A/N: Millions and millions of thank-yous go to my beta, Daily
Prophet Reporting, for his patience with me and my perfectionist
nature. He has slaved over this story with me for over a year with
wonderful tolerance and I really, really appreciate him. You rock, KC!
So, here's Part Two. I hope you enjoy it. I want to apologize ahead of
time for the delays in this story I'm about to embark upon my last
year of high school and it will be a very busy time for me. Thank you
in advance for your patience! And, as always, please review!
Life and love are life and love, a
bunch of violets is a bunch of violets, and to drag in the idea of a
point is to ruin everything. Live and let live, love and let love,
flower and fade, and follow the natural curve, which flows on,
-D. H. Lawrence
Evans woke up on Saturday, July 8, as suddenly and completely as if a
loud noise of some sort had gone off in her ear. As she squinted in the
morning light that poured through the window beside her bed, she
wondered for a few seconds why her stomach was fluttering madly. Then
it hit her: today was her cousin Sarah's wedding. And, more
importantly, today was the day she would see James.
been just a little over a week since they had bid each other goodbye on
platform nine and three-quarters, and though she had said she would not
moon over James, that was exactly what Lily had been doing. She found
she couldn't go more than five minutes without thinking of him and it
was driving her mad. In a fit of desperation she had resorted to
telling her mother of her dilemma, and Mrs. Evans had smiled in an
annoyingly superior sort of way and said, "You'll see him soon enough,
dear." Lily found that she couldn't look at the brooms in the closet
without her heart wrenching painfully, and she kept seeing people that
looked like James. The most memorable occasion was when Mrs. Evans and
Lily had been shopping for dresses to wear to the wedding and Lily had
thought she saw his mop of messy black hair through the crowd. As she
was straining to see if it really was him, she ran smack into a road
sign. A group of smoking thirteen-year-olds standing nearby had laughed
at her until she gave them her worst death glare and moved on.
sleepy eyes turned to her small bedside table. As he had promised,
James had been sending her sappy love poems he had written for her as
early as third year throughout the week; she picked up the top letter
and grinned as she reread it.
hold in your hands the first poem I ever wrote for you. I thought I had
burned it over some break or another, but obviously I didn't. You have
to promise you will never, ever bring this up to Sirius; I don't want
him to have any more ways to blackmail me than he does already. I
apologize in advance for the completely horrible poem coming up. Not
that any of them are particularly good.
Sirius and I
are going mad in all this rain. Mum hates it when we fly in it, even
though it's perfectly harmless, and she rants on about catching colds
and such. Well, hopefully it will all clear up for the wedding. Sirius
and I are also keeping an eye out for flats in London and Diagon Alley,
but so far nothing's grabbed his fancy. He really can be absurdly picky
Anyway, I miss you.
Ode to Lily Evans
Lily Evans, you are my light
Your face shines like a big beacon
Throughout the night.
I love it when you give big smiles
And your laugh is like a clear bell.
For you, I would run a thousand miles.
I asked you to Hogsmeade again last week
You looked at me like I was crazy-
And then called me an arrogant freak.
I'll ask you again soon,
And I know one day you'll agree
And then you'll be so happy, Lily Evans, you'll fly with me to the moon.
I seem to remember I couldn't think of anything to suitably rhyme with
"soon". Though why I'm attempting to explain my motives to you I have
Lily chuckled softly and closed her eyes,
enjoying the warm, contented feeling floating through her. How was it
possible that James could make her laugh, cry, and feel lighter than
air all at once?
Lily kicked the fluffy duvet off her legs
and sat up. She put the letter back on her night table carefully and
read the clock; she calculated quickly that James would be arriving in
a little over six hours. A huge burst of excitement gave her energy,
and she jumped out of bed and bounded across the room to her closet.
She grabbed her dressing gown, brushing past the dress she would wear
that night, and threw it on, planning her day out already. She would go
downstairs and have a good breakfast, read some of the book Remus had
given her for her birthday until lunch, and then perhaps see if her
father wanted to have a game of tennis. By then it would be time to get
ready for the wedding, and after that James.
day went very much as she planned, which added to Lily's good mood. The
only slight hitch was how her father had looked exhausted and needed to
sit down often during their game of tennis, which worried her.
Regardless, she and her father returned, sweaty and hot but grinning,
from their game just in time to bid Mrs. Evans goodbye. As Sarah was
Mrs. Evans's sister Joy's daughter and since Joy had died when Lily was
ten, Mrs. Evans felt it was her duty to be a mother to Sarah. Lily felt
that Mrs. Evans was wasting her time, as Sarah cared more for her
manicure than she did for her loving aunt, but it made her mother happy
so Lily never voiced her opinions about her ingrate cousin.
forget, Bob, that we're family and we have seats at the front of the
chapel," Mrs. Evans said as she kissed her husband quickly on the
cheek. "And also, make sure you find Mother properly, will you? Right,
love you both! I'll come join you as soon as I can! Say hello to James
for me, Lily," she called with a wink before disappearing out the door.
Mr. Evans and Lily looked at each other for a split second before calling at the same time, "First shower!"
wheedled her way into getting the first shower (he always let her go
first) and grinned as she skipped upstairs into her bathroom. She
showered, put on her new dark blue dress, and then dried her hair. She
gave it a bit of a curl to make it more interesting and fastened on the
pearls Grandmummy had given her. She then spent twenty minutes hunting
for a suitable handbag that could hold her wand, and by the time she
realized she was a witch and could transfigure something into the
appropriate shape, she was feeling a bit testy. When she finally made
her way downstairs, pushing her long hair back from her face and
huffing at her stupidity, her father, looking very smart in his morning
suit, smiled at her from behind his newspaper.
"Is everything all right, darling?" he asked worriedly, taking in her flushed face and frowning mouth.
"Oh yes," she said tetchily, not bothering to give an explanation. At that moment, a loud pop
and a crash sounded from the next room. Lily and her father looked at
each other with alarm before hurrying into the family room, Lily with
her wand drawn. Upon entering they found the towering collection of
records that had been next to the record player strewn all over the
floor; the record player itself was mere inches from falling off the
table. In the midst of all of this was a very red James; he was on the
floor, covered by the records, rubbing the back of his head which he
had obviously hit on the fireplace behind him and looking very
embarrassed. Lily couldn't help but notice, as she laughed herself
silly, that he looked quite handsome in his suit.
up on his elbow and waved his wand, and everything righted itself
again. The records were put back into their neat stacks and the player
was solidly situated on its table once more.
there, James?" Mr. Evans asked, a smile lurking around his face, doing
his best to ignore his hysterical daughter. He reached out a hand to
help James off the floor, and James accepted it gratefully.
yes, I'm fine," James said, glaring at Lily. "I'm very sorry, sir, I
meant to appear at the door," he said to her father, trying to be
smooth and charming. He reflexively ruffled his hair.
trouble at all, James." Mr. Evans grinned at them both before tapping
his watch. "We need to leave in about five minutes," he warned before
going back into the kitchen. Lily was seated on the arm of a nearby
chair, clutching her stomach and gasping.
"Oh, James, I'm sorry, that was just you should have seen your face-"
James grinned. "I suppose it was quite funny, wasn't it? Not quite the suave entrance I was hoping for."
stared at him for a moment, still smiling, taking in his suit. James,
meanwhile, did some staring of his own. "Lily you look "
"Well, I was going to say incredible, but I suppose fabulous works too."
stood up slowly from the arm of the chair, suddenly feeling a bit shy.
He had never seen her in a Muggle dress before, had he? And her hair
she suddenly wished she hadn't curled it. It seemed silly now.
chose to reach for a lock of hair at that moment; he twirled it around
his finger. "You should curl it more often," he told her before leaning
down to kiss her. All thoughts of her hair vanished instantly as she
surrendered herself to his embrace.
"Mmmh, I missed you," he
said quietly when they pulled apart, and Lily hugged him tightly in
response. Her head fit perfectly under his chin.
They stood in
silence for a few long minutes, just content to hold each other. Lily
filled her nose with his unmistakable scent as he alternately stroked
her hair and pressed kisses on top of her head. Lily finally roused
herself from her slight stupor when she heard her father moving about
in the kitchen. "We should go," she said into his chest.
"I can't do anything if you don't let go of me."
"Ah, I see."
Still, they didn't move.
"Lily? Let's go, we're going to be late!"
Evans's voice was the very effective catalyst they needed to pull
apart. Lily grabbed James's hand and tugged him through the family room
and out into the foyer where Mr. Evans was waiting. He ushered the two
out the door and into the waiting car.
The ride to the chapel was not very long. Mr. Evans and James entered into another discussion, this one about sports.
"She tried to explain Quidditch to me once, but I must confess I was quite lost," Mr. Evans was saying.
"Dad, that's because I didn't have any idea myself."
James grinned. "I'd be happy to explain it to you, Mr. Evans. I play Chaser or, at least, I did for Gryffindor."
"And he was captain," Lily put in proudly. "That's quite big, Dad."
"I say! Did you know, James, I was captain of my rugby team at university?"
James's brow furrowed and he shot a puzzled glance at Lily. "Ah, well, that's great, Mr. Evans."
Lily rolled her eyes. "Dad, he hasn't got a clue as to what rugby is."
Evans enthusiastically started to explain, in great detail, the rules
and mechanisms of rugby. James hung onto his every word, asking
numerous questions and making parallels to Quidditch. They parked in
the practically full church car park and headed into the chapel, still
deep in conversation. When they got into the church they were seated up
front, Lily in between James and Mr. Evans. The two males continued
their conversation as Lily looked around impatiently, trying to spot
waved to her grandmother and the beaming old woman squeezed into their
row between Lily and her son-in-law. She was decked to the nines in a
shockingly pink two-piece suit with impossibly huge diamonds winking in
her ears. She was wearing a hat of the same loud pink shade perched
jauntily on the side of her wavy gray hair, and a light pink feather
protruded from the hat. Lily grinned hugely and took her time hugging
Grandmummy would not be distracted. She elbowed
Lily in the ribs. "And who is this, Lily darling? I didn't know you
would be bringing a guest, love."
"Grandmummy, this is James Potter. James, this is my grandmother, Mary Stuart."
held James's hand in her old, withered one for a bit longer than Lily
deemed necessary. "Such a pleasure to finally meet a friend of Lily's," she said, winking not-so-discreetly at Lily.
"Grandmummy," Lily said in rebuke, and then turned a slightly embarrassed smile towards James.
eyes, Lily," James breathed in an undertone as he retrieved his hand.
His own brown eyes were wide. "Her eyes they're the exact same as
Before Lily could reply, Grandmummy proceeded to gently bombard him with questions. "In Lily's year, weren't you, James dear?"
"Yes, Mrs. Stuart."
"And you went to the same school, is that right? For all seven years?"
"Yes, I did."
"And your parents what do they do, dear?"
tensed. Lily discreetly took his hand and squeezed. She looked at
Grandmummy and said, "His mother works for the government."
took the hint. She changed the subject with infinite tact. "And have
you decided what university to attend yet, James?"
both Lily and James tensed. Luckily they were saved from answering by a
flushed Mrs. Evans as she slid into the pew on Mr. Evans's other side.
How lovely to see you again, dear," Mrs. Evans said, shaking his hand
again. "Was the trip up here fun? Yes? Excellent. You look beautiful,
Lily dear," she added, leaning forward to kiss her daughter. She then
kissed Grandmummy. "Mother, what are you wearing? I haven't seen that suit since-"
Grandmummy said immediately, beaming in reminiscence. "Little Lily's
christening." She held out her foot, displaying a shockingly pink pump.
"I would have worn it before, but I just yesterday found the matching
Lily giggled at her grandmother and glanced at James;
he was grinning in amusement. She squeezed his hand again, and at that
moment, the music Sarah had selected for her numerous bridesmaids to go
down the isle to started. Everyone quieted and watched as they paraded
down the isle on the arm of their respective groomsmen. Lily craned her
neck to get a glimpse of her sister and Vernon. They were not hard to
spot at the very end of the line. Lily had to bite back a slightly
hysterical giggle at the picture the two made together. Petunia really
was about one-fourth his size. And was that the beginnings of a moustache on Vernon's face?
Lily elbowed James and whispered, "That's them in the back, Petunia and Vernon."
adopted a hacking cough to cover up his laugh. The cough got worse when
Vernon stumbled and leaned on Petunia to regain his balance and
Petunia, buckling under his weight, had to throw her arm out and steady
herself on a nearby pew. Lily had both hands pressed over her mouth to
keep her mother from hearing her laughter, and James's coughing
hysterically behind her did nothing to help the situation. James
finally excused himself and left the pew.
As they all stood up to watch a beaming Sarah walk down the isle on her father's arm, Mrs. Evans turned worriedly to Lily.
"Is James all right, dear?" she whispered, dabbing at her eyes.
Mum, he'll be fine," Lily said with a straight face. Mrs. Evans nodded
and returned her gaze to the bride. Grandmummy, however, kept looking
up at Lily. Her eyes were sparkling.
"He's a keeper, Lily," she declared.
Lily couldn't have agreed more.
did return about five minutes later and spent the rest of the ceremony
with a determinedly straight face. Lily felt like her laughter would
burst forth at any given moment; she couldn't even glance at James out
of the corner of her eye without feeling the hysteria rising. Only when
Sarah finally exited the church with her beaming new husband on her arm
did Lily allow herself to look at him. His face was carefully blank,
but his eyes were sparkling madly. "Don't say a word," he told her out of the corner of his mouth as he followed her and her family out of the pew.
reached back and tugged on the sleeve of his suit to signal she
understood; he slid his hand into hers and squeezed in response. They
remained clasped together until they had to separate and greet the
Sarah's smile was so wide it threatened to
split her face right in two. She hugged her cousin enthusiastically in
her usual, very fake manner, and gave James a not-so-subtle once-over
when they were introduced. Luckily, her new husband was occupied with
another guest at the time.
Lily introduced James to the whole wedding party as they moved down the line, finally coming to Petunia.
took a deep breath and leaned forward to kiss her sister. Petunia
bumped her bony jaw against Lily's in response and gave her a very
tight smile. Lily nodded to Vernon, who did indeed seem to be
attempting to grow a moustache, and then turned towards James.
"Petunia, I'd like you to meet James Potter. James, my sister, Petunia."
thin nostrils flared as she offered a limp hand to James. An
unmistakable sneer played around her mouth in the guise of a smile.
"It's nice to meet you," James said politely, shaking Petunia's hand as firmly as he could.
"Charmed," she said, before turning to Vernon. "This is my fiancι, Vernon Dursley."
stuck out his hand to Vernon, who grunted and shook it determinedly.
Lily returned her gaze to Petunia, who suddenly looked quite anxious
about something as she watched James and Vernon. Her frightened blue
eyes connected with Lily's for a second, and Lily instantly knew what
the problem was: Vernon didn't know Lily was a witch.
Clever Petty, Lily thought nastily to herself as she and James rejoined the family and exited the church. Not telling Vernon until you're safely married that your sister's abnormal, are you? Frightened that he'll back out of it, hmm?
she wasn't really all that bad," James said as they followed Lily's
parents and Grandmummy into the parking lot. "You know, if you like
bony, sneering, horse-toothed women, that is."
Lily burst into
giggles at his completely straight face and bland tone. When she had
regained her breath, she said, "Yes, and he's not really all that bad,
you know, if you like blimps with peach fuzz."
cracked up at that and continued as quietly as they could to come up
with colorful metaphors describing Petunia and Vernon. They also
rehashed the scene in the church when Vernon tripped. They were gasping
and out of breath by the time they caught up with the adults, who were
standing by Grandmummy's fire-red cabriolet; they had fallen behind
because, at some points, they had been unable to walk because they were
laughing so hard.
Grandmummy, Mr. Evans, and Mrs. Evans were watching the pair with great amusement.
"And what, pray tell, has got you both into hysterics?" Mrs. Evans asked, placing her hands on her hips.
once again turned his laughter into a cough. Making a brave effort to
control her laughter, Lily shook her head. "No Mum nothing ."
Evans shook her head and helped her mother into her cabriolet.
Grandmummy stared at Lily and James with a mischievous twinkle in her
"Right, see you at the reception, Mother. I'm going to
head back to my car, and I'll meet you there, Bob." Mrs. Evans strode
towards her car as Grandmummy roared off into the evening.
Evans herded Lily and James into the car, and they joined the long
queue of vehicles waiting to exit the car park. Once on the open road,
they drove the short distance to Sarah's home, where the reception was
to take place.
"Be prepared," Lily said to James in an
undertone as Mr. Evans parked on the curb. "You'll be meeting an
extraordinary amount of relatives, half of whom I've no memory of
myself and most of whom are bound to be scary."
"I await them
with open arms," James muttered back with a wicked half-grin. They
climbed out of the car and headed towards the house. It was a
good-sized brick home with white balloons clustered on every available
The three followed a group of other guests round to
the back of the home; a huge white tent with dozens of round tables set
for dinner greeted them. Mrs. Evans spotted them and hurried over. She
was carrying a flute of champagne.
"There you are. The
champagne's over there-"she gestured to a bar nearby "-and we're all
seated at the same table as Petty and Vernon, right next to Sarah's
table." She pointed inside the tent to a table next to what was
obviously Sarah's table, as it was on a raised dais. "Dinner will start
once everyone arrives." She smiled at Lily and James before taking Mr.
Evans's arm. "We'll see you in a bit, then."
Evans steered Mr. Evans away towards a group of people Lily recognized
as good family friends. Lily turned to look at James, who bowed.
"Darling, can I get you a glass of champagne?" he asked, adopting a posh accent.
would be loverrrly, dearest," Lily simpered. James thrust his nose into
the air and walked towards the bar, causing Lily to burst into giggles.
"Reminds me of myself when I was your age."
jumped, startled, as Grandmummy appeared at her elbow. Her gaze was
focused on James as well, and a knowing smile played about her bright
"Do I?" Lily asked playfully, raising her eyebrows.
"Oh, yes. We were idiots for each other, your grandfather and me."
sobered quickly; she very much missed her grandfather, who had died
three years ago, and knew that Grandmummy did as well. She tried to
focus on James at the bar, but found she couldn't see him.
"So, you think I'm an idiot for James, is that what you mean?" Lily asked, trying to keep her tone light.
"Obviously. And he's quite definitely mad for you."
Lily looked sharply down at her grandmother. "You think?" she asked quickly, and then winced at her eager tone.
darling, I don't think, I know," she said, tapping her nose. Her green
eyes sparkled up into her granddaughter's. "You want to keep this one."
didn't reply; she instead chose to watch as James, carrying two flutes
of champagne, made his way towards them. "It's a madhouse round the bar
had to fight tooth and nail for these two." He handed Lily a glass,
and then, in the same movement, presented the other to Grandmummy. "For
the two prettiest ladies here."
delightedly. "What a gentleman! Thank you kindly, James, but I think
I'd better stay with a good old Bloody Mary." She winked at the two
before grabbing a nearby young man and towing him off into the crowd,
presumably in a search for the aforementioned drink.
grandmother makes up for Petunia and Vernon twofold," James told her as
he took a sip of champagne. "Where does she get all that energy?"
grinned as she sampled her own drink. The bubbly liquid slid down her
throat smoothly; she had always liked champagne. "She's never sat still
a day in her life, and she's very strong. You wouldn't guess it as
she's so small, but really, she is. Goes on runs each morning."
"Wish I had that sort of dedication."
"Hmm, don't we all," Lily said, arching her eyebrow at him. James's eyes flashed.
"Do you have any idea what that eyebrow thing does to me?" he asked her quietly. He casually sipped his champagne again, but his eyes were focused, heatedly, on hers.
Lily did it again, this time with a sly smile. "No. Why don't you tell me?"
eyes flashed again and he took a step towards her; Lily felt her
heartbeat increase rapidly and her palms started to sweat. He smelled
so good . His eyes were boring down into her, a sly smile of his own
playing about his lips. Lily moved forward slightly. They were so close
she could feel his body heat. However, before she could close the
remaining inch or so between them, a woman nearby burst into shrill
laughter, and Lily remembered herself. She took a step backwards,
glaring warningly at James.
"James, not at family gatherings!" she hissed. He grinned at her, though he was still slightly off balance.
"Sorry, but refresh my memory, darling - who was the one coming closer?"
pursed her lips, trying to hide a smile, and looked away. She noticed
that everyone seemed to be migrating towards their seats in the dining
tent. She grabbed his hand and tugged. "Let's go, before we embarrass
"Scared of a little public display of affection,
Evans?" James murmured into her ear as they headed towards the tent.
"I'm not scared of anything, Potter."
"Oho, that's a mighty cocky boast, isn't it, Evans?" He lowered his voice still more. "Why don't you prove it then, eh?"
shivered again, her face lighting up like a lantern. If he didn't stop,
her knees were going to give out. She shot one glare at him over her
shoulder and made a beeline for her table. Mr. Evans, Mrs. Evans,
Petunia, and Vernon were already seated. The only seats left were two
between Petunia and Mr. Evans; continuing in the girl-boy trend, James
sat next to Petunia and Lily next to her father.
Lily had always considered a step up from a mute, turned out to be
quite an accomplished talker, much to her dismay. All it took was
James's polite inquiry as to what Vernon did for work and he was off,
droning for thirty minutes straight about his job as a contractor at
some company or other. No one was allowed a word in edgewise. Petunia
spent the time as close to Vernon as she could, shooting unmistakable
daggers at James on her left. She shrieked during one point in the meal
when James's elbow accidentally jostled hers.
everything all right?" Mrs. Evans inquired, looking at her with
concern, interrupting Vernon's monologue. Petunia forced herself even
closer to Vernon so that she was practically in his lap.
"You stay away from me!" she hissed to James, who stared back at her in complete astonishment.
was an accident, Petunia," James said in as controlled a voice as he
could. Lily felt her hatred for her sister threatening to bubble over.
"Could you at least pretend
to be nice, Petunia?" Lily said, her eyes glittering dangerously as she
dropped her fork onto her plate. "I know it's very hard for you, but I
would really appreciate it." The sisters engaged in a staring match
that Lily easily won; Petunia looked away after a few moments with a
sneer. Lily sat back in her seat, feeling only a bit of satisfaction,
and glanced at her parents. Her father's face was carefully blank as he
resumed his dinner, while Mrs. Evans was frowning at Petunia.
table experienced a few minutes of awkward silence that even Vernon
seemed unwilling to fill. Mrs. Evans, who had been caught in a sort of
reverie, shook her head and seemed to gather herself. She forced a
smile at everyone and then turned to Lily and James. "James, dear, I'm
dying to know how you and Lily got together. She won't tell me a thing!
Been completely mute about it the whole week, despite my best efforts.
But I have to tell you, I'd always got the impression that the two of
you didn't exactly get along."
Lily turned her glaring to her mother. "Mum! We don't need to-"
it's fine. They need to know sometime, don't they?" James said from her
right, looking very smug. Lily kicked him under the table.
"I don't think so, James," she said quietly to him in a tight voice.
ignored her and focused on her beaming mother. "Well, it all started
seven years ago when I met the lovely Lily on the Hogwarts Express.
D'you remember, Lils? I came into your compartment you were with
Dorcas and Mary Katherine, and I was looking for Gwen and you told me
it was a girls' compartment, no boys allowed. And then it feels like
it was just yesterday I came into the compartment, saying something
like, 'You're not the boss of me!' and then you stood up you were
taller than me-"
Unwillingly Lily felt herself begin to smile
as she remembered. Her mother was thoroughly entranced with the tale;
she was leaning forward with a sunny smile on her face.
you looked down your nose at me and said, 'I know every spell in the
Standard Book of Spells, Grade One. I bet I can duel with you and win!'
And then I said, 'Bet not!' and you pulled out your wand and yelled, 'Engorgeo!'
except you missed, and hit my hat, and it got so huge that it filled
the compartment. We didn't know how to stop it you were screaming,
Lily was grinning now, her eyes fastened on James,
as she remembered. "And my shrieks brought someone I don't even
remember who who took out his wand and stopped it, and then shrunk it
back to its original size. You were so angry, I'll remember your face
until I die-"
Petunia's second screech of the evening jerked
Lily back into the present. Vernon's huge beefy face was slowly turning
purple and he was choking on something, motioning frantically to his
throat. Petunia shot out of her chair and ran around to the back of his
and attempted to perform the Heimlich Maneuver, but her arms wouldn't
fit all the way around Vernon's massive bulk. The rest of the table
leapt out of their seats, Mr. and Mrs. Evans rushing around to help.
James and Lily watched in horrified fascination as one of the members
of the band dropped his violin and ran over to Vernon. He was
extraordinarily large; Lily knew he had to have some giant blood in him
somewhere. He got his arms around Vernon's waist and thrust his fist
into Vernon's abdomen. The piece of food flew out of Vernon's mouth
after one thrust and landed on a table nearby. The entire dining tent
applauded the giant man as he returned to his instrument.
she made sure that Vernon was all right, Petunia whirled on her sister
and James. "You!" she yelled, pointing at Lily. "This is all your fault! You and your freaky boyfriend's! Why don't you take your abnormalities and go somewhere else?"
"Petunia!" Mrs. Evans cried in a shocked voice.
"No, Mum! I can't take her anymore! I never want to see her again!"
Evans grabbed his hysterical daughter and pulled her, shrieking, out of
the tent. Vernon, looking as though he was in shock, sent fearful
glances at Lily and James as he hurried out after them.
wedding guests slowly settled back down, talking wonderingly about
Petunia's outburst. James's arm was wrapped firmly around Lily's
shoulders; Lily was staggered at what her sister had said. Mrs. Evans
came over to them, shaking her head. She hugged Lily tightly. "Darling,
darling, I'm so sorry. I don't know what's got into her. She didn't
mean it at all, you know-"
"Yes, she did," Lily said quietly
and intently, staring at her mother with blazing green eyes. "Mum, why
can't you open your eyes and see? Petunia hates me. She hates
me. She's hated me ever since I got my Hogwarts letter in the mail. And
she hasn't told Vernon about my 'abnormality' yet, so now she's upset
because he knows and she's scared he won't marry her or something."
Lily was looking at her mother bitterly. "She doesn't want me in her
wedding. She never did. She wouldn't give a flying fig if I died tomorrow."
Mrs. Evans was still shaking her head, looking dangerously close to tears. "No, Lily, no-"
true. It's all true, and you know it." Lily lifted her chin. "I'll be
home later, Mum," she said, and then grabbed James and pulled him out
of the tent. She looked back as they were walking away; Grandmummy had
her arm around her stunned daughter's shoulders and was gently walking
Lily turned her attention back to where she was
going. James had his arm around her still and was leading her away from
the tent, back around to the front of the house where the cars were.
They stopped on the front lawn, and Lily met his eyes. "Poor Mum. I
hate to have to do that to her, but she's been living in a fairytale
world. A world where I'm four, and Petunia's eight, and we're
James remained silent. Lily sniffled. She knew
she was perilously close to tears. "Let's go somewhere, Jamie. I don't
care where, let's just go."
James thought for a moment. "D'you think you can Apparate?"
swallowed and nodded. James told her to visualize where they were going
he described a house and the street it was on in detail. Lily
concentrated and then disappeared with a pop.
across the street from the home James had told her about, and she
watched as he appeared on the correct side. She hurried across the
empty road, her heels clacking on the uneven pavement, as she studied
her surroundings. The house was seemingly in the middle of nowhere and
it looked like an old farmhouse. A large tree was just to the left of
it, where James had said it would be, and as Lily squinted in the dusky
light, she noticed that a forest of sorts seemed to be behind it.
took her hand and together they climbed the stairs. James unlocked the
door using a spell that Lily had never heard before and stepped inside.
"Mum?" he called into the house.
"In the kitchen, Jamie," she called. James led Lily along a dark passageway and into a brightly lit room the kitchen.
home early Lily! What a wonderful surprise, dear!" Mrs. Potter, who
had been sitting at a table in the center of the large kitchen, said as
she jumped up from her solitary supper. A wireless was playing softly
in the background.
Mrs. Potter embraced Lily and then
stepped back, getting a good look at her face. Lily was troubled at how
thin she was, and struck with how very old she looked, but she didn't
Mrs. Potter narrowed her eyes shrewdly. "All right, James Potter, what did you do to upset such a lovely girl?"
"Me?" James spluttered indignantly. "Hang on a moment-"
Mrs. Potter, James has been wonderful," Lily said sincerely, taking
James's hand and squeezing. She started to explain more, but then
stopped, feeling awkward. She looked down.
Mrs. Potter paused
for a moment before gently steering Lily to a chair. Lily sank down
into it gratefully; her shoes were becoming quite painful.
"Would you like a cup of tea, dear?"
Lily shook her head, studying her folded hands in her blue satin lap. "No, thank you."
Lily felt a painful prick around her eyes; her throat constricted, and
suddenly she couldn't see her lap anymore. A single tear dropped down
onto her hand. Another followed soon after.
James pulled up a
chair and took her hands in his own. Lily pulled one free and attempted
to wipe away the rivers gently coursing down her cheeks, but it was
useless. A small sob escaped her, and in the next moment James's arms
were about her. Mrs. Potter discreetly left the kitchen, closing the
door behind her.
"Darling, darling," he murmured as he held
her tightly. She cried silently into the front of his lovely morning
suit cried for Petunia, cried for her mother, cried for her lost
childhood. When all her tears were spent, she pulled away; James handed
her a serviette and she mopped up her face.
"I'm sorry," she
murmured finally into the safety of the serviette. She pulled it away
from her face a minute later and looked at James. His expression was
"Why are you sorry?"
looking down. "Well, I ruined our evening, didn't I? Certainly ruined
Sarah's wedding," she said with a hearty sniff.
"You did no
such thing. Sarah'll get over it, and I had a lovely time tonight just
being with you. And as far as your family well, it's about time your
mother wised up. And Petunia-"
Lily looked up when he paused and felt herself giggle as she caught his expression of extreme distaste.
"Well, Petunia'll get over it as well. The important thing is are you all right?"
nodded and took a deep breath. "I'm fine. I am, really," she said when
James looked at her skeptically. She leaned forward impulsively and
kissed him. "Thank you."
James chuckled and hugged her again. "Anything for you."
Lily pulled back slowly and looked at him. Her heart was beating wildly this was it, this was the perfect time to tell him-
"I love you, Lily."
He beat her to it.
"Oh, James, I love you, too," Lily exclaimed, throwing herself forward into his arms. "I love you so much."
loved you since that first day on the train," he gasped in between
kisses. "Even when, through the years, I claimed I hated you I've
always loved you."
And then he was kissing her, and she was crying again, but this time for completely different reasons. He loved her.