Chapter 13 : Christmas is here!
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A/n: Christmas is here! This chapter is very adlib, don’t expect much.
**Christmas is here!**
The 21st of December had finally arrived. While Lily wasn’t ecstatic that Adea and Kayla were leaving, she wasn’t entirely depressed either. It wasn’t anything to do with them; it was more to do with the fact that the majority of the school would be gone for two weeks. Practically heaven, not entirely but practically.
James was slightly more upset. One of the Marauders would be out for the season. Snape would be in the building but they wouldn’t be able to prank him. It was wrong, just wrong.
-Stupid pact, who’s idea was the freakin’ pact anyway? - He did however; enjoy one aspect of the situation in hand. Lily would be staying. While Jane and Sirius were off and Remus was off reading or moping about Kayla’s absence, he and Lily would be alone in a just about empty castle, now if she’d just go out with him.
Jane and Sirius were over the moon. They’d only just started going out and they were willing to spend as much time together as possible (the honeymoon period as Remus called it).
Remus wasn’t happy at all, as was expected. He wished Kayla could stay, but his parents were taking a trip to China for Christmas (why, he didn’t know) and he had to stay while she had to go.
On the morning of their departure, only Head Girl and Head Boy were allowed to see them off, to make sure the first years were ok. James was helping Peter with his trunk while Lily said bye to Adea, Kayla and Gabrielle.
‘Okay, you haven’t forgotten anything have you?’
‘Have you got your wands?’
‘OK well have a safe journey and don’t be sick’
‘We won’t mum’ Adea joked. Lily turned to Kayla and Gabrielle. ‘ Now you guys have a nice Christmas ok?’ and she hugged both of them. ‘I’ll send your presents over on Christmas Eve, they’ll be under your tree on Christmas morning’.
She then turned to Adea. ‘You have a good holiday, I’ll send your Christmas present on Christmas Eve too, it’ll be on your bedside table in the morning, okay?’ they all hugged one last time before boarding the train. Lily looked onwards to make sure everybody was on when she noticed a first year girl looking fearfully at the train while her friends tried to get her to board.
‘Come on Laura, the train leaves in two minutes’
‘It won’t hurt you I promise’
‘Will you hurry up, you’ll miss it’
‘If you don’t get on, I’ll drag you in’
‘What seems to be the problem here?’ the little girl looked at Lily and then back at the train.
‘I don’t like trains, they make me feel sick’
‘How did you get on in September?’
‘My parents were there to see me off, it was different, and I don’t want to go’
‘But they’ll be waiting for you’
‘Isn’t there another way’ meanwhile her friends were looking even more frantic. Lily looked kindly at the girl and hugged her. ‘Listen to me, as long they’re in there’ she indicated the girl’s friends. ‘I promise nothing will happen, trust me I know, now you’d better board’ the girl looked at Lily and back again before she finally boarded as the whistle sounded. She waved at her as the train left the station and Lily waved back happily as she called ‘Merry Christmas’.
‘That was a nice thing you did’ called a voice. Lily turned round and saw James and for some reason her heart jumped a bit at seeing his face. ‘What? Oh that, I guess’
‘Your sister, is she older or younger than you?’
‘Too bad, you’d make a good older sister, you’d make quite a good mother as well’ Lily gave him an odd look. ‘Erm thanks’. James jabbed a thumb over his shoulder.
‘We’d better get back’ Lily smiled. ‘Yeah we better had’ they made their way back
through Hogsmeade and over to Hogwarts.
‘James you’re not helping’ Lily said as she tried to finish decorating the Christmas tree in their chamber. James looked up. ‘The red bauble should be on that side, am I helping now’
‘Cute Potter, very cute’. She replied, as her hands became tangled in fairy lights. ‘Why can’t you just use your wand like normal people? ’ He flicked his wand the fairy lights disappeared as real fairies sat in the branches of their Christmas tree. Lily undid the fairies and the lights reappeared. ‘Hey!’
‘That’s not how things are done at my house, we use lights and we don’t use magic’
‘Well what about how things are done at my house’
‘If you cared about how things are done at your house, you’d get off your arse and help’
‘No, you’re right I don’t care about how things are done at my house, but I do want fairies’
‘That’s what I’ve been saying’
‘Oh… Hey! Wait a second’ he protested. Lily merely laughed.
James crossed his arms in a childish huff. Lily walked over to him. ‘Aaaaawwww poor little Jamesie wants his fairy wairies’ Lily mocked with her arm around James. James scowled at her.
‘Well if you’re gonna have lights I’ll just put the fairies in with them’ he leaned over Lily and conjured some fairies. As he retreated he found his face very close to Lily’s, too close. They gazed at each other for a moment. ‘Oh, the tree! The tree yeah the tree isn’t done, I’d hate to have an unfinished tree for Christmas wouldn’t you?’ she abruptly jumped up and made her way to the tree. James sighed and joined her.
‘Yeah wouldn’t want that’ he muttered.
Lily continued to decorate the tree, and James refused to help. He just flipped through Which Broomstick? While Lily did all the work. She finally found something she couldn’t do. Well without magic anyway. With their six and a half foot Christmas tree and her 5’5 height, it was just about impossible for her to place the star on top of the tree the muggle way, she’d been put off ladders for life, there was only one way. She turned around. ‘James!’
‘Now, will you help?’
‘Sure what with?’
‘Oh sure’ all the while never looking up, he raised his wand. ‘Wingardium Lev-’ Lily rolled her eyes. ‘Stop, I mean the muggle way’
‘Oh, well then no’
‘Don’t you just love me?’ she let another frustrated groan. ‘Lily why can’t you just do it
the magic way?' ‘That’s just not how we do it at home’.
‘So make a new tradition’
‘You’ve never spent a Christmas here before have you?’ he asked. Lily scowled at him. ‘No I haven’t for your information’. James sighed took the star, reached up and placed the star on the Christmas tree. ‘Happy now?’
Lily made some Hot Chocolate and handed a mug to James. He took a sip. ‘Hey how come this tastes better than my hot chocolate?’ Lily smirked. ‘Because it was made the muggle way’ James stuck out his tongue. They sat by the fireplace and silently sipped on their hot chocolates. James spoke up. ‘So Lily tell me something’
‘Sure what’s up?’
‘How come you didn’t go home for Christmas this year’ Lily paused contemplating her answer.
‘Well this is my last year, I thought it’d be nice if I spent it here’. James laughed. ‘And that would be very convincing, if you weren’t such a bad liar’
‘I am not a bad liar!’
‘The eyes, yeah, they give it all away’. Lily stuck out her tongue as James shook his head. ‘Seriously why didn’t you go home?’
'Maybe I just didn’t want to ok?’
‘For someone who didn’t want to go home, you sure do miss it’ Lily turned to look at James and remembered Petunia’s letter. “Don’t come home” suddenly the tears started up again. ‘Lily? Are you ok?’ she wiped her tears and nodded. ‘Come on tell me what’s the matter?’ he persisted. Lily set her mug down and got up. ‘Come with me’ James nodded and wordlessly followed her to her room.
Lily shut the door as James looked around; this was the first time he actually got to take a look before being ushered out. Lily sat on her bed and James followed. She took out a box from underneath her bed. It was covered in mint green raw silk. She mutely opened it and handed some paper to James. James who was quite confused now, he knew Lily was muggleborn. However he’d always believed that once magic was in the family, parchment became a way of life. James unfolded the paper and read the letter.
‘Your sister’ he noted, Lily nodded in response. James reread the letter. ‘You know I’m sure this is a one-off’ Lily shook her head ‘Does she always treat you like that, like she’s embarrassed of you?’ she shook her head again.
‘Well there you go then there’ll be a reason’ Lily shook her head a thrid time and spoke ‘That’s the first time she’s talked to me since I got my acceptance letter’ James’ eyes widened ‘Hmm, well my sister’s a lot younger than me but I’m pretty sure siblings aren’t supposed to do that’
‘So you know why I stayed at school’
‘Yep. Hey listen if you ever want to talk about well this, you know you can come to me. But honestly, you should talk to Sirius’
‘Trust me ok?’ Lily looked sceptical. James got up. ‘Well Miss Evans as much as I enjoyed being in here, we’re obviously not here to do what I would like, so come on lets go wandering’ Lily slapped him playfully and followed James out of the room.
‘Hey Remus, have you seen Sirius?’ Remus looked up from his book. ‘Yeah, he’s only just realised what to get you for Christmas’
‘Oh’ Remus went back to his book as Jane sat studying him. Remus looked up. ‘Can
I help you?’ Jane smiled. ‘She misses you too’
‘What are you talking about?’
‘She’s alright as well’
‘Who’s to say I was thinking about Kayla’
‘Who’s to say I was talking about Kayla’ Jane retorted promptly, Remus groaned. Jane smiled again. He looked at her wearily.
‘She’s thinking of you too’
‘And how would you know that’
‘Don’t hide it Remus, you think about her all the time’ and with that she quietly walked out of the portrait hole to find her boyfriend. Remus smiled and contemplated what Jane had said. ‘Sirius is right, there’s something about that girl’
James and Lily sat in the Room of Requirement. Lily’s choice. So of course, the room was identical to the living room at her house during Christmas. Right down to every last picture. Lily walked to the fireplace and looked at the mantle shelf. She picked up a picture of her and Petunia when they were younger. Both wrapped in scarves, big jackets and bobble hats, playing with the snow.
She turned around and looked at James shyly. ‘Sorry, you must find this really boring, I’m not always this homesick, promise’ James smiled broadly ‘Actually I kinda like it. It’s different, very homesy, very nice, hey you wanna’ bring the guys here on Christmas Eve and we’ll have one of those traditional Christmases that muggles love so much. You know hot chocolate by the fire, sharing stories blah blah blah’ James listed, Lily laughed. ‘Sure’
‘Oh, oh, oh and we’ll skip dinner in the great hall and have the house elves bring it here’ Lily nodded. ‘Of course James, and I’ll have the pictures and the stockings changed’
‘Oh cool and we’ll have their presents brought over to our common room and in the morning and we’ll all open them there’ Lily pinched James’ cheeks. ‘You are so cute when you get all excited’ James stuck out his tongue. James walked over to mantle shelf to observe the pictures Lily had been looking at.
He picked a picture up of a brunette. ‘This your sister?’ Lily walked over to him, looked and nodded. ‘Yep that’s her’. Lily looked at the picture and realised that the girl in the picture looked quite different to the woman in her dreams.
–I guess they're right when they say, you’re face cut isn’t determined until you’ve fully stopped growing- the brunette in the picture was not horse faced. She had a longish face but was in general quite pretty.
‘No offence Lily, I mean aside from the fact that you’re both quite pretty’ –Oh you are way more than quite pretty- ‘you don’t look a thing alike’ Lily mulled it over and cast another appraising glance at the face in the picture.
He was right, to be fair they only had one thing in common; their hair was set in elegant waves. But that was about it. ‘I guess we don’t, she becomes horse faced in later life’ James gave her an odd look. ‘And how would you know that’
‘Uh I don’t know I have no idea where that came from’ James nodded though not completely believing her excuse. Lily smiled nervously before changing the subject.
‘So what’s your sister called?’ James smiled before replying. ‘Allegra’ Lily smiled as well. ‘That’s a beautiful name’
‘How old is she?’
‘Aaaaawwww, tell me about her’
‘She’s beautiful. She has black hair just like me, only its not messy. She doesn’t have hazel eyes; she has blue ones like my dad. She’s quite tall for her age as well’ Lily laughed at how sweet James was. ‘Oh and the way she laughs, just like a little girl. Well, I suppose she is one but whenever she laughs, it makes everyone else laugh as well’
‘Does she go to school?’
‘Yes she’s really clever, except her teachers think she’s a bit of nightmare, her magic always goes off. She has short temper you see, it’s really funny when she gets angry, not she cries though’
Lily took the picture from James’ hand and put it back. ‘Do you have a picture of her?’ James grinned.
‘Of course I do, come on’ He and Lily went to their chamber.
Lily hesitated a bit before walking into his room but walked in anyway. James was searching through his trunk. ‘Aha, got ya’ he handed her a photo album. Lily flicked through it and gasped. The very first picture was of James holding his little sister in St. Mungos, when, Lily noticed, he was in his third year.
The photos were taken right through her four years. One of Lily’s favourites was of James throwing his sister in the air and catching her repeatedly. ‘Yeah got in a bit of trouble for that one’. There was another one of James and Allegra on broomsticks. The picture couldn’t catch all of the movement, but from what Lily could see she’d turn out to be just as good as her brother. ‘That was when she was only three, not bad huh?’ Lily couldn’t help but grin.
The last picture in the album was a portrait of James and Allegra. Both wearing dress robes. James had his hand on Allegra's shoulder. The girl in the picture was so pretty and Lily knew she’d be gorgeous when she grew up. She handed the photo album back to James. ‘Oh she's so beautifuI bet you’re a great big brother, it certainly sounds like it’ James grinned his cocky smile.
‘Well I don’t mean to brag but…’
Lily couldn’t help but wonder. In September that smile would’ve taken her to Hell’s land but why was it so okay now? In fact in all honesty it was sorta’ cute. Not cute cute she assured herself, kind of little boy cute. ‘Hey I’d better get to bed’
‘You do that, sweet dreams’
‘You too’ and with that she left.
Christmas Eve had finally arrived. James was talking with the House Elves, to make sure that dinner could reach them. Lily was in the Room of Requirement making sure that everything was just right. The living room looked just like Lily’s but the family photos had been replaced.
There was one of all the girls, the Christmas before last. It was taken in the Three Broomsticks and all of them were wearing Santa hats. There was one of the Marauders looking particularly devious. One of Remus and Kayla and one of Sirius and Jane, only taken the night before. There was also one family photo each.
For Lily it was the one of her and Petunia. For Jane, it was one of Jane and all her cousins. For Remus, it was a normal family portrait. For Sirius, it was one of him and a girl who graduated last year. Lily remembered her to be Andromeda Black of Ravenclaw. Lily found this rather odd, as she was sure that Sirius had a brother and a family. The one of James was even weirder. It was one that she hadn’t seen in the photo album. It was portrait style of Allegra, with James and Sirius on either side of her.
-They must be closer than I thought-
‘Guess who?’ Lily smiled. She turned around. ‘Hey you, so how’d it go with the House Elves?’
‘Aaaahhhh you know, they were so thrilled to serve somewhere other than the Great Hall plus you know the Potter charm added, no problem’ Lily nodded absentmindedly as she ran a critical glance over the room. James watched as her eyes stopped at the curtains. She started eyeing them the way James did to Snape. Like the curtains were her arch nemesis.
‘Well get your charm over here and transfigure these curtains’ Lily ordered and she shook her head. ‘What mum and dad were thinking, I’ll never know’ she muttered.
‘What’s wrong with the curtains’ James enquired, puzzled Lily tutted impatiently and sent him a glare to match. ‘James when a room had a deep red thing going on you just don’t put lemon yellow curtains in with it’ James rolled his eyes and muttered something that sounded suspiciously like ‘Girls’.
With a wave of his wand, the curtains became a dark gold with an elaborate print on it. Lily clapped her hands. ‘Perfect’. James mimicked her; she sharply turned her head and gave him a piercing glare.
She turned to give the room another sweeping glance. Her eyes again stopped at an old ornament her mother had. It was a clown and frankly hideous, as a child Lily was quite frightened of it. She whipped her wand out but James grabbed the clown and started running.
‘Oh no you don’t, I like this thing’
‘James bring that thing back here, it’s awful’ they stopped at opposite sides of a table, each trying to outsmart the other. Going this way then that ‘Well I like it’
‘Oh yeah, well I don’t’ both of them laughed and continued the chase.
Sirius, Jane and Remus made their entrance but found an interesting sight on arriving. James and Lily playing a nice game of tig. Sirius grinned and was about to join them when Jane held out an arm and stopped him. ‘Can’t you see this is the first step?’
‘To what?’ Jane opened her mouth. Remus shook his head. ‘Don’t worry you get used to it’
The clown lay forgotten. The tables had turned. Now James chased Lily as she squealed and ran. Sirius cleared his throat. The two turned around to find their friends. ‘Oh hello, how long have you been here?’
‘Long enough’ Lily looked at them apologetically before giving Jane a hug.
‘Merry Christmas!’ she proceeded to give Sirius and Remus hugs too as the boys exchanged “manly” handshakes and a hug between James and Jane. Jane looked around and her eyes lit up. She had spent Christmas with the Evans’ the year before and had had a lot of fun.
‘This is nice. Christmas, Evans style. My second favourite’ Jane praised making Lily smile. She and Jane went to the table and started setting it, as dinner was being taken care of.
Once the plates and cutlery were set, the boys were called. They said their prayers and the food magically (would you believe it) appeared. You had your potatoes, the largest turkey Lily had ever seen, gravy, brussel sprouts (no one touched those), stuffing… you get the jist of it right? They laughed, talked, joked and just had fun.
After dinner, they sat by the fireplace, had hot chocolate and just reminisced. They talked about past Christmases, their family traditions, and Christmas incidents. Both Lily and Jane noticed that Sirius never had any of his own home experiences to share. He contributed very little, but when he did it was always something that had happened at James’ house. The boys seemed not to notice but whenever Sirius added a word or two the girls would exchange a glance.
At 11.30 pm, they left. When asked why he was ushering them out before midnight, Sirius laughed nervously and said that he couldn’t let the night become Christmas before going to bed. James and Remus knew why he wanted to put an end to the discussion; Lily and Jane had observed him getting more and more uncomfortable as the chat had progressed.
With a final goodbye and a last “Merry Christmas, see you tomorrow” they left the room and went their separate ways.
James and Lily sat in their common room, eyeing the presents. ‘Do you think we should open them? technically it’s Christmas’
‘I don’t really know, but you know maybe just one’
‘Which one though I mean we can’t open the ones from Sirius and co. because then they’ll be upset that they weren’t here’
‘How about the ones we got for each other?’
‘That could work’ they looked at the presents again, calling their names.
‘Yeah okay, lets do that’ they ran to the presents and sought out the ones from each other.
‘You should go first. It’s not very good but I didn’t know what else to get you’ James mumbled shyly.
Lily tore apart the wrapping paper to find a velvet-covered box inside. She gasped when she saw what lay inside. It was a beautiful sterling silver necklace. The locket was an “L” with a lily wrapped around it. The flower had beautiful frosted effect to make it stand out.
‘Thank you James, you’re the best’ she hugged him, James let out a sigh of relief and started to open his own present. They were robes, not just any robes though. They were the Appleby Arrows robes, personalised Appleby Arrows robes. He was shocked. He stared at his name on the back and then to Lily and then back again.
‘How, how did you do this?’ she looked sheepish. ‘I bought some normal ones and then transfigured the name on the back’ James looked at her with his mouth open. ‘If you don’t like them, I can take them back. Sirius told me you liked them but he was probably messing you probably like the Wasps or something’ James shook his head
‘No, no, no I like the Arrows. This is, this is…you rock’ he hugged Lily. Lily let out a sigh of relief identical to James’ a few minutes ago. They got up to go to bed when a buzzing sound was heard. James and Lily were confused –where is that noise coming from- James looked around the room as Lily looked up.
‘Did you let Sirius in here any time this week?’
‘Uhhh yeah, he needed to borrow a cloak, why?’
‘Did you leave him in the lounge, alone?’
‘Might have done’
‘Because the prat’s gone and charmed the mistletoe’
‘Oh…ooooohhhhh’ Lily nodded she made to run away but found she was rooted to the spot. ‘Okay you try’ James was hesitant –I’d really rather stay here and take part in the outcome of the tradition- but he tried nonetheless. His attempts were fruitless. Lily’s eyes were shut, tightly shut and she was muttering to herself. ‘No, no, no this is not happening, so not happening’
‘Am I really that bad?’
‘For the safety of your feelings I’d really rather not answer that’ she quipped and he stuck out his tongue. ‘So what are we going to do?’ he enquired ‘No idea’
‘Well you know we can’t stay here all night’
‘I know that’
‘How about just a quick kiss?’
‘Just a quick one?’
‘I can do that’
Lily stood there feeling self-conscious as James leaned in. Their lips brushed, both felt as if a huge electric current had rushed through them, as they broke apart. The mistletoe stopped buzzing and each left for their room without saying another word.
The awkwardness felt on the previous night had almost completely been forgotten. Lily had gotten up really early and was getting a glass of milk (all on her own, no help from the house elves) for James. She had her can of Pepsi, Lily loved fizzy drinks of all kinds but you, of course, couldn’t find them in the Wizarding world anywhere so this year she’d brought her own stock. When James bounded into the room and headed for the tree. ‘James’ he turned around to where Lily was standing. ‘Have you brushed?’
‘OK, here you go’ she handed him his glass of milk.
He glanced at her blue can and looked at her, eyebrow raised. ‘What?’
‘What on earth is that?’
‘OK so what’s Pepsi?’
‘A fizzy drink’
‘A fizzy drink’
‘Yes, must you repeat everything I say?’
‘Sorry, forget it but I still think your weird’
‘Good I can’t be arsed to explain to you what it is, we have presents’
James looked back round to his original destination and his face lit up. ‘PRESENTS!!!!’ he yelled as he ran over to the tree, Lily laughed and shook her head. James picked up the first one when Lily quickly stopped him. ‘What?!’ he asked scandalised ‘Remember? We have to wait for the other guys’ James swore. An idea had just come to him.
He ran into his room and extracted a mirror from his desk. ‘Sirius Black’ he spoke into the mirror. No reply. –Figures, the prick’s sleeping on Christmas Day- ‘SIRIUS BLACK’ he yelled into the mirror and in the distance he heard a ‘what the hell’ that sounded suspiciously like Lily –No shit, shut up, fine- a very sleepy looking Sirius appeared. ‘What the fuck do you want, I was sleeping Prongs’
‘Language, language. Merry Christmas’
‘Christmas? Oh my god Christmas…IT’S CHRISTMAS’ he cheered and James heard
a “now he realises” which he knew came from Remus – not a word from you, I wasn’t going to say anything, you’re speaking to yourself by the way- ‘We’re coming mate’
Five minutes later, Jane, Sirius and Remus could be heard knocking at the door. Cries of merry Christmas soon rang through the room as they exchanged greetings. They then ran to the Christmas tree and attacked the presents.
Lily was happy with what she’d gotten this year. Kayla had gotten her a beautiful emerald green shawl (you might think they’re old ladyish but if you play your cards right they can look pretty good). Adea had gotten her a set of chiffon dress robes, in lilac. Jane had gotten her a copy ‘Reviving the forgotten’ a book on ancient ways of healing and healing potions (as healing was the career she was looking into). Sirius had gotten her the hugest box of sugar quills on the face of the Earth. From Remus she got a set of the finest quills (eagle feather, pheasant feather, peacock feather etc.) and from Peter she received a box of Chocolate Frogs. Her parents had gotten Lily some new clothes and sent a new pack of Pepsi’s. Petunia sent well nothing while her Grandmother had sent her a considerable amount of money.
James was content too. Sirius had gotten him the best of Pranks. Dungbombs, Dr.Fillibuster’s wet-start fireworks, nose-biting teacups, two bars of Frogspawn soap and much more. Remus had gotten James ‘Quidditch through the Ages’. Peter had gotten James a massive box of Bertie Botts. Kayla had gotten James an Appleby Arrows scarf. Adea had given him a sweater. Jane had gotten him a massive box of Ice Mice (his favourite). His parents had gotten him the latest broomstick: the silver arrow.
The five friends then proceeded to the Great Hall to have breakfast and enjoy Christmas day.
A/n: That’s the end of this chapter. Classes start next chapter and then we proceed to Valentine’s Day. Slight (very very slight) progress in the James/Lily department.
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