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Chapter Two


Friends, Wheezes, and Copied Essays






Pushing the trolley with his and Albus’s trunks, James looked dubiously around to make sure no Muggles were paying attention to him before he strolled nonchalantly towards the barrier between platforms nine and ten at Kings Cross Station. Moving effortlessly through the wall, James appeared on the other side, a deep relief washing over him at the sight of the scarlet steam engine of the Hogwarts express. Within moments, Albus was at his side, looking around, holding Zulu’s cage in one hand, Barnaby’s in the other.

As the two boys had gotten older, people were always surprised by how they continued to look more and more alike. In fact, sometimes, the only thing that let people know that the two boys weren’t identical twins was Albus’s bright green eyes. Giving his brother an amused look, James set off across the platform, eyes peeled for the familiar faces of his uncle, aunt and cousins. He didn’t really want to see them, in fact, he wanted to go to find his friends straight away, but he knew his parents would be disappointed if James didn’t at least say hello.

Finally seeing the tell tale bushy hair of his aunt Hermione, and the bright red hair that so many of his cousins, not to mention his sister, had inherited from his uncles and mother, he pushed the trolley towards them, smiling broadly.

“James, Albus,” Rose called cheerfully, waving enthusiastically. Albus waved and they came to a halt in front of the family.

“Hey, Ron!” their father called cheerfully, pushing the trolley with Lily’s trunk on it. Rose and Hugo, it seemed, had already loaded their trunks onto the train, as there was no luggage to be seen.

As their parents began chatting happily, Albus smirked at Rose and accepted her offer to help him load his trunk onto the train. James grabbed the end of his own trunk and hauled it from the trolley, dragging it to the train and looking up and down the corridor.

“JAY!”

James was almost knocked over as a pair of arms were flung around his neck and his face was covered in long red hair. James spat the hair from his mouth and wrapped his arms happily around the girl currently trying to strangle him.

“Alright, Rox?” he asked, finally released from her grip.

“Yeah, course,” she said cheerfully, flipping her hair over her shoulder and looking past him out of the train door. “Come on, we’ve got a compartment!”

James followed Roxanne down the corridor, finally pushing his trunk through the sliding door of one of the compartments in the middle of the train. With a brief wave to the twins, James returned down the train and climbed back down onto the platform. After a tight hug from his mother, a hug and a ruffle of hair from his father, and being told to be safe from both, James said goodbye, collected Barnaby, and returned to the compartment, falling into a seat beside Lorcan Scamander.

“You alright?” Lorcan asked with a sly grin. It seemed, that over the summer, Lorcan had decided that he still looked too much like his twin, and had shaved off most of his hair, leaving it incredibly short, and almost looking like fur covering his head.

“Yeah, relieved!” James answered with a broad grin, propping his feet up on the chair opposite him. “Lil’s been driving me nuts all summer.”

“At least you don’t have a twin,” Lysander said with a smug grin, running his hand through his hair.

James and Roxanne laughed. The only two people James knew who fought more than he and Lily did, were Lysander and Lorcan Scamander. It was no surprise that Lysander had been sorted into Ravenclaw, and Lorcan into Slytherin. Sometimes, James wondered how the two could stand to be around each other as much as they were, seeing as each was constantly complaining about the other.

So used to the journey, the four of them hardly noticed as the train pulled out of the station and began the long trip towards Hogwarts. Out in the corridor, students of all ages hurried back and forth past the door, some calling to their friends, others looking for a place to sit, first years looking around in terror at all the older students.

“Where’s Fred?” James asked Roxanne, who shrugged.

“Off making trouble, I suppose!” she said absently, holding a section of her hair and picking at it. Lorcan laughed loudly.

“You say that as if you’re little miss perfect, Rox,” he said through his laughter. “Which, on that note…”

Raising an eyebrow, he glanced with an amused look at James, who instantly sat up straighter.

“Ooh! Yes! Provisions!”

With a devilish grin, Roxanne rolled her eyes and got up from her seat, climbing onto it and opening her trunk while it was still in the luggage rack. Pulling out three bags, she threw one to Lorcan, one to Lysander, and one to James.

“We’re not even at school yet, and you’re already thinking about skiving classes?” Roxanne asked as she closed her trunk and fell with a thump back into her seat.

“Yes!” Lorcan and James answered in unison. Lysander, however, merely shrugged and blushed a little.

James opened his bag and rummaged his hand in, filtering the assortment of goodies through his fingers. Pulling out what looked like a button attached to a small brick, James held it up dubiously.

“Rox, what exactly is this?” he asked with a raised eyebrow.

“Dad’s newest product,” Roxanne answered proudly. “You better be grateful for that, took me two days to smuggle those from the house.”

“You live above the shop, Rox, what could be that hard?” Lorcan asked silkily.

Roxanne gave Lorcan an annoyed but playful glance.

“Lor, you do realise my mother searches my trunk about a million times before she actually lets me out of the house. I think she’s catching on to the fact you two are a bad influence!” she explained.

“Two?” Lysander asked. “There are three of us.”

Lorcan, James, and Roxanne shared amused glances.

“Ly, you’re hardly a bad influence,” Lorcan explained. “In fact, I do believe you’re that little angel that sits on our shoulder and tells us that we should be behave.”

Lysander blushed furiously, closing his latest edition of the Quibbler in his lap.

“I am not!” he answered.

More amused glances were exchanged.

“Ly,” Roxanne said lovingly, reaching over and curling her arm around Lysander’s shoulders. “How much of your summer homework is done?”

“All of it…” Lysander answered, wondering where the conversation was leading.

“Lor,” Roxanne continued, “Jay?”

“None,” they answered in unison.

“Ly, how much of your books have you read so far?”

“All of them…”

“Lor,” Roxanne asked. “Jay?”

“None,” they answered in unison.

“Ly…”

“Alright, alright!” Lysander said quickly. “I get your point.”

Roxanne grinned broadly and slid her arm from Lysander’s shoulders, ruffling his hair as she did so.

“Don’t worry, Ly, it’s why we love you,”

“No it’s not, and we don’t,” Lorcan answered, sticking his tongue out at his twin. With a sly glance at James, James had to look out the window to stop the laughter threatening to burst from his lips. Actually, that was one of the reasons they definitely did love Lysander, and why they both always made sure to buy him extra nice Christmas gifts.

“So, what did you guys do over the summer?” Roxanne asked after a few minutes of silence.

“Played Quidditch,” Lorcan and James answered simultaneously. Lysander rolled his eyes.

“We went with mum and dad to Egypt,” Lysander said excitedly. Lorcan however, groaned.

“Here we go again,” he muttered under his breath before shifting himself down in his seat and closing his eyes.

“Yeah, I remember James saying in his letter that you’d gone off for two weeks,” Roxanne answered, ignoring Lorcan’s moodiness at the subject. “Did you have fun?”

“Oh, it was fascinating!” Lysander answered enthusiastically, looking down at the magazine in his lap and beginning to flick through the pages. Opening it at a double page article, he handed it over to Roxanne, who gave Lorcan a knowing glance. So, this was why Lorcan had hated the trip, James thought.

James had known his three best friends all his life. Seeing as Roxanne was his cousin it wasn’t exactly surprising, but Lorcan and Lysander, well, their mother was one of his parent’s best friends… Plus, they didn’t live too far from the Potter house.

However, it was only during their first year at Hogwarts, when James made a joke about Pheeselbub Whicknaks, or something just as ridiculous, that he learned that in fact, Lorcan absolutely hated the Quibbler. James had been shocked, but could see where Lorcan was coming from. Apart from being good for a laugh, the Quibbler wasn’t seen as a proper magazine, and apparently, to Lorcan, people weren’t laughing at the Quibbler, they were laughing at the people who wrote it… his parents.

The Quibbler was usually the source of Lysander and Lorcan’s more serious arguments. Most of the time, the two just wound each other up with jibes and digs, but sometimes they would have an all out row and one, if not both, would storm off, usually leaving Roxanne and James twiddling their thumbs. In fact, for the first half of his first year, James thought Lorcan really hated his brother. That was until James and Roxanne saw Lorcan walk around a corner on the second floor to find a fifth year making fun of Lysander and pushing him. Without missing a beat, Lorcan stormed over and punched the boy in the nose. Apparently, no one was allowed to make fun of Lysander except for Lorcan… and now Roxanne and James.

“Excuse me!” James said, waving his hand in front of Roxanne and Lysander, who, if prior experience was anything to go by, were about to launch into a full scale discussion about some imaginary creature.

“What?” Roxanne asked, looking up.

From the seat next to him, James picked up the miniature brick he’d found in his bag of Weasley Wizard Wheezes goods.

“You’ve still not told us what this is!” James exclaimed, waiting it frantically.

“Oh, you press the button and drop it, and it creates a temporary brick wall. Means that if you’re on the run from a teacher, you can drop that, and they’ll not be able to get through,” Roxanne explained distractedly before turning back to the Quibbler.

James looked in awe at the small brick in his hand, and it seemed Lorcan had finally decided that paying attention was a good idea, as he also stared at it with a mischievous glint in his eye.

It wasn’t surprising that Roxanne became one of James and Lorcan’s best friends. As George Weasley’s daughter, she had an innate talent for trouble making, and living above Weasley Wizard Wheezes, she had unlimited access to the perfect prank accessories. That was, if she could get them past her mother, which, after three years at Hogwarts, she’d gotten down to an art… Of course, James’s help in creating a secret compartment in her trunk like Teddy had made in his was definitely helpful as well.

Most of the journey up to the castle passed without incident. Of course, numerous Weasley cousins stopped in and said hello, but none stayed long, each getting back to their own friends. Every time the compartment door opened, however, and James saw red hair, he let out a sigh of relief that it wasn’t Lily. He did love his sister, but having her far away when he was with his friends was always preferable.

As the train pulled into Hogsmeade station, James, Roxanne, and the twins, all dressed in their Hogwarts robes, left their things in the compartment to be collected and traipsed out into the corridor. With Lysander and Roxanne in front of him, James felt a sharp prod in his back.

“Ow, you git, what was that…” James stopped as he turned around and saw Lorcan holding out a set of parchments, all rolled up together. With a sly grin, James accepted them and shoved them into his pocket.

“What was that?” Lysander asked, eyeing James and his brother suspiciously.

“It was a proper magazine,” Lorcan answered with a nonchalant shrug. Lysander scowled and stalked away through the crowd. Roxanne, having seen some of her Hufflepuff friends, joined them and headed away as well, leaving Lorcan and James surrounded by excitable first years.

“Think he’s going to catch on?” James asked nervously, glancing at Lorcan as he climbed down onto the platform.

“That every holiday I steal and copy his essays and then give you a copy so we both get good grades?” Lorcan asked quietly, giving a first year who’d bumped into him a deathly glare that had the small boy running in the other direction. “Nah!”

“What if he does though?” James asked. “We’d get in a lot of trouble.”

“Yeah, and if the teachers found out who spiked Professor Pennington’s pumpkin juice with love potion in our second year, we’d also be in a lot of trouble,” Lorcan answered, smirking broadly. “Ly’s clueless. Plus, it’s not like we do it all the time. Just the holidays so that we can actually have a good time. Ly loves doing his essays, weird git, he’s perfectly happy.”

James nodded. “S’pose you’re right,” he answered before joining the throng of people heading towards the carriages so they could make their way to the castle.

 





Author's Note:
Hello again everyone! Hope you're all enjoying the fic. Usual request applies. Please review. How I love the feedback.

CheleCooke

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