Chapter 5: Friendship
Lily’s disapproving face haunted my dreams that night. She was all that I could think about. Even in dreams that had nothing to do with her, I would see a flash of shocking red hair disappear around a corner. I played the scene in the park over and over in my head as if doing so would erase it or change the outcome. Slowly but surely, I was becoming more obsessed with Lily Evans than ever before.
A couple of days later, I was sitting with my back to the park in the crook of a huge tree trunk. It was early evening and I was thinking about Lily again, wallowing in my sorrowful thoughts and feeling extremely sorry for myself when I heard voices.
‘Lily!’ And then after a pause the voice came again, ‘Lily! Come back! Lily, listen to me!’
‘I told you, I don’t want to go back to that park!’ yelled Petunia.
‘You didn’t have to come if you didn’t want to,’ Lily retaliated.
‘Lily, you know that mummy said I had to go everywhere with you and look after you!’ The gate to the park creaked open. I turned around to watch. ‘What do you want to see him for anyway?’ My heart skipped a beat. Does she mean me?
‘I’m obviously different. He says he’s like me. I want to see if he’s telling the truth.’ Lily walked over to the bush behind which I had been hiding last time we had met and pulled the leaves apart and peered into the clearing behind it.
‘He’s not here, Lily.’
‘Yes, I am.’ I scrambled out of my hiding place and turned to face the girls again.
I don’t know what I expected but I was disappointed by the look on Lily’s face. It was a cold, almost disgusted look but underneath the shell was an air of curiosity.
‘I am like you. I can do magic,’ I said.
‘Prove it!’ Petunia said forcefully.
I hastily pulled out a piece of parchment from the pocket of my father’s coat and folded it into a bird like shape. Petunia smirked at it.
‘That’s not magic!’ she said, leering.
‘Oh yes it is!’ I said. ‘Watch this!’ I blew on the bird and it took flight, chirping and flapping its wings towards Lily. She caught it and blew it back, an awed look on her face.
Before Lily could say anything, Petunia cried disbelievingly, ‘Do something else!’
I looked around for an object I could use. I found it in a dead twig by Lily’s foot. I bent down to retrieve it and as I did I felt my arm brush her ankle and it sent tingles down my spine. I withdrew myself quickly and straightened up, blushing, stick in hand. Lily was blushing too.
Petunia hadn’t noticed anything and she was still glaring at me expectantly. I cleared my throat and let go of the stick. It fell almost all the way to the ground until it stopped and reversed slowly back into my hand.
Petunia looked horrified.
‘You are like me.’ Lily whispered. ‘But how… how come Petunia can’t do it?’ Petunia scowled at this and turned her head away but I could tell she was listening.
‘Can your parents do it?’ I asked Lily, thrilled at the outcome of this conversation.
‘Well that means you’re different… You’re what we call a muggleborn.’
‘What does that mean?’ she asked with a curious expression on her beautiful face.
‘It –’ I was interrupted by my mother calling me from the house.
‘Severus! SEVERUS! Dinner is ready!’
‘Eileen! He’s making friends I tell you! Let him stay out for a while!’
‘No, Tobias. Dinner is ready and he can see them tomorrow!’
‘I- I- I have to go. Sorry,’ I stumbled. I had a wonderful thought and I shouted as I backed away. ‘Hey, why don’t you meet me here in the morning at 10 o’clock?’
‘Alright,’ she said.
I ran away up the slope to my house but she called. ‘Severus! Why are your parents arguing?’
I called over my shoulder as I ran, ‘They’re always arguing!’ No time to explain the story.
In the morning, I woke early, full of nervous excitement and anticipation. I dressed in my usual attire, tried to make myself look presentable and by 9 o’clock I was in the park, casually lounging on the swing. I nervously changed my position every 10 or so minutes to try and make myself look more relaxed and cool.
Finally, at 10:05, she arrived without her sister.
‘Where’s Petunia?’ I asked tentatively.
‘Oh, she’s at home. That’s why I’m so late you see. I couldn’t convince her to stay behind. I succeeded in the end though,’ She sat on the swing beside me.
‘I have got so much to tell you about our world!’ I said feeling immensely excited. ‘I don’t know where to start!’ And I didn’t.
‘Ok, well think about it for a minute.’
After a pause I said, ‘Oh! I know! When we’re eleven we get a letter from Hogwarts and –’
‘Hold on! What’s Hogwarts?’
‘Hogwarts is only the best wizarding school in Britain and maybe even the world! It’s a huge castle with moving staircases and secrets!’ I exclaimed enthusiastically. ‘Hogwarts School for Witch Craft and Wizardry!’ I said as I made a motion through the air with my hand to suggest that I was opening a window for her to see it. Lily was looking at me, amazed.
‘We get wands from a shop in a secret wizarding alley way called Diagon Alley. Then we go off to Hogwarts and we get taught amazing magic to do with our wands! Oh and there are these huge, cloaked, black and hooded creatures that guard the wizard prison, Azkaban. They’re called Dementors.’ I paused for a breath and looked at Lily. She seemed to be taking this pretty well but she did look a little overwhelmed. ‘The Dementors live on people’s happy thoughts and feelings. When you’re around them it’s said to be almost unbearable like you’ll never be happy again,’ I explained.
I made a signal for her to follow me as I stood up and started to walk off towards my favourite place down by the river. ‘And then there’s the Ministry of Magic.’
‘What’s the Ministry of Magic?’
‘They’re our government. The top job is the Minister for magic…’ We walked until we came to the spot I was looking for. We sat cross-legged on the ground, facing each other and I removed my coat feeling more comfortable around Lily already. She seemed like the sort of person who cared for all creatures and people.