Chapter 1 : Assonance, touch
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“Don’t leave me,” a serene voice mumbled, running dainty fingers through flaxen hair. The fingers moved to smooth cheek, to a pair of lips; they traced their outline. The lips curved into a smile at their touch, kissing them. Brown eyes met with grey in a dance of emotion. “I don’t want you to go.”
“It’s only a week,” a deeper voice responded. Strong hands gently touched the cascading curls of red hair that rested on pale shoulders. He stroked the strands. “I’ll be back before you know it.” A pointed nose buried into the copper waves, breathing in a scent of heaven and more. It was his weakness. Her rosebud lips smiled.
A thought drifted across her mind – she knew he’d be back soon, how all of this was unnecessary. Yet a greater part of her, the romantic fool that she was, never wanted him to leave her side. The graceful smile shrank slightly. Her weakness was him.
One broad hand skimmed down a white arm, alighting the senses until it reached those fragile fingers. He loved her small hands. A calloused thumb, hardened from life stroked its partner’s, a touch so light she thought it was imagined. They stood, unnoticed by time, as the world passed them by. A second hand travelled upwards, passing the curve of a pair of lips, an upturned nose until it reached the pearly tear, making its voyage down a sea of pale skin. It wiped it away earnestly; he couldn’t stand to see her cry.
Pale rays gleamed through the vaulted ceiling, creating a spotlight for the couple, but they didn’t notice. Watery sunlight illuminated her hair. He thought she looked beautiful. Her cheeks were pink as his cloudy eyes gazed upon her with such intensity, she almost looked away; but she held her ground. They looked at one another as if meeting for the first time. She saw his fine lines, almost a whisper on his pale face, the small scar near his nose he got when he was fifteen, the lazy smile which told her everything was okay. He saw the smattering of freckles splashed across her upturned nose, her dimpled cheeks as she smiled, the slightest shade of purple beneath chocolate eyes. They drank each other in, neither wanting to forget a single detail.
A slight finger nervously fiddled with a ring. It was simple, elegant; just a small diamond set in gold, but it meant the world to her. They hadn’t been apart for this long before, even in the early days where he’d cancel because he was working late or she was out with her friends. They felt like a part of one another, attuned to their thoughts. She couldn’t bear to be away from him. She thought of the ghost of an imprint he would leave on their sheets, his smell scattered across the apartment, his favourite tie hanging from their wardrobe. She hated that tie, but it was a part of him. She wondered whether he would think of her as often.
The pair of silver eyes seemed to read her expression like a book thumbed through many times. His countenance softened as strong arms wrapped themselves round a fragile body, stroking a hip, a back, a shoulder. “You know I’ll miss you,” he found himself saying as he pulled her close, rocking their bodies to the sound of the hustle and bustle of the station. “More than anything in this world.”
There was a silence as the two held each other; they were connected by body and mind. Their souls were inexplicably intertwined with fate, with love. They fit together and blended seamlessly into one another. They were a dream. They were meant to be.
Somewhere in the distance, a whistle sounded - the call for the train. He grudgingly released her and turned round to face the vessel. She took in his side profile; his strong jaw, prominent cheekbones and wide eyes. To her, he was perfect. Others were more than happy to find fault, but she could see none as her eyes greedily captured another picture for her memories. He turned round to face her, saddened.
“I have to go.”
A renewed sense of desperation brought the dainty fingers to life as she brushed them across his face like an artist with a blank canvas. His pale eyes sparkled as she held him, never wanting to let him go. He didn’t want to leave his angel behind for more than a second. Tears had reached her eyes once more, threatening to spill over. She looked down. She was ashamed at her own weakness. A hand reached out to lift a trembling chin; teary eyes reached a warm smile.
The same strong hand caressed those wonderful red curls as he hushed her, a soothing sound to her small ears. She knew she was being silly, but all she wanted to do right now was lay in bed with him, at their cosy apartment. They would talk to one another in nothing more than a whisper, listening to the sound of their heartbeats laced with the world around them. She knew he wanted the same. A second whistle rang out, loud and clear. She couldn’t keep him here forever.
His heart broke as she turned her head, searching for the source of the whistle. His beautiful girl felt like a source of vitality, of ethereal life to him. It would be just as hard for him, for both of them. He dreaded the cold and heartless hotel, the cheap food and dreary work, but it was unavoidable. He gathered her tiny hands in his own, enveloping them.
“Just remember,” he whispered so that only he could hear, “I’m right here.” He brought her hands to her heart, and she looked down at the union. His heart leapt when he saw a flicker of a smile grace her features. If he could but make that smile, the smile he fell in love with last even for a millisecond then he had succeeded. He knew she would be alright. This knowledge settled comfortably in his mind, banishing his doubts. “I adore you.”
He said it with so much feeling that it surprised her. A heart fluttered in delight at this sentiment, warmth filling her whole being. Perhaps a week wasn’t so long. Despite this revelation, she quickly crushed his body to hers, melting together in a last few seconds of being as one. A steward huffed impatiently. She smiled apologetically and reluctantly let go.
“I’ll see you soon,” Lily called out to Scorpius’ departing figure. Her head felt light with happiness, tinged with anticipation. Scorpius smiled and mouthed a kiss before disappearing into the depths of the train. Lily smiled to herself, waving as the train pulled away, eagerly awaiting her love’s return.