A/N: Hello, everyone! I'm back. I've decided to write a sequel, so I hope ya'll like it. Now, I'll have to go ahead and warn you, updates will be much slower than my previous story, as I am still in the process of planning and writing this one, and I am very busy this time of year. Also, I'm going to cross country camp this week, so I will not be able to update until I get back. Please read, enjoy, and review! Thanks!
Chapter One: Coming Home
"I'll be sure to write everyday, and I'm sure my parents would love for you to come and stay for a couple of days or something." James told Lily as they waited for their parents to pick them up from the station.
"Yes, I'm sure Jamesie's parents would love that!" Sirius interrupted as he came back with a trolley.
Lily laughed at Sirius. "Alright, I'll make sure to ask my parents. They'll probably want to invite you to dinner sometime."
"Who, me?" Sirius asked loudly and obnoxiously.
Lily grinned. "No, but you never know, they might want to meet you."
Sirius grinned at her. "Well I would think so."
James smiled at his best friend and girlfriend, or, as he was getting used to saying, his fiancée. They hadn't told anyone yet, they had agreed to tell their friends all together, and Lily insisted that they couldn't tell her parents till her eighteenth birthday in August, so Lily was wearing the ring on her right hand with the Irish wedding ring James had given her on her left.
"And you'll have to come over for my birthday." James added.
Lily smirked. "Do I, now?"
James pouted and folded his arms. "Well, if you don't you won't get a goody bag."
"Really?" Lily smiled as James wrapped his arms around her. "Then I'll just have to come now, won't I?"
James smiled at her and kissed her fiercely, this was going to be the last time they saw each other for a week, as James's birthday was the twenty-first.
Lily was taken a back, as James's kisses, in public, at least, were usually soft, quick, and tender. She had responded by deepening the kiss, however, and was thus caught in a fairly embarrassing situation when they broke away due to Sirius's coughing.
They turned around to see both sets of parents waiting for them, looking just as embarrassed and then turning their attention to each other and starting a conversation.
Lily's face was red, and James's neck was pink.
"Well we best be going, I think." James's father started. He looked older than when Lily had last seen him, just a few months ago. His hair was grayer, and the wrinkles around his eyes were more severe. "We'll be sure to send you an owl, Patrick and Beverly. Come on, James, Sirius. And no, Sirius, you still can't drive."
Sirius made a sigh of disappointment as he pushed the trolley beside James who was walking a few steps behind his parents. He turned around to wave once more at Lily, who grinned and then faced her parents.
"Well." her mother started, as her father was now putting all of Lily's things quite forcibly into her trolley and not looking at her.
Lily gave a slight smile, mostly from nervousness, and then hugged her mother.
"It's good to be back!"
Her father smiled at her.
"Let's go, Lily, Bev."
The mother and daughter broke away before following Patrick out to the parking lot.
"So you had a good last term?" Beverly Evans asked her daughter at dinner that night.
Lily swallowed her milk and nodded. "Yes, everything went well, and the graduation ball was so…magical." Lily described as her eyes fluttered and she took another sip.
Beverly smiled at her daughter, remembering what it was like to be young and in love.
"So what jobs are you applying for?" her father asked, searching his way into the conversation for a safe topic, one that didn't involve romance and magical dances.
Lily looked up at her father. "Well, I think I'd like to work with diplomatic relations, or maybe in the court as a lawyer…I'd start out as an intern, of course. Professor Flitwick, the Charms professor, gave me some applications and I sent them in, they're waiting on my N.E.W.T. scores before they really decide on anything."
Patrick Evans nodded and went back to eating.
"And James is going to be an orator or something?"
Lily smiled. "James applied for the Auror Academy. They have to look at his test scores too before officially accepting them, which they will."
"They will? How do you know?" her father challenged, somewhat passively aggressive.
Lily grinned. "Because James is brilliant and amazing and can do anything he sets his mind to."
"Sounds just like you." her father replied with a small chuckle.
"James is welcome to dinner anytime." Beverly interjected.
Lily nodded. "He knows. Actually, his birthday is coming up soon, a week, actually, and I was wondering if I could go to his house for the day."
Beverly looked at Patrick, who thought for a moment, and then spoke.
"He may, but he needs to come and pick you up, Lily. These are dangerous times, freaky terrorist attacks, and you've said the magical world is in some sort of disarray, so I think it would be best if he came and got you."
"It's a six hour car ride." Lily stated diplomatically, desperate to be allowed to go. "Why can't I just apparate there and have him drive me back, then he can come to dinner."
"Because…we were talking to Sam and Margaret, James's parents, and they've warned us of the dangers with apparation from Muggle villages to magical ones, I think it's best if James comes and picks you up first. He can stay in the guest bedroom overnight, if he likes." Patrick explained, darting his eyes to Beverly for support every few seconds.
Lily sighed and asked to be excused before she wrote a letter to James.
Dear James (Precious),
How was your ride home? I hope well. Did you get settled alright? I just finished having dinner, and no, we didn't have pork chops. I asked my parents about going to your house for your birthday, and my father would like for you to drive and pick me up because he's concerned about safety. You are welcome to come the day before and stay the night so you don't have to drive so much. If you're too busy, I understand, and I can wait to give you your present when I visit you during the summer. Tell Sirius hello for me.
All my love,
your fiancée (Shnuckums)
Lily smiled as she looked at the letter when she realized she didn't have an owl. She slapped her forehead in frustration. All these years, and she had neglected to buy an owl. Just then, a tapping was heard at her window. She looked up from her desk and walked over and opened the window. A large, brown owl sprang through the windows. The bird dropped the letter in Lily's hands and then went to sit on Lily's chair, which she treated like a perch.
Lily tore open the letter, anxious to read James's letter.
My dearest Lily,
How are you getting settled? I just finished unpacking myself. Sirius is staying for dinner and then we're going over to his flat for the night. Hope you don't have to see too much of your wretched sister. Have you asked your parents about my birthday yet? I'll be ever so disappointed if you can't come. Well Sirius is calling, I love you.
Lily smiled as she finished the letter. James seemed to always have such perfect timing in everything that he did. She took the letter she had just written, thanking Merlin that she hadn't sealed it in an envelope yet, and responded to James letter. She then sealed the letter and gave it back to Rosemary after giving her some water from a dish.
"Give this to James." she asked as she let the owl out of the window.
She watched it fly off into the sunset and sighed before closing the window and heading back downstairs, Petunia and Vernon were coming for dessert.
"Sirius, your flat is a mess!" James commented as they walked through the kitchen, where dishes were rotting and a ghastly smell was emitting throughout the entire house.
Sirius shrugged as he did a bubblehead charm. "Well I never got the chance to clean up over the holidays."
James looked at Sirius with a shocked and disgusted expression.
"Christmas holidays?" James asked, eyebrows raised.
Sirius thought for a moment and then nodded. "Yes, I believe that was the last time I was here."
James shook his head. "Padfoot, you've got to learn cleaning charms, mate. Do you want a house elf? We have a few extra."
Sirius made a face through the upside down fish bowl.
"I hate house-elves. Sneaky creatures. Can't be trusted."
James smiled. "Just because Kreacher is so awful doesn't mean…ours are excellent, promise!"
Sirius shook his head. "No."
He was quiet for a moment more.
"Actually, I was wondering if we could be flatmates?" he asked, looking at James with pleading eyes.
James thought for a moment, he looked at the mess of the kitchen as he held his breath, and he dreaded looking at the other parts of the house. But as he gazed back at Sirius, he realized he couldn't desert his best friend, even if he was a pig.
"Sure, but could we get a bigger place? James asked. "With my money, and your money, we could do it, you know, and I think you only have one bedroom."
Sirius pulled James into a hug and broke away quickly.
"Yes! I was hoping to leave this dump; Uncle Alfred left me enough, so yes, I think that'll do." Sirius smiled triumphantly and gathered his trunk. "Ready?"
"Padfoot, you just can't leave this place like this, and besides, you have to look for a new flat first." James replied reasonably.
Sirius was about to reply when James's owl zoomed through the window carrying Lily's letter.
He scanned over the lines of Lily's neat loopy writing and smiled before looking up at Sirius.
"You got a piece of parchment?" he asked, grinning.
Sirius nodded and he opened his trunk and then handed James some spare, rather crumpled parchment, a half-empty bottle of ink, and an old quill.
James wrote a few words, signed it elaborately and then gave the letter to his owl, who looked absolutely revolted about carrying yet another letter across the country. James patted her head and gave her some water with a few words of persuasion, and she was off, however contempt.
"What was that about?" Sirius asked as he started to clean up the kitchen with the help of his wand.
James smiled. "Lily wants me to come and pick her up before my birthday, so I'll be spending the night at her place Friday and then I'll be back Saturday morning, if we drive fast. It's quite a drive. I hope she'll be able to spend the night Saturday night...I don't feel like driving that much."
Sirius raised his eyebrows suggestively.
"Spending the night, are we?" he grinned wickedly. "Just how close are you and Miss Evans getting these days?"
James chuckled. "Sod off, Sirius."
"No comment, then?" Sirius asked.
James ignored Sirius and began to help him clean.
"Do you want to spend the night at my house tonight? Tomorrow we can start searching for a flat." James continued.
Sirius grinned again. "Alright, but I don't want to be as close as you and Shnuckums."
James glared at him quickly before getting back to the dishes.
"Vernon has just been made the assistant director of Grunnings, Dad." Petunia boasted as she took a sip of brandy.
Patrick Evans nodded and smiled politely at Vernon.
"Is that so? Well congratulations."
Vernon beamed and puffed out his chest in a proud way.
"Well it was about time, if I do say so myself. I've been working for the company for ten years, and assistant to the vice president wasn't just my cup of tea. I can handle big things, Patrick." he continued.
Lily took a large gulp of tea to suppress the laughter forming in the back of her throat and the instinct to make a snide remark at Vernon's last comment. His whole family was practically a herd of elephants as it was.
Petunia held up her nose and ignored her sister, and Lily could tell she was just dying for the day Lily would move far away from Surrey and never bother her again. Lily wasn't exactly trying to delay her inevitable move, either. Ever since the Dursleys had moved down the road, Lily had been keen on moving out.
"I'm going to be getting a job soon, myself." Lily added conversationally, attempting to rescue her father, who was nodding politely, from Vernon's typical droll conversation.
Vernon turned his head and looked absolutely revolted that his monologue had been interrupted by Lily of all people. Petunia glared at her sister but didn't say a word.
Lily smiled inwardly and continued. "Yeah, I applied for several at the Ministry…and as soon as I get one…I'll get my own flat."
Lily expected Petunia and Vernon to just stare at her like she was an insect, but her parents?
Then Vernon laughed.
"They won't let your kind work at our Ministry!" Vernon replied as if it was the most preposterous thing in the world.
Before Lily had time to reply to his ignorant comment, however, Lily's mother spoke.
"Lily, Petunia lived at home till she was married, and…your father and I, we were sort of…expecting you to do the same." Beverly Evans stated with calm, yet motherly demanding voice.
Lily shook her head. "No, Mum! I can't, I have to be…I have to be with magic, it's just not reasonable for me to stay here…and risk your safety and the safety of our neighbors! I can't!"
"Don't you think it's just as risky as living by yourself? You'll have no one to protect you or watch out for you, or just to keep you company." Patrick added.
Lily's green eyes flashed with anger as she sat back in her seat. Vernon and Petunia looked just as perturbed, as the conversation passed through tense air as if they weren't even in the room.
"Dad, Mum, I have to be able to live with magic!" she protested. "I just have to! I know how to take care of myself!"
Beverly and Patrick exchanged a look and Patrick sighed as he laid his fork on his plate and looked at his youngest daughter.
"We'll write to the Potters and see what they think. What is Allison doing? We could write the Prewitts too."
"Allison's probably living at home, but it doesn't matter for her because she already lives in the magical world!" Lily explained dreading every moment of the confession.
Beverly nodded. "We'll write the Potters then. Next time James's owl comes, let me know."
Lily nodded before asking to be excused. She cleared her place as well as her father's, as he was done eating as well, and then walked slowly up to her room.
Rosemary was waiting at her window for her, quite patiently for an owl.
Lily opened the window and then went to go tell her mother to write whatever she needed to the Potters.