for Fanfiction Idol, over at HPFC
dedicated to my darling fiancé, Mittens, because I owe her a Lilysander and she really needs cheering up atmx3 :)
In loving memory of Alex/Visions of a scarlet night and Mittens best friend, Charlotte
thanks to Bluey/BlueEyes444 for Betaing this for me. :)
a/n: everyone's ages are going to be screwed up a bit, just a forewarning.
paint the world with colour
Those two words, so simple, and yet, they can make or break things. They can make your day or ruin your life. They can and will change everything; it's up to you whether the change is a good or bad thing. It's up to you to make it or break it.
The whole table stares wide-eyed at Victoire, who flushes a deep red and looks to her boyfriend, Teddy, for help. Teddy's twenty-four and Victoire is twenty-one; they're both old enough for this. They're responsible and caring people; they deserve this. So I stand up and hug them.
"Congrats, you guys," I say, giving them each a smile. As I sit back down, our other relatives are coming out of shock and Grandma Molly, Aunt Fleur, and cousin Dominique are squealing with Fleur and touching her nonexistent stomach for kicks that aren't going to come for a while, while Uncle Bill, Dad, and Grandpa Arthur are each giving Teddy man-hugs, as they like to call them.
In the mist of all the chatter and excitement, I take my chance to escape. As I walk through the back door of the Burrow, onto the porch, I let out a sigh of relief. Sometimes, my family is just a bit over bearing. I like to spend time with them in doses, instead of just hanging out with all of them at once - that'd be like overdosing on aspirin: the end results wouldn't be pretty.
I listen as the sounds of their chatter and laughter are muffled by the walls separating us. It's getting dark now, and by the small forest my aunts, uncles, parents, and grandparents planted after the war ended, as a sign of hope, I notice a few lightning bugs. They've always been my favorite type of insect, instead of butterflies and caterpillars, like the rest of the girls in my family.
There's just something about always having something to light the way when you get lost or when things get dark that fascinates me.
I jump as the door behind me opens and closes.
"Lily Luna," Victoire says, her eyes growing wide as she spots me leaning over the porch, staring out into the yard and night sky. She's the only person who calls me by my full name, unless I'm in trouble. I'd never admit it, but I like that she calls me that; it makes me feel like a whole different person than who I really am: who I want to be. I notice a shooting star out of the corner of my eye, lighting up the night sky as it flies across, painting the world with colour.
"Make a wish," I whisper, closing my eyes. I listen with my eyes shut as she walks up beside me and there's silence. I can only guess she's shut her eyes, too, to make her own wish.
Later on, inside, while everyone's chatting and laughing, I'm upstairs in my mum's old bedroom, laying on her old bed. Beside me is my best friend, Lysander. We're both staring at the light purple ceiling. "Do you think they're ready for this? For being parents and caring for a child? Victoire and Teddy, I mean," I ask after a few moments of comfortable silence, sitting up a little to look into his green eyes.
He shrugs. "I dunno. I mean, they're both a bit young, but at the same time, they're both really smart, and, from what I gather, Victoire is really good with children. So I guess they could be, but you can never really know - not until they actually have this baby."
"We'll find out soon, I guess," I say, laying back down, onto his chest. He plays with my long red hair and sings an old lullaby my mum used to sing to me, and before I know it, my eyelids are fluttering closed and I fall asleep to the sound of his breathy song and the melody of his heartbeat.
The next week, things are chaotic at our weekly Friday night dinner. It's only the third time I've been to a Friday night dinner since I graduated Hogwarts last month and I'm still getting used to the fact that I won't have a real excuse to not come to our miniature family reunions, as I like to call them, when summer ends.
Grandma Molly and Mum will be expecting me to get here every Friday, no excuses, when I start my Healer Training. Which is just lovely - sarcasm, dears. These thoughts plague me through dinner, as my older brothers and male cousins bicker and throw food at people. I let out a loud sigh before I shove the last piece of Kidney Pie into my mouth and mutter out "can I be excused?", before I exit out the backdoor without waiting for an answer, still chewing my food.
No one pays me any mind as I go - all the parental units are scolding Fred and James for starting their little food fight.
I sigh again and lay back on the hammock in the back yard. From where the Burrow is located in the country, without all the city lights, you can see thousands of stars - I love that about this place. I love Astronomy. When I was younger, Lysander and Lorcan would always show me the constellations their mum knew.
I don't hang around with Lorcan as much anymore - he's fallen in with Lucy and her best friend, Emily Longbottom, but it doesn't bother me in the least; we all know he loves Lucy, even though they them selves don't. But Lysander stuck with me. It was hard for the both of us - he's two years older than me - but we made it through.
I smile as I spot Sirius, Cassiopeia, and Aquarius - finding constellations has always had a somewhat calming affect on me, for some weird, yet lovely reason.
"Searching for Constellations, Lily Luna?" Victoire asks from above me. The way I'm laying makes her look upside down - kind of like she's floating; floating around, up in the sky with the stars. I shake my head a little bit before nodding to answer her question. "Mind if I join you?" She asks, rubbing her left palm on the side of her worn jeans.
"Sure," I smile, sliding over on the hammock. She flashes me a small smile as she gets on and lays down.
We lay there on the hammock for a little bit, just looking at the stars. I turn to look at her and realize with alarm that she's got tears running down her cheeks, her face is flushed, and she's staring straight ahead at the sky.
"A-are you alright?" I ask quietly, watching her in concern. It's so weird - I've never, ever seen her cry. She's always been calm, cool, and under control. It's how she's wired, after all.
Victoire sits up, making the hammock rock back and forth a little. Her eyes are red and the smile she had on her face earlier is gone, in it's place a frown. She avoids my eyes for a few minutes, staying silent as she searches the yard for what I assume is an escape. For the first time since I turned seventeen, I'm glad Grandma Molly had spells put down on the land, where you couldn't apparate out or into it.
"Victoire..." I mutter again, sitting up. The next thing I know, she's sobbing in my arms. "It's going to be alright, Vic," I mutter, rubbing her back and hair.
"I'm not ready, Lily Luna! I'm just not! I don't know how to be a mum! I just don't know! How am I going to do this?" she asks through her sobs and hiccups. "How am I going to do this? What if I'm not ready? I - I don't think I'm ready, Lily Luna."
I stay silent as she cries - I don't have any answers for her. So I let her soak my cotton shirt with her tears.
It's the only thing I can do for her.
"Thanks, so much, for coming with me, Lily Luna," Victoire says to me when we meet at a near by Muggle Mall - Victoire has a thing for muggle clothes. Something about them being refreshingly different from 'annoying and sweaty robes' - her words, not mine. "I don't think I could do this alone. I mean, it may sound dramatic, but when I realized I was going to gain weight and have to by maternity clothes, I was really upset; still am, actually."
It does sound a bit dramatic, but I understand where she's coming from - all of womankind would, I'm sure. "No problem," I say, smiling as we exit the mall. My arms feel like deadweights from all of the bags I'm helping her carry and I am so thankful we are headed to meet Lysander and Teddy at the ice cream shop, so I can sit down for once in seven hours.
"So…" Victoire starts as we turn a corner, passing muggle London for Diagon Alley as we do so. People go from wearing shorts and tank tops to wizarding robes and carrying wands. "You and Lysander?" She asks, pushing a stray blonde hair away from her face as she does. I notice, as we walk, people stare long and hard at her, and yet, she doesn't even seem to notice - it's as if their stares have become something like a second skin for her.
"Oh, no. Not at all - he's my best friend, Vic," I say, trying to shake the mental images and flush that has made a home on my cheeks. "Just friends, Vic - no benefits, no secret crushes, no stolen kisses, nothing romantic and cliché like that. Just friends," I stress when she opens her mouth to speak.
"Aw, well that's so boring." She says, frowning. She leaves the topic alone, though; instead she goes on about baby names and such.
And yet - it sticks with me as we make our way to the ice cream shop near the family joke shop, Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes. Images of Lysander and I kissing flutter through my mind, and the weirdest part is, when I really think about it, it doesn't seem half bad. Actually, it seems amazing.
But he's my best friend. Just my best friend - nothing more, nothing less. I don't have those kinds of feelings for him - he's like my brother... my very attractive brother who I wouldn't mind snogging but don't like in that way.
Merlin, I think I may need therapy. Lots of it.
Later on, after we've all met up and eaten ice cream, I give all of Victoire's bags to Teddy and watch as he jokes around with her about going into debt before he turns twenty five. She smiles and leans up, kisses him quickly on the lips, before she wraps her left arm around his right, holding tightly to her bags as she does.
She lifts her free hand to wave goodbye to Lysander and I, before Teddy turns and they're gone. As soon as they disappear, I turn to Lysander and link my arm through his. "They really love each other," I comment as we walk idly, neither of us quite ready to go home. My eyes are trained on the night sky as we walk, searching for a constellation as we walk. I can't find one - it's too early to see them, the sun is still going down.
I can feel the weight of his stare on my face and I stop and turn to look up at him. "What?" I ask, staring at him for a second, before I avert my eyes.
"You aren't telling me something," he says to me quietly, linking his arm back into mine and pulling me closer than before. For a second, I'm sure we look like all the other young couples walking around in Diagon Alley - young and in love. But we aren't in love; we're Lysander and Lily and we're best friends.
"Well," I mutter, closing my eyes for a second and taking a deep breathe. "I decided that I don't want to go through with Healer Training..." I say quietly, avoiding his eyes.
"Why?" He asks as we circle back around Diagon Alley and head back towards the joke shop.
"I heard that the year after next, Mrs. Sterling is going to retired. And, well, this year, she's going to choose one student to shadow her while she teaches. Lysander," I say, turning to face him. "I want to be that one student. I want to teach Astronomy at Hogwarts."
"Then do it," he says, and for one strange split second, I believe he's going to kiss me. He doesn't. He grabs my hand and we continue walking in silence, his hand locked tightly in mine.
If only. If only it was that simple, but it's not that simple. I don't tell him that, though. I stay quiet and look up at the sky again, just in time to see the sun fall below the horizon, colouring the sky purple and pink and powder blue, before it disappears, and everything goes dark.
"So. Names." Aunt Fleur says a week and a half later. Dominique nods enthusiastically, while Roxanne rolls her eyes from her corner by the un-lit fireplace, mocking them both with faux-preppy facial expressions. I bite my lip to keep from laughing at my older cousin while Victoire tells them about what names she wants to name her baby.
"Well - I love the name Tara for a girl and maybe Michael for a boy? I don't know," she says, shaking her head. "I haven't really decided - I still have time, anyway, Mum," she adds at her mother's disgruntled look. "I've still got seven more months."
"I know, I know," Fleur says, still pouting a little. "I just think you shouldn't waste that time. Before you know it, you'll be in labor and without a name for your child, just because you thought you had forever when you really didn't." Everyone ignores Fleur's melodramatics, though.
"I've got cookies," Grandma Molly calls from the door way of Shell Cottage as she enters. "Hello, dearys," she smiles at all of her granddaughters and daughter-in-law.
"Hey, Nana," Rose says, shutting her book and placing it carefully beside her, before she stands up and gives our Grandmother a hug. "These are great," she smiles after she's pulled away and taken one of the chocolate chip cookies off the plate covered in aluminum foil and bitten into it, "thanks."
"Of course, darling. And what about the rest of you girls? Get up and give your Nana a hug!"
I smile and stand with the rest of my female cousins - something about us needing our 'woman time'. To quote Roxanne, "funny how all of our mums/aunts got out of it." "Nice to see you, Nana," I mutter as I hug her. As always, she smells of cinnamon and fresh laundry. That smell - I used to love it as a kid; I'd always hug her randomly, just so I could get a whiff of it. Weird, I know now - but it wasn't to my eight year old mind.
"So," Grandma Molly says as she sits down beside Victoire, "names?"
Roxanne lets out a huff from her corner and I can only guess she was forced to come. It takes all the self-control I've got to keep from giggling.
"Merlin, why does it have to be so hot," Victoire says, sitting up on her lawn chair as Teddy pushes open the screen door and we all walk out onto the deck. "The baby and I don't like it, not at all." She pushes a sweaty strand of blonde hair behind her ear with one hand and touches her slightly prodding stomach, but it just falls back into her face.
"Here," I smile, handing her a hair band. "Those help a lot when you want your hair out of your face."
"Thank you," she breathes, pulling her hair up into a messy bun on the top of her head. "So, how do you like the house? We got a real good deal on it - to good to pass down," she smiles widely as Teddy moves to stand behind her. I watch as he rubs her shoulders. She leans into him and rests her head against his stomach. For a moment I wonder if I'll ever have a love like that.
"It's great," Lysander says, smiling at the two of them.
I shake my head and smile. "I love it, you guys! It's absolutely perfect for you two."
"So," I say, later that night as Lysander and I are walking to his house from the apparation point a little ways from his land. "One and a half months left of summer," I say, leaning my head on his shoulder. The night is warm and breezy and we can hear hundreds of frogs croaking in the distance, all singing a melody I haven't yet learned.
"It feels like forever; as if we have forever," he says, wrapping an arm around my bare shoulders.
"Too bad we don't," I mutter, frowning.
"So, did you ever get a letter back from Professor Sterling? You know, about the shadowing her so you can take over her job year after this one?" He asks me, looking down at me, into my eyes.
"I uh... Well, no. Not exactly." I mutter, looking away from him. "I just... Haven't had the time, you know? Things are crazy right now and all. I've been looking all over the place for a flat in Wizarding London, where I'd really love to live. I haven't been able to find one I could even afford, so I've been forced to look in Muggle London, and let me tell you, that hasn't worked out so great either. I just..." I ramble, only stopping at the look he gives me.
"You're making excuses because you're afraid?" Lysander asks, raising a blonde eyebrow. Sarcasm is dripping from his voice and he's looking at me with those heart melting, pulse racing, goose bump causing green eyes and for a second I'm torn between slapping him and kissing him.
I do neither. Instead, I realize something that scares me to death, so I turn and I run. I run far, far away. And when I look back, he's not chasing me.
"Lily Luna," Victoire says, her brown eyes wide as she stares at me in shock from her doorway, one hand laying absentmindedly on her swollen belly, the other holding her red front door open. "What are you doing here? Are you okay? Why are you crying?" Her questions blur along with her face from all the tears rolling down my cheeks and the thoughts clouding my mind.
"I love him, Victoire! I love Lysander! I love my best friend! I don't understand how this happened! How? How did it happen? How can I be in love with him? How?" I cry as I rub at my cheeks in a pointless attempt to rid them of the tears practically blinding me.
"Oh, honey," she mutters, opening her arms. I walk gratefully into them and cry on her shoulder. "Do you want to stay here tonight? We could have an impromptu girls night; you know with popcorn, and chocolate bars, and Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and cheesy romantic movies and scary movies that'll have us checking under the bed and in the closet for monsters." She says, smiling kindly at me.
I nod, and hug her again. As I do, I feel something.
"What was that?" I ask, sniffling, but she pays me no mind. Her face breaks out into a wide smile and she squeals.
"The baby - it just kicked! It kicked, Lily Luna!" She smiles, both of her hands placed on her stomach. "Feel," she says, grabbing one of my hands and placing it on her stomach. I can't help but smile, too, as I feel the baby kick again.
"It's going to be a girl," before I can stop myself, the words are out. Her eyes widen and she raises an eyebrow in question. "I - I mean, I hope it's a girl. We don't want another Teddy running around, after all," I joke, wondering where those words came from. Until now, this second, I hadn't even thought about the baby's sex.
"Hey!" A voice calls from behind us. Victoire and I turn in shock, only to see Teddy making his way down from the top of the stairwell. "I'll have you know, this world would be lucky to have another me around here." He jokes, smirking as he walks over to us.
"We'll talk later, alright?" Victoire whispers to me as Teddy makes his way over.
I nod and smile.
[a u g u s t]
"So, wait, you love Lysander?" Victoire asks me the next day - the first day of August - as we're getting coffee from a muggle coffee shop. "How long, then?" she asks when I nod to answer her first question, frowning as she orders her decaf. "For the baby," she mutters to herself.
"I don't really know. A while, I think," I say, handing the cashier my cash to pay for the tall mocha latte with extra whipped cream and chocolate sauce and my blue berry muffin. I want to laugh as Victoire stares in jealously at my coffee as I run my finger around the edge, collecting whipped cream on it.
"For the baby," she mutters again to herself, scowling as she takes a sip of her decaf with nothing but black coffee in it - no sugar, no creamer; just coffee.
"I guess these feelings have always been there. I just never paid them any attention," I say, licking the whipped cream off my finger.
"I really hate you right now," she mutters as we grab a table and sit down, her eyes still trained on my coffee.
"You can't drink caffeine when you're pregnant?" I ask as she scowls and pushes her coffee away from her, giving up on trying to force the hot liquid down.
"I can - well, I think I can - I haven't finished the book on pregnancy that I'm reading," she explains. "But Teddy and I have talked and we decided I need to eat healthier - you know, fruits, vegetables, salads - stuff like that, to make sure the baby is getting everything she or he needs; all the vitamins and such." Victoire says, smiling a little, the way she always does at mention of her baby.
"Sounds... fun," I mutter weakly, for her sake, sipping my calorie-loaded drink with a small smile.
"No, not really," she says bluntly. "But enough of me. We're here to talk about you and Lysander."
I sigh and look away from her, out the window. I watch as muggle business men in uncomfortable business suits walk by carrying briefcases and talking on their cell phones. Across the street, a man is sitting on a bench, eating a hotdog. There's a few joggers and bikers, a couple of teenage boys and a girl skate boarding, and there's an older woman walking her poodle.
For a second I wonder how things would be different if I were born a muggle. Would I be one of those people outside on the streets, living a mundane life? Skate boarding or walking my dog or jogging with friends? Would I be the one sitting on that bench?
Where would I be?
"Lily Luna? Lily Luna!" Victoire calls, bringing me out of 'lala land', as she calls it. "You dazed off," she explains, shaking her head at me.
"Sorry," I mutter, glancing back out the window for a second, before I turn back and go on to pour my heart out about my feelings for Lysander to her.
"Lily! Lily!" My face heats up at the sound of his voice and I curse myself for letting these feelings I've got for him get to me as I turn around. "Hey!" Lysander says as he catches up to me on the crowded Hogsmead street.
"Hey," I say quietly, absentmindedly kicking a loose rock from the pavement.
Lysander stares at me for a minute. I get the feeling he's trying to look into my eyes, but I avoid his. It's been really awkward around him lately, what with my latest 'discovery' and all. For me at least. Part of me is scared to death I'm going to blurt out my feelings for him and then he'll laugh and tell me it will never happen, and we won't be best friends anymore.
Stupid, I know.
"You've been avoiding me, haven't you?" Lysander asks me quietly. All around us, wizards and witches rush around, shoving and pushing, trying to get where ever they're going.
"I - No, of course not. I've just been really busy, you know. Things have been hectic lately, what with Victoire's baby and school and..." I stop, trailing off at the mention of school. I can't help it; my eyes get wide and my smile even wider. "Let's walk," I say randomly as I grab his arm and pull him along.
"What? What?" Lysander asks, raising an eyebrow. I assume he completely forgets about how I spent the last week avoiding him.
"I wrote to Mrs. Sterling about the job..." I say, giggling at his impatience. "And, well, she wrote back saying she'll have to talk with Head Master Longbottom. That was a week ago, and well, she wrote back to me this morning." I say, turning around to face him. "When Mrs. Sterling retires, I'll be the new Astronomy Professor!"
"That's great, Lil!" He says and hugs me.
"I know! I'm so excited," I squeal.
"Let's get ice cream to celebrate," Lysander says, grabbing my arm and pulling me along with him in the direction of the Ice Cream shop. I let him drag me along, smiling dumbly the whole time.
The ice cream turns into a firewhiskey at the flat he shares with his twin, Lorcan. That one firewhiskey turns into two, then four.
My head is spinning and everything I ever thought I knew is gone. Lysander is telling some stupid joke about a Goblin and a Wizard in a bar that I know he'd never tell sober. His hair is messed up and his eyes are bloodshot from the alcohol, and yet, he's still the hottest guy in the world.
"And then the Goblin said-" He starts, but I can't control myself anymore. All I can think is that this is my last real chance. I'll be gone for a whole year the day after tomorrow, with only the weekends to see him. He'd have plenty of time to find another girl while I'm gone; one prettier than me and smarter and just overall better than me.
So I kiss him. Partly just to shut him up, because, Merlin, that joke is so old, but mainly because I can't let anyone take my place. I just can't.
I expect him to shove me away - to tell me he's sorry, but he doesn't like me like that. I expect him to yell at me, ask me what in the world I'm doing. I expect rejection. He doesn't do any of that. Instead, he wraps one arm around my waist and the other tangles up in my hair at the back of my head, pulling my face closer to him. I climb onto his lap as his lips move from my now swollen and bruised lips to my neck.
I want more than that, so I tug at his button up shirt. He moves my hands and starts unbuttoning it, but I get impatient and rip it off for him. His eyes meet mine for a second, and I feel suddenly sober. I can tell he feels the same. My heart races and I get goose bumps on my lower back and arms from his wondering hands.
I lean in again, slower this time, keeping eye contact with him as I do. My lips met his again, finally, after what feels like centuries. The kiss is slow and romantic, and, as cliché as it sounds, I feel safer than I ever felt before in his arms.
His hands trace my sides, before he removes my shirt and we fall back onto his bed in a haze of drunken kisses and roaming hands and just like that, I give Lysander Scamander my virginity without any regrets.
The first thing I notice when I wake up is that I'm not in my own bed. In fact, I realize, I'm in Lysander's bed. The second thing I notice is that I've got a killer hangover and I feel very nauseous. I groan and sit up, pushing my slightly damp fringe away from my forehead. As I do, I realize a third thing.
I am completely and totally naked.
I let out a little shriek and pull the sheets up over my chest. For a second I think about trying to escape. I could grab my clothes and leave. If Lysander asks me, nothing happened the night before. But then I decide against it - I need to stay, I owe him that much.
When I sneak a peak over at his side of the bed I'm shocked to find him wide awake, staring at me.
"You're awake," I mutter after a few second of silence, before I look away from him. I can feel my face heat up as I watch him stare silently at me out of the corner of my eyes.
"Yeah, I'm awake, Lily," he says to me, in a total casual way, sitting up. The covers fall as he does, exposing his toned chest. I swallow thickly, and focus my attention on his cluttered desk across the room. It's all I can do to keep myself from jumping him again.
"Great," I mutter, cursing myself for how awkward this is. I've only got a day left now, before I leave, I remind myself. So I sit up straight and look him in the eye. "I love you," I say, faking confidence.
Before I can blink, Lysander's kissing me again. "I love you," he murmurs against my lips.
This morning turns into a repeat of last night as we fall back onto the bed, my hangover gone. The only difference? We are not drunk this time.
"Write us everyday," Mum cries, hugging me so tightly I feel like I'll stop breathing. "Every single day, and I mean it, Lillian Luna," I flush at my whole name and scowl at her. Suddenly, I'm thankful I've already said my goodbyes to most of my family a few hours earlier.
"Don't call me that, Mum! There are people around! Merlin," I mutter, pulling away, just as she bursts into a fresh round of tears. "Oh, you're my baby, Lily! You're suppose to be done with Hogwarts! I thought I'd be seeing more of you this year! Now I have to send you off to Hogwarts every year until you retire!" she cries into my shoulder.
I roll my eyes. "Mum, you're being overdramatic. I'll come home on weekends, Christmas, break, and sometimes even after classes have ended for a few hours, alright? Calm down," I say, hugging her back, trying not to cry myself.
"Oh, alright then," she mutters, kissing me on my cheek. "Now go say goodbye to Victoire and Lysander, would you?" She smiles through her tears, gesturing to their general direction. I smile at her and hug her one more time. I'm really going to miss her.
I wipe at my tears as I turn around and head towards a waiting Lysander and a very pregnant Victoire. They are both waiting for me in an almost completely empty corner. Teddy's with them, his arms wrapped tightly around Victoire's middle from behind her.
My pulse speeds up as I take a good look at Lysander. His blonde hair is shaggy and falling into his green eyes and he's got this sort of half-smirk on his face as he watches me walk towards him. My face flushes and his smirk grows.
I hug Victoire first, telling her to write me every single day. "We have to keep in touch, alright?" I say to her, smiling sadly. "We'll have to try and meet up every other weekend in Hogsmead. And I want to know the second you go into labor, alright?" I say, hugging her again, before I give Teddy a hug.
"Take care of her, alright?" I whisper in his ear as I hug him.
"Of course," he mutters, hugging me back.
"Nana wanted to talk to me before we left the station, so we're just going to go find her, alright, Lily Luna?" she says, and without waiting for an answer, she grabs Teddy's hand and pulls him away, looking back once to give me a smirk. I don't bother to tell her I know that she's lying because Nana didn't even come - I had said goodbye to her at home.
I take a breath and turn to Lysander.
"I'll miss you," I mutter, throwing myself at him. "So, so much," I cry into his shoulder. He stays silent and holds me. We stand like that for a few minutes - just holding each other - before he pulls away and kisses me.
"I'll miss you too, Lil," he whispers into my ear after he's pulled away.
After yesterday morning, we talked. Really talked - about our hopes and our dreams for the future, and mainly, about our relationship. We , again, told each other how we both feel, and then he properly asked me out. I just wish I had worked up the courage for this months ago.
Now I'm leaving and we'll only see each other on the weekends, sometimes not even.
But I'm just glad we're together and that, for the first time, I can really and truly call him mine. That's all that matters to me now.
m o n t h | s i x
My first month at Hogwarts was great - Things with Lysander had been going great. I was meeting up with Victoire, and sometimes Teddy, every other weekend at Hogsmead. She was really becoming my best friend. The baby was doing great - he or she was very healthy. They could have gone ahead and found out the sex of the baby, but they both really wanted it to be a surprise.
Rose had announced that she and Scorpius were getting married - of course, they were both grilled because everyone thought they hated each other, but had some one-night stand and she had gotten pregnant, which was not the case. Never mind how much blushing I did and smirking Lysander did at this dinner.
The children at school were wonderful and I was loving my job and learning much more than I ever thought I'd be able to learn.
Things were great.
Key word were.
It is almost four in the morning when I wake up to an Owl tapping at my window. It's raining outside and the way he taps at the window sounds like nails against a chalkboard. I get up, muttering to myself as I do, and open the window to let the owl in. I take the parchment and scowl when the Owl bites me.
"I really hate owls," I mutter as I pulls open the parchment.
I lose my breath as I read the messy scrawl on the yellowing parchment.
Baby is on the way. I'm scared. Victoire is in a room that they won't let me in right now.
Come quickly, please.
We're at Saint Mungos.
For a second I am convinced this is some practical joke. And then I look up at the owl and realize it's Cookie, Victoire and Teddy's owl. My eyes widen and I grab my own spare parchment to scribble a note to Lysander before I tie it to Cookie. Then I scribble out another one to paste on my door, before I throw some jeans on and a jacket and run out of Hogwarts, down the yards and through the gate, thankful I'm technical a teacher this year, as it only opens for them.
As soon as I'm off of Hogwarts' land, I apparate to Saint Mungo's, my heart races the whole time. I want to cry - she's only six months along, she had a whole three more months to go. What if she loses the baby?
All these thoughts clutter my brain as I tell the nurse at the desk Victoire's name and my relation to her. She gives me a Visitor's pass and points me on my way to room 212. I walk slowly around the corner, until I'm out of sight, before I start running as fast as I can down the hallway.
I throw myself at Teddy when I turn another corner and see him pacing back and forth. He hugs me back and makes little noises on my shoulder and I can tell he's crying.
"Is she alright, Teddy?" I ask, my voice full of fear for an answer I'm half positive I don't want to hear.
"I have no idea - they won't let me in, Lily! I don't understand! Everything was fine last night. Then Vic woke up an hour ago and she went to the bathroom and then suddenly she just started screaming and oh, Lily, there was so much blood." He cries, wiping at his eyes.
"She didn't - I mean, she couldn't have... Did she lose the baby, Teddy?" I ask, my eyes wide with fear, as my own tears fall freely down my cheeks.
"I - I don't know. I don't know," he says, before he drops back down into his chair and cries into his palms. Just as he sits, practically the whole family comes through the door. When I spot Lysander, I almost scream with joy and throw myself at him.
"I'm scared," I whisper into his chest as his arms wrap around me. "I've never been this scared before, Lysander. Ever," I murmur.
He doesn't say anything - there's nothing to say. He just lifts me up and walks us over to an empty chair in the corner and holds me.
An hour later, a nurse comes out. I had only just stopped crying, but seeing all the blood on her scrubs makes me start up again.
"I'm looking for the Weasley Family?" she says. I can't help but snort as her eyes widen when she sees that every single person in the waiting room is apart of the Weasley family. "Well, the baby's fine. She's attached to a machine to help her breathe and help her lungs develop, but other than that, she's healthy for a premature." The nurse says, glancing down at the chart in her hands ever few seconds as she speaks.
"It's - Our baby, she's a she?" Teddy asks, a small smile breaking out on his face.
"Yes, Mr. Lupin, your baby is a she," she says.
"What about Victoire?" Grandma Molly asks, her eyes wide with fear. "Is she alright?"
The nurses face smile disappears. "We aren't sure if she'll make it, Ms. We're running tests and doing everything we can. But right now, she's awake, albeit in a lot of pain, but she wants to see her boyfriend and she's also asking for someone named Lily Luna." The nurse says.
"I - I'm Lily Luna," I mutter, as I stand up. The whole family looks at me in shock, but I ignore them and walk forward with Teddy. "Can we see her now?"
"Sure," she says, "go on in."
I share a look with Teddy, before we walk into the room together.
"Teddy! Lily Luna!" Victoire says, her eyes wide as she sits up a little. I want to cry at how fragile she looks and how weak her voice sounds. "It's a girl, Teddy," she whispers to him, a small smile on her face. There's a light in her eyes I hadn't seen since a long time ago.
"I know, Vic, I know," he whispers, his eyes filling with tears as he hugs her gently.
I watch them interact for a little bit, trying to control my thoughts. Trying to keep myself from thinking she's going to die. It's hard and I don't completely succeed, but I distract myself with watching them both happy, if only for right now.
"Well, come over here and hug me, Lily Luna," Victoire says after a few minutes. I don't hesitate. I walk quickly over to her and hug her as carefully as I can without hurting her.
"I'll be fine, Lily Luna," she whispers. I believe her and relax.
I spend two hours in her room with her, and we talk about random things.
It's so nice and all of my worries are gone. We're talking about boys like little third years, both of us are giggling and laughing, when she suddenly starts shaking everywhere. I scream and call for a doctor as I watch her eyes roll into the back of her head.
"Victoire! Victoire!" I scream, fighting the MediWizards as they try to remove me from the room. But I am not about to leave. Teddy had gone down stairs to the Cafeteria for coffee for me and him and the rest of the family had left less than thirty minutes ago. It's just me here and I cannot leave her - not like this.
So I move out of their way and watch from the corner of the light blue room as they try and save her and say things in words I don't understand to each other. And then, suddenly, the world stops and I just want to scream, but I forget how to as they stop what they're doing.
"Time of death, 6:14 AM," One of the MediWizards says sadly.
I can't breathe. Without thinking, I turn and I run, and I run. Tears blur my vision and my lungs burn and my legs get sore, but I keep running. I run past doctors and nurses and patients and families.
I run outside and I search the sky for my one comfort. I let out a shaky breath as I spot four constellations back to back. And then, I fall to my knees and sob right there, outside of the front doors of Saint Mungos.
I know, as soon as I let myself think about this; as soon as I accept her death, nothing is ever going to be the same again with this family.
Her funeral is simple. The casket is white and she's dressed in a blue dress and everything is lovely, except that she's gone and everyone's crying and it's all just so hard to deal with.
Nana and Fleur asked me to speak at her funeral while they were still planning it, something which I really don't want to do, but I told them I would when they did, because I owe Victoire that much.
The service goes by in a blur of sobs and laughs and happy stories and sad stories and before I know it, I'm being called up to the podium.
I clear my throat and wipe at my eyes as I pull the note cards I scribbled on out and begin reading.
"Within the last six months, I really got close to Victoire. She was an amazing person - always so kind and caring. She didn't deserve this death. A lot of people had doubts about her and Teddy and about their baby, Taylor. Victoire would have made a wonderful mum and I know Teddy will be a wonderful dad."
"It's sad to think her daughter will never remember her mum, but I plan to tell her stories of her everyday. The good, the bad, the ugly and the sad."
"She called me Lily Luna, something I loved. It was unique and hers. And she painted this world with colour - she painted my life with colour. And, Merlin, I'm going to miss her so much, but I'll be okay. Victoire wouldn't want me, or any of you, to be torn up about this. She'd want us all to be happy," I choke out the last bit, before I drop my note cards and run out the door.
Lysander follows me as I run deeper into the Grave yard, before I finally collapse into his arms.
"It'll be alright, Lily, it will." He mutters, and holds me for about an hour. No one comes looking for us as we sit there under a tree near the grave of some Mican Richards.
By this point, I'm lying on his chest and we're both laying on the cool grass, silent. I don't worry about ruining my black dress or messing up my make up. I'm just glad I'm with him.
Suddenly, he sits up.
"This made me think, Lily. And I've realized, you never know what tomorrow brings. You never know when you'll be gone. And I don't want to wait until it's too late." Lysander says, pulling out something from the pocket of his black tuxedo.
"What? Lysander, I'm confused..." He shushes me by placing a finger on my lips.
"I'm not finished. Lily, I love you," he says, getting on one knee. "I've loved you since day one and I don't want to have to wait. I want to marry you and I want to have kids with you and I want a family and a house and, most importantly I just want you to be my wife. So, what I'm asking is, Lily Luna Potter, will you marry me?" He asks.
I don't hesitate to say yes. As he kisses me, he murmurs something against my lips about a new beginning.
A new begging, I repeat in my head. That sounds nice.
So I kiss him back. As we fall back into the cold grass, I can't help but feel at ease.
I'll never forget Victoire. I'll always love and miss her - it would be hard not to. But it's nice, for the first time, to really have someone of my own like this.
And, one day, Lysander and I will have our own daughter.
She'll be named Victoire, I decide as clothes are shed and skin on skin contact is made. For the one that painted my world with colour and really and truly showed me how to live.