Rumor had it that everything was simply a plot. The note left behind was not really Jacqueline’s but was rather part of a ploy to keep the real killer in disguise.
Tossing one glance at the crumpled parchment I knew otherwise. Her neat, minuscule print graced the vanilla sheet with its horrific goodbye, unmistakable to my keen eyes. I knew this girl inside and out- no way was it possible that I could be false in my own frightening opinion.
I pass another grim student in the hall and grope for the remainder of energy that my body withheld throughout the day, finding just enough to squeeze out a miniature smile.
The girl, slightly familiar to my eyes, did not return one.
I continue with my promenade down the brightly lit corridor, still unsure as to where my heart desired to go. That was my game at the present time- following my heart. It was never an act that I partook in but one that I should have picked up years ago.
Jacqueline had taught me how; I just never had the guts to try. That is until now. As overdue as it was I promise to make it up to her.
Was that even possible? To make it up to someone who left this world merely twenty four hours ago? I couldn’t convince myself that it was enough but whole-heartedly I was willing to try to change that.
My heart was still in shock but my brain had long passed its initial bewilderment. How could I have been an element in Jacqueline’s devastatingly unexpected suicide? I knew the horrid answer to that appalling wonderment but repeating it out loud in the shadows wouldn’t get me anywhere. I was stuck in this phase until my heart decided not to be and who knew how long that would take.
Regardless, I tried. I recited the first part of the letter that contained my name and felt my head grow increasingly dizzy with each and every profound word.
“And you Tommy, I can’t blame you in fairness. You stole my heart, the only part of me I had left and for that I knew I could live on no longer.”
The words burned my throat so extremely and the blurriness in my head mixed along with it, rapidly landing me on the floor- the cold stone floor of a living hell. Could I get any lower? No, that wasn’t possible at all. I was at the lowest possible point in my life and it was completely my own fault.
Even though hours had passed I still failed at comprehending her words. Was there anything that I could have done to stop her from falling, blindly as it was, for me? My heart fell at an enormous rate to the tips of my toes and continued to swim there, broken with my most recent conclusion.
No. No there was not.
If she couldn’t help who she crushed on how could I? Sure I could have been a different, more judgmental or disgustingly arrogant human being with a heart for few but that there is asking too much. Besides, there would have been some other random bloke who would have taken my place. I at least felt like I could handle what was going on here. I was strong enough for this, I was certain of that.
Then why is it again that I now find myself on the smooth mineral floor, propped up by the massive wall to my back, with a rather large arrangement of tears bathing in my eyes?
Some tough guy I am.
It took me several more minutes before my legs finally ceased in their trembling and I was able to locate the tremendous strength to rise to my feet. I continued to tear up however, the salty droplets regaining too much power and spilling ferociously over the over the brims of my eyes, falling in symmetrical trails down both of my cheeks. A reassuring thought was the fact that I hadn’t cried over the incident yet. This meant that I was not as weak as I originally believed. Rather, I was your average seventeen year old boy, possessing a breaking point.
Another student passed me in the hall, ignoring me just as the first had. It didn’t bother me like it might have if it were any other occasion. Nothing like this had ever happened here at Hogwarts. Suicide, I mean, It is possible that it could have occurred centuries ago but certainly not within the past two hundred years. Every individual had their own way of dealing with things. Whether they were close to Jacqueline or not, the event had a way of really opening your eyes.
After about another five minutes of finding solace with my back to the cool marble wall I pulled away from it, the strength of my body, mind, and heart rushing back to me. I was about to advance further down the corridor when a new set of footsteps startled me to a halt. I shouldn’t be afraid- I’m not- but for some reason I felt as if stopping was the only thing I could do.
I turned on my heel just in time to see what appeared to be a second or third year male. He popped his eyes down to his feet at the sight of me and when he was finally looking back up, he astonished me by speaking out.
“You- you are that boy…that one who f-found that girl…”
He arrived near me, stopping a whole two feet away, his gentle brown eyes boring into my face. I nodded, suddenly fearing to speak. Saying anything would surely bring back too many memories. But then again, thinking of the previous day could trigger then just as easily.
The Griffindor in front of me was expressing nothing short of the truth. I was the first one to find Jacqueline, sprawled halfway on one couch and partway off of it, deader than anything I had ever laid my eyes on before. I was stunned and had immediately jumped to conclusions. Who had done this? Why? But when I noticed for the first time the red envelope on her chest the course of my thoughts altered instantaneously. I knew then what had happened but the truth didn’t calm me at all.
“Were you scared?”The young boy questions, his soft eyes suddenly grave and cold looking.
“Terrified,” I corrected, my croak coming out better than I would have expected. It didn’t bother me that he wished to ask questions. In fact, I found myself desiring to answer more, greedy for an escape.
He supplied to my want, inventing a fresh one.
“Did you know her well?” The Griffindor took a single confident step closer, not surprising me with his actions due to my unusual vulnerability. That young man was stronger and more complete than I was currently.
“I love her; I knew her very well.” I felt the tears well up in my eyes a second time but I urgently gulped them back for an unknown reason. I wasn’t afraid of crying in front of this boy, only frightened of sobbing to myself. I had done it once already; I didn’t have the strength to withstand the emotion again.
I had never said those words before- in my head or out loud. But they sounded perfect against my tongue with the vision of Jacqueline at the front of my mind. I did love her, I really truly did.
“Don’t you mean ‘loved?’ She’s gone now; doesn’t love stop after death?” The boy’s eyes were widening with each spoken word, confusion evident in his childish features.
He had so much to learn.
“True love never stops. It can’t. If it did then no love could ever exist.”I wasn’t sure exactly what I was saying but it sounded right. He seemed to catch on fairly easily to my wise explanation but it took him a few moments of silence to let out a response of his own.
“Did she love you?”
Once again I felt hot tears rush to my burning eyes.
“She did and you want to know something else? That’s what ended up killing her in the end, falling in love with me.”
The boy, looking stunned, began pulling at a flank of his dark blond hair. His eyes grew smaller as he searched for the right words, hasty to discover an answer to his silent inquiries.
“But how? You couldn’t have killed her. That’s impossible.”
I sighed wildly before speaking again. “Oh, it is very possible. You see, I took the last big thing from her: her heart. After that went she had nothing left of her own and therefore possessed no will to live. I killed her. As unintentional as it was, I am responsible for her death.”
“But you just tried to save her, that’s all. I mean, I didn’t-“
“Stop it! I killed her and you know it. You have nothing else to say!”
With that I turned my back on the startled Griffindor and ran down the bright corridor unable to find my breath.
A/N: An honest thank you to my lovely beta for this one-shot, WeasleyTwins, who has been a true friend to me on the forums for quite some time now. She did a wonderful job of perfecting this with a change to my silly typos and I cannot thank her enough for it. I do not get betas often but when i do it is always pleasant to get a helpful one and she is in every way.
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