the girl and the picture and the despair
Parasitic, obsessed, unapologetic and codependent. That's how we were, two children playing around with feelings we were too young to understand, in a world that forced us to face each others worst sides too soon, when we were still too tender to truly suffer each other.
You see, I have been made into the face of the resistance. It came by an accident really, a lucky photographer in a wrong place at the wrong time, taking the picture of his life. It is a picture of me and James, back to back, wands drawn. He is holding a shielding spell and I'm helping a child from under rubble, red hair blowing away from my face like I'm in some kind of a movie poster and green eyes staring right into the camera, staring down anyone who will eventually see the photo, challenging them.
Of course I look like that, there was a fucking reporter in the middle of the battlefield and I was so sure that the poor bastard was going to die on my watch and I already hated him for it.
The poor bastard didn't die and now that bloody picture stares back at me from every window and every wall and from the front page of The Prophet.
There are always loads of mush written under the posters, the same message said in thousand different words. My green eyes put out there to judge anyone who isn't doing their part in the war, to create some kind of standard that everyone can measure themselves against.
The more I see of that picture the more I hate it, because the girl in the picture is slowly taking over my life. Smug bitch.
Lily Evans is dead, all hail Lily Potter.
You see, James likes that picture. It's not like he loves it, he is not like that anymore. Not the arrogant bully who just wanted to see himself reflected as the hero in every surface possible, but he is still confident in who he is. Maybe even more than before, he now knows who he is, has always known himself inside out and liked what he sees.
He is straightforward, one layered, brave and unapologetic in presenting himself to the world to judge. He sees the picture in the front of the paper and moves on because he isn't afraid to face his own gaze in the mirror. He can't even imagine what it would be like to look at your own reflection and see someone else looking back, to face a stranger that you don't even like.
But that's why I married James. He is so fucking simple. Not in a sense that he is stupid, because he isn't. He can be really fucking smart when he wants to, reading the kind of transfiguration theory that I have no way to keep up with, but he is simple in a way that he thinks and acts.
He takes words and actions at their face value. He keeps his relationships neatly tucked into two categories, the people that he likes and respect and that he treats kindly and the people that he doesn't like nor respect and who he doesn't treat kindly. Seeing that we are in war at the moment that kind of thinking has become mandatory in a way.
His thoughts do not linger in uncertainty, they do not twist and knot in his head until he can't even recognize them anymore.
That's why I chose him. He has the kind of personality that fills the entire room and when I am with him I have no more room to listen to myself. I can go through the motions of marriage with him and he is content with the wife he is presented with.
I do think that I love him. He makes me laugh sometimes and he worries about me, which feels good. I appreciate the effort he puts into making me happy.
At least I like to think that that is why I married him, because the other reason would be such calculated cruelty that I do not like to think myself capable of such thing.
You see I'm a fucking amazing liar. People don't believe it when I say it, which is why I tell them. I think that Marlene started to believe eventually, but then again she promised that she would be fine and now she's six feet under, so I think that she turned out to be even better liar.
I don't know why I lie so much, it's rarely about the important things, just little lies that slip through that I can't stop. Like when people assume that charms must have been my favorite subject in school and I agree, just because I don't have the energy nor the motivation to make actual conversation with the people around me. I have lied about my favorite food, my music taste, my interest in school subjects and about thousand other insignificant things, so many times that I do not remember the truthful answers anymore.
In the seventh year gryffindor graduation party I told Sirius Black that I don't drink. James even defended me and my lifestyle choice. I didn't even mean to make it into a lie, I just didn't want to tell them how me and Severus had gotten drunk first time when we were thirteen because we were stupid little fucks, who thought themselves invincible. Sev almost got killed by a motorcycle gang, because that stupid twig has trouble controlling his mouth even when he's sober and once again I had to drag him away before he starts a fight he can't finish.
We woke up under a bush in the local park and I threw up on Sevs lap. We were even stupid enough to do the same thing again the next summer, thinking that we knew our limits this time.
I still have the scars reminding me that I can't actually do a backflip off the slide in the playground.
But the point is that it was easier to say that I was an absolutist than to open up, to let someone in, to tell them things that truly matter.
They believed and I silently judge them for it, for so easily seeing me as someone who doesn't drink, who is actually better person than I am. For laughing and saying: That's right, she is smarter than us, she didn't fuck around with booze like we did! And then they all laugh and I have been lifted from the circle of mundane, banished from the friendly bonding session.
In those moments I unfairly think that Severus would have caught all of my lies.
We were both liars, but we could trust each others lies. We learned to listen to the spaces in between and shaped each other so that we always knew what was being said. Severus would say that things were fine in his home and I would say that I didn't care what Petunia said about me. There was this fragile beauty in our words.
Which makes me wonder that why the fuck did he believe me when I told him to leave me alone?
You see, I don't want to blame myself for losing him, because it wasn't my fault. I was there! I was always fucking there! I was sitting there in our library table, waiting. I sat there like a moron for two hours thinking that you would come, because Friday evenings were ours, always ours! So I sat there and waited until you walked in with some other friends, some older slytherins that I started to hate right then and there.
Later I would start to pay more attention to them and learn to hate them for being rich pure blooded bastards, but right then I hated them for entirely selfish reasons.
It's not like I wouldn't allow you to have other friends, it's just that weren't we supposed to be best friends.
Please don't leave me alone.
You see, people seem to have this fallacy in their head that I have loads and loads of friends. I have never understood how that idea persists, seeing that I'm pretty sure that even my husband can't name anyone that would visit our home just to see me. Marlene did, but even she was friend to Sirius before me.
James has his loyal gang that has almost informally moved in with us. They love James unconditionally with his flaws and all. If James dies now, he will be remembered, the good and the bad. If I were to die right now, I'm afraid that the only thing left from me is that picture on the front page of the prophet and some polite mumbling about how good always die young. People would probably show up to my funeral and start giving speeches about how they had hoped to know me better. My teachers would make some confused noises about how smart I was, someone will bring up how they vaguely remember me being kind to others and then someone will compliment my smile and eventually everyone will agree that I was a very beautiful witch.
You don't believe me? Go on, ask someone what they think about me. If the answer you get resembles a stock description of an ideal person, ding ding ding we have a winner.
Do you fucking see?
This brings me back to the girl in the picture, the one who has been made the face of the resistance. Because she has stolen my name and face, this empty idol who will be remembered and worshiped, how could I not hate her, when I have sacrificed my own innermost self for this creature of light and beauty who will give hope to the masses during this long dark night.
Sometimes I wonder what Severus thinks when he sees the girl in the picture staring at him. Does he miss me at all? Does he hate me now? Does he feel anything at all?
The last one is the one that bothers me most, because I still feel for him. They are not tender feelings, but they are more than I feel for anyone else in this godforsaken world at the moment. He is still the fleeting shadow that I chase in this fucked up wonderland, in this world of twisted miracles that I tried to love for your sake, but that I ended up hating because of you.
You promised me the world once, a world of miracles and wonder where magic would make us happier and I took your hand and believed you.
Then again I once promised you my loyalty and we both ended up breaking our promises so I guess that makes us even then.
Sometimes I wish I had just kissed you and then I could have used it as an excuse to cry my eyes out to Marlene. I could have said something like: I broke up with my boyfriend, or: I have been rejected.
Those are socially acceptable reasons to be emotional, but we lost even that change, hurting each other too soon and now I am stuck in this lingering space between regret and rage.
The only one who witnessed my undoing was the bathroom mirror that I shattered with my fist, Trusting only my own broken reflection to witness my tears.
Once I could have trusted you with my tears but you spat them back to my face, so now I trust nobody with my tears.
Ours was not a love story, it was this toxic formula, this medieval fairytale, but I truly believe that in some other environment we could have been something better. Like two puzzle pieces that would fit perfectly, but are being slammed together the wrong way around, there was the potential for us to be more than our individual sums.
The only thing I ask of you anymore is for you to remember me, remember this girl who wanted to possess you, wanted everything you weren't willing to give, who self destructed to make way for this abstract symbol of a perfect witch.
Because if you end up loving that girl in the picture more than me, I will never forgive you Severus Snape.