harry doesn't think much , afterward --

he goes home.

grimmauld place has that thing about it , you know , that thing; it's heavy on the shoulders and the soft palate and it makes you want to sleep, just sleep and sleep, until you forget the way to ron's house and you start ignoring the girl's voice in your bed, you keep thinking you want to kiss her so her soul leaks out between the teeth and she won't mean anything anymore

grimmauld place has that thing, which is loveless

and real

-

i'll get over you , but i don' t make you lonely

-

don't it make you lonely

-

oh, but hating everything does. that's what harry realises, eventually. he's watching ron from a field away, because they're in the air and racing like they did yesterday -- the day before, the sunday before -- but only he can see so clearly with all the speed and the wind, the speed and the wind and the fat goggles pinching the bridge of a thin nose.

harry can see, but ron's not used to seeing anything: he plummets forward and down and it just makes harry tired, you know, it really makes him tired to think of.

-

it's not the same that she's ron's sister, no -- no one's sister now. it's because she and ron are of separate contexts, it's like that thing -- like that grimmauld thing again, where harry remembers what's happened and all he wants to do is close his eyes, close his eyes so he forgets which person is which, and then ron might be seeing something, right, he might be seeing something because harry certainly can't tell if he is or isnt. it's better this way,

if he closes his eyes: he can't watch the teeth close over the skin of the apple, or wonder whose eyes ("Ron? Ginny?") are bluer, more round. it's always about eyes --

his best friend is the one with the freckles, that ginger, he's got bluish brownish very sharp eyes -- that's what harry said the first time he forgot the difference, over and over. he told himself

-

sometimes they say he's not the same , since the end

-

but harry and ron go back to the bedroom together, to look at the old photographs and the strategy book neville sent over. tentatively -- it's always tentative, because harry changed a little, it's that thing. it happens sometimes. ron didn't change but harry did, after. there's nothing to fear but harry still fears, sometimes, more all the time; he fears more than he did in the forest , or the manor, or back in the school. he did what he had to but he always feels it's not over, not finished. he can't tell what is and is not true -- which suspicions were correct and which shouldn't matter, no, and harry always thinks there's something he should know, something he should be looking for or yelling about or believing in, something to hide from or battle, but now there isn't anything

there isn't anything but ron , who looks at him strangely , mouth slackening at the corner and from the very edge of his face he's --

but what have i lost! , thinks harry, what have i lost and what is still here ? i have weasleys, i have weasleys, i have grimmauld, i have photographs. grimmauld. i have 'auror', i have, i have the future. i have ginny.

i have ron.

-

don't look,
don't open your eyes -- don't do anything but sleep or
you'll notice and that is the end

as soon as you know
dream of nothing but green

-

"That's not what I said-"

-

the book has moving illustrations. a part of him never expects it, still -- that part of him, the child. he tries to imagine aunt petunia, sometimes: if she missed his mother, if his mother missed her. if it's all right that maybe neither did. harry doesn't know how families work. he doesn't know if it's real

to hate someone , you know : it seems terribly wasteful to hate someone you're born to love

it
seems like a kind of cheat,
but he sees it in the cupboard
and in ron , sometimes ron hates his brothers very much , he hates all of them so fiercely that he begins loving them

and ginny turning over in the bed, to look at harry in the morning. they can lie there till nine or ten, looking at eachother. what's wrong ?
it's wrong

he didn't know her before ; the valentine
he didn't know her before, he never knew her during, he has to try to know her better now but it's so hard -- to see -- opening his eyes , no, sometimes he sleeps for days

-

it's that thing, you stumble out of bed and you never think straight, never think straight anymore -- you don't know anything,

you're blind and you're stupid and no one misses you,

no one wants anything more from you than fame, you keep falling for redheads and it's no use!, it's always the wrong redhead, ron can't see a thing, you can't see a thing, you are doomed. the green is one thing or the other, it's always bad, it's bad when you imagine you are green through and through -- but you're not growing, you're stagnant, you've been sleeping since three o'clock today. that's what happens when you take after mum: you're a cheat, you love the separate chromosomes, a smaller mouth. you love the incarnation of the spine you stroke; he had a fine back when he bared it to you, and ginny's is soft but just as straight.

it's that thing, harry chokes on it, he swallows his lunch fast and then he's gone, off the pitch, away

for the next half week or so. back to grimmauld to lie on the parquet floor, dream of a family tree so thorough he could be burned from its branches again and again, left to rot like sirius, sleep under a veil of freckles until no one remembers leaving him there.

-

i don't want to be the one

-

oh why -- ?

that's what she thinks:
he is her one ,

the one
to wear dresses for
and do up red hair or
think about children with

harry is tired of ones / he liked threes

-

now two in the room, it's that grimmauld thing, the one where sometimes people talk and they aren't really saying anything because there's nothing, nothing to say, and maybe it's just looking at mouths instead of touching them: a mouth can bite! and people bite too , ron doesn't want anything but to talk about the wronksi feint again and again

and it's so tiring to think of , it really is, ron doesn't want anything and harry is tired of knowing better , he knows ron and that's really all there is

no patience, no
no concern

biting oranges over the breakfast table, remember, trying to remember -- he gets distracted and forgets who is sitting across from him, it's either one or the other, his best friend is not small and does not smell of perfume. there.

-

but ron tucks him in when ginny works late ;
ron will stay of course

there was one time in the bathroom, harry said -- something, it was another world of a day, he asked when hermione would come home and ron said nothing, muttered something very little, an insignificant number that would grow in the part of him meant for waiting, the part that could not wait -- that part of ron that was impulse, and maybe honesty -- the part of him that would grow in her absence.

and it grew enough in that moment -- when they looked at eachother, through the toothpaste foam in their mouths -- it grew enough that ron blinked, watching the greenish flash of harry's eye, and their free hands touched a little in the flourescent lighting.

-

so now he has to think: freckles, ginger, bluish & brownish

my number two
i know ---

"do you miss her?" thinks harry out loud this time
"that's not what i said-" ron starts, huffing

"but you do"

--

that tuesday when
hermione broke their heart , she broke harry's and she broke ron's, now she's gone and there's nothing they can do, she's off to france on ministry duty, now she's in belgium, look, now in greece --

for politics !

ron can't kiss her anymore, not all the time. and there was the idea of ones, you know, that thing with ones where you try on the ring and you think about a little house together and sleeping in a firm bed , looking out your big bay window -- yes, that thing with ones, it's supposed to be forever and you don't take it back, you can't really, that thing with ones which is how harry feels about threes so when hermione leaves and it's just two alone that's it, it's that thing -- but slowly he finds it's all right with two, the secrets have lessened, no secrets to keep.

today
ron has a plaid shirt on, and his arm pulses oddly at the wrist, and he sort of shivers there on harry's bed: so thin, so pink. with the book in his lap he could be anyone, but not the one -- he's only a wafer, sugar and water. it's good because it makes harry want to open his eyes again, and he does: just this moment, only once, so he can watch ron smile sad and so slow, smile for his own dead pride and for his poor sister , all that's left of a world he thought he shared with someone else.

it's not what ron wanted, to be this way -- a kind of haze, no, a limbo of stars and harry sleeping, harry's sleeping to regain strength, hibernating, they've all said he isn't the same since it happened . they've all been right in one way or another, every single

one of them.

"i'm blind. i can't see a thing."
"you're not blind," ron answers, "just stupid."
"you're right."

& eventually harry is gone again, his face pressed into the old quilt, and ron flits through the book again on his own -- he flits through, and looks at his bare ring finger, and then he lies pressed against harry (forehead, arm, hip) who is sleeping, breathing so shallow, harry who is more awake in this moment than ever before.

-

but you can't look ,
it's over

-

i'll get over you

-

tonight grimmauld place has that thing about it, it's that quiet creeping thing, it happens when the girl is asleep in harry's bed and he feels her move next to him, sometimes touching him, sometimes naked -- the quiet thing, it sickens him, it's that thing where you imagine she must be another person, you can't help it, can't help that she ought to be, and you touch her thin arm imagining that clumsy love will disappear and you can hate her brother in peace