Lily and Lyla had finished changing into their school robes just as the train came to a halt at the Hogsmeade station. The two girls (and Indie) then made their way up to the castle. Lyla had arranged with Dumbledore that she would travel up to the castle in the carriages instead of in the boats with the first years.
“Oh, but that means you’ll miss the view of the castle for the first ti-“ Lily choked on her foot which was well and truly lodged in her mouth.
“Oh God, Lyla I keep doing that, I’m sorry.” Lily said, a horrified look on her face.
“Lily, chill out, it’s fine; in fact you describe it to me.”
The two girls spent the ride to the castle laughing and joking while Lily attempted to describe the many turrets and windows glowing with candlelight to Lyla.
“It sounds great.” Lyla’s words dripped with the regret of her unspoken ones as she absent mindedly scratched Indie under the chin.
It was strange, Lily thought, she had spent the entire day with someone who could only be described as a complete stranger, and while at the beginning of the day she had expected herself to be longing to talk to her friends, she found that she and Lyla, though completely different, got along like a house on fire. Not only that, she hadn’t missed her friends at all; or been disappointed when they had failed to visit her in the journey.
As soon as they arrived at the school, Professor McGonagall descended on Lily and Lyla.
“You will come with me please Miss Capulet.”
“I don’t know if you should be pleased or worried that she already knows your name,” Sirius whispered in Lyla’s ear as the four marauders appeared up the steps to the entrance hall behind the two girls.
Lyla gave the group a smile, then followed the professor, who stood waiting for her in front of a small door which led to a small room full of first year students.
“Come on Indie, lead the way.” She gave them a small smile as the dog guided her towards the door.
“So Evans, how about you sit next to me in the feast?” James hung his arm around Lily’s shoulder.
“How about you go to hell Potter.” And with that she stormed into the Great Hall, looking for her friends.
“She so wants me.”
“Course she does, like I want syphilis,” Sirius elbowed him in the ribs, then joined helped Remus drag him into the Great Hall.
The Marauders ended up sitting beside Lily and her friends, but Sirius decided it would be safer if he sat between James and Lily.
The chatter in the hall died down as a group of small students appeared on the stage at the front of the hall. They were staring in terror at the sorting hat, which was sat singing on its stool, and when it was finished the hall broke into riotous applause.
“Where’s Lyla?” Lily asked Sirius out of the corner of her mouth.
“Sheeeeeee’s, there at the back,” Sirius snickered. “She’s that small you can hardly tell a difference between her and the first years”
“I can tell a difference.” James winked at Remus, who smiled back at him.
“What did you say mate?” Sirius asked, not hearing James comment properly.
“He didn’t say anything worth listening to Padfoot.”
“Hickson, Charlotte” Professor McGonagall’s voice interrupted them.
“Gryffindor!” The sorting hat shouted, and the tall skinny brown haired girl ran down toward the table that was applauding her.
“Will you lot shut up!” Lily snapped.
“You’re talking to us as well Evans.” James leaned across Sirius to leer at her.
“No I’m not. I’m telling you to shut up or we’ll miss the sorting completely.” She hissed back at him.
“Which would count as talking to us, or more importantly, me.”
“Potter, for god sake will you deflate your ego for one fucking second!”
“The pair of you shut it, Lyla’s next.”
Before Lyla went to be sorted however, Dumbledore stood up.
“I would like to introduce a new student to the 6th year, Miss Lyla Capulet.” A few mutters were heard around the room, mostly from the older Slytherins.
“Come on Indie.” Lyla let the dog lead her to the stool where she sat down and placed the hat on her head.
“Well, well, well, Miss Capulet, Dumbledore told me about you, let’s have a look in that head of yours shall we?”
“Ok, whatever floats your boat.” Lyla thought.
“Please don’t interrupt. Yes, yes, extremely bright, you’d do well in Ravenclaw, but your loyal as well so maybe Hufflepuff. Not Slytherin, no I don’t think that would be a good idea. So how about Gryffindor, eh? You’ve already shown tremendous bravery just be being here. Well I’ve made my decision.”
Lyla stood up placed the hat back on the stool and allowed Indie to lead her off the small stage, he gave a small growl to warn her of some stairs, which she was already aware of, but appreciated anyway.
“Yeah Lyla, WOOOOO!”
Laughing as she heard Sirius’ shout, she whispered in the dog’s ear, “come on lets find Sirius.” Indie then proceeded to drag her down the Gryffindor table to where Sirius sat.
He helped her to her seat, placing her between himself and Lily; this was partly so she was sat between two people she knew, and partly to put even more distance between James and Lily.
“God, that was scary.”
“Well, you’re here now, I was worried for a second that you’d be put into Slytherin,” Sirius gave a shudder at the thought. “But we’ve got another lioness.”
“No, apparently I wouldn’t do well in there.”
“You’d be the only Capulet not to, even your brother was in there and he was a semi decent person. How is he by the way?” Sirius gave her a dig in the ribs, as she’d been too busy running her fingers over the gold cutlery in front of her to listen to him properly.
“Ed? How is he?” Sirius would have rolled his eyes at her, but since she wouldn’t be able to see it he decided the concept was wasted on her.
“Ok I think, I haven’t seen him since the beginning of summer. Not since…” Her voice trailed off as she became lost in a thought, but she shook her head. “He’s ok, he always is.”
“Lyla what’s…?” Sirius took her hand and looked at her, anxiousness written across his face, of course she didn’t know that because the room had fallen silent, all she could feel was his hand holding hers. Then she heard Dumbledore.
“Here, here.” James and Sirius piped up as they began loading their plates with everything they could reach.
“Eugh! That’s disgusting.” Lily stared at the pair, revulsion all over her face, and then began to help herself to steak and salad.
Lyla took her sunglasses off and turned her head to every corner of the room. Sirius spotted her, and while shovelling food into his mouth at an almost inhuman pace continued to watch her eyes dart around the hall, reacting to the different noises.
“You not hungry Lyla?” Lily asked, seeing her empty plate.
Lyla let out a laugh, “I was just taking in my surroundings. What’s this?” She asked pointing to a platter filled with mash potatoes.
“Mash!” Sirius sprayed her with several bits of food that were currently residing within his mouth.
“Charming.” Lyla wiped the specks of food off her face before helping herself to the mash potato in front of her.
“Chicken or Beef?”
Sirius piled the meat onto her plate. “Veg?” He asked with a grimace.
“Erm, just carrots, I’m not vegetables’ biggest fan. As you well know.” She added as an after thought.
“Good times.” Sirius said dreamily while placing a few carrots onto her plate. He watched her as she took a bite then stopped.
“Sirius, you forgot the gravy.”
“Oh sorry, Evans pass the gravy?”
“Sure.” Lily handed Lyla the gravy boat, and watch in horror as she then went on to submerge her food in the thick brown liquid. “I think you’ve put too much on.” Then started giggling.
“Oh bollocks, I always do that” Lyla gave a sigh and smiled at the giggling girl.
“Ah well never mind.” And with that she dived into her floating meal.
“EEWWW! Lyla that’s horrid.” Lily squealed as Sirius smiled proudly and gave her shoulders squeeze.
“That’s my girl.”
“Bugger off Sirius.”
Once the feast had been cleared away, Dumbledore rose to his feet once more.
“Now that you are all fed and watered, I have the usual announcements to make. First of all, the Forbidden Forest is, surprisingly enough, forbidden.”
“The witty old bastard.” James whispered in Sirius’ ear, who stuffed his hand into his mouth to stop himself laughing.
“Potter! I can’t believe you!” Lily hissed at him across Lyla and Sirius. “Shut up!”
“And secondly” Dumbledore continued, “Mr Filch would like to point out that Filibuster’s wet start fireworks have been added to the list of banned items, I believe the list in its entirety can be viewed in Mr Filch’s office. He would also like to remind everyone that magic in the corridors is not allowed.” Dumbledore’s eyes had been twinkling as he had made the usual announcements, however, now the sparkle was gone.
“I have one more announcement to make this evening. I was informed that a fight, for want of a better word, broke out today on the train bringing you all here, I must therefore ask anyone who was involved to stay behind after the feast where we shall deal with this unprecedented incident. I must urge you to wait behind because if you leave and you were involved, the consequences will not be in your favour.” At that the sound of scraping chairs were heard as the rest of the school stood to leave the hall.
Lily sprang to her feet, “Oh my gosh, what’s going to happen to us?” She watched as the 6th year Gryffindor prefect, Frank Longbottom, led the First years away.
“Relax, Evans, they’re hardly going to expel you for getting into a little fight.” Sirius yawned and leaned back in his seat.
“I will not relax, Black,” Lily spat, “and if this ruins my chances of becoming a healer, I will personally make the rest of your life a living hell.”
“Woah, calm down Lily.” Lyla placed a hand on the girl’s shoulder. “We’ll just explain what happened and it’ll be fine.”
“Ah sweet, innocent Lyla.” James smirked, “You are forgetting about the Slytherins, and if you think that they’ll just let us shift all the blame onto them without a fight, you are severely mistaken.”
“Yes but they….hang on, what actually happened?”
Two minutes later, the girls were caught up on what had happened when the marauders had returned to their compartment to find Lucius Malfoy and Severous Snape (among others) in there.
“And that, as they say, is that.” Remus finished, as they followed Professor Dumbledore to his office. As they reached the statue guarding the entrance to Dumbledore’s office, the headmaster turned to survey the group in front of him.
“I will speak to the Gryffindors first, while Professor McGonagall speaks to the Slytherins.
“That’s not fair.” One of the Slytherins started to say before being silenced by a look from Dumbledore.
“Is it not Avery? You should have thought of that before you blew a hole in the school train. But perhaps you are right; Professor Slughorn will join Professor McGonagall in her interrogation. “Now, if you’d follow me.” He gestured to the six Gryffindors to follow him up the staircase into his office, leaving the ten Slytherins .to wait for Professor Slughorn, under the glare of Professor McGonagall.
“Stairs,” Sirius whispered to Lyla, who just smiled at him and allowed Indie to lead her up the spiralling staircase. She was nervous, this wasn’t exactly how she had expected her first night at Hogwarts to go.
Once they reached the Headmaster’s office he conjured six squishy armchairs for them to sit in. “Have a seat.”
The group sat down in the chairs. Lily couldn’t even bring herself to look at the old man; she just hung her head in shame. Lyla sat between her and Sirius and could sense the shame radiating off her.
“Perhaps we should start at the beginning. Miss Evans, perhaps you could explain?
“I’m sorry, Professor, I can’t.” She shook her head so her vivid auburn hair covered her tear streaked face.
“Miss Evans, please do not work yourself up so.” The headmaster began, but Lily cut him off.
“No sir, I mean I don’t know how it began, we,” she indicated herself and Lyla, “weren’t there at the beginning, we came in half way through.”
“Sir, I should say that Lily only took part because I asked her to, they were out numbered and…”
“We shall come to that later.” Dumbledore interrupted Lyla’s explanation. “So Mr. Potter, perhaps you had better explain.”
“Yes sir.” James began his story, “You see, we’d gone into the girl’s compartment to erm, to introduce ourselves.” Sirius smirked at this, and even Remus let a small slide onto his face. “And well, when we found out that Padfoot, I mean Sirius, had known Lyla when they were younger, we’d stayed in talking to them, and that’s when Lyla with her superhuman hearing abilities...” It was Lyla’s turn to smile now. “”She said she heard someone in our compartment next door, so we went to see who it was, and found Malfoy, Snape, Avery, Zabini, Macnair, Mulciber and a few others in there looking through our things. So we, of course, asked them to leave.” Dumbledore’s eyes sparkled at the thought of the four boys in front of him politely asking the Slytherins to leave, but he did not interrupt James’ tale. “And well sir, you know how these things can escalate, and one thing led to another and Malfoy pulled his wand on Sirius, who promptly drew his own, and then sir, well you know what happened then; all hell broke loose.”
“Indeed, Mr. Potter.” Dumbledore said seriously, but none of the Marauders failed to notice that the sparkle had come back into his eyes. They were safe.
Lily sat with her head in her hands while Lyla absent mindedly scratched Indie behind the ears.
“Now Miss Evans, Miss Capulet. How did you become tangled up in this whole escapade?”
“Well sir, we heard all the commotion from outside our compartment and when I opened the door to see what was happening, I almost had my head blown off, and well, I saw that they were outnumbered.”
“No, no you didn’t Lily.” Lyla spoke over Lily; she wouldn’t let her take the blame on herself, especially when it blatantly wasn’t her fault. “Sir, I asked her to tell me how many Slytherins there were, and when I found out that the guys were out numbered I wanted to go and help them; she didn’t want to join the fight, she wanted to stop it, but there was no way she could have done it with out anyone else’s help.”
“I believe there was another Gryffindor prefect there.” Dumbledore stated bluntly, causing Remus to blush.
“Who?” Lyla asked, she had obviously not seen the badge on Remus’s chest and therefore didn’t know he was also a prefect.
“Oh well, I suppose he was helping his friends sir.” Lyla said brushing over that small fact. “What I meant was that Lily only took part in the fight because I asked her to.”
Dumbledore studied the petite girl sitting in front of him; she had been at Hogwarts less than a day and was already standing up for friends as though she and Lily had been friends for years and not hours, an admirable quality.
“And who blew the hole into the back of the train?”
“One of the Slytherins, sir.” Remus spoke up, finally.
“Yeah, and they caught Lily and Lyla with it, sir,” Sirius added as an after thought; he had been gazing around the room at all of the headmasters instruments which were humming away to themselves.
“That wasn’t in the letter that the Head Boy and Girl sent me.” Dumbledore said, frowning and looking down at the letter on the desk in front of him.
“No sir, it wouldn’t have been because we didn’t realise until they’d broke it up and we were back in our compartments.” Lily explained.
“I see, and would you mind me asking who healed it for you?”
“Lyla did it.” Sirius said proudly.
“Impressive Miss Capulet. Would you mind if I checked it, though?”
“Of course not sir.” And she took off her school jumper, which pulled her shirt up slightly revealing her stomach. Neither Dumbledore nor Lily failed to notice that four pairs of eyes flickered over her. She then rolled up her school shirt to reveal a thin scar, travelling from just below her elbow to half way up her bicep. Dumbledore placed a thin finger on the scar and traced the line.
“Very impressive. Lily?” Lily looked startled at being addressed by her first name by the headmaster.
“Your arm is the same?”
“Very well. You do not have to go to the hospital wing. However you do have to go to Professor McGonagall, she will give you your punishments. You may leave.”
The six students stood up, shocked at how quickly the meeting had ended, they made their way back down the spiral staircase, and headed to Professor Mcgonagall’s office; Indie with his nose glued to the floor, committing the pathway to memory. Forty-five minutes later, they were making their way up to the Gryffindor common room, after receiving their punishments from their Head of House (two weeks worth of detentions).
As they stepped though the portrait hole, the common room was almost empty except for a few older students who had stayed up to talk to friends they hadn’t seen since they left school for the summer.
“Come on Lyla, I’ll show you to your dorm.”
“Cool, I can meet the other 6th year girls then.”
“Ah, well, you see about that, you’re the only 6th year Gryffindor girl,” Sirius said, draping his arm around her shoulders.
“So I’ll be all on my own?”
“Yeah pretty much chuck.”
“So much for learning to live with other people.”
A grin spread over Sirius’ face as he said, “tell you what Lyla, I’ll kip in your room with you.”
“You will bloody not!” Lily shouted at him.
“I think I’d rather share a room with a Pixie than with you Sirius.” Lyla wrapped her arm around his waist and gave him a wonky hug before removing herself from him. “Lead the way Miss Evans.”
“Righto, watch your step.” The two girls trudged off up the stairs, leaving the Marauders in the common room to commandeer the chairs in front of the fire.
“How long have you known Lyla?”
“Since we were little, our parents used to be friends so we’d always be at each others houses, me, Lyla, Narcissa, Bellatrix and Lucius.”
“That must have been fun.” James snorted.
“Not really, but me and Lyla got on really well, even though she was a bit older than me. She and Narcissa were also quite close at one point, but they had a fight when they were about 9 and hardly spoke to each other after that, even though we were forced into each others company constantly.” Sirius’ voice was monotone as he told the stories about their childhood, he hadn’t thought about it in so long it seemed like the memories belonged to someone else.
“What did they fight over?”
“I don’t know, a doll or something.” Sirius snorted, his usual sarcastic self restored. “All I remember about it is Lyla practically ripped Narcissa a new…”
“Ok, we get the picture.” Remus sniggered. “So she can obviously look after herself, why didn’t she come to school? Her brother was here when we started wasn’t he?”
“Yeah he was, but her parents thought that it would embarrass the family to have her at school, parading the fact that they had a disabled child.” His voice turned icy. That had been the last letter he had received from Lyla; it had arrived at midnight. He could remember Lyla telling him about receiving her letter from Hogwarts during the day as if it were yesterday. And then that night her parents had scolded her, telling her that she was an embarrassment to the family and she wouldn’t be attending Hogwarts. He closed his eyes and it was as though he was holding the tear-stained letter once again hidden under his bed sheets so his own parents hadn’t known he was awake.
"That's sick," James said, shaking his head. He couldn't understand how parents could treat their children so ill. His parents loved him more than anything in the world, and all he had known as a small child were hugs and kisses.
“Yeah, well that was life.” Sirius shrugged.
“Why is she here now?” said Remus, asking the question that was on everyone’s mind.
A/N: Review review review! I'd really appreciate any feedback be constructive so review please and i'll love you forever =]
This chapter has now been BETA'd thanks to the wonderful Jill. =]
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