Chapter 1 : Chapter 1.
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“It wasn’t what it looks like, I can explain –”
“You don’t need to explain. I saw him sticking his tongue down your throat.”
“James please –”
James whipped around in an instant. “All right, you want to talk about it? Let’s talk about it,” he spat venomously. “Was he any good?”
“You heard me. Was he any good?”
Lily groaned in exasperation. “How could you even say such a thing? He’s nothing compared to you. Look James I’m not Sirius –"
“We’ll leave my best mate out of this thank you very much –"
“I don’t cheat. You know me –"
James shook his head disbelievingly as he sunk into an armchair in their common room. “No, I don’t think I do know you.”
Lily crossed the room and placed both her hands on the sides of James’ armchair, forcing him with no option but to stare her directly in the eye.
“James, I’d never intentionally want to hurt you, and I’ll tell you why? It’s because James I – I love you.”
James looked up to see Lily’s expression falter a little, as she continued to look at him pleadingly. They both stayed in stunned silence for a moment, comprehending the enormity of the statement Lily had said seconds before. Far from looking nervous and uncertain, Lily looked as certain as James had ever seen her in his life. She wasn’t shying away from him with her feelings. Not this time. However, even if it were true, how could he believe her, especially after what he’d just seen?
“Well you chose a bloody good time to say it,” James said sarcastically.
He saw hurt flitter across her face, as her voice cracked a little. “James, I was planning on telling you earlier this evening. I never meant for it to come out like this,” Lily continued as he shook his head disbelievingly. “I love you and I’m not ashamed to say it. It honestly scared me for a while because I never thought I’d want someone as much as I want you. I never thought I’d need someone as much as I need you. I don’t want to spend my life with anyone else but you. You’ve been the best thing that’s ever happened to me,” Lily sobbed uncontrollably, as she sunk onto the coffee table in front of James, “and the time I’ve been with you has honestly been the best time of my life.”
James stared at Lily in absolute shock as she continued to talk, tears streaming down her face. “And you know what else has made me happy over the past few months? Every time I think about our future, it no longer scares me. And do you know why? Because I have you, and having you is the only thing I need to keep my life complete. James I already lost Petunia, please don’t let me lose you too. If there’s one thing certain I know in the world, it’s this. James I –”
But James interrupted her at this point, silencing Lily by merely putting his index finger to her lips, closing the distance between them. Every fibre in his body was racked with sadness and hurt, just thinking about what he was about to do. His heart thumped uncontrollably out of his chest, an aching reminder of the past hour or so. James felt physically sick, his head began to spin while desperately tried to collect his thoughts. Without realizing it, a tear splashed down his face, wishing he had the strength to continue with his plan. His whole body screamed in protest, wishing him against saying what he was about to say. To his surprise, a half-hearted laugh escaped him.
“You know, it’s ironic. I would have given the world to hear you say what you just told me yesterday, hell even two hours ago. But now everything’s changed. I don’t want to believe it, I CAN’T believe it, especially after everything that’s happened,” he said, his voice breaking on the last sentence, struggling to maintain composure as he sneakily wiped away the single tear from his cheek. “There’s just one thing I have to make absolutely sure of,” he continued as Lily looked up at him, her eyes swimming with tears.
“Lily, do you love me?” James asked unsteadily, as his hazel eyes met her emerald ones.
Lily wiped her tears away as she met James’ gaze, her voice racked with emotion. “Yes James, I do love you.”
He knew he was going to hate himself for this. He knew it he would regret it for the rest of his life. “Lily, if you love me…why don’t you just let me go?”
Before she could protest, before she could say anything, James swiftly stood up from the armchair, making a beeline for his dormitory. He couldn’t process what just happened. He didn’t want to believe it. He couldn’t believe it. He refused to believe it.
He half expected Lily to follow him, call out his name, or beg for some sort of forgiveness.
She didn’t make any attempts to stop him.
It was only once he was locked securely in his room did he allow the tears to fall. His world, as he knew it, was ripped into two. Things would never be the same again.
The Evans household was one of the most popular homes in Cokeworth. Number twelve Thornberry Lane was a modest upstairs house, very much characteristic of the houses on their street. A small hedge lined the footpath leading to the home’s doorstep, with flowerbeds brightening up the front yard. In her spare time, Mrs. Evans took a particular pride in tending to these flowerbeds, ensuring they continued to bring colour and life to the house all year round. An avid gardener, she could often be found amongst her beloved flowers and shrubbery, her blonde curls peaking out from underneath her broad-brimmed hat.
Joining her in the garden was Mr. Evans. Though not participating in any gardening projects himself, he was often found in the garden with his wife. He sat on the front porch, propped up either behind The Daily Telegraph or The Sunday Telegraph. A bespectacled man, his thinning auburn hair often could just be seen above the newspaper spread, devouring the daily news. If he happened not to be reading the newspaper, he would chit-chat with either his wife or the next-door neighbours. A brilliant conversationalist, he always had something clever to say and could be depended on for a witty joke at an opportune moment.
Mr. and Mrs. Evans were perfectly amiable people and treated all their neighbours with dignity and respect. However, despite their best efforts, divisive opinions were held about their daughters.
Petunia, the eldest daughter, was almost a spitting image of her mother, appearance-wise. Her blonde curls and pale grey eyes were not often seen at the home, as she was a clerk at Grunnings in the heart of London. She worked long hours most days, leaving the house before the crack of dawn and arriving home late at night. As a result, she was often snappy, a permanent frown etched into her face. Very much liked when she was younger, Petunia had grown up to be disliked by many of her neighbours. It was common knowledge that Petunia knew all the neighbourhood gossip and had a talent for spreading it far and wide. She had developed an unfortunate habit of sticking her nose into other people’s business – a habit her parents constantly chided her for.
In stark contrast, Lily, the younger of the two, had dazzling auburn hair, which flowed midway down her back. Her emerald green eyes, much like her fathers, seemed to always hold a sparkle, enchanting anyone who laid eyes on her. A naturally inquisitive child, their younger daughter could often be found buried behind a book, trying to studiously fill her head with knowledge. She had a fiery personality and a fiery temper to match it. Lily was well-liked in the neighbourhood, as she was a good-hearted child who treated people fairly. She had a sunny disposition that captivated those who knew her, and seemed to make friends effortlessly.
Perhaps it was the jealousy of being the uglier of the two sisters. Perhaps it was the fact that she didn’t get into the prestigious boarding school her sister Lily attended. Whatever the reason was, it was observed by neighbours that a distance developed between Petunia and her younger sister since Lily started boarding school. This came as a shock to many, as the girls had previously inseparable during their childhood years.
Occasionally Lily looked back on her childhood years with mixed emotions. Though it was a happy one, she would poignantly reflect on her former closeness with Petunia – the elder sister she had known and loved. The bittersweet memories of their school summer holidays were the times she felt it the most acutely. Upon learning she was a witch, Lily lost her first, and best, friend in Petunia.
It was the first time she had ever been rejected by someone she loved.
With their parents working during the week, Lily and Petunia often had the house to themselves to do whatever they wished. They took advantage of their parents' absence to frequently visit the park near Spinner’s End, about ten minutes away from their house. The park had become their little sanctuary, their “special place” where both the girls would swing as high as they could on the swings, screaming at the top of their lungs.
It was at this park Lily had a conversation with her sister she would remember until the day she died.
It was a bright sunny afternoon, with minimal cloud coverage in the sky. Petunia, as always, was being the responsible big sister. After having her rounds on the swing, she watched Lily swing higher and higher, giggling and laughing every time she did so.
“Lils, come down!” Petunia yelled at her. “You know Mum and Dad don’t like it when you swing that high!”
“But Tuney, look at me! I’m almost flying!” Lily replied gleefully as the wind whipped through her hair.
Petunia scrunched up her face in frustration. “Lils you KNOW we’ll get into big trouble if something happens to you.” Adopting a warmer tone, she continued with a half-smile, “Can you please come down? I have something important to tell you.”
Eager to hear Petunia’s news, Lily gave one final push and propelled herself off the swing. Much like a trapeze artist, she flew out to the blue sky, before somersaulting and landing lightly beside her disapproving elder sister. Petunia shook her head disapprovingly before grasping onto Lily’s hand, guiding her towards the nearest park bench.
“So Tuney, what is it that you want to tell me?” Lily asked as she plopped down next to Petunia.
Petunia smiled at her younger sister’s question. “Well as you know Lils, I’m going to be starting high school this year. This might be one of the last summers we’ll get to spend time like this together.”
Lily looked at her older sister, thunderstruck. “Does this mean you don’t want to spend time with me anymore?”
Petunia shook her head amusedly. “You know it doesn’t mean anything like that. I will ALWAYS want to spend time with you. But Lils, when I start high school, things will be different. First of all, I won’t be at school with you anymore. I’ll actually be starting to learn about things I want to learn, choosing subjects that I actually like. I’ll most definitely be getting more homework too, so it’ll mean I’ll get to spend more time studying in order to maintain good grades. And if you do well in high school, you get to go to university to start learning skills needed for a real job,” Petunia nodded importantly.
Lily stared at her elder sister in amazement. “Tuney, do you know what you want to do at university?”
Petunia scoffed. “Are you kidding me Lils? I don’t even know what I want to eat for breakfast tomorrow morning! Do you know what you want to do at university Lils?”
Lily became quiet, beginning to ponder a future she hadn’t really thought about before. What DID she want to do when she grew up?
“I don’t know exactly what I want to do, but I do know I want to change the world. I want to make discoveries no one has ever seen before. I want to travel to different places. But most importantly, I want to make a difference. I want to be remembered.”
Petunia kissed her sister’s forehead as she gave her a big cuddle. “I’m sure you will be remembered Lils,” she said lovingly, affectionately stroking Lily’s auburn hair. “I’m sure you will be.”
Author's note: First of all, thank you very much for stopping by to read my story! In effect, the first chapter is a prologue - the real story begins in the next chapter! So, how did you like it? Good? Bad? Aching to read more? Please let me know what you think by jotting down a reply in the review box. Constructive criticism is also appreciated. Thanks guys! Hope you enjoyed it :)