The Day School Reopens, King's Cross Station
Sirius was worried. Very worried. Beside him, his best mate was chattering enthusiastically non-stop, a sure sign he was nervous. Nervous but still very much in seventh heaven, blissfully unsuspecting that he was soon to fall back to earth with a bump. Sirius hoped the bump wouldn't hurt too much.
Sirius had spent the last 24 hours trying to talk James out of this in vain. Many times he had been on the verge of blurting out the truth, but one look at the joy in James' face and all resolve vanished. Sirius knew it would probably hurt more to find out this way, but he couldn't tell James—he just couldn't.
Platform nine three quarters was beautifully decorated with red and gold lilies and draped with red and gold silk. The fragrance of the lilies filled the air. Above them a large banner read, "To my dearest Lily flower, You will hold my heart forever."
The dreaded/eagerly anticipated moment arrived. As if in slow motion, Lily stepped onto the platform, took in her surroundings with widening eyes, then gave Sirius a warm smile. Sirius was alarmed. His first thought was: Escape! Thankfully James hadn't seen Lily yet.
"James! Over there!" yelled Sirius in fake excitement, pointing in the opposite direction of where Lily was. The instant James turned, Sirius ran for his life. He bolted out form under the banner (where they were standing), skirted round a group of girls and made a beeline for the train compartment….
Only to be intercepted halfway there by a bear-hug from Lily.
"Thank you, Sirius!"
Sirius felt as if someone had turned off the volume. Everything went quiet. Only James' footfalls could be heard, loud and clear, each step bringing Sirius closer to his doom. He pulled away from Lily quickly. James had reached them without even looking at James her could sense James' bewilderment.
"Thank you Sirius?"
Lily looked at James as if he was mad. "Why? Is there anything wrong?"
Sirius wanted to scream. Is there anything wrong? Of course there wasn't! Everything was fine, except that James had spent hours planning a perfect surprise and gift for Lily but Lily had hugged him instead. Oh yes, and there was also this minor problem that James liked Lily but Lily liked Sirius, and James was going to skin him alive, once there were left alone. And deep down, James was very hurt; it was reflected in his eyes. Apart from that? Yeah, everything was perfectly fine.
James just stared, speechless.
Sirius looked uncomfortably at his boots. He could feel James' gaze on him, perplexed, hurt, betrayed. Sirius edged as far away from Lily as possible.
Lily sensed his discomfort. Looking from James to Sirius with puzzled air, she decided to leave. "Well, I guess I'll see you at school then, Sirius." James stared dumbfounded at her departing figure until she was out of sight.
James' gaze shifted to him, but Sirius refused to meet it.
"How could you?" yelled James accusingly at Sirius.
"There was a mistake!" Sirius defended himself.
James narrowed his eyes. "Explain," he said, his voice dangerous.
Few minutes later…
"You could've told me earlier," said James quietly, once he had finished.
"You were so happy…I couldn't do it," Sirius mumbled.
"It would've been nothing compared to how I feel now."
"I know, James," Sirius met his eyes. "I'm sorry."
James was crushed. Many emotions were surging through him; disappointment, misery, pain, and he was taking it all out on Sirius, holding him responsible. But when Sirius lifted his head up to face him, James could see that Sirius blamed himself just as much as he did.
Sirius didn't do it on purpose; he just didn't have the heart to tell him…
"And I'll clear things with Lily, I'll make her realize there was never and will never be anything between us, I already fancy someone else anyway…"
…He doesn't even like Lily anyway…it's not his fault…just forgive him…
"Wait, you already fancy someone else?"
"Um…yeah. Tonks, actually."
"Nymphadora Tonks? That Ravenclaw girl? Oooh…" James grinned mischieviously.
"Oooh what?" asked Sirius defensively.
"Sirius and Nymphadora sitting on a tree—"
"Hey! Don't you dare finish that—"
As he chased James towards the train, Sirius knew that he was forgiven.
The corridor shook. The doors of various compartments vibrated. The lights swayed. Many people, mostly first-years, looked alarmed.
This did not trouble Remus Lupin in the least. He knew better. All it meant was James Potter and Sirius Black were arriving. Sure enough, the corridors suddenly cleared, revealing two black-headed boys chasing each other, producing sound effects similar to that of a stampeding elephant herd.
Peter looked up. "James and Sirius coming?"
Remus stuck his head out of the door. "Yeah." He nodded in confirmation. "Yo! Idiots!"
James and Sirius looked up and waved, grinning like madmen. Remus and Peter cracked up.
Then it hit them.
"Hey! Who're you calling idiots?"
Remus leapt back inside and slammed the door. James and Sirius, hot on his heels, ploughed straight into it. The flimsy compartment door, which most definitely had not been built for defense purposes, flew inwards and landed on the opposite bench, with James and Sirius on top. The bench gave a creak and crumbled.
Remus found himself facing a pile of splintered wood with limbs sticking out. He would have laughed had the circumstances been different, but as a prefect on the school train he tried to look horrified.
"James! Sirius! You've totally ruined our compartment. If you're reported you could get months of detention for damaging public property!"
The only response he got was a low moan.
"Oww…someone get them off me!"
"Whoops! Sorry Petey!"
James and Sirius leapt up and pulled what was left of their door off the unfortunate Peter.
"Are you okay?"
Peter was still trying to get his breath back, so he didn't reply. Remus cleared his throat loudly, gesturing towards the wreckage.
"Oh, that." Said Sirius nonchalantly. "Reparo." With a lazy flick of his wand, the bench and door repaired themselves beautifully.
"You were saying?"
Remus sighed. "You guys are impossible."
James slung his arm around Remus. "But that's why you love us!"
Remus rolled his eyes but allowed James to hug him. James smirked triumphantly.
"I knew you couldn't resist my charm."
"You and your inflated ego."
"And admirable courage and impressive Quidditch skills."
Any further comments were cut off by Nymphadora Tonks sticking her head into the compartment.
"I swear, whenever I see the four of you, you're always fighting."
"It's our method of communication!"
Nymphadora shook her head. "You guys are—"
"Impossible." Finished the four of them together with a grin.
"We know. Remus just said so himself."
"Remus just said the same thing as I did?" squeaked Tonks, blushing furiously.
"Yeah," answered James, puzzled. Was Tonks blushing?
"Nothing." She answered, quickly. Far too quickly. Her cheeks turned a deeper shade of crimson.
James gave up trying to fathom what it was all about. Girls, he thought. He would never figure them out.