Author: Memories Left Abandoned
Prompt: Phoenix, Percy/Audrey
Challenge: The Animal Challenge at HPFC
Warnings: Implied slash
Percy stays awake in the night now. He can't help it.
Seventeen year old Percy couldn't imagine anything but a life filled with happiness, joy, and Oliver Wood.
Ten years later, twenty-seven year old Percy wishes everything had worked out so simple.
A job he didn't really want. A girlfriend—soon to be wife, he muses—he definitely didn't want. A life he can't bring himself to care about.
Percy closes his eyes.
We commit his body to the ground,
"Oliver, why can't you just listen?" screams the redhead, crossing the room and ending up at the other side, feet stuck in a pace he can't break out of. "I don't want this! I want you!"
"If wanting was enough," sighs Oliver, "we would be okay."
"Then you want this, too," says Percy, crossing the room quickly and forcing Oliver to look at him by thrusting his chin upward. "Don't lie this time."
"Yes," says Oliver quietly. "I want this."
Percy, in a sudden rush of courage, crushes his lips without gentility against the other boy's, and to his amazement, Oliver responds, forcing Percy against the bedpost and holding him with everything he has.
He could live like this, thinks Percy briefly.
And then the moment is over.
"Percy?" The woman beside him sits up, struggling with the burden contained inside of her. Percy looks down it and tries not to hate it, but he can't help the tears. He never can.
"Go back to sleep, Audrey," and his voice is the exact same tone he heard Oliver use.
"You're crying," she observes, wiping a tear away. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing." His voice is deadpan. "You need your sleep."
She is unconvinced—she always is—but she does as he says, and within a few moments he hears her snoring. He hates her snore.
Earth to earth,
Oliver breaks away and stands, stepping quickly from Percy—and temptation—and forcing himself to clear his head. "This can't work."
"Didn't you feel anything?" screams Percy, pulling at his hair in frustration and standing too, walking to the opposite end of the dormitory so that he's facing Oliver.
"Yes, Percy, and that's exactly why this won't work!" yells Oliver, getting just as angry. "It's not okay for us to be together, alright? You're going to work at the Ministry, and I'm going to play Quidditch, and we won't be anywhere near each other, and it just won't work!"
"I'll give it up!" says Percy desperately.
"You don't want that!" says Oliver.
"What I want is you!"
He observes her sleeping form. Her stomach, extended with the child inside, rises and falls peacefully, and Percy wonders briefly if she's dreaming of him.
He doesn't dream of her, so he doesn't really expect her to be.
He wonders why she's settling with him. He's broken—he's been broken for ten years, and he isn't going to be fixed any time soon, not even by a child.
He guesses the child is why she's staying, and he again tries not to hate it.
Ashes to ashes,
"Oliver, please." Percy's voice is raw, the screams worn out. "Oliver. Oliver."
"Percy." Oliver takes Percy's cheek in his hand. "You know I can't."
"Please." His voice is hoarser than ever, barely more than a whisper. "Please just hear me out."
"I have heard you out," sighs the other boy, looking away because he can't bear to look in his eyes. "And I can't."
Percy doesn't break the embrace, trying to make the other boy look him in the eye and say no. Eventually Oliver meets Percy's eyes, and all Percy can do is rest his forehead against Oliver's, not moving his hand, and Oliver doesn't move either.
For a goodbye, the moment is oddly peaceful. Resolved, almost. Percy hates that.
Over the lake, Fawkes cries and calls out, his song upbeat in honor of the upcoming graduation. He hates that stupid bird.
Percy recalls the phoenix as he looks at his sleeping girlfriend—fiancée. The phoenix song—a sound he hadn't heard since that day.
He muses that Fawkes really must have known what he was doing, singing out like that. That day, in all his mutiny-filled memories, had only the phoenix as the soundtrack. The last happy moment in his life—that's an exaggeration, but an appropriate one—was marked forever by the cry of the bird.
He lays back down. He doesn't hate the bird. He only strongly dislikes it.
Dust to dust.
"We have to go, Percy," whispers Oliver many hours later.
They had moved into Oliver's bed, where neither had spoken for hours. Holding, touching, memorizing everything about the other until they had to leave.
"I love you, Oliver," answers Percy, and it's the truth that he can't help but add to the moment.
"I'll miss you," answers the other boy, and Percy thinks it's almost as good. As close as he can get.
The phoenix cries again, and the boys break apart.
How appropriate that the image upon Oliver's coffin had been a phoenix.
A/N: You have no idea how much I love this fic. Not even kidding.