Still the seventies By the time night fell each of the groups had found someone but none of them had found Fred and George. None of them really cared very much. Shivering from the cold Lee, Hermione and Peter came back inside meeting up with a serene looking Ron. “Hey Ron!” Hermione smiled a tad nervously but Ron seemed to have forgotten that they had ever argued, for some reason he seemed very happy. “Any luck?” Lee asked grudgingly assuming he had found his no good, jerk brothers. Ron looked startled. “What? Oh…er…no, but I did meet this really nice guy, he was quite shy but friendly enough once we got talking.” Noticing Peter he added. “I see you made a friend too.” Hermione and Lee nodded. Together they made their way upstairs towards the common room. **** Ginny stood tapping her pointy shoes while Harry stood rapt, staring at James and Sirius who had been getting increasingly twitchy as the evening wore on. Every so often one of them would glare suspiciously at Harry wondering why he was gawping at them. To pass the time Ginny checked out the crazy fashions. Everyone was in muggle dress because it was Christmas holidays. Sirius was managing to look very hot despite his gold faded hippy jeans and tie died t-shirt, her eyes lingered on him for a while before moving on, she didn’t want to gape. Not that Sirius minded her looking. James had his back to Ginny but he appeared to be wearing a shell suit. Ginny shuddered and continued to let her gaze travel the room. **** “Well?” James spat the word at Sirius who pretended not to understand. “Well what?” “Is that weirdo kid still gaping?” Sirius nodded distractedly, picking at the arm of his chair. James was not in a good mood. He liked attention but this was just a bit too creepy. Now if the weirdo boy had been a hot girl…Turning to glare at the kid again his gaze lingered on the red haired girl next to him but not for long, he was distracted by the crowd of people scrambling through the portrait hole. *** The others had been facing the same problem as Ginny and Harry in that they had no way of getting into the common room. Lucky for them they didn’t have to wait long. Soon two authoritative looking girls stalked up deep in gossip. “So then he says that he can’t see me coz he’s meeting his wife!” The other girl looked scandalised. “Oh no, Win, he chose his wife over you!” “I know! God Nell, I mean am I that soft? so I said fine go see her but don’t expect to see me again! Conservative” The two girls entered the common room laughing leaving Hermione and the others to follow in their wake. “His wife?” Mouthed Lee looking both sickened and impressed. Ignoring him the others clambered inside. **** The common was rapidly filling with strangers. Sirius watched as weirdo kid and his sparkly shoed friend was joined by two boys, a girl and…Peter? Seeing Sirius and James, Peter waved and ushered his new friends over to meet them. “Hey Sirius, James this is Hermione and Lee!” Both boys managed to summon polite smiles to their faces. “And…?” Peter didn’t seem to follow Sirius’ thought but Hermione did. “These are our other friends Ron, Ginny and Harry, we are erm exchange students from somewhere else.” She finished lamely. Is it America?' asked Sirius, 'because we get a lot of people from there.' James, however was staring transfixed at Ginny’s feet. An awkward silence followed in which no one knew what to do. Suddenly Sirius leaped up and ran upstairs. The silence became more awkward. Harry continued to stare at James, James continued to stare at Ginny’s feet. Sirius reappeared carrying a large plastic bag and a blindfold. “Great now we have enough people to do a proper taste test!” James smiled gently at his friends enthusiasm. Everyone else looked perplexed. Sirius pulled a giant tube of Smarties (like M ‘n’ M’s but so much better) from the bag. Suddenly Hermione and Harry understood. “Who wants to go first?” Hermione shrugged indicating that she would. And so each of them in turn sampled the sweets with the blindfold on. Finally when everyone had gone Sirius cheerfully brandished his chart. “HA! I knew it, the lying scum, the orange ones do taste of orange!” *** The next day James sat by the fire with Sirius and Peter discussing the new arrivals. “They seem ok. A bit weird but ok…except that Harry kid. God is he annoying the little idiot kept staring at me and man does he like the sound of his own voice.” The others nodded not agreeing but pretending to listen. Peter was thinking of his new friends Hermione and Lee and it filled him with a warm glow. Sirius was gazing dazedly passed James’ shoulder wondering if tie-dye was perhaps a bit naff after all. Remus was sitting just a bit aside from the group in a dazzling white suite that matched his girlfriend Marlene’s, recently he seemed to be less keen on her and just now they appeared to be bickering , tuning in he realised it was about trade practises in multi-national companies, Sirius tuned out again. Soon Ginny and Lee joined them saying the others had gone to try and find Fred and George. “Who?” Sirius questioned while James once again became entranced by Ginny’s feet. “My brothers, red haired twins…” “Real jerks.” “Lee!” “Well they are.” “Yeah they are jerks.” Interrupted Sirius “ They knocked me over for like no reason.” “Sorry…er..you don’t know where they are do you?” Ginny asked hopefully but Sirius shook his head. Silence followed. Suddenly James forced his gaze to Ginny’s face with an expression of urgent concern. “Do you realise how ugly your shoes are?” “What?” She shrieked indignantly “I happen to like them very much and they are the height of cool where we come from so there, and besides who are you to criticise shell suite boy!” Ginny leaped to her feet pointy stilettos flashing in the sun but Sirius pulled her down again. “Calm down he was only joking weren’t you prongs?” “No.” Ginny made an angry growling noise but James continued “They are the ugliest shoes I have ever seen. In fact I would go as far as to hazard a guess that they are the ugliest shoes in existence.” Ginny slapped him very hard, scrambling to escape from Sirius and Lee who had moved to hold her back. They were finding it extremely difficult. She continued to shout with rage and cause a scene. James much to his friends annoyance was still in hysterics about the ugly shoes but Ginny soon wiped the smile off his face. “Yeah well…” She hissed in a spiteful whisper. “Guess what shell suite boy, we’re not exchange students at all we’re from the future and Harry the weirdo is your one and only son.” *** James did not take the news well. After Ginny stalked off to find Hermione, after Lee and Peter traipsed after her and after Remus and Marlene made a strategic retreat, James sat in stunned silence too upset to talk to even Sirius. Putting a comforting arm round his friend Sirius tried to think of something he could say that would possibly make this all right. “At least on the bright side this means you have sex at least once” James continued to stare blankly ahead. Sirius sat silently with him. The night progressed around them. Darkness fell like a curtain, the stars shone brightly and James knew that nothing would ever be alright again.
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