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It Started with Hate, It Ended with Death
Chapter 04 ~ Changing Maturity

The rest of the train ride had been uneventful, except for the rain that had decided to fall and drench the world in water and dark clouds. Her friends had returned mere minutes before the train stopped to finish dressing. It was amazing how they were all in different houses, yet, they were the best of friends. The inner-house unity was amazing as the years had progressed; it seemed as if nothing would ever stop them.

When the train had stopped, she knew that she needed to direct people to carriages and the First Years to Hagrid. But all the while, she couldn’t help but glance over at James, who was, surprisingly, helping the younger ones without a prank or a pull of his wand. She raised her eyebrows and directed a little boy who was nearly in tears since he couldn’t find the boats.

Once she had led the boy to Hagrid, who had taken the boy into his own boat (which seemed to scare the boy even more) she had gotten into a carriage. She was all alone and she rested against the plush seating. Her head hurt and her feet were wet from the puddles.

“Oh sorry,” said a voice from the entrance of the carriage. Lily opened her eyes to only be directed to James Potter’s hazel ones. “I thought this carriage was empty. I can’t seem too find the others,” he said to her.

Lily just raised her eyebrows. James Potter wasn’t saying something taunting to her or tugging on his wand for, what he’d call, a harmless prank. He seemed to stare back to her as if asking her silently is he could join her.

“It’s raining and freezing out, Potter, I cannot do the duties alone with you in the Hospital Wing, now can I?” she asked him, not letting her voice turn from its fierce scathing tone.

James smiled thankfully and stepped in. Instantly, as he stepped in, the carriage jolted to life and began to go forward towards the illuminated castle. The castle looked like an evil lair of some kind, the castle glowing with the millions of candles lit, the lashing rain scourging the sides of the castle, and the carriages easily making their way up the slope towards the castle and the boats just now making their way across the pitch black, rippling waters of the Black Lake. Almost like a battle was to begin, but secretly one was.

James jumped off of the train just as it was stopping. He began to open the doors with his wand, Lily doing the opposite side. First Years poured out with the others, but they were the easiest to spot as their eyes were widened and some of them looked as if they were about to run back into the train or cry.

“First Years, please go over to Hagrid and the boats!” James yelled to them. Several of them looked at the boats and then back to James as if he was crazy.

“Who’s Hagrid?” a little girl asked.

“The tall guy over there holding the lantern,” said James, pointing to the young Hagrid.

“Is he a…” the girl said, her eyes widened.

“A Giant? Just half, I believe, now go on over and get into a boat,” James said, walking over to a few Fifth Years who were looking as if they were going to start a hexing match.

“Thank you,” the girl said sweetly, smiling and giggling.

James patted her shoulder then walked over to the two. “This year is going to be a tough one…” James said to himself as he arrived at the two boys.

James made sure no First Year was wandering around, or in any of the carriages and made sure everyone had a carriage, yet he couldn’t even find his own friends’ carriage. There was one all the way in the back, which looked deserted. He walked over to it and peered inside.

“Oh sorry,” James said, as he noticed Lily Evans sitting in there, her eyes closed. “I thought this carriage was empty. I can’t seem too find the others,” he said to her.

“It’s raining and freezing out, Potter, I cannot do the duties alone with you in the Hospital Wing, now can I?” she asked him, not letting her voice turn from its fierce, scathing tone.

James smiled thankfully but was surprised that she even spoke to him and invited him to sit with her. True, her voice was snappy, but all girls had there times, James knew.

He ran a hand through his jet-black, unruly locks, which were wet from the rain. He sighed and sat back. Just that bit of work had taken so much out of him; he had no idea how he was going to juggle Quidditch, his schoolwork, and his Head duties. He should have told Dumbledore no, but of course, his mum saw the badge even before he could reply!

James looked ahead and noticed that Lily had been staring at him. He looked back, he really didn’t dare look at her, but her eyes were so enticing and they seemed to lure him in deeper and deeper.

“What?” James finally asked; his eyes still locked on hers.

Lily glanced away and looked outside. “Nothing, Potter, absolutely nothing.”

The next day was the first of classes. Lily’s mind kept going back to the night before, where she had entered her Dorm, the Head’s Dorm. The Dorm was magnificent, embellished in Gryffindor colors, Scarlet and Gold, and attended to their every need: shelves upon shelves of book; drawers of parchment, ink, and quills; a large fireplace which housed a burning fire; and a room for each which housed their wardrobe, a four-poster bed, and a desk.

She knew that today she would begin classes, but she also had to find Sirius to shovel an answer out of him about James Potter. She knew that James had left earlier before her, and so she knew that the four sets of stairs she had to walk down (the Dorm was situated next to Dumbledore’s office, in case of any emergency) she would not bump into Sirius, or if she did it would most likely be with his little friends.

Lily entered the Great Hall and the noticed that it was quiet, yet there were many people present, slowly bringing spoons to mouths or goblets to lips. Apparently, the summer vacation had taken a toll on all of them, and many had yet to realize how early they had to wake. Lily yawned herself and plopped down next to Nova and Genevieve, also next to them was Alice Jewel. Of course, Alice took her Prefect job way to seriously (surprisingly more serious than Lily) and hadn’t been in the compartment, but had been patrolling the compartments to make sure nothing broke out. She was quiet, yes, but she had a hold on the rules and had a large mouth when it came to violating any of them.

“Good morning, Alice,” Lily said, smiling over at her. She didn’t look to happy and Lily was regretting receiving the job and missing out a chance to Dorm with the three.

“Morning, Lil. How’s that Dorm of yours? I’ve heard its majestic,” Alice said, tucking a lock of blonde hair behind her ear.

“Oh, it is!” Lily bubbled, a springing feeling had enveloped her body and she told her friend’s every detail of the Dorm that she had received along with her Head badge. “Everything’s perfect, except for that fact that Potter is in…” Lily said to them, taking a glance three seats down where Potter and his friends who were huddled together over some piece of parchment.

Lily shook her head and helped herself to some bacon and eggs and nibbled at them. She was eagerly awaiting her Timetable from Professor McGonagall; she had been waiting for this since she had chosen her job career over the summer. “Where’s Marla?” Lily asked suddenly, noticing that it was a bit too quiet.

“Where else do you think?” Nova asked. “Over with Sir Lancelot,” Nova answered for her with a roll of her eyes.

Lily smiled and stole a glance at the Ravenclaw table where Marla was leaning into to Fabian Prewett, looking at something – most likely the Daily Prophet. She had a content look on her face and as always she looked marvelous.

“Now, come on, Nova,” Lily said, “we didn’t all get on your tail when you had that heated relationship with Fabe’s brother,” Lily said with a smirk.

Nova frowned and went back to her kippers, muttering under her breath, “It’s a surprise they don’t announce their engagement anytime soon…”

“Here you are, Ms. Evans, please remember the conversation we had last year,” Professor McGonagall said, her chin pointed and her lips pursed, her eyes piercing into Lily’s.

“I will, Professor,” Lily said to her, taking the Timetable from her, a little too eagerly.

Professor McGonagall’s air of strictness and look of a scathing mother, gave many people the idea that she was mean and that she wasn’t one to ‘beat around the bush’ in other terms. But over the years Lily had befriended the strict teacher and she had come to liking her and usually went to her. Of course, she remembered talking to Professor McGonagall about her classes. Professor McGonagall’s comment still haunted her.

“Remember, Ms. Evans… being an Unspeakable isn’t as easy as it looks, reads, nor sounds. It’s very inveterate work and it’s not to be taken as a laid back job. Being an Unspeakable comes with risks and can, most of the time, jeopardize your life in many ways, shapes and forms. Including death, I’m afraid.”

The way she had said it, without an air of strictness or the look of a scathing mother, had given Lily chills down her spine. It had sounded as if Professor McGonagall was worried about her taking this job. But Lily knew what the job required and she knew that it took a person to be accepted, academically of course. But Lily knew that the job was a challenge, and since when she ever let down a challenge?

She looked down at her list of classes: Potions, Charms, Transfiguration, Care of Magical Creatures, Defense Against the Dark Arts, Arithmancy, and Divination. Lily sighed; of course they were all advanced and of course this all led to her final challenge, to make this job, to find out what the Ministry was up too, and to find out what the Ministry was hiding, why deaths seemed so unexpected all of a sudden.

After her double Potions, Lily made sure to dart to the Gryffindor commonroom. It was a long run, yes, but she had made it just as Sirius was coming out with a Gryffindor girl. Lily rolled her eyes as she approached him, his hand was snaked around her tiny waist and his eyes didn’t seem to leave her chest.

“Black,” Lily said coldly, stepping into the steps he wouldn’t be able to take. Sirius looked up, and his large smile wiped from his face. “We need to talk,” Lily said to him, looking at the girl.

“I’ll talk to you later, Cleo,” he said with a smile and a kiss on her cheek. “I need to talk to Ms. Head Girl here,” he said to her. The girl’s face became smug and she went down the steps in an elegant manner, meeting her friends at the bottom, who all started to talk garrulously with glances at Sirius.

“What is it, Lily?” Sirius then asked, his voice sounding tired. “Whatever it is, I didn’t do it. I was with Cleo all afternoon, I swear.”

Lily’s eyebrows rose. “Those details I do not want to know!” Lily said to him. “It’s not about what you did,” Lily said testily, looking at him suspiciously now, “it’s about someone else.”

Sirius furrowed his brow. “Then… what’s this about? I know we might be friends, but you’ve never cornered me like this,” Sirius said with a smile. “Have you finally lamented into me?” he asked with a smirk.

”Black! No!” Lily said disgustedly. “You pervert!”

Sirius laughed. “Only the best,” he said with a shining off his knuckles, which made Lily want to gag.

“No, Black, I have a question about…” Lily looked around and pulled Sirius behind a statue. “What’s up with Potter?” she blurted out as they stood behind a statue of a wizard, whose long wand was getting ready to do an incantation.

Sirius’ eyebrows raised and he smiled smugly. “Fallen for him, Lily dear?” he asked.

“Never call me that again, Black! And no! He’s acting… oddly quiet, not spontaneous… I thought he’d have a field day when he found out that we were sharing a Dormitory,” Lily said, her eyes wandering, making sure no one was watching.

“You know, Lily, there are other things on his mind besides snogging you and pranking,” Sirius said, his tone serious. Lily looked at him now. Sirius sighed and shook his head. “Don’t tell him that I’m telling you this, but his family are all Auror’s, it’s like a family thing, you know?

“Well, over the summer his grandfather was murdered on the job. By who, they don’t know as of yet. But there’s some activity going on in the Wizarding World. And I don’t mean sexually.” - Lily sent him a disgusted look, which made Sirius smile and go on – “Anyway, James was crushed, he was really close to his grandfather. His parents are top notch, sort of secret; Auror’s and they weren’t home much as he was a child, so he became close to his grandfather who wasn’t as top notch as his parents,” Sirius paused for a breath and shook his head. “I think that death took a toll on him.”

“Oh my Merlin…” Lily said her mind spinning.

“Yea, James tried to get his parents to retire. I don’t know if you ever saw his parents, but they were late bloomers in the department of having children, James was rather unexpected when they found out. And they should have retired a year or two ago, but the Ministry was noticing some suspicious behavior. James is a family person, if you didn’t know; when it comes to family he’s huge,” Sirius said, his tone serious and his face looked as if it were pained. “I’ll let you know now, Lily… I don’t know how much James is going to be of himself. He may act like he’s in a pranking mood or he’s happy and such, but I know he’s worried about his parents. I try not to pry or take it to hard, but I guess that’s what I get for having a callous family, huh?”

Author's Note: Well, another chapter up and read! Some plots were twisted some new ones have come to the surface. Now, you all know why James is acting (quote, unquote) Out of Character. He does get... a bit better, but only because he knows he has won his prize that he's been fighting for for years ;) *cough*hint*cough*

Anywho, sorry, this chapter was more than 2,000 words, I think my longest chapter ever!! The next chapter is just about as long... I am just about done Chapter 5, which we now see a different side of Lily. She takes off her "tough girl" mask and tries a different angle for bit... a bit of reminiscing can be sort of depressing...

But, on the other hand, I want to focus on Sirius being honest about his family... Keep that quote in mind, it does come up again, something does happen to Sirius, and I want you to remember that! Again*cough*hint*cough*

Anywho, enough hinting to you readers! Review, please! I would like to know your thoughts! Thanks to all my devoted readers and reviewers! *pops back in* One last thing! In a previous chapter I said that Marla [McKinnon] was going out with "Gideon Prewett." It's not Gideon, Gideon will be his twin brother, she's going out with Fabian Prewett! And those two don't give it quits either! So, that was just on a side note! Thanks! *pops back out*

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