Chapter 10 : 12, Grimmauld Place
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That sunny and hot day of summer was the day 12, Grimmauld Place was receiving four new residents. Harry had so kindly given the old house to his children and some of his nephews and nieces so they could have a place to themselves to live after their graduation in Hogwarts. A renovation was made on the whole house and they all chose their bedrooms and had it made their own way.
So now that Lily, Hugo and the Wood twins had finally graduated, and after some stressful weeks packing their childhood rooms, they were now moving into their new home. Thankfully, the old manner was big enough for all of them, since James and Freddie were not alone anymore, having asked Lizzie and Marie to move in. Scorpius spent more time there than at his own house with his parents and Gwen too had moved in with Albus. Only Roxanne and Alice seemed to have her room only to themselves and Roxie seemed to be happy to share the floor with Lily and Jenny who were going to share a room.
“DAD!” Jenny yelled across the hall. “That’s my box, not Carter’s!” She reminded Oliver, before he placed a box in Hugo’s and Carter’s room.
The house was a pandemonium, with boxes and people going all around. James and Albus were bickering because of milk in the middle of the hall while Freddie was going after Roxanne down the stairs to the kitchen, wanting to know why she didn’t sleep at home the previous night. Alice sat at the drawing room (she was supposed to be helping, but decided it was too crowded already), pretending she was reading a book, but actually watching Carter as he and Ron placed boxes in the room.
“Are you kidding, Rose?” Hugo screamed from the end of the stairs. “I can’t believe you changed my bedding! Mum!”
“Rosie,” Hermione stopped what she was doing to go to her daughter’s room. She was at her desk, working. “Did you really prank your brother? And changing his Gryffindor’s sheets to bunnies? How old are you?”
Rose looked up from her parchments. “It’s just a joke, Mum. You know the spell to undo it. Now, could you please close the door? Unlike everyone else, I gotta work.”
Hermione rolled her eyes to her daughter before doing what she asked for and going to Hugo’s room and changing the bedding back to the original ones. Ginny was now trying to separate her two sons while Teddy and Vic laughed away at their crazy family.
“You could at least help out.” Albus snorted to his godbrother and cousin.
“Ops, I’m pregnant.” Vic shrugged, looking as if she was innocent.
“And my wife is pregnant.” Teddy went along. “One must take care of his pregnant wife. And, it’s funnier to watch the house burning down.”
“Teddy!” Ginny scolded. “Go help your sister upstairs.” He tried to protest but it only took one stern look from his godmother for him to sigh and join Lily and Harry upstairs.
“So how is Mini Potter felling about moving out?” Teddy asked as soon as he stepped into his little god sister’s room.
“It’ll be weird not to have Mum and Dad at the breakfast table.” Lily answered before receiving a kiss on the head from her father. “Although Al and Jim are here. So that doesn’t change.”
“You know you’re always welcomed at home.” Harry guaranteed. “Come in without knocking.”
Teddy smiled and sat on Lily’s bed, on one side of the room. The room had been equally divided between Lily and Jenny and both sides of the room couldn’t be more different, of course. Despite they both liked the Arts, Lily was more inclined to be a painter while Jenny was more inclined to Architecture, which were two completely different things.
“I don’t know how you all will survive in this house, with so many people and too many siblings.” Teddy joked as he noticed Lily’s painting material.
“Al says that during the week is quiet because they all have jobs and places to be.” Lily explained as she accepted the clothes Harry passed on to her and she organised her closet. “The thing is the weekends. But, I don’t know, I think it will be fun. I can’t wait to torture James and make Al uncomfortable. That’s the only thing I didn’t like about being in a different House than them.”
“Imagine if you were, though.” Teddy counter-pointed. “No boy would ever come near you, mini Potter.”
“And that’s how I prefer it.” Harry put in, looking at his daughter who immediately looked away with a roll of eyes.
The day went by and everything was in place again. The final rooms of the house had been occupied and everyone now sat down at the dinner table while Flory served them a meal. Freddie had finally let go from trying to figure out were Roxie was (Marie had had her ways to take his mind off of it), James and Albus were talking as if their fight had never happened and Rose was still laughing at Hugo’s scared face from before.
“Guys,” Harry called out. “Can I have your attention, please?” Within a few seconds, everyone looked at him, sitting between Ginny and Ron. “As almost everyone knows, there is still one floor in the house that hasn’t been occupied. The Attic. That’s because we all agreed that it should belong to one person, because she would need a place to herself.”
At that time, everyone opened the biggest of grins and turned around to where Lily was sitting next to Hugo.
“What? Why is everyone looking at me?”
“Darling, the attic is yours. We renovated it with painting materials and all you need to paint.” Harry explained. “We all agreed it would be a good idea.”
“What? Really?” Gasped Lily, her hands on her mouth and a tear running down her cheek as she overlooked a big part of her family at the table, everyone smiling and nodding, agreeing with her father.
“It’ll be a good distraction from the Ministry.” Ginny completed.
“Merlin, guys,” Lily cried. “I don’t know what to say.”
With a trembling Lily under his arms, Harry led her to the final floor of the house, being followed by everyone else. Lily took her time going up the stairs and opening the door that would revel her sanctuary. And once she did, a breath was trapped in her throat. Everything was beautiful, with lots of light and white canvas all around the room. A cabinet with glass doors revealed tons of different brushes and all kinds of paints and pallets and not only that. Hell, there were all kinds of materials for her delight.
More than ever, Lily knew painting was what she wanted to do with her life.
So much had changed ever since Lily had moved into 12, Grimmauld Place. Firstly, the house was definitely not that full anymore. And Lily didn’t feel as excited as she once was about her grown up life.
James, having become a huge success in Chudley Cannons, moved out and bought a house for him and Lizzie in Chudley, and was about to be married. Gwen and Albus too decided to move in together and leave London for a quieter village. Rose and Scorpius were living on a neighbourhood near Gaillard Institute, as was Hugo that had finished his studies to become a Math teacher in their old pre-Hogwarts school. Roxanne left London to be with Brian in Edinburg (Freddie almost lost it when he found out about their relationship).
Only the Wood twins and Alice were left in the house with Lily. Although she too had overhead Alice’s plans to go live at her family’s apartment over the Leaky Caldron (with Carter, most likely). Alice had just taken over the pub after she graduated, a couple of months before, from the muggle business school she attended and it would surely become more of a success than it already was. Alice figured it soon wouldn’t make much sense to live at 12, Grimmauld Place if she could live just above her job.
So, soon, Lily and Jenny would be left alone at the big manner (best part being that Jenny was moving to Roxie’s old room).
The redheaded sat on the couch in the drawing room, looking at the letter in her lap. A silent tear was running down her cheek, but she didn’t mind. Jenny wouldn’t be home for the night (she was going to sleep at her boyfriend’s, a Ravenclaw from their year Lily didn’t remember much) while Alice and Carter were in Spain for at least another week.
The past two years had been the most unhappy in Lily’s life. She had been working in the Department of Magical Transportation, with her uncle Percy. Just the fact Percy was her boss couldn't be fun. Uncle Percy wasn’t fun. At all. But that was over the point for Lily. It was the fact she barely picked up the brush anymore. She didn’t have the time or the will. It only reminded of what she wanted to do and didn’t.
A few months before, when she found herself internally wishing bad things for her own uncle, she decided enough was enough. Lily wanted to study Art, make something about her passion. So she secretly enrolled to the Roman University of Arts (RUA) and had been waiting for their answer. For what she had researched, it was the best magical school of Arts in Europe. And she needed to go! And now the answer was there, on her lap, waiting for it to be read.
“Don’t be a coward, Lily.” She said to herself, grabbing the envelop and tearing it apart. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath before reading the content inside.
Dear Miss Potter,
It’s our pleasure to inform you have been accepted to the Roman University of Arts to the major of fine Arts.
Lily didn’t need to read anymore, as her hands started to shake and her tears were now of pure happiness. She was in! She was in! Jumping off the couch, Lily began dancing out of joy and pride around the room, yelling out ‘I did it!’ to the empty room.
“You got some awesome moves.” A voice echoed from the drawing room doorframe, making Lily stop on her tracks and slowly turn around to the voice. “Please, don’t stop because of me.”
“Evan?” Lily gasped, a little out of breath from all the dancing. “What are you doing here?”
“Al asked me to come get something from his old room.” Evan explained. “I didn’t mean to intrude.”
“Not at all.” Lily guaranteed, going around the couch and hugging him.
“May I ask why the victory dance?” Evan wondered after the warm hug only Lily knew how to give.
“And why do you think it’s a victory dance?” Lily furrowed a brow but completely ruined her serious look by grinning widely. She couldn’t help it. The only thing she didn’t know was if it was because of the letter or because of Evan.
It was Evan’s turn to furrow a brow. “Potter, I’ve seen your victory dance way too many times. I know one when I see it.”
“Fine.” Lily admitted, waving him to follow her down to the kitchen. “I haven’t told this to anyone yet. Do you want some water?”
“Yes, please.” Accepted Evan, sitting down at the kitchen table Lily usually sat by herself nowadays. “What happened?”
Lily grabbed two glasses of water and placed one in front of Evan before sitting down on the other side where he was sat. Her grin simply couldn't leave her lips.
“You know I like to paint, right?” She started and waited for his nod. “Well, Evan, I haven’t been very happy these past 2 years, if I’m going to be honest. I hate my job, I can’t stand my uncle Percy anymore.”
“Lil,” Evan quietly said, going after her hand, out of instinct, but retrieving. “I didn’t know.”
“I don’t exactly announce it around. You know my family, everyone would be extra worried and no one keeps a secret.” Lily sighed. “I guess I can.” She added, looking into his eyes.
Evan cleared his throat, suddenly his body remembering a night, quite a few years before, when he and Lily hook up behind a tapestry in Hogwarts, during a Valentine’s Day party. It had been the best kiss of his life, but when Lily greeted him like nothing had happened the day after, he figured she didn’t think the same. So he acted like nothing had ever happened too. It was the first time Lily ‘mentioned’ it ever since.
“And what does that have to do with the victory dance?” Evan finally said, after finally breaking eye contact and sipping his water.
“I decided it was enough and went after what I really want. Painting.” Lily too carried on. “I enrolled to the Roman University of Arts - or RUA, and I just received a letter saying I’ve been accepted.”
“What? Roman- like in Rome? Italy?” Evan gasped.
“I-I- Congratulations, Lily, I’m happy for you.” Evan decided, giving her his best smile before getting up and going to hug her. “You’re very talented, they will be lucky to have you.”
“Really, Evan?” Lily’s eyes lightened up with the compliment, her hands still on his strong arms. Have his eyes always been so blue?, she wondered to herself. “That means the world.”
“You’re one of a kind, Potter, I’ve always thought that.” Evan confessed, his voice now a little bit lower, not looking anywhere else other than between her eyes and lips. How he wished to kiss them one more time. Maybe?
Evan didn’t think twice before leaning down and kissing those perfect red lips that seemed to be calling out to him. Lily responded out of instinct but it didn’t take more than a couple of seconds before she pulled him away and stared deep into his eyes.
“Sorr-” Evan began, retrieving, but was immediately interrupted by Lily kissing him instead. And this time, he didn’t let go.
Evan pulled her closer, not wanting to have any space between their bodies. Her lips devoured his and her taste was even better than he remembered. Evan’s hands started to travel around her body until they reached her arse, helping her to get her legs around his waist.
“Evan!” She groaned on his ear once he kissed every little skin on her neck as he pressed her against the kitchen wall.
Lily’s trembling hands started to work on his shirt while Evan did the same with her dress. Within a second, Lily was left with her underwear in his arms, looking devilish at him. Without thinking even further, Evan took her upstairs until he reached her room and placed her on her bed.
Evan had a tiny moment of sanity and thought it would be better to leave before something more were to happen, but, as Lily rose in her elbows, looking at him as if he was the most important person in the whole world, he forgot everything and simply went for it. He had been dreaming with it for years and for the looks of it, he wasn’t the only one.
The Potter Cottage was exactly the way Lily remembered it. The porch around the house where she went around running from her brothers, the Quidditch goals rising behind the large house and the broom shack where her old broom laid ever since she graduated from Hogwarts.
Lily was finally coming home after one more semester in Rome. She decided to move back with her parents, since she only stayed in London during the end of the year holidays and a couple of months in the summer. It didn’t make any sense to be alone in 12, Grimmauld Place, now that Alice and Carter were finally living above the Leaky Cauldron and Jenny moved to Birmingham for a new job.
Flory was already at the door once she opened it, the hall smelling the delicious smell of her uncle’s cooking. Family was there.
“Mistress Lily.” Greeted Flory with a smile. “Good to have you home again. Flory can take your things to Mistress’ room.”
“Good to see you too, Flory.” Lily smiled, before passing her luggage to the little pink elf. “Thank you.”
Lily went straight to the kitchen where she knew the Weasley’s loved to be, as it was closer to the food. But she was surprised to find only her mother working on the salad, while her uncle Ron was by the stove working on lunch and aunt Hermione talking with a pregnant Rose and Scorpius outside on the cellphone.
“Lily!” Rose announced as she saw her cousin coming through the door.
“Oh, darling.” Ginny screamed, ditching the salad and going to hug her daughter tight. “How I missed you, Lily.”
“Hi, Mum.” The girl smiled, kissing her mother’s cheek, before going around the room to greet everyone. “Where’s Dad?” Ginny and Hermione shared a look. “What?”
“Your father is out on a mission, sweetie.” Hermione told her.
“Oh.” Lily only pronounced, before sitting down next to her cousin. “Wow, I still can’t believe you’re pregnant, Rosie. It’s crazy you’re going to be a mother.” She changed the subject. Lily hated when her father was away on a mission and preferred not to think much about it.
“And you’re about to be an aunt.” Rose joked. “Lizzie is having the baby anytime soon and Gwen is due in October, so she’s bigger than me! I only look fat!”
“Lizzie is that far ahead?” Lily gasped.
“That’s what happens when you go away for so long.” Ginny commented from the counter.
“Gin, come on.” Ron scolded. “Lily is doing what she loves. Isn’t that right, mini Potter?”
“Thanks, uncle Ron.” Lily grinned. “And I’m halfway through it now. Only a couple of years to go.”
“Now tell me, Lil,” Rose called her attention. “Just how much Italian men are hot?”
“Rosie!” Ron scolded while Lily cracked up.
“What, Dad? I’m married and pregnant so just put the pieces together, will you?” She responded just as Scorpius got back inside the house in time to hear what his wife had just said, turning Weasley red as Ron narrowed his eyes to him.
“Hm, I-” Scorpius stuttered. “That was Al. Lizzie is in labour.”
A collective “WHAT?” was shouted across the room. Ron started to turn the stove off and taking the food he was doing from the heat. Ginny put away the salad while Hermione and Scorpius helped Rose to get up.
“I still know how to walk.” She snorted to her mother and husband.
Before they all went to the hospital, Ginny left a note to Harry, saying where they were just in case he came home in the meanwhile. At the waiting room that the family was so used to meet, Albus, Gwen, Alice and Evan where already waiting on the couch while Freddie and Marie walked to one side to the other in expectation of news of their godchild.
As soon as Lily entered the room, Evan got up, out of instinct, making everyone furrow a confused expression to the two of them.
“I thought I saw a spider.” Evan excused himself only making Ron give a little girl’s scream and making everyone laugh and forget about his strange behaviour. Lily laughed to herself before she sat on a chair next to her brother.
“I can’t believe Jim is going to be a father.” Albus told her, giving her a hug. “I missed you, mini Potter.”
“Me too, clone Potter.” Lily laughed. “How are you, Gwen?” She then added to her pregnant sister-in-law.
“Irritated and jealous of Lizzie.” She answered with her eyes narrowed to Albus.
“She’s hating me for having her knock up.” He commented in Lily’s ears.
“Gwen knows it takes two, right?” Lily joked back.
“I can’t take this!” Freddie said out loud, sitting in the only chair available in the waiting room. “How did you all manage?” He added, looking to his uncle and aunts.
“After a few births,” Ron answered with a gossip magazine in hands. “You get used to it.”
“Well, I just got back home from Italy and I’m starving.” Lily announced. “I’m going to the cafeteria grab a bite, anyone want to come?”
“I’ll go.” Evan offered himself. “I could eat too.”
“Fine.” Lily agreed, like it was the most natural thing in the world. “Call us if the baby is born.”
Everyone nodded and began talking about what would be the gender of the baby or how would Jim and Lizzie name the baby, not even taking a second glance at Lily and Evan leaving the room. They walked silently in the direction of the cafeteria, but as soon as they were far enough, Evan grabbed Lily’s arm and pushed her to the wall so he could kiss those lips he had been dying to kiss.
“Evan,” Lily tried to protest, but too was missing him. “We’re at a hospital!”
“I missed you too much.” Evan said instead.
“I missed you too.” Lily confessed, kissing him lightly before taking his hand and continuing their path to the cafeteria. “But you have no idea how many things I have to tell you, Evan.”
“And I can’t wait to hear them.” Evan smiled. “What do you want to eat?”
Lily ordered a sandwich and a pumpkin juice and Evan asked for the same thing before sitting down at one table next to the window that overlooked muggle London.
“Evan?” Lily called after a few bites on her sandwich.
“I’ve been selected to have a few of my paintings exposed at a gallery in Naples, this summer.” Lily started to tell him. “I would have to go to Italy for a couple of weeks in July.”
“What?” Evan asked in surprise. He didn’t know if he was happy for her success or sad she would spent less time in England. It was hard enough for them to see each other because no one else knew about them.
“I- I was wondering if you’d like to come with me.” Lily completed, taking him by surprise. “I mean, if you could take some time off in the Ministry. I know it’s a bit sudden, but it would-” Lily was interrupted by Evan kissing her again.
“I would love to, Lil.” He accepted. “I’ll figure it out.”
“Really?” Lily smiled, grabbing his hand with both of hers.
“Lily, of course I want to! Two weeks with you, in Italy and no family for us to hide? Lily, I love you!” He spilled.
“You-what?” Lily’s eyes widened with surprise.
“I-I love you, Lily Potter.” Evan repeated, this time more sure of himself. “And I’m tired of hiding and going around my best friend’s back. I have been crazy about you since the day I kissed you that day in my seventh year.”
“Oh, Evan.” Lily smiled, gluing their foreheads together. “I love you too. I just was afraid you didn’t want anything more serious because I’m in Italy all the time.”
“That’s temporary.” Evan assured her. “My feelings for you aren’t. I can wait other two years to have you everyday. You’re worth it, Lily.”
“Evan-” Lily had become speechless.
Ever since the night she learnt she got into RUA and they slept together, they have been casually and secretly seeing each other. Neither one knew where they would go from there so they didn’t want to risk it by telling Albus or the rest of the family who would only make pressure for them to be the perfect couple everyone expects.
It hadn’t been easy, but they had kept their ‘relationship’ secret for the past 2 years, and despite not being exclusive, neither one had seen other people. They wrote to each other every week and Lily could never wait to come back home to see him.
But they both had to realise just how much they loved each other. They didn’t need to hide anymore and surely everyone would be delighted to know they loved each other. The whole family already loved Evan.
So Lily brought her, hm, boyfriend?, closer and kissed him lightly, wishing they weren’t in a public place so she could rip his clothes off and enjoy his whole body she too missed very much.
“WHAT THE FUCK?” Albus yelled from behind, making them both split apart, closing their eyes in fear. “What the hell are you doing kissing my sister?” Albus added, coming to their side and pulling Evan to his feet.
“Albus, I can explain.” Evan tried.
“You better!” Albus yelled before the cafeteria lady gave him a ‘shh’.
“Al, please.” Lily placed herself between them, facing her brother’s green eyes. “Don’t go mad with Evan when we both have a part in this.”
“Part in what?” Albus asked with his hand ready to punch his best friend’s face.
“I love her, mate.” Evan finally said, putting his hands around Lily’s waist who smiled up at him. “We were just talking about telling you about it. I can’t hide how I feel about her anymore.”
“Anymore?” Albus repeated. “For how long you’ve been- you know?”
“Hooking up?” Lily completed for him just so she could see her brother’s discomfort. It worked. Lily was the nice one, indeed, but that didn’t apply to her siblings. “Well, hm, the first time was in, when was it, Evan?”
“The first time?” Albus repeated yet again, seeming like he couldn’t breath.
“In Hogwarts.” Evan answered her, getting her idea of torturing her brother.
“Hog-hogwarts.” Albus was changing colours. From red to purple to blue.
“And then a couple of years ago.” Lily continued. “Pretty much whenever we can ever since then.”
Albus was opening and closing his mouth like a goldfish, looking like he was going to explode, but he couldn’t do anything because his sister was in front of that little traitor that has been nailing his sister behind his back for two years.
“You little traitor.” Albus finally screamed, trying to reach Evan’s neck, but being stopped by Lily hitting his chest.
“Stop it, Albus, stop it. I love him too. Please.” She begged, staring into his eyes, trying to tell him just how much she loved his best friend.
“Albus!” A voice called them from behind, making the couple of siblings stop fighting and Evan sallow hard.
“Mr. Potter.” Evan greeted, trying his best smile.
“DAD!” Lily yelled, abandoning her brother and going to her father’s open arms and hugging him tight. “Oh, I was so worried. Mum said you were out on a mission. Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I didn’t want to upset you in your finals, pumpkin. I’m fine.” Harry assured, kissing her on the head. “Now, will you tell me why were you hitting your brother’s chest?”
“Oh.” Lily only said, looking back to her boyfriend and brother. “Right.”
“Mr. Potter, it’s all my fault.” Evan started, coming closer to the Auror. “Albus just found out in a quite awkward way that Lily and I are together. I love your daughter, Mr. Potter.”
“Oh, is that so?” Harry asked, looking between his son and daughter. “Lil?”
“It’s true, Daddy. I’m sorry we never told anyone, but we kind of liked to have us just for ourselves and not have to share it or update our status to the whole family. And there was also Albus.” Lily turned to her brother with apologetic eyes. “Al, we didn't mean to hurt you, exactly the contrary. I’m sorry, but I’m not sorry for falling for Evan.”
“You really love him, don’t you?” Albus asked and Lily only nodded as she went to hug Evan’s waist and place her head under his. “And you really love her?”
“With all my heart.” Evan promised.
“Evan,” Harry called. “Come to dinner at our place tonight. We’ll have a good opportunity to have a talk.”
“Hm, ok, Mr. Potter.” Evan agreed, suddenly freezing.
“Now, maybe you would like to know that the baby was born.” Harry informed them. “And I for one would like to meet my grandson.”
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