Chapter 8: The End
James said good bye to his parents and then went to the kitchen where Sirius and Jackie were. He opened the door and immediately started dancing, not on his own accord mind you. He looked over to Sirius to tell him off but he wasn't the one holding the wand. Jackie was.
"Whose wand is that?" James asked.
"It's mine Prongs," Sirius answered. James was surprised he could talk at all, he was laughing too hard.
"Why did you give her a wand?"
Sirius took a while to control himself before he could answer the question. "She asked for it."
"If she asked to put slugs down your pants would you let her?"
"No," Sirius said, disgusted, "That's gross."
"Make me stop dancing," James demanded.
"You forgot the magic word," Sirius said in a sing song voice.
"Hmm, I don't think that's the magic word. Is it Jackie?"
"Nope," Jackie said and laughed.
"I'll give you a hint," Sirius said, "It starts with a P."
"Padfoot," James said warningly.
"Nope, that's not it either."
Apparently Sirius wasn't going to help unless James said 'the magic word'.
"Please," James said finally.
"Was that so hard?" Sirius asked. He took his wand back from Jackie and waved it at James who immediately stopped dancing.
James glared at Sirius. He opened and closed his mouth a few times before walking over to Jackie. "Come on," he said, "It's time for your bath."
"That's it?" Sirius asked disbelievingly. "You're not going to yell at me or curse me or anything?"
"Not while little ears are around," James said simply. He took Jackie's hand and led her upstairs.
His parents had always given Jackie a bath. James had never before done it. In fact, he had never given any toddler a bath before. So you can imagine he didn't really know what to do. When he asked Sirius about it, he didn't know either.
Their bathtub was quit large. It was as deep as a normal bathtub but it was as big as a full size bed. When Jackie had said excitedly, "I want bubbles, BUBBLES!" James of course, being the great big brother that he is, dumped half of the bottle of bubbles into the bathtub. Sirius said it was a good idea.
"What does she wear in the bathtub?" Sirius asked, "Do we just strip her and throw her in or have her wear shorts and a tank top or what?"
James hadn't thought of that. "Go put on your bathing suit," he told Jackie. She ran off quickly and excitedly.
"You have no idea what you're doing, do you?" Sirius asked.
James looked at him with a hurt expression on his face. He was about to say he knew exactly what he was doing and how dare Sirius think otherwise. But then decided to just tell him the truth. "No I really don't."
Sirius nodded understandingly. Then he looked behind James at the tub and yelled, "Prongs, the water!"
James turned around to see the bathtub overflowing with water and bubbles. He ran over to it to turn it off. There was a minor step-back though. He couldn't see where the knob was.
He stood there for a few seconds, feeling the water overflow onto his shoes and soak into his socks. Then he plunged his hand into all the bubbles. He thought that the knob was around that area. He felt around for it, hating that his shirt was getting soaked. Finally he touched something metal. Eureka! He found it and turned off the water.
He pulled his hand back and turned around. Jackie was standing next to Sirius wearing a pink bathing suit with silver lines all over it. She was smiling larger than James had ever seen her smile before.
She ran up to the tub and jumped into all the bubbles. More water overflowed and splashed James.
"What happened?" Someone asked. It most definitely wasn't Sirius. James turned around and saw Lily standing in the doorway to the bathroom. Her mouth was half open and she was looking all over the bathroom. James looked too. You could barely see anything in the tub but the bubbles. James was surprised Jackie didn't completely disappear. You could just see her head. It looked like it was floating. The floor was covered with bubbles and water. The small rug that they had next to the bathtub was half covered in bubbles and what you could see of it was soaked. James himself was wet and sudsy.
"We're giving Jackie a bath," James said.
"You have to have water to give a girl a bath," Lily told them, "Not just bubbles."
"There's water in there," Sirius defended, "You just can't see it because James added so much bubble bath to it."
"Don't blame this on me," James said, "It's your fault too."
"He's the one who was willing to write and say you two needed help this weekend," Lily told James.
"My parents wanted to give you a brake." Then James rounded on Sirius, "I can't believe you didn't think I could handle this."
"Not just you mate," Sirius said, "I didn't think I could handle it either."
James sighed and then looked at Lily. He calmed down a bit so he didn't sound angry or frustrated when he talked to her. "I have everything under control," he said, "So you can go home." He silently prayed that she decided to stay because he honestly didn't have anything under control.
"I don't think so," she said, "I'm staying here. You might drown your sister or suffocate her with bubbles."
"I won't kill her," he argued.
"Uh-huh," Lily mumbled disbelievingly. She pulled out her wand and waved it. The water and bubbles disappeared. James noticed that there was a reasonable amount of bubbles left in the bathtub. "You put her in a bathing suit?"
"No," James said, "She put herself in a bathing suit. I just told her to do it."
Lily rolled her eyes and knelt down next to the tub to finished giving Jackie a bath.
"What shampoo does she use?"
"Uh," James looked at Sirius for help. He shrugged. "You know," he continued, pretending to know, "The kid's shampoo."
Lily looked around the bathroom. "Where is the kid's shampoo?"
"Right here," he grabbed the closest bottle and held it up. "Wonderful for little kids, tear free, and has a wonderful strawberry scent to it."
Lily glanced at the bottle and then back at James. "James," she said, "Two things. One: you're not trying to sell it to me. Two: this is shaving cream, not shampoo." She took the bottle away from James and showed him the label.
"I knew that," James said.
"Sirius," Lily asked, "Will you help me look for her shampoo?"
"I know where it is," Jackie said, "It's in another bathroom."
"Which one?" Sirius asked.
"Um…" Jackie thought. She put a hand to her chin as if stroking an imaginary beard. "The bathroom that Mommy and Daddy gave me a bath in last."
"Which one was that?" Lily asked. James looked at Jackie who was looking at him. "James," Lily said.
He looked at her. "Oh," he said, "You're asking me?" Lily nodded. "Why would I know?"
"Why wouldn't you know?"
"I don't keep track of where my parents give my sister a bath."
"Alright," Lily said. James could tell she was getting frustrated. "Sirius and I will go look. You make sure Jackie doesn't get into trouble."
She got up and when her back was turned James gave Sirius a look, trying to tell him to insist that he can look for himself. Sirius didn't get it. He made a questioning face.
James pointed at Lily and then pointed at the spot where Lily was just sitting. Then, he pointed at Sirius and made a shooing motion.
Sirius finally got it. He nodded to show he understood. "You know Lily," he said, "I can find it by myself. And James can't handle Jackie alone. He had to beg me to help him baby-sit. ME! Like I would know."
Lily looked hesitant, but said, "Alright, but hurry. It's almost time for her to go to bed."
"I'm running like the wind," Sirius said before leaving. Lily looked back at Jackie and sat next to James beside the tub.
Without warning, Lily started laughing.
"What's so funny?" James asked.
"You," Lily told him between giggles. "I can't believe you tried to baby-sit your sister."
James stared at her for a few seconds as she laughed. He didn't find it as funny. Dipping his hand into the water, he scooped up some bubbles and put them in her hair.
"Hey," she said, still smiling. She retaliated by grabbing the cup that was used for wetting Jackie's hair, filling it with water and dumping it on James. Jackie laughed.
"I didn't get you that badly," James said as he wiped water off his glasses. Lily didn't answer.
An hour later, Jackie was in bed and Sirius, Lily and James were sitting in the Gryffindor-Common-Room room.
"Did you clean up the water all over the bathroom floor?" Lily asked James
"Me?" James said, "Why would I clean it up? You were the one who spilled it."
"What happened?" Sirius asked, interested. Lily explained and Sirius took Lily's side. "Sounds like you started it Prongs," he said, "You should be the one to clean it up."
"Whose friend are you?" James asked, though Lily could see he wasn't really mad. No one said anything for a second. James grumbled something and went upstairs.
A few minutes later, James called down the stairs, saying that he had no idea how to clean it up the muggle way.
"I'll go help him," Lily said, rolling her eyes.
She stepped up on the second floor landing and started walking towards the bathroom. She had only taken a few steps when she felt a lot of cold water splash on her back. Lily turned around to see James standing behind her holding a now empty bucket.
As she opened her mouth to scream because it was so cold, James grabbed her hand, pulled her into the closest room—which was a broom closet--and covered her mouth with his hand. Lily was very aware that they were only a few inches apart.
"Don't scream," he told her, "Jackie is just down the hall and she's actually asleep."
She nodded to show James she understood. He dropped his hand but didn't move away. Lily could feel his eyes on her as she looked around the little room they were in, avoiding his eyes. There were boxes that said PICTURES on the side and baby boxes. The one that caught her eye was the one that said BABY JAMES.
Lily smiled and took a step over towards the box. "Look at this," she said. She started to open it but James put a hand on the top.
"You don't want to look at that," he said.
"You know," Lily said, "I really, really do."
Before Lily knew what happened, James kissed her. Her eyes widened and before she closed them, James had pulled back. She stared at him for a few seconds before saying, "What was that."
James cleared his throat, not looking at her, "People usually call it a kiss."
Lily wasn't sure how to react. She had never been surprised by a kiss before. She would admit that she had always wished that she would be surprised by a kiss, but she never imagined that kiss to be from James Potter.
"James? Red?" Sirius' voice came from somewhere on the other side of the door. Lily, desperate for something to do, opened the door and walked out with James right behind her. Sirius smiled and she realized what that must have looked like.
"What were you two doing?" Sirius asked, eyeing them suspiciously.
"Nothing," Lily said a little too quickly. Sirius' smile grew. Then Lily remembered the box. "We were just looking for James' baby box."
"No we weren't," James said.
"You have a baby box?" Sirius asked. He was obviously enjoying this.
Lily got the baby box out of the closet and brought it out to show Sirius.
"Let's look at it," Sirius said. He started to take it from Lily.
"I have to clean up this water," James said. Lily looked around to see what he was talking about. It was the water he had splashed on her that was all over the floor now.
"I can get this," Lily said. She waved her wand and the water disappeared. "Now, let's go downstairs and look through your box."
"But," James started, but Lily and Sirius were already walking past him.
Fifteen minutes later, James sat in an armchair and Lily and Sirius sorted through the baby box. James didn't look too happy.
"Oh," Lily said, "This is so cute." She held up miniature Hogwarts robes. "I can't believe you were this small."
"Look what I found," Sirius said in a sing song voice. James looked over quickly. He was holding a baby book.
"Alright," James said, standing up quickly. He reached over and took the picture book from Sirius before he could be stopped. "No pictures."
"Why?" Lily asked, "Are there embarrassing baby pictures of you in there?"
Was there a right answer to this question? If James said yes, then they would find a way to get it from him and torture him with the stupid pictures. If he said no, they would insist on looking at it because there was no reason for them not to look at it. He decided to not answer the question. At least not directly. "Maybe," he said.
"Hand over the picture book, Prongs," Sirius said, standing up.
"No," James shook his head, holding the book tightly. Sirius pulled out his wand. "Oh come on," James said, "That's just not fair."
Sirius shrugged. "Not my problem." He started to raise his wand.
"He does have a point," Lily said, "We shouldn't use magic to get it from him."
James wasn't sure whether to say thanks or not. He didn't want Sirius to take it from him by magic but he also didn't want him to take it from him at all.
"Fine," Sirius said disappointed, "We won't take it from you with magic. I'll give you a ten second head start."
Sirius started counting and James ran upstairs, still clutching the photo book.
Lily searched for James on the third floor of the house. She felt a little bad about being mean to him like this, but she told herself it was just payback for that kiss.
She pondered the kiss as she looked for him. Did it actually mean anything or was it just something to stop her from opening his baby box? It was probably nothing. Although, she did feel something when he kissed her. At least she thought she did. Could she be sure? It might have been in her head. Yup, that was it. Just in her head. She had felt nothing when she kissed Potter. Or when he had kissed her. Did she kiss him back. She couldn't remember. She didn't think she did. But what if she did and he didn't mean anything by it other than to get her mind off the box and now he knows she likes him? No, she told herself, not knows I like him. Thinks I like him. She most definitely wasn't falling for James Potter. There was no way. But what if the kiss did mean something?
"The kiss was nothing," she said out loud.
Then, someone grabbed her from behind. He covered her mouth with one hand and wrapped his other arm around her waist, pulling her closer to him and pinning her arms down. She tried to get away but he was too strong. She lifted her foot and slammed the heel of her foot as hard as she could onto the person's toes. He instantly let go. She turned around, whipping out her wand as she did so.
James stood there, with a pained expression on his face. "Bloody hell Lily," he said, "That hurt."
"Why did you do that?" Lily asked, "You scared me half to death."
"I was just trying to sneak up on you," he said, "I didn't think you would attack me."
Lily stood there as her heart rate slowed. He must have been watching her for a few minutes. That meant he heard what she said. She didn't say it that loud though. Maybe he didn't hear.
"What kiss were you talking about?" He asked, with a small smile on his face.
"What are you talking about?" Lily asked, deciding to play it cool.
"You know what I'm talking about."
"No," Lily said, "I don't." She started to walk past him, heading for the stairs but he blocked her path.
"When I kissed you, that didn't mean nothing."
Lily didn't answer. She just looked at the hardwood floor.
She looked up at him. He was a lot closer than she thought he was. Was he getting closer or was that just her imagination? Nope. He was definitely getting closer. He would be kissing her soon. She kept her eyes open until he closed his. Finally he kissed her.
Lily was not wrong. She had felt something in his kiss. She couldn't explain it, but it was something that wasn't there with any of the other boys she had kissed before. And it was over way too soon.
"This is just too cute," Sirius said. Lily looked over at him. He was beaming at them.
"Where did you come from?" Lily asked.
"Nowhere land," Sirius answered, still smiling. "Prongs, your parents are back. They want to talk to you."
"Alright," James said, "Could you tell them I'll be there in a second?"
"Sure," he said and he left. Then James turned back to Lily.
"So," he said, "I'm gonna ask you again. Will you go out with me?"
Lily smiled. "Yes, I'll go out with you."
"Good times," Sirius said. He was sitting on the couch at the Potter's house.
"Yeah," James agreed.
Lily was holding a baby Harry in a rocking chair. "But we never found James' photo book," she said.
"Actually," Sirius said, "I found it the other day. That's why I brought up the subject."
"Why did we end up telling Harry the whole story if you just wanted to show us a picture book?" James asked, reaching for the photo album. Sirius held it out of reach.
"I didn't want to tell the whole story," Sirius pointed out, "I just said, 'Remember your picture book that we could never find when Lily was babysitting?' and then you two went off and told a three month old baby a story that he won't even remember. One reason, because he's three months old and won't even remember this conversation when he wakes up screaming in a few hours, and another reason is because he fell asleep halfway through."
James and Lily looked at each other.
"Anyway," Lily said, "You mentioned James' old picture book?"
A/n That's it. I'm kind of sad that this story is finished. I'm gonna miss writing it. Thank you to all who reviewed and stuck with me through the story and the summer when I wasn't able to post for about a month. I hope you enjoyed it. I wanted to make the last chapter longer than the rest, that's why it took longer.
Flower 'n' Prongs
CaTcH Me WhEn i fAlL-XoXo