Now that I see you
Inspired by this song.
He catches his eye across the hall and pauses. Something is different. There’s no venom, no glee, no… anything. He looks deflated, resigned, as though just sitting there is too much of an effort.
He didn’t know if he’d come back. The halls that once felt so secure are now haunted by the residue of the battle, the constant reminder of their losses. He dreams about it. Every night. Fellow classmates sinking to the ground left and right, the snake-like face twisted in a scornful sneer, the fire that nearly killed them both.
Dragging himself out of bed gets harder every day. It just seems so… pointless.
But then he catches his eye again and it’s like the whole world around them evaporates until it’s just the two of them. He knows, doesn’t he? He understands. He’s suffering, too.
But too much has been said and done. He can’t just ignore everything that went down between them in the last seven years. There’s still too much anger, too much humiliation… too much regret.
But more than once he feels his eyes on him while they’re sitting in their newly shared common room. He clutches his quill, forces himself to keep his eyes on the parchment… and fails. Their eyes connect and it’s as though a million unspoken things are laid bare between them.
He breaks the moment first, averting his eyes, too overwhelmed by all the emotions battling in his chest.
Someone’s walking past him, leaving the common room. It’s him. His muscles clench. He shouldn’t go after him. He doesn’t even know what to say. But it’s like an invisible force is pulling him out of his chair.
He spots him immediately. He’s standing with his back against the wall, just outside the common room. His face is unreadable. But then he opens his mouth and murmurs an apology. It’s uncomfortable. It’s awkward. He doesn’t look like he’s expecting a reply, but he mumbles one anyway. He apologises as well.
The teachers keep bringing up what happened, encourage everyone to talk about it. It only makes him want to scream. His hands are still balled into fists as he leaves the classroom. Then, he feels a hand on his shoulder. It’s brief, a fleeting gesture, but his shoulder still feels warm hours later, his skin still tingling from his touch.
He sees him in the library, watches him as he stares at one page for almost an hour. He deliberates leaving him alone but he just can’t help himself. He sits down beside him, takes his book and starts reading it to him.
He wanders the corridors at night, desperately trying to distract himself. It’s not working. Then he finds him, sitting on the stairs leading to the Entrance Hall. He doesn’t even seem surprised when he sits down next to him. Everything is quiet. Until he hears a sob beside him. He’s covering his face with his hands, his shoulders shaking uncontrollably. He hesitates, only for a moment, before he shifts closer and carefully puts an arm around him. There are tears forming in his eyes as well and for once, he’s not ashamed of them.
He has to hide his smile when he hears him call out his name and falls into step beside him on the way to the next class. Their hands brush against each other and neither of them shies away from the touch. He is a little surprised, however, when they walk around the lake and warm fingers curl around his. Not by accident.
He tries to mask his uncertainty with a frown as he moves closer to him on the sofa in the common room. Heat blooms on his cheeks as his fingers make contact with warm skin. Even more so when a blanket is thrown over his legs and his hand is delicately caressed beneath it.
He still feels lonely at night, helpless and forlorn. But there’s something new, slowly blossoming inside him. It gives him hope.
He catches his eye across the hall and smiles. Yes, something is different.