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Lily Potter and the Hogwarts Express by MKeller85
Format: Short story
Chapter 1: Lily Potter and the Hogwarts Express
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Lily Potter and the Hogwarts Express
By Michael Alan Keller
Lily’s glasses slipped down her nose again. She was sweating profusely and her new robes itched unbearably. She pushed her wayward spectacles into place with the back of her hand and regarded the brick wall in front of her with a wary but determined stare. From behind she felt a hand rest on her shoulder and heard the calming sound of her mother’s voice. “Lily, life is a series of barriers. Sometimes we need to close our eyes, trust ourselves and jump”.
“That’s easy for you to say” blurted Lily, but she was immediately sorry for her shortness and she looked back at her mother and father apologetically. She hugged them both fiercely and tightly as if for the last time, then turned and sprinted for the wall as fast as her long legs could carry her; but her haste was her undoing. Her foot caught in the fold of her new robes and she heard the hem rip as she sprawled face first into the gateway to Platform 9 ¾.
There was a flash of light followed by the impression of a dark vacuum that lasted far too long and just as Lily felt she could not bear it another moment, she stumbled out into the blinding sunlight slanting down onto the platform. There was a blast of a train whistle and then the loud hooting of an owl as her foot stubbed into the cage of a snowy white that was sitting on the platform. Her last chance of catching her balance gone, Lily rammed heavily into a red-robed figure that loomed in front of her and the two of them went down in a heap. Laughter rang out all around her and Lily blushed furiously as she lurched to her feet disoriented and tried to locate her glasses while apologizing profusely on all sides.
“A POTTER, I should have known,” screeched the blonde blur that confronted her as she rose. “My Dad’s famous and I can do what I like, knocking people over willy-nilly. Get out of my way, I am a celebrity!”
“No, I... I’m sorry” stammered Lily, “I tripped and then the owl…”
“Owl nothing,” interrupted the threatening blur. “I knew you’d have it in for me as soon as you found out who my mother was… I just thought I’d make it to Hogwarts before the attacks began. Well you can be sure I will be writing an editorial about this in the school newspaper. You just wait. You just got off on the proverbial wrong foot for your first day of school. Everyone will hear of your ‘holier than thou’ attitude or my name’s not Anita Skeeter!” and with a Harumph, she grabbed her owls cage, spun on her heel and stalked off down the platform with a trail of fluffy white feathers wafting behind her.
A banshee swooped low over the platform and screeched with an ear-splitting howl “All aboard!” Lily dropped to all fours and felt around her for her glasses. A feeling of hopelessness overcame her. She had never really been away from home for more than an overnight at the Weasleys without her parents or brothers looking after her and here on her first day of school, she could not even board the train by herself without muddling everything up. She felt close to tears.
“Looking for these then are we miss?” offered a scrawny but kind voice. Her glasses were pressed into her hand and she donned them as she stood to regard one of the strangest figures she had ever seen. A pinched and misshapen face with beady black eyes appraised her from just a shade above her height. She recognized him as a goblin from her trips with her family to Diagon Alley, but she had never seen one wearing an ill-fitting blue uniform, nor sporting what appeared to be a small shrub atop his head before. Her attention was immediately drawn to the plant, about a foot high, which had thick cudgel-like branches which swayed back and forth and small roots which appeared to be massaging the goblin’s lumpy head.
“Oh you noticed my little friend here”, said the goblin peering up to his forehead. “Yes, I guess it must seem passing strange. I get migraines all the time from the train smoke and Hagrid swore to me that this little bugger would relieve ‘em. A cutting from the whomping willow I believe. I’m not one for home cures typically, but I got to admit, this one seems to work once you get used to all the hullaballoo up there. Name’s ‘TopKnob’, and I are the conductor, engineer and otherwise general care-taker of The Express.”
“My name’s Lily,” Lily sniffled, “and I think your little tree friend is grand”.
TopKnob beamed. “Thank you for saying so little Miss. First time on the train I’ll wager?”
“Yes, but I have seen off my brother’s before! Tell me, how will we know when we are getting close to Hogwarts?”
“Easy enough…When we are coming up on the bridge across Bottomless Gorge I give three whistle-blows and the train will start to slow. Five minutes later we will be at the end of the line, but only the beginning for you! Off you go now, we’ve got a schedule to keep.” He quickly checked a humongous pocket watch that appeared from under his scruffy lapel and with a wink he marched vigorously off to the front of the train, with the small limbs on the tree atop his bald pate swaying to and fro.
Lily watched the goblin until he disappeared into the rapidly dissipating crowd and shook her head to clear the cobwebs which had formed. She started quickly down the platform, grateful that her brothers James and Albus had gone ahead with her trunk. They were already on board probably clowning around and catching up with their friends, but she was NOT eager to find them. They had been teasing her interminably for weeks about being a first year and going on and on about how they were sure she was going to be sorted into Slytherin and flunk out of school. She felt a hollow feeling in the pit of her stomach at the thought.
The swooping banshee was shooing the last of the students onto the train and it made a run at Lily breaking her from her reverie. The lowest step of the train was still fairly high off the ground for her and she had to leap up and grab the railing to pull herself in, exhaling in relief as the train platform started to fill with steam and the train lurched into motion with a loud shssshh. She stood in the gap between train cars and watched the platform slowly pull away as she thought about what lay ahead. Her head swam with excitement and anxiety all mixed together in a way that made her blood sing. She missed her familiar Jinx whose presence always had a calming effect on her and she resolved to liberate him from his cage for the journey. She shouldered aside the sliding door and started to move down the train soaking in the sights and sounds of the controlled chaos around her.
Students were everywhere; talking in the hallways, lounging in berths, running up and down the train cars and playing tricks and games with each other. She had been told that the use of magic was expressly forbidden outside of Hogwarts, but freed from the prying eyes of the outside world; many students had their wands out and were levitating toys, shooting sparks and causing all kinds of ruckus. She sidestepped a tall, dark–skinned boy who was sliding down the hall on shoes that had been encased with ice and ducked underneath a young girl that was leaping up to try to recover her wand which was floating just out of reach as it was manipulated by a small group of laughing Slytherins in the berth on her left. She covered her own brand new wand, tucked into the folds of her robe, reflexively and hurried past.
It was just two days ago when she had stood before a quietly calculating Ollivander in a rite of passage that was old as wizardry itself being fitted for her first wand. Her father had remarked that he looked almost unchanged with perhaps a slight stooping of the shoulders since he had first met him many years ago. Lily had been nervous as always and Mr. Ollivander’s bright and probing eyes had not done much to calm her. He took in Lily’s wispy profile, red straight hair, bright blue-green eyes and freckles as if he was absorbing her essence. “She has the steel of her Grandmother in her” he had finally offered, “and that is saying much.” He added with gentle smile. “Lily Sr. used willow if I recall correctly… 10 1/4 inches with nice flexibility; Perfect for charms.” He started rifling through a long stack of boxes behind him, considering and discarding wands with startling speed. “But there is something else there…” he continued, glancing back over his shoulder sharply at Lily. “Have you dueled before?” he asked suddenly.
“Dueled?!?!” Lily stammered, “You mean with spells? I don’t even know any hardly.”
“She’s quick with a bludger bat for her age,” smiled her father proudly “at least in our backyard…”
“Indeed.” said Ollivander with pursed lips.
With a curt and decisive nod, he had pivoted swiftly and produced a small box from a high and creaky drawer which had held the wand that Lily now fingered nervously. It had fairly leapt into her hand as she reached out for it and gripping it made her feel bright and focused in a way she had never experienced. She took it out briefly to study it one more time. It was short and graceful, light as bone with a small notch that fit perfectly under her thumb and striations that curled up and around the wood in a hypnotizing pattern.
She stared at it fondly a moment before quickly hiding it away again. Her father had taught her only one or two simple and fairly useless spells out behind the shed in their back yard while her mother was not looking and she certainly did not feel like much of a wizard yet, much less a dueler.
Lily stepped into the next car which was filled with all manner of cages, crates and glass menagerie. Startled owls buffeted her with flapping wings and screeches and howls briefly crescendoed before slowly calming again. She made a low clucking sound with her tongue three times in quick succession and listened carefully. From the far end of the car she heard a muffled but eager reply. Shifting aside a heavy terrarium with a disturbingly large monitor lizard gazing accusingly at her for disturbing his silent vigil, she espied two golden eyes blinking at her from the uncovered recess. With a little more effort, she was able to just reach the clasp on the cage and, in a flash, a sinuous dark blue form had scampered up her arm and was circling her head in dizzying fashion making loud chittering noises. After several minutes of admonishment, she was able to apologize enough times to satisfy the jilted ferret who settled down on her shoulder with his long soft tail circling her neck like a blue scarf. Jinx’ colors were unnatural, the product of a misfired party favor from Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes. George had laughed uproariously when Lily had complained, pointed to a large blinking red neon sign she had somehow never noticed before that read ‘Absolutively NO REFUNDS for Lily Potter’ and shooed her out the front door of his shop, but Lily had slowly come to like Jinx’s new color. It suited his playful personality to a tee and he did not seem to mind at all. In fact, he clearly enjoyed his newfound ability to lurk in deep shadows.
Lily tucked Jinx into the folds of her robe, softly cooing to her friend to calm him and forged into the next car of the train with renewed spirits. They did not last long…
She heard the high-pitched voice of Anita Skeeter immediately as she walked into the next car. She was extolling the virtues of the Hufflepuff house and making bold predictions about how this was the year they were going to finally capture the House Cup under her guidance. Lily briefly considered retreating into the storage car before steeling herself. She did not intend to start her Hogwarts experience hiding from bullies. Her father had counseled her that she had to face her fears, had in fact made a living doing so famously as an auror for many years. With the image of his face fixed firmly in her mind, she raised her chin and walked quietly down the hall, still hoping in the back of her head that Anita would be too busy to notice her quickly striding past. But it was not to be.
“Well, well, well if it isn’t our newest celebrity again.”
Anita stepped into the hallway and shoved Lily hard in the back with the palm of her hand as she passed.
“Quit it!” said Lily as she spun around, but her heart shrank as she looked up at the girl who was easily a foot taller than her.
“Or what? Are you going to sick your father on me so he can ruin my reputation like he slandered my mother? He can’t help you at Hogwarts ‘Silly Potter’. You are on your own here and the sooner you learn your place, the better off you..will..be…OWWWW!”
She had punctuated each of the last three words with a sharp, painful, jab to Lily’s chest, but on the last iteration had pulled back her hand sharply. Jinx’ head appeared from beneath Lily’s robe chittering furiously at the tall girl.
“That THING BIT ME!” wailed Anita clutching her hand to her chest.
“He was just protecting me!” yelled Lily while she feverishly tried to hold onto the struggling Jinx who was still trying to leap at Anita.
“That RAT is dead and so are you.” said Anita icily, and a shiver ran down Lily’s spine as she noticed the wand that Anita was now pointing directly at her chest. She tried to slowly back away but bumped into two Hufflepuffs that she had not seen slip behind her.
Anita’s face twisted into a maniacal grin as she screamed “STUPEFY!” and a jet of red light lanced from the end of her wand.
“PROTEGO!” A green transparent shield sprouted from the end of the wand in Lily’s hand which she did not even remember drawing and Anita’s spell splintered against it uselessly.
Anita stared. “How did you do that?” she whispered. Lily had no idea. Her hand had acted faster than her terrified brain could muster, but she had no time to admire her newfound legerdemain.
“Hold her.” screeched Anita and Lily felt strong arms grab hers from either side. She saw Anita pull back her arm and she closed her eyes waiting for the inevitable.
“Expelliarmus!” cracked a sharp voice above the din and Anita’s wand flew in a high arc across the train and embedded itself in a knothole in the wooden train door with a vibrating thrum.
A tall blonde boy with sharp features stepped between Lily and Anita.
“How dare you?..I was attacked. I demand she be punished.” spluttered Anita.
“Enough.” said the boy. “You were dueling. If I report it, you will BOTH be suspended.” He walked over to the wall and pulled Anita’s wand out of the woodwork with a twang. “Those who are suspended will not be able to attend tonight’s feast, but if you leave immediately, I might be willing to overlook this slight indiscretion, just this once.”
An angry tremor passed across Anita’s face and was quickly replaced by an oily smile. “You are very gracious Scorpius. Thank you for your kindness.” She fixed an eye on Lily as she turned away. “Enjoy the feast my dear. Let’s catch up again soon shall we?”
The boy grabbed Lily by the elbow and moved her in between cars to the next cabin.
“That was foolish.” he said, “I advise you not to attract the enmity of the older students. It can end badly for you.”
“Of course.” she said quietly. “Thanks for your help.”
A strange look passed across the boy’s face, like clouds gathering. “I was not helping you.” He replied. “I was keeping order...That’s what prefects do.” He looked as if he were about to say something else, then bit his lip, turned about and walked quickly away.
Lily stared after him dumbfounded. An idea floated in the back of her mind and slowly surfaced until realization took her. Scorpius Malfoy! She had just been saved by the son of her father’s oldest rival. She shook her head in wonder. James and Albus were never going to believe this. A jolt shook the train breaking her from her reverie and she walked into the next car she saw and sat down still marveling at the nature of her narrow escape.
Absently, Lily stroked Jinx’s fur while she unwound from her encounter. She felt someone staring at her from across the car and realizing she was not alone, she cautiously looked up. A tall but gangly boy with his knees pulled up to his chin looked at her sheepishly from a swarthy face topped with dark black hair that stuck out in all directions.
“Excuse me, but do I know you?” Lily inquired.
The boy winced. “I doubt it”, he slowly replied. “This is my first visit ter Hogwarts.”
“Me too. My name’s Lily.”
“Meet ya.” the boy replied and looked to offer his ham hand in greeting before thinking better of it. “I’m Hogart.” he said and looked anxiously out the window.
“Are you a first year?” asked Lily, “You are the tallest boy I ever met.”
“Well. Not ezactly.”, Said the boy non-plussed.”I went to Beauxbatons for a year, but there were some problems and I uh.. It didn’t work out, so I am transferring ter Hogwarts to get a fresh start you might say. My Mum thought it best.”
Lily knew that her Aunt Fleur had gone to Beauxbatons when she was young and she could not imagine a stranger thought than that of Hogart attending the same school, though she tactfully refrained from saying so.
Hogart fidgeted absently as the train lurched around another corner, “Do you know how long it will be before we arrive at Hogwarts? I’m supposed ter meet someone there on the platform.”
Clearly Hogart was very nervous about the trip. Lily found herself liking him immediately (He was, after all, the first person she had met on the train that had not been trying to stun her or the son of an old Arch-Nemesis), and she tried to reassure him with her reply. “Well,” said Lily, “I actually met the train conductor before we left the King’s Cross Station and he said that when we come up on a bridge of some sort, he blows the train whistle, the train starts to slow and a few minutes later we arrive.”
“You mean like that?” said Hogart pointing out the window. Lily looked at the scenery blurring by. The train was coming up on a long banking curve and on the other side she saw an enormous bridge spanning a chasm so broad, she could barely see the other side. An immense spider’s web of wooden beams supporting the bridge disappeared into the mists below and the vague shadowy form of ancient castle like structures could be seen on the hilltops beyond.
“That has to be Bottomless Gorge, but I didn’t hear any train whistles…maybe we are too far back in the train to hear them?” Lily trailed off lamely.
“Actually, we are only a few cars from the front.” said Hogart. “I heard the whistle when we left the station and it pierced me ears something fierce. It don’t feel like we are slowin’ down much neither.”
Indeed, as the train entered the low, sweeping curve, Lily could hear the wheels screeching and she felt the train tilting disturbingly towards the outside track. It made her a little sick. She heard children in the train corridor laughing like it was some kind of roller coaster ride.
“Something’s wrong.” She said. “Let’s go find out what’s going on.”
Hogart hesitated a moment then nodded. “Lead on M’lady, Yer seem like the sort that know’s what’s what.”
Lily felt like nothing of the sort, but her curiosity had set in now and she knew from experience (some of it that had gotten her into a fair bit of trouble in the past) that it would not be easily quenched. Her mother Ginny called this ‘Pottering’, often with a smirk and a sigh, and considered it a genetic family defect.
Lily set Jinx down in the cabin. “Stay here my friend. I’ll be right back.” Jinx curled up in a circle, put his head under his tail and immediately started to snore causing Lily to shake her head in amusement.
She and Hogart stepped out into the hall narrowly avoiding stepping on a procession of chocolate frogs hopping merrily along. (Hogart nonchalantly grabbed a straggler and stuffed it into his jacket pocket for a snack later.) The next car was gratefully devoid of traffic and so they proceeded quickly up to the end of the passenger cars on the train. Here however, was a roadblock that Lily had not expected; a cute golden padlock with a heart-shaped keyhole dangled from a deadbolt on the last door.
“Do you know any opening spells?” Lily asked hopefully of Hogart.
“Just one.” he replied and politely moving Lily to the side he lifted up an enormous leg and crashed the door open with a mighty kick. He looking sheepishly back, but the roar of the train had concealed the majority of the noise and no one appeared to have been alerted. Lily stared at Hogart with her mouth agape and he shrugged. She risked a smile at him and then stepped into the gap between cars.
Lily had to brace herself against the explosion of wind and sound. The passages between all of the other cars had been somewhat sheltered but this gap was open to the elements on all sides with what appeared to be a wooden slat freight car in front of them. The train seemed to be racing faster than ever and they were coming up on the bridge quickly. Despite the wind whipping at her, Lily smelled a vaguely smoky odor coming from the car in front of them. She did not see a way to forge ahead.
“Boost me up so I can see.” said Lily. Hogart planted his feet firmly and easily lifted Lily over his head so that her eyes peeked over the top of the rail car. What she saw made her head spin.
The freight car stretched before her maybe 20 yards with a wooden slat top interrupted by an opening in the middle from which wafted peculiar sounds. Out beyond it, the engine of the train was straining and roaring with smoke of all colors erupting from its stack and streaming back directly at her. The back half of the engine had a canopy over it that was split down the middle with a large tree, maybe 15 feet tall, growing out of it. Tentacle-like limbs with gnarly cudgels at the end of each whirled all around the engine, randomly smashing windows and controls. It looked vaguely like a giant octopus wearing a skirt and riding a giant rainbow rocket out over the void. The Surrealism of it struck her sharply. To one side, she could just make out a hand holding a golden pocket watch sticking out from under the fabric of the torn canopy.
“What is it?” yelled a concerned Hogart over the din when he saw the expression on Lily’s face.
“Oh..Nothing much.” she deadpanned, “Our Engineer is unconscious and there’s a homicidal tree driving the train.”
Hogart placed her down. “This is no time for a sense of humor Lily, I enjoy a good joke as much as the next bloke, but…Great Grindelwald’s Ghost” cried Hogart as he jumped, pulled himself up by his fingers and peered forward.
“It’s a cutting from a Whomping Willow,” said Lily, “but it was only a foot fall when I saw TopKnob with it this morning.”
“Well it sprouted a fair bit I reckon. Where did he get something like that?”
“He said Hagrid gave it to him.” recalled Lily. “Maybe it was magically shrunk and the spell wore off somehow?”
Hogart’s eyes had widened at the sounds of Hagrid’s name. “Well, we just did pass the outer boundaries of Hogwarts grounds a bit back.” He mumbled. “Isn’t it protected by powerful charms?”
Lily’s mind snapped back into focus. They were IN Hogwarts now and Hogwarts was the end of the line! They were already halfway across the bridge over Bottomless Gorge “We’ve got to do something quick, or we’ll smash into the station!”
“Go get a prefect?” offered Hogart.
“There’s no time! If we can’t stop the train, no one will. How do you stop a Whomping Willow?” Her mind raced.
“An Immobulus charm, but the only spell I know is levitation. I struggled some with the rest. Can you do one?”
Lily shook her head. “We’ll just have to figure something out. Boost me up again.” Hogart lifted her up and she scrambled up onto the top of the railcar. He followed her quickly and they both squatted down, huddling against the rushing wind.
“Oh my goodness…” whispered Lily as she looked over the side of train into the depths of the mist below. “Don’t look down.”
“Too late.” said a pale-faced Hogart. “I must confess…that I am a tad bit scared of heights.” he squeaked before passing out abruptly.
Lily rolled her eyes. She considered briefly trying to move him to a safer spot, but she did not have time and could not lift him anyway, so she left him there and crawled forward on the rail-car until she reached the opening in the middle. Peering over the edge, she espied a pile of crab-like forms scrabbling over each other below. “Blast-Ended Skrewts” she thought to herself. She had read about them just last night as her first-year textbook on Magical Creatures had mentioned that they would be studying them this year. They were incredibly deadly. She stood up, looked across the opening of the car and froze. She couldn’t do this. Seconds past like minutes and she still could not move. She saw the end of the bridge approaching and the tunnel past it that would lead to the Hogwarts station and suddenly her mother’s voice was in her head: “Lily, Life is a series of barriers. Sometimes we need to close our eyes, trust ourselves and jump”. Lily did not close her eyes, but she did jump.
She hit the far side of the rail-car, tripped over the ripped hem of her robe and pitched forward. She fell into the open end of the engine car with the breath knocked out of her and looked up at the menacing limbs of the Whomping Willow spinning inches out of range of her face. TopKnob was moaning on the ground next to her with a nasty gash bleeding heavily from his forehead.
“TopKnob! Are you allright?”
“Lily…The emergency brake. Push the red button..” he moaned pointing to a spot on the smashed control panel right under the vicious tree.
Without stopping to think, Lily made a dash for it. She ducked under a sweeping limb that would have taken her head off but was snagged by a groping root mere inches from her goal. Her hand shot out, with her wand firmly in her grasp and she flicked the button with its tip just as she was being dragged away.
Lily was vaguely aware of the sound of screaming brakes around her, but the majority of her attention was on a giant mass of bark and knotholes which was drawing back and aiming right for her face as she lay pinned on the cabin floor. This time she did close her eyes, but she still heard the ringing voice of Hogart screaming “Wingardium Leviosa” from above and behind her. She felt herself being lifted from the floor along with the rest of the Whomping Willow until a hand grabbed her ankle from below. TopKnob was trying to hold her down with his other hand straining to hold onto a railing, but the tree was too strong and she could see his grip slipping.
Suddenly, the root spasmed and disappeared in a shower of splinters. The floating tree had impacted the tunnel arch above her at full speed with spectacular results. Lily fell back to the cabin floor with a breathless crash and they were all plunged into darkness.
Was she dead she wondered? If so, death sure was noisy. The cacophony around her increased as the sound of the screeching wheels echoed back and forth in the tunnel and then suddenly brilliant light flooded her senses blinding her. The train stopped suddenly with a violent thud. Multi-colored smoke billowed all around her and she knew no more.
Strong arms lifted Lily and she was carried a short distance and laid down upon warm grass. When her eyes fluttered open, she saw Jinx concerned golden eyes staring into hers and felt his small raspy tongue licking her hand. She giggled, moved him aside and saw a larger set of kind eyes staring down at her from a narrow face with close-cropped blonde hair.
“Hello Lily. Been up to a bit of mischief again have we?”
“Na-No sir, I swear! It’s a long story..”
“Which I would love to hear another time,” interrupted Neville, “but TopKnob has told us most of it.”
“Is he OK?” Lily sat up quickly and her head swam a little bit.
“Easy now,” said Neville. “Never Fear. He’s off to see Madame Pomfrey, but he will be fine.”
“He appears to have cracked his arm, but he should be right as rain in short order as well. How are you feeling?”
“Allright I suppose. A little foolish maybe.”
“Foolish? Indeed!” exclaimed Neville. “Not even Harry got himself into this kind of trouble before he ever made the castle on his first day!”
Lily blushed and suddenly became aware that a large crowd was gathered around her staring down at her. “Am I to be punished sir?” she said with her head hung low.
“Punished? I hardly think that punishing the girl that saved hundreds of students from serious injury at the least before she was even sorted into a house is a proper reward. In fact,” and Neville raised his voice at the last, “the house that is lucky enough to receive Lily Potter into it this evening will receive 100 points towards the House Cup!”
At this, the students around her cheered and rushed forward to pull her to her feet. Her hands were shaken and her back slapped loudly enough to rattle her teeth and then she was suddenly moving in a swarm of smiling students up a long set of stairs to the docks where small boats awaited to take them across the lake to the castle. On one side she saw Anita Skeeter glaring at her fiercely, and knew that if anything this experience would make them even more bitter enemies if that was possible, but there was time to worry about that later. Scorpius also she saw and he gave her a curt nod as she passed.
Looking back over her shoulder she saw the tall figure of Hogart standing further down the end of the platform. He was holding his arm and staring up quietly at the taller figure of Hagrid who had his hands behind his back and was rocking back and forth on his tremendous feet. She saw Hogart move forward and hug Hagrid with his one good arm. Hagrid dropped the present poorly wrapped in old brown newspaper that he had been holding behind his back (Lily heard some kind of animal inside rudely exclaim) and hugged him back fiercely, suddenly burst into tears. Hogart teared up as well, (though Lily thought that might have been partially due to having his broken arm crushed), but he saw her staring at him and gave her a wave behind Hagrid’s back and a warm smile. A smile that Lily returned.
Lastly, she saw James and Albus staring at her with dropped jaws as she was half-carried up the stairs to the boats and she crossed her arms smugly and gave them a wink. She was ready for her own Hogwarts adventure to begin.