Seven Years

"James pranked Lily on the first day of school. To his dismay, Lily was more than a worthy adversary. Bored students of Hogwarts, fear not. In between revenge, detentions and maybe a snog or two, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is in for a wild ride!"

Chapter One. The Train

It was quite unlike anything she'd ever seen, she decided.

Eleven-year-old Lily straightened her trunk as it leaned dangerously over the edge of her trolley. Then, looking up, she pushed her trolley carefully in front of her, trying not to stare at the solid wall she had just run through.

Her insides squirmed as she remembered her headlong flight into the very solid patch of wall separating platforms nine and ten in King's Cross station. Except...the wall hadn't been solid. Instead, it formed a gateway onto this platform Lily assumed was Platform Nine and Three Quarters.

"Watch it, redhead!" a voice snapped behind her. Lily jumped about a foot into the air before moving hastily to the side. She glared at the back of a dark-haired boy's head as he barreled past her, not looking at her once. He was already wearing his Hogwarts robes and Lily noticed the wand he twirled aggressively between his fingers. He seemed capable enough of hexing those who got in his way. Lily privately felt very relieved as she saw him board a compartment on the very front of the train. Determined to stay as far away from the boy as possible, Lily made her way toward the back of the train.

I don't believe this, she thought wryly. I haven't even reached school, and I'm already scared!

Laughing at herself, Lily struggled onto the last car of the train and purposefully looked for an empty compartment. There didn't seem to be one. In every window she peeped into, there seemed to be a group of laughing students, exchanging stories, performing feats of magic Lily yearned to watch, reading articles out of wizarding magazines...

At that point in time, Lily highly resented not being from a wizarding family. It was hard enough leaving for boarding school without her family there to see her off. To leave for school on this train where it seemed everyone knew each other, and she was all alone?

Glaring enviously at a group of four young boys lounging in a compartment at the end of the car, Lily peered into the last compartment down the hall.

It was empty.

Feeling as though finally something had gone right, Lily pushed the door open and lugged her trunk into the compartment. As the heavy door crashed shut behind her, Lily shoved her trunk under a seat, too exhausted to push it any further. She claimed the window seat in the back corner and watched the scene unfolding before her with wide green eyes.

There were students everywhere. Some were dressed in their black school robes, like the boy Lily had seen earlier. Some were, like her, obviously from non-wizarding families, because they were dressed in perfectly normal, unassuming Muggle clothes. Others – Lily couldn't tell whether they were from wizarding families or whether they simply had dreadful dress sense – they were dressed in Muggle clothing, but without much skill. For example, Lily knew better than to wear a vibrant orange jumper because not only did it look horrible against her pallid complexion, the orange clashed violently with her vivid red hair. This logic was obviously lost to the stocky boy sauntering by her window, whose choice of violent orange outerwear did not flatter either his red hair or the puce trousers he wore.

There were full-grown wizards too. When at first Lily had heard of the wizarding world, she had expected its inhabitants to be tall and bony, clad in sweeping black robes and pointy hats. The witches and wizards bidding their children goodbye on the platform were far from the stereotypical ones by Muggle convention. It was easy to see that even in the wizarding world, discrimination existed. Groups of friends often were assorted by their accent, or by the state of their robes. Those with the pristine and obviously very expensive robes would simply make their way to the train, haughty and uncommunicative, like the one who had scared Lily into avoiding him. The others would stop to talk to other wizards, clearly undisturbed by such mundane things as class and familial differences.

Lily sighed. For all its flamboyant trimmings, the wizarding world was, in essence, identical to the Muggle one. And if her eleven years had given her any experience, Hogwarts wouldn't be any better than the other schools she had attended. The rich did not associate with the poor, and the obscenely clever would not associate with anyone. Leaning back into the somewhat threadbare seat, Lily anticipated yet another lonely year. The only bright side of this was that she would only have to see Petunia during holidays.

She bent over and pulled a book from her trunk. Without even glancing at the title, she buried herself into her copy of Magical Drafts and Potions. Typical Lily Evans, she thought, turning the page. When she's not in class, she's reading up for the next one. It was a small wonder that no one had wanted to be seen with her. From a middle-class family and being an insufferable know-it-all, the other students had found her company simply unbearable.

Her thoughts were interrupted as the door to her compartment opened slowly. Lowering her book, Lily's eyes fell upon the slight blonde girl standing at the doorway.

"Is it okay if I sit here?" the blonde witch asked tentatively.

Lily nodded. There was an awkward pause as the blonde shuffled into the compartment and seated herself across from Lily.

"Where's your trunk?" Lily blurted, noting the witch's empty hands and lack of luggage.

The blonde witch blinked.

"My sister took it," she said simply. "She's Head Girl and can do magic outside of school now, so she just bewitched it and kept it at the front of the train."

"Why didn't you go sit with your sister?" Lily asked curiously, guessing the answer.

The blonde witch scowled.

"Er – she's a bit – you know – do you have an older sister?"

Lily nodded mutely.

"Well – then you know – some of them can be quite -"

"Yes," Lily nodded. "Some more than others," she added with a grimace.

The blonde witch smiled, relieved.

"That's why," she said. "And also – er – only prefects are allowed in that compartment."

"Prefects?" Lily asked, surprised.

"You're a first year, aren't you?" the blonde witch asked, her eyes alighting on the spellbook in Lily's hands.

Lily nodded again.

"So'm I," the blonde witch said. "For a minute I thought you were – but your sister, she probably goes to another school, doesn't she?"

"Yes," Lily replied. "And I'm glad she does."

The blonde witch laughed.

"I know what you mean," she said. "Sometimes I wish my sister'd been drawn for another school. It would have been easier for me."

"Yes," Lily answered simply. Then she laughed nervously too.

"My name's Narcissa, by the way," the blonde witch said. "What's yours?"

"Lily," Lily replied.

A loud horn sounded. The train was pulling away from the station, gathering speed as the city slowly dissolved from view. For a while, the both of them were quiet. Then, as the scenery gave way to cornflower-blue skies and rolling green hills -

"Where do you come from?" Narcissa asked, breaking the silence.

"Oh." Lily was taken aback. Usually no one wanted to talk to her. "Er – my family moves around a lot. I was born in London, but we didn't stay there for long. We stay in Surrey now."


"For a while we even lived in France," Lily offered shyly.

"That explains it," Narcissa said. Noting Lily's look of confusion, she added, "Your accent."

"My accent?" Lily was quite puzzled by now. "What about it?"

"I didn't know where to place it from," Narcissa explained. "I thought I detected a slight foreign undertone."

Lily laughed nervously. "I lived in France for four years," she explained. "We just moved back last year. Maybe that's why."

"Why does your family move around so much?" Narcissa asked, curious. "The only families I've ever met stay in the same house for generations on end."

Lily chose to answer this carefully. Narcissa seemed courteous enough, but Lily had been skilled enough to recognize the beginnings of prejudice. And Narcissa, with her smooth blonde hair, carefully manicured nails and expensive-looking robes, seemed to be of the kind who sneered upon the poor.

"My father likes to travel," she said simply. "He doesn't like staying in the same place for too long at a time."

"Well that's interesting," Narcissa said, leaning back in her seat. "You see, my family -"


Lily started as the door to their compartment slammed open. Standing in the doorway was a tall, dark and very imposing witch. Her robes were tailored in an elegant cut, and her thick dark hair swirled about her shoulders in a manner that demanded attention. In fact, she would have been very pretty, if it hadn't been for the look of disdain etched permanently into her heavy-lidded eyes.

What does she want? Lily wondered, until she saw the badge pinned onto the girl's robes. Head Girl, it read.

The pieces fell into place. "Cissy" was obviously short for "Narcissa". The girl now surveying the compartment imperiously was none other than Narcissa's older sister.

"Yes, Bella?" Narcissa replied meekly, and Lily was put into mind of her older sister Petunia. The resemblance between her and Narcissa's older sister was quite uncanny.

"You're wanted up at -" Bella stopped short as her heavy-lidded eyes settled on Lily, a small scrawny girl wearing oversized robes and her bright red hair loose.

"Who are you?" she asked, a slight frown creasing her brow.

"That's Lily, Bella," Narcissa said patiently. "She's in first year too. Er – Lily, this is my sister, Bellatrix."

"That explains why I haven't seen you around," Bellatrix said to Lily, somewhat contemptuously as she eyed her up and down. "I was wondering."

"She's from everywhere," Narcissa explained. "Her family keeps moving from city to city. They even lived in France for a while!"

"France, eh?" Bellatrix repeated. "I'll bet you know the Lestranges then?"

"Who?" Lily asked. "Sorry, we kept to ourselves a lot."

Bella's dark eyes widened.

"I can imagine, if you haven't even heard of the Lestranges!" she said softly, her lip curling. "What's your surname?"

"Evans," Lily replied simply. "Lily Evans."

"Evans...Evans..." Bellatrix closed her eyes, repeating Lily's surname, as though trying to remember something important. Lily cast an apprehensive glance at Narcissa, who met her eyes apologetically. Lily was quite intimidated by Bellatrix.

"Are you related to Philomena Evans, the current director of Gringotts?" Bellatrix asked suddenly. "I can't think of any other wizarding family with that surname."

"No, I'm not," Lily answered, somewhat coldly. Thoroughly fed up with Bella's inspection, she added crossly, "And you wouldn't have heard of me from before, because I'm Muggle-born."

Her words seemed to echo in the air. A standstill had erupted within the compartment.

Bellatrix took two steps back, her nostrils flared slightly.

"Come, Cissy," she said curtly. "You're wanted at the front. I have some people I want you to meet."

Lily cast a wary glance at Narcissa who, to her dismay, was now avoiding her gaze. She seemed perfectly composed, though her ears had reddened slightly.

As the two girls headed out of the compartment, Lily could hear snatches of what Narcissa was muttering to her sister under her breath.

"...didn't know she was a Mudblood, it's not like I sat with her on purpose."

The door slammed shut, leaving Lily all alone in the back of the compartment. She glanced out the window, tears starting to form in her eyes. She didn't know what she'd done this time. All she knew was that Narcissa, the closest thing she had to a friend so far, had suddenly deserted her, because she was a Mudblood. Whatever that was.

It's not my fault that I'm poorer than her! Lily thought to herself, watching the countryscape flying by her window. A small pit of dread had started to form in the pit of her stomach. All summer, she had looked forward to attending Hogwarts because she had assumed optomistically that the people there would be more like her. The professors would understand why mysterious things would happen around her. The other students wouldn't be so afraid of her, and maybe for once she'd have friends...

But despite her eager hopes, the mere thought of going to Hogwarts now left her with a sick taste in her mouth. At least in the other schools she had attended, her parents were in the general vicinity, and were able to visit her. Now, she was to be stranded in a school halfway across the country, with only lessons to keep her mind off her loneliness.

She hadn't felt this vulnerable since returning home for the summer. Before realizing it, Lily found herself yearning to see her mother and father again. Longed for them to come and take her back home. Away from this bizarre world of wizards and magic, which she had deceived herself into believing she belonged. There was no place for Muggle-borns here. What if they had made a mistake? What if she arrived at Hogwarts, only to discover that the letter had been sent to her by mistake, that it was impossible for a witch to have Muggle parents? Now that she thought about it, it did seem illogical.

Petunia was right, she thought, wiping a tear away from her face. How could I be a witch? There's been no one in our family who's magic. Where would I get the wizarding genes from? It's scientifically and logically impossible...

Disturbed as she was by her thoughts, Lily closed her book and put it back into her trunk. There were some things that could not distract her when she was in one of her depressions, not even the most interesting spellbook ever written.

Hours had passed by as the sun gradually began to set outside her window. Curled up in the back of the compartment, Lily had dozed off, head leaning against the window. The gentle rocking motion of the train's progress had lulled her into a shallow slumber that could, for a short wile, dispel the sorrow that coaxed the tears forth from her eyes. Lily lay there, dreaming of her cottage in the south of France in the summer, and the smell of the patisserie in the town square, and the white cliffs of Dover...

A slight commotion outside her compartment door caused her to stir. A moment later, the door crashed open. Lily awoke with a small yelp, her heart racing as she looked around herself wildly. The door closed, somewhat more gently. With a slight hiss, Lily realized that her hands were numb, and she wrung them together, trying to get rid of the unpleasant sensation of pins and needles.

"Is anyone sitting there?"

Lily's head snapped up abruptly, to meet the smiling girl who was standing not six paces away from her.

"Er – no," Lily shook her head, painfully put in mind of Narcissa. "And how did you get in here anyway?"

"I came in through the door," the girl replied cheerfully as she seated herself where Narcissa had seated herself ealier. "I think you were sleeping. I'm sorry if I woke you up."

Lily shook her head.

"It's no big deal," she said wryly. "You just startled me, that's all."

"I'm sorry about that," the girl said apologetically. "And just between you and me, I wouldn't recommend going to the front of the compartment right now. It's sheer chaos."

"You don't have to worry," Lily said, somewhat glumly. "I don't plan on leaving this compartment until reaching Hogwarts."

The girl frowned, looking at Lily closely.

"Have you been sitting here all alone, all this time?"

A lump formed in the back of Lily's throat as she remembered Narcissa's words. It's not like I sat with her on purpose.

"More or less," Lily mumbled. "Er – there was a girl who came for a little bit. She seemed really nice, but then she found out I was a Mudblood or something -"

The girl gasped, hands flying to her mouth.

Lily's heart sank.

"Is it really that bad?" she asked her despairingly.

"Not you!" the girl snapped. "The girl – what was her name?"

"Narcissa," Lily replied, wondering what the girl was thinking.

"Narcissa Black?" the girl demanded.

"I don't know her surname," Lily confessed. "But she did have an older sister. Her name was Bellatrix."

The girl's lips had pressed into a thin line.

"That explains it," she said. "Don't worry about what they said. The first thing you have to know about the Blacks is that they're very arrogant. They don't believe you're worth looking at twice if you're not a pureblood. And if you're Muggleborn – you're lower than scum. That's a really offensive term Narcissa used. Mudblood. You know – dirty blood?"

The girl broke off, grimacing.

"Oh," was all Lily could manage.

"Cheer up, though," the girl said brightly. "Not everyone thinks like that here. Just families like the Blacks – and they're just a bunch of gits that nobody likes. What's your name, by the way?"

"Lily," Lily replied, feeling slightly better. "Lily Evans."

"Pleased to meet you, Lily," the girl said, extending her hand. "I'm Alice Meiden."

Lily accepted Alice's proferred hand.

"So you're first year, aren't you?" Alice asked.

"Yes," Lily replied.

"That's great. Me too. Most of the people I know are older than me – except for a group of those bloody pureblood gits grouped up at the front, and a couple of other family friends. Oh, and those rascals up at the front of the compartment."

"You know a lot of people," Lily said, somewhat enviously. "Are you a pureblood too?"

"Yep," Alice replied. "But don't get me mixed up with the likes of Narcissa Black and her family. We're related very distantly, but we don't think anything alike."

"Is it just your family who thinks like that?" Lily asked, growing fascinated.

"I don't think so," Alice said, frowning slightly. "The Longbottoms are quite nice people – my friend Frank, he's one of the nicest people you'll ever meet, and he's pureblooded too. He's in our year, so maybe you'll meet him."

"Maybe I will," Lily replied, thinking that if more people in Hogwarts were like Alice, maybe it wouldn't be so bad after all.

"There're loads of other great pureblood families," Alice continued, absently. "The Macmillans. The Bones. The Prewetts – three of them are in Hogwarts right now. The Weasleys – they're one of the nicest families I've ever met. The Potters – the mum and dad are quite nice, and so's the boy, James, but personally, I found him a bit funny."

"Funny? Why?" Lily asked, sharply.

"Oh, he's not bad like that!" Alice laughed, seeing the alert expression on Lily's face. "No, what I mean is that he can be a dreadful tease at times."

"That's not so bad," Lily commented, thinking of the pranks she often played on Petunia when her older sister was being annoying.

"I'm afraid I'll have to disagree with you there -" Alice began, but was cut of as the door to the compartment opened again.

Both girls turned to face the boy who had hastily entered their compartment. His back was to them as he closed the door, sticking his wand into the pocket of his robes. As he turned around, Alice let out a sigh of relief.

"Oh, Frank. It's only you," she said, grinning. "What brings you here?"

"The others up at the end are making a mess," the boy called Frank answered, brushing his sweaty hair out of his face. "I don't believe it. Put Potter and Black into the same compartment and you won't have to wait long before the fireworks start."

"You poor thing," Alice said sympathetically. "Have a seat."

Frank obliged, seating himself beside Alice.

"And who's this?" he asked, flashing a grin at Lily.

"I'm Lily Evans," Lily said awkwardly. She had always gone to all-girls boarding schools, and as a result, was cripplingly shy around boys. But Frank's grin widened.

"New blood, eh?" he asked. "No need to be frightened. I'm just Frank Longbottom."

"We were just talking about you," Alice interrupted.

"Really?" Frank looked surprised. "What about?"

"Oh, nothing important," Alice said darkly. "Lily had the misfortune of running in with Narcissa and Bellatrix Black first thing on the train."

"Muggle-born?" Frank asked Lily with a sidelong glance.

Lily nodded.

"Bad luck," Frank said, frowning. "They come from a bad lot. We're not so bad, the rest of us."

"I was just explaining that," Alice put in.

They didn't seem so bad, Lily decided. After all, if worse came to worse at Hogwarts, Frank and Alice seemed to care enough to make the remainder of the year worthwhile.

"Are there a lot of Muggle-borns?" Lily asked, curiously.

"Yep," Alice said. "Well, I wouldn't say a lot, but there're a fair few."

"How do they get along?" Lily asked nervously.

"They get along fine," Frank replied. "Don't worry, Evans. Loads of people come from Muggle families. In fact, some of the best witches and wizards my mum knows are Muggle-born. When it comes down to it all, all that matters is what's in here, isn't it?"

He tapped the side of his head knowngly.

"I suppose," Lily said, feeling several pounds lighter. "I have to admit – those first few hours on the train had me feeling quite scared."

"You'll be fine," Alice said, steepling her fingers. "And if not...just get someone to help you. Not everyone here is out to get you, you know. Just watch out for the Slytherins and you're good."

"And stay clear of Potter and Black," Frank warned. "They'll be looking for frightened new faces to pull their pranks on."

"I'm not bad with practical jokes as well," Lily informed him. "I've done more than my share back at home. I can look after myself."

"All the same..." Frank couldn't help grinning, imagining the look on James Potter's face if Lily ever bested him.

It was at that moment Lily's stomach gave a giant growl.

"Er – is there anything to eat on this train?" she asked them wryly. "I'm starving."

Frank and Alice exchanged puzzled glances.

"If you missed the trolley-" Alice began, but Frank cut her off.

"The lady with the trolley stays up at the front of this compartment," he said. "Just pop by and get whatever you want. Do you have any money?"

Lily nodded. Her parents had given her quite a large sum, "just in case".

"Thanks," she said, getting. "I won't be long. It's just up the corridor, right?"

"Right at the front of the car," Frank said. "You can't miss it."

Lily made her way out of the compartment and walked down the corridor. It was noisier than in the compartment she had confined herself for the last few hours. The echoes of people's voices and laughter mingled with the groaning of the train. She walked quicker. It was curiously dark in the corridor. Her hand tightened around her wand, even though she didn't know how to use it yet.

She reached the front of the car and saw a darkened compartment that was obviously where the fabled trolley rested. There were empty sweet boxes littering the ground and what looked like plastic wrapping was strewn about haphazardly. But there was no trolley, nor woman to push it.

Now what? Lily thought irately as her stomach gave another vicious growl.

A door opened behind her.

"Are you okay?"

Lily whipped around, finding herself almost nose to nose with a skinny boy, already tall for his age, with glasses and very messy dark hair. She stepped back quickly.

"I'm fine," she said quickly. "I was just looking for the trolley."

"The trolley went on another round," the boy said, nodding at the darkened compartment on the other side of the hallway which was obviously empty. "You just missed it."

Lily cursed under her breath as her stomach growled yet again.

"You can always try following it, if you want," the boy suggested.

"I don't think so," Lily said pointedly.

"Don't blame you," the boy said easily, leaning against the compartment door. "Bloody Slytherins all over the place, they'd just as soon hex you than look at you twice."

Lily gulped.

"I was just kind of hungry," she mumbled, as the boy's hazel eyes flitted on her interestedly again.

"Kind of hungry?" His eyebrows had shot up.

"Okay fine," Lily shot back, her face reddening. "I'm very hungry. That's why I was looking for the trolley."

"Oh," the boy said. "Well...if you don't find it too awkward or anything, we seemed to have taken a load more off the trolley earlier than we needed. You could have the rest if you wanted..."

"Really?" Lily was taken aback by his generosity.

The boy shrugged.

"Sure," he said. "It's not like any of us were going to eat it, anyway."

"Well..." Lily struggled for words. "That's very kind of you."

The boy grinned, revealing a pair of dimples that was very becoming on him. Lily couldn't help smiling back.

"Come on in," he motioned, opening the door to his compartment. Lily hesitated before following him inside.

The scent of acrid smoke hit her nose. She coughed, looking around the place. It looked as though a hurricane had stormed through the area.

"What happened here?" she demanded of the boy, who was leaning over a seat, rummaging through an overflowing trunk.

"Oh – er – Sirius here let off a bunch of Filibuster's by mistake," the boy replied. "It was a bit of a catastrophe."

Tell me about it, Lily thought. But she didn't say anything out loud as the boy handed her a bag half-filled with – Lily's stomach growled – sweets.

"Thanks," Lily said gratefully, accepting the bag from the boy. "How much was that?"

"Oh, don't bother," the boy said hurriedly, as Lily fumbled around in her pocket for her money. "Just take it."

Lily arched an eyebrow.

"Are you sure?" she asked sceptically.

"I'm sure," the boy said shortly.

Lily stepped back. O-okay...

"Thanks again!" she said, offering a small smile and ducking out of the compartment as quickly as she could.

Back in the back compartment, Lily rejoined Alice and Frank.

"That was pretty fast," Alice commented, as Lily unwrapped a sweet and popped it in her mouth.

"Some boy gave it to me," Lily said, her mouth full of the large, tangy sweet. "Up at the front. He was quite generous -"

She froze. There was a burning sensation on her tongue, quite unrelated to the intense sourness of the candy in her mouth.

"What's wrong?" Alice asked, noting the sudden horrified expression on Lily's face.

Lily shook her head as she swallowed the sweet hurriedly, hoping the burning would go away, but it didn't. Instead, it intensified, making her cough and splutter.

"Are you okay?" Alice asked as Lily covered her mouth with her hands and doubled over, coughing violently.

Lily shook her head, as a lancing jolt of searing, red-hot pain struck her tongue.

Frank grabbed the bag she had dropped and rooted through it.

"Acid Pops!" he exclaimed. "Lily, who gave you these?!"

Lily closed her eyes as the acid burned away at the insides of her mouth. She shook her head, trying to remember the name of the boy. She realized she didn't even know his name. Even if she did, she couldn't talk with the insides of her mouth burning away.

Alice grabbed the bag from Frank's hands, rooting through it, horrified.

"These ones are strong!" she cried. "I had one of these when I was little. It burned a hole clear through my tongue -"

Lily choked as Alice's words hit her. A hole?!

"Course Mum mended it in a flash," Alice said hurriedly. "I'm sure there's someone on this train who knows what to do – it's not a remotely dangerous charm, after all."

Lily made a noise somewhere between a sob and a snort, starting to feel the center of her tongue thinning.

"I'll go find someone," Frank said shortly, getting up.

The door opened before Frank had touched it. A tall boy of about seventeen years stood there, wand in hand.

"Arthur!" Frank cried. "You couldn't have got here at a better time."

"I heard someone swallowed an Acid Pop," Arthur Weasley said tersely. "Who-?"

"Right here," Alice said urgently, motioning to where Lily sat, rocking slowly back and forth, whimpering in pain.

"Just hold still," Arthur instructed Lily, holding out his wand. His light blue eyes focused beneath his glasses, he muttered something under his breath and, miraculously, the pain stopped.

Lily's hands fell from her face, as she opened and closed her mouth wordlessly, making sure everything worked properly.

"Better now?" Arthur asked her kindly.

Lily gasped for breath, trying to find her voice.

"I'm never eating one of those again," she rasped finally.

Arthur nodded as Alice's shoulders dropped in relief.

"How'd you know someone had an Acid Pop down here anyway?" Frank asked Arthur.

"Oh," Arthur frowned as he pocketed his wand. "I ran into James Potter. I've never seen the boy run so quickly or look so worried before."

"I'll bet he was the one who gave you those," Frank said through gritted teeth.

"Now that you mention it," Arthur said, his frown deepening. "Acid Pops were banned from the trolley when I was in second year."

Alice and Frank exchanged exasperated glances.

"It was James," they chorused in unison.

Arthur looked at Lily.

"Who gave you those?" he asked.

Lily shrugged.

"I didn't get his name," she said weakly. "I just thought he was being kind."

"What did he look like?" Alice asked.

Lily thought.

"Kind of tall, with glasses and really messy hair," she said, breathing heavily.

"That's James, all right," Alice said dryly. "Told you to watch out for him, didn't I?"

"I didn't know it was him!" Lily protested.

" you know," Alice said. "And now that I think about it, he did give me my first Acid Pop. It's just the sort of thing he'd do."

"What?" Lily asked, all pain and tiredness forgotten as she glanced at Alice sharply. "He does these things for fun?"

"Well – yeah," Alice said. "Still, at least you didn't get hurt or anything."

"Didn't get hurt?!" Lily repeated, her temper skyrocketing. "He nearly burned a hole through my tongue!"

"Well, at least Arthur was able to fix it," Alice said hurriedly.

"He nearly burned a hole through my tongue!" Lily repeated, her voice going shrill.

"That's James Potter for you." Arthur shook his head, disgusted. "Stay clear of him and you'll be safe."

"I don't want to stay clear of him!" Lily said vehemently, her face mottling with anger. "I want to get back at him, as soon as I can!"

"Don't be daft, Evans!" Frank said sharply. "You can't get back at Potter. He's got years of experience at pranking people!"

"Just watch," Lily spat. "By the time this is over, James Potter is going to be sorry he ever messed with me."

Frank, Alice and Arthur exchanged nervous glances as Lily flopped back into her seat, her arms crossed about her chest as she glared out the window.

Alice sighed. She didn't have to be a Seer in order to know that the next seven years at Hogwarts were going to be very long...

The horn sounded as the train began to slow down.

The games were about to start.

disclaimer . I own nothing, But of course you already knew that.

author's note . Stupid, stupid cliched first chapter...I promise it'll get better.

This is the first L/J I've written in four years. Not expecting much of a reception since everything seems to be a bit quiet lately around here. I'm also worried that this chapter may have been too long for a first chapter and a bit too busy. Basically, I wanted to write something that incorporates Lily and James' seven years at Hogwarts (hence the name). I'm really hating the characterization, plus I'm sure eleven-year-olds don't talk like that.

Aside from that, if you liked it, please review. It'll really make my day :D