A/N: Hi everyone, this is my first fanfic upload to this site, so please forgive me if the formatting or anything looks a little off, I'm still figuring it out! Any suggestions are welcome, and I'd be grateful if anyone could warn me if they feel my rating needs to be changed at any point, as I'm not sure exactly where the boundaries are.

Much love and thanks for giving it a try x

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Lily Evans sat on her bed and stared out of the window, her legs tucked under her and her purple bedspread half hanging off onto the floor; the rest of her room was neat and tidy like always, except for the broken picture frame lying forlornly on the carpet, its glass shattered and frame crumpled. The shouts from downstairs echoed up to her ears as her mother raged at her sister, but Lily didn't hear them. Her mind kept replaying the argument that had led to this, the insults Petunia had flung at her, which – even though she'd heard them all before – seemed to have extra venom behind them today.


'It's a good thing that Hogwarts place keeps weirdos like you away from normal people!'

'I tell my friends you go to a boarding school for troubled teens! That's if I have to admit I have a sister at all!'

The sound of the front door slamming brought Lily back to reality. She stretched out her stiff legs from under her, and scrubbed her eyes with her fists before walking over to the wreckage of the framed photo. She reached into her pocket and pulled out her wand – her willow and unicorn hair wand that had turned Tuney against her forever – tapping it lightly against the shattered glass.


The frame and glass flew back together and Lily was once again looking at a Muggle photograph of her and Petunia on her first day at primary school. The two girls had their arms around each other and were grinning hugely at the camera, identical looks of happiness lighting up their faces.

She would never have thought then that twelve years later she and Petunia would be having one of the worst fights they'd ever had, over Lily not being invited to meet her future in-laws. She would never have dreamt that her sister would be so full of resentment that she would speak such spiteful words to her, never imagined that Tuney would one day be so ashamed of her that she would refuse to involve Lily in her life.

It was worse this summer than any of the ones before. Now that she was seventeen and could do magic outside of school whenever she wanted Petunia watched her like a proverbial bloody hawk, ready to lose her cool the second Lily showed any sign of 'abnormal behaviour'. Her mother kept telling her to be patient, blaming the strain Petunia was under organising her engagement party (she was obsessed with making the 'right impression' on Vernon's friends and family) for her treatment of Lily.

But today's argument had been too much even for her mother, and now Petunia had stormed out and she was left crying in her room for yet another relationship that had completely fallen apart on her. A few years ago she would have been able to run out of the house and tell Sev about it; now she didn't even know if he was home for the summer. She kept telling herself sternly that she shouldn't regret the loss of his friendship - after all it had been a miracle that kept it up for as long as they had given who his other friends were. But on days like this, when Tuney seemed to hate her just for existing and her parents were exasperated and upset by the rift between their two girls, Lily found herself wishing for their friendship, for someone who could understand and sympathise with how she was feeling.

'Alright Evans, are you a Gryffindor or what? We don't sit in a pathetic heap on the floor of our bedroom feeling sorry for ourselves do we? No. We get off our backsides and sort ourselves out.'

Lily stood up, bolstered by her internal pep talk. She shook her red hair out of its band and smoothed it back into a neater ponytail, moving to the mirror to check her reflection as she did so. She groaned out loud at the sight of her puffy, tear-stained cheeks and swollen red eyes.

'Why is it that some women can actually manage to make it look attractive when they cry, and I end up looking like a Hippogriff with a hangover?'

She grabbed a handful of face wipes from her dresser and scrubbed her face, grateful for the cooling feeling that was at least taking some of the redness from her cheeks. Feeling slightly calmer and more collected, she walked to her desk and sat down, pulling quill, ink and parchment from one of the drawers.


I hope your holiday has been as good as you hoped so far, it's weird to think that you're in France with Alice right now, and I'm sat at home.

I know we've only been home for a week but it feels like bloody forever since I've seen you! Being home with Petunia is slowly frying my brain, and I've spent more time in the company of Dreary Dursley than anyone with more than two brain cells to rub together should ever have to. I haven't seen any sign of Sev though, which I suppose is a good thing if it means he's finally given up trying to apologise to me.

Anyway, I'm going to stop whining at you now, I just wanted to check that it's still ok for me to come and stay with you next week? Let me know, and I'll arrange to get the Knight Bus or something.

Much Love


She sealed the envelope and walked over to her window, opening it all the way so she could lean out; she whistled twice, and Artemis, her barn owl swooped down onto her windowsill. Petunia hated birds, and since Lily had gone to Hogwarts she had developed an especially strong hatred of owls, so Lily had compromised by building a nesting box for Artemis in a large tree in the back garden. She tied the envelope to the leg Artemis was obediently holding out, and the owl was in flight almost before she'd finished.

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Lily didn't leave her room at all that night, though both her parents came to try to persuade her, first to come down for dinner then to join them for a film. Petunia didn't come home, and though they tried not to show it, her parents were worried. Not so much about Petunia staying out, Lily thought, as the growth in the rift between them.

She woke the next morning, groggy and fully clothed on her bed, the window still wide open and the lily-patterned curtains (her mother's idea of a joke) being blown around by the strong winds outside. She slammed the window shut and trapped a finger in her haste. Sticking her aching digit in her mouth and cursing as quietly and inventively as possible, she made her way out of the room and into the bathroom, where she splashed water on her face in an attempt to stir herself into full wakefulness. She gestured her wand at the bruised finger and muttered 'episkey' under her breath; it went hot, then cold and then she sighed in relief as the pain disappeared. The finger was still slowly turning blue and was slightly swollen and clumsy, but at least it didn't hurt. She left the bathroom and walked down the stairs to the kitchen, making each step slow and deliberate, both to avoid waking her parents and to avoid any further injuries, since luck didn't seem to be on her side today.

She made toast and poured orange juice for herself, and then settled down at the kitchen table with yesterday's Daily Prophet. It made for grim reading; reports of attacks on muggle-borns, unexplained fires and a host of other violent acts that couldn't be openly attributed to Voldemort, but were almost certainly down to his Death Eaters. She'd have to make a point of throwing this out before her parents got a chance to read it.

A tap on the window made her jump, and she looked over to see a handsome, but completely unfamiliar tawny owl tapping on the outside. She opened the window to let the bird in, praying that Petunia wouldn't choose this moment to return home, and took the letter that was attached to its leg; 'Lily Evans' was scrawled messily on the envelope in handwriting she didn't recognise.


I know it's probably a shock that I'm writing to you, but something really terrible has happened and I didn't know any other way to contact you.

Marlene's parents were found dead yesterday, the dark mark was seen over their house. My dad is part of the auror team working on the case, although it's pretty obvious who's responsible. Marly is flooing back to my parents house today, she's going to stay with us until she decides something more permanent. I don't know if Alice is coming with her or nor, but I thought you might want to come and see her? I guess she's going to need her friends right now. You can stay here for a few days if you like, there's plenty of room.

If you can come, let me know your address and I'll come and get you, I know you don't have your apparition test yet, and it'll be much quicker than the Knight Bus.

James Potter

PS you can send a reply back with Apollo, I've told him to wait.

The letter hadn't even hit the floor by the time Lily was halfway up the stairs to her desk.

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Lily hastily tied her reply to James to Apollo's leg and within seconds he was gone. It had taken her less than ten minutes to read the letter and pen a quick reply.


Come and get me anytime. My address is 12 Potter's Lane, Cokeworth.

Thank you


Now she just had to worry about parental permission. She ran back upstairs and into her parent's room, making no attempt at being gentle as she shook them awake.

'Mum! Dad! Wake up, come on!'

Once she'd managed to get rouse both of them to the point where she deemed them capable of listening to her, she spoke in low, slightly panicked tones that she felt conveyed the urgency of the situation accurately.

'I know it's early, and I know this is unexpected but I have to go. It's Marlene, her parents have been killed and I have to go and see her!'

'What? What was that darling?' asked Rose Evans, her voice groggy and confused as she sat bolt upright in bed, turning to focus on her daughter, while her husband groped around on the bedside for his glasses, muttering under his breath and knocking things over.

'There's been...a...horrible accident.' Lily had to privately admit to herself that she was impressed that she had managed to ad-lib a reasonable story under pressure and with no preparation, but speaking out loud about Marly's parents made it seem more real somehow, she had to suck in a deep breath to steady herself before she could continue. 'Marlene's parents have both been killed. I need to leave today, she's going to need to see her friends. I can't leave her on her own mum.'

Her mother squinted more closely at her and rubbed a hand over her sleepy eyes, pushing her hair back from her face. 'How on earth did you find out about this? And what time is it anyway?'

'It's half past five. Sorry. And I got a letter from James Potter from school, Marlene's coming back from France to stay with his family until she decides what to do. He says I can stay for a few days, so I'm going to go stay with her. Okay?'

'Hang on a minute Lily.' interrupted her father, eyes narrowing as he honed in with typical parental precision on the one part of the previous sentence she hoped they'd overlook. 'When you say stay with Marlene then, you actually mean stay at the house of a boy we've never met?'

'Dad, this is not the time for you to get over-protective.' Lily stated firmly, her tone steady as she made eye contact with her father. 'My friend needs me, and fooling around with boys is the furthest thing from my mind right now. I don't think I've ever given you a reason not to trust me have I?'

'She's right Will.' said her mother. 'Marlene will need her friends around her, she must be having a terrible time. We've always trusted Lily's judgement before, and I don't think they're likely to be throwing wild parties. Besides, I imagine this boy's parents will be there?' She looked to Lily for confirmation.

'Uh, I assume so.' Hopefully that sounded okay to her parents - truth was, Lily didn't know anywhere near enough about James Potter's home life to give an adequate assessment of his parents willingness or ability to supervise them. Based on his behaviour at Hogwarts, she couldn't imagine discipline was a major part of their parenting repertoire.

'There.' Lily's mother nodded. 'Nothing to worry about Will.' She turned back to Lily. 'What time will you be going dear?'

'I'm not sure, I'm waiting for them to let me know.' Lily mentally replayed Potter's letter and her response, trying to recall if there'd been any mention of a time-frame from either of them. She was relatively sure not. 'I probably won't be here when you get home from work, but I'll owl you to let you know I'm okay.'

'Okay.' Her mother leant forward and kissed her forehead before flopping back down on the bed and closing her eyes. 'You should go and pack. There's some money in the kitchen drawer, take what you need.'

Lily gave both of her parents a grateful smile, though neither one of them had their eyes open to see it. 'Thanks.'

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