Returning Home

by Lara Wilson

Sitting on the train rocketing north hidden by powerful magics, Lilith turned her new wand over and over in her hands. The gentleman across from her in the First Class cabin had given her one startled look as he sat down, then had made a slight bow and called her 'my lady' before taking refuge behind his newspaper.

He'd mistaken her for Narcissa and Lilith hadn't bothered correcting him. It was likely that most wizards barely remembered her.

After her startling reunion with Sirius, she'd spent two weeks debating his urging her to reenter their world. She'd just finally decided to continue with her life as it was when she'd had a sudden, sharp vision.

Voldemort--though twisted and barely human--standing over a young man with dark, floppy hair and glasses and killing him slowly.

The young man was the image of James.

Harry.

Swallowing her pride and fear, Lilith traveled the next day to Diagon Alley, gained entrance, and went straight to Gringotts and her personal fortune which had lain untouched and earning interest for a dozen years. With a few coins she'd purchased a simple black cloak and, more importantly, a new wand.

It still felt strange in her hands, though it was nearly identical to her previous one--both of silkwood with a core of fairy floss and rose petals. She knew it worked--she'd practiced a simple levitation spell before purchasing it--but having practiced no magic for so long had left her rusty and uncomfortable.

That discomfort had only grown as she'd packed a small bag and headed for track 9 3/4 at Kings Cross Station. The Hogsmeade Express ran twice daily still for those wizards either unable or unwilling to apparate or fly. Since she was ready to try neither of those options, she took the train. Beneath her robe she wore her simplest dress--ruby red cashmere which clung lightly to her curves and fell to mid calf. It had long sleeves that came to points over the backs of her hands and a Mandarin collar. With it she wore old and comfortable black leather boots that laced up to the hem of her dress.

She didn't feel much like a witch nor did she look the part, but she knew she had to reclaim that part of herself she'd set aside so many years ago.

Looking out the window, she saw the familiar mountains in the distance and realized they were nearly there. The trip was so much faster for wizards than for the students at Hogwarts. She remembered Sirius once told her it was because it gave boys much more time to make their moves on their girlfriends. She and Lily had giggled, smacked their respective boyfriends, and let them make those moves....

Pushing aside the sorrow that always came when she thought of her long lost and dearest friend, Lilith slipped her wand into her ruby red Kate Spade purse and took out a mirror to check her light make-up. She ignored the panic in her eyes and snapped the compact closed.

The train pulled into the station.

*****

The station was as she remembered, as was the taxi-stand, and the approach to the school. As she paid the driver and let him help her down in front of the open gates, Lilith took a deep, calming breath and rang the bell.

A few minutes later she found herself in the entry hall waiting while a house elf fetched Headmaster Dumbledore. Students spilled into the hall and she realized it was dinner break. Most ignored her, but some, mostly those in green and silver ties gave her calculating looks; Lilith hadn't seen her sister in over a decade but it was obvious they still were identical.

Through the children she glimpsed the sweeping robes of several teachers, and, self-conscious, she stepped back into a corner, pulling her cloak tightly around herself. One, a tall man in black, gave her a startled look and swept the students aside to stride towards her. As he bowed his head to her and called her by her sister's name, she recognized him.

"Severus Snape?"

"My lady, how can I be of..." He broke off, rising to his full height and staring down into her flushed face. "Lilith?" he whispered.

She nodded, taking in his appearance. He was tall, no longer thin as a rail, and appeared to finally have grown into his angular face. His hair was still coal black, but no longer stringy, instead it framed his face and snapping black eyes. He wore all black--immaculate and expensive--and she wondered if he was still on their side or if he had returned to Voldemort.

"I think you're the first person to realize I'm not my sister,"she said lightly.

"I could always tell you apart." He seemed struck by her appearance, and she continued the light tone.

"That would be because I usually wore red and gold."

"We thought you lost to us."

"Not lost, just misplaced on purpose. You're a teacher here?" she changed the subject.

Snape finally seemed to come out of his daze. "Yes. Potions."

"That was always your best subject, if I remember correctly."

"You do. I'm...surprised you remember me at all."

"You were one of us." Lilith smiled in remembrance. "I always thought you the bravest of us all. For us, it was the only way, but you broke free of the darkness and came into the light all on your own."

He gave her a startled look and his pale cheeks flushed. "I was unaware that any save the Headmaster and the Council of Ministers knew that I'd been..." He stumbled over the words, unwilling to admit to his dark past, then tightened his lips and forced himself to continue. "And that I'd betrayed Him in the final days."

"I was working closely with Dumbledore at the time, using my abilities to try to predict His next moves. Instead, I saw you. I didn't understand the vision until it had come to pass, but I saw you leaving the snake and turning to the lion."

"I'm not a Gryffindor, lady."

"And I'm not a lady."

Before Snape could reply, Dumbledore swept down the great stairs and pulled her into a hearty embrace. By the time she'd pulled free, laughing at his joy to see her, Snape had disappeared.

"I knew you would return someday, Lilith Frost." The headmaster held her lightly by the shoulders and his eyes sparkled down into hers.

"Then you knew more than this seer, professor. I never planned..." She shook her head, suddenly overwhelmed by emotion. "I've missed so much."

He hugged her again, this time soothingly, his hands stroking her trembling shoulders. "But you are back now. Come," he said briskly, "let us adjourn to my office for lunch and a chat."

Ten minutes later Lilith broke from her expurgated version of running into Sirius while several house elves spread out a small feast on a round table set into a turret in Dumbledore's office.

"You of all people should believe in fate, Lilith." Dumbledore poured them each a glass of wine as Lilith filled two plates with roast beef, potatoes and fresh peas.

"I've gotten out of the habit, and, truthfully, I had decided not to come here but then...fate, if you will, stepped in."

"You had a vision."

"The one thing I could never stop," she acknowledged, sipping her wine. "It was Voldemort, though nearly inhuman in appearance, and, I believe, Harry."

"Harry has faced him or his agents several times."

She nodded. "So Sirius said. It's...amazing, actually. He's that good?"

Dumbledore smiled and swallowed a bite of beef. "He is very special. He has a true gift for incantations and defense against the dark arts. He can already produce a full size patronus."

Surprised, Lilith quickly swallowed a forkful of vegetables. "Really? That's amazing. Although," she conceded, "that really shouldn't be surprising as we both know what James was capable of by fifteen." She gave Dumbledore a sad look before continuing. "I never got the chance to thank you for trying to force the Council of Ministers to give Sirius and I trials."

"I wish I could have been more persuasive where both of you were concerned. The corruption in the ministry was at its height. The evidence against you both was purely circumstantial, but even I was momentarily confused since I knew Sirius was James and Lily's secret keeper."

"We should have told you Sirius had switched with Peter, but, it would still have only been your word and..."

He nodded. "My word meant little back then, I'm sad to say."

"But, you got Harry to safety for us. Sirius and I should have been there to raise him in his parents' stead." She sighed sadly and reached for her wine. "I should have tried to get him back once I was free, but I felt so helpless. I'm afraid I still feel that way. I was cleared of all charges but my name was irrevocably blackened."

"Not to those who matter, dear." Dumbeldore patted her hand awkwardly. "And Harry was and is safer with Lily's sister in the Muggle world. Her blood protects him."

"Sirius said he had a miserable childhood."

"Sadly necessary. All of that has made him the boy he is and the man he will become. Like it or not--and Harry assuredly does not like it--he is our champion."

"That's an awfully big burden to place on such a young boy."

The headmaster nodded sagely and sipped his wine. "I know, but he may be our only hope."

"I can't believe that monster's back. After all we did, all our sacrifices." No longer hungry, she set down her fork and knife and picked up her wine.

"I believe his return was inevitable. We never truly defeated him. Now we have a second chance."

"I assume he's gathering his forces?" At Dumbledore's solemn nod, she sighed. "My sister? My father?"

"His dark court has reformed. Reliable intelligence places Lucius at his right hand, Narcissa at his side, as always. Your father plays his role as well."

"Dark sycophant," she sneered sadly.

"And the Death Eaters have returned to Voldemort's side, even breaking out of Azkaban, as the Dementors have joined him as well."

Lilith sighed heavily. "And what are we doing to counter him besides relying on a fifteen year old boy?"

"The Order of the Phoenix has reformed, with both old and new members. You are, of course, welcome back."

"I saw Severus Snape here. Is he still with us?"

Dumbledore nodded. "He is why we have reliable information on Voldemort and his dark court. He is a double agent, posing as spy for both Voldemort and myself."

"And you trust him?"

"Completely." The certainty in his voice made her nod in support and she picked up her fork to take another bite of potatoes.

"I never had a chance to tell anyone about Severus' defection before everything crashed down on us. Sirius never liked him and always suspected he was a Death Eater. I suppose the animosity continues today."

Dumbledore nodded. "I have tried to get them to make amends, but I'm afraid it's not going to happen, and Severus' irrational dislike of Harry doesn't help."

"Why doesn't he like Harry? Oh, because he looks like James," she answered her own question.

"And is a hero, and brave and strong and cunning. Harry has no love for Severus, either, but Severus saved Harry's life once and I know he would give his own if called upon to do so to save the boy again." Dumbledore called the house elves to come and remove their plates. "So, what now, Lilith?"

"I want to see Harry. I need to talk to him. I'm not even sure he knows I exist, but I want to finally get to know him. I also want to talk to my nephew. I trust he's here?"

Dumbledore smiled slightly and finished his wine. "Oh yes, already the ruling prince of Slytherin."

"That's sadly not a surprise," Lilith sighed.

"Perhaps, but I keep waiting for the third shoe to drop--you and Sirius being placed outside of Slytherin being one and two."

"Fate has always had a sense of humor where I was concerned." She smiled slightly, remembering the shock of that night all too well. "I both lost and gained so much that night, and Sirius...well, he always believed we were fated to be together after that sorting."

"And now you are again."

She shrugged and sipped the remains of her wine. "Perhaps. Truthfully, I never expected to see him again. I moved on with my life."

"Fashions, I know." Dumbledore smiled at her startled look. "Do you really think I'd allow our greatest seer to just disappear?"

"I'm afraid you overestimate my talent. I never really had a chance to hone it after Hogwarts. It comes on suddenly, uncontrollably."

"But you still see things no one else can or will. With a little training..."

Lilith interrupted him sadly, "And who would train me? I'm a villain in the eyes of most of the wizarding community, and no dark wizards would ever trust me. I have no place in our world and I wasn't willing to be relegated to the fringes."

"You have a place in the Order and always will. We need you, Lilith."

She nodded, but didn't agree, and he let the issue rest.

"Will you stay the night? The boys will be in class again but I can arrange for them to meet you for tea--separately, I'm afraid, as they do not get along--in one of our guest rooms, and then you can join us for supper. There are many others who will welcome you back."

"I'd like that. I didn't realize how much I missed this place until I returned."

They both rose from the table and Dumbledore gestured for her to proceed him down the stairs. "Feel free to stroll the grounds and school and become reacquainted. I'll have a house elf show you to one of the guest suites and then have first Harry and then Draco meet you there beginning at four o'clock."

"Thank you, professor." Lilith impulsively hugged him, making him blush.

*****

Her bag and cloak awaited her in an elegantly appointed suite and she took a few minutes to wash her hands and face, reapply her makeup and run a brush through her pale blonde hair before heading outside. It was a warm autumn day and the sun shown brightly. She spent several hours revisiting old haunts, including the secluded grove where she'd lost her virginity with Sirius and the spot where he'd proposed to her. Although she deeply regretted the time lost with him, the memories only made her melancholy. The intervening years for her hadn't been horrible and she'd made friends and a life for herself. She did regret that Sirius had suffered so much, and she wondered, as she often had in the past two weeks, if they did have a future together now.

She hoped so.

The love she felt for him was just as strong and real as it had been in their youth.

Lilith returned to her rooms right before four and ordered tea, smiling at how easily using the flue came back to her. The tray arrived just as there was a knock on the door, and she set it on the table then went to answer the knock.

Harry really was the spitting image of James, and she couldn't help but smile. He returned her smile with a hesitant and very confused one.

"Um, I'm Harry Potter." He held out his hand awkwardly and she shook it with a light squeeze.

"Hello Harry. I'm Lilith Frost, your godmother." She resisted enveloping him in a tight hug, instead tugged him into the room and closed the door behind him.

"I didn't know I had one, and...you look like..." He gave her another confused look, his brow furrowing.

"My twin sister, Narcissa," Lilith continued his thought, gesturing for him to join her at the table.

Harry sat quickly as she did the same. "I don't understand. No one ever told me I had a godmother and why would I have one who's a dark wizard?"

Looking up from pouring tea, Lilith corrected him gently, "I'm from a dark wizarding family, Harry, but I knew from a young age that my path was different. My rebellion was aided by my placement in Gryffindor."

"Like Sirius?"

"Yes, the same night. We were both very shocked and very happy." Lilith passed him a cup of tea and added sugar and milk to her own.

"Why was I never told of your existence?"

She heard the sharpness in his voice, a glimpse of James' temper, and her chest tightened with sudden emotion. "I don't know. Probably because I was forgotten by most, and I couldn't have done anything anyway. I have no power or standing in the wizarding world. I was with Sirius when your parents were murdered, and implicated and arrested with him. I spent two months in Azkaban before my father bought my freedom, but my name was ruined and no one was going to trust me, especially with the boy who brought down Voldemort."

"Sirius never mentioned you, either."

"He had no idea where I was or even if I was still alive, though apparently Dumbledore has kept track of me. He believes you are safer with your Muggle relatives, and he's probably right. Sirius is still on the run, and I am too close to the most powerful dark wizards. My father could always get past my defenses, which, after not using magic for a dozen years, are pathetic. And then there's Lucius."

"Where have you been that you haven't used your magic?"

"The only place no one cared or knew the name Frost--the Muggle world. I've been living in London as one of them."

Harry gazed at her a bit awed. "It's not easy."

"No. It's reminiscent of how I always felt leaving here and not being able to use magic during half term and term breaks, but I learned to deal with it. Magic can be a crutch."

"Yeah, I can see that." He sipped his tea thoughtfully. "You were close to my parents?"

Lilith smiled sadly and reached for a ginger biscuit. "Your mother and I were best friends, as close as sisters. Since both of our real sisters were nightmares, we were very happy to find each other. I was friendly with James through his friendship with Sirius and helped him hook up with Lily. I thought they'd be good for each other. I was right."

"I want to hear all about my parents. Sirius has told me some, but mostly I have to communicate with him through owls. He told me he's finally settled in one place, so I hope to visit him over the holidays. I don't know if they'll let me out of here, though," he grumbled and frowned, then set down his empty cup.

"I know he wishes he could have been there for you all along. So do I, Harry. It was wrong of me not to have least contacted you, sent you birthday cards."

He shrugged and reached for a tea cake. "Probably wouldn't have gotten them. My Muggle relatives didn't even tell me that I'm a wizard."

"That was very irresponsible of them."

"I probably should have guessed something when a snake suddenly got free at the zoo and talked to me." At her raised eyebrows, Harry added chagrined, "Yeah, I'm a parselmouth. Dumbledore has a theory it's because something of Voldemort got transferred to me when he attacked me."

"That's rather weird, but then most things are in our world. Sirius and I didn't even know that Voldemort had been nearly destroyed by you until we were in Azkaban for a week or so. We found you alive but scarred, handed you over to Hagrid and took off after Peter. We thought we'd have plenty of time to explain about the switching of the secret keepers, but after Peter killed all those people and disappeared, no one was willing to listen to us. Blood will out was the most popular comment directed towards us." She sighed unhappily.

After a moment of silence and a lot of munching by the healthy boy, Harry gave her a curious look. "Why now? Why come see me now?"

"I ran into Sirius," she replied, unable to prevent a smile creasing her face. "Literally bumped into him. I hadn't heard of his escape. We...talked. He told me all about you and told me to come see you. I must admit that I wasn't sure that was a good thing, but then I had a vision." At his look of surprise, she nodded. "I'm a seer, Harry." At his snort of disbelief, she laughed. "Not a believer?"

Harry flushed and rubbed his hands over his knees. "Er, no, sorry. I've been taking classes in it for three years now and I can't even get a picture in my tea leaves right."

"There is no right. That's one of the first things that should have been taught to you. It's an important discipline to understand even if you never see anything. Most don't. There's probably one true seer in every thousand wizards. Some others get glimpses now and then, and everyone has some level of precognitive ability...and can I be more boring?" At his laugh, she smiled.

"Our teacher here, I don't think she has many real visions. She keeps predicting my death every year. So far, she's been wrong."

"I think maybe I should have a talk with this woman, but that can wait for later. So, what would you like to know about your parents, Harry?"

*****

They chatted for an hour, and Lilith found Harry to be an engaging, intelligent and very brave young man.

"I'm sorry to have to put a stop to our chat, but I'm expecting another visitor. One I believe you don't get along with." At his look of confusion, she added, "My nephew, Draco."

Harry scowled instinctively. "Oh, yeah, I hadn't thought about that."

"I haven't seen him since he was about one."

"He's a Slytherin." He made it sound like a curse.

"And that equates to evil?"

"Yeah. Er, usually. His father's a Death Eater, just nobody will believe me."

"I do. I knew that years ago. Lucius is bad news. Narcissa's just...weak," she finally decided on.

"Draco's somewhere in the middle."

"He's still my nephew, and not all Slytherins are bad people, Harry. Not all of them are dark wizards either. I should know. We all have the qualities that signify each House, just to different degrees. Sirius is quite cunning. If he'd been in Slytherin, he would have ruled the House once Lucius graduated, but his heroic qualities were more evident. On the other hand, Peter was placed in Gryffindor and betrayed us all."

"I think there's a lot more division now-a-days, especially between Slytherin and the rest of the school."

"That's really too bad."

A knock on the door interrupted them, and they both rose to their feet.

"How long are you staying?"

"Until tomorrow morning. Maybe tonight I can meet some of your friends."

"Sure, that would be great."

Lilith smiled at him, then walked to the door and opened it, to be greeted by a fascinating combination of Lucius and Narcissa- -or herself. Draco was tall and slender with his father's hair coloring, but her own eyes.

"Mother?"

"Not quite," she smiled gently and opened the door wider. "Come in, Draco. Harry, I'll see you after dinner."

On spying his nemesis, each boy scowled, and Draco's eyes followed Harry out the door.

"Who are you?" he asked, once the door was closed, his eyes swinging back hard and fast to Lilith.

"I'm your aunt. Lilith, your mother's twin sister."

"...Oh." His brow furrowed as he frowned. "I think I remember my parents talking about you a couple of times when I was young. You did something horrible and got banished from the family."

"Yes, I chose to oppose Voldemort. Please, have a seat, Draco. I can order fresh tea if you'd like."

"Um, no thanks. You opposed...Grandfather let you get away with that?" He sat down rather heavily on the sofa as if the concept of anyone saying 'no' to her father was unheard of.

Lilith joined him, her eyes drinking him in. Her twin's son, nearly her own. She hadn't realized she'd missed him so. "I was an adult by the time Voldemort rose to power and my father had no control over me anymore. Before that, I was just too stubborn to choose his way. I was a huge disappointment to him, not that I regret it at all. We probably should get this out right away since it seems to be a big deal still. I was placed in Gryffindor."

"Like the traitor, Black."

"Like my lover, Black," she corrected.

Draco stared at her, then snorted softly. "Grandfather must have really hated that."

Lilith smiled a bit wickedly. "He turned purple when I told him I was marrying Sirius."

"Did you?"

The smile faded. "We never got a chance. But, that's in the past and not why I wanted to see you. I've been living a long time outside our world, but I've never forgotten you. You wouldn't remember, but I visited you as often as I could your first year. Your mother was very ill after your birth and for some reason I've never been able to fathom, your father allowed me to stay with her. And while Narcissa and I haven't been close since we were children, there's a special bond between us which spilled over onto you. I never dreamed that I would miss so much of your life."

"Then why come back now?" It wasn't a harsh question, just a curious one.

"Harry asked the same thing."

Draco scowled. "Why were you seeing Potter, anyway?"

"He's my godson." The look of abject horror that spread across her nephew's face nearly made her laugh. "You don't like him much, hm?"

"Gods no."

"I gather the feeling is mutual." She decided to change the subject. "I came back because I ran into someone from my past who told me I needed to come back. I wasn't even aware that Voldemort had returned to full strength."

"Most people don't believe that."

"What do you believe?"

Draco looked at her hesitantly, and she could see the wariness in his eyes. "He's back. You know about my father's involvement, don't you."

Surprised at his intuitiveness, Lilith nodded. "He's a Death Eater."

"He kept himself out of prison with very large bribes and a lot of lies."

"While the innocent went to Azkaban," she murmured almost to herself.

"You were with Black when he was captured," Draco replied shrewdly, but before she could ask him how he knew, he continued blithely, "I must have overheard that somewhere. You were jailed but only briefly."

"It was an eternity. I was only freed because the twin bond was harming your mother. She suffered what I suffered and vice versa. Since the day I was freed, I've never felt her again."

"She's alive, well, just...Narcissa Malfoy. She's called the Frost Queen behind her back, a play on her maiden name."

"She was called that when we were in school, too. I'm glad to know that she's well. Did she ever...do you have any siblings?"

Draco shook his head. "And you? Did you ever marry? Have children?"

"No," Lilith replied, a bit sorrowfully, though she'd accepted her solitary life a long time before. "I never found someone to replace Sirius."

"He's escaped, you know."

She nodded and his eyes narrowed as a smirking smile formed on his face. "Is he the person you ran into? No, don't answer, I know it's true. Well, grandfather might actually have a stroke if he finds that out."

"You don't sound like you like my father very much."

Draco shrugged and picked up a leftover tea cake, munching on it before answering. "He's not a very kind person. Not your typical grandfather."

"Austere, cold as ice, yeah, I remember." With a mental shake of her head, she changed the subject, "So, how do you like school? What's your favorite subject?"

*****

The rest of her time at Hogwarts zoomed by--supper in the Great Hall, meeting Harry's friends, and a few select ones of Draco, chatting with old teachers, breakfast in the faculty lounge with Dumbledore and McGonigal and more discussions about the Order and the inevitable coming war.

At one point during that meal and discussion, Severus joined them briefly, and while he mostly listened, she could sense that he wanted her to join them.

Later, she made her farewells, promised to write her godson and nephew, and to think about coming back to the fold, and returned to London on the afternoon train.

Feeling oddly lighthearted, Lilith walked from the tube stop to her flat, a skip in her step. She stopped at the corner deli and picked up a chicken curry sandwich and crisps, then impulsively added a decadent piece of chocolate torte from the neighboring bakery. Turning the corner, she walked the half block down to her flat, stopping to greet an elderly neighbor walking her dog and chuckle at a group of school kids jumping rope and singing nonsense songs.

Caught up in the life around her, she didn't see him until she was at the foot of the steps leading to her building.

Sirius unfolded himself from the top step and smiled down at her.

"Sirius, what...what are you...?" She looked around quickly, as if expecting bobbies to come out of the woodwork.

He came down the steps to her. "How was your visit with Harry?"

"How did you...? Of course you knew." She shook her head ruefully. "Come on in and I'll tell you all about it." She passed him, pulling her keys from her bag, and unlocked the outer door, then led the way into her apartment. Flipping on the lights, she gestured to the couch before dumping her bag beside the coat rack. "Want something to drink?" she asked as she headed into the kitchen to set down her dinner bags.

"Sure."

Slipping out of her cloak, Lilith draped it over a kitchen chair before opening the refrigerator for a bottle of wine. She grabbed two glasses and returned to the sitting room. Sirius was lounging on her couch. He looked better--clean shaven, clean clothed, a bit filled out.

"You look good," slipped from her, and she blushed.

"You always look good," he drawled back, taking a glass of Chablis from her as she joined him on the couch. "So, Harry owled me about his godmother. I'm glad you went to see him."

"So am I. He's a wonderful boy. So's my nephew."

Sirius frowned at that. "He and Harry don't get along."

Lilith could see he wanted to add a whole lot more, probably along the lines of 'dirty Slytherins' and 'son of a Death Eater', but she purposefully kept her voice light. "And I'm supposed to choose between them?"

Grumbling, he drank his wine, and she decided to be bemused by his attitude. "You haven't changed, still hate them all, don't you?"

"Well, they're remarkably hateable."

"And how easily we could have been them, Sirius. Something in our character sorted us into Gryffindor, but there's a lot of darkness in us both."

"There's nothing dark in you," he protested, setting down his wine and turning to face her. "There's never been. I've always skirted the edge, my temper not helping matters, but you're just so pure."

Lilith snickered, she couldn't help herself. "Pure? Where'd that come from? Please don't tell me you put me on a pedestal all these years."

Sadness flickered through his dark eyes. "Sometimes thinking of you that way was all that kept me going."

The humor left her and she awkwardly reached out and brushed her fingers over his arm, feeling the tension beneath taut skin. "I'm sorry, but you can think of me as flesh and blood now, with all the flaws humans have."

"I like to think of you as flesh and blood," he replied, his voice taking on a husky quality that sent a shiver through her. Their eyes met and held, before she blushed and dipped hers, lifting her glass to her lips and drinking deeply. She caught his smirk out of the corner of her eye.

"You're very wicked, you know?"

"Yes." Sirius plucked the glass from her hand and set it down, then pulled her onto his lap.

"Sirius! I'm not a little girl anymore."

"Thank the gods for that," he replied and kissed her, his arms wrapping around her waist and his hands sliding up her back.

He tasted of the sweet wine and that quality that was uniquely Sirius and Lilith sank into the kiss, her own arms going around his neck, her fingers twining through his hair.

Slowly Sirius broke the kiss and pulled back enough to look into her eyes. "I didn't mean to do that. I mean, this wasn't why I came to see you. I..."

"Shhh," she interrupted, pressing another, softer kiss to his lips. "I don't know how I survived so long without you, and I don't know why I let you go two weeks ago, but if you don't kiss me again, I may explode," she pleaded breathlessly.

"Can't have that," he teased, leaning forward to lick his tongue across the bow of her lips before deepening the touch to a passionate kiss of open mouths and twining tongues.

"Bed," Lilith panted, torn between kissing him and trying to get off his lap to get them into the bedroom. Sirius lifted them both to their feet and she wrapped her legs around his waist and held on tightly as he stumbled down the hall to her bedroom. It was all white and pink, highly feminine, the bed white iron, the spread scattered with Colefax and Fowler roses. He lowered her onto the mattress and followed her down, kissing her desperately as his fingers pulled at the buttons of her shirt.

Lilith responded by kicking off her shoes and stroking her stockinged feet down the backs of his legs as they rolled to their sides, the better to do away with clothing as they kissed and caressed.

Pulling open her shirt and tugging it from the waistband of her skirt, Sirius cupped her breasts through the satiny lace of her bra, and she panted his name harshly against his cheek as her nipples tightened and swelled. Her own hands were busy tugging his shirt over his head, then running over his lightly haired chest. He was lean and muscular, and the scars caught her attention again--so many, earned in battles and in prison-- widening the gap between boy and man.

Lowering her head, she brushed her lips across a white line over one of his nipples, then lashed her tongue across the flat nubbin, making him groan and slide one knee between her legs, pressing it up against her rapidly dampening flesh.

"Lil," he groaned, burying his face in her hair as she played with his nipples, her fingernails scraping lightly, her lips suckling. As she toyed with him, one of her hands slipped between them to cup his erection through his trousers. "Shit, luv," he cried harshly, arching into her as she fondled him. His knee pressed higher, rubbing her through the silk of her knickers.

She nearly came from the pressure, and writhed against his knee, moaning into his mouth as she hungrily kissed him. Her fingers found the fastenings of his trousers and she undid them, pushing the cloth aside as she felt his hand travel up her thigh and under her skirt to caress her hip and catch the side of her knickers. As she lifted his cock from his trousers, he tugged and she squirmed until she could kick aside the scrap of silk and lace and wrap her leg around his waist. Opened to him, she guided his hard cock to her throbbing entrance and thrust her hips forward to drive him into her.

Sirius broke the kiss with a loud grunt, then grabbed her hip and pulled her against him, until his cock was fully sheathed. As her hot wet body closed around him, his eyes rolled back in his head and he began to rock them together at a quick pace. Moaning as her body ached and yearned for release, Lilith buried her mouth in his throat, kissing and suckling at any bit of skin she could find as her fingers dug into his shoulder and her heel thumped against his back.

"Gods, Lil," Sirius groaned, pumping wildly into her. "Not letting you go this time." One hand squeezed her bottom while the other shoved up her bra and freed her breasts. Ducking his head he nuzzled and bit at the pale globes, making her groan and shudder in pleasure.

Wanting more leverage, he rolled her onto her back, staying joined with her and slipping between her thighs. As she wrapped her other leg around him, he rose on his elbows and thrust hard and deep. His lips fastened over one of her nipples and he tugged on it with his teeth until she cried out his name and dug her fingers into his hair, pressing him against her.

Lilith's clit ached with the rhythm of their thrusts, and, desperate for release, she grabbed Sirius' free hand and guided it between them. As he fingered her roughly, she came with a sharp cry, shattering and shuddering against him, her vaginal muscles clenching around the shaft of his cock.

Feeling her orgasm roll through her was enough to send Sirius over the edge to his own and he bucked against her, spilling into her with a deep, needy groan.

The first rush of desire alleviated, Lilith let her muscles relax and her legs slip away from him. Opening her eyes, she smiled weakly down at the top of his head buried in her neck as he panted harshly. She stroked her fingers down his back and crooned his name.

Sirius lifted his head and his dark eyes glittered into hers. "I mean it, Lil, I'm not giving you up again."

"Neanderthal," she teased, one hand cupping his cheek. "I shouldn't have let you leave last time."

They kissed tenderly, then Sirius rolled to her side and pulled her into his arms, her head on his shoulder. "We' re turning my family home into the Order's meeting place, and I've been living there, but...I don't want you there, not in that horrid place," he said softly.

"I have a perfectly good flat," she replied lightly, then sighed. "I suppose we should date or something and get to know each other all over again, but..."

"That would be the smart thing to do, but there's no way we're doing it." He gazed down at her and she smiled back. "I love you, Lilith, and we've lost too much time together. No more."

"No more," she agreed and lifted her mouth to his for another kiss. "I love you, too, and we'll never be apart again."

End

A/N: The bit about Draco knowing about certain things that happened to Lilith in the past is explored more fully in later stories.

Return to Entwined Souls, Severed Lives