Chapter 1 : Chapter 1
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Disclaimer: Anything you recognize belongs to the lovely J.K. Rowling and the title and inspiration goes to the song This is War, by 30 Seconds to Mars.
This Is War
They were the young. They were the restless. They were the pranksters, and the fun lovers. They were the carefree... They were the uncertain. They were the afraid. They were only children.
They were at war.
This is their story.
When exactly had the world fallen into chaos? When exactly did teenagers start having to fear for their lives? When exactly did your worth as a person become determined by your blood? Or perhaps, the better question would be why.
This was what Lily Evans wanted to know. The fiery red head stood out alone by the Lake, eyes never leaving the still water, arms wrapped protectively around her. A light summer breeze ruffled her hair, but Lily didn't even twitch.
It was time to leave Hogwarts; she knew this. She knew this all very well and there had been a time when, in her naivety, that she had looked forward to this moment. She was ambitious and she was intelligent, longing to shape her place in the world.
But those dreams weren't realistic anymore. She couldn't just skip out of the castle, armed with her wit and charm and make a way in society. Because, well, society was crumbling.
They were fighting a fight that was draining every aspect of their lives. Children whispered about Voldemort in dark corridors, but none of them, down to the youngest, believed that the man was a fairy tale, a threat used to encourage the unruly ones to behave. Because they knew. They knew the fear in their parents eyes when they sent them off to school, the one place that still held the illusion of safety.
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardy. How could one place hold so many memories for her? Some sweet, some side splittingly hilarious, some poignant, and some, some were the best moments of her life. Her childhood. Her true home. She was leaving it all behind for a world where death and fear and destruction were all very real. Out there, she couldn't hide from the truth.
And the truth really is terrifying. A mad man was tearing her world apart, pitting wizards against each other, targeting the innocent and exploiting the weak. How had they sunk this low?
Despite the sun's warmth, Lily shivered.
A voice in her ear whispered, "Still pining after the Giant Squid, are you?" Lily jumped about a foot in the air and smacked the grinning young man who had so rudely interrupted her thoughts.
"James! Are you trying to give me a heart attack?" She demanded, trying and failing spectacularly at staying irritated with her infuriating boyfriend.
James Potter's grin just widened and he grabbed her hands in his, enclosing them entirely. "You were as still as a statue, Lilyflower. I was just making sure you could still move."
"So glad I have you to look after me, James." Lily replied dryly, but making no attempt to remove her hands. Having only just started dating James at the beginning of the year, she couldn't quite believe how deep her feelings for him ran. In fact, they startled her at times. The thing was, in this mad world, he was one thing that always made sense to her.
He was James. He was cocky, he was brilliant, he was painfully noble, and he was hers. He was always there. If there was one thing that was so completely James, was his unwillingness to give up. Whether it was in his unceasing attempts to get her to go out with her, or devoted to keeping people's spirits up when hope seemed hard to find, he had it covered.
Lily smiled at him now, drinking in everything about him: his stubbornly messy hair, his twinkling hazel eyes, and his slightly goofy smile. She took comfort in that some things never changed.
Unwanted thoughts crept back into her mind and she sighed, breaking off eye contact with James. One of his hands came up to her face, brushing away a strand of dark red hair and lingering on her cheek.
"What's wrong?" He asked gently.
"What isn't wrong?" She shook her head, pulling away from him and turning back to the dark, still lake.
For a moment, neither of them said anything, but then James wrapped his arms around her from behind and Lily instinctively leaned into him. Once again, she marveled at how well they fit together, like two pieces of a puzzle.
"There's a lot that isn't wrong as well, you know." He murmured in her ear.
"I know," She whispered, feeling so very small. "It's just…overwhelming, I guess. This is supposed to be our big day. Graduation, going out into the world, except, I don't even know if there's a world left to go out into."
James's arms tightened. "There is." He said fiercely. "There is, and we're going to keep it that way."
"What can we possibly do?"
"We can fight." James told her resolutely and Lily twisted in his arms to study his face and saw the fiery determination burning in his eyes. "Voldemort's out there, Lily and he's powerful, but we've got power too. We have Dumbledore and we have each other. This isn't going to beat us."
Lily pulled out of his arms completely and stood in his shadow, staring up at him. Feelings of all sorts flooded her, but above all she was so proud. James, her James. He believed in them, he believed in the cause that so many had died for, and she damn well was going to stand by him. All it took was a little faith. She thought she could handle that.
"Sometimes I wonder if I really know you, Mr. Potter. I can hardly see the immature, conceited toe rag I've known for so many years," She teased.
James winked at her, "You just never looked beneath the surface, Miss Evans."
"Who would have known you could be so deep?" She said, her fingers drawing circles on his chest, knowing perfectly well the effect she had on him.
His own hand shot out and gripped her wrist, pulling her against him. "Now, now, none of that, Evans." He said huskily, their faces mere inches apart, breathe mingling together. "We're supposed to be acting like responsible adults now."
"James, you don't even know what the word 'responsible' means."
"That's just not fair."
"Perhaps not." She grinned impishly at him and kissed him suddenly on the nose, before breaking out of his grip and running towards the castle. "Bet you can't catch me, Potter!" She called over her shoulder.
"Big mistake, Evans!" James crowed, taking off after her. "Never challenge a Marauder!" James's long legs allowed him to gain on Lily, who was giggling like a young school girl as they came upon the rest of their friends. Sirius was the closest so Lily selected him as her victim. Reaching the tall, good looking young man, she threw herself into his arms, and Sirius, caught completely off guard, held on to her causing both of them to stumble back into Remus.
"Whoa there, Evans!" Sirius exclaimed, regaining his footing. "I know I'm stunningly good looking, but there's no need to through yourself at me. Frankly, it makes you look desperate."
"Shut up, and don't let James get me." Lily ordered, still holding on to him.
James skidded up to them at this point. Sirius looked between his wind blown best mate and the red head currently attempting to use him as a shield and immediately held his hands up. "No, there is no way I am getting into this."
Remus just stood and watched this whole scene with amusement.
Lily peeked out from behind Sirius shoulder. "He'll tickle me."
Sirius craned his neck to look back at her. "You're ticklish?"
Lily didn't like the devilish gleam in his eyes, and slowly backed away from him, glaring. "Don't you dare get any ideas, Black."
But Sirius just fell into step with James and both boys grinned deviously at her, eyes glinted mischievously.
"I'm serious." Lily warned, still backing away from the two best friends.
"No," Sirius corrected her. "I'm Sirius."
She rolled her eyes at him. "Good one. I didn't see that coming. How exceptionally clever of you."
With Lily's attention focused on Sirius, James took advantage of her distraction and leapt forward, snagging her around the waist and swinging her up into the air.
"JAMES BLOODY POTTER! PUT ME DOWN!" Lily shrieked, causing several students who were still lingering on the grounds to look over at them.
Laughing, James set her back down, only to be tackled a second later by Sirius, who misjudged his strength causing James to fall into Remus, taking him down with them. The three best friends rolled around in the grass together, throwing light punches and shooting threats at each other, while Lily stood there smugly, but with a slight smile pulling on her lips.
Boys will be boys, but they would always be her boys.
"Oi!" Sirius shouted, voice muffled by James's elbow. "That's my hair, Moony."
"Perhaps," Remus suggested peevishly through a mouthful of grass. "If you didn't want to mess up your hair, Padfoot, you shouldn't be rolling around in the dirt."
"Don't use logic on Pads, Moony," James piped up, even as he grabbed Sirius in a headlock. "You'll just confuse him."
Sirius was on the verge of giving a biting retort when a familiar, sharp voice shouted. "What on earth is going on here?" Professor McGonagall hurried across the grounds to the four newly graduated teenagers. "Simply because you are no longer students at this school, it does not give you permission to act like a bunch of hooligans."
"Ah, but Professor, that is precisely why we're acting like hooligans." Sirius explained with an easy grin, jumping to his feet and pulling James up with him. "Won't get to for much longer shall we?"
McGonagall suddenly looked very sad. "No, no I suppose you are right." She said so quietly Lily barely heard her. Abruptly, her tone turned brisk, but there was still a trace of the haunted look in her eyes as she addressed them, "Now, the Headmaster wishes to speak with you four immediately, before you all leave. Miss Evans," She turned her beady gaze on Lily. "Miss McKinnon is in the Headmaster's office as well. She was asking for you earlier."
Lily nodded. Her best friend, Marlene McKinnon, was probably wondering where she had gotten off to after she had wandered away after graduation, needing some time with her thoughts, before James had found her.
"Where's Peter?" Lily asked suddenly, noticing the absence of the stocky, fourth Marauder.
Sirius rolled his eyes. "He had to leave right after the ceremony. Said he had 'stuff' to do. Acted as if a bloody girl was waiting on him." Sirius scoffed, clearly thinking that this was a ridiculous excuse for ditching your friends.
James grabbed her hand now as the three boys and Lily followed their former Professor into the castle and through the winding corridors, up to the Headmaster's office.
They weren't to know that their innocence had officially ended, that their roles in the war were about to begin, and most of all, they weren't know how very much their lives were going to change.
A/N: Let me know what you think please :P