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"James, it's time to let go." Remus reached over the seat and pulled James' hands one by one of the arm rests.

"Dude," Sirius remarked, his voice laced with hysterics. "You left impressions in the leather."

"Leave him alone guys," Lily remarked, pushing her way past the boys to help James out of his seat. "It was his first flight. Besides," she turned to Sirius, her face somehow cold yet joking. "You didn't do much better."

Sirius's eyes hardened and he turned away with his arms crossed. "I don't know what you're talking about."

"Let me remind you," Lily brushed by him, James clinging to her arm for support. "You cried like a baby." One of the stewardesses giggled.

Sirius smoothed back his hair. "That's not true." He looked nervous, and unaware to him, his face was marked with pale salt lines.

"Come on guys!" Lily called from the front of the plane. "Let's go."


James Potter stared out the window of the back seat of a white 1985 BMW. "Stupid American cars," he grumbled.

"Stop complaining, James." Sirius said, matter-of-factly, turning back in his seat. "At least it moves."

Lily gave clicked her tongue and gave a quick glare to Sirius. "There is nothing wrong with this car." She looked back over the wheel. "It runs just fine."

"That's why it feels like it's going to fall to pieces any moment now?" James remarked, still staring out the window. His hands clutched his jeans like that might save him from an untimely death.

Lily's tongue clicked again. "It's the road. It's not the best. There is nothing wrong with this car." She repeated for probably the tenth time.

Remus sighed. "Will you guys stop? You're ticking her off and I'd rather not deal with a pissed of Lily in the middle of no where with no sense of how to get back to England... or even the airport for that matter."

Sirius turned around again and rolled his eyes. "We know magic, duh."

"Sirius, turn around and knock it off," Lily snapped. "You know we aren't supposed to do magic on this trip."

"But what you didn't know, Lils," He smiled. "Is that the Ministry can't do a damn thing about it here. They also have know way of knowing."

"But the American Ministry can." She remarked coldly, not taking her eyes off the road.

"What American Ministry?" James piped in. "I've never heard of them."

Lily opened her mouth to speak, but said nothing.

"Hey, Lily, I think you caught that fly that's been buzzing around in here. Thank you," Sirius laughed.

"Shut up, air-head!" She smacked him with the map, then let it drop into his lap. "Find Oakland for me."

"Oakland? What kind of name is Oakland?" He snorted.

"It's the name of the town in which we are staying." Remus answered before Lily could. "Now, I suggest you find it before she hits you with the emergency break. She's fuming."

Sirius pouted. "Why don't I drive and you look for Oakland?" He shot puppy eyes to Lily.

"I think not," She responded coldly. "Do you even have a license?"


"And do you even know how to drive an American car?"

"Um..." He said again. "Well I could learn! This is a perfect opportunity to learn!"

WHACK! Lily smacked him with the map again. "Shut-up and find the town. Now!" Sirius reluctantly did what he was told.

James sighed. "I don't know how Peter sleeps through this." Peter, who was wedged in the backseat between Remus and James, had been sleeping for the past hour, straight through all of Lily and Sirius' bickering.

Remus shrugged. "You know Peter, he can sleep through anything."


Sirius threw his suitcase onto a twin bed with green and white sheets and sighed. James set his down at the end of the other bed and sat down.

"We should go exploring, mate!" Sirius exclaimed, crossing the room and throwing upon the curtains to gaze out the window.

"And see what?" James lay back on the dressed up mattress. "According to you, there is nothing in this town."

"And there isn't." He turned back to face his friend, leaning against the windowsill. "But that doesn't mean we shouldn't at least look. And who knows, maybe there are some good looking chicks way out here." He shrugged.

"Is that really all you care about?"

"No, I care about many other things." He laughed, full and loud. "Like food, who won the Quidditch Cup, and what sort of mischief we are going to cause Snape that week."

James sighed and rolled over to lie on his stomach. "You're pathetic."

"Me? I'm not the one who's been chasing after the same girl for the past six years and has gotten turned down ever times he's asked."

"No." He sat up and glared across the room at Sirius. His voice was violent. "You are the one who could get the girl, gets the girl, then decides a day later that she isn't good enough for you so you go get another. You make me sick."

Sirius laughs like James just said the best joke he's ever heard. "You're a mess, mate." He walks over to the door and pulls it open. Half way out he turns. "Let me know when you've decided to be human like the rest of us, kay?" He shut the door with a loud click, much like the ones Lily makes when she's angry.


James groaned and rolled over. The sun was shining threw the window, lighting up the room like diamonds on glass. Looking around, he noticed that the room was filled with quite a lot of glass; mirrors, lamps, glass table tops, picture frames... His eyes fell on the bed across from him, where Sirius' luggage still sat untouched. He hadn't come back yet. It had to have been hours. He looked at the clock on the side table; 3:00pm it read. Stretching, he sat up. His shoes were still on and he was quite stiff from not moving for three hours.

He looked out the window and saw houses, grass, and roads that seemed to be quite dusty. It looked like a quite little town. A few small children played in a sprinkler across the street, and James watched them with a smile. He sighed, which he seemed to be doing a lot lately, and turned on his heels. He walked out of the room, down the stairs, and out the front door of the inn. There may be nothing in the town, but he might as well see nothing. He stuffed his hands in his worn out jeans and walked down the sidewalk, looking carefully at everything as he passed.

He had almost made it to the other side of town, which not to his surprise was less then half a mile from the inn. He heard music and turned. It seemed to be coming from the General Store across the street. The windows were open, so the curtains blew out into the yard, as well as the quiet drifting melody of the song. He crossed the street without much worry about cars; he'd only seen one and it was parked and looked like it had never been driven. He figured people didn't leave town much.

As he approached the door, a new song started. It was a completely different style; more club like then piano. The singer's voice was female; beautiful and seductive.

"Loosen up my buttons baby, uh huh, but you keep runnin'. Sayin' what you're gonna do to me, uh huh, but I ain't seen nothing."

James startled. This voice was completely different. It was still female and beautiful, but more powerful in a more fluent way. It was like a trumpet vs a violin. And the violin won. The music stopped, but he still heard the faint sound of the voice, as though the person holding it had walked away.

He pushed open the door and walked inside. It was cool, but not cold; a perfect medium. He looked around and saw a few tables and chairs, but no one was there. There were an assortment of candies and other goods on shelves on two walls, and a bar on the largest. A girl with chopped, layered hair stood behind it. She must have been the source of the second voice. He walked over to the bar and took a seat. The chair scratched across the floor, alerting the girl of his presence. She whirled around to face him, looking slightly surprised, tugging ear-buds out of her ear by the cord.

"Hi thur, sir." She said with a smile. She had a strong country accent, but a kind voice. Blue eyes sparkled under long lashes. "Can I help ya wit' anythin'?"

He looked at her blankly, thrown off by her tongue. "What do you have?" he asked, noting how out of place his voice sounded.

"You Bri'ish, sir?"

"Yeah," he nodded. "Is it that obvious?"

"Only when da on'y accent ya ever hear is the same, yes." She smiled softly. "Can I ge' you anythin'?" she added, turning her back on him to put a glass up on a wooden shelf.

"Umm, do you have Butter beer?" He was unsure of what exactly they would have in America. He'd never been.

"Bu'er wha'?" Her eyes sparkled with mild mixture of confusion and amusement. "Neva-mind. Wha' about a Sprite?"

"What's that?"

She giggled and went behind a door, her lavender floral dress whisking along behind her. James shut his eyes and recalled an image of her, to analyze. "Cute," he smiled.

"That's a Sprite." James opened his eyes and saw a green can on the bar in front of him. A sizzling, popping noise came from within. Leaning over, he sniffed it. Sneezing viciously and making a wretched face when the bubbles escaped up his nose. The girl laughed again and he looked up. "Yur supposed to drink it silly." Her blue eyes blazed with humor. "Like this."

She picked up the can with her right hand, and held his face still with her left. He shivered, making himself pretend that it was because the tiny silver ring on her middle finger was cold. Her long nails brushed his skin in a pleasurable way, and he willed to keep his eyes open, staring into hers. Her lips were parted slightly, and his gaze shifted to them. He felt a growing longing for the girl, that try as he might to shove it away. Was just becoming more and more a pain in the pants. The lip of the can tapped his, willing him to open his mouth. He did so, and she tipped the can up and spilt the cold bubbly liquid into his mouth. He closed his lips and for a second, let the bubbles play on his tongue; the bittersweet taste of the drink tickle the buds. He swallowed. Her lips formed a grin.

"Did ya like it?"

He forced a smile, sticking his tongue through closed lips playfully. "It was OK," he shrugged.

She laughed, a laugh like chimes. "It's a desired taste."

"So, what's your name?" he asked, snapping up opportunity.


"Emily..." He repeated to himself. He grinned despite himself, glancing up at her eyes. She was leaning on the bar, elbows on the wood and chin her hands. Her head was cocked slightly to the right as she stared back at him. It seemed that she was always smiling. It fit her.

James sighed pleased. Looks like this trip is going to be more enjoyable then I thought. He smiled, suddenly looking forward to the next two weeks.

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