I was actually here, at the book signing for J. K. Rowling, the author of Harry Potter. I could hardly stand on my own two feet. The whole collection was in my arms, causing my heart to ram against the pages. The line had gone fifteen blocks and I had been at the very end. The weather was extremely hot and it had been a relief when I had reached the building and felt the air conditioning.
The long room where Rowling was doing her signing was filled with tables covered with cauldrons filled with butter beer and pumpkin juice. Candy filled bowls were placed every few inches and candles were lit along the table clothes. I tried not to dive after the chocolate frog boxes, desperate to keep my place in line. And anyway, they weren't real. My family disapproved of my said "obsession" and scolded me.
But I could not help it. Te books had given me a reason to still believe in magic, when the rest of the world seemed to have forgotten. That is why I was there, to meet the woman who had let magic live.
Luckily for me, my long wait was about to pay off. The long room was empty and the last fan ran to the exit with a signed copy in their arms, I stepped forward.
Rowling was just like the pictures in the back of her books, sweet face and blonde hair that was falling over her square, strong shoulders. The moment our eyes met she jumped backward, her chair tipping dangerously. I leaped forward in surprise, grabbing her wrist and pulling her forward.
"Are you alright?" I asked, making sure she was steady.
"Yes, yes, I'm fine." She stuttered, placing a hand to her forehead and gazing up at me. "You just startled me that's all." But I could tell that that was only half the truth. I placed my books down carefully on the desk, scarred that the slightest movement would set her off again.
"So," she said slowly, opening "The Sorcerer's Stone" and peering at me. "What's your name?"
"Lily Evans." I answered hastily. The look at she gave me set me flying. "I know that it's the same name as your character but its true-I'm not a crazed fan-It's my real name I swear-I have a ID to prove it"
"No, no," she cut me off, giving me a small smile, "I believed you, but," she put the book down and stood up so we were seeing eye to eye. "Its not only your name. You look exactly like her! Same green eyes, same red hair,"
I ran my long fingers threw my own thick shoulder length hair.
"Its like my own character walked out of my book!" At that, she stopped herself, and seemed to think for a moment.
That's why she seemed so surprised to see me, I thought wildly, it was like she met someone that risen from the dead…
"Lily," Rowling suddenly said, knocking me out of my little day dream, "what do you think of my books?" I blink a few times.
"Your book?" I said, "It's the best thing that has ever happened to me!" I went on to explaining how it had changed my life, how I felt for Harry and wished I could help him, how I thought Dumbeldore would make a great grandfather and how she brought magic into the world.
"And what do you think of Severuse?" Rowling suddenly asked. By this time, we were both sitting down, drinking the left over pumpkin juice.
"Snape?" I said, swirling my goblet so the orange liquid formed a under water tornado. I had never really given any thought to the Potions Master until this point. "I don't really know," I said slowly, "Like Dumbeldore and Voldemort he is a great wizard. He was the only one who truly fooled Voldemort. Yet," I paused, stopping the tornado in my cup.
"I feel that there is more to his character, like he is a good person. He should have had another chance." Rowling was nodding slowly and gazing at me all the while.
"Yes," she whispered. She suddenly perked up, as if she had made a permanent decision. "Well Lily," she said, standing up and putting her goblet down, "I have made up my mind. Your are more like my Lily Evans that I can believe." She looked over her shoulder at a chestnut door behind her desk, which read, Janitor's Closet.
"Am I to understand that you are committed to my story?" Rowling whispered.
"Yes," I answered, also standing up.
"Then there is someone every special that I want you to meet." She quickly strode over to the Janitor's Closet and opened it, poking her head in and whispered, "Albus, you can come out now. I've found someone who can help us."
For a fraction of a second I thought that she was going crazy. Did she really think one of her characters was in the Janitor's Closet? But when Rowling came back to where I was standing, with a very familiar person, I started to think that I was going crazy.
A tall, lean old man was walking with Rowling, long robes swirling round him and half-moon spectacles. The crooked nose and the small, knowing smile caught me completely off guard.
"What?" was all I could really say at the moment.
"Lily," Rowling said with a smile, "This is my good friend Aldus Dumbeldore. Albus, this is Miss Lily Evans."
"How do you do?" He asked, bowling slightly, his clear blue eyes sparkling. I suddenly realized that my mouth was hanging open and I instantly closed it.
"Are you really?"
"Yes," Dumbeldore said, "Rowling has me visit when she can obtain me." I had sunk into my chair and my head was spinning.
"And how, exactly," I said, slowly, " does she obtain you, when you are a character out off a book?" I saw Rowling and Dumbeldore give each other a look and Rowling took in a small breath.
"I am that last surviving which alive today Lily." What ever excuse I had expected, what ever wild story I was ready to hear, it was nowhere close to that. It was my turn to nearly fall back into my chair. Rowling and Dumbeldore leaned forward and caught hold of the back of the chair and pushed me back into my original position.
"Well," Rowling breathed, pushing her bangs out of her eyes, "I think that she took that rather well."
"Here, my dear," Dumbeldore said quietly, handing me my cup of pumpkin juice, "drink. I'm afraid you're going to drop dead with shock." I tried to drink it, but half of the liquid spilled down my front.
"How?" I spluttered, shaking terribly.
"Everything that happened in my books Lily, has already happened." She whispered, trying to be more gentle than dramatic.
"It's all true?" I asked, my eyed widening with excitement and shock. "Well that would explain Dumbeldore here." Rowling smiled sweetly.
"For some reason, the wizarding world vanished from the earth. I found myself all alone and am determined to find out what happened. Unfortunately," she sighed, "I can not go back into the past to find out what went wrong, or else I would not be able to write the books, then you would not have read them, not have come to me and you would not have been able to go back."
There was a long silence after that.
"Me?" I whispered, placing the goblet down shakily. "You want, me to go?"
"Only if you wish," Dumbeldore said, looking over his spectacles. I now knew what Harry was feeling when Dumbeldore looked at him, like he was being x-rayed.
"Yes," I said, my heart beating with excitement. Rowling put a hand on my shoulder.
"Do you want to think about this for a while. You do realize that you will not be able to come back, ever." My eyes widened.
They were asking me whether or not they wanted to go to Hogwarts? Whether I wanted to be a witch and they asked me if I wanted to think about it?
"I am positive," I said, my stomach bouncing around like butterflies on steroids.
"Very well then," Rowling said, "follow me." She and Dumbeldore turned round and walked back toward the Janitor's Closet. I followed them, feeling as though I was in a dream.
Please don't let it be a dream, Please don't let it be a dream, I said over and over in my head. Rowling pushed the Janitor's Closet door open and I knew that I was looking at real magic.
When you think of a Janitor's Closet, you think of brooms, not a four-poster bed, wash clothes, not rugs, shelves, not a wardrobe, and mopes, not a desk. The whole of the closet was the size of a small living room and it looked like a miniature house.
"I find my version of this Caretakers Closet much more comfy than before, don't you?" Dumbeldore said in my ear. I jumped slightly, but nodded. Rowling pushed passed me and walked over to one of the two trunks, which lay, on the bed. It had the letters, J K R, painted on the front.
"These are the basic things tat you will need," she said, flipping the trunk open. I [peered in over her shoulder. Inside were around ten pairs of black robes, spell books from grades one to seven, a bag of wizard money, pen parchment, and a black hat for day wear.
I starred at the treasures of the truck and tried to swallow a million "thank you" and managed to let out a dozen or two.
"Don't mention it," Rowling said, turning to the next truck. 'This one is my special treasure." She whispered and flipped it open. Inside were about fourteen wands, carefully rapped and in their boxes. "These are the last wands." Rowling said, pulling one out and handing it to me. "That one is yours."
"How do you know?" I asked, taking it and fingering the woodwork.
"Because that was Lily Potter's wand." My fingers froze and I felt a though I was holding a rode of gold.
"We must be going," Dumbeldore said, peering down at his wizard watch. Rowling nodded and shut the truck with my things in it. I noticed that the initials J K R were magically replaced with L E. I picked up my truck and pulled it over to Dumbeldore.
"Try to find out what went wrong." Rowling whispered after giving me a hug. "And if you can't, just enjoy your new wizarding life." I nodded, tears coming into my green eyes.
"I will. And thank you. You have given me everything I could have whished for." We exchanged smiles and I turned to Dumbeldore, who was looking down at me.
"Come now Lily," he said kindly, holding out his arm.
"Were apparating there?" I said, looking at his outstretched arm then back at him.
"No, no. Apparating and time traveling are similar magic. But I must say, time traveling is much more pleasant. But you have to close your eyes until the right time." I looked back at Rowling then let out a breath. I didn't know what I was getting myself into and I didn't know were it was leading me but I grabbed hold of Professor Dumbeldore's arm closed my eyes, and we were off.
Everything seemed to slow down, like I was underwater. But I felt air enter and exist my lungs with no problem. I felt us speed up and I was tempted to open my eyes but glued them shut. Suddenly my whole body started to shake and we bust threw a cold surface and I felt my feet land on solid ground.
"You may open your eyes now Lily," I heard Dumbeldore say. I slowly opened them and at the first inch of the room they opened wider. Dumbeldore's office was right in front of my eyes and yet I still could not believe it. Moving pictures covered the walls; their snores floating threw their frames. Glittering gizmos and spinning trinkets covered the small tabletops that were placed around the room.
"In my personally opinion," Dumbeldore said next to me, "Jessica failed to mention my inconsiderable clutter in her literature."
"You've read the books?" I asked in surprise, looking up at him.
"Why of course," he said kindly, going me a knowing smile. "Me reading the books gives me an understanding of how clever I must be, so when I return I am equally wise. So when it comes to the future, Mrs. Rowling can write about my brilliant mind, so I may read it in the future, which makes a chain. Should I continue?"
"No, I think I've the idea," I said, holding back a giggle. Dumbeldore looked at me for a while then sighed.
"Jessica was right, you are extremely like Lily." He shook his head in thought and walked over to his desk. I followed him, not really knowing what to do with myself now that I was actually here. Dumbeldore gave a small red treat to Fawks and sat down at his desk. "We have a staff meeting and dinner at six," Dumbeldore said, writing quickly on a piece of paper. "I hope that you would join us." He said, handing me the paper.
I nodded and took the paper, picking up my suitcase.
"I would suggest changing your cloths before you go to the meeting," Dumbeldore said as I turned to go. "The directions to your office are also on there."
"I have a porthole?" I asked, rather touched.
"Yes," Dumbeldore said, giving me a smile. "And I might say it is the best in the castle." I smiled turned toward the door. Half way threw the frame I turned round again.
"Professor?" I said.
"Won't I run into any students?" Dumbeldore smiled.
"No, Miss Evans. It is only the 31st of August. No students for you to dodge today." I nodded and ran out the door, my truck bouncing behind me. Dumbeldore shook his head. "Poor girl, she has no idea what troubles lye ahead."
The castle was very large and extremely magical. The staircases boomed and crashed as they moved into new places. I inched along them going higher and higher, trying not to look down.
The pictures in the castle were nearly all sleeping and were no help, but I eventually reached the sixth floor, were my porthole was supposed to be.
I passed a painting of a flock of ballerinas who were dancing gracefully. I watched them dance for a few moments then I continued. When I found my porthole, I found myself standing in front of a merman painting.
He was drifting in dark water, greenish hair floating about him, his arms folded, glaring down at me. I was suddenly very shy. My portrait was very intimidating. At least I would be safe from intruders.
"Uh, hello?" I said quietly. The merman simply looked down at me. "I-I'm Lily Evans." I continued. "Dumbeldore said that this is my porthole." There was a rather long silence.
"Well then," the portrait said, "aren't you going to make a password already?" I jumped back and blinked.
"Uh, oh, yes um…" I thought for moment, "How about Rowling?" The portrait just stood there (or would it be float there?) and just looked at me. "Uh, Rowling?" I said uncertainly. My porthole was very intimidating. I was positive I would be safe behind his painting. The merman rolled his eyes and opened up to a beautiful office.
I walked in, pulling in my suitcase and gazed around. It truly was magnificent. There was a large fireplace and a large desk, which was covered with inkwells and quills. The small elegant office lead into a bedroom off the right side. There was a writing desk, a wardrobe and a small bed. I tossed my suitcase in the wardrobe and flopped down on my bed.
Everything seemed so amazing like it was a dream. My stomach was again filling with that happy feeling and a laughed out loud. I was actually at Hogwarts! I rolled over and waited till it was six, and quickly pulled on a pair of black robes and headed toward the teachers lounge. Dumbeldore had also written the directions to get there also. Didn't miss a thing that man, I thought.
I was looking down at my directions when I suddenly rounded a corner and ran right into another Professor. I jumped in surprise and leapt into a portrait of wizard philosophers, who started to complain.
"I'm sorry," I said to the teacher, who had backed away swiftly, "I didn't see you there."
"Obviously," a nasally voice said. I froze. I knew that voice. I had imagined it every time I read the books. I quickly put my head down so my hair fell round my face, so the Potions Master could not see my face.
I started to walk swiftly toward the teachers lounge and felt the cool stride of Severus Snape beside me. I bent my head lower; I was very nervous and scared of Snape.
"So, are you the new DADA teacher this year?" Snape said coldly. I was rather surprised that he was talking to me.
Keeping my head down I replied, "No Professor. That would be Professor Quirrel." There was a silence.
"Then what are you doing here? A student seeing if you could sleep here?"
"No," I said quietly, "I'm here for a job." At that moment, we both entered the teacher's lounge. It was a nice cozy place with a round table for meals. Put what caught my eye was the shelves and shelves of books. I left Snape to walk over to the table and headed toward the books. Not all the staff was there so I thought I would burn some time reading.
I pulled off a book that was called, "The Last Wizard." I took it over to one of the large chairs and opened it. It started out like this,
There was once a boy, there once a girl, and there was once a wizard…
I could not put it down and it made me cry at the end. It was a short read, but I finished it in no time. It was rather depressing when I put it back on the shelf. I suddenly felt a hand on my shoulder and I put my head down.
"You're going to get a terrible pain in your neck if you continue doing that Lily," Dumbeldore said into my ear. I relaxed and turn toward him. "The Last Wizard," Dumbeldore said, looking at the book I had just placed back. "An ironic read for these cases, perhaps 'The Last Which' would be more appropriate."
"Yes," I sighed, "It was a really good book. Are there any copies anywhere?"
"Unfortunately no," Dumbeldore said, looking up at the book. "But I think that I can spare it for you. The only things that us teachers really prefer to read are facts, not fiction."
"Thank you sir," I stuttered, as he handed me the book.
"Why don't you join me at the table now." He said kindly. As he led me to the table my head sank again, so no one could see my face. Dumbeldore sat down and I joined him, but unfortunately I was sitting to Professor Snape. I put my head down even lower. All the teachers were all at the table by now. From the slim view I had I saw Quirrel.
He was twitching slightly and I had a very hard time believing that this frail man was harboring a dark wizard. Dumbeldore stood from his seat and the small murmuring from the teachers stopped.
"I may say, it is all good to see you all here again. I trust that you all had a good summer?" I heard a small snort from Snape. I could tell what he was thinking by that one snort.
Yes, I had a wonderful summer in that Muggel infested town. And it is even a greater pleasure to be here, getting ready to teach a bunch of Dunderheads. Note the sarcasm.
"Now, as you have noticed," Dumbeldore continued, "we have two new members of staff this year. Our DADA teacher Professor Quirrel," there was a small clapping from the staff, but most of them were drinking from the goblets that were on the table. I quickly took a gulp of my own water. "And over on my left we have- oh, come on dear, you can't hide for ever."
Slowly, I lifted my head so my face could be seen." There was a smash and I looked to see Professor McGonagal had dropped her glass, which had shattered.
"Lily!" she gasped. There came a spluttering from my left and I turned to see Snape spitting out his water; which he had been drinking. I blinked as he turned to stare right at me.
"Please everyone," Dumbeldore pressed, for the whole of the teacher's lounge had broken out in to a loud chatter. "Silence!" Dumbeldore said loudly. The whole room went silent.
"I know that there is a likeness between Miss Evans and Lily Potter,"
"Likeness!" spluttered McGonagal, "Albus! There practical the same person!"
"They share the same sir name!" Flitwick piped up.
"I am aware of that," Dumbeldore said. The room went silent again. "Miss Evans is in need of a job. I have decided she will serve as a Teacher's Assistant for this year. She will help you with your first year classes while expanding her magical education. Are there any objections?"
The room was very silence. I looked over at Snape who was starring at the opposite wall. I was unsure how alike to Lily Potter I was, but it was positive that I was left with her unfinished problems.