Disclaimer: Don't own anybody you recognize.
Yes, this is cousincest. If it makes you uncomfortable, don't read it.
Dedicated to Amy is Rockin', because she's an awesometastic, Louis-loving admin =D
She smiles at him, all firefirefire and sparkles, and she's shining under starlight, and sometimes, he thinks that might just be enough.
He's staying over at the Potters', sleeping on a spare mattress in James's bedroom that hardly ever leaves the room because he's over so often, when she clambers into their darkened room, half-crying, hair tousled, dressed in nothing but a light blue nightgown.
"Louis?" Lily whispers softly, her voice filling the room but somehow failing to wake James up through his snores. "Are you awake?"
"I am now," Louis grumbles, tossing aside his covers. "What's the matter, Lily-flower?"
Lily's hazel gaze catches and holds his, and she's like a brightbright rainbow in the darkness of the room. "I had a nightmare."
She's fourteen and too pretty, but she's his baby cousin and she's shivering, so he draws her onto his mattress and into his arms, cradling her against his bare chest in a comforting hug. "Shh, Lily-flower. It'll be all right. What was it about?"
She shakes her head, strawberry curls bouncing. "I don't remember. But it was scary. I woke up crying. Merlin, Louis, it was awful. And now I can't sleep."
Louis hugs her closer and tries not to shiver when her fingers begin absently tracing designs on his chest, because, hell, he's seventeen and her cousin and this is so many different shades of wrong. But she needs help, and he was always her favorite hugger.
"Do you want to sleep here?" he offers on impulse.
Lily draws back, eyes wide. "Oh, would you, Louis, really?"
She seems so delighted at the prospect of not having to face her bedroom that he can't bear to deny her. "Sure, of course. Just lay down here, all right? I'll take the couch."
"You will not!" she exclaims immediately – and, yeah, James is still sleeping through this. "Stop being such a gentleman; it doesn't suit you."
Louis grins. "Oh, it doesn't, huh?"
Before she can retort, his hands are dancing across her sides, tickling her mercilessly and she's giggling helplessly and the entire situation is so innocent and so heartbreaking, it kinda makes him want to cry. And when she forces his hands away, she curls up next to him, burying her head in his chest and falls asleep almost instantly.
Louis watches her, one hand absently combing her rich, strawberry-red curls as she breathes. "Sleep tight, Lily-flower."
Before he falls asleep, he makes sure to remind himself – she's too young, too pretty, and too damn related.
And forgetting that – well, it's a surefire recipe for catastrophe, isn't it?
There's an electric blue ribbon tying her hair back and he kinda wants to pull it out and let her hair spill down her shoulders, because she looks best when she's natural and not all dressed up to impress Scorpius Malfoy or whomever and –
Oh, right. Cousins.
Louis fills up a glass with lemonade, nods to James and Ellie, and wanders out of the main backyard, away from his laughing cousins enjoying the monthly Weasley reunion, and towards the little pond where he likes to sit and think.
It's hard to think, though, when his head is full of firefire hair and hazel eyes and a smile that shimmers.
"Hello!" Lily greets cheerfully, plopping down next to him and making him start in surprise. "Whatcha doing out here all by yourself?"
"Nothing," Louis says, flashing her a smile and wishing she were one of those gullible Hogwarts girls who melts at one look from him. But she's not – she's far too related. "Just thinking. What about you?"
"Same," Lily says, reaching back to tighten her ponytail and letting her long legs dangle in the water of the pond, sinfully bare beneath her pretty blue dress that hugs her curves and – never mind. "I thought I'd give you some company. You look lonely."
"I'm not," he assures her. "Just wanted to get away from the chaos for a moment. James and Ellie are driving me nuts with their mushy-gushy talk, too."
She giggles, the sound like sunshine on bubbles. "Yeah, they're almost as bad as Teddy and Victoire or Lucy and Lorcan, aren't they?"
Louis grins at her. "You seem to be having fun teasing them, though."
"I am," Lily beams. "Aren't you? James blushes so easily."
"I am, too," he admits. "But it gets boring after a while. And it's nice and peaceful out here."
"It is, isn't it?" she agrees amiably, swinging her legs, the water crystal-clear when it decorates her skin. "You have good taste, Louis."
Louis glances sidelong at her, taking in the flush of her cheeks, the sparkle in her eyes, the blueblue ribbon bright in her strawberry curls – "No, I don't."
Good taste would be anyone but her, after all.
Lily stabs her eggs viciously with a fork.
"Come on, now," Louis says gently, grinning at her. "What did those eggs ever do to you, Lily-flower?"
She sighs and slumps a little. "Nothing. I'm just annoyed."
He crosses to the other side of the kitchen counter, his orange juice forgotten, and hops up on a stool next to her. "What about?"
"Scorpius. And Rose. And Scorpius-and-Rose," she answers, the light in her hazel eyes dulled at the mention of the clan's latest couple.
Louis feels a sudden, sharp stab of jealousy twisting inside him. "Oh. You like him, huh?"
"Yeah," Lily mutters. "A little. A lot. I don't know. I just don't feel happy when I look at them being all cutesy, y'know?"
"I do," he tells her, trying not to betray just how much he knows about jealousy. "Don't worry. You'll find a great guy some day."
Lily looks at him, really looks at him, and the strap of her nightgown is falling off her shoulder and all he really wants to do is reach out and touch her – "Do you really think so?"
Louis gulps. "Yeah, I do." He leans over, running his hand up the fair skin of her shoulder to adjust the strap of her nightgown. "Promise, Lily-flower."
If he didn't know better, he'd say she was blushing. "Thanks."
He's never noticed before, but her lips are very pink in the lamp light.
James bounds in, then. "Hey, Louis, want to go play a pick-up game of Quidditch at Fred's house?"
Louis jerks away from her, turning away from those brightbright hazel eyes, and forces a smile for his best friend. "Sure. Let's go."
"You wanna come, Lils?" James asks casually.
Louis tenses up.
Lily's hand brushes his back, inducing shivers and butterflies and dizziness all at once. "I'd love to."
Oh, yeah, she's going to be the death of him some day.
She looks radiant against a backdrop of velvety skies and glittering stars, and, in hindsight, that was the beginning of the end.
"Enjoying the party?" Louis asks as he clambers up onto the Potters' roof, flashing her a smile. "Congratulations are in order, I think."
Lily turns around, a smile lighting up her face when she recognizes him. "Oh, thank you! And, yes, I am. It's all very exciting."
"I bet," Louis chuckles, sitting gracelessly down next to her so his legs dangled off the edge of the roof. "Why aren't you down in the backyard celebrating your graduation?"
"Because Lucy and Lorcan and Lysander are partying hard enough for all of us," Lily tells him, giggling. "Why aren't you down there, huh?"
"It's no fun without you, Lily-flower," he murmurs, scooting closer to touch her hand – she's freezing. "What's the matter? You seem a little unhappy."
Lily sniffles. "I don't want to graduate. Hogwarts is my home."
"Oh, really? Fancy that – I was under the impression we were sitting on your home," Louis teases, hoping to elicit a smile.
It works, but only a little. "Well, yeah, but I love it there. I don't let go of things I love easily."
Maybe it's just an accident (maybe it's all just an accident), but her fingers twine with his and squeeze as she says that.
"It'll be okay," he assures her. "All of us survived, didn't we?"
Lily turns her heartmelting hazel eyes on him. "Yeah, I guess. I just – oh, I don't know. I guess I'm just scared."
Louis draws her into his arms for a hug and tries not to focus on how warm and light she is or on how well she fits against him. "Don't be. You still have us – your family, your friends, everyone. We're all here for you."
She tilts her head up to look at him, eyes bright with stars and dreams. "Are you?"
"Always," he says, astonished she would even have to ask. "And forever."
"Thanks," Lily whispers, her breath ghosting over his face and making butterflies waltz through his stomach and, oh, this is wrong, soso wrong, but at this very moment, with starshine sparkling all over her and her strawberry curls spilling over her shoulders and her hazel eyes bright against the night skies, he couldn't care less about the blood that flows through their veins.
He leans forward, head angled, and she meets him halfway and seals his fate.
She tastes like bubblegum and heaven and sin all at once, and she kisses him back, hungrily, desperately, as if she knows just as well as he does – this is it.
(Looks like they finally finished that recipe.)
He watches her marry Scorpius with the memory of bubblegum on his lips and warm hands traveling all over his body and rich red curls tumbling down over the both of them –
And, yeah, this really isn't helping.
Louis knows he has to get away from her, has to go live his life away from his sinfully pretty baby cousin and find some other girl who dances in storms and laughs like sunshine and sparkles under starlight (and where he's planning on finding one of those, he really doesn't know). He has to forget there ever was a Louis&Lily because now it's Scorpius&Lily and it always will be.
But then she smiles at him (firefirefire, sparkleshinesin), and he knows he can never really forget her.
"Do you take this wizard to be your lawfully wedded husband?"
Lily hesitates, hazel eyes slanting across the room to where Louis is sitting, watching the ceremony with calm detachment on his face (he was always good at pretending – I don't love her, she never loved me, we never loved, we were always just cousins).
She looks at him for the space of a heartbeat, hazel into blue, a mess of emotions conveyed in that simple glance.
(Always and forever ended pretty quickly, don't you think?)
Author's Notes. So. Um. I have now written Lily with Scorpius, Lorcan, Lysander, Teddy, and Louis. Would it be wrong of me to say that this is now perhaps my Lily OTP? Yes? Well, um… =P
I hope you all enjoyed this and please do review and tell me what you thought! And don't favorite without reviewing! Thanks! =)