Pink Green Blue

Prelude to Destiny by Hourglass nomineeHourglass winnerAnotherDreamer

« »
Rating: PG. Created: September 14th, 2005. Updated: April 21st, 2006. Read Reviews (251)
Disclaimer: Characters, the magical world, etc, is property of J. K. Rowling and Warner Bros, not the owner of this fic.

Chapter 3 -
Of Letters, Shopping, and Boys

8.8.74
Lily...
Just got back from the tour and Malaga... it was gorgeous... clear and cold and there were tons of people... how was the anniversary dinner? met a couple of blokes in Barcelona...
Christine

PS. did you ever notice how closely linked your boyfriend's name is to mine?
PPS. when are you getting your books and things?
PPPS. are you still a prefect?
PPPPS. How many o.w.l.s did you receive?
PPPPPS. ... um... bye

---

9.8.74
Christine,
Yes, I notice the similarities between ChristianÕs name and yours. I sometimes write the wrong one by accident. IÕm going to buy my books on the 25th, with you when we meet at the Leaky Cauldron at noon. Yes, IÕm a prefect still. And finally, you're strange. Learn to punctuate. The dinner went really well. The food was fabulous and Christian pulled out my chair and took my jacket. No bloke at Hogwarts would ever do anything like that. Ever. He is wonderful.
Lily

---

10.8.74
Lily,
How's the distraction?
Sam

---

11.8.74
Sam,
Really wish that you would quit calling Christian "The Distraction." I know what I told you at the end of term makes it seem bad, but he is really good-looking (REALLY good-looking), clever, and most certainly not just a replacement for He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named.
Lily

PS. Let's meet on the 25th to buy our things for school. If you come over to my house at eleven, you can meet Christian before we go. Could you? Please?

---

11.8.74
Lily,
You'd never believe the amount of hell being on the Quidditch team has caused me. Not only is the new captain still insisting on daily practices, but now she says that we have to tryout for the team when the new term starts... Practice I understand and even somewhat enjoy. It's good to see the team and I love flying but trying out again? Isn't that simply ridiculous? She says that all the extra practices are "causing productive team bonding," but so far all we've bonded about is the belief that she should not being making us try out again. And she shouldn't!
Tracy

---

11.8.74
Tracy,
We're meeting on the 25th at noon in the Leaky Cauldron to shop for supplies, and with regards to your complaints about trying out: go complain to someone else. You thrive on competition. That's why you insist that we play the Game.
Lily

-----------

At 11 o'clock on the 25th of August, a knock echoed through the Evans home. Lily jumped at the sound and sprinted across the room. Without bothering to see who it was, Lily threw open the door and enveloped the new arrival in a hug. Luckily for Lily, she had correctly assumed the person to be her best friend Samantha Caldwell, whom she had not seen all summer.

"Glad to see you, too," Sam said, smiling.

"I should hope so!" Lily ushered her into the house, shutting the door behind her, and loudly announced to her mother that Sam had arrived. Faith Evans came out of the kitchen and also hugged Sam hello.

"How was your summer, Sam?" Mrs. Evans asked.

"Really wonderful, thanks," Sam said, smiling her wide smile.

Mrs. Evans grinned and glanced at Lily. "Have you heard Lily's news?"

"About the boyfriend or about the O.W.L.s?" Sam asked, also briefly looking over at Lily, who felt uncomfortable.

"I was talking about the boyfriend, but her O.W.L.s were a wonderful too," Faith said, lying. Lily knew her mother was bursting at the seams to tell people her scores.

"She wouldn't tell me how many she received," Sam said.

"Oh, she had--"

"I received a Troll on the Defense practical," Lily said, cutting off their conversation.

"Is that even possible?" Sam asked, shocked.

"Apparently," Lily said, shrugging as she leaned against the wall and crossed her arms over her chest.

"So, are you meeting Christian today?" Mrs. Evans asked, taking the cue from her daughter not to talk about O.W.L.s.

"Yes, it should be really interesting to see the bloke Lily spent more time with than anyone else this summer. Including me," Sam said, giving Lily a knowing look. The redhead looked away and felt briefly bad before remembering that Sam had spent all holiday in Turkey. They wouldn't have seen each other anyway.

"And her family," Lily's mum said. "In came her first boyfriend and out went the rest of the people in her life."

"At this rate she might even quit Hogwarts to--"

"Now that you two have had your fun," Lily said, cutting off her friend's ridiculous statement; Lily would never quit Hogwarts for anything. "I was about to offer Sam something to eat or drink, and then we're going over to Ian's."

"All right, Lily. Do you need money for your books and things?" Faith asked.

"If I said yes, would you ask Dad if he'd given me any?" Lily asked.

"Yes."

"Then no, I don't," Lily said. After a short detour into the kitchen, where Mrs. Evans insisted on giving Sam many little crackers and biscuits, the two girls headed to Ian's house.

"What'd you do this weekend?" Sam asked as they walked down the residential street. A young boy ran past them closely followed by his screaming sister. Lily smiled.

"This weekend?" Lily thought a moment, playing with the charm on her necklace. "We were walking by this fountain and Christian couldn't understand how it worked, but I couldn't explain it to him either except to say piping and water pressure and electricity. I sort of accept some Muggle things without thinking, but talking to Christian almost makes me feel like I ought to take Muggle Studies. Actually, he might know more than I do about most of this stuff because his questions are so detailed that it's hard to believe he only has a rudimentary understanding--"

"You're babbling, Lily," Sam said, giving her friend a sideways look as they turned left onto Ian's street. "And you're nervous."

"I'm not nervous," Lily lied.

"Oh, that's why you keep playing with your necklace?" Sam asked. Lily dropped her hand to her side, and they continued in silence until they were at the walkway that led to Ian's house. Then Lily turned to Sam.

"I need you to like him. I really do, Sam," Lily whispered, as if confiding a really dangerous and evil secret.

Sam looked concerned. "Why?"

"I don't know. I'm co-dependent," Lily said and then she turned and led her friend up the path that would lead to Christian. She knocked and waited a couple of moments before he answered.

"Hello, Lily," he said, sounding both surprised and happy. She smiled up at him (for he was much taller than she), then walked up and gave him a quick kiss hello.

"Hi, Christian. This is my friend Samantha. We're going shopping, and she wanted to meet you," Lily said, only sort-of lying. Why did he have to know Lily wanted to know her friend's judgment? Still, Lily pointedly avoided Sam's gaze right then.

"Hello, Samantha," Christian said, extending a hand. "I'm Christian Knowles."

"Knowles?" Sam repeated, not reaching out to shake his hand. Her eyes widened.

"Yes," he said, dropping his hand back to his side when he realized she wasn't going to take it. Lily looked back and forth between them. Was this encouraging or horrible?

"You study at Beauxbaton?" Sam asked. As Christian nodded, Lily tried to remember if she'd told Sam that.

"What's your surname?" Christian asked, his blue eyes scrunched in thought.

"Caldwell," Sam said stiffly. Christian looked at her for a moment and she looked back at him. Then they shook hands and nodded at one another as Christian motioned for both girls to enter Ian's home. Lily knew both Sam and Christian were from long lines of wizards and witches, but hadn't expected Christian to ask such an odd question about it.

"Which classes are you taking?" Christian asked. Sam listed them. "Sounds interesting."

"Not really," Sam said, and it was unfortunate that she thought talking about class was uninteresting because for the remainder of the time the girls spent with Christian, that was all they talked about.

-----------

"He's so dull," Sam announced, her eyes wide, as the two girls left Ian's to head to London and meet Tracy and Christine at the Leaky Cauldron.

"What?" Lily squeaked.

"He is good-looking, Lily--exceptionally so--, but he's not fast enough for you." Lily's heart dropped. "He didn't even notice you were teasing him about those mittens."

"He just doesn't laugh much," Lily said. She knew Christian didn't exactly understand Lily's brand of humor, but what did that matter? He was nice and kind and gorgeous. Shouldn't that have made up for the fact that he wasn't able to follow her jumpy conversations?

"He's not right for you, Lily," Sam said. "That, at least, I know. You need someone that can keep up with your train of thought, someone that wants to keep up with you in general."

Lily supposed that part of the reason she had been so nervous about the introduction between Christian and Sam had been because she had known it would turn out badly. Much as she liked Christian, she knew he would not fit in with her friends.

"I know his family," Sam said suddenly. "They live in France. What's he doing here?"

"Visiting his friend Ian."

-----------

"Lily is never allowed to organize the book buying again," Tracy said as she elbowed yet another over-sized, older woman out of her path. They had not even reached the Leaky Cauldron yet and the four girls were already grumbling, tired, and ready to leave. The journey from their meeting place in Muggle London to the pub was one of the most challenging of Lily's life. She did not know how Muggles managed not to notice all of the extremely out-of-place animals and peoples marching around the streets.

And inside the pub was even worse: it was packed from wall to wall with witches, wizards, dwarfs, half-giants, balding elves, hags, and other assortments of odd people. In short, the Leaky Cauldron ranked among the top ten places Lily wished she could avoid at that moment.

"Why didn't someone tell me there was a meeting of the Confederation of Abnormal Magical Peoples in the Diagon Alley today?" Lily grumbled right before an angry-looking dwarf shoved her into a wall.

"C.A.M.P. always meets on the 25th of August," Tracy replied, yanking her purse away from a short, thin man with long fingers and a twitchy left eyebrow.

"If we make it into Diagon Alley, it will be better," Sam said as she twisted out of the way of a warthog. After two more impressive moves around and through the chaos, Lily lost sight of her and tried to follow Christine (the tallest of the group) towards the back of the dank little pub. But soon the crowd also consumed Christine, and Lily was left to find her way on her own when Tracy ducked under one smelly wizard.

"Excuse me. Pardon me. Could I please pass by?" Lily asked, her manners coming most prominently to the surface as she refused to knock into anyone without a word of apology. The wall, which had not seemed too terribly far away at the beginning of Lily's quest, did not appear to be growing any closer as Lily continued sidestepping and shuffling towards it.

A hand latched onto Lily's arm and yanked her in the wrong direction, though that was not exactly her biggest concern as she found herself facing a woman with five different moles growing out of her left eyelid. No, at that point her biggest concern was keeping herself from screaming out in fright and running rudely away.

"What's abnormal about you?" she asked in a thick German accent.

"I'm just passing through. Excuse me." She tried to tug her arm out of the woman's grasp, but the elder, grosser woman held tight.

"Not all right," she said. "Must be abnormal to be here."

Lily met the woman's gaze and pleadingly said, "I'm only going to Diagon Alley."

Then the most peculiar thing happened. The woman's eyes flashed bright orange and her hand was gone. She backed away from Lily, averting her gaze as she said, "Sorry. Didn't know."

"It's all right," Lily replied, rubbing her arm where the hand had been and moving away from the stranger.

"I didn't know," the woman said again before turning and hobbling away.

Lily, not wanting to waste any time thinking about the strange woman or her attack, spun around and ran for the back wall. This time manners were ignored and feelings were hurt. Elbowing, kicking, shoving, and nudging became Lily's main weapons as she forced her way out of the pub and into the alley. The doorway was open when Lily arrived and she was grateful to find a place to breathe in the alley.

Resting her hands on her knees, Lily slowed her breathing and looked around the lopsided alley.

Like every other time she had come here, Lily was amazed by the sheer madness of it all; stores did not line up properly--actually nothing seemed particularly normal or ordered there-- and Lily loved it. The whole ordeal of shopping in Diagon Alley was still a thrilling experience for Lily, a Muggle girl who had always wanted adventure and excitement but never had the opportunity to get it.

While standing near the entrance to the Alley, Lily looked around and tried to spot her friends, not seeing any of them near her. In the meantime, two blokes walked up and asked her if she knew the way to the Quidditch supply store.

"Sorry, no," she replied, her eyes still scanning the surrounding area.

"I'm Alex, by the way," the boy closest to her said, inclining his head and continuing the conversation Lily did not want to have.

"Todd," said the boy farther to the left.

"I'm Lily." Why were they talking to her? Shouldn't they have been trying to find their Quidditch store? Where were her friends?

"What are you looking for?" one of the boys asked. An old man walked past with a walking stick that looked like it might once have been a large spear.

"My friends. We were separated in the pub," Lily replied. If that man brought the walking stick down on someone's foot, it would puncture it.

"Oh," the bloke said. Watching the old man, Lily accidentally spotted Christine walking amongst the crowd, bumping into people and not really noticing. Lily shouted her friend's name and waved her arms to get her attention. The blonde girl noticed and made her way over.

"Wasn't that a joy?" Lily asked Christine sarcastically, nodding over at the still-filled-to-capacity pub.

"No," Christine said, walking up. "Not at all."

"Yeah, that was pretty much the worst pub experience of my life so far. An old woman with too many warts attacked me," Lily said, making an unhappy sound. The blokes, who Lily had nearly forgotten, introduced themselves to Christine, but she didn't return the favor.

"Where are Sam or Tracy?" she asked Lily, who was a little shocked by her rude behavior.

"I don't know."

"We need to start shopping."

"You looking to buy anything in particular?" asked the bloke to Lily's right. She couldn't remember what his name was, though he'd just introduced himself again. Honestly, shouldn't he and his friend have found the supply shop yet?

"School supplies," Lily replied, seeing that Christine wasn't going to respond.

"Your parents don't have people who do that?" the one on the left asked. Lily wanted to roll her eyes, but manners kept her from doing so. Christine did not have this problem.

"Ew," Christine said.

"He didn't mean it like that," the boy on the right said, elbowing his friend in the side. The hell he didn't, Lily thought, smiling her practiced-for-dumb-people-smile. "It's just that--"

"I see Tracy," Christine interrupted before giving a sharp yell to grab her friend's attention.

"Where is she?" Lily asked.

"There," Christine said, pointing to the ground. Lily looked down, and saw Tracy crawling through the throngs of people pouring out of the Leaky Cauldron. When she saw Christine and Lily looking at her, she scrambled to stand up and walk over, dusting off on the way. Lily couldn't help but smile at the sight.

"Don't say anything. Not one word. I made it, didn't I?" Tracy said, sounding defensive. "Where's Sam?"

"I don't know, " Lily said.

"But Lily has already caught to eye of two S.A.L.s," Christine noted.

"S.A.L.s?" Lily repeated.

"Surprisingly amazing looking lads," Tracy explained, peering around to see if she could find which blokes Christine was talking about.

"That's not the right acronym for that. You'd need two ls," Lily said.

"We decided that was too long," Tracy said. "Which ones were they?"

"No one. I'm a sweaty mess of grossness right now. I don't even want to be near me at this moment."

"Were they waiting for you to talk to them?" Tracy asked.

"They needed to find a store," Lily said.

"Sure. I believe you," Tracy said sarcastically, then looked around. "Where's Sam?"

"Here," Sam said. Tracy, Christine, and Lily turned toward the voice and saw Sam emerge from the ice cream shop with a cone of chocolate ice cream. She looked ridiculously and unfairly put together even though she had to have shoved her way through hordes of strange creatures too.

"Sometimes I strongly dislike you," Lily muttered, walking up to Sam and taking the ice cream from her.

"That's mine, you thief," Sam said.

"Not anymore, obviously," Lily said, smiling and licking the cone, "but thank you for buying me such a great treat."

"Stealing other people's ice cream cones is never okay. Never," Sam said, reaching out for her ice cream. Lily moved out of her reach.

"Duly noted," Lily said, walking down the Alley beside Sam with Tracy and Christine following behind them, still talking about whether or not the blokes were actually interested in Lily.

-----------

The girls collected (or exchanged) their gold at Gringotts, bought Potions supplies, extra quills, books, a cauldron for Christine, a broomstick supply kit for Tracy, a cat for Sam (whose last pet, a frog, she had given as a gift to her younger brother for his upcoming first year), and were now debating the necessity of buying robes.

"I don't need new robes. Mum ordered me some from a catalog," Lily announced, tired of walking around with so many packages and desperate for a seat.

"I don't need new robes either," said Tracy, bouncing up and down on the balls of her feet.

"Everyone needs new robes," Christine replied.

"How about we sit with the bags somewhere while you two go buy robes?" Lily asked. Sam and Christine shrugged.

"All right, you can sit at Fortescue's," Sam decided, handing Lily her bags as Christine gave hers to Tracy. The extra weight would have been unbearable if the shop had been much further than it was. As it happened, the girls made it to an empty table and collapsed.

"I'm going to buy the largest thing of ice cream I can," Lily announced. "Do you want me to get you anything?"

"Oh, no, thanks. Have to stay in shape for Quidditch."

"You sure?" Lily asked, not believing anything worth not eating ice cream. Then again, she had only played football until she was eleven and if she'd wanted to become serious about the sport, she probably would have had to start eating healthful foods too.

"Yep, Nancy'd kill me if I gained weight after all the training we've done," Tracy said.

Lily tried to think of a Nancy that she knew and could only remember one. "Nancy Adams?"

"Yeah, the new Gryffindor captain."

"She's the slave driver from your letters?" Lily asked, surprised. Nancy never seemed obsessive about anything before.

"She has a field at her estate, you see, so we all go over there for an hour or two every day and work out different moves. She's insane, absolutely barmy. The only good thing that's happened is that we've spent so much time together this holiday that weÕre almost seamless, which makes it less likely that she'll choose other people for the team," Tracy said, her dull blue eyes shinning as they always did when she talked about Quidditch.

"Did I just hear the words 'barmy' and 'insane' come out of your mouth, Tracy McGrath? Does that mean you're talking about everyone's favorite Quidditch captain?" asked a teasing voice to Lily's left.

The two girls looked over in the direction of the voice and saw James Potter (he-who-Lily-would-not-think-or-dream-about-anymore) walking toward their table flanked by his usual flunkies. Lily's heart skipped a few beats. He looked fabulous, and he'd clearly grown. Then her eyes narrowed as she remembered that she didn't care how he looked. She was getting over her crush on him. How dare he come back and make her think of him?

"The one and the same," replied Tracy, standing to give James a friendly kiss on the cheek to say hello. Lily had already been standing, but then she began to feel awkward. "Enjoying your day off?"

"Oh yes," James said, "and it's always good to hear someone talking about Nancy with the proper adjectives."

His best friends--three blokes in their year--stood a little behind him, two looking uncomfortable, and the third looking bored before he whispered something to the other two, making them all laugh as James and Tracy kept talking. Since when had they become such good friends? Since when had he cut his hair that short or worn that shirt that made him look so good? Why couldn't Lily find him unattractive?

"So you don't see enough of me during practice every day, you followed me to Diagon Alley as well?" Tracy joked.

"Actually, this is a complete coincidence. I quit stalking people after the whole 'cursed if within sight of Julie' fiasco back in third year." Tracy laughed, sharing a joke with James. Lily played with her necklace. Since when did they share jokes? Since when had they even spoken except to tease one another during a Quidditch game? Never. That's when.

"You must have decided to stalk me," Tracy said. "Why else would you voluntarily come here on the twenty-fifth of August?"

"Best day to shop," James responded with an easy, confident smile.

"I'm sure." Tracy looked dubious.

"Trust me," James said, his hazel eyes sparkling as his friends started to wander away toward the windows of the Quidditch supply shop. "So why are you here?"

"Lily chose the date," Tracy said, nodding at Lily, who stood twirling the charm on her necklace. When their eyes met, James looked uncertain (a first in Lily's experience), and Lily felt uncomfortable. They were both remembering an awful incident at the end of their last year, one that would help shape the people they would grow up to become. Then, at the same moment, they overcame their shame and became angry. For Lily it was the kind of anger that kept her on her toes, kept her sharp and cutting. For James it was the kind of anger that made him exuberant and wild.

He looked really good. As good as Christian? Better.

"I'm surprised you'd mingle with the riff-raff," he said to Lily.

"What? You--"

"Are you coming tomorrow?" Tracy asked James, cutting off Lily's response, and Lily thought she saw something pass between Tracy and James when their eyes caught, but could not be sure.

"To practice?" he asked.

"No, to the party after practice at the McDougals'."

"Maybe. I don't know," James answered vaguely. Then he glanced back at his friends, noticing how far they had strayed. "They're a bit antsy. I best be off. See you at practice, Tracy. Bye, Evans."

"See you at school," Lily replied automatically, her manners never letting her ignore a polite goodbye. As soon as the boys were out of sight, Lily turned and looked at Tracy.

"Since when have you and James Potter been friends?" she asked.

"I told you in my letters," Tracy said. "I spend every day with the team. They're like my extended family at this point."

Tracy shrugged as if it should never have mattered, and for Tracy, who knew nothing of Lily's crush on James, it was nothing. For Lily, who had been harboring this annoying secret fascination with him for almost a year and a half now, it meant utter disaster. She would never get over him if he hung around with one of her best friends, and she desperately needed to get over him.

"Why are you playing with your necklace like that?" Tracy inquired, trying to change the subject but only managing to make Lily even more uncomfortable as she realized she was still nervous around James. But she was dating Christian--Christian who was kind and considerate and would never in a million years play a prank--so how could she still like James? Frick! She was supposed to have gotten over this crush, but it seemed only to have intensified.

"James cut his hair," Lily said at last.

"I didn't think you'd notice," Tracy replied, opening and looking at her broomstick servicing kit for what seemed to be the hundredth time that day.

"It's not as wild."

"I'm sure it's easier for him to manage," Tracy said, still not understanding what Lily was saying. Lily, you see, was hoping he had cut his hair for her. It was possible, wasn't it? No. No, James was nothing to her. Christian was what ought to have occupied her thoughts. Christian was amazing. James was nothing except a show-off and a bragger--a bragger who had cut his hair and managed to make Lily's heart skip a beat.

« Previous Next »
Privacy Policy, Terms of Service. Coding created by Cine and constantly hacked by DNA since her disappearance. HARRY POTTER © and all related are the property of J.K. Rowling and various publishers, including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books, Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros. Entertainment. All works (stories and art) on unknowableroom.org are based on the original work with no copyright or trademark infringement intended. Unknowable Room is an unofficial, non-profit site not affiliated with afore mentioned entities. All works hosted on UR.org are property of their respected owner(s). No material may be reproduced from this site without expressed permission from its creator. UR.org takes no responsibility for views or opinions expressed by members. UR.org takes no responsibility for views or opinions expressed by members.