Everything around me seemed to be moving in slow motion. I watched, horrified as all the faces around me turned towards the front door, awareness settling in the room like a noxious gas.
We were busted, done for; we were all going to be expelled.
I looked around frantically. Sirius Black, who I had been talking to before that fateful knock on the door, started pulling me towards the back of the room.
I froze, my eyes wide in panic as Sirius yanked hard on my hand.
"Sirius, they can't get in right? I mean, you put charms all over the building," I said quietly to him.
Nobody in the room moved. We were all still staring at the door, listening as the knocking turned into pounding.
"We have to get out of here," Sirius said, his voice echoing around the silent room as his hand closed around my arm.
In one fluid movement, everyone in the room turned and ran, trying to get as far away from the front door as possible. Beams of light flashed through the windows, illuminating the chaos within and the pounding on the door grew louder and more violent.
I heard several tiny popping sounds and I could only assume that those who had passed their apparation tests had gone.
Someone shoved past me, and Sirius lost his grip on my arm. I stumbled backwards, looking frantically around for my best friends, Anna Doucette and Scarlet St. Clair.
"Lily, go!" Sirius yelled, catching my eye through the panicked crowd of students.
"I can't leave without Scarlet and Anna," I said helplessly, as another student knocked into me.
"Remus and Peter are with Scarlet, they'll take care of her," Sirius said, trying to fight his way through the crowd towards me.
"What about Anna?" I said, panicked as I fought to keep my balance in the chaos.
"She can apparate, she'll be fine," Sirius said exasperatedly. "Lily, you have to go!"
I took one last look around and my eyes lingered on James Potter across the room.
In the instant our eyes met my brain froze, completely forgetting that I was about to be busted for being in the village, not to mention for being in possession of copious amounts of firewhiskey. All I saw was him, and all I felt was anger…
"For the love of Merlin, Lily, go!" Sirius yelled at me.
"What about you?" I asked, my shaking hands grasping his arm.
"I'll be fine," Sirius shook his head but his silver eyes darting towards the back door where the students who couldn't apparate were escaping.
"Can't you apparate?" I stuttered, catching on.
"Can't take the test 'til July," Sirius said helplessly as another student knocked us apart.
"Hold on, then," I said, flinging myself towards him and throwing my arms around his neck, squeezing my eyes shut tight.
I heard Sirius gasp, his arms winding quickly around my waist as we were squeezed into nothingness. My stomach turned uneasily and I felt like there was a hippogriff sitting on my chest.
Urgh. Apparating and firewhiskey clearly didn't mix.
My feet hit solid ground and I staggered uneasily, but I felt Sirius's arms still around me, steadying me.
"Are you alright?" I whispered frantically, looking Sirius up and down. "I didn't splinch you, did I? I've never done side-along before…"
"I'm fine, Lily," Sirius assured me, his hands gripping my shoulders.
We were at the train station, close to where a secret passageway back to Hogwarts lay hidden away behind a shrub at the end of the platform.
I started down the platform towards the end, where a large prickly shrub covered the hole in the side of the station building.
Sirius tugged on my sleeve suddenly and I was pulled behind one of the stone pillars along the platform.
A beam of light appeared at the end of the platform, followed by another and I heard voices.
"It might just be other students," I whispered to him, peering around the corner.
"They wouldn't be stupid enough to light their wands, it's gotta be villagers," Sirius shook his head.
"Come on, then," I grabbed his hand, pulling him after me as I jumped off the platform, crossing the railroad tracks in a single leap.
His hand slipped from mine as we both ran down the steep hill that plunged into the forest, the only thing standing between the castle and us.
I'd spent enough time with the Marauders this year to know the other passageways into the castle from the grounds. It was only a matter of getting there…
The only sound following us now was our soft footsteps across the forest floor. My hair whipped around me and my legs ached, but I kept running, not wanting to get caught by whoever had found out about our party.
The light from the half-moon disappeared under the cover of the trees and I slowed down, trying to let my eyes re-adjust to the sudden blackness.
"Sirius?" I whispered, glancing behind me but there was no one there. Where did he go?
I looked around, panicking slightly as I realized that I was completely alone in the forest.
Where had Sirius gone? He had been right behind me…I didn't even hear his footsteps anymore.
I stumbled forward, trusting my instincts that I was heading in the right direction back towards the castle.
The dark forest seemed menacing now, compared to the many times I'd snuck out here during the year. I hugged my arms around myself, trying to ignore the eerie feeling I had that I was being watched.
I walked for a long time, trying hard not to panic when I saw no signs of the forest ever thinning.
Was I going the wrong way? What if I was just heading deeper and deeper into the forest? Oh Merlin, I'd be stuck here forever.
I stopped, my legs shaking with exhaustion and I sank down on my knees, letting myself rest for a minute while I gathered my bearings. I held out my hand, my wand resting on my palm.
"Point me," I whispered and my wand quivered, then spun quickly coming to a stop and pointing due north, exactly the way I had been going.
Well, at least I was going in the right direction.
I sighed and pushed myself off the ground, setting off towards the castle.
This entire night had been such a disaster. It had seemed like such a good idea, a party in the village… the perfect way to celebrate before starting the long and grueling process of studying for exams. The Marauders had been so sure we wouldn't get caught…well, so much for that.
All I'd wanted was just one last night of adolescent idiocy… one night to forget everything that had happened in the past month—hell, the past year… But he had been there, all night, staring at me, looking heartbreakingly perfect.
Urgh, and then I remembered what he did…what he'd said.
That bloody list.
My eyes stung at the thought of his words and I willed away the tears. I walked faster, trying to find things about the forest to distract myself from my thoughts…
I wished things could go back to the way they were at the beginning of the year, before everything happened. Hell, I wish I could go back to 5th year, before things had gone so wrong…
A strange glowing light appeared through the trees ahead and I sighed in relief, stumbling towards it.
I recognized that glow... How could I not after everything that had happened this year? I wasn't exactly happy to see it, but it meant that I was close to the castle.
I broke through the trees into a small clearing where the moonlight reflected eerily off the ancient stone well built in the center.
I walked slowly towards it, my heart beating wildly. Anger flared up in me again as I stared into the water that filled the well to the brim.
It was all because of this stupid well that my life was a hopeless mess right now. It was because of the well that James Potter wrote that damned list. And it was because of the well that I was once again a heart-broken mess. …
It was amazing how one simple wish, said with nothing but good intentions, had caused so much destruction.
My fingers dug into the moss that blanketed the ancient stones and my eyes burned with suppressed tears.
A twig snapped somewhere in the forest around me and I leapt back from the well, my ears straining for any other sounds…
Something moved in the trees ahead of me and I gripped my wand tightly in my hand.
"Sirius? Is that you?" I whispered foolishly, squinting into the darkness.
A figure stepped out from behind a tree and I jumped back, holding my wand out defensively before me.
I froze, a chill running through me despite the warm spring air. I recognized that voice. And it definitely wasn't Sirius… I felt my entire body tense, my stomach clenching unpleasantly as the moon broke through the trees, illuminating the figure.
Oh bloody hell...
A/N: Hey everyone! Hooray! i'm back with a new story! And you know how I love my prologues... I have the entire story written, so like HC I'll be able to update pretty regularly. The next chapter will go back to the end of Lily's 5th year "before everything was so screwed up" as she says, and you'll get to see how things ended up this way! Hooray!
Anyways, I hoped you liked it! I'd love to hear what you think so far so leave a review! It would make me oh-so happy!