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Chapter 15 : Chapter 15: Happy New Years
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They're pampering me with jumpers and books.
And then there is Remus. He got me a book. I can't help but feel a little disappointed. Do boys normally get girls they like books for Christmas? True, he doesn't like me but that doesn't keep me from wishing he did.
Michael, the amazing boyfriend that he is, got me a beautiful charm bracelet with a little sapphire heart hanging off it. It's so pretty. I'm such an awful girlfriend. Who has a crush on someone else when they have a boyfriend? Especially someone as amazing at Michael?
I started walking down the stairs, wrapping my blanket around me. I looked like a giant blue blob. On the bright side, I was freakishly comfortable.
"Why did you wake me up?" I asked as I entered the kitchen. Oooh, bacon!
Lily blinked at me.
"It's nine in the morning."
"You're right. It's such an unholy hour!" I groaned, sitting at the kitchen table.
"I forgot you were such a night owl." Lily laughed, taking a bite of her bacon.
I looked at the piece mournfully.
"Don't I get bacon?" I looked at her hopefully.
"No." I slumped in my seat at her words. "You woke up too late for that," she announced, putting her plate in the sink and washing it.
"It's only nine!"
"Much too late."
"I hate you."
Ashley bounced into the room.
"Good morning!" she said cheerfully.
I glared at her.
"You rubbing your eyes before glaring ruined the overall effect," Ashley informed me, sitting down across from me in Lily's old seat.
I glared harder.
Nothing. She didn't react at all.
Maybe I should work on my evil glare? Perhaps I could hire some Slytherins to help me.
If I paid them. And didn't tell them about my Muggleborn status. I wonder if Slytherins are born with the smirk and glare. Or do they gain it automatically when they're sorted? I ought to find out.
"So, why did you get me up so early?" I asked.
Lily rolled her eyes, not bothering with giving me a response.
"It's not that early," Leslie said, entering the room with Katie.
"Is everyone already up?" I asked exasperatedly.
"Mum went to the store and dad had a meeting at work," she said, turning back to us, her hands propping her up on the counter.
I nodded slowly.
"You ought to get dressed," Katie said, eyeing my clothes. Or, well, my duvet considering it was enveloping my entire body and possibly covering most of my head.
I shrugged, but got up and went to my room anyway.
After changing and looking semi-presentable, I ran downstairs.
"Let's make brownies!" I announced, skidding into the kitchen. "Ahh!" I yelled, having run into a body.
"Relax, Elizabeth," the voice said gently, helping me stand straight and regain my balance.
My eyes widened. I probably looked like a deer in headlights.
"H-hi, Remus." A stutter of all things. I thought I had gotten over this.
"Hey! What about me!"
Sirius. Oh, Merlin.
"And me." Potter smirked, leaning against the counter where Lily had previously been.
Mushroom. She was going to kill. I looked around for her, ignoring them.
There she was. On the opposite side of the room from Potter, tapping her foot with her arms crossed. I paled at her expression.
"Hello, Elizabeth." She must be furious. She used my whole name! I could feel myself shrinking under gaze. "You didn't tell me they were coming." She gritted her teeth.
"I didn't know they were." I said weakly.
"She didn't." Remus said. I sent him a grateful look.
"She said it telepathically." Sirius threw out there. I glared at him. I really need those lessons from those Slytherins.
"Like I'd believe Black. Remus, on the other hand . . ." Lily trailed off.
"So, can we make brownies?" I asked.
"And fudge," Ashley added.
I gave Lily a hopeful look.
"All right," she consented. "But we have to wait for mum to come home."
I hopped into the air and went to hug her.
"Thank ye!" I sang. Suddenly I paused, looking around. "Where's Pettigrew?" I asked, still hugging Lily.
"He ended up staying at Hogwarts," Sirius said.
"Hey, Elizabeth? Can you get away from me?" Lily asked. I looked at her.
"Oh, right." I laughed, releasing her.
She rubbed her arm.
"You're a lot stronger than you look, you know."
"I know. Ashley told me that once." I smiled.
A couple hours later, I was covered in flour. Why, you may ask? Because Sirius decided he must be the one to open the bag. He failed. Instead, he somehow messed up opening it and ended up getting it all over the person next to him. In other words, me.
"I need a shower," I muttered, pulling at my shirt.
"I can help you with that, you know." Sirius said with a lavish wink.
I rolled my eyes as Ashley slapped his arm.
"Stop flirting with my friend." She laughed, clearly not bothered.
"But it's so much fun! Look at how much she blushes!" he whined.
I could tell I was just blushing even more by their laughter.
"Shut up!" I said, slapping his other arm, getting a little flour on the spot I hit. "Let's make brownies!"
Mmmm . . .
Best. Thing. In. Existence.
Unfortunately, our rendezvous had to come to an end.
I focused my glare upon Remus.
"Where. Did. The. Brownies. Go?" I growled. "I was gone for one minute."
"Ten, actually," Lily said. I turned my glare upon her.
"Either way, there is only a few left," I said, grabbing one and nibbling it.
"Sorry, Elizabeth. Sirius decided he wanted some, and that means three males are now digging into the brownies. You should be surprised there are these many left," Ashley pointed out from by the fudge. I couldn't help but note there was a lot of fudge left.
"At least I could what I was looking for," I sighed, holding up the long black ribbon for all to see.
"Nice ribbon," Potter said, looking amused.
"Thank you." I said, tying the ribbon around my head. "I'm a ninja!"
Potter just stared at me.
I laughed, flipping the extra ribbon over my shoulder.
"Just ignore her," Lily advised the males. "It's the only way to get her to leave you alone."
"You can't say much," Potter pointed out. "You're her friend."
Lily pointedly ignored him.
"You ought to go, though. Before she starts running around with her 'ninja ribbons' flying behind her. The brownies probably got her on the sugar high."
"No, I'm not on a sugar high! I just have imagination!" I declared, standing up quickly and knocking my chair down behind me.
"Perhaps we should go."
I crossed my arms and gave them a sour look.
"Goodbye, Elizabeth," Remus said.
I allowed him a soft smile.
"I'm an awful person," I announced, plopping down on Lily's red duvet.
She glanced over at me.
"I still have a crush on Remus, even though I'm going out with Michael."
Lily rolled her eyes, turning her body toward me.
"Then break up with him."
I looked at her, feeling a little surprised.
"Break up with Michael?"
"Well, yeah. I mean, your hearts clearly not in it. You don't love him, but he loves you. Stop leading him on."
I sighed hesitantly.
"I don't know if I don't love him." I whispered, fiddling with Lily's gold pillow. After we came home from Hogwarts, we were both really excited and ended up covering our rooms in our house colors. We were both still too lazy to change it.
"What do you mean?"
"He's sweet, and nice, and makes me feel good when I talk to him. He makes me feel special. I could love him," I said, looking up and meeting her eyes.
She pursed her lips.
"I suppose I know what you mean. Maybe you should think about it a little."
I sighed again.
"You're right. As always."
Lily smiled a little at that.
"I am always right, aren't I?" she said jokingly.
"Of course." I laughed.
For the next few minutes, neither of us said a word. There was just silence.
I sat on her bed, watching her turn back to her book. I sat, just watching.
"Do we have to get dresses for New Years?" I suddenly asked.
She looked up.
"Can we just wear what we wore for the Winter Ball?" Lily asked me.
I shrugged, standing up to grab a piece of parchment and a muggle pen. Truth be told, I much prefer muggle pens to quills as they're much easier to use.
Clicking the pen with my teeth, I began to compose a letter to Sirius.
I'm writing to ask about the New Year's party. May we just wear the dresses we wore for the Winter Ball? Please say yes. I hate dress shopping.
I slipped it into one of Lily's envelopes and hurried to get Freya. While Lily did have an owl, I much prefer my barn owl.
"Take this to Sirius, alright?" I said, giving her an owl treat and patting her on the head.
I lounged on my bed and began reading my book on medieval sorcery. Not too long later, Freya flew into my window with a letter.
I opened it and pulled out the letter.
Such formalities. Feel free to wear the Winter Ball dresses. If I do recall, you all looked ravishing.
I have enclosed the address and picture of the Potter Manor.
See you then!
I took the picture out of the envelope, and my eyes nearly popped out of my head.
The place was huge! Gigantic!
Who knew you could buy that and live in it? Certainly not me!
I turned it over and glanced at the address. Not too far away. Good. I turned back to the picture. There was Remus and Peter, whom hadn't been in the frame before. They were waving and smiling brightly. I laughed. They looked like they were having the time of their lives. I placed the picture and letter on my desk to go tell Lily of the good news.
I was really nervous for some inexplicable reason.
"Do we have to?" I asked wearily, eyeing the large double doors.
"I thought you wanted to go," Lily said, giving me an odd look.
"I do," I replied. "It's just; the doors are awfully scary, aren't they?" I tilted my head a little, still staring at the doors.
Lily rolled her eyes and knocked.
The door flew open and Potter was standing there, smoothing down his hair to no avail. I held in my laughter at his crazy hair that was sticking up every which way.
"Nice try." I said condescendingly, walking inside and looking around.
Potter smiled at me. Wait, seriously? Since when has he learned to smile in my direction? Sirius must have passed by behind me. I quirked an eyebrow at him.
He rolled his eyes and turned his attentions onto Lily.
"Lizzie!" a voice cried.
I sighed and turned to him, only to be pulled into a bear hug.
"Help!" I shrieked.
Sirius kept holding onto me.
"Please let go," I said weakly.
With a chuckle, he released me and I stumbled backwards. Thankfully, I had gained a little more balance in heels so I didn't crash to the floor. I scowled at him and walked off.
"Thanks for your gift," he said, easily keeping up with me. "I used one of them on James."
I laughed slightly.
"How did he take it?" I asked, brushing a bit of my straightened hair out of my eyes. Lily had let me keep my hair loose as long as I let her do something with it. So she straightened it. Those straightening irons are scary. I'm so glad I'm of age, so I don't have to use those.
"He started laughing."
"Really? Why didn't he laugh when he thought I pranked him?" I looked up at Sirius curiously.
"Because it's different when his friends prank him. We do it in jest. Others don't," he explained.
I rolled my eyes.
"Hello, Remus!" I said, waving at him. He turned and smiled at me.
Mmmm . . . He looks great today.
"Hello, Elizabeth." He said, walking towards us.
"The ballroom is in there." Sirius suddenly said, pointing to doors in front of us.
"You have ballrooms?" I asked, surprised. "Of course you do," I muttered to myself.
He pushed me inside the huge, elegant room filled to the brim with people.
I raised my eyebrows.
"Way to state the obvious," Lily said dryly.
I looked at her.
"Where did you come from?" I asked.
She waved me off.
"I finally got away from Potter and caught up with you," she explained.
"Lily! Lizzie!" Ashley and Katie suddenly appeared in the crowd and headed toward us. Ashley was holding a cup of something red, managing to make it only swish a little.
"Hey." I laughed. "Where's Leslie?"
"She was having a discussion with some blond guy. I don't know who he was. Looks our age, though," she said, having a sip of what I assume was water, considering it was clear. But we are witches, so you can never be too sure.
"Come on, Ashley. Let's dance," Sirius said to her.
Ashley thrust her drink at Lily and took his hand to go into the crowd and dance.
I rolled my eyes and looked at Remus.
"Want to dance?" I asked hopefully. Clearly I have a death wish.
He nodded, and took my hand. I blushed at the contact. Thank Merlin for making Lily insist on blush, so I can blame it on that.
I sighed, and looked down at the garden, sliding a hand along the balcony rail.
The glass doors behind me slid open.
"Elizabeth?" Remus' soft voice drifted to my ears.
"Yeah?" I asked, looking at him over my shoulder.
"What are you doing out here?" He walked out to stand next to me, making sure to close the door.
I looked back to the garden beneath us.
"It was a little stuffy in there. I was looking to go outside, and found this. Isn't it beautiful?" I sighed.
"Yeah," Remus said.
I looked back at him to find him looking at me. I gave him a soft smile.
"You like plants, don't you?" he asked.
"They're beautiful." I turned my head back to look at the roses in one area. They were my favorite kind, yellow with orange-red on the tip of the petals.
"Well, I came to find you because midnight is soon," he said.
"Really? Well, we ought to go inside, then!" I said, turning and heading to the doors, grabbing his hand and pulling him along.
"Okay," Remus replied, as I continued pulling him into the ballroom where they were already starting the countdown.
"Happy New Years!" I cheered along with everyone else. With a bright smile, I turned to look at Remus to find him already staring at me.
"Remus?" I asked, furrowing my eyebrows. "What's wrong?"
He pulled me towards him using out already interconnected hands. When I was snug against his chest, Remus took his other hand and pulled up my chin to look at him. Slowly, he pressed his lips to mine.
Remus John Lupin just kissed me.
This is the best day of my life.
I kissed him back, tangling my fingers into his soft hair.
Suddenly, he pulled away.
Then I realized what I had just done.
"What was that for?" I asked, my hands still in his hair.
"We should talk."
"Yeah." I nodded.
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