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The Perfect Year by chemigal
Chapter 1: Shock and Horror
Chapter 1: Shock and Horror
Lily Evans surveyed her room, making sure that she hadn’t forgotten to pack anything obvious. She hadn’t of course, she had used the same packing list since first year and it never let her down. This year she had made only one small amendment, ‘prefect badge’ became ‘head girl badge’. She smiled to herself, enjoying the moment of total satisfaction which came with knowing everything she had worked so hard for had all come together. Her plans for making her seventh and final year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry perfect were on track.
Her mother called up the stairs, “Lily! Five minutes before we need to leave!”
Lily glanced at the clock on her bedside table; her mother was right. She picked up her handbag and double checked everything was in it. Her wand was lying on her bed so she added it to her bag, as there would be no need for it before she boarded the Hogwarts Express.
Mr Evans entered the room, gave her a grin and heaved the trunk into his arms. “Lily, why do you need so much stuff? I swear this gets heavier every year,” he said as he began to stagger towards the door.
“Well I supposed it’s because each year I come home with more notes and books which I then have to take back to school. Not to mention the shopping I get to do in Hogsmeade.” Lily grinned and skipped out of the room, leaving her father to struggle with the heavy trunk.
Mr Evans paused to readjust his grip and muttered, “That would explain it.”
Shortly after, her trunk was loaded into the boot of the family car, then Lily and her mother were on the way to King’s Cross station. The ride to the station always seemed to take forever, Lily hated it. Her mother always used the time to ask about the curriculum and what she had planned for the year, to which Lily always replied enthusiastically about the lessons and how she was going to work hard to get good marks. She knew this made her parents proud, and she couldn’t help feeling good about this.
Mrs Evans pulled up outside the station and together they lifted the heavy trunk out the boot and onto a trolley. Lily gave her another a tight hug and promised to write when she arrived.
“I do worry, honey,” Mrs Evans admitted, “as I don’t know much about your world.”
Lily giggled, “It’s fine, Mum. I’ll take care of myself.”
She gave her mother a quick kiss on the cheek and began pushing her trolley through the crowded station to platform nine and three-quarters. All around her she saw the tell-tale signs of witches and wizards: an owl cage, funny clothes and sometimes even a snatch of conversation.
Just as she reached the barrier between the muggle world and the platform, she heard the sound of running feet and was swung round into a fierce hug.
“Lily!” shrieked Anna, her best friend, “It’s been too long!”
“I know! We do need to hurry though, we only have five minutes.” Lily silently scolded herself for not leaving enough time, while Anna collected her trolley and positioned herself next to the barrier.
“Ready, Lily?” asked Anna, before pushing her way onto the platform where crowds of parents and siblings were waving goodbye.
The Hogwarts Express was as impressive as when she had first seen it, six years before. Gleaming red and billowing smoke overhead, Lily was always intimidated by the sheer size of it. Together, her and Anna wheeled their trolleys to exactly halfway along the platform and loaded their trunks into their usual compartment.
Surprisingly, their other friend, Jade, was already there, waiting impatiently for their arrival. “What took you so long?” she exclaimed, throwing her arms around both Lily and Anna.
“Just because you are always late doesn’t mean you can take it out on us when we arrive after you,” said Lily, who was still slightly frustrated with herself for being late.
“Yeah, what is this, Jade? New year, new leaf?” inquired Anna cheekily, taking a seat across from Jade and indicating Lily should join her.
“I’m sorry guys, but I have to go head girl duties in two minutes,” she apologised.
“Ooh,” squealed Jade, characteristically over excited, “Do you know who the head boy is yet?”
“No,” said Lily, before blushing and adding, “but hopefully it will be Amos Diggory. I don’t think Remus will be, you know he struggled with completing all his duties last year. Not entirely sure why, he just seemed to be exhausted the whole year.”
“I agree,” said Jade thoughtfully.
“Get me some snacks will you?” asked Lily as she left and began the walk up the train to the prefects’ compartment. The train was packed with people, only some of whom she recognised. There were excited first years, who had only found out they were witches and wizards a few days before, and seventh years, who had been at the school so long they felt it was about time they got to move on.
She used the time to day dream about sharing the heads’ dormitory with Diggory, Her mind lingered briefly on a scenario which involved them meeting just after he had showered, a towel wrapped around his waist and his blond hair hanging damp around his face.
Her day dream was interrupted by a voice asking, “So are we going to enter, Miss Evans, or just stand here looking dopey?”
Lily flushed and turned around to see James Potter standing, evidently waiting to enter the same compartment. “What are you doing here?” she asked, momentarily caught off guard. She had long detested the boy and found him arrogant, from the way he always ruffled his dark hair to the way he had an answer to everything.
“I’m about to introduce myself as the new head boy,” he replied, pushing gently past her and into the compartment where the prefects were already waiting.
Lily followed, mouth hanging open. This was entirely unexpected, where was the boy who had driven her up the wall for the past six years? James rarely missed an opportunity to humiliate her, and had frequently asked her out. Every time he opened his mouth she found herself getting wound up and snapping at him.
When she brought herself back to reality, she realised that all the prefects were looking expectantly at her. Quickly regaining her composure she smiled and introduced herself, “And I’m Lily Evans, also from Gryffindor.”
Lily had always tried to maintain her image of perfection, and she had just embarrassed herself by not paying attention to her own meeting. She hoped her face was not burning too brightly, and made extra efforts to pay attention to the meeting after her initial false start.
The meeting ended shortly after, and Lily hurried back to her usual compartment, her head spinning. She could not believe her perfect year was already off to such a poor start. She slid open the door, wondering how she was going to tell Jade and Anna that somehow James Potter was her head boy.
“Well?” demanded Jade, as she and Anna both watched Lily close the door and sit down.
“James Potter,” replied Lily, by way of an explanation.
“What has he done now?” asked Anna, sympathetically. They were both used to James winding up Lily and knew that the best thing to do was join in on the James-bashing that followed.
“He got head boy,” said Lily glumly, then added, “and he… he was good.”
“At what?” asked Anna, confused.
“He was mature and efficient in the meeting, while I just stood there in shock.”
“Maybe he has also turned over a new leaf,” said Jade, poking her tongue out at Anna. Jade had always been less anti-James than Lily and Anna, but since her suggestion a year ago that maybe Lily could give him a chance was forcefully shouted down, she was careful not to make the same mistake again.
After a few moments silence, Jade spoke up again, “Well sharing the heads’ dormitory with him will be an experience.
Lily stared at her. In all the excitement, she had totally forgotten this minor detail.