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Chapter 1 : Not the One to Stay Around
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That you told her that you loved her but you don't.
You touch her skin and then you think
That she is beautiful but she don't mean a thing to me.
-Tiny Vessels, Death Cab for Cutie
It was the end of fifth year and you knew it was your time to move. She was fed up with James and lost whatever friendship she had with Snape. Underneath an austere façade she was aching for a connection that her many giggling friends could not offer – she needed love.
“Lily,” you call on the penultimate day of school, “wait a moment.”
Stopping outside the entrance to a secret passageway she is likely unaware of, Lily watches you approach with an expectant look on her face.
“If you’ve come to pass me another message from, Potter,” she starts, building up unnecessary steam.
“I came for me,” you tell her, causing a slightly stunned look to fall on her face. “Follow me,” you say, pulling back the tapestry.
Perhaps out of sheer shock, she goes with you into the dark passageway and halts dangerously close to you. “What is it, Black?” she asks with apparent indifference. In truth, her heart is racing and if you were in a well-lit corridor, you’d see the flush creeping up her neck.
You have this mini-speech prepared, about liking her but not wanting to get in James’ way. Feeling that a discussion could come later, you lean in closer to her, inhale the flowery shampoo she uses, and offer her the sentiment that words could not carry. You needed her.
The movement of her lips against yours and the exhale of delight that escape as she runs her fingers through your hair tell you something you didn’t expect. She needs you.
The sound of a student passing mere feet from your reclusive hiding place broke what had been a remarkable kiss. Lily was breathing heavily, as if she had just jogged the length of the Great Hall. You look down into her opalescent face, bringing your hand up to cup the reddening flesh of her cheek.
“What about James?” she asks, locking eyes with you.
“You don’t love him,” you state, as if this fact should negate her concern for your best friend’s feelings. “He’s my best mate and will accept-“ Lily raises her eyebrows at this line of thought. “He’ll be alright with it,” you reassure her.
“Can I see you this summer?” she asks, seeming to accept your words as truth.
You nod, causing a smile to on both of your faces.
She meets you in Diagon Alley where you catch dinner at the Floating Mermaid. It was a small lie that got James to let you go for the night and not tag along. He couldn’t fathom what you were truly doing with your evening.
“I’ve missed you,” Lily whispers into your ear, causing the hair on your neck to stand on end.
You respond with a slow kiss. Words are difficult to string together when so close to beauty and she is remarkable that night. Throughout dinner your conversation meanders through information you’d never have guessed about Lily.
She sticks her pinky out while she eats which gives her a very formal visage but you can imagine her in less than proper scenarios doing less than ladylike things. This is only intensified when she tells a joke about a warklock, toll, and one-eyed crone that forces a loud laugh to pass through your lips. . Lily never seemed the type for bawdy jokes before.
You end up at the Leaky Cauldron and, after her hand deftly caressed your thigh for the duration of two glasses of elderberry wine, get a room for the night. “Are you sure about this?” you ask as the door shuts with a deafening click.
Her response is to untie the back of her dress and let it fall to the ground. “I am sure, Black,” she says, her eyes glittering in the moonlight that falls in through the window. You can’t help but smile that she still addresses you with your surname.
Lily is beautiful in the pale light and more incredible than you could have imagined but she does not penetrate the numbness you feel inside.
You invite her Regent’s Park and she walks with you along the gardens. The flickering gas lamps cause the roses to cast eerie shadows on your path. Lily holds your hand and looks quite at her ease by your side.
Stopping next to a park bench, you gaze into her eyes. Lily tears her gaze away from yours, as if unable to meet its intensity. Your hand brings her face up to yours and you envelop her in a final kiss. You draw out the passion for just a few moments longer until it becomes unbearable, as if you were up against a white hot light.
Lily has her arms wrapped around your waist and her eyes reflect a desire you have come to associate with warm sheets and the cool night air. “Do you want to find somewhere more private, Black?” she asks coyly.
“No,” you tell her in a quiet voice.
She laughs, mistaking your meaning. “I’m not getting starkers here,” she says in a voice on the verge of laughter.
“I don’t think we should see each other anymore,” you manage in a quiet voice.
This is unexpected for Lily – she is unable to stop her eyes from flooding with tears. “Why?” is all she can manage.
“I’m not ready for this,” you lie.
The anger on Lily’s face is apparent. With those green eyes showing the hurt and betrayal as they speed through her racing mind, Lily uses her words to wound. “You’re incapable of this.”
“Evans, if you wanted a doting sap, you should have given James a chance,” you say coolly. “I’m not the bloke who stays around.”
“You’re a pig,” she spits before turning away from you to hide the tears falling down her face. Lily leaves without giving you a chance to say more to her. You watch her go with a feeling of slight remorse but even greater accomplishment.
Your involvement would be kept a secret, of course, but Lily would go to James to bury her feelings. She meant the world to James but didn’t mean a thing to you.
A/N: This has been swirling around my head for a few months (back to December, I think) and I had to get it out. If you haven’t listened to the song, Tiny Vessels by Death Cab for Cutie, you should.
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