Chapter 1 : beatbeatbeatbeat
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The two together pound against their ribs and beads of sweat trickle down their neck and they squeeze each otherís hands and beatbeatbeatbeat.
His toes squirming in his socks and her feet perfectly paralyzed. Their eyes up and down and back to the door and back to each other quick did the baby move stop for a breath now back to the door and into the crack in the floor that has been growing and the rot underneath a house that is too old with people too young peeks out when you look too hard so itís best to look back at the door.
It is the first night. It is the long night. It is the night they will die. Each careful and what are the odds people donít die not them not now not even in a house like theirs next to someone so still and blissfully unaware of the hearts next to his beatbeatbeatbeating.
The dusk was long ago but the dawn is longer. She tells herself that she trusts her husband and she trusts his trust. He tells himself that he would die for the man who has made such a choice. He has trusted the man who has kept them up beatbeatbeatbeating since he was only wishing and paper planes and the tales he reads to his son who is so blissfully unaware of the story he reads and the story heís in.
Her eyes are brighter than the broom hung over the mantle next to plaques and awards, but she fears the light that gives the sign to the rest of the world that she is beatbeatbeatbeating so she looks back at the crack in the floor and hides her hope and the happy tug at the bottom of her lip when she remembers this morning when James made breakfast and she ran off with the breakfast and her son and they hid in the coat closet between blankets and old textbooks and everything faded except sneaking bits of egg into her mouth and Harry had his silly laughter and for just a moment a precious few seconds, Lily too was blissfully unaware.
No one thought. No one knew. He was safe. Donít tell donít tell. Make it through the night. And the next night. And the night after that. Donít tell donít tell. Trust they said. Said they trust you. With their lives. Donít run donít run. No one will think itís you.
Snap. Just a branch. Crack. Just a bug. Not footsteps not footsteps. Oh why did he do this? Why did he agree? beatbeat itís too much beatbeat the stress beatbeat just wait until dawn and then you can fix it.
ďDonít dig your nails into the sofa, James.Ē she should have said. ďItís my motherís!Ē she should have said.
But she didnít.
ďCan I slip out to the garden for a bit?Ē he should have said. ďNo one will see me!Ē he should have said.
But he didnít.
Back at the door now down to the underneath peeking where your mother wiped her feet and said hello and gave her coat to James since she couldnít reach the hook she liked the best because it didnít wobble like the others.
Now back to the baby and into the crack has never been sealed because what if and when and how and just maybe because youíre not sure. Itís fine and Sirius is right and trust me but that doesnít sound so sure now that the clock is stuck and there is nothing left that you want to hold onto right now except the beating hearts in the room. Mother and father beatbeatbeatbeat. And then the quiet of the
Look up! Lily looks around and is startled by a voice because she has been so careful to keep her pattern of where to look that she missed the window and behind that the light and itís here and one more day will let her shoulders drop and her fist relax and James was right. She might sleep today or maybe later when she knows James will be awake enough to keep track of Harry. She doesnít need to be awake through one more long night.
Beat beat beat.
for slytheranchica08ís one shot title/rating/pairing challenge