Chapter 4 : Bubble Gum for Christmas
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Christmas at home was always wonderful. My grandparents would come, and Aunt Esther and Aunt Betsy. The Evans’ family Christmas party also doubled as Lily’s birthday party. She was born on December 5th, and it just made more sense to have her birthday at the same time as Christmas, when all the family was around.
To be fair, the family would bring two sets of presents for her, and make it into two piles, one for Christmas presents and one for birthday presents. My parents always made every effort to maintain equality between the two of us, so it was only fair that she should get birthday presents and Christmas presents, just like I did.
Of course, quantity is nowhere near the same as quality.
We went to meet Lily at the train station. She came out in a flurry of crimson, gold, and black, carrying a large basket in one hand and dragging her trunk with the other. She looked slightly worried at first, I imagine that she must have been afraid that we had forgotten her, but when she saw us her entire face lit up, and she ran as fast as she possibly could, dragging that big trunk behind her.
“Lily!” We all called out at the same time, engulfing her in hugs. She squealed slightly before Edwina shot out of the basket and raced off down the station. In a moment, all of us had released Lily and ran, trying to catch that dratted cat.
I do believe that I knocked over several Hogwarts students, before stumbling and landing at the feet of a small boy around Lily’s age with messy black hair and hazel eyes. He was holding Edwina.
“Hello,” I said, trying to regain my composure, “I do believe that is my sister’s cat, may I have her back please?”
The boy looked at me funny. “No, I know who this cat belongs to; you must have got the wrong one.” He turned around and started off in the opposite direction.
I grabbed his arm. “No, that’s my sister’s cat. May I have her back please?”
He raised an eyebrow. “This isn’t your cat! Let me go!” he yelled.
I gripped his arm tighter. “Not until you give me back my sister’s cat!”
“Sod off, you crazy woman! Mum, Dad! Help, this girl won’t let me go!” The boy was starting to look a little frantic.
Two incredibly tall adults came striding towards us. I figured that they must have been the boy’s parents, because I immediately said, “Please, that’s my sister’s cat, he won’t give her back. I’ll let go as soon as I get that cat.”
The woman turned her head towards the boy. “James, give her the cat.” She had a very even tone, but it looked almost as though she were trying not to laugh at the situation.
“But Mum, this cat belongs to a girl I know, I’m not going to give it to some complete stranger. Mum- “The boy was cut off by a very loud angry voice behind me.
“Potter! Give me my cat. Now.” Lily looked absolutely furious that Edwina was purring in James’s arms. Come to think of it, throughout my entire…ordeal with the boy, Edwina had been calmly purring while sitting in the boy’s arms.
“Lily! I was going to go looking for you to give Edwina back, but this daft woman wouldn’t let me go. She kept claiming that Edwina belongs to her sister” He replied as he handed Edwina to Lily.
I saw my sister smirk ever so slightly, as petted her newly recovered cat. “That ‘daft woman’ just happens to be my sister, you dolt.” She turned to me with an amused expression on her face. “Petunia, this is Mr. James Potter, Troublemaker Extraordinaire. Potter, this is my sister Petunia, she’s a muggle, try anything remotely stupid, and I’ll hex you into next year”
James blushed slightly, before straightening up and going into a deep bow. “Ahh Petunia, such a pretty name for such a pretty girl, it’s quite obvious that you’re Lily’s sister, beauty and a temper…”
I turned to Lily and laughed, before I remembered that Mr. and Mrs. Potter were still watching the three of us, with slightly amused looks on their faces. I assume that just as Lily had written to me about James, he must have written to his parents about Lily, because the next thing I knew Mr. and Mrs. Potter were smiling kindly down at the both of us and each shook our hands, mentioning how much they had heard about Lily and how nice it was to meet her and a member of her family.
I saw James blush furiously when Mrs. Potter mentioned how much they had heard of Lily, and Lily turned to give James a sideways glance, eyebrows raised high.
We talked to them for five minutes before Mum and Dad found us and were introduced to the Potters. Fifteen minutes later we were driving home, our parents talking about what wonderful people the Potters were and how they had such a nice little boy.
I saw Lily grimace at this before turning around and staring back out the window.
Nan and Aunt Esther came in late on Christmas because there was a slight delay in picking Aunt Betsy up from the airport. Because of this delay, we ended up opening presents after dinner.
It was a long wait, but Lily kept us entertained with stories of Hogwarts, and I couldn't help but notice that she didn’t mention James in any one of them. She mentioned the Sorting, and how the hat had nearly put her in Ravenclaw, before switching at the last moment to put her in a House called Gryffindor. I was amazed that they used a hat for sorting students. It seemed so ridiculous that I hardly believed half of what she was saying.
But then again, I hardly believed in magic, and look at where it took my sister.
I had gotten Lily a pretty shell necklace for Christmas and a small leather bound journal for her birthday. She got me a pack of gum.
Looking back my expression must have been rather funny. I watched as everyone opened their presents from Lily and got magical objects, such as a Quick Quotes Quill for my mother and color changing ink for Aunt Betsy. When Lily handed me the small package, I ripped at the paper excitedly, hoping to find…well, anything except for gum.
The bright blue pack read Drooble’s Best Blowing Gum in even brighter pink lettering. I gave Lily a weak grin, and she positively beamed at me before opening my presents to her.
She delighted over the necklace, and said she would start writing in her journal everyday; she had so much to talk about, and always worried that she might forget something in her letters. If she wrote everything in her journal she wouldn't forget anything.
I had picked her presents rather carefully, knowing that I wouldn’t see her for awhile. And she gave me a pack of gum. How delightful. I would have said that it’s the thought that counts, but I wasn’t entirely sure how much thought I had been given.
No one seemed to notice my slight disappointment, which was good I suppose. My other presents were great. A new pair of earrings, a few new books, a new dress, and a few records, what more could I want?
Anything but bubble gum.
I was sitting in my room that night, after everyone had left, flipping through one of my books when Lily knocked on the door.
“Hi, Petunia” She said brightly. “Did you like your new present?”
I wasn’t sure whether or not to laugh, or hit her for being so thoughtless. I decided on sarcasm.
“Oh, yeah, it’s wonderful Lily, just wonderful. Who would have guessed bubble gum could be so much fun?”
Lily blinked “I’m sorry, I thought it would amuse you.”
My mouth must have dropped open, I know it must have. “Amuse me? Since when does gum amuse me? I could go down to the drugstore and buy my own pack any day of the week! You thought gum would amuse me?!”
Lily looked hurt for a minute before a grin spread across her face. “You didn’t try the gum did you?”
I shook my head.
Lily laughed and took a piece. She started chewing and chewing before finally blowing a bubble. It escaped her lips and hovered above us. She gave me a cheeky grin before taking out a hairpin and stabbing the bubble. It didn’t pop the first time, or the second time, but on the third it exploded with such force that it knocked me over sideways. When I sat up again, I saw that my room was filled with lots of little bubbles, and a sprinkling of small flowers and ribbons were falling all around us.
I looked around, amazed.
Lily grinned again. “It’s a special edition gum that Drooble’s was putting out. Normally these bubbles don’t ever pop, but for the holidays they made a special edition confetti kind. Every time you blow a bubble and poke it three times with something it will burst into confetti or something. It’s pretty bit of transfiguration here. These flowers are real, and the ribbons are made of cloth. It helps with the mess I suppose, at least this way everything’s not all sticky.”
I must have still looked amazed, but I picked up a piece of gum and started chewing. I blew a large bubble and when it popped gold glitter rained down on us.
Lily seemed delighted at this. Apparently there was a guarantee that it would be something different each time.
The two of us blew bubble, after bubble ,after bubble, laughing in delight after each one burst. By the time my father came in, telling us to go to sleep, my room was littered with bits of everything, including glitter, flowers, ribbons and paper butterflies.
Before she left, Lily turned around and told me to go look at myself in the mirror. I turned and found my hair was blown completely to one side form each explosion and that my face was slightly blackened from the soot of a previous bubble which had provided us with tiny flames that thankfully didn’t catch any of my things on fire. I had confetti tangled in my hair and a wild look in my eyes. I couldn't help but laugh at my reflection, I looked ridiculous. But then I caught sight of my room.
There was a large mess. It was horrendous.
But it could wait till tomorrow.
Who could have guessed bubble gum could be so much fun?
A/N: Now that you've read, please review. Even if you didn't like it. Please? Thanks!
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