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FIC: Black Eyes, Blue Tears (Terence/Alicia) Mature

Title: Black Eyes, Blue Tears
Fandom: Harry Potter
Characters: Alicia Spinnet/ Terence Higgs
Prompt: fanfic50 Prompt table 8, prompt 35. Fallen
Word Count: 1664
Rating: Mature
Summary: Happy endings only happen in fairy tales.
Author's Note: Contains mentions of domestic violence, allusions to marital rape, and mentions of abortion.

When you reach the part where the heartaches come
The hero would be me
But heroes often fail
And you won't read that book again
Because the ending's just too hard to take


Gordon Lightfoot, If you could read my mind


“Next!” Mrs Bell called out from behind the counter. A soft murmur rose up as the long queue inched forward. Saturday mornings were always the busiest time at Bell Apothecary, and it wouldn’t be until noon before the worst of the rush was over.

Alicia shuffled forward in line in sync with the people in front and behind her. In her pocket, her fist was clenched tightly around the torn piece of parchment with the list of ingredients she needed. She kept her gaze firmly on her shoes, trying hard to ignore her surroundings lest she got lured into idle chitchat with the other customers. For good measure, her dark hair fell over her cheeks like an obscuring curtain, her fringe covering her eyes.

As she studied the worn out noses of her trainers, a memory popped out of nowhere. A memory of a time long ago when she used to be young and carefree and had embraced life and everything it had to offer. It had been in a time she wouldn’t’ve minded being the centre of attention. When discussing the latest state of the Quidditch League, heatedly defending her beloved team, had been her favourite pass time. A time when flirting with older wizards to get in front of the queue would've been the first thing she would've done on a morning like this.

These days, however, Alicia preferred to be as invisible as possible, avoid any human contact where she could. Today was, in fact, the first time in weeks even she had left the flat. On her own.

And it was making her break out in cold sweat, her heart racing in her chest in fear as well as anticipation.

Alicia briefly lifted her eyes from the toes of her shoes to gauge how much it would take before it was her turn. Terence was out for breakfast with his parents, and she needed to get home, have the potion brewed and ingested before he got home. She didn't want to think about what he'd do if he ever found out that she’d gone without his permission, or worse, figure out her plan.

Her hand shot up to her left eye and flinched as the skin burnt under her touch, a reminder of something or the other she had done wrong last night. She hadn’t looked in the mirror, rarely did these days, but she reckoned her eye looked as horrible as it felt. She could barely see through it. Healing it would have taken a few seconds -hell, a Glamour would have been fine by her, but Terence had taken her wand again to teach her lesson. And in a way, she was thankful for that because it was the final push she needed to go forward with her plan.

Why must you make me do this? This hurts me more than it does you.

Of course, Alicia had apologised. Always did even though he never said what she had done wrong. She just did, he’d do much worse if she didn’t. And he had, more times than she wanted to admit to, the last time just two months ago. It was also the reason she was here today. The funny thing was, she was sure that she’d apologised that night, too, when he had first dragged her out of bed by her hair. She had apologised, over and over again, because it had been easier than to ask why.

“Next!” Mrs Bell called out again.

Sighing, Alicia inched another few steps forward. She was next in line now, a few more minutes before she could hurry back to anonymity of their flat before the anxiety became too much and her heart leapt out of her chest.

Deep breaths, you can do this.

Although she tried to block them out, Alicia couldn’t help but overhear the two girls behind her discuss good-looking Quidditch players. A small, wry smile crept up her face as she remembered all the times she and her friends used to do that, years ago, back when she had friends.

Alicia bit back tears at the thought of Katie and Angie, and how she had ended their friendship when they’d become openly hostile to Terence, the tension more than once leading to harsh words between the friends. They’d seen him for what he was long before she had, seen through the excuses she had made for his behaviour towards her.

We’ll always be here, help you when you’re ready to leave.

That was the last her friends had said to her, years ago on the morning of her wedding. Alicia's chest constricted at the memory of sending them away that day, upset with their audacity to ruin what was supposed to be the happiest day of her life. The truth was, they had held up a mirror before her that morning, and she been too deep in denial to see what they were trying to show her. It took her a few more months after that day to realise that her friends hadn’t been the problem.

“Terence Higgs is so dreamy, such a shame he’s taken,” one of the girls swooned, and her friend couldn’t find enough words to agree with her.

Cruelly pulled back into present day, Alicia glanced over her shoulder, scowling in disgust. For a fleeting moment, she felt bold enough to tell them that behind those bright blue eyes and handsome facade a monster hid. She didn’t, of course, always bit her tongue when people praised Terence. Who’d believe her when even her own parents did not?

We’ll always be here, help you when you’re ready to leave.

The girls were studying Terence’s latest spread in Witch Weekly for a charity Alicia couldn’t remember the name of. Something-something sanctuary for mistreated dragons. A cause that was very dear to him, if you had to believe Witch Weekly. Scoffing at the irony of it all, Alicia turned her focus to her trainers again. They were not just worn-out, she realised, the canvas was actually torn at places. She made a mental note to fix them as soon as Terence gave her wand back to her.

She'd be damned to ask him for monies. He'd just hold it over her head, as he did with everything.

What had happened to the boy she had fallen in love with?

Her fist in her pocket relaxed a bit. Through layers of fabric, fingertips pressed against the slight swell of her belly. She had performed more than one spell to confirm, cried for hours when the reality of her situation had hit, something she hadn't done the last year or two. In the end, however, getting pregnant had been the wake-up call she needed. And to regain control of her life, becoming unpregnant was the first step to take.

Terence would never let her go if he found out about the baby. He’d do so, so much worse to her if he got wind of her plans, probably just let her live long enough to give birth. To be honest, the mere idea of getting rid of the child was gutting. This baby would’ve been the first of the large family she had always dreamt about. But there was no room in her life for silly dreams. She would never, ever forgive herself for bringing an innocent life into the nightmare she was currently living.

“Next!”

Tears of grief pricked her eyes as Alicia mumbled a greeting and she stepped forward. Doubt overtook as her fist tightened around the parchment in her hand. Then she remembered her damaged eye she couldn’t quite see through and the never-ending ringing in her ears that had started when Terence had pushed her into a wall on the second day of their honeymoon, and she knew what to do.

Without a word, she pulled out the list from her pocket and put it on the counter. You didn’t need to be a Potion’s Master to figure out what kind of potion this combination of ingredients made. With bated breath, she waited for Mrs Bell to say something. Anything. Instead, she felt the older woman’s eyes on her, studying her, probably judging her for her foolishness. It was almost too much, and she wanted to turn on her heels and bolt, try again at another apothecary.

“I’ll have these ready in a jiffy,” said Mrs Bell eventually, leaning in. Her soft voice laced with understanding. She took Alicia’s hand in hers, squeezing it reassuringly as she brushed the hair from Alicia's eyes with the other. A sharp intake of breath followed. In a strained voice, she eventually asked, “Do you want me to Floo-call Katie?”

Alicia wanted to say no but nodded yes, swallowing down the sobs bubbling up in her throat. When she was sure that she could speak without choking on her words, she said thickly, “I haven't any money.”

“It’ll be alright,” Mrs Bell said as she squeezed her hand again.

Alicia clapped her hand over her mouth to stifle her sobs as Mrs Bell disappeared behind heavy, red velvet curtains. For the first time in a very long while, something akin to hope began to blossom in her chest. This was merely the first step, the hardest part before she could start healing.

We’ll always be here, help you when you’re ready to leave.

Gods, she was ready. Ready to re-start her life, become the woman she was meant to be. Be free. She could almost feel it, touch it. She was close, so, so, close.

And in the end, it was the friendly voice that turned her insides into ice and the arm possessively snaking around her waist that made her freeze up. It shattered that too good to be true of a daydream.

“Ah, there she is, my darling wife. You had me worried there for a second. I didn’t know you had plans to go out.”

Happy endings only happened in fairy tales, after all.
Tags: alicia spinnet, alicia spinnet/terence higgs, fanfic50, ficlet, one-shot, prompt table, rating: m, terence higgs
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