Chapter 1 : Who Wants to Live Forever?
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Also thanks goes out to jynx67 for her support of everyone who has participated in the challenge, and to firefawn, whose story "Living Irony" mentioned an old saying which formed the inspiration for the title of this story.
The lyrics are from the song "Who Wants to Live Forever?" written by Brian May of Queen.
“It is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.”
He was gone.
I couldn’t believe that he had walked away. He had told me that it could never work between us, that it would only mean my death to be with him, to be his weakness. Too surprised to reply, I had not been able to defend myself against his words. Instead I had stood frozen, like the statue of a maiden I had once seen. His words had harmed me more than any refusal would have, though I knew he had meant them in earnest. He would have been better to simply tell me that he didn’t like me, that we weren’t meant for each other. I could have taken that with grace and wept over his words in private perhaps forgetting them after a month or two. Yet the way he had spoken to me could never be forgotten.
There’s no place for us...
Why does he have to play the hero, always thinking of saving the world when it’s really those closest to him who need saving? Instead of thinking that keeping away from me would keep me safe, he should have also thought of my heart, my emotions as well. Did he think that I would stand aside and let him go off on his adventures? That I would remain when - if - he returned, ready to continue from where he left off? I am not a book to be put aside, a marker keeping the page where he had stopped. I am a human being, what’s more, the woman who loves him. I have my own life to live, I cannot put mine on hold until he returns.
Men! They are all the same, my brothers being perfect examples of the most over-protective brutes in existence. Yet they do not hold a candle to Harry and his bloody heroics. He, like everyone else, sees me as too small, too weak, too defenceless, but what does he know? If only he and the others knew my pain, the sorrow that tears me apart from within...
Harry isn’t the only one who has been face-to-face with Voldemort. I was as well. It was me that first knew the diary’s power and used it to pour out the contents of my soul. It was me who spoke with Tom Riddle for all those months and knew him as no other has, and as he knew me. Every time I think of Harry, picture him in my mind, I can’t help but see Tom in those green eyes. They were alike not only in appearance but also in their minds. Each had the will to prove himself and the ambition to finish what he started. Both are leaders and powerful wizards. And I am the girl who knows and has loved each of them.
As Tom was my first love, Harry will be my last. Is it a coincidence that I should love two bitter enemies, destined to die at the other’s hand? I think not. Harry and I were destined for one another, just as Tom and I would have been fifty years before.
Yet why could Harry not see it? Why had Harry walked away?
Oh, Merlin, did I love him!
It’s all decided for us...
I could see him standing away from the others, never fitting in, yet being the only one who could save them all. With Dumbledore gone, Harry stood alone against the darkness that loomed over us all. The others could help him, but they could not destroy the evils that lurked within the darkness. Few of them understood that they were only pawns in this real-life chess game, that they were expendable. But I knew.
I also knew that Harry did not have to stand alone. That was of his own choosing, his own fear after losing Sirius and Dumbledore within the period of a year. He did not want to be the cause for the deaths of anyone else. But did he realise that what he had done to me could cause my own death? That I could, right now, drown myself in the lake or cast myself from the highest cliff because he had rejected me? He knew me too well if he believed that I wouldn’t. There had been other wizards in my life, who’s to say that there won’t be another?
As hard as I tried, though, Harry’s kiss lingered in my mind. The first one he had given me eclipsed all of those I had received before. What a surprise it had been to find myself being kissed by the legendary Harry Potter! In my mind’s eye, I could still see him entering the Gryffindor Common Room, his face alight with victory and his eyes looking only at me, as though there was no one else in the room but me and him. He hadn’t cared about anyone else seeing us together. What did it matter anyways? Victory had been doubly sweet to me that day: first winning the game, then winning Harry at the same time...
I could barely repress the sigh of remembrance that escaped from my dry and cracked lips. If only that moment could have lasted forever! If only he... But I daren’t have wished for anything at that moment, in my anguish as I was. For it was then that I knew within both my heart and soul that I could never be fully happy until I felt Harry’s lips upon mine once more.
But what sort of wish was that? What was it for me to divert him from his destiny, the quest that he was fated to perform? Most likely he wouldn’t be able to survive the final battle, so what point would such a wish achieve? It was one thing to attain your dreams, but it is another to meddle with fate in order to obtain your desires. The paths that Harry and I had to take from that moment were not the same, nor would they ever meet. We may have been meant for one another, but we could never actually be together.
When love must die?
How stupidly tragic was that? Perhaps stupidity was a word that best fit the situation, it certainly matched Harry’s frame of mind. He should not have said that to me for all his heroism, he should have been blunt, even cruel. Then I could have easily hated him and moved on with my life. Instead I was left alone, waiting for the worst as well as hoping for it.
Instead of asking myself why he left, however, I should rather ask myself a very different question: why should I care?
I’ve had enough of being the little girl, the one who should be protected, kept out of sight and away from danger. I just wanted to be left alone to make my own decisions like everyone else. They can say whether or not they wish to join the Order of the Phoenix or go on adventures to save the world. They can, but I can’t. It’s just not fair.
Touch my world with your fingertips...
The crowds from the funeral began to dwindle and a new type of silence filled the air with both peace and expectation all at once. An inexplicable silence that filled my heart with despair and hope, like being lost by one thing and found by another.
The world was crumbling around me, yet I was defenceless and alone. How different was that from Harry’s situation? Not much, I expect. Is love enough to save a soul? If not, then we are lost, but even if it is, then how can we be sure that it’s enough? Does Harry need to die to defeat Voldemort? Does anyone? The only one who can answer these questions has left this world forever, as is the love that could have replaced the hatred that existed within the hearts of both Tom Riddle and Harry Potter. They were both lost.
And we can love forever...
Moments before, I could have lived forever, waiting for Harry to return to me, to turn around and not leave me here with my terrible thoughts. It goes to show you how quickly things can change. My head and my heart had changed directions in an instant. What is the point of an eternity filled with hope and expectation when the thing you hope for is impossible?
I won’t wait for anyone. I’ve waited too long already.
Hermione called my name and I left the white stone vault without a second glance at the place where the Headmaster now lay for eternity. He didn’t have to wait anymore. He was free from the clutches of life. He had told us all that death was not to be feared, that it wasn’t the end. I believed him then, but now I understood what he had really meant.
Who needs to wait forever for love when it is always with you? I don’t. Harry had my love and I had his. That alone was all I needed for happiness.
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