The First Letter
A Message in a Bottle Story
King's Cross, 1972
It was September the 1st, 1972. Lily Evans was nervously biting her nails as her family's station wagon made its way through the busy London traffic. The whole situation still felt unreal to her. How could magic be real? How could she, Lily Evans, be a witch? The idea was preposterous.
The Evans family was as normal as any other family; a working father, a stay at home mother who brought up their two young daughters. They lived in a small, out of the way suburb of no circumstance where nothing out of the ordinary ever happened. This is not to say that they were against anything out of the ordinary, no, they were just unaccustomed to it. Mr. and Mrs. Evans were thrilled that Lily was a witch and that she had been accepted to Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Lily was thrilled as well, and excited, but also extremely nervous. All the unknowns of any school were still present in her case, plus a few more. Would they like her? Will she fit in? Will everyone else know more magic than her?
Lily could not imagine being away from home for the whole year; they had always been a closely knit family. Even with all the drama that her family had, at the end of the day she loved them more than anything; they were her family. Even Petunia meant a lot to her, not matter how much they had grown apart.
Lily glanced at her sister who was currently gazing out the window. Probably thinking of what new outfit she would wear to the first day of school, Lily thought. Lily sighed; she could clearly remember a time when she and Petunia had been inseparable. Where one was the other was not far behind. But those times were long in the past. It had been a few years at least since the two girls had been close. Ever since Petunia entered secondary school and left Lily behind the gap between them had grown. They were now no more than casual friends. Lily's letter from Hogwart's only proved to make things more strained between the two and Lily could tell that her once close relationship with her sister may never heal. They were just too different.
Petunia was the type that cared about what other people thought of her; she was always concerned about what was in style, how to do her hair and makeup, and which boys were the best to date. Lily on the other hand was a bookworm. She wasn't very concerned about appearances, not that it was a problem for her though, Lily looked good without even trying. Nearly everyone could see that she would grow to be a beautiful woman someday. This was another point of constant annoyance to her sister. Petunia tried so hard to always look her best and when she noticed that Lily looked good without any effort she couldn't help but be jealous of her little sister.
"Petunia?" Lily asked in a very small voice.
"I just wanted you to know that I am going to miss you." Lily was trying to make last minute amends so that they would not leave each other on a bad note.
"I suppose that I will miss you too, little sister." Petunia said, grinning at the use of her old nickname for Lily. "Even if you are away at that freak school of yours," she said, but Lily knew that it was meant in jest.
Lily was so excited to think that her sister didn't hate her that she squealed and threw herself on Petunia.
"Lily! You are wrinkling my blouse!"
"Oh, sorry," Lily said with a smile. Petunia might not like the idea of Lily being a witch, but at least she didn't hate her as a sister.
The family arrived at Kings' Cross Station at 10:45. Plenty of time, Lily thought. They walked through the station until they were at the place where they should have found the correct platform.
Lily looked confusedly between her ticket and the platform in front of her. Her ticket clearly said Platform 9 & 3/4 but as she looked around she saw no such thing. Her eyes kept moving from Platform 9 to Platform 10 encountering nothing in between.
"Lily, let me see your ticket," Nathaniel Evans asked his daughter.
"Here," Lily gave him the ticket, but didn't dare look at her sister who was sure to think that this had all been big joke. Lily almost believed that as well and could feel tears begin to well up in her eyes. As she began to look around nervously her eyes fell on Phinneas, the owl that her parents had purchased for her the week before. Seeing him calmed her down immediately; this was real, it wasn't some joke, Lily was going to go to Hogwarts. All she needed to do was find the train.
Lily didn't know what to do, the clock was nearing eleven and she had no idea how to get to the mysterious platform. As she looked once more at the place where her platform should have been she saw a boy leaning casually against it. The boy had slick blonde hair and a snobbish look upon his face. Lily did not like the look of him and was about to look away when all of a sudden he was gone.
"Mom, Dad, did you just see that?" Lily asked excitedly.
"See what dear?" her mother asked.
"There was a boy, and he was leaning there, but then he was gone. He just disappeared." Lily quickly walked toward the barrier between platforms 9 and 10. She pressed her hand against it, but it was as solid as it looked. She tried putting all her weight against it, but it was no good. She was beginning to question what she thought she saw; there was no way that someone could walk through a wall. Frustrated, Lily turned around and leaned against the barrier. Seeing the confused look on Petunia's face and the ones of pity and concern on her parents' Lily could feel the tears begin to well again. A second later when she was ready to give up and go home and try to forget all about Hogwart's she felt herself falling backwards.
Completely shocked, all Lily could do was stumble backwards, entirely out of control. All of a sudden she collided with something and ended up tangled on the ground. The something must have been a person because it was muttering angrily and trying to detach itself from Lily.
"Get off of me, stupid girl! Why don't you watch where you are going?" The boy shouted as he shoved Lily away. Lucius Malfoy struggled to his feet and looked down at Lily with disgust written all over his face. "What do you think you are doing, you wench, you've ruined a perfectly good set of robes!"
"It was an accident, I didn't mean to. I was only trying to get onto the platform. One second I was leaning on the wall, the next I was falling."
"So you are just a filthy mudblood," Malfoy sneered. Lily started to stand up, but Malfoy shoved her back on the ground. "You should learn your place, Mudblood. Stay on the floor where you belong."
All of a sudden Malfoy was shoved from behind. A sandy-haired boy was looking at him with open disgust.
"Don't talk to her like that, Malfoy. You have no right." The sandy-haired boy looked to be Lily's age, not nearly as old as the one called Malfoy.
"Excuse me, but do I know you. I don't think I do. You see, I do not generally associate with people who consort with scum like her," Malfoy said nodding to Lily.
"Firstly, no, we do not know each other. It doesn't take Merlin to know you are a Malfoy. Blonde hair, permanent sneer on your ugly face, and high and mighty attitude, anyone could recognize those traits. And secondly, she is not scum. If you are looking for that perhaps you should turn your attention towards a mirror."
Malfoy looked ready to explode, and seemed ready to lunge at the boy, but at the last second decided not to. From Lily's vantage point she could see that a stern looking man was walking toward them from behind the sandy-haired boy.
"Is there a problem here, Remus?" the man asked the smaller boy. The boy shook his head.
"Ah, Healer Lupin, this must be your son. I didn't know; allow me to introduce myself, Lucius Malfoy." He extended his hand towards Remus who only looked at it with disgust. It was clear to anyone watching that Malfoy was only being civil because he knew that Remus' father was an important man. No one bought his act, least of all Mr. Lupin.
"Yes, Mr. Malfoy, he is. If I hear anything from my son about you this year I will be sure to inform your father about it. And if I ever see you doing something like this again I will inform Dumbledore."
"Yes, sir," Malfoy said. Giving Remus and Lily one last sneer Lucius Malfoy turned his back and grudgingly walked away.
"Dad, why did you have to do that? I could have taken care of it!"
"Remus, I don't want you messing around with that Malfoy boy, he's dangerous and it will only get you into trouble. We both know that you are already on a short leash, Remus," he said with a knowing glance at his son.
Remus looked at his father, clearly angry about something, but just said, "Yeah, ok, Dad."
Mr. Lupin looked at his son for a second. The pride he had for his son was clearly evident on his face. "Alright son, I'm off. Have a good term."
"I will, Dad," Remus said, no longer looking angry. The two hugged and Mr. Lupin gave his son a playful pat on the head.
"You stay out of trouble."
"I will, Dad," Remus said clearly a little exasperated with his father's numerous warnings. "Tell mom I love her."
"I will. See you at Christmas."
"See you, dad."
With that Mr. Lupin walked away leaving Remus and Lily on the platform that was quickly emptying.
There was something soothing in his appearance and calm voice. The boy looked down at Lily and she was struck by the sadness that she saw in his gray eyes. He held out a hand and Lily gladly took it as he helped her up.
"I'm sorry about that. The Malfoys are an old family who think that they are better than everyone else. It's bollocks if you ask me. You shouldn't let yourself be bothered by them. All that matters at Hogwart's is skill, and by the looks of you, you'll blow everyone out of the water," he said, causing Lily to blush a very deep red. "I'm Remus Lupin, by the way."
"Lily Evans. And thank you for your help."
"Well, we ought to get on the train; it's going to leave in a few minutes."
"Yeah, we probably should." They started walking to the train when Lily suddenly stopped. "My things, I left them with my parents outside the platform."
Remus looked at his watch and said, "We've got two minutes, we better hurry." The two ran back to the entrance to the platform and slowed to a walk as they went through so as to not attract attention on the muggle side.
"Lily!" A second later Mrs. Evans had her daughter in a tight embrace.
"Mom, I was only gone for a second. Honestly, I can't breathe."
"I'm sorry dear; I didn't know what happened to you. You just disappeared. I was so worried when you didn't come back," Mrs. Evans said, finally letting go of her daughter.
"If you'll excuse me for interrupting," a rather shy Remus Lupin said, "but we've only got a few seconds before the train leaves."
"Yes, yes of course," Mrs. Evans said as she began to gather Lily's things.
At this point Mr. Evans spoke up, "I'm Lily's father, Nathaniel Evans."
"Remus Lupin, sir." The two shook hands.
"Oh, I am so sorry," Mrs. Evans interjected, "where are my manners? Jane Evans," she said, proffering her hand.
"A pleasure to meet you ma'am. And, Mrs. Evans, with Lily at Hogwart's, the magic of this platform is only the beginning," Remus said with a smile as he shook her hand. "Now, we really must be going."
With that the two eleven-year-olds began walking very quickly towards the barrier. It was at the last second that Lily put her things down ran back to her parents and gave them a quick hug. She turned to Petunia and the two shared a slightly awkward and very brief hug.
"See you at Christmas, Petunia."
"Yeah, see you."
She ran back to Remus picked up her things and shouted a quick "I love you" to her parents before disappearing through the wall.
A/N: Please leave me a review, thanks! You guys really have no idea how helpful reviews are in the process. It really helps motivate me when I have a bunch of really good ones, so please take a second to give me some feedback!
I know that not a lot happened in this chapter, but hey, I had to start somewhere!
I am not sure how quickly I will be able to write this one, so please bear with me between chapters!
As always, I would love any review that you give me. I know not a lot happened in this chapter, but it is definitely going to get a lot better. And hey, next chapter will be introducing James, so that is always good.