The students, luckily, were mostly still at dinner, and James knew how to avoid those who weren't, once he had them coming. The Marauder's Map would've been useful, or his cloak, but that was at home and the map had been confiscated a few years before, curse Filch for it--they had worked hard on that bit of magic. But even without it was easy enough; from the humped witch's statue, he'd only to go down a floor and around several corners and corridors before the gargoyle appeared. Quick glance cast over his shoulder, and a softly-spoken password, and he was in.
The office hadn't changed much since the last time James had been there, which should've been comforting. Should have. There was too much on his mind still: giants and secrets and spies and the most recent rash of Muggle killings and, certainly not least, his friends. Despite that everyone had (oddly) remained in disguise the entire meeting at the Hog's Head, James knew beyond a doubt that Lily hadn't been there. He knew. And he did understand, now, Dumbledore splitting the Order up. Logistically it was very clever. Brilliant. But it still worried him for his wife. He knew that she could take care of herself and didn't need a protector, but he would've felt much better if he'd known that she was safe right now. Then there were his three friends. Sirius, he knew, had been there, but he couldn't safely say either way about Peter or Remus, and that worried him as much as Lily's whereabouts did. And then the whole business of the specific questions that'd been asked...Sirius by name, and married couples...Merlin, if anything happened...
While so occupied with worrying, James removed the patchy cloak and folded it over the back of a chair, and waved his wand at himself. The charms disguising him vanished, and he looked like himself again. Hair untidy as ever, glasses slipped a little low on his nose tonight, and looking rather lost in thought with his hands shoved into his pockets and his shirtsleeves rolled back to his elbows.
"Mr. Potter, aren't you a tad past being sent to the Headmaster's office for misdemeanor offenses? I thought you'd left Hogwarts already."
It was the voice of a sharp-eyed witch, a former Headmistress whose name James didn't recall from history lessons.
"I have, several years ago. I'm here on business."
"Of what nature?"
Another painting, this one of Phineas Nigellus, who looked skeptical.
"Private," was all James said, shortly, as he picked up one of the odd silver instruments from a spindly table to the side, examining it absent-mindedly and wishing the others would hurry up.