Chapter 4 : The Hogwarts Express
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Needless to say, Lily hated all of it. James understood that she needed normalcy to continue on, and he had done his best to keep things going the way had been. He got many weird looks and was called names reaching from “insensitive” to -well, they called him names.
He didn’t mind, for although he was sad for Lily and it broke his heart to see how broken her spirit was, he couldn’t help but be happy that he would be spending an entire summer with Lily, albeit a subdued one. As Lily had told him, the dead were gone, and no amount of mourning would bring them back.
Lily walked down the hallway to transfiguration, the only class she had any trouble in, although that was mostly because she was too busy watching James do magic to try it herself. It was the same for him in Charms class. At least it gave them the opportunity to “tutor” one another and spend time together.
She went through three trick doors, a secret tapestry, pulled her leg out from a sinking step, and arrived outside of the classroom. Lily took her seat and obediently looked towards the front of the room. After ten minutes, the students started getting restless, where was McGonagall? The only living thing in the room besides them was a tabby cat, curled up in the Professors chair.
“Maybe she’s sick?” someone guessed.
“Maybe she’s been kidnapped!”
This was, of course, Black. This was his best subject and Professor McGonagall was his favorite teacher. Lily knew that he would dearly love to rescue her from insane ninjas and receive House Points in reward.
For some reason Lily had never figured out, they always made up for all the points that they had lost while pranking, casting magic in the corridor, or just being plain weird. As Black started transfiguring his quill into a sword, loudly pledging that he’d save the fair maiden, (Lily snorted at that, McGonagall was neither fair, nor a maiden) from the clutches of a terrible dragon, the tabby cat uncurled from the chair and sat on McGonagall’s desk.
It had the same square spectacle markings around it’s eyes that the real McGonagall had, and Lily suddenly realized what that cat was, or,more correctly, who. The cat suddenly morphed into a stern woman in her fifties, with her black hair bound into a firm bun.
“Mr. Black, there is no need to save me from a dragon,” she remarked mildly, “I am perfectly capable of doing so myself. Nevertheless, I suppose I’ll have to give you a detention. Tonight at seven.”
Although her tone didn’t betray it, one look into her eyes would tell you that she was deeply amused. “Today we will be studying one of the most difficult pieces of Transfiguration. Animagi. Most of you will not succeed, indeed, if any of you produce even a half transformation I will be surprised. You must not attempt to do this outside of this classroom. If your form was a fish, and you only transfigured your breathing apparatus, you could well asphyxiate before anyone noticed the problem. I am only teaching this because exams are finished and I believe that students need something to do other than sit around all day. Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.”
She cast a stern eye around the classroom, making sure that each student understood what she was saying. She made sure that each Marauder was pinned by her best Death Glare before moving on. Lily was worried, how would the Marauder’s cope, they would be extremely advanced, and if anyone suspected... Remus would be expelled, maybe put in Azkaban for sneaking out and endangering students.
The rest of the class passed in worried glances between the five friends, and purposefully botched attempts at turning their hands into a cat’s paw.
The final days of term drew to a close and people started being sympathetic to Lily, not because she had just lost her parents, but because she was now expected to spend two months with that annoying prat James Potter who, everybody knew, she hated. Right? So then why was she sitting complacently in his carriage on the train home? She should have been on the other side of the train, trying to cram in a precious few, last, James-free hours with her friends.
Inside said carriage, Lily sighed as the amount of students trickling by the window of their train car didn’t decrease. Peter had left already, and she was stuck in a carriage with three Marauders, one of whom she loved, one who was one of her best friends, and one who was currently running around with a lampshade stuck onto his head. Guess which was which. Bingo.
As James reached over and engaged in battle with the lampshade, which did not want to let go of Sirius’ hair, Lily moved over to Remus. Peering over his shoulder, she looked at what he was reading, an Arithmancy textbook. Having no interest in that particular class, she sighed and pressed her face against the cold glass of the window. A knock on the door startled her from her thoughts, she looked up and saw her friend Hanna.
“Hey, come on in!” Hanna glanced at the pink lampshade protruding from Sirius’ neck and decided that it was safer in the corridor.
“Er, Lily, can I talk to you for a second?”
With one last, strange glance at Sirius, Hanna and Lily moved out of the train car and walked through the corridor together.
“So.” Hanna started.
“So?” Lily replied.
Hanna raised her eyebrows, “Oh, come on! You are not going to tell me that you were sitting in there with James Potter because you wanted to see how that lampshade battle turned out.”
“It was originally a lawnmower.”
And you better not have been in there because of Sirius. He’s mine.”
“Um. No. i mean, yes.. I mean...er..”
“And you weren’t in there because of your sudden desire to catch up on Arithmancy with Remus?”
“So why were you in there?”
“I don’t know! Why do you expect me to know?!”
“Maybe because it was your body that was in there?”
What are you insinuating?” Lily accused.
“Is there something going on between you and Potter?”
“Ew! No! How could you even suggest that?!”
“Because it might be true, Lily-flower! Ever think of that?”
“Don’t call me that, Hanna-bo-banna.”
“Hanna, there is nothing going on between me and Potter, nor will there ever be! Final. End of discussion. Period.”
Hanna merely sighed and pulled Lily back into her own carriage. “Just keep in mind that it’s obvious he’s in love with you. He really deflated his ego quite a bit at the end of this year, maybe you should give him a chance.”
Upon seeing Lily’s glare she abruptly changed topics.
“I don’t care how you feel, but I am not going back into that carriage. Did you see what happened as we left? James turned Sirius bright purple trying to hex the shade off, I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t survive till tomorrow when Sirius see’s his violet hair. Honestly, I love that man, but he can be so obsessed with his looks....”
The girls spent the rest of the train ride talking about normal girl things. The subject of James Potter was not brought up again.
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