Seeing You

He wanted to escape. Grab a broom, flee the grounds, fly so fast and so far and so long that no one could follow. He stood by the window and watched the night sky, and his fingers jerked, unconsciously, as though ready to grab the broomstick in his mind and go.

He wanted to run -- needed to leave, wished he dared utter the soft word of Apparation even though he knew it wouldn't work, not here. It never worked here, but his mind was so desperate to forget this place that anything would do, even a method that hadn't worked in centuries. Dumbledore had only reinforced the Apparation block on the school, and most of the time, during his long schoolboy tenure here, he'd been grateful for it. Approved it's measure and thought what a brilliant idea it had been to put it in place.

His arrogance had been a mock-up, and he'd known it even then. Never let it slip into thinking it was real, despite seeing all the others, the younger students, assume it was. His classmates knew better, as did the older students he'd called friends. But none of them had so few other concerns that there was any need to bother with exposing his facade.

All of the other boys had exams and girlfriends and futures to worry about. As had he, of course. They'd all been caught up in having normal lives of 16 and 17 and 18 year olds that by the time any of his brothers had grown old enough to understand what they might have been seeing, there was nothing to see and no one to point them towards it.

He hadn't cared, of course. Not while he'd been caught up himself, in exams and last years' classes and having a girlfriend who pretended and having a boyfriend who did as well, and worrying about his future and whether, once Voldemort came back, his future would matter.

He'd been vain enough, once, to imagine that he would have to concern himself with He Who Should Not Be Named. As though such a wizard would even notice a child barely out of school. As though he, Percy, could hope to be such a thing as a threat. But it had soothed his ego sometimes, to think he might be. Soothed his jealousy that others were.

Ironic that, now. That he would stand here now, thinking of his own childish wishes to be somebody important enough to warrant attack -- warrant notice by great wizards and witches. Not so ironic that he did wish it had been him. But sifting through the wishes and thoughts and memories of brothers who seemed determined to be blind, he kept finding the wish that he could undo what had been done.

Not even so great a child as Harry could undo it, though. How could he hope to find a magic that would undo what had been done? No one undid death. He knew that. Had never thought it possible.

Had never needed it possible, til now.

Percy fell forward, against the window in the guest room he'd been billeted in. He wanted to go. Run, fly, escape from this place. The wispy fire of memories were too hard to hold back, here, and soon enough he would break.

He wished it had been himself. Wished he could have been a year younger, still in school and somehow more daring than Cedric that he might have had the chance to compete in his place.

But he hadn't, and he wasn't more daring anyway. Had he been here, he would have simply had to watch and nothing would have changed. Would have had to watch Harry bring back the dead body of a boy he'd loved, and still been forced to say nothing.

He wanted to go. Wanted to leave and be someplace where death didn't happen. Someplace where deaths that had happened were so far removed that he couldn't feel them.

He wanted to go someplace where he could whisper the name of his beloved, and say that he was dead.