hermione still flinches when ron’s hands brush her neck and she doesn’t understand why she does, because the cold, metal sting and everything that happened later, is painfully different from his soft palms. she stops wearing perfume, and starts casting protection charms.
remus despises his nature so much that the scars on his body are from his own hands. he knows what the taste of wolfsbane is when it doesn’t quite work; bitter and unmistakably sweet—it’s sirius’s blood when he goes too far.
ginny’s hands shake uncontrollably when she writes for hours at a time. the words will start to swim across the page and mix and scramble into anagrams. hi, i’m tom. what’s your name? hi, i’m tom. what’s your name? hi, i’m tom. what’s your na—
pansy knows what it’s like to cast unforgivables on first years. she learns how to enunciate the words with refined perfection, and learns how to want to hurt them. she throws up in the abandoned washroom after every lesson, and finds comfort in the absent arms of moaning myrtle.
ron faints everytime he apparates. he’ll wake up in hermione’s lap; his hair wet against his forehead, and his arms heavy with sweat. he always reaches for his shoulder and visibly relaxes when blood doesn’t rub off his fingers. he doesn’t know how to control his anger either, and feels the shame creep into his skin whenever hermione looks at his chest. he knows that she’s looking for the locket because he wishes that was what he could lay his blame on.
tom falls in love at the age of twelve—watched glimmering jewels glide down his own hand and pool at the bland tiles in the orphanage; started fires just to keep things lively. he collects followers like sheep in a mindless herd and finds that the acclaimed intricacies of a human brain is much more dull than he had imagined. he holds fear like a baby would with a blanket and spends nights wishing he had more time. he dies knowing he never had enough.
draco knows what it’s like to have your mind violated and out bare for all the world to see. he remembers severus saying that veritaserum has no taste, and discovers that he was wrong. the so called non dimensional potion is much too similar to the taste of the silent pleas he shouted when he watched snatchers salivate at the sight of his mother, or the copper droplets of red that sprinkled the surface of his cracked lips when he watched children slaughtered in the blink of an eye.
sirius has spent his entire childhood without the warmth of a mother’s embrace or the reassuring words of a father. he tells himself he’s okay with it—that he would rather have no family than one that wished his friends dead. he doesn’t know what to think when he has neither family or friends alive—the only embrace he will ever feel again is the one that lurks behind bars in his azkaban cell.
luna stops searching for wrackspurts, and instead, starts organizing her fathers office. she should be relieved when people stop calling her loony lovegood but all she feels is the absence of her imagination. war, it seemed, was not an adventure, but an old friend that came at inconvenient times in history.
harry doesn’t want to start a family because every father he has ever had has been hurt at his own expense. ginny rocks his body against her chest and brushes the tears away from his eyes as soon as they fall. she tells him that he’ll learn how to be a father—that it will come as naturally as magic had. the sharp pain that lodges inside of him whenever albus retreats back into his room is reflected so blatantly on ginny’s face. he wishes that he were a blind man so that he never had to see his mistakes out in the open, and rubs at his fading scar.
despite the years that had passed, it seemed that all was not well.