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disclaimer: you know how it is... i dont own the characters and such “Okay, Padfoot, we really need to go,” James called from across the Gryffindor common room. He and Lily had been ready and waiting to catch the train home for the past half hour. It was a bright, early Saturday morning, but the two were both too excited (and Lily too nervous) to be tired. Sirius was saying an enthusiastic and completely non-verbal good-bye to a compliant Melanie. Their relationship was the most talked about subject as of late– who knew Sirius Black had it in him to settle down with a girl? When James had finally managed to drag his best friend away form Melanie, they had a little over twenty minutes to get to Hogsmeade before the train left without them. Throwing his girlfriend his charming smile, Sirius raised his hand to his mouth and blew a large kiss across the room to her. “See you in a few days, Mellie-Bell!” Melanie, along with the rest of the girls in the room, giggled at his over-the-top antics. “Bye, Sirius.” Grinning at her once more before James pulled him through the portrait hole, Sirius swung his bag over his shoulder and shook his dark hair out of his eyes. Walking through the castle towards the Entrance Hall, James slung his bag over his own shoulder and gestured for Lily to give him hers. “So,” he started, with an amused grin on his face. “Mellie-Bell, huh?” Sirius turned to his friend, the happy smile never leaving his face. “Not going to work, Prongsie, I’m in far too good a mood to let you tease me into oblivion.” He strutted towards the large oak doors and held them open for the other two. James shook his head at his friends behavior, while Lily chuckled, glad her friends were hitting it off so well. * * * As they were settling into their compartment, Sirius suddenly began rummaging through his bag. Pulling out a bit of parchment and his wand, a grin spread across his face as a spell hit the parchment and it began to fold itself into a paper butterfly. Sirius opened the window, held the paper butterfly up to it, and watched as it zoomed back towards the castle. When he turned back to face his friends, they were staring at him with curious expressions on their faces. “What was that all about?” James asked him, smirking. Resting his hands behind his head with a smug grin on his face, Sirius shrugged. “Fine, keep your secrets, Padfoot. How ‘bout a game of chess, then? You can play Lily and I’ll play the winner.” “No thanks,” Lily commented from further down the bench. “I think I’ll just read. You guys play.” Smiling down at her, James patted her foot resting on the seat next to him. “Alright, love.” He then turned his attention back to his friend. “Okay, Padfoot, prepare to bow down to my amazing chess playing skills.” Rolling his eyes at James, Sirius began setting up the chess board. * * * It was after noon when the train pulled into King’s Cross Station, and Lily’s insides were now squirming uncomfortably as she realized she would be meeting James’ parents in the next few minutes. When the train came to a halt, James hitched on a wide smile. “You ready?” He asked Lily, taking hold of both of their bags and preparing to follow Sirius out. Trying to match his smile with one of her own, Lily nodded and made her way off of the train. James stole a glance at Lily after Sirius had gone through the barrier of Platform nine and three-quarters and saw the anxious look in her eyes. He took her hand, kissed her cheek, then whispered, “don’t worry, Lily, they’re going to love you,” before pulling her through the magical barrier. “Mrs. P.!” Sirius called, pulling the short woman into a tight hug. “Sirius, dear, it’s good to see you, too!” The mahogany-haired Mrs. Potter beamed at him, taking his rugged face in her hands. “Why, what’s got you in such a chipper mood?” “He’s in love, mum,” James sighed, batting his eyelashes dramatically at his mother. Sirius backed away from Mrs. Potter, cleared his throat, then caught James in a tight head lock and tried to wrestle him to the ground. “Now boys!” Mrs. Potter tried to interrupt sternly, though there was a happy smile on her face only a mother could create. “Don’t start the weekend off like this!” Now that the boys were rolling on the ground play fighting, she looked up and noticed Lily for the first time. Smiling at her widely, Mrs. Potter stepped forwards towards her. “And you must be Lily.” Lily smiled politely, then held out her hand in greeting, but found herself instead pulled into a warm embrace. “It’s nice to finally meet you, dear,” Mrs. Potter said cheerily, pulling back to get a good look at her. “It’s nice to meet you as well, Mrs. Potter.” “Oh, we’ll have none of that– it’s Elizabeth,” she chuckled, taking Lily’s face in her hands as she had done with Sirius. “My stars, you have the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen. James told us how pretty you were, but he never mentioned your gorgeous eyes.” Her own eyes were twinkling merrily as she said this. Lily’s cheeks tinged pink, but she grinned back regardless. “Thank-you.” “Aw, mum, now you’ve gone and embarrassed me,” James said from behind Mrs. Potter, his crooked smile on his face. Turning to him with a look of adoration on her face, Elizabeth Potter crossed her arms and stared at him questioningly. “I didn’t think that was an emotion you were capable of experiencing, Jamesie.” Shrugging, James leaned forward to kiss her on the cheek and pulled her into a tight embrace, lifting her off the ground as he did so. “It’s good to see you, mum.” “It’s good to have my boys back,” she assured him. “Where’s dad?” He asked next, craning his neck to look around the busy train station. “He got called into work today, dear, some big mess at the Ministry. He’ll be back in time for dinner, though, don’t you worry,” she told him, gesturing back to Lily. James put his arm around his mother and squeezed her next to him. “She is pretty, isn’t she?” James asked as though Lily wasn’t standing right behind them. “Don’t know how I managed to finally get her to go out with me, but I suppose I’m pretty lucky, huh?” He looked over his shoulder and winked at Lily, beckoning her forward with his other arm. Taking his chin in her hand, Elizabeth smiled up at her son. “She probably saw the tinniest glimmer of the sweet little James I know is in there somewhere.” Lily giggled as Mrs. Potter winked at her. “Now, what do you say we get going, hm? Get you lot some lunch?” Elizabeth motioned for the exit. James and Lily nodded, taking each other by the hand. Grinning when she saw this, she bustled forward to her surrogate son. “Sirius, be a dear and hold this door open?” “Sure thing, Mrs. P.” * * * Upon arriving at the Potter’s house, the three teens were surrounded by a bunch of tiny children. “James! James! Guess what? Guess what?!?” A small girl with dirt smudged on her face and her messy hair stuffed under an equally dirty baseball cap asked excitedly, grabbing at his hands to turn his attention to her. “What’s that, Gertie?” He inquired with a grin, turning his gaze from the dog pile of children trying to drag Sirius to the ground with minimal results. She continued eagerly. “We were playing quidditch and Ollie was keeper and I got six goals in!” James laughed and high-fived her enthusiastically. “What did I tell you? Ollie’s not so tough, is he?” Gertie beamed up at him, then joined the attempt to over power Sirius. Lily smiled at how good James and Sirius were with the children– probably because they’re still children themselves, she giggled to herself. She felt a tap on her arm and looked down to see a boy of about nine years old holding a flower out to her and grinning widely. “Why, thank-you,” she bent slightly so that they were at the same height. “What’s your name?” “William,” he beamed, reaching a hand to his head and ruffling his hair. Then, with a wink at James, he slipped his arm around her waist and said, “you’re pretty. Want to go out for ice cream with me?” Lily stared down at him in shock for a moment, but then James stepped forward and pulled the youngster away from her. His arm around the child’s shoulder, Lily heard James say, “okay, Will, that’s Lily– my girlfriend. We don’t put the moves on her, she doesn’t go for it. Go get one of those girls your own age over there,” he finished, patting the boy on the back and sending him on his way. When James turned around to where Lily stood, she had her arms crossed and a shocked smile on her face. “Please don’t tell me you’re molding a little army in your image?” She giggled. “He was an eager learner, what can I say?” Shaking her head and smiling, she gestured towards the group of children. “Should we go give him a hand?” Sirius had been apparently defeated, as six children were sitting on him and three were holding his arms down. “Sirius? Naw, he loves that.” James laughed. As though hit by another burst of energy, Sirius’ arms sprung up and wrapped around as many of the children as possible, toppling them all in a shrieking and giggling pile, before jumping to his feet for another round. A/N: hey al! i finally posted again! yay! i hope you enjoyed this chapter, as it took so long to get out of me! haha. i've been a little distracted with someone else's awesome story, so thats why it took me so long! im also, yet again, experiencing a bit of writers block. i know where i want this story to go and a few of the land marks on the way...but im just having trouble getting it written down! i will post again as soon as i can, though! as always, thanks for all the reads and reviews-- every little one is appreciated!

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