Chapter 1 : Fractured
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His heart lay motionless, shattered into fragments that were scattered across the floor.
Crying was out of the question. He was a man, after all. Not one to let fickle drops of water slide down his face. Certainly not. And it wasn't as if he could gather all the broken shards once more. It wasn't as if they would just fit back together. It wasn't as if he could shove the beating thing back into his chest.
He settled for kneeling, sinking to the floor in what he hoped was one swift, dignified motion. Though when he fell, it wasn't as smooth as he had hoped, and he allowed a wince to whisper across his face as his knees clattered on the wood. After all, it's hard to hold your head high and strive for dignity when one's heart lies broken.
"Please don't be angry."
His eyes flicked upward, rolling back in his head until they hit resistance. There he sat, knees now bruised from the fall, with a heart shivering before him. Of course he was angry. It swirled through him, passing through each of the pieces scattered close, and ghosted through the air. Why wouldn't he be angry? His heart had exploded, after all. Anyone would be angry.
"Lorcan, please, I didn't think you'd react this way." His breath floated to the ceiling, light with no meaning, light with no sincerity. "We're adults now."
The blond stared back at the fluttering thing lying on the wooded floor. Oh, how it had betrayed him. All the pieces, when once whole, had leaped from his chest without asking his mind's permission first. There they had fallen, cascading from the air and bursting into hundreds of little scraps that he could never hope to put back together once more.
"Please be reasonable, Lorcan." A pause gave him hope, inspiring the horrible feeling to lace its way into his veins before being expelled. "Get off the floor."
But he wouldn't. He refused. Not when something vital to him sat sprinkled across it. "How can you ask me to be reasonable," he choked out, "when what you've done is... is not?"
The standing man scoffed at this. "Lorcan," was his reply, "my decision is entirely reasonable. Us? We're just not... logical."
Though he didn't think it was possible, the already shattered pieces began to fracture once more. Tiny cracks, black as a darkened theater, began to spread like viruses across the glimmering shards. "Don't say that," he breathed.
"I'm leaving." The words trailed through the air, leaving tracks that neither could see in their reluctance to leave the lungs. "I hope you'll see how right this is in time."
Lorcan could only squeeze his eyes shut. Tight enough to block out the light. Tight enough to block out the grisly sight of his only heart. Tight enough to block out the shadow of the figure that was turning to abscond.
Hugo and Lorcan. Lorcan and Hugo. Now it was only Lovegood, sitting alone with his heart in shards.
He reached out, allowing his fingers to trail across the jagged edges. So fragile, it was. He wouldn't have known how easily it could be broken, crushed, severed. Still, the sharpness of the corners cut at his skin even as the trembling thing lay there for him to feel.
The light gliding in through the window shone through the fragments, casting dancing shadows along the walls. They played across his face, along the floor, up through the cracks in the pieces until the sun was everywhere he looked. The yolky star payed no mind to the man now sulking by himself. It surrounded him instead, refusing to acknowledge the despair that soaked through him or the heart that sat in shards.
"Lorcan?" This startled him, and he wrenched his eyes apart to gaze upon his mother. "Is everything OK?"
His head swayed from side to side. The voice inside his chest had left, departing with the heart he was now empty of. There was nothing he could say, not one word he could muster up inside him to convey the emptiness that had wrapped itself around him.
"Ah, I see your heart has left you," she breathed, bending down to gaze upon the remnants littered around her son. "This is a common occurrence in young males, you see." Her fingers joined his to trace the edges. Soft and graceful, he followed her movements only with his eyes.
"It's useless," he gritted out, his voice reappearing to grind against his chest. "It can't be whole again."
"Well," she replied, her tone lighter than he had been expecting, "that's not exactly true. While it may come with a few scars, the heart itself can be repaired."
"Time." Her hands now grasped the fragments one by one, gathering the pieces until they shivered in her palm. "Here," she whispered, passing them to him. "You take these."
"What do I do with them?"
"Keep them. Keep them until you are certain of your ability to tickle them back together." She rose to maroon him there, smiling at him as she did so. "I'm sure you'll know when that time comes."
Lorcan Lovegood sat alone, watching his mother leave him. Lorcan Lovegood sat alone, letting the sunlight play across his shoulders. Lorcan Lovegood sat alone, despair washing through his whole.
Lorcan Lovegood sat alone, his heart all but tangled in his hand.