The Way it's Supposed to Be
Chapter 7

It felt all too soon that the Christmas holidays had arrived and Lily and James were on the train home. Their relationship had gone from bad to worse, Lily finding fault in everything that James did and James just annoying her. James couldn't say he was looking forward to going home. He'd sent some rather rude letters to his parents over the last couple of months and was sure his parents were going to be rather angry about them when he arrived home.

The worst thing he'd discovered in their latest letters was that the Evanses were staying an entire week during the beginning of the holidays. He'd been furious when he'd discovered this and asked if Sirius could be allowed to stay for the week. His parents had said no, saying the time was for him to bond with Lily. In the end, Sirius had discussed coming over for the time in the days and Remus and Pete had said they'd try to get there too. Sirius, who had a worse bond with his parents than James did, was desperate to get out of his house as always.

He was walking down the corridor of the train to get to the toilets when he bumped into Lily.
"Sorry, Evans," he said, deciding that they couldn't spend the whole of the holidays arguing, so he might as well try and be civilised.

"You did that on purpose, Potter," she growled.

"I didn't, but it's not like you'd ever believe me," he said coldly. "Have you heard the ridiculous news?"

"What ridiculous news? The one that you don't have a brain? I'm sorry but that's not news to anyone, Potter," Lily said scathingly.

"No, the news where your family is staying at my house next week," James said, frowning.

"What?!" Lily snapped. "You're joking, right, Potter? Please tell me you're joking!"

"'Fraid not, Evans," he said, pursing his lips and glancing at her almost sympathetically.

"Not the way I want to spend my Christmas," she pouted.

"Me neither, Evans, me neither," James agreed.

They looked at each other awkwardly.

"Um, I'll see you later," he said quietly, eventually.

She nodded and rushed away from him.


James didn't answer his mother's pointless questions in the car on the way home. He didn't feel like making small talk. His Father was working as usual and would be home for dinner so his mother told him he'd better brighten up. The maid had made him his favourite chocolate pudding for that evening, but even that didn't cheer James up.

When they arrived home, James went straight to his room. He lay on his bed, watching his Quidditch posters fly about the walls. The sun was beginning to set, leaving a pink glow over the hills opposite the estate, James was hoping for snow. He was quiet again at dinner, allowing his parents to fill him in on all the things happening outside of Hogwarts; Molly Prewett was getting married to one of the Weasleys, a distant cousin was having her second baby. James had a quick bath and went to bed early.

The next morning he helped the house elves and maid put up the Christmas decorations. It gave him something to do, but it wasn't the same as when he was younger. His dad had always used to take a day off to help him put up the decorations, he was obviously too old for that now. The Christmas tree in the sitting room went up first, not as big as last year, but just as grand. This year the house elves made icicles that stayed frozen on the tree, frosting the edges. These contrasted to the candles, charmed to stay lit and never burn down and also to not catch alight on the tree. Atop the tree sat a real fairy, her wings fluttering. They also placed holy on the walls, the portraits particularly happy to be included in the festive.

The rest of the week passed all too quickly and soon James was waiting in the sitting room by the fireplace with his parents, for the Evanses to arrive. David, having travelled by floo before, was the first to arrive. Next was his wife, then his youngest daughter and finally Lily.

"David," Richard got up to greet the other man. "Anna," he placed a kiss on her cheek. "It's nice to see you and your children again, you all look very well."

"Thank you, as do you, Richard, Megan," David Evans answered.

"James, why don't you take Lily and Petunia to put their luggage in their room and show them around the house, you won't want to be stuck here while we're talking," his mother said. He could tell by her tone that there was no room for argument.

"Of course, mum," James said. He picked up one of the cases and gestured for the girls to follow him.

The trip was incredibly quiet, with James occasionally pointing something out to them. Eventually they arrived at the guest rooms the girls would be staying in.

"I suppose you want some time to get unpacked," James suggested. "My room's that one there," he pointed, "if you need anything."

Lily and Petunia nodded.

So far, so good, James thought as he sat down at his desk. He hadn't been rude yet.

He traced the patterns of the wood grains in his desk and stared at a mug that needed washing. His school books were in a pile on one end of the desk and his quill lay on an essay that he'd started writing yesterday morning. His wand sat on his bedside table, unusable outside school.

There was a quiet knock on the door. Lily opened it, her eyes shining beautifully with excitement.

"James, it's snowing outside!" she exclaimed.

"Really?" James eyes widened and he turned to look out the window. Just as Lily had said, it was snowing. "Well Evans, I challenge you to a snowball fight."

"Okay, Potter," she smiled, "let me go and get a scarf and gloves; I'll meet you outside in ten minutes."

"Sure," he smiled; watching her leave and then going to grab his scarf and gloves.

I'm not even gonna comment on how sorry I am that this took so long, just that I'm glad I opened the wrong document and re-read this.

Reviews would be great...

With love JLF xoxo