From the Moment We Met...
Lily Evans POV:
I always loved the 1 September. I loved the train station; I loved the transition from the Muggle world to the Magical one on Platform Nine and three-quarters. I loved the train ride there. Most of all, I loved Hogwarts. My parents had dropped me off at the main door, not wanting to park the car; not wanting to make Petunia more upset than she already was. I was fine; I could make it to the train on my own. I was in my fourth year after all. Ahead of me, I could see James Potter, if he didn't make me so angry, he would actually be quite dashing. When he got together with his stupid friends, FRIEND - Sirius Black - they made my blood boil.
Boys I thought, as I rolled my eyes and made my way toward the arch between platforms nine and ten, and then I saw her. She was the littlest girl that I had ever laid eyes on. She couldn't stand more than four and a half feet tall with short brown hair and green eyes as big as saucers. She looked so scared, so small and so obviously lost, I knew that she must be a first year, Muggle born by the way she looked confused and bemused. I approached her slowly, and touched her on the shoulder.
"Can I help you? Are you trying to find the platform to Hogwarts?" I asked.
"Yes, but it doesn't seem to be here, and my parents left and ..." The little girl answered, tears spilling from her cavernous eyes.
"Oh, sweetheart, it's okay. You don't have to cry. Come on, I will show you how to get there. I'm Lily. Lily Evans, fourth year, Gryffindor. What's your name?" I asked her, putting my arm around her shoulder.
"Anwen" she sniffled "Anwen Llyn Hodgson."
"Anwen, that is a beautiful name. Where are you from?" I asked her.
"Wales," she answered meekly, trying to get her tears under control.
"Do you come from a magical family?" I thought that I knew the answer already, but I didn't want to presume anything.
"No. I only learned about all of this a few months ago. My parents weren't very happy..." and with that fresh tears started rolling down her cheeks again.
"Alright, it's very simple, we are going to run right at that wall there, and then we will sink through it. Trust me, it will be okay. Do you want me to go first, or you?" I asked her, still rubbing her shoulder, her head resting on my chest.
"You go, and then I will do what you do," she said, looking up at me with the faintest smile on her face.
"I'll be waiting on the other side, and I promise that it will be okay," I replied and flung myself through the wall.
Once on the other side, I pulled off to the side, and waited. A moment later, Anwen, and her full trolley came bursting through. A huge smile engulfed her small face when she saw me, and realized that she had done it right. We stood together in front of the Hogwarts Express, gleaming in the morning sun.
"Let's get you and your things onto the train," I said to her, smiling.
"Okay," she beamed back.
Through the steam I could see a face coming towards me. It was sweet, gentle, and warm in the way his eyes met mine. This was the person that I needed to introduce sweet Anwen to. He would make her feel welcome.
"Hi Remus, did you have a good summer?" I asked him and he nodded at me.
"It was a very enjoyable holiday. I hope yours was the same?" he asked me politely. Wish that he would give some lessons to James about being a gentleman.
"It was, thanks for asking. Remus, this is Anwen. She is a first year, and Muggle born. Would you mind helping us get her things onto the train? I think her trunk is as big as she is," I gave a slight laugh and a warm smile. Remus was my favorite of all the Marauder's. He was kind and gentle, even if he hung out with those other stupid boys.
"Anwen it is my pleasure. May I please help you aboard?" Remus smiled at her with a warm smile that glowed in his eyes.
"Yes, thank you," she replied, blushing and looking down at the floor.
We got onto the train, I found my friends in a compartment, and Remus helped us put our things away. I watched him as he tried to get up the courage to say more than 'hi' to Eva, and then turn and walk away instead. Honestly, they both like each other, what's it going to take, locking them in a classroom to get them to talk? Eva and I were fast friends, ever since our first ride to Hogwarts our first year. It didn't matter to me that she was a Hufflepuff, she was a loyal and trustworthy friend.
I insisted that Anwen stay with us. She sat quietly on the bench, politely answering questions when we asked her, but saying little else. She was a little shy, and obviously truly unaware of how the Magical world worked. I remembered when I first arrived at Hogwarts and how lost I felt. I was going to make sure that Anwen felt better about her first days here. She would become my project. She sat quietly looking out the window for much of the ride. After a few hours, the door to our compartment opened, and there stood the James, Remus and Sirius Black. I saw a small head bopping behind them, it must be Peter, but I really couldn't see him. James had that ridiculous smile on his face, Sirius' face was full of swagger and Remus smiled gently. I let a slow breath escape waiting for one of them to speak.
"So Lily, how was your summer?" James asked.
"Pest free," I replied dripping with sarcasm.
Sirius laughed his great bark like guffaw. "She got you there James. Your wit my lady, is beyond compare!" Sirius grinned back at me, with his most devilish smile.
"Hey, stop flirting with her, you know that she loves me!" James said, slapping Sirius in the chest.
"James, she only loves you, because she knows that she can't have me," Sirius replied, flashing his mischievous smile at me again.
"I'll have neither of you," I replied, watching them carry on like cads.
With that, we all heard it. A slight, bell like sound. I looked around the compartment, and then I realized that the sound was coming from Anwen. She was laughing, glee in her eyes.
"Boys, did your mother's never tell you, that you attract so much more with honey than with vinegar?" she said. I was staring at her, smiling, giggling, and chastising the most famous playboys at the school. This girl would be fine, she had spunk.
"Anwen, don't encourage them. You will never shake free of them!" I scolded her, still amazed that it was in this way that she chose to come out of her shell. A sly smile escaped her lips, and she again hid her face.
"Who is this?" James said, perplexed, not sure what to make of the little girl who had just shut him down.
"This is Anwen Hodgson," I answered. "First year."
"James Potter," James said pointing at himself. "This is Sirius Black," he said, slapping Sirius on the back, "and this is Remus Lupin," he said pointing at Remus, "and back there, that's Peter Pettigrew," Peter jumped again. What exactly does James see in him? He's like a love-struck puppy.
"I have already had the pleasure of Miss Hodgson's acquaintance," Remus replied
"Boys, I do believe that it is time for you to move on, we need to be getting into our robes, and ready to disembark at Hogsmeade. Goodbye." I rose, shoved them out of the door, and closed it quickly. I turned to face Anwen.
"Do not, under any circumstances, make friends with James or Sirius. They are a handful, and you are much too young," I jokingly warned her, but only partially so. They really were a handful, and she seemed so little, no matter how capable she just proved herself.
We changed into our robes, and I helped Anwen get off the train, and get over to Hagrid. She stared at the large man, again with fear in her eyes. She looked even smaller standing next to him. I told her I would see her inside, part of me sure that she would be sorted into Gryffindor. Anyone who could stand up to James and Sirius moments after meeting them, belonged in the house of the brave. I was proved right. Once she was sorted, I made room for her to come and sit next to me at the table. Remus was sitting across from her and she would meekly smile at him during dinner. He looked at her with a sort of reverence. I helped her find the prefects after dinner, and she followed them out. She even looked small among the first years.
Sirius Black POV:
There she was again. I watched her as she filed in with the rest of the first years. My gosh, she is tiny. I think I could lift her with one hand. Her trunk must weigh more than she did. How does she move with such grace? She doesn't walk, she floats. When they called her name, I watched her have to climb the stool to get to the top. The hat fell over her eyes, but it immediately sorted her into my house. I watched as she bounced over, smiling, to sit next to Lily. She was, oh what the word, intriguing. So tiny, but there was something there underneath it all. There was moxie. Wait, did Remus just smile at her? Why would he do that? No, Remus was smiling at Lily, not at Anwen. She was way too young! What am I doing? I don't even know this girl, and she is only slightly older than a child, and yet...stop it Sirius. She doesn't need you to protect her, least of all from Remus. He may be a werewolf, but he is the meekest person on the planet. Still, there is something about her. Why do I want to protect her?
We all filed upstairs to our rooms, and started to unpack. After fun with my best friends, we decided to settle in for the night. I lay in bed, making a mental list of the girls that I wanted to get to know better this year, but that darn Anwen girl kept slipping into my head. She's a darned first year Sirius. Stop it. You can have any girl that you want in the school, but not a first year. The room was overtaken with snoring, but I lay awake. Girls left my mind, and my Father decided to lumber in. My most recent battle with my parents about, well, everything, was replaying in my head and I couldn't make it stop. I flopped in the bed for a while, and when it became evident that sleep wasn't in the cards I got up. I went downstairs, the common room was better for brooding anyway. As I made my way down the stairs, I couldn't see anyone there. Good, I don't have to make idle conversation. I can just sit here and think. Then, I saw her. On the couch closest to the fireplace, there was a small ball of a girl. Her head on her knees, shaking even though she had a blanket wrapped around her. Honestly, she looked no bigger than a quaffle all rolled up the way she was.
"Anwen?" I said quietly. She lifted her head, her face was streaked with tears and her lips were quivering as her body shook with tears. She didn't say anything, she just laid her head down on her knees again, still sobbing. I walked over to the couch, and sat down. "Anwen, what's wrong?"
"I just don't think I belong here," she sobbed. She looked so broken. I put my arm around her and pulled her to me. Someone needed to comfort her, and I was here. She felt as small as she looked. "What would make you say something like that?" I asked her, rubbing her shoulder with my hand.
"We were upstairs, and all the girls were talking about things, and I didn't know anything that they were saying. I didn't even know that there was a magical world until Dumbledore showed up after my birthday. And I feel behind already, and I know that my parents are angry about my being here and oh..." and with that, she started crying harder. Her little body collapsed into mine, her bent knees next to my chest and her tiny face buried in my upper arm. Clearly, she needed protecting, I guess I was right. I tried to calm her, waiting until her tears had subsided enough before I spoke again.
"Are you okay?" I asked her, tentatively.
"Yes,. Oh my gosh, I am so sorry, look what I did to your shirt. I didn't mean to get you all wet like that, and now you have to go to bed with a wet shirt, and then your sheets will get all wet and mold will start to grow in them when you make your bed in the morning and it will start to smell and I am so sorry, you must think that I am some crazy girl..."
"Stop," I laughed at her. "Do you stop to breathe?"
"Yes," she nodded her head at me, looking perplexed, then mortified. "I should be going, I am really so sorry for all of this and I really must be going..." Anwen was trying to get up, but she was tangled up in the blanket so much that she just fell over onto the couch.
"Sit down before you hurt yourself." She obeyed, looking at the floor the whole time. "You didn't do anything, and you have nothing to be sorry for. Why don't you sit here and tell me what has you so scared, and I will see if I can help you? I know quite a few useful things about this place."
"I've heard that about you. Your reputation precedes you," she said with a crooked half smile on her face.
"Lily Evans," I said as I blew out my breath. I had no idea why, but Lily definitely didn't like me. "What exactly did she say?"
"That I would be wise to keep my distance," she stopped to think about something. "But I think that I will make my own decisions, thank you very much!" She put her little hands on her hips, and I knew that she was trouble. She definitely intrigues me.
"So, tell me, where are you from?"
"Wales. Just outside of Cardiff."
"You don't talk like you are from Wales. In fact, you don't sound like you are from anywhere."
"Diction lessons," she smiled. "Part of my training in London."
"What?" I asked, completely confused.
"I am a bit of a prodigy in the Muggle world. My voice, my singing voice, is well, advanced for my age. I studied with the English National Opera beginning at the age of four. My Mother and I lived in London, while my Father and my sister and brother remained at home. I think that it was a great disappointment to them that I chose to come to Hogwarts, instead of staying on in London."
"So, they taught you to talk again?" I asked, I had never heard such a thing.
"Talk, no. Speak, yes," smart answer. Very smart. This girl was, something.
"You never knew that you were a witch?"
"Nope. I always thought that I was different, though. Even when I was young, I could think things, and then they would happen. So, when I was told I was a witch, I was happy. At least I wasn't crazy."
"You thought you were crazy because you could do magic?" I couldn't believe this. "Singing with the opera at four, okay, but doing magic makes you think you're crazy?" I was laughing at her.
"Well, yeah. Muggle remember!" Then she leaned over and messed up my hair. No one touches my hair.
"Hey, don't touch the hair. Wait a minute, why did you touch my hair?"
"Any boy with hair that perfect spends too much time in front of a mirror. Clearly, you're rather vain about it," she replied smugly. I had been with Anwen for less than an hour, and she had already figured me out. Oh, yes, this girl was trouble.
"What are you vain about then?"
"That's easy," she said with a delighted look on her face. After a long, awkward pause I asked her.
"Okay, tell me."
"Oh no," she said shaking her head. "You have to figure that out on your own. I know that you are a smart boy. You'll get it, eventually," she teased me.
I looked at her, studying her face. She sat drumming her fingers on her cheek. "I give up."
"Well then, it will be an adventure for you to figure it out then won't it," she said giggling, tapping the end of my nose with her finger.
She turned herself sideways on the couch, and so did I. Our legs met in the middle, but we could barely make our toes touch, she was so short. We started talking and we went on for hours. Talking with Anwen, being with Anwen, wasn't like anyone else in my life. She listens, really listens and hears what I say. She doesn't judge me or say things to hurt me. Damn, she's really smart. When she smiles at me, it's like I can see right into her, and she's full of sunshine and happiness. We sat there, just talking. When I moved over and put her little feet in my lap and my arm around her, she didn't take it like other girls do – like I'm gonna lean down and kiss them - she just relaxed against me, and kept talking.
It wasn't until the sun started coming up that I realized that we had spent the night talking. I, Sirius Black spent the night with a girl, and not just any girl, a first year. I know that it should have been wrong, but it really wasn't. I mean we didn't do anything, we just talked. But we talked all night. Anwen was different, she may not have been aged, but her soul was old. She was more grown up than I was. We talked about everything, her family, my family. I told her things that I hadn't even told James. I definitely told her things I had never told another girl. I liked that I could talk with her.
"Anwen, look out the window."
"Sticky Spaghetti Poles!" she screamed as she turned around and looked out the window. She turned back to me with a glint in her eye. "Go put your robes on, and meet me back here in five minutes. There is something that I really want to do, and I think that you can help me with it," she told me, curling her lip up in a crooked, almost wicked smile.
"Anwen, what do you have in mind?" I asked, puzzled by her. Could she be mischievous too?
"I am not telling you anything. Do it or don't, but I am sneaking out. I just think that I may have more luck with you around," she said with a shrug. "Or, were you blowing smoke about all of those pranks you and your friends have done. Hum?" She said raising her eyebrow. She was the most dangerous girl I had ever met. This was going to be fun.
Five minutes later, we were sneaking out of the common room, and headed downstairs and out of the castle. It was still dark out, but the edge of the sky was beginning to turn from gray to pink.
"I don't know how to get down there, but can you get me to the lake. There is something that I want to try there. Please?" Anwen looked at me with those sweet eyes, and I couldn't refuse.
"Hop on, I'll carry you there," I said. She hopped on my back, and yup, she weighed next to nothing. She giggled as we tromped along the grounds. As we came to the lake, she hopped off and sat down on the ground.
"Okay, I got you here. You want to tell me what all this is about?" I asked as I plopped down next to her.
"Well, I told you I can sing, right?"
"Um, no. You told me that you were a prodigy that studied with the English National Opera."
"Okay. So, you were listening. Anyway, Professor Dumbledore must have known too, because after he talked to me about my being magical and coming to school here, he said in passing that there were Mermaids in the lake. I did a little research while I was school shopping at um, diagonal alley..."
"Diagon Alley, but continue..." I corrected her.
"Well, I did some research, and there is a series of notes that can be sung to summon them. Several of them are not in the normal human range. I however, do not have a normal human range, not even a normal witches range. I can sing the notes, and I figured the headmaster must have known this since he told me, and..." she finally took a breath. Dear God, is she like part fish? Does she have gills, so she can talk without stopping very often? What did she say? I see where this is going. Did Dumbledore really tell her that there were Mermaids in the black lake? Are there Mermaids in the black lake? Why was she doing research? How smart is this girl? Oh, no, she's off again.
"So, I thought that I would try. What do you think?"
What did I think? This was crazy. Could she really summon a Mermaid with her voice? I didn't even know if such a thing were possible. Somehow, I knew if anyone could, she would be the girl.
"Give it a shot. If nothing else, I get to hear you sing," I replied, patting her hand that was in the grass next to mine.
"Okay, please don't laugh at me," she stood and looked at me. There was fear in her eyes, not that she couldn't do this, but instead what? Was she afraid that I would l take the mickey out of her? She looked so small again, for such a confident ball of energy. I think I may have just found what she's vain about.
I stood, and took her little hands in mine and looked down into her face, "I won't laugh, I promise."
She turned and bounced off toward the lake's edge. I could just make her face out in the new light of dawn, as she beamed at me. Even her eyes were smiling. She turned back, steeled herself, planting her feet firmly and took a deep breath. Then I heard her. I have never heard anything quite like it, but I suspect that if I were to meet an angel, they would sound like the sweetness that was escaping her lips. I had heard some Muggle music before, in passing. Some of it was really good, especially some of the rock music that the radio station would play when I went into the Muggle parts of London, but this was like none of that. This was like the wind rustling through the trees, children's laughter and bells ringing all at once. It was pure and clear. She made her voice do things that didn't seem human, and yet, the emotion in her voice was palpable – even without words. I slowly stepped towards her, not wanting to scare her. When I reached her, I turned and looked at her.
Her eyes were closed, and her little hands were moving in the air, like she was molding clay. I watched her sing, watched her hands and realized she was molding her voice. Her hands were moving as she sang. When she stopped, it was hard to tear my gaze from her. This was amazing, she was amazing. I was in awe. Then I heard it, I reached down and grabbed her hand as something broke the surface of the water.