Let it Snow

Epilogue: All the Way Home I'll be Warm

Quotes: Love is an exploding cigar we willingly smoke. Lynda Barry

When you reliquish the desire to control your future, you can have more happiness.

Nicole Kidman, in The Scotsman

A long December and there's reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last

"Surprise!" James cried and pulled his hands from Lily's eyes. Lily gasped and began to giggle uncontrollably. He had charmed her room to have snow flakes fall softly, and evaporate before they melted on the floor. In the center of a room a stood an enchanted Christmas tree. On the very top, where a star should have stood been there was an ornament. James followed her gaze. "Why don't you look at it?" he suggested. Lily glanced at him suspiciously as snow fell softly on her cheeks and eye lashes.

"Oh James." She gasped and held it in her hand disbelievingly. It was round and cream with light splashing the outside in different colors, always different never the same. The light seemed to form a pattern though and it seemed to swirl in the center. Lily felt herself drawn to it and felt her finger touch the very center of the swirl softly. The ornament promptly split in half and swung open. Inside was a perfect replica of the Sistine chapel  and The School of Athens. Lily's eyes swelled with tears. "James I don't even know what to say. This is –" she turned and smiled widely at him. "Absolutely beautiful."

James was like a child in a broom shop. "-and it changes to whatever painting you want! Even sculptures!" He drew his wand and whispered something and tapped each half of the ornament. Instantly the Mona Lisa and John the Baptist appeared.

Lily tore her eyes away from the gift and threw her arms roughly around James. He held her close and kissed her hair. "Merry Christmas Lily."

"Merry Christmas James."

I can't remember the last thing that you said as you were leaven'
Now the days go by so fast

"CONGRATULATIONS!!" Adelle cried and threw her hands in the air.

"Its official," Sirius said and struggled with the bottle of champagne. "We're graduates"

"Give me that." Adelle said and opened it with a pop as it fizzed everywhere. She poured Remus, Peter, and Sirius a glass and then poured herself one. "To -"
 

"No classes!" Cried Remus.

"To not having homework." Adelle said and put her class up.

"To no curfew." Said Sirius his class highest of them all.

"To no more teachers!" Peter added and put his glass up.

"Hear, Hear."

"I'll drink to that."

"Amen."

They all knocked back the glass and looked at each other brightly.
                                                          

 And the feeling that it's all a lot of oysters, but no pearls
All at once you look across a crowded room
To see the way that light attaches to a girl

 

James sighed and walked into the room somewhere between exhausted and annoyed.

He hated these stupid work functions. Lily detached herself from his arm and took her coat to the checker. James shrugged and figured he might as well go get some drinks. He pushed his way through the crowd giving his customary hello, how are you, nasty weather lately etc. It took him a full fifteen minutes to even get the butterbeers and once he had them he couldn't even find Lily. Tonight was even drearier than usual as people whispered darkly about the-One-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named.

Then he saw her.

She was nodding earnestly as Adam Heckler spoke at length. She felt his gaze on her and she looked over, caught his eye and winked before turning back to Heckler and his never ending story.

That was it. There was something about the way she looked tonight combined with a feeling of urgency that was permeating the wizarding community. James decided in that moment that he had been holding this off too long. He was going to ask Lily to marry him.

Tonight

Now, even, if Heckler would let him get a word in.   

And it's one more day up in the canyons
And it's one more night in
Hollywood
 

"Sirius, this place is kind of seedy." Peter said, eyeing the bar cautiously.

"Don't be such a sod, Wormtail." Sirius said and pushed open the door. Peter looked to Remus for support but Remus had just spotted a pretty brunette in the corner and was well behind Peter's pleas. For Sirius' sake, he was already deep in conversation with two very dull but very beautiful girls, a blonde and a redhead.

Peter sighed and sat down at the bar. "One butterbeer." He said mournfully. The bartender grunted and handed him a rather unclean glass.

"You come here by yourself?" A woman on his right asked. She was striking and Peter was immediately afraid.

He shook his head and nodded miserably and Remus and then at Sirius. "They always do that." He explained.

"They don't seem like very good friends to me." The woman said. "Another butterbeer for the man."

10 butterbeers later

"They're not good friends. They always go off with these …woman and leave me. Just like James!" he put his mug down rather sloppily. The woman was eyeing him with disgust and contempt but bought him another beer.

"James? Who's James?" She asked, keeping her voice carefully modulated. She had a very good idea of who James was, especially since this imbecile who cost her 11 butterbeers had come in with Sirius Black and Remus Lupin.

"James Potter," He said slurring his words.

The woman grinned. "Mr. Pettigrew…I know exactly what you need."

Peter looked up limply from his drink. "You do?" he asked rather incoherently.

She nodded smartly. "I do indeed. Come with me."

 
And talked a little while about the year
I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower,
Makes you talk a little lower

"I asked her to marry me." James said all at once to an already awkward silence. Three very confused faces stared back at him.

"You what?" Remus asked.

"I asked Lily to marry me on Friday and she said yes." James said again searching the faces of his three best friends for some support.

Sirius was the first to recover. "That's great, mate." He said slowly. "But marriage? You're only nineteen. Don't you want to wait until you're a grown up."

"I am a grownup and why delay the inevitable?" James said and singled to Rosmerta for another drink.

Sirius looked to Remus for help but he just shrugged and Peter was carefully watching his drink. Sirius shook his head. "Alright then." He grinned. "Congratulations buddy." He patted James gruffly on the back.

They fell back into an uneasy silence.

James sighed. "It's just these are uncertain times and I don't want to waste any time. You never know if you'll get it back again."

Remus nodded. "Fair enough…congratulations!"

Peter nodded. "Congrats Prongs. It's going to be one hell of a Christmas."

"It's going to be one hell of a year." Sirius added grimly, eye half on the Daily Prophet and the death it reported.

And it's been a long December and there's reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last

"I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride." The priest spoke and a great cheer went up and James pulled Lily close and kissed her. Adelle watched adoringly and Sirius grinned though he felt a little pang. Even still, when he got with half of London on a daily basis, Sirius remembered what it was like to kiss Lily. He was James' best friend, this was true, but he loved both of them more than anyone could ever know. He watched them walk triumphantly down the aisle and felt his smile falter slightly.

"How about a drink. I know I could use one." A voice whispered from behind. Sirius turned and grinned at Adelle.

"A drink." He said. "Would be great."

I can't remember all the times I tried to tell my myself
To hold on to these moments as they pass

Adelle stared at the old roster of the Order of Pheonix in shock. Sirius, dead. Lily, dead. Longbottoms, dead. James, dead. Remus, a ghost of his former self. She had been in France since the Potters death running her fathers banking empire and growing even wealthier off of the peace their deaths wrought.

She looked at the picture Remus had sent of Harry. It sent shivers down her spine. It was James reincarnated. Creepy really.

Slowly a tear crept down the ice queen's face. She had hidden from her life for too long, it was about time she went home.

She smiled and walked out of her office into the warm afternoon sunlight.

Adelle had a train to catch

and this time, there would be no avalanche to keep her from her destination.