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(2011-08-25 13:43:44)










'Lily, that day - I didn't mean for it to end like that. I lost my temper and – '


'It's okay, Severus, I understand - though I was pretty mad at first.'


'...and I also didn't want to be overheard talking about magic,' he continued, hardly hearing her. It was as if he couldn't stop: 'I've been told often enough to keep my mouth shut about magic. Though, seeing as its your sister, she can be told the bare facts...' he stopped, afraid he was babbling.


'Well, Petunia isn't speaking much to me now. She ranted and raved for two whole days and wouldn't listen to reason. Wanted me to promise I wouldn't speak about magic - called it my 'sickness', actually. Finally, she started being very rude about you and … and … me.'


A slight flush suffused her pale face, and she looked down, speaking to her hands. 'Well, I'm afraid I lost my temper too, and - I guess I'm glad you told me that Dementors would not be after me for a doing magic ...'She looked up again and grinned mischievously, 'What happened to you, anyway? You look like a drowned rat.'


"Rained,' he said, shrugging his shoulders.


'Don't you go home when it rains?'


'It's still summer, - 's not cold.'


He didn't tell her that sometimes he had avoided going home even when it was snowing outside.


'Let's go by the river,' she suggested, 'you need to dry off'


And they set off side by side towards the distant river.






'Perhaps we should avoid my sister for a while... I'll let her calm down, and then I'll talk to her, - make her understand. Then we can all be friends and we can play together.'


Severus did not say anything. He very much doubted whether Petunia would understand, and anyway, he did not want to share Lily with anyone – she alone was like him. However, he certainly agreed about avoiding her – he did not want another repetition of what had happened. He must learn to tread carefully.


'Well, you'll soon start school now,' he said, avoiding the issue, 'I don't think I'll be seeing you then...'


Lily walked in silence for a while. Severus knew she had not thought about this.


They arrived by the river side. The ground was still wet so they sat on some fallen logs at the edge of the grove. The sun was shining strongly now.


'No, I guess there won't be much time to come here when school starts,' Lily murmured pensively, 'My school is right across town, and I'm not allowed out when I've got homework. But there's next summer...' she said, on a more cheerful note.


'Yeah,' said Severus, unenthusiastically


'I know, it seems far away now, Severus, but listen, lets enjoy the rest of the holidays, - there's still a few days left. Why don't you get your books again tomorrow?'


'Ok,' he replied, cheering up, 'I'll tell you about potions tomorrow. It's a subject we'll be taking in first year and it's really good – you can brew lots of stuff ...'


They spent the rest of the afternoon, and the days that followed, happily anticipating the day when they would finally be students at Hogwarts, amongst their own kind. Severus told Lily that she should wait until the letter from Hogwarts arrived, before trying to tell her parents anything. It would be hard to convince them otherwise.


The last days of summer flew by until the day finally came when Lily told Severus that it would be the last time she came to the grove – she started school the next day. Severus listened with a heavy heart.


'Will you come meet me here on the first day of summer holidays?' he asked, kicking his scuffed trainers against a log. He kept his eyes firmly fixed on the unoffending log.


'Of course, but I can't promise anything during winter – I'm not allowed out much.'


He nodded dejectedly.


'Bye Lily,' he said.


'Bye, Severus,' and with a small wave, she turned and left.


She was tempted to stay a bit longer – he looked so sad. It must be harder for him, she thought - at least, she had her old school friends to look forward to, and he had no one. Then she remembered that she also had a whole year of algebra, French dictations and English essays to look forward to, and her spirits fell. There would be none of the weird and wonderful magic things Severus had been teaching her.


Severus remained alone under the trees for a while longer – a chill wind was blowing the fallen leaves around the small clearing, and the birdsong echoed emptily in the small grove. It seemed suddenly lonely and deserted. He thought of Lily's eager face and lively green eyes and heaved a deep sigh.


He did not know how he was going to survive the long winter.



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