Summary: James wants to cook Lily a special dinner, but what happens when Lily realizes that, even with magic on his side, James is the worst cook in history?
Disclaimer: I don't own it. Jo does.
Mistakes of a Married Woman
a Siriusly Klutzy story.
I knew from the start that allowing James to cook dinner was a bad idea. Once the scent of burning something reached my nostrils, I knew I should have just waltzed in there and said, "James, please hand over the baking pan and let me do this. I love you dearly, but you look much better without singed eyebrows."
To which he probably would have replied, "Lily, dear, I look sexy no matter now crispy my eyebrows are." And then I would have shaken my head and left the room.
But instead, I called, "James?" cautiously, trying to convince myself that the smoke seeping under the doorway was a figment of my imagination. It wasn't.
He coughed in response. "Yes?" More coughing. "Everything's under control! Don't move. I've got it all- oh, bloody hell!"
"James?" I called, this time more urgently.
There was a stream of profanities before, "It's alright. I've got it all under control. No need to worry!"
"James Potter, you aren't hurting yourself, are you?" I stepped closer to the door and put my ear against it.
"Of course not! This chicken was just a bit rowdy! I'm fine. The chicken's fine. The strawberries are fine. We're all fine!" More coughing. Great, my fiancé was suffocating and he didn't want my help.
"Did you say strawberries?" I asked curiously, taking a step back.
"What? No! Go away! It's a surprise!" he cried. "Ouch! Damnit!"
"I'm coming in there," I warned, pushing the door open.
"Oh, no you're not!" I heard some scrambling and then a thud as the door slammed shut. "Stay out! This is supposed to be our special dinner!"
"It's not going to be special if you're dead,you nitwit!" I said, pushing against the door. "Let me in, you stubborn toe rag!"
"Toe rag? Really, Evans? That's all you've got after all these years?"
I jumped. "Merlin, Black," I said, abandoning my attempts at breaking into my own smoking kitchen to go hug James's best mate. "What are you doing here?"
"Just thought I'd drop in and give James my magazine." He dropped a dripping copy of some quidditch magazine on my side table. He sniffed the air and grinned. "What's cooking?"
I grimaced at the door. "Nothing edible, I'm sure."
"Why?" He marched into the kitchen and started coughing up a storm. "Prongs, what the hell are you doing?"
I followed behind quietly, not wanting to get shut out again. It wasn't as if James could see me, anyway. There was one big cloud of smoke in there. I could just barely make out the outline of James, standing by the stove and waving smoke away with his hands. Sirius, dressed in darker colors, was more recognizable as he leaned, smirking complacently I'm sure, against the refrigerator.
"I'm cooking dinner for Lily!" he whispered, still trying to wave the smoke away.
"You call that dinner?" Sirius asked. The smoke was starting to clear more quickly now. "Ever heard of a wand, mate?" He waved his wand and directed the smoke out the open window.
"Thanks," James said, quickly maneuvering himself so that he was in between the "food" and myself. "Now get out!" He started waving a spatula at us like a mad old lady, slightly resembling my mother around the holidays. "Out! I've got to finish."
"James, darling, really, I love you to Pluto and back, but I don't think I'd ever eat anything you cook. It really smells disgusting in here," I said in the most caring voice I possibly could.
"Prongs! What the hell is on your ceiling?" Sirius asked, pointing to a mysterious red goop that was dripping in a slow beat from the ceiling onto the counter. Plop. Plop. Plop.
James looked uncertainly up at the ceiling and ran a hand through his hair (consequentially getting the same red goop caught in his dark locks).
"Strawberries," James answered proudly. He was trying his best to ignore the, what he called strawberry, goop that was in his hair and all over his hands.
"I thought you were making chicken," I said, peering behind him at the scorched lumps of something (I'm assuming chicken) that never had the chance of being edible once it entered this kitchen and was placed in the eager, completely unculinarily trained, hands of James Potter.
"I was," James answered, confused as to why I was confused.
"But that's strawberries," I pointed out, putting my finger close to, but not quite touching, the goop on his arm.
"But you made chicken."
"But that is strawberries!"
This whole conversation was giving me a headache.
James, sweet, lovely, thoughtful, can't cook to save his life James, was staring at me like I was the most incompetent person in the world.
"Okay. What?" I finally asked, staring at him.
"I put the strawberries on the chicken. Before it burned. And before they exploded."
Sirius let out a bark of laughter. "How the hell do you explode strawberries?"
"Well, the sto- Oi! Get out of here! Go ride your bike in the rain, dog!" James yelled, but he was grinning so there was no harm done. Sirius walked out of the kitchen, shaking his head.
"Alright," he called from the front entrance way. "But if your kitchen starts smoking, and you two dolts are too thick to remember you have a wand, I won't be here to save you!"
"Don't you want to stay for dinner?" I asked with a giggle. Sirius let out another bark of laughter and walked out the door. "Strawberries on chicken?" I asked once I heard the door shut and a motorbike roar to life.
"I was trying to be fancy," he answered with a sweet grin.
"That seriously has to be one of the grossest things I've ever even heard of," I said sweetly, stifling a giggle and stroking his cheek as the goop plopped down some more.
He grabbed my wrists and put them to my side. "Get out! I've got to finish!"
Astonished, I stared at the man. "James, you've burned, melted, or exploded anything edible in this kitchen! There's not much more that you can do!"
He just grinned and led me out of the room.
For the next forty five minutes I had to sit patiently in the living room, ignoring the yelps of pain, the random pops and explosions, and the burning smell that was all recognizable through the door. When he shouted a nice creation of swear words, mixed with foods, and pain in his hand, I wasn't able to go in and try to fix him. He told me to stay put.
"Okay! It's done!" he called happily from the kitchen. I stood to walk towards the door. "Oh- no wait!" There was a scrambling, the sink turned on and off quickly, a hesitation, and then James appeared in the door way, his arm out waiting for me to take it.
"No amount of charm will make up for the dinner I'm about to force myself to eat," I said with a grin, linking my arm in his.
"You'll like it." He sounded so sure of himself as we walked through the kitchen (which, somehow, was miraculously clean) and to the dining room.
"What'd you do to the kitchen? I know you have a house elf, but no one can clean that fast."
He just winked and guided me through the door. It looked nice. I had to give him credit for presentation. There were two lit candles on the table, and the plates, silverware, and napkins were all set up the way they should be.
"Oh, James," I said with a sigh. "It looks great." I pecked him on the cheek.
"See! I can do something right!" He walked me over to the table and pulled my chair out.
"Oh, I had complete faith in you," I said with mock seriousness as he turned around. I noticed a small chunk of the strawberry goop stuck in his hair, but thought against mentioning it. He was so proud.
"Before we start," he began, "there's something I've got to tell you." His voice was dead serious. It made me anxious. Since when was James serious? "Now, you may not know this, Lily, but I can't cook." I couldn't help but let out snort. He grinned. "So what you're about to see may or may not shock you." He waggled his eyebrows and snapped his fingers. What seemed to materialize on my plate did shock me.
"Galleons?" I asked, picking up the familiar currency.
"Yeah, we're going out to dinner!"
I grinned, surprised. I would have thought he would stuff that burnt chicken down my throat if it killed him. And me. "Oh, thank Merlin," I said, sighing with relief.
"You were really scared to eat my cooking?" he asked feigning hurt.
"You call that cooking?" He pouted. "I'm going to get my coat. Oh! You might want to shower. You've got some strawberries in your hair." I went to pluck them out. "Oh! Gross! They're dried in there!"
He made a comment about having to borrow some of Sirius's hair products and dashed off to the bathroom. I pocketed the galleons and waited for my lovely, unculinarily trained, and strawberry covered fiancé to clean himself up.
A/n: You can stop theorizing about where I've disappeared to (because, I know that's what fills your thoughts all the time. Where has Siriusly Klutzy gone to?). I'm back and randomadjectivehere-er than ever! I fell into a funk again, after those two fanfics. I don't know what's wrong but it's horrible!
This, actually, was a challenge from Runa. We're sending them to each other. My criteria was: Lily/James, a one-shot, non-obvious reference to Twilight, something about strawberries, and it had to have a happy ending. Could you guys catch the reference?
She's sending another one my way soon, so there should be more. And for those curious, chapter 10 of Stag is almost done. Like… 17/20 complete.
Much love and a better dinner than strawberry chicken,