The Disclaimer: dun da da!! Er, yeah, I don't own anything. =)
Hey everyone, here's Chapter three, and I'd like to thank; kelliethehottie, pale pink roses, Heather, Lily Natalia Evans, me, can't think of a penname77, Ruth3, hi, and SiriusJamesRemus's girl. Thank you so much for your reviews! You guys are great!
On with the story!
Chapter III. Morning Mayhem.The sound of running water slowly roused James from his slumber. Blinking groggily he dimly registered that the shower was going. Thrashing about the bed he finally kicked off a heavy, white down comforter, feeling as though the object was suffocating him.
"What the?" He questioned sleepily, finding his vision was blurred he groped for his glasses on the nightstand. "I swore I left those on." James muttered putting on the pair of black- framed glasses.
James yawned loudly, rumpling up his hair. "Stupid shower. I swore I turned it-"With a stunning realization his eyes widened, hand still caught in his hair. He quickly jumped bolt upright, scrambling off the bed as though it was going to attack him.
His clean, tidy room was gone. His king size bed with black silk sheets was replaced with a queen sized bed with a stifling white down comforter. His beautiful shining wood floors were gone replaced with white, or what was once white, carpet. His mirror was gone, his dresser was gone... This wasn't his room!
Breathing harshly James grabbed his wand from the unfamiliar nightstand. He slowly headed toward what he believed to be the bathroom. The door was slightly ajar and a faint misting of steam was drifting into the room.
Gripping his wand tighter he silently crept toward the shower, in doing so he heard a sweet, slightly off key, but beautiful none-the-less voice singing 'God Bless Ye Merry Hippogriffs'.
Why did that voice sound so familiar?
James steeled himself and pushed open the door. He was inside a small bathroom, filled with steam. He could discern a woman's figure through the transparent, canary yellow shower curtain. It was quite nice if he did say so himself... He quickly shook his head and raised his wand.
"Okay James, on the count of three. One...Two..."
"James is that you?" And the shower curtain flung open revealing, a very wet, very naked Lily.
"Thr—eeeeaaahhhh!!" James yelled flinging himself backward in surprise and embarrassment, falling to the floor and rolling in a crumpled heap sending sparks from his wand flying everywhere.
"Great Merlin James what are you on about?" Lily questioned, her voice humorous.
"Uh, uh..." James stammered, "L-Lily?" He looked up only to find himself staring at a still naked Lily. "Uh!" He quickly brought his blushing face down to the floor.
"Yes James?" She questioned staring at him strangely.
"I- you and then er, letter, and then, I'm dreaming and—"Lily rolled her eyes.
"I told you and Sirius to go easy on the fire whiskey, get Harry up will you?" She questioned closing the shower curtain and continuing with her shower. He pinched himself.
With a plummet of his stomach and a drying of his mouth, he realized he wasn't dreaming.
Where was he?!
James quickly scrambled up, nearly tripping in doing so, and he did the only logical thing he could think of and found his way to the front door and ran out of the house.
His feet were freezing as was his entire body as he ran out into the snowy street. A light drizzle of snow was coming down merrily as he took off down the street in nothing but red sweat shorts and a pair of socks, clutching his wand tightly in his other hand.
What was going on? His breathing soon became ragged and he felt a sharp pain in his chest.
"Okay James think, think! What happened last night?" James questioned himself frantically. "Uh the pub! That's it even Lily said it, Sirius and the fire whiskey. I just got plastered and—"
But that wasn't right...and then he saw it... the snow covered metal bridge. His eyes widened but he kept running, refusing to believe it,
"No, not possible, not possible... I know! My penthouse isn't far from here, I'll get there and realize I'm in a very bad, very real dream. Yes that's what I'll do..." He spoke to himself sounding slightly crazed as he continued to run down the snowy street.
"Harry dear, have you seen your Dad?" Lily questioned in a frenzy pulling on a pair of socks. A young boy of seven shook his head, foam from the toothbrush in his mouth flying over the sink. "Right..." Lily replied distractedly as she scoured Harry's drawers.
"Oh—" Lily groaned, "I forgot to get you muggle clothes... just stay in your pajamas please. Your, er, 'aunt' and 'uncle' are coming." Harry let out a loud moan, mouth full of toothpaste, as he looked through the doorway to Lily.
"Oh Mum, not her! I can't stand—"
"Yes, me too," She muttered, before turning to Harry, "I know dear, but Grandma is well... making us come to a truce... again... and I can't believe she's going to bring that great git of a husband with her and oh, I'll never get through today!" Lily cried slowly slipping into hysteria as she pulled on her thick, dark red hair.
"It's okay Mum," Harry replied, now trying to flatten his hair to no avail.
"Thank you Harry..." Lily breathed, and then a swift series of knocks came from the door. Lily grit her teeth and closed her green eyes. "James, you had better have a—" "-damned good excuse as to why you're not here!" James yelled at the clipboard and list he was holding.
Soft Christmas music was playing in the lobby and enchanted colored lights lit up the room. Kingsley Shacklebolt, as well as everyone else in the lobby was staring at him as though he was crazy.
"Sir, as you can see, you don't live here." Kingsley responded calmly in his deep voice. James looked at him disbelievingly, a crazed grin on his face.
"What—"James started before a look of realization crossed his face. "Oh, I get it! Sirius put you up to this didn't he? That great prat! Okay, pranks over, I'll get him for this one, I mean... well, I must say he gets points on creativity that's for sure, hiring the Lily look a like and all." James grinned. "All right, funs over, you really got me and that's saying something. Now let me up to my room."
"No, I'm afraid you're going to have to leave sir." James rolled his eyes.
"For crying out loud, this is overkill Kingsley," James laughed before spotting a Tornados flag on the desk. "What! What is that! You traitor, why in the world would you have a Tornados flag? What about the Wasps?"
"The Wasps? The only team they can beat is the Cannons." Kingsley replied. James looked at him incredulously.
"What about my little figurine guy? The fact that the Wasps are playing in the World Cup," Kingsley raised a brow.
"Who are you?" James burst out laughing.
"Who am I? Ha! Who am I? I'll play along, I'm James Potter, only the richest, best and most handsome man on the Quidditch pitch!"
"That's good, because you're certainly a lunatic off the pitch. Now get out."
"Make me!" James yelled, getting angry now. He was numb with cold and hated the fact that they were still messing with him. Kingsley raised his wand.
"You're looking at a sentence in Azkaban, or a lifetime at St. Mungo's if you don't leave now." James stood in disbelief. He had to be dreaming. He just had to be.
"There you are! James, it's time to go." A mild voice proclaimed. James eyes widened and he almost dropped his wand. Kingsley lowered his, eyeing the two curiously. "Dreadfully sorry sir." The voice replied as a galleon flew to Shacklebolt who caught it deftly.
James turned slowly to find himself face to face with none other than Lupin.
"You!" James exclaimed.
"Yes, me... care for a ride?" Lupin questioned holding up what James recognized as his Cleansweep7.
"That's my broom!" James exclaimed, but Lupin was headed for the door, and James followed. With a burst of cold wind the door opened,
"About bloody time you answer the door! The nerve of you leaving us out in the cold!" A thin, horse faced woman yelled shrilly, "My poor Dinky Didderdums could have caught cold!"
"Happy Christmas to you too Petunia." Lily replied with forced calm, her face slightly red. Lily then turned to the beefy man next to her sister. "Happy Christmas Vernon." Vernon eyed her beadily.
"Are you planning on letting us in or shall we freeze to death out here?" Vernon barked. Lily bit back to urge to do just that and slam the door on his fat face.
"I was planning on the latter but for the sake of Mum..." Lily muttered, opening the door wide and stepping aside.
Harry stood silently at her side, his hair at a new height of un- tidiness, wearing too big for him, faded pajamas. The Dursley's were staring at him and Lily in distaste.
"Believe me, we take no pleasure being in your house with your freak family." Petunia snapped. Glaring daggers at each other, the Dursley's passed Lily and Harry and finally came in. Petunia looking around the heavily decorated small room is distaste.
"Yes, would you care for a drink? Tea? Or perhaps something stronger, like poison." Lily asked in a falsely cheery voice. Petunia merely glared.
Meanwhile Vernon had one protective hand on Dudley's thick shoulder as he kept a beady watch on Lily, while Dudley glared and made faces at Harry. Harry just sat on the couch uncomfortably and stared at the twinkling Christmas lights on their small tree. They were the muggle kind. He stifled a laugh as he remembered his Mum trying to teach his Dad how to put them up. He still didn't get how to do it after seven years.
The room had lapsed into uncomfortable silence until Petunia broke it.
"Where's that freak husband of yours?" Petunia sneered.
"Digging his own grave..." Lily muttered through gritted teeth. "He'll need it after I'm through with him..."
"You might want to put on this cloak, it's a bit chilly." Lupin remarked, handing James his tattered cloak.
"What is going on!?" James demanded, but took the cloak none-the-less.
"This, my friend, is your second chance," Lupin smiled serenely as they began walking down the street.
"What second chance? I don't need a second chance!" James snapped, "Where am I?"
"Oh, don't say that, consider yourself honored. Your character proved yourself worthy of one."
"What?" Then something dawned on him, "You mean at the bridge! I saved your life and now you're screwing with mine!"
"Interesting standpoint..." Lupin remarked, "However, I must remind you that this really is a once in a lifetime opportunity." The words hit James like a rock.
'This is a once in a lifetime opportunity...opportunity...'
He shook off his old memories.
"You mean that, I've been given a new life?" James said slowly.
"For a short time. And, no, not necessarily new... just different. A life, which you yourself passed up." Lupin remarked as he strolled along the snowy pavement.
"Well, I don't want it, that's why I passed it up. I want my old life back! Put me back!"
"I'm afraid I can't do that James, only you can." Lupin commented.
"What?" Lupin turned and smiled to him.
"This is a very powerful magic force at work here. Only when you learn to appreciate it, will you be taken back." James rolled his eyes and crossed his arms.
"Okay I'm appreciating it. Am I back yet?"
"Nice try James. You'll be here a while." Lupin smiled dryly. He then took out the same tarnished pocket watch he had used last night. "Oh look at the time, I'm already late." James suddenly noticed he was at the snowy bridge where he had saved Lupin.
"What! No no! You can't leave! I don't know what's going on! I don't even know where I live!" James pleaded. "What day is it?"
"Christmas." Lupin replied simply, "Though, you would know it as, the Quidditch World Cup. Which reminds me..." For a glorious second James thought Lupin was going to hand him his broom, but instead he reached inside his pocket and pulled out what James recognized as a practice snitch.
"Here, you'll need this. It's for your son." Lupin grinned and mounted the Cleansweep.
"What?! I don't have a son!" James yelled, clenching his wand and the practice snitch. "No! Don't go! Please don't go!" He cried as Lupin flew off looking back at him with a wink.
Lily began tapping her foot and looking at her watch for the millionth time. She didn't know how much longer she could wait for her parents before tossing the Dursley's out on the street. Then, as though an answer to her prayers the doorbell rang.
Jumping up to get it, Lily practically ran to the door.
"Mum! Dad!" She exclaimed giving her parents quick hugs. "Come in, come in."
Petunia rolled her eyes and sneered as she watched her mother and her perfect sister come back through the door.
"Who's ready for presents!" Mr. Evans exclaimed holding up two large bags packed with presents. Harry cheered, while Dudley eyed the presents greedily and glared at Harry.
"Where's James dear? We can't start without him," Mrs. Evans said dismayed as she looked around the small room.
"I'm afraid that your savior will be missing out Mum." Lily answered briskly
"Oh..." Her mother said crestfallen.
"Okay James think, where do you live... where do you live..." He muttered still clutching his wand and snitch. His feet were frozen solid and his socks were sopping, finally noticing he looked around before placing a drying and constant warming charm on his feet, which was quite a pleasant sensation.
"Oy Prongs!" James heart leapt at the sound of the voice.
"One and only," He grinned, finally catching up. "Now what in the world are you doing?"
"You wouldn't believe me if I told you..." James muttered.
"Try me." And so James launched into his very long detailed story. "Well that was creative." Sirius commented at the end. "Kind of reminds me of the time I got plastered at what's-her-name's house and—" James rolled his eyes and stopped listening to Sirius' story.
He knew he wouldn't believe him. Oh well at least he thought I was drunk. James thought glumly to himself, tidbits of Sirius' story reaching his ears.
"Of course by then she convinced everyone in town I was fruity if you know what I mean. Can you imagine? All those poor witches that would never get the chance to date me."
Sirius is still acting himself so I guess not much has changed...
"-I mean, any bloke could have forgotten her name. It took ages to say and I think she made up some letters and stuck them in there—"
Great I still don't know where my bloody house is... maybe Sirius knows...
"Alice, Suzanne, those I can remember, and I was drunk mind you, her name was hard enough to remember sober—"
Wait... this street looks familiar...
"-So then her dad shows up and chases me out of the house with his wand, and I'm running down the street in a floral bed-sheet toga—"
"How does this relate to what I'm going through?" James finally interrupted.
"Well... we both ran down the street half naked." Sirius finished, "Oh hey here's your house. Or should I say Lily's considering she has you whipped like a dog." Sirius smirked.
"Lily? Lily!" The morning flooded back to him, "I'm married to Lily Evans?!"
"Yeah, bit hard to believe isn't it. Well, I gotta go, don't want her to castrate me too."
"You know how Lily gets when you mess up Christmas, besides her sisters in town. You sure picked a bad day to have a second chance or whatever you call it, see you at the party!" Sirius called before turning and walking down the street.
"Wow! An old ruined and hideous sweatshirt of Dudley's, how lovely Petunia." Lily faked a teary voice as she watched Harry open a poorly wrapped present containing a hideous brown sweater with orange puff- balls. "Oh and look Harry! She got me a pencil!" Harry stifled giggles.
"You ungrateful witch!" Petunia shrieked. At this the two sisters stood glaring daggers at each other.
"Girls!!" Mrs. Evans screamed reprovingly. "Please, try to get along this Christmas." She begged.
The two girls sat grudgingly back down.
"Open your next present Dudley." Vernon said gruffly. Dudley eyed the present that said. To Dudley, From Harry with great dislike. Then Lily saw her sister mouth,
'All your real presents are at home sweetums.'
Lily narrowed her eyes and stealthily took out her wand and muttered something. A rush of wind blew by the present, though no one noticed as Dudley was already ripping open the wrapping. He opened the box lid just barely an inch and then it happened.
"Happy Christmas Dudley!" The present began to shout and Lily smirked. It was amazing how much of an uproar this created.
Dudley had thrown the box in the air screeching like a girl and grabbing onto his father for dear life, tears cascading from his beady eyes.
"Dudley! Oh my baby!" Petunia was screeching flailing her arms about wildly. Vernon was raving, his face purple as he began kicking at the present, which was still shouting, with his foot. Mr. Evans chuckled, which was quickly silenced by his wife and Lily and Harry were beside themselves with laughter.
"STOP! STOP! STOP!" Mrs. Evans stood and yelled loudly. All was quiet save for the present that was still shouting "Happy Christmas Dudley!" Lily quickly made it stop with a flick of her wand.
Dudley feinted, Petunia was swooning over her poor 'Dinky Didderdums' and Vernon began yelling.
"Put that away! Look at what you've done to my family!"
"Everyone calm down at once!" Mrs. Evans yelled, effectively gaining everyone's attention yet again. "Now, I'm sure Lily didn't mean to frighten anyone—"Petunia was in the act of protesting when then door opened, revealing an untidy, snow covered, James. "Hello," James said uncertainly. The whole room stopped to stare at him, in Lily's and Petunia's case, glare.
"Not another one!"
"Where were you!" Petunia and Lily shrieked at the same time.
"Um... I got my son a present..." James replied thinking up a quick lie. His eyes soon landed on Dudley.
Dear God... I'm the father of a whale!
"Really Dad?!" James turned as he heard an excited little voice and saw a mini him sitting next to Lily.
"Bloody hell! It's a little me!" James responded, "Blimey, he's just as good looking as I am. Thank Merlin." Harry bit back a snort and Lily rolled her eyes.
"I was worried for a moment," James continued, "I thought it was that fat bloke!" James laughed pointing. Lily moaned and put her face in her hands, Harry laughed.
"What did you say!" Roared Vernon.
"How dare you!" Shrieked Petunia.
"What, I'm sure he's just big boned, nothing to worry about." James shrugged, Lily began hitting herself on the head. Petunia then rounded on Lily.
"How dare you let that- that freak husband of yours call my Dinky Didderdums that!!" Petunia said shrilly looking livid.
"Who are you calling freak!" James yelled back, "And don't deny it, you know nothing on that kid is 'dinky', 'cept maybe his—"
"James!!" Lily shouted reprovingly now standing, eyes wide. Harry was now beside himself trying to hide his laughter with a violent coughing fit.
"Now see here sir!!" Vernon roared, spit flying as he stood in front of the feinted Dudley menacingly.
James drew himself up to his full height. He was a bit taller than Vernon, but nothing near his width, and he drew his wand. Vernon cowered back his beady eyes wide.
"THAT'S QUITE ENOUGH!!" Mrs. Evans looked furious. "Now both of you stand down!" James put away his wand hesitantly.
"I most certainly will not Madame!" Vernon yelled sounding more confident now since James had lowered his wand.
"Why are you rounding on us Mum!" Petunia shrieked, "Not one word to their freak family! Oh don't worry I know why! Because why would you yell at beautiful, smart, talented, lovable, perfect Lily!! And her perfect family!!" Petunia spit the words out like venom.
"Now that's quite enough Petunia!" Mr. Evans intervened.
"Typical! Take her side! I knew you would have!" Petunia then turned on Lily, "And you! I hate you!! Why couldn't you just be normal!!" And with that Petunia stormed out of the house, slamming the door in her wake. Lily was standing tall her head held proudly high, her teeth gritted and an unfocused look in her eyes.
A strange feeling came over James one he had not felt since his school days while dating Lily.
"How dare you talk to Lily like that! Take it back!" James roared.
"James. Drop it." Lily responded with such a cold finality that James dropped his wand. She then glared at him, thinking that he was making fun in taking her literally.
Then with great difficulty it seemed, a purple- faced Vernon began to carry Dudley out the door. Fumbling with the doorknob, he finally got it open. With one last glare he slammed the door in the same fashion as Petunia.
The room was dead quiet, filled with an odd ringing. After what seemed to be an eternity to James Mr. Evans cleared his throat.
"Yes, well... at least it was better than last years." James eyes bulged. How could it have been worse?
"So much for a good old family Christmas..." Mrs. Evans sighed. "We haven't had one of those since you were eleven..." She smiled at Lily before turning to James. "And I don't blame you dear... I'm sure you had your reasons. I mean, if it weren't for you, we wouldn't be here today." Mrs. Evans said sniffily. James looked at her confused.
"We'll try to talk some sense into her dear." Mr. Evans resolved.
"But it was all Jam—"Lily started.
"Tish-tosh," Mrs. Evans exclaimed with a wave of her hand. "We'll probably try again at our house sometime. Good- bye Harry, enjoy your presents dear." She smiled and headed out the door.
"Happy Christmas." Mr. Evans tipped his hat and followed his wife. As soon as the door shut, Lily rounded on James face red, looking livid. James gulped and Harry muttered something about chess and hurried up the stairs.
.....Oooh... I wonder what that button does, don't you? =D Press it and find out. =)