disclaimer: the characters and hogwarts and such belong to jkr James and Sirius took Lily throughout the entire Potter Estate, the pair of them adding colourful commentary on the way, such as “That’s the closet we caught Sirius snogging my cousin in,” or “Prongsie here had to sleep off a backfired spell in that bathroom, and when he woke up, he crowed like a rooster at the sound of a bell for the next week!”. The Potter’s, Lily soon realized, were financially well off, as evident from the polished wood floors to the exquisitely high ceilings, not the mention the indoor swimming pool, three living rooms (though two were usually only for entertaining, James told her), a games room, the library, and dozens of guest bedrooms. “This is my room,” James told her with a grin, after Sirius had retreated to his own. “We’ll be coming back here later.” Little did he know the irony of this statement. Rolling her eyes and playfully pushing him, Lily asked where she would be staying. “Well, that’s really up to you,” he responded, walking down the multi-roomed hallway. “This one’s Remus’ favourite.” Opening the door, it revealed a room similar to their rooms at Hogwarts. “Or,” he turned to the other side of the hall, across from his own room. “We never fancied this one much– too girly,” James contorted his face in dislike. “But, well, you’re a girl, so...” Lily laughed. “That’s very observant of you.” Peeking into the room he had suggested, she smiled. It reminded her of home. “This one will be great.” * * * “James! Sirius! Lily! Dinner’s ready!” Elizabeth Potter called up the main staircase to the second floor bedrooms. Lily and James walked down hand in hand, with Sirius bringing up the rear excitedly. “Oh, how I’ve missed your mum’s cooking!” Sirius beamed, squeezing in between them and taking his usual seat at the table. “Lily, dear,” Mrs. Potter bustled forward, “this is my husband, Richard.” A tall, aged replica of James stood in front of her. His hair was greying at the temples, and his eyes were different, but the Potter charm was obviously inherited as James’ father reached for her hand and kissed it. “What a pleasure to finally meet the lovely Lily Evans,” he said merrily, smiling warmly at her. “We’ve heard so much about you from James... speaking of which,” his expression brightened at the sight of his son, “have I got news for you, m’boy!” He stepped forward and clapped James on the back. “I had a personal visit from the captain of a certain quidditch team come in asking about you today.” James’ eyes widened in excitement. “Who?” His father winked. “Oh, no one special... he just happens to head the Whimbourne Wasps!” He now looked quite as excited as his son. James’ mouth was open in shock: some team wanted him to play for them– and not just any team, but one at the top of the league! As this hit him, a smile stretched across his face and he grabbed his father by the shoulders. They both started into a victory dance, whooping and hollering as they did so. Mrs. Potter and Lily both had looks of great happiness on their faces as they watched the crazy scene progress further when Sirius added to the mixture. “Oh, James, this is wonderful!” His mother exclaimed, rushing to grip him in a tight hug. “Thanks, mum!” He grinned widely. “Congratulations, James!” Lily piped in, and before she could object, he pulled her into an excited hug and kissed her. She was in a momentary blissful daze (James’ kisses had a habit of causing that reaction), but pulled away in embarrassment when she remembered that James’ parents were in the room. Mr. Potter and Sirius, however, had returned to the table and were talking enthusiastically about the last prank the Marauders had pulled. Mrs. Potter was grinning nostalgically, the young love between her son and Lily reminding her of the early years with her husband. James and Lily took their seats at the table with the others and tucked into their dinners. The boys regaled their parents (Sirius was as good as a son, anyway) with tales from the past few months, and Mrs. Potter asked Lily if she would show her how to make some Muggle cookies she had heard about. When dinner was over and Mrs. Potter was clearing away the dishes (after refusing Lily’s fourth offer to help), Mr. Potter relaxed back in his chair. “So, what are you three up to tonight?” “Dunno,” James shrugged, looking from Lily to Sirius. “Hey, we should go out and celebrate!” Sirius exclaimed. “To the newest player of the Whimbourne Wasps!” James smiled in mild interest. “Suppose we could do that. Where d’you have in mind, Padfoot?” “We always wanted to try that Wandering Witchhead in town,” he winked at his friend, as they had both snuck into it the previous summer. Mr. Potter chuckled. “Not exactly the place to take a lady,” he raised his eyebrows in Lily’s direction. “There’s a new place just opened down near Hansbrower Holiday’s, it’s not really my cup of tea, but you kids might like it,” he offered. “Yeah, alright. Sound good to you?” James asked, turning his attention to Lily. “Sure,” she replied with a smile. “Excellent,” Sirius grinned, standing from his seat. “Should we get ready to go, then?” James was rising from his own chair when his mother came back towards them with something in her hand. “This came for you earlier, Sirius,” she said, handing him the letter she was clutching. “From someone named Melanie, thanking you for the note and something about a paper butterfly.” She shook her head in confusion at the last part. James and Lily smirked at each other, remembering Sirius’ odd behaviour on the train. For the first time since James had known him, Sirius looked slightly embarrassed, but grinned happily as he scanned the letter. * * * The trio left the Potter Estate at a quarter past nine, after Sirius had written and sent a lengthy response to Melanie. Sirius was bouncing eagerly ahead of them, letting James and Lily enjoy the calming warmth of the evening in peace. James studied her through quick side glances. She had on a form-fitting tee shirt (James approved) and a relatively short skirt (James approved even more). And, best of all, she had pulled her hair back into a pony tail, which was a pleasant change from how she wore it most days. Not that James didn’t enjoy watching her red locks bounce and sway when they hung down her back, he just found the contrast of being able to see her neck fantastically attractive. As the three of them neared their destination, they could hear the muffled sound of music filling the streets. “Come on, you two!” Sirius urged, grabbing hold of Lily’s arm and pulling. Since her other hand was entwined with James’, he, too, was pulled along after Sirius. They entered the newly open dance pub, Quigley’s, after showing their forearms to prove they were not Death Eaters and having their wands tested to see that they were legal-aged wizards. The building was cramped with youths around and just above the trio’s ages, most of whom were unrecognizable to them. James did see a few people he knew, such as Frank Longbottom and his girlfriend Alice Engleton, both of whom had graduated from Hogwarts a couple of years earlier. Then there was Gideon or Fabian Prewitt (James couldn’t tell which as they were identical twins) who had graduated after James’ first year. There were also others their age that James recognized by sight, but wouldn’t have been able to guess at their names as they had attended different schools. “I’ll go get us some drinks!” Sirius yelled over the music from the band. James nodded and tucked Lily closer to his body, not wanting to lose her in the crowd. “What should we do now?” She hollered up at him. “We could dance,” he grinned and shimmed along with the music for a moment. Lily laughed. “Maybe later.” Not two seconds later, she was pushed into James by others trying to get by. Giggling, she turned her face back up to his. “Or now will work.” Truth be told, it was impossible to really dance due to the lack of personal space, but James and Lily did their best. A few moments later, Sirius returned with two bottles in one hand and a fizzing glass in his other. Gesturing one of the bottles to James, he held the glass out for Lily. “It’s a Fizzing Pixie,” he told her, seeing the questioning look she was giving the drink. “A bunch of girls up near the bar were drinking them,” he shrugged. Still looking at the glass skeptically, Lily took a small sip. She pondered it for a minute or two, the boys looking at her expectantly, then assured them it was alright. “And these, my friend,” Sirius started to clink his bottle with James’, “are Triple Butterbeers, they’re brand new– all the same taste with triple the alcohol. Cheers,” he motioned in the air with his bottle before taking a large gulp. Little did he know that in a short month the product he was enjoying would be recalled for causing large boils to breakout all over the skin of those with white-blonde hair after just one sip. The evening continued in the crowded pub, occasionally giving way to someone they knew from Hogwarts coming over to say hello. Amos Diggory was one such visitor; he was a year older than them, and could have rivaled James and Sirius as one of Hogwarts best looking men. Smiling questioningly at seeing James and Lily side by side, Amos addressed her. “Hello, Lily! It’s good to see you. Would you care to dance?” Being as tiny as she was, three drinks had Lily rather inebriated and giddy. “Sure!” “Not right now, Diggory,” James said, pulling an arm around Lily’s waist. “She’s a little, well, now’s probably not the best time.” He offered a dry chuckle. “Alright. Well, it was nice to see you all again.” Amos surveyed the situation uncertainly before disappearing in the crowd. “James, you weren’t jealous, were you?” Lily asked with a floppy grin. Smiling in amusement down at her, he responded, “whatever it was, I’m not about to let my gorgeous and uninhibited girlfriend go dance with a smooth bloke like Diggory. The only smooth bloke you’ll be seeing tonight is me.” Lily chuckled and wrapped her arms around him. “Fine, but if I don’t have a dance partner, I’ll just have to go by myself.” James laughed, fully convinced she was bluffing. He turned to Sirius to comment on the stories they were going to have to tease Lily about, but when he turned back, he saw that Lily had forced her way to the front of the stage and was dancing energetically with a group of complete strangers. “Who knew she’d loosen up so much if you gave her a bit of alcohol?” Sirius barked out a laugh, clapping James on the shoulder. “Well, I do now,” James chuckled, purely astonished at the sight he was seeing. After surveying the look in James’ eye as he watched over Lily, Sirius spoke up. “So... you love her, eh, mate?” James reluctantly pulled his gaze from Lily to look at his friend. “Yeah,” he said with a grin. Sirius smirked back and nodded his acceptance. “And we all thought it was just a silly crush. I’m happy for you, though, Prongs. The way you two interact is magic way better than anything they teach us at school.” His grin widening, James nodded back, returning his gaze to Lily and the dance floor. “I’m going to get us another round, why don’t you go snag your girl before someone else does?” Sirius nudged James before heading back to the bar. Making his way through the crowd, James came up behind Lily and wrapped his arms around her waist. “Having fun, love?” When Lily craned her neck and saw that it was him, she pulled on a large smile. “Knew you wouldn’t stay away for long,” she winked at him slyly. Running her hands along his arms, Lily leaned back against him and continued to move to the beat. Her right hand over his, holding it in place on her stomach, she raised his left hand and started placing kisses on it. Moving his hand to her face, he felt her place one last lingering kiss on his thumb before he turned her head and leaned down to kiss her. James felt her left hand begin to snake up his neck and pull his head closer to hers. Sirius cleared his throat loudly, holding out a glass to each of them. “You do realize there are loads of people that can see you, right?” He asked with a grin. Lily didn’t see a problem with the situation at the moment, and so she took a long draught from her glass. This caused a large cheering from the men in the vicinity, including Sirius. James laughed as he lowered the glass from her mouth and spun her around to face him. “Now the wild girl comes out, huh?” He inquired with a crooked smile. Lily looked up at him with her eyes wide, her face angelic like that of a child. Without any hesitation in her voice, she told him, “I’m going to marry you some day.” A spark flickered behind James’ eye as a genuine smile played on his lips. “And why’s that?” The look of complete innocence still on her face, she replied, “because you’re smart, and funny, and very handsome... and you’re good with kids, and your eyes have little bits of gold in them, and–” a grin of recklessness came over her face as she whispered, “and you have a really cute bum,” her unoccupied hand running over it as she said so. James let out a laugh and pulled her to his side with his left arm. “Padfoot, I think this one’s had enough!” he yelled to his friend. “We should maybe get her home soon, she’s starting to get cheeky!” Letting out his bark-like laugh before finishing his own drink, he offered, “all the more to tease her about in the morning, mate!” The trio remained for a further half hour, only because it took that long to coax Lily into leaving. The fresh air did nothing to calm her wild character at the moment, but only invoked an even greater sense of euphoria to flood her system. Twirling in circles, Lily Evans held her outstretched hands to the sky. “People are going to think you’ve gone mental and send you to St. Mungo’s if you don’t stop that!” Sirius called out to her. “Bollocks!” She shouted back, though she discontinued spinning and promptly fell on her behind. Chuckling at her disoriented state, James jogged over to her and pulled her to her feet. Placing her right arm around his middle and holding her securely with his left, he began to steer her in the direction of his house. “Now, what did we learn here, love?” “That I don’t need to twirl to make the sky spin,” she replied, rubbing her forehead with the heel of her left hand. “Close enough,” James responded, while Sirius began to laugh anew. * * * After creeping into the house as quietly as they could, James grabbed a large tee shirt from his room before taking Lily to her own. Sitting her on the bed, he reached to pull her shirt of her head. “This isn’t you trying to seduce me, is it?” She asked groggily. Chuckling, he pulled his shirt into her field of vision. “I’m putting this on you so you don’t have to sleep in your clothes, and I think it best not to go digging through your personal effects for something of your own.” “Oh, okay,” she sighed, giving in ten times easier than a sober Lily would have. Shaking his head, James returned to the task as hand and replaced the shirt she was wearing with much larger one. As her head popped through the correct hole, she spoke up again in slightly slurred words. “And just so you know, I’m not so drunk that I would let just anybody do this.” “Good to know,” he smiled down at her, then pushed her back into a lying position on the bed. James fumbled nervously with the buttons on her skirt for a moment before deciding it was loose enough to just slip off. He took hold of her hands and pulled her up beside him so that he could turn down her bed sheets. Before he could get her back down, however, she had spun him around to face her. “Look what I learned how to do,” Lily stated proudly, as she began to fiddle with something behind her back. Not long after, she had extricated her brasier without removing the shirt. “Ta-da!” She said dramatically, throwing the garment across the room to where her travel bag was. Running a hand through his hair and laughing, James stepped forward to put her to bed. “You’re some piece of work, you know that?” Lily didn’t object when James helped her get settled, but instead gave a sigh of contentment and fell asleep. James kissed her on the forehead then retreated to his own room. A/N: hey, i updated earlier than i thought i would! thats mostly due to the fact that this chapter was turning out to be way too long and i was having trouble getting it finished, so i ended it where i did so that i could update! i hope you liked it! thanks again to everyone for their support, its always appreciated! happy reading!
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