Title: Steps

Author: Amelia Bedelia

Chapter One: Paradise

AUTHORS NOTE: Hello, all! Ok, some of you may know me, some may not! I like to read a bunch of Harry Potter stories and you may have gotten a review from me! (I can't really keep track of who I've talked to since I sort-of talk more than any human being should be allowed to…)

Anyway, this is my first story posted on and I'm really excited about getting it posted! I would REALLY like it if you would be so kind as to review! What I want to try and do is have so many reviews per chapter. (Is that too much to ask?) I don't know! I've never done this before! Anyway, this chapter I would like to try and have five reviews!

I also know that this chapter is mostly in Lily's point of view and has a lot of memories. BUT I promise that I won't have that many memories in the other chapters! (I've already got two more ready to go! Yay! I'm so happy!) I also didn't have this story proofread by anyone other than me so I'm hoping it doesn't have many mistakes or is too confusing to read.

Thanks for listening to all of my babble!


Chapter One: Paradise

Step. Step. Step.

Lily's feet shuffled out of her dormitory. Tonight was the night. She would do it.

She gave a weak nod good-bye to her cat and closed the door behind her.

Step. Step. Step.


"Mommy!" Eleven-year-old, Lily Evans, flung herself into her parents' arms. "I can't believe the year has gone by so quickly!"

"Not for us, sweetie!" her father said into her hair. "I bet you've had a lot of fun at your school this year."

"Oh, I have!" Lily exclaimed, and she was off, telling of her whole year at her new wizarding school, Hogwarts.

Breathless, she looked around the station. "Where's Petunia?" she asked.

Her parents gave each other nervous glances. "Uh… she had some - stuff to do."

Lily nodded slowly, knowing that this wasn't the truth, but she accepted it - for now.

It was a short car ride back home with Lily repeating nearly everything that had happened that year with the exception of when she and her best friend, Elizabeth Ann, had skipped Potions once. She felt as if she were now reliving her past year in pictures and memories before her eyes. What a great ride home it was.

Lily immediately jumped out of her seat once they pulled into the driveway and ran into their cozy house to find her sister lounging on the couch talking to, apparently, a new boyfriend.

"No, you hang up first! - No you! - Come on! - All right we'll hang up at the same time. - Ok, one, two, three… Hey! Why didn't you hang up? - I know I didn't hang up but neither did you! - Oh, Vernon, hang up!"

Lily rolled her eyes and picked up the phone in Petunia's hand. "Let me help!" Lily said and slammed the phone down on the receiver. Petunia turned around in her spot on the couch. Lily expected her to squeal like she always did when she was excited and run over to Lily and hug her to pieces - but that's not how it happened.

"You bitch! How dare you?"

"Petunia, I'm home! Aren't you going to say hello to me?" Lily asked, confused.

"To a freak like you?" Petunia gave a loud laugh. "I would never do such a thing! You must be out of your mind! You most likely are, actually…"

Lily stumbled over her words like traveling up a rocky hill by foot. "Petunia, what's wrong? Did something happen at your school? Do you want to talk to me about it?"

Petunia looked astounded. "Actually, something did happen - you were born! You come traipsing in here, hanging up the phone on people that I care about, unlike you!"

Lily's eyes began to fill with tears. "What - "

"Just get out of my sight, ok?" Petunia picked up the phone on the receiver and began to dial Vernon's number again. She turned around to see Lily still standing in the same spot, gaping like a goldfish. "Go on," Petunia said, making a swishing motion with her hand. "Shoo."

Tears began to fall silently down her face and she ran into the bathroom before her parents could see her.

,.,.,.,.,.,., End of Flashback ,.,.,.,.,.,.,

One year later the "Voldemort era," as some people brave enough to say, began and struck Lily's life badly.

Step. Step. Step.

In Lily's third year, Voldemort murdered her father just before he was to come home to their house on Christmas Eve. Her mother went into shock and no presents were exchanged that Christmas.

Petunia accused Lily for his death and hasn't said more than ten words to her since then.

Step. Step. Step.

Lily passed Sirius Black in the hallway. She nearly had to hold onto the wall to keep from throwing herself on him and punching him to death.

Step. Step. Step.


It was Lily's fifth year. An owl swooped into her window and landed on the empty bed beside her. All of her roommates were gone for winter break. Lily's best friend, Elizabeth Ann Currey, was visiting her muggle Grandparents for Christmas and was flying by plane, which Lily had never been on.

Elizabeth Ann, as she liked to be called, was Lily's best and only friend. After Petunia and her father had deserted Lily, both in different ways, and her mother never spoke to anyone anymore, Lily had only one person she could crawl to for help: Elizabeth Ann.

Sure, Lily knew the two other girls in the dormitory by name, but that was it. She never really got to know them anymore than that. The two girls were popular and discarded Lily and Elizabeth Ann as geeks and no one's. Neither Lily nor Elizabeth Ann wanted to be popular either. It wasn't their fault they hated being the focus of attention.

Lily took off the letter on the owl's foot and let him fly back away with a treat in his mouth.

Carefully, Lily opened the envelope and pulled out the letter concealed inside.

She read it:

Lily Evans,

I understand that you are Elizabeth Ann's best friend. I, being the neighbor that I am, wrote you this letter telling of her death since her parents are suffering immense grief, as she was their only daughter.

Lily's jaw dropped. Death? This must be some mistake. This person, whoever it was, they must have the wrong person! Lily didn't even finish her letter before tears fell down her cheek.

Elizabeth Ann was flying back from her Grandparents house when their plane crash-landed somewhere in-between. I'm sorry that this was so sudden. But that's how life treats people. I hope you can find some more friends that will help you through Elizabeth Ann's death. Once again, I'm sorry.

Many apologies,

Sylvia Frey

Lily couldn't breathe. Here she was, expecting Elizabeth Ann to walk through the Great Hall doors downstairs in just a few minutes, and she gets a letter from her best friends' neighbor saying that she'd died on her way back from her Grandparents because the plane had crashed! This was just too quick to happen at once! And the neighbor, she seemed like she could care less if Elizabeth Ann had died or not! How could there be such a life form that was as selfish as her? How was she supposed to even believe this stupid letter? How was she supposed to know if the person who wrote it was actually Elizabeth Ann's neighbor? What if the person who really wrote the letter was just a prankster? What if this letter was just a joke from the Marauders?

Lily began to laugh and wipe the tears from her face and some of the color came back. The Marauders, a group of boys her age, were famous for playing jokes and pranks on people and Lily was their normal victim. The Marauders were also considered the most popular and hottest boys of all time as well. Lily and Elizabeth Ann, however, had different thoughts on them.

Stuffing the letter in her cloak, Lily hurried downstairs to find the Common Room empty. She knew that they had all gone downstairs to meet their friends coming back on the Hogwarts Express. Lily made a mad dash for the portrait of the Fat Lady and climbed out.

By the time that Lily was downstairs, the horse-less carriages were pulling up letting students out one by one.

She took a spot in the back, waiting for people to clear out. Lily knew that Elizabeth Ann would do the same and take one of the last carriages.

There were about ten more carriages left and Lily knew that she would probably be in the last one.

Five carriages were left.

Two were left.

Lily began to shiver. She hadn't brought out her cloak. There wasn't anyone left on the platform. That was, until three of the four Marauders came running down the stairs behind her and practically shoved her to the ground as they came flying towards the edge of the steps.

"Hey! Watch where you're going!" Lily yelled bravely.

And Sirius Black, one of the strongest and most popular of the four boys, stopped in his steps and rounded on Lily. But now was too late for Lily to remember that he was the one Marauder that you would never ever tell what to do unless you wanted permanent damage done to yourself, either physically or mentally.

"What'd you say to me?" he hissed into her face.

Lily looked out of the corner of her eye for Elizabeth Ann. Lily knew that once Elizabeth Ann saw Lily in trouble, she would help Lily out on the double. They sort-of had this twin thing going on where they could sense when the other was in danger.

The carriage came to a stop in front of James Potter, the leader of the Marauders, and in front of Peter Pettigrew, who was the weakest and least liked of the Marauders. The carriage door opened and the two Marauders helped out -

Remus Lupin.

Without thinking of the consequences, Lily shoved Sirius Black to the ground and ran over to the carriage. Pushing Remus, James, and Peter over Lily climbed in, looking for Elizabeth Ann. She was nowhere to be found.

Lily turned and jumped out of the horse-less carriage just as it began to move once again. She then turned on the first person she saw - James Potter.

"What the hell did you do? Where is she? Are you trying to make my life miserable?"

"Uh, I have no idea what you're talking about." James replied nervously.

"Yeah, sure you don't! Do you know how bad of liars you are? Where did you put her? Is she in his trunk." Remus raised an eyebrow. "Aha! That's it isn't it?" Lily lunged for Remus' stuff and began to throw around all of his belongings from it in hopes of finding Elizabeth Ann at the bottom.

James grabbed Lily by the waist and pulled her away from the trunk. Boy was that a mistake. Lily's arms began to flail around and she managed to hit James upside the head a few times before he couldn't hold her back anymore and he let go. She fell to the ground - hard. She stayed there for a few seconds too long that the Marauders had thought she was knocked out.

Turned out that she wasn't. She had just been getting a breather before she got off the ground and bulleted for the trunk again. The Marauders backed off seeing that she looked a little dangerous at the time. She finally began to slow down as she reached the bottom of the trunk. Then without warning she whipped out the letter in her coat pocket and ran to James. She gripped his cloak and showed him the letter.

"I know you did this! You have a sick enough mind to do this! AND you're a prefect so you would know where everyone was going for winter break! I know you did this! Admit it!" James took the letter from Lily's hand.

Sirius ripped Lily off of James' cloak and threw her to the ground where she began to cry.

"Aw! Did I hurt the little mudblood?"

Remus' and James' heads whipped around and gaped at Sirius in shock. They had never heard him once say that. Lily continued to cry.

"Hey, James, look! The wimp's begging for mercy!" Sirius spun his face back to glare at Lily. When he noticed that she wasn't looking at him, he grabbed her hair and pulled it up so that she was. "I don't think she'll get any mercy."

"Sirius," James said and glared at Sirius. This wasn't what Sirius normally acted like. James quickly finished reading the letter in his hands before Sirius could hurt Lily anymore.

"This," Sirius said pushing Lily, "was for telling me what to do."

James had, by now, finished reading the letter. "Sirius stop," he said firmly.

"This," Sirius said, punching Lily so that she fell back onto the hard floor, "was for digging through Remus' trunk."

James wasn't even sure if Lily was conscious anymore. "I'm warning you one more time Sirius," James repeated, beginning to walk towards Sirius. "Stop." Remus glared and began to follow James to where Sirius was. Peter just cowered in the corner like he'd been doing the whole time.

Sirius, however, did not listen to James. "And this," he repeated, swiftly kicking Lily in the stomach, "was for threatening to hurt the Marauders. You picked the wrong group, bitch. The Marauders stick together."

"Sirius!" James finally shouted, not controlling his anger any longer. He ran to Sirius and shoved him away from Lily. Remus quickly followed James, but instead of pushing Sirius, he checked to see how Lily was doing. He was, after all, one of the school's best "nurses" besides Eleanor. The school nurse went by first name, for some reason. No one really even knew her last name.

Sirius, shocked, tripped over his shoes and, luckily, fell onto a bench. "James, what the hell was that for?"

"Sirius, you just hurt an innocent girl! You don't even know why she was crying! She wasn't begging for mercy from you! God, you just think everything is about you, don't you?"

James felt like he was having some sort-of outside-of-body experience. He had never once yelled at his best friend - never. And then when his best friend was trying to do something for James himself, it was the worst timing ever! James felt his knees began to shake under this strange experience for him.

Sirius seemed extremely confused. "James, what was in the letter," Sirius demanded. "I want to know if I still had the permission to hurt her."

James looked unbelievably at his best friend - no, ex-best friend. "Damn-it, Sirius, you just called her something that only a low-life Slytherin would do!"

"Yeah, so? She is one, isn't she?" Sirius said, not convinced he was wrong. He obviously thought that whatever he said was right and whatever Slytherins said was wrong. Oh boy, was James mad now. For all he cared, Sirius could be a Slytherin right now and he wouldn't care!

"Sirius, you realize you're also pointing out that's what Remus is then, don't you?" James asked, trying not to blow his top and curse Sirius across the Atlantic Ocean.

"Oh, no, Remus isn't - isn't… that. Just Lily."

James looked at Sirius, almost too traumatized to move. Sirius said this as if he was expecting James to hex him.

And that's was James did - or planned to do.

He pulled out his wand and was glad to see Sirius cower away in terror.

James felt unbelievable power at his fingertips. James didn't know what spell he would say, so he said the first thing that he felt like doing to Sirius.

"Crucio!" James yelled and felt all of his power rush from his fingertips, through the wand, and towards to Sirius. The spell almost forced him to sit down, but James held his ground.

Sirius didn't have any time to register what had happened before he curled up in agonizing pain. It was pain beyond pain, like pain you've never felt before and would hope never to feel in your entire life. After James dropped his wand to the ground from his weakness, Sirius fell to the cold floor.

James began to sway and closed his eyes, trying hard not to believe what he had just done to his best friend. I'll open my eyes and Sirius will be sitting back on the bench, unharmed. James' eyes fluttered open and he was now unable to stand. As if everything was in slow motion, James toppled to the ground between Lily and Sirius, breathing heavily.

Remus had no idea what he should do.

"James," Peter squeaked, "are you okay - "

"Peter, shut up!" Remus said. He set down Lily's head gently on the ground where she lay unconscious.

Slowly, using his wolf-like skills, Remus picked up James' wand, Sirius' wand, and Lily's wand getting no one's attention but Peter's. He placed them in his pocket just when Sirius began to stir and moan.

Peter ran frantically to Sirius' side. "Sirius, are you okay? James nearly killed you! I couldn't believe it! I saw it with my own eyes too! Are you sure you're - "

"Stop screaming!" Sirius yelled as he tried to cover his ears in pain. The truth was, Peter had just barely been talking loud enough that Remus could hardly hear him. It was silent then. The only sound that was heard was Sirius' moaning and James' breathing. Again Sirius yelled. "James, damn-it! Haven't you done enough? Stop the annoying breathing! You're giving me a headache!"

James had stopped his heavy breathing and Remus noticed his eyes open. Slowly, ever so slowly, James sat up and looked around at the scene he was in the middle of. And quietly, James asked, "What happened?"

Remus' eyes grew twice as wide. "You don't remember?" he asked incredulously. "You don't remember a thing?"

"Well, n - not really, I - " James stuttered as he first looked at Lily with a shudder and then to Remus' belongings strewn all over the place - and finally to Sirius. He was rolling on the ground with his hands on his head, whispering to himself about an awful migraine as if he himself was a different person.

"Oh, lord," James moaned. "I thought I was dreaming…"

"No James," Remus said. He waited for some reply from James, but all he got was James putting his head in his hands. Remus continued. "Do you realize what - er - spell you just used?" he asked quietly.

James nodded.

"Do you realize what kind-of magic that is?"

Again, James nodded.

"So, you do realize what everyone that just saw you might think, don't you?"

And once again, James nodded. Then to Remus' surprise, he just stood and helped Sirius to his feet. Sirius complained about his legs hurting but James continued to pull him up without a word and dragged him off to Eleanor's office.

Remus sighed, confused, and levitated Lily to the nurse's office as well. He walked in to find Eleanor and James in a fight.

"Just tell me why the poor boy is hurt!" she screamed, while Sirius tried to stuff a pillow in his ears. James noticed this and helped Sirius lay down while he found a stash of some earplugs by Eleanor's office.

"Please stop screaming," James calmly explained. "He's in great pain and doesn't need a headache. Trust me."

"Just tell me what happened," she hissed at James, searching for a soundless potion so that Sirius wouldn't be able to hear any noise - in his head or out.

"I told you, let me speak to Professor Dumbledore first."

"I certainly will not. I have a right to know what happens to my patients." Eleanor complained.

"Eleanor," Remus said from the other side of the room, "just let him talk to Professor Dumbledore. He needs to know first."

Eleanor looked helpless and surrounded. She sighed and opened curtains for another bed where Lily was floated. "Should I even ask what happened to the young lady?"

Remus gave the smallest of smiles. "I'm afraid that it would be the same story."

She nodded and showed James the door as well as gave him the password for Professor Dumbledore's office. He had been here a few times before so he wasn't surprised when the password into his office turned out to be "gum drops."

He walked into the oval office and awed. That was the other thing about Professor Dumbledore's office. You could see it as many times as you want and it would never become boring.

Dumbledore sat at his desk and bid James to come in and take a seat.

"I must admit, it is a surprise to see you. Madame Clarence brought you, did she not?"

Oh, so that's what Eleanor's last name is. "Yes she did," James replied.

"Ah! I must catch her before she leaves." Dumbledore hurried down the steps and James heard the murmur of voices talking. Then the next thing you, Dumbledore was walking back up the steps and sitting behind his desk again.

"So, what happened that you had to tell me before Madame Clarence?"

"Um…" James was now feeling scared. What if he was expelled from school? What if the ministry got involved? What if Sirius never recovered? What if -

James stopped thinking about the "what ifs" and blurted it out. "I used an unforgivable curse." He bowed his head and began wringing his hands in his lap. He heard Dumbledore breathe in deeply and let all of the air out slowly. This gave James plenty of time to consider what his punishment would be. Detention… Suspension… Expulsion… Azkaban…

"Which one?"

"Cruciatus curse. I don't even know why! I was just so angry at Sirius! I mean, he said some things that - uh - weren't true," James finished lamely.

"I see…"

"Then he acted as if he didn't care and - and - I just decided that I wanted to make him know that what he said was wrong. So, I thought that I could just hex him. You know jelly-legs or something pointless like that. But I just felt like there was so much anger in me that I just wanted to use it all up. And so I used a curse - and I never ever used it before Professor! I swear!" James said, begging.

Dumbledore nodded and was about to speak again when there was a knock on the door.


Lily awoke with a start. She looked around the room and saw she was in the infirmary. Hovering above her was Eleanor, the nurse.

"Hello, dear," she said. Professor Dumbledore told me to wake you as quick as I could. He said he needed to see you."

Lily nodded, confused as to why she was even in the infirmary. She couldn't remember a thing. "What's the password?" she asked. Lily looked into the mirror and saw that she had bruises and cuts all over her face, not to mention the disheveled hair. But yet, she still remembered nothing.

"It's gum drops."

Lily nodded and left. Maybe he wants to talk to me about my grades! I have been studying harder than usual. Lily's thoughts continued in this fashion for awhile.

She arrived at the gargoyle and opened it by saying "gum drops." She stepped onto the moving stairs. They began to wind but came to a stop at the top. There was yet another door. Nervously, she knocked on the door.

"Come in, Lily."

Lily opened the wooden door cautiously. She saw Professor Dumbledore sitting behind his desk, smiling at Lily. Lily smiled back, now feeling comfortable, and opened the door farther.

That was when it hit her. She saw James sitting across from Professor Dumbledore and knew that this was about when she had hit the Marauders, vandalized Remus' trunk, and whatever else that she couldn't remember. James was staring at her in pity. Oh no… I have to get out of here…

Lily turned and slammed the door. She ran full out down the steps and out of the gargoyle. Lily was looking around frantic. Where would she go? There was no where to go. She collapsed next to the empty wall and began to sob uncontrollably.

Lily hadn't even noticed the gargoyle open and close until she realized there was someone behind her. She turned, scared, and saw James sitting next to her. He took her in his arms and began to rock back and forth as if she were a small baby. Lily didn't complain or fight back. Just settled for crying on his shoulder.

Lily was confused as to why he would let her cry on his shoulder - this boy she barely knew! - only because she thought that she would be expelled.

Lily raised her head. She knew something wasn't right here. "Excuse me," she said. James looked at her. "Um, why are you feeling sorry for me? I was the one who hit you and threw around Remus' things." James raised his eyebrows.

"What are you talking about? It wasn't your fault that you were angry. We were the first people you saw and so it was simplest to take out your anger on us."

What the hell? "Why was I angry?"

"Jesus Christ," James muttered. "Sirius must have hit your head harder than I thought."

"What?" she asked. "Why would he hit me?"

"Because you were angry at us."

Lily didn't move. She knew there was something in the back of her brain that she couldn't register. Like something that she knew in a past life but couldn't put her finger on it. Then she remembered a part of that missing piece. "Oh, he called me a, uh…"

"Yes," James cut in. "That was just before he knocked you out." James looked away from Lily and found his feet to watch. "I don't think I'll be talkin' to him for awhile."

Lily raised her eyebrow. "Just because he called me… that?"

"Yes!" James yelled, now turning away from Lily entirely. "And he didn't even acknowledge that Remus is the exact same line of heritage. Sometimes I just don't understand him…"

"Sorry to interrupt your little pout session, but why was I angry?" Lily asked.

"Oh…" James reached into his cloak and found the letter he took from Lily when she had been waving it in his face. "Do you remember this?"

Lily looked at the letter suspiciously. Then, almost as quickly as it had come to her when she saw James, she knew why she had been angry.

Now she had a good excuse to cry on famous James Potter's shoulder.

,.,.,.,.,.,., End of Flashback ,.,.,.,.,.,.,

Step. Step. Step.

Lily had almost forgiven Sirius by then, but whenever Lily was sad, she still used him as a target source for all of her anger.

It took nearly three months to get James and Sirius both talking again since they were both stubborn. In the meantime, Lily and James talked about as much as James and Sirius would. He told her everything that happened the day her best friend died. Everything.

Step. Step. Step.

By the end of her fifth year, Lily's new best friend was James Potter. No one could really guess since Lily would always stay out of every prank they would do as well as stay away from all attention they got.

Sometime in her sixth year - she'd rather not remember - her mother had died of depression. Petunia, once again, blamed Lily and hasn't said anything to her since.

It took her over an entire summer to realize what had really happened to her. She was in love. With none other than James Potter. Her best friend - only friend.

However, it only took Lily five seconds to realize what James thought of her.

Step. Step. Creak.

Lily opened the Astronomy Tower door.

AUTHORS NOTE: Alright, I don't know about you, but I'm seeing this story as pretty depressing. I'm not usually a depressing person. I'm known as "the clown" with my friends since I always try to cheer everyone up whenever they're down so this story is a change for me.

Alright, all of you Sirius Black lovers - I'm sorry! I don't want any flames, ok? First story, first chapter, this is my first try! I honestly didn't want Sirius to be that mean. I SWEAR! He's my all-time favorite character! It just happened to work out in this story! But, I will promise to Sirius lovers - I WILL NOT have Sirius be distant with James and Lily by the end of the story. I couldn't live with that myself!

NEXT CHAPTER: You find out exactly why Lily's in the astronomy tower. There's also ONE more flashback and I don't think it's very long. (I don't know about you, but I personally HATE flashbacks that are in the story too much, so guess what I do? I go and write a whole chapter with Flashbacks!) I'm really sorry to all of you who are like me! I would REALLY like it, though, if you could still review. I only want five!

Enough of my talking! Just review - PRETTY PLEASE?

Thank you!

Yours truly,

Amelia Bedelia