Lily Evans awoke one morning in August to the shrill cry coming from down stairs. She had no doubt who had yelled, for only one person could scream like that; her sister Petunia. Lily hurried out of her bedroom to see what all the fuss was about.

She nearly laughed at what she saw: Petunia was running around the kitchen, screaming her head off, while an brown owl sat calmly as could be on the table.

The second Petunia had spotted her sister, she screamed, "Youཀ That bloody bird nearly gave me a heart-attackཀ" then nearly pushed Lily out of the way as she ran upstairs and slammed her door shut. Lily quietly walked over to the owl and took its letter. Just as Lily had suspected, it was from Hogwarts.

This year, Lily would be starting her seventh and final year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, along with her fellow dormmates Alice Hart, Elizabeth Parr, and Dorcas Meadows. Of course, the infamous Marauders would be in their seventh year as well. Lily almost shuddered to think of what kind of pranks they would pull now that they were in their final year.

But Lily's opinion of the Marauders had drastically changed in the past few years. By the end of their fifth year, Lily had actually told James Potter, one of the ringleaders of the Marauders, that she would have rather dated the giant squid than him. But everything had changed last year; James had grown up. He had been the one that told Lily that her then boyfriend, Will Logan, was cheating on her. James had also been the one who had comforted her when she was upset about the whole ordeal. Over the last year, Lily and James had become friends.

Of course, you couldn't think of James without thinking of Sirius Black. They were best friends, and ringleaders of the Marauders. Sirius was closer to James than he was to his actual brother, Regulus, a Slytherin going into his sixth year. Lily had also heard that Sirius' had finally snapped and moved in with James' family only last summer because the Blacks considered him less of a person just because he was a Gryffindor.

Then their was Remus Lupin, the most reasonable of the group. He had been named a prefect in their fifth year along with Lily. Lily had known that he was a werewolf for a few years, not from Remus telling her, but because she had figured it out on her own. She had never told Remus that she knew; she had always figured that if he wanted her to know, he would tell her.

Finally, their was Peter Pettigrew, the final Marauder. Lily had never quite understood why the others hung out with him. Peter seemed out of place with the other guys; James, Sirius, and Remus were rather handsome (as much as Lily hated to admit it), tall, and very intelligent. Peter, on the other hand, was short, and probably would not have passed any of his classes had it not been for the other Marauders.

Lily opened the letter and a silver badge with Head Girl written on it. Immediately, Lily jumped up and yelled "Yes!". All summer, she had been hoping to be appointed as Head Girl. Lily's mother, Sarah Evans, came in from the living room to see what her daughter was so excited about.

Lily looked a lot like her mother; she had her mother's eyes, oval face frame, and red hair. Petunia looked more like their father, Harold Evans, who had light blue eyes, blonde hair, and a long face. While these features were handsome on Mr. Evans, Lily often thought that Petunia looked more like a horse.

"What's going on, dear?" asked Mrs. Evans.

"I'm Head Girl!" Lily cheered with a huge smile on her face.

"Congratulations, Lily!" she said as she pulled Lily into a hug.

"What's all the fuss about?" asked Mr. Evans as he came down the stairs.

"Well, Petunia was hollering about an owl...And I got Head Girl!"

"How wonderful!" he said as Mr. Evans, too, gave Lily a hug.

Just then, the door bell rang. Lily ran to answer it, having a pretty good idea who it was. Once she opened the door, her suspicions were confirmed: there stood Alice Hart, Lily's best friend. Alice, with her long, light brown hair pulled back in a high pony-tail, was wearing a pair of faded jeans and a two-sizes-too-big sweatshirt and had a look of excitement on her face.

"Did you get it?" Alice asked without preamble.

Lily knew she was talking about whether or not she was appointed Head Girl.

"Yes!" and for the third time that morning, Lily was pulled into a congratulatory embrace.

Once Lily had broken away, Alice asked, "So what are you doing today?"

"Actually, I needed to talk to you...Well, really bitch to you about something..."

"What's wrong?"

"I can't really talk about it here, but let me get dressed, and we'll go for a walk or something."

About five minutes later, Lily was back down stairs in her favorite pair of jeans and a green sweatshirt. The two girls went though the back door, through the back yard and straight into the wooded area that the Evans' owned. Lily smiled to herself as she looked at the trail that she had created over the years. This was were Lily had always gone to clear her head.

After the two girls walked in silence for a few minutes, Alice said, "Alright, Lil, out with it...what's wrong?"

"This may sound really stupid, but..."

"But..." Alice urged her.

Lily sighed "Petunia and Vernon are getting married"

Alice gave Lily and confused look. "Lils...they've been engaged for a little over a year..."

"I know that," Lily said impatiently, " bad as this may sound...I never thought they would actually get married...I mean, I'd always kinda hoped that they would break up and she'd find someone not much like her."

"You mean someone who doesn't hate you for being a witch?"

Lily looked at her sadly. "Yeah...Ya know, as stupid as it sounds...I'd always kinda hoped that she'd dump lard-ass Dursley and meet someone who was a little more open minded than those he is."

"How long has he known that you're a witch?"

"Well, the day after he proposed, my mum and I were talking about it and we thought he ought to know, so we kinda told him that night. And now he kinda has the same attitude as Petunia about the whole thing."

"Don't worry about them...your much better off without them. So when's the big day?"

"April 8, so I get to come home over Spring Break to go to glorious event. Honestly, you'd think this was a royal wedding by the way she's talking about it."

"But the good news is that we're going back to school in two and a half weeks!"said Alice, who threw her arms triumphantly in the air.

Lily smiled gratefully, "Good thing, too, 'cause I'm about to kill my sister."

They walked in silence further into the woods for a few more minutes. Suddenly, Alice said, "Oh, Lil, I remember what I was gonna tell you. James and Sirius are having a pool party while James' parents are out of town. Apparently, he's inviting pretty much every one from fifth year and above."

"So, basically, he told you to invite me so it wouldn't be so obvious that he likes me, and he still gets to see me in a bikini?"

"That was exactly what I thought," Alice laughed, "So...are we gonna go?"

Lily looked away from Alice and at her shoes as she thought. It would be really great to see everyone from school again. And, who knows, maybe James didn't have a thing for her any more.

"When is it?" Lily asked.


"Yeah," Lily smiled, "lets go."

"Now you boys behave while were gone. When are the other boys coming over?" Mrs. Potter asked James and Sirius. It was Friday morning and Mr. and Mrs. Potter were about to leave for a much needed long weekend in the Canary Islands.

"Remus and Peter will be here in about an hour," said James.

"Just don't blow up the house, okay boys?" asked Mr. Potter. It was hard to tell if he was joking or being serious.

"We haven't yet" said Sirius, his mischievous grin in place.

"Have fun" said Mrs. Potter, hugging both James and Sirius.

"That goes for you too, you know" said James.

Once James' parents disapparated, James and Sirius immediately started getting everything ready for the party. About half an hour later, Remus arrived, followed shortly after by Peter. By noon, the guests had started to arrive.

"Lily! Alice is here!" called Mrs. Evans.

Lily hurried down the stairs to meet Alice, a large bag containing her swimsuit and a towel. Once they had said goodbye to Lily's parents, Lily and Alice apparated to James' house.

"Holy shit," said Lily once she saw the house, "This house is HUGE!"

Alice laughed as she pulled Lily up the drive. "I think it qualifies for manor, actually." The closer they got, the louder they could hear voices.

Shortly after they rang the doorbell, James answered the door in a pair of navy blue swimming trunks. "Well, if it isn't my two favorite ladies," he said, his most charming smile in place. Even Lily couldn't help but notice his toned body.

After a few minutes of small talk, Lily asked, "Do you have somewhere we can change?"

"Yeah, up the stairs, first door on the right"

"Thanks" both Alice and Lily said as they make their way to the room where James had said.

As they entered the room Alice couldn't help but laugh.

"What's so funny?" Lily asked.

"This is James' room, Lily...don't you find it a little funny that he wants you to change in his room?"

"Not really"

Alice started to laugh harder. "But now he can say that you were naked in his room!"

Lily threw her shirt at Alice and turned sightly red.

As they left the house and entered the back yard, Lily smiled to herself. Only the Marauders could pull something like this off, she thought. There were a good seventy people either in the Olympic-sized pool or sunbathing next to it. The girls spotted Frank Longbottom and went to talk to him. Alice and Frank had been dating for over a year and Frank, having graduated from Hogwarts the at the end of last term, was training to be an Auror.

The second Lily had stepped out of his home, James had spotted her. She was by far the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. With her long, dark red hair, stunning green eyes, and sensual curves in all the right places, and not to mention the black bikini she was wearing, Lily was irresistible. His eyes followed her as she and Alice went to talk to Frank. What is the matter with me, James thought to himself, there are at least thirty other girls in bikinis here and I can only think of one.

"You okay James?" asked Remus.

"Yeah," he replied, still watching Lily.

Remus followed James' site, and sighed, smiling slightly. "Your completely hopeless, Prongs."

James hit Remus on the shoulder "Shut it Moony"

"Why don't you just forget about her, Prongs?" said Sirius as he joined in the conversation.

"I wish it were that easy, Padfoot," he replied in an unusually serious tone.

"James is watching, you know," said Alice. She and Lily were laying on their towels, sunbathing.

"I figured" Lily replied, not even looking.

"Lils, I gotta ask you something, and I promise to believe whatever you say."

"Go on," Lily said slowly.

"Do you like James?"

"Only as a friend," but when looked skeptically at her, Lily continued, "Okay, I won't deny that he is extremely good looking, and has a great body, but that's what happened with Will; I went for looks only and that totally blew up in my face."

"If your worried about James cheating on you, you don't have anything to worry about,"

and when Lily remained silent, Alice continued, "and it's not like you and Will had sex er anything."

"It was the principle of the thing, and he was snogging with-"

"-that cow Rita Skeeter," Alice finished.


By the time Lily got home, it was nearly midnight. When the sun had gone down and only the seventh year Gryffindors and Frank were left, they had decided to build a small fire, where they sat and roasted marshmallows for at least three hours.

But though most of the evening, Lily couldn't help but think of what Alice had asked her. Did she like James? No, she told herself over and over again, he's just my friend, and that's all.