Chapter 1 : Operation L.A.G
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There are certain people destined to change the way you think about the world. For Lily Evans, Lindsay Antonia Graham was one of those people. She was a rare kind of person, an optimist. They say there aren’t too many around anymore. The world we live in has the ability to crush the optimist in all of us. It is difficult to see the brighter side when it is so easy to see the misery. But not for Lindsay. She was determined to live, to make every moment count and to share them with the people she knew. Living with the philosophy and why walk when you can skip, why be serious when you can laugh and why get embarrassed when it doesn’t really matter in the long run. For her there was no point in wasting time without a smile.
It is rare that you can pinpoint a moment in life and think; that is when things changed. It’s not exactly like you feel a shift in the winds or the ominous chime of a deep clock. For Lily Evans though, it was the day she finally allowed Lindsay graham into her world. To give back some of the magic Lindsay had given her over the years, a different kind of magic but wonderful all the same.
Neither of them would forget it.
“Whoa…” Lindsay breathed as people began to apparate in front of her. Lily laughed at the look of awe on her friends face. She too looked around at the crowded platform. It still amazed her and she had been living in this world for six years. Lindsay tugged on her shirt like a small child.
“Lily, Lily - have I mentioned how much I adore you for letting me come here?”
“You like then?”
“Like? I love! Can I come with you?” She asked not for the first time. “You wont even know I am there. You can cast one of those spells on me! You know so I am invisible?”
Lily cocked her head to the side patronisingly. “Now, now. What did we say in the car?”
She bowed her head as if ashamed. “I must not try to smuggle my way into Hogwarts. And I – Oh hello!” She said as someone stepped up beside Lily, excited to meet someone new.
Lily turned slightly, groaning when she discovered it was none other than James Potter.
“Morning Miss Evans. Lovely day isn’t it?” He greeted cheerfully with a mocking bow.
Lily’s only reply was a slight sigh. She felt she had enough of James’ sickly sweet act. She crossed her arms stubbornly and scowled, waiting for him to leave but instead he smirked and turned to Lindsay. With that charming smile that she hated so much.
“James, James Potter, purveyor of general mischief and all shenanigans at Hogwarts School of witchcraft and wizardry at your service.” He told her with a cocky grin, offering out his hand. “I also go, less formally by Lily’s number one fan and as of this year,” James said with a wink in Lily’s direction. “Head boy.”
Lily actually felt her jaw drop at James’ last statement. It felt as though she had had the air knocked out of her. James? Head Boy? Surely this was a joke. She wouldn’t really have to spend the year in close contact with him, would she?
With all these thoughts running through her head at a million miles an hour she was barely able to register her friends reply as she flicked her dark blonde hair over her shoulder and took James’ out stretched hand. “I’m Lindsay.” She told him. “Although my title is no where as impressive as yours I can say I’m Lily’s best friend and I desperately want to learn magic…do you think I would fit in your trunk? Lily wont let me in hers. ‘Coz then I could come to your school and like… wow…”
James laughed good naturedly, not at all phased by her ramblings. “So you’re a muggle then.” He said as more of a statement than a question. Lindsay nodded eagerly.
James glanced at Lily who was still looking too shocked to actually take in what they were saying. “So, I supposed you know all her secrets… I’d love to talk to you sometime.”
She chuckled evilly, which seemed to snap Lily out of her daze. She roughly pulled her friend away from James before talking to her like she was her disobedient child.
“Lindsay Antonia Graham! I know that smile! Stop flirting with him. Do you know who he is? And you!” She said loudly, rounding on James. “James Potter! Leave my friend alone! She is not going to give you any secrets!” She cried punctuating her statement with a few hit on the arm.
James smirked. Oh how he loved to get Lily Evans fired up. Lindsay pouted. “You just had to use the middle name didn’t you? Lily. Giselle. Evans!” She teased.
“Giselle?” James questioned. “Lily Giselle Evans, that’s really pre-“He started before Lily cut him off with a death stare. He couldn’t help but grin. He watched them for a moment as Lindsay laughed uncontrollably and Lily tried to stare her down. Now seemed like a good time to leave. He didn’t want to get into any more trouble with her.
“Well,” he said clapping his hands together. “Lindsay. Lovely to meet you, but there is a fine gentleman I must talk to. Lily. I will see you on the train, in the heads compartment.” He told her with another wink.
Lily immediately forgot the whole flirty-Lindsay thing when with the sudden reminder that she would be working with James Potter all year. She let out a small wail at the thought. “See what I have to put up with?” She whined, turning back to face Lindsay.
“Sorry Lils, he didn’t seem that bad.” She of course had heard all about James Potter and had found the whole situation utterly entertaining on Lily’s behalf. “He was charming and nice. Not to mention kinda hot…but not as hot as that guy he is with! Lily-who is that?” Lindsay demanded, tapping Lily repeatedly on the shoulder.
Lily rolled her eyes. “Number one, Stop that.” She growled, moving her hand away. Lindsay ceased immediately, rapt with attention. Lily sighed, “Number two, James Potter is most definitely not charming or nice in any way. And Three,” she said turning to look in the direction Lindsay was pointing, “that guy you are admiring is none other than Sirius Black. Bad news. Don’t go there.”
“Oh but I want to. Will you introduce me?”
“Ah, does the term hell no mean anything to you? He is like the biggest- well I don’t even know what you would call him!”
“No! That was not the term I was looking for!”
“Wrong again. And that’s two words, cookie.”
“The description I wanted was not going to be flattering! So you are going to be wrong. I was more looking for… Let’s just say the boy changes girlfriends more often than most people change their underwear. I swear he has gone through the entire Hogwarts population within three years of us! He's either going to start on the third years or turn to males. “
“I see…but that wasn’t one word”
“What wasn’t one word?” Lily asked, growing slightly frustrated. “Oh,” She breathed understanding what she was saying. She shrugged “Oh well who cares.”
“I do. So introduce me?” Lindsay stated, not quite sure what they were talking about anymore.
“Lindsay the day I introduce you to him is the day hell freezes over.”
“So that’s a no right?”
“Well spotted eagle eye.” Lily told her sarcastically.
“Oh well, I’ll introduce myself then.” Lindsay told her mischievously. Turning away before Lily could comprehend what she was saying. She was about to chase after her when her parents called her over to where they were talking to somebody’s parents. Lily had no choice but to be introduced to a Mrs Potter and watch her friend weave her way to Sirius Black from afar.
Lindsay had wandered through the crowd without a backwards glance at Lily. She knew her parents had summoned her. She stopped in front of James Potter, who looked surprised to see her standing there.
“Lindsay.” He cried, looking around for Lily, slightly disappointed when he spotted her still where he had left her.
“Hello old friend!” She said with what she hoped was an award winning smile. She dropped her voice to a whisper, “Lily was called to meet someone and I felt a little strange standing alone in the middle of the crowded magical platform. And you are the only person fair Madam Mim has introduced me to even if it was somewhat reluctant.”
For a minute she was worried he would tell her to get lost, confirming everything Lily had said about him and that Lindsay was deadly wrong but instead he laughed and slouched over so he was her height. “News flash.” He said in a whisper. “She never introduced us.”
Lindsay pretended to be shocked. “By George, you are right!”
“Looks like she’s meeting my mother.” James grinned, while his friends looked at the girl in curiously. Sirius cleared his throat as if to remind James he was still there. “Oh right, guys this is Lindsay Antonia Graham. Lily’s Muggle friend. Lindsay, these are my friends, Remus Lupin, Peter Pettigrew and Sirius Black.”
“Had to pull out the middle name, didn’t you?” She admonished playfully, scrunching her lightly freckled nose as she shook each of their hands in turn finishing with Sirius. Hoo-boy what a gorgeous smile he had.
“Nothing compared to mine.” Sirius told her.
“What now? Oh…right.” She laughed. For a moment Lindsay thought he was talking about his smile too but her mind drifted back to the middle name business, hopefully, she thought, before she looked too dopey.
“So how do you know the fiery miss Evans? He asked conversationally. Watching as the muggle turned on the spot to glance at Lily then swing back, her darkly fringed eyes sparkling with a glint all four of them knew well, that look could be nothing but mischief.
“Ah, we go way back. And I know her secret, witnessed her accidentally giving her sister donkey ears. She had to keep me on her good side, in case I blab and I want to know how she does it therefore match made in heaven. Total symbiotic relationship.” She told them happily
“Donkey ears you say? That story sounds vaguely familiar eh, Prongs?” Sirius laughed. Giving James a look while doubling over in laugher.
James could only glare at his friend while reliving the curses thrown at him over the last six years. In particular the one strangely that involved a donkey like laugh and matching ears... “Eh heh heh. Bite me Black.” He growled, only making Sirius laugh more. Lindsay merely looked curious.
“Ooh, do tell! What did the angelic Lily do to you?”
“Ah…look I just met you I wouldn’t want to give you nightmares…nor would I want to spoil the obviously sweet and innocent idea you have of your friend.” James told her, his hands clasped together and his brow furrowed as he tried to speak without laughing.
Lindsay, who thought he reminded her of her old science teacher who had an unhealthy love of frogs had to stifle her laughter. Trying to match James’ solemn expression she kindly said. “I understand your pain. I too have more than once had to endure her wrath. And I know it can be traumatising.” She told them, shaking her head sadly.
“So how long have you known she was a witch? Did she tell you or was it accident?” James asked, curious to how much Lindsay knew about the magic world.
“Ah…” Lindsay murmured cocking her head to the side as she thought back. “I believe it was an accident. She had come back from her… third year? Yeah third of ‘boarding school’ and I walked in at the wrong moment…heard the weirdest conversation about and flying hippo-something’s…”
“Hippogriffs?” Remus supplied.
Lindsay clicked her fingers. “Yes that’s it! Anyway then her sister filled in the rest for me in the way of colourful insults aimed at Lily and Lily never being able to resist a dig from Petty screamed something’s back at her and then enter Lindsay with an extremely bamboozled look on her face expecting everyone to jump out and yell ‘Gotcha!’ then laugh at old Madam Gullible but they didn’t of course. Only time I have ever seen Lily speechless but she quickly got over that when I told her it was by far the most awesome thing I had ever heard in my short, short life. How awesome would be it to be like, hazzuh! And make things happen?” she asked moving around like she was actually casting a spell.
“Somehow, although I’m not sure why, I actually understood that.” Sirius said slowly as she laughed at the dazed expression on James’ face.
“How on earth did you follow that?” James asked. Sirius shrugged.
“I speak babble.” He told him simply.
“Ooh. Impressive. You must teach me.” James joked.
“So how come I’ve never seen you here.” Remus interrupted before their ridiculous conversation could go further. “It is your first time to platform nine and three quarters, right?”
Lindsay turned to look at Lily again, who was still giving her death stares. She turned back to the conversation smirking. “Yeah, Lily never wanted me to come, I can see why now. I may have embarrassed her yet again. My bad!” She joked, with a small giggle.
“So, if you don’t mind me asking, how did you convince her to let you see her off?”
Lindsay shrugged with a sly smile on her face. “Her mother adores me.”
James snapped his fingers. “So that’s how you do it!” He exclaimed.
Sirius grinned. “Know what, Lindz- Can I call you Lindz? I think you would fit in at Hogwarts nicely. Tell me how do you feel about practical jokes?”
Lindsay grinned back. “Love them!”
“Just how do we get you on the train then?” Sirius joked.
Lindsay looked at James. He smirked at her, clapping his hands. “Right. It’s time for operation smuggle LAG -“
“LAG? That’s worse that my whole name!” Lindsay complained.
James shot her a look. “Look do you want to get on the train or not?” Lindsay pouted. “Anyway. It will be called Operation smuggle LAG aboard train in my trunk.” He said triumphantly, with a flourish of his hands.
Sirius let out a bark like laugh. “That’s it? We smuggle her aboard in your trunk? Just how flexible are you Graham?” He asked smuttily.
Lindsay raised her eyebrows suggestively causing everyone to laugh. “Well-“ She begun but was cut off by a hand on her arm. She spun around to meet Lily, having finally escaped her parents, looking like she was ready to murder her friend right there in the middle of the station.
“Hello boys.” She greeted through gritted teeth as she smiled sweetly at her friend, her grasp on her arm tightening. “Hope my dear friend hasn’t given away too many of my secrets.”
Lindsay smiled silkily while the marauders tried to stifle their laughter. “Oh silly Lily, what makes you think you were the topic of conversation?” She joked. If it was one thing she loved it was getting Lily riled up. “I actually believe we were talking about how flexible I can be.”
Lily looked at her in horror while James, Sirius and Remus snorted with laughter. This girl had spunk.
Lily quickly regained her composure, licking her lips as she tried to even out her tone. “Lindz, Honey, my parents are looking for you. They say its time to leave.”
“Sooo I can take a hint. Maybe see you next time the train rolls in.” She told James and the marauders. “That’s if Lily hasn’t killed me by then.”
James grinned. “Don’t worry, I’ve seen mad and this isn’t it.”
“Oh please continue talking about me like I’m not here.” Lily told them sarcastically, tugging on Lindsay’s arm.
Lindsay let out a tinkle of laughter too. Oh if looks could kill. “Know what? You aren’t nearly as bad a Lils had made you out to be.” She told James as she was dragged away.
“So Lily had told you about me then?” James called in surprise.
“Oh yes! She talks about you all the time!” She call to him cheekily before turning away, calling out her goodbyes over her shoulder as she did, Lily pulling her roughly back into place sending the boys back into laughter. Lily was going to kill her...