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Chapter 31 : Chapter 31 - Preparations and a History Lesson
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Over the next few weeks, Lily couldn’t seem to stop smiling. It was true that her parents were gone, but at the same time, having James in her life, not to mention all of her friends, made her know that she would never truly be alone, unwanted, or unloved. Of course, the fact that she and James were closer than they had ever been before helped tremendously. She was sure the two of them had talked for hours after they had made up, diving into each other’s innermost fears and concerns about everything which they hadn’t exactly been as forthcoming with before, considering their troubles with voicing their feelings over the last month when they should have. Then, there had been the make-up sex. Lily had been walking on air for three days just reveling in the memory. It’s not like they didn’t have a repeat performance often enough, but that first time after a month had been nothing short of amazing. She actually wouldn’t mind fighting with James every once in a while just for that.
They had also been talking nonstop about planning a rather small and quiet wedding for the two of them. Because of everything that had gone on with her parents, they wanted to keep things a bit private, but the most obvious reason for keeping things small and private was because neither one of them really had all that much family to attend a ceremony anyway. James, of course, only had Lauren, Dumbledore, and Dumbledore’s brother, Aberforth— all of which were not exactly spoken about as ‘family.’ Lily, being a muggleborn witch, had her sister who hated her at the moment and nothing but muggle relatives who would know nothing about magic as her family. This left them with very few people (along with their friends and their families) who would even understand a magical wedding ceremony anyway.
James had explained that there really wasn’t that much difference between a muggle wedding and a magical wedding, but he knew that there was something that you did with your wands. Lily had rolled her eyes at his weak and unhelpful explanation before looking things up herself. He was right for the most part, but the wand part was to magically bind one to the other for life similar to that of an Unbreakable Vow, but without the whole ‘you break the vow, you die’ part, although the vow was equally strong.
After that, they had been discussing what they wanted to do for the ceremony, but James had just smiled and stated that anything she wanted, she could have, and there would be no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Lily hadn’t really approved of this, but James had laughed it off, stating that he had more than enough money to make sure she got whatever she wanted, especially if the wedding ceremony was going to be simple anyway. He was being really sweet about the whole thing, yes, but she still didn’t really feel comfortable about it. She had reluctantly agreed, but secretly knew that she would still try and pay for what she could herself if the opportunity presented it. Her parents had left her with a decent amount of money, which she had transferred to Gringotts. When they were married, she knew that her money would automatically converge into the Potter vault (or vaults the way James talked about it), but for now, her vault was still available for her to use.
The only thing that had been decided so far was that the ceremony would take place at Potter Manor in the extensive backyard. Since it was getting cooler outside and the trees were starting to lose their leaves, James had his house elf, Oscar, set up an elvish ‘weather ward’ to lock the weather of a large area, just behind his house, so it remained untainted by the changing weather around it. The blocked off area looked just like the end of summer, which was still a bit colorful. They had begun to talk somewhat about other things, but James had made a face and said that he would rather she choose most of the things like flowers and such, using the girls’ input rather than his own with him being a guy and all. He had then smiled devilishly, saying that the only thing she didn’t have to worry about was their honeymoon, which he’d take care of.
She sighed softly as she made her way through Diagon Alley inconspicuously. Her red hair often drew attention so she had worn her black cloak with a hood so she could blend in a bit better. Things had gotten quieter after the attack on her parents, but it was clear that people had begun to be more than a little wary about this Voldemort character and his Death Eaters. Finally.
However, they were starting to call him You-Know-Who more often than not. This annoyed her. It was only a name. The other problem with this was that Voldemort probably reveled in this fear, considering it a victory over the masses. If people were afraid to say his name, it made things easier for him to cause chaos and attract weak followers who were too afraid to stand against him. It was times like these when she was happy to be a Gryffindor.
She was currently heading to Madam Malkin’s to meet with Christina, Shelley, and Lauren to get fitted for some dress robes for the wedding. Lauren had gotten special permission from Dumbledore so she could apparate to Diagon Alley during her Hogsmeade visit this week before Halloween for the fitting. James and the Marauders, his groomsmen, had gone last weekend. She made a few turns and dodged a couple people before she heard familiar laughter up ahead. She looked up and smiled at seeing Christina and Shelley waiting out front for her. “Hey, girls.”
Both girls turned when she walked up. Christina smirked at her. “You look spooky with your hood up.”
Lily rolled her green eyes playfully. “Thanks, Chris. You try blending into the crowd with red hair. We don’t need any trouble.”
Shelley laughed. “I agree. Come on, let’s get inside.”
All three girls made their way inside the shop and were greeted instantly by Madam Malkin herself. “Hello there! It’s so good to see you girls. And Lily, getting married! I’m so excited for you.”
Lily smiled. “Thanks, Miss Malkin. I’m quite excited myself.”
She waved a hand at her and then quickly tucked a few strands of her hair that had fallen out of her bun behind her ears. “Oh, hush child. Call me Vespa. Now, we are here for dress robes! You girls start looking, and Lily, I’m under orders to make sure you get whatever you like.”
Lily scowled as her two best mates started laughing. They were well aware that she did not like it when James kept telling her to get whatever she wanted. “He did not tell you that.”
Madam Malkin grinned wickedly, clearly amused by her response. “Oh, he did. Quite the charmer, that one is. Quite persuasive too. I suppose his friends helped and all, but…”
Lily sighed heavily, although she really wasn’t all that upset about it. James actually was a complete gentleman and a sweetheart. She whined weakly, “But I’m the bride! I can pay for things.”
“Righhhht. That’s why you’re marrying Jimmy-I-would-give-Lily-the-moon-if-she-asked-me-to-Potter.”
Lily turned around at that comment, narrowing her green eyes at Lauren, who was standing in the doorway to the shop looking back at her with that sarcastic grin of hers firmly in place. She playfully responded, “Why did I make you a bridesmaid again?”
Lauren just walked up to her and placed her hands on her shoulders, squeezing them gently. Her hazel eyes were twinkling with mischief in a way that reminded Lily of James. “Because Jimmy would pout for a week if you didn’t. And you love me too.”
Lily turned to Christina and Shelley pitifully. “Do I at least have your support over this?”
Christina and Shelley exchanged glances before giving her some sheepish smiles. Christina sighed exaggeratedly, looking at her fingernails and avoiding Lily’s eyes. “Well, like Vespa said, James can be mighty persuasive…”
Shelley nodded in agreement, her blue eyes sparkling in a teasing fashion. “Definitely a charmer.”
Lily was shocked as all four of them were now giggling at her as they sifted through different robe materials. “You’re telling me he spoke with each one of you about this?”
When they all nodded, she gave up. She could literally see James with his mischievous expression standing in front of her, and there was no way she could be mad. She shook her head with a smile at the lengths James would go to make sure she was happy. She knew she would do the same for him so she finally conceded, “Fine then. We’re here for dress robes, and I’m not leaving until I find the perfect ones.”
The girls all looked around, showing Lily different designs she might like before Lauren found a beautiful pale mint green satin material that Lily fell in love with. She found the matching white material for herself and while the 3 girls took turns getting measured by Vespa, Lily continued to look around at various dress designs for how she would want the girls’ dress robes to look like and a dress design she might like for herself. She eventually found a nice pattern for the girls with spaghetti straps, the dress fitted throughout the body while stopping at about mid-calf. For herself, she found a gorgeous strapless pattern that would hug her upper body and then fall gracefully to the ground. While she got measured for her dress robes, they all discussed flower possibilities, what they would do for each other’s hair, shoes, etc.
While they all talked and laughed, Lily couldn’t help but think how nice and fun this all was compared to what this had been like with Petunia. She wished she had her sister there in some respects, but at the same time, she knew they no longer had the relationship they had had when they were little. She knew that she was already planning on sending her sister an invitation to the wedding with a portkey, but she was unsure if her sister would even bother. She was surely still quite upset with her about their parents and perhaps about Vernon finding all about magic. She hadn’t tried to contact her sister since the funeral and wasn’t exactly looking forward to it.
Madam Malkin soon let the girls go, telling them that she would make the dress robes for them and they would be ready by the end of the week. Lily could then come and pick them up along with the boys’ dress robes all at the same time. Lily had thanked her profusely before they all left the shop. The whole thing had taken a lot less time than they had thought it would so the girls all made their way to the Leaky Cauldron for a bit of lunch and continued their discussion about wedding things for the whole afternoon. They quickly lost track of time. Lauren had nearly jumped out of her chair when they realized she had to get back to Hogsmeade immediately so she could make the carriages or Dumbledore would be upset with her. She hugged Lily quickly, telling her she was looking forward to the wedding in a few weeks before apparating away from right inside the Leaky Cauldron, even though she could’ve walked the twenty feet to go outside.
The girls were just going to continue their discussion when James made his way inside the Leaky Cauldron from the muggle London entrance a few minutes later. He looked around briefly and stopped with a smile when he spotted the girls. “Ladies! I was afraid you’d be stuck all day at Madam Malkin’s… I was just coming to get you so I could make sure you all ate some food at least, but I see it wasn’t necessary.”
Shelley laughed. “Ick. If we had been stuck in there all day, I would have been sick. I do not like shopping excursions that last all day.”
Lily nodded with a smile. “My sentiments exactly.”
James just grinned. “Good. I trust you found what you were looking for, Lily love?”
Lily gave him a look, but it was hard because he looked utterly adorable when he was being mischievous. Not that she would ever tell him that. “I’m still mad at you for that.”
James shrugged, still grinning. “That’s ok.”
Christina looked up at him expectantly, her blue eyes sparkling. “Is my miscreant with you? Didn’t you both have to go into work today, even though it’s Saturday?”
James nodded, frowning a bit. “We both went in for a while for some extra training. We’re basically going to do that every weekend now. I think they want to push some of us through the program more quickly so they can get us out in the field faster. Aurors are in top demand right now, unfortunately, considering this Voldemort business. Sirius didn’t come with me though— I was hoping to steal Lily away from you all for a bit if you were finished shopping for dress robes. I think he went back to his flat.”
Shelley rolled her eyes with a sigh, although there was a hint of a smile on her face. “Well, I guess we can let you have Lily, James. Christina will probably want to go see her man too. I suppose I need to find a man myself.”
Christina smiled wickedly at her. “And who was just telling us about Devon and that mysterious incident in—“
Shelley immediately covered Christina’s mouth with her hand, blushing furiously. “I think we should go now.”
Lily and James were laughing at the both of them as the two girls made their way outside, arguing playfully with the other as they went. Lily looked up at James once more when they were finally left alone, giving him a pretty smile. “What did you want to steal me away for?”
James pulled her to her feet, smiling roguishly. “Well, for lots of reasons usually, but this, my love, is for me to know and you to find out. Come on.”
Lily looked at him curiously, but let him pull her back towards Diagon Alley. When he pulled out his wand, tapping the brick wall in the appropriate places, Lily quickly flipped the hood of her cloak back up. James quickly did the same with his own cloak before grabbing her hand and leading her through the alleyway. Lily observed with a small smile that James had begun walking with her on his left side again, clearly keeping his right hand available for any possible trouble. He had been using more and more protective Auror-like strategies whenever they were out in public together. She found it rather sweet, although she felt she could take care of herself. She knew that he already knew that was true deep down, but he always felt better when he acted this way so she never brought it up. “So where are we heading, sweetheart?”
James gave her a look, knowing that she hated not knowing what was going on. She had an innate problem with being left in the dark, but he enjoyed surprising her too much. “It’s a surprise, Lils. Well, it’s more of a secret. You can’t say a word to anyone. ANYONE. I’m so happy you are a natural at Occlumency. It makes sharing my many secrets so much easier.”
Lily was thoroughly intrigued, and she immediately tried eliminating locations in her head. “A place in Diagon Alley? I’ve been to almost every shop already, silly.”
James chuckled, pulling her into the shadows near the side of some secondhand shop so they were out of the way of prying eyes. “Not every one, and not this secret one either.”
Lily gave him a look as he just stared at her for a moment. He had a habit of just staring at her a lot, not that she minded. She tilted her head at him, smiling slightly. “Why are we hiding in the shadows over here?”
James looked around, checking if they were being watched. “So I could do this.”
He leaned over and kissed her deeply, catching her a bit off guard. His face remained close to her when he finally broke away. He continued softly, “Well, and this.”
She felt him tap her head with his wand, causing a cold rush to flow down her spine. Lily knew instinctively that he had disillusioned her, and she watched as he quickly mimicked the action on himself. As soon as he had disappeared into the background and shadows, she said, “Ok, I’m completely confused right now.”
James laughed and reached out tentatively, ultimately finding her hand once more. “I know, but all will become clear. Now, follow me close. Walk slowly so there are not too many ripples and be quiet, ok?”
Lily nodded, but then remembered that he probably couldn’t see her very well, if at all, so she quickly added, “Ok.”
She walked closely with him as he led them slowly toward the overgrowth of trees and brush surrounding Gringotts. Lily’s brow furrowed, wondering where in the world they were going. They paused occasionally, waiting for people to go by before they reached their destination and were finally hidden amongst the trees. James got rid of their disillusionment and continued walking with her along the Gringotts wall while saying mysteriously, “Almost there.”
Lily held onto his arm as they walked through the trees for a few minutes, and he eventually stopped them by a rosebush. He reached out, plucking a rose from the plant, and he quickly handed it to Lily with a wink. She took the rose with a smile and was about to ask him again what was going on when a soft voice suddenly rang out, “Password?”
James chuckled when Lily practically jumped out of her skin, although he remembered that he had been no better about two months ago when he had come here for her engagement ring and he had actually known that this place existed somewhere at the time. “Godric Gryffindor.”
Lily’s eyes widened when a golden archway appeared before them along the wall. James leaned over and kissed her cheek, still chuckling over her surprised features. “Come on, Lily love.”
He walked through the wall as if it weren’t there, pulling Lily in behind him. James smiled down at the old goblin in front of them. “Hi, Marwalk. We’re here to see Renada. Is she in her shop?”
The goblin smiled tiredly up at the both of them. “She should still be there, Master Potter.”
James thanked him and gently pulled Lily along as she continued to look around in fascination. There were goblins walking around all over, in and out of shops just like the wizards and witches in Diagon Alley. “Ok, where in the world are we? And since when are you on a first name basis with random goblins?”
James gave her a sheepish smile. “Well, that only happened recently. I’ve been down here a few more times since the first time in years and finally started asking for names. It felt weird to come here and not know anyone. And we’re in the goblin village. It’s not known to wizards because only a few wizarding families are welcome, mine being one of them.”
Lily was still looking around with a smile on her face. “Wow. Who’s Renada?”
James pointed up ahead, and Lily saw that they were heading toward a jewelry shop. Her brow furrowed, and she looked at him curiously, fingering her engagement ring. “Is this where…”
James leaned over and kissed her forehead gently. “Yup. I figured we should get our wedding bands from here too. That way, they’ll match the goblin metal of your ring.”
Lily smiled. “You’re sweet.”
James laughed and opened the door for her. “It depends on the day. Besides, Renada told me she wanted to meet you and insisted for the millionth time that I bring you down the last time I was here.”
Lily made her way inside the shop and was overwhelmed by the beautiful jewelry suddenly surrounding her. Just then, a female goblin came out from the back, smiling at her visitors. “Master Potter! Is this your lovely young lady?”
James chuckled. “Yes, Renada. This is my Lily. Lily, meet Renada.”
Renada nodded toward Lily. “Lovely to meet you, dear. He would not stop talking about you the last time he was here.”
Lily blushed furiously at this, and James snickered beside her. “Don’t embarrass her. You promised you wouldn’t.”
Renada gave him a look, heading back a ways to pull out a tray of rings for them to look at. She obviously already knew why they were there. “I know. It was supposed to embarrass you anyway. Obviously, I need to do better.”
Lily actually laughed at that, but James just smiled innocently. “I can take it.”
Renada waved him off. “Fine, fine. Now, let me take another look at that beautiful ring of yours, my dear. I want to make sure we get the match correctly.”
Lily held out her left hand near the tray of rings and Renada quickly picked out two rings, matching the particular goblin metal easily. She quickly began putting them in pretty gold and black boxes as she looked back up at the both of them. “Now, do you remember how to do the engraving like I told you, Master Potter?”
James shook his head. “I'm sure Lily would be better at remembering it than I would anyway.”
Renada and Lily each gave him a look while he grinned cheekily back at the both of them. Lily turned back to Renada and asked with a sigh, “What’s the spell?”
Renada nodded towards the rings. “When you both decide on something to engrave on each other’s rings, you must hold the ring in your hand, touch your wand to it, and say ‘per amor, whatever you’d like to engrave, scribo.’ Of course, you don’t have to do that at all, but most couples like to.”
Lily nodded. “That sounds simple enough.”
James agreed, taking the boxed rings from the counter. “Thanks again for everything, Renada.”
The female goblin merely grinned and shooed them out. “You’re most welcome, Master Potter. Now, go be young and in love. It was a pleasure meeting you, the future Mrs. Potter.”
Lily smiled at that while James chuckled. They both said their goodbyes and started heading back the way they came. Lily looked over to him curiously. “Why did she not ask you for any money?”
James smiled. “They all know my vault number, at least that’s what she said when I bought your other ring. It’s kind of scary, but although goblins are known for keeping their goods close to them and are not too fond of wizards, they are quite fair and are vehemently against stealing. Besides, I don’t really care about how much it costs anyway. It’s for you and for me.”
She leaned her head on his arm as they walked together. “I suppose. Thanks for taking me down here.”
James shrugged. “My pleasure, love. You realize you are three weeks away from being a Potter yourself, meaning you’re now welcome down here anytime too.”
Lily smiled teasingly. “Yes, and I’m actually looking forward to it. Who would have thought?”
He laughed and poked her in her side. “Cheeky little minx, and yet, I’m madly in love with you.”
Lily’s green eyes sparkled from just underneath her black hood as she gazed up at him happily. “And I couldn’t be more in love with you.”
James grumbled as an annoying buzzing sound continued to reverberate throughout Potter Manor. It had only been a couple of minutes, but he figured Lily would have turned it off by now. He knew it was one of her timer charms for her potions in the drawing room.
He quickly closed one of his Auror texts that he had been looking over, sighing to himself. Obviously, he was going to have to go find her in order to shut off the offensive noise, although he had no idea why she couldn’t hear it herself. As soon as he had that thought, however, he realized that she must be in the library. The Potter library had an annoying habit of casting silencing or imperturbable charms along its walls by itself when someone was reading or studying in there. He had forgotten to mention that to her.
He rolled off of their bed and made his way out of the master bedroom they had finally moved into. It still felt a bit weird to him, considering it had been his parents’ room for so long. However, his mother’s portrait had decided to take it upon herself to insist that he was being completely ridiculous and they should move in post haste. The two of them had moved in soon after that so they wouldn’t have his mother’s portrait eyeing them every few minutes. Lily had found the whole thing rather funny. It had been nice to see her laughing again. She still remained a bit downhearted over the loss of her own parents. He knew, of course, that the pang of loss would always be there. His had never fully gone away. However, he knew it was particularly hard since they were currently planning their wedding. He frowned slightly. He wished his parents could be there just as he was sure Lily wished hers could be there.
He shook his head as he made his way down the corridor and toward the stairwell. After work, he and Lily had eaten a quick dinner together before he went off to work on some Auror stuff in the training room in the basement and then read over some stuff they would be tested on soon upstairs in their room. Lily had some research to do for work herself, and she had wanted to finish up some work on her potions. James was aware she was making another round of polyjuice or two for the Order to keep the supply up, but she was also working on two other potions— one for Remus and one for work. He had no idea how she kept them all straight.
He was going to be leaving in another hour or so anyway. Sirius’ birthday had been two weekends ago, Remus’ was tomorrow, and the guys had all wanted to do some sort of stag night for him so they were all going over to Sirius’ flat that evening to celebrate all three at once. Peter was getting the best deal, considering he got to enjoy all three instances without having to take any shit all evening— Sirius and Remus for getting older and James for getting married. Sirius was already over the moon that James, out of all the Marauders, was getting married first, not that James minded in the least. He was madly in love with Lily and couldn’t be happier about it.
Lily had gone out last weekend with Christina and Shelley (since Lauren had been stuck at school) and did something as a hen night (or rather a hen day) of sorts. He didn’t understand how they could be gone for like sixteen hours together for something like that, but Lily had given him a mischievous smile and told him that girls had much more clever ideas than mere drinking games for something like this. That had earned her a huge tickling match, which he would’ve won if he didn’t love her so much. It was sometimes more fun to let her win anyway. He grinned at the memory.
The buzzing noise was considerably louder as he made his way down the West Wing first floor corridor. He gently pushed open the library doors and smiled at seeing Lily curled up in one of the armchairs with a book in her lap and about seven or eight more books sitting on the nearby table. She turned immediately at the door opening, her eyes wide. “Is that my alarm?”
He nodded, looking sheepish and running a hand through his hair. “Yeah… It’s my fault really. I forgot to tell you the Potter library sometimes casts charms to mask noises when someone is reading or working in here. It’s only been on for a few minutes.”
Lily chuckled, as she waved her wand to end the annoying sound. “Interesting. I suppose next time I’ll set a personal alarm charm instead.”
He watched her start piling up her books to take them with her, and he immediately came over to help her pick them up. However, he started laughing when he picked up the first one. It was The Tales of Beetle the Bard. Some of the other books were about protective charms and potions, but the others were about the Hogwarts founders and one about ancient pure-blood lines. “I thought you had forgotten about looking up stuff about the line of Peverell. I suppose I should just tell you all about it now anyway. You could’ve just reminded me, Lils.”
Lily rolled her eyes, but she smiled at him. “I was having fun looking stuff up anyway, even if everything I find seems to be ridiculous or only one or two sentences that tell me absolutely nothing. Not to mention that your great-grandfather has been teasing me all about it while I’ve been in here this evening.”
James chuckled and glanced over at his great-grandfather’s portrait, who was smiling back at him with the familiar Potter smirk, while his great-grandmother’s portrait was shaking her head with a tiny smile, probably wondering why she married into the Potter family in the first place. “He’s just trying to give you a hard time. None of the portraits can speak about that to someone not in the family, and considering you’ll be family in a week, he’s just messing with your head. I’ll tell you about it, although I’m interested in whatever you have found already because I haven’t looked up anything new myself since my Dad told me everything a few years back.”
Lily was amused as she watched James shoot his great-grandfather a playful glare only to get a wink in return. “Well, come on then. You can tell me while I take care of Remus’ potion.”
He followed her out of the library, carrying her potions books and leaving all of the other stuff in the library. He gave her a mysterious smile. “So what have you found?”
Lily gave him a frustrated look, although her green eyes were twinkling. “Surprisingly little. The most I found was about the three Peverell brothers and their supposed connection to that silly wizarding fairy tale, which I’ve now read about a hundred times without yielding any new information from it. Then, there was something about Gryffindor and Slytherin, but it was mostly just saying that there was an unknown connection. Pretty much all of the books about the founders never mention the name Peverell at all. The name Potter was never mentioned at all in those texts either so I haven’t even found the connection between the Peverell and Potter lines.”
James chuckled. “Which books did you find the sentences tying the line of Peverell into Gryffindor and Slytherin?”
She pointed to a spot on the potions drawing table for him to set her books as she went over to Remus’ potion with a sigh. “An old pure-blood ancestry book at Hogwarts that I found hidden in the Restricted Section. And then there was one sentence in a book about Gryffindor that I had borrowed from Dumbledore a while back.”
James noticed her eyes scanning over a bunch of notes and a potions text that was lying open next to the weird, steaming potion that she was now standing in front of. He was amused as he looked her over carefully. “Can you do that and listen to me at the same time?”
Her green eyes shot up, slightly pained. He knew she really wanted to hear what he had to say, but she had to do the potion stuff right now. “Ummm…”
James just chuckled and kissed her forehead. “Don’t worry, I’ll wait.”
She gave him a pretty smile and watched as he conjured himself a cozy armchair. He plopped down into it after grabbing one of the charms texts she had left in here from before. She really loved that about him. She shook her head as she went back to Remus’ potion. Her curiosity over the whole Peverell line was now driving her crazy so she resolved to finish this up quickly.
She had been messing with Remus’ potion for sometime now, using whatever Remus’ comments were as the deciding factor to scrap or include ingredients, or to lessen or increase ingredients. However, one thing had finally become clear during his last transformation: whatever she had done the last time had decreased the pain of the transformation just a little. This was great, but she had added three new ingredients for that potion, and she really had no idea which one had done the change. She couldn’t increase all three because the potion would be poisonous then. She had already made the base potion over the last two days, which combined elements of the Draught of Peace, a Strengthening Solution, and a Pepper-up potion. Now, she was looking at the Aconite, Glumbumble Treacle, and Jobberknoll feathers sitting in front of her. She sighed and looked at the three items a bit distressed. She had three minutes or so to add these ingredients. She needed to make a decision about which one she would test as being the most important. James must’ve noticed her indecision as his voice called out softly and a bit concerned, “What is it, love?”
Lily sighed again and gave him a small smile. “Aconite, Glumbumble Treacle, or Jobberknoll feathers. You pick.”
James’ brow furrowed. “You want my opinion about a potion? Are you feeling ok?”
Lily gestured to the ingredients, rolling her eyes slightly. “You’re not completely useless at potions, you know. Whenever you pay attention, you make your potions correctly. Now, one of the three is more important than the others because it helps to decrease his pain level, even though I will continue to use all three. I just don’t know which one is more important so we’re just going to have to guess for this month. I have two minutes now to decide.”
James frowned. “Well, if what I remember is right, the feathers are best for truth and memory, the treacle is best for hysteria, and Aconite is…” His eyes widened as he looked at her a bit shocked. “That’s related to Wolfsbane. That stuff is highly poisonous, and you’re feeding it to Remus?!?!”
Lily chuckled weakly. “In small doses, it’s fine. It’ll take a lot to kill Remus anyway. He is a werewolf, which makes him capable of taking higher doses than the rest of us. Now, pick already. One minute.”
James gave her a troubled glance. “After seeing Remus transform more than a few times, try the treacle. If it’s not that, I’m sad to say I think it’s the Aconite.”
Lily crinkled her nose, agreeing with his assessment. “Yeah, ok.”
She quickly measured off the remaining three ingredients with practiced ease and lowered them into the potion. She stirred the concoction counterclockwise for the most part, throwing in a clockwise stir here and there. The potion began to hiss for a few seconds before a swirling steam began to rise very slowly from the bowl. Lily eyed the result curiously, jotting down a few things in her notes. She used her wand to lower the heat before waving the wand around at herself to set a personal alarm charm for tomorrow at noon. She would then take the potion over to Remus so he had it for the full moon in about 10 days or so. The potion was still taking three days to make. If she had to mess with the amounts of Aconite, or worse yet, try actual Wolfsbane or something like Runespoor eggs (if she could find them) to possibly help him remember things during the full moon, she was going to have to allot more time to make the potion.
She sighed as she cleaned up a bit before looking over to her fiancée expectantly. “So?”
James grinned at her before reaching out to place her charms text back on the table and then pulling her onto his lap. He waved his wand around them a few times, much to her amusement. “You do realize that we are the only ones in the house, right?”
James shrugged, giving her a half-smile. “Sirius might drop by to come get me early or something, and secrecy is essential. Now, the line of Peverell. I’m surprised you found anything about it at all really. We’ve tried really hard to eradicate the name from most history texts, striving for the utmost secrecy. I suppose the only thing people will never let go of is the connection to The Tale of the Three Brothers, but as I will tell you, it’s a mere exaggeration of truth just as are all urban legends and fairy tales.”
Lily was intrigued. “So that fairy tale was real in some aspects?”
James nodded slightly. “Well, not the whole talking to Death part. There were three Peverell brothers: Antioch, Cadmus, and Ignotus. Now, Antioch, the eldest, was supposedly quite the dueler, leading to that arrogance which you despise, but also to his death. He was overconfident, bragged about his abilities, and eventually was killed in his sleep. The killer took his wand, leading to folklore. If you remember going to see Ollivander for buying your wand, it is said that a wand holds a key to the wizard or witch to whom it belongs’ power. There used to be a general consensus that winning a duel won you the wand of the loser, and this was considered a top prize. Well, something like that… Anyway, he died childless and alone.”
He paused before continuing, “Now, Cadmus, the middle son, supposedly wanted to marry this girl he had met when he was a young boy, but she eventually took ill and died before they reached engagement status. He reluctantly married another, but was never truly happy. He spent all of his time in his room, driven mad by the supposed ghost of his past lover who he claimed to have brought back to life by a magical stone he had made. However, no one else could see her. The stone was made into a ring by his only son, which he supposedly continued to wear in remembrance of his father. I am unfamiliar with the rest of his descendants, except for one.”
Lily eyed him curiously when he stopped talking and looked troubled. “Who was descended from that line then? I’m assuming it wasn’t your family.”
James sighed and shook his head. “No, mine has descended from Ignotus’ line. Cadmus’ line eventually led to Salazar Slytherin.”
Lily’s green eyes widened. “Really?”
James nodded. “Yes. Interesting, sure, but there’s more. Now, Ignotus, the youngest brother, developed the first ever invisibility cloak from the woven hairs of Demiguise. He hid this development from others, earning his reputation of having a unique ‘cloak of invisibility that shielded him from Death.’ Technically, he was only keeping it private because he was still perfecting it. Over the years, the basic premise on how to make one was sold to prospective wizarding manufacturers, but the skill and time required to make one is still costly and difficult. It’s now been tradition in the Potter family to give one to the first born when they reach Hogwarts age. We also have additional family charms and wards to place on the invisibility cloaks which make them longer-lasting and impenetrable for the most part. Anyway, he obviously lived the happiest life out of the three brothers, having a proper family with no real troubles.”
Lily’s brow furrowed. “So what’s with the Gryffindor connection then? And Slytherin is just a rather distant cousin?”
James frowned. “Not horrendously distant actually. As time went by, families married into other families, but then things came full circle. Eventually, the Ignotus Peverell line was once again direct first cousins with the Slytherin family who were descended from the Cadmus Peverell line when Slytherin was at Hogwarts.”
Lily wasn’t sure where he was going with this. “Well, Slytherin and the founders lived a thousand years ago. That still makes things pretty distant. Besides, you’ve told me yourself that your family has been in Gryffindor for generations.”
He nodded. “Yeah, I know. It’s just weird to be related to Slytherin, even distantly. Anyway, you wanted to know about the Gryffindor connection. You know, of course, about the falling out of Slytherin with the other founders, but particularly Gryffindor, right?”
She smiled. “Well, everyone knows that it happened, but no one knows the true story behind it.”
James matched her grin. “Well, you are the lucky one who gets to find out. Now, Gryffindor apparently married a rather beautiful woman named Violet by winning her hand in marriage. He came back to Hogwarts with his new wife, and they eventually had identical twin girls, Elise and Elizabeth. As the story goes, from the moment Gryffindor brought home his new wife, Slytherin retreated into angry solitude. There was clearly jealousy and a growing hatred involved. He began to instigate quarrels over petty details that hadn’t bothered him before, like that of pure-blood superiority and such. He also began speaking more and more in Parseltongue. Anyway, when Elise and Elizabeth finally reached 15 and it was ok for suitors or whatever to court them, Slytherin’s first cousin and my ancestor, Robert Peverell, courted Elizabeth. This would have been fine, but because of Slytherin’s actions over the last 15 or so years, Gryffindor was not so sure. He called for Slytherin, and Slytherin came to meet with him, his family, and my ancestor. Once they were all in a room together, things weren’t looking so great.”
Lily didn’t like the look on his face. “What happened?”
James sighed. “Slytherin lost it. He didn’t want his family marrying into the Gryffindor family line. He started spouting off in Parseltongue because my ancestor could understand him. Robert tried to make peace, but Slytherin whipped out his wand and aimed for Gryffindor, shouting about how Gryffindor had everything and all he had wanted was to be loved by someone like Violet. It seemed ridiculous because it wasn’t like Slytherin didn’t have a wife of his own at that point; all men in powerful positions were married and had families during that time. Anyway, there was rapid spell fire exchange, ultimately ending with Elise’s death due to a stray Killing Curse, which obviously came from Slytherin, since he had been the only one using that curse.”
Lily had her hands over her mouth in shock. She had not been expecting this. “Oh my God. So then Slytherin left.”
James nodded grimly. “Yup. He left and swore that he would have his revenge. There is still the legend of the Chamber of Secrets within the castle, which supposedly was opened in the 1940’s even though no one has been able to find the entrance. There are also other spells that Slytherin had in the castle that may still affect things, like the attitude of the Slytherins in general. Who knows really.”
Lily shook her head, almost disapprovingly. “So what happened with your ancestor?”
James smiled mischievously. “He renounced all that was Slytherin about him and allowed Gryffindor to magically lock away his ability as a Parselmouth. To further make a showing of his detachment of all that he was related, he forever altered his name from Peverell to Potter.” He paused and waved his wand around, causing the Potter crest to appear in the air. He pointed to it before continuing, “Now, this is the Potter crest, but the Peverell crest is exactly the same except for one small detail.”
She looked puzzled for a moment, but when he waved his wand once more, there was a clear change to the Potter crest. The crossing wands behind the letter P now had two snakes crawling along them. She tilted her head, understanding completely. “A fifth and central animal of the family line— snakes because of the Parseltongue.”
He nodded, waving the image away. “Yup. Now, this showing seemed to be enough, and Gryffindor granted him permission to marry Elizabeth.”
Lily’s green eyes sparkled. “So you’re a descendant of Gryffindor. That’s why you’re family has been in Gryffindor for generations. That also explains why there is no documentation about your family or anything about Peverell. Gryffindor and your ancestor would have wanted to keep everything about familial connections quiet so they probably compiled all possible information and hid it.”
James kissed her lips gently. “Exactly. All of that information is actually hidden in the room with the lion symbol in the East Wing that I showed you a while back. My Dad finally told me about that room and how to get into it over the summer. I’ve only been in there once just to look around. There’s a really old family tree tapestry in there and lots of books and notes too. I suppose the more recent family line information is also in the Potter study. That’s where I had looked to check over some things for Dumbledore.”
Lily nodded, her lips giving him a teasing smile. “That’s amazing. I really have no idea how all of this has been kept quiet. For someone who was such a loud mouth at Hogwarts, you sure can keep your secrets.”
He laughed, poking her in her sides. “You enjoy teasing me too much. I should be worried.”
She wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling him closer. “Nah. I love you for some reason. I’m not going anywhere.”
James nuzzled her nose. “I know. I would have to come find you and bring you back otherwise.” She giggled as he pulled her into a hug, but he just continued, whispering in her ear, “I love you too, beautiful.”
She turned her head to kiss him softly, remaining close to him before saying reluctantly, “You should go get ready or Sirius will come and drag you away from me.”
James sighed. “Yeah, I guess. They’re going to make me take so many shots. It’s so not fair.”
Lily gave him a look, curious. “What do you mean?”
He looked sheepish. “Apparently, every time I mention you or talk about you, I’m going to have to take a shot. They’re going to trick me into it at first, but by the time I’ve had more than a few shots, they won’t have to trick me anymore because I’ll be drunk and want to talk about you anyway.”
Lily laughed. “Well, considering I knew they would be mean to you in that respect and probably will steal your hangover potion in the morning, I hid an extra one in a secret compartment in your right shoe. Just say ‘Aperio,’ and you should be able to grab the potion.”
He chuckled, his hazel eyes twinkling with mischief. “You are the best, Lils. I love it that you are secretly just as devious as I am.”
She laughed as he lifted the both of them out of the seat before setting her gently on the ground. He leaned down and gave her one more kiss. “I love you. I’ll see you sometime in the morning…or afternoon, depending on when I wake up.”
She watched him walk away with a smile. “Love you too. Bye, James.”
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