Characters: Harry Potter and Charlie Weasley.
Prompt: #2 - Damage.
Notes: I've never written this pairing - any of these pairings, in fact - and poor Harry's getting thrown about a bit here. This is a Muggle AU - everybody say oooohhh. But I sincerely hope that you're all still enjoying this!
You look out of the window.
You put in your earphones and hum along. The person next to you gives you a dirty look, but otherwise stays silent. You munch on a licorice allsort.
The world has crashed around you; you have been torn from the people you count as family, ripped away from your girlfriend, stolen from your friends, all for the sake of a love affair and a promise of forever. You are damaged goods, now.
"Sir," someone asks softly beside you. You take out an earphone, and look up at the woman. She's pretty; tired, obviously, but pretty. She doesn't belong on this budget airline, serving tea and coffee to snoring passengers and rowdy children. She holds a tray daintily.
You think of asking for tea, but tea reminds you of -
"No, thank you." You smile at her, but it fades as soon as she gives a relieved sigh and turns her back. You are damaged.
You wear contacts - coloured blue for effect, as not to be recognised - but they don't hide the purple-tinted shadows underneath. Your hands shake as you change the song. The aeroplane rumbles beneath you, and the seatbelt sign flashes. It begins to move.
On the outside, you are a perfectly normal man who's probably off visiting a beautiful girlfriend or rich relative or just travelling the world.
On the inside, you're a famous, damaged coward running away from the truth and forever.
You and Charlie; you are equals. You understand the damage one can do alone, but that need to be away. When Charlie arrived at the Burrow that summer, you had been enthralled and engaged to his baby sister.
It didn't stop you - maybe it should have.
You got caught, and Charlie was one more stolen kiss away from being disowned. You weren't welcome at the Burrow anymore. But Charlie was due to leave for Romania, where he worked with mysterious and rare animals, just one week after your revelation.
He told you that he was scared; he said he couldn't do it alone. But you couldn't leave with him; you couldn't go to Romania, run away from all the people who still needed you.
So Charlie left without you, and your forever didn't last so long after all.
You stayed, and you tried to fix the damage you had both done. Molly looks at you now, and Ron can stand to stay in a room with you, after Hermione's gentle coaching. You don't know where Ginny is. You doubt you will for a while.
But it's progress.
You stand, stretch, and leave your seat. You stumble down the narrow aisle until you reach the toilets - you tear open one of the doors, lock it behind you, and slump against the wall. You begin to breathe loudly, and take out you mobile from your pocket.
"Expecto Patronum!" You hiss, and your wallpaper, a little stag, pops up on the screen. It's been your pass code for years, just a mess of jumbled Latin that means protect me or something like that.
You whisper a message into the receiver after hastily punching in a number, and the screen flickers with silvery smoke, then disappears. You fiddle with the packet of cigarettes in your back pocket. The smoke alarm beeps above you and you silence it with a glare.
I'm not coming back.
They'll get your message; they'll understand what it means. The stag returns, without a little beep or flash or anything, really, and you know that all is well. The damage has been fixed.
You return to your seat with a sigh, and watch as England begins to fade from sight; Romania is only a few hours away. You haven't given up yet.
You deserve your forever.