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Chapter 8 : Mrs. Potter
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She stopped dead when she saw that her son was not alone in bed.
“James,” she said in a vaguely accusing tone, “you didn’t say that you had company.”
Given that her hair was a mess and that she was wearing a Quidditch jersey that belonged to James, Lily felt that characterising her as ‘company’ might have been more polite than strictly accurate, but James just shrugged and pulled her closer.
“Yeah,” he said sleepily. “This is Lily.”
His mother surveyed them for a moment before saying, “Come downstairs and I’ll make you both breakfast. You can introduce her then.” She left the room.
Lily could not recall a time when she had felt more mortified than she did right now.
She rubbed her eyes, hoping very much that she was dreaming.
Unfortunately, when she opened her eyes, nothing had changed.
James struggled up so he was leaning on an elbow to look down at her. “What’s wrong?” he asked curiously.
Lily groaned. “That was not the first impression I wanted your mother to have of me.”
She rolled over and stared at him. James could be a bit dense sometimes, but this was bad even for him. “James, look at what I’m wearing.”
He glanced down. “My favourite jersey.” He shrugged. “I like seeing you in my shirts. I associate it with sex.”
Lily loved her boyfriend very much. He was an amazing guy. And right now she wanted nothing better than to smack him.
“Most people do,” she said through clenched teeth. “And you don’t even have a shirt on.”
“I don’t like sleeping in shirts,” he said reasonably. “And this is my bedroom. I can sleep however I like.”
She smacked him lightly. “Do you know how this looks?”
He thought about it for a minute, and she could feel his hand beginning to creep up her leg. “Like we’re sleeping together,” he said eventually. “But what’s the problem with that? We are sleeping together.” He used his other arm to pull her closer and leaned in for a kiss.
She returned it, and as he deepened the kiss and continued to slide his hand up her thigh, she felt herself getting lost in his mouth and his touch. Before she’d completely lost all semblance of good sense, however, a tiny ray of logic pierced through the haze that always seemed to accompany his kisses.
She pulled away, and he cocked his head to one side and looked at her curiously. “What?”
“If we keep going, we’re going to have sex again,” she said, trying not to think about how very close he was to her and how much her instincts were screaming at her to not interrupt it.
“Probably,” he said, edging down and brushing his lips across her neck. “What’s the problem with that?”
She let out a low moan. “James,” she said breathlessly, “I want to, I do, but—” He bit down gently, and she felt certain that her heart was about to leap out of her chest.
“So what’s stopping you?” he murmured, coming back up to kiss her again.
She enjoyed it for a moment before remembering that she needed to not be doing this. She pulled away, and he rolled onto his back and groaned.
“I don’t want your mother to come back in and find us… you know,” Lily said, edging away from him. James’s half-naked body was far too tempting for her.
He made a face. “You’re probably right,” he said after a minute. “I wish you weren’t.”
“Believe me,” she said strongly, “so do I.”
He rolled out of bed and began to rummage through his laundry basket as she sat up. “Lily, don’t worry so much, okay?” he said. “My parents aren’t like yours. They really don’t care.”
Lily had no idea whether than was true. On one hand, she’d begun to think that a lot of James’s behavior probably had something to do with the fact that his parents clearly doted on him and had never really imposed any rules on him.
On the other, if they were really born in the 1800s, she had a hard time believing that they wouldn’t judge her at least a little.
When they entered the kitchen, James slid into a chair and greeted his mother cheerfully. After the necessary introductions, she leaned over and whispered something in his ear. He made a face, and she gave him a slight shove.
With a sigh, he got up and disappeared into what appeared to be the bathroom. His mother turned to Lily and smiled.
“You were raised a Muggle, then?” Mrs. Potter asked in interest after they’d exchanged pleasantries. Lily nodded, privately amused at Mrs. Potter's choice of words. “How interesting. Tea, my dear?”
“Yes please,” Lily said quickly. She glanced toward the bathroom door. While Mrs. Potter did not appear to be about to launch into a lecture about premarital sex, she couldn’t help but be a little nervous.
Mrs. Potter leaned over and said conspiratorially, “I told him that he had to do something about that hair. If he’s going to have a lady over, he needs to take some pride in his appearance. He’s not twelve anymore.”
Lily managed to quell her urge to laugh only with great difficulty. “I think it might be a losing battle,” she said as the bathroom door opened.
James’s hair was clearly a little damp, but as far as she could tell, that was the only difference. His mother made a faint sound of disapproval before turning back to the stove.
James slid into the seat next to Lily and whispered, “You’ve become the newest weapon in Mum’s arsenal to make me control my hair.”
“I heard that,” his mother said. “Your father’s the one who’s going deaf, not me.”
James looked around. “Where is Dad, anyway?”
“He went out,” Mrs. Potter said. “He wanted to pick some things up for New Year’s. We didn’t know that you were here,” she said apologetically to Lily. “Otherwise he would have stayed, of course. We’ve heard so much about you.”
“Really?” Lily glanced at James, who seemed to have suddenly become very interested in his tea.
Mrs. Potter smiled as she transferred the bacon from its pan to a plate. “Oh, my, yes,” she said, sliding the platter in front of them. “We’ve been hearing about his ‘friend’ Lily for years.”
From her tone, it was clear that James’s mother did not regard his feelings for Lily as a recent development.
Lily sneaked another peek at James, whose cheeks were looking rather red. “Thanks, Mum,” he muttered.
On impulse, Lily leaned over to kiss him on the cheek. “I think it’s sweet,” she said, and the corners of his mouth twitched upward.
“You see?” his mother said as she broke the eggs. “Oh, I’m sorry, my dear,” she said, glancing over at Lily. “You’re not one of those vegetins, are you?”
James snorted. “Vegetarian, Mum.” She waved the correction off, and Lily shook her head as she took a strip of bacon off the plate. “Oh, good. You know, James’s friend Sirius once brought a girl here for his birthday dinner, and she said that she didn’t eat meat. Ever.” Mrs. Potter looked back at the stove. “It’s just unnatural.”
While his mother’s back was turned, James rolled his eyes at Lily, who bit her lip to keep from grinning.
James’s mother was certainly a character.
After they’d finished eating, James led Lily back upstairs. “So, that’s my mum,” he said as he flopped onto his bed. "Vegetins, honestly."
"Do wizards not have vegetarians?" Lily asked curiously as she sat down cross-legged on his bed. "Or did they just not exist when your mother was growing up?"
James shrugged. "They must have, right? I think that she's just blocking it out because she finds it strange." His hand went to his hair, which had finally begun to flatten a bit, and immediately messed it up again. "She loves to embarrass me, and she doesn’t have many opportunities."
Lily laughed. “She seems nice,” she said, tucking her hair behind her ears.
Her boyfriend grinned. “I told you it would be fine. She really doesn’t care.”
Lily was hit with her second wave of paranoia in less than a day. “You know from experience?” she asked, hoping she sounded lighthearted.
His eyes narrowed a little. “Sorry?”
She decided to let it go. She did not need her boyfriend to think that she was a paranoid idiot. “Nothing.”
He wasn’t fooled. “Lily, that’s the second time in less than a day that you’ve tried to casually ask me about other girls.”
She could feel her face get hotter. “I—er—”
He sat up, looking more than a little disgusted. “Is that really how I come off? That I’m running around with other girls behind your back or something?”
When he tried to stare into her eyes, she looked down at the bedspread, which was covered in glittering golden snitches.
“Lily?” He put his hand under her chin, and she allowed him to lift her head. “Seriously,” he said softly. “Is that really how I come off?”
She sighed and looked away again. “No,” she muttered. “James, just forget it, okay?”
He snorted. “Yeah, right. That’s going to happen. You’ve known me how long?”
That got a slight smile out of her.
He reached out and brushed a few stray strands of hair back from her face. “What happened?” he asked. “You’ve never asked me anything like that before.”
She sighed. “It was just something that Emily said to me before we left for the holiday.”
James made a face. He had never liked the seventh year Ravenclaw prefect, even before she’d gotten the power to put him in detention. “What did Emily say?” he asked, in a tone of forced calm.
“I was talking to Jane in the library,” Lily said. James was wearing his stubborn face. He wasn’t going to let this go, so it was better to just get it over with. “She was feeling kind of down because she asked Remus out and he said no.” She gave him a curious look. “Didn’t you say last night that he fancied her?”
James shrugged. “Talk to Remus,” he said lightly. “He’s a strange bloke sometimes.”
Lily briefly considered pressing the issue. She knew her boyfriend well enough to know when he was hiding something. After a moment, however, she decided that now probably wasn’t the time.
“Jane was just feeling confused, because he’d been giving her lots of mixed signals.” James just nodded attentively, and Lily sighed again. Right now was not the time to champion Jane’s cause, but she’d have to get to the bottom of this soon. “Emily was walking by, and she commented that Remus had probably just gotten bored of her and moved onto someone else, because that was what teenage boys did, because they just weren’t capable of really being in love.”
“Including me.” It wasn’t a question.
“According to her.”
James looked incredulous. “And you believed her?”
Lily began to braid a stray lock of hand, as much to avoid looking at him as anything. “Not at first, but then I just…” She shrugged. “Then the night after I was here, it was really stormy, and I couldn’t sleep, and I started thinking, and I realised that I really do just take you for granted and—”
“Lily.” She looked up. “Come on. Everyone in the school knows that I’ve been crazy about you for years. I wasn’t looking for anyone else, and girls were not exactly lining up to go out with the boy who was obsessed with Lily Evans.” He leaned in to kiss her. “Stop being ridiculous,” he murmured when they parted. “Do I really look like I have any interest in being with anyone else?”
She considered that for a moment. “I don’t know,” she said doubtfully. “I’m still not convinced.”
He picked up on the joke immediately and grinned. “Do you want to be?” Before she answered, he added softly, “Lily, you know that I’m in love with you, right?”
She smiled back. “I’m just being silly,” she said. “I’m sorry.”
He shrugged. “Yeah, well, I chased you for more than a year despite multiple rejections. I won’t judge you.”
She leaned in to brush her lips against his. “I love you,” she murmured. She glanced toward the door. “Your mum probably won’t be coming back up, will she?” she asked, running her hand underneath his shirt and up his back.
Her boyfriend’s eyes glittered as he shook his head, and as his lips met hers, Lily Evans smiled.
A/N: So I really enjoyed writing this chapter, and I hope that you enjoyed reading it!
I have another Marauder's era story that I just posted called, "Any Port in a Storm." It's a Marlene McKinnon/Gideon Prewett - nothing to do with Lily or James, but I know that some of you are fans of the era in general, so I thought I'd mention it. :)
I would love it if you took a moment to review this - your feedback makes me a better writer! I'll have the next chapter up as soon as I decide whether it makes sense to include a second confrontation with Snape.
Thank you so much for reading!
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