Chapter 8 : Summers--Part One
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This chapter is, basically, in existence thanks to one mugglegirlly. She'd left a review for Chapter 5 a while back in which she made a very valid point; I seemed to have a tendency to rush through Lucy's friends' characters. Like, Lucy was the deep end of the pool, and Lily and the guys were splashing in the kiddie pool? (Sorry, only comparison I could think of on the spot.......................) Well, that got me to thinking and I decided to take a chapter just for Lily and the guys. After all, they deserve some depth, too! (Wow, I talk like I'm an angry reader of this story, not the author who could actually fix this problem..........................and is.)
ANYWAYS, back to the chatter.
I was originally gonna make this one chapter, but decided (thanks to overwhelming amounts of guilt) that I'd just hand over what I have and attempt to clean all the guilt off of myself. I know I haven't updated in forever: Feel free to yell, scream, and insult me all you wish. (I'll just keep apologizing, anyway, after all.) This chapter's only about Lily, James, and Sirius, as I've come upon a wall in my thoughts.
..........................Too bad there isn't a skilled Legilimens around here to break down the wall.............................. Maybe I should take up Occlumency, the wall is so hard........................... I hurt myself when I crashed into it, you know.
Thanks for having so much patience with me, my lovely readers!
"So, Lily dear, how was Hogwarts? Did you have fun? Make any new friends?" Mrs. Evans asked her daughter, turning in her seat to look back at her. Lily caught sight of Petunia, who was making a face and silently mocking their mother, which caused her to frown slightly before answering.
"Yes, I made a friend, mum. Her name's Lucy."
"I see." Her mother said enthusiastically. "And was she the girl you were standing with before? The one with the curly black hair?" Lily nodded, once again catching Petunia's sour, mocking face out of the corner of her eye and frowning slightly.
"And what about all those boys standing near you two? Are they your friends, too?" Mr. Evans asked, wishing he'd let his wife drive so he could watch his daughter's reaction. If he had, he would have felt very relieved.
Lily made a face at her father's words. The only reason she even tolerated the four boys' existence was because of Lucy's friendship with them. Granted, Remus was pretty ok most of the time, but he, James, Sirius, and Peter caused way too much trouble for Lily to be anywhere near close to her. Especially James. Lily had spent many a night wondering just what it was that drew Lucy to the troublesome four, before finally giving up and deciding that Lucy would be Lucy. Besides, it wasn't like she and Lily had the exact same personalities. If Lily thought about it long enough, she realized that she probably wouldn't get along with Lucy as well if they were exactly the same. The two shared enough traits to get along, but Lucy was different enough from Lily for them to have fun. If Lily would take the time to step back and look at Lucy, she'd find that Lucy was, basically, the line that separated Lily from James, Sirius, Remus, and Peter. Lucy was, for lack of better words, right smack in the middle of Lily, and the four boys. It would be almost comical to Lily if she were to honestly admit to herself how alike Lucy and James were, seeing as Lily, basically, hated James.
And for good reason, too! Whenever Lucy wasn't around to distract the boy, he fawned all over Lily! It drove her insane, and many of the students at Hogwarts were witness to the surprisingly explosive side of Lily............................the side that only came out when she was around James. Especially if Lucy wasn't around to smooth things over and end the fight before it had a chance to truly begin.
The silence in the car stretched as Lily continued making a face, as well as adding a full body shudder to the act. Her mother snickered and began giggling slightly, turning to face foreword in order to not loose control of her laughter at the sight of her normally unflappable daughter's reaction to her father's simple question. Petunia, on the other hand, scowled darkly at her sister, before turning to glare out the window, silently counting down the days before she could leave her freak show sister and move out.
"Lily?" Her father asked tensely, gripping the wheel tightly. He had all the right in the world to overreact to his youngest daughter's silence. He was, after all, a dad, and this was his baby girl. She would be away at a boarding school for the most part of the year; anything could happen. Not only that, but Petunia was already seventeen. She'd had a boyfriend, Vernon Dursley, for a few good years now, and he knew they were serious. He also knew that, as soon as Vernon was 'financially stable', he would most likely propose to Petunia and whisk her away from them.
"They are not my friends, dad!" Lily exclaimed, just then realizing that he couldn't see her expression. He was driving, and Lily was sitting in the seat directly behind him, Petunia directly behind their mother. "Lucy's my best friend!"
Mr. Evans sighed in relief, receiving a nudge from his wife. At her pointed look, he shot her one that quite clearly asked, 'What?'
Mrs. Evans' response was; 'I think you know what!'
To that, Mr. Evans gave her a look that said, 'No I don't know what!'
Mrs. Evans gave him a disbelieving look. 'You're kidding, right?'
'No!' The indignant look that spread across Mr. Evans' face was somewhat comical.
Mrs. Evans in turn sent him a look that said, 'We'll talk later.'
And Lily, in the backseat, shouted, "Would you two please stop doing that weird eye talking thing so dad doesn't, you know, kill us?!"
Once the four were home safe, sound, and in one piece, Lily hurried off to unpack her things, as well as get away from Petunia, who had been continually sending hate glares in her direction. Lily felt sad as she unpacked her trunk, realizing just how much Lucy's almost anguished cry of "Where did the year go?" matched her own feelings perfectly. As she reevaluated the scene in her mind, Lily realized what it was that made her ask Lucy if something was wrong. The look in Lucy's eyes when she spoke those words conveyed a different message entirely. Do we really have to go?
Lily found herself blinking back tears as she hung up her clothes in her closet. She hadn't realized that she and Lucy might have more in common outside of Hogwarts, and magic. Lily found herself wondering what it was that Lucy didn't like about her home, as well as where, exactly it was. Oddly enough, the two had never gotten around to exchanging addresses or phone numbers; it just hadn't seemed like the year would end. Even when they were on the train headed home, or when they'd arrived at King's Cross; neither Lily nor Lucy had seemed to believe the goodbye would be for three whole months. A small smile crossed Lily's lips; she was usually the one that remembered stuff like that. She frowned again as she realized that she must've not been any happier about going home than Lucy was; Lily had just been in denial.
It wasn't that Lily didn't like her house, no. Her parents were lovely. She loved them with all of her heart. They were kind, understanding, and had been absolutely ecstatic when they'd learned that Lily was a witch. Lily had a pair of parents anyone would love to have, even though they did have rules. They had, after all, raised Lily well. She wasn't spoiled, but she wasn't neglected or anything. Lily was..........................content.
In a way.
When it came right down to it, it was Petunia that made Lily want to stay far, far away from their house on Rosewood Road. Ever since the second Lily had shared the news of her acceptance into Hogwarts with her family, Petunia had been horrible to Lily. Calling her a freak, making rude comments when her parents weren't around, looking as if she smelt something awful whenever Lily entered the room.........................it hurt, it really did. Petunia was Lily's only sister in the entire world, and here she was, hating Lily's very existence, simply because she was a witch! It wasn't Lily's fault! She hadn't asked to be able to do magic! Why did Petunia always have to be so horrible all the time?
Lily sighed, knowing that Petunia would probably try to pick arguments with her again. Every day since Lily had gotten her letter, up until the day she left, Petunia had been striving to make Lily explode, calling her a coward when she didn't. It was like Petunia lived for the chance to make Lily's life miserable.
Well no more. Lily thought as she resumed unpacking, slamming clothes into a drawer almost angrily. I'm tired of staying quiet and letting her walk all over me! I never have before, and I'm not going to start now! And it was true. Lily had never let anyone walk over her before, and was ashamed to find that she'd been letting Petunia do just that.
Almost out of nowhere, Lily found herself thinking about Lucy, mentally thanking her. Without really knowing that she'd done it, Lucy had put the fire back in Lily's fighting spirit, the pride and almost defiance that made her Lily.
Once she was unpacking, Lily made her way down the stairs to meet up with her family in the dining room for dinner, an almost wicked grin on her face and a determined glint in her eyes. She was back, and she was ready.
Let the games begin.
"Freak." Petunia spat as she walked by Lily's room, door wide open. Lily looked up from rereading Hogwarts; A History once more. She got up and made her way to the door, ready to close it, as she had done so many times before, then stopped herself. Making a split second decision, Lucy appearing in her mind, Lily stuck her head out of her room.
"AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED, YOU'RE THE WITCH AROUND HERE!" She shouted after Petunia, who was halfway down the stairs at the time.
"Why you little-" Petunia exclaimed, turning round and storming up the stairs, only to have Lily slam the door right in her face. Petunia kept shouting and pounding on the door angrily, but Lily simply locked it. She leaned heavily against the door for a few moments, before bouncing over to her bed, jumping in it, and beginning to read again, Petunia's angered shouts music to her ears. Lily felt vindicated, free, giddy even, as she read, a huge grin on her face, wiggling around with barely contained excitement.
Petunia only stopped in her shouting and pounding when their parents intervened. They sent her to her room for the rest of the day and knocked on Lily's door.
"Lily dearest? Could you please open the door?" Lily closed her book, putting it on her bedside table as she slipped off of her bed. She had calmed down much during Petunia's outburst, and when she opened the door, her face was blank, questioning, as if she had heard none of Petunia's shouts. Her parents sighed and exchanged looks, before walking in and closing the door after them.
"Yes Mum? Dad?" She asked, blinking innocently. Mr. and Mrs. Evans exchanged another look, before sitting on Lily's bed. They had been worried that something like this would happen. Though they never had any proof, the elder Evans had been worried that Petunia might have been picking on Lily. They'd noticed that Lily had become almost unusually quiet and solemn at home, but when they saw her getting off the train with her friend, she'd looked happier than ever. Mr. and Mrs. Evans both had the nagging feeling that something had happened while they'd been out shopping, proved when they'd gotten home to hear Petunia's shouting at Lily through her room door.
"Would you like to tell us what happened, dear?" Mr. Evans asked. Lily took a long moment to think it over before answering.
"She started it." Were the first words out of the redhead's mouth. Her parents had to suppress smiles at this.
"We don't want to know who started it, Lily. We want to know what happened." Mrs. Evans reminded her. Lily shrugged, as if to say it was the same thing.
"Petunia's always being nasty to me. She called me a freak and I retaliated. If you want to ground me, go ahead. But I'm tired of letting her walk all over me." Lily crossed her arms stubbornly, an angry expression on her face. "I'm glad I fought back!"
The elder Evans exchanged another look, then smiled, shocking Lily quite thoroughly. Leaning in closer to their younger daughter, they whispered words that made Lily fill to the brim with happiness.
"So are we!"
The elder Evans explained to Lily that, while they weren't happy with her and Petunia arguing, they were glad that Lily was standing up for herself. They weren't going to punish her this time, but suggested that she stay in her room the rest of the day anyway, just in case Petunia got it in her head to use this as an excuse to attack her again. Lily agreed easily, as she had planned to spend the day in her room anyway, feeling as if she could explode she was so happy!
Lily spent the day reading and wishing that she'd have gotten an owl, so she could write to Lucy and tell her all about this wonderful, wonderful day.
The next few days Petunia remained silent, angry at finally being caught. She stayed in her room sulking, while Lily spent her days chattering with her parents and making plans to go to nearby parks and such. By the end of the week, Petunia was out of her room, if only to go visit her boyfriend, Vernon Dursley. Mr. and Mrs. Evans tried to get Petunia to spend more time at home with them and Lily, but she refused, stating that she didn't want to get infected with Lily's freakishness. This, of course, got her grounded for a week. The elder Evans, now finally being witness to Petunia's mistreatment to her younger sister, were cracking down on her, determined to make her stop.
Lily was overjoyed at this development, though she and Petunia had quite a few rather violent arguments. No matter how much the elder Evans punished her, Petunia never gave in. She simply found other ways to show her hatred for her younger sister, especially when their parents weren't around.
But nothing could stop Lily. She fought back, never harming or truly hurting her elder sister, whom she still loved, deep down, but Lily didn't hold back either. She didn't hold back, yet she didn't go overboard. Lily, unlike her sister, had a conscience, and couldn't say anything as vicious as the things Petunia said to her. Petunia truly hated her sister, but the simple fact that Lily loved her kept her from doing anything truly horrible.
So their arguments, though loud, fierce, and more than a little frightening, never ended in more than one of the girls storming away.
James shook his head wildly, hair whipping round frantically. He stuck a finger into his ear, then knocked the side of his head in an attempt to rid himself of the water that seemed to have lodged itself in his brain. After his head was decently water free, James climbed the rest of the way out of the pond, grabbing his glasses as he did so. James collapsed onto the grass and stared up at the sky, relaxing now and letting the sun dry him a bit before he headed home.
Home wasn't that far away, actually. This pond was in a clearing in the woods behind his house. Close enough for his parents to let him come alone, far enough away for him to have some privacy. No one could see the clearing from the house. This clearing was almost like James' hideout, his sanctuary. He came here whenever he needed to be alone, to think, or even just to relax. The clearing filled him with a sense of peace he just couldn't seem to get anywhere else. There was no doubt his parents knew about the clearing, as they'd lived here since before James was born, but they also knew how James felt about it, and left it be. They let James have his space, to which James was eternally grateful. As much as he liked goofing off, James needed time and space in which to think and unwind, just like anyone else.
James had a lot to think about today, which was why he was there. He'd taken a swim first, putting off the inevitable time in which he would concentrate on his problems and try to muddle through his thoughts.
James closed his eyes and sighed softly, deciding to just start. The sooner he began, the sooner he could get back to harassing his parents on an exact date on which Sirius, Remus, and Peter could come visit.
Should the first thing be the hardest, or should I work up to it? James asked himself, eyes still closed, a breeze dancing across his face comfortingly. Work up to it. He decided after a moment's thought. If I start with that problem, I won't have time for any of the others. James took a deep breath and began with the easiest problem for the time being.
Number One: Getting the guys over for the summer. Well, that was starting off easy. His parents already said the guys could come over, but hadn't given James an exact day, so he wasn't able to invite them just yet. He suspected that his parents wanted to give Sirius, Remus, and Peter some time with their families, and he some time with them. James didn't mind spending time with his parents; they were great. He knew that if his parents gave him a set date, all he'd be able to think of was that day. Which was probably why they weren't telling him anything just yet. James was smart enough to see the wisdom in this plan, though it did not dull his impatience the slightest.
Number Two: Lily Evans. James smiled as he thought about Lily. True, she probably hated him, seeing as how their fights escalated to almost astronomical proportions, especially when Lucy wasn't around. Lucy was most likely the reason James was even still alive right now, to which he was grateful. It didn't stop him from trying to get Lily to go out with him, though. James couldn't explain it, but since the moment he'd seen Lily, he'd known they were meant for each other. Fawning all over her was just about the stupidest way he could go about of showing her, but hey, he was eleven. He'd never had any experience in love, or romance. Which was exactly what he was sure what he felt for Lily was; love. She was all he could think about, after all. When his mind wasn't too preoccupied with the Lucy. Who was his third problem of the day.
Number Three: Whit. James frowned and tried to puzzle out all the things that'd happened during the year, as well as things Lucy did that reminded him greatly of other things. It was odd, definitely odd. There were so many confusing things, or maybe it was just a few things? Maybe it was just the vibes James was picking up from his parents, or just Lucy herself. James couldn't explain exactly what it was about Lucy that put her on the top of his 'Things to Think About' list, which was probably why she was there.
James sighed again and rolled onto his back. He inhaled the scent of the grass deeply, trying to free his mind from the chokehold his thoughts about Lucy had put it in. There just weren't enough facts for him to work off of, not enough information for his brain to process everything just yet. So he wouldn't think about it. Not right now, anyway. Later, maybe, when he had more to work with. Until then, he'd put his Lucy thoughts on hold. James wasn't stupid, not in the least, and he knew that attempting to think about this before he actually could, would only frustrate him. It was a pointless endeavor, in which only one conclusion would surface. Him getting frustrated.
James sat up, rubbing his forehead and grimacing. He'd given himself a headache with his thoughts of Lucy and the circle he'd ended up near the end. He'd been thinking so hard about not thinking about Lucy because it would make him frustrated, that he'd given himself a headache. And he was frustrated.
James laughed suddenly, knowing that laughing was probably what Lucy would do if she were here now. It felt good to laugh, to relieve himself of all that frustration and tension that had built up inside of him. James looked out across the clearing, sighing happily. The pond, the trees, the grass, the flowers...................................... all of it and more were symbols of his sanctuary, his safe place. This was where James had first come to think about his little sister, after she'd been kidnapped. This was where James always came to think about her, because he could always leave his thoughts here. He could think and think and think, then leave, unburdened by them. It was good to know that he could come and sort through his problems, that he could think about his sister, without any pain, at least here. The one place on earth where James could just breathe.
James got to his feet and stretched, wondering exactly how long he'd been out in his clearing. He didn't know, as he was terrible with time. He'd left his watch in the house as well, not wanting to take the chance of ruining it on the off chance that he'd decide to go for a swim. James almost always went for a swim when he came to his clearing. It gave him time to cool down and relax some, before he did whatever he came here to do, unless he needed to be dry in order to do it. Then James would just go for a dip afterwards. Either way, James always got at least a little wet before leaving his clearing.
James located his socks and shoes and looked down at them a moment or two, wondering whether or not it was worth it to put them on. In the end, James just carried them. Both his socks and shoes were soaked anyway. James draped his relatively dry t-shirt round his neck and set off, whistling happily as he did so.
As James passed by the hidden archway that led to his clearing, he felt the weight of his thoughts leaving him as it always did. It made him smile.
James found himself standing in front of a large wooden door late that night, when his parents were asleep. He looked up at its polished surface, the long unused doorknob gleaming faintly in the dim light. James reached out to touch the doorknob lightly, only to be shocked into awareness be Bear, his House Elf.
"Is young master alright? Is you lost, sir? Sleepwalking?" Bear asked, confused as to why James was here, in front of this particular door. Only Twinkle, Bear's fellow House Elf, even bothered entering or cleaning this room anymore, which really said something about the frequency of which the Potters went in it. The fact of the matter was that this particular door hadn't been opened in just over ten years.
"No, no. I'm alright, Bear." James said, shaking his head and stepping away from the door. "Just a little confused, that's all."
".......................Does master James want to go in little mistress'-"
"No, no. That's fine. I don't really want to go in there." James said hurriedly, cutting Bear off quickly. Bear looked up at James concernedly. James noticed this and flushed slightly. "I'm gonna head to bed, okay, Bear?" James asked. Bear nodded.
"Please call if you is needing my help, sir." He said. James nodded.
"Yeah, sure, I'll do that." He said, backing away from Bear and the door, before turning and heading into his room, directly beside it.
James collapsed into his bed, removing his glasses and placing them on his bedside table. He wondered just what it was, exactly, that drew him to that door so much tonight. There was no real reason for him to bother with it; ten years was a long time. The fact of the matter was that the door enclosed a specific room, a specific memory. Of his little sister. It had been her room, before she'd been kidnapped. After she was taken, the door to her room was shut and never opened again. Sure, Twinkle still went in there and cleaned, but she didn't use the door.
James sighed and turned over to face out his window, as he did every night. This night, though, James pulled his covers over his face and prayed for sleep to come.
James opened one of his eyes blearily and stared out his window. Over the past few years he'd moved his bed across the room, so that it was nearer to the window. He'd wanted more room to play, so he'd had Bear and some of the other House Elves help him move it over. Now whenever he looked out his window, he could just see the huge P that was on the gates leading outside of his house. His front yard was an eternity long and about three long, so the fact that he could just barely see people at the gate was very good. It was probably because his room was on the fourth floor. James like being able to see whether or not people were at the gate. Ever since he was little, since his sister had been kidnapped, James had watched the gate through his window, safe on the fourth floor. Just to keep an eye out. At first it was a combination of fear, worry, and hope all rolled together in one. James had been two when his sister had been kidnapped, so he'd been terribly afraid that he would be next. His parents assured him that nothing would happen to him, and over the years the fear left him completely. But there was always the smallest burning ember of hope that his little sister would one day return, walking through the front gate as if she'd never left in the first place. The hope had dwindled greatly over the years, but it never left him completely.
James always believed that his sister was out there somewhere, searching for him as he was searching for her. His parents had all but given up; not only were their no ransoms, but there were no signs of her anywhere. He knew that they hoped she was alive, but they were greatly discouraged because of the fact that no signs of her had appeared whatsoever in the ten years since she'd disappeared. But James-no matter how much he tried to ignore it-still believed that his sister was out there, somewhere............................. Alive and searching for him as he was for her, however subtly.
Whenever he thought about his sister, whenever he remembered her, a strong flood of magic seemed to fill him; it was the strange connection that only they shared, he knew. Even when James was little, he'd known that he and his sister shared something no one else in the world had. Even though he was only thinking of past memories, the connection was still there, still just as strong, still just as amazing. It was one of the reasons that James truly believed his sister was still alive and searching, somewhere. If she had died, or given up, James would be the first to know. There was no way James could explain why or how he knew all this, but he did. It made all the sense in the world when he thought it, but James knew his parents would simply check him into Saint Mungo's for testing if he tried to explain the connection.
It was more than an understanding, more than simple love. It was more even than magic. Ever since the little girl had been born, ever since the two had connected eyes, he being the first she looked at........................................ He'd known. the second he'd looked at his baby sister, he knew. He knew that she was special, and that she was making him special each and every day. He knew that she was destined for greatness, greatness that couldn't be imagined or contained. James knew, he knew that she was alive, his beautiful little sister, his angel. His gift from whatever deity existed. James could never explain the reason why he always felt as if his sister had chosen them to be his family, as if he would be an only child had she not chosen them.
James knew that all his thoughts and reasoning sounded completely mad, yet it was with perfect clarity that he understood them. It made all the sense in the world within the confines of his mind, yet he could not help the feeling that, would he try to explain it to anyone, the words wouldn't come. These thoughts, this knowledge that he had, he was allowed to have.................................. it was a gift, a precious and sacred secret that he needed to keep close to his heart, to protect her, to protect his sister.
"James?" His mother asked, sounding slightly concerned. She stepped into the room slowly, followed by an unsure looking Bear. James turned in his bed to face her, startled out of his deep thinking, the thinking he usually left for his Clearing, blinking in surprise at the intrusion. "Bear said he'd been trying to get you out of bed for a while, and I have been knocking for quite a bit as well, dear." James blinked up at his mother blindly, before remembering his glasses and sliding them onto his face. Even then, he simply continued to blink up at his mother, feeling oddly hollow and lightheaded. For a moment there, he'd felt as if he'd almost reached something, a place he hadn't visited in years. His fingers had been outstretched, almost touching what he was sure to be another's. Then his mother had come in and the entire thing, the odd passageway he'd been in had disappeared, the mirror which he'd been standing in front of not fading, but simply being pulled away from him as he soared backwards back into his body, into his room. Back to his mother and reality.
James realized that his mother had been speaking to him ever since he'd put his glasses on, which had been a while ago. He'd simply zoned out, remembering the anomalous moment in which time had been suspended and he'd been alive past the point of life. It had been the most amazing, wonderful, out of this world experience that he'd ever had in his life. James had felt as if he'd been floating on a pillar of air, suspended above the world, above the heavens, higher even than the clouds in the sky................................... It reminded him of how he'd felt when he'd first seen Lily. As if there were no way on earth he could ever forget the moment, as if he'd been alive for the first time ever.
"James? James! James!" His mother shouted, taking him by the shoulders and shaking him roughly, a panicked gleam in her eyes. How long had it been since he'd stopped listening? James was horrible with time, but he guessed it'd been a while.
"Huh? What? Mum, calm down!" James exclaimed, wriggling out of her grasp and jumping off of his bed, eyes focusing on her for the first time since he'd put his glasses on. "I'm fine, Mum, just tired and stuff. That's all. When are the guys gonna get to come over, anyway? Soon, I hope. I think I'm gonna head out on the Pitch today." James babbled, locking his thoughts away in a far corner of his mind for later examination. Now wasn't the time for any more thought, that was for sure.
Not even three days later, Sirius, Remus, and Peter were over at his house.
Sirius hated everything about his house. It wasn't even a house to him, not anymore. It was a prison, ever since he'd walked in. His parents were furious that he was in Gryffindor. It was mad, they were mad! All they ever did was yell at him and mock him and beat him nowadays. It'd been a few weeks since they and Regulus had picked him up from King's Cross, and he hated every second of it. Sirius couldn't stand his brother, who had become one of his most hated enemies since he'd left Hogwarts. Regulus was even worse than his parents, because he knew just what to say to get that extra little dig. Their parents just shouted at him for being a Mudblood lover and a bunch of other foul things, but Regulus actually thought his through. Sirius could care less what anyone thought about him, but there were just some things that Regulus knew would make Sirius want to kill him. Just little things here and there, really, but Regulus was a cunning little snake and he knew exactly what buttons to push to make Sirius explode.
Sirius had never been particularly close with his brother: It was hard to be close to anyone in your family if you were a Pureblood. But Regulus was still Sirius' brother. At least they used to get along a little better, but it turned out that Regulus was just as corrupt as their parents. Whenever Sirius thought of this, he felt himself becoming rather melancholy. He'd been afraid of the time when Regulus would be past hope and officially the 'perfect son'. After all, Sirius may have behaved and all, but he'd never been too interested in hating people for the sake of hating, or all of the other things his parents believed. Sirius had always broken the rules, but carefully. He hadn't, after all, wanted to get punished. But even before Hogwarts, Sirius had always felt as if his parents views on the world were wrong............................... twisted even. So that seed of rebellion that had always thrived inside of Sirius' willing and fearless body would have exploded into the proud Gryffindor Sirius was now no matter what House he'd been placed in.
Sirius was actually a lot deeper than most people gave him credit for. True, he was an incorrigible flirt (the thought always brought a wicked smile to his face), but Sirius wasn't an airhead. Just because Sirius would rather have fun and flirt than be, well, serious didn't mean that he couldn't be. Sirius chose not to be. It wasn't worth it, most of the time. True, he would listen to whatever his friends said staidly, if they needed him to. After all, they were his best friends and if they needed him he was there.
Sirius was brooding in his room one evening when his brother appeared, almost out of nowhere, to question him about Lucy. Needless to say, Sirius was quite thoroughly shocked at this, and had answered his question almost automatically.
"That girl with the curly black hair, what's her name?"
"Who? Whit?" Sirius asked, trying to recall she and Regulus ever meeting. He nodded, not stepping through the doorway.
"Yeah, her. She a Mudblood?"
"Why?" Sirius asked, common sense kicking in. "Why do you care about her? Why does it matter to you?" Regulus shrugged coolly.
"I don't." He said, before drifting off down the hall. Sirius cocked an eyebrow at his suddenly empty doorframe, feeling very suspicious and not at all happy with Regulus' sudden interest in Lucy. He spent the entire night and the next day racking his brain for information and wondering what in Merlin's name his rotten little brother had anything to do with his only girl best friend.
Sirius exited his house, not bothering to announce that he was leaving, knowing that any comment that came--if any did--would be a snide remark or a suggestion of him not coming back. Sirius let his feet take him around the Muggle neighborhood he and his family lived in. This amused Sirius in the most ironic way possible: His family absolutely detested Muggles, yet here they were, living without notice among them. It was almost as if his parents liked watching the Muggles go about their days, simply to anger themselves further. Sirius on the other hand enjoyed watching the Muggles go about their days, mostly because it incensed his parents so.
Sirius smiled grimly as he hopped off of the curb to cross the street, shaking his head so that his shaggy hair flew from being in front of his eyes to out of them. Sirius loved just about anything and everything that his parents and brother hated, almost as a rule. In the beginning it wasn't because he hated them, but because he actually found some of it enjoyable. But after his Sorting and his parents sudden hatred towards him, Sirius had all but renounced magic and moved into a Muggle home out of spite. But Sirius wasn't so stupid as to run off to the Muggles, or even to run away, no. He depended on magic far too much, and enjoyed using it, as well as the simple fact that if he chose that particular path, he'd probably never get to see his friends or Hogwarts again.
Sirius yawned as wandered along the main road, not really paying attention to where he was going. And why bother? He'd traveled this town enough so far this summer so that he needn't look to avoid even the smallest pebble in his path. Sirius spent most of his time either in his room or stalking about this town. He enjoyed the peace he got from walking around, trusting his sense of direction to send him the right way home when the time came. It was almost laughable, actually. Sirius' family was the only magical family in this entire Muggle town: Even though their house was hidden, all Sirius had to do was follow the growing sense of magic to find his house. Not only that, but it felt to Sirius that he could also sense a growing sense of hatred and anger as he got closer to his house.
Sirius frowned, knowing that this thought was both ridiculous and made perfect sense. His house was full of nothing but hatred, anger, and darkness, while at least out here, among the Muggles, there was happiness. Maybe that was one of the reasons Sirius had never found it in him to hate Muggles. Besides the fact that Muggles had never done anything to him, his house was always so dark and full of, well, evil, that the Muggles carefree ignorance was a breath of fresh air to the poor boy. He'd never been interested in memorizing his family line, nor keeping the line going. In truth, Sirius could care less about his blood line. If it came right down to it, Sirius hoped that he would one day fall in love with a Muggle born witch, though Sirius knew it was a long shot. Not him marrying, but him falling in love. Sirius hadn't known what kindness was until he'd gone to Hogwarts, and he still wasn't sure he knew what love was. Love was something that his friends knew about; something that James said he was in.
Sirius had refrained from truly ridiculing James when it came to his infatuation with Lily, mostly because he had no place to speak. He'd never been in love: Indeed, Sirius had never felt love. How could he know what it was like? How could Sirius ever hope to truly fall in love? The thought of love captured Sirius' interest, yes, but it frightened him all the same. Love seemed almost a dangerous subject, and Sirius was quite sure how he'd react if he found someone that actually cared for him enough to love him.
This thought had Sirius freezing in place, head cocked. Did he love Lucy? Did he know enough about love to claim that he loved the girl? He certainly didn't feel the way James felt about Lily, that was for sure, but............................. Was there really only two types of love out there? That of a family, and what James said he felt for Lily? That couldn't possibly be it, could it? For when Sirius thought of Lucy, he felt himself feeling happier and found that breathing became a little easier. He found himself wanting to protect her from harm and keep her safe from anything that could hurt her, yet Sirius felt somewhat sick at the thought of kissing her. And if Sirius did not want to kiss Lucy as James so obviously wanted to Lily, than didn't that meant that Sirius was not in love with Lucy? Well, yes, but Lucy wasn't any relation to Sirius, he knew that much. She was nowhere on his family tree, which was almost a relief to him. Sirius couldn't bear the thought of Lucy being trapped in his family, no. She was too innocent, to good to have to go through something like that.
So if Sirius wasn't in love with Lucy, and she wasn't his family, what did that mean? Did it mean that there were more types of love in the world than that he had already hear of? Was it possible for Sirius to love Lucy, but in a purely platonic way, as if she were his adopted little sister? Was it possible that this was, indeed, a love he had for Lucy? A love for their friendship as much as for her? Was it even possible for Sirius to love anyone, in any way? And if it was, surely he could love Lucy in this way, could he not? For Sirius could not find one thing he didn't like about Lucy, and the mere thought of her made his heart swell in happiness and a peace washed over him like no other. But he did not wish anything past friendship from Lucy, and was quite sure that this would never change in all the years they would spend near each other.
Sirius found himself smiling brightly; his first real smile since school had let out. He began to walk again with a spring in his step as something else he'd never really experienced in his life began to take residence in his heart.
Sirius spent his time since that day to the day he got a letter inviting him to James' house thinking about Lucy and love and hope, and all that she meant to him. Though Sirius was still very afraid and cautious in his use of those two particular words, he knew that what he felt for Lucy was not something that he would feel for any other girl. Sirius knew that he was not in love with Lucy, and he was quite glad that she didn't have to suffer a blood connection to him, but he still loved her. Sirius trusted Lucy completely, which was something new to him as well: He'd only realized the extent to which he trusted her a few days after his long walk. He knew he trusted James, Remus, and Peter, yes, but the fact that he could trust a girl as well surprised Sirius.
Sirius did not repeat it to himself often, but he knew deep in his heart that it was thanks to Lucy that he even knew what love meant, if even in the shallowest sense. The love he felt for Lucy transcended that of any most felt, converting into a fierce and strong flame of hope for a better, brighter future that took up residence in Sirius' very soul. His will and fighting spirit only strengthened when he thought of Lucy: He would do anything to keep her safe, as well as James, Remus, and Peter. It was then that Sirius realized he loved his friends, too, in yet another different way than he loved Lucy. Truly love was an amazing thing, if it could take so many shapes and forms, be so different and yet so essentially the same. Love must be the most powerful of magics, if it had so much behind it; so much power, so much strength, so much unwavering faith that nothing could make it crumble and fall................................. Truly love must be the building blocks for a life in which people could be happy and safe.
The only power worth having, Sirius decided, just before he got his invitation to stay over James' house, must be that of love, for in the end, it does not change.
A/N: Hi guys, it's the Still Completely Guilt-Ridden Author Lady back to chat with you all! I just wanted to say that I remembered giving you all a preview last chapter, before I decided to insert the "Summers" duo in here, so consider it a future predection or something. The next chapter will be "Summers--Part Two". I'll be harrassing Remus and Peter in that one, then it'll be a super long chapter in which Lucy will be involved in the entire thing. Yay!
Not only that, but I have been working on the story, aside from just this chapter, so the updates will be much faster after I finish making Lily, James, Sirius, Remus, and Peter 3D, like Lucy.
Thanks again to mugglegirlly! (You can tell I started this chapter ages ago, huh? After all, I'd put a note in my computer about the A/N, and that was before the sight crashed and killed all my lovelyfull reviews......................... which knocked me off balance for a good while, yessiree. I'm okay now, though, and thank all my previous reviewers whose reviews may be gone from my account but not my heart! ..............................Oh, God that was cheesy. Just shoot me now, will you?)
SEE YA NEXT CHAPTER!
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