The Christmas Holidays came around quickly that year, leaving the sheets of green masked by a bright white blanket. James had matter of factly told Lily that she was coming to live with him over Christmas during Slughorn’s Slug Club Christmas Party and didn’t give her time to object, if she had wanted to, before moving on to talking about the next Quidditch Game against Ravenclaw. She didn’t really pay attention, her mind was wandering somewhere in James Potter’s bedroom and on the idea of living with this trouble maker.
The night before they would all leave and go to their own homes for Christmas, the majority of the Gryffindor’s lingered in the common room in to the late hours. Remus, Amelia and Ariel sat on the sofa together with Sirius on the end, his feet laying across their legs. Peter sat on the floor, cross-legged, Frank and Alice had gone to bed early. Lily was sitting on top of James in the comfiest sofa, their sofa. “Head Boy and Girl deserve the best.” she would sharply declare if anybody argued this fact. While James, Sirius and Remus recount a story for the amusement of the rest, Lily was cuddled up to him, staring in to the fire. Thinking of her first Christmas without her parents. She squeezed James tighter; he retaliated with a squeeze and a kiss on her head. At least she had him, she thought to herself.
“Can’t you come up to my bed tonight” he whispered to her, she grinned.
“McGonagall forbade it, James!” she hissed back, with a smile.
“So?” he replied, this only made her laugh more.
“Anyway” she said “We’ll be at your house tomorrow, all of Christmas to be together”. She turned her head to face his and bit her lip, teasing.
He was gormlessly opened mouthed for a moment before he said
“It’s your home too now, Lils”, he kissed on her the forehead, she smiled radiantly.
“I’m going to bed, I think” she said, louder now, talking to the group who had been chattering away to themselves, Sirius trying to flirt with Amelia. And failing. They all murmured in agreement and staggered up to their respective dormitories. They all went to sleep quite fast, they still had the train ride to chat.
James’ dreams were filled with deep red hair while Lily’s were filled with a white dress. And then there was Sirius, who’s dreams were filled with a scantily-clad, Amelia. But only James would be informed of this information on the train ride home, even if he didn’t want to know.
Lily and James were made to sit opposite each other, rather than next to each other on the ride back because their friends said “there’s too little space for you two to be all cuddly and not make us uncomfortable, you’ve got your whole bloody Christmas to do that”. Well, that was Amelia’s take on the situation. Ariel seemed more sympathetic but Sirius drew James in to a game of Exploding Snap instantly.
Lily wasn’t totally annoyed that she was not permitted to sit next to her boyfriend but she did like just being next to him, playing with him. Messing his hair up, after he sorts it out, pinching him, punching him and pretty much annoying with all effort. He never got annoyed though, he’d just let her continue or he would sneak attack her and tickle her until she couldn’t breath. Since the second time he did this, Lily always kept her wand close while annoying him, just in case.
“You okay, Lily?” questioned Ariel who was sitting next to her and had noticed her go in to a daze, dreaming about annoying James.
“Yeah” she said, surprised, but smiling. “Just thinking about things” she bit her lip and looked towards James who was in a deep conversation with Remus about what happens after Hogwarts. James looked at Lily. They hadn’t they told their friends that they been offered to join the Order of the Phoenix. They had decided for when the time was right.
The remainder of the journey was relaxed, they laughed and gossiped and reminisced their times at Hogwarts, while Lily and James played footsie the entire time. They all moved around a lot throughout the journey and Lily finally got an opportunity to leap on James towards the end when Amelia left to go to the bathroom. And soon enough there were being “all cuddly” much to Amelia’s dismay.
It was all hugs and “goodbyes” and “I’ll write!” on the platform as the group gradually dismantled. Lily and the girls all huddled up together and then a massive group hug. Sirius was coming with James and Lily but Remus and Peter both left with assurances they’d see them over Christmas. Sirius whispered to James that he’d give him some alone time with Lily so he asked Amelia to go for a drink with him in Diagon Alley.
James was thankful as it meant there was nobody to object with whatever they did. By the time they entered through the fireplace of the Potter house, were in deep conversation about muggle music.
“You’ve just got to hear Led Zeppelin, James and the Beatles”. Lily was saying, again.
“Fine, I will” he laughed as he greeted his Mother and Father.
They immediately welcomed Lily.
“Lily!” announced Elphard. “My name is Elphard and this is my wife Emma. We are so sorry for your loss but you are welcome to live here! We took in Sirius, I don’t think one more will hurt” he then cut off “Actually, where is Sirius, James?” he looked at James.
“Oh” he said “He’s gone for a drink, he’ll be back later” James said, remembering what Sirius had said.
“It’s lovely to meet you both” said Lily, trying her hardest to make a good impression. “Thank you for letting me stay here”
“No problem at all” said Emma, who had returned to supervising the cooking in the kitchen.
“We feel like we already know you”, she continued.
“The amount James has spoken about you non-stop for seven year” she laughed. James flushed red and Lily teasingly smiled at him.
“Oh, really?” she said, staring at James, he did not return the stare. She stood on her tip-toes and kissed him on the cheek.
“Where are we staying then?” she said quietly, her hands now around his neck.
“Let’s go” he said and he took her hand, bewitched their trunks and ran up the stairs in to his room.
Messy. Was a word that Lily’s mind immediately lingered on. Very Messy. Intolerably Messy.
“Here we are then” James announced, proudly as he followed her in to his bedroom. He leaned in to kiss her but before he could, she held her finger up to his lips.
“You think I’m spending Christmas, kissing you in a room this dirty, you’ve got another thing coming” she stated sternly.
“Ah Lils!” he said, trying to soften her by using her nickname that she loved. “I’ll do it tomorrow, I’m tired now!” he said exasperated. She laughed at his sheer cheek.
“Nope, come on. Head Boy, show some responsibility” she smirked. She adored teasing him, although she did want to run at him and throw him on the bed and run her hands through his hair, it was much more fun to tease. James disagreed.
“Won’t take five minutes,” she said finally as she dodged another kiss, still wearing a cheeky grin.
“I’ll show you responsibility” she heard him mumble under his breath, she smiled.
“Cheek won’t help you Potter” she remarked, observing him as if it were McGonagall observing you trying a particularly difficult spell with no sympathy for it’s difficulty. Although she smiled once his back was turned, her ears wandering down his back.
“Those cheeks will though” she teased, he looked around and saw her staring at him.
“Looks like you found someone who can keep you in line, James” shouted Emma from downstairs.
“I think you made a good impression on my Mum. I’m only doing this cause I want to kiss you” said James with a smirk, he’d never known anybody be able to get him to do things like Lily could. Lily smiled while she watched James tidy his room with his wand. She kept huffing and puffing jokily to annoy him. She could have done it ten times faster but it somewhat funnier watching him trip over himself, trying to impress her. He wasn’t very good with household charms.
“I’ll get better,” he said, earnestly, once he had done his best at tidying the room.
“You know, for when we have our own place”. This caught her off guard but James hadn’t noticed, he just started to unpack his bags and carefully place the contents around his room. Lily was sure he’d normally just empty it upside down and leave it there for the entirety of the holidays and was surely just doing this for her benefit. At that moment, he’d earned it. She sprung forward and kissed him, wrapping her arms around his neck. He was shocked but responded fast, lifting her up with his arms around her waist. A moment of sheer bliss for the both of them.
The moment was disturbed by a small cough. Still not letting go of each other, they looked towards the door where Sirius stood.
“Not interrupting, am I?” he said with a smirk. The couple had still not released each other; James looked back at her, gave her a kiss then jumped on his bed, where Sirius occupied the small sofa. James patted the bed and motioned for Lily to join him, she did, happily.
“Why are you back then Padfoot?” James enquired. “I thought you’d be dancing the night away with Amelia.” He chuckled.
“So did I” said a very confused Sirius.
“What happened?” James asked while wrapping himself around Lily.
“Well, we had a drink, kissed, then she hexed me and shouted at me and then left and told me to write to her,” he said, he was baffled. Not knowing what to think about the situation, James merely laughed, as did Lily. Sirius threw a pillow at the pair and then joined in laughing.
The start of the holiday was heaven, Lily and James would wander round the forest area of the Potter House, playing and kissing in the snow but mostly they liked sitting around in bed, in the warmth.
For too much of the holiday, in James’ opinion, they spent time revising and doing their homework. Sirius sat out of these mostly. In fact, Lily rarely saw Sirius. He liked to just be kept in his room and he seemed to think giving James and Lily privacy might be nice for once. Lily appreciated this. Although she was sure that James still saw Sirius more often than she knew. Every now and then she’d wake up in the middle of the night and he’d be gone, surely off gallivanting with Sirius, up to no good. But he was always there in the morning, slightly more tried than he ought to be.
She’d also seen the silhouettes of a Stag and a Deer through the window more than once. And one night a bit of one of their conversations carried up through the window. Sirius said something like “not long now.”
Christmas morning, Lily was awoken by James softly kissing her forehead. He showed her the side table which held two cups of tea and croissants, as he knew they were her favourites.
“Merry Christmas, Lils” he said, beaming down at his girlfriend.
“Merry Christmas, gorgeous.” She replied, throwing her arms around his neck in a massive embrace. She loved just hugging him, he was so warm. She at back down and punched him playfully on the arm.
“Bring my food over here!” she jokily demanded. James obliged and because of this she gave him an extra kiss.
“I love you” she said, half way through her breakfast. But then it finally hit her. It’s Christmas! Presents!
‘Wait!” she said. “What?” said a curious James, he remained rigidly still.
“Christmas?” she said
“Yeah…” he responded. How was he not getting this?
“Where’s my present?” she said loudly, her face shone with eager anticipation.
“Oh right” he said, laughing.
“Nope, sorry there Lils. We open the presents together as a family. Got an hour yet before everybody is due down,” he continued.
“Then why did you wake me up?” she asked as she slumped back down in to bed, her head crashed in to the pillow and a wave of the smell of James hit Lily like a Jinx.
“Thought you might like a walk or something. It is Christmas” he suggested. Cute, she thought but her family had always been more of an indoors-ey type when it came to Christmas.
“There’s only one thing I want” she said, smiling at him.
“Well, actually, there’s two things but I can’t have my present now” she said with a huff, although with a grin.
“But I can have you” and with that she grabbed his robes and pulled him on to her. She covered them both in the duvet and quickly pulled out her wand to perform a small silencing charm on the door, she had tended to be a bit loud sometimes.
“This counts as your present, right?” she teased as she slowly unbuttoned his top.
“Not a chance” and he was kissing her and it’s a good thing Lily could cast a perfect silencing charm.
They were greeted by both of James’ parents and Sirius as they entered the living room, all of them still in pyjamas.
“Morning, lovebirds!” chortled Elphard as the couple hugged themselves in to the kitchen.
“Morning” beamed Lily “Merry Christmas!”
“Merry Christmas” they all heartily replied, Sirius and Elphard raised their glasses of mead and continued talking about his time at Hogwarts.
“Would you like any help with the cooking, Mrs Potter?” Lily asked a hassled Emma, very politely.
“Oh Lily dear!” she said, laughing. “Please, do call me Emma. How often must I say it” she hugged her son’s girlfriend.
“I think I’ll be all right, you enjoy yourself.” She let her go and continued cooking.
As they moved to sit down, Sirius gave James a grin and a wink and poured the couple glasses of Mead.
The Potter’s made it easy for Lily to feel comfortable and relaxed in their house. She spent the rest of Christmas morning, listening to the Wizard Radio, which she rarely got to do. She danced and laughed with her new family and helped set the table for the large roast dinner.
At around one, John Lupin, his wife Sophie and their small, pale but bright son, Remus arrived, as they had been invited to dinner, more bottles of Mead in hand.
Lily got along well with Remus and had done for years longer than the rest of that gang and he had recently divulged to her the knowledge that he is, and has been for quite some time, a Werewolf. So, upon his entrance she immediately sat up and hugged him.
“You must be Lily” said John Lupin as he approached her.
“You’re a good friend of Remus’,” he continued. He looked beyond happy to meet his son’s friends.
“Yeah” she beamed back “He’s the only one out of the lot with a shred of responsibility” she said loud enough so that James could hear. They all laughed. Except James, who looked at his girlfriend with confusion, she eased him with a kiss as she curled up next to him by the fire on the sofa.
Sirius and Remus engaged in an intense game of Chess just in front on them and each were giving hints and instructions. Lily was on Remus’ side, James with Sirius. Lily and Remus only won by default because dinner was ready. At least, that’s what James and Sirius continued to protest throughout the course of the meal, despite the fact they had the King, a Pawn and a Bishop left to be obliterated and Lily and Remus had at least half their side of the bored intact and unwounded.
They all sat around the table and pulled crackers which produced the most marvellous hats and miniature fire-works. Now it was time for presents. Elphard had got James and Sirius season tickets for next year for the Holyhead Harpies to the delight of the two boys. The Potters’ gave Lily an adorable goblin made necklace that had been in the family for years.
“I couldn’t” she responded when she opened it.
“Bless you, don’t be silly. It’s yours” replied Emma and she hugged Lily, like a mother.
Lily’s present in return was a nice framed picture of James in his uniform with his head boy badge on. He was moving about a lot in the photo, clearly not comfortable being made to look so smart when cool and care free was “his look”.
“I remember you said you couldn’t get him to do it so i-“ she started before she was cut off by Emma hugging her again. Sirius was meanwhile Laughing at James’ expense.
“I got one of both of us together as well!” she exclaimed brightly “Head Boy and Head Girl”, she pulled out another frame with the both of them in. James definitely looked more comfortable here but Sirius still found James with combed hair amusing.
To Lily’s great surprise, Sirius got Lily a extraordinarily pretty phoenix feather quill.
“Sirius, I didn’t get you anything” she said, looking horrified at her self but Sirius merely laughed.
“Don’t worry, Evans. Not used to it are you” he replied with a smirk and wink.
Finally it was time for James to give Lily her present. He was nervous about this and she was excited, looking around to try and find it. She wasn’t expecting when he turned around to her and pulled out a small square box from his pocket, not many things can fit in a box that small. Shock filled her and then she looked in James Potter’s eyes and saw that he was staring back, adamant to do this properly. She grazed her hand over her hair and let him continue.
“Lily Evans..” he started but he was cut off by the gasps of the others gathered as they also realised what was happening. Emma gasped the loudest.
“I’ve loved you since I don’t know when and well you hated me for about the same length of time.”
This got a laugh from most of the watchers.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t learn faster because I’ve loved every moment with you and I know for sure that I don’t want anybody else ever. I want you Lils.” Tears streaming down her face, she managed a laugh.
“So basically Lily. Will you marry me?” he finished. Silence lingered for a second as the whole room, the whole world waited for her response the green eyes stared in to the black. Who knew what she was thinking.
James knew. A small twitch on the side of Lily’s mouth moved and James knew what was coming.
“Yes of course you idiot!” she shouted at him and applause and cheers followed as she leaped in his arms and kissed him so passionately, she nearly knocks him off his seat. Once she had calmed, he put the shining gold ring on her finger and kissed her hand as he finished.
She gazed down at her ring and then in to the face of the one who gave it to her. She had never been so happy, she could not wait to tell Mum and Dad… oh. She remembered. But sadness did not last long.
“There’s one more thing” said James, once everybody and hugged everyone else, twice. He seemed more hesitant this time. He looked at Lily calmly and held her hand.
“See, I’ve been thinking about this for months really and well I wanted to do it the old fashioned way and ask your fathers permission.” A silence struck the room. Lily looked stone faced.
“Well” he continued, nervously. “I wrote to him, asking permission and he wrote back and I thought you’d like to see it.”
He pulled a letter out of the same pocket that the ring box came and gave it to her. She apprehensively opened it, not knowing what to think or to expect.
“Dear James (or soon to be son-in-law should I say!)
Lily has spoken of you often over the years, lately it’s all we ever hear about!
Although over the years the stories have changed
It’s gone from pulling her pigtails to being Quidditch Captain and Head Boy!
I’m ecstatic at the prospect of you proposing to my daughter and my wife quite agrees
Your letter moved us both and we clearly see you care about her.
We believe she will be in fine hands and may I personally wish you the best of luck
And we are rooting for you!
All the best,
Love your future father-in-law,
Lily finished reading it, tears in her eyes. This is exactly what she wanted. Her parents had known. James hugged her from behind and she grabbed on to his arm, holding him there.
The rest of the dinner was filled with more laughs, more drinks and plenty of food and Lily kept looking down and seeing an unfamiliar ring and then reminding herself, she was engaged! Every time this happened, she would look up at James with absolute adoration. Everything he’s done for her, there was no chance she wouldn’t have said yes to this boy she was so in love with. Even without them hear to witness, she knew her parents were with her in spirit, she held on to her father’s letter of approval and on to James hand under the table. Her fiancé.
With only a few hours left of the best Christmas ever, Lily, James, Remus and Sirius gathered round the fire while the adults continued to drink in the kitchen.
“So you all knew?” exclaimed Lily
“Well only us two” said Sirius
“Wormtail wouldn’t have been able to hold it in and Amelia tried getting it out of me. That’s why we argued and she hexed me, knew James was up to something” with Sirius last words Lily began to think.
“Merlin’s beard I’m going to have to tell the girls” she said, a look of horror on her face.
“Probably” muttered James, not seeing the problem.
“The gossip will never end” she stated fatally, mortified. The boys all laughed and James reeled his fiancé in for a tight squeeze.
“I love you” he whispered down to her.
“I love you too” she whispered back. “fiancé” she said with a smile, looking up at him. She wanted to remember this moment forever.