Exes and Ohs

Disclaimer: I don't own the characters… though I wish desperately that I did.

Author's Note: Just a short little piece I wrote to cheer myself after studying for a mortgage licensing exam all week. A bit ironic that this cheered me up… But what's left to say aside from please read, enjoy, and review.

He'd loved her from the moment he'd first laid his eyes on her.

They'd been mere children, standing on the platform that would take them away. To the place that would change their lives forever. And if he'd only known then what he knew now… if you'd told that eleven year old boy what it would feel like to breathe every breath for her, to open his eyes each morning just to see her.

Well, maybe he would have tried to convince his younger self not to step onto that train at all.

But that's just the irony of it… because if he'd never gotten on the train he would have never known what it felt like to be in love. And his was a life that would have been an awful, terrible waste if he'd never been able to comprehend that particular emotion.

He'd watched her from afar as the Sorting Hat was placed atop her vibrant red head, spilling carelessly over her ears and hiding her magnificent emerald eyes from the rest of the Great Hall. When that hat had proclaimed Lily Evans a Gryffindor… well, he'd damn near begged the hat to make a place in her house for him, as well.

And after it had…

The boy had occupied himself with plotting the most elaborate pranks Hogwarts had ever seen; with his best friends they set out on a quest to break every rule in the book. Showering his professors with sarcastic comments, wandering around the corridors after hours, hexing the students who grew increasingly younger than himself with each passing year… all of it in an attempt to catch her eye.

But she'd never stopped drawing his attention.

It had been innocent, at first… his attraction to her; the way her red hair fell in waves down her back and the way those emerald eyes would catch his when he least expected them to. But he'd eventually started noticing her accomplishments, as well… and had patiently made his own successes as compliment to her own.

Eventually she had noticed him, the raven-haired boy supposed, though she'd never actually called him by his name. Instead, she had replaced it with so many others he'd nearly lost track. Among her favorites were conceited, arrogant. A git. Toerag. Prat; anything really, it didn't matter. Just so long as her eyes glared fire and daggers up at him and her tiny fists clenched at her sides…

He'd treasured them all, those names, because each one confirmed she'd been aware of him.

And eventually she'd come to like him; even love him in her own way.

But, in the end, he supposed he should have just felt lucky to have had even a moment of her friendship… dear envy was he so selfish that he honestly wanted more?

By the time he'd entertained that fact that maybe, just maybe, she could return his feelings… well, it hadn't taken him the entirety of the seven years that he'd known her to realize that he just couldn't shake away his feelings… not after so long.

He'd never forget what it had been like, watching her walk down the aisle in that creamy white dress that wouldn't have looked so beautiful on anyone but her. Their eyes had met, that day; he just knew… And his heart had nearly burst when she'd told him she was pregnant… that it was a boy, and she was just so happy. She'd been dreaming of him, her baby, for her entire life.

…the time had passed like it was nothing. Like it had been only yesterday that he'd watched her board the train from that platform. Only yesterday since they'd departed for the biggest adventure of their lives.

But it wasn't their life to share, he knew as he stared down into the brilliant green eyes of his godson for the first time. And the little boy stared up at him through the shaggy black hair he had inherited from his father.

"Alright, Harry?" he'd murmured, watching as the tiny baby snuggled against his chest. And the faint beginnings of a smile, caught somewhere between happiness and bitterness, tugged at the corners of his lips.