Author: whalerider PM
An ordinary day of Christmas shopping leads to a magical moment on the lives of Lily and JamesRated: Fiction T - English - Romance - Lily Evans P. & James P. - Chapters: 4 - Words: 3,982 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 7 - Follows: 6 - Published: 08-11-07 - Status: Complete - id: 3717306
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Lily shivered delicately as the icy, sleet-laden wind whipped her red hair into her eyes. She fingered her wand nervously, glancing around at the unusually empty streets of Hogsmeade. Ordinarily, the snowy village would be packed with Hogwarts students and villagers doing last-minute Christmas shopping; the recent surge of disappearances now meant the cheerful little town was nearly deserted.
James twirled his wand in a complex circle around the shivering girl beside him, creating a bubble of warm, dry air that quickly surrounded her and dried her sodden hair instantly. He reddened slightly as he caught the look of relief in her eyes, and edged closer to his girlfriend.
The pair grinned as almost instantly, loud objections and groans broke out behind them. "Aww, come on, mate," Sirius whined pathetically, "We're bloody freezing over here!" His protests were soon joined by those of Remus and Peter. "How come she gets the nice warm air thingie, huh?"
"Because she's my girl, not yours, mate," James shot back over his shoulder. He turned and stuck his tongue out at the three boys trailing behind him, receiving only sympathetic smiles in response.
"And besides, if you'd been paying attention in Charms third year, Padfoot, instead of ogling that Samantha girl, you would have known how to do that charm in the first place." Remus crossed his arms and gave Sirius a smug grin.
Sirius spluttered, "But James wasn't paying attention then either! He was ogling Lily! Explain how he knows that charm, then!" He pointedly ignored the filthy look thrown by James, and grinned at Lily's raised eyebrows.
Now walking backwards, James smiled at Sirius. "That, my dear Padfoot, is one of the advantages of being on the Quidditch team: team captain taught us that one ages ago, so we wouldn't freeze to our brooms during a match." He spun, caught Lily in his arms, and spun her in a dizzying circle. Placing her gently back on the frozen ground, he darted in for a kiss.
Lily turned her head at the last instant, catching his lips on her cheek. "Eeeek!" she shrieked, frantically rubbing her face. "Potter, your lips are freezing!"
James grinned maniacally. "No, Evans," he retorted, "your face is warm." He inched closer, hoping for another kiss, then gasped in horror as he felt his feet slip on a nasty patch of ice. The world spun crazily as he pitched forward, and he opened his eyes at Lily's surprised yelp. They both lay sprawled on the ground, and James realized that the reason for her surprisingly blurry features lay in a snow bank several feet away. "Stupid glasses," he muttered, then realized just how close Lily's face was. He waggled his eyebrows fiendishly, causing Lily to erupt into uncontrollable giggles.
Sirius cleared his throat loudly. "Ahem." He shielded his eyes with one hand in mock horror and disgust. "If you two are going to do that, do you mind getting a room?"
Remus rolled his eyes and obligingly fetched James's glasses from the snow. He handed them back to an embarrassed James, who clambered hastily to his feet, shoved the glasses onto his nose, and extended a hand down to Lily, who was still chuckling on the ground.
Peter, who had remained miraculously silent through the entire event, piped up, "I'm hungry, you guys. When can we get something to eat?" He glanced longingly down the street towards the bakery, his nose twitching slightly.
Sirius laughed loudly. "Wormtail, you're always hungry! Hey, you guys see that? His nose is twitching even when he isn't a rat!"
Lily laughed merrily, and grabbing James by the hand, danced off towards the Three Broomsticks. James glanced back and, raising his voice over the howling wind, bellowed, "Come on, you lot! My parents just sent me some gold last week, so drinks are on me!"
Sirius, Remus, and Peter exchanged amused looks. "If he has as many firewhiskeys as he did last time," Remus laughed, "the drinks really will be on him, and all over his robes, too!"
The inside of the Three Broomsticks was, as always, warm and inviting, though a little less crowded. People looked up nervously as the door opened to admit Lily and the Marauders, perhaps expecting Death Eaters to slip inside and wreak havoc in these dangerous times. Everyone relaxed at the sight of the group, whose faces were quite well-known in Hogsmeade, and Hagrid waved cheerily from a table near the fire.
James swallowed around the lump in his throat, and took a few deep breaths to calm himself. Giving Lily what he hoped was a reassuring smile, he ordered five firewhiskeys and, grabbing the drinks, led the others over to Hagrid's table. "Hi, Hagrid! Having a good Christmas?" He sat down and nervously fiddled with his bottle.
"Hmm, what? Oh, yeah, yeah, bin great so far." Hagrid's dark eyes quickly scanned the room as he lowered his voice. "Waitin' for the Prewett boys ter get here so I can get back to me cabin; still have a few Christmas trees I gotta get back ter the school. Dumbledore's got some of the Order stationed all around Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley, y'know, an' they're supposed ter be here any minute now."
"Yeah, we heard about that," Sirius said quietly. "Remus and I were on guard duty in Diagon Alley just a few days ago. Dumbledore had us guarding the entrance to Knockturn Alley, what with that incident last week and all."
Remus nodded in agreement. "James lent us his Invisibility Cloak, since he was off at his parents' place then. Dumbledore reckoned the Aurors weren't enough, if someone could make off with a load of Dark poisons on their watch, so he sent us to keep a lookout."
Hagrid lowered his voice even more, so that the others had to lean close to hear him. "I hear that what's really got Dumbledore on edge is what else was taken. The way I hear it, whoever stole those poisons made off with a couple o' books, too. Real old, they were, and full of nasty Dark stuff. Stuff even Death Eaters would be afraid ter know." He stirred uneasily and shuddered, then took another gigantic swig of firewhiskey.
Seizing the opportunity, James clapped a hand to his forehead and swore loudly. "Oh, bollocks, that reminds me! Mum asked me if I could pick up some books for her while we were here today, and the bookstore is closing in a few minutes!" He drained the last of his firewhiskey, scratched the end of his nose, and stood. "Lil, do you mind staying here for a few minutes while I run over and get those books?"
As Lily shook her head, a bit puzzled, Remus, Sirius, and Peter shot out of their seats. "You know what? I think we'll go with him," Sirius said with a bark of laughter. "You know how he gets when he's had firewhiskey, Lily, can't remember a thing for more than a few seconds."
Lily gave James a curious look, but shrugged and resumed a whispered conversation with Hagrid as the Marauders headed for the door. Then she sat up straight as Sirius pulled James's Invisibility Cloak from beneath his coat. "You know, I think I'll follow them, Hagrid, I don't like the looks of that Cloak; whenever that comes out, it usually means those boys are up to something." She stood and pulled her hat and gloves back on. "Well, Happy Christmas, Hagrid, tell the Prewetts I said hello!"
Lily opened the door, shivering as she realized the charm James had put around her had worn off, and started scanning the nearly deserted road. She sighed and crossed the street to the bookstore, earning a slightly put-out look from the storekeeper as she entered the shop. "Miss, we close in five minutes," the irritated woman said, pointing her wand at the sign on the door. "Yes, yes, I know," Lily grumbled as she searched the shop for any other customers. "I'm sorry, but did four gentlemen come in here before me? One had black hair and glasses.."
"Oh, yes, dear," the woman said, her smile warming a bit. "Quite polite they were, too. The one with glasses, now, he looked like he was up to something, he did." She raised her eyebrows and pointed to the tiny table-filled back of the store. "Bought some things from the café, he did, then they all left, giggling like schoolgirls."
Lily suppressed a groan of dismay and annoyance. "Well, thank you," she called over her shoulder as she left.
"Any time, dearie," the witch called back before the door shut, the bells tied to its handle jingling slightly in the wind. "Oh, wait!" She dashed out the door, panting slightly. "You might not want to follow them, Miss."
Lily stared at the woman, quite certain she had gone mad. "Why not? I mean," she blushed slightly, "that was my boyfriend and his mates; they're always up to something."
The witch shuddered slightly. "They was headed up to the Shrieking Shack, dear, and talking about a girl, they was, sayin' as how she was going to be mad they were late."