I Wish I Was Sorry - Chapter X
Time was slipping away from us; I sometimes fancied I could see the grains of sand sliding through the hourglass bulbs, counting away our time grain by grain. The second hand of the grandfather clock in the upstairs hallway seemed absurdly loud as it moved at a pace much faster than normal and behind it followed the minutes, the hours drawn in fluid arcs of circles that ate away at the remaining summer days to the insistent tune of tick tock tick tock. My breath had actually caught when I realised it, but there was scarcely days enough left to count a week before the end of the summer, the end of this distorted reality that at once could just as easily be one of my dreams as one of my nightmares. Ultimately, the end of us.
I suspect you'd laugh at me, a derisive noise of scorn, for being so blind and not foreseeing things that were undeniably inevitable and rather incredibly obvious. That is, I suppose you'd laugh at me if you didn't want to rip me limb from limb for taking your little boy this way. I do briefly wonder if I ever thought, during the moments of tangled sweat-dampened sheets or in the stretches of the blank hours of daylight, about what would happen when he went back to Hogwarts. I suppose I must have known it – whatever it was; sex, fascination, obsession, love? - couldn't have lasted but it still felt like a punch to the gut when I thought that I would have to give this up, this intoxicating underworld of slick flesh and slanted mouths. At least, I would have to stumble on until I next got to see him, but how long away would that be? I've already lived for too long counting down to an unknowable goal.
I knew he was starting to despair too. I knew from the queer way a hush would slowly fall when he crawled into my bed and we spent what felt like hours just lying there, steady breaths and unspoken words, in a haze of careful touching that wasn't quite touching, more a still press of fingers against his back and a brush of lips to my neck. I knew from the way his hands twitched feverishly at the small of my back and the way his thighs clamped around my waist and the way his broken moans trembled against my mouth when I kissed his throat. And then there was the way desperation leaked from his lips and had him hissing obscene words as his eyes burned. One night, as he lay curled around my back with his fingers digging into my stomach, he suddenly whispered, 'I want to fuck you.' The words sounded absolutely filthy coming from his child's mouth but they still lit a trail of fire in the pit of my stomach and all I could do was nod and try to remember how to breathe. His hands shook the whole time and he kept losing the rhythm of his uneven thrusts, but when he looked down at me and his gasping mouth quirked in a smile I found it hard to make anything else matter.
The days – which had always seemed to drag on, taunting me with what I was not allowed to touch before the fall of darkness – were also fitting away at a sickening speed, until I almost wished the minutes would linger, regardless of the burning limbo they promised. I would have been happy being able to just watch Harry, my eyes tracking him from across the room or flashing him seemingly innocent looks that were laced with dangerous hunger; I would have been happy to have only the moments when he sat next to me at dinner and clutched my hand under the table, his palm clammy, or the times when he slumped against my arm and pressed his cheek to my shoulder and nobody ever thought to question the affectionate gesture of a godson. But even those moments were quickly running out and I would have given anything to have them back again.
Do you remember how we used to think the world would wait for us? How we used to think time would slow down and be at our command? And why was that? Because we were indestructible, because we were brave and fierce and Gryffindors? Because we were young? We were wrong, James. So wrong. But then, maybe you've already figured that out. I guess you know damn well the world is in sympathy with no one, especially those foolish enough to think they can rule it. And it doesn't change; age means nothing to a timeless world and fear even less. I was scared – scared that it would be an unbearable stretch before I would see him again, scared that he would go back to Hogwarts and forget this, scared he didn't need me like I needed him.
There was the flurry of the last days of summer, the sweet-tasting crush of sunlight days drawing into warm dusks that brought moths to the blackening windows, and then the discreet transition to a cold bite carried on the night and late dawns that spoke of September and school. The house – stupid, dark, suffocating house – was bustling with those last minute frenzies that are customary to the last day of the holidays and in the disarray of spell books and broomsticks and kids I could not find a moment to be alone with Harry. I knew that it would inevitably come later, later under sly darkness and thorough Silencing Charms, but I feared that somehow some unnameable iniquity would prevent that one last crash of mouths and limbs and hearts, the heart-tearing goodbye that I was concurrently loathing with a twisted stomach and racing towards with an aching chest.
The world doesn't wait and perhaps for once I was grateful, a bittersweet feeling tinged with panic, and it was the rush of children and washing and last suppers and bed and then all too soon after far too long it was quiet and I was waiting. The house settled with low murmurs of creaking and I lay still on cold sheets, trying to swallow my crashing heart down from my throat and to cease the trembling in my fingers. I could have lain there for hours and I wouldn't have known, I had no sense of time; seconds could be days and the seasons may have tumbled full circle without my knowledge I was so lost in the web of all that the summer had been. But then, perhaps it was wrong to think of this alongside the sweet days of summer, perhaps we should have found each other in the dead frost of winter with nude trees scraping the window pane instead of the soft brush of leaves setting the background whispers to our joint chorus of gasps and cries. We were dark creatures moving together in the complicated shadows of the damned and our moments of deceit and trickery had no place in the soft heat of summer.
And then, amid the almost silent whisperings of the old house, the sharp creak of the door shot across the room and clenched around my lungs. It was like a slap across the face and suddenly it could have been that first night, that night when it all started for real and everything began to crash out of control, when the soft turn of the door handle had us pivoting on a life-shattering moment that neither of us could ever have guessed and what was once an innocent groan of hinges was now a dirty betrayal of lewdness. The gentle press of feet against worn floorboards and I was sitting up, I was ready for him; it seemed cruel that I had finally come to realise what we were, had sorted through the tangled strings of frayed hearts, when there was no time left for us. The rustle of sheets and he was there, pressed up against me with hopeless fingers in my hair and desperate legs tangled with mine.
And then there was nothing else that could be put into words. Really, James, what on earth was I supposed to say? I'll miss you. You're tearing me apart. I'm dying. I love you. I pulled him down and he pushed hard against me as though to rip through my flesh and curl into my soul, though surely he had already done that, and there were no audible farewells, nothing as blunt and stinging as a spoken Goodbye because it would have ripped us both in half, and there was nothing I could do but kiss him and kiss him as I fell and fell and fell.
It is strange how a mass of complication, of things too dark and too twisted to name, can be compressed into a handful of memories to hold like crumpled photographs in a tight fist. Confusion and awkwardness became the image of Harry's head resting in my lap as we were silent in Buckbeak's room, early summer at the smudged windows; fear and longing was that first creak of the door and the damp press of novice lips; hunger and abandon became my mouth wrapped around his cock and his knuckles white against the kitchen table; hurt and aching, his sobs as we rocked together; desperation and turmoil, my mouth pressed between his thighs and the pressure of my tongue, his hands in my hair; and love, love became the lost moment of pushing inside him and breathless eyes wide. This was what I could see, vivid colour and burningly beautiful, behind my eyelids as I touched him.
He guided one of my hands to the front of his pyjama bottoms and pulled the other one behind him, pressing it to the top of his thigh just below the swell of his arse. His breath was rough as his open mouth gasped at my cheek and he rubbed my hand against himself through his pyjamas.
'Need you,' he choked. 'Need you inside me… Need you.' Panting, I nodded and began to push at his pants as his hands fumbled with my boxers. He arched his slick body and rubbed against me, hands sliding against the back of my neck and teeth nipping along my jaw. My fingers found their way between his legs in a familiar push of slickness and tightness and his voice broke as he moaned my name once, twice. I was suddenly overcome with a thought of how different things could have been, really should have been. What if you were still here? How would things be then, James? I know how they would be: you would be here for him now; you would be the one taking him to King's Cross tomorrow morning; you would be the one to think about him and worry about him and love him. But instead – instead, it was me: me who was with him, shaking and thrusting; me who thought about him with a racing pulse and clammy hands; me who worried about him because war wasn't just on the horizon, it was banging at the door with iron fists; me who loved him and couldn't find the words to tell him. And then it was me who was kissing his open mouth and me who had my fingers sliding inside him and me who was groaning his name as I rubbed my cock against his thigh.
Again, I felt that fleeting white-hot flicker of hatred for you and I couldn't stop myself from cursing you for leaving us both. But then he was pushing my hand away and curling damp fingers around my cock and guiding me inside him and as I pushed into that tight heat I could think of nothing but JesusFuckingChristHarry. He choked over my name again and whined low in the back of his throat and it was this moment that always tore me apart, the moment when I wanted to die, because with Lily's eyes widening and your mouth gasping and Harry's face breaking all I could see was your little boy and I hated myself. And that is where I stop and think…
I wonder what you would say if you knew what I was doing right now. I wonder if you'd hit me (I know you'd beat the living shit out of me) and I wonder if you would scream at me (I know your face would contort with rage and your eyes burn with hate) and I wonder about Lily (I know she would cry, tears of anger and despair). But now, as I'm slowly pulling out of Harry, your son, and carefully pushing back inside, it's difficult to think about the raw betrayal and how I was your brother and how I stood beside you on your wedding day. It's particularly difficult to think about how you made me godfather to your first and only child or how wrong it is to have my tongue in your son's mouth, my hand around my godson's cock. I can't think about how wrong it is because it feels so good, so right, and he hooks one leg around my back and clings to me and he is so achingly perfect I can't breathe.
He gasps wantonly and his stuttering breath hitches when I thrust deeply into him and pause, pressing messy half-kisses to the corner of his mouth. He bucks his hips and twists fingers in my hair and then we're both whining and thrusting together, as though it's possible to become one person, and our moans and cries are not human, barely even animal, they are raw screaming emotion that can't be restricted by prim, proper words and must instead break in a slurred spill. And he's sobbing, choking and suffocating and sobbing, clinging to my shoulders and arching his back to try and drag me closer and I bury my face against his neck and I realise my cheeks are wet with tears and I sob once, harsh and rough, because he's killing me, his nails digging into my back and his hand pulling my hair and his hips crashing against mine, it's all tearing me apart, ripping at my chest and stabbing my heart.
He yells and suddenly his body goes taut, he claws at my back and I'm sure he's drawing blood, and he comes, untouched, snapping and unravelling with a strained moan. I keep moving, unevenly, and I fuck him clumsily through it all, through the white-hot crush of breathless pleasure and I whisper urgently to him, nonsense and encouragement and, slipping out, things I wasn't supposed to tell him, things with an unthinkable order of You and I and Love. His head falls back against the pillows and his hand slides limply to the small of my back and there is the slight pressure of his fingers against my arse and with such a simple touch I'm coming, so hard, and I can't move, I can only shake violently, buried deep inside him and cry out once, a drawn-out note of a lost heart.
I fall down onto him and we're both panting obscenely and trembling alarmingly. I move to pull out of him but he suddenly shakes his head and pushes his hand hard against the back of my thigh.
'Stay in me,' he whispers and his voice is hoarse. I rest my head on his shoulder and close my eyes; my fingers gently stroke over his collarbone and chest and he curves his hand around the base of my neck. And then there's a lump in my throat, restricting my breathing and making it hard for my heart to beat, because what I want more than anything right now is to stay like this forever, to be able to fall into oblivion with Harry right beside me. But I know that I can't have that, I know that I'm going to end up with a broken heart, I know that I'm going to destroy him, I know that we're going to get hurt and there will be no happy ending for us. And I want you to know, James, that in this whole disaster, that is the only thing I am sorry for.
A/N: It has been a pleasure writing this. Thank you for reading, i hope you enjoyed. Maybe there is cause for a companion fic from Harry's POV... Thank you once more.