Hey there guys. I'm sorry for taking so long, and I'll apologize in advance for all the time I'll take to get the next chapter up. In the meantime, check out some of the other stuff I'm doing. I've got a new story I'm posting and I'm pretty excited about it!
I like this chapter. It's simple and sweet and, well, hopeful.
You Don't Want Trains
It seemed odd, how fast the end of the year went. Exams, while harder than he liked, were nothing too challenging for James. The final feast seemed more final than the previous five had. But all of that was hardly near his mind as James climbed aboard the Hogwarts Express. He was staring through the window, and the one person in the whole world who could thoroughly steal his attention appeared. And he waved to her.
Lily Evans smiled at him as she approached the train.
That was by far the oddest part of leaving school this June.
He had been working hard the end of term to win her over. He tried not to goof off in class, he did his homework, and he avoided Snivellus so he wouldn't be tempted to hex him. It seemed as though things would work out in his favor, but he didn't dare to get his hopes up, just in case.
James leaned against the window, the memory of her smile ingrained into his mind. He was unaware of the smile spreading over his face until Sirius elbowed him sharply in the ribs.
"What's up with you, lovesick puppy?" Sirius teased, a kind smile on his lips. James had to be grateful for the friends he had. Not many people could say they had the support of three people in romantic endeavors as most of them failed. "Did she forget to glare at you and instead opted for a blank expression?" James swatted him and messed up his hair
"She must have dropped her wand and he mistook it for a wave," Remus added, a light smirk on his face. James opened his mouth indignantly before realizing that had happened before.
Peter joined in with, "She was smiling at the guy in the next compartment and just the sight of it turned him to mush."
This one made them all laugh, James included. He knew he was pathetic, but he couldn't help it, not when it came to Lily. His friends didn't mind too much, or at least they didn't let on if they did.
"Any plans to woo the fair Evans over the summer, Prongs?" Peter asked as he bit into a licorice wand and stretched out over the seat. Remus pushed his feet away when they rested on his leg and they all burst into laughter again.
James snatched a chocolate frog from Peter's pocket and looked thoughtful before replying. "You know, I don't think so. Last summer she almost Avada Kedavra'd me, and I think she'd do it again if I popped up on her doorstep at dawn…"
Chatter continued in a lazy fashion, all four of them unconcerned that six of their seven years at Hogwarts was quickly fleeing and only one more remained before they would be leased on the world. James felt a pressing need to use the bathroom and eventually managed to excuse himself, tossing some money at Sirius.
"If the trolley comes, I really could use some cauldron cakes, got it?" James ordered, pointing at Sirius in a mock-severe manner. Sirius saluted, before asking, "What should I do with the rest of it?"
"You're kidding, right? We've got a few hours left on this train and we're out of food. Stock up!" James swiftly closed the compartment door against his friends' protests. He knew the three of them were low on monetary funds and James had too much for his own good. Besides, his mother had told him to take care of Sirius.
As he moved along, he spotted the food trolley up the way. He hoped it'd take long enough for him to get back. He didn't think the three of them would actually spend his money, so he wanted to ensure they did.
A flash of red paused him as he approached the trolley. Lily was smiling kindly at the woman and digging into her robe pocket for some money as she got what she wanted. James pulled a few coins out of his own pocket and merely raised a hand when Lily spotted him. Instead, he leaned down to the trolley witch and whispered, "Some sugar quills for her," and pressed the money into her hand. A satisfied smile gleamed his face as he heard her surprised but pleased voice.
James continued down the narrow corridor to the loo and on his way back, Lily had returned to her compartment. He considered stopping only for a moment but chose to walk past without even a backward glance.
"Please tell me you didn't charm Evans' skirt again," Remus said tiredly as James slipped into the compartment moments before the trolley witch came to their compartment.
"Anything off the trolley for you lads?" she asked, her eyes searching the compartment. She did a double-take at James and her face lit up. "That young lady was quite pleased!"
James beamed and thanked her before saying, "We'll take the lot." He offered her the money he wrenched back from Sirius' hands and the witch smiled pleasantly again.
"What did you do?" Remus demanded, begrudgingly opening a box of Bertie Bott's Beans.
"I just got Evans some sweets, that's all," James replied in what he hoped as an innocent, nonchalant way. "Don't you trust me, Moony?"
"When it comes to Lily Evans, I don't think anyone could trust you," he muttered darkly and then shoved a bean in his mouth. He choked after a moment and spat it out, where it landed in Peter's hair. "Sorry Wormtail. Augh, that was disgusting! Dirt, I say! I don't I get enough of that every full moon?"
This caused his friends to laugh and James flicked his wand to clear Peter's head of the abandoned bean.
The train spurred on, aimed for Kings' Cross as the boys began to throw beans at each other in earnest. They joked and laughed and managed to even get the Head Boy to come in from the compartment over to ask them to please shut the ruddy hell up.
When the Hogwarts Express finally came to a halt, they ambled out of their compartment, luggage in tow. James, despite himself, quickly looked around earnestly for the bright red hair, but it was nowhere to be seen. He ducked his head and made his way for his parents, Sirius in the lead.
A small hand closed around his wrist and he gasped, dropped his trunk, and pulled his wand on the person. Lily Evans stood there, a bright smile quickly slipping from her face and surprise mingled with fear taking its place.
"Merlin, Lily, I'm so sorry," he said eagerly as she released his arm.
"It's all right," she said in a low, quiet voice. "I just wanted to thank you."
"For what?" he asked, pretending to be innocent, but he couldn't help the smile as it crept onto his face.
"For the sugar quills! How did you know they were my favorite?" she demanded, picking up her trunk from where she'd left it a moment before.
"Lucky guess," he shrugged, but a light smirk graced his face.
Lily rolled her eyes, but her beautiful smile lessened the effect. "Well, thanks anyway. Have a great summer, yeah?"
"You, too," he said quietly. She gave a little wave and moved off to a middle-aged couple a few yards off.
"Sirius!" he yelled suddenly. "Guess what!" Maybe next year really would be the year…