THIRTYONE

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A R G U E
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As time increased, James seemed to slowly accept his father's death and become himself again. By a month into their seventh year, stray jokes were voiced by the bespectacled boy at breakfast, and sometimes dinner. Although his usual knack for pranking was absent, a serious improvement had been made.

Freya was quite proud of her friend. She assumed, alongside Marlene, that it was his commitment and involvement in the Order that brought up this dedicated passion, and rediscovered personality.

Rain pounded against the glass windows of the common room, which created a nice background sound for the crowd's chatter. The miserable lessons of Potions and History of Magic had ended for the day, and nobody was permitted to go out onto the castle grounds because of the storm. This left the room to be clogged with students curled on chairs with books, games, and homework.

She sat in her favorite armchair next to a dreary window in the Gryffindor common room. Previously she had been tuned into the conversation between her seven friends while watching the raindrops slide down the smooth glass, but now a blanket -- despite the weather being quite warm outside -- was draped across her knees and pulled up over her head as well. Grey wool socks on her feet were all that stuck out from the covering.

"It's not that cold in here, love," Remus attempted to pull the wool away from her face, but to no success. A smack directed by the girl to his palm sent his hand retreating away from the blanket that blocked her from her friends.

A loud, and very pleasing to the ear, laugh echoed through the crowded common room. In response to this noise, a dozen or so lower year students turned to peer at Sirius with fascinated gazes before turning back around to their homework and chess games. Freya cringed, not being able to see what was happening, but knowing their looks nonetheless. She had once been in that same boat, but she was glad that it had sunk quickly and she had swam out of it.

Sirius finally voiced the thought that had made him laugh so heartily, "I'm sure Remus has quite a few ways to warm you up, Frey."

An invisible oof followed his words, and Freya could only assume that one of her friends had socked him on his arm a little too aggressively.

"Shut up," Remus spoke, a fair bit of amusement seeping into his tone, which made the statement much less intimidating.

"Funny that you chose summer to do the warming up."

Another mixture of clamorous, obnoxious cackles followed this statement, and Freya found herself letting out a small, muffled snort from underneath the blanket. The statement was only amusing to her because of who had said it. Peter. She was not accustomed to the boy making jokes of the sort, and when he did, it always caused the loudest load of laughs.

The one person that did not join in on their fun was James. Despite getting better, and wanting to as well, it was hard for the boy to ignore the fact that the three month anniversary of his father's death had been just two days before. He would make an occasional joke, then seep back down into his pit of hard to crack solitude.

Lily seemed to notice, and with a careful approach, she sat down next to the boy in the spacious armchair. A single azure eye nosily poked out from underneath the warm blanket to watch the exchange between her two friends without being noticed by the others, including Remus, who were still throwing one joke after another across the room.

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