Chapter 2 : Beginning of the Life Worth Living
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The year started off the same way it always did by riding the Hogwarts Express. That day the unthinkable happened; Lily Evans finally agreed to go on a date with James Potter. I was just as shocked as most people, even more considering we were best friends and I had heard countless rants about the ongoing activities of said Mr. Potter.
The day began by me waking up and screaming. It wasn’t even from a nightmare that I was screaming in the first place. The reason for the unnecessary scream was because I had realized that this would be the last September First that I would be boarding the Hogwarts Express. The last year I would wake up to my Gryffindor dormitory every morning with my best friends by my side. It was a sad feeling inside knowing this, yet it was an exhilarating feeling. There was so much that I would be able to do with my life outside of Hogwarts, so much life to be lived.
Once out of bed, I rushed into the kitchen almost knocking my mum down with me. The next thing I knew we were both jumping up and down squealing and in a fit of giggles. Usually we weren’t all bubbly and giddy, but this was such a momentous occasion that it felt necessary. Dad was at the white kitchen table looking at us incredulously. He wasn’t one for displays of emotion, not like us girls anyway. He was more of a reclusive character and I took after him in that nature most of the time. Only when I was with my friends did I ever show the outgoing side. I was a shy brown haired seventeen year old witch and I was surrounded by friends and family that loved me.
“Are you excited for your first day?” Dad wondered as I sat down at the table and in front of me mum laid a plate of French toast.
“Of course I am Dad. It’s not every day that you get to be a Seventh Year at Hogwarts.” I said as I took a bite out of my now cut up French toast.
“Try to have some fun this year.” My mother pleaded with me. “You are always so uptight and so strict in following the rules. It’s your last year; live a little.”
It wasn’t as unusual to hear my mother say this as most people would have thought. She was more of the laid back person and wanted you to go out and enjoy every moment of life. I rolled my eyes in response to her as I lowered them to the plate in front of me. It made me a little bit sad that she thought I was as uptight as she did. I mean, sure, she was right, but I didn’t want her to tell me too bluntly.
“Fine, mom. I’ll try.” I sighed and finished up breakfast.
--- ONE HOUR LATER ---
We had flooed to Kings Cross station and were inside the barrier of the Express. It was a final time for goodbyes and my mum was in tears and there was a glisten in my father’s eyes. I had promised myself I wouldn’t cry and smudge whatever makeup I had put on.
“I guess this is it. I just have to accept that my little baby is growing up.” My father smiled as he pulled me into a warm hug.
“I’ll always be your ‘little baby’, dad. Just because I am older and it’s my last year of school doesn’t mean that I’ll forget you.” I smiled and hugged my mother beside him.
“Lucy, remember to be a bit more relaxed at school and trust your heart. If it tells you to do something, do it. If it tells you not to, don’t. Trust it and it’ll take you where you need to go.” Mum said wisely and kissed me on the forehead.
“Mum, when did you become so wise?” I laughed and grabbed my trunk. With a wave and a hug for both of them, I got onto the train and looked either for Lily or an empty compartment.
As I was walking through the train in search of Lily I didn’t hear any girlish screams of rage and that was already a good sign. Potter, as we had come to call him, had asked her out every single year on this day since fourth year when he had first become infatuated with her. It was actually quite hilarious to watch considering his antics grew worse and even more obnoxiously persistent every year. Lily didn’t like it but I, and I kept this to myself, thought that his gestures were extremely romantic.
Seeing Lily nowhere in sight I got into an empty compartment and after stowing away my luggage plopped down on the seat. Still silence. This was getting extremely odd and I knew that I should have been happy that there wasn’t a comotion, but this was just unsettling.
Trying to get my mind off this fact, I took out a book from my luggage. It was a Muggle book called Pride and Prejudice that my mother had insisted I read. There wasn’t much that I didn’t read so I was willing to give it a shot. Mostly I didn’t read fiction and she was surprised that I had agreed.
With a girlish squeal my door was thrust open. The girlish squeal didn’t originate from me though, and neither did the thrusting of the door. In the threshold stood a grinning, blushing, and wide eyed Miss Lily Evans. Her auburn hair was a bit disheveled and she looked like a mad woman. Mad in the sense of crazy that is.
“Lily, what happened?” I wondered, eyeing her cautiously.
“James asked me out!” she blurted out and kept the grin plastered on her face.
“What else is new? Doesn’t he do this every year, well, more like at least once a week. Wait, why are you smiling about this?” I replied sarcastically then eyed her suspiciously.
“I said yes!” she squealed and I dropped my book to the floor with a loud THUMP. I thought hell must have frozen over or my ears were misleading me. Did Lily just say she accepted James Potter’s advances?
“What. The .hell. Happened?” I questioned and sat her down in the seat beside me. She had a dazed look in her emerald eyes and it was starting to freak me out. Well, not really starting anymore, I was freaking out!
“Well, during the summer I had been thinking a lot. It just struck me about yesterday how much he has changed over the years. I just told myself that the next time he asked I would say yes just to try it out. If we don’t click then I guess it wasn’t meant to be.” With those words my jaw dropped to the floor. This was extremely out of place. When it came to James or those little friends everyone called the Marauders, Lily was as unreasonable as my Uncle Jerry. Uncle Jerry hated my father and has been in a feud with my mother since her marriage and there was no stopping it. And they had been married for 20 years.
“I cannot believe what I am hearing. This is an amazing break through. Hallelujah, praise the lord! Lily Evans has finally given in to the advances of James Potter.” I cried. “Does this mean that we have to go sit in their compartment now?”
“Will you? It’ll only be for a minute and then we can leave right away.”
“Fine, it’s just because I happen to be a nice person that I’m doing this! You know what I think of him and his hooligan friends.”
“I just want to thank James for how he asked me out.”
“Why? What did he do this time?”
“He gave me roses.”
“And… He’s definitely given you roses before! What’s so special about them now?
We left the compartment and in all along the train rose petals were strewn. My jaw dropped down to the floor and I gaped at the sight. He had gone all out for this one! Then we made our way down the aisles looking for the “hooligans”. There were many reasons why I didn’t like the Marauders and it was just too long of a list to well…list. The main grievance I had about them was the fact that every time I was around Sirius Black he would hit on me. Also I was the butt of many jokes while at school and not many of them were pleasant. I just had to suck it up and bite the bullet for Lily. It would be fine in the end and my heart told me to go; Mum told me to always listen to my heart.
Along the way we gushed about how Lily had been chosen to be Head Girl to James Potter’s Head Boy. It was very shocking at first that Dumbledore had made James Head Boy considering James had probably broken almost every rule, if not all, at Hogwarts. My stomach clenched as we neared a very loud compartment that must have been the Marauders since no one else could make that much noise. Lily opened the door and I sighed to myself and promised to act at least a little cordial.
“Hello, James.” Lily greeted in the threshold of their compartment. All went silent inside and it seemed as if they just evaporated into thin air. It was uncanny hearing the lack of noise that emancipated from their mouths.
“Hey, Lily.” James replied.
“So, are you going to introduce us to your friend over there?” Sirius asked with a wink at me. My eyebrows furrowed and my nostrils flared. I had known him for six, almost seven, years and he couldn’t even remember me! People these days!
“Are you bloody serious, no pun intended? I gasped and raised an eyebrow at him.
“Have we met?” he wondered.
“I’m Lucy Jackson.” I introduced and he raised an eyebrow. “We’ve been in the same house since first year.” There was still no reaction.
“Glad to know I’ve made an impression on you lot.” I mumbled. I eyed Lily up telling her in my mind to hurry up. She pleaded with me in her eyes and I groaned inwardly.
“Well, as fun as this has been, I’m going to go now. Bye Lils. See you in the Great Hall, I guess.” I said sarcastically and turned to go back to my compartment. It didn’t take long before I got there and was funny immersed in my book yet again.
When we finally arrived at Hogwarts about three hours later, I boarded a carriage with some random Ravenclaws that I hadn’t seen before. It was as if I was in a daze and I had no clue what had put me there. I had a weird feeling in the pit of my stomach that something wasn’t right. It seemed as if something horrible and life changing had happened and I was unaware of it yet.
I sat at the Gryffindor table and stared at the wall in front of me when Lily and co came over to sit by me. I didn’t even notice who had sat down and just barely acknowledged their presence. Normally I would be jumpy and the simplest thing like them sitting down would startle me, but like I said, I was in a daze where I was so out of it nothing could faze me. Throughout the Sorting Hat’s song and the sorting and even the meal, the feeling in my stomach just wouldn’t go away and all of a sudden my heart hurt. It seemed as if a terrible loss had happened and it almost brought me to tears.
I felt that tears were demeaning though so of course I couldn’t bear to cry with all of these people surrounding me, especially if I didn’t even know why I was crying in the first place! Finally snapping out of the daze I noticed that the people around me were looking very concerned in my direction. Looking around I couldn’t see who exactly they were looking at, but then it dawned on me. They were looking concerned at me.
My face seemed to heat up and I slowly got up from where I was seated right next to Lily. I started to walk toward the doors of the Great Hall when I was called up to the head table where the teachers were sitting by Professor McGonagall.
“Miss Jackson, the Headmaster would like to see you in his office as soon as you are dismissed.” Professor McGonagall instructed with a softer tone than I was used to hearing from her. She was normally a strict, stern middle aged lady who didn’t take crap from anybody. It was weird seeing her as if she had a heart. My eyebrows furrowed together and I went back to the Gryffindor table where I took a seat, the feeling in my stomach still on my mind. In some part of my brain it felt as if the two things, going to Dumbledore’s office and the feeling in my soul.
“Hey, Luce, What did Minnie want with you?” Lily wondered as I started to take food and put it on my plate. She was already starting to pick up habits from the Marauders and it was only our first day back; she never called Professor McGonagall Minnie.
“I have to go to Dumbledore’s office after Dinner.” I sighed. “I don’t know why, though. She didn’t say.”
“Well, I doubt it’s anything that bad. It’s not like you could have done something horribly wrong in the hour and we have been here.” Lily commented and I got back to eating my food.
It did puzzle me as to why I was being summoned to his office in the first place. I had never been to his office and I was wondering whether or not I’d need a password. Dinner ended abruptly afterward and I got up off the bench and went on my way to the Headmaster’s office.
It was a silent walk there and it was very soothing. It gave me time to think as well. I was thinking about the feeling I had earlier and the fact that it hurt so badly for no apparent reason. In no time I had appeared at the two gargoyles that marked the entrance to Professor Dumbledore’s office. Without saying anything they moved apart from each other and a spiral staircase was left in their wake. He was Dumbledore; of course he knew that I would be there. When I got to the top of the staircase after a minute of huffing and puffing, I knocked on the door three times. It opened and the Headmaster was sitting in the chair behind his ornate wooden desk. He motioned for me to sit down in one of the two chairs on the opposite side and I cautiously obliged.
“Good evening, Headmaster.” I greeted politely using a timid voice and looking down at my intertwined hands. I started playing with my semi-long brown hair; I always did that when I was nervous. Dumbledore definitely made me nervous.
“Lemon Drop?” he picked up a crystal container filled with sweets and offered me. I politely refused. Looking at him I noticed that the familiar twinkle in his crystal blue eyes.
“Miss Jackson, you may be wondering why you are in my office and I assure you that you have done nothing wrong. In the past few hours something very horrible has happened and you need to know right away. Have you heard about the new dark wizard Voldemort?” he asked and raised an eyebrow.
“My parents may have mentioned him once or twice. What does he have to do with anything?”
“My dear Lucy, he has to do with everything. This night, he had dispatched some of his followers to trail your parents for reasons so far unknown to me. Once they had figured out that the followers, those whom we have come to call Death Eaters, were following them they put up a fight. Your parents have been quite vocal on their positions against Voldemort and he retaliated, in the process killing your parents.” he said softly and his eyes arched downward and you could tell he was frowning under that monstrosity of a beard he had.
“No, impossible. I had just seen them before I got on the train. They’re just fine. Why would you say such a thing, and I was told that you didn’t joke around.”
“I am very sorry Miss Jackson, but I am in no way joking.” My heart stopped. How could they be gone? I had just seen them earlier and they were fine; they were alive and not dead. How could something so drastic happen in just a few hours? It just wasn’t possible. I quickly got up from my chair and ran out of his office. He didn’t even bother to call me back, probably because he knew it would be a futile attempt.
All I needed to do was go back to the Gryffindor common room, use the fire, and call them. I could always write them a letter, but that option was just too damn slow for me. My heart was racing as I ran up the steps leading to the seventh floor where the Gryffindor common room was. They were alive. This was just some joke that they were all playing on me. Or better yet, maybe this entire day had been a dream. In no way could Lily have accepted a date proposed by James bloody Potter and there was no way that my parents had been murdered. I would soon wake up and this entire thing would be over with and they would be alive, Lily would still hate James, and it would be a normal day.
“Nicholas Flamel.” I shouted at the Fat Lady password as it was the password for the beginning of the year. She looked surprised and shocked that someone was shouting at her and opened. It was too slow for me and I pushed her along faster in my anger and ran forward to the fireplace. I got some floo powder from atop the fireplace and put it into the fireplace.
“Jackson Home, 98 Wilshire Lane, London.” I breathed into the fire and after waiting for about five minutes there was still nothing.
I got up from the fireplace and raced up the steps of the girls dormitory to my bed where I got out a piece of parchment and raced to find a quill and some ink. Once found I raced in writing my message:
Mum and Dad,
Please tell me that you’re safe. There have been some crazy stories going around. Send Athena back as soon as you get this
In that moment I ran down the stairs and banged into a figure in the common room sending me backwards to sprawl out on the floor. With a moan and a groan I got up from the cold floor to retort at whoever I had bumped into and then run to the Owlery. It was then that I realized that what Dumbledore had been saying was true.
“Lucy, are you ok?” Remus asked me and he stretched out his arms in order to envelope me in a much needed hug. I then found myself sobbing into his shoulder and the pain in my chest was ever so prominent. How could they be gone just like that?
My heart hurt and my eyes hurt and everything just hurt. The pain of losing them ached through my body like a tidal wave and the fact that there would be no Christmas with them or no Hanukkah and no summer holidays hurt even more. The highlights of my life, the people who would always be there to reassure me that life would turn out fine when I was down in the dumps were gone. I would have no one to express my feelings to and no one who I wouldn’t be ashamed to cry in front of. My protectors were gone. I was seventeen and I had already lost my parents. This was not how it was supposed to happen. They were supposed to die of old age when I had already gotten married and had children. My father was supposed to walk me down the aisle and my mum was supposed to cry and help me pick out a dress. And they were supposed to be there on my graduation day sobbing like all the other parents. All these milestones in my life wouldn’t happen correctly because they wouldn’t be there to help me through them.
Remus just stood there calmly stroking my head and whispering that it would be alright, even though he didn’t even know what would be alright.
“N-No it blood-bloody won’t, Remus.” I attempted to say through sobs.
“Yes it will.” he assured me.
“You know nothing, Remus. It will never, ever be alright. Thank you for trying to help, though.” I mumbled and tried to break away from the hug.
As soon as I pulled away I felt as if my heart would burst from the sorrow I felt. I collapsed to the ground and hid my tear filled face in my hands. In the distance I heard the portrait open and a crowd of people clamber in. Their voices stopped for a minute and then they became frantic and I felt someone pick me up off of the floor and hold me tight to their chest. It felt muscular and I didn’t know who it was, nor did I care. There was no reason to care anymore because they were dead, they were never coming back.
“Baby, what’s wrong?” Lily asked from my side as she pulled me out of the muscular arms which parted ever so reluctantly. She pulled me into her own hug and I told her in fragments what happened.
“Dumbledore said they were dead, killed by Death Eaters. Came Back. Flooed Home. No answer. About to write letter. Ran into Remus. They are dead Lil. Dead.” I sobbed into her shoulder and I could feel her stiffen.
“Who’s dead, honey?” she asked me in a soothing voice. I could hear her fighting off her own set of tears and I had a feeling she knew exactly who I was talking about.
“Mum and Dad are dead Lily.” I whispered and I was pulled into another set of arms as I could see Lily collapse out of the corner of my eyes. My parents were like Lily’s second parents and she loved them as if they were her own. Each and ever summer she would spend half at my house and I would spend half at hers. Even the winter and Easter holidays were split up between our houses; a week at each house. The news was probably affecting her the same way they were affecting me, but it wasn’t the same for her. She didn’t grow up with them or live with them full time and owl them all the time like I did.
I soon recognized the scent of the person in front of me to be one of my best friends, Alice Prewett. Other than recognizing it was her I was too hurt and in so much pain that I could hardly recognize anything else. I was then hugged by three others and put in the arms of the original hugger whom I recognized as Sirius Black. It confused me greatly about why he was hugging me when this morning he didn’t even know my name.
But like I said, my life started with a death and ended with a death. And this was just the start of the life worth living and the life filled with more tears then you could ever count, more heartbreaks than should ever be allowed, and way more deaths than is normal to keep a person sane.
A/N: So, Tell me what you think about this chapter! It's the unbeta'd version since I've been waiting FOREVER to get the chapter back from my beta and she hasn't sent it :(! I felt that it has been taking so long, so I decided to post it! The rest of the chapters will be similar in length to this one and I hope you enjoyed it! Pssst. Winston (the adorable box down at the bottom) would love for you to review! PLEASE *gives puppy dog face*!