Author's Notes: Written for Cheeky Slytherin Lass's "So You Think You Can Write" Competition on the HPFC forum with the prompts "ugly butterflies" and "surrender".
Also for Sparkling Soul's "I Kissed a Girl" Competition on the HPFC forum with the prompts "velvet" and "cinnamon" and the pairing Andromeda/Lily.
I kissed a girl; her lips were sweet. She was just like kissing me…
Warm sunlight spilled over Andromeda and Lily, where they sat together on the edge of one of the boggy lakes that surrounded Black Manor and watched the sunset. Bellatrix and Narcissa were thankfully inside – thankfully, because the last thing that Andromeda wanted was them catching her with her Mudblood friend – leaving her in peace. Lily had been coming out to the moors to see Andromeda nearly every day, and she, Andromeda, loved it.
Lily barely looked at her friend, staring out instead across the glittering, slightly murky but still beautiful water, rippling slightly while the wind and golden-orange sunlight played upon it, and there was a misty, detached look in her eyes.
Andromeda, by contrast, could not take her eyes off her.
When she had first met the little Mudblood girl, she had enjoyed her company more as a source of rebellion than as a real friendship. She had liked to see the looks on the faces of her sisters when they saw her talking to her, and the gasped accusations of blood treachery, more than she had enjoyed the conversations.
But that had been a long time ago. Lily had changed since then, and Andromeda had too, and now… now, she thought that she was really quite fond of Lily.
She also thought – though she didn't dare say it – that Lily had become quite beautiful since then.
Andromeda was drifting into a pleasant daydreaming state, gazing at Lily and not thinking anything in particular, except the light of the sunset looked quite beautiful playing off her hair, and then Lily spoke abruptly.
"Have you ever been in love?"
Andromeda jolted. "P- pardon me?"
"I asked if you'd ever been in love," Lily repeated. "Have you?"
"I…" Andromeda floundered for words, quite shaken by the question. "I… why do you ask?"
"I was thinking about Severus."
Severus, that irritating little snot of a boy that Lily had always insisted she was friends with – Andromeda, along with the rest of Slytherin house, would have dearly loved to give him a slap – had been all that she talked about for the past month. Andromeda rather suspected that it had something to do with Severus's present choice in company – some of the other dregs of their house – but she didn't ask Lily about this.
"Do you reckon you're in love with him?"
"No," Lily said immediately. "I don't think so. I think I used to be," she added thoughtfully, "but… well, you know the way that people always say that children are like caterpillars and they're supposed to turn to butterflies when they get older?"
Andromeda nodded. "Of course… that's how adults try to account for children not being the way they want them to be."
"Well," Lily said, "I think Severus already turned into a butterfly… because he's different from how he used to be and he acts like he's happier now, but… Andi, he's a really damned ugly butterfly."
Andromeda bad to bite her lip to keep from laughing at that. "And?"
"And I think he loves me," said Lily slowly. "But… you see… I really don't think that I love him at all. And there's someone else…"
Andromeda's heart all but dropped into her stomach. It would have been wretched if Lily had said that she was in love with Severus, slimy little git that he was, but the idea that she – who Andromeda had almost come to consider hers – might love someone else was even worse.
"Is there," she asked, trying not to sound as cold or bitter as she felt.
"Yes, there is… someone I quite fancy…" Lily sounded terribly shy, a flush rising in her cheeks. "But I don't think that they'd be at all interested in me… not… romantically, I mean."
I hope not, Andromeda thought, and then, feigning nonchalance, "Who is he?"
"She," Lily said quietly.
That took a moment to sink in. Andromeda's eyes went quite wide and she stared at Lily, perplexed.
"She? It's a girl?"
"Yes," said Lily in a tiny, nervous voice. "That's why I don't think she'd fancy me, you see…"
"Who is she, then?" asked Andromeda, more curious than ever. Alice, I expect, they're always together. Or Bellatrix, maybe? Everyone fancies Bellatrix. Marlene's quite pretty, maybe it's her…
Lily didn't answer, but she stared at Andromeda, and Andromeda stared back, and then, very slowly, comprehension dawned on her face.
"I'm sorry," Lily murmured, "I don't want things to get all uncomfortable, but–"
"No!" Andromeda said, more loudly than she had meant. Lily looked startled and a bit afraid, and she dropped her voice. "No, I- I mean… I…"
She couldn't find words. She couldn't think. Lily was staring at her with a somewhat confused expression, and all that Andromeda could think to do was to give in to a not altogether unpleasant urge that had been eating at her for all too long, give up trying to speak entirely and kiss her.
Lily's lips tasted like cinnamon, and Andromeda shut her eyes. She savoured the sweetness and let her tongue play gently against them. Lily's body trembled slightly as Andromeda's hand rested on her cheek – smooth and velvet soft, just as Andromeda might have imagined it to be every time she had thought, in the dark hours of night, about kissing Lily, and she let out a soft, shuddering sigh.
"Oh, Andi," she whispered, and Andromeda's heart swelled. She pulled back slightly, tears misting her eyes.
"Your sisters would kill us if they caught you kissing me," Lily teased, fluttering her eyelashes sweetly. "Andromeda Black, kissing a Mudblood…"
"I don't care," Andromeda told her, then leaned in and pressed her lips against hers once more.
They stayed outside long into the night, long after they were supposed to be in bed, kissing and giggling and letting their hands wander, and Andromeda couldn't conjure up even the tiniest bit of shame that she was doing this with a Mudblood.
If anything, that pleased her most of all.