Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters belong to J.K.R. herself…damn it.
Author's Note: One of my main goals in this story is to stay as true to the canon Lily and James as possible, so if you notice any discrepancies, please let me know. I'm really trying my best not to stray from JKR's already amazing storyline, but rather to fill in the gaps in the way that I think they happened. There will probably also be some grammatical discrepancies as I wrote this fairly quickly (I was inspired). Oh, and one more thing. This is written from Lily's point of view, and she's pretty much looking back on her memories. Well, on with the show-
Chapter 1: Beginning of a Lifestyle
It is common knowledge that young hearts are often impressionable and stupid. I, Lily Evans, can tell you that mine, at the tender young age of eleven, was no different. No different at all.
When I received my letter informing me of what awaited me at the magical school of Hogwarts, I was floored. Literally, floored…I passed out in the kitchen, actually. Mum brought me round a few minutes later, but that's beside the point… Anyway, I was thrilled and nervous at the same time. I would be entering not only classes on subjects I did not know existed, but an entirely new culture. Would magical people be nice? Would everyone like me? I had no idea, but my eager mind was willing to give it a try.
After an eye-opening trip to Diagon Alley, I began leafing through my new schoolbooks. Some of these subjects looked absolutely fascinating…Transfiguration, Astronomy, Charms. And certain subjects, I could tell just by looking at the book's cover, I was in for a long haul with… (Potions, anyone?)
Well, imagine my surprise when classes were not the first thing on my mind when I arrived at King's Cross Station on September 1st. In fact, there wasn't much else on my mind except for finding out the name of that gorgeous sandy-haired boy. Most people don't believe that it's possible for an eleven-year-old to fall in love, and most believe that eleven-year-old girls shouldn't even know boys exist. Well, I've got news for them. If their eleven-year-old selves had seen Remus Lupin, they would have noticed too.
I first noticed him when I was getting out of the car, and Mum was helping me unload my luggage from the trunk of the car. I had turned around to grab my owl from the backseat, and I saw him through the backseat window. With blue eyes and messy sandy hair, he had a thin, lanky figure. He was wearing Muggle clothes, and getting out of a car as well. I wondered briefly whether he was a mere Muggle before noticing he had an owl and a school trunk, too. He's going to Hogwarts! I had thought so excitedly. He kissed his mother on the cheek, as I did mine, and both of us began walking towards where I assumed Platform 9 ¾ must be…between Platforms 9 and 10. Right?
"Hogwarts too?" the boy cautiously asked, looking at me, and taking in my full fiery appearance.
"Yep," I said, trying as best I could not to make it extremely obvious I adored him.
There was an awkward silence, and the boy finally cleared his throat. "Um…what was the platform number, again?"
"9 ¾," I responded eagerly, before noticing why we had stopped.
There was no Platform 9 ¾, at least any that I could see.
Fortunately, (or unfortunately, in my case, as it definitely cut the amount of time I could have spent getting to know the boy to a minimum), two other boys came along at that precise moment. Both of them were tall, slender, and had dark hair, but that's about where the similarities ended. One seemed to have a debonair appeal along with that brown hair and those chocolate eyes, and even though we were all very young then, it was obvious to me even then that this boy would grow to be an extremely handsome man. Then there was the other one. Ebony hair that looked like his cat had slept on it and then the demonic cat had turned around and put gel in some parts to keep them standing proudly at ninety degree angles, glasses with broken frames that showed just how blind he actually was sliding down his nose, I did not so much think he was ugly as unkempt.
"Hogwarts, too?" the debonair one asked.
I nodded, as did the sandy-haired boy whose name I hadn't even asked yet.
"Muggle-born?" the other demanded, glasses sliding a bit on his nose.
I drew a blank. I had heard the word "Muggle" slung around casually when I was shopping in Diagon Alley, but I really did not remember quite what it meant. I looked at the sandy-haired boy, hoping he knew what they were talking about.
"I'm a half-blood, but I came with my Muggle mum, so I don't know how to get on the platform," he said simply. "I think she's definitely Muggle-born though."
"Alright, then, um…" the debonair boy paused in his instructions. "What were your names again?"
"Didn't say them," the sandy-haired boy responded. "I'm Remus. Remus Lupin."
Remus…my heart fluttered. Mrs. Lily Lupin…oh, that flows so well! As my heart privately exploded with joy, the other three boys look at me like my heart was literally exploding. Oh, no…I didn't say any of that out loud, did I? My whole brain was panicking.
No, I had not said anything out loud, but that is the main reason they were looking at me so incredulously. Remus had asked my name about ten minutes ago and I was staring at him in what can only be described as "dreamy delight."
"Hello?" the debonair boy asked rudely, interrupting my reverie. "What is your name? Do you think she's an exchange student, James? Hmm…qué es tu nombre? Hmmm? Hablas español?"
"Oh…" I said softly. "Lily."
James shoved him at that point. "All right, then. It was nice to meet you, Lily. Sirius, what say we get on the platform? Remus, Lily, come with?"
All three had turned toward the wall and disappeared before I even thought about moving an inch.
I had definitely stopped daydreaming when I realized I was alone on one side of the barrier, had approximately three minutes to get to the other side, and with no knowledge of how to do so. I began to panic, looking for any person who was hurrying and looking late, just one kid carrying a trunk or an owl…Anything…
The one thing that has always thrown me off about Sophie is that she honestly believes that she is never late…If she arrived at King's Cross at 11:05 AM, and found that the train had already left, she would find a way to Hogwarts and throw a fit about the injustice of trains that do not wait for the extremely stylish who do not have time to just sit around and allow their designer duds to wrinkle sitting in a compartment like all the other children, or something like that. That was just Sophie. But back to the point.
Eleven-year-old Sophie was strolling casually toward the barrier with blonde hair that was already expertly highlighted. Her designer sunglasses sat neatly in her long, shiny mane, and her smile had a brilliant, perfect sparkle. All of her clothes seemed to be cut to exactly fit her (it never occurred to me until later that they actually were), and she walked expertly in stilettos at the age of eleven. If Sophie wasn't cut out for big things later in life, who was?
While many girls and many, many guys in Sophie's lifetime would be completely intimidated by her, I was, on the other hand, not. Her stylish appearance did not make me feel guilty or depressed about my own belongings because the feeling simply didn't occur. To a great degree, I think that's what actually made us friends. Sophie found an equal that didn't treat her differently because of her attitude or her attire, and while it was definitely odd to her, she realized as much as I that she had found someone she could really be close with.
Her teal eyes took me in, with my bright red hair that was hastily in a ponytail, bright green eyes that seemed close to tears, and skinny figure that was clothed in clothing that most definitely did not match. ( I was still in my rebellious colors stage…I figured SOMEDAY someone would realize what an inspiration green slacks and purple knit jumpers are…sadly, I realized that I was fighting a losing battle eventually, and those clothes are hidden somewhere in the back of my closet at home…I shudder to think of it, actually.) Her initial simple expression of disgust turned to pity as she regarded my upset facial expression.
"Are you having trouble getting on the platform?" she asked simply.
"Yes, I'm afraid I don't know how," I said softly.
"Okay, well, just jog towards the barrier, it will actually dissolve and you'll be at the train. That's what my dad said," the blonde said.
I nodded, and after we were both safely on Platform 9 ¾ , I looked at the clock. 11:00. Oh, no!
I started to sprint towards the train.
"Now, really. No need for that," the blonde wheezed as she attempted to jog and not break her fragile shoes all at the same time.
"We'll be late. Are you crazy?" I asked in awe, and she resolutely stopped jogging, and walked at a moderate pace.
The train gave its final horn blow, and the conductor was about to signal his ok to the engineer to get the train moving when he noticed the two girls.
"You're late," he said stiffly. "Find your own way."
"I most certainly will not!" the blonde said resolutely, hands on her hips.
At eleven, yes, Sophie was standing up to an adult, and when she was in the wrong… but with Sophie, wrong and right are generally irrelevant, and she'll argue her point anyway.
"Why should I let you two on when other students have been early and patiently waiting to leave?" the conductor asked simply over the insistent horn blows of the engineer. Now some kids were peeking out of the windows of their compartments to watch the scene unfold.
"My father is the primary donor to the school!" she screamed with irritation. "Now let me on this instant, before I Floo to Daddy and demand he cut off all funds to Hogwarts…AND it's inefficient transportation workers!"
"What's your name?" the conductor asked softly, sufficiently shaken by the powerful little girl.
"Sophia Lestrange," she said stiffly, drawing herself up to her full height.
The man's eyes bulged. "I'm so sorry, Miss Sophie, I didn't recognize you, normally you've got brown hair…."
"Highlights," Sophia muttered irritably as she climbed aboard the train, with me meekly in tow.
From then on, I learned some essential facts about Sophia Lestrange. She absolutely despises being called Sophia, and only accepts the name "Sophie" from most people, or any bizarre nickname I, as best friend, can twist out of Sophia's name. The Lestranges, she had told me in the safety of our shared train compartment, had a very bad reputation. She told me that there was a dark force rising, and his name was not to be spoken as it generated so much fear. She had been born with a cushy lifestyle and part of the reason she never saw her mother was that her mother had gone to the Dark Side, and her father was quite nearly there as well. Sadly, a truth in this life is that the only thing that can seduce the wealthy to give away their wealth is if there is even more wealth promised at the end…and these thoughts of doubling up in profits were slowly seducing Sophia's extremely wealthy father. She had an older brother, Rodolphus, who was already out of Hogwarts.
"You-Know-Who's already gotten to him," she said stiffly.
"What do you mean, Sophie?" I asked softly.
"We've practically been raised in different homes, because he's always been with my mother, learning about You-Know-Who and his plans to cleanse the wizarding world of muggle-borns, and he's just… he's just an evil person, Lily. He was sorted into Slytherin, and so was his girlfriend, Bellatrix."
"What's Slytherin?" I asked softly.
"It's a house. There are four…Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. Slytherin almost always produces bad witches or wizards…and I'm afraid I'll end up in there too, Lily. Almost all my family has been, and they'll be disappointed if I don't get in, but I'll be mad at me if Ido get in…you know?"
I nodded, even though my naïve mind could not see the reason why any particular house would be better than the others to get into. All I knew on that train ride was that whatever house I ended up in, I wanted it to be the one that had both Sophie and Remus. Rico Suave and Four Eyes could be in a different one for all I cared, but I definitely wanted to end up with Sophie and Remus.
A couple hours into the ride we heard a knock on the door of compartment.
"Come in," Sophie said with sigh.
"He-hello!" Sirius' general greeting had turned to a debonair welcome as he sat on the seat near Sophie.
Her eyes rolled in disgust, and looked at me with the clear message- Can you believe this guy?
"Was there something you guys wanted?" Sophie asked icily, looking at the three boys in our doorway.
"We're just trying to get to know all the first years," Four Eyes explained. "Just in case we end up in houses together, at least we'll know everybody's name."
"Well, you already met me, and this is Sophie Lestrange." I said simply, sneaking a glance at the gorgeous sandy-haired boy in the doorway and blushing slightly.
"Lily," he replied warmly. "We never introduced ourselves that well, though…this is Remus, of course, this charmer is Sirius Black, and I'm James…James Potter."
I smiled impatiently and nodded. Would they just get out of our compartment before I said something really stupid and embarrassed myself in front of Remus somehow?
Sirius sat up from the seat where he was practically drooling on Sophie, much to her disgust. "Sophie Lestrange, eh?" he asked.
James flashed his eyes dangerously in his friend's direction, as if silently pleading him not to say anything stupid. James was not in the mood to pick fights with rumored Dark Side wizarding families right now.
"Yes," Sophie said icily. "Do you have a problem with my name?"
"Well," Sirius said with irritation flashing in his normally peaceful chocolate eyes, "I just wonder if you're the rich brat Sophia Lestrange, with a family of the Dark Side, major shopping problems, and depression at eleven because you claim to be 'misunderstood'. You're all over the Daily Prophet, you know."
I saw many unusual things on September 1st on that train, on the way to the wizarding world. But none quite as unusual as the duration of time it took for the impact of Sirius' statement to sink in inside the compartment and Sophia's fist to collide with his face.
"Get him out of my sight," she snarled, cheeks pink with anger.
James and Remus nodded, and escorted their friend out of the compartment.
Sophie shut the door with a slam that endangered the glass, and sat down in a huff on the seat. "I'm totally haunted by my family, Lily! I can't get away from it! I hate it! I didn't do the things that got us known as bad people, and yet those acts and decisions will haunt me for the rest of my life! It's just so unfair!"
I did the best I could that day to comfort Sophie. I had only had small friendships in the past, and I certainly had no idea how much the poor girl must be hurting, especially considering the fact that she just had nobody else to talk to, but I did my best to comfort her, nonetheless.
That train ride seemed to last a lifetime. When we finally got off the train, Sophie was considerably mollified, only occasionally shrieking about what a jerk that Black was, and how she would get revenge and etc. etc. etc.
Then Sophie and I noticed the extremely large (okay, a giant) man holding a lantern and beckoning us to follow him towards a black glassy lake. There were small rowboats tied to the dock, and the man was gruffly shouting instructions.
"Four to a boat now! Come on, move on, move on! Four to a boat! Firs' years this way! He took a boat all to himself (not because he wouldn't share, but because as far as I could tell, his size just couldn't permit it), and began to lead the way. Sophie and I, of course, got into a boat together, but as three very shady youngsters were fighting over the last spot in a boat full of other shady students, the large man turned in his boat and said, "You! Yeah, you with the sandy 'air! You're going ter be the last person in that boat, and you two (pointing to the shady students) will fill up that boat…"
Sophie and I breathed a sigh of relief as the large man directed to the two shady looking boys to the boat next to us.
"One of those is my cousin," Sophie whispered softly. "He's really into the Dark Side."
Content that we possibly were really going to get to go two to a boat on this trip, Sophie and I smiled at each other.
There was just one thing we weren't counting on.
"Hey, you two!" the large man yelled at the last two boys left on the dock. "You two will fill up that boat!"
Of course, the last two were none other than…
"I didn't think we'd be meeting up quite so soon, Sophia, darling," Sirius began, holding a magical pack of ice to his right eye, "but I sincerely want to thank you for putting me in my place back there. I have to be slapped every once in awhile, mainly just because otherwise I would have no physical contact with the opposite sex at all."
Looking back on that I realize that eleven-year-old boys really shouldn't be having contact with the opposite sex anyway, but at the time, it was pretty damn funny.
Sophie snorted, and I could tell by her expression that Sirius was forgiven. She turned to him, and said simply, "All right. It's a truce. You don't make fun of my family and my history that I have no control over and I'll hit you when you need to brag about a girl 'touching you'."
Sirius seemed genuinely happy with this arrangement and leaned contentedly back on the seat, clutching his ice pack to his eye protectively.
The idea of a sorting seems easy enough; I remember thinking eagerly after hearing McGonagall's speech about what was involved in the process.
You just somehow are chosen for a house. I wonder why Slytherins are seen as so evil, anyway…
In the short amount of time that we had to wait for the Sorting to begin, I found out exactly why Slytherins were so evil. It had nothing to do with their families directly, but everything to do with their intolerance and prejudices that those families instilled in their children…their evil, cruel and calculating children that began to pick on me within minutes of my entrance into the magical world, all for reasons that were most definitely beyond my control.
It was one of the Slytherin boys Sophie and I saw at the dock. "One of those is my cousin", she had said. It was her cousin that was quickly approaching Sophia and me, as we stood near James, Sirius and Remus.
"Sophie, darling," the voice drawled.
"Lucius," she said evenly.
"Didn't peg you as the type to go hanging out with Mudbloods…especially ones with this bad of a taste in clothing," he said, finishing with a sneer.
Four people were looking infuriated at once. James, Sirius, Remus and most of all, Sophie, all looked furious. I just looked a little befuddled at the time, because, of course, I had no idea what Mudblood even meant…but it must be extremely vicious if it had caused them to react this way.
"Malfoy, you apologize this instant!" James demanded, eyes looking deadly behind his slipping glasses.
"And Potter, playing the saint again? Honestly…get a new hobby. Besides, why are you hanging out with Lestrange? She's bad news, she is. We're cut from the same cloth…she's family. She can't ever escape that."
With this, a sick grin played at Malfoy's features.
"Malfoy, just leave. You've insulted my friends and me, now leave. I don't want to speak with you again," Sophie said with a deadly voice that meant business.
Malfoy simply smiled and said, "As you wish, Sophia."
Turning on his heels and walking towards the Great Hall, the Sorting, and the beginning of a life at Hogwarts, I knew that my start at Hogwarts was not the only start I was beginning right at this moment. Right now, I had already set the wheels in motion- I had befriended Sophia, and hers is a friendship I would treasure for the rest of my life, established at least a friendly acquaintance with James and Sirius, and developed a crush on Remus so deep that I dared not label it a crush at the time. It felt like heart-stopping real love, the kind you always saw in Muggle movies. I had also, though this was definitely not by my own preference, become a target for oppression because of my parentage, a status that would, I am sad to say in hindsight, never change throughout all my years at Hogwarts. Yes, stepping through those double doors meant something more than just the start of a school…it was the start of a lifestyle.