Disclaimer: I don't own HP or any of these characters. That belongs to JKR, Scholastic Books, Warner Brothers, etc. This is just something to pass the time while waiting for the next book.

Author's note: Alas has messed up the original formatting of this fic, and I can no longer align things to the right. It really does make a big difference, and this is not how I intended this fic to look like. Please go to fictionalley where my author name is Yumi or to my yahoo!group, hpdaydreams, to see how this really should look like. There's a link to my y!group in my profile, and I've also posted the second part to this fic there. Thanks.


Take a hand. Place it against your chest and breathe.

That's life you feel beneath your hand.

Don't ever forget that.

Of course wizards and witches go to school too.

When we think of magic, we think that it can do anything. We think that it can solve all our problems and cure all our ills.

Real magic is more mundane.

It has to be taught. It follows rules. It takes hard work to cast spells – and magic can't fix everything. It has to be trained and locked up for its holder to use.

Up north and hidden away from prying eyes, there's a castle where young wizards and witches go to learn how to use their powers. Way up high, in one of its towers, there is a girl sitting by a window and looking outside.

She is a witch. She's learning to train her magic and call it to heel. She's been doing this for several years and she's quite good.

She's not much to look at. Yes, she's pretty – with her brown hair and brown eyes. Not beautiful but pretty. She makes you want to look at her again.

It's almost like magic but it's not.

Perhaps it's her eyes that draw people in. They're wondrously alive although they're the most common shade of brown. One look at them and everyone knows she's a brain. She's the top of her class, that's what most people would guess. And when they see a flicker of pain mar those lovely, lovely eyes, they think that this is the curse of genius – she thinks too much.

But take your hand. Place it against her chest. Feel the life beating within.

And realize her curse is that she cares too much.

If you leave your hand on your chest, you can feel the constant pounding of your heart, hard at work to bring air to every part of you.

Air is what gives life after all.

Giving life, however, is not the only thing that the heart is known for, as it's oft believed to be the center of feelings.

Is it really so surprising that life and love are so entwined?

Take a closer look at the room she's in. On the table by her side, there sit two boys, both busy studying. One has messy hair that is a deep midnight black while the other's hair is the shade of burnished copper.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out there's something between the girl and these boys.

Maybe it's in the air.

What is a kiss?

A kiss is simply two people,
their mouths joined together,
sharing air.

Sharing life.

Sharing love.

Realize that if a kiss is simply sharing air, sharing life, sharing love, then one can kiss someone without touching at all.

She's kissing them both right now.

She's sharing the same air as them, as they sit and quietly study in the room. Ask anyone around them and they'd say that she's been sharing a life with them for the past seven years.

And as for sharing love – her heart beating wildly should give you the answer to that.

She loves the redhead.

Ask her and she'll deny it. Press her and she'll admit it. Question why and the answer quickly springs to light.

She loves him for all that he is.

She loves how he's stubborn, how he never gives in. He'll never renege on what he thinks is right. He's a literal fount of strength, always there for his friends. The list goes on and on, and she loves him for each and every reason.

She loves the other as well.

Ask her and she'll deny it. Press her and she'll admit it. Question why and she'll soon give you scores of answers.

She loves him because he's the bravest person she knows. If anyone deserves to wear the badge of hero, it's him and him alone. She loves him because he gives so much; she loves him because he cares so much.

Don't believe her though, no matter what she might be saying.

None of these reasons

are real.

Why is the sky blue?

Why is the grass green?

Why does the sun
always rise in the east
and set in the west?

Perhaps children have always asked these questions and as time passed, we slowly began to be able to answer them, one by one. Look it up in a book – if you want to know why the sky is blue, the grass is green. The knowledge is already out there, if you want to know why the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.

Wizards and witches, having magic to rely on, have many more explanations than us. This is a natural progression from the difference between science and magic. Science cannot observe without touching, without changing its subject. Magic, however, can observe without touching, without changing, if it wants. So while we may not be able to find the answers to all the questions a child can ask, wizards and witches certainly can.

That doesn't mean a thing though if you keep asking the wrong question. It would be better to ask something quite different.

Why must everything have a reason?

Do things exist because of their reason? Or do reasons exist merely to explain things, to make us more comfortable in our world?

If you tell a child who is pondering the deep, blue sky that the sky is blue simply because it is, that is more of a reason than any science or magic might concoct.

It is because it is.

She loves him because she loves him.

That's it. It's as simple as that. She needs no reason.

She loves both her boys and so kisses them, never stopping though they don't kiss back.

Must unrequited love always hurt?

Any fool can tell you that it can hurt and it can hurt so deeply to see the one you love loving someone else. But just because it is possible for such love to hurt, doesn't mean that it always does.

She knows they're not kissing her but that doesn't mean a thing.

The redhead doesn't love her because he's not able to love her right now. He's a little too selfish, a little too full of himself, to kiss her back and share love. He's still just a boy – give him a few years and he'll be able to love her back with all his heart and soul but for now he takes and does not give.

The other is not kissing her as well. Some might ask if he knows how to love. He's had the most awful of childhoods so just maybe he's lost any ability he's ever had to love.

But think and remember what it means to love. Remember how love and life are so entangled and how life is just air that one takes in.

Realize that if a person can breathe, then that person can love.

And go back and recall the definition of a kiss. It's sharing air, sharing life and sharing love. It's not sharing if one person has it all. It's not sharing if one person takes it all but it's also not sharing if one person gives it all away.

This is the dark-haired boy's problem.

He gives but does not take.

He loves her, freely and for the same reason, but he keeps nothing for himself. He gives it all away.

He doesn't share love and so doesn't kiss her.

If loving is instinctive, is kissing so as well?

For that to be true, sharing must also be ingrained within a person and children often need to be reminded to share.

So if you can kiss someone without touching, you can love someone without ever kissing.

Will he never kiss her?

That is in the future, which is something that you and I cannot know. But remember that look of pain. Recall her heart beating so fast within her. She cares too much so she might teach him. There's always a chance that they'll kiss so long as they're still breathing, so long as they're still living, so long as they're still loving for no reason.

That shining chance is a magic of its own – a magic more wonderful than science and more powerful than ordinary magic. It's something that neither wizards nor us can explain and maybe that's what makes it real.

That's the magic of life and love you're talking about.

Don't ever forget that.

just breathe