Disclaimer: Everything you recognise belongs to JK Rowlings. This story is based on the song "I'm With You" by Avril Lavigne.
Ripples radiated out from the tiny tear drop as it landed on the unspoilt surface of the darkened pond. It was soon followed by yet another as the tears continued to flow from Lily's eyes, uncontrolled and unrelenting. She was alone, standing on the wooden bridge that spanned across the park's central pond. Darkness had long since fallen and only the flickering beams from the parks lighting brought any relief from the night time shadows.
Lily had been waiting for hours for someone to arrive. But he had not. She still stood by herself in the dark, with nothing but the light drizzle swirling around her frozen core, as tears escaped her eyes and fell like rain drops into the ponds frigid water. Silently she pleaded that he had not forsaken her, but as the hours passed she had to face the heart wrenching conclusion; he was not coming. If he cared for her like he had told her all those times many months ago, then he would have come. Midday had long since gone and midnight was fast approaching.
The elation that Lily had felt as she woke up that morning had now been replaced with a deep sorrow that threatened to tear her heart apart. Blake, the man she loved, the man she thought loved her should have been here at midday. He was meant to meet her and Lily's life was going to return to how it had once been. Now she had to face the reality that she would be walking through her life without him by her side.
They had been together since the seventh year of Hogwarts and for the following two years while Lily trained as a healer and Blake as an auror. Things had been tough as they both stressed over their chosen life path and the multitude of assignments and tests. But through all the hard times, they had also built up an amazing number of memories. Lily thought they would be together forever, little did she know how quickly her life could fall apart.
It had seemed like an evening like every other, that night when her life fell apart. Lily had arrived back at their small flat and began preparations for dinner. Blake had arrived soon after, unnaturally quiet and unable to make eye contact. Lily knew that something had been troubling him for weeks, his distant demeanour of late was very unlike him. Every time she questioned him, he always had a reason to explain away his uncharacteristic behaviour. But not tonight.
“There's something I have to tell you,” Blake began nervously as they finished the meal that Lily had prepared.
“Is this when you tell me what has been troubling you for the last few weeks?” Lily asked, trying to keep the rising fear from her voice. If it was something he hadn't been able to tell her for a number of weeks, then it couldn't be good news.
Blake nodded his head slowly. “You're not going to like it,” he said, confirming Lily's worst fear.
“Then please Blake just tell me,” Lily almost pleaded as tears threatened to spill from her eyes. “I've known that something has been wrong for a while now but you have refused to tell me what it is.”
“That's because I didn't know how to tell you,” Blake acknowledge shyly. He thought he could tell Lily everything, but this piece of news would break her heart. “I'm going to train in France next year and potentially stay for another two years to complete my apprenticeship years.”
The news was worse than Lily had even contemplated. He was leaving her, he was going to France for possibly up to three years. But where did that leave her? Shocked and dazed at the unexpected announcement, Lily stood up and started pacing around the dining room as the tears began to cascade down her checks. This couldn't be happening, he couldn't be leaving her.
“I'm sorry Lily,” Blake apologise lamely. “It's just an amazing opportunity and I can't pass it up. You could come with me but...”
The words cut deep and Blake trailed off as Lily sent him a look of pure fire. He knew full well that she couldn't leave and suggesting that she could go with him was just a front in his lame attempt to try and make this sound like she had a choice. Lily lashed out as tears burned her eyes. “But you know that I can't go with you right now because I have to complete my studies. And you also know that all my family are here. I'm not quite so ready to up and move my entire life to another country just like that without a word of warning. So what is this really about, why without a word to me have you suddenly announced that you are packing up and leaving for goodness knows how long!”
Lily glared at Blake as she brought her breathing back under control after her outburst. He said nothing in explanation and Lily quickly felt her anger subside as heart break washed over her. “Just say something, please,” Lily sobbed as tears spilt from her eyes.
“I can't let something like this go by. Not everyone gets the chance to train under one of the top Aurors in France,” Blake tried to explain.
“You could have trained under one of the top Aurors here,” Lily cut in sharply at his lame excuse.
“But I want to go to France Lily, I want to see the world. There is so many things I want to do. I'm not ready yet to settle down into this comfortable normalcy that I've somehow managed to find myself in since leaving Hogwarts.”
“Normalcy!” Lily exclaimed in disbelief. “Where has all this come from? Am I boring you or something? Do you not love me any more.” Lily was near hysterical. Her world that she thought had been near perfect was crashing down around her into a pile of smouldering rubble. She turned away from Blake and looked out the window into the street below their apartment. Lily let the tears flow and didn't even try to wipe them away. Blake said nothing and did not come over to comfort her. His silence was admission enough that things were over, but still Lily had to hear the words. “So where does this leave us? Are we over?”
Lily felt Blake wrap his arms around her and she easily fell into his warm embrace that was so familiar to her. “I don't know Lily, I just don't know.”
“What do you mean you don't know?” Lily questioned, pulling herself out of his arms to look at him, the fire in her eyes starting to burn once more and evaporate her tears. “You're the one leaving me remember, you're the one saying you are sick of this normalcy.”
Blake sighed and Lily saw pain and indecision in his eyes. “I guess what I'm saying is that I want to go to France and finish my training. But believe me Lily, I still love you and I don't want to leave you. But I have to do this. I want to do this. As selfish as it is, I want to do something for me, and not have to think about us.”
“You're damn right that's selfish,” Lily shot back, enraged. “So then are you going to do it, are you going to break up with me or don't you have the guts?”
“I still love you Lily but I think we should take a break. Experience life on our own for a while.”
Lily once again broke down as she heard the words. Even though she knew they were coming, having them brought into reality and hearing the finality of them crushed her more than she ever imagined they could. “So is this it then, is this goodbye?”
“I don't know what's going to happen in the next year Lily, but I do know that I still love you,” Blake said sadly.” Once I've had some time to myself and some adventure, I'll then know what it is that I want. If I decide once my final year of study is over, that I still want to be with you, then I will come back for you.”
“And if you don't come?” Lily asked without really wanting to hear the answer.
“Then I guess I would have moved on,” Blake explained simply. “But you have the choice too. Don't put your life on hold for me. Take all the opportunities that life throws at you, you never know what may happen.”
Blake left that night and Lily had hardly heard from him for the entire year. She had sent him letters and sometimes got replies but they had always been brief. Eventually she had given up on writing, but her heart had never let go, even though her head had been telling her to move on.
Droplets once again fell from her eyes as she recalled how much her life had spiralled downhill since the day Blake had walked out. On her own and studying to be a healer, her small income could not pay the rent and bills and Lily had been forced to move back home. She threw herself into all her classes for the remaining six months of her training, but the price was that she withdrew from everyone around her. She didn't go out dancing with her friends, she stopped playing social quidditch during her breaks from studying and she hardly spent any real time with her friends when text books weren't opened in front of her. She even started to fight with her mum and dad who she had gotten along with so easily all her life. Lily's life had turned into a mess, all because she was waiting desperately for her first love to come back to her, but deep down she had always known that he was not going to return, he never had any intention of it.
After finishing her studies, Lily started at St Mungo's but had quit after several months because she hadn't been enjoying it, so much so she was constantly unhappy. But it was more that she hated seeing all the couples everywhere, husbands and wives, happy families, boyfriends and girlfriends. She had lost her happiness the day Blake walked out. As much as she tried, she just couldn't find it again. She just needed someone to be with her, to hold her, to tell her it would be okay and to take her back home.
The world surrounding Lily was silent, there was not even a rustle of the leaves or the trickled of running water. No footsteps could be heard from the wet grass nor any footsteps echoing off the path. She was alone with only her silent tears raining from her eyes. Nobody was coming for her, nobody was trying to look for her, nobody was trying to help her find her way again. Blake had so easily and so quickly led her down a dark and windy route with a path so hard to follow that it was no wonder she had taken a few wrong turns and now found her self lost.
The night was cold, far too cold for Lily to be standing in the drizzle that surrounded her. Her hair was damp and stuck to her face and her coat was barely keeping out the icy wind. Blake had said the day he walked out that if he still wanted to be with her, then he would meet her in one years time in the spot where Lily now stood. But he had not come and it was time for Lily to sort out her life. One year was enough to mope in self pity for a love long gone.
A moving shadow caused Lily to turn her head to the approaching figure, illuminated in the lamplight. Her heart stopped for a fraction of a second but she quickly ascertained that he was too tall to be Blake. All hope gone and her heart splintering, Lily couldn't stop the sobs from escaping.
The man walked passed and Lily continued to cry. All hopes dashed, it was time to leave the bridge and in so doing, leave behind her first love. She at last tore her hands from the railing of the bridge and started to walk away when she saw the man approaching her. Lily watched as he pulled his hood down and she glimpsed his blond hair. Instantly she knew who it was.
“I just want to make sure you're all right,” Scorpius said timidly as he continued to approach Lily.
“Yes, I'm fine thank you,” Lily replied abruptly unsure of what Scorpius' intentions were.
“Oh,” Scorpius said puzzled. “It's just that it's raining and freezing cold and you are out all alone in the dead of the night crying.”
“And...” Lily prompted sharply, curious to know whether Scorpius' ramblings had a point.
“It's just that usually when all those factors are combined, it's some ones cry for help,” Scorpius pointed out gently.
“Why do you care?” Lily asked in a slightly harsher tone that she intended. “You haven't said two words to me in my life and now you think you know all about how I'm feeling.
“I didn't say that,” Scorpius said defensively, “I just know who you are Lily and I just want to make sure that you're safe. It's dark out here and you never know who could be lurking with bad intentions.”
Lily looked at the boy in front of her, the son of her fathers nemesis in high school. He was several years older than her and in a different house, and as such, their paths had never crossed. But she knew exactly who he was. Albus, Rose and Scorpius had been friends at school, but Lily had her own group of friends and as such, she had never gotten to know Scorpius.
“Thanks for your concern,” Lily said a lot more politely than she had been previously, and even managed a weak smile. “I was just leaving.”
“Let me walk you home,” Scorpius offered, “I just want to make sure you get there safely.”
Lily looked at him somewhat confused. She had been planning to apparate, and surely Scorpius wouldn't have forgotten that inherent ability in a wizard, but yet he had offered to walk her home. Lily thought over her options. She could just apparate, or she could choose the company. She had been searching for something for months, a person or a place that she felt secure. Everything was such a mess in her life and she hated being alone all the time. She hadn't really talked to any one for so long. Maybe it was time for her to open up to someone.
Slowly Lily nodded her head in acceptance. “I'd like that.”
“Right then Miss Potter. Let's get you out of this rain.” Scorpius offered his arm and Lily slowly walked up to it and placed her arm around his. She hadn't been this close to a male since Blake had left. Something about the touch awoke a feeling inside of her that she hadn't felt in so long. It was warmth, a trust, even though she had only been with Scorpius for several minutes, she felt like she could trust him. Blake had destroyed her trust, but in no time at all, Scorpius had started to restore it.
Lily took a deep breath. Everything seemed so confusing and sometimes she felt like she had lost her mind, but really all she had done was lose her way in the maze of emotions that she had allowed to consumed her. It was time to methodically work through the maze and find her way through, instead of getting stuck at all the dead ends.
And so Lily began to tell Scorpius about Blake, of how happy she had been, of how much she had loved him. Then she went to those dark days when he had left her suddenly, of how heartbroken she had been, followed by her past year of turmoil, self doubt and longing which had led her to the bridge, only to find it deserted.
“I'm sorry everything ended that way,” Scorpius said kindly as Lily finished her tale.
“Thank you, but you don't have to be,” Lily replied. “My sacrifice has been of my own doing. It's just taken me a whole year to realise that and to finally open up to someone. Actually, it's taken a whole year for someone to tell me I'm not okay and to offer me a hand in help.”
“If it helps any, you really are a beautiful girl and I'm sure there is someone else out there who deserves you so much more than Blake,” Scorpius complemented her.
Despite the cold and the pain of losing Blake, Lily couldn't stop the smile from creasing her lips. “Thanks Scorpius, for everything, for turning around and coming back, for reaching out and offering your hand to me and for making sure I get home safe. You could have so easily just kept on walking by, but you didn't.”
“I'm just glad I could help,” Scorpius replied blushing slightly. He was only doing what he hoped others would do in a similar situation. “What are you going to do now then?”
Lily thought about it for a while. She was now completely free and single and didn't have to think about Blake at all. “I'm not sure exactly. I'll mend things with mum and dad in the morning. I've been very distant from them of late, and also my friends. Then I'm not sure, I might go travel and see the world, or maybe I'll return to St Mungo's. I really do like healing, I just couldn't cope with it at the time. But for now I might just apparate home and get some rest. You don't want to walk me there as we'll still be walking this time tomorrow. ”
“Point taken,” Scorpius chuckled, pretty sure that Lily would get back on her feet and move on from Blake. “It does look you have found your path again Lily, but if you ever feel like you need to talk, don't hesitate to send me an owl.”
Lily smiled at Scorpius' offer. He had come out of no where but his small act of kindness, of holding his hand out to her, was enough for her to take the first step in a new direction. “Scorpius,I don't know where you came from tonight, but now I'm heading down a road to somewhere new. I hardly know who you are, but I want you to be apart of that journey. When I ever feel lost and need somebody to turn to, it will be you.”
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