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The Princess and Her Lion

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I made a mistake. A grave mistake that I don’t know how to fix. Normally I would go to Lily to talk things through, come to understand what happened and how to correct it. She is the shining light to my shadowy darkness after all. We balance each other out. She lends me the insight of a social being and I lend her the shrewd intellect. It is how things have been ever since we were little girls, meeting under that tree on the hill where I showed her the wonders of magic.

However I have done a wrong unto her that I don’t know how to fix. I apologized profusely. More than I have ever apologized before but I have caused too much harm, I’m afraid. I had caught her before we left yesterday to go home for the summer, we’re sixth years next year. I told her I would be waiting in our usual compartment, she had walked away without a reply.

Here I sit, alone.

Here I sit writing in hope that writing it out will help me figure out what to do. How to fix this. I need her. Narcissa and Lucius both, friends they may be, but they are gone. Our friendship only through letters and occasional visits with them on breaks now that they are married. There is no one at school. And no one but Lily that knows all the deep, dark and pained parts of my soul. I’m lost. Set adrift without her guiding influence.

It had been Black. It is always Black. It started in 2 nd year. Little things. Pulling on my bangs, tweaking my nose. Grinning at me like I was the fool and not him. The taunting and teasing came progressively over the years. Accumulated into that last instance weeks before the end of our fifth year.

Years of this and only that time did I cry. I thought I was stronger than that. Never let them see you cry and know your weaknesses. But those notes, all the spells and potions I had been working on. Some of them my creations alone. All ruined after he tripped me up and made me fall into the lake. Then to make matters worse he levitated me out of the water and my skirt…

I was never so humiliated in my life. I know she was only trying to help, but I was so angry. Humiliated. There had been that one time in the library when he’d helped me pick up fallen books. He’d touched my hair and said in the low candle light from the nearby table with my hair up in a messy bun… I looked pretty. Black said that. And my traitorous heart stuttered. He’d left me stunned and twisted up inside, and then did that. And so many people were witness to my shame. And what makes it worse is for a moment in time I had hoped for something foolish.

I lashed out when she came to my defense. I lashed out at everyone. Using the things that hurt, because I hurt. God I hurt. I hurt now thinking of it.

I don’t know what to do. I’m so lost.

Lily, I miss you.

Severina sat back in the compartment she shared with no one. Looking at the parchment detailing her chaotic thoughts and emotions. Her mind felt somewhat more ordered. However she still didn’t know how to fix things. Calling her best friend a ‘mud-blood’ had been the worst decision of her life, impulsive as it was, not really in control of herself as she was. Black always knew how to bring her temper to the forefront. Always.

The train shuddered as it began to slow and she rolled up the parchment. Shoving it away. She would burn it later. Curling up with her long limbs on the seat she watched out the window as the Hogwarts Express pulled into the train station. Waiting as it slowed to a crawl and stopped before retrieving her things and daring the busy corridor to get off the train.

Her eyes instantly moved to a group standing nearby, seeing Lily’s auburn hair and the greying auburn of her mother. As well as the black hair of Petunia and her father. They were talking to what looked like Potter’s parents, with him and Black joining in. An animated group. She’d heard they started to date at the end of the year, shortly after the ‘incident’.

Severina sucked in a breath when Mrs. Evans looked up and caught her eyes. That kind smile so very familiar as the muggle woman waved her on over to them, calling out. “There you are, Severina. Come on, darling. I told you mother I’d bring you back.”

Years of obeying the older woman drew Severina close, though she was hesitant and slow. Wary.

“The Snape’s live not far away from us, and our girls have been fast friend for years. It was Eileen that came over and explained to us about magic…” Mrs. Evans prattled on. Severina glanced over and saw Lily frowning with James’ arm around her shoulders. Lily wasn’t looking at her, but in the opposite direction. Making up her mind Severina spoke up.

“I’m sorry, Mrs. Evans. I owled mum, it must not have gotten to her before you left. I have some things to pick up in London. I’ll be making my own way home later.” She said, giving the woman a strained smile.

Mrs. Evans frowned slightly and looked between the two uncomfortable girls. “I don’t know about that… I don’t like the thought of you being here alone. You’re only sixteen…”

“Sweetheart, you know very well that Severina is a very capable young woman, and resourceful.” Mr. Evans then regarded Severina with a stern look. “You have a way to get home?”

“Yes, sir. The Night Bus. I have the cost of fare.” Severina replied as the rest looked on. She felt eyes boring into her and when she looked she saw Black was the cause of the feeling. She quickly looked away.

“Alright. Stay safe, Severina.” He then said.

“Yes, sir. Thank you both. … goodbye,” she added after a moment's pause before heading off, her shrunken trunk in her pocket as she moved toward the exit into muggle London.

---------- POV: Sirius ----------

Sirius watched as Snape walked away from them as the silence from her departure stretched on. Only to be broken by Fleamont Potter, James’ father and his preferred father figure.

“Well then, I guess we will be seeing you tomorrow for dinner. What time would you like us?”

Sirius only looked back to the conversation after Severina disappeared through the barrier. She looked even more pale than normal, and tired. Had been for days. His brow furrowed as he looked to the ground, hating the bit of guilt that twisted in his gut. He knew why. Of course he did, he’d been a large part of it.

It didn’t help that he couldn’t forget. There were two particular interactions with her that now stood out in his mind. The first was how much low candlelight softened her features, and yet the dimness couldn’t completely hide the blush he’d caused on her nose and cheeks, or how impossibly big her eyes had gotten in that moment she seemed completely unguarded.

Then the moment but a few weeks ago… He’d felt bad tripping her into the lake, hadn’t meant to. To trip her up a bit, sure. It was a part of their teasing routine. To soak her and ruin her treasured notebook? No, he hadn’t meant that. He’d fumbled his wand in his hurry to help her out of the lake and accidentally flipped her upside down in the air. He’d gasped and James grabbing his wand from his hand had seen the girl tumbling onto the ground. Lily had come yelling and he’d stood there shocked as Severina’s head came up. Sitting there, soaked through, her eyes big again. Impossibly big, and filled with tears.

Lily had yelled at him and levitated the notebook out of the water and to the ground. He wasn’t sure what Lily said to Severina, but suddenly her tears stopped as she got angry. In a rage beyond what he’d ever been able to push her toward before.

‘I don’t need help from a mud-blood!’

He’d seen the regret wash over Severina the moment after those words left her. She’d apologized right away, but Lily was hurt by those words. Left Severina with tears in her eyes as well with the raven haired girl pleading for forgiveness. Then Severina had run off, sobbing in a way Sirius had nightmares about hearing, never able to get to her. He’d picked up her notebook and still had it in his trunk. Dried and repaired to the best of his ability.

Euphemia Potter’s hand on his shoulder brought him out of his thoughts and he smiled then followed along.

“Bye Sirius. Don’t get James in trouble,” Lily called and he waved in response, giving her a grin that made no promises.

They got to the apparition point and off they went, side-along with James’ parents. Once in the Potter’s ancestral home he pulled on Euphemia's hand. “Aunty, you know how to restore books, right? Like severely water damaged books…?”