Author's Notes: This piece will span from HBP to post Hogwarts. The Muggle devices, movies, etc.mentioned in the prologuewill be explained later in the fic...the prologue is post-Hogwarts...be a sweetheart and review, please. They make my day. : )
Today, I heard a song, and I thought of him.
It doesn't matter what the song was, it doesn't matter the lyrics, or who sang it, or where I heard it, it matters that I heard it. I don't even remember the song, just that I thought of him.
I closed my eyes, and I was lost, for a moment. In that moment, I remembered everything he ever said to me, remembered every time he ever touched me. I remembered every single aspect of our relationship- if you would call it a relationship- in that one moment.
And it was gone. I opened my eyes again, and continued on with life.
I try not to think about him. Because when I begin to, I begin to taste salt in my mouth, and I know it's time to stop. I don't push myself these days. And oddly enough, it's easy to push him away from my mind, to pretend that he never existed, never kissed me or told me off, or touched me, or changed me. It's easier than I thought it would be.
Sometimes, it physically hurts to think of him, to remember him. It's like an iron fist clenching something tight in my chest, and I always have to stop, and focus on something fixed, something that doesn't move. It goes away, eventually. But if you wait long enough, doesn't everything go away eventually?
I am always waiting. For something. Someone. Before I knew him, I waited most of my life to be alive.
And when I finally began living, life wasn't exactly what I thought it was. Nothing ever is.
He wasn't. Before, I always thought of him as the villain. The antagonist. His father was a Death Eater, he had never displayed any other characteristics than that of Slytherin and those that were commonly associated with evil. He lived up perfectly to his stereotype, never questioning his role in the story. I think he knew what he had to be, because without an antagonist, how can there be a protagonist? At first, I think I fell in love with the idea of him, of who he was, but by the end, oh, by the end, I know I fell in love with the person, no more, no less.
I hesitate to use the word 'love'. He never liked it. And now, I know if he could hear me, he'd scoff in that way that Malfoys learn with their alphabet, and maybe roll his eyes. Maybe. He'd tell me that love doesn't exist, that it's just another clever marketing scheme from the inventors of Christmas. And maybe I'd argue with him, or laugh. Or maybe I'd roll my eyes. Maybe.
Before I met him, I was a romanticist. Don't get me wrong- I still am, to a certain point. Some nights I'll turn on the television, and pop in Breakfast at Tiffany's. I always, always replay the last scene half a dozen times, because it's the best, even with George Peppard's terrible acting- it's just beautiful, if unrealistic. But I think that's what I love about it. The fact that it is unrealistic, that in real life, Audrey Hepburn would not have come back, because it just doesn't happen that way. And in that way, I am not a romanticist, not at all. I don't think it's my inherent Ravenclaw logic that prevents me from being one- I think it's the fact that real love, the love that people really experience, every single day, is never portrayed accurately, not in movies, not in songs, not in poems, not in books. It's something you just can't capture, no matter how much you want to.
I didn't love him. Or, if I did, it's not the type of love you can define, or understand. You could never understand it, I can't even understand it. Love is too simple a word for what we had. Or perhaps it's just what it was, love, and nothing more.
It's been two years. Two long, meaningless years. And still, the memories are here, tucked away in a corner of my thoughts, jumping out at me from time to time like the monster under the bed. I can't forget. I don't want to, but sometimes I wish I could.
They're all I really have left, these memories. Oh yes, I have pictures and possessions, but they don't count. They don't live. Memories do.
Nothing has changed, not really. On the outside, I'm the same. I still tuck my hair behind my eyes. I still have chocolate milk before I go to bed. I still go outside when it rains just to feel the water falling.
But inwardly, inwardly, I'll never be the same. Not ever. I'll never see a gray sky without thinking of his eyes, I'll never see a Vermeer painting without thinking of him, and I'll never read Sophie's Choice again without feeling that fist in my chest.
I don't like to sleep these days. When I sleep, I feel like I let down the wall I've worked so hard to build. When I sleep, I remember. Today, just as my eyes began to close, I heard the song again.
I suppose it would be wrong to call the song I heard a requiem. He's not dead, but he might as well be. I'm not in love with Draco Malfoy; I'm in love with the man he was.
Right after the Ministry bombings, they brought me in for interrogation, and one of the questions they asked, before they gave me the Veritaseum, was "Do you love Draco Malfoy?" Hardly your typical crime scene investigation question, but they were desperate for anything.
And I remember saying, "Yes, I loved Draco Malfoy, but it wasn't enough. It was too much, and it wasn't enough."
It just…gets me. That balding Auror stood there, with his wand clenched in one hand, and put on a terrific show for the people watching from behind the glass. He stood there, thinking that he had asked something real, and those people thought they heard something real, and maybe I thought I said something real, but it wasn't. He thought he could just ask someone, do you love someone, and actually get a real answer. You can't, you just can't.
In the end, it doesn't matter whether I loved him, or not. It does, but it doesn't. It means everything and it means absolutely nothing.
And to me, he means everything and absolutely nothing.