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Hold Me Down by cochran

Format: Novel
Chapters: 3
Word Count: 7,518
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Strong Violence

Genres: Romance, Action/Adventure, AU
Characters: Dumbledore, Lupin, McGonagall, Sirius, A. Longbottom, F. Longbottom, Lily, James, Pettigrew, OC
Pairings: James/Lily

First Published: 09/02/2009
Last Chapter: 09/24/2009
Last Updated: 09/24/2009

Many thanks to forever_and_a_day from TDA
Please take time to review

What if James Potter didn't return to Hogwarts for his sixth year and no one at at school including The Marauders knew where he was. What would it be like when he returned for his seventh year? Would everything be the same or would the world he knew be destroyed?

Chapter 1: The Hero Returns
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I own nothing of the Harry Potter world. Jk Rowling has my back.

Rescued-Jack’s Mannequin 
Two to none
Roads that lead away from this
I'm following myself just this once
And I've got spun
It appears you're spun as well
It happens when you pay attention
This could take all year, but 

After a year away from the place and the people he loved he was quite ready to get back to Hogwarts, more importantly he was ready to see the Marauders again. James Potter was getting ready to enter his seventh year at Hogwarts just like any other 17 year witch or wizard in England. The only difference was he had been absent from the entire sixth year and none of his classmates knew why. In fact the only people who know why he wasn’t present were his parents, Dumbledore, McGongall and some of the Order of the Phoenix. Even his best mates didn’t know exactly where he was. For that reason he was not exactly excited about the train ride to school, actually he was quite dreading all the questions he would be asked. And to his misfortune he had been made Head Boy by Dumbledore which knocked out all his chances of avoiding his fellow classmates pestering questions. 

Since the beginning of his time at Hogwarts James had shown more powerful magic than many of the other students at school, even those much older than him. Many students thought nothing of it considering most of the Marauders were exceptionally talented at school. Remus was easily one of the most accomplished duelers anyone had ever seen besides the headmaster himself; he had a way of moving with such quickness that others thought he must have a way of knowing what was coming next. Only his fellow Marauders knew it was from his heightened senses because of his monthly transformations he’d been making since an early age. Sirius on the other hand was just the type of person who learned things right away no matter how complex or demanding the task was. He rarely studied and never had to practice a spell outside of class because there was no need to when he had gotten it right or understood the first time. Peter on the other hand was not exceptional in any way but he was above many other students in classes even if it didn’t come naturally, many people assumed that the other marauders tutored him so he would fit in, which wasn’t true. 

This is where James had stood out to Dumbledore. Not only was James a natural at all things taught and studied at Hogwarts, he also had incredible abilities involving magic not taught at Hogwarts like wandless and creating his own spells. Another part of the reason James caught his attention was the fact that he could do this type of magic yet he hadn’t boasted about it like he did when it came to quidditch and the pranks he and his friends pulled, he seemed to let it go unnoticed. This is why at the end of his fifth year Dumbledore had requested to meet with him and discuss the extraordinary talents he seemed to have. 

He had been sitting at the Gryffindor table with the rest of the marauders scheming new ways to ask out Evans, discussing the pleasures of having free time again now that O.W.L’s were over and listening to a funny joke about the wrong end of a broomstick and toads by Peter when the conversation died out and he felt a gentle hand on his shoulder. 

“Excuse me Mr. Potter but I was wondering if you had a spare moment to speak with me?” Dumbledore had asked him. 

“Yea, of course sir.” James got up from the table and glanced back at his friends to notice that they all looked worried, but they smiled at him none the less. He gave them a quick wink and thumbs up to let them know he wasn’t worried. 

He then followed Dumbledore out of the great hall and up the spiral stairs that went up to his office, upon entering the room Dumbledore sat down at his desk giving the indication that this wasn’t going to be a brief pep talk. So James took this as a sign he should take a seat too, hell if it was going to take awhile might as well get comfortable. 

“James what we discuss in the next few moments is something that is to stay between us and I ask that you not discuss it with Mr. Black, Mr. Pettigrew or Mr. Lupin. “
Well James thought to himself I must have failed my O.W.L.’s. He took a moment to contemplate the idea. ‘I didn’t think I did terribly badly on them, I mean sure I could have study once or twice but there is no way I failed. But on the plus side if I did I could always bum off mom and dad forever and lie around and play quidditch all day. Hmm I doubt that will impress Lily. Scratch that idea plus if I failed out of Hogwarts there is no way in hell mom would let me become a bum in her house.’ That’s when he realized he had been ignoring the headmaster and quickly responded. 

“Yes of course sir, what did you need to talk to me about?” he asked trying to sound like he was important enough to have these kinds of meetings with Dumbledore, which he knew he wasn’t. 

The headmaster smiled before looking serious again and stating. “We are entering dark times, and we have lost many great witches and wizards and unfortunately they will not be the last. Mr. Potter we are on the edge of war. This is why I have organized a group of exceptional witches and wizards to help fight Voldemort and show him that not everyone will bow before him. The Order of the Phoenix is our way of fighting back.“ 

James was shocked to say the least. This was the type of information adults usually withheld from kids his age. He had heard his parents talking about the order before but yet every time he asked about it they ignored him. And now here he is sitting with his headmaster who is telling him all about it. He smiled to himself thinking about how peeved the rest of the marauders would be if they found out he was learning about this, because they too had been told that they were too young to hear these sorts of things. And then he began to wonder why Dumbledore was even telling him. 

He ran a hand through his hair and vocalized his thoughts, “Sir my parents have spent the last two years telling me I was too young to know about any of this. I mean not that I have any objection to you filling me in on any of this I just know how my mom gets when you go behind her back. She’s got quite the temper, as you know” he finished his statement with a crooked smile. 

“Ah, yes your mother can be more than a little feisty at a times but I assure you that she is very aware of the conversation we are having even if it is something she wishes to avoid. Now to get to what you might call the good stuff” His eyes twinkled for a brief moment before fading back to a more serious expression. 

“You Mr. Potter have shown such exceptional talent as a wizard that in all my years of teaching I’ve never seen any student perform it. I’ve noticed that you have two talents that are very hard to come by in the wizarding world even for those who spend years studying it and not only are you a gifted spell maker but you can perform wandless magic with natural ease.” The headmaster paused a moment allowing James time to process all the mangled thoughts flowing through his brain. 

He had never thought of creating spells as something special nor did he know that few people could actually do it. He had written down a list of all the spells he’d created but it was stolen months ago by who he thought to be Snape since he had seen him using them. James cringed at the thought knowing some of those spells could be deadly if in the wrong hands, he regretted ever creating those. Besides he figured anyone could create spells it wasn’t that hard really, hell he would’ve almost bet money on the fact that any of the marauders could’ve done it too if they tried. And then his thoughts drifted to wandless magic. This was something he knew very limited people could actually do. He only thought of it as an interesting way to hex the Slytherins without getting caught. 

“Well to be honest sir I had never given the two much thought. They both come to me so easily that I never found it to be a big deal. But now that you mention it it’s true I’ve never seen others do these sorts of things.” James said in a voice full with wonder. 

Dumbledore broke out into a smile that James could tell meant that they were far from done talking. “Precisely my point, you have abilities that many people can only dream about and even better not many know you have them. And this puts you at a great advantage in the wizarding world, and I would like you to learn how to use them to your full advantage.” 

“Alright so what now?” James asked curiously. 

“Training” Dumbledore said in an even tone. 

“Wait…what? Training for what? Where? With who?” He asked in a rush trying to figure exactly what this old bat was getting at. Sure everyone knew Dumbledore was a little out there but training a 16 year old in advance magic was way out there. 

“Well to answer your questions let me start by saying you will of course train in not only creating spells and wandless magic but you will also learn complex spells not taught at Hogwarts, how to become better duelist, you’ll become as physically fit as possible, you’ll learn how to think in pressured situations and learn what is generally taught at Hogwarts during the six year. As for where and who, I cannot tell you just yet but I assure you that if you accept this offer then in due time you will know all these answers and more.” He finished and waited for James to comprehend everything that had just been said. 

“WOAH WOAH WOAH HOLD UP… You mean if I accept this training I won’t return to Hogwarts next year?” James was shocked to say the least. Not returning to Hogwarts meant leaving behind all that was important to him. Dumbledore must have had a little too much firewiskey if he thought James was going to go along with this. 

“No in fact you won’t even be able to tell anyone but your parents where you are going. And I decided your sixth year would be the best time for this because it is in between major exam years although you won’t be able to join the Order until after your seventh year. But I thought this year would be the perfect time for you to learn as much as you can, so upon leaving Hogwarts you will need no further training." He said in a sympathetic tone, he didn’t seem disturbed by the fact that James didn’t seem keen on the idea nor did he seem dissuaded either. 

After a long pause Dumbledore started speaking again. “James we are on the edge of a war unlike anything our world has ever seen. If you take the chance and partake in this training program you will be a stronger wizard than most ever dream of becoming, not only that but I have faith that with this training you will be a leader in the resistance against Voldemort. I can assure you that leaving Hogwarts behind won’t be easy but if you train you’ll be able to protect those that matter most to you in a way that no one else can.” He seemed to understand that James needed a moment because he stopped speaking and turned to look at the portraits hanging on the wall. 

This was nuts to say the least. I mean, not that he had any sort of grand scheme for how is sixth year should look but it sure as hell wasn’t this. As he dwelled on the subject even more he knew there was only one answer to the man’s request, he hated the dark arts more than anything had his initial plan had been to fight them when he graduated and the was a great opportunity to start. Besides James would do anything to keep his friends and his family safe even if it meant leaving them for a year to train God only knows where. Plus he’d have a leg up on the Slytherins when it came to dueling. It was set then he had made his decision. 

“When do I start?” he said allowing a huge grin to sweep across his face. 

“As soon as you get off the train actually, now James what I’m about to tell you is important so listen carefully because I will only say it once. When you get off the train you are not to give any indication that you are not returning next year. Another thing is that this training is something to be taken very seriously and I expect you try your hardest every day and not waste your instructor’s time.” He finished with a look that said he meant every word of it. 

James had one last question before he left the professors office. “Do I get to come back for seventh year?” He had tried to keep the hopefulness from showing in his voice in case he didn’t get that chance. 

“Of course you do” Dumbledore added with a smile. 

And the moment James stepped off the train and on to the platform at the end of his fifth year his life was forever changed. 

James remembered all too well how the train ride home had been heartbreaking for him knowing that it would be a year until he would be with his friends again. He remembered the strange looks his friends gave them after he had forced them all into giving him a hug goodbye. He remembered feeling so young and small considering he was still only a scrawny 15 year old. And he remembered walking away with his parents wondering if he had made the right decision. 

Now staring at himself in the mirror over a year later he noticed how much had changed about himself. His eyes were still hazel but they weren’t filled with the same mischievous look they used to hold. Lucky enough he still didn’t need glasses like his dad. There was now a scar that traced from his left eyebrow down to the middle of his cheek making him look almost rugged, but not quite. He also still had his same old jet black hair which had once looked wild and untamed since he kept it short now fell into his face even if it wasn’t near as long as Sirius’ it still went every which way giving it an almost styled look. He was also quite tan from all the physical training he had endured outside. And at 15 not only was James a mild height of 5’9” he also couldn’t grow facial hair to save his life. Now at 17 he stood at a towering 6’1” had dark scruff covering most of his face, and his voice had gotten even deeper. But the best part about looking in the mirror he noticed was the fact that he was very very fit. There was only one thing to say about training, it had done James Potter well.

Chapter 2: New Beginnings
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JK owns all the characters.
 Spinning-Jack’s Mannequin
I'm keeping quiet till there's no more sirens
Lately it's hard to keep the hinges on with all the noise
I'll find my words when there's no one talking
The room is spinning, I have got no choice
Be patient, I am getting to the point.

Bloody hell how is a guy like me supposed to be inconspicuous, James thought to himself. Earlier that morning he decided he wouldn’t shave hoping that would throw some people off; he now stood wearing a pair of black slacks, a blue dress shirt and a pair of sunglasses. He had barely managed to convince his parents that it would be best for him to apparate to kings cross alone, because if they had come along people would recognize exactly who he was. And so he was walking with his head down dragging his trunk as quickly as he could towards the train. He had received a few glances but he was a man on a mission and didn’t pay them any heed. As soon as he boarded the train he quickly found that compartment the Marauders normally sat in and threw his stuff on the rack. Luckily he was the first one in there so he took a second to compose himself and remove his sunglasses, but he didn’t have long because as soon as he took a breath the compartment door opened. It was a familiar face. Faded blue eyes followed by shaggy hair on a body standing at only 5’8 which was slightly round but attractive nonetheless had just entered the compartment.
Peter Pettigrew had a look of absolute shock on his face. 

“James…?” He asked still disbelieving that any of this was happening. 

“Why so formal Wormtail? Been that long, eh?” James said while standing up.
He quickly stepped across the compartment and gave Peter a hug. It was incredible to see his friend again. The year away had been agonizing without them. He released him just in time because the next second Peter went stumbling forward followed by a voice saying. 

“Shove out the way Wormtail, what are you doing standing in the doorway like a dolt?” The friendly voice said. 

James looked up to see a tall boy standing at 6’3” with blond hair though much shorter than Peter’s but he had stunning blue eyes and a much more lean than the previous body he had observed. This of course was none other than Remus Lupin. When James met his eye his friend seemed at a loss. 

“Well bloody hell that seems like a pretty good reason to stand in the middle of the door way then.” Remus said in a more collected manner. 

He quickly walked forward and once again James found himself in tight embrace with another of his close friends. They haven’t changed a bit he thought to himself, man it’s great to be back. Just as they released each other a boy with long black hair that was cut just right with steel gray eyes standing at a height of 6’1” just like James himself.
As soon as Sirius saw him standing there with the rest of the Marauders he spoke, his voice laced with anger “Fuck off Potter.” And walked out again. 

James stood there understanding exactly why he was mad. It wasn’t like he expected them to act like he had never left, but of course it would be Sirius that would take all of this the hardest. This was not the way he hoped to start this year. It was then that he noticed Remus was no longer in the compartment. 

“Where did Moony go?” James asked vocalizing his thoughts. 

“To the perfects meeting, he left a few minutes ago.” Peter responded. 

“Awe bugger I’m going to be late.” James said and then tossed on his sunglasses once again in hopes of once again throwing off people. And then he briskly left the compartment but not before missing the sound of Peter’s voice saying “well I guess that leaves Sirius to me then.” As he quickly walked towards the Head’s compartment he couldn’t help but listen to the other students gossiping about whether or not he was actually on the train, he didn’t stop to listen considering he was already 5 minutes late and whoever the Head Girl wasn’t going to be pleased with his tardiness this early in the year. When he finally reached the heads compartment he couldn’t help but sigh knowing this was his last moment for the next year where he would be a normal student. Too bad it only lasted a half hour he thought to himself as he pulled open the compartment door. 

As soon as he opened the door he knew exactly who the Head Girl was, she was destined for the job even as a first year. There Lily Evans stood with gorgeous green eyes and long beautiful red hair, and all at once he remembered exactly why he had been in love with her all these years. She wasn’t tall but she radiated power and beauty, and just like all the other times he had laid eyes on her he was mesmerized.
“Well this must be our Head Boy then…” Lily trailed off unsure whether or not this was actually true. 

He looked around and noticed Remus smirking in a seat a ways back. Then he realized he hadn’t said anything and he quickly pulled off his sunglasses so that he looked like a little more presentable even though he wasn’t in his Hogwarts robes nor did he have his Head Boy Badge on. 

“Hello everyone as Lily just told you I am your Head Boy this year” He made a quick glance in Lily’s direction to see that she was surprised that the unknown Head Boy knew who she was so he continued “for those who don’t know me I’m James Potter.” He paused because he knew it was going to take a minute for it to sink for everyone so once again he looked over at Lily and noticed that she looked quite taken back. 

He turned to her and asked “Are you going to be alright?” he noticed that this only seemed to make it worse for her so he decided that maybe he should just wait till the dull roar of whispers ended so he could finish the meeting for the both of them. 

“Alright everyone if you’ll listen up please we’re going to go over your responsibilities and such.” He said in commanding tone that silenced the groups of perfects. And the next hour was filled with James and Lily explaining everything they would need to know for the year. When the meeting was finally over all the prefects left the compartment while tossing James one last glance, probably thinking about how they were going to go back and tell all their friends how the leader of the Marauders had returned. When he looked around the only two people left were Remus and Lily who were talking about what they did over the summer, so he decided to walk over and listen in. 

“I spent a lot of time with Sirius and Peter at Sirius’s apartment. It was tiring to say the least.” Remus said with a smile. “How ‘bout you, did you get to travel like you wanted to?” 

“No actually, my grandmother got quite sick so any plans I had of leaving are thus far postponed.” She finished with a frown. 

“Prongsie I really missed you while you were away.” Remus said as he turned to include him in the conversation. 

“I missed you too mate, I missed all of this, and everyone. It was hard to leave this place.” James told him sadly. It was the hardest thing he ever had to do. He wasn’t sure he was going to be able to leave this place forever at the end of this year. He decided not to think about it and instead started up the conversation again. 

“Lily, we’ll need to decide a time when we can sit down and plan the date for the Hogsmead trips. We can do it tonight after we go on rounds if you’d like?” he suggested 

“Yea, that sounds fine.” Lily replied 

“Well I’m going to go find Wormtail; I’ll see you guys at the feast.” Remus said as he left the compartment. 

Lily P.O.V 

“Why aren’t you going with him?” She asked after Remus had left. It felt odd speaking to him with a peaceful tone she thought to herself. 

“I doubt Sirius is in the mood to see me” he looked so much older than any other seventh year at Hogwarts, it was like the year he was away he had aged five years instead of just one like everyone else. 

“Why wouldn’t he want to see? You guys are like twins.” She said doubtful that there would be a time the two boys wouldn’t want to be around each other causing trouble.
He sat there for a second then met her eyes and said in a thoughtful tone “He’d kill me if he knew what I was about to say to you” he said with a small smile then continued “my best guess would be that when I left at the end of fifth year without giving them the slightest indication that I wasn’t coming back most likely it hurt his feelings, especially since I wasn’t allowed to write when I was gone, so to them it must have just seemed like I dropped off the earth without actually dying, which was probably harder for them because if I was alive in his eyes I should have been able to write, even if I wasn’t allowed to.” He finished looking just as relaxed as he had when 
he had started. 

So much had changed about the James in front of her and the one that had left them all. The new James held a sense of knowledge that reminded her more of Dumbledore than anything else, it was also clear that he had matured emotionally, mentally and physically while he was away. Well she thought to herself it looks like he has become a man; let’s just hope he continues to act like it. And there was no point in denying that he looked as handsome as a muggle model, even the scar on his face added to his attractiveness. 

That’s when her curiosity got the better of her and she decided to ask him about it. “How’d you get the scar?” 

He smiled at her and she noticed he had very white and straight teeth that were complimented by his goofy lopsided smile he had always had, and she was glad to see that it hadn’t changed while he was away. 

“I had a bit of a nasty accident with a dark curse and so logically I tried a healing charm on it, which did work but since it was my first time trying it without a wand, as a result I now have quite the scar.” He finished. 

For some reason Lily just wanted to sit and talk with him so she decided she would be honest with him hoping that he had matured enough for what she was about to say. 

“You know what’s funny?” She asked him waiting for him to reply. 

“Is it that we are having a conversation without me asking you out or you yelling?” He said with a laugh. 

She laughed for a second too then said “Well that too, but what I was going to say is that it’s nice to have you back. Hogwarts wasn’t the same without you last year.” She paused for a second and noticed he was listening intently and she was glad to see that the smile on his face wasn’t a cocky one but a sincere one so she continued. “It was like someone sucked the life out of the school when you weren’t there, I mean the Marauders still pulled pranks and Gryffindor still won the house cup, but the whole school lacked the spark that you brought to it. And it’ll be nice to have you here for our seventh year.” She finished blushing mildly at the confession that had spilled from her mouth moments before. 

He smiled the most beautiful smile she had ever seen and said “Thanks Evans, I appreciate that.” 

She saw him glance at his watch then she heard him say “Looks like we’ll be arriving in about ten minutes, how about you lead the students to the carriages and I’ll wait for the stragglers, sound like a plan?” he asked once again smiling at her. 

“Sounds like a plan.” She repeated. 

“Well I better go change, so I’ll see you at the feast.” He said while rummaging through his trunk to find his robes. 

“Oh, well I can leave so you can change.” she said politely, Lily had decided that since James wasn’t going to be a jackass any more then there was no reason for her to be bitch to him. 

He closed his trunk and responded “Now Miss Evans what type of gentleman would I be if I were to kick you out of the compartment for my own benefit?” he said in a smooth voice struggling to keep the smile off his face. 

And she couldn’t help the giggle that escaped her lips before she quickly added in a smooth voice too “Well Mr. Potter when you put it that way I would have to say not much of a gentleman at all.” 

And with a wink he said “Exactly” and was out the compartment door. 

When he left she allowed herself time to think. Never in a million years would she would have started off the beginning of her seventh year making friends with James Potter. Although she wasn’t falling for him, she couldn’t help but hope that they could spend the year being friends. She had enjoyed just talking to him and hoped that since they were head boy and head girl they would spend the year growing closer. Though she was immediately pulled from her thoughts when she heard the conductor’s voice boom “HOGWARTS!” She sighed in content and knew she was home once again.

Chapter 3: International what...?
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It felt good to be back at Hogwarts James thought to himself. He was now standing on the platform watching the students get off the train, waiting for them all to make their way towards the carriages so he could do one final check of the train before it headed back to London. He ignored all the stares and gossip aimed in his direction as he stood there waiting. He received many hugs and handshakes from his friends from before and he had left. He was overcome with the happiness it brought knowing that Hogwarts had indeed missed him while he was gone. What seemed like most of the female population had asked to sit by him at the feast which he politely responded with we will see hoping they understood this to be a nice way of saying no. Finally after James had been standing there for 30 minutes there were no longer students exiting the train. He also noticed that he had never seen Sirius get off. It was then that he decided he would start his final check.

James stepped on the train and with a wave of his hand cast Homenum revelio to see how many were still on board; he paused and waited a second for the spell to do its thing. He wasn’t shocked in the least bit when a smoke like number two appeared telling him there was another person besides the conductor on board. With that he started making his way down the train in search for the missing student. He was nearing the end of the train so he knew he had to be close, but couldn’t help feel frustrated at his lack of findings. That is until he opened the next door on the left and saw his best mate with a black eye and a bloody nose tied to, in a standing position, the luggage rack.

“What the hell happened?” James asked while quickly untying his best mate. He couldn’t believe something like this would happen on the way to school or at all for that matter. All he could think about was how whoever did it was going to start the year off with a hell of a lot of detentions that’s for sure.

“Oh, you are going to start caring about me now that you are back is
that how it is?” Sirius said now untied and standing nose to nose with James. “You think you can just fucking come back to school after abandoning all of us last year, did you think we would forget?”

James knew exactly what was going to happen next, he had been friends with Sirius too long not to expect it. He knew it was best to just let Sirius let go of all his anger instead of trying to calm him down. So he just continued to stand there and stare him in the eyes like he was doing to him.

“What, you spend a year away and now you’re chicken like all the damn baby Death Eaters who had to tie me up on my way to the loo? Is that why you aren’t saying anything Potter? Is it because you are weak and afraid?” Sirius whispered fiercely.

James knew all too well that that he was being baited. He fought the urge to tell Sirius that this was ridiculous and continued to stand there and wait for the moment that he knew was soon to happen. And just as soon as he finished that thought he saw Sirius pull his fist back. Sure he had plenty of time to dodge his punch but he knew that would only make the situation worse so instead he waited. He felt his fist hit his jaw with a painful amount of force. James didn’t flinch or even reel back from the hit, instead he just took. In fact he stood there giving Sirius a look as if to say does this make you happy, and he could see in the eyes of the boy across from him that his decision was instantly regretted. Sirius though wasn’t about to show weakness, so without a word he stepped around him and made his way off the train towards the castle. James watched him go and saw him perform healing spells on his eye and nose. He on the other hand had no intention of healing his wound. Instead he started walking in the same way Sirius had left, he felt his jaw throbbing painfully and he could feel the blood dripping down his chin on to his once clean shirt. He knew he deserved the pain which is why he was going to let it heal the muggle way instead of using magical treatments.

15 minutes later he was opening the doors to the Great Hall. As soon as he entered every student turned to look at him, at least they are still a bunch of noisy gossipers he thought to himself with a smile. Whether it was because James Potter was back, or because James Potter was back with a bloody lip that made them stare he had no idea. Either way he really didn’t care. What he did care about was that he could no longer sit with the Marauders at the feast. He did a quick glance towards them and saw Remus shake his head but smile at him letting him know that Sirius was still being a pissy arse, but that he still was okay with James. With this reassuring gesture, James continued to look for a spot to sit. He noticed that there was an opening across from Lily and next to Frank Longbottom and made his way over to the seat.

“Do you mind if I join you?” He asked the group which also included Alice Haley who had curly blond hair and pretty brown eyes. She also happened to be Lily’s best friend, Frank’s girlfriend and had played chaser with him on the Gryffindor quidditch team.

“Of course we don’t.” Frank said scooting over to make a bit more room.

“James what happened to you?” Alice asked concerned that his lip
was still bleeding freely and that he still had no intentions of fixing it.

But before he even had a chance to explain, the first years were escorted in by Professor McGongall. He let his mind wander while the sorting hat sang its song. He did a quick cleaning spill to clear up the blood on his face the he glanced down the table to see that Peter looked upset about something, Sirius still looked pissy, and Remus looked quite annoyed. Even though he wasn’t included at the moment he couldn’t help love those guys like his brothers. They had been through so much together and he was anxious to get back to helping Moony during the full moons. He made a mental note to apologize to him for that later. He was pulled from his reverie when he saw a young girl with brown hair and brown eyes who was the first to be sorted into Gryffindor. He noticed the first year looked lost so James beckoned her over, he noticed the girl still looked anxious but continued walking over to him. When the girl reached him James motioned for her to take a seat.

“I’m sorry but I missed your name” James started to say but before he had a chance to finish the girl was already answering.

“I’m Kay North.” The young girl said proudly and stuck a hand out for James to shake.

Alice, Frank and Lily were all watching with a smile at the girl who seemed goofy but endearing nonetheless.

James responded by grabbing her hand and giving it a firm shake. “Well Kay North you can call me James Potter.”

“…you’re James Potter?” She asked shock clearly written on her face. James looked around at the three seventh years sitting with him looking just as confused as he felt.

“The one and only.” He replied with a kind smile.

“My sister had the biggest crush on you when she went here. Her name was Tiffany North she graduated when you were a fifth year. I can’t wait to tell her that I’m friends… with you.” She finished weakly clearly embarrassed that she had called him her friend so soon after meeting him.

“Well then she would be very jealous to hear that we are friends, don’t you think?” He said sincerely. He waved his hand and a magical camera appeared. “Lily would you mind taking a picture of the two of us, so she can send it to her sister as proof?” He asked Lily was beaming at him and it made him feel like dinosaurs were wrestling in his stomach.

“Of course I will.” She said as she pulled the camera up to aim it at the two of them.

James threw his arm around Kay and smiled as charmingly as he could and the next second the camera flashed and Lily was handing it back over the table to him. With another wave of his hand three copies of the photo had appeared and the camera had once again disappeared. He took a moment to look and see that they were both wearing big smiles, it was a perfect picture.

He handed two to Kay who looked overwhelmed and said “There is one to send to your sister and one for you to keep” he said.

“Thank you.” She said quietly still seeming surprised at what had just taken place.

Before anyone else could say anything Dumbledore was on his feet. James then noticed he must have missed the rest of the sorting while he was talking.

“Pardon me but I have some very exciting news to share with you. I promise it won’t be long but it will be worth the wait for food.” Dumbledore said his eyes twinkling brighter than normal. “I regret to inform you that this year there will be no quidditch between the houses of Hogwarts.”

James noticed that the whole great hall was in an uproar, some kids even looked ready to throw knives. Maybe I didn’t miss this after all, he thought sarcastically to himself.

Alice turned to James noticing his lack of reaction and asked “Why aren’t you furious James, you love quidditch more than anyone and if there isn’t quidditch how are the scouts going to watch us play?” she said in a huff.

“You see Alice I think that when you hear the rest of what he has to say you will not be so upset.” He said because he had noticed that Dumbledore had only said between houses and not that there wouldn’t be any quidditch at all. His theory was proven right when Dumbledore quieted the hall and started speaking again.

“This year I’m pleased to inform you that Hogwarts will be competing in the World Championship Magical School Quidditch Cup, now before you start talking amongst yourselves and tune me out please listen to the rest a bit longer.” He paused so they had time to stop the little chatter that was starting to grow. “Be that as it may tryouts will be conducted by Professor McGongall next week starting with the Seekers on Monday, Keepers on Tuesday, Beaters on Wednesday and Chasers on Thursday. The tournament will consist of ten per school three of which will take place at their own stadium. The other seven will be at the opposing schools home pitch and unfortunately only the players and professor McGongall will attend these matches. If we succeed in winning all those matches which I’m confident we will.” He said with a mysterious smile before continuing “then the whole school will be traveling to Spain where the championship match will be held, so you may cheer on our team. And now that I’ve babbled on far too long you may dig in.” He finished as the food appeared and he sat back down and struck up a conversation with Professor Slughorn who was seated on his left.

James glanced around and noticed the whole school was once again in an uproar though he noticed no one looked like they were about to throw silverware anymore. He helped himself to some potatoes and chicken and started listening in to the discussion Frank, Lily and Alice were having.

“You are trying out aren’t you love?” Frank was asking his girlfriend. James looked up curiously waiting for her to answer. But he wasn’t finished speaking when he added “I mean you have to you are the best chaser here!” He stated indignantly as if she were daft to not want to. Frank had a point though; James thought Alice was clearly one of the best chasers Hogwarts had at the moment. She wasn’t a hall of famer but she would easily get some looks from scouts he thought to himself.

Finally she responded. “Frank I am not the best chaser, but of course I plan on trying out. I’d have to be mental not to.” She said excited at the prospect of getting to play internationally.

“What about you James?” Lily asked finally bringing him into the conversation.

“Yeah I heard you were the best chaser in Hogwarts history.” Kay added in response to Lily’s question.

He took a moment and actually thought about trying out. He had always wanted to play quidditch professionally, though he would need to speak to the headmaster to see how that would fit in with the Order, which would be his number one priority after graduation. Finally he spoke “Yeah, I think I might.” He said with no excitement to his voice.

“Aren’t you excited about this?” Alice asked incredulous that he could sound so impassive about the whole thing.

“Of course I’m excited” he replied instantly then continued by saying “but I’m Head Boy this year and if I had to travel for the matches and that would leave Lily with my share of the responsibilities too.”

They all looked taken back for a moment before Lily spoke “Potter if you don’t try out I will kick your arse so hard you won’t be able to sit for a month.” She finished looking very serious and quite fierce.

He looked solemn then said “Well that settles it then doesn’t it?” They all seemed to be anxious waiting for his response to Lily’s threat, when he spoke again finishing his previous statement. “Hello Spain.”