a / n ;; Requested by thelightningstrike. I really like the idea of this, but I'm not sure it came across quite right. Ah, well, It was fun.
edited;; May 3, 2010 at 12:15 p.m. (because ff can't refrain from jacking up my section breaks)

count to ten

Astoria is eleven. The room is bright, her lips are pink, molten wax pools on the pale green leaves of little frosting flowers, and she closes her eyes and makes a wish.

(for the letter not to come. to be free of daphne's shadow. to be astoria, because even if they hate me it won't be this.)

But she opens her eyes to a single fluttering flame, to squabbling at the window, to the plummeting feeling of her heart in her intestines.

Astoria is twelve. The corridor is dark, her fingers close around a tiny charm, and she shifts a little on her feet as he draws close.

(ask me to the yule ball. ask me. not that cow.)

And she doesn't dare say it, not to Eleanora or Daphne or anyone, but she thinks his hair is lovely like frosted gold and his stride is oh so elegant and he'd look quite exceptional in his dress robes. And she's already half-constructed the way he'd ask her to the ball, and of course she'd say yes, but--

He slides past her without even a glance.

Astoria is fifteen when they usher them out of the castle. And somewhere in the fray she sees silverblonde and she stops to stare and sees Draco whispering in Pansy's ear, and then he leaves and Daphne grabs her fingers and disapparates.

And when nobody's looking she slips out of her bedroom and onto the lawn and under the night sky. And she takes her charm and slings it into the well, and whispers--

(don't let them come back.)

And she really really means it, because even if he's gone it's better than him being here with someone else.

Astoria is eleventwelvefifteen, and she closes her eyes and makes a wish, but never the one she wants the most.

(love me.)

Because even Astoria knows that sometimes wishes aren't enough.