a / n — Well, I was feeling fairly fond of this when I first wrote it, but now that I've re-read it a few times, I'm not really sure how I feel about it. But, GideonMarlene has to be one of my favorite Marauders-era pairings, and there's not nearly enough of it, so I figured I'd contribute anyway. If the style seems more florid than usual, I completely blame my Literary Analysis class and all the Victorian novellas that have been shoved down my throat. Gosh, I things from the Victorian era, but I love things about the Victorian era. Not that that has any bearing on this drabble. Well, I'd love to hear what you think. :)
warning — Some dubious verb tenses. It was kind of weird trying to blend past and present tense, and there might be a few places where it's off.
for — Jen, even though HP isn't usually her cup of tea, but without her constant beratings, I shudder to think about what sort of unproductive heap I'd been lying in. /melodrama.

the spaces between fingers

It is only after the fact that she realizes she is in love with him, and it is the very sort of thing he would have found hilarious. He had always been telling her, with that awful dimple in his cheek as he said it, "I'll sweep you off your feet one day, 'Lene, just you wait," and now that it has finally happened, she can just imagine the look on his face.

The skin would crinkle around his blue, blue eyes, and his teeth would glint mischievously from behind his lips, and he would try to kiss her, grinning.

But he's not here to laugh at it, and he's never so much as kissed her, and of course it isn't really his face she sees (an image flashes across her mind, feathery and frantic like the beat of a hummingbird's wings against her skull, of bloodless lips and curse-blistered skin and the Gideon that is not Gideon but a corpse), and she is left alone in a lightless flat to wonder at the cruelty of it all.

Somewhere in the empty spaces there is sobbing, but it cannot be hers because she is much too empty to be filling spaces on a whim.

She never once believed in love, and never dared to ask for it, and to have it thrust on her like this is more than she can bear, and the whole thing has hollowed her out quite thoroughly in that metaphoric way that poets romanticize, but only makes her wince.

"Gideon," she says, "Gideon," like a whisper-prayer-plea.

Magic, she knows, is a straightforward sort of thing, nothing like poetry or love. You incant what you want and you have it, and it's easy and simple and fair.

"Gideon," she says, again, and many times more, with the force of mending and a thousand thoughts behind it. She thinks, 'magic is all about the intent,' and it's true.

But it's not really a spell she's casting, and Gideon isn't really coming back.