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Chapter 2 : I Solemnly Swear that I'm Not A Rebel (Lily)
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James by HoneyDukesKid01 @tda!!
Lily had always promised her grandmother that she would never slouch. It was bad for your spine, bad for your neck and bad for your posture. Proper ladies do not slouch; proper ladies hold their heads high. Only ugly people and boys slouch, as far as her grandmother was concerned.
Sometimes Lily wondered if she was making it up just to scare her into sitting up straight. "You'll get a hunched back!" she would croak, waving her cane at Lily. Her eyes would widen as she imagined her sixty-year-old self wandering through the streets of London with a hunched back and a knobby cane.
But then she learned she was a witch and figured that if her back hunched there would be some sort of spell to set it straight again, but as she had come to learn, magic could not fix everything.
For example, it could not fix the parasite in the seat beside her.
If Potter faked dead one more time, Lily swore to Merlin that she was going to do something Unforgivable.
"Lily do try to breathe through an unclenched jaw," Liv said, slinging her bag over her shoulder. "You’re making me nervous. It won’t be that bad."
"Just go," Lily said with a suspiciously even tone. “You walked me here and that was enough. You should leave.”
Liv looked from Lily to Potter- who was sprawled out on his chair with his head lolled to the side and mouth agape- and then back to Lily.
"Is that really the best idea?"
"Less witnesses, the better," Lily muttered, slouching further in her chair and folded her arms. “Sorry Nanna.”
Lily looked back at up Liv. “Oh? Hm, nothing. Just go please.”
Liv shot them one last wary look before she disappeared around the corner of the hallway. Potter 'woke up' from his fake-death and sat up straight, shoving his hands in his pockets and obnoxiously extending his legs in front of him.
"Have you ever been to a couples counselor before?" he asked.
Lily stared at the wall, clenching her jaw tighter and slouching further.
"Careful, Evans,” Potter warned. “You don’t want to burn a hole in the wall.”
“Maybe I do,” she mumbled.
“How come?” Potter continued, kicking his legs up and down, bouncing in his seat. “Bad experience with the last couples counselor?”
She let out a long breath through her nose and squeezed her eyes shut. "This is not couples counseling.”
“You keep telling yourself that.”
Lily made a point to look at anything other than the boy beside her. She wasn’t sure she would be able to resist the urge to hit him and she couldn’t risk a second detention- then she would be the laughing stock of Hogwarts for sure. She searched for anything to calm her mind. One brick… five bricks… seven bricks… warp in the stone surface… inappropriate graffiti…
"Potter, get out of the way!" she cried, shoving his face out of the way once it had forced itself into her line of vision.
"If you wanted to touch me, Evans, you could have just asked," he told her, the corner of his mouth tugging up. She pointedly looked away and he tried to follow her gaze. "What do you keep looking at?”
Before Lily had the opportunity to respond with what would have no doubt been a very witty, very sharp quip, the door across from them swung open.
“You may enter.”
She considered refusing to go in to make a stand(sit) and stay plastered to the chair for the rest of her Hogwarts career but she knew that an act of rebellion like that was a one way ticket to the Headmaster’s office. Grumbling incoherently, she entered the small room. She may have had no choice in the meetings but she would definitely be making it very clear that she was unhappy about them.
The room was fairly small and cozy. A wooden desk sat in the center, in front of a fire place. Under the desk was a deep blue rug, over the top of wooden floorboards. Lily noticed a small pot on the mantle over the fireplace and made a mental note to check its contents later on if she had the opportunity to snoop. Something interesting and exclusive to her may come in handy if she ever decided to retaliate against one of Potter’s proposals.
A particularly petite and smiley woman sat behind the large desk. She wore glasses that magnified her eyes and gave Lily the impression that this woman could read her train of thought. But that was absolutely ridiculous as no one could read anyone else’s mind.
“You don’t want to be here,” the woman told Lily.
Lily’s lips pressed into a thin line and her arms folded again. Lucky guess, she thought.
“I do,” Potter piped up from the seat beside Lily and she resisted the urge to grind her teeth again. If she kept that up, she’d have no teeth left by the end of the year.
“Of course you do,” the woman said with a smile. “You understand that the key to happiness is love and fruitful relationships.”
“I do like to think Evans and I could have a fruitful relationship,” Potter said, feigning the dissonant innocence that came with a statement like that.
“We could not,” Lily hissed.
"Now Miss Evans," the woman said in a tone that suggested Lily back down the attitude. Lily certainly did not want to back down anything, but there was no way she would let Potter win. She wasn’t sure what the competition was yet, but she could sense that he was on the offensive, and Potter never came unprepared. Lily would not let him win.
“My name is Madam Merryweather,” she continued and Lily bit her tongue.
Of course it is.
“I have been called in because it seems clear to the Hogwarts faculty that the two of you seem to share a… problematic relationship.”
“You could say that,” Lily responded.
“Very good,” Merryweather muttered, making a note in her large book. “Very good. Would either of you like to discuss why that may be? And keep in mind, this room is a judgment free zone.” On her last words, Merryweather raised her hands to make a diamond with her fingers above her head.
“A what?” Potter asked.
“A judgment free zone.” She repeated the gesture.
Lily and Potter both glanced at each other, a hint of amusement in their eyes. Quickly Lily caught what she was doing and dropped back in her chair and folded her arms again, tighter this time. She went to extra effort to twist her face into a heavy scowl. She didn’t just look to Potter to share in the moment. She’s just gotten distracted by a bird that had flown past the window on his side of the room is all. That must have been it.
Merryweather did not seem to notice the interaction and continued speaking.
“This is a space of no wrong answers and what is said in this room will not leave this room."
Lily raised her hand.
"It isn't necessary to raise your hand to speak, this isn’t a classroom!"
Lily was embarrassed by her formality but cleared her throat and ignored the heat creeping up her neck. "How do I know for sure that what's said in here won't be repeated?" She shot a pointed look at Potter who smiled the most innocent smile he could muster back to her.
Merryweather folder her hands on her desk. “Well, I have spoken to Professor Dumbledore, and he has recommended an Unbreakable Vow.”
Lily’s jaw dropped and Potter’s face lit up.
“Surely that’s not allowed,” Lily gasped, ignoring Potter’s enthusiasm.
Merryweather chuckled behind her hand- a dainty, tinkling laugh that Lily knew she would very soon grow sick of. “I got you both!”
Lily was both agitated and relieved. “You sure did.”
“So we don’t get to do the Vow?”
“No, Mister Potter. I was just pulling a fast one on you. That’s what you kids say, isn’t it?.”
“It’s probably for the best,” Potter said. “I would hate for Evans to die because she can’t resist gushing to her little friends about me and my charming way with words.”
“Your blood will be gushing if you-”
“Miss Evans! We do not speak to each other like that in here! I suggest you apologise to Mister Potter immediately.”
Lily did not want to apologise, she just wanted to leave.
“I will forgive you this time Evans, because I am a very compassionate person, you know.”
Merryweather smiled. “Very good. Now, there will be no Vow, however a Tongue-Tie enchantment has been placed on this room. Nothing spoken in this room can be repeated unless it is detrimental to the health and safety of yourself or anyone else.”
That sounded fairly reliable. Lily would not open up and spill any deep, dark secrets in this room, but she still did not want anything to be rehashed to the other boys in Potter’s dorm.
“Would either of you like to explain why your Professors are under the impression that the two of you would require such sessions with me? I have some ideas but I’d like to hear your thoughts first.”
"Is it because we can't seem to control our passion when we're together?" Potter suggested and Lily fought the urge to gag.
"Very good, Mister Potter,” Merryweather cooed, noting his answer in his book. "And as a result, the two of you seem to clash?"
They both nodded, Potter nodding much more enthusiastically than Lily.
"Miss Evans, would you like to discuss your passion towards Mister Potter? Sometimes realising where these feelings stem from is all it takes to overcome them and turn them into something positive and productive."
“I would prefer not to,” Lily responded with as much politeness as she could.
“But you do feel passionately about me,” Potter prompted, leaning forward.
“I most definitely do not.” She slouched against the back of her seat and kicked her feet along the blue rug.
“It seems that you do, though, Miss Evans.”
Lily snapped her gaze up to meet Merryweather’s. “I said I do not. And I don’t want to talk about it.”
Suddenly she sat up straight, her eyes widening as she softened her focus. What had gotten into her? Since when was she the petulant, rude one? Usually Potter was the student giving the professor grief and answering back in a snappy, unflattering manner.
But look at her now; she was snapping at authority figures, tying idiots to chairs and trying to hex them, getting detentions, answering back, and to top it all off, she was slouching.
Was she, Lily Evans, becoming a rebel?
"I feel sick," Lily said to Merryweather, her voice catching in her throat.
And apparently she was lying too.
"What’s the matter? Do you need to go to the hospital wing?" Merryweather asked.
"You seemed fine a minute ago," Potter pointed out suspiciously and Lily bit her tongue to stop herself from snapping at him.
"Yes please," she said in reply to Merryweather, ignoring Potter completely. “I’ve gotten these terrible stomach cramps all of a sudden, it must have been something I ate.”
“We had the same food-” Potter began but Lily cut him off.
“You know how these things are, you never know when they’ll hit! After all, I hope I feel better in time for detention tonight, I wouldn’t want to miss it!”
“Ah yes,” Merryweather said, guiding Lily to the door. “Professor McGonagall informed me that the two of you will be serving detention together. Professor Slughorn will be keeping a keen eye on you to ensure you are getting along. I hope your health returns, Miss Evans.”
“Thank you, Madam Merryweather,” Lily said as she left the room. She sighed in relief. That was more like the attitude she was used to.
"You barely ate at dinner," Marley said, pulling Lily by the arm, despite her protests. “What did you have, like three potato pieces?”
There was no way she was going to go with her and risk another detention. Her record and reputation had already been tarnished by her detentions and counseling sessions with Potter; she refused to shatter the remains by adding another offense to the list.
"I’m not hungry," Lily lied. As if on cue, her stomach growled loudly. “I’m going to be late to detention. That will be terrible! Imagine that, late to my first ever detention!”
"Get over yourself and come with me!"
Lily stopped her friend and held her at arm’s length. "Marley, if we were supposed to go in the kitchens, the professors would have told us how to get there!"
“How do you think Remus found out how to get in?"
“Not from a professor!” Lily cried.
“I suppose you have a point.”
Lily threw her hands up in exasperation as Marley pulled her further down the hall. She kept checking over her shoulder every few steps, her friend’s sharp whistling making her nervous.
“Will you be quiet? You’re not very good at this sneaking about stuff if you whistle while you do it.”
“Sure I am,” Marley said with a smile. “I’ve yet to be caught!”
"That’s reassuring. I'm gonna lose my title as Head Girl for sure, maybe even be sent to Azkaban if I am caught breaking anymore rules," Lily muttered under her breath.
Marley rolled her eyes and stopped at the end of the corridor. “We’re here.”
Lily stared blankly at the wall in front of her, which was just that- a wall. Not even an enchanted one like at Kings Cross. It was grey stone with a painting of a fruit bowl. And it wasn't even a very good painting.
"No… we’re not?”
“I have to open the door fir- what are you doing?”
Lily had clapped her hands over her eyes.
“If I don’t see anything, if I just end up in the kitchen somehow, technically I’m not breaking any rules. There’s nothing to say you can’t accidentally end up in the kitchens without knowing what you were doing.”
After a moment, Lily felt Marley guide her over a particularly high threshold.
The smell and the warmth hit her immediately. Warm moisture hung in the air, a pleasant level of humidity in the room that made her feel like she was in the park by her house during summer in the Muggle neighborhood where her parents lived. The aroma of chocolate chip cookies wafted around her face and her stomach grumbled again. She smiled, inhaling deeply.
Maybe this wasn’t such a bad idea after all.
She opened her eyes, expecting to see some sort of colourful factory covered in sweets when-“Merlin!”
"Hello Misses, how may Qwerty help you?"
Lily automatically recoiled from the House Elf. She had seen them before in pictures and illustrations in her textbooks but she’d never seen one in real life- least of all an inch from her face as soon as she opened her eyes. In all the books she’d seen them in, there were cute, skinny little creatures with big heads and doe eyes, wearing potato sacks or pillow cases.
The thing peering at her from its place on the tabletop was not cute by any means.
Qwerty, as she presumed it was named, was scrawny with green-grey skin, bulging and watery eyes, and thin layer of slime or saliva around its mouth.
"Can we have some cookies?" Marley asked it politely.
Qwerty nodded excitedly. It jumped off the table and grabbed Marley by the hand and lead her around a corner. "We only just baked a batch now, Miss. Just removed it from that oven. You take a seats and Qwerty will bring you cookies. Just there, Misses."
The elf pointed to a table nearby which was already occupied. The boys at the table looked up and waved. Lily groaned and Marley waved back.
“Come on,” Marley whispered, yanking Lily by the elbow. “Don’t be rude, you can just ignore him if you must.”
“I’ve seen his idiot face too much today.”
“What did I just say about being rude? In one ear and out the other.”
As soon as they reached the table, Potter scooted further down on his bench to make room.
“For you, my darling,” he said, patting the seat next to him.
Lily turned up her nose and dropped down at the end of the table next to Marley.
“Rough one, mate,” Sirius said, clapping James on the shoulder.
“She just likes me to chase her a bit.”
Lily growled under her breath.
"Marley, you have to see this," Remus exclaimed, holding up this morning's Prophet. "You too, Lily."
If any of the others had suggested it, she would have refused just to be uncooperative. But the urgency in Remus’ tone intrigued her.
Qwerty placed a tray of cookies on the table before scurrying away again. Lily took one. They were still warm.
The front page of the Prophet was covered in tiny print and aggressively moving pictures, but the headline caught Lily’s attention before anything else.
MUGGLEBORN DEATH-TOLL RISES
“Muggle family’s with wizard or witch or even squib relatives have been turning up dead all over the place. Muggleborns, too. There’s not many details, but I think it’s pretty clear who’s behind this.”
“Are the attacks random? How are we meant to know if our families are going to be targeted?” Lily asked, her heart racing.
She thought briefly of her mother at the piano and her father stirring too much sugar into his morning coffee. She saw Petunia on the hill where they played before Lily discovered her magic. Petunia held a twig, waving it in the air and then cried, snapping it when no sparks came out of the end. She had no idea that Lily had seen her. They would not stand a chance against He Who Much Not Be Named.
Lily pushed the thought from her brain
"He needs to be stopped," Sirius said, slamming his hand on the table.
Potter nodded in agreement. "If I had been there, in any one of those houses with the Muggleborns I would fight him. I would send every single curse I knew at him and-"
"No, you wouldn't."
Everyone turned to stare at Lily.
“Of course I would, Evans. I’d fight him and I’d-”
“And you’d lose.”
“Excuse me?” Sirius spat, leaning forwards.
"You say that now, that you would fight back, but you couldn’t. Even if you wanted to. You’re just a little boy in his school kitchen with big plans and ideas of grandeur."
Potter crossed his arms. "I would protect the people.”
Despite the anger welling in her chest, Lily laughed. "Sure, you might be another obstacle for Him to get through, but then what? You lay on the floor, defenseless, and watch him tear those poor families to shreds?”
"You know what, Evans? We would be willing to do that as long as it meant Voldemort would be defeated,” Sirius chimed in.
Lily cringed at the way he’d freely used His name.
"It's true," Potter said, looking directly at Lily. "After all, we're Gryffindors and Gryffindors are-"
"Brave. I know. But not suicidal. And you'd be stupid to think you could even stand a chance against someone with so much power!"
A loaded silence hung over them. Sirius was gripping the tabletop so hard that his knuckles had turned white.
"You know what I think, Evans? I think it sounds like you want Him to win. Haven’t converted now, have you? This is what happens when you spend too much time around Snivellus and those other snakes."
Anger shot through her chest like lightning and she stood up, the bench tipping over behind her. The crumbs from the cookie she had crushed in her palm scattered on the floor.
“How dare you-”
“Go on, Evans. Back to the mud.”
Everyone- Potter included- turned to stare at Sirius incredulously. Surely those words did not leave his mouth.
“Fuck you, Sirius Black.”
Lily turned on her heel and made a beeline for the door.
“You absolute arse, what is wrong with you?” she heard Marley snarl. “Lily, wait! Wait for me.”
But Lily wasn’t waiting for anyone. Hot tears scorched her already flaming face and she was so sick of crying in front of people, she would be damned if anyone saw her cry. Even Marley. She did not want to listen to Marley try and soothe her and tell her that it’s okay to cry. She did not want to go to detention. She did not want to see Potter for the third time that night.
She just wanted to go for a long run and wear herself out and then drop into bed and sleep and forget that deadbeats like Potter or Sirius Black walked this planet and breathed her air.
Tonight was not a good night.
It's very late and I have a 13 hour rehearal tomorrow (yay) so I'm going to keep this short and sweet:
- I own nothing
- I do not hate Sirius Black (he is one of my favourites but I have my reasons for writing him the way I choose to write him)
- A huge thank you to every person who has favourited/reviewed/clicked on this story, you are all wonderful and I hope something wonderful happens for you this week
See y'all next chapter xxx
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