He sometimes felt like half a person. Lately, it had been more than sometimes, but it was less than before.
It was as though he was a word someone began to speak, but changed their mind and shut their mouth. It was more complex than only being one shoe of two, or a partially eaten pie—it was as though he'd been cut off from himself, only to find his other half there, but a little bit worse than before. And this scared him because, once in a while, the feeling would go away.
There were times where he was whole again.
But it was a very strange kind of whole, involving chocolate Easter eggs, Quidditch talks, and awaking in chambers. He had grown to need her, he realized too late—but he couldn't tell when this had happened. It was a slow process, with her smirking and joking her way into his life, until everything had evolved to the point it was at now, when his insides swelled at the thought of her face, hair, lips. And her laugh.
Oh, Merlin, her laugh.
It alone could shake the walls he constructed so carefully; her laugh made the floor tremble until he needed to escape his own prison. If only to save his life.
He'd reach for her arms to pull him out of his boundaries, and, freckles twinkling at him, she'd reach back. She echoed of riddles and snakes, which she jealously guarded from everyone but him, because only he had been there before.
And they'd fit together like broken shards of glass, as a window that had been smashed—broken pieces scattered on the floor—but then were meticulously interlocked back into a fractured unity. They would lie like a puzzle that, once it was done, seemed much easier to solve than it actually had been.
She'd coax his troubles away, gently filling the needs he hadn't known he had, supporting him. His only wish could be to do the same for her. In their fast-changing world, the only static things were the long nights, the drifting stars, and the constant fear. Fear for themselves, fear for others…always lurking in the corners, drifting through the doorways.
But when it was still, they'd be that patched up windowpane, and he'd find himself complete, if just for a while. He was whole in not being one, but two.
A/N: A bit different from usual, hm? I was trying a new style…let me know what you think, and definitely what I could do better. This was a challenge fic, issued by BasilM to me, to use the words shoe, Easter egg, and complete. Challenge old school. :o) And thanks to betas!