There was something missing from his eyes, something I had known and seen for a very long time. It started disappearing slowly, bit by bit, and what hurt is that I didn't know.
I had fallen in love with this man, after growing to trust him. When his life had changed, for the better, he'd gained this shine in his eyes that'd never been in the stormy orbs I loved to get lost in. The shine was there for years, I saw it every time I looked to him.
But years ago, after our first anniversary, he'd fallen from grace just as easy as he'd acquired it. The world seemed to have turned their backs on him, and I was his rock—his hope to go on. I couldn't let him down.
We saw our beautiful children grow each year, he still holding on a string of hope. He seemed to be getting over the trouble he'd ended up; each time I saw him with our babies, I knew. I just knew. He wouldn't be going anywhere soon.
Many a-year-ago, around the time of our first borns birthday, he went into relapse. His depression sank him like the stone I was supposed to be. He never had told me what caused it, but as I tried to figure out, he shut me out. He shut his world out.
When our children grew to be old enough to understand their father was troubled, they would surround him in all their love. I prayed it would help, but it never did. He'd dismiss them with scornful glances, hurting their heart and soul. Mine, too.
"Tell me what it is," I would whisper to him.
"You'd never understand," he would respond in a harsh voice.
"Don't leave your children out."
"I don't want to hurt them."
"You could never do that to them, I know you too well," my hands found his hair, my lips to his.
But he'd always pull away, "I very well could hurt them, and you," it strained him, depleting his life to not love me.
He was leaving, slowly, day by day.
His shine was dulling.
When we were growing older, in our mid-fifties by now, I rejoiced he was still with me, but he was barely hanging on. Our children had grown, moved out, and on with their lives. Still, they visited every day when they could.
"Mama how is papa?" my youngest asked me one day when she was visiting.
"I worry," I replied, but tried to be cheerful, "But I think he is doing well." I lied.
"I hope he gets better… how long has it been?"
"This year shall be our thirty-fifth, so that long. Twenty from the relapse."
"Mama, are you surprised he's been here so long, and not… you know?"
"I think sometimes that, but I am glad he has not done so."
She kissed my cheeks and left shortly after, where-upon I slowly made my way up the grand staircase of our home. From there, I made it to his bedroom in record time.
I didn't bother knocking, but walked in. He was standing beside the window, his hands behind his back the scars visible in the pale light.
"It's doing it again," he spoke clearly.
"What is, love?" I came to him and stood beside him.
I looked out the window; yes it was snowing, a peaceful drift. Unlike his soul.
"Remember when I proposed to you?" he had asked.
I was taken aback. I did remember, I told him so.
"It was a night like this, wasn't it? Peaceful snowing in the dead of winter." I felt a hand on my waist, where his light touch awakened a feeling that had long died.
"Yes, yes it was," I said breathlessly. I closed my eyes, telling myself not to weep although I did.
I heard his deep voice whisper my name and I opened my eyes, tears falling down his face too. "I'm sorry I've had to put you and the children through it all. I swear, this will end."
I smiled through my tears, my hand finding his own and clasping our fingers together.
The next weeks followed without any change, and I didn't know if I wanted to be happy or sad about that.
Hearing my name from the front room, I made my way there. He was there standing beside the big window again, just as last night but in a different place. As I had before, I went to stand beside him. His expression bore nothing, and my expressed grief. When he looked to me, I stared straight to the eyes. That's when I noticed it. The shine, it was gone. Completely.
I had begun to cry openly, my hands clutching his long sleeves above his wrists. Where had the man I loved so much gone to? This was not him! He wrapped me with his arms, I felt peace there. Although I knew my prayers and hope had kept him here that long, it was time to realize our life together was forever changed, and still going to.
"It's going to change, I tell you. No more, I told you it will end."
I felt powerless under his strong gaze, always had. It was grieving now, this look he gave me. The look I returned mirrored him. "For the better?"
"For the better," he replied, his brow furrowing.
The next morning, after I had awoken, I felt empty all of a sudden. I knew something was not right, and I knew it had to be him. As quickly as I could make it, I went to his bedroom.
He was lying in his bed, gasping for air.
At his side I stayed, crying and screaming for him. He had said for the better, for the better! This definitely could not be for the better, leaving me with a broken heart and a dying hope. I was his rock, his reason for being here. And he was taking himself away from me?
"You said it would end," I cried. I had done the talking; he listened to my grief as he was leaving.
What I hadn't known, is that he was already gone, left me. He had left me years ago, not physically of course by mentally. His depression had dragged him to the bottom, to the lowest a person could get. To suicide.
"For the better," I whispered, smoothing back his hair from his sodden face. I looked down at his arms, scarred up and down, blood rushing forth. It looked like he had finally gone too deep.
"You can't leave me," I whispered, "I do not know what to do."
His eyes flashed open for a second, but it had been enough for me to see. The pain in his eyes was intense. I think he regretted, but I couldn't do a thing. I felt so weak, so powerless, and so useless. Nobody should have to see someone die. It just wasn't fair.
With his last, a bleeding hand reached mine. "I love you," he whispered, faintly—so much I could barely hear his words, the he was gone. Forever. I would never see him again, it was not right! When had the world betrayed love? When had the backs been turned?
I do not know how long it was, but I stayed there with his used body, crying and crying.
It had been my children who'd finally found me, all four of them had come to visit. I think it was because our anniversary was tomorrow, the anniversary I'd be spending in death-burden thoughts.
"Mama?" I heard a voice call through the house, but I didn't bother to reply. I guess they searched the house, and then it was my second eldest who had entered his father's bedroom. "Mama? MAMA! PAPA! Guys, quickly!" he had rushed to my side, pulling at me to move. But I couldn't, I couldn't just leave him there!
"Mama, come. Come away," I heard my baby girl plead, the one who I had lied to, as the girls led me away and the boys started to take charge. They were all crying.
Officials and hospital workers had arrived shortly after; I guessed one of the boys had called. Everyone was questioning me, asking me questions I didn't want to think about the answers to. The nurses called it shock; what did they know?
"Mama," my oldest girl whispered. "Mama talk to us."
I couldn't. What was there to say?
What was the worst; I could still feel his blood on my hands even if they had been washed thoroughly. I also felt as if a part of me was ripped. I suppose that would have happened; he had been a part of me. He was my life, as I had been his. How could he do this; why had he done this?
"We found a letter," I heard an official tell my children.
My heart seized. A letter?
"I know that, under any other circumstance, the letter would be confiscated for a file in any sort of case. But, is there a possibility…" I heard one of my sons say.
"That you could have it? Yes. It doesn't look as if any foul play happened—"
My mind reeled, foul play? He was just a depressed old man, I bet the official thought. I scowled.
"Mama, they found a letter. They think its papa's good-bye letter."
I looked at my daughter; she was holding it out for me. So I slide it from her fingers and sat it in my lap. I knew the children would want to know what it says, since they had saved it for me, but I couldn't read it in front of them. I disappeared from the front room, where everyone had congregated, to a back room and opened the letter. My love's beautiful scrawl filled the page. Before I even started reading, my eyes filled with tears.
It pains me to write this, and I don't know how to go about it any other way other than plain out truth.
You've known for the longest time of this depression that had seized me, but not of the cause. Love, I tell you, this is not easy. It is why I kept it from you; I didn't want you harmed like I so often told you.
With my father's death in the Great War, I felt like I was freed from his wrath, but I was gravely mistaken. His presence still lingered in my life, so much he had poured into me I thought I was just as he. I didn't want to turn like him, have no purpose in life but to serve a lord and murder. I did not have to do this, as you recall, your chap taking care of that and I thank him forever for that.
But as the years grew, as we and our children did, so did my father inside of me. I had found he had control over me no matter what, his thoughts invaded my mind. I couldn't take it, this is why.
When I was a child, he had forced malevolence and peccadillo into my mind. All I would become was his heir and his tool. Growing up in his footsteps, I knew that. From his master in the Dark Arts, throughout my life-time, he had cursed me in a way I don't know how to explain besides it caused me pain for the rest of my life.
I first time this depression started was the fifth year anniversary of his death. If you recall, it was exactly fifteen years later the second bout came then. See some sort of chain?
These curses, they had been started by our marriage. If I had done anything against his will, another started. First thing first; our marriage was the starter.
I do not regret our marriage, our life. I loved you then, I love you now, I shall always love you. Dare you not forget.
Each child brought on a new one, over-powering me. I did not care then nor now; I love our beautiful children, just as I love you.
The relapse was because I finally let go. When I say this, I mean I let go of caring about him (also because it was twenty years after his death).
All these years I've held on for you, our children, but we've grown old and I knew the time was nearing. With my death, it will be final. No more pain, you see? I'm sorry I've caused you all so much misery. I would take it all back, every single bit just to see you happy. I want you to be happy. Do not be sad I am gone now, now that I am not suffering any longer.
With all of my heart, my mind, my body, my soul,
I love you
It hurt me, it really did. Curses? All because of his father I'd lost my life, my reason? I cursed the man I'd known to be evil; I hoped he was burning in Hell.
Clutching the note to my chest, I cried even more. Hadn't I had enough?
Life couldn't be classified as fair; whatever was?
The funeral came and passed, and I was now labeled a widow-in-mourning. Ooh, how I hated titles. I'd always hated them, even in my younger years. My children moved me out of my own home; I guess that was possible these days. They would not allow me to live in the house where my life had gone; I even think they burnt the house after moving out. But I guess I had given them the okay to. I moved in with my youngest daughter and her family of three, who lived in too-large of a house for such a small family. There, I spent the rest of my days going on. I spoke little, keeping to myself. Mostly in grief I would stay. Even years later, when my life was beginning to fail me, I was thinking of that lonely morning so long ago.
The year I died, I remember now, it was exactly ten years after my life's death. How odd everything seemed to be happening in rounds of five. I died at the age of sixty-five, too. See? Five's. The day I had passed on, I rejoiced.
I knew I was going to die that day.
I suppose you know when you're body has finally fallen.
Fallen from grace just as he had so, so long ago.
My fall was peaceful, unlike his.
I could feel myself rising, higher and higher until we met once more in our world we imagined in the very beginning of our relationship. A world of peace.
A world, where no one cared if you were broken, if you were Muggle-born, if you were pureblood, black or white, or the happiest person alive.
A world that Draco had his shine once again.
And I? Well I,
I was just Hermione, his life.
Today my soul is soaring
Way over mountains high
Though I can see the valleys
They're all just passing by
Its not that I am stronger
Look at my feeble wings
But I've been lifted higher
Yahweh's lifted me in His own strength
lyrics: The Swift - I Need You
story based on: the works of J. K. Rowling