Going to the Chapel
James Potter liked to think he was a rather spontaneous person.
After all, hadn't that been how he first became friends with Sirius during their very first train ride to Hogwarts all of those years ago? Sure, it had been by pure chance that the pair had first met on the train, but James' sudden (and quite rash) decision to prank an entire compartment of Slytherins that happened to contain a few of Sirius' relatives had cemented their friendship.
And spontaneity had led to his relationship with Lily…in a rather roundabout way, admittedly. Obviously his decision to ask her out that first time—when she had been verbally assaulting him quite loudly in the middle of a crowded hallway during their third year after he had played a rather harmless prank on Snape—had been all sorts of spontaneous. No one had seen it coming, least of all James. Of course, then she had—for whatever bizarre reason—turned him down. So naturally he had to keep asking her out until she said yes, which was when things became more routine than spontaneous. But she had eventually said yes, in the end, so that was all that really mattered.
And now he was going to visit his parents to tell them all about his latest bout of spontaneity.
Shortly after finishing his seventh and final year at Hogwarts just a month previously, James had decided to move out of the house he had grown up in so that he could move into a flat with Sirius. As a result, it had actually been a while since he had spent any amount of time with his parents. On the plus side, however, James was sure that by the end of his visit they would be just as overjoyed as he currently was.
"Are you sure you don't want to come with, mate?" James asked, his hand poised in midair, about to throw a pinch of floo powder into the fireplace, as he looked back at Sirius one final time.
Sirius didn't even look up from the three-day-old copy of the Daily Prophet that he was perusing while lounging on the sofa. "I'll take any break I can get from your scary-crazy happiness," He stated. "Tell mum and dad I said hi, though."
"Your loss," James replied with a shrug, though the wide grin that was looking to become a permanent feature didn't leave his face. And without another word, he finally threw the floo powder into the fireplace and with a shout of, "Potter Manor!" stepped into the roaring emerald green flames.
When he stepped out on the other side, it was into the familiar sitting room of his childhood home. The room, however, was surprisingly empty. In her letter, his mum had sounded quite excited that James was coming over. He had expected to find her anxiously awaiting his arrival…
No worries, though. His parents were probably just…somewhere else that wasn't right here, at the moment. With a shrug, James set off to search for one or both of his parents. As his luck would have it, he didn't have to look far to find someone, as he quite literally ran right into his mother after stepping through the door out of the sitting room.
"James!" Mrs. Potter said gleefully, crushing her much taller son into a bone-crushing hug. "You're early!"
"I just couldn't wait to see you and dad," James said easily, returning her hug. "I have something I wanted to tell the two of you."
"Well, come along, then," She said, finally releasing him from her embrace. "He was just heading out onto the patio; everything for lunch is already set up out there."
James could only follow along somewhat helplessly as his mother led him through the familiar halls of his childhood home chatting nonstop about everything that had been going on in her life since the last time she had seen her son. To his utter disappointment—as he was quite literally bursting to tell his parents his news—for approximately the next hour and a half his mother kept up a constant stream of conversation, leaving James without any kind of opportunity to get a word in edgewise. In all honesty, it was rather disheartening. At this rate, he wouldn't be surprised if he never got the chance to speak in his mother's presence again.
It wasn't until several hours after he had first arrived that James finally got his opening. Directly after finishing eating, Mr. Potter had insisted that he and James spend some quality father/son time together de-gnoming the garden. In the meantime, Mrs. Potter had cleaned up from lunch. By the time all of the gnomes were gone, James was tired, dirty, and firmly of the belief that his parents would never know the news that he had come here today expressly to share with them.
But then, after cleaning himself up a bit, James found his parents in the sitting room together. And they were both completely silent. He was so anxious to finally share the news he had been keeping bottled up all afternoon that, when he saw neither of them (mostly his mother) speaking, he just blurted it out with barely any build-up.
"Mum, Dad…Lily and I are getting married."
"That's nice, dear," Mrs. Potter stated, engrossed in the article she was reading in Witch Weekly. His father remained hidden behind his newspaper.
James frowned. That was definitely not the reaction he had envisaged when he thought about breaking his news to his parents. For one, he had been expecting his mother to act just a bit more excited at the prospect of her only son getting married. Indeed, he vaguely recalled her expressing more joy during her lunch monologue over the new flowers she was putting in the garden, for Merlin's sake. No, this reaction simply would not do for him.
"Did you hear me?" James pressed. "I'm marrying Lily. Lily Evans. My girlfriend and I are getting married."
"We heard you," Mr. Potter replied, not looking up from his paper. "And we already know."
"You…know?" James was definitely confused by this statement.
Mrs. Potter finally lowered her magazine in order to smile at her son. "Dear, in the first letter you ever sent us during your first year at Hogwarts, you told us you were going to marry a girl named Lily Evans. We've had more than seven years to get used to the idea."
"Oh, and you're really going to have to bring her around some time soon," Mr. Potter added, "It would be nice to meet the bride before the wedding, so as to avoid any confusion on the day of."
"But…but…" James spluttered, completely at a loss for words.
"Would you look at the time?" Mrs. Potter said suddenly, her gaze now on the clock above the fireplace in the corner. "You've been here for hours, James. I'm sure you have plenty of things to do still today other than spend more time with your parents. So, six on Saturday?"
"I…what?" James asked helplessly, his earlier confusion still getting the best of him.
"Six o'clock on Saturday, dear," Mrs. Potter said slowly. "Dinner. Bring Lily."
"Alright," James said slowly. "Saturday…Lily…"
"We'll see you then, son," Mr. Potter said, his paper still blocking his face from view.
"Right," James agreed, his face still a mask of bewilderment as he made his way over to the fireplace.
When the green flames had finally gone out and James was definitely gone, Mrs. Potter threw her magazine onto the coffee table beside her and Mr. Potter finally lowered his newspaper. The couple took one look at each other and promptly burst out laughing.
"That poor boy," Mrs. Potter said, once they had each gotten their laughter under control again. "He was so antsy all afternoon, debating whether not he should just interrupt all of my dull chatter…and then his face when you said we already knew…"
She broke down into laughter once more.
"Well," Mr. Potter began, "Obviously he doesn't know that Sirius has been coming over to escape him ever since he decided to propose to Lily. Poor boy is completely oblivious, but I suppose we only have ourselves to blame for raising him that way."
"What, raising him to get fixated on the things that matter to him so much that it's to the exclusion of just about everything else—like, say, perhaps mentioning to his own parents that he's going to propose to his girlfriend?" Mrs. Potter asked. Then she grinned. "Or raising him to be a prankster?"
"Oh, both, of course," Mr. Potter said with an answering grin. "When we break the truth to him on Saturday, we're really going to have to remind him that, as his loving parents, we're always going to get the best of him."