by FayJay

re-quite (r -kw t )
tr.v. re-quit-ed, re-quit-ing, re-quites
1. To make repayment or return for: requite another's love.
2. To avenge
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

It is a vulgar truism that history is written by the victors, and by adoring friends and offspring who are armed with distorting and rose-tinted lenses. James Potter won Lily Evans, and as a result she is remembered as nothing but an adjunct of her son's story. But Lily was never the milk-and-water paragon of blandness the textbooks describe. She was not nice. Good, perhaps, whatever that may mean, but Lily Evans was far too vivid and passionate and fascinating a girl to be constrained by any adjective so repellently bland as 'nice'. Not that she had feet of clay; it was simply that Lily was never the porcelain creature they have gone on to raise upon a pedestal. "Harry Potter's mother." "James Potter's wife." "Voldemort's victim." Stupid, reductive and glib little phrases that evoke someone else entirely; words that carry none of the sense of her smile or the sunlight on her hair. None of the sound of her unguarded laughter, or the whimsical savagery of her wit. She was flesh and blood and bone, and as fragile and maddening and harsh as only flesh and bone can be. Afterwards it revolted me beyond expression to read her damned with faint praise by people who barely knew her: people whose names she could never have told you, even though she might have seen their faces around school. The articles in The Prophet then and afterwards were enough to move a person to thoughts of murder. They didn't know her at all, and the girl they painted for posterity with all their saccharine words was nothing like Lily Evans.

I pitied the sister. Don't imagine that the irony is lost upon me. Naturally I despised the sibling with all my heart for the muggle blood that ran through her drab, unmagical veins - but I pitied her too. Pitied myself, in truth. I understood too well how it felt to love Lily Evans, and to hate her just the same, and there is an inescapable sense of kinship in such circumstances. Lily's little Pet adored and despised her with all the blistering passion of a younger sister left bereft of the object of her devotion, and over the years she suffered the indignity of feeling herself all but forgotten and supplanted in Lily's affections. They had, Lily later told me, been all in all to each other in their infancy, and until Lily turned eleven Petunia was the only one who knew about the magic. It was their secret.

She was not, from all I gather, a forgiving little girl; I cannot say I blame her in the slightest.

I saw the sister at King's Cross that first day, pouting between her parents as they waved Lily uncertainly towards the platform and their dumb expressions of astonishment when she vanished into the wall were almost comical to behold. Lily was as slender and pale as her namesake, awkward as only a mudblood witch in brand new robes can be, laden down with boxes and cases and bags and clutching her wand like a lifeline. Her hair was working its way out of the skinny braids already, and was loose by the time we reached Hogwarts. I didn't imagine how much she would come to mean to me, but she still caught my attention with her flame-bright hair and her air of uncertainty. There was something about her, even then, at a time when girls were simply not-boys as far as I was concerned, and love and desire were abstract concepts of little interest and less relevance. Had I harboured any suspicion of how thoroughly she would tear my heart from my chest, I would have given serious consideration to employing Avada Kedavra on one of us then and there.

At first Lily's letters home were almost a daily occurrence; she was forever heading over to the owlery with her face drawn and her ink-stained fingers wrapped around another tedious and doubtless mis-spelled epistle of homesickness. In short, she was a typical mudblood First-year, and a Gryffindor to boot; I couldn't imagine why she impinged upon my consciousness at all. But she did, and she continued to do so. The owls grew fewer as that term progressed, and the next, and fewer still as the years slipped by and dragged us all closer to adulthood. It was only later that I guessed how things changed between Lily and her sister whilst she was at Hogwarts and the little girl she left behind was forced to fend for herself at muggle schools. I understand jealousy. Indeed, I felt at times that I understood her little sister better than Lily did herself.

She smoked. Did you know that? Another little detail that was deemed too tawdry and normal by the biographers and the hacks. That, prosaically, was how it happened: we would bump into one another from time to time in one of the niches where smokers loitered, inhaling rebellion with adolescent hauteur and shivering as the icy wind raised goosebumps under gowns. Not many Gryffindors were to be found engaged in such simple illicit pleasure, but Lily was never as mild as she appeared. She smoked muggle Marlboros, and had the unexpected nerve to mock me for buying Nero's Wizarding cigarettes.

"What kind of idiot," I asked her sharply, "would willingly line her lungs with that repulsive muggle soot, when proper cigarettes have smoke that melts to nothing in the mouth?" We were not friends, but I knew her well enough by then from Potions and Arithmancy, and from meal after meal after meal. She smiled, and there was a light in her eyes that stilled my tongue and left me suddenly awkward and gawky and eager to please. Pathetic.

"Chicken," she called me, in a voice full of sudden possibilities, and the filthy muggle tobacco curled around her like an omen. Lily Evans smoked and joked and kissed inappropriate Slytherin boys. Or boy. Or me. And in time she did other things still less seemly. She told me once, in the strictest of confidence, that the Sorting Hat had almost placed her in Slytherin. I was furious, and delighted, and ultimately unsurprised. She had the brains, and a flair for charming her way out of trouble that I could only envy. But it was Gryffindor that she chose that first day, and it was Potter that she picked in the end. I have never forgiven her for the blow to my pride. Or my heart.

The boy has her eyes, in James Potter's smug, self-righteous, eminently slappable face. My dislike knows no bounds.

I think her sister would understand


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