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    A/N: I know that this Story has been done a few times before but this is my version of how the marauders and Lily read the Philosopher's Stone so please read and review and tell me if you would like me to continue! 

    Disclaimer: Everything in bold is the Philosopher's Stone written by JK Rowling. The story is not mine- the reactions to the story are mine. The characters belong to JK Rowling also! 

    Chapter One- The Boy Who Lived 

    Lily Evans, age seventeen was angry. In fact angry was an understatement- she was fuming. In all her years at Hogwarts, of all the embarrassing things she had endured, this had to be the most humiliating, and she had, had her fair share. And as always, in circumstances such as these there was only one culprit at the base and that was James Potter.


    James Potter, the unofficial ringleader of the Marauders, as they called themselves, had made it his number one aim to get her, Lily Evans to give him a chance. But no matter what he did to impress her, it always resorted in a crowd of people pointing and laughing, or a group of girls swearing their revenge because after all James Potter was always considered, in their eyes, as their “possession.”


    As Lily Evans stormed through the corridor, her beautiful red ringlets, now a hideous shade of luminous green and her normally almond-shaped emerald eyes, now purple, she swore revenge. He had taken it too far this time. Heads turned as she made her way to the heads common room. She heard people muttering “What’s Potter done now?” behind their hands. It had taken her all day before she had managed to make her face turn back to its usual colour; it had been metallic pink until a few moments ago. Alice Spencer, her best friend, had tried to calm her down, but after half an hour of telling her it really didn’t look so bad, Alice found herself trailing after Lily down the corridor her brown hair flicking in and out of her faces as she jogged after her.


    “POTTER YOU’VE GONE TOO FAR, THIS TIME,” Lily Evans screamed, entering the Heads Common room along with Alice. Lily was usually a very calm and level headed person, but when it came to James Potter she found it extremely difficult to form any rational thoughts.


    “And to what do I owe this pleasure, Evans,” A boy with untidy, jet-black hair, deep hazel eyes, framed by round rimmed glasses and a mischievous grin entered the room. Behind him were his three friends Remus Lupin, Peter Pettigrew and off course Sirius Black.


    The four friends had been inseparable since the first week they had started Hogwarts, causing more trouble in their first week than most in a lifetime. The four handsome boys had been described as the most eligible bachelors, and most humorous because of their frequent, yet funny pranks. Even Peter, the less popular one of the group managed to get the girls, even if he wasn’t as funny, smart or good-looking as the rest. Lily, however, was the only one, aside a few Slytherins, who seemed to dislike the infamous four. In fact it was only Remus she could stand. The only one she could ever truly be friends with. The sandy haired boy was by far the more sensible and hardworking. 


    James found himself pined back to the wall, a emerald steleto digging into his chest and wand directed at the neck. He looked at the female in front of him, the one that had stolen his heart but only six years ago.


    “LOOK AT ME- IS THIS YOUR IDEA OF A JOKE?” Lily Evans screemed at him. He loved her fiary temper. It was one of the things that made her different to all of the other girls in the school. He recalled the moment he had fallen for the red-headed girl when he was just eleven; he vowed that he’d never give up that one day she’d give him a chance and after six years of on going rejection, he kept the promise.


    It had started of as a small childish crush but now he knew it was more than that, he had been out with too many girls not to know that Lily Evans was the person he wanted to spend the rest of his life with.


    “No,” He corrected, still under her wand and steleto. “It is not my idea of a joke but I can think of a couple of other people who may have done it,” He then looked pointedly at Sirius who jumped to his defence, instantly putting on a face of fake innocence and pointing to himself in the chest as if it was the most rediculous thing he had ever heard.


    “Me?” He said blamelessly. “I would never perform such a prank, on Lily Evans of all people!”


    “Whatever, Black,” Lily said, turning her iritated stare onto him instead. “I don’t doubt you were behind this, at all,”


    “I knew you loved me, Lily,” James said arrogently but this only caused Lily to glare at him again, hatred shining in every ounce of her eyes.


    “Doesn’t mean I don’t think you were behind it as well, Potter!”


    “Could you please take that wand away from me,” James asked carefully.


    “Not a chance, Potter,” Lily protested, jabing it a little into his side.


    “Oh well, if you wanted to pin me to a wall- you could have just asked- no wand needed,” James said in a concieted fasion. “Believe me, I have no objection to being pressed up against a wall by you Evans, all you had to do was ask nicely.”


    That got her to let go. She had jumped so far back that she almost crashed into Remus.


    “Don’t flatter yourself,”


    “Then don’t flatter me,” He was grinning like a mad man now, only adding to an already thuderous Lily.




    “I love you too,” He said smoothly, in a sickly sweet voice that made him cringe at the sound. Why was it that he acted like a prat whenever Lily was close? “Will you go out with me,”  


    “ARGH, I hate you, James Potter, I would rather jump into the Black Lake and drown than spend a second of being your girlfriend,”


    “Oh harsh,” Sirius resisted the temptation to laugh, it would have been hilarious if he hadn’t known the extent of James feelings. But James’s five hour rants about her hair, eyes and personality had driven the young Black into near insanity and it was because of all these rants that Sirius knew it wasn't just the thrill of the chase.


    “Shut up, Padfoot,” Remus whispered, nudging an insensitive Sirius in the ribs. It was at that moment that Lily had, had enough. She picked up her bag, flung it over her shoulder when a red book had fallen out. Alice slowly picked it up, on it was a picture of platform nine and three quarters with a boy who looked remarkably like a cartoon version of James.


    “Hey, Lils,” Alice called after her, she stopped on her way to the door and spun around. “You dropped this book. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling.”


    “What,” Lily said impatiently, clearly not being able to stand a moment longer in the presence of James. “That’s not mine,” She looked at it quizzically before reading the back of the book aloud.


    "Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy - until he is rescued by a beetle-eyed giant of a man, enrols at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, learns to play Quidditch and battles in a deadly duel. The Reason: HARRY POTTER IS A WIZARD! No seriously Alice, I have never seen this book in my life."


    “But it fell out of your bag,” James persisted, also stepping closer to the book and staring into the animated drawing of himself. “Harry Potter, no one in my family called Harry, even if he does look like me,”


    “That’s because,” Lily said coolly, looking at James directly, ignoring the rest of the inhabitants of the room. “It’s a fictional story book and there are plenty Potters in the world who have black hair and glasses.”


    “The pages look sort of funny,” Peter piped up, he had been quiet until now but he addressed the other five in his usual squeaky voice, his head slightly down, fingering the pages of the book carefully. “The pictures are still and everything.”


    “That’s because it’s a muggle book, you idiot,” Sirius smacked him playfully on the side of the head, however Peter didn’t seem to notice Sirius’s jokey tone and muttered a ‘sorry’ before quieting down.


    “A Muggle book in Hogwarts and in your bag?” It was Alice who had asked this question. “What’s a muggle book, that you Lily Evans, a great bookworm, doesn’t even know about doing in Hogwarts?”


    “Maybe we should read it,” James suggested. “Maybe it was sent by some great force who wants us to read it,” James said dramatically, before laughing hysterically.


    “Don’t be ridiculous, Potter, why on earth would you want to read this book,” Lily said tartly, pursing her lips, a habit that apparently ran in the family.


    “Because any book with the name Potter on the front can’t be that bad,” James smiled arrogantly, running his fingers through his untidy hair, undoubtedly because he thought it wasn’t messy enough.  


    “You are so up yourself that I’m surprised you know what sunlight looks like,”


    “Really, original, Evans,” James said sarcastically. “Besides it’d be fun to read something from a muggles point of view- I have to read a book for Muggle studies anyway- couldn’t find one so might as well read this.”


    “No you will not,” Lily protested, snatching the book from his grip and embracing it protectively. “It’s my book,” 


    “You said you have never seen it before,” Sirius said incredulously.


    “My bag, my book and there is no way I’m handing it to you lot,”


    “What why,” It was a stupid question, even in James’s head it sounded like a pathetic question to ask, it was obvious. “Come on, Evans, I’ll make you a deal,” He continued before she could answer his previous question. “You read the book with us and I’ll make sure your hair and eyes are returned to its normal colour.” He held out his hand but Lily refused it.


    “Or I could take the book and tell a member of staff,” she replied dangerously.


    “You could but it’s a spell Sirius and I invented ourselves, we’re the only ones who can lift it,” Lily didn’t know whether or not to believe him; it was possible but then again it was just as likely to be a bluff.


    “What if I keep the book, hex you and make you change my hair and eyes back,”


    “And go against everything you’ve been saying is wrong to me for years- it’s either read the book or go out with me.” James had done it and everyone in the room knew it, however, it didn’t go unnoticed that Lily was also an extremely stubborn and competitive individual and would stop at nothing to prove she was right.  


    “Oh well,” She said finally after what seemed like hours. “I kind off like my hair like this anyway,”


    “You have no choice you know; you’ll help us in the end…” James chuckled softly; only Lily seemed to ignore him, muttering ‘Muggleborn’ under her breath as the door to the corridor presented itself. She stalked out, head in the air, Alice trailing behind her- it was this moment Remus turned to James.


    “She’s not going to help us mate,” Remus concluded turning on his heel, only to stop when his best friend grabbed his shoulder.


    “No, no, she will, trust me- I had a feeling she might refuse but I’m sure she’ll reconsider,” James smirked again and Remus gave him a questioning yet impressed look. “Five,” He held out five fingers and put one down before, “Four,” He put another finger down. “Three, two, one” He pointed to the Common Room door. Lily appeared instantly, a defeated expression covering every inch of her features.


    “One chapter and that’s it,” Lily said through gritted teeth as though it physically pained her to give in to James Potter, of all people.


    “Deal,” Lily handed him the book reluctantly and they all sat on the sofas by the blazing urban fire. Remus and Sirius took each of the armchairs and Peter and Alice lay on the heath rug. To Lily’s discussed she ended up sitting with James on the sofa and even though James plonked himself inconveniently in the middle, Lily sat as far away from him as possible. “I never thought I’d see the day when you, James Potter, had to convince me, Lily Evans, to read a book,”


    “Believe me; I’m just as surprised as you. But I’m James Potter, full of surprises.” He winked at Lily before opening the pages of the book, carefully, and began to read. “Ok then, CHAPTER ONE James read, clearly. THE BOY WHO LIVED

    Sirius started to pretend to snore loudly, letting his head fall back, eyes closed like he was pretending to be asleep, until a pillow made contact with his head. He looked around to find the culprit and saw that it was Alice.


    “Hey!” He said loudly.


    “Stop being a prat and listen,”

    Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last people you'd expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious, because they just didn't hold with such nonsense.

    Sirius yawed loudly.

    “Shut up Padfoot, it’ll be good.” Remus said getting a little annoyed.

    “Good my arse,” he muttered so that no one could hear.

    Mr. Dursley was the director of a firm called Grunnings, which made drills.

    “You can already tell a muggles written it,” Remus commented. “Its already mentioned Muggle tools,”

    “Sounds Boring to me,” Sirius intervened, looking bored already. “Starts of with what sounds like the most boring people on the planet- remind me, again,” Sirius said questioningly, like a small child waiting to open his presents on Christmas day. “Why are we reading this?”

    “Muggle Studies remember- don’t you want to pass NEWTs?” James retorted before motioning them to quieten down before carrying on with the story. 

    He was a big, beefy man with hardly any neck, although he did have a very large moustache. Mrs. Dursley was thin and blonde and had nearly twice the usual amount of neck, which came in very useful as she spent much of her time craning over garden fences, spying on the neighbours.

    “Sounds like a right barrel of laughs to me,” Sirius said sarcastically, wishing that they were out inviting pranks and not stuck indoors with a book by the fire.

    The Dursley’s had a small son called Dudley and in their opinion there was no finer boy anywhere.

    “Not that there opinion sounds like it counts for much,” Sirius added, again.

    “Shut up Padfoot, stop interrupting,” Remus snapped in a rather fatherly fashion, Sirius immediately quietened down, there was no one else in the world other than Remus Lupin, who could control him even a little bit.

    The Dursleys had everything they wanted, but they also had a secret, and their greatest fear was that somebody would discover it. They didn't think they could bear it if anyone found out about the Potters.

    “Dursley,” Sirius barked. “I mean really, what kind of name is that?”

    “Hey, Lils,” Alice said, suddenly, looking as though she was remembering something. “Isn’t your sister’s boyfriend called Dursley?”

    “What, that lousy excuse for a man, Vernon,” Lily said bitterly, still not warming to the idea of another half-hour or so in the company of the Marauders. “Merlin, can only guess what Petunia sees in him,”

    Mrs. Potter was Mrs. Dursley's sister, but they hadn't met for several years: in fact, Mrs. Dursley pretended she didn't have a sister because her sister and her good-for-nothing husband were as unDursleyish as it was possible to be.

    “Damn!” James said stopping suddenly. “Can’t be any relation of mine, I’m a pure blood- I don’t have any muggle relatives that I know off and by the sounds of this Mrs Potter is a muggle-born,”

    “I did tell you,” Lily said, her voice was very matter-of-fact, James had chosen to ignore this comment.

    The Dursleys shuddered to think what the neighbours would say if the Potters arrived in the street. The Dursleys knew that the Potters had a small son, too, but they had never even seen him. This boy was another good reason for keeping the Potters away; they didn't want Dudley mixing with a child like that.

    “Sound like a right, horrible, prejudice lot,” James said angrily. “There’s nothing wrong with wizards.”

    “Could we stop with the commentary please, I’m a bit busy- places to go, people to see, hair and eyes to change back,” She addressed her last point to James, pointedly, raising a brow as if to say that he should get a move on. James didn’t argue but turned back to the book, trying to find where he had last left.

    When Mr. and Mrs. Dursley woke up on the dull, grey Tuesday our story starts, there was nothing about the cloudy sky outside to suggest that strange and mysterious things would soon be happening all over the country. Mr. Dursley hummed as he picked out his most boring tie for work and Mrs. Dursley gossiped away happily as she wrestled a screaming Dudley into his high chair. None of them noticed a large tawny owl flutter past the window.

    At half past eight, Mr. Dursley picked up his briefcase, pecked Mrs. Dursley on the cheek and tried to kiss Dudley goodbye but missed, because Dudley was now having a tantrum and throwing cereal at the walls.

    "Little tyke," Chortled Mr. Dursley as he left the house. He got into his car and backed out of number four's drive.
    It was on the corner of the street that he noticed the first sign of something peculiar - a cat reading a map.

    “It must be an Animagus, what animal would be reading a map otherwise,” Remus pointed out, sitting up in his chair and brushing a way some hair out of his eyes.

    For a second, Mr. Dursley didn't realise what he had seen -then he jerked his head around to look again. There was a tabby cat standing on the corner of Privet Drive, but there wasn't a map in sight. What could he have been thinking of? It must have been a trick of the light. Mr. Dursley blinked and stared at the cat. It stared back. As Mr. Dursley drove around the corner and up the road, he watched the cat in his mirror. It was now reading the sign that said Privet Drive - No, looking at the sign; cats couldn't read maps or signs.

    “This is stupid, doesn’t he realise that she or he’s and Animagus,” Sirius looked put off now, he felt like he rather not read anymore, and for the first time in his life his bed seemed inviting at seven thirty.

    Mr. Dursley gave himself a little shake and put the cat out of his mind. As he drove towards town, he thought of nothing except a large order of drills he was hoping to get that day. But on the edge of town, drills were driven out of his mind by something else. As he sat in the usual morning traffic jam, he couldn't help noticing that there seemed to be a lot of strangely dressed people about. People in cloaks. Mr. Dursley couldn't bear people who dressed in funny clothes - the get-ups you saw on young people!"

    He supposed this was some stupid new fashion. He drummed his fingers on the steering wheel and his eyes fell on a huddle of these weirdoes standing quite close by. They were whispering excitedly together. Mr. Dursley was enraged to see that a couple of them weren't young at all; why, that man had to be older than he was, and wearing an emerald green cloak! The nerve of him! But then it struck Mr. Dursley that this was probably some silly stunt - these people were obviously collecting for something ... yes, that would be it.

    “THEY’RE WIZARDS,” Sirius shouted impatiently at the book.

    “He’s a muggle, he doesn’t know about this world remember,”

    “Seems like he knows enough to me,”

    The traffic moved on, and a few minutes later, Mr. Dursley arrived in the Grunnings car park, his mind back on drills. Mr. Dursley always sat with his back to the window in his office on the ninth floor. If he hadn't, he might have found it harder to concentrate on drills that morning.

    He didn't see the owls swooping past in broad daylight, though the people down in the street did; they pointed and gazed open-mouthed as owl after owl sped overhead.

    Most of them had never seen an owl even at night time. Mr. Dursley, however, had a perfectly normal, owl-free morning. He yelled a five different people. He made several important telephone calls and shouted a bit more. He was in a very good mood until lunchtime, when he thought he'd stretch his legs and walk across the road to buy himself a bun from the baker's opposite.

    He'd forgotten all about the people in cloaks until he passed a group of them next to the baker's. He eyed them angrily as he passed. He didn't know why, but they made him uneasy. This lot were whispering excitedly, too, and he couldn't see a single collecting tin. It was on his way back past them, clutching a large doughnut in a bag, that he caught a few words of what they were saying.

    "The Potters, that's right, that's what I heard -"

    "- Yes, their son, Harry - "

    “Finally, we’re getting somewhere,” Everyone glared at Sirius warningly, before James continued to read.

    Mr. Dursley stopped dead. Fear flooded him. He looked back at the whisperers as if he wanted to say something to them, but thought better of it.

    He dashed back across the road, hurried up to his office, snapped at his secretary not to disturb him, seized his telephone and had almost finished dialling his home number when he changed his mind. He put the receiver back down and stroked his moustache, thinking...

    No, he was being stupid. Potter wasn't such an unusual name.

    He was sure there were lots of people called Potter who had a son called Harry. Come to think of it, he wasn't even sure his nephew was called Harry. He'd never even seen the boy. It might have been Harvey. Or Harold. There was no point in worrying Mrs. Dursley; she always got so upset at any mention of her sister. He didn't blame her - if he'd had a sister like that... but all the same, those people in cloaks...

    He found it a lot harder to concentrate on drills that afternoon, and when he left the building at five o'clock, he was still so worried that he walked straight into someone just outside the door.

    "Sorry," he grunted, as the tiny old man stumbled and almost fell.

    It was a few seconds before Mr. Dursley realised that the man was wearing a violet cloak. He didn't seem at all upset at being almost knocked to the ground. On the contrary, his face split into a wide smile and he said in a squeaky voice that made passers-by stare: "Don't be sorry my dear sir, for nothing could upset me today! Rejoice, for You-Know-Who has gone at last! Even Muggles like your self should be celebrating this happy, happy day!"

    “You-Know-Who gone at last?” Peter exclaimed in shock. “B-but how?” Even Lily seemed to be interested now. It wasn’t everyday you heard that you-know-who was gone at last, everyone just exchanged gob-smacked looks.

    “It must have been written about the future,” Remus was the first to recover. “Maybe the person who wrote this, is writing how they think Voldemort will lose power,” He waved his arm as if to prompt James to continue.

    And the old man hugged Mr. Dursley around the middle and walked off.
    Mr. Dursley stood rooted to the spot. He had been hugged by a complete stranger. He also thought he had been called a Muggle, whatever that was.

    He was rattled. He hurried to his car and set off home, hoping he was imagining things, which he had never hoped before, because he didn't approve of imagination.

    As he pulled into the driveway at number four, the first thing he saw - and it didn't improve his mood - was the tabby cat he'd spotted that morning. It was now sitting on his garden wall. He was sure it was the same one; it had the same markings around its eyes.

    "Shoo!" said Mr. Dursley loudly. The cat didn't move. It just gave him a stern look.

    “It’s a witch or wizards, shoo won’t bloody move it,”

    “Sirius, the book can’t hear you,” Alice told him, getting a little agitated by his constant interruption.

    “Not my fault this books a load of rubbish,” He said in his defence, yet he didn’t leave or move. 

    Was this normal cat behaviour, Mr. Dursley wondered? Trying to pull himself together, he let himself into the house. He was still determined not to mention anything to his wife.

    Mrs. Dursley had had a nice, normal day. She told him over dinner all about Mrs. Next Door's problems with her daughter and how Dudley had learnt a new word (Shan't).

    Mr. Dursley tried to act normally. When Dudley had been put to bed, he went into the living-room in time to catch the last report on the evening news:

    "And finally, bird-watchers everywhere have reported that the nation's owls have been behaving very unusually today. Although owls normally hunt at night and are hardly ever seen in daylight, there have been hundreds of sightings of these birds flying in every direction since sunrise. Experts are unable to explain why the owls have suddenly changed their sleeping pattern." The news reader allowed himself a grin. “Most mysterious. And now, over to Jim McGuffin with the weather. Going to be any more showers of owls tonight, Jim?"

    "Well, Ted," said the weatherman, "I don't know about that, but it’s not only the owls that have been acting oddly today. Viewers as far apart as Kent, Yorkshire and Dundee have been phoning in to tell me that instead of the rain that I promised yesterday, they've had a downpour of shooting stars! Perhaps people have been celebrating Bonfire Night early. It's not until next week, folks! But I can promise a wet night tonight."

    “Remember, Moony, when we had a huge shooting star display on new years, last year?” James had stopped reading, recalling a particularly good memory involving Remus Lupin.

    “Sure do, that was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen,” And it was true it had been.

    Mr. Dursley sat frozen in his armchair. Shooting stars all over the place? And a whisper, a whisper about the Potters...Mrs. Dursley came into the living room carrying two cups of tea. It was no good. He'd have to say something to her. He cleared his throat nervously. "Er - Petunia, dear - you haven't heard from your sister lately, have you?"

    “Wait, wait, wait a second,” Remus’s said suddenly, stopping James mid-momentum. “Didn’t you say your sister had a boyfriend with the surname Dursley?” He looked over at Lily who nodded.

    “Yes, he’s the most awful man I have ever met and he looks like a beached whale,”

    “And your sister’s called Petunia, right?” Remus continued.

    “Right,” Lily repeated slowly, not sure why Remus was asking these questions, and by the look on everybody else’s faces they didn’t know either.

    “Well this is from the future,”

    “Going anywhere with this, Moony?” Sirius intervened suddenly, wanting to stop the talking so that the chapter would finish as quickly as possible.

    “Well I just thought that it was strange that in the story it mentions the Potter’s, which, judging by the front, looks a bit like James and then they mention the Dursleys, who’s your sisters boyfriend. And then in the story there’s a Petunia Dursley and your sister’s name is Petunia. Also it sounds like Mrs Potter is a Muggle born and Lily, you’re a Muggleborn-”

    “Are you seriously trying to suggest that this is a story about my future married to Potter?” Lily was thunderous at the mere idea and James was grinning behind his book.

    “No, no,” Remus added, quickly. “Off course not- it’s a fictional book- I was just thinking it was a coincidence, is all.” Remus sank in his chair, wishing he hadn’t spoken up at all, however it was clear that everyone was starting to get suspicious of the book as well, as they all eyed it carefully.

    “Do you think, it’s filled with dark magic or something,” James said. “If it’s got so many coincidences.”

    “Nah, I doubt a dark wizard would ever do anything to a muggle book- it’s just a coincidence and that’s it,” Remus reassured, James turned back to the page. 

    As he expected, Mrs. Dursley looked shocked and angry. After all, they normally pretended she didn't have a sister.

    "No," she said sharply. "Why?"

    "Funny stuff on the news," Mr. Dursley mumbled. "Owls... shooting stars... and there were a lot of funny-looking people in town today..."

    "So?" snapped Mrs. Dursley.

    "Well, I just thought... maybe ... it was something to do with ... you know ... her lot."

    Mrs. Dursley sipped her tea through pursed lips. Mr. Dursley wondered whether he dared tell her he'd heard the name 'Potter'.

    “Pursed lips,” Alice laughed. “Does sound like you,”

    “I do not purse my lips,” She said covering her mouth protectively before becoming ver defensive.

    “Don’t even try to deny it,”

    He decided he didn't dare. Instead he said, as casually as he could, "Their son - he'd be about Dudley's age now wouldn't he?"

    "I suppose so," said Mrs. Dursley stiffly.

    "What's his name again? Howard isn't it?"

    "Harry. Nasty, common name, if you ask me."

    “Hey,” Lily said defensively. “I’ve always liked that name.”

    “Oh, yes," said Mr. Dursley, his heart sinking horribly. "Yes, I quite agree."

    “Just because you’re a fat idiot,” Lily said interrupting again.

    “Calm down Lily, it’s just a book,”

    “I know but I really like that name and I don’t even like fictional characters talking about my favourite name like that- it offends me that there are some people out there who hat my taste.”

    “Hot-headed red-head,” James mumbled.

    “What was that?”


    He didn't say another word on the subject as they went upstairs to bed. While Mrs. Dursley was in the bathroom, Mr. Dursley crept to the bedroom window and peered down into the front garden. The cat was still there. It was staring down Privet Drive as though it was waiting for something. Was he imagining things?

    Could all this have anything to do with the Potters? If it did ... if it got out that they were related to a pair of - well, he didn't think he could bear it.
    The Dursleys got into bed. Mrs. Dursley fell asleep quickly but Mr. Dursley lay awake, turning it all over in his mind. His last, comforting thought before he fell asleep was that even if the Potters were involved, there was no reason for them to come near him and Mrs. Dursley. The Potters knew very well what he and Petunia thought about them and their kind ...

    “Your sister sounds horrible, Evans,” James said, pausing for breath.

    “She isn’t my sister- this is a fictional character that just happens to share the same name!”

    “She does sound like your sister though and looks like her as well,” Alice commented, rolling onto her back and looking up with a now livid Lily Evans.

    “Just because she has blonde hair with a witch for a sister and is a little prejudice against magic, doesn’t mean she’s actually my sister,” She huffed before gesturing James to continue.

    He couldn't see how he and Petunia could get mixed up in anything that might be going on. He yawned and turned over. It couldn't affect them... How very wrong he was.

    Mr. Dursley might have been drifting into an uneasy sleep, but the cat on the wall outside was showing no sign of sleepiness. It was sitting as still as a statue, its eyes fixed unblinkingly on the far corner of Privet Drive. It didn't so much as quiver when a car door slammed in the next street, nor when the two owls swooped overhead.

    In fact, it was nearly midnight before the cat moved at all.

    A man appeared on the corner the cat had been watching, appeared so suddenly and silently you'd have thought he'd just popped out of the ground.

    The cat's tail twitched and its eyes narrowed.

    Nothing like this man had been seen in Privet Drive. He was tall, thin and very old, judging by the silver of his hair and beard, which were both long enough to tuck into his belt.

    “Sounds like Dumbledore to me,” Sirius butted in. “He always has his beard tucked into his belt,”

    He was wearing long robes, a purple cloak which swept the ground and high-heeled, buckled boots. His blue eyes were light, bright and sparkling behind half-moon spectacles and his nose was very long and crooked, as though it had been broken at least twice. This man's name was Albus Dumbledore.

    “Told you,” Sirius said punching the air triumphantly as a few of the others rolled their eyes.

    Albus Dumbledore didn't seem to realise that he had just arrived in a street where everything from his name to his boots was unwelcome. He was busy rummaging in his cloak, looking for something. But he did seem to realise he was being watched, because he looked up suddenly at the cat, which was still staring at him from the other end of the street. For some reason, the sight of the cat seemed to amuse him. He chuckled and muttered, "I should have known."

    He had found what he was looking for in his inside pocket.

    It seemed to be a silver cigarette lighter. He flicked it open, held it up in the air and clicked it. The nearest street lamp went out with a little pop. He clicked it again - the next lamp flickered into darkness. Twelve times he clicked the Put-Outer, until the only lights left in the whole street were two tiny pinpricks in the distance, which were the eyes of the cat watching him.

    If anyone looked out of their window now, even the beady-eyed Mrs. Dursley, they wouldn't be able to see anything that was happening down on the pavement. Dumbledore slipped the Put-Outer back inside his cloak and set off down the street towards number four, where he sat down on the wall next to the cat.

    He didn't look at it, but after a moment he spoke to it.

    "Fancy seeing you here, Professor McGonagall."

    “That’s right, McGonagall’s Animagus form is a tabby cat,” James gasped in shock, unsure how he hadn’t noticed it before. “The amount of times she’s caught me and Sirius red handed because she had turned into a cat- and then it makes sense that she’d be with Professor Dumbledore,” James paused. “You know, if there really are some characters we know in here it’ll make it more interesting. Still think it’s a coincidence, Moony, maybe Lily married me after all,”

    He turned to smile at the tabby, but it had gone. Instead he was smiling at a rather severe looking woman who was wearing square glasses exactly the shape of the markings the cat had had around its eyes. She, too, was wearing a cloak, an emerald one. Her black hair was drawn into a tight bun. She looked distinctly ruffled.“Sounds like Minnie to me,” Sirius said smirking, for the first time looking like this could be fun. “We might find out how You-know-who got defeated now,” Sirius smiled. “Bet it was me,”

    “Yes, because you could really take on the most powerful dark wizard of all time, couldn’t you?” Alice said sarcastically as though it was the most ridiculous thing she’d ever heard. “Like Lily said, it’s fiction- Dumbledore and McGonagall are in it because they are quite well known- it doesn’t mean we’re all going to make an appearance.

    “The books called Harry POTTER, POTTER!”

    “Exactly,” Alice said. “HARRY Potter not JAMES Potter.”

    "How did you know it was me?" she asked.

    "My dear Professor, I've never seen a cat sit so stiffly."

    "You'd be stiff too if you'd been sitting on a brick wall all day," said Professor McGonagall.

    "All day? When you could have been celebrating? I must have passed a dozen feasts and parties on my way here."

    Professor McGonagall sniffed angrily.

    "Oh yes, everyone's celebrating all right," she said impatiently. "You'd think they'd be a bit more careful, but no - even the Muggles noticed something's going on. It was on their news." She jerked her head back at the Dursleys' dark living-room window. "I heard it. Flocks of owls ... shooting stars ... Well, they're not completely stupid. They were bound to notice something. Shooting stars down in Kent - I'll bet that was Dedalus Diggle. He never had much sense."

    “You can't blame them," said Dumbledore gently. "We've had precious little to celebrate for eleven years."

    "I know that," said Professor McGonagall irritably. "But that's no reason to lose our heads. People are being downright careless, out on the streets in broad daylight, not even dressed in Muggle clothes swapping rumours."

    She threw a sharp, sideways glance at Dumbledore here, as though hoping he was going to tell her something, but he didn't, so she went on: "A fine thing it would be if, on the very day You-Know-Who seems to have disappeared at last, the Muggles found out about us all. I suppose he really has gone, Dumbledore?"

    "It certainly seems so," said Dumbledore. "We have much to be thankful for. Would you care for a sherbet lemon?"
    "A what?" Everyone with the exception of Lily and Remus shouted in unison.

    "A sherbet lemon. They're a kind of Muggle sweet."

    "A what?"

    "A sherbet lemon. They're a kind of Muggle sweet I'm rather fond of."

    "No, thank you," said Professor McGonagall coldly, as though she didn't think this was the moment for sherbet lemons.

    "As I say, even if You-Know-Who has gone -”

    “He is,” Sirius screamed getting up to shake the book a little. “Get over it and eat a sherbet lemon already- and tell us what happened.”

    “Calm down, I’m getting to it,” James said dragging the book out of his best friends reach and sending him to sit back down.

    "My dear Professor, surely a sensible person like your self can call him by his name? All this 'You-Know-Who' nonsense - for eleven years I have been trying to persuade people to call him by his proper name: Voldemort".
    Alice and Peter winced at the name; everyone had been too scared to say it, with the exception of a few brave (some say stupid) individuals.

    Professor McGonagall flinched, but Dumbledore, who was un-sticking two sherbet lemons, seemed not to notice.

    "It all gets so confusing if we keep saying 'You-Know-Who.' I have never seen any reason to be frightened of saying Voldemort's name."

    "I know you haven't," said Professor McGonagall, sounding half-exasperated, half-admiring. "But you're different. Everyone knows you're the one You-Know - oh, all right, Voldemort was frightened of"

    "You flatter me," said Dumbledore calmly. "Voldemort had powers I will never have."

    "Only because you're too - well - noble to use them."

    "It's lucky it's dark. I haven't blushed so much since Madam Pomfrey told me she liked my new earmuffs."
    “Are- are they flirting?” Alice asked, slightly revolted by the idea.

    “Doubt it, I don’t think Minnie has had any fun in the sack for a while, if you know what I mean,” Sirius laughed, nudging Remus in the ribs.

    “Sirius,” Remus rubbed his arm. “We always know what you mean.”

    Professor McGonagall shot a sharp look at Dumbledore and said, "The owls are nothing to the rumours that are flying around. You know what everyone's saying? About why he's disappeared? About what finally stopped him?" It seemed that Professor McGonagall had reached the point she was most anxious to discuss, the real reason she had been waiting on a cold hard wall all day, for neither as a cat nor as a woman had she fixed Dumbledore with such a piercing stare as she did now.

    It was plain that whatever 'everyone' was saying, she was not going to believe it until Dumbledore told her it was true. Dumbledore, however, was choosing another sherbet lemon and did not answer.

    "What they're saying," she pressed on, "is that last night Voldemort turned up in Godric's Hollow. He went to find the Potters. The rumour is that Lily and James Potter
    “See, see, I told you it wasn’t a coincidence, Lily this is us about our future- Oh Merlin this is so cool,” Lily frowned but said nothing. “Now we can see what happens to us- hey Harry might be are our son,”

    “Me reproduce with you?” Lily questioned, she snorted. “James I wouldn’t have a baby with you even if my life depended on it.

    The rumour is that Lily and James Potter are - are - that they're - dead.” “WHAT?” James and Lily screamed despite themselves.

    “We can’t be dead, this is crazy- who’s written this book,” James said incredulously, his face red with rage already, Lily on the other hand looked slightly hurt.

    “I can not believe you’d do this to me Potter,”

    “Do what?”

    “Write this pathetic book as a means to win me over,” Lily said sticking her nose into the air.

    “Oh yeah” James said sarcastically, running his fingers through his hair yet again. “Because that’s exactly how I envisioned our future- us two dead,” Lily opened her mouth to reply with something witty but shut it again because she knew he was right. It took a few moments before Lily had the courage to talk again.

    “Well then somebody else did to trick us; I don’t think I want to read anymore,”

    “Come on Lily, aren’t you just a little bit curious, about how you died,” Alice said pleadingly, getting into the book herself, however Lily’s response made her wish she’d kept quiet.  

    “Alice Spencer- this book is not about my future, ok?” She said through gritted teeth. “It’s someone’s idea of a sick joke and I’m not falling for it.”

    “You’ve made a deal, Lils, let’s stay until the end of the chapter at least.” Alice persuaded and hesitantly Lily sat back down, not sure whether she really wanted to hear anymore.

    Dumbledore bowed his head. Professor McGonagall gasped.

    "Lily and James ... I can't believe it ... I didn't want to believe it ... Oh, Albus..."

    Dumbledore reached out and patted her on the shoulder. "I know ... I know...” He said heavily.

    “At least they seem upset,” James said lightly. “Even McGonagall and I thought she hated me,” 

    Professor McGonagall's voice trembled as she went on. "That's not all. They're saying he tried to kill the Potter's son, Harry.
    “That bastard killed my son as well,” James didn’t appear to be taking the book well either and the book had suddenly become more glum yet intriguing since the beginning.

    But - he couldn't.“Thank god,” Lily breathed but hushed when she saw James giving her a small knowing smile.

    He couldn't kill that little boy. No one knows why, or how, but they're saying that when he couldn't kill Harry Potter, Voldemort's power somehow broke - and that's why he's gone." Dumbledore nodded glumly.“My son defeated Voldemort, that is so cool,” James gasped.

    “James Potter, dead in the future,” Lily said imitating James’s voice. “That is so cool,” James ignored this comment and continued to read, he knew that some student probably wanted to play a trick with this book, but he didn’t care. If it got him to spend time with Lily Evans it was worth it. 

    "Its- its true?" faltered Professor McGonagall. "After all he's done ... all the people he's killed ... he couldn't kill a little boy? It's just astounding ...of all the things to stop him ... but how in the name of heaven did Harry survive?"“Because he takes after his dad, that’s why,” James said proudly, earning him a snort from Peter. “What is so funny, Wormtail?”

    “Just that he couldn’t have taken after you if you got killed,” He smirked. James gave him a glare to silence him. 

    "We can only guess," said Dumbledore. "We may never know."

    Professor McGonagall pulled out a lace handkerchief and dabbed at her eyes beneath her spectacles. Dumbledore gave a great sniff as he took out a watch from his pocket and examined it. It was a very odd watch. It had twelve hands but no numbers; instead, little planets were moving around the edge. It must have made sense to Dumbledore, though, because he put it back in his pocket and said, "Hagrid's late. I suppose it was he who told you I'd be here, by the way?"

    "Yes," said Professor McGonagall. "And I don't suppose you're going to tell me why you're here, of all places?"

    "I've come to bring Harry to his aunt and uncle. They're the only family he has left now."
    “He can’t leave Harry with them,” James said incredulously. “Is he crazy?!”

    “Where are we,” Sirius said weakly, looking a little upset himself. “Shouldn’t we be looking after Harry?”

    “In the real world, maybe” Lily said tiredly, trying to resist walking out of the room all together. “But this is a FICTIONAL book, for the last time!”

    “You don't mean - you can't mean the people who live here?" cried Professor McGonagall, jumping to her feet and pointing at number four. "Dumbledore - you can't. I've been watching them all day. You couldn't find two people who are less like us. And they've got this son - I saw him kicking his mother all the way up the street, screaming for sweets. Harry Potter come and live here!"

    “Go on, Minnie,” Sirius said enthusiastically. “You tell him how it is,” 

    "It's the best place for him," said Dumbledore firmly.

    “Best place,” James yelled. “They hate wizards for crying out loud,” 
    “That’s my sister you’re talking about,” Lily said angrily, crossing her arms around her chest. “Show some respect,”

    “I thought you said this was fiction,”

    “It is but my sister is still a character and I don’t appreciate you insulting her, even if it’s in a fictional context and even if I hate her guts,”

    "His aunt and uncle will be able to explain everything to him when he's older. I've written them a letter."“Why can’t I just take him, I don’t understand,” Sirius said, genuinely confused looking terribly upset.

    “Because it’s someone’s idea of a sick joke,” Lily said slowly thins time, through gritted teeth, they couldn’t honestly believe it was really about their futures, could they?

    “Lily, stop it- it’s written in 1997, that’s the future,”

    “Alice, a simple transfiguration charm could have easily changed the date,” Lily persisted, not understanding how anyone of them could believe a book that told them her and James weren’t only married but going to die in order to protect their only son Harry.

    “Who else, other than me, knows what Petunia looks like and the way she is- who else knows this much about you,”

    Severus Snape was the only person who sprung to mind. Not even Mary Dashwood had met Petunia.

    But Sev wouldn’t do this and even so, he doesn’t know anything about the Dursley’s and even if he did he wouldn’t have written about the downfall of you-know-who. Isn’t that why they stopped being friends, Because of his love for the dark arts and the rising power of Voldemort?

    No he wouldn’t she was sure of that only this made her confused because that would mean it really was from the future. 

    "A letter?" repeated Professor McGonagall faintly, sitting back down on the wall. "Really Dumbledore, you think you can explain all this in a letter? These people will never understand him! He'll be famous - a legend - I wouldn't be surprised if today was known as Harry Potter Day in future - there will be books written about Harry - every child in our world will know his name!"“Wow,” Sirius mumbled softly. “Merlin if this wasn’t a story that would be wicked- your son would be safe and so famous,”

    “Then maybe it is best he lives with those people,” Remus said instantly but everyone gave him a sharp look. “Well if he’s that famous he’ll never live a normal life- its better for him to live with people who will never fully understand how famous he is,” He explained trying to explain what he had thought was a valid point until he saw Sirius continuing to glare; as if he had committed a crime. 

    "Exactly," said Dumbledore, looking very seriously over the top of his half-moon glasses. "It would be enough to turn any boy's head. Famous before he can walk and talk! Famous for something he won't even remember! Can't you see how much better off he'll be, growing up away from all that until he's ready to take it?"“See I told you, Pads,” Remus said, chuckling slightly, Sirius simply turned away.

    “Still think he’d be better with me.” James rolled his eyes at his best friends comment and then looked back at the book and read.

    Professor McGonagall opened her mouth, changed her mind, swallowed and then said, "Yes - yes, you're right, of course. But how is the boy getting here Dumbledore?"

    She eyed his cloak suddenly as though she thought he might be hiding Harry underneath it.

    "Hagrid's bringing him."

    You think it - wise - to trust Hagrid with something as important as this?"
    “Well I’d trust him and it is my son we’re talking about,” James said pausing.

    “You’re fictional son.” But even Lily wasn’t so sure on that now. So many questions filled her brain. What if it was true? What if she did marry Potter? What if they did die to save the life of their little son Harry?

    Not even Alice knew this but she had always wanted to call her son Harry. If no one else knew this then it was real. Or maybe just a coincidence- one of many strange coincidences.

    "I would trust Hagrid with my life," said Dumbledore.

    "I'm not saying his heart isn't in the right place," said Professor McGonagall grudgingly, "but you can't pretend he's not careless. He does tend to - what was that?"

    A low rumbling sound had broken the silence around them. It grew steadily louder as they looked up and down the street for some sign of a headlight; it swelled to a roar as they both looked up at the sky - and a huge motorbike fell out of the air and landed on the road in front of them.
    “Oh wicked- just like I always wanted,” Sirius said interrupting the story yet again. “Prongs, remember the one I wanted to by in the summer” James nodded smiling fondly at the memory.

    “Yeah but old McMillan said he wouldn’t sell it to someone who kept peeing on his flowers,” James said reciting his memory aloud.

    “Yeah, so I peed on them anyway to get back on him,” Sirius finished. Remus and Peter were laughing as well now and Alice’s lips twitched. Lily however, looked positively disgusted; honestly wanting to continue reading the book, as a strange sence of curiosity washed over her.   

    If the motorbike was huge, it was nothing to the man sitting astride it. He was almost twice as tall as a normal man and at least five times as wide. He looked simply too big to be allowed, and so wild - long tangles of bushy black hair and beard hid most of his face, he had hands the size of dustbin lids and his feet in their leather boots were like baby dolphins. In his vast muscular arms he was holding a bundle of blankets.

    "Hagrid," said Dumbledore, sounding relieved. "At last. And where did you get that motorbike?"

    "Borrowed it, Professor Dumbledore, sir," said the giant, climbing carefully off the motorbike as he spoke. "Young Sirius Black lent it me."
    “W-what, really,” Sirius said, eyes wide and a large smile spread over his face as he’s eyes lit up. It wasn’t long however until his grin slid into a sly smirk. “Looks like old McMillan liked me after all.”

    “Or you nicked it- that or you bought it of someone else.”

    I've got him, sir."

    "No problems, were there?"

    "No, sir - house was almost destroyed but I got him out all right before the Muggles started swarmin' around. He fell asleep as we were flyin' over Bristol."

    “Awwww,” Alice said smiling stupidly. “That’s so cute, Lils, isn’t that just adorable.”

    “Women,” Peter muttered quietly, earning a nod of agreement from Sirius. 

    Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall bent forward over the bundle of blankets. Inside, just visible, was a baby boy, fast asleep. Under a tuft of jet-black hair over his forehead they could see a curiously shaped cut, like a bolt of lightning.

    "Is that where -?" whispered Professor McGonagall.

    "Yes," said Dumbledore. "He'll have that scar for ever."

    "Couldn't you do something about it, Dumbledore?"

    "Even if I could, I wouldn't. Scars can come in useful. I have one myself above my left knee, which is a perfect map of the London Underground.
    Everyone laughed at this. Only Dumbledore could have such a scar, and notice it was a map of London underground.

    Well - give him here, Hagrid - we'd better get this over with."

    Dumbledore took Harry in his arms and turned towards the Dursleys' house.

    "Could I - could I say goodbye to him, sir?" asked Hagrid.
    “Awwww that’s sweet of Hagrid.” Lily said, getting lost in her thoughts. Everyone turned to her with confused looks, except James who was smiling fondly at her. “What, it is sweet,” Everyone looked away and turned back to James, beckoning him to continue.

    He bent his great shaggy head over Harry and gave him what must have been a very scratchy, whiskery kiss.“Or not,” Lily said, slowly.

    Then, suddenly, Hagrid let out a howl like a wounded dog.“I resent that comment,” Sirius said abruptly, looking offended. “That is an unjustified insult to every dog in the world,”

    “Shut up, Padfoot, it’s not offensive,” Remus said whacking him in the arm.

    "Shhh!" hissed Professor McGonagall. "You'll wake the Muggles!"

    "S-s-sorry," sobbed Hagrid, taking out a large spotted handkerchief and burying his face in it. "But I c-c-can't stand it - Lily an' James dead - an' poor little Harry off tar live with Muggles -”
    “I love Hagrid, isn’t he sweet,” Lily repeated.

    “I thought you said it was fictional, Evans,” James said still smirking at her.

    “W-what?” She stuttered, unaware she had said this out loud. “O-oh right, yeah- fictional- still sweet though,”

    “Whatever you say, Evans- admit it it’s our future, you marry ME! I win, in the end,”

    “Bugger of,” Lily retaliated. “I will never marry you and for the last time this story is FICTIONAL!” She said sounding surer than she felt and she didn’t sound sure at all.

    “Well I hope you’re right,” James said sincerely. “Because I hope neither of us dies.” He looked at her in the eye for a long time, as if trying to read her thoughts and understand exactly what she was feeling. The truth was she didn’t even know. She was sure it was someone’s idea of a joke and yet that didn’t stop the curiosity, the ‘what if’ questions or the achy feeling at the bottom of her stomach and the back of her that said- he’s dead, you’re dead, you’re son is alone, he’s going to your lousy sister.

    After what felt like hours, James tore his hungry gaze away and looked back down at the book.  

    "Yes, yes, it's all very sad, but get a grip on yourself, Hagrid, or we'll be found," Professor McGonagall whispered, patting Hagrid gingerly on the arm as Dumbledore stepped over the low garden wall and walked to the front door. He laid Harry gently on the doorstep, took a letter out of his cloak, tucked it inside Harry's blankets and then came back to the other two. For a full minute the three of them stood and looked at the little bundle; Hagrid's shoulders shook, Professor McGonagall blinked furiously and the twinkling light that usually shone from Dumbledore's eyes seemed to have gone out..

    "Well," said Dumbledore finally, "that's that. We've no business staying here. We may as well go and join the celebrations."

    Yeah," said Hagrid in a very muffled voice. "I'll be takin' Sirius his bike back. G'night, Professor McGonagall - Professor Dumbledore, sir."

    Wiping his streaming eyes on his jacket sleeve, Hagrid swung himself on to the motorbike and kicked the engine into life; with a roar it rose into the air and off into the night.

    "I shall see you soon, I expect, Professor McGonagall," said Dumbledore, nodding to her. Professor McGonagall blew her nose in reply.
    Dumbledore turned and walked back down the street. On the corner he stopped and took out the silver Put-Outer. He clicked it once and twelve balls of light sped back to their street lamps so that Privet Drive glowed suddenly orange and he could make out a tabby cat slinking around the corner at the other end of the street. He could just see the bundle of blankets on the step of number four.

    "Good luck, Harry," he murmured. He turned on his heel and with a swish of his cloak he was gone.
    “I can’t believe he’d actually give him to that family,” Sirius sulked. “What about me,” James ignored his friend and continued to read the last paragraph of the first chapter. 

    A breeze ruffled the neat hedges of Privet Drive, which lay silent and tidy under the inky sky, the very last place you would expect astonishing things to happen. Harry Potter rolled over inside his blankets without waking up. One small hand closed on the letter beside him and he slept on, not knowing he was special, not knowing he was famous, not knowing he would be woken in a few hours' time by Mrs. Dursley's scream as she opened the front door to put out the milk bottles, nor that he would spend the next few weeks being prodded and pinched by his cousin Dudley ...He couldn't know that at this very moment, people meeting in secret all over the country were holding up their glasses and saying in hushed voices: "To Harry Potter - the boy who lived!" 
    “That’s it, that’s the first chapter,” James said bluntly, looking disappointed because he knew that Lily would now leave.


    “I call godfather,” Sirius said instantly, waving his arms in the air as if that was an end to the conversation. “And best man, I get best man,”


    “You can just call godfather and best man- you have to earn it,” Remus said diplomatically. “Besides I at least get best man- Because of my- erm- problem I couldn’t be godfather so it’s only fair I get best man.” Sirius grunted at this and even Remus knew that he wouldn’t be best man. he had known his friends long enough to know that James and Sirius had the closest bond to brothers than anyone he’d ever know.


    “Read the next one- read the next one,” Sirius said bouncing up and down like a small child wanting his bedtime story. James looked at him astonished.


    “I thought you said that it was boring,” James aid raising an eyebrow and running his fingers subconsciously through his hair. 


    “What are you talking about? It was Moony who was bored,” Sirius patted Remus on the back smiling softly for a moment.


    “Was not,” Remus replied shrugging of his friends arm.


    “No need to be embarrassed, Moony,” Sirius persisted, ignoring Remus’s warning glare.


    “Sorry Pads, we told Evans it was just one chapter,” He looked at her glumly, holding out the book. Lily simply stared at it long and hard. After a while she took it from his hands and opened it. Not even aware of what she was doing herself. Her mouth seemed to be moving of its own accord when she began to read.


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