It was late in the evening as I sat cross legged on the Lily Evans floor. I had been staying here for the last week and it had been a great week. However things had been a little awkward all week because I had been sitting on a rather large secret. Lily knew immediately and had ceaselessly berated me to tell her until on this very night, the last night of my stay. I bit the bullet and confessed to her what had happened.
“You did what!?” Lily exclaimed hopping up from her bed with all the noise of a cannon going off.
“Well I didn’t exactly do anything he just sorta kissed me and I just kinda let it happen I guess” I explained lamely.
The redhead gaped at me plopping down on her bed as the door to her room suddenly swung open “would you please stay quiet and go to bed?! I swear you’ll wake the neighbors at this rate” Petunia snapped at us.
“Sorry Tunie” Lily muttered as the brunette turned on her heels and stalked out of the room. Leaving the door ajar as she strode back to her room down the hall.
Moments later Mrs. Evans appeared looking after her eldest daughter. “What is Petunia all worked up about?”
Me and Lily shrugged in unison which seemed to make Mrs. Evans mildly suspicious based on the look she gave us. Then she sighed “best you both get to bed tomorrow you’ll be leaving for Hogwarts”
“Finally I can’t wait” I sighed laying back on my sleeping bag.
Mrs. Evans gave me a light smile “I’m glad you got to stay with us this week Scarlett”
“Thanks for letting me come Mrs. E” I smiled up at Lily’s mother who bid us a goodnight, clicked off the light, and closed the door. We were both very quiet listening as Mrs. Evans’ feet tracked down the hall to Petunia’s room.
Once we were sure she wasn’t going to be able to hear us. Lily scrambled over to her bedside table and pulled out a small flashlight she clicked on. So we could see each other again “now spill I want all the details.”
“Alright, alright” I sighed “we were the last two left on the platform James and Peter had went off with the Potters and Sirius had been lead off by his brother. Remus said he had something he wanted to tell me and then my parents showed up. I went to walk off and next thing I knew he had turned me around and well… kissed me”
“Wow” Lily gaped in the light of the flashlight “That’s kinda romantic” she murmured “does this mean you’re going to go out with him?”
“Well…” I trailed not sure how to answer the question.
“Well what?” Lily pestered “you like him don’t you?”
“Yes” I responded quickly “but I also like-“ I stopped abruptly not sure what exactly I was saying.
Lily however sucked in a large quantity of air knowing exactly what I was about to say “you like someone else!”
There were footsteps outside. Lily clicked off the flashlight and we both laid down pulling up the covers as the door opened. Mrs. Evans surveyed the room for a moment as we feigned sleep before closing the door again. We listened for her footsteps to fade before we sat up and Lily clicked back on the light.
“Who is it?” She immediately whispered “another marauder?” I opened my mouth again and then closed it. Lily didn’t need me to answer audibly to figure out what was going on in my head. Best friends tend to be annoying like that “Not Peter.” She declared thinking “you and James act more like siblings that means.. oh! Oh! Oh!”
“Shhhh” I exclaimed as realization dawned on her face. “Keep it down or your mother or sister will hear”
“But you can’t Scarlett he’s a complete flirt” Lily objected.
“It’s not like I chose to feel this way” I pointed out to the redhead “and I’m not even really sure that I do like him”
“If you’re not sure than why be so hesitant with Remus?” She inquired
“Because he’s my friend. Because dating him could ruin that. Because it’s going to get really complicated if I am dating Remus and I figure out these feelings aren’t helpful” I burst.
Lily let off an exasperated sigh “Scarlett you kissed him I think we’re a little past all that” the girl advised wisely “I mean whatever you do you’re going to have to talk to Remus. I mean what does your brain say? Go for the gentleman who has already expressed his feelings or the flirt who you can’t be sure of?”
I thought on Lily’s questions and my grandmother’s words came back to me. “When it comes to choices in life remember to listen to your heart but never ignore your brain” I contemplated the concept carefully then sighed as my head began to hurt.
“Oh what have I gotten myself into?” I exclaimed desperately burying my face in my pillow.
“Quite the predicament I’d say” she sighed laying back on her bed to. We left the conversation there for the night. Lily retired her flashlight and we both settled down for bed.
Glass was shattering. My mother was screaming. I could smell the rancid stench of alcohol on his breath as he yelled. There was so much noise. My head hurt my side hurt. He grabbed a large mound of my hair and pulled me to the ground before kicking me hard.
“Edgar stop!” My mothers cry was cut off by a loud smack.
He had hit her. His own sick wife. My rage got me to my feet. However I was smacked back to the ground again. The mineral taste of iron blood filled my mouth the carpet blurred in my vision.
My mother was crying. She was always crying. I just wish she didn’t have to cry anymore. Why did he make her cry?
I gasped awake with a start sitting bolt upright. Lily was still sleeping soundly on her bed. She barely stirred as I swallowed the dry lump in my throat and got shakily to my feet. I walked over to the door and turned the knob softly. I internally cursed my hand for shaking so much. It had only been a nightmare. A nightmare of a bad memory.
I crept across the dark hall into the Evans’s bathroom. Closing the door and locking it behind me before flicking on the light. Looking at my very reflection reminded me of my mother. We had the same thin blonde hair and blue eyes. An image of my sickly mother weeping shot across my brain and I watched my reflection flinch.
My hands slowly traveled to the hem of my shirt and I lifted it delicately. The entire right side of my abdomen was an ugly bluish purple. I grimaced at the sight of it. More for remembrance of it’s cause then the actual pain it gave me. It was a gift from my father a final gift before throwing me off to the Evans before I would head on to what he called my “devil school” of course with how much his drunken voice slurred these days it came off more as “de-vel s-c-oool” I glared at my reflection as if I was glaring at him.
My mother had barely managed to let me go and stay with the Evans for the last week of summer. Her pleas and reminders that Mr. and Mrs. Evans were muggles fell on all to often deaf ears. Further when my father became annoyed with her buzzing in his ears he would swat her away like a fly. He used to only strike her when he was drunk it had been mostly yelling. Now he was drunk all the time and my mother seemed his favorite punching bag.
I was my mother’s only shield though she all to often begged me to leave. I refused. I refused to back down to him. I refused to obey him. I refused to run to my room like a coward when a monster was hitting my mother.
A small line of tears trickled down my cheek. I watched its fall in the mirror. I was a coward. I ran off to school and was glad for it. Glad to escape even though I was leaving my mother in his clutches. I felt sick just thinking about it all.
There was a light knock on the door. “Scarlett are you alright?” Came Lily’s sleepy whisper.
“Y-yeah I’m fine” I tried to wipe away the tears as I heard Lily immediately reaching for the key above the door frame. She was a very good best friend.
The door opened slowly and I watched Lily’s eyes widened as she looked at my face. “Scarlett you’re crying” she gasped. Her eyes then traveled to the bruise on my side which I then quickly covered.
“It’s nothing Lily” I muttered racking my brain for some feeble excuse for the bruise.
“It’s not nothing Scarlett” Lily snapped so sternly my head automatically looked up into her concerned green eyes. “You’re hurt. What happened? Who did this? Was it-“ Lily choked on the end of her sentence as more tears began to openly pour from my eyes.
I collapsed in a crying heap on the floor and Lily came down to sit next to me. The next half hour was filled with my and now Lily’s cry as well as my explaining. I didn’t tell her everything. I couldn’t but she understood enough. When it was over she didn’t say anything and she didn’t question me further. She simply hugged me and let my cry into her shoulder.
Then in a strained voice that held both sadness and anger but was solid in certainty “you’re no coward Scarlett. He is.”
She was a really great best friend.