West of Eden
A Xenocide Production
AN: I wrote this before having read DH. Yes, that's right. Blasphemy of the highest degree. But, I've decided that I need to reread HBP, and between work and college prep, I've not had the time to do so. These are my thoughts on the end of an era, of an age, and of a boy that never had a chance to truly live as he should have. And yes, IO and DOA are still on the agenda. Just not on the top of the list until I get settled into college. Sorry.
Summary: It was something she had always ached to say, but it never seemed right to say it, somehow. Apologizing to Harry was like apologizing to a flower after you picked it to admire its beauty.
Disclaimer: I own nothing Harry Potter and all things related.
A woman is poised over a keyboard, staring blankly at a pixilated screen.
A few more strokes and the ending for which she'd strived for with all her soul, all of her might, and all of her courage would finally be finished.
But somehow, she could not force her fingers to type the words she so desperately wanted to write.
With this, it would end. Well, not everything would end, but the one thing that seems to have been the purpose of her existence ever since those days of writing in a small café with dreams that no woman her age had the right, or the luxury to have, would end as decisively as a click of the save button.
It seemed unfair, in a strange way. For over ten years, she has immersed herself in a world of her own making. That's not something that just anyone can claim, and she does so with a distinct note of pride in her voice. All of her hopes, all of her secrets, all of her fears have gone into the making of this world, and each inhabitant of her personal universe she creates is nothing more than a small piece of her soul bared naked for all the world to see. It is a depressing thought, to learn that after so long, the destination that she had always thought would be in a far flung future had arrived much faster and more promptly than she would have imagined.
Slowly, her fingers retracted from the keyboard, and she leaned back into her office chair, unmindful of the familiar squeak of the hinges as it shifted to accommodate her weight. She pursed her lips and began to drum the fingers of her right hand impatiently on the arm of the chair, a nervous habit she'd long since given up on correcting.
Suddenly, he was there. Poring interestedly over her bookshelves, running slender fingers over their spines and delicately tracing a few letters here and there.
Her Harry, the boy whom she'd met so very long ago, and shaken his hand as he stood before her in her living room. A small thing he had been then, wide eyes staring hungrily at his surroundings, eager to learn and eager to know as if knowledge were his breath and bread. But now, as the years settled heavily around his shoulders, he was not quite so wide eyed as he had been, though no matter what she had put him through, he had never lost that desire to know, even if the knowing would mean his demise.
She knew very well that to others, Harry didn't exist any more than a dryad or a fae existed. He was as intangible as the wind and as solid as birdsong in the early morning. But he was real to her, and that was enough to make her happy. She could touch him, hear him, and talk to him. Sometimes, in the dark hours of the night, she laid awake and wondered if she was crazy for being so close to someone who did not exist. But then, she remembered the world she had created, and in turn, had created Harry. If that did not lend him existence of some sort, then she should have been thrown into the loony bin a long time ago.
"Why are you hesitating?" His soft voice cut through the still air, melodic and deep.
She studied him in the evening sunlight as he continued to trace her books, acting as if he had not done the very same thing the other thousands of times she had sit down with him in her study to talk.
"I don't know." She admitted. "I can't help but not want this to end. It's been so long, and if I……" She trailed off, not even able to finish her sentence. But as usual, Harry knew. He always knew.
He turned around, smiling at her in that sad half smile of his that broke her heart every time she saw it. In the beginning, Harry's smiles were unabashed and without reserve. But as the days and chapters passed, it had grown smaller and smaller, until it seemed that the only thing he could smile at was all the bitter irony he could find in life. He found quite a lot it since the day he had come into existence.
He sat down on the small ottoman in the corner, leaning forwards and resting his elbows on his knees, his face propped up by his hands. "Come on, lady. You of all people know that all things must come to an end. Not just the good things, but the bad ones too."
"You must think I'm a horrible person." She wouldn't be surprised in the least if he did. What you create is your responsibility, and Harry had become hers from the first syllable.
She had tried! Oh, how she had tried to make his story a light hearted one. A story where boys and girls everywhere could sit down and laugh delightedly at his adventures, and how easily he thwarted the dread Lord Voldemort. But the more she wrote, the faster she saw Harry's happiness slipping away through her fingers. And once she had started, she couldn't seem to stop.
It was a relief to be at the end, but at the same time, it was so terrifying, so absolute, that she could not bring herself to finish what she had started.
Harry reached up and pushed his eternally slipping glasses back up his nose. She really should have given him some new ones. "I don't. There were times I wanted to, but I don't." He shifted slightly in his seat. "The way I see it, you didn't have much of a choice in creating me, just as I didn't have much of a choice in how I was created." He shrugged, a 'what can you do gesture'. "I've come to realize that living the way I have is better than not having lived at all. A funny sort of living, I guess, and not always a happy one, but living all the same."
"I'm sorry." She said timidly. It was something she had always ached to say, but it never seemed right to say it, somehow. Apologizing to Harry was like apologizing to a flower after you picked it to admire its beauty. "I still can't help but feel…" She trailed off again, frustrated that she couldn't articulate her thoughts the way she wanted to. Harry had always come easy to her, but her own emotions and those of others were quite foreign.
"No need to apologize. We've been friends for far too long to need words. Feelings are enough, aren't they?" He stood up and strolled to the computer, glancing over the words she had written and the words yet to be written. She thought that he would offer advice, as he had done so often in the past, but he only nodded and offered, "It's nice."
"When did you get so deep?" She smiled lightly.
"Since the day I knew I'd die a virgin. Do you have any idea how depressing that is to a bloke? Makes him think all sorts of funny things, deep being the least of them." He said this all with a straight face, and smiled that half smile again when her heard her snort.
Her humor was short lived, and it faded as swiftly as it had come. She could only stare into his eyes, memorizing that vibrant emerald that she had come to know all too well. He too stared down at her, a strange expression on his face, one that she had never seen before. Hesitantly, his hand came up to lightly stroke her cheek, a gesture of affection that he had never shown anyone, not even that red-headed girl he loved so much.
It dawned her what that look on his face was.
It was love.
Not a romantic love. No, nothing so tawdry and cheap.
It was the love of a son for his mother. The love of a friend who had been there since time immemorial. It was the love of a boy who looked up to her. The love of someone who entrusted the missing half of his soul to her. And the love of a man who was saying goodbye the only way he knew how. He leaned down and kissed her forehead.
"It's been fun." He straightened, a true smile on his face, not the half one that made him seem weighed down by the world. "I have faith in you." He said simply.
Then, he was gone, as if he had never existed.
She blinked, and was surprised to note a lone tear trail down her cheek.
She wiped it away, and then leaned back over her keyboard.
It was time to make an end of things, no matter how much she wanted to continue them. All things come to an end, Harry had said.
"Not just the bad ones, but the good ones too." She murmured.
And then, her hands were flying swiftly over the keyboard, typing faster than she ever thought herself capable of. Harry was there, whispering in her ear, guiding her as he always did, even though he wasn't there. She was there with his as well, at his side at the very end.
Two souls, one real and one not, bound tighter together than any two souls had a right to be. It is the same with every creator and their creation.
She typed the end of an era. She typed the end of an age. She typed the end of a dream.
She typed the end of all things.
So tell me, True Believers.
Lend me your thoughts. It always warms my heart to read them.