Chapter 1 : Introducing Lily Luna Potter and the Infamous Piggy (named Stan)
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Introducing Lily Luna Potter and the Infamous Piggy (named Stan)
I hate hating stuff.
I really, honest-to-goodness do.
But it's so very easy to find yourself saying 'I hate this!' or 'I hate that!', isn't it?
I try my very bestest not to hate anything or anyone (especially not anyone, because that's just awful), but no matter how very hard I try, I still can't seem to keep myself from letting the word slip out, sometimes.
"I HATE YOU, JAMES SIRIUS POTTER!"
It's not my fault, really. It's all Jamesie's fault. He's being a big meanie-head and it's not very nice. I know, I probably shouldn't tell him that I hate him, just because of that, but I really can't help it.
I hate my brother! Not Al, though, because Al can be quite sweet- when mean, grumpy, no-good, biscuit-stealing JAMES isn't around.
But, yes. I hate James. But I don't just throw the word around as if it's nothing. I only hate a very, very select group of things.
Besides James, I hate scraped knees. Because you can get them so easy and they hurt lots and lots- and even though it only takes a really quick second for mummy to fix them up, while they're there, they stiiiiing. So that's pretty hate-worthy.
I also hate it when your ice cream falls out of your cone. It happens to me a lot, because I'm a little clumsy sometimes, and I have lots of energy. Apparently, it's not a very good combination. That's what Nanny says, anyway.
I hate funerals, too. I've only been to one, when this Great Uncle I didn't even know died, and everyone was wearing black and looking very bored and not really sad at all, which I didn't understand, since I thought people were supposed to cry at funerals. Well, this one lady was crying- my Great Aunt. Then she yelled at daddy and told him to get his freak family out of the church (which wasn't very nice), and this big, fat man (I think he's my cousin-once-removed?) came and walked us all outside. When we got home, everyone had to go to bed, even though it was really early. But nobody was really sleeping, so we all heard daddy cry. That's why I hate funerals.
And the very last thing I hate- more than anything (even Jamesie)- is the word 'squib'.
See, Jamesie says I'm one. At first, I thought he was just being a jerkazoid, but then mummy and daddy started talking about me. I could tell, because they always looked at me from where they were standing, and they'd always lean in and talk wicked quiet, so I wouldn't hear. I don't think they noticed me watching, though.
But I could tell they were worried. They talked to Uncle Neville (he's not really my uncle, but I call him so) and asked him questions about when he first started showing signs of magic. I know that's what they asked him 'cause Uncle George gave me some extendable ears for my seventh birthday. But I heard them ask it. I didn't get to hear Uncle Neville's answer, though, because Padfoot decided to be a bad little puppy and chew on the other end.
I got dog spit in my ear.
Most kids make stuff happen when they're really little- at least before they turn six. But I'm seven, almost eight, and I've never made one, single strange thing happen.
I know they say to 'never say never', but it's okay in this case.
Because I'm stating a fact.
I've never done magic! And I have a very, very bad feeling that I never will.
So I'm a little sensitive on the subject- and I have every right to be!- which is why I decided to bump Jamesie's status up from 'highly, highly dislike' to 'hate'.
Though, to be honest, he doesn't even need to bring up the 's' word to get me mad.
"JAMESIE, give him baaaack!" I whined, rather breathless, as my dirty bare feet pounded the grass. James's legs were much, much longer, so I never really had a chance. But he had Stan. My poor little stuffed piggy! And Merlin knew what the sick boy was going to do to him! Probably some twisted, brotherly behaviour- and I don't think Stan would survive.
"Can't catch me!" James cackled, far ahead of me. Still, I sprinted on, leaping over Al's new broom and narrowly avoiding a small pile of crup doo-doo. To my annoyance, I saw that James had stuck Stan between his teeth and pulled himself up into the largest tree in our backyard- and the only one big enough to climb. James and Al liked to climb it all the time, but I was too little to get up.
I stood at the base, my hands perched on my hips, and I did my very best Nanny impression as I glared up at the eleven-year-old with the dishevelled black hair. My own couldn't look much better- long, red curls tended to get very messy after lots of physical activity. But I never cared. Mummy always managed to get the snarls out before beddytime.
"JAMES SIRIUS POTTER," I repeated in the loudest voice I could manage. "YOU GIVE ME BACK MY STAN OR ELSE I'LL TELL MUMMY ON YOU!"
James sniggered as he peered down at me through the branches.
"Why don't you come and get'im?" He asked, eyes shining with sadistic glee. My face contorted into a furious pout and I stamped my foot.
"GIVE. HIM. BACK." I shouted, crossing my arms tightly across my chest.
"Er, lemme think about that..." James said, tilting his head to the side. Leaning down a few inches, he gave me a crooked grin. "NOOOOOO!"
Fine. If he was going to be a big meanie-bo-beanie, then I was going to take out my secret weapon.
I pinched myself.
Staring up at him with wide eyes, I felt my eyes begin to water at the small throbbing on my arm. I might have a bruise later, but it'd be well worth it. Teary eyes looking up at him, Jamesie narrowed his own.
"Mum's not stupid! She'll know you're only faking it!" He said stubbornly, and I could see his grip tightening around Stan's curly tail.
"Just give him back, James!" I said again, tears threatening to spill. "You're hurting him!"
Despite what Jamesie had told me on several occasions, I still believed that stuffed animals could feel. I had tons of them, and they all slept on my bed every night. Because I couldn't very well just let some of them sleep on my bed and the others on the floor- that would be just mean! Actually, I slept on the floor, because there wasn't enough room for me and all the stuffed animals.
James, however, seemed to think that stuffed animals were just any, old inanimate objects.
"What? Hurt him?" James repeated, a wicked grin on his face. "You mean... like this?"
I let out a shriek as James held my poor Stan upside-down by his tail and whacked him against the bark of the tree.
"No! James, NOOO! STOP IT!"
I didn't have to pinch myself this time for my eyes to water and spill, tracks running down my cheeks as I jumped in place, trying in vain to snatch away the piggy that was three feet above me.
"Why don't you just make this branch break?" James asked happily, swinging the dangling pig again and hitting him off the trunk. I screamed again. "Orrr you could make Stan come to life and bite me! Or make the tree get hit by lightning! Or- oh, I'm sorry." James said, obviously not sorry at all. "I forgot. You can't do any of that stuff- 'cause you're a squib!"
My hands dropped to my side and I stared up at James, mouth hanging open slightly. He was being so mean today... it wasn't fair! None of it was fair! Why did he have to be so much bigger than me? Why did he have to be normal, and already have his letter to Hogwarts in the fall? It just wasn't fair. Because I was little and red-headed and magicless, and my piggy was in the tree and I was down here, and there was no way I could get him back without tattling or selling my soul to James.
"Lily? Uhhh... Lily?" James uncertain voice sounded from the top of the tree, but I ignored him. I was too busy sobbing, sitting with my butt in the dirt.
Life was so unfair.
There was the sound of shaking leaves as James scrambled down from his perch, and although I wasn't looking, I could practically see him scanning the vicinity for adults.
"Shhh, don't cry, Lils!" He said, and I felt him crouch down next to me. Something soft and velvet was pressed into my hands and I opened my eyes to see Stan safe in my grasp. I wiped my runny nose with my sleeve and blinked at James through my tears. He had that look on his face that very much resembled our crup's after he'd been caught doing something naughty. I sniffed, looking at him with a frown.
"See?" James said insistently, patting my piggy. "He's okay!"
With a little growl, I took Stan and clutched him tightly with one arm, my other reaching down to scoop up a handful of dirt, which I then threw into my brother's eyes. He said a bad, bad word and fell onto his butt. That made me a little happier, but I knew it was only a matter of time before he went to get his revenge- even though it was my revenge he'd be avenging- the idiot.
Scrambling to my feet, I attempted to escape, but James had caught me around the middle before I could go so much as four feet.
"Stan is suffering major brain trauma now!" He spat at me, looking quite comical with the dirt still clinging to his eyelashes. "He has... he has internal bleeding! He's going to suffer for a really, really long time and then die. So he'll be just a crummy stuffed pig!"
I knew that James didn't really believe that- he didn't think Stan was alive, in the first place- but it still scared me. I stared down at my Stan nervously, and his glass eyes did seem to lack the luster they usually held.
The pig was suddenly wrenched from my hand and thrown onto the ground. My mouth fell open again and I tried to retrieve him, but James still had my waist. He pushed me roughly aside and, before I could stop him, stomped on Stan. My eyes were filling up with tears again as I dropped to my knees beside him and gingerly lifted his crumpled form from the dirt. Cradling the poor stuffed animal in my arms, I turned my gaze to James, vision blurred by tears.
"Why are y-y-you- hic!- s-so meeeeean?" I cried, having completely lost control at this point. James shifted uncomfortably, as he always did when I cried, but a few blinks reminded him of the dirt in his eyes and he straighened up with a sneer.
"Because you're a no-good squib!" He said waspishly. "Because you've let the whole faimly down and you're just embarrassing and you take up all the attention and you make mum and dad and everyone all sad and unhappy! You're ruining everyone's life, Lily! You should go and live with people like you- muggles! Go live with muggles, Lils, 'cause no one wants you, here." And with that, James stomped off, his shoulders slumped in that guilty posture he adopted after going off on Al or me.
I sat where I was, holding my Stan, and trying to fight back more tears.
"Lily? Lily, is everything alright?" Mummy's voice was calling from the kitchen window, but I kept my back to it so she wouldn't see my puffy eyes.
"Yessss!" I called back, but my voice cracked halfway through. I could hear the door of the kitchen opening and closing, and I knew mummy was going to come see me. I burried my face in Stan's warm fur and waited. Sure enough, I soon felt big, warm arms circle around me.
"Was James picking on you again?" She sounded mad. I just nodded, face still hiding in my piggy. Mum began to rub soothing circles on my back and I snuggled into her, sniffling as I pulled my face away from Stan.
"Am I- am I a squib?" I asked, looking her right in the eyes- brown eyes that were a mirror image of my own. I saw them fill with pain and then nothing, and the corners crinkled as she smiled at me- a forced smile.
"Of course not." She said, but her voice sounded unsure. I swallowed. "If James has been telling you that again, you have my permission to beat him, alright? Uncle George probably has some tricks for him, too, if you ask him nice. Now, let's get you inside and cleaned up. We're going to Nanny's for dinner, remember?"
The corner of my mouth twitched upwards in a smile as I stumbled to my feet, clutching my mummy's hand for support. But, despite her reassurances, I couldn't help but drag my feet a little and think, over and over, how much I hated James. Because his words had stung- even more than scraped knees. I didn't like to admit it, but I believed him. I was a squib- a failure. I looked up at mummy as we walked into the house, and I saw that she was frowning. She did that a lot, now. And it was all my fault, I knew it.
I glanced at Stan, whom I still held in my arms, and my lower lip stuck out a little in a small pout. I knew that I wasn't a witch, and I didn't deserve to live with my magic family. James was right- I should go live with muggles. But who? I didn't know any... except for Great Aunt Petunia. I suddenly has a vision of a woman dressed in black, screaming at my father as if she hated him- more than I hated James, even. I bit my lip and hugged Stan even closer, battling with my own doubt as I debated whether or not I should do it- run away and live without magic... like I was obviously meant to.
Mummy kissed me on the head and left me at the bathroom door. She was headed back outside, so I think she was going to find Jamesie and make him sit on the Naughty Step. A smug little smile wound its way onto my face and I pushed open the bathroom door, leaving a few dirty fingerprints on the white wood. I'd just blame Jamesie later. Climbing onto the little footstool in front of the sink, I propped Stan up next to the soap bottle and turned the tap.
As I was suddsing my hands, I frowned at my piggy, deep in thought. Finally, after rinsing them and turning off the water, I pulled the towel over and turned to look at Stan. "Okay..." I said slowly, patting my hands dry. "If Nanny makes treacle tart for dessert, I'll go and live with Aunt Petunia." Setting the towel back on the edge of the sink, I raised my eyebrows at Stan. "Alright?" He just smiled his frozen smile back at me, and I sighed. But, if I squinted, I thought I could see that glimmer coming back into his eyes. Scooping him up, I kissed him on the snout and tucked him under my arm, then exitted the bathroom to go and get ready for Nanny's.
And I left the stool in front of the sink, too, so Jamesie would have to move it to wash his hands. And I did it on purpose. Because I hate him.
Even more than I hate hating things.
I had this idea a very, very long time ago. I was going to wait until my two WIP fanfics were done before I started anymore, but I'm weak. I had an urge to write this story and it happened. So- I hope you like it so far. I know, it's a bit boring. I'm not very good at first person, either- and I've never had to write from the perspective of a seven-year-old before. Please let me know what you think!
Thank you for reading.