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A Thousand Years

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“Helena, you need to return. Your mother-”

“I do not care, Barron! And do not presume to be so familiar with me!”

“Helena! Do not be so petulant. Childishness does not suit you.”

“Childishness?”

“Yes. Now come. Your mother sent me to retrieve you.”

“I will not go anywhere with you Barron!”

“Do not be so stubborn my dear! We are going back to Hogwarts!” the Barron reached forwards and grabbed her by the arm.

“Release me at once Barron!”

“You are returning to Hogwarts with me my dear!”

“I am going nowhere with you! And do not call me your dear! I care nothing for you, you foul, loathsome man!”

Barron drew his sword. “Be silent, girl! You are coming back with me to Hogwarts!”

“Never!”

The Barron’s head snapped to the side with force of the strike. His grip loosened and Helena almost broke out. He reached forward to gasp her with both hands. Helena’s eyes widened and she gasped. They both looked down at where the Barron’s sword was stabbed through Helena’s stomach.

“No...” Barron whispered. His knees collapsed as he gently lay Helena down. “No...”

She coughed and a foul redness came from her mouth. “You...”

“I... I am sorry. Oh, my dear Helena. I am sorry. I did not mean-”

“I hate you.”

“I know. I am sorry.” He drew his sword out and tossed it to the side. He frantically cast healing spells but he was unable to seal the wound. He looked up and saw the pale face of the woman he loved so dearly, eyes glazed over in death. He choked out a cry of despair and cradled her body close. “No. No. No. Oh, my love, my dear Helena.”

He sat there, holding her and rocking crying his pain to the heavens. Eventually his cries died down and he gently lay her down. He picked up his sword and sheathed it. A symbol of his sins.

When he returned to Hogwarts it was late. As he walked up to the castle he saw Lord Slytherin coming down the path. “Lord Slytherin.”

“Barron.” Slytherin looked at the woman in his arms. “I see...” he closed his eyes for a moment before looking back up. “Rowena didn’t make it through the night. At least they can be reunited in death, if not in life.”

It was several hours later that the Barron sat in an abandoned hallway in the dungeons. He looked his sword over. Why should he live when Helena didn’t? He would never be able to atone for what he did. He deserved to suffer in hell.

He plunged the sword into his own stomach. Once, twice, three times.

He collapsed onto the floor in pain, his own blood mixing with Helena's.

As he lay there, gasping for breath a sudden fear overcame him. He didn’t want to die. He didn’t want to go to hell. He sobbed quietly and begged magic to not let him die, just as darkness overtook him.

The Barron opened his eyes and looked around, noticing his own lifeless body lying a few feet away from him. “Ah...” he stood upright and floated just above the ground. “I see...” he looked himself over and noticed that while he didn’t have any of his own blood on him, he was still covered in Helena’s. “I see. So, I am now to suffer for all eternity for what I have done? With the proof of my crimes plain for all to see?”

He sighed and floated off, hoping to find someone to remove his body. On the way he saw a silver figure floating past the door to the dining hall. “Helena?”

She turned around and scowled. “So, you even follow me here too?” she flew off through the walls and the Barron sighed, returning to the dungeon. He would find Salazar later.

.oOo.

The Baron looked at the seventeen year old next to him. “Are you sure this will work?”

The boy sighed. “It won’t make her love you but it will show her how much you love her. She might be able to forgive you. Women are hard. No man will ever be able to actually understand them.”

The Baron sighed. “Let us begin then. You said Myrtle is bringing her here?”

The boy nodded and went back to setting up the instruments. He finished and left through a door on the other side of the room. The Grey lady would be coming from the other end of the castle so she wouldn’t see him there. The floor of the room was covered in Daisies and Buttercups, Helena’s favourite flowers. There was rose incense burning away and candles set around the room.

The Grey Lady floated into the room and looked around in confusion. She scowled at the Baron but startled when the instruments began to play.

The Baron took a deep breath.

Heart. Beats. Fast.
Colours and pro-mis-es.
How to be brave.
How can I love when I’m af-raid. To. Fall?
But watching you stand. A-lone.
All of my doubt suddenly goes away somehow...
One step closer...

The Grey Lady looked like she wanted make a brake for it but was too curious to leave.

The Baron took this as a good sign and carried on.

I have died every day waiting for you.
Darling don’t be afraid,
I have loved you for a thousand years,
I’ll love you for a thousand more...

The Grey Lady frowned at him but it wasn’t with her usual venom. The Baron smiled, which was a rare thing in itself, and carried on singing.

Time. Stands. Still. Beauty in all. She. Is.
I will be brave. I will not let anything take. A-way,
What’s standing in front. Of. Me.
Every breath, every hour has come to this...
One step closer...”

The Baron dropped down to one knee and place one hand over his heart.

I have died every day waiting for you,
Darling don’t be afraid,
I have loved you for a thousand years,
I’ll love you for a thousand more.
All along I believed I would find you,
Time had brought your heart to me,
 I have loved you for a thousand years,
I’ll love you for a thousand more...

The grey lady shook her head. “Why do you do this?”

The Baron sighed. “I need you to know how I feel. I need you to know I love you.”

Helena shook her head. The Baron sighed.

One step closer...
One step closer...
I have died every day waiting for you,
Darling don’t be afraid, I have loved you
For a thousand years,
I’ll love you for a thousand more...
All along I believed I would find you,
Time has brought your heart to me, I have loved you
For a thousand years,
I’ll love you for a thousand~ more.”

The music trailed off and the Grey Lady glared at the Baron. “Why do you do this? Do you think you can convince me to love you?”

The Baron shook his head. “No. I cannot ask for your love after what I have done. I only seek your forgiveness. I love you with all of my heart. I will always love you, no matter what. It pains me to have you so furious at me. You know I regret what I have done. These chains are obvious enough. I ask for your forgiveness for I shall never be able to forgive myself. I bed of you, please. Forgive me.” he bowed his head and stared at the ground.

There was a long silence. “Even after all this time? We have not spoken in the past thousand years, yet you still love me? You still offer me your heart?”

The baron smiled gently up at her. “My heart will always belong to you and to you alone. Whether you offer me your own in return is your decision.”

Helena shook her head. “You killed me.”

“And then took my own life. I could not live with what I had done.”

She glared at him. “They why choose to remain as a ghost?”

“I had to pay for my sins. I did not deserve to move on in the afterlife. I chose to stay so I could pay for my sins here. I live like this as punishment for what I had done. I did not know you would also choose to stay.”

Helena sighed. “I don’t know if I can forgive you Baron.”

The Baron looked pleadingly up at her. “I am not expecting your forgiveness right now. I know it is a lot to ask of you. I want your forgiveness but if I push you then you will never forgive me. Your opinion is the only thing that matters to me. I love you.”

Helena held her eyes tightly shut and took a deep breath. “I will try. I will think about it.”

The baron grinned up at her. “Thank you.” his voice came out as barely a whisper. “Thank you.” he bowed his head again before standing up.

Helena sighed. How was she supposed to stay mad at him after all of this? She would never love him, but maybe she could forgive him, he had been repenting for the past thousand years and was still in love with her.

She looked around the room. He remembered she loved daisies and buttercups, and the smell of roses, and those candles were her favourite ones to study by, they glowed the brightest and lasted the longest. He knew these little things about her that many people wouldn’t pay attention to. She sighed. Out of everyone he was the one who knew her best when they were alive.

It was a shame she couldn’t love him.

But maybe she could forgive him.

Maybe.