Still by sick-atxxheart

For rhythmical
Character: Katie Bell; prompts: before dawn, cracked & kept.

It's four in the morning, and the Common Room is startlingly empty. She sits alone, staring at the dying embers in the fireplace, and wishes that the morning would hurry up and arrive. It's just before dawn, the time when the memories lurk and the ghosts haunt.

She shivers and looks down once more at the object in her hand. It broke months ago, how many she doesn't care to remember, and yet she still holds on to it.

Yet she still holds onto herself.

She remembers the feeling quite clearly, of being flung up in the air, her body writhing with pain and practically begging to be let go. It's all she can do to forget being hurled mercilessly back to the Earth, broken by the impact and the curse.

Another shiver appears, and she sighs and wishes that the fire were warmer. She wishes that someone else would be awake, that someone else could understand the significance of what she holds in her hand.

Shattered glass. That's all it is, but no matter how many times she tries to tell that to herself, she still doesn't believe it. It may just be shattered glass, but it was once a mirror – a mirror that showed her the end of life as she knew it, a mirror that revealed horrors beyond her imagination.

They had given her the mirror when she had entered St. Mungo's, once they determined she was stable. She had had to beg for it, asking repeatedly if she could just see what she looked like – to see what damage had been done. As soon as they had handed it to her and she had taken one good, long look, she hurled the mirror across the room. It shattered into pieces, and she had stared at the pile of glass for days before finally asking someone to pick up the shards.

The mirror is beyond cracked, beyond repair. She can barely see herself in the largest piece, and yet she still keeps it.

What it represents, she isn't sure. She likes to think that it reminds her she is still living, that she is no longer the unrecognizable person the mirror had first revealed. Her gut keeps insisting that she is just holding onto the past, but she steadfastly ignores that suggestion.

She looks out the window. It is getting lighter outside, but darkness still lingers, enough to frighten her. At this time of day, all she wants is dawn. All she wishes for is light.

A noise behind her startles her, and she is surprised to see Harry standing there, looking awkward. "Do you mind if I sit down?" He says, glancing at the armchair next to her. She shakes her head.

The silence is awkward but not uncomfortable. She feels rather intimately connected with Harry, as she knows that out of anyone, he could understand the desperate, controlling amount of pain she was subjected to. She can't help but look at him pleadingly, asking him to say something.

When he does, it's not what she expected.

"What are you holding?" He asks quietly, leaning forwards toward her, looking interested.

She bites her lip, pondering whether or not to respond. Finally, she holds up the glass. "A piece of a broken mirror," she whispers, wondering if he will ask further. He doesn't, only looks contemplative. A moment later, he stands.

"I'll be right back," he says, smiling at her. He disappears up into his dormitory and returns a moment later, something hidden in the palm of his right hand.

He comes up next to her, and she moves over so he can sit next to her on the couch. They are silent for another moment before he opens his hand to reveal a piece of glass similar to hers. Another piece of a broken mirror. Another broken memory.

She gasps and glances at him, her eyes wide, his green eyes solemn. She doesn't ask what the story behind his broken mirror is, just as he doesn't ask hers.

They are silent once more until Harry speaks. "Look," he says, moving his piece of mirror to line up next to hers. They can just see themselves reflected in the joined pieces of glass. The mirror shimmers in the rising light, and she shivers once more.

"You're still here, Katie," he whispers. "You're still you."

She stares for a moment longer before nodding slowly. "I'm still me," she whispers back, finally smiling.

Dawn breaks, and she puts the mirror away.