Once again you guys, I am so sorry! Here is a short chapter! I'm sorry about the length, but I'm still not really motivated at the moment and so I just wrapped up what I already had in progress. I hope you guys enjoy!
Lily woke up on a couch, aware that there was something she should be worrying about but unable to remember what. She felt fingers running through her hair, and snuggled into her pillow better. Suddenly the pillow moved, and she jolted into a sitting position, fully awake and very confused.
The first thing she registered was that she had been sleeping with her head on James' lap, his fingers running soothing rounds through her hair. The second thing that she registered was that she wasn't in her house, which brought the events of the past day crashing down on her. With that, she collapsed back on James' lap, too consumed with grief to feel embarrassed.
James, for his part, didn't say anything, simply playing with her hair again. He stared down at her as he felt her start to shake, and slowly shifted her up so he could hug her. He wiped away the tears on her face, holding her close as she sobbed.
She grabbed onto the fabric of his shirt, sobbing as she let out all her pain. She could feel James holding on to her, and felt a brief flash of gratitude before she was consumed by grief once more.
She continued to cry for about half an hour longer, although James never let on that that much time had passed. He continued to patiently shush her, comforting her in the few ways he knew how.
Her crying ebbed, and she looked up at James for the first time. "Sorry, I probably just ruined your shirt," she apologized, glancing down at the now-soaked fabric.
"You don't need to apologize," James told her softly before asking, "Are you okay to see other people? I owled your friends and they're outside, I just wanted to make sure you were okay with seeing people before I let them in."
"Can we wait a few minutes? I'm not sure if I can face them quite yet."
The girl shivered, and James, noticing, quickly grabbed a jumper from off the couch and handed it to her. "This is mine, but you can use it if you want," he offered, smiling as she took the proffered clothing. She pulled it over her head, unable to help from noticing the distinct smell of leather and grass that came from it-the smell of James.
She breathed deeply a couple times, looking around the room. They were in a wood-paneled room, made of a dark chiseled oak. The walls were covered with books, and she was laying on a fancy looking couch in a deep red color, one of several scattered around the room. Balls of magical light floated around, meaning that the light was constantly moving, giving the feeling as if she was in a fire. Several large bay windows sat in between shelves, with white lacy curtains billowing in the breeze coming in from them. They had comfy looking cushions and looked like the perfect place to read a book or nap. The floor was covered by thick rugs in varying colors, although the most predominant were gold and scarlet. A beautiful baby grand piano sat in one corner, looking shiny and new. "I think I'm ready to see them now," she told him in a small voice after she finished looking around the room.
James nodded, walking over to a tall, ornate door that Lily had not seen in her previous observations, and opened it to reveal Dorcas, Alice, and Mary. The three girls rushed in and enveloped Lily in a hug, and James was about to quietly leave out the door they had entered through before he caught Lily shaking her head and mouthing "stay."
He silently nodded before closing the door, making his way over to one of the bay windows and sitting down, watching Lily carefully for any signs that she needed a break from all the attention.
The four girls talked, although Lily mostly listened. Later, she couldn't remember a single thing that they had talked about, but being with them and knowing that they would support her had been enough.
After about half an hour Lily started looking over at him more, her expression becoming wearier with each glance. Taking that as a cue to have the girls leave, he stood up and headed over to them. "Alright guys, we are going to have dinner in just a little bit and while I would invite you to stay, I'm not sure there will be enough food for everybody. Sorry, you guys. You are welcome to come back over tomorrow if you would like," he offered, and Lily sent him a grateful smile.
The girls stood up and left, each of them giving Lily a tight hug before exiting the room. After they were gone James came over to sit next to her and said, "I hope it was okay that I had them leave. You were just looking super tired and like you couldn't really handle any more attention today."
"No, no, you're fine. Thank you, I wasn't quite sure how much longer I could handle how happy they were pretending to be."
"It is really almost dinnertime, though," he informed her, standing up from the couch and offering her his hand, which she took. They walked through the hallways together, Lily gawking at the grandeur of it.
Moving portraits lined the walls, and many of the people inside of them stopped whatever they had been doing and stared at Lily, who clearly didn't belong. It also didn't help that the last time they had seen her she was being carried by James into the library, unconscious.
She blushed at the attention, ducking her head and pulling the hood to James' jumper up. He laughed softly as she did, but didn't comment further. They strolled down the halls, Lily peeking up every once in a while to see where she was going.
They finally reached another ornate door much like the one that had lead into the library. Before they entered, James turned to Lily. "Are you sure you can handle this many people? If you need, I can bring your food to your room and you can eat there."
"I'm okay, I promise," she assured him. "But what do you mean by my room?"
"Oh, I guess I forgot to tell you. Since I assumed that you would be staying with us for a while, I had the house elves make a bed in one of the rooms for you. Its right next to mine, and Sirius' is on the other side of it. I hope it wasn't too much."
"It's perfect. Thank you James." She smiled up at him, allowing his gaze to wash away the sadness she was feeling if only for a moment.
"Okay, thank goodness," James said. He had been worried that it would be too much, but her reaction reassured him. "Now, ready to meet the family?" he asked with a grin.
"I don't think I'll ever be ready," Lily joked with a feeble smile, following the tall boy into the kitchen.
There you guys go! I hope you enjoyed! I am attempting to write another chapter-or what would have been the rest of this chapter—soon, but don't hold your breath, I have no idea how soon "soon" will be. Stay safe and awesome!