"It would destroy me," she says, as if she had never stopped talking. "Loving you burnt me up from the inside. I couldn't do that again. This is safer, easier." She still doesn't look at him, not even as he reaches across to trace her jaw line with his fingers, his fingertips chilling her skin.
"That's not love," he says. "That's comfort." She doesn't disagree. "I bet he's called Sebastian or Alexander, and he works in Gringotts, and he's everything your parents ever wanted for you and nothing you ever did."
She doesn't argue, but she feels a flush of anger. Who is he to judge her?
"You left," she says. She catches the reflection of the slight flutter of his fingers in the polished surface of the bar as she says it, as if to take her hand in his, but her fingers remain untouched, wrapped around her glass.
He had made the world fade away back then and spin and stop and rush towards her as if she was falling. She fell and fell, but in the end he wasn't there to catch her.
She remembers the touch of his skin on hers and that heat – it was as if the earth had burst open to its core beneath her, as if she would die if his lips broke from hers. She can hear the echo of their laughter in her ears – a window to the past. Broken, jagged stained glass casting odd colours and shadows on her heart.