Sirius had a plan. He might have even dared to say it was a great plan! In one hand was a note card with bullet points of things he wanted to say to James. It included the words idiotic, guilt, git, yellow-belly, twit, moron, imbecile, dope, ninny...practically everything he could find related to the situation in the thesaurus. This would be his first step to making James forgive him. However, if that didn't work he would throw the note card aside, say it was all Lily's idea and then bring out what was in his other hand! A never before seen to the public model of the new Nimbus 1001. Sirius had been able to pull enough strings with his uncle, the only relative who still talked to him, and borrow enough money to convince a co-owner of the Nimbus Broomstick Company to let him have a model.
One way or another he was sure to get James back as a friend. Even if the note card did work and he didn't have to bring out the broom, he might be able to send it back to his connection for the money, or just keep it for his own!
Since James had already finished his last day at the market they only had a week until they had to leave for the Hogwart's Express. James had been spending most of his day in his room slowly putting things in a suitcase that he didn't think he would need until he arrived at Hogwarts.
When he heard a knock on his door he figured it was his mum bringing in some clean clothes, but instead Sirius entered with a piece of paper in his hand. This made James stop what he was doing and cross his arms in anticipation.
"Hey, mate," Sirius nodded.
"Okay, well, I have a few things to say." He cleared his throat and took a glance at the notecard before starting. "First off I want to tell you that you're my best mate," he saw James roll his eyes, "With that in mind I don't think there has ever been a bigger case of douche-baggery in the history of friendship. Mate, Jasmine is an amazing person, and I've never felt this way about a girl before."
James started to ruffle his hair, "I just don't get it. You've never gotten along with each other. You can't be in the same room for two minutes without starting to fight!"
"I know and I think that's because neither of us was willing to giving each other a chance. We were so stuck on the past that we didn't see our personalities actually match!" When James still looked uncertain Sirius got nervous. "I'm so sorry for not telling you! I know I should have, but we didn't expect anything to really come out of it and-"
"Wait," James stopped him, "Are you saying you were actually going to make my sister into a one night stand?"
"No! Not even! I mean if anything she only wanted it to be a fling, but I've always-"
"So now you're saying my sister is a slag?"
"Never! This was all Lily's idea!" He bursted. Throwing the notecard aside he said, "You know what? Forget I ever said anything." He stepped outside the room and grabbed the Nimbus 1001 and practically shoving it at James. "Please take this as my apology! I love your sister, I love you, I'm sorry."
James looked at the broom in his hands noting the shining 'Nimbus 1001' at the end of the broom's handle. He stared at it in awe that Sirius had been able to get his hands on one. For months he had been trying to pull strings by using his dad's position as an Auror, but the company had flat out refused his attempts.
"Merlin," he mumbled, "I'm scared to even ask how you got this."
"Legally," Sirius nervously joked, "I think."
James softly set the broom down on his bed before looking back at Sirius letting out a sigh. He promised Lily if Sirius apologized first he would speak to him again...and he did already miss his best mate! It was just...
"Padfoot, I really wish you would've told me instead of making me witness it. I can't get the images out of my head! My eyes haven't stopped burning!"
"You have no idea how much I regret not telling you, mate. I mean I don't want to get all girly or anything, but I've never felt this bad before and there is seriously a whole in my gut that is just wrenching that we aren't talking."
James had to laugh because Sirius really did sound like a girl. "So you really like her?"
Sirius smiled and scratched the back of his head. "She drives me insane. I've never been in love before, but I think this is pretty damn close."
James walked over to Sirius and clapped his shoulder. "Alright," he said, "I think I can deal with that."
Even though Lily had already worked her last day at the Market she couldn't help but to go back the day before she left for Hogwarts to squeeze in some final time with her parents and some good byes to the other employees.
At the beginning of the summer she had neatly put aside all of her school things, cleaned her robes and such so that they were ready to go and added on her new books when she got them so that she wouldn't have to worry about it at the end of the summer.
Now she sat in the back room on top of a table chatting with Paula about how they planned to stay in touch better while Lily was away. Before they knew it the school year would be over and then Lily would back to work at the Market while she went to Healer school. At least she was pretty sure that was what she wanted to do. Even after all these years in the wizarding world there were just so many new options she could choose than what she had grown up believing!
"I don't know what I want to do Lils, and my mum is really starting to get on me about all of this," Paula stressed, "You can't work at the Market forever," she mimicked her mum. Lily laughed unsure what to tell her friend. "I mean, I could go into banking, but I was pretty horrible in math. I could probably try teaching..."
"You don't like kids," Lily chimed in.
Paula pouted her lip out at Lily before dramatically screaming, "I'm hopeless!"
Michael walked into the break room laughing at the blond. "Relax, P," he said, "You'll find something. Look at me! I've already been out of school for a year and still don't know what I'm going to do! In fact, I find it kind of freeing. I can go in any direction I want. For all we know I could decide I want to own my own market one day, or I could even decide to become an abusive drunk!" Lily sent him a scold for referencing to Marcus. "You just never know!"
"Oh, God," Paula turned back to Lily, "Am I going to be like Michael?"
Michael laughed taking a seat for himself. "What're you going to do, Lils?"
"Either nursing or doctor. I'll probably shoot high though and at least try to be a doctor. Who knows?"
"Good! That means incase I do want to own a market I won't have any competition on becoming an assistant one day," he winked.
"You've grown up so much from the little box boy you used to be!"
"I wish I had the brains to be a doctor," Paula sighed, "Anyway, Lils, I know it's your last night at home and all, and you don't have to if you don't want, but we're going down to the pub if you want to join?"
"Maybe," Lily shrugged, "I'm having dinner with the family, and I have to get up pretty early, but I'll see if James wants to go down there with me." Michael noticeably scoffed from his chair. "I'm sorry do you have a problem with that Mike?"
"No, no, not at all! It's not like he now thinks that every guy, including myself, you know is trying to jump your bones. I liked him in the beginning, but he just seems so on edge he's with you."
"I think it's kind of sweet," Paula shrugged, "Can't blame the bloke from trying to protect the girl he loves."
"Paula!" Lily snapped.
"He said he loves you?" Michael laughed, "What'd you say?"
"Nothing," Lily muttered turning pink.
"That has got to hurt!"
"Especially when it's so obvious that you love him back!" Paula exclaimed.
"You guys don't get it! People from my school...they can go really far away for college. James might end up going to Scotland or something for this train-degree and I don't know if I didn't want to say I love him if we're just going to break up."
"That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. That still leaves you guys almost a year together. Are you telling me you're going to break up with him now?"
"Then you plan on dating him for a year and some odd months the whole time never saying that you love him?"
Lily let out a frustrated huff. It hadn't sounded so ridiculous in her head...
"I did that to a girl once," Michael shrugged.
"That's a lie. You've never had a girlfriend for more than three months," Paula said.
"No truly! You tell me you love me all the time Paula, but never have I said it back to you."
"You're a dimwit."
"You still love me," he winked.
Lily looked between the two smiling. "I'm going to miss you guys all over again! I hate this part of the summer!"
Paula moved closer to Lily to throw her arms around her in a hug making Michael shake his head.
"I'm sure you'll be back here for Christmas. Only a few months away!" he tried to be optimistic.
Lily left the shop soon after knowing that she wouldn't see them later on at the pub, but was happy that she had gotten to see them one last time before heading off for school. It had always surprised her that she had been able to keep the magical side of herself hidden all of these years. Thinking of the future and how she's be getting a job in the magical world made her wonder how much longer she'd be able to keep it up. It wasn't like she could pretend to work somewhere in the muggle world! They'd find out sooner or later.
She ate dinner with her parents and Petunia contemplating what Paula had said to her about saying the "L" word to James. What was love anyway? Sure, she cared about him, but she cared for a lot of people! If that were the case she'd be saying 'I love you' to Michael, Paula, Mario...everyone she practically knew!
Instead, she put herself in a metaphorical position. Who, out of everyone she knew, would she choose to protect her if needed? James. Who could she trust to care for her, forever? James. It's the end of the world and she has to choose who to leave her last breath with. Who would it be?
"James," she sighed.
Needing fresh air she stepped outside her house and absentmindedly walked to the park. A cold breeze wafted through the air showing the threat of fall, but she needed to sit on a swing. There had only been one other boy who she trusted with her life, besides her dad, and he had turned his back on her in their fifth year.
The year Severus turned his back on her everything changed. She didn't have a reason to hurry home from the market so she could hang out. It also happened to be the same time that Paula, Michael and Marcus were all hired. The four of them were courtesy clerks together and by the end of the first month of working together she had found her new niche of friends.
Never in her right mind would Lily compare James to Severus or Marcus, but it just felt too good to be true for her.
The breeze carried the sound of footsteps coming up behind Lily making her turn to see Petunia walking towards her. Lily's eyebrows wrinkled in confusion as she walked closer to the swing set and sat down beside her. Lily didn't say anything scared she would ruin the only conversation they had had her entire holiday, so she waited.
Finally after some twirling in her seat Petunia said, "So do they have jobs for people like you after you graduate?"
"Yeah," Lily shrugged, "I kind of have more options though since I'm from a mug- I mean non magic family. I can choose a job from either world and fit in."
"What side are you going to choose?"
"Magic," Lily said softly, "I'll be with all of my friends and James... It's the place where I really feel I belong."
They softly swung together in silence letting the truth set in. Even when given the choice, Lily would be a witch.
"I'm sorry, Tuney," Lily whispered, "Nothing has turned out the way we thought it would..."
Petunia focused her gaze on her shoes refusing to let Lily see the disappointment in her own face.
"Whatever," she muttered, "I should've known better to rely on you anyway."
Standing from the swing Petunia walked away from the park trying to keep her head up high. Through the growing darkness Lily could see her reaching up to her face to wipe away some tears that might've escaped from her eyes. Lily stood and followed her, though not closely knowing for sure now that even though they'd still each other around their parents, they would never understand each other like they had when they were kids.
"Boys, you've been doing this for seven years now! Have you learned absolutely nothing about preparing the night before!" Mrs. Potter shouted down the hallway.
The two boys were in a frenzy running around their rooms for anything and everything they would need for the school year. Meanwhile Jasmine laughed as she sat on Sirius' bed watching him run back and forth between packing and trying to kiss her.
"Merlin I am going to miss you," he leaned over to kiss her.
"Be careful," Jasmine pushed him off, "My mum could walk in any second."
"I don't care!" He gripped her around the waist and nuzzled his face into the side of her neck. "How am I going to go until Christmas?"
"You just focus on tutoring those younger years, and we'll be just fine," she joked.
There was a knock on the door and the two sprung apart.
"Relax, its just me," James sighed. Sirius could hear in his voice that he was still uncomfortable about them being together. "You ready to go, mate?"
"Yeah," Sirius sighed, "Give me just a second."
"Fine, I'll hold off the crazy mother for you two to say goodbye."
Sirius stepped away from Jasmine to snap his bags shut. Mrs. Potter would definitely curse him if he didn't have that much done.
"Alright. I better not come back here to find you with another bloke."
"And I better not hear about any lady friends," Jasmine challenged back.
Sirius pressed his lips against hers for just a minute before Mrs. Potter's yells were heard again.
"See you in a few months," Sirius smiled.
"I'll write soon!"
Grabbing his bags, Sirius rushed down the stairs and out there door where Mrs. Potter had forced James in and was prepared to leave Sirius if he a minute more late.
"I sometimes don't know what to do about you boys," she tutted.
"Imagine if we were muggles!" James laughed, "Then we'd be come all the time, mum. Twelves months out of the year of pure James and Sirius until we found jobs."
"Thank Merlin for that school," Mrs. Potter winked.
She drove the two to the station avoiding any traffic at all costs so that they wouldn't miss their last train ride to Hogwarts. There had honestly been a year or two where the boys had to hop onto the already moving train and be tossed their bags. All the same though, Mrs. Potter figured that was just how her boys were- always on the move.
"What would you do if you didn't get to see Lily for three months?" she heard Sirius ask.
"Easy. I'd steal your mirror and give it to her. That way we would at least be able to talk and I could see her face," James shrugged.
Sirius's eyes widened. "Why didn't I think of that?"
"Because you didn't ask the smarter one of the two," James joked, and in return was punched in the arm.
When they pulled into the station James practically jumped from the car in excitement to see Lily. Just the thought of being at Hogwarts with her made him feel like it was Christmas. Everyone would be able to see that he was exactly who he had said he was all of these years; a mature and good looking man who was good enough to land the job of Head Boy and be the boyfriend of the smartest and most beautiful girl.
With a kiss on his mum's cheek and a promise to see her at Christmas time, James hurried to the platform with Sirius dragging behind him.
"You just saw her like two days ago, mate!" Sirius yelled after him.
"And every minute has been killing me," James yelled back.
His eyes searched anxiously around the right side of the platform where they had agreed to meet. After only seconds he spotted red hair that stood out sharper than anyone else's.
As if from a movie, the crowd dispersed and their eyes locked. James ran with his bags to her, and after dropping them at his feet grabbed her around the waist and twirled her off of her feet. She giggled only half demanding to be put down. When he finally did they kissed in greeting and hurried onto the train.
The hallway was crowded with students trying to find a compartment to sit in, but these two students had the Head compartment all to themselves until the Prefect meeting. James was able to push their way through and when they finally reached the privacy of their compartment they practically fell to their seats already tired.
"James," Lily said making him turn to look at her. "I want to start this year out right, and I just wanted to say," she paused and took a deep breath,"I love you."
James couldn't help but laugh. He was sure that Lily was going to drive him crazy waiting for her to say those words. However, when he saw her eyes getting defensive about his laughter he stopped and with a large smile said, "I love you too."
Author's Note: Ok! Before you guys start shooting me, I just wanted to let you know my plan. Yes, this is the last chapter to The Corner Market. However!! There is going to be a sequel called The Corner Dorm. That way it keeps this story from getting too long, and well...I don't know! I just kind of want to make it that way. lol!!
Thank you so so so so much though for sticking with me throughout this story! I know I've been a horrible author and been taking forever to update, but I promise I was always thinking about it and I never forgot about you guys!! I hope you'll follow me to the next chapter of their relationship and cross your fingers for me to keep up with it better than I did with this story. lol!
As usual though, Read&Review por favorrr :)
Disclaimer: I am absolutely not JK Rowling
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