A/N: This is basically self-harm porn for my bipolar disorder to kill the remnants of some urges that were going on a week ago. So, obviously, trigger warning.
She had a trick with flowers once, used to fingertip-kiss them from buds into full bloom before she'd ever heard of wizards and witches. She lost it when she learned to channel it into a wand—all children lose their blossoms, she learned a long time ago; everyone forgets after a while how to become—and now when she brushes the grass it crumbles to brittle brown, petals pluck off with wilted aching sighs and why does Lily break everything she touches.
Sev was always the one who was good with potions, and Lily was good with charms. She'd meet him in the dungeons to taste-test his Shrinking Solutions and giggle giddy for a while at how wondrous the grooves of his palm were beneath her feet, to tickle his tummy with a flick and spell a laugh out of him that, for once, didn't fall flat when it got halfway into being (we can all remember how to become with a little magic, at least for a while, she used to think). Then he started showing up Potter-bloodied and spider-killing and snapping and Lily has never known how to clamp down a shark—it's got skin too rough to touch and it cuts when it's cradled. He screamed his throat raw about the spiders and scrapes and was Potter punishing his dirty Snape blood, could she see the mud trickling out when he was bleeding, was he filth and did they deserve each other and was she worse than he.
Sev was good with potions, Lily was good with charms, and oh she tried to charm herself better, tried to empty the history from her veins but you can't run away from family trees, they'll just keep willow-weeping and infesting your dreams with rot. See, Lily was the best at charms and she never meant for them to be used against others, for Sev to sell them on Muggles to the Dark Lord—just her, how you deal with your sins is your problem and Lily just wanted to bleed hers out of her, hated the pain and hates the pain but just keeps slicing with that blunt wand, Sev won't you do it please for me. He'd cry as he witchcraft-sliced her open and she'd gasp for hours and she gasps for hours, fumbling for rags to stem the damage, rose-red marring all the white towels in the world. It's beautiful, though, the color contrast, the evidence maroon as her lips. Sev always complimented her on them, said they were just a shade darker than most girls'—like lipstick only real and gorgeous—but he never seemed to notice the way they pulse like an artery and beg to be ripped open.
And they'd rip each other open, over and again, and maybe they could have gotten better but he never could stay and he never could forgive her crumble, her light the forest on fire and inhale the ash. Lily said some awful things she only half-meant and ran away, and she loves the worst of him and hates it and can't meet his eyes for fear of what he knows. Now he sells her spells on Muggles to the Dark Lord and she shudders ashamed in James's arms, covers her bruises with her hands and cannot tell him, perhaps ever, what she is or god forbid what she was.