FINALLY EP1 is here. There are some things that must be said, before the reading commences...
a huge THANK YOU to glockgal
for the excellent drawings/sketches, and another huge THANK YOU to crooked
[of the fic rockstar_cafe
] for the excellent beta-ing and support (:
And thank you to those who have stuck with us so long after we SAID we were going to debut and didn't :P
We LOVE YOU ALL!!!!Year: 1960
stared at her baby boy, curled up in his little crib, with a mixture of awe and giddiness. The summer was hot, and she was working herself to the bone taking care of the child whilst working, but, she thought to herself, it was worth it. The child was a miracle to the Potter family; at the ages of forty and forty-two, Dorea and Charlus had already resigned themselves to a childless life. They’d bit their lips and sighed, guessed that one of them was sterile, and packed up the tiny bibs and stuffed animals they’d bought for the nursery, which was converted into a study.
Then Dorea had gotten pregnant, and their world had flipped upside down. The Healers warned them both of the extreme danger of a forty-year-old woman giving birth to a child: if something went wrong, they’d cautioned, Dorea could die.
But they underestimated the common yearning that the two shared for a child of their own, and on April 14th, 1960, James Everett Potter was brought into the world.
Now, the nursery had been converted back into a nursery, with a white crib that had little snitch and broom stuffed toys in it. The walls of the nursery were painted light blue and the lining across the ceiling had tiny little whizzing snitches. There was a rocking chair that had been in Charlus’ family for ages, and had passed down to him. It had before always been a source of pain for them to see, as it reminded them of their lack of a child, and so had resided in the attic for many, many years. Now, however, they had brought it back out and dusted it off for the arrival of their child.
Dorea felt an arm loop around her shoulders, and she looked up into the face of her husband. His handsome features were lightly lined with wrinkles, and there were streaks of white in his hair, but to Dorea, he looked just like he did when he’d got down on one knee to ask for her hand in marriage (and how cliché and quaint that sounded, she mused to herself). She brought her lips to his cheek and kissed him lightly, marvelling at how blessed she was to have a family like this: a wonderful husband and a beautiful, perfect little infant.**--**
The words were hushed, and a smile was playing across the redhead’s lips. “She’s got hair just like mine, and eyes like yours.” The worn mother was peering through a window into a room full of babies: sleeping and squalling and tiny red faced babies. The doctor’s words still resonated in her head: get up, walk around for a bit, stretch out your muscles. It’ll do you well. Don’t worry. You’ll be fine; after all, you survived one before, right?
The baby was wrapped snugly in a warm pink blanket, the interior of the hospital air conditioned to freezing temperatures in an attempt to combat the outside heat. The date was August 25, 1960, and Lily Jane Evans had just been born a few hours ago. Upon her head lay a few, maroon wisps, and her squinty eyes were, as far as her mother Julia could tell, green.
“That’s right,” David said, smiling down at his wife. “Just to remind us that this is our flesh and blood.” He pressed a kiss to Julia’s temple, smiling into her hair. They’d been married not even five years, still madly in love at the age of twenty-eight, and had been ecstatic – if not a bit terrified – at the possibility of having another child. Their first daughter was a joy to have: darling little Petunia, David thought with a content smile. Petunia would be overjoyed to have a younger sister, he was sure.
“I’m going to raise her to be smart,” Julia said decisively. “She’ll be witty and well-read, and she’ll be versed in the politics of the world.” (If there was one thing Petunia didn’t show an interest in, it was anything to do with education: she was more than happy, though, to play with dollies and use her easy-bake oven, a fact that dismayed her mother a little bit.)
“Like her mother?” David asked wryly, the memory of countless debates lost to his wife all too fresh in his mind.
Julia smiled cheekily back. “Yes, like her mother. After all, didn’t do me too wrong, did it? I got you.”
A smile curved the corners of David’s lips. “And I can hardly object to that,” he said, bringing his chin down to rest on the top of her head. His arms wound around her waist, clasping her to him. “So I guess you win again.”Year: 1965
The sand was grainy, and the sun was high overhead. The expansive Potter family (not the Blacks, never the Blacks; they wouldn’t go to such a ‘wild’ outing on the beach) was stretched across the beach, some gathered around the food, others lounging in the sun on towels. Fat Aunt Bertha was pinching the cheek of a hapless cousin, whose friend—a girl unrelated to the family, but who often attended these events—was sitting and making sand pies. The sun somehow made everything a little more vibrant, to the point that it almost hurt James’ eyes to look at the orange and white beach balls that the other children were playing with.
They’d set up large, tent-like things for those who were too pale to stand in the sun. Some of the older kids had hopped onto their brooms and were playing a heated round of Quidditch—without any rules to speak of, of course. James, though, was hunting for sweets instead of sitting in his normal spot in the sidelines.
He was also sweating, he noticed, quite a lot. In fact, his hair was drenched. But then again, that could’ve been the sea water he’d just been dunked into as well. He tugged slightly at his swim trunks, meandering about the shoreline and drawing pictures of snitches in the wet sand. He finally came to the person he’d been casually walking towards for the past five minutes.
“Emily,” James said solemnly, looking at the seven-year-old girl sitting in the sand, the blonde that was not part of the family. She looked up, brows raised, and the five-year-old took a deep breath. He’d made a decision as to what to do, starting the moment he’d seen her sitting there, eating the grape lolly Aunt Bertha had given her. Closing his eyes with childish determination, he leaned in and pressed his lips to hers.
Soft, was the first thing he thought. Her lips were soft, and the strands of blonde hair tickling his cheeks were like feathers. His fingers curled around her hand, the one grasping the lollipop. Feeling her tense beside him in confusion, he jerked his hand up in one quick motion. He felt the sweet slip from between the girl’s shocked fingers, and he pulled back, laughing triumphantly.
“I got your lolly! I got your lolly!” he said, holding it up in the air like a prize as he began to scramble backwards up the sand dune. She stood up, eyebrows furrowed. “That was a mean trick, you nasty old berk!” she called, stamping her foot angrily on the ground. But James had chosen his prey well: Emily was not the kind of girl who would leave her sand pies – they were still cooking
, for heaven’s sakes! – just to chase after a naughty boy who had stolen her sweets. After turning back to stick his tongue out and catch a few more haughty glares, James retreated to the sanctuary of the older boys.
“‘Ey, James,” called Henry, a cousin from James’ uncle Jonathan’s brood, “Where’d ya get the lolly? I’d been thinkin’ it was all gone.”
James grinned so wide his face nearly split apart. “Stole it,” he said simply, sucking on the sweet with gusto. He’d never really preferred grape flavouring, but at that particular moment it was the best taste in the world.
“Nah, really?” Henry said, raising his brows. “From who?”
“Emily.” He gestured in the vague direction of the small form, huddled still over her pies (she was decorating them now, with a light sprinkling of white, dry sand). He grinned again, looking extremely smug. “Kissed her to get it.”
Henry stared at the little boy for a moment, as if gauging whether or not he was bluffing. Then he burst into laughter. About to defend his sincerity, James was shocked when Henry grabbed him under his arms and swung him up, setting him on his shoulders with a combination of slightly awkward movements. Then, the gangly teenager turned to the rest of the group, and bouncing the gleeful five-year-old on his shoulders, he called, “Our ickle Jamesy has just now committed his first heist in the name of romance! And a lollipop.”
The reaction was almost immediate: the family burst into laughter, and the applause followed soon after. James felt a warm feeling bubbling in his stomach; in a large family like his, it was easy to get missed at family reunions (at home, though, King James reigned supreme). Having the limelight on him—all of his family clapping and laughing because of him
... well shucks, James thought, if all they needed to get like this was a little prank then I’ve got loads more to show them!**--**
Lily was sprawled on the ground, clad in a swimsuit and a short sleeved button up (unbuttoned, of course) that her mother had forced her to wear. It itched, as did the sand. But she was building a sandcastle of the greatest proportions—carefully overturning the filled buckets of wet sand, precise in her actions even as a toddler. She methodically stuck her finger into the sandy ‘castle’ shape, making small windows for the invisible tenants of the rooms to lean out and get a breath of fresh air. She reached into a bucket of seashells that she’d found and placed one as a decorative mark to the wall of the castle. Then, with a flourish, she topped it with a pinwheel her mother had given her that morning.
She sat back on her heels and grinned at her work. Not too bad, if she did say so herself. She bent down again and dug at the sand, making a moat to protect the royalty living within the sacred, if not a bit sandy, walls of the building. She piled the excess sand into a hill to the left of the castle. Maybe, she thought to herself, that’s where the prince and princess could meet at night and exchange secret messages. She smoothed down the bumpy surface.
The beach was quiet, the soft music wafting from her mum’s radio the only sound. She bent her knees, legs rising up, and swung them slightly to the beat. Suddenly, out of nowhere came a whooping Indian cry. Lily’s head jerked up and her eyes widened in foreboding. She knew
that cry. It only meant one thing: Paul Hornsbury and his band of no-good-nothings.
Well, there really were only three of them – Paul, Ernest, and John – but the destruction and chaos that they caused in Lily’s life warranted them the disgust for an army of wild monkeys. Paul was a skinny little boy with brown hair and a lanky form. Ernest was slightly pudgy, always huffing after his two hyperactive counterparts. His mum justified letting him run about with them by saying that it gave him the necessary exercise, though Lily’s mum always said at home that if the lady would just stop feeding the poor boy so much food, then perhaps he wouldn’t have to huff and puff as if he were trying to blow a bleedin’ house down. John was stocky, though not in the way Ernest was—he was muscled from playing rugby with his older brothers, and he liked to stand on tables and jump up and down in the middle of lunch at school. This resulted in a lot of Personal Meetings with Ms. Sillet and his mum and dad.
And, even as she prayed to God they were going the other way, there they came, a cloud of ominous sand rising in their wake. Lily stared. They yelled.
And then suddenly they were upon her, mussing up her hair and stomping on her castle. She watched in silent outrage, trying to push Paul’s hands out of her hair, as Ernest tripped and fell with a cry of pain on her pinwheel. He scrambled up, and she saw that it had been crushed, broken, and bent. “ERNEST MERRIWEATHER!” She screeched, kneeing Paul in a very well-aimed area and getting to her feet. “How DARE you crush my mum’s gift?” She picked up the pinwheel and held it in front of his face in a menacing way. He looked frightened.
“You lot are SUCH a bad sort,” she said with venom in her voice, echoing something her mother had said about a group of teenagers on the telly who’d been caught lifting jewellery from a local store. She stomped on each of their toes, hard, and gave them a good solid glare before hitting Ernest and John on the backs of their heads. Paul was a little too fast for her: he darted away and said, “’Old on ‘ere, Lily, we didn’t mean no ‘arm,”
She kicked him in the shins and stood with her hands on her hips, glaring at him. “Then you shouldn’t have ruined my castle!” She turned on her heel and stalked off to where her mother and father had been watching the scene with amusement. “Boys!” she muttered under her breath, throwing her small arms up in the air in exasperation.
Just beyond where her mother was reclined, the sand disappeared into grass, and there were a few scattered trees that threw shadows across the lawn. The redhead continued walking until she reached a small hammock, where she stopped and clambered up. It was a bit of a struggle: the hammock was hung at a height where she had to pull herself up, and it kept swinging, making her slip a few times and generally making her feel a little silly. When at last she was curled up on the hammock, she allowed herself to swing back and forth, the wind mussing her hair a little.
“Lily,” a voice called, and she looked over her shoulder to see Paul standing there, looking a little awkward. She turned back around and pursed her lips, crossing her arms across her chest and focussing on the string of the hammock.
“Go ‘way,” she said stubbornly.
“We’re sorry, Lily,” he said, walking up to her. She looked stubbornly the other way. “Really, we didn’t know you would... get so mad.” She finally turned toward him and gave him A Look. Then she returned to examining the side of her shoulder. She heard, rather than saw, him shift on his feet, and then he said slowly, “Okay, you sort of get mad a lot when we do that stuff... but...”
At that point, he ran out of words, and instead dropped something on her lap, and then walked away.
When she was absolutely sure he was gone, she peeked at what he’d left. It was her pinwheel, the snapped whorl taped back on in a clumsy fashion. She pursed her lips more, but this time it was to keep from smiling. She picked up the pinwheel delicately, turning it over in her hand and running her small fingers over the bumpy transparency of the tape.Year: 1967
James was running across the house, eyes wide in panic. “MUUUUUUUUM!” His cry was like a trumpet, echoing and bouncing off the walls of the house. “Mum, mum, mum!” He was racing across the living room, pulling up the cushions of the sofas and pressing his ear against the floor to look at the spaces under the furniture.
Dorea looked up with an expression of Oh boy, what now?
on her face. “Yes, James?” she called out. She’d just sat down to take a break from cleaning the house, and it worried her that James was already finding things to be excitable about.
“I can’t find my broom! Itwasthereandthenitwasgone!” James cried in one breath, his little seven-year-old arms waving about and gesticulating wildly. “It’s gone! It’s been stolen! Call the Aurors!” He ran into the kitchen, where Dorea was perched on a stool at the counter, sipping some tea and flipping through the latest Witch Weekly.
“Oh, darling,” she said with a sympathetic look. “I’m sure it’s... somewhere around here. Keep looking,” she encouraged. Inwardly, she was relieved that at least he wouldn’t be risking his neck – as a seven-year-old, no less! – flying about on a broom over at who knows where.
“I need a new one,” James said, with the bluntness that children always have. His face was determined. The blue and white clock on the wall ticked a few long seconds as his mother raised a brow at him and flipped a page of the magazine, licking her finger and then rubbing at the corner to separate the sheets. “No, you don’t, James,” she finally said, feeling terrible about denying him something that could be obtained so simply when he was so distraught—but they pampered him enough, she reasoned in her head. Since he’d been a late child, they’d treated him like a little miracle all his life—it was a wonder that he didn’t have a huge head already.
James stared at his mother with a gaping mouth. The news took a few more seconds to sink in, and then his shoulders sagged. “That’s not FAIR,” James groaned, holding his head in his hands glumly as he dragged himself to the stairs. “I can’t fly anymore... and everyone else is out playing already!”
“Nothing in life is fair, love,” his mother called up after him, earning a swift glare that clearly told her That Is Not On, Mum.
Heaving a huge sigh, James slowly ascended the steps. Then, once at his room, he threw himself on the bed, putting an arm over his eyes so that he wouldn’t have to look at the numerous Quidditch and broomstick posters plastered across his walls.
He was going to die, James decided. He would lock the door from the inside and refuse to come out or eat anything, and he would waste away into a skeleton. Then they’d write articles about him on the Daily Prophet: Seven-Year-Old Dies From Broken Heart Over Lost Broom. They’d have pictures of his body, and... James suddenly was off-put by his own thoughts, and decided that maybe starving to death wouldn’t be so great. He liked food. Maybe he would hold his breath, he thought suddenly. That would be interesting: perhaps he’d turn blue, if he was lucky.
Downstairs, Dorea almost felt guilty about hiding James’ broom in their bedroom closet under his father’s invisibility cloak—almost. Then she remembered how nice it was that he was in his room doing something quiet for a change, and she returned to the daily crossword puzzle featured in Witch Weekly. It was about time he outgrew that irritating penchant for pranks, after all.**--**
It was Daddy And Lily Time: the daily occurrence before Lily went to bed in which her father snuggled up with her, suit, tie, and all, in her little bed, pulled the covers over their heads, took out his nifty little red flashlight, and read with her. Today she’d picked the book Dory And Oliver Go To The Zoo
. It was a book that was far below her reading ability, but Daddy And Lily Time was not about being smart or reading the expected books. It was about picking the book that would let Daddy use the best voices, and this one was one of Lily’s favourites, because her father gave every animal a different voice. They sometimes were spot on—a deep growl for a tiger, or a high whinnying voice for a horse—and other times, they were silly and ridiculous—a pipsqueak voice for the lion or a snobby voice for the dodo bird.
David poked his head in, grinning at the sight of his seven-year-old daughter smiling at the book on her lap. Sneaking up behind her, he grabbed her with a growl and said in her ear, “Iiii’ve gotcha!” His hands went to her waist, were they tickled her mercilessly
Lily screamed, squirming in his arms before bursting into giggles. “Daddy!” she squealed, trying to escape the fingers tickling her sides. “Stop it!”
He laughed, a rich sound that came from deep in his chest. “What’s the magic word?” he asked in a singsong voice.
“Please, please!” she said through gasps of laughter. Her hair was mussed from moving around, and it flopped over her eyes. She would have reached up to move it, had her hands not been busy trying to pry her father’s fingers from tickling her.
“As your highness wishes,” he said with a grin, pulling his hands away and flopping onto her bed. “What’s the book for tonight?”
She handed it to him and he raised a brow. “Again? It seems as if we read this at least once a month, Lils.” He glanced at her stubborn face and heaved a fake sigh. “Oh, all right,” he grumbled, but with a smile on his face. “I’ll read it... again.”
“Hooray!” Lily said, clambering under the covers. He settled in next to her and pulled the sheets over them, flicking his wrists in a way that made the covers jerk up and then flutter down on top of them. To Lily, this had always made it seem like they were being covered with a light, fluffy cloud. Their heads ducked underneath the white comforter, Lily nudged her father. “Daddy, the flashlight,” she prodded in the dimness.
“Aha! I knew I forgot something,” he said, fishing in his pockets. He pulled the flashlight out and clicked it open, holding it under his chin and making a face at her. “Ooohh,” he said in a wavering voice. “Watch out, Lily Evans, I’m a ghost out to eat your nose!” The yellowish light cast strange shadows on his face, and she could see his knuckles wrapped around the thin handle of the metallic red flashlight.
Lily stuck her tongue out at him. “Da-ddy,” she said with a sceptical look. “Everyone knows ghosts don’t exist.” She’d long since gotten over her fear of bogeymen (though she had to admit, she sometimes had relapses, particularly after reading mystery stories) and found that the best way to keep adults from doing such things was to speak to them frankly and—though she did not yet know the word—almost condescendingly. Her father, of course, was the only one that she allowed to tease her in such a way.
He waggled his brows at her. “Well, Lils, you never know. Strange things do exist in this world.” And with that, he snuggled closer so that she could throw her arm around him as he began reading the book.Year: 1971
James was tired. He was bleeding (yes, he thought to himself with determination, I said bleeding. What’s mum going to do about it, eh?) tired. It was snowing outside, as per usual on his birthday. His mother had just rushed in to tell him to pack, it was time to go and get ready for the annual trip to his paternal grandfather’s house and it was about time he learned how to get up anyway, since he was going to be off on his own soon enough.
The usual, James thought, knowing that he could skive off a good 20 minutes by just lying there and ignoring his mother’s occasional pleas for him to wake up.
But today was anything but usual. Today was not just any birthday. Today was his eleventh birthday, and that meant only one thing.
It deserved capital letters because it, in essence, determined James’ future: would he become a true wizard or would he be a squib? He’d shown magical potential many years back when he’d been so upset at losing his broom that it had literally burst out from the closet his mum had hidden in and crashed into the wall opposite to it. It’d broken, but his parents had been so pleased that they’d bought him a new one, no questions asked, and had never taken it away since then.
But this was different: this was the real thing, James thought to himself behind closed eyes. Of course, he would never on his life admit to anyone that he was actually WORRIED about getting a letter. That would not be on.
His eyes opened a crack and he sat up blearily. “Guh,” he said, rubbing the sleep from his eyes and putting on his glasses. “Bleagh.”
He stumbled into the bathroom and scrubbed at his teeth, peering at his wild hair in the mirror. Would they reject him because he had hideous hair? But his father had the same kind of hair, and he’d gone to Hogwarts, so it couldn’t mean too much, could it? Or maybe his father had been so brilliant that they’d made an exception, but James was just not up to that standard? With his toothbrush still in his mouth, James pawed at his hair, trying desperately to make it manageable. It didn’t work; it never did and he didn’t know why he even tried.
James spit out the foam, watching as it slid down the drain. His stomach was already turning.
When he went down to breakfast, though, he ate four pancakes, two waffles, and six pieces of bacon. He also helped himself to two servings of eggs. The waffles had blueberries in them, and he made sure to slather his pancakes with syrup (a decision he immediately regretted, though he plowed on through them ‘till all that was left was a puddle of brown syrup in his plate). His mother commented that he was quite voracious this morning, and he smiled wanly back and hoped that he didn’t puke anytime soon. His father was reading the Daily Prophet, as usual, and James felt a rising panic at the fact that the owl post had already arrived. What if that meant they weren’t sending a letter? Did they usually send letters in the morning or at night? It was kind of mean to make them wait so long to see it, though, wasn’t it?
He downed another glass of orange juice, just to get his mind off of the damn letter. His stomach was quite full now, and he retired to the living room to loaf around and wait for his letter. He lay there for what seemed like eras, counting the spots on the ceiling from the paint that had been done recently. Then he went to the study and picked a thick book, staring at it and pretending to read until his eyes crossed and the words went blurry on the page.
Finally, he decided there was no use staying inside waiting for it, and climbed onto his broom, flying hard and fast (or as hard and fast as an eleven-year-old could) over the trees of his parents’ estate, feeling the wind whip his face and ripple at his clothing. He let himself be lost in the chill of the wind, the feeling of his blood rushing to his face. He stopped thinking about letters and schools and studying and magic and owls and instead focussed on moving forward, ahead, on and on through the air.
And when he finally stopped, his limbs were achy and his cheeks stung from the wind cutting against them. His hair was sticking nearly straight up, and he was still on an adrenaline high from flying so quickly.
He walked inside the house feeling strangely queasy. He realized that flying probably had not been such a good idea after eating such an enormous breakfast. Oh well, he thought. All was fine, as nothing real had happened as a result of it, at least not yet.
“James,” his mother called, sounding pleased. “Someone’s here to see you...”
James leapt from his seat, ignoring the gurgles of malcontent his stomach sent him, and bound over to the kitchen. There was a barn owl there, the most welcome sight that James had ever seen. He picked up an owl treat from the family owl’s bowl as he approached the owl.
The Potters’ owl was not so easily taken advantage of (and it found a perverse satisfaction in attacking the only son of its owners), and so it launched an attack on the back of James’ head, causing the boy to shout loudly and paw at the back of his head. James ran out of the room for a moment, and then returned through the other door, still pawing at the owl. “Gerroff!” he grunted, finally throwing the owl off.
It gracefully caught itself midair and fluttered to the ground before flying back to its perch looking indignant.
James turned back to the barn owl and offered it a treat. It kindly took it with a small inclination of the head, and James took the parchment.
It said exactly as he’d hoped, wished, wanted. It was perfect, he thought to himself with glee, absolutely perfect and wonderful and he wanted to preserve it forever for generations to come.
And then, promptly after deciding to frame it and mount it over his bedpost, James Potter threw up the half-digested contents of his breakfast onto his shoes.**--**
“David!! David, get over here RIGHT NOW.”
The shrill cry resonated through the house, and Lily’s father bolted up from the living room and scrambled to the dinner table, where her mother was setting up the birthday cake and, as far as Lily could tell, having a heart attack. Petunia was hiding behind her, grabbing her apron strings and whimpering. Lily noted that this was a very, very Petunia thing to do.
There, settled at the very middle of the table, was an owl
. In the middle of the day. In their HOUSE. Lily was struck by the large eyes and the sheer calmness of its stance—the way it seemed as if it were not a bit perturbed by their presence, and as if it often paid screaming mothers visits on their daughter’s eleventh birthdays. Lily stood very, very still and edged closer to it, reaching out a hand to touch the creamy brown feathers.
“Don’t you dare touch that animal, Lily Jane Evans,” her mother snapped, and Lily’s hand darted back quickly. “It could have rabies or some other nasty disease.” She’d already donned yellow rubber gloves and was reaching carefully for the paper at the base of the owl’s foot. “Purely medieval, I tell you, sending postage through a bloody fowl. Whoever did this is going to get a piece of my mind.”
Once her mother had possession of the letter and was unfolding it, Lily scrambled to the top of a chair, peering over her mum’s shoulder. “What’s it say?” she asked eagerly, ignoring the annoyed look Petunia shot at her.
“It’s... addressed to you,” her mother said incredulously.
“Addressed to HER?” Petunia said, eyes wide. She
was the older sister—it should be her getting treats like messages from owls, not her little sister. It wasn’t fair, she pouted in her mind. It had better be bad news.
Her father leaned forward, Lily watching as he read what he could see out loud. “ Hogwarts... School... of Witch—“ he stopped, staring at the paper.
“Read it, Dad, read it!” Lily urged, eyes wide.
“Lily Jane Evans.” Her mother’s voice was tight and strained, and when she turned to stare at Lily, her eyes were fierce. “Is this another one of your fearsome concoctions? It’s not healthy to make up worlds in your head and try to enter them. It’s—it’s...” Lily could see now that there was fear in her mother’s eyes, fear and tension.
“I’m afraid it’s not simply in her head, my dear Mrs. Evans.”
The voice was soft and velvety with old age, but stern and sharp with wisdom and wit as well. Lily peeked over her mum’s shoulder as her father made an angry noise, demanding to know how the woman had entered their home.
The lady was tall and held her posture regally, and as she spoke, she had a Scottish accent. “Mr. and Mrs. Evans, I do expect that you will be in want of an explanation.”
“Damn right we are,” her father bit out, hands held out in front of his wife and children as if shielding them.
“And you shall receive one,” the woman that Lily would one day learn was called Headmistress Minerva McGonagall said.
And then, she proceeded to explain something that would change Lily’s life forever.
At first, Lily had been ecstatic about the news. She’d begged and pleaded and sobbed for her parents to let her go—she was MAGICAL. She had MAGIC in her veins. Magic. Magic magic magic. There was such a thing as magic.
But now, in the quiet darkness of her room, staring up at the shadows on the ceiling, she felt consternation and apprehension rise in her stomach, unbidden. She didn’t know a thing about magic. What if she failed all of her classes? What if they’d made a mistake and they’d gotten the wrong girl? What if all the other children teased her, worse than Paul, for not knowing things? What if they hated her? All the taunts Petunia had spitefully bit out to her after they’d read the letter stuck in her head, reminding her of her capacity for failure in this new world. She knew... nothing. And it was a frightening feeling.
She burrowed under the covers, pulling the pillow over her head and rolling into a little ball. The thoughts swirled in her head, pushing back years and years of acquired confidence and belief in her knowledge. What good would that do her now? She was going to a school with a completely DIFFERENT system, completely different classes. She pulled out the schedule once more and felt her heart beat heavy in her chest. Charms? Transfiguration? Potions?
She was going to fail out of this school, and then her parents would lecture her and tell her that they told her so.
Sitting up with a start in her bed, she gripped the sheets. School was starting in a WEEK. And she hadn’t even gotten her books yet! She needed to start studying... SOON. She could not fail in this school... not when she had so many possibilities at her fingertips, not when her parents were just barely letting her go, especially not when Petunia was constantly whispering in her ear that she would never ever fit in. She would fit in. She would go to Hogwarts and she would shine. No matter what it took. **TO BE CONTINUED**