Phineas Apparated to the safety of the fields surrounding Guillermo’s village. Calculating the time difference, he arrived in the middle of the night, when nearly everyone would be asleep. But with any luck, Guillermo’s patterns would have remained the same, and he would be curled up with a candle reading his favorite book.
A short walk into the village revealed Guillermo’s house right at the edge. The small window glowed a dull orange, so Phineas knew he had timed his trip right.
He stopped by the window, his hand inches from the pane, and closed his eyes. This would be it. The last time he would see this man, and the thought made his stomach hurt.
He considered abandoning the plan. He’d paid the premium for ingredients and dealt with the potions witch already, but none of that mattered. Could he really follow through with it? Taking someone’s memories?
Guillermo had cried when Phineas left. He’d been distraught, a bit angry, but mostly terrified and confused. His father had abandoned his family, and then his mother killed herself. His oldest sister married and left, so he was left alone with his older brother. But now that Guillermo was 19, his brother was inching out the door, too.
Then Phineas left, and that hurt had compounded. If he returned home now, Guillermo would have to live with Phineas’ betrayal on top of everything else.
No, Phineas decided. If I caused this, I have to fix it.
He knocked three times. “Guillermo, mi amor…?”
Behind the window there was a distinct gasp and then a thud as the book fell to the floor. Moments later the window flew open and there, hanging out of it, was Guillermo, his dark hair disheveled and his piercing green eyes almost glowing. “Phinny?”
Phineas smiled and nodded, instantly glad to be back. Being together again felt right, and even if it could only last a moment, this was where he wanted to be.
“But…why are you back…?” There was no trace of anger or resentment in his voice, and Phineas was thankful for that. But there was uncertainty, and fear that he would be left alone again.
“For you, my love.”
That, apparently, was enough. The fear dissipated as Guillermo threw himself out the window and into Phineas’ arms. The scene of sandalwood flooded his senses, and only then did he wonder where the scent came from. Must be a mix of other things, he realized, but as soon as Guillermo started kissing him, he forgot about everything else.
“Mi hermano…” Guillermo said, gesturing toward the house. Phineas nodded—Guillermo’s brother had always been a very light sleeper—as Guillermo led him by the hand away from the house and toward the small stream where they’d first kissed. Where they’d shared all their firsts, actually. The look in Guillermo’s eyes was impossible to miss, and being back made him wonder if spending the night with him was fair. But considering why he came, it was probably the fairest thing he could do.
One more night before he forgets me…
As Guillermo removed his shirt and began kissing his neck, Phineas forgot why he came. He forgot the potion and the heartbreak he would feel and let himself melt into Guillermo’s arms.