Written for Gubby's Random Challenge. The song 'Eleanor Rigby' is owned by the Beatles. The story was beta'd by ElissandrAnne. Enjoy, and leave a review on how I did. ~~juls
Ah, look at all the lonely people.
Ah, look at all the lonely people.
Salina Wallace sat in the cramped pew in the Muggle church, her hands nervously running along the crease of her black skirt in a vain attempt to straighten it. Two long coffins lay up at the front of the room, and from her chair she could see the ones that lay so still inside. It wasn't all that long ago that she'd come here to celebrate, but today... today was for mourning.
Lina heard the muted tones of crying, and reached up a hand to wipe at the tears that ran down her own cheeks. Why was saying goodbye so hard, when it was truly just the step to grand adventure that awaits? She looked around at both the wizards and Muggles that crowded the church, and wondered if they even realized the true loss these two created. The soft shimmer of someone cloaked in a Disillusion spell made her gasp lightly, and as the shimmer moved closer to her she nodded. He too belonged here among the mourners- whether anyone truly believed he mourned.
The wizard stopped and stood by her chair, silent and unmoving as he stared at the coffins. A beloved brought them both here, and Lina closed her eyes and bowed her head. His presence willed her to remember, and she allowed the past to roam free in her mind. The droning of the Muggle pastor faded, and she slipped back in time. The hand that fell gently on her shoulder squeezed it lightly, but she was lost in the memory.
“Bloody....” Lily Evans exclaimed as she slammed the door to the dorm room she shared with Lina and a few others in Gryffindor Tower. “He did it again!” Her feet fell heavy on the hard stone flooring as she made her way to the bed. Salina looked up from her seat by the window, an open book in her hands.
“Which 'he'?” Salina asked with a laugh, knowing of only two boys that could raise the hackles of her roommate. “Snape or Potter?” She closed the book she'd been reading, and shifted in the window seat so that her feet touched the small rug that lay there.
“If I've told you once, I've told you one thousand times Lina, don't mention Snape to me anymore!” Lily said irritably, her hand brushing her long red hair off her shoulder. Her green eyes flashed, and her eyebrow arched as she stared back at Lina.
“So.... that leaves James Potter.” Lina stated, and arched her own brow back at Lily. She gently blew upwards to blow the dark blond fringe out of her eyes. “What did he do? Or say?” Her head tilted, and a small chuckle erupted from her.
“He... that ruddy toe-rag... asked me-” Lily stood up and walked over to her friend, and gazed down at her with green eyes flashing angrily, “To go to Hogsmeade with him. As if!” She threw her hands up in a gesture, and turned away.
“What's the harm in that?” Lina asked, standing up and going over to touch Lily's shoulder. “He's a prat and all I'll agree, but he is the cutest prat of our year. Discounting-”
“I've already agreed to go with-” Lily looked around, a look of guilt written on her face. Making sure there was no one around that could hear, “Severus- I mean, Lina...” She looked down at her feet then back up, “He's my friend also- just that James and the others hate him so. Just because he's-”
“Slytherin?” Lina said in the same hushed tone Lily used.
“That and he's so-” Lily sighed, her hand going up to touch the one on her shoulder. “If they'd look beyond the tattered robes, used wand and House, they'd see he's not all that bad.” Her shoulders shrugged, and she moved away from Salina to look out the window. “I hate having to hide how much time I spend with my friend, like I should be guilty over it.”
“Then don't-” Lina said, moving behind Lily to look out the window. Under a tree sat Snape, alone and reading a book like usual.
“Our friendship makes him such a target to their pranks!” Lily turned away from looking at Severus to look at Lina. Her back rested on the hard framing, and she groaned in frustration. “Potter will just make it hell if I refuse him- and,” Her eyes narrowed slightly, and she nodded to herself. “You go with Potter-”
“As if James Potter will even ask me!” Lina laughed, her eyes still on the boy outside. While she didn't like him, she didn't dislike him either. They both shared a secret in common, and both would die before revealing it to the world.
“I still have some of that Polyjuice potion Severus and I were working on-” Lily said with a grin, her fingers already twisting into her long red hair and pulling a few out, “You can go as-”
“You? No.... no.... no....” Lina shook her head vehemently, “He'd figure it out... it only lasts an-”
“An hour? He'll do something that will make me angry anyhow- so your stomping off as me within that time won't cause a-” Lily continued, finishing Salina's sentence with a shrug of her shoulder.
“Scene? That could be fun....” Lina's head tilted with her thoughts, the look on Potter's face would be enough of reward if she could pull it off.
The sound of a small child crying broke into Salina's memories, and her head turned to see the startling green eyes that Lily had gifted upon her and James' son, Harry. His aunt held him uncomfortably in her lap, a pinched look on her face. Her husband held their own son, a pudgy version of himself on his lap. Why they had even bothered coming Salina had no clue, other than to make themselves look good in front of Albus Dumbledore and the other members of The Order of the Phoenix. They hated all things magical- and had made Lily's life miserable since they'd found out she was a witch.
Even with knowing Dumbledore's reasonings behind him giving little Harry to be raised by the Dursleys, it still irked her that neither Sirius nor she were given the joy of raising him. They were the boy's godparents, and they'd both make sure he knew his parentage and his powers.
A gentle squeeze on her shoulder once more reminded her of where they all were, and her eyes again focused on the coffins. “Steady,” came the whisper from the shimmer beside her, and her focus went to the one she'd loved secretly for years; the life snuffed out by a crazed despot who himself would never know love or how to love. He would pay one day, and dearly by the hands of those who loved James and Lily Potter.
Eleanor Rigby picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been,
Lives in a dream.
Waits at the window, wearing a face that she keeps in a jar by the door,
Who is it for?
Salina's hands trembled as the minister said his last words, their names ringing in the church like it had three years ago. This time there was no rose petals strewn down the aisle, and no rice thrown as the couple stepped out the double door. The tears being shed this time weren't joyous for this last journey the Potters were taking.
Lina's face turned away, her eyes closing so she didn't see the final snapping of the lock to the coffins tighten. Never again to see their faces, and her head bent to her hands. She felt the tears drip between her fingers, and she no longer cared who saw. Love was gone, soon to be tucked into the cold, hard ground forevermore. The hand on her shoulder shook with her, and she knew he too remembered.
“Lina!” Lily Evans' voice called out through the small room, the white dress she was wearing hanging from her shoulders in disarray. “I can't seem to get the zipper up,” She frowned with her words, and her hands lifted the long white skirt to walk towards her friend.
“Just a small case of nerves,” Lina whispered, her hand reaching up to pull on the small zipper's metal clasp. Once up, it seemed to melt into the fabric, and became invisible. Let James Potter have fun figuring this one out, Lina thought with a laugh.
“I'm so-” Lily turned once Salina was done with the zipper, “Nervous,” she continued, her head bowing to hide her frazzled emotions. Falling in love with James Potter hadn't been over night, but a slow trip through an ocean rocked by waves. To Salina he was still the prat, but she'd seen the genuine love in his eyes, so she'd supported him.
“You'll be fine, you'll see James at the front and you'll float to him,” Lina told her, her smile masking a sadness she'd never let Lily see. “Let's see how the veil looks,” she continued, pick up the gauzy veil from the foot of the bed. It floated as she carefully lifted it and set it on Lily's hair. “You're beautiful, my friend.”
Lina looked at the bouquet, and nodded quickly. “I can hear the music, it's almost time for your grand entrance,” Her head tilted slightly, “Behind yours truly- and you'll most definitely outshine your maid of honor.” She twirled quickly, the skirts of her pale blue dress billowing in a circle around her.
Lily watched her friend, a grin forming on her face. Between her words and her actions, she felt she could breathe again. The past eight years had been wonderful for her, a Muggleborn attending Hogwarts had meant no friends to start out with. Salina Wallace had flowed through her life like a windstorm, and she'd never had a chance to be lonely.
“Thanks, Salina Wallace,” Lily said, her hand touching Lina's. “You've been a true friend, been through so much with me and for me,” Lily wiped at her cheek, a tear mussing the carefully done make-up. “I love you- forever and a day for being in my life.”
Lily's arms wrapped around her friend in a tight hug, and for a brief moment Lina buried her face into Lily's neck. She held the tears back, “Love you too,” she whispered, a small piece of her heart breaking off.
Salina watched the pallbearers carry the coffins down the aisle, remembering Lily as she had walked up to meet James. Their love had shone like a bright light that day, and Salina knew she'd been correct in never telling her beloved her true feelings. Just like the one standing beside her, she'd held it in.
Finally the coffins were out of the church, and the overwhelming emptiness filled her. Slowly the aisles emptied to head to the cars waiting and to the graveyard. As much as she wanted to miss this part, her hand slipped into the one that glimmered next to her. Together they'd face the last good bye.
Father McKenzie, writing the words of a sermon that no-one will hear,
No-one comes near
Look at him working, darning his socks in the night when there's nobody there,
What does he care?
Salina stood by the now dirt covered graves, her hand still holding the lily she'd carried the whole day. The minister and everyone else had left for the wake by now, and all that was left with her was the shimmer that had stood by her side through out the whole ceremony. Dusk had arrived, and the shimmer dropped revealing the wizard, Severus Snape.
“She never knew, did she?” Severus asked her, watching as she finally sank to her knees to mourn beside the mound that represented Lily Evans Potter, beloved wife of James, devoted mother of Harry. His eyes followed her hand as she placed the lily on an empty spot on the flower strewn dirt, and he too sunk to his knees beside her.
“Lily knew I loved her,” Lina replied, the unshed tears flowing down her cheeks. She turned to look at him, his face far paler than normal. He too mourned for the woman that they had loved, his was silent and guilt ridden. “Just not in what way,” she added sadly, the loss of it all washing over her anew.
“We both loved her, he loved her, but still she couldn't be saved,” Severus said, his tone morose, and his eyes boring into the graves as if to see Lily one last time. He couldn't cry, not now. His own feelings of guilt and the woman beside him held them at bay. He'd mourn by himself in his cold dungeons, where the bleakness matched the beating of his heart.
Eleanor Rigby died in the church and was buried along with her name.
Father McKenzie, wiping the dirt from his hands as he walks from the grave.
No-one was saved.
Harry held Ginny's hand tightly as they made their way through the small Muggle graveyard. The path wound around through different sections, and finally they reached the correct section. “There's my mum and dad's,” He knelt down and brushed away the dead leaves, and pulled at the overgrown grass around it. Ginny placed the small vase of lilies on the tombstone once they were done, and reached over to hold his hand.
Then Harry pulled the small paper with Snape's crisp writing on it, “She should be near,” he said softly, and compared the numbers on the paper with the markers around them. Sirius had mentioned Salina a few times while they visited, and he'd always wondered after that about his mother's best mate from her school days.
“She was your godmother?” Ginny looked around also, and then pointed. “There!”
“Yes,” Harry replied, bending down to look at the rather nondescript tombstone Snape's parting letter said he would find. Why Snape had left instructions to visit this grave he didn't completely understand, but by its condition he knew no one had been here in years.
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