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Lily Evans, Witch by threelittlestars
Format: Short story
Chapter 1: Cokeworth
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Welcome to my first story! This short story wil take place over eight chapters, with this chapter covering the year prior to Lily attending Hogwarts, and then one chapter for each year of Hogwarts after. I hope you'll embark on this adventure with me!
Disclaimer: I own no part of the Wonderful Wizarding World... anything you recognize (apart from Emmeline) belongs to J.K. Rowling.
One January morning, as the sun rose over the English Midlands and graced the small industrial town in its wake, the inhabitants of Cokeworth were already stirring. The factory was hard at work, as indicated by the copious amount of grey clouds pouring from the smokestack. The town was no stranger to determination and dedication – the men tromped their way to the factory doors as the sun poked its head over the horizon, the wives packed lunches and kissed their little ones on their way to school, and the small shop owners readied their wares for the day.
On a small, quiet street, a little girl was blinking awake as her sister came running into the room. “Happy birthday, Lily!” she sang as she pranced around, a small parcel wrapped in blue in her little hands. The girl was petite, blond, and had a rather long neck, but she was smiling a sweet smile as she looked down at her baby sister.
“Tuney, what time is it?” Lily asked, laughing, as she swung her legs out of bed. “Is that for me?”
Petunia’s grin grew wider as she proudly handed the small box over to Lily’s waiting hand. In a matter of seconds, blue paper scattered the floor and a small flower glistened in her pale hands. “Oh Tuney! It’s beautiful!” Lily’s green eyes were shining with joy as she turned the paperweight over and over, examining every edge of the glass flower.
“It’s a petunia, so you’ll always think of me…” came the shy reply. Lily glanced up at her sister in surprise. She racked her brains, trying to come up with a reason for this odd statement. Why would Lily need reminding of Petunia? Weren’t they always going to be together?
Seeing the look on Lily’s face, Petunia cleared her throat nervously and said, “I don’t mean now, but, you know, for the future. We don’t know where we’ll be if… if... well you know.” She shrugged helplessly.
Lily slowly rose from the bed and wrapped her arms around her sister. “Tuney. No matter what, we’re always sisters. Best mates, even! And we love each other. I could never forget you, even if you go to that school!” She was, of course, thinking of St. Madeline’s Grammar School. Petunia had wanted to attend ever since their neighbor Sophie had been accepted and was whisked away to the glamour and rank of the London school. It was everything she had hoped and dreamed of – a school full of proper girls and useful classes, everything Petunia would need to settle well in life and escape the smog and calluses of Cokeworth. “We’ll write, and I’ll beg mum to let me visit!”
“You could apply too! Two years from now, you could be joining me! Think of it, Lily. Imagine us, the Evans sisters, taking London’s elite by storm!” Petunia threw her arms out to emphasize her words. “Goodbye, Cokeworth! Goodbye, shabby brick houses! Goodbye, smoke-filled streets!”
Giggling, Lily shook her head. “No, no I think I’m perfectly happy right here. You know I would never fit in at St. Mad’s. What would they think of my scraped up knees and tattered dress edges? I love my adventures too much! No, Tuney, St. Madeline’s is your calling. I’ll take my streams, flowers, and toads!”
Petunia’s smile faltered at these words. “That’s all right, but what if I don’t get my letter? What if I’m denied? I’m a girl from Cokeworth” She spat the final word out with a venomous tone. Lily didn’t like that at all. Petunia not get accepted? Never.
“You just wait, Tuney. This time next month, you’ll be shopping for your new uniform.” Lily replied with confidence. “You are perfect, made for attending such a fancy school!”
“You don’t – ”
Petunia’s reply was cut short when the door opened again, revealing Mrs. Evans. She was a tall, hardy woman with dark red hair that flowed over her shoulders and a face, once deemed breath-taking, that was lined and faded with the years of the hard work that all of the residents of their little town knew too well. Upon seeing her daughters, her face broke into a smile. “Good morning, my loves. It’s time to stop dwaddling – school calls!” Her girls made for the door. “Oh, and happy birthday, Lily dear.” She wrapped her arms around her youngest child’s small frame and gave her a warm hug. “Eleven! My how you grow.”
The air was frosty and harsh, swirling flakes around and buffeting the faces of those brave enough to challenge its domain. Two little bundles of coats and scarves made their way slowly up the street, one of them hopping along and trying to catch the snowflakes in her outstretched mittens. “Lily, be careful! You’ll slip!”
Just as Petunia’s warning rang out, Lily’s feet found a patch of ice and she tumbled down. Petunia hurried to her side, prepared for broken ankles or bruised knees, only to find that her sister was giggling madly and already pushing herself up. “Did you see? Did you see what I did? I slowed myself down, Tuney! It was – ”
“Don’t Lily! Don’t… shhhh… don’t!” moaned Petunia, looking around wildly. “Someone might hear you!” Her voice dropped to a whisper, “it isn’t right.”
“It’s better than right, it’s magic!” The sisters spun around to see a dark headed boy peering out at them from the nearby alley. “Happy birthday, Lily.”
“Sev! Oh, I’m so glad to see you! Won’t you join us for my birthday tea? But, Petunia, where are you going?” Petunia was stalking away, her nose in the air. She did not reply. Lily turned back to Severus, her face downcast. “Why does she do that?”
“She doesn’t understand. She’s only a muggle” sneered Severus “She’s just jealous!”
“Severus! Don’t say that. She’s my sister!” Lily glared up at her friend. “If you’re going to act that way, then I will just see you tomorrow.”
Severus had the decency to look ashamed. “No, Lily. I won’t… please don’t go. I have a present for you.” He held out a small box. “It’s a chocolate frog. They’re really good, and you can start collecting the cards! I saved up…”
Lily took the box gratefully and gave her friend a quick hug. “Thank you, Sev. Eleven! Do you really think I’ll get my letter this summer? That we’ll be going to learn -” she glanced around and then whispered “magic?”
Severus Snape watched her face as she spoke, a greedy look in his eye. “We’ll go together.”
Several months passed, the school term ended, and Lily continued to see the Snape boy from a few streets over. Petunia disapproved, but Lily couldn’t stop herself from spending time with him. He told her about the magical world and described the wonderful things there, such as flying on brooms and owls delivering letters. She could hardly believe that she would be joining it! But now it was the middle of July, and still, no letter had come. Lily tried not to feel discouraged – what if Severus had been wrong about her?
A knock at the door rang out through the little house. The sound carried up the flight of stairs, up to the small bedroom where Lily and Petunia sat, playing dolls. It was curt, short, and polite. When Mrs. Evans opened the door, it revealed a woman exactly like the knock: she was rather stern looking, with her hair tied back in a knot at the base of her skull. She wore a smart blouse of emerald and a set of crisp, black dress pants. Her glasses were perched on a straight, long nose and her dark eyes looked shrewdly out over them. “Mrs. Evans? My name is Minerva McGonagall. May I come in?”
Mrs. Evans was taken aback. Strangers were not common in Cokeworth, especially not this kind of stranger. She stepped back and allowed her guest to pass into the hall. The two Evans girls peeked over the banister and gazed curiously down. Glancing up at her children, Mrs. Evans said, “Can I interest you in a cup of tea … Ms. McGonagall?” She led the way down the hallway to the quaint sitting room.
Pictures of the happy family lined the mantle of a modest fireplace. Two little girls holding hands and smiling at the camera, one of Mr. Evans and a beaming Lily at the park, one of the girls and their mum coloring at the table, and a beautiful wedding photo. As Lily followed the strange woman into the room, she noticed her studied interest in the pictures, almost as if she was surprised to see them. Strange…
Lily perched herself on the worn sofa and motioned to Petunia to join her. Their mum bustled about, making tea and gathering their nicest china for the occasion. “My husband will be here soon. He gets home around this time… are you here to see him about the factory?”
“I am here to speak to both of you about your daughter” said the visitor. “I presume you are Lily Evans?” Lily jumped slightly at being address and turned towards the stern-looking woman in shock. How did she know her name? Had she heard of Lily’s strange talents and come to take her away? She took a deep breath and willed herself to sound brave.
“Yes. Who are you, exactly?”
“Forgive me, dear.” She replied, with a kind smile. “I would like to wait for your parents before we discuss that. We do have much to discuss. Biscuit?” A tartan tin was produced from seemingly nowhere and offered to the girls. Lily cautiously took a gingersnap and started to munch on it, while Petunia wrinkled her nose.
The sound of the front door opening and closing sent the elder girl hurrying back down the hallway. A moment later, Petunia returned, her hand clasping her father’s tightly. Mr. Evans swept his eyes around the room and then looked at his wife, a question in his gaze. “This is Minerva McGonagall. She has come to - ?” Mrs. Evan’s answer was cut off as she turned to the older woman. “I actually don’t know why...”
Mr. Evans seemed to give himself a shake before turning to greet the visitor, hand extended. “Harold Evan, ma’am. Pleasure.” They shook hands and then seated themselves on the armchairs that stood on either side of the fireplace. “What can I do you for?"
“Now, this may come as a wee shock, but I ask that you listen to what I have come to say. Have you ever noticed anything … different … about Lily? Anything special?” Mr. and Mrs. Evans exchanged a glance. Lily felt relief wash over her. This woman wasn’t here to take her to the loony bin! She now knew what this visit must be about. She glanced at her parents. She knew they were thinking of all of the things she could do. She could jump off a swing and soar. She could make flowers dance in the wind! How could she not have known who this strange woman was? It was finally happening! Lily had to clamp her mouth shut over the excited squeal that tried to escape.
These reactions did not go unnoticed by Minerva McGonagall. She chuckled lightly and said, “Lily is a very special little girl. She was born with certain… talents. I am a professor at a school for children just like Lily. I am here to offer her a spot at the school for the upcoming year. She will learn to harness these… talents… and learn about her world.” Professor McGonagall put her hand into her pocket, withdrawing a strange, heavy envelope. She handed it to Lily and nodded. “Go on, Miss Evans.”
Lily stood in the bathroom. She was gazing at the mirror, examining her reflection. She had her mother’s dark red hair, her father’s almond-shaped, bright green eyes, and shared the same pale skin as her sister. Yet, she was unique. She was special. She watched as a smile slowly spread across her face, stuck out her hand to an invisible person and said “Lily Evans, Witch.”
Author's Note: Hello! Thank you for reading my story - it's the first one I've ever tried to write... I sincerely hope you've enjoyed this first chapter. Let me know what you think in the reviews :)
Chapter 2: Hogwarts and Houses
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Each chapter from here on will cover one year at Hogwarts. Welcome to first year! Enjoy.
Disclaimer: I own no part of the Wonderful Wizarding World... anything you recognize (apart from Emmeline) belongs to J.K. Rowling.
The English countryside was a blur as the train sped north. Fields were golden streaks, lakes were just blue flashes, and the sky was a grey smudge. Lily had never been so far north before; she watched in fascination as the landscape changed around her – mountains were just visible on the horizon in the fading light. She was headed to Scotland, to Hogwarts! Lily felt a strange mix of excitement, apprehension, and sorrow. Her cheeks felt slightly damp from the tears that had streamed down them a short while ago. She sighed again and shifted so that she could press her forehead against the cool window…
The day had started off well enough. She had rose with the sun, too excited to sleep in, and had checked her trunk for the fifth time. Her parents had seemed to be in a cheery mood when she joined them for breakfast. Her mum had given her a hug and a plate stacked high with bacon and eggs. Her dad had ruffled her hair and said, “Lily, my dear, today’s the day! Today, you make us proud.” She had almost cried.
Lily had always been worried about how her parents would react when they learned what she was, and she had every reason to if Petunia’s reaction was any indication. When Professor McGonagall had revealed it, however, her parents had been thrilled. Shocked at first, but very pleased. They had braved the strange Diagon Alley with an enthusiasm to almost match Lily’s. Almost. They had even splurged to buy her a pet – her very own owl! She had picked out a modest-looking tawny owl with beautiful brown and white feathers and had named her Circe. Circe was currently asleep in her cage on the seat next to Lily.
But Lily and Circe were not alone in their compartment. Lily had been settled in and patiently waiting for the train to move when the door had slid open and a young boy had stuck his head in. When Lily made no objection, he had claimed a seat, promptly propped his feet up, and busied himself in a magazine. Lily had been curious at first (a wizarding magazine?) but lost interest when she noticed the title – Which Broomstick?. The two young students had been joined by another couple of boys as the train started moving and the compartment was filled with rowdy conversation and boasting.
Lily had sighed again and moved her head slightly to the left to access more cool glass when the compartment door slid open yet again and a familiar curtain of black hair entered.
Lily couldn’t believe her eyes! The Great Hall was even better than she had pictured – thousands of candles floated in the air, giving a cheery light to the enormous room. The four, long tables were full of inquisitive eyes as she followed her fellow first years to the top of the hall. The ceiling was an expanse of velvety blue, speckled with stars and a brilliant crescent moon, the goblets and plates on each table sparkled gold in the candlelight, and the magnificent stone walls towed above with their grand windows.
In front of her, Lily could see a large line of professors, all sitting at the head table and watching their progression with interest. She recognized the man in the middle from one of her books, Great Wizards of our Time, Albus Dumbledore. He had a long, crooked nose, flowing silvery-white hair and beard, and blue eyes that were twinkling merrily along with the flickers of the candles. He caught her eyes and gave her a small smile - Lily decided she liked him already.
As she returned her attention to Professor McGonagall, Lily heard Severus take a deep breath. He had told her that they would have to take a test of some kind to be sorted into their houses, but they had been unable to figure out what that test was. They had scoured Hogwarts, A History and The Founders Four in a desperate attempt to be prepared, but it seemed that the Wizarding community was determined to keep it a secret. Lily reached out and gave Severus’ hand a quick squeeze before dropping it again. They stood there, quiet and focused, as Professor McGonagall put a stool in front of the head table and gently set something on top. Lily had to get up on her tiptoes to see what it was –
“A hat?” Severus’ surprised whisper was a bit too loud. Several chuckles rang out from the students nearest to the pair and Lily saw his face flush scarlet. She fought to keep a straight face and returned her attention up front, just as a rip near the seam of the hat opened wide and the hat began to sing!
Applause rang through the hall as the Sorting Hat finished its song. Professor McGonagall turned to Lily and her classmates and informed them that they would sit on the stool and place the hat on their heads when their name was called. Then she began to call out names…
“Avery, Robert” A rather skinny boy with a mop of tawny-brown hair sauntered up to the stool and allowed the professor to place the hat on his head. For a moment, Lily was left wondering what would happen before – “SLYTHERIN!” The boy stood up and made his was to the far table to join his new housemates. Lily turned her head again to look at Severus – he was gazing after Avery with a thoughtful expression.
As if he could feel her gaze, Severus turned his attention to Lily and gave her a small smile. For the second time that night, Lily gave his hand a small squeeze before returning her gaze to the front of the hall. Two other students had been sorted, and now a boy was making his way to the stool. Lily recognized him from the train – he was the boy who said his family was all in Slytherin. I wonder if he will be too…
The hat cried out “GRYFFINDOR!” and there was a small gasp from the Slytherin table. Lily craned her neck to see what had happened, only to see a small group of students staring at the boy, gobsmacked. A girl with long, blonde hair leaned towards the girl next to her and started to whisper furiously. If the boy noticed, he did not show it. He stood up slowly from the stool and made his way to the opposite end of the hall. The Gryffindors were cheering for him and Lily saw him beam as he took a seat at their table, looking quite at ease.
Several more students were called up to be sorted before she heard her own name called out. Taking a deep breath, Lily started forward. She turned around and sat on the stool, taking care to keep her chin up. She had a fleeting view of the hundreds and hundreds of eyes peering up at her before Professor McGonagall placed the hat on her head. Staring around into the inside of the beaten up hat, Lily gave a small jump when she heard a voice: “Ah, what a refreshing mind! I see plenty of talent and determination… but also a potential for a sense of loyalty and bravery of the likes that I have not seen in years. Interesting… interesting… But where will you flourish? Yes… yes! It must be – GRYFFINDOR!”
Lily felt a thrill rush through her body, a warm sensation that filled her up, as happiness bubbled up and exploded out of her in the form of a wide grin. She heard clapping and beamed out at the Gryffindor table – no! her table! As she rushed to join her house, she beamed at Severus as she passed and whispered “good luck!”
The boy who she watched get sorted before her patted the seat next to him and she sat down, still smiling. Lily remembered how he had snubbed her and Severus on the Express, but she was never one to make snap judgments, so when the boy stuck out his hand and said “Sirius Black,” she grasped it, nodded her head once and replied with her own name. “It’s amazing, isn’t it? Being here. I’ve been waiting for this for…” but he was cut off by the applause of another Gryffindor being welcomed to their table. They both joined in and settled down to watch the rest of their year be sorted.
Slowly, each student was sorted and joined their tables. Several more students joined Lily and Sirius at the Gryffindor table – a pretty girl named Emmeline Holder, a shy boy with sandy hair called Remus Lupin, a small, round boy by the name of Peter Pettigrew, and finally, the other boy from the train - James Potter. Severus was now one of the last students remaining in front of the sorting hat. Lily crossed her fingers under the table when his named was called. She watched as he sat down on the stool and as the hat covered the top half of his face. She held her breath and waited one second… two seconds… three seconds… and then – “SLYTHERIN!”
September quickly faded into October as Lily settled in to life at Hogwarts. She was sitting in the Great Hall, enjoying a meal with her dormmates. As she bit into a slice of treacle tart, she hummed in approval. Maybe it was the magic of the castle, but Lily had never tasted such good food before. Even her own mother’s cooking paled in comparison to the meals at school.
“He’s staring at you again.” Lily followed Emmeline’s gaze to see Severus looking at them from the Slytherin table. She felt a grin spread across her face and stood up.
“I’ll see you guys in Charms!” With a small wave, she set off to join her best friend.
“Lily, where are you going?” Lily suddenly found her way blocked by a shock of jet-black, wild hair and a pair of glasses. “Not to join Snape again?”
Lily sighed. “James… what’s it to you?”
“He gives me the creeps, Lily. He knows things he shouldn’t! I saw him practicing some dark stuff in the library. He’s bad news. You shouldn’t hang around with –”
“Look Potter, I can decide who I should hang with for myself. It isn’t up to you! Believe it or not, but you don’t know best. Now move.” James had an ugly look on his face and grabbed her arm as she tried to shove past him.
“Fine Evans. Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you.” He sat back down next to Sirius and turned his back resolutely on her. Lily shot his back one last glare before continuing on her way to Severus.
“I can talk to him – I’ll get him to stop! Who does he think he is?” Lily reached out and placed her hand comfortingly on Severus’ arm.
“Severus… it’s fine. It doesn’t matter what they say! I don’t care if James and his friends don’t think… well. Let’s not bother ourselves about it. Tell me about quidditch again!” Severus gave Lily his little smile and plunged into a topic they both loved:
“You know, it truly is amazing to see! The rules are simple enough – it’s the strategies and actually playing them out that are the challenge. If the beater succeeds in forcing the opposing chaser to drop the quaffle, how does his team go about retrieving it and then staying in possession?” Severus’ eyes glinted with passion and he used his hands to stress each sentence. “I can’t wait to tryout next year. It’ll be so… but you’ve still not seen a match! Oh Lily, you just wait for Saturday!”
Lily giggled and joined in, “It cannot come soon enough! Gryffindor versus Slytherin! Oh how I wish we could sit together. But I shall be wearing brilliant gold and you silver. But the lions shall be victorious!” She emphasized her point with a sharp prod to the boy’s shoulder.
Severus shook his head, poorly concealing a laugh of his own. “I think you’ll find that the Slytherin team is more than capable of – oh you’ve got to be joking!” He jerked his head to their right. They were sitting in a corner of the library, surrounded by dusty old tomes, and skulking behind the nearest stacks, barely visible between the books, were four boys. They were peering out at the two friends and whispering. Before Severus or Lily could do anything, James and Sirius had emerged from the aisle and were stalking towards them. Severus cursed under his breath (“Severus!” admonished Lily) and drew out his wand.
“What’s the matter, Snape? Don’t want company?” Sirius gave Severus a sneer worthy of his surname. “Telling Evans here all about your mummy’s favorite curses?”
Severus stood up abruptly, leveling his wand at Sirius’ head. James and Sirius were quick to mirror his actions, pointing their wands at him in turn. “Shut it. You know nothing” Severus spat, “why don’t you –”
Before he could finish his sentence, Sirius had slashed his wand through the air, saying “petrificus totalus!” and Severus grew rigid, falling to the floor with a thunk.
Lily sputtered with rage and whipped her own wand out, leveling it at her fellow Gryffindors. “Undo it. Undo it now!” Her hand was shaking, but she kept her eyes steadily trained on them. “Potter! Black!”
James flashed her a mischievous grin and stepped forward, waving his wand and muttering something under his breath. Severus, released from his state, sat up, and Lily crouched down next to him. “Come on, Evans! We’re just having a bit of fun. You know what fun is, don’t you?”
“Leave now, Potter, before I do something unwise.” Lily had not lowered her wand, but was keeping it aimed at him while she helped Severus to his seat. When she continued to glare, James raised both of his hands up and shrugged. He turned around, grasped Sirius’ arm, and dragged him out of view. Lily turned to her friend and said, “Are you alright?”
Severus had a funny look on his face. It seemed as if he couldn’t decide on being ashamed, embarrassed, or furious. “Why did you get involved? I could have handled them!”
Lily scoffed. “Come now, Severus. We’re friends – best mates. That’s what friends are for!” At her words, Severus seemed to shake off his agitation, smiled, and repeated –
It seemed as if the year was flying by; weeks turned into months, which raced to be over. Before Lily knew it, she was approaching her first end-of-terms exams. The atmosphere in the castle was tense – the library was full, students were rarely out of doors, and the meal times were no longer a time for laughter, but for finishing up essays and propping heavy texts up to read while sipping tea. The first years were loaded down with homework – six inches for Defense Against the Dark Arts (What are the most effective ways to identify a threat and what are the proper steps to determine defense?), three inches for Potions (Identify the 12 uses of dragon’s blood and describe which is most useful.), and two new spells in Charms to study up on.
Lily felt confident, however. She had worked hard all year, never pushing off essays until the last minute as her housemates did. She and Severus did every assignment together and had begun revising during the Easter holidays. They had practically lived in the library, noses shoved in books, ignoring the taunts from James and his friends.
James, it had seemed, nursed a particular fondness for annoying Lily. Whether it was jinxing Severus in corridors or throwing bits of parchment at Lily’s head in class, he went out of his way to get in arguments with her. The upcoming exams had made no difference – he would plop down at nearby tables in the library, head bent close to Remus, Sirius, and Peter, plotting who knows what. Sometimes they would put frogspawn in Severus’ bag or bewitch the candles to flicker at alarming rates. It made serious revision near impossible.
“You know, it’s times like these that I wish we were in the same house, Sev,” whispered Lily, “then we could study in our common room, away from them.” Sirius had just sauntered away after ‘borrowing’ the book on charms that Lily had been referring to. “How I ended up in the same house as them, I don’t understand!”
“Just ignore them, Lily. They’re trying to get a rise out of us. They can’t stand to see a Slytherin with a Gryffindor – think its shameful. Or they fancy that if we weren’t friends, you’d hang out with them.”
“You can’t be serious! I would never… they think so highly of themselves, especially Potter. It’s unbearable! You should see him in the common room, showing off and surrounded by his admirers. I swear those girls have no brains! Thank goodness for Emmeline, or I’d go mad!” Emmeline seemed to be the only other Gryffindor first year that wasn’t enchanted by James and his friends. She, like Lily, did not approve of most of their pranks and was impervious to the boys’ blatant flirting. “You know, she tried to tell me that Potter fancies me…” Lily mused, “claims that that’s why he’s always pushing me and tugging my hair. But that’s just silly, right Sev?”
A shadow flitted across Severus’ face before he forced a laugh. Lily turned back to her studies, missing the glare he shot towards the table over, and the spell that he whispered. She had become so engaged in her book that she did not notice James Potter’s chair lose a leg and crash to the floor…
Author's Note: I always felt that James and Lily would have developed thier... attitudes... towards each other during their first year, but gradually. This chapter was intended to show that, along with introduce the sort of friendship I imagined eleven year old Lily and Snape would have. I hope I did it justice! Chapter three (second year) is already in the works - be ready for the Slug Club and Quidditch - yay!