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“Oh, I don’t know about this, Lily,” her mother said, whilst fussing needlessly with Lily’s lace collar. “How safe can it be, living in a magic house?”
Lily smiled reassuringly, taking her mother’s hands in her own.
“I’ve been living in a magic school for six years! What’s so worrisome about a magic house?”
Of course, Lily had been very reluctant to spend the summer with the Black family working on her potions project with Sirius, the only Gryffindor Black. All that had changed when Sirius assured her he no longer lived with his family, and that she would be fine.
She had then spoken to Remus Lupin, her best friend, just to be absolutely sure there was no danger. He had tried to convince her to do the project at the Evans residence, but due to laws of practising magic in front of muggles that was not possible.
Eventually, though, he said the people Sirius lived with were ‘cool’ and she needn’t worry.
“What’s so worrisome!?” Her mother asked as though it was obvious. “You’ll be living with Wizards and Witches, unsupervised, no parents...”
“I’m sure there is some sort of adult figure in the house, mum,” Lily said, although she wasn’t sure.
“But this Sirius guy...what if he tries something on you? Oh, Lily, I don’t think you should go.”
“You’re right, mum,” Lily said sarcastically. “I’ll just not bother doing my major work for potions class and fail the whole module, which means I won’t ever graduate in seventh year next year, and I’ll never get a good job.”
“Okay, okay,” her mother rolled her eyes. “You could always go to law school, you know. I don’t think I’ve won an argument with you in five years.”
“Well, I think I’m all packed,” Lily stepped away from her mother and headed towards the door, where her trunk was waiting. She was supposed to be picked up by Sirius himself today, but of course Sirius hadn’t bothered setting an exact time.
“Go and say goodbye to Petunia,” her mother said, giving her a little push in the right direction.
“She doesn’t care that I’m leaving, she’s happy I’ll be away all summer,” Lily protested.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do with you girls,” her mother shook her head. “Just say goodbye to her, alright? I’m sure she’ll miss you really.”
“Yeah, right,” Lily mumbled, but she obediently walked upstairs.
“Pet?” She asked, sticking her head around Petunia’s bedroom door. “I’m leaving now.”
“Get out of my room, freak!” Petunia called without even bothering to turn around from her desk.
“Fine!” Lily said angrily. “Have a nice summer!”
She ran back downstairs. Petunia and Lily had once been inseparable, but Petunia’s jealousy of Lily’s abilities had made a tension grow between them which eventually led to hate, on Petunia’s part. Lily still had hope that it was all just a phase and when they were a bit older they would put it all behind them.
A loud roar came from outside and Lily ran into the front hall to find her mother staring out the window, white-faced.
“No. Not on your life, Lily. I forbid it!”
“What?” Lily ran to open the front door, confused. She gasped as she saw Sirius sitting on an oversized motorbike in their driveway. He was wearing a leather jacket, and as he removed his helmet he shook out his hair.
“I don’t want you to go anywhere near that boy!” Her mother sounded quite panicked now.
“Mum, we’re potions partners. He’s a good guy, okay? And I’m not into him or anything, I mean for Merlin's sake!”
“You’re not?” Her mother asked softly, fingering the sleeve of her jacket and looking at Sirius with a misty expression as he walked slowly up to them.
“Mum!” Lily elbowed her mother in the side to snap her out of the well known condition ‘Sirius Stupor’.
“Ready to go?” Sirius asked, nodding and smiling at Lily’s mum and picking up Lily’s heavy trunk with ease. “We have to get a move on if we’re going to make it before dark.”
Lily swiftly kissed her mother on the cheek before following Sirius to the motorbike. He fastened the trunk to the side of the bike, which would have made any normal bike lop-sided. Sirius swung one leg over the bike and settled in as he handed a helmet to Lily. She placed it on her head, and got on the bike too, with a little less confidence than Sirius.
“Hold on tight,” he called, as he started the bike. She wrapped her arms around his waist tightly. She wanted to ask him where they were going exactly but the guttering, spitting sound of the roaring engine cancelled out her voice. Sirius gave a few small thrusts like he was trying to get a horse to go forward, and the bike finally started moving.
The sped down the muggle streets, Lily holding on tight, but not afraid. As soon as they got out of town, he pulled the bike into a wheelie, and she did scream then. Slowly, the bike lifted off the ground. They were flying. The red haired Gryffindor kept her face buried into Sirius' back at first, too scared of heights to look down. Eventually, though, she managed to peak out a little. They were souring above the clouds.
“Nearly there!” Sirius yelled out above the wind, as he started to angle the bike downwards. They sped towards the ground at an impossible speed, Sirius pulled the bike out of the dive at the last second and they landed with a soft bump on the ground. Lily realised she’d had her eyes closed for the landing. Slowly, she opened them.
“Wow,” she breathed. They were in a posh garden in front of a stately manor house, perhaps the most beautiful building Lily had ever seen, apart from Hogwarts.
“Hey, mate,” a familiar voice called out.
Lily groaned as she saw James Potter running towards them. The impossibly immature, annoying, prat of a boy.
“You’re not visiting, are you?” She asked, hoping he wasn’t staying for very long.
“Nope,” Sirius said, lifting Lily’s trunk off the bike. “I am.”
“What?” Lily asked, incredibly confused.
“When my parents kicked me out last year, the Potters were kind enough to take me in,” Sirius said, smiling warmly. “Lily, welcome to the Potter Manor. In the lovely, muggley Northhampton.”
“You...you live with Potter?” Lily asked incredulously, panic setting in.
“Yep,” Sirius said, grinning at her. “And now, you do too.”
James and Sirius started walking up to the house, roughhousing. Lily followed them slowly, wondering why she never listened to her mother.
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