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Three days before the beginning of term, the Evans decided they would go to London with both their daughters in the morning. Hearing that, Petunia spent the evening imploring her parents – she wanted to stay at a friend’s house, a girl named Ruby, who lived in the neighbourhood. But they were adamant: they were a family and she would get to know the world to which her sister belonged.
It wasn’t easy for them either, but they couldn’t understand Petunia’s reaction. They were open-minded people. They knew that there were many mysteries in the world, and maybe the fact that there were witches and wizards was part of the answer.
So the four of them would go to London. Lily had to buy her books and equipment, and according to the letter, there was only one place for that: Diagon Alley.
Mr and Mrs Evans looked it up on a map, but obviously it was nowhere to be found… Fortunately, they had the address of an establishment: the Leaky Cauldron. They would start from there.
That night, as they were going to bed though, Mrs Evans gave voice to her doubts for the first time.
"Do you think we’re doing the right thing in sending her there, honey?"
Mr Evans turned to her, visibly surprised by her question. "I thought you agreed it was the only thing to do."
"I do! It’s just…" She tried to turn her nebulous thoughts into coherent sentences and finally, she just laughed soflty at her own fears. "I guess I would worry as much if we were about to send her to any normal boarding school. She’s my baby and I’m being overprotective."
He smiled at his wife. "You wouldn’t be the woman I fell in love with if you weren’t a bit worried about Lily’s safety." He took her in his arms and whispered, after kissing the top of her head: "But she will be fine, you’ll see. She is a witch and she must be given the opportunity to live that life."
And so they went to London, Lily fidgeting in the backseat, Petunia scowling and giving her sidelong glares.
At first, the Leaky Cauldron only showed itself to Lily, then Mr and Mrs Evans could see it too – but Petunia would have bumped into the doorframe if she hadn’t crossed the threshold so close on her mother’s and father’s heels.
"You must be about to go to Hogwarts, young lady," said the bartender with a smile to a wide but sparkling eyed Lily.
The girl was looking around her in awe.
Petunia’s eyes were like saucers too, but for a different reason – she was afraid. She didn’t want to have anything to do with "that lot", as she contemptuously called the wizards and witches. But contempt was fine as long as she was far away from any of them.
"Yes, sir," Lily answered with dignity. Which proved to be difficult, because were those people moving in that painting hung to the left of the backdoor? "I’m looking for a place called Diagon Alley," she continued, tearing her gaze from the scene. "Do you know where that is?" she added hopefully.
"Of course I do!" he assured her, and winked.
A tiny witch seemed to materialize suddenly at the girl’s side.
"I’ll show her the way, Tom. I’m heading for Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour. I’ve been away from London for months and I can’t wait to taste his new summer special sundae: Wiggle Wriggle Strawberry, ‘the strawberry ice-cream that seems to wriggle like a soft and creamy caterpillar on your tongue!’" she said dreamily to the bartender. "Follow me, please," the witch added, turning to the Evanses.
They did as she bidded, and they crossed the room, chatting. Only Petunia kept silent. Mr and Mrs Evans seemed strangely at ease with the situation. And why not, since they had just met friendly people?
They exited through the backdoor and found themselves in a small courtyard enclosed by a brick wall. The tiny witch tapped it three times with an elaborated stick – a real magic wand! – and an archway appeared.
"Welcome to Diagon Alley," she said, gesturing towards the colourful street that stretched beyond.
Lily thought that it would be nice to pay a visit to that Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour… the description had made her mouth watered. So she asked their guide: "Please… Where is that place you were talking about?"
"Ah, a young lady with fine taste," the witch smiled, nodding her head. "Fourth shop on the left – you can’t miss it."
And she left with a little knowing smile.
Mr and Mrs Evans and Lily went through the archway, and Petunia had to follow them or stay behind.
"Wow!" Lily gasped, momentarily at a loss for words, experiencing a strong sense of belonging. She had dreamt of that kind of place all her life.
Next to her, Pet whimpered, but soon recovering her composure, the young witch ignored her. There were men, women and children with long cloaks and pointed hats everywhere, but others too, wearing "normal" clothes, like themselves. It was the most enthralling sight Lily had ever beheld.
Finally, the girl took a deep breath and pulled her list out of the pocket of her jacket.
"It is written here that we can change money at Gringotts."
She looked around, and she saw the bank – how could she have missed it, as the white building was towering over the houses and shops? Two goblins in scarlet and gold uniforms were guarding its bronze doors. Petunia let out a squeak of fright when she noticed them, but Lily walked boldly inside, and the little creatures bowed as she went pass them. The girl politely inclined her head.
Once they had changed some money, they went first to Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions, where Lily had to stay on a footstool while Madam Malkin’s assistant, a smiling middle-aged witch, pinned up her black robes at the right length. She assured them they would be ready two hours later.
Then the Evanses visited Flourish and Blotts, to buy Lily’s books.
There, a boy her age bumped into Lily as she was browsing the titles of a pile of books that seemed to levitate in the air. He had longish black hair that fell into his grey, almost silvery, eyes. She turned to him, and his look of annoyance disappeared at once.
"Whoops, sorry," he said.
But as soon as the words had left his mouth, a witch put a bejeweled hand on his shoulder, squeezed it and whispered in an imperious tone, loud enough for the girl to hear.
"A Black never apologizes to a Mudblood! That’s enough that some blood traitor let them study at Hogwarts!"
Lily didn’t understand the word "Mudblood", but she knew instantly that it was an insult and flushed with anger.
"Please, Mother, don’t say things like that," he answered, frowning slightly. "According to Hogwarts : A History, muggleborns are almost always amongst the finest wizards ans witches of their generations."
The witch huffed, but didn’t reply.
So I am a muggleborn, Lily thought. Are all non-magical people "Muggles"?
The boy turned to her and gave her an apologetic smile and a wink. She smiled back to him, her anger forgotten, because he didn’t seem to share his formidable mother’s prejudices – and strangely comforted by the fact that he could stand up to her.
She saw him again later, when she went to Ollivander’s. The sign said : Makers of Fine Wands Since 382 BC. He and his mother were leaving. The witch – Mrs Black – had a younger boy by the hand. Her other son seemed to follow her reluctantly.
But Lily forgot about the boy as soon as she entered the wand maker’s gloomy shop. Mr Ollivander came out from behind his counter.
"Good day to you, young lady," he said.
Mr Ollivander had a soft voice and pale and shining eyes. He came closer and studied Lily.
"Which is your wand arm?" he then asked. "This is the wand that choses the wizard or witches, not the other way round. And every one of our wand is unique."
Lily nodded, as if she had always known that truth.
And he started to take her measurements.
When he was finished, he took a box on a shelf, opened it and hold the wand out for her.
"Cherry and dragon heartstring, eleven inches, " he announced, then as she wasn’t moving, he added: "Give it a wave!"
Lily obeyed, but nothing happened. After having tried a dozen wands, she was starting to wonder what was supposed to happen when suddenly, the one she held gave out sparks.
"Willow and unicorn hair, ten and a quarter inches," announced Mr Ollivander triumphantly. "Nice wand for charms."
When she went to bed that night, Lily could still feel the strange eyes of the wand maker following her as she exited his shop. But she wasn’t afraid. Some thing had passed between the man and the girl. A kind of… silent understanding.
A/N: I'm writing Chapter 3 right now. Please, give me your feedback on this one. Don't forget that reviews act as an interface between the author and the readers/authors.
Thanks to JK Rowling for having created the Potterverse for us to play in – and mess things up.
On September 1 morning, Lily still couldn’t quite believe how readily her parents had accepted the fact that she was a witch. As soon as she had told them all about Hogwarts, they had seemed… relieved. As if they had always known she was different, but in a good way. They trully were happy for her, and proud of her.
"We have a witch in the family!" her mother repeated again and again, hugging her.
They bought Hogwarts: A History in Diagon Alley and read it. They wanted to learn all they could about the world their youngest daughter belonged to and it seemed like a good start, since she would spend so much time in that school – seven years, the book said.
At breakfast that day, Petunia ignored Lily more than ever. Her face was averted, but the younger girl knew her sister’s nostrils flared with each breath and her lips were pinched. Petunia was glad because her little sister would not go to school with her… and yet she disapproved of her parents’ actions. To her eyes, if there was such a thing as magic, they must be spellbound. It was the only way she could explain their behaviour – or the fact that they were allowing their youngest child to be educated by some raving lunatics.
Lily knew that as if her sister had screamed it, and Petunia’s reaction pained her. Before the letter came, when she called her names such as ‘freak’, it was out of ignorance. But now that she knew what her little sister was, she kept on doing it, to shut her out of her life. Petunia seemed to believe she had to make a choice between Lily and normalcy – and she chose the latter.
But there is no choice to make. She can have both. She is what she is and I am what I am, but we still are sisters and we’ll always be!
One hour later, her parents were driving Lily to King’s Cross Station. It was a perfect day. The sky was blue, with only a few white clouds. But there was a shadow obscuring it: Petunia should have been sitted next to Lily, in the backseat, but she had elected to stay at her friend Ruby’s house. And their parents had relented. She didn’t even say goodbye.
Lily sighed. Petunia is in some kind of a state of shock, she told herself for the hundredth time. She’ll soon get over it. And when she will, we’ll make our peace. But I won’t let her spoiled this day for me!
The Evans parked not too far from the railroad station, and Mr. Evans wheeled Lily’s trunk inside while her mother took her by the hand, as if she were a very small child. Lily didn’t try to pull away – she knew that at this very minute her mother was torn between pride and concern.
And though she was herself excited, the girl was a bit nervous. She had so much to learn!
They reached platforms 9 and 10. Of course, there was nothing in between. However, Lily had already a good grasp of the magical world – she took a look around…
Those three, she thought, smiling.
They were undoubtedly wizards. The girl must have been her age, or maybe a year older. She had curly chestnut hair and she had… an owl. It was a rather old bird, but it seemed to be eager to be freed.
Lily looked at her mother and father over her shoulder.
"I guess I found us a guide, well, three actually."
Laughing, they followed the wizard and the two witches and saw them walking straight at the barrier between the two platforms… and disappeared inside.
"All right," Lily whispered. She took a deep breath and crossed the doorway too, Mr. And Mrs. Evans right on her heels.
On the other side was the second most amazing sight Lily had ever seen. There was a scarlet steam engine, and a sign read Hogwarts Express, 11 o’clock. She had made it to Platform 9 and ¾! Dozens of wizards and witches were milling about. There were cages and trolleys and trunks everywhere. Voices and laughters rang loudly. Some faces looked anxious, others excited.
The Evans walked down the platform and found a carriage where there was still a couple of empty compartments.
It was almost five to eleven.
Mrs Evans hugged her daughter fiercely and kissed her on the cheek, whispering:
"Promise me you will take good care of you, sweetie."
"I will, Mom, I promise," Lily answered around the strange lump that was forming in her throat. She was happy, but a little sad too. What a strange feeling!
Her mother gave her another hug, then her father, and Lily had to get on the train. She smiled bravely at them through the window.
"Write if you need anything!" Mrs Evans called.
"I will," young Lily answered. "Don’t worry, Mom, everything will be ok."
She saw her father put an arm around her mother’s shoulders, to comfort her. Then a whistle sounded, and the train began to move.
While Lily was saying goodbye, an older boy had taken a seat in "her" compartment.
"Hey," he said, smiling, when she came back inside. "My name’s Frank. Frank Longbottom. It’s your first time, isn’t it?" he asked kindly.
He had dark blond hair and soulful brown eyes
"Yes," Lily answered. "I’m Lily Evans."
"Well, nice to meet you, Lily…"
At that moment, a girl with silky brown hair and a round face opened the door and said in an exasperated tone – but with a little dimpled smile: "Frank, you know that the Prefects have a meeting at the front of the train, don’t you?"
"Of course!" he answered. Then he added: "Oh, Lily, this is Alice Wright. Alice, this is Lily Evans."
The girls smiled at each other, than Frank took Alice by the hand and they left.
Lily thought that she would spend the ride alone, but the girl she had seen in the train station stopped before her compartment and asked: "Is there a seat left?"
"They all are," Lily answered, smiling.
You’re new too, don’t you?" the brunette inquired.
"Yes. I’m Lily Evans, by the way."
"Oh, sorry… I suppose I should have introduced myself first. My name is Rowan Connell."
Rowan had eyes the exact color of poured honey with long dark lashes and a warm smile.
After a few awkward minutes, the two girls started to talk about Hogwarts – they had both read Hogwarts, A History –, the four Houses and their families. Rowan was Irish. Her mother was from a very ancient line of wizards and witches, but her father was Muggleborn. Her mom was a Hufflepuff and her dad a Ravenclaw, so she supposed she would be sorted in one of those two Houses. They were so engrossed in their chichats that they didn’t immediately react to the chaos that erupted in the next compartment.
Finally, they got to their feet and followed the stream of students. Two big boys were wolfing down cauldron cakes as fast as they could – and, Merlin, they were fast! It was a disgusting sight… all the more so because they looked like gorillas. Lily caught a mouvement from the corner of her eye and heard a voice whisper something indistinct. The remaining cakes rose and started to bounce up and down on the gluttons’ heads.
Lily looked at the boy, who was putting back his wand in the back pocket of his jeans. He had unkempt black hair and hazel eyes. She rose an eyebrow questioningly, and he winked at her.
But at the same moment, an older boy with white blond hair and cold grey eyes forced his way through the little crowd, hissing: "Crabbe! Goyle! What are you doing?"
The other youngsters hastily darted back to their compartments.
A very hairy giant of a man was waiting for them at Hogsmeade Station. He led them on the shore of a dark lake, where little boats sat in the water. Lily and Rowan climbed in one of them, followed by a lanky boy with a pale face and purple shadows under his eyes and a rather small greasy haired boy with sallow skin. But Lily had eyes only for the big castle. Perched atop a mountain, it was silhouetted against the indigo sky.
Fifteen minutes later, they were inside. A rather severe looking witch came to fetch them.
"Thank you, Hagrid," she said. "I’m Professor McGonagall, Head of Gryffindor House. Follow me, please," she told the First Years.
They entered the Great Hall of Hogwarts under the eyes of the older students and walked up the center aisle. Professor McGonagall made them stop at the far end of the room, and a very small wizard brought an old hat and put it down on a stool. And the Sorting began. Next to her, Rowan was a bit fidgety, but Lily watched the ceremony, fascinated.
Lily recognized at once the boy she had encountered a few days before, in Diagon Alley. He stepped forward, sat on the stool and resignedly put the old hat on his head. But his expression became incredulous, then joyous, when it cried: "Gryffindor!"
Rowan too became a Gryffindor.
When it was Lily’s turn to put on the hat, she heard a voice said in her head: "Aaah… a good mind and a pure and unselfish soul… and a heart undoubtedly in the right place… and so much bravery… GRYFFINDOR!"
She went to sit at the Gryffindor Table next to her new friend. Soon, James Potter, the boy with unkempt black hair from the train, and Remus Lupin, the lanky and pale boy from the boat, joined them. The other boy, the one with greasy hair and sallow skin, was now a Slytherin.
"A Black in Gryffindor House! Wicked!" said James to Sirius, grinning mischievioulsy.
"Man, my mother will have a fit!" answered Sirius, with a slow smile.
Lily whispered to James: "Will you teach me the spell you used in the train?"
"A spell?" he asked, all outward innocence. Then he added, with a wink: "Sure!"
To Lily’s relief, the students from wizarding family were no better prepared to the various subjects taught at Hogwarts than she was herself. Of course, they had seen their parents and relatives use wands all their lives, and magic was as natural to them as the air they breathed. But there was obviously a difference between knowing about magic and learning how to use it properly.
Rowan Connell soon became Lily’s best friend, but she was also very close to the Gryffindor boys in her year – James, Sirius, Remus and a small boy who seemed ready to jump out of his own skin each time he saw by his own shadow, Peter Pettigrew.
The girl had always been smart, and she quickly proved that she was able indeed, besting everyone in all classes. Her only rivals were Remus in Transfiguration and Defense Against the Dark Arts – James and Sirius would have been too, if they had been interested in that kind of competition – and Severus Snape in Potions. It seemed to gall the latter no end that a Muggleborn could be so talented.
"What’s wrong with him?" Rowan asked, one day, when Severus jostled her friend at the end of a class.
"Want me to deflate his big head full of hot air, Lily?" James asked, fingering his wand.
The girl shook her head. "Nah, he’s not worth it."
"And that’s the understatement of the day," Sirius chuckled.
Knowing she had not wronged Severus in any way, Lily was determined to prove him she belonged in Hogwarts.
Lily was on the shore of a lake. The water was a muddy green. Turrets and towers reflected themselves on its rippling surface. She turned around and her eyes fell on a big castle the like of which she had never seen. There was magic there, no doubt. She could feel it. It was a lovely day. The sun was shining in a sky so blue it almost brought tears to her eyes. There were small white and fluffy clouds above the dark forest, in the background.
Lily knew that place. It was home to her. The only place in the world where she was safe.
A soon as the thought crossed her mind, the sky started to darken. Something was brewing. The storm gathered all around the castle and its grounds, but they remained untouched, as though protected by an invisible dome.
"There is no safer place in the whole world," said a male voice, raw emotions making it hoarse.
A/N: I updated the first two chapters and I re-wrote that one so I can add others between chapter 3 (Lily's first year) and the original chapter 4 (Lily's fifth year). I hope you will enjoy a now longer story. Thanks for reading, now it would be very nice of you to review. Thank you. :D
Lily said goodbye to her mother and her father on Platform Nine and Three Quarters and climbed up inside one of the carriages. The Hogwarts Express would soon leave King’s Cross station and go up north. As she was looking for her friends, an arm slipped around her shoulders.
"Lily, my beautiful flower!" Sirius’ voice said. "How much did you miss me?"
"Probably as much as you missed me, Black," she answered tartly, raising an eyebrow and shrugging herself free.
Behind them, James chuckled. Sirius gave a wink at his best friend and whispered loudly: "She likes me!"
"I wouldn’t count on it, if I were you," growled another voice, while the boy to whom it belonged smacked him on the head.
"Ow, what was that for?" he asked, turning around, frowning, and seeing Remus there.
"Stop being a prat, Sirius," his friend answered in his best ‘teacher’ voice, as they all called it.
Lily told herself that Remus looked tired, but he was obviously as happy as she was to see their friends again. She could tell he had a secret, but it was his to tell. Maybe her summer holiday would have been better if Petunia had not run away screaming each time she had come behind her. One would have thought she was afraid of her little sister! Somehow, Lily suspected her parents to have forgotten to tell their elder daughter that she wasn’t allowed to perform magic outside of school.
"I did miss you, Remus," Lily welcomed the lanky boy, patting him on the arm before sticking out her tongue at Sirius.
Sirius shrugged, and Lily saw something in his silver eyes during a second and berated herself. He was probably even happier to be here, with them, than either Remus or herself could be. She knew everything about his family – everything one could find in history books, and more. Lily Evans was probably the only person on earth to whom Sirius Black opened his heart and soul. James was like a brother to him, and he liked Remus and Peter a lot. But the redhead had slowly become his confidant, the one he turned to each time he needed someone to listen to him and advise him. Hence she knew he would probably have gladly spent the summer with one Petunia than with his formidable mother and his perfect Slytherin little brother. With any luck, his father had been away from home most of the time and his cousins had not visited.
Cocking her head a bit, Lily smiled warmly to Sirius and told him, "I missed you too…prat!"
They found an empty compartment and were soon joined by Rowan, and finally Peter.
"Where have you been?" James asked the latter. They had been gone for an hour.
"I almost missed the train," Peter answered, shrugging nervously.
There was a chorus of: "Again!"
"Then Professor Slughorn kind of cornered me about my grades in Potions last year…"
As he was talking, a voice sneered, "Peter Pettigrew, the boy thanks to whom the cauldron sellers are making a fortune."
Severus Snape was standing in the doorway.
"Hey, Snivellus!" James said with a fake warm smile.
"Did you get out of your coffin on the wrong side again this morning?" Sirius added in the same tone.
Severus flushed with anger, but when he spoke again, he just said, "Evans, Professor Slughorn wants you to be my Potions partner. He has the weirdest notion about making Slytherins and Gryffindors work in pairs. We just have to hope he’ll quickly notice it doesn’t work - and if not, we'll have to do our best to convince him."
And on those words, he left their compartment.
They were all soon to begin their third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. And it already promised to be a very eventful year.
"Oh, no, James, it is: one skinned shrivelfig, chopped daisy roots, one rat spleen, one sliced caterpillar and a dash of leech juice. There is no doxy venom!" Lily exclaimed. "And you really want to be careful with the latter, I might add." She was reading over his essay for their Potions class and had just noticed he had added three drops of the substance to his Shrinking Solution.
The boy shrugged. "Why?"
She rolled her beautiful green eyes and sighed.
Before she could answer, Remus sighed: "Because, there is none in this potion, so it would ruin it, and it would be lethal, you git."
"Well, if I had any part of my anatomy shrunken for good, I wouldn’t mind dropping dead," James drawled.
Sirius guffawed, immediately imitated by Peter.
"Then why are you still alive, since obviously a part of your anatomy has always been under-developed?" Lily quipped, raising an eyebrow.
They all fell silent and looked at her, their eyes huge and their mouths gaping. The girl shook her head and sighed again. "Boys!" she tutted. "I was talking about his brain."
Sirius cleared his throat. "Uh, yeah, we knew that."
Rowan couldn’t help to giggle. "Yeah, one look at your face and it was obvious."
Before they could launch into one of their arguments, two Fifth Years who had just walked down from their dormitory to do their homework by the fire tried to sat in comfortable chairs and fell all the way to the floor, the chairs having slid back. Everyone laughed, James and Sirius louder than anyone else.
Narrowing her eyes, Lily said, "Oh, aren’t we funny."
"I don’t know what you’re talking about," James shook his head.
As Rowan was looking daggers at Sirius, daring him to deny they were responsible for what had just happened, Lily told James: "If you would use half of the energy you two devote to making other people’s lives hell into your homeworks, neither Remus nor I would have to read all your papers over."
"You are jealous because you would be unable to play a prank!" James snorted.
Crossing her arms on her chest, she said sweetly – far too sweetly, "I bet I’m better at pulling pranks than you’ll ever be at potions, James Potter."
"You can’t be serious!" he scoffed.
"Hey, that’s an outstanding idea!" Sirius interjected. He hated to see those two arguing. But he knew they were both far too pigheaded for their own good.
They turned to him, James with mischief all over his face, while Lily’s was thoughtful.
Rowan was eyeing Sirius suspiciously. She liked him, even if he could be the most insufferable prat at times. But when he said those words, the people who were in with him generally ended up in Deputy Headmistress McGonagall’s office. But Lily had cocked her head slightly, visibly considering the challenge, and her best friend sighed.
"Alright, if you lose…"
"No, our friends will decide for us," James interrupted.
Lily acquiesced, once. "Since I only have one best friend, and Sirius got himself involved, he will help you – neither Remus nor Peter will."
She turned to Rowan. "Which potion are we going to make him brew?"
There was a impish glint in the brunette’s eyes when she answered, "What about Polyjuice?"
It was a very advanced potion. Lily was about to protest, but James and Sirius had perked up at the idea. "We’ll do it!" they exclaimed in unisson.
Their eagerness was suspicious, but a deal was a deal.
"Ok, if he loses, what do you want him to do?" Lily inquired.
"If he loses…" Rowan began, gently tapping her full lips with her forefinger, feigning to consider the question. "He won’t buy or use anything from Zonko’s till the end of the year."
James swallowed hard, then turned to Peter. His friend squeaked. "Me?" When James nodded, he cleared his throat and snorted: "If Lily loses, she will ask Snivellus out for the last Hogsmeade weekend."
But he was the only one who found this funny, and his laughter died quickly under the glare of his friends. Lily eyes had widened, but when she looked at James, she nodded her head bravely. "Do we have a deal, Potter?" she asked.
"I think we have one."
They shook hands.
"Wait," Remus growled, so low that only Peter heard him.
Startled, the pudgy boy obeyed. "Wh-what do you want?"
Peter had never been as comfortable as James or Sirius with the idea of Remus’ furry little problem, and he didn’t like being left alone with him. But Sirius and James had gone ahead. They stopped at the foot of the stairs and turned to their friends. Remus nodded reassuringly to them, and they headed up towards their dormitory. Then he turned to Peter again. He’d never been so angry in a long, long time.
"Are you mad?" he hissed, glaring at him.
"Why do you say that?" Peter stuttered.
"Lily, asking Snivellus out?"
His friend flushed. "I-I thought it was a good idea! I thought it was funny!"
"It is never funny to force a friend, and especially a girl as decent as Lily, to humble herself, Peter." He marked a pause, to swallow down his fury. "You’re half Muggle, so I advise you to start praying, because if James and Sirius win, and Lily has to ask Severus out, you’ll need help."
"Uh, all right, Lily… what are we going to do?" Rowan asked her best friend a month later.
They sat cross-legged on the redhead’s bed. There were books scattered everywhere around them.
"I’m sure you noticed how good James and Sirius can be at all sorts of magic when it comes to pranks."
Rowan nodded her head. "You don’t have to remind me."
"Well, we are good…"
Lily nodded. "So we just have to use our brains."
The problem was, Rowan knew, Lily was not the kind of person who could hurt anyone’s feeling consciously. One night, in the common room, Remus had confided to her that he believed Lily could see the best in anyone. She had wholeheartedly agreed. But it wouldn’t help them win… and they had to, because Rowan didn’t want her friend to have to ask Severus Snape out. At times, she had to fight the urge to hex Peter to next year! He was a sweet boy, but when he wanted to show his worth to his friend, he could be incredibly stupid
"Let’s go to the library," Lily decided.
As the two of them were heading towards the library, they saw a gang of Seventh Year Slytherins. They had cornered two cowering Fourth Year Hufflepuff, a boy and a girl. The latter was crying.
"Little blood traitors like you will soon learn that being Mudblood lovers will lead them to an early grave," the leader said.
They could see the boy look up in anger at Dominic Loatham’s insult… and threat. Loatham was big, blonde and had a brutal face. He was a brutish lout – probably because he had muscles and no brain. He was thus easily influenced, and he loved nothing more than bullying the students of the other three Houses. He had been one of those who had been following Lucius Malfoy around when he was still a student at Hogwarts.
When he caught sight of Lily and Rowan, a cruel smile twisted his lips. "But the Mudbloods will be the first to go," he added.
The redhead bristled and retorted, "If your family had married more Muggleborns, they wouldn’t have produced a fine brainless specimen like you, Loatham."
As the bullies were gaping, James’ voice said behind her, "Did you know there were Squibs at Hogwarts?" His tone truly sounded amazed.
From the corner of her eye, Lily saw the foursome approaching. "No, mate, I’m positive they don’t." Sirius shook his head. "So this one must be magical enough to make his wand point to his head and to his ass, so he doesn’t accidentally take the one for the other."
"You think so?" Remus was skeptical. "He would have to think to use his wand, and I’m not sure our friend here is smart enough."
The Slytherins fumbled to pull out their wands, but stopped dead.
Lily, Rowan, James, Sirius, Remus and Peter had been quicker.
Loatham grunted an order to his friends and they walked away, giving the Gryffindors a wide birth… and dirty looks.
"See you!" James brightly called after them.
"If you can find your way around the castle," Sirius added.
When the bullies were out of earshot, James growled, "We have to keep an eye on those gits, mates."
He was talking to Sirius, Remus and Peter, but they all nodded, the six of them.
"What did he mean by ‘the M-mudbloods will be the first to go’?" the Hufflepuff girl, Moira Addams, asked in a quivering voice.
"Don’t worry, it was just some nonsense," her boyfriend, Julian Ostrovsky, reassured her. But his tone was slightly hesitant.
They had heard the rumors. Wizards and witches disappeared and when they were found again, it was miles from their home. And they all had strange memories – nightmarish memories, the newspapers hinted.
Narrowing her eyes, Lily looked at the receding Slytherins. Then a slow mischievous smile tugged at the corners of her lips. "So they like to make people cry, eh?" she whispered.
James and Sirius looked down at the simmering cauldron between them.
"Do you think we added enough shredded boomslang skin?" Sirius asked his friend.
But James didn’t seem to hear him. His hazel eyes were unfocused and he had a slight frown on his face.
"We cannot win," he whispered.
Sirius chuckled. "During a second, I thought you’d say that we couldn’t win."
James looked up. "That’s what i said."
Sirius heaved a sigh… of relief. "You’re right, and I wondered when you’d come to your senses."
"I guess it was about time," James answered sheepishly.
"Lily is too nice and far too pretty to have to humble herself and ask Snivellus out. For Merlin’s sake, what was Peter thinking?" Sirius fumed.
"You think Lily is pretty?" James asked in a strange voice.
"Well, yeah…" Sirius watched his friend more closely, then his eyes widen slightly and, "Ooooh!" was all he said.
Three weeks after the incident with the Slytherins, at breakfast…
Loatham and his gang entered the Great Hall and elbowed their way to their table. As soon as they sat there, jugs of pumpkin juice appeared. They poured themselves some and started eating.
When Lily saw them about to leave, she stood up, immediately followed by Rowan. As they were passing the doors, Loatham and his friends were cornering three Second Years. But as soon as the big leader started to bully one of the girls, he started to cry.
Around him, a ringing silence fell. Then someone noticed Loatham had a word on his brow, as though someone had written it there in pink ink with a quill: Mudblood.
The word spread faster than anyone could say ‘Quidditch’. Laughters erupted everywhere in the hall. And four people were probably laughing harder than anyone else – so hard everyone thought they were responsible for the show.
But for once, they were not.
All day, each time Loatham or one of his friends tried to bully another of their fellow students, they burst into tears. Which made it very hard for them to have their way. Who would take a sobbing bully seriously?
And each time they called one of their fellow students a bad name, they had it written on their brow for an hour or so.
Later the same day, James handed Lily a bottle full of a greenish liquid.
"What’s that?" she asked, raising an eyebrow.
"You win," he sighed theatrically. Then with an impish glint in his eyes, he asked, "How did you do it?"
"Did what?" she said innocently.
"Oh, please," Sirius huffed. "We know it was you…" He brightened. "And damn, that was good!"
Lily beamed, then she and Rowan giggled. "We used a potion…" the first began.
"… and a particularly nasty hex," her friend added.
"How much time will they last?" Remus asked. Then his eyes widen. "It’s Widow’s Tears?" When Lily nodded, he continued, "It was invented by a very clever witch. She poisoned her husband, and to make sure she would be able to mourn him properly – because she hated him with a passion –, she created a potion called the Widow’s Tears. The more she was silently abusing her late husband in her head, the more she was crying."
"Well, it should turn them into big bullying cry babies during two or three more days," Rowan responded.
"As for the hex, it will last a week, a month… who knows?" Lily concluded.
"Wicked!" James smiled. And he knew that day that Lily Evans was truly the one for him.
A/N: I need my readers' help here. I don't think I'm good at writing humor. And at school, I was more like Hermione or Lily than like Fred and George. So what did you think of Lily and Rowan's prank? Was it good, not that good... did it suck? HELP!
I know it's been quite a long time since I last updated this fic. Here is the new installment. I'm almost through with the next two. I hope you still enjoy reading this fic. :D
"Lily!" Rowan whispered loudly from her four-poster bed.
The red head turned to her best friend, and the sheets rustled slightly.
"What?" she answered, her green eyes twinkling in the moonlight flowing through the windows of their dormitory. Of course, she knew why her friend had just called her. Like her, she had been feigning to sleep – and maybe her acting had been a bit too realistic.
She heard Rowan sigh and saw her roll her eyes at her friend’s mischievousness.
The two fifteen-year-old girls got up, revealing that they were still fully dressed. Their three roommates were finally asleep. One of them was even snoring softly.
Shaking with silent laughter, the two friends walked out of their dorm room and tiptoed down the stairs. When they successfully reached the Common Room, Rowan asked, "Are you sure you understood them correctly?"
"Of course I am! I heard James telling Remus that they would meet him on the grounds at the full moon… and it is tonight!" Lily answered.
"I wonder what those four are up to, this time," Rowan said, frowning. But the smile playing at the corners of her mouth contradicted her disapproving tone. Then her eyes widen slightly. "I just hope they are not planning to go into the Forbidden Forest!"
Lily smirked. She new her friend was a little afraid of the Forbidden Forest… by day. By night, it was another story entirely.
But Lily didn’t think they were planning to go into the Forbidden Forest. It was something else… and she was dying to know what it was. The boys had been acting like they had a secret – yes, she could tell, boys were terrible at hiding they had secrets – for more than a year. But those four were very good at keeping their secrets, well, secret. And it was so annoying!
Suddenly, they heard noises in the spiralling staircase leading to the boys’ dormitories.
"Shhh!" said Lily. And they dived behind armchairs. Three boys entered the Common Room. The first was tall, with longish dark hair and silvery grey eyes. The second was of average height, with unruly black hair and hazel eyes almost hidden behind his glasses. The last one was small and pudgy, with brown hair and watery eyes.
"One day, we’re going to be caught!" he whined.
"Don't be dumb, Wormtail!" James answered, impatiently. "We can't be caught with the map."
"Yeah, and you've said the exact same words every month since our first monthly adventure!" Sirius added. "You can go back to your bed if you’re so afraid we’ll get caught - as if Filch and his stupid cat could catch the Marauders! But you’ll miss all the fun."
"No, no, I want to come!" Peter squeaked. "I'm a Marauder too."
And they left, James and Sirius laughing and Peter almost running to keep up with his friends.
The two girls had already heard their nicknames, even though they only used them when they were alone - or when they thought they were alone, like tonight. James was Prongs, Sirius was Padfoot, Remus was Moony and Peter was Wormtail. Obviously, they called themselves the Marauders - a fitting name!
"That was close. I thought they were already gone," Rowan breathed.
"And I thought they would never go!" Lily whispered back, making a face. "Let’s follow them!"
They crept along the corridors and down the changing staircases, making sure they didn’t awoke the residents of the various paintings. When they caught up with the boys, they big oak door was already closing behind them. Lily and Rowan edged their way out – fortunately, both where slender. They saw Sirius, James and Peter running on the moonlit grounds. Then a cloud hid the moon, and when it reappeared… they were gone!
"How did they do that?" Rowan exclaimed.
Lily shrugged. "Your guess is as good as mine."
They were at about a hundred paces from the castle when their heard a wolf howling… except there weren’t any wolf in the Forbidden Forest. They knew. They had made friends with Hagrid, the Keeper of the Keys, and he had told them all about the creatures you could find there. They stopped and froze on the spot. The cry sounded a second time, closer.
"A werewolf," Lily breathed, her eyes huge.
"A what?" Rowan squealed.
Lily caught her friend by the hand and they ran towards the castle. They had reached the doors when suddenly, something caught up with them. Lily swirled around, wand at the ready. Next to her, Rowan did the same… and was knocked flat on her back by a big black dog. He gave her a lick on the cheek. Lily was almost nose to nose with a stag. They were so close she could feel its warm breath on her face. The redhead blinked, and when she opened her eyes again, the animals had turned tails and were disappearing in the night.
During the following fortnight, a thought kept nagging at Lily’s mind: there was something odd about the stag and the black dog she and Rowan had seen on the castle grounds. They had not had what could be called an "animal" behaviour. Then she saw Professor McGonagall turned into her Animagus form, a cat, and she almost gasped aloud.
They were Animagi ! Her heart beating madly, Lily discreetly turned her head towards James, Sirius, Remus and Peter, who were whispering appreciatively at the back of the classroom. No, that can’t be. Not those four… at least, not all four of them.
James, Sirius and Remus were very talented wizards, but out of those three, only the latter always studiously did his homeworks. The other two… ah, well, they were happy-go-lucky teens, as far as classes were concerned, and yet they scrapped top marks in most subjects. And little Peter was almost hopeless. The poor boy was so awkward, so not self-confident. Of course, most students made fun of him, especially the Slytherins. But James, Sirius and Remus were always there to stand up for him – they often teased him as if he were their little brother, but they would never let anyone laugh at their friend!
Then again, there were only two animals…, Lily thought.
When the class filled out, Lily decided to spend the next two hours in the Library while Rowan would be in Muggle Study. Of course, being Muggleborn, the redhead had not chosen that subject. There were a few books on Animagi, so she took the first one and started to read. Like McGonagalls had told them, few wizards could turn into animals – animals that still had magical powers. The transformation was so dangerous that there were strict controls over it and Animagi had to be registered.
She went back to Gryffindor Tower, her mind reeling.
How did they manage? And which one of them?
Rowan and Lily had spend so many hours talking about that night. They just couldn’t resist a good mystery.
Lily was so immersed in her thoughts that she didn’t see James. She bumped into him and fell to the ground.
"Oh, Merlin! Lily, I’m so sorry," he apologized. "Did I hurt you?"
He held out his hand to help her up. She took it and found herself almost nose to nose with him. During a heartbeat, they were so close that she could feel his warm breath on her face.
And she blushed. Nobody looked at her the way James did. Alright, sometimes it irked her so that she had to fight the urge to hex him into oblivion, but most of the time, she liked it. A lot. It made her feel… Well, it was a unique feeling.
Of course, she hated it when anyone else notice. Especially when she looked up and his gaze caught hers and…
"Are you ok?"
Lily blinked a couple of times. And she turned even redder. Obviously, it wasn’t the first time he asked her that question.
"Yes, I am," she replied, and she realized he was still holding her hand. What was wrong with her? She snatched it back and added, "I’m already late… I’ll see you later!"
She almost ran away, the scene replaying in her mind. And all of a sudden, she remembered their nicknames. James is Prongs, Sirius is Padfoot, Remus is Moony and Peter is Wormtail… James was the stag and Sirius was the dog!
Only two Animagi…Then a thought struck her. How strange that Remus, who is by far the most studious of the four, didn’t manage to make the transformation. Hmmm… No, Remus was not even there that night. They said they would meet with him later.
Oh, I have to tell Rowan about that!
She did, and both girls decided to follow the boys once more during one of their "monthly adventures", as Sirius had called them. And in order to know when they would go and play on the grounds, they shadowed them… with some unexpected consequences. It proved to be a bit awkward, to say the least. Because each time they were caught at it, James looked at Lily and she could see it conforted him in the idea that she liked him. And she had to put him right.
It took them three months, but one night, they managed to be in the Hall when the Marauders slipped through the entrance door. They did the same, and tiptoed as far as Hagrid’s cabin.
Then they saw it. It was a werewolf. Their breath catching in their throat, their hearts hammering madly in their chest, Lily and Rowan pressed themselves to the wall of the hut. It was coming towards them…
Suddenly, a stag and a black dog streaked before them almost playfully and caught the attention of the werewolf. And it followed them.
Sighing with relief, Lily an Rowan headed off towards the castle and Gryffindor Tower. That night, Lily couldn’t sleep.
Moony… moon… full moon… Remus. Remus is a werewolf!
She almost gasped aloud. No wonder they were so secretive. If anyone else knew, Remus would probably have to leave Hogwarts. Dumbledore knows. He has to know…
As she was falling asleep, her last thought was, James, Prongs, is the stag, and Sirius, Padfoot, is the dog. Why do they call Peter, Wormtail ?
A/N: This chapter was already mostly written so I decided to post it. But sadly, it looks like I'm wasting my time on this fic. Oh, well... maybe it's a L/J too much. :(