Best Friends and Tears
Revised: August 20, 2012
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter
Marley McKinnon looked everywhere for her two best friends. She had to show them that waking her up in the morning with that particular plan was not okay! She searched outside the large castle first. No one she asked had seen Lily or Alice anywhere near the lake, Whomping Willow, or the famous birch tree they always visited.
On those ugly exam days it became habit for the three friends to sit under its shade. Sadly, they had some competition most of the time because James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and Peter Pettigrew tried to claim the tree too. It would always start the same way. James would walk over with Sirius at his side, tossing an old snitch around. Black would then try to use his "charm" to make them leave.
Once that didn't work, James would either resort to petty threats or mild embarrassment until Remus called him off. Usually it was a 'first come, first serve' kind of thing. No one dared go near the tree because there was almost always one of those infamous Lily/James fights occurring.
Marlene crossed outside off of her list once she checked the giant swaying tree for herself. She also checked almost every floor of the castle and all the secret passageways she knew of (she was currently aware of 4). She was becoming so desperate to find them that she almost was willing to ask the Marauders to help. She knew they had a knack for finding people…whether they wanted to be found or not. She had tried to discover their secret to success many times, but they were always able to squirm out of her piercing glares.
Eventually, the thought of revenge was gone for her mind and she just wanted to find them so that she wouldn't 'lose'.
After asking Professor McGonagall if she had seen either of the girls, she traveled up to the Gryffindor common room to take a short break, maybe even give up until they showed up. She realized running around a castle all day could really wear a girl out. Now she was sweating, muddy, and probably stunk, plus she wasn't able to find her missing slipper. She would have to ask Lily to copy the one she had on. Marlene was dead awful at charms and anything she tried to do involving the subject usually ended in flames.
"Felix Felicis" she said to the Fat Lady who gave her a curt nod before returning to the talk she was having with her friend, Violet.
The portrait hole slowly swung open to reveal an extremely pale Lily sitting on the floor staring blankly into the fire with Alice by her side and the Marauders crowded around her in a circle.
Something was wrong with this scene. Marley scanned her red headed friend over and saw that her usually sparkly green eyes were dull; there wasn't even a hint of a twinkle. Her limbs were frozen and by the looks on the others' faces, she had been like that for quite some time.
Marlene instantly rushed over and sat down next to her once her evaluation was finished. She threw an arm over her shoulder and pulled her close. The only motive left on her mind was to try and make Lily feel better. It was automatic. She was always there for Lily and Lily was always there for her. It was a wonderful system. They were each other's rescuing lifeboat in an endless ocean.
Marley McKinnon and Lily Evans had been friends since they first met each other on the Hogwarts Express in their first year. Marlene knew Lily like the back of her hand.
Lily always went into shock when bad things happened. Soon that shock would wear off, she would be sad for a bit, and then things would go back to normal. But, that was only what happened in the few cases Marlene had been faced with, for all she knew this could be completely different. Lily Evans wasn't one to crumble under stress.
She looked back to that they met day and sighed.
The sun had been shining brightly and the world was still naïve to the dangers it would soon face. Those freckle-creating rays of sun seemed as they it were welcoming Marlene to a brand new kind of magic, the magic of finally going to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. She had jumped out of her purple clad bed, pulled on the first clothes she touched and ran downstairs.
Both of her parents were waiting for her when she got down. She remembered squealing in delight at the aroma of her favorite breakfast cooking (sunny-side up eggs, toast, and sausage).
Before she knew it they were out the door, grabbing each other's hands, and apparating to just outside of King's Cross Station.
It was truly wonderful running through the barrier to Platform 9 ¾ as she had seen her two older brothers do over the years.
She looked around and saw witches and wizards of all ages either running around pushing trolleys with hooting owls on top or running around following small children who had came to see their siblings off. She even saw several kids her age clinging to their parents, sobbing about how they didn't want to leave home. 'They must be insane!' she thought. 'Who wouldn't want to go to Hogwarts!'
After finding an empty compartment she struggled to get her trunk up above the seats. She pushed and squirmed, but to no avail.
"Mind if we sit with you?" she heard a friendly voice say.
Marlene turned around to see a petite girl with hair that looked like it was on fire and emerald eyes that sparkled like jewels. Behind her was a boy with pale skin and greasy black hair. Marlene decided to take an instant disliking to this boy. She often made snap decisions like that. Occasionally it made things worse, but her judgment wasn't too bad most of the time.
"As long as you help with my trunk," she said laughing as it fell open and exploded everywhere. Several t-shirts flew under the seats and a pair of pants landed on the boy's head.
The other girl laughed too and assisted her in piling the clothes messily back in while the boy snatched the pants off his head and watched looking annoyed, bored even.
"Lily Evans…I'm a first year" the girls said sticking out her freckled hand once the job was done. Marlene shook it and turned to the boy, waiting for him to introduce himself.
"This is my friend, Severus" Lily said scowling at him, like a mother would when a child was being rude. Marley held her hand up for him to shake, but she let it swing back at her side when he made no move to do so.
"I'm Marlene McKinnon…you can call me Marley if you'd like to" she said grinning and pushing her dark brown hair out of her matching eyes.
"Okay" said Lily as she plopped onto one of the red seats grinning just the same.
They spent most of the ride discussing what classes they were the most excited about and every once-in-a-while Severus put in his opinion too. He was obviously more reserved then Lily was. Things were running smoothly until the end of the ride when James and Sirius decided to drop in.
Their friendship was fast and they were obviously inseparable already. She had also noticed Lily scowl when they walked in. Perhaps they had met already, she had thought.
"Hello ladies" said Black as he slid next to me. He was rather suave even back then…he was pretty cute too.
Potter went and sat on the other side of Lily and grinned at her while running a hand through his already messy hair. She frowned and tried her best to ignore him.
"I don't believe we introduced our selves yet" he continued looking only at Marlene, "I'm Sirius Black and this here is James Potter" he said pointing to James.
Marley had actually grown up with James. They were both part of some of the only decent pureblood families so they had been friends since they were little. She grinned at him.
"Marley McKinnon. That over there is Severus Snape and Lily Evans," she said.
"Oh yes, we briefly met Lovely Lily and Snivels over there" Sirius said jerking his thumb at the two.
" What house do you guys want to be McKinnon? I'm personally hoping for Gryffindor…Where the brave dwell at heart!" James said pounding his chest. Marlene grinned.
"Same here. But, I'd be fine in Ravenclaw…or maybe even Hufflepuff…as long as it isn't Slytherin." She said with a shudder at the last word. She saw the Snape boy wince out the corner of her eye.
"Oh really McKinnon? Snivlley over here said he'd love to be in Slytherin."
This started the second ever Black/Potter/Snape argument in history. It ended with Snape's left eyebrow singed off and Black's robes florescent pink (apparently the boys had already read up on their magic).
Marlene almost smiled at the memory, but now, now she had to help Lily. Marley was the only one known to really be able to calm her down. Alice was great at helping people, but surely she didn't know Lily half as well as Marley. Alice had been added to the close-knit friendship in their third year rather then first.
Right now, Marlene knew all she could do was hold Lily close.
Lily felt like she was weak and worthless. How could this be happening? What did that sweet little girl do to deserve this…what did she do to deserve this!
As soon as her and Alice got the girl to calm down, Lily marched up to the headmaster's office. She desperately wanted to know why Annabelle's parents had been murdered so ruthlessly. It wasn't right.
The professor told her that Annabelle's mom and dad and refused to join Voldemort's forces multiple times. He said he offered them protection, but by the time they agreed it was too late. Lily scoffed at the answer. That girl's parents were murdered for doing the right thing! For standing up for good! Then…then something even worse happened moments later; something that shook Lily to the core.
Now, Lily was in the common room shocked. She heard people gather around her and she felt Alice crouched down beside her.
Lily couldn't move and nothing made sense. Questions flew around her head at an alarming rate. How many deaths had to occur before this stopped? What could she do to stop them? Her thoughts continued and she heard voices, but none of them made any sense.
She had no idea if Alice knew why she was really acting the way she was. It was partially for little Annabelle, but when she was about to leave Professor Dumbledore's office, an owl and flown threw the window and landed on her shoulder. Clutched in its talons was an envelope as black as night. She had pulled it open with shaky hands and her heart had broken into a million pieces.
The headmaster had seen the letter and was about to rush to her side, knowing what it might be. So, she ran. She ran before he could try and comfort her. She ran before she gained the courage to fully read the letter. She ran before Alice could ask her what was wrong. She ran all the way to the common room before it over came her. Sometimes running was the only thing she could do.
"Should we get Professor McGonagall?" James asked Alice at the sight of Lily.
He and his friends had been undergoing a friendly game of Exploding Snap when Lily ran into the room and collapsed as soon as she set foot.
"I-I don't know! I've never seen her like this!" Alice said on the verge of tears.
Lily was a very strong person and now she was just sitting there not moving. Her eyes seemed to be glazed over. Why did she break like this?
"What happened!" asked Remus…Alice could hear the worry in his voice.
She had always known the two were good friends, for all she knew Remus could be as scared as she was.
"W-We were leaving the Great Hall a-and Lily heard someone crying. It was that first year, Annabelle Michelson…her parents got murdered last night…Lily ran to Professor Dumbledore's office and ran out, I don't know what's wrong!" she said hysterically.
"Get Marley…" James whispered at the sight of the frozen Lily.
"What was that Prongs?" asked Sirius in a shaky voice.
"She needs Marlene! Marlene will be the only one who can calm her down!" James said louder this time, almost yelling.
He was scared for the girl he had officially loved since third year. A first year in need would make her sad…but not like this.
He was thinking back to 5th year when Snape used that foul word on her. Lily was a mess even though she tried to hide it from everyone. He believed this was a lot worse.
Before Sirius was about to get up to grab the map and find Marlene, she came into the room looking tired. Her eyes traveled to Lily and she looked confused. She then realized something was wrong so she rushed to her friend's aid.
Lily felt a pair of arms around her shoulders. She breathed in the scent of coconut-lime perfume and instantly matched the scent to its owner. Marlene. Lily had no idea what she would do without her.
She sat there for a few minutes longer before the tears finally came, hard and fast racking her tiny frame.
"She needs a calming potion" said Marlene almost instantly. James grimaced at the look of fear Marlene had.
"I'll take her down to Madame Pomfrey." She continued.
James watched as Marley lifted Lily up and put an arm around her shoulder to steady her. Just as she stood a rather official looking black envelope fell out of her pocket.