Chapter 1 : Realisation
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Lily Evans brushed her thick red hair from her face and gazed at her reflection in the mirror attached to her wardrobe door. She sighed heavily, it was still bothering her, even if she refused to admit it to herself she could see it in her face, it was there in her eyes, the sea green eyes looked stormy and depressed and deep down she knew why although she didn’t like to admit it.
His barb had hit home, a lot harder and more forcefully than she had ever imagined that it could. He had hurt her, sliced at her heart and now over a month later it was still raw and painful to think about it.
Although Lily kept herself busy most of the time so that she didn’t have the time to think about it. She cleaned her room and studied obsessively, James Potter and his cronies had received the sharp edge of her tongue a lot more often than they usually did and she knew it bothered James. She saw it in his face when she was particularly short with him for no reason other than the fact he was a total prat.
But she didn’t dwell on thoughts of James Potter, she never had done before and she’d be dammed if she was going to start now. Besides, it was all his fault in the first place! The wonderful, magnificent, egotistical, prize prat, prince of the fools himself, James Potter.
If he could just find some other way of occupying his time, if he and that equally egoistical fool Siruis Black could pick on someone else, or preferably no-one at all! She wouldn’t be hurting in this way. She wouldn’t be the one who was suffering everyday.
Lily sighed turning back to her bed and retrieving the book that lay casually over her pillow, she didn’t feel like reading about potions just now. Potions was her forte, she was very good, a natural ability Professor Slughorn said and she enjoyed the praise and words of encouragement that came from him every lesson.
She hadn’t been doing that well in potions the last month, she still got good marks, she could still do the work, but it wasn’t her usual standard. That was Potter’s fault again, her grades were slipping because she couldn’t concentrate and the whole thing was James Potter’s fault.
A frown creased her forehead as she looked back, why didn’t Remus do anything about it? He was sat under the tree with his nose in a book as though it was an everyday occurrence! But then she figured it pretty much was and that was even sadder.
It hadn’t been a one off mad moment had it? This kind of thing happened all the time, no wonder he had lashed out, it must have been the last straw. Lily knew she couldn’t really identify with the feeling of utter mortification he must have been suffering through, she, thank Merlin hadn’t been bullied once in her life. She had always been surrounded by people who loved her and cared for her, she had friends, good friends, who were loyal and always stood beside her and stood up for her if they needed to.
He didn’t have that, he didn’t have anyone. Expect her.
She had tried to be there, she had offered her help but now Lily was forced to see that rather than help she might unintentionally have pushed the boundary of humiliation a little further. She hadn’t meant to be the cause of any more embarrassment, but the sight of him hanging upside down in the air with his robes around his face and his underwear on show had been more than she could bare to watch.
And because her fiery red hair matched a fiery temper that she kept hidden most of the time she had waded in with her cold, angry demands of Potter and Black to leave him alone and she had made the situation worse for him. Having a girl come to his rescue must have bruised his already hurt pride so much more. But she hadn’t thought of that at the time, she had only thought to help him, to stop the jeering laughter surrounding him and wipe the arrogant, self satisfied smirks off the faces of Potter and Black.
Because of them, because she saw red and she didn’t stop to think she had driven a wedge between them. She had pushed him over the edge and he had called her…. Lily shuddered, she didn’t want to think about that, didn’t want to think what he had called her but she couldn’t stop herself, when she was alone, when she was thinking about him, his voice, angry, hurt and cold echoed around her head “I don’t need help from filthy little mud bloods like her”
Hot tears once again stung behind Lily’s eyes, they always did, no matter how many times she firmly told herself she would not cry, she still did. There was nothing Lily could do to keep them at bay and presently her vision blurred as the tears welled right up in her eyes and finally spilt over down her cheeks. She let out the strangled sob that lingered in her throat and threw herself face down into her pillow gripping the bed covers her shoulders shaking with the intensity of her emotions.
He had apologised though, he had come looking for her and made his grovelling apologises for what he had said but she had been so hurt over it that she had steeled her spine and heart against him and refused to listen.
Now all this time later she was still hurting and the realisation as to why had shocked Lily to the point where she had actually cried out when she had seen the truth. It was there, had been there all this time and she had been too blind to see it, she had been so caught up in what had always been that she hadn’t seen what could be.
Pushing herself off the bed and wiping her eyes roughly Lily hurriedly dragged a brush through her hair, sprayed some perfume on her wrists and throat and hurried from the room almost falling down the stairs in her haste to get out of the Gryffindor common room.
Checking her watch as she hurried down the corridor Lily determined that as it was after school hours, exactly six o’clock he could be anywhere. She paused when she reached the stair case, perhaps she would try Professor Slughorn’s room first? Then in the library and then she would look outside.
Happy that she had formed a decision in her mind Lily scurried off around the castle her green eyes darting around the corridors as she went searching for him, hoping to see his face and hoping that she could set things right between them.
Mentally Lily ticked off her fingers everywhere she had checked, she had been everywhere, and she was still roaming the grounds hunting for him like someone demented. Where was he? Why was it that whenever you specifically wanted to find someone they were nowhere to be seen?
Panting slightly from all the exertion Lily stopped by the edge of the lake placing her hand to her side trying to squash her stitch away. It didn’t’ work. Bending over a little Lily took deep breaths and tried to convince herself not to start bawling like an idiot. So she couldn’t find him at the moment, she would see him later. He would be at supper, she could talk to him then.
“Not good enough! I want to see him now!” Lily raged quietly to herself wishing it was permissible for a sixteen year old witch to stamp her foot.
“Talking to yourself now?”
Lily froze, she knew that voice, would know it anywhere. It was the voice that had first told her all about Hogwarts, it was the voice that had encouraged her with her magic, the voice that broke slightly when speaking about his family but became ardent and passionate when discussing the Dark Arts. It was the voice cold and icy that echoed around her head and haunted her dreams and the voice that warmed her, made her smile and remember good times from before Hogwarts and the fun they had in the summer holidays. It was a voice that she knew, was familiar and strong, that was comforting and loyal, a voice that she loved and wanted to keep in her life always.
“Serverus.” She whispered turning to look at him smiling uncertainly.
Serverus frowned, half of his face hidden by the long black hair style he favoured, his brown eyes examining her face carefully. “Is there a reason you look like a panda?” He wondered dryly.
“Panda?” Lily echoed staring dumbly at him. She closed her eyes briefly, she had been crying, and what did she do? Brush her hair and dab on perfume, totally forgetting to fix the black streaks that were more than likely down her cheeks due to her mascara.
“It’s very fetching.” Serverus informed her his lips twitching slightly.
Lily bristled slightly, “Yes, well, I was in a hurry, I didn’t have time to fix it.”
“And what so important?” He wondered slipping his hands into the pockets of his robe.
He warned himself to check himself before he spoke, this was the first time he had been close to Lily, the first time he had spoken to her in over a month. She had been livid over his insult and he had never felt so bad about anything in his life. He didn’t want to hurt Lily, wouldn’t hurt her for the world. She was his Lily, his red haired vixen, feisty and untameable and he loved her.
Lily would never know of course, he couldn’t tell her that. But he could say sorry again, try to get her to forgive him, to become his friend again. He had missed her, missed her kind and gentle ways, missed her spontaneous laughter and easy friendly nature.
His treatment of her plagued him day in and day out, he still couldn’t really believe it had been him saying those words to her, to Lily, to his Lily.
Lily took a deep breath, “I had to see you Severus. I wanted to tell you something.”
His eyebrow raised slightly, “What was that then Lily? Did you want to push the point home just a little bit more that I’m nothing, no longer your friend and that you don’t care?”
She was stung by the sarcasm of his tone, but she figured she couldn’t really expect anything else from him, she had been far from nice to him of late. “No, that’s not it Severus, I wanted to take it all back.”
“Oh?” He looked surprised but rather pleased at the same time. “Why? You told me you didn’t care about me any more, that you didn’t care what I did so long as I stayed away from you.”
Lily bit her bottom lip as she surveyed him quietly. What could she say? Were there words in the world that could do justice to the misery she had been suffering through without him?
Without warning and totally surprising herself never mind him, Lily launched herself through the air wrapping her arms around his neck and pressing her lips hard to his.
Severus did nothing except stand there. He was too astounded to enable his mind to function. By the time it had sunk in what was happening Lily had broken away from him and was standing five steps from him her eyes wide and uncertain, her arms hanging limply at her sides.
Severus blinked several times, “Lily…. What?” He managed to splutter out.
“I had to.” She whispered, “I needed to. I’ve missed you terribly and I didn’t know why. But now I do know why but I wasn’t sure how to say it.”
“Well, I think you said it loud and clear.” He admitted cracking his knuckles absently. “I don’t understand though. You said you didn’t care.” He reminded her frowning slightly, still unwilling to let himself really believe that Lily was not only forgiving him for what he had said but that she might feel a little towards him what he did towards her.
Lily shrugged her face turning pink as she gazed up into his confused face. “Sometimes it’s just easier to say you don’t care than to try to explain every reason why you still do.”
Severus nodded slowly, he grinned at her wickedly, “I don’t think I quite got it the first time. Would you tell me again Lily?”
Lily laughed and hopped on the spot jumping towards him and sliding her arms back around his neck. “Yes Severus, I’ll be happy to tell you again.”
His arms settled comfortably around her waist as she titled her head back and swung up onto her tip toes to kiss him again. She sighed contentedly when he kissed her back, soft and gentle in a way she hadn’t expected from him.
She smiled when they broke the kiss hugging him tightly around the neck. “I’ve missed talking to you. Promise we won’t fight ever again?”
His lithe fingers ran through her hair gently and he dropped a kiss on the top of her head. “I promise.”