Hiya, So far this is untitled, but here is the summary for those who are interested in reading it. The fic is basically a detailed telling of Lily and James' generation attending Hogwarts. I realize some details might not match up exactly, and have taken a bit of creative leeway. Anyways it starts in their 5th year, and recounts how Lily's friendship with Snape was broken, and how her dislike for James turned into love. Chapter 1: It was September again, and just like every September for the last 5 years, Lily Evans was making her way onto the train that would take her to Hogwarts. Her family had just left after several emotional hugs and well wishes, from all but Petunia who was sulking again. It seemed that every year around this time they got into silly little arguments for no reason. Lily had an inkling as to what caused it, but hadn’t wanted to bring it up. So she let Petunia sulk. When Petunia returned home that evening and found the letter waiting for her under her pillow, she knew everything would be forgiven. “Thank you Severus,” Lily turned to her Slytherin friend as he helped load her bag up into the overhead compartment. He took a step forward, as though hesitant about sitting with her, then thought better of it and pulled back. “I have to speak to Rodolphus.” He offered by way of explanation. Lily simply nodded and offered him a friendly smile. If he noticed the tight pull of her lips, and how the expression didn’t meet her eyes, he didn’t comment. He looked as though he was about to say something more, but loud footsteps and familiar raucous voices rose behind them. Sirius and James had arrived again, and as always garnered a flurry of attention from surrounding boys and girls alike. Their fellow Gryffindors stumbled over themselves to greet them. A sour look crossed Severus’ face before he smoothed it away. “Until later.” With a surprisingly formal bow, he withdrew and made his way down and out of this compartment. And just in time. “Lily.” Was his voice deeper than she remembered? She frowned as she stared up at James, who greeted her with the same sly look he wore every time he spoke to her. His hair was still the same, his eyes… but he’d grown taller in the short months he’d been away. Why was he always able to get everything perfect? Lily had been desperately hoping that the summer would afford her some extra inches too. She was painfully shorter than all the other girls, which some of them didn’t hesitate to point out. She didn’t appreciate being known as a “little thing” by the Gryffindor boys either, but ever since Sirius had brought it to their attention… She pushed it out of her mind. “Potter.” Her tone came out more angrily than she’d intended. She had wanted to start this year on the right foot, but with James leaning against her chair like that, wearing a smile that caused the surrounding girls to squeal, she couldn’t help it. “It’s good to see you again.” His dark eyes turned serious for a moment, and she almost believed him. Until he reached out to ruffle her hair. “Don’t want the year to be too boring.” She knocked his arm away and glared at him. He merely winked. Sirius, who up until now had been carelessly flirting with two Ravenclaws, turned his attention to her. Lily cringed. “Still such a short little thing!” “Still such an annoying scoundrel!” She countered, one of her eyebrows quirking up in mockery. “Oh, but her aim is true,” one of Sirius’ hands clung to his chest as though he was in pain, before he too ruffled her hair. “Mind if we sit with you?” “Actually I do.” Too late, Sirius had already slung his luggage onto the rack above her and took the seat in front of her. James followed a little more calmly, but still with that ever-present mischievous expression on his face. He chose the seat beside her. “That’s Amanda’s seat.” “Then there’s only one thing for it.” She didn’t want to know, she really, truly, didn’t- “You can sit on my lap and let her take your seat.” “Ugh!” James and Sirius shared the look, and Lily decided she’d had enough. She rose to leave and find another seat, only to nearly stumble into Remus, who’d been following behind more slowly and was now sheepishly struggling to place his luggage above them. He gave her a sympathetic glance before moving into the seat beside Sirius. Lily couldn’t protest any further as the aisle was packed with students struggling to find seats before the train left. As Amanda and Lauren passed by, their expressions reflected their disappointment. Even though the boys had offered her no choice, she still felt guilty. “Did you have a good summer?” Remus questioned timidly. The most docile of the group, as well as the easiest to deal with, Lily truly did enjoy his company. Though she wasn’t entirely pleased with the seating arrangements, she turned to him with a grateful look in her rich green eyes. “Yes it was nice.” And it really had been. After her stressful, busy fourth year at Hogwarts, it had been comforting to settle back into her old Muggle habits, relax at home with her family and do typical, day-to-day Muggle things. When had she started thinking of them as such? “I didn’t do anything special though. What about yours?” “Same old. They came to visit me though.” Lily had almost forgotten the two were there. As she turned to look at them, they appeared to share some sort of secret amusement over something. They turned to her when she glanced over. “Quite a mother he’s got,” Sirius playfully nudged Remus in the way he often did. “It was ‘dear Remus this, darling Remus that.” Remus blushed in response. “She was very sweet.” James added in, and a happy little smile cracked the corners of Remus’ lips. “Oh, no question about that. I’d like to introduce her my mother, she could certainly learn a thing or two.” Though he’d said it casually, Lily could detect the acid in Sirius’ words. Oddly, spending time with his friends had softened his feelings towards his family, though they still could only be described as bitter. She had only recently begun to understand why he always tried to be out of the house so much. The two continued recounting their summer experiences. James and Sirius, as usual, had met up and decided to travel into Europe for a bit. “Research”, or so they’d tried to call it, on the elusive dragons from the Scandinavian mountains. Whatever possessed them to want to get within 100 feet of a vicious, sharp and hungry, fire breathing creature she couldn’t imagine. They seemed to forget about her for a moment, and she pulled back to wonder at them. Saying that they hadn’t started out on the right foot was putting it lightly. She hadn’t appreciated the way they’d treated Severus back then, and she still didn’t appreciate it now. Yet for some reason, towards the end of their third year, they’d gone from incredibly annoying to only mildly annoying, and now all of a sudden she was a part of their ‘clique’. Without even asking to be. She was baffled. And she felt acutely conscious of the envious eyes of the other Gryffindor girls in their cabin at her back. “I still don’t see why she couldn’t pull out the thorns herself instead of trying to conjure such a nasty little elf,” Sirius finished and the three laughed heartily. Lily had zoned out and missed the topic of their conversation. “Looking forward to OWLs this year?” Remus questioned again, and the three of them began debating which subjects they’d chosen. Why had they sat beside her again? “What are you thinking of taking?” Sirius had spoken to her, she realized after a moment. “I’m not sure. Potions, definitely. Maybe Charms.” James rolled his eyes, and Sirius let out a grunt. “Potions? Why on earth would you choose that?” “I like it.” She frowned indignantly. “Why, what will you take?” “Oh, the essentials. Defence Against the Dark Arts, Transfiguration.” He cringed. “Maybe I’ll have to take potions after all.” “Lily’s right, it’s not so bad.” James made a show of trying to speak up for her and failed. She rolled her eyes, and pulled away when his arm brushed against hers. He had begun to flirt with her since last spring. It alarmed her and she wasn’t sure how to respond to it. He couldn’t seriously be interested. He’d only just stopped calling her “Evans” and playing foolish pranks on her. Nothing harmful, but definitely frustrating. As was his change in personality. “What do you want to do after graduation?” She found herself asking the question before she could stop herself. And now that it was out, she was really curious about the answer. As a Muggle-born witch, she could only wonder at the potential careers for a wizard in today’s world. “You mean for a job?” She nodded. James turned thoughtful for a moment. “My dad wants me to take over the family business,” Remus offered. “Which is what?” “He works with the Ministry, helping with the Mystical Creatures Regulation and Protection Commission.” “Ah.” Keeping all manner of magical creatures hidden from Muggles and safe from poachers. Somehow it didn’t suit Remus. As academic as he was, she had a hard time imagining the gangly young man touring the countryside monitoring dangerous beasts. Her faze flickered to James and Sirius. Then again, maybe he was just the man for the job. “I’m not sure what I want to do.” Lily turned to the sound of James’ voice, wistful and hesitant at her ear. She looked over to find him looking pleasantly unsure. “No need to worry about that now anyways. We still have 3 years ahead of us.” Sirius reminded them. And with that, the conversation drifted to Quidditch and Lily was lost from that point. She turned to the back of the compartment to meet Amanda and Lauren’s worried glances. She pleaded with them, promising she would explain everything soon. They nodded, and sat back in their seats. As Lily turned back to face front, her eyes caught on the green, ripe countryside rolling past them through the windows, and wondered what her fifth year would bring. Something told her change was coming, though she wasn’t sure whether that was a good or bad thing. Ah well, she sighed. She would find out soon enough. Sure enough, Lauren and Amanda were waiting with expectant looks on their faces after the welcoming ceremony, as the three hadn’t left her side until the meal was finished. Severus huddled a couple of yards away. With friendly, teasing greetings the handsome trio parted ways, though James threw her a backward glance that made her yearn to slap him. Whatever had gotten into him these days, she didn't like it. Lauren and Amanda rushed up, asking countless questions about the trio, which she answered as best as she could. She knew Lauren had a desperate crush on Sirius, though she couldn’t understand exactly why. Severus hung back until she motioned him forwards. The two girls continued to chatter, oblivious to the Slytherin as they walked together. “You don’t have to do that, you know. You can come see me whenever you like.” “I didn’t want to interrupt.” But she hadn’t missed the satisfied gleam in his eyes. “I trust your friends are well.” Lily tried very hard not to emphasize the word ‘friends’. Severus got along with them, and she told herself that was all that mattered. As his fellow Slytherins stalked past however, shooting her cruel looks or ignoring her altogether, she swallowed hard. “Yes.” Severus was aware of her discomfort, and quickly changed the topic. “What did they want with you?” He sounded angry as he gestured to the trio that had kept her company. “You know, I really have no idea.” Severus continued to frown, but looked calmer at her response. “Why did they have to make the Slytherin and Gryffindor houses so far apart?” Lily trudged up the stairs grumpily, and Severus almost smiled at her frustration. The same thing every year, and it comforted him to see it. “I know my schedule already.” His mood had lightened all of a sudden, and Lily found it was contagious. “What? How?” “Narcissa.” Of course. The girl was nothing if not organized. Sometimes Lily wondered if she knew more about what was going on at Hogwarts than McGonagall did. “Anyways, it looks as though we’ll have potions together again this year.” “How do you know mine?” “Again…” “Ah.” “I called in a favor she owed me.” So that explained her bitter look. “Well, that’s a relief. Don’t want to lose my study partner.” Which was a joke to them both, as Lily was the most gifted student in the class, second only to Severus himself. When Severus smiled, he lost the awkward, brooding teen look, and seemed so much more carefree. It warmed her heart to see him like that. “So when’s our first class?” She wrapped her elbow around his as they walked. Lauren and Amanda continued to chatter on ahead of them as they made their way to the Gryffindor hallway. “Wednesday unfortunately.” He looked truly pained. She tightened her arm in his in consolation, and he beamed. “It’s not so far off. Besides, I still need to get through the last of the summer revision.” They neared the Gryffindor hallway, where the students crowded around waiting to get into their rooms. Lily turned to him as Lauren and Amanda came to a stop behind the large mass of people. “Thank you for the walk.” “Anytime.” He replied, and he meant it. She gave his hand a fond squeeze, and wished him well on his way back to the Slytherin dormitory. “Until Wednesday.” And with that he retreated. “Still got your pet I see?” She hadn’t realized Sirius was standing behind her. She turned to find James beside him, perusing her with an unfathomable expression in his eyes. “Don’t talk about Severus like that.” “It’s just a tease.” “I don’t like it.” Her eyes had hardened. Sirius’ darkened momentarily in response before he gathered her closer, pulling her forward into the crowd where Remus held their place towards the front of the line. Several grumpy Gryffindors behind them protested, but soon quelled after the pair shot them warning glances. “What’s the hold up?” Lily struggled on her tiptoes, trying and failing to see over the crowd. “I could lift you up if you want to see better.” James whispered into her ear, and she turned around to thump him squarely on the chest. He wisely retreated. “The fat lady is throwing a tantrum, again.” Sirius reported. “There was a mix-up with the passwords by one of the prefects and now she’s crying that she isn’t appreciated.” Lauren had wormed her way up and now wrapped her arm around Lily’s, though she didn’t take her eyes off Sirius’ back. “How long do you think it will take?” Lauren cooed. Sirius didn’t even look back. “Looks like it’s done now, we can head upstairs.” And with that, the group filed into the common room with surprising speed. Everyone rushed up to their rooms, and with a surprisingly pleasant greeting from Remus and Sirius, they departed towards the men’s dormitory. James hung back, watching her with that same sly grin on his face. She hated that grin. “I’ve got to get going.” She explained, and started edging back. “Meet me outside the front gates later tonight.” “No.” Automatic response. Then she wondered. “Why?” “I want to show you something.” “I can’t sneak out. And Filch is watching you closer than ever now!” “You know you want to be alone with me.” “Ugh!” Another snort as she rolled her eyes and turned away. “Will you come?” “No. No, no and no.” He looked slightly disappointed, but recuperated quickly. “Pity, wasting such a rare opportunity.” And with another wink he was gone. “What happened to him?” Amanda sounded stunned. Lily felt the same way. “That’s a very good question.” When she turned to Amanda, she realized she’d been staring after him, and that her question had been referring to something completely different. Lily’s head tilted as she thought. James Potter had definitely changed a lot.