There is a probability that fireflies, as humble and petty as they may be, may possess their own kind of magic – the kind which fills up an empty soul with the dim yet hopeful light it glimmers with in the darkness. Fireflies have the power to give one a type of simple and innocent happiness, which one needs in the most discouraging and bleakest times of his life. They too have the capability to bring out the things we want to conceal the most from others, the secrets and feelings we desperately try to hide.
Such was the case for two lost souls who happened to stumble into each other's fates. They had discovered the secret of the fireflies by chance or, as some would say, by destiny. The fireflies had chosen to linger in a glade of the infamous Forbidden Forest; at day they would remain unseen, but at night, they glowed, yet rare were given the fortune to behold their beautiful parade of lights. And yet, these two beings which I speak of, had seen the fireflies on the same night, and were drawn to them contiguously.
Each made his and her way down alone to that secluded glade, determined to find out what caused those faint yet obvious lights. Perhaps, they thought, these were of dark arts or another magical creature yet to be discovered.
The young man, a boy of seventeen years, descended on his broomstick. He wore emerald robes, which, on the left chest, had an emblem of a silver serpent entwining its body around a grand letter S. He was fair-haired, with his hair almost the intensity of gold – and to match this were his eyes, a hue of dusky gray. He was tall with a lean figure; one might have also said that he was handsome, despite the seriousness and hostility he carried along with him.
The young lady, a blossoming girl of seventeen as well, made her way through the thicket with her wand in her hand. She was a lovely thing, with her mahogany hair in soft curls cascading down her back and comparable chestnut eyes so bright and alive. She was wearing a cloak over her uniform, and just like the boy, an emblem was on the left of her chest – only hers was of a gold lion, standing near a copper colored G.
Both stood and paused to watch the glowing creatures hovering gently in the air, curious as to what they were and why they were there in the first place. They were beautiful and the light they brought with them was soothing and peaceful; both seemed to have forgotten that they were standing inside a forest they were forbidden to enter.
It was the girl's awed sigh that broke the blissful solitude they were shrouded with. The boy sharply fixed his gaze from the air to the girl standing opposite him.
"Granger." He snapped, taken aback by the presence of another human being.
"Malfoy?" She replied in turn, looking perplexed that, she, after all, was not alone.
"What are you doing here?" Both asked in unison, curious as to know what each was doing in such a recluse place.
"I saw lights." Again both of them answered at the same time; this time, they wore peeved expressions.
"Well leave, Granger, because I believe I saw them first." The boy uttered unkindly, making his way to the center of the glade.
The girl did not budge, however, from her spot. "I will not, thank you very much. How are you so sure that you saw them first?"
"You Gryffindors and your stubbornness – it really gets into the nerves most of the time."
"You Slytherins and your bratty selves – I don't know how you put up with each other." She crossed her arms obstinately and glared at him. "Well, there's nothing you can do that can drive me away from here."
He did not answer for a while, staring indignantly at her and feeling annoyed at the presence of a Gryffindor, much less a Muggleborn girl who wouldn't leave him be. They glowered at each other for many minutes, not daring to back down and give the other what he or she wanted; finally, though, the boy, feeling tired of straining his anger, sat down on the slightly damp grass below and placed his precious broomstick by his side.
"Fine then," he replied curtly, lying on his back to observe the illuminated creatures a bit more clearly, "If you want to stay – stay. Just don't get in my way."
"Fine." The girl sat down too, well apart from him. She had no intention to talk to the boy anyway – all she had wanted to do in the first place was to watch these interesting things as they peacefully fluttered about in the night.
And there they remained through the dark hours of nightfall – in pleasant silence as they watched the lights dance.
For how long these fireflies would stay, they did not know. But each and every night since the first that they had witnessed them, they came faithfully to watch them. But never did they come together to this secluded glade; never did they utter a word to each other when they sat on the same bed of grass. Never did they set out back to the castle together.
They did not know why they came each night – probably for the girl, it was a place of contemplation and reflection on the things happening to her life; for the boy, perhaps, it was his private place where he could sit peacefully without anything to bother him. Ever since that night when they had seen the fireflies, they did not try to drive each other away from this spot; perhaps they blindly knew why each came, and each held oblivious respect for the other's silent reason.
But one night – and this was what had changed everything – the boy spoke to the girl, breaking their long-term silence.
"They are fireflies, aren't they?" He asked simply, standing up to capture one.
The girl glanced at him, quite surprised that he had spoken – rather civilly, which he had never done, even in school. Nevertheless, she nodded in reply. "They're beautiful, aren't they?" she added with girlish gladness, her eyes bright with ecstasy as she surveyed the graceful movements of the lovely creatures.
He nodded frankly, and turned to look at her. His hands were clasped together as if he held something precious in them, and the girl furrowed her eyebrows and stood to see what was wrong. Then she saw it – a faint glimmer of green light emitting from his hands. He looked at her and smirked. "Want to see?" he asked in a voice so much like a child's who had discovered a new and wonderful toy. And she, like a child as well, shyly nodded and both met up at the center of the little glade.
"Take a look," he urged, insisting that she lean in closer to see the firefly.
Blushing rather darkly, she did just as he said, grateful that their surroundings were dark. And just at the moment that she moved closer to the boy, he opened his clasped hands and released the little firefly, which stayed hovering a little above his palm. The emerald light they had spent so many nights admiring was in their grasp, looking more beautiful and mesmerizing up close. Both adolescents watched, awed at the humble sight.
Such pleasant emotions did it bring to these two that for one moment in their lives, they had forgotten their places in the world – for one split second, they were no longer enemies, but two beings lost in a listless realm; two souls were they in search for infinite and fulfilling joy that only this lowly little firefly could give to them and reveal to them.
"I'd love to tell Ron and Harry about—"
The boy cut her off, shaking his head in disagreement. "Don't."
Confused, she asked why.
The boy took both her hands and brought it around the little firefly burning with feeble light. He looked up at her, his hands still on hers, and smiled – genuinely without the malice she was used to seeing. "Do you honestly want to share such a great thing, Granger? For once, be selfish," he replied, glancing up at the other fireflies surrounding them. "Let's just say that this'll be our little secret."
The girl smiled back and looked up as well. No matter how dim and cold their surroundings were, the little light the fireflies could offer brought such contentment to these two people. She gazed up at the face of the boy who had accompanied her each night she was here, and for the first time appreciated his presence.
And oddly, along with that gratefulness came a queer yet pleasantly warm feeling bubbling up inside her.
"They'll be gone in a few hours, I expect," the girl muttered, glancing sideways at the boy who now sat much closer to her. He gave her a fleeting look and looked back up at fireflies.
It had been a month and a half now since these creatures came; no one except the boy and the girl knew of them. Indeed, it was a secret they preferred to keep between them – along with the fact that because of these fireflies, they had become acquaintances, something unacceptable to the world during day. Neither the boy nor the girl would admit that they had formed an unexplainable connection, a friendship or something more intimate than that; but of course, that would be something inappropriate.
"Oh." The boy replied after a few seconds.
Then a realization registered in both minds that caused the boy to sit upright and glance at her and the girl to bite her lip and steal a look of the boy.
They'll be gone.
Which, they knew, would mean that they would never be in each other's presence anymore – that such as before, they would have to be rivals and the connection they had made would disappear and would be forgotten. No longer would they escape to this little glade they had come to know as their hiding place from all the world; no longer would they be able to speak with each other in such friendly terms.
And as much as the boy denied it, he would miss the girl. He had realized that he had found a friend, a real friend who managed to always listen to him with full attention and say the right things at the right moment that guaranteed to make him feel better. She would be silent when the time called for it; she would speak when she needed to. He'd miss that and surely, he would never be able to forget their little memories together.
More than that, as he surveyed the girl looking up at the fireflies, he had realized she had grown on him – something that no girl he had ever met and dated managed to do.
The girl sighed in dejection and smiled sadly at the boy. "Well, Malfoy, I have to say that I'll miss these little endeavors of ours." She said. "I really enjoyed them."
The boy frowned. "Does that mean that it'll end?"
She stared at him. "Well – I suppose."
"That's too bad," he replied contritely, "Because I think… You've rather grown on me, Granger."
She smiled and stood up. "And you on me. This is where it'll have to end," she said, staring up at the little bright creatures. "Tomorrow, Malfoy, we'll be back to being enemies…"
No matter how much she tried to hide the little frown that began to form in her expression, the boy noticed and he stood up and walked beside her.
"We'll have nothing in common again – you'll be a Slytherin, I'll be a Gryffindor," she muttered stiffly, "You'll be a pureblood and I'll be – "
The boy chuckled all of a sudden and shook his head. "That's not true."
"We do have a thing in common and we always will."
The girl stared blankly at him. "What do you mean?" she asked curiously.
As she diverted her gaze to the fireflies above, he took her hand and held it in his, whispering such simple yet meaningful words that made the girl blush rather darkly.
"We'll always have the fireflies."
With these words, she smiled up at him and grasped his hand tightly.
And until the wee hours of dawn, there they stood in that little glade, watching the fireflies until each one faded into the night and disappeared… And for the first time since they had seen these little beings, they set out back to the castle together, theirs hands still entwined.
Inspired by the firefly episode in Rurouni Kenshin. Hope you enjoyed.