The Other Side of the Mirror
By You Love to Hate Me
Disclaimer: I own nothing, except this idea.
When I was in my first year at Hogwarts, I had a tiny crush on you. I didn't even know it then, but this was just the beginning of an infatuation that even I couldn't eventually control. I would notice you during class, as Gryffindor and Slytherin had nearly every subject together. I would watch you sometimes during lunch, as you chattered aimlessly with your friends, or cronies, as I'd liked to call them.
That year, you were still relatively nice to me. You weren't corrupted yet by the others in Slytherin, who wanted everybody to be a carbon copy of someone who would one day kill without a second thought.
Occasionally, when we passed each other in the halls, there would be warmth in our eyes, not the animosity and stiffness we had later. That was the year where everything was most at peace, where everyone was still innocent and not affected by the war going on.
By the end of our second year, that had all changed. The tides were beginning to turn, the dark was gaining more power, and whispers of a possible return from You-Know-Who were floating around Hogwarts. Having the basilisk being set off by the Heir of Slytherin didn't help.
Not too long before school ended for the year, I was petrified by the basilisk. While I was in Hospital Wing, I kept on wondering whether or not you thought of me. I never asked you about this for reasons I don't even know. Perhaps I just didn't want to know.
However, the thing I remembered most vividly about that year was not the fact that I had been a victim of the attacks going on, but the memory of the first time you had spoken to me in a real conversation.
As I leaned over to correct a mistake in one of the library book I was reading, a shadow swung over the pages and obscured my vision. I looked up.
"Hi," he said. "Look, I'm really sorry about what I said to you yesterday, it was just completely mean and undeserved," you rushed out.
"It's okay," I replied, smiling up at you. "I know that you probably were thrown a little off guard by me insulting you, and I'm sorry, too, for that."
"No, I should be the one apologizing to you; I called you a rude name and then laughed in your face about it."
As I gathered up my books and papers and smiled at you again, I suddenly noticed that you had…rather nice eyes. They were pale and icy-looking, but all the while warm and inviting, like little melting chips of ice.
"What are you staring at?" you asked me, grinning as you realized that my eyes had been glued to his for a full five seconds.
"Nothing," I quickly replied, looking away and stuffing my things in my oversized bag. As I turned to go, I felt a tap on my shoulder.
"Hey…" you started. "D'you…d'you…d'you want to go down to the lake with me sometime?" you mumbled very quietly. Your normally pale cheeks were now tinted a rosy pink. "I mean, you don't have to, it's just a thought – "
"No, I want to," I replied, smiling again. "In fact, let's go right now, before the sun sets."
"That'll be great," you breathe, and your face suddenly turns brighter as you realize the tone of your voice. "I mean," you say, clearing your throat, "yes, let's go."
The sun was setting as we sat at the lake's edge; a perfect backdrop for this moment. I couldn't help but feel that this was like one of those scenes in Muggle movies, where two people sit and watch the sunset and kiss.
Of course, later, the memory of that sunset would haunt me forever.
"So, I liked Binns' class today," you started. My eyes widened.
"You like History of Magic?" I shouted, my voice nearly a scream.
You look amused. "Well, yes. History of Magic is a very interesting subject; it covers everything that's happened in the past and from the past, we can learn not to make the same mistakes again."
"That's exactly how I feel!" I exclaim. "For a long time, I thought that no one liked History of Magic in this school."
"I knew that you liked History of Magic," you say, smiling. "You were always paying attention in class and taking notes when everyone else was sleeping."
"And so were you," I remember, "but I always thought that you did that because you wanted to actually pass the subject."
"I did, and most of the information wasn't needed, anyways. But I really liked learning about them."
"What was your favorite topic of last year's History of Magic class?" I ask.
"I liked all of them, but I'd have to say……probably the Goblin Wars," you finish. "They were so interesting!"
"Well, I liked the House-Elf Rebellions the best," I said. "It was so brave and courageous of them to stand up against their masters and defy generations of house-elves to rebel."
As the sun came down slowly over our shoulders, we got more and more absorbed into our conversation. That was the one true time where things weren't strained between us.
Third year was a different story…
I was in a secluded corner of the library, studying for an Arithmancy test tomorrow. Suddenly, you plop down onto the seat beside me, and I jump. "What are you doing here?" I ask.
"Studying for the Arithmancy test," you shrug, pulling out the exact same book as I was reading.
"No, I mean, what are you doing here in this part of library?"
"Studying," you say with a cheeky grin. I'm suddenly attracted to the whiteness of your smile and I quickly look away, blushing.
"Fine, you can stay here, but I'm warning you. One move, and you're gone," I say jokingly. You smile at me and move a little closer.
A few minutes have passed by before you suddenly break the silence.
"What do you think about Death Eaters?"
Startled by the question, I come up with nothing for a few seconds. Then –
"You don't have to give an opinion, but do you think that they're doing the right thing?"
"Well, I don't like them," I answer hesitantly. "They kill people and separate families and make hearts break. That's usually not what doing the right thing translates to."
You nod and stand up abruptly. "I have to go now. I'll see you around."
After his robes had swung out of sight, I immediately regret my words and wonder for a moment, that if maybe I said the wrong thing and wrecked all my chances of being together with him. But only just for a moment. I didn't give it that much thought, but a few weeks later, when the old insults and the "pet" name were coming back with a bang, I knew that my answer wasn't what he had wanted to hear.
Fourth year turned out to be quite interesting.
At the Quidditch World Cup, we were even more strained and uncomfortable, not even looking into the other's eyes when we passed. However, when Death Eaters were attacking, I did see a glimmer of the old you as you secretly told me to stay safe.
My hopes were reassured that you couldn't be all bad. That was, until the day before the foreign students entering the Triwizard Tournament arrived.
During Arithmancy, you walked up to me and suddenly hissed in my ear, "Looking forward to the new students?"
My hands shook as I handed in my chart. "It should be fun," I reply carefully. I didn't want to give him ammunition to load up the gun.
"It will be fun," you agree. "Trust me, this year is going to be very, very fun."
You leave me with a fleeting feeling of dread and anxiety. Whatever it was you were talking about, I was sure it couldn't be good.
Your predictions eventually came true. You-Know-Who returned that year; I believed Harry. But something in my mind that held even more importance than that was the day before the Yule Ball.
"So, are you going with anyone to the Yule Ball?" you hiss as you walk by in Potions. As you pass me on the way back to your table, I whisper a hasty yes. Your arms visibly stiffen for a second, and your voice suddenly turns cold and icy.
"I see," you reply coolly.
As you walk back to your table with what seems like stiff joints, I desperately want to call out, "Wait! I wanted to go with you!" At the last moment, the words die in my mouth as I realize what a scene that would make.
Looking back, I see that making a spectacle of myself in front of my classmates would've been worth it. I had a horrible night at the ball, and watching you dance with that…cow was absolute torture. What hurt more was that you were actually talking and smiling at her. And that smile…well, I supposed I had gotten used to it being reserved for me alone, and the realization that you did smile like that to other girls hit me like a steam locomotive, loud and hard.
Fifth year was absolutely a fiasco. We didn't talk all year, never mind sneak conversations in the library like in first, second, and some of third year. The only communication we had all year was at the end of the year, when we were all trapped in the Headmistress' office. You were there holding me back. And for a moment, I felt your hands soften on me, like you wanted to caress me or something like that. But another moment, and it had turned to an iron-hard grip again.
And then, there was sixth year. That was the most memorable moment of all my years at Hogwarts; it was when I finally saw what you had become.
All year, I noticed that you had been growing paler and thinner and that the bags under your eyes were increasing day by day. Your behavior was even more suspicious; even Harry noticed it.
Being naturally curious, I vowed to find out what was going on. Even with hours of following you and researching on various health conditions and psychology, I couldn't figure out what was going on with you.
Until the day I found you in Moaning Myrtle's bathroom, crying.
As I walked down the deserted corridor, heading to the library, I heard the faint noise of someone crying.
My curiosity got the better of me, so I hesitantly pushed open the door and poked my head in. "Are you alright?" I asked, and then gasped loudly when I recognized the familiar white-blond head hunched over a sink.
You look up. "What are you doing in here?" you shout, wiping the tears off and striding forcefully towards me. Although you were rail-thin and looked malnourished, you were still taller than me by at least half a head.
I took a deep breath. "I've been following you this past year, Malfoy, and I want to know what's been going on. You're getting thinner and paler. You're not paying attention in class, not even during the class you told me was your favorite, History of Magic. I want to know what's going on. People don't just go and cry in bathrooms for no reason."
You start to snap a reply, but stop. "You remember what I told you in second year?" you ask incredulously.
"Well, since you remember that you told me that in second year, you remember also," I say bravely, smiling, which is more harder than you think when one is pinned to the wall.
You smirk. "That's just like you."
I smile. "I know."
We stand there in silence until your hand drops from above my shoulders and you sit down on the floor, leaning against the wall. I slide down next to you and hesitantly put my hand on your shoulder. You stiffened at my touch, but my hand remains there as I finally ask the question I've been wanting to ask you for so many years.
"Why did you have to ask me about Death Eaters in our third year?"
Your head turns sharply around and you look at me.
In that moment, I knew that I didn't need the answer.
Because when I looked into your eyes, I saw everything that I needed to know. I saw the real you. I saw the part that had been hidden away from everyone else.
I saw the other side of the mirror.
It's been three years since the last time I saw you on that fateful night when you were whisked off by Snape and the Death Eaters. I'll never forget the night before you let them in…
"Are you going to be okay?" I asked, lightly massaging his shoulders.
You sigh and lean back into me. "Are you going to be okay?"
"I will if you will," I answer, smiling. You sigh again.
"I wish that we didn't have to grow up, that we could remain kids forever," you say, turning your head so that you're facing me. "Why couldn't we stay as eleven-year-olds forever?" you groan, slumping down on a chair.
"I don't know," I answer. "But someday, we all have to grow up. And the sad thing about this is that we're being forced to grow up too soon."
As I smile weakly at you, and put on my cloak, suddenly, I feel like your eyes are drilling a hole into my back.
"I'll see you tomorrow morning," I say, and summoning up my courage, I plant a soft kiss on your cheek.
As I reach for the doorknob, I'm suddenly spun around as your lips crash down on mine.
They say that you experience fireworks with your first kiss, and that's true. I was seeing fireworks, hearing fireworks, feeling fireworks fizzling up all over my body.
My head was pounding, my heart was racing, and hands were tingly. And racing though my mind was "I'm finally kissing the boy I've wanted for so long! I'm finally kissing Draco Malfoy!"
As we broke apart, I gasped out, "Why did you do that?"
You smile wanly at me. "I might never see you again."
As I looked into your eyes, the steeliness of them now softened and warm, I began to wonder why there had to be a war and why we had to be on opposite sides.
But another moment and another look, I was swept away again, just lost in the clouds of your eyes.
This was the same, yet different side of the mirror. It still reflected as well, but this time, it served as a reminder of how sometimes it can reflect what you want to see. It told me that everything had to end. Everything.
I smile faintly as I remember what had happened right before you disappeared into the night.
As I heard the screams and shouts from above, I quickly ran outside just in time to see you and Snape and all the other Death eaters mounting their broomsticks and getting ready to take off into the night.
Open-mouthed, I watched in silence as you seemed to be hesitating for a second before kicking off.
Then you looked down, and smiled, a tiny smile, but I caught it.
As I mouthed, "I'll never forget you," your eyes softened for a moment.
It was then that I saw all the love I would ever need shining from your eyes. Those eyes that had insulted, teased, smiled at, laughed, warned, despised, and finally, loved, were now lost in a conflict of emotions. I could see you struggling with your decision. Was it to jump off the broom for me, or was it to stay there and fulfill your duty?
In my heart, I knew that you would never choose me over your duty, regardless of how much you loved me. Malfoys always chose that way.
But I could keep myself happy with the memory of you mouthing, "I love you," to me.
I'll never forget your eyes when you said that. They were nothing like I'd ever seen before.
They went through the mirror and back.
Now, sitting on the grass near the lake not too far from my house, I'm reminded of another time near another lake with another sunset. With you.
I still think back to how I could've made things better, but ultimately, I conclude that this was just meant to be. Nothing could've changed your mind, and with my experience with time, I know that nothing could've changed what had already been set in stone.
Even so, I wonder if I'd just seen those eyes earlier, I could've done something. I could've made myself happier.
I could've prevented you from becoming someone you never wanted to be.
If only I'd seen the other side of the mirror……before it shattered.
A/N – Please tell what you think of this, all sorts of criticism are welcomed.