"He hasn’t woken up beside her in almost twenty years, but he still wakes each morning thinking she’s there."
Nineteen years later, Astoria watches her husband and Ginny Potter at the train station.
Categories: Completed Short Stories Characters:
Apr 30, 2008 Updated:
Apr 30, 2008
Many many thanks to Lyndsie Fenele for agreeing to beta a fic for some random gal who asked her, and for doing such a great job and getting it back to me so quickly. A really wonderful beta all around.
Also, thanks to black_alnair for putting Astoria in my head. This fic was inspired by her fic "Whisper" over at We Three. http://community.livejournal.com/we3sisters/
Also, the HP universe and characters do not belong to me, I just play with them sometimes.
1. Cowards by livvyharris
Thanks to fatedtobehated, Mollie, Indiainksky, SMichaelM, CourtneyFaith, crazykay254, IluvCaptainJack, oxymoron8, V_is_for_Violet, Flipinpenname, lavenderab, darkloveangel, Pebbles_and_Pink, LimnHere, TheRedFerret, laylaelaine, ronlover, eugenia, Iliana_r, and tenna. Your reviews for my last fic were truly motivating. :)
We stand together at the train station, and I see him look over to her and their eyes meet, just for an instant. I see it there, longing, a yearning I’ve never seen in either of their eyes except when they face each other. My chest hurts and I rub it as I force myself to look away from them.
I knew this day would come. From the moment I found out I was carrying Scorpius, I knew the day would come when we would all meet at the train station and they would see each other again, when they would look across nineteen years and the children they have each made and see nothing but each other.
We never spoke of love. We married because it seemed right, the Malfoy heir and a Greengrass heiress; we liked and suited each other. We still make a stunning couple.
Now I wonder sometimes if I love him. I think that I can’t possibly. If I really loved him, wouldn’t it kill me to look into his eyes in the morning and see another woman there? Wouldn’t I die of the pain when he rolls over and I see his smile dim, just a little, as he realizes that I’m not her? He hasn’t woken up beside her in almost twenty years, but he still wakes each morning thinking she’s there. If it was love, wouldn’t I have died of a broken heart long ago?
It’s ironic, really, to see her standing there in her red and gold robes, flaunting her house’s colors of courage, when she didn’t even have enough of it to choose her own life.
I should thank her for leaving him, for turning her back on him once the war was won and returning to simper by Harry Potter’s side because it was what everyone expected. We’ve had a good life, Draco and I. We’ve had laughter and tears and a beautiful son who we both adore.
He never told me about her, of course. He doesn’t know that I knew of their affair. Not even in the midst of our fights has Draco ever once said that he loved another, or that he wished I was her. He would never do so because he would never be unkind or cruel to me. I suppose I have her to thank for that too.
She made a selfish boy into a good man. A pity she didn’t have the strength to stay with him when it was over.
I’ve hated her for it sometimes, hated her and thanked Merlin that she didn’t have the courage to stay with him after the war ended.
I remember seeing them that final year at Hogwarts and thinking in passing that they must have been having an affair. I remember they used to look at each other the same way they do now. Ironic that I must have been one of the only people to realize what was happening.
Sometimes I hate myself for not having the courage to leave. I imagine it occasionally. I imagine walking into his study and telling him I’m leaving. Maybe I will one day.
I wonder what she’ll do, the scared little Weasley still trapped inside her, if I leave him. Would it change anything for her? Would she leave Potter and destroy the home she’s made for her children? Would the girl who died nineteen years ago, whose soul is buried in the ruins of Hogwarts, come back and demand the life she allowed to be stolen from her? Would she have the courage this time?
The train leaves and Potter guides his wife away. Draco’s self-discipline breaks and he turns his head a fraction to watch her leave. Just as they’re almost out of sight, she looks back over her shoulder and their eyes meet again. Then she’s gone and I think the next nineteen years of all our lives will be as pathetic as the last nineteen have been because I don’t have the courage, and I don’t think she does either.
And she was supposed to be a Gryffindor.
Please review and let me know what you thought of it!! :)
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