Chapter 26 - Of Punch and Pasties
Hello all! Wow, a quite update for you all! (at least I think it is.. I cannot be sure..)
So yes.. I am sorry for the last chapter being slightly fillerish.. but it cant all be action!
So yes, the long awaited Christmas ball.
I am terribly sorry if it isn't as exciting as you all hoped... but obviously because it is also the full moon - the boys cant stay for long.
Sorry - I'll let you read the chapter before I give it all away. Hopefully you'll like it!
I also wanted to add - without ignoring the rules - that I dont usually update until I get what I think is enough reviews. Im not blackmailing you to review, I just judge the amount of reads by the amount of reviews I get, and I want to make sure that everyone has had the chance to read and review before I put the next chapter up - because I know if I put two chapters up then most people will only review the second one. SO yeah... I usually update when I dont seem to be getting anymore reviews. I know that was random, but I thought you ought to know.
I'm really bored and dont have any work until wednesday.. so you may be getting another chapter in the next few days!
Chapter 26 - Of Punch and Pasties
The dance was such a huge event that it had started mid-afternoon. Guests arrived at three o’clock and piled into the house via the large back doors which led down to the ballroom. There were literally hundreds of witches and wizards arriving via magical carriage, broom, or even on horseback. Lily could see them all from the window of her room as she glanced out at the garden. The path had been swept of the falling snow, and blocks off ice lined the sides of it, making it seem, or showing that it obviously was, magical.
Lily was surprised at the number of wizards, dressed in smart looking purple, velvet robes, that were guarding the doors, checking the guest list and preparing the buffet table. She had never been to a wizarding event of such magnitude - It was utterly spectacular.
After getting ready, and after Olive and Alice finally finished doing their hair - it seemed as though they took longer than they had for the school ball - the three girls stood in front of the floor length mirror in Lily’s room.
“Wow - don’t we look great,” Olive exclaimed, placing a hand on one of her hips. She was dressed in something quite similar to what she had worn only a week beforehand. However, instead of blue, it was black, and Lily made sure she made a comment about the back, or lack thereof. Alice and Lily’s dresses, however, were a little different to what they had worn previously.
Alice, who had never been extremely confident about her body, wore a salmon coloured, satin dress. She draped a thin black shawl around her, trying to hide her pale shoulders.
Lily and Olive had both attempted to hide the shawl, but they failed dismally as Alice had produced collection of shawls her mother and grandmother had let her borrow. Lily sighed as she glanced over at Alice. Her friend didn’t really have anything to hide, the shawl only made her look old and funny - but as her friends, the two had to respect her wishes.
Lily’s dress was rather simple and white, yet it flowed down her legs as she moved. The top layer of he skirt was chiffon; thin and see-through, so much so that Lily was glad that it had another layer underneath it. She wore the black shoes her mother had given her, Olive helping her with a spell she had found to stop the balls of her feet from hurting during the night. She also took pride in wearing the bracelet that James had given her as her only piece of jewellery. It shone in the light from the window and Lily remembered how both Alice and Olive had goggled at it for well over fifteen minutes.
“Should we go down and parade our beauty?” Olive asked jokingly, “We need to show the other women how it’s done,”
Lily laughed and took her two friends arms,
“Come on, lets go and meet the boys,”
Upon entering the ball room, Lily was overcome by awe and she was pretty sure her two friends were as well, as had they all stopped so suddenly.
The room was beautiful.
It amazed Lily how much one room could change over the course of a twenty four hours - as she had only seen it the previous day; bare and quiet.
Now, the room practically glowed with happiness, chatter, and an aroma of mixed perfume and delicately arranged trays of hursdeouvers. The chandeliars on the roof were lit, small flames almost dancing to the live music.
A large, white Christmas tree sat in the very middle of the floor, the star at its tip only just missing the ceiling.
Ice scultures dotted the hall, in the form exotic birds and flowers, each as mystical and exquisite as the next.
“We should go and grab something to eat,” Olive muttered, looking towards the buffet table. It was overflowing with various wizarding foods. Lily could see pumpkin pasties and bowls of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans - but she could also see mounds of food she had never seen before in her life. There were blue apples and spider cakes, and even though she had had lunch only hours before, the sight before her made her mouth water.
Cautiously, Lily grabbed one of the blue apples and bit into it. It tasted like toffee, and although Lily was rather fond of the sweet, the apple was a little too much for her. She placed the half eaten fruit down on an empty plate and picked up a few pasties. At least she had an idea of what these tasted like.
The music was light and bubbly - it reflected the mood of the majority of the guests. Lily knew that it ought to change as the night went on and she was just waiting for the mushy love songs that were bound to follow.
“Where’s James?” Olive asked from her side.
Lily looked up at her friend, who was biting greedily into a sticky looking donut.
“Shouldn’t you be out looking for Sirius?” She asked her friend. Olive gave her an exasperated look.
“look, Lily - Sirius and I are not going out,”
“You could have fooled me,”
“Yeah - well - no.”
Olive turned her back on Lily and walked over to one of the ice sculptures. Sighing, Lily followed her, tapping her on the shoulder.
“Olive - I’m sorry - I didn’t mean to- Why are you laughing?” Olive was giggling behind her hand.
“You get so worked up over things, Lily. Sirius and my attraction is - well, its only friendly.”
Lily shook her head in dissbelief and was going to say something else when she spotted James. He was standing over by the door with Sirius and Remus - who was looking as though he was going to vomit.
She made her way through the crowd, pushing past a rather stubborn older man who didn’t seem to want to move out of her way.
“James,” She breathed, eyeing his dress robes. They were made of a dark velvet red, making him look extraordinarily royal. “You look - very handsome,”
James smiled at her, “And you, my lady, looking absolutely dashing, to say the least,”
Lily placed a small kiss on James’ cheek, noticing that his face glowered red as she did so.
“Shall we dance?” Lily asked, taking his hand. James looked like he was going to say yes, but paused.
“Hang on one moment,” He said letting go of her hand and walking off.
Lily turned to see where he was going and saw James’ father standing, a little red faced, at the other side of the hall. Was James going to confront him?
She then noticed that Sirius, who was a few metres in front of James, was also making his way in Henry Potter’s general direction.
James grabbed Sirius’ arm just before he could reach his father.
“Sirius - don’t,” James said through clenched teeth.
“I want to kill that bastard
,” Sirius replied, trying to pull free from James’ grip.
“You’ll only embarrass yourself - who is going to believe you? This is the ex-head of the Auror office.” Sirius’ hand went limp and he looked straight into James’ eyes.
“You don’t want him to be punished - do you?” He asked slowly, frowning slightly.
“Of course I do,” James looked at the floor, his face flushed. “I just don’t want you to get hurt,”
“Fine - but you’re coming to stay in my flat next week - both you and Lily are,” It wasn’t an order, it was more of a request, however in James’ current physical and mental state he didn’t think he could refuse the offer.
“Can we leave tomorrow?” James noticed the pained look in Sirius’ eyes as he asked him, and Sirius nodded.
“Of course,” Sirius tried to smile.
Sirius and James made their way over to Lily, who hadn’t moved.
“What was all that about?” She asked, looking from James to Sirius.
“You two are coming to stay at my flat for the rest of the break,” Sirius told her, but as he said it he looked at James instead of her. James nodded in agreement after a moment of pause.
“You’re flat?” Lily asked in disbelief, “Why are we leaving James’-” But she paused. She saw the pained look in James’ eyes and the fading bruise on the side of his jaw. “Okay - that’s fine by me,”
James smiled at her and took her hand.
“Now, how about that dance?”
Leading Lily over to the other dancing couples, he twirled her delicately before resting his hands around her waist.
Lily placed her arms around his neck and literally melted into his body. She rested her head just above his collar bone, breathing in the scent of his familiar colone.
“I wont be able to stay for very long,” He whispered in his ear as he made sure no one else was listening.
“Why ever not?” She whispered into his robes, but then she remembered, “Oh - don’t answer that,” She looked up into his eyes. “Why is Remus here, shouldn’t he be sleeping?”
James sighed and pulled her head into his chest again. “He needed to make an appearance otherwise some people might be a little suspicious. We’re going to take him outside in about half an hour, but Sirius and I wont be leaving until it gets dark,”
“What about Peter?” Lily asked, swaying to the music.
“Well, seeing as he is tied to Alice right now - literally,” Lily looked up to see the two, mouths locked in a passionate kiss. It was almost sweet, apart from the fact that it looked as though Peter was eating her face. “Peter wont be leaving until Alice goes -”
“She’s grounded,” Lily said matter-of-factly.
“I know - Peter told me. So when she leaves, Peter can sneak out too. Its not as though we will have that much trouble without him - but I am sure Remus appreciates the company,”
James had a faraway look on his face.
“When will you be back?” Lily asked, a little worried byt James’ behaviour,
“Mm? - Oh, I’ll try and get back as soon as the sun rises - maybe a little earlier. It all depends on when the moon disappears. I am pretty sure half of the guests will still be here at that time anyway.”
“What - at six or seven in the morning?”
“Oh, yes - They’ll leave at around nine. They normally do.” James laughed at the shocked look on Lily’s face. “If I don’t come and find you though - its probably because I have fallen asleep.”
Even though she was desperate to see James the following morning, the idea of him sleeping instead of meeting her actually sounded good to Lily. It wasn’t often that the boy had a good sleep - and if he did, upon his own accord, then she didn’t mind.
“Okay, then,” Lily said lamely.
James’ hand stroked the small of her back as they danced, his fingers tickling her skin through her dress.
“I really mean it when I say you look amazing tonight,” He whispered into her ear. “I couldn’t have asked for someone more beautiful to be my date.”
Lily looked out over at the dancing couples around her. Most of the women that were dancing looked good enough to be models - Lily wasn’t sure if it was because they were witches, or because all high class magical folk looked like that. James could have had anyone of those women out there, but he had chosen her. Lily Evans, the muggleborn from Spinner’s End.
Lily stood up on her toes, pulling James’ hair through her fingers.
“That was possibly the nicest thing you could have said,” She whispered, her breath obviously tickling his lips. James moved to cover the space inbetween them, kissing Lily tenderly.
The half hour that James had metioned flew past quite quickly, and before long James, Sirius and Remus left the hall.
Feeling quite lonely all of a sudden, Lily made her way over to the buffet table, where she found Olive.
“Have you danced with anyone yet?” Lily asked, pouring herself a glassfull of punch.
“Yeah - with a nice lad from Sweden
,” Olive answered with a little giggle, “He had very big hands,”
Lily laughed. Olive was obviously tipsy, as she was swaying a little as she lent on the table.
“Watch the punch - its got a lot
of alcohol in it” She told Lily, giggling into her glass. “I think its Firewhisky - or something stronger,”
Lily took a sip of her glass and felt the liquid burn her throat. Yes, it was very strong - maybe even too strong for her liking, but she downed the glass anyway.
Before long Lily was also feeling rather tipsy. She was leaning against Olive, laughing histerically at a joke that her friend had told her. It hadn’t even been that funny, but Lily couldn’t help herself.
“Have you two been drinking?”
Lily and Olive spun around, the quick movement a little too much for Lily. She fell forward and found herself in James’ arms. James laughed as he helped her find her feet.
“Just a little,” Olive smirked as Sirius held out his hand. She took it and the two waltzed towards the dance floor.
“Don’t drink too much, Lily,” James said, taking her into his arms. Lily coughed and looked up at him.
“You’re one to talk,” She whispered, trying to get the glass that James had taken off her back.
“Please, Lily - you said you wouldn’t talk about it,”
“Then - when are we going to talk about it, James?” Lily pushed his body away from hers, frowning at him.
“Flower - why do we always bring up this subject at dances?” James asked, a rather pained look on his face.
“James - lets just go and dance…” Lily muttered, taking his hand. She sighed as he reluctantly followed her, his mind obviously on their little argument. It had been the first proper argument that the two had had during the time they had been together, and Lily was determined to forget about it.
She pulled James’ arms around her and cradled his face in her hands.
“Just forget about it, James - I’m sorry,” She whispered, pecking him on the lips.
James nodded and smiled half-heartedly.
Finally as it began to grow dark outside, James was pulled away by Sirius, who sent Lily an apoligetic look. Lily sighed, her body suddenly feeling cold without James’ warmth.
She went to find Olive, but discovered that she was dancing with yet another young wizard, and didn’t look as thought she wanted to move anytime soon.
Lily sighed and remembered how happy Olive and Sirius had been together at the last dance.
Lily decided that the two were just too stubborn to realise how they felt about each other.
At last, after walking around aimlessly for about an hour, mingling with people she recognised from school, she came across Peter and Alice, who, surprisingly, were not not dancing anymore.
They sat together chatting at one of the silk covered tables. Alice now had a small white daisy behind her ear, the orgin of which befuddled Lily. She looked up from her conversation and beconned Lily over to them.
“Lily! How is it going?” She almost sang. “Where is James?”
Lily met Peter’s eyes, and he looked a little worried.
“Oh - he’s gone to the bathroom. We had a little fight,” Lily told her. Her answer was not completely false, because, yes, Lily and James had argued a little over his drinking habbits. However, telling Alice that they had had a little fight, meant that she wouldn’t ask too many questions if James didn’t appear again that night.
Alice smiled reassuringly at Lily, how just shrugged it off.
“I’m fine,” She told her friend, before getting up to get another glass of punch.
As she walked towards the buffet table, she noticed Jack sitting to its side. He had a young, blonde witch in his arms, but his focus was directed towards Lily. Lily scowled at him - not meaning to be rude, but she felt rather self conscious under his gaze. Jack frowned slightly and looked away, snogging the blonde girl beside him.
Lily gagged in disgust. If there was one person that could make her absolutely sick, it had to be Jack. She had even seen Lucius Malfoy that night - someone who was bound to be the same age as Jack. But even so, the young Malfoy had just ignored her and gone about dancing with the legging Narcissa Black, of whom Lily was sure was his fiancé.
Pouring herself her fourth glass of the evening, she felt his eyes on her again, and groaned. She made her way back to Alice and Peter again, ignoring the tense feeling she was experiencing.
Lily no longer had any concept of time. Her head was spinning, but she was sitting still on a chair at the table. Her eyes felt heavy, and she was sure that she was absolutely smashed. She couldn’t even remember where Olive and Alice had gone - they must have gone home by now.
Half of the guests were sitting around on tables - more had been conjured up as the night went on. There were only a few guests left dancing on the floor - most of them young witches and wizards. Lily recognised a few of them from Hogwarts and giggled as she watched them dance.
It must have been morning by now - and she wished James was there to take her up to her bed. Or his - she really didn’t care.
She would give anything to see his face again - to stroke it - to kiss it.
“Lily,” Lily laughed as she heard her name. She had always thought that it was a strange name. She was named after a plant’s sex organ - who would name their child after such a vile part of a plant.
If she said it too many times, the name just rolled off her tongue like some foreign word of which she could not grasp the meaning off. It was so strange. Lil-ee.
“Lily?” She heard her name again. Was it her head speaking, or was someone actually saying her name.
She turned slowly, her head spinning as she did. A black haired man stood to her side, his hand on her shoulder.
The tall man frowned at her slightly, pausing momentarily. She had called him James.
“Yes, Lily - it’s James. You’re drunk, let me take you to your room,”
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And my Arabian Tickle Plant.
the last one was made up.
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