The next day, Lily woke up early to the sound of birds twittering noisily outside her window. She groaned loudly, and wondered briefly for a moment if anyone would notice if she exploded a few of them to scare the rest off. Lily really wasn't a morning person.
'Rise and shine!'
Lily muttered something grumpily, threw her covers off the bed and slumped out to the kitchen, running her fingers through her hair trying to at least get rid of a few knots.
'Ouch!' She muttered furiously as her finger got caught on a particularly stubborn tangle. James glanced up from his breakfast- the last of the frootloops, of course- and grinned sleepily, spilling milk all over the tablecloth.
'Kermit, your hand's in your hair,' he pointed out intelligently.
She ignored him, and yanked her finger out, shrieking in the process.
'Why not use a brush?' James asked innocently, as Lily's hair was far longer than his, and in the morning it held an amazing resemblance to either a very windblown weeping willow or a birds nest.
She couldn't be bothered wasting her breath, and somehow managed to restrain herself from snapping at him. He never looked at if he'd picked up so much as a comb before.
'What's up with you today?'
For a moment Lily wondered if she'd been asleep for a few days, because James certainly hadn't been there when she went to sleep the night before. Or had he? She glanced at him suspiciously.
'What?' He mumbled through a mouthful of milk, orange juice and frootloops.
She wrinkled her nose and started rifling through the fridge, still not 100% awake. She didn't notice she still hadn't answered him, it hadn't occurred to her to actually open her mouth.
James was getting quite concerned. 'Are you sleep walking?'
She turned around with a carton of milk and sat down on the table to drink it straight out the carton. Lily gulped, put the milk down, wiped her mouth and sighed. 'I'm awake.'
'My mother always got mad at me for doing that,' he commented lightly, shovelling down more food.
She took a few more sips, and then smiled at him brightly. 'Good morning, Potter.' She said cheerfully. Milk had that effect.
He blinked for a moment behind his glasses. 'Morning, miss Cooper. And how are you feeling this morning?'
She yawned. 'Tired. Why are you here?' Lily twisted herself around to face the general direction of the bedrooms. 'Where's Jo?'
James looked thoughtful for a moment (rare occasion, this.) 'Last time I saw them they were eating ice cream…strawberry, I think. I know Sirius had a whole lot of red goop over his face.'
Lily giggled and then choked on her milk, spraying liquid all over James, the table, the floor, and the cat. Cat? She sneezed.
'Why's there a cat?'
James glanced down, and saw the cute little orange tabby gaze up at him sweetly. 'Oh…dunno. Maybe you left a window open.'
She rolled her eyes. 'And cats can fly, can they?'
The cat meowed, blinked, and suddenly reappeared up on top of the fridge.
'Magical cats can,' James informed her, nodding.
James bowed-, which looked quite funny, considering he was sitting at a table- and then he looked at her, puzzled. 'How come you're always calling me Potter?'
'Habit. Potter sounds better than James anyway, don't you think?'
James stared at her from behind his round glasses for a moment, concern in his brown eyes. 'I hate to think what you'll call your poor little kiddies. I really do.'
Lily smiled. 'I like the name Harry.'
'I s'pose it's better than some names…why are we talking about this?'
'I forget,' Lily said, sticking out her tongue and shaking the rest of the milk into her mouth energetically.
James watched her with an amused expression on his face. 'You have milk on your cheek,' he said, leaning back in his chair.
A loud crash resounded throughout the tiny house.
Well, the birds are gone.
'I think I have broken back,' James muttered, wincing as he tried to stand.
Lily jumped off the table, and, once she'd managed to control her giggles, she knelt down to help him.
'Some girlfriend you are,' he muttered, pouting. 'I'm in pain here.'
'Come on, I'll help you walk.'
'We could just sit here together,' he suggested hopefully.
Lily pulled him to his feet.
'Oh, you want sympathy?' She gave him a big bear hug, cooing as if he were a baby.
James struggled away, pulling a face. He put his hands on his hips and glared at her, saying in a high, silly voice 'I hate you!'
Lily raised her eyebrows. 'Who was that supposed to be?'
'You,' James said simply.
Lily tackled him to the floor, with a sudden strength not usually present in her at 7:30 in the morning.
'Ow! Ow! Hey, that wasn't fair!' Lily whined as James pinned her down, grinning, obviously very pleased with himself.
'Do I get a prize?' He asked, laughing as Lily struggled to get free.
'I thought you were in pain?' She said grumpily, blowing his hair out her eyes. She was about to say something else, but as James kissed her then, it was rather difficult.
'Morning, Kermit, Prongs,' came the cheerful voice of Sirius.
James rolled off Lily and turned to smile at his best friend, who was grinning like he'd just found a pot of galleons. He found it quite enjoyable to interrupt them.
'Morning, Padfoot. And how are you this fine morning?' James was in a very good mood.
'Great. The birds are singing, the sun is shining-'
'Sirius is babbling.'
Sirius pulled a face at Lily. 'Oh, Kermy, Jo's asleep on the couch at our place.'
'Have good night?' She teased, standing up and brushing of her pyjama pants. And then it hit her that he'd just called her 'Kermy'. She shuddered.
Sirius, to Lily's disappointment, missed her question, as he was gazing at the cat on top of the fridge. 'Awww…and who's this cute little fella?' He lifted the tabby onto his shoulder, cooing.
'Trust him to lose his marbles right when we're getting to the juicy bit,' Lily muttered, shaking her head at Sirius, who was now rubbing his face into the cats fur.
'You weren't allergic to Crookshanks,' James said with surprise, handing Lily a hankie he'd conjured.
Lily sniffed, backing away from the cat and into the table. 'Ow! I think it's got fleas.' She said, rubbing her elbow.
Sirius let go of the cat awfully quickly. 'Eeeeeeeeew!'
James snorted. 'Fleas don't make you sneeze, Sirius.'
'Oh.' Sirius frowned for a moment, and then scooped the little creature-, which was now yowling pitifully- up in his arms, apologising in a baby voice, tickling its neck gently. 'You poor little poochie, my wittle sweetie pie.'
James was slowly moving backwards, his eyebrows raised. 'I've seen Sirius do many odd things, including kissing Lydia Manchester in third grade. But this scares me.'
Lily was amused. 'Who's Lydia Manchester?'
'A blonde haired little thing. We were playing kiss chasey-'
'And he chased her behind the girls toilets where she was cornered.'
'You think the cat's hypnotised him?'
'Nah. We're just witnessing his feminine side.' James was now searching for some kind of camera.
'Does he have a name?' Sirius asked, abandoning the kitty for a moment.
James was still looking for the camera.
'How 'bout Muffins?'
James held up the camera. 'Say cheese!'
Sirius gave a big, cheesy grin, holding Muffins up onto his head. He winced. 'Owie. He's pulling my hair.'
Both Lily and James ignored him, Lily because her head was in the freezer looking for the bread and James because he was watching Lily with interest.
'You look different in pants,' he commented.
'What he means is that you have nice ass.' Sirius translated eyeing Lily's lower half.
Lily whacked him with the loaf of frozen bread and then considered whacking James, but decided against it. 'Do you have any peanut butter at your place? We've run out.'
Sirius rubbed his head vigorously and didn't answer, while James wrinkled his nose. 'Yuck. Peanuts.'
'How 'bout jam?'
'Jam? We've got jam.'
Lily looked at James worriedly. 'Why, exactly, are you looking at me like I've sprouted tentacles?' She then checked to make sure she hadn't grown tentacles.
Lily snorted, but went back to looking for something to go on her toast, Sirius's moans of agony in the background, at least, until he realised no one cared and gave up.
Rowena Archer watched the snowflakes flutter down to the ground.
'Something very weird is going on here,' she muttered to herself.
'You can say that again,' her best friend, Joey, grumbled. 'Look! How could I get Jupiter on this stupid chart, huh? I was born in August, you crazy thing, August!'
Rowena stared at him for a moment, and then shook her head. 'That wasn't quite what I meant.'
Joey didn't answer, as he was far to busy yelling at his Divination homework.
She had always known he was a bit unstable.
Turning back to the window, she tried to remember the dream she'd had the night before. But nothing would come to her, except a flash of green light…maybe Joey was going to blow something up, she mused, leaning against the window pane, her breath making a mark on the glass.
Joey's furious yells interrupted her thoughts. 'No, you demented thing! August! August, not September!'
He hit the parchment with his wand, and it burst into flames.
Joey stared at it for several seconds. Then he smiled, pleased with himself.
'Yes. That's much better.'
Why do I get the psychotic freaks as friends, huh?
'Hey, Ro, you got any spare parchment?'
She handed him the parchment, eyeing the pile of ash on his table, and then went back to the fascinating task of watching the nicely cool snowy weather develop into a storm.
She sighed, and handed him another quill without bothering to look. He accepted it gratefully, and for the next few moments they were quiet, the only sounds coming from the scratching of the quill on parchment and the occasional hiccup from Joey.
Which was why, perhaps, she lapsed into a sleepy state and started dreaming.
It was a sunny day, which was the first thing she noticed, as it was quite strange for this time of year. But it obviously wasn't winter- unless in some places winter was sunny, with the trees bright with colours. It was most likely spring, and if she could have smelt the air Rowena was sure it was have smelt like heather and grass. She loved the smell of freshly cut grass. For a time the area with the trees was free of people, until some figures bounded into the space. Rowena watched them curiously, but, as usual, they couldn't see her.
Their voices were fuzzy and hard to understand but the faces of the people were clear, and she recognised a few of them. One, a tall girl with dark hair was watching a girl with red hair and was laughing at the redhead's antics. The dark haired girl ducked as a piece of some kind of food came flying in her direction, and it hit the boy who had been sneaking up on her.
Rowena caught a few of the curse words that followed, and wondered briefly why she could understand that, but not anything else.
The boy who had thrown whatever it was started laughing, and said something to the boy sitting next to him, who had light brown hair and grey eyes that sparkled in the sunlight, enjoying this live and completely free performance.
The red haired girl jumped up then, and dragged the food thrower with her, pulling him over to a swing. A few moments later she was flying high in the sky, the boy watching her with an almost worried expression on his face. Rowena strained to hear his words.
'I can't believe she'll do this and she won't fly a broomstick…'
She missed the girls answer, but it wasn't hard to figure out what she was saying, as whatever it was, it was accompanied by a kick (which missed the boys' head by inches).
The girl on the swing faded away, and was replaced by a short and very skinny boy, sitting at a desk in a classroom, quite like her own classroom. Very, very like, in fact. Right up to the posters on the wall. It was, obviously, Professor Binns' classroom.
There were very few students actually present, only the boy, and he sat reading, and he as he appeared to be quite intrigued with whatever book it was, it was most likely that he wasn't studying History of Magic.
He bore a strange resemblance to the boy in the first dream, and somewhere in Rowena's head a little light blub clicked and turned on. Well, it would have if she had a light bulb in her head.
She was about to come up with a theory on her new found revelations when Joey woke her up with an unusually loud hiccup and a question to go with it.
'What's so funny? You started giggling in your sleep, I thought you were gonna drool or something.' He grinned cheekily. 'Were you dreaming of that Hufflepuff guy?'
Rowena started at Joey for a moment, and, after checking for drool on her chin, she wondered why Joey had realised the Hufflepuff guy was cute.
The eight young men and women that were helping Dumbledore sat in the underground room, chatting and laughing playfully, as the Professor had not yet arrived.
Sirius was flirting with Miranda Whitehorn, oblivious to the fact that Jo was glaring that the two of them, looking as though she wished the ground would swallow them up.
James and Lily were talking quietly- a good deal closer to each other than they actually needed to be, Remus was telling Amanda Fire a joke, and Kylie McEvoy was going over the papers they'd written up, looking up occasionally to laugh at Sirius standing on his head (a dare from James) or to see Lily whack James on the nose, but then immediately kiss it better for fear of actually hurting him.
They were going to start working with everyone else as a proper league- Dumbledore had decided it was too difficult having his younger members cut off from what was going on.
When Professor Dumbledore finally did enter, he was accompanied by a woman older than them, though not as old as him, and when she saw Lily standing on a chair trying to escape James and emus going into the actions of his joke (which obviously involved someone eating worms, according to his facial expressions) she looked quite sure these young people were not capable of helping defeat Lord Voldemort.
But they were.
The Western Tower