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HP: Shadow of Icarus (Hermione & Harry)

Inspired by BPAL's Verdandi.

Title: Shadow of Icarus
Author: voleuse
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Hermione & Harry
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: It's too early yet for the stars to grace us with a sacrificial dance.
Notes: Set during the war, no spoilers



He finds Hermione upstairs, sitting cross-legged in front of the hearth.

The firelight paints her face in flickers of orange and shadow, and her robe pools around her. He stands outside the doorway and watches her.

"Harry." She doesn't turn to look at him, but she tilts her head and almost smiles.

He takes an uncertain step inside, and a ward shatters against his skin. "Hermione?"

"It's nothing." She brushes her robes, redrapes them around her knees. "Just..."

"Yes," he says. "I know."

He washed the blood off his hands hours ago, but he thinks he can still feel it underneath his fingernails.

"Are you going to come down for dinner?" he asks.

"Maybe," she says. "Maybe."

He retreats, and wishes she had looked him in the eye.

*


Hermione doesn't eat that night.

Harry knows, because he waited in the kitchen until dawn.

*


The next evening, when he returns to the house, the others greet him with worried faces and whispered news.

He climbs the stairs, each footstep a hesitant tap against the wood.

Hermione is still there, still watching the flames dance. There are new logs in the fireplace, but otherwise, nothing has changed.

The ward is up again; he feels it a second before he steps through.

Again, she doesn't look at him. He kneels across from her and waits.

"Harry," she says, and her voice is scratchy and low.

"Hermione," he answers.

They wait, but nothing happens.

Just as he expected.

*


"Has she gone mad?" someone asks him.

"No," Harry replies.

"How long will she stay up there?"

A long pause.

"I don't know."

*


He brings her a mug of cider, a plate of biscuits.

The ward tonight is brittle, he can almost hear it break.

He kneels again, but closer. Sets the plate and mug in front of her like an offering.

Several minutes pass, but she finally takes the cup and drinks.

Harry sighs, settles on his heels.

"Hermione," he says.

The flames are tall, golden.

"You can't live up here," he says.

She sets the mug down. "I used to drink cider in front of the fireplace. At home."

"I never did," Harry says. "I'd be lucky if I got hot water."

"My parents would put a record on, sometimes."

A log snaps. A bit of ash lands on the back of Harry's hand.

Hermione picks up a biscuit, breaks it in half, then again. And again, until it crumbles in her fingers.

"Hermione," he says.

She tilts her head. The line of her jaw is set.

He watches her for a moment, then reaches out. Touches her wrist.

"I'll wait with you," he tells her.

And finally, finally, she turns to look at him.

He smiles.


###

A/N: Title and summary adapted from Beth Bachmann's First Dance Epithalamion. Link courtesy of breathe_poetry.

And a bit of background:

In Norse mythology, the Norns are the demi-goddesses of destiny. They control the destinies of both gods and men, as well as the unchanging laws of the cosmos. They are represented as three sisters: Urd ("fate"), Verdandi ("necessity") and Skuld ("being"). They live at the base of the World Tree Yggdrasil in the realm of Asgard.

Nothing lasts forever, and even the mighty Yggdrasil is subject to decay. The Norns try to stop this process, or at least slow it down, by pouring mud and water from the Well of Fate over its branches.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
niz4
Oct. 10th, 2005 11:25 am (UTC)
Every time you post a new fic I can't wait to read it. *whooping with joy

You are one of my favourite writers, and gah...this piece is again, utter perfection.

Hermione picks up a biscuit, breaks it in half, then again. And again, until it crumbles in her fingers.

"Hermione," he says.

She tilts her head. The line of her jaw is set.


Gah...I can see this so clearly, and the thing I love most is the brittle dangerousness of Hermione. That she would be...could be...to quote Tolkien, '...beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night."

Thank you for this.
voleuse
Oct. 10th, 2005 04:29 pm (UTC)
*blushes* Thank you so much!
irvine_selphie
Oct. 16th, 2005 09:12 am (UTC)
This is beautiful. I like how the words are sharp, like nothing is wasted and yet, despite the slight clinical method in the way it's written, it still manages to draw me in. Brava!
voleuse
Nov. 3rd, 2005 06:09 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!
unwritten_words
Oct. 31st, 2005 03:38 am (UTC)
I love the image of Harry settling in to wait with her. I'm so impressed with your ability to pull so much meaning out of so few words.

P.S.
I'm friending your journal. :)
voleuse
Nov. 3rd, 2005 06:10 pm (UTC)
*g* Thank you so much!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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