"All right Lily, I need to pick up a few things here in London. I will meet you back at the car in two hours. Be careful, hon. I love you."
Mary Evans gave her youngest daughter a quick hug before walking off towards some shops across the busy London road. Lily watched her for a moment before turning and walking into the Leaky Cauldron. The pub was packed with wizards and witched alike, the start of the new school year at Hogwarts on everyone's mind. Lily made her way through the crowded room and out to the courtyard. She followed behind two older witches into the entrance of Diagon Alley.
Lily took a step off to the side so as not to block the road, and pulled out the letter her best friend, Julia Boyd, had sent her earlier that week. She read over it quickly and pocketed it. She was supposed to meet Julia at Gringotts at one o'clock in the afternoon on August 30. Lily started towards the large, crooked building in hopes of finding her best friend.
She didn't have to look long. In fact, she didn't have to look at all. She was nearly tackled by a tall, slender girl with long black hair and dark brown eyes.
"Julia! You nearly gave me a heart attack!" cried Lily as she struggled out of her friend's tight embrace.
"Oh Lils, I missed you so much! Can't a girl be excited about seeing her friend?" said Julie as she playfully shoved Lily to the side.
"Sure you can be excited," said Lily as she straightened her jacket. "Just try not to kill me next time."
"Okay, okay. I'm sorry," said Julia as she threw her arms up dramatically in the air. "Did you happen to see the other two counterparts of our gang as you were walking over here?"
"No," said Lily as she took her eyes off Julia and began to scan the crowd moving in front of them. "Did Chloe and Rachel say they were coming?"
"Yeah. I got a letter from Chloe yesterday and one from Rachel this morning."
Just as Julia had answered her, Lily spotted the third member of their dorm at Hogwarts walking towards them. Rachel Lesnie had short blonde hair with ocean blue eyes. She was about half a head shorter than Lily and Julia but her stature was a factor in her amazing seeker skills on the Gryffindor House team.
"Hey, its two out of three of my favorite people!" exclaimed Rachel as she walked up the steps of the wizard bank. She gave a quick hug to both girls.
"How was your summer in Italy?" asked Julia as she pulled from her friend's embrace.
"It was nice. Sorry I didn't write but we stayed in all muggle villages and I left Trudy at the owlery at school."
"No, you were just too busy spending time with all those cute Italian boys," said Lily with a grin. She nudged Julia with her elbow as she watched Rachel's cheeks turn a brilliant shade of red. The girls laughed. As they waited for the last member of their dorm, the girls exchanged stories from their summer vacation.
"I'm going to kill him. I swear to Merlin that boy will pay!"
The three girls turned and saw their fourth roommate, Chloe Green, walking towards them. Her light brown hair was wet and sticking to her face and her dark green eyes were filled with anger.
"Oh my God," said Lily as their friend walked over to them. "Chloe, what happened?"
"I got a letter this morning," said Chloe. She paused to wipe a few wet strands of hair out of her face. "I thought it was from you, Julia. Apparently, the letter was charmed to look like it was written from you. It said that you were changing the meeting place to the front lawn of the ice cream parlor. So I was just standing there, when all of a sudden I was bombarded by several huge water balloons."
Lily, Julia, and Rachel tried to stifle their laughter while also trying to show sympathy to their quite damp friend.
"I'm guessing the number one person on your hit list is responsible for this?" asked Julia with a knowing smile.
"Oh yes. As of right now, Sirius Black is a dead man," said Chloe with an especially malicious glare. "How did he even know we were meeting here?"
Lily shifted guiltily.
"I may have said something to James," said Lily. "He is Sirius' best friend. I suppose that's how he found out."
"James?" asked Rachel. "When did you and James start owling each other?"
Lily blushed slightly.
"Since we both were made prefect."
"Prefect?" said Chloe, Rachel, and Julia in unison.
"Yes, prefect," said Lily, her cheeks reddening a little more.
"And when, best friend, did you plan on letting the rest of us know?" said Julia as she draped her arm over Lily's shoulder.
"Uh. . . today?"
"Liar," mumbled Julia. "Too busy fraternizing with the enemy."
"The enemy?" said Lily as she raised an eyebrow at her friend. "What are you? Six? I'm pretty sure Remus wouldn't prefer to be called 'the enemy'."
"I'm just kidding. Besides, Remus knows how I feel about him," Julia blushed slightly as she smiled. Remus and she started dating at the end of their fifth year. "By the way, Chloe. Sirius didn't happen to be accompanied by a very hansom boy with thick, light brown hair and dreamy hazel eyes, did he?"
"If you are referring to your boyfriend," said Chloe as she scooped her wet hair off her face and into a low ponytail, "I have no idea. I just saw Sirius leaning against the shop, smiling at me. Stupid bastard levitated the balloons over my head."
"Chloe, that's why they always target you. They know they can get a reaction out of you," said Julia.
"I think its because Sirius likes you," said Rachel as she nudged Chloe.
"No, he's still going out with whats-her-face. You know, the snobby girl in the year below us," said Chloe.
"Yeah," said Lily. "At least they were the last time I heard from James."
"As much as I hate Sirius right now. . ."
"You hate me?"
All four girls turned around to their right and met gazes with the very boys they were talking about.
"Please Chloe," said Sirius as he bent down on one knee and took Chloe's hand in his. "Forgive me. I couldn't stand to lose your friendship." Sirius' voice dropped to a low whisper as an added dramatic effect. Chloe smiled at Sirius and bent down closer to Sirius' face as if to whisper something to him. He looked ready to listen but was quite surprised when Chloe instead grabbed the ankle of the foot he was standing on and pulled it out from under him. Sirius lost his balance and fell to the ground, his legs going into an odd splits. Sirius cried out in pain as Chloe turned and high-fived the three girls behind her. Julia looked up from Sirius and to the three boys standing behind him, laughing at this embarrassment. Remus looked up, his hazel eyes brightening as he saw his girlfriend smiling at him.
"Why Remus dear, fancy meeting you here," said Julia as she walked over to her boyfriend. He laughed as he pulled Julia into an embrace and giving her a quick kiss. He looked from his girlfriend to Sirius, who at that moment was emitting over exaggerated groans and moans.
"Oh get up," said Chloe as she kicked Sirius in the leg. "You deserved what you got. Serves you right for pranking me."
James laughed to himself as he walked past his pathetic best friend on the ground. Peter was trying to help Sirius up, but ended up on the ground next to him when Sirius pulled him down.
"Lily, please remind me why I'm friends with this lot," said James as he took a place next to the redhead.
"You're just as bad as Sirius, Mr. Potter," said Lily. "You have absolutely no room to talk."
Sirius returned to his feet and helped Peter stand up. He walked over to Lily and threw an arm over James' shoulder.
"This ruffian isn't bothering you, is he young Miss Evans?" asked Sirius in a chiverolous tone.
"Hello Sirius," said Lily. She gave an amused look at James who was being squeezed into a one-arm embrace by Sirius.
"Hey," said Julia, getting everyone's attention. "Let's go get some ice cream. Sirius and James can finish their little love fest there."
"That sounds wonderful," said Sirius. "Let's go sugarbuns."
Sirius hooked arms with James and literally pranced off with James to the ice cream parlor.
"And I thought he was so rugged," said Rachel to Lily as she and Chloe followed the two "love birds." Lily shook her head and laughed as she followed her friends.
The eight teens spent the rest of the afternoon eating, talking, and shopping together. The next day, they would ride the train to school, so they were enjoying what they had left of the beautiful day.
As they exited Flourish and Blotts, Sirius ran into his girlfriend, Gwen. Gwen was a fifth year Gryffindor, but if you asked the four girls, they would tell you she should have been in the Slytherin. She had a way of manipulating guys and the girls thought Sirius was way too good for her. He didn't listen, though. He was busy being distracted by her long, shiny blonde hair and doe-like brown eyes.
"Oh Sirius," said Gwen in her high-pitched snobbish voice. "Isn't this great? Now we can spend the whole afternoon together." And without a single word to the rest of the group, Gwen grabbed Sirius by the arm and trotted off to her friends at the end of the street.
"Merlin, I don't like her," said Julia as she wrapped an arm around Remus' waist.
"I'll admit," said James. "Sirius is never fun to be around when she's around him. He's really happy with her and I guess that's what matters."
"You're a nicer friend than me," said Rachel. "I'd just come out and tell him his girlfriend is a total bi-
"Rachel!" said Remus.
"I was going to say, um. . . big fooey head."
"Well," said Julia, "whatever you were planning to say, it probably applies to her."
Lily took her attention off "bash Gwen time" and looked down at her watch.
"Hey, I need to go," said Lily as she checked to make sure she had all her newly purchased school supplies. "I was supposed to meet my mom fifteen minutes ago." Lily tried to wave her goodbyes but was having difficulty because of all the bags she was carrying. James stopped her.
"Here Lily, let me help you," he said as he offered to take some of the bags from Lily.
"No, its okay. I can get them," but James wasn't going to take no for an answer. Lily gave up and handed him a few bags. "Where are you meeting your mom?"
"Muggle London," said Lily as she started towards the Leaky Cauldron.
They both continued silently towards the pub, not quite knowing what to say to each other. It was weird for Lily. She never usually felt so awkward around James, but today something was different. Writing letters back and forth was easy enough but for some reason, she was nervous around him.
"Uh, so Lily," began James, trying to start a conversation as they walked up the busy alley. "Are you excited about tomorrow? Can you believe both of us are actually prefects?"
"Not really, but my Mum wasn't too surprised when I got my letter."
"I can see you as a prefect," said James as he squeezed past a group of chatty witches, "but can you believe they made a marauder a prefect?"
"Well, when you put it that way; no," said Lily as she turned and smiled brightly at James. James, in turn, locked his gaze on Lily's pretty smile and ran straight into someone walking the opposite direction.
"Oh sorry," said James as he recovered his senses.
"Sure you are Potter."
James took the time to look and see who he actually ran into and inwardly groaned when he realized it was Severus Snape.
"I said I was sorry Snape. Just drop it."
Snape snorted and sneered. "Whatever." He looked past James and saw Lily standing behind him. He dropped his sneer into an uncomfortable frown. Without another word, he turned and walked away.
"Hmm. . .," said James. "That was weird."
Lily watched Snape's retreating back. "Yeah, it was. Come on, let's get going."
Both teens turned and continued on their way to the busy pub.