noom
Secrets of the Heart
subtitled "The Moon Tells No Lies"

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Author's Note: Umm . . . I would like to ask everyone to be patient with this fic - it's a different sort of story (?) that I've done this time. I suppose it could be categorized as a romance, which I've never really had much success with. But please read anyway?

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Out of doors, a cool breeze swept across the land, flying through the mountains and making tree branches sway violently. Leaves rustled, clinging helplessly to the great arms that would soon be completely bare and devoid of autumn color. Grasses bent their heads, paying homage to this invisible force that was so much stronger than they, and a bird - on his way to winter in a warmer section of the globe, no doubt - squawked loudly before swooping across the sky.

And, through all this, one of shining silver brilliance watched over all. Her face gleamed and sparkled as she laughed one minute at the trials of the mortals who dwelt below her, and wept the next moment with grief because of their foolishness. Hundreds of names were associated with this grand argent disc, though to many she remained, simply, as the Moon.

He paused for but a brief instant to take in her magnanimity, looking upon her from the very window through which her light poured. It flooded the stone path of the hallway, and from her reach the shadows fled into corners. He'd not seen her so full since last month, and yet it seemed that it was in this form that she greeted him every evening as he passed by.

"Adieu, my friend," he whispered softly, turning away. The thousands of stars that hovered about her seemed to wink at his retreating back, but he took no notice. He could tarry no longer.

Though he walked across hard flagstones, the sound of his footsteps were muffled and silent, however fast they went. At the end of the corridor he turned left, and, climbing the flight of stairs that rose before him, wondered: How many nights have I made this trip? When did I first pass this way?

Passing behind a tapestry woven with the colorful forms of a witch and wizard in Medieval attire, he found himself in an archway wanting for even the faintest of lights; a mahogany door with an antique brass knocker stood within arm's reach. Eyes adjusting to the dimness, he felt the familiar ache forming in his chest, just as it always did before he crossed through that wooden entrance, and he was bewildered, if only for a moment.

"Enough hesitating," he muttered to himself. Then he reached out and turned the knob. The door opened soundlessly; it hadn't been locked - it was never locked. Not until he came to turn the bolt and seal himself inside. And then he breathed, quietly at first, before he spotted her. She was there.

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Yes, she was there, and it was a comfort to him. A comfort that made him uneasy, because he hated the peaceful serenity that they shared during the dark, lonely nights in the room. He hated the fact that he was drawn there no matter how he set his mind against it. He hated her.

"You came." Her back was turned to him, and she stared out at the dark world. The Moon had yet to shine upon this part of the castle tonight, though she suspected it wouldn't be much longer before that
lovely orb would reposition herself.

He tore his gaze away from her with a derisive snort. Her statement seemed an inane one in his mind. "Of course I came. I always come, don't I?" he demanded harshly.

Wrapping her arms around her torso, she faced him, her head bent. "Yes. Yes, you do," she whispered, uncertainty in her voice. "But why do you come?" Finally she raised her face, looking him in the eye as she took the tentative steps towards him. She paused less than a foot away. "Why do we do this? To ourselves, to each other. Why?"

"I don't know," came the reply as he pulled her into his arms. And it was true - he didn't have the answer for her, or for himself, and for the first time he realized she was as confused as he by the mess they'd gotten themselves into.

And as their lips met in the darkness of her bedroom, they forgot all feelings of hatred that were normally reserved for the inquisitive scrutiny of the students, the professors - of the world. All they knew now was the painful burning of new love that must be kept hidden away in the chambers of the heart out of the fear of discovery, disapproval, and criticism.

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The rays of the Moon glinted on her bare skin, bathing her in the pale silver light as they lay together, tangled in the silken sheets of the four-poster bed. Her head rested on his chest, listening to the beat of his heart, as he ran a hand through her long tousled hair.

The question burned in his mind, and without his consent it escaped from his mouth. "Do you love me?"

She jerked in surprise, then raised her gaze to meet his. "I - no," she answered flatly, for to say the opposite - and thus reveal her heart - would truly be the end of them.

"Oh . . . fine." His heart sank then, though he refused to show it. With much effort, he added, "That's fine, then, as I don't love you, either. It won't complicate things."

But, of course, this, too, was a lie, and the Moon wept for both man and woman. There were many secrets of the night that begged to be kept hidden, and she would never tell. She only wished that mortals showed the honesty that she herself possessed, because as everyone knows, the Moon tells no lies.

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Author's Note: No, I won't say who the couple is. I know who I want it to be, even though I'm sure there are people who would disagree with me on this. Review and let me know who y'all think it is.

Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter and co. . . . and I don't own the moon, so there!

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