Tears and Nightmares
Edited: June 22, 2012
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter
This chapter is dedicated to Lucee who is my 100th reviewer!
Lily walked out of the Hospital Wing two days later with her head down and her eyes trained to the smooth floor. Her hair fell around her face like velvet curtains and her expression resembled that of a lost child.
Out the window the blue sky was starting to fade into a pretty shade of pale orange. Dinner must have already ended, that or it was just about to. The halls were empty, almost eerily so.
It took a very long time for Madame Pomfrey to convince Lily that she was healthy enough and in the right state of mind to leave the comfort of the Hospital Wing and return to the normal world. Every time the old nurse was close to saying that Lily was fine she would either burst into tears or convince her that she felt too light headed to leave.
Lily was scared to face the world again. All the students were now home from the holidays and classes had started up a day earlier. Alice and Marlene had brought her work the day before, but didn't even get to see their redheaded friend because she hadn't been allowing visitors. The two girls had just handed the work to Madame Pomfrey, who was the only one Lily would speak a word to, and left downcast.
The only people taking more of a toll on things then Alice and Marley were the Marauders. James and Sirius were the only ones who knew of Lily's previous feeling that she had killed her parents, but Remus and Peter were still deeply concerned even without the depressing back-story that deepened her problems.
Lily Evans was anything but a bad person though. She was the one to go to if you had any questions and she would happily answer with a smile and a point in the right direction. She was the one who made sure all the first years had a friend and kept those who didn't company when she could have been with her own friends. She was also the one who would visit the Hospital Wing after every Hogsmeade visit and bring candy to all the sick or injured kids who hadn't been able to go themselves. She made the school a brighter place. Being Head Girl, she had quite an influence on the population. Everyone at Hogwarts thought of her as brilliant and kind, everyone except herself that was.
How horrible it must be to think so lowly of yourself. To think that you're an evil and vile human being when, in fact, you're just the opposite. What one thinks of themselves impacts the way they act a hundred, maybe even a thousand, times more then how others think of them. It's like a strange placebo. If a girl were to think of herself as small minded and lacking in smarts, her grades would likely drop. Lily understood this and was quite at war with herself over the fact. Would she become even worse of a person with the thought that she was already a bad one?
The real problem was that Lily Evans never made mistakes. She was always as close as she could get to perfect and she strived very hard to be that way. That New Year's day she threw all her standards and cherished values out the window and let despair and anger bubble into overwhelming hatred.
Lily thought over all of these things as she walked to the Room of Requirement where she had decided she would stay. She figured that James wouldn't want to live with someone like her anymore. These thoughts confused her greatly, but she'd rather puzzle over questions then dwell on the facts at that moment.
She walked in front of a large, blank stonewall three times and sighed in defeat when a beautifully carved door appeared. Her thinking time would soon be over. She trudged in with her many problems weighing her down like a pile of books.
She saw exactly what she had imagined when she looked around the room. She wasn't surprised either, that was how the room worked you see. The room replicated that of her room in the Head's Dorm. The bed and hangings were the same, the bathroom was in the right spot, and her clothes were even in the drawers of a dresser.
The Room of Requirement was a magnificent space of magic. Completely breath-taking in every way it was. If you thought about it, you'd understand that the room could be used for astounding things, both for good and evil. Its boundaries went so far that it seemed to have none. Like a line that stretched across the world, you couldn't see the end, but you knew there was one somewhere. The boundaries were only the obvious, it couldn't say, cure lycanthropy or create something as dark as a horcrux.
After running and jumping onto the bed (causing the pillows to bounce and blankets to ruffle) as she always did when she was a child, Lily closed her eyes.
Within seconds she had fallen into a world where she didn't have to worry about hurting anyone and her parents were always there when she woke up. There was also something else to that dream though. James always carried her up to her bed at night and left with a kiss.
James couldn't help but panic when Madame Pomfrey told him that Lily had left hours ago. His limbs got shaky as if he was on a sugar high and his eyes darted all over the place as if he would see her hidden in some corner. Where would she be? She obviously hadn't gone back to their dorm and she wasn't with her friends either. He decided that he would need a bit of help if he were to search the castle from top to bottom like he wished.
He ran into the Gryffindor common room and jumped up onto a table. Several girls wolf whistled, but they were ignored because only one girl was on his mind at the moment.
"ATTENTION GRYFFINDORS! ATTETNION!" he yelled. All heads turned and the room went silent, "LILY EVANS, HEAD GIRL, IS MISSING! I REPEAT LILY EVANS IS MISSING! ALL WILLING TO PARTICAPE IN A SEARCH PARTY PLEASE GATHER ROUND, ANYONE ELSE BETTER SCRAM!"
Several kids chuckled, not realizing the urgency of the situation. Most just assumed that James was exaggerating and Lily was merely avoiding him because he was bugging her about his "undying love" or something of that manner. Half the room cleared leaving the Marauders, Alice, Marlene, Frank Longbottom, and several first years including little Annabelle.
"Okay, first I'd like to thank you all for the time you are so willingly donating," he started in a formal manner, a few first years giggled, "Here's the plan. Half the first years have the first floor and half have the second. Sirius, you have the dungeons…no hexing Slytherins for fun either. Remus you have the third floor, Peter the fourth, Frank the fifth, Alice and Marlene get the sixth floor and I'll take care of the seventh. Meet back here in an hour with any news." He said almost too quickly for them to comprehend.
They nodded in agreement and walked out the portrait hole with purpose in their steps. They were men on a mission…almost; there were a few girls too. The only one who stayed back was Sirius, but James expected nothing less.
"What do you mean she's missing?" he hissed.
"Pomfrey let her out hours ago and I haven't seen her." James said frantically.
He was obviously itching to run out the door in search of her. Who knew what would happen in the time he was speaking to Sirius!
"Prongs…you don't think she'd…I don't know…do you think she's okay?"
"I have no idea, but we'd better hope so,"
Sirius nodded. Yes, hope. That was what he needed, that was what they all needed in times like these. They'd likely go insane without it and the world already had too many crazy people.
Sirius jogged out the door with James close on his tails. They turned towards the staircase to their separate floors with waves of the hand, desperately hoping that Lily was okay.
It was too bad that Lily wasn't good at staying in one spot for too long because she definitely preferred to have stayed in the Room of Requirement. She felt groggy and unaware of what was happening around her. It was the fault of that silly nap she had tried to take.
Five minutes into her slumber she awoke breathing heavily with beads of sweat running down her forehead. It was the same thing that had been keeping her up for the past two nights. The image of the man surrounded in a pool of blood still flashed in front of her eyelids every time she blinked.
Her fingers fluttered across the long, skinny scar on her ribcage. He must have one too.
Lily turned a corner and experienced a horrible sense of deja vu after colliding head on with someone turning the same corner. Her hand clutched her side just like it did that night. She collided with the same person she had that night too. When she realized it she wanted to turn around and run away, but his hand was tightly clutching her upper arm so there would be no chance to do that.
He dragged her behind a ragged tapestry as soon as her struggling subsided. The space was small and compact, a bit claustrophobic actually.
"Lily, are you okay?" James asked trying to look her in the eye. That was almost impossible since her head was facing the floor.
"I'm fine," she muttered softly.
James frowned and tilted her chin up so that she would look at him. She struggled a bit but froze as soon as their eyes met.
"That's the thing Flower, I don't think you are," he whispered.
"No, not really," she said just as quietly.
Lily's eyes became shiny with tears, they reddened around the edges and her knees became a little wobbly. James pressed her head tightly to his chest as her tears started to fall as they did so many times that year. Her thin, but long arms circled his middle and she held on as if he were her lifeline.
He held her back with one arm and stroked her hair with the other. Her fiery strands were tangled and knotted so he ran his fingers through them, undoing each little imperfection one at a time. He could feel his shirt getting soaked by her tears, but he paid no mind because she needed him.
They stood like that for what felt like an eternity and once her tears stopped, James slid down the wall to sit on the floor. She came down with him and he gathered her into his lap and continued to play with her her hair. The silence was almost unnerving so James decided to break it.
"Where were you, Flower?" he asked.
She nuzzled further into him and sighed.
"The Room of Requirement…I couldn't face them…I couldn't face you,"
"Because I didn't want to hurt you," she sniffled, "I was so scared,"
"But why would you hurt us?"
"If I hurt that man, why couldn't I hurt you," she said looking up at him. Her big green eyes made his insides melt.
"He was a death eater,"
"But he was still a person, James! You don't get it!" she snapped
"I know…I don't get it, maybe you can tell me what it is I don't understand."
"I wanted to hurt him James. A lot. I thought that he could have murdered my parents…I didn't even know and I still wanted to hurt him. I'm no better then all those death eaters were. I felt…powerful, it felt good and that really scares me," she whispered.
James nodded against her head and closed his eyes. What she said made sense, but just because it happened once didn't mean she was an awful person. It would take time for her to understand.
"How about we go back to the dorm and you can sleep." He said after a moment of contemplation. She nodded.
James stood and pulled her up by her hand. The walked through the halls of the seventh floor in silence, but that was fine.
Once they got the Head's dorm Lily gave a quick 'thank you' and walked up to her room. As soon as James was sure she was gone he pulled out his mirror.
"Sirius?" he whispered into it. The face of his friend appeared.
"Did you find her?" he asked hopefully. James nodded.
"Okay, I'm on my way"
"Wait, Padfoot, just give her some space for a few days okay? You can see her in class tomorrow, she's having a hard time,"
"Is she going to be okay?" Sirius asked. James thought this over for a second.
"Yeah, I'm sure."
"Take care of her okay, Prongs?"
"Of course, good night."
"Yeah, good night."
Lily once again woke up in tears. It was the same nightmare, over and over again. She looked out the window to find solace in the moon, but found it covered in smoky grey clouds. She shivered. The screams of the guests at the Potter's ball still echoed in her ears. There was no way she was going to be able to get any sleep.
Slowly she slid out of bed and held onto her dresser for support. The world spun as the blood rushed to her head.
Once she regained her balance she hesitantly walked out the door and down the stairs. She wasn't' sure if what she was doing was very smart…but it would be the only way she could catch the sleep she needed to function the next day in class. The fire was distinguished and the coals glowed an eerie red. She shivered again; the color resembled that of a stunner.
Shaking her head she made her way up the stairs to James's room and opened the door wide enough for her to slip in. James barely stirred.
She walked over to his bed and slid under the covers, nuzzling close to him while doing so. Lily jumped a bit when he opened his hazel eyes and his hand grasped hers.
"Are you okay?" he whispered. She nodded.
"I had a nightmare,"
"You can stay here,"
"Thank you," she replied.
He nodded with a little smile and closed his eyes. His hand left hers but then draped itself over her, pulling her closer and holding her tight. She breathed in his scent…it reminded her of hot chocolate and cinnamon. That idea struck something in her. Amortentia. She smiled and buried her head in his chest. He would keep her safe.
Please tell me what you think. Oh and just so you know, Lily will go through a few more chapters feeling crappy about herself, this isn't the end of that. And no, James and Lily aren't "together" yet no matter how much it might seem like they are in this chapter.