Within days of telling her father that she wanted to become an Auror, Lily Potter found herself standing nervously in front of the magical door that led to the Auror applicant testing center.
She had no idea what awaited her beyond the inky blackness. Nobody did.
Her brother Albus had been blunt. "I can't give you any advice, Lily, beyond trusting yourself and never giving up. No matter what you face in there, never give up.
You know how to control your fear. Hold on to what you know is true. And be patient," Al smiled wearily. "Of course, as a Seeker, being patient is second nature."
The magically amplified voice of the instructor called to Lily. " Applicant Two. Prepare to enter on my command. Remember use what you know. Ready 5- 4- 3- 2- 1.
Enter!" Pulling her wand, Lily Potter stepped into the void.
Lily found herself in a blind alley, a Muggle alley she recognized. It appeared to be deserted, but to be careful, she silently cast Homenum Revelio. Nobody close by.
She put her wand away and began to cautiously move forward. 'Be patient', she reminded herself, 'be watchful. The Golden Snitch is always there-watching you.'
Lily exited the blind alley and found herself on a Muggle street, but this time there were people-Muggles-many of them, and Lily was glad her clothing was Muggle style.
As she walked, she became aware of someone following her, an older man. He made eye contact and nodded toward another blind alley. The man was a Wizard, she could tell.
She wearily followed him into the alley.
"I am your contact. My name is Blane. Continue down the street until you find building number 5. Go inside and wait."
"What will I be waiting for?" Lily asked.
Blane was on the verge of replying when a stunning spell streaked toward them, hitting him. He flew backward. A second stunning spell raced toward Lily and she deflected it.
She cast out Muggle repelling spells. Her instinct told her to face her assailant, so she cast a disillusionment charm and ran forward.
She saw her attacker and silently cast expelliarmus followed by a full body bind.
Having done so, Lily had no idea what to do next.
Should she interrogate her attacker or just leave?
She tried to remember the rules and procedures from Hugo's notes, but thinking about them just confused her more and she began to doubt herself.
Taking several deep breaths, she told herself sternly, 'stay calm, follow the Snitch... but watch out for Bludgers.'
She backtracked toward the main road and was surprised to find that "Blane" was gone. She looked back and her attacker had vanished as well.
Shaking her head, she moved rapidly up the street and began searching for building number 5. After what seemed an eternity, Lily finally found number 5 and entered it with renewed caution.
She found herself in a dark room, where a disembodied, but familiar voice called, "Welcome Applicant Two."
Lily turned toward the voice and found Katherine "Kat" Meadows watching her carefully. "Applicant Two. In a moment, you will enter a crime scene.
Look for evidence, interview the witnesses, and report your findings to me. Do you understand?"
Lily nodded and Kat Meadows pointed her wand to reveal a half destroyed house, and many witnesses, loiters, and Sheriff's Bailiffs.
Lily started with the local Bailiffs and tried to determine if dark magic, or a dark wizard, was involved.
She then moved onto the witnesses, but found them either unhelpful or so off on their observations that she couldn't trust their accounts.
She felt overwhelmed and realized anew how important teamwork was to any Auror investigation. Suddenly, she heard Kat Meadows briskly call her over and demand a report.
Lily tried to organize her thoughts, but realized that she had no time to look for physical evidence and had missed some witnesses.
She considered her report a disaster, but Auror Meadows showed no emotions at all as she gave Lily her next, and she hoped, final assignment.
"Applicant Two, your next mission is to join a team of Aurors as they rescue hostages. Your team awaits you through that door.
" Senior Auror Meadows pointed and Lily walked through the indicated door.
"Potter!" She recognized Aurors Ross and Andrews. Auror Ross barked, "We'll be apparating into a wearhouse. There are five hostages and an unknown number of hostage takers.
Your job is to provide cover, but no matter what happens, the hostages must be saved. Do you understand?"
Lily nodded and prepared to apparate.
She knew logically that it was simply an exercise and nobody would actually lose their lives, but if she didn't pass, then her dream of becoming an Auror would die.
The trio twisted through space and Lily found herself in a chaotic atmosphere.
Spell fire zipped past her head and she quickly began to deflect the spells to allow her team to work on freeing the hostages.
Suddenly Auror Ross was blasted away and Andrews was incapacitated and Lily found herself alone.
She managed to get two hostages out when suddenly the rooms lights began to flicker and the temperature of the room began to drop.
Lily knew what was coming, although she'd only heard stories about the creatures stalking her. As she worked to free the remaining hostages all she could feel was utter hopelessness.
She knew she had to confront the evil. Lily pointed her wand and with the last of her fighting spirit yelled 'Expecto Patronum!'.
Her red fox patronus shot from her wand and charged the Dementors who evaporated away. She freed the final hostage and suddenly it was over.
She heard her father call. "Testing complete. Congratulations, Lily. You passed."
She'd not seen her father so proud since her first professional Quidditch match.