Chapter 3 : Comforting Returns
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“What do you want, Potter?” Lily asked, feeling somewhat annoyed that James had taken her away from her friends.
“I just wanted you to know that I’m not going to just sit back and neglect this whole Head Boy thing. I’m going to take it seriously, whether you think I can or not,” James declared.
Lily studied his face for a moment, looking to see a hint of any comedic attempt to impress her. He looked surprisingly serious about his words, although she couldn’t find the inspiration for such words.
“That makes two of us,” Lily mumbled. “The Head Boy shouldn’t have to justify himself. It should be expected that he’ll do well.”
“Ah, but alas, if I did feel such confidence, I’m afraid to say you would mistake it for arrogance. We can’t have that, now can we?” he asked, a smile showing on his face. She laughed.
“I guess you’re right,” she said. “Is that all?”
“How was your summer?” he asked, making a stab at conversation. He was wearing Muggle clothing, something most students wore. Normally, wizards looks completely out of place in Muggle clothing. She noted that he was wearing worn jeans and a t-shirt. Not half bad considering some of the things Sirius Black had shown up wearing. He was sticking his hands nervously in his pockets.
“It was ok. I miss Hogwarts during the summer. It’s different in the Muggle world. It just doesn’t seem right,” Lily mused, thinking how easy it was to talk to him.
“I know what you mean. Well of course, I don’t know what you mean. Our situations are completely different,” James said.
“How so?” Lily inquired.
“You don’t have to see Sirius Black in a bathing suit,” James pointed out.
“You’ve got me there,” she laughed.
“So, I’ll see you later at the feast?” James asked.
“Sure,” Lily replied.
He walked back to his compartment, surely to go brag to the marauders. She slid open the compartment door to see her friends huddling together and talking in hushed whispers.
“Ok, stop talking about me now. I can hear you, you know,” Lily said.
At once, her friends cleared the path so Lily could sit down. Lily sat right next to Erin and stared at her friend.
“I’ll find out,” Lily threatened.
“Find out what, my innocent Lily?” Erin asked bewilderedly.
“Oh, I know you’re behind something. I just want you to know, I’ll find out,” Lily warned.
“I highly doubt that,” Erin smiled, twinkling her eyes. “I happen to be an evil genius as far as what I’m up to concerns.”
“Oh, she’s right on that one,” Leah included.
“Down right evil, but brilliant,” Ruby concluded.
“Am I supposed to follow this?” Vita asked, looking back at her friends.
“So, what did James want?” Erin asked.
“Just wanted to talk about our duties as Heads. Why?” Lily questioned.
“Merely curious, is all,” Erin replied, twiddling her thumbs.
“Sure you are,” Lily replied suspiciously.
“It was magic, you guys. Pure, simple magic,” James exclaimed.
He was in his compartment with his three best friends and fellow marauders.
Sirius Black was staring skeptically at James as though the words uttered out of his mouth could not be true.
“I really don’t think Lily Evans could possibly hold a civil conversation with you, Prongs,” Sirius inferred.
“Why is that, Padfoot?” James asked, slightly appalled.
“To be honest, you can be a bit of a prat sometimes, mate,” Sirius said, clapping James on the shoulder.
“Well, Sirius, to be even more honest than you just were, the reason he was a prat for so long is because you were the mentor. I, however, took over that role this summer and reformed our dear, Prongs, here. You see, because I taught him how to be courteous and polite, Lily could quite possibly have held conversation with him. When you were teaching him the ways of women, he was screwing up with women I’m surprised he isn’t socially challenged,” Remus replied to Sirius.
“Excuse me, Moony. In case you haven’t noticed, the dating cycle relies on me to entrance the young ladies of Hogwarts. If you would like to see a chart-” Sirius said, reaching inside his bag to pull a supposed chart out.
“No, that won’t be necessary, Sirius,” Remus assured his friend.
“I’m just saying-” Sirius said, reaching for the chart once more.
“Padfoot, go bug the lady with the food trolley, would you?” James asked.
“Come on, Wormtail. We have food to uphold,” Sirius said, leading Peter out of the compartment.
“So, how did Lily react when she found out you had Head Boy?” Remus asked.
“Not too well, actually,” James confessed. “She went kind of mute, as though as sort of thought she was dreaming. Then, she went back to her compartment and most likely blew up in front of her friends. I give her points for her composure though.”
“Prongs, you know, I think that if you push Lily, that won’t work,” Remus said, thinking quietly to himself. “She seems like the kind of person who slowly likes to be lured into things.”
“How do you figure?” James asked, running a hand through his hair.
“Well, I talked to Vita a couple times about Lily while we were in the library and she went on about how Lily couldn’t stay in relationships and what-not. That makes me think that all the guys she dated were trying the same approach. You need to ease your way to her heart,” Remus advised.
“You should market this stuff, Moony,” James insisted.
“Now that the sorting is over, I have a few start of the year notices I wish to address. First, there will be no one permitted to enter the Dark Forest. It is clearly out of bounds due to the danger at risk. Also, Mr. Filch would wish to address this to four specific young men, turning his hair purple is not an option this year. He had to order from Sleakeasy’s to get it out last time. Now, if that is all, Prefects please escort first years to their Common Rooms after the feast. Also, later tonight, would the Head Boy and Girl meet me outside the Great Hall for some simple instructions. I’ll leave you with these parting words; Rubbish, Alumni, Pounce. Now please, dig in.”
Professor Dumbledore, an aged man with long, shimmering, white hair and half-moon spectacles covering his electrifying blue eyes, had just given his start of term speech which every year became more and more creative. He had clapped his hands together and magically, food had appeared on the flawless gold china on every House table. A diverse range of foods had been placed, each as scrumptious as the next.
The Hogwarts ceiling was unusually clear that night, the stars sparkling before them.
Lily smiled, feeling as though she were home for the first time in months. She had a warm sensation flow through her stomach as she looked around at the castle. It was a beautiful sight. She could have sworn that she saw the headmaster grin at her awe.
Her friends were digging in, eating as much as they possibly could before bed.
“Screw Witch Weekly diets,” Leah had said, as she managed her way to the tray of suckle ham set before them.
Lily had awkwardly smiled at Ethan as she had entered the castle, knowing that it had been wrong of her to break things off for no good reason.
“Lily, how can you not eat anything? Are you crazy? The food is heavenly,” Erin said, taking a breath from inhaling food.
“Not hungry,” Lily answered. She was honest about that; the thought of being home gave her anxious jitters in her stomach. It would be her last time returning to Hogwarts. That was not a comforting thought.
“Prongs, how can you not eat? You’re a seventeen year old boy who needs nourishment. Look at this treacle pudding. Isn’t it fabulous? Absolutely mouth watering. You have got to be off your rocker,” Sirius quickly stated, taking a break from eating every ounce of food in his vicinity.
“Padfoot, you better hope your metabolism never gives way,” Remus observed, watching his friend eat.
“I’ll be healthy and sleek forever, Moony. What are you going on about?” Sirius asked, simply finding the idea of gaining weight preposterous.
“I’m just warning you,” Remus said, shaking his head.
“You’re looking at Evans, aren’t you?” Sirius asked. He should have figured.
Sirius hadn’t been wrong in assuming that. James had been watching Lily, simply mystified by her presence. It was consuming, all the energy she gave off.
He was finally at peace; home at Hogwarts. He could see her.
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