A/N: Honestly, I don't know what this is. This pairing has been stuck in my head lately, so have some freeversesque ramblings.

she thinks perhaps they have always been this way through space and time and life; maybe they have always been star-crossed lovers, crossing galaxies and dreams. maybe they always will be, and maybe there's nothing she can do to change that.

but this juliet sits in a tower surrounded by far too many flames.

and this romeo doesn't look up and compare her eyes to stars, doesn't wax lyrical about her beauty or her grace, doesn't do anything but maybe look a second longer, or brush a hand against hers and glance into the fiery pits of hell and wonder how he is supposed to pluck her from its depths, wonder how he is supposed to save the damsel that's never, ever in distress.

this juliet is a warrior, he knows, this juliet doesn't think she needs saving, doesn't want to follow him to the dark side, doesn't want to surrender. but he somehow finds himself holding her bony wrists in the circle of his fingers, begging her to stop fighting if fighting is only going to paint her body black and blue and red, if it's worth putting herself in danger for – for – for anything.

this romeo is a coward, she knows, a coward who calls her too many names and not enough times in the middle of the night, though he sometimes sends secret letters that she tucks into the pocket of her robes and fingers throughout the days, throughout the beatings, throughout the tragedy of everything, and he never looks her in the eyes when she's bleeding like this.

never says sorry, or this shouldn't have happened, or i love you.

and the thing about them is that they are trapped here, like this; they are caught between notes, between forbidden letters, their clandestine post.

every tiny full stop, this romeo – draco, draco, draco – leaves too much ink, so that it dribbles and blurs and juliet – ginny, ginny, ginny – thinks maybe he's trying to say that it's not over yet. ginny lets her nib scratch through the parchment sometimes, underlines her rage with quick slashes that tear, and draco knows she's saying this is not okay none of this is okay nothing is okay not anymore.

he scrapes his fears down in the margins, and she scribbles her anguish in the corners, and sometimes they let everything out and squeeze it between parentheses as if that will help. as if it will make it easier, make it less scary.

she says:

(sometimes, i miss him.)

(sometimes i don't.)

she says:

(i used to hate you so much it hurt.)

(what now?)

and he says:

(you could never understand what it's like to be me – i have seen far too much.)

and these parentheses go unanswered, just tiny offerings of trust and understanding that have been slipped in between the dull and lifeless apologies and fears and worries and pains, and sometimes draco feels like he's saying, here. have this. it's my heart. it beats too fast when you walk by. i think it likes you. but sometimes he feels like he's saying, here. have this. it's my ego, and you've bruised it one too many times. those are always the letters that go unanswered for longer than he'd like.

but an answer always, always comes. maybe it takes days or weeks – but never more than that, no – and draco finds an owl at his window or a scroll in his schoolbag and everything's a little less terrifying, but maybe a little more terrible, or a little less broken and a little more what are we doing here and sometimes, sometimes she signs it with kisses.

he finds her in the astronomy tower once. she is counting the stars with her eyes closed, imagining constellations on the backs of her eyelids, and he kisses the slip of her lips with enough starshine to blind them both and, merlin, he hopes she'll forget him, he really does.

and she keeps throwing letters out tower windows and letting them drift to his darkened dungeons, and he keeps hoping she won't and knowing she will and waiting on the war to swallow them both whole because romeo and juliet never have a happy ending, never get out alive, and their paris is always going to come back with his emerald eyes and his hero's smile and juliet isn't going wait around for romeo to remember what bravery is, so he'll lose her and she'll live happily ever after, and paper promises aren't enough to keep this, to keep her, to keep them and –

(don't ever let me forget the way your lips tasted like freedom.)

(i'll try.)