The rest of the week continued in the same vein although she managed to make it to Transfiguration. Scorpius had not given up his daily escort service. The Twisted Sisters, as Lily had dubbed Rebecca Rowle, Vanessa Warrington, and Alexis Vaisey, continued to malign her daily. James made a point of coming over to the Slytherin table to “chat” (glare at Scorpius) every morning.
By Friday she felt she had been a fool to have anticipated coming to Hogwarts so much. She sat in her leather arm chair by the fire reading a book on anamagi she had “borrowed” from James’s trunk. James had told her he was going to try to become an anamagus like his namesake. She wondered if it would be possible to beat him to it. Malfoy sat across from her deliberately bumping her shoe with his. She struggled to concentrate on a sentence she knew she had already read several times when the book slid out of her hands.
“Hey, give that back!” Scorpius held it up out of her reach trying to read some of the words.
“Anamagi? What, you aren’t thinking of trying this are you, Red? I mean what would you turn into, a fox perhaps or maybe a cardinal?”
He laughed as he moved out of her reach again. She reached up pulling on his arm trying to get the book out of his hand. He switched hands, and she moved to reach for his other arm pressing against him as she did so. Lily felt his body stiffen. He let her pull his arm down and snatch the book away. Opening the book to the page she had been reading, she looked at the blond boy standing as though he had been turned to stone and wondered why he had given up so soon. After a few minutes, he sat back down across from her but did not resume his pestering.
The weeks that followed continued with more of the same. Malfoy’s attentions annoyed Lily, but his constant presence did have some benefits. Her roommates avoided her whenever he was around, and since his lighthearted teasing was easier to swallow than Rebecca’s open hostility, she had stopped trying to avoid him. Their daily banter between classes gave her something to look forward to at least, and when she finally mastered the Jelly-legs Jinx she was delighted to demonstrate her ability to use her wand. One thing she had to admit about Scorpius, albeit grudgingly, he took everything in stride. He never lost his temper; rather he seemed content to suffer at her hands. She finally decided that he must be attention starved. She wondered if he had any real friends.
It was the Friday before Halloween, and Lily was tired of trying to think up comebacks to all of The Twisted Sister’s taunts. Last night they had regressed to “mum bashing” again. Her head ached as she walked into her Defense Against the Dark Arts class as usual expecting to see Professor Ackerley.
“Daddy!” Lily flung herself into her father's arms when she saw him standing there grinning at the front of the room like a beacon in a raging storm. How did he know how much she needed him?
“Hey, Lils.” He gave her a quick bear hug. The reassurance almost reduced her to tears. She wanted so much to break down and tell her father all that had been happening, but other students began piling in. Harry gestured to her seat, and she sat down. Rebecca Rowle sat down next to Lily.
“So that’s your Dad? Not much to look at, is he?”
Lily turned to glare at the raven-haired girl. “Shut your mouth!”
“Nice comeback there, Potter. Course I didn’t expect anything better from you.”
“I’m warning you,” Lily attempted to drill holes into the girls head with her eyes.
“Yeah, I know, keep my mouth shut.”
Lily started to answer but her father spoke and she turned to the front.
“Okay, today we’re going to learn how to disarm our opponents. Everyone take out your wand and pair off.”
Lily watched her father move around the room making sure everyone had a partner. The sight of his familiar reassuring smile boosted her confidence so that even when Rebecca had risen to face her, she secretly rejoiced at the chance to teach the girl a lesson.
“Okay now,” Harry called when everyone had been paired off. “Everyone pay attention as Professor Ackerley and I demonstrate the spell. Lily watched as the two men faced one another each gave a brief nod of the head. Before Professor Ackerley could raise his wand, Harry said, “”Expelliarmus! Professor Ackerley’s wand flew in a high arch and Harry caught it grinning. He immediately threw it back to the teacher who muttered a brief, “Thanks,” and turned to the class.
“Okay, now I want all of you to try it.”
Shouts of “Expelliarmus!” could be heard around the room. Lily turned to Rebecca, they both nodded and Lily yelled the spell. She watched with glee as Rebecca’s wand went soaring off into the corner of the room. Rebecca marched off to the corner to retrieve her wand, the look on her face savage. Rebecca walked back over and assumed her original position.
“Your mum must have been pretty desperate to take up with him,” Rebecca said eyeing a spot behind Lily where she heard her father instructing two students on how to say the spell, “but if she looks anything like you then I guess she would take the first offer.”
“Expelliarmus!” Rebecca’s wand flew off into the corner again. She returned from retrieving it with an even darker glare on her face.
“Bet she was just happy any bloke would take her,” Rebecca sneered.
“Expelliarmus!” Again the wand flew across the room. Lily stood shaking as she watched Rebecca return from picking it up. Lily wanted to speak, but she didn’t trust her voice. The raw emotion washed over her in waves each pushing her a bit further toward explosion.
“Too bad there aren’t any blokes here who are that stupid otherwise you might get a date!”
“EXPELLIARMUS!” The spell hit Rebecca’s chest throwing her to the floor. She lay prone on the cold stone glaring up at Lily with fire in her eyes. Lily shook uncontrollably clutching her wand until her fingernails dug into her palms.
“Great job, Lily.” Her father patted her back and then reached down to give a hand up to Rebecca. The girl just sneered at him and pulled herself back to her feet.
Lily managed to calm down enough before class ended to enjoy her father’s presence. When the class finally dismissed she longed to skip her next class and stay to talk to him.
“So, Mum’s okay?”
“Yes, Lils, she’s fine.” Harry smiled indulgently as she asked the third time.
“She’s not too lonely without me?”
“She’s managing as best she can.” He grinned. “Hey shouldn’t you be getting to your next class?”
She hugged him once again dragging her feet as she headed out the door to go to Charms only to find Rebecca, Alexis, and Vanessa waiting. Rebecca fell into step with her, Alexis and Vanessa trailing behind.
“So that’s the guy that defeated Lord Voldemort? He can’t even defeat his bed-head problem.” Alexis laughed appreciatively at Rebecca’s jab.
“At least he has hair,” Lily countered, “unlike your father, I hear.”
Rebecca smirk changed into a snarl. Lily thought she heard Vanessa mutter something from behind her; Rebecca burst out laughing.
“What’s the matter, Potter,” Rebecca said, her voice raised so those standing around queuing up for classes would hear, “you have bladder problems?”
Lily looked down at the floor and saw a puddle between her feet. She felt the heat rise to her cheeks as all around her laughter broke out from older students queuing up to class. Girls pointed and boys were doubled over with mirth. She ran down the hall hot tears blinding her. She slammed open the door to the bathroom and ran to the nearest stall locking the door behind her. Her chest ached with the effort of not crying out. Laughter echoed in her ears, jeering faces burned bright on the back of her eyelids. Heat coursed through her and she began shaking again. Why? Why! Hogwarts was supposed to be a dream come true, but she had walked into a living nightmare. Why did I ever want to come to this stupid castle in the first place!