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[A/N] Yes, after perhaps a yearlong(?) absence from HPFF, I am finally back and writing again! School has gotten in the way lately, but I’m excited to be back, and I hope I will be able to write more fanfics for people to enjoy. For this story, I have many people to thank—namely Beth, who made that gorgeous banner you see there; Ashley, my amazing beta; and all the wonderful people over at The Dark Arts who had to endure my constant bombardment of PMs discussing my summary along with my constant worrying over the writing quality. You know who you are, and I thank you. This story was partially inspired by Your Eyes Open by Keane, and as you can see, I took the title and the quote in the summary from that song. Anyways, without further adieu, here is Your Eyes Open! I hope you enjoy this story, as I enjoyed writing it, and reviews are definitely appreciated—I’d love to hear what you think about my writing!

Chapter One

If you love somebody, let them go.

I heard her choking, heart-wrenching sobs. She glanced at me, her eyes full of some unknown emotion—pain, possibly, or maybe regret? I told myself I did not care as I attempted to keep my expression neutral. Oh, I had known that this day would come, but for so long, I had tried to tell myself that she loved me. And for awhile, it seemed to have worked.

“There’s no need to drag this out any longer than we need to, Bella,” I scowled, my voice harsher than I had intended. This was going wrong, all wrong. Fighting the rising sense of helplessness within me, I tried again. “We knew this day would come,” I murmured. “Go, now. Your eyes mustn’t be blood shot for your wedding.”

“I’m sorry,” she repeated. “I love him. He’s everything I ever wanted. Mother and Father approve. And I can’t turn my back on him now, especially not since Andy has gone off and gotten herself pregnant with a half-blood.”

I winced. So Bella was in love with that manipulative, stubborn, conceited bastard, was she? Curse her. Curse them all. How could I have been such a fool? Even if she loved me, I couldn’t expect her to cut herself off from her family, The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black, just for me. For Bella was the perfect child, and it would do no good to bring yet another scandal to the family.

“If you knew for so long, why-” my voice broke, I was so ashamed! “Why are you telling me now? You are so selfish, Bella. What was I to you? I’m beginning to believe I was merely a calculated way to rebel against your parents. God, I don’t know how to make you believe this, Bella, but I loved you. I still love you. I would have done any fucking thing you wanted if that meant I could be with you. Don’t interrupt me,” I snarled, as she began to open that lovely mouth I had ravished so many times. The sight of it now made me bitter, and I felt my control ebb away from me. “Do you know what you’re doing, Bella? Do you?” Desperation colored my voice now as I tried to hold on to the girl who had, for so long, been one of the best things that had ever happened to me.

Her response was a sneer. “Oh, poor little Remus. You are making this so dramatic, you know. If you saw this coming, well then why are you reacting this way? I thought merely to inform you that I was getting married. Yes, you see now that I never loved you. Then why am I crying, you ask? These tears I shed, they are not for you, darling.” A cruel smile twisted those features into someone I no longer recognized. “Who do I cry for then? I cry for Rodolphus. His fiancée has been unfaithful, and with who? I’ll tell you—a murderous, filthy werewolf. He deserves so much better than me. But he does not know this, he will have me. So I shall wed him.”

There was no use talking to her now, there was no proportion between how upset I became and how sympathetic she would be. I had lost a battle I had only been somewhat conscious of existing. Her mind was set, and yet even after that impressive speech, I had a feeling her heart wasn’t really there. Who knew what she thought then? She wavered a bit, and she clenched her fists against some merciless, invisible assailant I could no longer protect her from.

“Well, Bellatrix, allow me to congratulate you on your good fortune. I am sure you and Mr. Lestrange will make a wonderful couple, and may your union be blessed by the gods, if they do indeed exist. Stay safe, Miss Black. We would not want the bride to be missing on her big day.” That sounded like a threat. Oh, how I wished I had the Gryffindor courage to snatch her away the day before her wedding, eloping with her to some world where there was no line between pure-bloods and everyone else—but that was merely a dream, nothing else.

How could someone look so radiant even as she cried? Bella stumbled a bit, and then her lips crashed into mine, devastation making them clumsy. For the moment that we kissed, I tried so hard to convey all my feelings to her. But then we parted, and for a moment as I glanced at her, I felt a flash of pity for her as she cried in my arms. She was only a girl, one who had no idea what she wanted, I knew. At Hogwarts, she had delighted in playing mind games with others, twisting people to her will, but I saw now, clearly, for the first time, that she was a lonely child trying to find her place in her world. After this night, Bella would no longer want to know me. Here, our paths would diverge, and I fiercely hoped more than anything else that fate would be kind to her and she would not turn to evil. My Bella possessed such an inner-goodness, and I wanted her to know that no one could take that away from her unless she let them.

Eventually, her sobs subsided. I might not be the man she would spend the rest of her life with, but perhaps it would be enough to know that she wanted me. She was running off to a lonely place where I would not be able to reach her and that hurt. But for her, I would stay silent, if that would be the key to her happiness.

“I don’t know what to do,” she sighed. Miraculously, all the barriers were down now.

It was hard, but I told her all the right things, as she knew I would. Of course, it was so tempting to tell her to escape with me—another course not taken—but I resisted. “Tomorrow, you are going to wear a beautiful white dress that I’m sure is a family heirloom, and you will walk down the aisle with your arm on your father’s. Then you will marry Rodolphus Lestrange—a happy ending.” I smiled at her sadly. She knew I would not be at said wedding, yet her head was nodding yes, yes.

“A happy ending for everyone except you,” she remarked.

I shrugged, and managed to elicit a shaky laugh from her. As she looked up at me with those breathtaking brown doe eyes, I finally managed to identify the expression in them. No, it wasn’t pain nor regret, but simply a lack of emotion itself. It was indifference, it was apathy, it was resigning yourself to your fate.

Bellatrix Lestrange, one of the feistiest girls I knew, wouldn’t even fight.

My eyes registered regret. Bella would never know everything I had failed to tell her, and it would be futile now to pour my heart out to her. Whoever spoke of that magical connection brought by staring into a lover’s eyes was wrong. Her eyes were open, but she did not know.

Kissing her gently on the forehead, I murmured, “I love you.” I didn’t expect a reply, and I didn’t get one.

If she ever wanted to talk, I would be there. I decided that we had to meet in the middle. As much as I wanted to, I could not chase her to the ends of the earth and hope that she would risk everything she held dear only for me. Maybe I was walking away from her now, but she had been gone for a long time.

But then, when Bella thought I was out of earshot, I heard her whisper those four precious words—“I love you too.”

And then I had hope.

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