[Author's Note: I do not own anything Harry Potter related and such. I wrote this story about a year ago, and I'm finally uploading it. I've tried to keep it as canon as possible, and have spent far too long on the HP Lexicon site. 95% of the characters mentioned belong completely to JK Rowling. If you want, I can point out the ones I made up, but it'll be pretty clear, as you won't recognize the name and they will be side characters.
Anything else? I think that's it.
The summer was nearly over and Lily Evans was lying on her bed, staring at the ceiling in the early hours of the morning. She had woken up at four from a nightmare involving Dementors – terrifying, cloaked monsters that were literally capable of sucking souls and happiness into the abyss – and she could not for the life of her fall back asleep. With a sigh of exasperation at the fact that it was still only five, Lily threw her covers off, swung her legs over the edge of her bed, and resigned herself to getting dressed.
Lily walked over to her wardrobe and pulled the door open irritably. She stood staring at her clothes with her arms tightly crossed. Lily caught sight of the reflection in the mirror on the open wardrobe door; sprawled behind her on the floor were a great amount of very strange objects: spell books, a cauldron, crumpled bits of parchment, and a heavy trunk. On her desk there was even more parchment, some dishevelled quills, and a ten-and-a-quarter-inch long wand made from a willow tree.
Even though Lily had known about being a witch for five years, she was still shocked to wake up every morning and discover that it wasn't all a dream. Going to school at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry had awarded Lily with some of the best experiences of her life, not to mention some of the best people she had ever met. It was because of Hogwarts that Lily had become best friends with Severus Snape, a boy who lived not far from her, but who she had never met prior to discovering her magical abilities. In fact, he was the one that told her about her magical abilities.
Lily smiled as she remembered the first time she met Severus, on the playground when she was nine years old. How her sister, Petunia, had scolded her for using magic to make a flower bloom, and scoffed at Severus's clothing when he emerged from the bushes to tell Lily that she was special.
However, upon entering school, the two friends did have their difficulties – partly due to the fact that they were placed in rival Hogwarts houses. Lily was in Gryffindor, the house known for bravery and leadership, while Severus was placed in Slytherin, a house which was by no exaggeration unpopular to the rest of the school. Slytherin was known for having students of an ambitious nature, and not even Lily could deny that the great majority of Slytherins were downright cruel, especially in regards to students of mixed blood.
But Severus was different. He himself was from a mixed family, his mother being a witch, while his father was a Muggle. Though, granted, he hated his father. But Severus never seemed to mind that Lily was a Muggle-born.
"It's only a matter of time until he turns on you," James Potter seemed to say a hundred times to Lily – in the common room, during class, at meals, wherever he stalked her. "It's part of a Slytherin's nature."
It was unheard of for anyone from the Gryffindor and Slytherin houses to be friends, but Lily could care less what the rest of the school said, especially James Potter. Lily scowled as she thought of him. He had a head bigger than the entirety of the Witch Weekly's Most Charming Smile Award winners combined. He loved proving how skilled he was in magic by constantly cursing lesser skilled people, simply because he could. His gang didn't help things either. Sirius Black was almost as bad as James, and Peter Pettigrew encouraged the two of them as if they were gods. Even Remus Lupin, who Lily had become rather close friends with, didn't discourage James the way that she hoped he would. Remus may be the quiet one of the group, but Lily knew he was strong, and she was sure that if he actually tried he would be able to exert some control over his friends.
It wasn't that James, or even Sirius, were bad people. Down deep, Lily actually liked them –or at least didn't hate them. Over the years, they had developed a strange bond. It was more that James was such an annoying waste! He had so much talent, and he spent it by running wild through the halls. Why didn't he do something useful with his brain?
Lily shook her head to rid the thoughts of the tall, messy haired boy in glasses. Instead, she focused on her own reflection. Dark, red hair sprouted from Lily's head and fell to her shoulders; at the moment it was extremely frazzled due to sleep. She looked longingly over at her wand and wished that she was of age, so she could simply tap her head and have her hair lie smooth and untangled, but she was only fifteen, and underage wizards and witches were not allowed to use magic outside of school.
Lily turned back to herself. Her favourite feature by far was her almond-shaped, bright green eyes. They were unique to Lily; no one in her immediate family had the same eye colour. The only other person in her family to have her eyes was her great-grandmother, who had died before Lily was born, and who she didn't really know anything about.
Lily looked out of the window at the sky, which was growing pinker by the minute. Severus was probably already awake and ready for the day. It was rare that he ever slept past five, but he wouldn't expect her at the playground until just before noon. Lily avoided going to Severus's house as much as she could. For a reason that she could not quite put her finger on, she felt uncomfortable there. It probably had something to do with the presiding gloom and tension that emanated from his parents, who were always in one argument or another.
Lily finished getting dressed, ran a brush through her hair, and went downstairs for an early breakfast. To her surprise, her dad was already sitting at the table, enjoying some toast and reading the paper. When Lily came into the kitchen, he looked up and smiled.
"You're up early."
"Morning, Dad," Lily said, grabbing a piece of toast.
"Two owls came for you this morning," said her dad, pointing at the thick parchment envelopes sitting on the table. "You're a popular girl." Lily's father beamed. She could tell that he was smiling both out of pride for his daughter, the only witch in the family, and also for the fact that he managed to relieve two owls of letters without being attacked this time.
Lily added liberal amounts of strawberry jam to her toast and took the letters from her father eagerly. One was from Hogwarts, the usual letter informing her of the school books she would need for the fall. She opened it hastily, and along with the usual letter, a red and gold badge fell into her hand. "Yes!" Lily yelled, "Dad! I'm a prefect!"
"Congratulations, sweetheart!" said her dad, getting up and hugging her. "Your mother will be so excited!"
Smiling proudly at herself, Lily placed the badge happily on top of the Hogwarts letter and turned to pick up the second envelope, which was addressed to her in neat writing, which she recognized as Remus's. Pleasantly surprised, as she had not received a letter from Remus for over a month, Lily tore the heavy parchment envelope open.
Sorry I haven't written in a while. The last full moon was a rather harsh one, and it took a while to recover.
Remus was a werewolf, a fact that Lily had discovered at the end of her first year, along with Remus's best friends: James Potter, Sirius Black, and Peter Pettigrew. It was actually the first act that brought her at all close to anything resembling friendship with the Marauders. She had helped them in their investigation to find out what was wrong with their friend.
Unfortunately, after that investigation, the self-named Marauders went back to treating Lily like any of their other victims. After an unfortunate incident involving her shampoo, Lily refused to speak a word to any Marauder for the rest of the year. Lily scowled at the memory and had to take a moment to remind herself that Remus was a much different boy now than he was then, and it had probably been Sirius's idea anyway, before turning back to the letter.
Have you gone to Diagon Ally yet? I'm assuming not because I just barely got my Hogwarts letter, and we usually get them about the same time. I was wondering if you wanted to meet me there Wednesday at one? I'm not trying to lure you into anything, but the other Marauders will be there, too. You can bring Severus, if you'd like, though unfortunately I can't guarantee his safety.
If you can't, or don't want to, I completely understand, and I'll see you on September 1st!
P.S. I got my prefect badge! Am I right to assume we'll be patrolling the halls together?
Lily looked at the letter and smiled, remembering how much she liked Remus. She hadn't made any plans with Severus yet, and she really did want to see Remus; she wouldn't even mind seeing Peter and Sirius, or even Potter. They were annoying, but always entertaining…
"One of the owls stayed behind, if you want to reply," said her dad, gesturing to an owl that Lily hadn't previously noticed, which was perched on the windowsill.
"Yeah, I'll be right back," Lily said, running out of the room. She dashed back up the stairs and into her bedroom, where she skidded to a halt at her desk, found a blank piece of parchment, and scribbled a short letter back to Remus.
I'd love to meet you! And even the other three. I'll see you in the Leaky Cauldron at one.
P.S. You are right to assume! Together, the castle shall be ours!
Lily skipped back downstairs, tied the letter to the owl's leg, and sent it off out the window. "Oh!" said Lily suddenly, turning around and looking sheepishly at her father. "Erm, Dad? Would it be okay for me to go to London on Wednesday to meet some friends and buy my school stuff?"
Lily's father smirked, fully aware that the letter she just sent off was her already agreeing to do so. "I suppose so." Lily laughed and kissed her father on the cheek before leaving the kitchen again and going into the hall.
"Of course you can go to London with your weirdo friends, seeing as you're such a golden child." Lily's sister, Petunia, had apparently followed her down the stairs the second time and was listening in the hall.
"Why up so early, Tuney?" Lily retorted. "Don't you need your beauty sleep?"
The two sister stared daggers at each other. Petunia despised magic, and despised Lily for being able to perform it. Petunia pursed her lips over her horse-like teeth, threw her nose in the air, and stalked into the kitchen. Lily rolled her eyes. There was a time when Petunia would have given anything to go to Hogwarts.
Lily wandered back up the stairs, unsure of how to waste away the first hours of the morning. For a brief second she considered trying to go back to sleep, but she knew it would be useless. Once she was dressed, she suddenly became fully awake. Slumping into her desk chair, Lily pulled up a roll of parchment and a quill and began her last piece of summer homework, an essay for Transfiguration.
Two hours of procrastination, three hours of work, four feet of parchment (two for the rough draft, and two for the final copied over version), and two ink stains (she would fix that as soon as she got to Hogwarts) later, Lily rolled up her final essay, tossed it aside, and went downstairs.
"I'm going to go meet Severus, Dad. We'll be close by if you want me," Lily called over her shoulder into the living room as she grabbed a light jacket, slipped on her shoes, and walked out the door. It was still a bit early to go and meet him, but something told her that he would be waiting there anyway.
The air was crisp and cool, and Lily closed her eyes as the wind kissed her cheeks and ran its invisible fingers through her hair. She reached the playground where she first met Severus within minutes and sunk down onto one of the swings. Wrapping her arm around one of the chains, she twisted in the swing absentmindedly.
A hand appeared under Lily's nose, a head of a flower was sitting in the palm, the petals opening and closing off their own accord. It was a small, pretty piece of magic. The Ministry would not have even been able to track it.
"Sev! You old softy!" Lily laughed as she looked up and saw Severus, who had a slight grin on his face.
He sank down in the swing next to her. "I thought it was appropriate, seeing as this is the anniversary of when we met."
Lily hit her forehead with her palm, "It is? I completely forgot! Can you forgive me?" she smiled at him.
"Always," said Severus, a strange look coming over his face. He shook his head suddenly as if trying to shake off a fly. "Why are you here so early if you didn't remember?"
Lily shrugged. She didn't want to relive her dream just yet. She started to pump her legs, swinging herself high, but not as high as the day she discovered she was a witch. Severus slouched on his swing. "It's almost impossible to believe that it's been, what? Five years?"
"Six," Severus corrected.
Lily let her legs hang freely, and eventually her swing came to a rest next to Severus.
"We should do something special," said Lily, a glint in her eye. "Go out to lunch or something." Severus's lip curled slightly, and Lily laughed. "Sev, you have to get over your fear of public Muggle places eventually."
"I don't have a fear," Severus protested. "I just feel out of place."
Lily rolled her eyes and laughed. She didn't see Severus look away in embarrassment.
"Well I'm hungry. How about a picnic, then? In the woods, the place where you told me about Hogwarts."
A genuine smile reached Severus's face at this. "Okay," he said simply.
They got up and walked back to Lily's house, where they entered the kitchen, and Lily busied herself with finding food for their makeshift picnic.
"Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Evans," Severus said, ignoring Petunia, who did him the same favour.
"Oh, hey, Mum," said Lily, just noticing that her mother was now in the kitchen.
"Hello, Severus," said Lily's mother, while her father nodded at him and smiled. Severus was a regular occurrence in the Evans household, to the extreme distaste of Petunia. "Congratulations on becoming a prefect, dear!" Mrs. Evans said as she hugged her daughter and Petunia looked as if she had just swallowed a large amount of dish detergent. Unnoticed, Severus stared at Lily with his brow furrowed, a hurt look in his eyes.
"What are you two up to today?" Mrs. Evan's asked.
"Picnic," said Lily simply. She tossed an apple to Severus, who caught it clumsily, but did not eat it as he watched Lily throwing random items into a basket. "Let's see," she said thoughtfully after five minutes, "Peanut butter, jam, bread – wheat, I hope you don't mind – water, crisps, muffins, apple – do you want anything else?" she asked, looking up at Severus, who shook his head. "Off we go, then!"
"Blanket," said Mr. Evans, who had disappeared for a second and reappeared with a shabby quilt in his hands.
"Thanks, Dad," said Lily, taking the blanket and leading the way out of the kitchen.
They did not talk as they made their way to the spot in the wood behind Lily's house. Lily and Severus had perfected comfortable silence to such an extent that they sometimes preferred it to conversation. After about five minutes, they reached a small clearing, and Lily threw out the blanket to sit on. Severus set the basket on the blanket before settling on it himself, and the two toasted water bottles to their friendship, a successful six years, with hopefully many more to come.