The shock that Lily and James were together soon became old news around Hogwarts. The girls had stopped giving Lily dirty glances, and the guys had stopped congratulating him on his "conquest". By the time when it was second nature to watch them holding hands and going everywhere with each other, it was almost time to go home for the holidays. Lily had owled her mother to ask her about staying at James' for Christmas. Her mother had agreed, although some what reluctantly. The snow that usually covered Hogwarts before the holidays was heaiver that year than ever before. The grounds keeper, Hagrid, had to use a rather odd shaped shovel to dig the snow away so the students would be able to get to their remaining classes. After Lily and James had come back from their last lesson before vacation, Professor Dumbledore had asked for them to come to his office. They walked silently, both figuring it had something to do with Head business, which they were doing very well with so far. When they arrived, Dumbledore was sitting calmy behind his desk, his crooked hands laced together under his chin, and his mind deep in thought. He stared at them over the rims of his half-moon spectacles after they had walked through the door. "Ah, Mr. Potter, Ms. Evans, I'm glad that you agreed to see me." "You wanted to ask us something, Professor?" Lily asked timidly sitting down in one of the chairs in front of the desk. "Yes, I did. First, I wish to congradulate the both of you for finally becoming a couple." James's ears turned bright red and Lily stared down at the floor intentively. He smiled at their reactions, "Even teachers know about such things, do not be embarassed. Second, I want to wish you both a safe and happy Christmas together. Third, I suddenly felt like having a ball for my seventh year students over the summer. I was wondering of you two would arrange it?" He looked expectantly at the two of them. After a moment of silence, James spoke up. "Of course, sir. We will do everything possible to make this the best ball ever." He answered in mock seriousness. Dumbledore smiled in a pleased maner at him. "I'm glad that you are willing to help, though Mr. Potter, I must question your motives." "Motives?" "Yes, are the Marauders planning any pranks for this ball?" James smiled cryptically at the Professor and tapped his nose. Lily rolled her eyes at him. "There will be no pranks," She shot a warning glare at James before finishing her sentence. "I'll make sure of it." "Thank you, Ms. Evans. Quite frankly, though, I think a prank would do this school some good. Since I believe the last one was when you changed Mr. Potter's hair color." Lily smirked at James, whose hand had flown immediatly to his hair. "I think you two should start packing. Have a nice vacation." "You too, Professor." Lily called back to him as she followed a rather embarassed looking James back to the common room. After they had left, Dumbledore started working on a letter, and without glancing up he said, "You can come out Minerva." Professor McGonagall stepped out from behind a large bureau. Her face had a look of shock. "You're just going to let the two of them be at his home together! Albus, you know the danger. We can't risk it." "Minerva, this letter here is for his parents. A guard will be placed around the house at all times. Yes, I know the danger, but what are we supposed to do? Stop true love?" "How did you do it? How did you get the two of them to come together?" "They just needed a push in the right direction, that's all." Dumbledore sighed looking up. "Fawkes, could you deliver this to the Potters?" The phoenix let out a small note before disappearing with the letter. "Let us hope that we are doing the right thing." ******************************** "Lily, are you absoultely sure that you want to spend your Christmas with this idiot?" Brianna asked, pointing at James, who was completely oblivious to their conversation. "Bri, he's my boyfriend! Only I can call him an idiot." "I heard that!" "Whatever, Potter." Brianna rolled her eyes and looked Lily straight in the eye. As Lily looked into her friend's blue eyes, she saw something that was never there before: envy and saddness. She immediately understood: Bri was heartbroken over Sirius. After the Quidditch match, Sirius and Rachel had annouced that they were a couple, and hadn't been apart since. Lily and Li could see Brianna's saddness showing more and more over the past few weeks. She wasn't paying attention in classes, she wasn't eating, and she wasn't talking much to anyone. She had begun to get Lily and Li very worried about her health, and they had disscussed daily about hurting Rachel and Sirius for doing this to Brianna. "Bri, are you okay?" Lily asked comfortingly. "Yeah, why?" "Bri, don't lie to us. We know something's wrong." Li said, worried. "I know you two know already, you guys are too smart for your own good." Brianna gave them a small smile as she said this, looking up at them with tears flowing silently down her cheeks. "James, could you give us a moment, please?" Lily asked. Confused, James nodded and went to find the other Marauders. Lily turned back to Brianna, and put her arm around her shoulders. "It's okay. He's an idiot. All he looks for in a girl is blonde hair, an IQ of a bludger, a stick-thin body, and big, well, you know." Li turned her laugh into a hacking cough, and Bri smirked at her joke. It was the perfect way to describe the type of women that Sirius dated. "Just forget about him, Bri. Find someone who will listen to you, and someone who will love you and be there for you when you need them." Li suggested. Brianna looked at both of her friends and smiled. "You guys are right. I can do much better than Black. I mean, he's a friend of Potter." "Hey!" "No offence, Lil. But your boyfriend has a bastard for a friend." "Well, that "bastard" as you called him, is staying at James' also. How about I talk to him over the holidays, and try to make him come around?" The smile that came onto Brianna's face at that moment, would be able to light up a room it was so big. "Are you serious? You would really do that?" "Yeah, I'll try." "Wait Lil. You just said to her to forget about Sirius. Now you're telling her to hold on to him?" Li objected. "I just remembered that he would be at the Potter mansion, too. I'll have plently of chances to talk to him. He's easy to get the truth out of." "I don't care what you think, Li. I think it's bloody brilliant." "Bri, anything that has to do with Sirius to you is brilliant." "Oh shut up, Li." Brianna smacked Li in the head, slightly harder then she meant to, and caused Li to fall over onto Lily. "Brilliant, Bri. Absoultely brilliant. I'm gonna have a headache for a month now." "Oops, my bad." Bri put a finger on her lips, trying to look innocent, making Lily and Li burst into hysterics. "What's so funny? What did we miss?" The girls looked up to see that James had returned; but not without his entourage. Behind him stood Remus, Sirius, and to everyone's dismay, Rachel. "Nothing." "Seemed like something." Sirius said sitting down in front of Brianna, with Rachel on his lap, her arms around his neck. Lily looked over at Brianna slightly, and saw that she had become very interested in reading a book upside down. The group continued talking to each other in small groups. Sirius and Rachel did, well, you could probably guess what they were doing, Remus read, Li and Bri gossiped, and Lily and James talked about the ball. "So, I was thinking about doing a Valentine's Day ball. What do you think?" Lily asked. "That sounds good. The Great Hall could be decorated with those pink and red stuff." Lily rolled her eyes at James' suggestion. "Yes. Using confetti is a great idea. I'm sure that Dumbledore would book a band. It should also be formal, too. Dress robes, not casual." "Good idea. We'll talk to Dumbledore when we get back to school." Lily nodded just as the train came to an arupt stop at Platform 9 and 3/4. The friends grabbed their bags and followed the other hordes of students off the train and onto the platform. "Bye, Li. I'll write." Lily said, hugging her friend. "You better." Li smirked. "Bye, Lily." Bri said hugging her. "Be sure to talk to him." She added in an aftertone. "I will." Lily waved at her friends as she followed James out of the barrier. As they started walking towards the Potters, Lily noticed that Rachel hadn't left Sirius' side since they got off the train. "Why is Rachel still here?" Lily leaned in and whispered to James. "Sirius invited her to stay over. He made me give in." "Great. Perfect." Lily muttered unhappily as they came up to a middle aged couple, smiling at them. "Hello. Oh, you must be Lily. I'm Joelle Potter, dear. It's a pleasure to meet you." Lily smiled and shook hands with Joelle Potter. She had long, wavy brown hair, and had James' hazel eyes. "This is my husband, Jeff Potter." "Pleasure to meet you, Lily." She shook hands with a man who looked exactly like James, except for the eyes; he had brown ones. "It's wonderful to meet you both." Lily said smiling. "Hey? What about me? Don't I get a hug or something?" James pouted. Joelle laughed. "Yes, you do. You too Sirius." She pulled both of the boys into a big hug, blocking off their air. "Mum. We get your point! You're choking us!" James gasped. "Sorry dear." She let go of James and Sirius, both of them gasping dramaticly for breath. "You almost killed us." Sirius gasped in between deep breaths. "Are you alright, Sirius?" Rachel asked, placing her hand on his back. "Yeah. Oh, Joelle. This is my girlfriend, Rachel. I'm sure Prongs here told you about her." "Yes, he did." Joelle said, sticking out her hand towards Rachel's. "Pleasure." It was obvious to everyone that the only things that Joelle Potter had heard about Rachel were bad ones. "It's absoultely lovely to finally meet someone like you, Mrs. Potter." Rachel gushed. Lily rolled her eyes, and looked over at James, who was pretending to gag. "Well, now that we're all on good terms with one another, lets go." Sirius started making his way towards the parking lot of Kings Cross, where a Ministry car was waiting for them. They climbed into the car as it set off away from London, and into a more secluded area. The ride to the Potter mansion was a long one. It wasn't until a hour had passed did they see the street where the Potters lived. The driver turned down Silverman street, passing houses that looked like castles, and cars that looked like houses. "You alright there, Lily?" James teased, seeing the look on her face. Her mouth was parted slightly, and her eyes where as big as apples. "Ah, here we are." Joelle sighed as the car pulled into a long driveway that was surrounded by large trees on either side at the end of the street. The driveway wound around so many bends that Lily thought she would get lost just in the driveway. It took the car several minutes to finally get to a house that sat on a small hill overlooking the rest of Silverman street. The house was litteraly, only a bit smaller than Hogwarts was, and was so beautiful on the outside, it scared Lily a little how much money James and his family had. The group got out of the car and made their way towards the house that would be one of the most important in their historys.
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