Chapter 6 : Chapter Six: Another Semester Ends
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Chapter Six: Another Semster Ends
It was the last week before Christmas break. I was so ready to go home. The past few weeks had been terribly long with everything that was going on. There was another attack reported in the paper where a lot of Muggles were killed again, and we were never given a final number on the death count-the paper just said ‘over 43 dead’. The overall anxiety and stress over what was happening outside of Hogwarts magnified even more. I longed to see my family and to wrap my arms around them. To see their faces and tell them in person how much I loved and missed them.
Not having Alice at school was becoming difficult for me to deal with. There was never a point in my Hogwarts career-until now-where she was not here. It was strange dealing with Hogwarts life without her. She still did not know about my breakup with Nate, I didn’t have her to do homework with, and I missed our late night girl talks more than ever. I tried as much as I could to encourage her and help support her with my letters, but letters just were not the same as being face to face.
The last week or so I had some what become more acquainted with James Potter and his friends. Not having Alice sort of made me the odd girl out. Flora and Emmaline made up after the whole debacle over Ralph. I was friends with the other girls, but we all had different schedules. Alice and I were the ones who had the most classes out of the girls, and we had most of those classes with James, Sirius, and Remus. Peter took a few less classes, but he tried to be in all of them that he could with the other guys. So I was on more of the same schedule as they were.
James and I had already been partnered up in Transfiguration, and when Alice left he also became my partner in Potions. This led us to spending more time together and then because Alice was gone, he and the guys sat with me at meal times a lot. The girls did too; it was just that the guys would get there at the same time as me, so we ended up sitting together.
Strangely enough, I actually really liked hanging out with them. All of the guys together were a real laugh. Remus was still the one I felt the most comfortable talking to, but I was getting there with the others. Peter was nice and I knew him decently from tutoring him. Turns out he has great taste in desserts and finds my Muggle ‘knock, knock’ jokes funny. Sirius was smarter than he ever let on and he was always fun to banter back and forth with. Then James was actually really decent to be around. He was thoughtful and we were great partners when it came to doing homework and school assignments together.
“I made some changes to the bottom paragraph of the essay portion,” James told me as we were at breakfast. “It just didn’t seem to summarize as well before, here take a look and see what you think.” He passed me the Transfiguration essay that went along with the project we were working on.
I grabbed it and read over the changes he had made. It actually did sound better than it had before. We had had an issue trying to figure out how to wrap the essay up at the end.
“Sounds good to me,” I replied. I handed the scroll back to him and continued to stuff my face. I was running late that morning. Emmaline and Flora had been holding the bathroom up, so I was one of the last people in there.
“You’re going to choke if you don’t slow down…..not that that wouldn’t be hilarious,” Sirius snickered at me.
I threw a spare piece of bacon at him and it stuck to his hair. Everyone laughed at his expense.
“You’re mean for a girl,” he said.
“And you’ve got bacon stuck in your hair,” I taunted him. “As if you haven’t done much worse to me before.”
“Tis true my lady,” he said in a voice that was supposed to be suave I’m sure. I just rolled my eyes at him.
“I need to head to class early,” Peter spoke up sounding nervous. “I’ve got to ask Professor Flitwick a question about the homework.”
“We’ll head out with you,” Sirius announced as they all stood up to get ready.
“I could wait with you if you want, Lil,” Remus offered. I gave him a kind smile in response.
“It’s alright, Rem,” I replied. “I’ll be along shortly.”
“Okay, if you’re sure,” he responded. He took a blueberry muffin and took off after the other three boys.
I sat there for a few more minutes, stuffing my face. When I decided I was ready to head towards the Charms classroom, I grabbed a muffin to stuff in my bag for in between classes later. I knew I would get hungry before lunch since I wasn’t able to eat a bigger breakfast. Then I stood up and started to leave the Great Hall for Charms. As I made my way down the hall, a hand grabbed my arm.
It was Nate.
“Mind if I walk you to class?” he asked me as he dropped my arm and fell into step with me.
“Er….sure,” I responded, not that I felt like I had much choice. I felt strange. This was the first time that we were going to be talking since we had broken up that night in the Common Room.
“So….you and Potter, huh?” he questioned.
“If you’re just going to throw accusations around-feel free to leave,” I told him. “I don’t need your badgering.”
“I just want you to admit that there is and was something going on with you and him,” Nate replied while shrugging his shoulders.
“There is nothing going on between James and I,” I responded. “We have become somewhat friends, but that’s it.”
“Sure it is,” Nate said in a hard voice. “That’s why you ran straight to him after we broke up.”
I rolled my eyes at him but didn’t say anything. I was almost to the Charms classroom now.
“Hmmpf,” he puffed. “See-you don’t even have the decency to defend yourself.”
“I don’t know what your problem is,” I told him. “There is nothing between James and I. Please, just leave me alone. We’re already broken up.”
“Damn straight we are,” he said in a bitter voice. “And of course there is nothing between you and him. That’s why you call him James now instead of Potter.”
My mouth fell open and I was prepared to yell at him, but he turned around and walked off. I had half the mind to shoot a good stinging hex his way. My stinging hexes were always really good. Ugh, but Professor Flitwick was in view of the doorway, and I didn’t want to get a detention my last week before going home. So I stalked into class, flopped down into my seat, and slammed my bag to the ground.
“Nate giving you trouble?” Remus asked me. He looked concerned and a little angry.
“Yes,” I whispered as I started to pull my parchment and quill out to take notes.
“Didn’t look like he was saying anything too nice,” Remus whispered, pushing me for more information.
“He accused me of having something with James,” I told him. “Most likely before and after we broke up. He was always jealous of him for some reason, and he’s still just being a huge jerk about it.”
“That’s crap,” Remus replied. “I’m sorry Lily.”
“Don’t worry about it,” I told him. I took a deep breath. I wasn’t going to let Nate ruin my favorite class of the day.
Later that day I was studying in the Library with Mary and Danny. We had our final exam before break in Potions the next day. It was nice to spend time with my two friends even if we were cramming for a test. The only thing missing was Alice being here, and I kept telling myself she would be back after Christmas. That made me happy to think of.
“I just can’t seem to remember all of this,” Mary whined and dropped her head to the table.
“It helps if you make a song out of it,” Danny replied. Oh, this was going to be good. Danny always made songs out of texts she had to remember.
“Oh!” I exclaimed. “Do one for Veritaserum!”
“You got it,” Danny replied. She pushed her curly hair out of her eyes and read over the passage about Veritaserum that we had to know for the exam.
“You just had to get her started, didn’t you?” Mary groaned at me. I grinned at her.
“Veritaserum looks like water and it will make you offer!” Danny began to rhyme and sing in a sweet sing-song voice. “The deepest truth, but it goes down smooth! It takes twenty-eight days to make! Ministry controlled and odorless to behold- veritaserum, veritaserum, verrrrrriiiittaaaaaaserum!”
I softly clapped for her with a big grin on my face when she was done. “That was great!”
“Ugh,” Mary plopped her head on the table again. “It’s gonna be stuck in my head.”
“That’s the point,” Danny argued. “Get the songs stuck in your head, and guess what? You’ll be able to remember it all for the test. Taaa-daaa! You’re welcome, Mary, even if you aren’t thankful.”
“Thanks ever so much,” Mary huffed. Danny and I laughed at her.
“Hey girls,” Marlene greeted us as she walked up to the table that we were at. She was smiling a bit too much, like she knew something. She sat down in the empty chair in front of me.
“Hey Marls!” Danny greeted her.
“You’ve come just in time to save us,” Mary muttered, her head still face down in her book. “Danny is trying to fry my brain by singing about Potions.”
“Oh, not that again Danny,” Marlene frowned.
“I think it’s great!” I defended Danny.
“Of course you do,” Marlene rolled her eyes at me. “Miss Sunshine.”
“Uh, huh,” I stuck my tongue out at her. “What are you up to anyways, you look like you’re dying to spill.”
A devilish grin made its way onto Marlene’s face and her eyes lit up.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she responded in a falsely sweet voice. “No idea at all.”
“Right,” Danny said, laughing at her. “Just tell us already.”
“You really want to know?” Marlene asked, raising her eye brows.
“Just go on already,” Mary pleaded as she sat up straight. “Anything to be able to quit thinking about Potions, anything….just for a few minutes, please!”
“Well,” Marlene teased. “Since poor Mary is desperate for a distraction-not that I blame her.” Marlene shot Danny and I a pointed look.
“It’s not my fault she doesn’t appreciate the way we study,” Danny scoffed playfully.
“Anyways,” Mary interrupted her. “Go on Marls.”
“Alright,” Marlene said. “Guess who is in the Hospital Wing with flowers growing out of their ears and bright pink hair?”
“Who?” asked Danny, sounding a bit too excited.
I rolled my eyes. Only one guess as to who did that to whoever was in there.
“Nate,” Marlene whispered with a satisfied look on her face.
“You’re bloody joking me?” I asked, feeling angry. I knew James and the guys did this, they just had to.
“Nope,” Marlene replied, looking satisfied. “And don’t you dare go storming around the castle about it, you know he deserved it. I heard about what he said to you today.”
“It doesn’t matter if he deserved it,” I shot back at her. “It matters that I can fight my own battles and don’t need James doing this sort of crap for me.”
“Oh, it wasn’t just James,” Marlene snickered at me. “It was the whole lot of them, even Remus has detention until we leave for break. Apparently, that’s what Nate gets for messing with ‘their girl’.”
My face fell and I just shook my head. “I knew better than to become friends with those idiots.”
“You have to admit though,” said Mary. “It might be a bit of a blessing. Maybe Nate will leave you alone now. If he was willing to corner you today, maybe he would do it again.”
“Those bloody idiots,” I said. It was sort of hard to keep a small smile off of my face.
“They are already in trouble,” Marlene said to me. “I don’t think you should get onto them, they were just trying to defend you.”
“I suppose you’re right,” I said. “Plus, it’s not like Nate is hurt. That’s all pretty easy charm work that can be reversed easily. I’m still going to tell them not to do it again; I don’t need them defending me. I can take care of myself.”
“Perhaps,” Marlene laughed. “But they probably won’t see it that way.”
“I don’t know why,” I huffed.
“Sure you don’t,” Marlene snickered at me. “Anyways, I’ll see you ladies later.” And with that she got up and left.
Marlene was right. I talked to the boys after dinner that night and told them I could take care of myself perfectly fine. While they all admitted they knew that perfectly well, they said they wouldn’t allow it. Apparently I am their friend now, and they defend their friends, no matter if I like it or not. And whereas I don’t agree with what they did exactly, the sentiment behind it was nice. So, I let them off the hook. It’s not like they would listen to me anyways, they haven’t for the past six years.
Luckily, the rest of the week went by quickly. There were last minute tests to take, a ton of studying to do, and plenty of packing to do. I felt like I did really well on all of my tests. Being friends with James and the guys had its perks. He was really rather great in Transfiguration and helped me out a lot. Remus was brilliant at DADA-he helped me with the wand movements I was having troubles with. I was really grateful, and in return I helped the boys study for Charms.
It was finally the day to go home though! And I was so excited. Because I was a Prefect, I had to leave a little bit earlier than everyone one else. I took my bags and dropped them off on the Hogwarts Express at Hogsmeade Station early and then Remus and I helped younger students around the station. There was a poor first year who lost their toad that we had to hunt down at one point.
But soon enough, it was time to leave. I was in a compartment with Mary, Danny, and Marlene. Dorcas was staying at school for the holidays this year. It was a bit cramped in the compartment, but we had fun none the less. Danny and I sang Christmas carols to annoy the other girls, Mary chatted about how excited she was to help bake for Christmas, and even Marlene was excited and talked about going to pick a tree with her parents.
The ride back to King’s Cross seemed to go by quickly. I never understood how that worked exactly. It always seemed to take forever to get to Hogwarts, but the ride home always went by so quickly. Anyways, I had to say a quick goodbye to the girls and start helping the younger students off of the train. When it finally looked like almost everyone was off of the train, I was stopped by someone unexpected.
“Lily,” Severus Snape approached me in between compartments. I was surprised to see him as he usually stayed at Hogwarts during the holidays.
“Snape,” I greeted him briefly. “You need to get your luggage and get off of the train.”
“Wait a minute,” he said in a hushed voice as he hurried to fall in step with me while I continued to check compartments for students.
I stopped and turned to look at him.
“Are your parents on the platform?” he asked me quietly.
My face heated up. I didn’t feel like he had the right to be asking about my parents. They were both always more than nice to Severus while we were children, and he was about to go off and pledge himself to a group that wanted people like them dead.
“Yes,” I replied stiffly. “What’s it to you?”
“They don’t need to come here,” he replied. “You need to keep them as far away from our world as possible.”
“What are you trying to insinuate?” I asked him, my eyes growing wide.
“Just think about it,” he huffed. “I’m not trying to threaten them or anything, I would never do that. But there are people out there who might.”
My face fell. “They aren’t safe to come on the Platform anymore.” It was meant to be a question, but I think it came out as more of a statement.
“No,” he replied so quietly I could barely hear his voice anymore. “There are Death Eaters out there right now-some of the other parents. They shouldn’t start anything, but it’s best not to chance it.”
My heart rate sped up and a deep frown formed on my face.
“Why are you telling me this?” I asked him. “Couldn’t you get in trouble?”
“Of course,” he replied. “But I had to tell you, and you need to take it seriously.”
I nodded my head. “I’ll have to figure something out.”
He nodded his head back at me and then turned around to leave.
I ran back to my own compartment and grabbed my bags. I was suddenly very alarmed and wanted to get to my parents who I had already spotted on the Platform. I waved to them as I was helping a few first years off earlier. I swung my bags over my shoulder and tried to calm myself down. I did not want to upset them when I stepped off of the train.
It was easy to spot my parents, and not just because they were Muggles. My Dad has the same deep, dark red hair that I do. He has a round face with blue eyes and I was surprised to see that he had grown himself a bit of a beard. It was specked with white hairs. That made me smile. My Mum was beautiful. She was blonde, had blue eyes and a kind, round face that seemed to radiate love. Dad had his arm around her shoulders in a loving manner. I ran up to them as quickly as I could without causing alarm.
“Mum! Dad!” I exclaimed as I ran up to them. My Dad was the first to wrap his arms around me.
“There’s my Lily!” he exclaimed back at me. “Have we missed you!”
“I’ve missed you too,” I breathed into his shirt. He smelled of tobacco and his fresh cologne. After my Mum gave me a hug as well, I hurried them out of the Platform and out into the parking lot.
Just being off of the Platform made me feel better, but I wasn’t able to really feel a bit more relaxed until we got in the car and were headed home.
“How were your exams?” Mum asked me from the front seat.
“They went really well,” I answered her. “Pretty sure I got O’s and E’s.”
“That’s like A’s and B’s right?” my Dad commented from the driver’s seat.
“That’s right,” I told him. “How’s work been?”
“Work has been going well,” he answered. He gave me a smile in the rear view mirror.
“Good,” I asked him. I noticed neither one of them had brought up my sister yet, so I figured I might as well. “Is Petunia going to be home for this break?”
My Mum’s face fell a little bit.
“Petunia has a lot going on in the city,” Dad answered me. “You know her exams for that course she is taking last longer, and she’s got that boyfriend of hers out there.”
“She has a boyfriend?” I asked. “Since when?”
“Oh, I don’t know exactly,” Mum answered. “She started dating Vernon a few months ago. She met him at whatever firm it is he works at. She was placed as a secretary there through the program she is in.”
“Yeah,” my Dad continued. “That’s right. And she also has that secretary job, so she probably won’t be able to be home that much.”
“Is she at least going to come around on Christmas Day?” I asked.
“I don’t know. We will just have to wait and see,” Dad answered me.
It was hard not to feel like it was because of me. When I looked at my Mum’s face, I saw that she had tears in her eyes. I wondered what was said between her and Petunia. I wondered if they had a fight about me. It had happened in the past before. My stomach had a sinking feeling.
I loved my sister so much, but I just didn’t know how to have a better relationship with her. She hated the fact that I was magical. I used to think she was jealous because she had wanted to go to Hogwarts too, once upon a time. But now, now I’m pretty sure she just hated me.
“I’m sorry Mum,” I told her. I wiped away at my eyes realizing they were watering. “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t you dare apologize,” Dad told me. “You didn’t do anything. We are going to have a good break and enjoy the time we have together, no matter if Petunia wants to be included or not. You understand me?”
“Yes,” I answered him. He gave me a hopeful smile in the mirror, looking back at me.
“Why don’t we go and get some hot chocolate and cupcakes before we go home?” Mum suggested.
“Yeah,” Dad agreed. “Let’s stop by that little bakery you like so much Lily.”
“Okay, sounds good to me,” I answered them.
We fell into a comfortable silence after that. I watched my parents from the back seat as my Dad slowly reached his hand over and took my Mum’s hand in his own. They were so cute together. I sighed and looked out of the window and watched as the town I grew up in flew past us as we drove. There was the Library I spent a lot of time at during the summers, the old Elementary School I used to go to, and even the grocery store my Mum and I always shopped at. I smiled. It was good to be home.
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