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The funeral had been two weeks ago, and it had been private, so that only people who had really known James' dad could attend. The death had been mentioned in the Daily Prophet the next day, also stating the time, date and location of the funeral, which angered James. A few of the girls from school, who enjoyed tagging behind James and Sirius, had showed up and tried to come to the funeral before being escorted away.

Of course, with the bomb that had been erupted on James' life, everything began to change. He became a quieter person, more reserved. His friends had not come to spend the summer with him as they had every year previous. James could have done with their company, but their families had forbiden it. Only Sirius had come to stay, and he had been spending his summer in the Potter house since after the funeral, which he had attended. He was like James' brother and a second son in the Potter house.

It was now the first of September and James and Sirius were finishing all their last minute packing in silence. They hadn't talked much since it happened. James had found it hard to talk, a large lump had swelled inside his throat everytime he tried. Sirius found it just as hard, for the same reason as James, and did not want to say anything that might make the situation seem light. James was just glad to have the company. His mother had been crying everyday since the letter's arrival.

Once they packed the rest of their belongings the descended the stairs, dragging their trunks behind them. Mrs. Potter was in the kitchen, fully dressed, her eyes red and puffy. It looked like it had taken a real effort to get out of bed and prepare herself to escort James and Sirius to Kings Cross station.

"Are you sure you want to go with us Mum?" James asked quietly.
"Y-yes. It's n-not a problem. This is after all your l-l-last y-year there. Then you and S-sirius will be ready to begin w-w-orking, and be leaving m-m-me," she said, willing herself not to cry.
"Oh don't worry Mum," Sirius said. "Do you really think I'd leave here? This is where the good food is."
Mrs. Potter looked as if she was trying to smile, but broke out in a fresh wave of tears. Standing up quickly, she hugged James and Sirius each tightly. Then she raised a shakey hand to wipe away her tears. "I'll be right back," she said suddenly, brushing past them and drifting up the stairs.
When she was gone Sirius turned to James. "I'm worried about her mate," he said.
"Me too. She's getting paler each day and she's jsut not herself. I think she is getting sick. I really don't want to have to leave her." It was hte first time James had voiced his concern aloud.
"You better go check on her. If she's not up to it, we should probably go, we can't be late, and we can't put her under any more stress."
James nodded and left the room, smiling as he did. Although Sirius did not mention it, or even smirk, James didn't need reminding. In their fourth year, James and Sirius had been late for the train, by about a minute, and had to go back home. The next day the train had ot come back to London and pick them up specially. They had gotten two weeks worth of detentions and when they came back for the summer, both had been grounded for a week.

At the top of the stairs James looked down the hall and saw the bathroom door open, the light on. He approached quietly, and peered inside. Mrs. Potter was sitting on the floor, her head bent over the toilet, retching. A few minutes later James had coaxed her out of the bathroom and back down the stairs.

"Sirius, will you quickly write a letter to St. Mungos. I don't want to leave her here by herself. She's just been sick," James mumbled while making a cup of tea. Sirius scrawled a note to the hospital and sent it off with the large brown owl the Potter's owned.

"Okay, Mum. Sirius and I are leaving now. A Healer will be here with you shortly and take you to the hospital. Write to us when you get there, alright? Bye," James said hugging his mom.

Sirius and James walked out onto the lawn, dragging their trunks.

"See you there," Sirius muttered, turning on his heel and disappearing in an instant. James nodded even though Sirius was already gone, and turned, disappearing from his house, and reappearing on Platform Nine and Three Quarters. He and Sirius were both of age and had already gotten their Apparation lisence, but James was still not used to sensation.

He found Sirius waiting for him a few feet away and the set off together to find Remus and Peter. They found the remaining to Marauders in the last compartment of the train. After very cheerful greetings, James deparated to the Head compartment. When he slid the door open, there was only one other person inside. It was unsurprisingly Lily Evans.

"Morning," he muttered, his eyes scanning the floor. He didn't feel like seeing the hatred he knew would be in her eyes.

"Good morning, James," she said, holding her hand out for him to take. He noticed two very odd things about her greeting. One, she did not seem at all surprised to see him, and two, she had used his first name. James looked up.

"How- what- did you know that I had been made Head Boy?" he asked, ignoring her outstreched hand.

"Yes," she said shuffling her hand impaitently.

"How?"

Lily looked most uncomfortable as she answered. "It was mentioned in the paper. In the aritcle where it mentioned the death of your father. I'm really sorry to hear about that."

"Oh," James mumbled, looking down again and seeing her hand. He finally took it and the shook, and when he did, he heard a small intake of breath from Lily. He looked at her, but she appeared normal, as if nothing had happened. "So, now we're partners.."

"Yep."

The Prefects came in just then and James was forced to Lily's well rehearsed speech about responsibility. When it was over, the Prefects were assigned to roam the halls. Lily and James exited together when everyone left, talking quietly. They almost made it to the Marauders' compartment when Lily excused herself.

"Tell Rebecca I said 'hi'," James said. Rebecca was Lily's best friend, and one of Sirius' ex-girlfriends.

"Oh, no. Rebecca isn't in here," Lily said, blushing. When James continued to look puzzled seh elaborated. "It's a meet..with Professor Slughorn."

"Oh. Finally joined the Slug Club?" he asked with a smirk. She glared at him. She may have been acting a lot kinder to him so far, but he could tell she still had the same firey attitude she had always had.

"Yes. I go tired of being asked to join everytime I was in Potions. Anyway, gotta go. See you at the feast James. Bye." She left him standing there. He watched her disappear into the compartment and then he proceeded to his own. Before opening the door, he heard Sirius very irritated voice.

"James is fine, but I forbid you to mention it, Peter. No, don't say anything. Wait untill he is ready to talk about it."

"He's right Peter, really. The best we can do is just be his friends, and support him. Lets not make life any harder for him at the moment," came Remus' voice. James chose that moment to open the door. Everyone stopped talking abruptly and Sirius and Peter each looked pale in the face.

"Hi guys," James said, pretending not to notice. He picked up a chocolate frog from a pile beside Sirius and began toeat it as he say down. "How'd the summer go?"

They talked quite a bit for the rest of the ride, always diverting the conversation when it got close to the events of James' summer. The ride went smoothly. A few girls came in the compartment giggling, and asking James if was alright, batting their eyelashes and flirting very obviously. Eventually, Remus locked the doors by magic and they planned pranks which they would play on unsuspecting people over the summer. James watched out the window as they talked, and felt his spirits rise once the castle came into veiw.

A/N:
Wow, that was a very long chapter! Sorry about the length. There was a bunch of stuff I wanted to include, like James meeting with Lily, Mrs. Potter being submitted to the hospital, and Peter and Sirius arguaing, and I didn't want to rush it all. So, here's what you got. I'll try to update sonner next time, and in the meantime, check out some of my other stories. Please review. Much love~AMW.

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