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Willow Evans

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There are many casualties in war; a simple and agonizing fact. Everyone knew that they had a high chance of death when they fought, but they didn't let that stop them. They had to save who they could.

For him, the cost of victory was everyone he had ever loved—and he wasn't sure it was worth it.

The first to die was Hermione, her brown hair dyed auburn with her blood when she saved a younger student; after her was his sister, Ginny's cry of pain still ringing in his ears; the twins were next, Fred being buried under rubble, George killed by a bright green flash when he let his guard down at the sight of his dead twin.

His parents died together, pushing a small group of students out of the way of falling debris; Percy died fighting side by side with Bill and Charlie, the three brothers ambushed and killed by a horde of Death Eaters, a colourful scene that would be burned into his memory until his dying day.

Harry had to sacrifice himself, a part of Voldemort's soul within him; Neville took that final blow, killing the dark lord with the same sword that had killed Nagini. A poisonous green spell had stopped the boy before he could revel in his victory.

He saw Lavender's body sprawled out, mauled by a werewolf, and the Creevey brothers lying together surrounded by dozens of Death Eater bodies, the brothers' last effort of an explosion of magic.

And lastly, Severus Snape, lying with his eyes open, his lips curling into a half smile; the last expression he had before he died.


When the war was over, the wizarding world rejoiced. Every street was covered in confetti, every home was filled with joy.

Well, almost every home.

Ronald Weasley locked himself in his dead lover's house, the Burrow having been burned to the ground before the beginning of the last fight.

Usually, he would be found in the library, only leaving the room to use the bathroom. A small cot that was sat next to the wall of the library was where he would sleep, a tactic he used because it was harder to be snuck upon.

One wouldn't really recognize him for the boy he used to be, his blue eyes had become dull and lifeless, his hair limp, and his skin sallow.

No one saw this, of course, save his personal mediwizard, who was the only person allowed on the land else a panic attack would overtake Ron—an outcome that would likely kill him.

"Weasley, you've got to eat," Draco Malfoy spoke, struggling to get his patient to eat.

Draco had been assigned as Ron's personal mediwizard soon after his basic training was over, right around the time the boy's panic attacks started to come in larger scales. He wouldn't be as far into his practical training if it hadn't been for the other boy, but that was only a thin silver lining in this monstrosity of a life.

Draco lifted the fruit plate from that morning, barely picked on, and left a plate of toast and soup, his patient unable to eat heavy meals. Ron's stomach hadn't had a full meal since he left the Burrow before the war, and Draco feared how his stomach would react if anything heavy was eaten before Ron was ready.

Ron was sitting at his desk with yet another of Severus' books sitting before him. Draco sighed, turning to leave the room; there was nothing he could do to get Ron to eat.


It took Ron almost ten years to get through the entire library in Severus' house—in his house.

Draco had already started a family; his little girl and his newborn son waiting for him at home. Ron was still mute, still in a trance-like state with the only determination in him being the completion of reading Severus' entire collection of books.

He didn't allow anyone in his home, nobody but Draco, and no one would have wanted to go inside with him even if Ron wouldn't panic. Ron had gone nowhere. Not forward, not backward. He just sat there in silence, picking at his food, and reading every book he could reach. No one could figure out why. The people who had known Ron before the war knew he hated reading and staying put.

But there was nothing Draco could do to get the man to open up, to say anything.

Which was why it had come as such a surprise when the man suddenly spoke.

"I found it," Ron's words were so low, Draco almost thought he imagined them. The man couldn't have meant that.

"Ron?" Draco had stopped, the plate of food almost falling to the floor, barely being caught.

"I can save them all," Ron spoke louder, his eyes reading a passage over and over. Draco did drop the plate when Ron stood suddenly, the book in his tight grip as he shot out of the room to the adjacent and unused potions room.

"Ron," Draco rushed after him, everything going black once he crossed the threshold.


Draco groaned as he woke. An unknown amount of time had passed while he was unconscious. He looked up to see Ron standing before a glowing, potion-filled cauldron, his features looking even sicklier than before.

"Ron, what are you doing?" Draco couldn't help but ask as he stood, one hand on his back—he must have been slumped in a bad position.

"I'm going to save them, all of them," Ron stated, his gaze not leaving the glowing substance. Draco had a bad feeling about this. Something was going to go wrong.

Before he could stop Ron, a ladle was lifted to the redhead's lips, and he was gone.

Draco didn't know how he was going to explain this to his superiors.


Ron looked on in horror, his lover, Severus Snape, was standing across the way, his body showing signs of exhaustion; deep-set eyes, a bleeding lip, hands shaking.

"Don't do it!" Ron yelled out, Severus turning his eyes to glance at him, Ron's heart broke at the defeat in them. They were on opposite sides of the war and by all rights, Ron was supposed to kill him, was supposed to get rid of all dangers. But he couldn't, he didn't think Severus wanted to be this way, he believed in him, trusted him.

He didn't care that Severus was a death eater, didn't care that it was considered wrong to be dating him, what with him being Ron's professor and being the right-hand man to the most dangerous wizard alive.

Ron turned when he heard the screams, and Hermione's lifeless corpse stared at him, Ginny's face burned off only meters away from her, his parents crushed together on the other side of the courtyard, the lifeless bodies of his brothers dropped to the ground like puppets whose strings were cut.

Ron heard Severus curse, drawing his attention back to the older man, his wand held up to protect himself. Ron flinched when Severus uttered a spell, his eyes clenching shut when a green light left the wand.

But the deadly magic didn't hit him; it flew past his shoulder, hitting a Death Eater that had been sneaking up on Ron. Ron looked up and grinned at Severus, who smirked back, before being forced off his feet by a bright green curse.

"NO!"

Chapter Text

Petunia Evans was a very responsible five-year-old. She was so responsible she was trusted to watch her little sister Lily while her mum napped, which was why she decided she was old enough to answer the door when it rang.

The door was harder to open than she had thought, but she was able to open it in the end. She winced when it hit the wall before turning her attention to the blanket before her.

A soft, dark orange blanket sat on the porch, moving slightly. It intrigued Petunia; she'd never seen someone leave a moving blanket on a porch before.

Leaving the door open because she didn't have time to close it (obviously) Petunia ran up the stairs, calling her mum as loudly as she could.

"Petunia, dear, I'm right here," Petunia's mother smiled tightly down at the girl. Her eyes kept glancing to the room she just stepped out of: Lily's room.

Petunia looked sheepishly up at her mother. "Sorry Mummy, but there's something on the porch. Do people often leave moving blankets on other's porches?" she asked, looking up at her mum with wide eyes.

"Did you answer the door?" Mrs. Evans asked with wide eyes before rushing down the stairs. She didn't even answer Petunia's question!

Petunia followed her mother down the stairs, one step at a time because she could fall and hurt herself if she took two or more at once.

When she got to the bottom of the stairs, she saw her mother sitting on the couch, the blanket from the porch was resting on her lap.

"What was it Mummy?" Petunia asked, pulling herself onto the couch.

The little girl crawled over to her mother, peered down at the blanket, and found herself looking into some of the bluest eyes she had ever seen, almost the same shade as her own and her father's. His red hair matched her father's and Lily's, which made Petunia grin wide.

"Is he my new brother? I asked Santa for a brother, but he gave me a sister, do you think Santa sent my brother late?" Petunia asked excitedly, her fingers reaching forward to touch the boy. Petunia didn't understand the evaluating gaze her mother gave her.

"Yes, he is," her mother said slowly, making Petunia grin wider. Her eyes went back to the baby, who was starting to drift off to sleep, she would do everything to protect him.

"His name is Willow, right? That's the name I picked when I asked Santa for him."

She had said that seriously; she didn't understand why her mother laughed at her.


Petunia held her baby siblings close, her arms wrapped around the three-year-olds' ears as best she could. Their parents were fighting again. Her father was mad at her mother, something about bills and food and bastards; she didn't know what a bastard was, but it didn't sound good.

She just held her siblings close and hoped her parents would calm down soon.


Petunia watched as her brother and sister wandered over to the weird, black-haired boy on the playground. She had brought them out here as soon as she was old enough, and has been bringing them back every time the atmosphere in their house became too tense.

"Hello, my name is Lily, this is my brother, Willow." Her younger sister was the more talkative of the siblings, her bright red hair matching her attitude perfectly.

Willow waved tentatively when the boy looked up at them. Petunia couldn't hear his response, but she thought it had been something positive if the twins' smiles said anything about it. Petunia just hoped this kid could help distract her siblings from what went on at home.

"Petunia! Come meet Severus, he's four too." Lily grinned as she waved her sister over, the little boy looking up at her shyly.

Petunia sighed, she could already see the same look in his eyes that she saw in her siblings'. It looked like she had another child under her care, whether he liked it or not.


Petunia watched the six-year-olds playing in the grass before her and her lips kept twitching down. Severus was sporting another bruise today, his hair hiding most of it, but he had to look up at her when she greeted him, his noir locks slipping back to show the purpling skin around his eye.

She couldn't do anything to help, the last time she tried Severus only showed up worse, begging her not to help him anymore. It had broken her heart.

She felt bad for feeling grateful that it wasn't one of her siblings getting hurt at home—not that she'd be able to know if anything were to happen to them. Soon, she'd be going off to boarding school, leaving the twins in the care of her angry father.

Her mother had died a few months ago, and while it hurt to know she was never coming back, it hurt greater seeing that her siblings didn't seem to care that their mother was gone.

"Petunia! Come play with us," Willow cried out, a large grin on his face. Petunia was still overjoyed that Severus seemed to bring Willow out of his shell, making the boy much livelier.

Petunia pushed her thoughts to the back of her mind as she got up to play tag with her siblings.


Petunia waved to her siblings as her train left the station. Large tears fell from the twins' eyes as she sped off. Her heart almost broke when they asked her not to go, but there was nothing she could do. She had to go to school.

She just hoped nothing unfortunate happened while she was gone.


Two nine-year-old twins sat on swings in a familiar park. A third nine-year-old was behind them, pushing the redheads in turn.

"Guys, look," Lily exclaimed suddenly, pointing out before her. Willow stared wide-eyed at the floating stick before his sister.

"Are you doing that?" Severus asked from behind him, his voice holding something that sounded almost hopeful. Lily nodded enthusiastically, a grin on her lips.

A few words flashed through Willow's mind,

Wingardium Leviosa

He almost didn't notice when Lily gasped, so engrossed in trying to remember where that came from.

But he did notice it, reverting his attention back to his sister, who was several feet below him. Willow gasped before falling to the ground, his foot tangling up in the chain of the swing.

"You guys are magic," Severus stated, a grin on his face as he and Lily helped Willow to his feet.

"It looks like we'll be going to the same school after all."


Willow huffed out in his sleep, his head jerking to the right, then the left. Sweat making his hair cling to his forehead and his hands clenching painfully around the blankets.

Severus, only older, looking at him with fear in his black eyes, blood dripping down his face, tears intermingling with the red substance as they fell.

Bodies, hundreds of them, some wearing black, most not. Blood and destruction filled his vision.

A feeling of loss and pain and helplessness and hopelessness.

He tried to scream, to cry out, to get Severus' attention, anything. Nothing left his lips.

Severus yelled out something Willow couldn't hear. The sudden noise of thunder and screaming didn't allow him to hear Severus' words.  A bright flash and he was blinded briefly.

Moments later the lights receded, only for Willow to watch as the life bled out of Severus' eyes—

"SEVERUS!" Willow screamed, shooting up from his bed, his breathing coming in short bursts. In his chest, his heart pounded fast, way too fast.

Lily sat next to him, their door barred against the banging of a heavy fist.

"Shut up in there!" their father bellowed before stomping away from the room.

"Are you okay?" Lily asked; her eyes filled with worry and her voice choked in concern.

Willow nodded before burying his head in his blankets, images that made him want to throw up filled his mind. He shook his head frantically.

"It's okay, I'm here." Lily moved to sit next to him, her arm hovering slightly over her brother's shoulder until the boy moved into her hug.

"Do you want to talk about it?" Lily asked after a few minutes. Willow shook his head and Lily nodded. The two stayed like that for hours, until Willow was ready to talk.


Willow was overly grateful when Petunia came home. It was quieter when his sister came home. The now ten-year-old boy grinned and hugged his sister when she walked through the door, Lily right behind him.

"Tell us stories from your school," Lily begged, looking up at her sister with big hopeful green eyes, Willow shook his head in exasperation at his twin's expression. Petunia grinned as she sat them down in the living room to tell them all about her time at school.


It was still a good month before Petunia had to go back to school. She was sitting on the couch, cards in hand as the family played a game.

The doorbell was always a surprise when it rang, and this time was no exception. The three siblings watched their father stand from his spot across from Lily, placed his cards faced down on the table, before going to answer the door.

Their father's change of temperament had been sudden and surprising. Only two weeks before he was a very angry man who would glare at them whenever they were too loud. But then he had a screaming match with Petunia one night, and brought a cake home the next day, apologizing to them with a stiff back.

Willow knew he was trying, so he didn't say anything when his father would sometimes revert to glaring or sneering; it helped that his dad would look sorry after each incident.

Willow looked up in surprise when his dad returned with company. There was a tall, intimidating, and strangely familiar woman, standing behind him.

Willow didn't know why she was so familiar, but something was telling him that he was happy to see her, and he found himself grinning when she was introduced to them.

McGonagall. Professor McGonagall. She would be educating them about everything in the wizarding world.

Chapter Text

The train and the station were just as familiar to him as Professor McGonagall and Diagon Alley were, and the cabins were familiar in the same way that the shops were; the only things that made him feel uncomfortable were the students themselves. Something was telling him that they were wrong. He found himself looking for someone, though he was unsure who, unable to help it.

He soon spotted Severus, and he could feel that calmness, the one he felt when they first met, that feeling of right, just as powerful as the feeling of wrong about the other students.

The twins greeted their longtime friend and boarded the train together, their things being lugged behind them until they found an empty compartment.

It wasn't hard for the three to get the trunks up when they worked together and soon the three settled in for the ride, happy grins on their faces as they relayed what they were most excited about.

It wasn't for another twenty minutes before the door slid open, four boys laughing as one was pushed forward and into the small room.

Willow froze when he saw them, his eyes locking on the untamable hair and round glasses.

A boy sitting in a compartment alone, a sad look in his eyes.

"Can I sit here? Everywhere else is full."

A boy sitting on a stool, his eyes hidden behind a large hat.

"Gryffindor!"

A girl crying in a bathroom, a troll looming over her.

"Wingardium Leviosa!"

A girl lying perfectly still in a hospital bed, petrified.

'Follow the spiders.'

A startling message in blood, a cat hanging by her tail.

'The Heir of Slytherin has returned.'

A girl holding a cat protectively in her arms, an angry glint in her brown eyes.

"Keep that thing away from Scabbers!"

A dog, teeth digging into his flesh, pulling him away from a duo.

"Ron! Stop!"

A large goblet, filled with flames, twins standing before it.

"Bottoms up!"

A fight, a man standing up straight, wand in hand, robes billowing around him.

"What are you looking at Mr. Weasley?"

A dance, students in formal wear, teachers mingling in the crowd.

"Who are you looking at Ron?"

Before his mind could delve deeper into the scenes his brain brought forward, he heard laughing. Willow looked up at the doorway and saw four boys, two of them laughing and pointing at him, two looking decidedly uncomfortable.

"What are you laughing at?" Willow glared at them, his sister and best friend doing the same, Lily crossing her arms and Severus twitching to grab his wand.

The black-haired boy with round spectacles scoffed as he calmed himself.

"Looks like we have a few muggle borns with us this year," the boy announced with a smirk on his face.

"I'm not a muggle-born," Severus bit out, a glare on his face. Willow felt the urge to agree but stopped himself—he was muggle born. Wasn't he?

"Oh sorry, a pair of muggle born and a pureblood with no taste," the boy sneered before motioning for his friends to follow. The brown-haired boy gave them an apologetic glance before following his friends out.

"Are you okay?" Lily asked once the door slid shut. Willow sighed, rubbing his eyes with the heels of his palms.

"I'm fine, just a bit tired," he admitted.

Lily smiled at him in understanding before offering her lap as a pillow. Willow was able to ignore his headache and lay down for a nap, Lily and Severus talking quietly to each other as Willow drifted off to sleep.


 

I'll watch Snape," a tall redhead announced whilst planning with his friends.

"You can't. You're in love with him. You wouldn't be able to kill him if you need to," a bushy brown haired girl told him sympathetically.

"We didn't know he was evil before. Well, not one hundred percent sure at least. I wish this could have gone differently, I'm sorry," a bespectacled black haired boy gave him the same sympathetic eyes as the girl.

Battle. That was what was happening around him—though he couldn't really understand what was going on. Who was fighting? Why?

Suddenly, the scene shifted. He was standing across from an older Severus, bright lights flashing around them.

Severus was holding a wand, pointing it directly at him, a bright green light escaping it and flashing just past his shoulder. He felt overwhelming relief, before a green light hit Severus in the chest.

Willow woke suddenly, a gasp escaping him. Lily and Severus were right there, ready to help.

"Are you okay?" Lily asked, holding him up, her arm around his shoulders.

"I'm fine, just got a headache is all," he assured them. Severus raised an eyebrow at him, his features remarkably young compared to the fading face from his dream.

"How much further do you think is Hogwarts?" Willow asked, averting his eyes to look at the floor.

"Not much longer. We should probably get dressed." All thoughts of the dream were pushed to the side as the three figured out how to get changed into their robes.


Willow watched the castle with wide eyes, a feeling of home overcoming him so painfully, he could already feel the all too familiar stinging in his eyes. Unwilling to show his emotions, he was able to suppress his tears.

The first years glided through the water until they got to the shore before being led to a door, Professor McGonagall was waiting for them, a stern gaze scanning the crowd of students until the last boat arrived.

They were led into a hall and told to wait for her there. Severus and Lily looked like they were in heaven—for different reasons. Lily looked excited, almost giddy, like she couldn't wait to learn everything about this new place. On the other hand, Severus looked relieved and happy. It was a look Willow had never seen on him before, what with the way Willow imagined Severus' father acted. Willow just felt an unexplainable yet familiar calmness at the very core of his being.

Soon they were being led into a large room, one that was much bigger than the hall. Looking up revealed an impressive ceiling, with thousands of candles floating in mid-air and the night sky darkened above them.

"It's bewitched to look like the sky outside. I read about it in Hogwarts: A History."

Willow quickly looked away from the ceiling and willed himself to focus on the room he was in, taking notice of the five strategically-placed tables before him.

One table ran the length of the room at the back while four tables of varying color were lined before it. Young witches and wizards (who looked between the ages of eleven and seventeen) filled the four colored tables, while older witches and wizards (whom Willow assumed were teachers) sat at the raised head table furthest away from him and the other first years.

A stool stood before the teachers' table, two of its three legs were backed against a rise in the floor, the third looked like it would crumble with the slightest pressure. Atop the stool sat an old hat, its color faded and appearance ragged. The first year students gathered before the hat, between the blue and yellow tables, whispering among themselves quietly.

Soon enough, the hat seemed to rise up, animated, and joyously started to sing. Willow wasn't surprised at the moving hat, not like the rest of his year mates, who let out noises of bewilderment around him. While the fact that the hat spoke hadn't surprised him, the feeling of expectancy had: he had expected to see the hat talk, and he didn't know why.

Once the hat stopped its tune, the students were called up, one by one, to sit upon the stool and be sorted by the magical headdress. While the students were excited, Willow noted that each student was just as nervous as the child before them. He didn't blame them—the sorting would choose who he belonged to for the next seven years.

"Evans, Lily." Willow watched his sister move up to the hat, the girl sitting gracefully on the stool with a smile as she debated with the hat in the privacy of her mind.

"GRYFFINDOR!" the hat cried out after a minute or two, sending one of the far tables into an uproarious cheer. Lily grinned wider as she stood, helpfully handing the hat to the teacher before making her way to the red table with a skip in her step.

"Evans, Willow." Willow ignored the snickering bespectacled boy from before and his friend as he made his way to the hat. He didn't sit as gracefully as his sister and almost fell off the stool, though he managed to catch and right himself before anything too dramatic happened. He was startled when the hat was lowered over his eyes.

"Well look at this, you've been sorted before. I don't know how; I certainly don't remember you. A Weasley… hm, didn't I sort one of you just a few years ago?" Willow was startled by the deep voice crooning directly into his thoughts, his hands gripping the stool almost painfully.

"I-I'm not a Weasley, whatever that is," he muttered, earning a few snickers from the students, who he had forgotten and who could hear him but not the hat.

"Repressing everything I see," the hat started, his voice a deep rumble, "well, from what I saw, you're better off not knowing, and there's only one way to help you with that." Willow felt dread filling him slowly as the hat seemed to debate with itself.

"SLYTHERIN!"

You could hear a pin drop. Willow could feel the abject horror and mortifying shame when he heard the name of that house shouted. For some unfathomable reason he felt as if he was letting someone down—but then, he also felt a feeling of relief, freedom, and independence. He was his own person; he wasn't part of a unit, not just another one.

Willow made his way silently to his seat and the sorting continued. Willow got lost in his mind until he heard his best friend's name called.

Severus walked calmly, his head held high as he moved to the stool. Willow had a brief feeling of horror—what if he didn't get into Willow's house? What if he went to Gryffindor with Lily?

Willow breathed a sigh of relief when the hat bellowed out the name of Willow's house. Both boys were immensely happy and chatted the whole night away, waving across the room whenever they saw Lily.

Later that night, in the privacy of his bed, curtains closed tightly, Willow wept for a life he didn't know he had forgotten.

Chapter Text

Turned out being a muggle-born in Slytherin was just as horrible as Willow had felt it would be when he was sorted. The students in his house seemed to have a grudge against him because his family wasn't a pureblood family. It was even more frustrating when he had to fight the urge to correct them every time he heard it.

It almost felt like he was walking in a nightmare. He would be walking somewhere, only to walk right into a Gryffindor class, earning laughs and jeers from everyone. He had to start walking with Severus everywhere, which wasn't bad, but it seriously made him feel like he was inconveniencing his friend.


 

"You can't keep doing this," Lily growled as she slammed her books down on the table, earning a glare from the librarian. She gave the woman an apologetic smile before sitting beside her brother.

"Hello Willow, how was your day? It was fine, thank you for asking Lily," Willow joked, looking up from his homework, already half done even though he still had over a week to turn it in. It was strange; every time he tried to procrastinate, he'd get this voice in his head, chastising him. It was too feminine to be his, but it didn't sound like any female he'd ever heard.

"Hello Willow, how was your day? Oh right, horrible! Why didn't you tell me that they haven't stopped?" Lily glared at him. Severus, the traitor, looked down at his book, lifting it to hide his face. Lily latched onto the boy's slight movement and turned to him, pointing a finger threateningly at him.

"And you, you were supposed to be watching him. I heard he made another wrong turn and ended up in front of the Gryffindor common room before lunch today." Lily accused, glaring at her longtime friend with angry green eyes.

Severus sighed before putting the book down.

"He's navigating much better now—he hasn't walked into a Gryffindor class in two days," he informed her, a frown twitching his lips down a bit. Lily huffed, picking a book at random and opening it. She lifted the tome to hide her face, worried eyes straying to her brother.

"Please, leave this alone. I don't need you to fight my battles, especially ones that are literally in my head," Willow told her sternly, giving her a pointed look. Lily bit her lip and reverted her eyes, staring at the pages without seeing them. Willow knew she was worried, but her attitude was starting to grate on his nerves. He hoped she would understand without him doing something drastic.


 

By the end of the year, Willow could ignore the feelings of familiarity and almost had himself convinced that he was back to normal; no more flashbacks. That was, until he ran into a red-haired prankster only weeks before going home.

"Willow," Lily exclaimed, kneeling down to help her brother pick up his things as the unknown redhead stared down at them with wide eyes.

"You look just like my brother," the boy stated breathlessly, still just standing there, his wide blue eyes and a gaping mouth set into a pale, freckled face. A few of the older students have made comments about his familiarity before, when they thought he was out of earshot, about how similar he was to a few students they'd met before. The only thing each student mentioned had in common was red hair. Willow was annoyed by this; just because he has red hair doesn't mean he looks like every other red-haired person here.

"Oh really? Does he have red hair too?" Willow bit out sarcastically, standing and handing his books to his sister so he could wipe off the dirt from his clothes. When Lily handed him his books back the two turned to watch the third redhead, who turned as bright as his hair as he searched for something to say.

"Well yeah," he started with a grimace, "but you also have the same eyes, and nose." At this, the boy sighed, "there are obvious differences, but—" Here he perked up a bit, clutching his own books with both hands—"You wouldn't happen to be a Weasley, would you?" He seemed to vibrate in excitement, shifting from foot to foot, with a grin so wide it looked like it hurt.

"I would not. The name is Evans, Willow Evans." Willow ignored the pang in his heart when he said that, vague memories of blonde hair came to mind, which he shook off almost immediately; the boy's snickering helped.

"You find my name funny?" Another memory, this one of cloudy grey eyes, was ignored. Willow glared at the older boy—how dare he stand there and laugh at his name?

"I do," the redhead said with a smile, "who names their son Willow?" He may have intended to continue if he hadn't been pushed away bodily by Willow's sister, the red-haired girl seeming to radiate anger in her very being.

"Lots of people name their sons Willow. It's not a girl's name, it's a tree, a very old, and very powerful tree. I, for one, love my brother's name," Lily defended, spitting pure anger down at the fallen boy. Willow would probably be afraid for her, but all he could do was feel grateful that she would do this for him.

"Fine fine, I concede. You have a lovely name," the boy cooed as he picked himself up, grinning like a cat. Willow kept a hold of his sister's arm when the girl moved to attack again.

"Thank you. Do we get your name, or are we just going to be calling you Ignorant Git for the rest of the school year?" Willow raised an eyebrow in a way he feels Severus would in that situation. The boy snorted, looking down at them again with an amused look on his face.

"Bilius Weasley."

"He was the life and soul of the party."

"Ronald Bilius Weasley!"

"Died 24 hours after seeing a Grim."

"Willow?" Lily nudged Willow in the side, her voice suffused with concern, deep green eyes watching him carefully, like he was going to break right in front of them.

"Is he okay?" Bilius asked, interrupting Willow's indignant response to his sister's concern. He looked between the two cautiously and curiously. He looked ready to study Willow, or take him to the school nurse, Willow was unsure which, but both were undesirable.

"I'm fine, just a bit tired," Willow ground out, taking his sister's arm in a tight grip. "Let's go, Lily, we need to find Severus."

Willow led his sister away, Lily completely unresistant as she followed blindly, still glaring at the third redhead.


 

"I'm happy to be going home," Lily breathed, grinning at her friend and brother, "but I'm really gonna miss Hogwarts," she confessed, slumping into her seat between the two.

"Yeah, but I can't wait to tell Petunia all about school," Willow grinned at his sister. Severus just slumped further into his seat, his face hiding behind his hair.

"And you'll be coming over a lot this summer, right?" Lily turned to Severus with a hopeful expression on her face. Severus smiled tensely and nodded.

"Great, this summer is going to be amazing!"


 

"This summer was horrible," Lily grumbled as she curled up on the compartment seat. "Petunia didn't even come home. I bet she got some cool teenage friends that she thought are more fun than us." Willow nodded along with her as he pulled his legs up to his chest on the seat opposite her.

The twins sat in silence for a few minutes before the door opened, admitting a long haired boy with a split lip.

"Where have you been? We didn't see you at all this summer," Lily complained when Severus sat next to her. The boy shrugged, his eyes averting as he leaned back in his seat.

"What happened here?" Lily moved closer to him so she could check his wound. Willow frowned when he saw Severus turn red, a dangerous mix of anger and possessiveness overcoming him. He didn't like this feeling turning in his stomach as Lily got up close to their friend. He quickly shook it off and reminded himself that this was his sister and best friend.

"It's fine, just fell on my way in," Severus refused to look at them, his fingers twitching. Willow could swear the boy was red now less from embarrassment and more out of anger, or resentment?

"It was Potter wasn't it?" Lily bit out, her eyes narrowing and her hand twitching to grab her wand. The girl all but growled when the door opened again, but her eyes softened, only a fraction of a bit, when Bilius Weasley stood at the door.

"Well looky here, how does it feel being second years now? You have a good summer?" Bilius sat next to Willow and pulled the boy into a one armed hug as he settled in. Lily sighed deeply, her agitation melting out of her with Bilius' antics.

"Our summer was lovely, now please do let me go," Willow told him dryly, his eyes piercing the older boy with spears of ice. Bilius laughed his death glare off.

"I'm a prefect this year ickle second years, so if you need any help or if you just want to go exploring, you can come to me," he told them with a grin. Lily rolled her eyes. Severus and Willow shared a look, one that clearly asked if the other was seeing this.

"If you continue to hang onto my friend like that, I'd feel obligated to tell the teachers about your unnatural interest with a second year," Severus drawled out, his words sending chills down Willow's back, aches of long lost memories surfacing before being ruthlessly smashed down and locked away.

Bilius laughed again, pulling away from Willow, standing, and opening the door, "no need for that, I'll see you three in school."


 

They didn't get to Hogwarts by boat this time, instead, carriages were lined up and waiting to take them to the school.

"What are those?" Willow asked; pointing to the skeletal horses with wings strapped to the carriages. Lily and Severus shared confused looks.

"Those are carriages," Lily spoke, looking at the carriages. It almost looked like she couldn't see the horses.

"Not the carriages, the things pulling them." Willow motioned to them again, his limb a little frantic. Something was going on, and he didn't like it.

"Please take your seats, we'll be going now," one of the teachers Willow didn't have the year before told them, his eyes scanning the students, making 'hurry up' gestures with his hands. Willow let go of the subject of the horses for now, he'd just have to talk with McGonagall or Slughorn later.


 

"Excuse me?" McGonagall was paler than Willow had ever seen her, the woman's eyes scanning the area to make sure they were alone.

"The horses that pull the carriages, what are they?" Willow asked again, his eyes looking up at the woman as she averted her gaze. He didn't know what the big problem was. Could it be that he seemed to be the only one to see them? Was he imagining them?

"You can see thestrals," McGonagall breathed out before looking down at Willow with a furrowed brow. "Follow me."

The teacher turned and led the way to her office, the Great Hall disappearing in the distance. Willow was just glad that he waited until after dinner to confront the teacher about the horses—the thestrals, as she called them.

"Thestrals are special creatures, Mr. Evans; only certain people can see them," McGonagall told him, her eyes filled with sadness. He wondered what kinds of people could see thestrals, because just that morning he felt that there wasn't anything special about him.

"Only people who have seen death can see them," she said in a hushed whisper. Willow froze.

"They're called thestrals. They're quite gentle, really… but people avoid them because they're a bit…"

"Different."

"Mr. Evans?" The teacher looked at him with concern written on her face, the look reminded Willow of his sister.

"I'm fine," Willow told her, giving her a tight smile.

"I'm going to ask you a serious question, and if you feel uncomfortable you don't have to answer me," she started, looking down at him seriously.

"Who did you see die?"

 

Chapter Text

Willow sat on his bed, the curtains closed tightly and the lights off. He didn't know why he clammed up with McGonagall. He could have told her truthfully that he was there when his mom died, how it was a complication in her heart―making it seem like she had simply fallen asleep.

But he had a feeling that the incident wasn't what was triggering his ability to see the thestrals, it was something else.

So he told her that he didn't want to talk about it, nodded stiffly when she excused him, and made his way back to the common room with only one wrong turn.

"Willow?" Severus' voice drifted to him through the curtains, the boy having been awake when Willow returned.

"Severus," Willow started, his voice hoarse, "I'm glad you didn't see those horses," he whispered through the curtain, tears springing to his eyes. There was something about hearing Severus right now, something that had to do with the dreams Willow had been having. He could almost imagine an older, angrier Severus on the other side of the curtain.

"I'm going to sleep. Good night Severus," Willow spoke, but his voice cracked. He knew that Severus heard it and hoped the other boy wouldn't bring it up.

"Good night Willow."


 

“Leave us alone," Willow ground out at Potter, who had stopped before them, Black and Lupin on one side and Pettigrew on the other.

"Or what? You'll call big sister for some help?" Potter grinned at them, his eyes glinting mischievously.

"I don't need Lily to fight my battles," Willow bit out, his hands clenching at his sides. Severus looked just as angry standing next to him. The group of second-year Gryffindors stayed put, their ringleader was crossing his arms and smirking irritatingly at the duo.

"Then fight your fight. Wizard's duel tonight, trophy room," Potter said smoothly, ignoring the startled gasp from Lupin, who was now looking between the two groups with barely disguised fear. Willow felt a sudden burning in his mind, similar to the feelings he'd gotten through most of his first year.

A flash of a large werewolf crossed his mind, howling at the moon, snarling at him, advancing on him. His leg twanged in slightly-remembered pain, and fear coursed through him, his eyes clearing and finding the terrified eyes of Lupin.

Willow couldn't help his fear rising; he was genuinely afraid of Lupin for some reason. The boy looked at him with wide eyes, his face paling when he noticed the horror in Willow's eyes, the understanding that Willow knows.

"Maybe we shouldn't―" Lupin started, but was cut off by a scoff from both Potter and Black.

"What are you, afraid?" Potter taunted them, ignoring Lupin in favor of smirking at the two Slytherins.

"Of you? No. Of your friend and his―his problem? Maybe." Willow glanced at Severus, who gave him a confused glance back, before eyeing Potter with casually concealed hatred.

Potter, Black, and Pettigrew paled as dramatically as Lupin, each sputtering out their denials.

"Just leave us alone, or his problem will be everyone's problem." Willow narrowed his eyes dangerously. Potter scowled before turning, motioning for the others in his group to follow.

Once they were out of view, Severus turned to him with a questioning gaze.

"What problem? What do you have on them?" Severus sounded a bit hurt, but with a bit of awe. Willow grinned at him, but didn't answer, turning on the spot and leading his friend back to their commons, hoping Severus would leave it be for a while.


 

Over the next few weeks, Potter and his group of fiends left both Willow and Severus alone, but both boys knew it wouldn't last. Willow knew that the boys would find a way to get back at them, to counteract the whole 'he's a werewolf' thing.

Apparently, Potter finding a potion with mysterious properties was it. Willow wasn't in the mood for the boys that day; he had been ignoring his sister and experiencing a few terrifying nightmares that had to do with dogs and werewolves and rats, and he was certain that Severus was still a little bitter that Willow wouldn't tell him Lupin's secret. So when Potter 'bumped' into him, spilling a foul-smelling liquid on him, Willow decided (against his better judgment, perhaps) that it was a good idea to hex him.

He didn't know where it came from, he had never heard of the curse before, nor had he ever read about it. But a slim memory of a small red-haired girl that was definitely not Lily sprang into his mind, the hex leaving her lips with a snarl that Willow matched as he cried it out.

Potter was not expecting a bat bogey hex to the face, nor the results that sent him to the hospital wing. It only took him a day to recover, but that was enough for him to continue and intensify the glares he sent toward Willow. Of course, he also held the upper hand due to the fact that he knew something he thought Willow would hate, and made it known, which caused Willow's curiosity to effectively keep his mouth shut about the werewolf thing and allowed the group of second-year Gryffindors to continue their harassment.

Severus was not amused, but he didn't say anything, still in the dark about Lupin's werewolf secret.

Potter and his band of goons would sometimes look over at him during meals and snicker, like the secret they were keeping from him was the funniest thing ever. Willow didn't want to know what it was, something inside him was telling him that it would change everything for him.


 

It all came to a head on the last day of second year, Potter was there with his friends, spitting out insults at Willow, who gave as good as he got until, in a fit of rage, Potter snarled at Willow and blurted out, "at least I'm not adopted!"

Everything was silent for several minutes, neither side daring to speak until,

"Excuse me?" Willow ground out, dread filling him from head to toe.

"You, you were adopted. I'm guessing they never told you, didn't want you to know you weren't wanted?" Potter hissed, his eyes narrowed and his lips pulled back. Willow turned to Lily, who was just as taken aback as he was.

"Who told you that? Whoever it was, was lying through their teeth," Willow bit out, only his sister's hold on his arm stopping him from advancing.

"That potion I spilled on you, the day you hexed me into the hospital wing, it was a heritage potion, it glowed blue, meaning you're a pureblood. And Evens over there, she glowed brown, meaning she's a mudblood." Potter didn't expect the punch that hit him square on the nose, but he didn't let it slide.

Lily backed away and ran with Lupin to get a teacher, both knowing that there was nothing they could do to stop the fighting boys. Severus and Pettigrew watched as Black jumped into the fray and helped Potter pin Willow down. Severus took a step forward to help, but was stopped when two teachers arrived.

McGonagall and Slughorn were looking down at the scene in horror, anger starting to cloud McGonagall's eyes, making her look even more dangerous and intimidating. The look was very familiar to Willow, even though he doesn't ever remember seeing that look on her face.

"Children, stand," McGonagall commanded, her voice authoritative and leaving no room for argument.

"What in the world has gotten into you," McGonagall demanded, not quite glaring down at them. Willow didn't look up, his eyes filling with tears that he hadn't known were waiting to fall. The accusation Potter made was making way too much sense in his mind. It was impossible, he had a twin sister, he couldn't be adopted―but he remembered that feeling of 'not a muggle-born' that kept coming to him when someone referred to him as such, a feeling that still came to him even up till now.

"Mr. Evans?" McGonagall looked down at him, her eyes filled with concern, a look he wasn't able to see with his head angled down and his eyes clenched shut. He could already feel the sobs coming to him, his body already beginning to shake.

"Alright, come now boys, to the train with you." Slughorn gathered all but Willow and Lily and pushed them gently to get them to move, leaving McGonagall with the twins.

"Willow, what happened?" McGonagall laid a hand on the boy's shoulder. Lily made a motion to pull her brother into a half hug, only to be rebuffed.

"Stop, I," he started, his words slurred and wet, and his shoulders still shaking.

"What if he's right? What if I am adopted?" Willow asked without looking up, his arms wrapping around his stomach and his fingers digging into his robes.

McGonagall looked down with wide eyes. "Excuse me?" she asked, unsure if she heard right.

"Potter told us that the potion he spilled on us a while back, the one that Willow sent him to the Hospital Wing over, he said that it was a heritage potion, and that it told them that Willow is a pureblood and that I'm a muggle-born," Lily answered. She continued to watch her brother with the intensity of an overprotective sibling.

"Let's get you two on the train. You can ask your parents when you get back," she told them, her arms reaching around them to guide them in the correct direction. She hoped that they figured this out before school starts: she's their teacher, not their mother.


 

Severus had been silent since they left Hogsmeade, his eyes gazing out the window. For some reason, that made Willow sad. It made him feel ignored and guilty, like it was his fault entirely that Severus was withdrawn and withdrawing from him.

Secretive glances were exchanged between Lily and Severus, which made Willow feel worse. It made him feel out of the loop, and he knows that it's his fault, that he himself had been pushing them away first, had been for years now, since they first started coming to Hogwarts.

He couldn't help it, he had once told Lily what he saw, back on the night when they locked themselves in their room, their father drunk and angry, after Willow calmed from the nightmare. Lily, being so young and so optimistic, had told Willow that they were simply nightmares, they weren't real, and that his feelings for them were just fictional, that he should forget them.

He avoided telling her anything after that. Only giving her a simple explanation that he'd been having nightmares to keep her from worrying. He never wanted to tell Severus for fear that the boy would treat them like Lily did, and even now, knowing that Severus sees things differently than his sister, something was keeping Willow from telling him anything.

Willow stood suddenly, still a good two hours from Kings Cross, and strode out of the room as dignified as he could, leaving the two to their conspiring.


 

"Well, look who we have here, fresh meat," the voice of Bilius Weasley cooed from ahead of Willow, stopping the boy in his tracks.

"Come on, there's room for another." The boy grinned at him. Willow felt a draw to the boy, something was telling him to follow. When he got to the cabin, he found two other Gryffindors, a couple years older than Bilius, sitting on the opposite seat that Bilius sat.

"So, what's making you look so gloomy?" Bilius asked without introducing Willow to either. The female of the two, her black hair up in a bun, gave him a suspicious glare; the male, his black hair styled immaculately, was also glaring, his distaste more open than her's.

"Nothing," Willow told him stoically. The two other students in the cabin glared harder.

"This is only Sammy and Joey, they're harmless," Bilius prompted. The glares that were now directed at the older redhead told Willow quite the opposite.

"Samuel Frodden, my fiancée Joann Mirfield," the boy all but bit out, his head inclining jerkingly at the woman to his side. Willow nodded to them. He wasn't quite sure if it was a romantic versus a marriage of convenience, but neither was giving him the feeling of shared interest (other than hating him).

Neither gave him a sense of familiarity either, not like he had with Severus, Potter and his goons, or Bilius, so they were automatically labeled as inconsequential in his mind.

"Willow Evans," he introduced as flatly as he could, making sure that they knew just how happy he was to be there.

"A shame," the woman muttered under her breath, making Willow narrow his eyes.

"What do you mean by that?" Willow ground out, sitting straighter in his seat, forcing his face to look neutral.

"That such a brilliant student as Lily Evans would have to have a slimy snake as a brother," Joann said with a sneer. Bilius paled, his eyes widening, probably unused to seeing such vehement house diversity: the boy did give Willow the impression that he doesn't see the houses interacting on such a daily bases as Willow is used to, since he has a twin in another house.

"Don't listen to them Willow," Bilius started, before getting cut off by the boy.

"The only reason you invited him over is because he reminds you of your brother and you feel sorry for him." Willow cringed in his seat, unwilling to look at the older redhead, lest it be true.

"Of course, why else would anyone interact with a mudblood Slytherin." The words tasted like ash on his tongue as he stood. Again, he couldn't help the feeling that something was wrong when he referred to himself as a mudblood, and not only because it was a derogatory term, Potter's words washed over him again before he pushed them to the back of his mind.

"It was a pleasure to engage in conversation with you," Willow drawled out sarcastically, all his effort going into keeping the wobble in his voice unheard, before rushing out of the room. He didn't want to stay to see what the other redhead would do, especially since he might have been correct in assuming Willow was related to him.

Willow kept to himself for the rest of the ride, locking himself in the loo until the train rolled into Kings Cross.

 

Chapter Text

Petunia had felt this burning jealousy in her chest since the first moment she found out her siblings were magic, and that jealousy turned into resentment as they grew, maybe it could have even grown into a hatred that would have consumed her. But when her siblings came into the house separately, Willow avoiding touching anyone, it reminded her that they only had each other.

Her father had tried to change, to go back to the way he was before they got Willow, but even he fell back into the bottle in times of hardships. She had talked to him before the twins went off to Hogwarts, had reminded him that they were a family, that they only had each other, and then promptly forgot and let her own petty envy cloud her actions.

Little Willow had been glaring at everyone from the moment he entered the house and continued up till now, when Petunia set dinner out before them.

"Am I adopted?" Willow asked quietly, his eyes averting to his plate, hands clenched into tight fists on his lap. Petunia froze, her father dropping his bottle onto the table with a loud thunk.

"I am aren't I?" Willow's voice cracked slightly at the end, exposing the betrayal he felt, though there was the slight hope in his voice that told her that he wanted nothing more than to be wrong. Petunia looked at her father with wide eyes, her gaze pausing briefly on the wide pleading eyes of her sister.

"Yes." The simple word was filled with such emotion, accompanied by an unreadable look on her father's face. Both twins stopped breathing for a second before Willow spoke up.

"Do you know-" he stopped himself, biting his lip before looking up with wide blue eyes that were just a shade off from Petunia's own, his bright red hair hanging limply on either side of his face. He looked heartbroken, his eyes much older than Petunia thought they could be at his age.

"You were left on our doorstep. I found you wrapped in a blanket," Petunia told him gently, placing a hand on his clenched fists. She hadn't expected the boy to hiss, pull out of her light grasp, stand quickly, and growl at her in quick succession. She would never have been ready for the words he screamed.

"Why didn't you tell me?! Were you ever planning on telling me!? I could have been looking for my parents! I HATE YOU!" Willow gasped as if he was in pain at the end of his tirade, tears starting to steadily flow down his cheeks. Willow stood a moment more, heart-wrenching sounds choking in his throat, before taking off in the direction of his room.

Petunia could only watch as the boy ran off, her heart filling with a hurt that was a mix of guilt and something else.

"Let him go," Petunia heard her father say. She glanced at her father and sister and noted her father's hand wrapped around Lily's wrist.

"I need-" Lily started, only to be cut off by their father. "He needs some time alone," he told her softly, his face turned to her brother's room.

Petunia only hoped that he would allow them to explain, to let them apologize for keeping it from him. In time she hoped he could.


 

Willow tried to scream into his pillow, but his voice came out hoarse and quiet, tears soaking the fabric as they continued a heavy flow.

Some things made more sense now that he knew he was adopted. Things like the reason he didn't really look like his 'twin'. The 'twins' only shared the color of their hair, and even that was off, Willow's hair a few shades lighter than Lily's. Willow had freckles, his sister did not, neither of them; his nose was large, Lily's was button shaped and tiny while Petunia and their father's were pointy and narrow; his face shape was square, the rest of his family had heart-shaped faces.

The revelation also helped him understand his urge to correct people when they called him a muggle-born. He must be a pureblood. Willow frowned as he sat up straight on his bed, tears stopping briefly as his thoughts moved rapid fire through his brain.

It didn't make sense. If he was a pureblood, wouldn't he be living with his family? Or at least another pureblood family? The impression he got from the other purebloods in his house was that even orphan purebloods were taken care of by other purebloods: something about keeping them from being tainted.

Did his family really not want him? Was that why he was given to the Evans?

Being adopted also didn't explain why he would get different feelings toward different people, like the almost instant dislike for someone he had only ever heard of, Lucius Malfoy, or why he continuously had to correct himself from walking to the Gryffindor common room even two years after being sorted into Slytherin. He wanted to know why he would get the urge to talk to someone named Harry, or Hermione, or to sometimes call Severus 'professor'.

Willow curled up into a ball at the head of his bed, his arms circling his knees to keep him as small as possible, tears building again as his thoughts continued to haunt him. He hadn't figured much out. Only two mysteries were answered, and with those answered, many more came to the front.


 

Willow used Lily's distraction of looking for Severus to enter the train and lose her, finding and claiming an empty compartment. He hoped the two would leave him alone for the ride, he didn't want company.

He didn't think Severus would try, the boy would be happy to have time alone with his crush.

Anyone who tried to enter Willow's cabin was glared at until they went away. Students of all ages came by his cabin, from first and second-years who scampered off immediately to seventh-years who gave him either amused smiles or disgusted sneers. He didn't care.

It didn't take long for Bilius to find him, the stories of a terrifying redhead coming from many of the first years. And Bilius couldn't let those poor firsties live in fear of the 'random redhaired devil's rath.

"You okay?" Bilius asked, ignoring the death glare sent his way and sitting opposite to the boy who could have been his brother if he was ten years older.

"You don't want to talk, that's okay, we can just sit here, in silence…"

Willow continued to glare at the older boy, his mouth downturned and his fists clenched.

"Or, you can tell me what's wrong, that always helps," Bilius continued after a minute of silence. Willow said nothing, willing to wait the older boy out.

It wasn't long before another Gryffindor came in and pulled Bilius away, some kind of meeting requiring his presence. Willow didn't complain, letting out a low growl as the door was all but slammed shut by the Gryffindor girl.

He was undisturbed for the rest of the ride.


 

Severus and Willow were distant for the first two weeks of class, barely talking and keeping physical touch to a minimum. Potter and his gang had sensed the dark aura surrounding the two and were somewhat relaxed in their taunting for those two weeks.

Willow couldn't help the feelings that bubbled up when he was in Severus' presence, or the burning squeezing feeling he gets when Severus talks about his sister, or when Severus leaves Willow to meet up with his sister, whom he was still avoiding.

Willow thought it was guilt that kept constricting his gut when Severus talked about Lily, but he didn't get the same feeling when he caught glimpses of her across the Great Hall or when they shared a class, nor did he feel it when he was being compared to her by Potter or a teacher.

In the end, Willow deduced that it was Severus himself that was inducing the feelings, but the reason why was eluding him.

On a sunny day, two weeks into the year, Willow and Severus were sitting quietly together under the shade of a tree by the lake, both absorbed in their books. An offhand comment by Severus earlier that day, about how Lily looked especially happy, made Willow sick to his stomach. He had avoided talking to Severus since, and as far as Willow has figured, Severus hasn't noticed his turmoil.

"See, told you they're on a date, you owe me 5 galleons!" Potter's annoying voice crowed from Willow's right. Willow felt his heart flutter at the comment, which in turn filled him with dread and understanding in an instant.

Severus didn't look up, either ignoring Potter or genuinely unable to hear him. It was hard to tell: Potter wasn't anywhere close to them, closer to Willow, and he only barely heard the black haired boy.

Glancing to the right, Willow noticed Potter laughing with Black's arm around his neck, a blushing girl standing next to Lupin and Pettigrew. He had not been speaking about them. Willow felt a burning resentment build up in his chest, how could Potter have been an unknowing aid in his search for answers?

A stray thought flashed through his mind, a picture of an older woman and man hanging off each other, waving happily at him. Willow looked back at Potter—he looked just as familiar as he had that first day, almost like he resembled someone Willow knew and cared about; the feeling that Potter was only a poor copy filtered through his mind.

"Willow?" A hand clamped down on his shoulder, startling him out of his mind.

"Lily, what the bloody hell!" Willow exclaimed, jumping back and placing a fisted hand over his heart, his breath coming out in pained gasps.

"You weren't answering," Lily said weakly, biting her lip, a clear sing that she was mulling something over. Willow recognized the gesture from years as her twin. Because of this, he was ready for her when her eyes hardened.

"You were having one of those daydreams again weren't you," she asked boldly. It wasn't a question. Her green eyes, again, so familiar and yet poorly imitated, stared up at him dangerously, red brows cocked down in disappointment. He thought he was ready for her.

"What do you want?" Willow growled out, his eyes flicking to Severus, who had his eyes on Lily with a look that made Willow jealous. That had to be the feeling he had been consumed with every time the other boy brought up his sister. Willow quickly looked back to Lily, an irrational anger overtaking him.

"You said the dreams stopped," Lily prompted, taking a step toward him. Willow huffed angrily, wishing she would leave him alone.

"If you have nothing important to say, I'd appreciate solitude," Willow ground out, collecting his books quickly. A glance at Severus told him that the other boy would not be joining him. That all-consuming jealousy was back, but he ignored it.

"You can't keep avoiding me Willow, you aren't the only one who was lied to," Lily called out, her fingers catching the end of his sleeve before he could leave.

It took a second before her words registered, and once they did, the guilt took over. It hadn't actually occurred to him that Lily was hurt just as bad as he was, but she must have felt like she lost a brother, or like her life had all been a lie, just as he did.

"I hadn't known until dad and Petunia confirmed it, I'd have never kept something like that from you, Willow, you're my twin, blood be damned," the redhead declared, her fingers still caught in his sleeve, clenched tight enough to turn her knuckles white.

"I miss you, I don't want us to lose all those years," Lily's lip wavered again, her green eyes glazing over with tears, "we were so close," she finished, biting her lip and forcing her hand open. She turned her head and made to step back. Willow wanted to stop her from taking that step, but he was frozen in place. An overlay of a brown haired girl seemed to plant itself on Lily, soft brown eyes looking at him sadly only to disappear and present the glassy green eyes of his sister.

"I," Willow started unintelligently, his arms loosening so much his books fell from numb fingers.

"Lily," he choked out before his arms were filled with thirteen-year-old girl. Soft red hair tickled his nose as she buried her head in his neck, his face turning to look down her back, phantom fingers clutching in his robes as Lily held him tight. He had the sudden feeling of incomplete, as if there should have been one more person hugging him.

Looking to his left, Willow saw Severus looking away, his head bent.

Lily looked up at him then, her eyes watching Severus with him.

"Hey," she said softly, gaining Severus' attention. The boy smiled softly as he was beaconed over to their hug. It didn't feel complete, but it was damn near perfect.


The year was uneventful from then on. Potter and his gang would harass them, still, but it was never a big deal since Severus and Willow gave as good as they got.

The twins, in nothing but choice, waved at their friend as they exited the train, unsure if they'd see him that summer.

"I'm glad we didn't let anything get between us," Lily whispered to him as they made their way to their father's car, their luggage in hand.

"I am too, it was terrible those first two weeks avoiding you," Willow whispered back.

"Let's not do that again, promise?" Lily looked up at him, stopping him in the middle of the platform. Willow looked down at her and smiled sadly.

"Promise."

Chapter Text

Severus felt like Willow was withdrawing from him, which was one of the reasons Severus hadn't told Willow of his crush. The other reason was that his crush is on Willow's sister.

Severus felt that every time he talked about Lily or hung out with her, Willow would retract from him, so much so that, if he didn't know any better, he'd say that Willow disliked his sister.

Willow always glared at Severus when he brought the female redhead up, or he tried to switch topics quickly, sometimes outright ignoring him. It would be easier for Severus to overlook if he didn't get a feeling of guilt every time Willow looked away. Sometimes, if Severus was quick enough, he would see a glimpse of hurt on Willow's face before it was schooled into a sneer or disinterest.

His feelings started to confuse him; his crush on Lily was driving a knife between him and his best friend. He hadn't even told Willow yet. Another, smaller feeling would sometimes overcome him when he saw Willow too, a feeling that was dwarfed when he saw Lily, but similar.

Greeting the twins when they entered the compartment on their way to their fourth year was the first time he had seen them since leaving the train in third, the twins having been taken to France by their father and sister as an apology for lying about the male twin's heritage.

"Severus! We got you some presents," Lily started, bringing out a couple of parcels wrapped in orange. Severus could feel warmth blooming in his chest at the sight of the short girl, his face heating up as he took the parcels. Willow looked away, but Severus could swear he saw red tinging the other boy's cheeks. A feeling reminiscent of the one he had when he saw Lily filled him. Severus felt his gut bottom out, he didn't really want to think that he could have those kinds of feelings for both Evans, even though his heart filled with joy at the sight of the pair.


Willow looked at the man who stood before him with hard eyes. The man who was so familiar, and yet, not at all, who had never shown any sign of confronting him in the last three years, who he probably wouldn't have known existed if he didn't open and close all feasts every year and was sat in the middle of the teacher's table at every meal.

"Headmaster," Willow intoned politely, his teeth clenched slightly when the man smiled—though he was curious why he found that twinkle in the man's eye comforting.

"If I may be so bold as to commandeer young mister Evans, I would like a word with him in private," the man spoke directly to Lily, like he was asking her permission, which Willow was almost grateful for (but also was a little freaked out by).

"Um, of course, Headmaster," Lily spoke hesitantly, sharing a confused look with her brother. Willow sighed internally.

"I'll see you at breakfast," he told her quietly, nudging her to follow her housemates. Severus had already been drug away by some Slytherin boys (whom Willow didn't like at all) and had promised to see him later in their shared dorm.

"Sir?" Willow asked when the two of them were the last people standing by the door to the Great Hall. Dumbledore didn't speak, only motioned for him to follow.

Willow was strangely content, walking behind the man, knowing without knowing that they were on their way to the older man's office. Willow followed obediently, noting the route as familiar, and stopped beside a griffin statue with a smirk on his face.

"Bonbons," Dumbledore spoke with a chuckle when Willow's eyes shone with mirth, the boy's smirk staying in place; Dumbledore's passwords always made him crave sweets.

Willow smirk dropped into a thoughtful scowl. He'd never heard Dumbledore's passwords, how would they make him crave sweets? Willow pushed the thoughts to the back of his mind as he followed behind Dumbledore, up the spiral staircase that appeared underneath the rising griffin.

"Please sit," Dumbledore started, waving at the chair across from his, "bonbon?" Dumbledore offered a plate piled high with small chocolates. Willow plucked one off the plate and sat in the offered chair slowly, eyeing the man warily.

"Am I in trouble, sir?" Willow asked before nibbling at the sweet in hand. Dumbledore chuckled lightly, taking his seat with a grace Willow had never fully mastered himself.

"Not at all my boy," the man spoke, his voice light. But there was something calculating in the man's eye that Willow did not like.

"It has come to my attention that there are a few oddities about you," the man spoke decisively, templing his fingers before him and leaning forward in his seat. Willow felt his insides freeze.

"Oddities?" He asked shakily, unsure if this visit would be a good one.

"Don't be upset with Minerva, but she informed me of your ability to see thestrals, as well as the revelation you received quite spitefully about your heritage," the headmaster told him lightly, leaning back until he was sitting straight up.

"Those were both years ago," Willow informed him. Dumbledore didn't seem surprised—if anything, he looked amused and faintly sad.

"I thought it best to wait to speak with you until after you and your sister were once more comfortable together," Dumbledore told him hesitantly. Willow clenched his teeth, setting the half-finished bonbon on the desk, unconcerned about getting the wood dirty.

"What do you remember from before you were adopted?" the older man asked, looking down at Willow. Willow had a distinct feeling that Dumbledore was trying to be subtle.

"Nothing. Until two years ago, I didn't even know I was adopted," he answered truthfully. Dumbledore didn't look like he believed him, his eyebrows drawing down into a small frown.

"Nothing at all?" he pressed, the twinkle in his eye hardening into something that almost scared Willow.

"N-no Sir."

Dumbledore ended the session with a smile and asked him to come to him if he ever remembered anything. Willow agreed, though he had absolutely no intention of doing so.


Willow felt sick when he saw Severus sitting with other fourth-year boys. He wasn't sure why, but he felt a burning feeling bubble up in his gut at the sight of them.

"Willow," Severus started before yelping when Willow grabbed his wrist and pulled the other boy to their shared dorm. The other Slytherin boys were sneering at him before they disappeared from sight.

"What's wrong with you?" Severus bit out, rubbing his sore wrist. Willow tensed, looking anywhere but at Severus.

"I don't like them, Severus, I get this sick feeling in my gut, like, they aren't good for you," Willow admitted, sitting with his back to Severus.

"Willow," Severus started, forcing his friend to look at him. He was startled to see tears in his red-rimmed eyes.

"What did you and Dumbledore talk about? It was him right? Some Slytherin's saw him talking to you, if he hurt you, I swear to Merlin I'm gonna..." Severus steamed, listing all the things he planned on doing to the Headmaster.

Willow stopped him with a wet chuckle, throwing his arms around his friend and burying his face in black robes. Severus was startled at first, but ended up rubbing his friends back until they both fell asleep on the redhead's bed.


"He asked what?" Lily asked incredulously, watching both boys with a critical eye.

"He wanted to know what I remembered from before mum and dad adopted me," Willow repeated, slouching in a way he had been avoiding for the last few years.

"He knows something," Severus whispered between them. They were huddled together in Slughorn's class, their potion already done thanks to Lily and Severus, the two geniuses at potions, and thanks to being the odd man out, Willow shared a table with both of them.

"I wouldn't doubt it. That man gives me the impression of knowing much more than he should," Lily told them. They would have continued if another Slytherin's cauldron didn't explode.


Two months into the school year Willow was woken from a dream in tears. This dream was different, kind of. It wasn't a war he saw, it was actually a nice quiet dinner with a table full of redheads. Well, quiet was a relative term—it wasn't filled with death, at least.

The funny thing was, he saw the meal through the eyes of someone, like a memory, just like his nightmares with the older Severus.

Something giddy started to bubble up in his chest as he wiped his tears away. Looking over to the bed next to him, Willow smiled softly, seeing the peaceful face of his best friend. An overlay of another black-haired boy lying exactly like Severus came to mind with a flash of green eyes.

He frowned. Seeing the boy with the bright green eyes, very reminiscent of his sister, Willow's mind went to James Potter. And with James Potter, thoughts on the rest of his gang followed.

They had been acting weird all year, extra secretive and more withdrawn. They had only insulted Lily, Severus, and himself a handful of times over the course of their two-month stay.

He got this feeling in his gut that he needed to remember something important. Like the time with Lupin and the werewolf memory.

It was actually connected somehow. Remembering the dreams of dogs and rats, Willow stood and slipped his arms into his school robes while striding across the room. His bare feet were cold as he walked on the stone floor, ignoring the slippers that had been at the foot of his bed.

Tonight was a full moon, he knew Lupin would be locked away somewhere where he would be safe—Willow shook his head. No—where the students would be safe. Why would he care about a student that hates him?

Looking both ways, Willow left his common room with little more than a glance back, walking further into the school than he probably should have.

He was lost in thought about dogs and rats and werewolves when he stopped, his eyes catching a small, quickly-moving shape across the hall.

"Petrificus Totalus" Willow muttered, waving his wand and pointing at the creature. The spell hit, causing a small squeak. Willow was surprised when he picked up the small rat. It was so small, like a baby rat. It looked at him with beady eyes.

A sense of calm conflicted with disgust as he walked back to his common rooms, but Willow just assumed the disgust was that there was a rat, a baby rat at that, living in the castle. He shrugged mentally as he walked back.

When he got back to his commons he transfigured a goblet that had been left in the main area into a small cage and put the rat in it before ending the body bind spell. He'd get a better cage when he went to Hogsmeade.


Potter and his crew were especially irritating for the next few days, with a surprising lack of the small blonde one, Pettigrew.

Some teachers had pulled everyone aside and informed the school that one of the students—Peter Pettigrew—had gone missing and if anyone sees him then to please report to them. Willow was filled with guilt, but he didn't know why.

Severus commented on Willow's rat and offered to help him find supplies to take care of him. Lily was disgusted at the thought of a rat as a pet and ordered him to keep the thing in his room if he didn't want her killing it. Willow was horrified and made a pact with Severus to keep the rat under lock and key, lest it get free and his sister kill it.


The new cage Willow had for his rat (now named Scabbers) was small, for now. His roommates made it known that they would not appreciate him getting more than a foot or two cubed cage. He shrugged that off and planned on getting a bigger one for when he got home. The small rat had everything. A place to sleep, food, water, places to play, things to play with.

He didn't know why, but he wanted to give this rat everything he didn't have growing up, and that was another thing: Willow was split between this feeling of growing up with his twin, wanting for almost nothing and having a somewhat absent father and dead mother, and growing up well loved with a ton of siblings and both his parents loving him and being really poor.

He decided to just roll with it and hope it stays at a feeling, he doesn't need more flashbacks in the middle of class like his first year there.


The kid was still missing by the end of the year and many of the students were apologetic. Word got out that he was seen leaving the school at night and just never came back. His parents were notified and life went on. The funeral was set for the middle of summer.


Willow never did get his rat a new cage. His father informed them that he had been fired from his job—most everyone was since the place had gone under. It was a hard summer. Willow got a part-time job at the local grocers while Lily taught piano lessons and Petunia taught girls how to sew. Their father tried to find a job, but he was having little luck. Willow was surprisingly okay with this. It felt almost familiar, reminding him of that feeling of being poor. Well, now he knows just what it felt like, in both lives.

Chapter Text

By the time fifth-year started, Willow and Lily had saved enough money to get everything they'd need for school. Petunia had gotten engaged to her longtime boyfriend Vernon Dursley, the man that had, at first, thought both Lily and he were aberrant. It was fine after he'd gotten to know them, now he was only slightly hesitant to spend time with them.

When Willow had first met the man, he got this gut feeling of disgust, which ruined their first impression because Willow couldn't help but gag when the man offered his hand. Petunia gave both of them a stern talking-to, separately, and they grudgingly started talking. Now, while they still aren't friends (and never will be), they could tolerate each other, for Petunia's sake.

Severus was fidgeting dreadfully on the train to school, his eyes straying to Lily every few minutes before darting away. Willow sighed—he had gotten over his jealousy, knowing that he most likely didn't have a chance with the black haired boy, and had nonverbally told Severus that he should ask his sister out using many hand signs and eye twitches and, once, even smacking the other boy upside the head and pointing at her, during their summer hols. It looked like the boy was finally going to ask her.

"I'll just… go freshen up," Willow told them, making sure his rat was safe behind his stuff so Lily didn't try and hurt him (she still didn't like Scabbers) before leaving the two and winking at Severus. Severus turned red, but straightened and nodded.

"What was that about?" he heard Lily ask as he walked away.

It was weird, not having to worry about Bilius finding him on the train. The older boy had graduated the year before, wishing him and his sister all the luck in the world and telling him not to let anyone take advantage of him or else, "I'm going to have to come back and knock some heads together," Bilius had told him with a laugh.

"Evans," someone spoke, startling him out of his revery, not that he let it show.

"Vanity," Willow intoned back at the Quidditch nut. She was a seventh-year, denoting that this would be her last year attending Hogwarts.

"I'm Head Girl this year, Evans," she told him haughtily, a smirk on her face. Willow gave her a flat look, telling her that in no way did he care. Emma Vanity had always ignored him.

"As Head Girl, I'm here to inform you of your duties. Since you are a prefect for Slytherin house, you are to attend a meeting with the other prefects in the prefects' cabin. Come now," she told him, ignoring his blank look. Willow huffed. He didn't want to be a prefect and had told the headmaster so in a long letter when he first got his badge. He had hoped that ignoring it would make it go away, but it seemed not.

Following the girl, Willow felt a sense of dread and familiarity. He hoped nothing went wrong.


Lily was a prefect for Gryffindor, that much he knew, but he was hoping that she and Severus had talked before she was found and stolen away by her Head-Of-House.

Her red face told him she did.

"Did you know?" she hissed when he sat next to her, both siblings watching the Head Boy speaking to the group—a Hufflepuff with blonde hair and a stout build named Amos Diggory. Another sense of familiarity had hit him when he first saw the boy, but Willow had ignored it in favor of hedging his sister.

Willow stifled his chuckles and nodded at his sister. "Did he ask?" Willow whispered without looking at his sister, eyes trained on the boy before him. He didn't know why the calm look on his face made Willow uneasy.

"Yes," she hissed again, her movements told him that she covered her face.

"And?" Willow prompted, glancing at her before looking back at the head when Vanity started talking.

"And I said yes of course. This Saturday we'll be going out to the lake for a picnic," she told him. Willow smiled, his heart only twinging a little. He was happy for them. He didn't know why it felt shocking; the two of them had been good friends for years and he thinks they'd make a cute couple.


Being a prefect was terrible. He didn't have any time to spend with Severus at all. Every time he had time to spend with his best friend, so did Lily, and the two of them would go on dates, leaving Willow alone.

It was one of these times when Willow found Sirius Black wandering around alone.

"Hey," he called out, unsure as to why. He didn't like the other boy—he was too arrogant for his tastes. But he was handsome so Willow decided to put up with him.

"What do you want?" Black asked between clenched teeth. The boy was carrying a blanket and looked just as secretive as he had been the year before. But this time, neither Potter nor Lupin were with him.

"Why are you sneaking around with a blanket? Are you hiding something?" Willow asked, trying to peek. Black recoiled, hiding the blanket behind his back.

"Nothing," the boy replied hastily, glaring at him.

"Nothing? I don't think 'nothing' answers my question, Black. I asked why you were sneaking around, not what are you hiding. I couldn't actually care less about what you're hiding in that ratty blanket," he told the black-haired boy. He actually looked more attractive with a sneer. He didn't know why, but he imagined an older man with the same coloring and a ratty beard glaring down at him, and it sent shivers down his spine. Though, he could have done without the beard.

"Fine, it's none of your business. Better?" the boy hissed, backing away from him. Willow rolled his eyes before turning around. He'd follow him later. For now, he'd prefer to go back to his dorm and feed his rat. Once there, he'd wait for Severus to come back and give him the details of his date. Willow would listen before threatening to hex him, again, like they did every night.


"He must've gotten stuck, he's still on the map, I just don't know where that is," Willow heard as he walked his patrol late that night. He didn't know what map they were talking about, but he got the impression that it was something powerful, and the person was no doubt the boy that went missing the year before.

"Quiet, someone's coming," Willow heard as he rounded the corner. What he found was three boys huddled next to a pile of blankets with food and a bowl of water next to it.

"What are you doing?" Willow asked, looking at the three boys—Potter, Lupin, and Black—kneeling over the unused blankets.

"None of your business," Black hissed. Willow noted that Potter was looked between the blanket and Willow with a hesitant look on his face while Lupin just looked sadly down at the blanket. Willow felt guilty again, his eyes averting to Black.

"Is this what you were doing yesterday?" Willow asked, glancing quickly at the blankets before looking back to Black. Potter choked, Willow imagined Potter watching him incredulously, but didn't dare look away from Black, the guilt not as bad as when he looked at Lupin or Potter.

"Building a blanket fort, or whatever that is, isn't against school rules you know, I wouldn't have done anything," he told them. It was weird, sure, but not against any school rules. The feeling of building guilt made it taste like ash when he insulted them. He decided the best way to get over the guilt was to try to be nice to them.

"It's not a blanket fort!" Black screeched, turning red in the face and pointing at him in a way that was probably supposed to be menacing. Willow just leveled an unamused look at the boy. Didn't he see that Willow was just trying to understand him better?

"Sorry about him," Lupin interrupted his friend before he could go on a rant. "It's just, well, we've never been on good terms," Lupin stuttered out, his eyes avoiding the other boy. Willow blushed slightly, remembering past threats and taunts they all threw around.

"It's fine," the boy told them before nodding at Lupin and Potter. "I've got to go. If you plan on leaving that there, you should still get permission from your Head-of-House." He grinned unabashedly at Black. "Good luck with nothing," he said, which turned Black's face a burning red color.


Willow felt great when he finished his patrol and traded off with the Hufflepuff who would go over the east side of the castle.

Severus wasn't back—none of his roommates were—when he got to his room, and Willow took this chance to talk to his rat.

"I don't know what's going on Scabbers. At first it was Severus that made my heart beat erratically," Willow said, making the small rat squeak out what sounded like a laugh. Willow ignored it.

"But now, since I gave him my blessing to date Lily," he paused, surprised that he wasn't feeling that pang of hurt shoot through him, "now it's Black." The small rat froze, looking up at Willow in horror.

"Not that Black, pervert rat," Willow muttered, trying not to think about the snotty third year that was in his house, while pulling the small rat into his arms. He cradled it to his chest and sat back in his bed. He had never done this, preferring to keep the rat in the cage since he feared what would happen to him if he escaped into the castle.

"Sirius," he muttered, looking up at his ceiling with a frown. The rat was silent for a minute before it started to squeak and shake. Willow looked at the animal with wide eyes as it convulsed, afraid it was having some kind of heart attack, only to be shocked when the thing turned to look at him with highly intelligent eyes, mirth rolling around in beady black orbs.

"You're a strange rat, Scabbers," Willow commented as he put the rat back into its cage. He was distracted from the intelligent, laughing rat when his roommates started to pile into the room for sleep. Severus, being the last, gave him a whispered detail of the things he did with his sister, only to be threatened with a hexing again.

Willow forgot about it all when he dreamed of the girl with the bushy brown hair and the Potter clone with Lily's eyes.

Chapter Text

Willow was not ready to go home. The school year had been unexciting and seemed to fly by. Severus was in a hazy bliss dating his sister, and when they fought, Severus was a sulking mess. It left little for Willow's amusement and he found himself bored more oft than not. Even Potter and his gang were quiet that year, more focused on whatever that blanket fort had meant than on taunting him. He hated it. At least he could talk to his rat, who he had spent more time around than anyone else outside of class. Scabbers even fell asleep next to him, sometimes, and would still be there when he left for class. Putting the rat into the cage before leaving the room for class became a daily habit.

However, on the last day of school, when Willow woke, it was a different story.

Willow looked around the room frantically, but he couldn't find the rat anywhere. A feeling of dread filled him and he felt like crying. He ignored the small feeling of relief that passed briefly through him.

"Are you okay?" Severus asked, looking down at the boy on the floor. Willow looked up at him, refusing to allow the tears to fall.

"Scabbers is gone," Willow spoke with a crack in his voice. Severus looked down at him with a sad look.

"I'll help you find him, he couldn't have gone far, it's not like rats can open doors." Severus got dressed and the two of them searched every room in the commons, but they couldn't find the rat.

"We're leaving today Severus," Willow told him sadly. "I don't think we'll find him again," he admitted.

Severus offered him a shoulder to cry on and he and Lily refrained from referencing the small creature on the ride back.


Willow was quiet during the summer and alone for most of it. Lily and Severus spent most of their time together, Petunia had gotten married during the winter hols—which had been a wonderful wedding, but meant that she didn't live in the house anymore. His father got a job as a night watchman, which pretty much meant he slept all day and was gone all night.

Walking to London hadn't ever been a possibility before, mainly because he never wanted to get himself or Lily lost, but on that night, with nothing else to do and Lily gone with Severus on one of their dates, it seemed like a good idea.

Walking into a gay bar is never a good idea, especially when you're sixteen and bored. Convincing the bouncer that he was old enough to enter was easier than he thought it should have been and getting drunk was harder than he imagined. The bartender wouldn't give him anything too strong, so he was stuck with watered down shots, which left a horrible taste in the back of his throat.

He spent the better part of the night on the dance floor, grinding into other half dressed, drunk patrons, letting the music flow through him, filling him with a sense of calm that he'd never felt before, the dim lights hid away the fears and insecurities that he felt while the atmosphere allowed him to be himself without the interference of social norms and expectations of family and friends.

And that's when bad decision number six came around. Not going into detail about bad decisions one through five, Willow allowed the older man to pull him flush on the dance floor, their bodies twisting together into a mesh of pale skin and sweat. The man's dark hair was well kept, long and silky, tied at the nape of his neck, a few long dark strands got loose and were sticking to both of them with sweat, the image making Willow moan as the man physically moved the younger male around so their chests were pressed together. Willow lost himself completely in number six.


In hindsight, when someone invites you to their flat after buying you vodka, they're expecting things from you. What they want may be something you don't, and there is a high possibility that they'll be just as drunk as you. Another note: some drunks are angry and forceful, and don't take 'no' lightly.

On a lighter note: the night bus is a godsend; rarely does anyone on the bus ask questions when you get on with blood on the front of your shirt.

Lily, on the other hand, asks questions, lots of questions. Avoiding her is also impossible when you've been missing for over twenty-four hours and come home with blood on your shirt and red-rimmed eyes.

"What the bloody hell?!" Lily screeched, rushing to him to check him over. He knew there was a bruise on his face.

"It's not mine," Willow slurred, though it sounded more like "ishnomy", and tried to back away. Lily didn't let him and dragged him to the bathroom. He mother-henning made him feel guilty and she soon got him to spill.

He told her how he got to London and got into the club, how he was having a good time, how he met a guy who bought him vodka, how the guy dragged him home and tried to have his wicked way with him only for Willow to panic, how the guy hit him and tried to force him, how Willow panicked even more and sent a cutting curse at the man (that's how he got the blood he swore to her), and, finally, how he ran and got on the night bus.

They both cried after that, with Lily promising to be there for him more frequently. Willow agreed for her to tell Severus, after very little cajoling. Willow was afraid of what Severus would say, but in the end, Severus was his best friend, and he wanted him to know, if only because he hated keeping things from him. After Severus had been informed, the three spent all their free time together, sometimes it would be just him and Lily or him and Severus, but for the most part, it was all three.

He felt guilty that he manipulated their time like that, and told them so, but both of them waved him off and ignored his prompting that they go on a date without him.

He was feeling crowded by the time he got on the train back to Hogwarts for his sixth year, but then again, it was sort of his fault.


"Why are you so sulky?" Willow inquired after he managed to slip his sister and best friend. He found the sixth year Gryffindor sitting alone in his cabin with a pout as he glared out the window.

Black jumped at Willow's voice, turning to glare at him instead.

"None of your business, Snake," the boy hissed, quite like the insult he just sent. Willow smirked. He sat across from the boy without asking, earning a squawk of indignation from him.

"Did something bad happen over summer break?" Willow asked, ignoring the boy's protests and demands to leave.

Black deflated at the question, leaning back in his seat and crossing his arms over his chest.

"Yeah," his grumbled, but didn't elaborate. "You?" he asked, almost as an afterthought, when he saw the dark look flash across Willow's features. The bruise was gone by now, but Willow still felt exposed, on display, like everyone would know that he screwed up just by looking at him.

"Yeah," he answered, turning to look out the window like Black had earlier. The other boy watched him for a minute before turning back to glare out the window.


"What were you doing with the snake?" Willow heard Potter almost screech as he and Black walked across the hall to the Gryffindor table, Lupin and Pettigrew (who had been found over the summer) following behind them. Pettigrew had a funny look on his face when Willow looked at him, almost contemplative, before turning away and refusing to look at him.

Willow flushed, relief filling him for some reason, as well as guilt. He brushed it off and sat next to Severus at the Slytherin table, doing his best to ignore the questioning (angry) glances by the rest of his house.

"What were you doing with my brother?" A small voice asked when Willow was settled in with his food.

Not small, but reserved, Willow noted, when Regulus Black sat in the seat opposite him.

"Nothing," he told the younger boy. Regulus gave him a flat stare, his eyes narrowing a fraction before he stood and left. Willow and Severus shared a bewildered look before going back to their food. Willow could still feel Regulus' eyes on him through the meal, which gave him a feeling of incompetence. He ignored it and tried to go on like normal.


Lily was insufferable during classes, unable to see him between classes thanks to her duties and school work, so during Willow's classes, she tried to keep him as close as possible.

It was getting irritating.

Willow didn't know why he decided potions was a good idea to take this year—he just sort of picked every class Severus and Lily took. He was regretting that decision now. This time though, as the odd man out, Willow decided he was not going to sit with his sister.

Sirius Black and James Potter were speechless when Willow Evans sat at their table, Lupin hissed a question from his desk, and Pettigrew ignored him again.

Willow ignored them all and took out his book, pointedly ignoring his sister and best friend as well. Potter glared at him, but Black looked speculative. He couldn't see Lupin or Pettigrew from his spot between Black and Potter.

Willow and Black had shared a cabin on the way to Hogwarts, and while they didn't speak much, Willow hadn't really antagonized him either. He hoped Black would stop hating him, if only because that guilt would lessen for him.

By the end of the lesson, Potter had stopped him from blowing them all up, twice, and had demanded he not touch the pot while Willow shared a secret smile with Black, who at first gaped at him before chuckling behind his hand.

They left class together, Black and Potter laughing about something with Willow walking between them while Lupin and Pettigrew walking behind them. Willow was shocked when Black threw an arm around his shoulder and laughed loudly in his ear.

The rest of the day was spent letting Black drag him around and show him some nooks and crannies that Willow commented on finding in his first year, potions being his last class and he had no other prefect duties that day.

By the fourth cranny that Black showed him the two of them had lost Potter and Lupin. Pettigrew was following behind them with a smirk on his face.

"I'll just leave you two lovebirds on your own, see you at supper," Pettigrew called before dashing away, leaving Willow and Black alone in what some students have dubbed 'make-out hall', an abandoned corridor that teachers avoid.

Willow didn't know who was redder, but he did know that Black didn't look disgusted when they finally made it back to the great hall (unfortunately kiss-free).

Lily glared at his back when he walked over to the Slytherin table, he could feel it, and the look was mirrored on Severus when he sat down.

"Where were you?" Severus asked, ducking closer so Willow could hear him over the din that started up.

"Nowhere," Willow answered, since it was sort of the truth—he was nowhere and everywhere at the same time, walking with Black through the castle.

"Are you at least okay?" Severus emplored, placing a hand on his elbow. Willow sighed, looking across the hall at his sister to smile reassuringly, which she returned hesitantly, before turning to Severus and nodding, the same smile on his face.


After that both Severus and Lily let him be. Though he spent a good amount of time with them, he was spending more and more time with Black.

Lupin has a few more classes then Willow, Black, Pettigrew, and Potter, so he was in class more often than not, while Pettigrew seemed to pull Potter away at random times.

"What's got your panties in a twist?" Black asked one day while they lay near the lake. Willow turned to look at him with half-lidded eyes. He hadn't been that comfortable since he was a kid, and even then, as a kid, he always had that feeling of 'wrong' that seemed to saturate his childhood.

"While your usual sentence structure leaves much to be desired, I'm afraid you've gotten down to new lows," Willow drawled. Black snorted before turning over to watch him.

"On the train, that first day, you looked like someone killed your puppy," Black said with a frown. Willow sighed.

"Been holding that in for a while, hmm," Willow noted, sighing again and turning over to look at Black.

"I fucked up." Willow stated bluntly. Black let out a startled laugh before stopping dead at the look in Willow's eye.

"Oh Merlin, what happened?" he asked, sitting up and looking down at him worriedly. Willow groaned, turning over to hide his face.

"You sound like my sister," Willow bemoaned. Black laughed again, this time flopping down back onto the grass.

"Yeah, guess I can't get away with 'freaked out girlfriend'," Black grunted. Willow froze, before turning to look over at the other boy. Black had gone entirely red, but he wasn't looking away.

"Excuse me?" Willow asked, his brain short-circuiting. Black rolled over him, looking down at him with his arms on either side of his head and his knees on either side of his legs.

Before Willow could stop him, or decide if he wanted to stop him in the first place, Black leaned down that last inch and kissed him.

Fear, anger, pain, guilt, confusion.

Willow pushes Black off him with a small burst of magic, making the other boy trip back onto his feet with the power behind it.

Willow turned over and ran.

Chapter Text

Severus glared at the stupid Gryffindor, the one with the smug smile and irritating attitude, and while that describes practically every Gryffindor, the Gryffindor he glared at was the worst of them all.

Willow had stormed into his room that afternoon and hid behind the curtains of his bed, refusing to come out. Severus asked a few questions, which were answered with grunts and hisses until he asked about Black. Willow went silent and refused to answer any other questions.

So Severus stormed over to the arrogant boy and pulled him away from his friends by the back of the robes. He half-expected at least Potter to follow them, but none of them did, leaving Severus alone with Black in the hall.

"What did you do?" Severus hissed, reining himself in so as not to punch this boy, he has better control than that, he's a Slytherin after all.

Black looked angry as well, glaring at him with crossed arms, staying stubbornly silent.

"What did you do? He's closed himself off completely," Severus growled. This time, Black looked a bit guilty. Severus was about to ask again when Black growled.

"I kissed him okay," Black hissed, glaring harder at him.

Severus froze. "What?" he ground out, his fists clenching by his sides.

"We were talking," Black started, turning a bit away, his eyes averting, "I said some stupid things, about not being his girlfriend," he paused here, hunching a bit, "and then I kissed him," Black confessed, looking back up at him with a glare, "and then he ran away. I kissed him and he ran away."

Severus gaped silently, his eyes going impossibly wide.

"You idiot," he growled, turning to go back to his best friend, when Black gripped his arm.

He half-expected Black to yell, he did not expect Black to punch him in the face.


Lily rushed to the hospital wing behind Potter and two-thirds of his gang. News of a Gryffindor and Slytherin getting into a big bloody brawl filled the school and prompted both Lily and Lupin to leave class early with bad feelings in their guts. They found Potter and Pettigrew running to find them. Lily was only slightly surprised that it was Black and Severus that got into a fight and not Black and Willow, but she didn't question it as they ran.

Getting to the room, Lily noted three things: both Severus and Black had broken noses, the boys were looking pointedly away from each other, and the Headmaster was watching everything with a cuppa.

"Severus!" Lily cried, half in concern, half chiding. At least Severus had the decency to look ashamed; Black looked entirely too serious, pun unintended and unappreciated.

"What happened?" She asked, moving closer to her boyfriend while Potter and his crew moved over to Black.

"He kissed Willow," Severus told her calmly, his voice nasally from his broken nose.

Lily clenched her teeth and turned to Black with a glare.

"You did what?!" She demanded, just barely holding herself back from attacking him—no, it was only Severus' hand on her shoulder that kept her back.

"What's the big deal? I thought Willow liked Sirius?" Pettigrew piped up before hunching down and hiding behind Lupin.

Lily turned to look at him with confusion. Severus looked just as confused, which made her feel a bit better.

"Excuse me?" Lily inquired, looking down at him with a slightly softened look, knowing full well that the boy became even timider after his disappearance for over a year.

"Um," he started, peaking around his friend with a nervous look. "I may have, uh, heard him talking to, er, someone about how he couldn't like Snape like thatand gave him his blessing to date Lily and how he couldn't believe he could start having feelings for Black, oh, Sirius. He, I, uh, yeah..." Pettigrew's babble trailed off. His face turned red before he ducked back behind Lupin and hid his blush with his hands.

Everything was silent then. Dumbledore looked shocked somewhat, which made Lily uneasy. The fact that her brother was gay wasn't new, but the fact that he had a crush on Severus, and now Black, was... weird, and it hurt a bit that he didn't share that with her.

"Is that why you've been dragging me off to find the kitchens?" James started, looking frustrated at his friend. "To give Sirius and Evans alone time?" Pettigrew didn't look up, but his head moved in a somewhat up and down manner that indicated a nod of agreement.

"Well, I'll be fucked, that was pretty sneaky there, Peter, I'm proud," Potter crowed, ruffling his short friend's hair. Peter looked up with a proud grin of his own, matching Potter and Lupin's.

Black, on the other hand, look just as angry as before.

"Then why'd he run?" he grumbled, looking anywhere but at his friends.

Lily shared a concerned look with Severus. She was about to say something when a throat cleared.

Looking over, everyone was shocked when they saw Willow standing by the door.

"Can we talk? Alone?" Willow intoned, waving at Black almost dismissively.

Everyone, other than Willow and Black, cleared out, even the Headmaster, while Madam Pomfrey went to her office. Lily wishes she knew what they were saying. She'd have to talk to her brother later.


"That's why I ran."

Willow ended his speech, feeling just as mortified and ashamed as when it first happened. Black looked blank, but Willow could see the horror in his eyes. And, that was it, Black was disgusted by him. They'd never get to try anything because Willow screwed up and ruined everything forever. He was about to leave when Black leaned forward slowly, lifting his hands slowly and placing them on Willow's cheeks.

Willow's heart was beating so fast, he was sure it was going to beat right out of his chest.

It was nothing like kissing those men, mistakes one through six, at the club; it wasn't even like that quick kiss by the lake.

This was slower, more sensual, more than attraction. It was… strange. Another feeling of wrong flashed through him, the thought of 'best friend's godfather'—but he ignored it in favour of pulling Black in for a deeper kiss.


On the train back home, a good few months after the incident, found Willow's cabin comfortably overflowing. Lily sat with Severus in her lap, thanks to a prank by Potter, with Lupin and Pettigrew sitting beside them, Pettigrew's legs over Lupin's lap with his back to the wall.

Willow and Black bickering quietly across from Pettigrew with Potter's legs over theirs, the messy haired young man lying on his side, teasing Lily and Severus about their relationship.

Willow felt a sense of calmness, like all was right in the world.

And then Regulus Black opened the door.

"Where will you go now, brother?" Regulus inquired, silencing the cabin. Lily and Willow shared confused looks, but the rest looked knowing, even Severus.

"The Potters said I can stay for the summer," Black said nonchalantly. Willow narrowed his eyes at him.

"He was disowned," Regulus intoned before leaving, slamming the door closed behind him. Willow raised an eyebrow.

"Well, I figured it was something familialy related. Disowned—does this mean I won't be getting the usual courting gifts?" Willow joked, smirking. Lily rolled her eyes.

"Right, because he'd be the one getting you gifts. If anything you're the one who should get him gifts—he is the one who's more worried about his appearance. He spent two hours getting ready, and an hour on just his hair," Potter teased. Black retaliated by taking his shoe and throwing it up into the luggage. Lupin joked about how Potter's feet stank, and Willow was content.


Every few days Willow got a letter from Black. Way too many stamps on each letter, but he was getting better. Small trinkets would sometimes fall out of them, and Willow did end up eventually sending trinkets of his own.

By the time he got onto the train before their last year, Willow was the proud owner of several silver necklaces, two large gaudy broaches, three pins with inane stereotypical British sayings on them (pip, pip, cheerio!), and a tiara. Willow rolled his eyes at that one but placed it gently with the rest of his jewelry in his room.

Lily rolled her eyes as well, but ended up borrowing the tiara for a formal dinner party their sister invited them to, Severus and Sirius went along as well, though Willow had to pretend Sirius was just a good friend as to Petunia's request.

"Hello, handsome," Willow heard behind him when he got into his cabin. Turning, Willow found himself being dipped almost to the floor, chapped lips land on his. Sirius didn't let him up until he was thoroughly debauched.

"Get a room," Potter's voice ribbed from behind Sirius.

"We have a room, find your own," Sirius quipped, only for Lily to push past him and sit by the window, Severus moving in to sit beside her. Potter, Lupin, and Pettigrew push past them as well, making Sirius pout exaggeratedly.

"Willow, they're being mean," Sirius accused, dramatically falling onto his boyfriend.

"They do tend to 'be mean' to you a lot, according to your letters. Maybe you'll just have to stop living with Potter after this school year, we'll have to get a flat," Willow said unthinkingly. Sirius gaped at him.

"Did you just ask me to move in with you?" Sirius asked with wide eyes.

Willow froze before looking up, his face blank.

"Yes," he said as seriously as he could, watching to see Sirius' reaction. The grin that crossed his face made Willow's heart beat faster.

"Of course I will. Just think of it—me and you, a single bed." He finished the sentence short, wiggling his eyebrows. Willow huffed but cracked a smile.

The rest of the ride was filled with similar banter.

Chapter Text

The final year was busy as most of the group worked hard to finish up their entire school career.

Lily and Lupin worked the hardest, both intending to go back to school for different reasons. Lily wanted to go back to school in Muggle London since she still had her own goals, and Lupin planned on getting qualified to teach.

Severus and Potter had plans to sell their potions off, so they didn't put as much effort into their school work. Peter didn't put any effort, he didn't tell Willow why, but he seemed pretty confident about not needing it after school ended. Sirius and Willow put in an obligatory effort, but nothing beyond that. Willow had plans to work with Potter and Severus and their potions. A flash of memory of two identical red-headed boys and a shop went through him.

Willow put most of his focus on his relationship with Sirius and trying to ignore the guilt he felt about it, which was easier every day.

It was toward the middle of the year when Willow found out what his dog and rat dreams were about.

Willow looked down at Peter horrified.

"I kept you as a pet for over a year! How can you be okay with that?!" Willow just about shrieked—they were in the shrieking shack, so it wasn't a big problem. Willow, Lily, and Severus were hidden behind a magical barrier that would keep them safe from Lupin, who wanted them to know about his werewolf side.

"It's fine, you didn't know. Besides—" the boy paused, looking cautiously at Sirius, who (surprisingly) smiled comfortingly at him—"I liked being a rat. More than I liked being human. I think, I'd like to be a rat most of the time," he admitted. Willow was surprised, as were Lily and Severus, but Potter, Lupin, and Sirius looked like they already knew.

"I'm surprised you didn't know," Sirius admitted while they waited for the full moon to rise.

"What do you mean?" Lily asked, eyeing the boy with a frown.

"Well, Willow already knew Remus was a werewolf," Sirius told her, rubbing the back of his neck.

"He did?" Both Severus and Lily looked surprised as they turned to the red-haired boy. Willow flushed and shrugged.

"I suspected back in second-year, and he all but confirmed it when they left us alone for basically the entire year," Willow told them, refusing to look them in the eye. They would have continued, but Lupin warned them of the rising moon.

Before their eyes, Peter, Sirius, and James turned into a rat, a dog, and a stag respectively.

It took a minute longer before the full moon's effects hit Remus and he turned too.

Willow was amazed, but also had a feeling like he had seen all this before.

A large looming figure howling at the moon, leg throbbed in pain, long black hair falling down a strong back as a man protecting him, a large rat scurrying away, a hospital bed and the reminder that he couldn't help anyone.

Willow pushed the thoughts from his mind when Sirius yipped happily and jumped around like an excited puppy. Seeing the other boy as a small black puppy was different and he felt the wrongness, but he also felt relieved, this boy was not a starved grim growing angrily at the world.

Potter and Peter helped Lupin stay calm while Sirius ran around excitedly until they all fell asleep.

With everyone asleep, Willow was left alone with his thoughts, unable to sleep, Severus and Lily curled together and into his side. He stayed awake until the sun came up and Lupin changed back, now curling into a pile surrounded by the animals that were their friends.

Willow just lay there, trying to forget the world, still unable to fall into the blissful peace of sleep.


"This is it," Willow commented, looking at his sister. They would be leaving on their train soon. For the last time.

Lily was now happily engaged to Severus, who proposed on the last day of actual class, kneeling outside her classroom after the last class let out. Willow and Sirius had plans to move into a small flat in London, helping Potter sell some products he created over the school year (including a hair tonic to tame wild locks).

Lupin would be going back to school to be able to teach at Hogwarts, and Peter would be living with Willow and Sirius as their pet rat. Everything was planned. Willow just wished it didn't feel so empty.

"Yes," Lily agreed before following him onto the train.


Getting off the train for the last time was bizarre.

The first thing that happened was Willow and Lily being waved down by Billius Weasley, followed closely by a family of five that looked painfully familiar.

"Hey, Evans! Look, over here!" Billius cried as he waved and struggled past the crowds to get to them. Lily ended up grabbing Severus and Willow grabbed Sirius as the twins made their way to the older redhead.

"Evans, this is my older brother Arthur and his wife Molly. Their children, Little Bill—sadly not named after myself, I'll get him to realize my name is great soon enough; little Charlie, my little dragon hunter; and baby Percival, isn't he cute?" Bilius babbled, holding out a baby that had the same bright shade of hair as Willow himself.

Willow was startled when he felt the hot tears trailing down his cheeks.

"Willow?" Lily asked quietly, placing a hand on his shoulder. Willow looked at her blurry face feeling helpless, the tears refused to stop.

"He was adopted," he heard Bilius whisper to his brother, "he get's very emotional around families," the man finished matter-of-factly. Willow ignored him, handing the cage that held Peter to Sirius and taking the baby in his arms.

He brushed the red hair out of the baby's face and saw an overlay of a man's face, black glasses falling off his nose as he looked up at Willow with a pinched face. Willow blinked and was looking at the peaceful face of a sleeping baby.

"He's beautiful," Willow choked out before handing the baby back. Forcing a smile on his face, Willow crouched before Bill and Charlie, the latter of the two still glaring at his uncle.

"Hello, my name's Willow," he introduced, holding out his hand. Bill, ever the responsible one, took his hand and shook. He was adorable this young, nothing like the scared and dead man in his dreams. Willow ignored that thought.

"I'm gonna be a goblin when I grow up," Bill told him professionally. Willow chuckled.

"Of course. What better career than Goblin?" Willow asked as seriously as he could. Bill grinned at him.

"You'll need to learn goblin speak, and maybe French," Willow continued, which made the boy's smile vanish, "but I think you can do it. You're a smart kid. I can see it," he finished, earning an even brighter grin.

With that, he turned a bit to Charlie, who was looking a bit giddy.

"I want to train dragons!" he exclaimed happily, his eyes bright. Molly made a sound of exasperation.

"Oh? Well then, I do hope you wear the proper protection, don't want you to get singed on the job," Willow told him. Molly did not look happy about that.

"You know, I'm sure you could become known as the safest, most amazing dragon trainer on earth if you try hard enough," he told him. Charlie grinned up at him, his little face making his heart hurt.

"Yeah!" Charlie cheered, quickly joined in by Bill, who was just as happy about being able to be a goblin. Willow stood and lost his breath. Arthur and Molly stood before him, both shorter than him but still large presences.

"Well, now how are we going to comfort them when they realize they can't do any of that?" Molly asked, looking down at her kids sadly.

"As a mother of seven, you learn that with these children, anything is possible," Willow heard floating in his memories.

"I'm sure you'll figure it out eventually. You have a few years yet Mrs. Weasley," Willow told her kindly. She smiled up at him and readjusted Percy in her arms.

"We just came as a favor for Molly's parents to pick up little Gideon. Old chap is an adult now. Small Ravenclaw in your year, know him? Gideon Prewett."

Willow froze when he heard that, fleeting memories of his mother telling him about his troublemaking uncle's Fabian and Gideon Prewett who got into trouble they couldn't get out of.

Then it was gone and he was standing before the family of redheads, looking at a boy a year or so older than him who was scanning the crowds behind him before stopping, grinning, and waving at someone.

"This is Arthur's brother in law, Molly's brother Fabian. He came with to pick up Gideon." Looking behind him, he noticed another red-headed man making his way over, waving just as frantically as the one before him. Severus and Lily started talking to Molly while Sirius and Potter (who had wandered over after saying goodbye to his parents) took Arthur aside to ask him about Merlin knew what.

So, Willow was left talking to Bilius while Fabian and Gideon greeted each other. It was pretty domestic and he would say so later as well, but it was good. In fact, it was perfect.

Chapter Text

Not a New Chapter, sorry. But this is based on what will happen from here!

Okay, so, I've got a question for you all,

Context: I have written three stories based off of Willow Evans and what happens after.

1) A story from Dumbledor's POV.

2) A story from Willow's POV.

And

3) A story from Ron's POV of the changes Willow made.

Dumbledor's POV would begin from the point that Willow got to the past and continue until *SPOILERS* Dumbledores death.

Willow's POV would just be what he sees, which means we wouldn't get insight into what is going on in Hogwarts. So we don't really see any pairings other than Sirius/Willow and some hinted pairings based on letters.

From Ron's POV though, we'd get everything that happens from the train ride and on, seeing everything that Willow changed from the POV of someone who doesn't realize that things could have gone so differently.

I've got most of Dumbledore's POV written, as I wanted a backstory to work off of so I didn't have too many plot holes, as well as a few things from Severus' POV for his reasons of creating the potion in the first place and such and why he never used it(More on Sev's POV below).

Willow's POV is all written and waiting for Beta reading. But again, it is kinda short, based on an event that happened toward the end.

Ron's POV has been written up until the train stopped in their first year of Hogwarts.

Now, I'm gonna post them all, but the question is, what should I post first? Because they'd all have spoilers for the others. Everything is happening at the same time-basically-in each of these stories.

I'll probably write another story based on Severus' POV from different parts of the story, as well as other characters POVs again at different areas of the story(ies).

That being said, Please leave a comment!

Mars