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Wilting Lilies by Marissa
Chapter 34 : The After Effect
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 3


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My mind was still restless as I lay in the hospital bed hours later, when the doors of the infirmary swung open. I sighed, really not in the mood for any more sympathetic company, but Wesley’s familiar face was a welcome sight. I gave a tired smile.

 

He returned it, but I noticed that it didn’t quite reach his eyes. “Hello.” He greeted as he reached the edge of my bed. He leaned forward and placed a gentle kiss on my forehead. “I brought this for you- thought it might add a little bit of color to your new room.”  He teased, placing a single red rose on my bedside.

 

I rolled my eyes. “Very funny Wesley.” I smiled at his bright eyes and added a soft ‘thank you’.

 

He smirked. “Don’t thank me, some girl sent it to me this morning but I thought you might need it more.”

 

I swatted him lightly on his chest.

 

“I’m only kidding.” He said softly, brushing my hair back. “So I heard you splinched yourself- not very surprised really.”

 

I laughed. “I suppose neither should I, but then it wasn’t my fault. I was carrying one hundred or so extra pounds you know.”

 

His eyes portrayed his distaste. “One hundred or so pounds of unnecessary weight.”      

 

I tinkered lightly. “You heard?”

 

He glowered.

 

“How much do you know?” I whispered, tugging at his loose tie.

 

He shrugged. “Enough. Pretty complicated stuff you’ve gotten yourself into, huh?”

 

I smiled. “Just a day in the life of Lily Potter.”

 

He snorted.

 

“You know, this is the first time I’ve smiled all day? My face is hurting.”

 

“Would you rather I make you cry? I can manage that you know?” He gave a devilish grin and I couldn’t help but let out a burst of laughter. “Is that supposed to be dirty?”


He winked and I felt lighthearted for all of two seconds before reality hit me in the face again. This didn’t go by unnoticed. “What’s wrong Lils? Why aren’t you letting Scorpius come to see you?”  

 

I bit my cheek and internally debated whether or not to lie to him. “Do you think he had an affair with Rose?” It sounded stupid having said it out loud and I wasn’t disappointed at his reaction. His face twisted and his eyes bugged out of their sockets. “Excuse me?!

 

I squirmed uncomfortably. “So you don’t know.”

 

He scoffed. “Lily- what in bloody hell? I don’t know because it isn’t true!”

 

I swallowed the swell in my throat. “Well, she was pretty convincing.”

 

He scowled. “She?!

 

I sniffed. “Ginny Weasley, she told me that Rose would tell her about stories of them.”

 

He gave me a look. “Really? You’re going to believe that psycho path? She tried to sacrifice you in some ludicrous ceremony to bring back her ghost lover. The woman needs to be admitted into the psychiatric ward.”

 

I giggled and he gave me another look.

 

“What? You said ghost lover, it was funny!” I exclaimed, defending my lunacy.

 

He chuckled. “You’re crazy Red.”

 

“Like Ginny?” I smirked.

 

He pretended to think. “Less extreme, we’ll talk in a few years.”

 

We were both laughing when the doors to the infirmary swung open again.

 

I stopped suddenly and looked down at my sheets. Wesley turned and sighed. “I’ll leave you two to talk.” He nodded to himself.

 

I frowned. “I don’t want you to go.”

 

He furrowed his brow. “Lily-

 

Wesley hesitated and then sighed again. “You need to talk it out. I’ll come back later.” He murmured.

 

I bit my lip nervously as he squeezed my hand.  

 

I watched him nod stiffly towards Scorpius in greeting before closing the doors behind him.    

 

Scorpius’ eyes were blank and his shoes clacked softly against the marble floors as he approached. “How are you?” He asked quietly, taking Wesley’s abandoned seat.

 

I nodded. “Okay.”

 

He leaned forward in his chair. “Are you going to speak to me?”

 

“Are you going to tell me the truth?” 

 

His face was stoic. “You would rather take the word of some woman who nearly killed you?”

 

I felt a traitorous tear escape. “I don’t know what to believe anymore.”

 

He growled and grabbed my hands desperately. “Believe me! Do you honestly think that after everything I did to keep from hurting you, I would do something so stupid? Have you ever even known Rose and I to have a decent conversation, much less an affair?! Can’t you see how fragile your mind is right now? People are going to use that to their advantage. Adonis knew this and Ginny Weasley played right into his hands!”

 

I pulled my hands away indignantly. “If my mind is ‘fragile’ it’s only because people keep screwing with it.”

 

He sighed. “I didn’t mean it like that.”

 

“Then how did you mean it Scorpius!?”

 

“People know how to take advantage of your power and they’re using it through your thoughts.” He urged.

 

“I don’t know how to protect myself from that.” I whispered, my voice losing its venom.

 

I wanted so badly to believe him, I think in my heart I did, but Scorpius was right. I had been too quick to believe the word of another, over his.

 

“I don’t know either.” He whispered in response.

 

“It doesn’t take an expert to know that I have trust issues. I know what it’s like to be in a relationship built on lies and mistrust. I don’t want it to be like that with ours.”

 

I brushed back a few tears before continuing. “Maybe we moved too quickly. We went from hating each other to loving each other. There was no in-between.” I trailed off and squared my shoulders.

 

“I think maybe a relationship is the best thing for us right now.”

 

Scorpius’ jaw clenched tightly as he stared at me through cold eyes. “What are you saying?”

 

I swallowed the swell in my throat and ignored the sick feeling in my stomach. “I’m saying we should take a break.”

 

He looked away determinedly and traced the outline of his lips with his thumb. “If I say no?”

 

I stared at him softly. “We need this, you know we need this.”

 

“You’ve been distancing yourself from me for a while now.” He finally found my eyes. “Tell me, if you had to choose between Wesley and I, who would it be?”

 

I flinched. “That’s not fair.” I hissed.

 

“I’m asking you a simple question Lily. There’s nothing unfair about it.”

 

“You’ve ignored every one of my attempts to talk about it, and suddenly you ask me this? You can’t do that Scorpius!”

 

His eyes were suddenly pleading and my stomach turned. “I’m not going to force you to stay in this relationship if you don’t want to. But Lily, I love you. Please, understand that.”

 

My heart was pounding in my chest and every voice in my head was urging me to reconsider. Telling me that I was stupid and foolish; but I thought about how easily I’d doubted him, how easily I’d thought him capable of hurting me, and lastly, I thought about Wesley. Wesley, who I was stringing along like a puppet, whom I’d never, figured I could be capable of loving, but I was being proven wrong.

 

“I do.”

 

His eyes closed sadly and I fought the urge to touch him.

 

When his eyes opened again, they were blank and he was cold and unperturbed once more.

 

“Very well, if that’s what you want.” He stood and gave my forehead a chaste kiss. “I should go, your father and mother have arrived and they’ll want to see you soon.” For a moment his hard exterior fell and he watched me apologeticall; but that moment passed quickly. He sighed. “I’ll see you later, Red.”

 

***

 

Once he left, I only allowed myself a few stray tears before realizing I had no more left in me. It wasn’t long after that, when the doors opened again revealing both my father and mother. Two men flanked them, listening attentively as my father barked orders. His face looked drawn and weary but there was something else- an expression- one I hadn’t seen before. I realized he looked formidable.  

 

My mother was first to reach me, crooning and fussing while holding me to her chest.  

 

Meanwhile, my father continued to murmur to the men in the official robes, glancing occasionally towards my mother before nodding. The men bobbed their heads in response and turned on their heel, closing the doors shut behind them.

 

He sighed and then turned around to cast a reassuring smile in my direction, only it wasn’t very reassuring. Finally, my mother released me and perched daintily on the edge of my bed. “How are you feeling darling? Is your leg better? Madame Vera said it was bothering you?” She stroked my hair lightly.

 

I nodded slowly. “Yeah it’s better now. I’m alright.”

 

I took the moment to study her. I remembered what James said about her attack against Ginny Weasley and I wondered where the woman was now.

 

“I’ve spoken to Vera. She’s consented not to have you transferred to Mungo’s, but on the condition that you remain under her supervision. You’ll have to remain here for a few more days at least.” My father said gravely.

 

I nodded. “I’d rather stay here then at Mungo’s.” I muttered.

 

He gave a small crooked smile. “I figured.”

 

I didn’t have the will to smile back. Instead I twirled my fingers nervously. “I’m…sorry. I should have known, should have realized it wasn’t your letter. I shouldn’t have gone out on my own. If I hadn’t, maybe Adonis wouldn’t be out there, somewhere.”

 

My mother squeezed my hand. “It’s not your fault, sweetheart.” Her voice was deceivingly light and her gaze rested over my head towards the white walls. It almost looked like she was hoping it would spontaneously combust if she stared at it long enough.

 

My father sighed. “Never mind that Lily. I don’t want you thinking or worrying about anything but getting better. After that, it will be your decision if you want to return home, or stay at Hogwarts.”   

 

My mother made a choking noise before turning her cool gaze towards him. “She shouldn’t be kept from school and her friends!”

 

“Like I said, it’s her decision.” He answered levelly.

 

I looked between them, feeling like I was missing something- something big. I tasted the bitter tang of tension lingering in the room. I felt sick again.

 

“Is something wrong?” I asked in a small voice.

 

My mother took a deep breath before shifting her expression. “James and Victoire will be staying with you at Hogwarts.” She said excitedly, completely ignoring my question. Her tactic worked, and whatever she’d been trying to avoid was forgotten.

 

“They are?”

 

She nodded. “They’re quite excited. Teddy’s jealous. He wanted to stay, but he has other things to do.” She grinned.

 

I blinked. “Will people be in danger… if I stay here?”

 

“Of course not, Hogwarts is the safest place for you and everyone else right now.” She answered quickly. When I didn’t look completely placated she added, “Extra precautions have been put in place just in case Lily, but as mentioned…previously, you don’t need to worry about that.”

 

I looked between her and my father again. He seemed aloof and distant as he watched me from afar and again a wave of anxiety washed over me.

 

“I’m actually feeling really tired, do you guys mind if I knock out for a bit?”

 

 My mother smiled, adjusting my pillows and smoothing my hair back, helping me lay back on the bed. I thanked her and turned away, just wanting them to leave.

 

With a whispered goodbye and a promise to come back in a few hours, they left and I allowed myself to give in to the new wave of tears.

 

***

 

When I woke up, the sun was high in the sky and pouring through the windows. I blinked curiously. Had I slept through the entire afternoon and night?

 

“Hey sleepyhead, welcome back to the land of the living.”

 

I turned groggily to find James seated in the chair on my bedside, his legs propped on my bed. I struggled to sit up narrowing my eyes at him in the process. “What time is it? What day is it?”

 

He laughed. “You were drugged, not comatose. Vera gave you a sleeping potion because you seemed restless in your sleep- really knocked you out. You slept through twenty one hours straight.”

 

My eyes widened. “Wow, that’s something, even for me.”

 

He snickered. “You sleep like the dead.”

 

I glowered and looked around for something to aim at his head. Unfortunately, the only thing was a Quidditch Illustrated magazine lying on his lap. “Piss off.”

 

He shrugged. “So how are you feeling? Vera said you’re healing up nicely, maybe two more days if you’re good.”

 

 I nodded. “Well I’m feeling better. I’m hungry today.”

 

He furrowed his brows. “I’ll get someone to run to the kitchens for you- why are you being reasonable?”

 

I glared.

 

“No, I’m serious! Usually you’re kicking and screaming to be out of here.”

 

I looked away towards one of the open windows and bit my lip. “I’m scared… to leave, I guess. I feel like once I leave this bed, it’ll all be real. In here, I can ignore it, but out there…”

 

James leaned forward, letting his feet hit the floor and gave my hand a tight squeeze. “Hey, you can’t run away from your problems. You weren’t raised that way. I sure as hell didn’t raise you that way.”

 

I let out a quick laugh, furiously wiping at a tear. “I know, it’s just…I don’t want him to hurt me, or to hurt any of you.”

 

His eyes hardened when more tears fell down my cheeks. “No one’s going to hurt you, I promise.”

 

“But what about you, and dad- mum, Ted, Dan- everyone else; you can’t keep everyone safe.”

 

“No, I can’t, but I sure as hell can try and that’s all we can do Lils. You can’t let this run your life. You might as well wave the white flag. Like I said, you’re a Potter, and Potters don’t hide from their problems, they fight it, head on.”

 

I gave a muffled laugh and sniffed. “That’s stupid.”

 

He shot me a crooked grin. “I didn’t say Potter’s were particularly smart. That’s more of an Evans trait.”

 

I smiled warily. “James, do you know what’s going on with mum and dad?”

 

He frowned. “You noticed it too then?”

 

He sat back. “I honestly don’t know. I do know mum’s really angry with him right now though and I’m pretty sure he’s sleeping at his office these nights.”

 

I fiddled my thumbs nervously. “It seemed pretty bad. She wouldn’t look at him at all. Do you think it’s because of me?”

 

He looked surprised. “Why would it be because of you?”

 

I shrugged.

 

He rolled his eyes. “It’s not because of you, dummy. I’m pretty sure it’s got to do with Ginny Weasley.”

 

My eyes widened as her words echoed through my head.

 

“He still loves me you know. Even after everything. I can see it in his eyes. He can’t help it, it’s in his nature. He settled for your mother, but no one could ever replace me, not in his eyes.”

 

“You don’t think…dad still…” I trailed off as James’ eyes widened.

 

“What- you think- Merlin no! Jeez Lily, did you hit your head too?!” He shook his head with disgust and scowled.

 

My shoulder fell with relief and my heart lightened. James rolled his eyes at my absurdity. “So then why do you think Ginny Weasley?”

 

He shrugged. “Just some things I’ve been hearing.”

 

I narrowed my eyes. “There’s something you’re not telling me, isn’t there?”

 

He shrugged. “I don’t know anything.”

 

I huffed. “Liar.”

 

He simply propped his legs on the bed again and flipped open his magazine. We were quiet for a few moments before I remembered something. “You and Vic are staying at Hogwarts?” I asked casually, careful not to raise my hopes too high.

 

He looked up with a smirk. “I see mum’s gone ahead and told you. Wanted to tell you myself; Vic and I will be teach assists.”

 

I narrowed my eyes. “As added protection for me?”

 

He shrugged. “Think of it as you will. I like to think of it as a job during my off-season.”

 

I paused for a beat before ripping the covers off and throwing myself at my brother, ignoring the painful throb in my leg. “You’re coming back to Hogwarts with me!” I squealed happily.

 

James chuckled and helped me back on the bed. “Guess I am. Three Potters under one roof again, should be interesting.”

 

I scowled. “You’re going to have to be…responsible though.”   

 

“You say that like it’s a bad thing. Now please, refrain from doing something like that again before I change my mind and have your father transfer you to St. Mungo’s.” I blushed as Madame Vera glided towards us.

 

“Sorry, I suppose I’m a little excited.” I said sheepishly, she glared.

 

James snorted.

 

“Yes, responsibility will definitely do you some good!” She exclaimed, glowering at him before checking over me and handing a vial with liquid an appealing shade of blue. I examined it warily. “It doesn’t look too bad. It won’t make me pass out for twenty hours again, will it?”

 

Her lip twitched. “No, this isn’t a sleeping potion, it’s for your leg, now drink up and then you can eat some food.”

 

I plugged my nose and scowled. “Bottoms up!”

 

***

 

The next couple of days passed fairly quickly. I didn’t see much of anyone aside from James, Teddy, Madame Vera and my parents; but to be honest, the latter two I could have done without.

 

They didn’t visit me together again and I only saw my father once. He was careful to keep his expression light and he didn’t stay long, but when it was time to leave, I noticed his carefully concealed anger resurface.

 

It was on the day of my release that my father reappeared. I’d just began to note how good it felt to stand and even better to wear my own clothes, when he arrived, Minister of Magic and aurors in tow.

 

Sometimes I wished my father was just a regular wizard. 

 

“Lily, I’m afraid I must request some of your time. We need to ask you a few questions, it won’t take too long and once we’re finished, you can join your friends in time for dinner.” Kingsley said in a deep voice. My father remained silent.

 

I frowned. I’d been looking forward to seeing the girls. I looked up. “Will you be there?” I asked my father softly.

 

He nodded. “Of course.”

 

I let out a breath. “Okay.”

 

They led me through the castle and towards McGonagall’s office, where we found her sitting behind the large desk. An older man stood patiently to the side, a briefcase in hand. Something about his pointed features and unreadable eyes made me uneasy.

 

McGonagall eyed me with what looked like concern before standing straight. “Are you sure she is ready? Perhaps a few more days?”

 

“We don’t have a few more days.” One of the aurors rasped. “The sooner the better.” He stopped abruptly and looked away when my father glared menacingly in his direction. I would have been smug had it not frightened me a little as well.

 

McGonagall and my father shared a look before she sighed and conjured a small table in the middle of the room, along with four chairs. The three unknown men took their seats and I took the opposite chair hesitantly.

 

I couldn’t see him, but I felt my fathers hand on the top of my chair. The aurors squirmed. Judging from their expressions, I didn’t think he looked very happy.

 

The unfamiliar man took out a pad, placing it on the table before reaching for a sheet of paper. He cleared his throat and began to read.

 

“You are Lily Annalise Potter, born the eighteenth day of May in the year of two thousand eight, wand- ivy and unicorn?”

 

I glanced at McGonagall and she nodded. “Er, yes.” I watched as words appeared magically on the pad.

 

“Miss Potter, I am obliged to inform you this is a questioning. Everything you say will be documented and stored for future reference. If you have any concerns as to anything that I have stated, please recite them now.”

 

When I remained silent, he continued. “You are not under any circumstances, obligated to answer anything that you feel uncomfortable answering. You are entitled to have a lawyer present with you throughout the questioning and should you at any point wish to end the interrogation-

 

“Interrogation?” I interrupted abruptly. I felt my stomach flip.

 

I turned around and looked towards my father desperately. He was clenching his jaw angrily. “Your words Morgan, your words.” He spat.

 

Morgan cleared his throat. “Pardon me, Miss Potter, it is simply policy. You are, of course under no interrogation. Please, may I continue?”

 

I swallowed the swell in my throat and nodded.

 

“Thank you. If you should at any point wish to end the questioning, the questioners must cease all further inquiries. Do you, Lily Annalise Potter, understand and comply with these conditions?”

 

I nodded and Morgan inclined his head towards the pad. “For the record, Miss Potter.”

 

“Yes.” I answered shakily.

 

 He slid the paper into his suitcase and nodded towards one of the aurors.

 

“Lily Potter, my name is Auror Phillips, and this is Auror Bennett. I’d like to ask you a few questions about the night you and Miss. Ginny Weasley were attacked by members of a group called the Elite.”

 

“Okay.” I answered softly.

 

“Can you affirm or deny that Miss Weasley kidnapped you on the night of January the thirtieth?”

 

I nodded.

 

“For the record, Miss Potter.”

 

“Affirm.”

 

“Can you affirm or deny that Miss Weasley took you to the Forest of Eden?”

 

“I don’t- I don’t know where exactly she took me, but it was a clearing in a forest, yes.”

 

“Can you affirm or deny that Miss Weasley was in a romantic relationship with a man named Adonis?”

 

“Yes, I think so.” I whispered.

 

“Did Miss Weasley harm you in the clearing?”

 

I blinked away tears as memories from the night rushed back. “No, only in getting me there.”

 

“And how did she manage to get you to the clearing?”

 

“She forged a note in my father’s hand, addressed by him asking me to meet him in Hogsmeade.”

 

“Harry Potter, you mean?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“And you left school property to meet your father?”

 

I saw the portrait of Dumbledore shuffle slightly. “Yes.”

 

“You are aware this is against school rules?”

 

“Yes, but the letter sounded urgent.” A tear rolled down my cheek. “I trust my dad, I thought it was him. He wouldn’t have asked it of me if it wasn’t important.”

 

“Did you realize at any point Madame Rosmerta was under the Imperius curse?”

 

“No.”

 

“How did Miss. Weasley capture you?”

 

“I was leaving the loo, she pushed the door against my head and knocked me unconscious.”

 

“Miss Weasley says you woke a few hours later in the clearing, can you affirm?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Can you explain to us what happened when you woke?”

 

I wiped my tears, but it was fruitless. “We spoke. She told me some things, probably to get me angry.” I watched them for any clues as to whether they would be confused by this; however, they simply waited for the rest of my explanation.

 

“Then she started to explain her plan and I understood she meant to free Adonis. She told me she wouldn’t hurt me. I tried to convince her that she was being lied to, but she wouldn’t listen.”

 

I took a breath and steadied my shaky hands. “Then I saw the men. I’d seen one before, so I recognized them as members of the Elite. Then…then he came. When I refused to help him, they attacked Ginny and then me.” I choked as I remembered the overwhelming fear.

 

“I can’t remember much after that. There was a lot of light- a really loud explosion- he was almost to the surface, I grabbed my wand and Ginny and-

 

I let out a dry sob.

 

Enough, that’s enough,” I heard my father bark. “You have your information, now you may leave. I’ll join you in a few hours. Kingsley, I’ll speak to you in your office after I have spoken to my daughter.”

 

The minister nodded and shot me a concerned glance. “I’m sorry Lily; we needed the information, thank you.” He turned towards the other men expectantly. “Gentlemen.”

 

The aurors didn’t budge. “But Mr. Potter, we have the information, Miss. Weasley-

 

“I’ve made myself clear on that subject. She is not to be touched. If you have any further questions, you can discuss it with me in my office.” He said abruptly.

 

The aurors nodded nervously but Morgan remained unfazed, instead raising his brow at my father. “Mister Potter, I’ll have a word with you as well, when you are finished.”

 

My father nodded curtly. “Fine.”

 

Kingsley sighed. “Gentlemen, please.” He inclined his head towards the hearth. “Let’s not impose on Professor McGonagall any further. Thank you, Minerva. Have a good night.” With a warm nod in her direction, he followed the others into the fireplace, disappearing in the green smoke.

  

I was still seated in my chair and watched through tearful eyes as my father growled. He began to pace around the room. “I bloody hate that man! You know he did that on purpose, mixing up the words when I specifically told him. Don’t know why Kingsley doesn’t just fire him!”

 

McGonagall fell behind her desk wearily. “I must agree with you Harry.”

 

“I think Miss Potter did quite well, given the circumstances.” Professor Dumbledore said softly, his eyes twinkling above me.

 

“You know what he’s doing, don’t you?”

 

Professor McGonagall’s eyes hardened and she straightened, shoulder’s squared. “Rest assured Harry, I am still the headmistress of this school and as such, I still hold authority over what transpires inside these walls and on these grounds. As far as I am concerned, Miss. Potter has nothing to worry about.”

 

I caught Dumbledore’s portrait give a smile.

 

My father groaned, and ran a hand over his face. “Alright Minerva, I’m going to take Lily to the common room. I’m sure Genevieve is waiting here somewhere for word. Can you please find her and tell her Lily’s fine and I’ll speak to her tonight- if I can bloody get through my meeting with Morgan with my sanity in-tact.”

 

She nodded and looked towards me. “I’m sure Miss Potter would benefit from a visit to the kitchens seeing as she has missed dinner.”

 

My father’s lip turned up in what looked like the first genuine smile in days. “Are you actually encouraging me to sneak to the kitchens Minerva? Never thought I’d see the day- Professor.” He added cheekily.

 

I nearly died of shock when she rolled her eyes. “Heaven forbid, Potter, that you should sneak anywhere.”

 

My father chuckled under his breath and shook his head. “I’ll see you later Minerva.” He turned towards Dumbledore’s portrait and smiled. “Goodnight Professor.”

 

Finally he turned to me and held out his hand. “Let’s talk.”

 

***

 

The walk to the kitchens was a quiet one.  

 

We didn’t run into anyone to my relief. I wasn’t very keen on my classmates ogling my father. I glanced at him sideways. He didn’t seem very angry anymore. I looked away and bit my lip.

 

“You’re awfully quiet.”

 

I looked up at him in surprise. “Is that a bad thing?”

 

He shrugged. “It’s unnerving, I don’t like it.” He sighed. “How are you feeling? Better?”

 

I nodded. “I guess it was harder to remember than I expected.”

 

I saw his jaw twitch and he fell silent as we approached the portrait of the fruit bowl. He tickled the pear absently, a pensive expression resting over his features.

 

We walked inside only to be met with wide-eyed and frozen elves all gazing at my father wondrously. And here I’d been worried about the students.

 

They stayed like this for a few seconds before scurrying around to conjure two chairs and a small table. “What can Binky get for Potters?” One small elf asked breathlessly, watching my father in excitement. I might as well have been hippogriff dung on the bottom of his shoes.

 

My father smiled softly. “I’ll have whatever you made for dinner. Thank you Binky.”

 

I nodded in agreement and watched as the little elf ran off to fetch us the food.   

 

 

“I find hot cocoa always makes things a little better and a little easier.” My father said after dinner as we both sipped on large mugs. I refrained from adding the similar benefits of firewhiskey.

 

“You’ll have decided to stay at Hogwarts of course.”

 

I nodded. “James said Potter’s don’t run away from their problems. I don’t want to go into hiding and make them think they’ve succeeded in scaring me.”

 

He stared at me through hard green eyes. “No more running off on your own.” He whispered. “I don’t care who says. Whether it be me, Merlin, or God himself sending you prophetic messages through your dreams. You will stay firmly within the school grounds at all times. Am I clear?”

 

I nodded.

 

He let out a breath and seemed to deflate in front of my eyes. “Merlin Lily, you had me so scared. I don’t think I’ve ever been more afraid in my life. You can’t do that! I’ve faced dragons and a dark lord, with more feeling in my legs and I will face one hundred more before I see you lifeless, bloody and legless again.”

 

“I’m sorry.” I whispered.

 

He suddenly looked much older, running a hand over his tired face. “One more thing…”

 

He looked hesitant. “You said in McGonagall’s office that… Ginny- Weasley-

 

He struggled to say her name.

 

“-didn’t mean you harm. Were you telling the truth?”

 

His eyes bore deep into my own, like he was reading my every thought.

 

“Yes, I don’t think she ever truly knew what was going on and I think she actually loved him. But she never meant to hurt me.”

 

He stared at me for a bit before finally pulling his eyes away. “Alright.”

 

He straightened his shoulders and managed a small smile. “I should get you back up to your room. You still need rest. I’ll feel better that James is here, but if you need anything, let me know. I will contact you through Professor McGonagall only.”

 

He gave me a meaningful look.

 

“Are you okay?” I asked softly as he drained his mug and stood.

 

“I’ll be alright… when I know there’s no one else out for my family.” He answered truthfully.

 

“And…mum?” I inquired tentatively.

 

He looked at me with an expression I didn’t recognize before rising. “It’ll be alright.” He repeated.

 

My stomach gave an uneasy lurch. He hadn’t answered my question.

 

***

 

“Wakey-wakey Lily flower.”

 

“Let her sleep, Andrea.”

 

“She’s had enough sleep! I haven’t seen her in days!”

 

“Neither have we, but she needs her rest still.”

 

“So selfish!”

 

“Who are you calling selfish?” I asked blearily, squinting through the sunlight.

 

“LILY!”

 

Four girls lunged towards my bed and attacked me as I struggled beneath them. “I can’t breathe.” I muttered underneath them incoherently.

 

They got off carefully and watched as I sat up with a smile. “Missed you too, haven’t seen you lot in a while. Thought for sure you’d come visit me.”

 

“We did! Twice! Both times you were sleeping, and then Vera told us to leave you alone to heal for a bit. Apparently we’re categorized as ‘stressful’” Andrea scoffed at this, using air quotes to illustrate the absurdity of the idea.

 

Dom smirked. “I’m pretty sure by us, she meant you.”

 

“Hush up!” Andrea snapped as Marzy and Donna giggled.

 

I smiled, this banter was so familiar and so normal, I could almost forget. Almost.

“How are you feeling now?” Dom asked.

 

I shrugged. “Physically I feel fine, slightly tired but fine.”

 

“Emotionally?” Marzy asked tentatively.

 

I frowned and they leaned closer. “We’ve heard bits and pieces of what happened.” Donna said softly.

 

“That stupid letter! If only you’d opened it at breakfast, none of this would have happened!” Andrea fumed.

 

Dom looked away despairingly. “I’m so sorry Lily, I can’t believe she would do something like that. My own aunt! Merlin, I hope I never see her again.”

 

I shook my head. “Not your fault.”

 

Andrea glared. “Well if we’re lucky, the woman will be behind bars for the rest of her miserable life- or perhaps thrown into the loony-bin!” I inwardly agreed with her but still, my eyes flashed ruefully towards Dom. I was surprised when she scowled. “Let’s hope!”

 

Donna frowned. “Dominique, she’s your aunt.”

 

“Fat good of one she’s been!” She snapped.

 

We fell silent and after a few moments, I slipped out of my sheets and went to get ready for my first day back to class.

 

***

 

“Look at the tosser! Who ever thought they’d see the day James Potter would be seated at the head table!” Andrea exclaimed. I laughed and waved cheerfully at my brother. “Not me! But I’ll take it! I’ve missed having him here.”

 

We sat among our Gryffindor peers and I scowled when they began whispering. I glared at one particular girl staring at me with her mouth hanging open. “Take a picture, it lasts longer!” She jumped off the bench and scurried away.

 

“Don’t mind them, they’ve been seeing ministry officials, aurors and your parents come in and out every day for the past week. They’re curious and anxious. They want to know what’s going on.”

 

My eyes widened. “They don’t know?”

 

“Well what is there to know really, what would they tell them? I doubt ‘oh, by the way, no one panic, but we have another psychotic killer on the loose’ would go over very well. We don’t even understand more than half of what’s going on.”

 

I suppose she was right. I remembered my reaction when Scorpius told me. Thinking about him made my stomach queasy.

 

Speak of the devil and he shall appear.

 

Scorpius walked inside the great hall alone, his trademark white-golden hair looked slightly windswept. His eyes wandered in our direction before he looked away and continued on towards the Slytherin table.

 

I could practically hear the cogs turning in the heads of the Hogwarts students scattered around the great hall.

 

My eyes stung. I knew it was going to be like this, but it still hurt. Dom placed a supportive hand on my arm and I shot her a curious look.

 

“Dan told me.” She murmured.

 

Marzy took my other arm and smiled. “Believe me, being single is so in right now!”

 

I rested my head on her shoulder and smiled.

 

***

 

The morning was slow and I figured it would take some time to readjust into a normal routine. I also found myself jumpy and paranoid; when I searched James out and spoke to him about it he told me it was absolutely normal.

 

“Lily, anyone in your position would be going through the same. It’s not a weakness, it’s called PTSD.”

 

“I know what PTSD is.” I snapped.

 

He leaned against the professor’s desk unfazed by my outburst. He’d just concluded a class with Professor Wilkins.

 

“It’ll go away with time. You’ll fall back into your normal day to day activities.”

 

“But I don’t want to fall back into normal activities when there’s a murderous lunatic out for me and anyone who gets in his way.” I hissed.

 

This time James glared. “Lily, if you’re going to be like this, I can drag you home.”

 

I scowled. “I’m not going home!”

 

“Well then, start acting like you want to be here.”

 

His accusations startled me. Did I want to be here? I pushed the thought away. Of course I did. I wanted to be with my friends and family and I had a right to enjoy what remained of my sixth year.

 

Alex and Edward tracked me down after my first class to perform a thorough check up, in case Vera had missed anything.

 

Andrea sent them away with a stinging hex.

 

Back in present time, I was walking with Marzy towards the great hall for lunch when a couple of familiar boys came into view in front of us. My heart fluttered as I watched Wesley speak to Dan. I hadn’t seen him since the day in the hospital wing and I figured if the girls knew- and now the entire school knew- he probably did as well.

 

“You’re going to have to talk to him at some point. How else are you going to figure this shit out?” Marzy murmured wisely.

 

I breathed. “I know, I just- I feel weird and nervous.”

 

She gave a playful smile. “Someone has a crush.” She sang.

 

I ignored this. “Daniel!”

 

My brother turned around in surprise. “Thank Merlin.” He smiled, arms wrapped around my shoulders as I hugged him tightly.

 

I gave one last squeeze before stepping back with a scowl. “I’ve never met a more inconsiderate brother. I can’t believe you didn’t visit me once!”

 

He huffed. “Well that’s not fair. There were a bunch of official looking people always standing by your door. They scared me.” He whined.

 

Marzy snorted and I caught Wesley smiling as he shook his head.

 

“Besides… I didn’t want to see you…like that. You were really bad the first time they brought you in.”

 

I narrowed my eyes curiously. “You were worried about me?”

 

He frowned. “Of course I was bloody worried about you. What kind of a question is that?” His cheeks reddened slightly.

 

My smile widened and my eyes gleamed. “Aw Dan!” I threw my arms around his neck and laughed. He gave a grunt, but I felt him smile against my forehead.

 

“I may not show it like James, but you’re still my baby sister.” He whispered.

 

Abruptly he pushed me away and glared. “So stop being stupid and reckless, you’re going to get yourself killed one day.”

 

He sounded like dad.

 

“I know, I’m sorry. I was stupid.”

 

He nodded and let out a heavy breath as if he’d let out some classified piece of knowledge. “I love you little Potter, so behave and keep yourself alive.”

 

I heard someone chuckle, before James’ appeared, throwing his arms around us. “Couldn’t have said it better brother!” He ruffled Dan’s hair fondly before kissing my head. I smiled

 

They annoyed me, they drove me to the point of insanity, but they were the best and I really couldn’t ask for better.







A/N So I broke them up... I'm sorry, I'm sorry! It needed to be done. *hides from pitchforks* If you can recover from your broken hearts leave me a review! Thanks!

xoxo

Up next:

 

Harry Potter Casts Immunity on Ex Lover Ginny Weasley

Written By Martha Grisham-Paisley     

 

Hang tight ;)


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