Fanfiction contest for Molly Weasley's knitted Sweater. Must have three chapters.

Characters; Choice 1: Lily, Snape, James Potter, Sirius Black.

Summary; Small changes on platform 9 and 3/4 result in drastic changes to the storyline.

Chapter one.

He stood by himself, while children around him bid farewell to their parents and loved ones. Not surprisingly, his mother had been too ill to attend, and his father had no interest in his half Blood son's activities. But even these facts could not dampen his spirits; he was finally free! Finally off to that marvelous place that had long haunted his best daydreams, his head filled with long-winded reminiscences from his mother. Her normally listless face would light up with some inner beauty when she told him about flying over the castle, preparing potions with her friends, even getting detention from the old caretaker, Apollyon Pringle. He could see why, violent and surly as he was, his muggle father had fallen from for the brilliant witch. But time had taken it's toll, and being forced to live in a world without the magic she so loved had changed his mother into the pathetic skeleton she was, and that was that.

Severus flicked his dark hair out of his eyes, glancing around for the familiar locks of red hair of Lily Evans. Instead, he caught eyes with another dark haired boy who also looked like he was in need of a haircut. The boy rolled his eyes, wiggled his eyebrows, and somehow showed his disdain of his weeping mother beside him all in one. She was saying things like "Now don't forget your jumper, you know how easily you catch colds…" and "Remember to uphold the family honour, Sirius…"

Finally, he shrugged her off his shoulder.

"Now, Now Walburga, the boy's got to grow up sometime. You spoil him…" A tall man next to them said, before getting cut off by the woman's indignant reply.

"I'm getting on the train now!" The boy said loudly, and Severus realized it was a minute to eleven, and he had better follow suit.

Lily was no doubt already on board; he must have missed her in the crowd. Severus stumbled into an empty carriage to wait for her, only to be immediately followed in by the long-haired youth he had just been watching.

"They're a nightmare, honestly," he said in way of conversation, gesturing to his parents still on the platform outside. His mother was now weeping on his father's shoulder, while another boy, younger than Sirius, was now alone in his embarrassment.

"Did you come alone?" His eyes sparkled curiously, but there was no malice in the statement.

Severus, unused to such a high level of scrutiny, shrugged.

"My mother is ill, and my father…" he stopped himself from admitting to this boy that his father was a muggle; what if he was one of those pureblood maniacs who detested 'mudbloods'?

"He was working," he finished finally, and awkwardly.

"Oh. Lucky you! So," Sirius said, taking a seat as the train lurched into movement. "What house d'you reckon you'll be in? My whole family has been in Slytherin," he said the last with a touch of disdain, as if anything to do with his family reflected badly upon himself.

"Mine have too, but I suppose you don't know until you get there," Severus replied softly.

"Mmm. I suppose. I'm Sirius Black by the way, of the noble house of Black," he said the last in a fair imitation of his mother's voice.

Severus coughed out a laughed and smiled feebly. The extravagant boy was almost more than he could handle, but he held out his hand anyway.

"My name is Severus Snape,"

"Nice to meet you, Severus," Sirius replied leaning back comfortably. "Sit down, would you? You're making me nervous,"

So Severus sat, his eyes not leaving the tall, proud boy opposite him.

"I'm actually waiting for someone," he said. "Lily Evans, a muggleborn,"

He knew he was testing the waters, and waited for Sirius' reaction.

"Oh? Good looking sort?" Sirius leered, and did the eye waggle again.

"She's not like that-" Severus said hotly.

"Don't get your knickers in a twist. I was joking. But it's good to see you've got a backbone," Sirius looked at him, considering. "I thought under those second hand robes was nothing but a coward, but you've proven me wrong,"

Severus was not sure whether to be insulted by the coward and second-hand robe comment, but decided he was better off ignoring most of the things Sirius said.

"Alright then. Which Quidditch team do you follow?" Severus said changing the subject. He had noticed a Wimbourne Wasps sticker on the other boy's trunk, and listened for a few minutes as Sirius spoke of their chances in this year's cup. There was a sudden knock on the outside door of the carriage, and Lily's flame red head suddenly popped around the corner.

"Sev! I've been looking for you everywhere. Petunia forgot her mirror, so of course we had to go back and get it, and then there was so much traffic! Only just made it in time, lucky you told me how to get into the platform!" She chattered, coming into the compartment.

Her eyes finally rested on the boy lolling on the seat opposite to Severus.

"Hello, I'm Lily Evans. Are you a friend of Severus?" she asked, sitting down.

Sirius glanced at Severus.

"I suppose we are, although we've just met. I am Sirius Black, Severus told me he was waiting for you. I can leave if you want,"

"It's fine, Black, sit back down," Severus said, afraid Lily was about to see some of his suggestive eyebrow waggling.

Sirius grinned. "You're all right, Snape. Do you want to play a round of Exploding Snap? Although we'll need a forth if Evans wants to play,"

As he was speaking, the compartment slid open again and another first year came in.

"D'you mind if I sit in here? Everywhere else is full. I'm James Potter, by the way," he had the same don't care attitude as Sirius, but seemed to exude charm.

"Not at all," Lily stammered next to Severus, her cheeks slightly pink. "We were about to play cards, did you want to join?"

They spent most of the journey playing cards, getting up only when a witch pushing a trolley stopped to offered them sweets. Severus knew he could not afford to spend any of the money his mother had pushed into his hand that morning; if he needed anything while at school he would have to pay for it, and his parents couldn't send him any more money.

"Snape, would you like anything? My treat," Sirius offered, frowning when Severus shook his head. To his surprise Black pressed two pumpkin pasties and some chocolate frogs into his hands when he returned, waving off Severus' stammered thanks.

"You look like you could do with a good meal," Sirius said in his blunt way, a manner that Severus was rapidly becoming used to. It was obvious the boy had been ridiculously spoiled, but he seemed decent enough when he wasn't mouthing off.

"Sirius is right you know," Lily said, poking him in the ribs and smiling at him.

"Oh shut up," Severus said, smiling softly back.

"Oi, stop flirting and deal the cards!" James said returning with his own mountain of sweets.

"It's your turn to deal, Potter, or has all that sugar made you forget?" Severus said good-naturedly returning the jibe.

They laughed and spoke of the upcoming school year. Worried about where the Sorting would send them (James in particular seemed intent on Gryffindor, at which Severus and Sirius exchanged uncomfortable glances) until the train finally slowed.

They stumbled out onto the Hogsmeade platform, clad in black school robes. Severus fingered his old, frayed hems uncomfortably, until Lily took his hand in hers.

"It'll be alright, Sev, you'll see," she said with her usual optimism.

"Yeah Snape, get over yourself, no one cares what you look like," Sirius grinned, punching him good-naturedly in the arm.

"Now, let's go meet out fate, eh?" He said, striding comfortably towards the waiting boats, leaving the three others behind.

"Oi, wait up!" Potter called, chasing after Sirius.

Severus, hand still in Lily's, walked forward, secure in the knowledge that at least she was with him.