Your skin’s beautiful, despite the scars. The sheen of sweat covering you causes a burst of achievement to fill my chest. I catch a glance at my own body, intrigued by your ability to coat my own skin with sweat. I’m surprised you were able to keep up with me; astonished (quietly of course) that *I* struggled to keep up with you.
You’re astounding. I wouldn’t be here with you if I did not find you so. You consume me with this desire. I can’t truly focus when you’re around. I pretend I can, but I can’t. When you’re not around, I obsess over you. And yet, I pursue you. I. I who am your superior in every way. You merely tolerate me, whilst I adore you.
And let there be no mistake; this is not acceptable. I will be disowned for this, should my father ever know. I am ashamed of the folly of succumbing to human emotion, and such a base one at that. Worst still that you’re a male, with tainted blood and not even beauty to excuse my infatuation. The only thing society will acknowledge you for is your house. You have nothing else in their eyes.
You have so much in mine.
You love my son. I can feel it. I can sense it. You give him the coldest glare when my wife deposits the child in your arms and he clings to you in delight, but I know you don’t mean it. He knows it too, because he wraps his arms around you, almost choking you with his exuberance. Your face doesn’t react when my wife comments that our child is never so open with anyone else, and you make some disparaging comment about toddlers’ small brains, but I see the careful way you hold my son. You’re so gentle. And you bought him that preposterous stuffed animal that my son screams the place down for when it goes further than his sight. Don’t think I don’t know that it’s the most expensive toy the boy owns despite all the ludicrously priced objects in his spoiled possession.
I love you, you know. I don’t know if you know that. You know that you are my best friend and I suppose I am yours, although I don’t know if that pleases you or not. I know you’re fond of me. There are even times now when you don’t pretend to merely tolerate me.
Other than my son, you are the best and most important thing in my life. You and my son are my only true loves. My wife knows she is the woman I love above all others, and she is content with that. She’s always known it was you who filled my heart, even during our schooldays.
And I do love you. I’ve never stopped loving you. I *will* never stop loving you. You are all I have ever wanted. You are my Prince. My One.
Privately, it makes me angry that I cannot be with you. It annoys me that I cannot be at your side every moment of every day and night, but it *angers* me that I cannot be with you publicly. I don’t want this arranged marriage. I want you.
I want you to agree that you’ll run away with me. You can teach me to be a muggle, I know you can. Maybe we could even just move to a distant country and live there in peace. Australia or some part of America perhaps. My family has extraordinary sway, but we don’t inhabit everywhere. There must be somewhere we could go.
My family won’t let me see you. They don’t know that I love you, but they believe the amount of time that I’ve been spending with someone of your blood status is…misguided. My parents know I am not overjoyed with the looming nuptials. They think if they keep me nearby they will have more influence over my behaviour.
I’ve hardly left the mansion. Answer my owls.
I want to feel your arms around me. I want to feel my lips on yours. I miss you. I *love you*.
Why won’t you be alone with me? Why won’t you let me touch you? I love you. I know you love me. *I know you do!*
They know. My parents know. My mother suspected and could not keep it from my father even to protect me. Of course she couldn’t. My father’s furious of course. At least your father isn’t able to perform the cruciatus, my Prince. They have made it clear to me that I will be getting married. My father has told me I have one way to help him forgive my disgrace.
It will be simple. We were all headed that way at school, weren’t we? I’ll get you in. You’re talented. And although no one but my parents know of my love for you, I am a formidable enemy. Our peers will never dare to question your presence. You belong there. Here. With me.
If I please them we can be together. Like we were at school. I’ll get to see you.
I’ll get you in, you’ll see.
It’s a crude little tattoo isn’t it? It’s worse than the marriage. She really is a wonderful girl. I’m grateful for my parents’ choice. I hate this though. I feel like my soul is rotting away out of this mark on my arm. All I’ve ever wanted was you. I’m going to prove myself. I’ve been making the Lord so pleased with me (as pleased as he ever gets). He’s got a book to give me. I’ll humour him as always. You’ve been so quiet. I haven’t been able to make you happy for very long lately. You’re pining for that girl aren’t you? You would have made her a good husband. That blood-traitor could never compete with you. I will never understand her.
And here I am, jealous of a mudblood chit. And I am jealous. So jealous it makes me feel sick, maybe even sicker than the pain that consumes me when you’re not around. I’d never have married him over you. I would always have forgiven you. You’re everything my Prince.
I cause so much pain. It’s easy when it pleases the Lord. My helplessness consumes me. I have to hurt everyone, especially the weak. They need to be punished, don’t they? Because if they don’t, then why am I being punished so absolutely?
Your presence is the only thing that soothes me. You stopper the poisonous hollow that my left arm has become. This tattoo’s become an emblem of how rotten I am inside. And it’s spreading every day. You’re the only antidote and I don’t have an adequate supply.
I know you’re hurting. She shouldn’t have chosen him. That fool did not deserve to marry her when she was perfect enough to capture your heart. I’m here for you. My world feels complete when you smile from the antics of we three when we play with my infant son. We’re your family.
I know you’re aching. I know her death consumes you, but my child climbs into your lap and tries to comfort you. You manage to smile at him and then you look up at me and manage a smile for me too. I know I’m not enough to replace her, but with my son’s adoration combined with my own I think you’ll be okay. After her we are the two you love most.
I know what it means to displease the Lord. I hope that you won’t forget that I’ve loved you and will continue to do so in death. I’ll love you even if I’m kissed. You’ve always been my one.
The feel of your arms around mine as we lie tangled in bed together induces more bliss than I’ve felt since the last time I rested my head on your naked chest. My body’s almost as littered with love bites as yours is with scars. Your smile’s grim and your eyes sparkle, and that’s always been your expression when you’re sated. When I rest my head in the crook of your neck I don’t see the usual little guarded twitch at the corner of your lips, but I feel your arm around my shoulders.
“I’m not doing this again.” The phrase is like a collection of glass splinters exploding in my throat and chest then being dragged out. I can barely breathe and you casually walk out the door.
I know that look: when you won’t meet my eyes but you half tilt your face towards mine and then shrug. I’ll always allow this. I walk forwards and help us out of our clothing.
“This time I mean it.” At first I don’t believe him. My marriage and my child haven’t stopped us from making love. But he hasn’t looked at me that way in almost a year.
I’m your best friend and you’re mine. We chase away each other’s pain. Merlin, I love you, my Prince.