Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and events from J.K. Rowling's wonderful Harry Potter books. I am writing this for my own enjoyment and hopefully for the enjoyment of readers. Anything you recognize basically belongs to JKR. The rest belongs to me.

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Chapter 1: The Discovery

Lily sat on the train bored out of her mind. She and her family were on their way to Italy to spend their summer holiday. She was looking forward to the trip however she hated the traveling. She had a nagging feeling that traveling by train was too long and that there had to be a better way. Her parents had discussed going by airplane, but decided to go to France via boat before catching a train.

Lily had packed several books but had already read through them all. She brought out a book that she had already read 3 times, Romeo and Juliet. Even though she was only 11 years old she loved this book by Shakespeare. Her heart raced as she read the passages about the teenagers' forbidden love and then broke as she reached the ending. Every time she read the book she tried to convince herself that the lovers' ending would not be tragic, only to find herself in tears. As she started to read the first page her sister, Petunia, asked her if she wanted to explore the train. Happy for something to do Lily accepted.

Petunia was two years old than Lily. Although their parents loved them both they always seemed to favor Lily who was beautiful and intelligent. Petunia, as a result, tried her best to get good grades and make friends, but she never seemed to live up to her little sister's glory. Still, Lily was the one person who treated her as a sister and a true friend, never judging her. For that reason they were very close.

The sisters enjoyed their exploration of the train and its different cars. They wanted to see how much they could explore however when they were about to open the door to get to the next car the conductor stopped them and sent them back to their parents.

The Evans' reached Italy without incident. They enjoyed exploring Rome and wandering about the ruins. After a few weeks in Italy the family was sitting down to dinner happily discussing the upcoming school year. Petunia had worked hard the previous year and gotten good enough grades to qualify for honors classes. Her parents beamed at her as they discussed her upcoming plans for the year.

They treated themselves to some gelato and strolled back to the hotel. As they were settling down for the evening there was a sudden crash at the window. The Evans' rushed to the window and looked out to see a dazed screech owl laying in the planter outside.

"Oh, Mum! We should help him, I think he's hurt!" exclaimed Lily.

After a moment the screech owl shook his head, found his footing and fluttered up to tap on the window. Mr. and Mrs. Evans looked at each other for a second in confusion. It almost seemed like the creature was looking directly at Lily. Had it sensed her concern? Again, the owl tapped on the window. It looked like he was becoming impatient.

Petunia, who didn't much care for animals said, "Ugh, how can we get rid of it?"

Lily wasn't listening. She was fascinated by this creature. She reached up and opened the window. The owl fluttered in and landed lightly on the table by Lily. As Lily looked down she noticed something tied to its left leg. The owl, sensing that Lily noticed the letter, stuck out his leg for her to take it.

Lily started to reach for it when Petunia interrupted. "Lily, watch out! He'll nip your finger off!"

As Lily watched the owl she murmured, "No, I don't think so, 'Tunia. I think he wants me to take that piece of paper tied to his leg."

"It's a filthy bird. It doesn't have enough intelligence to want you to do anything other than maybe give it some scraps of food," argued Petunia.

Lily reached for the paper and untied it from the leg. The owl playfully nipped at her finger (which caused Petunia to shriek) and he then flew out of the open window.

"What is that paper you untied from his leg, dear?" Asked Mrs. Evans.

"I'm not sure mum…" started Lily as she unrolled it. She gasped. It was an envelope addressed to Lily Evans, Hotel Roma, Room 12, Rome. "It's addressed to me!"

"How is that possible?" Inquired Mr. Evans as he took the envelope. He turned it over and saw a strange seal that had Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry on it. Shaking his head in bewilderment, he handed it back to Lily who then opened it. She couldn't believe her eyes as she read the letter:

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

Headmaster: Albus Dumbledore (Order of Merlin, First Class, Grade Sorc., Chf. Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards)

Dear Ms. Evans,

We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.

Term begins on September 1. We await your owl by no later than July 31.

Yours sincerely,

Minerva McGonagall,

Deputy Headmistress

"What does this mean? Are they saying that I am a witch?" exclaimed Lily.

"Honey, there is no such thing. This must be some kind of joke," replied Mr. Evans.

"Harold, this is very elaborate to be a joke. Who would do this - I mean, that owl knew to approach Lily and the seal on the envelope was so ornate…" started Mrs. Evans, who was peering over Lily's shoulder at the letter.

"I don't know what this is but I don't see how it could be real." answered Harold Evans. "There's no such thing as magic, other than the kind you see in a show or at a carnival."

"Mum, Dad, are you certain it's not real?" Asked Lily. She had a hint of disappointment in her bright green eyes that melted her father's heart.

"Sweetie, this can't be real, it just isn't…" he started before they heard a knock on the door.

Mrs. Evans answered the door to a short man wearing a bright orange and lime green Hawaiian shirt with purple shorts and red boots. Sitting on his balding head was a top hat. He was the weirdest dressed person they had seen. He didn't seem to notice their amusement as he smiled at them.

"Hi, Mr. and Mrs. Evans, Lily, and Petunia! My name is Horace McMillan. I was hoping I could speak with you for a little bit," he said.

"Er, what is this regarding?" asked Mr. Evans.

"This is about a certain letter Lily should have received a short while ago." Mr. McMillan replied.

"Ah, so it was you!" said Mr. Evans. 'Of course! It was a joke. Look at the guy and his humorous choice of clothing,' he thought. "I was just telling Lily that it must have been a prank."

"Oh, no sir! It was definitely real." McMillan replied. "I am aware that you have not heard of Hogwarts. That is why I was sent here. I am a wizard and I have come to explain about our world and what it could offer Lily. She has a gift."

The Evans all looked at him like he was crazy, all except for Lily. She studied him intently while starting to feel a twinge of excitement.

"I am not joking and am quite serious." McMillan pulled out his wand and made a few quick motions, muttering something. A moment later a bouquet of lilies shot out of the wand and floated across the room to Lily.

Mrs. Evans gasped and Petunia jumped behind her.

Mr. Evans cautiously asked, "How did you do that?"

"Magic. This is what I possess. I work for the Ministry of Magic, Muggle relations. Muggles are non-wizard folk," explained McMillan. "Most are unaware that witches and wizards do exist."

"Even if you are a…wizard…and can do all that," began Mrs. Evans, "what makes you so sure that our Lily is a witch?"

"The ministry is able to keep track of the children who are born possessing magic. Every once in a while a witch or wizard is born to Muggles," he replied. "Lily is one of those children." He then turned to Lily and smiled. "Have things ever mysteriously just happened when you were upset or emotional?"

Lily thought for a moment. It had. A few years ago she was being picked on by some boys for having bright red hair. She had felt a blast of anger surge through her, starting in the pit of her stomach and almost electrifying the air surrounding her. Shortly thereafter the boys started sprouting bright red hairs out of their nose and ears. It wouldn't stop growing for twelve hours, no matter how many times they had tried trimming it. There had been other moments such as this and her family realized it as well.

"Well, Mr. McMillan, I think there are some things we need to know about." Mr. Evans said, clearly starting to believe him.

For the next few hours the Evans' sat down with Mr. McMillan and discussed Lily's future. Clearly, Hogwarts was the best place to shape and hone Lily's gift of magic. Lily's parents were not happy about the idea of sending their youngest daughter so far from home for the rest of her education however in the end, they agreed that Lily needed to go.

As the idea of Lily being a witch continued to sink in, her parents looked at her with a new sense of pride. Imagine! Having a witch in the family! Petunia, who had been so happy a few hours ago when her parents had been glowing about her honors classes, was now sitting quietly in the corner of the room with a tear rolling down her cheek.

As Mr. McMillan said goodbye, he told Lily he would escort her to get the supplies she needed. He would pick her up at her house on August 30th. Lily smiled, imagining the shops she would have to travel to in order to find cauldrons and spell books.

As Lily lay in bed that night she could not fall asleep for quite a while. She was thrilled to know why those strange things had just happened when she was younger and she was nervous yet thrilled at her new journey into a world filled with magic.

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Hope you enjoyed the first chapter of my Lily and James fic. This story will go through all 7 years of their education, and will explain how they met and initially felt about each other, why Lily gave James the cold shoulder (though that will take a while to explain), and eventually how they got together in their seventh year. It will also delve into the friendship of the Marauders - how they got their name, how they found out about Remus, the process of becoming Animagi, and the map. I have up to fifth year written so far and that is about 66 chapters, so sit tight and stick with the story - there will be a few mysteries, some of which will be solved early and some you won't find out about until sixth or seventh year (unless you are clever enough to pick up on the clues).

Next chapter: Lily goes to Diagon Alley and will meet someone we know and love (can you guess who?).

Please leave a review - be honest, but be constructive. If you review then I will try to be quicker with the updates.

If you want to see a shorter L/J fic I wrote, check out the one-shot called A Glimpse.

Cheers!

MsNorris