Chapter 3: To Start A Year is the chapter following Chapter 2: Good Girls Say "I Love You".
On the morning of the first day of the school year, Carlotta Meloni attempts to kill herself and is rescued by James Potter in front of the entire Gryffindor House. Carlotta is taken to the Hospital Wing while James meets with a Ministry witch named Drake who is skeptical of James's theory that Dark Magic was involved. Drake is more interested in James testimony once she discovers that James is the son of Alex Potter, the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, but James leaves the meeting unexcused.
Before their first Defense Against the Dark Arts class, James confides in Sirius that he has had 74 detentions in the six years he's attended Hogwarts (at this point, the reader is unaware of the implications). The students then have their first lesson with Alphard Black and collectively decide that he is a good teacher. Lily Evans is so impressed with Professor Black's teaching, that the attack on Carlotta is momentarily driven from her mind. She does drop by the Hospital Wing to ask Healer Holloway how Carlotta is doing and he only tells her that Carlotta was not attacked.
During supper that evening, James has an uncomfortable run in with the Ministry witch, Drake. After leaving the Great Hall, James encounters Lily who attempts to apologize. James, already in a foul mood, doesn't accept and only succeeds in further distancing himself from Lily.
While Lily is at supper, Alice Griffiths tells her about a Hufflepuff fourth year nearly drowning in the lake. Moments later, Lily learns that Adam McKinnon attempted to jump off the Astronomy Tower, the third attempted suicide that day.
- This chapter introduces Carlotta Meloni, Alphard Black, Drake, Healer Holloway, Alice Griffiths, and Frank Longbottom.
- This chapter introduces the secondary storyline of the Hogwarts Case.