I was sweating buckets. More than buckets. I was sweating oceans. There was only one reason the world's supply of salt water was dripping down my face; James Potter was meeting my parents. I'd been dating him for seven months and was more in love with him than any 18-year-old girl has a right to be. Now that school was over, I wasn't planning on being without him for too long. That meant he'd need to come over to my house, which consequently meant meeting my parents.
I started hyperventilating. I tried to think sad thoughts. I was riding the Hogwarts Express for the last time. I'd be separated from my closest friends. No more Head Duties, no more Quidditch games, no more homework (yes, I'll even miss that), no more professors, no more words of wisdom from Dumbledore. None of these thoughts soothed me.
Sitting across from me, Letty Kirke was sniffling for all the right reasons. But then, she didn't have to introduce her boyfriend to her parents. She was dating Sirius Black, but they had decided to end their relationship as soon as they stepped off the train. It was smart of them, they each had life plans that didn't involve the other, but I thought they made cute couple and I liked having the support of another Marauder girlfriend.
"Lily, you look green." James said. He wasn't worried about anything.
"It's my eyes reflecting off my pale face." I snapped. A worried Lily was a cranky Lily. Everyone in my compartment chuckled. They were used to Cranky Lily.
Sirius smirked. "Lils, Prongs has met my parents and lived."
"Yeah, well James hasn't ever snogged you."
Now Letty smirked. "Sometimes I've wondered..."
"It was one isolated incident." Remus snickered from behind his book. James and Sirius glared. Peter was staring hard at his box of Bertie Bott's (I've learned not to ask).
I needed new friends.
"Cheer up, love." James gave me his biggest smile as an example. "I've met them before."
It was true. The day fourth year started, James had strolled up to my parents as they were dropping me off at the rain station. He stuck out his hand and said. "Hello, my name is James Potter and I'm going to marry your daughter one day but she doesn't believe me yet."
My parents made fun of me for that the rest of the year. But that was four years ago and 14-year-old James was not the same as 18-year-old James. The memory made me smile though.
"There's the beginning of the smile I love so much." He leaned over and kissed my cheek. My smile got a tiny bit bigger. "You'll see, everything will be fine. And if a hatred for James Potter is in the genes, than I'll wait six years for them to like me. I love you enough to put up with any crazy family."
I smiled at him. "You're the best boyfriend in the world." I lifted my lips to his.
Letty and Sirius made gagging noises. I interrupted my kiss to glare at them. "Do you mind?"
"Ignore them." Remus said lazily. "They just don't understand the true love that you and James share." Although those words came from the mouth of Remus Lupin, and he seemed to be wholly absorbed in his book, I knew him well enough to know that he was mocking me.
"I won't miss any of you this summer." I folded my arms with a humph. They only laughed at me.
I couldn't be distracted for the rest of the ride home. My mind was on my parents. I should have just decided to go to James's house all summer. I had spent Christmas with the Potters and his parents loved me. I would have taken James home for Easter holiday, but Petunia got married that week and she has a no-magical-freaks-in-the-area policy. I barely got invited. Instead of my totally fit boyfriend as my date, I was stuck with some slimy cousin of Vernon's. I still got shudders thinking about it.
I was in somewhat of a daze as the Hogwarts Express came to a halt. James grabbed my hand, led me through the train, and helped me with my luggage. I brushed aside thoughts of my parents as I said my goodbyes and hugged and cried with the rest of them. Even Sirius teared up. He yanked me into the most bone crushing hug.
"Promise me, Lily dearest, that you won't run off and get married. Prongs likes to be hasty and crazy, but I want to be at the wedding."
I laughed. "I promise. No elopements."
"Thanks a lot, Padfoot." My boyfriend grumbled good-naturedly.
I hugged Remus and Peter too. Poor Peter looked like he was on the verge of sobbing. I reassured him we'd all be together soon enough.
"We'll be together in just a few days, Wormtail." said Remus. "We all have to be at Prongs's funeral after Lily's dad is finished."
I always wondered how hard it took for James and Sirius to corrupt the once sweet and sensitive Remus.
The dreaded moment came. I spotted Mum's auburn hair and Dad's graying brown. The second they saw me, Mum ran to embrace me. After greeting me, she hugged James. I didn't even bother to introduce him. Mum had accepted him as her son when I wrote I was dating him.
I skipped into my daddy's arms and he kissed my head. "Hey, baby girl."
His hello to my boyfriend wasn't so welcoming. They shook hands. James acted charming. Dad only frowned. Mum beamed at James, she already had a crush on him. I was ready to hop back on the train.
We piled into the car and I prepared myself for the drive home. James squeezed my hand and smiled at me, not bothered by my strange parents.
When viewing my romantic life, my parents were polar opposites. The summer before third year, Mum sat me down and explained that boys might start taking an interest in me and that was perfectly natural. Dating was fun and would lead to marriage, which in turn would lead to giving her grandchildren. I was not excited to start dating after that. What 13-year-old girl wanted to think about popping out babies? Mum was counting down the days until my wedding.
Daddy thought true love came after the age of 50. He often said that boys weren't good for anything but stealing his girls and ruining holidays. I don't know how Petunia got permission to get married.
"James," Mum cooed. "tell us what you like to do?" She was twisted in her seat and staring at James with rapt attention. I caught Dad's eyes in the rear view mirror and we rolled our eyes.
"I like to play Quidditch, and play pranks with my friends, and spend time with Lily." Mr. Charming replied.
"I hope you're spending time with my daughter appropriately." Mr. Overprotective Father said.
My jaw dropped. How could he ask that? James, however, found it funny. "Don't worry, Mr. Evans. Lily is still as virgin as a nun."
"That's not true." I was red before the words had finished leaving my mouth. My parents exchanged worried looks. James looked shocked too. "I just meant that nuns aren't getting snogged."
Mum grinned, Dad frowned, and James choked on a laugh. I leaned against the window and wondered if it was possible to Avada Kedavra yourself.
The rest of the ride consisted of my mother conversing with James; my father commenting rudely on everything James said. It was the worst twenty minutes of my life.
I ran out of the car as soon as we pulled into the driveway, dragging James with me. I told my parents I wanted to show James the garden, but they knew better.
"Keep your hands to yourself." Dad called behind us. I frowned. Normally people thought my father was cool, but he was showing no sign of my easy going, funny daddy.
"I'm so sorry. He's really a nice guy." My words were apologetic, but my voice was angry. I understand that I'm the baby, but did my dad really have to make James's life miserable? Mum, I could forgive and deal with, but Dad was going to face my fury. He knew how much this boy meant to me.
"Lily, I'm fine. Your mum seems to like me."
"She'd like anyone with the possibility of giving her grandchildren."
"I have that possibility?" His eyebrows rose and I smacked his chest playfully. He was making it hard for me to continue being angry. "If I had a daughter as pretty as you I'd also hate whatever bloke was dating her"
He brought his lips to mine and my anger melted, but I kept my arms firmly crossed. This didn't bother my boyfriend; he kept kissing me until I was ready to waltz into my house a happy woman.
That is, until we were interrupted by a knock on the window. My father had been spying on us. I pushed James away and stalked into the house.
"I thought I said 'hands to yourself' Potter." Dad said to the boy behind me as we entered the kitchen through the back door.
James shrugged and looked around the rooms. His eyes glittered as he took in the sight of our very Muggle appliances. Mum was at the stove, cooking pasta noodles. Spaghetti was the only food she knew how to cook, Merlin help her. Daddy was our family chef and he loved having guests so he could go all out and showcase his talents. The fact that he wasn't cooking now showed just how much he cared about James.
Dad looked ready to spout off more disapproving words so I shot a glance at my mother. She understood.
"James, have you ever cooked the Muggle way?"
My pureblood boy shook his head and joined my mother at the stove so they could talk Muggle science. I took the opportunity to give my father a death glare. He looked affronted and whispered, "What did I do?"
My eyes narrowed more and I tilted my head slightly towards the stove.
"Is something wrong with your mother?" He whispered again, though he knew full well why I was mad. I huffed and stomped over to join my boyfriend. The least Dad could do was act sorry.
"Then how do you know when they're done?" James was asking. It surprised me how interested he really was in a bunch of noodles.
Mum gazed adoringly at him and then proudly spouted off cooking tips as if she was a world famous culinary master. "I just know. You could set a timer or pull out a piece to make sure it's done. One really cool way is to throw a noodle at the wall and if it sticks it's done."
"Really?" My easily excited boyfriend said. "May I try?"
Mum spooned out a strand and James grabbed it, yelped because it was still hot, and quickly threw it at the wall. It stuck.
"Wow! That's amazing!" Mum handed him some more noodles for him to throw. "Does is stick to people?"
I was struck in the face by a spaghetti noodle. James looked delighted. Mum tried to hide her laugh behind her hand and Dad looked close to smiling. My eyes widened as they drifted to James's hand, which was full of more noodles.
"Don't you dare, James Potter." I held up my hands and backed away.
He slowly crept closer. "Lily, are you going to deny me this Muggle experience?"
I shrieked and ran off; James in pursuit. We ran through the living room and the dining room and made a few laps around the kitchen table before he just decided to throw the spaghetti. His years of Quidditch made him very accurate. My hair now had strands of noodles stuck to it.
I stopped to pull them out and James sneaked up behind me and added another handful.
"Go away!" I shoved him aside. "I hate you, Potter!"
The kitchen was quiet. James was looking proud of himself. Mum looked like she was scared she wouldn't get her grandchildren after all. And then, Daddy started laughing. The three of us stared at him with open mouths.
"I remember you now." said Dad, wiping the tears from his eyes. "You were that scrawny little kid that told us you were going to marry Lily." He laughed again and this time my mother joined him.
"I wasn't scrawny or little." James pouted.
I snorted. "You certainly weren't big or strong."
"You were quite the goofy looking pipsqueak then." Dad added.
"But you've changed." Mum threw in. She always needed to give compliments. "You're a very handsome young man now."
"Just how much have you changed?" asked Dad.
James threw his arm around me. "Enough to get Lily to love me, but not too much. I'm still going to marry her if that's what you're asking."
I froze. James and I had talked about getting married someday. We needed to discuss our future after school, but nothing was set in stone and we hadn't mentioned it to anyone else. Here he was telling my parents we were practically engaged. I was afraid of my father's reaction.
He surprised me.
"Does she believe you yet?" Daddy asked nicely.
James looked at me. "I think so, but she has all these rules about dating for a certain amount of time."
Dad laughed again. "Women are stubborn that way. Alison made me wait until I was twenty-five before she let me marry her."
Mum was thrown off by turn of the conversation. "We met when you were twenty-three. Two years between meeting and marriage was a nice amount of time."
"You've known Lily for seven years." Dad sat down at the table and pulled out the chair beside him. He motioned for James to join him, which my boyfriend did. "She shouldn't have any complaints."
"What!" I must have been hallucinating. My father, Mr. Boys-Should-Be-Locked-Away, was suddenly suggesting that I should get married.
"Lily," Dad scolded. "Boys like James don't wait forever. If you aren't careful you could end up with a bloke like your sister."
"Robert!" Mum was horrified. "Vernon is a very nice man who loves Petunia."
Dad rolled his eyes in response.
"Don't worry, Mr. Evans. I'm not going anywhere." James said with a cute smile at me.
"Shhh. I'm trying to help you out here." My father said with a laugh.
I helped my mother set the table and serve the meal in a rather robotic way. Dad was chatting with James as if they were old buddies. I kept waiting to wake up.
"I'm sorry we're only having spaghetti. Alison hasn't had a chance to go shopping yet, but I promise I'll make you a big fancy meal another day. I'll even teach you how a real man cooks. Lily inherited her cooking skills from her mother, but I don't suppose that will be a problem for you wizards."
Mum and I frowned at the jab. Dad didn't even notice. He was too busy talking to his new best friend.
When the meal was over, Mum gave James a tour of our house and I was alone with my dad.
"Since when is my father Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?" I asked.
Dad shrugged and leaned back in his chair. "I just want to make sure my daughters are being taken care of. Petunia had so many boyfriends that left me with a headache and a depressed teenager. I didn't want to go through the same things with daughter number two."
"Daddy," I stood behind him and wrapped my arms around his shoulders. "I'm not Petunia. I'm smarter. Not to mention I have much better taste."
Dad chuckled. "Be nice. Vernon is taking good care of your sister and she's happy. That's all that matters. But between you and me, James is a heck of a lot more interesting to talk to."
"Does this mean you're OK with me having a boyfriend?"
"I suppose. If it makes you happy. I love you, baby girl."
I kissed his cheek. "I love you too, Daddy. I hope you don't mind that you aren't my favorite guy anymore."
"Now wait a second. We need to talk this over." He stood up and turned to face me. "You can have a boyfriend, but I still need to be your number one man."
"Sorry, but I love James more." He grunted in protest. I giggled and skipped out of the kitchen to join my boyfriend. "But you'll always be the best dad in the world."
A/N: Since I wrote a story in honor of mothers on Mother's Day, I thought it was only fair to write one about fathers on Father's day. I have one of those great fathers that I absolutely love but most of the time have no idea what he's thinking. He's a strong believer in dating after you're married and I'm scared to bring a boy home (which I think is him plan).
This story is for all those loving, over-protective fathers and their poor daughters. :)