They say that in every girl’s life there is a boy she will never forget and a summer when it all started. I wish I could say the same applies for me, but unfortunately, like every other aspect of my life, that couldn’t possibly be so simple. In every girl’s life there is a boy she will never forget and a summer when it all started. In Lily Evans’s life there is a boy she will never forget and a freak accident in the library when it all started.
Come to think of it, it’s really not my fault at all. I suppose my mother must’ve gone on tour with a rock band or something when she was young, because only a youth wasted with lost nights and parties would explain how I turned out so annoyingly small. But alas, my mother is a proper lady that settled down in her twenties and had two children with a perfectly respectable gentleman. Also, my sister is really tall. But I really am short for my age, so short in fact that I need help reaching the top shelf of the potion supply cupboard. I’m also a witch, which explains why I need said potion supplies.
This all started sometime in my 5th year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Like any respectable story, I couldn’t possibly tell you the first time I saw him, but I knew of him, Ravenclaw Prefect in the year above mine, by the name of Aidan McDermott. And of course, I know where I saw him. In the library. Maybe I should’ve found another place to study. We would make eye contact and sometimes he would smile and other times I’d smile and then we would get back to our own, personal, unrelated lives.
Then, one evening, as I was putting the finishing touches on my Ancient Runes essay, I realized I had failed to look up a particular interesting aspect of Ancient Egyptian Runes. The wizards back then would intentionally misspell some of the symbols, so that made the charms surrounding them have strange second effects on Muggles, some of those effects they even came to regard as curses cast by the pharaohs to protect their tombs. Honestly, you didn’t have to go to a magical school inside an enchanted castle to realize that logically, a curse dies alongside the one that cast it. If you’re a Muggle and you die, then you can’t very well still be going in for work every day. Same rules apply.
As I was saying, it was pretty late and Mary had already gone to bed, so I decided to try my luck and pick up the book I needed by myself, from the tall bookshelf. Have I mentioned my paralyzing fear of heights? Flying was the only subject I despised in all my school years. Now you know. Couple that with my rather small frame and it’s a recipe for disaster. I got up from my desk and went to look up the book I needed. If you’ve never been to the Hogwarts Library, imagine a room the size of a soccer field, filled with tall wooden bookcases, heavy with any book you could ever imagine.
I scanned to bookcase for my book of choice and sure enough, it was on the top shelf. I unbuttoned my robe, rolled my sleeves up, and then I proceeded to grip the wooden ladder that covered the case like my life depended on it. I somehow managed to keep my eyes on the prize and not look down, as I reached for Advanced Runes and closed my right hand around its spine. Then I heard a voice behind me.
“Do you need help with that?”
Needless to say it scared the living day lights out of me and as a result I lost my balance, my foot slipped from the ladder, which in turn rolled away to my left, leaving me hanging with my left hand on the shelf and my right hand on the book, while the person below had a full view of what I was wearing under my skirt. I let out a sound between a shriek and a squeal as my left hand slipped and sure enough, the book started coming down under my weight. Looking back on it, I actually have no idea why I thought for a second that its weight could balance mine out and I could hold on to it.
And so I fell. By now, you’ve probably guessed that the surprise witness to my complete humiliation was Aidan. In a perfect world, I would’ve fallen gracefully into his arms and we would’ve looked deep into each other’s eyes, years of unspoken feelings coming out in a single, chaste kiss. But then again, this is me we’re talking about, so I fell face first on the floor, the book still in my hand and as I fell, I hit him with it across the face, which in turn made him stumble and hit his head on the bookcase behind us, causing some eight or nine hardback copies of “Hogwarts: A History” to fall on top of us.
Madame Pince, the librarian, was not impressed. We were lucky she didn’t make us clean everything up before escorting us to the Hospital Wing, to have Madam Pomfrey check up on us. And check up she did. I always thought that she was fussy only during the day time and that at night she just reverted back into a normal, calm state. I was wrong. Not only did she perform every medical spell imaginable on the both of us, but she also forced us to spend the night. She finally put us in neighboring beds and retired for the night.
I sat in silence for a bit, just letting the absolute shame of what had happened wash over me. If I wasn’t such a girl maybe none of this would have happened. But I am a girl and if you sneak up on a girl she will get scared and so it’s his bloody fault this happened in the first place. Why should I feel sorry that he scared me? My monologue was interrupted by his voice.
“I hope your back is okay, that was a nasty fall you just took.” he whispered softly, obviously trying not to disturb the nurse. I couldn’t see his face but I could picture it in my mind, blue eyes, brown hair and all, as he lay there on his back, looking into the dark.
“I fell on my face, not my back,” I blurted before my mind had time to catch up with my mouth. Oh, yes, I was really smooth. I wanted to kick myself. He let out a quiet chuckle and I felt my anger rise up once more. He was laughing at me when this was his fault, after all. I shifted uncomfortably in the hard bed and thought longley of my warm bed in Gryffindor Tower and of my pajamas and maybe curling up with a book and a blanket in front of the warm fire. He interrupted my thoughts once again but I didn’t catch what he was saying, just that he was talking. He couldn’t see me so I couldn’t just smile until I caught up with the conversation.
“Mmhmm…” I mumbled, thinking that maybe he’d understand what he wanted and drop it.
“You weren’t listening to me were you?” he asked, a hint of amusement in his voice. His voice was warm and friendly, something I hadn’t noticed the last time he spoke.
“Sorry, I was distracted. I think I feel a headache coming on.” I lied, hoping my tone wasn’t a dead giveaway. Mary would sometimes tell me that I’m a horrible liar. She said that I’m so obvious when I lie I could very well just have a sign pop out of my head reading “I’m lying”.
“It’s okay. I was just saying that I think we should get acquainted. It’s not everyday, after all, that a pretty girl almost kills me with a school book.” he joked as I heard the ruffle of his sheets. He was probably facing me in the darkness now, trying to picture me as I was trying to picture him.
“Don’t mention it.” I told him in my best neutral tone.” The pleasure was all mine. My name is Lily, Lily Evans.”
“Pleasure to meet you Lily Evans, I’m Aidan McDermott.”
We didn’t go to sleep that night. We talked and joked and exchanged childhood stories until it was breakfast time and we were kicked out of the Hospital Wing. Being a Pureblood wizard, he had loads of funny stories about magical accidents in his youth but he seemed more interested in my Muggle stories. And it was one of the best nights I ever spent. Aidan was funny and very well mannered, but on top of it all, he was smart. I don’t mean book smart, doing all your schoolwork smart, he was genuinely intelligent.
I liked that about him. Sev was intelligent of course, but he lacked the good humor that Aidan had. He was the more dark and brooding type. Even James Potter, bane of my existence, was smart in his own twisted way, but in my opinion he was as funny as a heart attack.
Aidan took me to Hogsmeade on the first weekend in October and he kissed me by the Whomping Willow, in the pouring rain, one day when I was returning from the Greenhouses. He asked me to be his girlfriend on Halloween and then, on Christmas, I received a promise ring.
I knew I loved him by New Year’s Ever and he told me he did as he kissed me at midnight. We were compatible in every way and I was walking on sunshine. He didn’t even complain about my long study sessions in the library.
Severus called me a Mudblood that summer and Aidan held me as I cried because another boy had broken my heart. He picked up my pieces every single time, always knowing when it was safe to leave me inside my own head and when it was time to be pulled out.
We spent the first summer of the rest of my life, in his house by the sea, while his Ministry employed parents were off keeping the world a safe place for our Heaven to exist in. We had three months of uninterrupted happiness. I didn’t even feel guilty about paying my own parents only short visits every now and then.
Then in September his final year of school started, my second to last and we were happily making plans for a future that in my foolish euphoria I could never imagine going wrong. Everything was perfect. I was young; I was in love, not even James Potter could get to me in the bubble that I had created, protecting my happiness.
And then, in the spring, Aidan’s parents were found dead, the Dark Mark lingering above their house.
It was a downhill spiral. My Aidan, once so full of life and laughter had retreated inside himself, in a place I didn’t know and where I couldn’t reach him. He was only a shell of his former self, an empty form that had no filing. As the days passed, I clutched at straws, desperate to make him come back to me, to come back inside our bubble and to leave everything else outside. Then the offer came, from a Ministry wizard that paid him a visit one afternoon. He could carry on his parents' work, join the cause, fight in a war I didn’t understand and didn’t care for and avenge the loss of those that had meant so much to him. And in a twist that I had not seen, nor expected, he stayed behind.
I knew then, in my heart of hearts, that I was the one not keeping him, but holding him back, his only reason being that he would not break my heart as his had been broken. In that moment, some selfless part of me came to light, breaking the heart he was so willing to protect. That part of me knew that we were broken beyond repair. I had to let him go.
I found him sitting by the Black Lake, on a rock, overlooking the water. His shoulders were heavy with burdens I couldn’t understand and his beautiful face was lined. He was an old man, at only seventeen.
“Aidan,” I said softly, coming up behind him and hugging his shoulders. His hands instinctively found my legs and circled around them. “Aidan, sweetheart,” I whispered, “you need to go.”
His hands stiffened under the pressure of my words and his back straightened.
“I’ve already lost everything, Lily. I won’t lose you too.” came his reply, but he wasn’t speaking to me, he was speaking more for himself.
“You and I both know you won’t be happy here. You won’t be happy unless you fight whatever is out there.” I argued, silently daring him to disagree.
“It’s a lose lose situation for me at this point. Whatever I chose, I’m going to get my heart broken.” he replied and I felt selfless Lily crawling back into her hole and wanted nothing more than to scream and beg for him not to leave me. I drew a sharp breath and willed selfless Lily to stay put.
“You can stop this if you go. Other children won’t have to lose their parents. Other families will not get torn apart.” I was stepping on my heart with every word I spoke but I pushed on. “You can end this, once and for all.”
“What about you, love? How can I just pick up and leave, chasing after some mad man’s dream of greatness, leaving all of this behind? How can I just break you like that?” he bargained, turning around and pulling me down onto his lap as he spoke.
His kisses were hungry, exploring every inch of my lips, my cheeks, my eyes. His hands were gripping at my back and at my hair as if I would evaporate if he did not hold on tightly enough.
“If I ask you to stay, then I don’t love you for you, I love you for me and that will poison us. I know that this is what you want; I know you better than you know yourself, and how could I not when you’re a part of me? As strange as it may seem, this is your dream now. Go…”
He pressed his forehead against mine. “You’ll always be my best girl, Lily Evans.” he whispered to my lips.
We held each other for a while and then finally he got up, kissed me on the forehead, hugged me and said “Be safe and find somebody that will treat you the way you deserve to be treated. Somebody that can keep my girl.”
To be honest, I don’t know why I am thinking about this right now. He left and sometime later I found the person he described. The one that pulled out every demon from inside me, never turning his back or making me feel uneasy. And he too held me, while I cried because another boy had broken my heart. He held out his heart for me on a silver platter and I took it, discovering along the way things that I had been missing.
As I smooth the creases on my dress and look at myself in the mirror, I shake my head at the memories that feel as if they belong to somebody else. My thoughts are interrupted by a knock on the door. Remus Lupin is standing in the doorway, a smile spread across his scarred features, as he extends his hand to me.
“Lily, it’s time we take the walk away from Evans and towards Potter.” he jokes, as he carefully lowers the white veil on my face. I grab my bouquet and his arm, taking in deep breaths to calm my nerves. Then, at the end of the isle, I see James smile, a smile that lights up his entire face, and I know that I am home.
Aidan, nobody is more deserving than him to keep you girl.
AN: I got bitten by the writting challenge bug. This is my first story written as part of a challenge, leave me a line, tell me what you think.
The song I had to use as an inspiration is "Keep the Girl" by Jason Aldean.
I don't own anything except maybe Aidan and the book on Egyptian Runes.
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