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Lily and Mrs. Evans stepped into the Leaky Cauldron off of the bustling London street. The owner, Tom, came up and greeted them as he always had, ad cordially asked if they were interested in a drink. They politely refused, but promised to come back and have one on their way out. It was very crowded with other Hogwarts students, parents, and also the usual crowd who were looking very unhappy at all the people filling their pub. Lily and Mrs. Evans had to push their way across, nodding and pardoning themselves as they jostled through the mass of people milling around, ordering drinks, hailing tables, and trying to find friends they were meeting. At last they slipped out of the back door into the familiar bricked-in space behind the Leaky Cauldron, and Lily walked up to the wall with the trash can by it, and tapped the sequence of bricks, which rearranged and formed the arch into Diagon Alley.

If the Leaky Cauldron had been crowded, it was nothing compared to the wide street with its many magical and unusual shops. There was a very long line outside of the book store, and something of a riot going on in Quality Quidditch Supplies. A very harassed looking witch had just emerged from the Magical Menagerie, and had several color-changing piranhas clinging to her robes, which were dripping wet from the tank. With all the calling out to friends, the shouts form the Quidditch store (apparently over the last Silver Arrow, which was now being auctioned off to the highest bidder), the enthusiastic advertising from the street vendors (Pickled toad legs, Bargain! Only 10 sickles a pound!), and the hoots, meows, croaks, and more unusual animal sounds from newly purchased pets, Lily had to yell to her mother, who was standing right next to her, "WE NEED TO GO AND GET MY SCHOOL BOOKS FIRST, OKAY?"

"WHAT DID YOU SAY, DEAR?" called back Mrs. Evans, but Lily had grasped her hand and had already begun to lead her down the street. They went into Flourish and Blotts, and got the books Lily would need for her seventh year at Hogwarts, along with some new quills (including a very pretty turquoise peacock feather quill), parchment, and ink (not only traditional black, but also some lavender smelling lavender ink, and rose scented pink ink). Next was the Apothecary, so while Lily purchased the standard ingredients she would be needing throughout the year, Mrs. Evans enjoyed herself looking at they many interesting bottles and bins of things she personally hoped Lily was not putting in her potions and drinking. There where snake venoms, eel eyes, barracuda scales, jelly from the liver of a frog, and many insects that included specific instructions for proper grinding and usage. And I believed Lily wouldn't be doing gross dissections in a magical school like they do at Petunia's school! thought Mrs. Evans, smiling to herself and making a mental note to tell her other daughter, Petunia, that Lily still had to do gross stuff, even if she wasn't taking Biology. They made several other stops at the various shops, and purchased a great deal of other stuff, till all that was left to do was to get Lily's new robes and a present for her daughter for becoming Head Girl, which Lily had described to Mrs. Evans on the train ride over to London.

"Lily, do you want a broomstick for your gift? Or how about that book we saw, "Girls Who Are Charmed"?" she asked, her voice slightly muffled, as she was speaking from behind a large armload of shopping bags. Lily turned to speak to her mother, but instead burst out laughing at the sight of her. Lily's mum was barely visible, laden down under Lily's many parcels, packages, and purchases. She relieved her of some of the bags, and thoughtfully pondered what gift she would like.

"Definitely not a broomstick. Flying on those is so scary, there is nothing to hold on to! That book looked very interesting, but I can already do a lot of the charms in there", said Lily, her brow furrowed while deliberating. Suddenly, the perfect gift came to her. "Mum, what about an owl? Do you think I could have one of those? They could carry mail, and I've always wanted a pet, and this way I could write you, Daddy, and Petunia more often! Please?"

"Well, if you really want one..." began Mrs. Evans, who was a little perturbed that this gift idea had gone rapidly from book to bird.

"Oh thank you!" exclaimed Lily excitedly, but then Mrs. Evans cut her off.

"On one condition," continued Mrs. Evans, seriously, "You must write to me every week!" she said, breaking into a smile, hugging her daughter. "Now, let's go to Eyelop's Owl Emporium and choose it!"

In all of the excitement of getting an owl, somehow the packages had been transferred back to Mrs. Evan's arms, and she was once more stumbling under the weight as she tried to follow her daughter, who's amber red hair was swishing as she was chatting about what type of owl she might like to get. While they walked, many other teens were waving and calling out to Lily, who was very popular at Hogwarts.

"Hey Evans! Good to see you!"
"Lily! Over here! See you September first!"
"Lily, where you been all summer?"

Lily waved and called back to them, smiling at her friends and keeping a commentary for her mother's sake, who knew very few of Lily's acquaintances from Hogwarts.

"That's Alice Johnson, she and Frank Longbottom have been together since the last dance. Oh, and that's Cindy Chattam, she's a year below me, really sweet girl. And over there is..."

"Evans! Lily Evans! Hey, over here!" shouted someone across the street.

Lily recognized the voice at once, and began to search for the source. The cockiness in his voice had been a clear giveaway at once. Sure enough, Lily didn't have to look far, for standing outside of Quality Quidditch Supplies was a group of four boys. One was nodding over at her, ruffling his untidy jet black hair. James Potter, of course.

Lily snatched her mother's arm and began to steer her away from James and his friends, who called themselves the Marauders. But Mrs. Evans had already spotted the boys and was making her way towards them. "Come now, Lily dear! You must have heard them!"

"No, mum! We mustn’t go up to them!" hissed Lily, now being dragged to her mother towards James and the Marauders.

"And why not? You can't be so rude!" continued Mrs. Evans. Lily sighed. How could she explain to her mother about James Potter. He was arrogant, big headed, thought he was so cool because he was a Quidditch star, and always played with that little snitch. He also would never leave Lily alone.

"Hey Evans, so how's it going?" James asked as Lily and Mrs. Evans approached.

"Fine." said Lily coldly.

"You must be Mrs. Evans. I am Remus Lupin, how do you do?" asked Remus, the polite one of the Marauders, who was more reserved then James, and had been a Prefect with Lily.

"Why, yes! Hello, pleased to meet you Remus. Lily don't be so rude and introduce me to your friends here!" said Mrs. Evans, delighted at the prospect of meeting her daughter's classmates. Lily winced at the thought of the Marauders as her friends.

"Um, well you already met Remus," mumbled Lily, "so this is Peter," she said motioning to a shorter, mousy looking boy, "And Sirius," now nodding at the boy who was leaning casually against the wall, who was looking very blasé about it all, "and this is James." she finished, looking at the ground rather than at James, who was moving forward to shake her mother's hand.

"What a pleasure meeting you, Mrs. Evans. I can see where Lily gets her good looks!" said a winning James, now shaking a blushing and smiling Mrs. Evan's hand.

"Yes, yes, quite a pleasure but Mother and I really need to be going, lots to buy, people to meet, but nice chatting with you all, got to run now, see you on the train, good bye James, Sirius, Peter, and Remus, so see you all Later!" rambled Lily very quickly while forcefully walking towards the owl emporium, leaving the Marauders standing on the other side of the road.

"They seemed very nice Lily, and you were very rude to them. They were all very polite, and that James was very good looking!" said Mrs. Evans, smiling knowingly to her daughter, who wore a very disgusted face after her last words.

"C'mon mum. We need to get my owl before meeting Tracy."

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