A Muggle Holiday
by Erik's Angel
Disclaimer: I am not, nor do I dare to imagine that I am JK Rowling. She created these characters and this universe. I just like to play with them. I mean no harm.
Summary: Fic in which the whole gang goes to visit Lily during the summer after their fifth year. Good clean fun had by all, with a touch of J/L.
Author's Note: This fic was originally one of many that I had planned for a giant collection of short stories called The Marauders. That idea fell through, and so I'm publishing the individual pieces as stand-alone fics. Oh, and Natalie Dubarc is an original character - I created her to be Lily's best friend in The Marauders. Don't flip out when she shows up. Finally, thanks must go out to my fabulous beta-reader, JK, for all her helpful suggestions and friendly support.
They run off eckeltricity, do they? Ah, yes, I can see the plugs. I collect plugs. And batteries. Got a very large collection of batteries. My wife thinks I'm mad, but there you are.
- Arthur Weasley in Goblet of Fire
Lily Evans glanced out her bedroom window for the millionth time that afternoon. Then, she went to her mirror and checked to see if her hair still looked okay. Finally, she went back to her bed and sat down. One minute later, she got up, went to the window, and began the cycle all over again. She had never felt so nervous in all her life. She'd invited all her friends over to her house for a week this summer. Today was the day they were all supposed to arrive. She just hoped that her house and family could measure up to their expectations.
Her friends were all from pureblood wizarding families - except Natalie, whose mum was a Muggle, but she'd died just after Natalie got her Hogwarts letter. The point was that they had all been born and raised in the wizarding world . . . all but Lily. She felt as though it was her duty to introduce them to the Muggle world and dispel some of the stereotypes that they had grown up with.
It was Petunia, though, who concerned Lily the most. She hoped desperately that her older sister wouldn't ruin things for all of them.
Lily heard the doorbell ring and immediately ran to her window. She watched as they all gathered on the front steps and saw that Natalie, fortunately, had the presence of mind to keep Sirius from beating down the door and rang the doorbell before he could get up the front steps. Unfortunately, she was too impatient to wait, so she unlocked the door magically and flung it open. Petunia, who had gone to answer the door, was utterly disgusted at this behavior and flounced upstairs to her room, locking her door behind her.
"Lily!" she heard Natalie call from the front hall. "We're here!"
Lily shook herself, charged down the stairs from her bedroom, and threw her arms around her best friend. The two girls squealed in excitement at seeing each other again.
Over Natalie's shoulder, Lily could see Sirius giving Remus a look that quite plainly said, "Girls." But all the same, he walked up to her, kissed her hand solemnly and said, "Hello, Mrs. Prongs," using his most recently-invented nickname for her.
She smiled at him and said, "Hello yourself, Padfoot," sweetly.
Peter came up and gave her a hug and said, "Hey Lily," very quietly, keeping his eyes to the floor the whole time. He was almost painfully shy and always had been.
Lily looked up and found herself staring into Remus's clear gray eyes and thought, Speaking of painfully shy . . . he's come a long way. She smiled at Remus, who said nothing, but he embraced her and gave her a little kiss on the cheek. As Remus moved away, Lily's smile began to fade. "Where's James?" she asked. "Didn't he come?"
"I don't know," said Sirius from behind her. "He didn't meet the rest of us for lunch like he said he would. Beats me where the bloke's got to."
Lily turned around, resigned to James's absence, and smiled at all of them, trying to hide her disappointment. Sirius was just a little too late to hide the mischievous twinkle in his dark, midnight blue eyes.
"Sirius . . ." said Lily, suddenly suspicious. "What are - "
She stopped suddenly as a pair of hands dropped over her eyes. She gasped and turned around to look straight into the dark brown, glasses-rimmed eyes of James Potter.
"Surprise!" he said as he picked her up by her waist and swung her around. He set her back down on the floor and smiled at her. "These jokers," he said, jabbing a thumb at his three friends, "thought it might be funny if I hid behind the bushes just outside your front door to make you think I hadn't come." His expression softened into a more serious look. He pulled a strand of long red hair away from her deep green eyes. "You didn't think I'd miss it, did you?" Lily felt as though her insides had just dissolved.
"When you two get married," said Sirius loudly, breaking the mood, "will I be invited to the wedding?"
Everyone laughed. Lily and James both turned red as they broke apart and grinned guiltily at their friends. James, feigning shock, exclaimed, "Invited? Why, Sirius! You'll be best man!"
"Best man?" said a deep, booming voice. "Who's getting married?"
Lily smiled, thinking, Well, here we go. The voice belonged to her father, a tall man with dark red hair and green eyes that exactly matched her own. He rounded the corner into the front hall, his wife just behind him. Mrs. Evans was very thin and middle-sized with an unusually long neck. She had blonde hair and brown eyes. Petunia definitely took after her, but there was one large difference between the two: Petunia almost always looked unpleasant and unhappy, whereas Lily's mother had a warm, welcoming smile that could make anyone feel at home.
Lily began the introductions. "Mum, Dad, these are my friends. That's Natalie Dubarc; she's my best friend. That one, the one that looks as though he's up to something, that's Sirius Black. You want to watch out for him. The one next to him, that's Peter Pettigrew. Don't be fooled by his shy exterior - he's a regular prankster. The serious-looking one, that's Remus Lupin. He's the brains of the outfit. And this . . ." She smiled at James, and he put his arm around her waist. "This is James Potter, my boyfriend. And Sirius here seems to think we're engaged." She smiled and Sirius, and he winked back. "Everyone," she continued, "these are my parents, Rose and Daniel Evans."
A round of greeting followed, in which Lily's father shook everyone's hand heartily, and Lily's mother hugged James, she was so excited to meet him at last. "I've heard so much about you, dear," she explained. James just turned a bit pink and grinned
A couple of minutes later, Lily heard Sirus's voice (which always seemed too loud to suit whatever space it was in) call from the next room, "Hey, Lily! What's this?"
Lily walked into the room to find him crouched on the floor, looking at something. He'd found a stack of magazines. He picked one of them up off the table and regarded it with interest. "Who is this fellow?" he asked, pointing at the front cover.
"That's a magazine. It's an advert for a James Bond film. Come to think of it, you might like it."
So that's how they started their week together, by taking a trip to the cinema to watch James Bond. Everyone thought it was brilliant, Sirius especially. And Peter kept saying how impressive it was that Muggles had figured out how to go through life without magic.
Unfortunately for the rest of them, though, the film had more of an impact on Sirius than they'd bargained for. He spent the next few days telling people that his name was "Black. Sirius Black," and that he preferred his butterbeer "shaken, not stirred." He finally quit doing this when Natalie conked him on the back of the head and told him to stop being "such a great prat."
They didn't do very much that week. They would usually watch a film or go out shopping or find a park somewhere. Lily's friends enjoyed the change of living with Muggles, and were delighted to discover that even though Lily's mum couldn't use magic to cook, dinner was always excellent.
All of Lily's friends were fascinated with the Muggle world. Sirius, besides his sudden obsession with James Bond, once saw a man riding on a motorbike moving extremely fast down the street. Sirius immediately declared that one day he would own one. Natalie was fascinated with electricity and kept flicking lights on and off. When they went to an arcade, Peter was the most reluctant to try the games and the hardest to pry away from them when it was time to go home. James got the most fun out of watching Petunia, who kept spying on all of them with a dubious look on her face, as if she expected them to blow up the house. But it was Remus who was hurt the most by Petunia's attitude. And he wanted to do something about it.
One night, Lily and Natalie (who was staying in Lily's room) dug through Lily's closet and found a bag of plastic spiders and two cameras. They snuck downstairs to where the boys were all sleeping in sleeping bags. Lily shone her flashlight in Remus's eyes to get him to wake up.
"Up with you," she hissed. "If you want to get Petunia, now's the time." Natalie had woken up the other three, and all four boys were now listening carefully to everything Lily had to say. "Here's a Muggle camera," she said, handing it to Remus.
"And here's a wizarding one," said Natalie, handing it to James.
"Petunia's asleep in her room upstairs, complete with green facial cream and hair rollers," Lily continued.
"So what are we supposed to do?" asked Sirius sleepily.
"I thought you four were supposed to be genius pranksters or something," said Natalie. "You tell us."
"I get it," said Peter. "We're supposed to go upstairs, get some pictures of her while she's sleeping, and put them up all over her room."
"When she wakes up," concluded Remus, "not only will she see horrid pictures of her all over the place . . . but some will be moving and some won't. It'll drive her mad!"
All parties decided it was a brilliant plan, and the four boys crept upstairs to execute it.
"Now," Lily whispered. "They're distracted."
She and Natalie filled the boys' sleeping bags with the plastic spiders and then crept back up to Lily's room to wait.
About ten minutes later, the girls heard the boys leave Petunia's room. They waited with bated breath for what they knew was coming. Sure enough, within a few moments, they heard a couple screeches, some muffled swearing, a few loud thumps, and then stifled laughter from downstairs.
Lily and Natalie grinned at each other. It had been a success. They had finally out-pranked the Marauders . . . and they hadn't even used any magic.
The next morning, Lily and Natalie awoke early to find the boys waiting for them with sheepish looks on their faces. Each one of them admitted that it had been a good prank. They were in the midst of going over the finer points of the evening when they heard a very angry screech from upstairs. Petunia had woken up. The six friends looked at each other and burst out laughing. Lily could not remember the last time she'd had as much fun.
That evening, they all left, and each one of Lily's friends hugged her and promised to write. Everyone but James had gone through the fireplace (they'd had it connected to the Floo network for one evening . . . Sirius's dad had connections at the Ministry) when he took her aside.
He smiled at her. "Lily - " He faltered and looked down at the floor. He shifted his weight from side to side and looked extremely uncertain, as if he had no idea how to put his feelings into words. "I . . . erm . . . I don't really tell you often enough how much you mean to me. And I - well, I got something for you. It's - " He started rooting around in the back pocket of his jeans, and pulled out a necklace.
Lily gasped. "It's beautiful . . ." she whispered. And it was. On a delicate gold chain he'd put a small gold heart. Engraved on it were the words, James and Lily. Her green eyes were bright with tears, and she tried not to cry as he put it around her neck.
He looked down at her, still uncertain. "I got it for you to remind you how much - how much I love you. Even when I'm being a moron and forget to tell you." James cheeks turned very pink, but he was still smiling at her.
Lily was speechless. James took this as a bad sign, but he hadn't given up all hope. "So, do . . . do you like it?"
Lily finally found her voice. "James . . ." She shook her head in wonder. "I love it. And I love you." And with that, she put her arms around his neck and took both of them entirely by surprise by kissing him. They pulled away and stood there for a moment, staring at each other, both of them unsure about what to do next.
James cleared his throat. "I'd . . . I'd better leave," he said, but he didn't move at all. He just kept staring at Lily.
"Yeah, go on . . .before they disconnect the fireplace. Then you'd be stuck here." Not that that would be a bad thing, she thought, blushing.
James was apparently thinking the same thing, because he still didn't seem to want to go. Finally, he moved past her across the room and grabbed his stuff. He sighed. "I'll write," he said.
"Me too. I'll miss you."
He turned and grinned. "I know," he said softly. Then, he kissed her quickly on the forehead, and threw some Floo powder into the fire. He stepped into it, said in a strong, clear voice, "Godric's Hollow," and disappeared.
Lily stood, rooted to the spot, staring at the place where he had just been. She reached up and touched the heart that was now dangling around her neck. I'll never take it off, she thought. Not as long as love him as much as I do right now. She sighed and trudged up the stairs to her room, thinking that she should have known better than to be worried that her friends might not like her anymore once they'd met her family. We'll always be together. We'll always be friends, she thought, with assurance. Always.
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