Dislaimer, after so long: JKR, after book 6... you've become the number 1 love of my life. Adopt me, please.
Author's Note: OH, MY GOODNESS! Guess who is back? That's right, it's me, Milka Weasley, the girl you have all probably forgotten about. And I've finally updated this story which you have also prolly forgotten about. Well, what can I do? I haven't been at home during the entire summer holiday (sun, sea, love, fun... mmmmm...), so... I couldn't really update. But, I am back (because of school, blaaaaaaah) and I decided to write more. Anyhow, I am sure you haven't really missed this, because, let's face it, Half-Blood Prince must've occupied you really well, hehe. (best book ever, if you ask me!)
Hopefully, though, you will leave a few reviews, just to ensure me I haven't been writing this only for myself... EEEEK.
What do we have in this chappie? LOADS OF STUFF. A glimpse of James's house... a few Potters too... a funny Remus/Sirius part (the shippers will thank me)... and some more interesting thingies. Plus something you probably won't like (cliffies anyone?), but eh – I am EVIL, so get used to it, muahahaha.
Any clichés? Ah, whateva. :p
Incredibly huge thankyous to everyone who is still reading Not So Holy Matrimony and everyone who was patient enough to wait a couple of months till this chappie 14 came out. I love everyone who left a review for the previous chapter and the list of your names is right here:
Snuffles Is Loony for Moony, blacksmoon, Countess Jackman, LittleWriterGirl, PickinWildFlowers, Lady-Eliazbeth4242, Bhekie, wizemunkee006, luv nikki, BrownEyes90, Charity Firewarden, YamikiofAnime, dawn, dawn is my name (lol, the same person, but you did leave two reviews, mwah!), Choir Princess, radclifflover, Remmy ish mine, the-power-of-love, Annieboo92, SodaFizZz19, Simply Bewitched, SaSush33, Snuffy, cissy, luvin'it, Duck-a-roo, gabrielle004, LiLi, ...
Forgive me for any mistakes or typos I've made. (there are probably like a thousand) Didn't have time to BETA it. :O Now, I leave you to read. Enjoy and leave a review in the end! Love.
Not So Holy Matrimony
written by Milka-Weasley
Chapter 14 – Of Poetry and Potters
The moment Lily and James appeared in the other fireplace, a strange sensation of warm air began to dance across Lily's skin. She knew the flames couldn't have had any influence to her body, but the hot feeling wasn't abandoning her.
James glanced towards her and explained: "Deep south. Quite warm even for this time of year so I'm sure the change of climate is noticeable. Also, there's a lot of magic in the air, which makes it somewhat--"
"Thicker? Denser? More suffocating?" offered Lily knowledgeably. "I've studied the consequences of accumulating of magic, therefore I know what it does to air."
James chuckled. "Note to self – James, you're married to a brilliant witch. Never give her any extra information 'cause it's very likely she already knows it."
Lily shrugged, smiling. "Hogwarts Library has some pretty helpful books, that's all."
"You really should spend way more time with Remus, have I told you that before?"
Lily looked around herself, interested. They were standing in a small room where everything seemed to be in its place. The furniture was old; but clean and maintained. Daily polished, presumed Lily. There were a couple of tiny chairs, one old miniature fashioned mirror, a small bed and a closet of the same dimensions. It appeared as though it was a bedroom of a very diminutive person.
"Young master Potter! You're here!" somebody screeched at the top of their lungs, making Lily jump in surprise.
She turned around to face a house-elf, wrapped in some sort of a hand-me-down piece of silky pink curtain. The elf grinned ecstatically and made a small bow, her blue eyes wide and alive.
"Oh, young master, Thinny knew the youngest Potter would come to visit us, sir! Thinny said to Speedy, she said, young master is coming to us, but he said I was being silly and stop drinking butterbeer, he said. Speedy said you never usually come home for Christmas, but Thinny knew, sir! Thinny knew! Welcome home, J. E. N. W. D. P, welcome home!"
"Thank you, Thinny. I can see you're still trying to prove your divination abilities. That's good."
"Trying, sir? No, not just trying!" the elf said in a singing voice, still hyper. "Thinny is succeeding, young Potter. Nearly succeeding, yes."
"J. E. W... what the heck?" Lily muttered in James's ear. "I'm feeling left out and it ain't feelin' pretty."
"Those are my initials."
"No, no," Lily shook her red hair, disagreeing. "The initials are two letters, three at most. And I've just heard... a whole army of letters there! It even sounds like some top secret CIA code."
James frowned. "Isn't that one of those Muggle intelligence agency sort of thingies?"
"Yeah, well," said Lily. "Can't exactly blame me for thinking you were plotting a freaky attack right in front of my face. It does sound a little suspicious for us uninitiated."
James laughed. "My full name's pretty long so it's quite practical to use the initials. How much time would you need to say James Edit William Nefas Dignus Potter every time you wanted to call me?"
Lily gaped in shock. "Come again? That... that whole story you've just recited is your name? I thought I knew your name at least... Seriously, it's... novel-length. How come I've never heard anyone calling you like that?"
"Not many people knows. Even Sirius is still convinced that D stands for Doofus, instead of Dignus. Told him a billion times, but he just won't accept it. I'm being called by my initials only at home and not all the time. Many middle names is a common thing for pureblood families. You can earn five Galleons if you memorize my full name. Whaddaya say?"
Lily sneered. "I say - pass and stick to the good ol' short James version, thank you."
Thinny carefully listened to the young couple's conversation, absorbing everything intently and devotedly.
"Thinny knew you'd come, sir," the elf's singing voice was heard again. "but Thinny had no idea young master would also bring a lady companion with him! Thinny must keep practicing divination, she must!"
"Oh, right, I'm such a twat. Forgot to introduce you two earlier," James apologized. "I'm proud to present this lovely being to my left. Her name's Lily Evans and she's my--"
"Lily Evans!" Thinny screeched in excitement. "The Lily Evans?"
Lily looked dumbfounded.
"I'm sure I'm not the Evans you're thinking of, Thinny... I mean, I'm not a well-known witch, especially not in pureblood circles--"
"But you must be the one, miss, you must be!" said Thinny resolutely. "When Thinny was cleaning she saw your name written all over young master's old books! There were hearts around your name and lots of stars too... Yes, Thinny is looking at you and she is convinced, those are the green eyes Thinny read about. It must be you!"
Lily looked at James whose face got entirely flushed with redness. Her lips formed a huge smile. "Seems like I'm more famous than I thought. I take it somebody wrote something nice about my eyes?"
"Twasjustascribble," muttered James incoherently. "I suck at writing. Especially writing short-essay-thingies. Can we, please, change the subject? I don't enjoy the girl talks and you can obviously understand the reason. Appreciated. Thinny, where are my parents?"
"Madame Potter was reading a book at the Camera Lectura, but she received an urgent call so she had to leave at once."
"As usual", muttered James.
"... and Monsignor Potter is you-know-where. Master said she would be back before noon, but you can never know."
James thoughtfully ruffled his hair. "Actually, I don't know where he is, but nobody does, so it's okay."
Lily flashed a confused smile towards James. "What d'you mean?"
"He works for the Ministry. Just like my Mum. Only his job's – well, something like the Muggle CIA. I'm not sure what exactly. Never told us. He's not allowed to, but I have an idea or two of my own. Go figure."
"You mean," Lily said in veneration. "He's like... an - an Unspeakable?"
"Don't say that out loud, miss!" squeaked the elf. "Even the walls have ears!"
"Oops, sorry," said Lily quickly, glancing towards the stones and bricks around her. "It's just, there's so much I didn't know about you, James. So much I haven't even dreamed of! Every day I get more and more surprised."
"Which is a compliment, I'm sure. Well, what can I say, I'm a surprising man. Man full of surprises." Rambled James, beaming. "What do I do, ladies and gentlemen? I surprise."
"Yeah, yeah," Lily rolled her eyes. "What does your Mum do?"
"She's an Auror. You prolly undrestand why none of them have often been at house throughout my childhood," said James with a strange tone in his voice and, as he noticed a sign of compassion appearing in Lily's eyes, quickly added: "But I got used to it. My nanny Amalta Scott was always there for me, and Thinny and Speedy did a good job, too."
"You're too kind, young master." said Thinny, bowing.
"Guess meeting the Potters isn't going to happen, after all," concluded James dispassionately.
"The day's still not over," winked Lily, softly kissing the tip of James's nose. "And I remember you mentioning Hall of Dead Potters once I've wanted to visit it ever since"
"That is a pretty morbid wish," teased James. "I hope you aren't expecting to see me there with the rest of the late family."
Lily naughtily shrugged. "One can only hope. Lead the way mister James Something Something Doofus Potter! Oh, don't make that hurt puppy dog expression – it's the only middle name I remembered. Sirius would be proud of me."
"Voila! Bon appetite!"
Sirius stared at his plate with a stunned look on his face. "Er, Moony?"
"What is that black and muddy thing doing in my plate?"
Remus looked hurt. "That's your lunch, Sirius."
"My what!" yelled Sirius, disgusted. "I thought it was one of Wormtail's droppings! You don't seriously expect me to eat that, do ya, Moony?"
Remus stayed silent for a few moments.
"I do expect you to eat that, yes. With enormous delight."
"But," cried Sirius, "it's scary, it stinks contagiously and 'tis entirely burnt down! What kind of a person are you, asking me to eat this meal from hell?"
"You ate worse as a dog."
"What if I've become rather picky about my food after yesterday's terrible stomach troubles?"
"And," responded Remus dryly. "what if I have spent my entire morning consulting the Fat Ariel's Giant Magic Cook-Book for Dummies? I can't believe what a stupid prat I am. Why did I even bother? So I could throw it all?"
"No, 'course not! We can always... er... send it to our foul buddy Snivellus!" Sirius exclaimed, a vile smirk spreading across his face. "I bet it'll be the only present he'll get for Christmas. Not to mention we'll probably poison him too. Lethally, if we're lucky."
Remus stared at Sirius. "This was supposed to be my Christmas Matrimonium Alveum task, Padfoot. Not a fatal meal for Snape."
"Tell you what, Moony" said Sirius, gently pushing the plate away. "I admire your effort and care, I honestly do, but maybe it's time for my part of the task. At least it's not black and dangerous—"
"Well, great", interrupted Remus grudgingly.
"There's always a possibility it'll make you feel better, too. Chin up, mate, it's not a big deal if you can't cook. Maybe it's better for both of us!"
"No, no, just listen!" said Sirius energetically. "If we don't use the dishes, then there's not even the slightest chance I can get myself into a position to clean them, which we, you must remember, agreed I won't do."
"Brilliant," said Remus darkly.
"Every bad thing has its good side, Moony. How does that sound to you?"
"Pretentious and lame."
"Deep down you concur. Case closed. The lunch goes down the toilet. Ready for my masterpiece?"
"How can I be ready if I don't even know what your task was?" mumbled Remus. "You refused to show me your card, remember?"
"With a bloody good reason," said Sirius, grinning mischievously.
He dug in his pocket and seized a piece of parchment. He quickly skimmed through it, moving his lips as he did so.
Remus could see ink stains all over it. "What the heck is that?" he asked, trying to peek over Sirius's shoulder.
Sirius backed away from Remus. He quickly grabbed a quill and scribbled something on the parchment.
"Had to add that bit. All right, d-o-n-e! Moony, fasten your seatbelt and enjoy. My destined one, poem written by Seriously Sexy Sirius, the next Emily Dickens. Hem, hem."
Remus looked transfixed. "Did you say p – did you say poem, Sirius? A poem? You wrote a--? What is the world coming to? I must be losing my mind... And by the way, Padfoot, it's Emily Dickinson, not Dick--"
"Dickens, Dickinson, whatever. The root of the word's the same, if you know what I mean. The important thing's she was a good witch and a great poet. Or so I've heard. Either way, don't interrupt or I'll get a stage fright," added Sirius sternly. "As I was saying... The poem, yes, Moony, the poem's called My destined one and it's created by me, myself and I. Here goes."
is a poem about my destined one
He is not a she and that is pretty fun
People might say that he is gay
But I told him to chill out 'cause that's the way
reads loads of books and knows 'em by heart
And Merlin damn him, he's pretty smart
He worries too much, but who can object
When all these years he's been perfect
Prefect, I mean, it's not what you think
So don't you dare give me that wink
full moon he gets wild and hairy
But is that a real reason not to marry?
Surely not, trust me on this one,
He's a fully tamed wolf when he's a human
do have a few scars from his bites
But all the newlyweds have their fights
And although my destined one can't really cook
You can freely say that he's a living book
If you need info about Hogwarts: A history
My Moony will tell you the whole darn story
in the end, well, what can I say
He's my beloved bride only, so beat it, ok?
"Ta na na na, the end! Hope you enjoyed," Sirius finished, pleased with himself. "If you insist upon encoring, I'll be delighted to repeat the whole chef-d'ouvre again. Merci!"
He looked up at Remus with expectation in his eyes, but Remus stared blankly, not saying anything. His mouth was slightly opened and it seemed as though he had been in a trance for a while.
"Eh," sighed Sirius loudly. "I expected either an enthusiastic applause or a rotten tomato shot at my forehead, but the freaky silence wasn't on my list. If that's because I said 'he don't' once, I assure you it was on purpose. I just liked it that way, it wasn't a terrible grammar mistake, I promise. It's called artist's freedom, ya know. -- Moony, you all right?"
"You there?" Sirius waved a hand in front of Remus's face who didn't show any reaction. "Moony! Say something now or I'll shove your own lunch down your throat! And it wouldn't be a murder, because you've made it. Technically, you'd commit a suicide."
Remus's eyes made a slow movement. His eyelids shut for a split of second and when he raised his head up to Sirius again, the look in his eyes seemed much clearer than before.
"Up there, you said, at least I think you said..." Remus quietly began, his voice hoarse as though it had been affected by severe cold. He breathed. "D'you really think of me as...perfect?"
Sirius gave him his naughtiest grin. "My Godric, if I don't start choosing words more carefully, I'll turn you into a narcissist."
"Just say yes or no, Padfoot."
"'kay," said Sirius, unnoticeably heaving a deep breath. "I thought the poem would be self-explanatory, but since you've asked for it... Despite all of your imperfections, nagging, concerns and anxieties... well, Moony, I do think you're the best life companion anyone could ever have. 'specially me. Made your ego burst yet?"
"I don't have an ego," said Remus. "but perhaps this tingly feeling in my stomach means I'm not entirely disappointed with your explanation."
"The tingly feeling I've got in my stomach at the moment," added Sirius. "simply tells me I'm hungry."
"If you didn't refuse my lunch, you wouldn't be."
"I'd be dead."
"And If you didn't say that I'd admit the poem was pretty good. Now you won't hear it from me."
"Yeah?" Sirius grinned, satisfied. "Well, I'm super-talented for everything. Especially poetry, it seems. Although I don't think I could've written such hell of a poem if I didn't start visiting the Library a bit more often as of lately. Expanding my vocabulary and all..."
Remus smiled insecurely. "You know nobody asked you to change... You don't have to read books just because I—"
Sirius shook his head. "I'm not changing, Moony. I'm improving meself. And it's not like I've been reading some philosophical studies or incredibly lengthy stuff. Just the regular literature--"
Remus raised an eyebrow. "Like what?"
"Like... Ten Miraculous Ways to Get Rid of Fleas for Ever."
"Woah, you're right," said Remus in a false awe. "That one is a golden classic!"
"Ha-ha, laugh all you want, mister. I found it very useful. Wasn't that short, either!"
"I bet it's got 18 pages altogether. Counting the covers and illustrations."
Sirius sniggered. "Bite me."
Remus rejoined. "Think I won't?"
"Think you might," said Sirius pacifically. "To prove I've really started to read more, we'll go together and find some nice novel we'll both enjoy. Truce?"
"All right," said Remus, accepting the preposition. "Which book d'you have in mind, o' great and mighty reader? Something that'll appeal to both of us. Less fleas, more words?"
"I predict it'll be a suitable subject for both of us. The name itself is, eh, promising."
"What's it called?"
"Very peculiar and magnetic title," said Sirius as a smirk appeared on his face. "The book's called –fanfaronades, please- Moby Dick. I've got a few guesses what it's about. Don't you? 'specially because of the second word--"
"Oh, Sirius!" cried Remus desperately.
Remus sighed, suddenly sounding exhausted. "You're deranged, Padfoot. Seriously mentally unbalanced."
"Thanks. I too hope you've spent your Christmas with a person you care about and that you'll have a very hairy New Year. What are we waitin' for? Let's read! One thing, though, do you think Madame Pince will let me bring a few meat pies with me? I seriously hope so, or I'll be forced to eat that Moby Dick mercilessly."
"Ah," said Lily as she moved towards a large sculpture of an old grizzly-haired woman, reading the name on a golden tablet. "So this is Grandmother Cecilia Potter. She must've been really beautiful, judging by the effigy. You have her lips, James."
"I told him that too," said the statue. "Thank you for the compliment, dear. It's been quite a while since I've got one."
Lily quickly turned to James, confused. "It – she can talk?"
"Yes, my dear," the statue responded politely. "Of course I talk. You don't expect me to stand here all day doing nothing, do you?"
"Well, no, no, I don't. Nice to meet you."
"You too, dear. If you ever need somebody to talk to, just come here. The rest of the statues and portraits aren't really... well... impressing any more, you know. I don't think they were impressing even when they were alive, come to that. Same old stories, same old faces..." she sighed heavily, her voice trailing off. "The living Potters don't spend too much time here, either. Not even my son or grandson, for that matter. Well, James, that is true and you know it. But, why would they come? They have their lives to lead and all we've got are these preserved memories of us..."
"Hey, hey, you two kids, over here!" somebody yelled. "Don't let my sister drown you with her elegy. I'm more interesting, come check me out!"
"Great uncle Solomon", laughed James, as Lily said goodbye to the old lady. They approached the statue of a man whose face was covered in scars and scratches, making him look much older than he actually was. "How's your ear?"
"Still not found," grumbled the effigy in response. "Very nice of you to bring that up, ickle Potter. Who's the chick?"
"Solomon G. F. Potter!" exclaimed a statue next to him reproachfully. "Watch your manners."
"Mother," barked Solomon. "In case you haven't noticed, I am not twelve any more. I haven't even been alive for twenty years now! And neither have you."
"Unessential," said the old woman stonily. "The rules of behaviour in front of a lady are unavoidable and unforgettable. How do you do, sweetheart?"
"Quite well," smiled Lily, glancing towards the statue's golden plate. "Madame Charlotte Rouge Potter."
"Charlotte Rouge MacLean. They made a mistake over there. I never technically received my husband's last name."
"Thank Merlin for that", another statue interrupted. "You've never been a real Potter."
"Shut up, Noele."
"Noele?" cried Lily, dumbfounded. "Aunt Noele?"
"That's how James and the rest of the nephews used to call me, yeah."
Lily moved closer to the statue, facing a slightly masculine woman. "You're just the way I imagined you. James has talked about you a few times. All best, I might add."
"Has he?" the statue beamed. "He's prolly told you what he did when he was ten, right? That one time when he climbed his broom in order to follow me--"
"Aunt Noele," said James, his eyes flashing a warning look. "Don't."
"Aunt Noele," smirked Lily. "Please do."
"Well, if you insist," said aunt Noele, beaming. "I was a Quidditch player, best player there was. No beater could knock me off my Cleansweep, oh no. Flying was everything to me. So I used to fly around the manor a lot - whenever I needed to sort out my thoughts--"
"Thoughts?" interrupted Charlotte MacLean. "In order to have thoughts, you require a brain, Noele. Fortunately for us, you had no such thing."
"Thank you, stone-face. Anyways, J. E. W. N. D. P. decided to see where I was going, so he got on his little broom and began to stalk me. And, being a great Seeker as I was, I spotted him right away and started speeding up. James wouldn't give up so he sped up as well. I couldn't help but think how talented he was; barely ten and already so skilled. Must've got my talent.
"Anyhow, I wanted to test him. I began flying left and right and up and down and little James managed to follow every single detour. So I decided to do one more thing before actually admitting that boy would become a big name in Quidditch business one day. I decided to perform the Thornton's Turning and see what he'd do about that—"
"Cute little story, isn't it?" interjected James. "Too bad it's so short. Let's introduce you to the rest of the late Potters--"
"I'm sure that's not the end of the story, James", replied Lily, sneering. "I want to hear the whole tale. Please, go on, Noele."
"So," Noele nodded contently and continued narrating. "as we were nearing the next big manor I pulled my broom left and quickly turned right, momentarily disappearing from little James's sight. James was caught off guard; he didn't know what to do and before he could decide if he'd turn left or right, he flew directly through a window of that house, straight into a girl's bedroom. And you can imagine the comedy when he the girl saw him and she was completely nak—"
Suddenly, an awful piercing scream filled the air. It cut Noele's words as though slashed with a knife, striking everyone with terrible unease. "MADAME!", somebody yelled, aghast. "MADAME!"
"What is going on?" whispered Lily, feeling goosebumps all over her body as the statues and portraits began fermenting.
"That... that's Thinny, I think", said James, looking alarmed. "But I've never heard her yelling like this, this can't be—"
Some more muffled shouts and hurried steps were heard and Lily instinctively moved closer to James, not sure if she wanted to comfort him or be comforted.
The statues appeared upset and confused, spreading panic incredibly fast between themselves.
"Maybe it's a burglar, there are Muggle burglars all over the country, you never know when one can break in—"
"No, they are too stupid for that, and the protection is perfect here—"
"Or it's that bloody ghoul, he always makes a mess—"
"What if we've got ourselves a Poltergeist? I say, banish him, banish him now—"
"Poltergeist? Oh, you're stupider than I thought, Solomon--"
"Who gives you right to call me stupid, you half-blood blond? I don't know why they even gave you a portrait when you are not a real pureb--"
"Shut up, everyone!" snapped James, seizing a wand. "Shut up now, or I'll blast you all to pieces! I don't care if you were my great aunt, freaking uncle, bloody nephew or godmother; it concerns you all – shut up or you're history. That's not a threat, it's a vow."
The statues didn't need to hear James's words twice; they silenced immediately, obviously not thrilled with the idea of being destroyed for good.
"It's my father, it's his voice", said James after a few moments of intent listening. "It's almost unbelievable I can hear him way over here... Means he must be shouting and he almost never raises his voice. Something is—"
" --wrong", said a rough voice which belonged to an ancient portrait of a man, possibly one of the oldest dead Potters in the chamber.
Quiet, almost inaudible fermenting filled the chamber again, but James didn't seem to be noticing it. He and Lily stared at the man's grim face, waiting to hear the rest. "That's where you're right, young J. E. W. N. D. P. It's not good at all. Your mother Victoria has been under an attack during the terrain work today. The other Aurors, healers and William are fighting for her life at this bare moment. And Merlin forgive me for saying this, but... I don't think it is going very well at all."