Chapter 1 : You Couldn't Stay Awhile.
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Beautiful chapter image by ExtraOrdinary @ TDA. (This is Lorcan!)
I got your runaway smile in my piggybank baby,
Gonna cash it right in for a new Mercedes.
You were worth the hundred thousand miles,
But you couldn’t stay awhile.
Lily Luna Potter is perfect.
I, Lysander Xenophilius Lovegood, am far from it. But somehow, for a little while, that perfect girl was in love with me.
People laugh at me when I say that. Lily Potter was in love with you? They think I could not possibly be serious. But I know I am truly right when I say it. She was. She loved me. For almost two years, our sixth and seventh years of Hogwarts, Lily Potter loved me. She would say it everyday, multiple times, followed by a sweet kiss or a gentle stroke of her hand on my face. Then suddenly, at the end of our seventh year as we prepared to leave Hogwarts and go out on our own, Lily Potter suddenly did not love me anymore.
But I still remember the smile on her face as she said it: ‘I love you’. Therefore, no matter how many times I am laughed at for it, I will always know that the perfect Lily Luna Potter did love me. And I love her.
I got your little brown shirt in my bottom drawer baby,
And your little white socks in the top drawer.
You were always leaving your shit around,
And gone without a sound.
I open my trunk slowly, knowing what I will find on top before I even look at it. Today is the day after Lorcan and I graduated Hogwarts, and it is the day we will be moving into our new flat. I have to open my trunk in order to pack the few things remaining in my childhood bedroom, and I’m dreading it. I could just wave my wand and have the rest of my things packed in my trunk, to spare myself the memories that will fill my head the minute I see the items sitting on top of neat piles of my robes and such. However, I have never been one with household spells. That is something my brother, Lorcan, is much more apt to do, and I have no earthly idea where he is.
So, I take a deep breath and push the lid up, and then look down into my trunk. There, right on top of my folded black robe with the Gryffindor crest on the chest, is a thin brown blouse. It’s not mine, of course. It’s Lily’s. Right next to the blouse are a few other pieces of her clothing: a pair of tiny socks, her Gryffindor tie that she never could tie properly, and the soft scarlet scarf her grandmother knitted her for Christmas, among other things. These pieces sit alongside a small black velvet box; it’s a ring box. The ring I should have used to propose to Lily. Before she stopped loving me.
Lily Luna Potter is not a drunk, always stripping her clothes and dropping them wherever she pleases. Nor is she an idiot who loses things so easily, one who barely knows what room she stands in or what day it is. In fact, Lily’s mind is a reservoir of a vast amount of knowledge. She is so intelligent that my mother still insists there is a Brain Muffle in her brain, assisting her in her thinking processes. There is no reason for her to constantly leave her clothing behind her as she soundlessly disappears from one place to the next, other than that is just distractible, absent minded Lily.
I reach into my trunk, my hand landing first on the pair of socks. She hates wearing socks. I remember that very clearly. Every time class ended and we returned to the common room, the first thing Lily would do was kick off her shoes, throw her socks somewhere, and run around the rest of the evening with bare feet. Usually, I would return her socks. This is the last pair I ever found of hers- after graduation, after she stopped loving me- and I did not have the strength to give them back to her.
Then, I place my hand over the blouse. She wore it often throughout our seventh year, because she knew I loved it. Her warm, chocolate brown eyes match its shade perfectly, and her dark auburn hair always fell down the back of it, just missing the hem of the blouse by a few centimeters. I close my eyes. I can see her completely, wearing the simple, slightly faded blouse now, the first three buttons left open accidentally, with a pair of tattered jeans with holes in the knees and her bare feet; that is how she looked after graduation, after she removed her Hogwarts robe for the last time and left it in a pile on the stone floor of the Great Hall.
Yeah I'm the first to fall,
And the last to know,
Where'd you go?
“Lysander, come on,” she says softly. Her dulcet voice has a musical quality in my ears, and even a simple sentence sounds like a beautiful song. She reaches out for me, taking my hand in hers. Our fingers lace together, the golden brown shade of my calloused hands contrasting against her thin, milky white skin. This way our fingers always intertwined so flawlessly was one of the many reasons I fell in love with her. “One more walk. Please.”
Of course, I acquiesce. She knows I will. I always do. I love her, and that is what men in love do. She tugs me along to the Black Lake, so her bare feet can dig into the sand while I walk alongside her, ruining yet another pair of my neatly pressed khakis. We spend so much time at the Black Lake. It is her favorite place, I know. She comes here to think, to celebrate, to love, to cry; if she could live on this very shore, among the sand and the magical plants. Whenever I can’t find her, I know she will be here, sitting where the waves lap the shore in her soaked robes, without any shoes.
This is where Lily is the most beautiful. The gentle breeze rustles her long auburn hair, and she pushes it over her shoulders and away from her face. She turns towards me, a perfect smile on her freckled face. She reaches up to place her small hand on my face, as she always does. “I love you, Lysander,” she says simply, her hand still on my face.
Now is the time. I know it’s time. I reach into the pocket of my khakis, fumbling as I attempt to find the black box I had tucked into it that morning.
Finally, I find it. I pull it out, opening it and holding it in front of her. I don’t get down on one knee. I don’t see how that is in any way romantic, and I know Lily finds it a rather silly gesture as well. So I simply open the box. There is a gold band resting on a scarlet velvet cushion in that box, and a beautiful amethyst stone embedded in the precious metal stares back up at her. I see it reflect in her brown eyes. Amethyst is her favorite stone. She told me that years ago.
“Lily, I love you,” I tell her.
I can barely read her face. It is a happy expression, I know. She blinks once, dropping her hand from my face to touch the lid of the box. Gently, she snaps the lid closed and takes a step back from me. A frightened one replaces that happy expression. I have never seen Lily look that way before. She isn’t afraid of anything.
“I… I don’t love you,” she says, completely contradicting herself from barely two minutes before. She turns away from me, and I watch as her long legs carry her away from me.