Chapter 1 : Dawn
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Lily glanced to the direction of the voice, her expression of confusion rapidly changing into one of relief.
She smiled as Severus Snape, her childhood friend, perched himself awkwardly on the arm of her chair and took the book from her, pointing to various things she’d missed and offering suggestions for improvements.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the library, Sirius Black sat slouched in his chair, bag slumped at his feet, his black floppy hair dishevelled as per usual. He'd only come in to the library (one of the few places he hardly set foot in) to retrieve the bag of liqourice wands that Remus had carelessly left here yesterday, and having failed, had decided to sit here and watch those pretty seventh years over in the corner. Having heard Snape's drawling, nasal voice, he grimaced at the very sound of it, and even Snape's very presence set Sirius into a tumult of repressed anger. Drawing his robes closer around him, he watched the scene reproachfully from under his fringe.
“How come you know all this?" Lily demanded, staring at the completed piece of work before her with disbelief.
Snape waved his hand airily and gave a slight wink in her direction.
Sirius felt his hands slowly curling into fists as he felt his face slide into a contorted, repulsed expression. It took all his energy to stop himself from throwing up. It was sickening to watch this happening right before his eyes. His closest female friend and Snape, Snivellus Snape. Sirius snorted, and immediately regretted it. Lily whipped round to see him sunk low into one of the armchairs, and a smile brightened up her features. “Sirius! Come over.” Managing a feeble grin, Sirius swept up his bag nonchalantly and made his way over to their table. He could feel Snape’s eyes burning through to his very core, but resisted the impulse to stare back.
“Lils!” Sirius cringed inwardly at his attempts to sound cheerful.
“Severus was so kindly helping me with my homework,” smiled Lily, resting a hand on Snape’s sleeve. “He seems to know everything!”
“Oh really now?” Mumbled Sirius, aware of the flirtatious nature going on. He glared at Snape’s triumphant face, sneering down at him. Lily looked at both of their expressions, confused at the sudden change of atmosphere.
“There are a lot of things you still don’t know, Snivellus.” Sirius growled under his breath, utterly forgetting that Lily was even there. Snape’s gleeful smirk quickly turned into a malicious sneer he reached into his robe and gripped his wand. Sirius, reacting by instinct, whipped out his wand with white knuckles and held it out in front of him.
“Get away from Lily, Snivellus,” Sirius growled, prodding his wand in Snape’s direction.
“And who are you, Black, to give me orders?” Snape’s features held a dark shadow as he eyed Sirius’s outstretched wand.
“Lily’s mine, you pathetic-“
Lily, never afraid to speak her mind, got up suddenly, knocking over her chair, and pushed the two apart. “Don’t you dare duel in front of me!” She yelled, grabbing her bag and sweeping up her books in a swift movement. “Sirius, he’s my friend, even though he may not be yours. I’m not your property!” Her voice breaking on the last word, she rushed towards the exit, shoving Sirius as she went.
Sirius, completely forgetting that Snape was still standing there, lowered his wand and tore after her retreating figure, his mind spinning. Why had he just said that? He groaned in defeat as Lily turned a corner. He staggered into the Gryffindor common room, where James and Remus sat playing wizards’ chess. He was vaguely aware of them calling out to him, but he continued up to the dormitories where he fell down on his bed and covered his eyes with one arm. James and Remus followed soon after and pushed open the door to find Sirius, happy-go-lucky, laughing and joking Sirius, a pathetic heap on his bed, shaking with anger and humiliation. James and Remus glanced at one another quickly, unsure what had brought this on.
"Dude,” James sat on the edge of the bed, twirling his wand anxiously. “What happened?”
Unable to tell his friends the true tale, Sirius managed a feeble grin. “Just Snivellus bugging me again,” he rolled his eyes playfully and flopped back down on the pillow. James and Remus exchanged dubious glances, knowing that their best friend was not being entirely truthful, yet aware that Sirius was in no position to tell them now.
“Don’t let him get to you, mate.” James said, hands casually in his robe pockets, kicking the bedpost, always unsure what to do in emotional situations.
“Yeah,” echoed Remus, tossing a Bertie Botts every flavour bean at him. “Lighten up. It’s only Severus. Show that you can be the cool one and don't start a figh-” James shot a warning look in Remus' direction, as now was not the time for one of his advisory lectures. Sirius gave a feeble, but not encouraging nod, not even mustering enough energy to correct Remus regarding 'Severus', and the two left the dormitory, leaving Sirius to his own disturbed musings.
Thoughts swirled through his mind. Lily and he had always had a special bond that she had never had with James, or Remus, perhaps not even Snape. He was always the one that she turned to with a problem, he was always the one with an outstretched hand whenever she needed a shoulder to cry on. Although he could never help her with her homework, he was always there to cheer her up, a ghostly presence that saw that their relationship was never quite understood by others. He tossed and turned as he imagined the looks on James’s face especially. That Sirius also fancied the girl of his dreams. Sirius groaned loudly and stuffed his face into the pillow. Now Lily was mad at him, there was no one to ask for advice.
Forming a conclusion in his mind to write to her, he grabbed a spare piece of parchment and began.