The blond haired man stood in the centre of The Three Broomsticks. The once bustling café was ghastly silent. A thick layer of dust coated everything and cobwebs collected in the corners. The only light was that which streamed between the wooden planks of boarded the windows. An empty mug lay on its side on the counter as if it had been tipped over and just left moments ago. The man went to set it straight but jerked back when a gigantic spider crawled lazily out. A brief memory of Madam Rosemerta flickered across his mind but was quickly chased away by the pressing silence.
Meet me here when the moon sleeps
And the sun forgets to rise
When the wind keeps his secret
And the happiness cries
The man slowly exited the gloomy building and was blinded by the morning sun. Despite the warm spring weather, he shivered violently. He turned and walked slowly down the street staring at the empty shops and broken windows. The door to the post office swung eerily on the one hinge that remained. The picture window of the book store was smashed, the pieces of glass scattered on the street meaning someone had broken out, not in. The man worked to keep the tears down.
I will see you again when the light falters
And the darkness lifts
When time flows backwards
And gravity releases his grip
Stopping in front of Honeydukes, the man gave in to the temptation and pushed the door. The rotting wood crumbled at his touch and the rusty hinges trembled as the door swung open stiffly. The glass counter was broken and the cash register was lying abandoned on its side. The shelves that used to hold such marvelous sweets stood empty and the bins held nothing but dust. A large rat scampered from the corner, stopped to sniff at the man's shoes then disappeared into a crack in the floor.
When the rain dries the land
And the stars fall to our land
You'll find me waiting for you
With the galaxy in my hand
A tear slid down the man's pale cheeks and he hastened to wipe it away. If only he had known, he would have warned her. He could have taken her and fled to safety, he could have somehow protected her. But by the time he realised it was too late to do anything but run. And run he did. Nine years is a long time for something to be abandoned and for a heart to be broken. He stepped outside and squinted up at the castle. Even it seemed run down and neglected. He turned and continued walking.
Each breath draws death
Each smile; sorrow
Each laugh brings pain
For the distant tomorrow.
The cemetery was overgrown. The tombstones were cracked and broken. Some were covered in moss. He knew instinctively where to look. He pushed the plant growth from the words and felt a lump raise in his throat. He owed his life to the person who lay dead and rotting in the ground at his feet. He had sacrificed himself at eighteen years old for his mortal enemy's life.
"I miss him too"
The man jumped at the sound of the voice. It sounded unearthly loud in the silence, but it was still sweet. He recognised it immediately but was afraid to believe it. He'd imagined things before.
"You're not crazy if that's what you're worried about. I'm really here."
Finally the man turned around. The woman standing in front of him had never looked so beautiful. Despite the torn clothes and unkempt curly hair, she seemed to have stepped right out of a fairy tail.
In one step he had her in his arms, pulling her to his chest. At long last they pulled apart. She took both his hands in hers. A puzzled look clouded her brown eyes as she pulled a crumpled piece of paper from his grasp. She unfolded the torn page with smudged writing and inhaled sharply.
"You kept it all this time," she whispered quietly.
He pulled her close again and kissed her forehead. "I thought it was all I had left. I thought…"
She tipped her face up and kissed his mouth. "Read it to me."
He gently stroked her cheek, then closing his eyes he began reciting from memory.
"Meet me here when the moon sleeps…"
He never finished because the woman had pushed her mouth to his. His right arm encircled her waist, and his left hand caressed her face. He kissed her mouth, her teeth, her tongue and for once in his life he was glad to be alive.