Chapter 1 : I'll Run Away With You
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AN: Many, many thanks and hugs to timeturner for helping me with this story and being encouraging about it. Your thoughts about it really helped me a lot!
It was the perfect evening to sit inside The Three Broomsticks with a butterbeer, hot chocolate or another steamy hot drink. The biting cold and the blizzard outside made the pub seem even cosier than usual with its warmth and soft light, inviting those unfortunate enough to be outside at this time to come in too. Wizards and witches were sitting in small groups, chatting animatedly together or cuddling in pairs in more shaded corners. Some Hogwarts students were adding layers upon layers of clothing before they headed out into the darkening, chilly night to make their way to the school before curfew. Each of the groups, who left, let in a flurry of icy snowflakes and freezing air, making those remaining even more reluctant to leave. Some students still lingered for a while, wanting to stay a little longer in their current comfort and unwilling to face the nasty weather.
Lily and Sirius were one of the couples who sat cuddled in a corner, leisurely talking and occasionally taking a sip of butterbeer, with Lily’s head resting on Sirius’ shoulder. Lily sighed of relief when the door closed after another group of Hogwarts students. She felt more comfortable now. Not that anything in particular had bothered her so far either, but she was a bit shy about the situation; of being seen in public as a couple with Sirius. She wasn’t ashamed of him or of being with someone, but she felt shy when everyone watched them and checked them out, as the new couple, ready to gossip about them when they got the chance. What were all of them thinking about her and Sirius, she wondered.
Show me how you do that trick,
The one that makes you scream, he said,
The one that makes me laugh, he said,
And threw his arms around my neck.
“What are you thinking about, love?” Sirius asked with a smile. “You look like you considered running away from me any minute now,” he teased. “Isn’t the company what you expected it to be?”
“No... I mean yes,” Lily started and let out a laugh to ease the tension in herself. “I’m not running away from you. Just from the others. Didn’t you notice how they scrutinized us? I could almost see their minds working, thinking about the best way to word the gossip they are going to start.”
“You worry too much.”
“And you worry too little,” Lily retorted.
“There are other things to worry about than gossip.” For a moment Sirius looked solemn.
“True,” Lily said quietly after a while.
The corners of Sirius’ lips rose in a smile again before long. “Don’t look so sad, Lily. We’re here to have fun and I don’t want to make you regret being here with me, even after all those vultures have left.” He touched the tip of her nose softly. “If it wasn’t for your own sake I wouldn’t mind too much whether you’re sad or happy. You're adorable either way. I wish I could make you smile too like you make me smile.”
Lily smiled. “You can and you do. But you can make me mad too, so stop teasing me.” She laughed and playfully slapped his cheek, but got her hand caught by Sirius, who held it in his own and pulled her closer with his other hand.
“You make me mad too sometimes,” he whispered, his mouth close to hers. “You make me want to scream in annoyance and frustration as much as you make me smile. How do you do it?”
He closed the rest of the distance to meet her lips.
Show me how you do it,
And I promise you, I promise that
I’ll run away with you.
The touch of his lips softly caressed hers, but there was an uncertainty in her, which she knew came through in her eyes, as if she was asking him if it really was all right for them to kiss. Sirius gently squeezed her hand, which he still held in his, and slowly caressed her palm with his thumb. Lily felt the reassurance in his touch and hoped she was reading him right.
She responded softly to his touch, before she gently pulled away. She looked at him sincerely and pressed his hand in return, grasping it, as if she would never want to let go.
“I won’t run away from you, but I would run away with you. I promise.”
“I will never run away from you either.”
Spinning on that dizzy edge,
I kissed his face and I kissed his head,
And dreamed of all the different ways
I had, to make him glow.
Staying here or running away with him was the only thing Lily really wanted to do at that moment. She wanted to leave everything else behind and not think about anything or anyone other than him. She wanted to feel all through her every fibre, that he really was the right one for her, that she had made the right decisions, and moments like these could return again and again.
Lily leaned her head back against his shoulder and as she closed her eyes his arm encircled her like before. For him, she would walk through the blizzard anywhere. With the thought in her mind, she lifted her head for a moment and turned to kiss his cheek. She felt the edge of his smile under her lips and he leaned his head towards hers. Here she would stay warm and safe.
“Lily?” Another voice interrupted her blissful thoughts and her head jerked up in surprise and alarm. “Sirius?” James continued. “It’s so dark in these corners that one can barely make out who it is. But it is you two, right?” James chuckled.
Sirius made an affirmative sound and turned his head in James' direction. “I thought you were gone already. Are Remus and Peter still here too?”
“No they went back already a while ago,” he replied. “I was going to go with them but stayed to talk for a bit with Kevin. I tried to learn about some of their quidditch strategies from him,” James continued with a grin. "Wasn't lucky though."
Lily moved her finger in a pattern on her skirt absently, while she listened to Sirius replying lightly to his friend. She didn't want to look up at James. There was no reason for it, but she didn't feel comfortable looking him in the eyes.
"Just wanted to ask you two if you're coming back now too. Some company would be great. Maybe I wouldn't feel as miserable then as I would do all alone in that bloody weather out there."
He was surely kidding without any deeper meanings in his words, or was James really feeling lonely? And why was Lily's heart beating so intensely now? Her gaze moved to the table top, to study the patterns the constant use of it for years had caused, but she didn’t even glance at either of the boys.
"Lily?" Sirius' voice made her realise they were waiting for her reply and her head jerked up again in surprise. "Do you want to go now with James or not?"
After a brief hesitation she mumbled, "I would like to stay for a while if you don't mind."
"I don't mind at all," James replied cheerfully.
Sirius showed a slight surprise at her reply. “But it’s dark already and we will be late for curfew if we stay any longer.”
“You think that I can’t have fun for once? Sirius, do you think I don’t know how to have fun and that I’m afraid to break even a tiny little rule? No, I want to stay.” There was a slight edge in her voice and she saw James and Sirius exchange a glance; maybe condescending, maybe amused or maybe bewildered; she couldn’t tell. “It’s just so lovely and cosy here now,” she continued in a calmer tone.
“If you want to, we can stay,” Sirius replied quietly.
“Yes, I would like to stay.” Her voice was soft now.
Sirius turned back to James. “I guess we are staying for a little while longer anyway.”
Sirius and James exchanged some more remarks before they said goodbye and James left. Lily watched him disappear through the door and into the snowstorm. Something was nagging at her; a notion she couldn’t quite place. Something had started to bother her the moment James had stepped into their moment.
Uncertainty. Why was there uncertainty? To break up with James had been the right decision. They hadn’t hit it off like they had hoped. Even though she now considered him a friend, she had not been able to feel more for him, and as far as she knew, he was all right with that. She should not feel guilty. She shouldn’t think about James at all. She was with Sirius now, and he was the one. She was sure of that. There shouldn’t be any doubt at all.
When the door had closed and the last snowflakes after him had settled, Lily grabbed her glass and swallowed the last drops of her butterbeer. Lily was aware of Sirius beside her and she suspected that Sirius sensed her hesitation despite her reassurances and she wanted him to understand and be certain of her strong emotions towards him. She wanted to convince them both.
Why are you so far away? he said,
Why won’t you ever know that I’m in love with you,
That I’m in love with you.
Sirius looked thoughtful, as if he considered saying something, but instead of speaking, he gently tucked a loose strand of her hair behind her ear and simply looked at her. She waited for a while, for him to start, but then realised that he expected her to be the one to start the conversation.
“Let’s just go away somewhere, Sirius,” she burst out in the end. “Let’s run away, like I said before.”
“Why?” Was there an accusation in his voice? Did he question her motives? “What would you like to run away from, Lily?”
“From everything. And well, nothing specific.” Her insides twitched uncomfortably at this. That was true, wasn’t it? She had nothing to run away from, only someone to run away with.
You, soft and only.
She twisted around to turn towards him, her feet lifting from the ground to rest on her seat and shifted her head closer to him. She wanted to remove all his doubts, and she didn’t know how to do it with words so she tentatively moved her hand to his hair keeping his gaze in hers, and after a moment pulled his head closer to her. His eyes held questions - doubts of her, she imagined – but she wanted him to trust her, and she wanted to believe that he loved her as much as she loved him.
You, lost and lonely.
But did a distance still prevail between them? A distance, not physical, but in their minds. She wasn’t sure if she could quite reach him now, as close as she was to him. Her head closed the physical distance and their lips met once again, more hesitantly than before, but more needy, seeking confirmation.
You, strange as angels
He pulled Lily closer to him by her waist so they came as close as they could be in their awkward positions on the wooden bench, with their thick winter clothing, their scarves, mittens and cloaks in a bundle between them. Their hands felt each other’s bodies over the bulky wool and their faces radiated the heat of their moment.
Dancing in the deepest oceans.
Twisting in the water,
You’re just like a dream.
They ended the night cooling off in the blizzard, but with Lily’s mind only half satisfied, asking herself if it was only passion he felt, or possibly something more. Too many questions had arisen from the night and from moments of doubt – questions which could not be buried too soon and which she suspected he was pondering over too.
Daylight licked me into shape,
I must have been asleep for days,
And moving lips to breathe his name,
I opened up my eyes
Lily woke up with his name on her lips. It took her a moment to realise where she was and that he was definitely not there. The sun shone in her eyes from the gap between the bed hangings of her four-poster and she heard someone else shuffle around in a bed or moving in the room. It was a beautiful Saturday morning and she was not feeling the beauty in it.
Lily hoped that no one else had heard her speak his name. She wanted to keep her dreams
private, especially as she didn't even know for herself if this was the one she wished for. She was soon dressed and running out of the dormitory and through the castle, towards the sunny day outside, only throwing quick good mornings to her friends as she passed them. She desperately needed to be by herself and get some air.
She didn’t stop running until she reached the lake and chose her favourite path to walk along. It was partly covered by low hanging branches and followed the edge of the lake, winding its way between tree trunks and stones. At once she could breathe freely again, like she always did here, and there was a certain sort of calm and quiet over the path. Her thoughts could now flow without anyone disturbing her. She wasn’t quite sure if she wanted that, but she would be bothered by her thoughts wherever she was in any case, and here her thoughts would somehow be clearer and better than anywhere else. At least they used to be.
Why was Sirius in her dreams now? Now, when they had broken up and were supposed to be just friends. Despite the fresh air from the lake, Lily felt like she was suffocating of the pressure on her mind, coming from every direction. And she had caused it all by herself through her doubts.
And found myself alone, alone,
Alone above a raging sea,
That stole the only boy I loved,
And drowned him deep inside of me.
Lily was so confused by her emotions that she couldn’t even decide who she truly loved or who she loved the most. Could one have more than one true love? Could she really love both James and Sirius as much, in an equally romantic, passionate and intense way? The truth was that her thoughts reached out towards both of them and her heart could not decide, no matter how much she tried to press it. She had forced both of them away from her with her uncertainty, which came out as coolness and indifference.
You, soft and only.
You, lost and lonely.
She looked back at that wintry day she and Sirius had spent in Hogsmeade and remembered
it with fondness, but also as the turning point in their relationship. She could still almost feel his touch if she closed her eyes and hear his voice softly speaking her name. All of that was gone now. He would never again want to have her. But she would still run away with him if he asked her to and it would be bliss.
You, just like heaven.
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