Disclaimer: Harry Potter and all affilations belong to JKR. The OCs and plot are mine

Please note: This story has now been fixed up by my beta! Please review, it means a lot

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Chapter One: Wishful Thinking

"Potter, can't you get it through your thick head? I don't want anything to do with you! EVER! Don't you get it??"

"But Lily-"

"How many times do I need to say it, Potter? You and me will never happen."

James Potter started out of his reverie, head pounding. Try as he might, he could not pretend that those words had not affected him. In fact, James had had that unfortunate event stuck in his head since the summer holidays had started. It frustrated him that Lily Evans thought so poorly of him. According to his cousin Alexis, his immaturity was the main reason Lily had simply refused to entertain even the thought of dating him. His numerous misdemeanors, whilst they had brought him the recognition as a perfect prankster, had also apparently destroyed the possibility of a future with Lily.

Being the logical member of James' group of friends, Remus Lupin had offered the novel suggestion that James might actually act his age. Remus had further explained, rather patiently, that James didn't really need to cease pranking so long as he could balance his mischief with his responsibilities. And James thought he was rather good at balancing, really.

In fact, all the evidence seemed to support James assumption: he was a good student; star of the Gryffindor Quidditch team (as well as their captain); and perhaps most importantly, James Potter was a Marauder. Remus' advice, while perhaps having had the unfortunate side effect of further inflating James' self confidence, had indeed made James realised that he was no longer thirteen years old. The fact of the matter was that he was nownearly seventeen years old, and so almost of age in the wizarding world – and perhaps Remus was right, and it was time to act like it. James was quite sure that he was capable of growing up: it had rather been a case of whether or not he wanted to. And now, finally, it seemed to James that the time had come at last. His final year at Hogwarts was going to be the platform for his great transformation, and he was quite willing to go the distance.

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Lily Evans reclined against her pool chair, closing her eyes to block out the bright radiance of the sun. It was nearing the end of Summer – and time was moving all too quickly for Lily and her friends, who had spent the day at Alexis Cooper's manor, determined to enjoy every last minute of their holiday.

A girlish shriek, several pool chairs away, caused Lily to open her eyes and sit up.

"Merlin! A bee! Get it away from me!"

It was the quickest Lily had ever seen Danielle ­Cyrus move, as she dashed across the lawn toward the garden in an attempt to hide. Her light green eyes narrowed as her twin sister Gabrielle giggled mercilessly.

"For Circe's sake, Dani, it's only an insect!"

"Oi! It's not funny," Danielle sulked, throwing a stick at her sister. "Stop being such a prat." Gabrielle ducked as the stick missed it's mark, and poked her tongue out.

"Seriously, Dani, bees are more afraid of you than you are of them." This pearl of wisdom came from Lily's left, where Emma Patterson reclined, setting aside her book to patiently mediate what was promising to be another infamous Cyrus argument.

"And did you know that once a bee stings someone, it dies soon afterwards?" Alexis added carelessly, rubbing sunscreen into her long arms.

"That I did not know," admitted Danielle, rather ruefully, as she took a sip of her Gillywater

" Why doesn't that surprise me?" teased her sister.

Lily suppressed a smile, standing up and making her way to the pool edge, where she sat and dipped her feet into the cool water. There was nothing that Lily enjoyed more than watching her friends tease each other, and she observed the chase between the twins rather more fondly than Emma, who sighed and returned to her book. Lily dangled her feet in the water, watching her friends rather serenely.

Danielle and Gabrielle were identical twins, apart from the colour of their eyes. For those who knew the girls, it was simply a matter of remembering that Gabrielle was blue eyed, while Danielle was green eyed. However, this was their only difference. To gaze into their faces - each framed by long, chocolate-coloured hair - the ordinary person would have supreme difficulty telling them apart. Slim and tall, they were indisputably two of the most attractive girls Lily had ever set eyes on. And yet, the girls were almost as infamous at Hogwarts as the Marauders themselves, renowned for their sense of humor and practical jokes. On more than one occasion, Lily had heard Professor McGonagall refer to them ruefully as the female counterparts for James Potter and Sirius Black.

Alexis was what Lily would typify as the average pureblood princess. An optimist at heart, Alexis made friends with everyone and anyone (even the Marauders), and was especially kind to those in need. Extremely mature, Alexis held herself with an innate confidence that left Lily in absolute awe.

Emma was the shy one: and, as the shy girl, she was predictably loud and confident with anyone who knew her well. Emma was instinctively caring, and in the past she had proved to be a fantastic confidant to all of the girls. In fact, Lily had often wondered how Emma managed to hold so many secrets, or to listen and understand so easily. Emma had once confided to her that it was all in the attention span: she was a very patient person, and had the gentlest nature of all the girls.

Lily had once been told that the people she chose as friends were a reflection of herself. Smiling at the memory, Lily splashed the water with her feet. If she could possess even half of the twin's humor, Alexis' confidence and Emma's understanding, she would have been a force to reckon with. As she was though, Lily found that she couldn't really complain. Somewhere in the background, she heard another shriek, one that probably signaled Gabrielle had caught up with her sister. The laughter that followed seemed to confirm Lily's suspicion. As a unit, the girls got along quite famously: they rarely argued - although as sisters were prone to do, Danielle and Gabrielle had their fights –although it never lasted long enough, and for some strange reason they never really remembered why they even started arguing in the first place- but over all after over six years of friendship had resulted in a formidable bond.

"What you thinking about, Lily?" Emma asked, taking a place beside Lily and playfully sending a shower of water her way.

Lily flinched as the cold water hit her face and neck, and laughed. "Nothing important," she replied, splashing Emma in return.

" I cant believe that Summer's almost over," Emma murmured quietly as she watched Danielle pour a glass of water on Alexis head. "We're almost in our last year of school! It's so surreal…"

"It is," Lily agreed, equally as quiet. "I'll be sad when it's all over." About to sigh, she was interrupted by a smile as she watched Alexis attack Gabrielle with a towel.

"That's why we have to make this year the best year ever." Emma grinned with anticipation. "Although, I must say I expect you'll be quite busy, Lily, what with all that duty Dumbledore bestowed upon you."

Lily grinned, rolling her eyes. "Oh, I am so unworthy."

"Aye aye, Head Girl!"

"I just hope that Dumbledore chose a decent Head Boy," Lily confessed. "It'll make my job a lot easier if he did."

"I bet it's Anthony Hopkins, he made a good prefect."

"Yeah he is," Lily agreed. "Or maybe Remus, he's very good too, even if he can't keep his friends in check."

" Well, it's not easy to keep Black or Potter in check," Emma replied fairly. "Even McGonagall struggles. Poor Remus," she smiled fondly as she spoke his name.

" Oh, how cute, Miss Patterson still fancies Mr. Lupin!" Lily teased, splashing Emma once more.

"Not as big a crush as a certain Potter has on y-"

Emma was cut off rather abruptly by Lily's frown.

"Please, lets not talk about that big-headed git, I swear, you would think that after rejecting him so often he would have got the general idea that I'm not interested. I wish he'd just get over me and move on. But no - he just keeps on insisting, and irritating me, and badgering me. It's so immature, and annoying, and if it wasn't for the fact that I was a prefect, I would probable hexed him to oblivion."

Emma didn't even blink, she was so use to Lily's rants. Instead, she calmly offered a plausible suggestion: "Maybe that's the way he shows affection?"

Lily snorted, her derision obvious. "It's so lame, it's not cute, or anything, its pathetic. If he did really and honestly like me, he would leave me alone, and let me be, instead of trying to show off."

Emma couldn't help but notice the disappointment in Lily's emerald eyes – certainly a change to their usual fiery quality whenever she discussed Potter.

Emma rubbed her arm comfortingly. "Lily, I'm sure he'll get the message, and give up," she murmured, smiling at her friend.

Lily returned her smile gratefully and took a deep breath.

Another yelp sounded across the lawn as Danielle tripped on her into way into the house.

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