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(James point of view)
“Padfoot! We have a problem!” I yelled from the side car; over the roar of the motorbike.
“What’s that prongs?” Sirius yelled back.
“We have company... in the form of the bloody muggle authorities!”
“Aww shit! Hang on prongs.” The engine revved and the bike sped up drastically.
“You can cast a disillusionment charm right?” Sirius yelled.
“Now’s not the time to be questioning my charms ability! Of course I can!” I replied.
“Cast it when we turn this corner. With any luck they’ll think we’ve turned down an alley way.”
“Great idea Padfoot!” I cast the charm just as we turned the corner and sure enough, as Sirius had predicted the muggle police car turned into the nearest alleyway. “That was close! Where are we now anyway?” I said taking in our surroundings. There was nothing in sight but empty and abandoned looking buildings.
“Umm... Some place called Cokeworth... I think. That’s what the last sign said. Or at least that’s what I think it said; it was kinda faded.” Sirius replied pulling up next to one of the buildings.
“Do you recon the muggles use any of these? It all looks pretty run down.”
“Doubt it mate. Place looks deserted. Come on we can stash the bike here and walk and see if we can find somewhere to camp out for the night.”
“Why did I let you talk me into this tour around England anyway?”
“Because I got left with a shit load of gold so I bought a bike and this way my way of dealing with my grief. As my friend it is your job to look after me.” He replied. It was true, Sirius had been a little shaken at first by the loss of his Uncle Alphard, but he seemed fine now; or maybe that was just the distraction.
We followed pulled our gear from the bike and followed the road. All we saw for a long time was more abandoned factories and dilapidated houses. The majority of the streets lights were broken or dim.
“Looks like a light up ahead Prongs. What do you recon?”
“I say we take a look, if it’s nothing we go back to the bike and keep going.”
The light turned out to be a small motel. The word ‘VACANCY’ stuck out clearly, we’d found our place for the next night or so.
It was... cosy inside. That’s the only way I can think of putting it I suppose. Wooden floor and faded red drapes. I walked up to the counter and rang the little bell on the desk.
An elder woman I a dressing gown and fuzzy slippers came out from the door behind it, she seemed startled.
“Can I help you boys?”
“We certainly hope so. We’ve been travelling all day and need a place to spend the night. Could we have a room please?” The woman raised her eye brows in surprise.
“We got quite a few truckers in tonight but room 3, 6, 10 and 15 are available. All of them have showers and 15 has a bath. Which do you prefer?”
“15 please. How much for the night?” I asked pulling out my wallet.
“£100 for one night, any other nights you stay only £50.” I pulled out two £100 notes and handed them to her.
“We’ll have 3 nights for now thanks.”
She handed us our room key and a small carton of milk and pointed in the direction of our room.
The decor was much like the reception; wooden floor on the kitchenette and bathroom and faded red carpet everywhere else that matched the drapes. There were two bedrooms; the main one in the same room as the kitchenette had a queen bed and a tiny bedside table. The smaller bedroom had two single beds and a mirror. There wasn’t much to it.
“I’ll take a single, you take the queen. You bought the room, I’ll get breakfast tomorrow.” Sirius yawned throwing his back to the bottom of his bed and laying on it. He didn’t even bother to change out of his clothes and was snoring softly in no time.
Too tired to complain or argue with him I changed into my flannel PJ pants and clambered into bed myself. Sleep overcame me quickly; I was out like a light.
“Right Prongs, I asked the old woman downstairs and she recon there’s a nice little bakery down the street. Fancy going there for breakfast?”
“Sure, I don’t really care” My stomach growled. “I’m just hungry”
“Alright let’s go.”
The bakery was small; it looked like it could only hold about 5 or six people. We were the only ones there and the old man behind the counter seemed thrilled.
“Welcome lads what can I get ya?”
“My buddy here will have the bacon and egg pie and I’ll have 2 sausage rolls, a donut and a caramel slice please” Sirius ordered, his mouth watering. ‘Pig’ I chuckled under my breath, he just pulled his tongue out at me.
(Lily’s Point of view)
I groaned as I leant out of bed and looked at my alarm clock, 7:15am on a Saturday. I stretched and got my lazy but out of bed and headed for the shower. I was showered, breakfast and dressed by 8am.
“Morning Lily dear. Work today?” My mother asked putting on the kettle. I nodded. “How busy?”
“Same as usual, not very. We got a couple of truckers in; I’ll be home by 11.30 latest.”
“At least it’s something love. At least you get all your afternoons off.”
“I guess but we could do with the extra money” I replied glumly. I didn’t know how we were going to afford my stuff for Hogwarts this year; it was tough times at the moment when it came to the money side of things. Especially with Petunia only flicking back and forth from London a couple of times.
“Don’t worry yourself about money poppet, we’ll manage. We always do.” My dad said kissing my cheek.
I still couldn’t help but worry. If had got laid off again... we were fucked. I said good bye and left for work. I was hoping Mary would be in a relatively pleasant mood, even if it was wishful thinking. I arrived at the motel a good ten minutes early and got my uniform on.
“Moring Lily.” Mary called.
“Morning Mary. Where am I starting?”
“1, 2, 4, 5 and 7 have left. 11, 12, 14 and 15 are services. Two boys off the street last night; don’t seem much older than you. Back packers by the look of them. They’re in 15, they’re staying 3 nights.”
“Yup. They didn’t have a car or anything so it looks like they’ve either been walking or hitch hiking.”
“Well that’s good for us then, see you later” I tried to get away before she leapt into one of her lectures but I was too slow.
“Make sure all the cables are tucked nicely under the bed!”
It would never matter how good a job I did, the old bat would always find something to criticise about. I moved through the cleans in no time. Truckers never made much mess; they just slept and left again, didn’t even use the shower. Which I suppose was gross but it meant less hard scrubbing work for me to do so in that respect I was happy.
The services were just as easy. Even room 15 which was surprising since two teenage boys were staying. The beds were made; although not perfectly and they’d showered. Other than that the room was spotless. I made their beds neatly and replaced the towels.
“How bad were the boys?” Mary asked when I finished at 11am.
“Surprisingly good actually.” I replied.
“Alright, see you tomorrow Lily. 8.30 start again okay?”
“Sure thing, see you.”
(James point of view)
“So what are we going to do Prongs?” Sirius asked as we finished breakfast.
“I don’t know, wander around I suppose. There must be something to do around here.” I replied “Excuse me... Sir? What do most people do around here for fun?” I asked the old man behind the counter.
“Well there’s the community football league, but the next game isn’t until Thursday. Other than that not a lot. I know the young ones like to throw parties in the empty factories from time to time. But it’s never the same one. Sorry lads”
“Thank you” I replied and got up to leave. “Come on Padfoot; let’s see if we can find some people who can speak our language hmmm?”
“Party” I replied with a smile.
“I dunno Prongs I don’t think this place can handle us.” Sirius grinned.
“I’m sure they’ll manage.”
We left the bakery and wandered around trying to find someone, anyone. But this place was a ghost town.
“No party by the looks of things Prongs” Sirius said glumly
“Where do you suppose everyone is?”
“My guess? Left this dump. I mean look at it prongs everything is shut down, abandoned... who wouldn’t?” He replied “Prongs? Hello earth to Prongs!”
“Hush!” I scolded and strained my ears. “Do hear that?”
“It sounds like someone crying.” We walked along the road until we reached a children’s playground.
Even this looked miserable. The slide was broken, a gaping hole in it. The see-saw had missing seats. There were two swings, one was snapped it half and the other was occupied by a crying girl.
The girl was thin with blonde hair and her pale eyes were swollen from tears.
“Are you okay?” I asked kindly approaching her.
“Does it look like I’m okay?” The girl spat.
“Well no that’s why he asked” Sirius said rudely, sitting beside her on the ground. I decided to join him.
“Piss off!” She scowled, she wasn’t exactly pretty.
“Not until you at least tell us why you’re crying.”
“Because of my rotten sister happy now? I announce I’m getting engaged and she has to ruin everything by saying she got head girl at her stupid school. My parents were thrilled of course, I was left ignored. It’s not like I wanted her at my wedding anyway.”
“Well that wasn’t very nice, but isn’t that a little harsh? Not wanting her at your wedding.” I replied softly.
“You don’t understand what it’s like! She’s so... so... urgh she’s just so aggravating. The whole world revolves around her because everyone thinks she’s so perfect! I moved out with my fiancé to get away! If I didn’t have to come back to see my parents I wouldn’t even be here” She sniffed miserably. I detected a hint of jealousy in her voice.
“I know what that’s like. My parents think the world revolves around my brother” Sirius butted in “I hated them so much I just walked out. Now I live with this guy” He said gesturing to me. “You want my opinion? Go back home to your fiancé and plan your dream wedding. Fuck her. If you don’t want her there then that’s your choice. It’s your big day”
“You’re right” She sniffed. “Fuck her. I’m going home to Vernon.” And with that she got up and stormed off.
“Well gee no thank you necessary” Sirius huffed. I laughed.
“Good on you mate”
(Lily’s Point of view)
“Hey Hun, how was work?” My mother asked as I walked in the door.
“Fine” I replied.
“Your sister is here... She’s up in her room” She said carefully. She knew Petunia and I weren’t on the best of terms “She’s brought Vernon”
“That’s nice” I said biting my tongue. Vernon, Petunia’s boyfriend was an absolute pig.
“Hungry? You want some lunch?”
“No thanks” I’d lost my appetite.
“Okay then dear... An owl brought you a letter while you were out. I left it on your bed. It has a wax seal on it.”
I raced upstairs to my room. I snatched the letter off my bed. My mother was right; there was a wax seal, the Hogwarts crest. I exhaled deeply. It would be this year’s school supply list; I felt a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I didn’t wanna know how much it was going to cost. I put the letter on my bed side table and lay on my bed.
I stared at the ceiling and couldn’t help but feel out of place. Two years ago by now I would have ripped open the letter and called Severus to see when he wanted to go to Diagon Alley. But there would be no calling Severus... Every since he’d called me... Mudblood.
I swear I’d only closed my eyes for a second but when I opened them several hours had passed. I turned over and looked at the letter on the bedside table.
You have to open it eventually Lils. Better get it over and done with.
I sat up in bed and picked up the letter. It seemed heavier than usual. Oh brilliant.
To Miss Lily Evans,
First I wish to congratulate you on your successful year last year. May you have another this year?
Your supply list for this year is enclosed, along with a little something special.
Congratulations Miss Evans on being Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizard’s head girl for the year of 1977. I trust you will do a marvellous job. Your first order of duty is the briefing of this year’s prefects. This will take place in the heads compartment of the Hogwarts Express on September 1st. Enjoy your holiday.
I couldn’t believe it, I tipped the envelope upside down and sure enough there was the supply list and the gleaming heads badge. I squealed with excitement and rushed downstairs letter in hand.
“Mum! Dad! I got head girl!! I yelled as I entered the room.
Petunia looked at me like she was going to explode.
“Oh Lily that’s wonderful” My dad said giving me a big hug.
“You FREAK! You just had to ruin MY moment didn’t you?” Petunia shrieked. Vernon stood shaking his head.
“I’m going to go home now my love. I don’t want to be around for this. I’ll see you” He said giving her a sloppy cheek kiss and heading out the door.
“What are you talking about?” I asked as he slammed the door.
“You know exactly what I’m talking about. I tell mum and dad I’m getting married and you just have to try and top me!” She screamed hysterically.
“I didn’t know!” I yelled back. I stopped and calmed myself down. “That’s great Tuney” I said trying to give her a hug.
“Get away from me you FREAK! You ruin everything!” She screamed, crying her eyes out and bolted for the door. But not before giving me a harsh slap across the face.
I think it was the shock that hurt more than then the actual slap it’s self, it still knocked me back a few steps.
I ran to my room, threw myself at my bed, crawled up in a ball and began to cry...
(Lily’s Point of View)
If I didn’t want to get up yesterday I certainly didn’t want to get up today. My whole body ached, physically and mentally. I’d had the worst night’s sleep. Over and over Petunia’s words had screamed inside my head, along with Severus’s ‘FREAK!’ ‘I don’t need help from filthy little mudbloods like her!’*
I gradually got myself out of bed and into the shower. But drowning in my sorrows didn’t make me feel much better either. I got dressed and went down stairs my mother was in the kitchen, but I decided I wasn’t very hungry. Besides I was already late.
I arrived for work just in time. Mary ready and waiting with today’s list and... Another friendly face.
“Ali! Your back! How was your holiday?” I said running up to the old woman. Momentarily forgetting Petunia.
“Hello Lily love. It was amazing thank you.” She replied giving me a hug.
Ali was in her late 60’s. Her eyes were a pale blue and she had greying hair which she kept (not very successfully) dyed brown.
“There’s time to catch up later! There’s work to do I want you out of here by 11!” Mary yelled heading back into her office.
“Oh ignore her love, grouchy old bat.” The old woman smiled.
“But Ali... I thought Mary was your friend?!” I laughed.
“Oh she is. But that doesn’t stop her from being a grouchy old bat!”
We chatted away idly as we worked; about her holiday in Spain, this and that. In fact it was so good to see her I almost completely forgot about Petunia... almost.
“Petunia’s getting married.” I said.
“Really? To that Vernon bloke? The one that looks like a pig in a moustache?”
“Ha ha that’s the one. I don’t think she wants me at her wedding though.” I said sadly, choking back tears.
“Oh come now, she’ll get over it dear. It’s old fashion sisterly jealousy. Now I know what’ll cheer you up. Mary tells me there are two strapping young lads in room 15... they’re still there... wanna sneak a peek?”
I couldn’t help but laugh. Once Ali had gone into a service after there had been no reply at her knocking. She had gone in just as a man came out of the bathroom in nothing but a towel. She’d apologised in an embarrassed state claiming she was just there to make beds and collect his towels. Just like that the man had whipped off his towel and handed it to her. She’d never lived it down. Since then we’d had quite rough luck when it came to men still being in rooms. We’d seen more men half naked in their boxers than we’d ever care to count.
“I’m good thanks Ali, they’re all yours.”
“Suit yourself love, yummy lovelies here I come!” She said quietly as she knocked on the door. “Morning Lad, room service. We’re just here to collect your dirty towels and replace them.”
“Oh gee thanks.... Umm my friend is still in the bath, could you come back in 5?” That’s funny I thought, I swear I recognise that voice, I just couldn’t picture where.
“Not to worry my lovely, just leave everything you want replaced at the door!” She waited until the door closed to finish speaking. “Gods Lily... you missed out that time, he was definitely yummy. That hair and those abs? To die for!”
“Ha ha maybe next time.”
(James Point of View)
“Oi! Prongs! Hurry up and get out of the bath! The cleaning ladies want our towels!” Sirius yelled through the bathroom door.
“I’m relaxing!” I yelled back.
“I don’t give a pixie. Hurry up, I just got a look at the back of the younger one. She’s got a nice arse.”
Typical bloody Padfoot, all his mind focuses on is quidditch, food and girls.
“Alright, alright I’m hopping out.” I climbed out of the bath and wrapped a towel around my waist exiting the bathroom. “So where’s the girl with the nice arse?”
“Outside, I didn’t get a good look at her.”
“Just her arse?” I laughed.
“What? She’s just your type man, sexy red head.” He replied boastfully.
“Did you happen to find out how old she was?”
“No...” He admitted.
“Exactly. For all you know she could be old enough to be your mother.”
“No one with a body like should ever be compared to my mother Prongs. Never.”
“Alright, alright. Now sod off I want to get changed. Don’t need you sneaking a peek.” I chuckled, he fained horror and disappeared into his room.
I changed and knocked on his door.
“It’s safe now. So what’s the plan today?”
“Tiki tour on the bike? I thought maybe we could drop in on Remus... you know with tomorrow being...”
“Full moon. Sounds good to me.” Open road here we come.
“Sweet as, oh just leave the towels at the door they said they’d collect them later.”
We locked the room and wandered over to wear we’d left the bike. I rode shot gun and Sirius drove. We rode the countryside for a couple of hours until we found another safe place to hide the bike. Then from there we apparated to Remus’s house.
We played rock, parchment, wand to see who had to knock. Mrs Lupin was often... Jumpy with people visiting around this time of the month. Who could blame her poor woman? Sirius lost. Win for Prongs.
“Hey Mrs Lupin, is Remus here?”
“He’s in his room.” She replied timidly.
“Can we see him please?” I asked. She seemed nervous and I was sure she was going to say no, but she surprised me and opened the door.
“Don’t stay long, he needs his rest.”
We climbed the stairs and headed straight for his room. There door was closed but do you think that stopped Padfoot?
“Moony!!!” He yelled as he stormed through the door and jumped onto his bed. This earned him a groan.
“Sorry Remus, my evil twin is rather rude. I got the looks, brains and the charm he got well... what did you get?” That earned me a smile and some laughter from Remus and a scowl from Sirius. Padfoot 0 Prongs 2.
“Hey guys, how’s your little tour going?” He asked as he sat up.
“Brilliant...well up until we got to where we’re staying now. Place is a ghost town, no night life. Although... There is this bird with a nice arse, cleaning our room.” Sirius replied.
“What’s she like? What does she look like?”
“He doesn’t know, only seen the back of her. Oh wait... no he knows she’s a red head” I supplied.
“Typical Padfoot.” Remus chuckled shaking his head. “So where are you anyway?”
“Err... Coketown” Sirius replied.
“Cokeworth, you mean?”
“Yeah, how did you know Moony? Been there?” I asked.
“No, but I know someone who lives there.”
“It’s not important. There is a night life if you know where to look. Scannel Street, it’s full of abandoned factories. The local teens host parties every two days in one of them. But it’s always a different one every night.”
“Sweet! Know what we’re doing tonight Prongs! So what time do you want us to meet you tomorrow night Moony?”
“7pm, same place as last time, under the big maple tree.”
“Boys! It’s time for you to go now!” Mrs Lupin yelled from downstairs.
“See ya tomorrow Moony.”
(Lily’s Point of View)
“Hey sweet how was work? Hungry?” Mum asked when I walked in the door.
“Fine, Ali’s back. No thanks Mum.”
“Lily sweet you didn’t eat breakfast. I’ve gotta get to work but promise me... Promise me you’ll eat something” She replied slinging her purse over her shoulder.
“Yeah sure Mum”
“Promise me Lils.”
“Okay I promise.”
“Word on the grape vine is there’s a party happening tonight.”
“Well I don’t usually condone parties but in this case... I think it’ll do you some good. Ask around, have some fun for once hmm?”
Oh if only you knew, I thought. I won’t lie, the perfect Lily Evans had once snuck out to attend a party. It was after she got home in 5th year. The year Sev called her... that... she’d done it just to spite him. She’d taken Remus Lupin with her for moral support. She’d even enjoyed herself a little. It was her and Remus’s unspoken secret.
“Okay love, see you later. I’ll be home late. I love you Lils”
“Love you too Mum.”
*quote from Order of the Pheonix, US version, p. 648.
(James Point of View)
“Padfoot please... I know you love this muggle band but please I beg you stop singing!”
“It’s Fleetwood Mac Prongs! They’re top of the charts.”
“I swear Padfoot you repeat another line of lyrics before we get to that party and I will take great pleasure in stunning you”
“Fine, we should have named you moody.” He scoffed.
“You’ve sung ‘Don’t stop’ at least 4 times now!”
“Okay okay I get it...”
We locked our room and headed to the out skirts of town. We found Scannel Street in no time. Now it was a matter of finding which factory would be hosting tonight’s festivities. It didn’t take long, before long we found a trail of people slipping into a factory towards the southern end of the street.
“Name...” A big guy on the door asked. He could have been part troll if you ask me, especially with that ugly mug.
“Oh hi, we’re new in town. I’m James and this is my friend Sirius.” I said stretching out my hand.
“What kinda fucked up name is that?” Sirius let out a small growl from the bottom of his throat.
“His parents were hippies, can’t blame the fella now can we? So are we in or...” I said trying to push Padfoot inside.
“You’re not on the list. No name no entry. No outsiders.” The big guy grumbled.
“Come on mate, we’re just looking for a bit of fun. What’s the harm in it? We were recommended this by a friend. Said your parties are to die for” Okay I was exaggerating a little but hey we wanted in, there was nothing better to do. He raised an eye brow.
“How do I know you ain’t no pig’s snitch? We don’t like cops.”
“Dude you’re talking to the guys who earned themselves a month worth of detentions for sticking a firecracker in a boys bathroom. We aren’t angles” Sirius butted in. The troll seemed impressed, he waved us in.
“We’re in Prongs!” Sirius yelled gleefully.
(Lily’s point of view)
I couldn’t believe I was doing this again, only this time I was doing it with my mother’s permission. I gazed at myself in the mirror. I was wearing a short tie dyed dress and strapped golden sandals. Not too bad I thought.
“You look smashing baby girl”
“Merlin Dad! You scared me!” I squealed, jumping out of my skin.
“Sorry sweetheart. Anyway, you’re going to knock ‘em all dead... Just don’t bring any of them home alright?” He smiled. My dad is such a goof ball.
“No worries on that front dad.”
“Got your eyes on a Hogwartian hmm?”
“No dad, there is not Hogwarts boy, thank you very much.”
“What about...” I knew how he was going to finish that sentence, ever since I let slip about the annoying James bloody Potter he’d used it against me.
“Don’t you dare finish that sentence” He laughed.
“Alright sweetheart. Be home at a decent hour, you still have work tomorrow.”
“I will Daddy.” I kissed his cheek and left my house, into the cool summer’s air.
(James Point of view)
The party was in full swing. Unfortunately I did have to endure another round of ‘Don’t Stop’ by Fleetwood Mac but hey it was a muggle party, thus muggle music. I lost Sirius to a crowd of girls within the first half an hour.
Not that I was bothered. I was quite happy to wander around by myself. I danced with a couple of girls but none of them really tickled my fancy. They were no certain muggleborn, fiery, red head.
I was enjoying myself, I wasn’t even drunk yet. I’d only had a couple of drinks. I was enjoying myself... that is until Sirius came running over with a panicked look in his eyes.
“Oh Padfoot what have you done now?!” I said exasperatedly.
“Remember the red hair from the motel?”
“The one with the nice arse that I never actually saw? Yes”
“I found her”
“Good for you Padfoot.”
“No... It’s not good Prongs” He said shaking his head.
“Why she not as pretty as you thought? Too old for you?”
“No it’s not that. She’s fucking gorgeous. You’ll probably kill me later for saying that.”
“Because the girl... the girl is Evans”
(Lily’s Point of View)
“Name...” Grumbled the guy on the door.
“Grant... You’ve know me since I saw three. It’s Lily Evans for god’s sake.”
“I’m not taking any chances. Two newbie’s have already got in tonight.” He replied.
“Newbie’s?” I asked. Nobody new ever got in. These parties were always kept secret, or well to the best of our abilities. We were always changing time, date and venue. “Who?”
“Dunno two blokes. Backpackers I recon. One had a funny name. Can’t remember what it was. Some hippy’s kid.”
“I’m sure they won’t do any harm. If it’s two blokes it’s probably the ones staying at the motel. They’re just touring around. They’re only booked in another night as far as I know.” I told him. He just grunted and shuffled me through.
Gee nice seeing you too Grant.
The floor was already littered with empty cups and some people were wandering around slightly tipsy. I’d learnt from the time I was here with Remus to bring my own water. Everything here would already be spiked.
I tried not to laugh thinking back on how ill Remus had been the next day. Poor bloke had been so legless I’d taken him home with me. Not that my parents knew about that, thank Merlin they’d gone to visit friends for the weekend.
Everyone was dancing and having a blast. Fleetwood Mac blaring from the DJ stand, it was nice to be listening to muggle music for once instead of wizarding music. I scanned the crowd looking for any familiar faces. Not that I knew anyone all that well now that I didn’t go to school with them anymore. I saw Many Smith dancing with a few of his buddies. I’d had a crush on him when I was about 10, I’d accidently dropped a plant pot on his foot once. Yes he was defiantly someone to avoid.
“Well hello there. I recognise you, you’re the bird from the motel. So sweet thing what do you say care to dance?” There it was... that voice again. I knew it from somewhere. I turned around to find myself face to face with...
“SIRIUS BLACK!!” I screamed in horror.
“EVANS!” He replied just as horrified. He looked like he was going to be sick, or wet himself. One of the two.
“What the fuck are you doing here?!” I cursed. Oh crap... there had been two of them at the motel. If Sirius was one, who was the other?!
“I could ask you the same thing!” He retorted.
“I live here you twat! Well not here as in here in this building but... oh you know what I mean! Now explain!”
He didn’t even give me a chance to finish. He bolted for the other side of the room. I dodged through the crowd trying to follow him.
(James Point of View)
“The girl... the girl is Evans”
“What do you mean the girl is Evans?” I asked confused.
“I mean, Lily bloody Evans is here. At this party, she cleans our room. Wanna know the best bit? She fucking lives here! We didn’t need to know who Moony’s friend was my ass!”
“SIRIUS BLACK GET YOUR ARSE BACK HERE!”
“Oh shit that’s her. Come on Prongs we’ve gotta get out of here!” Sirius yelped trying to pull me away.
“What’s the point Padfoot? She knows we’re here now. And she knows where we’re staying. There’s no point.” I sighed. Hurricane Lily here we come.
“SIRIUS BLACK... Potter?” Lily stopped in her tracks as she realised who was in front of her. “Okay what’s going on? Am I being stalked now?!”
“No we are not stalking you. We didn’t even know you were here...” Wait a minute... Sirius said Evans had a nice arse... ha so holding him to that. “If anything you should be mad at Sirius. It was his crazy idea to go riding around England. And he’s the one who called you the bird with a nice arse.”
I don’t know who looked more embarrassed Sirius or Evans. Then again, Sirius could have been red with anger too.
“You said what Black?” She stammered.
“I... I only saw you from behind! And in my defence it wasn’t even a good look. It was like a second. And it’s not like I knew who you were. I don’t make a habit of looking at your arse.” He mumbled. Lily looked as though she was torn between laughter and shame.
“Outside... Now. Both of you. You have some explaining to do.” She said calmly and walked towards the exit.
“Did she just talk to you... calmly?” Sirius asked in shock.
“I think she did Padfoot. I think she did.” I replied.
(Lily’s Point of View)
“Alright. Start talking. Why are you here, how did you get here, how long have you been here and how the hell did you know about this party?” I said calmly, as soon as we long out of sight and ear shot of Grant.
“Which one of us? Me or Prongs?” Sirius asked.
“Both of you I suppose.”
“Okay well, at the beginning of the summer I inherited a... substantial amount of money from my Uncle. So I went and bought a muggle motorbike since well... I’ve always wanted one and I just thought. Road trip with Prongs!” He began.
“I wasn’t that keen at first, but then I thought meh... Why not? So we’ve just been travelling around Britain... seeing the sights” James continued.
“Crashing parties!” Sirius butted in with a wink.
“It was pure accident we ended up here.”
“Yeah, that’s kinda my fault.” Sirius admitted.
“How so?” I asked. Stay calm Lily... just stay calm. Yes Potter and Black are annoying toe rags. Just remain calm.
“We err... kinda got onto a chase with the muggle authorities...”
“Oh Merlin what did you pair do?” I asked in dismay.
“So I was a little over the speed limit. No biggie...” Sirius replied, he sounded nervous though.
“So... you’re hiding here?”
“Kinda I guess” James said, he was being awfully quiet for a change.
“Okay... so how’d you know about the party?”
“We visited Remus earlier today.. He said there was a night life if you knew where to look. Said he got told by a friend. So I’m guessing that’s you.”
“Why were you visiting him so close to the full moon. He’s probably exhausted...”
“Wait you know...” James said with surprise.
“That Remus is a were-wolf? Of course I’m not an idiot. That and we are friends you know.” I huffed.
“You’ve never said anything.” Sirius replied.
“Not my place to really is it? We can keep secrets.” Like that night at the last party...
“No I suppose not.”
“Come on, let’s get you two back in there then...” I said with a sigh.
“Hang on a minute Evans... what were you doing there? You never come to any of our parties...”
“Padfoot... she doesn’t have to answer if she doesn’t want to... Sorry Lily” James said quickly. Wow... usually he’s asked me out at least twice by now.
“It’s alright Potter... I’m here trying to get my mind off someone.” I admitted.
“You had a boyfriend we didn’t know about?!” James asked in alarm, I just laughed.
“No. I was referring to my sister. I’ve never had a boyfriend thank you very much.” I laughed. He blushed.
“Why you trying to get your mind off you sister?” Sirius asked. He actually sounded concerned. I sighed and sat on the curb.
“She’s mad at me...” I whimpered. I will not cry, I will not cry.
“What’s she mad at you for?” James asked sitting beside me. Sirius not far behind.
“I ruined her engagement announcement. I didn’t know...” Why am I even telling them this? “I just found out I got head girl and I got excited so I ran downstairs...” No don’t cry, oh shit I’m crying. “I... I didn’t know she was telling mum and dad she was getting married... Now she doesn’t even want me at her wedding” Oh brilliant now I was sobbing. I was sobbing in front of bloody James Potter and Sirius Black.
Then the unexpected happened. Sirius Black pulled me into a hug.
(James Point of View)
Oh Merlin... One minute we have calm Evans, no longer just yelling at us and calling us toe rag Evans. Now... we have blubbering mess Evans. And I hate to say it but it is our fault. Us and our big mouths poking into muggles business.
“Oh Lily don’t cry, please don’t cry. You cry and soon Prongs will be a mess. We can’t have his mascara running now can we?” Sirius said giving her a hug. If she wasn’t crying I would have hexed him. I do NOT wear mascara. “Aw come on? Not even a smile? What about calling Prongs a toe rag? You love that!”
“N...No I don’t!” She sniffed. “I o...only say I...it when you get on m...m...my nerves!”
“Now now come on I’m sure she’s just a little upset. It’ll boil over, everything is going to be okay.” I tried, but no luck.
“You don’t know what she’s like! I...I don’t even know why I’m tell...telling you all this.”
“Because obviously petal you’re a little upset. Let’s get you home huh? Where’d you live, we’ll take you home.” Sirius said lifting her off her feet.
“O...Okay. Dad’s going to murder me” She laughed through her sobs.
“Why’s that petal?” Sirius asked with a smile.
“He said ‘knock ‘em dead, but don’t bring any of them home’” She hiccupped. I couldn’t help it. It was so insensitive but I laughed. Merlin.
“What are you laughing at Potter?” She sniffed.
“Your dad, he sounds like a laugh” I admitted bashfully.
“He is” She agreed calming down a little.
“There you are, that’s better now isn’t it?” Sirius said wiping the tears off her face.
Sirius kept his arm around her as we walked and we escorted her home. Me bringing up the rear. I felt like a third wheel on a date almost. If it wasn’t for the fact Lily was still snivelling.
I knocked on her front door and a man I can only presume as Mr Evans opened the door. He was smiling until he saw Lily.
“Oh my little flower... What happened?” He asked as she left Sirius’s arms for his.
“Our bad Sir... We were talking and her sister came up...” Nice save Sirius.
“Oh yes, yes. Come in lads...” Mr Evans said opening the door. I didn’t really know what to say, I looked to Padfoot for support. He just shrugged and we followed Mr Evans into his home.
“Chrissy love? Can you take Lily upstairs for a minute?” Mr Evans called out. Mrs Evans appeared at the base of the stairs and sheparded Lily up them.
“Take a seat lads. I’ll put the kettle on” Mr Evans said disappearing into the kitchen.
We sat awkwardly in the Evans front room. I looked around the room aimlessly. There wasn’t much. There was the couch we were sitting on which was worn and kind of tatty, a lamp and a muggle television. A mantle piece over hung the fireplace and pictures were scattered across it. Lily in her Hogwarts uniform. Mr and Mrs Evans wedding photo, a picture of the girl we’d met on the swing who could only be Lily’s sister and last but not least there was a family portrait. All of the Evans family together happy and smiling. Lily could only be about 9 or 10 in that picture.
“Before she discovered she was a witch...” Mr Evans sighed, coming into the room with cups of tea. “Sorry, I couldn’t help but see you had noticed our last family portrait. Things have been... strained since then.” He handed Sirius and I a cup each.
“Thanks Sir” I said grasping a cup and shuffling over so he could sit. Poor Mr Evans he looked so tired. There were dark circles under his eyes and his ginger hair was fading to grey.
“No thank you Mr Potter, for bringing my daughter home.” I spat half my tea back into my cup and started to choke. Sirius thumped me on the back.
“You know who I am Sir?”
“James honestly, I can’t stand when people call me Sir. It make same feel old, call me Jim. And yes I know who you are, how could I not? My daughter comes home every year with a new tale about you and your friends ‘James and Sirius blew up Severus’s cauldron’ ‘Potter flooded the prefects bathroom’ ‘The marauders painted the great hall red and gold!’ etcetera...”
I blushed and looked at Sirius; he looked just as embarrassed as I did. Mr Evans smiled.
“Now I’m sure you did your fair share too Mr Black.”
“That’s true” Sirius admitted. “You must think terribly of us.”
“Not at all!” Mr Evans laughed “You boys remind me of my little brother Tommy. He was a laugh, loved by everyone. Had a head attached to his shoulders too, though he didn’t always use it...” He continued raising an eyebrow. “She doesn’t hate you, James. But God does she want to. Lily loved Tommy to pieces; she was heartbroken when he died. In her little mind you remind her of all the pain she felt. That’s why she wants to hate you. But she doesn’t, not really”
I let what Mr Evans said sink in. Lily didn’t hate me. Yet she wanted to. Because the way I acted caused her pain. It all made sense, how one minute she could be fine and the next minute exploding at me... Did Remus know about this? Is that why they were such good friends?
“James, Sirius... Can you boys promise me something?” Mr Evans asked quietly.
“What’s that Jim?” Sirius asked.
“Keep an eye on Lily for me? She’s been through a lot since she started Hogwarts. She’s lost her relationship with her sister, her best friend Severus and now with all this ‘death eater’ stuff I keep hearing about. I don’t think she can take much more. Life has been hard in the last few years for her and the rest of my family. I want the best for my little girl. I want her happy and safe.” He sighed. “As you’ve seen tonight, she can only take so much before she breaks.” Sirius and I nodded.
“Of course we will Mr Evans. You can count on me.” I told the older man.
“I know you will Mr Potter. I know you will”
(Lily’s Point of view)
I woke up with a pounding head ache and sore eyes. It took me a few minutes to recall what had happened last night, I groaned. I let myself crack in front of the two people I least wanted to crack in front of... ever.
I slid out of bed and went down stairs. My dad was sat at the coffee table, he looked tired, as though he hadn’t slept all night. He looked up when he realised I was there.
“Morning love. How you feeling?”
“Fine I guess.”
“Mary rang about half an hour ago. No work today. The only room is James and Sirius’s service.” He sounded as tired as he looked.
“It’s getting worse isn’t it?” I asked. It was no secret Cokeworth was struggling. We were all struggling.
“I’m afraid so love” My father choked. He’d already lost 5 jobs in the last 20 months. I didn’t know what we’d do if he lost another.
“Dad, are you okay? Did you sleep at all last night?” My father looked ill, his skin was changing from pale to a dull grey colour. I’d only seen him this bad once before. He had a habit of making himself ill with worry and stress.
“No not really, my flower. I didn’t sleep a wink. Too many thoughts buzzing around this old man’s brain.” He tried to smile “I spoke with James and Sirius last night. You know I think they may have settled into their shoes a little bit. They seem more mature then you’ve always described. James more than Sirius, but it’s something.”
“You really think so?” I asked sitting beside him.
“I know so, my love.” He said kissing my forehead.
“You think I should give him a chance don’t you?” I sighed.
“Not necessarily romantically. But don’t you think you could give friendship a go? He seems nice enough Lils.” He said softly. I knew he was right. If only he knew how right he was.
“Why do you always say that?” I asked.
“Because he reminds me of your uncle.” He admitted. “You can’t deny it Lily, he is soo much like Tommy.”
“I know Daddy, I know” I replied, a tear rolling down my cheek. “I miss him so much.”
“I know you do, but you honey... You need to stop letting the memory of his death control your life so much. Tommy... was lost for a long time sweet heart, he got topped over the edge. James isn’t lost Okay?”
(James’s Point of View)
“Do you think we should go over there? Make sure she’s okay?” Sirius asked pacing along our small room.
“You really think she’d be happy to see us? Why are you so suddenly interested anyway?” I grumbled.
“Steady on mate it’s not like that. But it kinda is our fault that she’s had a falling out with her sister. I feel guilty I guess.” He shrugged, sitting on the end of my bed. “What do you suppose happened to her uncle?”
“Hmm?” I said pretending not to have heard him.
“Mr Evans brother, Tommy; the one he said died.”
“I dunno haven’t really thought about it.” James Potter you lying toad you’ve been thinking about it all night.
“Well I have and I have a theory.” He replied nodding his head.
“And that theory is?” I asked coming to sit beside him.
“Well I recon... from how Mr Evans said it and because of how upset Lily gets with you all the time. When we do something stupid or reckless that his death must have been some kind of accident”
“Possibly. You seem to have given this a lot of thought Padfoot.”
“Like I said Prongs it’s guilt. Here I’ve been giving her stick all these years for being an arse and not bothering to find out why exactly she’s been an arse. And after all this time she’s had a very valid reason. Then there’s moony. I gave him stick too for being chummy with her when she’s been so good to him.”
“Padfoot... Brother. You’re going soft” I laughed.
“It’s not funny Prongs. This is serious! When was the last time you saw Evans get that upset? Never. Not even when Snivellus called her you-know-what. She’s heartbroken Prongs.” He huffed.
“Yeah I know...” I sighed. “But either way I doubt she wants to see us.”
“What if we went to go talk to her sister?”
“Padfoot, you heard what the man said. Lily and her sister’s relationship has been strained for years. We aren’t going to fix anything over a cosy chat and a cup of tea.”
“Yeah... I guess you’re right Prongs. But I still feel bloody awful.” He lay back on my bed, arms spread in a V above his head.
“We can go over this afternoon. She if she’s feeling any better. She’s obviously not working today. She would have dropped by, by now.”
“Maybe she’s avoiding us.”
“I doubt it. From the looks of things around here she wouldn’t pass up an opportunity for work.”
“Good point. Did you see the bills staked up on the mantel piece?”
“Wasn’t really focussing why?”
“There were several of them Prongs. I didn’t mean to be nosey but I noticed one was a medical bill. It had a hospital address stamped in the corner. I don’t think Mr Evans is very well.”
“He didn’t look it did he. I don’t think Lily knows though. Remus would have said something otherwise.”
“Why wouldn’t she? You don’t think its something serious do you Prongs?” He asked concern in his voice.
“I dunno Padfoot.”
Suddenly there was a rapid knock at the door. Padfoot fell of the bed in fright and raced to answer the door.
“Evans?” He said as he opened it.
“Let me in you prat before Mary see’s me!” She hissed, pushing past him.
“Why? Who’s Mary?” I asked standing.
“My boss. I’m not supposed to be here. It’s... unprofessional.”
“But you know us outside of work? Doesn’t that make a difference?”
“Not to her it doesn’t, grumpy troll” She huffed. I laughed.
“So what are you doing here anyway Evans?”
“My father... and I... would like to know if you would like to join us for lunch.” She said quietly. I raised my eyebrows.
“Err... sure why not. We have to be somewhere later on though.”
“Oh... um... Pete he wanted a hand with his charms homework. Promised we’d help” I lied. She may know that Remus is a were-wolf but I doubted he’d tell her about us being animagus.
“Oh well that was nice of you. Anyway, we’re going to the Mole and Chicken at around 1pm so I’ll meet you there.” She said hurriedly trying to head for the door.
“Hang on Lils. Calm your cauldron, where you off to in such a rush?” Sirius said blocking the door.
“No...Nowhere” She stuttered.
“Well then, why not stay with us? We’re bored.” He replied. I gave him the Padfoot shut up look. He ignored me.
“Oh...okay. But how exactly are we going to stop being bored?” She replied hesitantly, I was surprised she didn’t slap him and bolt for the door.
“Three-somes are fun” Sirius replied with a wink. Merlin she’d murder him now!
She laughed. She bloody laughed! Since when does Evans ever laugh?!
“Er no thanks Sirius, I don’t do casual flings and one night stands. Never-had-a-boyfriend-Evans remember?”
“Naww Petal don’t say that. I’m sure plenty of muggle boys would love a chance at your trousers. Wizards too. Right Prongs?”
I blushed crimson. Okay Padfoot low blow. I’ll get you back for that one.
“Ha ha. Come on, we can go over to my place Petunia’s not home and both my parents are at work. We can play board games or watch a movie or something.”
“What’s a movie? Is that that constant moving picture thingy we learnt about in muggle studies in third year? You watch it on telly? Do we get to watch telly?!” Padfoot said excitedly. If he didn’t calm down he’d wet himself.
“Yes, now calm down we need to sneak out of here without being seen. I think she’s in the back office but the woman has ears like a bat!”
(Lily’s Point of View)
Spending time with Sirius and James was surprisingly fun. We crammed ourselves on my couch and watched Disney movies. We watched snow white and the seven dwarfs, Dumbo, Bambi and the latest movie Herbie goes to Monte Carlo.
I found myself squashed between the two boys holding the popcorn, but it was surprisingly comfortable. I laughed and cried and I wasn’t at all bothered if Sirius or James saw. For the first time in a very long time I felt genuinely happy. I wasn’t stressed or being picked on or lonely. I felt free.
Merlin I hate to admit it but my dad was right. Maybe being friends wouldn’t be so bad after all. Maybe I’d been selfish to myself the whole time trying to push James away. Maybe him and his friendship were just what I’d needed for so long. Had I really been so blinded by my own mind and Sev’s hatred?
“It’s almost one. We should really go and meet up with my dad. He only gets an hour break.” I said getting up to switch off the television.
“But we can come back and watch sword in the stone right?” James asked stretching.
“Sure I don’t see why not.” I replied. I locked up the house and we walked over to the mole and chicken.
There were a few people scattered around the bar. I spotted my dad instantly at our regular table.
“Boys! So glad you could make it. Hate to rush you but can you quickly decide what you want to eat. I haven’t got long.”
“If there’s steak we’ll have it.” Sirius jumped in quick as a flash. My dad laughed.
“Two steaks it is then. Take a seat lads.”
“Pads... you didn’t even look at the menu, the steak is the most expensive thing on it!” I heard James hiss into his ear. “Here Mr Evans I got it” He said aloud, trying to hand the waiter money.
“James son don’t be ridiculous. This is on me, my treat. Why don’t you play a game of pool with Lils while we wait for the food to arrive. Sirius and I can have a little chat” My father said with a smile. Directing him towards the pool table in the corner.
“Sure we can. Off you go Prongs, have fun with Evans!” Sirius said happily sitting beside my dad. I raised my eyebrows at both of them but my dad just shook his hand at me.
“Come on James. Ever played pool?” I asked. Popping a pound coin into the slot and releasing the balls.
“No... How do you play?” He asked.
“Okay see that white spot on the table. But the white ball on it. I’ll set up the triangle.” I told him as I put the other balls on the table. “Okay, I’ll break and show you what to do”
“Break?” He asked confused.
“This” I replied, sending the white ball hurtling into the others. “That’s called a break. Breaking up all the balls in the triangle. Now you try to pot a ball using the white ball. Like so...” I said potting the number 10. “See that ball was striped. So now I have to try pot all the striped balls and then and only then can I pot the black number 8 ball. You have to sink all the solid coloured balls, when you’ve done that then you can attempt to pot the number 8 ball. First one to sink all their balls and the number 8 ball wins got it?”
“Yeah I got it. What happens if I pot the black ball before all my other balls?”
“Then I automatically win. If you pot the white ball I get to put it back on the table anywhere in this semi-circle.” I answered, pointing out the semi circle. “Okay your go, try to sink one of the solids.”
I’ll admit James got pretty good the longer we played, I still won however. He accidently potted the black ball when there were only 3 balls left on the table.
“Bollocks.” He said with a laugh.
“Better luck next time Potter. You’re next Black!” I called out to him over at the table.
“You’re soooo on petal. Your dad’s been giving me tips!”
“Ha ha food’s here, we can play after.”
AUTHORS NOTE: This chapter and the next chapter in this story are dedicated to my great-grandmother who recently passed away. R.I.P Love you always x :'(
James’s point of view
I was really enjoying spending time with Lily. Time that didn’t involve: her yelling at me and/or hexing me that is. Her dad was a pretty cool too, he was a right laugh. He and Sirius seemed to get along swimmingly; then again they were now firing peas across the pub through straws...
The best part was that Lily was smiling. A genuine full teeth smile. If this had been Hogwarts Sirius and I would have the threat of our own wands down our throats... or well somewhere that was entirely inappropriate. Lily Evans was genuinely smiling and happy to be around us and it felt bloody brilliant. She didn’t even seem the least bit bothered when her father said it was time for him to leave. She happily gave him a kiss good bye and jumped straight into another game of pool with Sirius.
Now let me just say Padfoot is rubbish at pool. No matter how hard Evans tried to teach him he just couldn’t shoot straight.
“Padfoot mate you suck.” I laughed as we walked our way back to Lily’s to watch some more television.
“It’s not me Prongs I have great aim. I’m just built to be a beater smacking stuff around, not delicately hit prissy little balls.” He grumbled.
“Speaking of prissy little balls...” I began teasingly
“James leave Sirius alone. He’s not that bad. He’s just not brilliant.” Lily butted in sympathetically.
“Yeah you heard her Potter. Piss off” Sirius barked grumpily.
Sirius dozed off half way through the sword in the stone. It was probably a good idea. We’d be up all night with Remus. Lily ended up pushing him over to one side and snuggling up next to me. Yes that’s right: snuggled. Like lay her head on my shoulder and curled her body into mine snuggled. Lily Evans snuggled up next to me. Willingly.
“James?” Lily whispered quietly
“Hmm” I hummed to her. Trying not to sound too pleased with myself.
“Thank you. I’m sorry.”
“What for?” I asked surprised.
“For always being there when I needed you, even if I didn’t realise it at the time. You’re not as much a prat as I thought. I was wrong and I’m sorry. Really sorry; for every insult or hex I’ve ever thrown at you. Or Sirius or anybody.”
“It’s alright Evans. No hard done. You certainly kept us on our toes.” I laughed quietly.
“I mean it James.”
“Ah I know you do.”
“James?” She asked again.
“You’re not really going to help Peter later are you? You’re going to see Remus.”
“How’d you guess?” I sighed.
“Remember last year after you lost that game against ravenclaw because of your seeker falling off his broom? How you disappeared for hours?”
Oh yeah I remembered like it was yesterday, poor Mike plummeted several feet before Sirius and I caught him in mid air. But it did cost us the match; I’d stormed out of the changing rooms and into the forbidden forest after the game. When no one was looking of course.
“Well I was up in the astronomy tower with Remus sending a letter to my mum. I saw you through the window... exiting the forest... as a stag.”
Oh bollocks she knew?!
“I didn’t know how to react at first, that’s some pretty advanced magic and we were only 6th years. I was astonished I guess. I didn’t know whether to be pissed off that you were unregistered and managed it before me or to be insanely proud and amazed.” She said smiling at me. “Remus explained then. What you all did for him. That’s what helped me make up my mind. That was a very hard... stupid... but brave and honourable thing to do for your friend.” She finished tears starting to form in her eyes.
“Hey don’t cry. Sure I did it before you but that doesn’t mean you won’t. I’ll help you out. I’m pretty sure you’ll get yourself registered and won’t be running around with a werewolf though” I laughed awkwardly. Crap we were having a good day I didn’t want her to cry.
“I’m not crying because of that. I’m crying because... because no one would ever do something like that for me. You’re so loyal to each other and I envy you for that. You can trust each other so much. I’ve never had that.”
“What are you talking about? You’ve got it right now. Sirius and I are your friends Lils. And so are Remus and Peter. We’ll always be here whenever you want, whenever you need us. Now that you’ve noticed we aren’t a bunch of complete prats that is.”
“Thank you. You know they’ve been doing some research you know; on werewolves and their transformations. They’re working on ways to stop it being painful. Possibly even keep their minds. It’s still the early stages yet though.”
“Really? How’s you know that?”
“You know that 3rd year whose hair you turned pink?”
“Yeah. Her dad’s a healer at st Mungo’s. In the creature induced injuries department. He’s been helping with some of the research. She was telling me last term.”
“What exactly are they looking at then?”
“They’ve tested out some new spells but nothing so far has seemed to work. They’re starting to lean more towards potions now. The problem is there aren’t a lot of werewolves out there willing to be well... experimented on I suppose. Even if they are being paid to do so.”
“People are being paid to be tested on?” I asked.
“Well yeah, but some are too scared of side effects to want to try find something that will aid them.”
“Remus might want to. I’ll try talk to him later about it.”
“Sounds like a good idea to me” she replied awkwardly. As if there was something else she wanted to say. But instead she kicked Padfoot gently in the ribs.
“Sirius you lazy arse wake up. You’ve got to go over to see Remus.”
“Na... not yet...Later...me so sleepy.” He mumbled into the couch.
“We don’t have to leave for a little while yet Lils. Unless you want us to go that is.” I added.
“No it’s not that. It’s just it must be difficult for him. To be on his own.”
“We’ll see him before he transforms don’t worry. And just because we’ll be running around like animals doesn’t mean you can go out partying like an animal all night alright?” I laughed. She snorted.
“Oh trust me. That was a one time thing... well technically a two time thing but what ever.”
“What happened the first time?”
“Oh it’s not important. A story for some other time maybe. I’m hungry do you want a sandwich?”
“What?” I asked.
“I said do you want a sandwich?”
“Yes yes I heard you the first time.”
“Then why ask you twit?”
“Because well... my father always told me that women like that didn’t exist. No women would ever simply offer to make me a sandwich. The whole world has just been changed forever.” I said in a deadly serious tone. She just laughed.
“James you’re a prat. Are you going to come in the kitchen while I make sandwiches or not?”
“No no I’ll come. I want to watch this.” I replied. Leaving Sirius to snore on the couch.
I sat quietly and contently as I watched Lily make ham sandwiches. I watched how delicately her hands buttered and cut the bread. Such soft gently hands.... wow wow earth to Prongs stop thinking like a girl. You are friends. Don’t even think about stuffing this up.
“Is something bothering you?” Lily asks.
“What no? I was just thinking.” I say quickly.
“It doesn’t feel right to say...”
“Come on I put the knife in the sink already I’m not going to kill you.”
“Alright then. But I’m probably putting my foot in my mouth here...” I began nervously. Think Prongs think... “What happened to your uncle?”
She froze stiff as a bored, her expression suddenly went blank and she turned very pale.
“How... how do you know about him?”
“Your dad kinda mentioned it. I know he’s... passed away now but... how... how did he you know...”
“Die?” She replied bluntly.
“If you must know he commited suicide. About 7 years ago. 2 weeks before I got my Hogwarts letter.” She whimpered. I could tell easily she was trying not to cry.
“Oh...” I replied. Now I felt like a prat.
“It’s okay it was a long time ago. Uncle Tommy was... depressed for quite some time. He umm... he met this girl and he fell head over heels in love with her. But then she er... she left him.”
“I think don’t think it was that that tipped him over the edge though. I think it was more the fact she left him for another woman, right before they were going to get married.”
“Merlin’s beard you’re joking.”
“I wish I was. She just took off to Spain with this other woman. Without another word. Uncle Tommy sort of spiralled downhill from there. He used to be such a laugh. I almost loved him more than I loved dad...” She sniffed. Her tears now beginning to flow. “I was the one that found him you know. I went down to the creek with Petunia. I ran ahead of her and I saw him there. On the bank where he proposed. Sitting up against the tree. I didn’t realise at first. I thought he was just sleeping... but then I got closer and saw he wasn’t breathing. The gunshot wound in his chest. Right over his heart.”
I walked over to her and pulled her into a hug. No wonder she was so messed up. If that happened to me when I was eleven I don’t think I’d ever of coped as well as she had.
“Petunia ran back to the house screaming. But I just couldn’t move. I was frozen. That was when I did my most powerful piece of accidental magic. I made daisies appear in the grass all around his body. I still don’t know how I managed it. Two weeks later Dumbledore arrived on my doorstep with my Hogwarts letter.” She choked. I held her there and rubbed her back soothingly.
“You’ve never told anyone else that have you?” I whispered.
“No... Not even Snape.”
(James’s Point Of View)
“Lils are you sure you’re going to be okay?” I asked her as Sirius and I got ready to leave for Remus.
“Yes I’ll be fine. Remus needs you guys. I’ll see you tomorrow yeah?” She smiled weakly standing on her stair case.
“Try to get some sleep ae Evans?” Sirius told her softly giving her shoulder a squeeze.
“Will do Sirius thank you and you James.”
“We’ll be over as soon as we can okay?” I told her concern dripping from every word. She nodded and smiled before climbing the stairs.
We apparated as close to our meeting place as possible. Remus was already slumped beneath the maple tree waiting for them.
“Hey Moony, where’s Wormtail?” Padfoot asked bounding over.
“He is at home in bed. Says he’s sick, a tummy bug by sounds of it.” He replied with a yawn.
“Oh and by the way Moony...” I said punching him in the arm lightly “That was for not telling us your friend in Cokeworth was Lily Evans”
“Oh no you found Lily... Prongs tell me you guys didn’t stalk her. Or bother her. Honestly it’s her own home for fucks sake is she not safe anywhere?” He sighed shaking his head.
“Hey... We were very well behaved thank you moony. We looked after Evans actually. Had a bit of a rough life that girl hasn’t she Prongs?” Sirius defended
“Ol’ Prongs here has managed to get himself quite chummy with Evans. I walked into the kitchen to find them canoodling”
Remus’s eyebrow skyrocketed into his hairline.
“We were not canoodling Sirius I was merely giving her a hug.” I grumbled.
“Turns out she’d been spilling her life story. Prongs was the first one to ever hear it too. Took a little bit to get out of them what was going on. Did you know she had an uncle who committed suicide?”
“I was aware she had an uncle who passed away yes. I wasn’t entirely sure of the circumstances of his death.” Remus admitted.
“Can we please drop the subject of Lily now please? The moon will be up soon” I sighed. They nodded and we got ready for the full moon.
By the end of the night we were all shattered. We each collapsed wherever we landed and fell asleep. I was woken by the sun in the early hours of the morning. I groaned and stretched rolling onto my back. Padfoot and Moony were still dozing in the grass.
I wandered over to Sirius and shook him gently. He opened his eyes hazily.
“You alright with Moony?” I whispered.
“You going to see Evans?”
“Yeah we’ll be fine. Get her to fix you up when you get there. I’m too tired at the minute.”
“Alright will do. I’ll probably bring her around later in the afternoon.”
“Alright mate” He replied and rolled over to go back to sleep.
I knew it was early but I figured the Evans family were early risers. I wasn’t mistaken either. I could see a light on in the house already. I walked up and knocked on the front door. This time it was Mrs Evans who answered.
“Oh... Morning James dear. You’re early aren’t you? I’m afraid Lily is still in the shower... Jim’s in the kitchen. Sorry but I really have to get going. See you later?” She said hurriedly.
“Oh... Um.. Yeah probably.”
She scooted past me and walked briskly up the street. I let myself in and wandered into the Evans’ kitchen.
“Ah James... Just who I thought it would be.” Mr Evans said smiling looking up from his paper. He was still in his pyjamas.
“Morning Sir. No work today?” I asked. Mr Evans smiled sadly.
“I’m afraid not son. I was let go yesterday.”
A wave of guilt washed over me.
“Oh I’m so sorry Sir.”
“Ah nothing to be sorry about, James lad. Not your fault, I wasn’t the only one. They just can’t afford it anymore. This place isn’t what it used to be. Jobs are scarce. Hell I’d move if we could sell the house but no one wants to buy in a market or place like this... I haven’t told Lils yet.” He added
“So what are you going to do now Sir?” I asked taking a seat.
“Not really much I can do now lad. No one’s going to hire me in this condition. I’m afraid Chrissy and I are going to have to ride this one out.”
“Your condition?” I asked meekly.
“Now I know you’re no idiot Mr Potter. Your friend Sirius certainly wasn’t. I’m not very well James. Not at all. Lily knows this... just not the extent of how ill I am. I don’t have the heart to tell her. I’m terminal James. Lung cancer... although being a wizard I don’t suppose you know what that is. The point is it’s spread. I’ve been going through treatment for a little while now but nothings working. I’ve got about 6 months if I’m lucky.”
I was frozen. I didn’t know what to say. He just said it with such a calmness. This man knew he was going to die, he accepted it and it didn’t seem the least but afraid and worst of all his own daughter didn’t even know.
“When are you going to tell Lily?” I asked quietly. It was all I could think to say. I’m sorry didn’t quite cut it.
“When she goes back to Hogwarts. I can’t bare tell her now. It’ll break her heart. She’ll refuse to go back to school. She’s stubborn my girl she’ll want to see it through with me. But I don’t want my baby to see me like I’m going to get. James cancer is one bitch of a disease, I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. I’m not going to let her watch me suffer and neither will you yes?”
“That’s why you told me all that stuff the night I brought Lily home isn’t it? You’ve known for a while you’re going to die. You wanted me to be prepared for Lily’s reaction. To understand...” I replied realising. The man opposite me smiled.
“See I knew you were no idiot James Potter.”
“You told Sirius too when Lily and I were playing pool...”
“I did indeed. I know my Lily. She’ll try to block people out James. She’ll drive herself mad with despair if she does. She’s lost her uncle, her best friend and her sister and she’s about to lose her dad. She needs friends like you boys to love and support her. When I’m gone I need someone to take care of her. You seem just the young man to step in and take my place. I’ll rest easier knowing she’s got you. But promise me James... You won’t mention a word of this to Lily... not yet.”
“Yes Sir...” I replied numbly. I barely knew Mr Evans and I wanted to break down, cry, beg him to tell me that this was some cruel prank. But I would tell by the sincerity in his voice and the soft look in his eyes that he wasn’t lying. That this was real and it was happening.
“There’s a good lad. I can hear her coming down the stairs now.”
“Morning Daddy... Oh hi James” She said with a smile walking into the kitchen. I plastered a smile on my own face.
“No work today Dad?” She asked taking a seat at the table with us.
“No, no I’ve got the next few days off love. Just a cruise day today. Who knows I might even go back to bed for a bit.”
“Oh okay then...” she replied as her father got up to head back upstairs.
“Hey Lils... I was wondering do you wanna come over to Remus’s this afternoon?” I asked in an attempt to distract her from her father’s odd behaviour.
“Will he be up to it?” She said softly.
“Of course he will. I’m sure he’d love to see your face” I smiled. She laughed.
“Oh alright then, so long as your sure. What are we going to do until then?”
“Well I was thinking we could go play another few rounds of pool, or go for a walk or visit Diagon alley or something...”
“Well obviously our school lists won’t be here for another few days but I’m dying for an ice-cream from Florean Fortescue’s”
“Sounds like a plan then Lily flower.”
“Sweet! I’ll just run upstairs and grab my coat and some money...”
“No money Lils... this ones on me...”
“No don’t be silly James.”
“No Lily don’t you be silly. This is my shout okay? On one condition... You buy me a butter beer first Hogsmeade trip...”
“Done deal” She smiled racing up the stairs. But I couldn’t help wondering how long that smile was going to last...