lysander/molly, nonlinear one shot
dedicated to mad (chasingafterstarlight), because she is literally the best person I've ever had the pleasure of knowing
"tried to kiss the emptiness, lost the line between sky and sea,
I feel the sun coming up"
- the fray, "the wind"
He likes to pretend she's still alive.
Sometimes they lay underneath the shade of the old willow tree near Hagrid's hut together. He's always got a flask in his pocket and she's got more than enough cigarettes for the both of them. They don't label the place as theirs out loud, but they don't have to, really, because they know without speaking that's exactly what it is.
"You're going to get lung cancer," he comments one day, as he pushes aside the over-grown branches of Frankie - Molly decided the tree needed a name and Lysander was never one to say no to a girl (or maybe he was never one to say no to Molly) - and spots her leaning against the trunk with a clove cigarette in her mouth.
She grins her toothy grin and rolls her eyes playfully.
"Says the guy who drinks more tequila than water?" Even though it comes out like one, they both know it's not a question.
"Touché," Lysander mutters, moving to sit down beside her. He stretches his long limbs out and glances over at her, frowning once he notices the tear stains on her smiling face - and that's the thing about Molly Weasley; she's stronger than anyone he knows. "You okay?"
Molly presses her lips together in a thin pink line and nods wordlessly, before taking another puff of her cigarette.
Lysander doesn't believe her - he rarely believes her when she tells him she's okay, because he knows underneath her bright colored clothes and happy smiles, she's a wreck, and when he does, it's only because he wants so badly for it to be true. But he doesn't speak now, he just wraps his arm around her should, cursing himself when butterflies fill the pit of his stomach as she leans her head onto his shoulder.
Everyone says they're in love with each other - they say they can see it; that it's ohso obvious. They wonder aloud why the two aren't snogging in broom closets and holding hands under the tables, but Lysander knows.
Most days they don't believe in love, but on the odd day that they do believe in it, it's too scary of a thing to even venture near, so they don't; so they steer clear of it.
It's easier that way. Or, so that's what Molly says, but Lysander isn't so sure.
"I am so drunk!" Molly cries, leaning onto an equally wasted Lysander for support. He shushes her, telling her they'll get caught, but she just grins and shrugs her shoulders, before she leans up and looks at him with those puppy eyes of hers. "Let's go swimming!" She cries happily and Lysander can't help but smile.
"Okay," he breathes.
Something in the back of his mind is telling him not to do this - not to go swimming when they're both too drunk to walk straight, let alone swim. But before he can question it, she's already farther ahead of him, runningrunningrunning towards the Black Lake, stripping her clothes off all the way.
And as she dives into the water, looking more and more like an angel, the thought is gone and he's chasing after her, diving right in behind her
Sometimes he lays awake at night and stares up at his ceiling. He doesn't scream anymore, not the way he used to, with his words harsh and loud, cursing her for leaving him here to face the world alone; but he knows now it wasn't Molly's fault and he can't blame her.
Lorcan's words echo in his mind,
"It wasn't your fault."
But then he remembers Lucy looking at him from behind Lorcan, her eyes filled with tears and hate, and he wants to screamscreamscream at the top of his lungs - then who's fault was it?
(He can't blame her, but he can blame himself)
They spend the last day of summer together, in a little muggle ice cream shop near her house.
"You've got a little something right-" she points to his top lip through her laughter and he grins and rolls his eyes at her, before dipping his finger in the whipped cream and chocolate sauce on his sundae and smearing it over her top lip.
"Not so funny now, huh?" He grins, and she scowls at him, but there's this playful twinkle in her eyes.
He watches as she grabs her own half-eaten sundae and throws it in his face. "Oh, no, it's still plenty funny!" And even though the ice cream is cold and sticky on his face, he's laughing harder than he's ever laughed before, because Molly Weasley tends to have that effect on him.
He grabs his own sundae and she jumps up from the table and runs, with him chasing after her, only pausing to throw some muggle money down for the bill. She's really fast, but a lot shorter than Lysander, and he catches up to her with ease, tackling her gently to the ground.
Suddenly he can't fight those feelings anymore - can't deny what they both know. She's too close, too intoxicating, and he can't stop himself.
He leans down and presses his lips to hers, and she kisses him back eagerly, her hands tangling up in his curly brown hair - and that's how he likes to remember her; laying there on the dewy grass together, his lips on hers, with her laughter still echoing in his head.
Sometimes, he has the same nightmare, three, four times in a night. It's always the same one - they're swimming and then she's gone and he's panicked and suddenly sobered and trying to find her, not caring if he wakes up the whole school.
The worse part of the dream is always the ending - he always saves her in the dream, the way he never did in real life; the way he should have saved her.
He can't tell if the saving is metaphoric or literal, or maybe it's both.
Her lips are warm on his and she's murmuring something he can't comprehend, because her hands are under his shirt and his are trailing lower and lower down her body and she's not stopping him. He's on fire - his every emotion amplified, and that's just the way Molly always makes him feel.
They have sex that night, underneath the same willow tree that they spend most of their afternoons under, getting drunk and cursing the world.
And he's no virgin, but when he's with her, she makes him feel like it's the first time all over again.
They're swimming. The lake is murky and cold, and Lysander is still convinced this was a bad idea, but she's laughing so hard and her smile is so wide and he can't bring himself to ruin that smile - to bring her down. Those smiles of hers, they're so rare these days, and he can't mess with that.
So he doesn't.
He swims even though he can hardly keep his head up and he tries his hardest to keep and eye on Molly, but she's diving underwater and doing all these complicated flips and suddenly, she doesn't come back up.
He doesn't realize how much he loves her until he can't hold her hand or kiss her lips. He doesn't realize how much he loves her until she's gone and he hates himself for never really realizing how lucky he was before.
In front of their friends, he wears a steely mask, because he can't be weak; he shouldn't be weak, it's his fault she's dead. But when he lays in his bed at night, he sobs to himself, because she's gone and he's alone and he doesn't want to live without her.
"I love you," he murmurs against her lips as if those words are nothing, but he can tell they aren't because she suddenly freezes up and pulls away to look him in the eye.
That's the first thing he sees. And he knows why - because before, love was uncharted territory; it was something they both refused to fall into, for it could only ever end bad. They both spend plenty of their time ridiculing those people who held each others hands and stared into each others eyes goofily.
Lysander wants to tell her that this was never apart of the plan - that he didn't exactly mean to fall in love with her, and also that she never made it easy for him not to, but he doesn't. He couldn't - how do you open your mouth and speak, again?
And just when he thinks he's blown it, she smiles and kisses him again and he thinks maybe this might mean she loves him too.
Someone is screaming - their voice loud and shrill, screaming her name over and over again. He wants to tell them to shut the fuck up, but then he realizes, it's him that's screaming and he doesn't know how to stop.
His Mum rushes in, like she has for the past week, and grabs a hold of Lysander. She doesn't talk, she just holds him as he sobs. He had another nightmare - the same one, and it makes him sick to his stomach.
"She should have survived," he manages to whisper to his Mum through is loud sobs. He doesn't say how it's not fair - how he can't survive without her; how the sorrow is choking him up and weighing down hard on his lungs, making it increasingly difficult for him to breath.
He doesn't say anything, besides she should have survived.
His Mum holds him tighter to her and nods, "I know, sweetheart, I know."
"She loved you," Lucy says to him one day, appearing behind him out of the blue, her green eyes pensive and her wild curly hair a mess of scarlet flying out behind her from the wind. He thinks for a second she could pass for Molly, if she was a bit older, and a bit more cynical. But then he banishes the thought from his head.
It's the first time they talk since the day Molly died, and he's shocked she's even talking to him at all. "I thought you hated me?" He asks, taking a puff of the cigarette in his hands.
"I did," she admits, sliding her hands into the pockets of her jeans. "But then I realized that she loved you. That you made her the happiest I've ever seen her, that you were the reason she lived as long as she did, and I couldn't hate you anymore."
She sits down on the bench beside him and shakes her head when he offers her a puff of his cigarette - Molly always said that if she was the demon child, her younger sister was definitely the saint; what always amazed Lysander was the way she'd say it - without jealousy, without anger for not being enough for her parents, the way Lucy always was, just pure honesty and like it didn't even bother her. There's a silence, and it's not awkward, like Lysander would expect - it's actually a pretty comfortable silence.
"I love -loved, I mean- her." Lysander says suddenly, his words cutting through their silence. He glances up at Lucy with dark eyes and when she nods wordlessly, he knows she believes him.
"Good," Lucy says, before she stands up.
"She loved you," he says it so softly, she almost doesn't hear him, but she does hear him and she smiles, and turns to look back at him.
"I loved her too," and then she disappears into the night and Lysander almost smiles because maybe he's not as alone with these feelings as he originally thought.
"Do you ever wonder how it'd feel to die?"
Her words are slurred thanks to the alcohol in her system and he's shocked to his core at her unsettling question. When he doesn't speak, she takes it as a sign to continue.
"I do," she admits. "A lot." At his alarmed expression, she shakes her head and takes another swallow of the bitter vodka in her hand. "I'm not suicidal, Ly - I don't think so, at least," she says honestly. "I just… I just wonder, you know? If this is it," she gestures to the world around them. "If this is all we have, one life, here on earth, one chance to live. If there's a heaven or a hell, an afterlife - or if we're all reincarnated."
He's not too shocked to find himself hanging onto ever word that comes tumbling out of that pretty pink mouth of hers. She, of course, doesn't notice - they're best friends and he could never want her like that.
"I just want to know that there is more than this - more than life and then death. Because if there isn't, then that's pretty damn boring, you know?"
And he nods, because he does know.
She's gone, under a sheet of murky lake water, he's certain, and he can't find her. Panic floods his body and he's screamingscreamingscreaming, praying she's okay, praying someone will hear, praying to a God he doesn't believe in that she's alive.
But after a minute turns to five he knows that might not be true. He's ducking under the water and searching for her, and then coming back up to scream, before ducking back under again, before finally, his hands grasp her cold wrist and he pulls and pulls and pulls.
It's not until he's above the water that he sees a large cut on her head and realizes she must have hit her head on the rocked when she jumped in that last time. He pulls her out, and he tries to do CPR. He's stopped screaming out loud by now, but he's still screaming in his head.
Screaming at God and at Molly but mostly at himself.
She doesn't wake up and he doesn't want to admit it to himself, but she's not breathing (he can't bare to say the 'd' word), so he does the only thing he can. He picks her up and takes her to the willow tree and he lays her under the branches of Frankie. It's only then that he allows himself to rest his head on her chest and cry.
He stands on the edge of the astronomy tower and stares down.
Most people would get nervous or scared from being so close to the edge, but not Lysander, never Lysander. Because, see, Lysander is a thrill seeker and a risk taker. He smokes cigarettes and drinks alcohol. Lysander doesn't care, not the way he used to, not anymore.
So he stares down, inches away from the edge, wondering how it would feel - to no longer be in control. To no longer have the memories of her weighing him down like an anchor; to be free of this regret.
To free fall.
Lucy and Lorcan find them in the morning, after they don't show up for breakfast or any of their classes, and he'll never forget the look on her face - the sound of that scream; it's one of the things that'll stay with him for the rest of his life.
He stumbles over his explanation to them, tears stinging his eyes.
Lorcan runs back to Hogwarts, stumbling over his feet and obviously still in shock, to tell someone, anyone, but Lucy just stands there, shocked, expressionless. But he can see through her mask, to the unsure, afraid, and broken. He knows that mask - he is that mask.
So he stands up without a word and hugs her. And she screams and cries and calls him all these names, but he just stands there and doesn't let go and finally she sinks into his warm embrace without a word.
He doesn't go to the funeral.
He can't face it - can't face her family's sad eyes and her fathers' tears and her sisters' heart broken sobs. He can face the looks her friends will give him and the glares her cousin will send his way. He can't face it, so he hides away under the old willow and drinks the day away.
He's going home later - his Mum is coming to get him and he's going home and even though he can't be more excited about that, about getting away from all of the memories this place holds and the looks he receives every day, he can't shake the feeling he's running away from this.
But right now, he's too (messedupheartbrokenangrysad) wasted to care.
He doesn't commit suicide.
He considers it, several times - because life without Molly, it's not life at all. But then he decides, he doesn't deserve to die; he doesn't deserve an escape from this place, from the thoughts and the memories. He deserves to live his life, the life that's filled to the brim with regret and anger, and mostly sadness.
He deserves to suffer, because he didn't save her.
So he steps back from the edge (more times than he can count), and he turns to walk away.
He shows Lucy Frankie one day - shows her what he and Molly used to do. It's been a year since Molly died and they're both so broken it's not funny, and maybe Lysander should know that Lorcan is better for Lucy than Lysander is - because two broken people don't make a whole - but he can't let her go.
Because, sometimes, he likes to pretend she's still alive. And when he's with Lucy, he can do that. He can close his eyes and pretend Lucy is Molly - pretend Molly is still alive, withering underneath him, drenched in sweat and panting his name.
He calls her Molly, and she digs her nails into his back the way Molly used to do and pretends she didn't hear it, even though they both know she did.
When they finished, and they're laying naked, side by side, staring up at the trees, Lysander wants to laugh. Molly thought she was nothing at all - but she wasn't nothing; she was everything, and her death affected so many people, but really, it affected Lucy and Lysander the most.
She would have been happy they were leaning on each other after it all, though she probably wouldn't have approved of the sex.
The thought makes Lysander want to laugh, so he does, and Lucy's looking at him like he's insane, but then she grins and laughs too and soon their laughing hard and long, and without even realizing it they're letting everything go - they're letting Molly go.
Lysander grabs her warm hand in his as they finish, and she squeezes his hand in hers.
"We'll be okay," she breathes, "we'll be okay," and there, under the old willow tree, right as the sun slips away and it becomes dusk, for the first time since Molly died, Lysander believes they actually will be okay.
a/n: 3k! :D not nearly as much as your usual 10k, but hey, 3k is a lot for me ;) I hope you liked it, maddy! 3 and everyone else, please no favourites without a review!