The Evans Household

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The Evans Household

Post  Lily Evans on January 4th 2012, 3:45 pm

December 23rd

Lily sighed and pushed her mashed potato around her dinner plate. Usually her first meal at home after a term at Hogwarts was something she approached with relish – hey, might not be the fanciest gourmet food in the universe, but there was always something magical about Mum’s Cooking – but tonight she couldn’t seem to muster the usual enthusiasm. Not even the fact that it was two days until Christmas could lift her spirits. Her lacklustre efforts and apparent lack of appetite seemed to go unnoticed by her family; the conversation and most of the green beans had been monopolised by Petunia’s new boyfriend, Vernon. Lily rather thought that if she was meeting the family of someone she was dating for the first time, she would probably try to share the beans. And not talk so bloody much. Were they supposed to be impressed that after Business College, Vernon already had a mind-snappingly dull position lined up for himself at some drill business?

Well, Petunia sure seemed impressed. She was done up like she was taking tea with the Queen, one of her nicest dresses perfectly pressed and her hair curled into a flawless updo that screamed something along the lines of ‘oh baby, take me all the way back to the 1950s and make me your trophy housewife’. Lily’s nose wrinkled. Sounded awful to her, but Petunia was hanging on Vernon’s every word and taking every opportunity to announce how impressed she was and demand her parents agree.

Lily let her mind wander, she couldn’t seem to stop herself from doing that these days. At least now it was helpful, rather than in Transfiguration where McGonagall didn’t seem to think a stellar academic record was any reason to let a few weeks of distractedness slide. Truthfully, Lily hadn’t been looking forward to the end of term more, not even in fifth year when she was desperate to escape Hogwarts and Sev and the word Mudblood ringing in her ears. She had thought nothing could be worse, but she was wrong. Every moment since she’d kissed James had been awful. She couldn’t escape him – even when she could get away from him in person, James Potter had invaded her subconscious so completely that every breath she took seemed to carry the scent of him and she woke up in the middle of the night with her lips burning with the memory of kissing him.

Idly, Lily wondered how different things might be this Christmas if she hadn’t… well, alright, Lily could admit it to herself if not to anyone else, if she hadn’t completely buggered everything up. Brushing James off and dismissing their kiss as nothing was probably the biggest lie she’d ever told and she regretted it before she even got as far as the girls’ staircase. But what could she do? It’s not like she could just turn around, bat her lashes and say ‘only joking, d’you fancy snogging on a more regular basis?’, and expect him to be alright with that. ...Could she? No. Lily hadn’t the nerve to look at James’ face since, but she didn’t need to in order to know that she’d dealt him the most heartless blow of his life. Who would want anything to do with her after that? All the times she’d called him an arrogant git were childsplay, really. And he was being a gigantic bloody git. This time, much as it made Lily’s stomach churn to think about it, it was all on her.

Vernon’s loud laugh boomed at one of his own jokes, jolting Lily back to the present. She couldn’t help but imagine if James was with her right now; he’d probably be subtly mocking Vernon without him realising it with all his pomp and grandeur, and Lily would be giving him looks that failed to be stern in her amusement. And then later they would huddle together under a fluffy doona in front of the living room fire, whispering and giggling over hot chocolate as they tried to outdo one another with the best pompous Vernon impression until they were separated and sent to bed.

Well, Lily could have had that and she had nobody to blame for missing it but herself. Sighing again, she plastered a politely attentive look on her face just in time for Vernon's Japanese golfer joke.

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Re: The Evans Household

Post  Lily Evans on January 4th 2012, 5:15 pm

December 28th

Lily had been so withdrawn since coming home that her mother thought she must be sick. Her father was putting his money on her secretly becoming the Grinch, and Petunia hadn’t really cared. She’d just been grateful that Lily hadn’t done anything too horrendously embarrassing or freakish in front of Vernon, who had delighted them with his presence until Christmas Eve dinner. Yesterday, Petunia had gone to join him for New Years and to meet the Dursley family. The quiet barely seemed to register with Lily. She floated about the house in her own little world, alternating her time between her bed and the couch, pretending to read or watching tv.

She was sprawled on the couch, snuggling into the comfort of the faded and worn cushions with her listless eyes fixed on a rerun of Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em (habit, really, Lily’s true fondness for it lay in the fact that it annoyed Petunia, and she would have to get up if she wanted to switch it over to something else). Even if she had seen the ambush coming, she’d still likely not have made a bid for freedom; too much effort. Before Lily really knew what was happening, her mother was there nudging and rearranging her and Lily’s comfy cushions were replaced with her Mum’s lap. It made for just as comfy a pillow, plus with the bonus comforting feeling of fingers smoothing their way through her hair. She hadn’t let herself be babied in any way for years, but it was too nice to put a stop to and Lily felt a little smile tug at her lips.

“Hey Mum.”

“Hey pumpkin,” Gail Evans murmured, the nickname returning with the ease only a parent could manage. “No stories this term? I know you couldn’t really talk about school in front of Vernon, but you usually come home bursting with stories of all the mad, impossible magical things you do all day.”

Lily gave a twitch that might or might not have been a shrug. “Nothing worth mentioning I guess.”

It was apparently the wrong answer; even from the odd angle the famous Evans ‘I am not amused’ stare, the very one Lily herself had inherited, was obvious. “Lily Evans, don’t give me that. It’s near enough to four months since we saw you last. You get to go to a fantastic school up in the North that your Dad and I can’t even see for ourselves, can’t even find if we need to get to you, and you do things all day that is physically impossible for the rest of your family. I don’t care if your year’s been so dull you really do have nothing exciting to tell me, I am your mother and if you have to make it up you will tell me about your term.”

“Just no satisfying you, is there?” Lily joked, but her head unconsciously inclined towards her mother’s hand and the soft, maternal stroking of her hair soothed her. For a moment as she stared up at her Mum she felt the stab of longing, the urge to cry and pour out all her troubles so that she could get a kiss on the forehead and a couple of sweet words that would take away all the bad feelings inside her. But she held back; that wasn’t going to work this time. “I don’t know, Mum. Everything’s always the same there, it’s just school, only with magic instead of stuff like English and History… I made a go-go dancer outfit for Halloween and went to Hogsmeade. Then James and I played a trick on all our friends,” she offered, because it was what flashed into her head most clearly. Halloween had been her favourite day of the whole year.

If her mother harboured any of those suspicions mothers always have when their daughters mention a boy’s name, she hid them well. Lily’s two best friends in her life had both been boys – the names Severus Snape and Ted Tonks had elicited various degrees of oohing and ahhing at first, but Gail had long since accepted that any commentary she might want to make was just not worth the wild ranting of an incensed redhead demanding to know why being friends with a boy should be any different than being friends with a girl. It didn’t take long for Gail to succeed in what she was doing. She didn’t know what had been upsetting Lily since her return, but it had always been the same with her youngest daughter; she would not be sharing her deepest feelings until she was good and ready and no use pushing her. But she kept on smoothing Lily’s hair back and asking questions to satisfy her curiosity, and finally Lily fell into conversation.

Her eyes were closed, a look of childlike comfort on her face, and Lily began to feel better for the conversation. She explained that yes, James who went with her to Hogsmeade was the Potter boy, she’d mentioned him once or twice over the years. (Thank Merlin she’d never mentioned him asking her out, no power on heaven or earth could ever convince her that awkward conversation needed to happen.) He was the one who didn’t get on with Sev, they used to pick at each other all the time. No, she hadn’t liked him, either, he was a stupid big-shot git who acted like he was better than everyone else, but things changed. James wasn’t so bad, not really. He’d sort of grown up, he was cool and more interesting to hang around now that he wasn’t just picking on people for laughs. Without all that other stuff getting in the way, he was really a great guy and yeah, they had become friends. Lily bit her lip. Well, it was true enough, they had become friends. No need to mention that she had already well and truly messed that up, though.

Lily fell into contemplative silence, mulling over all that she had just told her Mum, and all that she had remained silent on. There was an odd, empty feeling gnawing at her insides. She really did like the James she had gotten to know over the past few months, and she knew that she couldn’t leave things between them the way they were. She couldn’t leave the lie standing.

She had always thought moments like this would be more dramatic – that there would be gasping and theatrics and heartfelt speeches. Maybe even a few tears. But there was none of that. There was only a strange calm in Lily’s head and the conviction that at the very least, she owed James the truth about how she felt.

Opening her eyes, Lily smiled apologetically up at her Mum. “Sorry, Mum, can’t stay. I’m going back to school in the morning, there’s something I’ve got to take care of.”

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