Chapter 1 : Getting There
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"Lily? What's the matter, dear? Have you forgotten something?"
"No Mum, it's fine. I just was thinking about some things," Lily responded swiftly.
"Well dear, you’d better hurry up! You're Head Girl this year. Didn't you say that you had to be at the Head's compartment at a certain time?"
Lily frantically twisted her watch to read the small, many-numbered face. Damn! It was already ten-forty. In five minutes she had to be introducing herself to the Head Boy and begin sorting the prefects out for hall monitoring. She slammed the boot shut with great force and grabbed the nearest trolley, safely securing her trunk. Giving one last fleeting, affectionate look to her parents, she smiled and waved enthusiastically to send them happily on their way home.
After they had disappeared around the corner, she turned again and looked at herself in the reflection in nearby glass. Her flaming red hair cascaded in slight curls down her back, giving the ultimate contrast to her brilliant, emerald green, almond shaped eyes. Anyone, beside herself, would automatically proclaim that she was one of the most stunning girls; however, she didn’t like to dwell on such things – she preferred to immerse herself in books and her studies, rarely ever caring about her appearance, despite her natural beauty. She looked down at her ‘Muggle clothing’. She had bought it on sale last week at the fair. Black leggings and an oversized shirt seemed to be the fashion at the moment. She sighed at the thought that by Christmas holidays it probably would be "so last summer!"
Tearing her gaze from the glass, she turned to her trolley and began to push it slowly towards her destination, Platform 9 ¾. In no time at all, she had inconspicuously crossed the barrier into the world she knew to be her own. There were so many people here already! Many first years had already changed into the school robes and were quietly talking with their families, looking for quick words of comfort and assurance before boarding the scarlet steam engine. Many others were jumping around excitedly, laughing and catching up with friends they hadn’t seen over the summer. Everyone looked content, happy. Without paying much attention to her surroundings, she began to push the trolley toward the already steaming train. She struggled to pull her trunk up, but eventually decided that magic was her best option. After levitating her trunk on-board, she stepped up and began to move towards the front of the train.
Making her way towards the Head’s compartment and rolling her trunk along behind her, she was suddenly thrown off balance as she ran into something solid blocking her way. Tripping backwards slightly, she let out a soft squeal, trying frantically to find something to break her fall. Then, just as abruptly, she was caught. She looked up and was immediately dismayed: in front of her was one of her sworn archenemies, Sirius Black. His long dark hair fell elegantly around his face and his grey eyes danced with amusement at their current situation. His handsome smile and the unerring ability he possessed to cause girls to swoon at the mere sight of him were only a few of the qualities that Lily detested about him. Of course she didn’t want to mention the perfectly sculptured and tanned body, which was nearly enough to send her over the edge. However, it was the smile that did it. The smile that so many loved, now slowly but surely turning into a cunning smirk. The smile that most girls would die to have directed towards them, Lily wished to never witness again! Black crossed his arms casually, making Lily immediately recoil in frustration.
"Evans, you might want to watch where you’re going. Next time, you might not be lucky enough to bump into me," he stated with a proud, egotistical smirk.
"I’d rather fall into a vat full of Bobotuber pus than run into you again, Black. You’re lucky that I’m not hexing you into oblivion right now."
He laughed enthusiastically and leaned against the carriage door in one swift, graceful movement. It was in that moment that Lily realised she was still supported by someone. Hastily she pulled herself out the arms of the stranger and began to turn around and thank them. But she stopped dead when she saw a flash of that familiar untidy, jet black hair. Her thankful smile turned into a malicious glare as she rose to her five foot seven inch height in front of the "famous" James Potter. He was just the same as she remembered: his glittering hazel eyes still shone brightly behind his circle shaped, wire rimmed glasses, and yes, he was still wearing that ‘charming’ grin that so many girls fell for over the past six years. However, his now six-foot-one height towered over the slightness of her figure; it was then she realised that, like Sirius, he had become quite muscular over the summer. He was actually quite manly. But, she reminded herself swiftly, now was not the time to be thinking about that!
"Hello, Evans. Glad to be of service. How was your summer?" James said, tucking his hands deep into his pockets and rocking backwards and forwards on his heels.
She glared more emphatically into his hazel eyes, wondering if he was an idiot for thinking everything was peachy between the two of them – asking how her summer was, imagine. "I didn’t want your service in the first place, Potter. So please keep your hands away from me."
With that she stalked off with her trunk in tow, all the way to the front of the train.
"But you didn’t tell me how your summer was!" he cried helplessly after her.
After she had slammed herself into the Head compartment, he hung his head, shaking it slowly and groaning softly in disappointment.
"Oh, cheer up Prongsie!" Sirius began, "At least she didn’t curse you or something. That’s definitely an improvement from last year. Plus, you didn’t ask her out! Now that’s worth a pat on the back!" To emphasis his point, Sirius slapped James heartily on the shoulder.
"But she still managed to get angry and stalk off. I want this year to be different. I want to show her that I’m not the bullying, conceited wart that she thinks I am. I want her to see that over the summer I have changed for the better! I need this girl, Sirius. I need Lily."
"All in good time my little stag, all in good time."
And with that, they started in the direction of the Head compartment to tell Lily the "good news". James had received Head Boy. They knew that they were walking into the proverbial lion’s den; Evans would not be happy about this.
Someone was standing over her; she could just sense it for some reason. But why was she on the ground? She slowly opened her eyes to find the friendly eyes of Remus Lupin looking down at her with concern. She blinked, trying to adjust the focus of her blurry eyes.
"What happened?" she asked hesitantly. Did she want to know? For some reason she had a heavy sense of foreboding weighing on her mind.
"You fainted. I think it was just after James told you he was Head Boy."
Finally, it all came back to her. James and his little "Marauder" friends had come storming into the compartment proclaiming that somehow, inexplicably, James had become Head Boy. The world as she knew it had ceased to exist. How could Dumbledore do this to her; to Hogwarts? She had worked so hard over the last six years to do her best in school and set an example to all. With Potter as Head Boy this year, it was all going to go to shambles. Chaos would reign supreme in the school she so loved.
"Lily, are you okay?" Remus asked politely.
"Um yeah, I’m just trying to come to terms with what’s happened, that’s all." She got up and started to pace around the room, heedless of the fact that James, Sirius and Peter were listening intently just outside the compartment, their ears pressed against the sliding door.
"Remus, I thought for sure that it was going to be you. Head Boy, I mean. How could Dumbledore pull this type of stunt on me? How are James and I ever going to do this together if we can’t even have a five second conversation without it ending in a row?" Lily asked breathlessly, feeling as if she was about to start hyperventilating.
Remus rushed over to her and signaled for her to sit down with a frantic wave of his hands. "Lily, you just need to relax. It will be fine. I think you should try talking to James again, actually giving him a chance for once. He seems to have really changed this summer. Even Sirius has noticed, and that’s definitely a noteworthy occurrence!"
She looked at him skeptically for a moment, trying to decide if he was just playing along with another ridiculous prank of his friends'; after a moments acute observation, however, she saw the honesty in his small reassuring smile and the frankness of his eyes. She was about to respond when Sirius took it upon himself to barrel into the compartment and make himself at home.
"Evans, I know you think I'm good looking and all, but seriously, you can't go around fainting all the time. What are the girls going to think? I have to keep my options open, and falling for me, and I mean literally falling for me, isn't going to do favours for either of us. Besides, I couldn't have Jamsie-Poo bashing me for your indiscrete, but of course understandable, actions.
"Sirius, shut your gob. You are only making things worse for yourself. The last time you made a stupid remark like that I had you covered in green boils for days. I do not want to have to look at that around the common room again!" she finished, and James sighed in exasperation.
She was fuming as James came in and sat down in the spot closest to the window, leaning his head onto the cool, slightly foggy glass. He actually looked upset. Wait, no! She couldn’t be feeling sympathy for the boy that had tormented her and asked her out every day for six years. No, surely she shouldn’t be in the slightest upset by his melancholy demeanour. But the truth was, she did feel some remorse for the way she treated him earlier. Perhaps she was growing up, unlike Potter, and actually developing a kind, forgiving nature. She decided to make amends, but only for now. Their relationship would probably go back to normal in the morning, at the first sign of his trademark swagger or the minute she caught him cursing a poor, defenseless first year for his own amusement.
"Um, James…" she started quietly. Everyone stared with shock at Lily using his first name; she hadn’t done that since first year. It was always ‘Potter’ and sometimes ‘You insufferable prat’. But never James. "I just wanted to say that I apologise for the way I treated you earlier . . . I suppose we should try to be civil this year, what with our new, er, positions."
He turned his head slightly towards her and examined her with a confused but piercing gaze. He was trying to decipher if she was actually telling the truth, or just having him on. After a few moments he nodded and smiled saying, "I’d like that, Lily."
With that he turned back around and his head resumed its position against the window, his eyes staring intently at the green hills passing by in a blur. The compartment was in awe of what they had just witnessed. A conversation between James and Lily that didn’t go to hell and back? Strangely enough, it made them all feel vaguely unsettled.
"Well I’ll be damned!" Sirius muttered under his breath, shifting in his seat.
"I don’t suppose I’ve drifted off or something, have I?" Remus questioned Sirius.
"I’m still not sure if I understand," Peter squeaked to both Remus and Sirius.
"Well it appears, my young Wormy, that Lily, for once in her life, has actually pulled the stick out of her arse and apologised for being rude to poor old Jamsie here. It looks as though she has decided to give him a chance to be civil to her. What world am I living in? One minute I’m pranking the crap out of greasy ol’ Snivellus with James and having a gay old time, then smack, crack, whoosh, he is groveling at her feet. Lily Marie Evans, I demand that you take this curse off him at once!"
"Spare me, Black. I haven’t done anything of the sort. Perhaps James or Remus should have taught you how to be pleasant to someone every once in a while. What has Severus ever done to you, by the way?" Lily replied hotly.
"Oh, my dear Evans, his existence is quite enough," he said, looking at his fingernails unconcernedly. "Plus, his greasy hair stinks up the entire school; one should show him how to use a shower. Personal hygiene could do some positive things for him, and let’s not forget that it will benefit the rest of us as well."
James, Remus and Peter all snickered quietly. Lily sighed loudly and stood up.
"One day, Sirius, you are going to regret the things you’ve done to him. Potter, we should probably go see if the prefects are doing their job."
"Ah yes and, if the little Slytherins aren’t, feel free to take points, especially off my prat of a brother. He can be a nasty piece of work. Thank goodness he left before we arrived. Ah, well, I think you best be off, James. Lily requires a strapping young male like yourself to escort her on her little expedition throughout the Hogwarts Express. "
Lily waited impatiently as James turned around to wink and tap his nose knowingly at Sirius before following her out of the compartment.
"Care to place a wager Moony? I’ll bet you two galleons that they’ll be hot for each other before Easter holidays next year," Sirius declared knowingly.
"Sirius, do you really think you should bet on a relationship like that? There is no doubt in my mind that this will be the year for James, but can you imagine Lily if she found out? She would hit the roof! Best just leave it and let things progress naturally."
Sirius pouted like a three year old and crossed his arms over his chest, "Oh Moony, why do you always have to ruin my fun?"
"Because if I didn’t, you would already be in Azkaban on several charges of misconduct and misuse of magic. I think you should be pleased I’m stopping you from ruining your best friends’ blossoming relationship with the girl of his dreams," he responded quite calmly.
With that, Remus and Sirius forgot about the topic at hand and pulled out a game of exploding snap, laughing merrily together and each separately wondering what surprises their last year at Hogwarts had in store for them. Peter looked back and forth between his two friends, still not quite sure what was going on, but eventually deciding that he could probably ask another time. After all, nobody expected Peter Pettigrew to start thinking on his own, did they?
Hi guys! This is a story I started in October of 2008, just before my final yearly exams of highschool. Not a great time to start it, but I couldn't help myself. I plan for this story to be about 26 or so chapters.. but I haven't actually got myself a strong outline of chapters yet... so who knows really!
I applaud you if you are going to hit that little next button to continue reading, because this first chap is a bit of a bore. I promise you it gets better, so keep reading!
Thank you so much for all your kind reviews! They really make my day :)
ps - I have a new beta on board with me now! So excited. Thanks so much Katie!