by Molly Raesly

Chapter One

Sisterly Competition

"Sisters never quite forgive each other for what happened when they were five." ~Pam Brown

"Rise and shine, Lily Divine!" a voice sang sweetly.

I twisted in my sheets to avoid the sound. "Go away, James," I snarled.

"James? Really, Lily? What are you using this Heads Dorm for? Is there something you're not telling me?"

"Mmrph," I grumbled back as I shut my eyes tightly.

"It's a bright new day!"

I growled as I heard the sound of curtains being yanked open. The light temporarily blinded me, and I quickly stuffed my face under my pillow to avoid the abhorrent sunlight.

"See look, sunlight! Remember, sunlight? You used to go outside before exams started."

I squeezed my eyelids even tighter.

"Time to get up and join the awake people, Lily!"

"Go away," I told the voice angrily. "I'm sleeping."

"You're not sleeping if you're answering me," the voice pointed out gleefully.

"Sleep talking," I mumbled back. "Very common."

I felt a weight plop down on the left side of the bed and squirmed to the other side.

"Not so fast, Lilykins! It's time to get up. Wakey wakey!"

I focused back on my previous dream and tried to envision myself among the dancing monkeys. The chimps had formed a conga line while the gorillas were shaking maracas shaped like bananas.


"Leave me alone," I argued as I blindly swatted away the arms flapping in front of my face.

"C'mon, Lily! You have to get up, or you won't have time to get breakfast before the train leaves."

Train? What train was she talking about?

"Merlin's pinky toe!" I screeched, sitting up in bed. "We're leaving Hogwarts today."

Hestia smiled at me hugely. "There's my best friend," she remarked happily.

"Oh my Merlin!" I shrieked.

Hestia squealed girlishly and tackled me into a hug.

I embraced her eagerly as the excitement flooded through me. After the time for a normal friend hug started to fade into hazy lesbian territory, Hestia released me and sunk back into my pillows.

I pulled my knees to my chest. "I can't believe we finished school," I said in a dazed voice.

"That's probably because you went into a testing coma once N.E.W.T.s started. I think I had to force you to shower at one point. Not fun," she recalled, wrinkling her nose. "Though, James did pay me five galleons for it."

I smacked her arm before falling back onto my pillow. "It's really over," I said to myself. "I've imagined this day for years, but I'd never actually thought it'd happen."

"You better believe it, Lils," she told me. "We are officially done with Hogwarts. No more classes, no more books, no more house-elf yummy cooks."

I sighed. "Damn," I realized. "I'm going to miss the place. Leaving doesn't seem as great as I thought it would be. This sucks."

"Agreed," Hestia said solemnly. Suddenly, she started bouncing on my bed. "So, speaking of sucking, how come you thought I was James? Do you normally expect him in your bedroom in the wee hours of the morning?"

"Subtle segway there, Hest," I muttered sourly.

She grinned cheekily at me as she flicked her dark hair over her shoulder. "I try," she replied. "Now, dish, Lily. Have you been holding out on me? You would have told me if you and James did the dirty flobberworm, right?"

I scrunched up my nose. "'Dirty flobberworm?' Honestly, Hestia!"

She shrugged nonchalantly. "I'm Sirius Black's girlfriend," she offered, as though that explained it all. Sadly, it did.

"There has been no flobberworming," I told her stiffly.

"So still as pure as Dumbledore's white beard?" she asked.

"I'm going to choose not to answer that, perv," I told her.

Truthfully, James and I had talked about it. There had been loads of times when we had considered it, even. Hell, we wanted to. We wanted to badly. Still, the timing wasn't right. Something had always been off. Sirius was there or we had to wake up early the next day or, mortifyingly, I had my period. Frankly, I was not that upset about it. As much as I loved James and as stupefied as his kisses made me feel, I was still apprehensive about the whole thing.

"So what time is it?" I asked suddenly.

"Subtle segway," Hestia quoted me.

"I try harder," I replied back.

Her eyes lit up with laughter. Before she could utter a single inappropriate syllable, I covered her mouth with my hand.

"That's enough out of you, Hestia Jones," I commanded.

"Fine," she pouted. "But it would have been really funny."

"I'm laughing on the inside," I told her dryly.

"It's about seven," Hestia answered finally.

I groaned. "I hate you so much," I informed her.

She stuck her tongue out at me. "You're no fun, Lily," she whined as she fiddled with the edge of my quilt. "Here, I am, trying to make our last morning at Hogwarts special, and you just-"

"Oh, sweet Merlin," I exclaimed as I sat up in my bed. "It's Monday," I realized.

"It's Monday," she repeated momentously.

"AHH!" I screeched shrilly as I tackled her into a hug.

Hestia laughed loudly and then joined me in hysterical rejoicing. We were so jubilant that we did not notice when the door opened and someone entered the room.

"Bloody hell!" a voice exclaimed. "What I wouldn't do for a camera right now. Hestia, love, would you mind bending over just a bit more?"

I rolled my eyes. "Ever heard of knocking, Sirius?" I asked him grumpily.

He flashed an annoyingly bright grin at me. "Then I would have missed out on possibly the best image my humble eyes have ever seen. Have you two considered making a calendar? I know a few Third Years who would probably-"

"Hestia, can you please remove your boyfriend from my bedroom?"

She chuckled as she got off of my bed and sauntered over towards Sirius's nearly salivating-the dog!-face. "But he's so cute," Hestia told me as she pinched his chin for emphasis.

"I'm fairly certain that idea fades by the morning after," I grumbled.

"Ouch, Lily," Sirius laughed as he held his hand to his heart. "You sure know how to wound a bloke. Couldn't find the right side of the bed, y'reckon?"

I rolled my eyes. "Haven't been able to get out of bed yet," I said with a pointed look at Hestia. "Everyone seems hell-bent on not letting me sleep. Would it be that much to ask to sleep in just once? I spent all year waking up early after falling asleep on whatever textbook I was reading the night before. Classes are over. I miss the feeling of the back of my eyelids."

"That's what you get for driving yourself crazy studying for your N.E.W.T.s," Hestia told me while shrugging good-naturedly.

"Exactly," agreed Sirius. "To the truly intelligent, sleep is always a priority," he told me wisely.

"I'll keep that in mind," I groaned as I flopped back onto my pillows.

"Err, Lily," Sirius said slowly. "You might want to do something about your current situation, yeah? I can see up your deathly hallow."

"What?" Hestia asked in confusion.

"Nevermind," he mumbled at her.

Feeling my face grow warm, I tugged at the bottom of my shirt with a sheepish smile. I was wearing another one of James's shirts. This one was dark blue. I had started a bit of a collection of his shirts to wear to bed. "Oh, um, well," I stuttered.

Sirius and Hestia glanced knowingly at each other and then at me.

"Oh, shut up," I hissed at them.

"We didn't say anything," Hestia reminded me with a smirk that was too wide for my liking.

"I'm a mind reader," I replied back flippantly.

"Well, in that case, Lily, I completely take back that thing I was thinking about earlier," Sirius said somberly. "That is, unless you'd be interested," he added with a wink.

My face contorted with disgust. "That's it. You're gross. I feel the intense need to shower," I announced as I strode past them and out of my room. "Stop snickering, Sirius. Merlin, you'd think you were twelve."

I had made it halfway through the small Common Room that James and I shared before I turned back, forced Sirius and Hestia out of my room, and then scourgified it for good measure. I could never be too careful when it came to those two. Somehow, their personalities worked together, but it was never fun to be alone with them.

My shower was brief but still long enough to relieve the stress of my inappropriate wakeup call. It was lucky that it was going home that day because I had to squeeze the hell out of my shampoo bottle to get enough soap out to wash my hair. At least it still maintained its strawberry scent.

From a quick glance at a clock, I saw that it was only a quarter till eight. That gave me more than enough time to get dressed, double check all the items in my trunk, have a last breakfast, murder my best friend, and hide the body. All in all, it was going to be a great day.

Was I sad about leaving Hogwarts?

Did that question even merit a response?

Despite my pride in my normally emotionally aloof demeanor, my nostalgia-meter was on Hagrid-sized steroids. I blamed it on PMS. It had to be Post-Magic Stress because I just had my period last week. Still, it sounded very scientific with the anagram.

I could not believe that I was finally leaving what had been my second home for so long. Every tiny little nook had meaning: the window by the Divinations classroom where I first chucked out my tea leaves and audibly insulted a teacher for the first time; the staircase closest to the Great Hall where I had first met Hestia after being surrounded by annoying girls and prepubescent Marauders on my first day at Hogwarts; the History of Magic section of the library where James had backed me up against the row of books and…

There were a lot of good memories. Some of them might have only occurred in my brain, however.

I was ready to move on. Really, I was.

There were only so many essays I could write before the fingers in my right hand fell off. At this point, I could care less about memorizing Charms theory or correctly giving a presentation on the most efficient way to skin a shrivelfrig. Part of the last year of school was making the students so miserable that they desperately wanted to leave. It was a shrewd coping mechanism that even I, Lily Evans, Head Girl extraordinaire, could not resist succumbing to, despite my excellent track record with enduring academic rubbish.

Frankly, I just wanted to sleep and sleep and sleep. My mum could wake me up by the time I had to go to the Auror Academy.

Speaking of the Auror Academy, I, Lily Evans, Miss I Obsess Over Every Little Thing Because I Am So Concerned With My Future That I'm Going To Give Myself A Heart Attack By The Time I'm 21-as so named by Sirius- And Who Also Apparently Likes To Give Herself Multiple Ridiculous Appositives, was going to become an Auror. I did it. I actually bloody did it. I charmed the socks off that N.E.W.T. I transfigured it into my plaything. I stuck it into my potion and spat it back out. I Riddikulused the hell out of it. I herbologized…..Herbology had no way of sounding cool.

More importantly, I beat James. He got four Outstandings and one Exceeds Expectations in Potions. I got all Os. Suck on that, Potter!

It was nice to know that we had such a healthy relationship.

On my final morning of school, I was officially done with my primary education. All I had to do was pass breakfast, and I was on the train home.

Unfortunately, home meant getting ready for Petunia's wedding.

In a week.

To Vernon Dursley.

Mrs. Petunia Dursley.

Mrs. Petunia Evans-Dursley.

Mrs. Tuney and the Whale.

I found out via one of the scant letters Petunia had sent me over the course of the year. While things between us had ended so magnanimously over the summer, I ineffably managed to screw it all up. To be fair, I was provoked. Tuney was a rough sister to have. Her meter long letter-which included commentary from Mum-explained the whole tragedy. I only wish I could have been there to see Vernon struggle to stand up again after kneeling. That was mean. I didn't dislike the overweight…..just Vermin.

Still, in case the letter had not been clear enough, about a week later, I received a clipping from the local muggle newspaper that announced the happy news, complete with a pulchritudinous picture of the happy couple. Naturally, James magically enlarged the photo, framed it, mounted it above the fireplace in the Heads Dorm, and enchanted it to make it "quack" randomly every four hours. Needless to say, within a week, I had taken it down, restored it to its original size, and hidden it in my sock drawer, where it had resided up until I had packed it yesterday.

Luckily, my absence from the Evans household meant that I was not a part of unwanted wedding planning. However, Mum ensured me that as soon as I got home, I would get to be involved in "the best day of Petunia's life."

Honestly, if Petunia wanted to have a good day, I could just grill her a burger.

Now, I had the awesome opportunity to perform inane wedding requirements like getting eggshell napkin holders but eggcream napkins. How nice of my sister to want to include me. Merlin's arm hair, she was a bloody genius.

Well, at least I was not going to have to endure it alone.

With a final flick of my wand-the mascara sort-I straightened out my red and gold tie before I lugged my trunk out into the Common Room next to where James's luggage was sitting. With a final tug, I let go as I cursed my lack of upper body strength.

Feeling silly and sentimental, I said a quick goodbye to the Heads Dorm and headed for the Great Hall before I spent any more time talking to inanimate objects.

"Hey, Lily!" Dorcas Meadows greeted me as I rounded the corner near the corridor on the second floor.

"Hey, Dorcas!" I chirped back cheerfully with a smile as I continued walking. "Write me!"


" Lily Wily!" Benjy Fenwick called as I reached the stairs.

"Benjy Fenjy!" I giggled back. "Can you believe it?"

He scoffed. "Had to happen sometime. Seven years? Are they mad? Do you know how many assignments I was forced to not do in seven years? All that slacking was unbearable. I almost lost track of the amount of assignments I wasn't doing."

I rolled my eyes. "Oh, Fenjy."

"Off to breakfast?" he asked.

"You know me too well," I replied.

"Don't I know it," he quipped. "If I had to watch you chew off your quill one more time, I think I would've lost it. For someone so skinny," he said before he sighed. "Oh, wait."

I dropped my jaw in mock horror. "Fenjy!"

He grabbed my hand. "Lily, if I wasn't totally in love with my long-term girlfriend, and I wasn't completely positive that James Potter could kick my ass, I would totally have sex with you."

I smiled. "Because?" I prodded.

"Because you are damn fit," he replied back with a laugh.

"Find me later on the train, you blast-ended skrewt," I teased.

"Can't leave without saying goodbye to you," he laughed before moving off the stairs and finally allowing the huge traffic jam of Second Years that had occurred as a result of our conversation to dissipate.

Smiling to myself a minute later, I entered the Great Hall for the last time. I looked up at all the teachers sitting at the front of the room. I had said all my goodbyes yesterday at the graduation ceremony. I had been expecting pomp, circumstance, and square hats. It turned out that Hogwarts did everything differently. The hats were even shaped like cones.

I had bent down to give ol' Flitwick one last hug and stretched to the limit to do the same with Hagrid. I had even attempted to give Professor McGonagall a hug before she dodged it at the last second, patted my arm, and then started acting very Scottish.

Slughorn had made me take one last picture with him for his Wall of Shame. He then got a little handsy and said a few inappropriate things about no longer having to fear the punishment of a student/teacher relationship. Luckily, I noticed that they sky was blue and had to walk away.

Finally, I thought about Professor Dumbledore. It was such an honor to get to have such close contact with him through my Head duties. He was such a….well, I could not think of a word to describe him. He was Dumbledore.

I was so preoccupied with thoughts of turning Dumbledore into an adjective that I did not notice a person standing in front of me until I knocked her to the ground.

"Merlin!" I yelped as I reached down to help out the girl. "I'm so sorry, I wasn't watching where I was going, and I was trying to be all meaningful with the last time, and I-" I splattered on as I pulled her to her feet and removed the hood of her robes from her eyes. "Oh, I'm so sorry, Tabitha!"

"Oh, it's okay, Lily," she assured me as she straightened out her blue tie, which flipped over her shoulder from our collision. "I wasn't watching where I was going," she added as she held up the book in her hand.

I smiled. "Is it a good one?"

"The best," she assured me. "What am I going to do without our weekly book club meetings?"

"I'm sure you'll find someone else to take up my spot."

"Being a sixth year sucks," she groaned. "All my best mates are leaving, you, the guy I-" she stopped talking abruptly as her blush spread from her collar up to the roots of her blonde hair.

"You know," I said slyly, "I heard Remus Lupin is having a party later this summer. Since he did tutor you this year, maybe you should stop by and say "hi." I'd sure love to see you. I'll tell Remus to make sure you get an invitation."

She smiled at me weakly.

"See you later?"

"Sure!" she agreed.

I turned to leave.

"Oh, and thanks, Lily, for, you know."

I smiled. "See you later," I repeated before traipsing off to the Gryffindor table.

I sat down next to Hestia, who was talking animatedly to Sirius, towards the rear end of the table.

"Shut up, you twat. Pie is a perfectly nutritious breakfast. "

I brightened immediately. "Pie?" I asked excitedly.

"Pie!" she answered back. "It covers all the main food groups: sugar, carbs, and saturated fat."

"We'll forgive it for the fruit," I added. "Merlin, I adore pie."

Hestia grinned at me before handing me a slice of apple pie. "Exactly. What else would we eat for our last meal here?"

"What's wrong with a few strips of bacon and a nice plump sausage?" Sirius insisted.

I snorted into my pie. "Do you want to tell him or should I?" I asked Hestia.

"Trust me, he's not," she told me. "Though sometimes I worry about-"

"He just gets confused sometimes," I answered. "Though I do sometimes wonder if he'd rather be dating yours," I added with a frown.

"Stop speaking in code!" Sirius whined. "I never know if you two are making fun of me."

"Aww, sweetie," Hestia cooed, "that's because we usually are."

"Ugh, Remus, do you see what I have to deal with?" Sirius asked, turning to his right. "I can't wait till we get out of here. There's too much strength in numbers. Drives all the broads in this school batty."

"Are you seriously telling me that you're not going to miss this place?" Hestia asked him.

He shrugged nonchalantly. "School's school," he answered. "You pass one N.E.W.T., you pass them all. I'd like to think I haven't peaked at age eighteen. You don't stop being a Marauder just because they stop doling out detentions. There's always Azkaban."

I glanced askance at Remus, who just sighed and went back to reading the paper.

"Besides, everything I do is done seriously," he added with a bark of a laugh.

Hestia leaned over the table and started thwopping him in the head. "I swear to Merlin, Sirius, if you use that joke on me one more time, I am going to dump your sorry bum!"

Sirius smirked widely. "Since when is my bum sorry?"

"Oh, you," Hestia seethed as they continued to bicker.

I looked over at Remus and winked when I caught his eye. It was amazing that even after seven years of schooling, we were all still eleven at heart.

"At least they're not snogging," Remus offered lightly before grimacing.

I agreed vehemently when I recalled the many times this past year that I had been subjected to their public displays of inappropriate affection. Certain images had been seared into my brain that not even a memory charm could erase. I shook my head and then popped another forkful of pie into my mouth.

"Did someone say snogging?" a voice asked before the owner slid into the seat beside me.

I turned to my right to see James sitting next to me in his usual crisp white uniform shirt and tie.

"You would arrive now," I accused.

"Selective hearing, dear."

"Hi," I greeted him.

"Hey," he said back with a bright smile.

"Where have you been?" I asked, sounding a bit too put out for my liking.

He straightened up. "Official Marauder business," he answered vaguely. "Pumpkin juice?"

I rolled my eyes. "Why is it that everyone I know is such a pain in the ass?" I asked Remus.

"A question I ask myself every day, Lily," Remus replied with a sigh, "but it's too much effort to find new friends."

"It is the last day, and all," I agreed solemnly.

James rolled his eyes before he leaned over, kissed my cheek, and threw an arm around my shoulder.

"And then there were four," Remus acknowledged dryly.

"Aww, Moony, you're just jealous that you don't have a lady friend," James teased.

"Not that there aren't willing and pretty prospects," I offered with a taunting smile.

Remus stared at me blankly. "I don't know what you're-"

"A Miss Tabi-"


I laughed at how red the tips of Remus's ears became.

"Maybe Vernon has a sister," James said with a laugh.

"He does!" I squealed. "Aww, Remus and Marge."

"Has a ring to it," James commented sweetly.

"Anything that might make him less tense," added Sirius, looking up from whatever I had been forcibly not watching him do with Hestia.

"You lot can go to hell," Remus announced.

Hestia put her hand over her heart. "Remus, say it isn't so!"

"And you were always my favorite!" I added dramatically.

James protested loudly and then stared at me with such a wounded expression that I almost felt guilty.

"Stop looking at me like that. I love you, whatever."

Obviously pleased with himself, James grinned widely and then reached out his fork to eat a bit of my pie.

I moved the plate out of his reach. "I don't love you that much."

"Ouch, Prongs," Sirius remarked. "That's got to-oy, what time is it?" he asked suddenly.

Remus rolled up his sleeve and checked his watch before telling the time.

"Okay, boys," Sirius announced. "It's show time."

I shot Hestia a curious look, but she just shrugged with a confused expression also displayed on her face.

"Three," Remus said.

"Two," continued Sirius.

"One," James finished.

"What's going on?" I asked.

Before anyone could answer me, I heard a shrill shrieking noise coming from across the Great Hall. I looked over to see a bunch of Slytherins scrambling away from their table.

"A rat!" a girl squealed loudly.

I narrowed my eyes until I saw a rather large brown rat scampering across the table.

Several people, not merely Slytherins, started to panic and run around the Great Hall like chickens with their heads chopped off. A few brave souls attempted to catch the rat, but it kept running out of their grasp.

I was so enraptured by the scene unfolding before my eyes that I did not notice that James, Sirius, and Remus had their wands out until they started yelling out incantations. Of course, amidst all the mayhem, I was pretty sure that I was the only one who saw them.

With a few pops and sparks, the entire Great Hall was covered in scarlet and gold. The Slytherin table was adorned with a huge lion that stretched out across nearly half of the table, and the Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff tables were covered in streamers and glitter. Somehow, everyone was even forced into wearing Gryffindor-themed party hats. The shocked Slytherins frantically tried to pull them off, but they would not budge-probably because of some very strong sticking spells.

No one had a chance to figure out what was happening because once all the ruckus stopped, the fireworks started. Thundrous explosions that caused Flitwick to nearly fall off his chair bellowed throughout the Great Hall as the ceiling lit up with an ostentatious, albeit impressive, light show. Even a few of the professors, Dumbledore included, stopped their frantic spellwork to look up and admire. After about five minutes, one gigantic firework erupted and filled the sky with gold. The flames then rearranged themselves to say, "Marauders, Class of 1977" above a picture of the alleged hooligans, smirking like anything. With one final pop, the lights disappeared.

The Great Hall exploded with applause. Standing at the front of the hall, Remus, Sirius, James, and Peter, who had somehow entered the room, took a group bow with the same mischievous glow adorning all of their faces.

Despite myself, I cheered along with the rest of the students. I stopped when I heard the lion roar.

"I'm going to murder them," Hestia hissed into my ear with a wide, maniac grin on her face.

"There won't be anything left to kill once I'm done with them," I replied back with my own smile. "I apologize if you wanted to Sirius to be able to have children."

She shrugged. "He won't be using that part of his body for a while, anyway."

Merlin, being James Potter's girlfriend was ridiculous.

James ran over to me, picked me up, and swung me around.

"Put me down!" I shrieked as I pounded his back with my fists.

"Are you saying something?" he yelled loudly to be heard over the noise. "I can't hear you! There's a lion, see!"

I hit him again before I forced myself back to my feet. "You are so dead," I told him.

Anxiously ruffling his hair, he smiled at me weakly. "Remember when you said you loved me ten minutes ago? I can get out a pensieve, if you like."

"Changed my mind."

"Aww, c'mon, Lily, it was just one last prank. We're Marauders! We have to maraud!"

"That's not even a word," I told him stiffly. "Besides, haven't you ever heard of quiet, dignified grace?" I asked pointedly.

"Overrated," he told me.

"James! We're leaving Hogwarts! You can't just go around acting like a complete buffoon whenever you-" I lectured before he cut me off with his lips.

Forgetting everything, including the chaos ensuing around us, I closed my eyes and kissed him back before I regained my senses and shoved him away.

James would not budge and merely reached out to move my hair out of my face. "Sorry, love," he apologized. "I'll behave. That is, if you let me live."

"You're on probation," I decided, "but the next time, I'm AKing you."

"That's just about the sweetest thing you've ever said to me," he joked. "Admit it, Lily, you enjoyed it."

I groaned as a smile involuntarily crept onto my lips. "It was actually pretty funny," I admitted.

He smiled widely.

"Just don't let it happen again," I added in my best impersonation of McGonagall.

"Can't, Lily," he told me. "We're leaving today. This was my last prank."

I frowned. "I don't want to leave."

He smiled down at me. "I know you don't. But at least I'm staying over your house for the next week to help ease the transition."

"Just giving your Mum time to stew over the letter she's probably going to get for this stunt till you go home," I corrected him.

"Maybe I'll just hide at your house."

I rolled my eyes. "Joy," I mumbled as I gazed out at the havoc he had caused.

"Oh, Lily, it's been a good seven years," James said fondly as he wrapped an arm around my shoulder and admired his handiwork.

"Ditch the lion," I told him.

"But it was my idea!"

I elbowed him in the gut. "Prat," I muttered.

"POTTER!" a voice shrieked causing us both to jump.

I looked over and saw McGonagall looking livid with her lips pursed tighter than I had ever seen them. Standing next to her, Remus, Sirius, and Peter, who all looked like they were going to be kissed by a Dementor.

"Looks like I'm not going to be the one who has to kill you," I said gleefully.

"Blimey," breathed James, looking green. "I want to be buried with my Nimbus," he requested before going to his doom.

"Can't we do something about that ruddy lion?"

After much sweet talking on Sirius's part, and what I suspected to be Dumbledore's interference, McGonagall did eventually let them leave the grounds. It made me a bit disappointed to see her concede so easily, but I soon realized that making the Marauders stay at the castle would have only punished her.

Once we were on the Hogwarts Express, I was too emotional to stay annoyed. James did his best to cheer me up, but I still couldn't stop the few stray tears from falling as the castle disappeared from view. Of course, I hastily wiped them away before anyone saw.

We amused ourselves over the next few hours by discussing past memories at school and forcing Peter to eat the most disgusting flavors of Bertie Botts. Hestia had us all snorting like mad when she did her famous imitation of various people finding out that James and I had gotten together. I promptly reminded her of the way she had nearly fainted when I told her the truth the last time we were on the train. Of course, nothing had compared to Remus's reaction. I swore he almost made an expression!

All too soon, the train arrived at Kings Cross. Hugging Sirius, Remus, and Peter goodbye was oddly sentimental. A lot had changed over the course of the year. I loved my best friend, but it was nice to have an additional group of close friends to pal around with. Despite the immaturity, they were pretty fantastic guys, though, I would never admit that to the Wizengamot if I was asked to testify for one of their sorry bums later in life.

"We did it, Lily!" Hestia told me, pulling away with tears welling up in her eyes.

"Oh, Hest, please don't cry," I requested. "Cause if you start crying, I'll start crying."

She laughed as a tear dripped down her cheek. "But you got your tear ducts removed, remember? Fourth Year?"

I laughed. "I remember," I told her.

Feeling silly, I reminded myself that I would see Hestia in a few days and I tried not to get overly emotional as I hugged her.

"You're going to be amazing, Lils," Hestia promised.

"Says the girl who already has a job working for the Daily Prophet," I countered.

She sniffled. "I'll write you," she vowed. "Every day, well, almost," she amended.

"I'll see you soon?"

She reached out to hug me again before Sirius separated us.

"Okay, estrogen gone wild, relax," he stated calmly. "This isn't the end of the world. It's just the end of waking up at bloody ridiculous hours. Besides, we all know how to apparate."

I laughed shakily as I wiped away the moisture from my eyes. "Take care of her until I see you again, Sirius," I said.

He saluted me. "Yes, Miss Evans, sir."

"Sir?" James asked with a grin. "Is there something going on here that I don't know about?"

I rolled my eyes, not admitting how much I appreciated their stupid ways of cheering me up. "Let's go, you big buffoon, before you start setting off fireworks here, too."

"One bloody time," James muttered to himself.

He walked over to the boys, and they all stared at each other for a moment before they burst out laughing. A bunch of manly hugs followed until James and Sirius finally said their last goodbye.

"I'll wait for you always," Sirius promised as he wiped away a mock tear.

"I'll dream about you!" James promised as he started to push the trolley with our trunks

We made it about five meters before James turned around and waved at Sirius.

Sighing, I grabbed his hand and forced him onto the platform.

I stared at him pointedly.

"What?" he asked innocently.

"Nothing," I replied as I shook my head. "Well, I guess that's the end."

"Lily," James said frankly. "Aren't you forgetting something?"


"Petunia's wedding."

I groaned. "Why didn't you just leave me on the train? Blimey, why didn't you just leave me on the tracks?"

James chuckled loudly before pulling me into his side. "Now, Lily, I did not spend a solid month begging my mum to let me go to your house for a week instead of spending time with her so that you could-"


I looked up to his my mother running towards us. Laughing, I separated myself from James as I prepared for the attack. Only, I wasn't the person she nearly tackled to the ground with a hug.

"Figures," I muttered to myself as I watched her nearly suffocate James with her arms.

At least some things had yet to change.

"Hey, Lils," Dad said warmly as he strode towards us.

"Hi, Daddy," I greeted him back as I gave him a hug.

"Sorry about your mum," he whispered into my ear. "She's just excited."

I shrugged as he released me. "Who am I to separate her from her favorite child?" I asked dryly.

After a moment or two, Mum finally seemed to notice me. "Lily!"

"Oh, hi, Mum," I said back coolly. "I didn't notice you over there."

She reached out to hug me, and I caught James's eye. He shrugged sweetly at me, and I stuck my tongue out at him.

"Mr. Evans," he greeted my dad with a handshake.

"Nice to see you again, James," Dad said with as much fondness as a father could have for his baby girl's hormonal boyfriend.

"Oh, Lily, it's so great to have you home. I was so devastated when you stayed over James's house for Christmas. I've missed you something terrible!"

I rolled my eyes as I noticed the latter part of the speech was directed towards James. He had asked me over for Christmas, and I, with Mum's excited approval, agreed to go. Actually, I think she had said, "Lily Evans, if you do not go to that boy's house, you're going to have to find someplace else to sleep because I will not let you stay here." Dad was a little less eager to see me go.

Petunia, however, took the news the hardest. She ceased all communication with me after that, except the letter telling me about her upcoming nuptials. I had felt a little squeamish about leaving her and Mum and Dad for Christmas, but James was so excited about it all. It had been the first time in four years that his parents were home for Christmas, and I just could not say no to that.

Christmas at the Potters had been a sensational experience. The entire house was completely covered in decorations. Even their rubbish had smelled like peppermint. Their tree was larger than the ones decorating the Great Hall. Christmas morning brought more presents than I had ever seen in one place before. I got his parents scarves.

James assured me that they could not wait to have me over again and that they absolutely adored me. Well, at least somebody's parents did.

On the ride home, I developed a new drinking game. Every time my mum squealed out "James" in a high-pitched voice, I had to take a shot of firewhiskey. Mentally, I was very, very drunk.

As we drove by familiar neighborhood streets, I became very excited. We passed the funky-shaped tree, the house of the elderly lady that collected teapots, and then soon arrived at the old, familiar driveway. The second that Dad stopped the car, I raced inside the house, up the stairs, and threw open the door to my room. After quickly greeting Mr. Snuggles and the rest of the unicorns on my shelf, I flopped onto my bed.

Ahh, perfection.

"I missed you, bed."

I breathed in the smell of my pillow as I squirmed into the familiar feeling of my quilt. I let my fingers trace over the small flowers and closed my eyes with happiness. It was lovely to be home.

"That's a good look for you," I heard a voice remark.

"Go away, James, this is private," I told him as I continued to smell my sheets.

"Apparently," he chuckled lightly. "Just dropping off your trunk, your Majesty. Should I give you a few minutes so you two can be alone?"

"Please and thank you," I replied without bothering to look up.

I smiled as I heard mumbling and the distant sound of footsteps. I fluffed my pillow and then turned onto my back. Smiling, I examined the familiar site of the cracks in my ceiling. My ceiling kind of looked like a wedding cake. Weird. Ahh, Hogwarts had nothing on my bed.

Rather impressively, considering that no drugs were involved in the process, I entered some sort of mystifying ceiling daze that only ceased once my mum opened up the door to my room.

I ran my hand over my eyes in confusion. "Yeah, Mum?" I asked in a bewildered tone.

"Lily," she said exasperatedly. "I've called you about seven times. Have you seriously been sleeping up here all this time?"

"Not sleeping," I corrected, "just kind of zoning out."

She sighed deeply. "Honestly, Lily, a person would think you have mono."

I shrugged. "Say, isn't that the kissing disease?" I asked with a grin.

"Lily Evans, you get your behind downstairs and set the table. For goodness sakes, you get more mouthy as you get older. I've just spent a lovely two hours with James."

I bet she had.

"And he never says half the cheeky things you do," she continued to lecture.

"It's just because he's still trying to impress you, Mum," I corrected her as I got to my feet. "Trust me, it fades."

"Scat," she ordered before nearly closing the door on me as I exited my room. "Your sister and Vernon are going to be home any minute, and we are all going to have a nice family dinner. I made lasagna, and we are going to discuss the wedding plans. You have no idea the kind of pressure I'm under. Honestly! A wedding in June! What was your sister thinking? All the food is going to have to be refrigerated, not to mention how the flowers will wilt. This is England. It gets hot here, at least when the sun is out. Don't even get me started on what will happen if it rains. Bloody rubbish the type of weather we get in England. I think I might just phone your grandparents and tell them to stay put. We'll do the wedding some other day. Still, Petunia's dress is lovely. Wait till you see it. She's got her final fitting on Saturday. I told her not to have it the day before the wedding, but you know your sister. She needs to have everything her way. Something about losing weight on this new water diet. Lily, are you listening to me?"

I skipped off the bottom step and turned around to face her. "Smells great, Mum. What are we having?"

She gave me her evil eye. "Lily, you really need to pay attention. It's great to have you home, but we have to concentrate on Petunia right now."

"And as her Maid of Honor, I'll do my duty," I replied.

I forgot to mention that little detail before.

Mum smiled warmly at me. "Good, girl. Now, six plates, go," she commanded before smacking me on the tush.

I squeaked and journeyed into the kitchen. Dad and James were sitting at the kitchen table.

"Lily, where'd you disappear to?" Dad asked when he looked up to see me grabbing plates from the cabinet.

"I was spending some quality time with my room."

"Ahh," he replied knowingly. "And how is the bed? Same as you left it?"

"Even better than I remembered," I answered with a grin.

He smiled back at me. "Excellent. Now, Lils, you really must tell us all about school. James has been filling us in, but I'd love to hear your side. Frankly," he added with a frown, "it'd be nice to hear anything that didn't have to deal with the wedding."

"Hush, Henry," Mum hissed as she removed the lasagna from the oven.

"Sorry, dear," he apologized quickly.

I chuckled as I heard him mutter at James for not giving him a proper warning.

"Nothing that exciting happened, Dad," I said truthfully as I headed into the dining room with my hands full of plates.

"I find that hard to believe in a magic school," he called from the kitchen.

I laughed as I distributed the plates around the table. "Magic's not so fun when you're being tested on it. It was like test after test after bloody test the whole year. And when we weren't testing we were filling out job surveys."

"She's right, Mr. Evans," agreed James, who winked at me as I reentered the kitchen. "My best mate actually had to do work this year. It nearly killed him."

I rolled my eyes. Merely going into the library was enough of an ordeal to make Sirius break out into hives. He told me that the only time he had voluntarily gone there was to meet a girl there for a quick shag in the stacks after curfew. Of course, that was before Hestia. Sometimes I wished that Sirius didn't tell me things.

"But, Quidditch!" Dad insisted. "How could life be boring when there's Quidditch? C'mon, James, Lily told me that Gryffindor won the Cup, but she didn't explain the game at all."

"Hey!" I rebuked as I pulled up a chair next to James. "My letters were perfectly adequate! I gave you minute descriptions!"

Dad shook his head. "She's so cute when she pretends to understand sports."

James looked over at me. "That she is," he agreed mockingly.

"James!" I hissed as I smacked him in the arm.

"Ow!" he grunted.

"Lily, napkins!" Mum reminded me loudly from the other room.

Wondering if Mum had always had superhuman hearing or if she just had a James radar that I had formerly been unaware of, I slumped towards the pantry to grab napkins. No napkins to be found. Perfect.

"Mum! We're all out of napkins!"

"Check the garage!" she called out in an amused voice. "Goodness, Lily, it's like you've never lived here before!"

Grumbling to myself, I trudged into the garage and managed to find a pack of napkins resting on the very bottom shelf after about a good two minutes' worth of looking.

As I walked back into the kitchen, I examined the napkins sourly. "Mum, did you mean to buy the obnoxious orange color because-oh!" I looked over and saw Petunia and Vernon standing in the doorway. "Hi."

"Hello, Lily," Petunia greeted me stiffly.

I zeroed in on the ring on her left hand. The band was gold, and the diamond protruded from it like a rather large mustache. "Hey, Vernon," I added to be polite.

He grunted at me in response. Oh, Vernon Whalesley. One grunt from you made any girl want to tie the blubber knot.

I felt like I should say something else, but I was saved as James got up from his chair to shake Vernon's hand. Unfortunately, I did not get to see if Vernon flinched from fear because I had to go fold ugly napkins. Mum rushed behind me with forks and knives.

"Mum, it's just dinner," I said in an attempt to placate her frantic cutlery setting.

"Lily, shut up and get the lasagna," she told me.

"It's nice to be home, Mum," I said.

"Yes, lovely, dear, I've missed you," Mum replied back frantically. "Lasagna, now, before it gets too cold."

"But you just took it out of the oven!"


I rolled my eyes as I walked into the kitchen and put on our thickest pair of baking mitts to avoid getting burned by the steaming lasagna. Carefully, I brought it into dining room and set it down onto a towel so that the freezing temperature of the lasagna would not burn a hole in the tablecloth.

After she was able to herd everyone into the dining room, Mum finally downgraded her mood from "JAMES!" to just "heehee, James." Merlin, if I wasn't completely positive that James loved me, I would have quite a few scruples about letting him stay at my house for the next week.

"So did everything go okay with the band?" Mum asked as she served Petunia her dish of lasagna.

Petunia groaned. "It was a complete disaster! What wedding band doesn't play 'Hold Me Close'? It's practically a requirement for these groups to play David Essex. I told them that if they couldn't play our song, we wouldn't pay them for playing at the wedding. They're going to rehearse it all week."

As Mum said something back, James leaned over to hiss in my ear, "Who's David Essex?"

Oh, if only I could have been ignorant as he was. "Muggle singer," I whispered back, "he makes Celestina Warbeck look profoundly intelligent in lyric comparison."

James winced in realization before taking another bite of lasagna.

"Well, Lily, I'd really like to hear about the graduation ceremony. What exactly-" Dad began.

"Henry!" Mum interrupted him. "We have a crisis on our hands. We'll talk about Lily later."

"It's fine, Mum," I interceded. "Really, don't worry about the fact that a life-changing event just happened for me."

"Lily, your sister is getting married," Mum stressed to me. "The wedding is in a week. You should have come home earlier and helped us get ready."

Flabbergasted, I sat back in my chair with my mouth wide open. I looked over at my dad, and he shrugged at my sheepishly.

"She's been in a fit for the last month," he whispered into my ear. "I can't talk sense into her. Don't take it too personal, Lils. You know how your mother gets when she's stressed. I'm just happy that I've got some reinforcements now to help shoulder the blow. You'll get your mum back just as soon as Sunday comes, and then we can all rejoice."

I grinned and then took a sip of my water.

"Well, Petunia, I hope everything works out for you," James said very politely.

I rolled my eyes. He was such a tosser.

"Everything will be fine," Vernon assured us as he fingered his moustache pensively….for him. "I wouldn't worry about it."

"Oh, I'm not worried, Vernon. I was just offering my best wishes. I'm sure the two of you will have a fine wedding," James answered back smoothly.

I didn't miss how his lips almost smirked.

"Yes," said Petunia, who put her hand on top of Vernon's. "It will be fine."

"Of course, the whole affair is going to cost a large sum," Vernon said finally. "Though, I do think that it will add greatly to our happiness."

"Of course," agreed Mum after a beat.

I sank back into my chair. Talking about money made me feel uncomfortable, especially considering that my boyfriend had a lot of it.

"Though," said James, "I would argue that some of the best marriages occur when the couple has hardly any money."

"Only a fool would get married without a proper foundation," Vernon retorted.

"Wouldn't that foundation be love?"

Vernon grunted. "If you want a mess on your hands."

"I think what Vernon means is that marriage should be a mature choice between two people when they are ready to support themselves," Petunia added quickly.

"Your mother and I waited until we could afford an apartment," Dad said.

"And of course at that point the marriage brings a tax reduction," Vernon replied. "It makes financial sense."

"Huh," James commented lightly.

"Do you have something to say, Potter?" Vernon asked defensively.

I was surprised. I supposed Vernon had become more daring since I saw him last summer when he would barely blink in James's direction.

"No," answered James, shaking his head innocently.

"Because it appears like you have an opinion. No matter," Vernon chortled to himself. "It's not as though the likes of you could handle a wedding. I'm sure it's quite easy for those of your nature to just get married at any point. Whatever you do with your freaks might be all willy nilly, but we take this commitment seriously. Here in civilization, it requires more effort. You'll learn that someday once you spend some time out in the world where there's actual responsibilities. You're still young and inexperienced."

My dad squirmed in his chair.

I watched the vein in James's neck pulse as I prayed to Merlin that dinner at the Evans household could end in peace for once.

"I assure you, Vernon, that wizards are just as capable of commitment as you are."

Vernon laughed heartily, his stomach jostling as he did so. "I'm sure you make the effort. Though, if you don't like her, I guess you could always poof her away."

I saw James's knuckles turn white. "Magic doesn't work like that."

"Sorry," Vernon grumbled. "Let's just stay out of each other's way. You can have your hocus pocus and leave the marriage stuff to the real blokes who can actually understand it."

"Sounds tempting," James complimented through gritted teeth.

I let out a breath that I had been subconsciously holding.

"Though," he continued.

I winced and prayed to Merlin that he would not say anything stupid. All he had to do was hold it together for another five minutes, and we would be fine. C'mon, James.

"I don't know where that leaves me considering that Lily and I are engaged."

I dropped my fork.

Did he really just say that?


A/N: Hi, guys! I promised a sequel, and here I am (hopefully with not too long of a waiting period!) Happy Friday! (totally irrelevant, i graduated high school today). I sincerely hope you enjoyed the chapter and will continue to like the rest of the story! Below, I've tried to be proactive and answer some of your possible questions:

Molly, sequels have a tendency to suck. Is Fiancée going to suck?:

I hope not. =D I've never written a sequel before. We'll see how it goes. Though, I promise that I would not be writing this unless I was positive that I had a substantial plot planned.

Do I have to have read Boyfriend to read this?:

No. It might be a bit shaky in the beginning, but you'll get the gist of it. Basically, Lily and James are dating. I do recommend reading BF, though. Just for kicks.

How long will this story be?

Seven chapters.

Why isn't this at Hogwarts?

I'm sick of Hogwarts. That sounds bad. Let me rephrase: I'm beginning to feel trapped when I write stories in that setting. I like the freedom that summer—and the Evans household offers.

Isn't this just the same storyline as Boyfriend?

Short answer: No. Longer Answer: Not really.

When do you update?:

Fridays. I'm going to do my damndest to update every Friday for the next six weeks. We'll see how it goes.

Can I contact you?

Yes! I love inbox messages. My official email is mollyraesly(at)gmail(dot)com. You can also follow me on Twitter, where I frequently post updates and other fun things. Also, check out my page to see banners for my stories.

I hope that helps! If you have anything else to say, I'm one in ten Americans looking for work, so I sure have time. Thanks for reading!

pomp and circumstancingly yours,