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Waltzing in the Moonlight
The first time I saw Lily dance I had just graduated from Hogwarts, and I didn't know it was her. She was on top of the slope in the meadow behind the Burrow, silhouetted by the setting sun. My original intention for going into the meadow was to find a Quaffle that I'd lost earlier that day, but the minute I saw the dancer I was transfixed. What first drew my attention was the sunset – it looked like the grass was on fire – but it was the figure that captured and held me.
She had always been tall for her age, so in my teenage mind I saw a strange girl dancing, drawing the sun's fiery tendrils around her, then spinning them into a stunning cocoon of heat, colour and fluidity. It wasn't until the last vestiges of light vanished that I recalled why I'd come to the meadow in the first place, but by then it was too late – I was already happily imprisoned within the web of light and motion that was the dancer.
The first time I saw Lily dance with another person was at Victoire's engagement party, when she and one of the Scamander twins took to the floor. She had just turned fifteen, but with her tall willowy stature, intelligent amber eyes, and long auburn ringlets, she could have been twenty. Victoire and her Argentine fiancé had decided on a Latin-themed celebration, so the music had plenty of dancing – real dancing – songs sprinkled throughout the more modern stuff.
Lily hadn't danced at all that night (she disliked being the centre of attention), but when a tango began the twin insisted that they dance, and she didn't put up too much resistance. As she got caught up in the rhythm Lily began to take on an almost ethereal look, gliding effortlessly across the open dance floor.
Until that moment I hadn't known who the girl on the hill had been, but as I watched her dip and twirl across the wood I knew. This was the real Lily, just as the girl all those years ago had been – I was just too dense to realise it before. Time seemed to stand still while Lily danced, the personification of graceful elegance. Beside her, her partner was just a shadow – something that existed solely to enhance her brilliance.
Then the music ended and time remembered its purpose, leaving me with nothing but empty lungs and a heart thumping with confused emotions and forbidden desires.
The first time I danced with Lily it was the middle of the night, and there was no music. James had just gotten married to his Hogwarts sweetheart three days ago (it took them eight years to actually tie the knot), and only a couple relatives were still at Potter Manor. I couldn't sleep due to nightmares involving Auntie Muriel and tsunamis of lace confetti, so I was wandering around the day wing (no sleeping Weasleys to wake up) debating a foray to the kitchen.
As I slid noiselessly past the glass sun-room I saw that achingly familiar figure balanced on the balls of her feet, half illuminated by the almost-full moon. At that moment I was back in the meadow, watching – spellbound – as Lily transformed into a blazing ball of energy. Twelve years ago she had been fire: hot, violent, passionate. Now she was softer, made more of water and air than fire.
The filtered moonlight blurred her features until she was a moonbeam, swaying back and forth as though surrounded by spirits only she could see. Light seemed to linger on each strand of hair; faeries who at last had found someone who could enhance their luminescence instead of diminish it. Shadows swirled around her ankles as she waltzed with the night, as though stirred to action by her mere presence. But the thing that caught and drew me out of my role as a passive spectator was the minuscule, trembling smile that adorned her lips. The two pearly tears that gathered against her closed lids, hesitated for a second, then slid down her porcelain cheeks and plunged to the ground: fallen moonlight.
Bare feet making no noise on the cedar floor, I stride forward and catch her up in my arms, dislodging her fey companions as we waltz through the shattered moonlight. When I glance down into her amber orbs her lips form one unspoken syllable, “Teddy,” then curve into the most radiant smile ever to grace mankind.
I know then that never again will Lily dance alone, for I will always be beside her in both the dance of life and the dance of beauty. I will be the earth to Lily's fire, air, and water; the gravity to her orbit; the music to her dance. I am hers, no matter what.