It was a week before the start of term at Hogwarts when Lily’s father pressed a small book into her hand and told her it was important.
“What is it?” she asked, turning the book over in her hands.
“It’s a part of my soul,” was her father’s simple answer.
Lily almost dropped it in shock, but managed to keep ahold of it, thinking that it would be a very poor precedent to drop something that is important. “Like… like me?” she asked.
“Yes,” he said. “But inanimate.”
Her father then proceeded to inform her that now that they have the Sorcerer’s Stone, he doesn’t really need Horcruxes anymore. Of course, he still intends to keep her as a Horcrux, because it would be very hard to undo that without either killing her or the soul piece contained inside her, and it’s just convenient to have a Horcrux in the form of his heiress. But the other six? It’s time to reunite them with the rest of him.
“How do you do that?” Lily asked.
“It involves returning to the site that the Horcrux was created, and performing restorative magic. In this case, that will be difficult, as the site of this Horcrux’s creation was the Chamber of Secrets, in Hogwarts,” he answered her.
Lily’s expression was very the WHAT?, so he explained. “The Chamber of Secrets was created by Salazar Slytherin as a secret location in Hogwarts that could be used for a multitude of purposes, but its main creation was as a secret refuge. He didn’t believe in admitting Muggleborn students to Hogwarts, because they would bring an inherent connection to the Muggle world, and put the Wizarding world at risk. It eventually became a location for Dark-aligned students to learn and practice magic that was not approved of by the other founders and teachers, but that stopped once Salazar Slytherin’s heir was not in attendance at Hogwarts. During my time at Hogwarts as Salazar Slytherin’s heir, I used it for that purpose, as well as… other purposes,” he said.
“Other purposes, like creating a Horcrux,” Lily nodded.
“And purifying the school of unworthy attendees. You see, there’s a Basilisk in the chamber, that can be used by Salazar Slytherin’s heir for just that purpose,” he added.
Yeah, okay, so some days Lily was very aware that she was the Dark Princess of the Wizarding World, and today was one of those. “Let me guess. This year, I’m supposed to continue your mission? And also figure out a way for you to get into Hogwarts so you can reunite your Horcrux with the rest of you?” Lily felt a twisting feeling in the pit of her stomach. Purifying the school of unworthy attendees… Hermione could have been considered such an unworthy attendee, and might have been if she’d never taken the blood test that had been administered by Narcissa in their first year. Did unworthy attendees mean Muggleborns?
“No,” her father answered, and with that answer, she was relieved that he was capable of reading her mind. “Our ancestor was slightly overkill in his worries of us being exposed to the Muggle world. For all of the disasters that the Ministry of Magic has caused, they have created laws that make it such that Muggleborns, or anyone else, will not reveal the existence of the Wizarding world to Muggles who would be prone to attack us. But - yes. This year will involve more bloodshed than last year, by necessity. We want to create a frenzy, make everyone aware of how useless Dumbledore is as a headmaster, that he cannot protect his students.”
“Couldn’t that just include me coming public about what the… possessed Potions professor did to me?” Lily asked.
“Unfortunately, the Wizarding world won’t care,” her father answered. “The problem is gone, and although Dumbledore did nothing to solve it, that’s what will matter to them. The parents need to become aware of an active problem - like something in the school attacking its attendees.”
“Attacking who?” Lily asked.
“Well… enemies of the heir of Salazar Slytherin,” her father said, with a smile. “I’m sure you will be smart in your choices.”
He didn’t say anything else. He just walked away, leaving Lily with the ambiguous instruction of using a mysterious chamber and Basilisk to smartly destroy unworthy attendees of the school.
Okay, so this year was bound to be interesting.
“LILY!!” The first thing that Hermione did when she saw Lily at King’s Cross Station was run to her, wind messing up her hair even more than usual, and grab her in a hug. Lily beamed, glad that the other girl’s attachment to her hadn’t disappeared over the summer.
“I missed you so much!” Hermione said, once Lily had released her from the hug. Her expression was sad. “I can’t believe your aunt and uncle didn’t let you send owls to anyone. ”
“Yeah…” Lily sighed. “Well, they think I’m gross because I’m magic, so you know. That’s fun. But at least I can see you now,” There was no way she could mention to Hermione where she was really living, and what had been done to her aunt and uncle - mind arts, so that they wouldn’t say anything about her not living with them over the summers. Mind arts, not so coincidentally, had also been done to Professor Snape, to ensure that he was more or less personality-less but still able to serve as a Death Eater within Hogwarts.
“Can we sit together on the train?” Hermione asked.
“Duh,” Lily said with a smile.
They ended up sitting in a group with Eva, Draco, and some other Slytherin girls. Draco didn’t seem to mind sitting with a bunch of girls, thankfully.
“I can’t believe that Professor Snape was possessed by He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named,” one of the Slytherin girls said in a hushed voice as the train took off towards Hogwarts.
“Maybe we shouldn’t talk about that…. Lily had to face him,” Hermione said, putting a protective arm over Lily’s shoulder.
Lily shot a grateful glance at Hermione. Really, she was grateful - all of the Slytherins knew that the whole possession thing was a complete farce - even if their parents hadn’t told them as soon as they’d gotten back from Hogwarts, they’d learned the truth at one of many Dark Side functions over the summer.
Just then, a knock came at the door of their compartment. “Come in,” Lily called.
The door opened to reveal an anxious Colin Creevey. “My Princess, can I sit with you? I don’t have anywhere else to sit…”
Lily looked at the other girls in the compartment, who, aside from Hermione, had slightly irritated looks on their faces. “Sure,” She had to continue looking like the Light Side’s little lamb, after all, and that involved taking pity - blech - on an annoying Gryffindor boy in her year.
Creevey squeezed into the compartment, sitting much closer to Lily than was to her liking.
“So. Ladies… and Draco…” Creevey noted Draco Malfoy’s presence, blushing “... how
was your summer?”
“Not so great, but I’m glad to be back at Hogwarts,” Lily answered. Ladies. Ugh.