A/N: Written for Ellie (s i l v e r a u r o r a)'s "weird" pairings challenge at the Next-Gen Fanatics forum.
Prompts: the fragility of dreams, pride, intuition, seven silk dresses
and i'm a bad boy, 'cause i don't even miss her
i'm a bad boy for breakin' her heart
and i'm free, free fallin', fallin'
[free fallin'; john mayer]
He secretly steals glances at her every day, and she always looks the exact same - tidy dress shirt and skirt, hair tied up in a neat ponytail, with the exact same expression of determination set on her face.
But then again - she's always been about sticking to deadlines and routines.
On the outside, she's this huge bundle of ignorance and a hot temper, and he's amazed at how she keeps her walls built up so high and how gullible people can be if he's the only one who seems to see right through her.
It doesn't take her long to catch him staring one day in Potions class, which is odd, because he's always been the quiet and reserved one, and no one ever really sees him, especially not her.
He's mentally cursing himself for what he's gotten into, because she's actually looking at him now.
He looks away and readies himself for the inevitable storm.
When nothing happens, he can only believe that it's those few split seconds of calm and foreboding before the actual storm, even though she's never been about wasting time by keeping her thoughts to herself.
When she catches up with him after class, he can't help but be surprised, because they've exchanged less than ten words over the course of six years at Hogwarts and various family gatherings.
The first thought that crosses his mind is how weird it is for her to start talking (or yelling, whatever she intends to do) to him now.
"Lysander?" her crystal clear voice rings out from behind him, and he stops in his tracks, wondering if the storm was late or if this is something else entirely.
She apparently takes his halt in walking as a signal to continue talking. "You're good at Potions, ya know?" she mentions carelessly, now face-to-face with him.
"Uh - thank you?" he mumbles, and since he has absolutely no clue what he's doing, runs a quick hand through his already messy hair and then looks into those brilliant blue eyes that are assessing him modestly.
"You should help me with them sometime," she says alluringly, and they both know that's a load of bullshit at its best, because she's the top of their entire year and the last thing she'd ever need help with is Potions.
Her ridiculous comment gives him a boost of confidence, of all things, and he's moving closer to her, catching the beginnings of a smile on her face.
Her lips crash into his sooner than he expects, and for a moment they're only fire and perfection, two things that they both know they're not at all and never will be, and in that one moment of brilliant illusion, it's so much easier for him to accept that they were definitely meant to be.
When they break apart, breathless, he says, "How did you know?"
She rolls her eyes and replies, "You were the clueless one, not me," before pulling him in for another kiss, and he relishes the fact that she's taking the initiative, because he can barely comprehend that this isn't just another hopeless dream.
She takes a break from reading and being an over-achiever and he takes a break from dreaming and being Lorcan's overshadowed little brother (only by a few minutes, but his brother has taken up the habit of constantly reminding him of this minor fact), and somehow, they mash their fragmented lives into something that seems more complete.
When they spend lots of time together in a manner that can only be deemed cliché, he finds out that she's not all cut out to be what everyone automatically assumes about her.
She can be calm and not always on-guard when she's with him, and although they sometimes hold intelligent discussions, most of the time they can sit in a tranquil silence without it being awkward.
She starts to talk to him about everything, and that's when he realizes she actually cares about him, and actually trusts him.
At first, the prospect frightens him, because he's never experienced anything like this before, but he opens up to her too, and eventually they stumble upon the fact that they aren't very different - both Ravenclaws, both under enormous pressure for whatever silly reason their families have indirectly given them, both quiet on the inside (although he's quiet on the outside, too, much to her constant disapproval when she claims people are trying to take advantage of him).
She's only herself with him, he finds. With most of the others, she's loud and a bit obnoxious, although she would never admit it without her pride getting in the way.
He feels kind of special, being one of the only people that she can open up to, but doubts that they'll always remain this way.
They near their six-month anniversary, and when she formally invites him to come to Victoire's wedding with her in a few months, his first reaction of appreciation is completely forgotten when he realizes the deeper meaning of the invitation, and then he's all nerves, no excitement.
Because this is the Weasley family that he's dealing with for the first time as the official "boyfriend", and Merlin, he's going to get unanswerable questions and suspicious looks and "Don't you dare hurt our little girl," and it might just be too much for one boy to handle all at once.
He doesn't tell her that, of course, but (un)happily accepts, because she's Rose Weasley - his Rose Weasley, and he can do almost anything to put a smile on her face.
She hugs him and after giving him a quick peck on the cheek, walks away claiming the excuse of lots of homework, and he watches her, feeling nervous that the extra bounce in her step is caused by him, when in fact she doesn't have the same effect on him in the slightest.
So he goes to the wedding over the summer, and just as he expected, receives more than just a few dirty glares and flat welcomes of "Lysander Scamander," from her cousins and uncles, but it's all worth it for the look on her face when she practically skips around introducing him to everyone, their hands interwined.
He watches her silently (he's gotten good at it over the years) as the wedding ceremony and vows take place. He can't help but notice how bright her red curls look today, or how the blue silk dress she's wearing accentuates her every curve (he now notes the benefits of sitting through a three-hour session of her trying on seven different silk dresses the day before, promising to wear the one that he liked best).
But most of all, he sees it in her eyes when she watches Victoire Weasley and Teddy Lupin exchange rings - those impossible dreams sparkling in them, and suddenly, she looks a lot more fragile than she did a mere second ago.
He knows - he just knows, based on pure intuition that she and her dreams are so breakable, and it's going to kill him if he's ever the one breaking them.
She turns to him and smiles as Teddy and Victoire share their first kiss as husband and wife, her eyes shimmering with hope and expecting so much of him, and he can make an educated guess based on her beaming face that she definitely wants all of this one day, too.
He also knows that he'll never be able to give it to her, and it's just meant to be that he's going to be the one breaking every single one of her fragile dreams.
They start to go downhill, as all couples do, but he knows that this time, it's never going to come back up.
It's all angry yelling and unproven accusations, and he hates it, because he wants his Rose back, the one that can lie next to him in the grass and just forget about everything.
He certainly doesn't want this Rose, the one who's always on edge because of an essay she lost two marks on or because of the antics of some Malfoy boy.
But it's evident that this is the Rose that is going to surface the majority of the time, and he should be the caring, understanding boyfriend and hold her in his arms and tell her it's all going to be okay.
But he can't.
He feels so selfish, slamming the door in her face and telling her he can't deal with her everyday tantrums anymore, because it's not supposed to be this way - he should be supporting her, being her strength, not her weakness.
But he'll never be that boy, because he needs more supporting from her than she'll ever need from him.
It hurts him a lot to break it off with her (not really, though) and he doesn't even know why he's doing it in the first place.
Maybe because there's no spark.
Maybe because he can't handle her anymore.
Maybe because he's seen (and always known) that she's head-over-heels in love with someone else.
But most likely, it's because they're both too similar, too fragile individually and together to keep this going for much longer.
And if he doesn't do it, then it was eventually just going to crash and burn on its own to become that depressing tragedy that no one even remembers a year later. (So isn't it better to get it over with now?)
So he does, and she cries (he can barely believe how fast she breaks, and he knows this is the result of her being under his influence for too long), resists it, and then accepts.
After that, they never say a single word to each other.
The guilt radiates off him in waves, and he can never find a comfortable point in his life again, not when she's there and not there at the same time, constantly evading his presence like a plague.
He's long over her, but he'll never be over the guilt - he feels like he's cheating on her in some way when she's all alone again with her walls up even higher than they were before and he's broken out of his shell, snogging her cousin in empty broom cupboards every now and again.
When she runs off with Scorpius a year later, he doesn't feel a hint of jealousy or hurt, because he never even loved her.
But that doesn't change the biggest truth of his life –
– that he's still dying from guilt for breaking her heart what seems to be eons ago, even though he relives the moment every single night before he goes to sleep, and every single morning when he wakes up.
Maybe he always was the fragile one, after all.
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