Fandom: Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Katie Bell/Marcus Flint
Characters: Marcus Flint, Katie Bell
Additional Tags: Tragedy, Romance, One Shot, Alternate Universe - Post-War
Some say that promises are meant to be broken. Two lovers try to fix their mistakes. Unfortunately, no matter how hard they try, some things cannot be mended. Post-war AU/ One-shot
The other night, dear, as I lay sleeping
I dreamed I held you in my arms
When I awoke, dear, I was mistaken
So I hung my head and I cried
You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are grey
You'll never know, dear, how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away
Hidden from prying eyes behind the rosebushes, Katie sat on a bench, watching the bright full moon as she lazily hummed to the tune of music wafting through the air. The few moments of solitude was just what she'd needed to gather her thoughts, and she intended on enjoying every minute of it until someone found her and dragged her back inside.
Being back here, at Hogwarts, to celebrate the anniversary of the end of the war felt too surreal, maddening even. Time had passed in a blink of an eye, and she had a difficult time processing the memories. Two years ago, which seemed like only yesterday, she and her friends had fought Death Eaters and their ilk at this very spot. Lives had been lost and altered forever that day, and now, as she looked around, it seemed as if none of that had happened at all.
She had lost friends and loved ones, had been hurt herself, and for a brief moment, had lost all hope when a crying Hagrid had carried Harry’s lifeless body back. However, in the end, the right side had won. Their side had won, and that was all that mattered tonight. Music, food, and plenty of drinks; no expense had been spared. Still, this lavish celebration a mere day after they had mourned their dead felt wrong to her.
The sound of footsteps pulled Katie from her musings, and she hastily wiped the stray tears from her cheeks and plastered on a fake smile. He didn’t need to see her cry on a night like this. She had driven him away last year with her lack of coping skill, and couldn't risk the chance of that happening again.
“I thought you’d never come. It took you long enough to follow me here,” Katie said when he sat down next to her. She couldn’t stop staring at the moon. It was truly a beautiful and hypnotising sight.
Marcus laughed softly. Even if it wasn’t in any way close to his boisterous laugh, it still sounded like music to her ears. It had been so long since she had heard it.
“You kept ignoring and dodging me inside. It took some time figure out you were out here,” he replied and covered her warm hand with his cold one. “I’m the thick one, remember. It takes me a while to figure out things.”
“You’re not thick,” Katie chastised and turned to face him, her smile widening to mirror his.
Marcus hadn’t changed a bit since the last time she had seen him, little over a year ago. His hair was still too long for her liking, but his broad grin that had butterflies fluttering in her stomach made up for it.
“You know how they can react when they see me talking to you,” she offered apologetically. “They don’t understand. They think I’m crazy for loving you.”
“I know, I know.” Marcus sighed deeply and ran his free hand through his hair in frustration. “How have you been? Do you still…”
Knowing very well what he was referring to, Katie shook her head. It had been the source of their disagreements and the reason that he had left all those months ago: those damned potions. She should have never started in the first place and listened to Marcus when he had warned her that they were no good for her. But at the time, she had been so desperate to numb the scars the war had left, that she'd ignored everything he said and went her own way with them. In the end, the numbness she had craved so much had chased him away.
“I haven’t touched any in three months, and I don’t plan on starting again.” Katie was proud of her accomplishment. Once you started that shite, it could be difficult to stop. Nevertheless, she had managed, and without help at that. “But, you know that already, don't you? Don’t deny it, I’ve seen you lurking around.”
“Damn it,” Marcus muttered under his breath. “And I thought that I was stealthy.”
“You, stealthy? Don’t make me laugh, Flint. You don’t have a discrete bone in your body.” Katie nudged him, giggling. Merlin, it felt good to laugh again. “How have you been? Have you missed me? I’ve missed you.”
“No, why'd you think that?” Marcus wrapped his arm around Katie's shoulders to keep her from scooting over. “I’ve been bored out my mind, love. There was nothing to do, no one to bother. Of course, I’ve missed you, you bint. So, you better be prepared, Bell, I’m back and ready to haunt you 'til you get sick of me.”
“Never!” Katie protested. “I’ve learnt my lesson. You can haunt me as much as you like. Just… just don’t leave me again, all right? I don’t think I can handle it if it happens again.”
“As long as you stay away from that shite, I’ll be here. It’ll take a herd of dragons to pull me away.”
After a single nod in response, she leant into him, her head resting on his chest. She wished that her parents and friends understood that she could never end things with Marcus. He was the only one who was able to make her truly happy. Why couldn’t they forgive him for leaving her, just like she had? All she wanted was their lives to return to normal, as it had been before the war.
Inside, Celestina Warbeck started a new song, ‘The Thief of Hearts’. The song that had played in the background when they had kissed for the first time.
“Remember this one?” Marcus whispered and kissed her hair, inhaling her scent. Feeling her nod against his chest, he pulled away from her. “Care to do it over?”
“I'd love to.”
He stood up and held his hand out, bowing deeply. “Milady.”
Katie chuckled and shook her head at his gesture before she took his waiting hand. “You didn’t do that the last time.”
“I didn’t?” He wrapped his arms around her waist, holding her close to him. “Are you sure about that?”
“Yes, I’m sure, there is nothing wrong with my mind. And no, you didn’t. Actually, I remember you grunting something about real men not dancing.”
“Huh, I can’t remember that part.” Marcus smiled and rested his chin on the top of her head as he closed his eyes to replay that night.
They swayed to the tunes of the song, neither of them speaking; being in each other’s arms was enough for now.
“This is the moment you kissed me. You stole my move,” murmured Marcus as the song neared its end.
“I did not steal.” Katie weakly slapped his chest and rolled her eyes. “I merely set the example for you to follow. We were already on the fifth date, and if I had to wait for you to do something, we still wouldn’t have kissed today, you git. You were too busy with being a gentleman.”
“My mother raised me right. I thought you birds liked that.”
“Yeah, yeah, us 'birds' only like that when it suits us. Now, stop your moaning and kiss me. It wouldn’t be proper redo if we skipped that part.”
“So bossy. But as it is a redo, it should be you who kisses me,” Marcus answered cheekily. He grinned broadly at her when she narrowed her eyes at him.
“Fine.” Recalling that night so long ago, she closed her eyes and stood her toes to reach his lips. She could already taste him, even before they connected.
Cinnamon and orange, he had always tasted like cinnamon and orange. With all the changes around her, she was glad to find out that some things never changed.
Startled at the call of her name, Katie pulled away from Marcus. He cursed softly at the interruption, putting her thoughts into word. When she was sure that she wouldn't snap, Katie turned around to face her friend Leanne.
“I’ve been looking all over for you. What are you doing here?” Leanne asked cautiously and took a step closer.
Katie stopped herself right in time and clasped her hands over her mouth. She felt Marcus pull away from her. The coldness he left in his wake chilled her to the bone.
“Oh, darling.” Sadness flashed across Leanne’s face as she took Katie gently by her arm. “Let’s get you inside, yeah? Your mum and dad are looking for you as well. It’s time to go home.”
“No, no, no. Give me just a few minutes. Let me say goodbye first. Please?” Katie protested even though she knew that it would only make things worse.
“I can’t, you know that. Let’s go inside, and we'll sort it out with your parents, yeah?”
Katie swallowed hard; she knew that it was of no use to argue with Leanne. Her friend was one of those people who had doubted Marcus two years ago and still did today.
Resigned, she allowed herself to be led inside, looking behind her every other step. Marcus was already fading into the shadows, watching her in disappointment. The silvery light of the moon gave him a ghostlike appearance. A small wave of his hand was the last she saw of him before he disappeared altogether.
‘He found me tonight, he’ll find me again tomorrow,’ she tried to comfort herself, needing to believe that she would see him again.
“Please don’t tell them. Don't tell Mum and Dad about Marcus,” Katie asked Leanne in desperation before they entered the Great Hall.
Leanne shook her head and gently squeezed her friend’s arm. “I’m sorry, love, but you know I have to. It’s for your own good.”
Her new room was cold and too bright for her to sleep in. There weren’t any curtains in front of her barred windows to keep out the street lights. Her mother had promised to hang pretty ones in the morning, to make the room her own. Katie knew what her mother was trying to do, of course. She had done the same thing last year. When would her mother learn that spending Galleons wouldn't ease the guilt? As if buying a piece of cloth would ever make up for locking Katie up in here.
“I’m not crazy,” Katie kept mumbling as she stared at the crumpled photograph in her hand. Terence had taken it days before the final battle. Marcus was laughing at something she had said to him. If she closed her eyes, she could hear the sound, feel the rumble course through her body as he had held her close. They had been happy that day, the war nothing but a nasty rumour. That was before the battle.
She shook her head to stay awake. The double dose of potion they had forced on her was already taking effect. The clarity she had felt since stopping three months earlier, was slipping away from her now. Her efforts to sick up the potion had failed.
Tears poured down her cheeks as the realisation set in that she had broken her promise to Marcus. He was going to be so angry with her.
“I’m sorry. I've tried to fight them,” she whispered to the picture. Her knuckles were bruised and bloodied from where she had punched a wall in a fit of anger and frustration. Her parents had brought straight to St. Mungo’s without even listening to her. They had allowed the Healers to lock her into this room without batting an eye.
‘This is for your own good,’ they’d said.
“I’m not crazy. You need to tell them.”
She traced the tip of her finger over the wrinkled surface of the picture. Tears blurred her vision as her sobs intensified, shaking her whole body.
“You’re real. Please come back and tell them. I-I’ll find a way to stop the potions. Just come back and tell them that you haven’t died. You promised me that you wouldn’t die.”
From a corner of the room, Marcus Flint helplessly watched his girlfriend cry herself to sleep that night. Even in her sleep, she called out to him, and all he wanted was to answer her summons, make things right with her. However, he knew that he couldn’t, not as long as they forbade her from seeing him.
He’d tried talking to her earlier, but she hadn't listened. Nor had she reacted to his touches. Then again, how could she? His arms ran right through her whenever he tried to hold her. He wanted to tell her that he hadn’t left her last time, and he wasn’t about to do it now. The potions made her think like that. He was as real as she wanted, as she needed him to be. And he was as lost as she was.
A small red drop fell to the floor, soon followed by more. He didn’t have to look at it to know what it was. It had happened the last time her parents had locked her up in here and forced her into their reality.
Her reality became his, making his loneliness more profound.
If he were to look in a mirror, he wouldn’t be the same man Katie had danced with earlier. No, he would see cuts and singe marks. He would see the man who got hit by a curse in a moment of inattention. He would see the man with the broken body and the lost soul.
He would see the man who had broken his promise.
He would see the man that had died.