(1938-05-30) Not Your Fault
Details for Not Your Fault
Summary: In the aftermath of the horrific events at Durmstrang, Ophelia finally lets it all out.
Date: May 30, 1938
Location: Ravenclaw Girls' Dormitory
Related: Escape From Durmstrang

Though Ophelia's tears have flowed often, since the entourage's return from Durmstrang, the redhead has yet to actually talk about what happened, save for in her few attempts to help Ripley. Mostly she's been silent, and has clung without cease to Hephaesta. Her appetite, which was never all that great to begin with, has lessened considerably, and tonight she opted to skip dinner, asking Hephaesta instead to come upstairs with her.

Now, curled up in the bed, her shoes (sent over by Owl from her mother to replace the lost pair) dumped on the floor, she pulls her knees to her chest and looks to Hephaesta. "Have you ever seen anyone die?"

Hephaesta agreed instantly to come. She's not very good at reading people, but Ophelia isn't just people, and he's learned to recognize when she's in distress. But this is like nothing before, and Phae can tell. She sits beside Ophelia on the bed, arms wrapped protectively around her. "I haven't," she admits. "You…you actually saw it happen?" Phae winces, as another snippet of understanding falls into place.

Ophelia nods, "I… yes, sort of. I mean, it was all happening so fast, everyone was grabbing the Portkey, and then… and then Leander screamed, and one of the Durmstrang girls… " She sniffles, but for the first time the tears don't flow, "And then Leander was falling, and he didn't move, and Ripley…"

Hephaesta squeezes Ophelia and runs a hand through her ginger hair. "You're safe now…I've got you. I'm never letting you out of my sight again."

Ophelia looks up, and now her eyes well with tears. She reaches out, burying her face against Hephaesta's shoulder, and mumbling against her sweater, "Oh, Phae! Phae I'm so glad… so glad you were here, and safe. It was so awful, and I was so useless, I couldn't even properly protect myself, and they waited for me and because of that they caught up with us!"

Hephaesta's face turns to a pained frown, but it is empathetic pain, sharing what Ophelia is feeling. "Shhh, no, sweetheart. This wasn't your fault. Not at all. You all did everything you could in a horrible situation. There is nobody to blame but those…what did Dumbledore call them? The Magiyoogund?" Hephaesta's pronunciation is terrible.

Ophelia pulls back to shake her head, not even noticing the failed pronunciation. "But it is! Didn't you hear the professors! They /knew/ something bad was going to happen! And be-because of the petition… because of me… " And then the tears are flowing too fast, and her voice fails her.

Hephaesta gasps, now seeing the other piece of the puzzle. She shakes her head vehemently, bracing her hands on Ophelia's shoulders. "No, don't even think that! What you did was a good thing. Nothing can change that. You can't fault yourself for an unknown variable. Ophie…you did what you did out of love and this wonderful sense of right inside you. Nothing anyone else does can make that a bad thing." She pleads with her eyes for Ophelia to understand.

"But he's dead!" Ophela tries to hear Phae's words, and even manages to look up and try to draw some strength from them. But her face falls again, and her voice cracks as she shakes her head, "He's dead and Ripley is… and, and Gabby's going to hurt too, and the others… all the other students who were with w-with the Headmaster… "

Hephaesta cups Ophelia's face in her hands. "It's not your fault. You didn't attack them. You didn't use an Unforgivable Curse. Sweetheart, listen to me. What you did was to put love and goodness into the world…and right now, the world needs a lot more of that. Ophie…it needs you."

Ophelia stops arguing, and the flow of tears slows. But her head continues to shake. Slowly, she closes her eyes, reaches out to cling to Phae's sweater, and whispers, "I don't know what to do."

Hephaesta tugs Ophie to pull her close, pressing her lips to her head. "You don't have to do anything. You just…just cry. Just…let me take care of you. It will get better…it has to."

Ophelia curls herself against Hephaesta, wrapping her arms tightly around her waist. Later, there will be more words, but for now she does just as ordered. And cries, until her face is numb and her eyes empty of tears, and she can sleep, this once, feeling safe.

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