Fic: All Tied Up, Chapter 7: Educating Lily
Chapter 7: Educating Lily
Word Count: 2,043
Back to Chapter 6
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters, objects, settings, and plots are the property of J.K. Rowling. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise associated with Harry Potter. No copyright infringement is intended an no money is being made from the writing of this fanfiction.
As it turns out, Lily does not need to ask Alice anything. That first weekend after Lily’s engagement is a Hogsmeade weekend. Lily and James spend the afternoon together, so Lily does not see Alice at all until dinner, after which her friend forcefully steals her from her fiancé despite Lily’s protests.
“Come on, Lils,” she says, taking Lily’s elbow and pulling her up from her seat at the Gryffindor table. “I have something to show you. I bought it this afternoon, just for you, so do stop fussing. James will survive without you, and vise versa, for one evening, I promise,” she adds, rolling her eyes.
Lily whines a little until they exit the Great Hall, then she follows her best friend up to Gryffindor Tower with only a moue of disappointment.
When they reach their dorm, Alice hurries to open her trunk, pulling from it a white paper bag with the Hogsmeade bookstore logo on the front. From within its intriguing depths (for Lily is always terribly interested in the contents of bookstore bags and parcels), Alice pulls a stack of slick magazines, all of them thick, and all of them depicting smiling wizards and witches in the fanciest dress robes Lily’s ever seen.
“Alice, what—” she begins, but Alice waves her question aside and fans the magazines out on Lily’s bed. “Wedding mags?” Lily guesses, catching sight of a few of the titles.
“Wizarding wedding mags,” Alice explains, tapping a finger lightly against the topmost magazine, causing the bride on the front cover to wave brightly up at them. “I thought you might like to take a look at what our traditions entail, in case you want to incorporate any of them into your wedding. And what better method of education is there than lessons via shopping?” Alice’s grin has a bit of a wicked tilt to it, and Lily can’t help but laugh.
“I suppose there isn’t one,” she replies.
For the next hour or two, the two girls pour over the magazines, examining pictures of wedding decorations, jewelry, and wedding robes for both bride and groom, the wedding party, and the families. In many ways, Lily is relieved to learn, wizarding and Muggle weddings are much alike. For instance, the idea that it is bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the ceremony on the day of the wedding. However, there are some noticeable differences. Like the binding spell in place of vows. And the dress robes. Alice explains that traditionally, the bride wore blue dress robes, although now it is far more common to see her in robes of a different color, with a mere blue trim or ribbon lacing.
By the time they’ve flipped through half of the magazines, Lily is feeling a lot more confident about her decision to have a wizarding wedding, and is already sketching out a general idea of what she’d like the ceremony to look like. By the time they finish “educating Lily,” she’s also got a rough idea of the style of robes she’d like to wear.
Thus it is with high spirits that Lily, waving her newly minted four page list of ideas and to-dos in one hand, skips down the stairs into the common room to inform her fiancé of her excitement regarding all the new wedding ideas she now has. Much to the amusement of all who are present, Lily’s enthusiasm results in a wild cross between a skip and a happy dance as she prances around the couch where James and Sirius are seated, exclaiming breathlessly over the things she’s learned and enthusing over the things she wants, and what does James have to say about this and that?
James, who still really can’t be bothered with the details so long as the day ends with Lily as his wife, simply smiles as she chatters on, punctuating the more exciting bits with wild gestures and endearingly weird expressions that appear to be expressions of glee. This goes on for some minutes before Lily appears to run out of breath and collapses on the couch between James and his best friend. She squirms a bit until she’s situated in James’s lap, one arm draping over the back of his neck and the other prompting him to examine her list by waving it in his face until he takes it from her. When he does so, she wiggles around until James reaches to support her back with one arm, and then stretches her feet out so that she can poke Sirius with her toes.
“Here,” she says, flipping to the page where the groom’s responsibilities have been listed, the bit she most wants James’s opinion about, and points to the relevant lists. “Look at...look at this part,” she says, giggling breathlessly between words as Sirius, fed up with her poking, bats irritably at her feet, which are ticklish. She squeaks (rather unattractively, she thinks) when Sirius finally just grabs her ankles and yanks, forcing her feet to rest in her lap just above his knees.
“Sirius!” she protests, trying to kick her feet free. “Let go.”
“It’s your own fault for poking me with your long, Grindylow toes,” he says, glaring sternly. “Now be still.”
“I can’t!” she complains, giving a happy wiggle. “I’m too excited. And I do not have toes like a Grindylow. My toes are elegant, not creepy. And I wasn’t really poking you.”
“You weren’t?” Sirius arches a mocking eyebrow.
“My feet are cold. And the blanket that lives on this couch has disappeared. And I know it was you who made it leave, Sirius Black. So I wasn’t so much poking you as I was expressing my displeasure at your blanket theft.”
“You wouldn’t be complaining if you knew what we’d done with it,” Sirius told her, grinning mischievously.
“There’s no excuse for stealing, Black,” Lily replies loftily, sticking her nose in the air with a dainty sniff.
“Much as I hate to disagree with you, Lily my love, there is,” James cuts in, distracted from his half hearted attempt
“Oh?” Lily gives him a hard stare. It’s a look she’s perfected over the years, one that says ‘I know this is the result of yet another prank, but please, do entertain me with your useless excuses and explanations.’
James, well-used to this look, simply winks and kisses the tip of her upturned nose. “It wasn’t a prank, I promise,” he says quietly, so as to keep Alice from overhearing him.
Lily frowns in confusion. “What then?”
“It was donated to an important cause. A post-furry little problem cause,” Sirius leans over to explain.
Lily’s frown deepens as she thinks that rather cryptic explanation over, but it’s not until she catches sight of Remus’s disgruntled expression that she remembers that “furry little problem” is the term Sirius created as a euphemism for Remus’s lycanthropy.
When he catches her looking, Remus gives her a rather sheepish smile, but Lily just grins back. “I suppose, if ever there was something worth stealing for, it’s post-furry comfort,” she tells him quietly. Sirius snickers wickedly when her comment has Remus shrinking back in his chair, expression caught somewhere between a pleased smile and embarrassment.
James rests his chin on Lily’s shoulder and gazes up at her with the sappy expression that Sirius never fails to mock (when he’s not too busy mocking Remus, as he is now), but which makes Lily’s heart flutter and fills her with warmth. “No detention, then, Head Girl?” he murmurs.
“Of course not!” she whispers back. “Not when it’s for Remus!”
The sappy expression gets sappier. “I love you,” he says, his voice all warm, dark velvet in her ears. She leans against his chest, the arm around his neck tightening as she tilts her head down to kiss him.
“I know,” she tells him when she pulls away, and then laughs in smug delight when an expression of startled indignation settles on his face. James huffs at her, but Lily only shoves her list back in his hand and points again to the list labeled “groom.”
“Well?” she asks, and James sighs but humors her. Lily, still feeling warm and fuzzy and generally much happier than is fair for any one person—not that she’s complaining—smiles down at that top of his head.
Just then, Sirius leans back from where he’s been reaching to pester Remus in some way or other, and in the process, brushes the back of one arm against Lily’s toes, still held in his lap by his hand on her ankles.
“Gah!” Sirius shrieks, startled. “Your feet are like ice!”
“I tried to tell you they were cold,” Lily sniffs.
“Can you even feel those?” Sirius pokes curiously at one big toe. “You know, they’ve invented these clever things called socks. When you put them on your feet, they help prevent said feet from going numb with cold. And also protect innocent passersby from dangerous brushes with freezing toes.”
“It’s only right that you should be cold too; if I’d known the blanket had been stolen, I would have worn socks!” Lily scowls furiously at the thief and wiggles her cold toes at him.
“Oh for the love of—” Sirius rolls his eyes dramatically and reaches down to snatch a scarf—red and gold cashmere, one of James’s new Gryffindor winter set, a gift from his mother this last Christmas—and wraps the garment securely about Lily’s feet. He examines the wrapping to ensure there are no spaces showing, then tied the ends in a neat little bow and dropped Lily’s feet into the space between him and James with a patronizing little pat to the top of the bow.
Lily starts to smile at his disguised kindness until she realizes he’s effectively just tied her feet together, and then the smile morphs into a scowl.
“Is this like an advanced form of tying someone’s shoelaces together?” she demands. “Because if I trip and fall on my face, there will be consequences, Sirius Black.”
“I was trying to help!” Sirius cries, throwing his hands in the air. “Your feet were cold, I fixed it. The least you could do is say thank you.”
James smiles as his best friend launches into a full scale battle against the love of his life. He’s come to realize that neither of them truly harbors any hard feelings towards the other; James is of the opinion that fighting has just become an enjoyable habit for both of them. One that also provides James and the other Marauders with endless entertainment.
For this reason he lets it go on unfettered for awhile, using the time to read over all four pages (four pages!) of Lily’s list, cringing a little at the number of details she already has written down, knowing that the list will expand exponentially between now and August, and that Lily will want his input on all of it.
Unless...unless she and his mother get on so well (oh how he hopes and wishes that they will get on well!) that Lily will be happy to plan the whole thing with his mother and leave him out of it altogether.
Except for the groomsmen stuff. He fully plans on torturing his friends with lots of groomsmen duties, and so on, and he intends to enjoy every minute of it. But the rest of it...he knows his mother will want to get her hands all over this wedding, and he mentally wishes her joy.
Which reminds him.
“This list is very detailed, Lils,” James says casually. “You should bring it along tomorrow. It’ll give you a good place to start when you’re ready to talk to my mother about the wedding.”
The silence that follows that comment is almost palpable as Lily leaves off arguing with Sirius to stare at James in shock.
“Your mother?” she squeaks. “Tomorrow?”
“Yep! We have special permission from the headmaster to go visit. Your list-making is perfectly timed.” He shoots her a winning smile, and inwardly laughs when her frozen expression thaws into a mask of horror and shock.
She may be the love of his life, but he does so love to tease and rile her.