Chapter 2 : Home
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Sirius and James glided through heaving the crowds of the muggle train station and found the entrance and gateway to their world. Elphard and Emma, now that the boys were older, were able to let them go alone this time. Emma kissed them both goodbye, Elphard gave them a hug and the boys were off. They looked at the clock, they had twenty minutes, plenty of time to meet up with Remus and Peter before they got on the train. James led the way through the barrier and found the most familiarly beautiful, magical sight. The shining red Hogwarts Express stream train, billowing smoke and patiently waiting for the students to board.
They swerved through the crowds, people pointing and waving, they smiled back. Sirius especially enjoyed smiling at the look of the disapproving parents who obviously thought he was a bad influence. They were just lucky he wasn’t like his family. With this thought he saw them, his hideous mother; Walburga Black was here to see off Sirius’ young brother, Regulus. Unlike Sirius, he was a Slytherin, continuing the trend of the ancient and most noble house of Black. Her eyes fell on him for a split second but she gave no sign that she had just seen her oldest son.
“Come on” said James “I think I can see Moony up ahead!” Sirius snapped out of it and followed James up the platform, he clearly hadn’t noticed Sirius’ mother, or if he had he knew best not to mention it.
“James! Sirius!” spluttered a squeaky voice. A dumpy little blonde boy smiled at the pair and waddled towards them hurriedly.
“Wormtail!” roared Sirius as he hugged his friend. Now three, they continued to walk until they finally found the missing piece of the puzzle.
“Remus!” they all exclaimed and sure enough a shabby brown haired boy emerged. The Marauders were re-united.
“And here they are then” said a man standing behind Remus Lupin, grinning very broadly. James knew that Remus’ father appreciated the three boys very much for being such good friends with his son; he had feared that Remus would not be able to enjoy a normal childhood and was delighted to be proved wrong and that his son was part of the most popular group in school.
“Congratulations on getting the role of Head Boy there James” he voiced.
“Thanks Mister Lupin” said James, grinning again. He had sent owls to Remus and Peter instantly, the moment he found out. He had contemplated sending an owl to Lily but he thought he would much rather see the shock on her face first hand.
“You’re going to have to get your act together a bit” he grinned, knowing full well what his son and friends got up to at school.
“Something like that. Come on Moony, let’s go find a compartment before everywhere goes” said James, eager to get on the train and find Lily.
“Like that matters, we could turn up last and still get the best seats in the house, you being head boy you can order anyone to do anything” Sirius exclaimed.
“And that, Padfoot” said Remus calmly “Is why you are neither Prefect nor Head boy” he smiled at his friend, Sirius grinned back and then with a hug from his father, Remus and the three boys set off on to the train.
They found a space with ease and settled down; Sirius and James helping small Peter put his bag on the rack. It wasn’t long before Frank Longbottom found his way to their compartment and sat down to join them.
“You with us then, Frank?” said Sirius coolly, while he played a game of exploding snap with Peter.
“Yeah” said Remus “Thought you’d be shacking it up with Alice?” he said with raised eyebrows.
“Oh I will be” he grinned, he was very proud of the fact he had a girlfriend now.
“She’ll come find me soon.” He stated finally.
Sirius had a large cough that sounded awfully like he had said “whipped”, James roared with laughter.
Before Alice could find Frank, the train shuddered and started to move. Parents waved and students hung out of the windows saying their last goodbyes. They were off, off to their last year at Hogwarts, how strange it felt. But before James could consider this thought, he was reminded by Remus of the head boy duties. He was to go to the Prefect compartment and give the prefects a summary of their role and give them times to pace the corridors of the train, keeping a watch. As Remus was a prefect and needed to be at this meeting, he and James head off leaving just in time to witness the deck of exploding snap detonate in Peter’s face. They could still hear Frank and Sirius’ laughs as they walked away.
“So what is it I’ve got to do again?” said James nervously to Remus. It was the fourth time he’d asked this, he wanted to impress Lily and get it all right.
“Oh shut up Prongs, it’ll be fine.” He smiled broadly, he knew full well why James wanted to get so right.
They were the last to reach the compartment, James had hoped for this, a bigger and better entrance this way. He slid open the door and saw Lily standing up, clearly waiting for her partner already dressed in her school robes and looking, frankly, rather magnificent.
“Hello Remus” she beamed “and Potter, what are you-“she was cut off before she could finish as her eyes rolled to the badge on his robes.
“No way” she whispered.
“Hey there Evans” smiled James. Remus sat down in a spare seat next to a seventh year Ravenclaw, James knew was Peter Davies.
“Right, everyone” James knew how to control a room and Lily was far too awestruck and confused to string together a coherent sentence, much to James’ delight.
He acted to not notice Lily’s disbelief and continued as if it was a normal thing.
“We are your new Heads and for those of you who don’t know our names-“Remus gave a snort, there wasn’t a single person in the castle who didn’t know who James or Lily were.
“This beautiful young girl is Lily Evans and I am James Potter” Lily’s ear burned as red as her hair. He scrambled through the duties of the prefects with ease as if he was reciting a chapter from a book. Lily had never seen him so responsible and if she wasn’t mistaken he had a grown a bit too over the summer. She barely paid attention to the words he said but said stood looking at his lips, unable to believe this was the same boy who had irritated her for six years. True, they did start talking a bit at the end of last year but they weren’t friend, were they? She thought he has deflated his head a bit, no longer walking round with that stupid snitch and she hadn’t caught him hexing anybody for fun since the beginning of sixth year, not even Sev. She realised she was gawking at him and straighted herself out. She could not be sitting here daydreaming about Potter.
“Anything to add, Evans?” said James as he finished his long speech, Lily hadn’t spoken a word.
“Err no you actually seemed to cover it all” and with that all the prefects got up and left one by one, leaving James and Lily the only two left.
“Wow Potter” she said once everyone had left “That was actually very good”
“Evans? Did you just pay me a compliment?” he said with cheeky grin plastered across his face, she blushed.
“No. Maybe. You just surprised me that’s all” she didn’t know what to think of this version of James.
“Trust me” he pulled close to her and whispered in her ear “I’m full of surprises”. Her heart pounded fast, was she excited? But before she could even think about it he pulled away and swept out of the compartment. That was truly bizarre she thought and before she knew it she had been standing there for a few minutes, totally alone just thinking about James Potter and how maybe she liked when he leaned close. No. She pulled herself together and left to find Alice.
“How’d it go?” asked Sirius as James re-entered the compartment, Frank was no longer there but Remus had already returned. “Moony said you did it brilliantly”
“He did” said Remus “you should have seen Lily’s face, she couldn’t believe it, it was fantastic.” In all honestly, James had been far too busy trying to remember plans, schedules, rules and regulations to even look at Lily but at least he had the response he wanted.
It didn’t take Lily long to find Alice although she was rather annoyed to find Frank sitting next to her, she should have guessed as much. Judging from Alice’s letters over the summer, the pair had become quite inseparable. She would have preferred to find Alice alone so she could discuss James but that could wait until later tonight in the girls dormitory. Lily took her seat opposite Frank and Alice. Thankfully she didn’t have to be the third wheel for too long as after a few minutes the door slid open in walked three other girls. Emily, Amelia and Ariel, these were the other girls with whom Alice and Lily shared their dormitory. All very pretty girls, Emily was has sexily long hazel hair and eyes to match although she was the least girly of the group, a bit of a tomboy. Amelia and Ariel were twin sisters and both very stunning and very girly. Their hair, both blonde, was the only thing that you could to tell them apart, Amelia constantly had hers plaited while Ariel went for the flowing free look.
“Hey girls!” exclaimed a relieved Lily “You joining us?”
“Hell yeah!” proclaimed Emily as all three girls sat down.
“Lily” said Amelia quite nerviously but with intrigue in her eyes. “Is it true James made head boy?” at this all the girls looked at Lily, Frank gave a little snort under his breath.
“Unfortunately, yes” said Lily. This led to all the girls inquiring how she was or did he annoy her and Emily announced Dumbledore had finally gone round the bend.
“Actually” she said “he was very good in the Prefect meeting just now” even she couldn’t believe the words.
“Of course he was!” these were the first words Frank had spoken since all the girls entered. They looked at him bewildered.
“He’s finally got a decent chance to impress you and show he’s not a total prat!” he felt the need to defend his friend.
“Well you did say you thought he was hot” said Amelia with a very cheeky smile. Lily looked furiously at her as her face flushed to the colour of the Hogwarts Express. Ariel nudged her sister and pointed at Frank who was laughing.
“Thanks for that Amelia.” Scathed Lily.
“You can’t tell James, Frank!” said Alice, looking at her boyfriend with puppy dog eyes.
“Fine I won’t” he got up to leave “I promise” Alice seemed satisfied with this, Lily was unsure, oh the teasing and taunting she would have to endure if Potter found out that closely held secret.
“But” said Frank “He’s always telling us how gorgeous he thinks you are” and with that he gave a kiss to his girlfriend, a wink to Lily and left.
For the rest of the journey, the girls continued gossiping about James and asking Alice very intruding questions about her and Frank but Lily was too busy staring out at the blackness through the window. She always did this, she was a girl who could quite live in her thoughts so her friends often left her to it. She was very glad they could not see the boy in her head and how she continued to think about how he pulled her close. She was only distracted when she finally saw it, the gorgeous towers of Hogwarts, rising high above everything else in the world.
“We’re here!” she said “We’re home.”
A few compartments along, the five Gryffindor seventh years had also noticed the castle on the horizon. They were all dressed in their school robes and packing up their chess boards and cards and books.
“It’s kind of sad actually” said Remus
“Oh come on Moony, you always beat me at Chess!” said Sirius “Just let me have this one victory”
“No not that” he continued “This is the last time we’ll start a new year of Hogwarts”
The boys all took a moment to contemplate this and finally James broke the silence.
“Way to bring to mood down Moony” this breaking the tension made all the boys laugh but they all couldn’t help but think how they’d miss this place.
After grabbing their trunks, they vacated the train and waded through the crowd of tiny first years, all queuing up, looking at the large, hairy Hagrid.
“Hey Hagrid” yelled James. The Marauders were quite close to Hagrid, he never ratted them out whenever he found them sneaking in to the forbidden forest, he would just escort them back up to the school and tell them not to do it again.
“’Ello there James! Or should I say Mister Head Boy!” he gave a large smile and led the first years off to the boats.
They made their way up to the black carriages that pulled themselves and quickly found themselves passing through the empowering castle gates and soon enough they were settling down at the long Gryffindor table in the great hall. As more and more students entered the fold of the great hall, the noise level rose as the chatter was contagious. Friends greeting friends and catching up with stories of the summer past and the Marauders were already entertaining a large crowd of Gryffindors around them. Sirius revelled in their popularity and thus was often the center of the crowd and always the one telling jokes, with Peter often finding himself the punch line.
Silence ensued as the headmaster; Albus Dumbledore rose out of his grand chair at the center of the staff table and held up his two wiry hands. He took his seat and with a swish of his wand the entrance doors opened and dozens of tiny first years entered the fray, each looking a mixture of absolute exhilaration and sheer terror.
Gradually one-by-one they were sorted, James joined in with the cheers when Avery Cheswick joined the Gryffindor table and led the booing and hissing when Rachael Freeman joined the Slytherin crowd. Slowly, the tiny first years were sent to their new house tables, not yet knowing how important it actually was and how much it would mean to them in later years. James drifted in to the thoughts of his first day at Hogwarts, he had been so excited and then he met three boys who would become closer than friends, his brothers. It had also been the same day he first met Lily Evans, they had been in the same train compartment. He messed it up a bit, leading to six years of her hating his guts. If only he had played it cool, he could have been with her years ago. His head swimming in nostalgia and old memories, James didn’t notice the sorting had finished and that the empty plates in front of them were now brimming full with succulent chickens and glorious beef among many other foods.
They dug through the piles of food on the tables and after Dumbledore’s short and sweet speech and the reminders from the caretaker, Apolline Pringle, about all the things you’re not allowed to do.
“It’s just like him reading a list of our accomplishments, Prongs” beamed Sirius.
“Some Head Boy” joked Remus. And after not much longer they were finally able to go to their dormitories, James did however stay behind to fulfil his duty as head boy and lead the new Gryffindor First Years which he did, happily, accompanied by Lily.
“What’s this act, Potter? What’s going on?” she enquired suspiciously as they set off from the great hall.
“It’s not an act, Evans” he said to her, encouraged by her unsatisfied and suspicious glare he knew so well he went on “Seriously I got this Head Boy badge and I know that means responsibility. It’s not something to take as a joke. And plus I wouldn’t want to make you look bad by being a lousy partner.” She looked shocked by his honesty and slightly touched at the same time.
“So this is the real you then?” she said looking intrigued.
“Yes, the real James Potter, oh look he does have a heart” He laughed
“I have to say I think it might not actually be too bad with you after all. I kind of like the real James Potter” she looked down at the floor and bit her lip, moving her hair behind her ear to distract herself from embarrassment although she was trying supressing a grin.
James looked ecstatic and lost himself for a moment.
“So, does that mean you’ll go out with me then?” it jumped out him so fast, the first thing she replied with was a giggle. In her heart she knew she kind of missed that he had stopped trying to ask her out as frequently so with that she looked him in the eye and said
“No. But keep on asking as the real James Potter and who know where it’ll get you” she bit her lip, teasing him, she was actually flirting with James Potter and having fun. James smiled and looked down, still smiling. Success. She likes me. Her words were repeating over and over again in his head all night as he lay down in his bed in his familiar Gryffindor Dormitory. Lily Evans likes me.
Little did he know, just in the same tower in the 7th year Girls dormitory, Lily Evans was lying awake in her bed thinking of James Potter. How he heart had felt when he whispered in her ear and how her stomach felt odd when she was flirting with him, she was shy and nervous, unlike Lily Evans. James Potter and Lily Evans. She thought. Who knew?
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