Oh Merlin... One minute we have calm Evans, no longer just yelling at us and calling us toe rag Evans. Now... we have blubbering mess Evans. And I hate to say it but it is our fault. Us and our big mouths poking into muggles business.
“Oh Lily don’t cry, please don’t cry. You cry and soon Prongs will be a mess. We can’t have his mascara running now can we?” Sirius said giving her a hug. If she wasn’t crying I would have hexed him. I do NOT wear mascara. “Aw come on? Not even a smile? What about calling Prongs a toe rag? You love that!”
“N...No I don’t!” She sniffed. “I o...only say I...it when you get on m...m...my nerves!”
“Now now come on I’m sure she’s just a little upset. It’ll boil over, everything is going to be okay.” I tried, but no luck.
“You don’t know what she’s like! I...I don’t even know why I’m tell...telling you all this.”
“Because obviously petal you’re a little upset. Let’s get you home huh? Where’d you live, we’ll take you home.” Sirius said lifting her off her feet.
“O...Okay. Dad’s going to murder me” She laughed through her sobs.
“Why’s that petal?” Sirius asked with a smile.
“He said ‘knock ‘em dead, but don’t bring any of them home’” She hiccupped. I couldn’t help it. It was so insensitive but I laughed. Merlin.
“What are you laughing at Potter?” She sniffed.
“Your dad, he sounds like a laugh” I admitted bashfully.
“He is” She agreed calming down a little.
“There you are, that’s better now isn’t it?” Sirius said wiping the tears off her face.
Sirius kept his arm around her as we walked and we escorted her home. Me bringing up the rear. I felt like a third wheel on a date almost. If it wasn’t for the fact Lily was still snivelling.
I knocked on her front door and a man I can only presume as Mr Evans opened the door. He was smiling until he saw Lily.
“Oh my little flower... What happened?” He asked as she left Sirius’s arms for his.
“Our bad Sir... We were talking and her sister came up...” Nice save Sirius.
“Oh yes, yes. Come in lads...” Mr Evans said opening the door. I didn’t really know what to say, I looked to Padfoot for support. He just shrugged and we followed Mr Evans into his home.
“Chrissy love? Can you take Lily upstairs for a minute?” Mr Evans called out. Mrs Evans appeared at the base of the stairs and sheparded Lily up them.
“Take a seat lads. I’ll put the kettle on” Mr Evans said disappearing into the kitchen.
We sat awkwardly in the Evans front room. I looked around the room aimlessly. There wasn’t much. There was the couch we were sitting on which was worn and kind of tatty, a lamp and a muggle television. A mantle piece over hung the fireplace and pictures were scattered across it. Lily in her Hogwarts uniform. Mr and Mrs Evans wedding photo, a picture of the girl we’d met on the swing who could only be Lily’s sister and last but not least there was a family portrait. All of the Evans family together happy and smiling. Lily could only be about 9 or 10 in that picture.
“Before she discovered she was a witch...” Mr Evans sighed, coming into the room with cups of tea. “Sorry, I couldn’t help but see you had noticed our last family portrait. Things have been... strained since then.” He handed Sirius and I a cup each.
“Thanks Sir” I said grasping a cup and shuffling over so he could sit. Poor Mr Evans he looked so tired. There were dark circles under his eyes and his ginger hair was fading to grey.
“No thank you Mr Potter, for bringing my daughter home.” I spat half my tea back into my cup and started to choke. Sirius thumped me on the back.
“You know who I am Sir?”
“James honestly, I can’t stand when people call me Sir. It make same feel old, call me Jim. And yes I know who you are, how could I not? My daughter comes home every year with a new tale about you and your friends ‘James and Sirius blew up Severus’s cauldron’ ‘Potter flooded the prefects bathroom’ ‘The marauders painted the great hall red and gold!’ etcetera...”
I blushed and looked at Sirius; he looked just as embarrassed as I did. Mr Evans smiled.
“Now I’m sure you did your fair share too Mr Black.”
“That’s true” Sirius admitted. “You must think terribly of us.”
“Not at all!” Mr Evans laughed “You boys remind me of my little brother Tommy. He was a laugh, loved by everyone. Had a head attached to his shoulders too, though he didn’t always use it...” He continued raising an eyebrow. “She doesn’t hate you, James. But God does she want to. Lily loved Tommy to pieces; she was heartbroken when he died. In her little mind you remind her of all the pain she felt. That’s why she wants to hate you. But she doesn’t, not really”
I let what Mr Evans said sink in. Lily didn’t hate me. Yet she wanted to. Because the way I acted caused her pain. It all made sense, how one minute she could be fine and the next minute exploding at me... Did Remus know about this? Is that why they were such good friends?
“James, Sirius... Can you boys promise me something?” Mr Evans asked quietly.
“What’s that Jim?” Sirius asked.
“Keep an eye on Lily for me? She’s been through a lot since she started Hogwarts. She’s lost her relationship with her sister, her best friend Severus and now with all this ‘death eater’ stuff I keep hearing about. I don’t think she can take much more. Life has been hard in the last few years for her and the rest of my family. I want the best for my little girl. I want her happy and safe.” He sighed. “As you’ve seen tonight, she can only take so much before she breaks.” Sirius and I nodded.
“Of course we will Mr Evans. You can count on me.” I told the older man.
“I know you will Mr Potter. I know you will”
(Lily’s Point of view)
I woke up with a pounding head ache and sore eyes. It took me a few minutes to recall what had happened last night, I groaned. I let myself crack in front of the two people I least wanted to crack in front of... ever.
I slid out of bed and went down stairs. My dad was sat at the coffee table, he looked tired, as though he hadn’t slept all night. He looked up when he realised I was there.
“Morning love. How you feeling?”
“Fine I guess.”
“Mary rang about half an hour ago. No work today. The only room is James and Sirius’s service.” He sounded as tired as he looked.
“It’s getting worse isn’t it?” I asked. It was no secret Cokeworth was struggling. We were all struggling.
“I’m afraid so love” My father choked. He’d already lost 5 jobs in the last 20 months. I didn’t know what we’d do if he lost another.
“Dad, are you okay? Did you sleep at all last night?” My father looked ill, his skin was changing from pale to a dull grey colour. I’d only seen him this bad once before. He had a habit of making himself ill with worry and stress.
“No not really, my flower. I didn’t sleep a wink. Too many thoughts buzzing around this old man’s brain.” He tried to smile “I spoke with James and Sirius last night. You know I think they may have settled into their shoes a little bit. They seem more mature then you’ve always described. James more than Sirius, but it’s something.”
“You really think so?” I asked sitting beside him.
“I know so, my love.” He said kissing my forehead.
“You think I should give him a chance don’t you?” I sighed.
“Not necessarily romantically. But don’t you think you could give friendship a go? He seems nice enough Lils.” He said softly. I knew he was right. If only he knew how right he was.
“Why do you always say that?” I asked.
“Because he reminds me of your uncle.” He admitted. “You can’t deny it Lily, he is soo much like Tommy.”
“I know Daddy, I know” I replied, a tear rolling down my cheek. “I miss him so much.”
“I know you do, but you honey... You need to stop letting the memory of his death control your life so much. Tommy... was lost for a long time sweet heart, he got topped over the edge. James isn’t lost Okay?”