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Lipstick Stain by Kirsty Weasley
Chapter 1: Because I Loved Her
Because I loved her.
That was why I still hadn’t cleaned up our flat. Why I hadn’t made the effort to go to back auror training, or visit my parents. It was why I didn’t answer the phone when people called. Why I still hadn’t washed her coffee cup.
It still had her lipstick stain around the edge.
Her toothbrush still sat beside mine in our bathroom.
Her makeup was scattered across our dresser and there was still hair in her brush. The lid of her perfume bottle was squint because she didn’t quite screw it on properly that morning.
Her clothes were still tucked neatly in the wardrobe beside mine. Her pillow still smelled of her raspberry shampoo.
There were still photo’s of her and I curled up together on the last train home from Hogwarts, photos of us with Scorpius and Rose, dotted all over the flat.
I sat down heavily on the sofa, taking in the room around me. There wasn’t a thing in here that didn’t remind me of her.
I picked up the moving picture that sat in the middle of the cluttered coffee table, it was a memory caught on camera by one Scorpius Malfoy. A memory of the best day of my life, I had been so happy back then.
It was six months after we had left Hogwarts.
I was nervous, this was it; this was the day. Scorpius told me I’d be fine, Sara loved me, we had been together since third year. Everything would be perfect- but the tiny jewellery box in my pocket seemed to weigh a tonne.
“Albus!” She called from across the snow filled park. Love sparkled in her eyes as she ran towards me, her red beret contrasting beautifully with her ebony black hair. I was the first Potter man in four generations to love a woman who was not a redhead. And I didn’t care in the slightest- because it meant I got her.
“Sara!” I grinned, catching her as she jumped towards me, pressing her body and lips firmly against mine. “I missed you,” I breathed into her hair.
“It’s only been a few days silly,” She smiled, her eyes twinkling as she brushed the snow out of my hair.
“It may have only been a few days, but it’s made me realise something.” I told her. The tiniest of frowns graced her angelic features as her eyes asked me to continue. “I don’t want to ever be without you.” I breathed hard. “Not even for a day, never. I love you Sara Hendry- more than life itself and I’ve come to realise that I could never be without you.” I pulled my body away from hers and made to get down on one knee.
She gasped and raised a gloved hand to her berry red lips.
I pulled the ring box from my pocket. “So marry me Sara. Marry me and we can face the world together. We can take the first step to forever right here right now. Would you please do me the honour of becoming my wife?”
My heart was pounding in my chest as I opened the ring box to reveal the engagement ring. It was a ruby stone with two small diamonds either side on a gold band. It had been my grandmother Lily’s. Dad had given it to me when I told him of my plans to ask Sara to be my wife. He said that it was what his mother would have wanted. Dad had discovered it not long after the end of the Second Wizarding War when he fixed up his parents old house in Godric’s Hollow. Sara knew of this ring, she had admired it on so many occasions.
Her blue eyes widened as she saw the ring that I offered to her, they sparkled with unshed tears. I had rendered her speechless- for what had to be the first time in her life.
“Sara?” I asked, my voice cracking and showing my nerves.
“YES!” She screamed. “Oh dear Merlin yes! I love you Albus Potter! And I’m going to love you for every day for the rest of our lives and then forever!”
She threw herself into my arms and I caught her berry lips with my own in a passion filled embrace. Tears streamed down both our faces as I slipped the ruby ring onto her left hand wedding finger.
“Was that…?” She asked, gesturing to the ring.
“The very one.” I smiled, kissing it upon her hand.
“I’m honoured,” She informed me seriousness over taking her features.
“You shouldn’t be,” I smiled at her. “Just be proud. And remember, that ring’s going to bring you into the craziness that is my family! It came at price!”
She laughed at my analysis of my family. “I love you Allie.” She sighed, her passion filled eyes boring into mine.
“Not as much as I love you.”
I kissed her lightly on the lips, our bodies intertwined as the snow started falling and neither of us noticed the flash of a camera from the trees behind us.
We were going to get married. In that little church in her hometown. The one where her parents had gotten married, and she and her sisters had been christened. Where all of her town would come to see the marriage of the little dark haired girl they had watched grow into a beautiful woman. The church across from the primary school where she had been teased mercilessly as a little girl.
Teased by silly little girls who would envy the beautiful woman that she became and were jealous when she arrived home one summer aged fifteen with a handsome boyfriend who looked at her with adoration filled eyes.
Eyes that could never look at anyone else- why? Because I loved her. Only her.
Her parents had accepted me, they loved me like the son they never had- their family was just as big and crazy as my own. The muggle equivalent of the Potter/Weasley’s, they even invited me to their Boxing Day celebrations. I was accepted as a member of their family from the start. I loved them as much as I loved my own flesh and blood.
Sara’s mother, Oliva had been so excited when I visited the winter after my seventh year to ask her and her husband Jack’s permission to marry their daughter.
They even paid for Sara’s wedding dress.
She never got to wear it at our wedding.
A loud knock at the door brought me from my frozen state.
I ignored it. It wouldn’t be important.
“Albus!” A female voice cried from the other side of the door.
I didn’t answer.
“Come on Al we know you’re in there.” Another, deeper voice called.
“That’s, it I’m opening it.” A different female voice grumbled as she muttered the unlocking charm.
Light and fresh air streamed into my dark and stale flat as unwelcomed as the four guests who traipsed in with it.
“God, it stinks in here.” Coughed Rose Weasley, my loving and oh-so-considerate of other-peoples-feelings cousin.
“Shut up Rosie,” My younger sister Lily growled. “Albie,” She approached me taking in my gruff demeanour.
My unshaven face, and bloodshot eyes with deep black bags underneath them.
“Albie are you okay?”
What a stupid question- how could I be okay? How would I ever be okay? She was gone.
I would never see her again- how could I ever be okay?
“Albus, mate, talk to us.” My brother James reached across and grasped my shoulder shaking slightly as though trying to shake some sense into me. Trying to shake an answer out of me.
I didn’t respond, I couldn’t respond. Not a word, my heart ached and the lump in my throat would never allow words to escape it.
“Albus you’ll have to talk to us sometime.” Rose stated, a glimmer of fierce determination shimmering in her eyes.
Scorpius Malfoy, her husband of six months and my best friend of nine years stood silently next to his wife as my three family members tried to coax words out of my.
“Albus buddy,” He said eventually, looking deep into my grief filled eyes. “Sara wouldn’t have wanted you to do this.”
That was all it took, the floodgates opened and my heart broke in half. The first sob erupted from my chest and my best friend took me in his arms.
Her name- they said her name. It was the first time that I had heard it in three weeks- the three weeks that I had hidden myself away from the world.
The three weeks since I had buried my fiancé and unborn child.
She was dead.
“Sara…” My broken voice called out, begging for her to come back. “Sara!”
I was wailing, the first tears I had shed since that fatefully day exactly one month ago.
It was a Sunday morning- we were in the kitchen, the radio blaring the latest muggle pop songs as we cooked our breakfast together.
Sara was dancing happily, the spatula a ribbon in her hand as she twirled around the room.
I laughed at her enthusiasm and asked her whether we had any fresh bread or not, debating whether we should buy sliced loaves or not when we went shopping later that afternoon as I attempted to hack an even piece of bread from the old loaf.
I heard a mighty crash from behind me as Sara, the love of my life, fell to the ground.
“Sara!” I cried out in shock. “Sara baby, wake up! Get up! Sara!”
There was blood pooling around her, I couldn’t see where it was coming from, I didn’t know what to do.
I flooed St Mungos, and they came and took her away. After an hour of pacing a waiting room a green robed healer informed me that my fiancé had suffered a serious miscarriage. The stress on her body had been too much, she hadn’t survived it.
She was dead.
“She’s dead.” I wailed into my best friends’ shirt front. “S-saaaara!” Sobs were being ripped from my chest. There was a horrific throbbing ache where my heart should have been.
She had been buried in what would have been her wedding dress. Our baby still dead within her body. The grief had been doubled by knowing what I almost had. We were going to be parents, I didn’t care that we were only nineteen- we were going to be a family.
“S-s-she’s GONE!” I wailed.
“I know mate,” Scorpius soothed as he held me. “I know.”
Rose, Lily and James just stood there, helplessly unable to do anything to help.
She wasn’t even buried in her engagement ring. Her mother wouldn’t let me do it. She said that the ring was too important; Sara would never have allowed it.
What did they know? She was MY Sara- MINE! I knew her better than all of them! I knew how much she loved this ring. I wanted her to have it but they wouldn’t let me. I tried to give it back to my Dad. I didn’t want it. I couldn’t have it. A constant reminder of what had been. What I had lost. But he wouldn’t take it.
I sobbed until I was spent. My eyes drooping on my friends shoulder as I fell into an uneasy sleep.
When I woke up I saw that my flat had been cleaned.
I jumped from the bed, rushing into the, now tidy, kitchen. I was panting now, panicking. I couldn’t see it. Where was it?
“Looking for this?” Scorpius appeared by my side, an empty coffee mug in his hands- the lipstick stain still on the rim. “I wouldn’t let Rose wash it. I told her you would pitch a fit.”
“T-thank you.” I said, my voice hoarse and rough even to my own ears.
Rose appeared at the doorway, her arms folded and a confused look on her face as she moved to push her dark hair out of her eyes.
“Why won’t you clean that cup Al?” She asked, genuine curiosity and confusion colouring her face.
“Because it’s all I have left of her.” I whispered.
“Oh.” She was speechless, and her eyes filled with tears, she turned away in an attempt to hide them from me but I was unfooled. Rose was suffering hard. Sara had been her best friend, her maid of honour, her confidant. Rose would miss Sara almost as much as I would, but she was staying strong for me.
Roses’ eyes suddenly lit up with cleverness, as an idea struck her. She plucked the mug out of my grasp and moved towards her handbag.
“Hey!” I exclaimed, shocked at the sudden removal of my last piece of the love of my life. “What are you doing with that? Damn it Rose- give it back!”
But Rose took no notice. She pulled out a clear nail varnish from her bag and began coating it over the thick lair of lipstick that rested on the edge of the cup.
I stopped complaining and watched as the invisible lair preserved the last link I had to my fiancé to the cup.
Tears welled in my eyes as I realised what Rose had just done for me.
“Thank you.” I choked. “So much.”
She merely smiled and washed the mug, I watched as the soap and water ran over the lipstick mark, not washing it away.
“Are you okay Al?” Rose asked me, genuinely, and I knew that yes or no would not be considered an answer here.
“No, I’m not.” I sighed. “She’s gone Rosie, she’s gone and the last thing that I said to her was something to do with bread.” My eyes filled with tears that I refused to let out. “I didn’t tell her that I loved her, or even get any semblance to goodbye. All I got to do was ask if we should have sliced bread or full loafs. And I didn’t even get an answer to that.”
A few tears escaped my eyes and I roughly pushed them away, taking in a raggedy breath.
“Oh Al,” Rose sighed, looking at me as though I was insane. “She knew that you loved her. She knew it as much as she knew that the sun would shine. Never doubt that she knew that.”
It took me six months after her death to finally get myself together enough to visit her grave. It was like loosing her all over again. I sobbed as I hugged her headstone, apologising to her. Telling her how much she meant to me.
How I would have taken her place in a heartbeat. I would have died for her without as much as a second thought. But I couldn’t. I was left here to move on.
So I planted the everlasting forget-me-nots on top of her grave. I kissed the headstone one last time before I pulled myself out of that cemetery only once looking back.
The first Christmas was hard. And birthdays were terrible. I visited Sara’s family only a handful of times; it was too painful a reminder for all of us.
I returned to auror training. Slowly I was piecing together the broken shards that had been my life.
There were mornings where it seemed pointless to get up. Days when I felt loneliness like I had never known was possible. Nights where I even considered taking my own life to be with her.
But I didn’t. I continued on. Why?
Because I loved her.
She would never have forgiven me if I had given up because of her.
I wear the ring on a thick gold chain around my neck. Never removing it because it was her ring.
It’s carrying around a little piece of the woman that was my forever. She loved me until the day she died and I intend to return the favour.
That’s why I’m still alone a year down the line. It’s why I still haven’t even considered the possibility of seeing anyone else.
It is because I loved her.
I will always love her.
A/N- Hey guys! Okay, now this quite different from anything I've ever written before. I've never actually killed a character before and I'll admit I fell guilty about it! Sara grew for me from a name into a character as I wrote Albus' memories. This was written for Ilove2eatcarbs "Because I Loved Her" challenge. But I'm afraid I cant tell you how I placed in it because the founder of the challenge decided that she wanted more people to have taken place in the challenge so didnr rank the stories she got :/ Oh well! Better luck next time right? Thanks for reading you're totally awesome! - Kirsty xxx