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Lily's Defender by Snapegirl
Chapter 2 : Welcome to Hogwarts, Miss Evans
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 6


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Disclaimer: All the main characters belong to J.K. Rowling. I'm just playing with them for the afternoon.

A/N: In this AU the majority of pureblood families believe that Muggleborns are inferior and half-bloods only slightly less so. This is a commonly held belief, similar to the ones white Americans once held against Native American people and half-bloods. Even the so-called "good" families believed this, it was not something exclusive to dark families. There has always been prejudice in the wizarding world, a lot of it, and you will see it expressed here.

1

Welcome to Hogwarts, Miss Evans

by Alethea27

January 30, 1971 was Lily's eleventh birthday. Her sister, Petunia sat at the table with her arms crossed and a sour look on her face. Presents and the birthday cake Hyacinth had made sat on the table. The cake was chocolate with chocolate frosting and it was decorated with frolicking cats and Happy Birthday Lily was spelled out in white frosting. Lily's two best friends, Beth Seymour and Cathy Moran sat beside her and were sleeping over that night. All three were giggling and wore silly party hats.

'Great!' Petunia thought. That meant she'd have to listen to them giggling and chatting the entire night! It wasn't fair! Lily had been doing all sorts of freaky stuff all year and she still gets a birthday party and all those presents. Why just last month Lily had gotten mad at her because she called her a pig and told her she needed to clean up her room and deliberately turned her hair green, but wasn't able to turn it back. She'd had to wear a scarf over her hair for two weeks until it turned back to her natural color on its own. Still, some of the kids in her class had found out about her hair and she saw them pointing at her, whispering and giggling. Had precious Lily received any punishment for her freaky act? No! Her parents told her it was some kind of phase Lily was going through and to be compassionate. Why should she be kind to somebody who was obviously abnormal and creepy?

Paul had been talked into wearing a party hat by Lily. He smiled as he watched her. Lily had been sad for so long after her best friend's dad had died in that terrible accident at the mill and then his mum had died in an attempted robbery shortly after that. The boy had been emotionally distraught by their deaths and had gone to live with his grandparents. Lily still mentioned him occasionally.

Once they had all, with the exception of Petunia, sung Happy Birthday and Lily had made a wish and blown out the candles, Hyacinth took the cake to cut it. "Petunia, can you please help me?" she requested.

"Why do I have to help, Mum? It's not my party or birthday. Lily should hand out the cake, not me," Petunia whined.

"Petunia, don't start," Hyacinth warned in a soft voice. "When it's your birthday, Lily will help me cut the cake and hand out the slices."

Petunia did as her mother requested, but she was just one step above being completely rude when she handed Lily and her friends their plates of cake. She was tempted to drop Lily's in her lap and claim her hand slipped, but her parents would spot it out and she'd end up with no phone privileges for a week.

After the cake had been eaten, it was time for Lily to open her presents. She loved presents and tore into them with enthusiasm, ripping the paper and ribbons off and scattering them all over. She received a complete set of the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis and two board games from her parents. Beth and Cathy had pooled their money and gotten her a copy of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Lily had recently discovered the Beatles and had been buying their albums with her pocket money she'd saved. The last box was from Petunia and contained a rather worn copy of a King James Bible. Lily lifted it out of the box and gave her sister a questioning look.

Petunia sniffed. "Well, all those freaky things you do. I think you must be possessed by a demon so I thought you'd better read the Bible so you don't burn in hellfire."

Lily's big green eyes filled with tears that started running down her cheeks. She ran from the room.

Paul took a firm hold of Petunia's arm and marched her into his study, closing the door. "Petunia Charlotte Evans," he said in a raised voice. He was barely holding his temper in. "That was a very mean and rotten thing to say to your sister, especially on her birthday and in front of her guests. This offense earns you a week without phone privileges and you will apologize to Lily."

Petunia stamped her foot petulantly. "I won't apologize to her! She turned my hair green and you never gave her any punishment because you think everything she does is cute!"

Paul sighed. "Petunia, Mum and I have explained to you about that and we've urged you to be patient with Lily."

"You won't see she's a possessed by a demon because possessed people do freaky things like she does! She's always been your favorite! I hate her and I hate you and Mum!" Petunia shouted, flinging open the door and storming out. She stamped up the stairs followed by the loud slam of her bedroom door.

Beth and Cathy thanked Hyacinth for inviting them, excused themselves and left quickly. It was obvious they were embarrassed for Mr. and Mrs. Evans and sad for Lily. Neither Lily nor Petunia came out of their rooms the rest of the day.

Two days after the disastrous birthday party, there was a knock on the Evans front door. Paul put down The Daily Mail he'd been reading and got up to answer the door. There was an older woman standing on the porch dressed a red tartan coat and sensible shoes. Her graying hair was pulled back into a severe bun and she wore square wire-rimmed glasses. She reminded him of a Sunday school teacher he'd had as a boy. "Mr. Evans?" she asked.

Paul nodded. He noticed she had a strong Scottish accent.

"I am Professor Minerva McGonagall. May I come in?"

"What's this about?"

"If I can come inside I will explain," She answered.

"I suppose," He stepped aside so she could enter. "I'll get Hyacinth."

The Professor seated herself and waited while Mr. Evans went to fetch his wife. He was back in a few minutes. "My wife will be here directly. She's preparing tea and biscuits."

Hyacinth came into the room, carrying a tray with a teapot wrapped in a cozy, three cups and saucers, and a plate of biscuits. She set the tray down on the coffee table, poured the tea and handed it round and then the plate of biscuits. "Now, Professor, please tell us why you're here," she said.

Minerva reached into her purse and pulled out envelope which was yellowish and looked old. "I'm here to deliver Lily's notification that she's been accepted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry."

"Hogwarts School of what …" Paul suddenly jumped to his feet and yelled angrily, "If this is some kind of cruel joke being played on our daughter, by God I'll summon the nearest constable … I know Lily has done some strange things, but she's hurt no one!"

"I assure you, Mr. Evans, this is not a joke. Your daughter is a witch and the strange things you speak of are incidents of accidental magic."

"How can this be?" Hyacinth asked. "Witches and wizards don't exist except in fairy tales."

"I can assure you we do exist," McGonagall said with a smile. "May I see Lily so I can give her letter to her?"

Paul and Hyacinth glanced at each other still unsure what to believe. Paul turned to Professor McGonagall. "Professor, we want to believe you, but we have a responsibility to make sure our daughter is safe. Is there some small demonstration you can give us of your …abilities?"

"Of course, Mr. Evans. I would expect no less. Normally we're not allowed to do magic in front of Muggles …"

"Muggles?" Hyacinth questioned.

"Non-magical people such as yourselves. However, I was given a temporary dispensation by the Ministry of Magic to perform magic if I needed to in order to convince the parents of Muggleborn students that the magical world is a reality." She took out her wand flicked it and said, "Wingardium Leviosa." Suddenly the teapot began to rise, floated above the tray. Minerva then pointed her wand at a rather shabby armchair by the fireplace and said, "Reparo." The armchair suddenly looked as if it had just arrived from the shop. Last, she pointed her wand at the logs that had been laid in the fireplace in preparation for lighting, but had not been lit and said, "Incendio." A fire began burning in the grate.

There was a gasp from both of Lily's parents as they watched Minerva. Both of them knew none of the things she had done could be performed anyway but by magic. "I'll go upstairs and get Lily," Hyacinth said.

"I'm sorry, but we had to be sure," Paul apologized, still staring at the floating teapot. "We shouldn't be shocked really. We've seen Lily do things like this more than once."

"That's quite all right, Mr. Evans. I understand your daughter's safety is of paramount importance to you and I also know suddenly finding out a magical society exists and lives side-by-side with yours is quite disorientating," she replied with a smile.

Hyacinth was back in a few minutes with a petite child with vivid green eyes and deep red auburn hair. Her eyes widened as she saw the teapot and she tugged on Hyacinth's hand. "Mum, that lady can do the same thing as me," Lily said excitedly.

"That's because I'm a witch, child, and so are you." Minerva handed Lily the envelope she was holding.

Lily broke the seal on it, pulled out the letter, and read it silently. "Mum, Dad, this letter says I've been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry." She frowned at them. "Did you enroll me in this Hogwarts School?"

"You were magically enrolled in the Hogwarts the moment you were born," Minerva answered.

Petunia was lurking at the top of the stairs eavesdropping. She grimaced as she heard that now precious Lily was special and she would be going to a special school that apparently taught freaks like her! She wondered how many pounds her parents were going to spend to send Lily to this Hogwarts place. Probably more pounds than they'd ever spent on her.

Lily took out the second letter out of the envelope, unfolded it, and read it. She handed the list of to her parents. "Mum, Dad, these are the school supplies I need, but where do we get them?"

"Those can be gotten in Diagon Alley in London," Minerva said.

"Can we go tomorrow, Professor?" Lily asked excitedly.

"You won't need to go until August and I will, of course, be there to show you how to get to Diagon Alley and where to go to buy what you need."

Lily's smile drooped a bit. "I wish Sev was still here. We used to pretend we were King Arthur's Knights of the Round Table and he'd tell me about Merlin, King Arthur's magician."

"Sev?" Minerva asked startled. "You don't mean Severus Snape, grandson of Marius and Vesper Prince?"

"Yes, he was my best friend," Lily explained. "But then his mum and dad died and he moved away to live with his grandparents."

"Sev lived next door to us at one time," Paul added. "I was Toby's supervisor at the Mill. It was a terrible tragedy when he was killed in that freak accident then Eileen died a few months later, trying to protect some customers in a robbery attempt at the store where she was working."

"Actually, Lily's and Sev's birthdays were only three weeks apart," Hyacinth said. "We met his grandparents briefly at Toby's funeral and I recall they had unusual names."

"We lost complete track of him after his mother's death," Paul said.

"Well, you'll be happy to know Severus will also be starting at Hogwarts this year."

Lily squealed in delight. "Maybe I'll see him when we go to this Alley place."

"If you don't see him there or on the Hogwarts Express, you will definitely see him at the Sorting." Minerva said.

"I can't wait!" Lily exclaimed. "I didn't think I'd ever see Sev again and now I will."

After having gotten Paul and Hyacinth's signatures on the Code of Secrecy, Minerva left, promising to meet them the third week in August to help them with Lily's school shopping. That night after supper, Paul and Hyacinth sat the two girls down. They talked to them about Lily being a witch and how they both had to keep it a secret and neither Lily nor Petunia could tell their friends about Hogwarts.

Petunia gave a loud sniff. "As if any of my friends would care! They already know she's a freak."

"Petunia, don't start unless you want another week without phone privileges," Hyacinth warned.

"Fine! I won't say anything about her being a witch or about her freaky school. If that Snape boy is anything to judge by, it must be a school for hogs!" Petunia flounced out of the room, ran upstairs and they heard the loud slam of her bedroom door.

Lily looked sad. "Tuney still thinks I'm a freak."

"Don't worry, Lily. Give her time and she'll get over it," Paul soothingly assured her and gave her a hug.

Winter melted into spring, and spring into summer. Lily was hard pressed to keep her secret from her two friends, it hurt her that she was unable to tell them she would be going to a different school come fall. She wished there was some way she could talk to Sev. She bet he knew all about Hogwarts and could answer the many questions she had. She wondered if he still had Greymalkin.

As Hyacinth was tucking her in bed the night before they were going to Diagon Alley, Lily asked, "Mum, do you think I'll really see Sev tomorrow?"

"I don't know, Lily, but if you don't, remember what Professor McGonagall said. You'll definitely see him once you get to school."

"I wonder if he still has Greymalkin. Do you remember Sev's cat, Mum?"

"Very well. He was very unusual."

"That reminds me, Mum. My letter said I could have an owl, a cat or a toad. I know I can't have a cat because Dad's allergic and I don't want a toad; they're icky! Do you think I could have an owl?"Hyacinth chuckled and kissed Lily's cheek. "We'll see. Now go to sleep," she said firmly. "You've got to get up early because we have a long drive to London tomorrow."

"Okay. Goodnight, Mum."

"Goodnight, Lily. Sweet dreams."

The next morning started off badly with Petunia announcing she was going to spend the day with her girlfriend, Agatha. She certainly didn't want to go to some dirty alley where a bunch of freaks hung out. After a loud argument, tears and because they were going to be late, Paul and Hyacinth finally agreed to allow Petunia to stay behind on the condition that she stay at Agatha's and go nowhere else. The drive to London was at least peaceful without Petunia and Lily constantly bickering in the backseat. Paul parked on Charing Cross Road a couple of blocks up the street from the address where they were supposed to meet Professor McGonagall. Hyacinth took the note out of her purse that Minerva had sent them. "The Leaky Cauldron is next door to 48 Charing Cross Road."

They slowed as they walked. "Well, here's 48 Charing Cross," Paul said pointing to a bookstore. The number 48 could clearly be seen on the front door. "I don't …"

"Here it is," Lily said excitedly pointing to a dirty looking, ramshackle building with a sign that looked as if it had a hundred years worth of dirt on it, hanging above the entrance, creaking in the wind.

"Are you sure, Lily?" Hyacinth asked.

"Yes Mum, of course. It says Leaky Cauldron right on the sign up there," Lily said pointing up at the sign, but not realizing her parents couldn't see the same thing she saw. She opened the door and stepped inside, Paul and Hyacinth following her uneasily.

It was dim inside and looked as if it hadn't changed since the 16th or 17th century. The glass in the front windows was so dirty, it was impossible to see in or out of them. Wooden tables of all shapes and sizes with mismatched wooden chairs and stools were everywhere. Big round brass chandeliers hung on chains from the smoke-aged beams, decorated with glass globes containing flickering candles. Aged and smoke-stained pictures littered the stone walls in no special order. The walls had long since ceased to be white. There was an open window from what looked to be a kitchen of sorts. Paul figured it must be where the servers picked up their orders. Beside it hung a rack with newspapers hanging off it. Across the room was an ancient wooden bar in front of which was standing Professor McGonagall talking to an older gentleman with longish grey hair and full sideburns. She smiled as she saw the Evans come in. "Excuse me, Tom. Miss Evans and her family are here." Minerva stepped away from the bar and went over to where the family was standing. "You found us without a problem then?"

"Lily did actually," Hyacinth replied. She nudged her husband who was still looking around him in amazement. "Paul!"

He turned and smiled sheepishly, "Sorry, I got distracted, dear. Hello, Professor."

"Hello, Professor McGonagall," Lily said shyly.

"Hello Lily, it's nice to see you and your family again. Are you ready to go?"

"Oh yes, Professor! I've been ready since you brought my letter!"

"All right then. If you'll follow me …" She took them out a door by the bar and into a small cobbled courtyard. There appeared to be no way out. Minerva took out her wand and tapped the bricks in a certain order. "You'll probably need to ask Tom to do this for you until Lily gets tall enough to be able to reach these bricks," Minerva remarked and then stepped back as what was once was a solid brick wall melted away. Minerva stepped through the entrance with Lily following her eagerly and her parents more cautiously. "Welcome to Diagon Alley," Minerva said.

The alley was narrow and winding, jam packed with large and small shops on both sides. To add to the confusion, there were vendor stalls selling flowers, roasted chestnuts, and one selling jewelry. There was a huge white building in the middle of the right side of the alley and that was where they appeared to be heading. "We'll go to Gringotts first so you can exchange your Muggle money for our money."

When they stopped in front of Gringotts, Paul looked at the building skeptically. The entrance had pillars that held up a small balcony, but they leaned towards the left while the pillars on the balcony above it that held up a second balcony leaned towards the right. "Are you sure it's safe to go inside?" Paul whispered to Minerva.

"Oh my yes," She replied. "Gringotts has been here for centuries, but I should warn you the bank is run by Goblins and they're not the friendliest of beings and it matters not whether you're magical or Muggle. You best let me handle the transaction with them. They do respect the Headmaster."

Hyacinth and Paul nodded. Lily swallowed at the sight of the two Goblins in uniforms that opened the double brass door for them. They had to pass through a second set of silver doors before entering the lobby. The bank floors were paved with marble and wooden counters stretched along its length. Behind each one, a Goblin was busily weighing jewels or counting gold.

Minerva walked over to a counter where the sign above it read 'Exchanges.' She put the pound notes Paul and Hyacinth had given her in front of the Goblin. "Good morning, Nagnok, I wish to exchange this Muggle currency for Wizard currency."

"Very well, Professor McGonagall," Nagnok answered and left his perch and went into a small room behind his counter. He was back in a few moments carrying a large moleskin bag that he gave to Minerva. "Please extend our best wishes to Headmaster Dumbledore."

"I will do that," Minerva replied. "Thank you for your excellent service, Nagnok."

He nodded and returned to the task he was doing before.

Before they left the bank, Minerva shrank the moleskin bag so Hyacinth could put it in her purse to avoid pickpockets. "Did you bring your list, child?" she asked Lily as they left the bank.

"Yes, Professor. Mum has it in her purse." Hyacinth took the Hogwarts list out of her purse and handed it to Lily. She unfolded it and asked, "Where should we go first?"

"I think it would be best to get your school robes first. Madam Malkin's Robes is right here."

Madam Malkin's was very busy, but one of her assistants took Lily's measurements and the Evans' took Minerva's suggestion and had a two-year lengthening charm added in case Lily grew taller. The assistant promised the robes would be ready to pick up by the time they were finished shopping. Flourish & Blott's was next door to Madam Malkin's so they stopped there next and purchased all of Lily's textbooks. At the Scribbulus Everchanging Inks, they bought parchment, ink and quills. Lily was delighted with the brand new quills. Following Professor McGonagall's advice, she'd been practicing writing with a quill since last winter, but it wasn't a real good one. She had also learned how to sharpen one which she thought was the hardest part. They were on their way to the apothecary when a boy with messy black hair and a smug expression wearing wire-rimmed glasses slammed out of a shop called Quality Quidditch Supplies, almost knocking Lily over, and said loudly, "Get out of the way, you dumb bint!" He turned around and complained to an older man behind him, "Why can't I have that Phoenix 300 broom, Dad?"

"Mr. Potter!" Minerva yelled. "I do not want to ever hear you use that word again. Don't forget you'll most likely be in my House and I will not tolerate any bratty behavior from you nor will I tolerate you trying to sneak a racing broom in when you know very well first years are not allowed brooms."

The boy glared at Lily as if he thought it was her fault Professor McGonagall had yelled at him.

"Come along, Lily," Minerva said. She led them up the street to Slug & Jiggers Apothecary where they purchased Lily a first-year potion kit, glass phials, a brass scale and dragonhide gloves. At Potage's Cauldron Shop, Lily bought a standard size 2 pewter cauldron and at the Magical Instrument store, she bought a brass telescope. She also acquired a trunk with the school's emblem on it and her initials. Lily's wand was the last thing they bought and they went back down the street to Ollivander's Wand Shop. Lily thought Mr. Ollivander was kind of scary looking with his big silver eyes, but he had a soft voice and a patient manner. It took three tries before Lily found her wand.

"I expect you to show a talent for Charms, Miss Evans, as this wand is made from willow; it's a feminine wood that harnesses the power of moon and water. The core is a phoenix tail feather which is a good choice for someone who wishes to cast protective spells and lasting charms."

"Thank you, Mr. Ollivander. I'll take good care of my wand," Lily said.

As they were walking up the street after stopping at Madam Malkin's to pick up Lily's robes, Paul said. "I believe we have enough money left to buy you an owl."

"Really, Dad?" Lily cried, giving her father a hug.

"It's a good way for Lily to keep in touch with you while she's at Hogwarts. You'll want Eeylops Owl Emporium for that." McGonagall said with a smile, recalling her own first shopping trip as a girl. Lily's excitement reminded her of herself at that age.

It only took Lily about five minutes to find an owl that seem to bond with her immediately. It was a medium sized female with a mostly white underside, and heart-shaped white face. Her back was tawny and marked with black and white spots. She had long legs and dark eyes with a completely round head, but no ear tufts.

"What are you going to call her, dear?" Minerva asked.

Lily thought for a moment then said, "Guinevere."

"It's a lovely name, Lily," Hyacinth said.

"I need to show you one more thing before I leave you and for that we'll need your transportation." They walked back to the Leaky Cauldron, left through the entrance to Charing Cross Road and got into the Evans' car. "I need you to take us to King's Cross Station, Mr. Evans, so I can show Lily how to get onto Platform 9 and ¾ quarters on September 1st."

Paul drove to the station and before they got out of the car, Professor McGonagall transfigured her robes into Muggle clothes. They followed her into the station and she led them to the barrier between Platforms 9 and 10. "To get to Platform 9 and ¾ quarters and the Hogwarts Express you need to walk straight through that barrier. If you feel nervous then it's best to do it at a run," she explained. "I'm afraid you won't be able to go any further than this so you'll need to say goodbye to Lily here." She said to Hyacinth and Paul.

They drove back and dropped Professor McGonagall off at the Leaky Cauldron. "Now if you have any questions, you can owl me at Hogwarts and I'll reply back."

"Thank you so much for all your help, Professor," Hyacinth called.

Minerva waved and disappeared into the Leaky Cauldron again.

During the next two weeks before September first, Lily practiced sharpening and writing with her new quills, reading her textbooks, and practicing some wand movements. The day before she was to leave Lily packed her trunk, making sure her robes wouldn't get wrinkled and nothing could be damaged or broken. She looked at Belinda who was sitting on her bed. She wondered if she should take her with her. Who knew what Tuney might do to her while she was at school so she grabbed Belinda and laid her on top of her robes. She shut her trunk, but didn't lock it. She would do that tomorrow just before she left.

As Hyacinth tucked her in bed that night, she kissed her cheek and said, "I'm going to miss doing this every night."

"I'm going to miss you and Dad so much, Mum," Lily's eyes were tearing a bit. "I won't know anybody at school."

"You'll know Sev and Christmas isn't that far off and you can write us every day if you want and we'll write back."

"Promise?"

"With all my heart," Hyacinth answered.

The next morning Petunia refused to go to King's Cross. "Do you think I'll really miss you? Miss being embarrassed by you in front of my friends or miss all the freaky stuff you do? You must be more stupid than you look!"

Lily was in tears by the time they left the house for the drive to King's Cross. "Why does Tuney hate me so much?" she sobbed.

"She doesn't hate you, Lily; she's just upset because she can't attend Hogwarts, too." Hyacinth said. She didn't reveal she'd found a letter from Headmaster Dumbledore compassionately explaining why Petunia could not attend Hogwarts with her sister. "She'll get over it once she starts back to school with all her friends."

They got to King's Cross in plenty of time and gave Lily final hugs and then watched as she aimed her trolley toward the barrier, started to run and suddenly disappeared into it.

"Let's just wait until eleven," Hyacinth said. "Just to make sure she made it all the way okay."

Paul nodded and put his arm around her as they both watched the clock hands creep towards eleven o'clock.

Lily stopped short as she came completely through the barrier. In front of her was an old-fashioned steam locomotive painted bright red with a huge black smokestack and a long line of cars behind it. She looked up at the sign above her which read Platform 9 and ¾. Lily started to push her trolley down along the cars, looking for a way to get on the train. It was smoky and so crowded that any movement was difficult and slow. Finally she found a door and pulled it open.

"You need any help with that, Miss?" A conductor asked.

"Yes, please. It is a bit heavy," Lily replied. He helped her get her trunk and owl cage into an empty compartment. "Now don't worry about your trunk when you get to Hogsmeade. The house elves will take it and your owl up to the school."

"Thank you for your help, sir."

He tipped his cap to her, smiled and left. Lily decided to change into her school robes so she would be ready when the train arrived at the school. She got out everything she needed, closed and locked her trunk and shoved it under her seat. "I'll be right back, Guinevere," she said to her owl. She found the loo and quickly changed into her uniform and robes. She was walking back to her compartment when she heard Guinevere screeching. She ran down the corridor and saw two boys in her compartment, teasing Guinevere. "Stop teasing Guinevere, you mean toerags!"

They both turned and she saw one of them was the boy who called her the nasty name in Diagon Alley. The other boy had dark, curly, and longish hair and brown eyes. He had a quill in his hand and had been poking it in Guinevere's cage to scare her.

"Well, well, if isn't little Miss Muggleborn," the first one sneered and then said to his friend, "She's the one I was telling you about that got me in trouble with McGonagall. Made my dad change his mind about getting me my broom early. But we don't have to worry about her because Muggleborns are so dumb they're usually sent home within two weeks because they can't learn magic."

"Yeah, my mum says they're all dozy. She says their intelligence is only a bit above a house elves', but with this one I think even that little sod, Kreacher, is smarter than her." They both laughed loudly as if it were the funniest thing ever.

Lily couldn't believe it. They were standing there insulting her as if she couldn't hear them or else she couldn't understand that they were insulting her. She knelt down and with some difficulty, pulled her trunk out from under the seat. Neither of them even offered to help her. She unlocked it and opened it with the intent of putting her clothes inside when she heard a hoot from the boy with the glasses. "Look, Siri, she brought her dolly with her!

"Aww … isn't that just too sweet!" The boy named Siri sneered. "I wonder if she's going to take it to class with her, James?"

Lily shoved her clothes in, slammed her trunk shut and locked it and pushed it back under her seat. She stood and faced her two tormentors. She could feel her lip trembling and her eyes starting to tear. "Why don't you go away and let me alone? I didn't ask you to come in here." Her voice cracked.

"Watch out, Siri, she's going to start crying like the baby she is," James said. "Boo hoo hoo!"

A sudden knock on the compartment door momentarily distracted their attention away from Lily. Another boy stuck his head in. "I wondered if we could share your compartment?"

"Sure, come on in," James said, acting like the compartment was his.

"Are you sure it's all right?" He asked, noticing Lily's expression. She nodded and shrugged. What good would it do to say no? Probably the two louts would just overrule her anyway.

"I'm Remus Lupin," he said extending his hand. He was slender with wavy, light brown, chin-length hair. His eyes were a peculiar amber color that looked almost yellow in the light of the compartment. He had a nice smile and seemed very friendly as he sat down next to Lily. "This's Peter Pettigrew," he said, introducing the other boy who had followed him in. He was short and plump with mousey brown-blond straight hair and blue eyes. He nodded and smiled at them.

The train suddenly started with a jerk and began pulling out of the station. There was another knock on the compartment door and a girl stuck her head in, "Do you mind if we come in?"

"No, Starkey, you can't and neither can Longbottom," James said, eyeing the newcomers with distaste.

"I was here first so it's my compartment and if they want to come in, they can," Lily snapped.

"Thanks." She sat down next to Remus. She had pale blond hair and brown eyes. "I'm Alice Starkey and this is my friend, Frank Longbottom." Frank was tall with brown hair and dark eyes, he gave Lily a nod and a smile.

"I'm Lily Evans and this is Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew."

"And I'm …"

"We know who you are," Alice snapped. She turned to Lily. "He's known to some of us kids as the Bloody Bragging Brat."

"He brags constantly about how rich his family is, everything he got for his birthday and Christmas, everybody they supposedly know," Frank added. "We've all had to listen to him when we've been guests at Potter Manor."

"Well, she brought her dolly with her," James sneered, attempting to divert the attention away from himself. "Siri and I figure she's going to take it to class with her because she's such a big baby!"

"So what? I heard you threw a tantrum worthy of a two year-old in Diagon Alley because your father wouldn't let you have a new broom," Alice said.

"You all know each other then?" Lily asked.

"We've known each other since we're infants," Alice replied.

"Maybe you know a friend of mine," Lily said tentatively. "He used to live next door to me and I just recently found out he was a wizard."

"What's his name?" Frank asked.

"Severus Snape."

"Yes, he's the Prince's grandson. I don't know him very well; he's brilliant, but he keeps to himself." Alice said.

"He's a bloody bore!" James snorted. "Always got his head stuck in a bloody book!"

"You've never opened a book in your life except for a Quidditch book so what would you know about it?" Alice replied. "So he used to live next door to you?"

"Yes, but that was before his parents died."

"Maybe we can go and look for him?" Alice suggested.

Remembering Potter and the other boy had been teasing Guinevere, she decided not to leave again. "No, that's okay. I'll see him at the Sorting."

"What House do you think you'll be in, Siri?" asked Peter.

Sirius looked uncomfortable for a few moments and then said, "Well, as you know my family's always been in Slytherin, but if the Sorting Hat tries to put me there I'm telling it to put me in Gryffindor."

"I don't understand about these Houses," Lily whispered to Alice. "What are they?"

James rolled his eyes. "Trust a Muggleborn to be so dumb that she doesn't know about the greatest of all the Houses, Gryffindor."

"Shut it, Potter," Alice snapped and began to explain to Lily about the Founders and their Houses and the Sorting. "Some families have been in the same House for generations and so the likelihood of them being sorted into that House increases. Since you're Muggleborn, the Hat will use other qualities …"

"She's a Hufflepuff for sure then," Sirius sneered. "All the dummies go in that House."

It was getting darker as the train moved faster through the country. Rain began lashing the windows. Finally, it seemed to be slowing down, then came to halting stop. "We're here!" Alice said jumping up.

As they jumped down from the train, they heard a deep voice calling, "Firs years, firs years! All firs years over here to me!" The voice belonged to a individual who was at stood at least eight or nine foot-high, was three times as wide, weighing probably around five hundred stone, but he had kind eyes and a big smile as the first years crowded around him. "My name's Hagrid and I'm the Keeper of the Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts."

Lily, in her fascination with Hagrid, forgot she was going to look around for Sev. They followed Hagrid to the lake where a fleet of little boats awaited them. "Only four to a boat. We don' want 'em tippin' over now."

Lily carefully stepped into one when it suddenly began to move back and forth violently as if somebody were deliberately rocking it. She would have fallen in the lake if somebody had not grabbed her, keeping her steady until the boat stopping rocking. Before she could thank her Good Samaritan, he or she was gone.

"Huh! Looks as if Little Miss Muggleborn's clumsy as well as stupid!" she heard Potter jeer, then heard Hagrid scolding Potter and Black for fooling around.

The fleet of little boats glided smoothly across the lake with Hagrid's boat in the lead when suddenly they got their first view of Hogwarts. It sat high on the cliffs above them with lights twinkling all over the castle like diamonds.

Lily thought it was one of the most beautiful sights she'd ever seen.

They went under a patch of thick hanging vines into a cave where the boats stopped one by one in front of steps leading up to a walkway. When all the students were disembarked, they followed Hagrid down the walkway and through another door that led outside. Hagrid led them around the castle and up the stone steps to huge double oak doors. He pounded on the door three times with his fist. The door was opened by Professor McGonagall.

"The firs' years, Professor McGonagall."

"Thank you, Hagrid, for bringing them safely across the lake. I'll take them from here."

Hagrid nodded and excused himself. He wanted to get to the feast before the Sorting started.

Professor McGonagall led them into an anteroom off the Great Hall. There she told them they would be seated after they were Sorted. She told them about the four Houses into which they could be Sorted, how their Houses would be like their family and the point system. "While you are at Hogwarts, your triumphs will earn your House points while any rule-breaking will lose your House points. Now, the Sorting Ceremony is ready to start, so please follow me." They got into line, walking two-by-two behind McGonagall. The double oak doors of the Great Hall swung open as she approached. She led them up the middle aisle between the four House tables.

Lily noticed there was an old beat-up looking hat sitting on a stool. To her amazement, the hat moved, a slit appeared, and the hat began singing:

Oh, you may not think I'm pretty,
But don't judge on what you see,
I'll eat myself if you can find
A smarter hat than me.
You can keep your bowlers black,
Your top hats sleek and tall,
For I'm the Hogwarts Sorting Hat
And I can top them all.
There's nothing hidden in your head
The Sorting Hat can't see,
So try me on and I will tell you
Where you ought to be.
You might belong in Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve and chivalry
Set Gryffindors apart;
You might belong in Hufflepuff,
Where they are just and loyal,
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true
And unafraid of toil;
Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,
If you've a steady mind,
Where those of wit and learning,
Will always find their kind;
Or perhaps in Slytherin
You'll make your real friends,
Those cunning folk use any means
To achieve their ends.
So put me on! Don't be afraid!
And don't get in a flap!
You're in safe hands (though I have none)
For I'm a Thinking Cap!


Professor McGonagall stood beside with a scroll of parchment in her hand. "When I call your name, you will sit on the stool, place the Hat upon your head and be Sorted." She unrolled the scroll and called, "Abercrombie, Royce."

He sat down on the stool, put on the Hat and a moment later it yelled, "RAVENCLAW!"

"Avery, Darius."

Avery smirked and the Hat had not even touched his head when it yelled, "SLYTHERIN!"

Lily glanced at the kids around her, looking for Sev, but her attention was pulled back to the Sorting when she heard Professor McGonagall call, "Black, Sirius."

Sirius strode up to the stool, sat down and jammed the Hat on his head. It was a few minutes and she could see him shaking his head underneath the Hat's brim, then it yelled, "GRYFFINDOR!"

"Diggory, Amos."

He sat down and no sooner had he put on the Hat when it yelled out, "HUFFLEPUFF!"

"Evans, Lily."

Lily nervously sat down on the stool and put on the Hat on. Suddenly she heard a little voice saying, "Smart, very smart. You would do well in Ravenclaw, but I think you might find it boring as you also have a strong imagination. You have great loyalty towards your friends and you are a hard worker so you could be in Hufflepuff, but you also have a sense of adventure and while you are ambitious, you are an open book, so not Slytherin. Better be … GRYFFINDOR!"

Lily took off the Hat, got carefully down off the stool and walked over to the Gryffindor table where she sat as far away from Black as she could get.

"LeStrange, Rabastan."

He was immediately sorted into Slytherin as was his twin brother, Rodolphus.

"Longbottom, Frank."

Frank barely sat down and as soon as the Hat touched his head it yelled out, "GRYFFINDOR!"

Remus followed him into Gryffindor as did Mary McDonald, and Peter Pettigrew.

"Potter, James."

James strutted up to the stool, put the Hat on, and five seconds later it yelled out, "GRYFFINDOR!"

Lily groaned. Now she would have to deal with both of those toerags on a daily basis!

Evan Rosier was sorted into Slytherin next, then Professor McGonagall called out, "Snape, Severus."

Lily watched closely as the boy, who was taller than his contemporaries, slender-built with shoulder-length dark hair, moved confidently up to the stool, put the Hat on his head, and a few minutes later it yelled out, "SLYTHERIN!" He got up and carefully placed the Hat back on the stool for the next person and gracefully seated himself at the Slytherin table.

The next person to be sorted was Alice and Lily was so relieved when she heard the hat yell out, "GRYFFINDOR!"

Alice smiled and plopped down next to Lily. Frank was seated on the other side of Lily and Remus was seated across from them and Peter sitting by him.

There were several more names and the last two, Aden Wilkes and Sebastian Zabini were both sorted into Slytherin.

"I can't believe we got that dumb Muggleborn Evans in our House!" James groused loudly. "I bet she ends up causing us to lose loads of points!"

"Yeah, and we gotta have the points to beat the snakes," Sirius said, fixing Lily with a dirty look.

"Ignore those two twits," Alice said. "Between the two of them they probably only have a brain cell each!"

Dumbledore got up and welcomed the first years and welcomed back the returning students. He warned the students to stay out of the forbidden forest and told them that somebody named Mr. Filch had banned all products from somewhere called Zonko's. Finally he clapped his hands together and said, "Let the feast begin."

All kinds of food suddenly appeared on the table. Lily was amazed and wondered who had made all the food. They must have been cooking all the day long. She helped herself to some vegetables, roasted potatoes and slices of chicken. She glanced down the table at Potter and Black. They weren't even putting the food on their plates, but shoveling it directly into their mouths from the bowls and platters within their reaching distance.

"Eww!" Alice exclaimed. "Remind never to sit by those two."

Lily watched Severus across the Hall. He had a book propped in front of him and he was reading it intently. She wished he'd look up so she could wave at him.

After the desserts had vanished, Dumbledore had everybody sing the school song before wishing them a good night's rest. They followed the Prefects out of the Hall and up the main staircase. Lily felt really tired and couldn't wait to get to her bed. Suddenly she cried out as she felt a sharp sting at the back of her leg.

"What's wrong, Lily?" Alice asked.

"I don't know. I think something bit me on my leg." She cried out again at a second sharp stinging sensation on her other leg.

"Mr. Potter, Mr. Black, how dare you attack Miss Evans!" Professor McGonagall yelled. She had been following behind them to make sure nobody had got lost. "I've never had to give detention on the very first day, but I'm making an exception. You will serve detention with me tomorrow evening starting at eight o'clock."

The Prefect stopped in front an enormous painting of an overweight lady dressed in a shocking pink dress that made her look as if she was wearing a crazed circus tent. "The password is Golden Snidget. Please don't forget it because you can't get into the Tower without it." She led them in and explained some of the House rules and pointed to the stairs that led to the dormitories; the girls to the right and the boys to the left.

Lily was glad to find that Alice was in her dormitory. There was also Mary McDonald, a girl named Brenda Cadebury who said she was a half-blood and another girl named Nancy Jenkins who was also a half-blood.

As Lily started to get her nightclothes out of her trunk, Mary started to taunt her. "James says you brought your dolly with you. Are you going to sleep with her tonight?" The other two girls started to giggle, too.

Lily's eyes filled with tears. What so wrong with her bringing Belinda? Couldn't people just leave her alone?

"Shut up, McDonald!" Alice snapped. "I brought my stuffed dragon, George, who I've had since I was five!"

Lily went to the bathroom to undress then came back. She got into bed, holding Belinda close. Maybe it was the wrong decision coming here, but now she was stuck because her mum and dad had probably spent a ton of money on her already and it would all be wasted if she went home. Besides Tuney would never let her forget. Tears silently slid down her face as she fell asleep.

A/N: The Hat's Song is used courtesy of JK Rowling from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, page 117-118, Arthur A. Levine Book, 1997.

 


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