A couple more minutes passed until Tracy realized Lily was not sitting next to her. She looked around at the others who were still unaware. James, however was not in his usual spotlight, and was staring silently off into space. He felt her eyes on him, and flicked his head to the direction of the train car hallway, and brought his finger up to his lips, telling her to keep quiet. If Tracy had been worried before, it was nothing to the way she was feeling right now. If James had known something about where Lily was before she had, what could have possibly happened to her? Had he done something to her? She thought wildly, before reminding herself how childish that sounded. Whatever Lily felt towards James, Tracy knew he was not evil! Her thoughts were interrupted, however, when Erica asked, “Hey, where’s Lil?” James stood up and grinned as though he was at ease, but Tracy knew he was about to lie to the compartment, “She isn’t feeling to hot right now,” he began, but Tracy heard Sirius mutter to Peter, “She certainly looked hot,” but shut up when he met James’ stare. “So she told me she was going to the bathroom, and would be back later.” he finished, as the compartment nodded in general acceptance and Sirius resumed his story of the time they had put an ignorable charm on Snape, and no one had acknowledged he existed for two whole days. Tracy, however, scribbled a note to James and flicked it across the compartment, which he caught with his amazing reflexes. WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH MY FRIEND!?! James read it and winked at Tracy. Oh he is so cute when he does that! Lily is crazy that she doesn’t like him! She couldn’t help but think. She felt the paper hit her ear, glared at James for his aim, and then smoothed out the parchment so she could read it. She is going to be fine, but I think she would hate my guts less if you heard it from her, and knowing the way girls gossip and share secrets, you’ll find out sooner or later! She heard the compartment door slide open, and Lily entered. She looked very pale, as if she had seen a ghost, or was even becoming one with the way her wide eyes were staring despondently. “How you feeling, Lils?” asked Crystal kindly. Lily shot a frightened look at James, whose expression was blank. What if he told everyone about the letter? She thought in horror. Tracy saw why Lily had become so fearful, and so she decided she would help James out of this one. “Yea, James told us how you ate too many chocolate frogs!” Tracy chimed, and Lily’s expression went from afraid to confused. “Chocolate frogs always give me intestinal problems, too!” said Peter, while Sirius looked a bit disgusted at this news. Comprehension dawned on Lily, and she resumed her seat in the compartment next to Tracy. “Right. Chocolate Frogs!” she said laughing a little at her alibi. There was the grossly funny noise of someone letting off gas. The compartment immediately erupted with groans and disgusted gasps. “Mental note to everyone in this compartment!” James shouted above the chaos that had resulted, “Never, EVER give Peter a chocolate frog again!” Peter grinned embarrassedly. Lily mouthed a silent “Thank you!” to James, and he smiled at her. For the first time, Lily did not flinch or throw a punch at him. She instead returned the smile. *** The sky had become very dark as the train continued on. The girls shoved the boys out of the compartment for the time being so they could change into their robes. Tracy, Crystal and Erica chatted happily as they changed, not noticing Lily’s unusual silence. Lily was feeling very odd indeed. The initial shock of Petunia’s letter was beginning to wear off, and anger and resentment towards her sister was began to emerge. Then there was also James. She was more confused about him than anything else right now. He had saved her from humiliation, but he had also read her letter. But he had also covered for her, and that was definitely a good thing. And then there had been that smile… even thinking about that moment made her smile again… what was wrong with her! She was ADMIRING him, James Potter! The very same James Potter who she had sworn she would never like no matter how handsome he was or how well he flew on a broomstick. Still, she had too admit, she had looked into his clear gray eyes really deeply for the first time when she had smiled back, and she had liked what she had seen. The train rolled to a halt, and compartments began erupting with students gathering belongings and trying to push towards the exits. When the crowd had swept Lily out of the train, she felt Tracy grab her arm, so as not to get separated. The other girls and the Marauders were no where in sight. Tracy steered Lily from the crowd. Lily protested, claiming she had to help organize getting everyone up to the castle. Tracy reassured her and told her that James would do it, and the overly eager Prefects. “Are you okay?” she asked, her soft brown eyes looking concernedly into Lily’s own green ones. Lily pulled away a little. “I’m fine, okay?” Tracy smiled a little. “You honestly didn’t think I would believe you had Peter’s stomach condition. And even if I did, I certainly wouldn’t have, hearing it from James Potter!” said Tracy. “You know me too well! Yea, chocolate frogs aren’t what’s bothering me. I don’t feel like talking about it just right now. After the feast in our dorm, okay?” said Lily, reassuring her friend. “Okay.” said Tracy, apparently satisfied. The girls started walking up towards the queue to get in the horseless carriages, then Tracy turned an smiled mischievously at Lily. “What is that look for?” asked Lily, laughing at her expression. “Oh nothing…” said Tracy dismissively, walking a little faster to catch up with Erica and Crystal, who she had spotted up ahead. “Just that little look you gave James… and that smile!” Tracy called out to Lily, as she turned to run from Lily’s fist as Lily tried to retaliate and shut Tracy up. James, Sirius, Remus, and Peter watched the four girls step into the carriage. James felt very happy right now, and Sirius watched his friend grin a little as a certain red head got into the carriage. “I thought we had agreed that Evans was way out of your league, Prongs!” said Sirius, teasing James. “Yeah, that’s what I thought too, until…” broke off James, also remembering the smile. “What’s wrong with him?” muttered Remus to Sirius so that James couldn’t hear them. “James is a little loopy over Lily, but what else is new?” Sirius replied, not bothering to keep his voice down. “So, going to lasso that girl, Prongs?” Sirius inquired innocently. “Because I was thinking…” James watched his friend break into the expression that could only mean one thing. “Got a plan, Padfoot?” “Don’t I always, don’t I always?” Sirius smirked, and he shoved James playfully as their carriage approached. “Oh no.” said Remus to Peter, “We’ve got a problem. Sirius has a plan!”
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