Lily Evans was very different from the average seventeen-year-old girl. While she was the same in many ways, there was something about her that wasn’t quite ordinary. She went to a special school in Scotland, which only had one entrance requirement: magic. Because, you see, Lily Evans was a witch.
The clock on Lily’s bedside table clicked to eight am and music filled the room. Groggily she reached over to her bedside table for her wand. Once it was in her grasp, she tapped a glowing picture frame and murmured a few words. At once the music stopped. Made of willow, her wand was exceptionally good for charm work, and Lily had put it to good use by adapting a spell so that any object she chose would play whichever song would best wake her up when her clock struck eight each morning. Better still, now that she was seventeen, she could use the spell whenever she wanted. Lily set her wand on the table again and stretched, yawning hugely. Her bright green eyes, though still sleepy, didn’t miss anything as she gazed around her bedroom.
The window seat was covered with books, parchment paper and quills. There was a bottle of ink, a quill and a scroll of parchment covered in neat script lying on her desk. A brush, several hair clips, and a few other odds and ends sat atop her chest of drawers, along with a red and gold badge with a lion and a single golden letter “P” engraved on it. Most of the drawers were open, with clothing spilling untidily out of them. There were several black robes draped over a chair near her open wardrobe doors. Hanging inside the wardrobe were four other robes; two of them were black satin, one was an emerald green dress robe, and the last was a simple, lightweight, pale blue one. There was also an extremely ruffled pale yellow dress with a satin salmon sash, which looked out of place amongst all the robes.
By the foot of her bed sat a large trunk filled with much more then it looked like it could hold. Next to the trunk were several newspapers spread out haphazardly on the dark hardwood floor with odd headlines such as "Dragon Steaks Increase to Five Sickles an Ounce", "Stealing Squib Sentenced to Three Months in Azkaban" and “You-Know-Who Strikes Out Against Muggles”written on the front.
A faint tapping drew Lily’s attention to the window. She got out of bed and tugged her long sleeved, red Gryffindor t-shirt down to cover her yellow shorts as she walked over to the window and pulled the curtains back. A barn owl that belonged to her best friend, Marlene McKinnon, was hovering outside. Lily yawned as she unlocked the window and pushed it open. The owl flew through the gap and landed on top of the robe-covered chair. It held out a leg and Lily removed the letter attached to it. She patted its head, and the owl gave a hoot.
“Hello, Aderyn.” Lily’s voice was still husky from sleeping. She yawned again. “Come on, we’ll go downstairs and get you some water.” She held out her arm and the owl jumped off the chair and settled onto it. Lily grabbed a box of owl treats from her desk and her wand before making her way downstairs.
Her mother, Rose Evans, was sitting at the kitchen table sipping her tea and reading the newspaper when Lily entered. Her greying blonde hair was in a loose knot at the back of her head.
“Morning, Mum,” Lily said, putting Aderyn on the back of a chair. She set her wand and the letter from Marlene on the table and then went to the cupboard to get a dish, filling it with water. “Where’s Dad?” she asked. She fed Aderyn an owl treat and set the water in front of him, where he gulped it gratefully.
Her mother looked up from the morning paper. Her eyes — green in colour, but bright as Lily’s — sparkled as she smiled at her daughter. “He’s already gone to the club. Rich wanted to get some extra practice in at the driving range before the others arrived.”
Lily’s father, Rusty, was a Professor of English at Oxford University, specializing in modern literature. But, during the summer holiday when he didn’t have to teach, he played golf with some of his colleagues twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
“Uncle Rich?” Lily asked, referring to her mother’s younger brother. She poured herself a bowl of cereal and sat down across from her mother. “I thought he was going to the continent this summer.”
Lily’s mum laughed. “Well, you know your uncle. He always changes his plans at the last minute. He’s decided to go in the autumn instead. He says it won’t be as hot then.”
Lily shook her head, and picked up Marlene’s letter and read it while she ate her cereal.
Thanks for the sweets from Honeyduke’s. You know how much I love their sugar quills and ice mice. Is everything still alright for the Ministry and Diagon Alley tomorrow? Mum said our Hogwarts letters should be arriving minute now, so we’ll know which books we need to get. Although, I can’t think of what else we’ll need since most of our books from last year should all be the same. Unless of course we have another new Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor.
I’m so glad you said you’d go with me to get my Apparition license. Mum said she’d take me but she knows so many people we’d never get out of there. Plus she’s no fun to shop with.
I’ll meet you at the Leaky Cauldron at ten. We can Floo to the Ministry from there, since you’ve never been there.
PS: Mum let slip that your name was brought up for Head Girl along with Doreen Simmons. Although anyone who would choose her instead of you must be mental. Good luck! I know you’ll get it!
“Who’s the letter from, Lily?” her mum asked.
“Marlene, checking about tomorrow and thanking me for the present I sent her for her birthday. We’re going to get her Apparition license and then to Diagon Alley for our school things tomorrow.”
“Oh, that’s right. I remember you mentioning something about that last week.”
“Yeah, and Mum,” Lily said excitedly, “she also said that her mum mentioned something about my name being one of the ones up for Head Girl. And her mum is on the board of directors for Hogwarts so she would know.”
“Oh, Lily that’s wonderful! When will you know if you’ve got it?”
“Marlene said our Hogwarts letters will probably get here sometime today.” Lily took a last bite of cereal and cleaned her bowl with a flick of her wand. “I'm going to go and have a shower,” she said, standing up and putting the bowl away. “I have some work to finish too. Come on, Aderyn.” Lily left the kitchen, the owl perched on her arm.
“Lily,” her mum called up after her, “don’t forget that Petunia and Vernon are coming over for dinner tonight at five.”
Lily groaned. Petunia was her older sister, and she and Lily didn’t get on very well. When they were younger they had been as close as two sisters could be despite the three years between them. But when Lily had turned eleven and got her Hogwarts letter everything had changed. Odd things had always happened around her, and now they finally knew why. Her parents had been so proud, but Petunia had been strangely silent. When Lily had come home that first summer Petunia had barely spoken to her. She couldn’t work out what had changed, until one night after her third year at Hogwarts, she had lost her temper. She had been arguing with Petunia over which program to watch on the telly. They were fighting over the remote when Lily had pulled out her wand and yelled “Accio”. The remote had flown into her hand and Lily had smiled triumphantly at Petunia only to see her shaking and staring at her in horror.
“Freak! You’re nothing but an unnatural freak!” Petunia had screamed at her. “People like you shouldn’t be allowed to live among those of us who are normal!”
The room had rung with silence. Then Petunia had shrieked as an owl swooped through the open window and dropped a letter in front of Lily before flying back out. Lily knew that she had gotten into trouble for using magic, but she didn’t care. Petunia’s words had still been ringing in her ears. Tears flooded her eyes as she ran upstairs and fell onto her bed, sobbing uncontrollably. Petunia hadn’t spoken to her since — unless she absolutely had to. Even last year, when Lily had been a bridesmaid at her wedding to Vernon (and only at her mother’s insistence), they had barely exchanged a word.
Lily groaned again, knowing dinner tonight was going to be torture.
Lily walked down the stairs that evening as if she were going to a funeral. Vernon Dursley, Petunia’s husband, was the most insufferable person Lily had ever met. He was the director of a firm that made drills and that was all he would ever talk about. Drills, drills, drills. Lily didn’t understand his fascination with them. Even Petunia would sometimes get a glazed look on her face. Lily couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be married to him.
Lily entered the kitchen just as the doorbell rang and her father hurried to answer it. She hoped she’d be able to change the subject to something more interesting than drill. Even golf would be better, since as boring as she thought the game was, she at least knew something about it.
“Lily, come help me finish setting the table,” her mother called from the dining room.
“What do you still need?” Lily called back.
“Just the cutlery.”
“Alright.” Lily got the correct amount of forks, spoons, and knives from the drawer and carried them into the dining room.
“Has your Hogwarts letter come yet?”
“No. I thought it would have come by now, but maybe it’ll be here tomorrow instead.” As she laid the cutlery on the table, her mother let out a small sigh.
“What is it?” Lily asked her.
“Oh, nothing really, just that — well — I talked with Petunia this afternoon and she still hasn’t told Vernon about, well that you’re—”
“That I’m a witch,” Lily finished for her.
“It’s alright. I know how she feels about it. Don’t worry — I won’t say anything I shouldn’t.”
Her mother glanced at her sadly. “Oh, Lily, I’m sure she’ll come around sometime.”
Lily snorted. “I won’t hold my breath.”
Her mother looked as if she was going to say something more, but then Petunia and Vernon walked into the room followed by Lily’s father, a big, brawny man with blue eyes and the same thick red hair Lily had. He smiled and winked at Lily when he saw her.
Her mother bustled over to give Petunia a hug. Her sister, as always, was dressed to perfection. Her blonde hair was styled perfectly and she wore a slim blue skirt and a white blouse with a matching set of jewellery. Her pale eyes, however, did nothing to soften her horsy-looking face, and her long neck reminded Lily of a giraffe.
Vernon greeted her mother and bent to kiss her on the cheek, although it was more of a bump since he was so fleshy. He had almost no neck and a huge moustache, and his thinning brown hair was plastered to his head. Lily had no idea what Petunia saw in him. Then again, it was Petunia.
Petunia nodded stiffly at Lily and Vernon followed suit. An awkward silence followed until Lily’s mother invited them to sit down and asked Lily to help bring the food out to the table.
Dinner was a boring affair. Once everyone had been served, Vernon started talking about his drill firm. Lily’s father did manage to change the subject to golf for about ten minutes but, with a relentlessness Lily admired, Vernon changed it back to his firm — talking about how drills were used to make clubs or something of that sort. Every so often Petunia would give Lily a funny look, but would look away when Lily looked back at her questioningly.
Finally, dinner ended and Lily’s mother ushered everyone into the family room while she and Lily cleared the table and made tea. Her mother had just finished serving everyone when something tapped at the window. Lily shot her parents a fearful look. Her father looked at her and mouthed, “What is it?”
“My Hogwarts letter,” she mouthed back. Her father shrugged as if to say “Nothing for it!” and settled back onto the sofa he was sitting on.
Lily took a deep breath, rose from where she was sitting on the sofa next to her father, and went to open the window.
Petunia glared at her. “What are you doing?” she asked sharply.
“Opening the window,” Lily said, without looking at her.
Petunia moved to stop her but Lily already had the window open, and a tawny owl flew through and landed on the coffee table nearest to Vernon. The owl blinked at him steadily as Vernon looked at it as if it was a cockroach. Lily untied the letter from its leg and the owl dipped its beak into Vernon’s tea several times before flying back out the window. Lily shut it and sat back down on the sofa.
The clock ticked loudly in the silent room.
Finally Vernon broke the silence. “What is that?” he said, nodding disdainfully at the letter Lily held.
“My Hogwarts letter,” she replied.
“Hogwarts? What’s that?
“The school I go to.”
“Hogwarts, Hogwarts? Never heard of it,” Vernon huffed. “And what kind of school sends a letter with a ruddy owl?”
Petunia let out a strangled sound. She had a terrified look on her face. Lily wasn’t surprised. This had to be Petunia’s worst nightmare come to life. Lily had told Petunia to tell him herself once they had gotten married, but it was too late now.
“Hogwarts is a school for witchcraft and wizardry,” Lily replied. “A school for people who can do magic. A Muggle like you wouldn’t have heard about it.”
“Muggle?” he sputtered, turning a darker shade of purple. “What is a Muggle?”
“A person who’s not magical.”
“Magic. What’s this nonsense about magic? There’s no such thing as—”
“Magic?” Lily interrupted him. “I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I assure you there is.”
“So you’re telling me you're one of these magical people. A—”
“Freak!” Petunia screamed at Lily, jumping up from where she was sitting. Lily started and dropped the letter she was holding. “You're nothing but a freak. I told you to keep it to yourself! To keep your unnaturalness away from me and my husband.” Petunia tugged on Vernon’s arm. “Come, Vernon, we’re leaving. I don’t want to spend another minute in her presence.”
“You stay away from us!” Vernon yelled as Petunia dragged him out the door. “You and your magic.” He said the word as if it were a swear word. The front door slammed shut after them.
“Oh, what I wouldn’t give to curse them into next year!” Lily said angrily.
“Lily, honey.” Her mum stood up and gave Lily a hug. “I know she said some awful things — Vernon too, for that matter. But she is still your sister. She’ll come around.”
“No, she won’t. She’s been like this ever since I got in. She thinks I’m a freak.”
“You're not a freak, Lily, and you know that. We know it too,” her father said. “Now come and sit down and open the letter. It has to have good news.” He guided her back to the sofa and Lily sat down. He picked the letter up from where it had fallen to the floor and handed it to her.
Lily slit the seal. A shiny badge fell onto her lap as she pulled out the pages. Lily gasped, and stared at the badge for a second before reading the letter.
Dear Miss Evans,
As Head of Gryffindor House, I am pleased to inform you that you have been selected as Head Girl for your seventh year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Enclosed in this letter are your new badge and the list of school supplies you will need for this year.
You and the Head Boy are expected to hold a meeting on the Hogwarts Express with the Prefects and patrol the train along with them. Since you have been a Prefect for the past two years I am sure this will come as no surprise to you. Professor Dumbledore wishes to meet with you and the new Head Boy directly after the Welcoming Feast.
As usual, the school train will be departing for Hogwarts from King’s Cross Station Platform 9 ¾ at 11:00 am on 1st September.
Professor M. McGonagall
Lily let out a joyful laugh.
“What is it?” her father asked.
“I did it! I’m Head Girl!”
“Oh, Lily, that’s wonderful!” her mother exclaimed. Her father picked her up and swung her around. He kissed her cheek before putting her back down. “This calls for celebration! Rose, is there any champagne?”
“No, we took what we had to the Bakers’ anniversary two weeks ago.”
“That’s all right.” Lily said. “Let me get my wand from upstairs. Be right back.”
Lily dashed upstairs and grabbed her wand off her dresser. When she got back downstairs she flicked her wand, and a champagne bottle and three glasses appeared in midair.
Her mother put a hand against her chest. “Oh, my, I don’t know if I’m ever going to get used to you doing that,” she said. They each took a glass and Lily’s father opened the bottle of champagne and poured some into each of the glasses.
“A toast,” he said, “to Lily and another wonderful year at Hogwarts!”
“To a wonderful year!” Lily and her mother repeated. They clinked their glasses together and sipped.
Her father let out a sound of surprise. “This champagne is excellent.”
Lily smiled. “I’ve always had a knack for charms.” Her parents laughed, and they all sat down on the sofa to talk.
Later that night, as Lily was getting ready for bed she couldn’t help thinking what wonderful parents she had. She didn’t know what she would do without them. She smiled and climbed into bed. She was asleep before her head hit the pillow.