Five Minutes

Chapter 75

Disclaimer; I don't own the wizarding world of Harry Potter or any of the characters in it. I wish I did. But I don't.

Hello reader! Special update today for purpleartist19! Happy Birthday! Thanks for your continued support and all the reviews you've given me! And once more, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Hope you enjoy these chapters. :)

Here's chapter Seventy-Five!

Hope you enjoy it!

Chapter Seventy-Five

Lily hadn't been able to choose. She had just stood there, staring at her best friend in the most uncomfortable silence she had ever known to man. She had no idea how on earth she was supposed to make this decision. No one in their life should be given this ultimatum and yet she had been. Truth be told she thought it was rather unfair of Hestia to force her to choose. Hestia on the other hand had thought it a completely acceptable question to ask and wanted an answer straight away. That was something Lily hadn't been able to do. All she could say was she'd have to talk to James. It was an ambiguous response but at least it bought her time. What she was really saying to Hestia was that she would have to think about it but she suspected that Hestia had assumed that her response meant she was choosing her. Lily wasn't sure that was the case.

She loved Hestia. She was like the sister she had never had, (or at least the sister who hadn't rejected her and called her a freak at every available opportunity), and she wouldn't want to be without her. But, then again, did she really want someone in her life that would give her this ultimatum? Was that really what a good friend would do? Surely a good friend would accept you no matter who you were going out with. Then again, Lily didn't even know if that was an issue anymore anyway. She had no way of knowing if she and James were still together. And that hurt her more than anyone could possibly imagine. More than she thought possible. More than she knew.

He wouldn't talk to her so she had no way of clarifying things with him. She tried to talk to him the next morning. She had woken up super early, giving herself next to no sleep, just so that she would be down in the common room when he came down for breakfast but it didn't really work. He did come down but as soon as he saw her, he went straight back up again. Still, she waited. She had waited until lunch time, thinking that, as this was James and he couldn't survive without something to eat, at least he would be coming down for lunch, but no such luck. A couple hours afterwards she had heard a couple of third year lads saying that they had seen James Potter training for the Quidditch match only twenty minutes ago and how they wished they were on the team. Lily knew then that James had obviously sneaked past her wearing his godforsaken invisibility cloak. He hadn't wanted to see her. He was avoiding her. Any other person would take that as a sign that the relationship was over, which would make choosing either him or Hestia a lot easier, but not Lily. She was determined that she would speak to him before she made her choice. Before she was forced to make her choice.

The next week in school she did her best to talk to him. She mostly tried in the lessons where Hestia wasn't around to suspect anything for, in her world, Lily had chosen her, and her relationship with James was over. It was black and white to Hestia whereas, to Lily, things were still a hazy grey. So there were only really two lessons available to her where she could try and talk to James and they were Potions and Transfiguration.

It wasn't particularly easy trying to talk to him in potions considering they were no longer partners. She was partnered with Sirius now, another awkward situation which couldn't be resolved if James wouldn't talk to her. Sirius made things extremely difficult to get any work done, let alone talk to James. Every time Lily tried to do assignments with him, he would deliberately mess it up, not caring that he was sabotaging his own work as well. And when she tried to look at James and catch his eye, leaning around Sirius, Sirius would block her view, again, deliberately. Then when she tried to talk to James Sirius would talk over her, cracking jokes which James would laugh loudly at all in an effort to keep ignoring Lily. Most girls would have stopped there but Lily saw something in his eyes that made her continue. She was resolute that they would talk about this eventually.

In Transfiguration, they sat next to each other. It should have been a lot easier to get him to talk but he just blanked her. He focused on the work and only the work that McGonagall was setting for them, a rarity for him. It seemed that he would go to any lengths just to avoid this conversation which Lily saw as inevitable. He had even charmed his notes so that if Lily tried to talk to him through that, the way he usually talked to her in Transfiguration, no ink would appear on his parchment. It was so frustrating. And things started to get worse and worse during that week.

Slowly, the school started to notice the rift between their head boy and girl. They saw or heard Lily's desperate and humiliating attempts to talk to him thanks to the Slytherin's in their potions class and they noticed James' depressive state. But everyone assumed that James had somehow pissed Lily off because that was what they were used to. Nobody even stopped to consider that Lily was the one in the wrong. They saw the situation but by no means looked at it which, as it turned out, was quite the blessing in disguise for Lily. If anyone had stopped to take the time to see things for what they really were then Hestia, who even though she thought Lily had made her choice on the ultimatum was still acting a little coldly towards her, would start to get suspicious. She would bring things up all over again and this time actually force Lily to choose. Lily was slowly slipping into her own personal hell. And she didn't like it.

Her persistence wasn't going unnoticed and she saw the wall of resilience that James had been fronting since that night begin to falter. She saw the pain in his eyes every time he looked away from her. She heard him sigh when he turned to walk in the opposite direction and, although he didn't know it, know he was doing it, she saw him steal glances at her across the table at breakfast lunch and dinner. She knew he was hurting too and she did assume that he wanted to talk to her also but, because of what she had done and his morals and his strong sense of loyalty to his friends, he was prevented from doing so. She had always admired and liked these things about him but now they were just getting in the way.

It was almost a week since everything had kicked off now, a Thursday, and Lily still hadn't given up. She wouldn't. That evening she was adamant to try again. She knew exactly where James would be and she was determined to corner him and force him to talk to her by any means possible. He was running a Quidditch practice from five till seven and Lily was going to go and watch. She always did. And, as Hestia was on the team, she could give her the excuse that she was there to watch her and give her a bit of moral support should anything happen or should anyone, (namely Sirius), start being rude. So at quarter to five, she started to make her way down to the pitch.

It was rather warm as she walked down, summer starting to set in now. The trees were turning green again but the remnants of blossom still clung to the roots of the tree below. As she strolled down the grassy slope towards the Quidditch pitch, the birds singing their song overhead and the gentle summer breeze blowing her hair back, her confidence grew. Her determination was solidifying and she was sure that she would get him to talk to her this evening, even if it meant trapping him in the changing room after practice. But when she got there, she received a shock.

The entrance to the spectators stand in Quidditch pitch was locked. James had sealed it. There was a sign notifying all students that no one was permitted to watch the practice today as it was so close to the game. James had signed it 'Quidditch Captain and Head Boy' just to ensure that his authority was not questioned, Lily was sure. But the noise inside was loud and she was positive that James would not have barred Remus and Peter from watching. They always did. And since she had become his girlfriend she always did too. And this silly little sign with little pictures doodled in the corners was not going to stop her from watching now. Plus she was head girl so nothing he could do could overrule her.

She got out her wand and waved it, casting a simple charm to unseal the entrance. She smiled when she had done it, proud of herself, and was about to walk in when someone walked out. It was James. He, was not smiling.

James stood opposite Lily, avoiding her eyes and blocking the entrance to the spectators stand. He had his broom in one hand, the other hanging limply by his side, clenching and unclenching into a tight fist repeatedly. He didn't want to be there, you could tell, but he didn't want Lily in the Quidditch stands even more. But he knew she would come which was why he had cast a second charm on the entrance that meant he would know if someone had taken it off. And if he got that notification, he would know who it was. He would know it was her. Because no one else in this school would have dared remove a charm set by James Potter, even if he wasn't head boy.

The two stood in an uncomfortable silence for ten seconds though it seemed like ten minutes. It was the first time they had been alone together since last Friday and now, would be the first time James had spoken to her. But his words were not ones Lily wanted to hear.

'Sorry.' James began, still avoiding her eyes, 'No one's allowed in to watch today.'

'Why not?' Lily said immediately in a way to stop him turning around and walking away which she knew he would try to do if she didn't speak and get the conversation rolling. 'You always let me watch.' she added.

James huffed a sigh, his jaw tight. 'It's a closed practice.' he said through slightly clenched teeth, a small roll of his eyes.


'Just go Lily.' James cut her off, his hand clenching again, 'Having you here will just distract me.'

'Is anyone else allowed in?' Lily questioned, 'Peter or Remus?'

James paused. 'No.' he answered honestly. He hadn't let Remus or Peter into the practice either because he was worried it would distract Hestia. He couldn't risk her being distracted because, bar him, she was the best player he had. Frankly, if it hadn't been so close to the game he would have forced Sirius to stay out too or find a new beater, for the good of the team. There was only so many times he could tell him to stop hitting Bludgers at Hestia. 'Because of…the way things are at the minute and being this close to the game…I just can't afford anyone to be distracted ok? It's a closed practice.' And with that he turned his back on her and was about to take a step back into the Quidditch practice when he was stopped in his tracks by his curiosity.

'Hestia says I have to choose.' Lily blurted out quickly, desperate to get him to stay. And if she told him about this, maybe he would finally let her know where they stood. Maybe this decision had already been made for her. But even though this was tearing her to pieces inside, she hoped it hadn't, because if it had she and James were over. And she didn't know if she wanted that.

James turned his head to look over his shoulder at Lily. 'Choose what?' he asked her in a sort of soft whisper.

Lily paused for a second, knowing she had caught his attention. And if she wanted to hold it, she would have to choose her next words carefully. 'Between the two of you.' she said, 'Choose whether I want to be with you or be her friend.'

James turned around fully and looked into her eyes for the first time in six days. He saw she was serious and this shocked him. He averted his gaze again, just looking into her beautiful green eyes had gotten his heart pounding. He felt like such a sap but he couldn't help it. He couldn't help how he felt about her.

'What did you say?' he asked his feet.

'I haven't decided yet.' Lily replied.

'You don't have to choose.' he whispered, looking at the ground where the bottom of his broom was sweeping it, 'And I think that's cruel of her to ask. She can't force you. And I'm not gonna make you so…you know what…' James paused. He knew what he should say; I'll make this easier on you; I think we should take a break; Choose Hestia; It's not like we're together anymore anyway. But he couldn't say any of these things. He knew he should break up with her because he didn't trust her anymore. He had lost his trust in her and he had lost the trust he had in himself about trusting. It was a vicious trust circle. But none of that mattered to his heart. He loved her. And he couldn't break up with her. So he just said, 'I have to get back.' and walked back into his Quidditch practice.

'James.' Lily said after him. 'James?' she questioned when he had gone. 'James?' she said redundantly.

She sighed to herself and hung her head. She closed her eyes. The one chance, the one time she had been able to get him to talk to her and she had blown it. He hadn't given her any clue to where they were in their relationship. She literally couldn't stand it anymore. She turned and leant against the wall of the entrance to the Quidditch pitch. Her eyes began to fill with tears, a normality for her this past week. They started to roll down her cheeks and at the same time, she slid down the wall until she was sat on the grass. She put her head in her hands and silently cried to herself. She thought she was alone. She wasn't.

'Has he hurt you?' came a voice from above. A slimy voice. She knew who it was.

'No.' she answered shortly. She couldn't be bothered to answer him properly but she couldn't be bothered to ignore him either. She had learnt from past experience that neither strategy worked when it came to Severus Snape. He just didn't get the message.

'Then what's wrong?' Severus persisted, trying his hardest to soften the harsh tone that had settled in his voice since she had rejected their friendship.

'Sev, please, leave me alone. I've made it quite clear I want nothing to do with you so…' Lily trailed off.

'I know you have.' Severus said, unable to stop his glimmer of faith, the torch he had been carrying for her, shining when she called him by his old nickname. He still had hope for them yet. But it would be shattered in the next five minutes. 'But something's wrong.' he continued on, 'I can't stand by and watch him hurt you-'

'He didn't hurt me.' Lily interrupted, becoming a bit annoyed at this conclusion. Everyone had been making it recently. 'Why does everyone assume that he's hurt me?' she questioned, more to herself than to Severus, 'I hurt him.'

Severus steeled himself, hating that James Potter had made Lily feel this way. His teeth gritted he said, 'I'm sure he's manipulated you into thinking that but-'

'Manipulated me?' Lily questioned, finally looking up at Severus, incredulity written all over her face. 'You think he's manipulated me.' she continued as she stood up, 'He didn't need to do that I know. And if I'm so easily manipulated how come we're no longer friends? If I'm so easily manipulated then why couldn't you get me to forgive you when it mattered and why can't Hestia get me to choose, I mean properly choose, persuade me either way?'

Severus took an unconscious step back, the frown that he wore on his face at all times deepening thanks to his confusion. 'I don't understand.' he said.

Lily looked into the deep abyss of his black eyes for a couple of seconds before shaking her head at him and starting to walk away, muttering, 'Doesn't matter.' to him under her breath as she passed.

Severus started to ramble as he followed her up the incline towards the castle. 'Lily, I never meant for thing to turn out this way between us-'

'What other way could they have turned out Sev?' Lily said with yet another sigh in her voice as she trudged up the slope, her hands in the pockets of the blue jacket she was wearing, something she had subconsciously picked up from James. 'You chose your side and I chose mine.' Lily continued, pointing out the obvious facts with a bored tone in her voice as if she was tired of this conversation. 'You want so badly to join Voldemort and I oppose him. You so desperately hate James and I…' She paused. She had known. Did she still know? 'Well I don't know now.' she went on eventually, 'No matter how much you and Hestia wish otherwise. There was no other way for things to turn out.'

'I still didn't mean for this to happen.' Severus said, trying his hardest to catch up to her. She was walking fast. She never used to walk this fast and all he could think of was that James Potter walked fast. He had infiltrated her system like a virus and had changed her walk the arsehole. 'I didn't think this would happen, that you would be the one hurt.' Severus carried on in regret, 'I couldn't have predicted that-'

'What do you mean you didn't want this to happen?' Lily cut him off, stopping in her tracks and looking over her shoulder at him, wondering what he was talking about, 'You had nothing to do with it. You don't even know what's going on!'

Severus walked over to level her. She were now face to face, looking into each other's eyes. Severus' heart skipped a beat. Lily had entrancing eyes. He found the words to continue though. 'I thought it all came from the other week in the library-'

'Oh don't flatter yourself.' Lily scoffed as she started to walk off again with a small mocking laugh and a roll of her eyes, (another James trait which Severus noticed in her), 'You have nothing to do with this.' she said, 'You're not a factor in my life anymore and you're definitely not a factor in my relationships. You stopped being a factor when you called me what you did.'

Severus was getting angry again and it was starting to show in his voice. He sounded as if he was shouting at her but he didn't mean too. 'I'm still sorry-'

'Look.' Lily said rounding on him, tired of this. Tired of this for good. This was the last time she was going to talk to him, to tell him this and, although she had made this resolution before, this time she was definitely going to keep it. Severus Snape had been a tumour on her life for far too long now and it was finally time to eradicate it once and for all. 'I don't know what you think you've done,' Lily stated, 'but let me assure you that you have nothing to do with what's going on between me, my best friend and my boyfriend. Any business that we had concerning you was dealt with weeks ago. You're not an issue anymore. You don't matter. And I wish you'd give me some sort of sign that you understand that because I really don't think you do. All the times over the past couple of years that I've told you this and you still haven't got the message. Was me slapping you in the library not evidence enough to you that I've moved on? Because I'll gladly do it again, no motivation needed but the fact that you bug the hell out of me. And I think it's time you wake up and realise that. Just let me get on with my own life and you get on with yours. Just don't speak to me again. Ever.'

And she walked away. She walked away for good and this time, she took the hope Severus had had for them. She had blown out the torch he had been carrying for her. She was gone. He really had lost her.

It was Thursday evening and Lily was even more depressed than she had been that morning. Hestia had realised that Lily hadn't actually made a decision and had just been mulling over the situation instead. She had been clued into the fact that Lily hadn't actually broken up with James through a roughly picked bunch of flowers. Some wild daisies…

'Seems Potters finally gotten the message.' Hestia said with a slight tone of victory in her voice as Lily entered the room.

'What do you mean?' Lily asked, dropping her Ancient Runes books on her bed. They were really heavy. It shouldn't have been something she missed but it was something she had taken for granted over the past year; James carrying her books for her. She had forgotten the weight of them.

'He's sent you these.' Hestia said, holding up a measly bunch of daisies which were uncut and wilting. 'You'd have thought with everything he has, all that money and stuff he'd be able to buy you a decent bunch of flowers.' she continued before smelling them once and throwing them in the bin.

Lily immediately walked over to the bin and pulled them back out. When she stood up, she was unintentionally scowling and Hestia was looking at her very suspiciously.

'Why did you just do that?' she asked.

'Do what?' Lily asked, trying to appear innocent, fiddling with the flowers which were tied together around their stalks with a threadbare piece of rope. There was a note attached.

'Pull them out the bin.' Hestia stated.

'Why waste perfectly good flowers?' Lily replied, trying her hardest to be nonchalant. She walked past Hestia and went to sit on her bed, pulling the note off as she went. Hestia had obviously already read it. It simply said, 'I get the message now. I'll leave you alone'.

'They're not perfectly good, they are dying and as you've broken up with Potter, why would you want any flowers from him?' Hestia interrogated.

'They're not from James.' Lily said, a small note of disappointment present in her voice. She knew they hadn't been from the start but she couldn't help but hope. If James were to send her flowers, he wouldn't have sent her these. He'd have sent her white gardenias for he knew they were her favourite. They would have been luxurious and beautiful and fresh. But they never would have come anyway. 'James doesn't do flowers.'

'Gee what a dream boat.' Hestia said with a sarcastic roll of her eyes, 'You've dodged a curse there.'

Lily said nothing. She just studied the card with those nine words on. 'I get the message now. I'll leave you alone'. The hand writing was both familiar yet foreign. She knew who they were from; Severus. She knew why he had chosen wild daisies. Because it wasn't about expense and grandeur it was about memories. She loved those memories and they did mean a lot to her. He was a friend to her in a world she didn't know. But now he meant nothing to her. Neither did his flowers. Neither did his note.

'You haven't broken up with him.' Hestia said suddenly.

'What?' Lily asked, thrown off guard by Hestia's sudden realisation.

'You said you…I gave you an ultimatum Lily and I thought you'd chosen.' Hestia said, outraged that she had been lied too, 'I thought you'd chosen me.'

'I never said-'

'Lily how could you do this!' Hestia yelled, 'I thought that our friendship was the most important thing in the world to you! And I thought that given the choice, something that I did give you, fairly so as well considering the circumstances and the fact that I was only thinking about your safety-'

'Hestia it's not fair for you to-'

'It's completely fair!' Hestia cut her off, 'You said you'd talk to him and break things off-'

'I never said-'

'It was implied!' Hestia interrupted, 'You have to choose Lily. It's either me or Potter. And if you needed time to think about it then all you needed to do was ask. I'm not unreasonable!' she finished before storming out of the room.

It was rather cruel the way things had come out but nowadays Lily had come to expect nothing less from her. That wasn't particularly a good thing to predict in your friends. Thankfully, Hestia had seemed to understand, kind of, that Lily just needed time to think and she was allowing her it now. She didn't really have a choice. So she just left the room, leaving Lily alone to think. But Lily wasn't alone long.

'Lily?' Alice asked as she walked cautiously into their shared dormitory.

'Yeah?' Lily said suddenly, looking up. She was still holding the bunch of daisies, the note was scrunched up tightly in her hand.

Alice exhaled deeply and stood in thought for a couple of seconds before deciding to ask, 'What exactly is going on?'

Lily looked quizzically over at Alice. She paused. 'What do you mean?' she questioned though she didn't need too. She knew exactly what she meant. Anyone could deduce the meaning behind Alice's question because what was going on in Lily's life wasn't exactly a complete mystery to anyone. Sure not many people knew the specific details of the situation but it was pretty obvious. The whole school had noticed things weren't exactly 'peachy' between her and James or her and Hestia or her and the marauders and everyone knew she wanted nothing to do with Severus, even Severus now which was a strange empty feeling to Lily. She couldn't decide how she felt about it. That was probably why she still had the flowers and the note in her hand.

'I'm not stupid Lily.' Alice said with a small sympathetic smile. She began to walk over to Lily's bed as she spoke. 'I know I haven't been hanging around with you and Hestia a lot recently because I've been with Frank but I know something's going on. And whatever it is it's got something to do with James and the marauders because they haven't really spoken to you.' She sat down opposite Lily. 'What's going on?' she asked again.

Lily stopped and paused. And then, all of a sudden, she burst. A whole list of crazy spilt out from her mouth and she had no idea how to stop it. She couldn't stop it and she found out she didn't actually want to. She wanted someone else's advice on the situation. Someone she was close to and who she could trust and it just so happened that Alice was that person and she was asking to know. So Lily rambled without taking a breath.

'Oh Alice everything's gone wrong.' she blurted out, 'I found out what James' secret is and I was gonna break up with him but he stopped me and told me to think about it first and that I couldn't tell anyone what the secret was but I accidentally let it slip to Hestia and she reacted badly to it because it's a bad secret and she shouted at the boys and they knew I was the one who told her and now they won't talk to me, James won't even look me in the eye anymore and even though I was gonna break up with him when I found out I can't do it now but if I don't Hestia won't be my friend anymore because she says I have to choose between them, she gave me the ultimatum and when I told James in the brief moment that I actually got him to talk to me he said that he would never make me choose which just makes it harder for me to choose because he reminded me of how much of a decent person he is and then I got to thinking and I couldn't think of any reason to break up with him because he's funny and clever and he cares so much about me and he's loyal and trustworthy and he gets me to do things I'd never usually do and he teases me but in a good way, he's mischievous and gets into a lot of trouble, loses the house a lot of points but people still adore him and out of everyone he chose me to go out with, he chose me five years ago and he never gave up, he waited for me to realise I liked him too and he won't look at anyone else and he's an amazing kisser, when he kisses me I think I'm walking on air, and he's sweet and handsome and he stood up to my dad when they met and I know he would never let anyone hurt me and I think I might love him but he values his friendship and I think that if he was in the same position he'd choose his friends over me but I don't know if I can do that even though Hestia is my best friend and has been for ages and, although she might be a gossip and a bit too obsessed with nail polish, she's always been there for me and listens to me rant and ramble and I know that I love her because she's my best friend and she's never let me down and she convinced me to go for James in the first place but now she's given me this ultimatum and I just don't know what to do Alice!' Lily finally paused and fixed Alice with a questioning stare. 'Who am I supposed to choose?' she asked her.

Alice's eyes had continued to widen during Lily's little outburst and she was in such a state of shock about everything Lily had told her that she had to take a couple of minutes to process it all. It was like information overload. But even after thinking about it, she couldn't come up with anything to tell Lily that would help her.

'I don't know Lily that's a lot of information to get in five minutes.' Alice said unhelpfully.

'Oh come on Alice!' Lily begged, 'Please help me?'

'I can't.' Alice shrugged regretfully, 'I know it's not what you want to hear but this has to be your decision. You need to make it on your own.'

'But I can't choose.' Lily said, a break in her voice. She felt as if she was going to burst into tears at any moment. 'And if I don't I could lose them both.' she ended with a choked sigh.

Alice sat in thought for a second. She thought of how she had been in a similar situation only a year or so ago. She had chosen between her boyfriend and her best friend and she had been judged for the decision she had made. But she just knew when it came to Frank. She could feel it. He was it for her. They were soul mates. She didn't know if Lily felt the same way about James, especially considering she had absolutely detested him for the first five and a bit years of their Hogwarts careers, but if she did she knew what decision she would encourage her to make. She would have told her to take that leap of faith with him, but only if she was absolutely sure. The only thing was she knew how close Lily was to Hestia and how much Hestia would hate her if she didn't choose her.

There was nothing in the world that Alice could say that would make this situation better. She wasn't going to tell her who to choose and she didn't think it was fair that she was being forced to do so anyway. It was unfair. At least she had never been forced to choose between Frank and Emmeline. It was a decision she had made on her own. She didn't regret it. At least she had no feelings of regret towards Frank. She knew that it was something for her future because she knew her future was with him. She doubted she would have stayed in contact that much with Emmeline after Hogwarts anyway because Emmeline was planning, and had always planned, to travel and 'find herself' with the 'helpful' art of divination. It was always something Alice had never got. But it was just Emmeline.

'You know Lily,' Alice began, swallowing and not believing she was about to spout some philosophical crap, 'I don't put much stock in divination anymore, in fact I think it's a pretty useless subject and I don't know why I took it actually…' she trailed off.

Alice really couldn't, for the life of her figure out why on earth she had taken the absolutely useless subject of divination for her N.E.W.T's. Especially now she realised she wanted to do something to aid the side of good in the wizarding war which was currently raging outside the walls of Hogwarts. Sure it hadn't really touched them yet and they were well protected with being in the castle but Alice knew it was worse than the papers made it sound, though the Daily Prophet was giving out a lot more information about what Voldemort and the Death Eaters were doing than usual. Still, Alice didn't trust the information and instead received news of what was going on from her mum who believed she deserved to know as she would soon be entering the real world. What her mum told her mixed with Professor Dumbledore's frequent and unexplained absences from the school this day, Alice knew things were getting worse and she wanted to help. How a N.E.W.T in Divination would help her though she had no idea. She couldn't protect anyone with the useless ability to find funny shapes at the bottom of a tea cup. How was anything to do with Divination going to help in the protection of the wizarding world? It wouldn't save anyone, she was sure. No seer could make a difference in the war.

'Alice?' Lily queried. She had been silent for a long time.

'Yeah?' Alice asked, snapping out of her reverie. 'Right. Anyway,' she went on as if she had had no pause of thought, 'I don't really like the life phrases it gives you, the ones Emmeline is so into, but I think this one applies here.'

'And what's that?' Lily wondered sceptically.

'That sometimes in life you need to decide which bridges to cross and which to burn.' Alice stated.

'That doesn't help me at all.' Lily sighed in defeat.

'I never said it would.' Alice shrugged, 'I said it applies here. And it does. It's your decision and you have to make it. And when you have, all you need to do is strike the match.'

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