Just a little something I thought of when I couldn't sleep... If it sucks, I'll take it down.

Disclaimer - I do NOT own Harry Potter! It all belongs to JK Rowling.

Shadow in the Sunset

Chapter 1

"What's wrong?"

His question was greeted only with cold silence. She turned and began to walk away. He lunged out and grabbed her arm.

"Please! Lily, please, just tell me what's wrong." Desperation leaked into his voice. When she again refused to answer, he turned her around to face him and looked her straight in the eye. She averted her gaze, staring intently at a point somewhere past his shoulder.

"Tell me! Is it really so bad that you can't tell me what's wrong? What happened to you?" Moving his hand up to her shoulder, he shook her. Firm so as to make his point but gentle enough that it didn't harm her.

It had started the week before. Lily had stopped being herself. She had become sarcastic and irritable. She was angry with everyone all the time. And instead of insulting him (like she always did), she began ignoring him completely. Wouldn't say a word to his face or his friends. So that left one question: what the hell had happened to Lily Evans?

"Nothing," she finally answered, punctuating her reply with a step back and a yank of her arm to free herself from his grip. She looked him in the eye now, warning him to back off. He only stepped closer.

"You're lying."

"I'm perfectly fine."

"No. You're not," he hissed through clenched teeth, then turned and smacked his forehead against the cold stone wall. "Damn it, Lily! Tell me the bloody truth! Can't you tell I'm trying to help you?"

She pulled his head back to look at her.

"And can't you tell that I don't want your help?" Why wouldn't he just go away? "Why do you want to help, anyway?"

"Because I care!" he shouted, grabbing her hands and pulling her closer to him.

"As if I would ever believe that," she retorted, and wrenched her hands away from his. "And keep your hands off me, you bloody prat."

"Lily . . ." he pleaded, moving his hand as if to touch her but thinking better of it and letting it fall to his side again.

"Do you really want to know the problem? Do you really want to know? Fine. I'll tell you. Because the problem is you." She spat the last word through her teeth. He stood there staring at her, shocked.

"I don't know . . . what I did to make you so . . . so angry. But I . . . I-I want you to know that I never meant . . . to hurt you and that I . . . I love you."

It was her turn to be shocked. For a moment she stood there, completely silent and as unmoving as the suits of armor that stood at the end of the corridor. Then she noticed him slowly leaning in, his hazel eyes flickering nervously from her lips to her eyes, then back again. And before he could get too close, she brought her hand up and slapped him across the face. Hard. His glasses tumbled to the floor, but he made no move to retrieve them. Instead, he just stood there with his head slightly turned from the momentum of her hand and his eyes closed.

"You're a bloody idiot, James Potter." With those words she spun on her heels and stomped away, leaving him with hurt feelings, a slightly wounded ego, and a rather impressive red handprint on his cheek.

As soon as she was around the corner and out of sight, she began running — running as fast as she could. She didn't stop until she reached the Forbidden Forest. She wandered around until she found her favorite tree on the other side of the lake and let herself break down.

What. Had. She. Done?

To be continued...

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