Chapter 1 : The Problem
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Disclaimer: I don’t own Harry Potter or any of the characters in Harry Potter.
“Alice!” Lily Evans shouted as she barged into the modest home, breathing heavily. The door bounced off the wall and returned to her hand. There was no response. Lily dashed up the stairs to the spare bedroom that had been allotted for her. Grabbing a knapsack, she began shoving some of her roughest clothes in it, trying to forget about the scene from a few hours previous…
She lay looking up at the canopy of the luxurious bed. His arm was draped across her chest, inhibiting any movement on her part. She needed to get away; it was nearly three in the morning and she had been here all night.
Lily was exhausted and rather frustrated. This was the third time this week that the Malfoy boy had come looking for her. Tonight was supposed to be her night off! She had planned to hang out at the tavern, chatting up a few customers, but she couldn’t turn him down. She could never turn down that kind of money, so she had accompanied him to the mansion on the hill, and they had proceeded to “make love” all night. Now she was unable to escape.
This man seemed to be forcing her to break all her rules. She would never have sacrificed her day off for any other man, but Lucius Malfoy was the son of the mayor, and his influence and prestige were not to be trifled with. This is why she had broken her other rule: never stay with a man after the deed, and she was regretting it now.
She had planned to just slip away after he’d fallen asleep, but even in his sleep he had trapped her. She shifted slightly, trying to slide off the bed, but his hand curled pulling her closer to him. As the waft of his ale-ridden breath reached her nose, she grimaced in disgust. Glancing hopelessly at the clock, she registered one thing: she needed to get away, now.
Trying another approach, she gently lifted one of his fingers from its grip on her side, then another. When she was able to lift his whole hand off, she slipped off the bed, taking care to place his hand down carefully as to not wake him. She then started to frantically search for her garments.
Just as she’d pulled her shift over her head, he awoke with a mild groan. Inwardly cursing, Lily hurried over to the side of the bed and tried to look appealing, instead of just irritated. As he fully woke, he rolled onto his back and flashed a lazy grin up at her. Wordlessly, he pulled her down for a hard, hot kiss. Trying not to recoil, she let him kiss and grope her for a moment, before pulling away. Doing her best to look regretful, Lily said in a breathy whisper, “I’ve got to go, love. We wouldn’t want any servants walking in and seeing me, would we?”
He let her go. They both knew that if the servants caught wind of the fact that the mayor’s son had been seeing the same woman for weeks now, she would be the most famous courtesan on the island. Although, she was already well known in the island’s underground, where hordes of unchecked women and rascals ran unchecked. However, once a member of the law-abiding section of the island found out her identity, Lily knew she was done for.
The mayor of Frenado was a stickler for the law and for propriety in all forms. Said mayor was also the father and lord of the man sitting in the bed, so Lily knew she risked her freedom, her life, every time she came with the young Malfoy. Of course, that was part of the fun.
Getting off the bed, Lily quickly secured the rest of her clothing, Lucius watching her the whole time. When she was done, she turned around to bid him farewell and was met with the site of his naked body. Her eyes swiftly sweeping his form, she had to admit that he was good-looking.
His body was well developed and muscular, and he was tall. Lily judged that if he stood up, he would tower at least a foot over her. His face was sharply defined, with a soft jaw line and soft, blonde hair that fell to his shoulders. The only thing that marred his almost angelic features was his eyes. His eyes frightened Lily. They were like two, black vortices, sucking all light and happiness from the world. Lily tried to avoid them when she could.
She opened her mouth to excuse herself, but he got there first, “How would you like to be here every morning, by my side?”
She furrowed her brow in confusion. He had a smirk on his face that did not bode well for her, “My lord, I don’t understand. If I come here everyday, someone is sure to notice…”
He moved to the edge of the bed, and took her hand, pulling her to sit down on the edge of the bed once more. “You understood me wrong. I want you in my bed every night…as my wife.”
Lily froze. She let the words wash over her, trying to stop them from sinking in, but to no avail. Wife? To him? She had never not wanted anything this badly. Marriage to him, to a Malfoy, would go against every bone in her body. She was not born to be a lady, to follow rules and regulations. She was meant to be her own person, doing as she wished, not as her husband wished.
Working her face furiously to not give herself away, she composed herself, “My lord…I do not know, it is against…”
Again, he interrupted her before she’d gotten the chance to get her words out, “I’ve already talked to my father,” he informed her, “He’s ok with it. You can even move into the mansion tonight. With some fixing up, no one will ask any questions. You’ll practically be royalty. You know we’re related to the King of England?”
Lily couldn’t answer. She felt dizzy with horror at the prospect of living with this man for the rest of her life. She needed to get away, from this room, from this mansion, from this town. “Plus,” Malfoy whispered in her ear, his hand creeping dangerously high up her thigh, “I’ll have the most desirable wife. All other lord will be jealous, with you as my wife and lover, when we go to court.” He squeezed her upper thigh suggestively. Lily wanted to hit him.
Slowly pulling away, she stood and looked at him, “Let me think about it,” she murmured seductively.
He smiled again, a horrible leering smile, a smile aimed to trap her, “Just don’t think too long, I’ll be at the tavern tonight. I’ll be expecting you.” She nodded quickly, and left the room, shaking.
And so she ran. The moment the door closed behind her, she took off, ignoring the clattering of her shoes against the marble floors, ignoring the ominous silence that seemed to have settled on the Malfoy Mansion. The trip from the mansion to the village took a good ten minutes, but Lily just kept running.
Unsure of where to go, she had decided on retreating to the house of one of her dear friends, Alice. Alice had once worked at the tavern with Lily, but recently married Frank Longbottom, a blacksmith. However, her house had always been open to Lily and she even had a room set aside for her, where she kept her few belongings.
Halfway through packing, she realized where Alice must be. Hurrying to the master bedroom, Lily loudly knocked on the door. When no one answered, she knocked again, louder and more furiously. There was the sound of someone getting up and the door opened. Lily widened her eyes and quickly darted her gaze up as a naked Frank answered the door. In her haste, she hadn’t even considered Frank. Luckily, he had a cloak in one hand, with which he covered himself.
Lily managed to squeak out, “Can I talk to Alice?” Although she lived under his roof and he was a very good man, she had never felt fully comfortable with Frank. Perhaps it was just that she was used to being around hordes of girls. After all, the orphanage where she had been raised had been full of them. Frank gave her an appraising look, but returned to the room to get his wife.
Within minutes, Alice was dressed and fully alert. In the back of her mind, Lily knew that Alice was always on the alert for any messes Lily might have gotten into. It wasn’t that Lily often got into trouble. Quite the contrary, but Lily had always been more daring than Alice, which had frightened Alice, as she believed that Lily would work herself into a corner and there would be no saving her.
Lily pulled her into the room where her half-packed bag lay, and quickly shut the door. Alice looked around at the chaos of the room, but tactfully said nothing. Lily locked eyes with Alice, “He asked me to marry him!” she announced.
“Who?” asked Alice patiently.
“Malfoy!” Lily nearly shouted. She was in a state of panic now and didn’t have time for any slowness on Alice’s part.
“So what’s the problem?” asked Alice slowly.
“I can’t marry him!” Lily didn’t understand. Why wasn’t Alice indignant for her?
“Why not Lily?” asked Alice, and Lily noticed with a shock that she was deadly serious. “He’s well off and you’d be taken care of. It’s a wonderful catch for you! You could hardly do better.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Lily huffed. She was biding for time as she processed Alice’s words. Her head seemed to full of baffled knowledge to accept any more.
“What I mean is that maybe it’s time you settled down,” said Alice softly.
Lily glared at her. It was just impossible to yell at Alice when she acted and thought rationally, and Lily wanted to yell. She wanted to yell, scream, and throw things.
“Alice,” she said, trying her best to control her redhead temper, “Maybe getting a good match is all you ever wanted, but I want freedom! I want to be able to do what I want when I want.”
“And you believe your path is the way to get that?” asked Alice disbelievingly, “If you were Lady Malfoy you would be able to…”
“Do nothing!” Lily yelled. “There would be rules and regulations, and people telling me what to do every minute of my life. I just know there’s something better out there!”
Alice shook her head, “I’ll never understand you. If you don’t want to marry Malfoy, what are you going to do? You can’t just turn down the son of the mayor…you’ll be kicked out of the city at best and killed at worst.”
Lily lifted her chin defiantly and flipped back her long, red tresses, “He can’t have me killed for refusing to marry him! What charges would he claim?”
“Witchcraft,” Alice said quietly, and that immediately shut Lily up. Witch trials always went against the accused and Lily might be adventurous, but even she was unwilling to brave those odds.
For the first time, the gravity of the situation sunk in. Lily was in a precarious position. If she refused to marry Malfoy, he would ruin her, but if she agreed to marry him, she would live out the long years of her life trapped. Not to mention the fact the she’d have to wake up every morning to that man. The thought alone made Lily scowl. Turning to Alice, she voiced her concern, “What am I going to do?”
Alice gave her a sympathizing look, but no help. Flopping back on the bed, Lily looked around the room. Alice had done well for herself. Frank might be a blacksmith, but he was the only one on the island, meaning he got pretty good business. Not to mention the fact that he was an honest man who loved her. It was everything any girl would want…except for Lily.
Alice broke the silence, “Lily, if you don’t mind me asking, why were you packing?” Lily turned her attention back to Alice, seeing her examining the rough clothes she had thrown into a bag.
Lily shrugged, “I was thinking about running away, when I realized I had nowhere to go.”
Alice looked thoughtful for a moment. “You know, there’s a pretty popular port not ten minutes from here.”
Lily looked at Alice, trying to suppress a laugh, “Alice, we live on an island, there are ports everywhere!”
“Yes,” Alice conceded, “But this one has pretty good traffic. You could probably offer to work on some merchant ship.”
“A ship!” Lily exclaimed. “No captain would take a woman on board!”
“No,” Alice agreed, “But they wouldn’t have to know you’re a woman.”
Lily regarded her friend carefully; the idea was starting to sound doable.
“Plus,” Alice added, “You spend so much time on Slughorn’s boat, you could pass for a sailor!”
Lily was growing more excited by the moment. It was true that she had spent many hours crewing Horace Slughorn’s boat. Horace Slughorn was an old patron of the tavern Lily worked in. He had viewed Lily as a daughter, ever since she snapped at him for pinching her butt one night in the tavern. He’d thought she had shown character, and had taken Lily under his wing. Many times, when he had traveled to another island in the Caribbean via his ship, The Spider’s Web, he had brought Lily along. Consequently, she had learned how to work on a ship, and she was now very comfortable sailing on the open sea.
Deciding that this was the best course of action, Lily broke into a grin, her vividly green eyes going wide with excitement. “I’m going to do it Alice!” she announced happily.
Alice smiled as well, “Ok, then. Just be sure to be careful, you never know who’s roaming these seas!”
Lily smirked at her friend’s worry and went to her collection of clothing. Searching through, she realized she only had women’s clothing. True, they were in varying degrees of finery, but they were, nevertheless, all women’s clothing. Turning to Alice, she asked in an exasperated tone, “But what I am going to wear?”
For the first time, Alice broke into laughter—true, honest laughter. Lily smiled, nonplussed. When she finally finished she beamed up at Lily, her eyes shining, “You can borrow some of Frank’s brother’s stuff, of course!”
Lily furrowed her brow, “Frank’s—” she broke off suddenly. Frank’s little brother had been killed by smallpox over two years ago. The disease had ravaged the village, leaving no family untouched. So many people had been killed that even the rudest and most vulgar drunkards did not speak of those deaths, for fear of insulting someone.
Nodding silently, Lily followed Alice back to the master bedroom, and waited politely at the door as Alice slipped through. There were the sounds of two people having a hushed conversation, some rummaging, and then Alice returned carrying a bundle of clothing. Again, Lily followed Alice back to the spare bedroom. Alice placed the clothes on the bed.
“I got you three pairs,” she whispered loudly. “One to wear and two spare. Use them wisely; I expect you’ll be away for a while.” Lily nodded, and quickly stripped off the clothes she was wearing and pulled on one set, while Alice packed up the spare in her knapsack. After she was dressed, Lily looked at herself in the mirror that hung next to the wardrobe. Her long, red hair still danced merrily in the wind that floated through the open window; it danced merrily and obviously.
Grabbing Alice’s shoulder, she inquired, “My hair! Alice, you have to cut my hair!”
Even in the semi-darkness of the time right before dawn, Lily could see her friend’s face pale. “Oh Lily,” whispered Alice, “How can I cut your hair? It’s so beautiful!”
“It doesn’t matter,” Lily hissed. “It has to go!”
Reluctantly, Alice found a pair of scissors and chopped off Lily’s thick tresses. Lily examined herself once again in the mirror. Now her hair fell to her shoulders. Pulling her hair back, Lily deemed that she passed for a young boy, no more than 15. Turning around, she held her arms out to show Alice.
However, she was surprised when Alice pursed her lips. Catching the look on Lily’s face, she explained, “Your chest.” Looking down, Lily realized that she might be wearing the clothes of a young boy, but she certainly did not have the body of one.
Backing up onto the bed, Lily put her head in her hands. Within minutes, she jumped back up. “Alice,” she asked, “Do you have any spare cloth?” Alice nodded in affirmation. Ignoring her look of confusion, Lily continued, “Go get it, then!” As Alice hurried out of the room, Lily felt a pang of guilt. She had dragged poor Alice into this whole mess, and now she was ordering her around like a servant. Perhaps she would have been a good Lady Malfoy.
She shook that thought out of her head as Alice returned carrying a bundle of cloth. Quickly removing her shirt (Alice turned around out of respect for her privacy), Lily wrapped the cloth around her torso, padding herself up. Eventually, Lily had flattened out her chest. Pulling the shirt back on, Lily examined herself for the last time. Looking into the mirror, Lily did not recognize herself. Devoid of makeup, breasts, and a dress, Lily truly looked like a young boy.
Gazing at her reflection, Lily registered that Alice’s eyes had become rather watery. She rotated and looked at her friend before wordlessly pulling her into a hug. There were no words to describe the bond between them. Lily knew that Alice would stay here, waiting for her, just as she knew that Alice knew that Lily would try to come home as soon as it was safe, and Malfoy had remarried and forgotten all about her.
When she finally pulled away, Lily picked up her knapsack and the girls walked to the door, arms linked. At the door, they shared one last farewell hug; Lily found her eyes were quite moist now as well, before Lily left. As she heard Alice close the door behind her, Lily shouldered her knapsack and started walking towards her future.
A good half hour later, Lily found herself at the pier. It was crawling with activity, even at this early hour. Suddenly, Lily felt overwhelmed at the prospect of finding a reputable merchant with whom to sail. How was she supposed to know whom to talk to? What should she say? What were her skills?
Just as she had given up hope, deciding to return to Alice’s place, her foot caught one of the loose boards. She went flying forwards. She threw her hands out and closed her eyes, bracing herself for the impact…but it never came. Two strong hands were around her waist. As her savior straightened her up, she checked herself to make sure her costume was still secure. Then she looked up at the man who had caught her and had to bite her lip to prevent her self from gasping.
He was probably the best-looking man she had ever seen, apart from the long scar that went from his temple, down his neck. He had long black hair that reached his shoulders and stormy gray eyes. He had an attractive grin that was obviously meant for charming the ladies. If Lily hadn’t had quite the experience she did when it came to men, she would have found herself weak at the knees. She reminded herself she couldn’t flirt with him, although it was her first instinct when she met a man as good-looking as this.
“Careful, lad” he told her, quickly letting go of her waist.
“Sorry,” she answered breathlessly, before cursing herself. His face had contorted oddly at her high-pitched voice. She made sure to say her next words in a deeper tone, “This is my first time out here alone. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about…”
He chuckled, peering down at her. “Well a pretty lad like you would do better away from areas such as these, if the rumors are to be believed.”
Lily resisted the urge to flip her hair over her shoulder, but still raised her chin defiantly, “I can take care of myself. Anyways, I was looking for a good captain to sail with. I need to get away from here...there’s nothing worth staying for, if you know what I mean?”
Lily held her breath as the man regarded her carefully. He seemed to be searching for something, but she had no idea what. “Name?” he asked her brusquely.
“Evan,” she replied immediately. It was the first that came to mind, and she hoped dearly that he didn’t recognize that name at all.
It seemed he didn’t however because he immediately followed his question with another one, “Age?”
“F-fifteen,” she answered. She figured that it was the highest age she could pass for, but even that would take convincing. She was just about to demand the man tell her what in blazes was going on, when he grabbed her upper arm and dragged her down the dock. She stumbled, trying to keep up with his long strides, he was much taller than she was, but he seemed to be dragging her like a rag doll.
Eventually, they stopped in front of two other men. They were arguing fiercely. One of them was tall and thin, with messy black hair. He seemed to have the upper hand over the other, a shorter, fatter man who seemed to be cowering under the tall man’s furry.
“I told you Wormtail! I wanted a crew of nine men, not eight! How on Earth am I expected to run a ship with only 12 men, myself included? If you were anyone else…”
Lily’s savior placed a hand on his shoulder cutting his rant short, “Calm down, Prongs,” he said. “I found the last member of our crew.” All three men whirled around and fixed their stares on Lily. Lily stared back at them haughtily, her hands on her hips in indignation at being dragged down the full length of the wharf.
“What’s your name?” demanded the tall man, whose name seemed to be Prongs.
“Evan,” answered Lily coolly, “And before you ask, I’m fifteen.”
The fat man, Wormtail, seemed taken aback by this churlish response, but the other two seemed unaffected. “You’re right, Padfoot” announced Prongs, “He’ll do just fine.” With that, Prongs and Wormtail walked away, towards a huge ship docked at the pier.
Lily turned to face Padfoot, “Padfoot is it?” she asked, and, not waiting for a response, continued, “Well then, I want to know what the hell is going on?”
He snorted, “Yeah, it’s Padfoot, first-mate Padfoot, actually. I sail on The Order of the Phoenix, more commonly known as The Order.” Lily racked her mind, but that name did not sound familiar. Perhaps it was a newer ship. “The tall one back there is Captain Prongs. You please him, you rise up, it’s pretty simple. Any questions?”
Lily kept eye contact with him, to not appear weak, “Yes. Where do you sail?”
Padfoot looked disconcerted for a moment before replying, “Around.”
Lily regarded him for a moment. Here was a man she had just met, with a suspicious name, a ship she’d never heard of, and an unspecified destination, she would be crazy to sail with him. “You just earned yourself a sailor, first-mate,” she said shaking his hand. “Now,” she said, “Now that the pleasantries are over, where is this ship you’re talking about?”
Padfoot just grinned at her and headed off in the same direction as the others. Lily followed his path and her eyes widened as they landed on the biggest ship she’d ever seen. It was at least one and a half times the size of The Spider Web. She began to wonder what she had gotten herself into, crewing a ship that size.
Five hours later, Lily stood on deck of The Order and watched as the shore of Frenado slowly reclined. She felt a thrill of excitement at the idea of spending the next few months on the high seas. She closed her eyes as she felt the salty wind brush past her face and through her hair--this was certainly much better than being Lady Malfoy.
Still facing the sea, she heard two of her fellow crew members walking behind her, and overheard a snatch of their conversation, “I swear, we’d better be getting a good load of gold this time ‘round, or I’ll be mutinyin’ up our captain’s ass! Last round all we got was some old maid’s nobody wants!”
Lily turned around at this strange comment. Why would merchant sailors be looking for gold? And what was that about old maids? Turning around she searched for the two men that had been talking. They were wearing some old sailor’s clothing that looked like it hadn’t been washed in months, if not years. Their beards were scruffy and they smelled awfully. Suddenly Lily caught sight of something black on the arm of the man closest to her…it was a pirate’s brand.
She gasped, stepping backwards out of shock; her first reaction was to get away from the pirate. She might not be a proper lady, but it was common knowledge that pirates in these areas were the worst of the lot and she did not intend to get into trouble with the Royal Navy. They were certainly more fearsome than Mayor Malfoy was.
Unfortunately, however, she stepped back a little too far, and was suddenly falling…into the fathomless depths of the ocean.
A/N: I hope you liked it! I really need your opinion on EVERYTHING, so let me have it! By the way, in case you didn’t get it, this takes place in the Caribbean Islands during the 1700s.
Edited: On June 7th for grammar/spelling typos.
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