The snow danced through the air as it fell down to earth. The fiery light from the setting sun glimmered off the white powder that covered the grounds. I sat alone in my room, perched by the window with my knees pulled up to my chest as I surveyed the couples that dotted the grounds below me. Somewhere amongst them were my three roommates and their boyfriends. I sighed and rested my head on my knees, auburn hair falling gracefully into my face. I blew the few strands away. Tomorrow was a Hogsmeade weekend. It also happened to be Valentine’s Day. My first one spent alone since I came to Hogwarts little more than six years ago. For the past five years I’d spent Valentine’s Day with Severus, but after what happened last year things had changed between us. I can still hear his voice screaming that horrible word at me.
I shook my head sending my hair flying. I didn’t need to be thinking about this now. I swung my legs down and left my room, peeking out tentatively as I did so. There was no one in the common room as far as I could see. Walking down, I jammed my hands in my jeans pocket. I really couldn’t wait until spring. I missed my flowy dresses which were rendered impractical during these cold winter months.
“Lily?” I heard my name called just as I approached the portrait hole. I stiffened, the familiar voice sending a lick of irritation through me. I’m usually not the type to be rude without provocation, but after nearly six years of dealing with this fool I think I can be excused this time.
“What?” I snapped as I looked at James Potter over my shoulder. He was sitting alone in a far corner of the common room, a school book open in his lap and a quill in his hand.
His eyes widened slightly at my tone. “I just—” he shook his head, “It’s nothing. Just wondering what you’re doing here alone.”
I stared at him. No jibe? No lame attempt at flirting? I would say that this was different and he’d changed, but one out-of-norm display of behavior is not enough to change a nearly six year impression.
“I don’t see how that’s any of your business,” I said.
“That’s why I didn’t ask,” he replied matter-of-factly. I swear there was a glint in his eye, but it disappeared before I got a better look. “Well, go ahead,” he continued, “I won’t keep you from whatever pre-V Day festivities you have planned.”
“Whatever,” I said as I turned and left through the portrait hole.
That Potter. He was part of the reason I didn’t have a Valentine this year. As much as I wanted to place all the blame on him, he wasn’t the one who called me a mudblood. He wasn’t the one who got so consumed by his anger that he resorted to calling me, one of his oldest friends, a horrible name that was just the catalyst that ruined our friendship. He might have been the one who initiated the incident which led to these actions, but that was it. Potter has always been arrogant and full of himself. Severus shouldn’t have let him get under his skin like that. I kept telling him to just ignore them, but he wouldn’t listen. It was those Slytherin friends of his that really changed him. I remember whenever we spent time together, just the two of us, he was the same old Severus from our childhood, but whenever his other ‘friends’ were around he practically became a different person.
I sighed as I wandered through the halls. Around every corner there were couples huddled together, hoping to find their own little nook in which to escape from the world and just enjoy spending time with each other if only for a few minutes.
I stopped halfway up a stairway. No one was in sight coming up or going down the stairs and there was a nice little window where I could see nothing but the rich, multicolored sky outside. I settled in on the stairs, back resting against the wall as I watched the flames from the torches on the wall cast dancing shadows all over the stairway.
I sat there, letting myself get lost in the mesmerizing flickers of light, when I heard footsteps descending the stairs above me. I looked up, wondering who could be coming from a tower at this hour when I a boy who looked to be about my age of sixteen came into view. He had semi-long dark brown hair and brilliant blue eyes which stood out against his light skin. He was tall and lanky, showing signs of someone nearing the end of a vicious growth spurt. His mind obviously elsewhere, he jumped when he noticed me lounging on the stairs. I hoped he would just pass by me. I wasn’t really in the mood to chat at the moment.
“Oh,” he said quietly as he ran a distracted hand through his hair.
“Hi,” I said equally quietly, “I’m Lily. Lily Evans.”
“Yes, I know. I’m Derek Quinn, but just call me Quinn. Everyone does.” His voice was deep with a slight Irish accent running through it.
I nodded, still not quite feeling up to talking. Obviously, I was the only one who felt that way since he took the next few steps down and lowered himself across from me and leaned against the wall.
“Mind if I sit here?”
Yes. I did mind. “No,” I said instead. I might have been stubborn and feeling a tad anti-social, but at the same time, maybe some company is just what I needed. “Go ahead. But I’m not sure how good I’ll be as company.”
“Boyfriend troubles?” he said casually.
“Not exactly,” I replied.
“Anything you want to talk about?”
I gave him a look.
“What,” he said confusedly.
“Do you do this often? Find people and simply strike up conversation?”
“Well, how else would I expect to make new friends if I didn’t talk to them?” He said this as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.
I stared at him again.
“What,” he said in that same confused timbre.
“Nothing,” I said looking away.
“So,” Quinn said, trying to keep up conversation, “You ready for SAD tomorrow?”
My confusion showed clearly on my face, “Sad? I must be missing something. Tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day.”
“Exactly,” He said raising a finger and leaning forward, “Valentine’s Day, otherwise known as Singles Awareness Day. S-A-D. Get it?”
A laugh bubbled up within me and escaped, “I’ve never heard of that before.” I smiled at him, “Did you come up with that?”
He smiled back at me, a wide smile that stretched across his face from ear to ear, “Nah, I heard about it from a friend back home. Kind of depressing when you really think about it, but at least you seem to be in a better mood now.”
“Thanks,” I said quietly then I looked at him again, “So, judging from that I take it you’re going to be alone for Valentine’s Day tomorrow.”
Quinn’s smile faltered.
“I’m sorry,” I said quickly, “I didn’t mean to pry.”
“No, it’s okay. And you’re right; I’m going to be alone tomorrow. I actually,” he paused before continuing, “I just broke up with my girlfriend. Actually she broke up with me.”
“I’m sorry,” I said, “You don’t need to tell me if you don’t want to.”
He shook his head, “It’s fine. Things just, didn’t work out with us.” He paused. “So, I spilled. What’s your story? Why will you be alone tomorrow?”
“Oh where do I begin,” I said making myself more comfortable, as I settled in to spill my story to him. Seems I was right earlier. I did just need some company. “I normally would spend Valentine’s Day with a friend of mine, but long story short you could say that we had a falling out last year and now I’m not speaking to him.”
Quinn nodded his head, “I see. I’m sorry to hear that. Do you think you’ll ever work things out with him?”
I shook my head, “I don’t think so. Even if we could somehow manage to talk again, I don’t think things will ever be the same between us.”
“Losing a friend is never easy,” he said sagely.
“You said it,” I replied.
Quinn and I fell to silence, thinking about our respective situations. Well, I was thinking about my situation. I didn’t know what he was thinking about, but he looked fairly pensive so I assume that’s what he was thinking about. I watched him think. His brown hair fell casually in his face, strong jaw working as he nibbled on a nail. Suddenly, his blue eyes snapped up and met my green ones and he snapped his fingers, a wide smile stretched across his face.
“I’ve got an idea!” He said eagerly, his accent becoming more pronounced. He scrambled up and crawled over to sit next to me on the stair right above mine.
“What is it?” I asked curiously, raising my eyebrows and looking up into his surprisingly handsome face.
“You don’t have a Valentine, right?”
“Right,” I said slowly.
“And I certainly don’t have a Valentine.”
“So why don’t we spend tomorrow together?” He finished excitedly.
“Yeah, It’ll be great. We won’t be alone and we can get to know each other better. If it goes anywhere great and if not we can still be friends. Sound good?” He looked at me expectantly, like a puppy eyeing a tasty treat.
I paused. I suppose this wouldn’t be such a bad idea. I really didn’t want to be alone tomorrow and he seemed nice enough. Also, who knows, maybe he’s right and this could go somewhere. I smiled up at him, “Sounds good.”
“Great!” He smiled brilliantly at me then paused as if realizing he forgot something, “I should do this right.”
“What? Do what right?”
Quinn stood up, he leapt over me and down a few steps. He spun around and dropped to one knee, reaching over and grabbing my petite hands in his large ones. “Lily Evans, will you be my Valentine.”
I looked down at him and failed at fighting down a smile as I stared into those brilliant blue eyes, my heart flipping as I did so, then I calmly said, “Yes, Derek Quinn, I will be your Valentine.”
A/N: My first challenge fic in years! Also my first fic with Lily as a main character. Hope you enjoyed! How was her characterization? Please review. I absolutely love them!
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