A/N: Lyrics from James Blunt.
Warning: Erm...secret pairing? And slash.
And so I sent some men to fight,
And one came back at dead of night.
Said he'd seen my enemy.
Said "he looked, just like me",
So I set out to cut myself and here I go.
A familiar shadow caught my eye as I was about to cross the street. Even after all those years, I could recognize it from a thousand miles. The hair, the posture, the clothes, the fast pace. My heart skipped a beat. My breath was caught in my throat. It had been too long since I had seen him. Too long it had been since my soul was lifted in this manner. Too long it had been since I had felt my body melt at a mere vision.
Wind whistled in his ears, I could only imagine as it blew in my own. It flushed his cheeks, as I could see from afar where I stood, and ruffled his hair. I smiled at that, his hair was always tangled, wind or not. His eyes watered, I could make out pearly pools, as he walked off to a grey building beside the post office. I'd never noticed what it was. It seemed old, grand...it inspired calm.
I frowned and paused to ponder on what I should do. It had been seven years since we last met. Seven years since we said goodbye and parted ways. We had never spoken again. I don't really remember if we did do it properly. I don't think it was on such good terms. Then again we never had been on such good terms before.
I wondered what he'd do if I were to walk up to him after all those years. I don't think he'd do something rash...being in Muggle London and all. Not something magically rash, at the very least. Perhaps he'd just punch me or try to pop my eyes out. Nah, I don't think he'd do that...Then again, he always had problems controlling his temper.
Oh, what the bloody hell. Brace yourself, go for it, I told myself. This is your only chance, this is the moment you've been waiting for, for the last seven years of your life. You can't screw this up. You can't turn your back on it. A sign. This is it. Your long-awaited sign. Go on, Merlin!
And I did, finally. I followed him quietly to the front entrance. His paces were loud, heavy. They resonated on the stone steps. He was frowning, I could only suppose, too absorbed by his thinking, to notice someone following him. To hear my quick yet unsure steps behind him. To pick up my irregular breathing.
Before, a long time ago, he'd always know. Whenever I was around, he'd always sense, feel, hear me. Even just by my breathing, by my stride, by my scent, by my gaze staring at his back, just by my mere presence. He once told me it was because he could hear my heart beating...
It made me feel special, enchanted, delighted. It made me feel, oh, I don't know...dear, he'd said when I'd told him. Maybe he was right. But now, I think it was more along the lines of 'being loved'. But I was too daft, too afraid, to feel it, to let it get to me, to admit it, to say it. Especially to say it to him, the one person concerned.
But I did say it one time, didn't I? Ah, yes, I remember now. Twice. It was so long ago. The first time was after our other first time, and the second was the last time I saw him. I did say it, and I meant every one of those words. It was the last thing I said to him. It was one of the last things he heard before he faced Lord Voldemort.
The look in his eyes had changed, it had softened, they'd lit up in the same way as a child's on his birthday, his lips had curled into a beautiful smile, a radiant smile worthy of great paintings, his cheeks had glowed a small pink, just enough to be noticed and his fingers had clutched mine and had never let go.
He'd said them back, he'd kissed me once. It was so soft, chaste, that I had wondered if he had. I had brought my free hand to my lips, touching where his own had been just a moment earlier. He'd smirked at that, and I'd snorted. He had kissed me again, this time with every ounce of passion and love that his being possessed. He had kissed me time and again, not worrying the slightest about the wickedness nearby.
And then, we had made love. We'd made beautiful, magical, wonderful love. In the very center of battles, cries, blood and bodies. It had been a selfish act but I don't regret it. Even if he had failed, I'm not sure I would've regretted it. We had earned it, we'd deserved it. For all the sacrifices we had made, for all we had done.
When the Dark Lord came into sight, everything, including him, changed. He hadn't ever been the same once Lord Voldemort had showed up. I stayed there, unable to move, to say something, to blink even. I'd held my breath. I was nailed to the ground, spent and tired from lovemaking, naked under a pile of my own clothes, under the eyes of one of the most feared and powerful Dark Wizard that the Wizarding world had ever seen.
I looked back to him, tearing my gaze away from Voldemort. His emerald eyes, so soft and caring not so long ago, had been replaced by hard, adamant, cold ones. His face had been determined, harsh, no emotions showing except for almost tangible, anger, and very corporeal strength of mind.
And then I could only suppose I either fainted, or was stunned by him. Why, perhaps I never figured out. Perhaps he was being the bloody hero again. Perhaps he wanted to spare me. To spare me from death, perhaps his, perhaps mine, spare me from more nightmares. Merlin only knew what haunted me in my slumber, sights that I was not compelled to behold, him on his knees, hurting from the Cruciatus curse. Or perhaps spare me that side of him he did not want me to see, that cruel, ruthless face of him he'd tried to hide from me. To me he just wanted to be Harry, nothing more. And he had been. But maybe it wasn't enough.
I'd woken up to the sound of birds singing, and I was squinting with bright rays of sun peering into my face, to distant shouts in the nearby woods, I'd woken up with soul, mind and heart lifted up from unknown reason. Still, in my heart, despite of all this joy I felt, there'd been yet another feeling, a very sorrowful one.
I'd gotten up, dressed hastily and gazed around. There'd been no more bodies, no more blood, no more shadows, and no more clouds shrouding the sun. There'd been no more of him either. No more smile beaming at me, no more eyes glowing at me, no more blushing cheeks, no more hands reaching out to me. There had been no one there. Only a neatly-folded slip of parchment laid at my feet. The first word was my name.
There, I think, I'd cried. Softly at first, quiet sobs, almost inaudible whimpers. Only my sorrows had been increasing by the moment. I'd cried for one of the rare times of my life I had cried without any restraint. And it had felt good. Perhaps it was a way of saying goodbye because I never saw him again. Well, not until that day in London, seven years later.
The letter had crumpled and rippled, clutched in my hand. Afraid that it was a dream, I hadn't even begun to read it. Just seeing my name, and I knew. This was goodbye. It couldn't be anything else. Otherwise, he would've been there, with me. He would have been holding me, kissing me awake, he would have been smiling at me, his eyes laughing.
And I didn't read the letter, not for a while. I read it some afternoon in summer. I can't really remember when, but it had opened my eyes. I still couldn't bring myself to forgive him. Oh, I hated him so much for leaving me, for running away. We all have problems, but we deal with them, we face them.
'I knew you felt exactly how I felt tonight. I'm sorry I had to stun you. But I had to do it. I didn't want you to see me like this. I didn't want you to witness me as the cold, heartless person I'd become. That's not how I want you to remember me. Not after you had said those words again...Yes, I knew that it was our last time.
'Facing off Voldemort, defeating him, meant losing a part of me. Losing to him meant death... With Voldemort still alive and evil, I was expected to be someone. To save the world, to be the hero everyone wanted me to be. I accomplished that tonight. And not only were we linked by the Green Curse's ricochet but also by blood and were, in some fashion, bonded to each other. Not a bond I had ever wished for.
'With him alive, I knew what I had to be. But now, I don't know where my path lies. I don't know who I am anymore, or if I will ever be the same you fell in love with, or the same who fell in love with you. I love you, I do. I will never stop loving you...but as lovers? Do you really see us together? I don't know.
'I wanted you to be my soul mate. I wanted you to be my life partner. But I feel that it's not possible, not anymore. I'm not the same man you fell in love with. I'm neither the vulnerable boy you met nor the reckless hero you loved.
'You will hate me, I know. But it's a price I was willing to pay. And I find myself horrible, but I can't help but smile. The Dark Hours have passed. Peace has once again been brought upon our world. The Dark Lord has been defeated.
'Dawn is approaching, I should go. As much as I want to be here when you wake, I don't think it's wise. It would make things so much harder, trickier, and tougher. It's enough difficult as it is.
'I will say this: you were the love of my life. Yet, I don't think we were meant to be together for the rest of our lives. Life is ironic, you know? You will hate me, I know, for making this choice alone, for making this choice for you. Hate me then. But I will always love you. If we ever meet again, then, perhaps will we know that we were truly meant to be? My heart can only wish so. They say if you love someone, let it go, if it comes back to you then it's for keeping...
'Love is not -and will never be- enough to express what I feel for you.'