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Chapter Five: The next morning at breakfast Lily Evans was trying to read a Potions book when Amelia tentatively entered the Great Hall. Several heads swiveled in her direction and Lily could hear the vague whisperings around her. “Who’s that?” A fifth year Ravenclaw named Mullet asked with interest his back was directly to Lily’s making it easy for her to overhear. . “It’s Strong, from Gryffindor.” His companion answered uncertainly. “At least I think it is, she’s …done something to herself.” “Hasn’t she though?” Mullet answered in obvious admiration. “Don’t go getting any odd thoughts into your head, she’s a seventh year she’d never give you the time of day.” The boy with him answered sensibly. “More’s the pity.” Mullet mused aloud. It was nearly pure agony for Amelia. She wanted to duck her head and unconsciously reached a hand up to draw her long hair down towards her face, her hand encountered only air. How she wished for her glasses so that she might hide behind them. Looking uncertainly up her house table, she saw Lily and immediately felt relieved. She dropped into the seat next to her friend. “You’ve made quite the impression.” Lily commented and tried not to giggle. Even some of the Syltherins were gaping in open admiration. “I feel a perfect fool, Lily!” Amelia said but reached toward a platter of scrambled eggs. If Amelia didn’t eat very regularly she had a tendency to become even thinner than she was now. As Amelia tried to settle herself in to eat she spared a glance across the table. “Honestly Lily, why must you study at every meal? I feel like I do nothing but converse with the spine of a book.” In the seventh year even students from the same houses had their classes at different times. It all depended on what their OWL scores were. Luckily for Lily she and Amelia had both excelled in the same subjects. “Sorry Amelia.” Lily said and closed the book resolutely. Her friend had been willing to risk being cosmetically maimed at her hands, the least she could do was give her full attention for at least one meal. “Oh look, there’s Megan.” Megan Hogan had also entered the Great Hall, alone as usual. Lily wondered why she had never really given much thought to the fact that Megan was nearly always by herself. Perhaps she’d always assumed that she was shunned by the girls in her own class because she had been seemingly so proud of her bust. After last night though, Lily wondered if perhaps Megan hadn’t been a bit too candid about her rather uncanny sight. “Let’s ask her to sit with us.” Amelia said immediately. “Are you sure? She didn’t make you nervous last night?” Lily asked. “She did a bit but she also saved me from slinking off to the hospital wing to try and have essentially my entire head repaired. I just won’t shake hands with her over orange juice or something.” Amelia answered with a smile. “Hey Megan,” Lily called in her clear voice, “join us over here.” Megan looked surprised but pleased as she dropped down next to Lily and immediately plowed into breakfast. “Morning! I wondered if any of you would talk to me ever again.” She said this with a grin but realized that the girl was being completely sincere. “Why wouldn’t we?” Lily asked. “Oh, I don’t know. People get a bit funny about…well, you know.” Megan’s smile faltered slightly. “I probably shouldn’t have told you but it’s never seemed like something to hide.” “It isn’t anything to be ashamed of!” Amelia said kindly. “You could end up helping a lot of people.” “I’m not ashamed, I just find that most people are a bit put off by …” Megan looked at the book Lily had been reading. “Aren’t you just the devoted Potions mistress? That’s an advanced book and they’re dead hard to qualify for from what I hear.” Lily smiled by way of an answer. “What class do you have up first?” “Defense Against the Dark Arts.” Megan made a face. “Wouldn’t you know that I went and scored an outstanding on my OWL? Gave me a turn, never saw that coming. Hours of March at her most intense, don’t envy me do you?” “Actually, no…not all.” And the three girls laughed. “Where are the others?” Amelia suddenly asked. “Well, Sophie wanted to finish a letter to that boyfriend of hers,” Lily said with a knowing smile at Megan, “and strangely enough, Alice decided to eat breakfast with some of the Hufflepuff girls she knows.” “Ah it’s nice to know that even though I’m a bit terrifying, people do listen.” Megan laughed, then her eyes automatically switched to the doorway. “Look sharp you two, several very interesting lads have just entered.” Sure enough, the Marauders were moving swiftly towards them. Amelia looked obviously nervous and Megan patted her hand kindly. Almost involuntarily Amelia jerked her hand off of the table. “It’s all right you know, I can’t do it unless I’m trying…and sometimes not even then.” Megan seemed at ease with Amelia’s reaction. “Good morning.” James spoke first. “How are you?” “Oh fine as can be Mr. Potter, and yourself?” Megan answered with a light laugh. “I’ve got Divination up first this morning,” James said with a grin, “I’m thinking of drowning myself in the lake and then coming back as a ghost to see if old Hyperia managed to predict my untimely death. Gads, have you ever even heard of a subject that’s more useless than Divination?” “Certainly have not. It’s all complete and utter bunk.” Megan laughed and dropped a wink in Amelia’s direction. “Isn’t that right, Amelia?” “Amelia?” Remus Lupin asked in a startled voice. He had wondered who the gorgeous girl sitting next to Lily Potter was but he could barely believe his ears. She looked entirely infatuating. Remus flushed as he felt his pulse increase slightly. “Yes Remus,” Lily said, swiveling around to face the Marauders, “Amelia’s got a new haircut, what do you think of it?” “It looks…” Remus faltered as his face grew rather pink. “Like a million galleons, Strong your heartbreaker! Have you finally decided to steal my heart?” Sirius smoothly covered for his friend, his tone light and mocking. However, Strong really did look a treat. Bit tall for his tastes though. “Thanks,” Amelia blushed, “Megan did it actually.” “Ah, hidden talents there Hogan?” James asked and then took a good look at Megan. “Hey, something’s different about you too! What’s different?” Lily thought she would die of embarrassment, James Potter had immediately noticed the size of Megan’s breasts? Perhaps he hadn’t changed at all. “It’s your face!” James said sincerely. “Your face looks different. I mean, it looks quite pretty as always but….what have you done?” “Frankly I didn’t have time to put on any makeup this morning.” Megan blushed. “You didn’t eh?” Sirius said, staring intently at the girl before him. “Well here’s hoping you run short of time everyday. It suits you, perfectly.” His tone had begun as teasing and then suddenly become completely sincere. “Thank you.” Megan was startled but obviously pleased. “Come on, we don’t have time to stand here and stare all morning.” Peter’s voice sounded a bit whiny. “Right you are, see you later, lovely ladies.” Sirius said but as he walked away, Lily noticed that he looked directly back at Megan again. Remus trailed after his friends but did manage to take another peek at Amelia, Pettigrew didn’t spare any of them so much as a glance. Only Potter remained. “Lily?” James stooped down close to her. “See you at lunch?” “Yes, absolutely.” Lily answered with what she hoped was a calm voice. As the young man followed his friends, Megan caught Lily’s eye and then dissolved into giggles. After she had recovered she spoke rather tentatively, “So, what’s on for tonight?” Lily realized the girl was asking if she was welcome in their group, she hesitated, waiting to see what Amelia would say. “Studying, what else?” Amelia answered. “We’ll be in the common room if you feel like it.” “That’d be nice. Believe it or not, I’m having the devil of a time with Divination.” Megan said and all three girls laughed again. “Well, maybe we can help you unfog the mists of the future.” Amelia imitated Hyperia Storm’s voice quite well. “After we cut Lily’s hair that is.” “My hair?” Lily yelped. “Right. Absolutely, turn about is fair play Evans.” Amelia looked fit to burst with laughter. “Oh no.” Lily moaned and then turned to Megan, “Please tell me you’ll be there or I’m in for it.” “I’ll be glad to lend a wand.” Megan said with a smile. ::::::::::: “Good gravy.” James said as he piled into his fried tomatoes, sausages and eggs. “What did Strong do to herself? She looks great.” “Doesn’t she though?” Sirius said with admiration. “Hogan’s looking rather lovely herself. Did any of you notice anything different about her besides her face?” “What? No.” James answered honestly around a mouthful of eggs. “What’re you talking about Padfoot?” “She looks a bit…” He trailed off. “So you think I ought to ask her out Moony?” But Remus Lupin wasn’t listening he was still staring down the table towards Amelia. “Oh lord, now Moony’s going to moon over Strong for the foreseeable future.” Sirius seemed resigned to his fate. “What’s to become of us Peter? James is head over feet for Evans, Moony’s forgetting to eat because Strong’s turned into a Siren, it’s just the two of us mate.” Peter didn’t answer for a moment and then shrugged casually. “Bound to happen Padfoot, the Marauders have been infiltrated.” Peter’s smile was small and tight. “What about you? I can’t help but notice your eye keeps straying to that sixth year.” “Hogan? Well you have to admit she looks loads better without all that goo on her face.” Sirius shifted uncomfortably. “I take it you’re interested?” Peter asked. “Woormtail, I’d have to be blind not to be.” Sirius seemed confused. “Is it her mother or her father who’s the Muggle?” Peter asked as casually as he could. Perhaps Padfoot didn’t realize… “Father, I think, but why’d you ask? It’s not like it matters.” Sirius’s eyes were suddenly suspicious. Peter had just sounded almost exactly like Black’s father. “No, of course it doesn’t. Just trying to get to know a bit about the girls who are stealing away all my friends.” Peter answered quickly and Sirius seemed to be satisfied.

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