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Chapter 1: The One with the Introductions
Thanks to Potterwatch124 at TDA for the gorgeous chapter image!
I looked out of my bedroom window and sighed. It was peaceful; no cars drove along the small street and only a few lights here and there illuminated the small, neat houses. It was quiet.
I narrowed my eyes at the empty street and cursed the area for its lack of fun. I pulled the curtains across my window and went into the small ensuite bathroom that I shared with my sister Petunia. I looked around at the décor in disdain; I mean, who the hell chooses salmon paint for a bathroom? It’s ridiculous; salmon is a fish not a colour.
Once I had finished brushing my teeth and hair, I pulled the blind across my bathroom window and went back into my bedroom. I sat on my bed and started to pull the curtains across my window when a movement caught my eye in the house next door.
It was James Potter; he was sitting on his bed talking to Sirius Black, his best friend. They were talking animatedly and James was waving his hands about wildly. I wondered what they could be discussing that made them look so… so serious. Just so we’re clear, there is nothing serious about those boys. Nothing at all.
Just then James caught my eye and waved; Sirius turned around to see what James was grinning at and when he caught sight of me, a broad smile spread across his face. Consider the moment of seriousness broken, shattered all over the carpet. Well I assume it’s on the carpet, I can’t see James’ floor from where I’m sitting.
When I realized I’d been staring at the boys for a few seconds too long, I waved and quickly closed the curtains. The pink curtains. Stupid Petunia and her stupid obsession with the various different shades of pink.
Being Lily Evans is not easy I tell you. James Potter my seasonal neighbour and occasional friend likes to make me very uncomfortable with all his date proposals and talk of love. I also have to practically babysit my friends otherwise they’d get arrested and my sister is a horse-faced, living nightmare. Sometimes I think it would be easier to just run away and live in a cave in the mountains. I could eat the fish I catch from the river and see out the rest of my days as a lonely spinster. I already reckon I’m going to end up alone and owning forty cats but that’s okay because I like cats. Well actually I think they’re evil but that’s only because my dorm mates own the cat mafia and that’s forever scarred my view of the feline race. I suppose I could be a crazy owl lady. That sounds good, although my house would resemble Hogwarts’ owlery and I can’t stand mess.
Well anyway back to the topic of discussion, James and I aren’t exactly the best of friends. Let me just catch you up on the last six years.
James jumped out of his boat which was taking us to the castle, swam over and tried to get into mine. Let’s just say the lake is cold.
Very cold. Although fighting off the Giant Squid is a great way to make friends.
James wrote to my parents and asked for my hand in marriage. The audacity of the bloke, I’ve only known him two years and here he is already expecting me to marry him!
Men these days are always expecting so much.
But instead of laughing the whole thing off and saying yeah right, whatever mate, my parents thought it would be a fan-bloody-tastic idea to agree! So technically we’re betrothed. Bloody parents, they thought it was hilarious when I came home for the Christmas holidays engaged.
James, his friends (they called themselves the Marauders and the name kind of stuck), my friends and I played a game of truth or dare in the common room. We were sat in a circle by the armchairs. He was dared to kiss me and before I could so much as hide under a rock, James had shuffled over and pecked me very quickly on the lips. Well he was aiming for my cheek but I jerked my head to the side and he seriously misjudged it. There was a lot of blushing and teasing after that and he didn’t speak to me for a week. It was so fast it can’t really count as a first kiss but I still blame him for stealing it.
James wrote a very erm detailed love letter describing my physical qualities and gave it to me in Transfiguration. He compared my hair to the ‘luscious’ red colour of roses, said my skin was as white as snow -I did actually take offence to that one, I mean he basically called me a vampire; it was a fantastic confidence boost, really- and complimented my ‘sparkly emerald’ eyes. Unfortunately for me, Professor McGonagall confiscated the note, which James had put glitter on by the way and read it out to the class. I was mortified and I very nearly almost spent the rest of my life with a paper bag over my head.
James gave me a box of chocolates. I thought oh finally something I’ll enjoy because hey, who doesn’t love chocolate? He left them in a heart shaped box on my bed. I ate one and realized a little too late that they were coconut chocolates. Cue panic and attempted screaming because as fate would have it, just so happens I’m allergic to coconut. That little mistake cost me a week in the hospital wing and two months in the dog house for James.
James thought he’d give me a pet –totally ignoring my owl Frank of course, love of my life he is- but James is not the smartest wizard alive. He found me a Niffler. Of all the animals, he got me a Niffler. Bloody brilliant, I tell you. And then, he put it in my bedroom so it could surprise me. Not only did I kill him, but so did all of my friends because we were all skint for the rest of the term and had to ration the Honeydukes chocolate.
We’ve not had the best experiences together. When I’m screaming at him for trying to charm fireworks to follow me around all day spelling out J.P + L.E, some people mistake this intense display of emotion as my deep hatred for the boy. I don’t hate James and his miscreants at all, quite the opposite usually. It’s just that I’m more cynical than anything. James goes around with his grand romantic gestures and orders a lily for every day he’s ever loved me (which is by the way incredibly unoriginal and totally cliché because even though my name is Lily my favourite flowers are actually sunflowers) and it was entirely pointless because it didn’t change the way I felt about him.
And just so we’re clear, I don’t hate romance because I’m bitter and alone. I want to straighten that out now, before you think I’m twisted and hate other people’s happiness. I could get a boyfriend if I wanted to I just choose not to. My friend Abi was always on at me to find somebody. I’m only seventeen for christ-sake, who needs a partner now? I still have N.E.W.T’s and other stuff to do and think about. Having a boyfriend is just way too much work and effort.
I heard a knock on the door downstairs and I paused, listening. There was another sharp knock. My parents won’t be home until at least 12 and Petunia’s off with her boyfriend the walrus. Who could it be?
“Liiiiiiiiiiily, oh Liiiiiiiiiiilyflower!” Okay scratch the last statement, it can only be one person.
“James Bloody Potter if that’s you, then there will be dire consequences!” I shouted as I thumped down the stairs. Once in the hallway I flicked the light on and opened the front door. I groaned audibly because stood in my doorway were a suave James Potter and a roguish Sirius Black. Plus a large bouquet of lilies, hold the applause.
“Yes?” I sighed. James grinned, and ran a hand through his hair creating a windswept look. That’s the style right now; you have to look as if you’ve just fallen off a broom. Sexiest look ever, honest.
He looked me up and down and smirked. I looked down quickly and realized that I was actually only wearing a very indecently short nightgown. I wasn’t expecting company so I threw on one of my old ones! I blushed and ignored the fact that I was practically naked; until Sirius whistled appreciatively at me. I rolled my eyes and looked over at James expectantly, raising an eyebrow. Yeah, I’ve pretty much mastered that now.
“I wanted to visit you my love,” James bowed and kissed my hand extravagantly. “Oh and these are for you,” he handed me the flowers.
“Erm thanks love,” I gingerly took the flowers and placed them on the table inside. “So err what can I do for you boys this fine evening?”
“Jamesiepoo wanted to see how his Lily was doing,” Sirius grumbled, flicking James on the side of the head. I rolled my eyes.
“Lily is fine now go away.”
“That’s no way to talk to your future husband Lilykins!” James said, grinning. My jaw dropped even though I knew he was kidding. Well I hoped.
Husband? I don’t think so. I find it hard to commit to the same toothbrush let alone a man.
“Don’t even joke dude.”
“Don’t forget Prongs, we’re talking to the Virgin Mary here,” Sirius rolled his eyes. I couldn’t help but blush. Like I said before, boys weren’t my main concern. Doesn’t mean I don’t get a lot of stick for it. I narrowed my eyes and opened my mouth to let out a string of bad language.
“Relax Lily,” Sirius said with an easy smile. “We all know you’re a commitmentphobe at heart.”
“Says you, Mister All-my-relationships-are-based-around-how-much-sex-I-can-have-before-two-hours-are-up!” I smacked Sirius lightly on the arm. He crossed his arms in mock-anger and pouted.
“Actually my relationships are always deep and very emotional.”
James and I burst out laughing. I was bent over, clutching my stomach from the pain but I still couldn’t stop laughing and James had given up all hope and was currently rolling around on my lawn.
“Guys it’s really not that funny,” Sirius protested weakly.
I wiped tears from my eyes, “Sirius it’s so untrue it’s hilarious!” I choked out. He grinned and shrugged.
“Hey, I like to make sure there’s enough Sirius to go round,” he winked. James let out one last chuckle before he heaved himself up off the ground and wiped his eyes.
“Sorry Paddy,” he croaked, “just too funny.” Sirius just rolled his eyes and lightly punched his friend.
“So how long have you been at your great aunt’s?” I directed this question at James in an attempt to steer the conversation away from relationships. James’ great aunt Hilda lived next door to me and he and Sirius stayed with her for the last few nights every summer until we went back to school.
“We just got here this afternoon,” he replied, looking down at his feet.
“Why so late?”
“Mum and Dad were only called out this morning so we had a few more days at home,” James explained. His tone and face were suddenly sombre and I felt bad for him. His parents were Aurors so they were away quite a bit. But James had Sirius so he didn’t get too lonely I suppose.
“Well listen boys this has been fun but I have important matters to attend to upstairs-” I stepped inside.
“What do you have a boy up there?” James demanded, coming towards me.
“Woah there,” I said. “Why would I have a boy up there? You overestimate my seducing abilities good sir.”
“What abilities?” Sirius joked.
I pointed at him, “bingo.”
James smirked and came right up to my face, “I think you underestimate your abilities,” he whispered in my ear. His breath tickled my cheek and I felt a blush claw its way up my face. My heart had just dropped down somewhere near my feet and my stomach was somewhere on the lawn.
“Well- I err- um- I think- well erm-” I stuttered, the blush just intensifying with every word I choked out. James winked and began to turn away, Sirius smirking at me as they did so. I swallowed and tried to compose myself.
“Oh and James; my favourite flowers are sunflowers,” I said quickly. Cheap shot I know but I desperately tried to regain control of the situation. “Lilies smell funny.” I closed the door and sighed in relief as I heard him shout.
“Seriously? After six years you choose to tell me this? Do you know how expensive lilies are?!”
Order has been restored.
“Oh Lily?” I stopped as I heard James call from outside. “I have a surprise for you tomorrow.”
I grimaced and tried to ignore my heart which appeared to be attempting to escape from my chest. What just happened? James does stuff like that all the time and I’ve never actually blushed before. I shook my head; it’s probably just hormones.
I stuck my finger through the bars of the cage which had my owl, Frank in, and he nipped it affectionately. I moved over and went into the bathroom and splashed some cold water on my face. I deliberately ignored the mirror above the sink because to look at how red my face was would probably end up killing me. I collapsed onto my bed with a groan.
Moving on from James Potter, I should probably tell you a little more about my group of friends. Or warn you. Both are viable.
My friends: Jess, Molly, Abi and Niki. Craziest bunch of nutters you will ever meet.
James’ friends (who are also kind of my friends): Sirius, Remus and Peter. Freakiest group of weirdos you will ever come across.
We work though, kind of.
Let’s start with Jess shall we, right well where to begin? Jessica Clarke is the small, bouncy blonde type (call her Jessica and she may actually bite you). She likes her pranks and she loves making things blow up, rather a specialty of hers actually. It’s a worrying talent but she argues it’s going to come in handy one day. She was on the quidditch team last year but had forgotten and never turned up to practice. She always made it to the games but I don’t think James’ –who had just gotten captain- heart could take much more of the stress, so he kicked her off. The resulting argument was not a pretty one. Jess is currently dating Remus which is a weird mix because Remus is Jess’ polar opposite in every way.
Remus Lupin loves to read and unlike our other friends, he does all of his homework for all of his lessons. Although Remus is kind of quiet, he’s a Marauder for a reason. He’s good at doing the spell work in the majority of their pranks I’m told. Remus and I have been prefects since fifth year and were lucky enough to be paired with each other for rounds. Although I’ve been given the position of Head girl (I thought I was going to pass out when I received the letter) so he’ll have to do rounds with whoever replaced me as a prefect. We also tend to sit in the Library a lot to study but Jess and Molly usually find a way to disturb our peace.
Molly Wood, she’s a fun person; if you like crazy weirdos who eat strange Arabic jellybeans and are banned from several parts of the castle. Molly hates sports but isn’t exactly what you would call an academic either. She and Jess are pretty much joined at the hip; they do absolutely everything together and most definitely share a brain. They both thoroughly enjoy blowing things up and Molly often thinks with her Gryffindor and not her head, which can lead to some sticky situations. Without Abi, Nicola and I thinking on our feet, Jess and Molly would probably be in Azkaban right now.
Abigail Bell is the sweetheart of our group. Now don’t take that literally because she is most definitely not a sweetheart, it’s just what other people who don’t know us very well think. Abi is lovely but like me she has a bit of a temper on her and once you get her going, she really gets going. Lucky for us that’s not often. She’s very sporty –even though she won’t admit it- and has a love of dance, quidditch and running. James and Abi –who is one of the Chasers on Gryffindor’s team- can sit for hours and just plan out the Quidditch teams’ strategy. Peter has had a cute, albeit kind of creepy crush on Abi since third year and likes to follow her around like a puppy.
Peter Pettigrew is pretty quiet but does have his funny moments. Unfortunately for him, he’s used a lot in Jess and Molly’s pranks, usually as a diversion. Peter’s shining glory would have to be his talent at chess. No one can beat him, ever. Nicola is a fantastic chess player but not even she can win against him.
Nicola Johnson is like a miniature Hagrid, in all aspects. She’s got outrageously bushy hair and has a horrible –and at times life threatening- love of magical creatures. The dangerous illegal ones to be exact. Now don’t get me wrong, Nicola’s incredibly intelligent but sometimes her empathy can stamp on her common sense and kill it just a little bit. Hagrid was giving a lesson on Blast-Ended Skrewts for the sixth years when we were in fourth year and the Skrewts started to kill each other off, once they began to get big. So Nicola decided to adopt one and tried to make us help her build a pen in the dorm for it. She even tried to carry it around in her backpack. It only lasted two weeks until someone gave Professor McGonagall an ‘anonymous’ tip off that Nik was hiding it and she took it back to Hagrid. It may or may not have been Sirius. In his defence, it singed the ends of his hair.
Sirius Black is most definitely the Hogwarts playboy. I don’t think he’s ever had a relationship which lasted more than a week. Sirius is clever but he spends most of his time picking up girls, so his classwork tends to take a backseat most of the time. That and he’s incredibly self-obsessed. He has a comb for every day of the week! Personally my favourite is Arnold, the flowery pink Wednesday comb but that’s a little beside the point.
Sirius and James have been practically inseparable since first year and (although Jess and Molly vehemently deny it) they are the reigning prank kings of Hogwarts. I do actually get on well with Sirius, despite our very obvious differences and his many flaws. That was a joke by the way.
And those are my bestest friends ever. We’re pretty popular around Hogwarts, although in my opinion, not for all the right reasons. We’re a tight-knit group and rely on each other for a lot.
My eyes were beginning to close and a haze had settled over my brain. It was obviously time to sleep but I jumped up quickly and ran to the calendar on my wall first. I searched for the date marked with the big red cross and grinned when my eyes found it. September 1st.
A/N- This is my first fanfiction so I hope you guys enjoy! Reviews are appreciated!