Tap Tap Tap
Alyssa groaned and rolled over.
Tap Tap Tap
Maybe if she ignored the obnoxious sound it would go away…
TAP TAP TAP!
Alyssa forced her eyes open and craned her neck around to look at her alarm clock. The offensive object read three forty-five am. Whoever was behind the curtains of her bedroom window had better hope she liked them… a lot.
Grumbling into her pillow, Alyssa pushed herself out of bed and shuffled over to the window. Her bedroom was still pitch black, save for a bit of moonlight seeping in under the curtains so smacking her knee of the end of the bed really shouldn't have shocked her as much as it did. Now fully awake and irritated Alyssa hobbled the rest of the way to the window. Pulling back the curtains the annoyed brunette found a familiar blond man grinning at her through the glass. Alyssa glared slightly and rolled her eyes before unlatching the window.
"Do you have any idea what time it is?" she asked as Tavis crawled through the window.
"Yes I do," he smiled and leaned down to press a searing kiss on her lips.
Alyssa savored the kiss for a moment before chuckling a bit as she pulled away. "And you do of course realize that if my dad, brothers, male cousins or uncles catch you in here you won't make it back to that window alive?"
"Yes I do."
"Then you understand that this is a very high probability seeing as how single every single last male relation I have is currently sleeping under this roof?"
"Of course I do, but that is all completely irrelevant."
"Because we aren't staying right here," Tavis said as he pulled her back over towards the window. Alyssa smiled as she saw the hovering broom waiting just outside for it's rider to return.
"So you expect me to go on a broom ride in the middle of December wearing just my jimjams then, do you?" she chuckled.
"Alyssa Rose Dursley, I am shocked you would think I'd allow such a thing," Tavis feigned offence as he transfigured the jumper hanging off the end of her bed into a long thick robe with a hood. Admiring his handy work, Tavis held it out for Alyssa to put on. "My lady, if you would."
Alyssa chuckled softly but donned the surprisingly very warm robe before quickly and quietly slipping some boots on her feet. Tavis climbed back out the window as she grabbed her warmest gloves for good measure. Alyssa took Tavis' hand as he helped her out of the window and onto the back of his broom. Making sure she was securely behind him, Tavis kicked off the roof hard and they sailed off into the darkness.
"So where are we going?" Alyssa asked.
"It's a surprise," Tavis grinned over his shoulder at her.
"Alright A: You know I don't like surprises, and B: Don't forget we have a long day ahead of us so we can't be out till the wee hours of the morning."
"Aly, we already are out at the wee hours of the morning," Tavis laughed. "And, I am very well aware of how long of a day we have ahead of us, thank you very much. You had to pick Christmas Eve of all days…"
"I like Christmas," she sniffed. "It's the one day of the year I don't mind surprises."
"Then it's a good thing I am showing this to you now."
"Don't worry; it's a surprise you'll actually like. James helped me pick it out."
"Merlin help us…"
"Have a little faith will you?" he glared just slightly.
"In James? You're kidding right?"
Tavis chuckled as he eased the broom to a halt. "Hold on tight now. Apparating mid-air is a bit tricky."
Alyssa gulped and squeezed Tavis tight around the waist. She hated it when he apparated them mid air! She felt the familiar pull of side apparation as they disappeared with a crack and reappeared over a small village. Alyssa leaned over the side to peer down and frowned in confusion.
"Tavis, what are we doing in Hogsmeade?"
"You'll see," the blond in front of her grinned like a Cheshire cat and guided the broom north. "It's just over the clearing over there so not to much further now. Close your eyes now if you would please."
Alyssa sighed in mock frustration but did as he asked. It wasn't long before she felt them land and Tavis helped her off the broom. He led her a few yards forward before they stopped and he moved to stand behind her.
"Alright," she could practically feel his grin on the back of her head. "Open them."
Alyssa opened her eyes and let them adjust for a moment before focusing them in on the structure in front of her. They were standing outside the gate of a two story stone cottage. A large tree sat in the front garden, behind a stone wall fence, with a swing hanging from one of the lower limbs. It looked as though there were flower boxes lining the entire garden but the snow had long since buried all of them. It was a charming looking place but Alyssa's brows knit together in confusion.
"Tavis, where are we?" she asked. "Whose house is this?"
If possible the blonde haired man's grin grew twice as large.
"It's ours," he said as he kissed her ear.
"Ours!" Alyssa's hand flew to her mouth as she let out a loud gasp.
"Yes," Tavis stepped in front of her and brought her hands to his lips. "Ours."
"I…we… you… I don't even know what to say!"
"You could say what an amazing fiance I am and how much you love me?"
"Can we even afford this?" Alyssa exclaimed, completely ignoring his statement. "I know the Apothecary is doing well but a house! Tavis, how could you buy a house with out even talking to me about it! Don't engaged people usually talk these kinds of things over?"
Tavis listened to her rant with a chuckle. He expected her to react like this. Then again they had been a couple for seven years now, if he couldn't gage her reactions to things by now he never would. Two summers ago he and she had opened an Apothecary together in Hogsmeade so buying a house nearby the small town seemed like the logical thing to do. Tavis had inherited his father's gifted touch with plants so he grew most of what they needed for merchandise right behind the shop but with a house of their own he could build a green house in the back garden and grow even more plants. The tiny flat he had been sharing with James since they left Hogwarts just couldn't accommodate the space he needed for a green house.
After Hogwarts Alyssa followed in her Aunt Ginny's footsteps and became a Healer at St. Mungo's. Tavis found a passion in potions and become a highly skilled potions master, something everyone found particularly hysterical. Especially Uncle Harry, who remarked quite often how his old potions professor would spin in his grave if he knew a Longbottom had become Potions Master.
After a few years though Alyssa was getting burned out with being a healer and confessed to Tavis how discontent she was with the hospital. She liked helping people but not the ten patients in half an hour care the hospital seemed to expect. She much preferred having a more one on one environmental. Rushed examines meant sloppy diagnoses and that bothered her. Tavis himself had never really been satisfied with his job either. As a potions researcher for the Ministry Tavis was highly paid but truth be told he preferred brewing to researching. After a long conversation the two lovers decided to take fate into their own hands and came up with a plan that catered to both their passion of brewing and helping people. Thus The Herbs and Cures Apothecary was born.
Alyssa and Tavis had both been star potions students at Hogwarts so the shop sold not only ingredients but premade potions as well. Tavis loved winding down from a long day by watching over the simmer potions they would need to the next day. Brewing potions was how he preferred to relax after a hard day's work in the shop. A trait his father Neville insisted he had not inherit from him.
It started out slow but once they were able to build a reputation the shop seemed to take on a life of it's own. Six months in an elderly wizard from the village came in looking for a potion to clear up some boils he had on his face. Alyssa took one look at him and ordered him to sit down so she could examine him. A few moments later she confirmed that he had dragon pox and needed an entirely different set of potions then what he was there to get. She gave the man strict instructions about the potions then ordered him home to bed. She even went as far as to call on him the next day to make sure he was resting and taking his potions properly. The wizard recovered in half the time under Alyssa's care.
Word spread quickly about the young healer and soon people were coming in for medical attention just as much as potions ingredients. A day didn't go by where someone didn't come to her with a problem. Alyssa happily examined each of them before healing their ailment or proscribing the best potion they had in stock. Her Aunt Ginny, being the director of St. Mungo's now, pushed through a permit to sanction the small store as an authorized clinic as well as an Apothecary.
The business wasn't as booming yet as they would have liked but it had a loyal customer and patient following, especially from Hogwarts where both of them still had family attending, so it was profitable none the less. Far more profitable than Alyssa actually realized, since Tavis usually took care of the books.
Whenever Tavis thought about who he wanted to spend his life with it'd always been Alyssa. It was the right timing he never seem to get. First there were NEWTS, then graduation, then apprenticeships, then jobs, and finally the shop. It never seemed like the right time. Finally one day about a year ago James smacked him upside the head (literally) and said either Tavis asked Alyssa to marry him soon or he was inviting their old class mate Scorpius to dinner. Apparently the pale little git was single and still thought Alyssa was a looker.
Tavis spent weeks going from jeweler to jeweler trying and find the right ring for her. He checked Wizarding shops, he checked Muggle shops… hell he checked a Goblin shop once, but nothing seemed right.
Tavis was at wits end with ring hunting the evening his father asked him to come over for dinner. Upon arrival though his parents met him in the living room. Neither of them said anything, they just simply handed him a small red box while smiling proudly at him. Tavis opened it and almost dropped the box in shock. Inside was a beautiful emerald cut diamond that sat in the middle of a simple white gold band. The large diamond was flanked by two small similarly cut rubies and he could just barely make out the Longbottom family crest etched lightly onto the center stone. Tavis recognized it immediately. The ring that sat in his hand had been passed down through the Longbottom family for over a hundred years, and had been worn by his own mother for longer than he could even remember. It was not only the ring his father had proposed to his mother with, but the ring his grandfather had proposed to his grandmother with.
It was perfect!
Tavis had gathered both his parents in the tightest hug he could manage before all but sprinting to ask Mr. Dursley for Alyssa's hand in marriage.
'That however is a memory for another day,' Tavis thought with a shudder. Alyssa was still ranting, so he cut her off by pulling her into another heated kiss.
That shut her up he noted with unashamed smugness.
"So shall I give it back then?" he asked, as he gently fingered the ring on her left hand. "Tell the realtor that you'd rather live in a tiny flat in Diagon Alley with your husband, your cousin and one bathroom to split between the lot?"
"Well now lets not be rash now! I never said I didn't want it, I was just speaking in concern for our financial state," she replied with a sniff. Tavis smirked. He knew her too well to think for a moment that she was actually upset with him. Alyssa looked back at the house with happy tears forming in her eyes. "So it's ours then? Really truly ours?"
"Yes it is," Tavis smiled as he wrapped his arms around her. "All ours."
"I love you."
"I love you too," he gave her a peck on the lips before swinging his leg back over the broom. "Alright then, Future Mrs. Longbottom, we'd better go before your parents wake up and think we've eloped."
"Why on earth would we elope the night before the actual wedding?" Alyssa asked with a chuckle as she too swung her leg over the broom.
"Well considering I have been thoroughly threatened by every male relative you have and Fred and George have pull some sort of massively absurd prank at every single wedding, retirement and birthday party for the last sixteen years, I won't say I'm not a bit fearful," Tavis replied as they kicked off again. "That and Uncle Harry pulled me aside the other day…"
Alyssa snorted a laugh, "What happened?"
"He said, and I quote, 'Tavis, I love you like a son, but you hurt her and I'll do things to you that would make Voldemort cry like a toddler'."
Alyssa started laughing so hard she had to grip on tighter to Tavis to keep from falling off the broom.
"Don't be silly, Tavis. Uncle Harry wouldn't do that to you," Alyssa said, wiping away some of the tears from laughing.
"What makes you say that?"
"Because there wouldn't be anything left once I got through with you."
The couple laughed and Alyssa snuggled against Tavis tightly as he steered them back towards their apparation point.
From the top window of the cottage, James breathed a sigh of relief as he watched Tavis and Alyssa mount the broom and take off. He had panicked when he saw the two of them standing out there, and prayed to Merlin they weren't planning on coming inside. As best man, he was in charge of making sure everything up until the wedding night was perfect. So he had broken in two hours ago to decorate their new bedroom as a surprise. He hoped they liked leopard print, or at least found humor in it. Thankfully they hadn't entered the house, just looked at it. James watched with a wide grin as his two best friends flew off.
Seven years later and the dark haired wizard still looked entirely too pleased with himself.
A/N: And we're done with this one! Check out the next Tomatoes and Lilies story "His Yin, Her Yang" staring Hermione Granger and George Weasley! We'll be going back in time a bit for this one. Ta, Lovelies!