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Chapter 3: Chapter Three
I am so excited! I have SO MUCH TIME now that marching band is done! Now, with that being said, I will only be focusing on one story at a time for the next few months. The other stories are going to be editted, but I will NOT be adding chapters to the other ones.
On another note, the song in this chapter is "Come Home" by OneRepublic. Please remember to review (and please be nice)! I love you all!
Every year, on July 31st, Nana Molly and Granddad Arthur hosted a birthday for Harry Potter. It always consisted of the Weasleys, the Potters, a handful of friends, and whatever girls James, Hugo, Albus, Uncle Charlie, Scorpius, Louis, and Fred could snag for the event. There were an assortment of beverages and foods available, which led to most of the aformentioned to become inebriated. It always occurred at the Burrow at seven sharp. That was where James was taking Maggie. Her hand was gently placed in the crook of his elbow. He was dressed in a light blue button down shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows, black slacks, and black Chucks. He spared Maggie a glance. Her smokey makeup, little green dress, and black stillettos gave her a look of elegance. Her face was scrunched up in worry. James patted her hand.
"Don't worry. You'll be just fine," he said to her as they approached his grandparents' home. She stopped a few feet from the porch.
"What if they don't like me?" Her voice was so soft and vulnerable. James turned to face her. Tears were in her eyes. He smiled and kissed her forehead.
"They'll love you, babe." She nodded her head and sniffled. Looking at her, James thought back to the weeks leading up to this...
After the incedent with Rose, she had made a point to come over at least once a week. Out of pity, self-preservation, or friendship, James did not know. All he did know was that Rose had not told his family about Maggie and that the two were becoming fast friends.
One day, two weeks later, while Rose and Maggie were talking, James walked in with the mail. He plopped most of it down on the counter - junk mail. He held three letters in his hands. One was the annual invitation to the birthday party. Another one was a letter from Maggie's mother, asking about Europe. The last letter was from the Auror's office. He opened it carefully. Inside were more details on his mission and a two carat diamond engagement ring.
"Bloody hell..." he sighed. The two girls stopped conversing and looked up at him.
"What is it, James?" Maggie asked while Rose snatched the letter out of James' grasp. He was still staring at the engagement ring. After a few moments, Rose chuckled.
"Bloody hell is right," she said. "His cover for the mission changed. He is now going to pose as your fiancée." Maggie gasped and covered her mouth. James chuckled and looked at her.
"Yeah," he said. It wasn't the fact that they actually had to get married now. Because that is exactly what he had wanted. He just wished it had been years later. And that she wasn't being forced into it. Rose was still explaining things while he brooded. Maggie stayed silent the entire time. After a few minutes of silence, she sighed.
"Well," she said, turning to me. "I guess we're getting married."
"... James?" He blinked and looked at his girlfriend, soon to be fiancé. She smiled up at him. "You zoned out there, babe." He blushed. Maggie laughed. "C'mon, lover boy. Let's get this over with." She had gained some courage in the last few minutes. She grabbed her boyfriend's hand and began to lead him up the stairs. James laughed at her antics and knocked on the door. It was opened by Nana Weasley.
"James! Good to see you, good to see you! How is your job? Are you getting enough sleep? You look like a twig! Are you eating enough? Oh!" The older woman smiled at Maggie. "Who have you brought along with you this time?" James was about to respond when Maggie stuck out her hand ecstatically.
"Maggie Frace, ma'am. The new Muggle Studies and music professor at Hogwarts." Molly Weasley smiled wider and shook Maggie's hand.
"An American professor, eh? What an idea! McGonagall must really think you know your stuff if she shipped you in from America! You look famished, dear! Please, come in and make yourself at home!" She opened the door to let them in. They entered the crowded living room. It was only sis fourty-five and almost everyyone was there already. People turned to see who had come in and smiled as James caught their eye. Rose was the only one to smile at Maggie. James went forward and hugged his family and friends. After hugging everyone there, he sat conjurred up a chair and sat down in it as the conversation returned to its original topic: Quidditch. He smiled at Hugo, Fred, Albus, and Louis - all of whom had a date. Uncle Ron and Harry Potter were in the kitchen with Neville Longbottom, Uncle Bill, Uncle Charlie, his girlfriend, Uncle Percy, Uncle George, Teddy, and Granddad Arthur. Aunt Hermione and Ginny were helping Nana Molly, along with Aunt Fleur, Aunt Audrey, Aunt Angelina, and Victoire. Rose was leading Maggie to the backyard, where he could see Dom, Lily, Molly, Lucy, and Roxanne all sitting. He smiled at her and waved. Maggie waved back before being pulled outside. The group stopped talking when Rose and Maggie stopped at their group.
"Hey, guys," Rose said. A chorus of, "Hey, Red," followed suit. She smiled and pointed to Maggie.
"This is Maggie Frace. She's the new Muggle Studies and music professor at Hogwarts. And she's James' girlfriend!" At the last bit of information, the girls gaped at Maggie. Lily was the first one to speak.
"James?! Has a girlfriend?! Since when?!" Maggie chuckled.
"A while now," she lied. It was part of his cover. Only Rose knew the truth, and that was the way they needed it to be. The girls asked Maggie a few more questions before the group of younger men came outside. James plopped down next to Maggie and wrapped his arm around her waist protectively. To everyone's surprise, Scorpius sat down next to Rose and kissed her cheek. She smiled and kissed his lips gently.
"WHAT THE BLOODY HELL ARE YOU DOING?!" Hugo exploded. Maggie laughed, causing everyone to turn to her.
"Am I seriously the only one who knew that they were meant to be? Honestly! And you say that Americans are daft," she said, rolling her eyes. Rose touched Maggie's hand and mouthed 'thank you.' Albus cleared his throat and pulled his date closer to him.
"Well, this is exciting," he said. "How about we play Truth or Dare?" There was a murmur of agreement. Before they could continue, however, Nana Molly called them in for dinner. They all got up and grabbed seats near each other. The dining room was not big enough to fit everyone, so they had set up near the garden. Maggie sat in between James and Harry Potter. She had never been happier in her life. She was sitting next to The Boy Who Lived! She bursting with joy.
Food magically appeared in front of her and her eyes lit up. There was so much! She knew she wouldn't be able to eat everything available. She could still eat most of the food, though. She took small amounts of what she could have in order to save room. James, however, did the opposite. He piled his plate with food.
WHile everyone ate, there was conversation. Harry asked James who she was. Before he could say anything, she swallowed and stuck out her hand.
"My name is Maggie Frace, sir. I must say, it is an honor to finally meet my hero!" He blushed and shook his head.
"You flatter me. But in all seriousness, what are you doing in Europe? You sound American." She smiled and explained herself. When she told him that she was James' girlfriend, Harry looked at his son with a knowing smile.
"So, James, you finally found someone to settle down with?" It was James' turn to blush. He nodded and stuffed his face. Conversation continued in a like manner until it was over. There was a break between dinner and dessert. Maggie excused herself as soon as dinner was finished and walked over to Rose, who was seated between Nana Molly and Scorpius. She tapped Rose on the shoulder.
"It's time," was all she said. Both Rose and Molly stood up at the same moment. Rose led Maggie upstairs while Molly gave an announcement.
"Attention, everyone!" All conversation ceased. She smiled. She loved being part of this plan. "As you all know, it's Harry's fourty-seventh birthday." A thunderous round of applause erupted. Harry waved his hand as if to draw off the attention. Molly then raised her hands to quiet the group. "With that being said, we have a special surprise today! She is an international singing sensation, and this year, she will be giving Hogwarts private concerts! Please, follow me inside for your surprise!" The large crowd followed in and found an upright piano and a stool set up. Rose came down the stairs as everyone got settled and whispered something to Nana Molly.
"Now, as I've said, she's giving private concerts. ANd she's offered to give a free concert today, just for us! Please, give it up for Miss Autumn Summers!" Everyone went wild with excitement. A slim young woman with smokey makeup, curly red hair, green eyes, a flowy, strapless, white, hi-low dress, gladiators, a denim jacket, bengals, hoop earrings, and a straw floppy hat waltzed down the stairs. The party began to scream. Maggie laughed and carried her guitar down the stairs. She sat down on the stool and began to tune her guitar.
"How are you guys tonight?" Lily, Dom, and the younger Molly squealed. Maggie laughed again. "Good to hear it! But I'm guessing you want me to sing for y'all, right?" She added a wink for effect. The group cheered. She began to play through her acoustic setlist. After she finished her third and final song, the crowd cheered even louder and called out, "Encore!" She laughed again and put her guitar down.
"Do you guys want more?" The group chorused in agreement. She walked over to the piano and then nodded at Rose. "Okay, guys. This song isn't one of mine, but it means a lot to me. So if you see something about me... change... don't be alarmed." And Maggie began to play the song.
"So I say to you, come home, come home, cause I've been waiting for you, for so long, for so long..."
There was not a dry eye in the house. When the bridge hit, Rose did as they'd rehearsed. Autumn Summers turned back into Maggie Frace.
No one took notice. They were all to busy crying and hugging each other. Maggie stood up and took off her hat. Then Dom gasped.
"SHE'S AUTUMN SUMMERS?!" The rest of the group stayed silent. Maggie chuckled and wiped her eyes.
"Yes. Yes, I am. And I'm extending an invite out to all of you to the Hogwarts concerts. You are all so nice to me, and I wish to extend the gratitude." At that moment, James stood up and walked over to her.
"Maggie, I know you just moved in with me, but I love you very much and I can't see myself with anyone else." He bent down on one knee and pulled out the ring he'd received two weeks prior. "Will you marry me?" She was speechless. She knew it had been coming, but she was still speechless. She nodded and hugged him tightly. There were cheers that surrounded them. Dessert was served and conversation resumed much like at dinner. Congratulations came their way every few minutes. Before they knew it, the night was over. They arrived home slightly buzzed, but very happy. They got upstairs and Maggie took off her jacket and hat. James took in her beauty and grabbed her.
"James -" he cut her off with a passionate kiss. She returned it with much fervor. He backed her up to the bed and then gently placed her there. Adrenaline pumping through his veins, he quickly took his shirt off to show off his body. He was glad his quidditch and Auror training paid off. She stared at his chest and traced his abs with her small fingers. He shivered then bent down to kiss her. They kissed with intense passion and drive. His hand manuevered up her dress and began to slip her underwear off. She suddenly pulled away and seemed extremely dizzy and scared.
"James," She whimpered. He looked at her, confused. She stared up at him with tears in her eyes. "Please don't. I've never done this before. I want to wait for us to be married first." He nodded. He completely understood. She just was not ready to take that step. But she said that she would when they were married. And with that thought in mind, he moved into a more comfortable position and the two drifted off to sleep.