preconceived notions

TeddyLily

She's dancing with the autumn leaves, twirling around in the air and wondering if she'll ever hit ground.

First of all, she doesn't blame Lorcan, though everyone else seems to. It's her fault that she fell for him and therefore she should have to deal with the consequences, namely heartbreak. No one else seems to see it that way, especially James and Albus.

"Lily, I think I'm going to go kill Lorcan," James says in a nonchalant way one day.

"What?" Lily looks up from the book she's been reading as she mopes in her bed.

James frowns at her. "You don't do anything anymore. All you do is sit around and sulk and think about Lorcan. You used to be so full of life…"

"It's not Lorcan's fault, and I'm not only thinking about him," She lies.

Albus walks up, crossing his arms across his chest. "You are, Lily, and he's so stupid to break your heart."

"We don't know who he fancies," Lily huffs, collapsing on the couch."It could be me, for all we know."

James and Albus share a very concerned look. "Lily, if you thought that he liked you, then why wouldn't you be with him all of the time?"

"I don't know," She says in her sulking voice. "Why do you care, anyway?"

"We're your brothers," Albus announces, grinning. "Of course we care."

She just looks at him, nodding. "I suppose so."

Autumn is her least favourite season, ever since early the next year when her nightmares come true. Lorcan asks Lucy out, Lucy accepts wholeheartedly, and they begin to go out. But where does that leave Lily? She's just the background girl, shoved to the side.

One day, she comes upon them snogging in a corridor. Quickly, Lorcan the gentleman pulls away, seeing the sad expression on Lily's face. "Oh, Merlin, Lily! What are you … I mean…" he blushes immensely.

"Nothing," Lily says with a frown. "Doesn't matter. Continue on."

Running out of the school, she runs until she finds an empty spot of grass and collapses on it. Tears start to soak her arms as she sobs into them.

Footsteps approach behind her. Without lifting her head out of her arms, she hisses, "Go away, Lorcan."

"It's not Lorcan," A soft voice says. There's a few more footsteps, then someone's sitting beside her. "Did he hurt you, firework? Be honest, please."

"Yes, Teddy," She growls, lifting her tearstained face to look up at him. "What, does it look like I'm upset or something?"

"He's not worth it," Teddy says, wrapping an arm around her. He knows it should be weird, as he's around to help out at the school (he's only just graduated) and she's still in school, but she's like his little sister so it's not. "Don't worry about it."

"He's not worth it? I wish I could say that, but Lorcan isn't an unkind git like many at our school," Lily replies, still sniffling.

He just stares at her. "He has to be insane to break up with you."

Shaking her head, she stands up. "You just don't get it, do you?"

"Get what?" Teddy says, shaking his head. "You're right, firework, I don't get it. Why can't you just blame Lorcan and get it over with? He's an idiot, snogging Lucy right in the middle of the corridors-"

"I'm not blaming Lorcan," Lily sighs, jumping to her feet and turning to walk away. Before she leaves, she reminds him, "The only person to blame is myself."

She knows that he's watching her as she walks away, head held high even through her so-very-obvious pain.

The autumn leaves that seem to fall from the sky have never seemed so depressing to her.

….

"What's your favourite season?" Lucy asks at the family reunion, smiling and holding Lorcan's hand. Lily bites her lip from where she's sitting.

Making sure that her father, Harry Potter, isn't watching, Teddy reaches over and pats Lily's back in comfort before answering. "Autumn, definitely."

"I agree," Roxanne says, perfect white teeth contradicting with her russet skin as she smiles. "The leaves are so pretty, and it's not too warm or cold-"

"Autumn is the worst season," Lily cuts in, crossing her arms across her chest and scowling.

"Why?" Lorcan asks, looking worried, and she can't help but to think that it's all because of him so does he really want to know?

She sends a pointed glare at Lucy and Lorcan before nodding. "Why does it matter? I happen to think any season's better than autumn because of something from my past that I obviously don't care about anymore…"

Teddy catches her arm, looking very confused. "I thought you weren't blaming Lorcan."

"I'm not," She replies with a sigh, sinking back into her chair again. "Carry on, please."

Everyone at the table looks bewildered, but they carry on. From her spot on the other side of Teddy, Victoire giggles. "No, guys, winter's definitely the better season."

"I agree," Lily says, coming out of her determined stony silence. As far as she remembers, last year, she'd spent a lot of time during the winter with Lorcan while Lucy was ill. But now…now she doesn't spend time with him, so she thinks it has to be the dark season of her life.

Everything seems to go silent before Rose Weasley speaks, her brown eyes glinting in the light. "Lily, you used to love autumn, and winter was your least favourite season…"

"Not anymore," She says. Standing up, her red hair swinging beside her, she walks outside.

….

Later that day, she hears hushed, angry-sounding voices coming from the room. Curiously, she presses her ear to the door, being the sneaky Slytherin that she is. The first voice that drifts through the door is Lorcan's.

"I don't know what you're talking about." The Ravenclaw's usually bright voice sounds dark now, almost creepy.

"Like heck you don't, Scamander," The second voice belongs to Teddy Lupin. "You broke her heart, and do you even care? Obviously not."

"Of course I care about her," Lorcan says, unimpressed. "I love her."

"But not in the right ways, do you?" Teddy's voice sounds deeper, scarier, than she's ever heard it, and it scares her to death that he's this concerned about her (she supposes it has to be her, Lorcan's usually not the heartbreaker type). "You broke her heart, Lorcan, and now she's all depressed- she's even changed her favourite season. She really liked autumn until you began to date Lucy."

"She shouldn't allow her life to revolve around me," Lorcan says, his voice becoming softer. "Feelings are no replacement for reason…"

"She's a teenage girl," Teddy replies. "Reason isn't existent in her mind at the moment. Her feelings are her guidance and all she has."

Lorcan's tone becomes a bit louder, a bit more abrasive. "Going all adult on me isn't going to get me to change what I feel for Lily compared to what I feel for Lucy."

She can almost picture the look on Teddy's face at this point in time. She hears him say in a calm voice that's tinged with anger, "Well, you're not worth her time then, or mine."

With that, he turns to stalk out of the room. Quickly, Lily jumps out of the way just before the door swings open, nearly hitting her. But he doesn't see her, to her intense relief. She breathes in, and then exhales. What's going on here?

….

Time passes by, because it won't stop, not even on days where she feels like just giving up. She starts to lose all romantic feelings for Lorcan, and it doesn't hurt (as much) when she sees him with Lucy looking as happy as can be.

One warm spring day Teddy randomly arrives at Hogwarts, outside of the Slytherin dorms. Attacking him in a hug, Lily asks, "What are you doing here?"

"Are you all cheered up yet, little Miss Potter?" Teddy says with a grin on his face. "Because if you're not…"

"You're going to make me cheer up?" She demands, placing her hands on her hips. "Haven't you realised by now, Teddy Lupin, that you cannot force a girl to cheer up-"

"Come on," Teddy groans, rolling his eyes and grabbing her hand to pull her along. She just relents and lets him, figuring that whatever he's doing can't make her feel any worse, right?

So she follows him until he reaches a field, bright in all of its glory, and he pulls her down beside him. "Isn't this a cheerful place, Firework?"

"It is cheerful," She agrees, teeth sinking into her lip. "But you know, Teddy, I'm not hurt by him anymore, so you don't have to just do all of this because you feel guilty-"

"I feel guilty?" Teddy cuts in. Hesitantly, she raises her surprised eyes to meet his confused ones. "Why would I feel guilty?" he continues.

"Because," She says. "Because you know that you have Vicky and Molly has Lysander and Roxanne has Ben… heck, everyone has someone but me, and you feel sorry for me, especially because of this Lucy and Lorcan thing. So you feel guilty and you don't want me to think about that…"

"That's not true!" Teddy protests. "First, Vicky isn't mine- we're not going out; I don't know how you got that impression. Second, even if I was thinking like that, I wouldn't do this just because I felt guilty. You're like my sister, Lily, and I want you to be happy." His appraising brown eyes fall on her, on her face that she's sure is finally looking a bit brighter.

Dangling her toes into the water, she nods. "I get it. But even though I'm over Lorcan, I'm not happy- is that normal?"

"Don't feel like you need a boy to survive," He advises.

"I don't need a boy to survive," She protests, but her eyes don't meet his with the shame.

Reaching over, he takes her tiny hand in his, meeting her eyes. "As long as you're sure."

She tries to pretend she doesn't feel it-the sparks going up her arm, the tingle that spreads to her toes- but she does, she does, and she doesn't know why. I mean, she reasons with herself, it's only Teddy, and I've known him since I was born.

But as she gazes into his deep brown (caring) eyes, all her preconceived notions fall apart.

..

It happens in autumn, but doesn't it always? At least in her imagination, it's always in autumn.

They're all at the station once again, just like so long ago, when she was but a child and Teddy was snogging Victoire. But now she's going off for seventh year and she's hardly a child anymore. She's different also in the fact that she sort of, might fancy Teddy Lupin.

Which is wrong on so many levels but she's never gone for what's right, anyway.

Just like before, James rushes back with his current girlfriend on his arm, smirking from ear to ear. "Teddy and Victoire are snogging again, and it looks pretty, um, serious to me, if I do say so myself."

She feels her heart drop inside of her chest. It had all been a game for him, hadn't it? Get Lily over Lorcan, get her to fall in love with you, and then go for Victoire. Who cares about her fragile heart?

It's your fault, she repeats inside. Your fault. Don't blame Teddy. He wasn't thinking like that in the first place. You're eleven years too young; he's old enough to be your uncle or something.

Without stopping to face what's just happened (when does she ever?), she turns and flees to the safety of the Hogwarts Express, wondering if she'll find (herself) there.

…..

That year, she goes from boy to boy, but it's never enough. Lorcan and Teddy aren't there, and none of these boys are Lorcan or Teddy or anything remotely close to either of them, so she always ends up broken.

She starts to gain a reputation, but it's not as if she cares- no, she's Lily Luna and she's emotionless, unbreakable, and winter is her favourite season. She's strong and all of that.

But heck, on the inside, she's breakable and movable and autumn will always have a soft spot in her heart.

Every time she gets a new boyfriend, she hopes it will work out.

And every time she gets a new boyfriend, she ends up broken in the Slytherin common room while her brothers beat up the boy.

She's like an autumn leaf, falling from a tree and wondering when she'll be the one to hit ground.

…..

It's not until autumn the next year, after she's graduated from school and is sitting in a pile of leaves, wondering what she's going to do with the rest of her life, that something changes her viewpoint.

"Lily," someone calls.

Looking up, she sees familiar blue eyes and brown hair. Some part of her wants to protest. The other part wants him to stay. She gives into the bigger part after a bit of a struggle, and then she tries to smile. "Teddy. Fancy seeing you here. Thought you'd be off with Victoire." The ice is evident behind her words.

"Don't be silly, Lily," He starts off playful but his tone hardens. "You know Victoire and I broke things off. She's with that doctor boy now and she's- she's happy, so I'm fine with that…"

"Good," Lily says. "I'm glad you are."

Everything retreats into a stony silence once again. He's the one to break it. "Don't… don't be like this, Lily. I don't know what's going on with you, and I don't know why…"

"You honestly don't know why?" Lily spits bitterly. Eyebrows furrowed, she just shakes her head. "I wish I could explain. But could you just leave me alone for now?"

"Leave you alone?" Teddy nearly yells. "All you ever want is for people to leave you alone-"

"Because those people hurt me!" She shrieks. "They go off and kiss my cousin while I'm in love with them!"

Everything goes silent. There are no birds chirping in the trees, nothing fluttering in the breeze. The only audible noise is the dropping of Teddy's jaw.

"I'm sorry," She looks down, blinking back tears. "I shouldn't feel this way about you- it's wrong, I know. Everything about this is wrong."

Suddenly, her face is too close to his, and everything's too wrong about this situation, but Teddy leans in and closes the distance between them anyway. As they kiss, she wraps her arms around his neck and wonders awkwardly what this is.

When he pulls away, he just stares at her, looking quite confused but quite pleased. She just stares back at him, and an autumn leaf falls onto her head.

Rather than make everything serious, he plucks it off her head. "Do you hate autumn as much now?"

"No," She breathes out, still staring at him.

Because maybe- maybe- this won't be just another heartbreak.

…..

She's dancing with the autumn leaves, twirling around in the air, and she's found her shelter on a sturdy branch.

A/N: Sorry for whatever that was, because I really have no idea. O.o

For the Four Seasons Challenge. LilyTeddy, with the prompt autumn.

:/