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Fear of Falling by elegantphoenix
Chapter 1 : The Best Thing
 
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Disclaimer I don't own a single thing you recognize. This includes characters, song lyrics, places, etc.

Author's Note While listening to Taylor Swift one day, I got really inspired and wrote this one-shot. I hope you like it :) I quite like it myself, and cannot believe it has taken me this long to post it up here. Sorry!! And some background: Elodie Delacour is the daughter of Gabrielle Delacour in this story. Okay. Well, happy reading! Thanks for stopping by!







You were in college working part time, waiting tables
Left a small town, never looked back
I was a flight risk with a fear of falling
Wondering why we’d bothered with love if it never lasts

She would admit it; she was scared. Frightened, even – of many things, sure, but mostly loving with everything she had and then being left. Just like her mum had. It had been brief, her dad’s departure, and she’d been young, but it still stung beneath the surface to even conjure a list of reasons why he might have given up and left. There were none.

When you loved someone, you weren’t supposed to give up. That had been the one thing she’d always believed from a very young age and suddenly, it had been proven wrong, and by her own dad no less.

Why was love so readily relinquished, and why were hearts so carelessly toyed with like puppets on strings? Love was supposed to be a powerful feeling, everlasting, and true, but to her, it was all just a load of unreliable codswallop. Love might have been a powerful feeling, but it was not everlasting – as her father had so kindly demonstrated – and it was not true. It was just a lie, an excuse to put your heart in the middle of a battlefield, just hoping not to get shot down.

And yet, here she was.

Elodie Delacour was falling, spiraling down into the treacherous abyss of love, even though she had sworn never to get mixed up in that fairytale. She felt dirty, like she was letting her mother down by succumbing to the very feeling that had betrayed her before. But she hadn’t been able to help it – he had been persistent and his eyes had been so mesmerizing she couldn’t refuse. He’d known it, too.

She had been sure of it.

I say can you believe it
As we’re lying on the couch
The moment, I can see it
Yes, yes
I can see it now

As time wore on and they became more involved, the sickening feeling in the pit of her stomach began to fade, but she remained firm in her belief that he would one day decide to leave her for undisclosed reasons, just like her father had done her mum. It was a nagging feeling in the back of her mind that didn’t go away for the first few weeks, making her overly paranoid and distant.

If he had noticed this at all, Lysander had not let on.

This made Elodie both uneasy and grateful.

She felt uneasy because she feared, now, that he would start to pity her and try to please her because of how she was feeling, which would only make her feel worse. She didn’t want to be pitied, she wanted to feel safe, and sure. Sure that he wouldn’t abandon her some day, and sure that her feelings were being reciprocated, and that those feelings were true.

Was that too much to ask?

Do you remember when we were sitting there, by the water?
You put your arm around me for the first time
You made a rebel of a careless man’s careful daughter
You are the best thing that’s ever been mine

Elodie remembered the day perfectly, the one when she had, for the first time in her life, felt one step closer to feeling safe. It had been months ago, but she could still smell the salt blowing off the water with the wind, the grainy sand between her toes, and the warmth rushing across her skin.

She sat on the beach, close enough to the water to allow the low tide to roll over her toes and douse her pale feet, but just far enough to keep the remaining three-quarters of her body dry. She shut her eyes as the slightest of gusts of summer air blew in from the water, bringing with it the salty scent of the ocean and the warmth of the setting sun.

The wind rippled through her hair, the color of the bark on the trees and the texture of freshly spun silk, blowing it off her face as she sighed softly. Tears crept from the corners of her eyes as she wept, silently, biting down harder on her lip as she squeezed her eyes tighter. One year. It had been one full year since her father had left, since she had run away from home, and here she was, crying.

Well, she certainly had a right to.

She loved both of her parents, she did, but she hated the fact that they had given up. She hated the fact that her father had left, yes, but she also hated the fact that her mum had allowed him to walk out without trying to convince him not to. Her mum had always tried to tell her that she had, in fact, tried everything she could, but Elodie had never believed her. She’d watched the entire scene unfold with her own, seven year old eyes, after all.

But that wasn’t why she was crying, not really. It was the whole anniversary of her parents’ divorce; the bitter reminder that love was prone to crumbling, that is was anything but everlasting that made her heart squeeze with despair.

“Hey,” someone said as they sat down next to her, “I guessed you’d be out here.” She expelled slowly a breath she hadn’t known she’d been holding, her eyes falling on the man that was sitting to her left.

His short, dirty blonde hair danced in the breeze, falling to a point just above his eyebrows, which had always been a bit darker than his hair, even when he was younger. He had big, brown, Siberian husky eyes that sometimes glazed over when he was deep in thought, but right now, they were filled with concern. Lysander’s brows furrowed. “Have you been… crying?” he whispered, reaching forward and tentatively, yet very gently, brushing away the tears that still clung to her cheeks.

She sniffled, looking back toward the water. “I didn’t want you to see me like this,” murmured Elodie sheepishly, shaking her head as she toyed with a loose thread in the sleeve of her sweater and sighed softly.

“Well I have,” Lysander pointed out, leaning closer to her and brushing her fringe behind her ear. “So … do you want to … um … talk about it?”

Elodie looked up at him, a faint smile on her lips as she let her eyes study him. She loved how he tried not to pry, clearly noticing how guarded she had been for the past few weeks and respecting that. She didn’t want to talk about it, really, but she knew that she couldn’t keep this buried down inside of her forever. It wasn’t even that big of a deal.

Parents divorced all the time.

That thought did not, however, make her feel any better. Elodie shut her eyes and swallowed hard. “I… it’s just… my parents…” she said slowly, taking a deep breath. “They separated – well, divorced, really – a year ago, today and it’s… it hasn’t been easy for me to… you know, cope.” Elodie paused, opening her eyes. “It just feels like… like love is a hopeless emotion when you see it thrown away like that. I guess that explains why you’re my first.” She glanced at him, before adding, “Love, that is. My first love.”

The clarification didn’t make the cheeky grin on his face fade any quicker, though. Her cheeks burned as she focused intently on drawing loops in the wet sand with her toe to keep from looking at him.

“So… you love me, eh?” said Lysander after a minute, his eyebrows raising.

“I –” Elodie stopped, her cheeks growing hotter as she realized what she’d said before. Had she really told him that she loved him? Well, it certainly seemed that way. She looked at him again, but he was not grinning anymore. He had a look of intrigue on his face now; he was expectant, hopeful. Slowly, a small smile crept onto her lips. “Well… yes,” she managed to get out. “Yes, I suppose I do love… you.”

It had been difficult for her to allow herself to let those fateful words slip from her lips, but once she had done it, she had felt as though a weight had just been lifted from her chest. It was as though the words had been locked away within her for so long that they’d been becoming a heavier and heavier burden to bear as each day passed.

He smiled back gratefully, his eyes full of relief and understanding.

“Look, Elle,” he said, “I can tell this is a big leap for you, and I can see that you’re scared, but I swear to you”– Elodie met his eyes –“we won’t end up like them.” Then he put his arm round her shoulders and she leaned into him, breathing in his musky scent as she watched the warm colors of the sunset reflect in the surface of the water in front of them.

And as she had shut her eyes and what he had just told her finally registered in her mind, Elodie had found that she believed him.

Every word.

Flash forward and we’re taking on the world together
And there’s a drawer of my things at your place
You learn my secrets and you figure out why I’m guarded
You say we’ll never make my parents’ mistakes

Just a month or two into the relationship, Elodie had begun to spend more time at Lysander’s house than she did at her mum’s place, so they had decided to move in together. Every day he reminded her of what he’d told her that night on the beach, gently stroking her hair as he promised her that they were going to do things differently. And she knew that he was right; they were their own people, after all; but she still had that nagging feeling in the back of her mind.

The fear that everything still had the potential to deteriorate before their very eyes.

She expressed this fear from time to time, while they were lying on the couch together, listening to the radio or out for a stroll in Diagon Alley, but he would just kiss her and tell her that he would never leave her. He loved her too much to do that.

And each time he told her he loved her, her heart did happy back flips in her chest.

We got bills to pay
We got nothing figured out
When it was hard to take
Yes, yes
This is what I thought about

Their lives drifted along as slowly as they had before the move in, before they’d even become an item, really, and, generally, not much changed. Lysander was still living with his parents, and therefore so was Elodie; they were bunking up in the room him and his brother had once shared, before he had moved out. His parents were nice, though a bit odd, but that wasn’t what made Elodie uneasy.

It was the fact that they were happy that stung. Happier than her own parents had ever been. And Lysander could see that. For some reason, to him, looking at her was like looking through a window.

He could see everything she was feeling perfectly.

And, thus, he had set off searching the papers for vacant flats in town.

Do you remember when we were sitting there, by the water?
You put your arm around me for the first time
You made a rebel of a careless man’s careful daughter
You are the best thing that’s ever been mine

It took a while and quite a bit of looking around before they found the right one, but when things got tense and nearly too much to bear, Elodie would sit down with a mug of tea, snuggling up against Lysander as they thought about that pivotal moment on the beach. And their hectic lives would be calm, even if only for a little while.

Do you remember all the city lights on the water?
You saw me start to believe for the first time
You made a rebel of a careless man’s careful daughter
You are the best thing that’s ever been mine

Eventually, they found the right flat – a nice one close enough to his parents in case of emergencies, yet far enough for them to feel more on their own – but it was well out of their budget. Lysander took up double shifts at the Leaky Cauldron while Elodie went to work as an intern at the Ministry.

Their hours were considerably different, and as the days turned into weeks, they started seeing each other less and less. Elodie had tried placating the feelings of neglect and loneliness plaguing her, but it was no use. One night, when she brought Lysander a late dinner in an attempt to gain some time together, her world began to crumble.

And I remember that fight at 2:30 am
You said everything was slipping right out of our hands
I went out crying and you followed me out into the street

Words had begun to flow from her mouth like a waterfall, and before she could stop herself, she found herself saying things that she wished she hadn’t. She was tired – both physically, as it was late, and mentally – and she didn’t know any better but, for the first time, Lysander didn’t see that. Instead, he replaced his usually pleasant demeanor with an irritated one, and their conversation turned into an argument.

Only moments after it had begun, tears clouded Elodie’s vision and the memory of the night her dad left came rushing back, her parents’ shouts and accusations ringing out in her ears. She looked back into Lysander’s angry eyes for a second longer, dropped the bag on the table that he had been wiping down, then turned and fled from the pub.

In seeing her tears, something in Lysander clicked and he abandoned his efforts at work to follow her.

Brace myself for the goodbye
Cause it’s all I’ve ever known
Well you took me by surprise
You said I’ll never leave you alone

Elodie had pushed through the front door and ran out into the rain, which had not been there a few minutes ago when she had arrived. But that was not her biggest problem now. She tripped her way out into the middle of the dark and empty street, her small body shaking violently with sobs. Thunder growled overhead.

This is it, she told herself sadly, shutting her eyes against the distorted light of a nearby street lamp as she detected the sound of footsteps behind her through the downpour. It always starts with a fight; he’s going to do it. He’s going to leave you just like your father did.

Even though she knew that what her conscience said was true, she couldn’t help but notice the horrid tone in which she heard the words ring out in her mind. It was malicious, almost evil – scolding her for ever trying to believe otherwise. Elodie shut her eyes tighter as she choked out another wretched sob that quickly turned into a half-hearted shout in surprise as she felt someone turning her round and pulling her into their arms – into a hug.

Realizing that it was Lysander, Elodie tried to fight him off, not wanting to grow anymore attached before he cut all ties with her. If he was going to do it, he wanted him to do it fast – without touching her.

“Elle!” shouted Lysander as he grabbed her by the wrists, trying to restrain her. “Elle, stop – it’s me!”

“I know it’s you,” she cried, struggling against his grip. “Just – just get it over with already. I don’t think I can – can hold myself together any – any longer…” and then her arms went limp and the sobs came harder than ever before.

Lysander stared at her. “What –?” he started to say, but then he understood. “Elodie, wait. You think I’m going to leave you just because we had a fight, don’t you?”

“Well, I can’t help but think that when all I can ever think about is how my parents are the epitome of how unreliable and fragile love can –”

You said
I remember how we felt sitting by the water
And every time I look at you it’s like the first time
I fell in love with a careless man’s careful daughter
She is the best thing that’s ever been mine

ELODIE!” Lysander shouted, taking her face between his hands and looking her in the eyes. “How many times do I have to tell you that I am crazy about you for you to get it?” He shook his head. “I love you, and I would never let such a petty fight like the one we just had get in the way of how I feel about you.” He took her hands in his, squeezing. “You are the best thing that has ever happened to me, Elodie Delacour, so please, please, please stop comparing us to them.” Lysander shook his head. “Just because you’re their daughter doesn’t mean that you’re subject to the same fate.”

Hold on
Make it last
Hold on
Never turn back

Her bottom lip trembled as her eyes searched his for a moment, but all she found was love. Pure, sincere, and unfathomable love. She couldn’t even begin to question that.

And she didn’t want to.

You made a rebel of a careless man’s careful daughter
You are the best thing that’s ever been mine




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