A/N: Oh wow, I cannot believe I haven't updated this in a year! Eesh, a million apologies! But I have finally whipped out a chapter and coming incredibly soon is the FINAL CHAPTER! Yes the last chapter will be chapter 30 and I'm making myself finish it before school starts in a couple of weeks so please, please look out for it and please forgive me for not updating this in foreeever! I'd be pretty pissed at myself too. Hee. So please, enjoy this chapter and review because I always ALWAYS love to hear your thoughts on it. Thank you!
Chapter 29: I Do
I tossed a pillow at Lily, catching her attention as she caught it effortlessly.
“Mmm, nice catch, you should consider Quidditch as a future career,” I considered thoughtfully as Lily threw me a foul look.
“Jen, N.E.W.T.S are in less than a week, shouldn’t you be studying?”
“I really should…” I admitted, picking up one of Lily’s textbooks and flipping it over, “Where’s Carisma?”
“Who knows? She’s been sneaking off with Remus for the past three months, I can never keep track of her,” Lily said briskly.
“Hello,” Sirius leaned down and gave me a peck on the forehead. I dropped the book back on the floor, relieved at the intervention.
“Hello to you too, do you by any chance know where Remus might be?” I asked, trailing a finger down his cheek.
“Why?” He inquired suspiciously.
I chuckled heartily, “I’m trying to find Carisma,”
“Oh,” He guffawed, “They’re probably in one of the empty classrooms…”
“Who is?” James sauntered in, plopping himself next to Lily.
“Remus and Carisma,” I winked.
“Honestly,” Lily slammed her book down making the three of us jump, “Shouldn’t you lot be studying right now?”
“Right,” James and I hastily picked up a stray book from Lily’s open collection and pretended to read, in fear of Lily’s wrath. Sirius, who couldn’t be bothered, squeezed himself in to the armchair I was in and wrapped his arms around me.
“I can’t wait,” He sighed.
“For…” I trailed off, waiting for an answer.
“Our new beginning, finally doing what we’ve always wanted to do,” His grey eyes were shimmering with the idea of unlimited freedom.
I shook my head, “Don’t get ahead of yourself, we still have to pass your N.E.W.T.S,”
“Oh please, you could pass it in your sleep…so you really should stop studying now and come enjoy a midnight stroll with me,” He winked. I elbowed him as Lily eyed us irately.
At that moment, Carisma and Remus burst in to the common room, both laughing softly, their eyes sharing a secretive look.
“Well, look who has finally decided to grace us with their presence?” Sirius called out loudly, revealing the couple’s presence to the entire common room.
“Now, be good and tell us where you’ve been,” said Sirius cheekily.
Carisma threw him a dirty look, “Sod off, Black…wait---wha---are you studying?!” She asked incredulously, glancing at the books scattered about the floor around us.
James and I nodded grimly and jerked our heads towards Lily.
“Lily…stop,” Carisma lifted Lily’s book from her hands and closed it, “We should be enjoying our final year together, which means we shouldn’t be studying…we still have time and not to mention, we have one last Hogsmeade trip tomorrow, you can study after that,”
Lily gaped wordlessly before giving in.
* * *
Sirius laced his fingers through mine as we strolled through the sunny cobblestone pathways of Hogsmeade.
“Our final Hogsmeade trip, I’m really going to miss it,” I said softly, trying my best to absorb everything.
“Well, then…shall we make the most of it?” Sirius leaned down and kissed me as my body tingled in delight.
“Yes,” I nodded and leaned in close to him.
We spent the rest of the time visiting every shop in sight. We finally reached a dead end as we approached the Shrieking Shack.
“Come on,” Sirius whispered, grabbing my hand.
“Where are we going?” I tried my best to keep up with him as he pulled me in to the Shrieking Shack.
“James and Lily are going to be up here in a minute, let’s hide and watch,” Sirius grinned, “He’s been practicing his speech for weeks,”
“Sirius, I think we should respect their privacy,” I stated indignantly.
“Aww, fine…” His shoulders drooped.
“I guess…we can wait outside,” I sighed, unable to believe that I was doing this.
“Great!” Sirius yanked me in to a bedroom just as James and Lily’s footsteps could be heard stomping up the stairs.
“James! Why are we here? I’m a bit scared,” Lily’s voice floated up the staircase.
“You’ll know in a second,” James’ exultant voice could be heard.
Sirius placed his arms around my waist and pulled me in to the bedroom even closer, afraid that James or Lily might notice our presence. Once we had been sure that James and Lily were in the other room, we collapsed on to the dusty bed.
“How long’s the speech going to take?” I asked, wrinkling my nose, “The sheets smell funny,”
Sirius laughed and flipped over to face me, “Not too long and I should know, I helped him…” He beamed proudly. I suddenly felt a surge of affection towards him.
I drew his face in and kissed him, “I love you, you know that?”
“No, I really don’t…you should show me how much you love me,” He winked, intensifying the kiss.
We pulled away when we heard a commotion in the other room. Sirius leaped from the bed and flew in to the room, fearful that something might’ve happened.
Bursting in the room, we saw James and Lily, in an emotional embrace. Lily’s tear-streaked face was beaming brightly, her rosy cheeks were flushed. James, on the other hand, looked as if he had died and gone to heaven.
“Um…we’ll…er…yeah…” Sirius closed the door, his face burning.
* * *
“Begin.” Professor McGonagall’s terse voice echoed around the room.
I glanced at the exam in front of me, my fingers gripping my quill in panic. Raising my head, I caught Sirius’ eye two rows away as he flashed me a soothing smile. I nodded in response and proceeded to answer the questions.
By the end of the exam, all I wanted to do was to curl up in bed with a bottle of butterbeer.
“That was much too easy,” Sirius and James snickered simultaneously, both receiving a whack from Lily and Carisma.
“What? It was…” Sirius whined as Carisma threw him yet another foul look before storming off in search of Remus, who had somehow gotten lost in the crowd.
We settled outside in the grass, basking in the sun. I noticed Lily playing with her ring instinctively, with a distant look on her face. I smiled at the sight of my friends gathered closely underneath a large willow tree. Life couldn’t be better at that moment. Everything that I had always wanted was currently in front of me. Inwardly, I grinned, realizing that I was finally out of the abyss and facing the genesis of something incredible.
* * *
I paced about the living room, the grand fireplace in front of me. Glancing at it every two seconds, I let out an exasperated sigh as the fireplace remained empty and covered in soot. After five minutes, I relinquished my position in front of the fireplace and plopped myself down on the couch, still tapping my foot impatiently.
“Sorry!” The cries of Lily and Carisma could be heard as emerald flames exploded in the confines of the marble fireplace.
“Oh, I’m just glad the two of you are here,” I enveloped both of them in a tight hug. I couldn’t believe how much I had missed them in those two months after we had successfully graduated from Hogwarts. Voldemort was on a rage, killing everyone and everything in sight. No one had a reason to be safe but it didn’t mean that we still couldn’t celebrate. James and Lily had both gotten married in a private and stuning wedding as soon as they had gotten back to London.
My eyes traveled over my two best friends. Carisma had grown darker after having spent a couple of weeks traveling with Remus; her long hair had grown blonder and curlier and she looked much slimmer than before. Lily, on the other hand, was grinning from ear to ear. Her red hair pulled up neatly in to a tight chignon, she looked slightly larger, her dress accentuating her curves. Her face was positive glowing. She looked gorgeous and…
“Lily…” I trailed off as I narrowed my eyes, “Are you…pregnant?”
Carisma’s hands flew to her mouth as she gasped, “Are you?!”
Lily giggled helplessly, “How’d you know? I was trying so hard to hide it,” She glanced down at her flowy green sundress in despair.
“Why in Merlin’s name would you ever do such a thing?” I widened my eyes in shock.
“Well, it’s your wedding day, I wouldn’t want to ruin it for you with my news,” She shrugged.
I laughed, “Lily, I could care less…this is incredible!” I touched Lily’s stomach tentatively, almost afraid that I would hurt the little person growing inside.
“What are you going to name it? Is it a boy or a girl?" Carisma questioned urgently.
Lily guffawed, “It’s much too early to know and James and I aren’t sure yet about his or her name…we want it to be something meaningful though..." She added as an afterthought before continuing, "Naturally, the both of you are going to be godmothers,"
"Have I told you that I love you?" Carisma wrapped her arms around Lily and gave her a squeeze.
“Why are we still talking about me? Move it! We’re going to be late!” Lily cried out, shoving Carisma and myself up the stairs.
An hour later, I strolled down the stairs in a long, flowing white gown, my neck adorned with Mother’s vintage diamond necklace and of course, on my finger, the Black’s heirloom ring.
The guests began arriving soon enough and the wedding progressed smoothly. The entire day passed by in a blur. All I could remember was looking in to Sirius’ sparkling grey eyes, unable to believe how lucky I was and how in love I was with him. I remembered gripping his hand tightly as we shared our first kiss as husband and wife and of course, our first dance.
“I never knew that I could feel this happy,” He whispered in my ear as I leaned in close to him, swaying slowly.
“Me neither, I love you so much…” I gave him a peck on the cheek, wishing there were more words to express my overwhelming feelings.
“I love you too…Mrs. Black,” He chuckled lightly against my ear, “I like the sound of that…Mr. and Mrs. Black,”
As she glided down the stairs, I stopped breathing for several seconds as the entire room remained still at the sight of the bride.
I felt James prod me in the back and I exhaled softly as she grasped my hand, smiling enchantingly at me. If I had been told five years ago that I would be standing here, marrying Jennivra Lacaille, I would’ve laughed and replied that I would always keep my honorary title as one of the most eligible bachelors. Life leads you towards unexpected paths but unexpected paths that lead to the good…and sometimes…I glanced at Jen, beaming brightly at me…to the best.
I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the girl, entranced by the beatific vision that stood before me. Never in my life would I consider myself this blessed to have found her.
Just before we stepped in to the garden, I leaned in closely, “Do you still believe in love?”
She raised her warm, chocolate eyes at me in surprise and beamed, “I do, now…”
A/N: Okay I know that was a fast-moving chapter but I had to end the year to proceed to the last chapter so I hope that it was okay. Please please review, I'd really love to see what you thought of it. Thanks in advance!