Chapter 16 : Graduation
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Chapter Sixteen: Graduation
With the Inter House Quidditch Cup behind them the reality of the N.E.W.T.s tests hit them like a ton of bricks. Lily and Dominique we on the verge of a nervous breakdown and Peter had already had two. Both girls spent all their time, minus the occasional patrols for Lily, in the Library. James and Sirius gave up on their many attempts to calm the girl’s nerves when Dominique hexed them for trying. Instead they joined them amongst the piles of seven years worth of notes and stacks of books.
The night before the tests were to begin McGonagall called the Lily and James to her office where she informed that they were to welcome the test proctors with herself and Professor Dumbledore when they arrived that evening. By the time they left the McGonagall’s office Lily was practically in hysterics, her body shacking and breathing fast.
"Lily it will be ok.” James soothed as they walked down the stairs.
“What if I make a bad impression or say something wrong? What if they dock me points for it? What will I do then?” James looked both ways making sure no one saw them before pulling Lily into a nearby broom closet.
“Lily look at me.” James held Lily’s face in between his hands. “You are a smart, charming, and beautiful young woman they would be fools not to like you. Now I want you to take a deep breath and calm down.” James paused as Lily took three deep breaths closing her eyes and leaning her head against the wall as she did so. “Better?”
“Yes thank you.” Lily managed a small smile.
“You’re welcome.” James gave her a quick kiss before cracking open the door to see if the hall was clear than lead Lily out to the entrance hall.
“Ah here they are now.” Dumbledore announced seeing Lily and James round the corner. “Professors it is my pleasure to introduce you to our Head Boy and Girl, James Potter and Lily Evans.” Lily and James shook hands with each of the test administrators in turn. “If you will excuse me I need to address the seventh years. I have asked Mr. Potter and Miss Evans to show you to where you will be staying.” Dumbledore bowed walking off to the Great Hall.
“Right this way Professors.” James led the way up the stairs.
James showed the Professors to their rooms while Lily went to the kitchen to ask the house elves to bring up the Professor’s dinner. Dumbledore had invited the Professors to eat in the Great Hall, but they had decline as they were tired from traveling. Thirty minutes later James and Lily rejoined their friends for dinner.
“So what are they like?” Dominique asked.
“They seem nice.” Lily shrugged, “Will have to wait and see I guess.”
“Mainly they are just old. I think they might even be older then Dumbledore.” James added.
“I can’t decide whether I actually want to sleep tonight or study.” Peter said looking green.
“I’d say sleep. It would be awful to fall asleep during the tests or not be able to think because you are too tired to think.” Remus said not bothering to look up from his notes.
“I don’t know why you keep going over those Moony I swear you have them memorized already.” Sirius said.
“I may have missed something.” Remus mumbled.
“Leave him alone Sirius.” Dominique swatted Sirius playfully on the arm.
After dinner the whole group locked themselves in the Library till Madam Price kicked them out. By the time they reached the Gryffindor common room all the other students had gone to bed. Too nervous to sleep just yet James, Sirius, and Remus pulled all the chairs together so they could continue studying. The first to fall asleep was Peter around midnight, but it was not until the girls began to fall asleep that they called it a night.
That night was full of restless dreams for everyone. They dreamed of tests that turned into duels, being late for tests, being told they were too stupid to take tests, and much more. Determined not to be late or miss a last minute chance to study, Lily, Dominique, and Remus set early alarms. They were met an hour later by James, Sirius, Frank, Peter, and Alice at the Gryffindor table in the Great Hall. Breakfast was a quiet one except when someone had a question.
Once more seventh years began to gather in the Great Hall McGonagall started passing out schedules for the tests. Written tests were to take place in the morning followed by practical after lunch. Depending on the number of classes taken determined how many tests a student had in one day.
“Looks like we’re starting with Transfigurations.” Lily sighed.
“I hope I can remember everything!” Dominique looked nervously at her schedule.
At nine o’clock those taking the Transfiguration N.E.W.T.s, which was almost everyone in the seventh year, entered the Great Hall once again to find the long House tables had been replaced by individual desks. Once everyone was seated to McGonagall’s satisfaction one of the Test Administrators gave a long speech about what was and was not allowed during the test. Amongst the listed items were any forms of spelled quill or ink. McGonagall and another Professor went around collecting any of the illegal items. Then it was time for the test.
The test lasted two hours spanning all seven years of their Transfiguration education. Occasionally someone would glance up to look at a friend, but would quickly look back down when they noticed one of the professors looking their direction.
“Quills down!” Yelled the Professor “Accio tests!” The tests flew off the desks and landed neatly in front of the Professor.
“You are all dismissed.” Announced Professor McGonagall, “However do not forget that your practical test for Transfiguration will take place this afternoon in the Great Hall.”
That was how the rest of the week went, one to two written tests in the morning early afternoon and practical tests in the afternoon. Throughout the week several seventh year students were sent to the hospital wing having gone hysterical do to stress, one of them was Peter. Lily and Dominique spent every minute when they were not taking tests studying. James, Sirius, and Remus had to drag the girls away from their books at night. Their last test was Friday and it was Defense Against the Dark Arts. No one was surprised when Sirius and James finished early just like they did when they had taken their O.W.L.s. Remus, Lily, and Dominique on the other hand checked and rechecked all of their answers until time was up while Peter scribbled answers until the paper flew out from under him.
They waited in line that afternoon to take their Defense Against the Dark Arts practical test. One by one each of them went into the hall and preformed whatever was asked. Then just like that they were done. Dominique was the last one to walk out of the Hall. She was met by a kiss from Sirius and hugs of relief from everyone else.
“What do you say we enjoy the summer sun?” James asked taking Lily’s hand.
“Sounds like a great idea.” Sirius said and headed for the door his arm around Dominique’s waist.
They walked towards the lake in silence no one knew what to say, the shock of no longer being students was still fresh. Slight fear also had begun to grow. While they had been inside Hogwarts under the watchful eyes of the professors and the protection of Dumbledore, now they would have to live as young adults in a world thrown into chaos.
As they walked on, James and Lily in the lead, Dominique noticed James seemed very nervous, he kept fidgeting with something in his pocket. She watched as he looked back at Sirius nodding slightly. Sirius nodded back turning to Remus and nodding. Remus nodded back. Sirius and Remus began to slow down slowing Dominique and Peter.
“This way.” Sirius whispered into Dominique’s ear while taking her hand and guiding her closer to the lake.
“What’s going on?” Dominique asked.
“You’ll see.” Sirius smiled.
James walked Lily closer to the willow tree who branches hung over the lake. James listened as Lily talked about their N.E.W.T.s and about how McGonagall had helped her get an interview with one of the best Healers at St. Mungo’s.
“It’s hard to think about the future even when it’s right on your doorstep.” Lily sighed.
“I already know what I want for my future.” James said as he turned his head to look at Lily.
“And what’s that?” Lily smiled at James.
“Lily you know I love you right?” James took her hands in his.
“Yes.” Lily looked confused.
“Lily I have given this a lot of thought and,” Lily gasped as James got down on one knee, “Lily I love you more than anything in the world, you are my world. I want nothing more than to spend the rest of my life with you.” James pulled a ring out of his pants pocket, “Lily Evans will you marry me?” James slipped the ring on her finger as tears began to trickle down her face.
“Yes.” Lily nodded laughing and crying at the same time, “Yes!” James jumped up taking Lily in his arms as cheers erupted from their friends watching James spun Lily around kissing her. Eventually Lily and James joined the others where there were hugs and handshakes of congratulations. Lily was beaming as she showed off her ring to Dominique.
They stayed out by the lake until well after the sun went down talking about the future, making wedding plans, and making promises to always stay friends. They walked back to the castle with smiles on their faces at the thought of the future outside of Hogwarts.
And there you have the last chapter of A Love to Remember. I was going to wait to post this until all the chapters had been edited and the others had chapter images, but I decided that I did not want my readers to wait any longer. I hope very much that you have enjoyed the first part of Sirius's and Dominique's story. I hope to have the next part up soon. Until than I will continued to edited ALTR and add chapter images. Please don't forget to review! Thank you!
Beautiful chapter image by Lady Malfory @ TDA