Nothing Short of Fate

Marauder's Era; Lily Evans is starting school at Hogwarts with her best friend Severus Snape. Then James Potter and his Marauder gang come into the picture, and they just might change a few things. Follow Lily through the ups and downs of Hogwarts, friends and love...

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4. The Strange Tickets

After Sev got his wand, we wandered down Diagon Alley. When Hagrid went outside because of my ball of light, he had gone down to the marble building and exchanged some of mum's muggle money - as Hagrid called it - into wizard coins. All four of us popped into numerous shops, collecting the supplies on our lists. Everything from parchment to ink to cauldrons were purchased. My eyes wandered to the bottom of the list. There it said, 'Students are allowed, if they choose, to bring an owl OR a cat OR a toad'

"Mum, look at this." I showed her the list and pointed to the sentence regarding pets at the bottom. Hagrid and Sev looked at my letter to see what we were reading.

"If yure' wantn' a pet, Eylopes Pet Emporium is the place ter' go." Hagrid pointed to a small shop at the end of the street. As we moved closer to the store, a loud chorus of mews, skwaks and ribbits could be heard.

Sev entered the shop first. I was right behind him. On one wall of the store was so many different types of cats I lost count. They were all meowing and pacing back and forth in their cages. On the other wall was a bunch of large bird cages that were filled with lots of owls. They were all either sitting on posts or sleeping with their heads under their wings. In the back corner was a large glass aquarium filled with lots of frogs. At first you can't see them but if you look closer, you can see the outline of many frogs that are camouflaged with the branches and leafs. I wandered over to the owl cages and peered through the bars. Hagrid came up behind me a looked to the birds too.

"Owls are dead useful, and very smart." Hagrid said, "Carry yure' mail and evrything'."

He then walked over to where mum was standing by the cats. Mum loved cats and so do I. Slimy amphibians are not my forte, so toads were out of the question. Owls... Well they seemed kind of hostile to me, always ruffling there feathers and trying to nip at you. I walked over to the cats and browsed the cages. Cats had a soft spot in my heart so I definitely wanted a new furry friend to accompany me to this new school. My eyes finally landed on a very handsome Birman cat. It's body was a cream color but it's head and feet were a gorgeous, rich brown.

I pointed to the cat and said to my mum, "I like this one." Mum went over to the counter and requested we see the cat up closer. The lady behind the cash register came over and produced a set of keys which she used to unlock the cage. She gently placed the cat in my arms. She started to purr immediately, curling into a fuzzy ball in my arms.

"She is only one year old." The cashier lady said, "Since she is young, you need to play with her and give her lots of attention. Can you handle that?"

I nodded vigorously at the lady and began stroking between the kitten's ears. "I'll name her Isabelle, Belle for short." Mum payed for Belle while I picked out a collar.

"She needs some food too." Mum said.

The lady at the cashier heard this and said,"The Hogwarts house elves provide food for all animals. You needn't worry about feeding her."

I thanked the lady and headed over to where Sev was holding a cage with an owl inside. The owl had brown and white spotted feathers and large round yellow eyes. It was small but would still carry most of the large packages.

"This is Wembley. He's and Elf Owl. They can see in the dark really well." Sev reached his fingers between the bars of the cage and stroked Wembley's feathers gently.

"You have a special connection to owls, don't you Sev?" I teased.

"They are magnificent creatures!" Sev cooed.

With our new pets, we waltzed over to the door of the shop where mum and Hagrid were waiting, then meandered our way back down the street toward The Leaky Cauldron. Once inside the small pub, Hagrid handed Sev and I each a small thick piece of paper. On the paper it read:

Hogwarts Express

One Way Ticket

Boarding at 11:00 a.m, September 1st

Platform 9 3/4

"Platform 9 3/4's?" Sev said, suspicious. "That's not a real station. There is only Platforms 9 and 10."

"Right," Hagrid said," Almos' fergot' bout that. When you get tu platforms 9 and 10, run straight at thr' wall in between the platforms. Don't worry bout hitting thr' wall, it can sense that yure' magical and will let you through. Yu may need to run if yure' nervous."

"Thank you for everything, Mr. Hagrid." Mum said, shaking his hand.

"Yure' welcome Mrs. Holly." Hagrid replied. He then turned to me and Sev, "Feel free tur come an' visit any time yu like. I live on thr' grounds yu know."

"We definitely will." I said, hugging Hagrid lightly. He may have just recently been a stranger, but he helped me and mum adjust to the wizard world. That was a great help. "Right, Sev?"

Sev looked at Hagrid with a half revolted face. I've never seen that look before, but he forced a non-convincing smile onto his face and said, "Yeah, sure. Sounds... great." He shook Hagrid's hand hesitantly then backed away and stared at his packages on the floor.

"See yu September firs'!" Hagrid said as he walked out of he bar and back into Diagon Alley, not having noticed Sev's strange behavior.

"Bye!" I called, still looking at Sev, who wouldn't stop staring at his shoes.

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