Usual Disclaimer: All the characters (well almost all of them) are property of J.K. Rowling and I'm merely borrowing her brilliance and her world with no claim to it at all. I'd like to thank the Harry Potter Lexicon in particular since they're help in filling in the holes of Ms. Rowling's world has been invaluable to making this story as authentic as possible. Please look them up sometime.
As for why I chose to focus on the Lily and James era of things? Well the characters aren't so deeply established (for the most part) that I have to worry about stepping over Ms. Rowling's toes and perverting her thoughtful creations beyond necessity. I hope you enjoy and reviews are always appreciated.
NOTE: Pensieve was originally written pre- OotP and has not been amended to fit the canon of the 5th Book. I have no intention of rewriting this to include JKR's more recent books and interviews since it is fanfiction. If you are a canon conservative you may wish to read something else, but for those of you who don't mind a few discrepancies I hope you enjoy reading Pensieve as much as I have writing it
Knocks and Turns
By: Oy! Angelina
Lily Evans roamed Diagon Alley listlessly. She was alone (although she had seen and spoken to a few other Hogwarts students in passing) and weighed down by a few bags already. Lily was saving her heavier shopping for later so as not to burden herself anymore than she had already managed to, content to wander into shop after shop, exploring their wares. She committed herself to getting a sundae at Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlor at some point during the day. Although she wasn't uncomfortable with it, Lily was growing slightly bored being alone with only her thoughts.
Her older sister, Petunia, had made such a fuss about all the attention Lily was getting she demanded her own quality time with their parents. They offered to take her along to Diagon Alley since she had never been there, but Petunia insisted buying Lily's "freakish" school supplies wasn't her idea of a holiday. Petunia's moping and pouting had eventually wore on all the Evans and Lily, feeling a little guilty over her sisters jealousy and hostility, told her parents she was more than able to get all her things for Hogwarts on her own. The Evans dropped Lily off in front of the Leaky Cauldron at ten that morning, promising to retrieve her at six that evening.
That was more than enough time for Lily to have a leisurely afternoon in Diagon Alley and gradually become bored out of her mind.
Finding herself lingering outside Quality Quidditch Supplies, Lily shrugged to herself and decided to go in, passing the pack of young wizard children gawking at whatever top-of-the-line broom was on display in the window. Lily figured her stay within the shop would be relatively brief since her only interest for Quidditch was infrequent at best. Aside from her support of the Gryffindor House team, Lily didn't keep up much with Quidditch on large. She figured it was largely attributed to her not finding the energy to follow along with Muggle sports, let alone ones only found in the wizarding world. Still, she always had a good time watching the House matches and wouldn't mind seeing a professional match sometime, as Quidditch was easily the most exciting sport invented.
Lily stepped into the shop just as James Potter stepped out. Colliding gently into one another, the contents of their bags rustled. Lily would be lying if she said she were surprised to find him there. He was the Chaser, Captain, and all around star player of their House Quidditch team. Hell, it wouldn't have surprised her if she found out James Potter was living out of the back of Quality Quidditch Supplies.
James face lit up when he saw Lily as he (almost self-consciously if Lily didn't know for a fact James had all the confidence in the world) readjusted his circular spectacles and ran a hand through his black mess of hair that wouldn't lay flat if it was charmed to. Lily sighed a little.
It wasn't that she disliked James. They were both Gryffindors and ran in pretty much the same social circles, but James was something of a goof-off in spite of his potent magical skill and relation to a respectable wizarding family. He was cocky, brash, and sometimes even a prat, but James was irredeemably gallant and had a charm to him that made it hard to utterly dislike him.
"Oh, I'm sorry James," Lily apologized casually since no one had been hurt and nothing had been broken.
James bowed jokingly. "Fancy meeting you her, Miss Evans."
James was failing miserably as he attempted to maintain his stiff pretense, showing that formality didn't suit him well.
"Got wind that you're our new House Kill-Joy."
"I'll assume you meant Prefect," Lily said dryly but cracked a smile. She knew James was only teasing and she expected no less from him now, as they were about to enter their 6th Year at Hogwarts.
"Yes well, you only got the position because I didn't want it," James insisted with a grin twitching over his lips.
Lily knew he had meant this as a joke, but considering everyone had James pegged on the fast-track to becoming Headboy, she had no doubt that if he had bothered to apply himself to following at least a fraction of the school rules, he'd be wearing the Prefect badge instead of her.
"I can see how it would be a conflict of interests. You'd have to subtract points from Gryffindor every time you come up with something new and deviant to slip under the noses of the faculty," Lily solemnly nodded. "We'd be in the negatives every time you had a brain storm."
James laughed. Lily was always fond of hearing James laugh, though there were times in the past where it had been at her expense. There was such sincerity to it; letting people around him know he was genuinely amused. Lily sighed, shaking her head and long red hair with it.
"You're not going to make my job easy are you? Lily observed in an almost pleading tone. James flashed her a broad grin as he draped an arm over her shoulders playfully.
"Now where would be the fun in that for either party?" James inquired. "So tell me, Prefect Evans. What does a bloke have to do to find himself in your good graces this year?
"Obey all the school rules," Lily said sweetly. "Particularly the one about sneaking out after hours." She threw the last one in since she knew that James was a repeat offender at late night strolls through Hogwarts to places he didn't really belong.
"See, that's not going to really work for me," James confessed earnestly. "I was kind of hoping I'd be able to buy you off. Names your price, Lily: sweets from Honeydukes? Monthly payoffs of Galleons?"
A wicked smile crept of James.
"I wouldn't be opposed to snogging and shagging if you're so inclined."
Lily shifted out of James grip enough to slap him in the jaw, not nearly as hard as he deserved. James rubbed his face a little, more for effect than pain.
"Crossed the line, did I?" James said dryly.
"If you're curious, the part about "shagging" is where you overplayed your hand," Lily informed curtly as she made her way into Diagon Alley without James, wagging her finger as she left. "Try it again and it'll be five points from Gryffindor."
Lily burned over James's boldness with her, but couldn't deny she was flattered. She slightly regretted slapping him, but she didn't want to encourage James along his pratish ways even if she happened to find something roguishly charming about him. Lily had to maintain some level of respect from him if she wasn't going to let him of his friends walk all over her as a Prefect.
"Bloody Hell, James! I leave you alone for twenty minutes only to find our Prefect smacking the hell out of you?" Sirius Black bellowed as he and Remus Lupin emerged from Gambol & Japes, stocking up on jokes for the upcoming school term.
Sirius, James's best friend, was tall, dark, and very handsome if someone cared to describe him in the simplest terms. Remus, taller than either James or Sirius, was a frailer looking that his friends but his unkempt brown hair and worn expression gave him a certain gentle appeal.
"Would you believe I had it coming?" James smirked.
"Well we knew that already," Remus assured, "we were just curious about the specifics."
"Felt like seeing what my shoe tasted like is all," James replied. Not in the mood the catch hell from his friends, James deflected to a new subject. "Where's Peter?"
"Off getting fitted for new robes, last we saw," Remus said thoughtfully as he glanced up and down the alley. "Probably would have checked for us in Gambol & Japes if he had finished up."
"Let's go find him, hmm?" James suggested. "We should start getting our school stuff anyway."
The Marauders made their way along the length of Diagon Alley on James advice, trading jokes and pointing anything interesting along the way. James occasionally glanced over his shoulder, hoping to catch a glimpse of Lily again in the crowd.
He silently chided himself for his randy joke since it had evidently got her so upset. Why had she got so upset? It was just a joke after all. James thought Lily knew him well enough by now to know that half the time he was joking and the other half he was silent or unconscious.
"Knut for your thoughts, James?" Remus asked as they opened the door to Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions.
James shook his head and shrugged. "Just wondering if there's any way we can convince Kettleburn to let us study women in Care for Magical Creatures is all."
"Now there's a suggestion!" Sirius agreed. "Be a bit more practical than seeing how many fingers the man can lose to a Hippogriff before it's full."
The three boys shared a laugh as Peter Pettigrew joined the three carrying his parcels and laughing as well. He was the shortest and roundest of his friends. Though not necessarily unattractive or outright vulgar, the fact Peter kept company with some of the most popular boys at Hogwarts didn't do much to assist his overall appeal by comparison. Peter couldn't be sure what the joke exactly was but he trusted it was worth a laugh.
"All finished up in here, Wormtail?" Remus inquired.
Peter gave a nod. "Set for now. Where to then?"
"Well we could look about for other people from school?" James coolly offered up. He wanted an excuse to seek out a certain redhead and exchange a quip or two to tide him over until they were all aboard the Hogwarts Express at the beginning of September.
"Such as Lily Evans?" Remus raised an eyebrow in James direction.
"Well if you insist," James relented as casually as he could.
"Ah," was all Remus would say on the matter; however, Sirius managed to find a few more words.
"Well if he didn't I would have!" Sirius admitted boomingly. "I feel like sending her parents an owl profusely thanking them for the gift to the world that is Lily Evans."
Sirius swooned a little overdramatically but he got his point across effectively enough for his friends.
"Fancy her, eh Padfoot?" Remus mastered the obvious. "Not that I blame you but, since when?"
"Bugger…" Sirius ran a hand through his long black hair as he exhaled loudly. "I don't know, maybe 'round last year. Seeing her with James back there just sort of reminded me of how much things can change from 1st Year."
"I'd say!" Peter chimed in. "Name me something that girl hasn't going for her."
"Looks?" Remus tried.
"Better than a Veela," Sirius defended.
"Could give a sphinx a run for its Galleons!"
"Her most effective Charms have little to do with wands, Moony."
"So it's decided that Lily Evans is perfect in every manner," Remus settled half seriously.
"I suppose we'll just have to start killing each other until its last man standing then," Peter interjected playfully.
"You three can get started on that if you'd like. I'll just busy myself with actually trying to win her over," Sirius winked. James was tempted to punch his friend in the face at the moment for some reason, but thought it would violate less social norms to simply laugh along.
"Oh come now, Sirius," James finished faking his laugh, "you're more likely to transfer into Slytherin than get Lily Evans as your typical snog and run. You expect us to believe you'd give up your swinging life as the most eligible bachelor at Hogwarts?"
Peter and Remus turned to Sirius awaiting a response. James was trying to discern how serious his best friend was about Lily. He wasn't entirely sure why it mattered to him, but it did. Pausing to consider this, Sirius finally settled on a decision.
"If someone like Lily would be willing to give her heart to you, how could you do anything but accept?" Sirius challenged. The other Marauders nodded to this.
"Well then! Shall we go find some butterbeers to toast Padfoot's luck at winning over the prettiest Prefect Hogwarts has ever produced?" Peter broadly smiled. Sirius threw an arm around James, and gave him a friendly squeeze.
"I'll see to it you're best man at the wedding of Sirius and Lily Black," Sirius confided.
James thought the idea of drinks sounded like a good idea but not for the reasons Peter suggested. James was feeling irked by all this and he wasn't too sure why. Figuring he was just worried a steady girlfriend who happened to also be a Prefect would cramp the Marauders deviant style, James was determined to get his best friend off this pursuit of Lily Evans, even if it took every last bit of his cunning.
The question was how to do it without hurting Sirius or letting him know what he was up to?
After perusing the Magical Menagerie for a good half hour, Lily abandoned the noisy shop and returned to Diagon Alley. At its intersection with Knockturn Alley (a shady area known for its darker merchandise), Lily saw another familiar face hovering in place.
"Afternoon Snape," Lily couldn't keep the curious note out of her tone. "What are you doing here?"
Severus Snape was as pale and gaunt as Lily remembered him at the end of last year. The only thing that seemed to change was his oily looking black hair seemed to have grown a bit. If possible, Snape seemed to go more rigid as Lily approached him.
"I imagine the same as you, Evans," Snape's detached voice responded. "Buying supplies for the new term."
"I meant here," Lily gestured toward the signs labeling the branch off of Knockturn Alley. "Gives off the wrong sort of impression and all."
"I'm expecting to meet with some members of my House," Snape answered, "this is nothing more than the place they specified. They should be here…momentarily."
Lily grew uncomfortable with the idea of being surrounded by a pack of Slytherins and she got the impression that's what Snape was hoping to achieve. Ever since the 1ST Year, the only times Lily could recall Snape was skulking about on his own or exchanging harsh banter with James Potter and his friends. He seemed alone, even amongst the members of his own House and Lily couldn't help but feel a bit sorry for him. She had no idea what pain or grudge it was Snape was nursing, but whatever it may be Lily had never met a person more jaded or berating that Severus Snape. Not willing to be driven off by his irreparable foul mood, Lily attempted pleasant conversation.
"I see you've already acquired your Potion supplies," Lily observed, nodding to a rather large bag in Snape's hand from the Apothecary. "By the looks of it you could outfit our entire class." The Gryffindors and Slytherins have shared Potions together since long before either Lily or Snape arrived at Hogwarts.
Snape said nothing to Lily. He only studied her, as though to determine if she were setting up for some joke at his expense. Lily guessed more than one person had feigned kindness in order to bring Snape's defenses down before tearing in.
"You're really good in Potions," Lily tried again. "Is it your favorite subject?"
"I'm partial to it," Snape admitted stiffly without offering too much. Snape turned the conversation around on Lily as he was rarely fond of any discussion that he was the subject of. "I suppose we'll be seeing more of each other outside Potions."
Lily titled her head quizzically at Snape. She wasn't following.
"What with us both being Prefects for our respective Houses?" Snape's eyebrow raised slightly. Lily blinked, apparently unaware of this.
"I-I hadn't heard you made Prefect." Lily confessed.
Snape smirked a little. "Oh, that's right. You probably wouldn't have living amongst the Muggles."
Lily wasn't too sure if he was merely observing her situation or making fun of it. It was always impossible to tell with Severus Snape as his tone was constantly condescending.
"Well congratulations, Snape," Lily smiled politely.
"As to you," Snape nodded slightly.
"You being hassled, Lily?" A voice inquired from behind Lily and Snape. James, Remus, Sirius, and Peter were all standing a few paces off from the pair and still approaching.
"No, thank you, Remus," Lily replied. The feud between the Gryffindors and Slytherins was no big secret and conclusions were typically jumped to whenever one was seen talking to the other.
"Mind if we join the conversation?" James asked in a rhetorical manner. A sarcastic grin crept over his face. "So how about that local Quidditch team of which we are all mutually supportive of?"
Snape was less than appreciative of James's presence. Few were sure where the rivalry began between the two, but most were certain that death would do little to distil the bad blood between Potter and Snape.
"Pity. I figured at least one of you would have landed yourselves in Azkaban by now," Snape commented sarcastically. There was a hint to his voice that he might have been actually disappointed by this revelation.
"That's damn hilarious coming from the guy looking for bargain buys at Knockturn Alley," Sirius countered.
"He was just making his way from the Apothecary, Sirius," Lily stated without knowing for certain. "No need to throw about accusations."
"Didn't know you've taken to being Snape's biographer, Lily," Peter joked. Lily and Snape shared a scowl in his direction, causing him to shrink away slightly. Snape shifted a quizzical glance at Lily, as though trying to determine why she was acting on his behalf.
"If you're sure you're all right, Lily…" Remus tried to diffuse the tension, serving his function as the most level headed of the four. "We'll be over at Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlor if you care to meet up with us."
"I may see you there," Lily replied in a non-committal fashion. Remus nodded and nudged the other Marauders. Reluctantly, they followed Moony away after bidding their farewells to Lily and Snape. Once the four were out of earshot, Snape turned to Lily defensively.
"What game were you playing at, Evans?" Snape demanded rather harshly. Lily was taken back a little by the unexpected hostility.
"Well they were jumping to conclusions and it really isn't any of their business," Lily replied sincerely. "But I meant it when I said it's not a wise idea to let many people catch you coming out of Knockturn Alley. Even if you are just, um, meeting friends, it gives people all sorts of impressions."
Snape studied Lily with his black eyes for a minute, as though to gage her sincerity.
"I would suggest you invest your energies into devising means to keep a short-reign on the Gryffindors in your charge rather than protecting me from the git, Potter, and his vapid cohorts," Snape cautioned stonily. "I need your charity like I need a hole in my cauldron. Good day, Evans."
As Snape skulked away into Diagon Alley, Lily was tempted to say something else but saw little point.
"Wouldn't want him to waste all his good insults before the term starts," Lily muttered to herself as she decided to meet up with her Gryffindor friends before she finished buying her school supplies.