Marauders: The Beginning of the End

Chapter One: Charred Beginnings

"You're a freak Lily! A Freak!"

If only she had a dollar for every time her sister called her that dreadful name… If only, Lily Evans thought to herself. At five foot five, thin and muscular and rather disappointed, Lily Evans watched her twenty two year old sister stump her feet all the way down the hallway. Petunia Evans slammed the door behind her to her bedroom, shaking the pictures on the wall, making the seventeen year old girl wince. Twenty two going on two, Lily thought as she gave an annoyed sigh. Was there anything such as maturity anymore? She didn't see much of it at home and she definitely never saw it at school.

"I am not a freak, Pet." Lily whispered to the deserted hallway. "And Ignorance is certainly not bliss, Petunia Avery Evans."

Lily, with her beautiful auburn hair and shimmering green eyes, huffed her way back to her own room to finish packing away her new wardrobe and books for her school. Her Hogwarts trunk lay open on top of her full sized bed already half full of clothes. A jazzy tune played in the background for her stereo set up on her desk on the opposite side of the room. But not even her love for muggle music would cheer her up, not after another fight with her stubborn sister. She had tried to say goodbye to Petunia before she would go back to school. Lily had made plans to spend the last two weeks of their summer vacation with her friends Arianna Potter and Daniella Mistell at Arianna's house. She was looking forward to seeing her friends. Friends, school, and the magical world she was still trying to understand after seven years, were all things that her sister could never understand any further than fear.

"Lily…"

The soft voice of their mother called from the stairwell just outside of Lily's room. Opening the door, Lily poked her head out and gave a somber smile. "Yea?"

Rosemarie Evans gave her youngest daughter a knowing look, as not even the deaf could ignore Petunia's screams of 'freak' throughout the house. Lily shrugged and returned to her room and continued to pack as to pretend she didn't know what that look had meant. Lily soon felt a soft hand on her shoulder, and her mother's cheek rested up against her own. Lily stopped packing but never moved.

"It'll be seven years soon," Lily whispered as she stared down at the folded jet black cloak in her hands with the Hogwarts coat of arms on the breast. "Seven years since I've discovered I am a witch, mum. But I haven't grown warts, or grown seven extra feet in that time. I'm still me. Why can't she see that?"

"Oh baby," Rosemarie cradled her daughter to her, just as understanding as Lily always remembered her. They sat on Lily's bed for a long while with Lily still holding the black cloak in her hands. "Oh my sweet, sweet Lily." Rosemarie cooed, smoothing her daughters matching auburn hair. "Never you mind your sister. Pet has never been able to understand why fate choose you to be a beautiful, wonderful magical being and not her, or why not you both? It bothers her that you two have drifted so far apart when at one point I thought I had twin girls! But you two are getting older and one day she will realize that no matter who you are, or where you go, you are still her baby sister and she really does love you dearly. Just like your father and I do."

"Oh mum!"

Rosemarie found herself engulfed by her seventeen year old daughter who she noticed was shaking from trying to hold back tears. Lily simply lay in her mother's arms, happy that she could make sense of Petunia's actions. A knock came from the door to Lily's room making Lily and Rosemarie jump slightly. Petunia stood in the doorway, taking in the sight of her sister and mother, and scowled.

"Petunia." Their mother warned.

"I'm leaving for dinner with Vernon. I won't be back until late."

"But I've just finished making dinner." Rosemarie glared. "Oh fine, tell your father before you leave."

"Lily." Petunia gave a nod of goodnight to her.

"See you next summer Pet." Lily offered a small smile to her sister.

"Maybe."

And with that Petunia closed the door to Lily's room. Neither mother or daughter said anything until Lily gave a frustrated sigh but smiled brightly at her mother, who simply shook her head.

"You know Lily, I lied maybe your sister will never change her ways." Lily laughed at her mother's comment. "But I didn't lie when I said she does love you dearly."

Lily smiled again, "I know she does but she just has an awful way of showing it."

"Oh I know love. Now do you want to eat dinner or shall I pack it away for later?"

"I'm not hungry now and I want to finish packing before I leave tomorrow morning."

"Alright dear," Rosemarie smiled and kissed her daughter goodnight as she left the room.

Lily spent the next couple of hours not only packing but rearranging her room and reviewing her new books. It was her final year at Hogwarts and one of their most important ones too. Her future career as a possible Auror counted on her getting the best possible marks and that meant a lot more studying than the previous year. Not that she minded because she loved her books and her solitude. Most days anyway, or whenever she was allowed it by her two best friends.

By the time Lily admitted to defeat by sleep it was nearly one a.m. She lowed her new textbook for Defense Against the Dark Arts and stood up to stretch. She hadn't realized she was getting so engrossed into the textbook until she looked at the clock on her nightstand. It was then that she ventured for something to snack on in the kitchen. Though as she walked to the door Lily suddenly took notice to her surroundings. It was a hot summer for England that year and yet it had suddenly gotten chilly in her room when only hours ago she was sweating just sitting in one spot. And it was quiet, very quiet. The air around her seemed stiff and disturbed.

"Now you're just being silly Lily." She muttered to herself. Still Lily reached down into her chest on the floor and grabbed her wand, gripping it tightly as she left her room.

Stepping out, she saw Petunia's bedroom door opened meaning she hadn't come home yet. Though oddly enough no lights were on in the house, which was unusual for her parents to turn anything off if any of their children were still out. The hair on the back of her neck began to stand on end. Something was not right. She began to notice things not put away, things moved around that were not so a few hours ago. Little things that only Lily would notice were out of place.

She made her way down the stairs and into the kitchen, calling out for her parents as she tip toed along the wood flooring of the house. She had gotten no reply. Her stomach began to turn as she raised her wand arm higher with every room she entered. For once in her life, she was extremely grateful that she and her sister had that fight earlier. It was then as she came closer to the kitchen that Lily heard hushed voices yet she could not see anyone. Her hands began to shake as a quick idea floated through her mind and she acted upon it.

"Finite Incantatum."

As she whispered the spell that would reveal whoever it was in her house, she felt something press into to back of her neck. The familiar feeling of thinly carved wood and a well calloused hand at her neck. She could feel heavy breaths as they were released by her uninvited guest.

"Miss Evans," the voice whispered. "We've been waiting."

"And who might I ask is 'we'?" Lily asked in the same whispered tone.

"You shall see."

Lily was pushed forward through the doorway of the kitchen. The lights sprang on suddenly nearly blinding her as she adjusted to the lights that were unusually bright. But it was then that her heart raced even faster for her there were six new intruders and all of them masked in black. It was there, in that kitchen, that Lily had suddenly never felt so alone in the world.

"MUM! DAD!"

She hadn't known why she done it, but as her eyes adjusted to the light Lily looked down at the tiled flooring of her mother's favorite room. The gray flagged stone was dyed red and too very familiar bodies lay unconscious and barely breathing face down on the floor. Lily screamed, trying to dive onto the floor beside them. She was restrained instantly with an arm around her neck and that nuisance of wand pressed harder into the same spot.

"Lily Evans!" Said a sickeningly cheerful voice. "Lads, look! The beautiful Miss Evans has come to play with us!"

"Voldemort." Lily spat at the masked man walking towards her.

"Ah, if you could only be so lucky to be in his presence mudblood."

"No, the coward makes others do his bidding for him."

There was a sharp sound as the masked man struck Lily Evans across the face. He gave a snarl at the young girl, unimpressed with her witty remarks. "Careful Evans, wouldn't want to end up like your filthy parents just yet, would you."

Lily cast a quick, tearful glance at her parents on the floor. She hoped there was still time to save them once she had miraculously figured out how to control her own situation. "What is it that you want?"

"You, my darling girl. The Dark Lord wants you."

"Sorry, I'm not for sale." Lily glared as he began to take a few steps closer. She struggled against her captor. Her efforts were immediately thwarted as she felt her body go rigid. Damn magic, she thought bitterly.

"Anyone with blood like yours ought to be sold for the lowest price." Came the sneer from the man that held the wand to her neck. "Why the Dark Lord wants you is none of our concern but he wants you alive and willing."

Having lost her ability to answer for herself, Lily could only stare at the six hooded figures and listen to their banter.

"You know lads, the Dark Lord never said we had to bring her back with us, did he now?" Laughed the leader of the six men. "Funny, how odd of a request from someone so powerful like the Dark Lord to ask for someone like you to join his ranks when there are so many more capable witches and wizards than scum like you." The room filled with vile laughter. "Arctus, let the bitch go."

She didn't know what she should be more offended by, being called yet another name tonight or being suddenly let go to fall to the stone floor face first like a wooden plank. One of the men kicked her stomach, flipping her over onto her back. There was another kick, one for good measure she supposed, one that certainly did hurt. The leader of the group knelt down next to her, leaning forward so that she could in fact see his face. If she could move, she would have gladly clawed at it.

"I'm not stupid enough to undo that immobulus charm Evans, as you are apparently not smart enough to use nonverbal magic." The leader laughed. "Quite frankly Evans, I don't want you amongst our noble ranks. We have a good cause going and filth like you only want your kind to thrive. So how about we do both ourselves a favor and finish you and your disgusting family off, eh?"

She was helpless. She could not recall a single moment in her life where she had ever felt more so. Her wand lay broken in pieces somewhere in the house and her parents were dying if they weren't already dead beside her. And she was about to the join them. Physically, there was no evidence of Lily Marie Evans ever crying that night. Internally, her body was wrecked with sobs of defeat and loneliness. The six intruders then left her and her family as so. They did not touch Lily again after. Though as she lay on the floor, panicking and succumbing to her fears, the smell of smoke began to fill the air around her making it difficult to breathe. Unfortunately she was unable to investigate further but from what she could see, there was no fire, yet. The smell continued to grow stronger and the room began to feel hotter. She could not see the flames but the last thing Lily Evans could remember was the telltale shadow of flickering flames on the walls and ceiling, and the air beginning to become harder and harder to breathe in without wanting to cough.