Being in his presence was like being caught up in a whirlwind whilst desperately screaming for someone to help her.
Pansy could remember the first time she’d seem him after the war. Drunk and stumbling all over the pub she’d slipped into to avoid another former classmate, Potter ran into her like a bull in a China shop.
A sweat-soaked arm curled over her shoulder, nestling her tight against his wiry frame as the stench of whisky coiled in her nostrils. “Parkinson!” His voice was lower than she remembered, and the s of her name drew out in a long hiss. “Fancy seeing you here. ‘S been s’long.”
Disgust wasn’t a strong enough word to describe her reaction to his drunken stupor. Ducking out from under his grasp with an ugly turn of her lip, Pansy propped the wasted wizard against the wall. She frowned down at his slumped form, the fog filming his glasses from the breath he heaved between them. “What in Merlin’s saggiest y-fronts do you think you’re doing, Potter?”
A quiet titter escaped Potter’s mouth when he leaned his head back against the wall, eyes closed. “Just thought a bloke ought to say hello.” He pried one eye open, its bloodshot white stark against his thick, dark lashes. “Problem is, I can’t figure out which one of you I should say it to.”
Despite the levity in his tone and the bright flashing in his drunken haze, melancholy hung like a haze around him, and Pansy felt a brief flash of sympathy for the wizard that had her pulling him behind her toward an abandoned booth. She flagged down the barmaid, signalling for two glasses of water.
Potter slumped in his seat, watching her through narrowed slits. “What are you doing in Muggle London, Parkinson? Little off the beaten path for you.” His sardonic smirk felt dirty as his eyes swept over her frame, but she couldn’t help the thrill of excitement that ran through her when his eyes landed and stalled on her cleavage.
A beat passed before she shifted, the expensive silk of the blouse she’d worn for her disastrous date falling closed. The hunger in his gaze snuffed out, and his head shot back upright, landing with a dull thunk against the old brick of the tavern. She fidgeted, unnerved at the changes in his demeanor, and silently thanked Merlin when the waters landed before them, and she indulged in a long, languid sip.
What was she doing here?
She settled for the simple truth, glossing over all the details that made the situation unnecessarily complicated, the details she’d rather share with anyone but Harry Potter. “Bad date. Thought I’d go out for a solo nightcap and ran into your drunk arse.” She stared at him as she reclined on the bench seat, the blunt line of her bob tickling her jawline. “Just my luck to run into a charity case when I bargained on being my own tonight.”
The shift was minute, but red-hot anger flashed across Potter’s gaze, unsettling her, before the same genial, drunken smile replaced it. “My lucky day, then.” Potter lifted the glass of water, eyeing it critically before he toasted her and took a long sip, and Pansy found herself transfixed by the water his lips enveloped the cheap, chipped glass of it.
It was a testament to how long it had been since she’d parlayed with anyone from magical background that she found him so alluring, she told herself. He could have been Ernie bloody MacMillan and she’d have drug him into a booth too.
She drowned out the lies she told herself by signalling the barkeep for a drink—a real drink this time, though she ignored Potter’s request for another.
“Why here?” Potter’s voice held the feigned inquisitive tone of someone who genuinely cared about their contemporary, but upon second glance she couldn’t tell if he even remembered speaking, so she left the question dangle between them until an acceptable amount of time passed and reversed the topic to him.
She cleared her throat, knocking back the shot she’d ordered herself, and signalled the waiter for another. Something about having his eyes trained on her made her feel as though she’d been dropped into the depths of the ocean and the alcohol buoyed her just enough to get her to the surface for a deep drag of oxygen. “I could ask the same of you.”
Potter shrugged, cavalier relaxation lining his shoulders as he leaned forward, brows drawn low over his eyes. “I suppose our answers would be quite the same: there wasn’t enough left to keep us in wizarding London.” When her posture tightened infinitesimally, a wry grin quirked one side of his face, and suddenly the haze in his eyes was gone, the drunken lilt giving way to a facade of artfully arranged swagger. “It’s intoxicating… the anonymity of it all.” He gestured at the bar around them with the wave of a hand.
Following the action, she allowed her attention to wander to the patrons around them, each one a menagerie of features that coalesced into faces, into people with stories and desires and goals, she wasn’t likely to remember. They were insignificant.
So was she.
And she supposed that Potter was right; the anonymity of it was intoxicating. She felt powerful in a way she hadn’t in wizarding London, where she was inextricably linked to the Parkinson legacy, to the girl who’d tried to give up the very boy before her to the darkest wizard magical kind had seen in decades.
She studied the way one tall, lean girl leaned over a billiard table, her tank top riding up on her back to expose a sliver of pale, silken skin. A man stood leaning against a corner near the back of the room, the dim glow his cigarette butt casting his face in sharp relief amongst the shadows. It was darkly whimsical, a freedom of being that she’d not been allowed before, and Pansy reveled in it.
No one knew who she was here unless she told them. No one expected her to live up to the mantle that had been placed on her shoulders from birth. She was, for all intents and purposes, a nobody. Perhaps that’s why she felt so comfortable amongst the Muggles. There was no pressure to be the pure-blood daughter that would someday marry and produce perfect, pure-blooded spawn.
Though no one could demand that of her anyway; anyone who cared enough to inquire after it was dead.
And when her gaze landed on Potter again, she recognised a kinship in him. Where she was all jagged edges and sharp surfaces, he was powdered glass. He looked soft, unassuming, the light illuminating his angles in breathtaking displays. But when she touched him…
Pansy knew he would make her bleed.
Maybe that’s why she reached across the tabletop, why she placed her hand on his with a rough caress and scratch of her nails. When she whispered across the table, throaty and sultry, inviting him home with her, she recognised the flash of darkness in his eyes and shivered.
It called to her, that inky darkness that was in his soul, the craggy corruption indicative of a brokeness she desperately longed to pour herself into, to fill up and soothe with pieces of herself worthless enough she could spare.
The saviour of the wizarding world. Pansy could break herself a little more if it meant fixing him.
She’d never considered herself a martyr or particularly masochistic, but she felt a sharp thrill course through her as she pulled him from the booth, led him through the bar, and disappeared through the night with him in tow.
A fool’s errand, surely, but her own. With a twist of her wrist, they spun through the night in an angry flurry of magic collapsing in upon itself.
It was beautiful…
Until it wasn’t.
The early days of their relationships fell into an easy routine, falling into each other in the small hours of the night, coming together again and again to find solace in tangled sheets.
Pansy could almost forget the darkness she saw in him, could almost ignore the warning bells that went off every time his possessive touch wrapped around her waist in the most innocuous of places, the way he pulled her into the shadows to brand her his own before flaunting her on his hip like an expensive accessory.
She felt cherished, valued, in a way she hadn’t before. Neither of them mentioned the war or what had occurred between them before. With an unspoken agreement, they buried their past the same way Pansy buried her reservations: pretty, gilded words and losing themselves in each other.
The first time he hit her, Pansy thought it was a mistake. They were at the bar, and she caught him eyeing another woman’s arse as she bent over the bar to flirt with the waiter.
Jealousy had stung deep, and Pansy lashed out, those jagged pieces of her bristeling to the surface to damage him, too. “Close your mouth, Potter. You’ve drool on your chin.”
The brilliant flare in his eyes sent a jolt of nerves racing along her skin, coiling into her bones and making her jittery, inexplicably sending a wave of heat to her core as his brows slashed down and his teeth bit into his lip.
Potter was a flurry of action as he threw a handful of Galleons down on the table and grabbed her wrist, dragging her to the back of the bar. Memories of being thrown against the wall and hexed at Hogwarts sprang up, assaulting her with their clarity.
Her mind struggled to keep up, to keep the sudden, violent fear at bay as he slammed her against the wall, her head bouncing off the bricks and starlight bursting behind her eyelids. A pained gasp slipped from her, and when she opened her eyes, a small group of Muggles watched on, fingers to their lips in concern, but when she smiled half-heartedly at them, they turned away.
More backs turned on her.
But Harry loomed over her, his gaze stormy, and she breathed in the broken glass of his anger, his body pressing against hers in a dizzying rush of heat.
And in that moment, she knew she’d do whatever it took to make them beautiful again.
Desperately, she leaned up on her toes, sealing her lips to his angry sneer, willing every bit of her apology into the kiss. After a beat, he returned her kiss, violently nipping at her lips and down her neck, leaving broken skin and bruises in his wake as the groups around them shuffled away to give them privacy.
When he pulled away, breath heaving and eyes glassy, his lips twisted into another sneer, staring down at her. His hand wound up into her hair, pulling her head back with a sharp tug and his words hissed in her ear. “Don’t ever question me like that again.” When she didn’t answer, he yanked harder, accompanied by the searing pain of hair being ripped out by the root. “Do you understand me?” he spat between grit teeth.
Something in her whispered it was a trap, that it would kill her, but she nodded anyway, memories of his laughter, his embrace, the boy she wanted to help him find again, locking her doubts away.
She didn’t mention all the nights he came home after she’d gone to bed, crying herself to sleep wrapped in his embrace and the smell of another woman.
“Are you cheating on me?”
The weight of the accusation landed on her like a ton of bricks. Pansy was reclined on the sofa, eyes closed while she listened to music play from the record player Harry had brought in with him, her feet in his lap. She jolted upright, jaw falling open. “ What ?”
Rolling his eyes, Harry pushed her feet out of his lap, straightening and pacing before her. “You heard me. Who is he?”
Despite the thousands of denials she flickered through, Pansy floundered, staring up at him. Finally, voice choked, she managed, “Why would you think that?”
Harry’s patience was wearing thin, and the anger colouring his tone and the red tinting the tips of his ears were Pansy’s only indication of his impending meltdown. “You come home late, always exhausted and barely able to help around the house. You’re always talking about this Ian Fields as though he’s the end all, be all of your job.” Harry jutted his finger out at her, shaking in anger. “You’re sleeping with him, aren’t you?”
Pansy couldn’t contain her shrill laugh of disbelief. “Harry, what are you talking about? I’ve told you that I was chosen to design the spring line; Ian Fields is my boss and one of the other designers. Other than being ridiculously talented at what he does, he makes my life a living hell.”
Snorting, Harry rolled his eyes. “Then why won’t you have sex with my anymore?”
He might as well have slapped her for as hard as she recoiled. “Harry, I’m tired; it’s not that I don’t want to, but—”
Temper breaking, Harry stalked forward, grabbing her shoulder and shaking her violently. “Stop fucking lying to me, Pansy.”
The dam broke, and tears ran down her cheeks as she clasped her hand over his, trying desperately to make him see reason. “I would never cheat on you; I’m with you. Only you.” But her protestations did nothing to quell the anger in Harry’s eyes, and he threw her hands off him
Pansy could have sworn it happened in slow motion; as her shoulders slumped and she turned her pleading gaze on him in one last desperate attempt to get through to him, his hand shot out, connecting with her cheek with a harsh slap. Her knees gave out, her hands coming up to clasp the stinging skin with a hiccuping sob.
“Get out of my fucking sight.” The words were cold, his body frozen as he stared down at her with contempt, and her whole world stopped.
His foot shot out, clipping her in the thigh, and she gasped, a pained sob choking the air in her throat. “I said go! ” He took a deep breath, his whole body vibrating, and when she didn’t move, he spun on his heel, grabbed his coat off the wrack, and slammed the door shut behind him.
Pansy lay there for a few moments, staring at the ceiling as tears streamed down her cheeks in a persistent river. She desperately searched through her memories, trying to pin down where exactly she gave him the impression that she was cheating. Nothing came to mind, no nights where she was cold or distant, no flirting when they were out, no wayward, lingering stares. Nothing.
She only had eyes for him.
Finally, when the deluge slowed enough she could gather her pieces back up into a semblance of a herself, she rose, trudging through the flat toward their room as she shut out each light with a wave of her hand.
Shedding clothes mechanically, she changed into a pair of silk sleeping shorts and matching teddy, turned down the covers and crawled in, facing Harry’s side. It was cold, the sheets undisturbed since she’d made it that morning, and she reached her hand out, letting it fall in the expanse of sheets his body normally occupied.
She didn’t sleep.
Not when her tears ran dry. Not when she turned her back to the door and hoped fervantly that she would drift off into a dark reprieve. Not when Harry finally came home, smelling of cheap cigarettes, booze, and perfume that wasn’t hers, and crawled into bed behind her whispering his apologies. Not after he told her he loved her, turned her over, and found his release rutting against her while she wrapped her legs and arms around him unenthusiastically.
Pansy didn’t sleep.
She had to buy makeup to cover the bruises.
As a rule, Pansy didn’t wear makeup. Her lashes were thick enough to create the illusion or a thick line of coal across her upper lid, and her sharp cheekbones held enough colour that she didn’t need rouge.
But Harry left marks.
Oh not always, of course. He was well-versed in placing blows where no one could see them, peppering them over the ladder of her ribs, the backs of her knees. She learned to ignore her achy body when she crawled out of bed each morning, being sure not to disturb the bed and make him.
She knew he didn’t mean to hurt her; that’s what he always said. A red-hot temper to match the dark depths she’d glimpsed that night in the bar, he lashed out to protect himself. It was a remnant of war, the defense mechanism he’d developed to shield himself from the damage that others wrought.
Never mind that his defense meant her demise.
But when he hit her, she’d slink away to nurse her wounds, work on something to make him happy—no matter how fleeting that happiness would be—and tiptoe around him until his mood lifted.
Six months. That’s how long they’d made it before the gilded facade curled backward, revealing the festering mess beneath. She’d gone to the grocer to get out of the flat and hadn’t left him a note. He’d accused her of cheating, of choosing someone else, and hadn’t given her room to deny the accusation when his fist connected with the flesh of her cheek.
She woke up on the floor, a small trickle of blood dried from the corner of her nose.
That was just the beginning.
Now she sat at her vanity, his slumbering form visible behind her in the mirror. He looked so peaceful, so innocent, with his messy raven locks spread across her pillow. Heart seizing in her chest, she could almost forget, could almost go to him and wrap him up in her arms and pepper his face with kisses.
Every morning, in those quiet hours between waking and facing the reality of the day, she thought about what she could do to help him.
Her fingers trembled when she lifted her hand to prod at the dark, black and purple bruise blossoming on her high cheekbone. The Parkinson cheekbone.
Slag. The word skittered harshly around in her head, bouncing off surfaces and leaving jagged wounds in their wake. With a slight shake of her head, she shook the ends of her hair out of the way, her other hand brushing over fingermarks branded painfully in a necklace over her decolletage.
The world blurred before her, actions mechanical as she reached for the sponge and heavy makeup she’d bought in a Muggle cosmetics store. It didn’t cover the bruises entirely, but it made them less apparent, less likely to draw attention.
But the makeup couldn’t cover up the permanent tremour she’d adopted.
Behind her, Harry shifted, raising his head from the pillows, and she rapidly blinked, focusing on applying the foundation and blinking away the tears before he noticed. Silently, she prayed to the gods that he was in a better mood; she couldn’t handle another morning of being told what was wrong with her.
Slowly, he slipped from the bed, padding over and sliding his hands over her shoulders. His touch was gentle, no anger in it, and Pansy relaxed into his grip with a relieved sigh.
A good morning, then.
His reflection studied her, watching the firm, even strokes she swiped across her face, the bruises disappearing beneath the mask.
Silence settled between them, the weight of it suffocating, but still Pansy waited for him to speak. It was better that way; less likely that she’d say the wrong thing.
“You know I care about you,” Harry said, his fingers closing firmly over her shoulder.
Her heart cracked further, surprising her in that it could still be damaged beyond what she’d already put it through.
She’d been wrong. He hadn’t been powdered glass. He was a blade, lethal and deft and ready to eviscerate anything in his way. And she was the fleshy underside of a ribcage, the vulnerable point his anger targeted while she tried to protect him from himself.
She’d long stopped wondering who would protect her.
His grip tightened, the sharp tips of his fingernails digging into her skin. Silent too long, she swallowed around the knot in her throat and nodded, a cracking smile failing to light her eyes up the way it used to for him. “I know.”
Appeased by the answer, Harry settled beside her on the long vanity bench, jostling her shoulder with his until she made enough room for him to sink into her side comfortably. Her hand drifted over his shoulder and into his hair by rote, the soothing gesture second nature from comforting the younger children at Hogwarts. She hadn’t always been sharp edges.
Harry’s voice rumbled through her, low and contemplative, a faraway quality to it his tone took on every time he apologised to her. Like he had to disassociate to admit his wrongdoing. “I don’t want to… I just get so mad .” He pushed himself upright, dragging her hand from his hair and cradling it in both of his. “I didn’t even really hit you that hard.”
A pit dropped in Pansy’s stomach. She couldn’t contradict him; it would only anger him further. And he was right; it wasn’t the hardest he’d hit her. Glancing in the mirror, she traced over the barely-visible lines of the bruise, the thick layer of foundation covering it, and offered him a wobbly smile. “You didn’t; it’s okay. I’ll—” Her voice broke, but she hid the emotion in it by summoning the glass of water from her nightstand and took a deep sip. “I’ll get better. I’m sorry I disappoint you; I’m sorry that I did something to make you distrust me.”
The words cut her tongue, the tears burning her throat a protest at her admission of an act she wasn’t guilty of, but her heart felt infinitesimally lighter when Harry smiled up at her. “You’re so good to me, Pansy. I’m sorry I doubted you. I’m just…” He rubbed the back of his neck, but instead of finishing his sentence, he leaned in to kiss her.
And though something deep within her told her to get out, Pansy leaned in to the embrace, pouring herself into it, hoping that it’d be enough to save him—save them .
“Are you alright, Pans? You’re too quiet.” Theo’s voice was coloured with concern, and Pansy shot him a slight smile over the cup of coffee she held cradled in her hands.
She needed away, needed time to think, to breathe.
A deep breath bolstered her nerves. “Theo, I—” The words crowded in her throat, each one vying to be the first out. I need help; I don’t know what to do; he hits me; I love him, but I’m afraid of him. She tried again. “I’m just tired.”
It wasn’t a lie, not entirely. She was tired. Exhausted by the mental gymnastics she worked herself into to please Harry. Tired of feeling worthless. Disgusted by the bruises she saw every time she looked in the mirror.
A small part of her whispered that it wasn’t love—love wasn’t supposed to hurt.
But what did Pansy know about love anyway?
Theo cleared his throat, tracing around the lip of his mug. “You know, Draco asked about you the other day…”
A small flutter of nerves roiled in her stomach, the old part of her rising to the surface for just a moment before she quashed it. “That’s nice. How are he and Stori?”
Pressing his lips together, Theo cleared his throat. “He’s set to marry her, has the ring and everything. But Pansy, he…” His voice died in hs throat, and he shook his head before continuing. “He won’t do it if you still have feelings for him.”
She froze, every last muscle in her body tightening in preparation to run, to respond, to do something , but the door above the door chimed, followed by clomping footsteps, and Harry’s voice. “I fucking knew it.”
Everything around her seemed to crash down, a clanging in her ears as she whirled in her seat. Distantly, she was aware of her mug slipping through her fingers, the musical shatter of glass a dull roar in her ears as she shot to her feet. “Harry, it’s nothing; it’s just Theo, my friend.”
Her words fell on deaf ears, his rage palpable in the air between them as he stepped forward and towered over Theo. His words were so low she couldn’t hear them, but Theo’s brows slanted angrily over his eyes and he shot up, shoving Harry backward so he could lean down and grab his pack.
Rational thought left her as Harry drew his fist back, glare steady on Theo’s undefended back, and she shot between them, hands shooting out to stop Harry just as his fist flung forward.
It collided with her jaw, the force of it sending her careening to the side, a riot of stars exploding before her eyes as white-hot pain radiated from her jaw down her neck and up her cheek.
Conversation stopped in the cafe, everyone watching with jaws agape as Harry stomped forward, grabbing her up by the elbow and dragging her toward the door. No one stopped them as he pushed her out the door into the downpour outside the cafe, sending her wobbling into the brick wall on unsteady legs.
“You stupid bloody bint.” Harry leaned into her space, his face unrecognizable through his tirade. “Defending the chav you’re cheating on me with. Un-bloody-believable.” Rain dripped off his hair onto her face, and he swept it out of his eyes, speckles on his glasses, and that’s when she saw it.
Just above the collar of his shirt, stark against his pale skin, a fresh love bite stood out, angry and red.
A love bit she hadn’t given him, and her heart stuttered in her chest before her own anger replaced the fear.
With a deep breath, Pansy straightened, standing to her full height and pushing against his chest. “You have absolutely no room to talk, Harry!”
An incredulous laugh. “What are you on about?”
Each step forward bolstered her, and she jabbed a finger in his face. “You come home, night after night, smelling of another woman—”
His hands shot up. “Oh, that’s rich.”
She stopped just short of him. “I can’t keep doing this. I can’t—” a hiccuping sob “—I can’t keep coming home to a miserable house. I can’t keep covering up the bruises, lying to the people I love. I lo—” Her words stopped short. “I care about you Harry, but—”
A twisted smile curled up his lips, and he shoved his hands deep in his pocket. “You know what, Pans?” He huffed a short laugh. “I’m done. You’re fucking crazy. Can’t you see that?” With a shake of his head, he started backing away. “If you wanted this to be done, then that’s what you’ll get. I’m gone.”
And despite everything, despite everything she knew she wanted and everything this relationship wasn’t , Pansy shot forward, her hands reaching for him.
She could fix this. She could fix them .
She had to.
But when she reached for him, her hands outstretched to clasp his in a last-ditch attempt to keep him there, she met empty air, Harry Disapparating with a pop.
With a loud sob, she sank to her knees, fresh tears streaming down her cheeks.
Harry never came home.
By the time she made it to their flat, all of his belongings were gone. The half-bare flat looked like she’d made room for a ghost; empty shelves and drawers, blank hangers dangling limply from the rod in the closet, all of it a placeholder for someone who had exited her life so swiftly it was like they’d never existed.
She was numb. Theo had gathered her up in his arms and taken her to a Healer, who’d patched her up and exchanged terse words with Theo about who had done that to Pansy, but she hadn’t been able to bring herself to say anything.
When Theo had tried to get her to speak to an Auror, to press charges, she shook her head quietly, gathered up her sodden purse, and walked back through the rain to the Apparition point.
And now here she was, in her empty flat at a loss for what to do. Maybe this was her penance for offering him up to the Dark Lord.
Gods, she loved him. That didn’t make anything right. It never would, but they could fix this. They had to.
He was her home , no matter how bad it got.
He’d taken up residence in her soul, the broken bits he’d managed to piece together even as he broke them further. Broken glass, the both of them, and they were beautiful together.
Maybe if she kept telling herself that, she’d believe it.
Roaming the flat, she racked her brains for a way to find him. Surely he’d gone to a friend’s house, but he’d never mentioned anyone. He hadn’t told her whether he still spoke to Weasley or Granger, and it wasn’t as though she could show up at their homes to ask after him.
She strode aimlessly past the study, and a quiet hoot caught her attention. Stepping into the office, she gazed around, heart seizing painfully at the empty shelves his potions texts had been housed on. A flurry of feathers flashed out of the corner of her eye, and then the weight of a bird, the soft taloned toes, curled over her arm.
Artemesia stared down at her, soft yellow eyes kind in the lamplight, and Pansy started, an idea flaring to life as she hurried behind the desk, disturbing her owl, who returned to her perch with an angry squawk.
A flick of her wand had parchment hurtling to her, a quill dipping itself into ink, and Pansy began to frantically scrawl across the parchment.
Six Months Later
Harry was settled in his favorite chair in the parlor, a glass of whiskey clutched between his fingertips as he hummed to himself. It was raining, lightning flashing as a rumble of thunder roiled outside. Still, he’d kept the window open for the wind to carry in the smell of the rain.
When another bolt of lightning lit up a bobbing speck in the sky, Harry cocked his head, watching with anticipation as it flew closer, closer still, until it careened through the open window.
The owl didn’t land. It swooped over his head, dropping a tightly-bound scroll of parchment from its talons before it disappeared out the window with a sharp squawk.
The handwriting on it was familiar, the victory curling his lips upward in a harsh smirk.
I don’t know what I’m doing writing this bloody letter. I’ve sent you hundreds, and I don’t know where they end up. Your ruddy owl always returns without them, so maybe they’re getting to you, wherever it is that you went. Maybe the damned owl just flies to the same place and leaves them in an ever-growing pile of this melancholic drivel I insist on penning to you. Whatever it is, it makes me feel marginally less alone, and I suppose for that I’m grateful.
Do you remember how we met? Though I suppose I should say met again; war wasn’t kind to us when we were young. I knew I wanted you when you slumped into the booth and asked me where I’d been.
I’ve always wanted you. Between the taunts and the names, the sharp edge of kisses so razor-sharp that sometimes I couldn’t tell if it was hate or desperation that brought us together.
But somehow you cracked open this rusted heart of mine and reminded it to beat, encouraged tired lungs to breathe fresh air.
Come back, Potter. I don’t know where you are… I don’t know that I care as long as I see you again. If you read this, there’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you, and a letter is as good a place to tell you as any.
I love you, Potter. As much as one damaged soul can love another, despite the fights, the yelling, the bruises… I need you. We can fix this. Come home.
With a satisfied sigh, he folded the parchment and placed it atop the others—one for each day since he’d broken her—and crooked his finger to summon Cho with more whiskey, admiring the way the bruise on her cheek made her eyes stand out so beautifully.