About the story - it is written in third person, but is very much from Lily's point of view. I like to think of it as how Harry is the main focus of emotional insight and commentary in the actual books, so is Lily in this particular story. I may stray from that view every now and then, but...well, deal with it.
Also to note: This story does NOT necessarily comply with OotP. I hope that doesn't burst anyone's bubble.
May I also warn that while I try my best to avoid them, cliches are abound. It makes me cringe when I happen to stick them in there, but sometimes it's just inevitable. Plus, give me a break, this is my first fanfic. A girl's gotta start somewhere, right?
Now may I present...drumroll...
Lily Evans stepped leisurely through the brick wall before her, several trunks and bags in tow, her parents echoing seconds behind. The shrill scream of a train and the ubiquitous murmur of conversation filled her ears as she glanced around at classmates and their families. She had encountered this scene in front of her for five years prior, ever since she was 11 years old. Now 16, she would be returning to Hogwarts for her sixth year. Memories of those past years flooded into her mind, filling her heart with a warm sort of ache.
"Here baby," Lily's father said as he handed her a bulging suitcase.
"Dad, I told you not to call me 'baby' in public..." Lily said through gritted teeth.
"Oh, right, that. I won't do it again, I promise," he said with a wink. "Well, I guess this is the time when we have to say goodbye, eh? Oh I always hate this part."
"Don't worry dad, I'll write to you every month, as always."
"I know, but it's just not the same as seeing your beautiful face everyday."
"Don't forget your mother dear! Now come here and give me hug," Lily's mother, Violet, said. Lily set down her bags and gave her mother a long hug. She tried to pull away, but her mother refused to let her go.
"Mum, please, I have to go now." Her mother reluctantly let her go, brushing a piece of deep auburn hair out of her daughter's face.
"Now, you be a good girl this year. I don't want to hear of any trouble from you, young lady." Lily rolled her eyes and picked up her bags once again.
"I know, I know. What trouble could I possibly get into? I'm just a perfect little angel who does everything she's told..." She said with spite. Her parents didn't seem to pick up on the sarcasm.
"That's my girl. Now you stay away from those boys, you hear? They only have one thing in mind, and that is--" her father started, but was cut short by Lily.
"Dad!" She hissed, looking around to see if anyone had heard. "Okay, I really have to go now. I'll write every month, okay? See ya at Christmas! I'll miss you guys, I love you, bye!" Lily said quickly, then immediately started to weave her way through the milling students towards the grand scarlet train before her parents could stop her.
"Goodbye honey! Have a great year! We'll miss you!" Her parents shouted after her. Lily felt a small pang of guilt for brushing off her parents like that, but the last thing she wanted was to be seen by a classmate being kissed and fussed over by her parents. She was a 16 year old woman, for the love of fizzing whizbees! Not like anyonewould notice, though. For the past five years at Hogwarts, Lily had been cursed with the gift of inconspicuousness. She had always been somewhat of a nobody...never really noticed by others. It wasn't that she was disliked, she was basically just regarded as another insignificant face in the crowd. She yearned to get away from the boring, plain Jane image she had gotten herself into.
More than anything, she so desperately wanted romance. Ever since her days of pigtails and tea parties she had swooned over romance novels and the idea of being whisked away by a knight in shining armor. Unfortunately for her, however, nothing in her life so far had even brushed the surface of this fantasy. Boys simply did not seem to notice her. Sure, there had been those anonymous valentines she recieved every year, and that time in fourth year when Gregory Hill, a Ravenclaw, asked her on a date to Hogsmeade - though that ended with him spending a week in the hospital wing from an allgeric reaction to a bee sting.
"Lil!" Lily's train of thought was broken when she heard someone squeal her name. She looked up and saw Cherise Adams, her best friend, running toward her. Cherise was the type of person that would tell you that you look fat in an outfit without a second thought. She was just that brutally honest. Cherise always the upfront and bold one, Lily found this polarity to herself a refreshing addition to her life.
"Lil! Oh my gosh, I haven't seen you all summer! How are you? Oh you look so good! You've changed so much!" Cherise chirped. It was true, Lilyhad changed over the summer. Though she had always been a good looking girl, she now looked like a good looking woman. Her auburn hair had grown longer and shinier, and her face finally decided to mature to the profile of a lady.
"Rise (a/n: pronounced "reese")! Oh I missed you so much! You look great yourself. Your hair! It looks fantastic!" Lily replied.
"Yeah, that down-to-my-bum look just wasn't working for me. So...I chopped it off! Or, rather, Pierre did," she wiggled her eyebrows and ran her fingers through her now above-the-shoulder, raven black hair. "Hey, let's get you on the train and greet the others. They're all dying to see you! Oh and just wait till they do," Cherise winked at Lily and ushered her down the train to the end compartment.
By "they", she meant Lily's two other good friends, Marilyn O'Hara and Scarlett Monroe. Marilyn had straight blonde hair which went a short ways past her shoulders. She was quite bubbly and vivacious, and argueably the most...er...blonde out of the group, literally and figureatively. Scarlett had wavy, dark chestnut brown, about the same length as Marilyn's. Scarlett tended to stay more subdued than the others, though when combined with her respective other half - Marilyn - she could giggle and ferret around with the best of them.
Upon entering, Lily was attacked from both sides by two whirlwinds of giddiness.
"Lily! Gosh, you look amazing! I'm so glad to see you girl!" Marilyn squealed and pulled Lily into a tight hug.
"Yeah, you look so different, Lil," Scarlett said in awe. "Did my little Lilykins grow up on me?" she cooed in a baby voice.
"Oh shove it, Scarlett," Lily teased. "Anyway, it's great seeing you all again. You don't know how boring it is during the summer without you. I wish we didn't live so far apart."
"Hey, we're here now, so let's enjoy it! Come on you guys, let's go see how summer treated the male half of Gryffindor," Marilyn said in a purr. This plan was met with instantaneous agreement.
The four giggly girls practically bounced out of the compartment and down the hallway. They walked as casual as possible, all the while glancing nonchalantly into open compartments.
"Oh my gosh, there's Sirius," Cherise whispered urgently to the others.
Sirius Black was undoubtedly the most wanted guy at Hogwarts. He had messy chocolate brown hair that always insisted on hanging over his eyes - but who could blame it? His eyes were piercing blue and seemed to see through to one's soul, all the while harboring a puppy-like playfulness ready to pounce. His smile could melt any girl who got a glimpse of it, and often did. He always knew the perfect thing to say - and his charm? Unmatchable. He was often the source of numerous pranks played around the school (most often aimed towards Slytherin), which only seemed to increase his animal magnetism. In other words, he was every girl's dream.
Unfortunately, that was all he'd ever be to Lily - a dream. Sirius never seemed to notice her, let alone talk to her. He was like a mirage...delicious and irresistable from afar, but the closer you get, the more impossible it became. Despite the towering odds against her, she just couldn't suppress her head-over-heels feelings. She was hooked ever since that day in first year when she had dropped her Transfiguration book and Sirius had picked it up for her. There was just no turning back.
They all stiffened up and looked for the subject of Cherise's claim. About two doors away from where they were standing, a door to a compartment was partly open, revealing the infamous Sirius Black and his followers. They edged closer for a better look, but remained careful to not be seen.
Each girl melted simultaneously as they gazed upon that creature of perfection known as Sirius Black. Their dream-like state was broken like a bullet through glass when a certain busty blonde plopped down beside the object of their desire.
Samantha had seen fit to drape as much of herself across Sirius as possible. Practically sitting on his lap, her mouth seemed quite busy with his neck. Sirius wasn't showing any signs of disapproval for the situation. Peter Pettigrew, sitting right next to the Sirius/Samantha experience, was trying desperately to occupy himself with something other than the couple next to him. Remus Lupin and James Potter, the other accessories in Sirius's entourage, were presumably in the seats across from Peter and Sirius, though Lily and the others couldn't see from their position. Although she would've bet 10 galleons that Remus was reading a book and James was polishing his beloved broomstick or something of the sort. Each Marauder harbored an obsession that seemed to rule their lives: For Sirius it was girls; Remus - studying; James - quidditch; Peter - fitting in.
"What wouldn't I give to be Sam Creevy right now?" Scarlett sighed.
"I know what you mean..." Lily said quietly.
"Well, now we know that Sirius certainly has grown 100 times hotter over the summer," Marilyn giggled. The other three girls nodded in agreement.
"What's up with Sirius and Samantha? Are they dating or something? I mean, look at them!" Lily asked, implying the randy scene before their eyes. Cherise glanced over at the couple, then shook her head.
"Dating? Nope. Well, at least I don't think so. They've always been cozy like that, but they've never officially gotten together. It's like they like to play with each other or something, but nothing more." Cherise shrugged. Lily looked at her thoughtfully for a second, then back over at Sirius. Samantha had moved from his neck to now his mouth, and Sirius was definitely kissing back. Lily felt sick. Not because of the kiss, she'd definitely seen her share of those around the castle, but because of the indescribable need to be the one in Samantha's place.
"Let's go back to our compartment, you guys. As much as I love staring at Sirius, this whole Samantha thing is making me sick." Marilyn said, voicing Lily's thoughts.
As her friends turned back, Lily lingered one more second to gaze at him. He was so...perfect. Why couldn't she ever have a chance with him? Sighing, she forced herself to turn around, and joined her friends.
Several hours later, the impressive silhouette of Hogwarts graced the horizon. No matter how many times Lily had taken that train ride, the first glimpse of that majestic castle always got her. She took a deep breath of that feeling which she loved so much and mindlessly tapped her fingers on the bottom of the window.
Soon the train had reached its destination, and all the students were ushered into the school by way of horseless carriages. Stepping into the Great Hall, Lily couldn't suppress a smile. Looking over at her friends, it was apparent they all felt the same way. The look, smell, feel of it all crept under their skin and brought back happy memories of years gone past. Hogwarts was truly their home.
Just upon entering they sighted the Marauders already seated, therefore causing a strategic route for the girls to their usual spot at the Gryffindor table. As Lily passed behind Sirius, he turned his head to look at her. An instant shiver of thrill and franticness passed down her spine at this small gesture of ackowledgement. She bashfully smiled at him and kept walking. Head and heart a-flutter, it was all she could do to stay standing. But no...she must've been mistaken. He must've been looking at someone else. Yes, that was it, she convinced herself. Why would he pay HER any attention? She didn't see, however, that after she passed him, two pairs of eyes continued to watch her walk away.
After receiving schedules during breakfast the next day, the student body dragged itself through the corridors to officially start the new school year. Lily's first class was Muggle Studies with Professor Miranda Hilton (as did all three of her friends since they conspired to match their classes).
"Yet another year with Hilton the Horrible," groaned Marilyn.
"I can't wait to see what huge project she's got planned already," Scarlett said sarcastically. Professor Hilton was notorious for assigning major projects as much as possible, even on the first day of school.
"Oh I hate those monster projects of hers. They take like a month to finish," Lily whined.
"What are you complaining about? You always get perfect marks on every project you turn in!" Marilyn barked.
"Yeah, but that doesn't mean Ilike doing them."
"Shut up you guys! We're here...unfortunately," Cherise announced grimly as she reluctantly opened the door to the classroom.
They stepped inside and sat down in their usual seats. For a moment it felt as if they had never even left the school for three months, it just all felt so familiar. Slowly, the classroom filled up with students, many of them hugging and greeting each other happily. The Marauders hadn't arrived yet, so Lily was watching the doorway anxiously, wanting to get the very first glimpse of Sirius when he walked in.
Sirius ended up walking in the door just moments after the bell to signify the start of class had rung. Samantha was following close behind him like a puppy, and the rest of the group followed after that. They took their seats in the back of the room where they preceded to stretch out as if getting ready for a long nap which, knowing the Marauders, was what they were most likely going to do.
Professor Hilton eyed the group suspiciously.
"Why, thank you so much Mr. Black, for gracing us all with your presence this morning."
"No prob teach," Sirius said smoothly. Lily melted inside. Even his voice was perfect.
Professor Hilton rolled her eyes and dismissed the comment. She then picked up a large stack of parchment and began passing them out. The class groaned simultaneously.
"Now, now. There's no need for that, students. This sheet that I am handing out is simply an outline of this year's subject matter," Professor Hilton said, as if that should cheer them up.
"An report on the full life of Shak...Shaksper...WHAT?" Marilyn spluttered.
"That's Shakespeare, hun," Lily aided. This made no effect whatsoever on the hopeless look plaguing Marilyn's face.
"He's a muggle poet and playwright from...a long time ago," Lily explained. Being the only muggle born of her friends, she wasn't new to the job of explaining anything from television to a microwave to them.
Cherise was looking from her assignment sheet to the others', obviously seeing if the others were as confusing as her own. In the end she gave up and resigned to puppy dog eyes aimed at Lily. Lily simple laughed and smiled at her friend.
"Don't worry Rise, I'll help you a bit," she confirmed.
"Speaking of help, Miss Evans," Professor Hilton said to the class, picking up on the girls' conversation. "I have decided to begin a new system for tutoring, seeing as last year's method failed miserably." She stopped to glare at the Marauders, who had began snickering. She cleared her throat. "Anyway, this year we will have the top students in the class help out the students who aren't doing so well, and those students who do help tutor will receive extra credit according to how much their pupil has improved." She looked around the room for signs of approval.
No one moved.
"So that is the way it will work. Any questions?"
Again, no one moved.
"Very well. Next month I will notify the students who will be eligible to tutor. Now, everyone take out your textbooks and turn to page 27. The first section will be doing is Shakespeare and his life. Take out some parchment and a quill, I expect you all to take good notes. Remember, you have a report on this due at the end of the term!"
Lily sighed and began scribbling notes on her parchment. She glanced over at the Marauders, and noticed that not a single person in that corner had so much as a quill on their desk, let alone a textbook. Sirius and James were finding much more amusement in flinging toothpicks (confiscated from the Great Hall, no doubt) at each other than actually joining in the lesson. Remus was smiling cheekily at a brunette seated next to him. Peter was...well, who cares about him.
Suddenly she felt like an idiot. Why couldn't she just kick back and relax like them? Then they might accept her, or even talk to her.
She sighed again, and averted her eyes away from the beautiful people in the corner. No matter how much she wanted to, she couldn't change herself to fit their standards. She'd just have to accept that she'd never be one of them. Ever.
Well there you have it. Hope you enjoyed! I know it's pretty... bland right now... very unoriginal-ish and all that jazz, but more is to come! It'll get better, I promise. I have oodles more done already, I just wanted to throw this out there as a taste test to see if people 'mmm'ed or spit it out. So go on and lemme know by reviewing.