Title: Mirror Mirror On The Wall
Summary: You know you can’t do this don’t you? Harry stands before his mirror and prepares for a ceremony he never thought he’d attend (2nd person POV)
Rating: PG 13
Word Count: 1820
Author's Notes: Thank you to my betas who kept me in the right tense and person, any slips are my fault. Thank you to noticeably for suggesting second person, it was an enjoyable challenge!
You know you can’t do this don’t you?
You can’t fool yourself about this however many times you try.
It isn’t just the same as always. Stop putting those words in your head when you know they can’t possibly work. You know they won’t fool you.
However many times you’ve been to these events, however many times you’ve smiled and shaken the hands of the worthy dignitaries, this is different and you know it. You can stand there trying to smooth down your hair and straighten your tie but you know perfectly well that the problem isn’t how you look or how you behave.
When did you see him last?
Not at a distance, though I bet you remember that too. That was just over a fortnight ago at the launch of Lavender’s new collection.
She looked gorgeous didn’t she? Nobody would have noticed that dead look in her eyes if they hadn’t known already that losing Parvati had been like losing a limb. You couldn’t bear to look at her as Padma hugged her tightly and so you turned and you saw him but that wasn’t really better was it?
He looks good these days. He was so thin when it first ended. For months afterwards he seemed to be only half there. All through the trials you worried about him, waiting for a sign or a collapse, and yet here he is and here you are.
About to be married. You never expected that of him did you?
That’s it. Fix your shirt and tuck it in again and don’t ever let yourself believe that this is different because if you did you’d never leave the room.
The last time you talked to him?
That’s harder isn’t it? You’ve said hello, how’s the weather, how’s your business, but the last time your really spoke to him? It’s been nearly six months since the trials ended and you said it must be good to know it was over and he just looked at you. You didn’t have a reply then and you haven’t had one since.
The last time he really spoke to you was after Alecto was charged with Mrs Granger’s murder. He barely said a sentence to you, something about justice never being truly blind, and you knew what he meant. His mother never hurt anybody and yet her murderer is free because it turns out she loved a wrong man who backed the wrong side.
Turn away then. Look for your medals and the trinkets you have to wear. You’re on show all of the time of course and I’m sure you feel sorry for yourself and yet…
The building was invisible until they were within only a few metres of it. It wasn’t just that it was unplottable and hidden with a Secret Keeper, somehow it seemed to blend into the woods surrounding it until you were close enough to realise that the flashes of smoke really did come from a chimney.
If Ron had been there he’d have commented on the cobwebs surrounding the windows. Hermione would probably have mentioned the way that, even knowing the secret, your eyes seemed to glance away. Neither of them were there of course as it was better that nobody knew of the hiding place of Dumbledore’s murderer.
Draco was watching from the window. There was an intense look in his eyes that few had seen; he no longer looked like the spoilt schoolchild Snape had rushed away that fateful night. He watched the approaching figures with an unreadable look and that, in and of itself, was unnerving. More unnerving by far was the sharpness of the gaze and the ache it awakened.
You’ve lost your watch I suppose? I doubt you’ll find it under the bed but perhaps it’s easier looking there than it is looking at yourself.
You can still feel it can’t you? That feeling that struck you as you saw him then. He was trapped and desperate and willing to do almost anything and you knew, from that first moment, that you’d found a kindred spirit.
Is your watch in the wardrobe? Make sure you look in the pockets too; maybe you’ll find something there. Perhaps, just perhaps, you’ll find some of the notes you and he made as Snape lectured you on all he knew.
It was hard listening to his words wasn’t it? Knowing what he’d done, and even believing why he’d done it, it was impossible to trust him. But after everything else you couldn’t let Draco beat you, couldn’t let him slip ahead or hide some vital truth from you. What if he knew something you didn’t? They said you’d need him to find the last Horcrux and you couldn’t take that chance.
That was why you stayed. Wasn’t it?
The trees were too close together to make flying safe and yet there was nothing that allowed the same feeling of freedom. Draco had in his hand a quill, or a note, or some trinket and whatever else happened you had to retrieve it and for those minutes nothing else mattered.
The trees rushed passed like a blurry painting of a scene you couldn’t quite see. Suddenly you were in front of him and turned sharply to stop his progress.
He should have stopped of course and yet he didn’t. For a moment there was pain and noise and confusion.
His leg pressed against your side, his face seemed to be merely millimetres from yours and as you struggled for purchase on the muddy ground you felt yourself leaning in to his body heat.
Your body seemed to be burning up as those grey eyes met yours with an unflinching glare. Every second that passed seemed to brand your skin as you became aware of the feel of the forest floor on your back, and his weight, and his lips.
Fierceness and passion you had expected but gentleness? Your whole body strained to reach up into the heat of his body and yet he seemed to be a thousand miles away. Time slowed till it seemed like treacle around this strange immediate moment and slowly you freed your hand and now there was no space between you at all.
Before you had felt passion and emotion and fear and anger, you had seen pain and despair, you had experienced great love and devotion, but now? Now every moment seemed to exist in this moment and as you felt time ticking past you surrendered to pure feeling.
You knocked that box by accident I suppose? Scrabbling around on the floor down there, do you think any of them would believe your clumsiness?
They’re expecting you. You can’t back out now you know, or it would be a condemnation of the occasion and the person and…
You should pay attention to what you’re doing or you’re likely to get more than a pinprick from an open badge. You must admit that Hermione’s design was beautiful and honoured those who fought in Dumbledore’s Army even though many of them are…
Looking away again? You never seemed such a coward before.
Everything seems unreal now. Ron is clasping your shoulder, you can feel it, as though through a layer of padding, and he’s saying something you can’t hear. Hermione is there too and there seem to be tears in her eyes, there are others at he periphery of your vision crying too but her tears seem to shine through the all-consuming mist.
Somewhere there is a body, there has to be a body, that proves this is finally over. You haven’t slept for days and it feels like an eternity has passed since you finally located Nagini and her master. Everything seems to be fading as if a veil has passed between you and the world and, for one glorious moment, you imagine Sirius and your father standing behind you.
When you turn it’s Draco standing there. He’s covered in the same black dust that clings to your arms and a bloodstain obscures his right cheek and eye. From this distance, a few yards or a few miles, you can barely make out his white-blond hair from under the grime and yet something about him made you turn.
There is no ache now. There is no familiar feeling of longing as you imagined for Sirius. If it were Ginny perhaps you would expect a painful, bright, look that would sear you to the core. He seems to be nothing and yet you know, you know, he is everything.
Amidst the dust and the ash and the hurt he is the only thing you can see clearly. Nothing is real, everything is as a dream, and you would be fading into nothingness if he weren’t there anchoring you to this reality.
For a moment, the briefest of seconds, he holds out his hand.
They’re calling you.
It’s already twenty minutes since you should have left and it’s not supposed to be the guests who are fashionably late. There’s nothing you can do to your outfit and any moment someone will come in to check.
What is it you think is going to change if you delay? Perhaps you think you’ll be so late you’ll miss the ceremony and yet that won’t prevent it happening.
They’ll be there already. Blaise will be wearing that insufferable smirk he seems to have developed with Mandy plastered to his side. Luna will be at the front, ready to read the lesson, even if you don’t understand how that friendship grew.
Ginny left an hour ago, as you know perfectly well. She’ll sit next to Dean probably. He never ignored her as you did, and whilst she isn’t happy, she might become content and you aren’t allowed to blame her.
It was you who turned away, she never asked it of you, never even knew she needed to ask. You didn’t walk towards her anyway, just away from him, and it was your own decision.
You’d never been such a coward before and perhaps you never will be again. Of all the times to become concerned with what other people could see, instead of what you felt and knew, you really chose the worst.
It’s too late now to change anything and even if you had the chance you still don’t know what you’d do. Perhaps instead of turning away you’d simply pause and hesitate and wonder. Would that have been better?
You won’t ever know now, you can’t ever ask.
That’s it. Walk out of the door and down the stairs. Tonks and Remus will accompany you, Hermione and Ron will sit with you at the wedding, Bill and Fleur will make sure you’re never alone at the reception.
Make sure that smile never slips from your face Harry.
Draco Malfoy offered you his hand, and his heart, twice. You don’t get a third chance.