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Somewhere Only We Know by EnnaBellaPotter
Chapter 1 : Somewhere Only We Know
 
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I walked across an empty land
I knew the pathway like the back of my hand
I felt the earth beneath my feet
Sat by the river and it made me complete


August 23rd, 2017 

Today, the heavens are poignant; they’ve opened their gates and are pouring forth all their regret and sorrow down onto the world below. As rain patters softly against the forest floor, a willow tree stands tall amidst the downfall. Lysander and I hide beneath her great and sturdy body, huddling close to each other to keep dry in the middle of a saturated wood.

“You know, sometimes I wish the whole world would just stop and cry for all the times they wish they had,” I whisper. “Then maybe every day would be like this.” 

Beside me, my best friend turns and looks at me. “I know what you mean.” My eyes turn to him. I say, “But nothing ever turns out the way we want it to these days. So why wish?”

He looks back over to woods again. I pretend not to notice how distant his eyes have become. “Yeah.”

We are silent for a few moments, just us and the pitter-patter of rain.

“You know, Dom.” Lysander suddenly states. “I probably should get going.”

 I look at him confusedly. “But Lys, I’m leaving tomorrow and we won’t see each other till Christmas! You can’t just leave.” His words shock me. Why on earth would he want to leave?

Lysander turns away from me, and stands up beneath the willow tree that only we know exists. “I know.” He pauses. “But lately i-it just doesn’t feel like it’s so hard for us to be apart anymore.”

 Inside my chest, I feel my heart begin to tear. “Be apart?”

He turns around. “You gotta admit it, Dom. We’re not so much the same anymore, like we used to be. I don’t know- maybe it’s just me, but it feels like we’re just…drifting.” 

No matter how much I try to stop the tears from coming, they begin welling up in my eyes. “Why are you saying this?”

I feel him hesitate. “I’ve known you for sixteen years. But in the past few months it’s felt as though I don’t know you quite so well anymore.”

“Are -are you…” I hesitate. Just like that, I realize his motive.  “Breaking up with me?” 

“Breaking up with you?” he cocks his head to the side. “We’re not dating, Dom.”

“No, of course, but we’re best friends.” I stand up defensively. “You’re disbanding our friendship just because we don’t see each other so much anymore and you’ve made millions of new friends when I’ve been off at school and you don’t need me anymore. So you’re breaking up with me.”

Lys shakes his head feverishly. “You’re just talking crazy now. That is definitely not what I’m doing. ”

“Then what?” I pose, suddenly angry. “What on Merlin’s earth are you ‘doing’?”

“I’m just saying that we might not be as close as you think we are right now. That’s all.” He states, hands held up innocently. 

I shake my head, my eyebrows crinkling towards my nose. “I truly don’t understand. I know you like the back of my hand, Scamander. And if you think otherwise then you’re the crazy one.”

"But are you sure, Dom?” he looks at me critically. “It doesn’t seem so.”

“Oh, it doesn’t seem so, Lysander?” I’m crying like the skies now. Oh Lord. I cry at the worst of times. Approaching him and getting right up in his face, I point a rigid finger at his smoothly unemotional features. “Well, I’ll have you know hardly a day that goes by when I’m at school that I don’t think of you and your… your- quiet voice and your weird laugh and your stupid philosophical comments and your asymmetrical hair and your ridiculous questions and how you always tell me when I’m wrong and never mention when I’m right and- and how you sing when you think no one’s listening and how you somehow know me better then I know myself see, see?!... take note of that one! and-and how you seem to think we aren’t best friends and the way you walk and write and run and how you always have a plan and constantly make lists and how you never, ever let me finish a sen-”

He cuts me off with parted lips. I should have seen it coming; but I barely noticed his descent upon me. Now, that hardly seems to matter. My rant is over; but, clearly, my undoing has just begun. 

Slowly, almost implausibly, Lysander kisses me. You know that moment when you get lost in the cataracts of time, and it seems that even if you stopped to breathe the world would go on spinning? Yeah, this is that moment for me. The moment where it doesn’t matter what is happening, or why it is happening, or if it will ever happen again, because it is happening right now and that’s all I need to know. 

This is a new beginning. But it’s an end, as well, whether I know it or not. 

As divinely as it began, our sudden intimacy comes to an end when Lysander draws away. He looks at me with two placidly contradicting olive eyes, and turns, walking away.

And that is the last I see of him for five years. 

 ~~~

Oh simple thing, where have you gone?
I'm getting old and I need something to rely on
So tell me when you're gonna let me in
I'm getting tired and I need somewhere to begin
~~~
            
August 15th, 2022

Teddy Lupin is perfect for Victoire, and nobody, including me, is about to deny it.  We all knew and adored Teddy when we were kids, but it was Viccy that was particularly taken by him. For years they dated in what you might call secret; only I knew about your relationship. Viccy confided in me what no one else knew about the real nature of her and Teddy. I specifically remember her telling me one time, when I’d asked why she was with him in the first place, “Dom, Teddy is the only one I could ever be with. I mean, of course I could go off and date other guys, but I’d always come back to him because he’s the mate to my soul, plain and true. You know what that’s called, petit Dominique doux? Soulmate; âme soeur. You see, mon litte l'un, Teddy and I were born to be together and that’s the way it’s always been, the way it’s always gonna be.” One might understand, then, why it was a vast surprise to me when Victoire announced their clandestine relationship aloud at the Burrow over the holidays last year. However, it became fairly clear after that, to me at least, that Teddy was a more permanent kind of establishment. 

And now they’re getting married, a year later. The past few weeks have been one of those times when my life has rocketed into perspective. It’s not as though I never expected Victoire to get married, because I did. It’s just that I never really thought things would change so drastically. It’s almost as if early in your life you constantly imagine all the changes you’ll eventually go through, and when they actually happen, they seem so peculiar and surreal. I’m hardly one for under-analyzing, but this time reality got me good.

 I’m trying to convince myself that this change is for the better. Of course I’m ecstatic that my sister found the true love we all wish for, but at the same time I loathe Teddy for taking away the best advice-giver I’ve ever had. Victoire is the best friend I was born with, and that will never change, but the closeness of our sisterhood might be tested now that I won’t have her on around quite so much anymore. My teenage years went by so much smoother because of Viccy; she told me everything she knew about anything; school, friendships, boys, teachers, clothes, life in general. It was like having my own personal encyclopedia of surviving teenage life at the ready. And I’ll always love her for that reason. Her getting married, it’s just weird, for all of us. Louis, maybe not so much, just because he’s a boy and he hates having girls around too much, but I know Viccy leaving is hard on him, too.

But she’s really moving out for good, and it’s the least I can do to put on a happy face at the wedding, and tear up and make a heartfelt speech like the perfect Maid of Honor that I need to be. 

~~~

I came across a fallen tree
I felt the branches of it looking at me
Is this the place we used to love?
Is this the place that I've been dreaming of?


~~~

August 23rd, 2022

This wedding, when described in perfect articulation, is equivalent to the hell no one quite expected to break loose within this particular Weasley home. For as long as I can remember, Mum has kept our snug 19th century bungalow under tight wraps, but to be quite honest, I don’t believe she saw the monstrosity of a wedding heading straight into her hands quite so fast.

Thankfully, Victoire knew better than to leave all the planning to mum, let alone dad. Oh, golly, don’t even get me started. If I saw dad as much as lay a finger on a single invitation during this entire ordeal, I think I would have quite possibly died of surprise. Dad stayed as far away from this wedding business as Louis did, and I don’t really blame them. Teddy, however, was a different story. He, unlike my father and brother, was into it. Quite into it. At times, it almost came off as pathetic. I can still hear him saying, “Oh, Vic, do we have to have tulips? Can’t they be something exotic like, like chrysanthemums?” or “Louis, you should look just dashing in a muggle tux instead of those horrid grey dress robes for the wedding, don’t you agree, Mrs. Weasley?” I love Teddy to death, as I bloody well should, but sometimes, he can be downright dork one-o-one. 

This particular day happens to be the day that all the merciless preparation, drenching sweat and barely-spilt blood have come down to. It’s been such a long two months. Summer’s almost over, and five years ago at this same time I’d have been heading off on the Hogwarts Express in about a week, chugging off away from the best friend I once had.

I close my eyes, silently scolding myself. I promised myself I wouldn’t think about him today. I promised. Today is Victoire’s big day, and I can’t ruin it for her by distracting myself with such thoughts. I simply can’t. And if I do, well, I don’t think I’m ever going to forgive myself.

Composing myself, I turn from my post at a rear window and trot down the long, cherrywood corridor. At the end of the hall I turn the corner into room in which Victoire is being transformed. By transformed, I mean altering from my every day, strikingly beautiful sister Victoire to the rare, so-incredibly-beautiful-it-hurts-to-look-directly-at-her gorgeous bride version of Victoire. Stella, the bridal stylist taking care of her, is fast, efficient, and wonderful at what she does. I can tell because in the center of the room stands an angel, delicately clothed in creamy material that flows across her body. Her hair tumbles down her back in a waterfall of gold. I stand speechless, as Victoire examines herself in the floor-length triple mirror that rests in front of her. Beside the mirror, Stella and mum look at her with as much awe as I do.        

Mum looks over at me as I walk in. “Oh! Oh, Dominique! You look pozitevely radiant!” mum rushes over to me, admiring exactly the wrong person. My dress is lavender, scoop-necked, soft and flowy. I thank God that Viccy let me choose the bridesmaid dresses, because anything tight and short gives me the jitters just looking at it.

"Mum!” I laugh. “It’s not me you should be flattering, it’s that goddess over there!”

Victoire’s turned toward me now, too, and she’s smiling, which makes her even more of a vision. I rush over to her, and take her outstretched hands. I smile too, feeling the tears prickling at the corners of my eyes. “Oh, Dom, don’t cry! You’ll ruin your makeup!” Victoire laughs, but her eyes are welling up too. 

“I’m sorry!” I apologize, overcome by the simplicity of this moment as just us two, sisters as we’ll always be. “I can’t help it!”

She smiles harder, if that’s possible, and I reach out to hug her. “Oh, you look so beautiful, Vic! Lupin’s gonna faint.”

She pulls back, her smile disappearing. “You don’t think he really will, do you?”

Mum and I laugh. Stella grins, too. “Aw, hun. He’ll be fine. He’s got James up there to hold him upright.” She points out, flipping a tube of lipstick across her knuckles skillfully. “Alright, Miss Vision-in-White. Time for touchups.”

Vic obliges, scooting over to Stella. Mum turns to me. “Dominique, dear, will you pleez go check on za ozer girlz?”

“Ok, mum.” I walk back out of the room and back down the corridor to the room in which the other three bridesmaids, Rose, Roxanne and Lily, are waiting. As I walk, I begin to think about just how real this all actually is, and how sooner than not, it’s going to turn out to be just another loss in my life.

~~~
            
Oh simple thing, where have you gone?
I'm getting old and I need something to rely on
So tell me when you're gonna let me in
I'm getting tired and I need somewhere to begin


~~~

Same day, later

There they are: my married sister and her beaming husband. The wedding guests, all a hundred or so of them, stand in line to greet the newlyweds, the happy couple gladly accepting the congratulations, tight hugs and sloppy kisses from the endless line of company. I stand, separated from the party, looking on across the line of my relatives, the relatives of my relatives, and those whom I do not think are related to me in any way, shape or form but are here anyways. I let the sound of the laughter, chatter and exclamations sink into my skin. These sounds comfort me, as I know that this is a place where I am loved, if not completely accepted. I spot Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny laughing hysterically with Uncle Charlie over by the northern most hydrangea bushes in our yard, and beside them Aunt Hermione and Uncle Ron converse seriously with dad and mum. In line, I pick out the loud voice of Aunt Audrey arguing with Uncle Percy, and each of my many cousins carries on separate conversions amongst themselves in line as well. Louis, I see, is talking to- who in Merlin’s name is that? I don’t recognize their backs, which are turned to me.

Brow crinkling, I walk a bit closer to the line, around the bushes which I am stationed behind, and my hand flies to my mouth as suddenly the persons which Louis is speaking with come into my view. There they stand; Luna, Rolf, Lorcan and Lysander Scamander. I barely hold back the gasp that wallows at the edge of my throat. It’s been five years since I’ve seen them! Five years! How have I just noticed them now? Have they just arrived? I feel my face flushing, and my heart begins to beat more rapidly than I feel necessary.

As calmly as my body allows me to, I scamper back behind the bushes, out of their view. I feel like screaming, but I bite back the urge. Hidden, I barely have time to wonder what a spectator looking upon me at this moment must think, for as soon as I am behind the hydrangeas, someone is at my side. “Seen a ghost, Dom?”

I shriek, immediately covering my mouth in regret and commencing a sequence of heavy breaths. To my left, my cousin Lily is grinning manically, her trademark green eyes sparkling like the pinky rose of her shimmery dress. “Guess that’s a yes, huh?”I glare at her. She laughs. “Oh, Dom. I’m just kidding. So, what’s going on? Are you hiding from Al and James? Cuz I am, too.”

I shake my head and roll my eyes. “No, no.” I almost snicker. I know how awfully Lily’s older brothers annoy her, but I never expected her to actually have to hide from them, especially now that we’re all practically adults. I beckon around the corner of the bush. “Look over there, by Louis.”

Lily looks at me funny before doing as I bid her to. I hear her gasp just as I tried not to do. She flies back to my side. “Oh, my God. It’s them!…it’s…him!”

I nod, feeling just as surprised as she looks. “Yes.” I’m simply out of words that would make sense at a time like this. 

My favorite cousin looks confused now. “But Dom, they…he…moved…left.”

“I know.” I want to look around that bush so dreadfully. My eyes are itching with the image I’ve been trying to forget for 1,825 days. Oh, God, why is he here? Now? It’s hitting me now, because I guess when I saw him, a mere minute ago, I didn’t believe it was actually him. But I know now that if I look around that bush he’ll still be there, standing with his parents and his twin at his side, laughing with my younger brother as though those five years never passed between them. But they did, and I just can’t believe it. I simply cannot believe what is happening right before my eyes.

Lily is searching my face for emotion. “Dominique? What are you going to do?”

I stare off into the distance, my eyes reaching the distant woods that edge my family’s property. Memories that have been hidden deep behind my priorities yearn to flood back into my mind, but I resist. “I don’t know.” I look over at her, all of a sudden feeling uncommonly overwhelmed. “What do you think I should do?”

Lily opens her mouth to answer me, but before she can, someone rounds the corner and spots us. “Ah, just the person I was looking for.” Louis smiles, and for a split second I admit to myself that Teddy was right; Louis does look fairly striking in the black muggle suit. But after the split second passes, panic sets in.

I take a step towards Lily, and she grabs my wrist protectively. “What?”

Louis is taken aback by my blunt tone. “Whoa, sis. I’m not here to disown you. But get this! The Scamander’s decided to show! Isn’t that brilliant?” he smiles transcends from excited to suggestive. “And Lys is asking for you, Dom.” 

I feel an unsettling anger welling up inside of me, bubbling heatedly like a volcano preparing to erupt. “Well, you can tell Lysander that I’m unsure why he feels the need to see me when he bloody well knows I don’t want to talk to him!” the last bit of my sentence got a bit louder than I anticipated, and as I say it some of the wedding guests look over at me inexplicably. 

Louis raises one eyebrow at me. “Yeah, right. Don’t be a coward, Dom. You haven’t seen the guy in five years! Give him a break!”

“Give him a break?” My eyes widen in surprise at what my brother is telling me. “He just left, Louis! Left me hanging with no letter, no explanation, no visits, nothing! I’ve spent five years sitting around wondering if I was dreaming and now you expect me to give him a-”

“Dom?”

As soon as the word is spoken, my blood begins to boils; but not with anger. It boils with an emotion that I’ve spent five years trying really hard to overlook. Inside of me, perhaps inside my soul, a hole, a void, that has been widening ever since he left, becomes suddenly lucid, painfully open and achingly empty.

He stands perhaps a bit taller than he once was, but Lysander’s hair still lays perfectly asymmetrical, blonde flawed with streaks of light brown. Though it doesn’t seem as though he’s gained a pound of excess weight, it looks like he’s become stronger, physically, perchance a bit leaner. His jaw seems firmer, his cheek bones a little higher. I spot that bizarre banana-shaped birthmark resting just below his left ear, and there’s that brutal scar on the right side of his neck that he got from climbing a tree when we were five. Those eyes are just as jade as they once were, and damn does he look good in that suit. 

It’s so hard to be angry with him right now. All I feel like doing as I look at him is screaming his name, jumping into his arms and telling him that I forgive him, that we can work it out, it’s okay, it’s okay. But I don’t, because I can’t. If things between us were that simple, I think I could have mauled him right when I first saw him today. Oh Lord, I wish it could be that easy.

And why isn’t it so simple? Because now more than ever I feel empty on the inside, empty because he left me like this, in pieces. That day when he left, exiting through the pouring rain, I didn’t think that would be the last time I’d ever see him, at least for five more years. If I would have known, I think I might have told him all that I felt, all that I still feel. It was so uncomplicated, back then. A simple thing.

I’m more afraid than ever right now, and all I feel capable of doing is escaping. I start walking, walking away from Louis, Lily, Lys. I know I’d be dumb to think no one will follow me, because I know exactly who will follow me, but right now, I don’t think I care too much.

~~~

 So if you have a minute, why don't we go
Talk about it somewhere only we know?
This could be the end of everything
So why don't we go somewhere only we know?
Somewhere only we know
~~~


I could cry.

The willow tree gave up to the ghost. Died. Before me, her once great and mighty trunk lies snapped in half as though it were but a paper-thin ginkgo, half still standing, half fallen, resting on a mossy grave. Though I know it’s childlike, I can’t help thinking of this as a sign.

I hear the footsteps, of course, but I pay no mind to them. It may be because I am too caught up in the tragedy of the fallen tree to be capable of feeling much more than grief right now; grief for many things.  Or it may just be because I don’t want to hear them. 

“Poor tree.” I hear him say quietly. “She was a special one, wasn’t she?”

I’ve always been quick to forgive, but I’m not sure how I can go about forgiving Lysander quite so swiftly. It wasn’t as though he’d physically torn me in half, but leaving with no explanation can shred a person apart when given a five year breach.  “Yeah, she was.”

I feel his eyes on me, and suddenly I’m feeling particularly ill at ease in my bridesmaid dress. I ditched my heels at the beginning of the reception, so my toes dig into the soft grass as my nerves begin to kick in. “You haven’t changed one bit.” I hear him say almost as if he was amazed. “You’re hair, it’s the exact same length, and you’re just slightly shorter than me, still.”

If it’s possible to feel another’s heart rate, I hear his right now, almost aching to match my own. I know I could let myself go at this moment. I know what I’ve been dreaming of all these years, but I won’t let myself give in to my own voracity. “Why?” I whisper, as soft as I can, still looking at the broken willow tree.

“Why are you shorter than me? I don’t-”

“No.” I interject. Now I face him, strangely not caring that I’m acting slightly more confident than I feel. “Why did you just leave?”

Now he stuffs his hands into his pockets and looks at me as if words defy his tongue at the moment. But then he overcomes it to say, “I was scared.”

I am startled by his answer. “Scared? Scared of what?” Of all the things he could have said, I least expected him to admit this.

“I was scared of losing you.” Lysander’s eyes tell me that he isn’t sure that what he will say is going to fly with me. “I didn’t want to lose my best friend.”

I give him a look of confusion.

He looks away. “You know I didn’t have a lot of experience with people, let alone girls, growing up, just because mum and dad homeschooled me and all, and you were one of the only people I could really talk to during those years. When we got older I guess things started to change, with you going off to school every year and all, and at times I hated myself because I was a squib and couldn’t be magical like you and Louis and everyone else for that matter. After a while I even convinced myself that was the reason you kept leaving to go to school,” he laughed a little. “You didn’t like me because I wasn’t magical.  But even that infantile belief didn’t stop me from liking you as much as I did.”

He sighs. “Of course as I got older I realized I was just being ridiculous, and the more I thought about and the closer I was to you the more I fell for you.” He scratches the back of his neck in a beautifully awkward gesture. “The more and more you went off and the more distant we drifted apart, I came to realize that platonic was how our relationship would always be, and nothing I could do would ever change that. I figured it was best I told you how I felt and cut off our connection completely, and when mum and dad told me we were moving up to Ireland, I knew that the change of events was the universe’s way of telling me to let you go.”

He sighs once again and looks at his shoes. “I guess it was so difficult for me because something inside of me wanted to believe that you’d love me back if you tried, but my mind told me that even if you could, it wouldn’t be real and it wouldn’t be fair. So that day in the rain I decided to let you go for good, but kissing you was not part of my plan, and I’m sorry I did that. It was wrong, and I know you were confused when I left. But I guess I just thought it was for the better.”

“Wait,” I murmur, astounded yet coherent. “You knew you were moving that day?”

“Yes.” He answers plainly.

“So you…lied?”

“No.” he shakes his head. “I just didn’t tell you the whole truth.”

"And now you expect me to forgive you? After five years without an explanation?” I’m not angry, just desperately bewildered as to why he would think something like this, because surely he isn’t stupid enough to.

“No, of course I don’t.” he says, now looking up at me. “I just wanted to tell you why I was and still am so scared of facing you.”

“Still am?” I barely realize I thought this aloud, for that was not my intention at all. Lysander spoke to me in the past tense throughout his explanation, and now he’s saying that he’s still scared of what he feels for me?

This is probably the part where I’m supposed to run into his arms, sobbing for his forgiveness, deprived for his embrace, but I know doing something like that is dangerous.

Five years ago I think I might have been scared, just like he was, to face what I felt for him, but now I’m not, because standing in the presence of something genuine can do that to a person. Maybe we’re not destined for each other, but we’re happening, at least from what I can tell. I’ve spent my life slipping into cracks because I’ve been vulnerable, because I’ve been unsure, and it is high time I accepted something I truly feel. And I never thought I would, but here I am, heart racing, knowing that also it’s time I screwed logic and embraced the spontaneous emotion that’s suffocating every fiber of my being in this one, stupidly simple moment. 

I walk over to him with perhaps the sudden understanding that it’s okay to run away sometimes. Maybe if I’d known how beautiful this feeling could be five years ago, I would have been smart enough to follow. But following and knowing and feeling for the past isn’t always the best, so I’m going to have to learn to let that part of my life go.

Touching a finger to his face, I immediately recognize the outline of his features, as if they’ve been embedded in my memory ever since he left, which of course they have. I feel us both succumb to all that is the other. It’s suddenly spectacular how we’ve remembered our simplicity from back then, as we look at each other. Everything, I’m beginning to see, is falling into place. 

The world stills as bottle green eyes, glistening with reflecting sunlight, regard me gently. I feel like smiling but am afraid that it would ruin our quiet, uninterrupted union. I begin to wonder if it is odd to feel so blissfully happy when only minutes ago I was hurt and grieving, but I stop myself.

Lysander stoops down to kiss me soundly and now I think I finally know what it feels like to be in love.

With my own concluding thoughts, the providence is set, the world released, the air suddenly sweeter than it’s ever been. I know when something’s been set right, it comes to me like a sixth sense, and right now that feeling’s so strong that I don’t really know what to do with it.

In the distance, where the wedding reception is still going on, I hear the maestro of the string quartet announcing the first dance. With a sudden pang I realize I’m going to miss it, but then I understand that it’s okay. Because as my sister dances gracefully with her wonderful new husband, I think I’ll be alright if I dance, maybe not quite as gracefully, with my not-so-new…what’s the word? Oh, yeah; âme soeur. Soulmate.

“Dance with me?” I question, and he lifts out his arms as the first chords of a hauntingly sweet melody surmount us. I step into them, and finally smile as I wanted to before. Lysander mimics my grin and pulls me closer. I rest my head against his chest, closing my eyes, surrendering one final time.

And this moment, right here, is nothing more than somewhere only we know. 

~~~

Oh simple thing, where have you gone?
I'm getting old and I need something to rely on
So tell me when you're gonna let me in
I'm getting tired and I need somewhere to begin


~~~

A/N~ hello there! 
I recently re-edited this story, and I'd love to know what you think! 
thanks for reading! ~EBP




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