To Those Who Wait

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Harry's come is trickling out of my arse as I say 'I do' and promise to love and cherish Blaise in sickness and in health. It makes a wet spot in the seat of my pants as I slide the platinum ring we'd picked out together onto his finger. A larger spurt of it dribbles out when I step forward to kiss him for the first time as his spouse.

The ache in my arse stabs dully through me as I walk back down the aisle hand in hand with my new husband, confetti raining down on us, jaw cracking grin plastered onto my face.

The love of my life is preparing to leave the country as I smile for photographs.

The excruciating agony of my heart shattering nearly brings me to my knees on what ought to have been the happiest day of my life.

*x*

On his first mission, Harry hadn't returned for two months.

It had taken a week's worth of self-counselling and forcefully reassuring mirror-talks, but I'd gotten through it.

He'd returned with a deep scratch across one cheek and a hairline fracture in his right wrist but he'd been alive and practically vibrating with verve. He'd fucked me with a wild energy and a nearly crazed glint in his vivid green eyes.

I'd fallen even deeper in love with him seeing him like that.

And he'd remained like that – thrumming with a reckless confidence, unflinchingly sure of his skills, his magic nearly dangerously powerful.

He'd remained like that for the first three years.

And then he'd been gone for six whole months, the longest he'd ever been gone at a stretch – six months of nauseating worry on my end and absolutely nothing, just the static of white noise on his.

I'd had to be hospitalised twice; once with ulcers in my stomach, from the sheer intensity of the stress and worry, and the second time for a sudden nervous breakdown. I'd turned morbidly thin and had eventually grown dependent on Sleeping Draughts.

Harry had returned a week before my birthday, and it was as if the fire in his eyes had been doused overnight.

He'd collected three bullet wounds along his left flank, had bruises covering most of his back and walked with a pronounced limp for nearly two whole weeks after his return.

He'd stayed home, not letting me out of his sight, holding me pressed to himself, keeping his face buried in my hair or in my neck or his cheek pressed to my chest.

I'd ached to imagine what he must have seen, or what he'd been ordered to do that had seemingly sucked the life out of him like that. I'd begged him to talk to me, to tell me what had happened, promised him that I wouldn't tell a soul, that I'd never jeopardise his cover like that. But he'd remained frustratingly, heart wrenchingly silent.

He'd had a month before his next mission, a month during which we'd barely ventured outdoors, made intense, fervent love as often as we could and promised each other that no matter what, we'd make it.

That we'd hold on.

*x*

The club is deafeningly loud and Pansy is in her absolute element. I keep taking off the ridiculous, bedazzled 'GROOM' tiara she's bought me and she insists on jamming it back on my head every single time.

I put up a weak argument that I'd look like shit at the wedding tomorrow if she continues forcing neat tequila down my throat and she promptly yanks me down by my hair and pours two more shots into my mouth.

Then she thrusts a tall glass of a dark, truly horrible drink into my hand, something that the bartender calls The Sewer Dweller and I want to ask him if it is meant to actually taste like he'd really drawn it out of the sewers, but three sips of the awful concoction and I'm seeing double and lewdly winking at strangers.

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