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Chapter Fourteen

James set them down in the back of an alley that was located near Buckingham Palace. He wanted to make the most of the day, so by being close to their first destination rather than going through the ministry saved a lot of time.

Lily stopped at the entrance of the alley that they had just come out of. She was looking all around her. She had the look of sheer amazement on her face as she took in her surroundings. It was so much different than what she was used to, and not what she expected to see. She walked slightly ahead of James and turned around to take in everything that she was seeing for the first time.

James was leaning against the wall watching his wife’s reaction to what she was experiencing. He was amazed at how she took everything and they hadn’t even made it to any of the landmarks.

He had a smile on his face as he watched his carefree wife. It amazed him, the difference that he saw in his wife when she wasn’t in school. It made him wish that they were done with school rather than just on winter holiday.

“This is just so much different than what I expected to see here. Everything is so much taller than I thought, and a lot taller than what I am used to. You saw my hometown, there really aren’t all that many tall buildings in the first place and nothing compared to this.” Lily said as she came back over to where James was standing.

She wrapped her arms around his waist. “So how about you lead the way because I don’t know my way around here, or where we are even going?”

“Sounds like a plan to me.” James took her hand in his, and led her in the direction of the Palace. “So are you ready for your Christmas gift?”

“I already got all my Christmas gifts.” Lily said.

“No actually there was one gift that I was saving for this day.” James reached into his pocket and pulled out a camera that was about the size of his palm, that was about half the thickness of his wallet. “This is so you can capture the moments that matter.”

“James you didn’t have to get me another gift, what you got me before was enough.” Lily said.

“I know, but I like to spoil you.” James said as he placed the camera in her free hand and gave her a kiss on the lips.

“So you are not going to be embarrassed to be seen with a tourist?”

“Never, I will always claim you.” James said.

“Well that is good to hear, because you are stuck with me for a long time.” Lily said.

They arrived in front of the palace, and Lily had her breathe taken away. She had the look of amazement on her face again, all the while taking pictures.

For James, this day was more about watching his wife’s reaction than seeing the landmarks. He had grown up looking at them. His parents loved to take day trips into London, and as a child he had visited many of the landmarks on a regular basis. In fact his parents had bought many of the season ticket passes to ensure they could go when they felt up to a day trip.

“James will you take a picture of me in front of the gates of the palace?” Lily asked.

“Go stand in front of the gates and I will handle the camera.” James said as he took the camera from his wife.

Lily just stood in front of the gates.

“Lils you can do better than that. Give me a pose.” James said with a smile.

Lily tilted her head to the side, and spread her arms wide. She was smiling back at her husband. He took the picture of her.

“I still think that you could have done a better pose.” James said.

He stopped an older couple that was walking by them. “Excuse me could you take a picture of my wife and I in front of the palace?”

“Sure.” The woman said.

James walked over to where Lily was standing. He walked to behind her, and wrapped his arms around her waist. He rested his head on her shoulder. She placed her hands over his.

“Much better.” James said after the picture was taken. He walked back to the couple to retrieve the camera.

“So how long have you two been married?” The woman asked.

“Just slightly over six months, but it seems a lot longer than that.” James said.

“Hey being married to me isn’t that bad is it?” Lily asked with a smile dancing on her lips.

“Lils that is not what I meant, it just seems like I have known you all my life, I am not sure how I made it without you.” James said as he pulled Lily to his side.

“You’re not from around here are you?” The man asked.

“No, I am originally from the United States.” Lily supplied. “I came over here with a friend to celebrate the end of a school year and found myself married to this one so I decided to stay.”

“Well it was nice meeting you but we have a lot on our plate today. We head back to school tomorrow and I have many more places to show her.” James said.

James led Lily over to St. James Park. They walked the path that was provided. They were taking a slow pace through the park. He pulled her close, and lifted their joined hand so he could examine the platinum ring that he had put on her finger just a few days before.

Lily rested her head on his shoulder as she watched him play with the ring that he had gotten her.

“You did a perfect job picking out the ring, I couldn’t imagine a better suiting ring for me.” Lily said.

“I am so glad to hear it, I was worried that you would have wanted a different stone in the setting…”

“No it is perfect, I love it.” Lily said. “So don’t even try taking it back.”

“That ring is one that will be on you for many, many, many years to come.” James said as he kissed the top of her head.

“So where are we off to next?” Lily asked.

“Well, that depends are you are wanting educational or mind numbing activity next?” James asked, as he purchased two lattes from a vendor on the path.

“You know me, I am all for the educational activity.” Lily said with a smile as she accepted the latte from her husband.

“All right then we are going to be heading toward the Tower of London. You will get to take your first trip in the underground.” James said, as he started them on the right direction to the nearest underground platform.

******
James watched Lily with complete enthrallment, her reaction to what she was seeing for the first time. She reminded him of Sirius when they went to the candy store, the excitement and amusement that crossed her face as she took everything in at once. When he had come up with the idea of day in muggle London, he hadn’t thought about how much she would enjoy the sight, it was more of just getting her away from magic for a day. He wanted a day away from the wizarding world, and still have time alone with her.

They were standing in line to get their tickets to get into the Tower of London. “James what is it will all the ravens around?”

“My parents told me when I was younger that there is a legend concerning those ravens. They said that if the ravens ever leave the Tower of London, than the muggle monarchy would fall. So to prevent the monarchy from falling they have raven retainers, who take care of the ravens.” James said as they walked over the bridge to enter the stone fortress, which once housed the English monarchs, served as a prison, and even held public executions.

“So they keep the ravens because something might happen?” Lily asked.

“We are a superstitious lot, while the chances of something happening to the muggle monarchy because of the ravens is highly unlikely, we are not about to take chances. Would you want to be the one to let the ravens go, and then something unrelated happened to the monarch? No one is willing to take the chance.” James said.

“Well I certainly don’t want the job of retaining them, it will be off with my head if something went wrong and they got away. All it would take is for them to get some bad food and you lose your head.” Lily said.

“No, they stopped doing public executions here years ago. Now I have a feeling you will have to go in front of the Queen of England and explain the reason that the monarchy would fall.” James said with a laugh.

“I think I would prefer the axe to facing the Queen’s wrath. I don’t do well with getting in trouble, why do you think that my record is so clean, I was afraid of getting in trouble.” Lily said.

“So should we take a tour with one of the Yeoman, or should we grab a guide book and do a self guided tour?” James asked.

“I think that we should do the self guided tour, that way we can go as fast or as slow as we chose.” Lily said.

They spent the next couple of hours exploring the Tower of London. They walked through the armor exhibit in the White Tower, they explored the Bloody Tower and saw the Crown Jewels of England.

As they were walking across the bridge again to leave the Tower of London, James pulled Lily close, and wrapped his arms around her waist. She rested her head on James’s shoulder.

“So how about we round the day out with dinner and a movie if you are up to it?” James asked.

“Sounds like a plan, however if we go to a movie, I might fall asleep on you.” Lily said.

“In that case, why don’t we get so supper and then head home? We can watch a movie at home in the theatre. That way when you fall asleep it is just the matter of walking up the stairs rather then waking you up.” James said.

“That is one of my favorite rooms in the house. When we get a place of our own, we are going to have your mother how she did it.” Lily said as she snuggled up close to her husband.

“What ever you want, we will get it.” James said.

“James, do you think that for the renewal of our wedding vows that we could have a muggle wedding? As a little girl I always dreamed of what my wedding would be like, and I have always wanted to get married in the same church that my parents got married in.” Lily asked as they started to cross Tower Bridge.

“I told you anything that you want. My side of the family can take the international floo to get there, so we don’t have to worry about travel expenses like your family would.” James said.

James led her into a small restaurant, which from the outside looked run down. Lily was leery about entering the eatery, worried about the food that would be served in such a place.

James let out a small chuckle as they walked into the place. The inside of the restaurant was nothing like the outside of the building. Inside there were tables that were set up with cream colored linens on all of the tables. The napkins were folded into a fan, with a set of silverware and drinkware on all of the tables.

There a few couples that were sitting down to enjoy a meal and time with one another. By the look of the set up, it seemed that the restaurant was set for couples, there were a few tables that look to serve more than two, but for the most part it was a just set up for two.

There was an old world feel to the place, but at the same time it had a hominess feel to the place. It was very inviting.

A woman came walking up to them, she was dressed in a white button down shirt, and a pair of black slacks that had a black apron over top. She had a head of curly brown hair that she had pulled in a ponytail.

“Good evening, is just the two of you this evening?” She asked.

“Yes.” James replied, since Lily was still looking around. He gently nudged her along, to follow the server.

James pulled out a chair for Lily, who took a seat. He then took a seat across from her. The waitress handed each of them a menu. “Can I start you out with something to drink?”

“I will have a coke.” Lily said.

“And I will have one also.” James said.

“Alright, I will give you two a minute to look over the menu.”

Lily was looking at her choices for meals, and was surprised to see the choices. The look of the outside didn’t seem to merit the choices that were on the menu.

“So James, what is good here?” Lily asked.

“Anything that is on the menu, I am certain that at this point I have tried everything that is on the menu. I am certain that the chef here hasn’t come across a recipe that they can’t make.” James said.

The waitress came back, with there drink order in hand. She pulled out her order pad. “So have you decided what you will be having this evening?”

“I think so. I will be having the steak, medium.”

“Alright, what kind of potato, we have mashed, chips or hashbrowns?”

“Mashed, please.”

“Soup or salad?”

“Salad.”

“And for you sir?”

“I will take the same thing, however I will go with medium rare for the steak. I will have chips, and also will take the salad.” James said as he handed over the menu to the waitress.

“Alright, I will have your salad out shortly.” The waitress left their table.

James put his hands across the table to take up his wife’s hands in his own. He looked deeply into the eyes of the one who stole his heart all those months ago when he had first met her.

“So are we ready to go back to school tomorrow?” James asked.

“Sometime I wonder if you married me so that you would have someone to do your packing, and make sure that you have everything that need for school.” Lily said with a smile dancing on her lips.

“Of course not, I married you because I was drunk.” James said with a slight smile.

“It is a good think I know that you love me, otherwise you would be on the couch tonight, and believe me your mother would support my decision.” Lily said to her husband. “However, yes we are all set for tomorrow morning. I packed up the bit of what we would need for school this morning before going outside.”

“You are the best.” James said with a smile.

“I just hope that the end of the year goes smoother than the start of the year otherwise it will be quite difficult to study for NEWTs.” Lily said.

“You will do fine on your NEWTs, you had all outstanding when it came to your OWLs. I can’t imagine that there is anything that could be on our exams that you don’t know.” James said.

“But…”

“We won’t worry about that track, until we get there.” James said, as the waitress brought out their salads.

The rest of dinner was filled with small talk, and light conversation as they enjoyed some of the best food that they had tasted in a long time.

They finished the evening in the home theatre watching a movie together on the couch, where they both ended up falling asleep, rapped in one another’s embrace. And that was how his mother found them the next day.
 
 

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