A/N: Alright people, after reading Order of the Phoenix, and discovering that Arabella Figg is a Squib and an old lady, I have decided NOT to change my story line. And I am VERY pissed at Rowling for killing--… ok I'm not gonna spoil it for you people. ^_^ Anyway, at long last here is chappie nine! As a special treat to those who have been requesting the presence of Remus J. Lupin, I'm going to introduce him in this chapter.
Three minutes after James had shut the door of her room, Lily appeared downstairs, dressed in Quidditch robes and holding her broomstick. "Late, Evans," James said from his seat on the couch. "Tisk, tisk. Promptness is very important to Quidditch team captains."
Lily rolled her eyes and poked him with the handle of her broom, "Knock it off, Potter." James fell to the floor and rolled around, moaning in pain, "My ribs. You broke them…" Lily raised her broom again, pointing it menacingly between his legs, "I can do a lot more damage than that if you don't get up." In a flash, James was on his feet, his broomstick in hand. "After you," he said, flashing her a charming smile.
"Aren't you supposed to be holding a door open when you say that?" Lily asked, eyebrow raised.
"Not when we're apparating."
"Oh. Alright then." With a pop, Lily vanished, as did James a moment later.
"Can you see 'em?" Sirius whispered, inching forward on his stomach.
"Yeah. My God, there's a lot of them," Arabella replied, "And why did we have to come up on the roof? We could have climbed a tree."
"A tree? But Bella… where is the excitement, the danger, the class in a tree?"
"Personally, I think the roof is far more cliché."
"Yes, but it's also easier to push people off of," Sirius said, a maniac glint in his smoky gray eyes.
"You wouldn't…" Arabella protested, scooting away from him.
He smirked and closed the space between them, grabbing her arm and pulling her closer to the edge. "SIRIUS!" she shrieked, drawing the gazes of a few reporters in their direction. "Dammit woman," Sirius muttered and threw her down to lay flat on her stomach. Apparently, the reporters were too thick to look anywhere higher than their own heads, so Sirius and Arabella's hiding place was never discovered. When Sirius finally let her sit up, she glared at him, "You're the one who was threatening to throw me off." Sirius turned a pair of mournful gray eyes in her direction and she couldn't help but smile. "Fine, fine. I forgive you." At this he grinned delightedly and planted a resounding smack on her cheek. Laughing, she placed a hand under his chin and directed his gaze back to the reporters, "Focus, Sirius."
On the Quidditch pitch, James and Lily were busy discussing the finer points of the Nimbus 1000 when an ominous noise from the front of the house ended their debate. "Stay here," James ordered, mounting his broom. "It's probably the press and I don't want them hassling you."
Throwing him a defiant glare, Lily mounted hers as well and kicked off, "I don't need a babysitter, James. I'm perfectly capable of handling those reporters myself."
James sighed, "Lily, have you ever dealt with the press before?"
"No," she replied, grudgingly.
"Then I rest my case," he answered, with a superior smile. Scowling, Lily turned her broom and flew straight at him. "What the-?!" he exclaimed, dodging out of the way. Pointing her broom back on course, Lily smiled sweetly at him, "Next time you smirk like that, I'll knock you off your broom." Rolling his eyes, James conceded and the flew towards the front of the house.
The sight that greeted their eyes was not one they had expected. A bewildered cluster of reporters stood in the middle of a mini snow bank, while a rain of snowballs fell on their heads from an unseen source. Interestingly enough, every time a snowball hit one of them, their skin would change colors. Lily almost fell off her broom, she was laughing so hard. As it was, she swerved rather dangerously and James instinctively swooped beneath her in case she slipped. Lily flashed him a smile as she righted herself and he grinned back. "Shall we take a closer look?" he asked.
"It would be the decent thing to do," she replied, "Have to make sure Sirius doesn't murder them in the process."
"Well who else would be pelting the paparazzi with snowballs? Your house elf?"
"True… he and Bella were plotting something while they were sitting in the armchair."
"How do you know?"
"I've known Sirius for years. He gets a certain look on his face when he's about to pull a prank on someone."
"Ah," Lily commented, bursting into a fresh fit of laughter as the snowballs turned into dungbombs. James inched forward to discover what had her so tickled and shook his head. "Next thing you know, he'll progress to rocks."
Lily stopped laughing, "He wouldn't!"
James shrugged, "He's rather thoughtless sometimes. Very impulsive."
"Bella will set him straight," Lily said with complete confidence in her best friend.
James chuckled, "I'll bet she will. Well, since it seems our best friends have the press taken care of, would you like to go back to our Quidditch practice?"
Nodding, Lily turned her broom around, "Race ya," and sped off toward the pitch. Rolling his eyes, James followed but soon decided that he would much rather watch her fly than actually try to win. So he merely flew beside her, flattened out on his broomstick and pretending to be concentrating on beating her, while he was really sneaking glances at her out of the corner of his eye. Exquisite…, he thought, unable to tear his gaze from the flame colored tendrils that had escaped her ponytail and were now whipping across her face. Apparently, he had spoken his thoughts out loud. Lily turned her emerald gaze to his and asked, "What?"
He smiled, "You. You're exquisite, Lily Flower."
Her cheeks flushed the faintest shade of rose. Then she smirked and looked forward again, "I'm still going to beat you." With that, she streaked past him and landed neatly on the grass below. Laughing, he landed beside her and they spent the next couple of hours zooming around the pitch. James was surprised to discover that, although he was a better player than Lily, there were still a few things he could learn from her. But it only increased his admiration for her instead of causing him annoyance as it might have with other girls.
Two hours later, Lily and James flew the short distance from the pitch to his back door. "Better knock," Lily said as James reached for the door knob.
"It my house!" he protested.
"Yes but we've left Sirius and Arabella in there for almost two hours," she replied, coming to stand beside him and knocking on the wooden door. "Just a minute," came a call from inside, along with sounds of scuffling. Sirius appeared at the door, his sleek black hair looking rather disheveled. "Where's Bella?" Lily asked, smirking.
"She uh… um… went upstairs…" Sirius replied lamely.
"Are you going to let me into my own house or is she still not decent?" Blushing, Sirius flung the door open and walked back to the couch in the den.
"Thanks, mate," James said as he and Lily entered the house. "Would you mind whipping up some lunch while me and Lily make ourselves presentable?"
Sirius shrugged and trudged into the kitchen at the same time as Arabella came down the stairs. "Ah, Bella dearest," he said, leaning casually against the countertop, "Would you care to lend a hand? My supposed best mate has sentenced me to kitchen duty."
Bella grinned and bounded over to him, "Sure! What are we making?"
"Uh, Sirius, I don't think that's a good idea," Lily called as she made her way upstairs. "Bella is an expert in the art of meal-ruining."
"Ah but, Lily Flower, you have never been exposed to be culinary talents," Sirius interjected, "I believe I can improve Miss Figg's skills by at least fifty percent."
"Fifty percent of zero is still zero," Lily retorted.
"Lily! Leave us alone," Arabella said, coming out of the kitchen to push her up the stairs. Smirking, Lily ran up the remaining few steps and into her room, leaving Arabella and Sirius to themselves. When she came down ten minutes later, the kitchen was a mess, chefs included. The countertop was littered with torn up lettuce and other vegetables that had spilled out of the overturned salad bowl. The can of spaghetti sauce had spilled all over the floor and the pot of water was boiling over. Striding into the kitchen, she found Sirius pressing Arabella back against the countertop, both of them deeply engrossed in each other's mouths. Fortunately for Lily, James came downstairs at this moment with an effective method of separating them. "Oi Padfoot! Your next issue of Playwizard arrived," he said.
"Mmhmm," Sirius muttered, trying to decide if he liked kissing Arabella's lips or neck better. Suddenly, he dropped her and whirled around, "It did? Give it to me!"
James smirked, "Just kidding."
"Why you…" Sirius growled, running out of the kitchen to chase James, who chuckled and dashed off down the hallway.
Once they were gone, Arabella turned to Lily with a smirk, "You look awful nice for a casual lunch at home."
Lily blushed, "Well… we're not at home. We're guests in James's home and I er… wanted to look… nice…"
"Which explains why you're wearing a skirt? And why your hair is all done up? And why you're wearing a suspiciously large amount of make up? And why y—"
"Bella I get it!" Lily yelled.
"Get what?" asked James, as he jumped over the back of the couch to hide from Sirius.
"Prongs, you bastard!" Sirius yelled, running into the den. "I was in the middle of a very nice snog with Bella and you had to ruin it!"
"You were supposed to be making lunch, Sisiboo," James shouted back, popping up from behind the couch.
"Don't call me that, Jamsie wamsie!"
"I can and I will, Sisiboo."
"Well I can and I will jinx your sorry ass right off, buster."
"Shut up!" Lily yelled. Both men turned their heads to stare at her, their faces pale. "Now that we're all acting our age again, would someone kindly assist me in cleaning up this mess?"
"Sirius and Bella can do it."
"Says who, Prongsie?"
"Says me, since this is my house and I am capable of making you wish you'd behaved."
Scowling, Sirius stomped into the kitchen and pulled out his wand to clean up the spilled salad and spaghetti sauce. Lily looked pointedly at Arabella who followed Sirius in to help. "Now that we have some time to ourselves…" James whispered into her ear. Hooking an arm around her waist from behind, he sat down on the couch, pulling her with him.
"You don't think they need supervision?" Lily asked, cuddling happily against him.
"They probably do, but I can think of better things to do than that," he answered, settling her comfortably into his lap.
Leaning forward, Lily brushed her lips against his, "Like this?"
"Good idea…" he murmured and covered her lips with his own.
"I see how it is," Sirius called from the kitchen doorway. "You just wanted us out of the way so you could ravish Lily."
Rolling his eyes, James pulled reluctantly away from Lily, "That and I'm starving. Now get back in there and finish your job."
"Snogging is supposed to make you happy, Prongs, not bossy."
"If a certain someone would hurry up and finish cooking lunch he might find himself rewarded," Arabella said.
"Point taken," Sirius replied with a grin and walked back into the kitchen.
"Now that that little problem is taken care of…" James said. Before he could resume kissing Lily a loud pop was heard, followed a millisecond later by a second one. A tall, sandy blonde haired man stood in James's living room, one arm around the waist of a slightly shorter woman with dark brown hair falling in soft waves past her shoulders. "MOONY!" Sirius yelled, rushing out of the kitchen and grabbing the other man in a huge bear hug.
While Remus disentangled himself from Sirius, the brunette turned her cerulean gaze to James and Lily, who had pulled abruptly apart. "Someone looks snog happy," she commented with a broad smirk.
James groaned and Lily gave a small, meaningful cough which caused him to jump to his feet. "Oh yeah. Lily this is my mate, Remus Lupin and his wife Lina." At the mention of the word "wife," Remus grinned and pulled a smiling Lina into his arms.
"They've only been married for a week," Sirius explained in a stage whisper. Lily nodded sagely and smiled at the couple, "Pleased to meet you."
"You're not just another fan club member are you?" Lina asked suspiciously, when Lily shook her head she looked relieved. "That's good then."
"It's time he found someone to settle down with," Remus agreed.
"You mean so he can be as happy as you are, Mr. Lupin?" Lina asked, turning her head to smile at her husband.
"Exactly so, my darling little wife," he replied, leaning over her shoulder to kiss her.
"Knock it off, you two. This isn't your honeymoon," James groaned.
"I think it's rather cute…" Lily said.
"Speaking of honeymoons, how was yours?" Sirius asked, coming in from the kitchen, "Did you two see any of Paris, or were you both too busy."
Remus blushed and chuckled in embarrassment while Lina smirked, "Do you really want us to answer that, Sirius?"
"No he doesn't," Arabella answered as she sat in Sirius's lap.
Sirius whined, "But Bella…"
"Alright, you might want them to answer that but the rest of us normal people don't."
Lina burst into delighted laughter, "You're perfect for him! Please tell me your name."
"Arabella Figg," Arabella replied, smiling at Lina.
"I'm Lina Lupin. And this factory reject standing beside me is my husband, Remus." Hearing this, Remus turned from his conversation with James. "Factory reject eh? You didn't seem to mind it last night…" he said, giving his grinning wife an eskimo kiss.
"Snog fest!" Sirius crowed, crushing Arabella's lips beneath his. Remus and Lina were already dead to the world, which left a blushing James and Lily to scoot back together and resume their previous activities. Unfortunately, the timer chose this moment to begin beeping insistently. "My pasta!" Sirius exclaimed and bounded off the couch into the kitchen to tend them.
"I'll set the table," Lily said, sliding off of James's lap.
"Hang on," he said, grabbing her around the waist, "I have to show you where the silverware is."
"James, I think I can find it just fine by myself."
"Ok then I just want to come with you. Something wrong with that?"
"No," Lily replied, heading into the kitchen to get the plates and silverware. "Are you two staying for lunch?" she called over her shoulder to Remus and Lina, who were now sitting side by side the couch, smiling at each other.
"Huh? Oh.. yeah," Remus answered, not taking his eyes off of Lina.
"Hurry up, you two," Sirius called from his place at the stove, "It's almost ready."
"Yes sir. Right away sir." James replied sarcastically, taking down a stack of plates. "Wrong way, Lils," he called walking through the other doorway setting the plates down on the circular table in the breakfast room.
"Oh…" Lily said, following him.
"I never use the dining room unless I'm having a fancy dinner or something," James clarified. "It's too big."
Lily shrugged and began laying out the silverware as Sirius said, "Lunch is served!" Remus and Lina trooped in from the den and they all sat down around the table.
"So do you guys want to do something after lunch?" James asked as they began to eat. "Sort of a triple date?"
"What did ya have in mind, Prongs?" Sirius asked.
"Well… I dunno…"
"We could all go down to The Grove," suggested Sirius. "Have a picnic… take a walk through the grounds…"
"Where do you live?" Arabella asked, sipping her water.
"It's a ways from here, so we'd have to apparate. I've got a house in the countryside. The building itself isn't much, but the grounds are beautiful."
"Sounds good to me," Remus said and everyone else nodded there agreement.
"Right then. After Prongs does the dishes we leave."
"Hold on, Padfoot. I don't remember volunteering for dish duty."
"Of course you don't. I just signed you up."
"I'll help you, James," Lily said soothingly, finishing up her meal.
"Bad idea, Lils. We actually want the dishes cleaned."
"Make another suggestive remark like that and you'll be cleaning the entire kitchen, Padfoot."
"Shutting up!" Sirius said, "But you two still have to do dishes."
"Anything to keep you quiet," Lily smirked.
"Well you could just show me the way to Bella's bedroom…"
"Sirius!" James bellowed, glaring at his best mate and effectively silencing him.
From their side of the table, Remus and Lina were silently laughing into their hands. "Looks like you'll be cleaning the kitchen after all, Padfoot," Remus said.
"I suppose I could be merciful…" James said thoughtfully. "Nah."
"Why don't we all help?" Lily asked.
"An excellent idea!" Sirius said, "Listen to your girlfriend, James. She's brilliant."
"She's a keeper," James agreed, earning him a smile from Lily. "Well let's get these pesky dishes over with." One by one, they walked into the kitchen. After a few minor bubble fights the dishes were clean and they all apparated to The Grove.
A/N: I FINALLY FINISHED IT! I'm so sorry for the delay guys. But be happy! I brought in Remus! By the way, Lina is my original character from my Hogwarts past roleplay. She's Remus's girlfriend there, since they're still in school. ((Shameless plug to follow)) If you want to join, go to: invisionfree.com/forums/mwpp. They're just about done with their seventh year but we've still got finals and graduation to finish. Be warned, I'm going to ask you for a character description before I accept you. I'm rather particular…