For the Marauders Competition on HPFC

The title has to include at least two of the following words: alone, heartbroken, homesick, lonely, git, and dark

The pairing is: Lily/Sirus

The time is: Christmas time

800+ words

.

"Homesickness and A Maybe-Not-So-Gittish Git"

"Black? What are you still doing here?"

Sirius' gaze snaps up from where he's been staring at the flames flickering in the hearth. "Evans?"

Lily's lip twitches. "Yes, Black. That's my name. It's not, however, an answer to my question." She flops down in a chair beside the couch he's perched on.

Sirius shrugs, laughing softly. "That depends. Do you want the pretty answer for conversation's sake, or the truth? Because I can assure you, the truth isn't pretty."

Lily contemplates this for a moment, before replying, "I like to think I prefer not being lied to, whenever possible."

"I thought you might say that." He grimaces, though not at her words. "I figured I'd rather wait until summer to hear my Mum's rant about the dishonor and shame I'm bringing to my family by being a Gryffindor. This way maybe at least my brother will have a happy Christmas."

Lily frowns, her eyebrows furrowing. "Shame and dishonor?"

Sirius shrugs again. "Well, yeah. The whole family's been in Slytherin for years, with the occasional Ravenclaw. Merlin, they might've even been able to tolerate Hufflepuff. But Gryffindor? Oh, the horror, to have a son rash and foolish enough to be placed in such a house!" He says the last sentence in a falsely high tone, clearly a mockery of someone. He laughs, then, but it's a darkly bitter sound. And then he shakes his head, apologetic. "Sorry. I don't mean to be depressing. It's the holidays."

"That's all right," Lily says. "I was already homesick, now I'm just sympathetic and homesick." He smiles softly, as she'd hoped he would. She continues, "But at least I've got a nice home to be homesick for."

Sirius shrugs a third time. "It's not like I don't miss them. I mean, they're my family. Reg especially. I just figured… well, it'll be easier, this way." Silence falls for a moment, before Sirius suddenly asks, "Why are you still here over the holidays, then? If you've a nice, happy home and all that?"

Lily's lips turn up, but it's not a happy smile. "I never said happy," she corrects. "Nice home." She sighs softly. "My sister is a bit… well, jealous. That I get to be a witch, and she doesn't."

Sirius whistles. "And for good reason!"

This time, her smile seems genuine, if small. "True, I suppose. But… I don't know. I just… I wish things could go back to the way they used to be between us. But I know that's never going to happen, so I guess…" Lily sighs again. "I guess I just figured it would be best if I gave her some more time, you know? Some more space. To adjust."

"I know what you mean," Sirius murmurs softly. And for a moment, they sit there in silence, this odd pair. They've never really spoken before this moment – at least not without James very present between them – and neither had really ever stopped to think that perhaps they might have something in common.

Of course, neither Sirius nor Lily presumes that this odd sense of camaraderie will last anything further than the end of the holidays. But for now, it's not worth questioning.

"You know, Black, maybe you're not as much of a git as I thought."

Sirius chuckles softly. "Thanks, Evans. That means a lot, coming from you," he teases. After a pause, he offers, "Fancy a game of chess?"

Lily sighs dramatically. "I suppose–" she draws out the word exaggeratedly "–I could take the time out of my oh-so-busy schedule."

Sirius smirks as he summons the chess board.

.

~Three Chess Games Later~

"I just don't understand! I never lose!"

Sirius smirks lazily. "Face it, Evans. You've been beat! Three times, no less. You need to learn when to acknowledge your losses."

Lily stares at him for a moment, before repeating, "I never lose!"

"Ah, but here's the ticket, my dear. You have. You have lost. Thrice, you have lost."

"But I never lose!"

"Great Merlin, Evans, are you ever going to move past that one argument? Argumentum ad nauseam!"

Lily furrows her brows. "Black, did you just spout Latin at me?"

He grins. "Maybe I did. So what?"

She laughs. "Why on Earth do you know Latin?"

Sirius clutches his hand to his heart in mock offense. "My dear, I am heartily appalled by the implications of your tone!"

She narrows her eyes at him suspiciously. "You've been spending too much time with Lupin, haven't you?"

Sirius scoffs. "Evans, I do know some things of my own accord."

"But Latin?"

Sirius shrugs. "I had a tutor. So did Reg. It was one of the first things they taught us. Most spells are Latin based, you know."

"I do know, actually. I'm rather surprised you know, though."

"I know a fair bit more than you'd suspect."

Lily's lips curve slightly. "You know, a few hours ago, I wouldn't have believed it. Right now, though, I do."

"Well, I appreciate your faith in me, Evans." He taps the chessboard, allowing it to pack itself up.

"Hey! I wanted another rematch!"

"Have you looked at a clock recently? Rematch tomorrow."

Lily frowns pursing her lips. "Oh, all right then."

And as he vanishes up the steps, Sirius' voice slips down behind him. "Happy Holidays, Evans."