Chapter 14 : Chapter 14: Happy Christmas!
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"I love you, Elizabeth."
"You love me."
"It's okay, Elizabeth, if you don't feel the same."
"We've only been dating for . . ."
"Yeah. Three months. It's awfully fast."
"It isn't all that quick, Elizabeth. I just thought you should know."
I nodded silently.
The compartment was quiet for a minute.
"I should go," I said, pulling open the door.
Michael grabbed my hand and pulled me toward him to give me a kiss.
"Happy Christmas, Elizabeth."
"Happy Christmas, Michael."
"I have to talk to you," were the first words out of my mouth when I entered my friends' compartment. I looked around it. "Lily, what are you doing here?"
"Dorcas and I got into an argument. Nothing to worry about." She said, turning toward me. "What's wrong?"
I closed the door to the compartment.
"Michael told me that he loves me."
Simultaneously, their jaws dropped.
I glared at Ashley.
"Do you want me to make a pun?"
She shook her head.
"That's what I thought."
"He really told you that he loves you?" Leslie asked.
"He did." I said, sitting down next to Lily.
The door slid open.
"Hello, girls." Sirius grinned, Potter, Remus, and Pettigrew behind him.
"Shove off, Black," Lily hissed.
Potter grinned at her.
"Hey, Evans. Go out with me?" he asked, running a hand through his hair.
Lily glared at him.
"I'm not in the mood for this, Potter."
"What, no witty comebacks? I knew you were in love with me." He grinned charmingly.
"Out, Potter." I stood up and shoved him out, slamming the door closed and spelling it closed this time. "Now that they're gone, onto the order of business?"
"I have a question. Why do we conduct this stuff like meetings?" Leslie asked.
"Not important, Les," Katie said, waving her off. "Michael is in love with Elizabeth!"
"Now I really want popcorn."
Everyone turned to stare at Lily.
"What? It's like a made-for-TV movie with all this drama!" Lily then sent us a doubtful look. "And come on, like you don't love popcorn?"
I nodded my head in consent.
"That's very true."
Home sweet home.
Well, second home, sweet second home.
I looked around. One wall was lined with bookshelves with book upon book. A few extra shelves were adorned with small knick knacks and music boxes. When I was little, my mum would buy me small music boxes. It became our thing. We would go to small thrift shops to buy them.
My twin bed was stuck in the corner under a window. The sapphire sheets and duvet were exactly as I had left them September first. Next to my bed, I had a large desk with a plain black computer on it. There were notebooks stacked next to it. A cup with the word 'France' written on it held a large amount of pens and pencils. Off to the side, stood a mini wardrobe for my jewelry, currently empty.
My chestnut wardrobe was on the only free wall. My walls, a baby blue, were littered with movie and band posters. A large smile on my face, I dumped my trunk by the door, placed Freya's cage on top of my desk, and flopped down on my impeccably made bed. It was good to be back in my own room.
I sighed gleefully. Sitting up, I noticed a small white envelope lying upon my dusty keyboard. Curious, I got up to grab it. Elizabeth, it said in a messy scrawl.
I slipped one finger under the flap to open it. I slid the letter out and opened it.
For some reason, James' owl would not leave until I wrote your full name on this envelope. I wasted five of them. So thank you for that.
I am writing to tell you that you are "cordially" invited to the Potter New Years Eve party. No offense, but Potter didn't really want you to come, so I had to strike a deal with him. Bring Evans, and you may come to it. Naturally, you must arrive before midnight.
If you want to invite anyone else, preferably not male, please owl.
And you better come.
Remus told me to tell you that he said hello.
James said "Don't forget Lily!"
Peter said "Who the hell is Lizzie? Is that the girl Sirius keeps hanging out with?" Well, actually, he said something after that, too, but you don't really want to hear that part.
Your invite should be in the envelope.
I rolled my eyes. Why am I friends with that?
I opened the envelope and peered inside. Sure enough there were two shiny invites inside.
Well, I suppose the party was a plus. If only I knew I could get Lily to come with me.
"Pretty please with a cherry on top?"
"But I can't go unless you come with me!"
"I'll think about it."
"You're an awful person."
"I know. Besides, I already sent in our RSVP."
I looked at her.
Lily rolled her eyes.
"I already agreed. I wanted to go."
I hit her arm.
"I know," Lily said with a smirk.
"Hey, is it formal?" I asked her.
Lily's eyes widened.
"I hope not."
"Should we go owl them?"
Lily thought about it for a second.
"Why us?" I asked mournfully, looking up at Lily's ceiling.
"I don't mind."
"Well of course you don't. You like dress shopping."
"You're right. I do. But we don't have to go shopping just yet. We can wait till the 27th."
"Four days. Great."
"On the up side, Christmas is a-coming!"
"That's very, very true."
"Katie, Les, and Ash are coming over, right?"
"Yeah. That way I can give them their gifts in person. They're coming over tomorrow, actually. Sleeping over."
"Maybe they can go shopping with us."
"They're here!" I yelled to Lily, running to the front door. I skidded to a stop in front of it and swung the door open.
Standing there was Remus Lupin.
My eyes wide, I asked, "What are you doing here?"
"Ashley told me to be here," he said. "Happy Christmas."
"Right. I'll be right back, okay? Make yourself comfortable."
Lily appeared behind me.
"Oh, hello, Remus."
I ran upstairs because, of course, when Remus Lupin shows up at my house I'm wearing my pajamas. A.K.A., festive bright red pajama bottoms with reindeer on them and a dark green t-shirt two sizes too big. Plus, I had thrown on a pair of fuzzy reindeer antlers when I found them under my bed.
So naturally, I had to change.
I put on a plain red shirt and jeans, but kept my antlers on to be festive. And they were kind of cute.
"Hey," I said, entering the living room.
Lily looked over her shoulder at me.
"Hey, Liz. Nice antlers."
"Thank you. I quite thought so."
The doorbell rang again.
"That should be them," I declared, sprinting to the door and swung it open again.
"Elizabeth!" Ashley yelled and tackled me to the floor. Leslie and Katie followed.
"Get off me," I said as loud as I could considering I had three teenage girls on top of me.
"What was that?" Katie asked.
"Get off me!"
"Oh. Right," Katie replied and stood up, Leslie and Ashley following her. "We just haven't seen you in so long."
"What about me?" Lily asked, looked bemused leaning against the doorway to the living room.
"You're okay," Ashley said, waving her off.
"Is Remus here yet?" Ashley asked, looking around.
I glared at her.
"Hello, Ashley," Remus appeared from behind Lily.
"Hey!" she said cheerfully.
I stood there for a second in silence.
"Want to watch some movies?"
My friends are evil.
Evil, evil little people.
I hate them.
Why, you may ask? Because they decided I have to sit right next to Remus. On a loveseat. I hate them so much.
I took a piece of popcorn and popped it into my mouth. Salty, buttery goodness that is popcorn. Yum.
Lily had demanded we watch a musical about witches and wizards. Which, while it sounds weird that we, actual witches, would watch that, it's actually one of our favorite movies. Because who doesn't love musicals? I certainly love them.
. . . Stop judging us.
When the movie was over, I moved to stretch my legs, but they landed on Remus' knees.
"Sorry 'bout that," I said tiredly, moving my legs off.
"I'm tired," I yawned. "Clearly I stayed up way too late last night."
"3:30 in the morning."
"Or early. Depends on your point of view." I said, standing up and stretching my arms into the air. I pulled off my lopsided antlers and put them on straight.
"What time is it?" Leslie asked, throwing her legs over the arm of her chair.
I looked toward the clock on the side of the wall.
"5:30," Lily said, putting away the movie.
"I ought to go." Remus announced, standing next to me, our shoulders brushing. My cheeks flushed a little. "James will wonder where I've been."
I raised my eyebrows.
"You didn't tell him where you were going?"
Remus shook his head.
"James would insist on coming along. You wouldn't want that."
"Alright. Bye, Remus. Happy Christmas!"
"You too, Elizabeth. Ashley, Katie, Leslie." He nodded at them. "Bye."
"Bye, Remus!" They chorused from by the bookcase that contained all the movies.
"Let's watch this," Katie declared, pulling out another musical a few seconds after Remus had left.
"Just pop it in."
"Wake up, Lizzie!"
I groaned, waving them off.
"Leave me alone!"
"But Elizabeth, it's Christmas!" Lily said into my ear. I shot up. "Happy Christmas." Lily laughed, leaving the room. "Get dressed!"
I grabbed my clothes and hurriedly pulling them on, quickly running a brush through my hair, ignoring the prickles of pain.
"Get up, Leslie!" I could hear Lily yell in the guestroom.
If Petunia hadn't been staying with her awful boyfriend Vernon, then Lily would have been slaughtered by being so loud. Thank Merlin for small favors.
I pulled on my Santa hat (yes, I have one. So what?) and threw open my door and ran to the guest room.
"Are they up yet?" I asked Lily breathlessly.
"Getting dressed now," she affirmed.
Lily looked around for a second, making herself look a little suspicious looking.
"Remus got you a present."
Oh. I felt heat rush to my cheeks.
"I got him a present, too," I said. "Hey, has Freya arrived yet?"
"She was coming in and out, but she's home now."
"I should give her some owl treats," I decided.
After eating a wondrous meal prepared by the amazing Mrs. Evans, they were free to open their gifts.
I plopped down in front of the tree and looked around. I loved Christmas, mainly because of how the decorations and family made me feel. I tended to have bursts of inspiration by a tree. Like if I had a hard essay to write, when I sit by the tree I have a tendency to excel. I realize it sounds weird, but it's true.
I took a deep breath, waiting for the rest of my friends to come over.
I fiddled with a little bit of spare tinsel. Leslie, in all her festive glory, had decided to wear earrings with mini wreaths. I didn't know those existed. Yet somehow, Leslie made it work.
"Leslie, where did you get those earrings?" I asked suddenly.
Leslie looked over at me, reaching up to touch a wreath.
"I saw them in a muggle store. Xenophilius doesn't like them. Keeps talking about some Lincoln log thing. I don't remember the exact word. Don't tell him I wore them, please. Or that I couldn't remember the name of the Lincoln logs," Leslie replied.
"Um, alright." Sometimes I have no idea where that guy comes up with this stuff. Or why Leslie is such good friends with him.
Lily, Katie, and Ashley entered and continued the circle around the tree.
I nodded, and pulled out a package from Ashley.
I ripped it open, because I never have been one to gently open like someone here. Lily. Not that I'm mentioning any names.
"A Guide to Medieval Sorcery"
I love Ashley.
"Ashley! Thank you so much!" I gasped, staring at it.
In case you're thinking "why in the world is this girl so excited about a book about Medieval Sorcery?" Well, that's because that's one of my favorite subjects. Medieval sorcery fascinates me. I can't help it. Plus, I've been eyeing that book for weeks.
Ashley looked over at me.
I opened my gift from Lily.
"An Anthology of Eighteenth Century Charms"
I have amazing friends. I'm going to go around giving them all large bear hugs.
Next was a gift from . . . Sirius?
Thank Merlin I got him a gift.
I opened it carefully this time, worried about what would pop out.
Prefects That Gained Power?
What? Sirius would not get me this book. Scared to death, I creaked open the book.
And there we are. There laid a large assortment of Zonko's products.
What, you actually thought I would get you a book on prefects? No. Instead, you now own a variety of pranks.
Use them liberally.
Preferably on Slytherins.
Now go put that mind of yours to good use!
That was Sirius.
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