Chapter 14 : Christmas Eve Dinner (Epilogue)
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Christmas break was just around the corner. And when I say it was just around the corner, I mean that we’re all leaving for home today. Right after breakfast, actually, which also happens to be where we are right now. James was by my side, and both our trunks were placed under the bench where we were sitting.
As I bit into my pancakes, James sniggered, pointing to someone sitting at the Ravenclaw table, “Look! She’s still positively steaming in rage.” I followed his pointed finger and saw Molly King sending us the evil eye like she was trying to put a curse on us or something. I sniggered as well, leaning into James a little bit more just to spite Molly.
My sniggering was cut short, however, when I noticed Mary and Remus walking towards us, chatting with each other happily . . .
I elbowed James to get his attention, his gazed shifted to our two friends and I saw his eyebrows rise. He whispered into my ear, “Is this supposed to be a good sign . . . or a bad one?” I shrugged in response. I was sort of in shock right now. I haven’t seen the two speak to the other in such a happy way since . . . well, since Mary ran off that day at Hogsmeade.
James glanced back to Molly and then to the smiling friends again, “How did Molly even find out about Mary . . . cheating?”
“It’s a long story.”
It wasn’t actually. Mary made me pinky promise not to tell James about it whatsoever. As to why she did that, I’ve no idea. You see, Mary only cheated once. She told me all about it that day James and I . . . er . . . got back together? . . . Anyways, she said that she felt horrible for it and that it all arose out of stupidity on her part. Mary said that Molly herself was wandering the castle looking for a place to have a snog session with her snog buddy when she walked in on her and the other boy.
The other boy that she just refuses to tell me anything about. Seriously. This is what happens when I ask her about him:
“What’s his name?”
“What is his hair color?”
“How old is he?”
“How tall is he?”
“Eight feet and six inches.”
“What?” She had asked innocently.
“Stop being ridiculous.”
“Then stop asking questions.”
In response to that, I rolled my eyes and hit her upside the head.
But whatever, Mary is bound to tell me one of these days. She’s really not too great with keeping secrets. That is to say, she can keep it to herself for a couple of months at the most, and then it’ll just sort of explode out of her like an alien giving birth.
Don’t ask me why that mental image came into my mind . . . I’m not even sure myself. I’ll just blame it on hanging around the Marauders so much lately.
“Hey guys!” Remus said cheerfully as he and Mary approached us and sat across from us at the table. James eyebrows rose again, and my mouth fell open. I blatantly stared at my two friends as if they were the crazy ones and not me. Mary and Remus looked around innocently as if wondering what in the world we were staring at when they knew perfectly well we were staring at them.
“What’s your guys’ problem?” Mary asked, sticking her tongue out at us.
“What’s your guys’ not problem?”
“Way to be subtle, Lily,” James congratulated me in an extremely sarcastic tone.
He rolled his eyes.
“I think what Lily was trying to say was . . .” He paused, his face scrunching up adorably in thought, “Erm . . . now that I think about it, that basically was what Lily was trying to say.”
“Obviously, or I wouldn’t have said it.”
“Look, I realize that but you sort of said it in a rude way.”
“They’re our friends! They’re used to me being rude.”
“That still doesn’t give you the right to talk that way to them.”
“Why the bloody hell not?”
“Guys!” Mary cut in before we could really get into our easy bicker, “Knock that off, will you? It’s weird now that you two are dating and all.” I glanced at James who glanced at me. I smiled, knowing that it would just be weird dating him if we didn’t still quarrel with each other all the time. It’s just the way we are.
Sirius had been walking straight towards us with Peter when he had stopped dead in his tracks upon taking in the sight of Mary and Remus sitting next to one another comfortably.
“Will you guys stop acting so surprised?” Remus snapped, crossing his arms like a fourteen-year-old girl, “Mary and I have had a rough past, but we’ve decided to look past that and remain friends. Good friends. Okay?”
“Okay.” We all answered in unison.
The train ride was faster than usual, and with each second that ticked by my insides grew more and more uncomfortable and I soon felt like I was going to vomit. I envied James who was currently snoozing in content with his head leaning on mine. I tried to sleep, I really did, but I was just too nervous. My parents have met James before, but this time it’s just so . . . different.
Oh, and I can’t forget the scheme James has planned inside that annoying little head of his.
The train began to screech and slow down, and I was completely unprepared for it. I glanced at Mary and Sirius in alarm—they were the first ones to get up—and exclaimed frantically, “We can’t be here already, can we?” My little outburst woke James up and, after shaking his head and his tiredness away, he looked out the window and then began to get his things down from the luggage racks himself, “Oh, Merlin,” I breathed.
“Relax, Lily,” Mary said, rolling her eyes at my pathetic-ness, “That shade of green on your face is really unflattering.”
“C’mon, Lily,” James chimed in softly, holding out his hand for me to take, “You know that they’re going to love me because I’ve already met them and because they already do love me. You have nothing to worry about.”
That didn’t stop the whimper that escaped my mouth as I accepted his hand. He helped me get my luggage down and then we exited the train.
“Sirius, mate,” James began, clasping his hand on Sirius’ shoulder, “Are you sure you’ll be able to handle staying at my house with my parents without me for a week?”
“Are you kidding?” Sirius asked happily, “You’ve been more goo-goo eyed ever since, you know—” He nodded his head at me, and both James and I rolled our eyes, “It’ll be a relief to have you off my hands. And besides, without you there, I’ll get to eat what mum usually makes for you.”
“You’re welcome to sleep over on Christmas Eve, Sirius,” I told him, smiling at him. Sirius has become somewhat of a brother to me over these past couple of months. Granted, a really obnoxious brother who likes to attempt to steal your diary, but a brother nonetheless.
“Thanks, Lils,” He replied, “I’ll take you up on that one.” And then he pulled me into his right side and James into his left and squeezed us with all of his might. He pulled back, gave Remus and Mary and Peter their own hugs, and then with a turn and a crack, he was gone.
“Lily!” Mary squealed, running up to me with her arms outstretched. She engulfed me into one of her famous hugs before setting me down in front of her with a smile, “My parents are over there waiting for me. By the looks of it, they’re getting bloody impatient too. I had to wish you good luck, though! I don’t want to have to apparate to your house on Christmas day to help you clean up one of your obscene messes, alright?”
“Same goes for you, Mary.”
“Whatever, Lily,” She retaliated playfully, “I’ll see you when we get back to Hogwarts then!” And with a wink she turned and ran to her parents.
I turned back to James, who was just saying goodbye to Remus. I said my farewells to him as well, and then he too apparated away. James then took my hand and led me to where I could see my parents waiting expectantly with bright, happy smiles plastered on their faces. They both hugged me tightly, and shook hands with James (well, my dad did . . . my mom hugged him just as tightly as she hugged me).
“Nice to see you again, Mr. and Mrs. Evans,” He said politely.
“Likewise, James,” Mum told him, still holding his shoulders in her hands, “When Lily told us you guys were back together, I was so excited, I—”
“Mum!” I groaned.
“Er, right.” She said, taking her hands off of him and scratching the back of her neck sheepishly, “Sorry, I got carried away. Let’s get home, shall we?”
“We shall.” Dad replied, taking mum’s hand and pulling her towards the magical barrier that they’re still afraid to pass through.
Merlin, they’re so embarrassing.
I probably have never felt more awkward than I did when I stepped through my front door to see Petunia and her fiancé standing in the middle of the foyer, both sharing the same look of distaste at James and I. I smiled weakly at her, before grabbing James’ hand and leading him upstairs so I wouldn’t have to look at my sister’s hideous face for another second.
This was only the beginning.
“Lily,” James confronted me, stepping inside my room Christmas Eve morning, “I have never met anyone more annoying than Vernon Dursley.”
I jumped, not expecting the sound of his voice that early in the morning. I didn’t really click in my head that I looked gross and skanky until about two seconds of groggily staring at him in bewilderment . . . and then I hid underneath my blankets like a child, “James!” I squealed, “Get out!” He ignored me, sitting on the bed and pulling the blanket off of me.
“Did you not just hear me, Lily?” He asked, shoving his hand through his hair, “I want nothing more than to hex his fat arse to hell and back.”
“Then he’s a good match for Petunia,” I replied, trying to tug the blanket out of his grasp so that I could cover myself in it again, “A perfect match, really.”
“You’re still not getting it, Lily,” He continued in slight frustration, “I just—Erg, I can’t believe I’m even doing this! Lily, I just need your permission to prank him. Please!?” He grabbed one of my hands in both of his and kissed my knuckles almost desperately.
“You haven’t gone this long without pranking have you?” I asked, quitting my attempts at ever getting my blanket back. I laughed, “Holy Merlin, James, it’s only been three days.”
“That’s a long time!” He protested.
“You’ll live,” I promised, “And besides, I promised my mum no mayhem.”
“But I didn’t.”
“Right . . .” I agreed, “But you did promise me.”
“No I didn’t!”
“Oh come on, James,” I cried, throwing my hands up, “Just try to restrain yourself . . . for me?”
“. . . Fine.” He grumbled, “Sirius is going to be over soon.”
“When?” I asked.
“Around dinner time,” He said, “Maybe a little after, knowing him. He’s probably going to eat all he can of my mum’s food and then come over here and eat all of the leftovers you guys have. And when I say all of the left overs, I mean all of it.”
“Oh, Petunia and Vernon will just love him,” I sniggered.
And so we got ready for the day, got caught underneath the mistletoe a few times, and helped my parents to finish decorating the house in Christmas-y things for the dinner tonight. It felt like only an hour before we were all dressed in red and green and seated at the dinner table where a huge feast was laid out for us.
I don’t even know why we have family dinners anymore, they’re so awkward and, most of the time, violent.
“—as he goes up to put—and here’s the punchline—”
Oh, God. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone tell such a boring joke in such a boring way. You’re not supposed to tell everyone that you’re about to say the punch line before saying the punch line, for crying out loud! It’s common sense! Petunia is marrying a true idiot.
As he finished the joke, there was a quiet rumble of forced laughs that barely filled the room, and Vernon was looking quite proud of himself for the stupid joke I presumed he thought was a bloody riot, when in reality . . . well, we’re bored out of blazing minds. Petunia, in fact, was the only one to laugh, and even then it was a bit iffy.
“When are you two planning on getting married?” Mum asked Petunia and Vernon to break the awkward silence that had settled over the room.
Petunia’s eyes got all dreamy and she said, “The middle of spring, when the flowers and the trees are blooming. That would be so beautiful and romantic.”
I snorted as loud as I could, and Petunia shot me filthy glare, “Sounds cheezy, if you ask me,” I replied.
“No one did ask you, actually.”
“I’ll take care of that,” James cut in with a smirk, “Lily, what do you think of Petunia’s dream wedding?” I laughed at his wit. He appeared to be completely serious, but anyone who really knew him knew that he was just basking in his sarcastic genius.
“Well, that was awfully rude, was it not?” Vernon retorted back at James.
“How so, Mr. Dursley?”
“Yes, how so, Mr. Dursley?” I echoed.
I bet you’re wondering why we keep saying ‘Mr. Dursley’ so much. Well, you see, I couldn’t help but make fun of Petunia just a little bit for her future last name. I mean, come on. Dursley? It’s absolutely absurd!
“Well, Petunia was talking about a serious matter,” Vernon continued, ignoring our teasing voices, “And you two turned it into a joke.”
“Why, Mr. Dursley!” James exclaimed, acting mortified and emphasizing it by placing his hand over his heart, “A joke? I would never!”
“But perhaps, I would, Mr. Dursley,” I confessed, trying with all my might to hold back my smirk, “But alas, no one is laughing.” I gestured to my parents, who, by the way, actually were laughing. They did a horrible job at hiding it too. Mum was practically underneath the table, and dad stuffed so much mashed potatoes in his mouth that I think he might choke if he’s not careful.
“You two are just jealous!” Petunia snapped, pointy her ‘finger of shame’ at us, “I know your guys’ types, and I can tell just by the way that you two act that you’re going to grow old and die, alone, without anyone at your side.”
“I’d rather have that than this wet blanket right here,” James retaliated, motioning to Mr. Dursley, “And besides, I don’t think you have any idea what you’re talking about whatsoever. We are not the type of people who are going to grow old and die alone, actually, because . . . Lily and I are engaged!”
“Yeah!” I exclaimed, and then my head snapped up to gaze at James in alarm, “Wait—what!?” His only response was to take my hand and hold it affectionately. I didn’t pull away, solely because I was too shocked to do much but splutter.
Oh Merlin, I told him not to do this. Not again. Please, not again.
James Potter, you will be the death of me.
*A/N: CLIFFHANGER THAT LEADS INTO THE NEXT STORY OMGGGGGGGGGG.
Man, I really can't believe that this is the last chapter of FBD. At This Velocity will be out soon, but I'm not sure how soon. Rest assured though, that it WILL come out. I hope you guys like it as much as you liked this one :)
LEAVE A REVIEW LOVELYS :D
P.S. The sequel, Life Throws a Punch is now up, so go check it out if you liked this story enough :)*