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Lily Potter and the Den of Snakes by Jocelynn Peters
Chapter 1 : Lily Potter and the Pissy-Pants Incident
 
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"I will never admit to peeing my pants! NEVER!" - Lily Luna Potter

I woke up screaming.

Face-down on the floor, I struggled violently with the hands that grasped my throat, trying to choke off my air supply.

That is, until I realized it was just the quilt.

The worst part of all of this - the nightmare, the almost-peeing-my-pants, the oh-merlin-the-quilt-is-choking-me - is that it was happening for the third time this week. And it was only Wednesday.

"Pissing your pants?"

James, who'd suddenly appeared in the doorway, was looking down at me, wearing only a pair of boxer shorts emblazoned with the Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes insignia and an amused smirk.

"No," I replied, perhaps a little too forcefully. The quilt beneath, around, and on top of me was beginning to feel suspiciously damp. But he didn't need to know that. "I didn't. What're you doing up, anyway?" I countered accusatorially. "It's almost one."

"Well, somebody has to wait up for Mum and Dad to get home."

"Don't you mean that somebody has to wait up until his siblings are asleep before he can stuff all of Mum's hidden Fizzing Whizbees into his mouth at once?"

"What - no - how'd you - "

It was my turn to smirk. "You're hovering four inches off the ground."

Mum would've been surprised to learn that James knew the word he said next, which he followed up with a guilty look and an "I mean, stuck. In a hole. Stuck in a hole."

"Whatever." I rolled my eyes. "Mum's gonna kill you if you can't get down before they come home."

James shrugged and floated over to my side. It looked like he was trying to swim without water. I inwardly hoped that he wouldn't suddenly fall backwards into the dresser and smush my model Firebolt 180. "Doesn't matter - they're out with Uncle Ron and Aunt Mione, aren't they?"

I began the strenuous process of picking my suspiciously-damp, blanket-laden self off of the hardwood and gave him a look. The look said "So what?"

"Naturally - " he said this as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. " - they'll be a bit tipsy when they come back, right? I mean, Dad at least. They didn't buy that bottle of Firewhiskey for show, Lil."

"Eugh!" I stuck out my tongue, pulling my patented I-just-ate-a-worm face. "I hate that!"

"What?" he laughed. "Hate what, Lil?"

"EUGH! LIL! I hate it when you call me Lil!"

"Hence," he winked, "Why I do it."

I flopped onto the bed in a huff, covering my head with the crochet floral blanket. Through one of the many holes, I watched as James eerily scuttled closer to me, waving his arms in a windmilling motion. What he said, as he lowered his levitating patootie onto my Winnie-the-Pooh sheets took me off guard.

"You're alright, though?"

I blinked up at him owlishly. There was concern in his voice - actual concern, not the false "No, I won't let Albus Vanish things from the china cabinet," "No, I won't let Lily fly my broom over the house," "No, I won't sneak out of the house at night to visit my friends in Devon" sort of way. Worry sparkled in his brown eyes, eyes that were the twins of mine.

"Yeah, I'm fine," I replied. And with him there, right now, looking so much like Mum and Dad all at once, it wasn't a lie. I decided not to tell him about the nightmare, and the long white fingers that I had actually felt pressed against my throat, crushing my windpipe. "Just fell out of bed."

He laughed, the lines of worry etched around his features easily melting away. "Maybe we should put you back in a crib then!"

"JAMES!" I shouted, swatting at him. He fluttered easily out of my way, making a practiced barrel-roll over me and onto the other side of my bed, where he hovered again, not touching the Tiggers and Eeyores that stretched out below him. "You're such a prat!"

He poked me. "I'm funny," he said mockingly, "And you know it. Because you're a pissy-pants baby who needs to sweep in a cwib."

I fell suddenly and absolutely silent, curling up beneath the crocheted flowers and hoping to sweet sweet Merlin that he hadn't actually noticed the suspicious dampness of my blanket.

"YOU DID PISS YOUR PANTS!" he shouted gleefully. "LILY PISSED HER PANTS!"

"I DID NOT!" I shrieked desperately, throwing the cover off of my head so I could scream at him more clearly. "I DIDN'T PEE MY PANTS! JAMES, YOU'RE A PRAT!"

"And you're a pants-pisser!" he crowed. "Merlin, you're almost eleven and you pissed your pants!" Abruptly, he pushed off of the bed and made for the door. "I have to tell Albus! You pissed your bloody pants!"

I grabbed on to the closest thing I could reach - unfortunately not a large rock - and hurled it towards his head. He dodged easily - stupid prat - and floated out the door and down the hall before I could extricate myself from the blankets.

"James!" I cried. There was more desperation than defiance in my voice now, and I ripped off the suspiciously damp pajamas, stuffing them under the bed. "James, I DIDN'T!"

"Hey, Albus." His annoyingly gleeful voice was muffled by the wall between mine and Albus' bedroom but I could still make it out. "Al - you won't believe it - Lily pissed her pants!"

"I DIDN'T!" I screamed back, rummaging in the chest of drawers for something that didn't have glitter or kittens on it. Merlin, sometimes I hate my Granny. "I DIDN'T, AL, HE'S LYING!"

Shoving myself into a blue flannel nighshirt I paused with my head halfway out one of the armholes to listen to James' replying holler of "YOU KNOW IT, LIL! YOU PISSED YOUR BLOODY PANTS! JUST ADMIT IT!"

Huffily, I retracted my head from the sleeve and put it through the right hole, somehow maneuvering the rest of myself into the relatively inoffensive garment. It was unisex and plaid, which is all that can be said for it.

I will never admit to peeing my pants! I thought, as my stupid prat brothers continued to giggle over my misfortune. Like always. NEVER!

I padded back to my bed, realizing that resistance was futile. I was dead tired, too, and my throat ached from where the quilt had tried to strangle me in the night. But as I lay back in my soft bed, flipping onto my left side and laying my stuffed Hungarian Horntail over my head to block out some of the noise of their jubilation, I wondered if I should have told James about the dream. That would probably have stopped them laughing. Not only that, but I was frightened. Frightened to go back to sleep. I'd had the dream before, and other ones as well.

But this one... this particular dream... it seemed so real. So hauntingly, absolutely real. I could actually feel the long, cold hands encircle my throat, hear the words that my faceless killer whispered into my ear. Long grass, damp with dew, tickled my legs. My eyes were pressed tightly shut against the heat of his musty breath, hot and repulsive against my cheek even in the balmy darkness of the summer's night. He held my neck gently at first, and his voice was calm, soothing in my ear. "Lily Luna Potter," he whispered, almost cordially. "We meet at last. I'd always wanted to come face to face with the daughter of the Boy Who Lived."

As he said those words, his grip snapped painfully tight and my vision exploded with white stars.

"Matter of fact," he whispered, voice low and scratched-sounding. His breath was always painfully hot in my ear, in contrast to those ice cold hands. "I'll be coming face to face with your father himself, soon enough. If I have my way."

I always remained absolutely still. This was the worst part of the nightmare - my subconscious screaming at me to move, and my body not allowing me to. It was as though I had been petrified.

"And if I don't have my way," the voice continued, "Then I'll have your pretty little head in a jar." Then, he laughed - always the same laugh, mirthless and terrible. "Actually, no matter how this little experiment goes, I'll have your head in a jar. But you're going to help me get a start on my little collection before your time is over, Miss Lily Luna Potter."

I swallowed. There was no way I'd be wandering back into dreamland knowing that my imaginary Death Eater would be waiting for me. Flipping back over onto my right side, I slid a hand between the mattress and box-spring, where I'd stashed my Dad's well-worn copy of The Standard Book of Spells, Grade One. Opening the cover, I drew out my crumpled, well-read Hogwarts letter and perused the list again.

LILY LUNA POTTER
EAST-SIDE SEAT AT THE KITCHEN TABLE
NUMBER 32 ELLINGSHIRE CRESCENT
OTTERY-St.-CATCHPOLE
ENGLAND

Dear Miss Potter,

We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment. Term begins on September 1. We await your owl no later than July 31.

Very Sincerely,

Septima Vector
Deputy Headmistress

Post Script: On behalf of all of the staff here at Hogwarts, please give our warmest regards to your father, Mr. Potter.

I quickly flipped the page. On the second sheet of yellowed parchment paper was the promised list of necessary books and assorted items; I devoured it with my eyes, despite already having memorized the list by heart. By the time I'd reached the contraband items list, my eyelids had begun to close.

CONTRABAND ITEMS
The items appearing upon this list are STRICTLY PROHIBITED on school grounds and in all school buildings:

Any dangerous Muggle enchanted or unenchanted artifact (including weapons, fire-starting devices such as lyters, etc.)
Any bottle or flask of alcohol (Firewhiskey, Icewine, Muggle liqueurs, etc.) AND any cigarettes, cigars, pipes, etc.
Any item bearing the Dark Mark or other Death Eater-related insignia
Any authentic or replica Death Eater masks or full costumes
Any enchanted object classified as an example of "Black Magic" (as dictated under Section 7, p. 3 of the Magical Artifact Legislation)
Any of the books and pamphlets as listed on the Student Contraband Book List (as dictated by the Ministry for Magic)

PLEASE NOTE THAT HOGWARTS ADMINISTRATION HAS ENACTED A STRICT ZERO-TOLERANCE POLICY CONCERNING THE ABOVE ITEMS. CONTRABAND ITEMS WILL BE CONFISCATED DURING LUGGAGE CHECKS UPON ARRIVAL. THE CONTRABAND POLICY, ACTIVE FOR THE PAST 20 YEARS, IS IN PLACE TO MAINTAIN A SAFE AND NON-DISCRIMINATORY LEARNING ENVIRONMENT FOR ALL STUDENTS.

I stuffed the letter back inside the beaten leather spellbook and shoved the whole parcel back under the mattress. Looking out the window at the darkened sky, I wondered why morning couldn't come faster. I'd finally be getting my wand, and my textbooks, and all the other magical odds and ends I'd been drooling over since the letter came. Seriously, though - is there anything cooler than buying a barn owl?

Course, I'd been to Diagon Alley before, but my Mum usually took James shopping for his school things while Dad, Albus and I sat in Florean Fortescue's, eating self-refilling banana splits. Dad could put away five or six in the couple hours it took for James and Mum to gather all of his supplies. And they were complementary.

Famous dads have perks, let me tell you.

An explosion of laughter interrupted my chocolate-and-vanilla daydreams.

"I DIDN'T PISS MYSELF!" I shrieked, with finality, before flipping back over and replacing the Hungarian Horntail stuffy on my head.








A/N: Okay! So here it is :) Since I'm new to this, reviews would be much appreciated. The story won't only be Lily's POV - and this serves as sort of a prologue than an actual chapter so don't worry, the whole story won't just be her reading things we've all read before. I just wanted to highlight the changes at Hogwarts before we actually get there. Hope you enjoyed :)


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