Chapter 3 : Lily
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After having watched for what felt like years, Lily grew tired of just being a spectator as it only made her want to play even more, so she stared down at the ground and swung her legs, kicking the grass. She liked the sound it made as the bottom of her shoes whipped against the blades, and even started humming along with it, inventing a little melody in her head.
As small children often do, little Lily became so completely absorbed in her game that she soon forgot all about her father and brothers and their Quidditch match; she just kept performing her own little garden orchestra piece, humming along with her invented songs as she played. To her ears and imagination, the ‘swoosh’ of the air and the clap of the blades of grass against her shoes were like wind instruments and drums, and her humming was the voice of a seasoned soprano. Together, they all formed the sweetest music she’d ever heard.
The youngest Potter was so busy composing a new, faster piece that she didn’t notice when her father and brothers ended their game and descended, dismounting from their brooms just a short distance away from her. When her oldest brother James called out to her, asking if she agreed that her two brothers had nearly beaten their father, she was a little upset at being interrupted, but nevertheless she nodded her head and smiled at James in response, jumping up off the bench just in time for him to ruffle her hair as he walked past. Lily’s father chuckled in response to this and said, “In your dreams, son” playfully as he and all three of his children began making their way towards the house by the light of the setting sun.
Lily brought up the rear, walking slowly behind her family and making an extra effort to whip her shoes against the blades of grass with each step, wanting to hear the sweet sound just a few more times before she went inside for the night. And, because she was the last in the line of Potters walking inside, she was the first to hear the whining sound.
The redhead stopped immediately and looked around, wondering what the sound was and where it could be coming from. When she noticed the tiny pair of scared-looking eyes peeking out from the nearby bush, rather than to be frightened, her first instinct was to walk over and try to find out what this poor, whining creature was.
As soon as she leaned her face down near the bush, a small, white-furred four-legged creature walked out of it slowly, its two tails tucked down between its hind legs. Lily was positive it was the cutest thing she’d ever seen, and her heart ached for this poor little puppy who was clearly lost and in need of a good home.
“Well hello there!” she said brightly. Without one moment’s hesitation or fear, she reached out and petted it on the head, and the puppy responded by jumping into her arms and licking her on the face, causing Lily to burst into fits of laughter.
“Daddy, look!” she cried between giggles, “It’s a lost puppy! Can we keep him?”
Instead of the “Yes, absolutely!” response she was hoping for, what Lily heard instead was a horrified cry of, “Lily! Get away from that thing!”
Startled and confused as to why her father was yelling, Lily slowly backed away from the pup, which caused it to start whining once more. She wanted to go back and comfort the crying animal, but the way her father was running over with wild eyes and his wand aimed made her afraid to do so.
Harry reached the bush in just a moment and ordered James to make sure his sister was okay while he kept his wand aimed at the creature, preparing to conjure some sort of cage to trap it in. As James checked Lily over for any cuts, scrapes, or bite marks, she began to cry.
“Daddy it didn’t hurt me, it’s just a little puppy and he’s all alone. Can we keep him Daddy, please?”
“No, Lily, we can’t,” Harry replied. “I’m not sure what that is, but it’s not a dog – it’s got two tails! I’ve never seen anything like it before and it could be dangerous.”
“But he’s not dangerous Daddy, he licked me!” Lily argued. “He likes me!”
“You let it lick you?!” Harry cried, now turning his attention away from the puppy to examine his daughter for himself. Lily didn’t respond, she just stared at her father with wide, tear-filled eyes, not understanding what was happening.
Sensing his little sister’s sadness, James told his father, “Dad, she’s fine. It didn’t hurt her, it seems harmless enough to me.”
“Well I’m not willing to risk your sister’s life just on the fact that it seems harmless, James. Take Lily inside, we’ll take her to St. Mungo’s, just in case.”
Little Lily began to cry even harder now, not wanting to go to St. Mungo’s or abandon the puppy. Before she could open her mouth to protest, however, the back door of their family home opened, revealing a very concerned-looking Ginny. Without a moment’s hesitation, Lily flew to her mother’s side, clinging on to her for dear life and glaring out at her father and brothers with a hurt look. She knew if anyone would be on her side about this, it was her mum.
Ginny was a bit taken back at first, but her arms quickly wrapped around her daughter protectively as she asked her husband, “What’s all this yelling about?”
Trying to communicate the seriousness of the situation without alarming his wife, Harry said calmly, “Lily’s found some sort of strange animal over here, and she let it lick her. I’m sure she’s fine, but we’ll need to take her to St. Mungo’s, just to be safe.”
Horrified, Ginny gasped, tightened her grip on her daughter and asked, “What sort of creature?”
“I’m not sure,’ Harry replied. “It looks a bit like a dog, but-“
The elder redhead didn’t let her husband finish his sentence. “A dog?” she asked with raised eyebrows. “You want to take Lily to St. Mungo’s because a dog licked her?”
“No, it’s not a dog, Ginny. It looks like a dog, but it’s got two tails. I’ve never seen anything like it before,” Harry replied.
Ginny gasped once more. “Two tails? Is it a crup?” She looked down at her daughter, addressing her this time. “Did you find a crup, dear?” As Lily didn’t know the answer, she merely looked up at her mother with a pout and shrugged her shoulders. “Well let’s find out then, shall we?” Ginny continued.
Removing her arms from around her daughter and taking hold of her hand, instead, Ginny began making her way over to where Harry was standing, looking around on the ground for the mystery creature. When she saw it, her face lit up. “Oh, it is a crup!” she exclaimed. “He’s so adorable!” She immediately squatted down and began calling the animal over to her.
“Ginny, I don’t think that’s a good id-“ Harry began, but his wife cut him off once more.
“Oh, hush, Harry!” she said in a voice that reminded Harry of her mother’s. “It’s a crup, a magical dog breed. I'm certain you've seen one before in Care of Magical Creatures class, and if you'd paid any attention then you'd know that he’s completely harmless.” She continued calling the crup over to her, and in just a few moments’ time, the entire family, minus Harry, of course, was on their knees petting and playing with the pup, who was clearly enjoying the attention.
Lily asked once more if they could keep the crup, this time echoed by her older brothers. But, though Ginny wanted to say “yes” immediately, she knew that Harry was uncomfortable with the situation, so she merely told the children that she and their father would have to discuss it later, but that for now they could at least make sure the puppy had food and water. And as James, with his mother’s supervision, carried the puppy inside their home, Lily hung back a bit to ask her other brother a question that had been weighing on her mind for several minutes now.
“Al,” she began quietly, “Why does Daddy hate puppies?”
Al snorted in response. “He doesn’t hate puppies, Lils. He just didn’t know that was a puppy.”
“But, he aimed his wand at it!” Lily replied. “He was going to hurt it!”
“He wasn’t going to hurt it,” her older brother corrected. “He was just trying to protect you.”
“But it wasn’t even dangerous. So why?” Lily asked, clearly not able to wrap her head around their father’s behavior.
In response, Albus threw his head back and laughed for a moment before wrapping his right arm around his sister’s shoulder and leaning down to whisper in her ear. “That, little sister,” he said matter-of-factly, “Is his ‘Savior’ thing.”
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