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A/N: So... this is it. After over two years, this novel is finally finished! It's so weird to be finished with it, half of me is sort of relieved but the other half of me doesn't want to let it go. But anyways, let me know what you think of the epilogue!! And also, I've been thinking about doing some extra tidbits/snapshots of James and Elle's life in another story/novella for you guys but I'm not entirely sure whether to do it or not... let me know whether you think it'll be a good idea or not! Plus I have an idea about writing a small one-shot about Norah and Anthony, how they got together etc. let me know whether you'd be interested in reading it or not as well please? I love to hear your guys' feedback! Thank you so much for sticking with the story for over two years and I just want to say thank you to those who left reviews when I almost ending up abandoning the story and really pushed me to get writing again! I love you all and enjoy the very last chapter *muah*

Disclaimer: I only own my OCs and the plot but everything you recognise from the Harry Potter world does not belong to me but the talented J.K. Rowling.



24th December 2030. 09:30am.
The train pulled into the station with a loud screech and I winced, having the sound go through me with a shiver. The older woman who sat opposite me on the train ride home gave me a small wave and got off with all the other passengers eager to get off as if the doors would close on them suddenly. I waited until the rush had settled down before standing up, collecting my suitcases from the storage compartment and heaved them off onto the platform. They were decidedly heavier than when I left almost six months ago but that was because I had accumulated a lot of things. Mostly for family and friends though. Speaking of whom,

“Elle!” My whole face instantly lit up when I saw my family stood a little further down on the platform, waiting for me, “Oh my God, you look amazing!” Char was the first to practically sprint forward and embrace me in a bear-hug. My smile widened when she picked me up and spun me round, laughing at the same time, “What have you done to your hair?” She questioned, gesturing for me to spin in a circle for her.

“I decided I wanted something a little different.” I shrugged, running a hand through my newly chopped ginger hair that hung just above my shoulders.

“It suits you so much!” She exclaimed happily, pulling me in for another hug as the rest of the family came forward. I wasn’t expecting to see Norah here but was ecstatic all the same.

“I’m so glad to see you!” I smiled, leaning down to give her a hug as well. It didn’t pass my attention that she had a handsome young man with her, his hands steady on her wheelchair, “Who’s this?” I grinned mischievously and she nearly smacked me.

“Hi,” he stuck his hand out for me to shake, “I’m Anthony. I’m the Healer in charge of Norah’s care.” He gave me a small smile and I returned it.

“And my boyfriend.” Norah pointed out, making Anthony’s face turn slightly pink.

“Yeah, well, we weren’t going to mention that to your sister until she was settled in.” He tried to say it quietly but everyone heard all the same.

“She would have found out eventually.” Norah rolled her eyes at me and my grin widened even more if that were possible.

“It was nice to meet you anyway,” I reassured him and he gave me another shy smile, “I’m sure she’s in good hands.” He nodded his head seriously and I had to give another chuckle at that. The last person my attention was drawn to was my Dad, stood there with a hint of a smile on his face.

“Hello.” He greeted and I stepped forward, putting my arms around him gingerly. He did seem a little shocked at that but he eventually did the same. The hug only last a few seconds but for once it wasn’t awkward.


“You look good,” he pointed out and I smiled, “That hairstyle suits you.” He complimented, rather stiffly but I knew he was trying and it made me proud for some strange reason. Throughout my one-on-one sessions with my carer, Samantha, we had toyed around the idea of possibly going with my Dad to therapy sessions. She advised that at first it might be tricky to get him on board and it might start off rocky, but in the end it would all pay off. Just like how my treatment started off. I was a complete mess when I got there, having panic attacks left, right, and centre. But as it progressed and Sam pushed me to keep at it, I found that it helped. The panic attacks didn’t stop completely but I could use different techniques that she’d taught me to control them when they did happen. And as I looked at my Dad, trying his best to smile and give me compliments, I made it my mission to suggest it to him at some point in the near future. I kind of understood that our relationship may never go back to the way it used to be but if we could get to some sort of level ground, I could die happily.

“Should we go back to Dad’s? I bet you’re shattered,” Char suggested, pulling one of my suitcases behind her. Actually more like heaving it behind her, “Jesus, what did you pack in here?” She moaned, lifting it up the stairs towards the main entrance of the station.

I laughed, “It’s just some presents for everyone.” We waited patiently outside the elevators that Norah and Anthony were coming up in and when they’d arrived, we started making out way towards our cars. Dad, Char, and I were going in Dad’s whilst Norah and Anthony were taking his car.

“Are you sure you’ll be alright getting in the car? Do you want me to sit next to you in the back?” Char questioned as Dad had finished helping me put the suitcases into the boot and in the back seat of his car.

“Char, it’s fine honestly! That’s one of the things they helped me with.” I squeezed her hand to reassure her and climbed into the back seat next to my suitcase. The nervous feeling started creeping up in the back of my neck when Dad started the engine and I could feel my palms start to sweat but I pushed those thoughts out of my mind and instead focussed on the things in the scenery around us that I could see, sounds I could hear, etc. Before I even knew it we were back at my Dad’s bungalow and I calmly exited the car.

“So how was the train ride home?” Char asked as Dad and I got the suitcases our and started walking towards the front door.

“I didn’t realise how busy it was going to be coming back, like I know it’s Christmas tomorrow but it was absolutely packed.” I answered, shutting the front door behind me. Dad went immediately into my bedroom to deposit the suitcases then came straight back into the living room, sitting down on the couch with the rest of us. Norah came in with Anthony a couple of minutes later, wheeling herself to sit beside my side. Anthony kind of lingered awkwardly next to her.

“I hope you don’t mind but you and Norah will be sharing a room,” Dad spoke whilst scratching the top of his head, “I didn’t really have anywhere else for her to go when she was discharged.” He admitted and I nodded my head.

“That’s okay,” I looked at Norah who was looking slightly sheepish too, “I don’t mind sharing a room with you.”

“Just no fighting, please.” Dad joked and we all laughed. It was first time in a while I’d actually felt comfortable in the house with my family.

“Anyway, was it long? The train journey?” Char immediately put the attention back on me again.

“It was alright, I think it was longer going than coming back,” I admitted, “But I did speak to an older woman on the train back for a bit so it went quicker than expected. I was more excited about coming home.” They chuckled and I felt a smile on my face.

“Did you get homesick?” Norah butted in and I turned to her.

“Yeah, a bit to begin with but Sam, my therapist, was lovely. She took my mind off it a lot,” she nodded her head and I carried on even though no-one had really asked, “She was quite surprised that I progressed so quickly after six months. Most people tend to stay between a year or a year and a half because they make things difficult for the staff but Samantha said I took everything she told me on board almost straight away.”

“That’s not in your nature though, Elle,” Char inputted and I smiled again, feeling my face blush, “You’re not one to make things difficult if someone’s helping you.”

“I guess so,” I sighed and we settled into comfortable silence until I spoke again, “When am I going to see my gorgeous niece and nephew?” I turned to my older sister as she laughed, her arm around the back of the couch.

“Later on, Darrell’s still at work and his Mum and Dad have got the two of them until I say when basically.”

“Okay… but how much later on? I’ve missed the little blighters.” I smirked when she hit me over the arm as Norah laughed.

“I met Gabby just after I was discharged.” She spoke up bluntly and I stared at her with surprise until it registered that she had been in the coma for about a year when Char got pregnant with Gabby. So she’s never actually met her niece before.

“Isn’t she a little madam?” I gushed and she did the same too.

“She’s absolutely lovely! I can’t wait until she’s older so I can spoil her!” She exclaimed and I laughed.

“There will be no spoiling, I don’t want my children to grow up bratty thank you very much.” Char sat forward, interrupting our conversation and Norah gave me a subtle wink, which I returned when Char wasn’t looking.

“It’s almost eleven, Norah, we need to go back to St Mungo’s to get your medicine.” Anthony spoke up from where he was sat on the floor beside Norah’s wheelchair. I had completely forgotten that he was here because he’d been so quiet.

“Alright,” she sighed grumpily before looking at me, “I hate taking my meds.” She whispered sulkily and I chuckled.

“I’m sure they’re fine, Norah.” I reassured her but she pulled a face at me.

“They taste like a mixture of cat piss and liquorice wands. It’s disgusting.” She pulled that face again as she wheeled herself towards the front door after giving us all hugs.

“But if you want to heal faster, you have to take them unfortunately.” Anthony teased. I saw Norah making a ‘blah, blah, blah’ face behind us back and I laughed. Like proper, belly-laughing and I hadn’t laughed like that in a while as well. Once they’d left, Char and I stood up at the same time.

“If you don’t mind, I’m going to start unpacking all my stuff and then probably just go to bed for a couple of hours.” I said, giving Char a hug.

“Well I need to go back home, get everything tidied for tonight.” She said as she hugged me.

“Why? What’s happening tonight?” I asked, looking at Dad with a confused expression.

“Everyone’s coming round for a Christmas Eve meal, like we used to do.” Dad nodded his head in agreement and I looked back at Char in amusement.

"Oh right okay! What time?”

“Around six o’clock is what we agreed, I think.” She looked at Dad for approval and he nodded his head again, eyes frantically swapping between the two of us.

“What time do you want me to wake you up then?” Dad piped up finally, looking at me and I looked at the clock in the kitchen that said it was getting close to half eleven.

“I’ll probably go to sleep first to be honest and then unpack because I’m exhausted,” I admitted, feeling a yawn coming on, “So maybe wake me up at about half two-ish?” I suggested and he nodded his head yet again in reply. I gave Char one long hug again and walked her to the front door.

“I’m so glad you’re home.” She whispered, kissing me on the forehead and walking down the front pathway.

“I’ll see you later on!” I called after her retreating figure and she spun around, waving as she apparated on the spot. Quietly I walked back into the house, shut the door behind me and made my way back into Norah and I’s shared bedroom. The only thing that was different was that my bed was now pushed up against the wall with a bed almost mirroring it on the other side so that both ends of the bed were touching slightly. I quickly shrugged off the jeans and t-shirt I had on, pulled a pyjama top and pants out of one of the suitcases before slipping under the duvet. It smelt newly washed and I knew that either Norah or Dad had washed the bedding before me arriving back so I made a mental note to thank them as I drifted off into sleep.




24th December 2030. 14:36pm.
“Elle, it’s half two,” I felt a hand gently shake my shoulder in an effort to wake me up and I rolled over to get a good look at whoever was disturbing me, expecting to see Sam but pleasantly surprised to see my Dad hovering over me, “You told me to wake you up at half two.” I nodded my head still half-asleep and watched as he exited the room as quickly as he came in. For a good few minutes I debated going back to sleep for an extra half an hour as I stared up at the ceiling of the room but eventually motivation won out and I heaved myself out of the bed, falling onto the floor with a flop. The two suitcases in the corner just beckoned me to unpack them and I crawled along the floor towards them. Norah came in a few seconds later, laughing at my hair that was a bushy mess now that it was shorter than I used to have it.

“It really suits you though,” she finally managed to say seriously once she’d stopped laughing at me, “It makes you look a bit more like Mum.” I froze as I started to unzip the first suitcase that had all my dirty clothes in it. I thought it would be easiest to empty as the contents would just need moving into the laundry basket beside the wardrobe so that would take less than five minutes. Norah seemed to realise what she’d said and stayed quiet as the air was a tad bit tense. But I closed my eyes and breathed in and out before speaking,

“Really? I always thought Char looked more like Mum than I did.” I responded with a reassuring smile and her shoulders seemed to relax a little. She came forward so she was sat beside me, watching as I lifted piles of clothing and dumped it into the basket before going back for more.

“True,” she weighed the idea with a nod, “I got Dad’s square face shape.” She giggled.

“You should be thankful that’s all you got,” I retorted happily, “I got his nose, his eyes and his chin,” Norah laughed as I pointed to each with a smile. It still surprised me every time I looked at her to see her here in front of me, alive and well, “How’s your treatment going?” I asked curiously. I’d never actually asked how it was going in my letters to Norah just because it felt too invasive of me to ask. But I figured now was as good a time as any.

“It’s alright,” she ran a hand through her hair and then flung it back over her shoulder where it fell in neat waves, “Anthony says I’m making good progress so that’s all that needs saying really.” I knew there was something she didn’t want to talk about so I dropped the subject for now, focussing on unpacking all of my toiletry stuff from the second suitcase.

“How long have you two been together?” I changed the subject to the relationship she had kept quiet from me.

“Just over three months.” She replied, helping to put a few things away with me. The time seemed to go past quicker with another person helping me and I was grateful.

“When did it happen?”

“He’d been one of my carers from the start but he was my favourite, not because he was attractive,” she hastily added when I gave her a look causing her cheeks to blush, “But he told me how it was. Sure he could have sugar-coated a few things but I wouldn’t change it. I think he’s one of the reasons I’ve come to terms with all this,” she gestured down to her wheelchair and legs with her hands, “So quickly.”

“Then he became your Head Healer…?” I urged her to continued, feeling the little niggling of guilt in the back of my head. But just like Sam had taught me, I acknowledged it and then let it go, telling myself that it was how I was feeling and that it was okay to feel like that.

“Yeah, he did,” she answered, bringing me out of my thoughts, “I kind of stupidly asked him out one day and obviously he said no,” she rolled her eyes at the memory of it, “Because of the whole patient thing but then I was discharged… and I thought I’d try it again but this time he said yes,” her grin widened as she stared over my shoulder, “And it kind of went from there really.” She looked down at the ground with a shy smile and I knew she was leaving something out.

“That’s it? You don’t have any more juicy details for me?” I sat back on my haunches, crossing my arms in shock. Norah had always had a flair for dramatics so there was no way in hell nothing spectacular had happened that she wasn’t telling me.

“Alright, we can’t all be like you and James with your storybook fairy-tale!” she teased sticking her tongue out at me as I turned back to the suitcase with a fake smile on my face. The truth was, I hadn’t actually spoken to James in six months. There weren’t any letters sent in from him and I tried multiple times to send him letters but I just didn’t know what to write. I wasn’t even sure if he’d discovered he didn’t feel the same way anymore and had moved on but just couldn’t tell me. I wasn’t sure, and it honestly killed me. We left on such an open ending that I wasn’t even sure whether we were in a relationship or not. In hindsight, it probably would have been a better idea to sit down properly before I went and talked about it all but we didn’t.

And I was just as confused about it all six months down the line than when we first left it, “Speaking of whom, how’s it going?” I looked at her as she wiggled her eyebrows up and down suggestively. Unknowingly, I let out a huge sigh, looking over all the Christmas presents I had brought back for everyone whilst making sure to keep Norah’s hidden.

“I don’t know.” I shrugged, letting the smile drop off my face as I slumped into the floor with my legs crossed.

“You don’t know? I thought you finally admitted that you loved each other!” She looked at me in disbelief and I nodded my head.

“I know we did but…” I paused, “We didn’t really talk about anything before I left. We kind of just left it as we loved each other and that was it.”

“So you don’t actually know whether you’re even boyfriend and girlfriend?” Norah said exactly what I had been thinking and I nodded my head again, “Well that’s a bit shit.”

“Tell me about it.” I sighed, standing up and getting some wrapping paper, cello tape, and scissors out of the kitchen before walking back into the bedroom.

“When are you going to see him?” She asked when I started wrapping the first lot of presents for Ruari and Gabby so I could take them round to Char’s later on.

“I don’t know that either,” I replied, focusing on the present wrapping and not James for the time being, “Ginny texted me earlier and invited me round to her house tomorrow evening for Christmas dinner but I don’t know whether he’ll be there or not. She didn’t mention him in the text,” I got my phone out to show her the message and she read through it before handing it back to me with a sympathetic expression on her face, “Now, are you going to help me wrap this or not?” I changed the subject quickly as she took a present off of me and began to help me wrap them.




24th December 2030. 20:05pm.
“That meal was delicious, thank you Charity.” Dad smiled, picking up everyone’s plates along with said girl and heading into the kitchen with them. There was a murmur of agreements around the table, especially from Ruari who had been very lively ever since we arrived at the house. Darrell said it was because his favourite Aunty was back which earned him a glare from Norah.

“Anyone for dessert?” Char’s head popped round the kitchen door frame.

“What do you have in mind?” I piped up from my seat beside Dad’s. It was Char’s choice, obviously, as Anthony and Norah were sat together beside us with Darrell, Charity, Ruari, and Gabby opposite us.

“To be honest, it’s either a yes or no because I only have one dessert really.” She chuckled nervously before appearing out from the kitchen followed by Dad, holding a huge chocolate cake.

“My answer’s definitely a yes.” Norah immediately exclaimed at the same time Darrell said,

“Ooh, yes please. My diet will start after Christmas is finished.” Making us laugh loudly. What I didn’t notice however was that written on the cake with chocolate icing were the words,


‘Welcome home, Elle!’


I could feel my eyes welling up a little as soon as I noticed it, “Aw, you didn’t have to do this guys!” I exclaimed with a smile as she placed the cake down in the middle of the table. Dad came to take the seat beside me again, handing me the cake knife.

“We did have to do this!” Char retorted, giving me a look that made me keep my mouth shut, “And will you do the honours?” I stood up, holding the knife and began to slice each person a piece of the cake. Once everyone had their own piece, we settled down and began to eat together in comfortable silence with only an occasional comment here and there.

“Say good night to Aunty Elle, Aunty Norah, and Granddad because it’s bed time.” Darrell announced when we’d all relocated to the living room. Ruari immediately ran to me and jumped onto my lap, making me grunt loudly under the sudden weight on me.

“Na-night Aunty Lell!” He practically screamed in my ear, placing a sloppy kiss on my cheek.

“Good night, Ruari.” I kissed him back on the cheek before he army crawled over my lap onto Norah’s,

“Night Aunty Norah and Granddad!”

“Gabby, you too! Bed time.” Darrell looked down at Gabby who was trying her best to make herself look invisible so she didn’t have to go to bed.

“No, don’t want to.” She grumbled from underneath the coffee table and I had to laugh.

“Gabrielle, I can still see you under the table,” I could tell he was trying to keep his amusement out of his tone of voice, “You’ve got until the count of three to say your goodnight’s otherwise I’m going to call Santa Clause and tell him to cancel all your presents!” he threatened but Gabby still didn’t budge, “One!” he blurted, holding his finger up as we watched amused, “Two!” He added after a few seconds paused but she still didn’t move from under the table.

“Ooh, you better say goodnight or else!” Norah looked down at her niece, playing along.

“Three! Alright, I’m getting my phone out! I’m calling Santa!” he exclaimed loudly, pulling his phone out of his pocket and pretending to dial a number, “Hello Santa, sorry to call you so late but I’ve got a very naughty little girl who doesn’t want to go to bed. I don’t think you should bring any presents for her. Her name is Gab-!” As soon as he said that, she shrieked and shot out from under the table and onto my lap.

“Good night, Aunty Lellie!” She quickly said as I kissed the top of her forehead. She wasted no time in saying good night to Norah and Dad as Darrell stood there with his phone still in hand. We all laughed as both she and Ruari pegged it up the stairs to their bedrooms so that Darrell wouldn’t give their names.

“I’ll go and help Charity with the dishes.” Dad said, standing up and heading into the kitchen where our oldest sister was. Norah and I sat on the couch, listening as Darrell tried to get the two of them in bed separately. On numerous occasions, we heard him threaten to call Mum and they immediately shut up making the both of us laugh.

“Merlin’s beard, you’d think with it being Christmas tomorrow they’d want to be in bed early.” He huffed as he came down the stairs after battling with them for a good fifteen minutes.

“When are you going to put all the presents out?” Norah whispered to make sure neither of them heard.

“They’re making me sleep downstairs tonight with a camera to see if I can get a photo of him,” he rolled his eyes, “But at least all the presents are downstairs so I don’t have to move them far.” I laughed, sipping on the cup of tea Char had made me earlier.

“That actually reminds me,” I remembered that I had brought Ruari and Gabby’s presents with me tonight and so I stood up to go and collect them from the front door, “These are for Ruari and Gabby. Some of them I bought from The Lakes but some of them I got when I went on holiday ages ago and forgot to give you them when I got back,” Darrell laughed, taking them off of me and putting them under the tree, “And these are yours and Char’s presents so no peeking until tomorrow!” He laughed again just as Char and Dad came back in, both with their own cups of tea. They settled themselves down around us and we instantly started talking about tomorrow.

“What’s the plan then?” Norah asked, looking between Dad and Char.

“We’re coming over to Dad’s at lunch after we’ve opened all our presents here and then we’re going to Darrell’s parents’ for tea.” Char explained and I nodded my head. Everyone then turned to Dad expectantly.

“Nothing much,” he shrugged, “Opening presents with you lot until lunch and then going seeing my Mum and Dad for tea. Norah’s coming with me.”

“Can Anthony come as well? His family are on holiday in Greece so he’s got no-one to spend Christmas with.” She put her best puppy dog eyes on and Dad instantly melted. It was something she could always do well and Dad was a sucker for it every time.

“I don’t see why not.” He shrugged again, downing the last but of his tea.

“What’re you doing, Elle?” Darrell asked from beside Char. He had his arm wrapped around her waist and it just made me miss James more than ever.

“Same as Dad pretty much except Ginny’s invited me round to hers for some tea with them.” I answered with a smile, thinking about how nervous and excited I was to see everyone again. The person I was the most nervous to see though was Lily. Ginny had written plenty of letters to tell me she was fine with me now and missing me loads but I wasn’t entirely sure I believed it because I got no letters off of her directly.

“Ooh, get to see lover boy!” Char teased and I rolled my eyes in embarrassment, my face flushing. I took a big sip of my drink in order to hide my face until it had died down a little. Norah gave me a reassuring look when I met her eyes as only she knew about me not speaking to James for six months, “Anyway, before you all leave… I want to make a toast to Elle,” once again my face coloured and I tried to hide it with my hair but now that it was shorter, I failed to do so, “For being six months sober! I’m so proud of you for getting help for yourself.” Everyone smiled kindly at me, including my Dad which was strange, and we all clinked glasses together happily.




25th December 2030. 17:30pm.
“See you all later on!” I called from the front door of Dad’s house, with my jacket on and my unbelievably heavy bad slung over my shoulder.

“See you later, have fun!” I heard Norah say from our bedroom. Probably playing with the new toys Dad had gotten her for her wheelchair, with Anthony’s help of course.

“Bye!” Dad said from where he was sat on the couch, watching some old classic Christmas movies. He, Norah, and Anthony were only leaving to go to our Grandparents house at six o’clock so they got to chill for another half an hour. I quickly called another ‘goodbye’ and locked the front door behind me as I made my way towards the closest apparition zone from our bungalow. Usually I’d apparate from the alley way to the back of our small garden but the houses around us were quite busy what with families over and everything so someone would be bound to see me disappearing into thin air. Once I’d managed to reach the zone, successfully without slipping in the snow, I spun on the spot remembering what their house looked like until I felt the familiar tug in my stomach.

When I’d opened my eyes, I found myself in front of a recognisable door with a massive hanger on the front. I swallowed my nerves difficultly, constantly repeating what Sam had taught me over the six months, and knocked on the door. The lively talking from inside seemed to simmer down slightly when I had knocked until the door swung open and I was nearly knocked over onto the floor by a mass of ginger hair.

“Oh Jesus!” I exclaimed, unable to move my arms as said person had them pinned to my sides as they hugged me.

“Sorry! I’m just so excited to see you! It’s been ages!” They rambled excitedly and albeit a little muffled from their head being buried into the shoulder of my winter coat. I didn’t realise who it was until they pulled back. Lily.

“H-hi.” I started a little nervously, unsure of what to say to her.

“You’ve been gone six months and all you say is ‘H-hi’?” she snorted, rolling her eyes and grabbing my hand to drag me inside the house. Unknowingly a huge smile made its way on my face at how little she had changed, “What? Do I have something on my face?” She panicked when she noticed I had stopped in the middle of the corridor and was staring at her with a creepy smile on my face.

“I just… missed you.” I replied happily and her face lit up with a happily smile too. She rushed forwards and gave me a normal hug this time as I wrapped my arms around her too.

“I missed you too,” she whispered back as we stood in the corridor hugging for a few minutes, “I’m sorry for how I acted. I may have over exaggerated and been a bit dramatic.” I could practically feel the heat rush to her face as she talked and I chuckled.

“It’s okay, you had every right to be mad at me,” I reassured her and she tightened the hug, “I’m sorry for not telling you sooner.” I whispered back and we finally pulled away from each other.

“It’s okay. Shit happens,” she shrugged happily, grabbing hold of my hand again, “Come on! They’re all excited to see yo- and oh my God, your hair?!” She interrupted herself and did a double-take when she finally noticed it and I laughed out loud. She grabbed a small section, pulling it away from my head and letting it drop again. I had let Norah straighten it for me for today as she wanted me to look my best for James. She didn’t actually say that last part but it was implied in the way she said it. Lily stood and stared at my hair for a couple more seconds before pulling me into the living room. Harry was the first to stand up to come and greet me.

“It’s good to see you, Elle,” he embraced me happily, “You look lovely.”

“Thank you, Harry! It’s great to see you too,” I offered him a smile which he returned as Al stepped forward next, “Hey, Al!”

“Hi, Elle! You look really good!” He complimented and I blushed, shoving his shoulder as he winked at me. Instead of hugged me, he offered out his hand I slapped it, giving him a high-five.

“Aw, you look all grown up, Elle!” I recognised that voice as Ginny and side-stepped Al, practically sprinting towards her, “It’s so lovely to see you in person rather than writing letters! And I have to say I am loving the hair, you look so great!” She exclaimed, stroking through my hair as I hugged her happily.

“And just in time too because tea’s nearly ready!” Harry inputted from where he was sitting on his recliner.

“Ooh! I need to go check up on that actually!” Ginny suddenly walked briskly towards the direction of the kitchen after letting me go and I kind of stood awkwardly in the middle of the living room.

“You can sit down, you know?” Al teased so I stuck my tongue out at him, sitting myself down beside Lily. She instantly turned to me with a happy smile on her face.

“So… how was it?” She looked at me with pure excitement that I had to laugh.

“I went to a Rehab Centre you know, not on holiday.” I pointed out sarcastically and she rolled her eyes as both Harry and Al laughed.

“I know that,” she drew the word out before grabbing my arm, shaking it a little, “What was the place like?”

“It was alright, a bit like a mix between a hotel and a hospital but it was alright.” I answered honestly. I didn’t really pay much attention to it all that much. As she was about to speak again, another voice cut across her as the living room door opened,

“Hello beautiful!” I looked away from Lily’s face to the new one at the door and my face immediately split into a massive grin. Before I even had the chance to reply, however, Ginny stuck her head in the door and announced tea was ready. Everyone else slyly snuck out the room, leaving the two of us alone. As soon as Lily shut the door behind her, James all but hurled himself at me and lifted me up in the air, spinning me round, “I’ve missed you!” He whispered when he put me down on the ground, instinctively wrapping his arms around my waist snugly.

“I missed you too!” I replied ecstatically, my arms winding round his neck in response, “But that doesn’t mean you’re forgiven for not contacting me in six months!” I pulled away suddenly, smacking him on the arm repeatedly as he laughed, “Not funny, James!”

“You said about having some separation before you left!” He responded, trying to grab each of my arms that were still hitting him on the arm

“That doesn’t mean you can’t write me a letter for Christ’s sake!” he successfully managed to grab both as I stared at him with a deadly glare, “I kept thinking the worst.” He seemed to sober up at that and pulled me towards him again, wrapping his arms around my shoulder this time.

“What did I tell you when you left?” he asked and I shrugged, “I’d still feel the same regardless.”

“I know but feelings change and it’s been six bloody months!” I retorted as he kissed the top of my head.

“I know, I’m sorry,” he sighed and then pulled back with a grin, “But would it make you feel any better if I said I was still madly in love with you?”

“Maybe.” I shrugged with a pout on my face. He dug around his pocket for something for a bit, making me nervous.

“And…” he brought his hand out of his pocket but kept whatever was inside it clenched tightly in his fist, “I know we’re exchanging gifts after tea but I wanted to give you this one now whilst we were alone,” he unravelled his fist to show a small, fragile looking silver ring in the middle. My eyes widened in shock at it and I couldn’t do anything except stare at it. He wasn’t proposing again, was he? In all honesty, I don’t think my answer would have changed all that much since the last time he asked and I instantly felt guilty at having to turn him down again, “And before you panic, it’s not an engagement ring! It’s a promise ring.” He explained delicately, holding it up between his index finger and thumb.

“What’s a promise ring?” I asked, my eyebrows furrowing together in confusion after the temporary panic subsided.

“Basically, for me, a pre-engagement ring. It’s a promise to you that I’m here to stay for the long-run,” he stated proudly as I held out my hand and he placed it delicately on my pinky finger for the time-being just in case his family freaked out again, “I knew you wouldn’t be ready for me to ask again when you eventually came back so I thought this would be a good compromise. For now.” He finished by putting his hands in his pockets casually and rocking back and forth on his heels.

“Thank you, it’s perfect.” I smiled, happy that he’d taken my feelings into account before randomly proposing again.

“And I will propose to you, Elle… that’s a promise.” He looked down at me with a cheeky grin and mine widened even more as I jumped up into his arms.

“I look forward to it,” I replied happily as he leaned his head down for a kiss, “It better be the best damn proposal in the world! I want parachutes, messages in the sky, romantic stuff!” I exaggerated as he kissed me deeply again.


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