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Slow Dancing in a Burning Room by ButterflyRogue
Format: Song fic
Chapter 1: your love is a verb in this momentary thing
prompt 01: letter
[your love is a verb]
Word count: 418
A word relating to him on so many levels. An awful expression that had just claimed another victim, stripping him from yet another thing he held dear, leaving him virtually with nothing at all. Not that he was a stranger to that feeling. He could recall, quite clearly, a period when he had felt just as desperate-maybe even more so. He had feared then, that the darkness would consume him completely. He had felt as if everything was lost, as if there was no reason to live anymore. It was difficult to pull himself together afterwards. He had almost forgotten who he was-who was he trying to be-blinded by grief and rarely quite sober at the time, he had almost run off and joined the first werewolf pack out there, eager for a chance of having an early death himself. It was all a blur, really, those days...
All that is stopping him going down the same road this time is her. It disgusts him a bit, actually, this lack of all-consuming grief he thinks he should be feeling. But he can't really help it. She is like a silver pool of blinding light: twinkling, radiating, pulling him in, the way she laughs reverberating through his memory (because she doesn't really laugh much these days, though her smiles-shy and guilty somehow-are just as blinding to him). She is like a lifeline, unyielding and dignified even in her grief. He could so easily delude himself, reach for that little bit of happiness he felt with her (his best mate is dead, for heavens' sake, he is not supposed to be happy-not now, not ever!). In any case, he couldn't. There were certain reservations, boundaries he shouldn't cross.
And yet, sometimes he couldn't quite help it. He'd purposely forget himself and call her Nymphadora in front of everyone and Dora silently to himself and she'd roll her eyes-out of habit, really, her scowl more of a smile than anything-wordlessly admitting she actually liked it when he called her that and he'd be shamelessly pleased with secretly being given the privilege of using the name no one else was allowed to. Because Tonks is awkward, impersonal, sounding ugly and abrupt like a bad onomatopoeia; it doesn't feel right. And the fact he's spent so much time poring over her name is enough of an alarm as it is, because he shouldn't-mustn't-think about her so often, in such a way.
He starts calling her Tonks.
...if the world would fall apart
in a fiction-worthy wind
I wouldn't change a thing now that you're here...
Incubus - Here in my room
prompt 02: darling
[just a momentary thing]
Word count: 536
They have both appeared in the same alley tonight, on their way to an Order meeting.
She was quite embarrassed to face him, after she had so stupidly deluded herself he might be attracted to her (but they were dancing at the very brink of flirtation for months, she could have sworn; the way he would smile, the way he would look at her sometimes...) and spilled the contents of her heart in a clumsy flurry of words and bashful smiles. His shocked expression was something she’ll never be able to forget. He could have even spared her the elaboration (a bit begrudgingly given, though, he couldn’t quite bring himself to meet her eyes-then again, he was a kind person by default, unaccustomed to hurting people).
She made it a point afterwards to quickly dive out of room every time he would enter.
Well, she knew she couldn’t avoid him forever. With a pang of guilt, she noted his discomfort as well. If she hadn’t been so foolish, they’d be greeting each other cordially and walking to the scheduled location together. She’d be filled with painful longing, sure, knowing friends was all they are ever going to be, but his company alone would have been enough-more than enough in comparison to the near strangers they have become over the past couple of weeks. As his love she never had to begin with, losing his friendship was what she was the most heartbroken about.
Managing a strained hello, she kept staring intently into a loose thread hanging from the cuff of his trousers. An unpleasant, torturous silence settled upon them, neither quite sure how to act in this particular situation. Taking a subconscious step backwards, she disturbed a mound of trash piled there, several crates tumbling down with a clatter. Before she even had a chance to curse her inability to walk properly, something large and heavy rammed into her and, as she stumbled, another round object slammed her hard across the head. Mad-Eye’s damned enchanted dustbins.
“Tonks?!” he exclaimed in alarm. Searing pain was flashing through her skull, she was momentarily unable to open her eyes or stand up straight. Then someone was holding her close, trying to hoist her upwards, a warm hand caressing her cheek and a barely distinguishable whisper drifting to her ears. “Dora, darling...”
Her eyes snapped open, staring in wide, questioning astonishment straight into his. Tender concern etched into his face paled to mortification of what he obviously didn’t mean to say out loud. But, oh, the way he was looking at her just a moment ago-there was no mistaking it! He released her at once (she certainly proved stable enough to stand on her own, vigour and something very much like senseless joy rushing back into her). Tearing away from her, as if physically hurt by her presence, he darted out, into the street. She stared blankly after him, her mind reeling in this newfound realization. And, a bile rising in her throat, drowning that pitiful little whiff of happiness, she was suddenly unable to tell which felt worse. Thinking he did not return her feelings, or knowing he loved her just the same, but decided to let her go.
it’s at the point of breaking down
‘cause there’s nothing left to say
I think you waste your sweetness
I think the whole thing blew away
Something Happens – Momentary Thing