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“Ugh,” a pretty redhead girl groaned as she sat in her apartment, hanging out with her friends. “I’m never going to find a roommate.”
“Lily,” said the blonde sitting next to her. “You’ve had tons of applicants. Why haven’t you chosen one of them?”
“Well, Maddie, they are either guys, extremely weird, my personality wouldn’t work well with them, or they are one of those people that would mess up my beautiful and clean apartment.”
“We all know how Lily is when it comes to apartment cleanliness,” Sirius, a very attractive man with black hair said.
“Hey Lily,” said Remus, a man with sandy blonde hair and very memorable amber eyes. “Isn’t there supposed to be someone coming soon?”
“Yeah, actually that person is supposed to be here in a minute,” Lily responded, checking her watch. “Hurry up and go! I don’t want you lot scaring off this person!”
“Lily, you say that like its true.” retorted James, a tall and messy black-haired man, in a mock-hurt voice.
“Well, you would scare the person off, James.” Maddie said as they started towards the door.
“Why would I be that person?” James argued. “People love to be around me!”
Ignoring their little argument, Lily shut the door after her friends had left. She wasn’t sure what to expect from the next applicant, but something in her gut told her that this would be a memorable interview. Lily combed through her silky red hair, a habit she had developed when she was nervous, and nearly jumped when there was a knocking at her apartment door. After taking two calming breaths, Lily walked to the door and answered it.
“Hi,” greeted Lily politely. “Come on in.”
“Thanks,” said the brunette woman with startling blue eyes and she entered the apartment. As she entered the apartment, something seemed familiar about her to Lily, as though she knew this person. They sat down around the round dining room table in Lily’s kitchen to start the process. “Well, I guess I’ll start the introductions. I’m Rachel Delancy, and—”
“That’s why you look so familiar!” Lily exclaimed excitedly. “Rach, it’s me, Lily,”
“Oh my gosh, Lily? How have you been?” Rachel said, embracing her old friend.
“I’ve been terrific. How about you?”
“It’s been pretty good,” Rachel replied with a shrug. “Gosh, when was the last time that we saw each other?”
“It was graduation night at Hogwarts,” Lily reminded her. “But then I guess we just went our separate ways and lost track of each other.”
“Yeah, Lily, I’m so sorry that I didn’t call you or something,” apologized Rachel.
“Oh, honey, don’t be. It’s okay. It’s both of our faults that we haven’t talked in, like, seven years. Oh gosh, and I was so nervous about my next applicant coming over! I didn’t realize I would be meeting an old friend! There’s no doubt about it, you can definitely move in!”
“Thank you so much, Lily!”
“Well,” said Lily, almost too excited for words, “let me give you a tour. We’re obviously sitting in my kitchen and dining room." She was indicating the tan and maroon kitchen/dining room. "Over here is the living room. My bedroom is the tan and extremely organized bedroom over by the large window, and your bedroom will be the pale pink one. Over there by the living room is the bathroom. And I know that you don't really like the color purple, but that's the color that the bathroom is. So, when can you move in?”
“Wow, you must be really happy that I’m moving in,” Rachel chortled.
“I’m just so excited that me and my old best friend can reconnect,”
“Yeah, me too,” admitted Rachel with a grin. “I can move in right now. I have my suitcases shrunken in my pockets.”
Rachel pulled five tiny suitcases out of her sweater pocket, pulled out her wand, and said, “Engorgio.”
In the blink of an eye, all five of the black travel suitcases were back to their normal size and resting on the bed inside of Rachel’s new bedroom. Her bedroom was a fairly decent sized room with a plushy queen sized bed and a large closet.
“You know,” said Rachel thoughtfully after exploring her new room. “I think that closet was made for me.”
“Oh yeah, I forgot how into fashion you are,” Lily said. “So, make yourself at home.”
A couple of hours later, Lily and Rachel sat on the couch, watching a comedy while drinking a couple of margaritas. Lily had called James, Sirius, Remus, and Maddie a few minutes ago and the new roommates were waiting for them to show up. Lily hadn’t told Rachel who her friends were, for she knew that there was going to be some tension when they finally showed up.
Both Rachel and Lily were doubled over, clutching their stomachs, and teary-eyed from a hilarious scene in the movie when the door opened and inside came the other four.
“So, Lily, let’s meet this new roommate of yours,” Sirius said excitedly.
“Come on, don’t hit on her when it’s her first night here,” Remus said.
“What are you talking about? The ladies love me,”
“Anyway,” said Lily, wiping her laughter tears away, interrupting the conversation. “Um, most of you already know my roommate. So, everyone take a seat.”
Maddie and Remus sat next to each other on a loveseat while James and Sirius took up the other arm chairs. Rachel was too occupied wiping her tears away to notice the familiar faces sitting before her.
“Well, Rachel, I’m sure you remember some of these people. Rach, this is James Potter, Remus Lupin, my former roommate Maddie Zimon, and I’m sure that you remember Sirius Black.”
When Lily started listing off the names, Rachel jerked her head up happily, but her happily lit eyes turned cold when they landed on Sirius. Sirius looked up at her and they made eye contact, blue eyes staring down gray eyes. Tension instantly rose in the atmosphere until Rachel broke eye contact and said to the blonde, “It’s very nice to meet you, Maddie. Lily, I didn’t know that you and the Marauders had become friends after Hogwarts.”
“Yeah, well, some things change, I guess,” Lily replied. “Listen, honey, it’s not a big deal that I hang out with Sirius, is it?”
“No, this is probably for the best,” Rachel assured her. “Sirius, it’s very nice to see you again.”
“You too, Rachel,” Sirius replied nicely. “So, why don’t we all catch up? We haven’t seen or heard from you since Hogwarts, Rachel, so why don’t you start? What do you do for a living, now?”
“Oh, um, okay,” she agreed, surprised at his kind reaction to her. “Well, after Hogwarts I went to study at a Muggle university to study fashion. After I got my Bachelor’s degree three years ago, I got a job as Assistant Buyer at Ralph Lauren. Actually, that job was in New York City, but I decided to move back to North Carolina after my boyfriend and I broke up."
"That's sad," said Maddie. "So, why did you move here?"
"We were living together, and I needed a new place, so I decided to make a fresh start down here. I’ve already gotten a job as Assistant Buyer at Gucci, and now I’m living here."
"Hey, how are your sisters and brother?" Lily questioned. "I know that I talked to Tommy a couple of years ago and he said that he had just became an uncle."
"Well, yeah." Rachel confirmed excitedly. "I am the aunt of three beautiful nieces and one handsome nephew. Danielle had twin girls a couple of years ago, and then a boy. Angela had a baby girl just last year. Tommy is actually a newlywed. He and his girlfriend got married last month.”
“Wow, that’s terrific!” Lily said. “Um, wow, you’ve been my roommate for two hours and we haven’t caught up yet. I’m a chef at a restaurant called Foley’s. Petunia had a son a few years ago named Dudley, but she and I don’t talk still, so I haven’t met my nephew. I’ve lived here since we graduated, and I am really hoping to be a head chef. James, why don’t you go next?”
“I am working in advertising right now. I help figure out slogans for new businesses, especially in Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. I actually live right across the hall with Remus. Other than that, nothing as really happened. Hey, Maddie, why don’t you talk about yourself? Rachel only met you today.”
“Sure,” Maddie agreed. “Well, I moved to the city after I graduated from Beauxbatons. My parents actually abandoned me when I was a baby and my aunt Rose raised me in France. I am a hairstylist and manicurist. Although, I must say that when I first started out it was difficult not to just use my wand to change their hair. Remus, you go next.”
“Well, unfortunately, I’m unemployed,” Remus said a little awkwardly. “That’s actually why I moved in with Prongs over here. Other than that, there’s really not much to tell.”
“I guess it’s my turn then.” Sirius said. He hadn’t taken his eyes off of Rachel since the introductions began. “Well, I live across the street. I got into potion-making and I help supply St. Mungo’s with medicines. Regulus passed away a couple of years ago in a boating accident. This guy that had a grudge during Hogwarts blew the boat up."
"Wow, I'm so sorry." Rachel told him, sympathy evident in her voice.
"Well, it was awhile ago, so I don't think about it very much."
“So,” started Lily, looking between Rachel and Sirius as they looked at each other. “Now that we’re all re-acquainted, will we be able to handle this situation?”
“Of course,” Sirius and Rachel replied simultaneously.
“Yeah, that conversation wasn’t tense at all,” retorted James, earning a pillow to the face from Remus.
“Do I look fat?” James asked as he entered Lily and Rachel’s apartment. Lily, Rachel, Maddie, Remus, and Sirius were sitting around the round dining table eating some waffles that Lily had made.
“No, you don’t. Why?” Maddie questioned.
“Today at work, an associate recommended a gym and said that I ‘could stand to lose a few pounds.’”
“Yeah, you actually could,” Rachel admitted.
“Oh, gee, thanks for that, Rach,”
“Hey James,” said Lily after she swallowed her food. “Since the restaurant is closed this week for remodeling, do you want to workout together? I could remake you,”
“Oh, I don’t know, Lils. I’ve made plans to sit around,”
“James! Stop being stubborn and lose some weight with Lily,” Sirius said.
“Fine, I’ll do it. But only because all of you are insisting,” he snapped.
“Aw, James, don’t be grumpy,” Rachel suggested, standing up, and giving him a hug. Suddenly, she lied, “James, I can’t make my hands meet.”
“Asshole,” he mumbled as she let him go.
“It looks like someone has PMS. Do you we need to buy you some tampons?” Rachel teased, earning some laughs.
“Alright, Lily, let’s go,”
“Honey, I have to change into some different clothes,” Lily said, heading towards her bedroom. “Does anyone want to join us? Sirius?”
“Nope. Sorry, Lily, but I’ve got a lunch date,” Sirius informed all of them.
“Tell us about her.” Remus and Maddie demanded.
“Her name is Karen Willard and she works with me at the brewery. She’s very hot and has this luscious black hair that I want to run my fingers through.”
Lily and Maddie noticed that Rachel’s blue eyes had hardened as Sirius started talking about Karen. Maddie’s brown eyes met with Lily’s green eyes and they agreed that something was going on.
“Well kids, this has been fun,” said Remus. “But Maddie and I are going to a movie. We’ll see you later.”
“Hold on for a second, Remus,” Maddie said. She then pulled Rachel aside, along with Lily who was in her gray sweat suit. “Um, Rach, is there something wrong with Sirius dating someone?”
“No,” she lied unconvincingly. “Okay, fine. I haven’t even met the woman and I’m jealous of her.”
“But why?” Lily pressed. “I mean, you two haven’t dated in, like, seven years.”
“I honestly don’t know why I fell like this,” Rachel replied. “But I will promise that when I figure it out that I’ll tell you both.”
“Okay, that’ll work for now.”
An hour later, Rachel sat alone in the apartment feeling utterly confused. She knew that deep down she would always be jealous of any girl that dated Sirius. That was happened after you had your first love, especially a love that you saw yourself spending the rest of your life with. Memories of those painful nights flooded her mind, and the gate opened, unleashing a wave of salty tears. She hadn’t cried about this since she was a seventh year and had caught Sirius with another woman…again. After a couple of minutes, she grabbed a tissue, wiped the tears away, fixed her makeup, and went out to take care of some business.
“Maddie, wait up!” Remus called. When he caught up to her he said, “Why did we have to leave the theater so quickly?”
“We had to leave because Claire was in the same theater as us!” she exclaimed.
“Who the hell is Claire?”
“Oh, come on, Remus. You know who Claire is. It’s Claire, my twin sister.”
“Oh,” said Remus, eyes slightly wide with comprehension. “That Claire.”
“Duh! I mean, how many other Claires do we know?”
“That’s true. But Maddie, why didn’t you stop and say hi or something. Come on, she’s your sister.”
“Remus, it’s complicated, but since you are so trustworthy, I’ll tell you my reasons. Only a few other people on this planet know why I do not like my sister. Claire seduced my fiancé at the time, and he slept with her. I haven’t talked to her since then, and that was when I was twenty. That was six years ago.”
“Maddie, I had no idea. I’m so sorry.”
“No, it’s okay. You couldn’t have done anything about it. Plus, we’re so different. She dresses a bit on the slutty side, and she is this high-powered career driven type of person.”
“What does she do for a living?”
“She’s a waitress.”
Remus chuckled. “How about we head over to The Only One and I’ll buy you a drink,”
“Remus, it’s only one o’clock in the afternoon.”
Maddie paused for a moment, obviously thinking. “Good point.” she said, and they made their way to the hang-out bar.
Lily was jogging lightly down the sidewalk of the park, her red hair bouncing in a ponytail, sun making it shine. She didn’t look at all tired, not even a little bit. Running and walking, but mostly walking, behind her was a red-faced sweaty James. James looked like he was on the verge of collapsing, and his oversized sweatshirt was partly dark with sweat.
“Lily,” he panted, jogging sluggishly after her, “can we please stop for today and go get a drink at The Only One?”
Lily skidded to a stop, turned around, and glared at James with her emerald green eyes. The intensity of her glare made him stop when he was close enough to her. “James, you used to play Quidditch, how are you so tired and gross right now?”
“That was seven years ago when I was Quidditch captain.” he retorted.
“Are you kidding me?” she said exasperatedly. “We have only been lightly jogging for five minutes. Did you sit on your ass all day after you graduated?”
“Please, Lily, I am begging you to let me take a shower and I’ll buy you a drink at the hang-out bar.” he said as he gave her puppy-dog eyes.
“Okay, how about we compromise? We head up to your apartment, you give me thirty sit-ups, and we’ll go to The Only One. Deal?” she proposed, extending her hand.
James smiled and shook it while saying, “Deal. But wait, we don’t have to run to the apartment building, do we?”
She smiled at him and shook her head before starting to walk forward. He followed her, but was walking at half of the speed of Lily. Her head turned to see him strolling along slowly, walked over to him, and said, “Okay, I’m giving you a bit of slack, but you have to at least walk at my speed.”
“I don’t fast walk and consider it walking.” he threw back at her. Her jaw dropped a little and she pushed his shoulder. James looked shocked before he did the same to her. Simultaneously, they started doing a girl fight with their hands, and with one light push, James fell over. He threw her a deadly glare that scared her slightly and made her run off towards the apartments. James stood up, and stealthily walked after her.
“James Harold Potter, give me five more sit-ups!” Lily demanded loudly.
“No, if I do anymore I’ll get a hernia.” he panted.
“If you give me five more, I’ll flash you.” she said, secretively rolling her eyes. James’s hazel eyes lit up excitedly.
“One,” he counted, “two, two and a half,” he said before falling back to the starting position. “Okay, just show me one.”
“Whatever, James, I’m not going to flash you,” she informed him. “Just get up and take a shower while I go change."
“You know, Lily,” he said suggestively. “You look a little sweaty too. Maybe we should keep the water bill down and shower together.”
She smiled suggestively at him before stomping on his foot, causing him to cry out in pain.
Lily, James, Remus, and Maddie all sat in their regular booth having a drink. At the current time, Remus and Maddie were making fun of James for his lack of athleticism. The bell rang, signaling a new guest, and Rachel and a very attractive blonde man came over to them.
“Hi everyone,” she said, beaming. “Um, everyone this is Chris Peterson. Chris, these are my friends: James, Maddie, Lily, and Remus.”
“It’s nice to meet you,” Chris said in a baritone voice. “Rachel, I’m going to get a drink, do you want one?”
“A diet coke with rum, please,” she requested, sitting next to Lily. When he walked away, she said, “I know, he’s gorgeous isn’t he?”
“Yeah.” Lily and James agreed. Everyone turned and looked at him.
“I’m just saying that if I were gay, he’d be the type of guy I’d want to hook up with.” James explained.
“Anyway,” said Maddie awkwardly, “where on earth did you meet a guy like that and where can I get one?”
“He’s a male model at Gucci,” Rachel informed them. “Chris is one of the newer ones and I met him at a shoot today,”
“Here you go, sweetie.” Chris said, handing Rachel her drink.
The group continued to talk for a few minutes before suddenly Sirius came over to the table, causing everyone to go quiet. He coughed quickly, obviously shocked at seeing the guy with an arm draped around his ex-girlfriend. “Hey, Rach? Who is this guy?”
“Oh, I’m so sorry. Sirius, this is my boyfriend, Chris. Chris, this is my other friend, Sirius.”
“It’s nice to meet you, Sirius.” Chris said politely.
“You too, Chris,” said Sirius through his gritted teeth. “So, are you two able to sit and chat for awhile?”
“Actually, we need to get going or else we’re going to miss our movie,” said Chris. “Anyway, it was nice meeting all of you.”
“I’ll talk to you guys later.” stated Rachel, and she and Chris walked out of the bar holding hands.
“So, she’s got a boyfriend, huh?” Sirius questioned angrily, taking Rachel’s former spot.
“Yeah, Padfoot, is that a problem?” Remus asked him suspiciously.
“No, I was just a little shocked, that’s all.” he lied.
“Hey, Sirius,” said James as they were hanging out at Remus and James’s apartment. “Are you sure that you are completely fine with Rachel dating an attractive male model?”
“Why should I care that she’s dating some guy?” said Sirius in a low voice as he took a sip of beer. “Okay, fine, I’m not okay with it. I mean, seeing her again and hanging out with her, it’s just making me realize some stuff that I wish wasn’t there.
“Well, are you going to tell us what this ‘stuff’ is?” asked Remus.
“I think—I can’t believe I’m actually going to say this—I am still in love with Rachel.”
“You’re what?” James and Remus spluttered.
“I’m still in love with Rachel,”
“So then, what happened that night that you cheated on her after you two starting dating again in seventh year?” James wondered.
“Hey, look! Both times that I cheated on her, I was drunk. Mind-numbingly drunk.”
“So that’s why you were all weird earlier?”
“Yeah.” confirmed Sirius, not looking anyone in the eye.
“Hey Lily, Maddie, can I talk to you both for a minute?” Rachel hesitantly asked.
“Um, well, earlier today I made you a promise, so I won’t break that promise.”
“Ooh, so what’s with the whole Sirius thing?” Lily questioned excitedly, eating some fluffy popcorn.
“Okay, I guess I’ll just come out and say it. I’m totally and completely in love with Sirius. That’s actually why my boyfriend and I really broke up. He could tell that there was someone in my past that I wasn’t able to get over completely.”
“So you are still in love with a man who cheated on you twice?” Maddie said.
“Yeah, pretty much.”
“Aw, honey, it’ll be better.” Lily said, pulling Rachel into a comforting hug.
“Thanks, you guys, you’re the best.”
“Hey Rachel? Do you want to hear something that’ll cheer you up?” Lily said with a mischievous grin.
“Well, earlier today, James and I were working out…”
A/N: Hello all! For those of you who have been reading and/or reviewing my story, I would like to say thank you and I sincerely hope you are enjoying it. I had SO much fun writing this chapter, especially the jokes, so let me know what you think of it!
“Hey, everyone,” Lily greeted as she and Rachel entered The Only One. James, Maddie, Sirius, and Remus were sitting in their regular booth. “Rachel and I have decided to throw a Halloween party.”
“Oh, cool!” everyone else exclaimed.
“But everyone needs to dress up,” Rachel added.
“Aw, do we have to?” Sirius complained.
“Yes, Sirius Orion Black, you have to.”
“Fine,” he mumbled grumpily.
“Okay, it’s going to be tomorrow night at seven o’clock,” said Lily, tossing her hair. “We’ve got to start getting things together.”
“Oh, I’ll come with and help,” Maddie offered.
“Maddie, you don’t—”
“Please get me out of here,” Maddie begged in a low voice. “I don’t need to hear any more stories about their woman adventures,”
“Don’t worry, honey, we’ll save you,” said Rachel quickly, dragging her out of the bar by the sleeve of her pale orange shirt.
“Hey, Rachel,” said Sirius the next morning. Rachel’s bedroom was completely dark except for some light coming through her curtained window. He could see a still lump underneath the blanket and comforter. “Rach, Lily wants you to get up so that you can help her with the party tonight.”
Rachel remained still.
“Come on,” he groaned, frustration in his voice. Finally deciding that enough was enough, he pulled the blankets off of her, but that was clearly a bad idea. “I just saw her half-naked.” Sirius explained to the guys after he shut Rachel’s bedroom door.
“So, what’s the big deal?” James asked.
“She was in her bra and panties,”
“Did it look good?”
Sirius glared up at one of his best friends. James recoiled a tiny bit from the intensity of it. “James, that is my ex-girlfriend, do you honestly think I am going to answer that?”
“I bet it looked pretty damn good,” James mumbled to Remus who nodded his agreement.
“Sirius, honey, what was with the yelling and jumping right when you woke me up?” Rachel asked, pulling her fluffy white robe tighter around her body. “I mean, you of all people should know that I am not a morning person, so what was that all about?”
“I’m sorry about that, Rach, but you shocked me a little bit when I saw you in nothing but your—lingerie,” he explained awkwardly.
“Oh well, honey, that’s okay. It’s not like you haven’t seen it before,” she said with a sweet smile, and kissed Sirius on the cheek before retreating to her bedroom to get dressed. Sirius’s fingers lightly brushed over the part of his skin that her lips had just touched.
“So, did we enjoy the ‘I love Rachel’ bedroom that she was sleeping in?” Remus grinned.
“Hardy, har, har. I don’t know what you guys are talking about,”
“No, you see Padfoot, you’re in lurve with her,” James and Remus cooed simultaneously.
“Hey, what are you guys talking about?” Maddie asked, interrupting their conversation. She was quite good at finding out information just by eavesdropping.
“Um, we are talking about…my audition I have later today,” replied Remus.
“You have an audition?”
“Yeah, I was on my way over here, and this director guy named Thomas Wilson stopped me and asked if I would be interested in trying out for a part in his new television show.”
“That’s incredible!” everyone exclaimed.
“It’s this afternoon around four, so don’t worry, I’ll be back here on time for the party,”
“Okay, good.” Lily hugged him. Lily was and always had been a stickler when it came to tardiness, not to mention cleanliness and order. Sometimes it could be a bit on the frightening side.
“Since the party is tonight, I’m going to go out and find myself a costume,” James said, grabbing a muffin and leaving the apartment.
James was walking along casually on the sidewalk. The usually bright blue sky was covered with dark gray ominous clouds. It looked as though at the drop of a dime, it could start pouring down on top of the town. The gusting winds were blowing right at his face, messing up his black hair even more than usual. In one hand, he was carrying a bag with his costume, and in the other bag was a bar of chocolate. The full moon was coming up in a week, and he wanted to be prepared for Remus’ mood swings. Out of the corner of his hazel eyes that were hiding behind his round glasses, he saw a woman; this was no ordinary woman, though. The woman had the face of his ex-girlfriend, Jan.
Though he couldn’t see it, she was watching him intently, following the same path that he was. Her curly brown hair was whipping around in the fierce wind, but her eyes never once left the messy head of hair of her ex. James had broken up with her only three months ago, but he didn’t know that most days of the week, this woman knew where he was.
Unable to take it anymore, James turned around and said, “Jan, why have I been seeing you following me so much today?”
“I’m not following you around,” she replied in her nasal voice.
“Okay, then how come every single day this week you have followed me to the same places. Every single place you are there, watching and following me,”
“James, give us another chance,” she begged. “I mean, come on! We’ve had four one-night stands since you ‘ended’ our relationship, and I have not approached you; you have always approached me! There is something deep in your soul that calls out to me, so give us another chance,”
“No, ah, stalker!” James yelled in fear, and went running down the sidewalk, leaving Jan standing there in shock.
“Remus Lupin,” a woman’s voice called into the waiting room. Remus was sitting at the studio in a waiting room with many other guys and women. He stood up and followed the blonde to an audition room. Sitting at a desk was Thomas Wilson, another man named Kevin Davidson, and then the blonde took the third chair.
“Okay, Remus. These are the executive producers, Kevin Davidson and Mandy Hanson.” said Thomas, moving forward to greet him. “Here’s how this audition process is going to go. We’ll give you a script in a minute with the part you’ll be reading for. You will have only a minute to look over your lines.”
“That sounds good. But I do have one question. Would you be willing to kind of tell me what the show is basically about?”
“Of course! It’s a show about six friends and the things they deal with in their lives. It’s not so much of a serious and intense show; it’s more a sitcom. There’s a quite a bit of suggestive humor, but we think the cast will have fun with it.”
“The six main characters are: Tanya Williams, Natalie Bishop, Anna Perry, Peter Hanson, Darryl Carlson, and the one you’ll be trying out for, Jacob Perry. The main romance in this show is going to be Tanya and Jacob, so if we like you for the part you’ll also have to do a reading with the actress playing Tanya to make sure there is chemistry between the two of you.”
“Here is your script,” Mandy said, giving him the papers. A minute later, she announced, “Okay, Remus, let’s get this audition going.”
Lily was in her costume that night putting out the chips, dip, and punch. The lights and other decorations were already up with the help of Maddie and Rachel. Rachel then came out of her bedroom in her costume.
“Ah, hello there, catwoman,” Rachel grinned. Lily was wearing a tight leather bodysuit with black leather boots, a tail, and some cat ears. Her red hair matched the costume well.
“Hi there, Rach. Are you going to be giving us a nice Halloween cheer?” Lily retorted. Rachel was wearing a blue and white cheerleading outfit with white and red pom-poms. She had her hair up in a ponytail and she was wearing white tennis shoes. “I didn’t know that when you were on the Quidditch team that you also did some cheering,”
Before Rachel could throw back a comment, the door opened, revealing Maddie in her costume.
“Um, so, superwoman, did you fly here or did you Apparate?” Rachel said. She was always a bit on the sarcastic side, but today it was more so than usual. Maybe hanging out with James’s sarcasm was causing it to wear off on her. “You should tell those nutballs who are trying to fly without planes how you did it without a broom,”
“Hey, um, James,” ventured Lily, her eyebrows furrowed as she took in his costume. “What exactly are you supposed to be?”
“A potato,” he replied as though it was the most obvious thing. “Is your brain being affected by your suffocating cat suit?”
“No, it’s just that I thought you were duty,” she grinned.
“Yeah, I can see that,” Maddie agreed, looking James up and down.
“No, I am a potato,”
“Just keep telling yourself that,” retorted Lily.
“Here comes the man in black,” Remus sang as he entered the apartment. He was wearing a black suit with a black tie and black sunglasses. “I am a secret agent that monitors alien activity on planet earth,”
“Nice idea, Moony,” Rachel admitted.
“Okay, Rachel, can I talk to you for a minute?” Sirius said angrily as he came bursting into the apartment. “When I asked you to get me a costume and you agreed, I didn’t think you would be mean and get me this,”
“Well, a bunny was your favorite animal as a child,” Rachel explained, trying not to join in the laughter that was filling the apartment.
“Yes, but there were no bunnies that were naturally pink and white,” he growled.
“I can’t believe you did this to him,” Maddie said through her laughter. “I wish I had a camera.”
Everyone agreed and went off to do their own thing for awhile as the other guests started showing up. Later on that night as they drank their punch…
“Okay, who do you think would win in a fight?” Lily asked Rachel, Maddie, and Remus.
“Which two people are we talking about?” Remus asked.
“How about me and Rachel,”
“I’d have to give the edge to Rachel,” Remus answered.
“I mean, you do have the redhead temper, but Rachel is fierce when it comes to battling,”
“I’m agreeing with Remus on this,” Maddie input.
“Okay, how about me and Maddie?”
“Definitely Maddie.” stated Remus. “She lived on the street for a couple of years after her aunt Rose died.”
“True,” Lily admitted. “Okay, ladies, Remus against James,”
“James,” Maddie, Rachel, and even Remus answered. He explained, “There’s no doubt in my mind that he would win,”
“Okay, how about this one: James against Sirius,”
“I can’t answer that. They are both my best friends,” Rachel said. Maddie nodded her agreement.
“So you think Sirius also?” Lily questioned. She already knew what the answer was since she and Rachel thought so much alike.
At the table of chips and dip…
“Hey there, duty,” Sirius smirked as he came up to his best friend.
“Ha ha, you know Padfoot, you are the funniest man here in a pink bunny outfit that his ex-girlfriend who he is ga-ga over made him wear,”
“Relax, Prongs, you are looking a little…flushed,”
“Hey, maybe we’ll get to find out for real,” Maddie pointed out as they eavesdropped in on the conversation.
“Find out what?” James asked, curiosity dancing in his eyes.
“We were talking about who would kick whose ass in a fight,” Remus informed them.
“There is no question about that,”
“So you think Sirius also?” questioned Rachel with a straight face.
“Did you all think that Sirius would win?”
“Yeah,” they all replied simultaneously.
“They are right though,” Sirius agreed.
“Oh yeah, so then prove it,”
“How do we do this without getting killed by Lily for knocking something over?”
“About you two arm wrestle?” Lily suggested.
“Yeah, we can do that. But be warned, you are going down,”
“You’re going further down; downtown,”
“Seriously,” Rachel interrupted, placing a hand on each of their shoulders, “the trash talk is incredibly embarrassing,”
“Let’s get this thing going!” Remus exclaimed excitedly. “Bunny versus duty!”
The party had divided into two groups: the group that was supporting Sirius stood behind his chair, while the group supporting James stood behind the other chair. Rachel, Lily, Maddie, and Remus were in the middle as to not start any fighting.
“Three, two, one, GO!” Maddie shouted, starting the match.
Ten minutes later…
“Wow, they must both be really strong,” Maddie muttered quietly to Rachel as they watched the two struggling to win.
“Either that, or equally weak,” Rachel pointed out.
“Are you getting a little tired?” Sirius asked through his gritted teeth.
“Nope, I could do this all day…although I am getting pretty tired,”
“I’m exhausted,” confessed Sirius. “Listen, you’ve got to let me win. I mean, Rachel’s standing there watching and this is making me look really bad,”
“I thought that you didn’t have feelings for her,”
“Okay, fine, I lied. Please, man, just do this for me. And if that’s not enough, I’ll give you a galleon,”
“Done,” James agreed with a shrug. Sirius finally overpowered his friend as James’s arm relaxed a bit.
“I am the winner!” Sirius cheered, standing up to hug Maddie and Rachel. “Oh, it looks like we’re out of beer. I’ll go over to my place and bring some over.”
Sirius then hurried out of the apartment to do that.
“So, we told you that you would lose, Prongs,” Rachel reminded him with a smirk.
“Yeah, well, I let him win,”
“Yeah, I’m sure you did,” Maddie retorted, rolling her eyes.
“Of course I did! He didn’t want to look bad in front of the girl he’s in love with,”
“What are you talking about?” Rachel asked him, eyebrows furrowed in curiosity.
“Well, you were standing right there watching, so I—” James started, but then immediately stopped when he realized what he said.
“Sirius is in love with Rachel?” Lily asked, running over when she heard James speak.
“Um, yes and no,” stuttered James. He stuttered when he was nervous. “Except not no; so to sum up, yeah,”
“Oh my gosh,” the girls breathed.
“Rach, what are you going to do?” said Lily, putting a hand on Rachel’s shoulder.
A/N: Please, please review! It would mean a lot to me!
“Rachel, will you please come out here and talk to us?” Lily asked a couple of days after the Halloween party. For most of the time, Rachel had been silent with a slightly blank stare in her eyes, and was cooped up in her room except for work and eating. “Come on, do it for Lils,” she pouted.
“Fine,” Rachel groaned from inside of her room, and opened the door. Everyone except for Sirius was sitting in the apartment eating lunch. “So, what do you want to talk about?”
“Actually, we were wondering what you were going to do about the whole Sirius situation,” Remus revealed softly, so as not to anger her. Her temper could be almost as bad as Lily’s.
“There’s nothing to think about,” she told them with a shrug, grabbing an apple and taking a bit of it.
“Um, Rach, that didn’t really help us out much,” Maddie pointed out.
“Maddie, the man cheated on me twice! I mean, yeah, I think I’m still in love with him, but I don’t want to feel that kind of hurt again. Can you guys understand what I’m talking about?”
“Yeah,” they murmured, feeling sympathetic for the girl in comfortable sweats. “So will you stay here and hang out with us for once?”
“Sure,” Rachel smiled brightly, sitting next to James on the couch. “So, what else are we talking about out here?”
“Actually, we were talking about Remus’ audition that happened last Tuesday,” Lily informed her.
“Oh, yeah, how did that go?”
“Well, it was a little—well, actually it was extremely nerve-wracking. They wanted me to try out for the part of Jacob Perry; he’ll be one of the characters that have the main romance in the show. He’s this slightly geeky, intelligent, but caring and loyal guy,”
“Wow, that sounds just like you!”
“Maybe that’s why they wanted me to audition for that part,”
At that moment, Remus’ cell phone started to ring. He grabbed it out of his coat pocket, looked at the number, and answered, “Hello?” There was a pause before Remus said, “Really? What time do you want me to be there?” He was silent as he listened to the caller speak. “So, you want me there tonight at 5:30? Okay, thank you so much, Thomas.”
“What was that all about?” Maddie asked, her head cocked to the side.
“That was Thomas Wilson. They want me to come back tonight to read a scene with the girl they think will play my love interest on the show. He also said that the others will be coming in and we might do a dry reading just to see if we mesh well together.”
“Oh, wow, congratulations!” everyone exclaimed, hugging the werewolf.
“I’d better start getting ready though,” he said. “I’ll talk to you all later tonight after I get back.” Remus left the apartment.
“Wow, we might be best friends with a famous television show actor,” Rachel said in amazement, taking a sip of water. “How cool would that be?”
“I think he deserves it,” added Lily, “he’s not able to get a lot of work because of his lycanthropy, so he must be really excited right now.”
“I totally agree,”
“So, what can I get for you lovely ladies?” the waiter asked Lily and Maddie later that night when they went out to eat. “Our special tonight is grilled tilapia with a garlic lemon sauce and a side of wild rice.”
“That sound excellent, actually,” said Lily. “I’ll take that,”
“And what about you, miss?”
“I would like the meatball spaghetti,” Maddie ordered, handing the waiter the second menu.
“Anything else? Any more drinks?”
“No thanks,” they replied.
“I’ll be back as soon as your orders are ready,” he said before heading back to the kitchen.
“Okay, Maddie, do you agree with me that Rachel should totally go for it with Sirius?”
“Yes, absolutely. Although, I do see where she is coming from when it came to her decision.” Maddie said, showing her always understanding side.
“But they are so perfect for each other! Do you think we could get Sirius to say something to her?”
“I don’t know, but he’s probably thinking along the same lines as her. ‘I cheated on her twice; there’s no way she would take me back.’”
“That’s true. I could see why he would keep it a secret,”
The ladies chatted animatedly until a middle-aged, yet smooth and sexy man walked by them and sat at the table next to them. Lily’s eyes sparked with recognition.
“Jonathon?” she said, going over to his table.
“I’m sorry, do I know you?” he said in his sexy voice.
“John, it’s me, Lily Evans,”
“Oh, wow, Lily, you look fantastic!” he said, hugging her. “Yeah, I just talked with your parents a couple of weeks ago.”
“That’s good. How long has it been since we’ve seen each other?”
“I think it was Petunia’s wedding. Your father told me that she normally wouldn’t have invited me, but I had been your parents’ best friend for years,”
“Besides, you’ve been in our lives since we were little girls. So, are you still in cardio?”
“Yeah. Not much has changed, although Marsha and I got a divorce a couple of years ago,”
“Aw, that’s too bad,” Lily comforted him, rubbing his arm softly. The touch made a spark in both pairs of eyes.
“Listen, Lily, I don’t know if you are seeing anyone right now, and it might be a little weird, but would you like to go out sometime?”
“Yeah, John, I would love to go out with you!” she replied, handing him her number. “Give me a call and we’ll get together sometime.”
“I will call you,” he smiled charmingly at her. “But I’m meeting up with a co-worker, so I have to get back to my dinner,”
“Okay, I’ll talk to you later,” she said flirtatiously. Once he was sitting down again, Lily walked day-dreamily over to the table again.
“Oh, I think my new boyfriend is oh so dreamy,” Maddie teased with a mischievous grin. “I wonder what our wedding will look like in a couple of years.”
“Madeline Ophelia Zimon, we haven’t even gone out on a date,”
“He is pretty sexy, though,”
“Yeah,” Lily unconsciously breathed. When she realized what she said, a blush crept up onto her cheeks as Maddie chuckled.
Remus knocked on the tan door that led to the audition room that he had visited only two days ago. His palms were a little sweaty from nerves, but after taking two deep breaths he felt his tense muscles relax a tiny bit. A voice that he recognized as Thomas said, “Come on in,”
Remus turned the handle and entered the room. There was a medium-sized table sitting in the middle of the spacious room, and placed around it was six large, forest green and white striped bar stools. Sitting at each place on the oak table was a script with different lines highlighted; it was probably the lines that each person was supposed to read. In the middle of the table was a pitcher of ice water along with six glasses. The table at which Thomas and the executive producers sat was still in the same place. Occupying one of the bar stools was a dazzling young woman who revealed her brilliant white teeth in a charming smile.
She had thick, wavy, and shiny golden blonde hair, and her teal eyes were accented by black eyeliner and mascara. Her smooth skin had a natural tan glow that drew attention without trying. Her nose was a little misshapen, and there was a scar that didn’t look like it was surgical that extended from her chin and down the side of her neck, but all of her other features seemed to overpower them. She stood up, walked over to him, and extended her hand. “Hello, you must be Remus. I’m Olivia Fields,”
At the sound of her angelic voice, Remus’ mouth went dry. He stood there for a minute, overwhelmed by her beauty, until he snapped out of his reverie and accepted her hand. “Hi Olivia. That’s a great name,”
“Thanks. My mother named me after my grandmother, so it’s a bit of a family name.”
“Well, I haven’t known you for very long, but I think the name suits you,”
“Aw, thank you. You’re so sweet,” she smiled and rubbed his arm for a moment.
“Um, Thomas, do you three want us to do a scene together before the others show up?” Remus asked, trying to rid his mind of the thoughts flying through it.
“Yes, actually, if you two don’t mind,”
“No, that’s fine,” they replied simultaneously, grabbing their designated scripts from the table.
“I would like you both to start on page 6,” said Mandy Hanson. “Olivia, you have the opening line, so whenever you are ready…”
Olivia fixed her hair, moved a little closer to Remus, and said, “Jacob is that true? I mean, have you really felt that way about me for two years?”
“Well, when I pictured the moment I told you about this, I didn’t imagine is would be Anna who brought this conversation on,” Remus replied, looking away from Olivia’s eyes. Olivia reached a hand out and touched his cheek, making his eyes drift back towards her.
“I just wish you would’ve told me,” she continued, looking into his golden eyes. “We’ve been best friends since we were in college together. I thought you could tell me anything.”
“I can tell you anything; well, I guess almost everything. I have tried so hard to tell you since I’ve felt this way, but every time I was about to say it my tongue dried up and my biggest fear became you not feeling the same way about me, Tanya.”
“Did you know that I feel the same way about somebody?” Olivia questioned. “It’s, like, every time I try to tell him about it I end up getting queasy and light-headed. I am so scared of him rejecting me, Jacob! I am positively terrified of that prospect! But now I can confidently say what I’ve been wanting to say since our senior year of college. Jacob Ryan Perry, I am in love with you!”
“You’re what?” Remus spluttered.
“I’m in love with you,” she repeated, moving closer to him. Remus could see the freckles on Olivia’s nose and he focused all of his willpower on focusing on the script and making the scene believable. He reached out a hand and stroked her silky hair. Their faces moved closer and closer, their lips inches apart when Kevin Davidson said, “Excellent job, you two!”
Remus and Olivia quickly pulled away from each other, a blush creeping on to their cheeks. They had almost gotten lost in the moment that had been written by someone else.
“This is exactly what we want,” Mandy said, moving around the table. “There’s chemistry, there’s heat, there is talent, and the two of you play off of each other! If you want it, you both have the job.”
“Wow, thank you so much!” they exclaimed excitedly. “So, when are the others showing up?”
“So, Maddie, Lily, how was dinner at that new restaurant?” James asked that night, looking away from the television show he was watching. “Is it any good?”
“Yeah, it’s definitely good,” Lily replied, nodding her head.
“Are you talking about good food or good new boyfriend place?” Maddie teased.
“Maddie, what are you talking about?” James said. Maddie could be a little mysterious and confusing at times.
“Let’s just say that Lily got a little treat from that restaurant. And yes, they have incredible food.”
“Oh, who’s the hot guy, Lily?” James questioned teasingly. Her cheeks were tinged pink a tiny bit from embarrassment, which caused James’s grin to grow, if that was possible. “Lily’s blushing!”
“Okay, fine, James! It’s Jonathon Edwards.”
“You have a date with Dr. Edwards?” James exclaimed angrily. “Like, an actual date with Dr. Edwards?”
“Yes, but James don’t freak out.”
“Hey, I’m not freaked out! I love that man! I mean, he’s friends with my parents and your parents, why wouldn’t I like the guy? He’s like a brother to…your father. No, I think it’s great that he’s, like, fifty.”
“Excuse me, James, for interrupting your little tirade, but John happens to be one of the smartest, most sophisticated, and sexiest men I have ever met!”
“Dr. Edwards is sexy?”
“Oh god, absolutely,” Maddie groaned, agreeing with Lily.
“James, I am going to date him whether you like or not.”
“Fine, but don’t come crying to me when people call you his daughter,”
Lily walked over to James, grabbed a couch pillow, and smacked him across the head, causing him to cry out in pain as Maddie laughed.
A/N: Um, this chapter only has Rachel and James from the main characters. Sirius and Maddie have a little scene in here, but most of the chapter is Rachel, James, and another OC.
“Hello, Rachel,” said her assistant, Julia Morrison. “Harry Blake told me to deliver these files to you as soon as possible. We are joining up with another company to help advertise some products.”
“Okay, Julia, thank you. I’ll buzz you if I need anything.” She told Julia, and Julia left Rachel’s medium-sized, spacious, and sophisticated office.
In two corners of the room were potted plants sitting on a beige carpet. On the cream colored walls were different posters of models wearing Gucci outfits along with Rachel’s degree in fashion. The room gave off a nice, stylish, and comforting aura. Leaning back in her black leather chair, Rachel flipped open the folder to look at the papers inside. The company that she would be working with was Gregorio’s Advertising.
“Wait a minute,” she mumbled, looking at the name of the company again. She gasped. “That’s where James works!”
Now that the folder had gained her full attention, Rachel sat straight up in her chair and looked through the rest of the information. They would be helping Gucci advertise a new line of dresses and the advertisement required only Rachel and one model of her choosing. Her co-workers at the company would be James Potter and his assistant, Brian Williams.
“This will be fun,” she said to herself as she opened a drawer of files and started scanning through names, looking for a model she thinks would be good for the advertising. “Claudia… nope. Janelle…nope. Anna…she’s perfect! Oh wait, she’s on maternity leave. Ugh. Ooh, how about Camilla?” Rachel exclaimed excitedly, pulling out a file from the middle of the drawer to read the profile.
Weight: 123 lbs
Years of experience: 1 year at Ralph Lauren and 2 years with Versace
“This girl is perfect for the job!” Rachel said happily. She pushed on the speaker button on the gray desk phone and spoke into the speaker, “Julia, would you please send Camilla Bianchi to my office as soon as possible.”
“I’m on it, boss-lady,” Julia retorted.
Rachel rolled her eyes, closed the drawer of model files, and looked through some of the photo shoots that Camille had done in the past. A lot of them were sophisticated shoots and there were at least five fashion shows with Versace and two fashion shows with Ralph Lauren. A knock on the door startled Rachel from the file and she said, “Come in.”
Camilla Bianchi came walking gracefully into the office. She had the posture and aura of a fashion model. Her facial features were a little pronounced, but with the proper application of make-up she would look amazing in the different dresses. “Ms. Delancy, you wanted to see me?” she asked with a slight Italian accent.
“Yes, Camilla, have a seat.” She requested politely. Camilla tucked a strand of her red-brown straight hair behind her ear and sat down in the maroon colored armchair sitting in front of Rachel’s desk. “I have received word that Gucci will be working with Gregorio’s Advertising with the new winter line of dresses. They have requested me and one model of my choosing. Are you interested in doing this?”
“Absolutely!” Camilla exclaimed. “My boss showed me some of the designs for this winter’s line and I thought that they were absolutely gorgeous. Just one question though, do I get to keep the dresses?”
Rachel pondered this for a moment. It varied from shoot to shoot whether or not that the model would keep the outfits. “Well, you will be modeling fourteen different dresses; if you give me three of my choosing you can have the rest.”
“Deal,” Camilla agreed, shaking Rachel’s hand.
“Also, we’ll be working with James Potter and his assistant Brian Williams. They’re from the advertisement agency. So it’ll be the four of us, plus the photographer, over at Studio 8.”
“So when is the photo shoot going to be?”
“It’ll be tomorrow afternoon at 3 pm, but we need to go down to the clothing room before we leave to get the dresses. They are supposed to be on a separate rack for us. Plus, we need to arrive to the studio an hour early to do hair and makeup. So, how about we meet in the clothing room at 1 pm?”
“That sounds good,”
Maddie and Sirius were sitting in Rachel and Lily’s apartment. They were the only people in the apartment ironically.
“So, did anything interesting happen to you at work today, Sirius?” Maddie asked, bored out of her mind.
“Um, this new co-worker of mine told us that she hadn’t ever seen the first Halloween movie. Yeah, who hasn’t seen Halloween?”
“Actually, I haven’t,” Maddie replied in a low voice with a shrug.
“You haven’t seen Halloween?” he exclaimed incredulously.
“No, I haven’t seen that movie,” she repeated, not meeting his searching gray eyes.
“Fine, Madeline Zimon, I guess you have just officially set our plans tonight,” he declared, standing up, as though he announced something official.
“What do you mean?”
“Since you have never seen that movie before, we are renting it tonight, eating a bowl of buttered popcorn, and watching one of the scariest horror movies in the dark.”
“Wow, okay. Thank you for doing this, Sirius,” she said, standing up and hugging his athletic body. “Just please don’t tell anyone about this. Not even Lily and Rachel know this about me.”
“Alright, I promise I won’t say a word,”
Rachel hurried quickly from her office and to the elevators. She had been playing Tetris on her computer and didn’t realize that she needed to be at the clothing room fifteen minutes ago. As the elevator slowly descended down the building, she started bouncing up and down on the ball of her feet, anxious to get there. James would never let it go if she arrived late to the shoot.
When the elevators doors slid open on the fourth floor, Rachel quickly ran out of the fancy elevator, took a left, and ran down to where Camilla was standing outside of a blue door, grinning her white teeth at a worn-out Rachel. Rachel just gave her a glare as she slid the key into the lock, turned it, and the lock clicked open.
“So,” Camilla started, still grinning as they entered the clothing room. “Running a little late, are we?”
“Yeah, but I was attending to important business matters,”
“What business matters?”
“Um…playing Tetris,” Rachel replied in a small voice, causing Camilla to burst out into laughter.
“Oh, Miss Delancy, you crack me up sometimes,” Camilla revealed as Rachel started searching through different racks of different dresses. Finally, Rachel found the right rack towards the front of the room. She grabbed all fourteen dresses, held them in her arms, and together they walked out of the room, heading to the parking lot where Rachel’s car was parked.
When Rachel and Camilla found Rachel’s midnight blue car, Rachel gave Camilla the keys to open the trunk. Camilla did so, and Rachel carefully placed the dresses into the car. She handed back the keys and got into the passenger side, Rachel taking the driver’s seat.
“So, how far away is Studio 8?” Camilla asked as Rachel drove the car down Main Street.
“Oh, it’s only a couple of miles from our office building. We’ll be there in about ten minutes, so long as traffic doesn’t increase,”
Unfortunately, the first stoplight that Rachel came up on was a red light. Discreetly pulling her wand out of her jeans pocket, she did a little spell that turned the other lights red, but her light green. Camilla didn’t even know something had happened until Rachel stepped on the gas pedal again. Although she was absolutely gorgeous and sophisticated, Camilla wasn’t the smartest crayon in the box. Ten minutes later, Rachel pulled into a parking spot next to the car she knew to be James’s: a black custom made car that his parents bought for him when he turned 21.
“Wow, that’s a really nice car,” Camille breathed, taking in the sight of James’s car.
“Yeah, that car belongs to James Potter. His parents bought if for him.”
“Aren’t we working with James Potter? Do you know him?” she questioned excitedly.
“Yeah, he’s one of my best friends. He was one of my closest friends during school,” Rachel informed her with a warm smile.
“Wow, you’re pretty cozy with the man we’re working with,” she teased, “is there anything between you two?”
“Oh, no, I’d rather have his best friend,” said Rachel unconsciously, earning some laughs from Camilla.
“Ooh, so who’s this best friend of his that I don’t know about?” Camilla asked teasingly as she helped Rachel grab the dresses and walk inside of the brick building.
“Um, Camilla, I like you and all, but that story is one that only my closest friends on earth know about. I just don’t like to talk about it.”
“Miss Delancy, I’m sorry that I asked. It’s none of my business.”
Right at that moment, they arrived at the dressing room with the name Camilla Bianchi on it. Rachel opened the door and found that the dressing room was positively perfect. There was a vanity with three large mirrors facing different angles, along with makeup lights on top of it. On one side of the door was a white plush loveseat and on the other side of the door was an oak end table with a bamboo plant growing on top of it. In the back of the room was a large rack with a large amount of hangers on it. The room was large, with burnt orange walls and tan carpet. They both had to admit that it was pretty incredible.
“Well, I guess I should go find James and his assistant to let them know we’re here.” Rachel said, leaving Camilla alone in the dressing room. “Make sure you have everything you need in here.”
“Okay, Rachel. I’ll let you know if I need anything.”
Rachel made her way down the hallway and over to the executive office she knew belonged to James. Without even knocking, she entered the office, making James jump a few inches off of his chair.
“In case you didn’t realize it from my appearance, me and my model are here.” Rachel smirked as James attempted to calm his heartbeat.
“Obviously, otherwise I would call you a stalker…or a bitch for scaring the crap out of me,” James said, standing up to follow her. “So, tell me about this model?”
“Well, her name is Camilla Bianchi—”
“What the heck? Is it, like, Italian or something?” James interrupted.
“Yes, as a matter of fact it is. Camilla was born in Italy but her family moved here when she was a little girl. So, yes, her name is Italian. Anyway, she’s 21 years old, about an inch taller than you, and she was reddish brown hair that falls just below her shoulders.”
“Ooh, sounds gorgeous.”
“Okay, James, please don’t hit on her unless she starts flirting with you,” she requested. Actually, she demanded it with the tone of her voice.
“Rach, you’ve just described every girl in the wonderful town of Raleigh,” he retorted. “Almost every girl I’ve ever met has flirted with me.”
“Yes, but every girl that flirts with you ends up getting dumped the morning after you date her and sleep with her.”
“I promise I will behave myself, Rachel, just for you. But I’m not guaranteeing anything if she starts coming onto me.”
Rachel knocked on the door to make sure it was okay to come in, and opened the door when Camilla said, “Come in.”
Camilla was merely sitting on the couch drinking a bottle of water that she had fetched from the black mini-fridge that was sitting next to the vanity. When Camilla’s brown eyes landed on James, they widened slightly and her pupils dilated. She quickly stood up and shook James’s hand while saying, “Hi, Mr. Potter. My name is Camilla Bianchi. I’ll be working with you for this advertisement.”
Rachel nudged James in the ribs and whispered, “Close your mouth, Prongs, or I will close it for you.”
He blushed a little bit before releasing Camilla’s hand. “It’s very nice to make your acquaintance, Camilla. And please, call me James.”
“Okay, James,” she giggled in a flirtatious way.
“Now James, as much as you would love to stay and no matter how much money you offer to pay me, you need to leave while I get Camilla into her first outfit. Just head down to the photography area and we’ll meet you there after the hair and makeup people work on her.” Rachel instructed nicely, but there was sternness in her blue eyes as she told James this.
He groaned. “Fine,” he said, and left the room.
“So, Camilla, do you have a little crush on James?” Rachel asked lightheartedly.
“Well, I think he is extremely handsome, not to mention smooth, but I don’t think I want to go out with an advertising executive. I mean, yeah, he could probably get me some more photo shoots, but I think I’d rather date a designer. That way he could make me some clothes. But, a straight designer is a little hard to find.”
Rachel chuckled as she searched through the dresses. “Here, let’s have you slip into the number.”
Rachel pulled off of the rack a shiny satin pale yellow dress with matching gloves. In a couple of minutes, Camilla was wearing the first stunning dress. It fell to the middle of her thighs and there was a pale yellow ruffle at the bottom of it. It was a classy dress that could make almost any woman look beautiful. The gloves went up to her wrists. After searching for a minute, Rachel handed her some matching strappy shoes. The outfit was positively perfect.
About five minutes after Camilla was dressed, two stressed out women in the 40s came bustling into the dressing room after knocking quickly. They pulled Camilla over to the vanity and one woman worked on fixing Camilla’s hair while the other one applied makeup. Once Camilla was completely ready to go, she made her way to where the photo shoot was being held while Rachel flipped through the rest of the dresses, picking the three she would keep while also figuring out the next ensemble.
About twenty minutes later, Camilla came hurrying back into the dressing room. Rachel handed her a very elegant black dress with some shoes. This was the process for the next two hours. Finally, after Camilla came back from wearing the final dress, Rachel pulled aside three dresses that she wanted.
One of them was a black and blue dress that went to her knees and had a black ruffle underneath. The second one was a dark red silk dress that went half way down to her thighs, and the third one, one she picked out for Lily, was a pale blue dress that fell just below the knees and had a flowing feeling about it.
Rachel dropped Camilla off at the offices with her dresses and then Rachel went back to the apartment, ready to drop from a busy and hectic day.
A/N: So far, this was hands down my favorite chapter to write. I hope you all enjoy it!
“Please tell me that everyone here knows how to play blackjack,” Rachel sighed as Sirius took the final empty seat next to her around the dining room table.
“Of course we do, Rach, we’re not that dumb,” Sirius replied.
“You could’ve fooled me sometimes, Sirius,” she retorted with a grin as she started dealing the shuffled deck of cards. He threw her a glare with his gray eyes before looking at his cards.
“Okay, Sirius, you start.” Rachel instructed, flipping over one of her cards for them all to see. It was an ace.
“Um, hit me,” he said, and took the card and looked at it. He put on his card game face and said, “I’m standing.”
“Okay, Jamsie, what about you?”
“Literally? I’d be glad to. No, I’m just kidding, Prongs.” Rachel laughed.
“Hit me again,”
Rachel handed him a card and fought back laughter as James quickly hid his angry face. “Okay, Lily, what is your answer?”
“I’ll stand.” Lily replied with a smile.
“Me too,” Remus agreed.
“Hit me, Rachel,” Maddie said, accepting the card that Rachel handed her.
“The dealer is standing. Everyone flip your cards over,” she told them. Sirius started out with a ten and a queen. James had a king, a five, and then an eight. Lily had a jack and an eight. Remus had the same as Sirius: two queens. Finally, Maddie had a king and a nine. Rachel flipped her second card over and smiled when she saw that it was a ten. “All right you guys, fork over the chips.”
Everyone handed her their $5 chip, giving her a total of $25.
“So, Sirius, how many girls did you hook up with today?” Lily asked, looking up at him. “Did you finally break your record and get four?”
Sirius sighed sadly. “Alas, I only scored with two women today.”
Rachel rolled her eyes, wondering how she could still be in love with a manwhore like that. As she pondered that statement, she wondered if those feelings, no matter how minute they had been until the last couple of months, would ever go away. She smirked a little bit as she said the word ‘manwhore’ in her head.
“You know what we should do,” James started with an interesting expression, “we, meaning the guys, should have a competition on who can score with the most girls in one day?”
“Do you mean sleep with them?” Remus questioned, leaning forward a bit.
“No, but it’s always a bonus for us guys.” James answered. “So, Padfoot, Moony, what do you say?”
“Sounds like a normal day, so I guess I can do that,” Sirius agreed.
“Yeah, I’ll do it too.” Remus added.
“Wow, it’s like the survival of the sluttiest,” Rachel retorted, looking at the guys and even giving Sirius a little wink. The wink made Sirius’s heart flutter a little bit. Lily and Maddie showed their total agreement with their grins and, of course, the high-fives they gave Rachel.
“So, how much are we betting?” Sirius asked, looking at the other two.
“How about the winner gets a hundred dollars? That way it’s not overly expensive, but it’s still worth a fight.” James replied.
“I’ll agree to that.” Sirius nodded.
“I would like to add a rule,” said Remus. “No trying to score with Lily, Rachel, and/or Maddie.”
“Deal,” the other guys responded.
“And no fighting over women,” James added.
“Done,” the others replied.
“Wow, I can’t believe you are actually going to do this,” Lily said, shaking her head. “I mean, you’re going to date these women once, maybe sleep with them, and then never call them.”
“Hey, woah, that doesn’t sound like Moony over there,” said Sirius. “He’ll at least call them to tell them that he doesn’t want to see them anymore.”
All of the ladies rolled their eyes.
“Well, as much as I want to hear you talk about your womanizing plans, I’m exhausted so I’m going to head off to bed.” Lily announced, covering a yawn with her hand.
“How about I come with you and keep you company, Lily?” James offered, give her a seductive look.
“Keep on dreaming, James,” Lily replied as she shut the bedroom door.
“Yeah, I’m pretty wiped out also.” Rachel agreed, putting the deck of cards back together and putting them on the end table that sat next to the white couch in the center of the living room. “If you guys want to stay and hang out or whatever, I don’t really care. Just please keep it down.”
“Hey, Rach, if you want me to, I’ll join you in the bedroom.” Sirius said in a very smooth and, as much as she hated to admit it, sexy voice.
“Well, Sirius, as tempted as I am” really, you have no idea, she thought to herself. “I’m going to have to say no.”
Rachel cracked open her tired eyes and groaned when she saw sunlight shining through her window with deep red curtains covering it. Her grimace then turned into a bright smile as she saw a fully clothed Sirius sleeping next to her under the covers, snoring slightly. She kissed two of her fingers and lightly placed them on Sirius’s lips, praying that he wouldn’t wake up. When he didn’t budge at all, Rachel removed the covers and pulled herself up out of her plushy and unbelievably comfortable bed.
She was wearing a black tank-top with some white comfy shorts, so she didn’t both to change as she started heading towards the outside of her bedroom. The enticing scent of cooking bacon reached her senses, causing her to leave her bedroom. Sitting around the dining room table eating their breakfast was James, Remus, and Maddie. Lily was at the stove cooking the food for everyone.
“I just have one quick little question for everyone,” Rachel announced, yawning widely. She had never been a morning person. “Why is it that I have a sleeping Sirius Black in my bed?”
“Well, it was late when we started getting tired last night,” Maddie started explaining. “Since James and Remus live right across the hall, they went over there. But Sirius and I live farther away, so I slept on the couch while Sirius crept into your bedroom. I was hoping that he wouldn’t startle you.”
“I will admit that I was a little shocked, and I immediately checked to see if we were both clothed, but after I assured myself that nothing I happened I was actually a little flattered.”
“Yeah, I’m sure having the man you are in love with sleep next to you had to be a nice warm feeling to wake up to,” said Lily, putting a plate on the table for Rachel.
“Wait, wait, hold on a second,” James interrupted, snapping his head up at Lily. He then turned his attention to Rachel. “Did I just hear Lily say that you are in love with Padfoot?”
“So, are you really still in love with him?” James pressed.
Rachel sighed before nodding her head. “Please, please don’t say anything to him.”
“I’m confused, though,” Remus admitted. This was a shock to everyone in the room; Remus actually was confused. “If you know for a fact that he is still in love with you and has feelings for you while you feel the same way, why don’t you act on it?”
“Moony, the man cheated on me twice! I mean, I love him both as a friend and possibly more, but I don’t think I could handle that pain again.”
“Ooh, something smells good out here,” Sirius said, coming from Rachel’s room. He gave a little wink that made her heart soar before asking, “So, Lily, what are you making us this morning?”
“Just some bacon and toast, Sirius,” Lily replied, not looking away from the sizzling strips of bacon on the fryer.
“Are you two guys getting your fill to make sure you are up for lady pleasing today?” Sirius grinned at them, sitting in-between Rachel and James.
“You honestly think that you are going to win, don’t you?” James questioned, eyebrows raised at Sirius.
“Yeah, because I will win,” replied Sirius. “I mean, I’m the most charming, the smoothest, and the best-looking guy at this table.”
“You know, I’ve honestly got to agree with him,” Rachel input her opinion.
“Of course you would,” James snapped.
“What’s the supposed to mean?” Sirius said, looking between the two of them.
“Nothing,” Rachel assured him hastily. “But since you men will be off with your ladies, us girls have decided to have a girl’s day.”
“Wow, what are you going to do?” Remus asked, hoping to get good ideas of where to hook up with some women.
“Well, I thought we could drop by the salon where I work and get us some discounts on facials or maybe some manicures.” Maddie started.
“And then I thought that we could go to the mall.” Rachel added. “That way we can go shopping for Christmas presents or something and then maybe get a bite to eat.”
“Maybe after that we could go see a movie or get some coffee.” Lily said. “Hey, and maybe for dinner we could head over to The Only One.”
“Yeah,” Maddie and Rachel exclaimed excitedly. “Gosh, I’m so happy that we’ll be able to spend the day together without these guys with us.”
“See, you know that if you guys have a sleepover tonight,” James said, “we’ll be bursting in to catch you in the middle of your pillow fight in your underwear.”
“We don’t have pillow fights in our underwear,” Lily informed him. When he looked shocked and sad she quickly added, “No, we do. We do; I don’t know why I said that,” she said as she hugged him apologetically. “So, when does your manly day start?”
“After we’re done with breakfast,” Remus decided without conferring with the others. Remus, James, and Sirius all looked at each other, shoved the remainder of their breakfast into their mouths, and practically ran out of the apartment to get going.
“You know, I love the guys, but they can be so immature sometimes,” admitted Maddie, putting her plate into the empty kitchen sink. Lily immediately went over to the sink, turned on the hot water, put on her yellow rubber gloves, and started cleaning the plate. It was all part of her compulsive need to keep everything clean and organized.
“So, now that everyone is done with their breakfast, how about we meet here in thirty minutes?” Lily suggested.
“That sounds good,” Maddie agreed. “I’ll be back here then.”
“So, Maddie, are we going to your work first?” Rachel asked her friend as she drove her car down the road. The sky had turned cloudy and tiny little snowflakes were falling to the ground. Winter was definitely approaching, but luckily it wasn’t too cold.
“Yeah, and don’t worry about pulling into the front. That spot is reserved for employees and I can hang up my employee pass on your rearview mirror.” Maddie instructed. “So, I was thinking that maybe we could get a facial and maybe a mani-pedi for each of us.”
“Yay, we finally get some relaxation time.” Lily breathed gratefully, leaning her head against the seat.
“Yeah, we don’t sit around during the vast majority of our free time,” Maddie inserted sarcastically. The three ladies entered the highly sophisticated hair salon where everything was black, red, white, and gray, not to mention everything looked very sleek. Maddie walked up to the counter where three ladies were writing down things on appointment sheets. “Tracy, I’m going to back into my work area so that I can give some friends of mine a beauty day.”
“Okay Maddie, go ahead. I won’t say anything to our boss. We both know how short Michelle’s temper is.”
“Thanks Tracy for being so awesome!” Maddie squealed before grabbing the wrists of her friends and pulling them back to where Maddie did her appointments. Once the door was closed, Maddie locked it, guided her friends over to two chairs, pulled out her wand and said, “Now, ladies, what would you like to do for your manicure?”
“Oh, I want French tips,” Rachel requested, holding her hands flat on the table.
Maddie’s wand did a little swirl while she muttered something, and suddenly Rachel’s nails appeared to have just received a manicure with white tips.
“Now, Lily, it’s your turn.”
“I want mine to look like Rachel’s.” she said.
Maddie repeated the movement and charm, causing Lily’s nails to change to French tips.
“Wow, that didn’t take long at all,” admitted Rachel.
“Well, that’s the beauty of being able to use magic.” Maddie replied with a shrug. “Hey, let’s go over to the mall and get something to eat.”
The three women left their room and were about to exit the door when something caught their attention out of the corner of their eyes. Simultaneously, they slowly turned their heads and saw a Sirius, James, and Remus checking out the place, obviously looking for some lady friends. Rachel walked right over to them, smirked, and said, “Are you boys coming here to get a manicure? Or maybe a pedicure?”
“No, we dropped in here because James wanted to get a waxing done,” Sirius said with a straight face even though he was lying. When James smacked him across the head, though, Sirius stopped grinning.
“So, what’s the count so far?”
“James has one, I have had one, and Moony has had two,” Sirius answered with contempt in his voice as he said Remus’ amount.
“Now, have you slept with these women or did you just take them out for a breakfast?” Lily asked, entering the conversation.
“Lily, we only took them out to eat. We’re not animals.” James informed her. “But, as much fun as it is talking to you three, we’ve got some lady taming to do.”
Rachel, Lily, and Maddie rolled their eyes before leaving the salon.
“Wow, that lunch was so amazing.” Maddie said two hours after the salon incident. “I didn’t know that the mall could have Italian food that was so tasty.”
“Yes, I’d like a plate of spaghetti,” said a very familiar voice. Rachel turned her head, saw James at the counter ordering, and with a very discreet flick of her wand, she sent a mild Stinging Hex at Sirius to get his attention. He grinned at her as he strolled over to the table.
“What the hell are you doing here?” Rachel demanded to know. “Are you stalking us or something?”
“You wish I would stalk you,” Sirius retorted lamely. “No, but we figured since you were having a girl’s day that you would go to some girl places and then we could follow you and meet up with some women.”
“So you are stalking us!” Lily exclaimed, getting a couple of weird looks from people sitting near by.
“No, we’re not, but James has just gotten our order and I’m hungry, so ta-ta for now, Rach,” he said with a wink before heading over to a table with James and Remus.
Rachel, Maddie, and Lily sat in Rachel and Lily’s apartment playing some blackjack for fun when the apartment door burst open. Inside came a grumpy looking Sirius, an unreadable Remus, and an arrogant James.
“I am guessing from your entrances that James won this little manwhore competition?” Maddie guessed.
“Yes, I did. I ended up with four, Padfoot had three, and Remus only had the two from this morning. So I am now a hundred dollars richer!”
“Prat,” Sirius muttered, tossing a pillow at James’s messy head of hair.
A/N: This is a fairly light chapter with a bit of fluff in it. But don't worry, some tension and scandelous stories should be starting up again in the next chapter.
Rachel, Sirius, Lily, James, Remus, and Maddie were all standing by the large rectangular window in the living room. The group was split into two groups of three because they were leaning around the large Christmas tree that sat proudly in front of the window. The pine tree sitting between the friends was decorated with the colorful little lights and a variation of maroon, gold, and jade green ornaments of different shapes and designs.
It was three days until Christmas, and there were tiny little white flakes floating from the gray clouds in the sky. None of them had done their Christmas shopping yet, though that was about to change.
“Don’t you wish sometimes that it would always look so peaceful and beautiful outside?” Maddie said, still gazing at the white snow below them on the streets and sidewalks with footprints of the people that had walked through it.
“It seems like life is so simple like this,” Lily agreed. “You know, like there aren’t any worries, like going shopping for Christmas.”
“You know what we should do?” James suddenly said. Everyone could almost see a light bulb shining brightly above his head of messy black hair. “We should do Secret Santa this year. That way we only have to buy one present, so there’s a greater chance that we won’t have to get them something horrible because everything else is gone.”
“That sounds like fun,” the others murmured their agreement.
“I’ll write our names down.” Rachel offered, hurrying to get some paper and a pen. She quickly scribbled down the six names, tore them from the sheet of paper, put them into a hat, and walked back over to the group. “Okay, everyone pick one.”
Rachel walked around, allowing everyone to choose a name, and finally picked the last one out of the hat. She unfolded the little piece of paper and saw the name Lily written on it. Yay! Rachel exclaimed inside of her head. This will be an easy holiday to go shopping for since I’ve known her since we were little five year olds!
“Okay, now that we have that figured out, I’m going to bed.” Rachel announced. “I have an early day at work tomorrow before we close for the holidays.”
Lily and Maddie went off into the kitchen whispering about who they picked out of the hat. Sirius pulled James and Remus to the side, made sure the coast was clear, and said, “I don’t know what to do!”
“Why do you feel that way, Padfoot?” Remus asked.
“Of all of the names in the hat—”
“Which was only six, so yeah; there were so many names in that hat.” James interrupted with a sarcastic comment.
Sirius glared at James, fighting back the urge to pull out his wand and start a friendly duel. He licked his lips, feeling slightly annoyed, and said, “I know that, Prongs. I was the one who got Rachel. I don’t know what to do?”
“You mean you don’t know what to get her?” James asked for confirmation.
“Yeah, pretty much.”
“So, basically,” Remus started, a thinking expression on his face as he bit back a grin, knowing what he was about to say, “you want to get her a present that says ‘I love you’ without actually saying ‘I love you.’”
“Yeah, that’s the whole point.” Sirius snapped quietly.
“Well, didn’t her ex-boyfriend sell the gifts you gave her when you were dating during Hogwarts?” James questioned curiously.
“Lily told me about that. He sold them when they got into a huge fight.”
“So, why don’t you get her something similar?” James suggested. “Like maybe that bracelet you gave her.”
“That’s actually a really good idea, James,” admitted Sirius. “I think I might just do that.” When it was just Sirius and James in the corner, Sirius asked, “Who do you have?”
“I have Maddie.” James replied. “I figured I’d get her some candles or something. We both know how much she likes them.”
“Smart thinking, James. You’re, like, the go-to guy when it comes to Christmas gifts,” Sirius said, clapping on the shoulder.
“Yes, but I’m not getting her a present that says ‘Oh, Maddie, I love you. Please fall in love with me.’”
Sirius slipped his wand out of his back pocket, flicked it quickly, and James was hanging upside down, an invisible rope hanging around the ankle. Sirius strolled arrogantly up to James, leaned in, and whispered in his ear, “Maybe that’ll teach you not to do that again.”
James grinned, did a silent counter-curse, and came back to the ground on his feet. “Don’t forget, Padfoot, I was a Marauder too.”
Rachel was browsing through some of the clothes in one of the Ralph Lauren stores. She had a former co-worker that got transferred down to Raleigh from New York, and she was letting Rachel come to the store and search for a dress that she was looking for. Lily had told Rachel about this dress that she saw a couple of months ago, but it was too expensive for her budget. Rachel’s friend, Cynthia, was letting Rachel use her 40% discount.
She turned and started walking down the next aisle of dresses. The dress she was looking for was a black dress that had been in a fashion magazine in October. It was featuring the new dress styles of winter that year. Her eyes glanced between the two sides of the aisle, hoping that the dress would be located soon. When her blue eyes rested on a familiar dress, she hurried over to it, and squealed with glee when she realized that this was the dress. Rachel’s fingers checked the tag and she was even more excited when it was the right size.
“Mission accomplished,” she muttered to herself, carrying the stylish dress up to the cashier.
Lily was walking through the video store. In her neighborhood, there was a gigantic movie store called Movie Mania. It had thousands of videos, television shows, and DVDs. You could find any movie in any genre, even some of the black and white movies that were out a few decades ago.
Lily had picked Sirius’s name from the Secret Santa hat. She knew what his favorite movie was and that he didn’t have it in his apartment. James has borrowed it a few months ago and accidentally broke the disc. Sirius’s favorite movie was Die Hard, so Lily decided to buy him his favorite movie.
The store was practically a maze, and only someone who had been in the neighborhood for a few years could navigate peacefully through it. You could tell who hadn’t been around for very long because they were the ones who looked annoyed, frustrated, or confused. Lily did her best to help those who looked like they needed it, but she would run into the occasional person that would snap at her and storm off, obviously angry at not being able to find what they were looking for.
Lily turned into the next aisle and continued to walk down it until she came across the action films that started with a D. Her emerald green eyes scanned the many shelves, looking for the cover of the movie she had seen many times before. Finally, she found it on the middle row towards the other end of the aisle. She grabbed it off of the shelf and attempted to maneuver her way up to the front of the store where the check-out stands were.
Maddie made a turn on the busy street and pulled into the parking lot of Barnes & Noble. She had chosen Remus’ name out of the Secret Santa hat and Maddie knew that Remus always enjoyed getting new books. He never specified which books he wanted to read because he was pretty much open to anything. Deciding that he should get the freedom of choosing the book or books that look the most interesting to him, Maddie officially decided to get him a gift card to the well-known bookstore.
She parked her car in one of the parking spots right in front of the building, turned off the car, locked it, and walked inside. The store was filled with tons of people going shopping for the Christmas lists this close to Christmas. This was the time of the holiday season that stores were the busiest.
Maddie maneuvered around groups of people until she finally got to the check-out counter where they sold the gift cards. She grabbed a $50 one off of the hanger and placed it on the counter so that the cashier could ring it up. A couple of minutes later, Maddie walked triumphantly out of the store with a nicely wrapped tiny box in her hand.
James had reluctantly driven through the slowest traffic in the entire city in hopes of getting the Raleigh Mall. He knew what he was getting himself into with the traffic and last minute Christmas shoppers, but he knew that there was no other place than the mall that Maddie’s favorite scent of candles were able to be purchased.
Her favorite store was a small store in the mall called Candle Euphoria. Regardless of it being small in size, the selection was huge. You could find candles in four or five different sizes, at least two different shapes, and at least fifty different scents. Maddie liked only ten of them, but James was going to get her some candles that were her favorite scent: Midnight Ocean.
When James finally parked in a parking spot an hour after leaving his apartment, he quickly hurried inside, not wanting to be hit by cars that were in a hurry to leave or find a parking place. Luckily, Candle Euphoria was just inside of the south entrance doors. Once he was inside, a woman asked, “Hello, sir. How may I help you?”
“I’m looking for some Midnight Ocean candles for my friend,” James replied quickly.
“Ah, shopping at the last minute, are we?” she teased as she brought him towards the back of the store. “Don’t worry about being embarrassed; I’m doing my shopping on my lunch break today.”
She brought him over to a section of the store that had the calming scents. James quickly located the deep blue candles that he was searching for, grabbed a few, and followed the employee up to the counter to buy them.
Remus was walking down the crowded, snowy, and decorated streets of Diagon Alley, searching for the present to get the person he had chosen. The name that Remus pulled out of the hat was James. He knew that James didn’t get a chance to play his favorite sport, Quidditch, very much and that he didn’t have the Quidditch balls anymore. He had gotten rid of them when he realized that he wouldn’t be playing much. He still had his prized broomstick, but nothing else for Quidditch. Well, Remus was determined to change that.
He entered the store Quality Quidditch supplies and walked immediately to where there was a package containing a Quaffle, two Bludgers, and a Snitch. Once he grabbed the package, which also happened to be the last one, he paid for it at the counter after waiting for six other people to pay for their items also.
Sirius was walking down the mostly deserted streets of Hogsmeade village. He was making a special trip out there to pick out the gift for Rachel. It took him several hours and many shot-down ideas to finally get to where he officially decided what to get her.
The store where he had always bought her jewelry, Forever, was his destination. Walking down the streets brought back many memories of his time at Hogwarts, and of the many dates he and Rachel had at this village. They were very happy times, and he wished with his entire heart that Rachel could trust him enough for them to go back to the in-love couple, the schools sweethearts, and the school’s best couple.
Once he was inside, he showed the clerk what he wanted, and paid the correct amount before leaving, hoping that she would love the gift he was giving her.
Rachel, Lily, and James were all sitting on the white couch in the living room. Maddie and Sirius were sitting on the tan loveseat while Remus was occupying the jade green plushy chair. There were Christmas carols playing softly in the background as the six of them prepared to give each other their presents.
“Okay, who is going to go first?” James asked, looking at everyone.
“I’ll go first,” Rachel bravely volunteered. She held out her box that was wrapped in shiny gold paper with a pretty silver and gold bow on top of it to Lily. “Merry Christmas Lily, from your Secret Santa.”
Lily beamed as she accepted the present. She tore the paper off, took off the lid, and then squealed with delight as she pulled out the dress.
“Oh wow, Rach, I’ve wanted this so much! Thank you!” she exclaimed, squeezing the air out of Rachel with a hug. “How did you afford this? This dress is pricy!”
“Well, I have a friend over at Ralph Lauren. When I talked to her about it, she offered to let me use her discount.”
“Well, thank you. Now, I think that Rachel should choose who goes next.” Lily added.
“I choose…Maddie!” Rachel decided, looking at her blonde friend.
“Okay,” Maddie agreed, pulling out a tiny box that was wrapped in shiny red paper. She handed it to Remus and said, “Merry Christmas, Remus.”
He grabbed the gift, tore it open, and was delighted to see a Barnes & Noble gift card. He kissed her on the cheek and said, “Thank you, Maddie. I choose…James!”
James nodded, and handed a red and green bag that said Candle Euphoria in white letters on it to Maddie. She smiled happily and hugged him when she saw the candles. “Thank you, James, you’re the greatest!”
James replied, “You’re welcome. Now I choose Remus!”
Remus grinned at James, and handed him a wrapped box with a green bow on top of it. James’s hazel eyes lit up like a little kid’s eyes in a candy shop. He quickly tore open the box and practically tackled Remus when he saw his Quidditch package.
“Thanks, Moony, you know that my weakness is Quidditch. Now, choose the next person.”
“I choose a Miss Lily Evans,” Remus replied, looking pointedly at the redhead. She smiled and handed a small gift that was wrapped in blue paper with white snowflakes on it to Sirius. He kissed her on the cheek before starting to unwrap it.
“Awesome! You bought me Die Hard! Thank you so much, Lily!”
“I guess that just leaves your gift, Sirius,” Lily said.
Sirius took a calming breath, and sat down next to Rachel. He gave her a nervous smile before handing her the jewelry box. She slowly opened it and gasped amazedly. She pulled the beautiful necklace out of the velvet jewelry box. It was gold with a dark blue sapphire pendant hanging next to an aquamarine pendant. Her eyes were starting to tear up a bit, but she hid it really well.
“I knew that your ex-boyfriend sold all of the jewelry I gave you when you two had a fight—”
“Wait, hold on. How did you know that?” Rachel questioned, tearing her gaze away from the gorgeous necklace.
“Well, Lily told me. Anyway, I wanted to give you something similar to one of the gifts, and I knew that you’re favorite was the necklace. I really hope you like it.”
“Sirius, I am so happy that I’m…I’m speechless. This really means a lot to me, honey. Thank you,” she said, hugging him. When she pulled away, their eyes met, and both had to fight all of their instincts that were yelling at them to kiss each other. Finally, Sirius broke the eye contact and said,
“Well, this has been a fabulous Christmas.”
A/N: I do not own Die Hard.
A/N: I know this chapter is a little shorter, but it's mostly a filler before the big story starts in the next chapter. Please review!
Lily and Jonathon were walking through the park just after the sun had set and the moon was sitting peacefully in the dark starry sky above them. It was only a week after Christmas, so the white lights that the trees all around them were decorated with were still up. There was a light layer of fluffy white snow on the trees, the grass, and the sidewalks. Towards the end of this sidewalk was the Raleigh Falls, one of the most romantic places in the state during this time of year. Even though it was a little colder outside, the water was still running strongly, not affected by the cold air.
“Can you believe that we have been going out for almost three months already?” she said, hooking her arm through his.
Jonathon pulled her closer and replied, “It feels like time has flown by right in front of our eyes. Although, I feel as though I’ve been dating you my entire life.”
Lily turned her head away to hide her huge and bright smile that appeared on her face when he said that. “I feel that way too. I thought for a little bit that it would be weird because of you being best friends with my parents, especially my father, but it feels really nice.”
“I think it’s because we’ve known each other for so long. Since we had that mutual friendship before we were dating, I think it was a comfortable transition.”
They continued walking in pace while having a very comfortable silence. Lily finally broke it by saying, “Do you think it’s too early to have the ‘relationship talk’?”
“No, not at all. With most others I would say that it is, but not with you. Well, what do you want for the future?”
“I would love to get married and have a romantic wedding. Afterwards we could have maybe two children, and they would play the piano. We would have a small place just outside of town where the kids could ride their bikes to the park safely, and there would be some amazing schools nearby.”
Jonathon fidgeted a tiny bit. “Um, Lily, how strongly do you feel about marriage?”
“I’ve wanted to get married since I was a little five year old girl. I would absolutely love to get married.”
“Well, it’s just that…wow, I don’t know how to say this…I don’t want to ever get married again.”
“W-what?” Lily spluttered, halting them to a stop. She got in front of him to look him into the face.
“My first marriage became so horrible that I don’t think I could handle getting married again. Can’t we just be together? I mean, we can still have kids and have that nice place. Why can’t we just do that?”
“Jon, I can’t be in a relationship where we are going nowhere. I mean, I would be fine with, like, moving in with you and not knowing exactly where it’s going. But I can’t be in a relationship where nothing is ever going to happen.”
“Lily, please don’t tell me this is the end! I love you so much. I don’t want to lose you.”
“I don’t want to lose you either, but I can’t be in this relationship if you don’t want what I want. I’m so sorry, Jon. I love you, too! But I do need to be in a relationship where my boyfriend wants the same things that I want. I’m so sorry, Jon.” Lily finished, turning her face away to hide the tears that were falling down her face. Without looking back, she walked away from a Jon in shock, trying to stop the cascade of tears falling down her cheeks.
James and Maddie had just arrived at the studio where Remus was shooting one of his episodes. None of them had actually aired yet, but the new show would be premiering in two weeks, so Remus was getting really excited and anxious. He had invited them over to the studio to watch some of the taping and maybe be in the audience. Plus, they could meet some of the cast and the Olivia Fields that Remus was crazy about.
The sounds of laughter filled their ears, indicating that they were going the right way. James opened the door, and inside was a large set with a couple hundred of people watching intently as they recognized Remus acting out a scene with five other people. A pretty blonde girl said her line, causing Remus to say a punch line and the audience cracked up. A man’s voice yelled, “Cut!” and the acting stopped.
James and Maddie came over to the small apartment set and Remus hurried over and hugged them both.
“Hi you two!” he said, wiping a tiny bit of sweat off of his own forehead. “I’m so glad you could make it! Here, I want you to meet some people.”
Remus dragged the two of them over onto the set, underneath the bright and warm lights, and they stopped where five people were looking over a script.
“You guys,” Remus said, indicating the co-workers. “I’d like you to meet some people. This is James Potter and Maddie Zimon. You two, this is Carrie Aniston. She plays Anna Perry.” He said, pointing to an attractive brunette. “This is Bethany Carter. She plays Natalie Bishop.” he continued, indicating a golden brown haired lady. “Over here is Aaron Williams, and he plays Peter Hanson. This man over here is Mark Johnson; he plays Darryl Carlson. And this blonde over here is Olivia Fields. She plays my love interest, Tanya Williams.”
James and Maddie shook hands with everyone as Remus introduced them. Remus, James, and Maddie all moved over to another corner and Maddie said, “So, that’s the girl you’ve totally fallen for.”
“Hey, I haven’t fallen for her. I just think she is positively…gorgeous. And she has a great personality. I just love being with her, which is why I love going to work.” Remus said, totally contradicting the first statement.
“Aw, Remus is in love with Olivia,” James teased. “When are you going to ask her out?”
“Come on! She’s a co-worker. If this show is successful, and we broke up, do you realize how awkward it would be on the set? I see this woman almost everyday, so no.”
“Well, fine.” Maddie stated. “We’ll drop it…for now,” she added under her breath for only James to hear. He smirked his agreement. “So, can we get some spots and watch you finish the episode?”
“Of course you can!” Remus exclaimed. “I’ve got two seats reserved for you guys,” he continued, leading them over to the middle of the front row. “Have a seat, make yourself comfortable. The shooting has only just started.”
Sirius walked into Lily and Rachel’s apartment without knocking, thinking that the place was empty. Surprisingly, Rachel was sitting on the couch, wiping her bloodshot eyes. Worry and concern filled him as he walked over to the couch, sat down next to her, and pulled her close. “Rach, what’s wrong? Why were you crying?”
“Oh, honey, it’s nothing. I just got back from a really bad date and my date dumped me.” Rachel explained, sniffling a tiny bit, giving him a kind smile. “So, what’s going on with you?”
“Not much. Is Lily here?” he asked, still holding her close.
“Oh, no, she’s not here tonight. She’s out with Jonathon, and I think she’s spending the night at his place. Why?”
“I was coming over to get a bottle of wine, and I was just going to watch some movies over at my place. Do you want to come? I bet it’ll make you feel better about your date.”
She smiled at him and said, “I’d love to come over. I’ll get us a couple of bottles.”
She pulled herself off of the couch, and grabbed some wine out of the kitchen. Sirius boldly grabbed her hand, and they walked out of the apartment and across the street to Sirius’s apartment, both hoping to have a good time.
Three hours later…
Rachel and Sirius were clutching their stomachs, toppling over from laughter. Sitting on the mahogany coffee table in front of them was two completely empty bottles of wine.
“I can’t believe that James actually kissed a guy once!” Rachel repeated for the tenth time. “I mean, how long ago was this?”
“About three years ago. He claims that he was drunk and that the club was pretty dark. That’s just his story, though.” Sirius laughed. “Wow, the wine is all gone,” he said after grabbing the empty bottle to get more to drink. “Why is the wine gone?”
“Um, Sirius, honey, that’s because we drank it all in one…two…five hours.” She mumbled the end of it incoherently.
“Wow, we’ve been here for three hours,” Sirius said as he got up stumbling a bit. He disposed of the bottles and sat down on the now empty couch. Rachel had gone to get a glass of water, and when she returned to the living room, Sirius pulled her down onto the dark blue couch. When they looked at each other, their lips were only inches apart from each other. They both leaned in, but then Sirius stopped. “Rach, this probably isn’t the best of ideas. I feel like I’d be taking advantage of you while we’re both a little on the hammered side.” Sirius slurred slightly.
Rachel pulled away and said, “Yeah, you’re probably right. But do you mind if I bunk out over here? I don’t want some person to come along and mug me or something while I’m drunk.”
“Of course you can,” he said, leading her back to his bedroom. “You can sleep in here and I’ll sleep on the couch.”
“Oh no, honey, I can’t take your bed.”
“I insist, Rachel Jane Delancy, so go lay down and I’ll bring you some coffee and a Hangover Potion in the morning.”
"Thanks for making me feel better, Sirius." she told him with a warm and slightly lopsided smile.
"It was no problem,"
A/N: *does evil grin* Just warning everyone, I'm leaving you all with a cliffhanger. If I'm in a really good mood I'll put the next chapter up tonight. Otherwise it'll have to wait until tomorrow.
James entered Rachel and Lily’s full apartment in a fancy and sharp looking black suit. He accessorized it with a pale blue sating tie that made him look very sophisticated and handsome.
“Ooh, why are you all dressed up?” Maddie asked, looking him up and down. She grinned at him, thinking that he looked good-looking.
“Well, my company is having a fundraiser for kids with Muscular Dystrophy. My boss bought me a table, so he also wants me to bring some people. How many of you can go?” he questioned, looking at everyone.
“I’ll go tonight,” Maddie offered. “I mean, I live a little further away, so if I Lily or Rachel lends me dress I’ll happily go.”
“I can loan you something, honey,” Rachel agreed. “But, I can’t go tonight. I have a date.”
“Oh, okay,” James said, throwing a slightly apologetic look at Sirius. “Sirius, Remus, can you guys come?”
“I’ll go,” Remus agreed.
“I can’t go, either. St. Mungo’s called and they need a large shipment by tomorrow, so I have to go help out tonight.” Sirius explained.
“Okay, what about Lily? Is she still in her room?”
“Yeah, it’s been four days, and she only fell asleep last night,” Rachel revealed. “Otherwise, she’s been in there crying all the time. The only time she’s been out of her room is to use the bathroom and take a shower. James, sweetie, do you want me to go in there and ask her?”
“If you could, that would be great, Rach.” James pleaded with his eyes.
Rachel nodded, and slowly entered Lily’s room. Lily was lying on her bed still in the clothes she was wearing four days ago. Her emerald green eyes had a blank stare, and they were bloodshot red. Lily’s usually gorgeous and enviable auburn hair was messy and disheveled. There were dark circles underneath her eyes, and she looked like she was way past exhaustion.
“Lily, honey?” Rachel said in a soft voice, sitting next to Lily on the bed. She started stroking her hair and said, “Did you get much sleep last night?”
“I got a little bit of sleep,” Lily replied in a dull voice. “I miss him so much.”
Lily sat up and laid her head on Rachel’s shoulder while Rachel put an arm around her shoulders and hugged her. Rachel finally said, “Lily, honey, I think you need to get out of here and do something.”
“Like what?” Lily snapped. “I look like shit, putting it lightly.”
“Well, I’ll help fix you up, and maybe you can go to James’s company’s fundraiser. Maddie and Remus are going.”
“Fine, I’ll go, but only if you’ll help me get ready.”
“Okay, now let’s figure out your outfit and get you dressed. Hey, maybe you can wear that dress I gave you for Christmas. I know you wore it when you went on a date with Jonathon, but it looks fabulous on you.”
“Yeah, I like that dress a lot,” Lily admitted. She dragged herself out of bed and found the dress in her closet.
A couple of minutes later, Rachel had finished helping Lily get into the dress. Lily was sitting at her vanity while Rachel applied her make-up. She applied a bit of cream that hid the dark circles, put on a little bit of eyeliner, some light green eye shadow, and some light pink lip-gloss.
“See Lily, all you had to do was get yourself made up and now you look gorgeous. You can’t even tell that you are a bit on the sleep deprived side. And you can’t even tell that you just went through a break-up.”
“Do I really look good?” Lily questioned, looking up at Rachel.
“Lily, the guys will be drooling over you tonight,” Rachel assured her. “Now, let’s present you to the group while Maddie and I figure out a dress for her. Then I have to get ready for my date.”
“Wow, you’re busy,” Lily said, a hint of a grin on her face. It was the closest thing to a smile that had appeared on her lips since she broke up with Jonathon.
“Come on, let’s get you out of the room,” Rachel said, giving Lily a little push out of the room. “Well, everyone, I now present to you…Lily Evans!”
Lily walked out of her bedroom and everyone came over and hugged him.
“Lily, you look beautiful,” Remus, James, and Sirius said simultaneously.
“Okay, Maddie, I’ve got the perfect dress for you,” announced Rachel, handing her a pretty red dress. Maddie smiled and went into Rachel’s room to put it on. A couple of minutes later, Maddie was completely ready to go, as was Remus.
“Well, I guess we’ll see you two later,” James said to Sirius and Rachel. The rest of the group all left the apartment, leaving the apartment quiet except for the quiet breathing of Rachel and Sirius.
“So, who is this lucky man who gets to take you on a date?” Sirius questioned, one eyebrow raised.
“His name is Nate, and if you are still here when he shows up, don’t scare him off!” she demanded.
“Where did you meet him?”
“Oh, a friend of mine at work set me up with him,” she informed him as she went into her bedroom to get dressed. She left her door open so that they could continue talking. “So, how late are you probably going to work tonight?”
“I don’t know, but I don’t think it’ll be past midnight,” he said. When Rachel came back wearing a simple dark blue dress, Sirius breathed, “Wow, Rach, you look amazing.”
“Aw, thank you, honey.” She replied. There was a knock on the door, and Sirius went over to answer it. Standing in the hallway was an attractive man in his 20s with golden blonde hair and chocolate colored eyes.
“Hi, I’m looking for Rachel,” the man said.
“Hello, Nate. I’m Rachel Delancy.” Rachel said, moving towards the door. “Okay, Sirius, I’ll see you later.”
“Okay,” Sirius said, waving good-bye. Once the door shut, Sirius felt a pang of jealousy and sadness. “Wow, I guess I really blew my chances with her all of those years ago.”
Rachel and Nate were sitting at a table at Bracco, the newest restaurant in town. The restaurant was packed full with different groups of people sitting in the waiting area. This restaurant was a fancy one, but the prices weren’t overly expensive, which was always a good thing.
“So, Rachel, why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself,” Nate said while they were waiting for their food.
“Well, I lived here when I was younger, but I moved to New York City when I was seventeen. I moved back to the city back during September after my boyfriend and I broke up. I’m living with one of my best friends, Lily. I work at Gucci and I’m 25 years old. What about you?”
“I’ve lived here since I was five, and I live just a few blocks away from this restaurant. I work at the new school teaching Psychology, and I am 27 years old.” Nate revealed. “If you don’t mind me asking, why did you and your boyfriend break up?”
“Um, we had just moved in together, and he knew that I was still in love with a guy I dated awhile ago. Actually, that guy that answered the door, Sirius, was the guy that my boyfriend and I broke up over.” Rachel admitted with a shrug. “I know you don’t want to talk about my past love life, so tell me a bit more about yourself.”
“Rachel, maybe I can help you work through some of this stuff. So, let me ask you something: do you still have feelings for, is it Sirius?”
“Um, well, kind of, yeah,” she murmured. “I don’t know why I haven’t gotten over him. I mean, we broke up over seven years ago.”
“Well, maybe admitting that you still have feelings for him can help out. How about this: write a letter. You won’t give it to him, but get your feelings down on paper. I guarantee that it’ll help.”
“Thank you, Nate, I’ll do that tonight. So, anyway, let’s get onto happier things,”
The next morning, Sirius walked into Rachel and Lily’s apartment to make some breakfast and get some coffee. He had been stuck at work until one in the morning last night, so he had only gotten six hours of sleep. His eyelids were screaming to be closed, but Sirius forced them to stay open as the coffee was being made. Once it was made, he poured some into a mug and took a drink. The caffeine in the black liquid rushed through his body, bringing a new energy to it.
He set the cup of coffee onto the table, and made to make breakfast, but a folded up sheet of paper on the table caught his eye. Sirius’s hand reached out and grabbed it, unfolded it, and started to read it when he saw his name at the top. Just at that moment, Rachel walked out of the bedroom and gasped when she saw him holding the letter that she had written last night.
A/N: I don't think this is my best chapter, but it was still a lot of fun to write. Please review!
“No, Sirius, put the letter down!” Rachel practically screamed. She ran right over to him, jumped on his back, and ripped the paper out of his hand. Her hands released her grip on his shoulders, threw the paper into the garbage, and moved in front of Sirius. Sirius’s face was filled with shock, and his gray eyes were wide and not blinking. Rachel waved a hand in front of his face.
“You s-still are in love with me?” Sirius stuttered as he looked up at her.
“Oh no, oh no,” Rachel started muttering under breath.
Sirius moved around the table, lightly gripped her shoulders, and forced her eyes to meet his. “Rachel Jane Delancy, are you still in love with me?”
“Um, yes and no. Except, not no. So, pretty much summing it up: yeah. I am still in love with you.”
“I can’t believe it,” he said softly.
Lily jerked awake when she heard the familiar voice of Rachel screaming something at Sirius. She quickly got out of bed and pressed her ear up against the door. She gasped when she realized that they knew about each other’s feelings now. Not wanting to be locked up in her room, but not wanting to miss out on the fight that Lily was sure was going to happen, she quickly threw on some jeans, a t-shirt, and Apparated outside of her apartment.
“Hi, Lily,” Maddie whispered, not pulling her head away from the door. “I take it that you want to listen to this argument also?”
“Yeah, and how long have the three of you been out here?” Lily questioned, squeezing in-between Maddie and James to eavesdrop.
“Oh, we only got here a couple of minutes ago,” Remus told her. “We were about to go inside, but then the screaming and other things started happening, so we decided to eavesdrop.”
“I wonder what’s going to happen,” James wondered out loud.
“Ten bucks says that they get back together,” Maddie betted. “Any takers?”
“Hey, I’ll join you on that. I think today could be the day.” Lily said.
“There is no way that they are getting back together,” said Remus. “So, I’ll take that bet.”
“Yeah, so will I,” James agreed. “Okay, this argument get can into full swing any century now.”
“Shh,” the other three shushed.
“Yeah, so what? You are still in love with me! So don’t pull any crap,” she yelled at him.
“Wait, hold on a minute!” he exclaimed. “What the hell makes you think I’m still in love with you?”
“James told me all the way back during the Halloween party,” she revealed in a heated voice. “So don’t even try and lie about it, Sirius!”
“Well, why didn’t you tell me about your feelings?”
“Me? What about you? Why didn’t you say something?”
“I was afraid that you wouldn’t feel that way about me anymore!” he yelled. “Now answer my question!”
“You actually are wondering why I didn’t tell you about my feelings so that we could start a relationship again? Are you dumb? Did you get a head injury?”
“Rachel, get to the point!”
“You cheated on me twice!” she shrieked at him. “First with Cindy Walters in our fifth year and then with Susan Carter on freakin’ graduation night! Do you know how long it took me to trust you after the first time? That’s why we didn’t get back together until seventh year!”
“Look, I was drunk! You almost cursed my head off the first time, so why do you think I would soberly do it a second time? That night when I was talking with Susan Carter, I wasn’t planning on it leading to where it went! I was actually asking her for some advice!”
“Oh yeah, I’m sure you were!” Rachel yelled. “You were probably asking for tips on French kissing! So she was all like ‘well, let me show you.’”
“That is not true! I was asking her which flower was more romantic: lilies or roses? And do you know why? I was going to propose to you that night!”
“Oh my gosh!” Lily exclaimed quietly. “I can’t believe he was going to propose!”
“Yeah, actually he was,” James confirmed.
“You knew about this and you didn’t tell me? We were Head Boy and Girl! Why didn’t you tell me? I was Rachel’s best friend!”
“Well, I was going to tell you but Sirius made me promise to keep it a secret,” James explained.
“Did you know that he still has the ring?” Remus inserted.
“The ring he was going to propose with?” Maddie asked.
“No, just some random ring. Of course it was that ring,” James replied sarcastically. “He keeps it in the top drawer of his nightstand.”
“Wow, why did he keep it?” Lily questioned.
“Lily, the man is still madly and endlessly in love with her. I think he was hoping that something would happen again, and he would have a chance to give it to her. I can’t even begin to tell you how devastated he was when she dumped him. He actually went to her parent’s house to find her, but she had already moved to New York City.”
“It practically killed him.” Remus agreed. “That’s when he became slutty again.”
“I just can’t believe it!” Lily repeated.
“Okay, enough talking about this. Let’s listen in on the interesting stuff now,” Remus instructed.
“You were what?” Rachel spluttered in a quiet voice.
“I was going to propose to you,” he repeated, looking away from her. “And then I went to find you the next day, but you had already moved to New York City.”
“Wow,” Rachel breathed, images of that night flashing before her eyes.
“Hey, Prongs,” Rachel said, putting her bottle of butterbeer down on the table. “Do you know where Sirius went?”
“I think I saw him by the Room of Requirements,” James said, continuing to dance to the loud music. “He was talking to Susan Carter about something.”
“Okay, thanks,” she said, and left the Gryffindor common room to find her boyfriend. Even though they had been going out for almost a year again and she trusted him, she was always a little nervous when Sirius was alone with a girl, especially if he was intoxicated.
Rachel tossed her golden blonde hair out of her face, anxious to get to the Room of Requirements. She got to the area that she knew the room to be, walked by it three times, and a wooden door appeared. Her hand gripped the doorknob, turned it, and opened the door. Inside of the room that was filled with white lilies was a Sirius making out with a seventh year Ravenclaw Susan Carter.
Anger boiling inside of her blood, she walked inside of the room, and slammed the door shut. The noise startled the kissing couple, and when they saw Rachel standing there they separated quickly.
“I’m just going to go,” Susan muttered, and she quickly ran out of the room, leaving a scared Sirius and a fuming Rachel.
“Now, Rachel, just listen to me—” Sirius started hastily, but Rachel cut him off.
“No, Sirius! I am not going to listen to you after I catch you for the second time with your tongue down someone else’s throat!”
“Please, Rachel, you have to hear me out!” he begged.
“I can’t, Sirius, I can barely even look at you!” she yelled, looking away from him. Her blue eyes were watering with tears, and she was using a lot of her energy to keep them from falling, but she was unsuccessful. Rachel finally turned around to look at her guilty looking boyfriend. “Do you know how long it took me to trust you after the first time you cheated on me? It took me forever! You shattered my heart that night! And now, just when I think that I could trust you with my life, you do it again!”
Sirius moved forward, gripped her shoulders, and forced her to look into his eyes. “Rachel, there is no one else in the world that I love more than you! I would die for you! I had to live without you once, but I don’t think I can do it again.”
“Well, you will just have to learn how to deal with it.” She told him, trying to pull away. He kept his grip firm.
“This can’t be over, Rach, this is so damn good! Why are we throwing it away?”
“I can’t trust you at all now, Sirius. You hurt me once, and I eventually got over that. But now you’ve hurt me twice. I can’t be with you anymore. Goodnight.”
Rachel tore away from his grip and ran out of the room.
“Rachel, you just need to ask yourself one question,” Sirius said in a calm voice, looking up from the ground. “Do you trust me again?”
“Yeah,” she answered honestly. “I honestly trust more now than I ever did back during our Hogwarts years,”
“So, why won’t you give us a chance?”
“I am terrified of getting clobbered again, honey.”
“Okay, just wait until they kiss,” Lily said, not even blinking. “I mean, that’s how this conversation will end.”
“They were honestly a really great couple,” James admitted. “I know that you weren’t in our lives during this era, Maddie, but if they do get back together, you’ll know why they were unanimously voted Best Couple. I mean, there was no actual vote, but everyone thought that.”
“I would love to see that,” said Maddie. “And I totally agree with Lily. They are getting closer to getting over this whole issue. They aren’t yelling anymore.”
“Aw man, Maddie, if you think this was bad,” Remus informed her, “you clearly haven’t glimpsed the wrath that is Rachel. Sirius was terrified of her after the first break-up. I swear that steam could literally come out of her ears.”
“Now, let me ask you something, Sirius. If we do get back together, do you promise to be committed and not mess around? Because if you aren’t willing to fully commit yourself to me, and not cheat on me, then I won’t even think about it.”
Sirius’s gray eyes bore into her sapphire blue eyes as he said, “I promise, Rachel. You are the love of my life. I mean, the only time I haven’t been a slut is when I’ve been with you. That means something.”
She chuckled a tiny bit. “I love you so much, Sirius.”
“I love you too, Rach,” he said. He pulled her close, and finally, after months of wanting and waiting, their lips met in a passionate kiss.
A/N: I have been working on this chapter for a week, so I hope you all enjoy it! It's a fun one!
Maddie had been working all day in the hair salon when she received a visitor. It was half-way through the month of March, and she hadn’t seen this person since October. Maddie had just finished blow-drying her client’s hair, who had just received a haircut and some blonde highlights, and went up to the counter to receive the paper informing her of the next client that she was supposed to be working on.
When her brown eyes saw the name on the paper, she had to think that there was someone else by that name. Unfortunately, when they called her up to the front and Maddie saw who she was to be working on, there was no denying it: Claire Zimon, Maddie’s twin, was her client.
As Maddie came over to great her sister, some of the other clients and hairstylists kept looking between the two, almost in shock that they were clones of each other. Once Maddie came to her senses she said in a pleasant voice, “Hi Claire. Come on back to the styling chair.” Once Claire was sitting down in the chair, she continued, “So, Claire, what are we doing with your hair?”
“Oh, um, I just want to play with some different hair-dos before Saturday,” Claire told her.
“What’s going on during Saturday?” Maddie asked, starting to comb through her sister’s hair.
“I’m getting married,” Claire said.
“You’re getting married?!” exclaimed Maddie.
“Yeah, and actually the only reason that you are my stylist is because I asked for you.”
“Why would you do that?”
“Well, I know how talented you are with hair, and I was wondering if you would be my Maid of Honor.”
Maddie and Claire’s identically brown eyes met through the mirror, and Maddie could see honesty from every inch of them. Maddie felt her eyes welling up a little bit and told her, “I would love to be your Maid of Honor.”
Claire stood up and the twin sisters hugged each other. When Claire sat down again, she said, “I know we haven’t talked in quite a few years, and I know we haven’t seen each other since our school graduation, but I want my twin to be the one next to me when I get married.”
“That honestly means a lot to me.” Maddie informed her. “I will be honest, though, and tell you that I haven’t forgiven you for what you did with Duncan.”
“Who the hell is Duncan?”
“The guy that was my fiancé and you seduced him.”
“Oh, yeah,” Claire remembered, realization in her eyes. “Okay, how about we start working on my hair and I’ll start giving you details about the wedding?”
“That sounds really good,”
Rachel was in her well decorated room looking into the mirror of the vanity sitting by her door, putting in her silver dangling earrings that had a blue gem at the bottom. She was wearing a simple, yet beautiful black dress with smooth blue fabric at around the bust. Her feet were sporting a fancy pair of strappy high heels. Once Rachel was satisfied with how she looked, she left the confines of her bedroom.
“Wow, Rach, you look amazing,” Remus complimented as James gave her a little wolf whistle. “What’s the big occasion?”
“Well, tonight is the first date that Sirius and I are having since we’ve gotten back together, and I want to look really good.”
“So, now Rach, answer this one question,” James said slowly. “How many first dates have you and Sirius been on?”
Rachel sneered at him and hit him with a Stinging Hex. James stood up, and pulled out his wand, a mischievous smile on his face.
“Okay, people, please don’t damage the apartment,” Lily quickly begged before stepping out of the way to watch.
Simultaneously, James and Rachel made their moves. Since neither had enough time to put up a Shield Charm, the jinxes were successful. Rachel’s usually golden brown hair turned to a shocking pink while a giant comb kept attacking James’s head. Rachel quickly performed the counter-curse on the both of them.
“Rachel, what the hell was that thing that was attacking me?” he asked, voice edged with a bit of anger, but mostly annoyance.
“It was a comb that was trying to tame the wild mass of black hair resting upon your head,” she explained with a wide grin.
Just at that moment, Sirius walked through the door wearing a simple black suit with a pale green shirt underneath. He beamed at her as she came walking over to him.
“Well, hello there handsome,” she greeted as he pulled her into his arms. “You look really sexy,”
“Don’t you mean even more than usual?” he asked.
“You and your ego,” she chuckled.
“You look absolutely gorgeous,” he told her after he kissed her.
“I know,” she admitted with a smile.
“You guys are so cute,” Lily said, looking between the two of them.
At that moment, an excited looking Maddie came through the door. She was carrying a pale pink dress in her left hand and some matching shoes in her right hand.
“Hey, Maddie,” Lily greeted. “Why are you so excited?”
“Well, my last hair client tonight is the cause of this excitement,” Maddie said mysteriously.
“So who was your last client?” Rachel questioned. “Was it some really hot guy that asked you out?”
“No, but that would’ve been really cool. Anyway, Claire came in to try out some different hairstyles for her wedding on Saturday.”
“Wedding?” everyone in the room exclaimed in shock.
“Yeah, and she asked me to be the Maid of Honor. And you are all invited and allowed to bring a guest if you wish. We actually went out to dinner and had a really long chat about everything that had happened between us, especially as kids. I mean, I’m still not the happiest with her, but I think I’m almost to the point where I can forgive her and truly be happy for her.”
“Wow, Maddie, I think that’s great,” Sirius told her. “Now, who is all going to bring a guest?”
“Ooh, Remus, are you going to invite Olivia?” James asked in a teasing voice.
“Maybe,” is all that he said.
“Well kids, as much fun as this is,” Sirius said, grabbing Rachel by the hand and starting to lead her towards the door. “My girlfriend and I have dinner reservations to get to.”
“Have fun!” everyone called out as they left the apartment.
The next evening, after working for over eight hours on the set, Remus and Maddie were sitting in a booth at The Only One having a couple of drinks. There hadn’t been a shooting of an episode that lasted for that long and had been so grueling. Either people forgot their lines, there was a problem with the lighting, the cameras weren’t working, or the directors just didn’t like how the actors did the scenes.
“I am so exhausted from today,” Olivia complained, tucking a strand of blonde hair behind her ear. “Can you believe that they made us do that argument scene six times in a row?”
“That was unbelievable,” Remus agreed, taking a sip of his martini. “That was really funny though when Aaron came running onto the set, and he tripped and fell over on top of Carrie!”
“That was absolutely hilarious!”
Remus and Olivia sat in a comfortable silence for a second as Remus tried to ignore his dry tongue and sweaty palms before he worked up the nerve to say, “Hey, Olivia? Do you have any plans this Saturday night?”
“Well, I was supposed to have dinner with my sister,” she said, “but I can get out of it. Why?”
“Um, my friend Maddie is the Maid of Honor at her sister’s wedding, and she got us all invites. I was wondering if you would possibly go with me.”
“You mean, as a date?”
“Um, well—” Remus stuttered, but stopped when Olivia reached across the table and grabbed his hand.
“Remus, I would love to go with you as your date,” she told him with a warm smile.
“Wow, okay. That’s great!” he exclaimed happily, squeezing her hand.
During the final four days until the wedding, Rachel, Sirius, James, Lily, and Remus had hardly seen Maddie around because she was spending so much time at Claire’s apartment helping with wedding preparations. Finally, when that Saturday came, Maddie was the first one to have their outfit ready for the ceremony.
The previous night while they all went out to dinner, the six had agreed to change at the hotel where Claire was getting married. Since no one else was out of their bedrooms or apartments yet, Maddie made herself a quick breakfast because the meal at the reception was going to be quite filling after hanging up the dress on the coat rack.
A couple of minutes later, Rachel came out of her room with a pale green dress in hand.
“Good morning, Maddie, the Maid of Honor of your sister’s wedding,” Rachel greeted. It was obvious that she had gotten a little too much sleep. This was the way she acted when that happened, as if she was high on something.
“Okay, Rach, what time did you go to bed last night?” Maddie questioned while a grin was plastered on her face.
“Um, around eleven o’clock,” she replied, pulling out a chair and sitting on it.
“Wow, and right now its ten o’clock…” Maddie informed her. “No wonder you are acting like this.”
“Ha ha,” Rachel grumbled sarcastically. “So, how on Earth are you not stressing out right now? You were practically pulling your hair out earlier this week.”
“I took a relaxant this morning when I woke up,” informed Maddie.
“Good morning, ladies,” Lily announced when she left her bedroom carrying a pale yellow dress. “Happy Claire’s wedding day.”
“Happy Claire’s wedding day to you,” the other two replied with smiles.
“Hey Rach, do you know when the guys are supposed to be here?” Lily asked her, sitting down at the table.
“Well, knowing them, they will probably be a little late, regardless of the fact that all of them live just a couple of minutes away. Actually, even with being late, they should be here any minute now.”
“Men are here,” James said in a caveman type of voice as he, Sirius, and Remus walked through the door.
“Yes, men are here to please women with ruggedly sexy looks,” Sirius added in the same type of voice.
“You know what would please me?” Rachel asked her boyfriend sweetly.
“What can Sirius do to please woman?” he continued in the caveman voice.
“You talking normal would please me a lot,” she informed him with a nod.
He chuckled, walked over to Rachel, and kissed her on her forehead before taking a seat next to her.
“So, what are you beautiful women talking about?” Remus questioned.
“Not much,” Maddie answered, “we’re just mostly talking about the wedding. Which we have to leave for in a few minutes; eat what you can for now because we probably won’t be eating until the reception.”
“Why won’t we be able to eat lunch?” James said.
“Well, all of you will probably be helping me and Claire finish up small details and help me keep Claire calm.”
“That doesn’t sound too hard,” Remus admitted, causing Maddie to snort. “What? What did I say?”
“Not only do Claire and I look alike, but the way we act doing certain things. Do you remember how I was when I had that moody day and I kept snapping at people or crying?” Everyone nodded. “Well, take that and times it by ten and that’s the way that Claire will be.”
“Great,” everyone mumbled unhappily.
“Yeah, I just totally made your day,” Maddie grinned at them. “Actually, we should get going so that we aren’t late.”
All 148 guests arrived within ten minutes of each other at the reception hall after the elaborately beautiful and sophisticated wedding of Claire Zimon and Craig Branson while the wedding party stayed behind to do photos and a couple of other things. Maddie was forced to stop Claire from having a panic attack about five minutes before she was supposed to walk down the aisle, and now Claire couldn’t stop beaming at everyone.
Rachel, Sirius, Lily, Remus, Olivia, and James all found the table they were assigned to, and sat down in the seats around table three. The reception hall was extremely large with many tables and there was a stage in the front of the room with a band that was getting ready to start playing songs. Right in front of the stage was a large, shiny wooden dance floor.
As the guests started find their tables and sit down, the catering service people starting coming around to pour some water with ice cubes into the glasses. Another minute later, the band was completely ready to go and started playing a smooth jazz number.
A few guests got up and started to dance on the dance floor while the others just mingled. Remus stood up, grabbed Olivia’s hand, and pulled her over to the dance floor. Sirius stood up, walked over to Rachel, and said, “May I have this dance?”
She smiled, took his hand, and they went over by Remus and Olivia. James and Lily kept glancing at each other, but their eyes never met. It was slightly awkward because they were the only two that didn’t have a date or were a couple. Finally, their eyes met and James said, “Okay, do you just want to dance? I mean, we have nothing better to do.”
Lily considered it for a moment before she smiled and James led her out to the dance floor. She put her hands on his shoulders, but James felt a little weird when he put his hands on their waist. Soon though, they started swaying to the music and completely forgot about the not comfortable feeling of it.
Lily woke up the next morning in her hotel room. She stopped herself from having a third drink last night to avoid getting drunk, but the bright sun still gave her a tiny headache. It would’ve given anyone a headache. Just as Lily was about to climb out of bed and start packing, she felt her hand lying on someone’s chest. When she looked over at who is it was, she shrieked in surprise and shock.
“Okay, don’t wake me up like that ever again,” James mumbled rolling over to go back to sleep.
A/N: I apologize for the shorter chapter, but this is mainly a filler before some of the bigger stories start...
James rolled over, pulling the blankets closer to his body, unaware of the situation at hand because he was so drowsy. Before he was able to fully relax again, Lily shook him awake, which caused him to sit up fully. His black hair was a little messier than usual, though not many people could tell the difference. He looked at Lily with a glare in his eyes, but then he yelped in surprise.
“Lily, why are we in the same bed?” he asked with panic in his voice.
“James,” she said, pulling the sheet around her undressed body. “If you honestly can’t figure that out, then somehow your brain has malfunctioned.”
“Well, obviously I know what this looks like,” he continued impatiently, “but that doesn’t mean that—” James stopped abruptly.
“What? What is it, James?” Lily questioned, poking his well-toned arm.
“I am now having many flashbacks about what happened last night,” he informed her. “And I only have three words to say about it: it was amazing.”
“Yeah, I know it was!” she agreed. “That’s what scares the shit out of me! I mean, I’m sitting here with you and the only thing that my mind is thinking is ‘when will you and James get together again?’”
James’s eyebrows rose impressively. He then adapted a slightly smug grin. “Lily, the Lily Evans, wants to sleep with me again.”
“Do you want to sleep with me again?”
“No, I’m totally going to say ‘no’ to the hottest woman I’ve ever known,” he retorted sarcastically. “So, how about you and me next Saturday night at Carino’s? I hear they’ve got great Italian food,”
“You mean the two of us going on a date?” she questioned.
“But James, aren’t you worried about ruining our friendship?” she said to him, sitting up in the bed. She reached out one of her hands and gripped James’s hand. “I mean, I don’t want to ruin something so wonderful because we break up.”
“Who says we’ll break up?”
“Honey, this is you that I’m talking to,” she said. “If you can promise not to just dump me after one date like all of the other girls, then yes, dinner sounds very nice.”
James cupped one of Lily’s slightly blushing cheeks in his hand, causing her eyes to meet his. He pulled her in towards him and kissed her tenderly. When they pulled away from each other he said, “I promise, Lils.”
She smiled widely at him, but then the smile faded. “What about the others? Are we going to tell them? Or should this be a secret?”
James sat in thought for a few moments before he answered, “Maybe it would be best to keep this in the dark. I mean, if we happen to break up, I don’t want them to be all awkward around us. Plus, maybe there won’t be as much pressure.”
“You know,” she said, “you really amaze me some times.”
“I know I amazed you last night,” he told her suggestively. She sneered and slapped his arm.
“I mean, you can really show some maturity,” she finished. “But, we should probably get dressed, and you should leave the room before anyone else comes.”
“Oh yeah, good idea,” James agreed, pulling on his jeans. “Because whenever I walk outside naked, people throw fruit at me,”
Lily chuckled and then smiled to herself as she watched James leave her hotel room.
“You know, that was such a beautiful wedding,” Remus repeated for the fifth time as the six friends sat in Rachel and Lily’s living room.
“It was so…elaborate,” Rachel added in an admiring way. “Okay, Maddie, do you two have the same likes and dislikes?”
“Sometimes, why?” replied Maddie, putting a board game down onto the large coffee table.
“When you get married, are you going to make me and Lily your slaves so that your wedding is that elaborate? You know, work our fingers to the bone?”
“Oh no,” said Maddie, “probably not, but you never know.”
Lily and Rachel’s slightly frightened eyes met for a second before they turned to the board game sitting on the table. Rachel exclaimed, “Oh, Monopoly!”
As Maddie pulled out the board, money, cards, and pieces, everyone instantly went for the piece they wanted. Sirius and James fought over who would get the car, but then Lily summoned the piece from their hands and caught it with a smirk on her face.
“So, maybe we should make this game a bit more interesting?” James suggested, handing out the money that everyone started out with.
“How much money are you thinking?” Sirius questioned with an intrigued look on his face as he turned to his best friend.
“How about we bet one galleon?”
“Sounds good,” everyone agreed.
“And no magic,” Rachel added, holding out her hand. “Now everyone give me your wands,”
Everyone threw her a dirty look and grudgingly pulled out their wands before placing them in her hand. “How do we know that you won’t use yours?” Sirius said suspiciously.
She smiled sweetly at him before saying, “Sirius, honey, all it’ll take is a second for me to snap your wand.”
Sirius immediately put an arm around her shoulders, pulled her close, and kissed the top of her head. “I love you, honey,”
“I love you too,” said Rachel. She added quietly, “Suck-up,”
Remus had heard what Rachel had muttered and grinned. “So, who will go first?”
“Use the dice, and then whoever rolls the highest number will go first,” Lily instructed, grabbing the dice. She rolled it and whined, “Aw man, I got a two!”
James quickly grabbed the dice, terribly wanting to go first, rolled them and cheered, “Yes! A six! Ha ha, suckers!”
Everyone groaned, knowing that the chances of going first for everyone else had just greatly decreased. “I’ll go next!” Maddie cheered. She grabbed the dice, rolled it onto the middle of the board, and said, “Aw, I only got a four.”
“I’m going now!” Sirius said, grabbing the dice from Maddie’s hand. He shook them up, rolled them, and said, “A five! Damn! So close!”
Remus rolled his eyes at his friend’s immaturity as he grabbed the two dice from the board. He shook them up, rolled them, and said, “Oh well, I only got a one.”
Lily looked disbelievingly at him. “You got the worst number possible and you act nonchalant about it? What the hell is wrong with you? Don’t you care about going first?”
Remus almost had a hint of fear in his eyes as Lily practically screeched at him. Once she realized how loud she had been, a blush appeared on her cheeks and she sort of shrunk back a little bit because of her embarrassment. “Okay, who’s next?” she said in a small voice.
“Well, I’m the only one who hasn’t gone, so I guess it’s me,” said Rachel. She grabbed the dice, shook them up for a few seconds, and rolled them onto the board. “Okay, so I got a four.”
“Yes!” James exclaimed, pumping his fist into the air. “I am the one who is going first!”
“Okay, so stop being so cocky and roll the damn dice,” Maddie demanded.
After three hours of yelling, cheering, cursing, and fun times, Lily jumped up out of her seat and yelled, “Monopoly! I win, you lose! Sirius has gone bankrupt thanks to Boardwalk and Park Place”
As Lily continued her little victory chant, Rachel quickly handed Sirius his wand and he muttered, “Silencio.”
Lily’s mouth continued to move at a rapid speed, but luckily for everyone else, there was no sound emerging from it. Maddie high-fived Sirius for his method, and the six split up to get some rest after a grueling board game.
Soon, it was just James and Lily left in the room. Their eyes looked around the room, and then they met simultaneously. James raised one eyebrow suggestively, causing Lily to smile. She grabbed his hand, and the two went hurrying into Lily’s bedroom.
Chapter 13: The One where Rachel and Sirius Find Out
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Though the window had pink curtains covering it, they were thin enough that one could still see that the sun had just reached the horizon, and the sunset would be over soon. Rachel and Sirius laid underneath the pale orange covers of Rachel’s bed. She looked over at him, smiled, and then cuddled up next to him. He instantly put an arm around her shoulders and pulled her even closer to his shirtless body.
He inhaled deeply and breathed, “I love the smell of your hair. It’s so…fruity.”
“Well, my shampoo scent is tropical fruit, so I certainly hope that my hair smells like that,” she replied. She sighed happily before adding, “I love lying in your arms.”
“I love having you in my arms,” he told her, snuggling his face into her brown hair. “I am just the luckiest man in the—” he continued, but abruptly stopped when a suspicious sound reached his ears. He pressed a finger to Rachel’s lips to quiet them when she opened her mouth to talk. They sat in silence when he heard the moaning again. “Rach, did you hear that?”
“That moaning?” she asked. Sirius nodded. She continued, “Yeah, I did. It sounded like it was coming from Lily’s room.”
A wide grin slowly formed on his face. “Ooh, maybe Lily has a guy in there with her. Come on, let’s listen in!”
“Sirius, wait!” Rachel said, getting up from the bed.
“What? Do you not want to eavesdrop on your best buddy?”
“No, I just don’t think that this is the best way to listen! Put your ear up to the wall!”
Rachel and Sirius stood next to each other next to the bed, ears pressed up tightly against the wall. After a moment of intense listening, the sound of Lily moaning appeared again. Simultaneously and silently, Sirius and Rachel urged her to say who it was that she was with.
“Oh, wow, that feels amazing,” she moaned. “Faster! Faster, James, faster!”
Rachel’s jaw and Sirius’s jaw dropped to the floor. Their eyes were extremely wide with shock as they looked at each other. “James and Lily?” she whispered, still slightly numb with shock.
“Maybe it’s not our James,” Sirius quietly answered. “Let’s keep listening.”
Lily and the guy she was with continued to make plenty of loud noise before Lily said seductively, “Oh, James Potter, you are an animal.”
“Oh my!” Rachel shrieked quietly. “It’s James and Lily! James and Lily are an item!”
“I honestly did not see that one coming,” Sirius admitted. “I mean, he still had feelings for her in our seventh year, but once they became such good friends he said that he had gotten over her.”
“I mean, it’s great. But I wish they would tell us. I don’t see why they won’t.”
“Yeah, I totally agree. It’s a huge deal, but we would be so happy for them.” Sirius voiced. “Do you think if we confronted them about it that they would tell us?”
“I don’t know,” Rachel replied honestly. “I would like to think that they would, but who knows how long they have been keeping this from us. Maybe they’ll just deny the whole thing.”
“I hope that’s not how it goes,”
Remus and Olivia were walking slowly up the stairs while holding hands and the two of them looked like they were at peace with the world. They were walking in pace with each other, made it look natural, and the new couple looked like they had been dating for years. They finally reached the door to Remus and James’s apartment. He kissed her lightly on the lips and murmured against them, “James is on a date and he told me that he would be gone all night. Do you want to come in?”
“Like you wouldn’t believe,” Olivia replied sexily.
Remus unlocked the apartment, opened it, and let his girlfriend enter the apartment. Although it was nothing compared to the apartment across the hall, the place still looked fairly decent considering two guys were living there.
Though the apartment was smaller than Rachel and Lily’s, it was still fairly large and spacious. The walls were a beige color while the shag carpet was white. In the living room was an entertainment center made of oak, and the cabinet doors slid open to reveal a flat-screen television. There were two recliners made of black leather, and there was a deep red couch sitting on the other side of the room underneath of a shaded window.
“This place is pretty impressive,” Olivia admitted, looking around at the surroundings.
“Well, James did most of the decorating, but I have to do most of the cleaning,”
Olivia laughed lightly. “Why on earth does that not surprise me?”
“Because it’s James,” Remus told her, grabbing her by the waist and kissing her neck. His lips moved slowly up her neck, making her release a very quiet moan. Finally, she took the initiative and pulled his eager lips to her own.
For several minutes, the two of them kissed each other eagerly and passionately, kissing as though there was no tomorrow. Her tongue lightly traced Remus’ moist lips, and he allowed her access. Olivia quickly deepened the kiss, pulling her body up right next to his.
His need became more urgent, and he quickly pulled her shirt off. He broke the kiss and started to move slowly down her throat, onto her chest, and then eventually to her navel. While he did this, Olivia unbuttoned his shirt and unbuckled his pants. Everything became blurry to the both of them for the next couple of minutes, but then they both became aware of the fact that they were naked. Remus looked deep into Olivia’s eyes, and she knew that something amazing was going to happen tonight.
The next morning, Sirius and Rachel walked out of Rachel’s bedroom and they were not shocked to see Lily cooking breakfast and James sitting at the table, waiting for the food. It was unusually early for James to be up, so Sirius took advantage of this.
“Hey Lily, Prongs,” Rachel greeted, taking a seat next to James.
“Wow, James, you are up awfully early,” Sirius added, massaging Rachel’s shoulders to keep her from laughing. “I mean, you usually have a hard time waking up this early, especially if you were kept up for awhile doing…things.”
“Well, I decided to wake up earlier today,” James lied, averting his eyes from his friends.
Rachel and Sirius wanted to continue messing with the couple like this, but stopped when a giddy looking Remus practically glided into the apartment. His gracefulness was interrupted because he accidentally ran into one of the dining room chairs, causing him to yelp out with pain. While massaging his sore leg, he sat down and sighed happily.
“So Moony, how was your date with Olivia last night?” James asked with a giant grin on his face.
“It was good,” was all that Remus said.
“You know, Remus, you look a little tired,” Rachel inserted, looking closely at him with amusement on her face. “Did you have a bit of a long night?”
Remus inhaled deeply, and then slowly exhaled. “Okay, fine, you all win. Olivia and I…well, yeah. I think you can figure it out.”
“Remus, you are so polite,” James told him. “Come on, just call it having sex.”
“Prongs, you know for a fact that I’m not as blunt as you and Sirius.”
“Pushing past that little note,” Lily said, changing the subject, “how did you do last night, stud?”
“Oh, come on you guys,” Remus groaned. “You really want some details?”
“No,” Rachel answered. “We don’t want to hear the dirty stuff. We just want to know if you were good enough to make her…agree a lot or if you were terrible.”
Remus poured himself a glass of orange juice while Lily put plates of bacon and eggs on the table for everyone to have. He cleared his throat and revealed, “She had to stop herself from screaming with pleasure.”
James and Sirius wolf-whistled and high-fived which caused the ladies to chuckle. Remus just merely rolled his amber eyes.
“Wow, it looks like we have three male pleasers in our group, Rach,” Lily told her with a grin.
“Okay, we’ve heard about me, but what gives you the right to say that Sirius and James are any good?” Remus inquired.
“Oh please,” snorted Lily. “I have a bedroom next to Rachel, and I hear everything that goes on in there between her and Sirius.” Sirius and Rachel glanced at each other and blushed a tiny bit. “And then I should obviously know how good James is because—” Lily stopped abruptly, almost letting out the secret relationship between her and James.
“And how exactly do you know how good James is?” Rachel grinned at her, blue eyes dancing with amusement.
“Well, um, it’s because he gets so many women,” Lily stuttered, eventually making up a story.
Sirius’s gray eyes met with Rachel’s eyes and they silently agreed to pull the information out of James and Lily later.
Remus was sitting in a recliner in his apartment with the footrest up, and he was very relaxed. His eyelids were starting to droop shut when someone came into his apartment and occupied the other recliner. He glanced over to see who it was and was curious about the weird expression.
“Hey Maddie,” he greeted, closing his eyes. “I haven’t seen you the entire day.”
“I was going to drop by Lily and Rachel’s place earlier, but they called me into work early.”
“Is work the reason why you have a weird look on your face?”
“Yeah,” she sighed, leaning her head back against the comfortable chair. “My last client was this unbelievably handsome guy. We were talking while I did his hair, and we were being a little flirty with each other. Towards the end of his appointment, I noticed a wedding band on his finger. Ugh, if only he wasn’t married!”
“I guess he’s the type of guy you would go for?” Remus asked, already knowing the answer.
“Yes, and he is exactly the type of guy that I know I would fall really hard for.”
Remus sat up in the recliner, put down the footrest, and beckoned a sad looking Maddie over to him. She slowly dragged herself off of her chair and over to where Remus was sitting. He grabbed her hand and pulled her onto his lap. Remus gave her a big hug, and they both realized that she was being comforted greatly.
“Do you feel a little better now?” he said, looking at her.
“I feel much better now, honey,” Maddie assured him with a smile.
“James,” Rachel started when she, Sirius, and James were alone in the apartment. Lily had to go off to work. “If I ask you something, will you promise to answer it without lying?”
“Of course, Rach,” he promised.
“Are you and Lily dating?” she said bluntly. She got right to the point. Sirius looked up interestedly when his girlfriend asked.
James looked down and said, “No, Lily and I are not dating.”
“James, do not make me make Sirius get some Veritaserum or make me use Legilimency on you. So I am going to ask you this one more time. Are you and Lily dating?”
“Ugh, okay, fine. You win, Rachel and Sirius. Lily and I are a couple.” James admitted.
“Ooh, now we’re getting somewhere,” Sirius said excitedly. “How long?”
“About a month now,”
“And when did you first get together?” Rachel added.
“The night of Claire’s wedding. She and I were slightly intoxicated, but we’ve kept this relationship going anyway.”
“So why haven’t you told us?” said Sirius. “I mean, we’re your best friends. You could’ve told us.”
“Yes, Lily and I have talked about it before, but we think that the reason that this is going so well is that no one else knows, so therefore there’s not as much pressure on us to make it work.”
“James, honey,” Rachel said, moving forward to put a hand on his shoulder. “We would never pressure you. I mean, already there is some pressure on me and Sirius to make our relationship work, and it sucks. That’s why we wouldn’t ever do that.”
“I guess you are right,”
“But I do need to ask something else,” continued Rachel. “Lily is my best friend. She has always been more like a sister to me. I need to know that you won’t break her heart.”
“Rach, the way I am with her is kind of like the way Sirius is with you. I mean, Sirius is only faithful in a romantic relationship with you. That’s exactly the same thing for me and Lily. I am positively crazy about her.”
Sirius sniffled before saying, “Rachel, our boy is growing up so fast.”
James chuckled before he was engulfed in a giant hug by Sirius and Rachel.
Chapter 14: The One with the Inappropriate Kiss
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Rachel came walking inside of the dark and sophisticated bar known as The Only One. Her eyes spotted Sirius, James, and Lily sitting at their usual table talking, laughing, and sipping their usual drinks. She walked up to the bar and said, “Hey Scott. Can I get a rum and Diet Coke?”
“No problem, Rachel,” he replied with a wink as he started to pour her drink. Another thirty seconds later, Rachel was joining the others, her drink in her hand.
“What are we all talking about over here?” she asked, sitting next to Sirius.
“We were talking about which one of us would be the first to get married,” Lily replied.
“Ooh, did you come to any conclusions?”
“Well, we ruled out James and Lily,” Sirius told her. “Since they’ve only started to go out and this is James’s first real relationship.”
“Are you two dating?” shrieked a familiar voice at the side. They turned their heads and saw a shocked Maddie and Remus. Their wide eyes were directed at James and Lily.
“Um, yeah, I guess we are,” Lily said, leaning her head on James’s shoulder.
“For how long?” Remus questioned, a little less shocked.
“Since Claire’s wedding, so about two months,” James answered nonchalantly.
“And you haven’t slept with anyone else?”
“See Remus, our boy is growing up,” Rachel grinned at him.
“And how long have you guys known about this?” Maddie said, turning to the other couple, her voice suddenly angry. “And why the hell couldn’t you tell us?”
“Um, Maddie, calm down a bit,” Sirius requested, “Rachel and I found out a little over four weeks ago. And we didn’t tell you because James and Lily asked us not to since its James’s first real relationship.”
“Aw, you two are really cute.” Maddie said warmly, and sat down next to Lily. “Although, I must say I am a little surprised at this.”
“Why?” Lily questioned curiously.
“Well, it’s just that James is a bit of man whore—”
“Hey!” James interrupted indignantly.
“Oh, who are you trying to kid?” Rachel retorted. James shrugged his shoulders, admitting defeat.
“Anyway, James is a bit of a man whore and Lily is so uptight and controlling, not to mention organized.”
“I guess that makes sense,” James agreed. “But, we’ve gotten together and we are happy.”
James pulled Lily close and started kissing her.
“Get a room,” Maddie muttered, rolling her eyes. “Just because I’m happy about this doesn’t mean I want to see it.”
Everyone chuckled their agreement.
“Hey, Maddie and Remus, what are you two doing tomorrow night?” Sirius asked them.
“We’re having dinner tomorrow.” Remus informed them. “You see, once a month we get together to talk about the rest of you.”
The other four exchanged glances.
“Oh, we were just going to invite you two to dinner tomorrow night. Lily and Rachel are inviting us me and James over for couple’s night.”
“Well, sorry we can’t make it.”
The next night, Maddie and Remus were at their monthly dinner to discuss the rest of their group. Every month, they came to this same restaurant, so they were half-way familiar with a couple of the waiters and waitresses. Their waiter for that evening, Matthew, had just taken their orders. The topic of discussion tonight: relationships.
“So, I know that they were talking about this earlier,” Maddie started, “but I think we should finish the discussion. Who do you think will get married first? James and Lily or Sirius and Rachel?”
“I think it’ll be Rachel and Sirius.” Remus answered.
“Why do you think that?”
“Well, they’ve been going out for a total of a little over two years, if you count their dating time during Hogwarts. Rachel is the only girl that Sirius has been crazy about. Plus, they just fit well. It’s like they were separate puzzle pieces that fit together perfectly.”
“Yeah, I think that too.” Maddie agreed. “I mean, James and Lily are really cute together, and I could see them getting married someday, but I just think that regardless of the slight trust issue between the future Blacks, they will definitely get married first.”
“Both of the couples are really good together, though.”
“Yeah they are.” Maddie said. “So, what’s going on between you and Olivia?”
Remus blushed a tiny bit and suddenly became slightly sheepish. “It’s going really good right now. I like her a lot, and I think that it’ll turn into something serious. Although, she is a little flirty with the guys in our cast.”
“Remus, a lot of girls in relationships flirt a bit with other men.” Maddie informed him. “That’s just the way we are.”
“How is it that I don’t understand you girls when I’m probably the smartest out of our group?” he questioned her amusedly.
“We’re women and you are a man; you’re not supposed to understand us,” she grinned. “That’s a fact of life.”
“You know, I think tonight will be really nice,” admitted Rachel. “Couple’s night is an excellent idea, Lily.”
“Thanks.” Lily replied with a smile as she helped Rachel finish set the table. “I mean, neither of us have any couples to hang out with, other than Olivia and Remus, so I thought it would be cool for us to get together every now and then.”
“Hey Lily,” Rachel started hesitantly. “Can I ask you something?”
“Of course, Rach,”
“Are you in love with James?”
Lily’s wand stopped moving, for she was using it to cook dinner. She was frozen to the spot, shocked at the question. Her head slowly turned to her best friend and Lily answered steadily and confidently, “You know what, Rach? I think I might just be.”
Rachel’s eyes watered a tiny bit and she squealed with happiness before knocking the wind out of Lily by hugging her. “Aw, my Lily is in love.” Rachel teased as she dried her eyes.
“I know!” Lily agreed loudly and happily. “I’ve fallen in love. And with James Potter!”
“If we were in school right now, I would think that someone spiked your drinks or that you were high.” Rachel told her, causing Lily to laugh. “I think I may be looking at the future Mrs. Potter.”
“You really think?” Lily asked hopefully. Rachel nodded. “I think so too, but I won’t get my hopes up over it. It’s only been two months.”
Little did they know that James and Sirius were listening to the conversation outside of the door. James was starting to hyperventilate, and Sirius quickly summoned a Calming Draught from his apartment. Sirius quickly pulled out the cork, and forced James to swallow the pale pink liquid.
“Do you feel better now?” Sirius asked with a grin.
“Not really,” James said. “She wants to get married.”
“No duh. Are you just realizing this?”
“Well, no, but we’ve only been dating for two months!”
Sirius placed his hands on James’s shoulders. “James Potter, do you love Lily?”
“Of course I do!”
“Then if you love her, you should be willing to make a commitment with her. I’m not saying that you need to propose in the next day or week or even month. I’m just saying that if you keep dating, you’ll reach that point where you realize that you want to spend the rest of your life with her.”
“But I’ve never been with a girl for longer than a night. And it’s only taken me a shower to get over them!” James said, panicked.
“I know it’s scary at first,” Sirius said comfortingly. “Believe me, I do know how you feel. Oh, but once you push past it, it is amazing!”
James stopped for a moment and was silent before he questioned in a small voice, “Really?”
“Man, would I lie to you?”
“Good. Now let’s go have dinner with our ladies.”
Sirius opened the door and said, “We’ve brought the wine. Now bring on the food.”
Rachel and Lily simultaneously raised one eyebrow before rolling their eyes and serving the food.
Remus had just Apparated with Maddie to her apartment, and was now planning on going over to Olivia’s apartment. She was planning on making him dinner tomorrow night for their six week anniversary, but Remus wanted to surprise her with a picnic. Maddie had helped him put it together since she was really good with this type of surprise. Plus, they had Floo called Lily and asked her what Remus should bring.
Remus felt his lungs fill with air once again as he found himself standing outside of Olivia’s apartment. He knocked on the door, hoping that she was home. When there was no answer for a minute or so, Remus tried the doorknob, and it was unlocked. The door silently swung open, showing the apartment filled with light.
Olivia’s brown suede coat was hanging up on the coat rack, as was her formal jacket that she wore when she went to a nighttime event. Remus knew that Olivia was home. Though the newly discovered Wolfsbane Potion helped him during the full moon, his senses were still sharper than usual, and his ears detected movement inside of Olivia’s bedroom.
Remus put the picnic basket on top of Olivia’s counter just as the bedroom door opened.
“Come on, Brad, let’s go take a shower.” Olivia’s voice said seductively.
Remus’ head jerked upwards, causing it to crack. Olivia stopped when she saw her boyfriend standing in the kitchen. She was wearing nothing but a lace lingerie dress, and she was dragging a naked man out of the bedroom. Not just any naked man, but the new writer that had just been assigned to the staff: Brad Eggelston.
“Oh, um, Remus,” Olivia stuttered, dropping Brad’s hand. “This isn’t what it looks like. I was just, um—”
“Cheating on me,” Remus finished for her, coldness dripping from every syllable, and his eyes were cold also. “You know, Olivia, I’m sorry I ever asked you out in the first place. Good-bye.”
“No, wait, Remus!” Olivia cried, running after him, but when she reached the hallway he was gone.
Chapter 15: The One with the Roommate Discussion
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It had been exactly a week since the infamous ‘who knows who’ game. The two teams made up a few hours later, though the boys were still a little bitter over the outcome of the competition. Remus hadn’t gotten up until two days after that competition, which really surprised everyone. They didn’t think it was possible to sleep for three days straight unless you had a concussion or something. Well, Remus Lupin proved them wrong. Though he was still upset, you could see that he was majorly improving.
Maddie and Remus were the only two of the six sitting in The Only One having a couple of drinks. It was only around sunset, so the bar wasn’t very crowded yet. This meant that the two of them could have a private conversation.
“Hey Remus,” Maddie said, looking up from her drink. “How are you doing? You know, with the whole Olivia thing. I know that was really tough on you.”
“Well, I’m going to be frank: it still really sucks. She meant so much to me, and to see her with him was terrifying and heart-wrenching. I can actually understand what Rachel meant when she said it was too many emotions mixed into one. But you know what? I think this is good.”
“Really?” Maddie asked skeptically.
“Yeah. I mean, if Oli hadn’t cheated on me, then I wouldn’t think twice about how happy she made me. But, maybe now I can start to see what else is out there.”
“Wow, I think it’s really great that you have such a positive outlook on this thing. Lily told me that Rachel’s parents said that Rachel didn’t leave her room in New York for at least a week.”
“I’m not her, Maddie.” Remus grinned. They sat in silence while Remus pondered an idea that suddenly appeared in his head. “Hey Maddie, can I ask you a question?”
“Of course you can ask me something.”
“Would you, um, possibly, um, go on a date with me tonight?” he stuttered quietly.
“Did you just ask me out?” she said.
“Um, yeah, and now I’m wishing I was dead.”
Maddie chuckled before saying, “Remus, don’t be embarrassed. I would be happy to go out with you and see if this is something that we would like to become more.”
Remus’ face suddenly lit up and a wide smile appeared. “Really?”
“Yeah, honey,” she confirmed. “So, where do we want to go?”
“Oh, how about we go to Mama Lozeeta’s? It’s this new Italian place in Diagon Alley, and I hear they have amazing food.”
“Cool; Italian sounds really good.” Maddie agreed. They stood up, grabbed each other’s hand, and walked out of the bar after leaving the bartender a tip.
James and Lily were having dinner over at Lily’s apartment while Rachel and Sirius were over at Sirius’s apartment doing…things. Remus and Maddie were missing in action, so the couple decided to have a dinner.
“Lily, this fish is amazing.” James complimented, shoving more fish hungrily into his mouth. “It’s got this ingredient that I can’t put my finger on that makes it better than everyone else’s. Will you tell me what it is?”
Lily considered it for a minute before asking, “Do you promise not to tell anyone else what it is? Because that is one of the more common questions I get.”
“I put in some lemon juice,” she told him. “Not too much, but just enough to add some amazing flavor to it.”
“Wow,” James breathed, looking up. “My mother taught me how to cook, and I never would’ve guessed that it was lemon juice.”
“It is my mom’s secret ingredient, and she only told me and Petunia. But Petunia’s a bitch who thinks that fish isn’t filling enough for her already obese kid.” Lily muttered.
James chuckled for a few minutes before it looked like an idea came flying into his mind.
“I still can’t believe that you girls won,” James repeated for the tenth time in the past week. “I really thought that we would at least tie.”
“Well, its Sirius’s fault that he didn’t know that my favorite movie is Pretty Woman.” Lily retorted.
“Anyway, the game made me think that even though I know you pretty well, I want to know you even more. So, Lily, what if we moved in with each other?”
Lily had been taking a drink of water at that moment, and it came out of her nose. She quickly grabbed a napkin, dried herself off, and looked up with wide eyes. “You want us to move in together?”
“Yeah, of course I do. I love you so much, Lily Evans, and I would love to fall asleep next to you and wake up next to you every day. Seeing your face in the morning would be enough for me to get up earlier in the morning.”
“James Potter, you sure know how to make a girl say hell yes!”
The couple literally jumped up from their seats, and practically tackled each other to give the other a hug. They were beaming, and their faces were lit up with happiness.
“Oh my gosh, we’re going to be living together!” Lily squealed. “James, you have no idea how happy this makes me!”
“So, you don’t think that we’re moving too fast?”
“No, not at all,” she assured him. “Wow, oh no. I have to ask Rachel to move out.” Lily’s spirits were obviously dampened by this sudden thought. “Great, how am I going to tell my best friend that she’s moving out?”
“I know,” James sympathized. “How am I going to tell one of my best friends that I’m moving out?”
“I’m not your best friend?” Lily said with one eyebrow raised.
“Yes, I mean, can we just focus?”
“Yeah, sorry,” Lily apologized. “So, I think we should tell them first since they’re our roommates.”
“That’s probably a good idea,” James agreed.
“What’s a good idea?” Maddie asked as she and Remus came walking into the power.
“Well, let’s get through the first thing,” Lily suggested. “Where the hell have you guys been? You disappeared a couple of hours ago.”
“Um, Remus and I were…on a date,” Maddie answered hesitantly, both of them not meeting James’s and Lily’s eyes.
“You were on a date?” James and Lily exclaimed loudly.
“But what?” Lily interrupted. “I think it’s great that you two are dating!”
“Well, we thought it was at first,” Remus agreed, “but…”
“We just decided that it was a little awkward, and we don’t want to ruin our friendship by dating.” Maddie finished. “Although, I must admit that I had fun going out on a date with you, honey.”
“Yeah, me too,” Remus said. “Anyway, now that we’re done with that subject, what are you two plotting?”
“We’re not plotting anything,” Lily told them exasperatedly.
“Lily and I are going to be moving in together,” James announced happily, putting his arm around Lily. “Which means that Remus, buddy, I’ll—I’ll be moving out.”
Remus sighed sadly. “Well, I guess I should’ve known it would happen sooner or later, so I can honestly say that I’m happy for you guys.” Maddie and Remus came over and hugged the excited couple.
“Okay, why is everyone jumping around?” Rachel questioned as she and Sirius walked into the apartment hand in hand.
“I guess since everyone else knows,” James sighed.
“Rachel, James and I are moving in together, and we’ll be living here.” Lily told her, putting her hands on Rachel’s shoulders comfortingly.
“So—so you’re saying that we—we won’t be living together anymore?” Rachel asked, teary-eyed.
“Yeah,” Lily said, tears welling her eyes. “Oh, honey, I love you so much.”
“I love you too, Lily,” Rachel replied, embracing her best friend.
“And it’s not like we won’t see each other,” Lily reminded her. “I mean, we’ll be seeing each other all of the time. And you’re my best friend; I wouldn’t ask you do this lightly.”
“I know,” Rachel said, wiping the tears off of Lily’s cheeks. “And I’m so happy for you guys,”
“Yeah, and so am I,” Sirius said, embracing Rachel, James, and Lily.
“Great, now I’m homeless,” Rachel muttered.
“Hey Rach, I have an extra room right now,” Remus pointed out. “You want to move in with me? And then you’ll only have to move your stuff across the hall.”
“Ooh, yeah, thank you, honey,” Rachel said with a smile.
“Hey Moony, are you planning on hitting on my girlfriend since she’s moving in with you?” Sirius asked angrily, but even though he didn’t mean it, Remus looked a little frightened. Sirius burst out laughing and said, “No, man, I know you wouldn’t do that.”
“And listen Rach, you take as much time as you need to move out, okay?” Lily added.
“Okay, Lily,” Rachel said. “I’ll probably have it done in the next week.”
“Thank you all for being so supportive,” James told them. “This is a big deal for us.”
“We know it is,” Maddie reminded them. “We all think it’s so great that James is still in a real relationship.”
The six friends chuckled as they moved to the living room to hang out for the rest of the night.
A/N: This is a builder to a HUGE conflict in the next two chapters. The next chapter will be a two parter, so be prepared for a cliffie at the end of the next chapter.
Rachel and Lily were sitting in Rachel’s office at the Gucci building having lunch. There was some new food in the executive cafeteria, so Lily was trying the Caesar salad and Rachel was trying the lasagna.
“You know, I would totally get into the fashion industry for this cafeteria food,” Lily admitted, taking another bite.
“Yeah right,” Rachel snorted. “You’re a professional chef with a talent for Healing; there’s no way you should change careers. Why didn’t you become a Healer?”
“Well, I was going to at first, but I just love cooking so much that I wanted to do that for a living. And hell, if I have talent, I’m going to use that to my advantage.” Lily explained. She then got a mischievous grin before saying, “And when no one else is in the kitchen, I just pull out my wand to add some fun details, or make meals quicker to get through all of the orders.”
“Lily, you are a bad ass!” Rachel complimented, high-fiving her. “So, I was thinking of getting that last box of clothes out of my room at your place today. Is that alright with you two?”
“Yep, that should be just fine.” Lily assured her.
Just at that moment, two men entered Rachel’s office; both were dressed in Gucci suits and periwinkle colored ties. One man was familiar, but the other was not.
“Hello Rachel,” Mr. Davis, Rachel’s boss greeted, giving them both a nod. “I assume you were aware of Nate moving over to Versace?”
“Yes, of course I was, Mr. Davis,” Rachel said. “I was at his farewell party.”
“Well, anyway, I have finally found a designer that will be working with your department in place of Nate. Rachel, I would like you to meet Kris Jamison. Kris, this is our Assistant Buyer, Rachel Delancy. The Buyer is on maternity leave, so you’ll only be working with Rachel.”
Kris was a man in his upper twenties with golden brown hair and dazzling green eyes. His smile was charming, and his aura made him seem friendly and easy-going. Rachel stood up and shook Kris’s extended hand.
“Rachel, I would like it if Kris could work with you for a few days so that he accustomed to the offices. Kris, our designers work with the Buyer and assistant Buyers quite a bit.”
“Sure, that’s no problem, Mr. Davis.” Rachel agreed. “Kris, why don’t you have a seat, and I’ll get you familiar with some procedures around here.”
“Thanks,” Kris murmured, and took a seat next to Lily.
“So, Kris, tell me about some of your qualifications,” Rachel said, putting her salad aside to talk to the good-looking man.
“Well, I just got done working with Ralph Lauren for the last three years,” Kris told her.
“Ralph Lauren? Which office did you transfer from?”
“I was at the New York office.” Kris answered.
“No way! I worked at Ralph Lauren also! Who was your boss?”
“That’s who my boss was!”
“He was a bastard, wasn’t he?” he grinned.
“Yes, he most definitely was,” Rachel agreed, nodding her head. “Um, anyway, let’s get back on track here. This may be too personal to ask, but it’s important to know since relationships in the work place are against the rules. Are you, um, homosexual?”
“Oh, no, no, no, I’m definitely not,” Kris stuttered. “I am definitely not gay.”
“Good, because most of the designers here are men that are,” Rachel informed him with a shrug. “Okay, on to official matters. We like it if our designers show us their ideas when they have three or four sketches of outfits. After that, me and the Buyer collaborate and decide if we will sell the outfit. But since she's out of the office, it'll be up to me. Are you with me so far?”
“Yeah, I think so.” Kris replied.
“Now, let’s go over some of the company policies.” Rachel continued. “Like I said earlier, relationships in the workplace are forbidden. All employees must listen to their supervisors. All employees are allowed to leave the building only for lunch breaks, coffee breaks, and personal emergencies. If there is a personal emergency, you are to bring it up with your supervisor, which in this case would be me. Are you still with me?”
“Yes, I think so,” Kris answered. “I do have a question though. What would you consider a personal emergency?”
“Well, it’s usually at the discretion of the supervisor. In my case, it would be if a family member or a friend is in the hospital, or an accident. If you have any kids that need to be picked up because they are sick, or something, that is okay. That should pretty much cover my views on the issue. I think that should be all of the policies. Do you have anymore questions?”
“No, that should be everything. And for future reference, I don't have a wife or kids.”
“Then, I think it is appropriate to say ‘Welcome to the company.’”
“Thank you so much, Miss Delancy,” Kris said politely.
“Oh, please call me Rachel like everyone else,” she told him.
“Okay, then, Rachel. Thanks for being so nice. Some of the people I’ve talked to here are pretty bitchy.”
“Well, people can be like that here since this is a high-scale clothing company.”
Rachel had become completely oblivious to her red-headed best friend until Lily cleared her throat quite loudly. Rachel blushed a bit at her dumb moment before saying, “Um, Kris, this is my best friend, Lily Evans. Lily, this is Kris.”
Kris shook Lily’s extended hand, looking at her weirdly.
“Um, Kris, do you mind me asking why you have a weird expression on your face?” Lily asked curiously.
“No, I’m sorry. I guess I was little caught off guard by your green eyes. They remind me so much of my ex-girlfriend’s, so that threw me a bit.” He explained.
Lily met Rachel’s eyes and silently said, “Wow, that eliminates any dating possibility with him,” hoping that she would get the message.
Rachel grinned and silently replied, “You know, Lily, there is also one man named James Potter that currently does the trick too.”
Lily chuckled a little before announcing, “I should really get out of here. I promised Sirius that I’d see a movie with him.”
“Okay, then tell him that I love him and I can’t wait until tonight.” Rachel requested.
“Don’t worry, Rach, I will.” Lily promised, waving good-bye. “It was nice meeting you, Kris.”
“Likewise,” he replied, and then the door closed after Lily left. “So, who is this Sirius guy?”
“Wow, Kris, we’ve only known each other for a half an hour, and you are jealous of me dating?”
“No, I am not jealous. I am just curious about this man you love.”
“I don’t know if I should really get this chummy yet,” voiced Rachel. “How about we have this conversation next week.”
“Okay, but I’ll hold you to that,” Kris grinned.
James, Lily, Remus, and Sirius were all sitting in Lily’s apartment drinking some soda when Maddie came running through the door. Her face was slightly pink, and she was breathing heavily as though she had run a great distance. The blonde hair that was braided had straggles flying all around, but Maddie merely fixed it with a flick of her wand.
“Geez, Maddie, did you run from your apartment to here?” Sirius snorted.
“No, I was down at The Only One and I ran here,” Maddie replied while catching her breath.
“And that is only a couple of blocks from your apartment,” James pointed out. “This means that you ran from your apartment to this apartment.”
“Do you have a point?” Maddie snapped, putting her hands on her hips.
“No, not really,”
“Maddie, honey, why didn’t you just Apparate?” Lily questioned. “You would’ve saved yourself so much time and energy.”
“Well, I guess I was so excited that I didn’t even think about it.”
“So, why were you excited?”
“I was walking on the sidewalk, and these people were saying that Hank and Mary Zimon had just moved to Cliff Avenue. And since it’s only a few blocks from here, I was thinking of visiting them. Honestly, how many people have the last name of Zimon? So, can I use your phonebook?”
“Of course you can. It’s in the desk drawer by the coat closet.” Lily told her. “But, Maddie, do you really think that you’re ready for this? I mean, your parents abandoned you. Aren’t you afraid of what might happen?”
“I am positively terrified,” revealed Maddie as she flipped through the pages. “But, I think I’m ready to at least see what my parents look like. It kills me that people know which parent they look like, or what feature they inherited and I don’t know anything. My Aunt Rose and my parents didn’t speak at all, so Aunt Rose didn’t have any pictures anymore.”
Maddie finally stopped on a page, and ran her finger down it, looking for the right name. Suddenly, her finger was fixed on one name, and Maddie used her other hand to summon some paper and a pen. She quickly scribbled down the address of her parents, and closed the phonebook. “Well, everyone, wish me luck!”
“Good luck!” the others told her as Maddie left the apartment. Not even a minute later, Rachel came strolling into the apartment.
“Hey, why are you home so late?” Lily questioned, eyebrows furrowed.
“Oh, Kris took me out to eat after our shift.” Rachel responded, sitting down next to Sirius on the couch.
Sirius coughed a little bit from surprise. He smiled before stuttering, “Who is this Kris guy?”
“He’s this new designer in my department that I’ll be working with until the Buyer, Victoria, gets back from her maternity leave.”
“Oh, so this man is gay since he’s a designer?” Sirius questioned.
“Sirius Orion Black, not every male designer is gay! Don’t stereotype people like that! And no, he’s not gay. He is perfectly straight.”
Sirius did not look happy at the last part that Rachel said. But then Rachel claimed that she was really tired, and that she wanted to go to bed since she had an early day tomorrow. She kissed Sirius on the cheek before retreating across the hall to her new apartment.
“Hey Lily,” Sirius said, leaning forward. “You met this man since you were having lunch with Rach, right?”
“Yeah, I met him.”
“Is he really straight?”
“Yes, Sirius, he is. And I don’t want to make James jealous or anything, but Kris is one of the hottest guys I’ve ever seen in my life. And he is so smooth, and dreamy. I love you, James.” Lily added, kissing him briefly on the lips.
“Great, so this man is going to be trying to seduce my girlfriend, the love of my life, while I’m sitting around at work.” Sirius muttered angrily.
“Oh, come on, man.” James said. “Do you honestly think that this man is going to be breaking the company rules to sleep with her?”
“Maybe, I mean she’s so incredible that he might try.”
“Listen, Sirius, just because Kris might want to sleep with her doesn’t mean that he’s going to! Don’t you trust her?” Lily asked him incredulously.
“Of course I do.”
“Then get over it, and grow up. She loves you so much! There’s no way she’d give that up.”
“Fine, but I’m retreating to my apartment.” Sirius informed them. “Nighty-night everyone.”
Remus was in the process of yawning as his friend left the apartment, and stretched before saying, “I’m going to hit the sack too. It was a long day at work with seeing Olivia and everything.”
“Okay, good night, Remus.” James and Lily called out.
Lily had been wanting to have a certain discussion with James since they had moved in together a couple of weeks ago. It was a conversation that she knew all guys weren’t a fan of, but she felt that now was the right time since things were moving along.
“Hey James, can I have a little discussion with you?” she questioned.
“Of course, babe. What is it that you wish to discuss?”
“Do you ever think about the future?” Lily quickly asked, afraid of James’s reaction. She looked at him closely, and she couldn’t see any signs of panic. Little did she know that James was panicking a little bit. He knew that this conversation would be coming; he just didn’t realize it would be now.
“Honestly, Lily, I do think about the future every now and then.” James replied sincerely.
“So, what do you see?”
“Well, I see us getting married, and maybe having a nice little place on the edge of town. I also see us having a little cat with a bell on its collar, and you could hear it every time it came running through the cat entrance. We would have a beautiful guest bedroom for people to stay over at, and we would have the others over all of the time.”
“What about kids?”
“I can see us with two kids. One would be a boy, and the other would be a girl. They would learn how to ride their bicycles on the sidewalk, and they would hang out with their friends down at the park. That’s what I see when I look at our future.”
“Wow,” Lily breathed. “I can’t believe you see all of that. I honestly see a lot of that too. And man, you are going to get so lucky tonight.”
“Ooh, then let’s get the night started then,” James suggested seductively.
A/N: Muah ha ha! The dreaded cliffhanger chapter! Enjoy!
James and Remus were sitting in Remus’ apartment watching some television and drinking some beers. There was a basketball game on, and basketball was their favorite Muggle sport to watch, other than football. James set his empty beer bottle down onto the end table in-between the two recliners and turned to Remus.
“You know what we haven’t done in a long time?” James asked.
“No, what haven’t we done in a long time?” Remus replied, looking over at James.
“We should have a pizza night! Do you remember when we would get pizza and beer every Friday night and watch some sports?”
“Oh yeah! That was so much fun! We should totally do that again tonight! We just can’t get too loud or else the neighbors will complain.”
“That’s exactly what I was thinking. You know what else we should do? We should invite the others!” James exclaimed excitedly.
“Well, Sirius and Rachel can’t make it because they are dinner together tonight. Rachel has been working so much lately that this is the only night that they’re both free.” Remus pointed out.
“Okay, so we’ll just invite Lily and Maddie. I know that Lily doesn’t have any plans, unless something popped up not too long ago. Actually, I think they’re both across the hall. Do you want me to go over and ask them about it?”
“Sure. My team just got the ball again, so go ahead.” Remus told him, not tearing his eyes away from the screen. Remus wasn’t even blinking. As James closed the door he heard Remus shout, “No!”
James chuckled a little bit before he entered his apartment. Lily and Maddie were sitting on the couch doing their nails while watching a chick-flick. Though the girls had a lot in common with the guys, this was one thing that showed the group that the opposite genders were definitely opposite. “Hello, ladies.”
“Oh, hi James,” Maddie and Lily greeted. James pecked Lily on the lips before saying,
“Do you ladies have any plans for tonight?”
“Nope, we are free.” Maddie responded. “Why do you ask?”
“Well, Remus and I are having a pizza and beer night tonight since its Friday, and we wanted to see if you guys would like to partake of the hopefully new tradition.” James explained. “Remus and I used to do it when we were roommates. So, what do you two think?”
“I think that would be fun!” Lily exclaimed excitedly. “What do you think, Maddie?”
“I could always go for pizza and beer,” she agreed.
“Cool! Actually, since it’s getting close to the time where pizza delivery gets busy, I’m going to order it now. So, how about you ladies come over and we’ll get the night started.”
“Alright, Maddie, let’s go hang out like men do.” Lily grinned, causing Maddie to chuckle.
“I just hope I don’t break a nail,” Maddie added in a mock-worried voice, making them both laugh.
Kris was sitting at his desk in the office next to Rachel’s. He was working on a design that he had just recently been inspired to create. It was his fifth design overall, and the first set of three caused the company to go nuts over how amazing the outfits were. Kris glanced up, making sure that no one would see him drawing with a wand instead of a pencil. Suddenly the doorknob turned, and Rachel entered his office.
“Hey, Kris, I have some bad—” Rachel started, but stopped when she saw Kris hastily put something away. It was something that she was very familiar with. “Um, Kris, what did you just put away?”
Kris’s face grew slightly pink as he stammered, “Nothing, Rachel, why?”
Rachel gave him a suspicious look as she slowly and casually walked over to his desk. She pulled open the top drawer, and found in there the thing he had just put away: a wand. Her mouth turned into a grin as she pulled out the wand, and used to shut and lock the office door. Kris’s jaw dropped when he saw her used magic. She started to laugh before she gave him back his wand.
“How? I mean, how is that possible?” Kris stuttered.
“Kris, honey, don’t tell me that you are dumb.” Rachel requested, pulling out her own wand. “I’m a witch.”
“Wow, so it is you,” Kris said in awe.
“What do you mean?”
“Rachel Delancy, the Gryffindor Seeker that led Gryffindor to six years in a row of winning the Quidditch Cup. How on earth could I not know you?”
“Did you go to Hogwarts?”
“No duh!” Kris exclaimed. “You were the most popular girl in school because you hung out with the Marauders.”
“How am I not remembering you?” Rachel asked. “I think I would remember someone like you.”
“Well, I was in my third year when you first came to the school. I was in Ravenclaw, so we didn’t see much of each other.”
“Wow, someone I work with somebody who went to Hogwarts!” Rachel said excitedly. “Okay, so now I feel a lot better knowing that I’m not the only magical person here. But hold on a minute…did you know it was me when you first got introduced? And did you recognize Lily?”
“Yeah,” Kris admitted with a shrug. “I had been playing an act this whole time in case it wasn’t really you.”
“You know, you are a terrific actor then, Kris.” complimented Rachel. “But, maybe I should tell you what I was going to originally tell you when I came in here. We have to work late again.”
“What? Again? Why?” questioned Kris angrily. “We’ve had to work late every night for the last three weeks!”
“Mr. Davis told me that he wants you to have a set of four outfits ready to go since the winter line is coming out soon. And he wants me to make sure that they are okay, and I have to order some more things for the store.”
“Great,” Kris muttered. “Now I’ll have to go home late, tonight.”
“You’re complaining?” Rachel asked incredulously. “I haven’t been able to spend any decent time with my boyfriend since, like, forever! We had plans tonight! And I have to cancel them! So you know what? If I’m not complaining, then you can’t complain either. I’m sure we’re probably both complaining silently now, though.”
“Alright. I have two done and I’ve just started to make my third. I’ll try and have to you within the next hour or two.”
“Okay,” Rachel agreed. “I’ll be in my office if you need me.”
Rachel returned back to her office and instantly got on the computer to start ordering things. The phone rang, and it turns out that it was a company that Rachel was planning on contacting next. The lady was asking if we would need any more shipments of their items soon. So while Rachel was typing furiously on the computer and talking on the phone, someone was waiting at home for her to show up, not knowing that she was working late.
There was a knock at the door, and Lily hopped up from James’s lap to answer it. When she opened the door, it turned out to be the pizza guy. “Did you order two large pizzas; one with green peppers and pepperoni and the other one a meat lover’s?”
“Yes, that’s us,” Lily replied, getting out her wallet. She got out the money and paid the man, letting him keep the tip.
“You girls eat green peppers on your pizza?” Remus inquired disbelievingly. Maddie and Lily nodded, each taking a bite of their slices. “That’s gross.”
“Well, you men eat Canadian bacon on your pizza,” Lily pointed out, “and that’s disgusting.”
“Whatever,” James denied. “We like meat on our pizza, not little vegetable things that belong with Mexican food.”
“At least we’re being healthier than you,”
“Yeah, you girls and your phobia of gaining weight.”
“Oh yeah, remember were you were angry because you were, like, ten pounds heavier than you were in our seventh year?” Lily reminded him.
“How could I forget? You put me through torture with losing that weight,” James muttered.
“Hey! At least you’ve kept it off since then,” Maddie told him. “So, be happy.”
“No! I said I wanted thirty of the White Diamonds perfume!” Rachel demanded into the phone. “I already ordered the other perfumes yesterday, but I need the White Diamonds! It’s one of our most popular perfumes! People have been asking for it for over a week now.” There was a pause before Rachel said, “Thank you for your time.”
At the moment that Rachel hung up the phone still fuming, Kris timidly came into her office with his designer notebook.
“Um, I heard the yelling from my office,” Kris revealed. “Is it safe to come in?”
“Yeah, come on in, Kris. The sooner we can get out of here, the better. Now, what have you got for me?”
“Well, I have one sweater, a long-sleeved shirt, a pair of jeans, and two different styles of scarves.” Kris informed her, handing her the notebook as he listed off the items. “I was going for more of the darker colors since that’s what the style is proving to be.”
“These actually look amazing, Kris. I’ll send them over to Mr. Davis’s office. Now, we can finally leave the office.”
“Alright, I’ll see you on Monday, Rach,”
Sirius was sitting at James and Lily’s apartment, waiting for Rachel to finally show up. She had agreed to meet up with him there, but there had been no sign of her. He was sitting on the arm chair, tapping his foot impatiently when the door opened, revealing a tired looking Rachel. She put her purse down on the counter, waiting for Sirius’s reaction.
“Where the hell were you?” Sirius asked in a forced calm voice.
“I had to work late again. Mr. Davis wanted some stuff done, and I had an argument with a company on the phone for an hour. Plus, Kris had to show me some designs before we were allowed to go home.”
“What about the fact that you were supposed to meet me here three hours ago?” Sirius continued. His voice sound angrier with each word. “Why didn’t you at least call?”
“Well, I’m sorry that my damn boss made me work so freaking late!” Rachel said with an equal amount of anger.
“And who else was working late tonight?”
“It was just me and Kris,” answered Rachel.
“Okay, so instead of working late, you two were probably having sex on your desk!” Sirius yelled. “This is probably what you’ve been doing for the last three weeks!”
“What the hell is wrong with you?” Rachel shrieked. “Why in Merlin’s name do you think I was screwing Kris all the live long day this whole time?”
“Oh, don’t lie! I know that he’s one of those smooth-talking, charming, good-looking guys, which is the kind of guy you go for! He probably seduced you, and now you can’t stop!”
“Sirius, what the hell messed up your brains so much? Don’t you know that I love you?”
“Well, I loved you and I still cheated on you,” Sirius reminded her. “Who knows if the tables were turned this time?”
“Sirius, I can’t do this anymore! I can’t handle you being this stupid, paranoid, non-trusting boyfriend! Maybe we should take a break!”
Sirius threw her the coldest look she’d ever seen before he stormed out of the apartment. Without a warning, tears started to run down her face. A minute later, Rachel was still sobbing when the phone rang. She wiped her nose before answering, “Hello?”
“Hi, Rach,” Kris said. “I just wanted to make sure you got home okay. How’s your late dinner going?”
“This is probably the most horrible dinner ever known to man,” Rachel told him.
“Okay, I’m coming over so that we can talk it through.” Kris promised.
There was a loud crack behind her, and Rachel knew that Kris had Apparated to her apartment. She stood up, tears still pouring down her face, and turned to her associate. He sighed sadly and pulled her into a comforting hug.
“I’m so sorry that you had to work late tonight,” Kris said. “I should’ve gotten the designs to you sooner.”
“No, Kris, don’t worry about it. This couldn’t have been avoided. I just wish I would’ve had a better greeting from him when I got here.”
The two of them separated, and Kris gently wiped away the tears on her face with his thumb. She looked his face up and down, and her eyes lingered slightly on his lips. Slowly, the two of them leaned in, and their lips met with passion.
Kris and Rachel stood there kissing passionately for a couple of minutes before Kris gave Rachel’s tongue access. They simultaneously deepened the kiss, making it so that there was no space between their bodies. Kris’s hands were moving up and down her curves, making her moan into his mouth. Soon, Rachel started unbuttoning Kris’s pants, and they slid down to the ground revealing his well-toned legs. He stepped out of them, and pulled of his shirt.
Rachel broke the kiss long enough to take in his athletic body before pulling him into the kiss again. He pulled off her shirt, and pulled of her pants, leaving her in just her black lingerie. He hungrily took in the sight of her body, and started to move his lips down her throat. They moved slowly down to where her chest was heaving up and down from excitement. He continued to kiss her throat as his hands pulled off her bra. His lips then sensually moved down her abdomen, and he pulled down her underwear, leaving them both naked.
“Oh, Kris, please, don’t stop,” Rachel begged.
“I would never dream of it,” he promised.
He lifted her into his arms, causing her to let out a noise of surprise. They fell over onto the couch so that Kris was looking down into Rachel’s eyes. She pulled him close, ready for a night of passion, all thoughts of Sirius gone from her mind.
Rachel opened her eyes and her eyes took in her surroundings, recognizing that she was in her old room lying on her bed. She left extremely comforted and loved, but she temporarily forgot that nothing happened between her and Sirius last night. Suddenly, she felt a pair of lips trail up her throat, and that pair of lips tenderly kissed the corners of her mouth. Rachel looked over and saw the extremely good-looking unclothed body of Kris.
“Um, Kris, as amazing last night was, I really think you should leave,” Rachel told him, pushing off of her body. “I don’t want anyone to know what we did! We could get fired!”
When Kris got up, Rachel pulled the covers over her body, panicking about the consequences they could be facing. “Well, this was just a one-night thing, right?” Kris asked as he was pulling on his clothes.
“Of course it was,”
“So, we’ll just go into work on Monday and act like nothing happened,” suggested Kris. “It’s not like we’re dating now. You’re my boss, so that would be wrong.”
“Okay, I won’t tell anyone about last night if you agree to keep your mouth shut also,” said Rachel.
“I promise. But, I should really get out of here.”
“I’ll see you on Monday,” Rachel told him as he Disapparated out of the room.
Rachel quickly hopped out of bed, and hurriedly put her clothes together. Before getting dressed, she pulled out her wand and used it to make the bed, hoping that no one would notice that saucy events happened there. She pulled her clothes on and quickly brushed through her hair with her fingers. Using the vanity that was still in the room, Rachel hastily put on some makeup, and calmed herself with a deep breath. No one was to know about this.
Instead of taking a chance and walking out of the room, Rachel Apparated to the outside of the apartment, and walked in through the front door. Lily was standing in the kitchen making some smoothies. James was sitting at the dining room table reading The Daily Prophet. “Wow, it’s a good thing I didn’t come out of that bedroom.” Rachel muttered to herself. “Good morning, Lily and James.”
“Good morning, Rach,” James and Lily replied. Lily continued, “How was your date last night?”
“Well, we didn’t really get to the date.” Rachel said slowly, wanting to phrase it right. “We actually broke up instead.”
“What?” the others exclaimed. “What happened?”
“He accused me of cheating on him with Kris last night since I got home three hours late because Mr. Davis made us work late,” explained Rachel. “He didn’t believe one word I said since he’s so jealous of Kris!”
“Oh, sweetie, I’m sorry,” Lily told her, hugging Rachel. “That’s not fair at all. He shouldn’t have accused you of that. You haven’t slept with Kris.”
Rachel turned her eyes away, afraid of revealing anything that might have happened last night. “Is there any way I could get a smoothie also? That strawberry banana one looks really good.”
“Of course you can get one,” Lily told her with a small smile. Rachel also saw some sympathy in her look; Rachel told herself that she didn’t deserve any sympathy. “Hey, do you have any plans later?”
“Well, I think I might go talk to Sirius and see if he cooled down. I don’t want to break up. Why do you ask?”
“Maddie and I did our nails last night, so we figured that tonight we’d do our feet. I was just wondering if you wanted to join us.”
“I might if things don’t go well,” Rachel promised. Lily poured the smoothie into a glass, and handed to Rachel. Rachel gratefully accepted it, and started sipping it. “Wow, Lily, this tastes amazing.”
“I know,” Lily grinned.
Rachel was sitting in her room, changing into some new clothes. Remus and James had been convinced by the girls that they should get some facials, so everyone was over in Lily and James’s room. She was planning on going over to talk to Sirius, and found herself extremely nervous. Her palms were a little sweaty, her hands were shaking, and her heart was racing.
“Okay, Rachel, just suck it up and go talk to him. I’m sure he’ll take you back.”
Instead of walking, Rachel decided to take the easy way out and Apparate to his building. When the bands around her lungs released, she found herself looking at the apartment door of Sirius. If she thought her heart was pounding fast earlier, she didn’t know what fast was. Maybe it was because there was some new drama that only Rachel knew about, but she couldn’t remember ever being so nervous. She raised her shaking fist, and knocked on the door. After a minute of waiting, she heard the chain unlock, and Sirius opened the door. He didn’t look angry with her, but he didn’t look happy. He had a bit of a blank expression on his face.
“Sirius, will you at least talk to me?” she asked him quietly, her eyes pleading with him.
“Sure,” Sirius said blankly. “Do you want to talk here, or what?”
“Well, Lily made us some smoothies at her place so that we could talk.” Rachel told him. “So, let’s go over there.”
“Okay,” agreed Sirius. They simultaneously Apparated over to Lily and James’s apartment, and sat down at the dining room table. Sitting on it was two glasses of smoothie. Sirius took a sip and said, “This is really good stuff.”
“Yeah, well, Lily made them, so of course they’re good.” Rachel agreed. “Look, I’m so sorry about last night. I didn’t want to work late. But Mr. Davis needs stuff for the winter line. It’s not like I can just slack off on it.”
“No, let me talk, Rachel. I’m sorry for overreacting about you working late.” Sirius said. “I should’ve known that you wouldn’t cheat on me while we were dating. You wouldn’t do that to someone else after experiencing it twice.”
“Thank you for realizing that.”
Lily and Maddie had toe separators in, waiting for their pedicure to dry. While waiting for them to dry, the girls were giving James and Remus a facial. They sat there stony-faced, still not believing that they had gotten convinced to do that.
“Oh, come on, honey,” Lily told him, squeezing his hand. “It’s not that bad. Isn’t kind of relaxing?”
“Maybe it is a little relaxing,” James admitted. “What about you, Moony? What do you think of this?”
“I think it’s strange that I’m starting to enjoy a girly thing,” Remus responded.
“Hey, did anyone just hear two people Apparate into the apartment?” Maddie questioned.
“Yeah, but it’s only Rachel and Sirius. They’re supposed to come over here to talk out their break-up.”
“Isn’t tempting to go and eavesdrop on them like we did when they first kissed?”
“We should,” James said, getting up. He put his ear to the door, careful not to get the cream on it. Lily, Maddie, and Remus then followed suit, wanting to hear the conversation.
Rachel reached her hand over and squeezed his, but he pulled his hand away from her grasp. There was still something else bothering him. “What else is wrong? I can tell that something is bothering you.”
“It’s just, you wouldn’t cheat on me when we were dating, but you have no problem cheating on me when we’re on a break!” Sirius shouted angrily, standing up.
“How did you know that?” Rachel shrieked, standing up also.
“Through the magic of sight! I saw you two making out through the window!”
Rachel then realized that this was her worst nightmare: breaking the heart of the man she loved after feeling the pain before.
“She cheated on him with Kris?” Lily exclaimed in a whisper. “I can’t believe it!”
“I can’t believe she would cheat on him with anyone!” Maddie added. “Not after the Hogwarts fiasco.”
“Did you guys know that he accused her of cheating last night, which made them go on their break?” Lily asked. “She must’ve been a mess last night.”
“But that still doesn’t give her a right to cheat on him.” Remus reminded the group.
“They were on a break, though.” James told them. “Doesn’t that mean that even though it was wrong, it wasn’t technically cheating?”
“I don’t know,” Maddie answered.
“I thought that there was nothing between the two of you!” Sirius shouted.
Rachel was sitting on the couch, head in her hands, rocking back and forth. This was the one conversation that she wished she didn’t ever have to deal with. He had every right to be angry with her; Lord knows she was angry with him when he did it both times.
“There wasn’t anything between me and Kris!” Rachel retorted.
“So then why the hell were you two screwing each other last night?”
“Because you made me a wreck! Do you know how much it hurt me when you accused me of cheating on you? It broke my heart! You broke my heart three times, Sirius! That makes you a bastard! But I love you anyway; I thought that we could get through anything and everything!”
“Well, not when the situation is like this! You cheated on me! I bent over backwards to prove to you that I was going to be loyal, but then you go and snap my trust by committing the crime! I don’t care if we were on a break or not! You still went and slept with pretty boy!”
“Did you know that this morning we agreed that nothing more would happen? I love you and I only want to be with you! Can’t you see that?”
“I just don’t think I can be with you anymore, Rach,”
Rachel hurried forward and grabbed his shoulders. “No, Sirius, please don’t do this. Look me in the eyes and tell me that you don’t love me anymore!”
Sirius looked into her pleading blue eyes that were welling up. He opened his mouth, but he couldn’t get any words to form. Looking into her eyes made his feelings be revealed again.
“You can’t do it, can you?” Rachel said triumphantly. “I can see that you love me; I can see it in your eyes. Don’t ruin something that is so damn good!”
“I just don’t know if I can trust you like I used to,” stated Sirius.
Rachel tucked a strand of brown hair behind her ear, and pulled him into a kiss. If she didn’t know that he still loved her before, she would’ve known by the kiss. Sirius pulled away and said to her while avoiding her eyes, “See, I can’t even kiss you without being reminded that those lips kissed another man’s just last night. I’m so sorry, Rachel.”
“Fine, then just leave the apartment and get out my sight. If you can’t see that I’m sorry, then obviously we shouldn’t be together.”
“Fine! I will!” Sirius yelled, stomping out of the apartment.
Rachel stood there for a moment, looking at the closed door, knowing that the relationship that meant the world to her was broken. She collapsed onto the couch, falling asleep instantly.
James, Lily, Remus, and Maddie came quietly out of Lily’s bedroom, all of them looking extremely sad and in slight disbelief. James and Remus lightly kissed Rachel on the cheek while Lily and Maddie put a blanket over Rachel’s shivering body.
“I can’t believe this is it,” Maddie voiced for everyone.
Rachel, Lily, Maddie, Remus, James, and Sirius were all sitting in the living room of Lily and James’s apartment. It was only one week after the infamous Rachel and Sirius break-up, and things were now just starting to get a little better. Everyone expected that the next few weeks would be tense every now and then, but so far it was proving to be better than expected. Over the last couple of days, James was considering doing something, but he finally decided that he would do it.
James stood up and said, “Rach, could I talk to you for a moment?”
“Yeah, of course,” Rachel agreed, setting her water bottle onto the coffee table. As she walked with James to the kitchen, she didn’t notice Sirius’s eyes following her. “What’s going on, Prongs?”
“Well, I wanted to ask you if you would do me a favor since you’re Lily’s best friend, and you’ve been my other closest friend since we were little eleven years. Obviously, Sirius is the other closest friend. Anyway, I am thinking about doing something and—”
“Okay, James, just spit it out. I don’t care if you’re nervous.” Rachel interrupted impatiently.
“Hey! I’m not nervous!”
“Oh, please,” Rachel snorted. “You were rambling for, like, an hour.”
“Fine!” James admitted, lowering his voice. “Okay, I’m planning on proposing to Lily.”
Rachel’s hands flew up to her mouth, and her blue eyes were starting to water with happiness. “Oh wow, you guys are going to be so happy,” she told him happily, pulling him into a hug. “Yay, my two best friends are getting married!”
“So, you’ll help me pick out the ring to use, right?” he asked her worriedly.
“Of course I will!”
“Great!” said James, who was obviously relieved. “Do you want to do it today?”
“Yeah, sure. I don’t have to work today, so we can go whenever you feel like it.” Rachel informed him. “Actually, can we go now? That way it should eliminate other people joining us. Remus has plans with Sirius.”
“Okay, that sounds good, Rach,” James agreed. He then walked over to where Lily was sitting and kissed her on the cheek. “I’m going to go see a movie with Rachel, honey. I’ll see you later.”
“Alright, sweetie. Actually, I should get back to work. I’ll see you all later,” Lily said, kissing James before leaving.
“I’m going back to work, also.” Maddie announced, standing up. “I told them I’d be back after an hour, and it’s been two. So, I’d better hurry before I lose my job.”
“Bye, Maddie.” Everyone said to her as she followed Lily out the door.
This only left James, Remus, Sirius, and Rachel, the original group of friends. Sirius and Rachel kept glancing at each other, but their eyes kept avoiding each other. There was an awkward silence in the room, and Remus broke it by saying, “Yeah, I’m going to hang out with Sirius for awhile. You guys can go ahead.”
“We’ll see you later, Moony and Padfoot.” James told them.
“Yeah, good-bye Remus and Sirius.” Rachel agreed, following her friend out the door. She gave Sirius a small smile before shutting the door.
Remus stood up and asked, “Hey man, do you want another butterbeer?”
“Sure, Moony, thanks.” Sirius thanked him neutrally.
Remus came back a few seconds later with two icy cold butterbeers in hand, and handed one to Sirius’s outstretched hand. Sirius opened the bottle, and took a swig before setting down on the coffee table. Remus was observing his friend the entire time, and started to notice a couple of things. There were some slightly dark circles under his eyes, like he hadn’t slept well this week. The light that had been in his eyes was slightly dull, and his skin looked a little paler.
“Sirius, mate, are you doing okay?” Remus questioned him seriously. “Because you certainly don’t look like you’re handling this very well.”
Sirius sighed and took another sip of his beer. He set it down, and looked Remus straight in the eye and replied, “Honestly, Moony, no, I’m not doing okay. She’s the love of my life, and she always has been. It broke my heart when I saw her with him.”
“Look, it just happened, Padfoot. Isn’t that what happened with you and those other women? Now you know what it’s like to be on her side of the tunnel.” Remus reminded him. “She didn’t say to herself after you left ‘I’m totally going to sleep with Kris, now.’”
“I know that’s not what happened, but she totally betrayed me.”
“You betrayed her twice, mate.”
“Well, I’ve gotten a little better about it. I mean, that day that we broke up I wanted to go over to the Gucci office and hex him into oblivion. That bastard seduced my girlfriend!”
“I know, Sirius, I’ve been here for the whole break-up process.” Remus told him. He paused for a moment before continuing, “Let me ask you one question: are you still in love with her? Do you still see a future with her?”
“Of course I still love her, and I have always been able to picture my future with her.”Sirius answered honestly. “But I don’t know if getting back together with her is a good idea.”
“I think you should at least talk to her.” Remus advised. “Take it from me, the one of us who has always been the mature and intelligent one, it’ll be good for you two.”
“I think you’re right.” Sirius admitted. “You are the official person to come to for advice.”
“Yes, I am. The bookworm has just given the womanizer love advice. Wow, this is a weird world.”
Rachel and James were walking along the side of the street, heading towards a nice jewelry store. Instead of just going from store to store without knowing what he wanted, Rachel decided to help him out.
“Okay James, let’s go over the basics for what you want to give her,” Rachel suggested. “Do you want the style to be classic or vintage?”
“What’s the difference?” James asked dumbly.
Rachel sighed impatiently. “Classic is the basic ring that emphasizes the middle jewel, and vintage is the kind of thing they wore in the older days.”
“Well, then let’s go with classic.” James decided firmly.
“Okay, are you going with all diamonds or do you want a colored gemstone in there. I would honestly go with a gemstone. Women tend to like that more.”
“That sounds nice. Ooh, I want to get her a ring with an emerald because it matches her eyes so well.” James said.
“Wow, that’s a great idea,” Rachel agreed warmly. “So, let’s get her a gold ring with an emerald in the middle and a diamond on each side. It’s simple, classic, and beautiful.”
“See, this is why I asked you to come with me,” James told her. “You know more about this stuff than any other person that I know.”
“It helps having a friend who is in fashion,” she replied cheekily. “So, let’s go over to this ring store called Forever More. I heard that this is where Nadine Laper’s husband bought her ring.”
“Nadine Laper? The ex-chaser for England?” James asked excitedly. “Ooh, I’m buying Lily a ring from a famous store!”
“Calm down before you wet yourself.” Rachel demanded playfully, causing James to lightly push her in retaliation.
As James and Rachel entered the medium-sized jewelry shop, there was a little bell that alerted the workers that someone entered the shop. The walls were a rich burgundy and olive green, and the carpet was a cream colored one. There were many showcases featuring rings of different sizes and styles, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and even one two tiaras sitting inside of it, shining brightly. Standing behind the showcase of tiaras was a woman who looked to be about the same age, and she had platinum blonde hair that reminded Rachel of someone she was not particularly fond of. The woman smiled and said, “Hello. My name is Cindy Walters. If you need any help, don’t hesitate to ask.”
“That’s why you look so familiar!” James exclaimed. “Cindy, it’s me, James Potter.”
“Wow, James, it’s good to see you. You look like you’ve been doing well.”
“Well, I miss Quidditch a lot, but other than that I’m doing really good, thanks.” James replied, glancing quickly at Rachel.
“And I’m sorry, but I don’t think I know you.” Cindy said to Rachel politely. “Are you a friend of James, or possibly a girlfriend?”
“Actually, Cindy, you do know me,” Rachel told her with a forced smile. Luckily, only people who knew her well could tell the difference between a real smile and a fake smile. “I’m Rachel Delancy, Sirius’s ex-girlfriend.”
“Oh, I definitely wasn’t expecting that,” Cindy told her in a sickly sweet voice. It was clear that Cindy wasn’t happy to see her. “I didn’t recognize you. Your hair isn’t blonde anymore.”
“Yeah, well, I changed it during my seventh year, so you weren’t around to see it.” Rachel explained.
“So,” Cindy said, wanting to push past the awkward subject. “What can I help you two with?”
“Um, sure,” James answered. “I’m looking for an engagement ring for my girlfriend, Lily Evans.”
Cindy gaped at him in disbelief. It was a known fact that James Potter was totally in love with Lily Evans, but Cindy graduated a year before the Marauders. “You and Lily are dating? And you are going to propose to her?”
“Yes I am.” James confirmed happily, beaming with joy.
“What kind of ring are you looking for?”
James told her the description of the ring that he and Rachel had been talking about. Cindy led the two of them over to one of the ring showcases. Sitting in the middle of the front row of rings was the ring that Rachel and James had envisioned outside. When James’s eyes settled on it, a small smile formed on his lips, and you could tell that that was the ring he was going to buy. “How much is that ring?” James questioned her, pointing to it.
“Well, I am willing to lower the price for you since we go way back, so I’m going to say that it costs twenty galleons.”
James pondered it for a minute before saying, “Thanks, Cindy. I’ll take it.”
She pulled the ring out and placed it into a white velvet box. James handed her the amount of galleons, and he accepted the jewelry box. “Hey, are you two still friends with Sirius?”
“Yeah.” James and Rachel replied simultaneously as they were right by the door.
“Rachel, will you tell him that I said ‘hi’?” Cindy requested in that annoying sickly sweet voice she adapted when talking to Rachel.
“Of course I will, Cindy. It was nice to see you again.” Rachel said nicely, while saying some definitely mean words inside of her head.
James and Rachel then left the store before Rachel exploded. You could tell that she was angry, and suddenly she said, “You know what? Let me go hex her into oblivion for that Sirius thing.”
Rachel angrily started to make her way to the door again, but James held her back by grabbing her arms. She struggled to break free for a moment before James told her in a soothing voice, “Rachel, you are better than her. He didn’t date her at all, but he’s dated you three times.”
Rachel huffed. “Fine. So, are you happy that you found the perfect ring?”
“I am so excited, but now I’m getting a little nervous about when I actually do it.”
“Well, when the time comes, I’m sure you’ll do just fine,” Rachel assured him.
Chapter 20: The One with the Stressful Proposal
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A/N: Sorry for the long wait everyone. I knew this chapter had to good, so I hope you think it is. The long awaited proposal chapter; enjoy!
A few hours after James and Rachel bought the ring, they went back to the apartment. The two of them had gotten something to eat, and they discussed how James was going to propose. As he was talking about it, you could see only two emotions shining from him: excitement and anxiety.
James and Rachel entered the apartment and found Remus, Sirius, and Maddie watching a home video of the Marauders, Lily, and Rachel playing three against three Quidditch. It was Rachel as a seeker with Sirius as Keeper and Peter was the Chaser. Remus was playing Keeper for the other team while James was a Chaser and Lily was the Seeker. Lily had been terrified of flying on a broom, so she hovered in mid-air with a terrified expression until Rachel taught her how to fly properly. Looking back on it made Rachel chuckle, and it reminded her of simpler times.
At this time, they were all in their seventh year, and James was still secretly pining over Lily. Rachel and Sirius were so completely in love with each other, and everyone was trying to get Peter a girlfriend. Remus was the classic bookworm trying to keep his friends out of trouble, and Lily was still the girl that yelled at James for calling her ‘Lils’ or ‘Lilykins’.”
Rachel stood there for a moment before saying, “You know, I don’t think you guys ever told me what happened to Wormtail.”
Saying this got everyone’s attention, and James and Rachel sat down with the other three. Sirius cleared his throat and informed her, “Peter actually moved to London about a year after we got done with Hogwarts. He likes to visit a couple times each year, but it’s mostly during the summer.”
“I’m actually kind of surprised that he hasn’t visited yet,” Remus added. “I hope everything’s okay.”
“Wormtail is a big boy; I’m sure he’s doing just fine.” James assured them. “Hey, is Lily still at work?”
“Yeah,” Maddie answered. “She called a few minutes ago to tell us that she wouldn’t be home for a couple of hours. Why?”
“Well, I guess James should tell you all what he’s planning on doing soon.” Rachel suggested.
James released his breath, hesitated for a moment, and said in a low voice, “I’m going to propose to Lily tomorrow night.”
“You are?” everyone exclaimed in shock. “That’s great!”
Sirius, Maddie, and Remus all stood up and embraced James at the same time.
“Okay, guys, I can’t breathe.” James choked out. Everyone let go of him, and he started to massage his throat. “That’s actually what Rachel and I have been doing for the last few hours, talking about the proposal.”
“Yeah, we even picked out a ring,” Rachel told them. “The experience wasn’t overly fun, though. Guess who we ran into?”
“Who?” Maddie questioned.
Rachel directly at Sirius before announcing, “We ran into Cindy Walters. She was the saleslady in there.”
Sirius’s eyes instantly broke the contact he had been holding with her, and he looked anywhere other than Rachel. Everyone noticed this, but only Maddie didn’t know what the big deal was. So she finally asked, “Okay, so what’s wrong with running into what’s her face?”
“Sirius cheated on me with her.”
“The first time,” Sirius said quickly and forcefully.
“Yep, that was when he first cheated on me.”
“Yeah, well, your one to talk.”
“You know what? Let’s not start this right now, Sirius.” Rachel demanded in a voice that clearly ended the argument. “Let’s bask in the happiness that our friends are getting married.”
“It’s not official yet, though.” James reminded all of them.
“There’s no way that Lily would say no to you.” Remus promised him. “She loves you so much.”
“I know she does, but I’m so nervous that she’ll say no or that I’ll mess up.” James revealed, rubbing his hands together. “Oh, hey, do you guys want to see the ring?”
The others nodded, which made James pull the velvet box out of his coat pocket and hand it to Remus. He opened it, and Maddie, Sirius, and Remus swooned over at lovely it was. “This ring is gorgeous.” Remus complimented.
“When I saw it in the store, shivers went down my spine, and I could see Lily’s face light up when I gave it to her.”
“Hey, if she says no, can I keep the ring?” Maddie asked hopefully.
“She’s not going to say no.”
“I said ‘if’.”
“Sure.” James replied sarcastically. “But Lily won’t say no.”
“I know, but I still wanted your word that I would be second in line for the ring.” Maddie told him with a wink.
“So, how are you going to do it?” Sirius questioned.
“Um, Rach and I decided that I would do it tomorrow night at dinner, but I’m open to any suggestions.” James told them all. “Okay, Padfoot, I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes, but how were you going to propose to Rachel?”
“Well,” Sirius started, quick glancing at Rachel. As he looked at her, there was something in her eyes that made him feel comfortable about having eye contact with her. “I was planning on taking her up to the Room of Requirements, which is where we had celebrated our anniversaries. The room was going to be filled with red and white azaleas, which are her favorite flowers. After dinner, I was going to take her up to the Astronomy tower, and in fireworks would be the words ‘Will You Marry Me, Rachel?’”
The room was completely silent for a couple of minutes as all eyes had subconsciously turned to Rachel. She sat there for a moment, completely stunned by how wonderful it sounded. Now there were a few tears of amazement welling up in her eyes and she said in a slightly teary voice, “That would have been very hard to say no to. I can’t believe you still remember it that much.”
“If we got to that point in our relationship again, that was how I was going to propose.”
Sirius and Rachel didn’t stop looking at each other until James said, “Well, I don’t want to steal that away from you two, so I’ll just do dinner.”
“Okay.” Sirius shrugged. “Maddie, do you have an extra room at your apartment?”
“No, I’m sorry. Claire is taking over my extra room for now; she and her husband had a nasty fight last week.”
“You can stay with me and Lily.” James assured him. “Why can’t you stay at your place?”
“My landlord is getting some work done on it, and it won’t be done until tomorrow, so I need a place to stay. It’s not like I can whip out my wand and do it all for him.” Sirius added with an annoyed voice.
The next afternoon, Lily, James, Sirius, Rachel, Remus, and Maddie were hanging out in James and Lily’s apartment. Though it wasn’t very often, you could see nervousness in James’s eyes, especially when he kept glancing at Lily. Suddenly, a thought struck James.
“Hey, Lily,” he suddenly said. “I forgot to tell you about this: we have reservations at Giorgio’s tonight in a little under an hour.”
“Oh, okay.” She agreed. “That sounds like fun. Actually, I’ll go pick out my dress right now.”
Lily then got up from the couch and disappeared into their bedroom.
“You forgot to tell her that you even had dinner reservations?” Maddie exclaimed incredulously.
“Hey, I’m under a lot of pressure over here, okay?” James replied for his defense. “Have any of you tried proposing? And no, almost proposing doesn’t count, Sirius.” James added when Sirius opened his mouth to speak. “You technically didn’t propose.”
“Fine.” Sirius mumbled, and sat back with a tiny scowl on his face.
“So, how nervous are you?” Rachel asked him. “Because you look pretty damn nervous right now.”
“I am actually sweating over here.”
“No you’re not.” Maddie contradicted.
“Yes, I am. You guys can’t see it thought because I put a little spell on myself to absorb moisture.”
“So, to get off of the subject of a sweating James,” Rachel inquired, “when are you leaving for the restaurant?”
“Well, I’m probably going to leave soon before you all put even more pressure on me. I actually feel like I’m under a pressure cooker.”
“If you’re leaving soon, you have to get dressed, mate.” Remus reminded him.
“Yeah, you’re right.” James said breathlessly. You could tell that he was starting to get extremely nervous now. “I have my suit in the guest room, so I’ll go change real quick.” James informed them before entering Rachel’s old room.
“Gosh, I think it’s so great that James and Lily are getting married.” Rachel voiced for everyone.
“They are going to be so happy.” Remus agreed.
“It almost makes me feel a little jealous.” Sirius revealed. “It’s pretty much having a lifetime with someone that you love more than life, and that has to be the best feeling in the world.”
Before the conversation continued, James came out of the room wearing a black suit with a navy blue tie. The tie complimented the suit well, and also complimented James’s anxious eyes.
“Okay, Prongs, you have to calm down, mate. You don’t want to mess this up, do you?” Sirius confronted.
“No, of course not!”
“Good. Now calm down or she might suspect something.”
“You’re right,” James chuckled lightly, obviously trying to rid himself of the anxiety. “You are absolutely right, Padfoot. Thank you.”
“Yeah, I’m good; I know that.” Sirius smirked.
At this moment, Lily walked out of the bedroom in the dress she was wearing for the dinner date. It was a black flowing dress that went down to her knees, and there was a navy colored bow right at the bust. The bow wasn’t very big, but it was enough to add some more class to the dress.
James stood there in awe for a moment before saying in an amazed voice, “Wow, you look even more phenomenal than usual.”
Lily blushed a little bit before replying, “Thank you. You look pretty good yourself.” As this was going on between the two, the ladies were welling up with happiness and the guys were beaming. Lily furrowed her brow as she asked, “What’s going on, you guys?”
“We’re just really excited about hanging out tonight, aren’t we?” Rachel sniffled, looking at the others. They others snapped out of their state and nodded fervently.
“Actually, Lily, we should be going so that we can arrive a little early. Maybe they’ll have our table ready.” James told her, holding out his arm for her to take. She took it and together the two of them walked out of the apartment saying, “See you later, everyone.”
Once the door was shut and the footsteps that were descending down the stairs were gone, Remus announced, “Well children, this has been fun watching James flip out. But Maddie and I are going to a movie. We’ll see you two later.”
Remus then guided a confused looking Maddie out of the apartment. “What the hell was that?” Maddie questioned him in a quiet voice.
“Maddie, do we want those two to get together again or not?”
“Of course I do! Everyone does! They are the perfect couple!”
“Well,” Remus explained as they made their way down the stairs, “now that those two are alone, they can talk and work out their differences.”
Maddie’s mouth was wide with happy amazement. “Remus John Lupin, you are a genius!”
As they continued to look in shock, Sirius and Rachel were silently cursing Maddie and Remus. The two of them hadn’t been in the same room alone since the breakup, and this was the moment they both feared: the moment when they would be forced to talk.
Sirius looked away from the door and chuckled, “I guess they want us to talk.”
“I think you may be right, Sirius.” Rachel agreed with a small smile. “Everyone has been wanting us to do this for awhile.”
They were both silent for a minute as they contemplated where to start. Finally Rachel said, “Sirius, you have to realize something.” Rachel didn’t like to open up except with her friends, but for some reason she was having a hard time getting out the rest of her thought. “You mean the world to me, even now. When you left that night, I needed to feel some comfort. Kris was the first one there, and he was being so understanding, and that’s kind of how that happened.”
Sirius nodded before asking, “So, if James had been there that night, you would’ve slept with him? Or what about Remus?”
“No! I would never do that!”
“When I cheated on you in our fifth year, you turned to Remus for comfort and it went down the exact same path.” Sirius reminded her. “I know you wouldn’t have done that to James since you guys are more like brother and sister, and the fact that he was dating Lily. But I just keep thinking ‘what if Remus had been there?’”
Rachel sighed. “Okay, you have a point. If Moony had been there, the same thing probably would’ve happened. Either way, we would’ve needed to have this talk. We would’ve been in this position no matter what.”
“I guess you’re right.” Sirius sighed. He finally looked away from the coffee table, and his eyes found her slightly saddened face. She was so beautiful to him. Rachel always complained that her nose was a little too big, but his love for her covered it up from his sight. “I know I’ve broken up with a lot of women, but I can honestly say I never that you would be one of them.”
“I know. I always thought that if something happened between us again that it would stick.” Rachel agreed. Their eyes met for a few seconds and they both felt relieved that some tension was gone. “So, are we going to be okay?”
“Of course we are.” Sirius assured her before pulling her into a hug. It felt nice to hold her in his arms again; it almost made him not want to let go. “I hated how awkward we were around each other.”
“So did I.” Rachel replied.
As this heartwarming scene was unfolding, Remus and Maddie were standing out on the dark, unlit deck. Even though the floor they lived on was ten stories high, they had the advantage of Apparating.
“See, this is why I love being a witch.” Maddie sighed. “We can just come up here and watch without them knowing.”
“And of course it helps that we have James’s Invisibility Cloak.” Remus added with a grin.
Maddie looked like she was going to cry from happiness, so Remus put an arm around her.
“See? Aren’t you glad that we left them alone?” Remus questioned her. “Now they’ll be just fine, and maybe they’ll eventually get back together.”
“I hope so.” Maddie stated. “They are so great together.” There was a pause before she continued, “So, how do you think James is doing? I’m expecting a call from St. Mungo’s saying that he had a heart attack.”
Remus laughed before saying, “I’m sure he’s fine. He’s braver than we give him credit for.”
James led Lily into the fancy restaurant. All of the people here were wearing suits and dresses, and there was a large crystal chandelier in the lobby. The carpet was a warm burgundy carpet with off-white walls. The furniture was mahogany with off-white seating, and the tables had wine glasses filled with ice water. James walked up to the host and said, “Hello. Mr. Potter, table for two at seven.”
“Ah, here it is. We have your table ready; right this way, Mr. Potter.” The host informed him while grabbing two menus, and leading them towards the back area of the restaurant. They stopped at a table for two, and the host pulled out the chair for Lily. She sat down, and the man placed the menus in front of them. “Your waiter tonight is Harold. He’ll be with you momentarily.”
“Thank you very much.” James told him with a small smile before the host walked away.
“Wow, this place is really nice.” Lily complimented, looking around the fancy place. James used this moment to quickly pull out a Calming Draught and gulp it down in one drink. By the time Lily turned her attention back to him, he had stashed the empty vile away.
James smiled at her, reached across the table, and squeezed her hand. “You look absolutely gorgeous tonight.”
Lily blushed a tiny bit before replying, “Thank you, honey.”
James then looked around the make sure no one was around, and when he saw that the coast was clear, he conjured up a bouquet of white lilies. Lily beamed at him and accepted them. “Lilies, they’re my favorite! You are so amazing.”
James exhaled deeply. This was the moment he had been waiting for. He could feel his heart pounding rapidly against his ribcage, and his palms were starting to sweat a tiny bit. In order to keep his nervousness hidden, he smiled at her again. “For awhile now, I’ve been really happy, and I think the reason is you. You are so marvelous, and so beautiful. I had spent years imagining being with you, and I have to say that it is even better than I thought was possible. So, I guess what I’m trying to say is—” but James stopped suddenly when the host brought a very familiar looking man and his date to the next table.
“Oh, hi Jonathon.” Lily greeted cordially. “Wow, I didn’t expect to see you here tonight.”
“Well, I have a date, and this is always a nice place to go.” Jonathon explained. He indicated the blonde and said, “Lily and James, this is Sandra. Lily and I used to date.”
“Hi, it’s very nice to meet you.” James and Lily said, shaking Sandra’s hand.
At this point, Jonathon helped scoot the two tables next to each other for a group dinner. Jonathon then pulled out the chair for Sandra before taking his own seat. Then Sandra stood up and said, “Actually, John, I’m going to go and freshen up real quick.”
“I’ll go with you.” Lily offered. “I’d like to freshen up also.”
Even though James and Jonathon had gotten along really well while he was dating Lily, it was extremely awkward between them. James was slightly angry because Jonathon had come at the worst moment. He had almost gotten the proposal out! Jonathon then cleared his throat before stating, “I didn’t know that you and Lily were dating now.”
“Yeah, we’ve been dating for a little over a year.” James informed him politely. “Actually, John, you kind of came at a bad moment. I was about to propose to Lily.”
Jonathon was stunned. That was the only way to describe his reaction. He nodded before promising, “When Sandra comes back, I’ll dance with her for a few minutes so that you can finish your proposal. I’m really happy for you two.”
James was amazed at how understanding Lily’s ex-boyfriend was being, especially since he knew that Lily was the only other woman besides his ex-wife that he had fallen in love with. “Thank you a lot, John. You’re a really good guy.”
“Yeah, I hate that.” John replied bluntly. "Lily deserves the best, and she couldn't be with a better guy. Please take care of her." He then saw Sandra coming towards the table, and quickly guided her out to the dance floor. Lily was slightly shocked at John’s action, but took her seat again.
“So, where were we?” Lily asked him, focusing her attention on him. She didn’t see Jonathon watching them intently while swaying with Sandra to the slow, romantic song playing.
James was silent for a moment. He just looked her during this time. Her smooth hair was down to her shoulders, and she seemed to give off a heavenly glow, kind of the glow an angel would give off. It took his breath away for a second, but he got his act together. “Lily, I love you more than I ever thought I could love anyone. I’ve dreamed of saying this to you for years, so I guess I should say it. Will you marry me?”
Lily gasped in happy surprise, and her hand flew to her mouth when James showed her the ring. Her emerald eyes were watering with happiness as she opened to respond, “Of course I will.”
James beamed at her as he slid the ring onto her extended hand. He lightly caressed it before pulling Lily into a romantic and ecstatic kiss. When they pulled apart she breathed, “We’re getting married!”
A/N: I'm so so sorry that this took forever to write. Real life got in the way...but I hope you enjoy this one! It's got some fluff and some fun moments.
James and Lily Apparated to the outside of Remus and Rachel’s apartment, hoping that everyone would be there. They entered without knocking, and found everyone watching the new Quidditch channel that only wizards were able to receive. It looked like it was England against Italy, and England was ahead by only ten points. Rachel and Remus were cheering for England while it appeared that Sirius and Maddie were cheering for Italy. Suddenly, the Seeker for Italy pulled out of a dive with the fluttering Snitch in his hand. The two roommates groaned and handed over their five Knuts to the other two.
“Don’t worry about it, you two.” James told them. “I would’ve cheered for England also.”
James saying this brought everyone’s attention to the beaming couple. Lily suddenly squealed with excitement, “We’re engaged!” She held out the hand with the shining ring on it for everyone to see. The others came running over and engulfed the engaged ones in a huge bear hug.
“This is the least jealous I’ve ever been.” Rachel announced in a teary voice. “You guys are going to be so happy.”
“Yeah, I know.” Lily agreed with a smile before pulling Rachel into a hug.
“Ooh, have you guys decided who going to be in the wedding party?” Maddie questioned, looking more at Lily.
“No, not really.” James answered. “We’ve only been engaged for an hour. There hasn’t been much of a discussion yet.”
“Well, you’ll just have to let us know when you guys decide.” Rachel told him with a little playful wink. The only reason that the friends were inquiring was because they wanted to know who would be the Maid of Honor and the Best Man. All of them wanted to be one of those people, but only the engaged couple could decide. So, to be a bit on the suck-up side, everyone let James and Lily retire to their apartment.
“So, who do you think should be in the wedding party?” James asked.
“Well, obviously, all of them are going to be in it.” Lily reminded him. “We just have to decide who is going to be the main ones, other than the bride and groom of course. I’m fine with whoever you choose as your Best Man.”
“And I’m perfectly fine with who you pick as your Maid of Honor.” James assured her, although he was almost one hundred percent positive that he knew who it was. “It’s going to be Rachel, isn’t it?”
“Yeah.” Lily replied bluntly. “I mean, she’s my best friend in the entire world, and has been since we were five. Plus, she’s your best friend also. I know we’re close with Maddie, but we’re closer with Rach. What about you? Are you leaning one way or the other?”
James sighed thoughtfully. He knew it was going to be a hard decision, but he was starting to lean a certain way. “I don’t know. Moony and Padfoot have been my best friends since our first year. But I have a question for you: if I choose Sirius as my best man, will there be much tension between our Best Man and Maid of Honor?”
Lily considered it for a moment before replying, “I don’t think so. There might be a little with their history and all, but overall it should be okay. It looked like they were having fun in there.”
“Yeah, I guess you’re right.” James told her, pulling her into a long and deep kiss. The feel of her lips excited him and he suggested in a husky voice, “We should go celebrate our engagement in the bedroom.”
Lily grinned seductively, already knowing that James would’ve wanted to do this tonight. She kissed him again before pulling him into the bedroom, a large smile plastered onto her face.
Sirius and Rachel had met up just a couple of minutes ago at a small café in Diagon Alley, each getting some breakfast. Luckily for Sirius, he had been looking for Rachel to tell her something. James and Lily wanted to speak with the both of them when they had time. So after they enjoyed a nice breakfast together, they made their way back to the apartment building, not bothering to Apparate there.
Rachel felt Sirius’s arm wrap around her shoulders when a cooler breeze picked up, and it felt nice to have his strong arm around her again. He then leaned over and kissed her on the cheek. She whipped her head around at him right after he did that, and he had a look of surprise and slight embarrassment on his face. He explained sheepishly, “I’m sorry, Rach. I think I did it out of habit.”
“Okay.” Rachel replied. “Just don’t do it very often or else everyone will think that we’re back together.”
“Which we’re not.” Sirius added quickly, even though it wasn’t necessary.
“Nope, of course we’re not.” Rachel agreed. There was a slight pause before she said sarcastically, “This isn’t awkward at all, now.”
Sirius groaned quietly. Awkwardness was the one thing they were trying to avoid at all costs, so he told her, “I’m sorry. I didn’t even realize that I did it until you looked at me.”
“Honey, don’t worry. I totally forgive you.” She assured him kindly. A part of her wanted him to do it again, but she wouldn’t let him know that. They were on good terms now, and she wanted to keep it that way.
“So,” Sirius said out of nowhere, “what do you think the betrothed couple wants?”
“Honestly,” she answered in a low voice, “I think they’ve chosen their Best Man and Maid of Honor.”
“I hope it’s you.” Sirius told her. “You know, since I’ll probably end up being the Best Man.”
“Aw, that’s so sweet of you. Well, I love both you and Moony, so I can’t choose who I want.”
Sirius adapted a mock-hurt face. He poked her lightly in the side and told her, “Aw, come on. You know you want me to be Best Man.”
“Oh yeah?” she counteracted. “What if I said I wanted Remus to be the Best Man?”
Sirius’s jaw dropped; it was obvious that she was playing, so he was going to also. “You wouldn’t have the guts to say that.”
“Oh really? Well, maybe if I’m the Maid of Honor, I’ll just convince Lily to tell James to pick Moony instead, you know, because of our history.” She informed him teasingly.
“You wouldn’t dare because I know where your ticklish spot is.” He threatened playfully, and then he started to tickle her right below her ribs. She squealed from shock, and then took off at a run when he attempted to do it again.
Sirius chased after her at a fast pace, but when he turned into the alley she had entered only seconds ago, she was missing. He looked around, hoping to spot a trace as to where she disappeared to. When he couldn’t find anything, he took a chance and Apparated to the hallway of James and Lily’s apartment. The second that he appeared in the hallway, something jumped at him, causing him to fall backwards onto the light gray carpeting. He looked up and saw the unmistakable eyes that belonged to Rachel. Their lips were only a couple of inches apart, and they had to fight the force that kept trying to push them together.
Rachel cleared her throat, and hurriedly climbed off of him. She dusted herself off as Sirius stood up also. Their eyes met momentarily before he suggested, “Let’s not let that happen again. And this is also between the two of us.”
“Deal.” Rachel gladly agreed. She didn’t want people getting the wrong conclusion from their behavior. “Let’s just go in and see what they want.”
Sirius nodded, and entered the organized apartment first; Rachel then followed shortly after, and they joined James and Lily at the dining table. James grinned before saying, “You know, I thought I heard some noise going on out there. It’s about time you guys arrived.”
“Well, we’re here now.” Sirius stated obviously. “So, what’s the deal here?”
“Sirius and Rachel…” James started, and then looked to Lily for her to finish his sentence.
“James and I want you to be our Maid of Honor and our Best Man!” Lily squealed excitedly. Rachel shrieked happily and the girls pulled each other into a hug and started to jump around. James and Sirius looked at them with a bit of fear on their faces before turning to each other.
“So, do we hug or do the cool guy handshake?” James asked.
Sirius cleared his throat and said, “Yeah, cool guy handshake.”
James stepped forward and in five seconds, their “cool guy” handshake was finished, but they were still standing there. Suddenly, Sirius brought James into a bear hug, clearly happy for his best friend. James was stunned for a moment, but then he hugged his friend back. After a couple of moments, the guys pulled away and turned to the grinning girls. Simultaneously, they told them, “Shut up.”
Maddie had just Apparated from her apartment over to Remus’ after watching a Quidditch commentator predict the winner of tonight’s game. James and Lily had Floo called her to ask her for some help with starting the wedding plans. She was a little bummed out that she wasn’t the Maid of Honor, but she was still really excited about being a bridesmaid for her two friends’ wedding. But the reason she was going to Remus’ place before the Potters’ apartment was to invite him along. It would be kind of fun to have the six of them start helping with the plans. So, Maddie knocked on the door before announcing, “Remus, it’s me. Come on, open up.”
She knew that he was home since the television was playing, but no one was responding, and there was no sound of movement. Maddie sighed as she looked around the hallway, making sure that there was no one around. When she was sure that no one would see her, Maddie pulled out her wand and whispered, “Alohomora.”
The lock turned, allowing Maddie entrance to the organized apartment. Ever since Rachel moved in, you could tell that there was probably a girl roommate. There were a couple of girly looking things in the living room, and there was a large picture of some flowers in a vase. Rachel had always been like that, according to the others, and it didn’t look like she was going to change.
Lying on the couch that sat in front of the playing television was Remus, who looked like he was in a daze. Maddie edged up closer, and saw that his eyes were unfocused, and his face was pale. She knew it wasn’t the full moon because the full moon was a week ago. So, she stood right in front of him and said, “Remus, honey, are you okay?”
“No.” Remus replied changing his dazed look.
“Why? What’s wrong? You never act like this.” Maddie pointed out.
“Well, apparently Olivia had a little talk with her executive boyfriend and he killed me off of the show.”
Maddie’s hand flew up to her mouth in shock and surprise. When she finally lowered it, she asked, “How did they do it? I mean, can’t you go back at all?”
“They had me have a heart attack, and I was dead before the paramedics arrived.” He explained in a dull and emotionless voice.
“Oh, honey, I’m so sorry.” Maddie told him, hugging him. He didn’t even hug her back; he was still sitting in a daze. “I’m going across the hall to help them start planning the wedding. Come over if you feel like it.”
“Don’t worry, Maddie.” He told her. “I’ll be over in a few minutes. And don’t worry, I’ll be just fine. It’s just a bit of a shock, that’s all.”
Maddie nodded and gave him a small smile before going over to the other apartment. Remus sat there for a couple of minutes in his shock mode, but he knew that he shouldn’t be moping. He knew that he would make it through this, and that he should be helping all of his friends with the upcoming wedding. And that was what he did.
Chapter 22: The One Where Sirius Kisses Rachel
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It was a very humid and very hot summer day, and most people had taken refuge in the comfort of their own homes. This was also true for James, Lily, Maddie, and Remus. So, since they agreed to not go outside until it cooled down, they used this free time to make more decisions about the wedding. All that James and Lily had figured out was who would be in the wedding party, and that they were getting married in September.
“So, what are we going to figure out today?” Remus asked, starting the wedding conversation.
“Well, I think we should have the wedding on the seventeenth.” Lily proposed. “It’s on a Saturday, and I don’t think a lot of couples are going on their honeymoons in the middle of September.”
James stroked his chin for a moment, causing everyone to laugh, before announcing, “That makes sense. Okay, so now that we’ve established that, I think we should figure out where we are going to have the ceremony and reception.”
Just by looking at the two of them, anyone could see that Lily and James were always so excited when they started talking about the wedding. Their eyes were alive with excitement, and when the two of them looked at each other you could see the love they held so deeply for each other. It was a wonderful sight to see true love instead of lust.
“Okay, do you have any preferences?” Lily questioned. She then added while indicating Remus and Maddie, “Remember, you are here to input your opinion too.”
Taking advantage of this, Remus reminded James, “Do you remember when we had that talk in our seventh year about where we all wanted to get married? You see” he continued, talking more to the ladies, “James, Sirius, Peter, Rachel, and I all agreed that we wanted to get married at the same place. But didn’t we all agree that we wouldn’t mind having the wedding at Hogwarts? It is where you two first met.”
“That’s actually a really great idea, Remus!” Lily complimented with a huge smile on her face. She then turned to James and said, “Honey, I would love it so much if we could have the ceremony there.”
“What about the reception?” he asked her.
“We can have it at…actually I don’t know where we’ll have it.”
Suddenly, Maddie was struck with an amazing idea. She clapped her hands together and said, “Why don’t you two have it at Lily’s restaurant? That way you can use the reception hall they have in there, and you can get the staff to do the food, right?”
“That’s brilliant, Maddie!” James told her, and gave her a quick kiss on the cheek. “I can’t believe we didn’t even think of that. Plus, you know what your restaurant caters, don’t you honey?”
“Well, I should, considering I’m the head chef there.” Lily grinned. “Now, since we’re doing this with a little less time than most couples, I think we should figure out the food now.”
“Wait, hold on.” Maddie told them. “Where are Sirius and Rachel? Shouldn’t they help out with this stuff too? I mean, they are the Best Man and Maid of Honor.”
“Maddie, don’t worry about it. They told us that we could run the decisions by them later because right now they’re working on their speeches.”
“Oh, alright then. Let’s discuss the food.” Maddie agreed. “What’s on the menu?”
“The restaurant is able to serve a variety of foods. We’ve got everything from Italian food, to seafood, and then the steak and fancier stuff like that. Give me your opinions.”
“Well, being the manly man that I am,” James started, puffing out his chest, “I want to have the steak for the meal.”
As James said that, Maddie started chuckling. James looked at her questioningly and she was able to say through her laughing, “James is a manly man? There’s something I didn’t know.”
James pretended to look insulted at this comment. He pointed his finger at Maddie before telling her, “Hey! I’m a manly man. Well, at least Lily does, don’t you honey?”
Lily lightly grabbed James’s hand as she assured him, “Of course I do, James.” James looked triumphant as he started to write something down on a piece of paper. Maddie looked at Lily with a skeptical look on her face and Lily mouthed, “No, James is too much of a girl. He just likes to think he’s manly. He let me paint his toenails once.”
Maddie’s hand flew up to her own mouth to try and contain her laughter. James looked up at her with a quizzical eyebrow raised and she merely said, “Oh, it’s nothing James.”
Lily grinned before reminding, “James, not everyone likes beef, and you know it.”
“Who in the name of Merlin’s pants doesn’t like beef?” James asked incredulously.
“I don’t like beef, smart one.” Maddie told him as though it was the most obvious thing on the planet. “Good grief, you’ve been friends with me for about nine years and you can’t even remember that your friend doesn’t like beef. I eat fish, remember?”
“Oh yeah,” James said, realizing that she was right. “Sorry about that, Mads.”
“Don’t worry about it, James.” She assured him.
“Well, that’s actually a pretty good point.” Remus stated. “I think you should have maybe two options for food, and when you send out the invites the person can choose which dish would be the best.”
“See? This is why I love having you around, Moony!” James told him cordially. “You always come up with the good ideas.”
“I’ve been known to have my moments.”
“Okay, so since James needs to have his ‘manly’ steak,” Lily suggested, “how about we have either fish or steak? And then the steak can come with a side of garlic potatoes, and the fish can come with a side of rice.”
“You’re the chef. You can make these decisions.” James said.
“That’s right; I am the chef. So, we’ll do that. Then we can have water and champagne for the drinks. And the kids can have hot dogs since a lot of them can’t eat a bigger meal just yet.”
“Cool.” James agreed, recording all of this with a quill. “Well, we’ve certainly gotten quite a bit of this planning accomplished today.”
Lily nodded, but then sighed before saying, “James, honey, we’re going to need to do that since we have a lot less time to plan this thing than most people choose. The wedding is only in two and a half months.”
Remus cleared his throat to grab their attention. He stopped biting his lower lip and finally questioned, “Why don’t you want to have the wedding so soon? I would think that engaged couples would prefer more time to get everything they want?”
Actually, Maddie nodded when Remus asked them that because it didn’t make sense to her either. James and Lily’s eyes met for a few seconds, and when they turned to Remus and Maddie, they were blushing a little bit. James informed them, “Well, it’s going to sound a little corny, so I thought I’d give you a heads up. Six months ago to that day, I realized that Lily was the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I wanted to have it either six months or twelve months from that day, but I don’t think September weddings are overly common.”
“Aw, that’s adorable.” Maddie cooed. “I never knew that you were such a romantic, James.”
James grinned before replying, “I’ve been known to surprise people before.”
Across the hall from the planning people, Rachel and Sirius were hanging out in her apartment working on their speeches. It was completely quiet, but every now and then they would say something to make the other laugh. But it was partially due to the fact that they had downed an entire bottle of wine in a half an hour.
“Gosh, can you believe that James Potter and Lily Evans are getting married?” Sirius asked with a slight slur, looking up from his partially written speech.
Rachel set down her now empty wine glass and answered, “I can hardly believe to this very second, honey. It’s like a miracle that Lily even became friends with the man after hating him for six years.”
“Babe, people change.” Sirius reminded her. You could tell that Sirius wasn’t in the best state of mind because he called her ‘babe’, and Rachel wasn’t either because she didn’t hex him for it. “Did I ever tell you about the one wedding with the Maid of Honor that got kissed by the groom?” Rachel shook her head. “She wrote this speech that was so beautiful that he kissed her as a thank you for writing the beautiful speech.”
“Well, I hope that doesn’t happen to me. I don’t want Lily’s man kissing me on their wedding day! Do you want to hear what I have so far?”
“Sure I do.” Sirius said, pouring himself another glass of wine.
Rachel downed another glass of wine, cleared her throat, and read her speech to the best of her ability in a dulled state of mind. When she finished, Sirius announced, “That was gorgeous! It would make me kiss you and I’m going to.”
Without any hesitation, Sirius leaned forward and brought his lips to Rachel’s. They sat there kissing for a few seconds before Rachel pulled away in shock. The kiss seemed to sober the both of them up, for they lost their drunk behavior and look. Sirius searched her eyes for a moment, silently asking her if she wanted anything more, before she took the initiative and pulled him into a wanted kiss.
A/N: Dun dun dun...Sorry for the long wait, but I hope the ending makes up for it. What's going to happen with Rachel and Sirius now?
It was only a month until the wedding, and Lily and James had finally agreed that they had put off doing this task for too long: sending out the invitations. Unfortunately, the only people that were on the guest list for now were Rachel, Sirius, Maddie, Remus, and the parents of both sides. So, that was the task that James and Lily agree to do: make the guest list.
James and Lily were sitting at the table, each with a pen and some invitations that they had chosen during the previous week. They were white with the writing in gold, and there was a pale green border on the front of it with a tiny bow on the inside that was the same color. Before they got very far, Remus came strolling into the apartment, a grin on his face.
James cleared his throat before asking, “Moony, why the hell do you have one of those smug grins on your face? It’s not like you to have one.”
This just made Remus smile even more. “Well, if you must know, my friend, I have an audition for a movie.”
Lily’s jaw dropped suddenly. She sat there gaping at him for a moment before saying, “Remus, are you really the movie actor type of person? Won’t you be a little out of your element?”
“Actually, not really.” He assured her. “The part is one of the supporting characters, but he’s a studious and responsible man with a few wild moments.”
“Hey, that does sound like you!” James agreed. “I mean, you’ve always been like that, and you have that furry problem, and I know that you are quite wild those nights.”
“Wow, then you must be really excited.” Lily assumed, and Remus confirmed that with a nod. “When’s the audition?”
“It’s actually in about an hour, but I wanted to come over here and tell you guys about it. I need to calm my nerves a little bit, and I was assuming that you would be able to help.”
You could definitely tell that by talking about the role a bit more, Remus had suddenly become extremely tense and nervous. He kept wiping his moist palms on his pants every few minutes, and you could see the anxiousness in his usually calm eyes. “So, what are you two doing?” he asked them.
“Well, we’re figuring out who to invite to the wedding.” James answered.
“The wedding is a month away, and you haven’t even done that yet? Merlin, I didn’t know that you two were really that good at procrastinating, especially with Lily being so uptight and strict about the schedule.”
“We’ve had other things to deal with, Remus.” Lily growled, showing the moodiness that the wedding was causing her. She was under a lot of stress, and you could obviously see it now. “You try planning a wedding in a little over two months.”
“Sorry, but when the time comes, I’m going to make sure that we have a lot more time. And just a little heads up; you may not see much of me the week of your wedding if you keep acting like this.”
Lily’s face was starting to contort with anger, and Remus quickly ran from the apartment yelling, “So you later! Good luck James!”
James started chuckling after the door closed, but one look from Lily effectively shut him up. He turned back to the list he was making of the people he wanted to invite while Lily went back to working on her own list. They only got a few seconds of silence before Rachel walked in, an amused expression on her face.
“What the heck did Lily do to Moony that made him go running out of the building?” she questioned interestedly.
“She glared at him.” James merely replied. He added in a soft voice, “She’s a little stressed right now.”
Rachel sighed. “I guess it’s a bit of a stressful for the women of the group today.”
She sighed again before sitting down next to James. He looked closely at her, and he was able to recognize the lines of worry etched into her face. She had taught herself to hide her emotions, but her close friends were still able to identify what Rachel was feeling. James lifted up Rachel’s chin so that she was looking at him. “What’s going on, Rach? What’s gotten you so worried?”
Lily also looked up from her list and looked at Rachel with concern. “Yeah, honey. You look kind of scared.”
Rachel folded her hands together on the table, and kept looking at them until she finally at the courage to tell them what was on her mind. “I think…I think that I might be pregnant.” She revealed in a hushed voice.
James and Lily sat there for a minute or two, a shocked look on their faces. They were absolutely stunned. Some people say that betrothed couples start to look and act alike, and that was true in this case. It made Rachel smile a little bit, but it faded when Lily stuttered, “You think you’re pregnant?”
“Maybe. I haven’t checked yet.” Rachel explained. “But my period hasn’t come, and I’m absolutely terrified to check.”
“Wait a minute, Rach.” Lily instructed with a thoughtful and curious expression. “If you are pregnant, who’s the father?”
“Okay, do you promise not to flip out? Because…well, I can’t do anything about it if you do, but I don’t you guys to do that, okay?”
“Rach, I promise that we’ll be cool about it.” Lily promised, grasping Rachel’s hand. “Now who is it?”
“If I’m pregnant,” Rachel started, “the father is Sirius.”
Two pairs of eyes were staring at her with wide eyes, and two jaws had practically dropped to the ground. Though their faces were expressing their shock, they kept to their agreement and kept silent. Lily was the first one to calm down by taking a deep breath and asking in a slightly shaking voice, “Um, well, alright. Okay, we can handle this…fiasco. Have you taken a pregnancy test?”
“No, not yet.” Rachel told her, taking on Lily’s shaky voice. It was just starting to sink in that she might be pregnant…and who the father would be. Suddenly, her mind was racing with many questions, and she became extremely overwhelmed. How would I be able to handle this financially? How am I going to tell Sirius? I’m going to be really fat! Those were only a few of the many things racing through her mind. “I’m too afraid to.” Rachel continued.
“Rach, you should really take one,” James said frankly, looking in her the eye. “That way you can ease your mind. I can see it racing at a million miles per hour.”
While James was in the middle of his sentence, the door opened, and Maddie practically skipped into the tense apartment. As soon as the door was shut, Maddie stopped dead in her tracks and questioned with a suspicious expression, “Why is the air so tense in here?” She then proceeded to ‘pull the negative energy out of the apartment.’ Maddie was one of the people who believed in auras and cleansing people’s auras. It was a quirky personality trait that the group loved about her.
Rachel stood up immediately, walked over to Maddie, placed a hand on her shoulder, and told her, “If I tell you this, you have to promise to keep it a secret until I’m ready to tell everyone.”
Maddie gave her a small smile before promising, “I will definitely keep it a secret, honey. You can tell me anything and not worry about me blabbing it to everyone I see.”
Rachel nodded, and took a few calming breaths. “I think I’m pregnant with Sirius’s baby.”
Maddie’s eyes only widened slightly before wondering out loud, “How many tests have you taken?”
Rachel was gaping at Maddie for a moment before answering her silent question, “I’m shocked that you aren’t very shocked at this.”
“I’ve learned to hide my emotions pretty well over the last few years, but don’t dodge my question.” Maddie repeated, tapping her foot impatiently.
“I’ve only taken one. James and Lily told me to take another one, but I don’t have enough money. You know how expensive those things are.”
“Listen, I just won a hundred dollars through the lottery, so I will buy you one.”
“You won the lottery?!” James, Lily, and Rachel simultaneously shrieked. “That’s great!”
“Yeah, well, there are more important things going on. I’ll just Apparate to the store and buy you one, Rach. Don’t worry about it.”
Rachel beamed at her before pulling her into a bear hug. They stood there for a few moments, before Maddie released her and Apparated away. Occupying her former seat, Rachel put her head down on the table. Lily scooted closer to her, and started stroking her hair comfortingly. “I never wanted this to happen.” Rachel muttered tearfully. “It would be better if he and I were married, then I would be excited instead of terrified.”
“Rachel, I want you to know that no matter what happens, we’ll be here for you the entire time.” Lily told her in a soft voice.
A loud crack signified that Maddie had returned. She pulled a box out of a brown paper bag, and handed it to Rachel. Rachel slowly took it, and retreated to the bathroom silently. Once the door was shut, Maddie took over Rachel’s spot and sighed. “What if she really is pregnant?”
James ran his hand through his hair, an old habit of his when he was worried, and said, “I guess we’ll just have to be supportive.”
“And beat Sirius to the ground if he refuses to help with the baby.” Lily added with a small smile but a serious look in her eyes.
Rachel opened the door, and stepped out with a teary expression. It was obvious that she was saddened by the results. She licked her lips and revealed, “It’s negative.”
Chapter 24: The One with James and Lily's Wedding Part 1
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The day had finally come. It was the day that the friends had been awaiting for many months. The day that James had been nervous about, and the day that Lily stressed about: the wedding day.
The night before had been the night of the rehearsal dinner, and the betrothed couple had parted ways for the night. Lily had invited Maddie and Rachel over to her apartment, while James and Sirius took up the space in Remus’ apartment. The girls had a fun night reminiscing about the journey that James and Lily had gone through. Rachel even pulled out a Pensieve, a gift from her parents, and showed Maddie some of the memories that she had of James and Lily fighting during their Hogwarts years. Lily kept blushing every time she saw herself throw something at James, causing the others to laugh. The guys merely drank some beers, and watched the Quidditch Channel.
The sun was shining through the living room window onto Rachel’s sleeping face, but she was awakened by the sound of Lily’s footsteps running around the apartment, attempting to keep up on schedule. Rachel could hear her muttering, “Oh great, now where’s my makeup at?”
Maddie had fallen asleep on the loveseat that was across from the couch that Rachel was laying on. She groaned, opened her eyes, and grinned at Rachel, “Well, get ready for a day of overly strict Lily.”
“Yeah, I’m just so excited.” Rachel replied sarcastically, returning the grin. Sitting up, she subconsciously placed her hand on her belly with a slightly saddened look in her eyes. She didn’t notice what she was doing until Maddie met her eyes with a sympathetic look.
“You really are disappointed that the test was negative, aren’t you?” Maddie asked in a soft and comforting voice.
Rachel sighed before nodding. “I mean, it would’ve been really scary, and I would’ve been terrified of telling Sirius, but deep down I was really looking forward to having a baby. Deep down, I was really excited that my first test was positive.”
By this point, Rachel’s sapphire eyes were filling with unshed tears, and Maddie sat down next to her. She put an arm around her shoulders, and pulled her into a loving one-armed hug. “Don’t worry, honey. That day will come sometime, and you’ll be able to celebrate it with the man you love, whoever it may be.”
Rachel quickly wiped her eyes, smiled at Maddie, and pulled away. “I’ll be okay, Maddie, really. Now let’s get the bride ready.”
“Yes, you two need to help me!” Lily screeched, skidding to a stop by the couch. “Rachel, find the jewelry I picked out; Maddie, find my shoes. I think Sirius was in here last night and hid them from me.”
“What makes you think that?”
Lily pulled out a crumpled piece of paper from her pajama pocket, flattened it, and read, “Ha ha, Lily. I hid your shoes. From, your Best Man. It was sitting on my nightstand.”
Maddie and Rachel chuckled before agreeing to help Lily. Lily then hurried into the bathroom and slammed the door shut, probably putting on her makeup. Before they could get very far, Sirius and Remus burst into the apartment, looking around frantically. They then stopped and looked at the girls with frightened eyes.
“Okay, what the hell is your problem?” Rachel demanded to know.
“Yeah, and Sirius, what did you do with Lily’s shoes?” Maddie added, raising one eyebrow at him.
Sirius put on an insulted look. “What makes you think I would do such a thing to her, especially when she’s marrying my best friend?”
Maddie grabbed the crumpled note from the table, flattened it, and showed it to Sirius. He sighed, admitting defeat. “They’re hiding in the back of the closet in Rachel’s old room.”
“Sirius, let’s focus on the problem at hand!” Remus whispered angrily. “Rachel, Maddie, have you seen James?”
Maddie shook her head. “Why? Where is he?” she questioned, suddenly sounding panicked.
“Well, he’s, um, James is—” Sirius stuttered in embarrassment, but was cut off by Rachel grabbing the front of his shirt and sticking her wand in his face.
“James Potter is marrying my best friend today, so tell me where he is if you like your face and don’t want it to be hexed off. It would really ruin your chances of hooking up with a girl at the reception party tonight.” She growled.
“Okay, okay, calm down, Rach.” Sirius told her, putting one hand on her shoulder to calm her down, and put the other hand on her belly to push her back a tiny bit. When his hand was on her belly, Rachel blushed a bit, adapted a slightly sad look, and Maddie’s eyes widened. She suddenly felt a little bad for Rachel because of who did that. “Moony and I woke up this morning and James wasn’t in the apartment. He had a slight panic attack last night, and we think he took off. Hold on, why do you look so sad?”
“James is gone, and Lily is so excited that I’m scared for my health.” Rachel lied, suddenly acting like normal. “And now I won’t have to hex that handsome face off of you.”
“Yeah, I know you want this.” Sirius teased, pointing at himself confidently. “Don’t hide it, babe, I can see it in your eyes.”
Knowing what she would do, Sirius raised his wand at her at the very same moment that Rachel pointed hers at him. They both eyed the other’s wand carefully, while Remus and Maddie just stood there in amusement, temporarily forgetting the crisis they were facing.
Suddenly, Rachel grinned. “I know you won’t hex me.”
Sirius raised one eyebrow at her and countered, “Oh yeah, what makes you say that, pretty lady?” He added the ‘pretty lady’ part because he knew it infuriated her that he called her that when they weren’t going out.
“I know you won’t because I know you too well, Padfoot.” She explained confidently, not showing a single hint of anger. She had forced herself to learn how to hide her emotions so that her friends wouldn’t worry about her this last month, and so Sirius wouldn’t suspect something. He may have his dumb moments, but Sirius Black was no idiot. He would’ve caught on.
Sirius once again quirked an eyebrow at her, and opened his mouth to say a spell. Before he got the first syllable out, he lowered his wand with a shrug and said to the others, “Yeah, she’s right.”
Remus grinned at him for a few seconds before it faded, and he reminded them in a whisper, “James is gone, you guys. We need to find him.”
“Well, someone’s got to stay here and stall Lily. She can’t find out that he’s gone, or else she’ll be a mess.” Maddie pointed out. “And since she’s the Maid of Honor, I think Rachel should do it.”
“What?” Rachel shrieked. The others quickly shushed her, and someone had whispered, ‘Muffliato.’ Able to talk at a normal volume, Rachel continued, “Madeline Zimon, you know how uptight she can be in general. She’s going to be borderline psycho today about her schedule!”
“Exactly. And since you’ve been her ‘sister’ for, well, practically your entire lives, you can deal with it while me and the guys go search for James. Plus, Sirius can give you a vial of Calming Draught in case she gets to be too much of a handful.”
As if waiting for a cue, Sirius handed Rachel the small vile. “I kept one with me because I knew either James or Lily would need it today.”
Rachel glared at the three of them before huffing, “Alright, I’ll take the damn vial and I’ll stall Lily’s schedule.” The others smiled triumphantly, and started towards the door. As they were exiting, Rachel called out, “Hey Sirius! Don’t be alarmed if you get a call from St. Mungo’s. I put you down as my emergency contact if I got admitted there.”
He merely winked at her and shut the door, leaving a Rachel dreading her next encounter with Lily. “This is going to be my death,” she kept muttering to herself as she fetched Lily’s shoes and her makeup. “But Lily loves me; she won’t kill me.” Deciding not to let her friend become suspicious of anything, Rachel knocked on the bathroom door and announced, “Lily, I have your shoes and makeup.”
The door quickly opened, and a slightly flustered looking Lily grabbed the items. She then asked, while applying some mascara, “Rachel, will you use some of those spells that Maddie taught you to show me different hair styles?”
As Rachel pulled out her wand, she questioned with a confused look, “Don’t you think it would be better to put your hair up after you get to the castle and into your dress? That way your hair doesn’t get messed up.”
“I’m going to have you or Maddie do when we get there, but I want to know what I want before we get there. It’ll save some time.”
Nodding her agreement, Rachel started performing some non-verbal spells on Lily’s hair, each one a different style. After about ten different styles, Lily had decided on having her usually straight red hair wavy and down.
“Wow, I never realized how much you hated putting your hair up, Lily.” Rachel told her in amazement as she applied Lily’s eyeliner.
Though she couldn’t move her face, you could see the surprise in Lily’s emerald eyes. “Didn’t you ever notice that I never put my hair up at all during Hogwarts? Even for the graduation party when all the girls were, except you, of course, I didn’t put my hair up.”
“Oh, I guess I was really observant, wasn’t I?” Rachel joked as Lily started applying eyeliner on Rachel. It wasn’t a surprise that Rachel didn’t remember what Lily looked like that night; her mind had blocked out most of that night, except for that kiss Sirius planted on someone else continued to stand out. ‘I guess what comes around goes around.’ She thought, remembering the anger on Sirius’s face when he discovered her affair.
Once she was done, Lily checked her watch, and said excitedly, “We have to leave for the castle soon!”
Panic flew through Rachel’s spine, and she knew that she needed to come up with a way to stall. Praying she wouldn’t eventually get hexed by Lily, Rachel suddenly thought up something. She sniffled a tiny bit, and lied, “Lily, I’m so happy for you, but I’m also really hurting.”
Suddenly concerned for her friend, Lily rushed over, and inquired, “What’s going on, sweetie?”
Rachel let a tear shed from her eyes, and she cried, “It’s been a month, but I’m still upset. I mean, how can I be upset over something I never had?”
Lily pulled her friend into a hug, not very worried about her schedule. She knew where her priorities stood, and her friends came first.
“Alright, he’s not at his work, Lily’s work, or The Only One,” Remus concluded as he, Sirius, and Maddie sat down on a park bench, resting from their hectic search for the missing groom. They were beginning to be extremely worried, and they were starting to lose a bit of hope.
“Well, okay, I have an idea.” Maddie suddenly informed them. The guys looked at her with interest. “Since you guys knew him at Hogwarts, did he have any special spots that he liked to visit when you guys went to Hogsmeade?”
Sirius and Remus thought about it for a minute before Sirius said, “Well, James, Rachel, and I liked to visit Zonko’s, but I highly doubt he’s there. But he always dragged us into the Three Broomsticks; maybe he’s there!” Sirius ended excitedly. “It’s worth a shot.”
“Okay, let’s get going.” Remus told them, taking charge of the situation. The three of them made sure that no one was around before Apparating to Hogsmeade.
The village was slightly busy, but the streets weren’t crowded because Hogwarts students hadn’t started their visits to the village yet. All of the buildings around them held a warm sense of familiarity for Sirius and Remus, but Maddie had only came to the village once to get a birthday gift for a friend. Without any hesitation, they sped off to the busiest bar in town.
When they entered the bar, the warm feeling surrounded them even more. Suddenly, Madam Rosmerta came bustling over to them. “Sirius, Remus, how are you?”
“We’re not too bad.” Remus lied. They were all panicking right now. “Have you seen James? It’s important.”
Rosmerta smiled and replied, “Well, unless that boy has gotten his messy hair under control, which I highly doubt, I haven’t seen him, Remus.”
“Okay, thanks.” Sirius told her, and gave her a kiss on the cheek before exiting with his friends.
As they continued to walk down the main street of Hogsmeade, they kept their eyes open for any sign of James Potter. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a sign of him anywhere. They had finally reached the fence towards the edge of the village, and they were doubtful of finding him anywhere.
“I can’t believe that Lily’s getting dumped.” Maddie groaned. “And we abandoned Rachel there to deal with it.”
“We’ll just be there for her, no matter what, and we will tell her that.” Remus decided in a comforting voice. “But I can’t believe it either. Is there any other place he could be? What do you think Sirius? Sirius?”
Sirius hadn’t been paying attention, but looking past the fence with a thoughtful expression. “Hey Moony, I think it’s time that we took a little trip to our hideout.”
Remus slapped his forehead, cursing himself for his stupidity. “How come we never thought of that?”
“Of what?” Maddie questioned, looking utterly confused.
Sirius quickly turned to her, with hope on his face. “When Remus had to transform during school, he had to go to the Shrieking Shack. After we all became Animagi, remember we went with him for his transformations?”
“Of course, that’s brilliant thinking, Sirius!” she complimented.
Simultaneously, Remus, Sirius, and Maddie started running down the path towards the aging house that was the center of ghost stories in the village. Sirius whispered, “Please be there, Prongs.”
A/N: Yes, I'm leaving you all hanging right there. But I do have some bad news: I won't be able to update until July. I'm really really sorry, but I know that life is going to be keeping me from writing. I'll update ASAP when July rolls around, though.
Chapter 25: The One with James and Lily's Wedding Part 2
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A/N: I apologize greatly for keeping you all waiting for so long. But I had a baby, and I've been sick recently, and with the queue a little backed up, I haven't had time to write. But here's the second part of the chapter...enjoy!
Maddie, Remus, and Sirius were all running as fast as their feet could carry them, completely forgetting that they had magical powers. They were panting, clearly not used to running, and all of them had extremely red cheeks. All of a sudden, halfway to the house, Maddie skidded to a stop. The guys kept running for a second before realizing that one of them had disappeared. They too came to a stop, chests moving up and down rapidly from the sprinting, and they looked back at Maddie with a questioning expression.
Once she caught her breath, she said with a grin, “You guys, we’re witches and wizards. Why are we running when we can just Apparate there?”
Sirius walked up to her, gave her a happy peck on the lips, and cheered, “Yes! Maddie, thank you! I hate running.” Maddie just smiled at him, and turned away when a blush crept up onto her cheeks. She never had feelings for her friend, but she was still a little flustered when a good-looking man kissed her out of nowhere.
Remus cleared his throat, obviously a little impatient. It was odd for him to be like that, and the trait didn’t suit him well. “I hate to break up the happy moment, but we have a missing groom to look for before Lily kills Rachel.” He was happy about not running, but he wanted to focus on the issue at hand.
“Right, of course, Moony.” Sirius agreed, and disappeared with a crack. Remus and Maddie rolled their eyes, and followed Sirius’s lead.
Inside of the Shrieking Shack, James Potter sat in the top room with his head in his hands. It devastated him to bail out on Lily on the day of their wedding, but he had his reasons for it. He was also positive that everyone was looking for him. The sound of three cracks reached his ears, and he knew that the cavalry had arrived.
Maddie poked her head in through the door, and saw James sitting there, looking defeated. She turned back to the guys and proposed, “Okay, I think only one of us should go in there. Who’s it going to be?”
“I’ll do it.” Sirius volunteered, and entered the room before anyone could protest.
As soon as Sirius was completely in the room, he shut the door. In the door was a crack, so Remus and Maddie moved in closer to hear things properly. At the sound of the door closing, James looked up at Sirius.
His normally happy eyes that had a mischievous glint to them looked sad, and almost regretful. Sirius hated seeing his best friend like this. It wasn’t the same James he knew and grew up with. There was an empty armchair next to James, so Sirius occupied it. James looked away from him again right before Sirius broke the silence, “So, are you going to tell me what the hell is going on? This type of behavior isn’t like you.”
James sighed, still avoiding Sirius’s eyes. “I know this is a bit on the odd side.”
“I thought you loved her.”
“I do love her!” James shouted before Sirius could completely finish his sentence. He took a deep breath to calm himself down. “It’s just—she deserves so much better than me.”
Sirius exhaled; the solution to the problem was in his mind with this new information about how James felt. With a determined face, Sirius turned to his best friend and said in a voice that commanded attention, “James Potter, look at me.” When James finally looked up, Sirius continued, “James, you don’t deserve Lily Evans as your wife.” Everyone’s jaw dropped. “Lily is intelligent, gorgeous, sweet, kind, has a bit of a temper, and she’s loving and devoted. But even though you feel like you don’t deserve her, she wants you. She wants to spend the rest of her life with you. She loves you. Nothing can ever change that.”
“But I’m scared, Padfoot.” James revealed in a small voice.
“Of course you’re scared, James. Even Lily is nervous about this. It’s all of the anticipation getting to you. So, how about Remus, Maddie, and I take you back to the apartment and get you ready for your wedding.”
James sat there for a moment, a slightly calmer look in his eyes. He stood up and agreed to go back.
Lily sat there, hugging her friend. She couldn’t even imagine what it would be like to experience that type of situation. But she had this really strong feeling that something wasn’t right.
“Rachel, is there something you aren’t telling me?” Lily asked, looking her directly in the eye. Rachel shook her head ‘no’ while her eyes said the opposite. “Rachel, I’m your best friend. We’re sisters in every way except blood. Tell me what’s bothering you.”
Rachel sighed. She couldn’t keep the secret any longer. Lily wouldn’t let it down unless she revealed it. “Okay, honey, I want you to know that we all love you.” Rachel paused for a moment before continuing, “We can’t find James—” as Rachel finished her statement, Sirius poked his head in the door and gave her a thumbs-up. “Shoes. We can’t find James’s shoes.”
Lily’s eyes became wide from panic. In a scared voice, Lily starting asking, “Oh no, what are we going to do?”
Sirius then stepped in and told Lily, “Don’t worry, we just found the shoes. There’s nothing to worry about.”
Lily sighed in relief. She grinned and told them, “Wow, for a second there I was like ‘the worst has happened.’”
Sirius and Rachel looked at each other, trying not to laugh as Lily went running into her bedroom. Rachel ran over to him, and hugged him. “Thank you for finding him.” She whispered in his ear. “Where was he?”
“Oh, he was at the Shrieking Shack.” Sirius told her with a smile. “It’s unbelievably dumb of us that we didn’t look there to begin with.”
Rachel chuckled, an evil grin forming on her lips. “Wow, and for a second there I thought you were brilliant for finding him.”
Sirius sported a mock-hurt expression before it disappeared into a smile. “Just be happy I found him.” He reminded her. “But I think I’ll head back over. And I’ll make sure I send Maddie over.”
“Thanks. We have a crazy bride to get ready.”
A couple of hours later, all six friends were at Hogwarts Castle preparing for the ceremony. Lily, Maddie, and Rachel were being kept in a separate room from James, Remus, and Sirius while Dumbledore was doing some finishing touches on the grounds. Most of the props had been put up by the wedding party when everyone arrived there, but Dumbledore had ways of doing things when it comes to decorating that no one could ever imagine.
There weren’t many chairs set up though. Only family and some friends had been invited, making the guest count around 30 witches and wizards. Lily had been devastated when Petunia and her husband, Vernon, had rudely declined their invitation. Luckily her parents flew in from their vacation in France to see their daughter off. And everyone had been unbelievably excited when Wormtail promised he’d be sitting in the front row.
Lily was using the Prefect’s bathroom to prepare herself, while James was resting in the Great Hall with his groomsmen. Apparently James ended up having another panic attack, and fainted, much to everyone’s pleasure. Luckily Madam Pomfrey was around to heal him before the bride found out.
Sirius, James, and Remus looked up when the doors opened, and Rachel and Maddie came inside. All three of them were eager for this wedding to get started, but had agreed to wait for the ladies to alert them of when Lily was ready.
Rachel and Maddie were wearing a pale green dress that ended right at their knees, and there was a golden sash to go with it. They both had their hair up in a messy bun, and their fairly plain pale green high-heels clicked as they took each step on the hard floor. Honestly, the girls looked fabulous; Lily had been a fair bride when it came to the bridesmaid’s looks.
“Hey ladies, is Mrs. Lily Potter ready?” Sirius asked them with a smirk. He wanted to see James’s reaction, and was sincerely happy with the result. James had started to choke on the gum he was chewing, but Remus saved him. “Seriously, Prongs, you need to stop with the panicking. You’re here, Lily’s here, everyone’s here, now go marry the woman you love.”
James nodded, unable to speak. His nerves were acting up again. Rachel stepped forward, and gripped his shoulder reassuringly. “James, Lily loves you. Don’t worry that she’s going to bail out on you.”
“Right; thank you, Rachel.” He told her, lightly touching her hand before pulling her into a hug. He then proceeded to hug the others. “Thank you all for helping me and Lily out on our journey together.”
“Okay, enough with the sentimental crap.” Maddie interrupted, her hard-ass side was showing through. “James, honey, we can do this later. But we need to get you outside.” She told him, and pushed him to the front doors.
James, too shocked to protest, moved quickly out the doors and down the aisle to where Dumbledore was standing, a serene look on his face. “How are you feeling James, my boy?”
“Nervous; I’m very nervous.” James admitted, messing up his hair even more than it was to begin with. “Don’t tell Lily this, but I had a minor disappearing act last night.”
When James looked over at Dumbledore, he was happy that his former headmaster was not looking at him with judgmental eyes. Dumbledore placed a fatherly hand on James’s shoulder, and told him, “It happens to the best of us.”
Lily sat in her room, gently brushing her wavy hair. The girls had left her alone, and she was quite glad. It was giving her a little bit of time to gather her thoughts, and she had become nervous. She had been reliving moments of her relationship in her mind, and now that the wedding day had finally arrived, her nerves were starting to get to her. A knock on the door startled her before she said, “Come in.”
Her four friends poked their heads inside the door, grins shining on their lips. “How’s the bride doing?” Remus grinned.
Lily exhaled before honestly replying, “Not too bad. I’ve got a case of the butterflies, though.”
Rachel did the same thing to Lily as she had done to James just minutes ago, and it calmed Lily down a bit. Everyone took their turn hugging the bride, who was holding back tears of happiness. “Well, it’s now or never, isn’t it?” she chuckled. The others nodded, beaming at her happiness.
“James and Dumbledore are waiting outside.” Sirius informed her. “We don’t have all day.”
“Stop rushing her!” Rachel shrieked, slapping him on his arm. “It’s not your wedding.”
Sirius snorted. “Yeah, well, we could’ve had a wedding and could’ve been married for a few years if you hadn’t flipped out and left right away.”
This comment made an annoyed Rachel turn into a fuming one. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and told him, “Please, Sirius, can we get through one day without arguing or fighting about something? Our best friends are getting married today, so let’s put aside any feeling of resentment and bask in the glow of their happiness.”
Sirius’s glare died away and he nodded. “You’re right, like usual.”
She chuckled and whispered to the others, “I’ve trained him to think like that even if I’m wrong. But anyways, let’s get you married, Lily.”
“Yeah, I want to do this before I get antsy.” Lily chortled. Picking up her bouquet, she led the group out the door, and down the stairwells.
As they reached the entrance hall, Remus ran forward, cracked open the large front door, and gave the thumbs-up to Dumbledore. Soon after music started playing, and everyone split up. Remus and Maddie were the first pair to leave the castle, walking slightly out of sync, but no one noticed. Following them with their arms linked were Sirius and Rachel. They smiled at each other, and for a split second, they pictured themselves declaring their love for one another at the altar someday. When they came out of the vision, they hastily looked away from each other to make sure the blush on their cheeks weren’t seen.
Finally, they parted at the altar and waited for Lily to walk down the aisle to her future husband. James was looking a little pale, and was starting to develop a greenish tint. Rachel was able to make eye contact with him, and she smiled to calm him down. He smiled back, and the tint of green faded a bit.
Suddenly, the magically self-playing piano changed tunes, and the entire crowd stood up. The doors to the castle opened, and Lily presented herself. Everyone thought that they were looking at an angel. She was practically floating down the white rug that stretched from the doors to the altar, and the rug was covered with red rose petals. The whole ambiance was truly magical. The bride was beaming as she looked at her love, and he grinned right back. They looked like they were so in love with each other, and it put slightly goofy expressions on their faces. As soon as she reached the altar, Lily handed her bouquet to Rachel, and faced the ecstatic James Potter.
“Friends and family, we are gathered here today—” Dumbledore started, but then Rachel’s attention started to waver.
Her eyes drifted over to Sirius, the man standing across the aisle from her. He was obviously scoping the crowd, possibly looking for his new adventure in women. Once his eyes were done looking over the guests, they landed on Rachel. His eyes were showing an emotion that she couldn’t quiet identify; it was like he was experiencing a whole range of emotions, and they couldn’t seem to break their eye contact.
They could both vaguely make out Dumbledore saying something about the rings, and their eyes watched the couple exchange rings. Sirius and Rachel smiled at them, and were tempted to look at each other once again. Though their minds were not exactly with the ceremony, their eyes were fooling everyone.
“Now, Mr. James Potter, you may kiss your beautiful bride.” Dumbledore declared with his serene smile. Without wasting a minute, James dipped Lily, and then kissed her romantically on the lips. When they pulled apart, Dumbledore added, “Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Potter.”
A/N: Aww, it's a happy ending. But don't worry, there'll be some...interesting developments in the next couple of chapters.
Chapter 26: The One with the Strange Feelings
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A/N: Well, I’m sorry I made you all wait so long again. But I have news for you all: if I don’t change my chapter plans, there will be a total of 54 chapters left to write. It’s going to take a little time to finish this story, but I have some great plans for these six people; I hope you’ll stick with me to the end. But, enough rambling and onto the chapter!
Remus and Rachel silently cracked open the door, and poked their heads inside to see a shocking surprise: the living room was full of luggage. Finally alerting their presence to the newlyweds by opening the door with plenty of noise, Remus smirked, “Lily, how are you not freaking out right now with all of these bags taking up your space?”
As Lily opened her mouth to answer, James clamped a hand over her mouth. Rachel raised one eyebrow, and James replied to her silent question, “Trust me; it’s for your own good. She’ll go into this long-winded speech about all of this, and it’ll bore the pants off of you.”
Finally having enough, Lily bit down on one of James’s fingers, and he cried out in pain giving Lily the opportunity to speak. But no one was expecting her to explain in a quick, squeaky voice. “Well, at first I was having a panic attack, but then I realized it was smart to bring so much along. You never know what might happen out there! We could be hit by a hurricane, because Barbados gets them, you know. So we might need some extra food and clothes! What if it snows? We need something along in case that happens. And, of course, we need some outfits for every occasion! See? I need all of this stuff.”
Rachel turned to Remus and told him, “I bet I stopped listening before you did.” Remus chuckled, and gave James a sympathetic look. Deciding to voice her opinion, Rachel stated, “Lily, honey, it’s Barbados. You don’t need extra food, and you won’t have to worry about a hurricane because you can just Apparate away.”
“Plus,” Remus added intelligently, “it’s Barbados. I highly doubt they’re going to get snowed on.”
Lily sighed in defeat. “You two are right.” She paused for a moment, before turning angrily to James. “You probably told them to come over here so that they could change my mind!”
“No, I really didn’t!” James protested, hands in the air.
“Stop lying to me!” she shouted, glaring daggers into James’s frightened eyes. He was clearly afraid; I guess the rumor about a redhead’s temper was true.
“Have fun on the honeymoon, Prongs.” Rachel grinned. “I can’t believe you’re blowing off my birthday to go on your honeymoon.” When the couple turned to her with apologetic eyes, she smiled warmly and assured them, “I’m not bitter. Trust me; I hope you have a good honeymoon.”
“We’ll finish this later.” Lily muttered to her husband as they went over to hug their friends. It was then that Remus realized that two people were missing from this moment. “Where are Padfoot and Maddie?”
“Oh, they already dropped by.” James informed them. “I think they were going to a movie or something like that.” He looked at the clock and said, “We really have to go, though. Check-in is in a half an hour.”
“Okay, have fun you two!” Remus and Rachel wished them.
Lily levitated ten of her suitcases to the bedroom while James shrunk the two remaining ones and slipped them into his pocket. Remus and Rachel stepped out into the empty hallway, and gave the Potters room to get out of their apartment. As they walked down the stairs, Rachel waved at them as they looked up at their friends one last time. She sighed as Remus put an arm around her shoulders, and she rested her head on his shoulder.
“It’s so romantic to send friends off on their honeymoon.” She voiced. “It really makes you imagine what your day will be like.” She paused, almost wondering if she should finish her thoughts; she didn’t want to hit a soft spot. Though Remus didn’t show it, he was still a little broken-hearted over Olivia’s betrayal. It didn’t help that she was the reason he was out of a steady acting job. “What do you picture your day being like?”
Remus thought for a moment before avoiding the question, “What do you picture that day of yours being like?”
“Well, I used to picture it being me and Sirius going off to some romantic island, but now the guy doesn’t really have a face. Sometimes the picture gets blurry, and it’s replaced by a dark picture. It almost makes me feel as though I’m dead when I see it. It really scares me; it’s like I won’t ever have that happy moment.”
Remus tightened his hug, and said softly, “Believe me, Rach; you’ll have that day with your special guy… but enough with the depressing dark stuff. We need to go inside and change our clothes.”
Rachel turned to him with suspicious eyes. “Why?”
“I made some dinner reservations for us. I’m taking you out for your birthday!”
“Like a…date?” she replied hesitantly.
Remus froze at her question. “Um…I hadn’t thought about it like that. I guess it could it could be a date…that is, if you wanted it to be.”
A smile formed on her lips, and she told him, “It would be nice to be taken out on a date for my birthday since I’m alone right now.”
He returned her smile. “Alright, then. It’s a date. But we’d better hurry up and change.”
Amidst the crowd waiting for their tables at the new restaurant, an attractive pair made their way through the people, and up to the host. “I have a reservation for a table of two under the name Lupin.”
The man in a suit looked on his list and said, “Ah, yes. Right this way Mr. Lupin.” The man led them over to the table, and pulled out the chair for Rachel. She sat down with a small nod, and straightened out her black satin dress. Remus sat in the chair next to her. She took a side glance of him, and came to the conclusion that her friend cleaned up really well. The two menus were placed in front of them. “Your waiter this evening is Edward. He will be with you momentarily.”
“Thank you very much.” Remus told the host, and secretly slipped him a tip before he walked away to seat other guests. “Thank you for being my date tonight, Rachel. You clean up wonderfully.”
A tiny flush rose on her cheeks as she smiled genuinely. “Well, thanks for taking me out for my birthday. I like to see you looking nice like this. You can hardly see any scars from your…problem. Plus, I wanted to thank you once again for taking me out on this pretend date.”
“Hey now,” he protested affectionately, “don’t think that this is just a fake pity date. This is a real date for tonight, okay?”
She chuckled at his earnest expression. It was then that she realized that he hadn’t been on a date in quite some time also. “Okay, honey.” She paused for a moment to look at the menu sitting in her hands. “Wow, everything looks so amazing on here.”
Remus wiped away the tears that had fallen from his eyes. Rachel’s story had been so funny that both of them had started to cry during their laughter. Others around them had looked at them with a disapproving expression, but eventually returned to their own conversations. He looked across the table to see Rachel wiping her pink cheeks dry. As he gazed at her, for she had yet to notice, he felt something in the pit of his stomach that he hadn’t felt in a long time. To be honest, it was scaring him. I mean, this was one of his closest friends, and he didn’t want anything more to happen…right?
“Wow, I’m so sorry about making you laugh that hard, especially when we’re in a fancier place.” She apologized, slightly embarrassed. She looked beautiful; there was no denying it.
He gently grabbed her hand, and stroked it while assuring her, “Rachel, it’s been a long time since I’ve laughed that hard, so don’t be sorry.” He exhaled, released her hand, and paid the bill. “We’d better get going, though.”
“Why the big rush?” she replied nonchalantly. She grabbed his extended arm, and the pair exited the restaurant. “This evening has been magical, Remus. Thank you for this.”
He smiled mischievously. “It’s not over yet.”
“There’s more?” she exclaimed in shock and excitement. ‘Remus is really going all out for my birthday this year,’ she thought. ‘I wonder what else Moony is planning…’ “Well, where is this thing occurring tonight?”
He considered his answer for a moment before asking, “You trust me, right?” She nodded her head, getting a suspicious expression again. “Well, close your eyes; I’m going to Side-Along Apparate you to the place. When we’re there, you need to keep your eyes shut. You’ll know when to open them.”
“Okay.” She agreed hesitantly. She could trust Remus with her life, so why was this making her nervous? Maybe it was the wine she had with dinner.
Her hand grasped her friend’s tightly, and tightened her grip when she felt him turn. Suddenly, she felt her lungs being compressed, and she could’ve sworn that Remus squeezed her hand reassuringly. It was comforting to have his presence beside her. Soon, she felt the chains around her lungs broke free, and she gasped in air.
“I never really got used to Apparating.” She told him with a carefree smile. “Where are we?”
She felt her friend guide her to a door, and when he opened it, three people yelled, “Surprise! Happy Birthday, Rachel!”
“Oh wow, you guys!” she shrieked excitedly. “I’m so surprised! Is this what you two were doing while Remus took me to dinner?”
Realization hit Maddie and Sirius. “So that’s why you two are dressed up! Actually, that wasn’t part of the plan, but I guess it worked out really well.” Sirius grinned.
“Anyway,” Maddie added, “we have music, munchies, drinks, and we even got you a cake from that bakery in Diagon Alley that you like.”
Without any warning, Rachel practically attacked the two of them with a bear hug. You could tell that she was ecstatic, and it made all of the planning worthwhile. “I’m so happy, and shocked that you all did this for me. You didn’t have to go to all the trouble.” She told them humbly.
“Nonsense,” Remus said nonchalantly, “we wanted to do this. We always go all out for our friend’s birthday. Surely you must’ve noticed that.”
“Well—yeah. You’d be blind not to see it. It’s just that when it’s your birthday, it’s different, you know?” the others nodded knowingly. “I guess it’s time to get this party started!”
Suddenly the music came on, and Maddie and Sirius started dancing along to it, and it was an amusing sight. Rachel was about to go and join them as a familiar song came on, but Remus pulled her to the side. “You know,” he remembered, “I don’t think I answered your question about my future honeymoon earlier.”
“Hey, yeah, you scammed out of it by returning the question.”
He looked at her with a very serious expression as he realized what he was going to tell her. “I can see myself walking off into the sunset with this gorgeous brunette, but she has borderline blonde hair if she spends a lot of time outside in sun. She has these—breathtaking blue eyes that make me feel as though I could drown in them. She’d be like my best friend.”
She stood speechless at him for a moment before saying, “That is one of the most romantic things I’ve ever heard, Moony; I mean it. I really hope you find that girl.”
With that, and a glance back at him, Rachel joined her dancing friend. He stood there watching her with a serene yet sad expression. ‘I was talking about you, Rachel.’ He silently told her.
A/N: I lost some reviews during the HPFF meltdown, so it would mean a lot to me if you all reviewed! And without further ado, here's the next chapter.
“I don’t care what you say,” James grumbled. “We’re not changing that thing into some…girly room with dust ruffles and all of that crap.”
“But James,” Lily whined, “it’ll be pretty.” When he refused to even acknowledge her, she asked, “Alright then, what do you want to do with her old room?”
“How about a guest room?” he suggested, finally glancing at her. His previous frustration had disappeared from his hazel eyes. It suited him much better, especially now that he had very tan skin from their honeymoon. “I mean, that way if anyone stays over, they can have their own room.”
Lily sat there for a moment stroking her chin quite comically. Maybe James was wearing off on her serious personality. “Well, it’s not a bad idea. Although pretty much everyone we know lives within a few minutes of our place. I mean, two of our friends are right across the hall.”
He sighed, obviously at a loss of what to do to fix their dilemma. “I don’t want to jump the gun or anything, but what about making the spare room into a nursery? If we make the room in gender neutral colors, it won’t matter which sex the baby is. And then once we have the baby, we can repaint the room if we want to.”
Without warning, Lily leapt into James’s arms and pulled his face towards hers so that they met in a kiss. He could feel love, excitement, and pure happiness pour out of her through that kiss. She pulled away, and let James set her down. “You have just made my day even better.” She squealed.
“Oh, what made it so good to begin with?”
“I woke up and saw your face next to me.” She told him without an ounce of shyness. “That right there told me that today would be a good day.”
He beamed at her, and lightly kissed her nose. “I swear that you make me fall more in love with you each day.”
The door opened, and a familiar voice told them, “I hope I’m not interrupting anything here. I know how lovey-dovey you lovebirds are.”
Chuckling, James and Lily pulled away from each other. “Don’t worry, Remus,” Lily assured him, “it’s safe to come in.”
“Yeah, what’s going on, Moony?” James greeted, hugging his friend. “You look excited and scared at the same time.”
Remus sighed. He came over to talk about the exciting part, but he was afraid of caving about what was worrying him. He couldn’t even imagine what his friends would say if he told them of his feelings. ‘Why do things have to be so complicated?’ he asked himself.
“Um, I have six tickets here for the premiere of the movie I shot awhile ago. I already gave the others their tickets, so I thought I’d pop over here to give you yours.” He pulled an envelope out of his pocket, and pulled two small yellow tickets out of it. They each accepted their tickets, and slipped them into their pockets.
“Okay, that explains the excited part.” James announced. “But what’s got you so worried? You’re not the type to worry. Maybe be a bit more on the serious side, yes, but not worried.”
“Well, yes, there’s something else going on.” He reluctantly revealed. Inside of his mind, Remus was struggling with how to tell them this news. Remus cursed himself for crumbling so easily. “You see, there’s this girl—”
“Ooh, Remmy-kins has his eye on a chica.” James grinned. “Well, do we know her?”
“Yes, you’ve known her for a very long time. Both of you have known her for years upon years.”
Lily’s emerald eyes widened, and her hand quickly covered her hanging jaw. She slowly walked over to him, questioning in her eyes, and guessed in a small voice, “Is it Rachel?”
Though no words came out of his mouth, with the expression in his amber eyes and the pink that somehow snuck onto his cheeks, no words were needed. James’s jaw dropped. “Moony, you’re in love with Rachel? Our Rachel? Sirius’s ex-girlfriend, the love of his life, that Rachel?”
Remus’ eyebrows shot straight up and looked at his friend with annoyed amusement. “How many Rachels do we know?”
“Well, there were a few from Hogwarts, there’s one that works at the Leaky Cauldron, another one that works at Zonko’s, and I know that there are two at my agency—”
Lily smacked the back of his head. “Seriously, shut up now.” She was clearly irritated. “Our friend is going through a very difficult issue in his life right now. Aren’t you, Remus?” When she received no answer, she turned and saw that the door was wide open. He had obviously left. “Way to go, genius. He left because of your hour long list of people you know with the name ‘Rachel.’”
He glared back at her. “Yeah, well, he asked me how many I knew, so I told him.”
Clearly wanting to avoid an argument, Lily looked at her ticket and informed him, “The premiere is tomorrow night. We’d better start figuring out what to wear.” Before James could protest, Lily grabbed his hand and dragged him to their closet.
“Can’t we just Apparate there?” Rachel whined. All six of them were sitting in the back of a limo that Remus had reserved for this evening. Luckily, the window was up so the limo driver couldn’t hear a word they were saying.
James snorted. “Yeah, Rach, that’s a good idea. Let’s see what happens when six people appear out of thin air in front of cameras. That won’t scare them at all.”
“Oh, will you please just shut up?”
All six of the friends looked incredible. James, Remus, and Sirius were wearing suits, and the color of their ties just happened to match each one of the girls’ dresses. Complimenting James’s black tie, Lily was sporting a sparkly black cocktail dress with off-the shoulder sleeves, and simple back high-heels. Matching Sirius’s deep blue tie, Rachel was wearing a short dark blue dress with a black mini jacket, and the same pair of shoes that Lily had on. Maddie was wearing a deep red long dress and matching shoes, going well with Remus’ maroon tie. The funny part was that the only ones that had planned their outfits to match were James and Lily.
As the six of them entered the building, all except Remus seemed to be amazed at the beauty of the theatre. Outside of the room where the movie would be shown was a fancy and sophisticated bar, and celebrities and other famous people were chatting there with each other. Suddenly, two suave and gorgeous-looking men approached the group, causing them to stop drinking in their surroundings, and each addressed Maddie and Rachel, “Hello, miss. May I say that you are the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen?”
A blush was shining on both of their cheeks as Rachel and Maddie became flustered. Before Rachel or Maddie could say something, Sirius stepped forward and placed a possessive arm around Rachel’s shoulders. “Excuse me, sir, but we’re heading to our seats now. Have a nice night.”
Without a shocked expression, one of the men walked away from the group and over to a bar. The other man whispered something in Maddie’s ear, causing her to chuckle, and she linked arms with him while following the other man over to the bar.
Seething, Rachel grabbed Sirius by the wrist and led him over to one of the more secluded areas of the building. Once she assured herself that she and Sirius wouldn’t be disturbed, she turned to him with eyes glaring daggers. “What the hell was that?” she whispered furiously.
“Hey, I was just trying to protect you. I don’t know how much I can trust you when it comes to other men. You’ve been known to do stupid things when you’ve been single for awhile.”
Irate, Rachel slapped him across the face and a red mark was left on his usually perfect face. “I am not yours to protect anymore! I understand that my mistake is the reason that we’re not together, but I am sick of you acting like we’re still romantically involved! I’m done with this charade! We’re either together or not, so what’s it going to be?”
Sirius looked down for a few seconds, sighed, and said in a toneless voice, “We’re not together.”
Before he could see the tears that had suddenly appeared in her eyes, Rachel turned away and followed Remus into the room where the movie would be shown. Sirius made to follow them, but Lily caught him by the arm and informed him quietly, “I’m taking James to St. Mungo’s. He’s showing signs of appendicitis, and I don’t want him to die because I said otherwise. Tell Remus we’re sorry.”
“Don’t worry, Lily.” Sirius assured her with a small smile. “He’ll understand.”
“Thanks honey.” And with that, she had disappeared into the crowd. Deciding that it was time to find his friends once again, Sirius made his way into the theatre.
Rachel found Remus sitting in the second row, and took a seat next to him. He glanced her over, and told her very seriously, “You look really lovely tonight. But unshed tears don’t suit you. What’s wrong?”
She looked over at her friend in shock. Her mouth then started to chuckle. “How do you know me so well? You’re as observant as Lily is.” She sighed. “I just had a little run-in with Sirius. That’s all.”
“I’m sure he didn’t mean to hurt you, Rach.” Remus told her. She looked up at his sincere face from surprise. He looked her straight in the eye before continuing, “Sirius cares deeply for you, whether he shows it or not. The last thing he wants to do in life is hurt you.”
“Moony, you’re making it sound like he’s still in love with me.” She laughed. When Remus didn’t say anything, she sobered up. “You don’t think he is, do you?”
“The only that knows the real answer to your question is Sirius. I can’t read his mind, but I can tell you what I think.” He paused, contemplating how to phrase his answer. “I think that he’s confused. I don’t think he’s real sure about his feelings. But my advice to you is to not worry about it. If it’s meant to be, you two will get back together in due time.”
Comforted by his words, Rachel rested her head on his shoulder. She could not see the blush that appeared on his cheeks, but questioned, “You hung around with the most rambunctious group at Hogwarts, so how did you get to be so smart?”
With a small smile, he responded, “All of us were smart, Rach, it’s just that some of us tended to act like five-year olds. I won’t say names.”
“Hey guys, what’s going on?” Maddie greeted them, sitting next to Remus. She looked surprisingly giddy.
“What’s going on with us?” Rachel said incredulously. “What about you? You’re practically bouncing up and down!”
“Well, this actor named Carl Wilton asked me out. And he is so gorgeous, I think I might faint.”
“Carl Wilton?” Remus confirmed. Maddie nodded. “Carl was one of my co-stars in this movie. He’s a newcomer to acting.”
“Who are we talking about?” Sirius wondered, sitting next to Rachel despite the glare she was showing him.
“We’re discussing an actor that Maddie is dating now.” Rachel informed him shortly. Suddenly, she addressed Maddie in a chirpy voice, “I’m so happy for you, honey! It must be so exciting!”
The lights started to dim, and Remus shushed the group. “The movie’s going to start.”
At St. Mungo’s, James Potter was lying on a bed with Lily sitting in a chair next to him, holding his hand. A Healer entered the room and addressed Lily. “Mrs. Potter, your husband is fine. He did have appendicitis, but we’ve taken care of the situation. He should be able to leave tomorrow morning.”
“Thank you, ma’am.” Lily told her gratefully. Her attention was soon turned to her husband who was waking up.
“Lily, am I at St Mungo’s?” he groaned.
“Yes, sweetie, you are.” She smiled at him. “You had appendicitis, but the Healers took care of it, and you’ll be just fine. You’ll need to get some rest, but everything is going to be okay.”
James warmly returned her smile, and then adopted a thoughtful look. “You know, Lily, since we’re here at St. Mungo’s, maybe the Healers will do those tests for us.”
Her eyes widened from excitement. “You’re right! We’ll ask them to do those tests, and then we’ll find out if we’re okay!”
With his mind set, James nodded his agreement. “We’ll know before we leave the hospital.”
“Hey James, how are you feeling?” Maddie asked as the formal dressed group sat down around his hospital bed. “Lily told us you had surgery.”
“Yeah, but it’s not too bad. I should be able to leave tomorrow. But they want to keep me a little longer than they originally planned because of some extra tests.” James informed them. As he said ‘extra tests’, he and Lily shared a glance that wasn’t seen by the others. “So, what do you have planned for tomorrow night?”
“Well, I’m taking these guys to a fashion show.” Rachel told him. “I get free tickets since I helped pick the outfits for the show.”
“Yeah, James,” Sirius said in a playful tone. “We get to have drinks and watch hot models walk around in high heels and skimpy outfits.”
Frustrated with him once more, Rachel rolled her eyes and grabbed his ear roughly. “You are not coming to drool over models!” she scolded him as she dragged him out of the room. “You are there to see what designs I chose!”
Maddie licked her lips and broke the awkward silence by saying, “I better get out there to keep an eye on those two. Get better, James.” She then followed the fighting pair out of the room and shouted, “Silencio!”
“So what did everyone think of your movie, Remus?” Lily questioned him. “We’re really sorry we couldn’t stay.”
Remus waved it off with his hand. “Don’t worry. I wouldn’t want my friend to die just because he wanted to see my movie. But everyone said it’s really good, and I guess the critics don’t think it’s too bad. I’m pretty happy with that.”
“That’s good.” Lily smiled warmly at him. “How’s the whole Rachel situation going?”
“To be honest with you,” Remus said after a slightly hesitation, “I’m going to ask Sirius tomorrow for permission to tell her about my feelings.”
Lily sighed, her eyes so bright. “Remus, that’s so romantic. James, you should do something romantic for me…”
James’s eyebrows disappeared into the mess of hair on his head. “I just took you on a trip to Barbados for our honeymoon, how much more romance do you want? I’m sitting in a hospital bed right now, so please have mercy on me.”
After pouting for a few seconds, she kissed him on the forehead and told him, “Okay. But Remus, do you even know what you’re going to say? I mean, I don’t even know how Sirius is going to react.”
Sitting up in his bed, James cleared his throat, indicating that he wanted to add onto that. “I have studied the specimen known as Sirius Black for 17 years, and I believe that he will react one of two ways: he will be shocked, but extremely supportive.”
“What about the other one?” Remus begged to know. If anyone knew Sirius besides Rachel, it was James.
“Or…he’ll beat the shit out of you.” He answered bluntly. “There’s no in-between when it comes to Sirius. Hey, maybe you’ll be brought in here while I’m still here.”
Lily and Remus simultaneously shot him a glare. “Well,” Remus told them, “thanks for your help and, uh, really great assurance. I’ll see you guys tomorrow.”
“Good luck, Remus!” Lily called after him.
As Remus stood inside The Only One, he began to pace nervously. This was probably the safest place to hold this dangerous conversation, but at both men had gotten a decent night of sleep. Having some good sleep decreases irritability; this was extremely important today. The bell at the entrance door rang, and Remus jumped when he saw Remus. Clearly, he was more nervous than he originally believed.
“Hey, Moony, what’s going on? You seem a little jumpy.” Sirius grinned as he sat in the booth across from his friend. He suddenly called over to the bar, “Hey Richard! I’ll have a scotch neat.”
“Coming right up.” Came the reply.
Remus’ eyes starting darting around the bar, making sure that there were enough people around them so that Sirius wouldn’t have an outburst. Genuinely concerned now, Sirius placed a hand on Remus’ shoulder and asked, “Serious, Remus, what’s going on? I don’t like seeing you like this. You almost look like you’re scared.”
He had nailed it perfectly. Remus was terrified. He really didn’t want to go to St. Mungo’s for his own injuries. “Well, I wanted to talk to you about this girl that I really like…maybe even love.”
Sirius’s eyebrows shot up. He chuckled nervously before saying, “I don’t understand why you’re talking to me about this. Why didn’t you talk to one of the girls, or even James?”
“This is the one subject that needs to be discussed with you.”
The way Remus had said those words sent a chill down Sirius’s spine. He had never seen Remus so serious and possibly…distressed. Breaking the tension in the air, Richard came over and set the drinks on the table. Remus had ordered a shot of tequila, and quickly drank it down, accompanied by some salt also.
Now extremely curious, Sirius continued, “Okay, Moony. Tell me about this girl and why you need to talk to me about her.”
“She’s so amazing! She’s beautiful, funny, intelligent, and she has this way of making me feel so good about myself just because she’s friends with me. It’s getting so hard to sleep, and food doesn’t even taste that good anymore.” After spilling things that even Remus didn’t realize, he paused before carrying on, “But there’s this guy that she was with for a long time, and I know that he was the love of her life. He’s also a friend of mine, and I don’t want to create bad feelings between the two of us.”
Setting his now empty glass down, Sirius looked Remus in the eye. “I think you need to tell this guy about her. If he’s a good friend, he should be okay with it if you give him a head’s up.”
‘Well, I guess it’s now or never…’ Taking a deep breath, Remus revealed, “Its Rachel. Rachel is the girl that I’m in love with.”
“R-Rachel?” Sirius spluttered. “Rachel Delancy? You are in love with my ex-girlfriend and your roommate?”
Unable to look at one of his best friends, Remus looked down at the table. “Yes, I am in love with her. I’m sorry if that upsets you, but if anything were to happen between me and Rachel, I wanted you to know of my feelings ahead of time. This wouldn’t be some stupid fling. This girl would be the light of my life, and my world would revolve around her.”
Silence filled the table, and the only sounds that were heard in the bar were the sounds of soft conversation at other tables, and the sounds of Richard making drinks at the bar. These sounds weren’t heard by the two friends, as one was thinking deeply and the other was waiting to see if his nose would be broken soon.
“So, you’re in love with Rachel?” Sirius repeated slowly. Remus nodded his head with his eyes still looking away. “Go get her.” Remus’ head then snapped up, and then Remus started to rub his neck because it had cracked. Sirius, who was now that one looking away, told him, “Things seem to be going nowhere between myself and Rachel. Truth be told, if she were to end up with someone else, there’s no one I’d approve of more.”
“Really?” Remus questioned disbelievingly. “This is your Rachel we’re talking about.”
With a sad sigh, Sirius reminded him, “She’s not exactly mine anymore. Now go get her, and I’ll see you two tonight at the fashion show.”
“Now Remus!” Sirius commanded. There was almost a regretful tone in his voice. “Leave this bar and go talk to her right now!”
As Remus quickly got up out of his seat, and quickly walked out of the bar, he thought to himself ‘maybe Sirius isn’t taking this as well as I thought.’
Surrounded by well dressed people and tons of photographers, Remus followed Rachel’s lead to where the group was sitting. Sirius and Maddie were following behind, but after exchanging a glance with Remus, Sirius was busy talking to Maddie so she wouldn’t eavesdrop, a trait that she was famous for.
“Ah, the weather’s lovely now, isn’t it?” Remus overheard his friend say pathetically, causing him to grin a tiny bit.
Rachel tapped Remus and whispered in ear, “Thanks so much for coming with me tonight. I hope you don’t mind being around the camera flashes one more night.”
“It’s no problem at all,” Remus informed her. Accidentally letting it slip, he also added, “I’d endure anything to be with you.”
Rachel’s jaw dropped from surprise; Remus’ eyes widened in fear and shock. She wasn’t sure what to think, but there was one question in her mind. Without a second thought, she voiced it. “Remus, what did you mean by that?”
His head dropped into his hands. Fortunately, Remus didn’t know that his best friend was eavesdropping while talking to Maddie. Sirius felt bad for his friend. “This is so not how I wanted to tell you, Rachel, and I’m sorry about that. But, I guess I have no choice but to tell you.” He paused for a moment. “Rachel, I’ve fallen in love with you.”
Rachel’s breath caught as her friend revealed his deepest secret. Sirius was also holding his breath, but he wasn’t sure what reply he wanted to hear. He wanted his friend to be happy, but he also didn’t want to let Rachel go.
Finally collecting her thoughts, she asked, “Remus, how long have you been…you know…in love with me?”
“Does it really even matter?” he responded. “I knew I had to tell you, whether or not you felt the same for me.”
Tears of sadness coming to her eyes, she whispered, “Remus, I’m so sor—”
“Please, Rachel, don’t be sorry.” He told her. “I didn’t think you felt for me what I felt for you, but I thought that you should know.”
“Aw, honey.” She muttered before engulfing him in a bone-crushing hug. She was fighting back tears; it killed her to hurt her friend, one of her best friends, so much. Not caring who was looking, the two kept hugging each other until lights dimmed down for the show to start.
James and Lily were holding hands while waiting anxiously for the results of their tests. Not surprisingly, they both jumped when the door to James’s room opened up and their new Healer, Healer Jones, walked in.
Healer Jones was a fifth year Healer with St. Mungo’s, and she specialized in fertility and pregnancy. She had a fairly normal look, but her smile always seemed to light up a room. Her black hair was almost always in a ponytail, and she always maintained her professionalism.
“Well, I’ve just received your test results.” She informed them in an almost unidentifiable tone. It scared the couple. “Unfortunately, James and Lily, you are unable to conceive a child through natural means. James, your sperm count is extremely low; Lily, your uterus in bad shape for some reason. It seems that you were born that way. I’m terribly sorry.”
“Will you please go get him?”
“Why should I have to do it? You’re the one who made things awkward.”
“Do not make me hex you because I will! He won’t even look at me.”
“No sane person would look at you for very long.”
“Confundo!” The spell hit the target perfectly. “There! Take that Mr. I’ve-Got-A-Death-Wish.”
“Wow, I feel all confused now…please help me.”
“I don’t know why I chose that spell. It didn’t change your behavior whatsoever.” She then cast the spell to heal him.
Rachel and Sirius were hanging out in the Potters’ apartment with James, Lily, and Maddie. James and Lily had something to announce to the whole group, but Rachel didn’t want to face Remus. All of last night and all day today, anytime Remus and Rachel were in the same room, Remus left without a single word to anyone. So, Sirius and Rachel were arguing about who would go fetch Remus for this announcement. Finally admitting defeat, Sirius left the apartment with a glare towards Rachel. Clearly he did not like that last statement from his ex.
Satisfied, Rachel joined Maddie on the couch across from the married couple who kept talking quietly. This was clearly big news.
“Do you think something went wrong with the surgery?” Rachel whispered to Maddie.
She shook her head. “If something came up, James would probably still be at St. Mungo’s.” They were quiet for a few seconds before Maddie got an idea. You could practically see a light bulb shining over her head. “Maybe it’s about those tests they mentioned.”
“Wow, I completely forgot about them. Those two were awfully mum about the subject.”
“Well, maybe now that they know the results, they want to tell us as a group.” Maddie gasped. “Maybe Lily’s pregnant!”
Rachel’s eyes widened. “You think so? I mean, they’ve only been married for a few weeks.”
“Some couples do that, you know. I don’t see why, though. They don’t really get the chance to adjust to married life, and all of a sudden there’s a third person in the family.”
“That makes sense,” Rachel agreed, “but Lily has wanted a baby for so long and so badly. I know that she’s only 27, but this is one of her life’s missions. And I think James supports it. He doesn’t say it, but I know he wants a baby.”
The front door opened and closed with Remus and Sirius now in the room. Despite the immediate tension, Sirius announced as he sat down next to Rachel, “Okay, the sixth and final person is here! Let’s get this show on the road.” Remus remained in the kitchen.
Standing up together, James placed an arm around Lily’s shoulders, signaling the okay to say what they wanted to say. In a slightly choked up voice, Lily informed them, “While James was in St. Mungo’s, we decided to get some fertility tests done. James and I both agreed that we wanted to have a baby fairly soon into our marriage, and that it wouldn’t hurt to see if we were both okay.” Lily paused for a moment to recompose herself. “Unfortunately, neither James nor I have the ability to create a baby.”
Sadness and pity struck the hearts of their friends listening to this heartbreaking message, but everyone remained silent so that they could finish.
James picked up, “Our Healer wants us to go in again in a few minutes or so to have a meeting with her. She’ll go over some options with us, and Lily and I will decide what to do about this issue. But we promise that we’ll keep you guys update. You’re our family, and I know you’ll support whatever we choose.”
“Of course we will.” Maddie assured them, and became the first friend to hug James and Lily. Remus, Sirius, and Rachel all followed suit.
By the time Rachel got to Lily, Lily was crying. The two stood there for awhile just hugging each other, and Rachel let her friend release the sadness she was feeling. Once Lily had stopped sniffling, Rachel pulled away and kissed her on the top of her head. “It’ll be fine, honey.” She promised. “You two will figure something out.”
“Oh, I know, Rach.” Lily told her while wiping away her tears. “It’s just devastating, that’s all. You know how much I’ve wanted to carry a baby.”
“Go see your Healer and maybe that can still happen.”
“Good-bye, everyone. We’ll see you later.” James said before Disapparating with his wife.
The couple disappeared with a soft pop and left the remaining people alone in the apartment. “Goodness,” Rachel breathed. “When they said they had an announcement, I didn’t think it would be something like this. Did you know anything about this, Remus?” She was hoping he’d actually respond.
“No, I knew as much as you guys did.” He answered shortly, before turning to leave the apartment. Rachel stood up and called after him, but he slammed the door shut.
Tears were pooling in Rachel’s eyes as she said in a frustrated voice, “That man is too stubborn! I can’t stand him being so…awkward around me. I hate it! This is bullshit!”
Pulling her into a hug, Sirius murmured in her ear, “Shh, it’ll be okay. Just give him time.”
“Hello, James and Lily,” greeted Healer Jones. “Please have a seat.” She offered, leading them to the cushioned chairs in front of her mahogany desk. “I’m sorry that we couldn’t meet under better circumstances, but I’m glad that you have come in to discuss this.”
“I actually have a question before we get too far into this,” Lily informed her. “We’re in the magical world, so isn’t there something you can do to increase our chances of conceiving?”
Healer Jones sighed. “Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do with magic. This is a subject where many Healers are working on some type of solution to this problem, but there haven’t been any breakthroughs. With this, we’ll have to resort to more of the Muggle solutions.”
Grasping his wife’s hand, James consented, “We’re open to any suggestions, Healer Jones.”
Getting out a piece of parchment, Healer Jones put on her glasses and started to read and explain suggestions. “First of all, you can always adopt. It is a long process, and there’s no guarantee, but you never know. But since you have sperm and eggs, I have another suggestion for you to consider: surrogacy.”
“What exactly is that?”
“Basically,” Healer Jones enlightened them, “we’ll take some of your sperm, James, and some of your eggs, Lily, and we’ll mix them together in a Petri dish. Following that, we’ll place the embryos into the uterus of a female of your choice. If the embryos attach, that girl will carry your child. If you go with this option, you’ll obviously need her consent. But this is the procedure I’d recommend for your case.”
Lily was facing an internal and emotional battle. She had dreamed of carrying her own child for her entire life, but she still wanted to have a baby that had the genetics of her and James. She had nothing against adoption, but she wanted to have a baby that had James’s black hair and her green eyes. It was the way she’d always pictured their child.
Suddenly, she came up with an idea. Leaning over, she whispered said idea into James’s ear. He considered it for a few moments before informing Healer Jones, “I think we might have a surrogate. But you’ll have to give us a chance to talk to her.”
“No problem.” Healer Jones smiled. “If you get her consent, please return to the office with her and we’ll go over the procedure in more detail.”
“Thank you for your help.” James said, shaking her hand. Lily also shook her hand before Apparating back to the apartment with James.
Sitting on the couch next to each other, Sirius, Rachel, and Maddie were all watching the Quidditch Channel on the Potters’ television. Their favorite team was England, and they were watching the entire team of players fly around. To be truthful, the game was quite boring. No one has even scored in the first twenty minutes of the game, and the Snitch was nowhere to be found. The front door opened, and James and Lily walked to the back of the couch.
“Ooh, this looks exciting.” James said dully.
“Yeah, it’s been this way for the last twenty minutes.” Sirius agreed. “How’d it go? Did you guys figure out a plan?”
Turning off the television, Lily told them, “Actually, we did come up with an idea. Rachel, we wanted to talk to you about it.”
Fully paying attention now, Rachel leaned forward. “Go ahead; I’m all ears.”
James and Lily explained to her about the idea of surrogacy, and that was the plan they were hoping to go with so that their child could still have their genes. Utterly confused, Rachel asked them, “Okay, so how does this concern me?”
“Well,” James started, “we only have two females in our life that we would trust enough to carry our child. And even though you’re still our friend, Maddie, we’ve known Rachel for our entire lives. I mean, Lily and Rachel were friends years before Hogwarts. So, we were wondering if you would be our surrogate, Rach.”
For several minutes, Rachel sat there gaping at them with wide eyes that refused to blink. It almost looked like she had died in that position and was preserved that way. Sirius started waving a hand in front of her face. “Rachel? Rachel, snap out of it.” He commanded softly. When she refused to move, he adapted an evil smirk on his face. “She asked for it.” He muttered, and kissed her on the lips. Luckily, this snapped her out of her daze enough to slap him.
“What in the name of Merlin was that?” she yelled. “You’re lucky that your face is still in one piece.”
“It was the only way to snap you out of your weird realm you were stuck in.” he defended.
Rushing forward, Lily placed a hand on Rachel’s shoulder. “Don’t decide now. Please think about it. It’s a big decision, so don’t take it lightly. But please do consider it.”
“Oh, honey, you know I will.” Rachel assured her with a small smile. “It’s just a little overwhelming, that’s all.”
Suddenly exhausted, Rachel stumbled over into her apartment and onto the couch. She didn’t know what to do. Hearing noise and some groaning, Remus walked out of his bedroom and sat down next to her. “What happened?” he asked in a monotone voice.
“James and Lily asked me to be the surrogate for their baby.” She replied in the same tone. “I don’t know what to do. I mean, I want to see them become parents. They’ll be really good parents. But the first time I thought I would have a baby was totally different.”
“How so?” he questioned, starting to stroke her hair as she rested her head on his lap.
“Well, the baby would be mine. I wouldn’t have to give up a baby after I had him or her. I thought I’d be married to the love of my life, and that the baby would be a keeper. That’s the biggest thing holding me back. I can’t imagine how painful it would be to give up a baby that you’ve carried with you for nine months.”
With a comforting sigh, Remus gave her some advice. “You know, the baby won’t be out of your life. I’ll bet you anything that James and Lily will make you the godmother of their child. But you’ll be putting your body through a lot of things like labor, morning sickness, gaining weight, and many more factors.” He paused and looked into her eyes. “I promise you that if you choose to have this baby, I will be there with you the entire time. I know that everyone else will be there too, but I’ll stand beside you the next nine months.”
Practically crying, Rachel gave her friend a bear hug. “Oh, Remus, I’m so glad. Thank you so much for helping me. I think I’m going to tell them yes.”
“That’s really great, Rach.” He told her sincerely. “We’ll be here every step of the way.”
She gave him a gigantic grin, and ran across the hall. When she burst into the apartment, everyone looked away from the television and at her. Rachel jogged over to Lily and James, grabbed one hand of each Potter, and announced excitedly, “I’ll carry your baby.”
“You will?” Lily practically shrieked. Rachel nodded. Rachel then got pulled into a bone-crushing hug. “Oh, thank you so much!”
“Lily, please don’t kill me before I even have the embryos in me.” Rachel choked.
“Come on, already!” James whined. “Let’s get going!” To say that he was excited about embryos was the biggest understatement of the year.
Thoroughly annoyed by James complaining about leaving two minutes late, Rachel growled, “James Charlus Potter, those embryos are not in my uterus yet. Don’t make me regret this decision.”
Sirius nudged Maddie. “Amazing, isn’t it? She’s not even pregnant yet and she’s already getting mood swings.” Suddenly, he yelped in pain. “Hey, that was uncalled for!”
Twirling her wand, Rachel said smugly, “It was the best way of punishing you. I mean, it was only a mild stinging hex and you’re crying like a little girl.”
Steam was practically coming out of Sirius’s ears. In order to prevent the surrogate from getting into a battle, one which would eventually become very destructive, Lily and James quickly grabbed Rachel’s wrists, and Side-Apparated her to St. Mungo’s. Sirius just stood there grumbling as Remus led him over to the couch.
As Rachel felt the ability to breathe overtake her, she opened her eyes and took in her surroundings. The office didn’t look like St. Mungo’s at all. The walls were colored warm beige, and the furniture was a wonderful mixture of maroon, white, and black. This office was the quintessence of sophistication. Suddenly stopping her from looking around, an urbane Healer stood up and extended her hand. “Hello. I’m Healer Jones. You must be Rachel Delancy.”
Utterly confused, Rachel shook her hand and questioned, “Yes, I am. How do you know my name?”
With a slight laugh, she explained, “James and Lily told me about you when they were thinking about surrogates. They brought you up as the most likely candidate, and you seem like you fit their description.”
“Um, okay, sure.” Rachel murmured, taking a seat along with the others in the office. “So, I guess we’re here to go over things?”
Pulling out a small stack of papers, Healer Jones replied, “Yes, I want to go over the full procedure with you before we proceeded. Basically, we’ll be extracting some sperm from James, and combine it with five of Lily’s eggs in a Petri dish. We will then perform a very basic procedure on you to insert the embryos into your uterus. You will be awake the entire time, and the entire thing will be done using magic, so you will feel no pain.
Now, onto the chances of success; if we insert five embryos, there is a forty percent chance that at least one of them will stick. And since we’re doing this with magic, the chances are higher than the Muggle way. With Muggle methods, there is only a twenty percent chance. Be thankful for your magical blood. If an embryo sticks, then there is a high chance that the baby will grow and develop in your womb faster than usual, due to all of the magic. As long as we have frequent sonograms and appointments, I don’t see why this pregnancy shouldn’t go smoothly.”
“Are there any tests you need to do on me before you insert the embryos?”
Healer Jones smiled. “There’s no need. I already performed a spell, and got some medical data about your reproductive system.” She waved her wand, and a little picture of a reproductive system appeared before them. The image zoomed into a certain organ. “This is your uterus. There are no tears, and everything seems to be in order. You are definitely a good choice for a surrogate. Are there anymore questions?”
Lily, James, and Rachel all looked at each other. They shook their heads.
With a large grin on her lips, Healer Jones stood up and told them, “Then I guess everything is in order. I’ll lead you three into different rooms, and we’ll let you go when the procedure is done.”
Shaking her hand again, Rachel revealed, “I was really nervous about this, so thank you for explaining everything for me.”
Sirius stood over a smoking powder blue potion, stirring rapidly. They were in Rachel and Remus’ apartment, and the lights were all turned off. The only light in the room was the slight blue glow being emitted from the cauldron. Remus glanced nervously at him. “Padfoot, should I be afraid right now?”
Sirius snorted. “Just because this is a creation of mine and it hasn’t been approved yet doesn’t mean it’ll hurt you, Moony. I’ve already double-checked every ingredient, and you’ll be fine.”
“I’m not sure if I trust you, though. You won’t even tell me what this will do to me.”
Finally looking up, Sirius informed him, “All this will do, Moony, is make your hair turn bright pink…hopefully.”
Now panicking, Remus yelled, “What do you mean ‘hopefully’? What the hell is that supposed to mean?”
“This has never been tested before. There are bound to be setbacks.” Sirius stopped when he saw how truly scared his friend was. Placing a hand on his shoulder, he assured him, “There’s a ninety-eight percent chance of it being a successful reaction. And if something happens, I can summon any type of antidote from my apartment. Now just wait for a few more seconds, and this will be ready.”
The door to their apartment opened, and Maddie walked in. “Hey, what is with the lights being turned off? And what type of concoction are you brewing up now, Sirius?” She didn’t notice their stunned looks until then. “What’s wrong with you two? You look like frogs waiting for a fly to zoom into your mouths.”
Snapping out of his trance, Sirius told her, “It’s nothing. It’s just that you look really nice tonight.”
Maddie was wearing a simple black cocktail dress with a simple pair of black high heels, and she was wearing a diamond necklace that she received from Carl just yesterday. The look was simple, yet Maddie made it look stunning.
“Oh, this little outfit?” she verified. The men nodded. “I have a date tonight with Carl, and I wanted to look really nice. Plus, I thought I’d wear this necklace that he gave me.”
Slyly, Remus teased, “Is this getting pretty serious? You’re wearing jewelry on a date, and you think that it is bad luck after what happened with that one guy from the bar.”
With a shrug, Maddie responded, “We’ve only been going out for a week. He’s really sweet, but it’s not like we’re planning on getting married or having kids at this point.” She checked her watch. “Oh, shoot, I have to go or I’ll be late. I’ll see you two boys later. And behave Sirius. Remus’ll smack you around a bit if you don’t.”
“Please, Maddie, don’t make me laugh.” Sirius gasped through the tears of laughter flowing down his cheeks. When he looked up and saw Remus’ face, he instantly stopped. “Sorry.” He muttered. As Maddie closed the door, both of them said, “Have fun!”
With a genuine smile, Remus told Sirius, “I’m so glad she’s found someone. She seems to be the only one out of the six of us that hasn’t had some type of deep, meaningful feelings for another person.”
“Yeah, it just so happens that our group usually gets them for other people in our group.” Sirius pointed out in a monotone voice. He was clearly referring to the recent incident.
With an exasperated sigh, Remus begged, “Sirius, please drop the whole ‘Rachel’ thing. You said you were fine with it.”
Though he stopped stirring, Sirius kept his head down. Remus suspected that he was trying to hide the emotions that had been flowing through him during this entire ordeal. “Remus, I told you it was fine to tell her. I may not have been the happiest about it, but I was able to deal with it. I did not, however, approve of the way you treated her when she didn’t feel the same way. It was not her fault.”
Remus was stunned. That was definitely not what he was expecting, but the words were enough to tell Remus a very important secret. ‘Holy mother of Merlin! He still loves her.’
Rachel was sitting in a hospital room at St. Mungo’s in nothing but a dressing gown. Luckily, the room was private, and no one had entered yet. She was sitting on the bed, fiddling with her thumbs. ‘Why am I so nervous? It’s not like this is my baby. But the last time I thought I was pregnant, it turned out to be a false positive. Maybe that’s why…’ For the sixth time in the last minute, Rachel looked at the clock sitting beside her bed. She felt like she’d been sitting there, waiting, for a couple of hours. ‘What could be holding Healer Jones up?’
Unconsciously, her hands had moved up to her belly and were resting there. Suddenly, her mood became even more sober. Rachel understood that she had never been pregnant, but that feeling of blissful anxiety was addicting. Only now, this baby wouldn’t be hers. After nine months, after already “losing” a baby, she’d have to give this one up. ‘No, don’t think like that! This is for James and Lily, and at least I can be Aunt Rachel.’
The door opened, causing Rachel to be startled. Healer Jones chortled, “Sorry to startle you like that, Rachel. I’ve finally prepared the embryos. Things took a little longer than usual, but everything still seems to be in order.” Moving over to the bed, and setting a little Petri dish on a metal table, she continued, “Alright, I need to you to lie back. You’ll feel a little sting, but that’s the numbing spell. After that, you’ll feel a tiny bit of pressure. I’ll let you know when I’ve finished.” Healer Jones paused for a moment. “You know, there’s still time to back out if you want to. No one would judge you.”
Suddenly confident with her choice, Rachel looked the Healer in the eye and told her, “James and Lily are my family, and I would do anything for them. At least I’ll be Aunt Rachel, which might be even better…”
With a warm smile, Healer Jones nodded before beginning the procedure. Though she didn’t feel any pain, Rachel remained a bit on the tense side during the entire things. But once the Healer told her she was finished, she visibly relaxed. “Everything went smoothly.” She was assured.
Remus sat on his living room couch staring at a goblet of the potion that Sirius had just finished. Sirius kept nudging him every thirty seconds during the last five minutes. Clearing his throat, he informed his friend, “Sirius, you’re like a brother to me. You really are. But forgive me if I’m afraid of an experimental potion.”
Holding the goblet up to Remus, Sirius gave him a puppy-dog look. With a groan, Remus reluctantly grabbed the potion, took a deep breath, and drank the entire thing in one gulp. He then set the empty goblet on the coffee table in front of them. “How do you feel?” Sirius asked him.
Remus tilted his head in thought, and he started to say, “I feel pretty good” only to be cut off by a warm sensation on his head. Suddenly, Sirius was screaming, and Remus felt jolts of pain and burning on his head. “Aguamenti!” Sirius shouted, pointing his wand at Remus’ burning head. A shot of water flew from it, and put out the small flame. The only thing remaining from the flame was some smoke still protruding from Remus’ bald spot.
“What did I tell you, Remus?” Maddie chuckled. “If he misbehaves, I told you smack Sirius upside the head. I think setting your head on fire falls under that category.”
Obeying orders, Remus smacked Sirius. There was an actual handprint left on his face.
“Gee, thanks, Maddie.” Sirius said bitterly.
“Hey, have our friends gotten home yet?” Maddie asked them.
“Well, when I came back, I decided to buy them a pregnancy test, you know, just in case.” She grinned, holding up the box.
“Ooh, thank you, honey!” Rachel squealed, hugging her blonde friend. The three that had been mentioned were suddenly standing in the apartment. “I’m going to go take it right now!”
“I think there was a side effect of the spell that Healer Jones used,” James voiced. “She said something about ‘hyperactive’ and ‘energetic’.”
“But she told us that the procedure went smoothly.” Lily added, wrapping an arm around her husband’s waist. “We’re all a bit on the nervous side, that’s all. I mean, how many chances are we going to get? This procedure cost a bundle of Galleons…”
“Just relax, you two,” Remus told them gently. “The more you worry about it, the less optimistic you’ll be. Just keep a positive mindset, and we’ll see what the future holds for us.” Though they said nothing, those words of advice meant the world to James and Lily, and both visibly relaxed. An exchanged smile was all that was needed to show their gratitude.
It seemed to be staring at her as she paced around the small room, high-heels clicking against the black and white tiled floor. How she loathed it right now. It seemed to be calling to her, ‘Look at me. I’m not done yet, but look at me. You know you want to.’ She wanted to scream with frustration at the stick. Stopping and closing her eyes, Rachel took a calming breath, hoping to rid herself of these spiteful feelings. This time was different than the last; there would be more lives affected by this outcome…
Glancing at her watch for the fifth time, Rachel groaned with annoyance. How long did three minutes take? Time had practically stopped. These were all familiar feelings, though. All of them were experienced the last time Rachel took one of these life-changing tests.
‘Just remember that you might not be pregnant yet. Healer Jones said it might take a couple of days for the embryos to attach.’
Finally, the moment had come. Rachel reached out her hand, meaning to grab the stick, but she was unable to move. She had finally become paralyzed with fear. ‘Who knew that a little stick with urine on it could create such nervousness?’ Before she could question her movements, Rachel went forward and grabbed both the test and the box. Her eyes were wide with disbelief as her eyes went back and forth between the two items in her hands. She felt as though she was going to faint. Setting both things down once again, Rachel turned towards the closed door, and somehow opened the handle.
All eyes were suddenly looking at her.
“James, Lily,” she started in a weird tone. It sounded very numb, almost emotionless. “Forgive my state of shock, but you two are going to have a baby.”
Everyone’s jaws dropped. “Can you repeat that?” Lily asked, almost pleading.
“I’m pregnant with your baby.” Rachel repeated, finally feeling the joy that had been tied up for a few seconds. The moment was sheer bliss as Rachel hugged her two best friends, reveling in their happiness.
A/N: Sorry for taking so long, but here's the newest chapter. There will be some interesting developments with a couple of our characters.
And for those of you that are still being ever so patient, I'm approximately 3/4 done with the next chapter of Free My Soul.
“What in the name of Merlin is that gut-wrenching smell?” Rachel groaned as she stumbled out of her room. She was wearing a pair of dark blue satin pajama pants with a matching pajama shirt. Through her outfit, you could see a bit of a baby bump. The baby was now technically three months along, although Rachel had only carried the baby for a month. The Healer’s prediction about the baby growing faster than usual had come through.
“Rachel, all you smell is eggs and toast.” Lily informed her, pulling out a couple of plates. Sirius, James, and Remus were sitting at the dining table, waiting patiently for her to serve them. “I take it you won’t be eating this lovely breakfast food, again.”
Rachel glared at her as she took the seat next to James. James offered her a big smile and said, “Good morning, Rachel.” He then kissed her belly. “Good morning, baby.” As he brought his head back up, Rachel was serving him a glare of his own.
“I have to agree with Rachel on this one, Prongs.” Remus told him. “That wasn’t a bit on the creepy side at all.”
Lily cleared her throat before asking, “So, what would you and the baby like for breakfast today, Rach. Is bacon a safe food again?” Lily was opening the freezer even as she asked the question. The safest food for Rachel the last few days had been bacon. Earlier it had been French toast, and the first few days that morning sickness showed up, the food of choice had been pancakes.
“I’m assuming that it would be safe. It has been since last Monday.” She replied, laying her head down on the table. “So, what do you and Maddie have planned today, Lily? She said something about spending the day together.”
“Oh, I had forgotten about that.” Lily chuckled as she placed a few pieces of bacon on the frying pan. “She has this date tonight with Carl tonight, and he’s introducing her to some of his actor friends. Well, she wanted a really elegant dress for tonight, but she doesn’t have anything that she likes. So, we’re going shopping today.”
“That sounds like fun.” Rachel said, but then her face paled. The smell of bacon had just entered the room, and it wasn’t having a good reaction. Without a word, Rachel pushed herself off of her chair and ran into the bathroom. The slam of the door signified the official morning sickness.
“Okay, who wants to be the one to calm her down?” James asked, glancing towards the bathroom. “I did it yesterday, so I think someone else should do it.”
“I’ll go.” Sirius volunteered. He stood up, and gently opened the door. Once she waved him inside, he entered the room and closed the door. “Here, Rach. I’ll hold up your hair.”
Even as another wave of sickness overwhelmed her, Sirius held her hair back and kept rubbing small circles on her back. After she got sick, she started to cry. He fetched a cloth, and ran some warm water over it. Once he had rung out the facecloth, he turned her face towards his, and he washed off the tears that were sliding down her cheeks. Her eyes looked away from his in embarrassment. Crying was a reflex from getting sick, but Rachel still hated it. It made her feel weak, and Sirius knew it.
“How about I stay home from work today and I’ll help you through these symptoms? Will that make you feel better?” he asked her softly. She nodded, tears welling in her eyes again, and he embraced her. Never before had he felt so at peace as he held her, tears soaking into his shirt.
“I’ll ring you when Maddie and I are done.” Lily called out as she left the apartment. Remus and James were left alone in the living room, while Sirius and Rachel were still sitting in the bathroom.
“What are we going to do today?” Remus wondered. “Neither of us has to work, and everyone else is going to be preoccupied today.”
James’s hazel eyes suddenly lit up. “I have my old Pensieve sitting in the closet of the guest bedroom. We could look at our wonderful times at Hogwarts.”
Remus agreed, and James brought him into the guest bedroom. He opened up the white closet doors, and floated the Pensieve out and onto the bed. They both sat down around it for a moment as James lightly shook the cauldron up, choosing a memory. Finally, James smiled, and said, “Time to relive the old days.” At the same time, they ducked their heads into the silvery liquid.
Rachel was guided out of the bathroom with Sirius’s arm around her shoulders. She was surprised at the empty room that had been occupied not too long ago. “Where’s everyone?” she whispered.
“I have no clue.” Sirius answered honestly. “Anyway, let’s get you down on the couch. You can rest your head on my lap.”
Almost moved to tears by his kindness and gentleness, Rachel accepted his offer, and felt the tension in her body relax as she rested on him. “You’re too kind to me, Sirius.”
“Oh, come on. You’re one of my closest friends in the world. I’d do anything for you.” He assured her with a warm smile that made her heart flutter.
‘This is where I’m supposed to be. Right here with Sirius.’ Rachel thought to herself as she felt herself dozing off.
It was September first of 1971, and James Potter had just entered the maroon colored train that would be taking them to Hogwarts. James had entered the train with a boy he met outside by the name of Sirius Black. The two of them had instantly hit it off, and decided to sit together in a cabin. The door to a cabin opened up, and James asked the two boys with sandy colored hair, “Can we sit with you?”
“Of course.” The boy on the left said. “I’m Remus Lupin. And this is Peter Pettigrew.” Remus indicated the boy next to him.
Once they had finished stowing away their luggage, James and Sirius introduced themselves while taking up the seats opposite Remus and Peter. They had only gotten to the fact that they were all first year students when the doors slid open again. A pretty brunette and a pretty redhead entered the cabin, and the guys allowed them to join the group. Lily, the redhead, sat down next to Remus while Rachel, the brunette, sat down beside Sirius.
“That was the day that we all met.” Remus whispered, grinning at James. “Look at how young and carefree we were.”
“I know.” James agreed, watching the group separate into smaller ones for conversation. “That was back before I fell in love with Lily. I only thought that she was pretty back then. We hadn’t started to fight quite yet.”
“That was before you two were going to be parents.” Remus added.
“Before Sirius and Rachel fell for each other and started their roller coaster ride.”
“When we were all terrified of being in Slytherin.” Remus chuckled.
“This was still before we met Maddie, and we were closer with Peter.”
Remus nodded, reminiscing about those times.
When Rachel woke up from her short nap, she found Sirius kneeling at the edge of couch, and leaning towards her belly. Confused, she sat up, and realized that he was talking to the baby. She smiled and announced, “Sirius, I have determined that despite your slight immaturity, you are very paternal.”
“Thanks. I’m glad you think so. I do intend on being a father one day, so it’s good that I’ve got a head start.”
Seeing Sirius acting like this almost made her want to tell him of their “almost pregnancy.” But she didn’t want him to feel the same disappointment that she had felt. Her smile grew even bigger as Sirius started to sing the Hogwarts school song to the unborn child.
The image of the Hogwarts Express faded away, and a new image was replaced. It was nighttime, and it was a full moon. An older James, Sirius, Peter, and Rachel were crouched behind a tree, watching the two figures of an adult and a student heading over to the Whomping Willow. They looked to be about in their fifth year of Hogwarts, and all of them had huge grins on their faces.
“I can’t wait to show Moony our accomplishment.” Sirius said gleefully.
“Is this the first full moon that you four spent with me?” the older Remus asked. His eyes were full of curiosity as he watched the students sneak to the next tree.
“Yes, that was one of the highlights of our Hogwarts career.” James added to his answer.
Rachel transformed into a cat while Peter changed into his rat form. They would be the ones to check if the coast was clear. A black and white cat and a small gray rat went running towards the moving tree. They were both sniffing around, when suddenly the cat’s tail started swishing around in a circular shape. The other two students went running across the grounds in the direction of the now dead-still tree. Peter and Rachel were in their human forms once more, and hurried into the passage inside of the tree.
The path that they followed as awfully dark and damp and some of them were starting to cough a bit right before they reached a door. Sirius reached forward, and slowly turned the squeaky silver doorknob, and the inside turned out to be a house of some sort. All of them followed the hallway that lead to a couple flights of rickety staircases. Tiptoeing with caution, all of them searched for any sign of Remus. Finally, they reached the top floor. Remus had to be there.
The four burst into a cobweb filled room, where Remus was sitting on a bed with a pale and anxious face. He jerked his head up at the sound of movement, and his eyes then filled with panic, fright, and anger. “You guys should not be here! You could get hurt if I transform before you leave!”
“But you won’t hurt us, Moony.” Peter assured him, excitement bubbling out of him.
“Believe me when I say that we’ve taken precautions so that you can have some company during a full moon.” James continued. “Alright everyone, let’s show him what we can do!”
Simultaneously, the four in front of the sickly boy changed into animals. Remus’ jaw dropped in shock. James was a stag, Sirius was a dog, Peter was a rat, and Rachel was a cat. “You became Animaguses for me? That takes years of work, not to mention how terribly dangerous it is if done incorrectly.”
“Moony, Moony, Moony,” Sirius sighed, “Don’t you think that we’ve already thought about that? That’s why we put three of the brightest minds in Hogwarts together, along with Peter.”
Smacking his shoulder, Rachel defended, “Pete helped us out a lot with this process and you know it.”
All chatting was ceased though when a small beam of moonlight touched Remus’ face, and he was slowly transforming before their eyes.
“Blimey, it looks as painful as it feels.” Remus snorted darkly. “I know I got a little angry with you guys that night, but I really did appreciate your gesture, and your presence was quite comforting.”
Giving him a one handed hug, James told him, “What are friends for if they can’t be with their friend while he transforms into a wolf?”
Maddie and Lily had just arrived back to the Potters’ apartment after two whole hours of shopping around for the perfect outfit. Finally, the very last store had the perfect dress, and Maddie was very excited. And since she had quite a few hours to kill before she had to get ready, Maddie was going to spend some time at the apartment.
Lily opened the door, and started to announce, “James, I’m home,” but stopped at mid-sentence. Rachel was sleeping on the couch, her head resting on Sirius’s shoulder. Sirius’s head was resting on hers, and a quiet snore was emitted from his mouth.
In a very quiet but ecstatic whisper, Maddie asked, “Are they back together again?”
In a peaceful voice, Lily answered, “No, I don’t think so. I’m pretty sure that there are some feelings, but I don’t either of them is ready to pursue a relationship with each other again. At least not yet.”
“Do you think it’ll happen again?”
“Yes, it’s inevitable. The only thing we don’t know is when.”
“Honey, it’s only bowling! You don’t need to dress up for bowling!” Lily fussed, looking at her friend. Maddie was chewing her nails. She had come over to make sure that she looked okay for a date that night with Carl. Unfortunately, she was dressed up in a flirtatious evening gown.
“Well, excuse me, but I’ve never been bowling before.” Maddie retorted. “How was I supposed to know that I’m overdressed?”
“You just do.” Lily groaned. “Look, Carl will be here in five minutes. Let’s find you something from mine or Rachel’s closet.”
Rachel, who was sitting on her couch, looked back at the bickering pair and told them, “Please do something from your closet, Lily. Seeing my old clothes on someone will make me long even more for my skinner days.” And everyone could sincerely agree with her. The baby had grown at a quick rate, so now Rachel had a very pronounced belly. Any stranger could tell that she was with child.
“Actually, I think I have the perfect outfit for you!” Lily exclaimed excitedly, dragging Maddie into the bedroom and closing the door.
With an eyebrow raised, Rachel turned towards James and said, “Your wife can get squeaky at times, can’t she?” He nodded, chuckling. “So, what do our two bachelors have planned for tonight?”
Smugly, Sirius informed her, “Actually, Remus and I are going on a double date. We agreed to set each other up.”
Rachel felt like a rock had dropped to the bottom of her stomach. Hormones were bad enough, so they didn’t need much encouraging to make her cry her eyes out. In order to cover up her feelings though, she asked, “So, tell me a bit about these lucky ladies.”
Sirius looked over at Remus, silently asking him to start. Clearing his throat, Remus said, “Well, Sirius’s date is Elizabeth Williamson. She’s actually one of the makeup artists that worked in my movie. And I think that she is a very good match for Sirius.”
James could somehow sense Rachel’s growing jealousy, so he asked, “What about the girl you picked out, Padfoot?”
“Her name is Natalia Burke. She’s an Italian model that moved over to this country to do some fashion shows. I thought that Remus might connect well with a woman that is familiar with the entertainment field.”
“You guys are lucky.” James assured them. “Tonight, I get to go to St. Mungo’s with Lily and watch the Healer spread smelly gel onto Rachel’s fat stomach.” He had a slightly disgusted look that turned to slight fear as Rachel glared at him. He suddenly smiled, and moved over to sit by the pregnant woman. “Rach, you know that I’m kidding. It’s exciting getting to see my baby.” His hand rested comfortably on her belly, but then they tensed up simultaneously.
“Did you feel that, James?” Rachel questioned excitedly.
He was wearing a gigantic grin on his face. “The baby just kicked! Everyone come feel!”
The other room occupants came rushing over and placed their hands next to James’s. Another second later, the baby kicked once more. Rachel was squealing with joy. “Lily, Maddie, the baby’s kicking!”
The bedroom door burst open, and the two women came flying out from the room. By the time that Lily reached the couch, there was no room left for her. So, she climbed onto James’s back, and felt the baby. Suddenly she felt tears welling up her eyes. “I know that I’ve told you this so many times, but thank you for doing this.”
“Oh honey, you know that I’d do anything for you two. And plus, I get to experience all of these little moments right here.” Rachel smiled at her friends, but then she looked at her watch. “Oh no, we’re going to be late if we don’t leave soon.”
“What time is it?” Remus asked.
“Damnit, we were supposed to be at the restaurant two minutes ago! Let’s go, Sirius.” As the two of them Disapparated, everyone told them, “Good luck.” Maddie also said good-bye and left for her date.
“So, how’s my favorite parenting team doing?” Healer Jones asked as she spread the gel out over Rachel’s protruding belly.
“Quite excellent, actually.” Lily said with a beaming smile. “The baby started to kick today.”
“Congratulations! I bet that was a happy moment for all.” Healer Jones placed her wand over the belly and soon a sonogram of Rachel’s uterus appeared in front of the group. The image zoomed in and an image of a developing baby was seen within the uterus. “This looks really good. Your baby is developing at a faster rate than usual, but still seems very healthy. That’s a very good sign. I know that you’ve denied this information during the last few visits, but would you like to know the sex of the baby?”
The parents made eye contact with each other, and nodded at the Healer. She smiled and told them, “Congratulations, you’re going to have a son.” She paused to look at the two parents for a moment before saying, “I’ll give you a moment alone.” A second later, Healer Jones was gone.
James and Lily were hugging each other fiercely. “I can’t believe we’re having a son.” Lily whispered. “I hope he looks like you.”
“But he’ll have your intelligence.” James added with a smile. “And my love for Quidditch.” Lily’s face fell when her husband added that last bit. Confused, James asked, “What’s wrong? You don’t want him to be athletic and popular?”
Slapping him on the shoulder, she replied, “I want him to be safe. You and I both know that Quidditch is not exactly knitting with your grandmother. It’s very dangerous out there with a broomstick.”
“How about we wait until he’s born and ready to go to Hogwarts? It’ll probably safe us quite a few arguments.” He flashed a little smile that he knew always melted her heart.
“If you insist.” She kissed him on the cheek before looking at the sonogram image again.
There was a knock on the room’s door, and Healer Jones came back into the room. “I hope I’m not interrupting anything in here.”
“No, you weren’t.” Rachel assured her, wiping away the tears that had fallen during Lily and James’s argument. She just wanted them to work out the Quidditch situation. Was that too much to ask? ‘Wow, my hormones are out of control.’ “Healer Jones, you mentioned that the baby is still growing quicker than usual. Do you have a new due date for the baby?”
“Well, let me go through the previous scans real quick and I should be able to give you a new day.” Healer Jones did a swift flick of her wand and a shiny white Pensieve appeared in the room. She saw their questioning faces and explained, “It’s a special one used for medical cases and pregnancies.”
There was a moment of silence as Healer Jones watched her memories. Once she was finished analyzing them, she turned to the parenting team. “Well, your son seems to be growing at the same rate. Given how far along he is now, I’d have to say that your due date is July 31.”
Rachel’s jaw dropped and panic filled her body. “July 31? That’s almost two months earlier than the original date! That means that the baby’s going to be born in a month!”
“Healer Jones, thank you for everything this evening,” James told her, “but I think it would be best if we took Rachel home and give her a Calming Draught.” Healer Jones nodded with a chuckle as the three friends Disapparated out of the office.
The sound of three cracks signaled the arrival of Lily, James, and Rachel. As soon as they appeared, Maddie waved at them from the sofa. Lily raised one eyebrow and said, “Hello, person who does not live here. Why are you home from your date so soon?”
In a flat voice, Maddie told them, “I slipped on the floor of the bowling alley and hurt my back. Carl brought me back here since I didn’t want to go home just yet.” She gave them a slightly pained smile before looking at Rachel confusedly. “What’s wrong with Miss Hyperventilation?”
“The baby is going to be born in a month!” screeched Rachel. “At this time next month, there will be pain, and—and blood, and a baby shooting out of me!” Another panic attack hit her until James forced a potion down her throat. “James and Lily will have a beautiful little son in one month.” She added in a now dopey voice.
A rush of panic now rushed through the father of the child. ‘In one month, I’ll have a son. I’m going to be a parent in one month. A baby will call me a dad.’ He turned to Lily with a pale face that contrasted brilliantly with his dark hair and said in a dazed voice, “In a month, there’s going to be a baby running around. It’ll go to the bathroom all the time, and mess up your arrangement of the towels.”
On the outside, Lily put on a comforting smile and assured him, “Honey, when we hold our son for the first time, all of that stuff won’t matter. We’ll have a beautiful baby boy.” On the inside, Lily was screaming, ‘No, not my towels! I have nine different towel categories and none of them can get messed up! Or what if there isn’t enough room for nine categories? Where will all of the towels go?’
Maddie winced as she sat up. “James, why don’t you go rest for a few minutes? I’m sure it’ll make you feel better.” James nodded, and stumbled into the bedroom. “Lily, maybe you should go with too just in case.” Lily chuckled and took her friend’s advice. “So Rachel, how are you handling all of this?”
“This baby is going to make my ass explode! Or my bladder, or something! I don’t want to do this anymore! How do I get out of it?” She didn’t get much further because Maddie shoved another Calming Potion down her throat.
Pushing Remus’ hand away from the gleaming fork that he had been fiddling with, Sirius whispered, “Moony, calm down. Don’t be so nervous about women.”
Amber eyes sent back a glare. “I can see how nervous you are inside. This is our first date after our Rachel fiascos.” He looked up for a second and tapped his friend on the shoulder. “They’re here.”
Natalia hung her coat up on the hangers by the door, and walked very elegantly towards Remus. She had her wavy black hair down and she wore a light pink dress. She smiled at Sirius before turning to her date. Remus kissed her hand, and pulled out her chair. “Sirius, I am impressed.” She admitted. “You’ve chosen quite a gentleman.” The rest of the conversation was lost to Sirius’s ears when he saw his date walk over to the table.
She had a simple light green dress on with very little makeup on. Her golden blonde hair was pulled back into a bun, and her sun-kissed skin seemed to match her perfectly. Sirius quickly stood up, now finding his tongue to be very dry. But nothing else could compare to the smile she flashed him. It had been a very long time since a woman’s smile made his legs turn into jelly. “You must be Elizabeth.” Sirius finally said when he was able to talk.
“You can just call me Beth.” She told him in a sweet voice. “And you must be Sirius.” Sirius nodded, finding himself speechless again. His senses finally snapped back to reality when she started to pull out her own chair.
“I am so sorry about that. Let me get that for you.” He offered quickly, almost tripping over his own feet. “You look lovely, I must say.”
“Thank you.” She sincerely told him. When her eyes met his, Sirius felt something stirring deep inside of him. Somehow, he knew that this woman was special and that he’d want something real with her. And by the end of the night, Sirius had confirmed this feeling.
A/n: So, now there's someone else in the picture. Thoughts or feelings about this storyline?
A/N: Hello, everyone! I apologize for my absence. My muse had disappeared for quite awhile, but now I’m trying to make up for it. I rediscovered it when I started to rewrite my Marauderette series, so for those of you who are fans, those stories will soon be coming down and be replaced by revised chapters. But I hope to update the rest of my stories before that time. Dawn of Destruction was recently updated, and now this story has been too. In the next couple of days, Free My Soul will have a new chapter as well. Anyway, now that my long-windedness is done, I’ll let you get to the story!
“Dinner is served, everyone!” Lily called to her friends that were currently lounging in the living room. Tonight, Lily was making dinner for everyone so that they could hang out all together. Unfortunately, Sirius was still missing because he was forced to work late.
As everyone stood up and made their way to the table full of delicious food, Rachel sat there and threw her hands up in frustration. Turning the best she could, Rachel snapped, “Does it look like I’m skinny enough to get off of this sofa by myself? Because if I do, then someone’s timeturner must’ve worked and I hadn’t agreed to torture myself yet!” Everyone rolled their eyes at Rachel’s snappiness as James went to help his friend.
During the last couple of weeks, Rachel’s hormones have been going out of control. Most of things that she said in her anger weren’t true, and she always apologized later. But until that moment, everyone tried to block her screechy voice out. “I haven’t been able to sleep or sit for a few minutes without having to use the ladies’ room. So if someone could please help me off of chairs when I need to get up—” the rest of the sentence was lost due to Rachel’s sobbing.
Throughout the previous days, everyone had to help their pregnant friend get off of the toilet, off of any chairs, and out of bed. Her moodiness had become unbearable, and most of the time everyone wished that she would just stay in her room all day.
“Where in the name of Merlin is Sirius at?” she asked with a snippy tone. “Isn’t that asshole supposed to eat with us tonight?”
“He had to work late tonight, Rach. He said something about a test subject having a severe allergic reaction.” Remus reminded her. “Plus, I know that he has another date with Beth tonight, so we may not see him.”
For some reason, hearing these words caused Rachel’s temper to deflate. Now feeling somewhat poignant, Rachel made her way out to the balcony. When her friends insisted that she ate, she promised to eat later. Sitting on the balcony soothed any ill feelings.
It was just after sunset, so the massive sky above was mostly dark with a few streaks of brilliantly strong orange. There was a slightly cool breeze, but not quite enough to require a jacket. There were only a few visible stars, but they shined so brightly. Gazing up at the evening sky reminded her of the days at Hogwarts when she and Sirius went to the astronomy tower after hours and watched the twinkling stars. In fact, it was on one of those nights that he first told her that he loved her.
It was the final night of their fifth year, and a lone couple was sitting cross-legged on the stone floor of the Astronomy Tower. It was a few hours past the curfew, but they still sat peacefully under the cover of their best friend’s Invisibility Cloak. Many nights, Sirius and Rachel ventured up to the secluded and quiet part of Hogwarts to just sit in the calming atmosphere. Sirius continued to look out of the window and said in a low, but very audible voice, “I love you so much, Rachel.” The second that his lips finished forming the words, his gray eyes widened in fear and his breath was caught in his chest.
Fighting a grin that threatened to appear on her face, she turned to him and asked, “Did you just say that you love me?”
Keeping his gaze diverted from his girlfriend’s, Sirius sat there for a moment in a thick silence. Without warning, he practically flew up from the ground and scurried out of the room. A thud just outside informed Rachel that Sirius had accidentally tripped on the stairs. Chuckling, she ran after him and stupidly shouted, “Sirius, come back!” Needless to say, the two of them were caught by Professor McGonagall and given a night of detention for sneaking around after hours.
A small smile actually appeared on her face as she remembered that evening, and it felt good to let those muscles relax. Her eyes held so much love as she looked down at her pregnant belly. She was truly going to miss being pregnant when the time came, regardless of the side effects. A noise to her side failed to divert her attention.
Putting an arm around her shoulders, Remus questioned, “Are you okay? Your…temper disappeared pretty quickly.”
With a sigh, she assured him, “I’m fine.” She gasped for a moment and turned to her friend with an apologetic look. “I never asked how your date was that night! I’m so sorry that I’ve been so self-involved. But I hear that it didn’t go according to plan.”
With a roll of his eyes, he nodded fervently. “Although, it was going fairly well at first. But once that first accident happened, it went downhill.”
“Well, what happened?”
“I mean, he honestly thought I would go out with him even after he said that!” Natalia laughed, causing Remus to join in with the amusement. “Although, I’ve had worse pick-up lines.”
“You’d be surprised at how many of those lines have been used by Sirius.” Remus told her with a boyish grin. He then noticed her empty wine glass. “Here, let me pour you another glass.” Unfortunately, only a few drops of wine made it into her glass. The rest landed on her beautiful dress.
Now horrified, Remus apologized quickly and went to pull out his wand to clean it up when Sirius’s hand stopped his wrist from moving. “Moony, even though she is a witch, don’t pull out your wand in front of all these Muggles.”
Sirius turned back to his date once he was confident that his friend wouldn’t risk revealing the Wizarding World because of his date’s dress. Even though Beth and Sirius were chatting away, Natalia and Remus sat in a tense and awkward silence. Fighting for the peaceful air that used to be there, he told her, “You have no idea how very sorry I am. But I really like you already, and I start to shake a bit when that happens.”
The tense muscles that were clearly showing on Natalia’s face relaxed. She hesitated before saying with a small smile, “I really like you too, Remus. I think I can forgive you.” He reached his hands across the table to grip hers, but he accidentally knocked her plate of grilled chicken onto her wine-stained lap.
Now furious, she suddenly stood up, tears in her eyes. “Sirius told me such great things about you. That’s why I wore one of my best dresses tonight. But I refuse to date a man with such clumsiness. Good-bye!”
As Natalia stormed out of the restaurant, Remus noticed that every other person dining there was staring at him. Fighting the blush of embarrassment on his cheeks, Remus rushed out of building.
Rachel squeezed his shoulder in a comforting manner, and she told him sympathetically, “I’m so sorry, Moony. I’m sure that it must’ve felt awful to be publically rejected like that.”
With a strange smile, he replied, “Yes, but it still feels bad to hear your friends put it bluntly like that.”
Now feeling ashamed, she laughed in an embarrassed tone until Remus gave her a hug (or at least as much of a hug he could give with her belly in the way). He smiled at her before revealing a serious expression. “I realize that you said that you were okay when Sirius announced how well his date went, but now that we’re alone, you can finally reveal your true feelings. How do really feel about Sirius dating Beth?”
Right before he asked that question, Rachel diverted her attention back to the quickly darkening sky. It was several seconds later when she finally looked back at her friend. Her defiant eyes held angry tears, but also contained longing and sadness. “Why can’t I get over this man? He’s broken my heart more than once, and we’ve always been a bit on the mismatched side. But no matter what the circumstances, I feel inexplicably drawn to him. It’s like one of those Muggle viruses that keeps coming back.”
She knew exactly what he would say, and she wasn’t disappointed. He told her that Sirius was her first love, and everyone always harbored some feelings for their first. He also reminded her that since she was so far along in the pregnancy and her hormones must be contributing to her feelings of low self-esteem and sadness. But their conversation was abruptly interrupted by the sound of the apartment door closing and Sirius’s voice ringing through the air.
“Hey everyone, I want you to meet Beth.” He announced. “Beth, these are my friends.” He then went on introducing everyone to his girlfriend. “Where’s Moony and Rach?”
As soon as those words left his mouth, both Rachel and Remus got a sinking feeling. Sirius was going to bring Beth out to the balcony to introduce her to Rachel. Their suspicions were proven to be true when they heard the balcony door opening up. “I hope that I’m not interrupting anything.” Sirius said hesitantly.
“No, it’s okay.” Remus promised. When the couple came out though, Remus whispered quietly, “Tread lightly. Her hormones are on the fritz again.”
“Rachel,” Sirius said carefully, placing an arm around Beth, “I’d like you to meet Beth. Beth, this is one of my closest friends, Rachel Delancy.”
Bracing herself, Rachel slowly turned around with a smile screwed onto her face. She successfully hid her shock once she saw his girlfriend because she was different than the kind that he usually dated. Yes, this woman was quite attractive, but she didn’t wear much makeup, and her hair looked very natural. There was a very natural glow around her.
“Hello, Beth. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” Rachel told her as she shook Beth’s hand.
Beth replied, “It’s a pleasure to meet you, too. Sirius has told me a lot about you. And don’t worry,” she interrupted as Rachel opened her mouth to say something, “They’ve all been good things.”
Rachel chuckled, trying to hide any animosity that might be brewing in the pit of her stomach. “Well, Sirius is pretty talented at being a suck-up, especially when hormones are flying all over.” Beth grinned and flashed her pretty smile. It made Rachel jealous.
“I think it’s really great that you’re doing this. Sirius told me how disappointed his friends were about not being able to conceive.”
“Well, James and Lily are two of my closest friends, so I want to help make them happy.”
Beth turned towards the balcony door where Sirius was calling her back inside. Waving, Beth hurried back inside and grabbed her boyfriend’s outstretched hand. Watching through the window as the group laughed about something, Rachel felt tears prickling her eyes. Maybe she had lost the hold that she had on Sirius after all…
“Oh my goodness; this enchilada is fantastic!” Rachel exclaimed, mouth full of Mexican food.
That evening, James and Lily were out looking at some baby furniture. Rachel was now almost nine months along, but she had only been pregnant for seven. Being a witch had its benefits. But now someone was always staying with Rachel, and Lily had been shoveling spicy Mexican food down her throat for the last three days. Apparently eating spicy food was supposed to help the baby along. However, it was only Maddie and Rachel eating Lily’s scrumptious food.
“I know.” Maddie agreed, moaning in sheer pleasure at the taste of this dish. “It must be annoying to live on spiciness, but having it made by Lily must make a bit more enjoyable.” Maddie took another bite, waiting for her friend to reply; only silence could be heard. Confused, Maddie looked up to see Rachel scrunching up her face, taking shallow breaths, and holding her protruding belly. “What’s wrong?” Maddie squealed in fright, quickly moving beside her friend. It was only then that she saw some clear liquid underneath Rachel’s feet.
Breathing quickly, Rachel gasped, “My water just broke. Maddie, I’m going into labor.” She opened her mouth to say more, but the only thing that came out was a yell of intense pain.
Maddie almost screamed in surprise, excitement, and fright. It was her first time seeing someone in labor. For a moment, she blanked out on what she was instructed to do should this situation arise. But things clicked again, and she pulled out her wand. With a flick, the liquid was cleaned up. Then, Maddie sent a Patronus message to James and Lily in the form of a butterfly that fluttered into thin air. “Alright, honey, let’s get you to St. Mungo’s.” she told Rachel in a soothing voice, helping her off of the chair, ignoring the fact that Rachel was now digging her nails into Maddie’s hand.
Sirius was pacing in his apartment. Beth would be there soon. It was a big moment for him. He was going to do something that he hadn’t wanted to do since he was romantically involved with Rachel. This was going to be a big step in his relationship, and he was praying to every God and Deity that he could name that everything would go according to plan.
Legs cramping from being tense for so long, Sirius plopped onto his plushy maroon couch. Not even a second later, however, he was forced to move his legs once more to answer the knock at his door. Taking a deep breath, Sirius opened the door to be greeted by his girlfriend’s beautiful smile. “Hi, Beth.” He told her, and kissed her softly yet passionately.
Once they broke apart, Beth leaned her forehead against his and told him with a small grin, “You should greet me like that every time.”
Sirius chuckled and gave her a quick peck before leading her inside. “Okay, sit down. There’s something I want to say.”
Beth’s eyebrows rose confusedly. Slowly, she made herself comfortable in one of the armchairs. “Sirius, are you okay? You look like you’re sweating.”
Laughing nervously, Sirius merely smiled an anxious smile and quickly wiped off his forehead. He was, indeed, sweating. “I have something I want to give to you.” He suddenly had his hands behind his back and was clearly clutching onto something for dear life. “These last few weeks with you have been some of the best of my entire life. You have such light, and I hope that you will grant me permission to bask in it for as long as possible.”
By this point, an amused smile was on Beth’s lips. “Sirius, get to the point.”
Sirius swallowed, and showed her a black velvet jewelry box. “I want to give you this, and I hope you accept it.”
Beth cautiously grabbed the box and opened it. Her eyebrows went flying north. She held up a blue toothbrush. “Um, are you trying to tell me something? Surely my breath can’t be that bad.”
Sirius looked surprised. He could suddenly understand how the wrong message could be perceived. “No, no, no. I wanted you to have your own toothbrush for when you stay the night. You spend a lot of nights here, so I wanted you to have your own toothbrush. It’s like a step forward in our relationship.”
Now having tears in her eyes, Beth jumped up and into Sirius’s arms. “Thank you so much! I love it!”
Their happy moment was soon interrupted by a stag Patronus that ran straight through the walls. It opened its mouth and said in James’s voice, “Rachel went into labor. She and Maddie are at St. Mungo’s right now. Lily and I are heading there right now.”
Now even more excited, but with a tinge of worry, Sirius said quickly, “I’m sorry. I have to go. One of my best friends is having a baby, and I need to be there by her side.”
Beth’s smile was all that needed to be said. As much as she hated to admit it, she was jealous of all the attention that Rachel still received; there was nothing she could do to break their closeness. She kissed him on the cheek, and left his apartment. Soon after, Sirius Apparated to his friend’s hospital room, eager for the process of birth to begin.
“How do you feel, honey?” Lily asked in a soothing voice, wiping away the sweat beads on Rachel’s forehead with a wet cloth.
Rachel, already exhausted, replied, “Not any different than two minutes ago when you last asked me.”
Remus, the one person in the room that was not going insane, came up to Lily and hugged her. “Calm down. Rachel is fine. Your baby is fine. Everything is going to be okay.”
If you listened closely, a pop could be heard outside of the room. It was then preceded by a knock. “Can I come in?” Sirius said, poking his head through the door.
“No, you’re not allowed in here at all. I mean, you’re only one of our best friends, so of course you wouldn’t be allowed.”
Sirius smirked for a second while entering the room and smacked James across the back of the head. “I didn’t know if Rachel was naked or uncovered, and I wanted to protect her privacy.”
“Yes,” Rachel agreed, while one eyebrow rose, “and the way to do that is to stick your head in the room before asking for permission. What if I had been naked?”
Sirius grinned, putting a bouquet of lilacs on the table next to her. “I would’ve taken pictures.”
Sirius literally cringed under Rachel’s glare. “Oh, that’s nice of you. You would’ve been a real nice person. You would pull them out at random times and say ‘Hey, look at how fat Rachel was.’” After she said this, Rachel started to sob.
“It’s her hormones again, I guess.” Lily whispered. “Go apologize.”
Sirius sighed, afraid of facing the wrath again. He carefully put his arms around her and pulled her into a hug. Luckily, she hugged him back, still sobbing into his shoulder. “I’m sorry, Rach. You know I didn’t mean it. You’re my best friend. I’d never do that to you.”
Rachel nodded, sobs subsiding. “Thank you. I’m sorry. I just have a feeling that this isn’t going to be a short process.”
Lily moved next to Remus and Maddie and whispered, “Isn’t it amazing how much they still look like a couple?”
Maddie sighed. “It’s almost a crime that they aren’t together.”
Unfortunately, Rachel was correct when she said that it would be a long process. Luckily, Rachel’s contractions were more frequent, but she had been in labor for close to fourteen hours. Each of the five friends had taken turns helping her through her contractions and wiping her forehead with the wet cloth.
“Would you guys object to me walking around the hospital for a bit?” Maddie said as her ‘Rachel’ shift ended. Lily shook her head. Taking advantage of Lily’s generous mood, Maddie took off immediately.
She wasn’t sure where she was going. She had wandered around the labor wing for awhile, and even ran into a friend from school whose wife was having a baby too. They spent a few minutes catching up on each other’s lives before parting ways. It was amazing how many people were already in the newly-opened maternity wing. It had only been open for about a year; it was amazing how quickly word spread.
But currently, Maddie was wandering around the third floor, the one where Healers treated potion and plant effects. She had seen everything: tentacles coming out of someone’s head, purple skin, and even invisible heads. However, she saw something even more shocking. Maddie noticed that she was walking behind Carl, who was holding a bouquet of flowers.
Just as he stopped outside of a room, Maddie called, “Carl? What are you doing here?”
Carl looked terrified for a brief moment before he put on a smile. “Maddie, I’m just visiting a friend. She got poisoned by a plant. What are you doing here?”
Maddie placed a kiss on his lips before she answered, “Rachel has been in labor for a good fourteen hours.”
“Oh, well give James and Lily my best. But I should really go see my friend.” He told her, opening the door now.
“I’ll come with you.” Maddie announced brightly. “I’d love to meet a friend of yours.” Before Carl could protest, Maddie had already entered. “Hello, I’m Maddie. I’m a friend of Carl.”
The woman sitting in the bed glanced at Carl for a second. She was quite lovely. She had very dark brown hair and fair skin with a cluster of freckles on her nose. “I’m Julie, Carl’s wife.”
The smile that Maddie had on her face dropped. Trying to control her fury, Maddie turned to Carl slowly. “Carl, I didn’t know you were married. Why didn’t you tell me?” Carl could see the hidden meaning behind those words. She was really saying, “You asshole. You should burn in hell for making me your mistress.”
Carl was absolutely speechless. He finally opened his mouth to say something, but Maddie cut him off. “Well, Julie. It was nice to meet you. My friend is having a baby, so I have to get going. I hope you feel better soon.”
As Maddie passed by Carl on her way out the door, she gave him a glare that clearly said, “Don’t even think of contacting me again.”
Once Maddie was far away, she sat down on the floor for a moment. “I think I’ll drag Lily out for some tea.”
Reluctantly, Lily agreed to go with Maddie for some tea. As moral support, Remus also came with. They trusted James and Sirius to handle the ever hormonal Rachel. Most of the time, however, Lily just sat there staring at her steaming cup.
Attempting some happy conversation, Maddie questioned, “So, do you and James know what you’re going to name the baby?”
“Not yet. We kind of like the name Harold; that was the name of James’s dad. But we’re not positive yet.”
Remus sat for a moment, pondering the name. “It’s not too bad. It sounds a little mature for a boy, though, doesn’t it?”
“I guess. We’ll probably decide once we see him. Who knows if Harold would even work?” Lily chuckled. She suddenly thought of something. “James and I were going to talk to you eventually, but I guess I can carry out this conversation. We were hoping that you’d support our decision to make Rachel and Sirius our son’s godparents.”
Maddie and Remus looked at each other with a smile. “I can’t think of any other pair that would be better suited for the job.” Remus told her. He looked back at Maddie who smiled at him. But Remus’ smile dropped when he looked at Maddie’s eyes. “Not to break up this wonderful moment, but are you okay?”
Maddie put on a fake grin. “Of course. Why would you think otherwise?”
Lily now entered the fray, seeing what Remus had seen. “Your eyes are kind of red, honey. Are you sure that you’re okay?”
Maddie watched the two of them for several long moments before she sighed. They wouldn’t stop bugging her until she told them the truth. She then told them the entire story of how she ran into Carl and met his wife. “I mean, he’s a celebrity! How did I not know about this? How did she not know about this?”
“I don’t know. But you don’t need a man like that in your life. You’re better than him.”
Unfortunately, Lily couldn’t finish her pep talk because James came running through the door. “Lily, Rachel is about to have the baby. The Healer is in there right now. But she honestly wants to kill you and me, so I left Sirius with her. She won’t start pushing until we’re both there.”
Lily wasted no time in running out the door and down the stairs, grabbing James’s hand in a death grip.
“Why does Sirius get to be in there?” Maddie whined. She and Remus were waiting outside of Rachel’s room, impatiently waiting for the birthing process to be complete. “I mean, we’re her best friends too.”
“Well,” Remus said, looking at this logically. “James and Lily are obviously in there because it’s their baby. But I think Sirius is in there for damage control, and plus he’s seen her naked.”
“Yeah, but he’s got a girlfriend. What if Beth found out about it?”
“She would be a little miffed, but she’d understand the reasoning behind it.” Remus answered honestly. “But Maddie, I’m sure James and Lily will be out soon.”
As if waiting for their cue, Lily came hurrying out of the room after Remus said that. She was obviously crying tears of joy. “Our baby boy is here. You can come see him now.”
Remus and Maddie followed Lily back into the room where James was holding a wrapped up baby. “Everyone, this is Harry James Potter.”
There was a chorus of “Hi Harry” in various styles of baby talk. James, Lily, and Rachel were all crying at the sight of him. He already had a tuft of dark brown hair, and his eyes clearly belonged to Lily. “Can I hold him?” Rachel asked quietly, wiping the tears away.
“Of course you can. You gave birth to him.” James told her while carefully handing the baby to Rachel’s outstretched arms. She held him tightly in her arms, and even made room for Sirius to sit next to her on the bed so that he could see the baby better. If James and Lily had any doubt about Sirius and Rachel being godparents, they were erased by the pure emotion in their eyes. “Sirius, Rachel, will you be Harry’s godparents?”
Rachel gasped. “We’d be honored.” They said at the exact same time, and then chuckled because of it. “I can’t believe we can still do that.” Rachel murmured, a grin adorned on her face.
James and Lily were by the crib placed in the far corner of the room, watching baby Harry. Maddie had left to go home and sleep; she had a rough day, so no one complained. Sirius took off shortly after that to shower and then go on a date with Beth. When he left, the look on Rachel’s face had been so heartbreaking that Remus couldn’t help but lie next to her on the bed and hold her.
“Rachel, I know that you have this huge history with him, but aren’t you over him?”
“I honestly thought I was. But then seeing him with Beth, and hearing the way he says her name broke my heart.” She nuzzled closer to Remus’ warm body. “I really appreciate you being here, you know. It means more to me than I could ever explain.”
She turned over so that she was facing him. She rested there for a moment, staring at his face. Before she could stop herself, Rachel leaned forward and closed the small gap between their lips.
A/N: I'm so so so sorry that it took so long to update. All of my writing energy is now going into this story and another writing project of mine. Hope you all have a Happy New Year!
Remus and Rachel were now, officially, making out. Both participants were feeling sheer bliss. Remus broke away for a moment to whisper, “I can’t believe I’m kissing you. I’m kissing Rachel.”
“And now Rachel is about to kiss Remus again.” Rachel smirked, and pulled him into another mind-blowing kiss. Who knew that Remus was this talented when it came to his lips?
James and Lily were still blissfully unaware of what was occurring behind them. They only had eyes for their baby boy. However, when the parents turned around, the kissing couple quickly broke apart. Luckily, neither James nor Lily saw anything out of the ordinary. “I just want to sit and look at him.” Lily sighed, glancing back at Harry. “I know that I’ve told you this before and that you’re probably sick of hearing it, but thank you so much for doing this and for taking care of Harry.”
Rachel smiled, silently accepting their gratitude. “You two look exhausted, though. Maybe you should go home and rest before you come back.”
James nodded. “That’s what we were thinking of doing. Plus, we want to officially decorate Harry’s room before he comes home. Healer Jones said that it wouldn’t be until tomorrow morning, so we’ll take advantage of the time.”
“Get some sleep.” Rachel called as James and Lily left. She then turned to Remus, knowing that he would want to discuss what just happened.
“I just need to know right of the bat if that kiss was for comfort or if there was something else motivating it.” Remus told her bluntly. Rachel was shocked. Remus was never this blunt.
“Well,” Rachel hesitated, hoping to phrase this correctly. “At first, it was just for comfort. But when our lips met, something exploded in my stomach. I felt such joy and happiness because we were kissing. It was unlike any sensation I’ve ever experienced. And now, I’m fighting the urge to pounce on you and snog you senseless.”
Remus couldn’t fight the blush that appeared on his cheeks. “I know this will sound really stupid or whatever, but will you be my girlfriend?”
Rachel grinned mischievously. She leaned into him and said, “How’s this for an answer?” before grabbing him and kissing him passionately again.
Remus was completely satisfied with this answer and how this conversation was going, but he suddenly thought of something that made him push Rachel away lightly. “You know what we have to do?” Rachel looked confused. “We have to talk to Sirius about this.”
“Why? He was fine with you telling me about your feelings before.”
“Yes, but as much as he hates to admit it, he still gets a little snippy with the guys you date. Plus, we’re his best friends. And well, there’s that history between you two.”
As much as she hated to admit it, she had a feeling that Sirius would not be entirely okay with this. But she did agree with Remus; he needed to be informed first.
“Alright, we’ll talk to him in the morning.” Rachel sighed, and snuggled up closer to her boyfriend.
“I don’t care what you say!” Lily told him for what felt like the millionth time. “Blue is too stereotypical! I don’t want it!”
Lily and James had immediately started discussing their plans for Harry’s room as soon as they arrived. James insisted that blue would be the best color for a boy, but Lily wanted yellow. However, James claimed that yellow, though supposedly neutral, was too girly for a boy’s room.
They knew where everything was going to go, and what little details would be added to the walls, but first they had to argue about the color. Right now it was just a cream colored room, and they both agreed that they wanted something more exciting.
“We’ve got to decide on a color, Lily.” James said exasperatedly. “Harry and Rachel are being discharged in the morning. And we’ve still got a bit of work to do and we need to sleep before we bring him home.”
“Is there some other color that can work? Maybe like a tan color?”
“No, that’s still too plain in my opinion.” James paused for a minute, before a thought came to his mind. Why hadn’t he thought of it sooner? It was so simple and it made so much. “What about a green color?”
Lily opened her mouth to reject it, thinking that he was suggesting blue again, but stopped when the words registered in her brain. She considered it for a moment, and then felt incredibly stupid. “I can’t believe neither of us thought of that. Plus, it’s a cross between yellow and blue, so in a way, we both win.”
“Okay, so let’s do green.”
With that, the couple set off to decorate and furnish the room, excited for Harry to come home.
When Rachel woke up in the morning, she felt something warm next to her. For a blissful moment, she thought that it was serious, but then she turned and saw that it was Remus. She still smiled and snuggled closer to him. It must’ve waked him up because he murmured in her ear, “Good morning beautiful.” His breath sent tingles down my spine.
There was a knock on the door, breaking their sweet moment. They quickly broke apart just in time for Maddie to enter the room. “Hi Rach, how are you feeling?”
“I’m a little sad about not being able to keep Harry, but right now I’m more sore than anything else.”
Maddie nodded, and then handed Rachel a warm cinnamon roll. “I sneaked it in here. I thought you’d like a yummy breakfast.”
Rachel thanked her and started to dig in. She couldn’t eat in peace for long because Sirius came in, followed by Beth. “Good morning, Rachel.” They said simultaneously. If Rachel wasn’t such a decent person, she would’ve vomited.
Remus and Rachel’s eyes met for a moment. “I’m sure that you want to see Harry, Beth.” Rachel said. “Maddie, will you take her down to the nursery? I want to talk to Sirius about something real quick.”
Maddie looked kind of suspicious, but obliged. Once they were gone, Remus moved closer to Rachel’s bed. “Padfoot, we need to talk to you about something.” Remus told him.
Sirius pulled up a chair next to the bed. “Okay, what’s going on?”
Rachel licked her lips, clearly nervous. “Do you remember when Remus had feelings for me?” Sirius nodded, looking slightly awkward. “Well, last night we were talking about some things and one thing lead to another.” She looked towards Remus now.
Remus cleared his throat, clearly hoping not to get beaten into a pulp. “Rachel and I are going out now.”
Sirius’s expression became blank. His eyes and his expression were unreadable. He sat there for several moments in silence, probably trying to comprehend what his best friends just told him. Finally, he said in a hoarse voice, “So, you two are dating? Remus, you’re dating my ex-girlfriend?” Remus nodded. “Rachel, you’re dating my best friend?” Rachel nodded, now looking sympathetic. Sirius was having a hard time wrapping his brain around this. “Are you happy?” They both nodded. “Then I’m happy for you.”
Rachel reached out and grabbed his arm. “Sirius, are you okay?”
He lightly extracted her hand from his arm, and stood up. “Yeah, I’m okay.” He left the room without saying anything else.
“That could’ve gone better.” Remus voiced quietly.
Rachel snorted. “Yeah, he could’ve shot us. That would’ve been a better reaction.” Remus grabbed her hand to comfort her. “He probably just needs some time to get used to the idea of you and me.”
“He’s beautiful.” Beth whispered, hands on the glass window that revealed the many babies. Maddie had pointed out which one was Harry. “His eyes are just like Lily’s.”
Maddie smiled. “Yeah, you should’ve seen them when he was born. James was actually crying a bit.”
Beth sighed. “I hope that someday Sirius and I have a baby. Then Harry could have a little friend to play with.”
Maddie honestly liked Beth. She had nothing against her, and she was happy that she could make Sirius so happy. But she couldn’t help hoping that Sirius would eventually get back together with Rachel. And now, it seems like there’s something funny going on with Remus and Rachel. Suddenly, it hit her. Were they dating?
“So, which baby are you here to visit?” a man’s voice close by said to Maddie. She turned and saw a tall man with well-groomed brown hair. She couldn’t help but notice how wonderful his eyes were too. They were as brown as chocolate, and filled with warmth.
Trying not to look flustered, Maddie pointed out Harry to him. “His name is Harry. He’s my best friend’s baby.”
“Ah.” He said, looking at Harry. He then pointed at another baby close to Harry’s basinet. “That’s my niece, Hannah.”
There was a tuft of blonde hair on Hannah’s head, and her blue eyes looked up at us. For some reason, Maddie felt a slight connection with him because of this baby thing. “I’m Maddie Zimon.”
She extended her hand to him. With a charming smile, he took it. “Well Maddie, I’m Adam Spade. It’s nice to meet you.” His eyes drifted back to Hannah. “Listen, I have to get going. Would you like to get together for some tea or coffee sometime?”
Maddie beamed. “I’d like that a lot.” She secretly summoned a pen and wrote her telephone number on his hand. “Give me a call.”
“I definitely will call.” He promised, and then took off. Maybe seeing Carl and his wife wasn’t such a bad thing for Maddie…
James and Lily were now watching Rachel hold the baby. She and Harry had been discharged a few minutes ago and were on their way home. As Rachel handed the baby to Lily she asked, “Did you finally get that room done?”
“Yeah. We had some disagreements about it, but we finally made a compromise. But that’s not important. What’s important is that we have little Harry now.”
Rachel felt tears welling up in her eyes. “You guys are going to be fantastic parents. And I’m so happy for you.” She walked up to little Harry, who was now falling asleep in his mother’s arms. “You get to go home now, Harry. I’ll see you soon.”
With a pop, Rachel, Lily, James, and Harry all left St. Mungo’s.