It's been a very, very long time since I've updated this, but it is not abandoned. I intend to edit this so much that rereading is almost necessary. So, if this is the first time you've come across this story, I urge you to put off reading it until that editing is done. I will be changing the plot slightly to make it more believable, getting rid of the old teachers and putting in new onesw to make it more realistic, and changing the characters' names (and maybe genders) to make them canon. Thank you for your understanding. 7.25.11
A fierce wind swept down the lane and rattled the windows of the little cottages as they sat beneath the dark sky, which was sprinkled with stars. They all sat silently; surrounded by mounds of white snow that glittered in the light of the moon. All of the houses were darkened, sheltering their inhabitants from the bitter December wind. All of them- except one.
The living room lights in the Potters’ house were all lit, and smoke was curling gently from the chimney. Harry was sitting in a high-backed armchair, socked feet resting comfortably on a footstool, flipping through a magazine called ‘The Quibbler.’ His wife, Ginny, lay stretched out on the couch, red hair up in a messy bun, staring into the merrily crackling flames.
She glanced up at her husband and smiled as he closed his magazine. Setting it aside, he stretched, fingering the lightning bolt-shaped scar on his forehead.
“So what does Luna have to say?” She asked pleasantly, pulling herself up into a sitting position. Harry shrugged.
“Nothing new, really," He said. "Except for that interview with Hermione about spew.” Ginny smiled.
“Right, she told me about that." She said, pausing to bite on her lip thoughtfully. "I think I’m going to cut it out and send it to mum.” She pushed herself to her feet and picked up the magazine, walking over to the kitchen area. The room had shining counters and a scrubbed wooden table, which had just been cleared of dinner dishes a few hours before. She opened a drawer and rummaged around for scissors.
“Speaking of your mum,” Harry said, getting up and following Ginny into the kitchen. “She owled me this morning before you got up and invited us over for dinner on Saturday. You know, one last dinner with Grandma and Grandpa before Christmas break ends and the kids go back to school.” Ginny smiled and pulled out the scissors, setting them on the counter.
“Yeah, that sounds lovely!" She said happily. "And I’m guessing the whole family’s going to be there?” Harry nodded and leaned against the wall, fingering his scar again. “Well, the kids have that to look forward to." She said, now cutting the paper. “It'll hopefully cheer Lily up, at any rate.”
“I dunno- she always gets pretty upset for a few days after the boys leave. Merlin, she can't wait to go. She's not going to stop talking about Hogwarts at all this summer! When she gets talking, I get almost excited as she is." Ginny laughed.
"You can say that again!" She said, smiling. She glanced over at Harry, whose own smile was fading.
“Though it will be quiet here, with all of them gone.” He said sadly. Ginny looked over at him and smiled softly, setting down her scissors.
“I know, I know." She said, heaving a sigh. "I’m going to have nothing to do with you gone to the office and the kids gone away to school. I suppose Teddy might drop by to visit every once in a while- but then again, he’s going to be busy with auror training, isn’t he?” She sighed again, scooping the scraps of paper off the counter and into the wastebasket.
“I swear, everyone wants to be an auror now a days." She said, frowning. "And I’m sure they all would have loved to risk their necks twenty years ago when Voldemort was at large.” She put the scissors back in the drawer and pulled out a parchment envelope instead. She put the small square cut-out of the interview inside and sealed it. Pausing for a moment, she sighed.
“Even James wants to be an auror! And Albus, of course, is following in his footsteps. Really, I have no idea what we’re going to do with those two. Albus is like a miniature you, and James is a cross between George and Ron!” She smiled, but her eyes were sad. “And now little Lily’s going too.” Harry walked over to her and put his arms around her, kissing her on the cheek. She smiled and opened another drawer, this time pulling out a quill and some ink. She addressed the envelope and laid it on the counter.
“There,” She said. “I’ll mail that in the morning.” She turned around to face Harry and leaned against the counter. “Have you thought at all about Lily’s going-away present?” Harry's expression was solemn as he nodded.
“But I don’t have a clue what we’re going to get her.” He said anxiously. “I mean, James got the Marauder’s Map, Al got the invisibility cloak, but I only have so many extraordinary magical objects!” Ginny smiled.
“I’m sure that Lily won’t mind if the present isn’t a Deathly Hallow." She said merrily. "She’ll just be so excited about finally going to Hogwarts! And I know exactly how that feels. Always stuck as the last person to have fun...”
“She reminds me so much of you.” Harry said as he cocked his head to one side. “Maybe you should be the one to pick out her gift.” Ginny frowned.
“But we always do that together." She said. "Although there wasn’t exactly much choosing to do with the boys, it was merely a question of who got which gift.” Harry smiled.
“No, really," He insisted. "You understand her better. And you could give her something special that was yours once.” Ginny shrugged.
“I never really had anything special, except Riddle’s diary.”
“Oh yeah,” Harry said sarcastically. “Let’s give our little girl a Horcrux for a going away present.” Ginny laughed quietly, but suddenly stopped, straightening up.
“Brilliant!” She exclaimed. Harry laughed.
“Okay, moving on.” He said with a chuckle. But Ginny was looking at him excitedly, completely serious. Harry's eyes widened with alarm. “You’re not seriously thinking about giving her a Horcrux?”
“No, no, of course not, but-” Ginny trailed off distractedly. She hurried over to the bookcase in the living room, and Harry followed her, looking confused.
“Then what-?” He began to ask, but she shushed him, scanning the shelves for something. Harry fell silent, watching his wife as she pulled a thick, blue book off the shelf. She sat down on the couch and flipped through it feverishly. Harry sat beside her, looking perplexed. Finally, she stopped and let out an excited cry.
“Here!” She exclaimed, smoothing out the page. Harry leaned closer with a frown and she began to read aloud. “Instant Magical Communication Charms: Charm the objects of your choice and use them to communicate regularly and instantly whenever needed.”
“Objects recommended-" Harry said, squinting at the page over Ginny's shoulder. "Jewelry, notebooks or journals, coins, mirrors- Hey! This must be the kind of charm that was on the mirror Sirius gave me.” His look of excitement returned to one of confusion. “But what has this got to do with Riddle’s-?”
“I could enchant a pair of diaries,” Ginny said excitedly, finally looking up from the book. “So that whenever you write in one, your words appear in the other, and vice versa. It says here that you can enchant items so they will project your voice, your face, or written messages. And then I could give one of the diaries to Lily and she could write in it whenever she wanted, so she could have a little friend to carry around in her pocket. Kind of like I had…” She trailed off, watching Harry. He frowned.
“It’s a brilliant idea and everything," He said slowly. "But you know how James is, now that he’s a teenager. He doesn’t open up to either of us. We’re just parents, remember? She might write to you, but she wouldn’t pour out her heart. All those things you wrote to Riddle, would you have written them to your mother?” Ginny’s face fell.
“No, I wouldn’t. But-” She looked back down at the page, then looked up quickly. “I don’t have to tell her.” She said, and Harry started.
“What?” He asked in disbelief. Ginny’s eyes were lit up, her face glowing.
“I don’t have to tell her that it’s me writing back. I could just write to her as ‘the diary’.” She looked at him eagerly, but Harry shook his head.
“Lie?” He asked her with raised eyebrows. She gave him an exasperated look.
“No, not technically lying." She said hotly. "Just... not telling the whole truth.” Harry raised an eyebrow. “Fine,” She said, slamming the book shut. “If you’d rather have her take advice from a bunch of giggly girls her age, girls that could be having a very bad affect on her, we can just forget the whole thing.” Harry looked unmoved as he took off his glasses and began to polish them on his shirt, so she added,
“And I guess we’ll never find out if she’s thinking about getting any boyfriends.” The single word seemed to trigger an electric shock in Harry, who did a kind of twitch and dropped his glasses, before he straightened up, eyes wide. Ginny, whose back was turned on him, smirked, as if she had expected this reaction.
“Well…” He said slowly, looking nervous. “I suppose if you really want to...” Ginny leaned over and kissed him, before settling down on the couch and opening the book again.
“But it’s a really complex spell!” She said, looking at the page. “I’m going to need someone who can handle really difficult magic to do this for me.” Harry straightened up and grinned at her, but she didn’t look up. “Like…”
“Like someone who you know very well?” He supplied, and she nodded.
“Yes, so I know I can trust them not to mess it up.” She still didn’t look up, so Harry went on.
“And probably someone who’s accomplished a lot, so you know they can handle the magic?” Ginny nodded absentmindedly. Harry looked exasperated.
“You know, like someone who has known you since your first year at Hogwarts and is best friends with your brother, Ron?” Ginny snapped her fingers and stood up excitedly.
“Of course!" She said loudly. "Why didn’t I think of it right away? It's so obvious!" Harry beamed and puffed out his chest proudly. Ginny kissed him on the cheek, smiling to herself. “I’ll have to send an owl to Hermione first thing in the morning!” And she got up from the couch, leaving a very dejected Harry behind.
“Hurry up! Hurry up! Hurry up!” Lily squealed as her father pushed the trolley with everyone’s school trunks. She pulled on her mother’s hand, willing her to speed up, but she held her back.
“Hold your hippogriffs, sweetie.” She said sternly, but she looked amused. “The train isn’t going anywhere for at least another quarter hour.” Lily sighed, and fell into step beside her mother. James grinned.
“Well, we don’t know that for sure." He said. "Sometimes it leaves early and you have to stay home all year.” Lily gasped, but her mum only gave James a warning look.
“Don’t tease your sister.” She said strictly, and James tried to hide his grin.
“Well, thank Merlin she stopped singing.” he said cheerily, and Lily scowled at him as he imitated her in a high-pitched voice.
“We’re leaving for the train today! So I have to yell hurray! Because I’m going to Hogwarts school, isn’t that cool?”
“It’s even more annoying when you do it.” Al said from his father’s other side, and James stuck out his tongue. The boys’ mother gave them a fierce look and they mumbled incoherent apologies.
“Look, everyone!” Lily suddenly cried. “It’s the platform! I see it! I see it!” She jumped up and down and tugged even harder on her mother, who followed, the boys' misbehavior seemingly forgiven. They stopped in front of the barrier between the big plastic number nine and the number ten. “Can we go first?” Lily begged her mother. “Please?”
“Sure." Her mum answered, smiling. "James, Al, you follow us, and Harry, darling, you come after with the trunks.” Lily squeezed her mother’s hand and felt her squeeze back. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, walking through the barrier into Platform nine-and-three-quarters.
When Lily opened her eyes, she saw a brilliant scarlet steam engine in front of her, with kids hanging out of the windows and more bustling about the platform. There was steam everywhere, and the sound of hundreds of voices mingling with the hooting of owls.
“Lily! Aunt Ginny!” A voice cried, and Lily turned to see Hugo Weasley running towards them, followed by Rose and their parents.
“Hugo! Aren’t you so excited?” She asked eagerly, letting go of her mother and running over to her cousin. “We’re going! We’re actually going!” She jumped up and down, clapping her hands.
“Calm down, Lily." Her mother told her sternly. "Hello, Hermione, Ron.” Lily wasn’t paying too much attention.
“James keeps saying that I’ll be in Slytherin," She said quickly. "But I’m not listening to him, because he’s just mean. Al says that the sorting was really scary, but not as bad as he thought it’d be. I just hope I’m in Gryffindor.” Hugo nodded fervently, looking pale. James came up to them, hands in his pockets.
“Yeah, well Slytherin is a treat compared to what happened to that one kid last year.” He said. Hugo and Lily exchanged confused looks.
“What kid?” Hugo asked uncertainly. James raised his eyebrows.
“Oh, didn’t I tell you about it?" He asked. "Well, they were called up to put on the hat, and they just sat there for a really long time, and finally the hat announced to the whole hall that the kid didn’t belong in any of the houses and had to go back home.” Lily’s eyes widened.
“It can send you home?” She said in a strangled whisper, and Hugo looked like he was about to pass out.
“Oh yeah,” Said James, looking around for his friends. “I hear it happens all the time.” Lily whimpered.
“Ok, you lot better get on the train.” Ron announced, clapping his hands together. He and Harry had already loaded the luggage onto the train. Lily felt her stomach tighten.
“Oh, wait a minute.” Her mum said, pulling out a wrapped parcel out from her bag. “This is for you, Lily, dear. I picked it out especially, and I know you’ll like it.” Lily’s hands shook with excitement as she took the parcel. A loud whistle sounded.
“You can open it on the train, sweetie.” Her mother said, and Lily put the small present in her jacket pocket. Her mother gave her a big hug and a kiss. “I’ll miss you so much, honey! We’ll write as soon as we can. Now, don’t listen to your brother, and don’t worry about the sorting. It’ll be fine.” She let go of Lily and her eyes were wet.
“I’m going to miss you too.” Her dad said as he scooped her up in a big hug and she laughed. “Have lots of fun at Hogwarts.” He let go and smiled, his eyes searching her face. “But not too much fun.” The train whistle sounded again and Lily’s dad helped her onto the train with Hugo and shut the door. She hung out of the window and grabbed his hand.
“Bye, daddy! I love you!” Lily cried. She looked over at her mother. “Bye, mommy! I love you too.” And then the train started to slowly move, and Lily’s hand was pulled out of her dad’s. He stood and waved, her mom by his side. Lily waved frantically until the train went around a bend, and she couldn’t see them any more.
“Come on, let’s try and find a compartment.” Hugo said, and they made their way down the crowded aisle, pulling their trunks behind them, looking left and right, but every compartment they looked into was full. Lily felt scared. She wasn't used to seeing so many unfamiliar faces.
They attracted many stares from the other students, and Lily guessed it was because of her dad. She felt her face get hot and looked down at her feet as they walked, wishing they’d stop looking at her.
“Hey,” Hugo said, peering into a compartment near the end of the train. “This one only has one person in it.” Lily looked too and saw a black girl with a long ponytail who was staring out the window, looking bored. Lily didn’t know whether they ought to knock or not, but before she decided, Hugo slid the compartment door open, and the girl looked up.
“Hello.” She said, grinning, and Lily smiled nervously. Hugo, however, didn’t seem too nervous.
“Hello. Mind if we sit with you?” The girl shook her head, and he and Lily shut the door behind them. Lily and Hugo, with help from the girl, lifted their trunks into the luggage racks and then sat down across from her. The silence was considerably awkward, so Lily broke it.
“I’m Lily Potter. And this is my cousin, Hugo Weasley.” The girl’s eyes widened as she looked at Lily, who promptly turned as red.
“Lily Potter?" She repeated. "So your dad is Harry Potter?” Lily nodded, still blushing. The girl just grinned. “My name’s Rebecca Jordan. My parents know yours. They went to Hogwarts together. My mum even played Quidditch with your dad for years, and then a year with your mum too! Her maiden name's Johnson- maybe your dad's mentioned her?” It was Lily’s turn to be surprised.
“I think I’ve seen you before.” Lily said. “It was about two years ago and your parents stopped by to say ‘hello’! I was watching from the top of the stairs.” The girl’s grin widened.
“Hey, I’ve seen you too!” Hugo said suddenly. “I know your dad, because he’s always at my Uncle George’s house.” The girl nodded, still grinning.
“Oh, I know your Uncle George,” She said happily. “He’s funny!” Lily grinned too.
“I know!" She cried. "Have you ever been to one of his shops?” Rebecca nodded again, and Hugo laughed. “They’re so cool!” Lily continued excitedly. “I’ve only ever been to the one in Diagon Alley, though.”
“Yeah, that’s the one I went to.” Rebecca said. “I bought a fake wand, and my mum got really mad and threw it away because she kept picking it up by accident.” They all laughed again, and Lily decided that she liked this girl, Rebecca.
“Are you going into your first year?” Lily asked her, and she nodded. “We are too! What house do you want to be in?” The girl didn’t hesitate.
“Gryffindor. That’s the house both of my parents were in. My mum was even Quidditch captain in her last year. What about you two?”
“We want to be in Gryffindor too.” Hugo said, and Lily nodded frantically. They were interrupted at that point, however, by a knock at the door. A small boy with mousy brown hair had stuck his head in, looking very nervous.
“Um- um- uh…” He turned red, and Lily felt sorry for him. It was incredibly difficult to introduce yourself to people you’ve never met before, after all. So she smiled at him.
“Hello, do you want to sit with us?” She asked, and he nodded. He looked relieved as he entered the compartment, dragging a battered-looking trunk with him. Hugo jumped up and helped him put it with the other three trunks, and then the boy sat down next to Rebecca and smiled nervously.
“I’m Hugo Weasley.” Hugo said, smiling at him, obviously relieved to see another boy. “And this is Lily Potter and Rebecca Jordan.” The boy swallowed.
“I’m Michael Phillips.” He said quietly. Lily waited for a comment about her last name, but none came. Lily guessed he was a muggle-born, and her suspicions were confirmed a moment later.
“Can you believe we’re going to learn magic?” The boy asked, letting out a shuddering breath. Lily smiled, feeling excitement well up inside her like a balloon.
“I know!” She cried. “I’m sooo excited!” Hugo laughed, but Lily didn’t care. She felt jittery.
“Hey, Lily, did you open your present, yet?” Hugo asked. Lily gasped.
“No! I almost forgot!” She said, taking the parcel out of her pocket. She squealed excitedly and tore off the brown paper. Albus had gotten an invisibility cloak, James had gotten a magic map... her present must be spectacular! Finally something fell into her lap. She looked down and it was-
“A diary?” Hugo asked as he picked up the little black book and examined it. “That’s all? That's the kind of present my mum would give someone.” Lily felt her heart sink. She had gotten a diary? A crummy old diary while her brothers got the coolest things ever?
“Let me see.” Rebecca said, holding out her hand for the diary. Hugo handed it to her, and she flipped it open. “Ugh.” She said, handing it back to Lily. Lily looked at her with a frown.
"I hate diaries." Rebecca explained. "It's what all those girly-girls have. You know, and they write little hearts around the names of boys they like." She shuddered. "But a diary's better than nothing."
“Yeah, but it’s not very…” Lily searched for the right word.
“Cool?” Hugo supplied, and she shrugged, looking at the plain black cover in her hands. “Well…” Hugo said slowly. “You know how when James got his present he thought it was some kind of joke?” Lily looked up.
“Yeah," She said, frowning. "Because it looked like a plain old piece of parchment until dad tapped it with his wand and whispered something. Do you think-?” Hugo looked excited again.
“Yeah," He said, grinning. "Maybe you have to do something special!” He stood up on his seat and opened his trunk, pulling out his wand. He plopped back down and took the diary from Lily. “Um…” He said, tapping it with his wand. “Show your secrets.” Nothing happened.
“Try again.” Lily said, and Hugo cleared his throat and said, louder.
“Show us your secret magical powers!” Still, nothing happened. “Um, maybe you have to do it?” He asked Lily, handing her the diary. She sighed and retrieved her wand from her trunk, finally tapping on the diary’s cover.
“Show me your secrets!” She said loudly and clearly. Nothing visibly changed. Lily let out a huffy breath and flipped through the diary, but nothing had happened. Why didn’t she get a cool present too?
"Well... look on the bright side." Rebecca said with a shrug. "At least it's not pink."
"I think it's a nice present!" Michael said nervously, glancing at Rebecca as she snorted.
“Anything off the trolley, dears?” The four of them jumped and looked at the elderly woman outside the compartment, who was pushing a trolley full of sweets. Hugo and Rebecca jumped up, already pulling out money. Lily put her diary and her wand back in her trunk and got a little pouch out of her pocket. Her mom had given her money specifically for food on the train.
Michael just sat there, looking embarrassed and sad as the three of them returned with handfuls of sweets. Lily dumped hers onto the seat between her and Hugo and said,
“I can’t eat all this by myself.” Rebecca and Hugo exchanged a weary glance before Rebecca dumped hers on top of Lily's.
“Here," She said grudgingly. "We can combine ours and everyone can have some.” Hugo looked at his sweets sadly before dumping them with theirs. Michael still looked uncomfortable about taking some, so Lily said,
“Hey, Michael, have you ever had a chocolate frog?” He shook his head, and she tossed him one.
“It’s really cool, and there’s a card inside with a famous witch or wizard on it.” He opened it, smiling, and soon all awkwardness was forgotten, and they were all talking and laughing, going through all the sweets.
“Ooh, someone try this one!” Lily said, holding up a greenish-yellow bean, and everyone leaned away from it as though it were something dangerous. They had been experimenting enough with Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, so even Michael knew it would be suicidal to eat something that funny-looking.
“Hey, Hugo- I’ll give you a sickle if you eat it!” Rebecca said loudly. He grinned and held out his hand for the bean.
“You’re on!” He cried. Everyone held their breath as he popped it into his mouth and chewed slowly. Suddenly he started to splutter and cough, and he spit it back out. “DISGUSTING!” He yelled, throwing it on the floor. Lily wrinkled her nose and made a mental note not to step there when she went to leave the compartment.
“Okay, now give me my money.” Hugo turned to find Rebecca grinning madly.
“I only said I’d give you money if you ate it, but you spit it out!” She said gleefully.
“No fair!” He shouted, but everyone else was laughing. The talk then turned to Quidditch, and Rebecca, Hugo, and Lily lost no time in explaining the rules to Michael, who looked thrilled yet terrified at the thought of flying on objects that he had gone through life knowing to be simple cleaning utensils
“I think we’d better change into our robes.” Lily said as she looked out at the dark sky. “Rebecca and I’ll go so you can change first.” She and Rebecca got up and left the compartment. People kept staring at Lily, and she hated it.
“Lily!” Lily heard someone call her name and turned around to see Al waving at her. She hurried over to him, Rebecca close behind.
“Hi, Al. Oh, Rebecca, this is my brother. Al, this is my friend, Rebecca Jordan.” It gave Lily a small thrill to call Rebecca her friend, and she grinned as they nodded to each other.
“Anyway," Al continued. "You two better get into your robes, we’ll be there soon.” Lily nodded and turned away, but Al called after her. “Oh, what did you get from mum and dad?” Lily’s disappointment from earlier returned, now mingled with slight humiliation.
“It’s a secret.” She said, unable to tell her brother that she had gotten a stupid diary. He just rolled his eyes and shut his compartment door. She and Rebecca returned to find the boys completely changed. They pulled on their robes as soon as Michael and Hugo left, and talked excitedly about Hogwarts.
Soon they were all sitting together again, the sweet wrappers littering the floor. They suddenly heard a voice echo throughout the train.
“We will be arriving at Hogwarts in five minutes’ time. Please leave your luggage on the train; it will be brought to the school separately.” Lily squealed as they felt the train begin to slow down, and they all sat in silence, too excited and nervous to speak.
Finally, after five minutes that seemed like five hours, the train screeched to a halt, and Lily got up nervously, feeling her stomach tighten. She followed Michael out of the compartment and got pushed and shoved down the aisle and out into the cold night air.
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