Chapter 3 : Never Been Kissed
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Disclaimer 2: I do not own either the Harry Potter world (duh) or this title, it is based on the film Never Been Kissed.
– Of birthdays and platonic kisses
Sixth Year – Lily turns seventeen
Why exactly had she agreed to come to another party? Okay, it had been nearly two years since the last, and this one was actually her own coming of age party… But still, she was stupid. She silently, resolutely made a vow to herself; there was to be know undignified consumption of alcohol, and absolutely no (under any circumstances) lustful behaviour- as exhibited shamelessly during the last of the family’s big birthday bashes.
This time was, however, very different to the last. First of all it was at home, it being the Easter holidays, second of all it was more a dinner and casual chatting and dancing than Albus’ almighty STD fest, and third of all He was there. By this point in Lily’s life, it is rather obvious to know who He is, so there is little reason to clarify.
We, at this moment, must take a small step outside the mind of Miss Lily Luna Potter so as to get an accurate description of her current appearance- something she herself would never be capable of giving. A stranger looking on would have seen something very different to what Lily saw in the mirror; a tiny, fine-boned teenage girl, with glowing auburn eyes, a small smile on plump anxiously-bitten lips, and a long, slender French plait, that gleamed golden red in the candlelight and occasionally sprang out from the confines of its band to form soft, curvaceous ringlets that curled over tiny pixie-like ears and made her look like some kind of flustered nymph, laughing, dancing and smiling, while still maintaining a bruised, poignant look, that was always there should you care to look for it.
Returning to her mind we see a garden, softly lit in pools of shimmering candle-light, and full to bursting with various chatting family members, from the varying ages of three and a half to seventy five. That garden contained four generations, each blending seamlessly into the next with no effort or hesitation. There was no awkwardness, no odd hold backs, it was family. Admittedly, two of the party’s company were not getting along like salamanders of a campfire, but that was to be expected- seeing how they had been divorced only four years, in which time they had only spoken four times. It was at rare times like these- with her husband tucked carefully out of the way- that you saw how much Hermione missed her Ronald. She may not love him as she once had, and she may definitely not want to be married to him again, but you remembered that they’d been best friends for their entire adolescence, and while Draco was Hermione’s present, and Hermione’s future, he could never truly be her past.
Lily’s mother suddenly approached her, throwing her from her wonderments and back to the real world, in which she would probably make a terrible speech, drink more than she intended, and be dumped into bed at three, grumbling and nauseous.
“How are you, beautiful?” asked her mother, laying an arm around her tiny shoulders and enveloping her in a tight hug, “Enjoying your birthday? I can’t believe that you’re seventeen, it seems seconds ago that I was seventeen, and yet its all gone in a flash,” she grinned, her gaze nostalgic, and kissed her daughter’s forehead lightly.
“Yeah, Mum, everything is beautiful,” Lily beamed back in response, fingering the little gold necklace that was her coming of age gift. Everything was beautiful, but still something was missing.
She causally drifted amongst the guests, laughing quietly with Violet and her boyfriend, congratulating Victoire (slightly hostilely admittedly) on her pregnancy, and every minute being drawn a fraction of a centimetre closer to Him, until suddenly, unexpectedly, she was in his arms.
He led her- surprisingly gracefully- around the speedily constructed dance floor in the middle of the garden, in some kind of a simplified waltz. She laughed in surprise, trying to snuggle closer to him without him noticing- something she had grown considerably adept at over the years. She laid her head against his chest peacefully, smiling a small, secret smile.
“Happy birthday, Lily-child,” he said softly, a smile in his voice. “Enjoying your party?”
“Very much,” she replied, laughing lightly and leaning back to look into his eyes. He was still, even after her long-awaited growth spurt, over a foot taller than her, and she was caught between either severely damaging her neck, or not being able to look him in the eye when speaking.
“What’s it like, being finally seventeen?” he asked.
“Practically the same as being sixteen, I still haven’t passed my apparition exam- I think my invigilator has something against me. Mr Thomas- Dean- mean anything to you?” she laughed, remembering the splinched fingernails and the unfortunate incident of the ponytail landing a mile away.
“You can drink, though,” he teased her, knowing how much she hated most alcohol.
“Yeah, brilliant,” she replied with obvious sarcasm, “I get to make a fool of myself, make bad decisions, puke and pass out. Oh, the fun of being an adult,”
“You can get married,” he suggested one last time, smiling wryly at her expression.
“Who’d marry me?” she asked, suddenly serious, struck by the thought. No one would ever marry her. She was not good enough for anyone, even the man she had loved for eight years, to notice. The only boy who’d ever noticed simply snogged her, shagged her and left her in a cold, strange bed.
“Anyone would marry you, they’d just have to get past me first,” he teased, frowning comically.
“Yes, the great protective barrier that is Teddy Lupin,” she tried to smile, but failed miserably.
“Never let any guy hurt you, okay Lils?” he lifted her chin with one hand, his stare burning into her eyes. He had no idea that the one guy who’d hurt her the most would be the one he saw in the mirror.
“I’ll try,” she buried her face in his shirt again; worried that he’d invade her thoughts with his gaze. She was convinced he’d taken a summer course in Legilimency last year.
“Don’t go near any boys until you’re married,” he joked, smiling mischievously.
“Bit late for that,” she spoke aloud- regretting her words in an instant.
“Why? What’s happened?” he asked, suddenly anxious.
“Nothing, nothing, stop worrying yourself, Ted,” her tone wasn’t particularly convincing. A lot had happened, but not how it was meant to. She had never had a first kiss, but had gone straight to second base and speedily on from there. First kisses were meant to be sweet, gentle and not a little awkward- not beer flavoured and accompanied by insistent fondling. She’d never really been kissed - just tongue groped. She shuddered in the memory of that god awful night, pulling herself as close to Teddy as possible without arousing suspicion. “I’ve never even really been kissed,” she admitted quietly, trying to put down his suspicions.
“Well, then some poor boy somewhere is missing out, Lily-child” he teased gently.
“Ugh, Teddy, why do you always have to treat me like I’m four years old?” she demanded, suddenly frustrated at his patronisingly sweet tone. She- regretfully- pushed him away and walked off towards the kitchen, sick of never being able to talk to him without feeling infantile and naïve.
“Lily,” he called after her, “Lily, please,”
She continued on, dodging between various relatives to get to the kitchen door. She ran swiftly up the many, irregular steps towards her bedroom. It had once been her uncle’s, Ron’s and still held his mark in its orange walls and chocolate stained carpet. Nearly thirty years had passed since then, but neither magic nor want had made any changes. For nearly fifteen years she had been planning to paint it the next weekend, and each and every weekend she’d forgotten all about it.
She tore at the walls, the posters depicting various soaring hippogriffs and glistening snakes. She flung them upon the bed, gathering all her various childish treasures and adding them to the pile. A plastic, glow in the dark necklace, found in one of Violet’s Muggle Christmas crackers, was added. A small, roughly made unicorn figurine bought on Holiday when she was five was added too.
She hastily pulled her wand out from the side seam of her dress, vanishing all the silly, worthless objects that she had so long held in high esteem. She dove beneath her bed, pulling out a large wicker basket brimming with leather-bound tomes. She meant to throw them on the bed also, but, upon seeing them, she found she couldn’t.
She fell back on the bed, pressing herself against the wall and lifting two of the albums onto her lap. She flicked to the first page, remembering well its faded photos and worn, thumbed pages. It showed a photo of sleeping baby with a tuft of carrot hair, lying peacefully on the chest of its mother, while she gaze at it dreamily and stroked its forehead. Lily’s mother looked beautiful. Shattered, exhausted, maybe, but radiant. Her father occasionally popped into the picture too, looking shocked, lost and totally exultant.
Lily flipped over a few pages, staring intently at her favourite picture. A boy of roughly ten years old, with a shock of violet coloured hair, was cradling the tiny baby, flanked by a tiny red-headed toddler and a small boy with black hair and a cheeky smile. The baby opened its eyes and smiled gummily at the camera, tapping the boy’s face with one hand, as his hair turned steadily from violet to green. Even then she’d loved Teddy.
She flicked steadily through page of baby Lily, toddler Lily, pre-teen Lily, until she finally reached the embarrassing, silly pictures of current Lily. There were photos of her Rose and Scorpius, playing Wizard’s Chess in the Common Room while Violet took pictures. There were photos of her, Teddy and the rest of the Potters clustered around Violet’s tiny dining room table. There was one, singular photo of Lily and Demetrius nestled on a sofa, whispering imperceptible words to a small, coiled corn-snake.
She closed the album gently, lifting it back of off her lap and placing it at her side. A small, dark-hued photograph fell out, and she plucked it from the bed curiously, not recognising it. Holding it in the lantern light and peering through its shadows, she saw it for what it was. It had been taken at Christmastime, judging by the shimmering tree in the background, and Lily had never known it to exist. It depicted a sleeping, snuffling Lily, curled up across the lap of a tender, solemn looking Teddy. He was smiling at her slightly, stroking her cheek with one hand, and occasionally leaning down to kiss her on the forehead.
Lily felt tears prick at her eyes and brim over her lids. She turned the photo over, reading the small description, written in Violet’s messy hand ‘Lily and Teddy on the sofa, Christmas Eve’. Underneath, written in smaller, cramped handwriting was a note. He does care, Lily, just give it some time. She smiled wistfully, more tears beginning to flow. She carefully laid the album on the floor, tucked the photo in her pocket, curled up in a ball, and began to cry in earnest.
There was one, sharp rap at the door and it was slung open by an irate looking Teddy. “Why did you shout at me?” he pleaded, “Your dad attacked me, demanding to know what I had done, but I had no answer for him,” he looked about him, eyes widening, “What did I do? Lily?”
She didn’t answer, simply gripped her knees tight and continued to sob.
Taking in the piteous figure, with its hunched stature and weeping eyes, his expression changed. “What did I do, Lily?” he whispered, settling down on the bed beside her and taking her in his arms.
She tucked her head beneath his chin, nuzzling into his chest. She inhaled deeply, absorbing his ever-familiar smell of grass, chocolate and wood smoke. She felt the bare skin of his throat hot against her cheek and she was overwhelmed with a rush of warmth, safety and content.
“Hush your crying, Pretty-Lily,” he whispered. Frustrated though she may have been at his loving of her like a small child, she would far rather take platonic love than formal composure, and she felt no need to halt his endearments. He may not ever fall in love with her, but he already loved her more than anything in the known world.
She soon fell serenely into sleep, and while Teddy felt rarely as tranquil or as content as he did right that moment, he carefully lifted her in his arms and tucked her beneath the duvet. He pulled the covers to just beneath her chin, tilting her head and laying it on her pillow gently. Pausing not a moment, her leant down and placed a warm kiss upon her parted lips. Turning, he left the room and slid the door to a close, vainly wishing that Lily could have ever remained a child.
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