Title: Signs of LIfe
Team: Death Eaters
Pairing: SSHG (implied)
Length 7 X 100
Summary: Signals and signs cannot be ignored…
I make no money on these pieces. This is unbeta’d, so please don’t blame Jules.
He sees darkness.
He sees black corners and grey staircases; mists that drag at his cloak like a begging child, and he thinks to himself, is this death? Is this the hell to which I’ve resigned myself?
Tastes in his mouth like slick ash, and he wants to retch and he feels the tearing, searing pain of fighting. Fighting for a life he had all but given up on, but now seems as important as it was always meant to be in the first place.
He has to save it; it’s the only one he has, and it’s precious.
At first, he hears strange, distorted sounds, like voices in a well, and he wishes they would just be quiet! for one moment so he can think straight, but thinking straight has ceased to be a valuable commodity. The sounds are like music being played underwater, and they are in turn welcoming and frightening, and he can’t tell the difference or why he should care.
All that matters is that, while he can still hear them, it means that he is still alive.
Don’t let me die, please.
“You won’t,” says a voice. And he weeps, afraid to believe it.
When he was ten, Lily made him a daisy chain, and he wore it around his neck until it fell apart. He hid it from Ma and Da; her because she would make him take it off, and him because he would tear it off. He hides his fear from The Voice, in case it tells him that he needs to accept he’s dying.
He wore the daisies until they shed all over his pillow. He still hid them.
“Shh. It’s okay. You’re not alone.”
He is afraid when the chain disintegrates, his fading body will join it.
On that last day, he buttoned up his coat slowly, chanting under his breath every defensive spell he’d ever known. The buttonholes were narrow, clogged with protection; his clothing was stiff with it. Blood ran off his shirt like water off a duck’s back; it was still white when they found him.
Am I alive?
“And you will be for a very long time. Open your eyes.”
The soft touch of a hand on his face makes him shudder. A voice, a scent of pears, a cool sip of water, a shadowy face full of care floats in his vision.
His days are quiet; he has learned to stare at one singular curl for hours and has found the answers to the cosmos within its cuticles. There is a price for tranquility, but he paid it long ago. Now, he is content to breathe and see and feel peace.
His companion is as quiet as she once was vociferous; she says it’s unseemly to talk when he’s determined to remain silent. Sometimes she writes messages on his palm, using the tip of her finger. He shivers at the contact. If you’ll start talking again, she says, I’ll stop tickling you.
Days go by; he speaks like a rusted hinge, but it is sound vibrated through vocal chords. To her it is music of the angels. She stops writing her love letters on his palm, and writes them instead on his heart.
She has aged; he stayed surprisingly young.
“Do you love me?” she asks. He writes yes on her palm with his finger.
“Why don’t you say it out loud?”
“I’m afraid someone will find my daisy chain.”
She writes OK on his palm. “If I stopped tickling you, would you stop loving me?”
No, he writes. “Never,” he says.
Shh, he whispers to his child. Mummy’s napping.
Writes You have a new brother on her palm.
Shh, he whispers to his daughter. He wasn’t good enough for you.
Writes don’t cry on her palm.
Shh, he whispers to his son. Don’t let your mother find out.
Writes Prat on his palm.
Shh, he whispers to his wife. We had to let her go someday.
Writes She’s a beautiful bride on her palm.
Shh, he whispers to his love. Just a little separation.
Writes I love you on her palm.
Writes it over and over, until his finger stops moving.