Letters and Letups

At 9:36 AM An owl arrived. It swooped in through the open kitchen window and clattered unceremoniously onto the table- knocking over several full glasses in the process. I wasn't expecting another owl, since my eyes already stared at the front headline of the Wizarding Daily as it lay hidden in my lap.
It's not every day that 37 Muggleborns are brutally murdered in their homes. Or, as the Daily Prophet often puts it, "missing."
Definitely not every day, because I can clearly recall Tuesdays death count was only 24.
"Damn it Lily!" Petunia screeched, immediately standing up from her chair, "You and your bloody owls!"
Apparently, one of those full glasses had spilled right over onto Petunia's new jeans.
Mum quickly reached over and helped.

"Here- Petunia, get a washcloth- Lily, the owl is eating my cereal- "On Sunday there had only been 17 in one night, and one family wasn't even Muggleborns, they were purebloods who openly defied Voldemort in last weeks Issue of... What was it, the Quibbler?
Cranberry juice streamed down Petunias absent side of the table.
"Petunia you need warm water- Lily, you could at least take a look at your mail, this owl did just ruin your sisters pants!"
Although some could argue that the Pureblood family had it coming, publishing an article about it in a magazine and all. I wondered if anyone would say those Muggleborns had it coming too, by not immediately declaring their loyalty to the Dark Lord. Or by, you know, being born to a muggle family.
The sink was running, and under it was a grumbling Petunia flinging open the bottom cupboards to find a cloth.
"Oh Petunia go grab the soap-" Mum seized a wad of napkins, reaching to sop up the mess on the table.
"I am! I am!"
"Lily the owl!- no, no, Petunia the other soap- Lily!"
Last Friday there had been reports of MuggleBorns and some HalfBloods saying they would go into hiding if it got any worse.
"LILY!" My mum brought her fist down onto the table. Another glass fell over. "Shit!"
I, thankfully, recovered. My fear evaporated. As I leaped up, sheets of newspaper slipped under the table to the floor- no one was the wiser. Before mum could even move, I plucked the ashy colored owl from mums cereal bowl and quickly set it on my shoulder. Then I went to wiping up the puddles, finally setting the cups upright.
"Thank you." Mum breathed out. She fell back into her chair.
From the running sink, Petunia scoffed. "Mum, it's her ruddy fault that all of this happened y'know!"
"I think mum's aware it was the owls fault..." I muttered, the usual bitterness absent. I finally released the letter from the owl's leg.
The Ministry Seal had been pressed onto the envelope.
"Isn't it a little early for grades, honey?" Mum asked. She picked from my plate, thinking I wouldn't notice as I unfurled the letter.
I think I may have nodded.
"This stupid stain isn't coming out!" petunia sneered.
I'm unsure how many minutes passed from the moment I read the heading to the moment where I, wide-eyed, reached the bottom of the parchment.
Frantically I scanned the tiny black printed words again.
"... What does the message say, Lily?"

For a few seconds words seemed foreign to my tongue. Blinking, I swallowed. "Holy Merlin. I can't believe they're just going... going to do this."

"Do what, finally ship you away for good?" Petunia asked.
Unknown to her, she wasn't too far off.
Mum sighed, "Not now Petunia."
"It's... It's a," the bolded letters didn't waver like my voice did. "It's a Muggleborn Security Relocation Program, conducted by the Ministry Of Magic."
"No one understood any of that Freak Speak." Petunia informed me, furiously scrubbing her jeans.
"Oh shut up Petunia," I finally dropped my arms to my sides, "You obviously know what A Muggleborn is! You can't just pretend you don't know anything!"
"What, do you think I actually listen to you when you drone on and on about that insane asylum you go to every year?"
"Well!" Mum raised her voice, "I know that I have absolutely no idea about the last part, and I think you should explain it so we're all in the loop here!"
Petunia huffed, but continued rubbing at her stain in silence.
I decided to start from the beginning. "It has to do with blood status," I began, "Since I'm born to a family of non magical people... I'm at risk."
Mum raised her brows, eyeing me cautiously. "At risk for what, exactly?"
A knot of despair grew in my stomach. I had carefully avoided bringing up any news about politics and the evolving war in the wizarding world. All Wizard Daily's were read from my lap, hidden by the table. Even then I usually glanced at the headline (which, for the past few weeks featured news about MuggleBorn killings) and then stashed the paper away until I was in the comfort of my room to finish reading.
I ducked underneath the kitchen table and popped back up with the Wizard Daily.
"Some wizards don't think Muggleborns should have magic, that Muggleborns have dirty blood and should be... Well, eradicated." I slid the newspaper over to her.
For a moment mum was silent, her eyes roaming over the large black letters- the news of 37 murders.
"Lily," mum leaned her head against her hand, "why did you never mention this? How long..." she looked down at the paper again, unable to finish her question.
"The killings have only gone on for a month or so. " I reassured her a bit too quickly. "At first it seemed accidental, and papers like the biased Prophet took weeks to even admit some of it, but the Ministry knows that Muggleborns specifically are being targeted." Taking a deep breath I added, "and who's committing them."
Petunia stopped scrubbing. The sink continued to flow.
"It's a whole group, they call themselves Death Eaters and their leader is named Voldemort."
I waited for someone to flinch at the name, but of course they no one did.
Mum wasn't naive enough to ask 'and why has no one caught them?', knowing fairly well that a situation so dire is more complicated than that. Instead she blew some air out of her nose and nodded slowly.
"They- the magical police- they are trying to prevent these murders, right?" I was surprised she was taking this so well.
Fidgeting with my hands, I opened my mouth. "Yeah...they're trying. It's... A difficult task." The owl nipped at my shoulder. "To be honest, the papers probably can't reveal the efforts of the Magical Police- or, they simply don't want to. Either way the public doesn't know a lot about it..."
"What's written in letter then, it's for your protection?" There was obvious concern in her words.
I blinked, remembering the letter in my hands.
"Yes- well no. It's... completely unethical," I said exasperatedly. "What the Ministry is trying to enforce...it's ridiculous." Lifting it up to read, I furrowed my brows. "'For the protection and security of Muggleborn Students until their return to Hogwarts on September 1st, A relocation program has been conducted by the Ministry of Magic in order to eliminate the Trace on Muggleborns. As known, if the Witch and or Wizard is the only one of their household, the Trace is able to pinpoint the singular Magical Being. By housing the individual with a consenting Wizarding family, the Muggleborn will then be undetected as such, since the Trace will then only determine that more than one Witch and or Wizard belongs to the household.
"Further security measures will ensure the protection of the Muggleborn, including but not limited to: Possible Housing with A family containing a ministry worker or specifically an Auror, several protection charms and incantations put on the area, and access to The Floo Network for a guaranteed safe escape if needed.
To participate in this program that ranges from July 7th to September 1st, the parental guardian of Lily Evans who is, as of today, July 5th, under age, must sign below. If the guardian does choose for their child to be relocated, the additional information of their Host Wizarding family will arrive tomorrow, July 6th.
'"
Reaching the end of the letter, I audibly sighed, my shoulders dropping.
Mum didn't say anything. She stared at the newspaper blankly.
37 Muggleborns killed.
"It's ridiculous." I restated after she remained silent, "How does the Ministry just expect me to get up and move, leaving you guys behind while I stay at some strangers house."
Still, mum gave no reaction.
"I mean, think about it, I can protect you guys if I'm here! What if Voldermort attacks while I'm away at bloody who knows where? What happens if I'm forced to house with a bunch of witches and wizards who are totally insane? Are the volunteering families even investigated to make sure they're safe? So many things could go wrong."
"Lily." Mum finally spoke, silencing me immediately. "This evil group, the Death people, they won't have a reason or thought to attack our house as long as it's known that you're not here- because of that magical Trace." Her eyes looked down at the paper, hand curled into fist. "Your life is more important to me than your comfort is, and even if the Wizarding family is awkward, I doubt they would put you in any more danger than you're in right now-"
"But mum-"
"No." Her head shot up. "I can't stand to worry about the prospect of you... Being hunted down while you live here. This very house, with Petunia and I in it, apparently makes you stick out-"
"Yes I know but-"
"Lily! I will not stand to have your life in danger!" Her voice strained, "You said it yourself, they are trying to eradicate you. They're giving you an option and you are going to take it. I'm- ...I'm not putting you at the risk of becoming another number on-" she furiously lifted the newspaper so I could see the headline, "this death toll!"
I glanced back up to her face, flushed with anger, eyes full of unshed tears. Suddenly I felt guilty.
Then she rose from her chair and came to my side, where she, with a blue pen, scribbled her signature.
The ink glowed, changing from blue to green, and with a tiny hoot, the owl clamped the paper in its beak and departed.

I wasn't sure if wanting to stay made me selfish or not.
On one hand, if I was able to stay, which I now was unable to, theoretically I would put Mum and Tuney in danger. But if- once I left, they could still...
Yet, no, they wouldn't be attacked if I wasn't in the picture. I was just unwilling to stay in a strangers house for the remainder of my holiday. I was selfish. Horribly selfish. Mum was right of course, my comfort was little priority over my life- and theirs. How could I even fathom putting them at risk?
I couldn't, that is until I got the second letter with the additional information.

There was a noise, a persistent tapping.
"Go away," I groaned.
Tap tap tap
Turning over, I grumbled and pulled my blanket away from my face, eyes crusty and hair matted.
"What the?" And with a jolt I remembered.
I, quite literally, tumbled out of bed. My blanket was still wrapped around my leg as I reached and opened the window. A warm gust of air hit my skin.
The source of the annoying tapping noise was an owl with a letter tied to its right leg. Again, the Ministry's seal kept the envelope closed.
A mixture of nervousness and dread buzzed around in my stomach. I untied the paper hurriedly, and then slit the envelope open.
With steady fingers I unfolded the parchment.

Lily Evans is to participate in the Muggleborn Security Relocation Program, which is carefully conducted by the Ministry Of Magic to ensure no harm comes to the individual. The letter went on like this, listing certain conditions and security measures, which were things that I cared about, although not as much as where exactly I was being relocated to.
Thus, I skimmed, going past phrases "if the individual does not abide..." and "any concerns may be voiced in a separate letter," I finally got to a bolded section.

Lily Evans has been relocated to a household that is owned by two ministry workers, specifically Aurors.
Lily Evans will be escorted, via side-along Apparation, at approximately 8:32 AM on July 7th, to where the Potter family resides.

"No way."
I read it again. After my second read-through, the note combusted, leaving only the date and time stamp untouched.
I barely noticed it, my mind too busy.

"No, no, no."
Staying with the Potters entailed staying with James Potter, the annoying prick who teased me and made a complete fool of himself every time he tried to gain my affections. He attempted it far too often in 4th and 5th year.
I pressed my hand to my forehead, letting out a breath. "Oh Merlin. I'm staying at James Potter's house. I'd rather be chucked out to the Death Eaters."

I told myself to breathe, to consider that it might not be as horrid as I thought.
There were a few positives, I reminded myself. As of last year he certainly held back in both the "Hexing random first years" and "composing cringe-worthy situations to impress Lily Evans" departments. While he certainly never stalked me or came close to doing so, his consistent glances lessened, and so did his awkward, complete rubbish, flirty one liners. I could count on one hand the amount of times he had tried (and obviously failed) to charm me with his antics in 6th year. Wow, what a success.
NEWTS classes proved him to be a bit less annoying. He focused more, pranked less. He became Quidditch Captain and studied in the library pretty often. The lack of classes with the slytherins meant less fights. I'll admit it: some of them were slimy gits... and Sirius' and James' prank on them that one time was kind of funny.

We had even managed to have two civil conversations during Transfiguration- if you could call them conversations; they both went something like: "Ergh, stupid rabbit!"

"You should swish your hand more."

"...Oh, that worked. Thank you Evans."
Still. That didn't mean we were suddenly going to get along just peachy. And that certainly didn't mean that I wanted to spend two entire months at his house.
Hopefully it won't be a nightmare.

I sighed, not bothering to walk to my bed to sit down. With a flop I spread my limbs across my floor.
Not even giving me a chance to close my eyes and groan about this whole situation, my door barged open.
"Lily, I need to borrow your- what the hell are you doing on the floor?"
I huffed. "Thanks for being so charming Petunia; I'm totally willing to let you borrow my things now."
She smiled sweetly, "Not a problem. Now where is your mascara? I'm going out with Vernon for brunch and I need it." Her gaze roamed my dresser determinedly.
Rolling my eyes, I sat up. "I thought you had your own."
"Then you went and turned it into a rat!"
She forgot to mention that I did it because she stole half of my closet.
"I turned it back two days ago!" Heat rose up to my face.
She looked disgusted. "And you think I would even touch it after that?"
I clenched my teeth. "If you're so unwilling to use it after a bit of transfiguration, then why are you not opposed to using my mascara when it has been touched by the freak herself!"
"I wouldn't be here asking you to if you hadn't acted like such a child!"
"A child? At least I'm not using it to go on a date with Moby Dick!"
Petunia narrowed her eyes.
"I bet you're so glad to be going off for the holiday, less time to spend here with people who have problems with your weirdo circus act!"
"You heard why I can't stay here." I got up from the floor, hands balled into fists. "Don't blame this on me, it's not like I want to live in some stranger's house!"
"Not blame you?" She spit out, "Even your own freakish ministry is blaming you."
It felt like I had been hit with a stunning spell.
"No," with a gulp I added, "the ministry is blaming me for living in a family of non magical people, which includes you. The Trace can only identify me because I'm the sole witch in this house."
There was a moment of heated silence.
She opened her mouth, pink gloss tainting her lips. "I don't know why I bothered." Petunia sneered and turned. "Who would want your dirty mascara anyway?"
Heels clacking, Petunia sauntered back to her room.
A small part of me hoped I would get a goodbye from her tomorrow.

Panic currently was ensuing.
Packing was difficult. Figuring out what to pack was a horrid experience.
I was under in a unique situation. Not only did I have to pack for school, I also had to pack for the holiday. Double the organizing, double the clothing: double the suit cases.
While I bet James and his family wore casual Wizarding wear, the only wizard clothes I had were my Hogwarts robes and uniforms. Muggle clothes would have to do, then.
I nearly packed my entire wardrobe, complete with multiple shirts, some for sleeping, most for daily wear, an ugly jumper that was a neon orange and looked awful with my hair, and multiple shorts along with pants.
Books were a must, and might have to be my savior at the Potter house. I kept it to only seventeen.
Would the potters have a record player? Unlikely. With my records stowed in the pocket of my case, I closed up my player- I would just have to bring my own.

*
I rose super early for once, too nauseous to sleep past 5 AM. In the brightening kitchen I sat pretzel style on the stool by the table. Blinking, I tore off a small piece of my strawberry toast and ate it slowly.

As soon as the sun fully rose Petunia stormed down the stairs, hair in its prep stage and half of her outfit as pajamas.
She let out a dramatic gasp, "Aren't you usually dead until 3 in the afternoon?"
I sighed. "Not now Tuney, I couldn't sleep...this whole relocation thing is making me nervous."
She peeked her head from the fridge, "oh. That." She crinkled her nose disdainfully. "So you're not pleased with the situation then?"
My laugh was bitter, "the fact that I have to leave my house to go live with strangers?" I hadn't told them that I knew exactly whose house I was staying at. "and leave you guys without protection? No, I'm not happy."
Petunia huffed, and backed away from the open fridge, holding out her hands. "My nail polish hasn't dried yet, grab the milk for me, will you?" Her tone was softer than usual, but still unpleasant.
I obliged.
"It seems like we're safer without you here."
I looked at her, but she was avoiding my gaze.
"That... Trace thingy... It can be used against you- us." She stated.
"Yes." I murmured.
"Then it's better for all of us that you join... Your kind. It's not like you were going to be living here for very long anyway, right? After this school you're going to go off to...m-m-magic university or whatever your type has."
I set the milk on the table, and wrapped my arms around my torso.
"I don't mean to act like I'm abandoning you."
Silence.
And then...
"Too late there."
"Tuney! Seriously!" I raised my arms, "this wasn't my plan either!"
She turned her back, "I'm going to Vernon's in an hour." Her voice low, distant, matter of fact.
Tears rose in my eyes, "Are you at least going to say good bye to me then?"
"Good bye Lily." And she went pass me up the stairs, where I heard her door shut.
She forgot the milk.

"Are you ready to apparate, Miss Evans?"
I nodded. We learned how to do it in school last year, so I knew fully well what to expect.
The man clutched my arm and I sent my mom a watery smile before I felt the pull and darkness consume us.

Even here, it rained.
All I could see was a large lawn, the bright grass slippery and wilted from the weight of the pouring water. Suddenly a piece of paper was thrust into my face, and I blinked as I read it. 46th Dallon Avenue, OpalMeadow, England. It was the address of the Potter House- or, should I say estate, considering the building that appeared in front of me was not just a simple house.
A golden gate materialized, slightly constricting my view of the ever growing house.
It expanded, white columns, two balconies jutting from the large French doors on the second floor, a wide two door entrance painted a brilliant red.
The path leading to it was laid out in a brick pattern, yet was black and twinkling from the rain. Flowers lined the trail, reaching the front of the house where a series of bushes dotted with yellow- or were they golden?- roses framed the front.
I didn't do anything, but neither did my escort- yet the gate began to open.
The door of the house- mansion really- also opened, and a man rushed out of it.
"Hello there!" He yelled, waving his arm, nearing us.
My hair, sopping from the rain, clung to my face as I said back, "Hi!" I hurried a bit up the path, approaching him in the middle.
The man was tall and lean, a trimmed greying beard framed his chin and his mouth. The hair on his head was surprisingly tidy.
Gusts of humid air whipped the end of my coat around.
I definitely was expecting his hair to be sticking up like his son's.
"Lily!" He pulled me into a hug, "wonderful to meet you."

I returned the gesture, "you too ." and he pulled away.

He held my shoulders, but began to talk to my escort. I got a better look of his face. Laughter lines were around his mouth, there were crinkles by his eyes. His nose wasn't the same as James', a bit wider, but they had the same chin. He had a nice smile too, a big friendly one, and his eyes were hazel.
"Yes, thank you." And as quickly as he appeared with me, my escort disaparated.
He redirected his focus to me. "I'll properly introduce myself inside; I would be a dreadful host to keep you in this rain any longer!" He laughed.
"Too late there! The damage has been done." I gestured to my clothing which was clinging to me.
He raised his brows and dropped them with a sigh, "Forgive me," we began to hurry down the path, "which you must since I'll be providing for you for the next 2 months."
We came up to the bushes- gold flowers- and I replied "Thank you for all of this by the way, and I can hold a grudge pretty well."
Chuckling, he took off my coat as we entered the house.
"That would not surprise me; my son has told us lots about how you're constantly annoyed with him."
I barely registered the words, my eyes too busy roaming. A grand staircase, over to the left side, led up to the second floor. Made of simple yet shiny light wood, it managed a look of elegance but not flashiness. On the first floor in front of me there was a short hall that branched off on the right, and I could peek into the kitchen- wide and spacious. The countertops were smooth slabs of swirling gray and white marble. Not totally spotless; papers and a few ink bottles and quills laid around.
Even though the house was huge, it didn't feel empty. A small navy blue rug was under my feet, pictures of the Potters lined the walls in this room, underneath them were shelves displaying books and candles and certificates, even an extremely miniaturized hovering broom.
It felt lived in.
"Your house is very nice."
My fingers curled around the ends of my sweater-I hadn't realized he used a spell to dry me off.
"Thank you, my wife and I were busting ourselves with tidying up, I'm glad it wasn't for nothing. Oh, and please call me Fleamont."
What I thought was, What a horrible first name. What I said was,"I'd say you did a spiffing job; certainly does look very clean-"
"Just don't go into James' room; it's horrendous in there." He warned with a sly smirk.
"OI!" The devil in question appeared. The "oi" fumbled into more of an "oh" once he reached the staircase. Immediately his hand went to reach for his hair. "Evans..." Potter gulped, covering his motion up by tugging slightly on his collar. "Hullo."
I refrained from showing any signs of discomfort, "Hello... James."
He quirked his brows. "First name basis?" A slight smile played on his lips.
"It seemed appropriate; I am living in your house now, yeah?" I lifted my suitcases a bit for emphasis.
"Right."

He stepped down the stairs. Then said, obviously attempting to act casual, "Where's mum?"
Fleamont frowned. "I don't suppose she's on any missions as of now...though she stayed at work so as to not rouse any suspicion. My wife's an auror." He told me.
"Oh, yes, It explained in the letter. Do...other people know about the relocation? People that don't house anyone?" I asked.
"Oh no, no of course not. There might be a few rumors, but it was all carried out secretly. If there's any suspicions the ministry will confund people. Euphemia just decided not to make it obvious."
"You did though?"
This time Potter answered. "Nah, dad's retired, from both his hair potion business and the department. Mum still has two years left as an auror."
The weight of my luggage seemed to increase the longer I held it.
"Is there a place I could put these?"
Fleamont startled, " Oh! I forgot, your room is upstairs, James go show her around, will you? I should get breakfast started." With a flick of his wrist my trunks lifted to the air.
"Thank you Fleamont." I smiled, although inside I was dreading his departure.
With a nod, he turned and went to the kitchen, and Potter and I were left alone.
"Er..." Potter raised his wand, my luggage following, "I'll show you to your room."
We ascended the stairs and he led me into the hallway in silence. We passed many doors, pictures hanging on the walls, walking along with a thin gold rug under our feet, the shiny hardwood revealed on sides.
"This," he tapped on a door, "is my room. That-" he pointed to one three or four identical white doors down, "is my parents room," he turned around, "and this..." He opened another door, "is your room."
It was certainly bigger than my one back home. The room was colored a tame yellow, white moldings wrapping around. Covered in a light blue comforter the queensized bed rested in the middle of the room, the headboard against the east wall. A mirror hung opposite it, with a white dresser underneath. There was a wardrobe next to the wide window, the curtains airy and transparent, fluttering from a slight breeze.
My room back home...
Isn't something I should be thinking about.
"It's lovely." I commented. My luggage landed on the bed with a thud.
"Glad you like it, since, you know, you'll be uh, living in it for a while."
I walked over to the dresser and glided my finger along its edge. "I reckon this isn't such a bad place to be forced to hide in." I glanced at him, his expression cautious.
"Listen- ev- Lily." He sighed and took a moment, shuffled his hands. "I don't want you to think you're held captive here or anything, really. We may be doing this for your safety, but that doesn't mean you'll have to stop talking to your family."
I raised my brows.
"...I mean not using owls, since they could be intercepted, and you'd have to be extremely discreet in them anyways- I uh mean the letters, not the owls- and i assumed that would be rather pointless wouldn't it? Since uh..." He gulped, "anyway we added a muggle phone line and everything, so you can still- er, ring them when you want to..."
My heart leaped. "Seriously? You bought me a phone?"
He smiled, his hand ran through his wild hair. "Yeah. We had some trouble with it, but it's right here-" Potter turned and pointed next to the door frame.
"Well, now I know why I hadn't noticed it; it was behind me." I said, a bit in awe.
"Sneaky muggle products." He chuckled.
I picked up the phone. The weight heavy in my hand was oddly comforting

"Thank you." I meant it.
He left out a breath, his shoulders relaxing. He shoved his hands into his pockets."No problem. I'm all about using my great intelligence for others."
I played along. "Oh so modest."
"Why thank you, I'll come up with anything to make the guests feel more comfortable."
I snorted, "too bad you're here."
"Harsh, Evans."
"Really though... thanks."
"Really though, you're welcome."
Smiling, we lapsed into silence.
Potter opened his mouth several times but always decided against words. So I started.
"I...I suppose, since I'm living here now, that we shouldn't be down each others throats, yeah?"
He sucked in a breath, hissing."Would I ruin that plan if I made a suggestive comment right now?"
"Merlin, yes Pot-James. Don't take the Mickey, I'm just suggesting that maybe we should try not to fight."
"I did ask first."
I waited.
"Okay. Not fighting would be nice. Though if I do recall we didn't fight all that much this term anyway.." He tweaked his glasses.
"Compared to 5th year you mean, to which every time we saw each other you'd find an excuse to piss me off, so in comparison of course 6th year didn't seem like a lot."
"I didn't mean to- I was a stupid git."
I inclined my head and arched a brow, "was?" My lips quirked.
"And here I thought we weren't going to fight," he scoffed.
"Fighting? We're not fighting. I'm just pointing out the obvious."
"Seemed a little rude to me." He looked determinedly away, yet I could tell, even with arms crossed, that he wasn't actually angry.
My eyes roamed his figure. Dressed in black pants and a blue buttoned shirt, I could easily imagine his Hogwarts robes resting over his outfit- I don't know why I was even surprised to find that he didn't wear muggle clothing. No high waisted pants or light wash jeans, that's for sure. And why would he?
"Alright," I hung up the phone. "Just don't fall back on your old..." Personality? "Immaturity... And I might be able to survive."
He looked down at his shoes, "I hope you do more than just survive." His voice was low, almost a murmur.
"That is what I'm doing now though, surviving against..." I hesitated "Voldemort."
Potter chuckled, finally meeting my eyes. "We're allowed to say his name here." He confirmed, then he shrugged, "even if my mum and dad wouldn't permit it, I have a knack for rebelling against authority."
Speaking of authority, Fleamont yelled that breakfast was served. We met eyes again, and I looked away.
I slipped past him and stepped out into the hall. "Well, are you going to rebel and refuse to eat?"
"Sirius always had more detentions than me!"
And soon enough I was seated at a grand table, not as long as one in the great hall, but still longer than necessary for a family of three. Thus we sat around the top of it, with Fleamont seated at the head, and Potter and I facing one another.
The rest of the table was layered with food. Mostly small snacks, pastries, while we ate the actual meals, omelets and home-fries.
"You can come in here whenever you want and knick something," Fleamont told me, gesturing to the rest of the table with an air of mischief.
"Agh dad." Potter groaned and lowered his fork, "you can't tell her she can knick something, where's the fun in that?"
"Not everything has to be an adventure, James."
"Thank you Fleamont." I replied politely.
We continued to eat, the sounds of our cutlery moving through the silence until Fleamont spoke again.
"So Lily, James has told me you're one of the best students in your year..." at this, Potter glared at his father, positively pink in the face, "do you think you're going to be awarded Head Girl?"
It was my turn to blush, and I raised my eyebrows.
"Head Girl? I... I hadn't really thought about it." Once upon a time, yes, but when tensions had been so high because of the threats and the pressure of O.W.L exams? No. And my only thoughts this summer were about enjoying the time off, despite my unease at the recent headlines.
I looked to Potter, who was now staring determinedly at his lap.
"I suppose I wouldn't be bad at it. I'm already a Prefect."
"A prefect too, eh? You're practically a shoe-in for the job! It's extremely difficult. From what I've heard, that is! See, James' mum was the Head Girl." He sighed a bit dramatically, "I never did do as well as her at...well, anything really." Yet he didn't seem particularly bummed about that. Actually he seemed practically delighted to boast about Mrs. Potter, which he continued to for several minutes.
How adorable.
"That woman..."
"Okay dad. I think we got it." Potter grumbled.
The rest of the conversation was mostly between me and Fleamont. We talked about the recent killings, my possible aspirations after Hogwarts, and the classes I would be taking this year. When we moved to my life at home, Potter piped up.
"Is Petunia still a bloody nightmare?"
I whipped my head around, "what?"
He paused. "Petunia." He said, "is she still a bloody nightmare?"
"How do you know about my sister?"
He shrugged. "I'm not a bad listener, you know. You've mentioned her at school before."
"Never to you." I said, not realizing how coldly.
A small blush rose to his face, "maybe not directly."
There was a pause.
"So, is she still-"
"Yes, right up to this morning." I looked away.
"I'm...sorry."
James Potter, saying sorry?
Fleamont looked at me with soft eyes. "That must be hard for you."
I struggled with words, "yeah. It's... Aggravating."
"Don't worry, with me around, you'll miss her in no time." Potter joked.
Little did he know, I always did.


A/N- Aaaaand that was the first chapter. Thanks for reading! I'll probably update every week. Reviews and favorites are much appreciated bc I love hearing feedback on what you guys think. This fic is actually gonna be pretty fluffy at times, ngl. And it'll get darker. Wait for it.

(Also, I originally named his parents Edmund and Lucy, but I figured I'd change it to fit with canon. Too bad canon them have such ugly names.)

Thanks for reading!

- Jackie