He can still see her, sometimes, when he closes his eyes. In his mind she seems to fall forever and still he watches her fall, fall, fall until she lands with a crash on the carpeted floor. It was but one instant of his fifteen years but still it dances mockingly in his brain and catcalls in his ears and follows him, ghostlike, wherever he goes.
“No. Why should I?”
He had never seen it but he had seen the aftermath, the coffin in the house and the sound of her crocodile tears. She could cry for so long, and keep up the act for longer, and still his ears ring as he hears her weep, weep, weep until he’s sure she will drown in her own lack of remorse. Not once or twice but four times he has heard those words, He’s dead, Blaise. No explanation, no apology.
“Sorry, I – I just thought –”
“You thought wrong.”
Her body had lain there, wide-eyed and staring, as his father pulled him out. You weren’t meant to be there, Theo.You weren’t meant to see that. Then who was meant to see it, he has often wondered. You, Father? Were you in on it too, you and Grandmother together?
But such doubts were private. They had never known and he would never tell them.
“Well what do they look like then? Theo?”
She had always worked alone. He might have helped, if she had allowed him, he could have done much more than just stick to her story when the Ministry came sniffing around the house. She had never wanted him to be a part of it, always forbidden him from truly seeing what was going on.
But he had looked, once. Morbidly curious, he had lifted the lid and peeked into the coffin. Castor, it had been. Husband number five. She had never known and he would never tell her.
“They’re… hard to describe.”
“They’re sort of like horses, but… but not. They look almost reptilian, almost snakelike. No, more like dragons – they’ve got wings. Fangs too. They’re thin, really thin. Skeletal. And they’re black, completely black, black coats and manes and tails.”
Black, like the night when they buried her. It had been winter, and a bitter one at that. He had shivered in the cold and been reproached for it. No one’s making you stay, Theo.
“They sound awful.”
“They are. Ugly as hell.”
And more than that, they are frightening, making him remember when all he wants to do is forget.
Such thoughts do not go unnoticed. “Do they frighten you?”
“If you’re going to lie, at least do it well.”
“What about you then? Do they frighten you, Blaise?”
“I can’t see them.”
“But do they frighten you?”
She frightens him, sometimes. She would never hurt him, she’s said it often enough. And that’s what he tries to believe. That’s what he keeps telling himself. She says she loves him, but he has heard her whisper that often enough into the ears of those she despises. How to distinguish the lies from the truth?
“Yes. Yes, they do.”
“Aren’t we all frightened of death? And death is all the more terrifying because we can’t see it.”
A figure shrouded in mystery and cloaked in darkness – that is what Death should be.
This, neither hers nor theirs had been.
One has seen Death and the other has known him, and so one stares with disgust and the desire to be blind, while the other stares sightless, with a yearning to see.
A/N: Thanks for reading! I know the style of this is a bit... weird... and I'm not quite sure what to make of it, but I've been meaning to write about Theodore for a while and this is just what happened :D I'd love to hear your thoughts on it if you've got a minute :)
Disclaimer: To my everlasting regret, I do not own Harry Potter. It's all JKR's.
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