Chapter 15 : Lily's Incident
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“What’s bothering you, Lily?” Remus asked the next day, breaking the silence they were sharing under a large tree near the lake. “I can tell that something’s on your mind.”
It took a moment for Lily to respond. After heaving a sigh, she simply stated, “Slytherins.”
“Snape?” Remus interrupted, his voice dripping with dislike.
“What is with you?” Lily replied sharply. “The prefect side of you tries to treat everyone equally, but the marauder side carries the same old prejudice.” Lily was agitated.
“I know my faults. This conversation isn’t about me, however,” Remus said, softly but firmly.
There was a few moments of tense silence before Lily spoke. “You were right, though. It is Severus that’s bothering me.”
Lily was making her before-bed rounds around the castle, making sure to rush any straggling student off to their dorms. She had never had any problems during this time of the day… until now.
A secluded corridor loomed in front of her. A flickering torch. Ominous shadows grinning at her from behind suits of armor.
“Funny,” she said aloud to herself, banishing all fear. “I’ve never seen this place before.”
“Funny… indeed,” came a drawling voice from ahead. With a start, Lily realized who the owner of said voice was. She narrowed her eyes. “What’s funny is I didn’t fancy meeting you here.”
Lucius Malfoy stepped into sight, his pale features luminous and his platinum-colored hair glistening in the light of the torch. With his ‘I’m-up-to-no-good’ leer, he could have passed for an angry ghost.
“You’re looking quite lovely this evening, Evans,” he sneered, advancing towards her.
“I don’t have time for this, Malfoy. Leave me alone.” She stood resolutely, determined not to draw her wand or be afraid.
“So lovely, in fact,” Lucius went on as if he hadn’t heard her. He was less than three feet away and closing… “That I’m going to forget you’re a mudblood and…”
“Malfoy,” Lily warned, her hands balling into fists.
“You know,” Lucius said, changing tact, his eyes dancing with malice. “It’s too bad you’re dating a half-breed.” On the last syllable, he slapped Lily with blinding force, sending her to the ground.
“Ah,” Lucius said, appreciating the stinging in his hand and looking down at her.
“That’s enough,” came Snape’s steely voice from behind. He had already lost his characteristic cool.
“What’s the matter? Got a soft spot for this one, eh?” Lucius Malfoy’s usually emotionless, apathetic expression lit up at the thought of telling the Dark Lord all about Snape’s little fancy.
Snape just stared straight back at him.
“Fine,” Malfoy said, leaving the room. “But don’t think you won’t hear about this later.”
Snape turned and looked down at Lily. His face softened, and he extended his hand to help her up.
“I thought you were too high and mighty – and Pureblood – to speak to me,” Lily said coolly, still on the floor, color beginning to rise along her jaw where she had been hit. She wasn’t accepting his hand, either.
“Why can’t we just go back to being friends?”
“I won’t forget what you said to me, Severus,” Lily responded.
“You know I didn’t mean it,” he pleaded.
“Do I? You mean it to every other muggle-born. What makes me any different?” Her green eyes narrowed maliciously.
“They… you…” he sputtered.
“Severus,” Lily said quietly. “Do you think I’m a clever witch?”
“I’m muggle-born. If I’m clever enough to study magic, don’t you think other muggle-borns should have the chance?”
He didn’t answer.
“Maybe this conversation should give you something to think about.” Lily turned and began walking away.
“Lily…” he called before she was out of earshot.
She faced him and snapped, “Do you have anything intelligent to say to me, Sev?”
He reddened. “Nothing… nevermind.”
Lily continued walking, trying her best to look like she wasn’t crying.
“… and I went back to the common room,” Lily finished.
“Earlier you said it was Snape that was bothering you,” Remus began. “Aren’t you perturbed at all about being assaulted by Slytherins?”
Lily laughed. “You mean Malfoy?” She allowed herself another chuckle. "I don’t let him get to me. I could smear him in a duel any day.”
Remus smiled. “Oh.”
What he was really feeling inside, however, was not covered by the word ‘oh’. Sure, Lily was muggle-born so she was bound to get some grief from the Slytherins… but she had been hit because he was a werewolf. And how long before she figured out his little secret?
Remus shook his head. “Lily, you’re fearless,” he told her, not entirely referring to the Slytherins.
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