“Late night, or early morning?” James smirked as his mother padded inside the living room, still donned in her silk robe and slippers.
She yawned. “Sorry darling, we should have sent word, but we couldn’t use any form of communication without giving ourselves away.”
James raised his brow curiously. “What exactly, were you doing last night?”
“If I told you, I’d have to kill you.” She answered, smiling slightly.
He grunted and leaned back in his chair, watching the snitch zoom around the room. Madeleine huffed. “Must you do that, it’s highly irritating.”
James smiled and reached out suddenly, grabbing the golden ball as it flew past. “Practise makes perfect.” He smirked, clutching the snitch tightly in his hand.
Madeleine rolled her eyes. “But you aren’t a seeker.”
James shrugged. “It helps hone my senses…and its fun.”
“What’s fun?” Sirius asked as he walked in the room, bleary eyed.
“Playing with tiny balls apparently.” Madeleine answered rolling her eyes again. Sirius roared with laughter and James grimaced.
“Mum.” He moaned.
She looked at the boys sceptically. “What? What did I do?”
James shook his head slowly and she jumped in realization. “Oh…oh! Well… perhaps I didn’t phrase that properly, but you know what I mean.”
She shook her head, muttering under her breath as she left the room when Sirius continued to laugh loudly. “Playing with tiny balls, ah priceless!” He gasped, wiping his tears of laughter and following after the older woman, leaving James to wonder why exactly he associated himself with them.
The remaining members of the Marauders arrived shortly after noon; Remus landing gracefully out of the fireplace and Peter tumbling out twenty minutes after him.
“So how’ve your breaks gone then? Everything all good over at the home base?” Remus asked Sirius as they followed James to his room.
Sirius stiffened and shoved his hands in his pocket. “Actually, that’s what I needed to speak to you guys about.”
Remus flashed him a look of concern. “What is it, is everything alright?” They walked into James room and the latter kicked the door shut before giving Sirius an encouraging glance. Sirius grimaced and cleared his throat. “I left.”
Remus started and Peter’s face twisted in confusion. “What do you mean left? Left where?”
Remus ignored this and gazed at his dark haired mate with troubled eyes. “When? What happened?”
Sirius snorted as he plopped on the thick carpet in the center of the room. “What didn’t happen? Everything they’ve done- everything they’ve ever said…I was just sick of it, finished. We got into an argument a few days after we got home-
He gave a dry laugh.
“- surprise, surprise. They told me I had to apologise to Bella- to all of them and that I wasn’t allowed to talk to you lot anymore…They said I couldn’t return to Hogwarts.” He added quietly.
Remus furrowed his brows and Peter gaped.
“I couldn’t take any of their bullshit anymore, so I left. I think I yelled at them a bit, the whole night’s a bit foggy, can’t really remember the specifics of what was said, but I apparated to the Potter’s and I’ve been living here ever since.”
Remus rubbed his eyes wearily and sighed while Peter flushed with a hint of envy, unnoticed by the others.
“Well are you alright? Physically, I mean, they didn’t hit you or anything…did they?” Remus asked worriedly.
Sirius shook his head hastily. “Oh no, they wouldn’t do anything that would get the ministry on their doorstep. They’re supporting Voldemort remember? They can’t afford even the slightest bit of suspicion against them.”
Remus nodded in satisfaction. “Well at least you’re safe and away from them. That environment was never a good one for you. You were always moody and angry after spending time at Grimauld place; it was unhealthy.”
Peter nodded; his eyes still tight.
Sirius gave a small smile. “Yeah.” He said quietly.
James pushed off the wall and clapped his hands. “Topic change, Moony, ace gift! Now thanks to your awesome book, that cup is ours one hundred and ten percent!”
Remus smiled. “Good, I spent a whole day searching for your gift. It’s not easy shopping for a bloke who has everything, I’ll tell you that.”
Sirius laughed and James smirked. “You know I wouldn’t care if you got me a flobberworm.” James said reassuringly. He scowled quickly. “But don’t get me a flobberworm.”
Remus chuckled. “Don’t worry; I have a little more taste then that. Besides, flobberworms are quite pricey.”
Sirius and Peter laughed heartily and James grinned.
“Oh James, don’t you just look dashing!” Madeleine gushed as James walked into the ballroom where she was belting instructions to elves and wizards here and there. There was a certain familiarity in the bustle of preparation for the nights New Years Eve Ball. James smiled and held up two ties. “Blue or green?”
Madeleine quickly muttered something to the tall wizards standing next to her before stepping towards him. She furrowed her brows and bit her lip as she analyzed both ties, holding them up as she contemplated.
“As always it’s going to be the party everyone’s going to talk about for the next twelve months- until the next one you throw.” James smirked, looking around.
Madeleine cocked her head to the side as she held up the green one. “Yes, well, we could all use a night to forget about everything else that’s going on.”
“I just don’t understand why you have to invite death eaters.” He scowled.
Madeleine dropped her hands and sighed. “Keep your voice down- and potential death eaters, James; we can’t be certain. Besides, these were my very close friends once upon a time. I refuse to believe that they would participate in such cruelty.” She answered quietly, her voice sounded starnge.
James gazed at his mother closely and narrowed his eyes. “You’re lying.” He whispered.
Madeleine fell quiet and sucked her cheeks inward. “The green one, it brings out the green specks in your eyes.” She handed him the ties and made to turn away, however James grabbed her arm.
“What are you not telling me?”
She turned her warm eyes on her son. “Sweetheart, I need to get ready.”
“What are you not telling me?” James urged again.
“James, there are things I cannot tell you, for your own safety. You know that I only do what I do, to protect you.”
James removed his hand, though his eyes were unwavering. “Promise me you won’t ever do anything to endanger yourself, dad as well.” He whispered.
Madeleine swallowed. “James-
“Promise.” He urged.
After considering this, Madeleine stepped forward and clasped James’ hands in her own. “I promise darling, I will do everything in my power to keep any harm from coming to this family.”
Before he could argue, Madeleine turned on her heel, swiftly making her way out of the large room. James’ stomach rolled uncomfortably as he watched his mother walk away.
“Well you look rather spiffy.” Sirius commented as James walked into his room. Remus was lounging in the corner, a book in his hands. James mustered up a smile, though it was slightly strained. Sirius narrowed his eyes, but thankfully, did not probe.
“As do the two of you. Moony- mate- I can hardly tell you turn into a vicious, hairy werewolf once a month.” James teased.
Remus looked up from his book and flashed him a wry smile. “Why thank you for that absolutely lovely compliment James.”
“Anytime mate, anytime.”
Sirius snorted and turned his attention back to the mirror. “Well handsome, are you ready to go and impress hounds of ladies tonight? Of course you are.” He patted his cheeks twice and ran a hand through his silky hair.
“Well James, at least we have one modest friend.” Remus commented drily.
James shook his head as he shook with laughter. “Speaking of friends, where the bloody hell is Wormy?”
“Here!” Peter squeaked as he rushed through the door. “I was having some trouble with my tie.” He admitted, red faced.
James and Sirius laughed. “Come here you dolt. Haven’t you ever worn a tie before?”
“Yes, but they were always clip-ons.” Peter answered as James tied Peter’s tie around his own neck before handing it back to the stout boy.
Sirius rolled his eyes. “Excellent Wormtail.”
The house elf took that moment to appear, reminding the boys that guests would be arriving soon.
“Alright then boys, what say we get pissed tonight and forget about all the other stuff?” James announced as Callie left.
He received a chorus of ayes.
“Well then, let’s ring in the new year- marauder style.”
An hour into the party things were in full swing and Sirius was on his fifth glass of Elvin wine. James had gone to greet a few of his parents colleagues, Remus had gone off in search of Chanel, and Peter had gone to Merlin knows where; leaving Sirius alone at the bar, gazing around at the amusing sight of tipsy adults and frowning at certain family friends who would glance at him once, before quickly turning away- as if he were contaminated.
Sirius caught sight of a familiar brunette and couldn’t resist the urge to smile. Anna looked beautiful as always, though slightly tipsy. He smirked.
He placed his glass on the nearest table, pushed off the bar and walked over towards her, taking advantage of her separation from Chanel and Melody. He wasn’t quite up to a confrontation with the latter just yet and he wasn’t nearly drunk enough for one with the former.
Anna spotted him as he approached and her eyes warmed. The corners of her mouth twitched upward and he noticed the slight lift of her brow.
“Happy New Year darling.” Sirius murmured, drawing her in for an embrace. She obliged and wrapped her slender arms around his neck. The sweet scent of her perfume wafted around him.
She placed a swift kiss on his cheek before pulling away. “Happy New Year, Sirius. How’ve you been?”
Sirius shrugged, painfully aware of the implications behind her words. “So you’ve heard.”
Anna frowned. “They’re trying to hush it up, but they’re barking if they think it’ll work. You’re bloody Sirius Black.”
He scowled and Anna waved it away, giving him a soft smile. “Whatever, screw them. I say we spend the last few hours of this year taking unnecessary amount of shots and passing out on James’ bed. It is tradition after all.”
Sirius threw his head back in laughter. He’d always thought of Anna as the female version of himself. Always speaking her mind, never taking anything lying down and always ready to have a good time. She was also unwaveringly loyal.
The one thing Sirius admired most about her was her ability to make everyone feel ten times better. She never spent time pitying people and rather focused on helping them instead.
“I agree with you wholeheartedly.” He said, grinning madly. “But I can tell you’ve already started without me.”
Anna shrugged. “The girls and I may have had a few drinks before coming.”
Sirius’ expression sobered and she took notice of this. “Sirius, it’s New Years Eve, give her a break. She misses you, a lot.”
Sirius buried his hands into his pockets. “How is she?”
“Alright, I haven’t seen her much these past few days either to be honest, but I can tell she misses you boys.”
Sirius frowned. “What do you mean you haven’t seen her much? Aren’t you girls attached at the hip or something?”
Anna smirked. “No less than you lot. But yeah, I suppose it’s weird. She’s been kind of distant lately; Chanel and I are a little bit worried. I know you don’t want to hear it, but I think she may be taking the break up harder than she’s letting on.”
His face soured. “Anna-
“I know, I know, your loyalty lies with James, but you three were inseparable once upon a time; that has to count for something.”
Sirius sighed. “Of course it does. I still love her and so does James, but she really hurt him and that’s going to take some time to heal.”
Anna heaved a sigh. “Well for tonight, can we make a truce? To be honest, I miss talking to you.”
Sirius grinned and wrapped his arms around her in a smothering embrace. “Aw, I knew you loved me.” He guffawed playfully as she squirmed and struggled to break free. “Sirius you big oaf, let go!”
“Not until you tell me you love me.”
“Not a chance Black.”
Sirius smirked. “I can always count on you to insult me, you know that?”
“Glad I can be of assistance, now let me go.”
“I told you, you have to declare your love for me first.”
Anna huffed in exasperation. “Sirius, you could hang me over the astronomy tower upside down and I still wouldn’t. I don’t believe in telling lies.”
Sirius plastered a pained expression on his face. “Oh you wound me with these hurtful words.”
“Now, what say you let me go and we both go and get sloshed, yeah?” Anna said hopefully as she struggled against his arms.
Sirius smirked. “I can never win with you, can I?”
Anna shook her head. “Nope, I’ll leave the ego feeding to the fan girls.”
Sirius sighed and Anna thought she detected a hint of disappointment. His arms disappeared and he stepped back, his mask of indifference placed effortlessly back into place. He stared at her thoughtfully though, and Anna grew uncomfortable under his intense gaze.
“Well then, the least you can do is dance with me.”
Anna rolled her eyes. “Yes fine, why must you be so dramatic?”
Sirius chortled and pulled her close. She made a noise of protest. “What are you doing?”
“Dancing.” Sirius said amusedly.
“Where do you suggest we go? We have music, space, what more do you need?”
Anna didn’t know why but she felt herself flush at his sultry tone. Sirius smirked knowingly and pulled her closer against him. Anna narrowed her eyes. “Okay, I see what’s going on. Look I know we were having a moment, but that doesn’t mean you can grope me.”
Sirius grinned. “And why not?”
Anna huffed and pulled back slightly. “Can we go and find the others now? I could really use those drinks.”
He gave a lingering sigh but pulled away nonetheless. “Very well, lead the way.”
They found Chanel and Melody speaking to Nott and Rosier, looking thoroughly inebreiated. The boys smirked when they spotted Sirius approaching.
“Well if it isn’t the runaway?” They jeered and Sirius sneered. “Better a runaway than a death eater recruit.” He whispered tauntingly.
Nott and Rosier stiffened and Sirius smirked. “Oh believe me; I know what you and the rest of your little friends have been up to.”
Rosier stepped forward menacingly but Nott placed a restraining hand on his shoulder. “Control yourself.” He hissed. He turned back to Sirius. “Don’t turn your back on what is rightfully ours Black. You may have lost your family, but try not to lose your pride as well. This will be your last warning. Come Evan. Ladies, have a good evening.”
Without a backwards glance, Rosier and Nott walked away towards the other side of the ballroom, leaving the Gryffindor’s to themselves.
“Well that was entertaining.” Anna drawled, rolling her eyes at their retreating forms. Chanel snorted and swayed drunkenly, gripping Melody’s arm for support.
“Get off Chanel!” Melody whined, looking slightly unsteady on her feet.
“Did the two of you drink more without me?” Anna scowled.
Chanel fell back on the chaise longue and pouted. “You were taking too long.”
Anna muttered under her breath in irritation and Sirius looked around uncomfortably. He hadn’t been this close in proximity to Melody willingly, since the Halloween ball. Anna shot him a look, but they needn’t have worried. Melody was absolutely sloshed and by the looks of it, wouldn’t remember much come tomorrow morning.
The girl in question turned around and her face soured. “Chanel.” She hissed. “Chanel I need to go to the loo.” She said in a stage whisper.
Chanel frowned and waved her away. “Go yourself!”
Melody placed her finger against her lips. “Shh, it’s a secret!”
Sirius’ lip twitched upward.
“Why is your need to go to the damn loo a secret?!” Chanel screeched.
“Because I don’t know where it is.” Melody hissed, glancing around the room, oblivious to the odd stares she was receiving.
Anna placed her arms across her torso amusedly. “I swear you practically live here.”
Melody pouted and moaned. “I forgot.”
Sirius snorted and Anna doubled over in laughter while Melody simply stared at them incredulously.
“Hey, there you are, I just ran into Rosier and Nott; felt like hexing them but my conscious Remus here, told me it wouldn’t be the proper way to treat my guests.” James grimaced and Remus smiled.
“Think of your mother, I don’t reckon she’d be too happy with you attacking people during her party.”
James scowled. “Well she has no business inviting death eaters in the first place.”
Peter nudged his side and hissed for him to keep it down.
“We don’t know for sure that they are James, and besides, it’d be a tad suspicious if your mother all of a sudden failed to invite people.” Remus reasoned. James frowned though it faltered when he caught sight of Chanel and Melody. “Drunk already? Merlin, I feel like I should be too.”
Anna smiled and stepped forward. “So does this mean we’re forgiven for the night?”
James glanced at her and grinned, running a hand through his hair. “Yeah, why not, none of us are going to remember this anyways.”
Sirius cheered. “Yes! That’s the spirit! C’mon lads, the shots are waiting!”
“No! I still need to go to the loo!” They turned amusedly towards the pouty inebriated girl and Anna snickered. “C’mon love, I’m sure that we can find you a toilet somewhere.”
Ten minutes before midnight, found the group nearly passed out in James’ room, either muttering to themselves, or in Chanel’s case, dangling over James’ balcony with Remus desperately trying to drag her back inside. It was an amusing sight, but none as amusing as Sirius and Anna trashing around like eels, on James’ bed- their lips never leaving the others. Peter winced at every moan Anna produced and James was grinning like a loon and- as previously mentioned - muttering to himself.
“Remus, if I want to dangle carelessly over the balcony, I’ll dangle carelessly over the balcony. I don’t see why that’s any of your business.” Chanel huffed as she walked inside; surprisingly steady, with Remus in tow. He rolled his eyes and fell into the armchair. “I’m sure tomorrow- when you’re alive- you’ll thank me.”
Chanel waved him away. “You are such a drama queen- Anna have some class you shameless tart!”
“Thank you!” Peter cried, they’ve been at it for at least ten minutes, don’t they...I don’t know, need air?”
James began to laugh to himself, cradling a nearly empty bottle in his arms. Melody crawled over towards him and promptly laid her head in his lap, closing her eyes contently.
As the countdown approached, the noise downstairs increased and even Sirius and Anna proceeded to detach themselves.
James brushed Melody’s hair softly, setting his bottle down and whispering in her ear.
Chanel and Peter danced around the room, cheering for the arrival of the New Year.
Remus chuckled silently at his friends’ antics and began to join in on the countdown.
Anna and Sirius gazed at each other as Anna clamoured over him.
The noise level increased tenfold.
Anna and Sirius continued their previous activities, Remus joined Chanel and Peter in their celebrations and James smiled at Melody. Even through his hazy and drunken thoughts- knowing that the only one he would ever want to spend New Year’s Eve with, was lying in his arms.
The next morning was, in Sirius’ opinion, utter hell. His head was pounding, and his body had never felt so sore. He opened his eyes to the sound of someone puking in the bathroom. Bleary eyed, he looked around and found that he was in James’ room, lying on James’ bed and to his absolute horror, wrapped around none other than a half naked Anna Roberts. It was quite possibly enough to cure his hangover.
He untangled himself and sat up, gripping his head tightly in his hands. He wouldn’t have been surprised if there were hippogriffs dancing on his head.
He heard Anna stirring and waited for the screech, or the violence which would inevitably follow. To his surprise though, there was none. Instead there was a loud thud as Anna went crashing to the ground. Sirius wanted to laugh, but fear and a massive case of ‘I feel like crap’ restrained him.
He heard her moan and tentatively shuffled to the other side of the bed, hovered over her uncertainly.
She was attempting to get up, clearly struggling with the same headache. She rubbed her temple and slowly raised her head. Sirius was spared when Chanel wobbled out of the loo, moaning and groaning in an acute imitation of Moaning Myrtle.
She spotted them and grimaced. “I am never touching another bottle of alcohol for as long as I live.” She continued to glance between them and scowled. “And if you thing this is awkward, take a look at that.” Chanel nodded over to the foot of the bed and Sirius and Anna gaped. James and Melody were sleeping peacefully in each other arms.
At least- Sirius thought wryly- they’re fully dressed. He chanced a glance in her direction but quickly averted his eyes. That was off limits. Apparently, Anna seemed to be thinking the same, for she narrowed her eyes and whipped her head in his direction. Chanel took this as her sign to leave, so she padded towards Remus, heaved him up despite his sleepy protests and dragged him out the door.
“What- the- fuck- Sirius Black?! What happened last night?!” She attempted to keep her voice down. No one wanted to be in the room when James and Melody woke up.
Sirius backed away slowly. “Er, first off I would like to point out the obvious- I was drunk. Secondly- before you clobber me in the head- you are dressed...er, however minimally so.”
This didn’t seem to help and her glower only intensified. Sirius quickly threw his hands up, attempting to shield himself with them. “Aw c’mon Anna, please don’t kill me. We didn’t do anything...well not the thing you think we did. We were both incredibly drunk and... I’m apologising aren’t I?!”
There was a quiet feral sound from the back of her throat before she turned abruptly on her heel and slammed the bathroom door behind her. He winced and checked the sleeping beauties at the end of the bed.
Not five seconds passed before she marched back out, grabbed her scattered clothes, and stormed back inside the bathroom.
Sirius didn’t move in fear of her return and stayed still for a good five minutes before he heard the sound of taps turning. He sighed in relief and went on to search for his shirt and his pants.
After locating his clothing, Sirius left the room as quickly as his legs could carry him and after taking a shower, proceeded downstairs. Entering the dining room, he found the Potters, Chanel, Peter, Remus and Anna all in the middle of breakfast. Clearly the love birds hadn’t awoken yet.
He took a seat, careful to sit far away from Anna’s angry clutches. “So, James and Melody still haven’t woken up yet?”
Sirius noticed Madeleine straighten in her seat, though she made no other indication that she’d heard anything. Remus sighed. “I’m actually afraid.”
Chanel snorted. “Understatement of the century; Mrs and Mr Potter, I suggest you call in reinforcements.”
Peter squirmed in his seat and continued to shove endless amounts of food into his mouth. Clearly the boy needed a class on etiquette. Or perhaps swallowing.
Harry shifted back in his seat. “Oh come now, they’re both old enough to know that these are the repercussions of drinking.”
Oddly, Madeleine remained silent.
Chanel sighed. “Well I should go soon; I wouldn’t be surprised if my mother was still drunk. My father’s going to need some help.” She rolled her eyes and wiped her mouth daintily, proceeding to stand. She glanced pointedly at Anna.
“I’ll be here.” Anna replied, nodding, Chanel shot Anna an uneasy glance before bidding the others goodbye and leaving the room.
Not five minutes later, Sirius winced when he heard a loud crash from above. Peter whimpered, Anna swore under her breath and Remus coughed uncomfortably. Sneaking a look at Madeline, Sirius was surprised to see a small smirk playing at her lips.
“Should we...” Anna trailed off, for the first time looking at Sirius without malice.
But she needn’t have worried; for not a moment later, the door swung open and a tearful Melody stormed inside. “Anna-
She burst into tears unexpectedly and Anna scurried out of her seat, rushing towards the distressed girl. Sirius flinched and fought the urge to race towards her. Instead he turned away, his jaw clenched.
Anna shot the Potter’s an apologetic glance and with a whispered goodbye, led Melody out of the dining room. Madeleine was standing, but Sirius gave her a subtle shake of the head. Giving Remus and Peter a pointed look, he excused himself and made his way towards James’ room.
“Prongs.” He called softly, knocking twice on the large double doors. When there was no answer, Sirius scowled and knocked again, this time with added force. “James if you don’t open this bloody door, I’m going-
The door was thrust open by no one in particular and Sirius dropped his hands. “Oh, well, that was easy.”
James was seated on the armchair, hunched over with his head buried in his hands. Sirius sighed and walked over slowly, plopping down on the chair opposite him.
“Why do we do it?”
Sirius didn’t respond to the muffled question, merely leaned back expectantly.
“Why do we put ourselves through the agony of deluding ourselves about love?” James raised his head and glared at the opposite wall. “What the fuck possessed me to get drunk with her?! I can barely control myself when I’m bloody sober!”
Sirius smirked. “I’d like to call it ‘the idiotic human tendencies’.” Though, when James gave no response; Sirius sniffed. “At least you didn’t wake up half naked on the bed with Anna- whom may I add, was also half naked.”
James snorted and he relaxed, raising his head curiously. “Really?”
Sirius nodded. “Really.”
James’ demeanour softened. “So what’s for breakfast?”
Sirius smiled and stood, extending his arm. James took it without hesitation and Sirius clapped him on the back affectionately before going on about the deliciously prepared breakfast awaiting him downstairs.
The topic of New Years Eve was not mentioned again as the boys spent the last few days of the break wandering around the village, planning new and ingenious pranks for the upcoming term and of course preparing for the impending Quidditch match between Gryffindor and Ravenclaw.
Surprisingly, both Madeleine and Harry followed the boy’s example, leaving the events of New Years Eve to hang in the air. Of course, the rising death toll may have contributed to this as well. On the night of the second of January, Madeleine and Harry had returned home, sombre and weary. A colleague of theirs had unfortunately been killed in a raid.
Evan Rosier had been taken to Azkaban immediately, but there was word of a possible trial.
The boys had been unusually quiet that day and this worried Harry and Madeleine greatly. Talk of more death eater recruits within Hogwarts walls were circulating and parents were panicking. Already two students had been withdrawn from Hogwarts.
“Boys, if you don’t want to starve, I suggest you come down quickly! We have to leave soon, your train leaves in two hours!”
Madeleine smiled as she heard the sound of feet trampling down the stairs.
“I got here first!”
“It was me you loon!”
“What are you lot going on about, I was clearly here before all of you.”
“Piss off Padfoot!”
The door swung open and four boys pushed past one another and sprinted towards the dining table. Harry snorted as he stirred his tea and Madeleine shook her head in exasperated amusement.
“You do realize the food doesn’t disappear.” Madeleine huffed when they’d all taken their seats. James- fully dressed- looked up at his mother with a full mouth and winked.
“So are you boys excited to head back to school?”
Sirius stiffened slightly and James spared him a swift glance before grinning. “Getting the chance to prank the Slytherin tossers again? Are you kidding?! I’m ecstatic!”
Harry chuckled. “What about you Remus, ready to attempt to put these boys in line?” He clapped him on the back and Remus snorted.
“You mean drag them, because that’s about the only way it will happen, if ever.”
Madeleine threw Sirius and James a glare. “At least attempt to not drive Hogwarts to the ground.”
Sirius, having pulled himself together, cast a smile at his honorary mother. “I’ll keep James in line Mads, don’t you worry.”
Madeleine shot him a withering look. “Somehow, that isn’t too reassuring.”
The boys laughed and Harry placed a gentle kiss on her lips. “Give it up love, it’s fruitless.”
Madeleine rolled her eyes, though the glimmer of amusement could be seen behind her eyes. She mussed her husband’s dishevelled hair playfully and sighed. “Another few months of an empty house. I’m going to miss the ruckus, I was just starting to get used to it again.”
James swallowed his eggs with some pumpkin juice and then looked up to grin at his mother. “We’ll be back in a few months to drive you crazy, don’t you worry.”
“Sweetheart, a mother never stops worrying, and on that note, we need to hurry if you’re to make it to the station on time. Have you all gotten your things packed?”
Peter scowled. Again, the night before, he’d struggled to close his small trunk and he’d accidentally caught his finger in between. The boys snickered as they noticed Peter’s discomfort and he muttered something about good for nothing best mates under his breath.
The rest of the morning was passed with a flurry of last minute packing, scurrying around the house in search of lost socks or missing books (in Remus’ case). James managed to misplace the maurauders map a total of five times before the Potter’s, Remus, Sirius and Peter finally flooe’d to platform nine and three quarters.
As usual, the platform was a flurry of activity but there was no denying the significant air of sobriety. Parent’s were less lax and could be seen sticking close to their respective families, students- whereas before were cluttered all around the platform- now converged together, too fearful to stray. Sirius sighed as he absorbed all of this, already missing his familiar room at Potter Manor.
He was none too fond of seeing any of his family. In fact, he wanted to hex the lot of them. But he would need to restrain himself. He would need to exercise control and instead focus on his goal of becoming an auror. Only then would he be able to make a difference and put his murderous family in Azkaban- where they no doubt belonged.
Sirius gave a start when something clamped down over his shoulder. “Hey, you okay?” James asked tensely. He had also noticed the subtle changes in their surroundings. Sirius sighed. “Yeah, just not too excited to see the family, if you know what I mean.”
James smiled. “I don’t think my mother would appreciate that.”
Sirius looked up in surprise, though it quickly gave way to appreciation. He smirked and threw his arm around James’ neck in a headlock. “C’mon mate, Hogwarts awaits the marauders.”
“Yes and I don’t think the ladies would appreciate their beloved Prongs being manhandled like this. Mind letting me go?” James asked wryly, elbowing Sirius in the gut. He stepped back with a groan and Remus chuckled as he appeared at that moment, watching Sirius keel over.
“That was completely unnecessary Prongs.” Sirius growled, glaring at the raven haired boy.
James shrugged. “Like I said, I did it for the ladies. I don’t think they’d take too kindly to damaged goods.”
“And what goods would those be?” An amused and extremely feminine voice asked from behind.
The boys turned around in surprise and James broke out into a smile. “Lily Evans.” He said wondrously.
“James Potter.” Lily mocked. “Are we using full names now?” She teased, her eyes sparkling madly as she gave her signature warm smile.
James hadn’t realized just how much he’d missed it. He gave a deep chuckle and eagerly pulled her in for a tight embrace. “How’ve you been?”
Lily shrugged as she stepped away. “Good, busy, but good. I spent a good deal of the holiday’s at Mary’s place.”
Sirius frowned. “So why didn’t you come to the Potter’s New Year’s party? Come to think of it, we didn’t see Mary either.” He frowned in thought.
Lily smiled. “She decided to stay home I wouldn’t exactly have been welcome- and by that I mean your guests.” She added quickly before James could contest. His mouth snapped shut and he furrowed his brows. “You could have come anyway. I know Sirius would have been quite excited.” He added with a playful grin. Sirius smirked and winked at the attractive red head.
“Don’t worry about it; we had a little party of our own. Marlene, Alice, Frank and Aurelius came over as well.
Sirius hummed in thought. “That’s odd; I could’ve sworn I saw Marlene.”
His eyes gleamed at the mention of his ex girlfriend.
Lily nodded. “She was there for a couple of hours and then came to Mary’s. Her mother was insistent.”
James pouted playfully. “I’m insulted you didn’t care to invite me. I thought we were close Evans.”
Lily smiled. “You had your own party, didn’t think you’d be interested. By the way, I still have your gift.”
Sirius’ brows shot up and Lily scowled. “Get your mind out of the gutter Black. It’s nothing like that, just an overdue Christmas present.” James threw Sirius a scowl before turning back to Lily, his interest piqued. “And where is this, gift?”
“Tonight.” Lily said simply. “You’ll get it tonight.”
Sirius lips twitched at the corners but he didn’t dare comment for fear of the ever infamous Lily Evans temper.
James cocked his head to the side. “This better be some gift Evans.”
“Believe me; you’ll be on cloud nine.” Something about her answer pleased her and it was reflected in the twitch of her lips. James narrowed his eyes in amusement.
“James dear, have you found a compartment yet?” Madeleine asked as she appeared behind them, Harry and a heaving Peter in tow. Sirius raised his brow at the boy questioningly, however, Peter remained silent.
“James, are you going to introduce us to your lovely friend?”
James turned towards his mother. “Wha- oh, right. Lily, meet my crazy mother and father, mum, dad, meet Lily Evans.”
Madeleine beamed. “Ah, so you’re the famous Lily Evans, why my boys have mentioned your name quite a few times.”
Lily turned an appealing shade of red and smiled sheepishly. “Nice to meet you Mrs. Potter, Mr. Potter.”
Harry winked at her and Madeleine waved her away. “Oh please, call me Madeleine. James, why am I only just meeting this lovely young lady?”
James rolled his eyes. “I dunno, what would you like me to do, introduce you to every bloody person at Hogwarts?”
Madeleine turned the full onslaught of her glare on her only child. “James Harold Potter!”
James shrunk back at her gaze and shot a scowl at Remus and Sirius who were snickering silently. “I love you mum?” He said sheepishly.
“Yeah, you’d better.” She muttered, sending him a dark look.
Lily giggled and Harry cast a grin in her direction.
“It was really nice meeting you, but I should get going, my friends are waiting. I’ll see you lot inside.” She nodded to the boys and smiled at Madeleine and Harry.
As she left Madeleine turned to boys. “So, will I have a daughter in law sometime in the near future?”
James scowled. “Mum, really?”
She shrugged. “What, I’m just asking. She’s absolutely lovely! Sirius? You’d make beautiful children.”
He blushed as Harry and the boys roared with laughter. “Oi, why me!”
“Well why not, she’s gorgeous, seems like an intelligent girl, and heaven knows you could use a good lady in your life.”
James was still chortling and Sirius smacked him on the back of the head. “Me and relationships don’t really work out. We’re like water and oil.”
Madeleine placed her hands on her hips menacingly. “Sirius Orion Potter, you will give me grandchildren, is that understood!”
Sirius was too surprised to be fearful and only looked on at Madeleine in wonder.
“What?” She asked.
“You...you called me Sirius Potter.” He gave a strangled whisper. Madeleine’s expression softened and she smiled, her eyes shining affectionately. “Well, that’s your name, is it not?”
Sirius’ eyes were glistening as he grinned. “Yeah, yeah it is.” He choked, grinning widely. James and Harry exchanged smiles and Remus went on to tease Sirius about his watery eyes.
“Oi, there’s a lot of dust around here, alright.” Sirius scowled.
Remus and Peter nodded sardonically.
The train gave a whistle and Madeleine wasted no time in drawing James in for a spine crushing hug. “Write me often, keep up in your studies and be good. I’ll miss you so much darling.” She breathed. James felt the same uncomfortable feeling in his stomach as he looked on at his mother. “Remember your promise.” He whispered before letting go. She gave a watery smile. “I love you James. Always.” She blew him a kiss before grabbing Sirius.
Harry stepped forward and embraced his son as well. “Give Hogwarts hell son.” James pulled back and smirked, slapping his father on the arm fondly before clasping the handle on his trunk. With one last wave, James turned and made his way towards the large scarlet train, Remus, Peter and Sirius following behind him.
Melody had just made her goodbyes to her parents and was currently on her toes, searching for either of her best friends. She huffed when she was unable to spot them, cursing her height. Melody was not incredibly short by any standards but a few more feet would have been helpful at this particular moment.
She turned around hastily at the exclamation, relieved at finally finding her friends; however, she was surprised to find instead the Potter’s waving towards her. Melody nervously surveyed their surroundings and when she was satisfied that neither James nor Serious were present, she walked towards them hesitantly, rolling her trunk behind her.
“Melody, darling, how are you!” Madeleine cried, embracing her tightly. Melody took a few moments to savour the familiar warmth of Mrs Potter’s arms before stepping away. “Fine, how are you? And you Harry, staying away from those pasties I hope?” Melody teased, her eyes twinkling merrily.
Harry barked in laughter and ruffled her hair fondly. “Ah you know me; I never could resist the seductive call of pumpkin pasties.”
Madeleine rolled her eyes, though smiled brightly at Melody. “Excited to be heading back to Hogwarts?”
The dark haired girl pondered this for a moment before shrugging. “I suppose.”
The Potter’s started. “Well that’s a first; you’re usually bubbling to return to Hogwarts.”
Melody sighed. “Well, perhaps under different circumstances...” She trailed off and stared forlornly into the distance.
“What’s the matter? Is everything alright at home? With the girls?”
Melody nodded. “Oh yes, everything’s fine, I suppose I’m just a little broody today. Really, I’m fine.” She added at the disbelieving expression on their faces.
“I should go find the girls, I miss you so much.” Melody muttered, as she embraced Madeleine again. Madeleine’s heart nearly broke at the sadness in her voice. There was something different about Melody and it was frustrating to know that she had no idea. Melody had always been like a daughter to her and she’d been positive that one day, she really would be. Now, however, she wasn’t so sure anymore.
“You’ll owl me won’t you? Update me on the goings on at Hogwarts, I’d like a girls point of view for a change.” Madeleine smiled tenderly.
Melody beamed. “Of course. I’ll keep you up to date on all the dishy male professors. You know, I hear Professor Binns is single.”
Madeleine let out a tinkering laugh and Harry scowled playfully, wrapping his arm around his wife. “I’d be extremely jealous if he wasn’t dead. The man’s a looker.”
Melody threw her head back in laughter. She’d missed this and made herself a promise to rekindle her relationship with the Potter’s and her friendship with James. She wouldn’t let it end like this.
Hitching her shoulder bag higher and grasping the handle of her trunk she blew the Potter’s a kiss and turned on her heel.
A/N I am SO SO SO SO (insert insanely large amount of so’s here) sorry for the delay. Honestly, these exams took such a huge chunk out of my life and I am literally socially starved. So after a wild night out, I am sitting here and writing my authors note- mind you at three in the morning, because that’s how much I love you all- prepared to finally share with you this chapter, which really foreshadows much to come. I am so incredibly grateful for the love some of you have been sending this way, you have no idea how much drive that gives me to keep writing.
Anyways, enough about me; so quite a bit happened in this chapter- it was very...shall we say eventful. We have Anna and Sirius on one hand and then of course the continued strain between the two groups of friends, on the other. We also have our first Azkaban mention, which was of course on Rosier’s part. It will be further explained in later chapters.
So leave me your reviews, I promise it won’t hurt. Although it may take me a while to update, know that your reviews drive and inspire me more than anything. Love you all!
Instantly, two wands were pointed at Lucius Malfoy’s face. “Are you threatening my family Malfoy?” James hissed. Sirius’s jaw was clenched and he produced a feral growl.
Malfoy raised his wandless hands slowly in the air. “Simply a message from the Dark Lord, join him and you will not regret it.”
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