Disclaimer: I don't own anything mentioned in this, save the plot.
Lily Evans, Head Girls of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry knocked carefully on the door to the Seventh Year boys' dormitory, gazing at the rather ugly, but festive Christmas wreath adorning the handle. She was looking for James Potter. Lily grinned happily. They had been going out since the start of the year, after James had, as Remus Lupin put it, 'deflated his head a bit.' Lily was glad he had.
When she received no reply to her knock, Lily slowly opened the door and peered in. there wasn't anyone there. 'Damn,' she thought in annoyance. She was just about to turn around, leave, and look else where when she saw the feathered form of James' owl sitting on his pillow. Remembering that she had used the owl to send a letter to her parents the day before, Lily crossed the room and saw not only one but two letters. They were both addressed to her. One, as expected, was from her parents. The other, was from her sister.
Lily dropped the letter from her parents on James' bed, and hesitantly opened the envelope of the other.
I understand you may be surprised at my writing to you, but after all it's Christmas, and at Christmas you should tell the truth. The time has long come and gone since I should have told you the truth. Better late than never, eh?
You might remember when you first came back from…that place, everyone thought I was jealous of you. That's not true. I admit, it hurt when you referred to it as 'your world', as if you had forgotten me. But I was never jealous. I realised from the start what it was. Unnatural and utterly disgusting. I'll never change my mind about that, Lils. Never. Nothing you or anyone else says can change that.
I tried to make everyone else, including you, see what I saw. But I couldn't. My shouting, anger and tears couldn't. I did everything I could think of, save this.
You are my sister and I love you, Lily. I'm getting married in the summer, and I want you want you by my side as Bridesmaid. But I can't have you there as a Witch. I can't.
I am begging you Lily. Begging. Give up this madness, and be my sister. I miss you so much, but this is it. It's your choice now.
I can't, and I won't ask again.
It's either me or magic, Lils.
Lily sank onto the bed next to James' numbly. She was shocked. When she had started reading the letter, she had thought Petunia was going to say that she didn't care that Lily was a Witch any more. That Petunia loved her and didn't mind. She smiled bitterly. How stupid of her. Lily had known all along Petunia's attitude towards magic. Known it wouldn't change.
She looked at the last sentence. 'It's either me or Magic.' Lily screwed up a fist in the blanket she was sitting on, rumpling the eiderdown. She got a certain sense of satisfaction from this action, small as it was.
'Its your choice now.'
The problem was, it wasn't her choice. She had made her choice a long time ago. Made it when she first stepped through the castle doors. When she saw Diagon Alley, her first glimpse of the magical world. Made it when she pinned on her Head Girl Badge. When she used her wand. When she kissed James Potter. A tumultuous rush of images swept through her head. No, it was not her choice. Not anymore.
Lily loved her sister dearly, but she couldn't change who or what she was. As Petunia said, the time had long come and gone since she could have.
Petunia. Her older sister. The person Lily had always looked up to and admired. Loved. Suddenly Lily was overcome at a wave of anger and hurt, stabbing and clawing at her insides, climbing at her throat, before it burst out in a loud cry.
Lily fell forward onto the bed and hit the pillow as hard as she could, continuously, trying to inflict some small measure of the hurt, the anger at the unfairness of it all onto something, anything else.
Soon however, it was not enough, and Lily buried her face in the pillow. The hits had turned to sobs, and Lily tried to stifle the tears, tried not to cry.
Her head was squashed so firmly into the pillow that she did not hear the footsteps pounding up the stairs and the opening of the door.
Sirius Black was in a good mood. The Christmas holidays started the next day, and he and the rest of his friends were staying at school. The only dampener on his spirits was the fact that his best friend, James Potter, was in detention. Sirius was rather surprised at this. Since James had become Head Boy, there had been fewer detentions for both of them. However, old habits died hard, which explained why James was at the moment, writing lines with the company of one Professor M. McGonagall. It didn't matter though, James would be back soon. McGonagall wouldn't keep him all night.
He bounded up the stairs, intent on finding one of his other friends. Taking them two at a time, Sirius soon reached his dormitory door and wrenched it open. The sight he had expected was not the one that met his eyes. Lily Evans, Head Girl and James' girlfriend was curled up on his bed, with her head squashed into his pillow. She looked as if she were asleep. Walking closer, he saw that this was not the case. Her bright green eyes were staring unseeingly across the room. She had not even heard him come in.
She jumped and looked up at him, startled. Not really seeing her drawn features, he said jokingly, "You know, if you wanted me that badly, Evans, you could have just said so."
He expected her to grin and reply with something cutting, as she always did. Over the last few months, Sirius Black and Lily Evans had become friends of sorts, ever since she and James had started going out.
What Sirius did not expect, was for her lips to tremble, her eyes to water and for her to reply with a soft, "Sod off, Sirius."
She got up and made to walk out of the dormitory, when he stopped her. Sirius had finally recognized the signs of distress on her face.
"What's wrong?" he asked, catching her on the arm.
Lily attempted to smile brightly. "Nothing." She said. But her voice shook.
"Really? Look, I don't mind you laying on my bed. Feel free. James might though."
Lily's smile fell off of her face completely and she sniffed.
Sirius started to get really worried now. "What's wrong?" He asked again.
Lily shook her head. "Where's James?"
"Er…He's got detention." Sirius spit it out quickly. Lily had never approved of rule breaking. At the moment though, she just nodded and went to walk out. Sirius stopped her again. "Lily?" He asked, in a scared tone.
"It's nothing." Her voice broke and she turned away, willing herself not to start crying in front of him.
Sirius stared at her in astonishment. He had never seen her like this before, or maybe he hadn't noticed. He tugged at her sleeve gently, pulling her back to sit on James' bed. He sat on his own and looked at her. After there was silence for a few moments Lily gave a shaky laugh. "You're not going to give up, are you?"
Sirius simply looked at her.
With a sigh, she indicated the piece of paper that was lying at the foot of his bed. He picked it up, and read it through silently. When he had finished, he carefully folded up the paper and set it gently on the bed. The calm actions belied the feelings that were raging inside. Lily's own sister had said that to her. She had as good as done what his own family had done to him, to Lily. He took a deep breath, feeling a rush of sibling like protectiveness towards the redhead sitting opposite. Forcing his face into a smile, he looked up. "Well, if you do go and live with the Muggles, can we still come and visit you?"
The tears that had been lurking at close quarters sprang up again, and this time Lily couldn't stop them. With a small cry, she crossed the space between them and threw her arms around Sirius gratefully, sobbing into his shoulder. Sirius, a little shocked, pulled her into his embrace tentatively. After a few moments, Lily said softly, "Would you still want to visit me even if I did leave?"
A look of confusion spread across his face and he replied with, "Of course we would." Lily nodded into his shoulder.
"Thanks." She whispered.
Now Sirius was very confused. "What for?" At this, he felt Lily bury her head deeper into his shoulder, before she took a great shuddering breath.
"For doing what Petunia couldn't." Lily started shaking again, and Sirius sighed, and, forgetting his initial discomfort at holding her, wrapped his arms tightly around her once more, pulling her hair away from her face.
He understood now. He had, for once, said the right thing, showing Lily that if she chose to live as a Muggle, her magical friends would still want to know her. Would still be there for her. Unlike her sister.
Sirius didn't know how long he sat there holding her, but before he knew it, the dormitory door was flung open, revealing none other than James Potter. As before, it took Lily a few moments before she realised they were not alone.
Gently, Sirius pulled away from Lily, and she gave him a weak, but genuine, smile. He then looked up at his best friend, realising what it must look like to James. Sirius holding Lily tightly to him, stroking her hair, while she sat on his lap.
"W-what's going on?" James' voice was small, and his face pale. Lily seemed to realise what James was thinking, and got up from Sirius' bed.
James transferred his gaze to her, noticing her tearstained face. His expression cleared, showing understanding, and he looked at her worriedly. Sirius breathed a sigh of relief.
"Lily?" James asked softly. "You okay?"
Lily smiled at him and nodded mutely. "Do you want to go for a walk?" She asked him quietly.
James nodded. It was clear that she was going to tell him of the contents of Petunia's letter.
"I-er, I just want to wash my face. Meet you at the Portrait Hole in about five minutes?" Lily asked James.
"Yeah, okay." He gave her a quick peck on the cheek, and moved over to his trunk.
"Sirius, do you want to walk me down the stairs?" Lily asked Sirius, giving him a meaningful look.
"Uh, yeah, sure." He replied. He followed her out of the room and shut the door behind him. Lily turned to look at him and gave him a radiant smile.
"Thanks." She said simply.
"Er, you're welcome."
Lily gave him a quick hug, not unlike the ones Sirius had seen her give her dorm mates. "You're a good friend, Sirius."
He hugged her back smiling. "Thanks."
"I'll see you tomorrow, then." Lily said, turning to walk down the stairs.
Sirius grinned evilly. "Don't stay out too late; James already had detention from McGonagall once this evening!" He called out suggestively.
Lily only shook her head and continued down the stairs, laughing.
Sirius grinned and turned to open the door to his dormitory once again.
The next day found Lily sitting at a table in the common room. She was writing a letter back to her sister, while James and Sirius played chess. Remus and Peter were, of course, watching and cheering them on.
Lily smiled as she looked at them, before reading through her letter again.
I was surprised at hearing from you, I admit. You might not have expected a reply so soon. As you were perfectly honest with me, I think you deserve the same.
I'm sorry; I can't do what you ask. I am a witch, and I will never be anything but. Magic is in my blood, its part of who I am. I couldn't change that, even if I wanted to.
You said it was my choice, but its not. I made my choice a long time ago. I'm sorry. I love you so much, Petunia, and I wish it didn't have to be like this.
Whatever happens, I'm still your sister, and you can count on me. I promise. I'll always be there for you if you need me. Whenever.
I hope you can try to reconsider, but somehow, I know you won't.
I'll miss you, Petunia.
Lily set down her quill, and picked up the parchment. As she walked over to the group sitting in the armchairs by the fire, she folded it up into a rectangle.
She leant over James' chair, resting her chin on his messy hair.
"Winning?" She asked him softly.
Sirius smiled opposite her. "Not likely." He crowed. Lily smirked at that. James was not that good at chess. Unlike Sirius.
"I'm going up to send this now, could I borrow your owl?" She inquired.
James turned to face her, studying her face. "Yeah, sure." He said after a moment. "Do you want some company?" Lily recognized the subtle question of 'Are you okay to do this on your own?' in it.
"No, I'm fine. Besides, you can't leave the game just because you're getting beaten." Lily smiled at him. James rolled his eyes and kissed her quickly.
"Have fun then." He said, turning back to see Sirius pushing forward his bishop to take his queen. He groaned. Lily just laughed, and walked towards the Portrait Hole. Just as she was about to step out, she turned back and caught Sirius' eye. She smiled at him and nodded. He simply winked and grinned, before capturing another of James' pieces.
Lily walked up to the Owlery still smiling.
A/N: Well, I hope you enjoyed it. I've had this idea lurking for the past couple of weeks, so plese review and tell me if it was okay.
Thanks for reading!
Luv, Nut 1