Disclaimer; I don't own the wizarding world of Harry Potter or any of the characters in it. I wish I did. But I don't.
Here's chapter Thirty-Nine!
Hope you enjoy it!
It was the end of the school year and everyone was thoroughly excited to go home for the summer and see their families. However, they were also sad as they were leaving behind their friends with whom they spent most of the year. It was a time of mixed feelings at the end of the school year. Every student in the school went through it but Lily felt as if, this year, it was worse.
She stared across the long Gryffindor table at James Potter. Nothing had happened between them as she had hoped it would after she realised how she felt for him after the Hogsmeade attacks. For a while she believed that things had been going somewhere but, she guessed she was wrong.
'It's probably all for the best you know.' Hestia said as she munched her way through her breakfast a thoroughly miserable look slapped across her face. She had been like this for a few days. It was as if the joy had been sucked out of her. The happy-go-lucky girl who was Lily's best friend seemed to have disappeared.
'And why do you say that?' Lily asked with a sigh as she turned to face her best friend with an inquisitive look. She was very intrigued as to why her best friend believed that it was a good thing that Lily and James had never gotten together this year. Especially as she had been the one to push it.
'Well…you know…' Hestia continued as if the answer was supposed to be obvious.
'No I don't.' Lily said with a shake of her head, 'Please enlighten me.'
Hestia put down the slice of toast she was eating and clapped her hands free of the crumbs. 'Ok.' she began, 'Don't hate me for this but, everything I am going to say is true and you know it.'
'Just tell me.' Lily whispered impatiently.
'Well, there are a few reasons why it wouldn't be a good idea.' Hestia said, turning slightly to face Lily, a stubborn and moody look on her face, 'First of all, you've liked him for several months now so you've built up an ideal relationship in your head and if it doesn't live up to your expectations, then it'll break your heart. Second, apart from him, you are the most stubborn person I know and you're quite proud. You refused to go out with him for almost six years and I don't think you'd like everybody telling you 'I told you so' or words to that effect. Then, any friends who are girls you've got who aren't me, Alice, Emmeline or anyone in our dormitory, won't particularly like you anymore because you'd have snatched up James Potter. Loads of girls in this school want him. They'd be giving you dirty looks all the time and sneering at you and just generally being mean.'
'Why would they do that?' Lily asked, not liking what Hestia was saying at all and not liking the way she was saying it. Something was wrong with her.
'Because, no matter how nice you are, some girls are just like that when it comes to boys.' Hestia replied with a shrug, 'They'll do exactly what all those Gryffindor girls did at James' birthday party when his kissed you on the cheek. They'll stare at you and be horrible to you all because you said no to him for so many years and he never gave up. It'll be all your fault he never moved on and you will be the cause of every single girl in Hogwarts having a broken heart.'
'Well thanks for that.' Lily said depressively, grabbing a muffin and picking the top off.
'I'm not done.' Hestia said.
'Great!' Lily muttered, throwing a piece of the muffin top she had just picked off at Hestia in annoyance.
'Just one more thing.' Hestia spoke with a slight questioning lilt in her voice. She knew that she had upset Lily but she believed she had to hear this. Something had happened in her life and she didn't want Lily to feel the way she was. 'You have nothing in common.' she continued, 'What exactly would your relationship be based on? You love school, he hates it. He likes Quidditch, you know nothing about it. I just don't think that you'd have much to go on.'
Lily sat tapping her foot. She had been forced to listen to this. Things she didn't want to hear at all, but still, things that Hestia had obviously been thinking about for a while. This confused Lily. Hestia had always been the one pushing this, always attempting to pull the strings the way she wanted them to go. She had played with James and Lily as if they were her puppets. But they had never done what she wanted. Was that why she had changed her mind? Lily had to ask.
'You're the one that told me to go for it in the first place.' Lily stated, 'Why have you suddenly changed your mind? A few weeks ago you said that it was inevitable. Why do you suddenly think it's a bad idea?'
Hestia thought about it for a moment, breathing deeply and not giving Lily any clue as to what she was thinking for at least two minutes. Suddenly she was able to come up with a reason. But her reason came out more like a confession. 'I broke up with Matthew.'
Lily's face softened. 'Why?' she questioned.
'We had nothing in common.' Hestia said, a tome in her voice that Lily had never hear before. She was clearly upset about this. 'And, he may not have all the girls chasing after him like James does, but he had a couple. It's just a shame that they didn't stop at dirty looks. They flirted, just like everyone does with James Potter. Matthew couldn't resist and, well, I think that the rest of the story is pretty clear.'
'I'm sorry Hestia.' Lily sighed with compassion. She reached out and grabbed Hestia's hand in a friendly grasp feeling extremely sorry for her best friend, her mind flickering for a moment to Emmeline and her tea leaves. 'I thought you were doing well. And didn't you have Quidditch in common?'
'Yes.' Hestia snapped, 'But it stopped there. You see, we had something in common and it didn't work out at all. You and James Potter have nothing in common. Nothing at all. And he has loads of girls following him around. What would happen to you if he couldn't resist the temptation? And what if it was all about the thrill of the chase with you and him? It's just…I wouldn't want you to get hurt like this. You going out with James Potter would be one big risk that, now I have experience, I wouldn't recommend you take. I don't want you to get hurt. You needed to hear this.'
She knew she was right. Plus she had more experience in the area than Lily did. Hestia had been in a relationship and had been part of that relationship which broke down. She knew what she was talking about and she was Lily's best friend; she trusted her judgement and knowledge. It was just hard to hear. Lily knew that everything she said was true. Lily wouldn't be able to stand the looks that she would get from everyone in the school if she started to date him. The looks that said 'I told you so'. She wouldn't be able to stand the looks from the girls in the school. The meanness that would result if Lily was to get together with James would be unbearable. Lily couldn't stand it when someone didn't like her. If she had done something to deserve it then fair enough. But she didn't think she could handle that level of nastiness just because of who she was dating. And what if James couldn't resist the temptation of the many girls who adored him? Hestia was right, they had nothing in common and the relationship that Lily had built up in her head could never match up to what could be if she and James went out.
Lily looked across the table again to where James was sat laughing with his friends. What Hestia had said was true but Lily couldn't help the way she felt. Still, she didn't think she could stand having her heart broken the way Hestia had. It was very clear that the romantic in Hestia had disappeared. Lily didn't know what she was left with now. Her friend had changed.
The marauders were packing their trunks. They only had today to do it and, if they were smarter, they probably would have started sooner. But they had been too busy hanging out near their beloved beech tree.
James had been climbing around in the branches and hanging upside down with ease and enjoyment. His glasses were constantly askew as gravity pulled them towards the ground and his messy hair, well, looked no different than usual. It was still messy. Whilst upside down he had been attempting to use a non-verbal spell to make the small flowers interweaved into the grass below grow. He couldn't do it. It was really annoying him. Remus could do it. Why couldn't he? The flowers just didn't do what he wanted.
Sirius had been etching their initials into the trunk to ensure that future generations would know that the beech tree once belonged and would always belong to the marauders. He also did it because he had seen some cheeky third years inching their way towards the sacred beech tree at the same time they had been walking towards it. He wanted to make sure that there was no confusion. His exact words were; 'This is our tree. Our tree, our tree, our tree! Nobody else's! How dare they try to take our tree! No, no, no, no, no! It has our names on it!'. When it was pointed that the beech tree actually didn't have their names on it, he set himself about correcting it.
Remus had been reading a book for the most part. It wasn't anything school related for a change. He was purely reading for pleasure. It was a wizarding novel written by Edgar Wallace called 'The Flying Squad'. Dumbledore had leant it to him as, when they were waiting to use the floo network to travel to St Mungo's, he had seen Remus looking at it and sent it down to the Gryffindor common room for him to read. A note accompanied it which simply read; 'Enjoy.' Remus hadn't gotten round to reading it due to the end of year exams. It was taking him a long time and, at times, was difficult to follow as it had originally been written in Swedish, originally called 'Kokain Nästet'. He was determined to finish it but, after he had been reading for an hour, he could no longer follow the story and decided to reread that part later. So he had put the book to the side and tried to help James on how to charm the flowers.
Peter had sat picking the grass. For a while he had watched Sirius brutally attack the tree with a small pocket knife but, when he got bored of watching him. He moved onto James. He had gotten up and, extremely uncomfortably, walked the short distance to the beech tree and tried to climb it as well. But, even after James had told him how to get up, (put your foot into the trees ridge just above the roots, grab the branch and yank yourself up), he still couldn't do it. He was too short for one and didn't have the upper body strength that James had built up thanks to hours of Quidditch practices, trials and drills. After failing miserably at an attempt to join James in the tree, he had resorted to flicking through the book Remus had discarded in favour of helping James perfect his spell.
As much fun as climbing the tree, defacing it and sitting it its shade was, it had delayed them with the practical applications which went with leaving Hogwarts for the summer holidays. So now they were really delayed in their packing and, as their room was such a mess, it was taking an extremely long time. Especially as Sirius wasn't helping and was instead laid on James' bed doing absolutely nothing. Well, that wasn't entirely true. He was reading the manual on how to build a motorbike that Jane Potter had given him for Christmas.
'Can't wait to get home!' he said as he turned a page excitedly, his eyes scanning over the page.
'Well you can't go home unless you pack.' Remus said as he rummaged under his bed, finding broken quill ends, empty ink bottles and odd socks which he had discarded after he couldn't find the right ones to match.
'Yeah I can.' Sirius sighed, tired of Remus telling him to pack his belongings away. He had been lecturing him about it not five minutes ago and now he was starting it all over again. 'I'll just buy new stuff.'
'No you won't.' James said with a disbelieving laugh. He was folding up his invisibility cloak and packing it away hurriedly in his overlarge trunk next to his other prized possessions; the marauders map, the snitch he stole from the Quidditch store. (He had stolen one each year for every year that he had been at Hogwarts) and his two way mirror to which Sirius had the other half. 'You'll knick all my stuff instead.' James finished as he packed away his Quaffle and Quidditch gear.
'You knick his clothes Padfoot?' Remus asked incredulously, 'What are you a girl?''
'I am not a girl!' Sirius whined pathetically looking up at Remus with a scowl.
James and Remus simply looked at each other trying to hold back mocking smiles. Sirius was, what they would call, a little girl. He couldn't even handle firewhisky. He didn't even like it. Plus he cared way too much about his hair. Then again, so did James. The difference was James liked to mess his hair up. Sirius liked his in pristine condition. It took James two seconds to run his hand through his hair in the morning, (and many times during the day), whereas it took Sirius at least twenty minutes to set his hair just so. Plus he got really annoyed and a bit angry when it got messed up. James and Remus found this hilarious.
'So you're not going to pack at all?' Remus asked Sirius whilst he took down the calendar which hung just above his bedside table, 'You're just going to lie on a bed and read?'
Sirius looked up in confusion. 'Read?' he questioned, cocking his head to the side and lifting one eyebrow.
Remus hung his head in despair and walked over to Sirius to look in the manual he was looking at. 'Yeah,' he began sarcastically, 'You see these little squiggles here,' he said pointing to the middle of the page in Sirius' book, 'those are words. You have to read them.'
'Oh!' Sirius replied with a slow nod of his head as he brought the book closer to his face, 'Is that what those lines are between the pictures?'
'They're diagrams.' Remus said, returning to his packing and grabbing a book from underneath Sirius' bedside table which he had used to stop it wobbling. 'They show you what to do.' he continued as he placed the stolen book into his trunk. He was almost done packing now which was a good thing as it was almost time for the last feast. Not that they needed anymore food. After they had left the shade of their beech tree they had made one last trip to the kitchens.
'Oh.' Sirius said as he brought the book closer to his face, squinting at the diagrams in the book. 'That'll make it a lot easier to actually build the bike this summer. Won't it Prongs?'
'Wait,' Remus said, 'You're helping him?'
'Apparently.' James murmured, closing his trunk. He was finished packing. It didn't take him that long because he really didn't care how things were put into his trunk. He just shoved all his belongings in; creased, screwed up or just down-right messy. He didn't care and was just glad that it was all done. All he wanted to do now was relax. So, in aid of this, he walked over to his bed, pushed Sirius off of the edge onto the floor, and jumped onto his bed, lying down.
Sirius sat up and put his book on James bed. He turned his head deliberately and dramatically towards his best friend with narrowed eyes. He then shook his head painfully slowly and said, 'Not cool Prongs. Not cool.'
James chuckled and took the instruction manual out of Sirius' hands and flicked through it. He scanned over a couple of the diagrams and glanced at a couple of the sections. 'This isn't gonna be easy Padfoot.' he said seriously as he chucked the book at Sirius' head.
'What are you talking about?' Sirius laughed standing up and sitting back on James' bed, pushing James up a bit so that he could actually fit on, 'It'll be as easy as…err…easy as…err…'
'Finishing your sentence?' James said sarcastically.
'No.' Sirius replied.
Remus closed his trunk with a thud and glanced over to Peter who had been silently packing his own, listening to his friends having their conversation, the main focus of which was mocking Sirius. Remus wondered how he could stay so reserved whilst in a room with James and Sirius. But then again, Peter had never been too vocal. He had always been more of a background character that just followed James, Remus and Sirius around, sharing in their fun and games. However, it wasn't as if he was ever excluded. At least not deliberately.
Remus, James and Sirius had let him share in their big secret. The secret that had always united the four boys in such a strong friendship that nothing could break. And when they were trying to become Animagi and Peter was struggling, they had helped him along. It wasn't until he had finally mastered the transformation that the three of them had accompanied Moony out on the full moon and it was all because they didn't want to leave Peter alone in the dormitory whilst they were gallivanting around outside. Remus had insisted. It wasn't so much an issue, him being on his own. He had done it before. He just didn't want Peter to be alone and so had suggested to James and Sirius that, until Peter could hold the transformation, they wait to join in the full moon. They had agreed. So even through all that, they were still a group. But Remus just couldn't help but think that Peter felt left out sometimes.
He sighed. 'You're quiet Wormy.' he pointed out to Peter who looked up a bit shocked at being addressed. They had given him a nickname. If that wasn't proof of inclusion then Remus didn't know what to do to keep Peter in the inner circle.
'I'm just packing.' Peter replied, stuffing some socks into a pair of his trainers. His trunk had to be packed a certain way otherwise his mother would go ballistic.
'Excited for summer?' James asked, joining in on the conversation that Remus had started.
'I guess.' Peter said.
There was a pause where James and Remus looked at each other, both thinking the same thing. This was why Peter was always slightly out. When a conversation with him was started, it went nowhere as he didn't particularly contribute anything of substance. Remus couldn't help but think that Peter might feel more included if he met them half way and included himself. They could only do so much. James on the other hand, who also felt as if Peter excluded himself slightly, tried to further the conversation even though he knew his attempt was futile.
'Bet your glad your mum's out of St Mungo's though hey Wormy? And that there's no lasting damage?' James said. He waited for a reply. None came. He continued. 'Bet it's a relief that you can go home and everything will be the same. Like last summer.' Again, there was no reply. Once more, James tried to further the conversation. 'You know, if she wasn't better, we were gonna take you home with us.'
Peter finally spoke. 'Thank you.' he said sullenly.
James looked over to Remus who had given up by now. He shook his head at James and shrugged, wordlessly saying, 'just leave him to it'.
'OUR PRANK!' Sirius suddenly yelled, practically bursting James' ear drums as he did.
'Dude!' James said, smacking Sirius over the back of his head and rubbing his ear, 'Indoor voice!'
'So-rry!' Sirius enunciated, 'But I just thought how to finish my sentence.'
'About ten minutes after the fact.' Remus said rolling his eyes.
'Hey!' Sirius whined, 'At least I finished my sentence and building my motorcycle will be as easy as our end of year prank.'
'That's because our end of year prank is easy.' James said, standing up and grabbing Sirius' trunk and shoving it at him as a clear indication that he should begin to pack, 'Building a motorcycle isn't.'
'Well,' Sirius began cockily as he took his trunk over to his own bed and, as he had been instructed to by James, began to pack, 'we'll soon find out.'
The whole school was gathered in the great hall finishing the last feast that they would share together before the train ride home the following morning. Donned in blue and bronze symbolising that the house cup had been awarded to the house of Ravenclaw, (the cup had been awarded before the meal started and everybody, including a select few of Slytherin house, celebrated with them), the great hall looked splendid in decoration. The atmosphere was still tangible and, although people were sad to be leaving their friends, they couldn't wait to be rid of the school work and homework for six glorious weeks. They were also excited to see their families but mainly the lack of school work. However, there was a certain person who wasn't looking forwards to the summer holidays. In fact, there was a part of him that was dreading it; Severus Snape was that person.
He was sat looking absolutely miserable, his arms folded with a sullen scowl etched across his face. He didn't want to go back to Spinners End. He didn't want to return to his small childhood home where his mother would still be grieving over the death of his father. He had no idea what she would do if she ever found out that he was the one who orchestrated the whole event but he suspected that she would hate him for killing the man she loved. Even though that man was nothing more than an arrogant drunken muggle who was absolutely vile to both Severus and his mother. She, however, had always been blind to this side due to his 'sincere' apologies. Severus wasn't though. He had hated his dad and was proud to have been a part in his demise.
Severus glanced around at the carcasses of the birds they had eaten such as a juicy chicken and an overly large turkey. They reminded him too much of dead bodies, human bodies, and the task which Voldemort had set all of his prospective death eaters. He had around a year to do the deed but had decided to do it as soon as he possibly could. He was going to be responsible for the passing of a muggle during the summer holiday and he couldn't honestly say that he was fully looking forwards to it. In fact, it made him feel rather sick and Dumbledore's end of year announcement didn't particularly help matters.
Professor McGonagall tapped her Goblet to call silence to the great hall. As it fell, Dumbledore rose from his chair and held his arms open in a welcome to his students.
'I hope you have all had an enjoyable feast.' he began with a smile and a twinkle in his shining blue eyes, 'And I sincerely wish you all a good holiday where you can forget all you have been taught this year. However, before I send you on your way, I do have something I wish to share with you.'
Everyone in the hall looked towards each other curiously in question. No one knew where this was going and waited in anticipation for Dumbledore to continue.
'At the minute, I am sure you are all aware that a certain wizard is gathering a following.' Dumbledore continued, 'He is accumulating power and, I speculate that he is succeeding quite nicely. This wizard's name is Lord Voldemort.'
The hall gasped at the name and Dumbledore had to wait a good five minutes for the students to return to silence in order for him to continue.
'At the minute, nothing the Ministry has declared to be too substantial has happened. I disagree. There have been more attacks than the Ministry care to share with the general public. I believe this is wrong and think you deserve to know what is out there. Dark times are ahead of us all and I urge you all to keep yourselves safe this summer. Things are not what they seem. The Ministry is feeding the public false information and, although a small portion of it is true, most of it is not. Do not underestimate the enemy. Be safe.'
Dumbledore sat down and left the hall in an extremely deflated and dejected state. They were being sent to bed with a depressing warning. Most of the students were now emptied, their happy feelings of returning home gone. Some however, mainly Severus and his friends, (the future death eaters), only smirked at Dumbledore's warning. Their smirks didn't last long as what happened next horrified them.
Getting up out of his seat before anyone else in the hall, James Potter stood on the bench he had been sat on. He addressed the whole hall with a great grin, 'On a lighter note!' He withdrew his wand from his back pocket and pointed it into the air. 'Let's party!' he yelled, casting a nonverbal spell which caused a long jet of yellow glittering light to emit from the tip and burst forth into the air and up to the enchanted ceiling.
No sooner had the light touched the ceiling when thousands of balloons fell from the enchanted rooftop of the great hall. They were an assortment of colours; green, silver, red, gold, blue, bronze, yellow and black, (all in house colours). There were laughs and squeals of delight as the balloons fell to the floor and filled the hall. Things didn't stop there though. As soon as the first balloon touched the floor, James had shouted, 'Who wants more?' and had pointed his wand towards the large oak doors which served as an entrance to the great hall. Again he cast a nonverbal spell and the doors flew open to reveal yet more balloons which spilled into the hall.
Things kept falling into the great hall from all directions and all the marauders were now stood on the benches dancing around like children. They pulled people up near them and soon other houses started to follow their lead. Other houses apart from Slytherin. They were sat sulking amid the joyous voices of everyone and Severus was horrified to see that James Potter had pulled Lily and her friend Hestia Jones up onto the bench next to him.
Nobody else had a problem with the marauders antics though. They were enjoying the balloons fall and, looking towards the open doors of the great hall, they were all laughing at the obvious fact that the marauders had blocked the entrance hall from top to bottom with the balloons that were slowly spilling into the hall. They wouldn't be able to leave until they had all entered the hall. But no one cared. They were having fun.
The Hogwarts express pulled away from Hogsmeade station with the entire population of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry aboard, all ready to return home to start the six week summer holiday. They were all extremely excited and as they sat in their carriages they discussed what they were going to be doing that summer.
'Well,' Hestia began as the train began to chug rhythmically along the tracks, 'my parents have decided that we're going to go and visit my cousins in France this summer. I don't really like them. In fact, I don't really want to go.' she finished dismally, a miserable expression on her face.
Lily sighed. She had had to cope with Hestia's depressive mood all day yesterday and she was bored of it now. She couldn't believe that breaking up with someone could have this much of an effect on a person. It kind of scared her. It seemed as if the romantic in her had been killed. But still, at the same time, she just wished that Hestia would cheer up. 'It'll be fun to see France though.' she said in an attempt to raise Hestia's spirits, 'Maybe you'll go to Paris! I hear it's really nice there.'
'No it's not.' Hestia grumbled, 'It's too crowded for me. Ever try to see the Eiffel tower? There's loads of muggles mulling around the bottom trying to get to the top. Besides, I won't even be able to get into Paris. My cousins live in some distant rural part of France which is too hot for my liking.'
Alice, who was also sat in the carriage with Hestia and Lily, glanced over to Lily and gave her a look of annoyance. She had only been with her for the morning and was already bored of her whinging. She wished she was in a different carriage with her boyfriend Frank and his friends but, she had promised to sit with her dorm mates and didn't think Lily would appreciate being left alone with Hestia whilst she was acting like this.
Another reason Alice didn't want to leave was because she didn't want to risk the chance of running into Emmeline with whom she had fallen out with weeks ago. They had fallen out because of a clump of wet tea leaves which had turned out to be more true to Hestia's situation than hers. They hadn't spoken since and Alice thought it would be very awkward if they were to bump into one another on the cramped train. Anyway, she was just grateful that Lily and Hestia had 'taken her on' as it were. If they hadn't she'd have probably been forced to sit with Frank and his friends. She liked him a lot but she didn't desperately want to spend every minute of her life with him. It was nice to have the option to go and hang out with Lily and Hestia and join in with some girl talk. She didn't want to lose this option so she stayed and listened to Hestia gripe and grumble.
'…and I don't think I'll get to do any shopping in France which is just depressing because I'd be able to if my stupid parents would just let me stay at home.' Hestia continued.
As soon as she had finished her sentence in her monotone voice, Lily seized the opportunity to change the subject of the situation. 'So Alice,' she said quickly, 'what are you going to do with your summer holidays?'
'Well,' Alice said, sitting up and crossing her legs onto her seat, 'I'm going to Ireland again like I did last year only, for a couple of days, mum has said that I could invite Frank. It's going to be the first time he meets her and I'm just a bit nervous for him, you know? I mean, what if it doesn't go well? Then I don't know what I'd…'
Lily zoned out. Oh great! she thought, One of them is thoroughly depressed over the fact that her boyfriend cheated on her and that she had to dump him. The other can't stop talking about hers and how well the relationship is going. He's meeting her mum this summer. Big whoop.
Lily silenced the sarcastic voices in her head. Since when did all their conversations start rotating around boys? Mind you, she was just as bad. All she had been able to think about lately was James Potter but, not in the wistful way she had been doing previously. No. Now whenever she thought of him, she always linked it back to what Hestia had said the previous morning. It bugged her. She was right. It didn't change how Lily felt but, she was right.
Lily looked at Hestia now. She looked about as bored as Lily had been listening to her moan about having to go to France that summer. Personally, Lily thought she was being a bit cynical. She would have loved to go to France, especially Paris. She had seen posters of it and the city looked absolutely amazing. It was on her 'places to go' list that she had pinned up on wardrobe door in her bedroom at home. Most of the major cities in the world were on that list; Sydney in Australia, Washington DC in America, Rome in Italy. She wrote them down every time she saw a picture or an article about a place she wanted to go. She doubted she'd ever go anywhere. She'd never even been out of the country. Petunia hated the idea of planes, boats, (she was with her there), trains or any other mode of transportation that wasn't a car. It was because of her, that the Evans family had never gone on holiday abroad. Lily never held it against her though. Not like her sister had done with the misunderstanding surrounding the letter Petunia had sent Dumbledore.
Whilst Lily had been dreaming of foreign locations and her sisters grudges, Alice had been rambling on about the many worries she had surrounding Frank meeting her mum. When she took a breath finally, Hestia had used the gap, just as Lily had before when Hestia was the one annoying the small group, to change the subject.
'So,' she said, leaning forwards onto her elbows, 'what are you going to do this summer Lily?'
Lily blinked a couple of times to bring herself out of her imagination and into the conversation that had just been proposed by her best friend. She thought for a second before answering with, 'Not much really.'
'Oh come on!' Hestia urged through gritted teeth in a desperate attempt to stop Alice going on insensitively about her happy relationship so close after hers had crumbled around her. 'You've got to be doing something. It's six weeks for Merlin's sake!'
'Well,' Lily began, 'I guess, most of the time, I'll be staying out of the way of my sister as she plans her wedding.'
'Is she getting married?' Alice asked, not knowing this at all. Why would she know this? Lily had only told Hestia and James.
'Yeah but,' Lily said, heaving a great sigh, 'I'm not invited. She doesn't really like me. She calls me a freak at every available opportunity. So, that's what I've got to contend with this summer. Oh,' Lily added, 'and I'll have to put up with my Mum and Dad nagging me to get a job.'
'A job?' Hestia said as if she had never heard the word before.
'Yeah.' Lily began sarcastically, 'It's one of those things where you work for money.'
Hestia shook her head in derision. 'I know what a job is.' she said, 'I just don't understand why your parents want you to get one. I mean, you haven't finished Hogwarts yet so nobody in the wizarding world is ever going to hire you.'
'I think she wants me to get a muggle summer job.' Lily replied as if that fact was abundantly clear, 'Just to earn some extra money for when I go back to school. My sister did it.'
'But she's not a witch.' Alice said.
'Don't remind me!' Lily muttered with exasperation, 'I'm not going to get a job anyway.' she continued, 'I want my first job to be in the wizarding world.'
'I should hope so!' James Potter said as he appeared in the carriages doorway behind Lily. Sirius was stood next to him munching away on a chocolate frog.
'Where did you get that from?' Hestia asked, pointing at the chocolate treat, 'The trolley hasn't been around yet!'
'Doy! I went and found it!' Sirius replied sarcastically, taking another great bite of his chocolate frog.
James chuckled and continued to talk to Lily, 'We were going back to our carriage saw you lovely ladies and wondered if you wanted to come and join us?'
Lily bit her lip and looked around at her two friends to see if they wanted to go. Alice silently agreed straight away, suspecting that the marauders would be more fun than Hestia's depressive mood. Hestia didn't agree straight away and instead shot a warning glance at Lily telling her that she should just move on from James Potter whom she was now sure was no good for her. Lily didn't take notice of this warning and reasoned that they were friends so there would be no harm in joining the marauders at all.
'Sure.' she said to James who grinned at her.
James and Sirius took the girls luggage down to their carriage good way along the train whilst the three girls followed behind them. Alice was in front of Lily and Hestia and could hear Hestia mumbling again. What Alice didn't know though, was Hestia was quietly reiterating all of the points she had told Lily over breakfast the previous morning. She continued to warn her best friend that the cons outweighed the pros until they reached the marauders carriage, entered, and sat down amongst James, Remus, Sirius and Peter.
Much to Lily's surprise, she saw that Hestia, even though she had spent most of the journey so far, whining about her breakup and warning Lily about James Potter, was enjoying herself. In fact, for the rest of the journey, she livened up and even consented to join in a game that the marauders had made up themselves called 'exploding wizards dare snap chess'. If it wasn't obvious enough, it was a mix between exploding snap, wizard's chess and a dare game. It had surprisingly complicated rules but was fun enough to keep them all entertained until the Hogwarts express finally pulled into kings cross station.
When the train had come to a complete stand still, James climbed up onto the seat and systematically handed down everyone's trunks to them. As soon as each person had gotten their luggage, they left the carriage to find their parents, shouting goodbye to the group as they did. Cleverly, James had handed down their belongings in such a way, (Peter's, Alice's, Hestia's, Remus', Sirius', his own then Lily's), that he and Lily ended being the only ones left on the train. Together, they got off of the gleaming scarlet engine.
'You know,' James began, 'you wouldn't be caught dead getting of a train with me a year ago.'
'I know.' Lily replied with a small laugh, 'Funny how things change. Last year I couldn't stand talking to you and now I don't know how I can't not talk to you every day.'
'That made no sense to me.' James chuckled shaking his head as they stepped onto the platform and faced each other.
'It did to me.' Lily said with a smile that James just loved. 'It means I'll miss you over summer.' Lily finished.
'I'll miss you too.' James replied with a crooked smile and a shine in his eyes.
Simultaneously, without thinking, they hugged each other, attracting a few stares as they did. Lily could feel the glares on her and hated the feeling. All she could think at that moment was how right Hestia had been. She was the first to pull away but James took her hand and held it, rubbing his thumb over it which sent her heart into a fast beating pace. She looked into his warm hazel eyes and was unable to let go of his hand.
'I'll write to you.' he said sincerely.
'Ok.' Lily said, unable to say anything else but all the while her brain skipping and saying, he'll write to me, he'll write to me.
It looked as if James was going to say something else but he was interrupted by Sirius. When his voice drifted over, James dropped Lily's hand like a hot potato.
'Oi! Prongs!' Sirius had yelled, 'Your mums here!'
'Really?' James said in surprise at this odd occurrence. 'Bye Lily.' he managed to add in quickly before turning around and making his way through the bustling station saying, 'Why is she here? We can apparate now.'
Lily watched him go, her hand burning from his touch. She gripped it tightly in her other hand when she noticed her trunk being lifted by the side of her. She turned around to come face to face with her Dad who was looking extremely suspicious and protective.
'Who was that?' he asked his daughter with raised eyebrows.
'No one.' Lily said quickly, 'Is that Mum over there?' she asked as she walked away to greet her Mother.
Her Dad didn't move. No. Richard Evans was a very suspicious man and extremely protective over his youngest daughter. He didn't like the look of the messy haired boy in glasses, the one he was sure she hadn't liked for many years. He watched him jostle away through the crowds with a handsome long haired boy towards a cheery looking woman whom he assumed to be their mother and watched them all turn on the spot and disappear. No. He didn't like the look of him at all.
Thanks for reading!