Chapter 3 : Of Conflict and Company
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Chapter 3: Of Conflict and Company
As Lily rode in a carriage pulled by no horses along with James, Sirius, and Remus (Peter was looking for his toad), she began to feel a knot of nerves forming in her stomach. More than anything, she wanted to be back at Salem in her hidden room, or flying around the grounds, or talking to Evan, or West, or anyone she knew. *I can't do this. It's too hard. I'll just tell Doubledoor or whatever his name was that I want to go home, and I'll be fine. West was wrong. I can't do this!* Of course, she didnít show her fear on her face. In fact, she must have looked positively bored because all three boys were speaking to her at once. *They seem nice. Maybe they'll be ok. They may be perverted, but they actually seem to want me to feel at home. Weird. Still, be on your guard, Evans. Gotcha.* When they arrived, a stern-looking woman with glasses was waiting at the door with the terrified first years. James, Sirius, and Remus saw her, and they broke into identical evil grins.
"Howdy maíam! How was your holiday?" asked James.
"Potter, if you would be so kind to remember, you are to address me as Professor McGonagall, the year will be much more bearable for both of us. If you fail to do so, points will be taken away from Gryffindor," said the professor, sternly. Sirius and Remus snickered, and Lily smiled before she could stop herself. Professor McGonagall turned towards them and then back to James.
"Really, must you corrupt every single girl you court? She hasnít even been in school and you are already bewitching her." Lily felt her face grow hot, and was about to retort when James broke in.
"But I havenít even-erm-courted her," said James. He looked at her and smiled deviously. "Though I'd sure like to." She stared at him icily.
"In your dreams."
"I'll see you there."
"He must be contagious," said Remus. "Poor Lilyís been infected."
"Infected with an infatuation for James here," said Sirius.
"Iíll infatuate you with my fist if you donít shut up," she said menacingly.
"Black! Lupin! That will do! All of you leave now! I donít want you corrupting the new arrivals," exclaimed the professor. "Miss Evans, please stay here."
"Donít worry," Sirius called out to the first years. "She doesnít bite. At least not too hard." He ran away before McGonagall could get him. Lily waited impatiently while McGonagall explained the Sorting ceremony. Finally, she and the first years were led into the Great Hall. She almost gasped when she stepped inside. There were rows upon rows of tables with lots of people sitting at them. A million candles suspended in the air lighted the room. The ceiling looked like the sky outdoors. It was as if she had stepped back in time, when real castles surrounded the land. It made her shiver with excitement.
Professor McGonagall called up the first years in alphabetical order to be Sorted. Lily watched them. Finally, when all of the first years had been Sorted, a very old, but energetic man with a long, gray beard and kind blue eyes took the stage. It was the man West had been praising, the Headmaster of Hogwarts, West's mentor, the man Lily had called Doubledoor.
"I want to welcome everyone back to another year at Hogwarts! I know how eager you are to start learning, so Iíll keep my announcements long. The Forbidden Forrest is forbidden, hence the name, and a certain foursome would do well to remember that," his eyes flickered ever so quickly in the direction of James, Sirius, Remus, and Peter, who looked very puzzled about who Dumbledore was referring to, and looked curiously around the Great Hall. "Everyone should take care not to violate any of the rules of our caretaker, Argus Filch. Also, we have sent three of our students to different magical schools around the world, so they may spend a year of their magical training there. It's all very sad, and I understand your grief, but on a happier note, we have a foreign exchange student of our own this year!" *Hoo boy, she thought. He makes it seem like itís the best thing in the world. Ooh! Yay! A transfer student! Big deal.* "Please welcome Miss Lily Evans from Salem Magical Institute in America!" The Great Hall broke into applause as she walked on stage and sat on the stool. She slipped the hat over her head, and practically jumped out of her skin when it began to talk to her.
No need to be frightened, dear. Iíve been waiting for you to arrive. You are late, you know that donít you? Headmaster West was planning on sending you last year even though fourth years are not allowed to participate. My goodness, Iím rambling. Back to business. Slytherin? Heavens no! Youíre not a monster! Hufflepuff? No. Youíre made of a stronger thread. Ravenclaw? Youíre very bright, you know, but you donít seem like the studious type. Alright then, you belong inÖ
"GRYFFINDOR!" Lily walked shakily to the Gryffindor table, where she sat down by James, Sirius, and Remus. *Oh God, that was SO not cool. That was scary and weird, and justÖNOT cool! God, a HAT just TALKED to me! Scotland is WEIRD!* Almost instantly, food appeared, and everyone dug in. She ate quietly, not really talking to anyone except James, Sirius, and Remus. Adjustment was hard for her. She had never been good at it. Neither had Petunia. *Come, Lil, give them a try. How bad could it be? Don't forget to stay on your guard, Evans, you never know about people. But I like them, and they seem to make an effort to talk to me. Still, better safe than sorry. But-oh fine. I guess you're right.*
After the feast, James, (who was a prefect for some odd reason), began to herd the first years up the stairs. Actually, another girl, who was a prefect too, herded them while James followed. Apparently, he was making sure that no one got lost. If anyone stepped a toe out of line, he would sneak up on them and scare them half to death, and tell them that that or something very similar to that would happen to them if they wandered around the school.
"Don't listen to that overgrown ape. He's wandered the school half his life, and the only thing it's done to him is make him and idiot. This way-James youíre a prefect too, help!-up the stairs, weíll find youíre Goober later, I promise-"
"I don't see how an overgrown ape such as myself could help you, Aria!" called James. The girl had purplish-bluish eyes and wavy black hair. She glared at James.
"You're impossible, I can't remember why I'm your friend-"
"Gee, I love you too."
"UGH! Shut up James! Just-just don't talk, please!" Lily was watching this with amusement.
"Hey, Scrubbing-Brush Head."
"Yes, my dear Fireball?" James countered.
"How the hell did you become a prefect?" she asked.
"I charmed the pants off the teachers," said James, fingering his wand. He gave her a very flirtatious look, laughed and left Lily standing in shock in a corridor, hoping very much that he didnít mean what she thought he meant.
In the boyís dorm, James, Sirius, Remus, and Peter were unpacking. For them, this meant emptying their trunks onto the floor. Sirius looked around.
"Home sweet home."
"I donít see how people can live with all of their belongings stuffed neatly into a wardrobe. Life is more exciting when you donít know if your socks match or whoís underwear youíre wearing, or if its been washed."
"So when are you going to ask Aria out, Sirius?" asked James, flopping onto his four-poster bed.
"When you ask Lily out," replied Sirius. James rolled his eyes. "I donít even like her in that way!"
"Riiight," Remus assured him. "We believe you. What about all that stuff you were saying about undressing her and courting her?"
"I was just fooling around! You know me Remus, that's my way of saying hello. Just like Sirius's way of greeting a girl is asking her if she wants to play Quidditch with his golden snitches. And what about you?"
"Yeah, when are you going to ask Ash out?" Sirius asked.
"Same time you and James ask Aria and Lily out," he answered.
"Thatís never going to happen," said James, settling down on his bed.
"Good," said Remus.
"Hey, Jamsie," Sirius called from under his bed. "When you called Lily ĎFireballí, which part of her were you referring to?" asked Sirius. "Upper or lower-upper body?" James stared at his friend for quite a while, reminding himself that Sirius was insane and that he had to be gentle and simple around him.
"You figure it out, Sirius,"
Lily looked around the fifth year girlsí dorm. It was a lot different from the one she had at Salem. This dorm was round, with five four-poster beds, which had scarlet comforters and gold pillows. There was a large window seat, and a large window. The bathroom was also scarlet and gold. *I guess its ok. I mean, it's nicer than the one at Salem, but its not home. At least, not yet. If it ever DOES become home, than I'll say its better than my room at Salem.* She was just wondering whom she shared her dorm with, and hoped that it wasnít with some girly-girl ditzes. Just then, the answers to her question arrived. Into the room walked the prefect named Aria and another girl.
"Hi!" said the prefect. "Iím Arianna Gratzki, but you can call me Aria. Youíre Lily Evans, right?" Lily nodded. "This is Ashling McKinnon." The girl named Ashling shot a murderous look at her friend. "But donít call her that. Call her Ashley, or Ash." Ashley had large amber eyes and wavy brown hair. *They don't seem that bad. You never can tell. Ditzes can come in disguise. Good point. Thank you.*
"Hey," she said stiffly. Ashley smiled and said hello.
"Well, weíd better claim our beds before Trewyn and Ebony get here," said Aria, nervously looking at her watch. "Theyíre snobs to us, but maybe theyíll be civil to you, you never know with them. If we donít choose now, theyíll take the best and weíll be left with crap."
"You can choose first," said Ashley. Lily looked at the five beds. They all looked pretty much the same to her, so she wasnít quite sure about what Aria and Ashley were talking about. There was one next to the large bay window, and Lily decided she wanted that one because she loved to have the sun wake her up, warm her face with its long, gentle, colorful rays.
"Iíll take the one by the window," she muttered, and began to drag her trunk to the foot of the bed. Aria and Ashley rushed over to help.
"Thanks," she said, a little surprised. The other girls shrugged.
"Iíll take the one by the door then," said Aria.
"Iíll take the center one," said Ashley. "Wonder where Their Majesties Trewyn and Ebony are?"
"Probably making out in a bathroom somewhere," said Aria, disgustedly. "Most likely with either Sirius or James or Remus, or all three!"
"Doesnít that bother you?" asked Ashley in a devious manner.
"Why would it bother me?" Aria asked lightly.
"Because you fancy Sirius!" exclaimed Ashley. Aria rolled her eyes and sighed.
"I fancy Sirius just as much as I fancy Severus Snape," she snapped.
"Ah, you never told me you fancy Severus as well as Sirius! My, my, Aria, youíre playing and that isnít nice!" Ashley teased. Aria was about to say something when in walked two girls. Lily assumed that they were Trewyn and Ebony. One of them had long, shiny black hair and narrow blue eyes. The other had blonde hair and brown eyes. They walked as if they were queens, as if they ran the school. *Be open-minded, be open-minded and don't judge them yet...* The black haired one made her way to Lilyís bed and was about to sit down on it, but Lily sat down first.
"Excuse me, but that's my bed. We already chose our beds and I picked that one." The girl looked at her as though Lily had just slapped her.
"Arenít you the new girl?" she asked. She eyed Lily like someone who was looking at a new washing machine, sizing her up and checking out if she was good enough.
"No, Iím Lily Evans. I have a name, just like everyone else," Lily answered coolly.
"Trewyn Li. You donít have to be so rude, you know," said Trewyn. Lily just stared.
"Since you are new to the school, I'd like to make an offer with you. I can help you out, if youíd like. Itís hard to earn respect here. You either have connections in high places or you have to work for it, and trust me, you donít want to. I can help you take a flying leap from the ground to the highest rung on the ladder. You wonít be able to do that with those two."
"They have names too. Their names are Aria and Ashley. I bet even she has a name too," said Lily angrily, waving her hand in the direction of Ebony. *Ok, open-mindedness just flew out the door. I think I know her well enough to know that she's a snob. Would it kill her to use people's names? She's probably known them for five years now! She should be on a first name basis.* She didn't like this girl at all. *She'd get along great with Jackass.* "And you know what? So does everyone else in the world! Isnít that amazing? Everyone in the world has a name that was given to them by their parents at birth, so you should use it!"
"No shit, Sherlock," said Trewyn sarcastically. "Fine! Have it your way! Hang out with that crap! Youíre too homely to be popular, anyway." *Whoo. That hit hard. I'm crippled for life now.*
"Shut up, Trewyn," said Aria angrily.
"Itís ok, Aria, I could care less what she thinks, the little ditz," said Lily. She was determined not to tear the girl apart, limb from limb. Not on her first few hours at school. She had made a promise to West, and she would try as hard as she could, even if it killed her, not to pulverize the girl.
"Iím a ditz?" said Trewyn softly. "Ooh, Lily, you hurt me! Boohoo! At least Iím not friends with a nerdy bookworm, and a goody two-shoes," said Trewyn, referring to Ashley and Aria, who were almost purple with anger. That did it for Lily. She leapt upon Trewyn, which shocked the poor girl. She had already pounded her by the time Aria, Ebony, and Ashley could pull her off.
"You-you-you-" Trewyn gasped.
"You are in so much trouble," said Ebony, smiling as she led Trewyn to the hospital wing. Everything was silent for a few moments after the two girls left, but then it was broken by Aria.
"So you hate her too?" Lily stared at her for a moment, moaned, and then flopped face down onto her bed.
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