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James looked around Elysium with a bored gaze. The sky was the same pale sunny blue with the occasional tufts of clouds. He was sitting under a beech tree with Sirius and Remus. The former observing his surroundings with the same lazy eyes as James, and the latter reading a large tome borrowed from Dumbledore(The man had an exclusive membership to the Library of the Departed). A little ways away sat Tonks and Lily with a picnic set for two. Flying above them at breakneck speed were Fred and Regulus. The two had oddly become instant friends. All in all, it was a typical day in the Underworld for the heroic and virtuous.

 

“I'm bored,” Sirius whined from James' right.

 

Remus snorted, “You're always bored, Padfoot. Tell us something we don't know. You could always read.” He added hopefully.

 

Sirius gave his friend a disgusted look. Remus shrugged and went back to reading.

 

“Merlin-”

 

“Merlin's taking a stroll with Dumbledore,” Remus informed him seriously.

 

“No, look he's returned.” James pointed to a whistling Dumbledore.

 

Sirius plowed on as if he hadn't heard his friends. “-who knew afterlife could be so boring? If I weren't dead already, I'd kill myself.”

 

“Go bother the nymphs, Padfoot. I'm sure they love your company,” Remus suggested.

 

“A bit too much,” Sirius said darkly. “If only girls at Hogwarts were half as willing...” He trailed off, lost in fantasy of what he could have done with the willing Hogwarts girls.

 

James saw a dark figure walk out from behind the larger mango trees. He nudged Sirius, tilting his chin at the man.

 

“Excellent,” Sirius hissed. “Snivellus.”

 

Remus momentarily looked up from his book to shoot a warning glare at his friends. “For god's sake you're not in-”

 

But James ignored him. “Alright there Snape?” Even in afterlife, the potions master was quite a loner.

 

Lily looked up from her conversation with Tonks to watch what her husband would do, and willing to step in should anything happen.

 

Snape looked up at James, a frown making it's way onto his passive face. “What is it Potter?”

 

“Just saying hello Sniv-Snape,” Sirius informed him with a cheerful grin. “Not a crime now, is it?”

 

Snape flicked Sirius the finger.

 

“Sev!” Lily's scandalized voice carried over. James and Sirius chortled as Snape turned a vibrant shade of red. Even Remus seemed to have trouble keeping a smile off his face.

 

“If these are supposed to be my just rewards, someone's got a fucked up sense of humor,” Snape muttered softly enough so Lily wouldn't here.

 

“Language Sev,” Sirius said in a lilting falsetto. James dearly hoped it wasn't meant to be an imitation Lily. She never sounded like that.

 

“This is all your fault, you know,” Snape snapped at Dumbledore who had reached their little garden.

 

Dumbledore observed his ex-pupils interestedly, “Oh?”

 

“If I'd known I would have to spend an eternity with these bumbling blithering band of buffoons, I'd have done some last terrible deed just to be spared,” Snape answered. “This is worse than Tartarus.”

 

“You could always leave,” Sirius suggested, observing his nails. “We're not stopping you. I'm sure Bella would love to see you again.”

 

“Hey!” James spoke loudly, catching everyone's attention. “I dare you to say bunch of bumbling band of buffoons ten times.”

 

Sirius, never one to turn down a dare, proceeded to do so quite loudly.

 

“Bumbling blithering band of buffoons. Mumbling blithering bland-band of buffoons. Blumbin bliferring band of bafloons...blunch of-” Remus shoved a sock in Sirius' mouth.

 

“He loves hearing himself talk too much,” Remus answered as way of explanation.

 

Snape had stalked off by now with an angry look at Dumbledore as though he was responsible for the Marauder's unimproved ways.

 

“Moony, my man, you've given a whole new definition to putting a sock in it,” James patted Remus lightly, and mimed wiping a fake tear away. “You make me so proud.”

 

“Er...I'm pretty sure the definition of putting a sock in it is just that: putting a sock in it. I haven't given it a new one,” Remus eyed James as one would a mental patient.

 

“Fine. You've given it a literal definition. Happy?” James said, pouting like a child.

 

Sirius was still sitting with the sock in his mouth, looking at his friends in wide-eyed contemplation. Clearly, the simple task of removing it himself hadn't occurred to his best friend yet. He always was a bit slow on the uptake when it came to the obvious. James, unable to stand Sirius' attempt at mute conversation, ripped the sock out of the grey-eyed man's mouth.

 

“What Padfoot?”

 

Sirius loudly howled with laughter. The noise even startled Regulus and Fred in the air. Dumbledore was staring at Sirius with a small smile. James and Remus exchanged worried glances. Lily and Tonks were back to ignoring the men.

 

“Reckon he's finally lost it then?” Regulus asked James as he touched the ground.

 

“Wouldn't doubt it,” Fred grinned. “Poor man. He always was nice to me.”

 

James rather liked Fred. It had been his idea to make the red-head an honorary Marauder since the fourth original turned out be a right bastard. Fred had also found the Marauder's map in his first year with his brother, and managed to nick it from Filch. That in and of itself was a recognizable feat in James' opinion. The fact that he had always been nice to Harry had nothing to do with it. Much.

 

“It's alright, mate,” James threw an arm around his best friend's shoulder. “Let it out. We're all here for you.”

 

Remus looked thoroughly amused. “What are you talking about?”

 

“Well, obviously his brain's been addled. Padfoot being Padfoot, is coping the only way he knows how,” James answered with a straight face.

 

“By laughing himself shitless?” Remus quirked an eyebrow.

 

“Indeed. And since when do your curse, Moony?”

 

“You're mental,” Remus shook his head exasperatedly at the still laughing Sirius.

 

“No more than you, Moony,” James winked, rocking Sirius back and forth and speaking to him in hushed, soothing undertones as the latter kept guffawing.

 

“I don't even know why I'm friends with you.” Remus scrunched his nose in disdain.

 

“Who'd you be friends with here then? Snivellus?” James inquired.

 

“'Least he's not off his rocker like the three of you,” Regulus stated, rocking back and forth on the balls of his feet.

 

“Oi! Watch it Black.” James held up a finger warningly.

 

“Or what? You don't even have a wand anymore, Potter.”

 

“Or...” James looked around, hoping his surroundings would give him inspiration. He found one. “Aha! Or I'll put this sock up your-”

 

“James!” Lily's reprimanding voice rang.

 

“Nose,” James finished lamely. Regulus and Fred sniggered, and Sirius collapsed into fresh peals of laughter.

 

“Thank Merlin I haven't got a wife here,” Fred said, grinning at Regulus.

 

“Yeah?” James countered. “Well, at least we”-he pointed to Remus and himself- “get laid, Weasley, even when we're dead. Beat that.

 

Remus blushed a brilliant pink. “Prongs.”

 

“James!” Lily shouted again.

 

“What?” James cried, panic stricken. “I didn't say anything!”

 

“No, it's Harry!”

“Harry!” James abandoned his best friend and ran over to the Looking Glass next to his wife, Tonks, and Dumbledore. “It is! It's Harry!” James pointed excitedly like a five year old hyped on sugar.

 

Lily placed a calming hand on her husband's arm as Sirius (no longer laughing), Remus, Fred, and Regulus followed him.

 

The Looking Glass always showed them the most important moments of Harry's-and anyone else they might want to see- life.

 

They watched as the ripples of the glass cleared to show a nervous Harry pacing the length of Grimmauld Place's foyer, wringing his hands. He was dressed sharply in a dark muggle suit and tie, his hair still stood on an end, and his eyes kept darting up to the staircase as if he were waiting for someone.

 

That someone made themselves known after a minute. Ginny Weasley descended the staircase delicately, wearing a strapless black dress the hem of which stopped mid-way down her thighs. Her long red hair was tied up in a messy bun, a few strands artistically framed her smiling face.

 

“Oh, she looks beautiful,” Lily breathed, clasping her hands. James wrapped an arm around her waist, silently agreeing with her. But more than Ginny, his eyes were trained on Harry.

 

“It's too low cut,” Fred frowned, looking at his sister disapprovingly even though she couldn't see him.

 

Sirius hit him upside the head, “Shut up.”

 

Harry was standing speechless, his eyes wide in appreciation as Ginny walked up to him with a shy smile.

 

“Hi Harry,” Ginny said softly, and pecked him on his lips.

 

“Bah-” Harry choked out.

 

Lily and Tonks giggled, as Sirius, Fred, and Regulus sniggered while Remus shook his head sadly. James covered his eyes on his son's behalf. Come on, son. Say something other than bah.

 

Ginny was biting her lip now, waiting for Harry to say something more. “Is it too much? You did say we were going to a fancy Muggle place-”

 

“It's perfect,” Harry blurted. “You're perfect. You're beautiful, really.”

 

James gave a whoop, “Go Harry.”

 

“Yeah, he's smoother than Prongs,” Sirius muttered to Remus.

 

“Is not!” James protested.

 

“Is too!”

 

“Is not!”

 

“Fine, he's smoother than Moony, happy?”

 

“Hey!”

 

James snorted.“Mate, everyone's smoother than Moony. Right Tonks?”

 

Tonks only kissed her husband in response. Lily shushed them all, telling them to pay attention.

 

“Shall we?” Harry offered Ginny his arm. Ginny took his arm and they Apparated to a discreet alley in Muggle London. He led her to Muggle restaurant. It looked ordinary enough from the outside.

 

James wondered what had gotten his son so wound up. Harry's eyes kept flicking to Ginny every few seconds.

 

The restaurant was empty aside from their host, and the waiters along the periphery of the room. James' eyes widened in realization. Harry had reserved the entire restaurant for him and Ginny for tonight.

 

Most likely to-

 

“Welcome, Mr. Potter, Miss Weasley. Your table is this way.”

 

Ginny looked at Harry in confusion, but he only smiled in response. Harry pulled out Ginny's chair for her('Oh he is such a gentleman,' Lily cooed.) and sat himself across from her. The dinner was uneventful as the young couple discussed Auror work, the touring schedule for the Holyhead Harpies, and other such trifle. After dinner, but before desert, Harry insisted that they dance. Ginny looked pleasantly surprised, and rightly so. Harry, James knew for a fact, couldn't dance to save his life.

 

But his son seemed to be taking lessons or something, because Harry's moves were-not perfect, but better than the fumbling at Yule Ball during his fourth year. James had the distinct feeling Harry was stalling for time.

 

They sat back down, Ginny fanning herself, flush with happiness. Harry looked happy as well.

 

Well, at least he wasn't looking like a nervous wreck anymore.

 

Ginny ordered dessert for the both of them, and enthusiastically chatted about the upcoming matches and all the new places she would be going to. As she spoke, Harry became more and more at ease. His love for the redhead sitting across from him was visible in his sparkling eyes. James knew the feeling. Hell, he knew the feeling every time he looked at his own redhead.

 

No. Not Fred.

 

“You should eat the cherry first,” Harry insisted, as Ginny went to take a bite of dessert. “I've...um, heard these are special cherries. They're imported from...Brazil...yeah. Delicious cherries.” Harry nodded his head with wide eyes.

 

“Brazil?” Ginny looked at him skeptically. “I didn't know they grew cherries in Brazil.”

 

“Oh yeah...they do. Amazing cherries too. Very...cherry-like,” Harry assured her.

 

Sirius snorted, “I take back my earlier comment. Very cherry-like?”

 

“Are you feeling alright, Harry?” Ginny looked concernedly at her boyfriend.

 

“Hmm? Oh yes. Yes...just...try the cherry first.” Harry gulped as Ginny looked at him oddly.

 

“Okay,” Ginny reached out and plucked the cherry from atop the dessert. She gasped, as did everyone around James. Sitting under the cherry was a small, ruby and diamond ring glinting in the soft light of the restaurant. “Oh...oh Harry.”

 

Lily looked close to tears. “James, it's-”

 

“I know,” James whispered, squeezing her shoulder.

 

Harry grinned, taking Ginny's left hand. “Ginny Molly Weasley, I promise to love you now and forever. You're the best thing that's happened to me. Will you-”

 

“Yes!” Ginny squealed, and leaped across the table, tackling Harry in a heated kiss that seemed to go on forever, knocking the desert over them in the process.

 

Harry laughed as they broke apart. “So you will marry me?” he teased, pulling at a stray lock of red hair.

 

“Yes, you stupid prat. Now put the ring on.” She swatted his chest, holding her hand out. Harry obliged, and helped her off the ground.

 

“I think it was my Mum's,” he told her, gazing down at the ring. “I found it in the vault a few months ago. I think my Dad might have given it to her for their engagement.”

 

Lily was completely in tears now, and it took both James and Sirius to hold her up.

 

Ginny looked at him in understanding, “It's beautiful, Harry.”

 

“Yeah,” he smiled, no longer gazing at the ring. “You are.” He pulled her into another deep kiss, this one lasting longer than the last.

 

“Oh no, my dress is ruined,” Ginny observed when they came up for air. The dessert she had knocked over in her haste to get to Harry was spread over he black dress.

 

“How about we get you out of it, then?” Harry grinned, pulling her closer by the waist.

 

James heard Fred make a retching sound.

 

“To clean it, of course,” Harry added with a wink.

 

“I'm sure, Potter,” Fred growled menacingly, and quite uselessly.

 

Sirius was wolf-whistling at the young couple. “That's my boy.”

 

“Um, Padfoot. He's my boy,” James corrected, grinning at his son who had Apparated him and Ginny back to Grimmauld place.

 

“He's my godson,” Sirius countered, laughing at Fred who looked like he wanted nothing more than to lunge at Harry as the raven-haired man slowly began to unzip Ginny's dress.

 

The Looking Glass blurred once more. Lily was smiling now, as James and Sirius argued about whose boy Harry really was.

 

“He's my son,” James repeated. “Which means he's obviously got my skills.”

 

Fred made a choking sound, looking greener than the grass in Elysium.

 

“Don't worry, Weasley. She won't be disappointed,” James winked at the traumatized boy.

 

Fred threw a sock at him.





A/N: I've always wanted to read a story like this one. I've been searching one for the last three years ever since book seven came out. Finally, I decided to write one myself, because I couldn't find one. I hope you all liked it as much as I did.

Just a few things to note: Fred doesn't disapprove of Harry and Ginny. He just disapproves of their-erm...activities later that night. :D

And the part about the engagement ring isn't cannon. I haven't found any mention of Lily's engagement ring anywhere. But, it was my wishful thinking, so there you have it.

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