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Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or any of the characters in this fic, no matter how much I would like to.

To Elysium, my wonderful beta for this one-shot. *huggles*

My Tears

I pause, the feathered quill held aloft between my fingers. I continue to stare down at the clean roll of parchment as I have done for hours, and realise that I have nothing to say. I fear all lucid words have left me. For how can one sum up the feeling of having their soul ripped apart in a single letter?

I gave him everything. My whole heart.

But love is never equal. One always loves fiercer than the other. I played the fool, giving him the entirety of my heart and thinking he had done the same. Now he is gone, and I am left, like a wounded animal, to nurse the void that his presence had once filled. This is the price I pay for my foolishness, my naivety. These are my tears.

I dip the quill into the ink pot, determined that I must write; if not for him, then for me. The thoughts I have kept unspoken gnaw at me each and every day. The script I print is scratchy, my hand trembles. A single word:


I blink furiously, determined not to reduce myself to a weeping mess. Since my youth I have been far too quick to come to tears, and he always said that crying is a show of weakness.

Why did you leave me?

I know why he left. What torments me is that I do not know why he left me. I thought my love would hold him here, that it would be enough to keep him from going. Not until he packed his belongings away, did I realise that he truly intended to leave.

That last time I saw him was over two moons ago – his retreating back as he left Hogwarts, never to return. I cried out from the icy stone steps of the castle, begging him not to go. He did not look back once.

I could scarcely believe his coldness. When he told me he was leaving Hogwarts he ignored my pleas to reconcile with Godric and pushed me away when I clung to his robes. I should have known though. He had always been a fickle creature, changing his mind as often as the blowing winds change their direction.

I loathe you. I love you.

Had he asked me to come with him, I would have said no. I could never have left the students and the school I helped to found, for it is my home. And I am a simple woman, certainly not of an adventurous spirit. The unknown; it frightens me. But none of that matters, for never did he mention any desire for me to follow him, and it still stings like a sharp slap to the cheek. I feel quite forgotten.

I have no one to talk with about this miserable business. Not even my dear friend Rowena. I am alone in my wretchedness, for we had resolved from the start to keep our love secret. It was simpler that way, he said.

And it was wrong, I knew that. An unmarried maiden, such as I, should not have been meeting with a handsome young man, stealing kisses and whispering affectionate words. But there was a certain thrill that came with my wayward behaviour. It breathed life into me, made me feel the rush of blood that pulsed through my veins. I had always done what was expected of me. Putting a toe out of line, although it was not much, made me feel like the unruly maid I had always wished I had the pluck to be.

He would press notes into my palm when heads were turned, and meet me in the shadows of the castle’s many hidden alcoves. Under the cover of darkness we would slip out to the lake that lay just beyond the grounds. It seemed to shimmer endlessly, lit by the array of stars that littered the night sky. Salazar would take my hand and explain them all to me, one by one, ever so patient when I stumbled over the names and blushed at my poor knowledge of astronomy.

I cannot identify precisely when it all began to change. It was a gradual effect. First he began to quarrel with Godric, his closest companion from boyhood. And it was I who bore the brunt of his foul moods. It displeased him greatly that I was far from being as fervent as he had hoped in the matter of refusing entry of the mudbloods, as he called them, to our school. Godric and Rowena railed against him and when he looked to me for support I slunk back, unwilling to voice my opinions for fear that by siding with one, I would lose the other.

I clutch tighter at the quill, wincing as it leaves red notches in my fingertips. I try to picture his eyes, the ones I had spent hours staring into so deeply. I know they are obsidian but I cannot picture the shape, the sharpness. It shatters me that I am forgetting so quickly, yet I try and grasp onto the memory and feel as though I am watching helplessly as it tauntingly slips away. My eyes are brimming again, but I do not let the sobs escape my lips. He hates it when I cry.

I cannot be me if I am without you.

Suddenly, it is as though a fire has sparked alight inside me, and I feel the need to transfer every thought and feeling onto parchment. I want him to understand his actions. To feel guilt and shame.

In a flurry of my hand, I remind him of what we had together. I tell him how foolish it was of him to throw such love away, something I would never have the courage to say to his face. And while I am in such a bold state of mind, I delve into the subject of the muggleborns attending Hogwarts – the reason why he left in such a rage. I tell him he was wrong. I tell him how I was simply trying to be the peacemaker between the four of us, a role they long ago forced upon me. I tell him how he hurt me when he walked away. And I tell him that even after all of this, I will love him until my last breath.

And then I can say no more. My hand aches terribly from the pouring of my soul. Godric always says that once you tell someone how you feel; a huge weight will be instantly raised from your shoulders. Mine feel no lighter.

Now, there is nothing left to do but sign off the letter. It proves more difficult than I had expected. What am I to him now, I wonder? In the end I settle for a simple formality.

Your Helga.

And then the tears again, oh these damnable tears! But I shall not cry, I tell myself. He shall have no more tears from me. But for all my resolve, my emotions still betray me. I lay my head down gently on the oak writing desk that had known so many of my secret notes to Salazar, and close my eyes until my world fades to darkness.

I do not know how long I stayed like that, curled up at the desk with my best robes of deep plum crumpled beneath me. When I finally pull myself up, the sounds of the students emerging from their duelling lesson with Godric fill my ears. My eyes wander to the window, watching the youths gallivant about by the frozen lake in their innocence.

As I look down I realise that the inked letters on the parchment are blurred, no longer legible. My tears have soaked it through, stained it with my love, my despair. I run my fingers along the lids of my eyes, dabbing the wetness away. He hates it when I cry.

I roll the parchment and fasten it with a golden ribbon from my hair. My owl gives a weary hoot, but allows me to gently tie the scroll to its leg. I almost have to laugh. Salazar will be ever so perplexed when he tries to decipher the inky blotches that were once words.

But my tears say more than words ever could.

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