a/n: for lowi's colourful prompts challenge on the NGF. Warning: cousincest.

colour: citrus fruit
prompt: cynosure
pairing : lilylouis


sing me lonely songs
Loneliness is about the scariest thing out there. – Joss Whedon


Sometimes you think you're lost amidst it all. There's exams and life and people and Quidditch and it's all, it's all, it's all just too much so much of the time. You don't know how to make it stop because it comes at you all of the time and it's too much, you can't, how does anybody even deal with all this?

"I love you," girls whisper into the soft shell of your ear, their hands all over you, "You're so hot."

You let their hands wander and you kiss them gently in the dark and you pretend like it doesn't all bore you to tears, like sometimes you can't even see where you're going and that scares you more than you can say.

From time-to-time, you get these moods. You don't know how to describe them. There's usually a little thing that sets them off – a sad book or a good song or a falling-out with a friend – and then you just… you don't know how to make it make sense. It's like you're sad but more than sad, sad but nicely sad. Lonely and alone but not wanting company. Morose but somewhat hopeful, tired but twitching with energy. It's an impossibility, this mood that you get.

When it comes over you you go to the Astronomy Tower when there are no classes on and you sit there, sometimes for hours, and you philosophise about life and death and man in the state of nature and love and everything else under the sun. You think about writing your thoughts down sometimes but you don't know how you'd go about putting words to the ideas in your head.

Invariably, it's your cousin Lily who finds you there. She comes up with a mood of her own, a little like yours but not. She sits down next to you in the middle of the room and then sprawls backwards, pillowing her head on your shoulder. Her hair spills over the floor next to you both and you exchange a look with her, your blue eyes burning into her green, and then she just gives you this tiny little smile and then turns her head to stare up at the ceiling, expression abstracted and a little afraid.

You don't usually talk. You just lie there, for hours upon hours, and enjoy the silence and the companionable solitude – you don't know how, but when Lily is around you feel more lonely but less alone. You like the way that makes you feel inside. Her fingers lace with yours, usually, her skin soft and almost-burning against yours. Any time Lily touches you, the world makes a little bit more sense and you're not sure why.

"Do you ever wonder," she says quietly one day when you're both up there, rolling onto her side and tilting her face up to look at you, her left leg hooking over your right, "Do you ever wonder whether maybe we're not a bit mad?"

You laugh and shake your head and reply, "Of course we are, Lils. We're totally insane. But at least we're interesting."

She grins at that, teeth sinking into kissable lower lip, and you find yourself staring before you remember to look away. You focus on the arching ceiling high above you and sneak your arm around her back to hold her against you, the front of her body pressing along the side of yours, and you do not, you do in no way think of how nice it would be to keep Lily with you like this forever.

Lily, it is understood, is your opposite in many ways. Where you are reserved and private she is information, all of the time, unceasing and uncensored. She says what she thinks and never regrets a word, tells people what they are and never takes it back. She is a cynosure and a mystery and a phenomenon, this energetic little Slytherin with the paper-thin waist and the tongue the acid of citrus fruit.

During your darkest hours when the whole future seems such a waste, when it seems like you'll never amount to anything, it's Lily who pulls you back. Lily who restores your self-confidence and your faiths and hopes and dreams. Lily who, when the lights are out, dares to press kisses to your jaw, lingering in an almost-romantic way, her breath hot and uneven. Lily who is your relation but who appears in almost all your dreams, Lily who you should only see as that little cousin the year below you but who you see instead as temptation and sin and hope all wrapped up into one.

"Are you happy?" she murmurs to you on the Astronomy Tower one night, her legs tangled with yours, her hands resting on your chest. The night is dark all around you, the stars obscured by clouds, and all you can really see of her is the slim silhouette of her and the gentle reflected shine of her eyes.

You think for a moment and then you smile. Her fingertips dart to your mouth to trace the shape of your lips, to see how you are reacting since her eyes cannot. You smile wider and do the same in return, your long fingers feeling larger and more masculine against the delicate shape of her mouth. She smiles too, and you wonder at the feel of it happening beneath your fingers.

"Yes," you whisper back, her fingers just resting on the corners of your lips, shifting with your words, "Yes, I'm happy. You're here, of course I'm happy."

She grins properly this time, you feel it, and then she wriggles upwards against your side, body delicate against yours.

"I'm happy with you too," she confides, and then she leans down to press a kiss to your cheek. Her hair pools against your forehead, red curls splashing brightly against the messy blonde of your fringe. The small amount of light glimmers off the shine in her hair and before you know why you've done it you are turning your head, just slightly, catching her lips with yours as they come down. She freezes for a moment, almost imperceptibly, and then she lets out a heady gasp and returns the kiss eagerly, her hands fisting in your jumper.

You smile and let her feel the smile with her mouth rather than her fingertips, extend the kiss, breathe all of her in. The mood is still there, hovering at the back of your mind, but for now the feel of Lily against you eclipses it, totally and magnificently.

"Can we just stay like this forever?" Lily asks desperately when you finally part for breath, chests heaving, "Please. Let's just stay."

You think that sounds like the most remarkably sensible idea anybody has had all year, and so you kiss her again, harder this time. Maybe Lily is the cure to the mood, you think. Maybe Lily will be the thing you look forward to in your future.