Chapter 1 : Cloudburst: Chapter One
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I hate the way you drive my car.
I hate it when you stare.
-- 10 Things I Hate About You --
“I hate him! I hate him so much!” Lily screamed, tearing up the piece of parchment she had been scribbling on and tossing it on her bedroom floor. Then she stomped on top of the paper, mashing it into the carpet. Weeks had passed since that day and still the anger coursed through her as if it had been just yesterday--as if she was back at Hogwarts pacing in her dorm and imagining all the things she would do when she saw him again.
But, of course, she hadn’t done any of those terrible things. She hadn’t punched him straight in the mouth as soon as he tried to speak. It hurt too much to even look at him. And she hated him for making her feel so weak.
Grinding her teeth, she grabbed her coat from the back of her door, slipped it over her shoulders, and stormed down the stairs.
“Lily?” she heard her mother call from the kitchen. “Where are you going?”
“Out, Mum!” she replied, trying to keep her voice from shaking. “Just going to take a walk.”
“In the rain?” her mother appeared from behind the swinging door, concern darkening her features. “You’ll get sick.”
“It’s barely drizzling. Don’t worry, I’ll be back before dinner.”
“Why don’t you invite Severus over? We haven’t seen him all summer.” Mrs. Evans smiled kindly, unaware of the knife she was stabbing directly into her daughter’s heart.
“Sure.” Lily returned her mother’s smile as best as she could, swallowing against the lump in her throat. Feeling the sting of tears in her eyes, she turned quickly toward the door and slipped outside, yelling her goodbyes over her shoulder as she disappeared.
“Sure, Mum.” she mumbled to herself, the door slamming shut behind her, “I’ll invite the backstabbing bastard that thinks I’m complete filth over for dinner. Won’t that just be lovely?”
Stomping her way down the pavement, which was growing spotted with rain, she let her feet lead her where they pleased while her mind reeled. She hadn’t spoken to Severus at all after the night he called her a...a Mudblood. How could he do such a thing to her? She thought they were best friends. She thought maybe that he wasn’t too far gone, that maybe she could keep him from joining all those bloodthirsty bastards. But apparently she hadn’t been enough for him. He would rather be a Death Eater than her friend.
He had apologized, but it didn’t matter. It didn’t matter because if it hadn’t happened then, it would have eventually. People like him killed people like her. Just because she was Muggleborn. Just because she wasn’t pure.
And she hated him for believing it.
Before she knew it she found herself facing the old playground where they used to meet every summer. It had been a safe haven for both of them. For him, it was where he went to escape his parents. Especially his dad. Lily never knew exactly what went on in his house, but sometimes she saw the bruises. He never wanted to talk about, so they never did, but as soon as it was time to go home his face would grow dark, his eyes glazing over.
For her, that playground became a sanctuary from Petunia’s abuse. She hated coming home during the summers because she knew she was going to have to spend the next three months hearing about how much of a freak she was every. single. day. Sometimes, she’d leave the house crying, but Severus always knew how to make her feel better. He always knew how to make her smile.
Not anymore. she thought, bitterly.
An unexpected sob burned in her throat as she realized that her only place of comfort was suddenly gone. No one but Severus knew how torn up she was because of her sister. No one but him knew how she blamed herself for losing her sister, how sometimes she would give it all up just to have Tuney back.
Tears threatened but she refused to let them fall. She didn’t need him anymore. She could take care of herself. Besides, he thought she was a freak, too. How could someone like that ever comfort her? How could someone like that make her forget just how lonely she was?
With a sigh, she lowered herself onto the swing, wrapping her arms around the wet chains--fingers curled into the holes--and letting her feet drag on the pebbles beneath her. A fresh wave of anger surged through her as the scene played over and over again in her head. She could still remember it all just as if she were reliving it second by second.
The outrage and utter hatred she felt for Potter and his friends as they began taunting Severus out on the grounds. The way they pushed him around like he was less than them--like he was nothing. The disgustingly arrogant look on Potter’s face when she told him off and he offered a date in exchange for Severus’s safety. The loathing look that Severus not only gave Potter, but turned on her as well, glaring straight at her. The word that slipped so easily from his lips.
The sickening jolt in her stomach and the pain in her heart that stayed with her every second--that she was sure she’d never be able to get rid of.
Her head shot up, eyes wide as they fell on the figure of Severus standing only a few feet away from her. Rain drenched his hair and ran down his face, dripping from his nose and chin. He looked just as surprised as she was, just as frightened.
“W-what the hell do you want?” she asked, unable to keep the catch out of her voice. Green eyes glowered at him, rain drops clinging to her lashes and easily hiding her rebellious tears.
“I just want to talk to you,” he said with a small voice and a hopeful smile. “I wanted to apologize.”
“You already did that, Severus. Remember? I didn’t accept it then. What makes you think I’m going to change my mind now?” Lily clenched her jaw tightly, trying to keep her throat from closing in on her.
“I thought maybe...after some time...you might.”
“Well, I haven’t. And I won’t.” She glared at him, hearing his voice in her head whispering: “Filthy Mudblood. Filthy Mudblood. Filthy. Little. Mudblood.”
“No!” Jumping up from the swing, she balled her hands into fists. “Don’t even try, alright? Don’t you see it’s pointless?” The tears fell freely down her burning cheeks now. What she wouldn’t give to be able to run into his arms and forgive him. What she wouldn’t give to be able to forget what he had done. “I can’t, Sev. I just can’t.”
“I-I am really sorry, Lily. Really really sorry.” Severus took a step toward her, an eager light brightening his face even in the rain.
“Why did you have to say that?” she cried, backing away from him. “Why did you have to say that?”
“I didn’t mean--It wasn’t--”
“You couldn’t have just called me stupid, could you? You couldn’t have just insulted something else? You had to--” By this time, her back had met the wooden frame of the swing set, her legs giving out beneath her as she slid to the ground. “You had to call me a Mudblood.” She looked up at him, tears streaming freely down her face, her entire body trembling.
He was by her side in an instant, wrapping his arms around her shaking shoulders and pulling her against his chest. For a moment, her breathing calmed. Her shivering subsided as she gave into the warmth of his body, the comforting whispers and the rain loud in her ears, trying so hard to block out the voice in her head. But there it was, clear as day, never letting her forget.
Mudblood. Mudblood. MUDBLOOD!
“No!” She pushed against him, crawling backwards out of his grasp. Running her weak hands through her wet hair and inhaling a shaky breath, Lily tried to calm herself. She closed her eyes, nostrils flaring with every painful breath. When she opened them again, a blank face stared back at the black haired boy before her.
She scowled at him, raising to her feet and, with as much malice as she could muster, she spat, “Just leave me alone, Snivellus.”
Even as his face fell she fought against the pang in her own chest. She wanted so badly to forgive him, but she couldn’t. She just couldn’t.
With her head held high and her heart torn into pieces, she walked away. For her, this was goodbye.