May I come in?
What are you, a vampire? Besides, I let you in a long time ago.
You all do, sooner or later.
So to what do I owe this unexpected treat?
“Unexpected?” I’m a rather frequent flyer, aren’t I?
Yes, but… A knock at the door from an invisible man? In the light of day? Not very subtle.
I didn’t think it appropriate to stand on ceremony right now.
Is that why you waited ’til I was in the shower? Or do you just enjoy seeing me without my jewels on?
I don’t see a lack of jewels on you.
Very cute. Now get to the point.
I’m worried about you.
What, concern? Coming from you? Oh, this should be good.
Don’t do that. Don’t put on that brave front for me. I know how scared you’re feeling. Watching all these loved ones die around you. Wondering who’s next. Wondering if maybe it will be you. Wondering if you’re ready.
Yes, yes, yes, and wondering if I’ll finally finish my arrangements that I’ve been drafting for years. Is that it? Is that what this is about? Very weak. I can die if I have to. I may have more work I want to do, but if He wants me I am prepared. And I will make sure my Muses are ready for you.
Yes, you’ve made yourself quite a…nifty magic circle! Haven’t you, “Wizard”?
Stealing my words now? Really? I knew you were a liar and a cheat, but simple plagiarism? You’re slipping badly.
Perhaps you’re right.
…Why are you really here? Now? Like this?
I know how alone you are.
Oh please, I’ll never be alone. All those loved ones I’m watching die around me, as you said? They do pop in from time to time.
I’ll grant you, that bit with your grandmother last year was rather impressive. And far be it from me to get into a game of tug-of-war with a Catholic nurse! But that’s not what I meant.
I meant him.
You know who.
::sigh:: He’s not dead.
I know. But you’ve always found the distant yet earthbound more difficult to deal with than the ubiquitous yet incorporeal. You’ve admitted as much in the past. How many people have you still not forgiven for that particular offense?
That list is shorter than you make it sound. And besides, he hasn’t gone far. I can see him anytime I want.
But you don’t.
But I can.
But. You. Don’t.
…What do you want?
I don’t know what you mean.
Don’t do that. Now who’s putting on a front? I’ve had your M.O. figured out ever since my father explained that damned painting of his to me. You know the one: bright-eyed, smiling, hands open in offering. Everything about you screams “What do you want?” But it’s only because the one who wants something is you. Now man up, angel. What do you want?
Do I sense a little devil in you?
This is getting old.
Oh! Would you kick me out, then? Eject me from “The Tow’r Room?” Your self-proclaimed refuge and safe haven? Does your generosity not extend to me too?
You’re inside, aren’t you?
Oh yes. And so was he. And you let him stay. Knowing what he was.
Leave him alone.
I’m only saying what you know to be true. You knew what he was. You told me as much.
I did. Though I recall slightly more surprise in your voice then.
Oh, I knew you’d figure it out. I just wanted to be the one to tell you.
Ha! You may have the exceptional lapse in subtlety, but that art is very lost on him. The evidence was plain. How could I not know?
Still, a lesser mind may not have suspected.
Then you should have sent him to a lesser mind!
Oho! Little devil after all!
Say it again. Remind me what it is I’m dealing with. Show me how big you are!
Do you never get bored of this?
My patience is timeless.
Says the one who tried to surpass his Maker.
What of it?
You know, one of the things that few people realize about you is that you are a true believer in everything you want to steer us away from.
There’s that big mind of yours again.
Yes, I let him stay. Do you remember why?
I remember what you told me.
Because you love him.
I’ve given myself some time to think about that statement.
So much for timeless patience.
Hush. You may have said you let him stay because you love him. But I don’t think that’s true. I think you let him stay because you’re terrified of being alone. We both know it’s why you let him in to begin with. You couldn’t bear to be alone anymore. Living alone. Dying alone. No one to find you. No one to bury you. No one to love you. You’re trapped in here with none but the spirits of the dead, and it shakes you to your core.
I know. Even your precious Hero worries about that.
So he told me. Though his concerns were…misguided.
Yes. You and your “Catholic guilt.”
Heh. He hasn’t quite come to learn the value of guilt yet. You two still have that in common. But I’m sure he will. I did.
Yes, and I’m sure it was “guilt” that drove you to “love” him, right?
…I’ve never claimed to be perfect.
And you don’t have to be. It was nice, wasn’t it? Peaceful? Relaxing? But it’s gone now, isn’t it? Just like all your loved ones go away. Just like they’re all. Going. To go. Away.
…You’re forgetting something.
You’re still here.
I didn’t throw you out.
So you didn’t.
Do you know why?
Because I love you too.
…HAhahahahahahaha! Oho! The old “love your enemies” routine! Sympathy for the Devil, indeed!
Mock all you want. No one has ever crossed that doorway whom I do not love. You know it’s true.
You damned fool!
Maybe. But I’m His fool. And He loves you too.
One moment. You know that’s all it would take. One moment of perfect contrition, and He’d take you back with open arms.
…Oh, you. If you think that, then perhaps your mind isn’t as great as you think.
One can hope.
Whatever. This conversation is beneath my dignity now. I’ll be going now.
As you wish. But remember: as long as the Wizard controls the Tow’r Room, it will always be a safe place. Even for such as you.
And “help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it!” Right?
Heh. Something like that, I suppose.
Pleasant dreams, imperfect Wizard.
Same to you, angel.
For he knows he has but a short time.