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Lily and Alice by Wenlock

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Chapter Notes: I finally have a beta. :) Sam (pheonixflame) is great! Thanks so much! Also, I made a mistake and only posted half of this chapter. It's all there now, as of today (June 18).
The Order

Lily looked at the clock. The meeting was not due to start for another ten minutes. Not everyone had arrived yet. Most members were sitting around, chatting amiably. Sirius Black was quietly reading the paper.

Sirius reading the paper? Lily had been around the Marauders long enough to know a distraction when she saw one. It was the reason they hadn’t successfully pranked her since sixth year. They were always out of character when they tried to look innocent.

Sirius Black looked up and laughed, –Hey Moody, your girlfriend’s written another article for the Prophet.”

–She’s not my girlfriend!” the Auror growled.

Frank Longbottom cut in, "Then why do you have every one of her articles pinned to the walls of your office?"

"Because she's right. Her last piece, Constant Vigilance, was sheer genius.”

Sirius smirked.

Lily asked, –May I see the paper?”

They continued ribbing Moody while she began to read the editorial.

The Calm Before the Storm
by Dorcas Meadowes

Wizarding Britain has enjoyed two years of remarkable peace. Yes, there have been disappearances and killings, but nothing compared to years past. The Ministry would have you believe it is due to their crackdown on the terrorist group led by He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.

Suddenly, dungbombs were raining from the ceiling. Not very original, but an impressive quantity. Lily calmly said, –Three points out of ten,” and went back to reading.

And, indeed, the Ministry is using their power rather forcefully. There are rumours that Aurors have been given license to use Unforgivable Curses on Death Eaters. Arrests have increased in recent weeks. Of course, the Death Eaters will probably just hold another bus ransom to get the Ministry to empty Azkaban when they want their members back, but I digress.

And then came the flatulence. Everyone who had stood up to clean the mess sat down to a Muggle whoopee cushion on their chair. –Alright, I guess you get a four and a half,” Lily amended.

I hesitate to say the Ministry crackdown is the reason for the calm. The events of Red September still burn in our memories, but we’ve forgotten how quiet August of 1975 was...

Lily glared at the article. "Speak for yourself. That was the first time I got hate mail telling me not to return to Hogwarts," she muttered under her breath. She thought of the Howler she had received just that morning. –If I ever find out who sent those, I’ll owl them a letter or two of my own, and they’ll wish they had got a Howler.”

Frank grinned at her, –Lily, I thought you had more sense than to talk about sending curses in the post in front of an Auror. That’s illegal, you know.”

Lily forced a smile.

James asked, –What’s the matter? Have you had another letter?”

–Yes. Just more of the same.” Her voice became shrill and mocking. –A Mudblood like you shouldn’t go into Potions! You’ll kill someone with your incompetence,” she sighed, –I thought it would get better after my paper was published.”

James put his arm around her.

Frank heard a knock at the door and went to get it. –Alice? What are you doing here?”

–I could ask you the same question, Longbottom.”

–Ah, Campbell. I’m glad you made it all right,” said Moody as Frank returned from the entry-way with Alice. –Now, what’s the password?”

–Was there supposed to be a password? You didn’t give me one.”

–Oh yes, public place. Can’t be too careful.”

Sirius rolled his eyes. –Except now we have to make sure she’s not a Death Eater in disguise or something. I’ll ask her a question. Alright then, um, how did I meet you?”

–Well, we ran in all the same circles, but I think the first time we talked was at my engagement party.”

Sirius said, –Correct.”

At the same time, Frank exclaimed, –You’re engaged?”

–No,” Alice forcefully replied, –That was five years ago.”

–So you’re... married?”


James piped up, –Considering who the prospective groom was, and how much every detail of the event was talked about in high society, Sirius’ question probably wasn’t the best for verifying her identity.”

Frank said, –You’re definitely going to have to tell me more about this later, Campbell. As for a security question, how about, who did we catch robbing an apothecary last night after dinner?”

–Not a good question either. Arrests are public record.”

Lily had an idea, –You came to me for advice at the beginning of my fifth year. What did you ask me about? –

–Let’s see, that was the beginning of my seventh year. I asked you about the best potion to use to dye my hair pink. Thanks for that, by the way. I’m still using that one and it works great.”

–Except I see you’re now adding more ragweed buds. That purple is so cool!”

–Thanks! It was an accident the first time, but I like it so I kept doing it. I only wish I could do something to keep the roots colored longer.”

–Oh I can help you with that. Just take some powdered - –

She was interrupted by the appearance of Albus Dumbledore. He cleared his throat, –This meeting will now come to order. Mr. Black, before you say it, yes, we are the Order, so my saying that we should come to order is, indeed, funny.” Lily rolled her eyes at Sirius as Dumbledore continued, –First item of business will be the security arrangements for the Hogwarts Express this year. Then, Ms. Vance will brief us on profiles of suspected new recruits to the Death Eaters. I’d also like to discuss sending some of you to the Continent to keep tabs on Voldemort’s activities there, now that Ms. Evans is back from France. Oh, and I believe Mr. Lupin has a report as well. Before all that, does anyone else have anything they’d like to bring up?”

Lily, Moody, and Fabian Prewett raised their hands. –Alastor, go ahead,” said Dumbledore.

–I think we need a protective detail on Dorcas Meadowes for at least a week.”

Sirius wolf-whistled and Moody glared at him.

Dumbledore replied, –This most recent article seems to say more against the Ministry than Voldemort.”

–Have you read the last two paragraphs?”

–Point taken. We’ll have a lot to do this week, mostly keeping the Hogwarts Express safe, and we can’t divert too many resources from that. I’ll place you in charge of keeping the reporter safe. See if you can get the Ministry to help. Now, Ms. Evans, what did you want to say?”

–A few minutes ago, Frank mentioned he caught someone robbing an apothecary. How often does that happen?”

Frank replied, –Well, I usually don’t catch them - that’s regular MLE - but I think it happens quite often, although it sort of ebbs and flows.”

–Well here’s my thought: the Death Eaters must be behind at least some of the thefts - especially of some of the more heavily regulated ingredients. If you can get me a list of all the apothecary robberies in the last year, including what was stolen, I may be able to use it to try and predict future Death Eater activities - or at least the potions they intend to use.”

Edgar Bones stood up. –That is an excellent idea. I would love to give you a hand. I can develop a sorting algorithm to determine which robberies were linked to Death Eaters. It may involve some fairly complex Arithmancy. Emmeline, we’ll probably need you on this project as well. And Mr. Longbottom, you’d better get us the data from the past five years if you can manage it.”

Dumbledore looked pleased, –Excellent! Now, Mr. Prewett.”

Fabian stood up and pulled out several rolls of parchment. –I have the financial reports on all the known Death Eaters. Oh, and Gringotts is sending me and Gid to the Continent the week after next for a month or two, so we can keep an eye out while we’re there. We’ll be visiting the branches in Paris, Milan, and Bern. If there is anywhere else you’d like us to stop, let us know before we leave and we can find a way to add it to the itinerary.” He sat down.

Unfortunately, he sat down on a recently placed whoopee cushion. It made a loud, rather embarrassing noise. –Sirius Black!” he said, –I am going to kill you!”

Lily whispered to James, –Fine, five out of ten.”


When the meeting was over, Lily went to sign up for guard duty on the Hogwarts Express. Alice Campbell was behind her, looking skeptical.

–What’s the matter?” asked Lily.

–I’m just a bit nervous about putting my name down, is all. I mean, I’m sure Dumbledore is taking every precaution, but you can’t be too careful.”

–You’re not the first one to have thought of that. We use pseudonyms.”

James piped up, –For example, this week I’m Han Solo and Sirius is Darth Vader.”

Lily chuckled.

Alice said, –I don’t get it.”

Lily explained, –They’re just characters in a Muggle picture I took James to see. He liked it so well that he went back with his friends.” She gave James a wry smile. –Five times.”

James winked.

Lily continued, –Most people choose a character from a book they like. Remus is Dr. Jekyll and Peter is the Pied Piper,” she said as she signed up.

–Anne Shirley?” Alice read, looking over Lily’s shoulder. –That suits you.”

Lily smiled.

Alice thought for a moment, then wrote Cynthia Kirkpatrick on the page.

–You’ve read Wives and Daughters?” Lily exclaimed. –I love that book.”

–Me too! Jane Austen has nothing on Elizabeth Gaskell! It was one of my favorites growing up.”

–I’m surprised you didn’t put your name down as Molly Gibson though.”

–Don’t get me wrong, I love Molly, but I really relate to Cynthia.”


–Her mother is a lot like mine.”

–That’s unfortunate.”

James jumped in again. –Personally, I think Vera Campbell is more like Lady Macbeth than some lady in a lace-and-bonnets novel."

Sirius Black joined the conversation. –Why stop there? She reminds me of Count Dracula.”

–I think you’re confusing her with your mother,” Alice laughed.

–No,” James asserted, –Padfoot’s definitely more scared of your mum than his.”

–How d’you know?” asked Alice.

–He actually behaved himself during the parties at the Campbell Estate.”

–That was a shame. They were always so dull.”

–Unlike the party last month,” Sirius said. –Say, Alice, would you want to go out with me again sometime? I enjoyed getting to know you.”

–You enjoyed getting to know me? Was that before or after I hexed you?”

Sirius said nothing.

–Well, I’d best be off. Got things to do. Lily, it was nice to see you again. If I’d known you had such good taste in books, I’d have spent more time with you at Hogwarts. See you all at Kings Cross next week. Tata.” She turned on her heel and walked out.

James looked at Sirius and said, –You told me it went well. You didn’t mention anything about getting hexed. What happened?”

–Well, we were snogging and I thought I’d... er... step it up a notch and she didn’t like that.”

–And you still took the bet? And to think I wanted to take pity on you. Fork it over.”

As Sirius was sheepishly fishing in his pockets for coins, Lily said incredulously, –I don’t even know what to say about the way you treated Alice. I’ve lectured you on that sort of thing enough. But you had a bet on whether she’d go on another date with you?”

–Yeah. James never thought it would work. Ever since she broke it off with Lestrange, she’s been the ice princess. I thought I could thaw her out.” Lily rolled her eyes.

Frank Longbottom had been chatting with Remus and Peter and half listening to the other conversation. His head shot up, –Lestrange? And Alice?”

–Yeah,” Sirius replied, –What, do you live under a rock? Their engagement was the talk of society.”

–When was that?” Frank wanted to know.

–Well they got engaged the summer before my fourth year, um, in ‘73.”

–That was when I started my Auror training. I didn’t have much time for society right then." Frank shrugged. "Not that I ever have.”

–All right, but how did you miss the end? It was in the paper and everything.”

–Must have happened when I went to America for some training. But maybe I should ask Alice about it.”

–She won’t tell you. She never talks about it. It’s too bad you missed out. It was so funny!"

"I'm sure Alice wasn't laughing."

"It was an arranged marriage. She was happy to get out of it. And anyway, she was the one who put it in the paper."

"What do you mean?"

"You know those engagement announcements they put in the paper? like James Potter's gonna marry Lily Evans and everyone is so happy blah blah blah."

James said, "Hey!"

Sirius looked at James, "Mate, I had to stop you from getting a two page spread in the Prophet proclaiming that Evans finally agreed to go out with you."

Lily looked at James. –Good thing you didn’t print that. I probably would have cancelled our first date if I saw it.”

Sirius turned back to Frank and said, "Alice put an announcement in the paper that said something like 'I, Alice Campbell, am pleased to announce that I will not be marrying Rabastan Lestrange."

Remus joined the conversation. "What did she call him? I remember it was really funny, and we were surprised they printed it. Something about a troll’s backside?"

"I forgot. You could ask Alice. I’m sure she remembers."

"No way! I may be a Gryffindor, but I'm not that brave."

"Well, whatever it was, it got her chucked out of the house. She spent the summer living in a place my cousin Andromeda told her about, and when she came back for her last year of school, it was like she was a completely different person. There was the hair, of course, and she joined the Quidditch team. That year, everyone wanted to date her.”

–I didn’t,” said James.

–I still don’t understand why not.”

–She’s my second cousin.” James looked a bit disgusted. –Sorry, but I don’t belong to the Noble and Most Inbred House of Black.”

–Well neither do I anymore. Anyways, Alice was great, but anyone who asked her out got turned down. Nobody knows why.”

Lily had heard quite enough. –Sirius, just because you know nothing about women doesn’t mean the rest of us are clueless. She didn’t want to date you because you were fifteen at the time and had a gigantic ego and terrible reputation. Not really what she needed right then, even if she had been ready to date again. You really are an idiot!” She turned on her heel and went to find Emmeline Vance.

Sirius scoffed. –Women!”

James rolled his eyes.

–You’re no fun anymore, now that you’ve settled down.” He turned to Remus for support.

–Don’t look at me. You’re on your own, mate.”

He didn’t get sympathy from Frank or Peter either.

–Right then. Well, I’ve got to go see a man about a dog. See you all later.”