Lily hesitated for a split second before muttering, “Alohomora!” to the doorknob and gesturing with her wand. The lock clicked softly; she slid inside the house with a soft swish as her dress moved against the doorframe. She turned and noticed with a mixture of happiness and apprehension that her parents were still awake and seated in the sitting room – happiness because they must still love her despite her yelling at Petunia, and apprehension because she knew she was about to get an earful.
She stood in the doorway for a moment, silently watching them. Mr. Evans was in his wing-chair, calmly perusing a newspaper. Mrs. Evans was curled on the couch with her legs beneath her in a child-like pose; she was in her dressing gown, although her hair was still up in its fancy style from the wedding. She had a magazine on her lap, but she wasn’t paying any attention to it – during the two minutes Lily stood in the doorway, she must have looked at the clock on the mantelpiece ten times.
Lily lifted her chin, took a deep breath, stepped into the room, and cleared her throat. Mrs. Evans’s head spun towards her daughter in a split second.
“Lily Evans! You gave us such a fright, leaving the party like that!” she exclaimed, getting up from the couch and striding towards Lily. “It’s nearly midnight! There’s so much out there, I was worried sick – I had no idea where you were, what with all those Death-whatsits running about-”
Lily felt a stab of remorse. Her mother worried constantly about the goings on in the Wizarding world; she should have remembered that.
“I’m sorry, Mum,” she said quietly. Mrs. Evans’s blazing blue eyes softened slightly and she seemed to shrink a bit.
“I know you are, darling,” she murmured, and hesitated before hugging Lily tightly.
Lily took a deep breath. “But I’m not sorry for saying what I said tonight, Mum,” she declared, stepping out of her mother’s embrace and looking her squarely in the eye. “You have to understand that.”
Mrs. Evans suddenly looked very old and tired. She shook her head and changed the subject. “Where did you go? Please tell me you were with James.”
Lily nodded. She wanted to talk to her mother about the situation between herself and Petunia, but obviously Mrs. Evans wasn’t ready for that yet. She sighed, knowing that ignoring it would just make the problem worse. “Yes, I was with James,” she finally responded. “We went to his house.”
Mrs. Evans looked relieved. “Thank heavens. Poor boy – I bet we’ve given him a horrible impression of this family, haven’t we? Probably never wants to come back.”
Lily felt herself becoming irritated. “Mum, James doesn’t care. He loves me.”
Mrs. Evans snapped out of her dismayed thoughts and stared at Lily. Lily felt herself growing warm under her mother’s steady gaze. A ruffle in the corner let Lily know that her father was listening in on the conversation from behind his newspaper. “Does he?” Mrs. Evans asked, her eyes wide and penetrating.
The warmth bloomed into a full-fledged blush as Lily nodded firmly. “He does.”
“And – what about you, dear?”
Lily swallowed. “I – I love him too, Mum.”
Mrs. Evans’s eyes shone; just like that, her foul mood was forgotten. “I knew he was a keeper, darling!” She clapped her hands delightedly. “Am I going to have to start planning another wedding?”
Mr. Evans cleared his throat; his paper had been tossed to the side in an abandoned heap and he was glaring at his wife. “Chrissie. I’d like to hold on to my little girl as long as I can. Don’t go putting the idea of marriage into her head just yet.”
Lily felt her face break out into a smile as she crossed the room and put her arms around her father. “Don’t worry, Daddy. I’m not going anywhere just yet.”
Later that night, when Lily had washed away all the makeup and, with it, all the tears, and climbed into bed, her mother padded softly into her room and sat on the edge of her bed. She looked down at the old duvet, stroking it absently. Lily waited. “I’m sorry about tonight,” Mrs. Evans said finally.
Lily shook her head. “I’m the one who should be sorry for making such a scene. Sarah probably hates me.”
Mrs. Evans shook her head. “She understood.”
Lily doubted that strongly, but she overlooked it. “And, er – how’s…?”
“Petunia?” Mrs. Evans’s face tightened. “She’s all right, I suppose. If anyone should apologize for making a scene, it’s her.”
“What happened after… after I left?”
Mrs. Evans smoothed the bedcovers over Lily’s legs. “Well, it took us a long time to calm Petunia down, and then your father and I had to explain quite rationally to Vernon about your – abilities.” She shook her head. “Petunia just stood there silently as Vernon yelled about all of us being stark raving mad – you know, saying there’s no such thing as magic and all that. Your father quite lost his temper with the boy, and that shut Vernon right down, I can tell you. I think your father fairly saved the marriage – got Vernon to believe us and to understand that you’re perfectly fine to be around.” Mrs. Evans paused. “However, love, I think it would be best if you steered clear from Vernon until the wedding. I do want everything to be perfect for Petty. You understand, don’t you?”
Lily could scarcely believe her luck. “Oh – of course I do, Mum,” she said, trying her best to keep the glee out of her voice. “Yeah, I understand completely.”
Mrs. Evans smiled. “You’re a good girl.” She smiled at her daughter for a minute, before winking at her. “And what’s this about James, then? You know, I was only kidding about the wedding thing.”
“I know, Mum,” Lily said, feeling a ridiculously large smile tugging at her mouth. James’s declaration was slowly but surely beginning to eclipse the argument. She lowered her voice conspiratorially and her mother leaned forward, caught up in Lily’s excitement. “Well, I was upset, you know, because of this evening, and James was holding me, and – oh Mum, it was so romantic – he told me he’d loved me since that first day on the train! That even when he said he hated me, he’d actually loved me all along!” Lily trailed off, her eyes sparkling. “Isn’t that the best thing you’ve ever heard?”
Mrs. Evans squeezed Lily’s hand. “Oh, darling, it is. I’m so very happy for you. And you’re sure you love him back?”
Lily nodded, sobering. “Yes, Mum.” She paused for a long moment, staring off into the distance as she picked at her fingernails absently. “I know I’m awfully young, but this – it doesn’t get any better than this. I’m sure of it.”
Mrs. Evans hugged Lily tightly for the second time that night. “Darling, just – don’t move too quickly, all right? Remember that you’ve got your whole life in front of you.”
“I know, Mum.”
Mrs. Evans held her for a moment longer before pulling back and smiling at her. “And when do we hear from the hospital?”
Lily felt herself tense up in nervous anticipation. She had applied to become a Healer-in-Training at St. Mungo’s back in May. Her N.E.W.T. results would determine whether or not she qualified for the position. “Well, my N.E.W.T. results come in later this month, and then the hospital has to look over them…. I may not find out until late August.”
Mrs. Evans kissed Lily’s forehead. “They’d be mad to turn you down,” she said with a smile. “I love you, darling. Sleep well.”
“Love you too, Mum.”
Mrs. Evans closed the door gently behind her as Lily, yawning, settled down into her covers. She frowned at the lamp on her bedside table. To switch it off she would have to hoist herself up and lean all the way over to the light, and she was feeling ridiculously lazy. She thought for a moment and then pulled her wand out from underneath her pillow. She studied it for a few minutes. She knew, of course, that magic and electricity did not mix very well, but it was worth a shot, wasn’t it?
Lily pointed her wand at the bright light bulb. “Nox,” she instructed it firmly. The bulb cracked cleanly in half and fell to the floor, where it broke into even smaller pieces.
Oops, Lily thought to herself. “Ah, well, at least it’s off,” she mumbled aloud. She allowed herself to chuckle for a minute before falling into a deep slumber. She dreamt of James kissing her as light bulbs shattered all around them.
Greetings, Evans Family!
I do hope this owl finds you all in good health. We are having such horrid weather over here, and unfortunately that makes us all rather stir-crazy, if you will. Happily, just yesterday Sirius found a delightful home in Diagon Alley that is simply perfect for him, and we’re all very excited.
In celebration of Sirius’s new home, and in order to throw Lily and James together and embarrass them terribly, I would like to invite you all to dinner next Wednesday night. It will be very informal – robes and trousers for all – and I’ve found some new recipes that I am very eager to test. (Hopefully I won’t botch them – in that case, I will just have to take you out.) I have also invited the Lupins, Pettigrews, and Watsons.
I sincerely hope you will be able to make it – it would not be half as fun without you! RSVP whenever you have a moment.
Looking forward to it,
“What a delightful woman she is! Oh, how exciting – we certainly will go!”
Lily grinned at her mother as she took another bite of her tuna sandwich (her favorite). “We’re free on Wednesday, then?”
“Oh, yes. And even if we weren’t, I would cancel whatever it was we had to do to go to this. She paused for a moment, still smiling excitedly, and looked back down at the parchment. “What should I respond on? This paper is so lovely and thick….”
“Oh, Mum, it doesn’t matter. Mrs. Potter doesn’t care.”
“I know, I know. I’d just like to make a nice impression, that’s all,” she said with a sigh. Then she got up, muttered something about some old stationary she had, and hurried off into the next room. “Back in a moment, love!”
Lily smiled and shook her head. She knew about the party, of course – James had owled her the night before and told her his mother would be inviting them the next day. Lily was very excited about the party. Her Muggle parents had never been in a magical home before, and she was anxious to see how they reacted to it.
She returned to what she had been looking at before the owl had arrived – her N.E.W.T. results. They had come the day before and she was still studying them. They were, surprisingly (at least to her), quite good.
Arithmancy -- O Care of Magical Creatures -- O Charms -- O Defense Against the Dark Arts -- E Herbology -- O Potions -- O Transfiguration -- O
Definitely good enough to get into St. Mungo’s. At least, she sincerely hoped so. The mark in Defense Against the Dark Arts was disappointing, of course, but not exactly unexpected. With a wince, she remembered her inability to conjure her Patronus. Terribly embarrassing.
Mrs. Evans bustled back into the kitchen holding a sealed letter. She attached the letter to the leg of the Potters’ tawny owl, obviously feeling very witch-like, and Lily hid a smile. It would be very interesting indeed to see how her parents acted in a Wizarding home.
Wednesday rolled around, and the three Evanses hopped into the car and drove the hour or so that it took to get to James’s house. Lily had attempted to make her parents Floo, but to no avail. Her mother wouldn’t even hear of it, and her father, while intrigued about how it worked, had turned green at the thought of the intense spinning Lily had described. The car ride turned out not to be so bad; Lily was grilled by her parents about magical customs the whole way there. Lily patiently explained all of the strange things that they might see but was quick to tell them that magical dinners were no different from Muggle dinners, except that they took a lot less energy to prepare and clean up.
The family fell silent when the car turned down a deserted country road for the last few minutes of the drive. Lily recognized James’ house when they came upon it and instructed her parents on where to park. They got out of the car and Lily studied James’s house in the light of day for the first time. There was indeed a dense forest behind his house and an uninterrupted rolling field on the other side. The house seemed quite a bit larger as well, now that she could see all of it.
Mr. Evans cleared his throat gruffly. “Yes. At least a century.”
“Oh, at least,” Mrs. Evans concurred.
Lily hid her smile and led the way up the front steps. She knocked on the door, and almost instantly it was flung open by –
“Lily, light of my life!”
Lily wheezed as the breath was knocked out of her by a very excited Sirius Black.
“Sirius, for Merlin’s sake, you’re choking her to death!” Gwen said, appearing in the doorway. She waved over her boyfriend’s and best friend’s heads to Lily’s parents. “How are you, Mr. Evans, Mrs. Evans?”
They responded as Sirius pulled back, a huge grin threatening to split his handsome face in half. “Have you heard about my house, Lily?”
Lily was still quite taken aback as she wasn’t very accustomed to the friendly Sirius, nor was she quite used to hearing him call her by her first name. “Of course I have, Sirius. I can’t wait to see it.” He beamed at her and she turned around to her parents. “Mum, Dad, you remember Sirius Black?”
“So nice to see you again, Sirius,” Mrs. Evans said.
Sirius bowed low over her proffered hand instead of shaking it. “Mrs. Evans, you are even lovelier than you were the last time I saw you,” he said, and Mrs. Evans broke into a surprised laugh. “Mr. Evans, sir,” Sirius said, turning to shake Lily’s father’s hand firmly.
Lily was glad to see both of her parents chuckling and visibly relaxing. “What a flirt this one is!” Mrs. Evans exclaimed.
“I try,” Sirius said with feigned modesty.
Gwen shook her head and grabbed his arm. “Stop embarrassing yourself, you great git. Everyone’s inside!” she called to the Evans family, and they followed her into the house, Mr. and Mrs. Evans still chuckling over Sirius’s antics.
Mrs. Potter, lovely in a set of pale yellow robes, met them first and took drink orders before leading them into the large parlor. There Lily and her parents were introduced to the Lupins and the Pettigrews and greeted warmly by the Watsons, who they already knew. Lily was surprised to see that her parents weren’t the only Muggles present; Remus’s mother was a Muggle as well. She was petite, with the same brown hair as her son and a kind smile; Mr. Lupin was also a brunet, though his hair was a few shades darker, and he and his son shared the same expressive gray eyes. Mr. and Mrs. Lupin were both soft-spoken and dressed in Muggle clothing.
It was very obvious to Lily who Peter’s parents were; they both had the same pale hair and short stature as their son. His father especially looked like him, with the same watery blue eyes and upturned nose. Both were dressed in black robes. They greeted the Evans family politely.
James appeared in the doorway and Lily met his eyes. She felt herself breaking out into a smile, and she started to make her way towards him, but was sidetracked when Mrs. Watson asked her if she wanted anything to drink. Once she had replied, “No, thank you,” she turned her head and looked back at the doorway. James was nowhere to be found.
“Where’s James?” She grabbed Gwen, who was talking to Sirius nearby.
Sirius smirked. “He’s gone mental, that’s where he is. Been pining after you for days.”
Gwen scowled at him before turning back to Lily. “I don’t know where he is.”
“Check the kitchen,” Sirius suggested, waggling his eyebrows.
Lily frowned, feeling her ire rise. “Sirius! Could you give me a real answer, please?”
He merely shrugged, grinning at her infuriatingly. Lily turned, walked out of the parlor, and stalked down the well-lit hallway towards the kitchen. Why hadn’t James come out to meet her? They hadn’t bloody seen each other in two weeks, the least he could do was greet her when she-
Lily suddenly felt a pair of invisible arms grab her by the waist and pull her into a dark closet, slamming the door behind her and pushing her up against it.
Lily ripped the Invisibility Cloak off of the person she quickly realized was in front of her with an angry shriek. “Potter! What the bloody hell do you think you’re doing, jumping out at me like that?” Her heart was pounding from the fright she had just received. He laughed so hard he doubled over. “Oh, so you think that was funny, do you, Potter, scaring me half to death?” she demanded, putting her hands on her hips.
He took deep breaths and wiped his eyes. “Actually, yes, Evans,” he gasped when he could speak again. “Added a bit of spice to an otherwise boring day, wouldn’t you say?”
Despite herself, she started to grin. “I know how to add a bit more spice to this otherwise boring day, Potter.”
Their lips crashed together with an intense amount of heat. Lily ran her fingers through his jet-black hair, which was messier than usual from being underneath the Invisibility Cloak, and he in turn tangled his hands in her long tresses. He broke the kiss after several minutes (just when breathing was becoming difficult for Lily) and started tracing her jaw bone with his lips before moving down to do something marvelous to her neck.
“Missed you – so much,” he gasped. She moaned as his teeth grazed her sensitive skin, her fingers tightening unconsciously in his hair.
“Missed you – more,” she managed to get out. His hand strayed to the neck of her blouse and began to slowly work the top button free. With a presence of mind she would not have believed herself capable of at that moment, Lily pushed his hand away.
“James, we can’t,” she said, gasping for air. She felt cold now that he had stopped touching her.
“Why not?” he asked, looking almost betrayed.
“Because we’re in a bloody closet with our parents in the next room!” Lily hissed, straightening her blouse.
James smiled and sighed. “I know. I’m sorry. It’s just – all I’ve thought about doing for the past two weeks is dragging you somewhere dark and snogging you senseless.”
Lily giggled. “Yeah. I know the feeling.” He kissed her again, this time slowly and tenderly, before the sound of voices reached their ears. They pulled apart and froze. Lily recognized one voice as Mrs. Potter’s, and the other unmistakably belonged to her mother.
“We should go,” Lily breathed once the footsteps had passed by the closet. “We’ll be missed.”
“No…not yet,” he said insistently, his arms tight around her waist. He leaned his forehead down onto hers. “Wait a moment.”
Lily sighed and smiled, her eyes closing, content now that she was in his arms. “I missed you so much,” she repeated.
“I missed you more.”
“I doubt it, Potter.”
“Want me to prove it?”
They emerged from the closet, red-faced and disheveled, a little while later. Lily giggled in the light and attempted to do something with James’s horribly mussed hair, but as usual, it would not be tamed.
“Lily, James, where have you been?” Mrs. Potter asked, coming out of the kitchen, her hands on her hips. Mrs. Evans appeared from behind her, adopting a similar stance. “Chrissie and I were about to call up the M.L.E.S.”
“M.L.E.S?” Mrs. Evans questioned.
“The police, Mum,” Lily clarified, her cheeks heating up. She knew her mother was taking in her tousled hair and wrinkled blouse.
“Er – we’ll just be going now,” she said, grabbing James’s hand and tugging.
“Yes, can’t be rude to the guests,” James added hastily as Lily pulled him along. “Mrs. Evans, it is truly a delight to see you again,” James called over his shoulder. “I am reminded again of how evident it is that Lily gets her good looks from you.”
“Shut up, you big suck up,” Lily muttered as Mrs. Evans giggled in their wake. “Honestly, you and Sirius are so-”
“I was going to say full of Doxy droppings, but if that’s what you want to believe….”
“You, Lily Evans, are quite possibly the cheekiest girl I’ve ever met.”
“That’s a compliment, I suppose?”
Dinner was certainly entertaining. It was a bit awkward at times, specifically when the Pettigrews began talking (they were naturally awkward people, it seemed to Lily), but all in all, it went quite well. The Muggles and the wizards and witches bonded seamlessly and were having quite the time when everyone finished dessert. Lily was worried about her mother; she had consumed entirely too much of Madam Rosemerta’s finest oak-matured mead and was giggling loudly at practically everything she heard. She was also concerned about her father, as he too had consumed (along with everyone else) his fair share of the powerful stuff. She wasn’t sure how they would be able to get home as she didn’t know how to drive and her parents seemed entirely too far gone to explain it to her. There was no way she would let either of them get behind the wheel.
At around eleven o’clock, the parents finally declared their intention to leave and stood from the table. Just as Lily was really beginning to worry about their situation, Mrs. Potter, who had only partaken of a glass or two of the mead, absolutely insisted that the Evans family stay overnight. Mrs. Evans agreed instantly, although her husband seemed rather reluctant.
“Bob, honestly, it’s no trouble at all,” Mrs. Potter said, placing her hand reassuringly on his arm. “Really. And I can’t imagine you want to make the trip back tonight! We’ve plenty of room. Sirius and James can kip on the sofas down here, you can take the guest room, and Lily can stay in James’s room. Really!”
Mr. Evans hesitantly agreed and Mrs. Potter beamed at them. They bade goodbye first to the Lupins, who used the Floo system out of courtesy to Mrs. Lupin, and then trooped outside to bid goodbye to the Watsons and Pettigrews, who would be Apparating away and could not do so from inside the house because of the wards. As they were drunkenly saying their farewells, Gwen, who had also consumed a bit too much of the mead, pulled her best friend aside, her blue eyes twinkling.
“Now, Lily,” she said, grinning and grabbing on to her friend’s hand unsteadily, “I don’t want there to be any funny business tonight. I know James’s got that cloak. You’d better watch yourself.”
Lily shook her head at Gwen, grinning in spite of herself. “You’re one to talk, Miss Watson,” she teased. “Goodness only knows what you and Sirius have been up to during all of those visits your family makes here.”
Gwen feigned outrage and pressed a hand to her chest. “Serious accusations, Lily! Oh, serious, did you get that? Sirius…serious…” She burst into laughter. She then turned to her boyfriend, who was in a huddle with Peter and James. “Sirius, you’re seriously a git. Isn’t that funny?” she called.
Sirius crossed to her, grinned drunkenly, and grabbed her face with his hands. “And you’re seriously gorgeous,” he said, before bending down and kissing her.
“And I’ll be in a serious amount of trouble if Mum and Dad see,” Gwen said with a giggle when she came up for air, glancing towards her parents, who were laughing at something someone had said and not paying one bit of attention to their daughter.
Lily turned away from this display of affection with a grin, feeling the affects of the mead in which she had also partaken, and joined the boys. She slung an arm around Peter’s shoulder and grinned across at James.
“Well, it certainly has been fun,” she said, looking at Peter.
Peter laughed. “Yes, it has been, Lily.” His face was rather red as he gazed up at her.
James’s eyes were sparkling as he clapped Peter on the back. “Wormtail, old buddy, if I didn’t know better, I’d say you fancy Lily here.”
Lily gasped. “James! How horrible, Peter doesn’t fancy me. We’re just good friends, that’s all. Right, Peter?”
Peter was steadily becoming more and more uncomfortable. He managed an unsteady “Right!” before mumbling something about joining his parents and wriggling out from underneath her arm.
Lily burst out laughing when he was gone and turned to James. “Was that entirely necessary, Potter?” she demanded, trying to look threatening and failing. “You totally embarrassed the poor dear.”
“’Poor dear’?” he asked, coming closer to her, his eyes still sparkling madly. “If I didn’t know any better, I would say you fancy Wormtail.”
“It’s a good thing you know better, then,” Lily said, her voice husky. James’s eyes darkened with unmistakable desire, and he reached out to put his hands on her waist. Lily twisted out of his grasp, grinning evilly, and shook a warning finger at him. “You’ll remember to keep your hands to yourself, James.”
He clenched his jaw, not looking quite as amused as Lily felt. “You’re going to be sleeping in my bed, Lily. Do you have any idea-”
“I’ve got to go, Lily,” Gwen said, and Lily turned around, her face pink, to hug her best friend. She walked her over to the parents, tossing a pert wink over her shoulder at James as she went, and bade goodbye to them all. The Pettigrews departed instantly after the Watsons, and soon it was just Mrs. Potter, James, Sirius, and the Evans family outside. They trooped back into the house and Mrs. Potter immediately went into hostess mode.
“James, Sirius, upstairs now to change the sheets for our guests in your rooms,” she commanded. They instantly went to do her bidding, laughing together as they trudged up the stairs. Mrs. Potter turned to her guests. “Bob, Chrissie, Lily, I’m sure I’ll be able to find some things for you to sleep in. Let me just clean up the dining room and then I’ll go find a few things for you.”
“No, Katharine, I insist, let us do the washing up,” Mrs. Evans said. Lily was amazed that she was standing up straight, let alone coherent enough to offer to help Mrs. Potter.
Mrs. Potter brushed aside her request and turned into the dining room. She waved her wand once and all the dishes rose and floated into the kitchen. Lily could hear the sounds of water running and cutlery and plates clacking as they were cleaned. Mrs. Potter flicked her wand again and the tablecloth rose, shook itself free of crumbs, and folded neatly before tucking itself into a drawer in a corner cupboard. She then waved her wand a third time and muttered, “Scourgify”; instantly the table was wiped clear.
Lily’s parents watched all this with wide eyes. When Mrs. Potter was finished, Mrs. Evans turned to Lily and placed her hand heavily on her daughter’s shoulder. “I think I’ll leave the washing up to you from now on, darling.”
Lily grinned as Mrs. Potter chuckled. “Excellent idea, Chrissie. I can teach Lily a right number of useful charms and such for doing this sort of thing.” As she smiled, Lily was suddenly struck by how many wrinkles were present on Mrs. Potter’s lovely face. She had always known Mrs. Potter was elderly, but now she was curious at just how old James’s mum was. “Now, if you’ll wait here a moment, I’ll find some things for you to sleep in….”
She disappeared through a door located between the dining room and sitting room that Lily hadn’t noticed before; she supposed it led to her bedroom.
“Very lovely people,” Mrs. Evans was sighing, looking very content.
“Indeed,” Mr. Evans concurred, putting his arm around his wife.
“Oh, group hug, darling, come on,” Mrs. Evans cried, opening her arms to her daughter. “Come here, love.”
Her mother was always overly affectionate when intoxicated. Lily obeyed them with only a tiny eye-roll and broke apart after a moment of squeezing. “Thanks, Mum and Dad,” she said with a grin.
Mrs. Potter came through the door in that moment, holding a stack of clothing. She pulled the first neatly folded article off the top and handed it to Lily. It was snowy white and very soft. “A nightgown for you, Lily dear,” she explained, and then moved to Mrs. Evans. “And one for you, Chrissie.” She handed Mrs. Evans a pale yellow nightgown. “And this is for you, Bob,” she said, handing Mr. Evans a blue-striped pajama set.
The family thanked her profusely before allowing her to escort them up the stairs. Mrs. Evans tripped quite a few times on the way up, giggling with Mr. Evans when she did so, and Lily once again rolled her eyes. Honestly, they were acting like a pair of teenagers.
The guest room, or Sirius’s room, as Mrs. Potter called it, was the first door in the surprisingly small upstairs. Lily peeked at the cozy interior before bidding her parents goodnight and moving down the hallway to the room she would be staying in – James’s room.
The boys were in there, Sirius directing a set of new sheets onto the large bed in the middle of the room while James was tidying up the rest of the room.
“Excellent, I’m glad I’ve got you in here,” Mrs. Potter said, expertly taking over for Sirius and doing up the rest of the bed. She Summoned the old sheets into her arms when she was finished. “Sirius, why don’t you go and find some blankets and pillows for downstairs. James, listen up, please,” she said briskly. She waited until Sirius was gone before turning to Lily and James. Lily knew what was coming and felt a huge wave of heat flooding her cheeks as she stared at Mrs. Potter, who proceeded to inform them both sternly that, even though they were of age, if there was any “room hopping”, as she put it, there would be serious consequences.
“I know your mother, if she was – er – conscious enough, would say this to you, Lily, but as she isn’t, I’ve decided to say it to both of you. Do we understand each other?”
Lily, who was staring at her in a kind of horrified shock, could only nod. Mrs. Potter looked at them sternly one last time before embracing Lily.
“That said, I am very glad you are here, Lily, and I hope I will have the pleasure of hosting you and your family here many times more,” she said graciously. “Goodnight, dear.”
Lily managed a “goodnight” in a tone that was a few octaves higher than usual before Mrs. Potter headed for the doorway. “Downstairs in five minutes, James Potter.”
“Yes, Mum,” James said meekly, and with that she went downstairs and left them standing alone together.
“Er, sorry about that,” James said after a moment of silence. “She’s, erm, a bit paranoid.”
Lily grinned and looked at him closely for the first time since she had entered, her eyes sparkling mischievously. “And rightfully so, what with her son’s wandering hands.”
James relaxed visibly. “Excellent point, Miss Evans.”
“Why thank you, Mr. Potter.”
James shut the door quietly before returning to her. He cupped her face in his hands, gently stroking her cheeks with his thumbs. “Sleep well,” he whispered. Chills ran up and down her spine as he slowly bent down and brushed her lips tenderly with his.
After a minute or so, however, it wasn’t quite so tender anymore. Lily found herself lying flat on her back on his bed with him suspended above her, kissing her so passionately that the closet snog paled in comparison. She pulled him down by the neck, and the feeling of their bodies pressing together nearly did her in.
“Too – much – clothes,” James managed to gasp between kisses. Lily heartily agreed with him. Her shirt was halfway off before they heard a knock at the door; they both froze in place.
“Lily, darling? I’ve come to say goodnight.”
It was Mr. Evans. James was off of Lily before she could blink. Her shirt was back in place and buttoned with remarkable speed.
“Can I come in?”
Too late; he was already opening the door. He peeked around it and spotted his flushed and breathless daughter seated on the bed right before he spotted an equally flushed and breathless James, standing on practically the opposite side of the room.
“Mr. Evans, sir. I was just leaving,” he said, nodding to Lily before hastily slipping past Mr. Evans and down the stairs. Traitor, Lily thought venomously as she watched him leave. She registered the slightly enraged look on her father’s face with great trepidation.
“Dad? Are you-?”
“Do I need to put a lock on this door?” Mr. Evans demanded, seeming to regain consciousness.
“What – Dad – no, James was just saying goodnight.” Her father looked very unconvinced. Lily sighed. “Look, Dad, his mum already promised to hex us both into next week if we did any – er – ‘room hopping’. And I wouldn’t have anyway!” she said hastily, noticing that the apoplectic look had reappeared on his face.
He finally believed her after she swore up and down that she wouldn’t do anything, and he left after she kissed him and practically shoved him out of the door.
When he was gone, she pressed a hand to her burning forehead. She was shaking slightly, and all she could think about was the way James’s roaming hands had felt on the bare skin of her stomach.
It’s a good thing he left when he did, was all Lily could think before changing her clothes and climbing into bed.