Petunia didn’t even come to the station.
She didn’t even show up to see me off. I’m not coming home until Christmas, and she didn’t come to say goodbye to me. She officially wants nothing to do with me. I suppose it was official when all my letters came back unopened first year. It was official in my third year when she threw out the chocolate frog I gave her for Christmas. I suppose it was official when she decided to spend the summer at her friend’s country home with her family after I got back from school last year. So clearly, she just doesn’t like me anymore.
No matter. I have plenty of friends, even if I did lose one last year.
I don’t need help from a mudblood.
Yeah, Severous Snape is definitely out. But I still have Alice, who is undoubtedly snogging some bloke in a compartment, and will make him leave once I find them. Oh, Alice.
Then there is Marlene and Mary, my other roommates. I’m better friends with Marlene than with Mary, but we’re all pretty close. I’m closest with Alice out of all of them, and we call Marlene and Mary M an’ M, because they are so similar. And Erica too, she’s my last roommate. She spends most of her time with Serious Black, who she’s been in love with since second year.
And then there are the Marauders, James Potter, Serious Black, Remus Lupin, and Peter Pettigrew. I’m not exactly sure if they count as my friends, but Potter has been asking me out since fourth year. It’s sort of routine now. He says
“Oi, Evans!” and I say
“No.” And we do talk to each other during class, and at meals. Unless he’s done something outrageous to make me mad at him, or I’m PMSing, in which case it is dangerous for even Alice to talk to me. But Slughorn did assign me to be his Potions tutor, and he has improved greatly since I started working with him.
Speak of the devil…
“Oi, Evans!” comes the familiar shout from across the platform. The tall, lanky form of James Potter makes its way towards me. He gives me a hug and helps me get my bags on the train.
“So, Evens, are you going to accept my invitation this year? To sit with us on the train?” he says, as he has every year since we were thirteen.
“Don’t you need that time to plan something horrendous that will get you all detention? I’m sitting with Alice!” and with that I leave him.
To my surprise, Alice is sitting alone when I find her. She jumps up to greet me.
“Now we just have to wait form M an’ M and Erica” she says as I sit down, though she knows Erica will most likely be with Serious.
Alice Prewit, who I befriended in my first year when we were made roommates, is the greatest person I know. She always knows just what to say, what to do, and who to gossip about. She dates someone new each year, but she never gets too serious. I don’t think she has ever told a boy she loves him, or ever had anyone say it to her. She goes to parties, and still manages to keep up on her school work (with help from me of course). She can be deep, or shallow, and she always, always, ALWAYS, wants to hear about what’s going on with me and James. That, that last one right there, that one gets a little annoying.
And because I just told you that…
“So I saw you talking to Potter outside” she says leaning forward. Her arms are on her knees, her lips are pursed, and her eyes are unblinking. Everything about the way she is sitting right now says ‘spill.’
So I tell her what I always tell her. That James and I just had a passing conversation and it doesn’t mean anything. Of course, she argues with me, saying that James and I have some great deep connection and all this romantic shit that she doesn’t even believe in, until someone walks into the compartment.
“Get out dipshit!” she cries at a very scared looking Remus Lupin.
Did I mention she’s a raging bitch?
“Sorry” says Remus “Just looking for Lily. We have to do prefect rounds.”
“Shit I forgot” I say getting up from my seat. “Tell Marlene and Mary and Erica I say hi, I’ll see you all at the feast” and I run after Remus, glad of an excuse to stop talking about James.
Erica is babbling in French about Serious (did I mention she’s trilingual? Italian, French, and English, but English is her first language) and Marlene and Mary are catching up from the summer, so no one is really listening to Erica. Why? Because Alice and I are staring down the table at a group of five sixth year boys. They are all roommates. One of them is Frank Longbottom. The rest of them are the marauders.
“God I wish I could hear what they were saying” says Alice after about three minutes of attempted lip-reading. “You know Frank wrote me almost every day over the summer?”
“Yes Alice, you told me that in practically every letter” I say, not taking my eyes off of James. He hasn’t had a go at me all night. Not one word since we saw each other on the platform. This can only mean one of two things. He doesn’t want to be friends, or he has what he thinks is an ingenious plan to make me fall in love with him. It’s probably the second one, seeing as that tends to happen a lot.
After the feast, Remus and I lead the first years to the Griffindore common room, and then come back down for a prefects meeting, after which we go back up to the tower.
“Lily wait” says Sev–erm, I mean Snape–grabbing my arm.
“I’m not speaking to you” I say and try to pull away, but he keeps holding my arm.
“I said I was sorry” he says spinning me around so we make eye contact, and for a moment I consider forgiving him. I didn’t have him to talk to this summer, because I was too busy being mad at him and all, but part of me wants him back. We had grown apart before, but that one day last year really blew it. And the time before that, and the time before that. Every time he called me a mudblood.
“Let go of me” I say, pulling my wrist from his grasp, and follow Remus up the stairs.
Remus and I don’t talk all the way up to the common room, but just before I say the password, he stops me.
“James can take him you know” he says. Well obviously James can take him. He’s more athletic, and much more street smart than Snape. But Remus’s words are deeper than that. James is better for you. Snape is going to become a Death Eater. James will always be there for you. I’m not sure if James put him up to this, but I can’t help but believe that what Remus is saying is true. Maybe I should go out with James, just to give it a go.
But first, I’ll need to sleep on it.
“Felix Felicius” I say, and rush through the portrait hole and up to my dorm, where my roommates are currently doing things such as curling their hair and deciding which shoes they should wear tonight. “Where are you girls going?” I say, a bit confused.
“Didn’t you hear about the Ravenclaw party tonight?” says Alice.
“Of course I heard about it, that doesn’t mean I’m going. And you all shouldn’t either. It’s our first night back and it’s already after curfew” I say, picking up a book and sitting on my bed with a bag of lemon drops. I always bring a bag of lemon drops from home, and I have mum send more when I run out. It’s the only thing about this place that’s muggle.
“Potter’s gonna be there” says Marlene, as if this is supposed to make me jump up and start caking my face with makeup.
“All the more reason not to go” I say.
“Boo, you whore” says Alice as the girls are leaving, which only makes me laugh. I’m not the one wearing a skirt up my arse and so much eye makeup that I look like a raccoon.
I sit in the common room for a while with my book, but around midnight I decide to go up to bed. But I don’t even get half way up the stairs before someone walks into the common room. Or rather, four some ones. Peter Petigrew stumbles upstairs past me and into his dorm, with the others closely in tow. The only difference is, James, Seirious, and Remus don’t go into their room. James does, but he quickly emerges with a long piece of fabric, it looks like a velvet blanket or something.
“Oi, Evans!” he whispers. “You in?”
“Ok first of all, I’m right here; you don’t have to oi me. And second, am I in for what?”
“We’re raiding” says James.
I know from talking with Remus on our Prefect shifts last year that when James says raiding, he means pranking. Filling the shampoo in the Head Boy/Girls bathroom with purple hair die. Turning the Great Hall upside down (yes, he really did do that). And for some reason, I can tell that he wants to do something to the Slitherins. Maybe it’s the way that Remus is looking around. He looks a little guilty, but still mischievous, and his eyes say ‘he’s doing it for you.’ So I figure, why the hell not?
And that’s how I got on my first raid. We all huddle under the velvet blanket, which turns out to be James’ invisibility cloak, and creep down to the dungeons. Remus and I are both prefects, so we can get into their common room pretty easily. They guys run upstairs and put a jinx on everyone in Slitherin house to turn all their hair bright red. They also stick posters of muggles and of the Griffindore quidditch team on all the walls while I sit in the common room buzzing with excitement. Once the boys are down in the common room with me, I point my wand at the steps and whisper “molis crur.” No one will be able to walk down those steps tomorrow without instantly losing their balance. Their legs will turn to jelly!
As we run back to the common room, I pop a lemon drop into my mouth. The comforting sweet taste of lemon spreads through me. It makes me feel, not so afraid of what shadows might be lurking around the corner. Bring it Peeves. And as for Filch? I’ll eat his cat. Yeah, I went there.
Of course Pettigrew is awake and waiting for us when we get back, and he immediately starts whining that we didn’t bring him along but ‘Evans got to go? She’s a girl!’ It just makes us all laugh until he storms off to bed, his face too red to be healthy.
“Did you have fun?” says James as we pass my dormitory. For a moment I consider lying and threatening to get him in trouble for what we just did, but he seems like he genuinely hopes that I enjoyed myself. And I did. His eyes are eager to hear my response, so I don’t keep him waiting any longer.
“Yeah, I did” I say, and realize that it wasn’t just because we were trashing the Slitherins. It did have something to do with the people.