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Chapter 1: The summer break just got a whole lot better.
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This was it.
My final year at Hogwarts.
The final year for me to charm Lily before we began the real world.
“Come on James, stop day-dreaming!” shouted a person loudly near my ear.
Jumping with a start I was pulled from my fantasy and back into the real world. This annoying person happened to be the source of all trouble. Actually it was fate that we were best friend. The two biggest troublemakers had to join forces to make history at Hogwarts. To date we had received 200 or more detentions, brought a fair few teachers to tears, blown up a toilet and been threatened to be expelled numerous times. Yes my name is James Potter and my best friend is Sirius Black.
Now awake, I rolled out of bed moaning as Sirius raised a pillow threateningly. Sirius had practically become my brother. We were as close as friends could be and rarely left each other’s sides. Whenever I asked why my parents didn’t have any more kids, they always said that one troublemaker was enough chaos for the family.
Sirius had stayed at my house for almost the entire holidays and he seemed to have settled in quickly. After getting into an argument with his family he had been kicked out and was know living at my place. Sirius didn’t want to talk about it and only mention the words; rich, stupid, purebloods and a burned tapestry. I didn’t really press for any more details.
* * * * * * * * * * *
As Sirius complained loudly about his stomach we made our way down to the kitchen. Mum was already making breakfast and Dad was just leaving for work. He worked at the Ministry of Magic for the department of sport. At the moment he was organising the next world cup tournament, which we got free tickets too.
“Bye Dad” I called before he climbed into the fireplace.
“See you Jamies!” He replied “Oh, and Maggie got some mail for you!” he added before the fireplace turned bright green.
Wincing slightly from being called “Jamies”, I turned my attention to Maggie, the family owl. Although she was old and slightly blind she never failed to deliver the mail and no one in the family could bear to part from her. I caught a glimpse of the familiar handwriting before Sirius had shoved me aside and grabbed the letter.
“Oi!” I yelled in protest, but Sirius had already begun to read the letter.
Dear James, (and Sirius if you have already arrived) Peter and I were wondering if we could spend the last two weeks at your house before term starts. Both of our families are going for a holiday and are unable to find accommodation at the Leaky Caldron. If so we can shop at Diagon Alley and get our books. I received my book list last week with the term updates and I am sure you will get yours soon, if you haven’t received them already.
Hope to see you soon,
PS. Got some exciting news to tell you when I see you next.
Two grins had formed on our faces before Sirius had finished the letter. All four Marauders together before term even started. This year was going to be fantastic. After pleading with mum for several minutes she finally gave in and said they could come.
“She fell for my puppy dog eyes,” declared Sirius proudly as I wrote a short letter back.
“I heard that” Mum shouted from the next room. “You two can clean up your room if you really want the boys to stay!”
Sirius and I groaned theatrically before dragging our feet upstairs. Once entering my room I realised Mum had a point, there were broken quills, clothes, Quidditch gear, and old food scattered everywhere. As I shut my door noisy, Sirius and I both slumped on our bed, momentarily defeated.
Sirius was the first to talk, “So what’s going on with you and Evans, huh?”
“Same story, she thinks I’m an arrogant prick and won’t go out with me.” I mumbled into my pillow. “ I don’t understand, I mean I am the one and only James Potter, who could resist me!”
“Oh, poor baby, the only girl that doesn’t fall head over heels for Potter, is the one he wants to marry.” Sirius sneered as I turned bright red.
“Well who’s the love of your life?” I said, turning the spotlight onto Sirius. If he was going to make fun about me I could do the same to him.
“Nobody,” said Sirius quickly (a little too quickly for my liking) as part of a blush crept onto his face. I decided to drop the subject, as I would find out soon enough. Sighing theatrically I turning my attention to my room, pulled out my wand, and began to clean.
* * * * * * * * * * *
“Next you can de-gnome the garden” Called Mum as she hung the rest of the washing on the line.
“But Mum, Sirius and I just cleaned our bedroom, swept up the leaves, vacuumed the entire house and did the dishes.” I yelled back. Mum had given us a never-ending list of chores and we had been working like house elves.
“You will clean up the backyard if you want Peter and Remus to come” She replied threateningly.
“ No butts young man, and if the backyard is not gnome-free your broomstick is banned for a week.” She said with an evil gleam in her eyes. This pretty much meant do not mess with me James Potter or you will be in trouble.
Sirius grabbed me by the shirt and pulled me into the backyard.
“You don’t want to mess with Mrs Potter she’s in a foul mood.” Sirius said as we stepped out into the bright sunlight.
“I suppose” I muttered.
“You know you live in a beautiful town” Sirius remarked as we walked further into the garden. Looking around I see he had a point. Godric Hollow was a gorgeous village and there was never a grey cloud in the sky. “Anyway it’s better than 12 Grimmauld place”
Sirius continued unaware of the weirdness of this conversation. Trying to snap Sirius out of the serious mood, I said,” Okay who ever can throw there gnome the furthest wins a bag of Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans.
“It’s on,” Sirius said,” Prepared to get beaten bro.”
De-gnoming the garden is pretty much getting the stupid things, spinning them around and throwing them out of the garden. It may seem cruel but it just confuses them so they cannot find their way back to their gnome holes. Until tomorrow anyway. The James and Sirius’s version of this chore is trying to see who can throw the gnome the furthest distance.
Sirius grabbed the first one, and before it could sink its teeth into Sirius’s arm, it was spinning into the air some distance away. It landed with a thud next to an apple tree and Sirius turned to grin at me.
“Bet you can’t bet that.”
“ Yeah right.” I said picking up another leathery gnome and flinging it into the sky. It too landed with a thump but several metres short of the tree. I fell to my knees in frustration as Sirius did some wacky victory dance around me.
Soon the sky was filled with raining gnomes. As one fell into Mr and Mrs Tuvie’s garden we both ducked for cover, laughing. Mr Tuvie was a slightly short fat man that loved his dessert. He did however have a reputation for bad tempers, as he shook his head menacingly at my house. Still chortling, I wiped my eyes that were full of tears.
“Promise me, will we make the biggest prank this year at school.” I said as the rather red chubby man walked back inside his house.
“Definitely,” Exclaimed Sirius. “ Seen as it is our last and finally year.”
It was then it dawned on me this was it. I had always known in my mind that I was able to start my last year, but when somebody said it out loud it seemed even more real. We were N.E.W.Ts students; top of the school. Although that sounded inviting, a part of me didn’t want this to be the end. I loved Hogwarts so much, but as Sirius said it was time to move on.
* * * * * * * * * * *
As I spun the last gnome into the air, I looked around the garden satisfied. Panting as I sat down, I looked around for Sirius. A couple of seconds later Sirius pushed open the back door holding two butterbeers. This was an amazing non-alcoholic drink that was popular throughout Wizarding World. Smiling slightly a sculled an entire can, sat back and did a pretty decent burp. Sirius gave me a glare and sat down next to me.
“Hey, do you know what news Remus wanted to tell us,” Sirius said frowning slightly as he tried to remember the details.
“Oh, in the letter? Um, I have no idea. I wonder if it has anything to do with Remus’s Little Furry Problem.” I said, while glancing around for any signs of Mum.
“Yeah, maybe.” Replied Sirius. “You haven’t told your Mum have you?”
“No, she would freak out if she knew what we got up to. I would be locked in my room for a moth and probably never see the sun again.” I joked, trying to hide any signs of worry.
The matter however wasn’t that funny, but Sirius and I tried to mention it lightly. We all knew the burden that Lupin had to face and tried to add humour to make it less serious. As I reached forward pretending to be interested in a plant, I grabbed his butterbeer. Before Sirius even noticed, I had drained every last drop. Leaning back I ruffled my hair while patting my stomach contently.
“You’re going to pay,” Yelled Sirius as he lunged at me. As he started to yank my hair, I reacted by squashing his arm. As Sirius yelped, I grinned in victory. This however was short-lived when Sirius tackled my waist crushing me painfully to the ground. The two off us continued fighting as we rolled down the green grassy hill. Heading towards the back of my property I realised where we were headed.
Splash. Next thing I knew Sirius and I had landed headfirst into the large creek that ran through our property and our next-door neighbour. A look of shock was first planted on Sirius’s face, which was then replaced with an expression of pure delight. Next thing I knew I as bombarded with a water attack. Forgetting completely about being soaked in water, I returned his attack by spraying water at his head.
* * * * * * * * * * *
Several hours later, I emerged from the Creek still shaking from laughter. Although I had enjoying the cool, clear water, I knew we had to get back to the house before Mum thought we had been kidnapped. Resisting the urge to throw Sirius back into the water , I pulled him out as we trudged back up the hill.
“I have never laughed that hard, since –” Sirius began.
“You convinced me to tie my wobbly tooth to your broomstick, or when I accidentally sat on my dad’s wand, or when you locked Mrs Norris into a cupboard……..”
We both started to giggle uncontrollably as we remembered the past.
“Yeah, I guess we have done some pretty funny stuff in our lifetime” concluded Sirius.
As my wet t-shirt clung to my chest uncomfortable, I pulled it off. Sirius did the same, as we neared the house. I was just imagining a nice hot shower when I noticed something from the corner of my eye. A car pulling into our next-door neighbour’s driveway.
Mrs Figgings (our neighbour who used to live in that house) had moved into a nursing home about six months ago, therefore putting the house up for sale. Of course it sold immediately (Godric Hollow was prime property) however our new neighbours hadn’t moved in straight away. It was then I realised I was about to meet my new neighbours. Sirius and I craned our next to get a good glimpse of the family. A middle-aged man and woman both got out of the car and stretched their legs. The male had brownish hair while the female had lighter hair with a tint of red. A daughter got out with short brown, lifeless hair. She had a certain snotty appearance and I turned away disappointed. What did I expect? This family was obviously muggles as they came by car. If they were wizards they would have apparated or use the floo network. As I reached for the back door handle another figure got out of the car that attracted my attention.
This daughter was younger than her sister, but a thousand times prettier. She had gorgeous red hair that fell down her back and onto her shoulder. Her face was quite fair and dotted with faint freckles. As she got out of the car and looked around she turned towards Sirius and I. It was then I saw her amazing green eyes. They shone brightly making me feel warm inside. I knew those eyes. There was only one person that could have breathtaking eyes like that.
“Lily?” I croaked loudly. Without even aware of what I was doing I ran down the stairs and across the drive to where she stood.
“Hey, Evans!” I cried joyfully as I gave Lily a massive hug. “What are you doing here? Coming to check out my house. Cause you know I’m free!”
Lily crinkled her nose trying to push me off her. I then realised I was half naked and dripping wet. I peaked a look at her face to see her looking embarrassed to be with a freak that just sprinted across half the pavement to her house. I could have sat there gazing at her eyes for an entire week but she started to squirm. As I reluctantly let go, she rolled her eyes and tried to look around for any excuses to leave.
“No, I didn’t come to check out your house, Potter ” she said in a disgusted voice. “I live here.”
I think my day just got a whole lot better.