Although small for her age, with feeble arms and legs, Lily Evans was quite fast. The only problem was she didn't know where to go.
'How can he expect people who've only been in this school for 2 days to know it like the back of their hand?' She thought angrily while running to the nearest clump of bushes. When she got there, however, she was disappointed to say someone was already there.
"Oh, hi." Lily sighed inwardly; she didn't want to have to talk to someone. "Umm, I'll just, leave now-" She had started backing away when the girl put her hand up, peace. Lily had forgotten all about the game while running. She hadn't even been thinking about the possibility of this girl being war.
"No!" The girl said, making a stop-sign with her hand after the peace sign, "Don't go! It's better to have two people instead of one. You are peace, right?" She said all of this really fast, completely unlike the quiet, shy demeanour Lily thought she would have had.
"No, I'm peace too." She held up two fingers, and then sighed. The girl was nice, and she might be interesting to have around. "Sure, we can look out for each other." The girl smiled.
"Oh, I'm Aubrey Santosif you were wondering." Lily shook her outstretched hand, "I'm Lily Evans, nice to meet you."
While sharing some basic things, like what house they were in (Gryffindor for both) and how old they were (Lily older by about two months) they fell in to a semi-comfortable silence. While watching out for anyone behind the bushes, Lily looked her new acquaintance up and down.
She was a waif of a girl, with a tall, thin, soft build, and wavy, honey-coloured hair and deep blue eyes, pale skin and full lips. She was quite beautiful, in her own way.
"Are you muggle, half, or pure-blood?" Lily was startled after the short silence by her words. "Umm, I'm muggleborn. You realize though, that that sentence doesn't work, right? What are you?"
"Cool. I didn't, what do you mean? And I'm half-blood." During the middle of the sentence, Aubrey looked at Lily quizzically.
"Because you said 'are you muggle-blood, half-blood, or pure-blood. Muggle blood doesn't work. Not to mention if you're muggle-blood, you probably don't have magical powers." Lily looked back at Aubrey with a shrug.
Aubrey laughed, "Oh! I get it now. Good point, I guess you just have to say 'are you muggleborn, or half/pure blood?' instead."
For the next couple of minutes, they were silent. Not an uncomfortable one, like last time; But a pleasant, friendly one. They didn't speak until someone went walking by, as if they hadn't a care in the world.
He was average height and size, with black hair that reached to his earlobes. His storm grey eyes held mischief and mystery. And a slight hint of loneliness, too. The two girls looked at each other before wordlessly deciding he needed to belong to a group; their group, to be exact.
"Oi, you there, peace or war?" Lily could feel her mouth drop to the ground at Aubrey and her forward ways. The boy, meanwhile, had looked around before tentatively saying, "Uh, peace?"
"Why's that a question?" It was Lily who spoke, though quietly to Aubrey. She then raised her voice and asked him the same thing.
The boy narrowed his eyes, "Who and where are you; what house are you in; and what about you, peace or war? And how many of you are there?" He had started heading towards the bushes upon hearing laughing coming from the girls.
"Don't worry, we're peace, too!" Aubrey said, while she and Lily stood up, their fingers raised in a peace symbol.
"And we're in Gryffindor too." Lily added, seeing the red and gold lion on the boys' robes that marked that he was a fellow Gryffindor.
"Cool. You girls seen anyone else around here?" He had a very casual look about him, as if no one would tag him even if they were war.
"Nope, not yet. Want to stick with us?" Aubrey offered, indicating herself and Lily, "This seems to be a pretty good spot to hide in." She pointed to the bushes behind her (they had walked in front of them to talk to the boy).
The boy shrugged, "Sure. What're your names?"
"I'm Lily," Lily spoke up, "Lily Evans. And this is-"
"Aubrey Santos," Aubrey cut in, "Nice to meet you."
"Hi." The boy said, then "I'm Sirius Black."
Aubrey nodded, "Yeah, I recognized you from sorting. Only Black in Gryffindor, eh?"
Sirius shrugged again, and then got behind the bushes. The girls followed, and sat in silence for a few minutes. Finally, they heard running footsteps coming toward them, and sneaking to see around a corner of the school, saw two people, one chasing the other, run by.
The one doing the chasing was none other than Morgan Taylor, the person being chased, James Potter. It was clear that Morgan hadn't any hope of tagging James, as he was steadily gaining speed, and she was falling quite behind.
Crouching further behind the bushes, Lily watched them race in front of their hiding spot, unawares anyone was there. Once the two were gone, Sirius motioned for them to follow him out from behind their hiding spot. Lilys' brow furrowed.
"But shouldn't we stay here? She obviously didn't think anyone was here." She said.
"Yeah, but that's boring, and I gotta help out James." Sirius countered, and Aubrey agreed.
Aubrey, while getting up from the rather awkward crouching position she had been in previously, added, "Also, this is boring. We're practically cheating." Lily knew that they weren't cheating by a long shot, but thought it better to just go along with it. If they got tagged, it wasn't her fault.
Peering around the corner, Sirius adopted the stance of a muggle secret agent, his hands in front of his face in the shape of a gun, and his body pressed against the castle wall.
"I didn't know wizards had spies and the like too." Lily commented, watching Sirius twist around the corner, convinced that the space beyond was deserted.
"We don't." Sirius admitted, dropping his imaginary gun and losing his stance completely, "I saw it while at Arthur Weasley's house last summer. It was on something called a tele-visin."
Lily laughed. "You mean television?"
"Same difference" Sirius said. Lily smiled, he seemed like an okay person to be around.
The three students walked for the better half of ten minutes before they met anyone. They were nearing the lake when they saw someone else walking towards it from the other end, near the Forbidden Forest. All three showed their symbol, peace, and waited for the other to show theirs. With a wicked grin, he held up his fist. His closed fist.
Lily was the first to rise from her stupor upon seeing James Potter as war, and pulled the other two along behind her. Luckily for her, they caught on to the concept of running quite quickly, and she was able to let go.
"Retreat!" Sirius called. Aubrey didn't even nod, she was too busy running. Behind them, James was catching up fast.
Lily, being slightly faster (emphasise on slightly), was about a foot ahead of the other two, so she turned the corner first. Seeing someone up ahead, she called out to them, her fingers raised.
"Hey, peace or war?" she said, and immediately regretted it. The boy was none other than Severus Snape. Turning, he held up a peace sign, and after a glimpse of who was chasing her and her friends, he began sprinting too.
Lily had gained a surprising amount of ground on the others by the time she neared the corner that she had started at, hidden in a clump of bushes. Thinking fast, she turned the corner sharply, brushing the stone of the building with her shoulder, and instead of carrying on, slumped to the ground, hidden in the shadow of the castle.
Her plan worked. Sirius ran right past her, as did Aubrey. By the time James was in sight, she was far into the shadows, and he didn't even notice her. Sighing in relief, yet noticing the slightly guilty wave washing over her, Lily finally noticed the severe stitch in her side. Upon hearing some rustling from the bushes in front of her, she nearly jumped out of her skin in fright. Squinting in the general direction of the noise she heard, she could just make out a light brown head of hair amidst the green and brown of the plant. Feeling weary, Lily got up and moved toward it.
"Hello?" She said. The rustling stopped.
"War or peace?" The voice asked. It was quiet, but male.
"Peace." Lily answered, wishing they would show her their sign already.
"Oh good," They said, relieved, "I haven't seen anybody yet." With that, they came out from behind the bush.
Lily knew the boy to be Remus Lupin, a soft-spoken boy in Gryffindor, like herself. But he had a smirk on his face, and Lily suddenly realized he never showed her his sign. She had trusted him after he said 'Oh good,'
"Umm, you're war, aren't you?" She said with wide eyes, backing away already. Remus smirk widened, then he nodded, holding up his fist.
As soon as he had stepped out from his hiding spot, she knew she was had, but that didn't stop her from trying. She had only gotten a few feet past the corner, however, when she felt a quick tap on her shoulder. Slowing down, she sighed and looked behind her. Remus' smile was sympathetic.
"Sorry 'bout that." He said, "Got tagged the exact same way, so I thought I should do someone else the favour."
Lily smiled. "No problem. That was a pretty good tactic, you know. I'm Lily Evans, by the way."
Lily looked around, then got a good idea. "Anyone know you're war?" she asked.
Remus frowned, and then said "No, just this girl named Narcissa. She's the one that tagged me."
Lily thought for a moment more, "Follow me, I'm going to try and get my friends tagged. If they aren't already, of course."
Remus nodded, and Lily led him in the direction her friends had last been going. For about 5 minutes, she and Remus walked around the school, sharing some information about each other, but otherwise keeping silent. Finally, Lily spotted Sirius leaning against the wall of the castle, and, before letting herself be seen, called, "War or peace?"
Sirius looked around, and saw a head peeking around the corner, looking weary. He smiled, and said "Lily! Thank goodness you're okay! I'm still peace, luckily. I managed to head off James at a corner. Where'd you go?"
Lily smiled back, and headed out from around the corner, Remus following. "I did the same as you, and met Remus here along the way. Have you two met yet?" Remus and Sirius nodded.
Once Sirius was within arms-reach, Lily said in a carefully masked voice, "You never asked me my sign Sirius."
Sirius stopped walking toward her, and looked at her sharply. "War or peace?" he said, slowly.
"…war!" Lily yelled, and managed to get him on the arm. Sirius pouted.
"That's not fair." He whined. Lily smirked.
"The rules clearly state that a person has to give their sign if you're peace. You never asked for it, and before I tagged you, I gave it to you. Sorry Sirius, had to be done."
Sirius sighed. "You war too, Remus?"
After a few moments silence, Lily remembered the third member of their original group. "What happened to Aubrey?"
Sirius shrugged, "She was still being chased by James last I saw. She seemed to be slowing down though; I doubt she's still peace."
The trio finally decided that standing around did no good, and finding Aubrey might be fun, so heading in the direction Sirius said Aubrey was last heading, they continued along.
Surprisingly, they had yet to meet anyone, Aubrey or otherwise, for a good 15 minutes. Lily was starting to wonder if maybe the game was over, and the rest of the class had gone inside, leaving them for dead. 'Of course not Lily, you're over-reacting.' She thought a second later. But after a grand total of 20 minutes without seeing another human being, she decided maybe she should voice her opinion to the others.
"D'you think the game's over?" She asked. Sirius shrugged ('he does that an awful lot' Lily thought) and said "I doubt it; we haven't heard the teachers whistle yet."
Lily frowned. "How do you know we'd hear the whistle? What if we were on the opposite side of the school when it happened?"
Sirius stopped walking for a minute, "Umm…you know, I never actually thought about that. But he must have. There's probably some sort of charm on it or something. Don't worry." But Lily wasn't entirely convinced, though she voiced her concerns no longer.
It wasn't until the trio had been walking for a total of 31 minutes, that they finally saw a clump of people. Raising their fists, they waited for the other students, Slytherins, to raise theirs. Sadly, life wasn't that easy.
"You're still playing this stupid muggle game?" One of them, a particularly snobbish Slytherin by the name of Narcissa Black sneered. "We stopped a long while ago."
Sirius glared. "If you feel that you're to high and mighty to play a simple game, then good for you, but some of us actually like it." Lily was surprised he was talking to his own cousin that way. Then again, he was a Gryffindor and black, or white, sheep, so that didn't really mean anything.
"Of course I think I'm better than muggle filth, cousin! And I thought you were to, until you befouled the name of Black by becoming a Gryffindor!" Narcissa shot back.
Lily eyed the two of them. She didn't want any fights happening if she could help it. But that brought up the point of how much she would really try to break up anything that might happen. Lily was pretty scared of any confrontaion. Luckily for her, Aubrey showed up at that moment.
"Hey, there you guys are! I've been looking for you forever! Peace or war?" Aubrey said all this very quickly, finally holding up her own fist with a smile.
While Aubrey said all of this, the two Blacks had been throwing insults at each other rapidly.
"Hate to say I'm even related to someone as stuck up as you!"
Lily sighed, holding up her fist, "You won't believe how long we've been walking-"
"-Unworthy of the name of Black, you are!"
"How long?" Aubrey asked. "I must've been looking for at least 20 minutes."
"-jumped up Slytherins are all the same! I'm glad to be in Gryffindor!"
"Try over half an hour!" Lily said, "My feet feel like their about to fall off!"
"-Only you would enjoy the company of such filth!"
"Ouch." Aubrey cringed. Both girls were seemingly unaware of the feud going on mere feet away from them.
"-Only me? I'll have you know that you Slytherins are in the minority! At least I've befriended normal people!"
"Oh well," Aubrey sighed, sinking to the ground, "At least we've finally found each other." Lily was just about to nod in agreement, when she heard a bit of the fight.
"-Disgusting half-breeds! Filthy mudbloods and blood-traitors…!"
Something inside Lily whirred. She had read about that word once before in a book at Flourish and Blotts. It was a cruel name for someone with none-magic parents, she knew, and she could tell without a doubt that Narcissa had been referring to her.
"Hey! You shouldn't say something like that to other people." Aubrey said, frowning at Narcissa. Narcissa just smiled a sickly sweet smile.
"Ooh, have I offended the mudblood with my hurtful words? Of course, being a Gryffindor, you probably don't even know what half of what I say means." She sneered.
Lily felt hurt. How dare someone who knew absolutely nothing about her call her those things? But she was so against fighting, that she remained silent. Aubrey, however, didn't.
"You're just a lowly Slytherin! Think about it, you're in the dungeons, while we Gryffindors live up in a tower! I think it's clear we're a whole different category."
Aubrey had stood up by now, and was making her way toward Narcissa. Lily stood up to, hoping she wouldn't have to interfere. Upon seeing Lily trying to follow her, Aubrey smiled, "It's alright Lily, I won't get carried away."
That's right, little Lily Evans!" Narcissa mock-cooed, "Listen to your betters, us purebloods, and sit back down like a good girl."
Something inside Lily finally snapped.
"You think you're so great!" Lily yelled, entering the nasty exchange of words, "You and your pure-blood mania! You don't realize that no one likes you! No one but your fellow Slytherins thinks you're anything other than bullies! I'd much rather be a 'filthy mudblood' than one of you!" Her face was turning red and a temper she never knew she had began to spill out from little Lily Evans, and it was a sight to behold. But behind the sudden anger, tears were threatening to fall.
"How dare you speak to me!" Narcissa shrieked. "You aren't worthy of my time!"
Lily scoffed. "Worthy of your time?" she said, "I'm so sorry, then, for having interrupted your argument. Please, forgive me or I shall never be able to forgive myself!" With that, Lily turned on her heel and stalked off in the other direction. Aubrey, being the good friend she believed herself to be, ran after her.
"Lily!" she called, "Lily, don't listen to her!"
By now Lily had ran all the way to the steps of the castle, and was falling to one of them, tears falling down in earnest now. Upon hearing Aubrey chasing after her though, she was shocked out of her sobs for a moment. 'She's following me?' She wondered.
"Lily…" Aubrey began, sinking to the step below Lily's and taking her hands in hers. "You can't let people like Narcissa Black get to you. You don't deserve those names, not one of them."
Lily sniffed, then looked at Aubrey through lashes thick with tears. "Why are you d-doing this?" she asked.
Aubrey smiled, "Because that's what friends do, they help each other out."
Through she had, just that morning, thought that she may never find a friend at Hogwarts, Lily was feeling that maybe, just maybe, a friend had found her.