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Chapter 5 : Quality Quidditch Supplies
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She knew the way to the nearest subway station, but mentally kicked herself for never realizing that what seemed like a short car ride was in reality a very long walk. However, even if she had realized this it would not have changed anything. She had laid awake for most of the previous night reviewing yesterday’s events and thinking of ways to make necessary changes to her life. This was the most sensible decision she had come up with and so even though she had only a few hours of sleep she woke before four in the morning and had set out on her long trek to the subway station.
She finally arrived at the muggle underground station at a little past six in the morning. She was quite cold, for while it was the middle of summer it was still quite cool in the early morning light.
“Excuse me,” she said when it was her turn at the ticket box, “can you tell me when the next train leaves for London?”
“Seven, I have 4 tickets left.”
“I’ll take one please.”
“$4.50”, Lily paid the money and set out for the platform where she boarded the muggle train and hoped with all her might she had made the right decision. She had never taken the underground by herself before and she was terrified that she would get lost either by getting off at the wrong stop or once she got to London. After what seemed like forever Lily heard the conductor calling out that London was the next stop.
Once the subway train stopped she hurried off as quickly as she could and found her way upstairs into downtown muggle London. She was intimidated; she’d be lying to herself if she tried to say she wasn’t. She tried to remember the exact way she had come with her parents every year, but that was always by car and it was different. Yet, as scared as she was she knew she could not stand on the street corner all day. She had made her decision last night and she would stick to it. So she took a deep breath and started walking.
After a half-hour of walking she saw it. Her heart leapt, she had made it. She crossed the street and discreetly made her way into the Leaky Cauldron. There were only a few people there at this early hour. Some were eating their breakfast; others looked as if they were still partying from the night before. She found the restroom and changed into a pair of robes, it wouldn’t do to go into Diagon Alley dressed as a muggle. She then proceeded out to the back of the pub and made her way into Diagon Alley.
For the most part the streets were fairly deserted although some wizards and witches were out doing what appeared to be morning shopping before heading on their way to work. Lily made her way around the various shops looking for anything that might point her in the right direction. “It would help if you knew what you were looking for, Lily,” she told herself. She hated not knowing exactly where she was going and what she wanted to accomplish, yet she also knew she no longer had a choice.
Her first stop was Flourish and Blotts Bookstore. She had always liked the store; it had been oddly comforting to her on her very first visit to Diagon Alley as an eleven year old frightened, yet excited girl. Severus had always teased her about being comforted by a bookstore, but she found it oddly reassuring that no matter how many other things were changing so suddenly in her life a bookstore was still a bookstore.
“May I help you my dear?” said the wizard behind the counter.
“Yes, I was wondering if you were um hiring.” Lily did not know why she was nervous. Lots of people asked for jobs, she had just never done it before.
“I’m sorry my dear but you have to be 17 to work here. However, my friends over at Quality Quidditch Supplies are hiring and you only have to be 16 to work there.”
“Oh okay thank you.” Lily left the store feeling dejected and turned towards the Quidditch store. “Just my luck,” Lily thought, “I don’t even like flying, I think quidditch is stupid for arrogant stupid jocks like Potter.” The same voice that had made her keep walking when she first arrived in London spoke up saying, “Lily you don’t have the option to be picky about this. Go get the stupid broom job.” Lily took a deep breath and entered the store.
Lily saw that the clerk’s back was turned and so she said “Excuse me, I was wondering about the job opening?”
“Lily?” it was only then that Lily realized it was her friend, Andromeda, who had graduated from Hogwarts three years previously. Andromeda had been like a big sister to Lily during her first few years at Hogwarts and Lily had served as a junior bridesmaid the three summers when Andromeda had married Ted Tonks. Lily had been the one to throw Andromeda a baby shower two years ago when Andromeda was pregnant with her daughter Nymphadora. The two friends still corresponded regularly but had not seen each other since the previous summer, as it was difficult for Lily to travel as she was not yet able to apparate.
“ ‘Dromeda!” The two friends embraced. “What are you doing here? I thought you were working at the Leaky Cauldron?”
“I was but I got tired of all the pissed wizards making passes at me. Besides I needed a job with less crazy hours now that Dora is getting older and I get too tired with those hours.”
“Why, you love staying up late?”
“You can’t tell anyone. Ted and I only just found out, but I’m pregnant again.”
“Andromeda that’s fantastic! I’m so happy for you!”
“I know! I’m so excited. I wish I could tell my mom but as far as she and my aunt are concerned I don’t exist anymore. My mom has never even laid eyes on Dora. Its only precious Bella and darling Cissy.”
“Older sisters can be such a blessing,” Lily said rolling her eyes.
“Uh-oh, trouble on the Petunia front?” Andromeda asked.
“Yeah, that’s why I’m here.”
“Wait. Are you running away?”
“No, not yet anyway, I just needed to have a way to get money in the wizarding world so that if that time comes I’ll be ready.” Andromeda shook her head in understanding, both girls knew what it was like to come from a family that did not understand them.
“Okay, well that passes as your interview in my opinion and my boss is out of town for the week but he left me in charge of hiring so I’ll owl him later today and tell him I’ve filled the position. By any chance did James Potter happen to visit you lately?”
“It was you that gave him my address! Andromeda! I can’t believe you! Why? You know I can’t stand that arrogant toerag!”
“Hey James! Sirius!” Andromeda said barely containing her laughter as she looked over Lily’s shoulder. She knew Lily would be mortified by the sudden appearance of her cousin and his best friend, however Andromeda believed that the attraction between James and Lily was not as one sided as Lily would have liked to pretend and therefore Andromeda loved putting her two friends in awkward situations, like the one in which they presently found themselves.
“Dromeda, Evans,” Sirius said smiling broadly, he two enjoyed watching James and Lily squirm in each other’s presence. James, for his part, never allowed his eyes to leave the floor. Lily tried desperately to catch James’ eye and in some way tell him she was sorry for her words, but her attempts were futile. “We came to get you for brunch Dromeda, if you still want to go?” Sirius said.
“Will you be okay here while I’m gone Lil?”
“Yeah, yeah I’ll be fine,” Lily said offhandedly, still trying to get James’ attention. Lily inwardly cursed herself as James, Sirius, and Andromeda set off for brunch. Why did she have to be so thoughtless? After everything Potter had done for her yesterday and instead of thanking him, there she was calling him an arrogant toerag the next time she saw him.
Lily probably would have continued to fixate on this matter until the trio had returned if she had not been torn from her thoughts by the sounds of breaking glass across the street.
Death Eaters, four of them had appeared out of nowhere and were proceeding to stun and hex anyone within their reach. One of them broke away from the group and began to make his way to Quality Quidditch Supplies. Lily reached for her wand in an attempt to lock the door or impede his way by some other means but she was too late. He was already crossing the threshold of the store. She raised her wand at the same time as he raised his, each preparing for a duel, until he removed his mask and she realized for the first time that the face peering out at her was that of her best friend, Severus Snape.
“Severus?” Lily squeaked unable to believe her eyes, “What are you doing? How can you do this?” He looked at her for several minutes and turned to look out at the street to see that his companions were succeeding in creating mayhem.
“I’m saving your life, Lily. They’re out to kill mudbloods, but they won’t hurt you if they think you’re already dead.”
“I’ll take my chances, thanks. I don’t need help from a death eater.” She raised her wand as if to impress upon him her point. He, however, had been taking lessons from his master and had far surpassed her in dueling since the last time they had playfully dueled for practice in Defense Against the Dark Arts. He silently cast the spell to incarcerate her, giving her no chance to block the spell. He then picked her up and carried her into the back room of the shop. Try as she might Lily could not break through the enchantment. Snape threw her to the ground as he heard his companions breaking into the store and firing the dark mark above the entrance.
“I love you Lily Evans,” he said quietly and then he yelled so that his friends would here, “Sectumsempra!” Lily screamed as she felt what seemed like a hot knife slash into her skin, Snape felt as if he had cast the spell on himself but he turned away as if his victim meant nothing to him as his companions, Lucius, Bellatrix, and Bellatrix’s fiancé Rodolphus entered the room.
“Well done, Severus,” Lucius said. “We’ve searched the store and we were unable to find the list. Does the mudblood know anything about it?”
“No, I’ve already questioned her, she just started working here, she knows nothing.”
“Maybe the cruciatus will loosen her tongue.” Bellatrix sneered raising her wand.
“Perhaps,” mused Severus, “but as I said she knows nothing. The aurors are surely on their way, we can’t risk capture, capture would mean starting anew on the Dark Lord’s plans and he would not be pleased.”
“Severus is right, we shall leave before the aurors come’” with that Lucius and Rodolphus disapparated, leaving Bellatrix to bring Snape through side along Apparation as he was not yet of age. Lily was left behind in the empty store room loosing more blood with every second that passed and feeling her life slowly slipping away.
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