James Potter felt as if he could fly. And that was saying a lot, since he didn’t even have his broomstick with him.
“Alright, James,” Mrs. Potter said wistfully. “Now... now I want you to behave yourself. Make sure you study for all of your exams, and try to be a good student—“
“Mother,” James groaned. He was staring at the train longingly. The moment for leaving to Hogwarts seemed as if it were years away. Why couldn’t time move faster?
At the thought of time moving faster, James grinned. I think I’ll try to learn a spell for that...
His father, Mr. Potter, placed a hand on his shoulder. “James,” he said, smiling. “Good luck.”
“Thank you,” James said quickly. The quicker he left them, the quicker the train would leave... right?
“Whatever you do,” Mrs. Potter said, smiling proudly at her son. “Behave yourself.”
“Mother, honestly,” James sighed. “You’re starting to coddle me.”
Mr. Potter laughed wholeheartedly at Mrs. Potter’s mouth, as it was agape at her son’s comment. “We love you, James. Make us proud, son!”
James stiffened. “I will,” he said, smiling.
“Oh, sweetie, we know you will,” Mrs. Potter said, hugging him one last time. She kissed his forehead and let go of him.
James paused as his father led him to the side of the train. “Father,” he said, gulping. “What if I get put in Slytherin...?”
Mr. Potter clapped his hand onto James’s back. “I need you to be my brave little boy, James.” Mr. Potter gestured for James to climb aboard the train. “You need to be brave. Can you do that for me James?”
James turned around to face his father just as the whistle blew. “Y-yes!” he cried urgently, just as his father was backing away. “I will, Father! I’ll be brave.”
“I know you will!” his father said back, smiling and waving. With that, he turned around and went home with his sobbing wife. Their little boy had grown up.
James felt the train lurch. I don’t even have a seat yet, he thought urgently. James scurried off, and then turned suddenly. Do I have my o—
With a sudden flush of relief, James saw his owl safely in its cage. “Thank goodness!” He turned around to—quite literally—bump into someone.
“Whoa!” a voice squealed. A girl James’s age fell down against her own cart of school supplies, her luggage toppling onto the floor. “Oh, crickey!” she moaned.
James jumped. “Sorry!” he said. He helped her pick up the luggage and nervously took a quick glance at her. The quick glance turned into a stare. Her hair was dark red, like a fire. Her eyes were green and... pretty.
James wanted to hit himself. He didn’t care about girls. Never had, never will. Why was she so compelling?
The girl shifted uncomfortably. “Thanks,” she said, smiling a bit. “I’m Lily.” She put out a hand. “Lily Evans, to be exact!”
James shook her hand, feeling quite lightheaded. “James Potter.”
Just then, the compartment they were standing outside of opened. “Lily, where are—“
James found himself face-to-face with what he suddenly thought to be the most annoying boy in the world. Couldn’t he butt out? James was talking to this girl, was starting to like her!
The boy didn’t look much like Lily. His hair was dark black, and his face was deathly pale. “Who’re you?” the boy demanded bitterly, suddenly seeming interestedin James still holding onto Lily’s hand.
Lily realized the two still shaking hands and drew her arm back, to James’s dismay. “Sev, this is James... Potter, right?” she looked at James with innocent eyes that were truly beautiful.
“Uh... y-yes...” James said. He looked at the boy. “I’m James. Who’re you?”
The pale boy stiffened in annoyance. “I’m Severus Snape.”
Lily looked between the two, obviously sensing the prickly feelings that were already sprouting. “Well, do you have a compartment?” she asked sweetly. “Sev and I have plenty of room! You can come sit with us—“
Severus began to say, “No—“
James cut him off. “I’d love to!”
Severus stared at James in a threatening way. James looked at Severus right back while Lily smiled and entered the compartment. I don’t like you either.
Just then, another boy came by. He saw the compartment, fairly empty with only three kids inside, and knocked. “Can I—“
“Sure!” Lily said. Her friend, Severus, seemed very displeased with her kindness in sharing the compartment with so many people, it seemed.
The boy who entered grinned at the three of them. “You all first years, too?” he asked. He looked at James and smirked. “You look short enough.”
James laughed at the joke. “And you look strange enough.”
“Touché, my friend, touché,” the boy winked. The boy had dark black, wavy hair, which was cut short and uneven. His eyes were brown, dark, and full of the same mischievous light James saw every time he looked in a mirror. “I’m Sirius.” Severus snorted and the boy glared at him. “What’s your name?”
“I’m Severus,” Snape replied.
Sirius rolled his eyes. “And you think my name is strange.” He looked at James. “As I was saying, my name is Sirius Black.”
“James Potter,” James said. He gestured towards Lily. “This is Lily Evans.”
Sirius looked at Lily. “Pleasure.” He looked at Severus. “Displeasure!”
Lily scowled. “Hey, that’s not very—“
Sirius scrunched his nose. “Heeeyyyy, your name actually sounds very odd,” he told Severus matter-of-factly. “Sounds like...”
“Snivellus,” James smirked, muttering it to himself.
Lily and Sirius both heard this. “Yeah!” and “James!” were their replies.
Sirius laughed in Severus’s face. “Snivellus Snape,” he joked.
Severus rolled his eyes, though looking uncomfortably while he tried to put them off. “I dearly hope you’re not in Slytherin with me,” he murmured.
“Slytherin?” James exploded. “Who in their right mind would want to end up in a house like that?”
At Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, there were four main houses; Slytherin, where cunning and (as James believed it) evil students were; Gryffindor, where dwell the brave at heart; Ravenclaw, where the intelligent and smart were; and Hufflepuff, where the loyal and patient were.
Lily shrugged. “Well, it doesn’t matter where we want to go, am I correct? We’re sorted in a special way!”
“I wonder how that works,” Severus gasped. They both looked at each other, smiling.
James scowled. She was friends with him? How?
Sirius seemed to understand the tension. He turned to James, hoping to change the subject. “Where are you heading, if you’ve got the choice?”
“Gryffindor, where dwell the brave at heart!” James announced. He saw Severus glaring at him. “Got a problem with that?”
Severus frowned. “No,” he replied, “If you’d rather be brawny than brainy.”
Sirius said, “I’d like to be in Gryffindor, too!” He shrugged awkwardly. “But my family’s not exactly... they were, uh, all in Slytherin.” He looked up at James. “I’m sort of hoping, though...”
James thought, Am I supposed to cheer him up? He placed a hand on Sirius’s shoulder, thinking of how his father would coax him. “Don’t worry, Sirius,” James said. “We’ll stay together in Gryffindor. Riiigghhhttt, Snivellus?” He turned to Severus.
Lily crossed her arms stubbornly while Severus glared. “James!” she yelled. “That’s not nice.”
“He’s not nice either,” James insisted.
Lily was about to protest, but Severus snorted in reply to James’s accusation. “At least we won’t be sorted in the stupid houses!” he cried.
James paused, thinking about what he’d just said. “Wait! You want her in Slytherin!” He pointed at Lily, now getting even more agitated. “How dare you? All Slytherins turn evil!”
“Do not!” Severus barked.
“Do too!” James shouted.
Lily stood up. “Stop it, both of you, you’re acting like immature brats!” she shouted at them.
Severus said, “He is one...”
“Sev!” Lily groaned. “Please?”
Sirius asked, “What, so, you’re his girlfriend or something?” He was looking at James in a sorry way, as if he’d realized James liked her already. That only made James even more annoyed.
“No!” Lily yelled, her face turning a bit red. She looked at James, who looked relieved. “And do not start smiling at that, Potter!”
James tried to frown, but couldn’t. “I can’t help it,” he joked. “It’s sort of a relief, since you’re so pretty, and he’s... him.”
Lily might have blushed under different circumstances, but now her face went red from rage. “Get out!” she shouted at them. She turned to Severus. “And apologize! Both of you!” she stormed.
Severus rolled his eyes and reluctantly put out a hand to James. “Sorry,” he said awkwardly.
James stared at Severus for a moment. “No way,” he said. James stood up in the compartment. “I’m not sorry for caring that he wants you to be evil, Evans,” James replied. He opened the trolley door and started to pull his stuff along with him. He had a moment of surprise when Sirius followed. “You’re coming with me?”
Sirius nodded eagerly. “You’re a lot more fun than those two,” he gestured back. “Talk about people who don’t know how to have fun!”
James grinned, feeling as though he’d just made his first friend. “Alright,” he said. “Let’s go find another compartment.”
The two pulled their luggage along and began to ask various kids on the train if they could sit with them. Finally, two boys their age said “yes.”
“Thanks a lot,” James sighed, entering with Sirius at his side.
“Don’t mention it,” the boy with light brown hair replied. He had a bunch of scratches on his arms and a long scar on his forehead. He looked tough. That is, if you took away his shyness. “I’m Romulus, but you can call me Remus. My Mom and Dad call me Remus, so... you can, er, call me Remus!”
James laughed and sat down, Sirius sitting beside him. “I’m James Potter.”
“I’m Sirius Black,” Sirius replied, leaning back on the seat leisurely.
Remus looked at the boy next to him, but the boy’s arm was shaking uncontrollably. “Oh... uh... this is... Peter, right?” Remus asked. When the boy nodded, Remus looked at the two of them. “He’s shy, I guess. I mean, I am too, but not like... well—“
Sirius poked Peter’s shoulder. “You don’t have to be shy with us,” he said. “We’re perfectly normal wizards, you know?”
Peter smiled a bit. “My name’s... P-Peter. Peter Pettigrew.” Peter's hair was a mousey brown, and his eyes were crystal blue. He looked innocent, which was a new form of a friend choice for James, compared to what he was used to.
“Cool name,” Sirius laughed.
Just then, a woman knocked on the compartment door. “Anything from the cart, sweeties?”
Remus shrugged. “No thank you, Miss.”
“Nah,” Peter said. “I don’t have—“
“Sure!” James said, taking out some of his money. “Can I have four Bernie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, four...” the list went on and on, with the number ‘four’ coming over and over.
“Alright, sweeties!” the woman said, leaving them as soon as they’d paid.
“Whoa,” Remus whistled. “Thanks, James.”
Peter smiled. “Thanks!” He took a bunch of Bernie Bott’s Every Flavored Beans, and stuffed them into his mouth. Suddenly, his face contorted, and the other three stared at him. “Ewwww!” he cried, spitting the beans out. “I think I got a sprouts-flavored one... gross.”
The boys all laughed together, Peter, too. Remus took one bean and took a bite. “Hm. Butterbeer, I think?”
“No fair,” Peter said, grinning. “I get sprout and you get butterbeer?”
Sirius and James laughed with the two of them. Remus paused. “Hey, where were you two before? The train’s been moving for easily ten minutes before you arrived. You haven’t been wandering the train that long, have you?”
“No,” James said. “We were with Lily Evans and...” He and Sirius looked at each other.
“Snivellus Snape!” they chorused, laughing uncontrollably.
Peter stopped. “His name is Snivellus?” he questioned. “Hm. That’s odd—“
Remus frowned a bit. “What’s name, guys?”
“Severus.” James spat. “He wants to be a Slytherin. And he wants Lily Evans in Slytherin with him, which I, for one, believe is—“
“James, here, has a crush on Lily Evans—“
“SIRIUS!” James exploded, turning. “What?”
The three boys laughed hysterically at James, while he went red-faced. “I do not have a crush on Lily Evans!”
“You so do,” Remus grinned. “I didn’t even meet her, and I know! Hey, is she friends with this Severus guy? Is that why you hate him so much?”
“He was a jerk,” James defended himself. “And he was saying he favors Slytherin. Plus, he said that he wanted Lily there with him. I tried to say something, but she yelled at me and...”
“She kicked us out of the compartment,” Sirius explained.
Peter smiled wide. “Well, James, that doesn’t sound like a very good way to start a relationship...” he said quietly, laughing at his own joke. Sirius and Remus joined him in laughter, clapping him on the back for the clever joke.
“I do not have a crush on Lily Evans!” James shouted. “She kept defending him—“
“You looked happy after she told us she wasn’t dating Snivellus,” Sirius pointed out.
James groaned while the others laughed. “Can we change the subject before I go to find a different compartment!?”
“Alright, alright, fine,” Remus sighed. “Sorry for laughing, James, it’s just...” He smirked. “She kicked you out of the compartment!”
“Ha-ha,” James rolled his eyes. “Very funny. Can we move on?”
Peter sighed, trying to stop laughing. “What house do you guys want to go into?”
“Gryffindor,” James and Sirius said in unison. They smiled at each other triumphantly.
Remus nodded eagerly. “Well, either Gryffindor or Ravenclaw,” he said. “I’d choose Gryffindor if I could, though!”
Peter said, “Just as long as you three are there, I’d be good in Slytherin.”
The boys smiled wide at each other. James proudly thought to himself, I’m not even at Hogwarts yet and I already have some good friends. This year will be a piece of cake!
© Copyright 2016 Laurie Amber. All rights reserved.