Chapter One Same Old Same Old

"Say that again Malfoy." "What, you deaf as well as blind Potter?" "Well that ranks as one of the more pathetic insults of all time."

The argument continued long and loud as two girls made their way away from the all to familiar scene. They both knew that the boys would come to blows and had long accepted their inability to prevent that fact. So they showed their disapproval in the only way they could: leaving. The two girls made their way down to the lake in the ground of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, talking about anything but that which both were thinking about. Eventually the taller of the two girls stopped walking and, pushing her red hair out of her face, turned to her blonde haired friend saying, "what can we do, Sissy?" There was no need to explain what she was talking about; this was a conversation that they had had too many times in the past. "I honestly don't know, Lily," Narcissa replied, flopping down onto the soft grass "but I don't want to loose you and that's going to happen if they can't get along." "It's just so.old now. I mean they don't really know why they are fighting about anymore; it's just become habit. James Potter and Lucius Malfoy fight. It's all they know." Narcissa looked at her friend speculatively before saying, "but that's not it. I think part of Luc is fighting for Severus and for Slytherin house generally." "I can't believe that he thinks that way. James saved Severus and." "People know more about it than Dumbledore thinks. And the whole house is furious that Sirius is still here, unpunished. It is seen as the ultimate example of Dumbledore's bias against Slytherin." "Oh Sirius was punished, Sissy and in a way which hit him more than any number of detentions. Not only was it spelled out very clearly what would have happened to Remus had he killed Severus but James nearly ripped him apart himself. And Remus was furious, which is a scary sight. He was in isolation for ages, too." "But they were all informal, and to be quite honest none of the Slytherin's knew about any of that." "But they did more than any punishment from Dumbledore. And he sees now more than ever that Severus is not his brother anymore than Remus is Sirius's sister. He knows Severus would never hurt Remus. But I see what you mean, about how the Slytherin's see it." There was really nothing more to be said: the Ravenclaw and the Gryffindor had canvassed the wider issues of inter-house conflict so many times before that the arguments were old now.

The friendship between Lily Evans and Narcissa Birch was one of the only inter-house friendships left in Hogwarts and both guarded that friendship zealously. So close were the two that the one rule in the frequent fights between their fiancé's was not to insult the others girlfriend. They had done that once before and the results were not pretty. Lucius had insulted Lily and James had retorted with a few choice observations about Narcissa and before they knew what had happened vengeance was upon them. Unfortunately for them the girls had been within earshot of the conflict and had marched in, broken up the fight - much to the humiliation of both boys - and then publicly abused them for insulting their friend. As such it had become a line neither boy dared cross again

"Actually," Narcissa broke the silence, "I do have one extremely stupid idea but it is very extreme." "What?" "Well I was doing so extra reading and there was reference to this spell which bonded people . like a friendship spell I guess. Not for Luc and James" she said quickly as she saw Lily misunderstand her "we can make a pact that our children, our firstborns, will feel a link between them, so their instinct is to friendship. The book was vague. Gave the spell and said it was used to preserve alliances between families." "So we do this spell." "Bonding" "Bonding and just hope that our kids take to it." "Told you it was stupid." "I dunno, I mean if it works then great, our kids will be friends and neither of our husbands can stop that, and if it doesn't work then no harm done.

Both girls were, at the heart of it, Ravenclaw's and the challenge posed by Narcissa's plan was very appealing. As such they spent the next week researching the bonding and, upon finding nothing to deter them decided to perform the ritual. They chose their last night at Hogwarts, liking the symbolism of all the new beginnings and new hopes. The night was cool and dark, the moon hidden by cloud. By the light of a lone candle they performed the bonding. Holding the candle together Lily went first reciting the spell Narcissa had found.

"I come here tonight To bind my first born to that of Narcissa Birch With a link which will bring them to friendship Quicker than to hatred; to trust over suspicion

I come here tonight with the power of the love and trust we share To bind our first born in a connection as pure As my intentions here today"

She leaned forward and placed a kiss on her friends forehead, sealing her pledge. Then Narcissa took her turn, reciting the spell with a note of desperate hope in her voice.

"I come here tonight To bind my first born to that of Lily Evans With a link which will bring them to friendship Quicker than to hatred; to trust over suspicion

I come here tonight with the power of the love and trust we share To bind our first born in a connection as pure As my intentions here today"

Then she too leaned forward to seal the pledge with a kiss to Lily's forehead. As they sat their, each offering up a silent prayer that the friendship that had meant so much to them for the last seven years would be allowed to continue, the moon emerged from its veil of clouds, lighting the sky and illuminating the girls. As the moon light lit up their faces they exchanged a quick hug and went to bed, excited about their graduation the next day and nervous about what the future was to hold. ***

Four years later

"I think it worked, Sissy," Lily Potter stood next to Narcissa Malfoy, watching their children. Draco Lucius Malfoy, born on 30th September 1979 was ten months older than Harry James Potter who was celebrating his 1st birthday on 31st July 1981. Despite the disapproval of their husbands, or more accurately without their knowledge - both James and Lucius were experts in denial - Narcissa and Lily had met regularly since their graduation and encouraged their children to play together. Lily's belief that their spell, carried out so long ago, had actually worked did not appear to be far fetched. Draco had long had it impressed upon him that Harry was his friend, someone for him to play with, and Harry seemed to recognise the fact. The two would play together happily for hours, something neither managed around other children. Where interaction with other children was concerned both were like any other children of 12 and 22 months: they were not happy being left on their own for long periods of time and both liked and needed the attention of their mothers. But in each other they seemed to recognise something which made them feel safe and happy.