Chapter 1 : 1.
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AN: Hi there. This story is very weird for me, in a way. I have no idea where it came from, but i just had to write it or it would drive me insane. I hope you like it.
Lily woke up with the sun on her face, just like the day before. She liked waking up that way, so slowly and gently. Unobtrusively, just like waking from a caress. She closed her lids and breathed deep. This was the reason she never closed her curtains before she went to sleep. The reason she had asked for to switch beds with Raysa back in second year. This warmth and gentleness...
Without any real warning, tears came without asking for permission. Lily didn’t even try to stop them, she just let them fall. And fall they did, probably because Lily was holding nothing back. She just hid her face in the pillow to muffle any sounds and fisted the covers to keep her hands in place. Every time she let her emotions loose like she was doing now, that choking sadness that nested inside her threatened to turn into something much more violent. The feeling was electrical, it gave her a dangerous momentum and Lily knew that if she let loose, there was no telling what she might do.
So Lily fisted the sheets tighter and bit her lip to make herself soundless. In a way, she was glad that she could cry every once in a while. It was a relief. Because lately she had found out that wanting to cry but being too froze to shed a single tear was a thousand times worse. Without anywhere to go, the pain added to itself and swallowed every good memory and feeling inside her, like a Dementor. Sometimes the pressure inside her built to the point that she wanted to hurt something so badly that Lily frightened herself. It wasn't in her nature to wish suffering upon another living being like that.
But pain did strange things to people apparently.
Lily hadn't understood that before, not really. At least not in the way she could understand now that she felt it. No wonder Marlene had never taken her seriously when Lily talked about her pacific ways of solving conflicts. Marlene had never said it out loud, but Lily knew that sometimes her stoic friend thought her childish. Not because Lily was immature, but because she was so... so... unmarked. Yes, that was the word, Lily thought. Untouched by real suffering, protected from the real pain. Naive, that was another good word to describe Lily Evans. Not smart or talented, or funny - those were too general and didn’t say anything about her anyway. Sheltered, that was better. Benighted could work too.
But understanding that about oneself was difficult. You could only get to that point by tasting a bite of the real bitterness of life without anything to water it down for you. Lily had known before that she had had a fairly good life, despite the little obstacles every now and then. She had never really suffered about anything, never lost really anything precious to her, except for maybe Petunia's love. And Petunia made things easy when it came to not missing her much.
But Lily hadn’t known what it was to suffer through every moment. She had no idea what it meant to have to fight for every breath of normalcy - like Severus. Or to be the misfit that seems to belong nowhere and that everyone loves hating - like Marlene. She had had no idea what it was to lose someone she loved.
But now she knew.
The first person to teach her was Severus. Lily had lost Severus’s friendship a year ago and even now she felt a little tug within herself as she watched him grown up into a person she did not recognize anymore. Last week she met Fabian and Gideon and they had great tales to tell her about the Auror training, the duels they had won and the Death Eaters they had captured… but instead of sounding exiting, their words scared Lily to no end. She looked at their bruises and did not see the product of hard work and dedication but the marks that death had left as it skimmed by her friends. The world outside the castle was changing and becoming darker. Just because the walls of Hogwarts protected her, that did not mean she could not feel the cold stab of the violence that flooded the streets outside.
War was not loose yet. This was the quiet before the storm. But even this quiet took lives. Alice - sweet, loving Alice that had been like a big sister to Lily throughout Hogwarts – she had been missing for a week now. Alice had been an Auror for two years now – she graduated top of her class and was recruited the second she stepped out of Hogwarts along with Frank. Rumor had it that they were both in Death Eater hands.
And on top of all this, her best friend, her Marlene was still in a coma and nobody believed she was ever going to wake up.
For the first time in her life Lily found herself surrounded by the ghosts of the people she loved most. The empty spaces that they had left were eating away at her because she just couldn’t let them go... She missed everyone so much that their absence was in every corner, in every laugh she didn’t hear and every word that was not said anymore.
Lily remembered how Marlene used to say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger... but Lily couldn't say she felt that way. She was still hurting and didn’t feel one bit stronger than she had been when her friends were around. How could she, when she had always thought that its the people you fight for that give meaning to the battle. Now that she had no one, what was she going to do with herself? She felt lost and alone.
But even though Lily didn’t see any strength in the way she felt now, she knew she had changed, that the events of the past months had shaped her up into someone different. After so much loss and suffering, Lily now knew the meaning of hate, she understood that it was nothing to be shamed of, but rather something to be pitied. Hate like the one that was poisoning her veins was only born from pain suffered in deepest silence. She understood what it meant to want to inflict pain on those that hurt you, and the will to do anything just for one moment of peace... all these were emotion she could relate to now. Because she felt them. They were emotions that came from within, from the soul, and not some outside pollution. They were the direct result her humanity and Lily did not despise them any longer, nor did she despise herself for feeling them.
She simply accepted them and tried to keep them from taking her too far away from herself. She could not allow that yet...
After her tears dried up, Lily was left shaking, a little breathless and so very, very tired. Sadness was a lot like tiredness, she had discovered. It made you want to crawl under the duvet and stay there in the warmth of oblivious sleep until everything bad stopped happening…
But that was not the stuff Lily Evans was made of. When this feeling of almost laziness came to her, her mind jumped like a cat when someone steps on its tail. She threw the covers off herself, slid out of bed and sat up, driven by a false strength that was all stubbornness.
She was not going to give up.
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