Disney Character Competition – Prince Ferdinand, write about Snape and Lily.

Poems Into Stories Competition – Promises Like Piecrust, Christina Rossetti

The Book Thief Competition – "Like most misery, it started with apparent happiness."

Mudblood.

Lily spun on her heel and re-entered the Gryffindor Common Room, slamming the portrait in Severus's face. A few people looked up, startled at the noise, including James.

"Evans-" he began but Lily quickly cut him off.

"Don't you even start," she spat out, feeling the tears burning behind her eyelids. She barreled past him to the staircase, almost knocking two first years off their feet, and up to the dorm. The room was silent. Three of the beds were hidden by their deep red curtains. Mary was the only one still awake.

"Lily are you al-"

Lily cut her off as she crossed to her bed. "I'm fine. I'll talk to you in the morning."

And with that she sat down and pulled the curtains closed, throwing up a few privacy charms for good measure, and then burst into bitter tears.

She didn't know why it had hit her so hard. It wasn't like Severus's behaviour today was unexpected or out of the blue. All year he'd been growing closer to that horrible group of Death Eaters in training in Slytherin. She'd watched it happen, desperately trying to stop him, trying to show him that he didn't have to follow that path, but despite her best efforts he'd gravitated towards them anyway.

Lily wiped her face on the sleeve of her dressing gown and crawled into bed.

Then again he'd never used that word before, or at least not in her hearing, not aimed at her.

Mudblood.

It sounded in her head as clearly as if he was stood beside her saying it.

"I don't need help from filthy little Mudbloods like her!"

"Filthy little Mudbloods!"

She buried her head under the duvet but it made no difference.

And then another voice rang out just as clear. Her own, softened by youth and dripping with worry but still clearly her own voice.

"Does it make a difference, being Muggle-born?"

It was strange the things one remembered years after they'd occurred. That was the first time she'd voiced her concerns to Severus about being a Muggle-born in the Wizarding World but it certainly wasn't the last time. And yet each time she'd worried about it he'd been there to promise her that it wouldn't be an issue at all before turning her mind to other, less worrisome topics.

In hindsight the hesitation in his voice that first time she'd asked was only too clear, and yet a small part of Lily desperately hoped that at the time he really did believe what he was saying. Surely he must have.

He'd been the best friend she could have ever hoped for, almost like the brother she'd never had. If she was feeling homesick or upset over some cruel comment from another student Severus was always there to pick her up and make her smile again. He'd remind her that only last week she'd successfully mastered a Cheering Charm before all the Purebloods who were insulting her for being Muggle-born. Or that Lavinia Holbert who, at 25 years old, had just become the youngest member of the Wizengamot was Muggle-born as well.

But perhaps if he hadn't been so quick with his promises all the time, if he hadn't made her feel so accepted for who she was, her misery now wouldn't be quite so abject. They'd have been free to simply be friends, nothing more but certainly nothing less, and then surely his behaviour over these last few months wouldn't have pained her so much. She'd have been able to view it objectively as the inevitable drifting apart that happens between friends as they grow from children to teenagers, rather than feeling like he'd betrayed her.

Lily curled up on her side, tears still seeping from her eyes.

But it did feel like a betrayal and she couldn't carry on the way things were. He'd made his choice and chosen his fellow housemates and their Pureblood ideology over her and Lily knew she had to walk away before her heart broke any further.

It was a long time before she got any sleep that night.