Disclaimer:  If you recognize it, it obviously doesn't belong to me.  And anyone who doesn't think the recognizable bits belong to JKR has had a few too many butterbeers.  My response to the "Regrets" challenge at WIKTT.  Dedicated to Rhiann.

Regrets

I find it so strange that something so small can be of such comfort in those darkest moments…before the chill of night gives way to the brightness of day.  I know the surfaces by heart…each contour etched in my mind's eye.  Each intricate detail emblazoned on my heart.

Just like her.

If I look into my heart, I see her smiling face and, for just a moment, I smile as well.

Did that night actually happen?  Was that man really me?  And was that woman, who looked so radiant in my arms…who held me so tightly I could barely breathe…

…was that really her?

Sometimes I think it would be less painful to ascribe that memory to dreams and fantasies but I know it was real.  I feel it…deep inside me.  One does not experience that sort of connection with another human being and remain unchanged.

I changed.

What brought us to that?  I was caught off guard, certainly.  However, with that vision that becomes so much clearer with time's passage, I could curse myself for not noticing what is so blatantly obvious to me now.

For many long, grueling months, we had worked together with Potter and Weasley, devising a trap for the Dark Lord.  For endless weeks, I felt that she grated on every nerve I possessed…certain that she felt the same way.  Mutual antipathy.  The normal state of affairs between a presumptuous Gryffindor and a sulking, morose Slytherin.

And yet, that night…well, it certainly changed the so-called normal state of affairs.

I do not remember how it happened.  What was the spark that ignited the powderkeg within us?  I cannot say with any degree of certainty who moved first.  Did I kiss her?  Did she kiss me?

And who knew that such fire still burned beneath my cold demeanour?

It does not matter.

All that matters is that I became a willing slave to something I had long thought to be beneath me.

Love.

Damn her!  Damn that woman!

I was so blissful in my self-imposed misery.

Now I am the melancholy wreck of a broken man.

And I wait for her.

Every night.

Hoping.

Again, I find myself turning the pendant in my fingers…it is the only piece of jewelry I wear.  It is the Egyptian symbol for life…the ankh, set with a single star ruby that gleams with a light all its own.  She gave it to me with tears in her eyes when she left me the next morning.  She pleaded with me to never forget her.

As if I could possibly do that.

I only wish I could forget that I had an opportunity to tell her that I loved her. 

And didn't.

If only…if only I had not been so afraid to show what was deep inside me.

If only she could have stayed.

So many regrets.

She went away to France on an assignment the next morning and I have not heard from her since.  Not one owl. Nothing.  The others have had no word either and we fear the worst.

But I have hope…for this jewel is linked to her and I know that, as long as it shines, she could still come back to me.

And, when she does, I will tell her everything…leave nothing out.

And pray that she will not leave me again.

For I do not think I could survive losing her twice.

A/N:  Just a note that I will be taking a short break from writing.  The truth is that I was recently diagnosed with thyroid cancer and have to have surgery on the 17th of January.  It is curable so don't worry overly much.  Thanks to everyone for their support and their good wishes…it is much appreciated.  I'll be back as soon as I can.