Disclaimer: I don't own the Marauders, but I sure wouldn't mind if I did. ;P They belong to J.K. Rowling. I do, however, own Leah Matthews and the other OCs. Don't steal, please!
A/N: Thank you all so much for waiting so patiently for this story to come to an end. These new chapters will most likely be longer, but there will be less of them. I'm thinking 23 chapters total, with an epilogue. How does that sound??
Girl of His Dreams
Chapter One: Catching the Train
Leah Matthews was lost. For one, it was her first time in England- she'd never left America in her life- and to make matters worse, she was alone. As if it weren't bad enough that she had been forced to move to the rainy, crowded city of London all the way from her quiet, country home in Alaska! Now, after a full morning of trying to find the damn station (knowing its name would have been nice), she was stranded between platform 9... and platform 10.
"Nine and three-quarters? What is this, a joke?" She mumbled a string of very American curses under her breath as someone bumped into her, causing her to drop her ticket. As she bent to pick it up, a pale hand snatched it up, holding it out to her politely. She stood straight, brushing a strand of her dark blonde hair behind her ear as she accepted the ticket from the man. "Oh, thank you."
"Nine and three-quarters, huh?" The young man grinned, shoving his hands into his pockets. "You're going to Hogwarts, then?"
"I'm trying," she said honestly, brightening at the realization that this man was also a magic-user. "I'm a bit lost." She looked him over, mildly entranced by his playful appearance. He had long black hair, slightly pale skin, and brilliant gray eyes, which radiated with masculine confidence. His smile broadened.
"Well, then, shall I show you the way?"
"That would be great," she said, sighing with relief. She hefted her navy blue duffel bag further up onto her shoulder and smiled gratefully as she held out her free hand. "I'm Leah Matthews, by the way."
"Sirius Black," he replied, shaking her hand. Before she could stop him, he bent down to place a soft kiss upon her knuckles. "Voted Hogwarts' Hottest Student 6 years in a row and counting."
Hardly affected by his flirtatious behavior, she gave him a look of disbelief. "Are you sure?"
"Very," he answered, releasing her hand. "You have a beautiful accent…Are you from America?"
"Yes," she answered. "I had to transfer schools."
"How exciting! Well, we love new students," he replied, "or rather, we like picking on them. Don't worry, you've gained immunity by meeting me first. What year are you, again?"
"Oh, I hardly need immunity," she grumbled. "I'm a seventh year."
"Hey, that's cool. So am I. And so," he said distractedly, peering through the crowds, "are my friends!" He laughed, and waved to a trio boys who were standing by a large support pillar.
One had short, messy black hair and glasses, while the other had golden hair that reached along his jaw. The third one- a short, chubby boy- looked so out of place standing next to the three handsome teenagers that she almost felt sorry for him. His ginger-hued locks curled about the top of his head, and his shy smile revealed two large buck-teeth. The one with the glasses gave Sirius a frown and began to scold him.
"We're going to be late, Padfoot! What were you doing?" Leah tuned them out for a bit while they argued, looking around for any signs that read "Platform 9 3/4." When she saw none, she let out a sigh and turned back to Sirius and the others.
"I was helping out the new girl," Sirius replied. "Guys, meet Leah Matthews. She's American. Leah, this is James, Remus, and Peter." He pointed them out to her, and she gave a shy little wave.
"American?" James looked her over, running his fingers through his already messy locks with a cocky grin. "She's quite the catch, Sirius."
Leah found herself comparing James' ego to a small planet. Pluto, maybe. As more bickering ensued, she tuned them out and thought to herself, Oh yeah... Pluto isn't a planet anymore. With a small sigh of frustration, she cleared her throat.
"Um…Where's the platform? Standing around is fun and all, but I have a train to catch."
"In the pillar," Remus answered, motioning toward it. Now that she paid attention, she noticed that students were walking into it and disappearing. She gave the train station one last look-around before following Sirius into the seemingly solid column. It was a completely new sensation for Leah, walking through a solid object. They were pulled into an entirely new, bustling platform. Leah gasped. There were so many people- kids, students, parents- all clambering for their last goodbyes and farewell hugs or kisses.
"No sorrowful family members to bid you farewell?" Sirius asked, following her troubled gaze. She shook her head.
"No, I came alone."
"Me, too! My mother is dead, hopefully," he said cheerfully. Leah opened her mouth to ask just what he meant by that, but he waved it away. "Anyway, seats are hard to find this close to departure, but don't worry, you can sit with us in the back." Without another glance, he was leading her hand-in-hand to a cabin in the back. Sirius nudged her inside, and she slid over to the window seat.
Remus squeezed in right after, taking the window seat across from her, and James plopped down next to Remus as Sirius took the empty space beside Leah. Leah did the math in her head once more (Each cabin had two seats. Two seats that each held two people- maximum of four people), then glanced up at Peter, who stood in the doorway.
Peter seemed to have done the math as well.
"Sorry, Wormtail, ol' boy," Sirius said. "I think you'll have to sit with your Hufflepuff buddies this time!"
"O-Okay, yeah," he said, waving farewell. "I'll just see you all at Hogwarts!"
Leah watched him leave sadly. "I could have given him my seat."
"No offense to him," Sirius drawled, "but you are much... much prettier. I'd rather sit next to you any day."
"Ahhh…Our last ride to Hogwarts," James sighed, stretching out. "We should cherish it while it lasts…"
"It is a momentous occasion," Sirius agreed, snickering. "We should make it something to remember."
"You're not thinking what I think you are…are you?" Remus' voice was wary. "You get in trouble every year, Prongs, I don't see why…"
"Come on, Moony, you know you love the look on their sour little faces…" Sirius nudged Leah confidentially. "How about it, Matthews? Want to play some pranks on the Slytherins?"
"Oh, that's right," Sirius said. "You wouldn't know them… At Hogwarts, there are four groups of students: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and the Slytherin."
"We're all Gryffindors," James added proudly. "Slytherins are the worst." He stopped, giving her a suspicious glare. "You're not a Slytherin, are you?"
"No way!" Sirius cried, throwing his arm out in front of her as if shielding her from the accusations. "Look at her, Prongsie! She just couldn't be a Slytherin!"
"Have you been sorted yet?" Remus asked Leah curiously, ignoring the other two.
"It was a tie between Ravenclaw and Gryffindor," she said, thinking back to her adventure with the talking hat. "But the talking hat chose Gryffindor, because of-" She stopped, but the thought continued on in her mind. Because of why I was expelled.
"...Because of what?" James asked.
"Nothing. I don't know why I was put in Gryffindor."
"You must be brave," Remus said with a smile.
"Or ridiculously good-looking," Sirius added, giving her a thumbs up. "You have that one down. Congratulations! Now-" His voice took on a business-like tone. "In order to be a true Gryffindor, one must undergo certain tasks..."
"Hey, just because I'm new doesn't mean I'm stupid," Leah protested. "But..." She smirked. "If there's a prank involved, I guess I could watch."
"I like you already," Sirius said. Remus pinched the bridge of his nose, shaking his head in disappointment at his friends.
"Not another trouble-maker…Am I the only one with any amount of common sense?"
"Unfortunately for you, Moony, yes."
"Alright… So, I brought these tricks on board…We could levitate them into the Slytherin car easily enough."
"We do that every year," Sirius whined. "Why not something new?"
"We could put black-out spells on the windows," Leah suggested boredly. "They wouldn't be able to see a thing until we pulled into Hogwarts…" There was silence, and Leah looked away from their surprised stares. "Stop looking at me like that."
"You sound like you have 'pranking experience,'" Sirius accused, impressed. He grabbed her hand and kissed her knuckles again. "I approve. You can date me."
Leah took her hand back and shook her head. "No thanks."
"Aw, you didn't even give me a chance!"
"Imagine how scared they would be," James snickered, not even paying attention to Sirius' flirting. "All the first years would cry!"
"Potter, what are you doing here?" Everyone stopped talking and looked at the door, where a young woman with fiery red hair stood, her foot tapping with practiced impatience. She had unusual green eyes that gazed at James with disapproval. "We're Head Boy and Girl! We're supposed to patrol the train together. Not," she added, "play pranks on Slytherins."
"Oh, hello Evans! What pranks? I don't know what you're talking about…" He chuckled nervously and stood, gathering his cloak and uniform. "Well, I'll see you guys at the castle. Have fun without me…" The door shut gently, and they were gone.
"Are they an item?" Leah asked curiously.
"It's pretty obvious, isn't it?" Sirius shook his head. "He's obsessed with Lily... daft fool."
"Too bad she doesn't want a thing to do with him," Remus lamented, pulling out a book. "Now that your wicked plans have been thwarted, we can have a nice, quiet ride to Hogwarts for once."
"How long does it usually take to get to Hogwarts?" Leah asked.
"Just a few hours," he replied. Sirius sagged against the wall, moping dramatically to keep everyone's attention on him.
"It's the last train ride to Hogwarts and my very own best friend abandoned me…" He sighed pathetically. "Woe is me…" Leah chuckled at his acting. "Oi, Matthews…Maybe you can keep me company, beautiful." He slid across the seat until he was pressed against her. She rolled her blue-gray eyes and shoved him back.
At this, Remus burst into an uncontrollable fit of stifled laughter, and Sirius couldn't help but chuckle, as well. Leah got the feeling it was an inside joke, and felt left out.
"Hey, what's so funny?"
"That's…That's so fitting, Sirius," Remus said breathlessly. Leah's confusion deepened, but neither of them explained. Instead, Sirius jumped over to put Remus in a gentle but firm head lock. As they wrestled and argued (Remus apologizing repeatedly in order to get free of the Sirius' hold), Leah stared out the window, a soft smile on her face. Maybe it wouldn't be so hard to make friends here, after all.
With the boisterous boys joking with each other loudly in the background, Leah rested her temple against the thick glass of the window and let her grogginess take over. After all, she'd been running around hectically all day. A little nap wouldn't hurt. Soon, her senses dimmed, and she drifted into a peaceful sleep.
A/N: Revised, rewritten, etc etc. So far not much will have changed- the only real difference in this chapter is the introduction of Peter, who wasn't introduced until Chapter 4 of the old story. I hope you all liked it! My writing has changed a lot over the years, but I hope it isn't for the worst!!! Please review and let me know what you think. :)