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Chapter 5 : Chapter 3: She's Electric
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Beautiful chapter image by Midnight_Witch over at The Dark Arts.
She’s in a family full of eccentrics.
She’s done things you’ve never expected
And I need more time. – Oasis
Chapter 3: She’s Electric
After her trip to Diagon Alley, Hermione set about studying for the new school year. She was anxious for lessons to begin and to meet Lily and the Marauders again. It was difficult for her to grasp the fact that she would not be seeing the Harry and Ron she knew and loved for another twenty years, but she tried not to dwell on that too much. The thing she feared was becoming upset and regretting a decision she did not. She wanted this for her, Harry, Ron, their parents, and Sirius.
She was curious to find out what the teachers would be like, now that she was in a generation before her own. She knew that her potions professor would be different – as Snape would be a student in her own year – and she also wondered who the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher would be. She hadn’t met any of the staff beside Albus and Minerva, as they lived on site. She’d seen Hagrid pottering about outside his hut, but hadn’t had enough courage to go and introduce herself.
Soon July thirtieth rolled around and Hermione felt slightly nostalgic; the next day would be Harry’s birthday and she felt the need to do something. With that in mind she wrote a letter to Lily, asking if they could perhaps meet up soon and tied it to Athena, her new owl.
“Wait for a reply before coming back,” Hermione said, stroking her pale feathers before sending her on her way.
It wasn’t until late that night that she got her reply. When she did, she eagerly ripped the envelope open and read it.
It is so good to hear from you, I was hoping I would.
I understand what you are saying when you need a break from studying. I’m sure you find Hogwarts quite restraining at the moment.
I’d love for you to meet us. Does August first sound alright? Only it’s my Dad’s birthday tomorrow and we will be celebrating.
You can come to mine if you want, and if it’s okay with everyone at your end.
Hermione smiled and bounded to Dumbledore’s room to tell him her plans.
August first came and Hermione was excited to see Lily. She had been going stir crazy in Hogwarts over the last few days and couldn’t wait for a break from the constantly watchful eyes of both Minerva and Albus. The day before she had plucked up the courage to talk to Hagrid and was happy that she did. He was the pleasantest company in the school, and attentive when she talked to him. She had visited him the previous day to take her mind off of Harry, as she missed him and Ron dearly and couldn’t help but wonder what they would be doing if she had not travelled back in time. They would be at the Burrow, most likely celebrating the only way the Weasleys knew how – loudly and with plenty of food.
When she had talked to Professor Dumbledore the night of receiving Lily’s letter, she had discussed how she was to get to Lily’s family home. They agreed that the best idea was either to Floo to the Evans’s residence or to Apparate to the street. They decided together that Apparition was better, as Flooing into a Muggle home took too much time and effort in regards to the Ministry. Since Hermione did not have an Apparating license, she side-along Apparated with Dumbledore and organised to be collected from the same place at nine.
They landed outside the gate of a house that seemed to be a part of a fairly new estate. Hermione could tell that it had been built in the sixties due to its tasteless ugliness. It had large white-framed windows, unforgiving angles, and a rough exterior. These types of houses always struck her as old looking and, even with the house being not two decades old, she still got the same impression. She walked up the drive and knocked on the door, which swung open to show a short man, with chestnut brown hair, pale skin and green eyes. He was stocky, and his broad shoulders and slight cabbage ears suggested that he was a rugby player. Smiling broadly, he gestured to her to enter the house.
“Come in, come in!” he said in a friendly, deep baritone voice that had a heavy Welsh accent to it. “You must be Hermione! I’m Lily’s Da, Huw Evans.” Hermione smiled at the man. His warm welcome and humble accent made Hermione feel special somehow. “Lily should be with you shortly; hang on. Lily! There you go, would you like a cuppa tea? I’ve just put a pot on.”
“That would be lovely, thank you,” Hermione answered. They made their way into a small kitchen with a breakfast table and four chairs around it. By the small cooker was a tall skinny woman with wavy strawberry blonde hair cascading down her back. Her neck was long and elegant, and she had creamy soft skin that was covered in freckles. Huw Evans coughed to gain the woman’s attention, and she spun around, spatula in hand – looking rather threatening.
“Oh, ‘ello, love!” she said in a broad Northern accent. “You must be Lileh’s mate. I’m Sandra, by the weh. Welcome to t’e moors.”
“Oh,” Hermione said, slightly taken aback. “Okay.” Huw asked how she took her tea once the pot was ready.
“White; no sugar, please.” She took the mug he offered her and cradled it in her hands waiting for Lily. On her second sip, the three of them heard someone bounding down the stairs, and mere seconds later the kitchen door swung open to reveal a smiling Lily.
“Hey, Hermione. Sorry to keep you waiting, I couldn’t tear myself away from my Charms textbook. Don’t you love those lessons?”
“Yes, although I prefer the series of textbooks they use at Beauxbatons, they’re the ones I was taught using. I don’t know what it’ll be like changing from one set of textbooks to another.”
“Hmm. Do you want to come up to my room so we can talk away from these nosey parkers? Ooh is that tea, Dad can you bring me up a mug please?”
“Of course, my darling,” Huw answered, barely looking up from the paper he was reading.
“Thank you. Come on, Hermione, let’s go upstairs.” Lily gestured for Hermione to follow and bounded up the stairs much like she had coming down. The house was pleasantly homely. The walls were all decorated in warm coloured paints and wallpaper, adding to the homely feel. As they were walking to Lily’s room, the last on the left, a tall, snooty looking girl with ash blonde hair passed the girls. Her neck was long like Sandra’s but not as elegant, reminding Hermione very much of E.T.
“Oh, it’s you,” the girl sneered. Lily just seemed to ignore her and walk on.
“That’s my sister,” Lily said as they were walking down the corridor. “Sorry about her. She doesn’t like what I – we are. She was plain vindictive when I first got the letter but it’s now got to the point where she’s just plain ignoring me.”
Hermione thought back to Harry’s stories of the Dursleys and how they treated him. She supposed that Petunia just took her frustration at the situation out on Harry, although, when she thought about it, she realised that Petunia had not been as bad as Harry’s Uncle Vernon. Hermione briefly wondered if Petunia missed her sister after she was killed and if she regretted not being in her life when it happened.
While she was pondering this thought, the two girls reached Lily’s bedroom. As they stepped in, Hermione was instantly shocked at the sight she was faced with. She was not sure what she had been expecting Lily’s room to look like, but she never would have guessed at the sight she saw. The walls, which seemed to have been painted a deep purple with pink flowers stencilled in random places, were covered in posters of punk bands. The main posters were of the Sex Pistols, Johnny Rotten, and The Clash. Other photographs and memorabilia cluttered the walls including vinyl covers, NME features, and concert tickets. What appeared to be a dressing table was cluttered with various magazines and newspaper articles. There was a string of safety pins hanging from the mirror and a bag of make-up open on the surface. The furniture clashed with the punky room with its pale pink and girly themes. Apart from the walls and dressing table, everywhere was tidy. The bed was neat and large, and covered in fluffy pillows.
“Wow.” Hermione said when she finally gained her voice. “Are you a punk?” was the first thing she asked.
“I dabble,” was Lily’s vague answer. “I’m not an all-out ‘let’s cause riots’ punk but I love the music and the rebellion they stand for. I’ve been to a few gigs; I especially enjoy the Sex Pistols.” As she was saying this she pulled her long, red hair back into a ponytail and Hermione noticed piercings running all the way up one ear. She had noticed something dangling from Lily’s ear before and now saw that one of the holes had a safety pin through it. Who would have guessed, Lily Evans-Potter – the Muggle-born brain-box – a punk, Hermione thought. If only Harry could see her now.
“What music do you listen to, then?” Lily asked.
“I like a bit of everything,” Hermione answered, trying to remember what records had come out by 1976. “I like Fleetwood Mac but I like The Clash too.”
“Oh, cool,” Lily replied. “What lessons are you doing this year?”
“Potions, Transfiguration, Charms, Arithmancy, Defence Against the Dark Arts, History of Magic, and Herbology.”
“I love Potions too, although Charms is my favourite subject. We often have Charms with the Ravenclaws and Potions with the Slytherins; I’m in Gryffindor, I hope you will be too. I sit with my roommates Mary and Shannon.”
“What about the boys in your house, do you get on with them?” Hermione remembered Harry mentioning that his Mum hated his Dad when they were in school, up until Seventh Year. Not if I have something to do with it.
“Those idiots? Please. The only decent one in our year is Remus – the one from the book shop – but he can be just as bad as the rest of them.”
“Oh, are you talking about the guy with messy hair and glasses? James, I think?”
“Yeah, how did you know him?”
“I bumped into him at Diagon Alley. He’s kind of cute, and funny.”
“Urgh. Please, he’s arrogant and immature. He’s constantly asking me out, too, which is a pain in the neck.”
“I wouldn’t go that far. There was a boy I used to know who thought the world should worship him and lived off Daddy’s reputation. James didn’t come across like that. He just came across self-confident, not arrogant. He got excited that I was in your year, said I could help him win you over; but I don’t think you’d need much coaxing, Lily. List five good things about him.”
“Well, the most obvious is that he’s very loyal to his friends. He stands up for Peter all the time and stuff like that.”
“Well, that’s good; that means he’d be a faithful boyfriend.”
Lily snorted, but continued none the less, “He’s not prejudiced, when he wants to be anyway, not with the things that matter. I don’t know whether you know, but Sirius Black is one of his friends and he’s constantly getting Howlers for being ‘a disappointment to the Black name.’ Doesn’t help that he’s in Gryffindor – the whole family otherwise have been in Slytherin.”
“Well, that’s good; it means that he won’t back out of a relationship when the going gets tough.”
“If you say so. Sometimes, his practical jokes can be quite funny, especially when they’re aimed at people who aren’t particularly nice to be around. There was the one boy, a couple of years ago, called Lucius Malfoy, and he was a dreadful person. He constantly strutted around the school, hurting the younger years without reason. Anyway, he’d been particularly nasty to this one boy, Harry, I think his name was; who came back to the dorm crying. The next day at lunch, Malfoy’s hair suddenly turned red and gold and he started singing something about Gryffindor being the best. It was obviously the Marauders – that’s what they all call themselves – but none of them got punished because there was no proof.”
“That’s good too; he’ll be able to make you laugh.”
The look on Lily’s face seemed to show that she was struggling. Hermione was not entirely sure whether she was genuinely struggling for reasons that James Potter was a decent bloke or that she was struggling with the fact that she clearly liked him. “He is clearly intelligent, although he would never admit it, because otherwise he would never think up all the pranks he does. Granted, he’s not the only one who does them in the group, but he’s the ringleader, the one that sets the plans into action.”
“That means you’ll never have a dull conversation, you can talk intellectually and he will be able to follow you. What about his looks? Do you find him attractive at all?”
“He has nice shoulders,” Lily said after a pensive silence.
“Shoulders?” Hermione asked. Wasn’t quite expecting that.
“Yeah. They’re broad, the type that you can imagine feeling safe in, the type you want to be able to rest your head against comfortably. A good foundation for a broad chest and strong arms, like you’d be protected, y’know? Manly.”
“Alright, shoulders,” Hermione smirked at a slightly pink Lily, “and that’s five. You didn’t even struggle for that. I was going to say three but changed my mind at the last minute. The way you ranted about his shoulders I would say you’ve been lying to yourself, Lily Evans, and at times, you might even believe the lie.” At this Lily blushed even harder; attempting to hide her face before realising that she’d put her long hair back.
“If you say so,” Lily said, attempting, and failing, to compose herself. “He’s still a stuck up idiot.”
“Ah, but Lily, you just said he’s clever,” Hermione said, looking smug. Lily just poked her tongue out, not having anything to come back with. “Mature, Lily, real mature.”
Lily and Hermione continued to talk throughout the morning about everything from school, to music, to the future. Hermione was starting to get truly comfortable with the redhead and was finding she was less and less homesick by the hour. She was glad for the new friend, who was a balance of Harry’s tenderness and wit and Ginny’s fiery passion and enthusiasm. Hermione found herself wondering if this would be what their child would be like, but quickly expelled the thought as soon as it came. She convinced herself that she would find out sooner or later – more likely later, once she thought about it. She drew an overwhelming comfort from Lily’s eyes, reminding her of Harry’s eyes, but there was something in their colour that she had not seen in his. She soon realised that it was a certain innocence and sparkle of childishness that Harry had lost early in his life. There was a happiness that Hermione knew Harry could never have felt. He had been escaping death since his first year; he was an old man in many ways, having faced things in his short lifetime that many have never had to do. Hermione was glad to see that Lily did not weigh herself down with thoughts of a bleak future, but embraced the present, making her eyes seem brighter and glowing.
“What house do you want to be in?” Lily asked, interrupting Hermione’s train of though.
“I’m not sure,” Hermione answered, knowing that she should pretend that she did not already know where she was going to be placed. “I think I have the qualities of a Ravenclaw, but you are on the same intellectual standing as me and you aren’t in that house. I guess Gryffindor would be pretty good; I mean, I already know people in that house, so making friends wouldn’t be that difficult. Hufflepuff and Slytherin seem alright too, though.” She knew she was lying through her teeth to say that she would not mind being a Slytherin, but she had to appear like she did not know much about Hogwarts’ school rivalries.
“Don’t even contemplate Slytherin,” Lily said, seriously. “They’re all the same, prejudiced and narrow minded; all about Voldemort and Pureblood supremacy. I thought, until last year, that they weren’t all like that. I had a friend in the house that I’d known since I was young, but he turned out to be just like all the rest of them. You should join Gryffindor. It’d be good to have another girl in the dorm.”
Hermione was intrigued about Lily’s Slytherin friend, but decided not to press the issue as it seemed to be a tender subject. Instead she asked, “What are your dorm-mates like, then?”
“Well, there’re only three of us, with you it’d be four, and we are all quite close. Mary is the motherly one. If you have a problem, she’s the one to turn to. She will give you advice and she has a really level head on her shoulders. She’s the type of woman you can imagine enjoying having children and being in a close relationship with her husband.
“Shannon is the complete opposite. Where both Mary and I are virgins, she’s... well, she’s not. She’s very body-confident and boy-confident. I lost count a long time ago how many men she’s slept with and how many compromising situations she’s been in. You have to learn how to cover for her when she’s out of her dorms at the weekends, and sometimes during the night. That being said – she’s one of the most genuine people you will ever meet. She’s someone you want at your side when it all goes wrong and she has the biggest heart for someone who could easily not care. I’ve always said that if she were ever to fall in love, it would be with someone she sees regularly, someone willing to be in an open relationship with her. Someone who sees who she is, not the person on the outside.
“Then there’s me and hopefully you. I can imagine you fitting in very well with all of us. Mary will take you under her wing instantly and Shannon will try and corrupt you from day one.” Hermione smiled sadly, she had never really thought that James and Lily would have had friends other than the Marauders. Hearing about the female Gryffindors, she realised she wanted to get to know the girls that Lily shared her Hogwarts years with.
“Sounds like you don’t need me there,” Hermione said, almost regretfully, “you have such a tight knit. There’s a bit of everything in there.”
“No! Hermione, join us. You’ll bring more depth to the group. We can introduce you to ice-cream gossip. Oh, it’s the best. We all sit with a tub of ice-cream and gossip about the boys latest prank, or the new DADA teacher, or which Slytherin we hate the most and why. If you have a choice, come to Gryffindor.”
“Ok,” Hermione smiled.
“Gerls, loonch is on t’e table! Coome get it!” called Sandra from the kitchen. With that, they left to satisfy their appetites.
After lunch the girls headed down to Whitby, an historical town in North Yorkshire, where Lily showed Hermione around the town, pointing out certain landmarks of interest. They window-shopped in jewellery shops, Hermione marvelling at the beautiful Whitby Jet, a stone that was very popular during the Victorian era.
While they were walking around town, they came across a tattoo parlour that also did body piercing. As they walked past, Lily’s eyes seemed to light up with a longing and slightly mischievous glint. The look on her face scared Hermione slightly and, just as Hermione was about to move away from the seedy looking shop, Lily grabbed her hand.
“Come on, Hermione, let’s do something that only we have,” Lily suggested. “A tribute to our newfound friendship, if you will.” Hermione simply gave her a look that said, ‘I’m not going in there.’ Lily just tried to stare her down. When Hermione did not yield, Lily frowned and pouted childishly.
“Oh for goodness sakes!” Lily said. “You don’t have to get a tattoo.” At this Hermione relaxed slightly. “Just a small nose piercing,” Lily added. At this Hermione’s eyebrows shot up and she shook her head.
“No. Way. In. Hell.”
“Oh, come on. I was going to get it anyway so we may as well get it together. It won’t hurt. Well, not too much.”
“No way in hell.”
“It’ll be cool and it’ll make a statement.”
“Oh, please. You have such a pretty nose.”
Hermione frowned at this statement. Gee thanks. “When I need some cheering up, Lily, I’ll come to you. You’re so good for my ego,” Hermione replied, dryly. “If it’s such a pretty nose, why ruin it with a piercing?”
“Because it will draw attention to it.”
“Why would I want to draw attention to my nose, Lily? If I wanted attention on any of my body parts, I’d rather something a bit sexier than my nose. Like my boobs or my arse.”
Lily lifted one auburn eyebrow, “So you want your nipple pierced?”
Hermione gave a disgusted look. “I think I’d rather have my nose done.”
“It’s settled then,” Lily exclaimed, before dragging a reluctant Hermione through the shop door. She headed straight for the counter. “We’d like our noses done, please,” she explained to the slightly intimidating looking man. Before she could protest, Hermione was sat on what looked worryingly like a doctor’s chair with a cork up her nostril and a needle in her nose. She flinched as the needle went in and was replaced by the nose-ring. The man gave her a bottle of aftercare wash.
“Bathe it two to three times a day,” he said in a gruff Northern accent, “and keep it in for twelve weeks.” Lily gave Hermione thumbs up, before practically skipping to the chair. Hermione later decided that if she did not want it she could have it taken out.
After that, they climbed the 199 steps to the Abbey.
“This is where Dracula was buried, you know?” Lily asked.
“I thought Dracula was from Transylvania.”
“He was, but his coffin was washed up here. Something about a dog in the mist, or something. Stoker used to live here and he got the inspiration when he saw a ship wrecked on the bay. At least, that’s the legend, anyway.”
“Interesting, makes me want to read it now,” Hermione said.
As they walked around the rest of the small fishing town, it grew darker and colder. The last thing they did before heading back to Lily’s was fish and chips with curry sauce on the pier. Lily pointed out The Magpie Cafe.
“Best fish and chips in the world there, apparently. Never been there myself, but I kinda take everyone’s word for it,” Lily said. Hermione enjoyed the fish and chips, bought at one of the may chippies along the front, from newspaper as the wind burned her face, despite it being August. They headed back to the house once they finished and headed straight for Lily’s room.
Before long, nine o’clock had rolled around and Dumbledore knocked on the door to Lily’s house.
“Hello, my dear,” he greeted Hermione, “does that thing through your nose require some rope for me to lead you by?”
Hermione said her goodbyes and promised to write before Dumbledore Apparated them to Hogsmeade and they walked up to the school. As soon as Hermione’s head hit the pillow, she was asleep; nose-ring and all.
Okay, so, not many of you guessed at the owners of the other two wands, so I'm going to ask you to go back to have a look and send me your thoughts.
I can also see a lot of you running at me with pitch forks, cursing me for ruining Lily Evans. All I want to say is that I HAVEN'T! This is my own interpretation and, to me punks symbolise rebellion in a similar way James Dean and Elvis Presley did. The whole idea behind the Order of the Pheonix, is that it's an organisation rebelling against what could happen.
On another note, here's some info on Whitby Jet, for those who are interested. www[dot]whitbyjet[dot]co[dot]uk[forwardslash]about[dash]jet
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