North, East, South and West

Author: Debbie
Rating: G
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended
Summary: Post-DH. A survivor contemplates ... surviving.
Author's Note: People who know me will probably see some shippiness here, but I tried to make it open to interpretation. The title comes from a poem that you will likely recognise if you've seen Four Weddings and a Funeral.

I lie on my bed, eyes open to the blackness all around me. The summer night is mild and breezy, but I do not open my curtains to let the air in. I stare ahead, seeing nothing, but that's what I want right now. If I let in the moon, I see his empty bed. If I close my eyes, I see my own face, unnaturally still, pale as....

I don't want to remember. I don't want to see.

I've looked in the mirror only once since that day - and have since done everything possible to avoid doing so again. Every day, throughout my entire life, I looked into my living, breathing reflection - one which laughed and plotted, was warm and completing.

The glass version shows only me. A cold, flat image. I cannot bear it.

It's not like we never spent time apart - it was rare, but I still knew he was there, alive inside my head and my heart with the bond that held us together as twins. I knew his thoughts and he knew mine, and we always knew the other would be there, no matter if we had separate classes or detentions. I have never been truly alone, and I wonder how my single siblings have managed all these years.

People have tried to be kind - friends and neighbours and even Auntie Muriel have all dropped by with food and flowers and steaming pots of tea, but I have stayed here in my old room as much as Mum will let me. I cannot bear the way visitors' eyes flick briefly to one side or another, as if still looking for my missing half, before finally settling on my solitary form. I don't talk much with them - with anyone; it takes too much effort to complete all of my own sentences. Ron and Ginny and Harry seem to understand the best, and never expect anything from me. We take turns playing badly at chess because none of us can properly concentrate.

No one has suggested Quidditch as a diversion.

Weasleys' - Weasley's? - Wizard Wheezes has been closed, but I want to re-open it eventually. He'd never forgive me for chucking it all away after we worked so hard together. Ginny has offered to help test things with me during school holidays, if I need - I'm not sure Mum would be too keen on that, but what she doesn't know can't hurt any more than we already do. Maybe I'll take her up on it. She always was the most spirited, after us.

But it still will be Ginny, and not him, by my side. The feel of his warm body next to mine, matching me in every way - the other half of my soul by my side for every milestone, every hurdle. Our childhood memories are difficult to separate as we often cannot - could not - recall what happened to whom. And he told me his ear hurt for months after I lost mine.

How long until it no longer feels as though my heart has stopped?

I wrap my arms around myself, feeling the soft texture of his pyjamas next to my skin, and wait for dawn.

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

      -- W.H. Auden
       Funeral Blues

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