Memoirs of a Condemned Man
- Story Summary:
- Remembrances from within Azkaban.
I still remember the first time I saw him.
I was at school when he was sorted. Of course, I was. Where else would I be? Even at 11, there were hints of the stunning man he would become in the thick dark hair and sparkling grey eyes.
I remember all too well, even now, the sudden lurch in my stomach when those eyes rested on me at random. Ice-cold blue clashing with warm gray. Not the gray of a cold winter storm, but the warm, soft grey of the summer sky just before a warm rain. He was laughing at something someone had said to him, and his smile lit up his whole face, made his eyes shine like quicksilver.
How was it that this boy, six years my junior, could make me feel things I had never felt before? It was at that moment that I decided he would be mine one day. He just didn't know it yet.
I watched him from afar that year. Really, it was not fitting for me to do otherwise. After all, he was a lowly first-year, and I was a seventh-year. It simply was not done to associate with the lower years.
After I graduated that year, six years passed before I saw him again, at his graduation party. He had, by this time, fallen out of grace with the family for associating, by choice, with Muggleborns, werewolves, and all manner of rabble. Still, there was the family name and honor to think of, and how would it look for them not to even acknowledge their eldest's graduation from the most prestigious wizarding school? Being already engaged to his cousin, I was, naturally, invited to attend.
The intervening years had fulfilled the earlier promise of rugged beauty. Gone were the last remnants of baby-fat, replaced with lean muscle and grace. The soft features of his eleven-year-old face had transformed into the smooth lines of the man. Only the quick, easy smile and glorious eyes remained the same.
I took advantage of the festivities to better acquaint myself with this enigmatic man. Despite our very differing views, I found him more and more intriguing as we talked. Though we shared differing opinions on Muggleborns and the like, I found myself drawn to him repeatedly, and before the night was over we had shared our first kiss. A bond was formed that night, never to be broken, even through what was to come in the years ahead.
Though I did, indeed, follow through with my marriage to his cousin, my heart remained with him, always. We continued our relationship, of course. Why not? It was considered almost....inappropriate...for an aristocrat not to have a lover on the side, so to speak.
It all came to a screeching halt two years later, however. He was arrested for a crime I knew, first-hand, and in my heart, that he hadn't committed. I could tell no one this, though. Not without incriminating myself.
I watched in pain and horror, my heart in my throat, as he was sentenced to a life sentence in Azkaban. I wanted nothing more than to stand at his side, to take him in my arms, and refuse to let them have him. But I could do none of that. How would that have looked?
Instead, I went home to my family, and withdrew myself from them. I became but a cold, empty shell of my former self. I know they thought me cold and unfeeling. Bt I did feel. I felt too much. But I couldn't allow myself to love them, not when the one that held my heart was in that horrid place.
When he escaped, I was privately overjoyed, though I could not let it show. Perhaps I could find him, make things right with him. Time was not on my side, however. Less than two years later, before I had a chance to locate him myself and find the opportune moment for our reunion, he was taken from me again, this time for good.
I was there that night. I saw the shock on his face, in those beautiful eyes, as he fell, irreversibly, through that wretched veil. I wanted to run to him, to catch him before he fell, but my own fear and shock had paralyzed me. I couldn't even call out to him in warning. Too many people were watching. I could only watch helplessly as he fell, never to return to me again. My heart died that night, as well.
Now, as I sit in my cell in Azkaban, all I have left are my memories. Soon, even those will be taken from me, as well. I can feel the effects of the Dementors around me. It becomes harder and harder to remember the good times. Soon, all that will be left is the memory of that terrible night.
They say that the ones we love are never truly gone from us, and that we will see them again on the other side. I fervently hope that is true. That we will soon be reunited, and this time, it will be forever.