Sixth Year.

The steam was beginning to clear up; it was time for Lily to leave the station. She hugged Marlene and Mary tightly; for she wouldn't be seeing either of them until the end of the summer holidays. She was striding back towards her smiling parents when she passed Remus and his friends.

"Remus! Have a good summer… Write to me!" she yelled, and he gave her a thumbs up and waved. She smiled at Peter, who was cowering slightly behind his trunk, as if scared she might see him. He grinned back timidly.

"Hey! Evans!" roared James Potter. Lily rolled her eyes impatiently and turned back to face him.

"Yes?"

"Have a good summer." And he turned back towards his friends, not looking back once. Lily walked on towards her parents, frowning slightly. It wasn't like Potter to say something so simply. Usually he would add a flirty wink, or tell her that the holidays would be agonizing without her in that slightly mocking (or so Lily thought) voice. But he had been acting out of character the past few months… Before Lily could contemplate further, though, her father engulfed her in a bear hug as her mother beamed from behind him.

"Oh Lily, I've missed you! There's so much going on… Petunia has a boyfriend…" Her mother launched off on a conversation that lasted all the way home and Lily forgot all about Potter's strange behaviour.

The summer holiday was all sunshine and drowsy afternoons in the park. She avoided the park near Spinner's End, which was frequented by Severus, hoping she would return to their old haunts, and instead enjoyed a private, leafy little park she had discovered the previous summer. She wrote to Mary and Marlene almost daily, and kept up correspondence with Alice and Remus, too. She wrote to Peter once, and if she was honest it was out of pity, because once she had heard him say that he received no owls over the summer. His answer comprised mainly of the events of one single day he had spent with Potter, and how exciting it had all been. Lily found herself scratching 'To James' on a parchment the next evening… But she didn't really know what to say. He had told her to have a good summer and she felt obliged to write a friendly letter… but the words just wouldn't come. And anyway, at least twenty other people had told her to have a good summer, and she wasn't writing to them, was she?

Petunia's boyfriend was the most dreadful specimen. Gluttonous and unadventurous and everything she detested in a male. Petunia was considerably less sour, though, and she almost smiled at Lily one morning before she caught herself and awkwardly excused herself to go to the bathroom.

A week before school started up, an owl from Hogwarts arrived. She was ecstatic to find that she had been named Head Girl and found herself glancing at the shiny little badge on her bedside table every night as she drifted off to sleep. She had worked so hard to do as well as she had, and suddenly everything was falling into place. She hoped Remus would be Head Boy. He was so responsible and sensitive and he deserved it. And they worked well as a team. She was counting down the hours until Hogwarts started up again… She couldn't wait for her final year – it was going to be the time of her life.