Dirty Blood

Chapter 39

A/N: New chapter! We're getting into some conflict! Some of you are gonna get mad at this, I bet! But here we are, this is happening, and I'm really looking forward to what will eventually resolve this conflict, honestly. You've stuck with me this long, let's do this.

(Chapter's also a little late today because YOU GUYS my vinyl of The Runaway's debut album came in and I had to listen to it! I can't wait until I get to the point in the timeline I can start making references to them in this story.)

Joshua, thanks for your review! I took Sirius' inappropriate/emotional laughter from the fact that after Peter framed him and he got arrested, he started laughing and everyone just thought he was insane. I thought that would be a fun thing to play with, glad you enjoy it. / Adeuh, I can't guarantee I won't end up missing weeks in the future due to writer's block but hopefully they will be far and few. Thanks for your review! / schak, thank you, I'm really trying with the slow breakdown of Lily and Snape's friendship, I keep thinking about my college best friend (not as bad as Snape, admittedly) and how before we had a huge falling out and never spoke again, we had been going a few months with the friendship kind of hanging by a thread. / candycane56, thank you for reviewing! / ForeverACharmedOne, I knew I could count on you to like my Hemingway joke, you're a real one, haha.

He swore to her that he hadn't done this. What did it mean for their friendship if she just disregarded all of that and chose to believe that he was lying?

Chapter Thirty-Nine: Never Mind The Friends I'm Making

What Dorcas wouldn't give to skip potions and go straight back to the dormitory to take a nap.

Don't get her wrong; she didn't mind the class. She couldn't really pinpoint any of her classes that she truly hated. The most negative feelings she had for potions was some mild frustration toward Slughorn for his blatant favoritism, but she wasn't about to let it keep her up all night that he wasn't as fond of her as he was of Lily or anyone else in his club.

But they were free to talk often during that class, and she and Emmeline would whisper about muggle music, muffled by the sounds of the bubbling cauldrons, and that was always nice.

The Hufflepuff was about halfway across the entrance hall to the staircase that would lead her to the dungeons when someone else nearly ran straight into her. She grabbed the smaller girl in Gryffindor robes by the elbow and eyed her in concern.

"Mary!" she said. "What's wrong?"

Mary MacDonald's face was streaked with tears, her head hanging low to avoid drawing attention to herself.

"I-It's nothing, really," Mary said, wiping at her eyes as soon as Dorcas let go of her.

"Did something happen in class? Are you okay?" Dorcas asked, unwilling to take the answer that the younger girl had provided.

"I-I don't know why I'm c-crying, it's just a stupid word," Mary said, sniffling slightly. Dorcas dug through her bag for a tissue and handed it to the other girl. Mary gladly took it. "Thank you."

"If it's upset you this much it's probably not stupid, okay? What happened?" Dorcas said. Mary shrunk back slightly as a group of Slytherin boys went by, laughing loudly as they went. Dorcas' eyes flicked between the familiar group and Mary. "Mary? Did they do something?"

"I know they were just t-trying to intimidate me before the next match," Mary said, wiping at her eyes again. "I just, I don't know why they had t-to call me…"

The younger girl went quiet, staring at her shoes.

"What did they call you?" Dorcas said, eyes darkening and already knowing the answer.

"Mudblood," Mary said softly.

"You go tell Professor McGonagall, okay? I'll take care of them," Dorcas said, giving Mary a tight hug.

"You don't have to do that, Dorcas, really—" Mary started, but Dorcas was already hot on the trail of the boys that had gone by, nostrils flared.

It took her no time to catch up with them, grabbing the back of Mulciber's robes and spinning him around, as he was the closest one to her.

"What's your deal?" she spat, glaring daggers as the group of boys snickered at her anger.

"Careful with the merchandise, Meadowes, or it'll be detention," Mulciber said, jabbing his thumb at the prefect badge on his robes.

"I know what you lot called Mary MacDonald and that's not going to fly, you got it?" Dorcas said, never wavering.

"Not going to fly, hm? Sort of like that cheap excuse for a broom you've got, Meadowes?" Rosier said, leaving the others in his group to laugh again.

"That's funny, I don't remember you doing a lot of flying during the last match, Rosier, how's your head?" Dorcas said dryly. "You can't go around calling people that, Quidditch rival or not, who the hell do you think you are?"

"Who do you think you are, telling us what we can and can't say?" Severus said. Dorcas cocked a brow. Curious, usually Severus stayed near the back of his group and didn't say much.

But then again, usually Dorcas was with Lily when she had to deal with this group. Her absence was clearly not lost on him.

"Her type love to try and tell people what to do and then say they're oppressed," Avery said with a roll of the eye.

Dorcas snarled, stepping forward with such force that Avery couldn't help but step back against the wall instinctively. "And what exactly would my type be, then?"

"The type that over-reacts to everything, Merlin's sake, back off," Mulciber said forcefully. Dorcas didn't move.

"You lot think you're so special and so superior when you didn't work for a single thing you have," Dorcas said.

"You lot think that it's everyone else's fault that you don't have anything," Avery challenged, stepping away from the wall as much as he could with Dorcas' feet planted firmly before him. "Pathetic! That's what you are, pathetic scum. Born into it and expecting someone else to drag you out."

Dorcas was not usually one to resort to hexing someone in the hallway but her wand was against Avery's throat so quickly it seemed instinctual. She barely had a moment to be surprised at her own action before another wand was pointed straight at her.

"Back off, Mudblood!" Severus said.

Everything else seemed to fade away. Suddenly Avery didn't matter anymore, and Dorcas turned to Severus, teeth clenched, wand now pointed at him.

"Call me that again," she whispered. "See what happens."

"I'm not afraid of a Hufflepuff Mudblood," Severus said. "I know spells you could never dream of."

"Flipendo!" Dorcas shouted, the first thing she could think of, and Severus easily deflected the charm.

"Sectumsempra!" Severus called in response and Dorcas dove out of the way, the stone of the wall behind her cracking as the spell hit it. She was on the floor, arm over her head instinctually.

What on earth was that spell? She had never heard of it before.

Two calls of "Expelliarmus!" rang through the air before Severus and Dorcas had a chance to continue their sad excuse for a duel, both of their wands slipping from their fingers as Lily and Emmeline approached, Remus at their heel.

"What's going on!?" Lily demanded. "Mary MacDonald told us we had better come down here and she was in tears."

"Meadowes is just looking for a fight, Evans," Mulciber said at once. "I think it's worth a week's detention myself.

"I somehow doubt that's what happened," Remus said, offering Dorcas his hand to help her up from the floor.

"We were just trying to get to class, she came up and started harassing us," Avery said. "She cast the first spell, Snape was just defending me."

"Yeah I cast the first spell," Dorcas said, teeth clenched and approaching Avery as though she was more than willing to take him on without her wand. Emmeline took her by her sleeve to stop her, struggling slightly, for Dorcas was much stronger than the Ravenclaw. "And I'd do it again, you good-for-nothing—!"

"What happened?" Lily demanded, raising her voice to be heard over the sound of the bell signaling the start of class.

"We just told you, but it looks like, as usual, anyone's word is better than a Slytherin's," Rosier scoffed.

"I ran into Mary," Dorcas said. "She said this lot had been trying to intimidate her, probably because they know she beat their seeker and she could very well beat ours at the next match and knock them out of first place. She also told me that they called her a—that they called her a Mudblood."

Remus and Emmeline's expression darkened. Lily visibly winced at the word.

"So I told them off, and yeah, I pulled my wand on Avery because he was talking shit and then this prat," Dorcas said, pointing to Severus, "Decided to call me—ugh, he called me a Mudblood, too. So, yes, I cast the first spell. Give me the detention."

Lily turned from Dorcas to Severus, her eyes pleading. He glanced her way only briefly before straightening his stance and clearing his throat. "I honestly don't know what you're talking about."

"Oh fuck off," Dorcas growled.

"No, I really don't," Severus said.

"We saw MacDonald, yeah, but we didn't call her that," Rosier said innocently.

"And Snape never said a word to you, Meadowes," Avery nodded.

"We're reporting all of you, just to be clear," Remus said.

"Yes, I'm late for potions, I'll just inform Slughorn when Dorcas and I get there and I'm sure he'll want to meet with you all later," Emmeline said. She cast a glance toward Mulciber. "Especially you, seeing as you didn't do anything to stop this, prefect."

"It's such a shame, Vance, that you took after your whore of a mother's tendency to try and drag decent wizard folk with you through the mud," Mulciber snarled.

Emmeline's eyes narrowed but before she could utter a word, Remus had stepped between them, much taller than both of them, and his scars lending to making him look more intimidating in that moment. "I don't see any decent wizard folk around here, Mulciber, just you. And funny enough, you're the only one making yourself look bad, as usual."

"Right, because you're a grand judge of character, Lupin, look at your friends," Severus sneered.

"My friends would never call someone a slur, actually," Remus said. "Which is more than you lot can say. Now, why don't you idiots head to class, and when Lily and I get there, Snape can have his wand back."

"You can't tell us what to do, half-breed," Rosier said, attempting to look intimidating, which failed spectacularly because Remus was taller than he was as well.

"Yes, actually, I can," Remus said, pointing to his own prefect badge. "Or do you want to make this worse? You'll probably lose your lead in the house points as it is at this point."

Reluctantly, and with matching scowls, the group of Slytherins began heading for the Transfiguration classroom. Severus was near the end of the group, slowing down enough to lean over to Lily and say pleadingly, "I never said anything, Lily, really."

He set a hand to her shoulder briefly before following the others.

"Can you believe him? What a bold-faced lie!" Dorcas snarled as the Slytherins turned the corner.

"We believe you, Dorcas," Emmeline said, setting a hand to Dorcas' shoulder and squeezing it gently.

"That whole group uses that word all the time, I don't know why they think we would believe they didn't," Remus sighed.

Remus and Emmeline were watching the Slytherins walk off in unsurprised disappointment. Dorcas' eyes were fixed on Lily, who stood with her arms crossed before her, staring at her shoes and biting her lip.

"Hey," Dorcas said to her. "I know it's hard for you to hear that, I know you and Severus are close and all—"

"Are you sure that's what happened?" Lily said softly.

Dorcas cocked a brow, taking a small step back as though what Lily had said was comparable to a light shove. She certainly hadn't expected that. "What do you mean?"

"Maybe you misheard is all," Lily said. Dorcas was not the only one watching her incredulously. Remus and Emmeline stood behind the Hufflepuff with unflinching frowns as Lily spoke. She shifted her weight from foot to foot beneath their gaze.

"I didn't mishear! Do you think I would make this up?" Dorcas demanded, squaring her shoulders and looking Lily straight in the face, even if the redhead refused to do the same. "What's so hard to believe about it?"

"I just—I don't think that Sev would—" Lily started.

"That he would what? Look me in the eye and call me 'Mudblood?'" Dorcas said, Lily visibly wincing at the word again. "Because he did, Lily."

"Look, I'm not saying you're lying, I'm saying maybe you're mistaken. Sev's one of my best friends and—"

"I thought I was one of your best friends."

"You are!"

"Then why the hell are you defending the guy that threw a slur at me?"

"I'm not, I just—it doesn't sound like the Severus I know."

"Well, it's the Severus the rest of us know, Lily."

Lily fell silent at this, Remus and Emmeline watching on awkwardly, casting each other questioning glances every few moments as though to ask if they should step in or what on earth they should say to make this better.

Could anything be done to make this better?

It was all happening so fast.

"I don't think—" Lily started, finally. Dorcas' rage would not calm, however, and she did not allow the redhead to finish.

"Wake up, he spends all his time with a group of idiots that want nothing more than to be Death Eaters, laugh when the Dark Mark shows up on campus like it's a real funny joke, and say we're all over-reacting when they call us something specifically designed to dehumanize us," Dorcas said. "You really don't think he's okay with all of that? That he doesn't want to take the mark too?"

"Severus wouldn't—" Lily said, shaking her head.

"You honestly don't think that's what he's going for? That he'd hang out with Death Eaters but oh, no, he'd never be one. He spends his free time coming up with so many dark spells to the point that he has a reputation for it, but oh no, he'd never use them. He'd never call someone a Mudblood," Dorcas said, cringes following the word again. "Or maybe it's just that he wouldn't call you one."

"He wouldn't," Lily said, almost pleadingly. She wanted them all to see Severus for who she saw him as, she always had, but it was clear now, more than ever, that it wasn't going to happen.

"Well, he called me one," Dorcas said. "And you know what, maybe you're okay with that. Maybe you don't care about him joining a cult trying to wipe out muggles and muggleborns as long as you're not one of them. But I do. This is bigger than you and me, this is about everyone like us."

"Don't say I don't care! You know I care!" Lily said, clearly insulted that Dorcas would imply such a thing. "I just don't think that Severus—"

"Look, if this is the hill you want to die on, Lily, I won't stop you. If you want to defend someone who would not do the same for you, especially if you were literally any other muggleborn at this school, then fine. But leave me out of it. I am not interested in hearing about how he's really a fine guy outside his prejudices and his shitty friends. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm late for class," Dorcas said, turning her heel immediately, her robes and curls fluttering behind her as she went.

Lily watched her go, green eyes wide and mouth agape. Once Dorcas turned the corner, the redhead turned to her fellow prefects and said, "Can you believe that?!"

"Er..." Remus said hesitantly.

"Do you want us to tell you the truth or what you want to hear?" Emmeline said.

Lily's shoulders fell. "Em, I swear—"

"Lily, I know you and Severus are close, I know that you know him better than we do, but based on what I do know? Based on who he hangs out with, based on how he spends his free time? Of course I believe Dorcas," Emmeline said.

"I do know Severus, and he's not a bad guy, really. A-And what about what she said about me not caring unless it's affecting me? I promise, it's not true," Lily said, now chewing on her lip so voilently that she was sure to draw blood soon. They had to believe that wasn't true. What would she do if her friends thought her to be so careless?

"We know you care, Lily," Remus said. "It's a weird situation with both of them being your friend."

"Maybe you and Dorcas can talk it out later, after everyone's had a chance to calm down," Emmeline said. She gestured in the direction Dorcas had left. "I'd better go, though, I should be in potions right now, too. I need to talk to Slughorn about what happened and give Dorcas her wand back."

"Right," Lily said, staring at the ground. Emmeline offered the Gryffindors an awkward wave before heading off.

"We should head back to class, too," Remus said to Lily, who nodded, walking after him, still not looking up from the floor. Tears were welling in her eyes out of frustration.

Severus couldn't have said that. He wouldn't. He would never. He was the first person to tell her that it didn't make a difference, that it didn't matter if her parents were muggles or not. He introduced her to magic; he was a constant between the two worlds she was torn between.

He couldn't have called Dorcas that.

But Dorcas wouldn't lie, a nagging voice in her head said.

No! Severus would never call Lily a Mudblood and surely that meant he would never call anyone else that. It didn't make sense to just apply that to her and no one else. He had some odd hobbies, sure, but that didn't make him a Death Eater!

Still, as Lily followed Remus into Transfiguration, the boy explaining in hushed tones to McGonagall why they had been late, she could feel her stomach turn as everything Dorcas and Severus had said echoed through her mind.

She settled into her seat between Marlene and Severus, setting Severus' wand that she still had from disarming him beside him. Severus hardly looked up from his notes and seemed exceptionally less bothered by what had happened than she was.

Going through the motions, she pulled out her parchment, ink bottle, and quill to take notes as McGonagall introduced them to a new spell, one that she stressed was on the O.W.L.s seven of the last ten years. That should be enough to make Lily focus on anything except what had just happened in the hallway.

But she couldn't, barely managing to write a word every few minutes, none of which would help her study later.

I can't lose Severus, was a thought that flitted in and out of her mind.

Gabriel had just recently broken up with her, left her behind because she didn't want to move as quickly as he did. She felt like there were so many expectations of her, expectations that her friends like Marlene and Alice were all too comfortable living up to.

But Severus didn't expect anything of her. He was the only one of her male friends that wasn't tainted with some sort of romantic expectation, or in Remus' case, a past attempt at romance that had failed spectacularly. He didn't want any of that out of her; he didn't expect her to do anything she wasn't comfortable with. He couldn't care less about romantic endeavors.

She couldn't lose that.

She couldn't lose the boy that used to stand on the back of her bicycle as she sped around the neighborhood. She couldn't lose the boy that told her so much about the magical world before she ever set foot on the Hogwarts Express, allowing her not to be as clueless as so many of the other muggleborns were. She couldn't lose the boy that was like a brother to her when her sister no longer wanted anything to do with her.

Severus was there before Marlene, he was there before Dorcas, and he was there before Emmeline.

He swore to her that he hadn't done this. What did it mean for their friendship if she just disregarded all of that and chose to believe that he was lying?

It was too much. She couldn't go through a break-up and lose her childhood best friend so close together.

She couldn't face her childhood best friend being as terrible as everyone told her that he was. She just couldn't.

But can I really lose Dorcas instead?

Lily's stomach turned and she hoped no one noticed her wiping at her eyes.

She didn't want any of this.

"She was still really mad when we got through potions and had to go explain to Sprout what happened," Emmeline was saying at dinner that night, sitting at the Gryffindor table with Marlene and Lily.

After class they had learned that Mary MacDonald had reported the incident to McGonagall while they were busy disarming Severus and Dorcas. While Mary knew that someone in that group had called her a Mudblood, her back had been turned and she wasn't sure which one it was. All the Slytherins had been given two weeks detention and had lost fifty points each. Dorcas had been given one week, and lost fifty points as well.

The group of Slytherins were back to looking smug as ever, laughing loudly at their table on the opposite end of the hall. Dorcas was sitting at the Hufflepuff table with her roommates, seeming to have a pleasant enough conversation, but very purposely not looking anywhere near the Gryffindor table.

"I mean I don't blame her," Marlene said. "What did she say when you were just over there?"

Emmeline had arrived to dinner after the others. Marlene and Lily were already at the Gryffindor table, while Dorcas had settled with the Hufflepuffs, and with a heavy sigh, Emmeline had walked over to Dorcas to talk to her. After a few minutes, she had plopped down next to Marlene, where she still sat, picking at her plate.

"I asked if she wanted to come sit over here and maybe talk it out. She said that she already said her piece and was perfectly fine where she was and thanked me for checking in," Emmeline said.

"She doesn't think we're taking sides, does she?" Marlene said, glancing Dorcas' way.

"Oh, no," Emmeline said, shaking her head.

"Good," Marlene said.

"I'm right here!" Lily said, frustrated. She had been on the verge of tears the entire meal.

"Well, sorry, Lily, but you know how we feel about him," Marlene shrugged.

"So you think he said it," Lily frowned. "Sounds like taking sides to me."

"I mean if you want us to go sit over there," Emmeline said, pointing to the Hufflepuff table.

Lily sighed. The fact that the worst she had gotten from Marlene and Emmeline was judgmental glances was probably a blessing at this point since Dorcas seemed determined not to talk to her at all. "No… no, I don't."

"Look, Lily, we still like you… we just don't like this, or Severus," Marlene said. "But we also know you're having a hard time with it since you've known him so long, I mean, you've been looking like you're gonna cry ever since class."

"Yeah, well," Lily sighed, crossing her arms before her on the table's surface and setting her head down atop them.

"You're stealing my pose there," Emmeline said, poking her gently.

"I'm gonna stay here until things go back to normal," Lily mumbled.

"That doesn't work, I promise," Emmeline said.

"What's wrong, Evans, still upset about Fuckley?" James Potter said, seeming to appear out of nowhere and sliding into the vacant spot beside Lily.

"James, bad time," Marlene said, slicing her hand across her throat.

"Really bad time," Emmeline added.

"Because I can take care of him for you! Just say the word and he'll wake up with his bed on top of Ravenclaw tower. I would do that for you, Evans," James said, completely ignoring Marlene and Emmeline's warnings.

Lily did not lift her head, her shoulders twitching slightly as though she had started to cry. When she spoke, her voice was hoarse. "Go away, Potter."

James cocked a brow and his smirk vanished as he glanced between Lily and her friends, who where still gesturing for him to leave.

"I didn't expect you to cry, Evans, shit," he said, hesitantly and gently patting her shoulder.

"Go away," she said again. "You can't help."

"Get lost, really," Marlene said.

James put his hands up in defeat and stood from the bench. After casting Lily another confused glance, he shuffled off to the part of the table where the Marauders had been sitting. They couldn't hear him from where they sat but could only assume that he was asking Remus what the hell was going on.

"Lily?" Marlene said, gently setting a hand on top of the redhead's.

"I don't think I can get out of this without losing one of them as a friend," Lily said into the tables, her shoulders still shaking with sobs.

Marlene and Emmeline exchanged glances.

Fucking Severus, Marlene mouthed to the Ravenclaw. Emmeline rolled her eyes and nodded, leaning forward to gently stroke Lily's hair.

"I mean. I don't know what to tell you, Lily… you've got to evaluate your relationship with both of them, and decide whose version you believe," Marlene said, attempting to sound gentle, but annoyance seeping into her tone as she went.

"I mean, it kind of seems like you already did," Emmeline said.

Lily didn't respond. What was there to say?

They would never understand where she was coming from, and she didn't want to fight them on it and possibly lose them as well.

Instead, she continued to sob into the table, hoping that no one else would take notice. She didn't want to explain this to anyone else.

There had to be something she could do.

It had taken Lily ages to find Severus without his housemates so that she could talk to him. Talking during class was not much of an option, and as they had all purposefully taken the same electives, they traveled in a pack between classes, as well.

(Merlin, even the Marauders didn't all have the same schedule!)

But finally, during a free period, she caught him on the way out of the library, all by himself, and had taken him by the elbow. She dragged him off so forcefully that she had almost knocked the poor boy over. Finding a quiet place near a frosty window, she finally turned to talk to the very confused Slytherin.

"What's going on?" Severus said.

"Dorcas," Lily said immediately.

Severus rolled his eyes, sighing heavily. "What about her?"

"She won't talk to me because I defended you after she said you called her a—well, you know," Lily said, her stomach turning slightly even thinking about Severus calling anyone that, much less her dear friend.

"And?" Severus said, crossing his arms before him and raising a brow to her.

"And, obviously this whole thing was a misunderstanding," Lily said. "So, can you please talk to her? Clear the air?"

"Why on earth would I do that?" Severus said.

Lily frowned. "Because she thinks you called her something terrible, don't you want her to know that's not true? What did you say that she heard... well, you know?"

"I didn't call her anything," Severus said with a slight shrug, looking deliberately out the window. "And I have no interest in making peace with someone willing to lie about that."

Lily was silent for a moment. Dorcas, well, she wouldn't lie about something like this, she was sure. But Severus insisted he hadn't said anything, and they had been friends for so long, surely he wouldn't lie either.

"Well then maybe she heard someone else and thought it was you, there's some explanation, I'm sure," Lily said. "Dorcas wouldn't lie about this, it had to have just been a misunderstanding, like I said."

"Why wouldn't she lie about it? Your little 'girl power' group hates me, they haven't exactly been shy about that," Snape said, finally glancing back at Lily. "They probably just want you to drop me as a friend entirely. Next Vance will be concocting a tale about something I supposedly said about her mother."

"They don't go around making things up, Sev," Lily said immediately. Sure, her friends didn't like him but—well, okay, they really didn't like him. At all. They had all made it very clear.

Marlene had asked several times why Lily bothered being friends with him at all. Emmeline tended not to bring him up if she could help it, but her far and few comments were enough to hint at a not-so-great opinion of the boy. Dorcas usually was the most positive of the bunch, but obviously that had changed.

"Mmhm," Severus said dismissively. "Look, I'm not interested in what your friends think of me, Lily, they're just like everyone else that think Potter and his friends can do no wrong and I'm just the punch line to their jokes, so what's the point?"

Lily cocked a brow. "What the hell does Potter have to do with any of this? I just want you to clear the air with Dorcas so—"

"So she'll talk to you again? Maybe you're better off," Severus said with a shrug.

"Fine! You don't want to talk to Dorcas. So why don't you tell me what actually happened so that I can talk to her, then?" Lily demanded, her patience wearing thin as the seconds ticked by and Severus continued to avoid her eye and dismiss what she didn't think was an unreasonable request.

"We've been over this. Meadowes came looking for a fight, I didn't call her anything," Severus said.

"Well who called Mary you-know-what and prompted Dorcas to go after you, then?" Lily said.

"Avery did okay? It wasn't me," Severus said. "What does it matter? He was just getting competitive over Quidditch."

"Funny how no one on the Gryffindor team gets competitive in that way," Lily said.

"Ah, the noble house of Gryffindor, may we all dream of being as righteous," Severus said mockingly. "It's just a word, Lily, he was caught up in the moment."

"It's not just a word," Lily said. "Did you call Dorcas that or not?"

"I already told you that I didn't! What's with the interrogation?" Severus said, irritation seeping into his features to match hers. "Don't you trust me?"

"Of course I trust you! You're my best friend, but the people you're hanging out with are just—" Lily started.

Severus cut her off. "Look, maybe it's for the best that we just don't talk to each other about our friends, it never ends well. I don't like yours, you don't like mine. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to go get ready for the Slytherin's Defense Against the Dark Arts study group, I'll see you around."

With a swish of his cloak he was off. Lily kicked the nearby wall in frustration, cringing immediately as pain shot up her foot.

When did friendship get so hard?