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disclaimer: names and (most) characters belong to J.K. Rowling “I don’t know, Prongs. You’ve been after Evans since...well, forever, and nothing’s changed. I personally think it’s a lost cause.” Sirius Black patted his best friend, James Potter, on the back. The two were standing on Platform 9 3/4, waiting for their friends, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew, to arrive before boarding the Hogwarts Express. “What, with my help and your shiny new Head Boy badge, you will definitely be able to have any other girl.” James sighed and smiled his lopsided grin. “Well, my parents have always taught me to aim for the best, so I’m not about to disappoint them now. Besides, you know I’m always up for a challenge, Padfoot.” Sirius laughed and shook his shaggy brown hair out of his eyes. “Too true, my friend. Ah, look, here comes Remus now. Well, well, and would you take a look at who’s tagging along with him... I do believe it’s the one and only Miss Evans.” To this, James spun around. He was very excited to see his other best friend, but also ecstatic to see the object of his affections. James grinned widely, and, as was an unconscious habit whenever Lily Evans was around, he reached a hand to his head and ruffled his already messy black hair. Lily rolled her eyes when she saw this, but bit her tongue to keep from saying something rude about it, as doing so would be admitting that she had been staring at him. Which she definitely wasn’t. “James! Sirius!” Remus yelled, pulling them each into a hug. “How was your summer?” “Not bad, Mooney. We kept ourselves out of trouble.” Sirius replied. Remus chuckled. “I find that hard to believe. Then again, I didn’t see any international crisis headlined in the Prophet, so I guess you two couldn’t have gotten yourselves into too much trouble.” “Told you we’ve been good. Besides, Prongsie here has a new reason to behave.” At this, James reached into his pocket, pulled out a shiny object, then tossed it at Remus. When Remus realized what it was, a smile a mile wide formed on his face. “Good for you, James! This is great!” Lily, who had been talking to a friend behind Remus, glanced over and burst out, “where the devil did you get that, Potter?” James gave her an amused look. “Came with my letter. So, wanna go out with me and let me get to know the Head Girl better?” He began to waggle his eyebrows at her. She glared at him, the hope that she had had that he would grow up and stop asking her out fading away. “Digging my eyes out with a dull, rusty spoon would give me greater pleasure than dating you.” Lilly huffed away angrily, cursing and saying something about how awful the year was going to be. “Right feisty little one,” Sirius barked with laughter, as he jovially punched James on the shoulder. “Off to a great start, eh Prongs? Got her begging to be asked out.” Shrugging his shoulders, James turned towards the train. “I’m working on it. And let’s go get a seat, here comes Wormtail.” * * * After Lily had ended the prefect meeting that she and James had led, she had quickly left James alone in the compartment to go seek out her friends. James wandered down the train trying to find the seats his friends had taken. His mood perked up when he heard Lily speaking from a partially opened compartment. He knew he shouldn’t listen in on her conversation, but he couldn’t help his curiosity. “I can’t believe this,” she moaned. “It’s really not that bad, Lily.” James recognized the voice of Amelia Henley. “He can’t be that horrible.” James then heard another familiar voice, Melanie Davies, speak up. “I honestly can’t comprehend how you turn him down so much, he’s positively adorable.” Amelia giggled. “And all that chasing he does for quidditch really does the body good.” “I know,” Lily sighed in spite of herself. “When I saw him this morning I nearly died.” “What’s the problem, then? Honestly, any other girl in your shoes would have been all over him by now,” Melanie scoffed. “’s, he’s–he’s just Potter!”–James grinned happily after realizing they had been talking about him– “You can’t honestly expect me to go out with him! Yeah, he’s good looking, but he knows it, too, and he’s an arrogant prat about it!” He swallowed hard. On one hand, she found him physically attractive; on the other, she found his character repulsive. Admitting that his looks wouldn’t get him anywhere with her didn’t discourage a giddy grin from forming on his face, however. Amelia spoke up tentatively. “I know, but...don’t you think that’s, I don’t know...kind of an act? I mean, he can’t be like that all the time. I think he’s just trying to impress you.” Lily was skeptical. “Ok, but unless he’s really thick, he has to see that that’s not working on me.” Amelia continued. “That’s probably just the only way he knows how to relate to girls. He sees that it works with some of them and figures that it’s a good way to act around all of them. I’m sure if you just gave him a chance, even as friends, you’d start to see a side of him that you liked.” Lily chose not to respond. “Can we just drop the subject? I’ve got loads to tell you about my summer.” James stopped listening to the conversation there and continued his search for his friends. Though he was a little uncomfortable hearing them analyze his seduction capabilities, he realized he really did like that Amelia Henley. She understood where he was coming from. As he entered the next part of the train, he heard the high-pitched squeal of laughter from his friend Peter, probably laughing at something Sirius had just done. Pulling on a wide smile, James entered the train compartment and told his friends what he had heard.

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