chapter thirty eight - goodbyes

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James was awoken rather abruptly by several loud thumps. He sat up on his arm, yawning loudly, and rubbed the sleep out of his eyes, turning towards the sound automatically.

It was Sirius. He appeared to be - well, James couldn't actually tell. "Padfoot, what are you bloody doing?" He asked instead.

"I'm waking you lot up, of course," Sirius answered with an innocent smile, dropping his trunk down right in front of Remus' head, and then moving onto Peter.

"And you couldn't just like, I don't know, shake us awake?" James asked.

"And where's the fun in that?" Sirius grinned, dropping his trunk by Remus again as Peter stirred.

James got dressed quickly, wearing Muggle jeans and a grey short sleeved top. He was tying up his trainers, when he heard Remus yell, "Bloody hell, Pads, I'm up!" and he grinned and shook his head.

His trunk wasn't packed, and he quickly stuffed everything in, sitting on top of it to close it properly. Remus was getting dressed, looking sulky and Peter was, like James, packing his trunk. Sirius was sitting on his bed, looking thoughtful.

"What's got your panties in a twist, Pads?" James asked, sitting down next to Sirius after he'd finished packing.

"It's just," Sirius looked at him. "Next year is our last year,"

"It is." James agreed, giving his best friend a sullen look. They both fell silent, and watched Remus help Peter pack until they were all done. They carried their trunks down and James checked the time on his watch: 10:47. Thirteen minutes till the train left.

"You guys wanna go already?" Remus asked, after checking the time as well.

So they levitated their trunks down to the train and grabbed their normal seats at the back, where the trolley lady normal ventured first.

They played a few games until it got around to five to eleven, and then James noted the time.

"I'm going down, see if the train's gonna take off," he said, and he did exactly that.

There were still a few people rushing to get in, but otherwise most people were on it already. James waved to Hagrid, and as the train began to shake under his feet, he headed back to his compartment.

He played chess with Peter, teased Remus because he couldn't win one game Sirius, and then yawned and fell asleep, his small thoughts dissolving into one dream about freckles and laughing.

***

"Prongs!" Someone snapped, and James jumped up in his seat, dizzying himself a bit.

"What?" He looked at Remus, who rolled his eyes and pointed to the window. There was a bright sun outside and they were in King's Cross.

"Already?" He asked. "And where's Sirius and Peter?"

"Yes, for that first question," Remus answered. "And those two went down to Marlene them to say bye."

"And you didn't go with?"

"I did," Remus rolled his eyes. "But I came back to wake you up."

"So wait," James and Remus grabbed their trunks and then headed down to the door of the train, fighting the crowd to reach it. "You guys just left me open and vulnerable to sleep in the compartment?"

"Of course," Remus gave him a look that contained a laugh. "You're a big boy now, aren't you?"

They stepped out into the bright sunlight. James squinted against it, and dragged his trunk along the ground, following Remus to a pillar that James could see Sirius and Peter by, with Marlene and Dorcas and Laurelle and Lily.

Lily. He touched his fingers to his lips subconsciously, and felt that shiver that had become oh so familiar to him when she turned and looked at them approaching.

"And here's our Sleeping Besuty!" Sirius said, slinging his arm round James' shoulder when he reached them. James yawned in reply.

"You seen Mum and Dad yet?" He asked, looking around for them lazily.

"Nope, that's why I'm waiting here. Everyone else just came to me."

"Sure," Marlene rolled her eyes at Sirius.

"Isn't that them, James?" Peter said, pointing over to two people standing by the train, wearing long trench coats even in the heat.

"It is," Sirius said, and he took his trunk and started running towards them.

James hugged Peter and Remus, promising to see them soon, and Marlene ("Visit me, won't you?") And then Laurelle and Dorcas, wishing them good holidays, then he turned to Lily.

"Bye," he said awkwardly, not sure if she wanted to hug him or not.

Instead of answering, she reached forward and gave him a warm hug, her lips brushing across his cheeks briefly when she pulled away. He flushed, raised his hand in a greeting and then began to walk away.

"James," she'd reached and grabbed his arm, stopping him from going forward and he turned and looked at her. "Yeah?"

"I'll be at the beach for a month following the last week of July. I'll write you more details but, erm-" she flushed a bit. "-maybe you and Sirius could drop by sometime?"

"Yeah, yeah, of course." He felt his heart beat faster, and he held her gaze for a moment longer, before walking off, sending a wave over his shoulder.

***

So that's that. We're officially done with Just My Luck, after a year, two months and fifteen days.

I cannot begin to express how thankful I am for everyone who even looked at Just My Luck. This has been a long and hard journey, but we're done and there's a book two. Thank you so, so much for partaking in this journey with me.😍

Snuggles and lots of love💕💕💕

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