Chapter 1 : And the Doves Sing Her Lullaby
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A/N: Hey… :] This little piece I've spent a lot more time writing on than on my other one-shots, that all have been quite unfinished and incomplete, description-wise they all lacked a lot and all they really did was making me feel a bit constructive and helped me getting over a few writer’s blocks – or not really writer’s block since I never felt uninspired, just not bothered to write on Becoming Light, gah, that sounds awful…
Anyways, I decided to write this little neat one-shot:] I’m still experimenting with this third-person-something-view, dunno how it is, I like it somehow - only for one-shots, I wouldn’t like to write like this for longer stories..
Song listened to for this one: I Will Follow You Into the Dark by Death Cab for Cutie.
So enjoy hopefully and remember to review…
DISCLAIMER: I own nothing of what you recognise, no need to put your foot in it…
It is March and spring should be coming, but it isn’t, it really isn’t. Snow is falling outside; the white landscape is beautiful, anyone will admit that, but at the end of March all people really want, is to see the end of these dark months they have lived in for nearly six months. But winter won’t let go that easily.
Flowers litter the ground under the snow, in every colour. Of course most of them are yellow and green, but there are quite a few purples, reds and blues. Birds are singing, lulling her to sleep as she lies on the bench, nearly making her forget her reason for being here.
She shivers in her thin cloak but remains lying. She is waiting, has been for some time now. And damn those birds, the doves in particular with their big black innocent eyes, she knows better. They are vicious - well maybe not vicious, but sly and ingratiating, chirping. They’re just like her - this she tries not to think of. He believes her to be this fragile little thing, meant for him to take care of. She knows better.
It is him she is waiting for, him who is keeping her waiting - she doesn’t mind. The bench is cold but comfortable and she needs time to sort out her thoughts anyways. And the birds - the doves keep singing her lullaby.
The air is fresh and clean smelling like only spring can, and if she closes her eyes, she can easily picture the green grass surrounding her and this beloved bench, a sparkling green, smelling like grass does. She can even hear kids playing in her mind, having fun in the sun, enjoying the sunrays that have finally come to stay. Everyone is outside and the wind blows calmly over her exposed skin, tickling slightly, blowing her hair around and around, it plays with it - her eyelids flutter – no, she won’t open her eyes.
And the bench wouldn’t be numbing her then. It would be newly painted - not with the cracking brown paint it has on now, and she would be in a skirt, hair down, her breath warm and normal, him by her side, caressing her thighs, blowing kisses, wasting them on her. Finally she opens her eyes seeing only white, she sighs; nothing has changed. The smell of spring is still in the air, teasing her making her believe it is coming but it isn't, unfortunately.
She hums slightly, wondering idly how long she’s been waiting - she still doesn’t mind; he’ll take his time and he’ll come, she’s sure of it.
Her breath is icy, cold and crystallised even before she breathes out. She spends her time breathing out, staring at the white clouds that seem to emerge from her open mouth. The sky is an icy blue colour, piercing clear as her decision, no trace of clouds, no trace of doubt. And the sun is low on the evening sky as the last few beams of brilliance hit her through the mass of trees that surround her determinate form.
His steps echo through the grounds, she doesn’t acknowledge his presence, she keeps breathing the frosty air, in and out, and in and out, and in. And out. In. Out. Stop.
Her breath hitches as the wind brings his scent to her.
His sweet sweet cologne made to seduce only her, the smell of his breath even, the mints he eats every time he’s nervous, her addiction she remembers, dangerous and exiting, her own drug, Him.
He sits down on the edge of the bench,
“Hey.” His voice is husky and hoarse, probably from a bad cold caused of this horrid weather.
“Hi…” Her voice is nearly not a whisper, nearly inaudible to the human ear, but she does not repeat herself; that would be stupid, goofy and ruin their moment, still she does not know whether or not he’s heard anything, he does not say it if he has.
The doves keep purring, lulling her into beliefs that this will turn out great. She knows this is final, this is the end to everything she has worked to achieve for the past three years. But she really doesn’t give a damn.
“Horrid weather, don’t you think?” she breathes testing the air. She sees out of the corner of her eyes his nod, a nod perhaps more to himself than to her,
“Yup,” He rubs his hands together, “chilly.” She inclines her head with a slight hint of a smile, “It is.” And they are talking about the weather, she notes sardonic.
“Unusual for March,” He comments, looking out at the park. “very unusual.” He hasn’t shaved, she notices studying his face, his beady eyes are softer and lighter, maybe winter did good for him. He wears a long sandy trench coat with buttons at the front, big round buttons he probably has problems buttoning in the morning, oh how he needs a woman; how he needs her. The scarf is one of her feeble attempts on knitting, her present to him for Christmas, she cannot believe he still wears that, warmth tingles through her body and how she misses him.
“You need to do better than that.” His voice accuses dryly. She sits up and stares at him, he’s staring back. She smiles despite herself,
“I know.” He smiles swiftly, sitting down on the bench, joining her before looking away again, fingering his coat, she had forgotten he did that; fingered his clothes when nervous.
“So…?” he asks out into the dusk of the evening. She fingers her own cloak now, playing with the blue straps looking down, avoiding his heated stare. Warm fingers come into view, prying her fingers away from the poor abused strap, closing them in his comforting clasp.
The doves sing her lullaby as she finally meets his gaze, remembering how much she used to love staring into the depths of his eyes. She smiles her crooked smile as she tends to do, an annoying habit she calls it; he thinks it’s adorable, and she shrugs apologising. His silence is awaiting, waiting for her to clarify the problem, waiting for her to explain her distance. She gulps down a new fresh load of air, it burns its way down her throat, cold and clean making her slightly dizzy.
“I really hate doves,” she exclaims, looking up and around searching the trees for those damn birds. He lets go of her hands, sighing.
“I know.” He gets up, walks over to a bush, fingering the new green leaves.
“I used to love them, you know, love them more than anything,” She looks away from him, hugging herself to seek some sort of stability that he cannot provide, even herself, she cannot stabilise herself. She laughs softly, the sound echoing through the emptied wood,
“used to wish I was one, hell my Patronus is one, which should count for something.”
It does count, she knows that. The number of Dove-figures she has got at home are countless. She is not sure if he knows about her sudden dislike for birds, especially doves. She is quite certain that he has not got a clue as to why she hates them now of all times, she hasn’t confessed that little fact to anyone.
“And it’s just all I seem to get isn’t it?” she laughs bitterly, “People seem to think the right thing for me is something to do with doves, and right now I just really despise them.”
He doesn’t comment, he turns around and with a spiteful smile he walks back to her. He crouches down in front of her, looking up at her, dazzling her with those magnificent eyes of his, and she figures that she would probably do anything he asks of her. He grabs her hands, kissing them with his chilly lips and goosebumps emerge up and down her arms and legs. She tries not to pay notice, but cannot help but blush. He has this effect on her, he knows and she knows – it doesn’t change her decision though.
He’s still awaiting and she bites her lip, meeting his penetrating stare. Her hands itch to touch his hair, and she tightens her grip in order to keep herself at bay. They are discussing her hating doves and of all the things this is about, this is the one thing it does not concern.
“God,” she cries softly, “do you really need to hear this?”
"Yeah,” He nods holding her hands in a death grip, “I’d say I need to.”
"I don’t want to,” She bites her lip once again, tears spilling over, “don’t you understand? I don’t want to.”
"But you have to Lily, that’s the beauty of it, you have to.”
She knows her reason for hating birds, really, she hates them because it was him who told her she was like a dove; beautiful and free, her own. She hates them because that seems to be the only thing she can ever be; a dove. She wants to be so much more than just a dove, she wants to be special, precious, irreplaceable - a peacock, something else than just a stupid dove.
She’s tired of being reminded of him every time she hears a dove, just a bird and the memories are overflowing her, choking her in love and reminiscence.
The doves were singing as they shared their first kiss together, the first time they had sex, the times they fought and afterwards as she cried herself to sleep. They have followed her throughout her life, never have they left her; they are the first thing she hears in the morning, and even the last thing before she goes to sleep. They were there, always, but not once did they help her as she needed it; they let her watch her mother die, her best friend be murdered.
And even this small bit of her that they used to have, even that, they watched crumple and fall to pieces without interfering just the slightest.
She wrings her hands nervously, searching for something to fiddle with, he grabs her hands again sensing her distress, and finally she speaks;
“I- I hate them because, they represent me as I used to be; before life changed, before I changed.” She explains softly, running her fingers along his velvety hands. “Doves were me, I represented doves in every way, and I’m so sick of being nothing else than just a dove.” she laughs bitterly.
She does not say it but she knows. He’s got a new one.
A new girl to kiss, a new one he can love, some other bird than just a dim dove. She wants to be something other than the dove that she is. Because he is so obviously tired of doves.
Not really deep down. But his sudden hate for them overpowers her, and all she can think of is how horrible they are. She wants him to love doves again, she wants him to marry a dove and not a stupid peacock or whatever it is that new twit is.
“Do you hate doves?” the question pops out of her mouth and his head snaps up to look at her face.
“No, I love them.” He murmurs quietly, looking away again. It is dark now, so dark that they barely can see each other, gently she mutters a little spell and small lights fly around them in a wuzz of brilliance before each settling around them, hovering in the crispy air.
She knows he has misunderstood, but what can she say? She wants him to tell her he loves her, that he hates this other girl, but he doesn’t. He just sits there, on the bench beside her, taunting her with his closeness.
And it’s cold now, icy cold as a winter’s night, she nearly expects to hear carols in the dark hours of the night. But the silence is settling and no Christmas songs are heard, nothing is heard except their supposedly casual even breathing.
Her breathing isn’t casual and it most definitely isn’t even. It stopped being casual the night they parted, her breathing stopped being a habit when he left. Now her breathing is forced, and every breath is painfully hard to make, heavy and slightly reeling.
“What do you want me to say?” he sighs, searching her face.
“What you mean,” she answers, “I want you to say what you mean.”
“My opinion doesn’t really matter.”
“It does to me.”
He ignores her and asks instead, “Why did you call me here?”
“To talk.” She tastes the air, trying to figure out if he’s mad. He probably is.
“We have talked.”
"Then let’s talk some more.” He rolls his eyes, almost playfully like he used to do it, but then his face contorts to the grave one once again.
“So after three months you call me so we can talk about the weather and you and doves?” he snorts disbelieving.
“You can leave if you want, nothing’s keeping you here.” She holds her breath, afraid that he’s actually going to defy her, just so that he can have the pleasure of defying her. He doesn’t leave. Instead he pulls at his hair and swears,
“Dammit Lily!” he looks pained and it hurts her to see him like this, his eyes all tortured and worn and it slips; a small little slip of the tongue, perhaps she regrets it, but she can’t be sure;
“I miss you.”
He looks up at her, his eyes wide and fearful. She’s surprised to see him like that, she didn’t know that that little statement could bring him out of balance.
“Great.” He ruffles his hair, making him look even more adorable than before, she wants to kiss him, but she knows he won’t let her.
“Sirius, I do.” He looks at her, all hopeless, shaking his head,
“I just – I –“
“No! No, just stop! You’re just making everything so much damn harder!”
“But-“ she starts to speak. She wants to argue, tell him he’s a fool and that she loves him.
"No, nothing. You’re with James. The end.”
He’s finished, there’s absolutely no room for arguments. He continues talking, and she wishes he wouldn’t; her heart is already beaten and ripped to pieces.
“I love James and I won’t do this to him.” He turns to leave, his shaggy black hair blowing in the bitter wind. She can still feel the ghost of his touch on her skin and a sob is burning in her throat, threatening to be released.
“He calls me Dove.” Her soft call floats through the wind and he closes his eyes painfully, stopping up.
“He calls me Dove,” she starts to cry, hot burning tears, that leave black lines in their wake. “and every time he does I can’t help but think of you.”
She watches him as he slowly turns. Her breath hitches as his gaze sets on her. In two strides he’s by her side, arms around her, and he’s kissing her in a blaze of passion. His hands are sliding down her back, tracing along her spine, she remembers last time he kissed her and had sworn it would be last time and yet it wasn’t, she arches her back, pressing herself into his warm chest. This is home, she thinks, after all this time he's still the only thing that feels like home. Slowly they break apart, both breathing heavily.
“I love you.” She breathes, slightly afraid that he won’t return her feelings.
“I know,” he sinks, “and that’s what makes it so damn impossible.”
She kisses him again, she doesn’t care that perhaps he doesn’t love her, and James's memory is pushed away and buried deep. Right now all she cares about is her love. His touch is burning her skin and she cannot believe she has been able to breathe without him by her side. He kisses her softly, heatedly and she loves how he makes her feel, he brings her closer and lays her gently down on the ground, covering her body with his. She sighs into his mouth, her mind going giddy and slowing down. His scent is overwhelming and she tries desperately not to get too lost. The deep sense of purpose surrounds her and she is home, she is whole and complete in every sense, and oh, this is all she has ever wanted, all she could ever want.
The snogging gets deeper, his kisses more desperate, and soon their clothes are gone and she’s breathing raggedly against his chest, kissing him, gasping and moaning incoherently things, she herself does not get the meaning of.
They make love in the deserted park, and afterwards they remain laying on the cold ground, covered up in his cloak. Her breathing is finally returning to normal and she’s so oddly whole now; he’s completed her. Nothing really matters anymore, just this. It is as if he's wiped away all her worries, and all she can think of is his warm embrace.
Just as softly as the wind blowing calmly over them, he whispers,
“I love you so much it hurts.”
She kisses him then, kisses him for all she’s worth, trying to show how much she loves him, even though they are over when they part, tomorrow they are over. They make love once again and he murmurs into her hair as they lie on the cloak,
“You need to marry him, Lily.”
She stiffens, “We just made love Sirius.”
“I know that. That’s why you have to promise me you’ll marry him.” He kisses her shoulder tenderly, breathes on her skin, making her shiver in the blackness of the night. How could she ever possibly leave this? She has never before felt as complete as she does with him and only him.
“I don’t get you.” She cries softly and he kisses her tears away, shushing softly at her.
“He needs you.”
“And you don’t?” he smiles softly and shakes his head, but he does not answer her - she wants him to answer.
“I’ll be strong.” He says finally. He's looking at her as if he is seeing beyond her, her stomach feels like a bottomless hole and she starts to cry, hating this, hating him for asking her to do this,
“What if I’m not?”
“You are.” He presses a kiss to her forehead and slowly he brings his mouth down to hers and kisses her.
“I’ll always be there to look after you.” He whispers it fervently, and she believes him, she believes he’ll be there for her.
One last time she kisses him, with all the passion she possesses, she tries to show him that no one else will ever compare to him, and in her heart she silently prays that he won’t ever find a new love.
He helps her get her clothes on, she’s trembling violently and he hugs her close when she’s finally dressed, caresses her back, soothes her.
“I’ll tell him I hate doves,” she sobs softly into his chest, “and you’ll know how much I love them, and every time we hear one it’ll bring us back to this day, and you won’t forget, just as I won’t forget.” She kisses him, gasping for air, trying desperately to collect herself. Dawn is slowly creeping up upon them, and they need to leave before it all becomes something more than a dream.
Tentatively she steps away from his warm body after having kissed him one last time. The coldness is striking and all she wants to do is to return to his warm embrace. She walks away from him, her will strong and firm, but it fails, and one last time she runs back to his arms, sobbing, kissing him fiercely.
“I don’t love him.”
She gasps in-between kisses and he nods, saying that he knows. She feels she needs to claim this one last time, claim his love, just as he has done with hers, even if they are not going to be with one another.
He pushes her away.
“You need to go.”
He says it softy, avoiding her eyes since he knows she’ll read him like an open book. And if she sees his eyes, she’ll see how lost he is without her, and then she will not leave, and he wants her to leave, because James is so much more worthy of her love than he is.
One last time she looks back, tears in her eyes, before she walks away from him, the doves lulling her to believe it is all alright.
She gets home, and James is waiting for her, she kisses him and thinks of Sirius. She tells him that she hates doves, and he is being understanding as always and they make love. Afterwards she cries herself to sleep while listening to the songs of her doves.
Even Sirius who walks alone back to his apartment, unlocks the door and pours himself a drink, gets royally wasted by himself, even he, hears the slightest pip just before he collapses on his bed in a frenzy.
And the doves are there, watching her as her world falls apart, singing her lullaby as everything goes down. Love comes gradually and she'll get there. Some day.
Meanwhile, the doves will sing her lullabye.