A Light in the Darkness

Forest View Road was on a hill, in a moderately wealthy neighborhood of large modern and colonial houses that lined it on both sides, which were spaced a comfortable but still neighborly distance apart from each other. The backyards of the houses on the right side of the street were of medium size, and at the end of each backyard, where the ground started sloping downward, was a line of maple trees, thus the name, ‘Forest View Road.’ Though the road was on a hill, there was no view except that of green maple leaves and evergreen needles except in the winter, when the town below could be seen perfectly. The houses on the left side of the street had the same kind of backyards, except at their edges the hill went up. The road itself didn’t attract much traffic, in fact, most of the kids could ride their bikes on the yellow line in the middle of it without getting hit by a car.

In the upper left window of a beige colored house on the left side, James Potter, Remus Lupin, and Sirius Black were sitting on the floor in James’s bedroom, flipping through a quidditch magazine that they had already read a few times. It was about ten o’clock at night, the night before they went back to Hogwarts. The room was typical of a teenage wizard, with posters of quidditch teams covering the walls, a stereo blasting rock music through the room, and books, magazines, and magic joke stuff all over the floor. Remus’s sleepover bag was neatly against the wall with everything inside of it, and Sirius’s stuff was all piled up in a mess against the wall on top of his empty bag.

“Are they asleep yet?” Sirius asked James. James put his ear to the floor, listening for noise in his parents room.

“Is their light still on?” Remus asked. Sirius looked out the window at the light yellow house across the street. Lily’s window was the left on the second floor, and the light was still on.

“Yeah,” Sirius replied. He grinned, crashing their little slumber party would be great fun.

“Yeah, they’re asleep,” James answered the first question.

“Let’s go then,” Sirius said.

“Shouldn’t we turn off the music?” Remus asked.

“No,” James answered, “or else they’ll know we’re gone. They’re used to the music staying on until about midnight.” So they left the eletric guitar and bass drum sounding quietly through the speakers, and the three of them tiptoed quietly out of the room.

James Potter was tall and muscular sixteen year old wizard. His face was perfectly proportioned, his big brown eyes spaced equally apart, behind medium sized oval glasses, his nose not too big or too wide, and his eyebrows not too bushy. His hair was jet black, and wild. It stuck up at od angles, because some of it was straight and some of it wavy. He was extremely attractive, almost every girl at Hogwarts thought so. He played quidditch as the seeker of the Gryffindor House team, and he was the best quidditch player Hogwarts had seen in a long time. But he was really a unique person, talented, smart, bold, courteous, and though it seemed a bit lame to admit, a gentleman.

Sirius Black was like James in almost every way, which was why they were such good friends. He was very attractive with easily tanned skin, dark eyes, and very dark hair. He was about as tall as James, and equally as muscular. He also played quidditch; he was a Beater on the Gryffindor team. The thing that seperated him from the other Marauders was his skill at flirting. He never could keep a girlfriend for a long time.

Remus Lupin was a bit shorter than James and Sirius. He had light brown hair, light skin, and blue-gray eyes. He didn’t play quidditch, although James and Sirius kept telling him he should. He was the most considerate and kind of the three, he was always nice to people and had a great sense of common courtesy. He was a great rolemodel; people tried to be like him, even though they wouldn’t admit it.

The three of them were different, but great people in their own ways, but together they were a perfect team at whatever their goal was at the time. But at the same time, as they stood in the hallway in knee length shorts, tee shirts and sneakers, they were alike. The were all tall and handsome, sixteen, wearing wide grins with perfect teeth. They were clever pranksters and great friends. They were model Gryffindors, loyal and courageous, and they were among the smartest kids at Hogwarts, and indeed the most clever and sly with their jokes. Those were the things that united them.

James peeked into his sister’s room. Susan was soundly sleeping under her pink bedspread, in her typical teenage girl bedroom, with posters of her favorite wizard boy bands and moving pictures of her and her friends. Susan was a Ravenclaw fifth year, with long brown hair and pretty blue eyes. She was innocent and angelic, and naïve for her age. James was certain she still hadn’t been kissed yet. She looked up on her big brother with admiration and almost idolized him, and James loved his little sister. Susan and James weren’t really siblings, they were step-siblings, because James was adopted.

Every time James thought about the fact that he was adopted, he sighed to himself and had to wonder if he even had any blood relatives out there. He had asked his parents about it time and time again, but they seemed to know as little as he did. They told him that his mother had died when he was a baby, and her last name had been Potter. But as for his father, nobody knew who he was. James hated the idea that he was probably a bastard. That word was cold, and ruthless, and when anybody said it it seemed to roll off their tongue like venom. It was his weakness. Someday he vowed to find out who his true family was.

“Isn’t James having a sleepover tonight?” Jasmine asked Lily. The three girls, Nikki Labriola, Jasmine Lynch, and Lily Evans were having a sleepover at Lily’s house. They were sitting on the floor of her room, with purple facial masks on, reading magazines and talking.

“Yeah, I think Remus and Sirius are at his house,” Lily replied.

“It’s so cool that he lives right across the street,” Nikki said, “if you guys ever went steady, it would be great cause you’d see each other all the time and you could just sneak out of your house over to his whenever you felt like it.”

“Yeah, like we’d ever be boyfriend/girlfriend,” Lily said sarcastically, “that would never happen.”

“That’s not how you felt third year,” Nikki teased her.

“Hey! That was three years ago!” Lily protested, “We’re just friends, the six of us are just friends and none of us will be anything else. We’re a big happy friend family.” The others giggled.

Lily was quite beautiful. She had the eyes of most of the guys at Hogwarts on her constantly, and she really didn’t mind it. Her skin was porcelain; it was pale and soft and her cheeks had a natural rosy blush, and her entire face had a radiant glow. Her eyes were ivory and large, and they were bright vibrant green, lined with long, dark lashes. Her mouth was small but her lips full. Her hair was thick and red, and it cascaded like liquid silk down to her tiny waist. She was an angel, but a daredevil at the same time. She was like fire on her broomstick, as a Chaser on the Gryffindor Quidditch team.

Jasmine was very kind, and had a sweet personality. She never hurt anything, even a ladybug, and she was the most innocent person Lily knew. She had soft facial features, like her light blue eyes, fair skin, and long light blonde hair. She was a positive thinker, and always cheered people up when they were sad. Nikki was a weirdo, that’s what Lily and Jasmine loved about her. She had a short and choppy haircut which looked great on her. Her hair was black, but she liked to do unique things with it, different colored highlights, messy buns, braids, and other cool styles. Her eyes were brown and pretty. She liked chunky shoes and rocker-chic make-up. It was interesting that Lily, Nikki, and Jasmine were such good friends because they were so different. Jasmine was the innocent angel, Nikki was the cool weirdo, and Lily was the daredevil. They had been best friends since first year, and the three of them were the Chasers on the Gryffindor Quidditch Team, a perfect trio.

“I can’t wait until tomorrow,” Nikki exclaimed.

“I know! Me neither!” Lily agreed.

“Oh, don’t we have a new Potions teacher?” Jasmine asked.

“Yeah, Professor Rizza,” Lily replied, “James told me, his dad works at the Ministry of Magic so he found out.”

“Cool,” Nikki said, “I wonder if Matt Patil is as hot now as he was last year.”

Jasmine and Lily giggled and Lily said, “He was pretty hot.”

“Yeah, but Sirius is more hot,” Nikki said thoughtfully.

At this point, the three boys, who had been sitting in the tree next to the window listening in on the conversation, almost burst out laughing. They were shaking with silent laughter, and James shushed the others up.

“James is-” Lily started but then suddenly stopped and exclaimed, “wait, what am I saying? None of us can think they’re hot! We’re a big happy friend family! Remember that! Big Happy Friend Family!”

“Yeah, you’re right, James is hot,” Nikki said, “but I still think Sirius is hotter-”

“BIG HAPPY FRIEND FAMILY!” Lily exclaimed.

The three boys in the tree at the window burst out laughing.

“What’s that noise?” Jasmine asked suddenly. The three girls turned around and saw the guys sitting in the tree out the window.

All of them screamed at the same moment, the boys because the sight of three girls in pajamas with fuzzy slippers and purple faces was scary, and the girls, because three guys sitting on a tree branch watching them do facials and talk about which guys were hot was scary. Lily shushed them all up instantly, and opened the screen.

“Sh! My parents and Petunia are asleep!” she whispered.

“Hey, girls,” James greeted cheerfully. They all started cracking up with laughter again when he said that until Lily shushed them up.

“Come on in,” Lily said cheerfully. The boys climbed through the window into Lily’s room.

“So what’s up with the purple face stuff?” Sirius asked.

“Sh!” Lily said, “I don’t want my parents hearing guy voices up here. You have to whisper.”

“Okay,” they all whispered back.

“James is- wait, no, BIG HAPPY FRIEND FAMILY!” James immitated Lily. They were all laughing again.

“It’s okay if you girls think we’re hot, we really don’t mind,” Sirius said, laughing.

“I mean, can’t we think any of you are hot?” James said reasonably. He looked directly at Lily when he said this, and her stomache fluttered. She snapped out of it, grinned and thought, two can play at this game.

“Sure you can think we’re hot,” she replied, “Look all you want boys, just remember, no touching,” she teased, waving her pointer finger at them.

“If you ever want us, you’d better get in line behind all the others guys at Hogwarts,” Nikki added. Jasmine stayed quiet and watched while Nikki and Lily did all the flirting. Flirting wasn’t her area of expertise.

“Don’t worry, we can sweep you girls off your prissy little slippered feet,” James said.

“Prissy little slippered feet?” Lily exclaimed. She kicked off her pink fuzzy slippers, revealing her soft petite feet with red nail polish. “I’ll give you prissy little slipper feet.” She took a step closer to him and did a jazz fan kick over his head, and he ducked and winced in fear. She rubbed his chest lightly with one finger, and then pushed him with that finger on the shoulder. He stepped back. She was only a few inches shorter than him. “I am not prissy,” she said, “and I will leave you wide eyed and breathless a thousand times before you will ever sweep me off of my feet.”

They all started laughing at this, but everybody knew that Lily and James were only joking, really. Lily stepped back. She recovered from her laughter and said, “Well, this is lots of fun guys, but, you know, you did come up that tree and spy on us, and there’s a punishment for that.”

“Really?” Sirius asked sarcastically, “What are you gonna do to us?”

“Jasmine, would you like to do the honors?” Lily asked her.

“Of course,” Jasmine replied, getting out her wand.

“Uh oh,” Remus said.

“Petrificus Totalus,” Jasmine said matter-of-factly. The three boys had just widened their eyes in fear when they fell on the floor, paralyzed in a body bind.

Lily grinned, “Let’s get the make up girls.”

“I think pink mascara will look great on Sirius,” Nikki said evilly.

“Don’t worry guys, you’ll still be alive when we’re done with you,” Lily said to the three paralyzed boys on the floor in her bedroom. “But, next time, I’m not so sure.”

“This isn’t really that nice,” Jasmine said uneasily, “I don’t know about this.”

“Oh come on Jasmine!” Nikki urged, “live a little!”

“Yeah Jasmine!” Lily agreed. “Now where’s that pink mascara you mentioned before Nikki?”

“Right here,” she replied, showing it to Sirius. She carefully put it on his eyelashes, and there was nothing he could do about it. The girls laughed maliciously as they pulled out lipstick, blush, eyeshadow, and. . . a camera.

If the guys had been able to move, they would’ve been screaming in terror.

“Do you boys want pancakes? They’ve got chocolate chips inside.” Mrs. Wright asked the three boys as they walked into the kitchen the next morning. She was a friendly mother in her mid forties, with the same curly brown hair and blue eyes as her daughter Susan, and a kind, warming smile. She was standing at the stove flipping pancakes.

“Pancakes!” Sirius exclaimed.

“Sure,” Remus replied modestly.

“Okay,” James said. The three of them sat down at the table, where James’s dad was already seated.

“So boys, did you sleep well?” Mr. Wright asked. He was a tall, big man with square-cut sharp facial features, but a humorous air. His hair was light brown, and in his forties he still had all of it. They all nodded and murmured that they had, and he joked, “You didn’t sneak out and go spy on Lily Evans across the street did you?”

“No,” James lied.

“She has two of her friends over, and girls’ slumber parties are scary,” Sirius added. He looked down at his plate, where Mrs. Wright had piled four chocolate chip pancakes. They had to get those pictures from the girls. They could spread them all over the school, and then, well it would be really bad for those three Gryffindor boys.

James’s mom laughed and said, “I remember at Hogwarts when we used to stay up late in the girls dormitories doing facials and painting our toenails. One time my friend Frieda and her boyfriend were kissing in the dormitory, and we girls decided he shouldn’t be in our dormitory, so we locked the door on him, then tied him to a chair and put lipstick and blush on him.” She sighed and said, “those were the good old days. Three or four, Remus?”

“Um, three’s good. Thanks,” Remus replied as she piled three pancakes on his plate. Well, at least Lily, Nikki, and Jasmine weren’t the first girls to put makeup on a guy. Girls shouldn’t torture guys like that, James decided. But still, Lily’s fankick over his head was pretty impressive, and her wonderful soft bare feet. He shook his head and stabbed his fork into his pancake.

Susan came down the stairs in tight faded blue jeans and a red spaghetti strapped tank top, flaunting her summer tan. She had fully dressed, brushed her teeth, put on make up, and fixed her curly hair with anti-frizz gel before even coming down the stairs. This was only because there were guys sleeping over at her house. She loved it when James had friends over. She might’ve been innocent and naive, but she still had her eyes on James’s friends and wanted their eyes on her.

And she had achieved her goal. Sirius was definitely checking her out. James kicked him under the table and gave him a fierce look. His best friend could not like his little sister that way. Sirius returned his look with a look that said, “It’s okay big bad brother, she’s not a little girl.’

“Hey,” Susan said cooly.

“Good morning,” Remus replied brightly.

“Good morning baby,” Mrs. Wright said. Susan gave her an angry look. Her mother had just called her baby in front of all those guys. Mrs. Wright shook her head and laughed quietly.

“Hey Sue,” Sirius said. She smiled at him.

“Good morning little sister,” James said, his words more a warning to Sirius than a greeting to his sister.

“Pancakes, yummy,” she said. Then she sat down at the table, at the only seat left, next to Sirius. Suddenly there was a pop noise from the living room.

“Nigel, dear, you’d better come in the living room. Arthur Weasley’s head’s in the fire,” Mrs. Wright said.

“Must be about work at the Ministry,” Mr. Wright said. He stood up from the table and went into the living room. “Good morning Arthur,” he greeted cheerfully.

“Morning, Nigel,” Mr. Weasley replied, “Listen, I know you’ve got today off, but there’s been a disaster.”

“Of what sort?”

“That old crackpot Lewis Sneidelwacker’s created another lawnmower with magic powers, sold it to a muggle lady, she’s in the hospital and loads of muggle’s have seen the dang thing shooting grass in her face and flying up in the air. It knocked her over on the takeoff and she fell down a cement staircase at the front of her lawn, poor girl, but we’ve got to modify all those muggle’s memories and I don’t think we can just let Sneidelwacker off with a warning this time. You’ve got to come down here to Bristol,” James’s dad was laughing now, a deep, hearty laugh.

“That’s priceless, wish I was there,” he said, “all right, I’ll be there in a minute.”

“All right then,” Mr. Weasley replied, and a pop told those sitting at the table that his head was no longer in the fire. Mr. Wright came back into the kitchen.

“That was Arthur Weasley. He’s in the Department of the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts. He’s got one kid in Hogwarts, second year, and Gryffindor I think.”

“Bill Weasley?” Remus asked.

“Yeah,” Mr. Wright replied, “and another going to Hogwarts this year, I think his name’s Charlie.”

“Oh,” James said.

“We have got to show those pictures to all the girls in Gryffindor,” Nikki said as they got their stuff together for Hogwarts.

“But that would be mean, I mean, they’d be so embarrassed, and it wouldn’t be something good friends would do,” Jasmine protested.

“Don’t worry, we’ll tell everybody we trapped them and they couldn’t do anything, and they’ll think it’s so funny, and they’ll tell us how brilliant we are,” Nikki assured her.

“We won’t let them think James and Sirius and Remus are transvestites or anything like that, don’t worry,” Lily said.

“Jasmine, sometimes you’re too good for your own good,” Nikki said.

“Come on girls, lunch is ready!” Mrs. Evans called up the stairs. The girls came running down the staircase into the kitchen. Petunia and Mr. Evans were already seated at the table.

“I can’t believe you girls are going back to Hogwarts again already,” Mr. Evans said. He was a tall, lanky man with black hair and a big nose. Sitting next to him, his daughter looked just like him. Petunia was boney, with a thin neck and wavy black hair, and the same big nose. She had her hair cut in layers and feathered out all the time, which Lily and her friends always giggled about when she wasn’t looking. They all agreed that this muggle hairstyle that Petunia said was popular now was ridiculous. It was the early 1980s, and Lily did see that hairstyle in all of Petunia’s muggle magazines, but no witch or wizard ever wore their hair like that. Lily guessed that only magic people were smart enough to see how ugly it looked. Petunia had a sour look on her face. She despised Lily and any of her ‘abnormal’ friends.

“The summer was so short,” Lily’s mother said as she gave everybody a bowl of tomato soup and put grilled cheese sandwiches on everybody’s plate. Lily had inherited her silky red hair and great skin from her mother. She had her mother’s round face and angled chin, and the same tall and thin body, but not lanky like her dad. But her mother had blue eyes; Lily’s striking green eyes were from her grandmother. Mrs. Evans was tall and fit, and from the way she moved so gracefully anybody could tell that she was a dancer. She owned a dance studio not far from their house, and had been teaching for years.

“Are you three still on the quidditch team?” Mrs. Evans asked. She and her husband knew nothing about the wizarding world except what they heard from Lily, but everything Lily told them they found fascinating, especially the exciting concept of playing sports on flying broomsticks. Petunia scowled, how could they talk about such things at the dinner table? Quidditch, flying broomsticks, wands, how stupid.

But Lily was never fooled by her sister’s attitude towards magic. She was jealous. She had always been jealous of Lily, first jealous that Lily was a better dancer, when dancing was the pride of the family, as Mrs. Evans was a dance teacher and wanted her daughters to be the stars of her studio. But Lily was the star. Lily could always kick higher, dancing had toned Lily’s body while Petunia was still a twig, Lily was a beautiful, graceful ballerina dancing on point, and Petunia couldn’t balance on toe shoes. Petunia had never had the natural dancing talent, and Lily was born with it. Next was music. Lily took piano lessons since she was five, and now at every family get together it was ‘Lily, play that new song you learned for Uncle Eddie,’ or ‘Mom you’ve got to hear Lily playing Moonlight Sonata it’s just beautiful.’ And on top of it all, Lily turned out to be a great singer too. She started out at church, singing in the choir, and the choir director realized that she had a beautiful voice, and started teaching her diaphragm breath control, and all that voice lessons stuff. So Petunia had a perfect sister, a beautiful sister who was a great dancer, a great singer, and a great piano player, and a witch! Magic was a rare gift in the family, only Lily, her grandma and her cousin Heather were magic, but of all the family members to be born with great gifts, of course it was Lily. Petunia hated it. It just wasn’t fair.

The conversation continued about the quidditch team, how this year there were no new positions to fill, but James was the new quidditch captain, and how Slytherin needed to get a few new players but Gryffindor would beat them anyway. They were all into the conversation, and Lily’s parents were fascinated by quidditch. Petunia scowled, ate quickly and excused herself from the table.

But soon after dinner it was time to leave, and the three girls were getting a ride to King’s Cross from the Wrights, with Remus and James and Sirius, so they brought their stuff downstairs after lunch and got ready to go.

“I’m going to miss you,” Mrs. Evans said as she hugged Lily tightly. “Do you have your toe shoes?”

“Yes,” Lily replied.

“Keep practicing on them. Even though you’re gone all the time now, I don’t want you losing your talent.”

“Okay,” Lily replied. “I love you mom.”

“I love you too sweetie,” she replied, “Oh, I wont see you again until Christmas. Be sure to write to us and we’ll write back.” Lily’s parents had gotten used to owl post when she was in her first year and they realized that it was the only way they could send letters to their daughter.

Mr. Evans hugged Lily good-bye, and then the three of them were climbing into Mr. Wright’s car, leaving Forest View Road, never to come back until Christmas.

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