Chapter 1 : Can't
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Ice Inside Your Soul
She turns around, her hair whipping out behind her. “I’m not doing this anymore.”
He catches her hand in his and the sunlight glints off her ring. For a moment, they’re silent, each thinking –
A promise. A whisper.
“Do you love me?”
—before the moment is gone and Lily is tugging her hand away, her head shaking. “We can’t do this.”
Sirius squeezes his eyes shut. “But I love you.”
Tears glisten in her eyes and her head is shaking and her hands are knotting and he can see the struggle within her but that’s not enough to make him stop. “You can’t just say things like that, it’s not enough that you love me and—” She wipes her hand across her cheek, and the tears are nearly stopped. “It’s not enough because I’m with James and you won’t tell him and I can’t do this, all right?”
His heart stops. No. “But you love me.”
“But I’m with James.”
The things she doesn’t say—the No I don’t and the But I love him, too hang heavy in the air before she turns away from him, and then she’s nothing more than a fading flash of red, taunting him.
“But I love you.” It’s a whisper, and it’s lost to the wind, but she doesn’t need to hear it.
She knows everything she needs to.
It’s difficult, being without him.
Lily knows—she knows that she shouldn’t care, shouldn’t want him, shouldn’t feel like a bit of her soul’s been ripped out—but she does. She feels as though everything is tearing her apart and nothing is different, as though he’s left her when she knows he hasn’t.
She didn’t want to break things off, but she couldn’t handle lying to James.
And there are times when she wants to shout it at him, to tell him – “For months I slept with your best friend and I love him more than I love you!” but she won’t, of course she won’t, because telling means admitting that she’s done something wrong.
And she doesn’t like admitting that. She doesn’t feel as though she’s in the wrong here—she loves Sirius, but she’s broken it off, and now, with the way he won’t look at her, it’s almost as though those months never happened.
But—and this is the worst of it, she thinks—they did happen. She remembers them, and that makes it worse. And when he forgets that he’s not speaking to her and turns to tell her a joke, as though she’s his Lily again, it hurts. Because she can never have that again and they can never be them again.
It was always going to be James in the end. He was there for so many years—how could she not choose him? How could she stand to choose Sirius Black, who jeered at her and only took an interest when James did?
It’s just—it hurts, as silly as she’s sure that makes her sound. She’s the one who broke it off, removing her heart cleanly from his grasp, but he refused to let go, and that’s the worst of it, isn’t it? That he could still be holding on.
Maybe he’ll never let go, she thinks, and she has to close her eyes, because that’s a terrifying thought.
And as she looks at Sirius and sees him looking back at her, she knows it’s not going to stop hurting for a long, long time.
She’s going to keep on living and she’s going to marry James and that’s going to be that—but this pain is always going to be there.
She has to cut him out of her life if she ever wants to move on.
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