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Chapter Two
Fine

With my Hogwarts letter firmly gripped in my hands, I slipped into the Leaky Caldron. Frank and Alice were behind me, quietly chatting about past trips they had made here. They had spent half of the journey laughing at the strange looks they had been receiving from Muggles. Once we passed through the pub, Frank greeting Tom warmly as he passed, I slowed down to walk beside them.

Alice leaned in over the letter that I was clutching, “Oh, fun! I always love shopping here. Next year we need to recruit another in-school student so we can shop.” Alice gave me a level look, “Make friends, Lil. Don’t do that reclusive act, okay? That little habit you learned from,” she paused as she wrinkled her nose, “Snape is, was, and will remain dumb.”

Normally, I would have defended my ex-best friend, but in this instance Alice was right. I had a bad tendency to turn to a book or an essay at the site of trouble.

“Come on, I thought girl chat was over,” Frank pouted from a few steps in front of us as he tapped his foot impatiently.

“We’re coming.” I assured him, starting again on my way to the Apothecary. Lowering my voice, I replied to Alice, “I’ll try.”

She nodded subtly, smiling at a passing girl who was, almost certainly, a Hogwarts student. The girl stared at me curiously before she yelled back at some girls behind her, telling them to hurry up. I watched them out of the corner of my eye, and saw the girls, who were only just teenagers, pointing at me and whispering. I could not help but sigh when Alice threw a fierce glare at them.

“It’s useless, Al. They think what they want to think,” I told her as I entered the shop, purposely stepping on Alice’s toes to get her to stop being so childish. It wasn’t worth it.

She huffed in annoyance, “I don’t like what they keep saying about you! How they think-“ Alice instantly cut off, her eyes widening. I followed her gaze and froze myself. James Potter, along with his friends, stood at the far end of the shop, laughing uproariously. I averted my eyes as I walked up to the shelf where I gathered my needed items for potions and rooted myself to the spot.

Alice edged slowly closer to me, “You sure you don’t want to leave and let me get the stuff for you? They’re standing right in front of the Potions book you need.”

“It’s fine,” I said tightly and glowered at the letter in my hands. Alice snatched it away before I tore it apart.

“No, it’s not. I’m going over there, and you gather stuff here. Where did Frank run off to?”

That question was answered quickly when Sirius Black laughed out, “Frank! I forgot about that dark sense of humour of yours. That’s-“

“-Terrible,” James finished as he chuckled lightly himself. Peter Pettigrew and Remus Lupin were adding their own comments, but I couldn’t hear it over Alice’s mutters of murder. I thought I heard ‘Gonna be dead, traitor, when I am done with you’ from her as she stalked over, but I couldn’t be positive.

I was glad I had memorized my list of things, for if I had not I would have had to come out of my spot to take the letter from Alice. It wasn’t that I was hiding or anything, I just liked it here. In the dark, damp corner of the room.

“Hey, Alice too! We got the pair,” I overheard Sirius say. I had to admit I was surprised the Marauders were so interested in the good friends of Lily Evans, but that was probably because Frank and Alice were the most likeable people I knew.

“Hi Sirius,” Alice said, and I could just imagine her scowl. She would not talk to then easily, I knew. I just hoped she didn’t openly involve me in this. “Excuse me, can you hand me one of those?”

There was shuffling as the book was handed to her.

“Why are you getting that, Alice? I wouldn’t think they forced textbook stuff all that much on Aurors-to-be. Thought it was more get out and do it,” asked Remus curiously and I cringed internally. I had gathered all I needed from here, Alice having gotten the last of it. Now I needed to escape, but I suspected I could not go by unnoticed.

“It’s for Lily. Frank and I decided to go along with her shopping.” Alice said casually, but her voice held some strain.

“Oh,” Peter voiced after a drawn out silence, and I winced yet again. I was already mentioned, so I might as well make my appearance. Straightening my back, I came into view of the others.

“Alice, Frank. I’ve gotten everything I need. You get the book?” I said coolly, pointedly ignoring the four boys next to them. Frank bobbed his head up and down frantically, grabbing the book from Alice and handing it to me. I balanced it on top of the other supplies with ease while he moved to my side, as if telling the others that he was picking his sides with me and it was surprisingly comforting.

When I tried to meet Alice’s eyes to silently tell her ‘let’s go,’ I accidently met hazel instead of blue. Tensing, I stared at James as emotionlessly as I could.

Alice got the hint of what I was trying to say, moving forward also, with a soft, “Come on, Lils, we have to go.” She pulled on my arm forcefully, making me have to turn away from him. I bought the things mutely, and then let myself by dragged away.

I made sure not to look back.

~ * ~

When it was time to say goodbye to Alice and Frank, whilst sitting at the ice cream parlour with sundaes, I was unsure of what I should feel. In some ways, I was glad to not be around them anymore. They had been watching me warily for the rest of the afternoon, waiting for me to break down and cry, and it was making me on edge. I loved them to death, but they worry all too much.

But on the reverse, I would do anything to make them stay with me. They were easy companions and didn’t judge. I knew I would lock myself away from my concerned parents and uncaring sister until the two weeks were up and I was at Hogwarts again.

I attempted to not let my mixed feelings show while we said our goodbyes. Alice promised to write whenever she could, but I knew better than to hope for much. When Frank had started to train he barely had any time outside of it to do anything, let alone sleep. Frank said that he hoped he would be able to come down to Hogsmeade for a weekend some time, maybe with Alice too.

With a loud pop they were gone. Discarding the remains of my dessert, I stood to leave also, bags full of supplies surrounding me. I glanced up, just to be shocked still. There was Potter, which a beautiful blonde girl talking animatedly at his side. I stared, wondering briefly who she was and where the other boys were off to.

Justine - that was her name. Justine Montgomery, a chaser for Ravenclaw and in seventh year with me. They did not see me, walking on past to the Quality Quidditch Supplies near Apothecary where I had seen James earlier with his friends. They stood close, but not closer than any good friends would.

I bit my lip. I needed to get home to start planning what I was bringing. Arranging and organizing that I had been procrastinating on. Not worrying about boys and their possible girlfriends.

I Apparated out, thinking about how many books of mine I would be able to pack, and most definitely not on the way James smiled at Justine.

~ * ~

“I’m home!” I yelled out as I stumbled through the door of my home, my books held tightly in my hands. It felt strangely empty and I found myself wondering why my family had gone out without me. Shrugging, I grabbed a piece of leftover pizza from the refrigerator, pushing my red hair out of my eyes. There was a note on it:

Lily-

Your mother, Petunia and I went out to eat tonight and will be back around eight or so. We were going to wait for you but Petunia insisted on going without you. Leftovers in fridge. An owl came in through an open window in the kitchen, scared Petunia half to death. Took a while, but we convinced the thing to just put the letter on the table for you. It’s from your school and is still on the table.

Dad


I smirked at the thought of Petunia flailing around the kitchen in terror while an owl chased after her. It made me wish I had witnessed the event. I could imagine my mother’s shock when she came in and found a lunatic bird dirtying up her clean kitchen. Dad would have been laughing on the floor, of course, trying to assist futilely while his women screeched.

It was easy to spot envelope on the table. It was set away from the oriental bits and things set on the dark wood’s shiny surface, a single owl feather lying neatly on top. Tucking the feather in one of my bags that lay about my feet, I ripped into it. Sitting down at the table, I flattened the letter eagerly before reading.

Dear Miss Lily Evans,

You have been selected for Head Girl at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. We have seen great effort and pride in your work and we would like to congratulate you for your many achievements. The Head Boy alongside you will be James Potter-


You have got to be kidding me. Potter? Head Boy? He wasn’t even a Prefect! He was one of the worst troublemakers in the school and surely would let anything his friends did slide because, well, that’s just Potter.

I resisted the temptation to burn the obviously wrong letter. Dumbledore, for his… unique ways, was clearly not that nutters. Well, if this was true, he at least gave me the position of Head Girl.

Wait. I’m Head Girl! I got the position I’ve been vying for three years!

Holding the letter in my hand, I rushed up to my bedroom and located my parchment in an instant. I scrawled out my message clumsily to Frank and Alice, excitement pumping through me.

I attached it to my owl, an unfortunate male snowy owl by the name of Princess of the Snow - now changed to Prince of the Snow and otherwise nicknamed Pots - who hooted contently and disappeared out of my window.

I collapsed down on my bed, for the first time eager for the start of school all summer. So who cares if Potter was alongside me in my duty as Head? I just had to learn how to work around him and talk as little to him as I could. This year was going to be good, no one could stop that. I would find friends and move on. Moping over someone that does not like you is useless and a waste of time.

This would be good; I didn’t care what people thought of me. This was my year.

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