disclaimer: characters are jkr's. song is gary jules'.
warning: this fic is not entirely epilogue compliant. also, it is in all lower-case, which i'm aware of. that was intentional. if you don't like the style, you don't have to burden your eyes with it. also, second-person.
other warning: this fic is a mess, mostly because it was written while i was a mess. it may not be coherent or logical or even good. i apologize in advance. read at your own risk.
and i find it kinda funny
i find it kinda sad
you sit, alone and lonely, and breathe.
rumors swirl. of course they do. that's what rumors do. they whisper, shimmer, tangle in hairs and hearts and minds, lingering long after they've been disproved. you can never entirely get rid of a rumor, can never completely erase your past.
at times, there's nothing more you'd like to do. not because of rumors, oh, you don't care about those, do you, darling? let them spit lies like the skies do light. what does it matter to you? they don't matter to you. nothing matters to you.
but the past, yes, that matters. the past you're running from. the past you're hiding from. the past that whispers, shimmers, tangles in your hair and heart and mind. the past that haunts you – oh, but that's such a cliché, sweetheart. running away from a past that haunts you; that's been done, hasn't it? countless times. countless.
and more than anything, you hate predictability.
so you sit and breathe, order coffee (black, please and thank you), drink it in silence.
and rumors swirl.
a witch, whisper the townspeople, critical gazes latched on her, a spinster at nineteen, a murderer, a criminal because surely there must be some reason why a pretty young girl is wasting her life away in annie's café in the heart of the town square – and fuck if you actually know which town this is, but it's quiet and peaceful and that's all that matters to you these days.
i heard she ran away from her home because she murdered someone and didn't want to get caught, sings an annoying little girl, pigtails bouncing. her fearful older sister shushes her and quickly herds her away from the corner you sit in.
odd, that. even out here, amongst muggles, nobody wants to know you, do they? because they think they already do, and hasn't that always been the problem? always and always and always, since the day you were born, only because of who you were born to.
it's sickening. so you gulp down more coffee and maybe it'll wash the past away.
annie is a sweet young woman, with kind brown eyes and long blond curls and a heart stolen by the baker across the street. you know this because whenever she comes to deliver your coffee, she'll gaze out the window you're sitting by to where the bakery stands and a man named jake works.
they'd be a cute couple, you muse one day. if you cared more, you might try to help.
trouble is, you don't care about much these days.
one day, you have a visitor. it's a tuesday, or maybe it's a wednesday. who knows? you haven't been keeping track of time for at least a year by now. all the days just blend together in a never-ending circle of coffee and rumors.
he's something special, he is, this visitor of yours. he saunters into annie's café like the overconfident, cocky bastard you know he is, despite the bashful smile he fakes so elegantly, and drops down across from you in the booth nobody had dared approach for months, asides from you and annie.
you and annie. you and annie's delicious coffee. is it too late to find a time-turner, you wonder, to go back to those days when nothing mattered, not your past, not your family, and certainly not him? is it too late to stop him from ever hunting you down and ruining your great plan to simply escape?
"lily," he breathes, eyes turning green.
(yes. it's too late.)
your coffee spills.
"why did you run, lily?"
"why did you stay?"
he's silent. then – "you streaked your hair."
an electric purple curl, twined with the vivid red. you'd gotten it on your eighteenth birthday, the night before you ran away, because you were young and reckless and stupid and wanted to do something crazy. in hindsight, nobody cares about a purple curl, but to you, drunk on firewhiskey and the future, it had seemed like the best idea that night.
almost better than running away.
"teddy," you say, and then you throw your empty coffee mug at him.
the next morning, you wake to find a bill from annie for the mug that shattered in your mailbox and teddy lupin at your door.
"fuck off," because you're too tired to deal with him and everything he stands for – the past the past the past, and oh, you're lily luna potter; you've never done anything but run. so you take the bill out of the mailbox and pretend he doesn't exist because it's so much easier that way.
"you don't want that," and his eyes turn golden. you hate that color. it's victoire's color. "you don't want me to leave. you want me to stay, you want me to hold you, you want me to tell you that it'll be all right. don't you, lily?"
silence. sunlight shatters in the diamonds of his promise ring (weren't you there the night they promised themselves to each other? of course you were). you try to find another heavy object to throw at him.
"you're a bastard, teddy lupin," you settle for informing him and try to ignore the irony of you ever saying that to anybody else. "go back to victoire."
the door slams behind you. he doesn't try to follow.
a week. a month. a year.
no news. guess you weren't worth it, after all. not worth his time, his effort, his relationship. not worth much, not to teddy lupin. and no, you're not bitter, of course not, why would you be bitter? you knew this from the start, from the moment he walked into annie's – you're worth nothing to teddy lupin, and you never have been.
so you drink your black coffee. people shy away from you, the crazy mug-throwing witch (oh, if they knew). jake gets a girlfriend; annie continues sighing longingly after a man who'll never love her back. you want to sympathize, but you have a feeling she won't appreciate the advice you can give her:
fuck him. he's not worth it, because he doesn't think you're worth it.
the coffee still tastes good.
you are cordially invited to the wedding of teddy lupin and victoire weasley
you burn the letter after you finish.
the day of the wedding, you turn twenty. annie gets a new boyfriend, the newlywed couple that moved in two months ago get a baby boy, and you get more coffee. jake proposes to his girlfriend. the teenagers whisper that she's pregnant, that's why they're getting married. you drink your coffee.
life goes on.
you go home as usual, longing for a hot bath to wash away the nightmares of teddy and victoire that have plagued you the entire day. instead of stress relief, you find another letter. this one is written on yellowing parchment in stark black ink. you open it, find the signature.
you resist the urge to burn it, too.
lily, it's been two years. don't you think it's time to stop acting childish and grow up?
lily, you could at least be mature enough to send a letter, if not come to the wedding.
lily, the wedding is today, and you really should put the past behind you.
lily, lily, lily. lily luna potter, the girl who never should have been born.
you really hate your name. and your parents, but mostly your name.
lily, we're all happy now. can't you come back?
(there's a picture attached of a younger you and a younger them, strained smiles upon your parents' faces and teddy's arms around your tiny body.
it's meant to make you want to come back, you presume, but it mostly makes you want to throw up.)
you burn the letter with all its lies tangled in your mother's pretty cursive writing and collapse on the living room floor, curls undone and heart breaking. you're exactly what you never wanted to be, what you swore you'd never be when you ran away.
behind you, a photo falls to the carpet with a soft thud. you dash at your tears and turn around, desperate for something to focus on that isn't your father or teddy or victoire or the mess that is your life. desperate for anything, any relief, from the aching pain of heartbreak.
it's the wrong photo for the job.
inside, your parents smile at you. the smiles are fake, yes, but to the ten-year-old girl taking the photo, it hadn't mattered. it was her birthday – (your birthday) – and she was happy because her mother, her real mother had actually bothered to show up.
you had finagled them together for a picture. harry potter and astoria greengrass. the boy who lived and the girl who cheated. in the background, you can see ginny, hovering and sending glares astoria's way. they were in the middle of the divorce at the moment, both couples. harry and ginny, draco and astoria, once the golden couples of the wizarding press.
now, just faded memories. thanks to you, the girl who never should have been born.
you smile bitterly – always bitter, that's you, lily – as you remember how they'd tried to fix it. fix you, because you were a problem. how harry and ginny had tried and tried so hard for so many years to repair their marriage. how ginny tried to look at you like her daughter instead of the bastard child of her husband and another woman, how harry tried to love you as much as he did james and albus and failed miserably. how astoria tried so very hard to avoid you.
nothing worked. you messed up their happy endings, all of theirs, just by being born. they were drunk, your mother told you once. we were young and drunk and he'd had a fight with ginny and i was mad at draco and – it just happened.
it just happened. you just happened.
that's all you ever were. just something that happened.
you're tired. the dreams that have haunted you for years return the night after the wedding, after astoria's letters, those dreams you had hoped to leave behind, dreams of a happy family, you and harry and astoria with teddy's arms around you and beaming smiles – genuine smiles – on everyone's faces.
dreams that'll never be a reality. because your parents never loved each other and they never loved you and neither did teddy and all the reasons why you ran away, from your mother's disdain and your father's forced love and teddy's lies and the cruel stares of the weasleys and the papparazzi's unwanted attention.
you're so tired of waiting. of running, but staying. of wishing and wanting. of wondering, of dreaming of a world where you might be happy, if only you had your parents together and teddy's arms around you and been a baby that was actually wanted, rather than a horrible mistake.
despite all the effort you've taken in running away, you still haven't. not really. you're still tied to them, still in the country, still waiting.
the next morning, when you wake, you open up your laptop and buy a one-way ticket to berlin, germany.
you miss annie's coffee, but after a while of finding a job and meeting a boy and buying a house and breaking free of the bonds that chained you in britain, well…
that's about all you miss.
the dreams in which i'm dying
are the best i've ever had
a/n: i'm sorry, i know this is really not that great. and the ending is awkward and nothing really gets resolved, i know. but it's taken me about a week to write and my excuse for publishing it is that it's late and i just want to get it out there. if you liked even a bit of it, kindly leave me a review; it'd really make my day! and if you didn't like it, well, let me know that, too, and i'll take any pointers you can give me for my next angsty fic. thanks!
and don't favorite without reviewing, please and thank you.