"Remember to write to me," Mum said sniffling slightly making me look at Dad, expecting him to step in any moment now. Dear Merlin! The woman looked like she was going to burst into tears. "Don't forget to pull yourself away from your books every now and then, and no pranks or-"
The whistle blew, cutting her off and she pulled me into her arms, squeezing the life out of me.
"Mum," I said the words smothered into her shoulder. I gave up struggling and wrapped my arms around her, pulling her closer to me. Her hold on me softened before she slowly pulled away from me and tucked some of my hair behind my ear. "I'm going to miss you mum."
"I'm going to miss you too, sweetheart."
Walking towards Dad I gave him a hug, feeling him press a kiss to the top of my head before he leaned down to whisper in my ear, "No boys this year." I made eye contact with mum over his shoulder and she rolled her eyes having obviously heard his words. "Look after yourself."
"You too," I managed to say as the train whistle blew and I pulled back from him suddenly. "I have to go."
Picking my trunk up I rushed onto the train, only to stop at the door and wave a final goodbye to my parents. They waved back and I headed into the train, scanning each of the carriages before stopping before my usual one.
"Remus," I said grinning at the shaggy haired boy as soon as I had entered the carriage. "How was your summer?" He didn't have a chance to answer as someone cleared their throat dramatically and I turned to look at the other boys in the carriage. "Hello Sirius, Peter."
Sirius grinned back at me as Peter gave me a shy wave. Rising from his seat Sirius stood up to help me lift my trunk onto the shelf. He moved to sit down once again and I pulled his cheek teasingly. "Aw ickle Sirius, such a gentlemen."
He glared mockingly back at me before sending me a wink. "Only for you, love."
"And every other girl in Hogwarts," I added pulling a book out from my bag, noticing the distinct lack of a certain marauder. As the train set off, I let myself sink into the seat, the book perched on my lap.
"You can't be serious because I'm Sirius." A voice said as I turned the first page, disrupting me midsentence. Furrowing my eyebrows slightly I looked up at Sirius as he leaned over and ripped the book away from my grasp. "No reading until we get to Hogwarts." He ordered, frowning heavily. "It's hard enough getting you away from the books at Hogwarts."
Reaching forward I moved to pull the book away from him but was side tracked when the carriage door slid open. I almost let out a small groan, expecting it to be a member of the boys' fan club but stopped as James walked in. Catching sight of his partner in crime, Sirius looked at James for support. "Back me up here mate; tell her that she can't read until we get to Hogwarts!"
"No," I insisted, shooting Sirius a look. "Back me up. Tell him to give me the book back and to leave me alone."
He looked between the two of us and rolled his eyes when we both asked, at the same time, "Who's your best friend?" He continued to stare at us in silence, already used to Sirius and my frequent arguments. Sitting down between us he plucked the book out of Sirius' hands and I gave Sirius a smirk only for it to falter when James sat on it, looking smugly between the two of us.
Sirius pouted slightly but still muttered, "At least she's not reading," to himself.
I turned to face James as he glanced between Sirius and me, his lip curved upwards in amusement. I pushed my bottom lip out, pleading silently with him. Taking one look at my expression he turned his focus back onto Remus but spoke to me, "Stop giving me that look or else I'm going to cave."
"That's kind of the point James," I said softly.
"Where were you James?" Remus piped up, closing the book that was in his hands making my expression return back to normal.
"Come on Moony." I looked at James with a teasing smile. "He was obviously with Evans."
"No actually I wasn't." I exchanged a look with Sirius; well that was a first.
Sirius spoke, meeting my gaze with a raised eyebrow. "Then where were you mate?"
"Getting these." Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out three chocolate frogs from his pocket and handed one to me, Remus and Peter.
"Prongsie," Sirius whined with a pout. "Where's mine?"
"I saw you all summer. Go get your own."
Rising from his seat, Sirius grumbled and walked off in search of the food cart.
"And this," James said, facing me as soon as Sirius had left. Remus looked between the two of us, shooting me a pointed look, before he started a conversation with Peter. Was that supposed to mean something? "Is for writing to me over summer and helping me retain some of my sanity while Sirius decided to try and destroy my house." Reaching into his pocket he pulled his hand out in a closed fist. Watching his hand I saw him slowly unfurl it, picking up what was in it before he reached over and picked up my hand. He met my gaze as he placed the locket in the palm of my hand.
I began to protest instantly, "James-"
"It's an extremely early birthday present." He added, cutting me off. I sighed knowing that he would be able to counter whatever protests I made. Giving him a soft smile I reached over and pecked his cheek. Looking away, I moved my hair out of the way and fixed it around my neck, catching the flush of red as it crept up his neck from his distorted reflection in the window.
"Muggle romance books really?" I froze and quickly turned back to face him. He flickered through the pages, a slight frown marring his face as his eyes scanned briefly across the pages.
"James give that back." I reached over to pluck the book away from him.
"No." Stretching his hand up, he moved the book from my reach.
As I moved slightly I had to reach across him in an attempt to get it. One of his hands snuck round to my waist and his fingers dug into the skin above my hip bone. I let out a shriek of uncontrollable laughter and stopped reaching across from him instantly, trying to swat his hands away from my sides. He grasped my waist quickly and pulled me down onto his lap, throwing the book into a random corner of the carriage. I couldn't look for it, not whilst his hands were pulling me closer towards him and his eyes were captivating mine.
"The characters are so cheesy." He muttered, setting his forehead on mine.
"No. They're sweet." I argued quietly.
He arched an eyebrow pulling me even closer towards him. "They're cliché."
"They're really not-"
A throat cleared and I flushed red, pulling away from James instantly, well as far away from him as I could, considering that he still had an arm wrapped firmly around my waist. My blush grew as I was suddenly reminded of the other people in the carriage. Turning my attention back to the person standing before us I looked up to find a glaring Evans peering down at me. She shifted her gaze to James and straightened up slightly, crossing her arms.
"We need to have a meeting with the prefects." The words were directed to James. He nodded, his eyes never leaving my face, not even as she spoke. Sirius appeared in the doorway, his eyebrows raised slightly once he'd noticed Evan's presence but he seemed unfazed by James and my current position. Evans went to walk away, glaring at Sirius until he moved out of her way and stopped before turning back to me.
"5 points from Gryffindor for indecency Myers."
My mouth dropped open in protest, mirroring Sirius' expression and James spoke up instantly. "You can't do that Evans. It's against the school rules. The school term hasn't even started yet."
Sirius threw her a smirk, sticking his tongue out at the back of her head as she met James' gaze. She gave him a terse nod before looking at him expectantly. "The meeting?"
I stood up from his lap. Standing, James linked his fingers with mine, getting ready to tug me out of the room as Remus also rose to his feet. Evans eyes flickered down to our interlinked hands and she shot me a look. I pulled my hand away slowly only to have James link our fingers again. "She's a prefect so she needs to be at the meeting."
"Actually," I said quietly as Evans continued to watch me closely. "Maybe I should stay here and Remus can fill me in on whatever I need to know. That way someone can make sure that Sirius doesn't end up blowing the train up."
Sirius gasped in offence and Remus rolled his eyes before speaking. "Don't worry about it, besides Peter's here so it's not like I'm going to be alone."
I sighed slightly, allowing James to pull me out of the carriage, knowing that Peter would make no attempt to stop Sirius but would rather follow his plans blindly. Following James and Remus down the train and to the prefect's carriage I sat down beside Remus as James and Evans walked to the front and addressed all of the prefects.
Evans spoke first, talking us through the rules that we had to adhere to and the consequences of not doing so. She rambled on and I met James' gaze as he rolled his eyes. He was lucky; this was his first time hearing this speech.
Once talk settled onto the rounds James stood up and began to speak, "Now, we've already assigned you your rounds partners, as you can tell from the timetable, and you have to make sure that you don't end up doing anything...inappropriate with them," he said suggestively, throwing me a wink as he grinned. I rolled my eyes, watching as Evan's scoffed and took over, allowing James to sit down.
Meeting my gaze he motioned for me to look down at my timetable. Glancing down at the piece of paper in my hand I grinned. He'd managed to make sure that all of our rounds were together.
Well, prefect rounds certainly weren't going to be boring this year.
"Wait," I called out watching the three boys rush out of the common room as my gaze fell on to the full moon through the window.
They hesitated and Sirius said a quick," Me and Pete will go ahead, stay here for a bit prongs."
James nodded slightly watching as the other boys ran ahead and he glanced back at me. "What's the matter?"
Noticing the eyes that were trained onto us, I tugged at his arm and pulled him into an alcove. "I know that I say this all the time James but the four of you need to stay safe tonight, promise?"
"I promise," He said quietly, tucking some of my hair behind my ear. Then he was running away from me to catch up with the boys and I walked out of the alcove and into the common room, my stomach twisted in worry.
"Are you alright?" Alice asked quietly as I made my way into our dorm and towards my bed.
I forced a small smiled onto my face, "Yeah, you know me I'm just a bit tired. Nothing a good night's sleep can't cure."
She smiled and I closed my bed's curtains around me knowing that a good night's sleep was out of the question. I sat in the centre of my bed playing with the locket around my neck, waiting for day to break. I only managed to catch about an hour's sleep before pausing as I heard something rustle. Opening the curtain I watched as Alice stirred and took that as a sign to get up. Once I had changed I cast a small glamour charm to hide the bags that I knew were under my eyes and walked down to breakfast with Alice. She spoke quietly, her voice full of excitement yet carrying an undertone of nerves.
I raised an eyebrow as I sat down across from her. "What's got you in such a good mood?"
She paused, holding a piece of toast up in front of her. "Frank."
"What about him?" She blushed slightly and I grinned, knowing all too well about her crush on Gryffindor's resident gentleman.
"We're, um, we're going to Hogsmeade together."
"About time," I muttered teasingly, pulling a slice of toast towards me as Evans settled herself down beside Alice.
"Hi Alice, Myers." I sent her a polite smile, returning to my breakfast. "Have you seen Potter?"
My eyes widened and I looked up at her, masking my face to appear natural. "Why?"
"He wasn't in the heads dorm last night." She shrugged indifferently. "I was just curious."
"I think he spent the day with the boys," I murmured. "He's probably still asleep in their dorm right now."
"It wouldn't surprise me," Alice agreed, "He's so used to seeing Lupin, Black and Pettigrew 24 hours a day and he probably missed them or something."
I waited with them for a while longer until Frank appeared beside me and spoke to Alice, blushing as he did so. Taking the chance I slipped away from them and made my way down to the kitchens. Tickling the pear and slipping into the room I watched the house elves until a basket of things were handed straight into my hands before I could even ask for something.
"Here you go miss," the elf before me smiled. "The usual."
I nodded my head in a silent 'thank you' and slipped out of the room, making my way towards the hospital wing. Pushing the door open I glanced over at Madam Pomfrey who waved a hand, ushering me in.
"Miss Myers," she said tiredly escorting me towards their beds. "I know that you are aware that you mustn't stress them too much."
"They've been complaining haven't they?" I asked knowingly.
She rolled her eyes. "If by' they' you mean Mr Potter and Mr Black then you would be correct. They've been demanding to leave so that they don't miss out on Hogsmeade."
"How did you shut them up in the end?"
"I was tempted to silence them with a 'silencio' but in the end I said that they would be allowed to leave once you've arrived to visit them, like I knew you would." She sent me a look before stopping. "I honestly don't know how you put up with them."
She turned away from me and walked away, leaving me to look at the four beds that were occupied with sleeping boys. Grinning to myself I placed my fingers in my mouth and let out a sharp whistle. They startled awake and groggily looked at me before sitting up and smiling weakly at me. Rolling my eyes I made my way between them, opening the basket in my hand.
"How are you feeling?" I asked quietly, stopping beside Remus' bed. He didn't answer me in words and only gave me a self-deprecating smile. "It's not your fault Remus, you should be proud that you have such nice friends and besides if a certain someone had allowed me to figure out how to become an animagus then I would be out there with you," I said giving James a pointed look. He only rolled his eyes in response. Turning back to Remus I pulled out five large chocolate bars and slid them under his pillow, giving him a sly wink. "Don't let Pomfrey see or else I won't be allowed in to see you next time."
"Thanks," he said summoning a weak grin.
Making my way towards Peter I watched as he tried to sit up against the pillow. He winced when he was unable to. "Don't worry about it Pete, I brought something for you." Setting the chocolate cake before him I continued on towards Sirius who grinned at me.
"What have you got for me, love?"
"The same thing that you always want," I rolled my eyes.
"Really? Here? In front of everyone else?" Sirius grinned cheekily, "Merlin I knew you were kinky but-"
"Shut up Black," I said pulling a parcel out from the basket. "Do you want this or not?" He nodded eagerly and I set the parcel in his lap. Unwrapping it he looked down at the treacle tart before grinning at me. Honestly, boys and their food.
Walking towards James I handed him the shortbread biscuits and he smiled thankfully at me. Gesturing for me to go closer to him, he pulled on my arm and made me sit down beside him on the bed. His eyes scanned over my face and the smile dimmed slightly.
"Get rid of the charm?"
"What?" I asked, lowering my voice so that the other boys didn't hear my words.
"Get rid of the glamour charm, even if it's for a few seconds only." His grip on my wrist tightened slightly, silently telling me that he wouldn't let me leave until I had done as he had asked.
Reaching into my pocket I pulled out my wand and allowed the charm to drop for a fraction of a second before replacing it quickly. But it was enough for James. His hand came up to frame my face before he rubbed his thumb across the place where I knew the bags were.
"You hardly slept at all last night, didn't you?" I nodded making him let out a sigh. "Honestly you shouldn't worry so much about us."
"Well," I said slowly. "I wouldn't have to worry about the four of you if I was there as well."
"No," he said instantly, "Absolutely not."
I stood up, hearing footsteps approach and watched as Remus stuffed the chocolate under his pillow, Sirius wrapped up his tart again and Peter stuffed the rest of his cake into his mouth. Moving to stand in front of James' hand that held the shortbread parcel, I watched Madam Pomfrey as she approached, hiding the shortbread from her eyes.
"Mr Potter, Mr Black and Mr Pettigrew, the three of you may leave as soon as you have changed." She turned to leave. "But you are not allowed out of the castle today, understand? Miss Myers," she turned to look at me, "If they do happen to leave the premises then I will hold you accountable."
The three boys and I nodded as Peter asked, "What about Moony?"
"Mr Lupin will be joining you tomorrow, I'm only keeping him here tonight for observation."
Once the three boys had managed to get changed, I was left with the task of escorting them to the common room. The journey consisted of them leaning against me, against each other and against the wall, for support until we finally clambered into the common room.
"I just want to sleep," Sirius moaned and Peter nodded in affirmation. Slowly, James and I helped them both up the stairs and into their dorm and then into their beds. As soon as I had pulled the blanket up around his chin, Sirius was asleep and snoring loudly.
Turning back towards James I let him loop an arm around my waist for support as he walked down the stairs and towards the head's dorm.
"I should go," I muttered as the portrait that guarded the head's dorm swung open.
"Stay," he ordered, one of his hands wrapping around my wrist to tug me in after him.
"James," I protested but he waved away my complaints with his hand.
Sitting down on the sofa I watched him lie down on it, setting his head in my lap. Almost instinctively I ran my hand through his hair, watching as his eyes drifted shut. He opened them quickly, fighting against it. "Sleep James," I hummed quietly.
"You need to sleep as well," He whispered, his eyes closing again.
"And I will, once you've fallen asleep I'll go back to my dorm." His eyes slowly opened before he sat up. "James?" Reaching over he pulled me so that I was lying down and he settled himself behind me.
I was about to protest when he wrapped an arm around my waist to pull me back against him so that I didn't fall over the edge. My eyes slowly closed as I felt his nose press to my shoulder and his breath fanned across my neck. Maybe I could sleep here for a while.
"Myers," a voice hissed making me groan slightly. "Get up."
Blinking slowly I glanced up at Evan's face and sat up quickly, jostling something behind me. Turning back I looked at James as he slowly woke up as well. "What time is it?"
"Almost time for dinner!" My eyes widened slightly and James yawned beside me. "I came back from Hogsmeade with Alice and found you and Potter-"
"Relax Evans," James muttered taking off his glasses to rub his eyes before setting them back on his face. "Let's just go to dinner." The three of us slowly made our way towards the great hall and my gaze fell to the floor, aware of the way that Evans had been staring between me and James.
As I went to walk into the Great Hall James tugged at my arm to stop me. He waved his wand at my face before placing his wand back into his pocket. He nodded to himself, "There, much better."
I raised an eyebrow before realising that he had removed the glamour charm and that the bags weren't there anymore. James turned and I followed him to the Gryffindor table.
"Relax." I nudged James with my shoulder as he bounced his knee up and down. "It's only Defence against the Dark Arts."
"But I need it to become an Auror." He muttered back to me.
As soon as he started wringing his hands nervously, I took them in mine making him meet my gaze. "Defence is your best subject. You'll be perfectly fine."
"I hope you're right." He murmured under his breath. He waited anxiously beside me before we all stood up as the professor ordered us into a line.
"Go." The professor instructed the first person in the line.
James walked towards the line and I found myself pushed several places behind him. "It's a boggart," he hissed looking around the people separating us, as the student before him walked up.
"Mr Potter you're up." Straining to look past everyone, I eventually gave up with a sigh and listened up for his voice. Muffled gasps were let out by the people at the front and I heard him stutter and speak faintly.
"James you don't have to," Sirius spoke up from behind him. My curiosity got the better of me as I moved out of the line.
I froze as I saw James' pale, quivering form as he held his wand outstretched. His eyes were wide and full of blind panic. Slowly his raised arm began to shake as he lowered it back to his side, wand slipped from between his fingers. His wand hit the floor silently. My gaze moved towards his boggart and a gasp left my throat when I saw the lifeless body that the boggart had transformed into. Looking past James' shoulder at Sirius and Remus I watched them nod at me. I nodded back and they took to either side of him. Taking a hold of his shoulders they pushed him out of line and Sirius replaced James' position in front of the boggart. James tumbled out of line and I caught his arm. Dragging him over towards a chair I sat him down and made him look at me as I settled myself between his legs. Looking momentarily over at the professor I gave a small nod, telling him that I would handle James.
"James." I whispered quietly.
His eyes widened drastically at the sound of my voice, the fear and desperation fleeing from them. They scanned quickly over my face, taking in every inch of it as relief filled them. Pulling me closer towards him he seemed to frown as if realising that I wasn't close enough to him. Lifting me up and setting me on his lap, he buried his head into my neck.
"I thought you'd died."
I hugged him, rubbing my hands up and down his back. "I'm here James. I'm alive."
He nodded, repeating my words over and over to himself under his breath. His grasp on me tightened slightly every time he repeated them to himself.
"Potter." He pulled away reluctantly and looked expectantly at Evans. "You dropped your wand."
He nodded once, his gaze falling towards her hand as it held his wand. Reaching out for it Evans slipped it into his hand and he glanced away from her, his free hand moving to my cheek as he completely ignored Evans presence. "No matter what happens I'm going to be here to protect you."
I began to speak, aware of Evans eyes on us and the hurt displayed in them. "James-"
"These are dark times and anything could happen to you especially because of the vendetta against muggleborns. I'm not going to let you get hurt." Framing his jaw with my hand I pressed a kiss to his cheek.
From that day on, he hadn't let me out of his sight. He went everywhere with me, almost everywhere. He had once attempted to enter the girls' toilets and well- from then on Alice had to accompany me to the toilet or else he would force his way in.
"James you need to sleep." I murmured sitting on one of the sofas in the common room as he sat beside me. He groaned closing his eyes and set his forehead against my shoulder.
"Come with me." He muttered into my neck, making me shiver slightly when his lips brushed against my neck.
"Nothing's going to happen to me overnight."
Wrapping an arm around me, he pulled me closer. "Please." Pulling back he showed me his puppy dog eyes. Let it be known that I was a sucker for puppy dog eyes but on James they were lethal.
"Evans doesn't like me being there," I muttered rolling my eyes at him.
"Who cares what she thinks."
My eyes widened. "You do."
"No I don't." I frowned at him as he closed his eyes and settled against me, a yawn slipping past his lips. Wrapping an arm around my waist he nestled his head into my neck.
You'd have thought that he'd care more about Evans. Especially now when she seemed to like him back.
"So are you coming back to my room with me or am I bunking in the girls' dorm?"
I rolled my eyes.
"What did you think about James' boggart?"
I looked up as Sirius slid into the chair across from me, taking James' normal seat. James shot him a curious look but moved to sits silently beside Remus. "It was strange and kind of terrifying. I mean I'd have expected it to be Evans' body rather than mine."
"I didn't." My eyes snapped up to meet his, demanding an explanation. "You know how we always compete to be the one that James calls his best friend. Well he told me I'm his best friend." I did my best to mask my hurt but apparently he caught sight of it. "What I meant by that was that he could never see you as his best friend. Wait. That came out wrong as well."
"Save it Sirius."
"If he accepts you as his best friend then he's accepting his position as a friend. He'd have been friend zoned."
I froze slightly, trying not to let hope blossom that I hadn't been friend zoned either. Glancing down at the parchment in front of me, I pretended to take notes. "You're wrong; he likes Evans."
"No he doesn't! He just lets you think he does."
Giving a slight scoff, I leaned closer towards him, lowering my voice. "And why would he do that?"
"Because no matter how many times Evans rejects him it doesn't matter because it doesn't hurt him in any way." He lowered his voice as well. "But if you even rejected him once, just once then he'd be broken beyond repair."
"You don't mean that," I said quietly, looking down at my lap.
"He gave you the locket didn't he?"
"What does that have to do with anything?"
He gave an exaggerated sigh and ruffled his hair. "It's an old pure blood custom. You give a symbol of your promise to remain faithful to them and them alone to the person you want to spend the rest of your life with."
"And you think that's my locket?" I asked uncertainly reaching up to play with it.
"It has the Potter family crest on it doesn't it?"
I remained silent. The crest was engraved onto the back of it.
Pausing outside of the heads common room I said the password, that James had supplied me with, and walked into the room. He was sitting on the sofa, playing with his snitch. He looked up, hearing the portrait open and began to grin when he saw me. Patting the space beside him he motioned for me to sit down and I shook my head, standing before him.
"James." I bit my lip, wondering whether I should do this or not. Unhooking the locket, I reached over and picked up his hand. Letting out a slight breath I placed it in the palm of his hand.
"What's this for?"
"Sirius told me what it really meant." He stiffened and looked warily up at me as he rose slowly from his seat and towering over me. I swallowed thickly. "And I think that you should give it to the person it's meant for. Evans."
Turning on my heels, I walked away and paused hearing his voice. "Why would I give it to her?"
"It's a promise James. A promise to-"
He walked up behind me and took a hold of my elbow before turning me around. "To love only that person for the rest of my life. I know." Sweeping my hair over to one of my shoulders, he fixed it back around my neck. "That's why it's rightfully yours."
I looked up at him. "James-"
"It's just your choice if you decide to keep it or not." His words were quiet and I heard the slight waver of nerves in them.
"I think I will."
I turned to face him and watched as a small smirk gradually made its way onto his face before it disappeared. "You do understand what it means right?"
I nodded, suddenly too shy to meet his eyes. Sweeping me into his arms, he picked me up bridal style making me wrap my hands around his neck.
"Where to future Mrs Potter?"
"I wouldn't go that as far as to say that one day I'll marry you."
"I would." He smirked roguishly at me lowering his head so that he was mere inches from my lips "You can't resist my charms." I rolled my eyes and tried to pull away only to have him pull me closer. "You didn't answer my question."
"Anywhere, as long as you put me down."
"Never," he declared running out of the common room and into the hallway before walking towards the Gryffindor common room. Announcing the password to the Fat Lady he swept into the common room, making me bury my head into his neck to escape the curious and knowing looks that we received from everyone in the room.
"Is it done?" Remus asked making me raise an eyebrow although I didn't look up from James' neck.
"Yes." I heard the smirk in James voice.
"Well it's about bloody time Prongs!" Sirius cheered and I groaned when he let out a wolf whistle.