To Those Who Wait

Start from the beginning

Pansy is possibly the most wretched 'Best Man' ever and I cannot stop laughing after a point as we sway dangerously on the packed dance floor, Pansy hanging off my neck and screaming to random strangers that, I, her arsehole best friend am getting married the next day.

I feel an odd sensation buzz through me along with the alcohol – it's vaguely familiar and I've to wade through my booze soaked brain to put a finger on it.

I think it is happiness. I can't be sure.

Still, I convince myself that it is as I twirl a merrily shrieking Pansy around.

It lasts three minutes, this 'happiness'.

If I'd known I had but a measly three minutes before my insides imploded, before a fucking bomb went off in my head, I'd have grabbed Pansy, turned tail and fled.

But I'm still trapped amidst hundreds of dancing bodies as I feel the pull in my lower belly – how long has it been since I last felt it? Four years? Five?

Pansy's hand slips out of my grasp and she's instantly swept away by a shirtless, sweat soaked brunet, and I'm left pressing a hand to my stomach and gasping for air, looking around wildly.

I fight my way through the mass of undulating bodies until I can gulp in the lukewarm air near the bar, standing on tip toe, my neck protesting sharply as I feverishly turn my head this way and that, looking around, searching...

The effect is instantaneous when I find what I'm looking for.

The green eyes gleam as they meet mine and the precious little air that I've managed to gather in my lungs disappears, my mind clearing up as if I'd just downed a double-vial dose of Sober-Up Potion.

Harry turns and exits the club and I'm drawn, like the proverbial fucking moth to its flame; I follow him out at once, instinctively knowing where to find him once I'm outside, gratefully breathing in huge mouthfuls of the cool night air as I make my way around to the back.

He's leaning casually against the emergency exit, lighting a cigarette with swift fingers as I approach him, feasting my eyes – his hair is shorter, but still just as thick and untamed as ever; he's got a fucking tattoo up the left side of his neck, there's a patch of recently burned skin, shiny and pink, peeking out from under his collar right below the ink.

He'd been bulky with sleek, whipcord tight muscles even back then but now – he's nothing but brawn; he seems adamantine. He's broadened, filled out even further and looks frighteningly strong and for the first time ever, I'm a tad bit afraid of him as he stands there in his long black trench coat. The scar across his cheek is a faint white line under the light stubble and there's a smattering of premature grey at his temples. There's a hard edge around the fiery green eyes, a grim set to his pink mouth; it's new and uncharacteristic and it unnerves me. He holds himself like he's impenetrable, like he could kill you with a lazy flick of his little finger while he's half asleep. He probably really could.

And yet, the look in his eyes is of a man who's died a thousand deaths.

The need, the nearly unendurable, soul searing need to touch him, hold him, be held by him, makes me want to scream and tear at my own hair like a lunatic. I want to stride right up to him, into his arms, back into his life.

But I don't. I walk until I'm stood a safe ten feet away and wait, and the distance between us is punishing.

"Congratulations," he murmurs, smoke curling up around his face, his eyes flicking from the gaudy fake crown on my head to the ring on my left hand. "Blaise Zabini," he tilts his head.

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