Just a small ficlet. I couldn t get the idea out of my head, so I tried to write it in German first (it s my mother tongue) but somehow I failed abysmally. It just didn t work out somehow and yeah I gave it a try in English. I hope it s not too bad ^^
Have fun reading!
A pair of scissors
As I sat at the kitchen table I somehow couldn t make myself stop staring at the pair of scissors in my hands. It was made of silver and the sunlight reflected from it in a way Harry would have called pretty had he been here.
I sighed and contemplated my decision once again. It wasn't that I wasn't absolutely sure of what I wanted. Uncertainty had never been an issue for me. Whatever choice I had made in my life, weather it was a good or a poor one, I always had made it with utter and undeniable certainty. It was a stubborn streak of my character and not always a good one. Lily died because of it. Because I was to obstinate to admit that my joining the Dark Lord had been a kind of foolishness that had yet to find it s equal. But even that was in the past now. It haunted me no more. Finally I had made my peace. And who would have thought that Harry Potter was the person that was ultimately responsible for that? There was a time not so long ago, not for a wizard at least, when I would have scoffed at the mere idea. But now ...
I laid the scissors on the table and entwined my fingers. Harry had become a teacher after the war. He went into an apprenticeship with Lupin of all people. Alas, I couldn't deny the stupid werewolf the skill and knowledge he had. Too bad. It would have made it easier to hate him. The problem was, I wasn't sure if I did even that anymore. And all of it was Potter's fault. Or rather Harry's fault.
The brat just went and finished his apprenticeship in record time. Moved into Hogwarts, became the new defense against the dark arts teacher. And then started harassing me. There was no other word for it. Not now and not back then. It had been annoying at best. All those smiles, all those enquiries after my wellbeing. I hadn't been accustomed to such behavior towards myself so it rather ... bemused me. Not that I would tell anybody that, mind you. I would rather kiss Lupin after his transformation.
With this decidedly disturbing image in my mind I stood up from the chair I was sitting in and walked over to the coffee machine to pour myself a cup. It would be my third one this Sunday morning, but who was counting ... The clock above the stove told me, that Harry was on his way home. I felt the corners of my mouth spread into a smile. It's peculiar that I was used to this reaction. Anticipated it even. So much had changed. I took a sip of the dark brew and leant against the counter. Waiting. And staring at the scissors on the table again.
So, Harry had been pestering me. And after some time I got used to it. It became part of my daily routine. The bickering between us was nothing new but in the past it had been done out of hatred. Now it had been done out of affection. The word had felt like a foul thing in my mouth. But, as so much else did, this also changed. Affection turned into friendship and friendship morphed gradually and sneakily into love. I had been furious with myself. Falling in love with Harry Potter? Not an option. Not even close. Harry Potter, as nice as he had been to me, would never even consider me, or so I thought. Not that I had needed him to. I had been content to live my life without him as a positive factor, the positive factor, in it.
But Harry had considered me. More than that. He had reciprocated my feelings, absurd as it was. And he still did. After five years he was still here and had yet to show signs of being fed up with me.
I looked up, as I heard Harry s yelling.
"Kitchen" I answered with a slightly raised voice.
I set down the mug and crossed my arms in front of my chest. It didn't take long and Harry entered the kitchen with a beaming smile on his face.
"Hi" he said and gave me a quick peck on the lips before he spotted the coffee and moaned in apparent satisfaction that there was still some left in the can. He was almost as addicted as I was.
"Hi, yourself" I answered and watched him with a raised eyebrow as he fixed his coffee with a ludicrous amount of sugar.
"Oh, don t look at me like that!" he cried out with indignation. "I m still growing. I need the sugar."
"I'm sure you do" I said drily and he swatted my arm, before taking a swig and looking as if he were in a state of total bliss.
"Have you been at the Weasley's?" I asked as I lowered myself into the chair again.
"Yeah. Hermione s pregnant. Finally. She was starting to get on my nerves with the topic."
Yes, I had known about that. Granger had had surprising difficulties to conceive a child. Surprising, because one had to consider that her husband was a Weasley. There were times when I wasn't even sure Arthur and Molly had procreated in the normal way. Using dark rituals seemed much more believable, especially when you got to know those awful children.
"Well. It seems we'll have to deal with another redheaded troublemaker at Hogwarts in a few years time" I said with a smirk.
"Merlin, don't remind me" Harry groaned and threw himself into the chair opposite of me. "Being friends with Ron and Hermione is great and all, but teaching their offspring ... I just hope he or she takes a bit more after Hermione." He frowned. "Or better ... not. Being smart and a troublemaker isn't a good combination. I couldn't have pulled off half the things I did, when I was a student, if it hadn't been for Mione." He shuddered dramatically and sent me a big grin.
"So ... what have you been up to today?"
"Nothing in particular. Although ..."
I hesitated and Harry frowned and leant forward as if to show me that I had his attention.
"Although I have been meaning to ask something of you."
"And what is that?"
I glanced at the scissors again before I picked them up.
"Are you able to cut hair?"
Harry blinked. "Huh?" he said rather unintelligently.
I seemed to have caught him off guard with this question. I was unable to hide the smirk that took my face over quickly.
"Do you have trouble with your hearing?"
"Uhm ... no. But ... Yeah. I can cut hair. I did it a lot for the boys in my dorm, actually."
I nodded. Good. I had counted on that. Because, even after all this time, cutting hair was still something wizards and witches had no spell for. At least, no spell that worked properly. There were still reported cases of cuts and disfigurement on people after they tried to get a haircut with the aid of magic. And I was rather attached to my ears, thank you very much.
"Then would you mind, if I asked you to cut mine?" I asked to finally end his confusion.
"What?" Harry more or less shrieked.
"Are you sure about your ability to hear? Because there seems to be growing evidence that you don t have it." My tone was teasing.
Harry let out a big breath of air, before he crossed his arms in front of his chest.
"Why do you want to have it cut? I mean, of course I ll do it, but I just want to know."
And wasn't that the question of the day? I pursed my lips and stared at the scissors while I contemplated what answer I should give to Harry. He deserved one, but I had no intention of getting all ... sappy, for the lack of a better word, while telling him. The problem was, the reason for my desire to have my hair cut short for the first time in my life, was sappy. Sappy as hell. And while I was sure that Harry wouldn't make fun of me, not too much at least, I also wanted to retain my dignity.
But the ultimate reason for me wanting to cut my hair was ... Harry. Because he had given me something, and was still giving it, that I had never had before in my life. He gave me pride. It was a good kind of pride, too. A kind that made me believe in myself. Not only in my abilities as a potions master, I always knew I was good in that field of work, but pride for the man I was and the life I was living at the moment. Pride for the house I had, pride for my students. I was proud, because I was able to make somebody like Harry love me and was actually capable of loving him back. Was proud that I could apparently make him happy.
And my hair ... my hair had always been a curtain that seemed to hide me from people. I had needed it, because I hadn't been proud of a lot of things concerning myself in the past. I was ashamed of my family. Ashamed that I was poor and not able to wear clothes that weren't hand-me-downs. I hated my looks, I loathed even my bookishness at times. But now ...
Now I had a family in Harry and, Merlin help me, the Weasleys and even that stupid werewolf. I wasn't enormously rich now, but I could afford the things I needed. The bookishness had been a great asset on my way to become a potions master and that was something I had always been able to be proud of. And well ... my looks were still something I wasn't too fond of. But I managed to be content despite of them. And one had to remember that Harry had chosen me above all other people, to be with him. Even if the brat insisted that my "silky voice" had done the trick. There are times when he was simply delusional, but regarding that it served me well, so I didn't complain.
I looked at Harry again, as he retrieved me from my thoughts. I smiled a crooked smile.
"I want it cut, because I don t need it."
Harry frowned at me again. My answer hadn't done anything to lessen his confusion.
"Not anymore" I continued. "The last five years have shown me that."
Harry s frown morphed into a thoughtful expression as he regarded me with apt attention. He licked his lips and leant forward again. I felt the gentle probing of his mind as he, more or less, knocked on my mental barriers. I rolled my eyes and lowered them. Let him look for the reason I asked this of him.
It didn't take him long to find the answers and as he did, a smile lighted up his face. It was not the brightest, or the most joyful I had ever received from him. But it sure was the gentlest one. Merlin help me ... Hadn't I wanted to try and not be pathetic and sappy?
Harry eased out of my mind again; his ridiculously colorful presence left me with trained skill. When Harry had been fifteen I would have bet that he would never master Occlumency and Legilimency. But I had been wrong about a lot of things back then. Even if it pained me to admit that.
"Well ... shall we start?" I asked to finally get things going.
"Sure" Harry answered in a chipper tone and took the scissors from my hand. I leaned back in my chair and sighed while I listened to the sound of Harry's steps as he stood up and came to stand behind me. He put a hand on my shoulder and squeezed it in an attempt to reassure me, I thought. I didn't need it, but was grateful nonetheless.
Harry transfigured something, I didn't see what it was, into a white sheet of cloth which he put around me.
"Gonna start now" he warned me.
A second later the clipping began. I closed my eyes and listened. Trusting that Harry wouldn't make me look too ridiculous. It was quiet in the kitchen. We didn't talk. All that could be heard was the sound of scissors flicking and cutting through hair. And the faint sound of our breathing, his and mine. Not in the least in sync, but who cared about that kind of thing? It wasn t important. Important was the easy silence between us. We didn't need to talk all the time. We had been together for five years. A lot of people bored each other to death after such an amount of time. But not me and Harry. It was alright if we had nothing to tell each other sometimes. It was a refuge for me. Not to talk after a day of teaching. After a life that was overloaded with speech and eloquence.
It didn't take long for Harry to finish. There was a last small sound of the scissors and Harry s hand touched my head and wiped some lose hair off it.
"Done" he announced.
And that was it. I hadn't thought the whole matter would be over so fast. So unceremonious. Cutting off my hair had seemed like such a big step. But I realized that perhaps it wasn't. People did it all the time. I was no exception to the rule. I opened my eyes and saw a lot of black hair lying on the white sheet.
"Evanesco" Harry said and the hair vanished.
I straightened and Harry walked around me and leaned his back on the edge of the table. He seemed to scrutinize me with his narrowed green eyes. Then he moved forward and threaded his fingers through my, now, short hair. It felt spectacularly different. It felt spectacularly good. Harry tilted his head to the side as he stroked my hair and smiled a mischievous smile.
"It suits you."
And that was all I needed to hear.
Reviews? Thoughts? Anything? Please? ^^