside of his chest now, and broken heartstrings inside of yours.

You were seventeen. You were a bloody knife in your gut and gasping breaths against the battle-filled air, eyes closed, pleading for another taste of oxygen. One more. One more. You were tired, hollow and desperate to be filled, but - finally - accepting that you never really got what you wanted. He was pained, nervous and shaking, a borrowed wand in his hand and roaring blood in his ears when he saw you. He was a pounding heart, a boy falling to his knees and pleading that, of all the choices he’s suffered, he’ll have the chance to make one right. He was a shattered, overflowing mess, picking you up under the knees and feeling himself break at your cries. He was filling you, with purpose, with belonging, as he ran down the hall, dodging what he could avoid and fighting would he could not. You were fading. You were dizzy spots in front of your eyes and numbness in your nerves and the muted sounds of his assurances, the empty promises he was giving, just like you had last year. But the kisses weren’t chase. They were bitten, bloody lips and desperate begs for one more breath, one more, and he could make it right. A little more time, a little more air. One more. One more.

One more.

 

 

You were twenty-two. You were soft, sweet breaths against pewter-white pillows and his arm wrapped around your bare waist, hand covering your overgrown stomach. He was messy hair and long, dark eyelashes, lips against your shoulder and chest exhaling with air you both had greedily taken for granted. You were tied at the hip and the heart, the five a.m. light casting a gentle glow on your skin. You were hesitant, happy smiles, driving away the nightmares alongside him, loving each day like it was your last. You were green, potted plants in the windowsills - it was a happy color, now. He was the click of the door at seven o’clock each night and the arms that swung you around like he’d missed you for years, and the smiles that spread at the sound of your laughter. You were his heart. He was your home. And summer had never been so beautiful.