Chapter 4 : The last ride
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A/N- thanks again for the reviews everyone, kind of makes it all worthwhile, ahhhhh lol. please keep letting me know what you think!
The four male Marauders all stood laughing and talking on Platform 9 ¾ seemingly oblivious to the adoring stares they were receiving from every girl that passed. They were all very impressed with themselves for actually arriving with time to spare but were missing the newest and supposedly most responsible member of their group, Lily. “Where the hell is she?” whined Sirius. He got very agitated when having to wait for anything, so combining that with the fact that Lily could miss the train, he was becoming unbearable. “Calm down Sirius, she’ll be here in a second –and stop pulling at my sleeve.” snapped Remus because Sirius was now practically hanging from his t-shirt and jumping up and down attracting some disturbed looks from those around them.
At that moment James spotted a flash of red hair bobbing over the crowd and pointed it out to Sirius. “HEY LIIIILLLLY!” he screamed making the others jolt. It did get her attention though as she ran with her trolley through the crowd, which was much easier now that everyone was edging away from away from Sirius, thinking he was mad. She looked very red in the face as she flung her arms around Sirius who seemed immediately relieved and calmed down. She hugged Remus and Peter and then turned to James who pick her up and spun her round in a circle making her scream. “Hey Petal, you had us worried there for a second.” He said smiling at her as he put her back down.
“Yeah,” Remus laughed, “Padfoot here was going out of his mind, I was just about to hex him.” he said sending a mock scowl in Sirius’ direction.
“Oh sorry to keep you waiting guys, it was my stupid sister again. She was determined to make me miss the train I’m sure of it.” Lily explained. Noticing the angry faces that appeared upon mention of her sister however, she quickly changed the subject and suggested they go and settle into their compartment.
This years train ride would be much better than previous years because they had the Head boy and girl compartment. It was much bigger than the others and much more comfortable. The deep blue velvet seats were larger and more padded and the compartment even had its own bathroom. The best thing about the it though was that you could only enter with the password so they could choose who to let in and who to keep out. Lily and James had debated whether or not to let the others in but had decided that it would be just too cruel to leave them, plus they knew that if they did, they would pay dearly for it later. So they settled down in their seats, Lily and Sirius on one couch, James, Remus and Peter opposite.
As the train pulled off and began to gain speed, Lily stared out of the windows at the fields whizzing past them and a sad thought filled her head. “Hey guys, you realise this is the last time we’ll be doing this don’t you?” she said to the others. It was true, this time next year, who knew what they would be doing? One thing was sure though, they wouldn’t be on the Hogwarts Express.
They too began to stare out of the window in silence just thinking about how much they would miss it. The quiet, it seemed was too much for poor Sirius to take as he burst suddenly into a hearty rendition of “Twinkle, Twinkle little star” which quickly broke the silence and raised the spirits of the group.
“Anyway,” said Sirius matter of factly, “I’ll have already been appointed Minister for Magic by this time next year, I’m waiting for the owl asking me any day now.” The others all cringed at the thought of Sirius having that much power and told him he’d be better off as the new caretaker, at which point he took out his wand and turned James’ hair bright pink and purple stripes. When Lily had stopped laughing long enough to turn James’ hair back to normal they had all begun a conversation about what they wanted to do when they left school. Peter didn’t have a clue. He was just going to see what cropped up when the time arrived. Sirius was still annoyed about the caretaker comment so didn’t say but Remus and James were discussing work in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.
“So what about you Petal? What were you thinking about doing?” James asked.
“Well,” Lily blushed slightly, she had suddenly become more aware that she was the only girl in the room, “I’d quite like to raise a family actually, get married and have kids. If I didn’t meet the right person though I’d like to be a charms professor.” She said quickly.
“Urgh kids, no thank you.” said Sirius (to which Lily pointed out that she had been offering to have children with him) “Well, they’re ok if they aren’t yours I suppose because then you don’t have the sleepless nights, toilet training and you can laugh when they get in trouble without having to punish them!”
“I always wanted a son and then a daughter so that he could look after her when they went to school and things,” said Lily, putting her legs across Sirius’ lap to get comfortable. “Damn,” James thought to himself noticing this, “why didn’t I sit there?” then he realised what he was thinking and scolded himself, “No, Lily’s my friend, what am I thinking? She’d never want anything more from me…” it was then he realised that the others were all laughing at him.
“Welcome back Prongs, you were a million miles away,” laughed Remus, “We’ve been asking you for about 10 minutes about having kids and stuff and you’ve just been staring into space.”
Desperately trying to get the conversation back to normal he answered quickly, “A son would be good I suppose, you could teach him to ride his first broom and play quidditch and stuff.” And to his relief his daydreaming had been forgotten as Remus had replied “Yeah, unless they turned out to be like Snape, ergh.” To which everyone had grimaced at the thought of a baby Snape, with his hooked nose and greasy hair.
The rest of the train ride passed rather quickly as the Marauders went over their plans to prank Snape and the rest of the Slytherins (and possibly a few unfortunate first years), had lunch, some had fallen asleep and Lily and James had talked about their new duties as Head boy and girl. So when the train pulled into Hogsmeade station the group were quite shocked at how quickly the time had passed.
As they bustled through the huge crowd, Lily noticed that James had a firm grip on her elbow. She was so short she would have been easily lost amongst the hoard of students waiting for a carriage. As they stood waiting for an empty carriage to come up, Remus noticed that with there being 5 of them together that year they wouldn’t all fit into the one cart. “That’s ok,” said Lily as she spotted the twins up ahead, “I’ll go on with the girls and see you in the hall.” The boys all looked slightly apprehensive at letting Lily go anywhere alone, to which she just rolled her eyes and walked off.
“Hey Lil, can I come too?” shouted Sirius, eyeing Isobelle and Abigail up from a distance, but he was shoved into the carriage by James before he could get into full flirt mode.
“Izzy! Abby!” Lily yelled and flung her arms around both girls who were looking incredibly tanned. They were thrilled to see Lily after so long as they had only talked by owl for the last two months, and hadn’t even been able to say goodbye properly on the last day of term as she had been in the hospital wing.
“It’s so good to see you Lily, you look great! Oh and you’re wearing the new top we sent you!” One of the twin’s best talents was fashion. They were very girly girls and loved clothes, hair, make-up and above all –boys. “Was that actually the Marauders we saw you with then?” asked Abby, her eyes following the carriage in front which the boys had climbed into. During the ride back to the castle Lily told the story of her summer as quickly as she could and the girls stared back in awe.
“Wow!” said Izzy, looking truly shocked, “I mean you mentioned it in your owls but we didn’t know that you’d gotten that close to them!” as Lily nodded, understanding that it was a very strange situation considering how they had behaved towards each other for the last 6 years. “Ooo, I don’t blame you though Lils, from what we saw of them there they’re all looking pretty tasty!” she added.
“Yeah,” Abby said, “So tasty we should be eating them at the welcome feast!” And the girls giggled furiously as they climbed out of the carriage to face the huge oak doors to the school.
“There you are,” bellowed a voice from the stairs. It was the boys who had obviously been waiting for Lily’s carriage so that they could find seats together. The thought made Lily smile, she felt so loved around them. “Come on Lils, were starving here…Oh, hello ladies, you’re looking as gorgeous as ever I see” said Sirius without a trace of embarrassment on his face as he took both girls hands to kiss. “Would you like me to escort you to the hall?” and he held out both arms which the twins took giggling, as the others all rolled their eyes.
As they all walked off to the hall James approached Lily with his arm out, “Come on Petal, we cant have you feeling left out now can we?” and he winked at her as she took his arm and walked inside with the group.
On entering the Great Hall, a silence fell for a few seconds as the group were seen. The Marauders were after all, the most popular and certainly most entertaining guys in school and Lily and the twins definitely had their admirers, but there were many shocked faces as they entered in this fashion. Sirius and Remus escorting Izzy and Abby and the most unlikely James and Lily arm in arm. Though Lily blushed at so much attention, the rest of the group carried on walking and talking as though nothing had happened, and the lively buzz of the Great Hall erupted once more but with added pointing and staring in their direction.
The feast for Lily was even more fun than usual. Her new friends and her old friends were sitting happily besides each other telling tales from their holidays, joking and laughing. Sirius was flirting furiously as expected, and even Remus seemed to be extra friendly around Abigail in particular. James however seemed slightly distracted and was caught staring into space quite a few times that evening. Lily was worried that something was wrong and kept checking that he was feeling ok. What she didn’t know was that James couldn’t stop thinking about the feeling he had gotten back on the train. Why had he been so annoyed that he wasn’t in Sirius’ seat? Sure, he had had a crush on Lily before but after all that had happened over the summer he had expected it to pass as it had for the others. As they all walked up to the common room he decided that it would never pass if he kept thinking about it and so he would just ignore it for now and hope that all would work out. Surely it would now that they were back in school?
After they had said goodnight and departed to their dormitories, Lily climbed into bed exhausted after such a long day and felt delighted to be back. She was so lost in thought that she wasn’t fully listening to what the twins were talking about but was shocked out of her daydreaming when she heard, “So, when do you think James is going to ask you out Lil?”
“What?” she asked, honestly believing that she must have misheard the question. This was James Potter they were talking about!
“Oh come on Lily, it’s so obvious he still likes you. He couldn’t keep his eyes off you all night, you saw him yourself staring at you!” taunted Izzy.
Lily quickly threw a book at her and told her to stop being stupid as she closed the curtains around her bed to go to sleep. She didn’t go to sleep though, instead she was staring up at the canopy above her bed thinking. Izzy was right, when Lily had found him daydreaming all night it had been her he was looking at. But surely that was just coincidence? “No,” she thought, “it’s just the girls being daft as usual. James doesn’t like you in that way.” And she drifted off to sleep, not knowing that over in the boys dormitory there was another person who couldn’t sleep, who was just staring up at the ceiling, thinking.
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