Chapter 1 : Watering the Lilies
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Watering the Lilies
Mrs Evans’ one pride and joy was her flower garden. She absolutely adored flowers of all shapes, sizes and colours. In fact she loved them so much she even named her daughters after them.
Anyone who passed the Evans household would see the most amazing selection of rose bushes, neatly trimmed hedges, bed upon bed of Petunias, Chrysanthemums, Begonias and many other types of exquisite flowers.
But amongst the delicate brightly coloured, beautiful trophies of her years of being not only a housewife but which also showed off her somewhat natural gift when it came to gardening Mrs Evans like any other living person had a chosen favourite, that one special flower which she held closest to her heart.
The one flower that she admired beyond every other was the lonesome white lily.
The origin of the flower had always remained somewhat of a mystery to Mrs Evans along with many other mysteries that her youngest daughter held.
This particular flower was peculiar in several ways; for one, there was no other flower like it in any of the neighbouring gardens, secondly it never wilted even when the flowers surrounding it were blanketed by frost and snow, the magnificent lily still stood as proudly as ever, its brilliant white petals swaying gently in the breeze.
However the most peculiar thing about the flower was that in the three decades which Mrs Evans and her husband had inhabited their house no such flower had been sighted anywhere amongst the masses of flowerbeds, as Mrs Evans should know as she watered and de-weeded her garden every afternoon without fail.
Yet the thing which both terrified and intrigued Mrs Evans was that the flower seemed to have appeared at precisely the same moment as Mrs Evans had brought her second child into he world.
The daughter which Mrs Evans aptly named Lily.
As the years passed Mrs Evans began to notice the similarities that the peculiar flower and her daughter Lily had in common.
Both seemed to never run short of energy even when everything around them was defeated.
It was one hot July morning and Mrs Evans was as usual watering her Begonias whilst singing along merrily to a popular song on the record player when something extraordinary happened.
A large tawny owl swooped overhead and immediately Mrs Evans thought it was odd as owls were rarely sighted even at night around the neighbourhood where the Evans’ lived.
She was even more surprised when the owl swooped down and landed on the kitchen windowsill hooting.
Finding this extremely peculiar Mrs Evans refrained herself from shouting for her husband to shoo it away.
But the biggest shock of all was yet to come, as Mrs Evans approached the bird she saw that it had something tied to its leg.
Shuddering about the fact of putting her hand so close to the owls sharp looking talons she snatched up the letter and no sooner had she done so that the bird took flight and was gone as quickly as it had arrived.
Wondering what on Earth an owl could be doing delivering mail, are the mailmen on strike?’ she pondered as she looked down curiously at the address,
Miss Lily Evans
The Shared Bedroom
317 The Beeches
Perplexed as to why someone would be writing to Lily using an owl she had no choice but to call her youngest daughter.
At first it was dismissed as a joke, The thought was absurd. Lily, a witch?
‘But surely witches don’t exist?’ Mr Evans said the following evening.
It was impossible.
Yet ignoring the arrival of the first letter seemed, in need of a better word-idiotic as an additional three letters arrived the next afternoon.
It became evident that the addresser of these letters, a Ms. Minerva McGonagall or possibly a Mr Albus Dumbledore wished to contact young Lily somewhat desperately.
It was with a heavy heart that Mrs Evans watched her daughter board the train that would take her further and further away.
Knowing she was sending her youngest child to an unknown school she had never heard of, in a world that she believed to exist only in fairy tales was not extremely comforting.
Yet not a day passed when Mrs Evans wouldn’t sit for endless hours watching that unusual flower.
It was during this time that Mrs Evans noticed even more how this flower was different from any other.
It appeared to change with, what Mrs Evans could only presume was her absent daughters mood.
On some occasions it would open its petals fully and sway merrily in the breeze, this Mrs Evans supposed was happiness and always smiled when she knew her daughter was happy.
On other occasions the lily would only open halfway and would rock viscously even in the lightest breeze.
This could only be what Mrs Evans presumed was anger and on those occasions she wished a painful death on whoever had caused her daughters mood to change so vigorously.
Possibly the one emotion that the mysterious yet enchanting flower rarely acted was when it would close up its petals completely and sway gently from side to side.
It was at these moments that Mrs Evans knew her daughter was upset.
The oddest recollection however was still to come. One drizzly morning in February.
Valentines day to be precise.
Mrs Evans had, as always- much to her husband and eldest daughter Petunia’s annoyance, once more positioned herself in front of the kitchen window through which the odd flower was clearly visible.
All morning she watched it carefully just as she did everyday.
Nothing, the flower remained perfectly still.
Mrs Evans about to give up and have a cup of tea, had just taken the kettle over to the sink to fill up when she saw it.
Very slowly the lily began to stir. Its petals widened and strangely enough they appeared to be dancing. Then the swaying began, less dangerously as anger but more swiftly than sorrow yet with more grace than happiness.
Wondering what this new emotion could be, she pondered for a moment then it struck her.
‘Love’ she whispered. Lily was in love. She smiled to herself knowing that whoever her daughter loved she would love too.
Petunia Dursley entered her spotless kitchen after just putting her year old son Dudley into bed. She had to say that she had been glad to see her parents old house sell. Anything that attached her to that freak she had had to call her sister, anything that attached to her that world at all she was glad to see gone.
She smiled as she reminisced on the generous amount her and her husband had received for it and that her sister would never see a penny of it.
Running her index finger over the worktop one last time in case she had missed a single speck of dust, she turned to close the blinds.
Her bony hand had just reached the cord when she froze.
Her beady eyes had just spotted something, settled neatly between her treasured chrysanthemums and withering geraniums was the brilliantly white lily.
“How, why, what?” She muttered, rubbing her eyes to make sure she wasn’t hallucinating. But no, there it was as clear as the day it had mysteriously emerged all those years ago.
Yet as much as she wanted to draw herself away she couldn’t, she was transfixed by the breathtaking lily.
She watched in sheer disbelieving and bewilderment as tiny drops of dew began to emit from inside the closed petals, almost as though the flower itself was crying.
It’s a joke. It has to be a joke, her sister was forever playing jokes on her.
What she witnessed next Petunia swore she would never mention to anyone not even her beloved husband Vernon. As mysteriously as it had began the lily stopped crying and stood completely still for a moment, until it began to sway vigorously but its petals remained tightly shut.
Then in one last magnificent bloom its petals burst wide open. Causing her to shriek. It remained like that for several moments before its petals slowly began to furl and in the blink of an eye, the flower that had bewitched her mother for endless years turned black as though something was burning it and within moments was swallowed up by the chrysanthemums.
Petunia didn’t need a letter or an official telephone call to know, she knew the moment the petals had began to droop.
Her sister, her only sister, was no more.
And even though she would never admit to it, even under penalty of death, for the first time in her adult life Petunia Dursley cried.