Lily rushed into Potions class as the bell rang its last tune. She had just received a letter from her sister, Petunia, demanding that Lily stay at Hogwarts over Easter break, as Petunia’s boyfriend would be staying with the family and Petunia didn’t want the likes of Lily around to scare him off.
Lily took the only available seat, which happened to be right by Sirius Black, James Potter on his other side.
“Well, well, Ms. Evans. You were nearly late to class. Tut, tut. You should be setting a better example as Head Girl.”
Lily ignored him, taking out parchment, quill, and ink to take notes as Professor Slughorn began talking to the class about potions that could cause molecular disfiguration.
“What were you up to, Lily?”
“That’s none of your business.”
“You’re most certainly right. My deepest apologies.”
Lily continued taking down notes, writing ingredients to the anatomical potion they were to brew today, a potion that would reverse the effects of any potion meant to attack a person’s or animal’s atomic structure.
Lily stood to collect several ingredients, Sirius right on her tail. Standing on her toes, Lily tried to reach the Pickled Crescent Worms on the top shelf of the cabinet.
“Allow me,” a voice said next to her, reaching up and grabbing the jar for her. Sirius smirked at the young woman before him, knowing he was getting under her skin.
Lily took the jar and brushed past him, just wanting to finish her potion and get out of class as soon as possible. This proved to be impossible, however, as James and Sirius decided to play the game, ‘let’s see who can eat the nastiest ingredients!’, making her attempts at focusing laughable.
Sirius started cracking up at James puking up toad spawn just as Lily was attempting to add the right amount of ground beetle wings, knocking against her so that she dumped in a full teaspoon, rather than just a half.
“Damn it, Black!” Lily screamed.
Silence fell over the class at Lily’s outbreak and Slughorn waddled over as fast as his fat legs would allow.
“Ho, ho, what seems to be the problem over here?” he asked in his booming voice. “Lily, Lily…an outbreak like that is worthy of a detention,” he said mournfully.
“But, Professor! Black ruined my potion! Look at it!” Lily said in outrage, pointing to the green goop inside her potion, that was actually supposed to be an almost-white blue and smooth liquid.
“Hmm…it seems you’ve earned yourself a detention as well, Mr. Black. You two can see me after class.” And with that he waddled away to check on the class’s progress.
“Way to go, Black. I hope you’re happy,” Lily snarled.
“Oh, I am. I get to spend a whole detention with your oh-so-lovely self.”
After dinner, Sirius and Lily stood at their respective work benches, cleaning out old cauldrons in one of the dungeons.
“I must admit, Lily, I didn’t expect that from you,” Sirius said with a smirk.
“Oh, shut up, Black!” Lily hissed vehemently, “You and your big fat mouth! If you could keep it shut for one day I would go out with your even bigger headed other half!”
Sirius stopped scrubbing.
“Would what?” Lily asked distractedly.
“You would go out with James if I kept my mouth shut for a day?”
Lily stopped attempting to remove a particularly nasty glob of failed potion and turned to look at Sirius Black. “I…I was just trying to verbalize how impossible it is for you to keep your arrogant mouth shut because I would never go out with Potter.”
“Then why did you hesitate?” Sirius persisted.
“You caught me off guard. I hadn’t been paying attention… I try not to with you.”
“I am not!”
“Yes, you are.”
Lily swung back around, having resumed her gruesome task, and uttered, “Why are you pressing me so hard about a silly sentence? How about I press you? Would you like that?”
Sirius just smirked, knowing that Lily Evans had a hint of a feeling for his partner in crime and best friend.
“Stop smirking like that.”
“Fine!” Lily half shouted, “You asked for it!”
Lily took a deep breath, as if what she was about to say was going to take energy.
“The whole school wants to know, so enlighten me, Sirius Black, as to why you’re not dating anyone this term? What happened over the summer to turn you away from your more ‘intimate’ side? Why are you rumored to wander the corridors at night, muttering angrily? Sometimes crying? Enlighten me, Sirius Black, infamous student of Hogwarts, what are your inner workings? Why do you always turn the focus on other people? Always asking about their lives, and never talking about your own? You can’t seem to stop talking about how wonderful you are, how you pulled off the last prank, so why don’t you blabber on about your amazing journey through life? Huh?!”
Lily took another deep breath, watching Sirius carefully. After a moment she noticed that Sirius looked a little off, slightly pale yet with an angry flush creeping up his neck.
“S-Siri--” She began but was cut off.
“You want to know my life story? I’ll tell you. For over fifteen years I survived in a household where I was unwanted except for the fact that I have the ability to carry on my family’s name. My mother abused me, verbally and physically, and my father beat me nearly every day. I watched my brother succumb to the abuse, trapping himself in his mind, never thinking of escape, just how to carry on everyday. While I, on the other hand, did just the opposite. I ran away over the summer, Lily, and almost lost my life in the process. So sorry if I don’t feel the need to chase after little school girls or if I want to wander in self pity at night.”
Sirius turned back to his cauldron, scrubbing so hard that his cauldron was banging on the bench in front of him. Lily stood agape, not realizing that Sirius Black could truly feel pain. And quite suddenly, she felt guilty. She, known as one of the most caring students that had ever walked the halls, had never thought that maybe there was a reason Sirius Black tried to pull positive attention towards himself, never thought that maybe he had always been deprived of it.
She took a small step toward him, “Sirius…”
“Drop it, Lily.”
She stopped. “I…I’m sor--”
“Well, don’t be! I don’t need your pity.”
“That’s not what I meant…I mean, I…I’m sorry for never considering there was more to you than meets the eye.”
“Yea, well, surprise! There is.”
Lily just stood and watched him scrubbing. After several long minutes, he stopped, letting his head sag slightly.
“Do you know, Lily Evans, what it’s like to be hated? Truly hated? With such a passion, such an intensity, that when the hater looks at you, it physically hurts? Do you ever feel that pain in your chest? In your heart? When that hater glares down upon you? And you know it hurts because you also know that same person used to love you, and you them? Do you know what that feels like?”
A tear dropped from Lily Evans’s eye. Sirius’s words were so passionate, so emotional, and reminded her so much of her sister, whom she had been best friends with as a child, that she could not help but cry. And she did. She stood in that dungeon and cried, as Sirius Black struggled not to do the same.
When she sniffed loudly Sirius turned around, taken aback by her tears.
“I do,” she managed to whisper.
Sirius stepped in front of her, wrapping his masculine arms around her small frame, “You do what?”
“I know,” she choked, then nearly screamed as the pain of her sister’s hate came over her, “I know what it feels like! I know how it feels to lose a love and have it turned to irrevocable hate and indifference! I know! Oh, God, I know…I know…I know…” she moaned the last words pathetically.
“I guess we’re in this together then, Lily. You just have to find that love somewhere else. I found it from James and his family…maybe you can, too.”
Lily was silent for some time, shaking gently in Sirius’s arms, before finally whispering, “I think so, too.”
Sirius looked down at the red head in his arms, a small smile tugging at the corners of his lips. He knew his best friend was struggling everyday not to shout out his undying love for Lily, struggling not to cry about his own loss of something he never had.
Instead of saying any of this to Lily, however, Sirius just held her until her eyes started drooping. He gently pulled back from her, holding her up, “Go up to bed, Lily.”
She wiped her eyes, “No, I’ll finish.” She tried to go back to her bench and stumbled with sleep.
“Its late. Just go, I’ll finish. We were almost done anyway.” He gave her a small smile to reassure her. When she still would not go he whispered, “Look, I need some time alone and I know you’re dead tired. Just go up to your dorm and we both win.”
Lily nodded her head and hesitantly gave him a warm embrace. “Thank you,” she whispered and left before he could react.
Though they never spoke about that night in the dungeon again, both Lily and Sirius knew it had changed the both of them, forever and irreversibly.
A/N: Okay, so I’m not sure how good this is, as I’m really tired right now. But if you could leave a review and let me know what you think of it, the good, the bad, and the ugly, I would be most jubilant. And if you think I should make this a full-length fic, please tell me. I was considering doing that but figured I would ask for your opinion first. Thanks for reading! :]
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