Chapter 1 : Sunlight
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Him. I have become so comfortably cradled by the sun that I have nearly forgotten the arms I am lying in, but he is here, his stubble gently scratching the soft, pale skin that coats my shoulder. He is laying there right up against me, stretching in his sleep, and I can see the little bit of fat that has grown around his belly button. It reminds me that the man I share my flat with was not always a man, was not always he who helped win the war. He used to be soft, like me.
He waited patiently, and he won me with simplicity. He picked up my books when I tripped one evening on my way to the library. He asked me to the Yule Ball seven minutes after I said yes to Ernie MacMillan. He drank the substandard coffee at the Leaky Cauldron for a year before asking me out on a proper date, and then, six months after that, he moved into my tiny flat. He is still stealing my heart day by day with his stories about the Hogwarts Founders, which he reads in Hogwarts: A History on his breaks from teaching, and the ever-blooming flowers in our home. He is unexpectedly normal, and his grandmother always says that I will make the prettiest bride.
The bell jingles downstairs, and it is magically silenced with a quick wand wave that I assume belongs to Delilah, the pretty seventh-year who splits her time between waiting tables at my pub Ė my pub? When did I stop being a seventh-year? Ė and volunteering at St. Mungoís Hospital. Two years of running a business, one year of dating a man who has to leave before the dawn in the winter in order to get to the school in time to prepare for his first class, and I still have not mastered the art of rising early. I look over at him and remember why I cling to these moments.
He stirs, frowning slightly, and part of me panics. No, no, donít, donít leave, donít end this.
I stare past the daffodils he brought me yesterday, attempting to hold the sunlight just where it is without allowing it to invade my life any further, and hear Delilahís tea kettle begin to scream.
I smile, preparing to greet him.
He rolls over, seeking the smell of the perfume I forgot to take off before we tumbled into sleep early this morning, and I see a little box of white velvet clenched loosely between his fingers.
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