Lily lifted her head. She had fallen asleep while reading a book, once again. She placed her book on the desk and changed into her pyjamas. The clock next to the door said it was ten past midnight. Lily felt excited. It was semptember first!
She would be returning to Hogwarts in the morning. Lily was probably one of the few teenagers who had always been excited to return to school. But Hogwarts was more than a school; it was first and foremost a home to Lily. The fact that she had become a witch had messed up her muggle life completely, as well as the relationship with her sister but still she wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. This made Petunia even more angry with her youngest sister, who used to be her best friend.
Now she began to think about he previous year at Hogwarts. It had been quite a pleasant year, different. And there was only one person responsible for that difference... James Potter. For the first time in six years, James had not asked Lily out, resulting in a very peaceful and quiet year for Lily. Well, almost. She was still uncertain about who the real James was, and somehow bickering with him was the only way of conversing with him for Lily.
She had always thought him to be the most insufferable, egoistic, pompous prat she had ever met and that he was the last person on this planet she would ever befriend, besides Petunia’s boyfriend Vernon maybe. James still had his good looks, which Vernon clearly hadn’t.
She had always thought James did nothing if there wasn’t something in it for him too but she had been proven wrong last year. Lily had found out about Remus Lupin’s little secret and she was amazed what his friends had done for him, she had actually asked herself if she would ever do such a thing for a friend and honestly her answer was no. She blamed her supposed friends at Hogwarts; they were all witches who knew the latest gossip inside Hogwarts but had no clue of what was happening outside those protective walls. She didn’t really like them. She had never fit in. They were more Petunia-like people, always knowing the worst scandal of other people while they were clueless when it came to their own flaws.
There was one girl she had come to learn and like over the past years, Samantha. But then again Sam was also best friends with the marauders, especially James. Some even claimed to have seen them kiss in the Astronomy Tower as everyone at Hogwarts thought they were a couple. Sam had told Lily that they were not and would never be a couple, and Lily had decided to believe it. She couldn’t exactly go around being jealous of James’ girlfriend when she was supposed to hate his guts.
The thing was that even though Sam and Lily had just recently become friends, Lily had already started sharing everything with her and she noticed that she was a good listener. She was the first person Lily had been so open to. Or at least the first one who deserved Lily’s trust.
In second year she had told her roommates that she had a little crush on Sirius just to fit in because the whole dorm was madly in love with him. She really didn’t feel a thing for someone so self-centred but she just wanted them to like her a bit. But she found out soon after that it had been one of her biggest mistakes. The next day the whole school knew about her crush and Sirius started mocking her in the hallways. She had felt terrible for the following weeks and since then she had kept any secret or personal thought to herself. Even with that suspicion she told everything to Samantha, whom she now declared as her best friend.
The other thing that had amazed Lily was that James had saved his worst enemy from the death Sirius had let him into. That’s what made Lily's opinion of James change, but what made her dislike Sirius even more. How could he cold-bloodedly kill someone? James definitely couldn’t.
Severus had wanted to know what was going on with the marauders once a month and so he went to find out. One full moon Sirius had said to Snape that if he wanted to know he should get into the secret passage beneath the Womping Willow. And so Snape did, but Sirius had “accidentally” left out the part about Remus turning into a werewolf right there and then. While Snape was halfway under the Womping Willow James noticed him, and saved him from getting bit by a werewolf or worse a horrible death. When Lily had found out (Sam had told her) she was speechless and she kept mentally apologizing to James but she never got herself to really say it to the boy.
Still not knowing who the real James was, Lily did know she had changed her mind about him. At least there was more to him than being an insufferable, egoistic, pompous prat. She might even start to actually see him as a real person, if she wasn’t so stubborn.
Lily woke up when a ray of sunlight slipped through her curtains. She tried to remember when she had fallen asleep last night, but all she knew was that the last thing on her mind was James Potter.
And then it was there again, that feeling of excitement. Today she was going back to Hogwarts.
It was as if she was even more exhilarated than usual. For the first time, she had had a friend to miss over the holidays. They had exchanged some letters but sometimes it took Sam a while to write back, and then she’d apologise a thousand times, saying she was very busy during the summer. Lily had assumed she meant going on vacation somewhere far off, but on second thought she had realised that Sam must have some kind of job probably.
You see, Sam wasn’t a student at Hogwarts, but she did spent a lot of her time there. Sam said it was because Hogwarts was the safest place to be these days. Lily thought Sam was exagerating a little about the non-safety outside Hogwarts. She knew about some cruel villain, who called himself Lord Voldemort but the ministry was looking for him, so Lily was confident that they would catch him soon.
Lily had noticed that Sam was close to Dumbledore and that they often discussed secret business. Lily hadn’t dared to ask Sam about it, but she guessed that was why Sam could stay at the castle with the headmaster’s permission.
But when Hogwarts was closed for the summer, Sam lived on her own. She had told Lily this, while avoiding the subject of her parents. So, Lily figured, either Sam was really rich and didn’t need to work, or she was busy working during the summer holiday.
Not knowing all this, made Lily realise she didn’t really know Sam at all, and still she trusted her blindly. Sam had that kind of effect on people. She could make you feel special, just by talking to you. But Lily was confident that Sam trusted her too, and that she just didn’t want to talk about certain things. Lily didn’t mind though; they had only been friends since last year. It was normal not to know everything about each other.
After half an hour, Lily was downstairs eating her breakfast. Her mum was running around doing everything and nothing all at once, while her dad was oblivious to his wife’s behaviour and was reading the newspaper peacefully. Lily loved watching her dad read or fill in a crossword or something similar. He always had a frown on his forehead, as if he was thinking really hard even while he might’ve only been looking at a picture in the paper.
Lily got the intelligence from her mum and Petunia from their dad. Well, intelligence might have been the wrong word. Lily was good at studying, like her mom. Her dad on the other hand had never finished school but when it came to real life, he was a specialist. He always knew the answer to everything just by letting his heart speak. Lily believed she had a little bit of that in her too, although she sometimes let her brain rule her actions too much.
A great heart was nowhere to be found within Petunia, she could be so cruel towards Lily sometimes. She was totally consumed by jealousy toward Lily even though she would never admit it.
Lily was a real ‘daddy’s girl’ and she regretted leaving him the most every time she boarded the train to go to Hogwarts.
“Are you ready, sweetie?” The low voice of her father called as he started putting on his jacket. Lily cracked a grin when she looked at her father.
“Yep!” She replied cheerfully. She looked back at the hallway leading to her room, filled with melancholy. “I still can’t believe this is the last time I’ll be doing all of this. Leaving to catch to the train to Hogwarts and such.”
“Sweet Lily, if there’s anyone who deserved everything that she has gotten, it’s you. You were born magical! I didn’t need a witch showing up here six years ago to tell me that. I knew from the moment I set eyes on you. And this may be the last year of school, next is the first year of something completely new,” her father said lovingly. Lily smiled sweetly at him while she put on her coat. “Now, let’s get going before your sister realises she wants to come along for some reason.”
He winked mischievously and opened the door for her.
“I can still apparate away quickly when she shows up!” Lily laughed.
“Oh no, please! You’re giving me a heart-attack every time you just disappear!” Ian Evans said, putting his hand over his heart drammatically. Lily kept laughing as she stepped into the car.
Everything was in the car already when they yelled back at the house.
“We’re leaving before Lily misses her train!”
Her mother appeared at the door with her dressing gown on; she motioned Lily to come back to her. Lily went to her mother quickly; she wanted to leave as soon as possible.
“Come on, you’re not getting away without a hug,” Her mother never went all the way to the train station because she knew that she was not good at saying goodbye or seeing her daughter leave.
She quickly hugged her mom when she heard footsteps run down the stairs, which she knew belonged to Petunia.
“Bye, mom!” She was halfway through the door of the car when Petunia called for her. She closed her eyes and turned around.
“Well you sneaky little…” Petunia started but their mother stopped her by glaring at her.
“I, I just didn’t want you to leave without a sisterly hug,” She stood there with her arms open and a smile on her face but in her eyes Lily could see an evil glitter. Their mother was smiling at the display; she still didn’t know how sneaky and backstabbing Petunia was. Lily rolled her eyes and gave her sister a hug. Petunia didn’t let her go but then her father called for Lily to hurry up from inside the car. Petunia let go of her sister and Lily was really grateful to her dad, he always knew when to save her.
She quickly got in the car without looking back. Whatever her place was in this world she knew it was definitely not anywhere near this little house she just left.
“So, this is it! Our last train ride to Hogwarts. Our last year. Let’s…”
“…make it a year no one will forget anytime soon!” Sirius finished James’ sentence with a grin.
Remus clapped Sirius on the back.
“Let’s do this!”
With that they started boarding the train. James didn’t go along. Instead he was staring at Lily, who was saying goodbye to her dad. The man had those same beautiful eyes. Suddenly he looked straight at James. At first, he was a bit startled to find James staring so intensely but then he grinned and James could see some mischief behind the emerald eyes, almost as if they were old friends.
James smiled back and the man started approaching him. Lily was already off talking to other students.
The man stopped right in front of James and extended his hand. James shook it and the man said:
“You must be the famous James Potter? I’m Ian Evans, Lily’s father. I heard you became Head Boy along with Lily?” Ian Evans said, pointing at James’ Head Boy badge. “She told me a lot about you. About you and your actions...”
James nodded and looked down at his feet. He was thrilled to hear that Lily was talking about him at home but wasn’t so happy with Lily’s parents thinking he was nothing but a troublemaker.
“Oh, don’t be ashamed about that, boy. It rather reminded me of my own childhood, although it wasn’t so spectacular without the magic, we were pretty good at pulling pranks, too,” He winked and the pace of James’ heartbeat quickened. Lily’s dad liked him.
“What I actually wanted to ask you was if you could keep an eye on Lily this year. Not in a way of protecting her. I’m pretty sure she can defend herself with that wand of hers...” He laughed knowingly and James joined him. “But since you’re Head Boy and she’s Head Girl, I would like to ask you if you could make sure she lived a little this year... that she doesn’t get lost in her work but that she has a little fun so she can remember this year with a smile. I thought you would be the most appropriate person to ask,” He looked a little bit unsure, as he didn’t really know how to say it without sounding like a father that wanted his daughter to get into trouble.
“I’d be glad to help,” James said smiling and he shook the man’s hand again. He was about to leave when he felt a hand on his shoulder and when he turned around he saw two bright green eyes.
James gave him a slow nod and saw from the corner of his eye that Lily was approaching so he decided to leave. When he boarded the train he heard Lily saying:
“What were you doing talking to James? Why are you smiling like that?”
Lily had waiting until the last possible moment before boarding the train. She had questioned her dad about his conversation with James. He hadn’t said a thing about it but he hadn’t stopped grinning either. She hoped he hadn’t told him anything embarrassing.
While Lily was searching for an empty compartment on the train, she heard a familiar voice behind her.
“… I’m going to win Lily back this year. You should've heard our conversation at the end of last year. I’m telling you, she so not over me…”
She entered the first compartment she could reach and faced four confused first-years.
“Sorry,” She mumbled. She went back into the hallway and looked in the direction of her ex-boyfriend, Mark Hastings. It was then that he also noticed her.
“Hey, Lily!” He called. She swore under her breath, turned around as if she hadn’t heard him, and started walking away quickly but he didn’t give in and started following her. She had to find someone to sit with, to let him know that she already had friends.
And there he was as if he had heard her, coming out of a compartment, James Potter. She ran up to him, put her baggage down and hugged him, meanwhile she whispered into his ear:
“Help me get away from Mark!”
James caught on quickly and hugged Lily back.
“Lily, I’ve missed you so much!” He exclaimed, while wrapping his arms around Lily’s waist.
Mark stopped in mid-air. James let go of Lily and started getting Lily’s luggage.
“Come sit with us!” He said loudly so Mark would definitely hear and Mark turned on his heels and stalked off.
Lily was very grateful to James and she followed him into the compartment mindlessly. Sirius, Peter and Remus where already sitting there. She convinced herself that it would be rude to just use James and then walk away because she didn’t need him anymore, although she didn’t need that much persuasion to sit down next to James.
The other three boys were clearly stunned by what had just happened right in front of their compartment door but Lily decided to ignore this.
“Wow you really broke that guy’s heart, didn’t you?” James said teasingly.
“Well, it’s just that at the end of last year I went to talk to him, maybe shouldn't have given him that hug... But he stood there all alone and I pitied him after what you guys did to him!” She looked around the compartment and her eyes lingered on Sirius while he was grinning, remembering one of his better pranks.
“Well, I couldn’t let your feelings for me be pushed aside by such a silly boy as Mark, now could I?” He said as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
“For the last time, I never had feelings for you. That was a lie. Get over yourself already!” She said frustrated. “Anyway, as I was saying, he apparently blew the whole thing up and thought I wanted him back. He was showing off in front of his friends about it. Very mature.” She sighed.
Nice way to start the year, Lily! She said to herself.
Suddenly James got up and opened the door. When he noticed that Lily wasn’t following him, he said:
“Come on, Flower, you don’t want to be late on your first meeting as Head Girl, now do you?” He said smiling sweetly. She shot up and followed.
“It’s not because you saved me once that you can start giving me nicknames, Potter. Flower?” She asked challenging him for a fight. They couldn’t have a normal conversation.
“Sorry, just thought it was nice,” He said politely and Lily was taken aback. He hadn’t answered in his normal cocky way. She shook her head a little bit before continuing her lecture. “And by the way, why didn’t Remus follow? He’s supposed to be Head Boy! You never even were a prefect!”
“I don’t think you’re the one to decide that!” James replied a bit harsher. “If you really want to know, he refused it because of his furry little problem!”
Lily was silent for a moment. How close were these guys? When one of them backs out, the other one replaces him.
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