There's just something about her. You can't quite put your finger on it. It's the same as knowing how to fly. There's something deep inside that allows you to slip the broom between your legs and push off. And then you soar. That's what she's like...she makes you soar.
It's impossible to say exactly why. She's not the smartest girl you know. She's great at Charms and stunningly good at Defence. She's almost better than you actually - even when you get past being distracted by her vibrant hair and laughing eyes, she can beat you in a duel - but she has to spend hours pouring over her Potions texts. She's always asking Hermione questions about Transfiguration. And she has completely given up on History of Magic, saying - in a melodious voice that sends chills down your back - that she'd rather fly or play chess or kiss boys. This last bit she says with a teasing smile just before her lips capture yours.
The first time you had a real conversation with her - a conversation that lasted over twenty minutes and involved only the two of you together in the dark - she told you how it felt to have Voldemort inside your head. And she was right. She sat across from you, wearing an old T-shirt that was slightly too small for her - one that made you feel hot and cold - and she looked at you with big, solemn eyes, telling you about the fear and loneliness and guilt that squeezed your heart, and you wanted to reach across the table and kiss her...but you didn't. Instead you stared dumbly at her...for so long that she blushed crimson beneath her freckles, turning them black, and you smiled at her, realizing how much you had missed being the cause of her heated cheeks. You spoke aloud everything that had been nibbling away at your insides. You slept until dawn for the first time in weeks that night. It was only much later that you realized you had forgotten to say thank you - so you thanked her in other ways, with your lips and your hands, and she thanked you as well, for things that you are so grateful your twelve year-old self did...when you didn't really see her.
You watch her fly sometimes. She was never made a prefect like her youngest brother, but her mum bought her a new broom anyway. She flies on it better than most. You know you're better, but she has sharper aim and eyes that flash about the Quidditch pitch, and she's almost beaten you to the Snitch. You let her think it's because she's better. In truth, you have trouble taking your eyes off her when you're on the field together. The way she smiles when she's flying, the way her hair blazes behind her, the way she taunts her brother as she closes in on the hoops...all of these things make you forget you're meant to be playing as well. Only the threat of Gryffindor losing can shock you into catching the Snitch when you're up against another house. Her brother yells at you sometimes, telling you to cut it out or he'll replace you as Seeker. But he's smiling when he says it and you know he's happy for you.
It's not entirely possible to put into words why she's so beautiful. She's not like Fleur or even Cho, with their exotic beauty and near perfection. It's mostly when she smiles and her whole face lights up; a light shining from inside her, spilling out her eyes. She spends more time outside than any girl you know - flying, walking around the lake, visiting Hagrid and all of his mad animals - so that her cheeks seem to always hold a glow of sunshine. You think perhaps the sun has seeped into her, leaking back out when she smiles brilliantly at you. And you love it; she looks like a child of the sun with her thick, red hair that shines auburn in the bright light. When she steps into the daylight, her hair becomes translucent somehow, and it shimmers.
She smells like strawberries, but she tastes less exotic, like chocolate and tea. Her eyes are so dark they appear black in certain lights, and they study you when she thinks you're not watching...but once you started looking at her, you could never look away. You are always aware of where she is and where her eyes are looking. You let her study you, though. She seems to find something that makes her smile a secret smile and it's worth it, just to see her smile, even though it always makes you burn to know she's watching.
You remember the day like it was yesterday, when you were walking next to her in Hogsmeade, allowing your shoulder to bump hers every few minutes, loving the shiver of pleasure that raced up your arm every time you brushed against her. You'd not got up the courage to formally ask her to Hogsmeade that weekend, but it didn't matter. When you'd walked in for breakfast that morning, she had been waiting. You were suddenly struck by the urge to do things for her...like open doors and pay for her butterbeer...and you were rewarded every time with bright smiles and glowing blushes and heart-stopping looks. The most amazing feeling, though, was when you were walking down the street - with Ron and Hermione a few paces ahead - and you felt her hand slip into yours. It was tiny and soft and dry, with short fingernails. The pads of her fingers were callused slightly from Quidditch, and every time she ran her thumb along yours it created the most delicious sensations...sensations that made you grateful for layers and bulky robes.
She laughs a lot. Not a day goes by that you don't hear the sound of her laughter issuing forth. It's the most amazing sound. It's the most amazing thing. It's better than magic. It heals you. You find yourself tickling her constantly, just to hear her laugh. You've become silly now...something you never used to be...making faces at her and telling jokes...hoping it will cause her to burst into laughter. It seems she's good at making others laugh as well. She inherited that wonderful family trait that gives some innate ability to bring joy to those around her...to bring you joy.
But she's not always laughing. Sometimes she's serious. When she lets you cry because you miss your godfather. When she lets you rant because you hate a world that has named you its reluctant saviour. When she holds you and lets you kiss her and touch her...when she makes those noises that send all of your blood to one particular spot and you crush her beneath you.
Sometimes she cries. She wakes up from nightmares and comes to find you, shaking you in your dormitory room until you awake from your own restless dreams and follow her blindly into the common room. You hate that she still has fears. You hate the boy who made her this way and vow to get your revenge...but you like that you can give her something...offer her solace. You wish there were more for you to give. Someday, you hope to give her the world.
You think about how you might have missed this. If it hadn't all clicked. She's sensible and kind and only a little bit better at everything than anyone else...but when you add it all up, she's amazing...she's sensational really, and you think about how you almost passed her by - in favour of other girls who never got it right. If you hadn't spoken with her, or watched her fly, or heard her laugh, or noticed her bright, vibrant hair and her soft, luminous eyes...if you hadn't saved her life...you could have gone your whole life and missed this. Maybe never even knowing that something was missing...but still feeling lost...empty with a longing you always thought was for your mother, but it was really for love. For someone to love. For someone who would hold you when you cried, and brush your hair off your forehead, and kiss your scar. For someone to tell you everything would be all right.
She is your desire. You know that now. Yesterday, when you stumbled upon a room you hadn't been to for six years, you knew she was your heart's desire. You stood in front of a mirror and saw yourself there with her. At first you thought it was your mum and dad...but no. The man had green eyes and the girl brown, and the people behind them were not your ancestors...not your grandparents. They were your descendants. They were your children and grandchildren. Yours and hers. She has made you long for a future so that you can be content with the past.
She has given you courage. Courage to face Voldemort now...so you are able to raise you wand and say out loud the words that will not only save your own life, but save hers as well. And you know tomorrow, when the burden of your accomplishment becomes unbearable, you know she will be there to hold you, to study you with bright eyes, and to make you laugh.
A/N: I took a break from Solace to write this little ficlet. The second person POV was something I'd never done before. I quite enjoyed it. I hope you did as well. Thank you to my wonderful team of pre-betas and beta – Susan, Annika and Allie!