Out of Reach
A HariPo oneshot
Note: The Harry Potter characters belong to J.K. Rowling, not me. Another oneshot done for a prompt, inspired by the song "Window" by Delfina. Read, review, and enjoy!
"Love is an act of faith." —Erich Fromm
Dominique Weasley twisted her sweater's hem in her hands as she sat nervously in the new little tearoom in Diagon Alley. She could barely focus on the butterbeer before her. She had yet to sip from it, but she didn't dare try. Her hands were trembling too much.
She was twenty-two and young. She was learning a headmistress' duties from Madame Maxime, the head of Beauxbatons, Dominique's mother's alma mater. It was a tough job, handling so much estrogen in that academy (though the school did have a handful of male students), but Dominique felt she could do it. She could juggle that and her romance with Lysander Scamander.
Lysander… Dominique smiled as she thought of her lover. He was so gentle and sweet. He was working alongside Rubeus Hagrid—Madame Maxime's husband, consequently—to become the half-giant's successor to the Care for Magical Creatures class. Lysander was so good with animals that it was as though he were one himself. His compassion for creatures and life was what Dominique liked best about him. He was never one to get angry; she'd never seen him lose it in all the twelve years she'd known him, nor once in all the six years they'd been romantically involved.
She feared she would see that today.
The witch scrunched her eyes shut to hold back the tears. She couldn't cry, not yet. If she bawled now, before Lysander arrived, she knew she would give it away that something was horrifically wrong. Dominique dabbed her napkin at her eyes, praying that her brown mascara would not run down her face. That would really make Lysander worry.
Just as she collected herself, Lysander arrived and kissed the top of her head. He slid into the booth opposite her and smiled softly. "Hey, Dom."
She mustered a grin. "Hey yourself, stranger."
Lysander shrugged out of his coat and folded it beside him. "I'm sorry I'm late. I know you said you'd been wanting to try this place for some time, but I was caught up in something when I got your message to meet you here." He held up his cellphone. "Aren't you glad Lorcan got us hooked on these? Muggle devices can be very useful." Lysander grinned as if it was an inside joke. "I just wish he'd give up on your cousin by now. Rose's mum might be a Muggle-born, but I don't think my twin brother can impress Rose by acting like a Muggle himself."
Dominique tittered at that. "Yeah. Rose and Scorpius have taken things painstakingly slow, but they're tried and true." Finally she had calmed herself enough to sip her butterbeer.
Lysander's eyes drifted to the table. "Dom… Do you think we've rushed things? Not compared to Rose and Scorpius, but compared to a normal couple."
The witch frowned and shrugged. "I dunno. I don't feel we have. But what's the definition of a 'normal' couple? I don't believe there's such a thing."
"You're right," he agreed with his soft chuckle. "Besides, I think our moving in together two years ago was a fantastic move."
She smiled at him kindly while her heart shattered inside. A home was meant for those in love, those who'd start a family, and those who'd make a "house" a "home." They didn't and wouldn't have any of those things, Dominique believed.
"I think I'm ready to make a better move," Lysander said as he rustled around in his coat's pockets and produced a little wooden box. He opened it and removed the ring, and placed it on Dominique's left ring finger. It was the boldest thing he'd ever done. "Dominique Gabrielle Weasley, will you marry me?" He was smiling ear-to-ear, he was so excited. He had figured her answer to be "yes."
"I-I can't," she choked out.
His happy face shattered. "…what…?"
"Love… Love isn't for us," Dominique stated quietly. "First it's like, then love, then marriage and a family and life. But… We can't."
Lysander looked further confused when she said "We can't." "But, Dom, that wasn't a straight answer to my question. Why are you dancing around answering me? You can just say 'yes' or 'n'—"
"I'm infertile." There. It was out. Worst of all, it tore her heart to have his eyes on her, expressing utter grief. "Do you still love me, knowing I can't give you children?"
Lysander's eyes dropped back to the table, his mouth still agape. He said nothing, however. Dominique knew the shock wouldn't wear off that fast. Especially not that fast when she knew how much he wanted at least one or two kids. "Twins!" he'd joked once. "Twins run in both sides—your uncles and cousins, my brother and myself. Don't you think twins would be fun?" But there was no fun in this, though. The possibility of even one child was out the window. Having the family both of them dreamed of was out of reach.
Dominique hoped he wouldn't suddenly become out of reach, too.
The wizard closed his eyes and mouth, something at which Dominique uncomfortably shivered. This had to be it; he would not want to be tied down to a woman who could only ever make him unhappy. He could find someone else, though, right now, before he and Dominique made a mistake—a big mistake. She had to push him in that direction, though.
"Love is a nasty thing, really," Dominique rasped. "It happens when we least expect it. It just sneaks up on us, catching us off-guard. It plays with us, toys with us, and ensnares us in its web until we are trapped with no escape, forever caught in its grip." Now the tears pooled in her hazel eyes. "But I'm a fool. I… I fell for Love's game. I fell for you." She hung her head.
"Wh-why… Why are you talking like that?" he asked shakily.
"Stay away from love," Dominique warned him. "It's too much to get involved. It hurts too much when your issues force things to cave in and your heart can never recover again. But, me…" She looked up and smiled, despite the mascara she knew was running down her cheeks. "I succumbed to it and I can never recover."
She reached for his hand, which he reflexively withdrew. He froze and stared at her. "I-I'm sorry! I didn't mean to—!"
"It's okay," she muttered quietly.
"Dominique…," Lysander mumbled as she took her coat down from the stand beside the booth and pulled it on, "don't."
"Just…don't tell my family yet, okay?" She brushed her long platinum blonde hair behind her back. "I just came from St. Mungo's this afternoon and I wanted you to be the first to know. I know we've been trying kind of absentmindedly for a year, but now I'm serious. Yet now… Now you should find someone else, okay? Promise me that."
Lysander watched her exit the tearoom, but outside she Apparated to their little cottage. She crumpled in the living room and released the tears completely; she would gather her things later. She just wished that her past few doctor's visits hadn't produced the same results. To be born with a damaged uterus, so damaged that she couldn't be healed even by magic and that she would never have children—a little piece of the witch died that day.
Over her sobbing, she didn't hear Lysander "pop!" into the room behind her. She knew who it was, though, when he faced her and crushed her to his chest, tears on his own face.
"Do you love me?" he asked, grim.
Dominique threw her arms around him and sobbed into his neck. "Y-Yes!" she cried. "Of course I do! I love you too much, Sander. That's why I warned you against falling in love."
"Then that's all we need." He pulled away and nervously laughed. "Ha, look at the two of us. We're both saps, I guess." He smiled. "I love you, Dominique. Nothing will change that."
"Lysander…" Dominique teared up all over again, but she was a little happy now. "How… How could you still love me, knowing we can't have our dream, our house noisy with the sound of our children?"
The wizard shook his head. "That's just a technicality, Dom. We can look to magic to heal you or we can adopt…or we can be a family, just the two of us. We love each other too much to be separated."
"Dominique, I believe in you." He took her left hand gently in his and brought it to his lips. He kissed her ring finger, dressed in the pale gold, twirled band that encased a small—but real—diamond, so small on the budget he could afford. "Do you believe in me?"
She calmed herself and took a few deep breaths. "Yes, Lysander. You… I love you—of course I believe in and trust you."
He grinned. "Then will you do me the honor of becoming Mrs. Lysander Scamander? You did leave the tearoom with the ring on, you know."
Dominique searched his eyes for any trace of guilt, blame, disappointment, or anger. Yes, there was some disappointment, but it was to be expected and she knew he didn't blame her. She couldn't find the other emotions in his eyes, though, only love. "Yes," she answered with one-hundred-percent sureness.
Uh…wow. I'm still crying myself. I think this is one of the most horrific things I've ever done to a character. Yes, I've done worse to some, but this is right up there. The story, like usual, took on a mind of its own, making Dom a headmistress-in-training for Beauxbatons. Although I kept them together, the subject is still a heavy one, one from which this story's universe's Domsander will never recover. Though Sander mentions turning to magic (like any good witch or wizard would think of), physical disabilities and deformations are still serious and probably not all can be fixed with just a wave of a wand. That's what I wanted to express here, to loosely define the limits of magic (though we don't know, in this fic, if magic really will help them or not).
I think this is one of my best, though, and I hope you all feel the same. So thank you for reading, and please review.
Thank you, Morghen, for beta'ing once again!
2016 note: I pretty much agree with my author's note from 2010. I edited a few things (such as this no longer being a songfic), but my headcanons for Domsander really cemented themselves here (their occupations, them not being able to get pregnant), and somehow this story really made them near and dear to my heart. I think they really do support each other… :')