Disc.: If you think I created the characters, send me a dollar! Or a cookie. LOL.

September Eve

Lily looked at her brothers frowning. She had her hands on her hips, looking like a childish version of Grandmother Weasley. James, thirteen, and Albus, twelve, were laughing hard as she stood in stocking feet and half dressed. They were holding hostage her shoes, high above her head while she stood there, her tee shirt and shorts.

"I'm telling Mum if you don't give me back my shoes," Lily whined.

"You're not going to get them back until you tell us where she hid our stuff," James smirked as he held her right shoe.

"I don't know!" Lily said. She kicked his shin, her foot doing no damage.

"I swear," Ginny snapped as she entered the room. "I'll box your ears if you two don't leave your sister be. Come along, Lily, get your shoes on so that I can help you with your hair."

Lily jerked her shoes on her feet, sticking her tongue out at the two older brothers of hers as she skipped out of the room to join her mother in the kitchen. Lily sat down in one of the chairs as her mother started to braid her hair into two perfect braids. She grinned at her father as he passed by, his arms full of miscellaneous laundry he had found throughout the house.

"I swear, I don't see how the boys manage not to cost us a fortune in replacement of their school stuff, "Harry said as he dumped it on the edge of the table. He stopped and watched his wife and daughter. James had turned out to look a lot like Ginny, Albus looked just like Harry, but it was Lily who looked like a perfect blend of the two. He grinned as Ginny looked up at him.

"I swear, this is the last time I'm doing her hair," Ginny said sheepishly. "I just hate that I'm never home and now she's going to go off and be at school."

"No need to explain," Harry laughed. He knew how she felt about their youngest heading off that year. It was going to be odd not having at least one child under foot all of the time. Not that Ginny would know consistently. She had been gone on and off much of the time, playing Quidditch. At one point, they had struggled in their marriage but thankfully had worked through it.

"I swear to God Ron, if you don't quit I am going to send you to your mother," Hermione said shaking her head as the two entered through the kitchen. Ginny hid her laugh under the guise of having to stoop down to pick up a hair tie for Lily.

"I just think you should consider it," Ron said as he followed. He waved a little wave to his sister and brother-in-law as he headed straight to the refrigerator.

"Ginny, explain to your brother how uncomfortable pregnancy is!" Hermione said exasperatedly.

"Uh-oh," Ginny groaned. "Lily, why don't you go on and check to see if your brothers have cleaned their room properly. Go along with her, kids."

Rose and Hugo followed quickly, their cheeks blazing. Ron had wanted more children; Hermione had embraced her career at the Ministry. It was something that had been a constant battle between the two and everyone had heard the discussion a million times. Ron was never going to win, but still he continued.

"So, did Rose and Hugo get their letters?" Harry interjected as Hermione looked as if she was reaching for her wand.

"This morning," Hermione said distractedly looking at him.

"Do you need me to take them all to Diagon Ally?" Harry offered. He knew that of the four of them, he was the one who could get off of work easiest.

"Oh, would you mind?" Hermione asked brightly. "I mean, I know how much you do for us, but I do really hate to think of waiting to the last minute and panicking."

"I can take them," Ron snapped. He sprayed the counter with the chocolate cake he had been eating.

"Please tell me that is not Lily's cake," Hermione gasped, realizing Ron was eating some cake that he'd not asked to eat.

"Oh, no. I've not made it yet," Ginny said grinning. "With her birthday not being until the day before they leave for school, I've not really been in a rush."

"What she means is you're waiting for Mum to offer," Ron snorted. "And thank God because this cake is awful."

"Hey, I made that," Harry exclaimed.

"Didn't stop you from eating it, Ronald," Hermione said crossing her arms. "You're going to eat yourself into obesity."

"Quit nagging," Ron said quickly. Hermione's eyes took on a look of intense anger.

"So, what time should I pick up Rose and Hugo tomorrow?" Harry asked.

"How's noon?" Ron offered.

"Sounds like a plan," Harry said as he nodded to the women. "Ron, will you help me out in the garage?"

"What? Oh, yeah, sure," Ron said as he put the plate in the sink and followed the other man out into the garage. The two hung out in the garage a bit, talking.

"You know, she's never going to agree to another baby, Ron," Harry told him. Ron sighed and nodded.

"The thing is, I want another kid," Ron muttered. "Mum and Dad had seven of us and it's really just too quiet at home. You'll see this year when Lily's off at school. The silence is deafening."

Lily swung her feet nervously as she listened to the others talk about what they were going to do at Hogwarts when they returned. James and Rose were going on and on about this year being the first year that they were allowed to go to Hogsmead. Hugo and Albus hung on their every word, knowing that they'd be given their permission the following year. Lily listened carefully, trying to pick up on any knowledge that would give her the heads up on her first year.

"We were worried Lily wouldn't get her letter," James teased as he played with a ping pong ball. His mother and father had refused to allow him to toss about a snitch, though he was seeker of the Gryffindor team. His parents never told him why it annoyed them so much, especially with both parents being so big into Quidditch.

"Wondered if she was a squib," Albus teased. Lily stuck her tongue out at them as Hugo and Rose laughed.

"I am not a squib," Lily declared. "And when I get my own wand I'll prove it."

"Will you now?" James smirked.

"I'll blast your stupid ping pong ball into a million pieces!" Lily said jumping up.

"Well, I guess the sorting hat will decide it during the sorting trials, ultimately," James said lazily as he tossed the ball up in the air and caught it deftly.

"S-sorting trials?" Lily asked as she looked at the four of them worriedly. Rose hid behind a book while the boys nodded.

"Oh, didn't you know?" Hugo tossed at her casually. "God, if you were my little sister, I would have warned you."

"Maybe we shouldn't tell her," Albus said with mock concern. "I'd hate to make her nervous."

"No, tell me!" Lily begged.

"Oh, Lily, it's awful," James said shaking his head with a dark look on his face. "They make sure that you can do spells and stuff."

"B-but," Lily said quietly. "I don't know any spells."

"I'm sure they'll go easy on you," Albus said quietly. He glanced at James. "That is, if you're nice to us. We can explain it to them for you and maybe even teach you a little."

"Yeah, but first," James said yawning. "I could really go for some of those cookies Grandma Weasley sent over."

"She sent you cookies, too?" Hugo said shrugging. "Here I was thinking we were special."

"Mum and Dad said that those cookies aren't supposed to be eaten before dinner," Lily whined.

"If you don't want our help," Albus said shrugging. Lily jumped up off the bed shaking her head.

"No, I'm going," Lily sighed as she left the room. Rose snapped the book down and shot James a look.

"You guys are terrible!" Rose hissed at them. James grinned.

"Hey, you can get in on it," James said. Rose shook her head.

"Huh-uh, no way. I don't want my hands on this when it blows up in your faces," Rose said. Hugo shot her a look.

"Goodie-two-shoes," Hugo teased, prompting Rose to punch his arm hard. He made a face and rubbed his arm. "No fair, you're older."

"Oh, and like you guys aren't older than Lily?" Rose smirked as she punched him again for good measure.

Lily hesitated in the doorway of the kitchen, watching her mother and aunt sitting at the table sharing a pot of tea together. Lily wondered if she should just sneak in and snatch the cookies undetected. It would have been easier if she had their cloak, but James and Albus never let her play with it. Plus, with her mother's sixth sense, the woman could always tell when they were using it and usually got on to the boys for being so sneaky.

"Lily, quit lurking in the doorway," Ginny said without turning to look at her youngest daughter. The auburn haired girl slipped silently into the kitchen and walked towards her mother.

"How'd you know I was there?" Lily asked curiously. Ginny turned and grinned at her blue eyed daughter, pointing at the mirror on the wall that showed a perfect view of the hallway. Lily blushed.

"What do you need?" Ginny asked her gently.

"Cookies," Lily said rolling her eyes. "The brothers sent me down here to get cookies."

"Those cookies are for after dinner," Ginny reminded her. Lily nodded.

"I know, but they said they'd not help me ready for the sorting trials if I didn't get them," Lily whined. Ginny cringed, not liking the whining tone that her daughter sometimes took.

"Lily, don't whine," Ginny chided.

"Sorry, Mum," Lily said quickly.

"Lily, your brothers are teasing you," Hermione assured her. "There's no sorting trial or anything. You'll line up with the other first years, sit on the stool, and then the Sorting Hat will be placed on your head. It will tell you where you belong."

"Sounds fairly simple," Lily said as she allowed a smile to shine through her previously worried and cloudy face.

"It is," Ginny said sipping her tea. "You shouldn't let them get to you. Having six brothers, all older, I got my fair share of misinformation."

"James and Albus are ten times more misinforming than Uncle Ron ever could be!" Lily exclaimed. The two women laughed.

"Uncle Ron was only misinforming because he was terribly misinformed by Uncle Fred and Uncle George growing up," Ginny grinned.

"So, that's it then? A hat?" Lily confirmed. The women both nodded. "And the hat, is it ever wrong?"

"Er, well, no," Hermione said slowly. "It ultimately puts you where you belong, even if you don't realize it at the moment. Heck, it wanted to put me in Ravenclaw, but it knew I was a Gryffindor through and through."

"You'll do fine," Ginny assured her as the men returned from the garage.

"What will she do fine with?" Harry asked curiously as he looked at his youngest offspring.

"The sorting," Ginny answered.

"Have your brothers started trying to mess with your head?" Ron asked knowingly. "George and Fred were downright evil about it with me. You never could trust half of what they said. Hell, you can't trust half of what George says now. Always the prankster."

"Speaking of pranksters," Hermione said. "It's awfully quiet upstairs. I hope Albus and Hugo aren't up to their plotting ways again. I swear if I got another letter from McGonagall last year, I would have hauled them both home by their ears."

"It's all in good fun," Ron said receiving a glare from his wife. "C'mon Hermione. You have to admit some of the stuff they came up was ingenious."

"They'd be better suited spending that energy focusing on their marks," Hermione said.

"After all, OWL's are just three years away for them," the other three adults finished for her jokingly. The four adults laughed as if it was some funny joke and Lily rolled her eyes, backing out of the kitchen slowly.

Lily ran up the stairs to the bedrooms and burst into the room like an explosion. The boys looked up, smirking, while Rose buried herself deeper in her book. Lily looked at them defiantly as she walked over to James, punching him as hard as she could in the arm. Repeating the same action to Hugo and Albus before either boy realized what she was doing.

"You lied to me! There's no such thing as a sorting trial!" Lily shrieked at them. "Mum and Aunt Hermione just told me. You guys are so mean!"

"Ouch, Lily," James said frowning and rubbing his arm. "I don't understand why you have to hit so hard."

"Because I have nitwits for brothers," Lily said. She turned and looked at Rose, her hands on her hips. "And you, Rose, you knew and didn't say anything!"

"Hey," Rose defended. "I am not about to get in between you and your brothers."

"Some cousin you are," Lily said pouting as she crossed her arms and plopped down on the bed.

"Don't be like that," James said shaking his head. "It was all in good fun."

"I'll get you back," Lily threatened. The boys laughed and ignored once again the small girl whose eleventh birthday was creeping closer, the eve of September first.

"Ok, everyone here?" Harry asked as he quickly counted the varying shades of red and raven haired munchkins in his care. Five very annoyed looking preteen and teenagers looked at him, hating having been shuttled around Diagon Ally like a bunch of sheep.

"Dad, we Rose and I can go and get the books," James suggested. "I bet Lily's itching to get her wand and you know how Ollivander gets nervous when there's a large crowd."

"Hm," Harry contemplated before handing over the lists. "The four of you stick together while Lily and I go get her wand. We'll be along shortly."

Lily grabbed her father's hand and practically dragged the poor man down the street to the subdued looking wander maker's shop. The bell chimed as the two entered the dusty little shop. An ancient looking wizard hobbled slowly, adjusting his wire rimmed glasses.

"Harry Potter!" the man cheered, startling Lily. His eyes went from the older wizard to Lily's little face. "This must be little Lily Potter. Eleven already and ready for Hogwarts?"

"I will be before school starts," Lily said proudly holding up her acceptance letter.

"We're in the market for her wand," Harry said to the kind-eyed man. Ollivander nodded and started digging around.

"I remember when you first came in here for your wand, Harry, as if it was yesterday," Ollivander said. Lily tried to stay interested as Mr. Ollivander broke into a long winded story about wands but excitement of getting her own wand overshadowed the desire to hear about anything else. Harry checked his watch as Lily started on her third dozen failed attempts.

"The wand chooses the witch, Daddy," Lily reminded him.

"Too right, missy," Ollivander said. He picked up a box and handed it to Lily. He smiled at her and nodded. "I think this will be the one."

Hesitantly, Lily opened the box and pulled out the rather small wand. It was eight and a quarter inches long, cherry wood, with a unicorn core. Immediately, it warmed in her hand and Lily's face brightened. Harry smiled, knowing all too well that feeling. He remembered the day his wand chose him, as if it was just yesterday.

"Now, its brother isn't owned by some evil witch or wizard that we know of, is it?" Harry asked hesitantly. Ollivander grinned and shook his head.

"To my knowledge, no," Ollivander assured him. "It's a good size wand for someone as petite as Lily."

"I'll grow," Lily defended. Harry rolled his eyes.

"Let's go find your brothers," Harry said as he paid for the wand. Lily reluctantly placed it back in its box, knowing that she couldn't do magic until she was of the age of majority. Lily and Harry headed back toward Flourish and Blots to look for the other and to finish up the school shopping. Harry was thankful they'd done the clothes shopping first because he was ready to kill James and Albus when he found them not at the book store.

"Rose, keep an eye on Lily while I head down to George's store and find those knuckleheads," Harry said sighing. Rose nodded, never looking up from her book. Bored, Lily wandered around the dusty book store, wondering why dust and magic seemed to go together. She bumped into someone, falling back.

"A Weasley?" a cold, quiet voice spoke. Lily glanced up to see a pale, blond boy with the palest eyes sneering down at her. Lily shook her head.

"I'm a Potter," Lily said as the boy's father stepped beside him. Neither the man nor the boy moved to help her up.

"Scorpius, what's going on here?" Draco asked quietly.

"Nothing," Scorpius said. "She just ran into me."

"Malfoy," Harry said as he stepped behind his daughter.

"Ah, Potter," Draco said. "I've just met your youngest. She is your youngest, is she not?"

"Lily, go join your brothers," Harry said. Lily opened her mouth to protest but the stern look from her father sent her scuttling towards the others, all who had seemed to have halted their misbehavior to watch them.

"Scorpius, go wait with your mother," Draco said calmly. Lily stood on her tip-toes to watch as the two men talked in low tones. Harry jerked his head and walked away without another word and the kids tried to gage what the scowl on his face meant.

The kids had never been happier to be home than that moment. Harry was in a foul mood and the kids knew it. Without complaining, each of the kids headed away from the kitchen with their school belongings and stayed out of sight. They didn't dare make a peep, not that Harry would be angry or violent, but they knew it took a lot to get him riled up like Mr. Malfoy obviously had.

By dinner, things were calm and Harry was back to his old, joking self. The kids collectively breathed a sigh of relief and eased up. Whatever it was, Harry seemed to be over it. Lily looked at her father, still concerned that he had been so obviously upset.

"Lily?" her mother's voice interrupted her thoughts. Lily jerked and looked at her, startled. Her brothers laughed.

"Yes, ma'am?" Lily replied.

"Aunt Hermione was just asking if you looked forward to your birthday party next Sunday," Ginny said. Lily grinned.

"Yes! I can't wait to turn eleven," Lily said brightly. "And the best part? I get to go to HOGWARTS the next day."

"Ugh! School!" the boys groaned. They looked at Rose with contempt who shared the same excitement about going to school as Lily was voicing.

"Trust me," Rose said. "Her excitement is all her."

Lily hadn't slept the night before her birthday; instead she spent the night packing and unpacking her truck in utter excitement. She knew that her birthday arriving meant that she was only that much closer to the heading off to Hogwarts. It was all she could do to keep from running into her parents' bedroom at midnight.

Though she was not a bookworm like her cousin Rose, Lily had already devoured her text books. She loved magic and all things magical. It was one of the many reasons that she adored going to her grandmother's house. Mrs. Weasley had a completely magical house. Even though her grandfather adored muggles, the house part was one-hundred percent magical.

Lily hesitated as she went to unpack her trunk again. She listened to the familiar sounds of her father heading downstairs to the kitchen to start up the coffee and her brothers already bickering about who'd get to kitchen first. She grinned and jumped out in front of her brothers and beat them ever so slightly to the kitchen. James ruffled his hair to look messier and Albus rolled his eyes before snatching James' ping pong ball.

"You only one because we let you," James told her as he tugged on one of her braids. He laughed. "Happy birthday little sister."

Lily grinned. She was eleven years old! Excitement threatened to spill over most of the morning and she could hardly sit still in the living room while her mother and father debated the best way to travel to the Borough.

"Floo is too dirty," Ginny said shaking her head.

"Flying?" Harry suggested hopefully. Ginny shot him a look.

"Think again," Ginny said. Harry rolled his eyes.

"Alright, I'll apparate with Albus and Lily," Harry said. "You take James."

Within seconds, the five of them were heading up the path to the Burroughs. The Elder Mrs. Weasley was already at the back door, her arms spread wide open. Lily, James, and Albus broke free and raced towards their grandmother. One minute they were neck and neck, the next Lily was face down in the dusty path crying. James and Albus looked back at her, slowing to a stop. They headed back to see she had tripped over nothing.

"Oh, honey," Grandmother Weasley said brushing the dirt from the girl's dress. "You're filthy."

"I swear, she's so clumsy," Albus whispered to James, causing his parents to glare at him. Lily punched him in the face.

"Lily!" the adults exclaimed.

"He TRIPPED me!" Lily shrieked. She dove to hit him again but Harry held her back. The commotion outside brought the whole family outside in droves and they stared as Harry struggled to hold his daughter back. Lily, despite her small size, had a strength that rivaled her brothers in strength.

"Al's bleeding," Ginny said as she conjured up a rag and held it to his face.

Once everything calmed down and quieted down, the kids were forced to apologize. Lily begrudgingly apologized for punching Albus in the face and he said he was sorry he accidentally tripped her. Lily glared at him a bit more before she spent the rest of the time being center stage of the family, celebrating her birthday with her entire family surrounding her.