“Do you think we should have told them?” Lily asked, watching James unpack underwear with his wand. “Your parents, my parents, Sirius, Remus, Peter; they’d all want to know James.”
James and Lily had never been away together but Australia had seemed a good place to start their travels. Tomorrow they were going to see the ‘Woollongong Warriors’ playing some team from Tasmania but before that, they had certain business to attend to in this spacious, comfortable and romantic room in the ‘Dragon and the Phoenix’ hotel; one of the best in Australia.
“Stop worrying,” he said exasperated, glancing at her worried face, before returning to watch some socks fly past the rich red duvet of the bed and into the open draw of the dresser. As his eyes followed the clothes, he nervously took a quick look into the large wall mirror which took up nearly all the space between ceiling and floor.
Did he look okay? Would she mind his hair being how it was? ‘No,’ he thought calmingly to himself, ‘you look fine, great, how could she keep her hands off you?’ Even so, he felt an impulse to run his fingers through the mop that covered his scalp. “They don’t need to know yet; we’ll tell them when we get back. Right now, I don’t want to think about anything but getting you out of that muggle dress.”
“Oh thanks!” laughed Lily, “I thought you said I looked stunning when we were dancing!”
James looked up from his suitcase and gazed into her eyes. Suddenly an image, as clear as film, filled his mind. He was stood on an old oak floor, beckoning to a freckled woman who stood shyly by her parents. She was a very pretty woman with long flowing hair but her attire was strange; she wore a very simple but silky white dress and a tiara, positioned beautifully atop her head.
He smiled at her, coaxing her foreword. Lily had always had a block about dancing. It was not that she couldn’t; she had been on every boy’s wish list at the leaver’s ball at Hogwarts even though she had already agreed to spend the evening with him. He supposed it was just one of those things; a challenge for him, as it was for her and any challenge should be met straight on, full in the face.
Slowly, Lily weakened until a subtle push from her mother sent her gliding between dancing couples towards James. He ran a hand through his permanently messy black hair and felt a sudden compulsion to yank some out just so he had a gift for her, so she knew how amazing and perfect she was.
Two hands finally met and raised each other to shoulder height as two more positioned themselves, one supporting from behind, the other resting lightly on an arm.
“Shall we?” said the man,
“Lead on,” was the whispered reply.
“Yeah, you look gorgeous,” conceded James, pulling himself back to the present in time to stop one of his shirts covering his face.
“Thank you, I think I’ll go and change for diner then, if it’s all the same to you.” Lily said, satisfied by her new husband’s answer.
“What?!” James half-yelled, a disbelieving grin on his thin face, “It’s our honeymoon and you’re more interested in diner than me?” He was feeling the beginnings of anger now, unable to comprehend what he had just heard. “I thought tonight was supposed to be special, I thought tonight was ab…” He broke off, catching a hint of a laugh on her otherwise expressionless features.
“You are so gullible James Potter! I cannot believe that after nine years of knowing me, you still can’t tell when I’m yanking your wand!” Lily got up, still chuckling and approached James who still looked a bit peeved at her trick. “I’m sorry,” she said, seeing his face, “I couldn’t resist having a bit of fun – we’re going to need it for when the baby comes.”
“I suppose so but that’s not the sort of thing a young wife should be joking about now is it? You really had me going for a second.” James said, holding in his pleasure so Lily would not know how light his heart had just become.
“Only one thing in that mind isn’t there Potter?” Lily joked, playfully tapping him in the head despite the nerves building in her chest. Would he expect her to surpass the usual standards? Would he want more from her that she normally gave? She was sure he would but she had no idea what he might like or, she realized with a jolt, how to do anything new at all. They had experimented of course, but tonight was a night for perfection and she would not allow anything to go wrong.
He placed his arms around her waist and kissed her, deep and passionate, the kiss continued for several long moments and only ended when a shirt needed to be lifted up and over a muscular quidditich player’s chest and then again, as a long silken dress was discarded and sent flying into a corner where it lay forgotten, never to be worn again.
Bed springs groaned, a couple moaned and diner went cold.
After a quick breakfast the next day (they’d gotten up late, although they’d woken fairly early…), Lily and James were astride a borrowed thestral, belonging to Hagrid, flying towards a huge crimson rock. Desert whipped by beneath them, endless red sand stretching on forever, or so it seemed to Lily as she squeezed her driver’s waist, to assure herself more than him.
“So it’s actually built on Uluru?” She asked James, wanting something to take her mind off the jerky action of the thestral which was now streaking over a deep blue lake surrounded by wildlife.
“Yep,” he replied, turning his head slightly to the side, “It’s amazing how many wizards it took to cast that disillusionment charm. They have to redo it every month or so, the hot climate affects the hidden field or something.”
They began the decline and Lily gripped James still tighter and buried her face in his back until, with a slight thunk, they landed and James dismounted before helping Lily follow (letting his hands cover slightly more or her body than strictly necessary in the process).
A green and blue clad boy ran up to them. James threw him a knut and the child ringed the winged beast’s neck with a thick rope and lead it off towards what looked like enormous stables. A rumbling was being emitted from the building as hundreds and hundreds of thestrals, hippogriffs, cockatrices, or any other steeds Lily could care to think of, called out at one another.
“Come on Lily,” said James, grabbing her hand to prevent their separation in the excited crowd. They fought a path threw all the flags, horns and, in one case, an ornate didgeridoo which emitted green and blue bubbles, the size of Lily’s head, when blown.
“Tickets please,” said the guard, wand ready in his hand. James produced two slips of paper and was given a slight push by the man, who, in James’ opinion, looked like the boy they had seen earlier’s older double. “Just up those stairs then sir.” said the guard before moving on to the young girls just behind them with far more enthusiasm.
The stadium was huge. It stood at least three times bigger than the one James had played in at Hogwarts and was perfectly circular so the thunder of the incoming crowd was carried around and around the stands.
“Nice seats James,” said Lily, impressed. She was gawping around, having never seen a proper quidditch pitch before, although James had to admit that even he, who had been to watch the ‘Tutshill Tornados’ almost weekly for years, was stunned by the improbablility of this stadium.
“Well it was either here; behind the away goal and up high, or over the other side but much closer to the ground.” James said loudly, over the compressing ruckus pressing down on everyone.
“Good choice,” yelled back, pecking him on the cheek before she sat on her plastic chair and pointed her omnioculars at the grassy pitch.
It was barely ten minutes into the aggressive and, as Lily believed, dangerous match when the home seeker, one Danny Fisher, extended a long arm and swiped the tiny snitch from the air. The other seeker did not realize that the match had ended for some time and, when he was finally informed by a teammate, gave a resigned smile as if defeat was all he knew.
“Damn it!” exclaimed James furiously, shaking his fist at the triumphant Warriors as they preformed their traditional fist formation and started punching the other team.
“What?” said Lily startled as she politely clapped along with the rest of the neutrals they sat amongst, although the visiting fans, sitting only a few columns from them, wore expressions very similar to James’. “You’re not a fan of the Tasmanians are you?”
“No, but I paid a bomb for those tickets and I was hoping for a bit more of a game! Even before the catch the Warriors were walking all over them! What a waste of time,” he yelled, still looking annoyed, “I’m sorry honey, I should have done my homework a bit better.”
“It would have been the first bit of homework you’d done in about ten years you lazy arse!” Lily laughed but quickly amended herself, “It’s fine, it was good while it lasted and at least I got to spend the time with my new husband.” She pulled him tight to her and their lips met. The kiss lasted until they were the last ones to leave and Lily got flustered, half-dragging James down the stairs and back out onto the read rock to reclaim Hagrid’s thestral.