"I know you don't want to James, but I think it's best," Martha Potter explained uncomfortably. She was having second thoughts about sending her only living son away.



James did not respond. He stared dejectedly out the window of the sedan. Sirius had never seen him so glum.

"James, you know I don't want to do this, but your father and I feel it's best. After what happened to your brother, you know that our family are targets. Your father being an auror and all. It's so hard for me to do this, but I love you too much to let you remain with us when you might be in danger."

Sirius thought he understood now. He wondered if it was really a good idea for him to be going to James's new home along with him. Martha had invited him along, mostly to make James feel more comfortable at his grandmothers. She thought that the transition would be easier if Sirius came along.

Sirius and James had been friends for all of their lives, and Sirius was practically a member of the Potter family. Sirius spent as much time as possible with the Potters, as his own home life was less than desirable. Any decision involving James automatically effected Sirius as well.

When Martha had announced that James would be staying with his Grandmother, Sirius had been almost as shocked as James. He would miss both of James's parents almost as much as James would.

The sedan suddenly took a sharp corner and Sirius hit his head against the window. James laughed briefly and then once again turned to his uncharacteristic, gloomy state.

James's whole family were wizards and witches, yet Sirius knew why Martha had opted for the Sedan, instead of simply traveling by floo powder. Such a major transition was hard to accomplish by simply stepping through a fireplace. Somehow the long car ride made it feel much more final.

Eventually the car turned off the main road, onto a quaint little drive. Martha slowed down and consulted a sheet of paper, containing directions.

The street was nice, covered in tall green trees, and blossoming tulips. The small neighborhood contrasted deeply with bustling London, where Sirius had grown up.

"This is so far away from Sirius's house," James moaned.

"Don't be silly dear," Martha responded with a fake smile, "your grandmother is connected to the Floo network, Sirius can stop by anytime."

James rolled his eyes and hit his head against the window.

"It's very nice here," Sirius intercepted, trying to ease a bit of the tension. "I bet we can find a good place to play Quidditch."

James instantly perked up, the gleam returning to his dark eyes. "You think?"

Martha spoke quickly, "Of course dears. Your grandmother has a nice backyard, and nobody can see through, it is shaded in trees. It's rather small of course, but I'm sure it will do."

"It's probably too small then," James prophesized drearily.

But before Sirius could assure him that they would find a place, the sedan pulled into the driveway of small yet cozy house. A small garden decorated the front lawn and several sparrows chirped and splashed in a wooden bird bath. The house was surrounded by a chipped white picket fence, and sunlight streamed down through the green grass.

Sirius leaped out of the car boldly, slamming the door behind him.

James got out next, a bit more reluctantly, and Martha hesitated, choking back a sob.

"This is it boys, this is your new home James," she said shakily.

Before Sirius could knock on the door, it swung open to reveal an elderly woman in a stiffly pressed grey dress. The collar was buttoned up to her neck, and she wore dark stockings and shiny black shoes. Her grey hair was pulled back into a tight bun. The woman did not smile, but neither did she frown, a stiff line remaining constant on her wrinkled face. She seemed immaculate and formal, completely alien to the cozy yard.

She greeted them with a brief nod, and walked inside with out a word, assuming they would follow her.

James quickly assumed a bored expression, as if he didn't care that he would be living with this woman for the rest of the summer and possibly every summer until he graduated from Hogwarts.

The inside of the house, like the woman was cold and immaculate. None of the warmth which decorated the outside of the house was apparent on the inside. The furniture was sparse and strictly functional, no pictures or paintings were in sight on the walls.

The woman sat down at a bare table, and folded her hands across her lap placidly. She did not speak until they were all seated in the uncomfortable wooden chairs.

"Hello James. I am Cornelia Morgana Potter. You may call me Cornelia," the old woman said coldly. "I will have you know right away that I will not put up with nonsense of any sort. You are to be up at dawn. After you have eaten breakfast you will do your chores. Then you may play outside. At seven o'clock you shall attend your studies and at nine you will go to bed. Any questions?"

"I go to bed at eleven in the summer," James protested.



"Not in my house you won't," Cornelia insisted with a glare.

"Don't worry James, we'll find a way," Sirius reassured him.

"You will do no such thing," she hissed, turning her glare to Sirius.

Finally, Martha took James aside and hugged him. "Cornelia is a harsh woman, but she is fair. If you obey her I am sure that the two of you will get along just fine."

James squirmed.

"I do love you darling. It breaks my heart to leave you here. . .but it is best. Good bye James. Be good," Aurelia whispered, planting a kiss on Sirius's cheek before she turned to leave. "I know we will keep in touch throughout the summer. While Cornelia will not tolerate my visiting to often, I have acquired other friends in the area."

Before James had a chance to wonder what she meant, Martha Potter was gone.

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The backyard was very nice, but too small to play Quidditch in. The boys tried to fly around a bit, but their was not enough room for the two of them, although tall trees shaded them from unfriendly muggle eyes.

Just when the two boys were about to give up on ever playing Quidditch again, Sirius got a glimpse of what lay beyond a grove of tall Maples which separated Cornelia's backyard from that of the neighbors.

"James!" Sirius called excitedly. "Take a look at this!"

Within seconds of peering through the trees, James became every bit as excited as Sirius. The neighbor's yard was huge, a grassy Quidditch paradise, shaded by the same tall trees which covered Cornelia's backyard.

"We can't possibly," James warned quietly. "What if we got caught? They might be muggles!"

"Oh it's simple James. We can't get caught if they are not home. If they are muggles, they will have cars parked in front of their house. I can go check. If there are cars we will have to wait, but if they are none, we have found our new Quidditch field!"

James waited anxiously, while Sirius sneaked around front to survey the area. Moments later, Sirius ran back.

"The coast is clear James! Hurray! We got us a Quidditch field," Sirius shouted excitedly.

Moments later, their worries abandoned, the two boys were soaring above Cornelia's neighbor's yard.

"If we are going to be beaters next year James, we really should practice with the bludgers. We can play that game we made up last year! Hit a bludger back and forth until someone falls of his broom!"

An hour later the boys were still in good spirits. The score was 2 to 3. Sirius had been knocked off twice, and James had the three falls.

In an effort to even the score, James got in a particularly good hit, sending the bludger flying violently towards Sirius, who had to back up rapidly in time to swing at the flying ball. He hit it, but at the same time he crashed through a window of the neighbor's house and fell amid piles of broken glass onto the floor of somebody's living room.

Unfortunately, that someone was standing right behind the fallen Sirius. That somebody was Lily Evans.

James swooped in through the shattered window upon his broom, at the same time as a blond girl, and a pudgy boy rushed into the living room. But his attention was quickly diverted to the two intruders. He didn't even notice his friend laying injured on the floor.

"Lily!" he shouted almost accusingly.

Lily's eyes widened and then narrowed into a very hateful look. The girl which James assumed was Lily's sister Petunia screamed and looked as if she was about to faint. Just then, the bludger plummeted through the open window, headed straight towards the pudgy boy's head.

"Vernon!" Petunia screamed. Vernon quickly grabbed Petunia and thrust her in front of himself, as if to protect himself from the blow, but the bludger missed the two of them by inches. Instead it was headed straight for Lily.

James jumped in front of the speeding bludger and swung at it just in time, sending it crashing through one of Lily's living room walls.

At that point the boy whom Petunia had called Vernon went into a dead faint and landed on the floor with a loud plop. Petunia continued to scream and ran out of the room as if her hair was on fire.

The bludger crashed through the wall again, creating another gaping hole and was headed for James's head.

James leaped up and wrestled the troublesome bludger to the ground, finally managing to restrain it. As soon as the bludger was taken care of, James turned to help Sirius, who was calmly dusting the glass off of his cloak when Lily came around from behind him and smacked him quite forcefully on the back of the head.

James gulped and fell to his knees comically, rubbing his injured head with one palm. "Geez Lily! What did you do that for?"

"You idiot! What are you doing here?" Lily screamed, her face almost as red as her hair.

Just then, the sound of sirens began to fill the air and James squinted, puzzled at the strange wailing. "What is that?" he asked.

"It's the police!" Lily rolled her eyes. "The muggle police! The neighbors must have called them after they heard the commotion. You guys are so dead!"

"I am the neighbors, why would I call the police?" James asked, sounding a bit confused.

"You are what?" Lily practically screamed.

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It took hours to clear up the mess. Many Ministry of Magic officials had to come in and memory charms were performed on the muggle police, and the muggle neighbors who had called them. James was returned to his grandmother, and Sirius to his own parents.

Petunia threw several fits, and Vernon left very quickly after he woke up, showing no signs that he wanted to come back again.

But Lily's rage exceeded all of the other commotions. After telling James exactly how and when she wanted him to die, adding quite graphic details about the earlier, she slapped him twice and told Sirius simply to never come within the boundary of her property.

Lily's parents were more understanding, although they were a bit angry at the two boys.

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"I can't believe you're living next to Lily Evans," Sirius mused happily. James had convinced his grandmother to allow him to visit Sirius. It turned out that Cornelia was glad to be rid of him after the hyjinks he had pulled in his first week in her care.

James grinned. "I don't think she likes it much."

"Oh the fun we will have!" Sirius sighed. "Just think, a whole summer to pull pranks on her!"

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"I'm sorry Petunia! I didn't know they were going to crash through the window! I didn't even know they lived anywhere near us!" Lily apologized.

The blond girl was not appeased. She reached forward and slapped Lily hard across the face. "You are a liar!"

Lily kicked her hard in the shins and Petunia grasped a lock of Lily's hair and pulled as hard as she could. Lily groped wildly and finally her hand met a picture frame and she pulled it up and hit it against the side of Petunia's head.

While Petunia was assessing the damage to her head, Lily took advantage of the moment to push her sister out of her room.

When she turned back she noticed the picture frame she had used. It was the one that James had given her at the end of the year. Inside was a picture of the two of them, covered in grime and blood, after working with the Whomping Willow. Lily rolled her eyes at the photo, and rubbed her head where Petunia had pulled her hair. Petunia's wrath could easily be attributed to James and the wild crash through Lily's house. Petunia blamed it on Lily.

Since the incident, Vernon, Petunia's boyfriend had made himself scarce. While he still went places with her, he refused to come within a hundred feet of her freak sister. Petunia blamed her freak sister as well.

After Petunia left, Lily locked her door and collapsed onto her bed. She knew she was in for a terrible summer.