Chapter 26 : Together At Last
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“I’m here! I’m here!” I yelled as I slammed my bedroom door open and hopped out of the room, shoving my heel onto my left foot. I swear I had mad skills being able to hop on one foot that was in a ridiculously tall heel. “…Sorry” I sighed breathlessly, leaning against the edge of the couch as I patted my hair down. “So, what do you think?”
James and Fred twisted around to look at me and I blushed as I felt James’ gaze on me for longer than was necessary.
Fred’s jaw tightened, he’d never liked being late and he was really hungry. “I don’t see why you have to spend hours getting ready when we’re only seeing our best friends” Fred rolled his eyes and stepped towards the front door, locking it with a tap of his wand.
“Bea and Alice always look beautiful” I replied, but didn’t push Fred’s buttons further.
“Great, let’s go then” Fred nodded to me and then to James, who was still standing as if frozen from his position beside the couch. Fred disapparated with a loud crack, leaving James and I in a thick silence. I turned to apparate but James cleared his throat and I turned to face him expectantly.
“You look beautiful Lise” he smiled nervously as he stepped out from behind the couch towards me.
“Oh…” I smiled bashfully, smoothing my dress down with my hands. “Thanks James.”
With one last glance at him, I followed Fred’s lead and apparated to our friends’ flat, where we’d be spending the evening.
Nick was the one who answered the door; evidently Fred had impatiently already gone in. “Lise!” he grinned, throwing his arms around me and squeezing me tight. “It’s been ages!”
“Hi Nick” I grinned, patting him on the back gently as he released me. “Congratulations on the whole tying Bea down thing” I winked and he grinned delightedly.
“I know, I’m a lucky sod, really” he patted Bea on the bum as she walked past him to greet me and she squealed, swatting his hand away but laughing all the same.
“James!” Nick called as James entered the flat with a broad grin plastered on his face, completely different to the tentative smile he’d worn just moments before.
“Hey Lise” Bea greeted me with a kiss on the cheek and instantly took my hand. “Alice is in the kitchen, she’s dying to see you.”
Bea was right when she had said earlier that Alice was a lot more excitable than she had been in school, as she screeched my name so loudly into my ear I considered the fact I might end up deaf by the end of the evening.
“Oh merlin, I’ve missed you!” Alice gushed as she hugged me for the third time. I threw Bea a startled glance over Alice’s shoulder and she simply smirked and continued to stir the contents of a pot on the stove with her wand. “Fancy you, ditching us to spend more time with Naomi!”
I opened my mouth to object but Alice instantly patted my cheek and smiled, her eyes twinkling humorously. “Only joking, Lise. I actually feel as if we abandoned you to be honest” she bit her lip, lowering her voice to a mere exaggerated whisper. “I can’t believe James is living with you, Bea told me all about what it’s like.”
I instantly blushed and Alice patted my cheek again, grabbing my hand and dragging me back into the lounge, where she proceeded to shove a large wine glass into my hand. “Drink up!” she encouraged, before propelling me towards the boys who were sat drinking beers on the couch.
“Lise!” Drew grinned, throwing an arm around me and crushing me against his chest. “Have you been avoiding me?”
“Never, darling” I smiled, taking a sip from my wine and stealing Drew’s seat next to Fred.
“Still cheeky then?” Drew nudged me with his elbow as he plonked himself down on Alice’s lap beside us, earning a squeak from her. “Seriously, guys, I don’t know why you let her live with you.”
I frowned at Drew and moved to ruffle Fred’s hair affectionately. “These two wouldn’t last a day without me there; do you know they haven’t even mastered a single cleaning spell yet?” I grinned. “Not to mention Fred blew up our toilet the first day we moved in.”
Everyone exploded into laughter at that, even Bea who had just entered the conversation and snuggled in beside Nick on the armchair.
“Well you’re only good at those household-y spells because Naomi taught you” Fred grumbled and I rolled my eyes.
“Oh to be a Ravenclaw” Alice giggled. “I think we could do with having Naomi round to teach us a spell or two actually!”
“Na” Bea grinned naughtily. “We’ll just bribe the boys into cleaning up after us.”
Nick and Drew groaned as Fred and James began to snigger.
“Am I missing something?” I asked, confused and Alice patted my arm gently.
“Oh, Lise, it was great. Bea and I were fed up of the boys always leaving us to tidy up the flat that we designed this plan…”
“Basically” Bea leant forward with a glint of amusement in her eyes. “We told the boys we weren’t going to participate in any…. bedroom activities with them until they cleaned the flat up!”
“We did last three days!” Nick shouted over my uncontrollable giggles.
Alice rolled her eyes. “It was pathetic; Bea and I came back from shopping one Saturday to find the whole flat spotless and the pair of them on their knees!”
“You two are honestly my new role models!” I giggled to my best friends, who grinned proudly at my compliment. “You know it’s a pity I’m not shagging these two” I nodded towards Fred and James. “Otherwise I’d be able to get away with anything.”
“Women are not allowed to walk all over me!” Fred declared boldly, frowning as all three of us girls immediately leant over to hit him somewhere.
“I do recall you blushing every time Naomi’s name is mentioned though…” James sniggered as Fred’s cheeks turned a delicate shade of pink.
“Shut up” he mumbled, casting his eyes downward in shame as we all laughed.
“Honestly, Lise’s friend Fred! How could you?” Bea rolled her eyes and Fred blushed harder.
“I was drunk!” he whined, but we all pretended not to listen.
“Admit it Fred, you find her attractive” Alice raised her eyebrows and Fred averted his gaze.
“Well, yeah… I did shag her after all… but I…”
“Be nice, this is my friend you’re talking about” I wagged a warning finger at Fred who pulled a face at me, yet smiled reassuringly.
“I was just going to say she’s a lot of work. And anyway, she’s still completely in love with that Nott bloke anyway, we both knew that shagging me was just her way of trying to get over him” Fred frowned slightly, a crease forming in between his eyebrows. Alice, Bea and I caught one another’s eye, raising our eyebrows in interest.
“Has Fred brought a girl home since Naomi?” Alice hissed in my ear as the boys began to chat about James and his work with the Arrows team.
“No” I replied, and Bea smirked happily. “He hasn’t. I don’t know why I didn’t see it sooner!”
“Fred likes Naomi!” Alice gasped and Bea quickly snorted.
“He doesn’t like her! Don’t be so naïve” Bea rolled her eyes. “He just wants to shag her again… he enjoyed himself with her and nobody else seems to meet the expectation now.”
“I’m not letting Fred mess her about!” I widened my eyes at the girls and they instantly shook their heads at me.
“Honestly, Lise, you’re the one that’s meant to know Naomi, she won’t let him if she doesn’t want it too. Naomi’s like that.”
“What are you three whispering about over there?” James asked suspiciously and we instantly dispersed, painting serious expressions on our faces. “Well?” he added with raised eyebrows and we all opened our mouths at the same time.
“Nothing of importance” Bea replied snottily.
“My sex life” I blurted out, before realising what I had said and blushing profusely.
“My wedding plans” Alice instantly replied, and then proceeded to look down at the floor and pick at the carpet she’d previously slipped down onto.
We all stared at her for a long minute and then Fred broke the silence.
“I… uh… um…” Alice stuttered glancing helplessly at Drew who rolled his eyes with an exaggerated sigh, before scooping her up off the floor, wrapping his arm around her waist and smiling broadly at us all.
“We wanted you all to know… I asked Alice to marry me this morning” Drew’s grin grew at our shocked expressions. “And she said yes!”
“OH MY FUCKING MERLIN!” Bea screamed extravagantly, leaping up to throw herself at Alice and squeal. I quickly joined them, kissing both Drew and Alice through tears that had quickly sprung to my eyes.
“Congratulations!” I sobbed, and then muttered, “Happy tears! They’re happy tears!” as everybody looked at me worriedly.
“Congratulations mate!” Fred boomed as he shook Drew’s hand. “You’re bloody mad!”
“Never thought I’d see the day Drew got engaged” James shook his head with a smile on his face. “I distinctly remember your plans to whore around and then die along with sixty-seven Pygmy Puffs.”
Drew laughed and shook his head at James’ comment, which Alice was raising her eyebrows at him for. “That was before I fell in love with Alice though, wasn’t it?”
James shrugged and sent me a quick wink when he caught my eye, and I smiled back happily.
The only person who didn’t seem to be saying anything was Nick, who was just staring at Drew with wide eyes.
“You’re getting married” he managed to say hoarsely. Drew slowly nodded and stepped forward to clap his hands over his best friend’s shoulders.
“I’m getting married, Nicky” he grinned naughtily.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” Nick blinked unsurely.
“Because Bea would know you had a secret and then she’d seduce it out of you and everything would have been ruined for Alice” Drew shrugged.
Bea winked suggestively at Nick. “You know that’s true, baby. That would have happened.”
“Ok, fine” Nick sighed, rolling his eyes. “My only weakness is my girlfriend, ok?!”
“Oi!” Bea suddenly yelled. “I’ve just remembered! Where the bloody hell is the ring?!”
“Oh, yeah!” I gasped. “I want to see it!”
Drew smiled bashfully and tugged a small box out of his pocket, pausing dramatically before snapping it open for us all to see the beautifully cut diamond settled on thick material.
“It is so beautiful” Bea whispered, almost wistfully and Nick quickly looked at her, a panicked expression on his face. Catching on quickly, Bea tutted and rolled her eyes at her boyfriend. “Don’t worry, Nick, I’m not planning marriage any time soon.”
You could practically see Nick’s warning lights switch off as he let out a deep breath and relaxed visibly.
The rest of the night passed fairly quickly, the boys quickly returning to their boyish Quidditch conversations, occasionally teasing Drew for “jumping the wand” and asking constantly if Alice was pregnant. We girls, however, made much better use of our time and spread out on the floor at the boys’ feet, flicking through masses of wedding magazines that Alice had picked up almost as soon as she got engaged.
“Oh, merlin, look at this dress!” Alice squealed as she held up a picture of a long-veiled, dainty piece with a modest neckline and cut.
“No, babe, you’re young, you might as well show your body off a bit” Bea replied, holding up a picture of an admittedly very beautiful dress that was heavily embroidered with jewels and was cut almost to the naval with a stretch of white sheen starting just below the breastbone.
“I don’t think I’d be able to control myself with you wearing something like that Alice” Drew shook his head at the dress Bea favoured, reaching for her hand and kissing it lightly. I practically swooned at his actions, I loved watching Alice and Drew, and they were so incredibly in love it was fascinating. Nick and Bea were also fun to watch, as being fairly new to the way of relationships; they still fumbled around each other in a fashion quite different to their true, confident natures.
“What’ve you found, Lise?” Alice peered at my selection of magazines and I held up my favourite one. It was slim, the material highlighting every curve yet modestly so, and it fell delicately from the waist. It was high necked, yet the top part of the dress was sheer lace and the back was low, almost to the bottom of the spine. The sleeves were long and also lace, as were the patterns on the dress.
“Oh, merlin” Alice sighed. “That’s beautiful… but that should be your dress Lise, not mine.”
“What?” I snorted. “I’m hardly going to married any time soon, am I?”
“No, she’s right” Bea grinned. “It suits you so well that it’s surreal.”
“You’d look gorgeous in a dress like that, Lise” James nudged my shoulder with his knee as I was currently resting in between his legs, my back against the couch.
I watched Alice and Bea smirk out of the corner of my eye and Fred shot a surprised glance at James.
“Thanks James” I blushed, turning back to face my piles of magazines, attempting to calm my embarrassingly red cheeks.
Another four hours later found Fred, James and I stumbling back into our flat drunkenly. After a long period of wedding discussions, we’d all seen fit to get completely hammered, in celebration of the big news, and had gotten our way through ten bottles of Firewhiskey altogether.
“Green flames are so pretty” Fred gazed drunkenly into the fire that we’d all just appeared from.
“I’m pissed off” he announced after a moment of silence. “Naomi was brilliant in bed and I can’t shag her again” he pouted. “I’m going out for a shag” he crossed over to the fire and grabbed a handful of Floo powder, waving cheerily at us before he disappeared into the flames.
“Well, that’s him gone” James chuckled quietly as I slipped down onto the sofa beside him.
“Hmmm” I mumbled unintelligently, shuffling to rest my head on James’ shoulder, my eyes fluttering shut with tiredness.
“Are you tired?” James pulled an arm out from his side and wrapped it around my waist. I would have complained, but honestly, it felt lovely and warm, so I wasn’t about to move it any time soon.
I nodded into his chest and wrapped an arm around his muscled belly, snuggling into him further, a smile playing at my mouth as I scrunched my eyes closer together.
“Comfortable?” James snorted, and I could see his smirk in my mind’s eye. Nodding slightly and shifting in his arms again, I sighed contentedly.
“I’d forgotten what a nice snuggler you are Jamesie” I reached up and patted his cheek as I yawned quietly.
“Time for bed!” James laughed, hauling me into his arms and lifting me into the air.
“Merlin, James! How strong are you these days? Is that just Quidditch?” I asked excitedly, my eyes snapping open as the lifting movement woke me up. I glanced at James, who was grinning broadly and laughing so much his chest was shaking underneath me.
“Yeah, it’s just the Quidditch” he smirked, waggling his eyebrows. “You like it?”
“Every girl likes a muscled boy” I smirked right back, adjusting myself in his arms so my legs were hooked around his waist, and my arms hooked behind his neck.
He quirked an eyebrow in interest. “Do you find me attractive, Anneliese Lynch?” He was pretending to be shocked, but I knew that he wanted me to say yes.
In my drunken state, I giggled and pushed myself closer to him. “Depends if the feelings mutual” I replied evasively, fluttering my eyelashes at James. He smirked and brought my face closer to his as he pushed open my bedroom door.
“You know it is” he replied, brushing his lips against mine lightly. My heart was hammering in my chest and a tiny voice was whining in my brain, telling me this was stupid, yet I didn’t push James away from me.
I wanted this. I wanted him. After seeing Alice and Drew so happy together, watching Bea and Nick revel in their relationship and Fred moan about having the best sex of his life with a girl he dislikes… I realised I wanted James.
If it wasn’t for the Firewhiskey, I was aware of the fact that I wouldn’t grin and push myself closer to James as I was doing now, and I wouldn’t lightly start kissing along his jaw, sliding my hands into his messy hair and holding him close to me.
But I didn’t care, because it felt right.
With a low growl, James laid me down on my bed and moved back towards me, resting his weight on his muscled arms as he fit his body to mine, slowly bringing his lips down onto mine. We kissed slowly for about a millisecond, before the passion took hold. Then suddenly we were both breathing heavily as we kissed, his teeth lightly nibbling my bottom lip as I opened my mouth, our tongues battling with each other as I ran my hands up and down his muscled back and torso, his hands jumping to my hips, my waist, and then to my chest. I groaned as he slipped my dress up to my waist, moving to allow me to take his shirt off as his hands touched my skin and he pressed his hips maddeningly against mine.
“…Lise” he moaned as I dug my fingernails into his skin slightly, dragging them along his stomach, tracing the muscles as he broke off from my lips and made himself busy by kissing my neck hungrily. I felt him grazing the skin of my neck with his teeth, licking the spot to soothe it, and I shuddered violently against him. I wrapped my legs around his hips, bringing my hips upwards to meet his as I slipped my dress over my head.
“… Do you…?” James gasped, stopping his attack on my neck to look me in the eye. “Are you sure?” he panted, gazing at me with soft brown eyes, in such a caring way that I just instinctively pulled his lips back towards mine as reply.
His trousers soon disappeared, and then my underwear, and then his. We were still kissing feverishly, hands everywhere, my toes curling with pleasure as James and I moved together, something that had always been inevitable. It felt so good, so right, and so perfect; my breathing was erratic as I felt James move his lips back to my neck, kissing me in wonderful, loving ways, caring for me like nobody ever had before.
I didn’t regret any part of this night.
Yes. They did have sex. Just clearing that up for all of you. I’ve never really written a scene like that before, so I hope it was alright and not too awkward or anything! I’m also hoping I got the passion levels right, James and Lise are quite unpredictable, so I’m hoping you don’t think I all jumped too soon into Lise feeling comfortable around him again! After all, Lise has noticed his caring attitude towards her. And don’t forget, they had drunk a lot of Firewhiskey, and let’s be honest, alcohol creates a lot of confidence! Hope you liked, don’t forget that little box down there to fill with your comments!
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