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    Things are really getting out of hand. My mom is gone, my dad already has another girlfriend, and my sister could care less. Why is everything going downhill? The bathroom door opened and Petunia came out, looking at herself one more time in the mirror and applying, if possible, even more makeup. “You going out?” I asked lazily. I heard her make a smacking noise with her lips and set her lipstick down on the counter. “Me and Vernon are going to the movies tonight.” She said, smiling to herself. I rolled my eyes at the ceiling as I lay in bed. Of course. Vernon. Why else would my older sister leave our house? “Well then. Have fun.” I said sarcastically. She either was too slow on the uptake, or decided to ignore me. I decided to go with both. “You should get out tonight Lily. You’ve been two months and a half in this house.” I ignored her and saw her cross the room and stop in front of the open window, looking down at the ground. She checked if the coast was clear and reached under her bed, taking a line of blankets tied up together and tying it to her bed. She gave me a pleading look not to tell and I nodded, rolling my eyes again. She probably didn’t know that our dad was already out with one of his girlfriends again. I wouldn’t have known either, if I weren’t in the kitchen at the time. Our dad always leaves without telling us. That’s probably where my sister got that habit. I saw Petunia wave to someone downstairs, and I immediately knew who it was. Vernon, my sister’s steady one-year boyfriend, was a large guy who was overly boring and annoying. All he talked about was how he wanted to own his own company one day, and what sickened me even more was that my sister grinned fondly at him every time he mentioned this. I sat up straight in my bed and looked at the window, she had already left. “Okay Petunia. Just leave then. Without saying goodbye to your dad, or your sister and just move on with your life without even looking back.” I said grumpily to myself. I stood up and turned off the bathroom light that my sister always forgot to do. I looked at my calendar by my bed and sighed. I still had a week to go until I returned to my most favorite place in the world. Hogwarts was my school that I went to for the past six years. It made me sad that this was going to be my last year that I got to stay there. I couldn’t possibly imagine me staying here for the rest of my life. Oh and just so you know, I’m a witch. That’s what Hogwarts is for really…a school for witches and wizards. I glanced at my bed again where the letter I had been reading before still lay. I smiled to myself. It was a letter from Hogwarts, telling me I was Head Girl this year. This made me grin even more. Head Girl is what I’ve wanted to be ever since I turned prefect in fifth year. I’ll admit that I’m a perfectionist; my friends make fun of me for it all the time. There is a Head Boy too. And for some reason, this year it’s James Potter. How that git got that position I have no idea, but I’ll have to live with it. After spending six years having that kid annoying the hell out of you, you eventually get used to him. And sometimes you have to get used to your own neighbor. Most people would have killed someone to just see James Potter everyday out on the streets walking with his irritating friend, Sirius, but I see this as a punishment. I must have done something wrong in my life to deserve this. I try to avoid him as much as possible, but every time one of my friends comes over, they insist on going over to that kid’s house. It’s too much. And then Petunia asks why I don’t ever have friends over and why I don’t have a life. Most girls at my school despise me anyway. Two reasons: One, I’m Potter’s neighbor. Two, the kid is my stalker. It’s horrible! Having him stare at you from his windows in only his boxers as I go get the post or go for a walk around the block. It’s torture I tell you, torture. But it’s even worse when he goes up and talks to me. All he talks about is himself and how I’m missing out. Oh believe me, I am not missing out. I sighed and walked downstairs, wondering if there was anything good to eat. Strangely the lights were already on. I took a deep breath and readied myself to ignore my dad. And there he was at the kitchen table, reading the post. He heard my footsteps and turned around, giving me a small smile. “And how’s my little girl doing?” I rolled my eyes and walked to the refrigerator. “She’s doing fine thank you, just like when you left three hours ago.” “Sorry that I didn’t tell you guys about leaving. It’s that Carrie had plans already and…” he trailed off, knowing himself that he didn’t have a real excuse. “Well good for you. I hope you had fun.” I said, using sarcasm twice in about half an hour. “Where’s Petunia?” he asked, lighting a cigar. I grimaced and quickly took a can of pop, wanting to get out of the kitchen before I could smell that. I hated it when my dad smoked. “I don’t know.” I said, making a mental note to untie the blankets and hide it under my sister’s bed again. “That girl…” he muttered irritably. “Always leaving without even saying anything…” I tutted loudly and left the room. Like he had any moral to say that. The next few days were completely boring. As Petunia had said that day, I stay home the whole time I’m away from Hogwarts. What’s the point anyway? None of my friends live around here. And I’m not about to go to the Potters’ house. I don’t even know why they live near us. They’re so rich…and they live in a regular house. James always brags about having a manor and I always roll my eyes at him. But who’s going to believe me, it’s my word against the most popular boy in our school. A day before school starts, I always go and meet with my best friend, Henn, at Diagon Alley to get all of our school supplies. My dad said he’d take me, since he was going to London anyway for a business conference. Even though I’m rather annoyed with my dad, I was thankful for not riding the Knight Bus. “Bye Dad.” I said, getting out of the car and stepping out to wave at him. He smiled slightly. “Have fun honey.” He said quietly. My stomach sank as I noticed that he was being truthful. “Thanks. I’ll see you at six.” I gave him a true smile; I almost never smile at home. This made my dad grin even wider and wave, speeding out of the street. I waved one last time and walked slowly to a dark pub called the Leaky Cauldron, one only able to be seen by wizards and witches. I walked inside, and if this were my first time to come here I would jump up in fright. There were always the weirdest things in the Leaky Cauldron, like vampires and ghouls. I spotted Henn, who was talking to the bar tender, Tom. “But I don’t think so Henn, the Chudley Cannon’s chaser was certainly cheating-“ Tom began, smiling and revealing his many lost teeth. I smiled at him also. “Hello Tom.” I said. “What are you two arguing about?” Henn jumped in surprise since her back was turned towards me. She spun around and gave me a tight hug, squealing. “It’s great seeing you!” she exclaimed as she let go and beamed at me. My friend Henrietta, or whom everyone calls Henn, had dark brown hair and green eyes. What was great about her was that I could talk to her about anything. She always listens. She turned to Tom, raising an eyebrow. “And we’re not arguing about anything, Tom’s just insulting my team…” “Not at all miss.” He said, grinning. “Nice to see you Miss Evans.” “Nice to see you too.” I said, chuckling slightly. “Ready to go Henn?” “Yes, what time is your dad picking you up?” “Six. You?” I asked, as we reached a brick wall that I tapped with my wand in a strange order. It melted and slowly formed into an archway, revealing Diagon Alley’s cobbled streets. “About the same time.” She replied, grinning at seeing Diagon Alley again. She was just as happy as me. “I hope we meet Gaby and Grace here.” I said as we walked inside Florish and Blotts. Henn laughed. “Yeah right. Gaby’s probably snogging Sirius right now.” Henn said, smirking. I laughed slightly and felt a little jealous. I hadn’t had a boyfriend since second year, and that was just holding hands down the hallway with Remus. I remember that James didn’t talk to Remus until we weren’t ‘going out’ anymore. “Who’s snogging Sirius?” said a familiar voice behind us. Henn squealed again as I grinned and spun around. A girl with brown hair and brown eyes grinned at us. “No offense Gaby.” Henn said apologetically. Henn and me embraced her at the same time, leaving her little room to breathe. “Nice seeing you guys too.” She said, after we were done hugging each other. “But I don’t see you guys making fun of Grace.” She raised an eyebrow, teasing us. “Why would we make fun of Grace?” I asked curiously. “What is it that you know that we don’t?” Henn said, widening her eyes. I laughed at her expression. “Didn’t you guys know? Grace is dating Remus!” Gaby said quickly, as if it was killing her that she had to keep this to herself for two months. What?” I blurted out. “And you didn’t tell us?” “How could she? None of us have owls except for Grace.” Henn pointed out. “How could she not tell me? That traitor.” I said, furrowing my eyebrows. “The only letter I got this summer was my Hogwarts and Head Girl letter.” Henn and Gaby exchanged looks, widening their eyes. “You didn’t tell us you were Head Girl!” they said simultaneously. I grinned apologetically. “Sorry.” I said, laughing slightly. “But guess who is Head Boy?” I said, changing my expression from guilty, to annoyed. Henn started to giggle, and Gaby laughed. “No way, it’s Potter isn’t it?” Henn asked, as if this couldn’t get any better. “Not funny guys.” I said as I watched them laugh and blush slightly. I was the only girl who didn’t giggle when James Potter’s name was mentioned. Gaby had gotten better, but now that we mentioned Sirius’s name, she would grin nonstop and zone out. “Well I got to go.” Gaby said, after talking for a while and gossiping. “What? Why?” Henn asked, raising an eyebrow. “What else?” I asked sarcastically, smirking slightly. Gaby laughed. “So you already got your books?” “Yeah.” She said, grinning. “How about I meet you guys at the ice cream parlor at four?” “Sounds good.” Henn said. “See you later then.” “Bye!” I called out to her retrieving back. “Have fun snogging Sirius!” Henn said rather loudly. An elderly couple next to us looked at her, horrified. I stifled my laugh. Gaby looked back, looking thoroughly embarrassed. “I can’t believe Black is going steady.” I said, grinning as I turned around and tried to look for the book I needed again. “Yeah.” Henn said. “Good thing he’s with Gaby though. They’re perfect for each other.” I nodded and took Standard Book of Spells: Grade 7 out from the shelf. “What would you do if we saw Potter today?” Henn asked, raising an eyebrow. “No idea, probably ignore him like I usually do.” I said casually, laughing to myself. “Now, you wouldn’t really do that, would you Evans?” said a deep and mature voice jokily behind me. I narrowed my eyes and looked at Henn, who was struggling not to laugh. I gave her a why-didn’t-you-tell-me-that-he’s-behind-me look and stood up straight. “What do you want Potter?” I asked, turning around and glaring at him. For some reason looking at him again made me raise an eyebrow and study him for a moment. Although I always see him outside with Sirius, it was always far away and I didn’t notice a change in his appearance. But he had changed, he was taller and more muscular now, and he looked more mature. His voice had lowered an octave or two also. “Wow Evans, every time I see you again you look even more breathtaking than the last time.” He said, grinning and stepping closer. I narrowed my eyes, he did not just do that. “And wow Potter,” I said, stepping backwards so I could actually breathe. “every time I see you again you’re even more annoying than the last time you were watching me from across the street.” Henn couldn’t stop herself anymore and burst out laughing. Potter continued to grin, although his cheeks flushed slightly. “I knew you couldn’t ignore me.” He said, trying to give a charming and melting smile. Hah, wasn’t working. “And I knew that my hopes were to high when I wished that you’d transfer schools.” I said, mocking a pleasant voice. "Come on Henn." I said irritably, squirming out of Potter's reach. "But I still haven't-" Henn began to protest. "Oh fine." she said after noticing that I was already at the cash register. "Bye James." I rolled my eyes and glanced over my shoulder, looking at that prat for a moment. His hands were in his pockets and he was smiling slightly, still looking at me. There was something about the way he smiled that was completely different from the usual stuck up grin... "I'm running out of money." I said after we finished buying our Potions supplies. I looked hopelessly at my purse that had only two sickles left. "Can we go to Gringotts?" "Sure." Henn said, realizing that she had almost no money also. "But remember that we need to meet Gaby in half an hour." We ran past the walking shoppers and finally were at the marble white steps of Gringotts, the wizard bank. We walked inside and saw many goblins talking to wizards and witches who wanted to take money out of their vault. I reached the nearest one, taking out my key. "Vault 152 please." I said quietly. The goblin attending me glared at me for a moment before taking my key and examining it. To my right I heard Henn give another goblin her vault number. They both soon motioned over another goblin who took us to a cart, where it drove to our vaults. I looked nervously behind me as I took a few galleons and knuts from my vault. Henn was waiting impatiently by the goblin, a sack of wizard money already in her lap. I looked at my small pile of gold and quickly came back out, the vault closing behind me. "Ready to go?" Henn asked, as we walked out in the bright sunlight again. I nodded and dipped my money into my purse, Henn doing the same. Gaby was at one of the far corner tables, under an umbrella with no other than Sirius. Henn and me exchanged disgusted looks, they were holding hands and talking quietly to each other. "Hey Gaby!" Henn said loudly, waving her arms around crazily. Gaby's head shot up as her eyes searched for the source of noise. She grinned once she spotted us. Sirius gave a grim smile and put his arm protectively around Gaby, who motioned us over. "I don't think Sirius wants us here." I said in an undertone as we approached the table. "That's why I'm sitting here." Henn said, grinning and setting her bag on the table. She sat on Gaby's other side, while I sat by Sirius. "How's it going Sirius?" I asked, exchanging looks with Henn. "Well." he muttered. I raised an eyebrow at him, Sirius Black was not a man of few words. Sirius grinned and brought Gaby slightly closer, whispering something in her ear again. She giggled and turned slightly red. “I’m going to go get ice cream.” I drawled as him and Gaby started to kiss in our presence. “Anybody want anything?” “How about a saliva bowl for these two?” Henn asked, scrunching up her nose. I smirked and got up to get my sundae. I scowled as I saw who was also ordering an ice cream. James Potter. For a moment I thought of just turning back and waiting for him to leave, but I’m not a person to hide. I rolled my eyes and walked over anyway, feeling like I was preparing myself for the worst. “Yes, what would you like Lily?” the ice cream parlor man said. I smiled and felt James’s head turn sharply in my direction. “I’ll have a strawberry sundae, thanks.” I said politely. “Yummy.” James said quietly, smirking at me. I furrowed my eyebrows and narrowed my eyes at him, knowing that he wasn’t talking about my ice cream. “Here you go James.” Said the man, giving him a chocolate ice cream cone. He left without even saying thank you. I scowled at him and watched as he made his way towards our table. Wait…no. Argh he was sitting in my seat. “Thank you.” I said, as I took the ice cream that the man gave me. He smiled at me as I started towards our table. “Wait! Lily!” I spun around and saw a girl with red hair like mine, except not as vivid. Her eyes were ocean blue, and she was grinning. I smiled back. “Grace!” I exclaimed, hugging her. Wow we sure do hug a lot. “It’s great seeing you!” she said, pulling back. I noticed that she was slightly darker. “It’s great seeing you too, where have you been?” I asked, raising my eyebrows and grinning. She chuckled. “Hah. I’ve been at the beach.” She said, her eyes shining playfully. “Oh and did I tell you? About me and-“ “Remus.” I said, grinning. “Nope but don’t worry, Gaby over there told me all about it.” Grace laughed, raising an eyebrow for a moment. “What’s James doing over there? Don’t tell me you and him are-” “Don’t start.” I warned her. She laughed. “I had my hopes too high.” “Yeah I think you did.” I said grumpily. “Anyway, where’s your boyfriend?” “Oh I don’t know, he was last at Quidditch Quality Supplies. I told him that I wasn’t up to staring at broomsticks all day so he’s coming here later.” She said casually. “I’ll meet you at our table. Let me get my ice cream first though.” I nodded and glanced over my shoulder at James, who was talking and laughing with Sirius. They seemed to be excluding Gaby and Henn, who both looked annoyed. Henn turned her head and looked desperately at me to come over. I sighed disgustedly and made my way over there, thinking that the first opportunity that I got I would strangle Potter. The day went great. We stayed at the ice cream parlor the rest of the day, just talking and catching up on everything that had happened over the summer. We stuffed our faces and laughed over our incidents. I was mostly listening than talking…since nothing really interesting or good happened at my house. And plus, the only person that I tell things is to Henn, and that’s hardly anything. I would have stayed more time, but my dad had a business dinner party today that I had to get ready for. I rolled my eyes at the thought as I walked out from the Leaky Cauldron, waving goodbye to Tom. I had to wait only for a few minutes; my dad came soon in his shiny black car…with Carrie sitting in the front seat. I didn’t attempt to hide my scowl. Carrie hated me, I was sure of it. She definitely favored Petunia, but maybe that was because she never got in the way of her relationship with my dad. I knew that Carrie only wanted my dad’s money, after all there was such a huge difference in age. She tried having ‘girl talks’ or ‘bonding moments’ but it so did not work. She was as useless as my mom, and I would bet anything that she’d walk out on us too. I only said ‘hi’ to those two and sat in the back, looking out the window at the streetlights, it was starting to get dark. Carrie was complaining about my dad’s boss and how he should be in charge of the business, not Mr. Whatever his name is. We finally arrived home and I was surprised to see that my bedroom light was on. Petunia was home. That’s a first. I walked up the dark staircase and opened the door, finding Petunia and Vernon talking on her bed quietly to each other while some music played on the radio. I heard my dad and Carrie argue downstairs and closed the door forcefully behind me, drowning out the noise. “Ever heard of knocking?” Petunia said nastily. “We’re in the middle of something very important right now.” “Well then go borrow Dad’s room, the bed is bigger.” I retorted, dropping my shopping bags on my bed. Petunia widened her eyes, looking horrified at the bags. Vernon didn’t know about my…erm ‘abnormality’, according to my sister. “Lily, leave.” She hissed. I knew that she was trying to threaten me, but she couldn’t do anything about it. Hah, I smirked. “No.” I said firmly, my eyes flickering to Vernon, who was dressed up in a suit and giving a smug smile. Petunia, was wearing a frilly lavender dress that was long sleeved and that flared just below her knees. Ack, that color looked horrible on her. “Fine!” Petunia screeched, taking Vernon’s hand and opening the door. They left, leaving me to grin and close the door after them. I checked the clock and grimaced. I only had half an hour to get ready. I rushed in the bathroom and took a quick shower, forcing my legs in tights and putting on a dark green spaghetti strap dress, that I thought fit me pretty good. It went halfway down my legs and I hastily put on some matching pointy shoes. I winced at the fact of wearing those all night. “Lilian!” Dad called from downstairs. “You ready yet?” “Almost!” I called back. I looked hopelessly at my damp hair. I combed it through and noticed that I wasn’t going to have time to blow dry. Oh well. This was only my dad’s business after all. I put some gold earrings on and a golden necklace that my grandma had given to me when I was younger. It looked odd on a small girl, so I was glad to finally be able to wear it. There was an emerald in the center, my favorite stone and my birth stone. I smiled and was proud of myself for not looking too shabby and rushed downstairs, taking my matching green and gold purse. “Ah.” Dad said fondly as I reached the last flight of steps. “Beautiful.” I blushed and looked at the ground, while Carrie looked impatiently at her watch. She was wearing a light blue slid off the shoulders dress that in my opinion was way too tight and way to short. I rolled my eyes at how she wore her fancy shawl and expensive silver earrings and jewelry that my father had bought her. Her dark brown hair was up in a bun with some strands falling in front of her pretty face. My dad was wearing a tux like Vernon, and his hair was combed neatly. “Can we go now?” Petunia asked irritably. I glared at her. “Why are you even here?” I spat. She frowned at me as her eyes flickered to my messy hair, to my peeling shoes. “I’m here to support Dad, thanks.” She said coldly. I tutted as I began to understand. Vernon was always talking about owning a business…and he was unemployed. So, she wanted him to join Dad’s company. Like Vernon would want to sell of all things, drills. We finally left and climbed into the car, driving past the Potters’, where all the lights were off. Hm, they were out. The business my dad worked for was Grunnings. I think it’s the most boring job ever. But my dad likes it, for reasons unknown. We walked inside the elevator, descending to the basement where the party room was. I watched as Carrie looked at herself in her little portable mirror, while Petunia patted Vernon’s shoulder telling him not to be nervous. While everyone tried to make a good impression as we walked inside, I looked at the nearest couch and sat down. I hated introducing myself to all of these weird and boring people. And plus, my dad’s boss’s son was always hitting on me and making me want to puke whatever I was eating. Dad didn’t seem to notice that I sat on the couch and took refuge. Petunia and Carrie were wearing their most false smiles, while Vernon seemed like he was close to fainting. This was going to be a long night. “Ah, Ms. Evans. We meet again.” I gritted my teeth and tried to smile at the same time, making me look like I had something up my nose. It was Andy, the prat that I was trying to avoid. He wasn’t ugly, in contrast with his large and grim looking father who was my father’s boss. Andy was actually quite good looking. He was slightly dark and he had chocolate brown hair that was always elegant and neat. He was holding a cup of wine while his other hand was in his pocket, revealing only his expensive watch. He took that hand and brought mine up to his face, kissing it softly. I tried hard not to roll my eyes. Now, most girls would have died right there on the spot, being kissed on your hand by a handsome and rich boy. But looks can be deceiving. All he talked about was his money. He was even worse than Potter. I froze as he sat by me on the unfortunately two-person couch. Now that was odd. Right by the buffet, piling his plate with food…was James Potter.

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