A/N: Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I do not own anyone/anything in the Potterverse. I do own the names/places that you do not recognize and the plot of the story.

Free Falling
Chapter One
Love At First Site

It starts with a ticking-every time that person smiles, every time you hear their laugh, every time you watch that person get hacked off at their little pet peeves. Then it gets louder and louder and louder until it just goes- BOOM! Then you've hit it dead-on.

Yep, I'm talking about that thing that happens between two people. The big "L" word. That's right-love.

When I first met James Potter-there was a boom! at first sight. Of course, we were only eleven and we had just barely met, but, I could tell that, given some time, he would be the one that I would want to spend the rest of my life with.

I remember that day like it was yesterday. It was August twenty-seventh, three seventeen pm., to be exact, and we were both in Diagon Alley to purchase our things for our first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

We were standing in Madam Malkin's Robes For All Occasions, being fitted for our black Hogwarts robes. James was standing on a stool when I walked in. His cronies - that would later introduce themselves as Sirius Black and Remus Lupin - were with him.

"Good afternoon, dear," said the old witch at the counter. I was by myself that day, for my parents were Muggles-those who have no magic in them. "Hogwarts, I presume?" I smiled and nodded. I was, of course very excited that I got accepted into a school that would teach me magic. "I'll be right with you, dear," the old witch said, and walked into a back room.

"Hullo," said James. "I heard that witch say you were going to Hogwarts."

"Yes," I replied shyly. Back then, I was a little shy, but under the circumstances of not having my parents with me, it made me feel all the more timid.

"What House do you want to be in?" James asked. He looked rather bored, and it beats me why he wasn't talking to his friends. To this day, I say it was fate.

"House?" I asked, confused and feeling rather stupid-which, I'm proud to say, is not a word that describes me.

"James," said another black-haired boy on a stool not too far away from James. "Did you not notice that her parents aren't here? She's Muggle-born. Aren't you?"

"Well, I'm not sure I know what a Muggle is," I replied.

"That answers our question," said the black-haired boy to James. "The name's Sirius Black," he added, turning to me again and smiling kindly. He had a lot of black hair, dark eyes, and tan skin. He was also a foot taller than me. I noticed Sirius glare at James suddenly.

"Oh, right," James said quickly. "I'm James Potter, and him over there," he said pointing to a brown-haired, tired-looking boy, the same age as I was, who was sitting on a bench by the door, reading a magazine, "he's Remus Lupin." Remus waved cheerfully.

I turned back and looked at James. He had a lot of black hair like Sirius, except it stuck out every which way. He had thin-rimmed glasses covering dark eyes and peaches-and-cream skin. James saw that I was watching him and smiled, I quickly turned my head and blushed.

"Okay, dear," the old witch, who had just come out of the back room, said. "Stand up on the stool and we'll have you measured in no time."

"Um," said James, glancing at Sirius, who seemed to be whispering something to him. I looked at him again. "I didn't catch your name."

"I didn't give it. It's Lily. Lily Evans," I replied, as the witch started measuring me.

James and Sirius were declared finished, hopped off their stools, a witch, who looked just like Remus, paid for the three boys' robes, which I assumed that Remus had been fitted prior to when I came in, and left the little shop.

"What a pretty girl," said the witch that was measuring me. "You know, you do look like a Lily. Such a pretty name, too. And those young boys were all giving you the googley eyes when you weren't looking."

"Are they all brothers?" I asked.

"Oh, heavens, no, and I pray for Mrs. Lupin, who has to keep track of those three today. You see, James's and Sirius's mothers had a meeting to go to, so Remus's mother got stuck with watching them and helping them get all their stuff for Hogwarts."

"Why is watching the three of them such a bad thing?" I asked. "They seemed really nice."

The witch gave a derisive laugh.

"Yeah, dear, they are nice and polite, it's just that they're the biggest troublemakers I have ever seen. Well, James and Sirius are, I'm not sure about Remus, I only met him a few weeks ago. You see, James and Sirius like to come in here when they're visiting the Alley, and they tell me all sorts of jokes and the troublesome things they had done since they last came in. One day, they brought Remus, he was a little shy at first, but after a while, he seemed to fit right in. Well, dear, you're done," said the witch, and she helped me off the stool.

After I had paid the witch with funny looking gold coins called Galleons, I walked out onto the street and decided to go to Flourish and Blotts, the bookstore.

When I got inside, the first thing I saw was a young wizard with a badge on his chest stating "Manager" running around and picking up books that magically (which I reminded myself was probably how they kept dropping) fell in threes and fours, only to find that they'd turn into reptiles or rodents as soon as he touched them. That made him let out a shriek of terror.

I started walking towards the back of the bookstore to see what interesting topics they sold, since I was fascinated on learning as much as I could about magic, and I also loved reading, when I felt a pair of hands land on my waist, another pair of hands cover my mouth and then I was being dragged off backwards.

When it looked like me and my kidnappers reached a dark corner, the pairs of hands let go of me. Without thinking, I swung around and whacked somebody with the package that contained my new robes.

With slow realization, I watched my bag collide with the side of Sirius's head.

"Oh! Sirius," I squealed. "I'm so sorry! I'm just in a new place all by myself and since everybody here is either a witch or wizard, I feel I have to be extra careful…I don't know if that makes any sense," I rambled. Usually, I don't ramble on and on, but, I felt really bad that I hit someone that I had just met and hoped to be friends with upside the head.

"No worries, Lil," he said, adopting a nickname for me. I hate when people give me nicknames, but, right then, I felt it was the least I could do to let Sirius call me that. "I'm not hurt - the bag is squishy."

"What in the world did you do that for?" I asked, glancing at James and Remus who were standing behind Sirius.

"We wanted to let you watch Mr. Aster. He's scared to death of anything with more than two legs - the smaller the worse." Sirius chuckled.

"Remus Jonan Lupin. Sirius Kent Black. James Alan Potter. What do you think you are doing?" came a stern woman's voice. I looked up to see Remus's mother towering over where we were crouched.

"Hallo, Mum," said Remus, putting on a sweet smile that could have fooled anyone - anyone except his mother, that is.

"Don't hallo me, young man. What in the world were you thinking? Torturing Mr. Aster like that? You need to go and apologize. All of you. Now."

James, Remus, and Sirius stood up and stalked over to where Mr. Aster was sitting behind the counter and looking as if he was going to be violently ill.

"Why, oh, why couldn't I have any daughters?" Mrs. Lupin said, more to herself.

"The lady at the robe shop was right - they are horrible," I commented, more to myself.

"Oh, no," Mrs. Lupin said, turning to me. She had a very pretty face and she seemed to be about the age of thirty-five. "They are the most polite and gentlemanly boys I have ever seen. The only thing is - they get enjoyment from watching other people suffer. I don't mean the pain kind of suffering - I mean the humiliating kind of suffering. They play jokes on others to get a good laugh." Mrs. Lupin sighed. "Well, can't live with them and can't give them up for adoption." I giggled. "Anyway, I saw you in Madam Malkin's talking to James and Sirius. What's your name again, dear?"

"Lily Evans," I replied sweetly.

"Well, I'm Remus's mother, if you didn't figure that out yet. Which reminds me - where's your mum and dad?"

"Actually, they're not a witch or wizard," I said.

"They're what we call Muggles," Mrs. Lupin pointed out.

"Sirius said something like that earlier, but I had no idea what he was talking about."

"Lily, darling, would you like to go to Florean Fortesque's to get some ice cream after they apologize?"

"Sure," I said, giving her a smile. I was also giving her a look that said, "Those boys just played a horrible joke on someone and you're going to buy them ice cream?"

"Well, some battles aren't worth fighting, are they?" said Mrs. Lupin, interpreting my look. I turned pink and ran my fingers trough my dark red hair. "That James and Sirius are good looking young boys. Their resemblance almost makes you think they are brothers." I blushed even more.

"They're all good looking," I replied shyly-which, of course, was the truth. Sirius had this look about him that said, "I'm bad and you know it". Remus looked like the sweet type, the type that makes dinner for you on a date with him, the type that would sing you a lullaby before you went to sleep-but then I had to remind myself that, since he was hanging around with James and Sirius, he must be just as big of a prankster as they were, but had a good way of covering it up. And then there was James-his dark eyes aglow with laughter, tall, strong, handsome.

Yeah, I was only eleven, and you probably think that eleven-year-olds aren't old enough to feel something like that, but I did.

After James, Sirius, and Remus apologized to Mr. Aster and turned his hair blue then back again, we left Flourish and Blotts, to get ice cream.

Those were the days.

What am I saying? Those weren't the days-when it came to Platform 9 ¾-that started "Those Days".

I was with my mum and dad and my sister Petunia, who was two years older than me, and for some strange reason, had stopped talking to me since I received my letter from Hogwarts. I certainly refused to believe she was jealous. Anyway, I was giving Mum a kiss goodbye, when Sirius ran up behind me and grabbed me around my waist.

"Lils!" he cried. I was shocked. Never had anyone shown so much enthusiasm to see me. Oh, sure, I liked having friends, but I mostly kept to myself in my pre-Hogwarts days.

"Sirius," I said. "These are my parents," I added, seeing the look on my mum and dad's faces. "And that's my sister Petunia. Everyone, this is Sirius Black, I met him in Diagon Alley."

Sirius smiled at them and bowed.

"Look at that, Thomas," my mother squealed, "he bowed."

Petunia muttered something under her breath. We used to be the best of friends, but now it was like she hated me.

"Sirius, where's James and Remus?" I asked.

"Oh, I dunno, I'm sure they're already on the train wrecking havoc and mayhem. You know, the usual. I came to find you to see if you know how to get onto Platform 9 ¾."

"Actually," I said, nervously glancing at my parents, "I don't know how. I don't think that there is a Platform 9 ¾."

"Of course there is. See that barrier over there?" he asked, pointing to a very solid-looking barrier. I nodded. "You just walk right through and you're there. Go on, try it."

"I don't think so. Mrs. Lupin told me how you all are. I'm not going to go get myself knocked out just because of some joke."

"Lils, I'm hurt that you would think such a thing. Here, I'll escort you through the barrier," he said, taking the cart that held my trunk and owl cage (my mum and dad had exchanged extra money at the Gringotts wizard bank so I could get a cool birthday gift, which was the past May, for myself from the wizard world).

"Thanks," I said. Mum sighed-I'm positive she was thinking about what a gentleman this boy was. "Goodbye, Mum. Goodbye, Dad. 'Bye Petty, darling." Petunia just grumbled at this.

I turned around and followed Sirius up to the barrier.

"Now. You walk just need to walk through, like so," he said. He linked his arm through mine, steered the cart with one hand, and we walked through the barrier.

We slid sideways, and Platform 9 ¾ materialized before my eyes.

I gasped. Platform 9 ¾ was alive with witches, wizards, and students. Owls were hooting excitedly, cats prowled in search of mice. A scarlet steam engine was laid out before us.

"This is amazing," I said to Sirius.

"Isn't it?" he replied. He watched me look around with my eyes wide. "It only gets better, Lil."

Sirius and I boarded the train; he was leading me to where James and Remus were sitting. When we reached the compartment, which was empty except for James and Remus, Sirius and I lifted my trunk to the overhead compartment.

"Hullo, Lily," James said. I blushed a bit.

"Hi, Lily," said Remus with a polite nod.

"Hello James, Remus," I said as Sirius and I situated my trunk.

"Anybody up for a game of Exploding Snap?" Remus asked once Sirius and I had sat down and the Hogwarts Express started its long journey.

"Exploding what?" I asked.

"Oh, you don't know," said Sirius. "It's like a card game. You build a card castle and whoever's card makes the castle explode, loses."

"Um, I think I will sit out on this one. I'm going to read," I stated. I got out my copy of Standard Book of Spells: Grade One, sat down next to Remus, and started reading.

Within a few minutes, I became captivated in the game of Exploding Snap-I never knew a card castle could become so high, and the cards just kept appearing once somebody ran out of them.

After a few more minutes, the castle (which was as tall as I was) exploded, declaring Sirius the loser. I looked out the window and watched the meadows rushing by.

"So," Sirius said after a few moments of silence, "what House do you hope you get?"

"Gryffindor, wands down," said James.

"Wands down?" I said. "Isn't the expression 'Hands down'?"

"You see Lily, darling," Sirius said, "they who have no wands, have to use their hands."

"Oh," I replied. "Tell me about the Houses; I've heard nothing of them."

"Well, there's Gryffindor, which all the brave people are in," said James.

"There's Ravenclaw, which all the smart people go in," said Remus.

"There's Hufflepuff, where the people are hardworking," James added.

"And then there's Slytherin," said Sirius. "Nasty House. 'Most everybody who's been in that House turns out to be Dark."

"Wow," I said. "I don't want to be in Slytherin."

"Actually, Lil, you don't have to worry about that. You see, most Slytherins pride themselves on being pureblooded. It's like racism in the Muggle World."

"Well, that's good," I said. My friends' eyes widened. "No, I mean it's good that I don't have to worry about going into Slytherin. I really don't know what House I want to be in. The only thing I care about is that I get in the same house as you three."

"I hope so too, Lil. If we get in the same House, we can corrupt you properly."

I rolled my eyes.

"Yeah right, Sirius. Corrupt me? Everybody says that you three are little gentleman. You saw the way my mum acted towards you. I mean, my mum is old-fashioned, and when you bowed, she was ecstatic."

"Most witches and wizards are old-fashioned, compared to Muggles," Remus explained. "I mean-we're still using parchment and quills, candles and torches. Of course, we don't need the Muggle inventions of the ballpoint pen, loose-leaf paper, and electricity."

"You know a lot about Muggles," said James.

"My mum likes me to be well educated about Muggle sociology, history, and religion-things of that sort."

"Oh, so you're saying you're smarter than us?" I teased. We giggled.

"Actually," Remus pointed out, "since you're Muggle-born, you went to a Muggle school to learn everything you know: Math, reading, writing, science-things like that-which makes you smarter than us. As for us here," he indicated himself, James and Sirius, "we were home-schooled and our education is biased on what our parents, as witches and wizards, think we should know."

The four of us played Exploding Snap seven more times (I lost every time) until a plump witch pushing a food cart appeared in our compartment.

The rest of the train ride, I continued reading while Sirius and Remus played wizard chess-which I found very strange since the pieces were alive and you told them where to move. James was busy scribbling on a piece of parchment.

When the Hogwarts Express arrived at Hogsmead Station and all the students had departed, a giant of a man called for the first years and led us to a dozen, more or less, rowboats sitting in a large lake that reflected the night sky. James, Remus, Sirius, and I climbed in to one and we sailed across the lake towards the gigantic Hogwarts castle.

Once in side the castle, a stern-looking witch with a tight bun and square-rimmed spectacles led us into the Great Hall.

As we, the first year students, stood in a line, waiting to be Sorted, the other students came in, laughing and chatting of their summer holiday. I noticed that there were five long, wooden tables: One had a red banner with a golden lion on it; one had a green banner with a silver serpent; one had a yellow banner with a black badger; one had a blue banner with a bronze eagle; and one had a very large black banner with the Hogwarts coat of arms on it, which was where the teachers sat.

After all of the students had settled themselves, the stern-looking witch brought out a ragged, black hat-which sang an odd song, telling us about the different Houses. Next, the witch said she'd call out our names, we'd put on the Sorting Hat, and it would place us in the House that we'd be best in.

After three or four names were called, the witch called "Black, Sirius".

Sirius walked up to the Sorting Hat, sat on the stool, and placed it over his head. Not more than two seconds later, the hat shouted out "GRYFFINDOR!" and Sirius took off the hat and walked excitedly over to the table with the red banner: The Gryffindor Table.

About eight more names were called before "Evans, Lily" was called. I walked up to the Sorting Hat, sat down, and placed the hat over my head. It was so big that it went down over my eyes. Then I heard a voice whisper in my ear, "Lily Evans…you seem difficult to place."

Difficult? I thought.

"Oh yes," the hat whispered. "You are eligible for all the Houses. Now, we can eliminate Slytherin off our list-your heart's too pure and you're Muggle-born. You're hardworking and a loyal person-but you're too smart for Hufflepuff. And my goodness there is cleverness here. Lots of bravery too. So it stands between Ravenclaw and Gryffindor."

Sirius is in Gryffindor, I thought.

"Yes, yes, he was not hard to place at all. Well, is it Gryffindor?"


"Okay," the hat said. "If that's what you want, it'll be GRYFFINDOR!"

I took the hat off, set it down on the stool, headed towards the cheering Gryffindor table and sat next to Sirius.

"Congratulations, Lil," he said.

"You too," I said smiling.

When "Lupin, Remus" was called, Sirius and I held hands for luck, in hopes that Remus be sorted into Gryffindor, or at least not Slytherin.

The hat seemed to find Remus hard to place, too; but after a minute and a half, it shouted out "GRYFFINDOR!"

The Gryffindor table cheered-Sirius and I were probably the loudest-as Remus came over and sat across from Sirius.

"All we need is James," Sirius said, as "Monts, Shelby" became a Ravenclaw.

"Potter, James," the stern-looking witch called. James walked up and put the Sorting Hat on. I reached across the table and grabbed Remus's hand as well as Sirius's.


The Gryffindor table erupted with yells and cheers as James strode over and sat across from me. I flashed him a huge grin.

"We're all together!" I cried.

"I wouldn't have it any other way," James said.

The headmaster, Professor Dumbledore, stood up and welcomed us all to a new year. He also gave repute to the late headmaster, Professor Dippet.

Then, food of all kinds appeared on the golden dishware. I filled my plate with mashed potatoes, green beans, and pork chops. It was really good, but nothing compared to my mum's cooking.

"So, is anybody excited for classes to start?" I asked.

"Mm," said Sirius, thinking. "Not really. I mean-yeah, it will be fun to finally learn effective magic that uses a wand instead of what we had to do with only our minds."

"You can do magic without wands?" I asked.

"Well, you probably didn't realize it," James said. "Have you ever done something strange? Something you couldn't explain?"

"Well, last year, there was a boy trying to kiss me. I punched him and told him to get chicken pox. The next day, he wasn't at school and my teacher said that he was out sick because he had gotten the chicken pox."

"That explains it," James said, shoving a whole roll in his mouth.

"You punched him?" Remus asked.

"We'd better watch out for this one, here," Sirius said with a smile. "Don't try to make a move on her unless you're going to tell her."

We giggled and I blushed again.

* * *

After dinner the prefects led us up to Gryffindor Tower, which was concealed behind a portrait of a very fat lady in pink silk. The prefect told us the password ("Field of heather") and led the boys up to their dormitory while the girls waited in the common room. The common room was full of squashy armchairs and a fire that was crackling merrily.

The prefect came back down and led us up to the girls' dormitory. Inside, there were four four-poster beds with red velvet hangings. My trunk was at the end of the bed that was the farthest to the right.

I crawled into bed and instantly drifted into sleep in between the warm sheets.

* * *

The first few weeks of classes were hard work.

In Transfiguration, Professor McGonagall, the stern-looking witch from the Sorting, had us turn matches into needles. James was the first to Transfigure the match successfully. Sirius was second, I was third, and Remus came in fourth.

In Charms class, Professor Flitwick had us levitate feathers. I excelled extremely in that class and it easily became my favorite subject.

Remus seemed to be very good at Defense Against the Dark Arts and Sirius was really good at Astronomy.

"After all," he had said when we brought up the subject, "I am named after the brightest star in the sky."

Nobody seemed to exceptionally like Potions. And History of Magic was just a naptime for most students.

I also noticed that Slytherin and Gryffindor seemed to be big rivals. Gryffindor got on well with all the other Houses. Some Slytherins seemed to get along with members of Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw, but the majority of Slytherins just kept to "their kind".

* * *

After three weeks of school, James, Remus and Sirius decided it was time to pull their first prank. Their victim: a boy named Severus Snape, who always made fun of a fellow Gryffindor boy Peter Pettigrew, who was a fat little boy who looked nervous all the time and was awful at magic.

The rumor had it that Peter wasn't fit for any House-he wasn't smart enough for Ravenclaw; he didn't work hard enough for Hufflepuff; he wasn't at all ambitious, so he couldn't be in Slytherin; and he wasn't brave enough for Gryffindor. So, the Sorting Hat gave him a choice of which House he wanted, because either way, he'd suffer. And he picked Gryffindor. Even if that rumor was true, James, Remus, and Sirius couldn't let a Slytherin insult another Gryffindor.

The prank was that the boys were going to feed Snape a potion that would make his nose hair grow in long ringlets. The only reason I was in on this joke was because I was the resident Charms expert. That meant that I had to Charm the potion to look and taste like pumpkin juice. Then they would plant the goblet of potion where Snape usually sat, so he was guaranteed to drink it.

Parts A, B, and C went well. The problem happened when an ugly second-year Slytherin sat down in Snape's place. We carefully kept an eye on the goblet of potion. A few minutes later, Snape came in and sat next to the ugly Slytherin.

The ugly Slytherin then picked up the goblet of potion and took a sip. He then turned to Snape and said (of course, we couldn't hear him, but Remus could read lips), "This pumpkin juice tastes kind of funny. You try it." He then passed the goblet to Snape, who took a sip.

I glanced nervously at Sirius. He returned my gaze and whispered, "Don't worry, it takes a minute."

Sure enough, when a minute had passed, there were two loud pops, and Snape's and the Slytherin's nose hairs were a foot long and in neat little ringlets, both the identical color of white.

Everyone in the Great Hall stared. James, Remus, Sirius, and I had to duck under the table because we were laughing so hard.

"That was great!" I said after the laughter had subsided and between gasps.

"That was awesome!" Sirius said.

The four of us poked our heads up just in time to see Snape and the ugly Slytherin run out of the Great Hall and most likely towards the hospital wing.

* * *

To sum up first year: we had so much fun. James, Sirius, Remus, and, sometimes, I would pull marvelous pranks on the Slytherins. Mostly after Quidditch matches, when we lost to Slytherin-those were the worst. Like one morning, the whole Slytherin Quidditch team woke up with scarlet and gold dyed hair because James and Sirius put a Hair Coloring curse on the Quidditch locker room shampoo.

As for my feelings for James-they were frustrating, but he didn't show that he liked me. Maybe I wasn't trying hard enough. But no matter how hard I tried he didn't show any interest whatsoever.

The trip back from Hogwarts to Muggle London was a happy-sad one. We each practiced some of the new spells we had learned and playing Exploding Snap and wizard chess. And I didn't want to leave my friends.

When I made my way back through the barrier, I spotted my mum and dad and Petunia, who looked rather cranky. I knew that that summer, I wasn't going to have much fun. I hugged James, Sirius, and Remus goodbye and I left with my family back to what I should call home - but didn't - Hogwarts was my home now, where I belonged.

* * *

Second, third and fourth year were exactly the same - except in school, we were working harder and we all looked older and (some of us) acted more mature.

Still nothing had happened with James and me. It broke my heart to watch him go out with Britannia Watson, a not-so-pretty Ravenclaw, in our fourth year. They did everything together and they were so close it was sickening to watch. But I put up with it. Maybe it was time that I gave up on James liking me. Maybe it was time to just look in another direction for some other guy that would actually want me back.

It took me four years to decide what I was going to do, and I finally decided one morning that I was going to date other guys. There are lots of guys at Hogwarts that thought I were pretty handsome and a few had asked me out, but I had always said no for the fear that any second James might run up to me and throw his arms around me and tell me how much he loved me.

Pretty dumb, huh?

So anyway, I was on summer holiday about to go into my fifth year at Hogwarts. I'll tell you right now, life sucked.

Why, you ask?

Well, first of all, my sister Petunia hated me. James wasn't in love with me. And, on top of some other annoying things, I kept getting owls from people I didn't even know (over the last year I seemed to have become popular, I guess, but I hadn't done anything to make people like me. Frankly, with the mood swings I went through, I'm surprised James, Sirius, Remus, and Peter-who became part of our group during second year-still liked me). The only good thing was that James and I had been elected prefects for Gryffindor house (don't ask how the ringleader of troublemakers got to be a prefect, my guess is as good as yours).

It was August thirtieth and I had to pack my things for Hogwarts, which I would need to be on the Hogwarts Express on September the first at eleven o'clock.

"Lily darling," I heard my mum call. "I've got breakfast ready. It's your favorite-Belgian Waffles with strawberries and powdered sugar."

"Thanks, Mum," I called back down the stairs.

"Mother, you know I don't like Belgian Waffles," I heard Petunia complain.

"Well, then you can have porridge," I heard my mother say, and not in the sweetest tone. I didn't want to admit it, but my mother favored me over Petty-but I kept telling myself it wasn't because I was a witch and my mother thought that that was the grandest thing in the world, but because I was easier to get along with and I had the same interest in things that my mother did, like cooking and knitting.

After breakfast, I sent an owl to Sirius to see if he was excited for school to start (I knew he wouldn't be, but that was just how I liked to get him hacked off). Then I sent an owl to Remus to see how his mother was doing. She got sick a lot and once or twice a month, Remus would go see her. I sent a short letter to say hi to Peter-of course, I didn't like him very much, he was always nervous and he sounded like a mouse squeaking when he talked. Then I sent a short, formal letter to James. Yeah, James was one of my best friends, but I wanted to send him a formal letter because I was still angry with him for going out with Britannia.

As soon as my owl, Ruffles, went out the window, I plaited my dark-red hair. I also applied makeup, but I never wear a lot, for I like more people to look at my eyes than my eyeliner.

"Mummy," I called down the stairs after I was finished getting ready.

"Yes, Lily."

"I need to go to Diagon Alley today to buy all my books and stuff."

"Oh, that might be a good idea. You should get new robes too, Doll, ones that bring out your figure more," she said, as I walked into the kitchen to sit down by her. She looked me up and down. "You certainly are getting hips and breasts."

"Mother!" I said, blushing.

"Well, you've developed late and I'm your mother, I can tell these things. I wonder why you developed late," Mum added thoughtfully.

"Because witches and wizards have a longer life span than Muggles, so they have more time to get things done?" I suggested.

"How long are we talking about?"

"Well, Everyone says that the former headmaster of Hogwarts was one hundred seventy-two when he passed away."

"My heavens," my mother said.

"Yeah, yeah. Well, can we go to Diagon Alley?"

"Sure," she said. "And go put on more makeup."

That was my mother - Mrs. Appearance. She always cared how Petty and I looked. She had us start wearing makeup when we were ten. Of course, she put it on us and we had no choice, really. She also always told us that beauty is everything.

I don't think so. I think the person on the inside makes the person on the outside. And sometimes you can be a stunningly pretty girl and have poison on the inside, or you could be uglier than sin and be the most beautiful on the inside.

I walked back up the stairs to my room, applied a little lip gloss to make my mother happy, grabbed my wand and headed back down the stairs so we could go to Diagon Alley.

When we arrived in the Leaky Cauldron, the old bartender, Tom, offered us a drink. He knew my parents were Muggles and had never met them before, since this was the first time my mother would be going to Diagon Alley with me.

"I'll have a...um...I don't know," Mum said.

"Two butterbeers," I said to Tom. He nodded and disappeared to get our drinks.

"A butter what?" Mum asked.

"Butterbeer. Don't worry, there's not enough alcohol in there to even get a flobberworm drunk."

"A flobberworm?"

"Here we are," Tom said, carrying a tray with two mugs of butterbeer.

"Thank you," I said. I noticed Mum sniffing the glass nervously. "Oh, Mum, just drink it," I said, taking a sip.

Mum took a sip and her face lit up.

"Mm, this is really good."

"I told you."

After we finished our drinks, we went behind the Leaky Cauldron. I tapped the brick that was two up and three to the right above the garbage can. The archway into Diagon Alley suddenly appeared and I heard my mother gasp. I grabbed her hand and pulled her through the archway and onto the street.

"That was amazing," she said.

"Yeah, I thought so too. But after five years, it's just normal, I guess. Where do you want to go first? We have to go to Gringotts to exchange money, then where?"

"The robe shop," she said as we headed towards the snow white building.

After we exchanged Muggle pounds for Galleons, Sickles, and Knuts, we walked to Madam Malkin's Robes For All Occasions.

A young witch at the counter was reading a magazine when we came in. I remembered seeing her last year at Hogwarts. She was a Hufflepuff and spent most of her time in the halls either kissing boys, yapping with her friends, or smacking her gum noisily.

"Is Madam Malkin in?" I asked her. Madam Malkin and I had become quite good friends, and I always chatted with her when I was in Diagon Alley.

"Um, like, I think she's in the backroom. Let me check." The girl went to the backroom and came back out with an elderly witch with graying hair.

"Madam Malkin," I said. "It's nice to see you again. I hope you're not too busy to fit me for my robes today."

"Lily, dear, I always have time for you. And who's this?" Madam Malkin said, eyeing my mother.

"This is my mother, Emalyn Evans. Mum, this is Madam Malkin."

"Well, it's certainly nice to finally meet you," Madam Malkin said. "I can see where Lily gets all her beauty."

My mother certainly took this as a compliment.

"Oh, you know, I'm sure she looks more like her father," Mum said.

"Well, dear," Madam Malkin turned to me. "Usual black Hogwarts robes?"

"I was thinking more of something that would show off her nice figure," my mother butted in.

"Oh, well, we do have some robes that I can have specially made for you, if you'd like. It'd only take a minute."

"Sure, why not?" I said.

Madam Malkin began measuring places she had never measured before. Around my hips. My bust line. And even from my chin to the middle of my chest.

"Got it," Madam Malkin said. She snapped her fingers, and a few black robes appeared.

They were beautiful black robes. They were soft cotton and when I tried one on, it really did hang and cling in all the right places.

I walked out of the dressing room and modeled the new robe for Mum and Madam Malkin. Mum was settling my robes over my curves and I was listening to Madam Malkin talk animatedly about her grandchildren when I heard a whistle.

"Look at the babe over there," said a male voice that I recognized right away.

I whirled around and saw Sirius, James, Remus, and Peter standing next to the counter.

"Hey guys!" I squealed. I walked over to them and hugged them and kissed them on their cheeks (yes, even Peter). "I've missed you."

"We've missed you too. We got your owls this morning and figured you might be going to the Alley today," said Sirius.

"How are you?" Peter squeaked. Did I tell you I couldn't stand his squeaky voice?

"I'm great," I said. "Guys, this is my mother, Emalyn Evans."

"Ah, yes, I remember meeting you four years ago," Sirius said. "It's good to see you again." Sirius bowed, my mother beamed.

"I'm James Potter," said James with a bow. I noticed his heart wasn't in it, for he was busy looking me up and down. I ignored his attention-for I was still upset and I wanted to stop thinking about him.

"Remus Lupin," said Remus, bowing also (they seemed to have remembered that I said my mother is old-fashioned and liked it when guys bow).

"Peter Pettigrew," said Peter. He caught on and quickly bowed.

"Ah, the troublemakers," said Madam Malkin. "Who have we been terrorizing today?"

"No one at all," said Sirius with a smile. "We are actually here to get new robes. Right James?" Sirius must have noticed that James was still staring at me, and elbowed him in the ribs.

"Ow! Oh, yeah. We've grown right out of our robes," James said, massaging his ribs.

"Well," I said, "I'm going to go change back into my clothes and we're off to Flourish and Blotts. Now you can have Madam Malkin's undivided attention."

As I changed into my Muggle clothing, I thought about how James was staring at me. Was he looking at me in a new light or was he just being a normal fifteen-year-old boy? I hoped it was just his hormones, because if it wasn't, it would be very hard to date other guys.

I paid for my robes and left Madam Malkin's after saying goodbye to them all.

"Darling," Mum said. Oh no, I thought. I knew that when my mother called me darling in that tone of voice, she was either talking about romance or beautifying something. I had a feeling she was going to talk about my love life.

"Yes, Mum?"

"That Sirius Black is such a gentleman. He is rather good looking too," she looked at me expectantly. I knew she wanted to hear me say that I liked him.

"Yes, he is. I really like him," I said. My mother's eyes widened with pleasure. "As a brother, I mean. He is always coddling me and trying to protect me."

"Well, who do you like?" she pressed on. "Remus seemed really nice."

"Yes, I really like Remus too. But he's too secretive. I'm sure he has a lot on his mind because his mother gets sick a lot and he looks sick all the time too."

"It can't be Peter," my mother said.

"I don't really like Peter that much, but, I put up with him and I hug and kiss him so he doesn't feel left out."

"It's that James Potter, isn't it?"

I blushed.

"Well, he doesn't like me, so I've decided to give up on him."

"He doesn't like you? The way he was looking at you begs to differ. Actually, I didn't like the way the way he was looking at you."

"I've liked him for the past four years and he didn't ever like me back. I've decided that there are probably other really great guys at Hogwarts and I'm missing action. You know, the past three years, a lot guys have asked me out. I keep telling them no because I want James, but I can't keep getting hurt by James. I'm giving up."

"Oh no you don't," Mum said in a stern tone. "You are my daughter and you're not giving up. Why do you think that I want you and Petunia to be beautiful all the time? So you can have any choice of guys you want. I picked your father over-"

"Three guys, I know, you said so before. That has nothing to do with this. James is such a great guy. He makes me laugh, he gives me a shoulder to cry on, and I can tell him anything."

"Don't give up, but, maybe, don't try to get his attention. Actually, I never told you or Petunia this, but your father never wanted me either. And when we were in our sixth year at our school, I decided to give up too. I dated other guys, and I didn't think of him anymore. Then one day, he just opened up and said that he liked me. Of course, I still had feelings for him deep down, so I started dating him. Look where we are now, we have two beautiful daughters. Think about it, Lily. You do what is best for you. Do you think it is healthy to pine over James? If he doesn't love you back, then he's not worth your thoughts of your time."

The rest of the trip to Diagon Alley was pretty much silent. My mother knew I was thinking about James and about what she had said.

September the first came. I was once again at Platform 9 ¾ on the Hogwarts Express looking for James, Sirius, and Remus (I didn't care about Peter). I found Sirius sitting in an empty compartment. I kissed him on the cheek after he helped me stow my trunk and Ruffles' cage.

"I would have thought you would sit up front with the other prefects," Sirius said.

"And leave you three to be unruly?" I said. "I don't think so. Why doesn't James sit up with the prefects either??"

"Too much pompous bigheads thinking they can control everybody's actions."

"Where are he and Remus?"

"Remus's mother is sick again and he couldn't leave her. Since he's an only child and she was a single mother for so long, he feels he has a duty to stay with her."

"That's so sweet," I commented.

"James is probably snogging with that bimbo Britannia Watson."

"That certainly wasn't nice-true, but not nice," I said. We laughed.

James came into the compartment and sat down.

"Well, well, well," Sirius said with a smile. "Where's Britannia?"

"Britannia? Why are you bringing her up?" James asked in a slightly breathless tone.

"Hmm, I wonder what you've been doing with her?" Sirius said again. I felt like I had ice in my stomach. I opened a copy of Witch Weekly and read to take my mind off of the heartache.

"Actually, we were talking about Lily," said James with a sophisticated smile on his face. I looked up from my magazine.

"Me?" I said. "Why were you talking about me?"

"Well," James said, "rumor has it that you're on the top five list of who the male student body wants to date."

"There's a list?" I asked. "I thought that was something only American Muggle teenagers did."

"Of course there's a list, and you're on it."

"That's crazy. Why would I be on the top five list? I haven't dated anyone from school, so how could anyone like me in that way?"

"Men want what they can't have, or so Britannia says, and you've turned down every single guy that has asked you out. Unless there's something you want to tell us, why didn't you accept?"

"First of all, James Alan Potter," I said. I liked to use his full name when he started pissing me off, so then he would have a fair warning of when he was about to cross the line, "I am not a lesbian. Not me, not ever. That's fine if you like 'em, whatever floats your boat, but I don't have a tendency towards women."

Sirius and James's eyes were wide.

"You were right, Sirius," said James, "after four years we have managed to corrupt her mind."

"Corrupt me? Ha! You haven't corrupted me."

"I've never heard you say things like that," said Sirius. "I mean, I suppose there is a logical explanation. It's not that time of the month is it?" Sirius had a cheesy grin on his face.

"Don't start with me, Sirius, dear," I said, and I turned back to my magazine.

The truth was, I was still upset with James, but I was more upset that it was noticeable that I was avoiding dating and that I was on a top five list. I know those were really ridiculous reasons for being cranky, but it was how I could let my feelings out.

"Where's Peter?" I asked, looking up again after I was over my silent tizzy fit.

"He's hanging out with some Ravenclaws," Sirius said.

"I'm going to go find that boy," James said. He got up and left the compartment. Sirius and I were alone.

"Lils, what was that all about?" Sirius asked.

"What was what?"

"You know what. You have never been that cranky before. I understand that people go through their moments, but what is yours all about?"

I looked at Sirius's handsome face. He had deep dark eyes that you could get lost in forever and a lopsided smile he flashed when he was teasing someone. This time, there was no lopsided smile on his face and his eyes were full of knowing.

"Nothing really," I said. "Just something stupid."

"Care to talk about it? I'll post a sign on the door that says to keep out."

"Then everyone will be going around talking about how Sirius Black and Lily Evans got it on in a train compartment, because that's what those signs practically mean," I said with a wry smile. He flashed his lopsided grin.

"And that's a bad thing?" he said. I giggled. His face became serious once more. "Let me guess, it's Britannia, right?"

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