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Title: Cut
Rating: All Audiences
Characters: N. Tonks
Setting: Between OotP and HBP.
Format: Ficlet (~500 words)
Summary: The constant ache in your chest, the burning of tears in your eyes, the longing coursing through your blood, and the anger poisoning your mind are all far too painful, tell you that you are far too alive, to match this listless vision hovering before your eyes.
Also Posted At: This was originally written for Prompt 4 (January 4) and Prompt 6 (January 6) of the rt_challenge January 2007 ficathon: tear and tense second person.
Disclaimer: I own none of this. J. K. Rowling and assorted companies including but not limited to Bloomsbury, Scholastic, and Warner Brothers own everything. They also make all the money. I am just having fun and in no way seek financial profit from their property.



Cut


It’s not your reflection in the mirror. It can’t be. You’ve never looked this dull and lifeless before in your life. Even before you could really morph. And it’s not as if the reflection matches how you feel inside. The constant ache in your chest, the burning of tears in your eyes, the longing coursing through your blood, and the anger poisoning your mind are all far too painful, tell you that you are far too alive, to match this listless vision hovering before your eyes.

Only one thing matches. One thing makes it all real. You can see your long, mousy, brown hair dangling in the mirror. You can feel the weight of it hanging down your back, past your waist. It’s been years since you’ve cut your real hair. Years since you’ve given any though to it. You could morph any cut, any style, any color you wanted, so why bother trimming the real stuff?

It’s been three days since he left. Three days of trying to deal with this hair along with everything else. Three days of it blowing in the wind and tangling. Three days of trying to brush it out and only succeeding in breaking every comb you own. Three days of unsuccessfully trying to cast a drying charm powerful enough for this mess of dull brown weighing you down even more after a shower.

You can’t keep living like this, but you can’t do anything about it. If you cut it, you’re admitting defeat. Admitting you’re not going to be getting your ability to morph back anytime soon. Admitting he’s not coming back anytime soon.

But you just can’t live like this any longer. You have to do something, even if it’s just a temporary fix. You pick up your wand, lock eyes with your lying reflection, and try to choke out the spell around a dry sob.

“Diffindo.”

A lock of limp, lifeless, brown hair flutters to your feet. You can see the gap in your mirror image’s hair. It is just enough to be noticeable. Just enough that you have to continue. Your vision blurs a little, but after three days, you have very few tears left to shed. Dry heaves rack your body and your hand is shaking, ruining your aim. Still, you continue.

Finally, you allow your wand to fall from your loose grip. Your hair is now just past your shoulders. Longer than you would normally morph it, but short enough for now. This is, after all, just a temporary fix until things are back to normal. You gently finger the ragged, uneven ends. Molly claims to be an expert at true hair-cutting charms. Perhaps she could even the ends. But if you ask her, if you make this look better, is that admitting permanent defeat? You collapse to lie on the floor, discarded along with your wand and hair. You just don’t know what to do.

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