Shadows

by She's a Star

Disclaimer: Harry Potter belongs to zee brilliant JKR.

Author's Note: Rachel and Norah made me post it. I really, really wasn't going to.

*

Yesterday you asked me why I loved you.

I couldn't answer, and it scared me, because I hate to think that I don't know.

You cry yourself to sleep sometimes, when you're sure that I've already surrendered to dreams and can't hear you. I wish you didn't cry, but I know what your tears are for. Innocence lost, friends betrayed, beauty twisting and fading to grey.

I remember when you used to smile more. You still smile, of course, but not like you did then. Then, you smiled about everything, little things - you smiled and your eyes would dance and the air around you seemed warm and perfect and it made me love you so much that it was almost overwhelming.

Now, there's such a jaded sadness in your eyes. I hate it, and yet it's so beautiful; more beautiful than the smiles, I think, and I hate myself for thinking this because it means somehow that I love your pain. And I don't. I don't like seeing you hurt, and yet I know that there's nothing I can do to stop the anguish that always haunts your deadened eyes.

I wonder sometimes if they took pieces of your soul. You don't seem the same as you were before; it's still you, of course, and I know this and I'm thankful and I realize every day that I'm so lucky you weren't taken away from me forever. And yet...

It's not all of you.

It is a shadow, an echo, something cold and distant and foreign, like a dream I had years before and now I can only remember parts of it.

There is still your smile that is on rare occasions as bright as it once was.

Still your kisses that soothe me in a way that nothing else can.

Still your laughter and your voice and your calloused fingertips.

But your eyes have gone. The eyes you have now seem to belong to a corpse; they're cold and empty and unfeeling, only occasionally splashed with a sparkle of life.

I hate that you were taken from me. I hate that for twelve years I accepted that you were nothing more than a murderer without ever truly believing it. I hate that you can never be free of them, even though you're escaped those cold stone walls.

I hate that they've stolen pieces of you.

I hate that all I have left now are shadows.