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Chapter 3: This Is The Storm That I Thought Would Blow Over
Later on, when Lily’s mum husked her and Petunia out of the house for a little mother-daughter bonding time (I wonder how that’s going to turn out), Sirius and I decided that we’d do a little exploring around the house.
And by exploring, I mean we hid behind a couch while we laughed at Mr. Dursley’s insane antics. He’s either acting like a muggle right now, or a whale. Quite frankly, I can’t tell which but I’m leaning more towards the whale.
“So, how many times have you proposed to Lily thus far?” He asked me, as we settled back onto our backsides after seeing that Mr. Dursley was just going to settle down and watch the tele-mission . . . or something.
“I don’t know.” I told him honestly, “I stopped counting at nine.”
He nodded in understanding.
Another reason as to why we were hiding—no one bothered to inform Petunia and Dursley that Sirius was staying at the Evans’ house for the remainder of the holidays. They still think it’s Padfoot the dog sleeping on the floor of the guestroom instead of Sirius the human.
“You know what you need to do?” Sirius said after a couple of minutes of his eyebrows being scrunched together in deep thought.
He rolled his eyes, “You need to be more flashy.”
“I’m saving that stuff for marriage, Sirius. How long have we been friends again?” I smacked him upside the head.
“Not that kind of flashy, you ding dong.” He said, rubbing his head where I smacked him, “Honestly, no one wants to see that! I meant with your proposing. You should make it spontaneous and romantic—thrilling even. Lily said that she wanted a real proposal, didn’t she?”
“I have been giving her real proposals.” I said, crossing my arms in thought, “If she doesn’t believe that I want to spend the rest of my life with her, after six years of chasing her and her affections, then she’s an oblivious baboon. Every proposal I make is real.”
Sirius rolled his eyes, “You’ve still got a lot to learn about your girlfriend, don’t you?”
I narrowed my eyes, “What are you talking about, Sirius?”
“Lily is the biggest oblivious baboon that I have ever met. And you’re my best friend. ” He stated simply, “The fact that it took her six years to realize you really cared for her is more than enough evidence to prove my point. I’m telling you James, if you want that girl to marry you any time soon then you’ve got to do something huge.”
I leaned myself into the back of the couch, “I’m not rushing this. I’ve still got until the end of the school year to convince her.”
“If you say so,” He said, as if he were completely unconvinced. And, as he always does when he doesn’t get his way, he stood up and made a start for the door.
“What the? Sirius, stop!” I made a jump for him, but it was too late.
“AHHHHH!” Vernon screamed at the top of his lungs, in-turn causing Sirius to jump in fright and scream himself. They continued on with this for about two whole minutes before I came in and clamped a hand over Sirius’ mouth to muffle his screams.
“Why hello, Mr. Dursley,” I said politely. I was trying to be smooth (and it was working) but on the inside I was nervous as hell, “How are you this fine morning?”
And, with that, Vernon fainted into the cushions of the couch.
Wow. Doesn’t take much.
Glaring at Sirius I muttered, “You’re lucky he fainted. Maybe I can convince him that he decided to snooze and that he was just dreaming.” And that had better work. I hate having to explain Sirius and his motives, because we all know that he won’t do it himself.
“Well, he’s got a brain the size of a peanut.” Sirius said, shrugging for what felt like the hundredth time that day, “Shouldn’t be hard.”
We decided to leave Vernon there for the time being and we journeyed upstairs to the guest room where he and I were staying. Sirius had taken a majority of the pillows from my bed and from Lily’s and made a makeshift pallet on the ground where he would sleep, and that is where he decided to plop himself down, completely oblivious to everything.
I, being the more observant of the two of us, noticed the black and brown owl perched on the windowsill. I couldn’t quite place whose owl it was but it looked . . . familiar. I took the letter from its leg and glanced at the neat handwriting to see if I could at least recognize that but it was to no avail.
“It’s for you, Sirius.” I said as I tossed him the letter which promptly hit him in the face only to fall into his open hands perched in his lap. He stared at it for what seemed like the longest time, mouth agape and eyes wide and I was suddenly curious at what could ‘cause my best friend to fall into such a stupor. He hasn’t even opened the letter for crying out loud!
And then, so nonchalant that I could barely believe that just seconds before he seemed to be having a mental breakdown, he tossed the letter to the side, unopened, without offering any explanation or even telling me who it was from (because it was obvious that he did know).
The owl, as if expecting this, let out a hoot that almost sounded like an irritated sigh. Sirius glared at the creature like it had mocked him. Hardly believing my retinas, I could have sworn that I saw the owl roll its eyes before flying back out of the open window.
Okay. That was weird.
“Care to explain what just happened?” I asked him, throwing myself onto the bed.
“Not really, no.” He replied, seemingly in a daze.
I raised an eyebrow, “Alright . . . whatever.”
Silence settled over us and it was almost unnerving. I couldn’t stand it; it’s weird being in a room with Sirius when he won’t shut up unless he’s sleeping. Not that I’m complaining . . .
Okay, I’m complaining. I really don’t like this.
“Who was it from?” I asked, almost hesitantly.
“Do I know them?”
“Do I know them well?”
“Are you going to give out their name at all?”
“Now why would I do that?”
“Because I’m your best mate and we trust each other with things like this?”
Sirius rolled his eyes and shook his head, smiling, “James, James, James.” He got up so that he could sit beside me and thrust an arm around my shoulders, “It’s not that I don’t trust you. It’s that I made a promise to keep this to myself. Trust me in trusting that I trust this person just as much as I trust you, and should therefore uphold my own trust just as I would uphold it when you trust me to too. Yeah?” He nodded his head, indicating for me to answer.
“. . . Okay?”
“Splendid! Now let’s go freak Dursley out some more!”
He flung out the door, transforming into his dog form as he went.
“Wait!” I called after him, extending my arm out as if that would somehow bring him back. Continuing, more to myself than to him, I muttered, “What the heck just happened?”
“I’m telling you, Lily,” I said later that day after she got back from her shopping trip. We were lounging on a bench at the park, my arm was loosely holding her to my side and she rested her leg on mine so she could look at me, “It was weird. Even for Sirius. He kept talking about trusting that I trust him to trust someone I don’t know or something . . . it just didn’t make any sense.”
“When does Sirius ever make sense anyways?” She asked me, laughing.
“I can usually decipher the mumbo jumbo coming out of his mouth though,” I insisted, “This was just confusing!”
“And he hasn’t opened the letter yet?” She inquired, scrunching up her eyebrows in deep thought, causing this cute little crease to form on her forehead.
I shook my head, “Not that I know of. He may not have wanted to open it when I was there though. I couldn’t really tell by his reaction though if that was the case or if he was just too afraid to read what’s inside of it.”
“What could get him into such a stir?” Lily asked.
I could think of a couple things. But if Sirius doesn’t want Lily to know about his family, then I shouldn’t tell her. Even if he didn’t mind, I think it’d be better for her to hear it from him rather than me. But it didn’t match up. I’ve seen the Black family owl—it’s slick, black feathers made it appear elegant—and the owl delivering the letter to him looked nothing like it.
“Well, if he said to trust him about it then I suppose you just should,” Lily finally said, putting her hand on my scalp so she could play with my messy hair.
I was momentarily brain dead.
“But I’m not even sure that’s what he did say.”
“Okay . . .” She said, twirling a finger around a strand of my hair, “Then just wait for it to explode.”
I gave her a funny look, as if she were speaking another language, “Explode?”
“Yeah.” She nodded, “You know, when people keep things to themselves they always end up in a terrible situation where everything explodes.”
“Why didn’t you just say that?”
“That’s not the point, James!”
“I don’t want it to explode, Lily dearest.”
“Then do something about it.”
“Merlin, you’re confusing me more than Sirius did!” I cried, grabbing my head in frustration but only barely because I quite liked the ministrations she was giving my hair, “First you tell me to do nothing and then you tell me not to do nothing – in fact, to do something – make up your mind, woman!”
Lily laughed and we sat in silence a little more, just basking in the other’s presence. But if you know me at all, you’d know that I don’t really like silence much. So, of course, I had to break it as not risk going completely bonkers.
“Why not?” I whined pathetically.
“Don’t you think we’re a little young?” She asked incredulously.
“Is that your reason now?” I inquired, placing a hand over my heart in mock offense, “I thought it was because you wanted a real proposal. If you keep changing your reasoning you’re going to give me the impression that you might just not want to marry me.”
“What if I don’t?” She asked, seriously.
“Erm . . . well,” I began lamely, “I don’t really know . . . Do you?”
“I . . . I’m not sure.” She pulled away slightly, letting her hands fall into her lap where she stared at them like she’d die if she didn’t, “I’m barely seventeen, James. We still have the rest of seventh year to get through. To be completely honest . . . I’m not sure if I want to marry anyone just yet.”
“Understandable,” I granted.
“Then why do you keep pestering me about it?” She demanded, almost heatedly.
“Because,” I began, smiling, “I figure . . . one of these times you’ll actually say yes.”
“And then what?” She asked.
“Well . . . I figured we’d just get . . . married. Isn’t that the point? To get married?”
“Jobless? Homeless?” Lily threw her hands up and I could tell she was becoming fed up with me, “You haven’t really thought about this much, have you James?”
“Well, it seems to me that you’ve been thinking about it a bit more than I have,” I remarked slyly, plastering my trademark smirk on my features, “That means you must be considering it.”
It’s only a matter of time after she starts considering it.
“Of course I’ve considered it, James!” She snapped, shoving away from me completely and crossing her arms in absolute annoyance. I longed for her body to be next to mine again, but decided that it was best for there to be distance between us when she was angry. Especially when she was angry at me.
“Good, then . . . will you marry me now?”
She stood up in a huff and stormed away from me and back to her house. Rolling my eyes – I was quite used to Lily acting like this – I followed her like a lovesick puppy, “Is that a no?” I called after her. I received no response – not that I really expected one anyways.
“Bye Mum.” Lily said, hugging her mother tightly . . . or was her mother hugging her tightly? I have noticed that she gives out some extremely Mary-like hugs. They’re hugs of death, those are, “Bye Dad.” She gave her dad a hug as well, one that didn’t make her – or me – flinch.
I shook both of their hands, offering them a polite, “Thanks for letting us stay.” And then I ruffled the scruffy hair on Sirius’ head more than necessary, causing him to growl at me. I rolled my eyes and kicked his hairy butt.
“See you two!” They called as we boarded the Knight Bus that would drop us off at Hogsmeade. Whilst aboard, I took a well-deserved snooze, so did Sirius (in his human form now that there weren’t any muggles around), but I think Lily was too frightened by the seemingly reckless driving to even think about sleeping.
I think at least. As I said before, I was sleeping.
When we arrived back at Hogwarts, we entered the Great Hall for some lunch and in hopes of seeing some friends.
“Mary stayed home for break.” Lily told me.
“That was random?”
She elbowed me in the side, frustrated with my answer for some reason.
“What?” I demanded, rubbing my side childishly, “It was.”
Lily ignored me, “Did Remus stay too?”
“I think so . . . Why?”
“They’re looking a little cozy at the Gryffindor table, that’s why.”
I glanced at our friends and did, in fact, find them leaning rather close to one another from across the table. It probably didn’t mean a thing though. From what I could see, they looked like they were just in the middle of an interesting conversation and nothing more. Lily really does overanalyze things way too much.
I shrugged, “They probably got stuck underneath some enchanted mistletoe and miraculously sorted out all their psycho problems within the span of two days.” I was being completely sarcastic, but I’m not sure if Lily caught on. She should though, considering she’s one of the most sarcastic people I’ve ever met.
“What is it with you and stories about enchanted mistletoe?” She asked me, referring to that time back during summer vacation when I had dinner with her family for the first time, “I’m starting to think that this is some kind of fantasy of yours.”
“Was that the point, Lily?” I questioned mischievously, “To find out what sort of fantasies I have?”
The smirk on her face fell immediately and she blushed, “Right . . .” We neared our two friends at the table, and sat down beside them, “Hey Mary!” Lily said, poking her best friend in the side. Mary squealed, tackling her into one of those death hugs I was telling you about earlier.
“How were your holidays, Remus?” I asked him, raising a brow at Mary (for Lily’s sake).
He rolled his eyes, “Uneventful.”
I took his word on it, not that I really needed to ask in the first place.
Tapping Lily’s shoulder after she was freed from Mary’s torturous arms, I whispered into her ear, “I don’t really think we should be worrying about Remus and Mary. I seriously doubt anything’s going on.” The look in her eyes told me that she trusted me, but still wasn’t completely sure if she should trust them. Sighing, I piled some food on my plate and dug in.
Man, was I starved.
Have I mentioned that I missed this place?
Staring around at the familiar Great Hall I decided that it’s really good to be home.
*A/N: yayy another chapter! just to let you know, i tried putting as much plot into this as possible. i don't think i did too great of a job - it looks like it's all mindless fluff to me - but please leave a little something anyways :) oh, and sorry about the wait. i had writer's block like you wouldn't believe.