Charcoal Emotions
by Sarah Maria

"Why did you do this?" he asked me. I said nothing. I couldn't look him in the eye. Instead I narrowed my gaze to his chest: the symbol of a scarlet and gold clad lion, brave and true. Everything I wasn't and everything that I would never become.

"I'm not like you Harry. I can't be what you want me to be. I can't be you." I kept my gaze lowered, cowering. I had been a coward. I acted like a coward. I was a coward. I couldn't bring myself to explain my reasoning and I couldn't bring my self to apologize either.

"I never asked you to be. I never asked you to be anything but who you are; who I thought you were. Why'd you do it? Why did you give up on yourself?" He looked at me like he cared, but I knew better. He hated me and he always would.

"Because you gave up on me," I found myself answering. I knew it wasn't true and of course he did. But I couldn't think of anything better to say. Because you were in love with someone else. Because I saw Weasley kiss you. Because I knew that my life was over when I did. Yeah, I'm glad I didn't say that.

"Don't you blame this on me, Malfoy." He spat my name out like venom. Like evil that he didn't want to linger on his lips for too long, for the chance that some of it filtered into his own blood.

I didn't blame him.

But I still couldn't hide the hurt I felt when I heard him use my last name. He hadn't called me that since we were sixteen. Two years ago. It seemed like a dream, glazed over by blood and stalk black emotions. The end was near; I could feel it in my blood. I could feel it in my heart.

"I don't. I always tried to blame it on you, but I couldn't. You were just too good for that." I felt myself heave and I knew instantly that I was going to throw up. I walked calmly behind a tree and did. He watched with a sign of indifference on his face. He was so strong when I knew that this had to be hurting him as well; it had to hurt him a little to cast me aside like this.

Or maybe not.

"Why can't you just tell me why?" he asked looking straight into my eyes and now I couldn't turn away. I was glued to his gaze, glued to his emotions and his being. His eyes flashed hurt, only for a second, but then they became stone again. He was preparing himself.

"Because I can't even explain it to myself. Because I can't accept that you stopped loving me. Because I wouldn't accept it." I told him. Dammit. I didn't want to tell him. I just wanted it all to be over. I just wanted it all to end and not have to deal with it any more. Why couldn't he just grant me that? Because I didn't even deserve that much, that's why.

"Why do you think that?" he suddenly asked in total and utter confusion. "Where... what? Draco I never... I still love you. I'll always love you."

I couldn't take it. I fell to my knees in front of him. The words stabbed through me like a thousand Gryffindor swords, all searching and piercing a different area in my fragile heart. Or at least what was left of it. He loved me? He didn't love Weasley? He'll always love me? I never knew those three words could ever hurt me as much as they did right now. As much as the plundering realization came down upon me and I saw things completely clear, despite the tears that had begun to flow.

"But..." I gasped. I looked up at him with a tear streaked face. Everything was blurred except for him, except for his eyes. He looked at me with pure emotion, with love that could break me into a million pieces and put it all back together again in just a blink of his eyes.

I saw realization in his eyes. He understood. He knew what had happened. "You saw him didn't you; you saw Ron kiss me." It wasn't a question really, more like a stating of the facts. Probably to convince his own mind rather than to get any answer from me.

I nodded anyway, still looking in his piercing eyes. His face was smudged with dirt and ashes from the infamous fighting and fire going on around us. But his eyes were clear. Green as emeralds shining in the most beautifully cut stone. The emerald stone that lived in the ring that was on his right hand ring finger; the ring I gave him.

"I don't love Ron. I never did. He told me he was afraid of the end. He was scared of losing me and never telling me how he felt. So he did. He knew it wouldn't change how I felt about you, but he said he just had to get it out in case something did happen. I respect that and I understand why he told me. And then he kissed me. I allowed him to, though I didn't kiss him back. Because I didn't love him. Because I loved you; because I love you." His eyes filled with emotion but he wouldn't allow it to spill, not like I had. Of course that was expected; he was stronger than me. He always had been and he always would be.

To the end of my days, which lie not too far ahead of me now. I sighed at the irony of it all. Of course it would end up that I had made a brash mistake and it would be my undoing. Of course. It was only natural.

He began to drop to his knees beside me but I stopped him with a harsh word. "Don't." Well it was supposed to be harsh, but it came out more as a whispered plea. He couldn't come down to my level; he wasn't low like me and I wouldn't let him try to be.

So instead he stood and reached his hand out. I knew what he wanted; I knew what he wanted to see. I lifted my right arm and placed my hand in his, palm up, exposing the flesh on my wrist.

He first only stared at me and I kept my gaze to the ground. Then he made a noise, almost like a whimper and my head shot up to meet his eyes.

He wouldn't look at it and I didn't blame him. I could barely look at it myself. He put his wand in his robe pocket freeing his other hand and brought it up to my wrist, not breaking contact with my eyes once.

He touched it. It burned like fire and he felt that too because he quickly drew back his hand, burned. He was too pure to even touch it and I wanted to drop my head in shame if it weren't for the fire that burned in his eyes that kept my head still.

He dropped my hand and I tucked it behind me like it was filth. Hid it away because it didn't deserve to be in the presence of him; of Harry Potter: The Boy Who Lived. The Boy Who Defeated Voldemort. The Boy Who Loved Me. The Boy Who Would Kill Me.

I couldn't bare it much longer. I had to say something, had to show him I still felt something real in my heart. Nothing came. Nothing but, "I'm sorry, Harry." It came out so defeated that I knew it was the last thing I would ever say to him; the last thing I would say to anyone.

He bent down slightly, though not enough to get on the ground to my level, and he kissed my blood stained forehead. He lingered for a few seconds afterward, but then stood with even more certainty and courage than I had ever felt radiate off of him before.

I began to bring my head up to his eyes. He kissed me. Was he going to spare me? Did he have enough pity in him to spare me? I met his gaze. Vomit rose in my throat once more as I saw what was there; what stood still in his eyes as he looked down at me.


His eyes looked steel grey into mine, emotionless.

I threw up at his feet submitting myself to him; giving myself in all my wretchedness to him in all his greatness. It was over now.

He opened his mouth to speak and I raised my head to listen to his last words to me; to see his face one last time.

"Sorry isn't good enough this time, Malfoy."

As he raised his wand to my forehead I lowered my face in sync with it.

Everything went black in my mind before it even happened; before he even said a word.

I was dead before it even hit me.


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