“Come on, Lily, you’re going to miss breakfast!” Alice rushed. Lily groaned and rolled over, looking out the window. It was very bright outside, and Lily pulled her covers over her head. She had felt very guilty towards Alice ever since she, Snape and the Marauders had decided to stop Voldemort from going back in time. They had all agreed that, since there were already too many people involved, Alice and Frank should be left out. Although Lily saw why this had to be, she felt bad about doing something behind Alice’s back. “Did you even hear me?” “Alice, it’s Saturday! I don’t even want breakfast!” Lily groaned. Alice pulled the covers from Lily’s head, smirking at her friend’s disgruntlement. “Don’t you remember what Dumbledore said, silly? He said that everybody should be present for today’s breakfast, as he had a special announcement he wanted to make. Aren’t you even curious?” “I dunno. Yeah, I guess. Alright, I’ll come,” Lily said, getting out of bed. Alice grinned knowingly. “That’s what I thought; I’m going on down, maybe I can catch a seat next to Frank. See you downstairs!” and with that Alice ran down the steps. Lily smiled, shaking her head. But then stopped, thinking. What did Dumbledore want to tell them? She couldn’t lie to herself, she was extremely curious. Walking over to her dresser, she put on some jeans and a sweater. She looked in the mirror, scrutinizing her reflection. Running a brush through her hair a couple of times was good enough, she decided, and then she followed Alice down to breakfast. The Great Hall was crowded and much noisier than usual. People bent their heads together, looking anxiously up at Dumbledore, waiting for him to stand up and say something. “Hey! Lily, over here!” She turned her head to see James standing on one of the chairs, waving his arms frantically. She grinned. Ever since their decision to break into the Ministry, James and Lily had been closer than ever. They shared everything with each other, no matter what it was, and had the grandest time talking to each other. Taking a deep, satisfied smile, she went to sit in the seat he had saved her. “Sleep well?” James asked. “Not too good, actually. Dunno why, and you?” Lily replied, buttering some toast. James shrugged. “So-so, I kept thinking of you all night,” James said, winking and making Lily blush. Sirius rolled his eyes. “What do you think Dumbledore’s going to announce?” asked Frank who was, Lily noticed with a grin, seated next to a delighted Alice. “Well,” Sirius said shrugging, “I have been expecting him to announce me the most dashing young man Hogwarts has ever seen, I suppose that’s it.” Remus laughed. Peter came up just then, looking exhausted, and sat down heavily. “Where were you last night Peter? I didn’t see you come in,” Remus remarked, noticing the heavy shadows under Peter’s pale eyes. Peter jumped and looked around. “I forgot the password, no don’t laugh, it was a hard one this time, and nobody came through the portrait hole until about ten!” Peter said indignantly. James snorted. “Yeah, you're right, that password was a real bear to remember,” James said sarcastically. “It was a whole three syllables, ‘Cu-cum-ber.’” James said this slowly as if for a two year old. Everybody laughed, Peter blushing madly. “Ahem!” said Dumbledore. The entire room got deadly quiet. James grinned at Lily, excited. “I hope you all had a good breakfast?” There were some murmurs of ‘yes’ but Lily thought she distinctly heard some ‘no’s from the Slytherin table. She glared at them, and then turned her attention back to Dumbledore. “Now, I’m not sure if any of you have heard or not, but the Huddersfield Hurricanes Quidditch team had a very bad incident with another team during a very intense game. One man from the opposite team was killed. Two players from the Hurricanes were permanently injured, and one scared bad enough that they resigned, making three open spots. They are looking for a new Seeker, a new Keeper, and a new Chaser.” The hall was filled with excitement. James and Lily’s eyes lit up. James, who played Chaser and Lily, who played Seeker, were both very good. They grinned at each other, and Lily could have sworn that Dumbledore had just winked at her. “There is, however, an age limit, and I’m quite sure that you will all understand the reason. No person under the age of 16 will be allowed to try-out,” Dumbledore’s last words were met with a loud uproar of disappointment. Lily and James, however, nearly jumped into the air, they were JUST old enough. Lily was so excited, she hugged James tightly. James sat dumb-struck for a moment, and then hugged her back. “Now, as for those 16 and older: The try-outs will be held on Tuesday, so I suggest you start training hard. Your classes for that day will be canceled, and a train will take you all to the necessary place, where they will begin promptly in the morning. I suggest you get plenty of sleep the day before. The train will bring you back to Hogwarts that same day,” there were some groans, and Dumbledore grinned, “as we wouldn’t want you to miss an opportunity to do homework! “Now, the Captain is a very strict woman, and will not be trifled with, so no fooling around. Her name is Fran Lochlan, and she is very strict. If you manage to get on her team, you must be prepared to do your best and give it your all. Needless to say, this is a once in a life time opportunity, I suggest you take it.” Dumbledore sat back down, and continued eating his breakfast. If Lily had thought it loud when she had first come down, she was sadly mistaken. Some people boasted loudly of how they, surely, would get on the team. Other complained even louder of how they weren’t old enough. Lily and James sat, already planning how to work this around their plans to stop Voldemort. “We will have to postpone our Ministry break-in until after the try-outs,” James said. Lily nodded. “Do you think you’ll be able to keep Riddle busy until after Tuesday?” Remus asked, looking at James uncertainly. “Don’t worry about that, I’ve gotten it taken care of. He thinks that Dumbledore doesn’t have his yet, and is ordering it from the Ministry. That buys a couple of days at least,” James explained. “He actually believed that?” Remus said, frowning. “Well, I figured if he didn’t believe me, I’d be dead, so…” “Stop it James, don’t joke about that,” Lily said, frowning. James grinned, but nodded obediently. “Would you look at that,” remarked Frank, shaking his head. “Somebody has tamed our James.” Everybody laughed, even Lily. Peter looked around awkwardly, apparently not understanding. The next few days were spent, not relaxing and playing chess or Exploding Snap like they normally would, but outside on the grounds. Sirius, Remus and Peter watched as Lily and James trained from dawn until very late at night. Sirius shook his head, smiling. “I really hope they make it, you know?” Sirius said. Remus looked up from the book he was reading, and looked up at them, flying around and practicing catching golf balls and practice Quaffles. Remus grinned. “I really think they will make it, look at them. They’re excellent.” “Amazing,” Peter said, practically drooling with awe. Sirius snorted at Peter’s enthusiasm. “Why aren’t you trying out, Sirius?” “Me? No way! And risk my good looks?” Sirius said smugly. “Right, what’s the real reason?” asked Remus. Sirius smiled. “You know me too well, mate. No, I dunno, It’s just kind of dumb, I’d rather be out their doing something to stop people like my parents from taking over. It’d be cool to be an Auror,” Sirius admitted. “They would never let me be an Auror,” Remus said sadly. Sirius felt very bad for him. “Remus, you never know. They say they are working on a cure, if it turns out, you could be a werewolf-free man!” “Right, like that will ever happen,” Remus said depressed. Sirius didn’t know what to say. He knew nothing could make Remus feel better about his being a werewolf, and throwing false hopes in his direction definitely wasn’t a good idea. He resigned himself to watching James and Lily. ~~ “Come on James, we need to hurry! They are loading the train!” Lily yelled excitedly, grabbing James’ hand and dragging him away from the breakfast table. “Do you have your broom? Everything? Alright, let’s go!” James muttered something through his toast, but Lily was too excited to listen. The sixth and seventh years bustled around, checking and double-checking that they had all of their stuff. It’s too early to play Quidditch, thought James, and he allowed Lily to drag him into the train. “Move along now, move along!” came a rough voice. Lily and James turned to see Hagrid. They waved. “I suppose Hagrid will be escorting us to the try-outs,” James said delightedly. He always got on really well with Hagrid, their new game-keeper. “Come on, maybe we can get a compartment to ourselves.” Lily and James were squashed by the huge crowd. James had no idea there were this many sixth and seventh years in Hogwarts! James held tightly to Lily’s hand, keeping her close to his side. James, who was much taller than Lily, ended up having to shove many people out of the way so they wouldn’t trample her. “Are we getting closer?” Lily asked, standing on tip-toe, and trying to see over the sea of people. James nodded, and they managed to get onto the train. The rushing didn’t stop thre, however, as it was equally crowded in the train. James dragged Lily to a compartment, and they toppled in. Lily dropped down onto a seat ,out of breath. “What a mess!” he said. She nodded, leaning back against the seat. “I wonder how much smaller this train is than the Hogwarts Express,” James said. Lily shrugged, now taking her broom off her shoulder and standing on tip-toe to get it into the compartment. It was just above her reach. James watched her struggle for a couple of minutes, smiling to himself. Lily turned around haughtily. “Are you going to help me or not?” she asked very red in the face. James grinned and bowed. “Of course, milady,” he said, reaching the compartment easily. “It’s higher than the other train,” Lily muttered. James made a very loud cough that sounded very much like ‘shorty.’ Lily turned on her heel, and then started laughing. “You’re wretched,” she muttered, still laughing. “Pure evil.” “I wonder how long it will take to get to this place,” said James sitting down. “No idea, ask the drivers, they’ll know,” Lily suggested. James nodded. “Yeah, I’ll be back in a minute. Don’t miss me too much,” and with a wink, he left. Lily smiled to herself. James…to think, a year ago, if you had mentioned his name in her presence she would have thought you mad. Now she was mad; madly in love. Then the compartment door slid open. “Hello, Lily,” came a smooth voice. Lily turned to see Snape. She almost cringed. “What do you want?” she said, sharply. “Can’t a friend simply want to talk?” Snape said innocently. “Oh, sure, Snape. But you’re not a friend, so it doesn’t really work.” “I could be your friend, you just need to get to know me,” Snape said, moving towards her. “Stay away from me Snape,” Lily said, backing up against the wall. Snape started to move forward but was stopped by a hand that came to rest roughly on his shoulder. James was standing behind him. “Is there something you came to say, Snape?” James said, moving to stand beside Lily. “I…yes I wanted to make sure you hadn’t forgotten our deal?” Snape said, greasily. “Nope, we haven’t,” Lily said shortly. “Goodbye, Severus.” Lily waved sweetly. Snape turned to leave, but then, seeming to get his nerve back, he turned around. “Why on earth should I listen to you anyways? You’re just a filthy, disgusting little devil-headed Mudblood, not worthy of…” James moved forward, but Lily beat him to it. “You evil, disgusting, nasty little disgrace to worms everywhere!” Lily screamed at him, she balled her hand into a fist and slammed it right into Snape’s deserving face. He flew back into the compartment door. James walked up and turned the latch, causing Snape to fall into the hallway. Lily looked at James, slightly surprised. “Nice hit,” James said, smiling. “Well, you always get to hit ‘em. It was my turn,” she said simply. James laughed and put his arm around her, shaking his head. “Be careful or I’ll have to start protecting Snape from you!” James said. “That’ll be the day,” Lily said. “How much longer until we get there?” “About an hour,” James said. Lily groaned. “Hey, at least you can spend more time with me now!” “Oh, goody!” Lily said sarcastically. “That hurt Lily, that hurt me real deep,” James said, hanging his head in mock hurt. “Oh, I’m sorry. I’ll let you beat me in a game of Gobstones, will that make you feel better?” Lily said, feigning pity. James pouted even more. “Alright, two games.” James grinned, and they sat down together, playing Gobstones and making up for the five years of a lost friendship.
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