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Getting There by wudnulike2know
Chapter 20 : Intended Bliss
 
Rating: 15+Chapter Reviews: 16


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Disclaimer: Harry Potter belongs to J.K. Rowling, only Jane, Adea, Kayla and any other characters not in the book belong to me

A/n: Yes, yes I know the wait was truly horrible. I really do. But I seriously wrote like 22 pages but had to split them up again. I have been writing on holiday but just typing those pages took so long! Please don’t be angry at me. By the way thanks a lot to Frogger! You were my 100th reviewer!!!!!!!!

**Intended Bliss**

The highly anticipated day of 17th April had finally arrived and mayhem was lurking in every corner. Whether it was Petunia fretting about her dress or one of the bridesmaids was late or the veil kept placing itself in the oddest places, the fact was that the situation seemed to have it’s own mind as important situations often do.

Lily was still uncomfortable about her sister’s reason for marriage. Petunia however, didn’t seem to want to listen. Lily’s final resort was Rosalind. This proved to be rather difficult due to the fact that Mrs. Evans was always running around tending to everyone’s problems time was running out fast, swifter every second. For the moment Lily had forgotten her newfound hatred for her sister.

Adam and Rosalind had fallen in love with James as the days had passed. James loved Rosalind’s food (‘Rosalind, my standard’s raised so much, Hogwarts food will just disappoint’). And he was so damn obsessed with his masculinity that he and Adam could go on for hours about sports and…well sports. James taught Adam about Quidditch, he even lent Adam “Quidditch through the Ages” (which fascinated Adam exceedingly with its moving pictures). Adam in turn taught James about football and rugby.

When Lily compared her parents’ attitudes towards James with their attitudes towards Vernon she noticed more than a small difference. Her parents were very cold towards Vernon. They gave him the smallest food portions at dinner and rolled their eyes when he talked of his ambitions.

Lily had to admit that her sister’s fiancé was boring as hell. All he ever talked about was the company he worked at. That wasn’t the worst of it though. The worst of it was the fact that it’s company made drills. Lily made every effort to be nice but he just wasn’t interested. The fact was that Lily was prettier, smarter and a lot more popular than his fiancée. Vernon always had the best; if he shut Lily out then Petunia would still be undefeated.

The bridesmaid dresses were (Lily grudgingly admitted) simple looking yet elegant. The dresses were blush pink with a bone bodice; the skirt had organza layering and silk lining. Art first hearing that the bridesmaid dresses were a shade of pink, Lily had cringed what with the fact that red and pink just didn’t mix but the shade was so pale it didn’t make any difference. The bouquet was composed of roses identical to the corsage on Petunia’s dress. Petunia did look beautiful; she’d had her hair dyed dark brown (despite protests from Rosalind).

The maid of honour was Petunia’s friend Yvonne. The flower girl was their cousin Felicity. The other two bridesmaids were Scarlet and Trinity Williams. The Williams family had lived next to the Evans since before Petunia was born and the four girls were close in age. Scarlet was a year younger than Petunia and Trinity a year younger than Lily. The girls had been friends since before any of them could remember. All of them had had their hair curled and left down. As a gift from the bride they’d received a chain of freshwater pearls.

At the minute Petunia had sent Yvonne to check on Vernon and the crowd. Once Yvonne had checked Vernon was alright and that the crowd had settled the girls would start sorting themselves out, but she hadn’t reported back as of yet, the finishing touches were being put on Petunia.

Three minutes later everyone was ready and silent just waiting for Yvonne’s word. Petunia sat quietly through her last time as Petunia Evans. Rosalind was sitting on a nearby chair and Lily knew it was taking her all her willpower not to bite her newly treated nails.

Lily sighed and strode slowly over to where her mother sat. ‘Hey mum’ Lily said softly, Rosalind in turn smiled sadly and kissed her younger daughter’s forehead. ‘Hello darling’ she said tiredly. Lily looked at the ceiling for a second to collect her words from an unknown source.

‘Noticed anything different about Petunia lately?’ Lily asked offhandedly

‘Apart from the fact that her eyes are dead, she never laughs and has forgotten how to smile or experience any positive feeling? Too late to be bringing that up sweetheart’ Rosalind smiled forlornly. Lily was shocked –how is she letting her do this?-

‘How are you letting her do this?’ the redhead cried, for once recounting her thoughts word for word. Rosalind looked at her expression that clearly said “oh please don’t look at me like that”

‘Have you tried talking to her?’ she asked

‘Yes but-’ Lily started but got cut off

‘Then we obviously got the same answer if we’re sitting here in these outfits’ Rosalind said, her grey eyes had started misting up with tears. Not the tears of joy that filled every mother’s eyes on her child’s wedding day. No, Rosalind Evans’ tears were those of regret, remorse and fear.

‘Mum why didn’t-’Lily started again but yet again was cut off by her mother. ‘Do you know what it’s like for me, Lily?’ Rosalind cried wretchedly. Lily opened her mouth but closed it again wordlessly, Rosalind continued.

‘Do you? Do you know what it’s like to be a mother awaiting the moments in which her child will throw away her whole life and her chance at happiness and know that she’s doing it? No, Lily-’ she was unable to carry on as her tears fell freely yet soundlessly never the less. Lily closed her eyes, pursed her lips and hugged her mother comfortingly. A pair of eyes could be felt upon them. Petunia.

Rosalind looked up and began explaining ‘I’m just happy is all’ she said unconvincingly. Petunia turned her head. She turned back and stared at her mother with eyes that brimmed to the rim of each iris with insecurity. Petunia swallowed and whispered ‘don’t cry mum, there’s no time to do your face up again’ This must’ve had a hidden meaning which Lily didn’t catch because Rosalind offered a small smile and wiped her tears. Well, there were some disadvantages of going to boarding school.

Just then Yvonne came rushing in. ‘We’d better go, the organist will start any minute’ all the girls fell quiet and rushed to form a line in the precise order in which they were to leave. The Evans’ were the last ones out. Lily looked to her mother and then Petunia sadly before sighing and leaving.

Felicity went out first, scattering beautiful rose petals. Then Scarlet went out followed by Trinity and then Lily. She slowly walked up the aisle looking at her soon to be brother in law looking rather impatient instead of excited. She glanced at James who looked at her how she thought Vernon should look at Petunia. When their eyes met James quickly mouthed ‘you look beautiful” Lily’s spirits lifted just to know that someone cared about her like James did and her heart went out to Petunia.

After Lily, Yvonne and finally on the arm of Adam walked Petunia. Her dress was quite unusual and not everybody could pull it off but she’d managed it. She wore a dress with a blush pink duchesse bodice with a rose corsage and heavily beaded straps to match the flowers. The dress’ organza skirt was lined with deep rose silk. Many in the crowd doubted the dress and the design but nobody could deny that Petunia looked beautiful. She had decided not to wear a veil because the dress was enough as it was and she didn’t want to look overboard.

The priest then began the ceremony, nobody whispered comments about the dress. No one made a sound throughout the time that Vernon recited the vows. The priest turned to Petunia. (A/n: not quite sure about the way a service is conducted, but I’ve had a go).

Petunia froze. She glanced at Vernon’s expectant face. She then darted her eyes in the direction of her parents and gave them a look that plainly said “I’m so sorry I have to do this” Rosalind and Adam moved forward in their seats at seeing this but didn’t actually get up. People were getting worried now.

Petunia then looked at Lily with a blank expression as if enduring an internal struggle between relief and regret. Her gaze changed of its own accord and to Lily it was like they were speaking to her. Petunia’s grey eyes flitted to James and back to Lily as if saying “you’re very lucky” Lily nodded and then nodded towards Vernon. The bride closed her eyes knowing she was seconds away from sealing her fate. When she opened she spoke in a slow but steady voice.


I, Petunia Grace Evans take thee to be my wedded husband
To have and to hold
From this day forward
For better and for worse
For richer and for poorer
In sickness and in health
To love and to cherish
Until death us do part
According to God’s holy law
And thereto I give thee my troth

After the vows the priest announced to the hall that they were officially married and then came the customary kiss. People clapped but the remaining Evans’ winced, not wanting to believe that Petunia had actually gone through with this.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Two days after the wedding, Adea had contacted Lily, Jane and Kayla to discuss her dress. She didn’t elaborate much, merely told them to apparate to her house.

That Friday all three girls invited sat in the vast ladies living room that was part of the large Victorian manor that Adea lived in. Apart from Lily, Kayla and Jane sat two other women. One of them was Adea’s mother, Jessenia Qureshi and the other woman, they didn’t know.

The first few minutes were spent by Lily filling her friends in about her sister’s wedding and the other two women conversing cheerfully in a language they didn’t know. Usually people feel uncomfortable when this happened but the girls had frequented this house so often they were quite used to it and utterly at ease at that moment.

A few more minutes passed and a beautiful dark haired woman entered the room. She was of average height; her hair was dark but could clearly be distinguished as a dark brown. Her eyes were a caramel shade and had a warmth about them, her skin tone was identical to Adea’s and she looked in her twenties. The girls could guess who this was but hadn’t actually met her before.

Following this unexpected entrance came Adea’s. She walked in, smiling and hugged her friends. Everyone fell silent, Adea rose. ‘Guys you know my mum, obviously’

‘Hello girls’

Adea now gestured to the other woman with whom Mrs. Qureshi had been conversing with ‘This Waqar’s mother Shahira Mohsin and this’ she pointed at the woman who had entered before her ‘is my older sister, Rayna’ the girls smiled and then further analysed Rayna.

She was indeed beautiful. At first glance she easily came second to Adea but on closer observation she seemed almost as beautiful. Her hair which had looked just brown was now obviously distinguishable as having an under layer of dark auburn. Her caramel eyes had appeared remarkable at first sight and were remarkable still. Her skin tone was identical to Adea’s though with her dissimilar features it created a different effect.

The girls knew Rayna was married and had a little girl. She was seven years older than Adea. Rayna smiled at them ‘hi, I’m sure I’ve heard a lot about you, I just wish I knew your names’ she said in a very jovial voice quite different to Adea’s mysterious voice which sounded like a whisper but not quite. Adea had rolled her eyes at this comment, the other girls had smiled.

‘Fine if you’re in a rush’ she pointed at her friends ‘Aapi, aunty (a/n: in south Asian culture you call your parent’s friends aunty and uncle and you can’t call your older siblings by their name as a mark of respect so when Adea says aapi she means Rayna) this is Lily, Kayla and Jane’ Rayna spoke again ‘I was right, I have heard a lot about you girls, how are you?’

‘Fine thank you’ the three chorused brightly.

‘Right. Okay ladies, the date’s been set for November 21st’ Adea started in a very military style of talking ‘what about January?’ Lily asked.

‘Problems, busy month etcetera etcetera etcetera’ Adea explained vaguely before waving away the question.

‘That gives us less time to do all this. We have to get the dress, the shoes, and the jewellery. We have to get the invitations printed, hire a cameraman and a photographer. We need to choose a venue, appoint caterers, and decide when each event is going to take place in relation to the wedding date. We have to hire a beautician, the mehndi artist, get the ubtan from god knows where and all the little things that crop up in between and we have approximately seven months to do this’ Adea listed feverishly.

Lily, Jane and Kayla raised their eyebrows. Lily in particular was visualising the nightmares to arise in the near future –hhhhmmmm, why is it that helping out in planning a wedding seems so stressful all of a sudden?-

‘Today we get the dress planning out of the way, if we plan we don’t have to spend stressful hours in a stuffy shop hidden away god knows where, probably abroad and frankly we have exams coming up and don’t have time for it. If we can get the dress planning out of the way we can move onto other things but I doubt it’

They were interrupted just then by the giggling of a three year old, followed by Adea’s younger twin brothers both aged eleven. ‘Run Liyana! We’re going to catch you! Then we’ll feed you to that big old tree outside, it’s getting hungry!’ they said menacingly, the little girl screamed and hid behind Rayna

‘Mummy!’ the little girl cried, her mother smiled and soothingly said ‘don’t listen to them darling, its okay’ she seemed to find it rather amusing; Adea, Mrs. Qureshi and Mrs. Mohsin however were not quite as pleased.

‘Raheel! Diyari!’ Adea admonished, the two boys turned their heads to face their sister. They were both quite obviously Rayna’s brothers though their hair was like Adea’s and the pair were taller than Adea (who was only 5’3). ‘What have I told you about scaring Liyana?’ she continued crossly ‘She’s three! For heaven’s sake, if you scare her about trees now she might grow up to have a…a tree phobia or something!’ Adea cried in frustration, the two boys snickered slightly. ‘Tree phobia? Adea really-’ came a voice from behind, trying hard to conceal laughter. Adea looked between her siblings.

‘Fine, fine! If you want to pick on me, then fine! I’ll be the bigger person here. You two take her outside, don’t make her cry and please try not to interrupt again’ she said calmly but the little girl, Liyana seemed to have changed her mind.

She had lighter skin than her mother and aunt, green-grey eyes and black hair which curled into ringlets. She was slightly pudgy, which added to her innocent very childlike appearance and she was a very pretty child. She looked in curiosity at Lily, Kayla and Jane all of whom cooed at how cute she was. ‘Who are you?” she asked boldly.

‘Liyana! Ask politely’ her mother chided, but the girls had just laughed ‘who are they mummy?’ she persisted; she spoke well for a three year old.

‘This is Lily, Kayla and Jane’ Rayna said ‘They’re Adea’s khala’s friends’ (a/n: your mother’s sister is referred to as your khala in urdu/hindi). The girl still stared at Lily, Kayla and Jane. ‘Hello I’m Liyana Rizvi’ she said, holding out her pudgy hand and shaking all of theirs in turn. The girls beamed at the adorable child.

Adea sighed before turning back to her brothers. ‘Raheel, Diyari, if you wouldn’t mind’ one of the two picked up their niece and hoisted her onto his shoulders. Mrs. Mohsin and Mrs. Qureshi looked worried for a second but it passed.

‘You’re very, very naughty!’ Liyana said, wagging her finger at the boy who hadn’t got her on his shoulders, Diyari. ‘Naughty are we? I suppose naughty boys don’t buy their Liyanas ice cream, now do they?’ Diyari teased

‘Love you’ she brightly and the two boys laughed.

‘Such a little madam she’s turning into’ Mrs. Qureshi said fondly.

‘Oh but she does breathe the life into this big house’ Mrs. Mohsin laughed

‘This house is hyperactive, what with those two running around as well’

‘Oh the things they get up to’ Shahira said

‘They could compete with the things Adea and Waqar used to do. Remember when-’

‘Yes, thank you mother, moving swiftly onwards’ Adea cut in firmly. This is why the girls loved coming over to the Qureshis. There wasn’t a moment in the house where somewhere something entertaining wasn’t taking place and plus Adea let all her guards down when she was with her family.

The next couple of hours were spent discussing the dress, it wasn’t easy. The colours couldn’t be too dark ‘it’s not traditional to wear black Adea, no matter how nice it looks’ A soft gold was suggested but Adea shot it down ‘how am I supposed to enjoy myself if I’m sparkling?’ The traditional red was too bright ‘I want people to have a good time without being blinded’ Dark blue was suggested but Kayla disapproved ‘Adea, I know your colours. Dark blue will be okay but it won’t do you justice’ Silver seemed to be unanimously liked until Jane was asked ‘silver doesn’t seem your colour somehow’ she whispered.

After nearly three hours of getting basically nowhere, the females decided to order in for lunch. They ordered pizzas in a mass amount as Adea assured her friends that Raheel and Diyari were known throughout the Mohsin and Qureshi families as ‘the termites’ Shahira walked up to the staircase and magically amplified her voice to shout ‘lunch’ when the pizzas had arrived

Four pairs of feet could be heard trotting down the handsome cherry wood staircase. One little pair, two identical pairs and oddly enough one big pair. Liyana, Diyari, Raheel and Waqar appeared in the dining room. Lily raised her eyebrows.

‘Just how close are you guys?’ the redhead whispered to her best friend. Adea smiled ‘Dad and uncle have been best friends since they were ten years old. This whole atmosphere was kind of like their dream. We both have big houses, if one person goes, the whole family goes. Mum and dad have the key to his house and his parents have the keys to ours. Waqar’s older brother and sister are both married and his sister has a little boy. But they’re all at work and the boy at a birthday party or they’d be here, they’ll be here for dinner. Aapi took a day off’ she explained.

As the plates were handed out, Adea and Rayna rose to fill the glasses with pumpkin juice. They headed for the kitchen laughing at something or the other. Mrs. Qureshi cast worried looks their way and exchanged glances with Shahira ‘Uh Lily darling, would you mind giving Adea and Rayna a hand with the glasses. There are nine of us so if you split three glasses between each of you it’d make things easier’ she said. Lily smiled ‘sure Mrs. Qureshi, no problem’ –wonder why she wants me to help they both have their wands, oh well-

‘It’s ridiculous’ Lily heard a voice cry from the kitchen, she froze and didn’t enter. The voice had sounded like Rayna’s. ‘Aapi this matter is not going to be discussed’ Adea said coolly

‘Adea, this isn’t something you can shut out. It has to be discussed’ Rayna snapped. The setting down of glasses could be heard. ‘Fine, you want to discuss it? Then fine. Go ahead, what is so important?’ Adea said calmly though there was a hint of something else there hat Lily hadn’t heard before.

‘You’re too young to be married. Can you just accept that you’ll be married at eighteen?’ Rayna cried again.

‘Well the fact is that I have accepted it’ Adea replied

‘Are you okay with this?’ Rayna asked incredulously’

‘I wasn’t happy with it-’ Rayna cut her younger sister off mid-sentence. ‘Ha! See? Why don’t you tell them? They promised you off at fifteen and now they’re planning your wedding’ she said angrily, Adea sighed.

‘You’re right they did promise me off at fifteen, meaning I’ve had three years to get over it and I have. Yes, I was furious when it happened but I said okay because it was my fate. We always knew this was going to happen. Me and Waqar. If I didn’t say yes then, I would’ve said it later on and what’s the point?’ she said reasonably. Lily decided that now would be a good time to step in. Though, when she did neither sister took notice.

‘You shouldn’t have to be obliged to fulfil Dad and uncle’s dream!’ the older sister shouted

‘You’re right again, I shouldn’t but can you think of anyone who could be better for this?’

‘No but still…I was twenty one when I got married and –‘ this time Adea cut Rayna off as she hastily levitated three glasses and said ‘and I’m not you’ she left and on passing Lily she added’ take three glasses’ Rayna jumped and looked at Lily in surprise.

Lily was at a loss as to whose side she should take –Adea is your best friend, it’s your duty to side with her. But I know exactly how Rayna feels. She feels exactly the way I did about Petunia-

Rayna spoke up ‘I was only trying to help’ she said. Lily lowered her gaze ‘I know’
‘She shouldn’t have to do this’

‘I understand’ Lily said

‘She’s too young’

‘She is’

‘She could’ve at least listened to me’ Rayna said exasperatedly

‘She should’ve listened to you’ Lily replied.

Rayna sat on one of the chairs tucked underneath the breakfast table. ‘I only want what’s best for her. She’s so delicate; I don’t want her to get hurt. Sometimes, I suppose I get a little overprotective and that doesn’t do her any good’ Lily looked up now.

‘I know you only want what’s best for her but she isn’t delicate. She’s one of the strongest people I know’ Lily said, defending her best friend. Rayna smiled bittersweetly.

‘There are things about Adea you don’t know. She’s very strong and I’m very proud of her for that but then there’s times when she can be so delicate you won’t believe she’s the same person’ Rayna said, Lily was confused but decided to leave it for later. ‘I know how you feel’ Lily said sympathetically.

‘Do you?’ Rayna asked, Lily nodded.

‘Unfortunately. My sister just got married to a guy she doesn’t love. She’s only married him for the life he can give her. I tried talking her out of it so many times but she just refused to listen’ Lily elaborated

‘So you do know how I feel’ Rayna conceded.

‘I just don’t want her to ruin her life without knowing I’ Rayna said, Lily smiled ‘I wish my sister was like you’ Rayna laughed and then continued. ‘She’s so….special. I mean she’s very vulnerable. Tell me, how does she treat people at school’ Rayna asked

‘Who? You mean Kayla, Jane and me?’

‘No, no. I mean the other students’ Lily stared at Rayna in a bewildered manner.

‘Other students? Hasn’t she told you?’ Lily asked

‘Told me what?’

‘The other students don’t know who she is. I mean, they know of her but they don’t
actually know her. To Hogwarts Adea Qureshi is like the stuff of myths. The girl everyone knows, but can never see. She’s concealed herself in such a way that no one notices her. I can be talking to someone and she’ll stand right there next to me but no one ever sees her’ Lily said

‘Does she cast a spell?’

‘No that’s the thing though she doesn’t use magic at all. She spent all of first year
hiding. Hiding everywhere. In lessons, she sat in the darkest corner. She always skipped flying lessons. At meals, she took food before everyone else and rushed up to the dormitory. She even tried to take hide from Jane and Kayla, if I hadn’t convinced her…anyway. It’s funny really. Everyone in our year thinks she’s like a ghost or something. Every year she hides for the first week waiting for the rumour about her to be spread. It’s all in the power of suggestion, you see’

‘The power of suggestion?’ Rayna repeated questioningly. Lily set about explaining.

‘In the magical world, it’s easier. Because we know there are such things as ghosts and magic and witches. So myths are easier believed. The students think it impossible to see Adea Qureshi so even when she’s right there no one bothers to think it might be her because-’

‘-you just can’t see Adea Qureshi’ Rayna filled in

‘Exactly’

‘Wow’ Rayna said, clearly impressed at her sister’s way of thinking. ‘Right’

‘What happens when someone sets about trying to find her?’

‘That’s when the problems start. She hides again’ Waqar walked in just then. ‘Hey, people want their drinks; Liyana’s going to throw a tantrum any second now’

‘Sorry’ the two chorused and followed him back into the dining room.

Adea was still clearly angry as she’d taken Rayna’s seat next to her mother because she knew that she couldn’t be bothered in that position. Rayna had no choice but to take the seat next to Lily. This gave her a chance to ask the redhead more questions about her sister’s school life.

‘So has anyone ever seen her?’ Rayna asked. Lily took a bite of pizza and swallowed quickly before replying. ‘Two people. The first was Kayla’s little sister Gabrielle but the only reason she saw Adea was because she saw her on the first day on the train so she didn’t really know about the whole deal’ Lily said and took another bite. ‘And the second?’ Lily smiled at this.

‘The second was James Potter. I think that James never believed all the guff about Adea. He just noticed her one day at dinner’ Lily said proudly, Rayna looked suspicious but amused all the same. ‘Why are you so happy all of a sudden?’ she teased, Lily laughed and said ‘he’s my boyfriend’ Rayna smiled knowingly.

‘So anyone else ever seen her?’ Rayna asked, Lily thought for a second. ‘Not exactly but they have come very close. It was Kayla’s boyfriend. He heard her singing one night. She ran away before he tried to put two and two together but he saw her books. He couldn’t read the name but he took a guess’ Lily said grimly

‘Then what happened?’

‘Well Waqar covered for her. Remus kept trying to find her though, one day Waqar told him to drop it and that was that. I know you’re not happy about this but he really is the best guy for her’ Lily said. Rayna was quiet for a few minutes.

‘I know but…’ she finished her sentence with a sigh. Lily voiced a thought that had been plaguing her mind for years. ‘Why does she want to be invisible? She says it’s because she was bullied in junior school but I don’t get it, it’s been seven years. And even if it was just bullying why can’t she tell James? It’s not like he’ll-’ Lily stopped when she realised that Rayna had become strangely quiet. ‘What? What is it?’ Lily asked, she stared at the young mother for a few minutes before it dawned on her. ‘It’s not bullying is it? It’s something else’

‘Don’t ask questions about that. You’ll have to wait until Adea’s ready’

On the opposite end of the table Mrs. Qureshi and Mrs. Mohsin were still discussing colours for the dress. ‘We can’t seem to agree on anything’ Waqar sat quietly, not listening to a word, just eating his lunch when the women turned to him. ‘What do you recommend Waqar?’ they asked, all the other girls became quiet to hear his reply, he looked up ‘huh?’

‘She’s your bride, any particular colour you’d like to see her in?’ Waqar looked around for clues and said the first thing that came into his head ‘green?’ he thought fast –think of a girly colour, think of a girly colour- ‘or uh…pink?’

The girls and women looked around at each other. ‘That’s interesting, we hadn’t thought about those yet’ Jessenia (Mrs. Qureshi) mused

‘Okay ladies, ten minutes to finish your lunch and then it’s back to the drawing board’ Adea announced.

Liyana felt her plate and walked around the long table to her mother ‘mummy, I don’t want anymore’ she whined, Rayna glanced at her daughter’s plate and back with a stern face ‘no, finish your lunch’

‘But mummy, I don’t want to’

‘Liyana, what did I say?’ Rayna said, the little girl’s eyes started to well up when Lily jumped in. ‘Liyana, do you know why you have to eat all your food?’ Lily askedthe child who in turn shook her head. Lily smiled and said ‘because if you finish your food then you’ll grow up to be really, really pretty’ Liyana’s eyes widened ‘will I be as pretty as you?’ she asked excitedly, Lily stared at her.

She’d never felt so flattered. The little girl’s eyes shone with hope and Lily laughed ‘come here’ she hugged Liyana ‘you’ll be way prettier than me if you finish your food’

‘Okay’ and Liyana ran back to her seat and resumed eating.

‘She’s adorable’ Lily said to Rayna who smiled ‘thank you, you’re very good with kids’ Lily shrugged and replied ‘who does she look like? I mean, she’s very different to you’

‘She’s entirely her father. Adea likes to think Liyana’s hair colour came from her but the hair’s her father’s as well. She is beautiful isn’t she?’ she asked with a hint of pride ‘absolutely’ the red head answered. Rayna smiled like only a mother could and suddenly her resemblance to Adea was remarkable.

‘You and Adea are quite different as well’ Lily commented casually

‘I suppose. She looks like our aunt, spitting image. I’m more of a mix of mum and dad, I guess. Though at times people say we have a slight trace of each other in our expressions’

‘I can see that’

‘Alright time to go everyone’ Adea said. At those words six people left the table to return to the ladies room. Once there they took their seats and resumed their conference. ‘Right okay any more colours you’d like to suggest?’ Adea asked
‘Well I thought we should discuss the ones Waqar suggested’ Mrs. Mohsin inserted ‘I thought they were good ideas’ everyone else nodded in agreement, Adea inwardly rolled her eyes –and yet he had no clue what he was on about, the idiot- ‘I suppose’

‘Let’s start with green’ Mrs. Qureshi said

‘I’ve never really tried green’ Adea said hesitantly

‘Yeah it’s always been thought Lily’s colour so we never really…’ Kayla trailed off, Lily was in thought ‘though now you mention it I think you’d look good in green’ she said slowly

‘Mint’ Jane said languorously, everyone stared at her ‘I’m sorry?’ Shahira (Mrs. Mohsin) asked. Jane looked around in confusion and then realised that she must’ve voiced her thoughts.

‘Oh! I was thinking that Adea would look really nice in mint green’ they all fell silent, each imagining Adea in mint green. ‘Perfect’ Jessenia whispered the others started to smile as well ‘perfect, what a mind this child has, I would have never even considered that but she’s absolutely right’ Adea’s mother continued in her praise of Jane’s choice.

‘What about the pink’ Rayna questioned

‘Oh Adea looks gorgeous in any shade of pink, I’ll vouch for that’ Kayla said, Lily agreed with an eager nod of the head. ‘On my side of the family we’ve all worn pink. The red comes from her father’s side. Pink’s tradition’ Jessenia finished. Mrs. Mohsin looked unsure ‘oh but she would look lovely in the mint green but then again the same goes for pink’

‘I know’ came Adea’s rational voice ‘mm, aunty when you go shopping for the dress look out for pink and green dresses find a final candidate for both colours and pick the best one. Just remember aunty, the final decision is yours’ Adea concluded. Lily and Kayla looked confused.

‘So are we all decided?’ Adea asked

‘Yes’ the other five chorused. Lily, Jane and Kayla looked at each other and Lily spoke up ‘well we should be going’ the three rose and Adea followed them out.

Once they were in the entrance hall, Adea smiled at her friends. ‘hey why don’t you guys stay for dinner? Then you can meet the rest of this- this, well pack, I guess. It’s loads of fun’ she offered, the girls laughed. ‘I wish I could, you know I love it here but I’ve left Sirius alone at home. God knows what he could do to my poor flat’ Jane shuddered

‘And James went golfing with my dad today. There’s no telling what mum might tell him about me’ Adea smiled sympathetically ‘perfectly valid reasons, you’re excused’ she then turned to Kayla ‘what about you’

‘I’d love to, it’d be nice to get away from my own madhouse and get acquainted with a new one. My mum’s not in so I can probably stay the night’ Kayla said

‘That’d be so much fun’

‘Great, I’ll send Gabby a note, bye guys’ she waved to Lily and Jane and bounded up the cherry wood staircase.

‘Okay you two enjoy the rest of the holiday. Don’t forget to owl me and take care. Oh and tell James hi’ Adea hugged both of her friends ‘oh and stay safe and do some revision and be happy and, and…’ Lily held up a hand ‘Okay mother, we’ll be fine’ she assured, Adea sighed ‘of course you will. Well okay then bye’ and with that Jane and Lily disapparated with a pop and a whistle.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

‘I’m home’ Lily called

‘I’m up here’ James replied from somewhere upstairs. Lily went up to the guest room where he was lying on the bed reading a Quidditch magazine. Lilly gave him a small kiss ‘how was golf?’ she asked

‘It was great, I had fun’

‘Good’

‘Listen’

‘Yeah’

‘My parents have invited us over for dinner tonight, if that’s okay’ he said, Lily smiled brightly ‘I think that’d be brilliant, I’d better ask mum and dad though’

‘I’ll go with you, I was getting bored reading this anyway’ they headed downstairs where Adam was watching a football match and Rosalind was pottering around the kitchen.

‘Mum, dad’ Lily said, Rosalind walked into the living room as well ‘yes Lily’ they prompted ‘Mr. and Mrs. Potter have invited us over for dinner tonight, may I go?’ she asked, Mr. Evans raised his eyebrows ‘just dinner?’

‘Yes sir, that’s it. They just want to meet Lily’ James explained. Rosalind and Adam exchanged glances and nodded ‘sure, I don’t see why not’ Lily hugged her parents ‘thank you. Oh no! What should I wear?’ she said. Rosalind laughed and steered her daughter out of the room while saying ‘come, I will show you the art of dressing to impress your boyfriend’s parents’ they walked on. James and Adam were left.

The older man cleared his throat. ‘James, I need to talk to you. Take a seat’ James widened his eyes –oh god, here it is, the moment I’ve had nightmares about ever since Lily invited me- he sat down and tried his absolute best not to look too nervous ‘yes Mr. Evans?’

‘I know this sounds frightening. I don’t want to have to do this –especially for you- anymore than you want to listen but… well after seeing how Petunia chose; I have to say it. Petunia’s thrown her life away, I’ll admit. When I became a father I promised myself I would do everything possible to keep my girls happy, I tried, but it’s too late for Petunia. I don’t want Lily to repeat her sister’s mistake, I don’t want to have to be an onlooker to that again. Do you have any idea how it feels to have failed in something so important, that you don’t think you’ll ever breathe in the same way again?

The difference here is that I know Lily’s happy with you. She’s always been my happy-go-lucky child and now she’s with you she’s even more so. I don’t want to see that change, I don’t want to ever see her upset. I like you, I want to carry on liking you but if I hear that something should happen to Lily…’
‘I promise sir, I’ll do everything possible to keep her happy and safe’ James said firmly, Adam nodded vaguely and stared out of the window.

‘In you two I see a little bit of Rosalind and myself. If you two got engaged tomorrow, I’d give you my blessing because I know that it would be a well thought out decision. You’ve both got a good mind on you. It’s sense and sensibility really, have you ever read that?’ James shook his head ‘ well Lily’s sensibility so I suppose that leaves you with sense’ James now looked at Adam in disbelief who laughed at this ‘yes Lily’s told me, you’re quite the prankster but I know you’ve got good sense in there somewhere’ he paused to allow James a minute to think.

-Sense? Me? Yep, Adam’s lost it, let’s think. Just remember that sense and sensibility are two completely different things. But Lily has both. Does she? Was it sense when she had a breakdown about the exams? No, not exactly. But wasn’t your method of calming her down, sense? I suppose. Was it sense at Halloween when she tried to do everything herself? Of course not but…Was it sense when you stopped Sirius’ prank and saved Snape from getting bitten by Remus? I guess. And wasn’t it sense when you made friends with Adea? It was sense, wasn’t it? It was indeed. I think you’re right, I mean Adam’s right. I’m sense and Lily’s sensibility. Bang on

‘You’re right, I never realised it’ James said

‘Sometimes though we strive to become men we don’t particularly like admitting that somewhere along the lines we grew up as well’ Adam said wisely

‘Right again’ James laughed. Adam smiled and with a tone of finality ‘Look James, all I’m asking is for you to look after our Lily’ James nodded ‘I’ve already given you my word, I can’t give you much else. You’ll have to trust us’

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Jane had arrived in her bedroom and after taking a quick shower she was going to start the salad, in her bathrobe. Once the salad was done she planned to change into some clothes, after all how long does it take to make a salad? She walked into the kitchen and began taking the vegetables from the fridge when Sirius walked out of his temporary room and froze at the sight of Jane.

Her ‘just a little too small’ bathrobe quite obviously left her legs rather exposed. This was something Sirius was not accustomed to seeing. Jane wasn’t into mini skirts. She usually wore long flowing skirts or occasionally trousers. It wasn’t that she minded showing her legs, it was just that the clothes she preferred just didn’t. And in there more ‘amorous’ meetings she always made sure that they didn’t get too carried away., namely before the skirt came off.

‘J-Jane?’ Sirius said shakily, his eyes glued to her body ‘oh hello, what’s the matter?’ Jane said abstractly, she looked at her attire and rolled here eyes ‘oh Sirius don’t be ridiculous. Sirius didn’t answer – Those legs are long and damn it why has she got that bathrobe tied so tightly. I mean really, what’s the point? Well a: so that it doesn’t come undone and make your head explode and b: to torture you. Yes I can see that-

‘Don’t you want to change into something else, it’d be more comfortable’ Sirius proposed

‘No, I don’t. What are you going to do?’ she whispered sinisterly

‘Well I am trying to control myself but it isn’t working so go change’ Sirius ordered

‘Are you telling me what to do?’

‘No ma’am’

Jane smiled smugly ‘good because I’d like to remind you that this is my home. Sometimes I like to make the salad in my bathrobe and you’ll have to get used to that because if you don’t then I’ll do it again tomorrow. Oh and by the way I’m up here not down there’ Jane said.

Just then a voice came from the fireplace ‘Sirius? Sirius, dear it’s me’ came a woman’s voice. Sirius froze for a second time and then winced ‘Crap! Not now, Jane change into something decent’ Jane give him a “look” in response making Sirius sigh and lead her over to the source of the voice. ‘Hello Anita’ Sirius said kindly, she had brown hair and hazel eyes. Sirius continued ‘Jane, this is my pseudo mother Anita Potter. Anita, this is my girlfriend Jane Swales’ Mrs. Potter smiled brightly at Jane who knelt down.

‘So sorry you had to see me like this, I’ve just come out of the shower you see’

‘No problem dear, I just hope you weren’t busy’ Mrs. Potter said, eyeing the pair of them ‘not at all. Actually you called in the middle of an argument with a lot of potential’ Jane said mistily.

‘Lucky I called when I did then’ the older woman laughed and Sirius laughed too albeit nervously.

‘So what brings you here?’ Sirius asked

‘Oh! I was wondering if you two would like to join us for dinner, I’ve invited James and his Lily as well’ Sirius looked at Jane who nodded and turned to the head ‘perfect timing, I was just going to start the salad when you came’

‘Brilliant, then it’s settled?’

‘Definitely’ Sirius said

‘Half seven it is then’ Mrs. Potter said jovially and then looked at the clock ‘that gives you an hour, by the way Jane, lovely place you have here’

‘Thank you, that’s so kind’ Jane replied. Mrs. Potter’s head then smiled and disappeared.

Jane stood guiltily for a second and then looked up at Sirius ‘sorry’ she said ‘if I’d known, I would’ve listened to you’ Sirius laughed at her change in stance. ‘It doesn’t really matter’ he said, suddenly he crushed his lips onto hers. Jane struggled at first and then pushed him away. ‘Sirius! You know I hate it when you do that, at least give me some warning’

‘Sorry I had to’ Sirius said, Jane smiled and walked off into her room to change.

The next hour was spent getting ready for dinner. They sat in their rooms quietly preparing. Jane had decided to stray away from her usual ways for one night, for Sirius’ sake. She knew Mrs. Potter meant a lot to him. She also knew that Lily was the perfect girlfriend and the Potters would simply love her and so she had to at least make an effort, even if it killed her.

At quarter past seven both Jane and Sirius walked out of their rooms. Sirius was wearing some navy blue robes. When he saw Jane his jaw dropped. Her hair did not look like it normally did. It was down curls and it was dark brown with very dark purple streaks. She wore flat shoes, light make up and white dress robes giving her an almost angelic appearance.

‘Wow’ Sirius whispered, Jane looked incredibly uncomfortable. ‘Is it okay?’ she asked with a hint of resentment ‘I got rid of almost all the colour just for tonight’ Sirius nodded ‘you look amazing’

‘Yeah well…might as well make a good impression but just so you know, I’m dying over here’ Jane huffed

‘Well I do appreciate it, if that’s any consolation’ he replied, handing her a pinch of floo powder to Jane ‘ladies first. She threw the powder into the flames, stepped into the fire and said clearly ‘Potter Manor’ (a/n: not the most creative name, I know)

She landed gracefully in a large entrance hall with marble flooring, Sirius immediately followed and landed next to her. This was one of those rare occasions when Sirius actually looked nervous. Jane ran a hand through his hair and looked at him with eyes that teemed with reassurance and support.

‘Ugh! God I hate flooing’ came a familiar voice. Jane and Sirius turned to see a redhead in front of the fireplace, dusting herself off. A second later a raven haired boy followed in a rather more dignified way than his date. Jane and Sirius smiled ‘hey’ Lily and James jumped and then smiled back at seeing who it was. ‘Hey. I didn’t know you two were coming, that’s great’ Lily exclaimed. She’d worn her hair down and was in pastel green dress robes while James had opted for maroon. James and Sirius grinned and exchanged a manly handshake while the girls hugged.

‘You look great, Jane’ Lily said

‘Same goes for you’ Jane countered

‘Jaaaaames’ shouted a voice. The girls turned to find a little girl running towards James with her arms outstretched. She looked about four, had black hair like James’ and blue eyes. James laughed and spun the girl round who giggled. The girl now turned to Sirius who knelt down so that the child could give him a kiss on the cheek. ‘Siri!’ she cried in delight and laughed as Sirius picked her up, chucked her in the air and caught her again.

‘Lily, Jane this is our little sister Allegra’ James said, beaming proudly. Both girls noticed the usage of “our” but thought it sweet and didn’t enquire further. Allegra smiled at the two girls and then ran up to them hugging Lily first who was taken by surprise but laughed and hugged the little girl back ‘aaaaawwww hello, I’m Lily’ she said. Allegra now turned to Jane and hugged her as well. Jane looked bewildered but in a good way as she hugged her too ‘I’m Jane. Aren’t you pretty?’ Allegra looked at her brother and back and said ‘thank you’ quietly as if she had suddenly become very shy.

‘Sorry, she hasn’t had the “don’t be friendly to strangers” talk yet’ Sirius explained as he picked up Allegra again. Lily laughed and said ‘oh don’t be silly she’s adorable; I can see why you’re so proud of her James’ Allegra looked confused ‘Siri aren’t you proud of me as well?’ she asked.

‘Of course I am, aren’t I Jane?’ he said

‘Yes you are’ Jane said firmly ‘both of your brothers are very proud of you Allegra’ she finished ‘Oh sorry’ came an older voice.

‘I took forever getting ready and supervising the elves and what not. Well it doesn’t matter’ said Anita Potter. She looked at her two sons ‘Sirius very nice. James dear you look very handsome but couldn’t you do something about your hair, it’s your father’s fault that’s what it is. How are you dears? And I don’t believe we’ve been properly introduced’ she said this all very fast in one breath.

‘Mum, this is Lily Evans. Lily, this is my mum’ James introduced

‘Good evening, Mrs. Potter’ Lily said politely. Mrs. Potter stared at Lily as if remembering something ‘look at you! Just look at you! Aren’t you just- oh!’ she gasped and hugged Lily tightly who smiled. Mrs. Potter turned to Jane and stared at her brightly ‘and you- Oh my goodness, I didn’t realise how stunningly beautiful you are’ she praised. ‘Both of you. You’re both so beautiful’ she breathed. She then guided them into the dining room.

A few minutes later a tall man with glasses walked into the room and smiled brightly at all of them. ‘hello I see you’ve all arrived safely. Sorry, I’m a little late’ he apologised. Mrs. Potter looked at the man fondly ‘girls, this is my husband Joseph. Joseph this is Lily, James’ girlfriend. And this Jane, Sirius’ girlfriend’ Joseph nodded to both girls and said ‘splendid’ As soon as he sat down at the head of the table, the house elves entered carrying the starter course.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

At the Qureshi house Adea and Kayla were having fun with all of the manor’s other occupants. On top of the nine people present in the house during the afternoon; Mr. Mohsin, Mr. Qureshi, Rayna’s husband Jauhar, Waqar’s brother Haaziq and his wife and kid and Waqar’s sister Inaya and her husband and kids had joined the party as well. It was definitely enjoyable. There was a lot of commotion, noise and laughter. The sound of children chuckling and squealing as they ran around the house, the shouting and cheering of the two Mohsin boys and Inaya’s husband as they played video games, the giggling of Adea, Rayna, Kayla, Inaya and Eilyah (Haaziq’s wife, Waqar’s sister in law) and the chattering of the women.

Kayla walked into the kitchen to refill her glass. She saw Waqar sitting quietly at the breakfast table. She filled her glass with pumpkin juice and sat opposite. ‘Penny for your thoughts’ she said, he looked up at her ‘oh hi’

‘I haven’t talked to you properly in ages, what’s up?’

‘Just thinking’ he said solemnly

‘I’d never have guessed’ Kayla quipped, Waqar gave her a look. ‘okay sorry, what’s
the matter?’ she asked

‘Maybe I’m worrying too much’

‘Why don’t you let me be the judge of that’ Kayla replied wisely

‘It’s just this whole business. I don’t know if Adea is ready to be married, yet’ Waqar said

‘Oh but she is! She’s really looking forward to it and getting into the planning everything’ Kayla cried defensively

‘Maybe but is she looking forward to the wedding or getting married?’ he challenged

Kayla thought about this and quite frankly she didn’t have an answer for him –he’s right. I mean in all of Adea’s excitement about the wedding, she hasn’t said anything about the marriage. I mean she hasn’t thought about where she’s going to live or anything. Yet, I’m positive she’s ready to be married. She’ll be the perfect wife. The way she’s always tidying the room and making sure that we don’t leave too long until we write home and stuff. She needs to be married, she needs someone she can fall back on without worrying if they’ll fall under the pressure-

‘That’s a very good question and to be honest I couldn’t tell you but I know one thing; Adea really cares about you. And she’d be a terrific wife. I don’t know if she’s registered the fact that she’s going to be married but when it does hit her I know she’ll take in stride and rise to the challenge spectacularly. Adea’s always been careful about the things she gets herself into. She’s never impulsive about her decisions and this should be no different’ Kayla finished

‘You’re probably right. I’ve known Adea for eighteen years, she’s not stupid. She’ll have thought about this. Thanks Kayla’ he smiled gratefully. Kayla shrugged ‘any time’

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Back at the Potter residence the evening was progressing magnificently. Lily and Jane were enjoying a wonderful dinner in good company. There was plenty of entertainment provided by James, Sirius and Mr. Potter. Their jokes and imitations had the girls in constant laughter.

As the main course was served Mrs. Potter started a slightly more serious conversation. ‘So Lily, you’re head girl, aren’t you?’ she asked

‘I am’

‘What’s that like?’

‘Stressful’ Lily replied, Mrs. Potter laughed but Lily shook her head.

‘No but seriously, it’s very interesting. I mean I’ve learned more this year than all the others put together. To see how students think. When you’re a third year say and you’re lurking out after curfew. You feel so good about yourself, but when you’re Head Girl and you’re lurking out after curfew its just annoying’ Lily explained and James laughed at the memory of some of their more frustrating late night rounds.

‘Though I imagine it’s a very good opportunity’ Mrs. Potter commented

‘Oh definitely. You know it really teaches you how to handle stress and responsibilities. It also helps with time management skills and people skills as well’ Mrs. Potter nodded ‘sounds like you really enjoy it though it must annoy you that it takes up so much of your free time’

‘It’s fun but you’re absolutely right, I mean sometimes I feel like giving it up, it takes up so much of my free time especially since I get so little help from my counterpart ‘ Lily said pointedly.

James looked up and swallowed a big mouthful ‘oh! Are you talking about me?’ Sirius snorted and James kicked him, hard. ‘Well I help out sometimes but Lily’s just plain better at the “being authority” deal. You should feel lucky Miss Evans I don’t pay compliments like that easily’ he said conceitedly, Lily shook her head despairingly ‘what am I going to do with you?’ she groaned, Mrs. Potter patted her on the shoulder ‘it’s okay dear, I’ve asked myself the same question for the past eighteen years’ Jane laughed aloud.

‘What do you plan to do after school, Lily?’ Joseph asked

‘I’d like to be a healer’ Lily answered, the Potters looked impressed and James grinned proudly. ‘Wow! It takes a lot of will and a lot of NEWTs’

‘It does but it’ll pay off in the end’ Lily replied good naturedly. The Potters now turned to Jane ‘and you, Jane?’ Jane looked at them with her silver eyes as though she was surprised at being addressed.

‘I’ve been thinking that I’d like to work for the Committee on Experimental Charms’ she replied abstractly. Joseph and Anita stared at her for a second, letting her faraway voice float around until the words spoken had fully registered in their minds.

They blinked and looked intrigued. ‘Fascinating! Tell me, what attracted you to that field?’ Joseph asked in an amazed tone of voice. Jane’s eyes glazed over as she replied ‘the possibility of discovering new spells to further benefit our world. Building the steps for the magic of tomorrow and the development of new spells and incantations and research’ Mr. and Mrs. Potter looked clearly impressed, again.

‘So do you and Lily see a lot of each other at school or are you just acquainted through James and Sirius ?’ Jane and Lily exchanged confused glances. ‘well not exactly. We’re best friends. I mean there are fo-three of us, we’ve known each other since first year and until I got my own room we shared a dormitory too’ Lily elaborated. Anita looked surprised

‘Oh well that’s even better, you must have a lot of fun’ she said, Jane nodded ‘we do, especially since Remus and Kayla are going out as well’ Joseph laughed ‘attack the whole pack, did you?’ he teased

‘You could say that. Kayla’s liked Remus for ages and vice versa but these two were the only ones who didn’t fall for the natural charm. In fact, for the first time, we fell before they did’ Sirius said, Jane and Lily smiled.

‘Seven years of pursuit and rejection’ James said reminiscently ‘good times’ he sighed. Sirius thought back as well ‘wasn’t that bad for me, three months but painful months they were’ he said dramatically.

Anita looked at the girls ‘well I have to congratulate you two. You’ve finally taught my boys how to respect the opposite sex’

‘Thank you but it wasn’t easy. Especially for Jane when she had to say no to Sirius’ Lily said. Sirius looked confused.

After the main course it was time for dessert to be served. After that was the departure of James, Lily, Sirius and Jane.

‘Thank you for a lovely evening, Mrs. Potter, I really enjoyed it’ Lily said sincerely. Mrs. Potter beamed ‘my pleasure, come over again, won’t you?’ James hugged his mum, who quickly whispered ‘hold onto her James, or else I’ll kill you’ he laughed quietly and then disapparated with his girlfriend.

Jane now stepped up ‘dinner was delicious, thank you so much for having us’
‘No problem, it was a delight to have you. Look after yourself, dear and do come round again, don’t hesitate just come anytime you want’ Jane hugged the woman and waited for Sirius. Sirius hugged Mrs. Potter like Jane had done and Mrs. Potter whispered to him as well ‘I really like her, Sirius and she’s perfect for you. Look after her’ Sirius nodded and then he and Jane disapparated as well.

When they were back at Jane’s flat, Sirius held Jane’s arm before she could go to her room ‘wait just one second, I need to ask you a question’ he said, Jane twisted her captured arm around into a position that caused Sirius immense pain, once he’d let go she said ‘ask away’

Sirius shook his arm and continued ‘why was it hard for you to say no to me? I was under the impression that up until Christmas, you just didn’t like me’ he said, Jane smiled ‘why are all males so clueless? I liked you at the same point that you started liking me, the night in the kitchens’ she put her shoes away, Sirius trailed after her.

‘Why didn’t you ask me out?’

‘So that your ego could become even larger? Don’t think so’ Jane said and made her streaks more defined ‘what about when I dumped Fonseca?’ he cried

‘I was supposed to say yes? After what you did to that poor girl? Besides you couldn’t even promise me that you wouldn’t dump me after a week’

‘The kiss at Halloween? Couldn’t have showed something there?’ Jane shook her head ‘I’ve told you, I hate it when you do that’

‘All that time, you didn’t say a thing?’ Sirius said indignantly

‘Because, I don’t go out with guys who can’t respect me. It was only in mid-November that you started to do that and by December I had you with respect for the female population and by that time I was in love’ Jane said simply, though it’d been harder than it sounded. She walked on when Sirius’ voice called out.

‘You’re surreal, did you know that?’ Jane looked in thought ‘I’ve heard extraordinary, eccentric, spooky, freaky, brilliant, clever, abnormal, psychopathic, ugly, ghostly even. Maybe somewhere along the lines I’ve heard surreal as well, can’t quite recall’ she said. Sirius stared ‘You’ve managed to do what people thought literally possible’

‘I guess’ Jane shrugged. Now Sirius looked thoughtful.

‘If I dumped you, I could return to my old ways and be even more successful, if its possible, which it apparently is’ Sirius said conspiratorially

‘You could and you would’ Jane replied

‘I wouldn’t even have to wait a week, just chuck them after two days’

‘You could indeed’

‘Of course I’d have to get rid of you first’ he said, Jane inhaled deeply and said ‘indeed you would’ and started to walk back to her room.

A hand grabbed hold of her wrist ‘let me go Sirius. Wouldn’t want to ruin your fantasies. After all, I imagine it’s harder with your girlfriend in the room’ she snapped.

‘Oh come on Jane, it was just a joke’

‘I’m all for jokes but I didn’t find this one quite so funny’ Sirius now held her in his arms but Jane soon made sure there were an arm’s length apart.

‘You didn’t let me finish. So I’d dump you and then date every girl in school and be extremely miserable because I wouldn’t have you anymore. Then one day I’d come crawling back and beg you to take me back, then we’d pick up where we left off’ he whispered and drew her closer. Jane shook her head and took a step back again.

‘No, no let me finish. So you’d come crawling back and beg me to take you back and I’d say no because I’m not an idiot and you could carry on being miserable’ Jane said pleasantly, Sirius nodded ‘you’re right, that is what’d happen’ Jane nodded but Sirius shrugged ‘Or- I’d not dump you in the first place and we could continue in bliss’

‘Possible but who’s to say I’d keep you and who’s to say it would be bliss?’ Jane challenged.

Sirius sighed ‘well it seems we’ve reached a fork, so which path are we going to take?’ he asked, Jane raised her eyebrows. ‘we? Excuse me but I was under the impression that each of these paths differed by varying final decisions made by me

‘So which path are you going to take?’ Jane stared at Sirius and the leaned forwards to give him a teasing kiss ‘I’ll tell you at breakfast, goodnight’ she said and walked into her room. Sirius stared at her door for a second before shaking his head and walking into his own.

a/n: Thank you for reading and if you stuck by and waited. Sorry again and please review and read on.


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