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A/N: First of all, thank you thank you thank you to everyone who's reviewed, I'm sorry that I haven't had time to respond to the reviews. This chapter is relatively short, and after this I only have one more written, so updates may take a little longer. Thank you again to everyone!



    The rest of the term passed without any major incidents - the Slytherins kept fighting amongst themselves but there were no major disturbances. As the Christmas break arrived, I decided that it was time to talk to Oliver about our plans.


    "Oliver," I said as we sat on the Express on our way home.


    "Hmm?"


    "My family, they, well, they have a ball every year on Christmas Eve.  I was wondering if, if you'd…" I trailed off. I couldn't ask. I didn't want to bring him that far into the darkness.


    "Of course I'll come." He smiled at me.


    "And dinner beforehand? It will just be my family." I said. He nodded.


    "And dinner as well." I smiled and let myself fall asleep on his shoulder.


    When Christmas Eve arrived I was more than anxious. I hadn't seen Oliver since Hogwarts and my family had been driving me crazy. At 5 o'clock on the dot Oliver arrived in my entry way, in full dress robes.


    "You," I said as I greeted him with a kiss, "are a smart man." I was dressed in a full length gown. It was midnight blue with a slit cut up my right leg. It was strapless, too, and I wore elbow-length silk gloves and a stunning diamond necklace.


    "Yeah, well, I clean up nice." I smiled. He sure did. Just then, my family walked into the entry way.


    "Ah, you must be Mr. Wood," my father greeted him.


    "Yessir." Oliver said, shaking his hand.


    "Oliver, this is my father, my step-mother and this," I said, indicating the little girl sticking her head out from behind my step-mother, "is my half-sister, Gem." He shook my step-mother's hand and smiled at Gem.


    "Come," my father said, leading us to the dinning room.


    "I didn't know you had a sister." Oliver whispered as we followed my father.


    "Yeah, well, I try to keep it kind of a secret." I admitted, taking my seat at the table.


    "So, Mr. Wood, you are, of course, a pureblood I assume?" That's my father for you, cuts right to the chase. And don't beat around the bush with what he wants to know , either.


    "Um, yessir." Oliver responded nervously.


    "Scottish, correct?" Oliver nodded. "That explains why we haven't met before then, I suppose." The conversation continued in much the same manner throughout dinner, until my father got to the question I hopped he'd forgotten about. "Now, Mr. Wood, you are a Slytherin I suppose? Why have I not met him earlier, Lily, I thought I'd met all of your housemates." I swallowed hard and looked at Oliver.


    "Actually, father, Oliver isn't a Slytherin."


    "Oh?" he was surprised - and obviously disappointed. "A Ravenclaw then?" I shook my head.


    "I'm a Gryffindor, sir," Oliver said, I had never heard his voice so small.


    "Excuse me? I thought I just heard you say that you are a Gryffindor?"


    "That's right, father. And captain of their Quidditch team." My father was furious. He began lecturing me right then and there about how I was a disgrace to the family. My step-mother nodded along, and my two year old half sister laughed. "We don’t have to sit through this, c'mon Oliver." I said, taking his hand and exiting the dinning room


    "What about your ball?" Oliver asked.


    "Sod the bloody ball." I said and apparated to Oliver's bedroom. He quickly followed suit. Ok, so saying 'sod the ball' was quite possibly the stupidest thing I'd done that night, but I was pissed off. When Oliver apparated next to me in is room, I turned to him. "Do you have something I can change into?" I asked in earnest, realizing that I was still in my gown. He laughed and fetched me a pair of shorts and a Puddlemire United sweatshirt, along with a change of clothes for himself. We quickly changed and I hung up my gown before either of us said another word.


    "So, do you want to meet my parents?" Oliver asked with a smile playing across his lips.


    "I dunno, Oliver, I look a mess. And our last parental adventure didn't end up too well.


    "First of all, I like you in my clothes, and second of all, my parents aren’t nearly as psycho as your family." I laughed. It was probably true. My father, step-mother, and half-sister were quite possibly the three most psychotic wizards there were - except for Voldemort, of course.


    "Oliver, I'd love to meet your parents." I smiled and he smiled back. Taking my hand, he led me downstairs.


    "Mum? Da? We have a guest!" he called once we reached the kitchen.


    "Oliver! I thought you were going to be gone all night," his mother said, enveloping him in a hug.


    "Plans changed." he said as his father entered the room. "Mum, Da, this is Lily Potter." His parents looked at me - they obviously knew my name.


    "It's nice to meet you, Mr. Wood, Ms. Wood." I said as politely as possible


    "Of course! We've heard so much about you!" Mrs. Wood said, taking me by surprise and hugging me. Oliver smiled. I spent the rest of the night sitting with Oliver and his parents, talking about everything and nothing. At about 1 AM Mr. Wood noticed the time.


    "Happy Christmas, everybody," he said, smiling.


    "Lily, why don't you sleep here tonight, seeing as it's so late. You can go home after brunch tomorrow." I smiled at Mr. and Mrs. Wood and thanked them for their hospitality.


    "I really should be getting back, though," I said. Oliver and I said goodnight to his parents and went upstairs to retrieve my gown. I kissed Oliver gently on the lips before disapparating back to my own room. I silently hung the gown in my closet and got into bed. Honestly, my parents probably would not notice that I had returned until breakfast the next day, but Oliver's parents had been more than fair to me and I didn't want to take advantage of their hospitality.


    In all honesty, the only reason my father cared about my attending the ball (something I'd surely be punished for skiving off) was in order to keep up appearances. He had dismissed me four years prior, when my mother had died and my elder brother disappeared.


    Not long after my mother's death, my father re-married into a very prominent pureblood family. He and Melissa - his new wife - had Gem not long after. Once he had his new wife and daughter, I was no longer needed. I was, however, to maintain appearances. This meant attending all pureblood functions, receiving top grades and school, and marrying a nice, rich, pureblood Slytherin (like Jason Avery) before settling down and producing lots of pureblood babies.


    This plan, of course, was already never going to happen, seeing as I didn't want to settle down into a family. My father and step-mother had often lectured me on how a career in politics was a man's job and I needed to find myself a suitable husband to care for me. With any luck, he'd be a prospective Death Eater as well. Fucking parents. Once it became clear to me that I was no more than a show piece to my family, I realized that that gave me immense freedoms. Being Slytherin Queen was a lot, but with parents who didn't care about what I was doing, I could do ANYTHING - as long as it didn't make my father look bad.


    The only downside was Gem. Whenever I was home, I was expected to let her follow me everywhere, and I had to make sure I set a good example, or she'd go tattling to Mummy and Daddy. As you can probably imagine, I didn't spend much time at home. At first I spent my time trying to find my brother, but after a year or so I gave up and began spending all of my time away from Hogwarts at McKenzie's house. It was better than mine, that was to say the least. But now that McKenzie and I weren't talking (she had, unfortunately, chosen to side with Avery in our little turf war) this vacation was to be spent mainly at home.



It was going to be a very long break.

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