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Chapter 11 : Step 11: The Sweet One and Waiting for Love
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Chapter image by bellatrixx @ TDA as usual.
Disclaimers: I own nothing, as usual.
Sometimes, the last thing you want comes in first,
Sometimes, the first thing you want never comes,
And I know, the waiting is all you can do,
The First Time She Knew
She was eight, and he had come to see her brother. When he arrived, his mother talked with her mother for a while in the kitchen. The children all rushed upstairs to play, all of the boys but her.
"Go away, Squirt," James snapped at her when he saw her standing in the hall. She glared at him, hands on her hips, already the spitting image of her mother and both grandmothers.
"Al wants me, don't you, Al?" She looked to Al for help; he always stood up for her. But this time, he just looked at her guiltily, and then stared at the floor. She felt betrayed; even some years later it hurt. It was only because he felt included for once, and he knew that defending the tag-along baby sister would send him right out the door as well.
"Lay off her, James; she's all right." She glanced up at Lysander. Even then, he was so tall! His blue eyes seemed to be pieces of the sky, and she was lost for good.
She was eleven and excited to be finally going to Hogwarts. As she walked through the train, looking for some of her cousins, she saw him. He was sitting with James and Lucy; they were all laughing, and she saw Lucy jump on his lap and hug him tightly. Lysander grinned and let her sit on him, and it was Lorcan who finally got her off. Lily felt her stomach drop, and her face get hot. She wanted to march right in there and slap her cousin right in the face. The thought made her stop short. Why would she do that? She loved Lucy; she was one of her favorite cousins. She didn't want to hurt her. Even if Lucy did have the one thing Lily wanted.
She was thirteen and walking through the halls at school. Three years at school had made her more confident; she was the star Seeker and teachers loved her, even the ones that didn't know her before school. There were times she felt untouchable. As she turned a corner into one of the courtyards, a sight made her stop short. Lysander, in his usual place under one of the trees, was busily sketching away. The sun glinted off his blonde hair and cast a shadow on his face. Lily debated her choices: continue the way she had started, and just pretend he wasn't there; turn and run the other way; or do the unthinkable and go talk to him. She chose the unthinkable.
"Hi, Lysander." She had never been able to call him just 'Ly' like her cousins did. He looked up, surprised.
"Lily? I haven't talked to you in a while. Here, sit down." He moved his bag, making a place for her. She sat down, happily noticing that their legs were touching.
"What are you drawing?"
"I'm finishing a picture I started of Luce and Lorcan." Lily leaned over to look. It was beautiful! Of course, to her, anything he did would be beautiful, but this really was. Lucy and Lorcan were huddled together on a bench in the library, laughing. She could see Madam Pince in the background, glaring, and James's face peeking into the corner of the drawing. It was then that she realized that Lucy didn't love Lysander; at least, not as more then a brotherly friend. She loved Lorcan. Just as Lily felt an overwhelming hope fill her, a dark-haired girl appeared in the doorway. She had lovely dark hair, and for the first time, Lily hated her own red mane. Lysander jumped up and packed his things.
"It was nice talking to you, Lily." She nodded, already feeling her hopes weaken. When he walked over to the girl and kissed her sweetly, the hope inside her died completely.
She was sixteen and looking for ways to rebel. It was New Year's Eve, and she had nicked a bottle of firewhiskey from the party her parents were throwing that she had obstinately refused to go to. Most of the boys there would follow her around, wanting to kiss her at midnight. Lily didn't want kisses from just anyone right now; she wanted someone special.. And so she sat outside, huddled up against the cold; the amount of alcohol she had tossed back was making her feel warm again and quickly. The popping sound of someone apparating made her jump. Lysander was walking up the street. When he saw the lone teenager, he came to an abrupt halt.
"Lily? What's that in your hand?" Lysander looked serious and more then a little worried. "Lily Luna Potter is that firewhiskey?"
"Maybe it is, or maybe it isn't. What d'you care?"
"Lily, give me the bottle." Lysander reached toward Lily's hand, but the girl jerked away.
"All right, Lily, hand over the bottle." Lily considered it; she trusted him and, with much reluctance, she gave him the bottle. He shrank it and put it in his pocket. "Let's get you inside." He stood up and pulled Lily to her feet. She swayed but remained standing. As they walked to the door, they could hear the clock inside chime midnight. Before she lost the courage, Lily smashed her lips into Lysander's, clawing at him. Lysander pushed her away and held her arms.
"What the hell!" It was the first time she'd ever heard him swear, and it almost shocked her into sobriety. "Lily, we can't do this. I can't do this."
"But-but why?" Lysander sighed and helped her though the door and into the sitting room right off the hall.
"Because, Lily, you're sixteen, and that's too young to be with a guy my age." She burst into tears. Lysander looked like he didn't know what to do. He helped her lay down and rubbed her back for a few minutes, before leaving to go find his brother.
"I'll be back in a little while. Stay here.." Lily didn't think she'd ever move again. Instead, she would simply lie on the couch, feeling awful and somewhat sick with embarrassment.
She was twenty and living in London. Right out of Hogwarts, she had been offered positions on four or five different Quidditch teams. She had chosen the Harpies, feeling that since her position was her father's the least she could do was play for her mother's team. She was walking home one day from practice when she saw him. Lysander Scamander. She hadn't seen him in a couple years, not since her graduation from Hogwarts. They hadn't talked, not since that horrible New Year's. She stopped a few feet away as they looked at each other, not exactly sure what to say. Lysander spoke first.
"You look good." Lily glanced down at herself. She was wearing her usual 'I just had a long, sweaty practice so I'm going to get home as fast as possible before someone sees me' outfit. It included a dark sweatshirt and jeans with her hair pulled up and wet from her post-practice shower.
"Thanks. So do you." There was more silence.
"So, I'm in town for a few days, and I was wondering if you wanted to go out tonight and catch me up on what's been going on. I know about Luce and Lorcan, but that's about it." Lily considered it; there were roughly thirty other people he could ask besides her.
"Did my mother put you up to this?" Lysander grinned, obviously happy that the awkward part was over.
"No. I just figured that if anyone was going to know everything it would be you! I hear someone's at your place every day." Lily rolled her eyes.
"They just can't let me leave for good." She checked her watch. "Pick me up at eight?" Lysander nodded.
"I'll see you then."
A Happy Beginning
They were married six months later. Everyone thought it was such a whirlwind romance, and that it would never last. Lily knew better than that; she had loved him since she was eight-years-old.
A/N: Song-Strange and Beautiful-Aqualung
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