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A/N: I'm sorry about this chapter randomly disappearing for a week or so, I had a few parts in it that I had to fix up, namely the middle Lily bit, so hopefully it has improved and that you enjoy it...

Chapter 5

Warm summer sunlight filtered in through the fragments of glass not smothered by the heavy drapes drawn over the windows. It crept throughout the quiet house, illuminating the rooms and dousing the furniture in a faint light so they cast gloomy shadows on the walls.

A young girl tensed her expression as haunting scenes flashed in her dreams, causing her eyes to roll madly beneath their lids. She whimpered quietly, though no one was present to comfort her. A single tear escaped from beneath her thick eyelashes and seeped down her awaiting cheek.

The wind whispered to the trees, the birds called to each other in one continuous cry. It seemed as though the world had not been affected by the loss of the two owners of this little house in a suburb of hundreds. Life went on. Cars reversed from driveways and sped away to start another day of work, children cried out for their mothers to tend to their cuts and annoyances.

The young girl with the head of blood red curls groaned again, her eye lids fluttering open and closed in her unconsciousness.

There was a bang of a car door close by and Lily awoke with a start, letting her arms drop from their place of rest on her knees. She sighed and stretched her aching legs which had been bent into her chest; she had hugged them in her sleep unconsciously trying to gain some much needed comfort. Lily wiped her moist eyes, though the tears had long ago evaporated leaving her cheeks sticky from the salty liquid.

She rose to her feet slowly, ignoring her father's favourite chair and the countless photo frames showing heart wrenching memories. Lily shook her head trying to rid herself of the dreams she had endured during the night. She knew they would never entirely disappear.

She walked into the kitchen. Her mouth was dry and ached for moisture. She had not had anything to eat or drink since the night before the life she once knew had crumbled to a heap of dust at her feet.

Lily's stomach growled loudly at the thought of food. But she couldn't eat. Even the mere thought of food made her sick with guilt. Her parents were dead, they were never to eat again. And here she was, the survivor of the attack... why should she be given the privilege?

She walked through the house mutely. All the rooms were dark from the drawn curtains, though she could see the light attempting to penetrate the room. Lily walked up to them as though in a dream staring at the material blocking the sun light. It was then a thought occurred to her as though someone invisible had whispered in her ear; Who was she to give up on life when her parents had lost theirs so she could have hers? Who was she to hide away from the world behind drawn curtains wishing she would be forgotten? She could not and would not let that happen. She had a life to live, even if she meant without the people she loved the most.

And with this last fading thought, Lily pulled back the curtains and was instantly bathed in the summer light. It warmed her cool flesh, and her broken heart. She almost felt like smiling when such a day was given to her so effortlessly. But a smile was not about to make an appearance on Lily's face for a long time yet, but she knew it would happen again when she was once again truly happy.

What she saw momentarily shocked her, though she couldn't say she hadn't expected it.

Albus Dumbledore sat cross legged on her lawn as though in a state of complete awareness, given the fact that he was currently dozing. His head and back were straight, but his face was relaxed along with his eyes closed.

Lily blinked a few times to make sure she was not seeing things, nor that it was just a trick of the light however impressive that trick maybe.

It was when she finally accepted the sight her eyes beheld that Professor Dumbledore's eyes sprang open. He turned his head slightly and smiled at Lily by her window, then rose slowly to his feet brushing off his long magenta robes as he did so.

He turned completely to face the house, and the window Lily was at and waved merrily at her, then he was gone as though instantly.

Lily blinked quickly again, hoping that she had just imagined everything and turned away from the window. Giving herself a slight shake of the head she left the window hastily and crept along the wall averting her eyes from the offending window as much as she could.

She crept up the stairs and entered the bathroom for a much needed shower. She closed and locked the door on entry, having become slightly paranoid. Lily then slid out of her pajamas she had been wearing for the past few days and jumped into the shower, letting the warm water sooth her broken, cold heart.

Lily lapsed into automatic mode, her hands seemed to know exactly were everything was in the shower without her eyes giving assistance. She numbly washed her hair, only slightly aware of the familiar fruity smell of the shampoo that used to be her mothers' favourite. The water continued to rush over her head, rinsing the soap from her thick red hair, while her hands rubbed together a cake of soap to produce a lather of thick, soapy bubbles to wash her body with. Steam rose into the air and clouded the mirror and shower windows. Time seemed to stand still as she continued to wash the daily grime from her skin. Just as Lily was finally starting to feel a little normal once again from these blessed chores there came a loud, echoing knock at the front door down stairs.

Lily jumped with a start, finally awakening to the water rushing over her head, the steamy room she was standing in and now the continuous, urgent knock at the door. With a sigh Lily turned off the water, stepped out of the shower and towelled herself dry quickly. She dressed hurriedly in clean jeans and top took her leave of the bathroom.

Skipping down the stairs in a rhythm she had created when she was a small girl, Lily approached the door warily.

Lily closed her eyes tightly as she turned the door handle and revealed two strangers on her doorstep.

~*~

James opened his eyes with a sudden jolt. Had it been the dream he had been having of long, sweeping hallways and large open grounds that had awoken him so suddenly?

Yes, that was it, James thought with a dejected sigh as he slowly swung his legs over the side of his bed and sat there staring out the window at another flawless summer's day. Why won't nature mimic my feelings for once? James thought to himself, why can't it be dark, dreary and threatening rain?

For James thought his coming journey to Hogwarts was to be both an exciting adventure and disaster.

He was going to a school that thought his parents to be gods, not to say the least James was not looking foreward to competing with such outstanding competition. He knew that Hogwarts would treat him the same how ever much he protested. James just hoped he would be allowed to prove himself to his peers and not just be a name with no story attached.

He could never make anyone forget about his parents; they were the ultimate of their kind, invincible. Or that's how James saw them, just like any small child would see their parents; they made the world turn the way it did - perfectly.

James wanted to work hard for the fame he now accumulated. He wanted to study hard in the ancient library his parents had told him about and train on the Quidditch Pitch just like his father had in his younger years at Hogwarts, but he had given it all up when he had met James's mother. Though, Paul Potter still harbored an obsession with broomsticks.

But though James wanted to be known, at the same time he wanted to be walked passed without a backwards glance, forgotten in a dark corner, or perhaps just be normal.

If he was to become famous in the future, James wanted to do it on his own, on his own terms, and not have to rely on his parents' popularity in the magical world to be known.

James rose to his feet and crossed his bedroom, on the way he picked up his wand from it's usual place on his chest of draws and went to the door.

Here he exited his bedroom and descended the stairs one by one. James loved his childhood home, but he was ecstatic about finally leaving the stubborn walls surrounding him, be free of it's barriers and limitations. He wanted to be free of his parents' name above all.

Who was he kidding? That was not possible.

James looked down at the wand in his hand as his legs guided him through the house. James remembered when he had bought his wand, given it had only been a few weeks ago. He knew he would never forget that faithful day when he had stood in the middle of the room in Mr. Ollivanders wand shop and waved the wand in his hand for the very first time. It was as though the magic he produced withdrew from his body and made it's way to his hands where it resided so that the wand, whenever taken up in James's fingertips,
could channel the magic and produce such wonder his parents were even surprised by.

James felt invincible whenever he held his wand even though he did not have any knowledge of any proper spells, but he knew if he thought about something, with a strong enough urge for it to happen, the charm occured perfectly. James knew his gift was he had no need for incantations.

James found himself wandering the empty rooms aimlessly, knowing full well he would not find what he was mindlessly searching for. Company.

His feet led him outside and onto the wide, sweeping grounds of the Potter Estate. James turned his head skyward and spotted a bird gliding carelessly above. James was suddenly drowning in envy; he wished he could fly. Infact, he knew he could fly, even though he had never tried it before, nor had been given permission by his parents. He had asked his parents' countless times for a broom but always they used the popular excuse "You're not old enough!".An incomplete excuse in James's opinion.

James frowned at the many memories holding these very same words. He knew he had been unsuccessful in gaining permission to fly hundreds of times. But he would never give up, he would never silence his dreams of owning his own broomstick. How old did he had to be to fly? How can there be an age limit?

James sat heavily on the green grass, looking wistfully up at the sky once more, and then laid down on the grass unable to break his gaze on his desire. To be like the clouds, the birds.

The sky, the freedom! What he wouldn't give to fly.

He stared at the clouds dreamily as they floated slowly across the sky.

James breathed in deeply, savoring the taste of the summer air for that extra moment.

He was going to miss the silence and yet he couldn't wait to distance himself from it and plunge himself into the noise and the troubles of the world.

Was he ready? He had been sheltered for so long.

James had gone to a muggle school, had had muggle friends but the friendships did not last very long. His life always felt incomplete because of that certain secret he obviously had to keep from his muggle friends, then the underlying secrets such as his parent's occupations, his wealth and for some strange reason the forever green lawns of the Potter Estate. Was it to be the same at Hogwarts?

Well of course not, everyone there was keeping the same secret.

~*~

Lily stared silently at the two smiling faces of the man and woman on her doorstep.

"Lily Evans?" The man asked gently, staring at Lily with a kind smile.

"Yes?” Lily asked curiously.

"Susanna and Paul Potter at your service,” Paul said quickly, extending his hand.

Lily looked at his hand with wide eyes “You are friends of Dumbledore’s?”

“Great friends” Paul nodded, “We are here to take you to Diagon Alley in London to buy you supplies.”

Lily frowned, “Supplies for what?”

Susanna laughed lightly, and Lily automatically loved the sound “School of course!”

“Oh, but…” Lily attempted weakly. She looked at them silently, her emerald green eyes wide and pleading.

“What’s wrong Lily?” Susanna asked, immediately drawn to Lily’s height and staring into her eyes.

“I don’t have any money” Lily whispered, her eyes growing yet wider and sparkling with tears “I can’t go to Hogwarts, I can’t go to Diagon Alley. I can’t go anywhere.” Lily hung her head. She had been hoping for escape, but bitter reality always had a way of breaking down any dreams that seemed to surface.

“You don’t need money to get away from here,” Paul reasoned “There are plenty of people who have heard about your predicament and are willing to help you out. So don’t worry yourself about those unnecessary things.”

Lily looked at Paul with confusion “Who would want to help me? I’m a stranger to them. Who would want to help me, let alone give me products that they need to sell to live?”

Susanna smiled "Every one of them."

Lily looked at her coldly "I don't want any ones charity."

“It won’t be charity, Lily” Paul replied immediately “It’ll be giving you a helpful hand in your time of need, I’m sure you would do the same if someone were in your position.”

“Well, of course I would. But it doesn’t mean that I want to take their wares for free. They have worked hard to produce such things, and for me to take and not give anything in return would be wrong of me. I was not brought up to take things from strangers Mr. and Mrs. Potter. I can’t do it. What would my parents think?” Lily sniffed, down heartened and feeling the lowest she had in these past few days.

She had not thought, when she accepted Professor Dumbledore’s invitation of attending his school, that money would be involved, nor a trip to a place she had never been with people she had never met.

Lily shook her head “I can’t go to Hogwarts if I don’t have supplies. It’s a school of magic is it not? How am I supposed to do magic without a wand? Please, just leave me be.” Lily attempted to close the front door on the pair but she was unsuccessful. Paul Potter’s hand had gripped onto the side of the door and stopped it from closing.

“Such a simple thing as lack of money could not keep a witch attending Hogwarts. And also, your request of leaving you alone will not be fulfilled, we have our orders, we made a promise and we plan to keep it. Therefore, you will be coming with us whether you like it or not Miss Evans, and if you have such a problem with taking gifts from people who know you through the papers and are wanting to help you then we will pay for them.” Paul said quickly, staring all the while into the girls eyes.

Lily’s eyes narrowed with annoyance. “I don’t even know you! I consider you a stranger too – “

“But you know our names Lily.” Susanna cut in softly.

Lily looked at her from a moment, as though frozen by the sudden remarks. However, Lily could not be silenced that easily “Names are not enough Mrs. Potter. You can know the name of someone on the television screen, but that doesn’t mean you know their habits, their likes and dislikes, their hobbies, loves, annoyances, dislikes… the list is endless. And a simple name could not ever hold all that information!” Lily breathed in deeply looking at Paul and Susanna as though they were mad. “Could you please just leave me alone?”

“But Lily, you are so very uneducated in the power of a simple name. Just from knowing your name, I know you are head strong, loyal and devoted to your friends and family. You are powerful at heart and it takes a lot to bring you over the edge. You have a temper that comes out at the most inappropriate times, but you accept that and everyone that knows and loves you accepts that too. You have a mysterious quality, you don’t like everyone to be able to predict every move you make. You are a social butterfly but enjoy long hours to yourself, reading a book beside a fire.” Susanna’s eyes were wide as she stepped towards Lily, her gaze intense “I know how much you yearn to understand why your parents were killed. And you blame yourself for it ever happening. You are angry with those that carried out the act, and everyone that doesn’t understand what you are going through. Lily, we are not the ones that murdered your parents, and we are probably your best bet at finding a pair of people that understand what you are going through this very moment, for we live it every day. We are Aurors, protectors of the Magical World from all that is dark, evil and cunning. We bring those that have taken life, manipulated others away from those they threat and lock them in cells at Azkaban Prison. We populate that prison Lily, with the very same people who killed your parents. And we will do anything to protect you from them.”

A silent tear splashed down Lily’s cheek as she stared into Susanna’s sky blue eyes. She drew in a deep shuddering breath. Susanna drew Lily to her, wrapping her arms around Lily’s small frame and cradling her as a mother would. Lily cried cried, hiding her face in Susanna’s chest as she was rocked back and forth to try and comfort her.

Susanna made soothing sounds, whispering to her, ignoring Lily’s apologies for her rudeness, her tears and her behavior. She asked Susanna’s forgiveness and Susanna gave it too her immediately.

“Susie,” Paul said softly. Susanna looked up, her eyes so dark with grief that she couldn’t take her mind from the crying girl in her arms “we have to go, we cannot linger for too long here.”

Susanna nodded, “I know.”

Susanna pulled Lily from her chest and tilted Lily’s downcast head to look at her “Now Lily, you must be strong.”

Lily sniffed, rubbing her nose “I’m sorry Susanna, I’m so very sorry.”

Susanna smiled kindly “Don’t be sorry, sweetheart.”

Paul smiled encouragingly as he waved his wand and a handkerchief appeared in mid air. This he handed to Lily. She took it gratefully “Thank you.”

“Don’t mention it.” Paul and Susanna said at the same time. Susanna’s face softened “Now Lily, we have to get to Diagon Alley. School supplies are essential, though we could get away with only buying a wand.”

“Where is Diagon Alley?” Lily asked curiously, wiping her emerald green eyes softly.

“In London.”

“Oh. How are we getting there?” Lily asked as Susanna held out a hand to Lily. Lily took it immediately.

“By Portkey” Paul replied. After noticing the curious look on Lily’s small, roundish face, he laughed lightly “Enough of these questions, you shall find out when we get there”

Lily fell silent, not wanting to annoy Paul any more. She looked at her hand clasped in Susanna’s and for the first time in the past few days she actually felt safe. The familiar feeling of her hand being held caused her to force away the tears that seemed to be forever close to the surface these days, with alittle shake of her head. She was not going to cry for a long time, she had had enough of crying. It was exhausting. So now, she promised herself not to cry for a while, give her eyes time to recuperate

They walked down Lily’s home street, Paul and Susanna looking this way and that every now and then. But not enough to cause Lily to be nervous or frightened, they were just making sure they were not been watched.

Susanna looked down at Lily as she walked overcome by a sudden impulse to tell Lily something about herself. She felt sorry for the young girl holding tight to her hand as though, she too, would disappear and never come back. Though she knew they had to give Lily over to her last remaining relatives at the end of the day, Susanna couldn’t help but want to keep her as her own, never let her out of her sight again, keep her safe until the end of her days. She had to forget about such dreams, it was simply out of the question.

“You know I have a son around the same age as you?” Susanna enquired, knowing what answer she would receive.

“Really?” Lily asked immediately, curious of this boy and how he came to have parents such as these two kind people.

“Yes. He’s name is James and he is the same age as you in fact, going to be in the same grade as you at Hogwarts.” Susanna said proudly, happy that her son would have the chance to meet this wondrously gifted girl.

The reply from Lily was not what she had expected though “But you are so young.”

Susanna and Paul looked at each other and smiled “How old do you think we are?”

Lily thought for a moment “Twenty?”

Susanna’s heart melted “Oh, that is sweet of you, but we are much older than that.”

“Susie, don’t give away our secrets!” Paul said in a mocking threatening voice.

“Oh shh you, I know that you want all the young girls at the office to believe you are what you appear to be but really we are double that.” Susanna informed while Paul hung his head in dismay.

“That means you are…” Lily thought for a moment, adding the two numbers together “That means you are forty years old?” Lily pulled a face.

Susanna laughed loudly “Oh I love that reaction, see her face Paul?”

“I wasn’t trying to be rude” Lily defended quickly, “Was just a shock that’s all.”

“Well Lily, there are a few differences from Muggles to Magical people. Muggles are non-magical people.” Susanna informed seeing the look of confusion on Lily’s face.

“So my parents were Muggles?”

Susanna nodded.

“So that means I am…”

“Muggle-born, half and half, though there are a few things that you will find out about your heritage by the end of the day. But right now I was explaining the aging effect on Witches and Wizards alike. You see, we don’t age as much as Muggles, the magic keeps us together, so to speak. So, what I am saying is we could be one hundred and fifty and only look seventy-five.”

“Really? And even though I am only half witch, will this happen to me too?” Lily asked intrigued.

Susanna nodded “Yes of course, any ounce of magic in your blood preserves you.”

Lily gasped “Wow, that is amazing.”

“You haven’t seen the last of it” Paul remarked as they came to a stop beneath an old oak tree.

“Why have we stopped here?” Lily asked curiously looking around and seeing nothing of significance.

“The Portkey is around here somewhere…” Paul trailed off as he’s eyes widened as they caught sight of a soiled newspaper under a layer of fallen leaves. “There! Near the tree,” Paul exclaimed running to the newspaper and taking hold of it.

He held it out to Lily, and Lily saw a bolded headline read “Muggles killed in surprise attack by Death Eaters” below the title of The Daily Prophet.

“Lily, touch the paper.” Susanna commanded suddenly.

“We have thirty seconds, Susie” Paul warned.

Lily stared at the paper, the head line and the black and white picture of a huge hazy form in the sky above her house. The skull with the serpent slithering from it’s mouth frightened Lily a lot. “I – I can’t.”

“Of course you can Lily.” Susanna said strongly.

“Touch the damn paper, Lily” Paul demanded.

Lily sighed and brushed the tip of her finger against the surface of the paper. That was all the portkey needed it seemed for she was immediately thrown forward, as though traveling a distance at spectacular speeds.

And after a moment, she fell, and the ground caught her. She groaned, feeling her knees ache once again. It was then that a helpful hand appeared in front of her face. Susanna and Paul Potter stood above her smiling. Susanna laughed at Lily’s shocked expression “Don’t worry you will get used to it one day.”

Lily took her hand while she grumbled “How could anyone ever get used to that?”

“It was worth it, though. Wasn’t it?” Paul questioned “Lily Evans, welcome to The Leaky Cauldron.”


~*~

James had been lying on the green grass facing the cloud strewn blue sky for many hours, or maybe it was minutes.

Time didn't matter to James. The whisper of the wind as it ruffled his messy black hair didn't receive an ounce of acknowledgement. James was carefree and a dreamer.

He continuously dreamed of what it would be like to fly, to be at Hogwarts; of its many passages, its food, its corridors and its secrets. James wanted to discover all the secrets! Every one of them! He wanted to make friends with the giant squid, clean every glass pane of the glasshouses, talk back to every teacher (at least once) and have his own little circle of friends. He wanted to make his time at Hogwarts count.

James wondered if Hogwarts would live up to his expectations. He won't know until he got there.

James pulled himself up into a sitting position and looked towards the road. There was nothing new to be seen around him, though James would have to of been a fool to hope for such a thing.

Everything in the Potter Estate was controlled, from the visitors allowed to come to the house, or the shade of green the lawn was. Odd appearances of things didn't just happen, there had to be a glitch in the charm James's mother or father had performed. And that, to say the least, happened very rarely.

He got up off the grass and walked to the house.

Nothing out of the ordinary had occurred in James's absence. but then again nothing happened that was out of the ordinary. Everything fit that category in relation to James's life.

He walked lazily up the stone steps, brushing past a maid at the tenth step as she went to tend to the gardens. James looked up to see at least another ten steps to over come until he was on the front door's platform. He usually made a game of getting up these "Twenty Steps of Death", but today the summer heat was getting to him, the moisture in the air had soaked into the t-shirt he had worn to bed and was beginning to make him slightly irritated.

James gave up and collapsed on the tenth step.

He looked around the grounds; he could see a great deal of land from this height.

He looked over the, almost blinding, green grass compared to the brown dusty excuse for lawns covering the neighbours' grounds. James turned his head from left to right, then back again.

That was when something out of the ordinary, even by James's standards, occurred.

This something was about to change James's life from that moment on.

~*~

A/N: Thankyou for reading... review responses can be found on the review page, and also on my live journal account, the link can be found in my profile. Thanks again for the great reviews, I appreciate them alot =) until next time....

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