Chapter 1 : Of news and memories
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Lily had been born into a muggle family in America in the state of Illinois. She had one sister named Petunia, who used to be her best friend. The worst day of her entire life was one evening when she was seven and Petunia was nine. On that evening, Lily had been playing in her parlor with Petunia, when there was a loud crash. Startled, Lily and Petunia had run to join their parents at the front door. Standing in front of the four of them were many hooded figures in black robes.
"Who are you?" her father had demanded. "What do you want?" The tallest hooded figure had stepped forward.
"Lily�Lily�Lily," the figure said in an icy voice. "the flower." The figure stepped forward and tried to grab Lily, but her father knocked the hand out of the way.
"Run girls! Run!" he yelled. Lily and Petunia ran out the backdoor and hid in the neighbors yard. A few minutes later, smoke began filtering out of the house, followed by great flames licking their way up the walls. The figures came outside, and the one who had spoken before took out a long stick, tapped the door with it, and muttered a few funny words. The flames continued to engulf the house, while the two girls watched in horror, waiting desperately for their parents to come out. Meanwhile, the figures held a small conference.
"Shouldn�t we search the area to make sure the little brat hasn�t escaped?" said one figure with a nasal voice.
"She is very young," said the first figure. "she has most certainly been trapped inside." The figure raised his long stick again, and this time, a horrible, frightening skull with a snake coming out of the mouth flew into the sky. Without another word, the figures disappeared. As soon as they left, the fire began to make the house collapse.
"Petunia, where are mommy and daddy?" asked Lily. For a child of seven, she was very intelligent and knew why her parents had not come out of the destroyed house yet, but she didn�t want to accept it. "Why?" Petunia took Lily in her arms and began to sob, as did Lily. Just as suddenly as the fire had begun, it stopped. As if driven by an unseen force, the girls were pushed inside the wreckage, still smoking, with tiny patches on fire. There, the girls saw what no young children should have ever had to see. Lily and Petunia saw their parents lying on the floor, still alive, but only just.
"Mommy! Daddy!" Lily cried. She rushed over to them, hurrying behind Petunia.
"Lily," her father struggled to whisper. "Lily they will come for you-stay away from-stay away from-"
"Petunia-" their mother cut in. "Take care of your sister-" with a last breath, both parents were gone forever�
Lily shuddered as she thought of that horrible day. After that, she and Petunia had been sent to an orphanage with many tough kids. They both quickly learned that one had to be strong in order to survive, in order to defend you, and to never let their emotions show. They had gone from foster home to foster home. None of them lasted very long; no one seemed to want two girls. They had had to live on the streets at times as well�
Then, when the girls were with their ninth foster family, a very extraordinary thing happened. On Lily�s eleventh birthday, a very large barn owl with a letter flew in through the kitchen window. The letter was for Lily, saying she was a witch and was invited to study magic at Salem Magical Institute in Boston. Lily�s foster parents didn�t believe in the magical school, so the school sent supplies and bottle green robes for her. Meanwhile, Petunia began to become jealous of Lily. She didn�t think it was fair that Lily turned out to be special, and began to despise the sister she had once cherished. You see, Petunia wasn't drop dead gorgeous, or particularly bright either. She had never really shone in anything. She couldn't stand the fact that her sister was special, and that she was ordinary. She could barely look at Lily without seething in anger. Never again would their sisterly bond be the same.
At Salem, Lily enjoyed studying magic, but didn�t apply herself to her work. Lily didn�t have many friends, but that didn�t mean she was bitter. She couldn�t stand to see people picking on people who weren�t there own size. She didn�t trust the other kids because in order to survive at the orphanage and on the streets, Lily had taught herself not to get close to anyone. She occasionally hung out with a girl named Megan, but that was only on certain occasions. Her teachers tried time and time again to help her, but Lily pushed them away�
Lily stopped twirling her hair as a tall man, not more than twenty-five years of age, entered the room. He was the headmaster of Salem, Headmaster West, and also the Charms professor. Charms were the only Lily really cared about, and she made an effort in that class. Headmaster West was the only person at Salem Lily actually trusted, also. He sat down at his wide, oak desk.
"I�m sure you know why you�re here," said West. Lily rolled her eyes. Yay. I get another lecture about fighting and getting bad grades. Why don�t they buzz off?
"Yeah, I know why I�m here," said Lily. She had gotten into a fight with a very obnoxious boy named Jack Aster, but Lily liked to call him jackass. Lily didn't appreciate the fact that he hit on her constantly. He had done so today in right after Potions�
�Lily was about to leave the Potions classroom when Aster blocked her way. She had tried to walk around him, but he kept blocking her. She had stared at him icily, which made him loose his cool for a moment. He recovered quickly, and smiled his suave smile. Any girl besides her would've swooned and been on cloud nine if Aster had noticed them. Not Lily.
"What do you want, Jackass," she asked angrily. He sighed.
"Lily, why are you being so cold? I just wanted to talk to you." She said nothing, just looked at him with her stony glare. "Maybe I could warm you up." He reached up to stroke her face, but Lily caught his hand before it got there.
"Don't touch me," she said. A smarter boy would have run away by now. Aster smirked and slid his arm around her waist, and began to slide his hand up her back. Lily slapped him. Hard. She had become quite good at slapping him. Aster glared at her, gingerly fingering the dark red mark on his cheek.
"What the hell is wrong with you, you crazy bitch?" he yelled. The corridor was silent. All of a sudden, a first year named Evan spoke.
"Don't talk to Lily that way!" Evan was Lily's only friend, the one person she cared about at Salem, besides West. He was like the little brother she never had. Aster pretended to look terrified.
"And I guess I should listen to you, when you're half my size." He walked towards Evan. "I ought to teach you a lesson in not interrupting other people." Aster flexed his muscles, and Evan stared at him stonily, clearly unimpressed by the little speech. Lily admired that about him. He didn't give a rat's ass about what people thought about him, and he always stood his ground.
"Leave him out of this," said Lily. Aster turned back to her.
"Oh yea?" he asked, in a mock scared voice. "And what if I don�t?" BAM. POW. Aster lay on his back groaning, his nose bleeding, Lily towering over him.
"Well, that's what happens when you don't," she whispered, and walked away�
�Lily came back to reality with a jolt. She couldn't help smiling at the look of terror on Aster's face after she had hit him. West put his head in his hand
"Why Lily? Why do you keep fighting?"
"Instinct," said Lily lightly.
"This isn�t the orphanage or the streets, Lily, this is Salem Magical Institute! You�re safe here!" exclaimed West. "Now tell me why."
"Jackass-" Lily began, but stopped when West cleared his throat. "-fine, fine. Aster hit on me again, ok? I'm sorry if I don't appreciate him trying to seduce me every waking minute of the day. This first year Evan saw and he was defending me and Aster was going to cream him but Evan didn't back down because he would never back down, so I-I beat him up. Can I go yet, or are you going to make your little speech about violence again? I've memorized it by now, you don't need to repeat it. Want me to recite it for you?" West ignored what Lily said about 'his little speech about violence', and was trying hard to decide whether to smile or be angry.
"You're friends with Evan?" he asked softly. Lily nodded, not embarrassed at all.
"He�s a pretty cool dude. I like him. He beat the pants off me in chess," said Lily.
"And Mr. Aster wasn't respecting you?"
"You bet your as-I mean, um, buttons he was disrespecting me," muttered Lily, still angry. West nodded.
"I'll talk to Mr. Aster. And I'm glad you've finally made a friend. And that you care enough about him to protect him from danger. Just don't beat anyone up again, all right?" Lily nodded. West had seen a lot of good in Lily from the first time he saw her, even though most people couldn�t see it. He knew that her heart wasn't made of stone, that inside, she was just a lost, scared little girl. Living in orphanages had made Lily unable to talk about her feelings at times, and living on the streets had made her suspicious of people. But, slowly but surely, Lily was learning to trust and share her feelings. She had proven that by making friends with Evan. West laughed despite himself.
"What the hell are you laughing at?" demanded Lily, angrily. He quickly stopped laughing.
"You are one of the most complex people I have ever known."
"Riiight," said Lily slowly, wondering if her headmaster was a little empty upstairs.
"Anyway, Lily, there was another reason I called you to my office," said West. "Do you know of a school in Scotland named Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry?"
"What kind of stupid name is Hogwarts?" asked Lily, wondering if the people of Scotland were also a bit empty upstairs.
"I take it you haven�t heard of the school," said West. "It�s the best school of magic in the U.K. You know about the exchange program we do at Salem, right?"
"Yup," said Lily, wondering what all of this could have to do with her. Every year, Salem sent three students to different schools around the world for those three students to spend a year of their magical schooling there. Only the best and brightest were ever chosen to participate in the program.
"The teachers and I have reached a decision on who is going, and where. We have decided to send you to Hogwarts." Lily fell out of the chair she was sitting in, and didn�t get up for a few minutes. West began to get worried and think that the girl had died of shock, when she suddenly sprang back up.
"Me? Go to Hogwarts? Why? Is this a trick?" Lily asked in a rush.
"You. Go to Hogwarts. Because you are very gifted and we want you to work to your full potential. No, it�s not a trick. If it were, I would have burst out laughing by now. I�m not very good at tricks," said West. Lily smiled and squealed. She began to run a round the room, and then proceeded to jump up and down on the couch singing �I Feel Good�.
"Lily, come down from there," said West, but Lily paid no attention. Suddenly, he had an idea. "Lily, I�ll give you a chocolate frog if you stop jumping on my two hundred galleon couch!" Lily immediately stopped jumping up and down.
"Professor," she said. "I-I-" Lily burst into tears. Not sad ones, but happy ones. She had always wanted to travel and see new places, and now, a little of her dream was coming true. West hugged her. "Thank-you," said Lily when she had stopped crying. "You�re an awesome professor."
"And you�re one hell of a student," said West. Lily couldn't help herself, and began to laugh.