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Picking up the Pieces

By Katie Rowsby

Other / Romance

Picking up the Pieces

Do you think of her?When you're with me?Repeat the memories you made together whose face do you see?

She watched him as he moves about their tiny kitchen, smiling slightly as he bangs his hip on the corner of the counter-top for the third time in five minutes and laughs out right when he curses under his breath. He doesn't hear her, and after inspecting his side he resumes making dinner. She watches him closely; she sees the way his mouth quirks up at one side, she appreciates the way his hand would absentmindedly brush across the scar on his forehead, the scar that made him famous. She also watches how his eyes dim and go sad when they catch on the photos on the fridge, on one photo in particular.

She walks into the kitchen as he starts to serve up the food; he smiles at her and asks her about her day. They eat and make small talk, each sharing in the pleasant atmosphere. He smiles at her and anyone else would mistake him for being happy, but every now and then she sees it in his eyes, in the sparkling emerald eyes, the absentness that appears there, as if his mind is somewhere else. Somewhere far away from their tiny kitchen, somewhere far away from their quaint little house and the life they built there. She knows that in those moments he is far away with her. Those moments used to be rare, and when they did occur it would be not just for him but for her as well, they would talk and share their memories of her the friend they both loved and lost.

At last his eyes focus in again but she wonders, when he returns is he really back with her? Is he seeing her face or is he seeing her face, is he living in the present or is he dwelling on the memories of a ghost.

Do you wish I was a bit more like her?
Am I too loud?
I play the clown to cover up all these doubts

She goes with him to visit his family, her family; she greets them with a big smile for the men and hugs for the women. They stand together and chat with Ron and Hermione catching up and saying how long it's been and how they can't leave it as long between visits next time. Harry wanders off as he usually does when they visit this place, she leaves him to it and moves on to drift from person to person engaging with everybody smiling, laughing, and joining in the celebrations. They make her feel welcome, they always do, but still she can't help wondering if she really is as welcome in their lives as say, she can't help wondering if she tries too hard to be different from her, and also if Harry wishes she was more like her. These doubts come to her in the dead of night when she wakes and sees that he's not beside her anymore. She never voices them; she just covers them up under pretence of fatigue. If anyone notices and calls her on it; she's not really pretending, not anymore.

Now she's gone
And I'm picking up the pieces
I watch you cry
But you don't see that I'm the one by your side'
Cause she's gone
In her shadow is it me you see?'
Cause all that's left is you and I
and I'm picking up the pieces she left behind

She remembers the night she died. She was round at Hermione's place, she and Ron had just announced that they were having a baby and she had popped round to congratulate them. She remembers Hermione being so excited that both herself and her, would be having babies at the same time, she gushed how they could raise them together and how perfect it would be if they grew up as best friends.

Then the phone call came, most wizards still refused to use phones and Ron still hadn't quite gotten the hang of answering in a normal voice but Hermione was muggleborn and had insisted on them owning one. She remembers Hermione standing there, staring into space, her mouth opening and closing like a fish but with no sound coming out. Eventually Hermione managed to choke the words out, each one sounding like she was breathing poison. Most of that night was a blur after Ron came home and she excused herself to deal with her grief alone; after all she was her friend first, it was only because of her that she really got to know them at all.

She recalls feeling lost and being unable to imagine what Harry was going through, and although most people would want to be left alone she went to see him anyway as she knew he was only going to internalise all of his pain and blame it on himself. She was right. He opened the door and let her in without a word, she looked around and was surprised no one else was there, but then, most of his closest friends were her family and they would be drowning in their own grief that night. They sat in silence for hours before he broke, before he threw himself at her and cried. He cried and cried and cried: the sun had come and gone before he was fully done crying and even then she knew there were more tears to come. There had to be; his pregnant wife had just been murdered, he'd had his whole life planned out and now, in a split second, it was all gone. They were gone. She was gone. Indeed everything had changed as now the two of them were so much closer, and that should have made her happy as she'd never really had a close friend other than her. But their closeness was a result of something terrible and that made it hard for her to be happy.

She stayed with him for weeks, helping him work through his grief when he needed to or just aiding him around the house on one of his better days. They started out as close friends; everyone knew that and no one could deny the love he had for the Weasley girl. Gradually their relationship started to change. It started out as small things at first; he would call to tell her about his day and to ask about hers. Their weekly dinners became twice a week, then three times, and then four until they were practically spending every hour not spent at work with each other. The other changes came slower. The first time he stayed the night was the anniversary of her death. It had been five years since the woman he loved and their unborn child had died and he was at a loss of what to do with himself and so he drank until he couldn't see straight and showed up at her door, soaking wet and barely conscious. He slept on the sofa.

After that his nightly presence became more common. Her flat was more welcoming that the hovel he'd moved into after that night, with him being unable to stay in that house with all the memories it contained. For months and months they proceed that way, until finally their relationship really changed. Now most would expect it to come as some massive revelation, as a sudden recognition of a love that could no longer be contained, but it wasn't like that. It wasn't like that at all. They'd had dinner same as usual and afterwards they had relaxed in the front room. She had been overtaken by a ginormous yawn that signalled her to go to bed. She wished him good night as and she bent down to kiss his cheek, he moved and captured her mouth in a short, sweet kiss. She returned the kiss, and as she straightened she took his hand and led him to her room.

That was their first night together, but it wasn't their last. Years past, he continued to grieve but so did she and that was understandable, as they had both loved her very much, and perhaps that's why he came to her, because she was the only one who loved her as much as he did.

Are we liars in denial?
Are we smoke without the fire?
Tell me please is this worth it?
I deserve it

Eventually though it started to get to her. His absent moments became more profound; they occurred more often and they lasted longer and longer each time. She wanted a family but he refused, if she mentioned it he shut down completely. She liked to think it was because it was when she was pregnant that it had happened and that his refusal was that he didn't want the same thing to happen to her. She could only fool herself for so long though before she could admit that deep down she knew that wasn't why he refused her pleas. He denied her because she was her, she wasn't the one he had wanted to spend his life with, she wasn't the one who he had desired to raise a family with, and she wasn't the one he had wanted to grow old with: in short she just wasn't the one.

The day came where she couldn't take it anymore. The shouting lasted for hours; the two of them screaming at the top of the lungs everything that they despised about the other. Abused was hurled back and forth, insults were slung between the two and memories and secrets were wielded as knives; each one piercing deep. When all was said and done she picked herself up off of the floor, wiped her eyes, opened the door and left.

And I'm picking up the pieces
She left behind

On her way out of town she stopped by the graveyard. She walked down the well-trodden path slowly, taking in the sights and smells as she knew she would not be returning here anytime soon. Upon reaching the grave she crouched down and braced herself against the grey stone. "I tried Ginny I really tried" she said softly, a stray tear rolling down her cheek "but your death broke him into so many pieces it just wasn't possible to pick them all up".

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