A/N: For Charmaine. May we both find our own boys to love us back.
by Molly Raesly
If you don't understand how a woman could both love her sister dearly and want to wring her neck at the same time, then you were probably an only child. ~Linda Sunshine
"Lily, did you steal my hairdryer?"
I squinted at the screeching sound and shut my eyes tighter as I pretended it was just part of what had previously been a very good dream.
"Lily, I know it was you! You always steal my stuff!"
Not now. I growled viscerally as I rolled over to my other side and forced my pillow over my ears to block out the noise. I tried to imagine myself in a more peaceful setting. It would be warm, so warm that the sunshine would melt on my body and cover me in its glorious love. I smiled as I surrounded myself with the gentle serenity of pounding waves. I let out a sigh as I pretended to feel the cool sand in my toes. My eyelids drooped down lazily.
My pillow was viciously forced from my hands. "Grrr-aphh!" I yelled out in protest.
"Get up! Vernon's coming to pick me up in a half an hour, and my hair's still wet!"
"Put it up," I grumbled grouchily and rolled over again to avoid her.
She "humphed" loudly, and I felt her weight leave my bed.
Sweet success! I grinned in triumph and allowed myself to succumb to my slumber once again.
"Get up!" she commanded me.
I refused to move. My bed was just too lovely and warm and safe. I sighed as I savored the scent of my sheets and ignored my sister's presence, something she was also very adept at doing - unless, of course, she wanted something.
"Lily!" she screeched.
I heard the sound of my yellow curtains being yanked open and immediately moved to block the light out with my hand. It was too early and too bright.
"Lily!" she called out again.
"Shh," I attempted to placate her. If I closed my eyes even tighter, it was almost dark again. "It's sleep time."
"Lily, get up now," she ordered. Her voice was firm. It made her sound silly.
I held onto my sheets tightly and refused to move.
"Fine," she huffed. "If you're going to be such a brat about it, I'll just force you to get up."
Then, suddenly, she was poking and prodding me everywhere. Her bony fingers stung as she attacked me.
I slapped her hands away deliriously. "Go away," I groaned. "Come back tomorrow."
Her fingers never relented. I squirmed in my sheets.
"Go away," I repeated petulantly.
"Not until you give me back my hairdryer," she insisted as she gave me a sharp prod in the side.
"Ow!" I whined in pain. "Leave me alone. I don't have your bloody hairdryer!"
"Yes, you do. Now get up!"
She started shaking me, and that's when I had no choice but to retaliate. I used my fists, elbows, and legs to punch, kick, and jab anything I came into contact with.
Petunia screamed shrilly. "God, Lily! Stop it! You're hurting me!"
"Get out of my room!" I demanded. My voice still sounded sleepy. I pulled my overlarge T-shirt down so at least I could seem slightly more threatening without my "Potion-of-the-Week" underwear showing.
"No. You need to get up." And with that, she grabbed my sheets, yanked as hard as she could with her frail, freakishly bony arms, and pulled them off of my protesting body.
I looked around in a daze. I was on the floor.
"Petunia!" I thundered.
"Mom and Dad aren't here!" she informed me quickly as she tried to back away subtly. "They're not here, so you can't go running to them and feed them the innocent baby sister garbage you usually give them."
"Good," I retorted through my teeth. "Now there won't be any other witnesses to your murder."
Petunia simply rolled her eyes in that snobbish way she did ever since she got her first training bra. "Don't be so dramatic, Lily," she told me in a condescending tone. "Anyway," she continued, "I need you to give me back my hairdryer because I'll die if Vernon sees my looking less than perfect."
My jaw dropped. There were just too many ways to insult my sister in this glorious moment in time. I could not pick just one. Staring at her incredulously, I wondered how she could even bring herself to get out of bed every morning, let alone dragging me along with her.
"You'll catch hepatitis if you keep your mouth open for that long," Petunia snapped snottily.
She would know. "It's flies," I corrected her.
She shrugged. "Tomato, tomato."
I stared at her in awe before grabbing my bed for support as I struggled to get onto my feet.
"Good, you're up," she commented coolly.
"Yeah, and I'm going back to bed. Good night. Leave," I told her.
She grabbed my arm and wrapped her fingers around it like a shackle that prevented me from plopping down onto my beautiful bed. "Not until you give me back my hairdryer."
I yanked my arm out of her grasp angrily. "I already told you I don't have it! I can just dry my hair magically, remember? I don't need hairdryers anymore."
"Oh, that's right. You're a freak," she recalled lightly, as though she had really just remembered her sister was a witch.
"The politically correct term is magically inclined," I shot back cheekily.
"I know a freak when I see one," she assured me.
I was just about to ask her if she had looked in a mirror lately when Petunia remembered that she had another purpose in life besides making mine miserable. Herself.
"Well, if you don't have my hairdryer, where is it? I checked Mom's room already and all the bathrooms. This is the only other place it could be."
I sighed and rubbed my eyes with the back of my hand. If I could get back in bed in the next two minutes, I could manage to get some more coveted sleep. If not, I would be up for the rest of the day. "Did you check under your bed?" I asked dully.
"Oh, crap," she realized as she rushed out of my room.
Rolling my eyes, I sauntered back to my bed. Not ten seconds later I heard the soft humming of the hair dryer from across the hall. I chuckled quietly to myself as I grabbed my pillow from the floor and placed it behind my head. My eyes closed happily as I hugged the pillow to my chest. I had made it just before the two minutes were over. I imagined my previous dream. The bananas were just about to join the monkeys in a tap-dance routine.
Startled, I flipped off of my bed. I looked around again. Great, I really hadn't been spending enough time with the floor. The carpeting was lovely and very, very hard. I rubbed my butt gingerly.
"Lily!" she said again.
I looked up. My wonderful sister was looming over me with expectancy. Merlin forbid if I didn't spend my life catering to Petunia's every fancy.
"What?" I croaked. I made a mental note to change the lock on my door. Petunia didn't need a wand. She had bobby pins. "What could you possibly want now?" I grumbled as I scrunched my red bed head with my fingers.
"I need to borrow one of your skirts," Petunia told me frantically. I loved that it did not come out as a question. Her eyes were wide with distress. It had been such an eventful morning for her. I imagined torturing your younger sister was quite stressful. "I spilled water on mine, and now it's all wet," she explained as she forced my closet open and pulled out my clothes frenetically.
"It's just water," I cajoled her. "There's not even a stain on your skirt."
"But it's all wet!" Petunia insisted as she placed one of my pairs of pants against her lower body.
"Why didn't you just dry it with your hairdryer?"
Petunia shrugged as she pressed another pair of my pants up against her. "Ah, well," she sighed. "It's too late now." She looked at herself in my mirror before shaking her head and throwing the pants down onto my floor.
My mouth agape, I watched silently as she proceeded to do this with ten more items.
"God, Lily, don't you have anything decent to wear?"
"I like my clothes," I defended. I valued comfort, but most of my clothes were also stylish. I enjoyed coming home to a full wardrobe. Wearing a uniform everyday was practical and a real timesaver, but it did make things rather dull. My summer clothes were my way of getting the spontaneity out of my system. "Besides, most of my clothes are your hand-me-downs," I reminded Petunia as I watched her cast aside a pair of shorts she had given me a year ago because she deemed them too long.
"And they looked much better on me," commented Petunia as she pulled out a light pink skirt from the back of my closet.
I wrinkled my nose. I never wore that skirt. Petunia had given it to me last year for my birthday, but it was way too short for my liking. I couldn't even bend over without people catching a glimpse of my chamber of secrets.
"Perfect," Petunia cooed happily.
"Figures," I muttered under my breath. I grabbed my robe and then walked toward the door. "I'm going to go take a shower," I announced. "Clean this up while I'm gone," I told her as I gestured to the mountain of clothes lying on the floor.
Petunia gave me a dirty look that I childishly responded to by sticking out my tongue.
I grinned ironically at her term of endearment before making my way to the bathroom. I took my time in the shower. I loved the therapeutic pounding of water against my back and the scent of my strawberry shampoo. I had been using the same kind ever since I was little because my mum said it matched my hair.
I was the only redhead in my entire family. My dad said he had a great Aunt once who was a redhead. I guess I just hit the genetic lottery, and not just with the whole hair thing. I laughed as I took my wand out to magically shave my legs and then dry my hair in a matter of seconds. I really was a freak.
Well, after 19 years, Petunia was bound to be right about something.
I examined myself closely in the mirror. A light dusting of freckles was forming on my face from the sun exposure I had received so far this summer. My hair, unlike Petunia's bone straight blonde locks, had a bit of a wave to it. My eyes were a very bright green. Petunia said I looked like I was always celebrating Christmas. She was right, of course; I didn't blend in. It took me a long time to accept the fact that I was just not normal.
I was still getting used to it.
I sighed and looked away. I might be a witch, but at least I didn't have freakishly bony fingers.
I secured my robe around my body and marched back into my room. Petunia was gone, thank Merlin, and, as could be expected, my clothes were still strewn all over the floor. I sighed as I leaned over to pick up a pair of pants.
"Bloody sister," I grumbled when I finally returned my last article of clothing to its proper place. I quickly slipped into a white pair of shorts and a black tank top. I didn't want to fuss with anything too elaborate today. My entire day was foiled with my unsavory wakeup call. Really, the way you woke up could affect your entire day. Still, I added a touch of eyeliner and mascara just in case the day would not turn out to be a total bust.
I made my bed next and placed all of my pillows neatly over my mint green quilt in a specific pattern. I went to retrieve my laundry from the dryer and was about midway through with folding all of it when I heard a tapping noise against my window. Excited, I rushed to let Calypso, my beautiful dark gray owl, inside. "Hey, Callie," I greeted her as she nipped my finger affectionately.
"I missed you too, girl," I laughed when she hooted happily at me. She held out her leg dutifully, and I rushed to untie the proffered letter before she flew off to her food bowl. I tore open the letter anxiously and grinned widely when I recognized the handwriting.
Oh Merlin, Lily! If I didn't love you as much as I do and I wasn't as good of a friend to not leave you all alone with the Marauders and their disgusting harangue of swooning girls for a year, I would never leave Spain. The men, Lily! The men! They're not boys here. They're men.
There's this one bloke who works at the inn we're staying at. He wears these tight black pantalones, and, Merlin, I think I might be in love with him. He called me something in Spanish last night after we snogged each other senseless. I have no idea what it meant, but it sounded attractive. I'm really going to miss him….
Sorry, Lily! I know I'm being ridiculously annoying. Don't worry, I haven't allowed any of the other girls in our year to take over my body! I still don't even like jam! It's just that it's been so long since I've met anyone who I haven't known since I was eleven-years-old. It's wonderful. You would love it. You should have yourself a summer fling.
Anyways, teenage romance aside because I'm fairly certain I want to gag myself right now, Spain is amazing. My mum's in love with all the wizarding sites, and my dad can't get enough of the muggle museums. I tried to explain it to them that since Dad is the wizard and Mum's the muggle, it should be the other way around, but there's no logic to be found from my parents. You'd love it here, Lily. The food, the scenery, the dances, the weather! I'm so tan you won't be able to recognize me!
Speaking of which, I cannot think of anything that I could possibly cope with leaving my paradise for besides you. I'm so thrilled your parents are letting me stay at your house before term begins. I've missed my best friend! We weren't meant to go this long without talking!
Ahh, I really must go, but I just can't wait to see you! I get this absurdly goofy grin on my face every time I see Calypso. Okay, well, adíos, mi amiga! Don't kill Petunia before I get there! It's the best friend's job to help dispose of the body!
A Miss Hestia Jones and I had been inseparable since the Welcoming Feast on our first day at Hogwarts. The only two first year girls who had not swooned at the sight of Sirius Black's cheeky grins, Remus Lupin's ocean eyes, or bloody James Potter's "sex" hair, we made a lifelong connection. I mean, honestly! We were First Years! I supposed hormones raged early at Hogwarts. Maybe it was the magic. Still, even after puberty, Hestia and I remained resilient in our complete detestation for the prats who called themselves the Marauders, no matter how much they seemed to object to this. I could forgive Sirius for becoming smitten with Hestia. I, myself, had fallen for her irresistibly charming qualities, only, of course, in a completely non-sexual way. However, I could not forgive his git of a best friend for his inane obsession with me. One more year, and I would finally be rid of James Ruddy Potter. Ahh, the thought alone made me want to sing.
Hestia was coming tomorrow to stay at my house for two splendid weeks before Seventh Year starts. I was so bloody excited. I had waited all summer to hear her snarky comments and humorous anecdotes. Wistfully, I placed her letter back in its envelope and placed it neatly on my nightstand. I glanced down at the watch on my left wrist. Only 32 more hours until I would see her in person!
With that optimistic thought, I went back to folding my laundry. I had almost finished when Petunia stormed into my room again. I vaguely considered transforming her into a toad. My fingers itched for my wand, but I forced myself to focus on the laundry. I didn't think my socks appreciated it very much. I got a little violent when my sister was around.
She didn't say anything. She just strode right into my room as though she owned the place. Sadly, I had an inkling Petunia actually believed she did. She perched herself in front of my window and pulled back the curtains.
It was too much. I couldn't control my curiosity. "What could you possibly want now?"
"Shh," she hushed me as she flailed her hand in my direction to make me simmer down.
It had the opposite effect. "No, this is my room. I have the right to know what's going on in it."
"I'm looking through your window," said Petunia, never tearing her eyes away from whatever she was gazing at, in a snotty voice.
Fighting the urge to roll my eyes because there was no one around to appreciate my sense of humor, I asked another question. "Can't you do that in your own room?"
"Yours has a better view of the front of the house," she replied.
"Why do you need to see the front of the house?" I asked.
"There's a cute guy out there," she told me in between a high-pitched giggle.
I couldn't help it; I rolled my eyes. "I wouldn't exactly call Vernon cute," I told her. "Able to swallow a whale, possibly - but cute, no."
Petunia was so annoyed that she actually turned to look in my direction. "It's not Vernon. I don't know who he is. I just thought he was cute."
"You mentioned," I replied dryly. Disinterested, I went back to folding my socks.
"Not that there's anything wrong with Vernon," continued Petunia pensively. "He's a very special individual, and he's completely infatuated with me."
"Who wouldn't be?" I mumbled to myself.
"It's just that the guy out there is all kinds of sexy. Look at those shoulders! And the way his butt looks when he walks, God," she paused to fan herself dramatically. "I just wish I could see his face. I wonder why he's here. He won't stop pacing in front of our front door. Maybe I should invite him inside."
"I'm sure your boyfriend would love that. I'm looking forward to that conversation. 'Sorry, mate, but Petunia already left with some boy-god with a nice rear.'"
"I might be in love with Vernon, but I'm still a girl with eyes. It's not a crime to appreciate the opposite sex. I'm perfectly normal."
"Lucky you." I kept my tone indifferent. If I did not engage, maybe she would finally get bored and leave me alone.
"Not that you would know anything about it," Petunia prattled on. "You never date. You probably don't even know what a cute boy looks like."
I bit down on my tongue. I kept trying to think of soothing images to keep my temper from flaring. I concentrated on my socks. If I could just keep focusing on aligning the stripes perfectly, everything would be okay.
"Not that it would matter. I highly doubt any boy would want to date a freak like you."
I slammed my socks down angrily.
"Really?" I goaded her. "So you don't think there's any way that guy down there might prefer me over you?"
Eyebrow raised, Petunia appraised me snobbishly for a few moments before scoffing in my direction. "I doubt it."
Now, I was angry. What was so wrong with me? I got off my bed and strode over to the window to peer out and peep at the boy. She was right. He looked pretty damn lickable. His black shirt was tight around his muscles, and his jean shorts hung perfectly around his hips. Window Boy also had a head of hair that screamed mischief. It was dark and thick and unmanageable, the kind you just wanted to run your fingers through. Yes, this boy was cute. Yet, there was no reason for Petunia to turn to mush at the mere stalking of him or for her to suggest that I would not be able to attract his interests. I had just as good of a shot with Window Boy as she did.
I had had boyfriends. There might not have been many, but a few boys at school had shown interest. I had flirted. I had dressed up and put on lip gloss. I could be just as obnoxiously estrogen-filled as everyone else. Hell, I even had my very own stalker who couldn't take "no" for an answer. I was Lily Evans, and I could get a boyfriend if I so desired.
"There's no reason why he wouldn't want to date me," I told her.
"Please," Petunia laughed. "Like he'd want to go out with a freak."
"Let's go find out," I snapped. I stormed out of my room and rushed through the hallway before jostling quickly down the stairs.
"Lily!" Petunia called after me as she tried to keep up. "What are you doing? Stop it!"
"No," I yelled out to her. "We're going to ask Window Boy what he thinks."
"Don't!' Petunia shouted.
"What?" I called out haughtily. "Afraid?" I taunted as I halted in front of the door.
Petunia arrived a few seconds after than me and took a few deep breaths to steady her heart rate. She eyed me before looking at the doorknob. "Of you," she jeered. "Never."
Then she opened the door.
It took him a few seconds to realize what was going on. He spun around on his heels as his hand immediately flew to his hair.
"Hey," Petunia cooed in what I assumed was meant to be a flirtatious tone. She forced open the door wider so it was blocking my view. I never got to see his face.
"Oh, hi," he replied back. His voice cracked. Maybe he was in shock from seeing Petunia try to bend so far down that he could see her lower intestines.
"Is there anything I can help you with?" she asked suggestively.
I rolled my eyes. Honestly, how did I end up with Petunia as a sister?
"Oh, yeah, is, um, Lily here?" he asked. His voice sounded nervous.
I startled a bit when I heard my name. I peeked over the door to see him. My heart stopped. I knew that hair.
What was James Potter doing here? He was standing right there on the foot of my door. James Potter was at my house. Petunia and I just had an actual conversation about his butt. We were going to ask who he would rather go on a date with. This was James Potter, and he was here. I thought I was going to throw up.
"Lily!" James exclaimed when he saw me. His face broke into a huge smile. He looked tanner than when I'd last seen him in June. He had gotten taller too. I tried to pick out all the things about him that would make him unrecognizable to me previously. It didn't work. My mind kept repeating the same thing. James Potter was at my house.
Beside me, Petunia was seething. "You want to talk to her?" she asked scathingly.
James looked at my sister as though he was coming out of a trance. "Yeah," he replied sheepishly. "If that's okay."
"Are you sure?" Petunia pushed. "I mean, she's really busy."
"Well, I guess I could come back another time then," he teetered. His voice was so cautious, not what I had expected.
"Well, you can always talk to me." She actually winked at him.
I had to work hard not to throw up on my shoes. I balled my hands into fists at my sides.
"No, thank you. I really only wanted Lily."
Petunia turned desperate. "But she's a freak!"
And that's when I said it.
"Petunia, let me introduce you to my boyfriend, James Potter."
The words left my mouth before I could stop them. I reveled in the shocked expression on my older sister's face. Her jaw had dropped to nearly her chest, and she was gazing at me like a goldfish out of water. I grinned smugly at the disbelief on her face.
It disappeared when I saw the look on Potter's. It was a mix between the greatest euphoria I had ever seen combined with the most confusion. It looked like he had just won a million galleons in a lottery he did not remember ever entering. Peripherally, I noticed Petunia's gaze moving back and forth between us. My eyes widened when I looked at the boy standing directly in front of me.
Potter opened his mouth as though he was about to say something. Oh, no. He was going to correct me. Potter was going to tell Petunia that I had lied. He was going to say that he wasn't my boyfriend. I couldn't let him do that. For the love of Merlin, I could not let him do that. I had to stop him. He couldn't tell her the truth. So, I did the only conceivable thing I could think of to make him stop. I kissed him.
A/N: hello, gentle readers! i promised i'd be back! here's the first bit of my newest story! i sincerely hope you enjoyed it! it's my first ever first-person story. it's so weird for me. i'm so used to speaking from third-person limited (james). i really hope you enjoy me getting inside lily's head. i know i will! thank you very much for reading this! please, if you have time, i have some shorter one-shots and the like that i recently wrote after "revenge." or, for those of you who i've known for a long time, "sweet." again, thank you! ttfn!