Hayley muttered a low curse as she lugged her suitcase down the stairs. James was standing at the bottom, impatiently tapping his foot. This would be the first time Hayley had left the house since her attack on James and the overwhelming feeling was relief. Relief she was finally getting out of this house, relief she might finally have a year away from James, relief she was going back to the best place on Earth. Hogwarts was a second home to Hayley, and all her friends were there, even if most of them were scared off by her older brother. She couldn’t wait to get back to that castle, with its hallowed halls and creaking staircases. It was all she could think about while shut away from the world. And now, she was heading back to Hogwarts. Admittedly, she’d had to behave impeccably for the last couple of weeks, biting her tongue every day James made a silly comment, ignoring every time he made a pass at her, kindly rejecting Remus’ efforts to help her. She was happy to be finally leaving and back to where she felt she belonged. Besides, it was one step closer to finally being able to move out of her parents' house, moving away from James. One step closer to freedom.
The Potters were still working at the Ministry, so James and Hayley had to find their own way to the station. They were used to this, so they hired a Muggle taxi. Admittedly it wasn’t easy to explain Tyrus, the family owl, but neither of them minded too much. They arrived at King’s Cross at 10:50, with ten minutes to spare. James met up with and Remus, as per usual, but he’d have to separate from them on the train; he had to go to a meeting with Lily and McGonagall about being head boy. Hayley went to find her friends, but they’d already found a compartment. For some reason, they shunted her and Hayley was surprised.
“What’s wrong guys?” she asked. She’d known her friends had gone off with her over the holidays but she hadn’t been expecting this.
“I’m sorry Hayley.” It was her “best friend” Freya who had spoken. “You ignored us for all of last year, and then you spent the whole holidays without talking to us once. Why should we continue to be your friends when you only ever use us when you’ve got no one else?”
Hayley was stunned and hurt as she left the compartment. She couldn’t believe how in a few weeks her life had gone completely off the rails. Granted, things hadn’t exactly been great beforehand, but everything was collapsing in front of her. Every relationship she’d had, her parents, even her friends. She only had one person left in her life. One person who had never let her down, however horribly she treated him. She hated herself for this, but she needed James.
Severus Snape was running faster than he’d run all summer. Another quick look at his watch told him it was 10:58. Shit. The Hogwarts express always left at 11:00 on the dot. Snape tore through Kings Cross, ignoring the fact that he had no luggage, he would get that to him on the train. Ignoring the usual anxiety he felt when travelling through the barrier between platforms 9 and 10, Snape burst onto platform 9 ¾. He breathed a sigh of relief as he jumped on the train, barging past a cute brunette and a tall, dark haired boy.
“What a rude little grease ball!” the girl muttered. “And he nearly missed the train-loser!”
The cynical tone in her voice annoyed Snape, but he had more important things to worry about: Lily Evans…
Jake and Amelia were both very nervous about the next few days. Neither of them was worried about what would happen once they’d settled at Hogwarts, but the first few days could prove very difficult for them. After finding platform 9 ¾ with great difficulty (Jake had spotted a red-haired wizard making the run towards the barrier), the pair had managed to find an empty compartment on the train. They both hoped that it would remain with just the two of them in it but they doubted that would happen. The train left the station at exactly 11:00 and the pair’s anxiety levels went through the roof. Before they could start talking about what was on their mind: Hogwarts, they were interrupted by a guy who appeared to be in their year. He was quite tall, with mousy hair and dull eyes, but he appeared to be quite intelligent, at least from his appearance. He smiled lightly at them (although Jake sensed it was aimed more at Amelia) and when he spoke, his voice echoed with maturity.
“Hey you guys. Is it alright if me and a couple of friends come in here? Everywhere else is kind of full.”
“No it’s fine!” Amelia replied, throwing him one of her puppy dog smiles. The weird thing was that usually those smiles were only a front, but it seemed her dazzling smile was genuine. Jake raised an eyebrow, but grinned back at the boy, who gestured for his friends. Both Jake and Amelia struggled to stop their eyes popping out of their heads as a boy and girl walked in. They were stunning. There was no other word for it.
The girl was about Jake’s height, with hair the same colour as his. It was pulled up into a loose ponytail and yet at the same time, it was delicately curled and shone. Her eyes were unfathomably bright, an electric blue that seemed to stare into his soul. When he’d been able to tear himself away from her eyes, Jake noticed her body. She was skinny, but not too skinny. Her flawless figure was capped off by amazing legs and a great arse, nice and tight. Despite her immense beauty, she handled herself well, but Jake also noticed that this was a girl who was not okay. Her eyes were stained by red, suggesting she’d been crying and there was a definite air of uncomfortably about her, as if she didn’t have a choice about where she was. The smile on her pink lips was horribly forced, masking her true emotion too obviously. She was clearly struggling with something and Jake wondered what it might be.
The boy on the other hand, was clearly enjoying himself, as though being seen with the girl was a pleasure. There was a swagger about him, a confidence that bordered on arrogance and made him appear slightly full of himself. There was also a callous sense about him. His figure was also in contrast to the girl. Whilst she appeared radiant, he looked rough. But a good sort of rough, Amelia noted. His muscles flexed under his raggedy, sleeveless jacket, his hair was unkempt and “manly”. His face lacked any sort of life and yet seemed to ooze passion; his brown eyes deadly serious yet flirtatious. This was a boy who girls drooled over. This was a bad boy. Amelia loved him instantly and was annoyed at herself because she knew that was what he wanted. More than that, he lived off it. He needed women grovelling at his feet, and it occurred to Amelia that the girl with him was less than willing to grovel. Good for her, Amelia wasn’t going to grovel for this guy’s attention either. Although, he was too cute…
Snape slipped into a Slytherin compartment, nodding a welcome to the other boys in the compartment. Avery, Nott, Rosier, Dolohov, Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle. Slytherin’s elite had many different qualities. Crabbe and Goyle were goons. They did all the heavy lifting and had the IQs of dumbbells. Rosier and Dolohov were nasty pieces of work. They specialised in darker forms of magic and took pleasure out of making others, especially younger years, cry. Lucius Malfoy was crafty. He liked to think he was the leader, but in truth he was just another minion, obeying their new “Dark Lord” along with the rest of them. Malfoy, Snape thought, was up his own arse, but he would never say that to his face. After all, Lucius enjoyed tricking people and he was the last person Snape wanted as an enemy. As hard as he tried, Snape couldn’t help but establish himself as the softy. He disliked using dark magic and tried to use it less than the others. He also had a crush: Lily Evans. The rest of the Slytherins thought Snape was stupid for falling in love, much less with a Gryffindor. As far as they were concerned, women were objects, servants and Gryffindors were scum. They couldn’t comprehend Snape’s obsession with Lily and he was fervently mocked for it. However, Snape did have two main bonuses as far as they were concerned. He hated James Potter and his little crew with a passion, which made it easy to motivate him in the war against Gryffindor and he was smart. A hell of a lot smarter than the rest of them. He could weave spells and mix potions leagues above the other dunderheads, who, in truth, were only useful when someone needed cursing. Severus Snape was the secret weapon the Slytherins needed.
Hayley felt awful. She’d been reduced to hanging out with Remus and Sirius whilst her obnoxious brother flirted with Lily Evans and abused his head boy powers. The worst bit was she had no other options, and it was entirely her own fault. Still, as she followed Sirius into the compartment, every cloud had a silver lining. There was a boy and a girl in the compartment. The boy reminded her of a brother. That was a definite turn off. And yet, he was different to James. His eyes were a deeper brown, as if they were inviting her into his soul. His hair was messy, but it had some substance to it, not just a crude mess. He was tall yes, but he was lanky, unlike James who was more well built. And he was smiling. Not smirking, not grinning, not mocking. Smiling. Inviting her, welcoming her. He seemed to actually be a good person. After chastising herself for being nasty to her brother again, she sat opposite Remus and the boy, next to the girl. She seemed to only have eyes for Sirius. Not that Hayley was surprised. He put on his handsome face and any girl was putty in his hands. The girl was pretty too, which she could tell was amusing Sirius. He clearly felt she was worth a flirt with, as he barged past Remus to sit next to James’ look-alike and get a better look at her. She had long brown hair, nicely layered and straightened. Her eyes were a nice hazel and, although she was short, she had a pretty good body too. Hayley couldn’t help but grin as she saw Sirius taking her in. His eyes lit up slightly and she really hoped the girl noticed. Sirius was after her, and Hayley hoped she’d be stronger than every other girl who fell into the web of Sirius Black.
“Hey, I’m Jake Hunt and this is Amelia Kingston!”
It was Jake who broke the tension building silence in the carriage. Hayley smiled at him as she prepared to announce herself, but was cut up by Remus.
“Hey. I’m Remus and this is Hayley Potter and Sirius Black. How come we haven’t seen you around before?”
Hayley noticed Jake’s face fall slightly at this comment and shot him a concerned look. It was Amelia who answered.
“We’ve actually been taught by Jake’s dad for the last six years, but then he died. So we’ve been shipped off here.”
Hayley was stunned. First she felt a massive pang of sympathy for Jake, but she also couldn’t help but notice Amelia was less than happy to be going to Hogwarts.
“I’m sorry,” she said quietly, aiming her words at Jake who threw her back a weak smile. “Anyway, we’ll do our best to make sure you guys settle in quickly, won’t we!” she growled, noticing Sirius’ eyes lingering on Amelia’s chest and kicking him under the table. Amelia was either very good at being able to prevent herself blushing, or hadn’t noticed.
“Yeah, of course!” Sirius replied, rubbing his ankle.
James and Lily stepped out of the compartment. As much as Lily hated to admit it, James had shown his more mature self and had handled himself better than she had expected. He had certainly put forward some decent ideas and had impressed both her and McGonagall. She was finding the new James hard to believe, but was for once willing to consider his offer of heading back to his compartment. James had sent a message to Remus and he had sent one back telling him where they were. They headed off in that direction and James had started making small talk, when they were interrupted by a slamming door. The compartment next to where they were standing was full of jeering Slytherins, with Severus Snape standing by the door. James’ wand was out so quickly Lily had to take a step back.
“Potter,” Snape snarled. “Any particular reason you’re walking with this rubbish Lil?”
Lily blushed as James went a deep shade of purple. “She happens to like me Snivellus, who would’ve thought it? Especially when the other option is a slime ball like you!”
“James, be nice!” Lily whispered in his ear. She turned to Snape. “Look Severus. Who I hang out with is none of your business!” James loved the contempt in her voice.
“I thought we were friends?” Snape sounded pathetic and it was clear that even the Slytherins were laughing at him. James lowered his wand slightly. Snape realised even Lily didn’t care about him. She was looking at him pitifully. Snape yelled and fired a stunning spell at James, who produced a shield charm. Snape’s charm blasted into him and he crashed back into the Slytherin compartment, as the people inside roared with laughter. Lily ushered James away, throwing him an apologetic smile, as Snivellus lay back, humiliated.
Conversation between Hayley and Jake was going well in his opinion. She and her friends were more than happy to reassure him and Amelia that life at Hogwarts wouldn’t be scary at all, especially with the “Marauders” as their helpers. Jake had found this name rather amusing, but for some reason, Remus and Sirius had shot Hayley a nasty look when she had said this. Amelia, meanwhile was clearly struggling not to fall head over heels for Sirius. Jake found it a new experience to watch his friend struggle with herself, as he’d never seen her insecure about a guy before. She was usually so self-assured and knew exactly where she stood when it came to guys. To see her in such a vulnerable position was both horrible for him and highly amusing. Jake however, didn’t realise that any second, Amelia would be the one enjoying his troubles. The compartment door opened and a boy who Jake knew must have been James (Hayley’s brother, she had mentioned him) and he was followed by a girl who Jake knew too well. His jaw dropped and he heard Amelia snort with laughter and shock. It was Lily.
A/N Loved this chapter both reading and writing. Sorry about the errors made in Chapter 2, sorted now. Thanks for reading, please review guys.
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