Disclaimer: I own nothing that you recognize from any Harry Potter book. If you don't recognize it: Hey it's mine! Prism Restaurant and Bar is a real restaurant, and I mean no infringement on them, just merely using their name for my fan fiction purposes.
I started this fan fiction in September of 2002 – as seen above. So this is obviously pre-OotP, and I intend to keep it the way it was going, with little or no intrusions from Book V. Arabella will stay the same. Sirius' family will stay the same. Lily and James will stay the same – and the Prefect thing. That's not changing either. And one thing I wish I had changed way back in the beginning is that I made James into a Seeker. This was before I knew that JK Rowling had said he was a Chaser. It's beyond too late to change now, so bear with me.
There are times in life where you want to turn back. You want to run away and not look behind you. Leave your past, memories and personals because it was too tough. You hated the pain in your heart, the burning tears in your eyes and the dull ache in your head.
Happy thoughts and memories faded away and your stress and anxiety showed in your face as lines and shadows appeared. Your skin tinted gray, your hair faded and eyes that once shone with laughter bore a dull, listless expression.
You may know these feelings, worse or somewhat better than the people involved in this tale. You may have experienced the death of a loved one, loss of a good friend for a pitiful argument or even lost yourself to indulgence and demise.
This tale, like many involving such good-hearted and lovable characters, starts happy. They laugh, joke, tease and amongst it, even cry… but they bounce back. They've got hope beyond hope. But as the years wear on… hope seems a memory, laughter but an echo, jokes a myth… and tears… Tears became the common.
It was a gradual fall… a gradual slip into adulthood.
The people you are beginning to read about had to learn about maturity and coming into their selves.
Though this may sound like a slow, sorrowful tale, it is really full of laughs and good times. It was a slow decay of hope that got to the characters, but do not fret, it will not appear too soon.
You may not even notice it head on.
They certainly didn't.
- - - - - - -
A messy, black-haired, blue-eyed teenage boy awoke one Sunday morning to the sound of Ministry Aurors arguing. James, the boy, got up and listened intently to the voices below, hoping to catch what they might be saying. He had always found Aurors interesting and wanted to be one after Hogwarts, his school of Witchcraft and Wizardry. His father was an Auror, and it was only the two of them that lived in the Potter Manor.
Being half asleep, James stumbled to his door and opened it slightly. The gap allowed the light from the hall to creep its way in across his floor and illuminate a Wimbourne Wasps poster on the opposite wall. All the players were sleeping. Leaning against the wall, he closed his eyes. James leant his bed-head back, and took in all he could that early in the morning. Sure, it was an hour to noon – but that was beside the point… James was a sixteen year-old teenager; it was his business to be lazy.
The conversation downstairs had gotten heated. James began to feel bad for eavesdropping and thought of heading off for a shower, but he quickly dropped the guilt once his name was mentioned. He snapped into attention and listened to the voices one floor below…
"I took a week off for a reason!" James' father, David Potter exclaimed, pounding a fist upon a table. James guessed the sound to be a table – could have been a wall for all he cared.
"Mr. Potter," the other man started, and then sighed. "David. Listen. We all understand and feel terrible. We're sorr-"
"Sorry?" Mr. Potter hissed. "My wand you feel sorry! My son – my only son mind you – is going back to school on a week, and I may never see him again after he leaves! Facing those bloody Death Eaters, looking for them and their hide outs," he took a breath, "I'm lucky to still be here."
James felt the entire colour drain from his face. He had never thought of it like that. Well, maybe he had, but never had his father come right out and spoken words full of such horrible truth. They were always softened down, leaving hope in James' heart that it wasn't really as dangerous as some people said. It was one of the few things he kept in naivety. Aurors were always a sort of Super Hero image to most young boys and growing men. Apparate or fly in on the best marketed broom and save the damsel in distress, meanwhile destroying the Evil Doer. Besides, his father was strong. He was a man. And men like his father didn't die at the wands of Voldemort and his lackeys.
"David," the man said, sadness obvious in his voice. "I know how you feel; I felt the same. But my family is gone, and now I feel that if I didn't take that one weekend off and rather looked for Voldemort and his Death Eaters, they'd still be here. My nights are filled with what if's and maybes. I don't want it to happen to anyone else. Please, come in tomorrow."
At this they silenced.
James anxiously awaited his father's reply. Every second that passed made him more anxious, nervous and angry. 'What would make him reconsider?' he thought. 'How dare he try to take my father away from me! He's my only family left…'
The next three words that left his father's mouth caused tons of emotions to rush over James in just a matter of seconds. They were said in a tone of finality, and said slowly, each word enounced carefully:
"I'm on break."
- - - - - - -
"Lillian Tamara Evans! You have an owl!"
A red-headed, green-eyed, teenage girl jerked awake, blearily excited as to what the owl had brought her this morning, and from whom. She guessed it was from one of her friends: Melissa, Arabella or Jennifer. More so known as Mel, Ara or Jen.
Stumbling out of her single bed, Lily stretched her arms high above her head, fingers clenching then straightening. She yawned as she made her way to her bay window. She pulled the thick sky blue curtains open and squinted when the late morning sun beat upon her waking eyes. She turned around and scratched the back of her head, eyes haunted by large blotches of purple from the sun's earlier assault. Lily dragged her feet over the shag carpet, colour matching her curtains, to the bathroom down the hall, not even knowing if she got both feet into her slippers.
Her mother must have noticed Lily was taking her time to get downstairs, so she tried a different approach.
"Lily dear, it's from Hogwarts."
Slam! Thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, crash.
Lily rebounded off the wall at the bottom of the stairs and skidded her way into the kitchen. With her toothbrush in her mouth and one slipper on, she combed the kitchen for the now perturbed owl. Once spotted on top of her fridge, Lily reached up and allowed it to perch on her arm. She took the letter off the owl's leg and saw it indeed was from her school: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Lily gave the owl some hashed browns and orange juice before letting it leave. It took off out the open window and flew back north. Lily tore open the letter and read it quickly her mother, Isabella Evans.
"I'm still Prefect!" she said afterwards, holding the letter so that her mum could read.
Mrs. Evans hair was red, just like Lily's, but had beady little dark brown eyes. She was rather short, a little plump, yet was always on the go with her gardening and trying to help her daughters with anything that they might need. Lily would sometimes say to her friends that she was a bit too helpful sometimes and wouldn't get out of your hair.
Lily's Muggle sister, Petunia, stayed seated in the corner she had hid in since the owl pecked on the windowpane. She looked back and forth from her mum and sister, not daring to say anything. Petunia was tall and blonde with her mother's beady brown eyes. She had a long neck, and was sometimes called horse faced (by Sirius Black, a boisterous young man) on occasion when she would mumble things about Lily and her freak friends, at her freak school for the abnormal.
"Merlin's beard!" Lily exclaimed, not realizing she had used the wizard term. "I hope I haven't misplaced my badge… Do you think it's lost?" She hadn't even looked for it yet, but for all she knew, she could have lost it. "And I'll have to polish it as well," she added.
Petunia flinched at the name Merlin and quickly scurried out of the kitchen. She remembered all too well what happened to her last time Lily went into hysterics about misplacing something from school. But that certain story will be told later on.
"Honey, calm down, it's-" Mrs. Evans started, a small smile forming on her lips.
"Calm down? I can't be a Prefect without my badge, mum," Lily said. She crouched and looked under the table. "They'll take away my title…" Placing her hands on the floor, she looked beneath the refrigerator. "Do you think they would make me another one?" She stood upright and stuck her hands in her hair. "Oh this is so embar-"
"Lillian, I have it right here," Mrs. Evans stated simply, now grinning, and showing her youngest daughter her shiny new Gryffindor Prefect badge.
Lily sighed, and then seized it from her mother, holding it tightly – more so hugging it bone-crushingly tight. "Where was it?" she asked.
Her mother pointed to the refrigerator where it had been held on with a magnet clip the whole summer.
"So, who will your partner be this year? I hope it's none of the troublemakers, like last time. Those Marooners – or whatever you said they call themselves." Lily let out a small snort at her father's inability to remember their real name. "Porter or whatever his name was." This was the first time Jason Evans had said a word since Lily came bounding down the stairs into the kitchen. He was a tall man with blonde hair and bright green eyes. He was in good shape and owned a restaurant in London, Prism Restaurant and Bar, and had spent his earlier years building it up to the well-known reputation it had now.
"Oh honey, I'm sure they're not all bad," Mrs. Evans reprimanded sweetly. "Sirius is quite the sweetheart." She had loved seeing Sirius Black since he sent her a bouquet of flowers on her birthday. What she didn't know was that it was his fault Lily had cast boils all over other third years. Lily hadn't told her mother the truth because, frankly, she was probably the only person to naively think of Sirius as the charmer he tried to be. Her mother continued to ramble on, "Remember last time we saw him and that James Potter fellow? Beginning of the summer when we picked up Lily. They were so generous, helping Lily with her luggage… Mrs. Black is quite nice as well. Work's with dragons you know?"
Her father grunted and ruffled the pages of the newspaper. "Ruffians. Just don't let them corrupt you!" Mr. Evans pointed a long finger to his youngest daughter. "Those boys and your friend there, Jennifer Black – she's right up there. They'll try to pressure you to do all those rule-breaking activities-"
"Pranks, daddy. And they're the Marauders," Lily pronounced the name slowly. "They're not so bad. They-"
"Break rules, love. I don't want another letter from your school like I got before," he said sternly. Lily had heard this many times since it happened. "I was quite disappointed you'd so such a thing. Poor boys had to go to the Hospital Wing for crying out loud! Boils all over them!"
"Daddy, that was three years ago. I don't-"
"Just read the rest of your letter dear," Lily's mother said, trying to change the subject, even ever so slightly. "Who are you going to be with?" She rather liked the Marauders, even if she only met them a few times at King's Cross Station. They made her laugh.
"Um," Lily said scanning the parchment, then suppressed a smile. "Er, James Potter."
Mr. Evans' left eye twitched noticeably. "Potter you say?" At this he stood up, pronounced that it was interesting and then left for work.