There isn't a diamond in the room that sparkles like a woman in love
Warren Klein How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
It was storming. Two adolescents were sprinting on the Hogwarts grounds nearing the Forbidden Forest. One was ahead of the other and had long, dark red hair, bright green eyes and wore a long, scarlet and gold jumper nearly covering the short denim pants she was bearing. The other had messy black hair, light hazel eyes and wore a scarlet and gold jersey with the word "POTTER" emblazoned on the back and a pair of loose fitting jeans.
'Lily, wait up!' the boy called out, making his strides longer to match with the girl in front of him.
'1001. 1002.' The girl said in response, counting each long stride she made.
'McGonagall's gonna kill us if we miss graduation!'
Lily only ran faster, her breath coming out in short pants. '1034. 1035.'
'Answer the question!' James commanded.
'No!' Lily exclaimed, her voice exhausted from running.
James frowned, 'No, you won't answer, or no you won't marry me?'
'James Potter, I'm seventeen years old. I've got too much to live for.'
The couple screamed as a strike of lightning struck only 10m further than the direction they were heading. That could've been them! Lily began to sprint in the opposite direction until James grasped her jumper, heading her towards where the lightning had struck. 'Not that way, you don't. Come on!'
They stopped at where the lightning struck taking a look at the smoking grass. James said, 'We'll be safe here.'
Lily's voice was arrogant as she asked, 'Say's who?'
'Everybody. Lightning never strikes the same place twice.'
'James Potter, have you been reading?' Lily asked, a cocky smirk adorning her petite features.
'Of course not. You know that I was banned from the library in fourth year.'
Lily dismissed the topic as she placed her hands on her hips and with a conceited smile, asked, 'Why would you want to marry me, anyhow?'
James smiled softly and the wind was tugging on his already messy hair as he replied, 'So I can kiss you anytime I want.'
Lily's bright green orbs widened and her head leaned in, connecting her lips to James'. She heard an oncoming rumble and opened her eyes just in time to see the lightning appear, breaking the embracing couple apart.
Green eyes opened, etches of fatigue hanging deep inside them. The eyes connected with a translucent window showing a storm as she thought about the dream - or perhaps memory - she just had. She hadn't seen James Potter in years nor had she even thought about him in weeks when he last sent back the not signed divorce papers. So why had she just dreamed about his proposal?
She shook her head reminding herself that she wasn't Lily Evans anymore: a nobody in a magical school getting hitched to her Hogwarts sweetheart. Instead, she was Lillian Santiago, living in New York as the up and coming top magical photographer and eight month girlfriend of President of Magic's son: Thomas Saunders.
She decided to evaluate the dream later on and she stood, stretching her exhausted bones in an attempt to wake herself up. She felt groggy from the brief nap and still tired as she had pulled an all-nighter in order to finish editing the photos of mermaids for the New York Timer. Looking at the recently completed images of the mermaids swimming surreally in the Nile River in Egypt she took them to show her boss.
A few of her coworkers greeted her and she nodded in return until Henry Peterson: the marriage section reporter said in a joking tone, 'You know that English accent of yours is a whole lot thicker when you're dreaming.'
The rest of the reporters in the room chuckled amusedly and Lillian blushed as she realized that while sleep talking, her old English accent that she ditched a while back had returned. 'How come you guys let me sleep.'
'Relax,' the reporter for Government news, Theodore Lipson, said. 'It was only five minutes.'
Lillian looked around self-consciously as she asked, 'You know Marco would kill me if he knew that I had slept while still on working hours?'
'That I would Miss Santiago but I'm willing to compromise if you show me some good pictures.'
Lillian jumped at the sudden sighting of her boss: Marco Pantellini, the editor of the New York Daily and more than likely the strictest man to ever walk the Earth. The rest of the room tried to stifle their laughter at the current predicament Lillian found herself in. Panicking, she said, 'I've – er – got them right here sir.'
Handing over the animate pictures Marco appraised them with a raised eyebrow and quirked lip. Lillian bit her bottom lip as she studied her boss' face for any sign of what he thought of her pictures. After a few noncommittal noises, Marco's face lifted into a delighted smile – a rare sight – and said, 'Just what I was looking for Miss Santiago. You've done brilliantly once again.'
Lillian smiled happily and watched her boss' retreating back until he stopped and turned around. 'Don't let me ever catch you sleeping,' he said to Lillian and she swallowed nervously before nodding. She had gotten out of that without a scratch.
The rest of the group looked at Lillian in awe and the reporter for magical mishaps said, 'Wow Lillian. Marco must love you for your only punishment to be a warning.'
Lillian smiled and secretly she agreed. Finally she told the office a general valediction and left her office where she was sure that she would get a hot bath and a several hour long sleep.
Going to the fireplace she took a handful of floo powder and said aloud in a clear voice, 'The Santiago Residence.' She felt nausea rise up in her at the speedy spinning and closed her eyes until she felt solid ground and an upright world. Opening her eyes slowly in order to prevent any headaches she had to blink in order to make sure that what she was seeing was really there. In her living room there was dozens of bouquets of roses in every nook and cranny in sight and flower petals scattered strategically on the floor making her usual beige apartment a sight of pretty colours.
She let out a shaky laugh and murmured to herself, 'Thomas.' She walked to her coffee table where a red envelope sat and in her boyfriend's elegant script said: Lillian. She quickly tore open the envelope and unfolded the letter.
There's a rose for every moment I thought of you last night. I missed you heaps. Remember that we have that fundraising event tonight with my Mother at the muggle auditorium. Wear muggle clothing and George will pick you up at 6pm sharp in means of muggle transportation. I love you and am missing you even more with every second that passes.
Thinking of you always,
Lillian's smile slowly dropped as she scanned the letter. She had completely forgotten about the fundraiser. Thomas' Mother was a right hag who didn't approve of her son's new girlfriend. Though she did try to hide it, it was impossible not to notice the glares that could melt steel directed towards her when she thought Lillian wasn't watching. Along with that she probably looked horrible because of all the sleep deprivation and her hair was probably a mess!
She sighed as she realized that she would barely get ½ an hour of sleep before she had to get ready. Finally she found a solution: the Vitamix potion. It was a newly discovered potion in the United States and it gave the drinker a burst of energy. As it was a potion that had only just been discovered there were still a few side effects. For example after the potions effects wore up you would be doubly tired and sometimes you couldn't control your thoughts very well.
She thought it was worth it though, to prevent Thomas' mother from making biting comments throughout the evening. Perhaps she might even make an insult back and then blame it on the potion. Heading to her bathroom she opened the extended mirror cabinet and searched through her various potions so she could find the Wake-Up elixir.
Shrinking Solution… Skele-Gro… Sleekeazy's Hair Potion… Sobering Elixir… Ten Second Pimple Vanisher… Venomous Tentacula Juice… Veritaserum… Vitamix Potion
Ah, there it is, Lillian thought to herself in triumph. Taking a swig of the potion she instantly felt better and awake. While having a shower she made plans of what she was going to wear for the evening's event. After evaluating her wardrobe she chose her aqua knee length dress with the beaded bodice and straps. It would compliment her emerald green eyes and dark red hair well without causing a Christmas effect.
She decided to curl her shoulder length red hair and apply a soft layer of green eye shadow and thick layers of mascara. She would finish off with an application of her red lip gloss and accessorize the outfit with her brown handbag and shoes. After deciding that her outfit was fitting for the evening's event she nodded to herself and sat in the lounge while waiting for George to pick her up.
She admired the roses that she still hadn't cleaned up and viewed that day's New York Daily where her images of that years Headless Hunt were shown with an article explaining the event. She breathed a sigh of relief when she heard the door knocked and quickly rushed out wanting to see her boyfriend again as soon as possible. Outside was George in his normal attire when being a chauffeur: black suit and tie. He nodded in acknowledgement and Lillian said, 'Hey George!'
She wondered if he was not permitted to speak as she had never heard him speak before despite her prodding for conversation. She dismissed the thoughts and followed him downstairs. She gasped when she noticed an expensive looking limousine sitting in park out the front. 'I-is this for me?' she asked.
George nodded in confirmatory and Lillian once again gasped in delight. It was a child's fairytale come true and she was the princess! Allowing George to open the door she gracefully hopped in, her aqua dress swaying with the movement.
Her eyes widened in awe as she looked around. Inside the luxurious transportation there were champagne glasses as well as muggle and magical means of alcohol. A wireless and a record player along with several famous muggle artist records. Last but not least was another letter from her perfect boyfriend.
I hope that this transportation is to your liking. Unfortunately I am unable to be with you as I am running late at a meeting. I know what you're thinking but don't worry. You will not have to go to the fundraiser by yourself. George will be driving you to the location of my meeting and we will go together. I love you.
Missing you the longer we're apart,
Lillian's expressions changed throughout reading the letter almost comically. First there was awe, than sadness, fear, relief, love, admiration before settling on sheer happiness. What did she do to deserve such a gentleman like Thomas? After ½ an hour of driving during Lily discovered the delights of pre-meeting-boyfriend's-mother alcohol intake they stopped in front of an old looking industrial unit.
Lillian frowned, confused to why her boyfriend would be having a meeting with somebody there. George opened the door and she got out perplexed to what was going on. There she met Alberto; a gruff looking man who she knew was a real romantic at heart. He was also Thomas' personal chauffeur and assistant. Still unable to understand what she was doing at a factory she asked, 'Alberto, what am I doing here? What's going on? Where's Thomas?'
Alberto chuckled huskily in a way that only a man who smoked for half his life could. 'Don't worry Miss Santiago. All will be explained soon.'
Though it didn't answer Lillian's questions she still followed the man into the building. He stopped at the entrance and gestured his arm for her to keep walking. Slowly she walked down the dark hallway, her long fingered hands grasping her wand in her dress. Finally after walking for 20 seconds the hallway lightened and she was able to make out a blurry figure. Eventually she recognized the silhouette as Thomas and squealed as she ran up to him. 'Honey!'
He chuckled as he caught her and swung her around for a moment before giving her a long and lingering kiss. 'Hello gorgeous.'
'Oh, Thomas! Those flowers were amazing! Too much but perfect! And now the limousine. Oh, you're amazing!'
He laughed, 'So I've heard.'
She slapped him playfully and then asked, 'So where are we anyway? Why would you be having a meeting here?'
'Well, I'm not. Well not technically anyway,' he replied as they slowly walked down the hallway.
'What do you mean honey? "Not technically"?'
'Well,' he said and he opened a door that inside had a large, lit room. 'I mean this.'
Lillian's eyes widened and her jaw dropped as she took in the room. Inside was what looked to be a million rings.
She looked upwards and noticed a banner that had the "Tiffany & Co." logo on it. Her breath stuttered and her heartbeat sped up as she realized that this was Thomas making a proposal the only way he knew how. With a lot of money and style.
'Thomas,' she whispered as if she couldn't believe what was going on. 'Oh Merlin. O-oh Merlin.' Turning around the room, she took in every ring and all of the smiling people behind the benches ready to listen in on either her positive or negative response to Thomas' upcoming question.
She looked downwards as Thomas knelt on one knee and held her left hand with both of him, so softly as if he might break it if he squeezed it too hard. 'Oh Merlin,' she muttered again, she really had not expected this. They had only been going out for eight months! She wouldn't have been more surprised if Merlin himself appeared.
'Lillian Santiago, will you marry me?' Thomas asked, a soft smile playing on his light pink lips and his eyes wide with genuine love and just a tad of fear of rejection.
Lillian frowned. This was too perfect. Surely this was just a joke and Thomas would turn around and say 'Gotcha!'. Her lips quivered as she asked, 'Are you sure? I mean, are you really sure? Because if you're not, we can just go back to the car. It's only been eight months.' She didn't believe that she could get a second chance at a married life. Especially to someone as perfect as Thomas Saunders.
Thomas slowly got up, noises of interruption coming from his mouth. 'You know I never do anything rash.' He sighed, 'And I never usually ask a question I don't already know the answer to so at the risk of being rejected twice-'
A shrewd smile played at Lillian's red lips as she murmured, 'You're rambling honey.'
He chuckled and said, 'Yes, I'm very nervous, you see?'
Lillian leaned her lips towards his embracing him in a tight hug and whispered against his lips, 'Yes.'
Thomas asked apprehensively, 'Yes, you see that I'm very nervous, or yes you'll marry me?'
Lillian couldn't have been more reminded of her first ever proposal but that only made her confirmation that much stronger. 'Yes, I'll marry you. Yes. Yes! Yes, of course I will!' A peal of laughter came out of her mouth as Thomas swung her around in his relief and happiness.
'Pick one,' he said, gesturing to the many rings in the room.
Lillian's bright red lips opened into a wide grin as she looked at all of the people taking out the shining rings in the glass cases and one would've said, upon seeing the room, that no diamond shines more brightly than a woman in love.