Author's Notes: Written as a special commission for Rhibecka Ö or was it Rhibeckah Ö or Rhibekah? I canít even remember. In any case, she asked for a Bella/Lily. I tried to write something smutty like she requested, but I just couldnít do it right then. Then *this* little piece of work happened. Please let me know what you think, especially about the ending. ^__~ suzumes_bum @


By Darkangel Rose


The mourning dove cooed softly, she couldnít find the key.

Metal cagebars made of gold-coloured rust. Lily had a dove, not an owl. It wasnít that she didnít have anyone to write to. Not at all. Her parents loved her, her boyfriend James loved her, and her friends loved her. She had no reason to be lonely at all

(She was)

The dove had eyes like ink, and soft dustgrey feathers. They key was hiding beneath some parchment in her bag. She unlocked the cage and the bird flew to her shoulder, like always. Lily loved it with all her heart, loved the way it cooed as though it had endured all the sorrows of the world but survived.

She was just surviving. Not enjoying her existence, but fighting for it tooth and nail. She *was*, and that was what was important.

Lily hated the way that everyone loved her, hated the way it made their eyes go soft when she walked by. Lily hated Lily, and because everyone else loved Lily, Lily hated everyone else.

Except Bella.

Bellatrix LeStrange couldnít stand the sight of perfect Lily Evans. She hated ever fiber of Lilyís existence, from the way she walked to the vivid colour of her hair. And for this, Lily loved her.

She didnít sign the note, didnít want Bella to know it was her. The paper crackled softly as it was unfolded beneath the classroom table.

Meet me here at midnight, it had said, and Bella did.

Lily wore her masquerade mask. She found it symbolically and practically effective. She had made it from excess dovefeathers. Bella wore her normal black on black ensemble, and slipped out of one of the dark shadows as the bell tolled midnight.

ďIíve been waiting,Ē Lily said.

Bella knew. She locked the door, and slipped the key in her pocket. Lily didnít ask how she had gotten it.

They fell together perfectly, a tangle of black and red hair. A few feathers fell from the mask to the floor. Bella hated Lily, and Lily hated Bella. And when they kissed that night, bruised lips and hot breath and Bellaís sharp teeth, it made perfect sense.

That had been only the start. Sometimes it was the Quidditch locker rooms, or Lilyís dorm during afternoon classes in the muggy spring. They never spoke, just kissed and touched and lived. There was no real tenderness, and certainly no love. †It was an understanding.

ďIím marrying James,Ē Lily announced after one of their evening trysts. Bellaís eyes were sharp with fury: Lily had found she loved how beautiful the dark Slytherin girl was when she was angry.

ďJames?Ē Bella asked, and Lily nodded and yawned. Her eyes slipped closed- she didnít see the hand coming. The slap resounded across the room; Lily felt the welt rising on her cheek. Her head cracked against the bedpost, and she knew only darkness.

She awoke, groggy, about an hour later. Bella hadnít left a note, just disappeared, and no matter how many search parties there were, they never found her until she was arrested years later.

That day at Hogwarts, Lily woke up with an aching head and a dove at her feet; its neck had been broken.

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