Authors Note: I will elaborate more at the bottom of the page but let me just say that I am so sorry that it took so long to finish this. In truth I finished ages ago but I just got so caught up in everything. My apologies. A quick thank you to everyone who reviewed last chapter, reading back on your reviews gave me the inspiration I needed to finish this chapter.
To BanAnaRaIn, your reviews always make my day! Without your constant guidance I would probably still be a fanfic reader, too shy to put anything up on this site. Thomas is a character, that I am afraid you just can't hate. You fall in love with him. I know I am. But I could put in a little something to inspire a little hate for him if you beg! :) To LILYANDJAMES4EVA, I am SO glad that you like this story. I hope you like Lily's first interaction with somebody from her past. To greeneyeddancer21 thank you, your review made my day. I am only human and so LURRVE praise. Thank you so much Opiniated1234, Amanda Potter and Darla. Hopefully you guys will still read this in spite of its lateness.
Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.
Robert Frost American Poet 1874-1963
Half way across New York where Lillian Santiago was picking a ring for her recent engagement, the President of Magic's secretary and assistant opened a black SUV to the muggle auditorium where hundreds of people of the press from both muggle and magical were taking pictures and shooting out questions to the President.
Ms. Lana Saunders hopped out of the SUV in a black suit dress, her short blonde hair in an elegant twist at the nape of her neck. Reporters exclaimed, 'President over here!', 'Just one shot!', and 'For the New York Daily!'.
Lana was unconcerned with the publicity and asked her assistant, 'Where is he?' in reference to her only son.
'He's running late,' the assistant replied.
Lana smiled for a few pictures and said through gritted teeth, 'No thanks to that San Francisco girl.'
'Santiago, photographer. English.' He corrected, watching Lana shake hands with a few important people.
'Whatever. Her name, career and origin still doesn't excuse the fact that she's making my son late!'
They walked down the red carpet towards the auditorium with hundreds of flashing lights blinding their visions temporarily. One eager member of the press said, 'Ms. Saunders, how do you answer to those against your recent security cut down?'
'I suggest that they research the recent crime rates here to realize that we are safer now in the United States than any other country in the world.'
As she walked off her assistant gave the camera a smug smile making him look like some sort of undernourished monkey.
Another member of the press yelled out, 'Tell us about your son's relationship with Lillian Santiago! Sources say that they have recently become engaged. Do you have a comment?' he asked as he threw a microphone to her phony smile.
'Trust me, if my son was engaged I would have a comment,' she replied as she gingerly put the microphone in his front pocket.
Meanwhile the two in question of engagement were in the limousine kissing passionately, a stunning diamond ring on Lillian's left hand's fourth finger which was wrapped around Thomas's shaved face. They broke apart, panting, and Thomas whispered huskily, 'I thought you were tired.'
She smiled and said, 'Alberto, would you excuse us for a minute?' as she reached up to the bottom that closed the barrier between the front of the car and the back of the car.
Alberto chuckled and nodded, knowing that the newly engaged couple needed a few moments of privacy.
As Lillian's mouth dipped to Thomas' neck, he said through moans, 'I've been planning this for weeks. I knew that you weren't eager to see my Mother and so wanted you to have something to feel good about as we listen to her reprimand you. I thought that this moment would be perfect. Merlin, I can't wait to see the look on my mother's face as we tell her that we're engaged.'
Lillian instantly stopped ravishing her fiancé's neck and stared at him in surprise. Thomas took out a piece of paper and a blue ballpoint pen from a drawer in the limousine and said, 'Come on, let's write to your parents.'
Instantly she snatched the paper and pen out of his large hands and exclaimed, 'No!' At Thomas' slightly shocked expression, she continued, 'I-I mean, not right this second.'
As thoughts of her still married husband whirled though her mind she thought of how best to divorce him without letting Thomas know. Finally, she came up with an idea that if not investigated properly, would allow her some time to get her affairs in order. 'What I mean is, honey, would you mind terribly if we kept this to ourselves for a few days.'
'Lil, this is going to come out sooner or later and knowing how vulture-like the press is, it'll be more likely to be sooner.'
Lillian tried to forget the memories that the name "Lil" brought to her mind as she tried to get her point across. 'I-I-I know, but I haven't seen my parents in about five years. And I just feel like I should probably tell them in person, that's all.'
'Of course,' Thomas said and Lillian thought that if he asked for it she would buy him an ocean with the amount of love she was feeling for him at that moment. He took the paper and pen from her hands and placed them back in the drawer.
Lillian winced inwardly once she realized that one more thing was required in order to make her plan work. 'And – er – I think I should do it alone.'
'Lillian, I'll have to meet them eventually. We're getting married for Merlin's sake!'
'I know, I know. And they will love you. Eventually.' She added in at the last minute, making sure that she reinforced the idea that he would have to wait for a while until he met her folks.
She laughed as she caressed his face and in mock anger he asked, 'Is it because I'm a Yankee?'
Lillian laughed, and moving her short red hair out of her eyes, said, 'Well that. And you don't know a thing about Quiddich.' Then she leaned her head in and kissed him softly before letting their lips disconnect.
Their foreheads pressed together, Thomas whispered as he turned the diamond ring around so it looked like a normal ring band, "Okay, Mum's the word. No one will know.'
Lillian smiled as she felt the limousine slow down to a stop. 'Thank you.'
A chauffeur opened the limousine door and Thomas hopped out stretching his arm out in order to help Lillian from her seat. Yells and photograph flashes blared out at the recently engaged couple – not that they knew that - and the two walked down the red carpet, ignoring the flashes while whispering sweet nothings to one another.
Finally they met Lana at the entrance to the auditorium and Thomas engulfed her in a hug while Lana meekly patted her only son on the back. Softly slapping his face she murmured through gritted teeth, 'That shade of lipstick does nothing for you Thomas. What kept you?'
Thomas avoided the question with a shrug and, 'It's none of your business, Mother.'
'What's going on?' Lana asked suspiciously, her eyes flittering between Lillian and Thomas.
Thomas turned around to ignore his eccentric mothers' questioning and said to an old friend and member of his mother's government, 'Ah, Frederick, always a pleasure.'
'Good to see you Thomas,' Frederick said back his chubby face extending into a wide grin.
While their meet-and-greet was occurring Lana turned to her – unknowing – future daughter-in-law and said in a false cheery voice, 'Lillian, darling. So good to see you.'
'Hi!' Lillian replied as she was swept into an over exaggerated hug as if they were the best of friends and an exchanging of kisses on the cheek.
Grabbing Lillian's hands with hers, Lana exclaimed, 'Look at you. Always the belle of the ball! I hear very good things of your photographing.'
'Oh yeah,' Lillian said uncomfortably, wishing Thomas would distract his mother. 'Thanks.'
She watched as Lana's face immediately stilled and felt her prying fingers attack her ring. Lillian's smile dropped and she looked down, her green eyes instantly connecting with the ring adorning her fourth finger of her left hand. She tried to struggle out of her mother-in-laws tight grasp and said, 'Er…'
'Thomas.' Lana said, the only sign of her shock a slight tinge of panic in her otherwise calm voice.
'Yes?' Thomas replied, turning from Frederick to look at his panicking mother and uncomfortable fiancée.
'It seems Lillian is wearing a skating rink on an important finger,' Lana said as she brought her hand and Lillian's struggling one upwards to her sons face.
Lillian instantly interrupted, hoping that she could keep this quiet. 'Er, if it's all the same to you, I'd like to keep this-'
Lana brought the ring around so that the large diamond was showing. 'Oh, my Merlin!' Lana exclaimed. 'You're engaged!'
Lillian flinched as people instantly ran to them, taking pictures and statements from the trio. Finishing her sentence, Lillian said timidly, '-quiet.'
The trio turned to stare at the group of photographers yelling and screaming while they took pictures of them: Lana's face stuck in a hideous expression of disgusted shock, Lillian's face changing from a healthy pink to a fearful and surprised white and Thomas trying to stay indifferent.
The next day newspapers all over the United States – magical and muggle – had front covers with images and eye catching titles explaining the President of Magic's son's recent engagement to a mere photographer.
IT'S ALL OVER GIRLS!
PRESIDENT'S SON TO WED MAGICAL CREATURE PHOTOGRAPHER!
Lillian tried to ignore her few friends gushing comments as they read out some of the articles aloud while she packed for going back to England in order to tell her parents about the engagement and get a divorce.
'Sources say that Lillian Santiago, photographer for the New York Daily, demanded Thomas Saunders, son of the President of Magic, to propose to her otherwise she would reveal naked photos of him taken previously that month. Well I don't know about you, reader, but this young reporter would not mind seeing those photos!'
'Mandy! Enough already!' Lillian had already heard enough rumors about her in this morning than she had her entire life and only hoped that all the people back in Europe didn't know her alias name.
Mandy was a brunette 21 year old and was Lillian's first friend when she moved to New York. She was petite and came to only 5'3 and was one of the people who could eat whatever she likes and never gain a pound. She smirked at her best friend and said, 'Ah Lillian, darling. You are quite adorable when you are angry.'
'If you think that then you should've seen me at 15,' Lillian muttered darkly, thinking about a time where her life revolved around James Potter.
'What was that babe?'
'Never mind,' Lillian said louder, not wanting to think such thoughts and ruin her – sort of – good vibe. In spite of the fact that her "secret" was no longer a secret she was, after all, getting married. Grabbing a pair of jeans from her wardrobe she chucked them messily in the trunk followed by a sleeveless red shirt, several robes, three dresses, denim pink shorts and other assortments of clothing and accessories, both magical and muggle. After finishing packing she stared at the messy collection of clothing in her trunk and whispered with a swish to her wand, 'Pack.'
Watching the clothes assort themselves into a neater collection with a satisfied expression she turned to her friends Mandy and Nathaniel. Nathaniel was a Russian model who despite his irresistible qualities to the female sex was gay. He had neck length, dark hair usually tied up in a short ponytail, icy blue eyes and a muscled body.
Mandy and Nathaniel were reading news articles about Lillian's and Thomas' recent engagement, chuckling now and then at farfetched ideas of how Lillian tricked Thomas into marrying her.
'Oh, here's one!' Nathanial called out, delighted peals of laughter in his voice. Deepening his tone he said as if he was a news reporter, 'Suspected doses of Amortentia are alleged to have been administered on Mr. Saunders in a desperate attempt to make him hand over the key to his inheritance.'
Lillian groaned in annoyance and said, 'Those reporters will make up anything for a bit of juicy gossip!'
'I know, I know darling,' Mandy said soothingly in an attempt to calm her down. 'At least you'll be leaving for Europe soon and you won't have to put up with pestering reporters.'
'Ugh,' Lillian groaned. 'Poor Thomas! He's gonna be murdered!'
'So, Lillian?' Nathaniel asked in an excited voice
She looked up. 'Yeah?'
'When are you two gonna get hitched anyways?'
Lillian frowned, she knew Thomas was hoping to get married in a month but if she didn't get this divorce settled in time that might not be a possibility. 'I'm not sure yet. Ask me when you come to London.'
'Ah yes, we are finally going to be allowed to meet your unknown friends and family.' Mandy said, a bitter edge in her voice. Despite the fact that the trio had been friends for half a decade they still had not seen any of Lillian's friends or family. The only thing that they had ever heard of them was that they were "amazing".
Lillian looked at the watch that Thomas had bought for her on their 1 month anniversary. 'Damn, I've got to get going soon if I want a room at the Leaky Cauldron.'
Nathaniel asked, 'The Leaky Cauldron. Merlin, English people have the weirdest names for everything.'
Lillian ignored the comment and said to her best friends, 'Wish me luck.'
'Luck,' her friends said at the same time.
Grabbing an old sock which was the portkey that was taking her to the British Ministry of Magic Lillian glanced at her watch. 'Ten more seconds.'
Looking downwards she wondered how the people she hadn't seen in years were. Were they married? Were they happy? Was Sirius Black still a womanizer? Finally, Lillian felt the familiar tug at her navel she found herself spinning wildly until finally landing at the Ministry of Magic Department of International Magical Co-operation. She looked around in a reverent awe, amazed that after so long she was in the place she once loved.
Feeling sentimental she used all her senses to rememorize England. Using sight she tried to drink in all colours and shapes, using smell she breathed in the heavy English atmosphere. For touch she hesitantly touched the wall and floor, for hearing she listened to the distant chatter in the Ministry and for taste she opened her mouth and let her tongue flick out, tasting the air like a snake would.
She was enjoying her trip down memory lane when she heard a throat being cleared. She instantly blushed and turned around to see a young woman who looked to be her age, dark brown hair, dark, dark eyes and a pale skin tone. The unknown woman looked Lillian up and down and muttered in a sarcastic voice, 'Well, well. Look what the owl flew in.'
Lillian frowned in confusion and just a little bit of hurt. As far as she knew she had never met the woman and yet she was still insulting- Wait a minute, Lillian recognized that voice. It reminded her of her Hogwarts days. Finally, it came to her. 'E-Emmeline? Emmeline Vance?'
The woman in front of her nodded and said, 'Nice to see you again Lily. Or is it Lillian now?'
Lillian winced at the use of her alias but otherwise ignored the comment. 'Nice to see you too! You look amazing!'
Emmeline smiled smugly and said, 'I lost 20 stone.'
'Well, er, congratulations!'
'Why are you here anyway Em? I'm supposed to be meeting someone to help me during my "holiday".'
Emmeline smiled and gestured to a small room. Lillian, confused, walked into the cramped office and saw several photos of Emmeline. Turning around she said, 'You're working with me?'
Emmeline nodded and said, 'When I saw your name on the list of people coming to England today I instantly signed myself up to you.'
Lillian smiled but her face froze when she actually saw the photos. With Emmeline there was a man, who if Lillian remembered properly, looked like Benjy Fenwick and two 1 year old twins. Emmeline, seeing what had captured her friend's attention so looked to the photographs and smiled softly. 'I married Ben two years after you left.'
Lillian began to feel the extent of pain and betrayal her choice had made when she left England. She whispered probably more to herself, 'I'm sorry that I missed it.'
But Emmeline missed the comment and said, 'Merlin, the wedding was gorgeous. Everybody was there, even Albus Dumbledore himself made a quick visit!'
If Emmeline was trying to make her feel guilty it was working, Lillian thought to herself trying to not tear up. Emmeline continued, 'Then a year back we had the girls: Caitlyn and Cassandra. They're the cutest things. They've got Ben's blonde hair and my dark eyes.'
Lillian smiled watery and said, 'I can't believe you got hitched to Benjy! Didn't you use to despise the guy back at school?'
Emmeline smiled and said, 'Never stopped you now did it?'
Lillian flinched under the comment but it did bring purpose back to the conversation. With determination in her voice she said, 'Now, I probably can't stay here for long – got business to attend to – but if I could just get a brief of what I'm going to need to do while here then I can come back later.'
Emmeline nodded and said, 'You'll need to sign a few Ministry documents to legalize your stay here and I would recommend that every time you meet somebody you ask them a question that they would only know.'
Lillian frowned, trying to remember why she would need to do that. Emmeline, sensing her predicament, said, 'Wow, you really are a Yankee now. Remember?' Lillian shook her head and Emmeline whispered, 'You-Know-Who.'
Lillian didn't know what to say. How could she forget something as important as him? He, who was terrorizing and murdering people of her birth just because they were different. She felt guilty and pained at the thoughts. Now her questions were not who had been married? or, was Sirius Black still a womanizer? No, now it was who had died? and, who had turned dark?
Lillian sighed and asked her friend, 'Is that all?'
Emmeline nodded and said, 'Come back at 1pm and I'll have the proper documents ready for you to sign.'
Lillian nodded, 'Thanks Em. I'm really happy for you.'
Emmeline nodded and said, 'Goodbye Lily.'
Lillian didn't bother trying to reprimand her for calling her by her real name. After all, for all the pain she had inflicted on her, she deserved to call her by her proper name.
Sadly, Lillian said, 'Goodbye Emmeline.'
Hopefully you enjoyed this chapter just as much as I enjoyed writing that. (That's not cheesy at all, is it? :) ) Anyways, in my defense of this chapters lateness I got really caught up in Harry and Ginny stories and so had to write about 20 of them! But don't worry, the next chapter will be way quicker. I am working on it now. Alright I will shut up now.
Please review, I want to know if there are actually people in this world who can be bothered to read my writing! :)